There’s nothing new to see here

datePosted on 13:05, January 3rd, 2009 by Anita

In early December two new National MPs were welcomed as heralds of the new multi-ethnic National Party. The maiden speeches of Sam Lotu-Iiga and Melissa Lee were the perfect showcases of a new look party: ethnic heritage, community languages, younger faces, respect for the tangata whenua. Yet despite the effort National has put into the semblence, today’s party is no more more inclusive than it was under Brash or English, it’s just a little less out-dated in its conservatism.

Lotu-Iiga, with his Auckland Grammar schooling, his Cambridge MBA and his career in Finance and Law is not typical of New Zealand Samoans. Lee’s career as a TV journalist is far from the experience of most Asian immigrants. They are as unrepresentative of their communities as Key is of state house kids.

Don’t misunderstand me, this is no criticism of either of them – they’re clearly bright intelligent successful people who may well be outstanding additions to Parliament. But signs of National becoming a diverse party of social inclusion they are not. National has not started representing mainstream New Zealand – with our working class jobs, our trades qualifications, our disabilities, our rented cold damp homes and our struggle to access health services and education.

All that has happened is that National – traditionally the party of the wealthy, of business connections, of the 5% – has finally realised that, despite the policies of the right, a handful of Pacific and Asian immigrants have clawed their way into that privileged few.

58 Responses to “There’s nothing new to see here”

  1. […] Anita at Kiwipolitico writes: In early December two new National MPs were welcomed as heralds of the new multi-ethnic National Party. The maiden speeches of Sam Lotu-Iiga and Melissa Lee were the perfect showcases of a new look party: ethnic heritage, community languages, younger faces, respect for the tangata whenua. Yet despite the effort National has put into the semblence, today’s party is no more more inclusive than it was under Brash or English, it’s just a little less out-dated in its conservatism. […]

  2. francis on January 5th, 2009 at 22:09

    so to be authentic, no success is allowed?

  3. pete on January 5th, 2009 at 23:51

    I see that DPF is misrepresenting this post over at Kiwiblog. Don’t you know that making them share power would be Punishing The Rich?

  4. jbc on January 6th, 2009 at 00:32

    francis wrote: “so to be authentic, no success is allowed?”

    Not quite. Helen Clark was successful – and possibly in a similar financial standing to Sam and Melissa. The difference is that Ms Clark’s political leanings are more aligned with Anita’s so her financial success can be overlooked.

    If you look at the overall vote then it is pointless to argue over whether the left or the right are not representative. Both blocs are within a whisker of 50% so whoever is in power will be only marginally representative.

    anita wrote: “a handful of Pacific and Asian immigrants have clawed their way into that privileged few”. I think you’ll find that Asians in NZ are over-represented in that privileged few – and they needed no help in getting there (nor would they have asked for any).

  5. Rex Widerstrom on January 6th, 2009 at 01:33

    Rather than casting round to make sure there’s the “correct” number of candidates with varied ethnic backgrounds, sexes, etc etc in the hope of presenting a list that’s “representative” – because as this post highlights there’s no such thing – I wish the parties would concentrate on ensuring it’s MPs remained representatives after they’re elected. On that measure, only the Green Party even comes close – and they’re accountable only to their narrow membership.

  6. ISeeRed on January 6th, 2009 at 01:38

    Acting too white, are they? They should more “representative” of their “communities”? Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations! The sooner we rid ourselves of closet racists and Marxists who think only in terms of race/ethnicity (and other forms of identity politics), the better.

  7. jafapete on January 6th, 2009 at 05:54

    No ISeeRed, you’re confusing representitativeness with affinity and ability to represent, and thereby missing the point. The point is about the Nats’ much vaunted inclusiveness. If the Nats are only able to put up Pacifica people who have succeeded in Palangi terms, you can argue that they’re no more inclusive than they ever have been. As Anita does. Rightly, in my view.

  8. jrtuckey on January 6th, 2009 at 06:19

    Good Lord what drivel – this post is about as sensible as a post at kiwiblog lambasting Labour for only having high up Union Officials rather than grass roots Union members as MPs… complete cak really.

