34 Comments Posted

  1. Ummm…. The Easter Island people didn’t die out actually. Their numbers probably fell untill they got things back into balance again, then capitalism came along, the Peruvians enslaved a lot of them, their land was taken for sheep farming, diseases hit and their population crashed from about 3000 to about 120 (from memory – the figures are in Metraux’s book if you want to look them up).

  2. no liberty scott, Russel did NOT link Easter Island and the WTO. Can you actually read? Having moved on from the Easter Island story he then uses the WTO as an example of how “there is barely a whisker between National and Labour” on the biggest issues of the day.

  3. Pillocks. The Easter Island folks died out because they had an unsustainable lifestyle, and were apparently unable to co-operate in order to limit their resource exploitation. The idea that privatization might have saved them is an interesting little mind game, but I’d be surprised if you knew enough about Pacific anthropology to discuss it meaningfully (in fact, a wide variety of modes of ownership and defense/management of natural resources existed within the Polynesian cultural sphere).

    On the other hand, the artificial imposition of property rights where none existed previously, is a prime mechanism for enabling the rape of the environment in the “developing” world. In Brazil or Indonesia, people who have been living in low density and low impact in a forest habitat are being expropriated (because they had no title that ScottFree would recognise, to the biotope they inhabited) in favour of people or entities, which have obtained title (by fair means or foul, but that’s always the way with private property) and then proceed to mine their property for wood and other raw materials.

    This is the true triumph of property rights in the modern world.

  4. Stuey, they can cover multiple topics, but he DID link:
    – The dying out of traditional Easter Island culture (which has virtually nothing to do with modern western civilisation);
    – WTO commitments on audio visual services and
    – Countries with poor labour/environmental conditions in producing goods.

    The people of Easter Island died out because it was a traditional society that had no concepts of property rights, so they pillaged all the natural resources because nobody owned any, so nobody had much incentive to ration or sustainably manage them. Property rights would solve this, but the Greens are not very keen on this.

  5. where is frog? its been four days… does nobody else care about the terrible sea lion situation?!?!?!?

    it really bothers me that many Greens supporters are only concerned with the issues that affect them directly… ie. climate change, social justice etc etc. where are those of you who care about conservation for its own inherent sake?

    come out come out wherever you are?!

  6. so liberty scott, are you arguing that Green co-leader speeches are not allowed to cover more than one topic? Or that if they do, then there must be a direct link between the topics?

    Gee that would make for some boring speeches.

    I wonder if right-wing politicians stick to this rule? I expect I could find a Rodney Hide speech where he covers two unrelated topics.

    SO WHAT?!!!

    As for your Easter Island/property rights argument, I’m afraid you have completely lost me. Perhaps you can explain why you think Russel’s speech was some ill-thought-out faux pa because your “point” is not clear at all.

  7. You can be sure the green’s will continue to promote the dual concepts of sustainability and social justice, and the new co-leader Russel Norman has indicated it seems, that is what you can expect from him also.
    The structure of media networks, at the moment, will always give a different platform to a particular point of view, so don’t confuse the setting for the foreground.
    On that note, a couple of informative and interesting co-leader speech’s from the agm on the sight to DL, worth a listen , complemented each other quite well, so too will the co-leaders it would indicate, and given what Jeanette does, that is surely a good sign.

    Here’s a taste of the reality pummeled into your consciousness ad nausem if you digest the “nanny state” for corporate freedom rationale dressed up as individual liberty:

    “The reality, of course, is the reverse. The rich have captured most of the gains of the last decades. From 1979 to 2003, the Congressional Budget Office shows that the income — after taxes — of the richest 1 percent of Americans more than doubled, to more than $700,000 per year. The income for middle Americans rose only by about $6,000, to $44,800 per year. The income for the poorest 20 percent rose all of $600 over 24 years…………

    We’re making profound choices in the dark, distracted by our fears and forgetful of our values. We will pay a heavy price for this. ”


  8. It’s also nice to see the greens re-assessing the relationship with labour. Right now they are acting like Diet National. I am thoroughly sick of their half-arsed half-baked half-measures when it comes to sustainability. The time for half measures was over twenty years ago. They seem to think that looming environmental catastrophes are like visitors who will politely wait to be called into the office, and will meanwhile be quite happy to sit in the waiting room next to the potted plants and the water cooler. Idiots. The planet is not going to wait around while Labour “builds consensus”. For them sustainability seems to be just the latest buzz word. News Flash to labour: it’s not a buzz word, it’s The Way Things Have To Be Or We’re All Fucked.

