Having, in January, flown the New Zealand flags on Auckland Bridge at half-mast in mourning for the departure of the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, it is probably time to lower them yet again. There has been another passing on Saudi Arabian soil. Hundreds of lambs, mothered by Kiwi ewes accredited to Saudi Arabia by the New Zealand taxpayer as agricultural ambassadors, at a cost of around eleven million dollars, have deceased in mysterious circumstances. While their mothers laboured to fulfil their patriotic duty, their offspring met tragic and untimely deaths.
There are several scandalous aspects to this business, on which there has been no shortage of commentary in Parliament and the New Zealand media. https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/agribusiness/69490762/hundreds-of-new-zealandbred-lambs-die-in-saudi-arabia (complete with Pinocchio clip.) https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1506/S00015/independent-audit-of-saudi-sheep-tender-didnt-happen.htm
There are NZ governmental regulations in place for the live export of farm animals for breeding purposes. These call for continued monitoring of the animals after arrival in a foreign land. However, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Mr McCully, was persuaded to arrange the waiver of this regulation in the case of a mission of such national importance. Though the operation was meant to be a demonstration of NZ’s agricultural virtuosity, no control over the fate of the flock was retained once their Singapore Airlines flight had touched down at Dammam airport. Whether as a consequence or not, there is no doubt that the subsequent demonstration has been a spectacular flop.
What most appalls, amongst all the other governmental spin-doctoring and blame-casting, is that, while admitting that many of our ovine representatives are now late, Mr McCully’s Ministry, even though it claims to have the knowledge, has been refusing to tell the nation exactly how the hapless lambs met their end. Three alternatives have been offered: that they suffocated in a dust storm and/or drowned in a desert downpour and/or died of dysentery. Or, could this be the true nature of their demise that is being concealed from us?… https://www.food.com/recipe/arabian-roast-lamb-fit-for-a-king-and-queen-with-spiced-rice-388723
The decision to establish this demonstration farm seems to have been thoroughly flawed. Clearly the flaws continued well into its execution – starting with a thinly disguised bribe to obtain a trade agreement from partners, who, while prepared to accept the gift, are not yet prepared to commit to their side of the bargain. By sending a Prime Minister of Jewish extraction to clinch the free trade agreement with the Guardians of Mecca and Medina, one cannot help wondering whether New Zealand had put its best foot forward. (In similar vein, I have a friend, an old Saudi hand, who has met with King Salman on several occasions. He told me that President Obama’s visit to the Kingdom could not have represented Uncle Sam’s best foot forward either. The President is black and for the delightfully conservative Saudi royal family, ‘black’ is synonymous with ‘slave.’ The Royals are not in the habit of talking policy with servants!)
One has to hope that the Saudi Arabian farming entrepreneur who was recipient of this bounty, prior to setting up his business in Hawkes Bay, didn’t become a donor to the National Party’s electoral fund. Had he done so it would have been nothing out of the ordinary: the only two wealthy immigrant businessmen, whom I know personally, both made a point on arrival, of contributing a significant sum to the electoral funds of the party in power at the time.
The above, brings me to a far more serious case of the government’s fungal treatment of its electors. This is the TPPA – the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, presented to the public as a wonderful trade agreement that the nation is told will fill its coffers, when in reality it is designed as a weapon of economic warfare to be wielded by us and our ‘natural allies’ against our main trading partner – China. The attached hyperlink is written with Australia in mind – but the same lack of transparency in the negotiations is being scrupulously adhered to by our elected representatives. https://journal-neo.org/2015/06/21/the-trans-pacific-partnership-a-free-trade-agreement/ also https://nsnbc.me/2015/06/22/sentence-first-verdict-afterwards-the-alice-in-wonderland-world-of-fast-tracked-secret-trade-agreements/
As a footnote to the contents of that last hyperlink, shortly after that article was written, resistance in Congress to Obama’s request for fast-track authority suddenly collapsed. According to some sources (which I find hard to believe were in possession of any concrete supporting evidence) this was due to some very large payments made by corporates to certain influential members of the House. More likely in my judgement was an appeal to members’ patriotism with a claim that this round of trade agreements was crucial for America’s security in its struggle for global ascendency. Nothing, but the integrity of their political leaders, now stands between the nations of the western world and an abandonment of a significant chunk of their sovereignty to global corporate interests.
I don’t think I could improve on these two articles in regards to what is going on behind our far too complacent backs. Like yet more sheep to the slaughter, not only the Europeans, but also the Antipodeans are looking as though they are going to end up on the wrong side of history. Another question to be asked – is to what extent do any members of the cabinet (no names; no pack-drill) hold shares (at any remove of drawers within drawers) in the corporates, which stand to benefit from the deal they are negotiating? Is this crony-capitalism at work, or is it a global form of the corporatism that Mussolini, regarded as a euphemism for fascism. It is indeed, time for the sheeple to awake from their slumbers before they awake on the loading ramp.
As this is one of my intermediary, shorter blogs, it had been intended to include a rich medley of different articles – but here is one, which I found so fascinating that I felt it worth the passing on. As it is long and takes some time to digest, I will leave it together with a partisan report on the recent economic summit in St Petersburg as this week’s random offerings. Food for thought….