Climate change is this Government’s nuclear free issue

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Jacinda Ardern is right.  Climate change is this generation’s nuclear free moment.  And it is therefore this Government’s nuclear free issue.

After the mixed feelings caused by the response to the CGT proposal there is an imperative for the Government to make sure that its response is resolute.  Otherwise there will be the feeling that NZ First is wielding too much power.

Negotiations over the Zero Carbon Bill are under way and the result is close.  From Andrea Vance at Stuff:

The government is close to announcing a deal on its contentious climate change legislation, striking a deal over agricultural emissions.

Stuff understands Climate Change Minister James Shaw and NZ First have negotiated a “split gas” target, which would see methane treated differently from other long-lived gases, like carbon.

Farmers are worried about the legislation because agriculture accounts for about half our emissions, mostly methane from belching live stock.

It comes as Shaw took delivery on Tuesday of two reports – on agriculture and on transitioning to 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2035 – from the Interim Climate Change Committee (ICCC).

But instead of immediately releasing them publicly, as expected, the reports will be held back until the Government decides how to respond. 

Shaw said: “We have delayed release of reports to give Government time to consider the reports so that when they are released for public consultation people will have a clear idea of the Government’s thinking around the recommendations.

“That’s likely to mean the release of the reports, together with the Government’s position, will happen in the next few weeks.”

I can live with different treatments of methane and CO2.  Methane is shorter living and we can plant enough trees, lots and lots of trees,  to address the effects and give us more time as we transition away.  And getting to 100% renewable electricity by 2035 could cost a considerable amount although the analysis I have read came from the New Zealand Initiative and should be treated with a grain of salt.

But the Government needs to be staunch about the overall goal.

To see how stark things are when advisers to the UK Conservative Government are recommending carbon neutrality by 2050 then you know that things are dire.

How about carbon neutrality by 2025 as demanded by Extinction Rebellion?  That is an utterly ambitious target but the science seems to be suggesting more and more strongly that this is what will be required of Western nations to avert catastrophic change.

We are in an emergency and maybe as a starting point our leaders should publicly spell this out.  This New Scientist article contains these comments from ER spokesperson Rupert Reed:

Telling the truth would help reach the 2025 goal, he says. Extinction Rebellion is demanding that the government “must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency.” Perry responded this week that “what counts is actions”.

Read says one facet of this demand is about language and conveying the scale of change required to tackle climate change. “It means declare a climate emergency. Tell the public this is an existential threat. This is not just about the environment, but about everything. That we will have to change an awful lot,” he says

Already elected bodies are responding.  The Welsh Government has declared a climate emergency.  As has Scotland.  And London.  And UK Labour intends to this week force a vote in parliament to declare a national environmental and climate change emergency.

Auckland Council was recently asked to do the same.  They promised to think about it.  The city’s climate action plan, which aims to achieve a 40% reduction of greenhouse gas generation by 2040 is not brave enough.

Getting back to the Government the choices are stark.  A tepid half hearted response shaped by New Zealand First reluctance to upset farmers will not be enough.  This is this Government’s defining issue.

Let’s do this.

In support of Awhi Awhi

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Awhi Awhi, also known as the Paturoa Kauri, has featured in my thinking for a number of years now. And in the thinking of a number of people who I have a great deal of respect for. Including two neighbours and two people who decided to set up residence in Awhi Awhi’s branches to make sure she was OK.

After all why is a potentially 400 year old Kauri facing the chop? And what can we do to protect her and other trees like her?

I can recall vividly an early morning visit to the site 4 years ago when the sun was rising and a Kaumatua delivered a karakia while birds were singing and the beauty of the local environment peaked. For me that day the case for protection was clear.

Now we are entering a new stage. I hope that Awhi Awhi is safe. I thought I should set out what I am proposing, with the support of Sandra Coney and Saffron Toms, this week to the local board to make sure that a 400 year old Kauri that survived ring barking in an area full of kauri dieback can continue to live.

Notice of Motion (Paturoa Kauri)

In accordance with Standing Orders, please place the following Notice of Motion on the agenda for the Waitākere Ranges Local Board meeting being held on 18 April 2019.

