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Flagging a problem or the politics of distraction
The population of New Zealand is being hoodwinked again by its Government. Once again Jianqi is putting an awful lot of energy into an issue that is always guaranteed to get good headlines and appeal to a large number of voters, yet fail to move us forward one jot in terms of our social or economic health.
The New Zealand flag is taking centre stage at the moment as the Prime Munter tries to garner more brain-dead support for his rotten to the core Government. He has been pushing this as a pet project since before the election and now seems hell-bent on making it a very big deal; a 26 million dollar deal in fact.
I am one of many Kiwis who think that our flag is lame at best and cringingly embarrassing at worst. Let’s look at what it consists of and what that symbolizes. A Union Jack dominates the top left quadrant, which only serves to remind us of our colonial past and the fact that we are still supporting that anachronism known as the Royal Family. The remainder of the flag consists of four stars from the Southern Cross set in a dark blue background which presumably symbolizes the Pacific Ocean. To the casual observer it differs very little to the Australian flag. In fact there are only two differences; the absence of two further stars and the colour of those stars (red for New Zealand and white for Australia).
Having said that, I don’t believe it is the most pressing issue we have to tackle at this time. It certainly doesn’t justify spending 26 million dollars of taxpayer’s money simply to decide what its future might be. I also believe that 26 million is a conservative estimate because all sorts of peripheral costs will arise after the change. New flags will have to be made and everything that features the flag will have to be altered.
In an ideal world I would change the bloody thing in a heartbeat, but we have much bigger fish to fry right now and I might be wildly off-beam here, but personally I feel that ending child poverty, getting more people into jobs and houses, tackling the issues of family violence, raising our educational levels and improving our aged care and our ailing health system in general are ever so slightly more important.
However those are problems which have resulted from a badly run country and accordingly they carry with them a certain amount of blame which can be sheeted home to those who have been running this circus called Aotearoa. The flag that we have been saddled with can easily be blamed on people who have been long dead and who have no connection with the current leaders. As a result, Jianqi is ensuring it is pushed to the top of his important ‘to do’ list.
Readers outside New Zealand might wonder how the PM can justify 26 million dollars for what might seem to them to be a rather frivolous matter and the answer is that truth really is stranger than fiction. The PM is attempting to justify changing the flag on the grounds that it is an important for New Zealand’s democracy.
Pardon? What is this thing called democracy? Does it have anything to do with holding a referendum on state asset sales, which cost the nation 9 million dollars and then riding rough shod over the decision of the majority and selling the assets they told you they don’t want sold?
Or maybe it is something to do with slapping a ban on blues singer Darren Watson’s brilliant satirical song “Planet Key” on the grounds it constitutes an election advertisement while allowing the sale and promotion of the PM’s own book, which apparently does not constitute an electoral advert despite being released just a handful of weeks before that election?
Then again it might be something to do with trying to rush through approval for the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement without allowing the New Zealand public or even the MPs to actually see what is in it.
Or is it about ramping up our security levels based upon what the funny people are telling him about terrorist threats so he can justify plunging our country into the current madness directed by Washington at the latest Middle Eastern battle arena?
Clearly changing the flag is a crucial move that should guarantee the eradication of child poverty, close of the gap between rich and poor, slow-down global warming, clean up our environment and see our “rock star economy’ playing sold out gigs all over the world to an adoring public.
As I said before, I would love to change the flag, but if that is ALL you change then it is a meaningless gesture. If you are going to change the flag, that has implications and why would you simply do that and go on ignoring the elephant that is in the room?
The flag is associated with the status of New Zealand and as long as it bears the Union Jack that implies paying homage to a bunch of inbreds luxuriating in obscene wealth in the Northern Hemisphere. If we are going to change the flag then we should also become a republic, toss out our titular head of state (or tit-head if you prefer) and get ourselves a constitution. I would have thought that a constitution would have far more relevance to democracy than a piece of material flying at the top of a pole. Clearly democracy has a different meaning up on Planet Key!
I can only see one (legal) way to stop this madness at present. The Government has the numbers to do anything they like as long as their coalition partners support them and therefore we need to work on those coalition partners and somehow get them onside to defeat it. However the chances of being able to scare them off supporting it are slim as they are all to a man and a woman self-seeking trolls who will do anything to be part of the ruling Junta.... er I mean Government.
The only other thing that might save our skins is if somebody can uncover a really good scandal that shows what self-seeking lowlifes the ruling party members are. Oh, yes, I almost forgot. Somebody did do that and still they emerged from the cesspit with enough votes from the terminally dim-witted to keep hold of the reins of power. Oh well I guess we’d better get ready to break out the bunting, then. We can probably boil up the old flags to feed the kids