Dangerous days

Mark Chamberlain picks up on the ‘hall monitors and tell-tale tits’ around us.

In Home Block6 Minutes

Mark Chamberlain picks up on the ‘hall monitors and tell-tale tits’ around us.

BLACK BOYS ON MOPEDS. A SONG released by Sinead O’Connor, 32 years ago, contains the pithy line, “these are dangerous days, to say what you think is to dig your own grave”.

O’Connor was a lot of things to a lot of people and now, also appears to have been able to predict the future… For those 15 words written all those years ago, have never carried so much weight and relevance as they do, present day.

You could argue that this fear has always been in society but with the accessibility of social media over the last generation, there has been an influx of ‘hall monitors and tell-tale-tits’ ruling our lives, whether we like it or not.

We have all suffered or imposed cancellation in our lives. The range and width are huge. Mrs Chamberlain operates more on a yellow card system than a blanket cancellation, thankfully. Friends cancel friends, families cancel each other often over silly things such as trinkets, who is hosting Christmas and of course power.

Funny story, recently I texted a radio station in support of the farmer volunteer group Groundswell. At the time, the announcer, a self-confessed failed farmer and serial name-dropper, was publicly undermining Groundswell’s good work.

I’ll be the first to admit my text might have been a little vigorous, but the radio announcer was not a happy chappy. The ensuing on-air rant was kind of funny, threatening to release my name and address to the public, was not. Reactions like this tell me that I was right above the target with my message. And just like that, I was cancelled… Persona non grata from a show that in my humble opinion, had some good content but had increasingly become lightweight and slapstick.

What most people don’t know is that it is a show run by a media organization that has been subsidised by the Government. But wait, there’s more. One of the conditions of accepting these millions of dollars, is that they cannot criticise anything Treaty of Waitangi related – which includes of course; co-governance, Three Waters and He Waka Eke Noa. Breach that, and they would have to repay the money. Couple that with the same announcer who, at the last election, encouraged farmers to party vote Labour and then you begin to understand the ‘soft’ interviews he conducts with our Prime Minister.

My point is this; this is not a sob story about me. It is about us. Too often we are blaming the woke-sters, a cluster (insert bad word here) of academics and puritans who paddle in a pool of righteousness, who celebrate diversity and difference – but only if you agree with their views. The real problem is us.

We are a splintered bunch and while I would argue that most farmers can still meet at the boundary fence and nod in collective agreement, it is some of our farming leaders that have sold us out. In doing so, they have created division at a time where our unity is needed more, than perhaps ever before.

People we had truly believed were advocating for us, are sadly, on the gravy train of self-importance, free smokos and free flights to Wellington. Don’t get me wrong, there are countless people out there doing hundreds of hours of thankless volunteer work on our behalf, always happy to take a phone call. Real “Keep Calm and Carry On” type of people.

I write this as the country is mourning a rugby test series defeat to a very classy, deserving Irish side. The media outcry for the metaphorical heads of the coaching team is sadly unsurprising. If only that same media were prepared to hold the Prime Minister to the same standard. In these days of record inflation, a ‘Hotel Generation’ of children, daily shootings in Auckland, an overwhelmed, ineffective health system, record truancy rates and the heartbreak of a country divided into ‘them and us’ – who is calling for her ‘head’?

It’s almost as though they are too afraid to, in these, ‘dangerous days’. Or, has their silence been bought?