VJMP Reads: The Interregnum: Rethinking New Zealand I

The Interregnum: Rethinking New Zealand is a small book of essays that is for sale at the Volume bookstore in Nelson, by Bridget Williams Books. The blurb on the back asks the question of whether New Zealand’s political settlement is beginning to fray, and purports to “interrogate” the future from a youth perspective.

The first essay, by editor Morgan Godfery, is called “The Voices of A New Generation” and opens by relating an anti-TPPA demonstration in Auckland. It breathlessly describes the excitement of thousands of diverse people coming together to oppose the signing of the multilateral trade agreement.

Reading this piece, something about it speaks to the lack of purpose that the young generation now has. The fight against apartheid seemed meaningful at the time; it seemed a great evil was being fought. A law that says that a large section of the population are second-class humans, for no other reason than skin colour, seems like the sort of arbitrary and cruel treatment that everyone should be against.

But can the same be said of international trade? Who really understands it well enough to decide? And so what if “trade agreements are signed”?

By the fourth page of this essay there is already a Marx quote, which bodes poorly. The reader gets the sentiment that the new voice here is going to be an echo of the same social justice warriors seen overseas. If not, why oppose something as vague and nebulous as the TPPA, instead of protesting about poor wages, poor housing, poor mental health outcomes?

The essay finds its feet when it hones in on the real enemy: neoliberalism. Godfery mentions the damage done to the national psyche by the Mother of All Budgets, and it feels like he speaks for many when he says that the children condemned to poverty by Richardson’s Budget are now adults, some of us with our own children.

But again, this speaks to the confusion in the New Zealand Left. What to make of the fact that the signing of the TPPA was protested under a National Government, with many prominent Labour supporters in attendance, and then the Labour Government went and signed it anyway? No-one knows yet if Labour will get criticised for their evident support of neoliberalism, or whether people will let it pass.

This introductory essay declares that the book is for those who have “a fierce desire to radically reshape politics.” It proposes that instead of focusing on “returns on investment”, that we return to a politics of “higher principles and values”.

This is all very well, but the question that strikes one is: whose higher principles and values? Because usually when the working class votes for people promising to govern by higher principles, it turns out that those principles only apply to a chosen few groups, and if you’re not one of them then you’re “privileged” (“privileged” means “untermensch” in social justice speak”.

We can see this now with Jacinda Ardern’s decision to give Manus Island “refugees” her highest priority, while saying nothing about the Kiwis suffering from the illegal status of medicinal cannabis. Unfortunately for medicinal cannabis users, official victim status has so far eluded them, and so they continue to be ignored.

Concluding with half a dozen mentions of the word “love”, this essay promises that the book will make for interesting reading for the sake of political philosophy. However, it’s not possible to believe that a book that opens by quoting several Marxists could be entirely trustworthy or honest, even if it is earnest.

It remains to see what these higher principles are.

Why New Zealand Should Make Cricket Our National Sport

Kane Williamson is ten times more famous on the world stage than any All Black realistically ever could be – and a hundred times less at risk for head injury

It’s over. The Scots have beaten us for the first time in rugby history. It didn’t turn out quite like that, of course, as Beauden Barrett’s covering tackle forced a knock on from the Scottish fullback, but when Stuart Hogg broke the line and then defeated TJ Perenara’s ankletap, it looked like the Scots were going to score, making it 22-22 with a kick to come.

If Finn Russell had slotted that, Scotland would have beaten the All Blacks for the first time in over a century of trying. It would be a dark day for New Zealand rugby, especially having conceded a first-ever loss to Ireland only a few years beforehand.

Considering that the Kiwis were bundled out of the RLWC at the quarterfinal stage, it would be an incredible dual blow to the country’s self image within 24 hours. Our aura of rugby invincibility would be shattered. It would be emasculating. Kiwi men wouldn’t be able to look their wives in the eye for weeks.

Hell, it was bad enough for the Kiwis to lose to Fiji and for Scotland to not get thrashed. We might do well to see the writing on the wall now and realise that our historical advantages have been eroded, and that there is every chance of us being just one of the pack from now on.

All these are just superficial reasons for questioning the primacy of rugby as the national sport, though. They are fashions, that come and go.