    JafaPete also seems to confuse “success in Palangi terms” with the ability to represent and affinity with the community………what a complete Numpty.

  9. Anita on January 6th, 2009 at 06:20

    so to be authentic, no success is allowed?

    Success is allowed, success is to be encouraged – success in all its forms!

    My point, if I can reclaim it from the shouting, is that National chooses only a particular kind of success – financial success. New Zealand is made up of people whose successes are far more diverse than that.

    For National to have chosen a Samoan and a Malaysian who have succeeded in the normal National way doesn’t show any diversity from National – it shows that their view of success is the same narrow view it always would.

    I think it’s great that PI and Asian New Zealanders are able to succeed in that formula, it’s a huge step forward for New Zealand. But it’s not a huge step forward for NZ.

    PI and Asian, and Pakeha and Māori deserve to be represented by a wide range of voices which represent the true variety of our successes and lives.

    National remains the party of the wealthy business elite – there is no change here.

  10. ChocolateWarrior on January 6th, 2009 at 07:00

    Talk about a shifting argument Anita…

    How is a successful career as a TV Broadcaster success in the ‘Normal National Party Way’??

    The Labour Party has also only taken on Pacific Island candidates that have succeeded according to its own vision of “success”. The Labour Party’s vision of success is one where you’re a community organiser instead of a businessperson (because “business”, “employment”, & “wealth creation” are somehow lesser contributions).

    And as a sidenote, many Muslims didn’t think Ashraf Choudhary was representative of their community at all…(especially if you take a look at his voting record on the Civil Union & Prostitution Bills!)

    If what you’re concerned about is diversity then surely you should celebrate the fact that we have Pacific Island and Asian MPs in parliament who have not succeeded in the usual way that other Parliamentary representatives of their ethnicity have (note I stress REPRESENTATIVES, not the communities themselves, who are a lot more diverse than you give them credit for…they are not all poor, starving, & waiting on the government for handouts).

    The reality is, you weren’t concerned about celebrating success in all its forms. Instead you had some stereotypical view of the economic status of “Pacific Island” and “Asian” communities, period.

  11. KiwiPolitico started at The Standard 2.02 on January 6th, 2009 at 07:07

    […] know Pablo (at least under that psuedonym), but the post on Key and McCully at APEC was amusing. Anita has already annoyed David over at Kiwiblog. She tends to do with her myth-busting ways. Jafa will […]

  12. Craig Ranapia on January 6th, 2009 at 07:12

    Oh come on Anita — this is as tiresome (and sorry, with a wee bit of privileged white paternalism thrown in) as listening to right-wing nuts chuntering on about the Labour Party being the party of ambitious union officials, middle-class white academics & civil servants and teh gayz. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as Jerry Seinfeld used to say, but it’s hardly “representative” either.

  13. Inventory2 on January 6th, 2009 at 07:35

    Anita said “My point, if I can reclaim it from the shouting, is that National chooses only a particular kind of support – financial success. New Zealand is made up of people whose successes are far more diverse than that.”

    Financial success? Surely you jest Anita? I would have thought that in Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga’s case, it is not so much a case of financial success as educational success. He was fortunate to have a family which encouraged him in that direction. Whatever success he has achieved to date is solely as a result of his determination to get the best education possible – which is a choice. Good luck to him.

  14. Django on January 6th, 2009 at 07:51

    What we want are candidates of good character who are well educated, sympathetic and articulate, people who can competently lobby for and identify with as wide a cross section of the communities they represent as possible! If you say that Melissa and Sam are not suitable – who would you have then? Please enlighten me as to your prerequisites for National Party candidature.
    I suggest you are however not a National Party selection specialist, and from what you say above your suitable candidates would be found in the ranks of the left not National – the shop floor and social science types are in abundance over there. Let me remind you that National won this election and it was their choice of candidate who prevailed. Let’s give Melissa and Sam a chance to serve their fellow man without the prejudice shall we.

  15. South Auckland Resident on January 6th, 2009 at 07:55

    What blatant racist drivel.

    As a Samoan Sam represents what all of my people should be aspiring to or would you rather us all aspiring to be corrupt thiefs like Labours former South Auckland representative Mr Field?

