Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ever Vigilant

The story of the rise of the Third Reich... "Lest we forget"

Four years ago I visited a very informative display in Berlin. It was a new installation and showed the rise of the Third Reich in Germany prior to and during World War II. It has been set up specifically to help people to know and remember so that the same sort of thing would not be repeated. As I travelled through the timeline of the rise of the Third Reich and the terrible things that happened, I noticed that it all began with small limitations and changes to the freedoms of the German people. The Unions were impacted and workers' rights slowly taken away - bit by bit. Teachers and academics were little bit by little bit told what they could and could not teach. Media were controlled, again in increments. There was a gradual increase in name calling, until certain people like Jews, gay people, and people with mental health difficulties were ostracized. All this was done in little increments until the tragedy of war and the atrocities that were committed just happened without too much resistance from the bulk of the German people.  It is a reminder to be ever vigilant about our democracy, our freedoms and who we allow to have power in our communities.
The Nicky Hagar revelations and subsequent questions about GCSB (Government Communications Security Bureau) have raised the intensity of my concern about the Key National Government. I am not a fan of Kim Dotcom. (I was angry when it was revealed he was allowed residency, just because he was rich. At the time I was busy trying to get residency for a lovely responsible and contributing young mother.) But some of the issues raised by recent revelations add to my already growing concern about Mr Key and his colleagues. There have been slow but sure limitations on the rights of workers. The creative thinking teachers seem to be clashing with the education policies of the Government, and are called names. Social work agencies who raise questions are sometimes also subjected to being labelled with their credibility questioned and ridiculed.   In response to questions and differences there have been regular bouts of name calling, which seems to be increasing. Somebody as rational and as balanced as Russel Norman is saying National seem to have control of the Media. I know a man who was a successful property developer and well known financial whiz kid who has changed sides completely and is sure of nasty financial scheming within Government circles. Then I came across the story of a another property developer, who was an ardent National supporter who has now changed his mind, because of an event which happened to him last election time. He is Russell Malcolm and this is the shortest version of his story.  If this is in any way true, it is scary indeed.  Even in his strong denial of mass surveillance, Mr Key is not giving straight answers and the evidence he gives is a red herring and does not relate to the program being talked about.  The GCSB bill that was pushed through parliament with undue haste gives considerable and potentially unchecked power to that body. (Russel Norman has a better solution making a distinction between internet protection and surveillance. ) 

All I am saying is I have growing concerns about John Key's hunger for power, about his style and the methods he uses. There is a increasing list of evidence suggesting questionable activity. We must be ever vigilant or history can be repeated. 

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