Get Real

People think politics is a game.  It’s not a game.  There is an idea I think that it’s all a bit of a joke and that it doesn’t really matter.  Out goes one bunch of clowns and in comes another.  What happens in the end is a sort of bumbling through the middle, no harm no foul, approach to the great game of politics.  Unfortunately that is not true.  In fact the opposite is true.  How human beings live in each part of the earth is determined to an enormous extent by government.  How human beings live on this little piece of earth is going to decided again very soon, and it doesn’t look that good.

Occasionally there are major changes in the ideological framework and politics and how people live goes in a new direction.  There was the time of the first Labour government and the move towards socialism, and there was the time of the fourth Labour government and the move towards neo-Liberalism.  We are living in the throes of another time of change where the concerns of many seem to be against neo-Liberalism’s consequences on community, and capitalism’s impact on the environment.  Although we are in the throes of it we are not at the point of revolution, and I dearly hope we do not reach that point.

The point where we reach revolution is the point at which inequality becomes so egregious and unjust there is revolt in the streets with all the violence that entails.  The points at which we reach revolution is the point at which the environment’s adaptations to the climate become threatening to human life enmasse with all the violence that entails.

With respect to Jacinda Adern and the Labour Party they have no plan to respond to these challenges.  They have policies that sound nice, and will make things marginally better within the parameters of a failing system.  It goes without saying that National offer nothing whatsoever.  The National party offers a cosy arrangement with the notion that everything is fine.  It isn’t.  The Labour party offers the idea that we should be a bit nicer about stuff and smile more.  While maintaining the status quo.  Labour will not stop water being exported from Aotearoa they will just charge more for it (and not charge Coca Cola anything).  That metaphor about rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic is apt.  Shall we put out more blue deckchairs or more red deckchairs?  Which ones do you want to die sitting on?

I like Jacinda Adern.  A lot.  But I will not vote for Labour.  Voting for Labour is, I believe, a mistake.  The underlying basis of all life is the life of our planet and our planet is in meltdown.  Just because it’s not in the headlines today doesn’t mean that it is not true.  The climate scientist reports remain true.  The underlying environmental principles that human beings have adapted so well to are changing and they are changing in a way that will make the places where we can live fewer, the resources we need scarcer and, as a result, conflict and migration greater.  What are we going to do about that?  What are we going to do to reduce the impacts, correct our course, and make our communities more robust and caring?

Put in light rail in Auckland?  Introduce a water tax?  No.  Not good enough.  The centre of politics in Aotearoa remains blue-red.  The next great movement will come either from the more radical right or the more radical left.  The more radical right is entrenchment behind barricades and accumulation of rhetoric and weapons.  That is not the way.  The better way is the left.  Look left in Aotearoa and you will see the Green Party.

Should we continue to stumble through the middle?  Rearrange the deck chairs?

I am angry.  Angry about the abandonment of the Greens.  Angry about the 4% in the latest poll.  Angry about all the oxygen given to Jacinda Adern.  Angry about the hypocrisy surrounding Metiria Turei.  All of this is the political game.  All of this plays to the idea that politics is a version of Celebrity Apprentice or Survivor: Aotearoa.  It isn’t.  The next government might change the direction of this country.  It might hugely boost the funding to the Department of Conservation, drive us towards a predator free Aotearoa by 2050, and bring back the countless species in our country that are heading to extinction.  This is meaningful.  Important.  Much, much more important than a light rail in Auckland.

We are talking in that policy, the Thriving Nature Policy, about a healthy country.  A country of diverse flora and fauna that restores and nourishes all life on this bit of dirt.  We can’t play games with this.  It’s not a side issue.  We, here in this country, have a responsibility to ALL life here.  A responsibility to each other, to the water in a rivers, that crest the beaches of our shorelines, to the mountains, and forests, and wetlands.  To each bird, and worm, and fish, and bat.  Some will no doubt regard this as absurd, but I regard the notion that we, the human we, are separate and above all other life as pure idiocy.

I’ve been sitting on the fence.  I’ve been dissatisfied with the Green campaign.  I’ve been quibbling and rolling my eyes.  I need to stop.  I need to make the campaign I want.  I’m not having the Green Party in Aotearoa die on me on my watch.  The Green Party is vital to us as a country.  I need to get up off myself and start talking.  Here and anywhere that will have me.  The Green Party is not done.

The Green Party hasn’t even started yet.

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John-Paul

I wrote a book called Kaitiaki o te Pō