  16. Bok on January 6th, 2009 at 08:08

    What a (at best) condescending attitude, at worst racism in it’s worst form.

    Can’t have the brown people have their own money can we Anita. “Oh it is so entertaining when they are successful playing sport (heaven forbid a professional one, and get rich) or if they dance and sing for us.. And is’nt it cute when they look after their sick mum or dad. nearly like us white folk…They learn so well. And their compassion and soft nature makes them such great service workers”

    You are indeed representative of those who follow Che. Use the underprivileged or the indigenous, whoever suit at the time, to your own ends, to promote your own cause, but deep down you cannot face the fact that they can be better than you, more successful than you and might not need your patronizing “help”.

    How very, very sad.

  17. Anita on January 6th, 2009 at 08:20

    Bok,

    Oh good grief. I think it’s great that Lotu-Iiga and Lee have succeeded financially, I hope they make great MPs (we really some more great ones), I hope they contribute to our public discussions, I hope they serve as role models.

    But… they don’t herald a new era of inclusiveness in the National caucus. They are cast from exactly the same mold as the traditional National MP. There are plenty of examples within National’s history of people who have come from financially stretched backgrounds and have become National Party material once they’ve gained their wealth (think John Banks as an example).

    What would mean genuinely inclusiveness in National would be MPs who have succeeded on other terms – for National to represent those who know that success can be more than money.

  18. Django on January 6th, 2009 at 08:26

    So by your reasoning we can expect that Labour will include businessmen and women, farmers and those of a conservative and classically liberal disposition to ensure inclusiveness in their ranks?

    We have multiple parties representing the NZ people, and Kiwis get to vote every three years – now they do it proportionally (with a 5% threshold) at that. What we have is as good as it gets and while you may despise National I feel your attack on Melissa and Sam unwarranted.

  19. Bok on January 6th, 2009 at 08:49

    Good Lord Anita do you even read what you write?

    “I think it’s great that Lotu-Iiga and Lee have succeeded financially, I hope they make great MPs (we really some more great ones), I hope they contribute to our public discussions, I hope they serve as role models.”

    Just how condescending can one get? Just who and what has given you the right to “thinks it’s great that they ….” is it because you are white?

    How dare you presume that authority? You think it’s great? Not “oh it is just the way things should be, or is,” No “It’s great” that these brownies have step out of the mire but now they are part of the evil capitalist system…. “right, back to the rest of the indigenous and ethnic groups….dance monkey dance…. Ah that’s better.”

    Let’s look at your heroes. Fidel is a billionaire, Helen is a multi-millionaire, Kim has more money than all of them. Arafat left nearly 800 million pounds in bank accounts around the world. And that is all okay because they did not support capitalism. But Oh, cant have the uppity natives have a bit of their own cash. You sicken me. I ban myself from this blog (PS you would have done well as a warden in my old home country South Africa under the apartheid regime – you would have loved it.)

  20. Anita on January 6th, 2009 at 09:03

    Django,

    So by your reasoning we can expect that Labour will include businessmen and women, farmers and those of a conservative and classically liberal disposition to ensure inclusiveness in their ranks?

    By my reasoning if Labour were to select a trade unionist or liberal academic and claim that it heralded a new era of inclusion you could expect me to post something critical about their failure to understand the concept of inclusion.

    Similarly if the Greens selected an old leftie or ACT selected a business person.

    There is nothing wrong with National being the party of the wealthy. They should just be honest about it and not claim inclusiveness when they select yet more of the same.

  21. david on January 6th, 2009 at 09:08

    Anita,
    Please define “wealthy” and “elite” for those of us who are members of the “wealthy elite” but might not recognise the fact. Your erudite analysis would be much appreciated.

  22. unaha-closp on January 6th, 2009 at 10:14

    Anita,

    National make claim to be representing mainstream NZ and you say they are not. Who are “mainstream NZ”?

    “National has not started representing mainstream New Zealand – with our working class jobs, our trades qualifications, our disabilities, our rented cold damp homes and our struggle to access health services and education.”

    You define mainstream as a working class who rent (might be disabled), are without medical insurance AND implicitly do not aspire to achieve financial success.

