Ministers in Turkey

A couple of days ago I wrote about the trip to Turkey Winston Peters was planning, presumably undertaken with the explicit approval of the Prime Minister (and he was accompanied by a Labour Party Cabinet minister).

There were conflicting narratives from the Foreign Minister and his boss about this trip.  From the Foreign Minister’s own press release we learned

“Our current intention is then to travel onwards to Turkey, at the request of the Turkish Government, to attend a special ministerial meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation being held in Istanbul.

“This important event will allow New Zealand to join with our partners in standing against terrorism and speaking up for values such as understanding and religious tolerance.

The Prime Minister meanwhile suggested that Mr Peters would be “setting the record straight” with the odious Turkish president.  There was Erdogan’s use of video of the Christchurch shootings in his election rally, his false claims about Gallipoli (the claim the landings were all about being anti-Muslim) and his inflammatory rhetoric around New Zealanders and Australians.    She herself had been reluctant to say anything, unlike the Australian Prime Minister.

We learned this morning about the Foreign Minister’s effort.   First, there was Mr Erdogan

Peters said, however, that he didn’t discuss Erdogan’s use of the footage with Turkey’s foreign minister or president though it was widely expected that he’d raise the issue.

Erdogan later on Friday again showed an excerpt of the video at an election rally in the central city of Konya.

“I did not see any sound, peaceful purposes in raising it,” Peters said, adding that they had received “very assuring information” from the Turkish presidency.

Very assuring……..not.    It looks a lot as though he was played –  again –  by Erdogan, who seems to be using the whole affair to help his election campaign.     But I guess MFAT trains Foreign Ministers to abandon all sense of national self-respect etc.

And then there was the meeting of the foreign ministers of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC).    You can read the statement made by Mr Peters to that meeting.  I guess views will differ on the specific content, but the overall tone struck me as strangely obsequious.  Which frankly seems weird just on its own merits (what does the New Zealand government owe to other countries in this matter?).   And doubly inappropriate at a meeting summoned by the odious autocrat who governs Turkey

There wasn’t much reference in the Peters statement to that “religious tolerance” he talked about earlier in the week in his press release.   But then it isn’t New Zealand that has a problem with religious tolerance: in this country, you can join or leave any religion you like, theistic or otherwise.  Leading secularists could abandon their faith and embrace Islam –  or Christianity or Judaism or whatever –  and few would pay much attention for long.  Or vice versa.

Not so for most of the countries represented at the OIC meeting, a meeting which Winston Peters seemed to go out of his way to thank them for attending –  almost as if they were doing the New Zealand government a favour by holding it.

The Peters press release earlier in the week talked of how he would “join our partners”  to speak up for “values such as….religious tolerance”.    So what did the communique have to say?  There is lots of pretty tendentious rhetoric, some boring listing of various official visits to New Zealand, and then we get to the substance. On religious tolerance

Calls upon all States to respect the freedom of religion of all Muslims; not restrict the fundamental human rights and freedoms of Muslims

This is an organisation of countries, not clerics, and not a few of these countries have substantial minorities of people of other religions.   And yet, the call is only for freedom of religion for Muslims.

After ploughing through lots more clauses, we also find this near the end

Requests the OIC Contact Group on Peace and Dialogue to engage, as a matter of priority, to focus its efforts and take action to combat religious discrimination, Islamophobia, intolerance and hatred towards Muslims,

Even with two New Zealand Cabinet ministers invited to attend their meeting, they still couldn’t bring themselves to even a passing reference to religious freedom for anyone else, even in their own countries, let alone New Zealand.

Of course, for most of them it would have been deeply hypocritical for them to have done so.  Here was the Pew Research graphic I used in the post the other day.


These countries –  most or all of them members of the OIC –  have apostasy laws in place, making it an offence to leave Islam, let alone to embrace another faith.

Of them, this article from the (UK) Independent reports that

Thirteen countries, all of a Muslim majority, punish apostasy (the renunciation of a particular religion), or blasphemy with death.

