Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Get rid of these occupiers

This is not going to make me popular but I have stopped reading most of the bloggers on my right and am thinking of blacking out my blog. Knowing how few readers I have that would probably be as futile as the actions of those occupying my beloved Octagon.

They have a sign saying they will not move until capitalism is destroyed. In that case they will be there long after I am dead and buried. Their spokesman who shouted in the council chambers and took his dog in with him to make just as much noise is a known communist and rabble rouser in the city. If we had communism he would not be allowed to make his protests.

In my youth (50's and early 60's) I was attracted by communism but was concerned by the atheism involved. It is wonderful in theory but does not allow for the greed of human nature. Even the early church in the early glow of Christianity had Ananias and Sapphira.

I am still a Socialist and believe that Capitalism needs moderating by government action. Most in the USA would call that communism. We have seen how the people opposed Obama's attempts to provide a more acceptable health scheme. While it is not perfect by any means, countries like Australia and New Zealand do moderate capitalism. The Scandinavian countries do it even better. The USA is a basket case and that is the reason I say the USA has nice scenery and some nice people but I am always glad to leave. Here there is no need for people to beg in the streets nor go homeless in our countries. The few cases are generally due to mental problems or those who fall through the cracks. The churches and other groups are always campaigning for improvement.

The main problem is from a few people who exploit the social system, allowing politicians to campaign to remove such benefits. People are shown on welfare with wide screen TVs and of course smoking. I noticed young people smoking in the occupation camp the other day. They are supporting the worst of the multi-nationals. I would remove all health benefits from people who continue to smoke. I have to move away at bus stops or cover my face with a handkerchief when walking down the street. as I am allergic to cigarette smoke.

If there had been a march or even a few days occupation, I would have supported the aims but to occupy our city's beautiful meeting area for over 3 weeks has just antagonised so many of us. The buses from the cruise ships (83 this summer) which are so important to our economy pull up there. I have friends coming on a ship in early December and this morning my sister said "arrange to meet them under the Robbie Burns statue". I snorted. "I can't, it is occupied" and she was horrified. The occupations in Sydney and Melbourne have been removed by police. To my knowledge they have not returned. Of course police brutality was claimed but this is always a tactic of such groups.

The Dunedin City Council offered the occupiers another park away from the centre, but they refused. Yesterday the laws were invoked and they were told to leave by 8pm last night. As yet the police have not acted. If I and some friends decided to camp in the main street, we would have been moved very quickly and rightly so. Photos have shown dishwater running down the path. They are using the nearby council provided toilets which have always been very clean, I now go several blocks away to the toilets provided by the multi-national owned shopping centre.

The irony is that in our democratic elections at the end of this month, the Prime Minister is riding high in the polls. Wikipedia provides the following:

In 1995, he joined Merrill Lynch as head of Asian foreign exchange in Singapore. That same year he was promoted to Merrill's global head of foreign exchange, based in London, where he may have earned around US$2.25 million a year including bonuses, which is about NZ$5 million at 2001 exchange rates.[3][8] Some co-workers called him "the smiling assassin" for maintaining his usual cheerfulness while sacking dozens (some say hundreds) of staff after heavy losses from the 1998 Russian financial crisis.[4][8] He was a member of the Foreign Exchange Committee of the New York Federal Reserve Bank from 1999 to 2001.

These occuaptions are driving more people into his arms. It is not 99% against 1%. Probably 70% or more of our population, while annoyed at the actions of the 1%, are doing quite well. The 1% do not use the city central park or meet friends there, they have their own mansions and chauffeur driven cars.

The situation at St Paul's has also saddened me. These people would never go near a church and would probably oppose the church if they had power. They are laughing up their sleeves knowing the church people are wusses, scared to be seen taking action.

We do not have the problems of the dysfunctional USA government. It is bad enough that we import so much like Coca cola and Stsrbucks, we do not need their occupation movements. Even our education systems have been damaged by importing American ideas.
I can never understand why just to the north there is a so much better society with similar history and culture in Canada.


June Butler said...

I have stopped reading most of the bloggers on my right and am thinking of blacking out my blog.

I, for one, will be sorry if you black out your blog, Brian.

Calamity Jane said...