Recommendation/s

That the Waitākere Ranges Local Board:

a)      urges Auckland Council to:

i)     reinstate the Significant Ecological Area on 40 Paturoa Road so that Awhi Awhi is protected.

ii)    reinstate the Significant Ecological Area on the road reserve outside of 40 and 42 Paturoa Road so that the significant Kauri on the road reserve have further protection.

Background

The fate of a 400 year old Kauri at 40 Paturoa Road (who has been named “Awhi Awhi”) has been a significant local issue for the past four years.  Such was the intensity of feeling for the tree two people took up residence in the tree to prevent it from being cut down.

The issue has arisen again recently following an Environmental Court decision where the uplifting of a restraining order preventing its felling has been approved.  An injunction against the felling of the tree is to expire shortly.

The Court showed a great deal of sympathy for the tree’s plight and the plight of Kauri generally.

In its judgment it said this:

“The Environment Court has taken a particular interest in the maintenance of Kauri trees as a consequence of the invasive pathogen (phytophthora agathidicida) commonly referred to as Kauri Dieback. Where such trees are protected and where there is the potential for them to be protected from Kauri dieback or other adverse effects, this court has been anxious to ensure that this charismatic megafauna (some might say iconic as the oldest living tree in New Zealand) is protected into the future.”

The Court held essentially that as Awhi Awhi is not within a significant ecological area it is not protected.  The removal of blanket tree protection which occurred in 2009 through changes made to the Resource Management Act mandated this result.

The properties at 40 and 42 Paturoa Road were partially cleared in accordance with a resource consent issued allowing for building on the property.  The original consent was issued on a non-notified basis and without reference to the neighbours.

Following High Court action the consent has been surrendered by the consent holders.  There have been concerns raised as to proposed works to stabilise the edge of the property adjacent to the road and also about the building of a driveway over the roots of two roadside Kauri.  Defects in relation to the mapping of Kauri root zones were also alleged.

There are three significant Kauri potentially affected by the work.  Not only is Awhi Awhi affected but two other Kauri on the road reserve are also seriously threatened.  It was claimed in the High Court case relating to the consent that the original proposal for stabilisation of the bank was hopelessly inadequate and that what would be required is a significant retaining wall that would require the roadside Kauri to be felled or at least have their roots systems severely impaired.

Concerns have also been raised about the circumstances of the lifting of the Significant Ecological Area from the property.  The Draft Unitary Plan retained the existing SEA over the property.  It was contended by the landowner that it should be removed from the cleared area which included Awhi Awhi.  The agreement would have kept the SEA in place to cover the more significant Kauri in the road reserve.  

The memo submitted to the Unitary plan hearings panel said this:

“Summary of relief sought by submitter:

  • reduce extent of SEA_T_5539 from … 40-42 Paturoa Road, Titirangi where vegetation removal has been undertaken as a result of approved resource consent conditions associated with the titles.

The consent also said that “[t]he remainder of the SEA overlay on all properties where vegetation remains is accurate.”

The [following] plan was attached to the submission as is the resulting change to the SEA overlay.

[Actual shape]

Note that the horseshoe shape has gone.  The Kauri to the right on the roadside is protected as it is partially covered.  But the Kauri in the centre is not.  I understand this is because the Council staff thought the SEA should be contiguous to neighbouring areas but I note that the Kauri’s root system would extend to neighbouring Kauri.

Given that the resource consent has been surrendered it can be asked why the change to the SEA should remain.

Council is under an obligation to consider applications in a timely manner.  There was an application for Awhi Awhi to be listed as a notable tree lodged two years ago.

There is a legitimate expectation that these sorts of applications should be considered in a timely manner.  To delay consideration of protection of a significant tree because of bureaucratic considerations is not appropriate.

Also Awhi Awhi is within 10 metres of the edge of the road reserve.  A fresh application will not necessarily result in permission to construct a dwelling where Awhi Awhi is.

As said by the Environment Court:

Given that the consent has now been surrendered, it is clear that any application to build on this site would require the applicant to comply with the standards within the plan or seek resource consent. [Counsel for the landowners] Ms Stienstra tells us that there is a 10 m setback from the front boundary of this property for any building and a 6m setback from side boundaries. It is clear from the diagram we have attached as B that the subject Kauri tree is within 10 m of the front boundary and may even be within 6m of the side boundary (although we are not clear on this). In practical terms therefore, it may not be necessary for the owner to remove the tree to construct a home. We appreciate that this simply means that the owner may not have to remove the tree to build a house but would still be entitled to do so as a permitted activity.”

