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How many of us are thinking of making a run for the hills? 

Or, as the Americans would say, about to get a fast stage out of Dodge. Will we be forced to ask ourselves what we will do? Try to hide, or stand and fight?

This Lockdown and removal of our Liberty sure happened fast, and that was one hell of an alarm bell for me.

 

In 1971, C K Stead wrote the futuristic novel Smith’s Dream. ( later made into a movie " Sleeping Dogs ". It centred around the hero Smith, who, faced with a neo-fascist takeover of New Zealand, managed to flee to a remote area of coastal New Zealand, to escape the horror of what was happening in his life and to his country. 

Sam Neil in Sleeping Dogs ( 1977 ) as Smith, a man who seeks the popular dream of escaping society, only to find himself dragged into an armed rebellion against a dictator.

He is a left wing sympathiser and is recruited to help the Resistance Movement to overcome the authoritarian Prime Minister Volkner and the US-run troops who have essentially taken control. The reader is almost asked to make the mental leap and ask him or herself to consider how far would an average person go if things went bugger up?. Would they do nothing, or would they fight back?

It was written while war raged in Vietnam and protest spewed across the world. Protests were also raging against the Springbok Rugby tour in 1981 (from a vastly different South Africa ) and caused a match to be cancelled.

Riot police with batons prepare to confront protestors, including CK Stead, in Hamilton in July 1981. For many, it felt like a scene from Sleeping Dogs.

CK Stead himself was anti Vietnam  War and anti Apartheid. 

His book, Sleeping Dogs, asked the question: 

if an autocrat came to power and called in foreign forces to support the government, where would you stand?

It is hard to summarise a book of this calibre into a few sentences, but suffice to say, it has preyed on my mind over the past years. C K Stead created a horrific view of a futuristic New Zealand. But did he get it wrong?

As it stands, he wrote of a right-wing government, an alliance with America, suppression of free speech, free movement and free choice. New Zealand was under martial law.

Today, are we facing a left-wing government, suppression of free speech and free choice, and a distancing from America. An Alliance with China. The foreign troops seem more like those of the United Nations.

I re-read this book when Ms Ardern was elected. I had not read the book since my school days and I was struck by the portrayal of Smith as a troubled soul with nowhere to run and nowhere to hide, who finally had to disappear in order to stay himself, to preserve his sanity and his life.

Yet his need for self preservation became so strong that he had to confront his demons and admit that, in doing nothing and saying nothing, he WAS nothing.

Smith fought back and the ending? Well, I will leave that to whet your appetite to track down a copy of this classic New Zealand novel.

So where are we at in modern day New Zealand and Australia? And the world in general? 

 The actions of New Zealand’s WEF ( World Economic Forum ) young leader prime minister are a very bitter pill to swallow. Her treatment of New Zealanders as separate tiers of society throughout the Covid years has been alarming for many. 

I question whether her " tool for confidence " is quite what people imagined.

Many countries are following her lead and stripping citizens of their Rights, while encouraging the Rights of others. 

Across the ditch in Australia, our Police are very zealous in their enthusiasm to tackle people ( both metaphorically and literally ) these days. Rules are seemingly made of elastic. They can stretch and contract, depending upon who you are. Up and down like a yoyo springs to mind. We have many WEF Young Leader graduates in parliament, including our current Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. 

Yet our so-called Conservative government was no different. 

 

The Fear that we all feel is in itself frightening.

Our children and grandchildren are now facing an uncertain future. Is it up to us to draw a line in the sand before it is too late? Or will we look back with regret and admit that, like Smith, by doing nothing and saying nothing we have become nothing?

 

video from a year ago

 To quote the late Clive James:

" The problem with Australians is not that so many were descended from convicts but that so many were descended from prison officers. "

New Zealand does not have that problem as it was populated by free settlers. 

I must ask myself this question.

Has our relative isolation from the rest of the world made our very isolation a prison should our governments choose it to be so? 

If we decide to run for the hills, where do we go? Are we left with no alternative but to stand and fight as Smith had to do in the book? 

Is it time to wake up and fight? Or have we left it too late to even make a run for it? 

 Hunt for the Wilderpeople - Sam Neil and Julian Dennison - New Zealand

Anything is possible. If we run. But slow walking would be a start. 

Maybe it is time for a slow walk back to common sense?

 

 

 

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