What has happened to Truth/Trust; Mercy Compassion; Justice and Peace in Aoteraoa-New Zealand?
Kevin P Clements
I’m back in Dunedin . Fog is covering the harbour but the sun is trying to burn its way through, revealing patches of light and clarity on the way. There is a fog of confusion and deep distrust that is afflicting New Zealand politics at the moment.
We are discovering that all those involved in “dirty politics” learned many of their lessons from the American Tea Party. Instead of focusing on guns, gays and abortion issues our Right is focusing on ensuring that they dominate our small political system to their own personal advantage and the advantage of their friends.
Unlike other systems New Zealand has never bothered much with developing complex systems of checks and balances. The system has worked well most of the time because we trust our politicians. They are our neighbours and friends and subject to the same normative controls as everyone else.
Now we discover that some of our politicians are not working on these informal trustworthy connections. They are working on the rules of greed, driven by power and a desire to take all in our small electoral contest. Cameron Slater has just returned from an Israeli government sponsored trip to Israel-presumably aimed at ensuring he use his political and media influence to ensure that NZ does not get too critical of Israeli military policies.
Now there is an assertion that our ex Minister of Justice using the same Cameron Slater might have sought to pervert the cause of Justice in a Serious Fraud matter. Despite John Key’s assertions that none of these things have to do with him in fact he can no longer shirk Prime MInisterial responsibility. He is the CEO of the PM’s department which has been implicated in this dirt. He either sacks those responsible or approves of their behaviour.
This is not the New Zealand that I grew up in and it is not the New Zealand that I want my grandchildren to grow up in.
Let me be very clear …. dirty adversarial politics generates systematic patterns of inclusion/exclusion, power and privilege. Tea party tactics have no place in a small democracy like New Zealand. Yesterday I was talking about the values that generate reconciliation.
These are Truth/Trust; Mercy/Compassion; Justice and Peace. Which of our politicians and aspiring political leaders embody these? Where is Truth in the Dirty Politics saga and why should any of us trust this current National Administration and its political machinery? Where is mercy and compassion in this National Cabinet? It always gives way to selfishness and greed. Where is Justice when the ex Minister of Justice promoted a winner takes all approach to every exchange at every level of behaviour and where is the Peace in this land? It’s a peace of fog, confusion, dirt and squalor. If this country re-elects this corrupt and shameful government our future as a decent, caring , peaceful nation will be impoverished.
It is time for a change. We can no longer vote fpr business as usual when the business is so tawdry.