Rich-Lister ‘Dog-Whistles’ – “Screaming Skull”
Drones. Dissent. Disturbances. And a screaming skull? Huh? Ooh riiight, it’s a newspaper columnist feigning liberal ideals while deploying Orwellian language! And the columnist is a wealthy property tycoon. Now Snoopman gets it. The property tycoon’s beef is with a social justice activist. Through his column, the property tycoon attempted to manufacture the public’s consent. The thrust of his opinion-shaping opinion piece was that a peaceful candlelight vigil to oppose the far-flung Drone Wars amounted to the offence of … disturbing the peace. (OMG-racious-God-of-’Free-Market’-Residential-Property-Values-in-Posh-Suburbs; it’s-a-Sacrilege-to-the-Swish-New-Global-Religion-that-is-Conquering-Them-All: Capitalism!) [Breathe] The property tycoon, Bob Jones, referred to the activist, John Minto, as a “screaming skull”, thereby implying the church service-like demonstration outside New Zealand Prime Minister John Key’s house was an unruly event. Snoopman interrogates the wealthy columnist’s opinion piece, and finds it qualifies as bona fide hate speech and that it breached the peace. (Contents: Contains liberal traces of sarcasm and a satirical ending).
By Snoopman, 12 June 2014.
NZ Herald publishes property tycoon’s malicious attack on activist
New Zealand’s most famous property tycoon, Sir Bob Jones, who resides in the capital city, Wellington, has outdone himself in his weekly New Zealand Herald column, with a ranting piece titled, “A message to screaming John Minto: Shut Up” on June 3. 
In his attack on one of New Zealand’s leading activists for social justice, peace and the construction of sustainable societies beyond permanent war, Bob Jones claims that John Minto has disturbed the peace because he protested recently outside the Prime Minister’s residence. This is ironic, given that Jones referred to the activist that lead New Zealand’s anti-apartheid movement during the 1981 South African Springbok rugby tour, a “screaming skull”.
Jones’ ‘screaming skull’ putdown is ironic because Minto, along with other activists, is committed to contributing to the construction of a war-free world, closing wealth gaps, and stopping myriad other social injustices, environmental calamities and assaults on human needs, he knows that you have to be creative, provocative and tenacious in order to counter abuses of power, whether they be by economic, political, military or media institutions. So, to infer that Minto’s activism is mindless by referring to him as a “screaming skull” is slanderous.
It is also a ritual of animosity that fulfilled a necessary propagandist tactic; that is, to satisfy an ideological function known as distortion. This function is deployed in order manipulate emotions, such as anger, fear and hate.
Female singers used to be the target of this derogatory slur when pop music was taking off. So, it is great that Sir Robert Jones has changed with the times. Bless. (Snoopman News Editor’s note: For the benefit of the NSA, the largest US spy agency, that is currently seeking a company to develop software to detect sarcasm in online communications, this paragraph is rife with sarcasm. An editorial entitled Sarcasm 101 in an Orwellian World: An iPad Quick Guide to Sardonic Wit for Dense Spies and Spook Bots is forthcoming).
Returning to this analysis of what is actually a local example of pandemic assaults on civil liberties worldwide, Minto was protesting, along with a small group of about 40 activists, New Zealand’s support of the United States’ and the United Kingdom’s drones in places such as Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The remote attacks by high altitude remotely-flown vehicles inevitably kill innocent people. For instance, in August 2011, the British-based Bureau of Investigative Journalists (TBIJ) reported on civilian casualties caused by US drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004. They found that 175 children were among at least 392 civilians out of more than 2,347 killed by US drone attacks. As drones watchdog group Drone Wars UK point out, the rapid and growing development of surveillance and armed drones reduces a fundamental restraint on warfare, by negating the risk of the loss of life in battle for belligerent state actors possessing this power resource.
Minto and others argue that drone attacks amount to extra-judicial killings. Human rights lawyers, and human rights groups such as Amnesty International hold the same position.
Indeed, when asked about the anti-drone protest out side his home, Key stated, “For the most part drone strikes have been an effective way of prosecuting people that are legitimate targets“. (Snoopman News Editor’s emphasis). Key’s replacement here of the word execution with prosecution is in keeping with the change in the meaning of words, that has quickened with the deployment of ‘free market’ economic frameworks around the world in the last half century, as Robert Pappas observed in his documentary Orwell Rolls in His Grave, and as Naomi Klein reported in her book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.
As of August 2011, the US Air Force had 268 Predator drones and 79 (of a planned 400) Reaper drones operating. The CIA also uses Predator drones, but true to this clandestine organization’s form, it is not known how many they have. The Predator and Reaper drones are made by US weapons manufacturer, General Atomics. Another US weapons manufacturer, Northrop Grumman, makes a drone called Global Hawk. The Reaper drone is equipped with four Hellfire missiles and two 500lb laser guided bombs.
None are equipped with an algorithm to prioritize the Universal Declaration of Human Rights over the execute commands of the brave human ‘pilots’ who are located at safe distances from the ‘theatre of war’, such as at Creech Federal Air Force base in Nevada, United States of America; or the Royal Air Force Waddington base in Lincolnshire, United Kingdom. The Commanders-in-Chief of the United States, President Barack Hussein Obama (pictured above, in caricature), and the United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II (not pictured, doesn’t do press conferences, is never interviewed, and can’t be tried in any of ‘Her’ realms), remain far-far away from their ‘theatres of war’.
But, thanks to the Global Media Complex, they can enjoy their fascist aesthetic for military violence on ‘the news’. Or by secure links, at a time and place of their choosing.
In response to the alleged breach of peace candlelight vigil, Key complained it was “not really cricket” to protest outside his “home environment”.
The recruitment of this sporting metaphor was ironic because the issue at stake regards a question of setting more parameters upon an allegedly ‘free society’. If only the TV news had segued to Terry Gilliam’s 1985 satire of a totalitarian state, Brazil, set “somewhere in the Twentieth Century”. In the film’s opening sequence, the Deputy Minister of Information, Eugene Helpman, is interviewed on television following another terrorism bombing in the city. Helpman is introduced on a TV set that is burning in a television shop-frontage that has just been blown up. The interviewer asks, “What do you think is behind this recent increase in terrorist bombings?” In a British upper-class accent, Helpman replies:
Bad sportsmanship. A ruthless minority of people seems to have forgotten good old fashioned virtues. They just can’t stand seeing the other fella win. If these people would just play the game, they’d get a lot more out of life.
Nu Zillun’s prime minister, John Key, famous for soberly slurring vowels, said in regard to the candlelight vigil that he was, “opposed to protests outside politician’s houses. My reason for that is there were plenty of opportunities for legitimate people who wanted to protest“. Here, Key asserted the anti-drone group lacked legitimacy because of the way they chose to demonstrate, rather than stay engaged with the issue. He could have, for instance, joined them outside, so that he could hear the speakers. But then, as the Minister of the state’s mass-surveillance agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), he could also listen to the involuntary recordings, if the Five Eyes’ spooks had been eavesdropping on the activists’ cellphones, without the NZ public knowing.
