Sunday, 20 July 2008

Better crap from an old hack

This is more like it. Rather than re-telling Tales From the Bible, or trying to remind us that he's a maverick first and foremost, unbound by the fetters of political correctness, Chris Trotter has redeemed himself by producing a splenetic column (1) describing the three core components of the National vote in the Sunday Star Times.

There is nothing remarkable or new here - the revelation that National's bedrock is a combination of the farming community, rich people and social reactionaries should startle no-one. But it is always worth thinking about these things, especially if you are dithering about who to vote for.

Underneath the froth and spittle of Trotter's column, there is an important message for swing voters - for all that Labour don't deserve your vote, there are still worse things you can do with it. New Zealand isn't a perfect place, but it is somewhat better - in the things that really matter, like the numbers of dead babies - than it was ten years ago. Key might seem bland and inoffensive, but he is at the head of a party that hungers to dismember what is left of the state.

New Zealanders, I think, still identify a strong state as a Good Thing. Of course it isn't perfect, in fact it is pretty damn imperfect in more way than you can count easily but New Zealanders, being pragmatic, recognise that is simply the way of things and there isn't much point in fussing about it.

A National government would seek to change that. While voting for National must be tempting for the central cluster of voters who aren't strongly commited to either party, it is essntial that they think about what they are voting for, rather than just enacting a visceral dislike of a tired Labour administration.
1 - "Don't ever forget who the Nats are," by Chris Trotter, in The Sunday Star Times, 20th of July, 2008. Reproduced on stuff.co.nz (http://www.stuff.co.nz/4624713a1861.html)

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