Friday, August 26, 2022

Derek Mackie: Democracy's Overrated

     A: Art Ful-Kwizzer 
    W: Will E Jackson 

A: Another week, another government cock-up! How do they manage to be so consistently incompetent, we ask ourselves?
 On NZ’s top rating, no-holds-barred, political talk show - Would I Lie to You - we hold politicians to account for their actions, or lack of them.
 Unlike our “Tame” mainstream competitor, we’re not scared to ask the hard questions....or financially rewarded not to ask them. 

 Tonight we have an exclusive interview with Will E Jackson, leader of New Zealand’s youngest political party, Democracy’s Overrated
I’ll be asking Mr Jackson some probing questions, demanding to know on behalf of all Kiwis, why our democracy is no longer fit-for-purpose…in his view, not mine. 
And why he contends that his party and its contentious policies are the best future path for our country. 

 So, no biting, gouging or kicking. Let’s get ready to rrrrrrrrumble!
 Welcome to the programme, Will. 

W: I prefer Will E. 
A: Sorry, my mistake. Can I ask what the E stands for? 
W: No. 
A: OK. We seem to have got off on the wrong foot, Will….E. 
I’m sensing an air of tension in the studio. Are you getting it at home, people? 
I must say, Will E, your initial answers are uncharacteristically short, in contrast to your reputation for loquaciousness. 

W: Trying to look smart now, Mr Pakeha? Using big words to show up the poor brown fella, are you? 
Well it won’t work. 
A: Ah, you’ve woken up at last! 
That was certainly not my intention but I apologise unreservedly for pricking your incredibly thin brown skin, Mr Jackson. 
I respect Maori, and hold their language and culture in high regard….just as I do ALL ethnicities and nationalities, including my own. 
Unlike yourself it seems. 
W: Bet you wish you had some Maori in you though, eh Art? 
Bet you’ve been on trying to trace your Tangata Whenua. 

A: I have researched my family tree and I’m 100% non-Maori, just like the other 83% majority in NZ. 
You’re the odd one out here! 
W: But you probably want to be a white Maori, eh? 
All the perks but none of the colonial baggage. 
A: I have no desire to be any particular race that I’m not already. You can’t change your forebears and I find it’s best to deal with people on an individual basis, regardless of colour, creed or gender. 
I’m sorry if this upsets you. 
W: Ha, got ya! 
I bet my deputy-leader that I could make you apologise at least three times before you asked me a real question. It was so easy, bro! 

A: How very grown-up of you. 
You’re really showcasing what the public will get if they cast their vote for you. You’ll be wearing a cowboy hat, next! 
Shall we move on to why we’re actually here, or we can just play silly games all evening, if you like? 
W: First round to me. Fire away, bro. 

 Will E, you champion co-governance and demand a Maori parliament with 50% say in all decisions, and an effective veto. But Maori are only 17% of the population. How is that fair? 

W: This has nothing to do with fairness, Art. 
Te Tiriti unequivocally - see, I can use big Pakeha words too - states that there is a partnership between Tangata Whenua and the Crown and that we are entitled to 50% of everything. 
It is our right by law! 
A: Something that Maori didn’t have, by the way. A legal system, I mean.
Oh, and do let me be the first to congratulate you on using a big word. Positive reinforcement is thought to be very important for the easily impressed and lexically challenged.
W: Eh, thanks....I think! 
As I was saying, we were here first and were invaded and colonised by Pakeha who then cheated and stole our land from us, using your legal system to bamboozle us and …. 
A: If I can just interrupt there. 
The Treaty gave you exactly the same rights as British citizens, which included the right to own and sell land. 
W: Come on, Art. We were given pieces of paper written in English, which we couldn’t read… 
A: But you couldn’t read Maori, either! 
In fact, the British created your written language then taught you it. I can see how that must really grate. 
W: Oh, more Maori bashing, Art! You just can’t help yourself, can you? 
All those generations of white supremacy rising like scum to the top every time you feel threatened. 