    Perhaps mainstream NZers of all ethnicities really do aspire to financial success beyond all else, if so National (by your own definition) are the more inclusive, more diverse party. Perhaps it is Labour catering to this group you defined who are practicing the greater exclusion.

  23. Ari on January 6th, 2009 at 10:46

    implicitly do not aspire to achieve financial success.

    Hold on, because someone’s struggling with a working-class job, or has a valuable trade education, is disable, or lives in a poorly-insulated home, or has trouble getting health services or education somehow stops them from aspiring to a better life? Sounds to me like you’re not a fan of John Key ;)

    Perhaps mainstream NZers of all ethnicities really do aspire to financial success beyond all else, if so National (by your own definition) are the more inclusive, more diverse party. Perhaps it is Labour catering to this group you defined who are practicing the greater exclusion.

    Yeah, you’re gonna have to justify your outrage at Anita calling the National Party on its metric of wealth a bit better than that. You’re not even saying how you’re coming to your conclusion or how exactly Anita’s definition of inclusiveness caters to a wealth-based metric of success better than any other metric.

  24. Tim on January 6th, 2009 at 11:26

    So it comes down to this… National is most representative of those who would like more money?
    Anybody surprised that they won the election?

  25. erikter on January 6th, 2009 at 11:43

    Despite of your weak denial it’s obvious that Anita dislikes financial success and despises people who achieve it.

    The mind of a socialist never changes.

    Lets do not forget that people like her do need mediocrity to preach their venomous ideology.

  26. unaha-closp on January 6th, 2009 at 12:40

    Ari,

    Easily done. Anita does us the favour of explicitly stating in one comment what I had implied she meant in the post:

    “My point, if I can reclaim it from the shouting, is that National chooses only a particular kind of support – financial success. New Zealand is made up of people whose successes are far more diverse than that.”

    Seems pretty straight forward.

    If she is wrong and mainstream NZ is most concerned with financial success, then it is National that is most inclusive party.

  27. BLiP on January 6th, 2009 at 14:53

    Who are these wing nuts that can’t understand why “Double-Dipper” Sam is not representative of the PI community in either of his constituencies? Good for you, Anita, your comments are well written and insightful.

  28. Anita on January 6th, 2009 at 15:26

    Bok,

    I’m not sure there’s much point in me reply to your comment, but in case you’re still reading…

    Firstly, I’m sad you’re banning yourself – partly because there’s not nearly enough political analysis in NZ which is informed by South African experience, but mostly because I’m sad I offended you.

    But back to the point of my post…

    In my ideal world everyone would have a chance to succeed on their own terms, for some those terms would be financial success, for some it would be family success, for others community, artistic, creative, sport or social success. Some would succeed by advancing issues they care about, some by raising wonderful children. Some PI, some Asians, some Pakeha, some Māori will choose each of those forms of success to aim for; all those forms of success will be supported and celebrated.

    My point, which I’ll try to state again, is that National has traditionally been the party of the wealthy, of those who value personal financial success above all else. For National to choose candidates who are personally financially successful is not “new” or “different” or “heralding a new inclusive approach”, it is simply more of the same.

  29. Anita on January 6th, 2009 at 15:44

    jbc,

    I think you’ll find that Asians in NZ are over-represented in that privileged few – and they needed no help in getting there (nor would they have asked for any).

    That didn’t ring true but I’ve only just had a chance to check the stats. Using the census data (personal income, ethnic group rolled up) is not the best data set for this, but it’s what I could find in a hurry…

    Proportion of respondents who earned over $50k (counting only those who answered the question)

    Pacific Peoples = 7.06%
    Asian = 10.06 %
    Māori = 10.23 %
    Middle Eastern/Latin American/African = 12.39%
    European = 19.58%
    Other = 24.79%

  30. Rex Widerstrom on January 6th, 2009 at 16:10

    Perhaps it would be germane at this point for jafapete or Anita to precisely define “success” in non “palangi terms” as seen by the “typical” PI person with whom it is claimed Lotu-Iiga can no longer identify?

