Saturday, August 30, 2008

Escaping the Winston bubble

While the NZ media and political blogosphere has been focusing on the drama of the Winston Peters bustup, other things have been happening:

  • The police have decided they want tasers, so they can "induce compliance" by routinely threatening members of the public with electric torture-weapons.
  • The government signed an FTA with ASEAN, which includes Burma. So, we rightly isolate Fiji for being a dictatorship, while we sign up to trade with an even worse dictatorship, murderous regime which massacres its own people (to the extent that they use chemical weapons against rebels). So much for consistent (let alone moral) foreign policy.
  • Former All Black coach Brian Lochore reminded everyone of why we should hate rugby thug culture
  • Barack Obama was officially nominated as Democratic candidate for President, showing that the American dream does still mean something.
  • And finally, John McCain picked Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running-mate, so whichever way the election goes it will result in a historic first. I'm tempted to snark about how it has only taken the Republicans 24 years to catch up to the Democrats on this, but that would gloss over a deeper failure: while the Democrats were indeed the first major US party to nominate a woman for the Vice-Presidency, it a) took too long, and b) was a one-off - every Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidate since then has been a man. I'm hoping Palin's candidacy will change that (in the same way I'm hoping Obama's will usher in greater equality on race) - but given that US politics is so overwhelmingly white, male, and aristocratic, it may be expecting too much.

Update: Added Brian Lochore's little outburst.