A: No, I reject that accusation, Will E.  I never bash someone unless they deserve it....and you certainly do!
I’m stating facts. Something that you seem to have a pathological aversion to. And I’m not going to apologise this time, just in case you have another bet going with the only other member of your party. 
Maori were granted legal titles for the land they claimed ownership over when the Treaty was signed and many then chose to sell that land, freely.
 The only proof of ownership and right of recourse you had before colonisation was the might of force to take and hold land against other iwi. Every dispute ended in violence and death…and the never-ending bloody retribution of utu. 

W: At least in the good old days, before you white buggers arrived, you knew where you stood….or fell. 
No slippery Pakeha lawyers to pull the wool over our eyes. 
A: You’ll be blaming the sheep next for providing the wool. Another Pakeha import. 
W: The truth is that we were deceived by unscrupulous white settlers who took advantage of our innocent nature and fooled us into parting with our land. 
They then turned it into farms and made fortunes on the back of Maori. 
A: Through their own hard work and enterprise, virtually all would say.
They made New Zealand what it is today - a world leader in farming and agriculture. 
Isn’t it true that most land in New Zealand was unworked before the arrival of Europeans because Maori lacked the tools, skills, crops and livestock to clear and develop it? 

W: You’ll be calling us Stone Age next! 
A: You said it, not me! 
But getting back to the question. How is it fair that 17% of a country holds 50% of the power? 
W: You must be deaf, boy! Get the wax out of your ears. I’ve already answered that. Move on. 
A: I’m detecting a strong whiff of eau de pissed-off coming from my guest. The atmosphere’s getting rather urinal in here. 
Not sure our audience will be satisfied with your answer, Will E, but if that’s your best effort I'll proceed to the next question. 

 You’ve stated that the principle of “One person, one vote” is outdated and no longer applies now that Treaty obligations are being properly recognised and enacted. But universal suffrage is a cornerstone of all democracies. How can you justify this remark? 

W: It’s very easy, Art. Once you accept the inbred entitlement of each Pakeha to expect the same say as each Maori; when under Te Tiriti both races are recognised as equal partners, regardless of numbers, then it makes absolute sense to do away with this outdated Western construct, designed to keep Tangata Whenua in their place. 
A: Would you mind showing me the word “partnership'' in the Treaty. 
I’ve looked and looked but I just can’t find it anywhere. 

W: It’s a matter of interpretation. Our best Maori academics have all reached the same conclusion on this, so it must be true. 
A: Of course. They wouldn’t have a vested interest in this, would they?
A guaranteed big fat public salaried job for life, research funding on tap. No conflict of interest to see here! 
You realise, if you get your way, Maori votes would be worth three times that of a Pakeha vote
W: Is that all, bro? 
You whities are lucky we still want to share our country with you. 
A: You do realise that Asians make up more of the population than Maori so it’s not just us “whities” that you’re disenfranchising. 
W: Oooh! Another big fancy Pakeha word which just means not giving Maori what’s rightfully ours. 

A: So, just to be clear, you’re proposing that we abolish the right of every person’s vote to have equal weight, in favour of a skewed system where the votes of only Maori count for considerably more? 
W: How many times do you need to ask the same question, Art? 
A: As many times as it takes to get a sensible answer. Would you like another crack at it? 
W: Yes, that’s what I’m proposing. 
And that’s what the original intent of Te Tiriti was but you sneaky, conniving Pakeha have cheated us Maori out of our proper share for over 180 years. Well, no more! 
Finally, we’ve learned the Pakeha ways and we know how to use your system to get what we want and deserve. 

A: It’s comforting to know that racism and self-pity are alive and flourishing in little old New Zealand, embodied in Will E and the Democracy’s Overrated Party. 

Now thankfully, my final question. 

 Isn’t there ample evidence that democracy and colonisation has, overall, been a success for Maori? Why break that system when you are fairly represented at all levels of government and already enjoy a measure of positive discrimination far in excess of any other group? 