There is no harm to anyone by reinstating the SEA either over Awhi Awhi or over the road reserve.  If this does not occur, the fate of three significant Kauri is under threat.

The future of Auckland Transport

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Auckland Transport has existed for as long as the Auckland super city. And the time may have arrived for its future to be reconsidered.

To understand why a trip down memory lane is required.

AT’s predecessor, the Auckland Regional Transport Authority, came into being in 2004. Then Local Government Minister Chris Carter said that one of the reasons for ARTA’s formation was “confused decision making, which has resulted from an inefficient and cumbersome governance structure with too many bodies involved in it”. And so the decision was made to centralise control of parts of Auckland’s transport system.

ARTA’s role was to integrate transport planning in the Auckland Region, and its goal was an efficient and sustainable network providing modal choice. It was to operate and improve the passenger rail network and to design and operate bus and ferry services.

One area it did not have jurisdiction over was local roads. They were to continue to be the preserve of local authorities.

The perception at the time, at least in Wellington, was that Auckland’s diverse Councils could not coordinate development in a way which benefitted the region as a whole. But I don’t accept that this was the case. In 2000 all the local authorities and the Auckland Regional Council managed to agree on the Auckland Regional Passenger Transport Action Plan, a document that foreshadowed the double tracking and electrification of the rail system as well as the roll out of light rail.

Everything was agreed. It was only the election of John Banks as Auckland Mayor in 2001 and the calculated removal of part of the network from consideration that destroyed the business case for light rail. And now 17 years later we again have plans for light rail. If only the original plans had been kept to.

ARTA then morphed into Auckland Transport with the creation of the super city. But unlike ARTA AT was given nearly complete powers over all of Auckland’s transport systems. This was actually contrary to what the Royal Commission on Auckland’s Governance had recommended. Under ARTA councils retained control over local roads. But the Government decided on the recommendation of then Minister Steven Joyce that the whole transport system should be handed over to AT. Interestingly business interests preferred Joyce’s decision and the ARC and various local authorities preferred that an elected body had decision making power. But Joyce went with business interests’ preference.

Why is it time to rethink AT’s role? Because in my view it is not brave enough to make the really significant changes that our future requires, and it is not sufficiently receptive to fulfil local desires and aspirations.

It has fronted some good stuff. The City Rail Link is now under way although I think that history will show that Len Brown and the old ARC deserve the most praise. There will still be a time before its opening when the rail system’s capacity has maxed out and security guards will have to be stationed at Britomart to manage the crowds but it will be opened. And then Auckland’s passenger rail system’s usage will soar as people realise how easy and efficient it has become.

Although the scale is still not huge compared to international models. The underground part will be 3.4 kilometres long. In Shanghai over 25 years the Chinese authorities have constructed over 600 kilometres of underground rail.

It has also championed the reintroduction of light rail although it would have helped if the communication of this to Auckland Council had been better.

And I am pleased to see the inner city is becoming increasingly pedestrianised. Civilised cities overseas do this as a matter of course. It is good that AT now realises that this sort of change can work here too.

But AT has dropped the ball on other projects and has taken some really backward steps. For instance the latest draft Auckland Regional Transport Plan had to be extensively rewritten at the Government’s and Council’s insistence because even though there were nice words about the importance of walking and cycling in the draft the proposed spend in these areas was going backward at a rate of knots when it should have been accelerating.

And statistics concerning safety and congestion have both dramatically worsened over the past eight years. Although the country’s safety record has worsened Auckland’s has deteriorated to a much greater extent.

Recent decisions to disestablish the Walking and Cycling Unit as well as the Urban Design unit are very retrograde. In my view in a perfect world a concentration on urban form, one which reduces reliance on the use of the private vehicle, would be the start middle and end of all design processes. Addressing congestion by building more roads is something that has been done for decades, and shown to have failed for decades.

And increasing passenger fares for Hop card holders by up to 6% for students and young people out west wanting to travel to the inner cities is so retrograde. Now is the time that we should be supporting and promoting passenger transport usage, not choking it off. Maybe AT was not to blame. But if it was Council wrestling with this problem you can be assured there would have been much less finger pointing.

