Jacinda, can we please have the Goodnight Kiwi back. And while you’re at it, can we have our once superb, public service, independent questioning broadcaster back.
Load it again with bags of satire and documentaries where the face of the questioner is never seen (find someone with the dulcet tones of Ian Johnstone or Dougal Stevenson – but please – no Garners or Gowers). Bring back that deep search for truth and wisdom, that questioning ethos, the courage of Simon Walker taking on the PM. Bring back the celebration of what public *service* means.
You’ll have to nobble Treasury of course. They were the ones who told us that it was impossible for us to have a public service ethic … because they couldn’t find one anywhere in their models of selfish, all-knowing, asocial, utility maximising individual automata from the Planet Urras.
Can we please have a broadcasting system that has a duty to educate, inform and build civics. Can we please have a public system that owns the paramount duty of holding power to account – government and corporate power.
You can keep the rest of the reality tv greed-fodder crap promoting housing speculation and – let’s face it – the worst tastes imaginable. And take the sugar advertising off the kiddies’ cartoon programming. That’s just pure corporate scumbag evil. Nasty.
Speaking of scumbags …. Hoskings. I mean, really? He has the perfect mind, as well as that shrill, arrogant, uneducated, cliché-laden, reactionary, back-of-the-pub-bore voice that is perfect for Talkback. Such a waste of talent.
To that end of controlling the abusive power of the mega-corporate media magnates – who care not one whit for this world and its future, only their salivating selves and their filthy lucre – can we please ensure that no one Murdoch, Packer, Rinehart type can own any more than 10% of the print, TV & radio media in our country.
I fancy a bit of decentralised ownership. Forget “too big to fail” – try out “too big to be allowed to continue existing if your practice is to rort the system for your own immoral ends.” Hold them to account. Try the unique idea of allowing the people to make the laws to suit the future of our children rather than this filth paying politicians to make the law to suit their next quarter’s profit.
Try the idea of a thing called ‘democracy’ with checks and balances on power. The nation builders and constitutional reformers of the past knew that if you didn’t balance and control power, that all hell would eventually break lose. Jefferson and his lot – Danton and Camille before they had their very fine heads removed by the Nero of the day, Robespierre. Those brilliant few who designed the Glorious Revolution of 1688.
The idiots who desire power never seem to understand the All-Hell-Breaks-Lose reality. Blinded by baubles and a delusional sense of superiority and entitlement perhaps. A Statesperson – and I think you could be one of those Jacinda – might practice a bit of balancing, for the sake of our Non-Hell-Breaking-Lose future. Call it self-interest if you like. I really don’t care. Just do it, please. We had land reforms once. We broke up the big estates. Corporates have been broken up before. Let’s do it again. Never mind their bleating, or their claims of “the market will provide” or “you’re being elitist; it’s what the public wants.” That’s just the mechanical chatter of proto-fascist neoliberal corporatism.
Can we please come back to a paradigm that will actually ensure our survival instead of a short term rush as the Vampire Squids raid and burn the Cathedrals.
Perhaps this can be our core premise – “that our people are neither the servants of, nor the resources for, ‘the economy’. The economy is the servant of our people.” Yeh, Service! Giving, not taking. Creating, not exploiting.
That’s where it starts and ends.
But the Goodnight Kiwi is on the top of the list.
Chris Perley has a background in embedding himself in our landscapes and fields, in management, policy, consulting and research relating to land use, the environment, provincial economies and communities. He is an affiliated researcher at Otago University’s Centre for Sustainability.
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