W: Well I suppose it may look like that from where you’re sitting in your privileged, entitled Pakeha world but for us Maori it’s a different story, bro.
A: You use the word “entitled” a lot, Will E. 
Are you sure it doesn’t apply more to yourself than me? After all, you’re the one harping on about deserving special treatment and privileges. 
I’m happy to share fairly and give everyone equal opportunity. 
W: Hey, maybe you’re right, Art. 
Maybe I am entitled….to expect YOU to give us back all the stuff your lot took from us! 

A: Does that include cannibalism and slavery…..and all those muskets that you were happily massacring each other with, just before the Treaty was signed? 
Surely, you can’t deny that, as well as the negatives, there have been many positives to Maori since Europeans arrived - modern housing, a varied and better diet, access to education, healthcare, modern technology….not to mention the wheel! 
All of which have greatly increased life expectancy, opportunity….and mobility! 
W: So we’re meant to be grateful that we’re living a lot longer than we used to and have a massively improved standard of living…and cars to drive about in? 
A: Well…..YES! Wouldn’t anyone with half a brain? 
Sorry, Will E, it’s unfair of me to pose a question that you’re not qualified to answer! 

W: You just don’t get it, Art, do you? 
A: Oh, I think I do! 
W: Tangata whenua has endured over a century of discrimination, colonisation, social and economic deprivation, and abuse at the hands of Pakeha. 
And just because things are starting to come right you think we should tip our caps to the big white man in thanks for letting us be part of his game.
This is our country…not yours! We should be making the rules. 
A: Hold on, Will E. I was born here too, as were my parents, and my grandparents. 
I’m a Kiwi, just like you. 
W: Well, not just like me, eh Art. 
I’m Maori and you’re not. I’m Tangata Whenua, you’re Pakeha. 
There’s a world of difference. 

A: Actually, Will E. You’re not completely Maori, are you? 
Far from it. You have some European ancestry too. 
What proportion of Maori are you, if you don’t mind me asking? 
W: I don’t want to talk about that. It upsets me. 
A: But those Pakeha ancestors have contributed to making you the person you are today, whether you like it or not, and I’m guessing you don’t. 
W: That’s racial abuse! I’ll make a complaint to Meng Foon if you don’t shut up. 
A: But why can’t you embrace all of your cultures, instead of only one? 
W: That’s it! I’m done. 
Not wasting my breath on a stupid, uppity Pakeha who needs to learn his place. 

A: Well, my guest has left the building! 
Will ‘E ever forgive me? 
If not, I’m sure I’ll get over it. In fact, I have already! 
That was certainly one of the most challenging, yet strangely enjoyable interviews I’ve ever done. I think I’m fully entitled…. to a nice cup of tea and a biscuit to compensate for the nasty dose of bigotry and xenophobia I’ve had to endure. 
 Actually, I’ve just figured out what the E in Will E means. Entitlement with a big fat E! 

 Time will tell whether the Democracy’s Overrated Party will manage to get into parliament at the next election. 
They barely register a mention in current opinion polls but no doubt Will E has a perfectly good explanation for that. 
It’s a pity, or more likely a blessing, he didn’t stay around long enough to tell us what it is. 

 I’m Art Ful-Kwizzer. Goodnight! 

Derek Mackie is a geologist with a keen interest in current affairs.


Anonymous said...

I love this. After keeping up with all the real BS, which isn't that different actually, it's nice to have a chuckle.
The characterisations are very Artful!

Mudbayripper said...

Art- fully done, as per usual. Nothing like a well constructed piece of satire to highlight the obserdity of the current reality.
Will E won't E the man is a complete moron. Does anyone really take him seriously.

Anonymous said...

I had a young electrician do some work for me during the remodeling of my home some years ago. His Christian name was Arthur, but everyone called him Willie.
I questioned him one day as to the reason for the nickname.
He told me that almost from the first day of his apprenticeship, his boss and co-workers used that nickname. They told him it was because the question was always
"will he he get the job done, will he do it right, will he be at work on time, will he use the right materials, will he ever be an electrician?"
Perhaps the interviewee has the same problems!