Key also mentioned it was his son’s birthday the day of the candlelight vigil. This emotive manipulation was actually a logical fallacy. Critics of the Drone Wars point out that numerous wedding parties have been ruined because family members and friends have been killed by drone strikes.
New Zealand’s prime minister also routinely ignores the counter evidence. Another logical fallacy, that must have by now been categorized by a professor somewhere, surely!
The prime minister’s logically flawed arguments keep ‘good’ company. Jones’ response to the candlelight vigil is to argue for a legislative change that would give police the power to remove people demonstrating outside the prime minister’s residence. On the surface, it is because he is sick of seeing Minto and Co. on ‘the news’, or spoiling his enjoyment of the tennis because Minto protested outside the stadium where there was a player competing from a belligerent client state of the American Empire, like Israel. But, that is merely surface emotive appeal. Here, the wealthy property investor has deployed a function of ideology, called integration, wherein extraordinary individuals feign to be like ordinary people, which the wealthy property investor deploys to gain support from ordinary people.
In his high-profile New Zealand Herald columnist role, Jones complained of the inconvenience and, in his mind, an apparent offensive behaviour. The demonstration outside Key’s home involved, after-all, flames!
These flames, we can imagine, flickered with menace to “the greater good interest”.
The journalists present must have been complicit in this outrage. Evidently so were the police, who failed to see that the candle vigil was a sneaky tactic of Minto’s hating mob to disrupt peace, or so goes the jumble of hate speech that Jones typed. (What he did not type was the fact that the alleged peace he claims exists is a cosmetic one, against the backdrop of the permanent global war economy, as US foreign policy critic Noam Chomsky might say).
It’s not like the assembled were burning rubber tyres.
Just waxy-candles. The kind of candles people all around the world burn to remember the dead, and empathize with grieving loved ones, and privately wish, pray or cast spells for an end to war. No bombs were lobbed into Key’s walled compound either.
In fact, The New Zealand Herald reported in, “Dotcom among protestors outside Key’s house”, that the only disturbance was caused by John Key’s neighbours, who were unsympathetic to their presence, driving slowly by, and one telling them to go away. The protestors laughed it off, much like the prime minister routinely laughs off protestors, with his affable folksy guy affectation.
Only, there’s a different here between a trivial affront to the sensibilities of snobby posh people who do not like being confronted with jarring thoughts about the impacts of their privileged lives on the weak, defenceless and the innocent.
Tellingly, Jones does not find John Key’s arbitrary and routine dismissal of protestors, including evicted state housing tenants, as offensive behaviour, nor disturbing the peace. This is ironic given that such structural violence constitutes a breach of Article 13.1 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. It states:
Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
In the absence of any evidence of actual abusive or threatening behaviour, one reasonably assumes that by offensive behaviour, Jones means demonstrating outside the residences of rich or super-rich individuals, politically vulnerable well-connected persons, or where they go relax or do “lawful business”. The subtext to Jones’ argument is that such protests are an affront to the unspoken agreement that underpins representative or weak democracy. This unspoken agreement is that the mass populace does not bother the ruling class oligarchy, as Jeffrey Winters argues more generally in his book, Oligarchy.
Defending Rich People’s Perceived Right to Rule with Impunity
Oligarchs are super rich individuals who exploit their wealth to influence governments and fund institutions, such as universities and foundations, so that an educated elite will use political mechanisms to protect the oligarchy’s fortunes. Oligarchies are synonymous with hierarchical societies that feature extreme economic inequality. Representative democracy, or limited democracy, based on the Westminster parliamentary system was spread around the world as a strategy to protect the extremely wealthy from the riskiness of “pure” or participatory democracy.
After framing Minto as a disruptive, “screaming skull”, Jones-the-Oligarch, whose net-worth is $550 million, then frames his alleged respect for liberal ideals carefully, and in doing so performs the legitimation function of ideology. In order to rule, an ideology needs to seem fair, even in totalitarian states, because the masses outnumber the ruling class. Jones states, “the right of dissent … [is] the freedom to criticise be it in public forums, in the media, such as letters to the editor or talkback radio, in protest meetings, in seeking public office and a host of other liberties available equally to us all, and daily exercised by thousands of citizens”.
So, when Jones suggests there are plenty of ways to express legitimate dissent, he means in ways that the ruling class controls, in public and private institutions and locations far-far away, from where the wealthy live. After-all, Jones is not complaining about the poor, who have been evicted all over the country from state houses, and who protest in the residential streets where once they lived, in dwellings that they regarded as their homes, that are now boarded up with plywood.
The point of public protest is to disrupt people’s “lawful business” so that they are made to pause and reflect on issues of public import. This is a vital right and is most needed because the mainstream media and other dysfunctional institutions, controlled by the ruling elite, refuse to investigate serious issues seriously.
It is telling that the only specific endorsement of public demonstrations mentioned in Jones’ article are those permitted by police, on the main streets of the big centres, such as Auckland’s Queen St, or Wellington’s Lambton Quay. He regarded such permits as “restraints in the greater good interest”, an encoded way of saying the oligarchs have to tolerate pesky protestors, lest it becomes too obvious that a totalitarian world system, or an Orwellian super-state, is being constructed (as I have argued in “When Black Things Propel Us”).
In other words, Jones is offering the alternatives already on offer that are acceptable to the ruling class. As political scientist E.E. Schattschneider once argued in his 1961 book, The Semi-sovereign People, “the definition of alternatives is the supreme instrument of power”.
Imagine how ineffective dissent would be if the only kind of public protest was that for which the common people could receive a permit. Recall the anti-Apartheid movement, lead by John Minto, the former National Chairman of the New Zealand anti-apartheid group, Halt All Racist Tours (HART), that opposed the 1981 South African Springbok rugby team tour of New Zealand to play against the national team, the All Blacks.
Famously, a protest on a rugby field to disrupt a match in the provincial city of Hamilton became necessary because the New Zealand Police, sanctioned by the NZ government, had formed combat riot squads whose violence and intolerance for peaceful dissent turned the streets of New Zealand into scenes reminiscent of South Africa under the Afrikaner Broederbond regime (a fraternal brotherhood of white supremacists). In other words, civil disobedience was necessary because injustice was state sanctioned, as Mita Merata’s gripping 1983 documentary Patu! (Māori for club) makes chillingly clear! Bob Jones was hardly sympathetic to the anti-Apartheid movement, as is made clear in the photo (below) of him giving the fingers to HART demonstrators, on his way to a fund-raising night to support the National Party’s re-election bid in 1981. Among the Halt All Racist Tours (HART) protestors was John Minto, who states that Jones’ vigorous fingering “made great TV”, and resulted in a spike in donations to HART the following week.