What will mark a permanent change is our ever-increasing awareness of the severity of brain trauma endured by constant heavy collisions. Fifty years from now, it’s possible that no-one will be playing rugby at all, whether league or union, for the same reasons that other extremely violent things don’t happen anymore. We became aware of the actual consequences.

Rugby is fun as all hell to play. Maybe it’s because of the danger inherent in the game. Tackling is dangerous, because if you go too low you can take a knee to the head, and if you go too high you can talk an elbow to the head, and the ruck is dangerous because someone might drop a knee or elbow on your head, and the high ball is dangerous because you might land on your head, and so on.

It’s hard to avoid playing rugby without head injuries. Richie McCaw said, shortly after his retirement, that “I don’t miss getting smashed,” and Kieran Read is on record as saying that he will raise his son to play cricket instead of rugby because of the risk of head injury makes rugby a poor choice.

This latter point regarding Read is something to think about. If a man as brave and mean and big and athletic as Kieran Read is going to steer his sons away from rugby because of the risk of head injury, what hope do the rest of us have?

The lifelong effects of repetitive brain trauma on NFL players are increasingly becoming known. Mounting evidence suggests that the brain trauma from tackling and being tackled is strongly correlated with future neural disorders, early dementia, strokes etc. There must be tens of thousands of young mothers who are now aware of this risk from playing collision sports and we shouldn’t be surprised if rugby went the way of bullrush and got banned in all schools on account of the risk to developing brains.

Already the international game is being affected by the head to send players off for head injury assessments, and the more this happens the more people realise that head injury is really an ever-present risk for rugby players.

From a cultural perspective, the risk here is that these mothers steer their children away from rugby and into a shit sport like soccer, thereby exposing them to moral and physical degeneration and teaching them to glorify cheating and disrespecting the referee.

For this reason, it’s imperative that cricket steps into the gap left by the impending withdrawal of children from the rugby paddocks and fills a national need for a sport that allows for competition in a high-trust environment. Furthermore, cricket will soon become a much more realistic career path than rugby for talented Kiwi athletes on account of the IPL and other international T20 cricket leagues.

A switch to cricket as our national sport might be a wise move now, because it may be forced on us in the future by an increasing appreciation of the risk of brain damage.

Te Reo With Mnemonics: Garden Words

Flower – putiputi

Valerie Adams throws a shotput, only instead of the shot it’s a bouquet of flowers. She throws a bouquet twice, so put-put.

Snail – ngata

A day slowly turns to night and, when it does, a whole lot of snails come out.

Shovel – kāheru

A man sees another man walking along with a shovel over his shoulder, and calls out “Come here, you!”

Tree – rākau

A crazy old man uses a rake to clear the leaves from a tree that’s still standing and healthy.

Rake – purau

A woman takes a rake and purees it in a blender by pushing it in shaft first.

Grass – pātītī

A woman lies sunbathing in the grass. Instead of a bikini, her breasts are covered with pies. She has a pie-titty.

The Maori word for tree – rākau – sounds like the English word ‘Rake’

Leaf – rau

A boy nails a bunch of leaves to a wall in a row.

Bone – kōiwi

Bones are arranged on the ground in the shape of a kiwi.

Path – ara

A bunch of Mongrel Mob members walk down a garden path, chanting “Araaa!”

Bee – pī

A man is taking a pee at the edge of his garden, and he gets stung on the penis by a bee.

Wall – tara

A small girl walks up to an imposing brick wall and tears it down because it is only made of crepe paper.

Lawnmower – pōtarotaro

A lawnmover runs over a bunch of potatoes on the lawn.

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The above is an excerpt from the upcoming Learn Maori Vocabulary With Mnemonics, by Jeff Ngatai, due to be published by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2017/18.

What Does it Mean For The Left That Muslims Hate Homosexuals?

The Australian same-sex marriage referendum demonstrated something unpalatable to the left – Muslims, even more than other Abrahamists, hate homosexuals

A horrific realisation is slowly dawning on Western leftists; something that, after the results of the Australian same-sex marriage referendum, can no longer be denied. The anti-conservative alliance that the Left has become claims to represent both homosexuals and Third World immigrants – but the problem is that most of those Third World immigrants despise homosexuals.