The annual Freedom of Thought report by the International Humanist and Ethical Union, found that 13 countries impose capital punishment upon people simply for their beliefs, or lack of them.

Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen are the relevant countries.

Not that often enforced these days perhaps, but the law nonetheless.    All countries that will have been represented in this Organisation for Islamic Cooperation meeting, attended by Winston Peters and Jenny Salesa.

My concern here isn’t primarily with the OIC countries themselves.  Their governments –  very few democratic, few even allowing genuinely open political debate and scrutiny –  make their choices and New Zealand can’t change those.

My concern is with our own government.  I could suggest that they’ve been played by Erdogan and OIC, except that that might suggest they didn’t know what they were doing. I suspect they knew exactly what they were doing, and went ahead nonetheless.

We can be proud of our religious freedom and tolerance – hard-won –  and our government (Prime Minister, Foreign Minister on down) shouldn’t sully that good name by associating on such issues with a group of regimes that (mostly) have little or no regard for genuine religious freedom, and show no intention of granting it to their own people, or even to non-citizens living in their countries.

It is shameful, (presumably in some warped conception) opportunistic, and disrespectful of the values and practices of almost everyone who lives in this country.

People have been queuing up to laud the Prime Minister this week.  Some of it is probably due, much of it probably not, but on this significant foreign policy aspect of her government’s response she has allowed a pretty awful standard to prevail.


UPDATE: Not on the specific point of this post, but a chilling action by a government official nonetheless.  As people were pointing out, Mein Kampf is legal, the writings of Mao are legal (as they should be), but New Zealanders are now not supposed to see –  or cite – a document backgrounding perhaps the worst crime in New Zealand history.


53 thoughts on “Ministers in Turkey

  1. You sound surprised ?

    Winston Peters only has harsh words and strong messages when he’s in opposition. Give him a 7-series limousine and he turns into a pussycat.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I read that his ‘manifesto’ was thick. Can our chief censor permit publishing with the calls to violence removed? If I was chief censor I would permit publishing so long as the front page showed a photo of the 3 year old who was murdered. I had no interest in that document until it was censored; I assume it could be found online.

    We do know that terrorists can be dumb (the shoe bomber) and they can be bright (the unabomber was genius level and at least one of the Muslim terrorists in the UK had a degree) and every shade in between.

    Auckland library has 35 copies of ‘Mein Kampf’ and three books about the Unabomber. However no copy of Tom Paine’s impressive ‘The Age of Reason’. Unofficial censorship?

    It is a matter of judgement – the recent manifesto might possibly cause a copycat whereas ‘Mein Kampf’ is unlikely to cause readers to attack Jews now.


      • Just read the censors justification. It included this paragraph:
        “””We also appreciate that there will be a range of people, including reporters, researchers and academics, who will be in possession of the publication for a range of legitimate purposes, including education, analysis and in-depth reporting. Those individuals can apply for exemptions, so they can legitimately access and hold a copy,” says Mr Shanks.””
        which seems reasonable to me.


      • Yes, I saw that too. I’m less persuaded by the arbitrary distinction (citizens no, media yes etc). I’ve read the document a couple of times and don’t really see how it incites anyone, but even if it did, it is bad for the polity to ban it, and possession/quotation of it. This is a huge event in NZ history – will be quoted in support of all manner of good and bad arguments for decades – and it won’t help confidence in the system to allow only approved “elites” to have access to it (will even they be allowed to quote it?). I have Joseph Goebbels’ diaries on my bookshelf (and Field Marshall Alan Brooke’s etc etc), I could probably find online – say – a Hitler speech to the Reichstag urging German soldiers on to greater murderous effort (in a war subject to the Nuremburg trials). This is simply bad policy, and if perchance the censor had little or no legal discretion – see our exchange yesterday – politicians should intervene and remove the ban.

        UPDATE: And sure enough, with two seconds and Google, I found such a speech, on an educational resources website


      • Auckland library has multiple copies of Rusdie’s ‘Satanic Verses’ and 130 copies of the Koran.

