John Ansell’s “Treatygate”
“Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the
notion …, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character
and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors.
Racism … is the caveman’s version of the doctrine of innate ideas....
Racism is a doctrine of, by and for brutes. It is a barnyard or stock-farm
version of collectivism, appropriate to a mentality that differentiates
between various breeds of animals, but not between animals and men.”
- Ayn Rand, “Racism”
“Today, racism is regarded as a crime if practiced by a majority—but as
an inalienable right if practiced by a minority.”
- Ayn Rand, “The Age of Envy”
Don Brash’s former adman, the inventor of the nearly-election-winning Iwi/Kiwi billboards, has launched a new campaign called “Treatygate” to promote a ColourBlind New Zealand and One Law For All. I received an invitation today to join up, and to “Like” the campaign’s Facebook page.
I won’t be doing either.
Not because I disagree with One Law For All and a ColourBlind New Zealand—because institutionalised racism is just as much a crime if practiced by a minority as when practiced by a majority—but because I’m not sure that Ansell does.
His manifesto makes bold claims. Much of it is right on the money. But it is the points that aren’t that are the problem.
He says for example, that it has been reprehensible that prime ministers have invented Treaty Principles out of thin air. That’s very true. But it’s not true to say, for another example, they’ve been “surrendering our beaches” to Maori, when what they’ve been doing is nationalising them.
This is the sort of confusion that I think helps to undermine his case.
If property rights do exist in beaches, bluffs or bays, such as common law rights in water, seabed, beach or foreshore—as they may do—then those rights should be recognised in law, or at least a means in law made available in law, which those of whatever colour claiming rights can have their day in court to argue their claim without the presumption of pre-emption by the state. This is what Ansell and his other collaborators should be arguing for, colour-blind law recognising valid property rights, not the extinguishment of right before it’s even had a chance to be proved.
Ansell’s 15-point manifesto on the con foisted upon us by the elites has much of value, but as a whole it’s a strange assortment of grievances undercut by serious problems, and strangely silent on such obvious rorts as the Maori seats. [Ansell’s points italicised, with my response underneath.]
The elite’s methodology is clear… The Treatygate Con
1. Get state academics to rewrite New Zealand history as a fantasy novel, where the Maoris are the goodies and the British the baddies.
There is much to admire in the British export of property rights and their legal system to the bottom part of the South Pacific (and I express a lot of that admiration here)—and, when compared to Britain’s appalling record of colonisation in other places (Ireland, of course, springs immediately to mind), there is much to admire in the humanitarian way it was at least attempted here. Still, even though there was more good than bad, I’m not sure I can agree any more with the simplistic “British goodies, Maori baddies’ than I can with the sentiment in reverse.
2.Get state schools and universities to indoctrinate New Zealanders with this fake history.
3. Get the bogus historians to slam past historians as unreliable (even those who witnessed the actual events or interviewed those who were there).
This is all too sadly true, no question, and one of the reasons for so much poison being around. But it can’t be fixed just by reversing the mantra.
4. Get the state media to peddle the fake history to stoke Maori grievance and Pakeha guilt.
5. Get iwi to fake claims to right fake wrongs.
6. Set up a state tribunal to hear these fake Maori claims.
7. Pay senior lawyers to represent Maori, and junior lawyers to represent the Crown.
8. Give the tribunal sole power to interpret the Treaty.
9. Let the tribunal approve claims based on pure hearsay.
10. Make all Treaty-related documents as hard to find, and hard to read, as possible.
On an issue of such importance, it’s astonishing to see points like this last—a complaint about minutiae—make the grade. It makes you wonder not only if it’s even true, but how well all this has been thought through.
11. Brand as ‘racist’ anyone who questions any Maori entitlement.
Sadly, he and his financial backer Louis Crimp make it all too easy to ask that question—which to me is the biggest danger of supporting this campaign: that it will brand the campaign leaders, and anyone who might support it, as just anther group of barnyard collectivists; another group of folk who think “our stock” is better than your stock.
Ansell, for example, quit the ACT Party after criticising what he called "white cowards" for not standing up against Maori radicals. And his financial backer Louis Crimp told the Herald back in May he believed he had the support of "white New Zealanders" in observing Maori are "either in jail or on welfare." Said Crimp: "All the white New Zealanders I've spoken to don't like the Maoris, the way they are full of crime and welfare."
This is exactly the kind of barnyard collectivism any genuine campaign like this should have been careful to avoid. But instead it has been embraced.
Basically, to paraphrase Leo Tolstoy, everyone thinks of campaigning for a colour-blind New Zealand, but none of the campaigners consider starting with themselves.
12. If enough people object, threaten a race war.
13. To continue the resource grab indefinitely, entrench a Treaty-based, Bolivian-style constitution where indigenous people are more equal than others.
A valid concern. However, this …
14. Pretend that Maori are indigenous to New Zealand, when they sailed here just before the Europeans, and suppress the mounting evidence that other races got here first.
… is just trash. Ansell has been supping at the table of conspiracy idiots who claim red-headed Celtic explorers settled here thousands of years ago and built large stone structures around the place. This is moronic, and unfortunately tells us who else is already involved with this campaign, and what those signing up to it now will be involved in.
Finally, there’s this…
15. Pretend at all times that Maori remain a separate race, even though they’re all now part-Pakeha.
What the hell!? Arguing about blood lines is precisely the sort of barnyard collectivism this campaign is purportedly trying to overturn—yet here it is permeating the very manifesto.
One Law for All as a banner is a principle properly opposed to racism; it is too important, and too sensitive, to be left to those who promote barnyard collectivism themselves.
To be colour-blind is to be totally colour-blind—not just to complain that the wrong colour glasses are being handed out.
So put me down as a “Dislike.”