Mr Eekes’ remarks: The governor-general; patriotism and class war

October 11, 2010

My occassional correspondent,  J W Eekes Esq. sent this missive as a comment on the Henrygate thread. It speaks to the heart of the debate about “Kiwi-ness” with a vigor born of class-consciousness. I thought it well worth elevating.

Many thanks sir. Please regale us with more of your pithy observations.

The problem of the Governor-General

J W Eekes [guest post]

The real problem with the Governor-General isn’t his size or ethnicity. The problem is his membership in the self-serving, bipartisan cohort of judges and lawyers who consider themselves born to rule this country and have done so for decades.

Ruling classes throughout the Anglosphere co-opt whoever and whatever they can to legitimise their hold on power and give the impression of inclusiveness in what is in fact always an elite club governed by inviolable customs and shibboleths.

Satyanand’s ethnicity might be a problem for Henry and his supporters. It’s not for the establishment who long ago accepted him and elevated him to office. What matters to them is membership in the ruling class of our very own good ol’ boys and gals. If anything, Satyanand’s South Asian origin served to make him Helen Clark’s top choice even though it aroused suspicions of tokenism.

The only genius of the ruling class is its ability to pay lip service to lofty terms like meritocracy and public service, while exploiting the vast majority of people and convincing them that jandals, Richie McCaw and the quarter-acre section mean Godzone is something more than a lame concept invented by repressed depressives who clearly never lived or visited anywhere else.

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My pal Alex

August 30, 2007

I am indebted to fellow blogger Trevor Loudon for providing this picture of my old pal Alex Callinicos.

I just wanted to add a quick note so Trevor doesn’t have to bother anyone for another pic. I met Alex about twenty-something years ago when he was in Australia. Unfortunately we haven’t kept in touch.

At the time I was on the national executive of the International Socialists group and Alex and I had a nice chat about factional issues while sitting on the grass in Sydney’s Hyde Park.

Note to Trev: If you ring ASIO they can probably send you a photo of me and Alex “on the grass” for your blog.
The photo of Alex you published shows he’s put on weight, but then none of us are spring chickens any more.

Alex is a well-known and respected Marxist intellectual. He’s widely published by major academic presses and is a remarkable thinker about philosophy, politics and materialism.