Slavery is alive and going on in homes around the world, including in homes in the UK, the US, Australia and New Zealand. Large numbers of domestic workers (AKA, in archaic terms, as “housemaids”), have little power or employment rights, and do most of their work behind the closed doors of people’s homes. Yet mainstream movies and TV programmes, from Downton Abbey to Devious Maids tend to present such jobs as being for caring and protective employers and/or as being powerful and glamorous.
The revelations about NZ’s GCSB mass, ‘full take’, surveillance of communications in Pacific countries have resulted in far less criticism of the government than Key’s decision to send troops to Iraq. This is in spite of the muddled, inadequate, contradictory responses by John Key. And it is in spite of some mainstream and alternative media journalists/columnists criticisms of Key’s responses (see for instance, Andrea Vance, Gordon Campbell, David Fisher, Toby Manhire), and the fact that:
most of the targets are not security threats to New Zealand, as has been suggested by the Government.
Images of the likes of ‘Jihadi John’, ready made arch villain, for cowboys versus Indians style narratives, are likely to have a strong influence on many people’s political views – maybe more so than reasoned, evidence-based criticism.
Larger than life images of fictional (and fictionalised real) ‘heroes’ and ‘villains’ provides the most direct means for large numbers to engage with political, social and economic issues. In the mainstream, images and related narratives of the likes of ‘Jihadi John’ may have more meaning for many Kiwis than references to faceless GCSB workers, or critics of mass surveillance.
The peace vigil at Aotea Square last evening, was peaceful. Many have explained why John Key’s decision to send (non combat?) troops to Iraq was a poor decision, and undemocratic. Russel Norman had said:
… the West waging wars in the Middle East created the conditions that gave rise to Islamic State in the first place.
“We’re basically putting people in harm’s way; some of our troops will be putting their lives in danger and for what?
“For adding to the problem of Western intervention in the Middle East, which in the past has solved nothing and in fact has made it worse,” Dr Norman said.
A group of people had come to the vigil well prepared with their banners and placards – showing a bit of Kiwi DIY ingenuity. The images below are from the peace vigil.
There are many good reasons for not sending NZ troops to support the US campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq. Thursday 5 March, there will be vigils to express opposition to the deployment:
Peace vigils calling for increased humanitarian assistance and diplomatic support for Middle East peace processes, and opposing the military deployment to Iraq, will be held around the country at 5pm on Thursday, 5 March, coordinated by Peace Movement Aotearoa. Details for each vigil are included below and available online at https://www.facebook.com/events/757364991025571 and http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/iraq2015.htm – please share the links, thank you. The details of vigils in other towns and cities will be added to those pages as soon as they are confirmed.
State of Affairs (SoA) draws fairly innovatively on recent portrayals of female characters with, or connected to, political power. It slightly redefines women’s roles, but this is contained within the wider, masculine political and social institutions. – and corporate-dominated capitalist system.
This week David Parker cited John Key’s similarity to Clarke and Dawe. How similar are they? The slipperiness seems hilarious, until you look at the actual consequences: the erosion of democracy and the undermining of NZ’s independence (or what’s left of it) internationally. Today Toby Manhire exposes some of the contradictions.
John Key’s leadership is one of diverting from, burying, and avoiding any honest accountability.
David Parker does John Key as Clarke and Dawe – a true story. John Key in a press stand up, being question on his private dinner with Donghua Liu. [h/t The Standard]