Still working.

It seems that despite a noticeable drop off in compliant behaviour by the general public a couple of weeks after each community scare, the system implemented by the coalition government and continued under the current one (which for overseas readers is different despite the coalition being Labour led, the former partners really did have a lot of say) is working and working well. Sure like any system, gaps and flaws get identified, but then they’re identified and rectified.

And enough people are wearing masks on public transport, and using track and trace that it works even if there isn’t universal compliance.

It’s tough for the National Party and the real runners up in the last election in terms of actual victory – ACT, find any real grounds to challenge on. The economy is healthy, people are satisfied with the government, and the vaccine is rolling out in a decent time frame.

It’s tough when there is one such overarching issue dominating the public discourse, but while the right is regrouping it, it feels like there have been some opportunities for those to the left of Labour, including the Greens to really push on the one crisis in our society that the government doesn’t have a grip on. Housing. It feels like as more people come home to Aotearoa from overseas, there is a real opportunity to create a supportive conversation around state housing, the provision of it, and the construction of it.

Well that’s over then. But what was it?

Joe Biden is the 46th president of the US, and everything is back to normal…

Seriously though – it does mark the end of an era. But what era was it? There has, as usual been a lot of noise around exactly what Trump and his regime represented. Is he a fascist? Was his government a fascist government?

This mini series from the brilliant Behind the Bastards podcast, looking at the first successful fascist leader Benito Mussolini and the March on Rome, helps us draw some useful parallels and I would recommend it to anyone trying to make sense of what just happened.

Behind the Insurrections – Mussolini’s March on Rome

The host Robert Evans of Bellingcat fame, and already referred to on this blog; takes us through a compelling narrative on the build up of the fascist movement in Italy from a few hundred people to nearly half a million in just a few years, covering the open consent of the ruling and middle classes, the failure of anti fascism, and decent strategy and leadership from Mussolini and his fellow fascist leaders.

Now for me the only difference I can see between Trump and Mussolini is that Trump didn’t actually have a plan to establish what we might classically describe as a fascist state (at least not from what we currently know), but that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t spent the last four and more years slowly trying to establish at the very least a deeply authoritarian, racist state, that fascists would feel very comfortable in.

Tweet without distractions…

If I return to using Twitter regularly (and I might), I will be using this helpful little app – Typefully. You can stick it on your phone or use it on your desktop.

You can write an entire thread without any distractions, and post it when you want… Ideal for those late night thoughts or funny little stories. It’s by the team behind Mailbrew, which is also a fine time saving service.

a note on the name of the blog

As the quote in the side bar shows the name comes from a Helen Keller quote. You can read more about her here and here.

The reason I chose it is because even now – even with COVID, catastrophic climate change, mass extinction, the rise of the alt right, leaderless terrorism, and everything else that’s happening – if we don’t approach things from an optimistic point of view than we might as well give up on the idea of a better society.