In the good old days the “made” boys had one rule: YOU LEAVE THE FAMILY ALONE!
That, so they said, was the honourable thing to do. You could kill each other and run rough shot over the neighbourhood, destroy the lively hoods from small shop owners in the quest for more loot but….. YOU LEFT THE FAMILY ALONE!
This badge of honour was important and everybody around these guys made damn sure they left the families of these guys alone. Everybody in the streets knew who the families of these guys were, how much money they spend and how luxuriously they lived but no matter what happened to your family you left theirs alone!
In fact if one of the “made” guys got killed or took one for the gang and went to prison to protect the Don, his family could count on an income. You want to know how that played out check out Godfather I, II, III.
There is a reason for this. If you make a deal to leave the family out of the line of fire you can play tougher, rougher and loot better. If there are, say, two groups in a neighbourhood who play by this rule they get to gain an awful lot.
The Mafia, because that is what we are talking about here, held this motto dear: THOU SHALL NOT TOUCH THE MEMBERS OF THE OTHER GANG’S FAMILY!
And herein lies the crux of the matter!
While they ran their scams, their violent rackets, their wealth extraction of the people around them, sold their drugs, pimped their “girls” they didn’t give a flying fuck about other people’s (read males) families!
Those were subjected to violence, death, poverty and untold hardship without so much as a smidgen of conscience!
Mafia family members (at least the ones at the top) lived lives of luxury, shielded from reality, travelled the world, had the best education and sometimes but often not, slowly took over the family empires and generally did very well.
Their victim’s families? Mostly not so good.
The restaurant owner whose business got taken over to be sucked dry and used as a a money laundering operation? His family would end up destitute. And so would all his employees families. His chefs, his waitresses, his cleaners.
The girl who got hooked on Mafia drugs and ended up as a prostitute? She was somebodies daughter too and her family most often ended up damaged, poor and fucked up. Mothers couldn’t sleep, worried about their daughters. Dads could no longer concentrate on their jobs and maybe the little brother ended up on crack cocaine too.
The guy who thought he had a great garbage collection business until the mob moved into his territory? He didn’t end up so good either. Maybe he had to get rid of dead bodies to keep his business and there was always the implied danger for his family. His employees had to take pay cuts because the mobsters wanted their share of the loot. The families of his employees had to get second jobs in other mob owned businesses for hunger wages because you see, the Mafia didn’t give a fuck about families!
They gave a fuck about money and about getting more for themselves and less for everybody else. The only way they knew how to do that was to keep people they needed (lieutenants, soldiers and other assorted thugs) loyal the best way to do that was to promise them that THEIR family would be safe.
This week a video emerged on Instagram. In it we saw Max Key and his girlfriend and a scantily dressed man we know as our Prime Minister. The backdrop? A $ 5 million dollar home in Hawaii. Max had a cute boy pony tail and and a fancy, casual, very expensive t-shirt on and his girlfriend impossibly long luscious blond hair (No doubt braided extensions of real human hair. Possibly from someone who had to cut it off and sell it to make ends meet) and that vapid rich girls beauty “Instagram” seems to show so much of.
We were promised more of the same and not only that, those of us who don’t have Instagram accounts were regaled with the photos detailing their extra-ordinarily privileged lives in our main stream media. Facebook was ablaze with them too.
In fact a couple of months ago a young woman, Stephie aka Cherry Lazar, John Key’s daughter, had her first art exhibition in Paris and the subject was a lot of pink sexuality. Her own! Again we were regaled with the photos of her pale behind and the photo’s the result of obviously expensive gear and studio space coupled with lots of props and outfits made to suit the occasion. Not just her Instagram photos but our MSM promoted her privileged and sheltered world far away in Paris where her poppies money secured a place in one of the worlds top art schools!
Yesterday, politicians from all over the political spectrum, came out in support of John Key’s assertion that his children should be allowed to live “normal” lives and that Instagram was part of that normal life nowadays. and that he did not want to limit his children’s social lives by censuring what they put on Instagram.
We should, so we were told, not begrudge them for their wealthy lifestyle and their privilege. We were told to LEAVE THE FAMILY ALONE!
Over the last 7 years all of us. The people not part of the political system. Not part of the haves, the toffs, the “made” men who made ALL the right lifestyle choices have been looted, scammed, sucked dry. The farmers have been lured into buying land, insured by fancy, newfangled, financial instruments we know as derivatives but might as well be called the most dangerous gambling instruments ever only to find their hopes dashed in a collapsing global economy.
Banks are calling in loans, selling New Zealand off to the biggest wallets on a global scale and the result is Max Key and his girlfriend walking around Hawaii, travelling around the world first class and us having to stare at Stephie’s crutch in the main stream media. But saying about it breaks the golden rule: YOU WILL LEAVE THE FAMILY ALONE!
The children of the 99% (in Greece 500.000 children alone are living under the poverty line and here in New Zealand 10.000’s of children are going shoeless and lunch-less. The number of homeless, especially FAMILIES is rising sharply and Max wanders into the expensive sunset with his expensive sneakers staring romantically into his blond bimbo’s girlfriends eyes while his sister puts on another sexy outfit to make another selfie for Instagram. And John Key stares into the blue while Brognan reads the Woman’s weekly about her perfect marriage! Just like the families of the Mafia Dons of yore.
Here is what I say. let’s talk about Max and Stephie but let’s also talk about Mary 10, John 11 , Shelley 12 , Hone 9 , Tane 4, Haomoana 12, Hinemoa 3 living in soon to be privatized state homes or in the back of cars or the garages of families. Let’s talk about the division of wealth that allows the Steffies and the Max’s 0f this world to live lives of extra-ordinay luxury while so many of the children their father and his mates have robbed and looted and scammed, live in poverty, destitute with no future to speak of. Let’s speak about the children who killed themselves this year up North because they dropped out of schools to find a job, who got pregnant because it seemed a good idea at the time because their boyfriend really loved them and who are now trying to make ends meet while the dole is being cut by Max and Stephies father and his minions.
We can and should talk about Max and Stephie while their luxury lifestyle is being pushed in our faces by their dad’s PR guru’s. We should address the hideous gap between them and the hundreds of thousands of children with no futures because their fathers banking scams are ruining thousands of farmers, millions of people and an entire country.
In fact not discussing them and us would be doing the same as the people who were victimized by the Mafia were doing: Upholding a code of honour that made the Mafia the terrifying powerhouse it was and did nothing for the people they crushed. If we can’t discuss Max and Stephie we will never ever get the change we need to take care of the children who need it more.
Nobody is or should be exempt from scrutiny. If politicians can dump on poor people and their children, can take whatever social network away and drive them further and further into poverty then we can and should scrutinize the families of the people doing it!