Nuts or deliberate flag sabotage?

This nonsense has been circulating around Facebook and emails for some time, claiming that removing the Union Jack from the flag then you “open the gates to hell”, it will give more p;ower toJohn Key and somewhow the Trans Pacific Partnership is implicated in the whole flag conspriacy.

DUEAUTHORITYHowever Attorney-General Chris Finlayson has described as “nuts” – Stuff reports Finlayson: theory about impact of removing Union Jack from flag ‘moderately nuts’:

Attorney-General Chris Finlayson has described as “nuts” a theory that removing the Union Jack from the New Zealand flag will give the Government more power.

Despite that, Finlayson said that “in the world in which I live” the theory was “quite moderate”.

“I have people alleging that – old grandmothers write in and say that the GCSB is spying on them, and that the Romans and Phoenicians were here before the Maori, so in terms of insanity it’s only moderately nuts.”

According to the theory, removing the Union Jack from the flag would remove the “due authority” of the Crown in government matters, as the Union Jack represents the monarchy.  “It also means we take away the very power which enforces both the 1990 Bill of Rights Act (the closest thing NZ has to an entrenched Constitution) and the founding plank upon which the Treaty of Waitangi has meaning,” reads one blog post.

Asked if removing the Union Jack from the flag would have any effect on New Zealand’s constitution, Finlayson replied: “Absolutely not. It would be a novel constitutional argument that the sovereignty of New Zealand was dependent on one corner of the New Zealand flag.”

Is it nuts, is it a deliberate attempt to sabotage the flag process, or both?

Dan Greenman: DUE AUTHORITY A VERY SILENT COUP:

Flags denote jurisdiction. One of the frustrating things about the change being made to the NZ flag is that no one has considered that change of heraldry and how it impacts on the very notion of DUE AUTHORITY.

TPPA -Flags & The Assassination of the NZ Democracy. Fly the Red Blue White and Say No to Prince John and the TPPA.

There’s a response to it on Facebook (Thanks Jaspa):

LEGAL MATTERS CONCERNING THE FLAG REFERENDUM

Some of you may have come across a message being spread around social media concerning the upcoming New Zealand flag referendum. This post proposes that the move to change the New Zealand flag, initiated by the current National Government, is actually a way of circumventing New Zealand law and putting in place the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

There’s a couple of variations regarding these messages, but the two key points relate to instructions on how to vote in the first of the two flag referendums, and the alleged legal consequences of changing the New Zealand flag.

It’s important that all people understand that the claims made in these messages are completely false, and have no legal basis whatsoever. Those who follow the instructions or advice of these messages are allowing the democratic process to be undermined by ignorance. I don’t know where these messages originated, or what the purpose of them is, but they should be ignored.

Andrew concludes:

I want to stress that this post is not about the TPPA or the New Zealand flag. Each of us is entitled to our own opinion on these matters, and all of us should act in accordance with our opinion, and I urge everyone to do so. But the effectiveness and appropriateness of our opinion is directly linked to how well informed we are on the matter at hand.

Messages like those being shared on Social Media muddy the waters by sowing false fears and misinformation, which can lead to erroneous actions. It’s important that the correct information is shared so that people can make informed decisions. I urge everyone to share this information around your friends so that collectively we can make informed decisions.

Story will also be covering this at 7 pm on TV3.

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18 Comments

  1. Missy

     /  8th September 2015

    It’s just nuts. And any suggestion that it is a deliberate attempt to sabotage the flag process is as much of a nutty conspiracy theory as this one that is circulating. The fact that you are even suggesting it may be a deliberate attempt to sabotage the flag process is disappointing, I thought you were more intelligent than that Pete. I am against change but even I can see how nutty these conspiracy theories are, but if you want conspiracy theories around the flag here is one I have come up with…

    This is a cunning plan by the anti change people to nobble the referendum, the PM wants a silver fern on the flag, if they can generate support for this one via social media and media pressure and make cabinet & the PM cave and put it on the ballot, it could win the first referendum, but no-one will vote for it in the second, and the current flag wins! Cunning or what?

    See, it is easy to come up with some nutty theory, but really there is nothing sinister behind any of these events except stupidity.

    never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity

    Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  8th September 2015

      Greenman is well named.

      Reply
      • kittycatkin

         /  8th September 2015

        And I don’t believe that anyone’s name is Te Ohu. It’s like being called Fred The Commune. They must think that nobody knows any Maori.

        Are these the people who thought-or pretended to think-that the Food Bill would make it illegal to grow vegetables and that selling them or giving them away would result in raids by armed police ?

        Reply
    • It’s a deliberate attempt to do something or some things by making up crap. The claims have no legal backing. So it’s lyingfor some purpose, with the flag and the TPPA obviously implicated.

      And it’s been widely circulated for a deliberate purpose of purposes.

      I think ikt’s fair to assume it was not just to contribute to sensible debate.

      Reply
      • Missy

         /  8th September 2015

        Pete, your conviction that this is a deliberate attempt to derail the flag debate is as much a nutty conspiracy theory as the idiots who link it to the TPPA.

        Every month there is a new nutty anti TPPA conspiracy theory appearing in my facebook feed, this is the latest one, and anyone with an ounce of intelligence or sense can see it for what it is.. By giving it anymore credence than that you are playing into their hands and perpetuating this stupidity.

        Pete, I enjoy your blog, and generally think your posts are considered and thought out, but on the flag you appear to be letting your bias blind you to it all. The simplest answer is usually the right one, in this case it is just another nutty conspiracy theory among many.

        Reply
      • jamie

         /  9th September 2015

        Saying it has been “widely circulated for a deliberate purpose” fundamentally misunderstands how facebook works. It is “widely circulated” because people keep sharing it. I agree with Missy. This is bizarre stuff from you Pete.

        Reply
        • It has not just been circulated on Facebook, but I’m aware how Facebook can work.

          Reply
          • kittycatkin

             /  9th September 2015

            I also believe that it’s being done for a purpose, as these things usually are-there are enough idiots who’ll believe these things. If it’s a joke, it’s a very elaborate one.

            Remember the perfume in the supermarket carpark ? Women were approached by a perfume seller who’d open a bottle for them to smell. The victim would sniff it and fall unconscious to the ground, coming to some time later to find that the perfume seller had stolen her handbag and car keys, driven to her house and robbed it and cleaned out her bank accounts, Nobody, of course, noticed the unconscious woman/en lying in the car park or saw her/them fall. People believed this.

            Reply
  2. kittycatkin

     /  8th September 2015

    Story has been so disappointingly superficial whenever I have seen it that I no longer bother.

    How can anyone be so stupid that they’d believe this drivel ?

    Reply
    • jaspa

       /  8th September 2015

      There are lots of people that stupid on Facebook, it would seem.

      Reply
      • Missy

         /  8th September 2015

        Yep, and they are the same one’s that believe the moon landings were fake, Obama isn’t American, aliens landed in Roswell and MH17 is in Kazakhstan….

        Reply
  3. kittycatkin

     /  8th September 2015

    Nuts or sabotage ?

    It seems like both to me.

    Reply
  4. kiwi guy

     /  8th September 2015

    I like the Union Jack it should stay, especially considering the crappy options we have been given for a new flag.

    Reply
  5. That is funny, no educated person could possibly taking it seriously.

    Reply

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