How we get to hell

“I use plastic bags, they’re very convenient. You know what I do with them once I’m done with them? I just don’t put them in the ocean.”

David Seymour

I will be changing what I do with my plastic bags in the future.  I will be sending them to David.

“This is actually a policy that will mean a whole lot of people who wouldn’t have otherwise chosen to use re-usable bags are forced to use them because there are no other options and that’s when you get problems.”

It was like when the government tried to tell people in America they couldn’t have slaves anymore.  I mean sure, not using slaves would be nice and everything, but don’t force anyone to do it.  Make it voluntary to pay people.  Am I right, David?

David is correct about one thing: plastic bags in the ocean are a tiny problem.  We actually need to ban all single use plastic items, and then go after packaging in general.  On the other hand, if there’s one thing that would signal the end of freedom in the west it would be not having the freedom to buy water in a plastic bottle, drink it in one minute, and toss the bottle in the nearest rubbish bin.  Freedom’s bell should never be silenced.  Not for the oceans, not for Earth, not for the last speakers of a strangled off language.

You need to listen to the context of the word freedom (and its synonyms) very, very carefully.

Like this: “Firearms safeguard freedom”.  The thoughts of the terrifying new president of Brazil, Bolsonaro.

“We’re all the same. There’s no difference between me and you. It doesn’t matter what the colour of your skin is, your sexual preference, the region where you were born, your gender. We’re all equal … We can’t take certain minorities and think they have super powers and are different from the others.”


“We are saying all New Zealanders irrespective of their ancestry, or when their ancestors came to New Zealand, should have the same political rights, now that’s the opposite of racism. A racist is someone who wants special privileges for some group depending on their ethnicity. We’re saying everyone should have equal political rights.”

Don Brash

Some people probably think I am exaggerating when I talk about people like Don Brash, and David Seymour, but I’m not.  They are on the exact same page as the people overseas that we like to mock or criticise.

There couldn’t be anything clearer than these two quotes side by side.  It is the white supremacist ideology in the language of freedom and equality.  Those words have two meanings though:


Around the world things are bad.  It should be less of a surprise.  When people with power are challenged they toughen up and lash out.  The catastrophic effects of climate change accumulate elsewhere, and the peoples of privilege are arming and oppressing.  People forget that the Nazis first came to power democratically or the words of that Kristofferson song:

Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. 



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I wrote a book called Kaitiaki o te Pō