    I’m sorry, but “success on their own terms” through the likes of “raising wonderful children” doesn’t help much. The examples you give are common to the vast majority of people of all ethnic and social backgrounds.

    I’m sure there are wealthy white male National MPs who also measure their success by at least some of the benchmarks you offer.

    By enumerating the above as alternative benchmarks of success (and indeed they are all valid) you seem to be effectively saying that:

    1) Only Palangis care about financial success; and/or
    2) To be truly inclusive National should have ruled in all the above benchmarks (which Melissa and Sam, to varying degrees, have also achieved) but specifically ruled out financial success; and/or
    3) Something else, which seems to have eluded the majority of commenters here and indeed elsewhere.

    Still, congratulations on staging a high profile blog launch – almost as effective as getting Dennis Connor to stage a walk-off :-D

  31. Anita on January 6th, 2009 at 16:25

    Rex,

    I don’t think there is a single view of success by a “typical” PI person. In fact I don’t think there is a “typical” PI person (I skimmed some articles recently about the heterogeneity of PI communities in NZ, can write something sometime if you really want :) )

    The range of views of success is just as broad in the PI community as in the Pakeha community. Your view and my view of success is probably different, my view is different from my parents’, and theirs is different from each other’s.

    National appears to have a relatively homogenous view of success: personal financial success, with family success an important second (and where family success is measured to a great extent by potential financial success).

    If I were to enumerate my options for National they would be:

    1) Broaden your views and have a more inclusive view of success – celebrate more kinds of success, build policies to support more kinds of success, pick MPs who have histories of more kinds of success.

    or

    2) Stick with your knitting and be honest about it.

    Still, congratulations on staging a high profile blog launch

    Completely accidental, Pete said “go” I said “shit um… why don’t I just resurrect this half written thing and get on with my busy day” :) Then I got up this morning and someone had sworn and me and no-one had paid any attention to my “state house kids” comment – ah well :)

  32. Anita on January 6th, 2009 at 16:34

    Rex,

    the “typical” PI person with whom it is claimed Lotu-Iiga can no longer identify?

    Actually I didn’t say that Lotu-Iiga can no longer identify with typical PI people. But I will say two things:

    1) I’m not convinced of the existence of a “typical” PI person (or a “typical” Pakeha or a “typical” Asian etc).

    2) Lotu-Iiga is no more able to identify with all PI than Key is with all Pakeha or I am with all women. No individual has that much intellectually gymnastic empathy.

  33. Lew on January 6th, 2009 at 19:35

    I think there’s a touch of sour grapes in this. Like it or not, National have added some diversity by putting these two (and others) on their list. To blithely ignore the Wongs and the Henares and the Te Heuheus for a moment, now the caucus includes not only wealthy white men, but a high-profile wealthy Samoan man and a sort-of-high-profile (but as a TV journo, probably not wealthy) Korean woman – the first Korean MP in NZ, and the first Korean woman to be elected to office anywhere outside Korea. And let’s not forget Kanwal Singh Bakshi.

    National and its supporters might be gilding their lily somewhat by claiming a new era of inclusiveness – why woudln’t they? – but you must admit it is a lily of sorts.

    L

  34. Callum5 on January 6th, 2009 at 20:00

    What’s particularly galling about Anita’s posting is the racial stereotyping and condecension underpinning the argument, as pointed out by others.

    Anita’s argument is that the National cabinet fails to represent the economic spectrum of New Zealand. She cites Lee and Lotu-Iiga as examples, because “their” communities are disproportionately poor, though I doubt this applies as much to Koreans. But what about Paula Bennett, the MP who just a few years ago was a single mother on the DPB? Does she not count because she is white? Do successful Samoans and Asians not represent the aspirations of New Zealanders, of ALL ethnicities? Does current success despite past deprivation and struggle exclude the current government from representing the people fairly? The electorate seems to think not.

    One interesting point that Anita does raise is the fact that Lotu-Iiga went to Auckland Grammar, something that is now virtually impossible for students from poorer areas because of the reintroduction of zoning by Labour, guaranteeing an elitist school system and denying worthy students from poorer areas access to the best education New Zealand has to offer. Funny how a spiteful, socialist theory can work in perverse ways in practice.