So maybe it is time for Auckland Transport to be brought back into Council or at least significant parts of its business. And for the planning of transport to be completely integrated into the planning of the city form.

It is the little things, like wanting to fell iconic pohutukawa to widen a road, or not being responsive to local desires and wishes that really annoy and rankle. The Point Chevalier Pohutukawa needed an AT Board reprieve to save them. Out west the local board has had to be continuously vigilant to make sure that local trees are not lost to “network efficiency”.

Also in the Waitakere Ranges the issue of weeds in the road corridor are a major concern. The basic problem is there is just not the budget applied to do anything about them. Regional Parks and private landowners are doing what they can to keep the weed menace at bay. But it is heart breaking to see that good work undone by the rampant spread of weeds along roadways.

The local boards have an unenviable task. We are at the receiving end of public frustration with transport issues. We dutifully accept them and forward them to AT only to see them disappear for months on end before seeing a reply. And we raise concerns about budgets needed for local environmental issues but get told that the budget is needed for tarmac.

So perhaps it is a time for AT to be brought back into Council. The original reason for its predecessor’s creation, that Auckland was too divided politically, no longer applies to the Super City.

Of course regional matters such as the rail network and the motorway network as well as the management of arterial routes will continue to need a high level regional approach.

But so many transport decisions have local place making implications. Surely it is time for these decisions to be brought under direct democratic control. And surely in creating a better city we need to start with what is best for our urban form, not what AT thinks is best to improve the flow of cars.

The super city is approaching its ninth year of operation. Now is a good time to review its structure and talk about how things are going. And make changes to improve things. I think the future of Auckland Transport as well as the other Council Controlled Organisations should be the first topic discussed during any such review. And that it is time for it to be brought firmly back under democratic control with its mandate being the creation of a sustainable and fully democratically run city.

A charter for Glen Eden?

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I have had a law practice in Glen Eden now for over 30 years.

I chose to set up there because the place really appealed and I lived nearby.

It was relatively inexpensive, not too flash. And there was a real sense of community and the area was full of good natured down to earth people.

I am very conscious that it is changing.

It used to be a place where factory workers and trades people and nurses and teachers could afford to own their own home and raise their kids in relative comfort.

But it is changing.

The Local Board commissioned a report from David Kenkel and David Haigh at Unitec to help us understand how Glen Eden was changing and the implications of this change for the area.  The intent in commissioning the report was that it should make recommendations about how change should be managed.

I recommend that if you have not already done so you read it. The report can be downloaded here.

One recommendation that I am keen to progress is the proposal that there be a Glen Eden charter, which sets out various principles including quality urban design, and social, cultural, economic and environmental principles for decision makers.

I thought that discussion about what should be in the charter should help us understand the values that are important to Glen Eden and what we want Glen Eden to look like in the future.

Here is the draft charter.  I would be happy to receive your feedback.

Draft Charter for Glen Eden: Waitakere Ranges Local Board (WRLB)

Mission: A sustainable Glen Eden that moves confidently to the future.
Challenges: Glen Eden will face a number of challenges including managing greater levels of urban intensification and upgrading of the town centre.

Infrastructure

1. The WRLB will encourage public transport, walking and cycling.
2. Improvements to traffic safety will be ensured.
3. A review will be carried out of Glen Eden’s infrastructure requirements as a result of planned intensification (e.g. water, sewerage and storm water).

Urban Design

1. The impacts of greater intensification can be mitigated through good design that includes the use of noise reduction materials, energy-saving through having a northerly aspect, passive surveillance of common and public areas, and privacy.
2. Promote a variety of affordable housing including single dwellings, apartments and townhouses, that meets a required standard of construction.
3. Intensification will also require consideration of access to services, both public and private.
4. In the upgrade of the Glen Eden town centre, consideration will be given to greater levels of pedestrianisation, improved access for older people and people with disabilities, new parking arrangements, public spaces that can be used for community events, facilities for children and indoor facilities for public gatherings.
5. Protect the physical form of Glen Eden that has heritage or historic values.
6. Promote good design of all modern buildings.
7. Glen Eden town centre will be designed to ensure that it meets the needs of people with disabilities.