  9. Hi Greens

    To begin, as a Christchurch voter in Rods old electorate, what an incredibly sad loss. As a centrist voter the Greens have had my party vote for the past two elections years. My vote commonly goes left, but there is little difference to the right really, and my party vote goes Green as a conscience type vote. Ideally, I’d like to vote Green/Green but I see that being somewhat wasted for a variety of reasons.

    So it’s being interesting to see the leader vote. I saw Russel on John Campbell several nights ago, and he was alright. Not great, but alright. To be honest he didn’t inspire me, but he has huge shoes to fill. Will I vote Green next time? Yes, but I can see others struggling. Middle class, 2 kids, a house, 2 cars, a business, and a social conscience. I am looking for credibility. So even I will struggle somewhat with the new leadership line-up. Jeanette, well, she’s nice but whines to much. Rod simply got on with the job. Russell seems a little, well, green around the gills really. Nandor – well, no chance really. I admire his principles and I thought he ran a great campaign. If he ditched the Rastafarian and drug thing then he’d be the man. So I admire him for his principles, but let’s be real – if you are trying to appeal to mainstream NZ – then he’s not your man.

    It’s sad the Greens haven’t done better and despite the team approach it really comes down to leaders. With Rod gone I really hope Russel can swing mainstream NZ. If he can’t then let’s start crawling into our caves because when the earth starts rebelling to our consumerist excesses, that’s probably going to be the best place.

  10. So the fact that the people of Rapa Nui died out because they had no concept of property rights and just pillaged “public resources” till the tragedy of the commons became a reality simply hasn’t occurred to Russel, or the Green Party – and that has anything whatsoever to do with the WTO ensuring that broadcasters can broadcast what listeners’ and viewers want to see?

  11. Hi Frey,
    as I said to a few people in the weekend, I’m still in the “greenwing”, and participating in process related to party members being enfranchised to have their voices heard at the National AGM; this despite having a strong leaning towards eco-feminism & anarcha-feminism. The green pool is wide and deep, there’s room for all to dive in!

    Respect to Russ, and all of the candidates, as it has been a real pressure-cooker.
    Huge shout-outs to the staffers who have done amazing feats of organisation to bring us all to this moment of celebrating our new Co-Leader.

    Arohanui ki a koutou katoa.

  12. yeah but the Green MPs do a hell of a lot between the elections and get all sorts of progressive legislation introduced, scraps here and there admittedly.

    On the subject of money, the funding that we get from Parliamentary services must only be used for Parliamentary purposes, and can’t go to the Party. However a large part of the budget of the party is provided by the generous tithes supplied from the MPs salaries.

    I would agree that the Party doesn’t do much between elections (at least in some places, some branches do a hell of a lot locally) but there is not a lot of money to be able to do anything.

    Finally it’s a good thing to make approaches to business – they are in the position to change things and we can help educate them, and try not to scare them so that they listen to our ideas rather than dismiss them.

  13. the ‘we’re-neither-left-nor-right’ elements reported in jeanette’s speech the other day made me very, very happy though. i consider myself a bright green, but i find myself very left on some things (i believe in the welfare state) and very right on other things (i believe in small government).

  14. hmmm.

    asher (hello), i agree with you about capitalism, but i disagree about methods. by saying to business, ‘look we’re not scary’, perhaps the greens are enabling a kind of active subversion? if we assume that capitalism isn’t going to go away overnight, surely it is better to greenofy capitalism as much as possible, until such time as it does go away? (leaving aside the fact that we haven’t bothered to define capitalism yet… aah philosophy)

    a good way to do this in my mind, and where i operate my anarchism, is through subversive engagement, embracing the existing paradigm with my words while subverting it with my actions. if the greens say to business, ‘we’re not scary’, and then start up a dialogue with business, and in so doing subvert business to green ends, then is this not possibly a good thing?

    i think bright green is important. like WorldChanging.

  15. Asher – I think that the problem is that the Greens ARE a political party, and as a political party we are focused on the political aspects of this struggle. IF WE QUIT BEING A POLITICAL PARTY THEN NOBODY IS REPRESENTING THE PLANET IN PARLIAMENT!

    So if you (or Don Franks) think that we should take on Capitalism instead of pollution you are mistaking our purpose and robbing us of our strength. SURE we reckon that Capitalism has problems, and causes some vile problems for us, but it is also a successful method of allocating resources (provided those resources DO have prices).

    We have a hard enough time persuading people that ecology is important. Espousing a different economic and political system, especially one that is widely perceived to have failed, would destroy any political credibility we’ve built up.

    “In failing to adequately address capitalism, the Greens only ensure that environmental destruction, which is essential for capitalism to survive in this society, continues unabated.”

