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PENN RAINE: Flipping the Narrative

Labour’s most recent ex PM has curiously spent time following the election enthralling the aligned media by promising that Labour would be business as usual in its support and representation of the country’s workers. Cue the sound of hollow laughter as those people, aka most of us, try to readjust our reality settings to view the blue sky thinking of the last 6 years and the binned promises to do with affordable housing, child poverty, honesty, transparency, and kindness as solid achievements and not just blagging.

As a former leader- and I use the noun very loosely - Hipkins would have us believe that for the last half decade Labour has not been cosying up to the activist classes, pushing racial and identity politics and other ideological fun stuff to the forefront of governance and that when he’s no longer in a position to achieve anything his party previously promised, well, that’s exactly what he’s going to do now the mandate has been wrenched from him.

Clown country.

Messages from the left such as, ‘We were working for you, even though we were working against you. We were kind, tolerant and promoted diversity – except if you stood on Parliament’s lawn and asked us to come down and speak to you. We are proud of our democratic freedoms and liberal progressiveness except if you ask questions that we feel would be better silenced by new laws we will make for your protection’, and perhaps most significantly, ‘We are not racist for proposing a divided NZ, but you are if you ask why’, demonstrate the tussle for the mandate to use certain terminology and thus to manoeuvre the narrative.

They obviously think we’re as stupid as Australians.

This is not my view of the Ozzie IQ but that of Waleed Aly, co-host of Network Ten’s news and current affairs program The Project who, following the Voice referendum result, pointed out that the 60+% of Australians who voted No did not have Bachelor’s degrees or better.


Aly made the claim referring to a map that showed support for the Voice had come from Canberra and areas around cities wherein live what we now refer to as the ‘metropolitan elite’. He failed to note that a year previously the polls showed the vote in favour 60:40, suggesting that in the following 12 months people had taken time to think and do some research- unlike Albo who was tripped up when he claimed that the Uluru Statement was only one page long instead of the 26 that it is.

If Aly thought that his observation might have slapped a Band-Aid on the Yes campaign’s rout, he must have missed the fact that when Aboriginal activist Marcia Langton, the Yes campaign’s poster child, called fellow Australians ‘racist’ and ‘stupid’, Yes support took a crippling hit. After dropping this cultural clanger Langton was suddenly, poof, invisible in the movement. Some of you may remember that a few months before NZ’s election that Ms Mahuta and Mr Jackson became similarly silent and unseen. Lesson: bad optics undermine even campaigns underwritten by big corporates and fawning MSM.

While this is a political own goal, what is also awkward about the Ozzie Left doubling down on the jibe that ‘without a degree you are stupid’, is that it does rather turn the focus onto academia and its lack of current gravitas.

From time to time, a-weary of geo-political rants such as this I am amused by videos of Harvard students being offered $1,000 to correctly answer five general knowledge questions. Their answers to queries such as ‘What does ‘www’ stand for?’ ‘Can you name a novel?’ and ‘What is the capital of Chicago?’ are too often catatonic. But let us suppose that these are anomalies and that in other areas their instruction is intelligent and relevant. Why then since October 7 are we seeing Harvard students and others worldwide clamouring that that Israel is ‘occupying’ the world’s ‘largest open-air prison’?

Let’s assume that Middle Eastern history BCE is too distant to be considered germane in tertiary curricula and that students are simply not aware that the tribes of Israel lived in the area now disputed by Palestinian supporters more than 1000 years before Islam, back when Jews and Arabs, ethnically similar, shared the land. However vaguely held the knowledge that Jewish people have been arguably the most hated, harried, and slaughtered people of the last 2000 years, the Holocaust might be a clue to this history and the reason that post WW2 a majority of UN signatories endorsed the return of a Jewish homeland.

The history of the Middle East did not begin in 1947.

These facts are easily verified by fifteen minutes on the internet (‘www’, you folk at Harvard!) as well as the fact that Israel has not occupied Gaza since 2005 when it withdrew along with tens of thousands of Israelis and left a gap quickly filled by Hamas. Hamas who has received billions of international aid money which does not seem to have trickled down to its citizens’ ordinary lives. Wonder where it went.

And while it is undeniably true that Israel tightly controls the border between the two areas, on October 7 the world saw what happens when it does not.

Campus pro-Palestinian protests have seeded larger mobs in Sydney, London New York and elsewhere howling slogans such as ‘Gas the Jews…f*** the Jews’ in a display of Fascist hatred that surely tips their Antifa ideology on its head as they scream in support of another genocide.