        David Shanks who decides what I can read says:
        “””It identifies specific places for potential attack in New Zealand, and refers to the means by which other types of attack may be carried out. It contains justifications for acts of tremendous cruelty, such as the deliberate killing of children.””

        You say you read “” the document a couple of times and don’t really see how it incites anyone””. Does it contain ‘means by which types of attacks may be carried out’ or not? Does it justify killing children? I’m straining an active imagination to find any justification however far fetched to justify killing that three year old.

        Mr Shanks says “””Most New Zealanders who have read this will simply find it repellent. But most New Zealanders are not the target audience. It is aimed at a small group who may be receptive to its hateful, racist and violent ideology, and who may be inspired to follow the example set by its apparent author,” said Mr Shanks.”” If true that is like some Isis materials that have also been banned – so our censor is consistent.

        I expect the people Mr Shanks refers to as a small group receptive to its ideology will find it online at some overseas website.

        PS. I’ve no intention of reading any such manifesto if it is more than one page nor will I ever read Salman Rushdie and the Koran is even less likely to be opened by me than the Book of Mormon. I am thnking of rereading an exceptionally violent book – Hammett’s ‘Red Harvest’ – I have Auckland libraries only copy by my bed. Recommended for your teenage son.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t remember stuff about “means”, but past media reports [not illegal to quote apparently] suggest he does defend killing children. It was a strange mix of a document, mostly odious, but i struggle to see how it “incites” anyone else.

        Re the ISIS stuff, there may well be consistency in some formal sense, but this document is a key element in what may be a defining event in NZ history. That’s why I argue, it is bad (for the polity/society) to ban it, even if the current law somehow compels the censor to.


      • Not sure why he who remains unmentioned, would be a PRC China devotee. I don’t think that would resonate with white supremacy. Perhaps if he who remains unmentioned talked more about the might of the British Empire, it may have more meaning to white supremacy?


    • I don’t agree with banning political publications or ideas. Bad ideas are best defeated by good arguments. I have no interest in reading the terrorist’s “odious” manifesto (good word Michael), but it should be available for people to critique. I suspect the more debate and countering arguments are put forward the influence and power (if it has any) of such a document will wane.
      And that sort of ties in the the Islamophobia industry that the OIC is a heavy promoter. The OIC is into banning ideas about their religion that they deem unacceptable. They want to censor all who might critique the religion of Islam. They are very effective in their crusade (oop’s wrong word) and with the “Left” on board, wanting to ban any criticism of Islamic religious practice (stonings of gays or adulterous women, death to apostates just a few examples), it will become government policy in Western countries. I find this accommodation that liberals are willing to give a single religion quite odd. I can’t imagine a similar rush to stamp out criticism of Christianity, or any other religion. Only Islam it seems is off limits. I wonder why any group should be shielded from satire.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I recall in my childhood, standing up before class started and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance every day. Note the change made to this pledge in 1954 when “under God” was added;

        One year a new kid came to our school. He was not of a Christian faith and therefore did not stand and recite the pledge at the start of each day. Poor guy was an ‘outcast’ from the word go. I felt deeply, deeply sorry for him and I was only 7 at the time. I recall trying to draw him into outside play activities and the like, trying to make friends with him. But he was reluctant. It worried me so much, I spoke to my mother about it and how I felt it was so embarrassing for him having to sit while everyone else was standing during the pledge. My mother was the nurse at the school. She talked to the Principal, the Principal invited the parents of the student to the school. The parents then came to the class to explain the basis of their faith to the class. The kids were so receptive/engaging, asking questions and exploring difference – as kids of this age always are. The class learned their faith had all the same good qualities of goodness and kindness and do-the-right-thing that Christianity had – it just had a different notion of a supreme being.

        And it was decided by his parents and communicated to the class that he would stand and recite the pledge in its pre-1954 form, leaving out/not saying the “under God” words. Suddenly, he wasn’t ‘odd’ or ‘scary’ anymore – he was just another kid in the class.

