Saturday, November 25, 2006

Lies and the lying liars - Don Brash and the Exclusive Brethren

Front of one of the anti-Green Brethren pamphlets. I am a fully paid-up member of the Green Party - and as the Greens both in New Zealand and in Australia were directly targeted by the lies and misinformation in the Exclusive Brethren pamphlets (why do they hate us? I really don't understand why they hate us so much), I'm definitely not a fan of the EBs. I believe that the pamphlets did us considerable harm in the run-up to the last election, and probably cost us votes.

Politically I'm a lefty, and Don Brash is pretty far to the right, so I wouldn't be a fan of his anyway. I believe that appealing to the lowest common denominator by pulling out the race card in the Orewa Speech (aided and abetted by "independent" Dominion Post columnist Michael Bassett) was reprehensible and unforgivable. Stirring up the dark side of (some people's) psyche and playing on their secret fears and deepest prejudices in order to win an election is shameful, underhanded and potentially damaging to our bicultural/multicultural society. It demeans and diminishes us all.

I have less than no respect for a person or political party who believes that it's OK to try and stir up negativity in order to win. How dare they! And how dare they claim that by voting for them, we will end up with a better society! The ends do not justify the means, however it's spun.

I tell the truth and I expect others to do the same, and it saddens (and angers) me more than I can say when people (especially people in positions of power) lie and cheat in order to get what they want. I find it really telling that, both here in NZ and in the US, the latest scandal involving politicians being - shall we say - economical with the truth is greeted largely with a sigh and a "yes well, we all know that politicans lie, don't we? It's par for the course!"

That makes me mad because in my humble opinion it bloody well shouldn't be!

In a democracy, politicians are servants of the people. They are there to represent all of us, to the best of their ability. We can't fit all 4 million of us into The Beehive, so we vote for 120 representatives to make decisions on our behalf. That means they have to vote the way we want them to vote - because that's why we voted for them in the first place.

What they are not allowed to do (in my ideal world) is to say they'll do one thing (so that people will vote for them) and then do something completely different once they are in power. It also means they can't claim to believe this, while at the same time knowing that in actual fact they believe that. In other words (and I'll say this in words of one syllable) it', it' - and it's especially wrong if you are in a position of power or influence.

The full sordid story's been a long time coming, as you'll see by the range of dates on the links at the end of this piece.

Don Brash is a liar. First of all he said he'd never met the Exclusive Brethren. Then he said he'd met them a couple of times, but only in the same way as he would meet any consituents. He said he knew nothing about their million-dollar pamphlet campaign against the Greens and Labour until August. However, the "smoking gun" email featured in Nicky Hager's The Hollow Men shows that the Brethren sent an email asking for a meeting to Brash and Key in May, and Hager claims that Brash forwarded it to his campaign manager Steve Joyce (whom the email shows had already met with the Brethren).

The Exclusive Brethren are liars who have no right to try and influence the outcome of a democratic election in my country by sneaky, secretive, illegal and underhanded means. If they want to be open and honest about it, that's fine. I may not agree with what they have to say, but I respect their right to say it. Something along the lines of "hey, we're the Exclusive Brethren, we're not going to vote, but we want to influence the voting".

How ironic that they take such an interest in national politics when their religion doesn't even allow them to vote! They believe that through the power of their prayers, God will provide the right government for the people! Giving God a helping hand are you, guys? Don't believe "your" God can deliver without a bit of help beyond prayer, eh? Hypocrites. And liars. And sneaks. And a scary dominionist cult that breaks up families. Niiiice!

John Key Tui ad. John Key is a liar. "Oh yes OK so I did receive the email but I didn't open it!" Yeah right. What bullshit. As someone said on Public Address yesterday - I can see the Tui ad already! Does this liar really deserve to lead National? Okay, maybe he does. They're all a bunch of liars anyway...

Any National MP who saw the pamphlets and didn't speak up when Brash was denying he had even met the Brethren is a liar.

Any National MP who knew about the illegalities going on behind the scenes and didn't report it is a liar - and should be held accountable.

The wealthy businesspeople who donated $4 million to the National Party - but did it through secret trusts so that a) they wouldn't be identified and b) National could raise far more money than it was allowed to - are liars and cheats, and so is the National party for colluding with them. Detailed internal notes and correspondence in The Hollow Men directly contradict statements by Dr Brash that he did not have "the faintest idea" who the party's donors were.

My God. We avoided complete disaster by a hair's breadth at the last election. If National had won and "Honest Don" had become Prime Minister, not only would our anti-nuclear stance have been "gone by lunchtime", but we'd probably have been in Iraq by the end of afternoon tea! Did I mention the close relationship he had with Dick Allen and a whole bunch of other American neo-cons? Which of course he denied at the time (and still continues to deny today). Liar.

Bunch of scumbags, the lot of 'em.

I'm so proud to be a greenie. The Greens are Good People. And we don't lie.

Brilliant cartoon by Slane. Click to see larger version. And visit Slane at the New Zealand Cartoon Gallery while you're at it. Genius.

Interesting links

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