Social

1. The WRLB will encourage good relationships with government agencies, Auckland Council organisations, civil society organisations and the private sector.
2. WRLB will promote public consultation in Glen Eden on policies, plans and programmes.
3. The social sector will be promoted through a community development process of community engagement, social capital and through the provision of financial and other support.
4. Social facilities will be established to meet the needs of a growing and changing population due to intensification and in-migration.
5. The WRLB will support efforts by social agencies to deal with social issues such as homelessness and begging.
6. The WRLB supports the concept of child-friendly cities and age-friendly cities in relation to Glen Eden.
7. The WRLB supports use of the principles of “Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design” (CPTED) advocated in the Auckland Council Design Manual.
8. The WRLB will discourage forms of gentrification that displace existing residents. This might include advocacy to retain existing social housing in public and community ownership, and encouraging developers to incorporate social housing within their housing developments.

Cultural

1. The WRLB will liaise with tangata whenua concerning issues of relevance to them. This will include supporting capacity building of Maori organisations that provide housing, educational and social services; rangatahi development; support employment and enterprise development; and integrate Maori space and cultural expressions into place making.
2. The WRLB recognises the important work of the Hoani Waititi Marae and Te Whanau o Waipareira Trust.
3. The WRLB will protect the important cultural heritage within the district.
4. Recognising the multicultural population of Glen Eden, cultural events will be promoted and supported.
5. The WRLB will encourage greater public use of the Glen Eden Playhouse Theatre.

Economic

1. The WRLB recognises the important economic and employment contribution of small businesses in the district.
2. The WRLB will liaise with retailers in the upgrade of the town centre and support initiatives that reduce risks from petty crime and promote public safety.

Environmental

1. Green spaces will be provided within the upgrade of the town centre.
2. Recognise the contribution that green space/trees make towards mental health and wellbeing.
3. The WRLB will ensure there are adequate green spaces to cater for any population increases.
4. Existing natural areas will be enhanced and protected.

Comments to this post are open.  Or alternatively email me.

Auckland’s yellow jacket protest

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Reprinted from the Standard.

Yesterday on a bright and sunny day I popped down to Aotea Square to see what the extreme right was up to.  There had been a fair amount of social media promotion of the yellow jacket rally and I wondered what sort of turnout they would get.

I had thought that there might be some interplay between the left and the right.  Love Aotearoa had organised a migrant’s picnic nearby.  Most people there were obviously having a good time and apart from a few activists that I know most people stayed away.

The rally was underwhelming.  There were maybe 30 yellow jackets there with perhaps another 30 supporters.

They seemed to think that the media was a purveyor of fake news. The criticism may have some basis in fact but not in the way they thought.

And they seemed to have a thing about socialists and think the current Government was a socialist government.

I tried engaging with a few.  Their beef was the Government support of the UN Global Migration Pact.  I have covered the background in this post.  Basically the pact is a feel good exercise that creates no binding obligations but sets aspirational goals for states to work to.  But it has been converted in the minds of some into a World Government grab of our sovereignty.

One of the yellow jacket wearers, who from his accent was clearly a Dutch immigrant, said that he had read the Pact and the words stating that it created a “non-legally binding, cooperative framework” but still thought the courts would use the pact to change our law.

When I asked him to name one case where this has happened before he walked away.

The rally was kicked off with the singing of the National Anthem in english.  I was pleased that they then sung it in Te Reo.  I was even more pleased that some of them knew the words in Te Reo.

The movement has clearly engaged in some analysis of their messaging.

They were keen to point out that they supported biculturalism, Maori and Pakeha, but were opposed to the multicultural stuff.

They would be happy to have Maori rednecks join them in their struggle.  They were still almost exclusively white.

The speeches were an interesting collection.

The first speaker went on a bit of a historical monologue and even talked about the great depression but forgot to mention the role of the first Labour Government in solving it.

ACT’s Stephen Berry also spoke.  The tenor of what he said is recorded in this press release. He thought that there would be a chilling effect on the right to freedom of speech if Governments engaged in awareness raising campaigns to “inform public perceptions regarding the positive contributions of safe, orderly and regular migration”. He needs to get out more.

There was this continuous dichotomy about how they were exercising their rights to freedom of speech, which is a good thing, but wanted to keep the UN, which is a bad thing, out of our country because it will affect our rights to freedom of speech. They seemed genuinely surprised when I pointed out that freedom of speech was something that the UN declaration of Human Rights preserved.

