Friday, May 31, 2019

Clive Bibby: The evolution of the activist in Godzone

Anyone interested enough to consult the dictionary about the title "Activist" may be surprised to discover that it is awarded far more "brownie points" than you might have first thought. But does it fit our modern occupier of the throne.

My search found that an Activist is "a person who works energetically to achieve political or social goals". That doesn't sound like an accurate description of the ones l know or know of in this country.

In fact it seems to be a sanitising of the characters we see occupying this space who are more likely to be comfortable owning up to a rather less complimentary list of work  habits. It is part of their adopted persona to be seen as someone who is contemptuous of fellow citizens rights or sensitivities. They can't draw attention to themselves or their cause without indulging in the most outrageous acts or false claims that suit their moment in the spotlight.

Very few have the ability to survive as a force for change by simply promoting their beliefs or recommendations while respecting the accepted norms of social interaction.

If they do, you can be sure that public opinion has already moved towards their way of thinking so all that remains is to keep the issue in front of the punters until the laws they object to are overturned.

Those that are on a hiding to nothing trying to gain converts to their radical ideas will inevitably crash and burn leaving a trail of destruction that will be remembered even if their original message is lost without trace.

Yet even though most activists in this country follow that route to obscurity, the ones that spend a longer than deserved time in the sun only do so with the help of an overly compliant media who show their bias by allowing the offensive charade to continue without sanction. No need to chain yourself to the local council building when these guys are aiding and abetting your activities. Actually, you're more likely to get an invitation to be guest speaker at the official opening of parliament, such is the number of sympathetic members of officialdom who secretly harbour a liking for the cut of your jib.

The recent contrast in the treatment of Tina Ngata's offensive tirade that included blatant lies about the historical James Cook's visit to the East Coast of New Zealand in 1769 and that metered out to Israel Folau is a classic example of how low the media and senior politicians are prepared to go when abandoning any pretence of critical analysis of the respective misdemeanours.

I suppose they will, if challenged to justify their gutless hypocrisy, be quick to refer to that hallowed organisation of objectivity, The United Nations no less, who have offered Ms Ngata a platform to peddle her wheelbarrow of hate any time she's in town.

Not surprising really when you note that the UN are regularly providing the same safe harbour for any despot or crook who is struggling to get a positive headline in their own country.

It's just a pity that New Zealand, which has gained an international reputation as a champion of free speech, should be so damaged in the same arena simply because our own scribes are too lazy to recognise their failure as a protector of one of democracy's most sacred cornerstones.

Tragically, it is a sign of the times so don't expect there to be a rush to stamp out this black spot. Instead, it looks like we are in for a period of further erosion of our home grown standards for fair play which was what our forebears died in their thousands to protect. A real slap in the face to their memory, don't you think!

Clive Bibby is a commentator, consultant, farmer and community leader, who lives in Tolaga Bay.


Raymond said...

Quite right. God forbid it might well be articles like yours that may be investigated, specially if mention is made of someone like Ngata, who we know the ear those who want history sanitised or rewritten.

Robyn said...

Very well written. Our rights that our countryment fought and died for are slowley being eroded, but the "generosity" of those "activists" that wish to forward the UN agenda. Though I am not a Trump fan, one can not but help applaud his stance on the UN and all open boarder policies. Our country is not engendering itself, with our current policitians, to be the Great Country we all wish and want it to be. Massive change must come, but the question remains in which direction?

Anonymous said...

I must say how disappointed I am that you chose to say that you are not a Trump fan. I AM a Trump fan, his achievements as a wonderful POTUS are astonishing, with much more to come before 2024! I live in hope that his achievements may include the banishment of the UN from the UN, which has become a grandstand for unelected minorities supported by those who do not practise democracy. I believe that all activists who cause damage should be charged with an appropriate offence, and made to pay for their stupidity. Protest should always be a means of trying to convert opinions by their strength of reasoning and nothing else.

Mervyn said...

Champion of free speech? Since when was censorship championing free speech. Presumably when the weasel worded term "hate speech " was coined.

Donald Beswick said...

The description of Captain Cook's visit as a "murderous invasion": is nothing more than hate speech from a part Maori brown supremacist. We see this sort of hate speech regularly in newspapers and radio and TV and on-line, and it tells us plenty about the integrity, or lack of integrity, of those in the media.

Russ said...

"Massive change must come, but the question remains in which direction?"
Start with “Putting Out The Trash” – MMP and Political Parties should be transitioned to FPP Independent MP’s for a Better Democratic New Zealand.