        Inclusion and exclusion take many forms. Knowledge makes the difference.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. When you say this, Michael, “I suspect they knew exactly what they were doing, and went ahead nonetheless” – what do you think their actual intent was?


  4. I suspect it was a combination of things, including:

    – the longstanding reluctance of NZ foreign policy officials and policymakers to make a noise on human rights and freedom issues (see PRC case),

    – trade – NZ has been trying to get an (so-called) free trade agreement with the Gulf countries for year,

    – something around ANZAC Day travel,

    – an attempt to minimise the risk of “retaliation” threats (of the sort ISIS made anyway),

    They will have known that they could have been played – differently, and perhaps in dangerously inflammatory way – and not necessarily by other govts (but eg some of the more florid regional media), if Erdogan had called his mtg and NZ decided not to attend

    Most of those concerns aren’t unworthy in their rights, but they end having the NZ govt putting itself in a position not too much different to the kowtow.

    As Henri IV of France put it “Paris is worth a Mass” – at least to him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If we had a higher value NZD, I am sure we would get a FTA with the US and Europe as well even after Brexit. We do compete with a NZD far too low which is an unfair advantage in the US and Europe. Although I suspect the ban on AR 15 and the Ruger semi automatics of US manufacture would be considered a illegal trade sanction against US manufactured products.


  5. Thanks Michael. This is troubling. Peters’ main objective should have been ensuring the safety of New Zealanders from reprisals, particularly those traveling to Gallipoli next month. It looks like he hardly tried and if he did, he failed miserably. The whole attitude of his mission seems supine; I expect he will be taking dictation from that paragon of human rights Iran next on how we should amend our laws to curtail freedom of speech. The censor’s ruling is convenient for some. It creates a continuing gap in our knowledge and our ability to discuss the terrorist’s motives which the hard Left including their media sympathisers have filled with all manner of invective against people with conservative views in this country. As to Ardern’s “leadership”, emoting is not leading. A true leader would have called for calm across the board and condemned efforts to play the blame game against fellow New Zealanders. She should have had stern words for certain Green MPs in particular. The immediate future fills one with foreboding . While forgiveness is regarded as a cardinal virtue in Islam, “equal retaliation” on behalf of the aggrieved is permitted. Those who are cynically intent on whipping up hostility against other New Zealanders and accusing them of somehow bearing responsibility for this awful tragedy may be signalling this country’s culpability in the eyes of Islamist terrorists.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Pleased that you raised the behaviour of Green MP’s, their co leader, Marama Davidson in particular, cynically used this tragedy as an opportunity to denigrate and racially divide a whole swath of her fellow Kiwis. No genuine expression of sympathy for the victims and their loved ones; it was all just a great opportunity to spew toxic resentment, hate and division.
      Have these people no idea of the effect of what they are saying? If the result is hate and division then it’s fair to assume that that was the intention.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Last year I read some statistics on gun crime and homicides due to firearms, and the rather surprising data showed New Zealand with “looser” gun laws, was behind Australia with it’s more restrictive laws, when divided up deaths per 100,000 people etc. Which rather proves the point, those with criminal intent will find a way to access guns. I rather doubt all those MSSA’s stolen from a licensed owner will be handed in during the buy back period. More likely they will be buried and sold from time to time in darkened pub car parks for twice the price the government offers.


  7. I suggest you take a deep breath and tone down on the histrionics and consider that this censorship is not some new form of McCarthyism but perhaps is a considered response to a new breed of entirely digital (bar the act itself) terrorism taken by the censor under advisement by the experts in this area.

    There is plenty of erudite commentary on the topic and the nuances around how to handle it and one of the more accessible pieces on this is in the Spectator:

    In time I am sure you will find that the document will be quietly removed from the objectional list (or the dispensations widened to the point of de-facto removal from the list) like so many others have been in the past:

    In the meantime an imperious reaction to a seemingly imperious decision should perhaps be put on hold until the completion of the accused’s trial (or some other suitable milestone).

