Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Some thoughts on Anzac Day

For many nations today the dominant people within that nation displaced another people so it is only natural that the narrative that is said to have brought the nation into being is set many years after the nation in question first came into being. In the narrative of the New Zealand nation we are first taught about the invasion of Gallipoli where the nation was supposedly brought together by the common struggle (to help the British imperial war machine gain a foothold in the Middle East). Indeed the lives of countless generations. However this is not unique to the New Zealand nation it is not uncommon to hear English historians talk about Agincourt as if the nation were founded due to that common struggle (also on foreign soil and also to the betterment of the English war machine and ruling class).
So why would the ruling class that dominate any given nation state want to distance themselves from the events surrounding the founding of the nation states that they dominate. now while the land occupied by the English part of the British nation state has been invaded so many times it is hard to know who occupied that land first the situation with the New Zealand nation is much easier to make sense of in 1815 the land of Aotearoa was a completely Maori world yet one hundred years later as New Zealand’s army set off for the great war they left behind them a predominantly Pakeha nation state. Now the population of a land does not change so markedly in such a short time without some kind of struggle. Despite this fact New Zealand schools are not known to teach anything about the land wars or about the role of the Maori land court (then called the native land court) in advancing British imperialist interests in Aotearoa. The first proper history course I was able to take at school opened with a unit on the First World War and through all the units over the three years that history was taught properly the majority of the history taught was foreign and any NZ history that was taught was from the twentieth century. Basically ANZAC day and ANZUS or how the NZ military serves the interests of foreign imperialist militaries and why you should not question the fact.
Please understand that I do not mean any disrespect to the workers who served and died at Gallipoli but celebrating the day that the New Zealand (along with Australia France and Great Britain.) nation invaded turkey to advance British imperialist interests in the middle east is an insult to the workers in uniform who died that day on the shores of Gallipoli. the working class people who were convinced that this war would end all wars and yet almost a century later our soldiers are still occupying foreign soil (Afghanistan) their lives being put at risk to advance foreign imperialist interests in the middle east.
Lest we forget: our army is still at the behest of foreign imperialist interests

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Transgender children deserve our respect and understanding.

Just when i thought the the NZ media was getting more sympathetic towards transgender people a notorious Right wing rag (The New Zealand Herald) published an ideologically biased family first press release as if it were actual content. in this article the author notorious right wing hate speech merchant Bob McCoskrie claimed that Transgender people were mentally ill  and confused he based his arguments biological essentialism despite the medical irreverence of this theory. he backed up his hate speech by using the example of Walt Heyer a Christian ex Transgender person who now campaigns against allowing transgender people to access basic treatment.
A further argument put forward by the article in question was the idea of denying transgender access to suitable medical treatment until adulthood (ie after puberty) this is problematic in so many ways. first of all many transgender people are aware that they are transgender from a very young and secondly forcing Transgender people to go though puberty as the gender they do not identify with is cruel and contributes to an unsafe environment for transgender people. as Transgender woman who has gone through puberty as a boy I speak from experience when i say that this is simply unacceptable and I am please with our allies within the trade union movement who are helping us make a stand against such bigotry.
One of the most problematic aspects of Family First is that is an ideological hate group that masquerades as a family friendly charity in order to spread it's messages of hate against woman LGBT people and sex workers to an audience that is much wider than a small group of bigoted religious nut-jobs could otherwise hope reach. Family First has managed to influence some conservative working class family's and has contributed to an unsafe family environment for many Transgender people in this country.
Transgender people are already forced to live to live in an extremely unsafe environment and when the mainstream media give transphobic hate groups a platform for their bigoted ideas an already hostile environment becomes even more inhospitable. i would however like to commend the New
Zealand trade union movement for helping to make our lives more dignified. I know we must never underestimate the power of solidarity we are stronger together and i hope that the fight for Transgender dignity and basic  civil rights in one that will be won within my lifetime.