This column has previously raised the question of whether homosexuals can still be considered part of the victim class owing to the vast increase in their fortunes over the last four decades. Homosexuals are now over-represented in the New Zealand Parliament by a factor of 250%, and their average income is considerably higher than that of the average citizen in most Western countries.

Before the referendum, the Australian Left made a lot of noise about stopping white Christian bigots from spreading their homophobia and hate. So they got a lot of egg on their faces when it turned out that their beloved Muslims and Third World immigrants turned out to be the most strongly opposed to same-sex marriage.

This could eventually mean that homosexuals start to move their allegiances to the right.

Already it’s known that white people support conservative parties in much greater numbers than they do leftist/liberal parties, and since it’s really only white culture that accepts homosexuals, and considering that the average Western homosexual is wealthier than the average Western non-homosexual, the next logical step for the homosexual bloc is to shift allegiances to the right wing.

After all, it doesn’t really make sense for homosexuals in the West to facilitate the mass importation of people who consider them animals and who will vote to take homosexual rights away. Gay white men are already finding themselves increasingly more welcome in right-wing circles of employed middle-class people and increasingly less welcome in left-wing circles of brown-skinned religious fundamentalists.

No-one should be surprised to see a wholesale shift in gay loyalties in the West over the next few decades, from liberal to conservative. One could argue that it already has started to happen.

What this will mean for the Left is increased tension between factions, up until a point where that tension becomes insurmountable. You simply cannot have an alliance where one party wants to throw the other party off a rooftop by command of God, and so leftists will have to choose between homosexuals on the one hand and Muslims and Africans on the other.

What this will mean for the Right is also increased tension, but also an opportunity. The tension will arise from the fact that religious conservatives do not like homosexuals, but at the same time can see an opportunity to gain their support on account of having so much in common, and therefore will get a sniff of power.

What this should mean for the Left is a coming together under the banner of a shared value, such as universal compassion. Some would argue that this has been done already or at least has been intended to happen but it’s simply impossible when one faction wants to eradicate another one. Muslims and homosexuals cannot co-exist in one political movement, that is now clear.

If the Left is to survive the 21st century and provide a realistic alternative to globalist hypercapitalism, which is currently rampant, it has to stop being so soft and recognise that some boundaries are necessary to prevent total chaos. One of those boundaries might well be the blanket exclusion of people from cultures that do not place a high moral value on tolerance and compassion.

Are You Trapped At Stage 4 of Kohlberg’s Scale of Moral Reasoning?

The majority of people can’t get past the idea that the law is the law and must be obeyed without question – which makes things hard for people who need medicinal cannabis

American psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg had a lifelong obsession with morality and moral reasoning, and the best-known result of his research was his six-point scale of moral reasoning. A continuation of the child development studies of Jean Piaget, the theory suggests that people develop through discrete stages of moral reasoning, with each stage more sophisticated, effective and enlightened than the previous ones. This article discusses the tremendous number of people trapped at stage 4 of the scale.

Kohlberg’s scale suggests that moral sophistication develops over the course of a person’s life, with entry into each new stage marked by a brand new perspective which is different to the old one but still a derivative of it, in the sense that the individual holding it has “grown up” and become more of a functioning adult.

Essentially, most people start out with a similar level of moral reasoning to that of a wild animal. Kohlberg euphemistically referred to this stage as “Pre-conventional” and it consists of the wretches who do nothing but try to avoid punishment in stage 1, and the narcissists and psychopaths who are only interested in personal advantage in stage 2.

Conventional reasoning is where most people are. In this stage, moral decisions are justified with reference to what other people in society do or believe. Stage 3 of this involves an effort to display good intentions as defined by social approval, and a person here tries to be good and be thought of as good, wanting to earn a pat on the head.

In stage 4, a person comes to appreciate the value of the law. In this stage it becomes possible for a person to reason to themselves the need to follow a law or social convention despite that the people around them are not doing so. Someone here is capable of overcoming being induced by peer pressure into doing something immoral or criminal.

This is not the most sophisticated stage of moral reasoning, but in the same way that most people are intellectually unremarkable they are also morally unremarkable. In other words, most people just follow the herd and are neither vicious nor Buddha-like, and so they develop to here and no further.

