Government Must Go on the Offensive

This article was originally published for paying subscribers for The BFD INSIGHT: Politics and is reproduced here for all Right Minds readers on a delayed basis.

Dieuwe de Boer

Before I tackle this week's column, I would like to start with a word of thanks to all the paying subscribers of The BFD and also to Juana, our amazing editor, and to the proofreaders who help her in the background. By my count, I had the opportunity to write 36 columns for Insight last year and that provided the motivation to keep going and writing more. Writers often struggle with motivation and it's great to have so much support. This has allowed me to author more general content too and I plan to increase my output again this year.

I love interacting with the readers in the comments section too. I don't always reply, but I do read every single comment you leave.

There's also a big announcement coming next week for a new project I am hoping to be part of this year. I should be able to talk more about it on RCR Breakfast with Paul Brennan on Wednesday 7th February.

Here's to another great year! As the old sardonic curse goes: "May you live in interesting times."

When the new coalition government kicked off their agenda late last year, they ran on turbo mode. In my Coalition Tracker app, I have about 6% (14) marked off as done in December. Granted, many of those were very quick wins, but this week parliament has been off to a very slow start. There's been an announcement that the scope of the COVID enquiry is being broadened, but that's all I've been able to check off the list so far.

The real enemy of the people, the legacy media, has manufactured two big stories to attack the government on since December: the Treaty of Waitangi and Tobacco Lobbying. As you might expect the basis for these attacks are non-existent, but they are employed as narrative tools.

The intersection of these issues was the highlight of the week, from Radio NZ:

A coalition of Māori health experts and advocates is calling for the Waitangi Tribunal to urgently hear a complaint on the government's planned repeal of changes to smokefree legislation.

The story is simply absurd, but it highlights the pure desperation of the legacy media in this fight. Leftist activists are getting Woke Capital in on the action, with at least one company sharing a call for the government to "honour Te Tiriti" via their consumer newsletter.

It does not matter that neither RNZ nor Lush can quote anything from the Treaty of Waitangi. To them the treaty is a mythical vessel for progressive ideals.

The attacks against Minister Casey Costello are similarly a cynical attempt to scalp a fresh conservative MP. Even though the government raised the tax on tobacco on January 1st (which they should not have done), a massive attack against Costello has been launched because she received advice that suggested keeping the tax the same for three years. A conspiratorial web has been drawn between her, the Taxpayers Union, the libertarian Atlas Network, and lobbyists from British American Tobacco on left-wing Twitter.

The government is very far behind the ball on this. They're probably right to simply ignore the tobacco stuff, but it would be even better to take aggressive counter-action and make serious suggestions to lower excise taxes.

On the Treaty Principles Bill they are up against growing narrative momentum from the left. Action must be taken to seize the initiative and go on the offensive. They can't wait until after the bill goes before parliament. The machines of war are already in motion and have been for two months.

I've been researching the history of the Treaty and there is a wealth of material that can be used to defend the plain reading of the treaty. From missionary and translator Henry Williams calling it the "Magna Carta of the aborigines of New Zealand" to Sir Apirana Ngata summing up the 2nd Article as "the permanent establishment to the Maori of title to his land and his property." We have transcribed speeches of chiefs at the Kohimarama Conference in 1860. We have books filed with the writings and rulings of those who drafted the Treaty and all the historical context of their time.

The insane inventions of 20th and 21st century progressives on the Treaty are easy to refute. Not an iota of it exists in the history books. Yet when it comes to the narrative this road will not be an easy one. You are up against an entrenched legacy media and an entire industry of useless bureaucrats who have made this their way of life. This government has the mandate at this time in history to put New Zealand on the path to prosperity. We can undo over 70 years of progressive dogma on this issue in a single stroke. We can destroy this leviathan they have built in its entirety.

There is no indication that the government has factored in the seriousness of resistance that will be manufactured against them. I'm not talking about suggestions of riots or revolution here—NZ domestic policy in the past several decades has successfully annihilated any risk of violent Maori radicalism. There is simply no capacity for it. The war will be an information war.

The legacy media know that the only way for them to win is to control and shape this narrative in the eyes of public opinion. They will be counting the votes behind the scenes, looking for weaknesses to exploit and the chance to turn defeat into victory.

Right now, they have the narrative momentum.

About the author

Dieuwe de Boer

Editor of Right Minds NZ, host of The Dialogue on RCR, and columnist at The BFD. Follow me on Telegram and Twitter. In addition to writing about conservative politics and reactionary thought, I like books, gardening, biking, tech, reformed theology, beauty, and tradition.

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