In attempting to justify a curb on the need to dissent where activists deem appropriate and necessary, Bob Jones commits a number of logical fallacies. One logical flaw is an ‘appeal to an irrelevant authority’. Jones claims that a judge once told him that the ‘extreme left’ “hate people”. As if one of the ruling classes’ judges would be an unprejudiced authority on an underclass created by the likes of selfish psychopaths such as Bob Jones. In recruiting the alleged anecdote of a judge, Jones makes his ‘appeal to an irrelevant authority’ so that he can influence New Zealand’s political, law enforcement and media elites to support a legislative amendment. The choice of a judge is symbolically loaded, and is intended to help him successfully pull off another ideological distortion.
This distortion becomes evident when an apparent ‘extreme left’, according to Jones, are “incapable of finding employment”, or 6% of the New Zealand’s population. Jones is actually talking about the poorest and most vulnerable, for whom he has no empathy, as one would expect of a psychopath. He relies on prejudice rather than explaining the root causes of unemployment.
The main logical flaw Jones makes in his hate speech opinion piece is an omission of key evidence, as the author of Attacking Faulty Reasoning, Professor T. Edward Damer, might point out. It’s also a common one made by major news outlets all around the world everyday. So, it’s understandable that Jones made this error, since he seems to spend a lot of time following ‘the news’ and getting hated-up about “Muslim murderers”, “rag-tag ratbag losers”, and the “screaming skull”, John Minto.
Jones claims that, “American drones targeting Minto’s soul brothers in hatred, namely mindless Muslim murderers” are, in essence, just killing victims unworthy of the right to life. But, these Drone Wars, that have taken place in countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Gaza, are extra-judicial killings of people that are often not properly identified. They are human beings dehumanized as targets on a computer screen, who when killed, are referred to as ‘bug splats’, in the lingo of the remote pilots controlling the unmanned vehicles (UAVs) at consuls in far-flung places like the continental United States. The “bug splat” military slang evidently comes from “viewing the body through a grainy-green video image [that] gives the sense of an insect being crushed”, as journalist Michael Hastings reported in Rolling Stone magazine.
This is not to say that I support acts of terrorism by people in such countries targeted by US-NATO Alliance and their clients. I understand people being drawn into taking up arms when they see those they care about killed, maimed, kidnapped and tortured by the military forces, militias and private security mercenaries of foreign powers. The movie Defiance, starring Daniel Craig, that tells the story of Jews who take refuge in a forest during World War II, makes clear that in war, rational argument with people hunting you is not possible.
But, just like the German people who fell for the hateful propaganda of the Nazi regime, news audiences living in the Anglo-Saxon countries are also subjected to relentless propaganda and have become desensitized by the barrage of imagery and sound from ‘theatres of war’. It is this news coverage, particularly television news, which animates the violence, that is largely responsible for manufacturing the consent of mass populations. Unfortunately, mass news audiences are, for the most part, educationally, psychologically and emotionally defenceless against the indoctrinating bombardment upon their minds. As numerous critics have pointed out, Hollywood’s insidious connection with the White House and the Pentagon, also plays a crucial role in mass indoctrination to support military violence. Indeed, six of the seven top-tier transnational media corporations – Time Warner, Disney, NewsCorp, NBC Universal, CBS, Viacom and Bertelsmann – are US-based. They dominate what I call the Global Media Complex.
Disturbingly, the sci-fi nature of this development toward the automation of warfare, that has been noticed by the drone ‘pilots’ themselves, was depicted in the 1985 sci-fi novel Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card. In fact, this is the origin of the term, bug splats. In Ender’s Game, a boy called Ender Wiggins is selected from a military academy of children trained in video war-games, to lead a fleet in a final battle against a prolifically-breeding, space faring alien race of insectoids, called Formics, that attempted to colonize Earth twice. Faced with annihilation of the human race after the two previous Formic-Human Wars, the children are trained to fight, because they are considered less susceptible to fear than grown-ups. At Command School, Ender is tricked by adults into believing that the battles he leads against the alien insect-like race, pejoratively referred to as Buggers, are merely simulations. In Battle School, the children use the slang term ‘bug splats’ to refer to the killing of the Buggers in the video-game space battles.
The ‘common people’ living in nations under the propaganda of the Anglo-American dominated media systems need to realize that Britain’s and America’s ruling class oligarchs pursued world domination strategies prior to World War I, as F. William Engdahl has argued in his books, A Century of War and Gods of Money. Indeed, key insiders of the British ruling class actually planned for two-global wars, knowing it would take such catastrophic devastation to smash the strongest powers on continental Europe at the time, Germany and Russia, as Guido Giacomo Preparata, compellingly demonstrated in his book Conjuring Hitler: How Britain and America Made the Third Reich.
Furthermore, the NATO alliance, formed after World War II, that is dominated by America, the United Kingdom and their now subservient partner, Germany, is a belligerent institution that has been proven to have fomented terrorism in Europe for 40 years, as Madhi Darius Nazemroaya reports in his book, The Globalization of NATO.
New Zealand’s Five Eyes spy partners, the United States and United Kingdom, were the leading actors in this state-sponsored terrorism. This low-grade war was, in fact, a prolonged ‘Strategy of Tension’, codenamed Operation Gladio, that was designed to push Europe politically and economically to the right by blaming the acts of terror on left-wing communist or socialist groups. (SEE full resolution version here: Terror Network Chart).
Because state-sponsored terrorism is aimed at an audience, rather than the victims, the strategy behind Operation Gladio was to draw the targeted mass populaces’ attention to the restrictions on freedom in places such as Eastern Bloc states, while failing to notice the incremental curtailment of rights at home.
This Strategy of Tension is vital to bear in mind as we contemplate the use of drones in the ongoing ‘War on Terror’ and the heralding call of the capital city’s most famous property tycoon to curb the right to protest on residential road-side curbs in New Zealand. Particularly when it is known, although not widely, that from 1979, the United States funded, armed and trained the Mujahideen in terrorism tactics, as a covert strategy to draw the Soviet Union into Afghanistan, and embroil the communist state in a long, un-winnable ‘Vietnam’ type conflict that would make Moscow look bad, and economically weaken the USSR. In the 1990s, Mujahideen morphed into Al Qaeda, as Professor Peter Dale Scott shows in his book, The Road to 9/11.
So, when prime minister John Key invoked the sporting metaphor to claim that protestors holding a candlelight vigil outside his home was “not really cricket“, he deflected attention from the critical investigative duty of governments. That is, to check who is really responsible for the terror in the ‘War on Terror’ and to report the findings truthfully. When we recall the Deputy Minister of Information’s words in Terry Gilliam’s film, Brazil, about terrorism being, “Bad sportsmanship”, Key’s “not really cricket” dismissal of the anti-drone protest is sinister and spooky, considering that as Minister of the government’s spy agency the GCSB, he is technically Nu Zillun’s top spook.