It is speculated that most people never reach stages 5 and 6 of moral reasoning – collectively known as “Post-conventional” reasoning – on account of that they have neither the courage to stand out from the herd nor the intelligence to determine when it might be correct to do so. At these stages a person is willing to break the law if doing so would uphold a higher moral principle.

Kohlberg used to test the participants in his studies with something called the Heinz dilemma. This is a thought experiment in which the participants are invited to ask themselves if they might consider it morally permissible to steal a medicine if this was necessary to afford the medical treatment of a loved one.

New Zealanders often find themselves faced with something that we might call the Renton dilemma, after Rose and Alex Renton, who faced it. The Renton dilemma could be described as whether or not to act in order to help a sick person get hold of medicinal cannabis despite that the medicine has been prohibited by whatever local ruling power has claimed the authority to do so.

If a person was stuck at stage 4 of Kohlberg’s scale of moral reasoning, at which point they put the importance of the law above everything else, they would argue that Rose Renton should not have tried to get hold of medicinal cannabis without the relevant government approval, because laws like this must be obeyed for the sake of social cohesion.

The reason why this is dilemma is because a person who follows the law would not help a sick person get hold of medicinal cannabis, ergo they would let a sick person suffer needlessly for the sake of upholding the law.

A person at stage 5 of Kohlberg’s scale might not reason in such a manner, perhaps deciding instead that acting to reduce the sum total of human suffering in the world was more important than mindless obedience to a law that the people never consented to, and which was forced upon them on false pretenses and supported by lies.

Anyone who can’t get their head around the idea that the law can be wrong is likely stuck at stage 4 of Kohlberg’s moral reasoning scale, and it’s on issues at the forefront of cultural change, like cannabis law reform, where they get the most confused. Unfortunately, these people are by far the majority and the herd rules under the laws of democracy.

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Vince McLeod is the author of the Cannabis Activist’s Handbook.

What’s Defective in the Brain of Gareth Morgan?

Most Kiwis have now had occasion to listen to Gareth Morgan and have realised that there’s something missing from his brain

New Zealanders have had a collective experience this year – 97.6% of us have seen Gareth Morgan on television or social media and thought to themselves “There’s something fucking wrong with that guy.” Even by the mediocre, ignorant, bombastic standards of the puffed-up pissants who comprise New Zealand’s political class, Morgan stands out as a particularly vile specimen. This article takes a psychological perspective to examine what might be wrong with the man.

Having a go at someone on the occasion of the sudden death of a beloved pet, as Morgan did upon the death of Jacinda Ardern’s cat this week, is about as worthy of admiration as having a go at someone on the occasion of the death of a grandparent. It’s a really low thing to do, and a person wouldn’t normally think to do it unless something was missing from their brain. After all, many pet owners consider their animal friends a legitimate part of the family.

Imagine if Sam Morgan suddenly died and Jacinda Ardern had a go at Gareth on social media, taunting him on account of the damage Sam did to the environment with frequent international air travel. It would be the most appallingly unprimeministerial conduct ever witnessed in the history of the country. The whole nation would be united in agreement that someone who behaved like that was not fit to run a pub, let alone lead a country, on account of lacking basic compassion.

That this sort of conduct is not beneath Morgan won’t surprise the large numbers of people who have observed him speak and got a creepy vibe from the man, as if he was someone who you wouldn’t leave alone in a room with a pet or a small child.

Probably the reason for this is that Morgan, like most individuals who give other people the creeps, has a very low opinion of the importance of other people. As evidenced by his proposal to buy a section of Awaroa Beach, Morgan considers other people lesser beings, their opinions less worthy, their feelings less valuable.

This is not news to anyone who criticised Morgan’s refugee policy on one of his billions of sponsored FaceBook threads, and was verbally abused as a consequence.

It is cause to believe that Morgan has utterly failed at what a psychologist would call the development of a Theory of Mind – in other words, Morgan has absolutely no idea what’s going on in other people’s heads.

This hypothesis is supported by Morgan’s rude, crude, almost autistic dismissals of other people’s viewpoints. Like most narcissists, Morgan responds firstly with disbelief and rage when people disagree with him, and then when this cools becomes snarky and contemptuous. No effort at creating a common understanding with another person is made – you agree with the truth as divined by Saint Gareth or you are simply subhuman.

