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CHRIS TROTTER: Make or Break

The following post was written in January 2022. What sounded somewhat hysterical just 18 months now sounds utterly plausible.


He Puapua threatens to do to New Zealand’s Right what Rogernomics did to its Left.


IN LESS THAN TWO YEARS the New Zealand Right will face a battle for its very survival. If the combined votes of Labour and the Greens add up to a parliamentary majority in 2023, then the rules of the political game will be changed fundamentally. Capitalism as we have known it, along with our liberal-democratic political system, will be changed profoundly.


The re-foundation of New Zealand (a name which the new Labour-Green government will likely consign to the dustbin of history) will make it virtually impossible for the traditional Right to stage a comeback – at least democratically. Why? Because there will be literally nowhere for the force of a right-wing majority to be brought to bear. The restoration of the status quo ante will, constitutionally, cease to be an option.


Over the top? Don’t you believe it. This is how top-down revolutions work. The first decisive changes are made, and then, if the revolutionary government is re-elected, those changes are embedded beyond the capacity of practical politicians to reverse.


Still don’t believe me? Well then, cast your mind back (or grab a good history book) and review the processes by which the reforms of “Rogernomics” were first implemented and then rendered permanent by the Lange-Palmer-Moore Labour Government of 1984-1990.


More importantly, consider the behaviour of the National Party following the 1990 General Election. In spite of Jim Bolger’s promise to restore the “decent society”, his National Government refused to unwind the economic changes of Roger Douglas and his allies. Indeed, the National Party’s Finance Minister, Ruth Richardson, ably assisted by Jenny Shipley and Bill Birch, turned out to be the one which placed the capstone on the Neoliberal Revolution. By 1993, the social-democratic state erected by the First Labour Government and its successors had been almost entirely dismantled.


Nearly 30 years later, no serious attempt has been made to rebuild it.


This is the key point to take away from the Rogernomics experience. Unless a top-down revolution is stopped in its tracks at the very next election, the chances of rolling it back at some point in the future are reduced to something very close to zero.


Not only will the public servants, business leaders, politicians, academics and journalists controlling the revolutionary process win the time needed to make the necessary legislative changes, but they will also enjoy sufficient time to change the ideological environment in which politics is conducted. By 1990, six years after the neoliberal revolution was unleashed, there simply wasn’t the will in either of the major parties, to launch a counter-revolution. Jim Anderton’s New Labour Party, the only political party unequivocally committed to reversing Rogernomics in 1990, received just 5 per cent of the popular vote.


That’s why 2023 is so important. If the National Party and its ally, Act, are not unequivocally committed to rolling back the ethno-nationalist changes already imposed: the Maori Health Authority; Three Waters; Te Putahitanga; and to repudiating entirely the whole He Puapua blueprint; then by 2026 it is almost certain that neither of the right-wing parliamentary parties will any longer want to. By then, the ethno-nationalist constitution imposed upon “Aotearoa” will be seen by virtually the entire political class as no more than the application of simple “common sense”.


That’s how hegemony works.


Rolling back the He Puapua Revolution will not, however, be easy.


Perhaps the biggest problem confronting the parties of the Right will be a mainstream news media resolutely opposed to giving the ‘hate speech’ of ‘racism’ a platform. Unless National and Act conform to the new ethno-nationalist orthodoxy, they will find it next-to-impossible to secure even-handed media coverage. Rather, they will be presented as fronting a racist, white-supremacist campaign to preserve the ‘privileges’ of ‘colonisation’. Increasingly, the 2023 election will be framed as a life-and-death struggle between the retrograde ideologies of New Zealand’s past, and the Labour-Green promise of a re-founded, te Tiriti-guided, ‘progressive’ Aotearoan future.


The parties of the Left don’t even have to be nasty about it. All they have to do is adapt the crushing line from the movie “Don’t Look Up”. In the movie, whenever a right-wing Boomer makes an unforgivably racist or sexist remark, the stock response from the people in charge is: “He’s from another generation.” Confronted with National’s and Act’s promises to roll back the He Puapua blueprint, Jacinda Ardern and Marama Davidson have only to smile sadly and shrug: “They’re ideas from another generation.”


There’s no worse fate than to be killed with kindness!


The Right is also likely to be hounded by the already shamelessly politicised Human Rights Commission. (Act has, after all, promised to abolish it!) The Commission will call out the parties of the Right for their ‘racism’, ruthlessly and continuously branding their policies as ‘white supremacist’ and ‘colonialist’. With the endorsement of the HRC, other groups will use Labour’s new hate speech law to embroil the right-wing parties and their leaders in court case after court case.


The $64,000 question is not whether these sorts of tactics will lead to polarisation, but exactly where the break in the electorate will occur. If most of those over the age of 50 are driven into the arms of the Right by the He Puapua blueprint then the election will be a damn close-run thing. If, however, it is only a solid majority of the over-60s who opt to stand up for New Zealand (as opposed to Aotearoa) then Labour-Green will likely edge out National-Act. Obviously, effective polling and focus-group work will identify the trends long before Election Day.