At this moment, it is crucial to be clear that power is derived from the resource base that economic, political, military, media and ecclesiastical actors possess and control. In order to rule, a ruling class or coalition of dominant groups must share a mindset or worldview that has a singular logic. Power requires submission to its organizing system, and those with power act most obediently to the logic. The power of ruling groups is based primarily on the maintenance of the organizing system’s legitimacy. In turn, legitimacy is sustained via communication technologies, including media institutions themselves. Communication technologies and media institutions are used to disseminate symbolic power that ruling groups depend on in order to create and reproduce beliefs about their status as worthy rulers.
What makes peace/anti-war activists seem extreme is that propagandists like Bob Jones can harness a media resource space, such as a newspaper, for hate speech, even as they pretend to support free speech. This is in part because people, such as Jones, support the war activism of the Western Capitalist State Powers, a belligerent right-wing type of corporate-sponsored and tax-funded militarist activism that requires relentless propaganda to mask over the horror of the underlying imperial projects. In short, Jones is a militarist feigning to be mildly liberal.
In this regard, Jones’ objection to protest outside Prime Minister John Key’s residence is a covert strategy to protect a perceived right of oligarchs to project power into new territories, or the pursuit of oligarchic wealth offence. As I have argued in my feature article, “When Black Things Propel Us” posted on Snoopman News, New Zealand’s Five Eyes spy partner, the United States of America, leads the world in the three components essential to a totalitarian state – propaganda, surveillance and terrorism. These three components are depicted in George Orwell’s dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-four. Here, we are concerned about Bob Jones’ use of propaganda. Propaganda is the mass deployment of persuasive techniques by dominant coalitions in order to gain society’s submission, or acquiescence, as Garth Jowett and Victoria O’Donnell explore in their book, Propaganda and Persuasion.
By deploying Orwellian propaganda, when Jones claims a peaceful candlelight demonstration to oppose war, and in particular, the Drone Wars, is disturbing the peace, Jones is contributing to the kind of enclosures upon freedom of speech and free assembly that are occurring in the ‘homeland’ of the American Empire.
Indeed, in the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-four, Newspeak is being established and is replacing Oldspeak, and with it the complexity of language required to understand the world is being lost by reducing vocabularly. Thus, ‘thought control’ in the super-state of Oceania is achieved, in part, through collecting words, phrases and categories of thought and merging them together to make new words, oversimplistic concepts and manipulated political meanings.
For example, a thoughtcrime is the criminal act of holding unspoken beliefs or doubts that oppose or question the Party, which is a totalitarian group that controls the political, economic and cultural resources of the super-state on behalf of unseen oligarchs. Thus, the mass populace of Oceania were constantly indoctrinated with phrases such as: WAR IS PEACE, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH, and FREEDOM IS SLAVERY.
In Orwellian Newspeak, Jones means, FREE PROTEST IS PEACE DISTURBANCE.
Missing in Action: The Shock Doctrine (in a New Zealand context)
By slurring the unemployed, Jones is essentially claiming they are bludgers. But, Jones does not acknowledge his role in creating job destruction. He lead the now-defunct New Zealand Party (1983-85) in order to split the vote so that the Labour Party would win the general election in 1984 over the incumbent National Party. Insiders knew that ‘free market’ economic shock treatments were coming.
As Wellington filmmaker Alistair Barry has shown in his documentaries, Someone Else’s Country and In a Land of Plenty, these shock treatments were designed to accumulate more power for the wealthy through accumulation of capital, or profits. In this regard, Jones’ objection to protest outside a prominent oligarch’s residence is a covert form of oligarch wealth defence. It is designed to prevent challenges to the oligarchy’s outsized wealth.
In Orwellian Newspeak, POVERTY IS BLUDGING.
The most effective way for the investment class (that Bob Jones belongs to) to keep wages and salaries low, in order that they could maximize financial returns, was for the Reserve Bank of New Zealand to pursue an inflation targeting policy. Inflation targeting is a euphemism for keeping the pay of the so-called ‘workforce’ from rising at a faster rate than the cost of living, lest the hapless ‘labour force’ accumulate surplus money at a pace that would allow them as a mass populace to become financially independent of banker’s made-up credit.
Thus, the only way to be consistently successful in meeting the Reserve Bank’s inflation target of around 2%, year after year, is through persistent unemployment. In order to downsize state sector employment in the mid-to-late 1980s, through corporatization and then privatization of state infrastructure and services, key insiders of the NZ state apparatus had made a private pact with big business to wage economic war on society.
In other words, it has been official NZ government policy since 1984 not to pursue the goal of ‘full employment’. In his 1989 book titled Unfinished Business, former Finance Minister Roger Douglas’ stated in a chapter entitled, “The Politics of Reform: The Art of the Possible,” that his strategy was to overwhelm numerous groups at once. The logic for his thinking was that it would be harder for people to complain when they were all losing. As Douglas stated, “each group has a vested interest in the success of the reforms being imposed on all the other groups”.
This pact between key insiders of big business and the political elite becomes clear, when a systemic attack on unions is detectable in Alistair Barry’s documentaries, Someone Else’s Country and In a Land of Plenty. This pact occurred between the New Zealand Business Roundtable, and key insiders from the New Zealand Employer’s Federation, the Labour/National governments, and the Reserve Bank and the Treasury. Together, they promoted a neo-liberal ideological claim that everyone one would eventually prosper.
To market this ‘prosperity for all’ hook, the public was sold the made-for-media catch-phrase: the ‘trickle-down effect.’ This wryly encoded promise – that the benefits would materialize for the world’s public – was predicated on the notion that the rich were needed in order for societies to prosper. Thus, some of the wealth of the rich – under the proposed ‘free-market reforms’ or ‘shock treatments’ – would ‘trickle down’ to society at-large.
What the New Zealand public did not realize at the time was that populations around the world were being targeted in a ruthless coordinated strategy. The neo-liberal ‘free market’ movement followed a stratagem espoused by the sect’s leading proponent Milton Friedman, a professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. Friedman favoured a ‘shock therapy’ approach, as encapsulated by his mantra: “speed, suddenness and scope”.
Therefore, Douglas’ admission that his strategy had been to overwhelm society, was his way of saying he had disciplined the New Zealand population with what has been identified by journalist Naomi Klein as the Shock Doctrine. It was also a covert and egotistical way for Douglas to acknowledge that he served New Zealand’s oligarchy, a client power structure of an American-led global empire.
As Jonathan Nitzan and Shimson Bichler have argued in their book, Capital as Power, dominant capitalist coalitions are only able to extract high profits by a strategic sabotage of society. This is because profits of large enterprises can only be maximized by maintaining artificial scarcities. These scarcities are achieved by restricting the creative energies, talents and knowledge of people, or the ‘industry of society’ (which predates capitalism). The government has achieved this restriction over the industry of New Zealand through ‘free-market shock treatments’, including the double-charging the population through taxes and the billing of the services and products of its state-owned entities. Such state-sponsored corporatizations, were made ready for privatization, or the transfer of wealth of a nation to transnationalized cartels, even while maintaining the universalized tax system. This strategic sabotage of society represents the power of those with accumulated property rights, or investors, to inflict discretionary idleness, as sociologist Thurstein Veblen observed in the early Twentieth Century.