    If the current status-quo remains when the terror threat is re-classified as low and judgement has been passed then it would be a prudent time to question the motivation of the censor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I disagree. The matter of the terrorist’s motivations has been weaponized
      by some politicians and media against many New Zealanders for cynical political advantage and may presage restrictions on freedom of speech. If there are parts of the document that pose a direct threat to anyone they can be withheld for security reasons. The document has however been available over the past week and apparently remains accessible on sites overseas. This ban is just too convenient for comfort.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Exactly. Since parts of it are being cherry-picked to to attack and smear innocent people and groups, and when there is so much debate about the ideology and what freedoms should be surrendered as a result of it, we should have every right to challenge those who are attempting to use it to score political or ideological points.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Given that the only page of that manifesto of, he who will remain unmentioned, is his reverence to the PRC China that we know about, are we even sure this is about white supremacy? Maybe its more a communist agenda that is on the manifesto. Can’t tell because we can’t read it.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Views will differ. I thought the Spectator blog piece was quite interesting, but shed no light on the issue of post-event censorship (which is what the NZ authorities are now dealing with). And the approach of later de facto liberalisation you suggest would be bad policy/adminstration – lacking transparency, and leaving inappropriate discretion in the hands of the Police etc.


  8. It is interesting that after every Islamic attack the public are told this is just a lone individual, nothing to do with Islam or its ideology, even if the attacker quotes it as part of the attack. But in this case the left thinks it is entirely reasonable to tar anyone who disagrees with them about mass migration (say) as somehow being associated with this man’s rambling ideology and therefore culpable in some way for having contributed towards the mindset leading to this terrible atrocity.

    And yes, absolutely shocking that our elected MPs when they have a perfect opportunity to declare that New Zealand’s values encompass religious freedom for all religions, can’t seem to bring themselves to do it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I was quite shocked this morning on TV3 newshub, the reporter was remarking that a person wearing a swastika on his t shirt should be arrested. I am pretty sure Buddhists use swastika all the time as a symbol of peace and love. Hitler used to be rather caught up in eastern traditions, folklore and mystism and have unfortunately borrowed the swastika symbol and abused it.


      • I could not believe that Simon Shepherd of TV3 newshub Nation was such a white supremist racist that he believes the swastika is the sole creation and preserve of whites.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Simon Shepherd should be sacked for his racist views on prime TV 3 like poor Paul Davie who was wrongly sacked from Ray White real estate.


  9. What’s going on. I might be wrong, I might be right. My eyes might have deceived me.

    Watching the TV1 news night after night one was presented with milling crowds going to mosques and leaving flowers, then Friday 22 the call to prayer and 2 minutes silence. Again right around New Zealand the crowds gathered to pay their respects

    What was noticeable by their total absence was the collective vacuum of Asian faces. Trawl through the footage. They were nowhere to be seen. Strange.

    NZ is not yet inclusive. It’s divided.


    • Perhaps those in attendance feel guilty about their own racist attitudes that needed absolution, like sinners that go to confession in a church to ask for forgiveness?


      • My wife’s family lives in Christchurch near the 2nd Mosque; they are devout Christians and browner than the victims of the massacre. It is quite possible they chose to stay at home because they are cautious / nervous / timid.


      • Next time I will be more specific and less politically correct – the ethnic group being referred to were [deleted – MHR]. According to NZ statistics the 2013 census found the number of Pakistani’s and Bangladeshi’s in Auckland were so small they didn’t even rate a mention

        As for PNG’s I didn’t know they were asian. The issue is not one of colour


      • I have deleted the specific reference in this comment. You are no doubt welcome to make it somewhere else, but I don’t really want it here, right now. (With hindsight I might have cut off this particular strand earlier, but I hadn’t noticed these particular comments).

        As it is, there are all sorts of reasons why people wouldn’t go to such public gatherings etc. Even mainstream NZ culture used – not that long ago – to look quite askance on the sort of endless public events of the sort we’ve seen in the last 10 days (akin to the UK mania after the death of the Princess of Wales). I recall nothing similar after, say, the Erebus disaster or any of the IRA bombings – incl when they attempted to wipe out the entire senior ranks of the Conservative Party. I don’t think the difference is the specific target/group of victims, just that western culture has changed over time, in this respect for the worse.

