It came to me in late Saturday. I know precisely how the National-led junta work. It’s become clearly obvious after dipping my toes in the pond sludge of Kiwiblog this week. It is a necessary evil at times as it gives me some insight into their (sometimes appalling) way of thinking.
So here’s the basic workings of your National Party policy creation mechanism: if there is something you really want to do but you know that voters won’t have a bar of it, you create a crisis so you may swoop in with your magical golden wand and completely fix it to shreds. Alternatively, if there’s something you really don’t want to do because it is probably going to mean great upheaval (read: increased taxes) for you wealthy contributors, completely deny there is any problem at all.
I’ve seen the first example in my education sector. There is no crisis of teaching or achievement. But theythe selling point of a party who know when you mess with the education of a swinging voter’s kid you better have a damn good reason is this:
LOOK EVERYONE! IT’S BROKEN BUT WE CAN FIX IT!!!
Actually, there is a crisis of stupid top-down policy in education, but we all know that already.
Your level of (and I hate this term because it means absolutely nothing) under-achievement in education is closely related to socioeconomic status. This government would rather ignore that part. To fix up the health, housing, employment and thus the social mobility of our poorest learners would cost so many more billions than putting a few tens of thousands of teachers through the ringer. Where would that money come from? You’ve already sold those utility companies that fed you sweet yearly dividends. Increase taxes? No. No. NOOOO!
Man made climate change? 97% of scientific papers agree this is happening. National and other conservatives the world over… “um… well the jury is out” (admittedly our government, knowing they trade on New Zealand’s clean, green image are not as head-in-the-sand about this as, say, Tony “Winky” Abbott or the Tea Party Fox News Republicans).
Our dark culture of domestic violence and sexual assaults? Um… nope. In fact, according to those wise sages who impart their online sophistry on behalf of the National Party (joined by Paula Bennett on the Nation yesterday), any attempt for the more cultured and reasonable debaters amongst us to meet this issue head on is greeted with scorn and cries of man-hating feminazis.
As an aside, with the sheer severity of the venomous attack on Tanya Billingsly, you do have to wonder how much the National Party back room PR team is behind it. If this isn’t a classic shoot, kill and bury the messenger in a shallow grave of public opinion, I don’t know what is (as well as a perpetuation of the victim blaming myth that leads so many victims of this type of crime to remain silent rather than go through the ignominy of an attack by defence counsel / National Party lackies / white men who’ve never been sexually assaulted in their lives). If so, what are they trying to achieve? Are they protecting McCully as a payoff for getting dumped from his beloved East Coast Bays electorate? These are all pertinent questions that need to be answered but, I doubt, will ever be asked by those with the power to question (Gower, Armstrong, et. al.). The fact that Paula Bennett has changed her tune from earlier in the week suggests to me that the party machine is now in full swing and they’ve all been whipped into singing the same, utterly deplorable tune.
There is no rape culture in New Zealand. Deny there is a problem and you don’t have to fix it. Simple.
If National really wanted to do something about child poverty, inequality, rape culture or domestic violence they could totally do it in a heartbeat. They’re the bloody government. They have that mandate they keep going on about.
It’s just that they don’t want to. And that’s the rub.
Interview with Paula Bennett: TV3 The Nation – 12 July, 2014
Minister agrees with diplomat’s alleged victim: One News – 10 July, 2014.