Empress Dame Claudia Orange,
Te Papaganda’s Chief History-Maker
and Censor of Inconvenient Truths.
Thursday night’s Maorification fest at Te Papaganda was billed as a Treaty ‘Debate’.
Its topic was ‘Finding a Place for the Treaty’.
The equivalent moots in other thought-controlled jurisdictions might have been:
- In Fiji: ‘Finding a Place for the Military’.
- In the Third Reich: ‘Finding a Place for Blonde Hair’.
- In Zimbabwe: ‘Finding Farms for Freedom Fighters’.
There, like here, the dictator dictates the outcome, the debaters debate the detail.
The dictator of Te Papaganda is Empress Dame Claudia Orange.
(In calling it ‘Our Place’, she exhibits the same dry wit as the founders of the ‘Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.’)
Te Papaganda’s whimsical website assures me that ‘My Voice Counts’. It omits the crucial rider: ‘As long as it can’t be heard.’
And boy, did the Claudiophiles work overtime to try to make sure it couldn’t be. (Without success, as you will read.)
The following is my comprehensive account of a most instructive evening.
Te Papa AKA Chernobyl on Cable — the capital’s politically
correct, architecturally bereft state indoctrination facility
seemingly modelled on a nuclear power plant.
I arrived 45 minutes early to find that the Smarmy Army were already well dug in.
All the seats in the waiting area outside Soundings Theatre were full of indoctrinated undergraduates and assorted other grievers and appeasers.
As predicted, they had arrived early and in numbers to defend the Treatifarian position.
I unwrapped a wastepaper basket symbolising my ‘Place for the Treaty’, and containing 200 copies of the following helpful audience guide…
Our views are not welcome at ‘Our Place’.
I’d hardly had time to reach into my wicker Treaty receptacle when the Te Papaganda Cultural Safety Police pounced.
A black-shirted agent of the state strode up to me looking cross.
“Sorry, but you can’t hand out leaflets in here.”
“That’s the rule. No handing out leaflets.”
“So what are those thin white papery things on the table outside the theatre?” I asked.
I pointed towards the stacks of Treatifarian mumbo-jumbo waiting to be handed out to arriving audience members.
“Ah,” he spluttered.
“Er,” he choked.
“So no one’s allowed to hand out leaflets — except some people?”
“You could say that.”
“Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Te Papa supposed to be ‘Our Place’? Our National Museum?”
“Funded by the nation’s taxpayers?”
“In a democratic nation?”
“In which we decide things by majority vote?”
“So how is it that only the minority is allowed to hand out leaflets, and the majority cannot?”
“Leaflets which ironically advertise a debate?”
“Which is a contest of ideas between two sides?”
“A debate in which your side’s leaflets keep telling me that ‘My Voice Counts’?”
“Sorry, but if you want to hand out leaflets, you’ll have to do it outside.”
“So my voice only counts where Dame Claudia doesn’t have to listen to it? What do you call that?”
“I call it the rules, sir.”
And so I left the building, and started handing out the leaflets outside the door.
My Place for the Treaty.
“Find a Place for the Treaty!” I hollered, waving my waste-Treaty basket. “Read all the arguments you won’t hear inside!”
And then, what do you know? — the cultural safety nazi came strutting up to me again.
“You can’t hand them out here either.”
“Because you’re still on Te Papa property.”
“I see. And where does Te Papa property end and the Free World begin?”
He wasn’t exactly sure, but thought it was about five metres into the concourse.
Dame Claudia’s Cultural Safety Police
told me I was not allowed to hand out leaflets
within five metres of the building.
And so, from behind an imaginary Orange line, I resumed dispensing my leaflets.
Most people accepted them too. Including one of that evening’s ‘debaters’, Moana Jackson, and Constitutional Advisory Panel co-chair Dr John Burrowes.
Sir Tipene O’Regan did not.
Sir Geoffrey Palmer did not.
“But you’re in it, Sir Geoffrey!” I called after him hopefully. But to no avail.
Racist Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres was more accepting. He actually asked me for one afterwards.
Perhaps I will soon be featuring in one of his reports. Favourably, I trust. 🙂
Several times — not necessarily by accident — I intruded into the Exclusion Zone, and was revisited by my increasingly exasperated black-shirted nemesis.
I was joined in due course by Digby Paape. Digby for a time actually managed to penetrate the interior of the Bastion of Bias, handing out many leaflets before also being frogmarched from the building.
In the end, the blackshirt confessed that he agreed with us. To spare him certain summary dismissal, I won’t identify him further.
He allowed us into the ‘Debate’, but only after we’d surrendered our remaining pamphlets at the coat check.
Now to the ‘Debate’ itself, which could be summarised thus:
By a remarkable coincidence, all the ‘debaters’ managed
to find a place for the Treaty. From left: Moana Jackson,
Carwyn Jones, Dame Claudia Orange, Dr Matthew Palmer.
Yes, it was every bit as one-sided as I predicted in the previous post.
The positions of the two main ‘debaters’ boiled down to…
Dr Matthew Palmer:
- Treat the Treaty as a safety valve, so Maori don’t start a war. (Or in other words, keep appeasing the bullies.)
- Put the Treaty into law.
- Abolish the Waitangi Tribunal.
- Let judges decide Treaty claims.
He actually said the words, “The Pakeha majority have nothing to fear”.
Because judges can be trusted to be fair.
That would be judges like ‘Chief Injustice’ Dame Sian Elias, who helped overturn over a century of settled law to allow Ngati Apa to claim against the Crown.
