Last night New Zealand lurched a little to the right. Lurch is probably a bit to strong to describe what actually happened, as we shall see.
As the United States of America rejected the last 8 years of right wing autocracy led by one George W Bush and the Halliburton-Cheney alliance, our little country said yes. We must remember that a lurch to the right in New Zealand is actually more of a 3 centermetre shuffle. As we have seen in the US over the last 8 years, Bush + 911 x youarewithusoragainstus = massive national debt and all manner of extreme views on anything from gun control to abortion to gay lovers entwined in marital harmony…
As an aside – I was watching some coverage of the Republican Party national convention from earlier on this year. Talk about rednecks. The reporter had selected a range of delegates to ask a few questions of; two being their views on abortion and gun control. It never ceases to amaze me how people who routinely espouse the mantra of pro-life can be, often in the same sentence or breath even, ardently pro-death. One of the delegates was even telling the reporter how proud he was of helping to draft or pass something he called “Your Home is Your Castle” legislation. By way of a short explanation, he said your house should be your castle and your castle alone. His new law allowed you to shoot and kill anyone who shouldn’t be in your “castle”. I’m not even going to talk about the death penalty. That’s a whole other blog.
Back to New Zealand. Our new esteemed leader is John Key. He is leader of the current centre-right coalition involving some minor parties who are gingerly dipping their foot into the Republican pool of redneckery. Some of the other parties, like the Maori Party, he is offering the hand of parliamentary friendship to. I don’t believe this current National-led team will do anything major in terms of radical change. Of course, there is the worldwide economic meltdown to contend with (nice first week on the job for you Mr. Key!), but that really only affects money traders, banks, share investors – people who like to gamble with other people’s money. And they don’t say that those people have a compulsive gambling problem, they work in finance. So far in New Zealand, the alleged crisis has not reached the you’s and me’s of this world. Particularly the me’s, because I don’t own a house and have no desire to, so I’m not lumbered with a ridiculously sized overdraft facility that I have to pay back. Not like a student loan… aaaahhh the joys of not having to pay something back if you don’t want to.
John Key was elected on the same mantra as Barack Obama – change, change, change. Are there any real policies behind that? In Barack’s case, it didn’t really matter. His acceptance speech on Wednesday was one of the best I have ever seen. One of the best, shit, it was the best. Despite any lack of substance, what Barack was able to do to win the election was take voters on his ride of hope. If you haven’t seen it yet, click here. It gives me tingles every time. And with hope, comes change. If the US didn’t want change, they would not have voted in a young African-American. They would have voted for McCain, 71 years old.
What sort of change is New Zealand in for? Not much really. Before, during and after John Key’s victory speech last night, he looked like a little boy who had been given a new bike for Christmas, and had found out that the bike was actually a car, and inside the car was a mountain of chocolaty treats, ice-cream and small-bore weaponry. He looked excited enough to lose bladder control at any moment. It was all very cute. Compare this with Obama – cool and calm, like an iceman. Key also talked about change in his speech. New Zealand has voted for change, he announced, and the party faithful cheered. What change!!???!?!?!?!?????? In the last two years National have first rejected, then accepted and finally adopted just about every single major policy that the Labour government brought in. Key talked about moderate and sensible policies. Again I say, what change????!?!?!?!?!!??!!???
NEW ZEALAND IS CHANGING TO THE SAME THING!
Is that even possible? Well, yes. What a stupid rhetorical question. Of course it’s possible, Boon. New Zealand voted for a change to the same thing last night. Idiot! Don’t you watch the news. If you want to see proof of Key’s little boyishness, click here. It’s not a direct link, but it’s a link to a page where you can watch it.
May the wind of change bypass your house, like it will most of New Zealand over the next three years…