Look out for my new-look website---any day now. The old one has gone and that is part of the relaunch of my books in a much improved form. This journey has been a long expensive one, much like the one for my bariatric surgery---both of which are very much--'less is more,' in nature. I am less but oh so much more and the books have also had the knife taken to them. Once the new site is up, please share it with your circles and friends.
Monday, March 17, 2014
Way back in the late 90’s Helen Clark was languishing in the opinion polls. She went as low a single digit figures and many wrote her off. The same is happening to the present leader of the Labour Party. Can he build the figures and gain the momentum needed to cross the line in the September elections?
Times are different and if ‘perception,’ rules the waves, then the answer is clearly---NO! If the majority of New Zealanders feel that they are doing ‘OK,’ and the figures re our economy are going in the right direction, for ‘most’ of New Zealanders, then Labour has a very difficult task re convincing the voters that it is time to change the governbmnet. Many of the issues that opposition parties bring up just don’t resonate worth enough NZers to bring about a change. That may sound defeatist to many of the people who read my blogs or follow me on Facebook, but present a more believable argument!
Most NZers do not think about politics every day and they generally steer well clear of divisive commentary unless they are directly affected. Sure they chuck in their bit when politics comes up at the break times in their workplaces or at parties and other gatherings, but for the most part, if they have a job (that’s most of us) are able to afford their mortgage or rent and have a little over (that is a diminishing number) then they ‘get on with life.’
Come election time, it is the perception of how they are doing that feeds into who they will vote for. It has always been far more difficult for the Labour Party and more recently the Labour Party/ Green alliance to gather in enough support to go beyond about 45% support. It seems that National has for a long time been able to keep a level of support that nears the high 40%. It is hard to put ones finger on why this is so. Simple analysis of the election results of the last 80 years will show that National has generally maintained a level of support that brings it across the line re holding Government. It is only when Labour has a charismatic leader or the economy is hurting ‘enough’ people and there are other issues that ‘damage’ National, that Labour is able to form a Government. Holding power for more than one election cycle has also been difficult for Labour and the three examples of when they have gone beyond a single cycle speaks much.
The present leader of the Labour Party has a huge hill to climb and it doesn’t help his cause that he has a more ‘in your face,’ high ranking ‘contender to the throne,’ snapping at his heels. Shane Jones may be capable of drawing in ‘Middle NZ’ and that is what Labour needs to do in order to break the National grip on power. Political expediency versus genuine political debate and honesty are very much opposing forces, if one wants to win an election.
Sadly the later do not always win.
We should have seen this one coming; especially given the impetus provided by the Crimean/Ukraine fiasco. In the case of Southland, the embryo rests with an ex Aucklander; namely Tim ‘concrete mixer,’ Shadbolt or to some, the ‘Bullshit and jellybeans’ man.
Southland has always been a bit ‘different’ from the rest of NZ; it even has its very own accent, one more akin to our cousins across the ‘ditch,’ yes---Australia. Don’t tell Southlanders that of course, but they have yet to get computers down there, so I should be fairly safe. Any
Hate mail’ will need to be delivered by ‘pigeon post,’ and the prospect of crossing the Cook Strait should be enough to protect me from that and then of course they have to fly over the ‘shooter’ in the Waikato, another region seriously looking at ‘self-rule.’
There is an impediment to the aspirations of Southland and that is the position that Stewart Island may play in the final outcome. There is a strong Nationalistic movement there that is closely allied to ‘Wellington,’ mainly a dependence on the subsidies they need to keep access to their capital---Oban. Only last week it was reported that ‘secrete training’ is taking place in the bush, led by ‘forces unknown,’ but possibly linked to similar groups from the East Coast of the North Island.
Publicity has been very one-sided re access to information about the background to this long running ‘dispute.’ Since ‘local forces took over two radio stations and the technical institute became the main hub for Television news reports, anyone trying to adhere to alternate views, has been effectively silenced.
Who is financing this movement? Have you not noticed the huge increase in the price of Bluff Oysters? (Another reason for Stewart Islander to be a little irate ad they claim that they are the real origin of these delectable little taste bombs!) Along with a surcharge, illegally imposed by the local regional authority over products from the Bluff Smelter and other ‘add-ons’ to rates, there has been a significant amount of money raised for the Southlanders’ cause.
Have you not noticed the ‘unofficial border control’ as you enter the Southland region? Sure, you may have been fooled into thinking that it is just a bunch of farmers or hunters, observing your every move as you cross into Southland ‘proper,’ along with their vast collection of ‘munitions.’
Time will tell if this movement gathers momentum. It is hard to gauge if the bulk of Southlanders supports the friends of Tim. They need to speak up and we shall do our very best to try to understand them. New Zealand must stay united and to those who would impose their ‘foreign views’ on this proud nation, should be aware of the depth of New Zealand’s nationalistic fervour. It is time to stand up and be counted! Southlanders—we really do love you, so don’t despair. Keep rolling your ‘Rs’---it’s delightfully OK.