Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Nuclear Ship Policy

The ACT party think that we ought to "debate" the nuclear ship policy. That is, they want the US Nuclear ships to come back to New Zealand, they want to turn the clock back so we can all belong to that cosy post-second world war ANZUS treaty again. Heather Roy, published this point of view in her weekly diary, it's now published as an ACT Press Release on Scoop.

Anyway, I disagree with ACT. Fuck America! Do we really want to be part of all that nonsense in the middle east. I wrote back to Heather Roy. Here's my email to her.

Dear Heather,

What are we to debate? Everyone agrees. Why would national or labour want to debate something that by far and away the majority of kiwis agree upon. Nobody (but ACT it seems) are interested in debating it, it's a dead horse. You want a referendum, get your petition boards out and get people signing for the referendum, I reckon you'd be lucky to get a few thousand signatures. No one is interested. We simply don't want American Warships here - and we all know deep down that's the issue.

The issue is not about whether or not nuclear radition is a problem with nuclear powered vessels, or even vessels carrying nuclear weapons - that's laughable. We've all moved on. The issue is an ideological one. Most New Zealanders are very very happy that we are not involved in Bush's debacle in the middle east. And, to be honest most New Zealanders I'm pretty sure are equally not interested in having the American war machine here.

America is our ally?, ok, that's fine, why should it be on their terms - why because we want a trade deal - (consider seriously the morality of that) What is America going to protect us from - terrorism, weapons of mass destruction? Look at the surge of nationalism in Australia - you want that here too? Or do you think we are more intelligent than Aussies, that it wouldn't happen in NZ. Any politician that wants to argue today that we should be in Iraq with Australia and the US is a dreamer - the war is a sham, it's not a war on terrorism, there was no terrorism in Iraq before America marched in, thus by implication any involvement with the US military machine is geo-politically is risky to say the least. What is ACT frightened of invasion by Indonesia? And do we seriously think America would come running to save us if that did happen?

The nuclear ship policy is just a face saving front. It means we can have this policy without having to tell America to f-off. It's called diplomacy - we are having our cake and eating it too - ACT seems to want to toss away that diplomatic balancing act. Clarke and Brash can hide behind their constituents by saying, "it's what the people want" - and it is what we want. We don't want to be part of the US's resource wars, wars for oil and "the american way of life that is not negotiable". I am happy to be a "very, very, very good friend" of the US as long as that means I don't have to participate in their illegal, un(UN)sanctioned, unilateral foriegn policy decisions.

We are living in a different time Heather, the rules have changed. Nation-state is a myth - the "threat" comes from within. With our "nation-state" allies who are we to combat today? The world today faces threats that are bourne out of wide reaching ideology not nationalistic fervour across the border, or English Channel. Furthermore, ok, the nuclear threat is much diminished as you say, but you don't make the point that no state is capable of defending it's own citizens. Having good allies didn't (and could never) prevent the Bali bombing, the London tube station bombing, 9/11, the Spanish train bombs, in fact you could argue it excacerbated the problem. These are not traditional conflicts between nations. The notion of nation allyhood is a historical curiosity.

Anyway, I don't want to be an ally of a nation that acts unilaterally, that holds other nations to standards it can't or won't hold itself, that refuses to cooperate on global initiatives, and that refrains from paying it's UN dues. fuck them Heather - they (the US) are a sick joke. We don't need them. And most New Zealanders while they are happy to listen to hip hop and eat McDonalds don't want a part of anything American. I can't remember who said it "America: the only nation in the world that went from barbarism to decadence, without civilisation in the middle."

Steve McKinlay

Thursday, February 09, 2006

As good as it will ever get.

It always amazes and irritates me to listen to people who talk about the "future". This is the future, this is it now, this is as good as it gets. The real future, the actual future will be a regression. We'll never fly around in personal George Jetson jets. In the future there won't be economic growth. Things are not going to get better. There won't be the internet for everyone in the third world. Living standards are not going to improve, except perhaps on a minor regional or individual basis. World poverty will get worse, a whole lot worse, not better. We won't be living into our hundreds in 20 years time, we'll all be dying a lot younger. We won't be feeding the world, the world, in the future will be starving and cold.

The past, our mistake and we've left the future too late.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Addicted to the stuff?

I've just returned to work from a wonderful extended holiday, the weather has been brilliant - a long hot summer not unlike the ones I remember as a kid. Apart from busting my Acromo-Clavicular ligament (yes, the downside of the Vespa - it's a long boring story...) things have been great. Other than fat interest rates on the credit card, a nasty Christmas hangover for many happy shoppers our disposable lifestyle continues seemingly unabated. No real sign of the promised collapse of modern civilisation yet.

While we are all waiting...

The most interesting media statement in recent weeks has to be George Bush's statement in his "state of the union speech" - America is addicted to oil. The LA Times gets in on the act too, A Nation Addicted to Oil and Debt.

So, the cat, perhaps not quite out of the bag yet, it's certainly making a fair bloody racket. The ability to finance massive debt at a national level requires the continuation of supposedly endless economic growth or for the average mum and dad baby boomers, about to retire, more capital gain on their already leveraged to the hilt, residential property.

And as overall global oil production peaks over the next year or two this problem is going to become one big ugly festering fiscal sore as the debt/housing bubble pops like a bunker buster. Someday, pretty soon, the nightmare picture will begin to emerge. Petrol at $2 a litre. Massive redundancies occuring everywhere, the Reserve Bank Governer and Dr Cullen will admit we are entering a recessionary period. The party is drawing to a close.

The last place I'd want to be when this happens is "Riverstone Terraces" where you have to jump in your vehicle just to go get a bottle of milk, or somewhere up the Kapiti Coast, wishing I could ride my push bike to work.

In the meanwhile, enjoy the remaining days of summer.