No amount of explaining could get it into Morgan’s head that most people are appalled by a tax plan that calls for taxing the family home. For the vast majority of people, their tenure of dwelling is their basic security in life: their castle and their home base. Of course, someone with hundreds of millions who can buy a house with pocket change cannot understand these sentiments, but the telling thing is that Morgan made no effort to – anyone who disagreed was simply a misinformed idiot.

Neither does he seem to have the faintest idea how much joy people get out of cats, and therefore the great anti-depressant effect that cats have on the people that spend time around them. He seems to have completely failed to understand that most cat owners see their cats as fellow beings of a similar order of importance to other people. This is pretty weird, all things considered, because there are very few people who are mentally defective on such issues of empathy.

Probably the main reason for this failure is that Morgan just doesn’t care. Judging by his behaviour on the campaign circuit, other people are, for him, just tools to be used in the achievement of a greater objective.

In other words, Morgan shares a failure to develop a theory of mind with all manner of criminals, psychopaths and dictators, who, like him, are missing the basic empathy that makes people truly human.

Defending Human Rights Begins At Home

There’s no point in Jacinda Ardern’s Government fighting for the rights of “refugees” in Australia when it is committing human rights abuses against the New Zealand people by denying us medicinal cannabis

Watching Jacinda Ardern virtue signal about the need for New Zealand to take in country-shopping refugees from Manus Island is disgusting when she is representing a Government that is currently committing human rights abuses against its own people. The fact is that if the Sixth Labour Government wants to get a reputation for being on the correct side of human rights issues, it needs to start at home with a repeal of cannabis prohibition.

Putting a sick person in a cage for growing the medicine they need to alleviate their suffering is a human rights abuse. No reasonable person doubts this anymore, despite the 80 years of propaganda seeking to demonise the plant. There is ample evidence that cannabis is medicinal and should never have been made illegal.

Plenty of unreasonable people once argued otherwise, and unfortunately our law still reflects the conclusions drawn by those unreasonable people in the form of the Misuse of Drugs Act. But much like prohibiting women from voting, or to putting gay men in cages like animals, reasonable people have kept the pressure on to get the law changed to something reflecting basic human compassion.

The majority of the New Zealand people now believe that the politicians who criminalised growing medicinal cannabis, and the Police officers, judges and bailiffs that enforce this illegal law are human rights abusers. This is because, if people do not have the right to a medicine that takes their suffering away when they get sick, then they don’t have any rights at all.

A law that forces sick people to endure unnecessary suffering when those sick people could themselves be growing a palliative medicine is obscene. It’s more obscene than anything else currently happening in New Zealand, and this is why Ardern needs to begin with a repeal of cannabis prohibition and not by meddling with Australian “refugee” policy.

It’s clear that it’s important to the Sixth Labour Government that they are seen to be doing the right thing. Much of the argument for voting for them in the first place is moral – that a greater redistribution of wealth would alleviate poverty and that we have a moral obligation to reduce poverty because it causes suffering. So they have an obligation to actually make moral decisions.

It’s also clear that the Fifth Labour Government fell, in part, because the public perception was that it was more interested in being seen to do the right thing than actually doing the right thing. They started to appear hollow and dishonest to a jaded electorate, and the public became cynical.

In order to avoid this, Ardern’s Government ought to deliver a meaningful win to the disenfranchised and dejected masses who voted them in, and quickly. It ought to introduce an immediate moratorium on cannabis arrests, effective today, by giving notice to Police Commissioner Mike Bush that it had intent to repeal cannabis prohibition.

If the intent was to look good from taking correct moral actions, this is one that the Fifth Labour Government should have taken 18 years ago, because there was enough evidence for California to make medicinal cannabis legal in 1996. Ardern would do well to make up for the tardy refusal of the New Zealand Government to stay informed; a pig-headedness that has caused so much suffering.

Of course, if Jacinda Ardern had any real integrity, and wasn’t just another of the virtue-signalling hypocrites that Western voters now expect leftist politicians to be, she would make a public Government apology to those impacted by cannabis prohibition, emphasise that the New Zealand Government never had the right to make The People’s Medicine illegal and open discussions about compensation for past criminal convictions. That would be the result of making an objective, honest appraisal about how to put things right.

