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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Say the party party be cray cray

Kim Dotcom's money is sending our politicians fertive and frantic.  Kim will not hesitate to spend whatever it takes to remain in NZ and cut any deal - that's his predicament, his situation.  His rendition to America at Hollywood's behest for copyright infringement is a matter of time under a National government.  John Banks is in court soon, Kim has his case and counter-case after that, the Budget is on May 15, the Nats are selling off the last state power company so they can claim a surplus, the election is September 20... it's almost April... the tension is gathering.  

The Nats have no vision to offer except balancing the books and changing the flag - but at the cost of half the power companies sold off, crony pork for Africa (including Collins' milk to China and Carter's water to Canterbury) and more debt: on the Crown companies, on the Treasury, and private debts from unsustainable land speculation that is financed overseas mounts while interest rate rises have already begun.  Foreigners are still free to buy up whatever they want on a tax-free basis under National.  Yet for all of this most un-national behaviour there is no resulting crisis.  The government, like any other in an election year, is going to bluff and bluster and borrow and bribe to stave off any crisis.  The Christchurch insurance cheque should come in.  

Without a strong opposition figure to take it to Key he can continue to project a viable middle class bubble inside which much of the electorate prefers to see itself.  It is a false reality - or as Key terms it - aspirational.  That bubble needs lancing, but a whole group of little pricks hopping around on the hustings can't puncture Key's fairyland and pop the prevailing neo-liberal narrative without a strong Labour leader.  The second most important factor - as in all elections this century and some before - is Winston Peters.  The third factor in this election is a very wealthy, sort of dodgy, musically bereft,
 gigantic German übergeek who lives like a Bavarian prince in a mansion complex in Coatsville and is an international fugitive who was raided in conjunction with the FBI... Ja, you couldn't make this shit up, it's mad.

The cynical and mercenary German who defies American corporate world domination has met the cynical and mercenary John Key - who is part of it.  They deserve each other - Kim and Key - in many respects, living as capitalist peas together in a South Pacific pod.  Kim the libertarian radical side of the capitalist-materialist coin to Key's authoritarian conservative face.  Ideally they will all compromise to let Kim spend a couple of years in home detention at Key's Hawaiian mansion and call it even; but the NZ government reserves that sort of sovereign leniency only to French state terrorists.

Key's government colluded with the US authorities to keep Kim here in the first place it seems so as to extradite him on friendly turf in what they assumed would be a pro forma step to inevitable conviction in an American court.  Things aren't going according to plan.  The Nats haven't had to work hard to paint the oversized, black-wearing German as public enemy No.1 in a country where every village has a public monument listing the names of local men who died at the hands of Germans in Two World Wars - but when the right wing blogs go ballistic on a Nazi smear as they have this week it makes me think their plan is under threat and that Kim is cause for them to fear.  Snowden's revelations and a possible Dotcom bombshell contradicting Key's story all hover over the stage, meanwhile the Internet Party is already performing.

1000+ sign-ups from the app in 48 hours.  Super hot.  But the IP sits on a busted flush at this table and the other players know it.  They won't get to the brutal 5% threshold of the MMP system unless they have a slate of superstars people can vote for - and everyone is backing away, sensing danger and that the money won't help with their self-preservation in the aftermath of a potential electoral loss.  Lots of lucre, little confidence.  So the Mega boys think they can do a backdoor listing into the NZ parliament as easy as they can do a backdoor listing into the NZX to be players in this game?  Teaming up with an electorate MP and riding in on their coattails is easier said than done.

Hone isn't ruling anything out with the Internet Party as long as they will kick National to the curb. There will be more demands on policy and campaigning, but IP are making conciliatory alignments to keep the deal on. I hear Minto will be interviewed with Kumar on The Nation, TV3. Interesting.

There must be compelling and compatible policy and strategy for any shared platform. A real anti-establishment mob under one banner might also include the Libz and the ALCP. The commonalities being independence, freedom, justice, privacy. Altogether, knowing that every vote counts, and with youth engagement at maximum, it may even be possible to crack the 5%, which none of them could ever do alone. At this point everything seems unlikely, but anything seems possible.


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