Target populations were overwhelmed with the economic shocks as whole sectors of society were transformed and coerced to support the new framework. This Shock Doctrine therapy was intended to financially discipline mass populaces and governments, because a North Atlantic capitalist class felt their power threatened when three crisis emerged in the 1960s.
One major crisis was a crisis of declining profits rates for transnational corporations. A second major crisis was the ‘counter-cultural revolution’ that appeared in the 1960s. A third major crisis occurred at this time when the perpetually ‘developing’ countries demanded Western technology so they could ‘develop’, as a ‘fair trade’ for having supplied the raw materials for the ‘long post-war boom’. The North Atlantic capitalist class regarded these last two crises as an affront to their perceived right to permanently rule the planet.
Beginning in the early 1970s, a blueprint to transform the world with a ‘free market’ framework called the ’1980s Project’ included stratagems to undermine democracy and the counter-cultural movements that emerged in the 60s. Elite planners resolved to encourage political apathy, as ‘governance crisis’ literature of this period makes evident. From their perspective, there was a ‘Crisis of Democracy’ because there was too much participation from ‘below’. The 1980s Project, which was sponsored by a New York-based global policy shaping think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations, sought to preserve as far as possible the dominance of a Trilateral World, which was the United States, Europe and Japan.
The Shock Doctrine is the denied part of a global neo-colonial project (AKA globalization). During the field-testing stage of ‘free markets’ in the mid-1960s to mid-1970s, US-backed terrorism was required to clear opposition for the ‘free market economic shock treatments’ that followed. Five countries – Brazil, Indonesia, Chile, Uruguay and Argentina – pursued a developmentalist economic framework and were all subjected to military juntas and/or CIA-backed coups. The ‘free market’ economic shock therapies were themselves mechanisms of coercion, because all sectors of society were thrown into crisis. Everyone suffered, except key insiders, who became richer and accumulated more political power.
This covert strategy of US state-sponsored terrorism, compellingly argued by Klein in her book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, was crucial to roll-out and deepen the incursion of ‘free market economic shock treatments’, where states refused to submit to other acts of coercion, including engineered financial crises. Indeed, Eugene Jarecki’s Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize-winning documentary Why We Fight compellingly shows that America fights wars to make the world secure for its corporations.
Therefore, given his part in ushering in ‘free market shock treatments’ in New Zealand, Sir Robert Jones rightly deserves the New Zealand Discretionary Idle middleweight title, Bob-the-Job-Destroyer.
Heralding a Curb on Road-side Curb Protests
In arguing for a legislative change, so that a fellow oligarchs such as Prime Minister John Key cannot be bothered by protests outside his posh residence, property developer and speculator Bob Jones is justifying a curb on the need to dissent to the continued application of the Shock Doctrine, both in foreign and domestic political, economic, and military affairs.
Jones’ ‘opinion piece’ is, in fact, a breach of Article 12 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 12 states that:
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary … attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
It is hate speech because Jones has claimed: that the victims of drone attacks are “mindless Muslim murderers, who are “Minto’s soul brothers in hatred”, and that an ‘extreme left’ comprising 6% of the New Zealand’s population (at current figures), “hate people”.
Jones also arbitrarily slandered Minto when he claimed the activist has “anti-everyone views”. To make his slander seem acceptable, he added that Minto’s use of the standard demonstration auditory device, the loudhailer, amounts to “vile megaphoned venom”. Jones attacked Minto’s reputation and honour when he claimed his activism is “interminable”, thereby implying Minto is fanatical, irrational and a bigot.
Therefore, the thrust of Jones’ attack was that the issues Minto raises are trivial. In this regard, Jones logically flawed argument is really a ‘pro-drones attacks’ stance. This conclusion is supported by Jones’ demeaning language, especially where he referred to Minto as a “screaming skull”, inferring that his head is empty or lacking so-called evolutionary development.
Indeed, Jones finished his hate speech column by typing:
The skull could re-join the human race and learn to play the clarinet or take up quilting or pole-vaulting or anything at all that would take him off our streets with his incessant tedious rage against mankind.
When Jones says “our streets”, the oligarch is aligning with The New Zealand Herald‘s Middle New Zealand audience. This propagandist strategy serves the ideological function of integration, because Jones is manipulating the common people to think their values, interests and aspirations are same as the ruling class, in order to ‘solve’ this perceived crisis. Having deployed the ideological distortion that Minto is just a “screaming skull”, Jones slyly integrates himself without acknowledging his repetitious rituals of animosity. These rituals have a long history, used across cultures to ‘solve’ real or imagined crises, by scapegoating individuals, groups, or institutions, as Paul Schackner explored in The Archetype of the Scapegoat. The process of stigmatizing tends to be very effective at obscuring the causes of news events, particularly because news outlets universally hide behind a “myth of neutrality”, as media scholar Herbert I. Schiller argued in The Mind Managers.
“Our streets” can bypass the underdeveloped critical thinking filters of The NZ Herald‘s readers’ because, after-all, Bob-the-Job-Destroyer watches tennis. Likewise, the Key family celebrates birthdays. Amazing. Rich and super-rich people are just like politically-latent middle class people, the struggling working poor and those cast into dire poverty by the Bob-the-Job-Destroyers of this far-flung troubled planet.
Through this common manipulative trick we are meant to align ourselves with their ruling class values and come to view poor people as lazy, and brown people in far-flung lands as enemy combatants, collateral damage and bug splats unworthy of our empathy.
Jones’ accusation that activists are “rag-tag ratbag losers” is also hate speech.
The right to protest outside places of residence, especially that of a politician, does not in principle qualify as offensive and disturbing the peace, as Bob Jones contends. It is ironic that Jones claims all of New Zealand would find a common purpose not seen since World War II, if parliament were to call for everyone to synchronize their timepieces and invite the country to jump up and down in unison for two minutes. (Snoopman’s emphasis). All of New Zealand, except presumably the “rag-tag ratbag losers” that apparently are drawn from the country’s most vulnerable 6%. Jones asserted people from all walks of life would join in “to send the screaming skull a single message. SHUT UP.”
Ironic, because the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were ostensibly written as a protection against the fascist tendencies of states to infringe on fundamental freedoms, such as the need to dissent at any time, any place, without the permission of those with power!
And, also ironic because Jones, who is a consummate propagandist, slyly framed his single message, “SHUT UP”, with the imagined scene of a nationally synchronized jump up and down show of national unity against a common enemy. Indeed, the aim to get a population to unite against a common enemy is also a function of ideology, the control mechanism function. By creating an enemy image, it works to manipulate to minds of mass populaces and seeks to gain their active participation (say, for war activism), or their submission (say, to incremental enclosures of rights).