Marc Daalder from Spinoff has written this interesting article on yesterday’s events where he delves into the background of the groups and also discusses how local media should handle them.

He has delved deeply into their social media and describes it in this way:

While the total numbers of those involved remain small, many of them have coalesced online in a number of inter-connected Facebook groups. Here, they share news articles from fringe sources and worry about the coming Muslim invasion, particularly after the UN migrant pact is signed. For example, in ‘Yellow Vest New Zealand’, a Facebook group run in part by NZ Sovereignty leader Jesse Anderson, a simple search reveals calls to “ban Islam in NZ”.

Another post in the group enters some bizarre territory. “Porirua where i live is immigrant city including Newtown In wellington”, a commenter writes. “Combine that with 9+ mosques in Auckland. Its partially here and 99% of our food are halal which by Islamic Shariah law is under their law”. It’s unclear what the user means by “under their law”. They finish by warning it’s only a “Matter of time untill NZ has no go zones”, referencing the popular conspiracy theory that Muslim immigration in Europe has turned some cities into “no-go zones”.

Islamophobia is not the only fashionable prejudice in these right-wing groups, however. One user shared a post they had written about the UN’s official agenda for 2030, in which they warned the United Nations sought to “Criminalize Christianity, marginalize heterosexuality, demonize males and promote the LGBT agenda everywhere. The real goal is never “equality” but rather the marginalization and shaming of anyone who expresses any male characteristics whatsoever”.

In another thread, users debated the extents to which they would allow anti-Semitism. One member threatened to leave the group “if I see anymore posting […] of this zionist programming”. A second retorted, “come out of the cave mate”. A third: “What is the difference between Zionists and deep state? Imo it’s same thing, very much current”.

He also notes the crossover between this group and other anti establishment groups like anti vaxxers and 1080 opponents:

There is, however, a section of New Zealand society that is vulnerable to the far-right but is not yet inherently left- or right-wing. This is the second potential constituency that Spoonley sees. He calls them adherents of “new wave conservative conspiracy politics. For example, the opposition to 1080, the opposition to fluoridation, the scepticism about vaccinations. These communities are not inevitably part of the constituency [of the far-right] but they offer up some activists who are capable of translating their opposition to the modern state into far-right politics.”

The dangers here are two-fold. First, as Spoonley indicates, these groups are already predisposed towards anti-state behaviour. Second, their mentality extends beyond that into a refusal to acknowledge almost any traditional authority. The media, health professionals, and academic scholars are all summarily ignored by anti-vaxxers and their brethren. The combination of these factors make them easy pickings for the far-right.

Indeed, there is considerable crossover between the two groups. Conspiracy theorist David Icke, who believes a race of lizard people secretly governs the world and that vaccines are dangerous, is a popular source in the anti-UN Facebook groups. A poll in ‘Yellow Vest New Zealand’ about whether vaccines should be mandatory prompted a number of outraged comments. “No vaccination fascism!” cried one. “No fluoride in the water where I live, I can still use my pineal gland”, promised another.

And he points out that in the United States after the media abandoned the traditional “he said she said” approach to reporting on Trump the media has recorded improved levels of trust.

After adopting new methods of covering Trump in the age of fake news, American outlets have enjoyed a veritable trust renaissance. In mid-2018, a poll found a majority of Americans had “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of trust in media, for the first time since Trump burst onto the scene.

Whether the far-right comes about in New Zealand is not yet a foregone conclusion, but it is certainly possible. Vigilance is sorely needed to prevent that movement from prevailing – and today’s march will prove the first test for New Zealand’s media and the country at large.

His comment about the need for vigilance is prescient.

To repeat one question which I heard asked a number of times yesterday, where has multiculturalism ever worked?

We were in Aotea Square.  There were young Chinese and Indian, Pacifica, a mother and daughter wearing a hijab, all peacefully coexisting.  Across the road there is this wonderful Turkish kebab shop.  There are no less than two Sushi shops within 100 metres of where we were. Queen Street is littered with businesses owned and run by different nationalities showing the really good side of globalisation.

Within the city there are plans to celebrate Waitangi day, Chinese New Year and the Festival of colours all within the next month or so. People from a variety of different backgrounds and experiences all happily living together.

I am cautiously confident that New Zealand is showing that multiculturalism is working fine and that the Yellow Jackets will not gain traction. Time will tell if I am right.