  35. Anita on January 6th, 2009 at 20:26

    Callum5,

    I wrote about Lotu-Iiga and Lee because they were the people National and its friends showcased to make their point about the new era of diversity and inclusion. If they had got excited about Bakshi or Bridges or Young I would’ve researched them and thought about them, and maybe written something else.

    My point is that Lotu-Iiga (lawyer and financial analyst) and Lee (television) are business as usual for the Nats.

    So, my question is, why did the Nats showcase those two new MPs in particular?

    P.S. I have never understood the zoning system, or the changes the various administrations have brought about. Do you have time to write a quick explanation of the history? Or point me to one that exists elsewhere?

  36. MacDoctor on January 6th, 2009 at 23:48

    Anita: wrote about Lotu-Iiga and Lee because they were the people National and its friends showcased to make their point about the new era of diversity and inclusion

    They were hardly “showcased”. They were new MPs making their maiden speeches. Your implication is that Key chose them as “tokens” rather than simply because they are able people with interests compatible with National’s interests.

    What you seem to find hard to grasp is that the reason such people are joining National is because their communities concerns have moved closer to National’s (or vice versa). I think this is likely to be National’s long term goal – to truly represent the Nation’s interests and not merely their own. Therefore, I expect more Pacific Islanders and Asians to be National MPs in the future. Do you think they will all be class traitors as well?

    Oh, BTW, welcome back JP. I think you, Anita and Pablo are going to make an interesting addition to the NZ blogosphere.

  37. Rex Widerstrom on January 7th, 2009 at 01:54

    Lotu-Iiga is no more able to identify with all PI than Key is with all Pakeha or I am with all women. No individual has that much intellectually gymnastic empathy.

    That’s my point. National is talking tosh when it points to its list and says “look, we have PIs and Asians! We’re representative of NZ”. So’s Labour when they do the same thing.

    Fact is, the 240 odd people on both their lists would have more in common with one another than most other groups:
    – Naked political ambition
    – Willingness to crawl over the bodies. of fallen comrades to get to the top.
    – Tendency to throw themselves at passing TV cameras.
    … etc :-D But seriously, a Labour backbencher and a National backbencher have more in common with one another than with “normal” people… and if they don’t go in that way, they become that way in a matter of weeks.

    I’d agree with you if you’d simply said “Sam Lotu-Iiga and Melissa Lee can no more be representatives of most people of their respective races any more than I’m representative of most women” because that’s demonstrably true.

    But to claim their “Palangi style” success is what negates that ability seems an odd position to take.

    I’m not trying to pick an argument, but I am interested in the whole “representativeness” of our elected representatives, so it’s good to see the issue aired.

    Off-topic: 1. Any chance the comment text could be a tad larger? Or am I alone in possessing fading faculties? 2. a list of allowable tags (similar to that above the comment box at The Standard) would be helpful. Ta.

  38. Anita on January 7th, 2009 at 12:16

    MacDoctor,

    They were hardly “showcased”. They were new MPs making their maiden speeches. Your implication is that Key chose them as “tokens” rather than simply because they are able people with interests compatible with National’s interests.

    They were the first two maiden speeches (despite not being the two highest ranked new MPs), they were hyped to the media by the National spin machine and in the media by the Nats’ pocket commentators (Michael Bassett springs to mind, but others are just a google away).

    National did choose to showcase these two and, as I said in my post, there are good reasons to have done so.

    My point is that they don’t herald a new era of National inclusiveness – they are business as usual for National: good competent educated wealthy professionals. For National to claim this as a signal of inclusiveness shows they either don’t understand the concept of inclusion or they don’t actually understand the diversity of lives in our country.

  39. Anita on January 7th, 2009 at 12:24

    Rex,

    But to claim their “Palangi style” success is what negates that ability seems an odd position to take.

    But I didn’t claim that :)

    I said that their success is traditional National Party style success. More stuff == more success is not a concept limited to Pakeha New Zealand. It is the concept that National embraces and represents – for National to choose candidates who showcase that concept is not new, different or inclusive.