Jones did not call for a minute of silence, as one might do to honour the memory of innocent people who have died tragically in armed conflict. Say, for instance, the drone attacks that Minto & Co were drawing attention to. No, Jones called for two minutes of vigorous jumping and limb flailing.
A nationwide Two Minutes Hate rally.
Ordained by the state.
In other words, Jones was attempting to rouse the normally politically sleepy, fightless Kiwis, to aid him in his Herald call for a curb on road-side curb demonstrations in residential streets (and presumably outside sports stadiums), through a subtle invocation of Orwellian Big Brother-led Two Minutes Hate political meetings. In effect, Jones provided the narration for the cultural memories of those ‘dramatic’ moments of people protesting, such as John Minto, that the mainstream media have chosen to highlight, often for propagandist purposes to reinforce stereotypes, marginalize dissent and defend establishment power.
In regard to other parts of Article 12, which states:
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence”,
it can hardly be logically argued that it is arbitrary interference to demonstrate outside the prime minister’s residence.
Not at a time when his cabinet is overseeing an economic warfare policy to arbitrarily evict state tenants, then board up those empty houses and collude with private sector developers so that they can profit off the housing crisis, in keeping with the Shock Doctrine!
Nor can it be legitimately called upon, when New Zealand’s Five Eye’s spy organization, the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), has no qualms that it might be supplying surveillance data to the US for use in the Drone Wars. Especially, not when John Key is the minister responsible for the GCSB. Like a visiting US ambassador during the 1980s nuclear-free campaigning era when it was standard propaganda procedure to ‘neither confirm nor deny’ whether a ship or sub was nuclear-armed or powered, New Zealand’s Prime Minister does not deny nor confirm that the GCSB has supplied information to assist in the use of drones to track down and kill people. This propagandist tactic relies on the logical-flawed reasoning of ‘arguing from ignorance’, wherein one’s opponents either lack sufficient evidence, due to incapacity or unwillingness, to counter the claims.
Furthermore, Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
It is not for the state to decide what places are appropriate for people to express opinions. If activists choose to speak at the frontier of a residential or sports stadium road-side curb, that is meant to be their inalienable right. And it is one that the ‘common people’ frequently need to exercise in order to ‘crash the news’, as media scholars have termed these and other tactics of protest. In other words, such tactics are necessary because the ‘media playing field’ is most definitely not a level one.
Just think how often sports events are given pre-publicity on ‘the news’ and then recall, or notice from now, how infrequently activist marches, rallies and demonstrations are promoted before they happen. (In recent memory, rare instances of pre-publicity have occurred because the mobilizations were too large to ignore, such as global anti-war/pro-peace demonstrations of February 15 2003, a month before the official start of the American War on Iraq; and in a specifically New Zealand context, the three large nationwide anti-GE-free mobilizations of 2001-2003, the large Foreshore and Seabed protests of 2004, and the large anti-mining mobilization of 2010).
As media scholar Noam Chomsky argues in the documentary, Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media, if ordinary people redirected their mental energy from knowing facts about sports to learning about the world’s powerful people, the ruling classes would not be able to get away with the horrific atrocities required to pursue corporate domination and imperial projects.
Oligarchic Offensive Behavior a Bit Rich
Bob Jones claims a judge once said that ‘extreme left’ “hate people”. They do not hate humanity. They are trying to get ordinary people, who have been cast as ‘sheople’ by New Zealand’s client oligarchy, to wake up to the mainstream media propaganda system. New Zealand’s client oligarchy has everyone believing in the thuggery of NATO-aligned state power, that indiscriminately reserves the right to kill people in one long permanent war.
It is a sly ideological distortion strategy by Bob Jones to marginalize the most vulnerable, as well as protesting, at the same time. Jones is essentially saying all protestors are bludgers and they are poor because they are hateful, lazy, immature losers. By ‘performing’ these rituals of animosity, Bob-the-Job-Destroyer is dog whistling, which is a public relations industry tactic to amplify peoples’ fears, frustrations, or prejudices, and transform them into anger, as investigative journalist Nicky Hager reported in his book: The Hollow Men: A Study in the Politics of Deception.
Such propaganda is stock standard by ruling classes around the world, as US foreign policy and media critic Noam Chomsky has argued everywhere he has talked. The primary target is the politically-dormant middle class. The strategy is to get them to despise the poverty-stricken for not trying hard enough, while deflecting attention from the covert strategies of the ruling oligarchy, such as the construction of tax shelters. (Indeed, Bob Jones successfully sued his accountant in 2012 for failing to advise him of $4.29 million in tax liabilities, that he had incurred by restructuring his property company. Yet, he complained that a typical “Minto performance” wastes taxpayers resources on “a bevy of policeman”, that could be better utilized elsewhere). Ironically, the working poor better understand who is ‘top-dog’, but like the middle class above them, their vulnerabilities are still easily manipulated.
The fact that the wealthy have accumulated vast resources by exploiting what is actually a private political system – called capitalism – that uses economic mechanisms as a means of social control, is never headlined in the news media, nor studied in business courses, or taught in state-sponsored school curricula.
The irony is that Jones failed to mention that MegaUpload founder, Kim Dotcom, was also there. Dotcom, who’s net worth is 10 times that of Prime Minister John Key, held a candle peacefully too. Dotcom’s respectful behaviour was in stark contrast to the illegal and over-the-top state raid on his mansion on January 20 2012. A raid that occurred because his business model threatened the anti-competitive racketeering Hollywood media cartels and the NSA’s illegal mission to seek to decrypt all electronic information emanating from Planet Earth and its stalking satellites.
Present also was Jon Stephenson, a journalist who had been going about his legitimate business investigating New Zealand’s involvement in America’s War on Afghanistan, when US spy agencies gave the New Zealand Defence Force Stephenson’s metadata information, revealing his contacts. Stephenson, who spoke to the demonstrators, told The New Zealand Herald that the vigil was “peaceful, dignified and gracious”. He said the organizers had made that intention clear from the beginning.
Sharp-witted perennial activist Penny-’Her Warship’-Bright was also a participant. But, Jones lacked the balls to scapegoat Bright. Such an attack would have made it difficult for him to construct more inherently logically flawed counter arguments without losing his tenuous grasp on legitimacy with The New Zealand Herald‘s mass-manipulated news audience. It would have made him vulnerable to Bright reading the Human Rights Act to the Human Rights Commission, specifically the bits about attacking people on the basis of their gender, rather than their legitimate political agenda. Because he would know the origin of the term screaming skulls.
Because sexism. Because misogyny.
Indeed, had The Herald‘s editors checked Jones’ inferences, including the perception created that Minto had been screaming the apparently immature contents of his skull over a loud-haler outside the prime minister’s home, by checking with their reporter who was there at the candlelight vigil, they would have realized that Minto did not even speak. Nor did he bring a loudhailer. It was a candlelight vigil after-all. Nor did he organize it.
