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China can count on NZ elite’s fear of ‘racist’ slur

  • September 14th, 2017

Newsroom’s carefully written stories of possible spying at the heart of our government appear to expose National Party naivete. The Financial Times report adds weight to the criticism. James Anderlini concludes with a call for liberal democracies to gain the “courage” to face up to the threats.

I can vouch that an important ally is reading the Newsroom report in New Zealand,  wondering if we are capable of waking up to our longstanding credulity and loss of sovereign integrity.

In the current election campaign the story may be played on a partisan basis –  blaming National’s desperation to access a torrent of cash flooding in from Chinese grateful that NZ, almost alone among target countries, seems happy allow local home buyers to lose in competition with them. Others might link it to NZ business’s anxiety to ingratiate themselves with China without regard to its human rights record, the unrefuted horror stories of organ harvesting from political dissidents, and its militarism.

But MMP has steered all parties into identity politics – selecting a shop window of ethnic, gender and age “diversity”.  Parliamentary votes are preordained by party bosses. Too many MPs bring nothing to debate or select committee except their obedient party vote. Even constituencies which return independent minded genuine local leaders know they’ll no longer be expected to contribute compelling persuasion in a national debating chamber. Some MPs could not buy a coffee – the barista would not understand them, or notice them.

Still, MMP does not explain or excuse party and journalist venom toward any who’ve criticised immigration policy from a  security risk and cultural corruption perspective.

I know many of those responsible. Venal party fundraising may explain some of it. But there is a simple, more deplorable, reason for the twitter put-downs of Newsroom for reporting the spying concerns. The give-away is that only NZ First has picked up the story. Winston Peters has never been afraid of the reflex slur of “racist’. He expresses ordinary citizen concerns about immigration.  Being Maori gives him a partial free pass. But he has not relied on it. He gives as good as he gets. So he can’t be silenced by the cowards who run a mile from any debate that could seriously test that gagging slur.

It is not a left/right issue. Phil Twyford is supposed to be silent in shame since his ‘Chinese-names’ expression of the knowledge of every land agent in Auckland, about the false government under-reporting of foreign house buying in Auckland.

A suffocating elite consensus that nothing could be worse than to be accused of racism has young left wingers sneering with young right wingers about any determined interest in matters military and geopolitical. For them, foreign policy does not go far past a joint chorus of detestation for Trump. Concern about foreign threats has become risible.

Foreigners star in the elite public ‘narrative’ as victims of our earlier sins and aggressions. Sometimes they are the benign and respectful visitors who will rescue us from 60 years of spending more than we earn, borrowing the difference from them.

Unless of course the foreigners have private capital, in which case  suspicion is permitted.

Once the racism debate-stopper has been deployed, those who persist are impossibly  passe. Being passe is of course death in public life. Persisting with reasoned argument after that is conclusive evidence of not being with the programme (reactionary, ignorant,  and embarrassing). Such persons must necessarily be discreetly excluded from national ‘discourse’.

The fear of being branded racist is all pervading.

We could cite the  documented destructions of complacent societies at the hands of more ‘barbaric’ competitors, aided by elite elements of those betrayed. We could find recent stories of spies sent by currently non-threatening neighbours, until ruthlessness stops biding its time. We could recount how vital some sleeper commercial agents have been to the creation of the empire of which we were a part.  We could remind people of the standard pattern of societies and peoples being undone by the treachery of their own decadent elites, willing to sell their inferiors for temporary exemption from a foreigner’s exactions, or just for money or privilege, or to secure positions within the incoming regime.

But even if it got a hearing, it would not change smug minds. This little corner of the world has not heard the news – history was not abolished.

After this was posted I was contacted by a person I respect to pass on a view from one who knew the MP of the Newsroom story while he was at Auckland University. He was reportedly an admirable person, helpful to students. The commentator was upset for him, but acknowledged that did not dispose of the spy suspicion. The commentator pointed out that NZ language schools have been polishing the English of China’s spies for decades. After NZ pioneered warmer relations it became for them a favoured easy entry experience of the West. And we are so gullible it was inconceivable that we would not be well penetrated.


  • Michael Reddell
  • September 15th, 2017
  • 4:55 pm

Too bad you aren’t still in politics Stephen – although I suppose the logic of your argument is that that just wouldn’t be possible.


Well said, Stephen. It’s preposterous that Jian Yang could deflect criticism on the grounds that the story was a smear and racist… and that the media is virtually silenced on the topic for that reason. We really are well-meaning fools.

  • Stephen Lindsay
  • September 17th, 2017
  • 9:51 pm

Only a homophobe would criticise a homosexual convicted of paedophilia.
Only a misogynist would criticise a woman convicted of fraud.
The discussion is shut down.

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