Apart from the thrilling last session of the Third Ashes Test (and that only because of my son’s ability to connect his iPad reception to our holiday batch TV screen), l watched no television of any kind during the Christmas break.
I must say it was as enjoyable and therapeutic as the few days away from the pressures of normal life under Covid, enabling a brief respite from the worry watching our beloved homeland descend into an unrecognisable autocracy that is not of our choosing.
I guess we have only ourselves to blame.
There is no question that it could have and should been avoided but the truth is that too few of us have been prepared to challenge this developing monster that is in fact (like the Frankenstein version), a product of our own making.
We should have seen it coming.
Unfortunately, we have ignored the emerging signs that characterise minority groups seeking a greater say in the way their particular fields of influence are accommodated.
While that in itself is of little concern and is in fact a sign of maturing nationhood, it can become problematic if handled by those with ulterior motives to the mainstream. For them it becomes a once in a lifetime chance to push their own political agenda.
History shows that, at least in this country, those who have valid claims to compensation for either past injustices or under-resourcing can expect to be rewarded for their persistence. There are constitutional pathways that make it possible for these claims of discrimination to be dealt with in a manner that finally ensures justice is served. But to be effective, they must operate within the law at all stages until the courts decide the totality of the outcome from the, at times, lengthy but necessary process.
The most famous and perhaps the busiest of the procedures available to all is the Waitangi Tribunal but, even it can only recommend changes in favour of those who are deemed to have been oppressed.
The final authority rests with the representatives of the people who are themselves called upon to act with the wisdom of Solomon in order that justice is seen to be done.
It should be of little surprise that no other country on the planet has come close to replicating this successful system for settling disputes between our racially diverse groups of citizens. Most are immersed in racial disputes that are destroying their democracies faster than any invasion by a foreign power with no allegiance to civil or human rights. It is an incurable cancer destroying the nation from within.
Until now we have been like a beacon of hope in a world aflame.
And yet we are in danger of allowing this hard gained utopian vision to slip from our grasp just when we are on the verge of establishing ourselves as arguably the most egalitarian society on earth.
How has it happened?
Complacency! Yes, but there is a much more sinister reason.
We have dropped the ball at a time when we needed to execute the final moves that would have ensured the final victory.
In our case, our mistake has been to trust those who would abuse that trust and use the associated opportunities to establish an elite form of governance that benefits only a select few. If not stopped, it will have dramatic consequences for the democratic structures that determine the daily lives of all citizens - irrespective of race, religious or sexual preference or position on the social ladder.
We must act in unison before it is too late. Time is of the essence.
Just how serious is our current situation - can it be overstated?
I think not!
There is legislation being planned that is only the tip of the iceberg representing a society that has little resemblance to the one our forebears have fought and died to protect. We insult their memory and their sacrifices if we fail to respond to the modern challenge in a similar manner to the one that they so heroically presented in their respective hour of need.
One of the most subtle methods used by these usurpers of legitimate authority is the systematic dismantling of free speech.
This government recognises that it will not be able to proceed in the manner it chooses unless it controls the media in all its forms.
You would have to be lacking in basic observation skills if you do not see that this first objective has actually already been achieved.
Almost the entire MSM are merely pawns in the hands of the Government propaganda machine. The majority have sold their soul for less than 30 pieces of silver.
But the real irony is that we will need the media to return to their normal operating capacity as an independent group in a democratic society in order for this monstrous betrayal to be defeated at the ballot box.
It would be hard to change things without resort to violence if that were not to happen.
Sadly, these are the choices that confront us all.
The society we bequeath to future generations will depend on the manner in which we respond to this ultimate of challenges.
Our time has come.
Clive Bibby is a commentator, consultant, farmer and community leader, who lives in Tolaga Bay.