The same Dame Sian who is on record as saying that she considers it her right to strike down any law she does not agree with.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather pin my hopes on Parliament any day.
Dame Sian Elias. Matthew Palmer
thinks we should trust judges like her.
From the midst of a remorseless stream of pseudo-religio-academo-bureaucro-babble, I was able to discern three coherent statements:
- Maori had developed a clear system of law before the British arrived.
(Correct. It was so clear it could be boiled down to three words: might is right.)
- Maori did not give up sovereignty.
(Rubbish. Transcripts of the chiefs’ speeches at Waitangi show that they knew perfectly well they were handing power to the Governor, in exchange for the protection of the world’s largest empire.)
- Jackson wants a written constitution like Bolivia’s, which is based on Pachamama, the equivalent of Papatuanuku.
(He forgot to mention the other attraction of the Bolivian constitution: that all people are equal, but indigenous people are more equal than others.)
Indigenous President Evo Morales and his pro-indigenous
Bolivian Constitution. (In Bolivia, 85% are indigenous. In New
Zealand, 15% claim to be, while simultaneously claiming to
have sailed here from the other side of the Pacific.)
I had predicted that this would be a very ‘agreeable’ ‘debate’ — as in one in which the ‘debaters’ were ‘able’ to ‘agree’ on pretty much everything.
Matthew Palmer said as much to Moana Jackson when he detected “an intimate distance between our perspectives”.
(I think that’s universityspeak for “This was no debate at all”.)
And of course it was never going to be.
Question time – sort of
But in a radical departure from previous Treaty ‘Debates’, Dame Claudia flagged at the start that she was going to allow questions from the floor.
When the time came, rather than wait to be presented with a microphone, Digby Paape announced that he was ready and raring to go with a question, and was happy to do it without a mic.
Faced with this fait accompli, Empress Claudia had little option but to let him fire away.
Digby began with a personal observation not strictly within the definition of a question.
“Most of that was drivel”
“I thought most of that was drivel,” said Digby.
“Hear, hear!” said I, spluttering.
He was asked if he had a question. His question to Moana Jackson was: “What is a Maori, and do you want an apartheid state?”
Howls of derision rained down upon Paape’s pate, as Jackson (clearly a long way from being entirely Maori himself) cleverly managed to make it sound desperately unfair to judge one’s Maoriness (for compensation purposes) by the degree to which one is actually Maori.
“How convenient!” I chimed in.
The invisible hand
I kept my hand in the air for the duration of question time, as the microphone was directed by Her Majesty from one Claudiophile to another.
Like Appeaser-General Finlayson at a recent Orewa School meeting, when I had kept my arm up for minutes on end, the Great Dame did not seem to find my raised limb at all easy to detect.
(Note to self: next week, wear fluorescent sleeves.)
Feeling ignored and unloved, I had no option but to take matters into my own hands — or rather larynx — with the following spontaneous enquiries:
- “When are you going to run a two-sided debate!?”
- “Why won’t you listen to 80% of the people!?”
and that most abhorrent of questions (judging by the crescendo of howls from the Treatifarians):
- “What about racial equality!?”
(Boy, did that concept set them off.)
Support from the team
John Robinson made the mistake of generously giving Dame Claudia a copy of his book, When Two Cultures Meet — The New Zealand Experience.
From then on he was a marked man, and his attempts to ask official questions proved as fruitless as mine.
But two other gentlemen of our acquaintance did manage to get their hands on the holy roving mic, doubtless because Dame Claudia had not yet learned to associate their faces with trouble.
- “I’m a fifth generation New Zealander. How many generations will we have to live here before we are recognised as equal?” (Or words to that effect. Feel free to amend Owen.)
- “Mr Jackson, how do you propose a race-based sovereignty will work in a multicultural society?”
These questions produced the usual meaningless, meandering responses designed to put the audience off the scent.
In my case, they worked. I can’t remember what they said, except that it was crap.
Opposing views censored
If you heard the broadcast of the ‘Debate’ on National Radio today, you would not have heard any of our comments. Predictably, they edited out question time to present an image of unanimity.
I went into the ‘Debate’ thinking that Dame Claudia was a nice enough person, albeit a chronic exaggerator/minimiser. I left realising that she is also a smarmy and devious manipulator.
A bully, really.
Soundings Theatre, venue for the Te Papa Treaty ‘Debates’.
As we staggered out, punchdrunk by the disgraceful sham we had witnessed, I spotted Professor John Burrowes milling around in the foyer.
So I took the opportunity to ask him whether his Constitutional Advisory Panel would actually be holding any public meetings before reporting back on the will of the public.
He replied, “Almost certainly.”
A panel which has said it wants to gauge the views of as many members of the public as possible, is almost certainly going to allow the public to meet it?
I’ve heard good things about Professor Burrowes. He was, by all accounts, a brilliant lecturer. He seems very decent and friendly.
Perhaps ironically, he and Don Brash were close childhood friends.
So I’d really like to remove his eye patch, I really would.
But I’m reminded that I put it on him after reading so many fishy things about the Panel, and after the Panel’s secretariat said he’d try to get back to me when I called him mid-last year.
I’m still waiting.
And now he is almost certainly going to subject his Panel to the scrutiny of the public.
I think we’re going to have to organised one of those public meetings, don’t you?
Constitutional Review ‘Debate’
this Thursday 31 January
Meanwhile, we have another Te Papa Treaty ‘Debate’ this coming Thursday — about the Constitutional Review.
I urge you Wellingtons to be there, and again make your voices count.