But he committed the act of peacefully holding a candle. Like people who respect the fallen on war remembrance days do. Minto just knows more the deep politics of war activists than most war remembrance days attendees realize, because unfortunately, they have trusted the Bubble Gum TV News History.
Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey also spoke at the vigil, which was held on Sunday May 25. Faith-based leaders also spoke at the demonstration, which began at dusk. People without profiles (PWPs) also held candles, but were not deemed hateworthy by Jones, because the wealthy columnist would lose legitimacy with the Herald‘s audience if he had called them screaming skulls too. That would have heightened the risk of a multi-institutional backlash. Investors calculate risk like the politicians choose photo ops.
Because People with Political Power (PWPP).
Jones is betting he can sustain a breach of the Human Rights Act (1993), just as he got off with a $1000 fine for the assault of the reporter he punched in 1985.
This begs an ideological question: If an activist is completely silent at a residential road side curb vigil, would an anti-human rights non-protestor, like Bob Jones, consider them arrestworthy?
The New Zealand Herald published John Minto’s rebuttal, “Calm down Bob and swap public rancour for open debate”, in which the activist challenged the be-knighted oligarch to an entertaining evening of argument. Minto proposed a debate on drone strikes, state surveillance, and threats to world peace. With a wry sense of humour, the seasoned activist suggested this debate could be billed, “The Screaming Skull vs The Corporate Bludger”.
To sum up, Jones’ efforts to manipulate The New Zealand Herald‘s Middle New Zealand audience that Minto’s “rag-tag ratbag losers” had disturbed the peace and behaved offensively, relied on omitting the presence of: a wealthy innovative information technology oligarch perceived as a threat to a global media cartel and global spy network; an investigative journalist that challenged the invasion of his privacy by the Five Eyes spy partners; a university law professor able to articulate the connection between geopolitics and state surveillance; various religious leaders with annoying moral compasses that threaten to pull capitalism off due North (where N is for Nefarious, E is for Empathy, S is for Sharing, and W is for Wisdom); and track-able ‘common people’, whose forebears get a mention in passing in the preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Therefore, Jones’ argument lacks key evidence. By appealing emotively, through his column, to the prejudices of Middle New Zealand about ‘left wing’ activists, the property-investing oligarch has attempted to manufacture their consent that protest should not be allowed outside the residences of the wealthy. Such prejudices about ‘left wing’ activists are cultivated by the relentless propaganda of mainstream media outlets. Jones draws upon this propaganda, that resides in mass populaces cultural memory, as is evident by his hate speech rhetoric. His emotive manipulations are another logical fallacy.
But, it’s also important to recognize that a measure to prevent protest outside the residences of the wealthy might also curb demonstrating in residential streets everywhere. This would be a major loss of a people power, especially for poor people evicted from state housing. In an election year, such as measure would give John Key, and his incumbent government, free reign to rove the suburbs without much ado, harvesting votes.
This “Shut up” column piece by Sir Robert Jones, the capital city’s most famous property capitalist, was in effect invoking a symbolic performance of an Orwellian Two Minutes Hate political meeting. While pretending to be a liberal sticking up for the value of free and open society, Jones was more than keeping up the times, wherein it is an acceptable social norm to marginalize ‘left-wing’ activists with little slights. As a former boxer, who once punched a reporter who showed up in a helicopter while Jones was trout-fishing in the Tongariro River, the capital city-dwelling oligarch came out boxing.
Jones slung hate speech like a neo-con think-tank, in order to: quicken the pace of the closure of a marginally open society and ostensibly free ‘free-market’ society; defend the global loss of the right to privacy; and to affirm the practiced right of state power to change rules to suit the ruling class. In this way, Jones was disseminating ideologically-infused hate messages so that the Herald‘s readers, uneducated in the workings of sophisticated Western Capitalist State-Corporate propaganda, would be indoctrinated to accept a new norm being proposed.
To dissent is to bother the oligarchy.
Most oligarchs are not bothered by injustices against the weak and defenceless. They are bothered when they cannot watch fluorescent balls being bashed back and forth by rackets. Oligarchs are bothered when their racketeering transnational corporate cartels are exposed to heightened public scrutiny. Oligarchs are bothered when protest comes near their posh homes.
Because real estate doubleplusgood. Because protest placards ungood.
Symbolically, it looks bad on ‘the news’. It ruins the shopping mood. (As an oligarch, Kim Dotcom is an exception. The state raid on his mansion radicalized him).
It is hard to imagine that anyone from the ‘common people’ constituency could write a similar piece and make it through The New Zealand Herald‘s propaganda filters. Media scholars Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky (2008) developed a theoretical framework to detect propaganda in news systems, since they reasoned that in societies with formal democracy, a propagandist system of communication is required because the state cannot openly intimidate and suppress ‘free’ populations without losing the legitimacy to rule. Their Propaganda Model is comprised of five filters through which news is processed for mass consumption: size, ownership and profit orientation; advertising; expert sources; flak and the enforcers; and ideology. The model, first published in their 1989 book, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, positions the mass media as corporate entities within an overarching ‘economic system’ and theorizes the factors that influence the media.
Because Jones-the-Columnist, who was knighted the same year Manufacturing Consent was published, is an oligarch, he was able to make it through the first of these five propaganda filters, size, ownership and profit orientation. The Propaganda Model’s first filter – size, ownership and profit orientation – points to the expense of establishing new mass media organizations. Media conglomerates are linked to the rest of the corporate community by common boards of directors, social links through institutions such as think tanks, and by lines of credit with large banks. This networked structure of vested interests means that media corporations are central for communicating views acceptable to financial oligarchs. This filter also limits the public’s access to mass media technologies and distribution systems.
Having made it through The New Zealand Herald‘s first filter, Jones-the-Oligarch, knighted “for services to business management and the community”, was then free to deploy hate using the newspaper’s fourth filter, flak and the enforcers. As described by the Propaganda Model, enforcers or expert sources that manufacture flak strengthen the other news filters and serve to protect political and economic power from serious, sustained investigation. Such vested interests, Herman and Chomsky call flak machines that frequently attack so-called ‘left-wing’ groups for being ‘anti-business.’ The authors also note that the media is respectful to elite flak-makers by not critiquing their links to institutional power, lest they draw flak themselves.
Flak incorporates the negative reactions to media statements, stories or programs. This might take the form of a heated phone call, lawsuits, threats of imprisonment, legislative changes or other punitive actions such as withdrawal of advertising. Indeed, to avoid flak from well resourced elites, the mass media produces safe programming, self-censors and stays within boundaries of the ideology constructed by the ruling class. In the ongoing neo-liberal ‘free market era’, that Jones-the-Oligarch helped usher in, here in far-flung Nu Zillun, the political-economic matrix is meant to keep the mass populace in check through intensified financial disciplinary constraints, more limits on permissible discussion and manufacturing submission through the lure of aspirational consumerism.
