Thursday, July 21, 2016

Sending the wrong message

US Vice President Joe Biden is in Auckland today. As part of this, he is being greeted by a guard of honour at Government House. This isn't specific to him - we do it for every foreign dignitary. We get a bunch of soldiers to line up so that people can look at them, presumably in the hope that they'll be impressed with New Zealand's military might and how bright and shiny those soldiers are (its no surprise that this tradition originated in the era of absolute monarchy, when kings treated their armies as personal toys, and war as a sport).

What message does it send to greet visitors like this? That we're about war, soldiers, and militarism (oh, and British). This is exactly the wrong message for a peaceful, democratic nation in the south Pacific to send. We should do away with this archaic, militaristic crap, and just stick with the Pƍwhiri instead.