Now Brian, we all know that the best way to black out your blog is to post something that evangelical fundamentalist Anglicans don't like!
But the disappearance of your blog would sad because it would be one less voice standing up for social justice. I don't know Brian... but I reckon if a few moderate Sydney Anglicans had have pitched some tents outside St Andrew's Cathedral years ago, then this visual representation may have alerted many more to the extreme right stranglehold, that was developing within the Sydney diocese. As you know this Sydney extremism has impacted on many people throughout the world, through church planting, and oppression of women and gays. For what it is worth...I think the occupation of St Paul's has some positives...some clergy are to be commended for their public social conscience, which differs to the passively aggressive (with the exception of the Dean) totalitarian culture in Sydney. Also I think the 'Occupy London' and the London riots are forcing the CofE to look at its relevance in today's society. It might be the 'kick up the butt' it needs to make Rowan Williams stop worrying about the thoughts of critical conservatives and lead the church into the 21st century.

Fran said...

Brian, I hope that you do not black out your blog, but I understand if you do.

As far as the Occupy movement goes, you have taken steps that I have only thought of. I am in a different place, but we of course have an Occupy camp here too.

I am of a mixed mind about the whole thing and as always, I end up feeling upset over the extremes in a way that is not so different than your own point of view.

Capitalism and individualism (which is perhaps worse and actually drives the capitalism) along with greed have turned the US into a disaster. I'm not sure how or if we come back. I say that very plainly, not out of hysteria.

Having said that, I have a hard time imagining a world without capitalism. I also feel strongly that we need a world with a strong sense of activism! That has been lacking for reasons I can't fully discern (it happens but does not coalesce well or has not until Occupy) and now Occupy is a bit over the top.

All ideologies, even the best ones, are not good when so extreme.

And no matter what I say to who - capitalists or occupy fans - someone gets mad at me!

So I have not written about it but I have thought of it and welcomed your words.

Except those that say you might go dark here. I hope not. We need you - I do anyway! Which reminds me to ask you for your email address, which I can't seem to find. Thanks Brian.

Eric Kyte said...

Good blog Brian!

I like your point about the Prime Minister. It reminds me of an observation that those in the US who vote Republican are often those who do worse under Republicanism. Just goes to show that there are bigger stories controlling people's lives than the economic one, despite post Modernity

Eric Kyte said...

you may like this one from an old mentor of mine

Brian R said...

Thanks Eric. It is a very good comment, put much more eloquently than I can.

Birdie said...

Wait! Don't go! We would truly miss your wise observations and wonderful travelogues.

I share your distress at the "occupy" movement, which has no common goals, no leaders, and no deadline. I understand their anger, but it is misplaced. I can only hope the ultimate result is to clear out Congress of its longtime residents and put in term limits. This whole mess is exacerbated by the media, which fan the flame of polarization for the sake of ratings. Moderate voices are being drowned out by shrill extremists. Where has reason gone?

travis s said...

I think these people need to be arrested and thrown in jail they thrive on chaos the ones here in California are just using this as an excuse to party do drugs and drink booze they aren't doing this country any good anyway if they don't like the way things are here might I suggest they move to china or north Korea I'm sure that they would be much happier there

Brian R said...

While I would not go as far as you Travis, I have left your comment as an example of how the occupation is now doing more harm than good. It is alienating people who have support for their general principles but now feel they have gone too far and will not achieve anything further by remaining.

Chris H. said...

And when they go away does that mean that everything is now OK? I am not one of the 70% doing just fine. Nothing is on the horizon to change or improve that. I’m sorry that my attempts to better the world and change a terrible system that favors a few over the needs of the many is seen as an annoying disruption of the ways things should be and have always been.

Perhaps if I were as comfortable as the many who comment here I too would turn up my nose. As it is, I agree wholeheartedly, support in every way I can, and look forward to the new world these young people are creating. Maybe in future there won’t be people like me who played by the rules and fell through the cracks anyway and are now left alone with no hope, no money, no property, and no future. Sorry if that looks bad or inconveniences you all.

Peace be with you anyway.

Anonymous said...

Glad your blog is still around, we need diverse opinions such as yours.

The Occupiers in California do it to hang out with their friends. They destroy property the 99% taxpayers pay for, and claim to protest Capitalism. Yet their actions hurt only the hard-working blue-collar and white-collar citizens.

Instead of depleting resources that the working class appreciate, why not vote? Work? Use local credit unions instead of big banks?