In the 1980s in Britain, Andrew Neil, editor of the Sunday Times and publisher of this magazine, drew attention to the emergence of what was referred to as a barbaric underclass, a ‘social tragedy of Dickensian proportions… characterised by drugs, casual violence, petty crime, illegitimate children, homelessness, work avoidance and contempt for conventional values’. So-called intellectual elites began to talk behind the scenes about planning for ‘the civilised management of decline.’
There is little that is civilised about decline, and in Dover Beach, Matthew Arnold foresaw – from the Victorian age of vitality, optimism, confidence and discovery – a receding tide of civilisation and confidence. Values essential to our survival would become undermined with the attack on Christianity, long underpinning society. ‘But now I only hear/Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar’. However, it was its spiritual and cultural values – in particular, respect for individual freedom and worth – which enabled Christianity to withstand the combined onslaughts of the bloodthirsty creeds of communism and fascism. And now, to the changing spots of basically the same man-eating animals, Islamic fundamentalism has been added, virulently opposed to the West and these values.
It is a shame conservative commentators have joined in the hijacking of that celebration of excellence formerly leading to genuinely outstanding individuals, widely respected for their achievements, being referred to as the elite. What term can replace this, if it is now bestowed on merely self-regarding mandarins, bureaucrats, powerful hierarchies and politicians – in many cases contributing to the decline of the West by the weight of their accumulated pronouncements, edicts, false certainties, complexities, laws and regulations? Largely ignored is the poet Alexander Pope’s warning to be very careful of superficiality in thinking: ‘A little learning is a dangerous thing’ and that ‘shallow draughts intoxicate the brain.’
Labour party Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recently swept to electoral victory as a result of her virtually daily emotive exposure, for months, in our Covid-19 climate, fawned upon by largely left-wing, cheer-leading media. However, her government’s induced climate of fear and the extraordinary imposition of various levels of lockdown, have caused unprecedented damage. Miss Ardern graduated with a Bachelor of Communication Studies in Public Relations and Political Science from Waikato, our most radicalised university. Her choice of a degree, geared not towards academic excellence – but a career focusing on political advantage and persuasion – may have served her well in the overheated Covid-19 panic. The country has not been as fortunate.
Her government’s actual achievements, based on 2017 election promises, have been abysmal, as with that of 100,000 affordable homes, but fewer than 600 produced to date. In Nelson, pledged 1,000 Kiwibuild homes, none are under construction, nor even planned. Sky-high house prices are beyond the reach of most, except for two high-income earners – a severe blow to family life, to couples now unable to afford children with would-be mothers forced into the workforce, in many cases already handicapped by the punitive student loans taken to manage their degrees. Nationwide, parents are re-mortgaging their homes to support grown children.
The Labour coalition’s promise to reduce migration by 20,000 to 30,000 a year, to reduce pressure on housing, has been pie in the sky, with net immigration going from 54,150 in its first year, and reportedly at 88,450 in the pre-Covid-19 year to February 2020. Small businesses are desperate, let alone our airlines. Factor in the coalition government’s incredibly stupid banning of oil and gas exploration and the inflicting of more and more compliance costs – together with the increasing taxation on all sectors of the community – because of blind subservience to the global warming propaganda.
The failure of Ardern’s personal flagship policy to reduce child poverty has seen these indicators become worse. Her promotion of racial separatism encourages the never-ending squandering of scores of millions of dollars to support patently reinvented treaty claims by an obvious minority of permanently aggrieved part-Maoris, diverting much-needed support from areas like health funding.
The list of failed and incompetent government undertakings should have cost this prime minister the election – but her daily projection of caring and well-being clichés had its effect – in spite of the initial failures of her government to protect many at risk, including those guarding our borders, and healthcare workers. But in another extraordinary result of the Green party’s coalition involvement in the political scene – its policies widely regarded as far to the left of sanity – together with the disarray of the National party – farmers throughout the country abandoned their usual support for National. Knowing it had no hope of winning, apparently many pragmatically backed Labour in order to prevent it again needing the Greens as part of another ruling coalition.
Given a striking decline in productivity as a result of ongoing political incompetence and our long, far-left infiltration, New Zealand, once a far more prosperous country, is rapidly becoming one where tourism, not what we export to produce, has become our greatest earner – one of the most striking indications of a country now well in decline.
The astonishing policy of lockdowns – unprecedented in supposed free societies – partly because of flawed computer models and misguided medical experts unduly influencing our government – together with a deliberate promotion of the politics of fear as part of social control – has left a damaging legacy, not only in its catastrophic economic consequences. Far more will have died, denied access to the hospital treatment they should have had for serious and even acutely painful health complications.
The destruction of businesses, and the lack of hope in the future, have inevitably contributed to acute anxiety, stress and suicide. Ironically enough the WHO, politically compromised by its association with China, is now belatedly calling for countries to abandon the policies of lockdown.
There is no such thing as ‘the civilised management of decline.’ Again we can leave it to a poet, Humbert Wolfe, to illuminate for us, in the absence of a civic revolt, what lies ahead. ‘Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves: we have had our summer evenings; now for October eves.’
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