Jones-the-Knight-Bachelor (a rank of knight that is the lowest in the British Empire, below the lowest that can be conferred to women), was signalling a restraint on favourable media coverage of protests. This is particularly important to New Zealand’s client oligarchy, lest at the next election, Key loses the helm of the leaky ‘boat of state’ that he has commanded for nearly six years. It is, after-all, too late for Jones to launch another political party to split NZ’s vote. With Dotcom-the-oligarch weighing in with three million dollars to bankroll his Internet Party, in an alliance with the voice for the poor, the Mana Party, NZ’s leaky boat of state may lurch just enough to the port-side, to have the starboard-leaning Jones & Co. worried.
John Minto, is after-all, Economic Justice spokesperson for the Mana Party. So Jones-the-Job-Destroyer’s attack on Minto being a “screaming skull” supported by “rag-tag-rat-bags” is a sly way of marginalizing a legitimate political platform to address Shock Doctrine-induced poverty.
The New Zealand Monarch’s top representative, Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae, stated in a Press Gallery dinner speech late year that he required “clear and public statements … [from] the parties forming or supporting the government”. Mateparae said that such parties, “must make unambiguous explanations of their intentions on matters of confidence, so it is obvious to everyone where party allegiances in the House will lie.” Being a militarist, the Governor-General framed his terms as “the rules of engagement”. Mateparae also made clear the media’s role in assisting the communication of political issues, political party communications and how voters choices in a multi-party electoral environment can translate into seats in parliament.
It seems to me that the New Zealand public needs a clear and public investigation into the terrorism, outlined here, that New Zealand’s two major Five Eye’s spy partners, the United States and the United Kingdom have been involved in, since before the World Wars of the 2oth Century. A clear and public investigation into the construction, deployment and continued application of the Shock Doctrine in New Zealand, is also needed. This investigation needs to be located in an international context; that is, to establish its origins or its steerage and its passage to these far-flung shores. It also seems clear, from a public safety perspective, that clear and public statements about the need to uphold the principle and practice of a hate speech-free society is crucial. And the punishment of such infringements needs to be seen for these statements to be believed!
In this interrogation of the complaint of Bob-the-Job-Destroyer – that activists demonstrating outside the New Zealand prime minister’s posh residence, in this case, for the human right (and need) to live spy, terrorist and bomb-free lives – is a bit rich.
Minto, claims Jones, is supported by a national group of “rag-tag ratbag losers”. This group, roughly the 6% unemployed, has been impoverished by successive governments, that have not been truthfully representing the majority, as they have each claimed. Unrepresentative, because the mass populace is largely oblivious to the perniciousness that underpins the Shock Doctrine. This constitutes racial harassment of that national group of New Zealanders – rag-tag ratbag losers – victimized under the Shock Doctrine. (A check of the search term, “rag-tag ratbag losers” on the Statistics New Zealand website returned “did not match any documents”). The association inherent to Jones’ inflammatory phrases also denigrates all persons who have taken to the streets with John Minto over the years.
By calling John Minto a screaming skull, Jones not only denigrates all who have protested with Minto, which must count in the hundreds of thousands. Bob Jones also ridicules all female pop-singers by associating the misogynistic term that used to be fashionable among misogynists in the formative years of pop culture, with his idea that legitimate dissent is unworthy of the public’s respect.
But, I find a broader, deeper problem in the New Zealand cultural-political-economy that requires every grown-ups’ attention. In terms of the Human Rights Act (1993), the national origins of the New Zealand mass population group have been discriminated against, treated with hostility and contempt under the application of the Shock Doctrine, by successive New Zealand governments since 1984. This includes Māori, the Tāngata Whenua of Aotearoa, with whom the Crown is also meant to have an honest, open and mana-enriching partnership with. Instead, the New Zealand government acts in the absence of full disclosure, which means the society as a whole cannot make workable, wise and wonderous ideas.
These breaches of public trust, care and welfare need to be confronted urgently. Jones’ part in ushering in ‘free market’ discipline upon the ‘mass population’ national origin sector, a deed with covert intentions, for which he presumably received a knighthood, means that he is party to an ongoing, unacknowledged power crime against New Zealand.
His opinion piece, therefore, constitutes a breach of peace. In ‘performing’ his Two Minutes Hate speech column piece, the knighted Sir Robert Jones has inadvertently provided a glimpse behind the ‘purple velvet curtain’ of New Zealand’s client oligarchy.
Through this particular curtained window, Snoopman peeked into the property tycoon’s home office and eyed his computer screen. There was no falling Matrix streams of green binary data. Just a line of Orwellian Newspeak repeating itself over and over like a mantra in the fashion of an electronic ‘ticker tape’ revealing the latest stock-market prices, moving right to left across the screen: OBEDIENCE IS DISSENT. OBEDIENCE IS DISSENT. OBEDIENCE IS DISSENT.
By day, Snoopman works undercover as an ordinary mortal, editing news at a television station. By night, Snoopman researches the wicked deeds of the powerful, and is Editor-in-Chief at Snoopman News. (See Snoopman News for pictures and sourced references)
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Note: the Banker character looks like former Labour NZ finance minister and ‘free market’ zealot, Roger Douglas; SEE ALSO: Brown, E. H. (2008). The Web of Debt: The Shocking Truth About Our Money System and How We Can Break Free (2nd ed.). Baton Rouge, LA: Third Millennium Press; Griffin, G. E. (2008). The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve (4th ed.). Westlake Village, CA: American Media; Grignon, P. (2009). Money as Debt II: Promises Unleashed. Retrieved from http://www.moneyasdebt.net/; Hutchinson, F. (1998). What Everyone Really Wants To Know About Money. Charlbury, England: Jon Carpenter; Nitzan, J. & Bichler, S. (2009). Capital as Power: A Study of Order and Creorder. New York, NY: Routledge; Palan, R., Murphy, R., & Chavagneux, C. (2010). Tax Havens: How Globalization Really Works. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press; Quigley, C. (1966). Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time, p.37. New York, NY: The Macmillan Company; Rowbotham, M. (1998). The Grip of Death: A Study of Modern Money, Debt Slavery and Destructive Economics. Charlbury, England: Jon Carpenter; Shaxson, N. (2011). Treasure Islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax Havens. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan; Winters, J. A. (2011). Oligarchy. New York: Cambridge University Press.
 Douglas, Roger. (1993). Unfinished Business. p. 221. Auckland; New Zealand: Random House. Douglas first presented a speech entitled, “The Politics of Reform: The Art of the Possible”, at a 1989 meeting of the Mont Perelin Society founded by influential ‘free’-market theorist and author of The Road to Serfdom, Friederich von Hayek. Free marketeers, Alan Gibbs, Rod Deane, Douglas Myers, Simon Upton, Rodney Hide and Ruth Richardson attended the meeting in Christchurch.
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