This is too much to realistically hope for, but we can still call for an immediate moratorium on cannabis arrests on the basis that prohibition will not survive this term of Government.

The Boringest T20I Is Worse Than The Boringest ODI

Scoreboard pressure in often so intense in T20s, especially at international level, that one misstep puts the chasing side in a hopeless position

In much the same way that cricket analysts were slow to catch on to the importance of strike rate in ODIs, so too have they been slow to catch on to the importance of strike rate in T20s. Everyone knows strike rate is important in limited overs; what few understand is how this can lead to extremely boring matches. This article looks at why efforts to contrive a more interesting game of cricket have only somewhat succeeded.

The advent of T20 came about when someone realised that, all other things being equal, fans liked seeing boundaries and wickets, and didn’t much care for dot balls or for contests that were over long before they technically finished because the chasing side lost early wickets. And so a form of the game was contrived to have as few dot balls as possible, and as many boundaries and wickets as possible.

But what this new fashion risks losing sight of is the fact that cricket is only interesting in the first place because it is a contest of skill, and sometimes the nature of the match situation in T20 is not conducive to playing the game skillfully.

For instance, it almost never occurs in ODIs that the chasing team, in the first five overs, falls so far behind the required strike rate that the match is effectively lost without resorting to slogging. The chasing team might lose early wickets, which makes the chase much harder, but as long as they can keep their wickets intact there are still plenty of overs in which to win through playing proper cricket and building an innings.

In T20s it’s common for the chasing team to build up enough scoreboard pressure in the first five overs that they effectively cannot win. In other words, it’s possible to lose the game with the bat in the first five overs because of scoreboard pressure – something that is near to impossible in ODIs.

This can happen if the team setting a total bats well enough that they’re close to the optimal possible run rate over the 20 overs (which is usually somewhere just above 10 an over, a rate that cannot realistically be maintained for an ODI). When the required run rate for the batting team climbs above this, it cannot be achieved without taking risks (i.e. slogging) and when this happens one is no longer playing cricket. It’s no longer a contest of skill but merely hit and hope.

This is an incredibly boring outcome from the spectator’s point of view, because the beauty of cricket is that it is a contest of skill where the batsman must find a balance between aggression and keeping his wicket intact. Removing the “keeping the wicket intact” part of the equation often reduces the game to slogging.

It has happened twice in the two matches of the T20I series between New Zealand and India so far.

In the first T20I in Delhi this week, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma both scored 80 at strike rates of 145+ opening the India innings, which allowed them to finish on 202, more than 10 runs an over. This asking rate was so high that the slightest stumble in the chase would see the match over as a contest.

And it duly was effectively over, 22 balls into the chase after Munro and Guptill had both been dismissed. At this point the equation was 185 runs off 98 balls and Kane Williamson and Tom Latham, for all their undoubted skill as batsmen, couldn’t do much about it because neither could slog at the required rate.

Once a T20 match gets to this stage it gets ugly, because batsmen have no time to get used to the conditions so as to play big innings where they strike the ball skillfully and with timing into gaps in the field. So after Williamson and Latham were dismissed, Colin de Grandhomme had to come in and slog his first ball, which got him out.

In last night’s T20I at Rajkot, the contest was effectively over in the second over of the chase after Trent Boult had taken two wickets. Colin Munro clubbed his way to 109* (58) in the first innings, which meant that the slightest stumble would put the total out of reach.

And it duly was effectively over after Boult’s second, which meant they needed 10.5 an over for the remaining 18, or an individual strike rate of 175, with their two best hitters out. None of their batsman managed this, as few do.

The remaining batsmen were unable to score at the required strike rate without throwing their wickets away, and so limped to a loss, effectively throwing in the towel long before the innings concluded.

In ODIs strike rate is a major factor, but strike rate seldom destroys the chasing team’s hopes as quickly, as ruthlessly and as completely as in T20Is. Scoreboard pressure can destroy a chasing team’s chances so quickly that players can be forced into mindless slogging, and this is much less interesting to watch than a balanced contest between bat and ball.

The Black Caps T20 side already can’t find room for batsmen of the quality of Ross Taylor and Tom Latham, because they can’t (or don’t) slog enough. This means that the viewer is watching batting of a lower level of skill just because the way the T20 format is contrived promotes such. This is also not interesting from a viewer’s perspective.