    There is an assumption here, which is that capitalism HAS to be destructive to survive. I do not believe this to be true. Capitalism WILL destroy whatever it can, anything perceived to be free, and whatever isn’t nailed down… and anything a Capitalist can pry loose isn’t nailed down. It has to be controlled and regulated to serve us, or we become its servants… but it is not IMAO the inherent enemy of all things environmental if it is controlled.

    Capitalism vs Socialism isn’t a “Green” issue. You may want us to do this sort of thing, but it would be a mistake for us to go down this path… no matter WHAT our political opinions on the topic. Green has to be Green, not Red, not Blue, not Pink… and it needs to have a political voice.

    If Greens want to support socialism that’s fine, I just don’t think that it should ever be party policy to do so.


    If you want to change the government over to Marxism/Socialism I am sure you will find lots of supporters of that change here, but that ISN’T the principle reason we have a party.

  16. … Why doesn’t the Don front up here with his ideas ?

    It looks like he prefers ranting in an empty room.

  17. Don Franks, a Wellington based Marxist, wrote the following on Indymedia today which sums it all up pretty well. The post was in reply to Jeanette’s speech.

    “the elephant is capitalism. Green leaders don’t ignore it, they encourage it. Rod Donald’s last political act was to call a meeting of business tycoons to reassure them that the Greens wouldn’t hurt them. I am concerned about sustainability too, but the main enemy of sustainability is the global vandalism of capitalism. Instead of fronting up to that, the thrust of Green policy is harping on at powerless atomized individuals to consume less. The effect of this is to delay realisation that sustainability and equality demand the removal of capitalism by the deliberate act of the mass of the people. That’s why I see the the Greens as mostly reactionary.Even in areas where they have done some good work, like the antiwar movement they send mixed messages by supporting imperialist troops as ‘peace keepers’.I would much prefer it if there was a nice steady peaceful gradual Green road to social progress but that’s not the way it works. Poverty and pollution and inequality are becoming worse not better.Recognising that is not self congratulatory abuse, but registering reality.”

  18. stuey – In a sentance (seeing as it’s after 4am and I need sleep), there are two major failings.

    1: The Greens are a political party. Like all political parties, the Greens say “vote for us, we’ll make it right”. Sure, they might not discourage grassroots involvement like other parties, but the Greens are primarily a parliamentary organisation (look at which Greens are known – the MPs. Look at where most of the money is spent – the MPs budgets). Any organisation where people are encouraged to leave it to others to “fix everything”, any organisation which encourages passivity (as ALL political parties must) will never be able to solve the worlds issues, whether environmental or social. In aiming, primarily, to get votes once every three years, the Greens condemn themselves to participation in a system which, rather than changing because of them, simply uses them as a safety valve for capitalism – whenever people realise how much they are getting screwed over, a small concession is granted to the Greens (and their social equivalent in this context, the CTU). In this function, the Greens, while appearing to get small results in a short term viewing, only serve to further delay any real change.

    2: In failing to adequately address capitalism, the Greens only ensure that environmental destruction, which is essential for capitalism to survive in this society, continues unabated.

    Gonna stop there, need sleep. Might have another chance to write tomorrow night, if you want me to expand on anything.

  19. This says it all really. From the Sustainable Development part of Ecologic’s website:

    ” Our partners

    Twelve business, government and non-government organisations have agreed to partner with us in this research. They will give us feedback on our methodology and preliminary results and, most importantly, help to disseminate our findings and promote institutional change in New Zealand to advance sustainable development.

    Our partners are:

    * NZ Business Council for Sustainable Development
    * Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
    * Ministry of Economic Development
    * Ministry of Fisheries
    * Solid Energy New Zealand
    * Holcim New Zealand Ltd (formerly Milburn Cement)
    * Te Ohu Kai Moana (Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission)
    * Seafood Industry Council
    * Wellington City Council
    * Fish & Game New Zealand
    * FertResearch
    * Ministry of Transport”

  20. s36e175 – Couple of comments:

    1: To comment on your blog, you need to be registered, but you have disabled registration (which is why I’m posting here). Are you sure you meant to do that?

    2: If you can’t see the difference between Green Party environmental policy and Labour environmental policy, you need to look again. It isn’t hard – the Greens’ environmental policy is quite bad, while the Labour party’s one is completely awful.

    3: Your linking to Guy Salmon’s Ecologic (aka Maruia Society) is disturbing – you should really read up on what he does. I suggest you start with the Timberlands West Coast logging campaign and Native Forest Action and how he acted there.

    4: Good luck with the blog! 🙂

  21. news stories

    Russel Norman named Greens co-leader

    Greens name non-MP as leader

    Green Party to elect new male co-leader at conference

    Tanczos facing tight leadership battle

    Tanczos sees Green pact with National

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