26 September 2022

On the Death of a Queen.

The death of Queen Elizabeth II and the accession of King Charles III to the throne of the Realm of New Zealand confirms a number of truths that should already be obvious to us all.

First, the people of New Zealand have no say in who is to be the Head of State for the Realm of New Zealand. They just awake one morning to be informed that a certain King Charles III is now their sovereign.

Second, contrary to frequent claims that the monarchy is "just a figurehead" or "merely symbolic", it is the linchpin of the state. If the monarchy was of no importance, loyalty to the monarch would not be a condition of citizenship and the right to take a seat in the New Zealand Parliament. Britain would not have gone to war against us in 1862 on account of our refusing to swear allegiance to the British monarch if that refusal was deemed insignificant. Finally we would not have been subjected to a ten day long barrage of facile monarchist propaganda through all media channels if links to the British monarchy were not considered vital to the future of the colonial regime in New Zealand.

Third, the royal funeral arrangements once again have given the lie to the notion that the monarchy is "apolitical". The President of Venezuela was denied an invitation (which probably troubled him not at all), while the Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has been waging a brutal genocidal war against the neighboring state of Yemen, and had a Saudi American journalist tortured, killed and dismembered in retaliation for his critical reportage on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, was an honoured guest. The favour extended to Mohammed bin Salman by King Charles and the royal family, and denied to Nicolas Maduro is purely political and has nothing to do with their respective moral standings.

It is also noteworthy that the Queen Consort, Camilla, gave an audience to the wife of President Zelensky of Ukraine during the mourning process. This is a case of the monarchy contriving to make a political statement of support for the war against Russia while ostensibly remaining "apolitical". The monarchist regime may disingenuously point out that the Queen Consort is not the King and that an audience given to the wife of a foreign leader is not tantamount to a statement of support but we can all read between the lines. The message is that King Charles supports NATO's war against Russia just as Queen Elizabeth demonstrated her support for the war against Afghanistan by sending her "grandson" Prince Harry on a military tour of duty in that country.

Fourth, while politicians standing for office seek to curry favor with the public by musing on the "inevitability" that New Zealand will eventually become a republic with its own Head of State, once in power they kick the can down the road by adding the rider "but it won't happen on my watch". Jacinda Ardern expressed republican sympathies early in her political career, but as Prime Minister insisted that the republic question would have to wait until after the death of the then Queen Elizabeth. Now that Elizabeth is indeed dead, Ardern says that it is "too soon to enter that discussion" and that we will have to wait a few years, with Charles III as monarch, before any debate can be initiated. And so it will go on. Jacinda Ardern says that she "will not instigate" any move towards a republic.

Not that we would want her to. A republic established by the king's ministers would carry the taint of double treason. Treason to the foreign monarch to whom they have pledged solemn allegiance, and treason to the people of Aotearoa whom they have for so long deceived and betrayed in the interests of foreign powers.

The mana motuhake of Aotearoa derives from its people and our constitution will develop organically through the institutions which we create for ourselves. The distinction between change imposed by the regime for its own ends and change led by the people themselves is well illustrated by John Key's ill fated attempt to bring in a more "nationalist" successor to the colonialist flag of the Realm of New Zealand. "Experts" were appointed to design a number of options for a new flag, and the public were asked to choose between them. The idea was that ultimately one would be chosen by a majority of voters and that choice would be imposed upon the nation. But that is not how we work as a people. For as long as we have had flags of any kind we have had many different flags. At the present time we have the Tino Rangatiratanga flag, the Whakaminenga flag, and the Hundertwasser flag among others, each of which speaks to a different aspect of our history, heritage and culture. These flags can comfortably fly together and alongside one another. No one seeks to impose one above the other and no one says that you or I must accept one or the other as "the" national flag. It is the same with regard to leaders. Colonialism has processes, whether by inheritance or election, by which it seeks to impose leaders upon us, yet for centuries we have been accustomed to choosing our own leaders by the free and natural process of rangatiratanga and we will not have leaders forced upon us against our will.