        (But perhaps that is just reserved Canterbury blood running in my veins.)

        Liked by 1 person

      • “Bangladesh’s honorary consul in Auckland, Shafiqur Rahman Bhuiyan, told The Associated Press that “so far” three Bangladeshis were among those killed and four or five others were wounded, including two left in critical condition.”

        “India’s high commissioner to New Zealand, Sanjiv Kohli, tweeted today that nine Indians were missing and called the attack a “huge crime against humanity.”

        “Two Indonesians, a father and son, were also among those shot and wounded, Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said.”

        “Malaysia said two of its citizens were hospitalized”

        “In total, nine Pakistani nationals have been confirmed dead following Friday’s attack.”

        two otherguys, many of those killed were Pakistani and Bangladeshi(many also others may have come from India), including other asians injured like Malaysians and Indonesians. Their families and friends and their respective communities were the ones seated in the front of any crowd. They are all Asian and you can’t have missed seeing them.


  10. In his istanbul presentation Peters said the perpetrator would spend the rest of his life in jail. Obviously not appropriate to comment on a pending case and on the length of the sentence.

    I have read the manifesto before it disappeared off-line. Well half of it -it starting to get somewhat mystical half way through, so I gave up.

    I did not kind the document overly ‘crude’ , as if that mattered. Nor was there anything in it that would assist a would be terrorist in a practical sense. I would not describe Tarrant as a racist in the sense that whites are superior to other races, indeed one of his problems is that Muslims are a superior group. if the object is to dominate the world. His basic proposition is that to preserve white culture and values, mass muslim immigration should be stopped. So far, this is not new, there is a lot of this around in serious books and articles .

    His objective with the shooting were
    -to slow down immigration to western countries because they would feel less safe for immigrants
    -to highlight the immigration ‘swamping issue’ There is an argument that muslim immigrants have a higher birthrate which will eventually have a population swamping effect even if immigration is halted.

    -and ambitiously start a chain reactions of events that would lead to a breakup of he US into constituent racial groups.

    He has a long view of history – the war between Christians and Muslims is still being fought – but the Christian side is not awake to the peril.

    I do not recall any direct encouragement for others to repeat his act.-

    There is nothing that I read that had anything to say about immigration to Australia and New Zealand.

    His hatred towards muslim immigrants – was precipitated by an event in Sweden when a young girls was killed by an islamic terrorist and his sentiments were reinforced by his perceptions, though travel in Europe , that immigrants were taking over. he appears to have travelled to muslim countries and liked the people – as long as they stay at home.

    His justification for killing immigrants is that they are invaders. And there is a line that this justifies killing children because of that status. The coldness of that response I did find chilling.

    Much else, but I cant remember it all. Which is why i might apply for a dispensation from the ban.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Good luck applying for your dispensation! Zero chance of success I’d expect.

      While I don’t think material in this comment should be censored, and I’m leaving it up for now, I am uneasy that it might fall within the scope of the censor’s ban. From the censor’s note, it appears to be (legally) safest to quote from/refer to other already published reports.


      • I have been rather confused as to whether this shooting is really anything to do with white supremacy. If he who remains unnamed(sounds like a Harry Potter script) idolises the Chinese PRC on his manifesto then it can’t be about white supremacy.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. From early published reports including in the Spectator magazine ethno-nationalism or “identitarianism” and environmental issues (“eco-fascism”) were said to be among the alleged terrorist’s obsessions. Perhaps that’s why some Green MPs have been so extreme in trying to lay the blame on “white” New Zealanders? Perhaps they see something of themselves in his reported motivations? Since the document has been banned by the Censor they are free to say anything they pretty like much without challenge – in fact the mainstream media amplifies their allegations. I am surprised Ardern has allowed this to go on – does she agree with what they are saying? Some of their abuse is potentially in breach of section 61 of the Human Rights Act 1993. Finally will the trial also be held in secret?