    I agree about the questions about representativeness. If I find the time I’ll write a quick post about the article I recently read by Anae Arthur Anae (National’s first PI MP), his insights about representation really struck a chord for me. I enjoyed him talking about his surprise that in the 1993 Auckland Central race PI voted along class lines (for Labour) rather than ethnic lines (for him).

  40. unaha-closp on January 7th, 2009 at 13:28

    For National to claim this as a signal of inclusiveness shows they either don’t understand the concept of inclusion or they don’t actually understand the diversity of lives in our country.

    National’s apparent “concept of inclusion” is that all NZers can share in a similar set of ideals (obtainment of wealth). The Nats define inclusivity based upon it being a shared concept.

    You say this is an incorrect interpretation of inclusiveness. As far as I can tell you exclude sections of the population possibly from sharing in the Nats ideal based upon their not being currently wealthy. You thus define inclusivity based upon a shared set of exclusive (non-wealthy) circumstances. In essence the Nats being rich excludes them from what you define as true inclusiveness – exclusion is really inclusion?

    I think your concept of inclusiveness is incorrect and worse that it is anti-political to adhere to such a definition. Surely the left/Labour party is capable of defining a set of ideals that are capable of being inclusive to all society (even those with some money).

  41. Rex Widerstrom on January 7th, 2009 at 16:44

    I guess I’m muddling your original post with jafapete’s comment (I know that’s a habit that annoys the Standardistas, who repeatedly remind people they don’t have an “editorial line” like a newspaper, so my apologies for doing it here).

    Actually unaha-closp has just said sorta what I’ve been trying to say, but much better and more concisely. So I’ll shut up now :-)

    However I would be very interested in the Arthur Anae article. The fact that even people of other ethnicities are surprised that class is a stronger driver of voter behaviour than race surprises me a little.

    I guess because I grew up in an area with a much higher than average number of Maori and PI families and absorbed their dinner table conversations over the years it came as no surprise to me (but seemed to gobsmack the media) that older Pakeha NZers and many Maori formed the early – and strongest – base of the NZ First vote.

    But before I ramble completely off-topic for this post (ooops, too late) I’d better really shut up for now.

  42. unaha-closp on January 8th, 2009 at 15:40

    Nope, unaha, it’s not about not being wealthy, it’s about having different cultural values that place more weight on things like family and community than individual wealth accumulation.

    Having inclusiveness is by your definition having left wing politics.

    By my definition inclusiveness is the ability of any set of political beliefs to include people.

    How words can have such different meanings to different people is always surprising.

  43. Anita on January 8th, 2009 at 21:31

    unaha-closp,

    Did you just quote yourself talking to yourself then disagree with it? If not, there’s some funny going on with your quoting.

    Anyhow, to respond to an earlier point you made

    You thus define inclusivity based upon a shared set of exclusive (non-wealthy) circumstances. In essence the Nats being rich excludes them from what you define as true inclusiveness – exclusion is really inclusion?

    Um… I define inclusiveness as accepting and including everyone and all their circumstances and and goals. To include only the rich is not inclusiveness, nor is including only the poor. To include only those who want wealth is not inclusive, nor is it only to include only those who want children and grandchildren.

  44. millsy on January 10th, 2009 at 20:20

    I never belived that National was an inherently racist party. Classist, yes. But racist, no…

    For National it will always be, the more money you have the better a person you are. Nothing to do with racism, or anything. Just money, and making sure the divide between those who have it and those that do not are as large as possible.

  45. Phil Sage (sagenz) on January 11th, 2009 at 01:55

    millsy. John Key started with nothing but his mind and is now the leader of the National party and the country. What class is he from and how weak were the barriers if he took over the citadel. Examine your premises, for they are flawed

  46. unaha-closp on January 11th, 2009 at 04:19

    Anita,

    Did you just quote yourself talking to yourself then disagree with it? If not, there’s some funny going on with your quoting.

    No Anita, one of the admins here did a dump edit of this paragraph on the bottom of my comment. I had assumed it was you.

    Apparently our definitions of inclusiveness are the same and we only differ on if/if not National has become more inclusive over the past 3 years.

  47. Anita on January 11th, 2009 at 08:07

    unaha-closp,

    No Anita, one of the admins here did a dump edit of this paragraph on the bottom of my comment. I had assumed it was you.

