Introduction. In my Blog No 144 at the start of the series entitled “NZ and the international rule of law”, I set out a route down which New Zealand might travel if it wished to escape the current twin perils of nuclear holocaust and climate catastrophe. This blog deals with the third phase of that proposal.
“3. Launch a determined international diplomatic and PR campaign to persuade other nations to adopt the same plan.”
This third phase will only be feasible if stages 1 and 2 below, are already well in train.
1. Persuade the public of the twin dangers the nation faces. Convince them of the need to accept sacrifice and change, even at the risk of their becoming angry and disappointed by the government’s initial inability to achieve anything without other nations joining the plan.
This step is set out in Blog 145. It is mainly concerned with the means by which the New Zealand public can be made aware of the realities of the national and global factors affecting their situation. The intention is to enable and motivate a well-informed and responsible public to participate effectively in their own government.
2. Work on constitutional change (the UK, Israel, Saudi Arabia and New Zealand are the only nations lacking the safeguard of a written constitution.) We need a far more participatory democracy. Developments in other countries show how far NZ is off the ball and how weak its democracy.
This step is set out in Blog 146. It will involve providing the country with a modern, best-practice, written constitution which will allow and ensure greatly increased citizen participation in government decisions.
It is only when the first and second phases, as set out above, are being put into effect that New Zealand will be in a position to take the difficult decisions and make the bold moves required to save itself from the dangers ahead. Success will only be possible if the country also serves as the necessary example and inspiration to help sufficient other threatened nations (which is all of them) to follow the same path.
There can be no going it alone: it is impossible for a single nation to escape from the present situation without taking others with it. It is only after significant numbers of other nations have adopted the same route that the international community, of which New Zealand is a part, will have a chance of escaping the perils of international anarchy, nuclear war and climate change.
Once NZ has put its own house in order, becomes demonstrably capable of independent action and is no longer seen as just another wart on Uncle Sam’s bottom, it will be better positioned to impress other nations with its advocacy.
Impressing other nations. By this stage, New Zealand will have gained control over its own media and greatly enhanced the professionalism and ethics of its journalism. At the same time it will have significantly boosted its diplomatic and social media capabilities. Both these steps will inevitably incur costs that will impact on the nation’s standard of living. It will only be through having a public that can appreciate their necessity that these measures will be accepted and put into place.
Essential to the plan is for New Zealand to make clear that it is no longer a part of the so-called western alliance, or of any alliance other that of the United Nations, for whose reform and increased effectiveness New Zealand will become a determined and persistent advocate.
New Zealand will not only have to use its increased diplomatic representation to impress other governments with its strategy. It will also have to deploy its enhanced media capability to speak directly to their populations. Ultimately it is their populations that will determine how other governments conduct their affairs.
Self-Defence. The adoption of the above strategy will inevitably incur the hostility of certain other governments, which may feel threatened by the potential of their populations to adopt a new set of values and priorities. At the same time, NZ will be leaving the umbrella of the USA’s military umbrella, which guaranteed its security from other nations’ acts of hostility in return for NZ’s acceptance of the USA’s global leadership role.
If the New Zealand initiative is not to be nipped in the bud, it will have to ensure not only that its newly developed media and diplomatic muscles are such as to give pause to potentially hostile governments, but also that it presents a particularly indigestible prey for foreign militaries. My previous blog No 40 http://www.khakispecs.com/?p=919 suggests ways in which this could be achieved.
Just as important as the military aspect of self-defence has to be the question of enhanced intelligence capability. The first sign of New Zealand exercising a newly found independence will be its withdrawal from the Echelon system, the wooden horse garrisoned by the distorted world view proffered by Washington. It could be that some further use might be found for the Waihopai spy station under its new ownership, but its current wholesale, prophylactic intelligence gathering requires far too much analysis and sifting to be within New Zealand’s budget.
I would argue that the proposed enhanced diplomatic capability and greatly boosted effort in the field of investigative journalism would more than compensate for the loss of the manipulated intelligence currently emerging from Echelon.
There is one other major source of intelligence that would be available to the New Zealand government. New Zealand should offer pardon, protection against extradition, citizenship, pension and safe haven to foreign whistle-blowers that provide evidence of significant breaches of international law by government agencies (most particularly, but not exclusively intelligence and military) of other nations, or crimes against the planet committed by corporations. The offer needs to be supported by enhanced internal security measures to guarantee their protection against revenge or silencing attacks. This guarantee of haven and security should produce a steady flow of information that would greatly speed up the process by which the global population comes to realise the seriousness of its predicament and give it additional incentive to support the COPE initiative set out below.
A direct approach to global public opinion. The classic direct approach, to abandon National loyalties and replace them with a global loyalty, was made by Gary Davis at the end of WWII. His initiative, http://www.worldservice.org/gov.html after huge initial success, floundered and lacking any form of governmental support and in the absence of a WWW, more or less atrophied in the Cold War years. Currently it ticks along, issuing ‘World Citizen’ passports (2.5 million issued since the 1950s) that are not generally recognised as valid travel documents, but represent a ‘feel good’ possession for idealists and a last hope to cling to for some of the world’s refugee flotsam.
There have been subsequent attempts to achieve something approximating to the same goal. http://voteworldparliament.org/ The idea in this particular ‘Vote World Parliament’ initiative, taken by a group of Canadian citizens, was that sufficient numbers of individuals from multiple nations would sign up to force their national governments to surrender large chunks of their sovereignty to a central global authority. (To date, less than 25,000, out of a world population of around five billion adults, has signed up!)
With the arrival of the WWW, a much greater range of possibilities is opened up. As an example, here is a more narrowly defined attempt to bye-pass current national and international systems for the administration of justice by making use of the WWW to install an international court in which the people remain sovereign http://www.courtofpublicjustice.com/
The author of this latter (still embryonic and currently in abeyance) initiative is my friend and colleague Harmon Wilfred. Harmon has been frustrated by the seeming impossibility of obtaining any redress from international courts for the injustices he has suffered at the hands of the national court systems of Canada, the US and New Zealand.
Were the above ideas to be synthesised, developed, adopted by and in receipt of the full backing of a national government, such as that of a New Zealand determinedly pursuing the goals set out in this series of blogs, much could be achieved.
COPE (Citizen of Planet Earth.) Every inhabitant of Earth should be entitled to citizenship of the Earth as well as of whatever nation chance has left him or her to be living under the rule of. No commitments would ever be demanded of a COPE other than that, when opportunity for open advocacy or secret ballot presents itself, they should stand on the side of what, in their personal judgment, is most likely to further the causes of international peace and disarmament, environmental care and responsibility and the development and observance of international law.
Enabled by the WWW, this system of Earth citizenship would be administered by a trust set up and funded through the New Zealand and other like-minded governments until such time as the restructuring of the UN organisation had developed to a point at which it was accepted as being capable of administering it effectively. While the enhanced New Zealand diplomatic service would be talking to national governments, its enhanced journalistic output would be talking to their citizens and advancing the COPE system.
At some point, as the crises grow more frightening and the realities disclosed by whistle-blowers gain traction, the COPE system will take off and the numbers present in various countries will reach a point where their views have to be heeded by national governments. As I pointed out in an earlier blog, Pentagon instigated studies into the requirements for a successful regime change, demonstrate that just 10% of motivated advocates of a particular viewpoint represent a critical mass of a population sufficient for their views to become contagious and infect the whole population.
When the above combination of New Zealand government initiatives came to fruition in sufficient countries, the reform of the UN structure (or, failing that, its by-passing with the formation of an alternative structure) will become possible. This will be the subject of the next blog in this series. Let’s make planet Earth great again!