Last Sunday, under a clear blue sky, allegedly 5% of Wellington’s population mindlessly marched down Lambton Quay, chanting nonsense about racism. 95% found better things to do, hardly a difficult task. In Auckland 0.3% of the city’s population bowled bawling down Queen Street. Nine times as many went to Eden Park for the rugby.
This mindless miniscule minority mimicking was misinterpreted in a dying Dominion Post editorial as a significant social upheaval. It’s not. Rather, it’s the look at me collective behaviour, of recent years, whether Me-Too, the 1%, or whatever, of aping anything which happens abroad.
Over lunch with a university Professor a week ago, she lamented about the extraordinary ignorance she now encounters with today’s young. They’re unfamiliar with everyday terminology, with geography, politics or whatever; all a consequence of their obsession with social media.
The subject arose when we expressed amazement at the National Party’s Deputy Leader Nikki Kaye’s reprimanding Paul Goldsmith. This it will be recalled after Goldsmith, the highly competent shadow Finance Minister, suggested Jacinda should stick to the knitting, following her ill-considered and untypical criticism of the Warehouse chain for making commercial decisions. Plainly Kaye was unfamiliar with that age-old expression and misinterpreted it as sexist. Only the previous evening in a meeting with my company’s executives the term had been used after a discussion about a strategy change. After a debate we’d agreed to stick to the knitting.
I wonder if future historians might describe the current era as an Age of Ignorance.
Politically this is a highly exploitive situation. The left will automatically align themselves with protest grievance creators, as is their nature. That will bring into play another expression today’s young are doubtless unfamiliar with, namely; “the silent majority”. Politicians game to speak out against contrived protests will attract that silent majority’s empathy and be rewarded in the voting booth. It’s why, appalling though he is and regardless of polls, Trump will probably be re-elected.