Friday, December 29, 2023

Penn Raine: Who should be in the naughty corner? or let's copy Oz and the US and have Parliamentary hearings

Readers who rate reality shows and those who despise them could have either their enjoyment intensified, or their prejudices debunked by watching the US and Australian senate hearings on You Tube.

We used to have the balance of an upper House, the Legislative Council but it was abolished, too soon you might argue, as no longer useful. Here in New Zealand the offices of the Auditor General and the Ombudsman may or may not, depending on whom they feel aligned to, investigate government and corporate malfeasance and having done so the public may or may not get to hear details, depending on whether or not an OIA request gets ‘lost’.

However, Australian and US government representatives can require an individual or a group to answer questions before an appropriate committee whose proceedings – and this is the best bit- are filmed and, when compelling enough, posted on You Tube. Supreme court justices and presidential nominees for instance must present themselves before these committees to answer questions where wrongful or unlawful acts are suspected. The hearings may be followed by court cases but even without that they serve to expose and embarrass those who have used their importance and power to avoid consequences.

These hearings give at least the appearance of open and balanced democracy where powerful players in government, the judiciary or corporates must accept scrutiny.  In this country we have no such process to expose and embarrass dodgy players although in the palmy days of yore we might have expected our legacy media to do this. How they must have wrung their hands over whether or not they should take a look at all that stuff to do with the Mahuta family!  Independent platforms such as Breaking Views, Bassett, Brash and Hyde and the eponymous The Platform are valiant battlers, but they do not attract the majority of followers who have to date been the dupes of our MSM. How refreshing it would be to have a Sky News Australia whose main focus seems to be to lampoon the ideological idiocies of the wonky Left and give oxygen to stories mainstream would rather ignore.

In the last two months the Australian senate has grilled Qantas chair and CEO about their blatant support of the Voice to Parliament’s ‘Yes’ campaign. The chamber blinked in surprise to hear that the Qantas Board had not been told of the PM Albanese’s invitation to the campaign launch and that the CEO ‘could not remember’ when the company had first agreed to support the campaign.

Although no one should be surprised at the lengths witnesses reach to avoid answering direct questions, or that when the usual evasions of ‘that detail escapes me’, ‘before/after my time’, or ‘not in my remit’ fail to serve,  the favourite go-to is to filibuster in the hope that the allotted five minutes allowed will be used up with irrelevance and deflection. That the most often heard senators’ rebukes to witnesses are, ‘This is a simple question. Just answer yes or no’, should indicate the general sulkiness, and we must suppose culpability, of those called to testify.

The Ivy league’s Gay, Magill and Kornbluth’s parroting long sections of their HR manuals when they testified on Capitol Hill earlier this month on the outbreak of anti-Semitism on their campuses demonstrates this. Their diversionary tactics were fulsome as they tried to demonstrate how marching to support the obliteration of Israel and Jews did not break any of their rules of conduct, as opposed to the swift and vigorous action that would have occurred if – oh, I don’t know – rallies had taken place on campus against Muslims or trans people.

Less globally incendiary but equally riveting was the hearing into how US Government officials had suppressed for nine years the 2014 report of the enquiry into the Coastguard’s culture of sexual misconduct and assault of its female serving staff and the sickening testimony of the victims which spoke clearly to leaders’ lack of moral clarity.

These hearings in Oz and the US are politically even-handed insofar as any representative of any party can, following the correct procedures, instigate and call to testify corporate, government and judicial thugs alike. If only we had such an open and democratic sporting event here! And though we do not,  LuxSeyPete seem open to change and it could be great fun if they instituted the process.

Meanwhile here are some suggestions for New Zealanders who might have made the cut in 2023 to present themselves for scrutiny, and the questions that they might have been asked because of their tendencies to trick, deflect and fib.

Not to mention their failure just to see the bloody obvious.

MSM, you’re up first. Do you think that falling TV viewer numbers and declining newspaper subscriptions suggest that your enthusiasm for identity politics and general tedious wokery might be a factor?

Transgender Lobby, here are your questions. What monies are you receiving from Stonewall, ‘Jennifer’ Pritzker and other Big Pharma operations? And are you aware of the growing number of adults who transitioned as children and are now suing for wrongful advice, medications and surgeries? This is a binary answer situation, and you may answer yes or no.

Mr Luxon, are you relieved that the issues requiring real moral courage now can be shuffled onto Winston and David to address so National can keep its good cop image?

Mr Hipkins as ex Minister for Covid, can you please tell us why you were so convinced that a vaccine that had been tested for at most three months was safe and effective, and why in particular you compelled vaccination because it would ‘prevent transmission’, a fact we now know to be a lie?

And by the way, have you figured out what a woman is yet?

Can the person who coined the phrase ‘hate speech’ please answer this: is it possible that you might understand that we do not hate you just because we don’t share your opinions?

And we would like to hear the Covid modellers take us through their hopelessly wrong death rate predictions and what they make of NZ’s post vaccine 30% death rate spike following vaccinations. Do you experience a frisson of hope for further media exposure whenever WHO finds a new variant over which to re-ignite panic?

Can James Shaw and Marama Davidson suggest why they think we should contribute to the UN’s ‘loss and damage’ fund to support vulnerable countries hit by ‘climate disasters’ when China has said ‘No, thanks’?

And Te Pati Māori …no, on second thoughts you may stand down. Words fail us.

And finally, Ms Ardern do you feel that being in Harvard right now  is your most appropriate setting?

Penn Raine is an educator and writer who lives in NZ and France.


Anonymous said...

Good idea - with a thumbs up or thumbs down verdict from citizens ( as was the custom at the Coliseum in Ancient Rome) .

Definitely start with the Dame - who reduced NZ a global farce.

Along the way, hearing the cold and ugly facts may jolt the apathetic into reality.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant. And perhaps we could really use an Upper House. How about say 6 people, selected by lottery/ballot from the general population. Filtered of course, not under 45, or over 65, above average intelligence, mentally well balanced, and not Govt employees. 6 year term. Two tasks: accept or reject Govt legislation. Hold hearings on important matters. That should do for a start.

Anonymous said...

Well written! It's a joy to see there are still some sane people in New Zealand.

Hazel Modisett said...

LMFAO. Spot on ! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Australia's system sounds great, until you realise that this is now spreading to the Misinformation bill. Does not sound scary, except the minister of the day get to target investigations, compel interrogations. One short step from convicting too.

Such systems expose, but are now being weaponised for abuse.