Yesterday I criticised Labour List MP Ginny Anderson for calling herself a socialist.
Specifically she was quoted in the give-away Hutt News commenting about the infantile graffiti attacks on her election billboards.
The reporter, Stuff’s Thomas Coughlan, of whom more later, wrote, “some of the slurs, however, Anderson is more proud of.”
“The term socialist, for me; it’s never been a term of slander, to me it’s a good thing,” Anderson said. “Socialist is probably my favorite- I’m proud to be a socialist witch.” (this one of the graffiti attacks slurs).
Now if Ginny really believes in the state owning all farms and businesses then that’s fair enough as she’s entitled to hold such beliefs and I apologies for claiming she’s ignorant and should buy a dictionary.
But I’d wager its odds on she doesn’t believe such well-proven silliness, in which case she should abandon this adolescent nonsense and take greater care with her choice of words.
She’s not alone. As I wrote yesterday this sort of loose feel-good jargonising is predominantly a female thing.
For example, in yesterday’s mail was an invitation I shall accept, from Auckland University. It’s to attend an address by the University’s Dean of its Law School, Professor Pene Mathew, in Wellington on refugee protection, a topic of great interest to me and in which I have an involvement.
Unfortunately the invitation is marred by more language abuse, specifically in its explanatory note so; “New Zealand has been particularly effective in preserving a right to health of its citizens by restricting freedom of movement.”
That is poppycock. There is no such right to health and the author of that line simply made it up. If there was such a right there would be no sick people.
Some may call me overly pedantic for raising such quibbles. Not so, rather this type of loose language leads to misplaced expectations and is simply bad practise, particularly when coming from our top university.
Now, some comments on Stuff journo Thomas Coughlan whose commentaries I always enjoy. His articles are accompanied by his photo, the current one in which he resembles a kindergarten mass axe-murderer listening to his life imprisonment sentence.
That aside he made a blunder a week back when writing about Judith Collin’s largely ignored but excellent proposal to sell state houses to their occupants. Thomas wrote this was copied from Margaret Thatcher. Wrong! Thatcher copied it from New Zealand.
This was an initiative by the first National Government led by Syd Holland which took office in 1949 and was in line with the Party’s highly desirable founding objective, namely to create a property owning democracy. My family certainly took it up.
The Nats are basically an unimaginative conservative party comprising folk largely content with their lives and thus wish to preserve the status quo, whatever that is. That’s reflected by their MPs over the years, being small time lawyers, business people, farmers and the like, driven by an aversion to change. They’re salt of the earth dullards.
Conversely Labour MPs are always malcontents driven by a desire for change. For that reason they’re invariably a lot more interesting company than their National counterparts.
Since their first government 71 years ago, National have ruled the New Zealand political scene for 47 of the subsequent years with Labour periodically interspersing and managing a mere 24 years in charge.
That imbalance reflects the public’s natural inclination for certainty and aversion to change.
In those 47 years in office National can point to only two radical initiatives; first, the state house sales I’ve alluded to and the other, the Bolger government’s removal of compulsory unionism. In general they’ve simply minded the shop when in office.
Compare that to Labour’s record.
The one term Nash government’s Minister of Industries and Commerce Phil Holloway created massive tariff barriers resulting in the building of our now sizable manufacturing base. Hitherto most goods were imported.
The also one term Kirk Government opened up trade with China, now our major trading partner, this something utterly alien to Holyoake and probably Muldoon, both of whom I knew well.
The six years Lange/Douglas government abandoned all their previous feel-good lefty jargonizing and wiped the no longer necessary tariff barriers, reformed the then punitive tax system and introduced the market economy. Along with the first 1935 Labour Government they were our greatest reformers since Vogel in the previous century.
Then came a tactical change in Labour’s thinking with the Clark 9 years administration. To stay in office they adopted National’s don’t rock the boat, minding the shop approach, as has the Ardern government to date. It was a successful strategy enabling Helen to deliver the only post-war Labour government not expelled after one, or in Lange’s case, two terms.
To counter that well proven office-retaining formula the National Party will have to become the Party of change. Such role-reversal on their part is hard to imagine given a little known fact, namely that their current caucus is made up to a sizeable degree by skybayers, something our media have failed to pick up. Supernaturalists by definition are passive acceptors of the world they find and not initiators.
Thus they’re destined for a long time in Opposition so long as Jacinda continues with Helen’s do nothing radical, minding the shop approach.
What would ultimately destroy this Labour government would be the introduction of success taxes, that is punishing the most industrious citizens as advocated by the envy-motivated Greens.
The sooner they’re off the scene and replaced by a genuine Green Party, the better we will all be.