Which, inevitably, brings us to the last and most important question: Is the leadership of the National and Act parties capable of withstanding the unrelenting pressure of the ‘racist’ accusation that most New Zealanders currently go to almost any lengths to avoid? Does Christopher Luxon have the mental resilience to confront charges of racism head-on and, Jordan Peterson-style, out-argue his accusers? Does David Seymour? Or will the old saying “explaining is losing” cause them to throw in the ideological towel and join the merry ethno-nationalist parade?


Upon the answer to this question will turn the future of the New Zealand Right. If, as happened to the Labour Party after Jim Anderton and his followers broke away from it in 1989, the new ideology simply swallows up National’s members and parliamentarians, then the He Puapua blueprint will, like Rogernomics, become firmly embedded in New Zealand’s legal and administrative infrastructure. Moreover, it will do so with the same impressive level of cross-party support – quite possibly surpassing the 75 per cent required for major constitutional reforms.


The New Zealand Right thus has no choice but to transform the 2023 General Election into a make or break proposition. If, however, it is electorally broken by its Labour-Green opponents, then politics in Aotearoa-New Zealand will undergo an irreversible sea-change. The constitutional re-foundation of the country suggested in He Puapua will swiftly render the old Left/Right ideological conflicts redundant. By 2026, Aotearoans will be battling politically over very different issues.


Chris Trotter is a political commentator who blogs at bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz. This article was re-published at Breaking Views


5,799 views283 comments

283 comentários


Membro desconhecido
23 de jul. de 2023

I was born the same year as Chris Trotter. I can see how traditional lefties are dissatisfied with the current govt, but where that's the case for me, it's because of things they haven't done well or swiftly enough: sorting out the supermarket duopoly, addressing poverty through the tax system. I just find all the race stuff a beat-up on both sides, frankly. I don't feel at all threatened by it. People live online in silos and work themselves into states about not very much.

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Aaron Shanahan
Aaron Shanahan
17 de jul. de 2023

Time and time again. Honestly, what is going on here? I'm so sick and tired of beating my head against the wall of indifference, the abject stupidity, but ill keep fighting. I genuinely worry about this country, it's future, and It's prospects, and I absolutely hate those That seek power for powers sake.

Self absorbed, self serving, self entitled and self serving.

Now I've said this before.

Maybe I should make my point clear.

If we accept mediocrity, if we accept as normal racial nutbar separatism, if we roll over and just take this shit, what do you think will happen?

The time has come.

Fight like fuck.

Dismiss those who cancel, moan, and prevaricate, garbage

To be tossed…

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Aaron Shanahan
Aaron Shanahan
18 de jul. de 2023
Respondendo a

Take what you like out of my comment.

A typical smart arse response from someone that can't even begin to imagine the train wreck that has been foistered upon this country by your precious bunch of socialist wreckers. overnight pontificating chin stroking cunts like you provide all the evidence I need to see that you're just fucked in the head. Piss off. Or provide concrete evidence that this country is in a better state than it was before your socialit jackboot scumbags took charge. See, normal people are sick of people like you. And you're to self elevated, to self absorbed and to fucking stupid to see it. Go and boil what's left of your head, and then proc…


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barry.brill
barry.brill
17 de jul. de 2023

Chris made a compelling case 18 months ago, when most of us were taking little notice. Today, it is much more compelling – almost undeniable, in fact.


He tells of a bloodless coup d'état if Labour is re-elected. Perhaps – but most of us know that any future He Puapua would be inherently unstable and carry the seeds of its own destruction. We need to look no further than South Africa to realise that no minority race can hold out indefinitely against the forces that support democracy and "one rule for all".


Trotter foretells endless guerrilla warfare over He Puapua if National/ACT were to be elected instead. If he is right, then time is on the side of the guerrilla…


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winder44
winder44
17 de jul. de 2023
Respondendo a

100% correct.

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Semperfi
Semperfi
17 de jul. de 2023

Dr Trotter, thank you for reposting your article. It’s wholesome to reread what has gone before but it’s more so when predictions (+/-) manifest themselves in the real world. We have a fundamental problem in NZ. History has/is showing countries that embrace the MMP style of governance produce more left leaning governments than existed under the FPP system. As this is also known to left leaning politicians then it’s only a matter of time and successive elections before their off the wall wacky agenda becomes enshrined in law.

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basilwnz
basilwnz
17 de jul. de 2023
Respondendo a

I regret I voted for MMP now, too late for apologies...we have the wrong sort of political class for it to function as intended. Tough lesson I guess.

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Chris - I couldn't agree more. The biggest risk for this country right now is a weak opposition. We all need to be prepared to stand up and be counted. To face accusations of being racist just because we stand for truth and the right of al people to be treated and valued equally. One person - one vote. History as it truly is - not sanitised to fit some misguided misrepresentation of the Treaty - which absolutely did not create a partnership between two ethnic / cultural groups (Maori and non-Maori). Even the Maori version when translated back into English talks about governance by the Crown - not sovereignty for Maori and certainly not partnership with the Crown in…

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Respondendo a

" in other words pretty much everything existing in 1840"


You mean everything that they owned , not everything that existed clearly.

Right , the same as everybody else then.

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