    Nope, I don’t do that. Weird tho, I will try to figure out what happened and see if it can be avoided :)

    Apparently our definitions of inclusiveness are the same and we only differ on if/if not National has become more inclusive over the past 3 years.

    Do you think they’re more inclusive because of the non-Pakeha? Or something else?

  48. millsy on January 11th, 2009 at 17:15

    “millsy. John Key started with nothing but his mind and is now the leader of the National party and the country. What class is he from and how weak were the barriers if he took over the citadel. Examine your premises, for they are flawed”

    ++++++++++++++++

    Then why doe his party support the dismantling of the systems in place that he benefited from – state housing, universal health care, protections at the work place and so on.

  49. millsy on January 11th, 2009 at 17:20

    And to the person who advocates the dismantling of zoning — what is wrong with fixing up all our schools, rather than just seeing rich schools getting richer and poor schools closing?

  50. Jafapete on January 11th, 2009 at 17:44

    Sorry unaha-closp, It was me who added the comment to yours. I was following the practice of the likes of Farrar, lprent et al., but we will not be commenting on comments in that manner from now on.

    To get back to the point, inclusiveness is about including everybody, regardless of their ethnicity, circumstances, etc. If the Nats are only accepting people who are successful in palangi terms, then they are excluding some people, and cannot therefore be regarded as inclusive, can they?

  51. Anita on January 11th, 2009 at 18:53

    millsy,

    And to the person who advocates the dismantling of zoning — what is wrong with fixing up all our schools, rather than just seeing rich schools getting richer and poor schools closing?

    Well it’s not National policy for a start. National’s plan is to almost double the funding to independent (mostly religious) schools.

  52. millsy on January 11th, 2009 at 18:58

    “Well it’s not National policy for a start. National’s plan is to almost double the funding to independent (mostly religious) schools”

    Nice to know their piorities….meanwhile our public schools crumble and our parents are saddled with ever rising school donations.

  53. unaha-closp on January 13th, 2009 at 16:53

    Jafapete,

    Perfect inclusion is not possible under any party.

    Anita,

    The Nats are more inclusive now than when they were whacking up iwi/kiwi billboards. The additional non-Pakeha are a plus, the election of younger people is a plus, the offering of coalition to the Maori Party is a plus, the shafting of Winston ‘yellow peril’ Peters was a plus.

  54. millsy on January 13th, 2009 at 19:23

    The Nats still worship money though, and they will ensure that a lot of people, especially the vulnerable go to the wall for the sake of profit.

  55. Shaun Wallis on January 13th, 2009 at 20:01

    The idea suggested by Anita that those who are succesful are therefore not representative is a total farce. Sam and Melissa represent not only the changing face of NZ/Kiwi Conservatism, but also the fact that no matter whom you are, you can succeed in Aotearoa – true to our egalitarian roots. They, like many other National MPs, tie into the values that Key has brought to NZ as PM – we can do anything!

  56. millsy on January 13th, 2009 at 20:14

    BUT NATIONAL STILL WANTS TO TEAR DOWN OUR WELFARE STATE AND AMERICANISE OUR HEALTH SYSTEM!

  57. Shaun Wallis on January 13th, 2009 at 20:20

    “BUT NATIONAL STILL WANTS TO TEAR DOWN OUR WELFARE STATE AND AMERICANISE OUR HEALTH SYSTEM!”

    One question, millsy – how?

    National have introduced their Restart welfare assistance policy – aimed at providing a safety net for those in need between jobs.

    National have committed to superannuation being held at 66% of the average wage – a commitment dear old Cullen wouldn’t undertake.

    National have committed to retaining and developing the state house stock, as well as look at measures to get people to purchase their own first home for those in State houses as a way of lifting people out of welfare dependency, therefore poverty.

    Hmmmm?…

    Do I need to start on health?

  58. Anita on January 13th, 2009 at 20:22

    Shaun Wallis,

    Do I need to start on health?

    Yes please.

    My memory of the National health policy is a big increase in private provision, not to mention politicising the pharmaceutical buying decisions.

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