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The New Write 7 September 2001

THE NEW WRITE

Official Newsletter of the New Zealand Young Nationals
7th September 2001

"He is nothing but a moaning, whingeing Jeremiah, peddling failed policies."
-Jim Bolger on his new boss Jim Anderton, 25th June 1995

1. WORLD PREMIERE OF POLITICAL BLOCKBUSTER
2. US FACING SLAVERY LAWSUIT
3. OPINION: WHATS GOING ON IN DEFENCE?
4. NEW YOUNG NATS BRANCH IN TIMARU
5. TOP TEN THINGS NEW ZEALAND AND AFGHANISTAN HAVE IN COMMON
6. WEBSITE OF THE WEEK

1. WORLD PREMIERE OF POLITICAL BLOCKBUSTER

Young Nationals in Wellington are among the first lucky people in the world to see the blockbuster short film “El Presidente Nick Archer”, premiering this week.

Written, directed by, and starring Nick Archer and Phil Rennie, the movie is a political satire about a fascist revolution at Victoria University. The 15 minute feature is loosely based on Shakespeare’s MacBeth, and stars Archer as the title character and Phil Rennie as the hero.

Entered as part of the annual DIVA film festival, the movie is based around themes of power, betrayal, obsession and fascism. It also features violence, foul language, pornography, and nudie bits.

Archer and Rennie warn the movie is not for the faint-hearted or easily offended. “It pokes fun at political correctness and feminism on campus, as well as having a dig at both the Right and Left.”

The movie features an all-star cast of Wellington Young Nationals and ACTivists, and some spectacular stunts.

Wellington Young Nationals are not just movie stars either– earlier this year Phil Rennie and Emily Hayes started a Young Nats rock band, and there are rumours of an upcoming modelling project.


2. US FACING SLAVERY LAWSUIT

United States businesses which benefited from slavery are to be targeted in a new law suit with the amount of money involved reaching trillions of dollars, according to lawyers.

Insurance and commodity companies are among those likely to be targeted as the compensation culture begins to take hold, the BBC reported.

A major law suit is being launched next Spring by top lawyer, Johnny Cochran, who defended former footballer/actor O.J. Simpson against a charge of murdering his wife.

The case will demand compensation for black Americans for the suffering inherited from their enslaved ancestors.

It is being co-ordinated by Harvard University's Charles Ogletree, a law professor.

"There is no suggestion the government is the worst or the only offender in this process" he told the BBC's World Business Report.

"Many corporations or companies have substantially benefited from slavery, and the proceeds from slavery," he said, citing Yale University and Harvard law school as examples.

Mr Ogletree said the intention was not to eliminate or shame the worst offender but to reach a solution with the companies involved.

The compensation money will be awarded to charities helping the least successful members of society.


3. OPINION: WHATS GOING ON IN DEFENCE?

By Ross Browne

I’m sure it started innocently enough. The Army, probably quiet rightly, believed they needed more funding. After all, they’d been busy – peacekeeping in Bosnia, mine clearing in Cambodia, peace monitoring in Bougainville, lending a hand staffing prisons, as well as the seemingly endless lists of routine civil support tasks.

Somebody decided the Army needed to lift its game if it had any hope of getting more funding. Times were changing and the Army had to change with them.

A battle plan was formulated and a letter written. This letter, written in 1997 by then Lieutenant Colonel Gordon (acting in an unknown capacity – perhaps private, perhaps not), called for the Army to open a “second front” in it’s war with the center [Ministry of Defence]” for more funding. The letter calls for an attack on what were perceived to be areas in the defence force vulnerable to adverse PR. The air strike capability was singled out.

Now, all of this would be unremarkable in the corporate world – this sort of behavior would be nothing more than one department trying to gain competitive advantage over another. But the New Zealand Defence Force isn’t in the corporate world. The Gordon Letter deliberately identified an expressed area of government policy to undermine and exploit to the Army’s advantage. The constitutional implications of this are complicated. Conventional wisdom says that the military is subservient to the government and has a duty to implement government policy faithfully and impartially. The jury’s still out as to whether or not Lt Col. Gordon acted appropriately. Minister of Defence Mark Burton has called for an inquiry. The Chief of Defence Force is investigating.

The letter also talks about the importance of academic institutions supporting the Army’s quest for policy supremacy. If they didn’t they needed to be challenged. Last week saw the announcement that the Center for Strategic Studies, a defence and strategic think-tank located at Victoria University and funded via the foreign affairs department and the military, was to have its funding discontinued. Labour MP David Benson-Pope (yes apparently he does exist - Ed) has tried to weave a web of intrigue and suspicion around the relationship between the CSS and the National Party.

By Benson-Pope’s logic the National Party listening to reasonable policy analysis from an internationally respected academic amounts to collusion. Meanwhile, questions have been raised about the relationship between senior army personnel and the Labour Opposition in the late 1990s.

We await the outcome of the investigation into the defence force with interest. Did the Army turn its guns on government policy? The inquiry’s terms of reference will almost certainly preclude any investigation into the relationship between the Army and the Labour Party. One things for sure, the Centre for Strategic Studies has already been blasted to hell. All this from a Government that supported the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee Defence Beyond 2000 report that called for increased public debate on defence and security issues. The CSS has been critical of Government policy, so the Government, with the help of the Army, shot the messenger. But it wouldn’t be the first time this government has done that.

Ross Browne is the Southern Region Chairman of Young Nationals and also sits on the Board of Management of the National Party’s defence special interest group.


4. NEW YOUNG NATS BRANCH IN TIMARU

A new Young Nationals branch is being launched in Timaru, at a function on the 13th of September. MP Simon Power will be the guest speaker.

Contact national@timaru.com for more information.


5. TOP TEN THINGS NEW ZEALAND AND AFGHANISTAN HAVE IN COMMON

1. Both countries are governed by men in dresses.

2. The Taleban government is full of mad students; the Labour-
Alliance government is full of mad teachers.

3. The Kiwi Dollar will be worth about the same as the Afghanistan Afghani by the time Michael Cullen is finished with it.

4. Afghanistan is ruled by a gang of ruthless ideologues who will stop at nothing to force their socialist dogma on the country; New Zealand is ruled by Heather Simpson and Matt McCarten.

5. Judith Tizard does as much work in Kabul as she does in Wellington.

6. Mark Prebble wants to introduce the Taleban’s strict Islamic dress codes for women in New Zealand.

7. The Taleban wants to force its radio stations to play crappy local music too.

8. In Afghanistan only the boat people look like boat people; in New Zealand we’ve got Marian Hobbs in her red cardie and Dianne Yates in her commando pants.

9. The leaking from boats fleeing Afghanistan is as bad as the leaking from the New Zealand Post board fleeing Jim Anderton.

10. The Afghan and the Anzac are both excellent biscuits.

www.yahoogroups.com/group/StMolesworth

6. WEBSITE OF THE WEEK

www.nzmusic.com

A great website with heaps of information about pretty much every band in New Zealand. It has a huge searchable database where you can find profiles of bands, download videos and soundclips, and plenty of news and discussion boards.

Run by Teina of Wellington, New Zealand's rock and roll capital, it has won numerous web awards.

Despite what St Molesworth says, New Zealand music definitely is not crappy.

Any views expressed here are not necessarily those of New Zealand Young Nationals, or the New Zealand National Party.

Contributions, feedback, articles and subscriptions welcome.

Email newwrite@national.org.nz

Editor: Phil Rennie


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