The real horror scenario is this – what if it is decided that strike rate is so important in T20Is that there’s no room in the side for Kane Williamson? Because if this day ever comes, T20Is might start to be considered a joke format by cricket fans in the same way most rugby union fans consider sevens, or at least one only suited for levels below international.

If the joy of sport comes from watching skill on display then it can be argued that T20Is are objectively more boring than ODIs because they objectively give less opportunity for the batsman to display skill. The overwhelming importance of strike rate means that skillful cricketers are often pushed out of the side by sloggers, which are only fun in small amounts.

New Zealand Should Start Accepting White South Africans As Refugees

White South Africans may have become to the blacks what Jews once became to the Germans. Should New Zealand act now in the interests of preventing a genocide?

The race rhetoric in South Africa appears to have reached an unprecedented level of nastiness, and farm murders are increasing. Ever more prominent black South African voices are calling for the removal of white people. With a mind to possibly preventing a genocide, New Zealand ought to consider whether we should start accepting white South Africans as refugees.

There are several major advantages to the idea from a New Zealand perspective.

South Africans regularly find themselves at or near the top of the income tables for the various immigrant groups to New Zealand – in stark contrast to the sort of person who usually comes to the West as a refugee. This suggests that they broadly fall into the categories of immigrant that we’re trying to attract anyway.

The common Marxist argument that Third World refugees are generally beneficial to the nations that let them in has been proven to be a lie, but white South Africans have a similar level of academic achievement to white people in other Western cultures, and this has had a positive effect on employment rates and economic productivity. In this sense they could be considered a First World culture.

This also means that they’re much less likely to do the kind of welfare bludging and petty crime that people from other large refugee sources tend to do, which means that the New Zealand population is less likely to regret the decision to let them in. Many Europeans bitterly regret letting in so many immigrants whose net contributions are negative, and New Zealand has the right and duty to act to avoid the same fate.

Culturally speaking, white South Africans are more like us Kiwis than anyone else in the world is, with the exception of Australians. The first major wave of British colonisation was to the Americas, which is why the Americans and Canadians are similar, and the second major wave was to South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, which is why these cultures are similar.

White South Africans speak English, they play cricket and rugby, they have a much better idea of how to conduct themselves in a Parliamentary democracy than most other immigrants, they value education, they have extensive experience (however cynical) of other ethnicities, they have a Northern European Protestant work ethic like most other successful colonial cultures, and, at least for now, they are mostly free of the massive psychological trauma that makes the long-term integration of a foreign person into society truly difficult.

In other words, they’re every bit our cousins as much as the Aussies are.

If white South Africans are not much different to us than Aussies are, their integration will be straight-forward, which is something that cannot be said of most potential refugees. This means that we can accommodate more of them for a given amount of social upheaval.

After all, a given number of immigrants will cause a level of social disruption that is a function of how different those immigrants are to the host population, so if one of the limits to taking refugees is how willing the host population is to accept them, then taking refugees that are more like us will allow us to help more people.

This means that if we are to take refugees at all, and many are arguing that we should, then we should take white South Africans first.

One negative that people might argue is that South Africa, as a developing country, needs the brainpower of its most highly-educated demographic much more than New Zealand does, as we already have a large class of highly-educated professionals whereas South Africa is still fairly poor and educational standards are very low.

But against that it could be argued that these white South Africans are going to end up moving out of the country one way or the other, and in short order in either case. Because they are educated, white and English-speaking it’s also fairly easy for Australia, Canada, Britain or America to take them in, so we might as well grab them now.

Another potential negative to consider is that offering blanket asylum to white South Africans might jeopardise a potentially more orderly withdrawal process. Measured emigration might turn into a panic.

But against this it would be argued that if a Zimbabwe-style ethnic cleansing in South Africa appears probable – and it’s looking ever more likely – then moving as quickly as possible is the best move to minimise human suffering in the long term.

New Zealand should take measures to accommodate considerable numbers of white South African refugees because the safety of those cultures in the African continent can no longer be guaranteed, and letting them into New Zealand is both easier than them going anywhere else and better for New Zealand than letting any other group of refugees in.