Fifth, we should be alert to the danger of a constitutional coup on the back of the regime's idolization of the monarch at a time when politicians have failed to deliver social equity and have become the object of public suspicion, distrust, disapproval and occasional derision. The public recognize that Sam Uffindell and Gaurav Sharma, being motivated by personal ambition and a sense of entitlement, are not untypical of New Zealand politicians. Contrast this with the eulogies to Queen Elizabeth for her "life of service" and anyone who does not look too closely into exactly what is meant by a "life of service" may conclude that we would be better to leave the administration of state to the monarch rather than elected representatives. The claim that Elizabeth II was an "extraordinary", "remarkable" and "amazing" woman who devoted seventy years of her life to "selflessly serving" the "people of Britain" and its colonies has been repeated ad nauseam over the past fortnight, but no one has been able to say in exactly what way she was remarkable, because to do so would fly in the face of the other false narrative which is that the monarch plays no part in the politics of the nation. (Ms Ardern has only been able to specify that the Queen "had a sense of humour" as evidence of her "extraordinary" nature. Perhaps it is Ardern who is having the laugh here, at our expense).

There is another false narrative in the making here, as yet unspoken, but with a tradition that goes back to the foundation of the British monarchy. That is the idea of the noble monarch who is let down by his or her venal courtiers, the politicians being our modern day courtiers The narrative is false for two reasons. First because although the politicians may be conspicuously corrupt, the nobility of the monarch is merely taken for granted. Secondly because monarch and politicians are part of a single system in which each depends on the other. The monarch embodies a principle which goes to the very heart of the colonialist system - if the notion of personal political and moral irresponsibility can fairly be called "a principle". The monarch is not held responsible for anything that takes place under his sovereign authority. This principle extends down the ranks through the Governor General to senior civil servants, the military, and increasingly to government ministers. Ministers do not interfere in "operational matters" and state servants are not held accountable for "political decisions". The culture of irresponsibility, originating in the monarch, infects all levels of society till from Erebus to Pike River no one is held accountable for anything. So far from being the solution to the venal politician problem the monarch sits at the heart of it. Be that as it may, the propaganda barrage may well have had its intended effect which is to soften up a section of the the public for a potential power grab by those closest to the monarchy, that is the military and business leaders all of whom display such "remarkable" and "amazing" qualities as the late Queen and have a similar self-told history of selfless "devotion to the service of the public".

Sixth and last, the onslaught of state sponsored propaganda is a danger to good sense, good government and the well being of the people. Jacinda Ardern does not want to have a "conversation" about the monarchy. She tells us that "the time is not right". But along with the state broadcaster and virtually every private media organisation (one honourable exception being scoop.co.nz) over the past two weeks she has had an awful lot to say about the monarchy, none of which would stand up to critical analysis. As though a Queen herself, Jacinda Ardern will not condescend to engage in political debate but none-the-less will ram through a political agenda which has elements that have already cost lives in this country. If she had told the truth about the Pfizer vaccine - that some people might die from taking it, even while the death of others might be averted - some families would not be grieving for their loved ones today. If she had told the truth about vaccine mandates, and had honoured her pledge not to impose them, our society would not be so bitterly divided as it now is. If she had told the truth about the war in Ukraine, Corporal Dominic Abelen would still be alive. Ardern tells the occasional lie (for example her untrue claim that human excrement was thrown at the Wellington protests subsequently crushed by government forces), but more often she limits herself to telling only half the truth. She may believe that is the best way to manage a nation, but if she does she is wrong. The irony is that if you want to hear intelligent argument in favour of the monarchy, you need to go to a foreign news outlet such as Al Jazeera. The colonial regime in New Zealand has even silenced intelligent pro-monarchy voices, knowing that an intelligent argument will always invite an intelligent response. Then, on completely specious grounds the Speaker in the House of Representatives shut down criticism of the monarchy from Te Pati Maori. False propaganda, no matter how loudly or how often it is repeated, is never sufficient to persuade an entire nation that black is white and white is black. Therefore it becomes necessary to silence the voice of dissent.

Jacinda Ardern may be King Charles' appointed Prime Minister of New Zealand, but Charles will never be recognized as king by tangata motu. Neither are we a people who can be easily confused by the propaganda machine of the state or intimidated by its enforcers. Despite the incessant propaganda, colonialism is on shaky ground in the shaky isles.