  12. The question also arises of who referred the document to the Censor? Did he just wake up one morning, a week after the tragedy during which the document had been widely available online and its contents covered by most major news outlets, and decide to ban it? Or was it referred to him for consideration by another government agency? The delay suggests a degree of bureaucratic fluffing around was involved. I think we are owed an explanation. I hear the Free Speech Coalition may be challenging the Censor’s decision in court. That would be a good thing to do although no doubt it will bring them much abuse from the usual quarters. They have already been labelled “right wing” by some in the media, which must be news to their prominent left wing members.


    • I have lodged an OIA request with the censor, seeking all relevant documents, including relevant communications to/from other govt agencies and to/from ministers and their offices.

      Having said that, the censor appears to have spent most of his career in MSD, which has a strong “protection” focus – esp in the child welfare functions (probably generally sensibly) – and not much emphasis on democracy, history, fundamental civil rights etc. So it may just be all him – another unelected, not very accountable, bureaucrat.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. The Unibomber manifesto was quoted in Time Magazine Twentieth Century Blues. It got me interested in evolutionary psychology.
    I would like to read his manifesto to see what points I agree on. Because really, what we are seeing is a big experiment : whites must voluntarily become minorities in their own countries. I think that is the bit they are afaid of ?


      • What serious issues are there where the ‘no one listens’ presumably meaning ordinary people are not considered safe to know the facts or discuss them and parliament acts with minimal debate? Immigration, Abortion, Death Penalty, Same Sex Marriage – but what about pig crates and battery hens? It is easier to find a video online of a violent attack in a mosque than to find a live broadcast of a working slaughter house. Harari’s point is that all mammals not just humans are distressed when their young are taken. I’m still a carnivore but morally conflicted.

        A referendum on Immigration? If it was just for/against it could get nasty and have unpleasant ramifications for visible immigrants (even those whose ancestors arrived 150 years ago). If it was posed as being like the road speed limit a figure that we could adjust up or down or leave alone then a debate might concentrate on economic issues or resources and infrastructure.

        I would like a debate about the small number of refugees NZ takes. Not the number which is small compared to total immigration but the composition. I cannot see why we took Syrian muslims when they can return home now Isis is defeated; it is the Syrian Yazidis, Druze, Jews and Christians who may find it impossible to return. Surely it was the Rohingya muslims that we should have taken and maybe muslims from countries where they are persecuted minority – Thailand and the Philippines for example. If we take people who have lived as a persecuted minority they will make a serious attempt to adopt New Zealand culture while retaining their own religion. It is a debate we never have – just feel good stories about how happy they are to be in New Zealand.
        When has any of the NZ media reported or debated the statement by a UK minister that for the cost of a single refugee into the UK can assist over 20 in Lebanon – it just doesn’t fit the feel good story.


      • All peoples to some degree resent and resist the movement of outsiders into their space. Some migrants are more difficult than others to assimilate into Western societies. European nations that had not known mass migrations for centuries were especially susceptible to a virulent reaction, a backlash.

        Americans, after all, reacted viscerally to the Irish migration of 1845-1849, and, again, to the Great Migration from Central and Eastern Europe from 1890 to 1920. Inter-ethnic violence was not uncommon.

        Our leaders in the 1920s understood this and took steps to halt the migrations until those who had come could be assimilated, and, in a word, Americanized. It worked. By 1960, we were a united people.

        Then, without the people’s consent, the great experiment began:

        America’s doors were thrown open to peoples of every religion, race, culture and creed, to create a different nation that mirrored all mankind in its diversity, in Ben Wattenberg’s phrase, a universal nation.

        The problem: A universal nation is a contradiction in terms. A nation of all races, religions and tribes had never before existed.

        The liberal democracies that embraced this ideology, this idea, are at war with human nature, and are losing this war to tribalism and authoritarianism.

        Pat Buchanan


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