So international students, other revved up mobs-and Te Pati Māori- rally for Hamas with little understanding of real historical events except for a feeling that Palestine is ‘oppressed’ because the Left narrative tells them so. But then so many of the western world’s universities are now Petrie dishes of the grievance culture, where lectures containing solid facts carry ‘offence’ warnings and academic staff have their positions threatened if they persist in discussing ‘academic standards’. They don’t even realise that there is a tragic irony when they wave a banner shouting ‘Queers for Palestine’.

Useful idiots.

For the last two electoral terms the NZ Government and mainstream media have colluded in telling our largely well-intended populace that in matters contrary to Labour narrative we have been subject to mis and dis information. Kate Hannah’s state underwritten Disinformation Project is frequently quoted when the press clutches its pearls in horror at the wicked thoughts we’ve allegedly been having. But despite the scolding we’re receiving from these sources I think we’ve concluded that these terms are often a lazy catch cry to describe one side of politics that the other side doesn’t like, usually what the Left doesn’t like. Misinformation is what you claim when you don’t have the intellectual capacity to mount a counter argument.

I think that the majority of NZ’ers has just mounted a compelling counter argument.

Penn Raine is an educator and writer. She lives in Auckland and south-west France.

4,268 views100 comments


Just as commenter RH is, I too am amazed at this writer's misrepresentation of the current situation and history of this Gaza/Israeli debacle. In fact, it is an open and well-established fact that Israeli policy has long* treated the Palestinian Authority as a burden, and Hamas as an asset, with massive finance being laundered through other countries directly to Hamas itself. *( indeed for the entire 36 years since Israel first created Hamas in 1987) My research tells me that Hamas is a tool created and funded by Israel in order to hinder orderly negotiations for a workable two-state solution. As Scott Ritter (former US Marine Corps intelligence officer) himself points out, Netanyahu is one of the key figures responsible for the massive bloodshed…

Replying to

You are dead right RH - and so often the tail wags the dog. Sadly, even RFK Jnr has already sworn his allegiance in his campaign running as an independent in the POTUS primaries, and the idiotic Trump was the most obscene groveller to Israel of all time. Sadly the only contenders that I can think of, that wouldn't have bowed to this situation, are Ron Paul and Lyndon LaRouche. For that reason alone neither ever had a snowball's chance in hell of ever becoming POTUS. This situation is flat-out scary even compared to the so-called "Cuban" Missile Crisis when the the two leaders involved (JFK and Krushchev) were both humanitarian statesmen. In this case, almost 70 years later, we have two demented…


There is lots of opinions, op-eds written by various writers about Palestine. The idea or notion the Jewish homeland is a divine right Palestine is not correct.

The author claims the 'facts' can be verified by jumping onto the internet is absurd as its been proven time and again internet and the information likes of Wikipedia can be biased an not factual. It is true the 12 tribes of Israel (original Jews) lived in different parts of the Middle East (Canaan) but those original tribes were nomadic and migrated to different parts of the world.

The modern day inhabitants of Israel are not the original Semitic people of Middle East. They are Khazars from Eastern Europeans

The creation of modern…


Henry Hobson
Henry Hobson
Oct 24, 2023

The only way for peace in the Middle East is for the two brothers to sit down and talk to each other. The Israelie nation has a right to live in the Middle East, as that was the land given to them when they came out of Egypt. As Hammas is regarded as a "Terroist" organisation they should receive no money whatsoever. We know the Iranian Government supports them, because their view is to get rid of all the Jews.

Replying to

The original Jews, 12 tribes of Israel- Israel as in Jacob. Jacob had twelve sons. These sons and their families became known as the twelve tribes of Israel, or Israelites have the right to live in Palestine. The progeny of the 12 tribes are Semitic, like the Arabs.

Modern day Israelis are descendants of Eastern Europeans and not Semitic at all. Funny how they shout Anti-Semitic whenever Israel gets criticized.

After coming out of Egypt (rescued by Moses from the clutches of the Pharaoh (Ramesses II), the Jewish tribe settled in Canaan. Canaanite ancestry is a mix of indigenous populations with migrants arriving as early as 6500 years ago, well before the Israelites.

Hamas is branded a terrorist organisation by…


Another great read Penn, in my opinion the middle east will never enjoy lasting peace as long as you have thugs like Hammas who want to force their evil ideology on the Israelis and other countries throughout the world..

The west could bring about real change by canceling out Hammas and other radical gangs throughout the world by cutting their money supply they get from those countries that support their aims.(I think we know who they are)

The countries that supply the bombs of mass destruction to Hammas and others, have some sole searching(if they have one)to be done.But alas (not ula )making bombs is big money, Right.

Oct 24, 2023
Replying to

It goes both ways there Johan.....I'm not batting for either......


"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." Of course, we ought to replace the word "men" with…

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