David Seymour takes the cake with his claim that Labour’s plan to teach kids Civics at school is an ‘Orwellian’ and ‘dodgy’ way to indoctrinate young people to Left-wing views!!
Maybe it challenges his beloved Charter Schools.
Or maybe he realises his ‘Market- driven’ policies won’t stack up to young minds.
What David Seymour is really scared of is that civics education would mean a less gullible public. His world-view relies on a classic strategy of ignorance.
It seems to be a feature of the petty personality cults that NZ politics throws up. Like Greg O'Connor, whose "progressive" attitude on drug law reform is touted as so compelling that we're encouraged to forget that given the chance he'd arm the police tomorrow.
A bit like how Franklin Roosevelt paid lip-service to black civil rights because of the need for conservative Dixiecrat support for the New Deal. Or when Lyndon Johnson introduced the Great Society programme & the Civil Rights Act, only to blow it all with the Vietnam War.
It's easy to identify problems, much harder in reality to fix them.
And that mix of identity vs class vs environment is a potent brew.
What's beyond doubt is that the longer the quasi-Thatcherist status quo persists, the more likely NZ is open to a "hard Brexit" or hitching a ride on the Trump train, as angry and disaffected left-behinders look for a populist who'll "throw a molotov" at the elites.
As far as I've been able to tell, Labour's been losing support to the Green Party on one side, but also to the likes of Nat/NZF because those people are terrified of the Green Party having too much influence on Labour.
What do swing voters fear most from a Govt with the Greens in it? Rubbish mountains & unburied corpses? Losing their homes to interest rates? Losing their homes to "Maori radicals"? Car bans? None of those wash in light of the Great Recession's fallout.
That evidence suggests no shift is likely. Complacency usually prevails in Aotearoa. But sometimes even centrists feel in the mood for a change...
Overseas, such complacency has been bowled over by the Great Recession. NZ hasn't felt the full effects of it yet - it would most likely take the form a hard housing crash - but all the same, if middle NZ increasingly perceives Bill English to be hoarding like a tax haven client while hospitals struggle to get blood out of a stone...
I sometimes wonder how much different would the whole controversy be, if it was a pale, blonde, blue-eyed woman MP committing the exact same acts as Metiria? Anti-welfarism commonly has a coded racism underpinning it, as was the case with "Cadillac-driving welfare queens" in Reagan's America.
In the days before email, when even toll calls were prohibitively priced, we would write each other letters. Rambling affairs, typed single-space (yes, some of us had typewriters – we weren't cave people) and full of news, gossip and extravagant ironic abuse. I wish I'd kept my letters from Roi Colbert.
What about bulletin board services? Or was that more an early 1990s thing?
As Trump falters, supporters in a Pennsylvania county that swung Republican in 2016 blame the media for his woes and insist Hillary Clinton would be worse
It's not just arsehole contrarianism that motivates people like Greenwald, it's also financial interest - there's a depressingly large market for the blame anyone but Trump line.
Seems consistent with stats showing it was middle-class precarity and cultural anxiety "wot won it" for Trump, rather than working-class economic anxiety. And if you haven't read these already...
I was standing exhaustedly ironing one day when I was on the DPB and on the radio was Parliament, and there was my PM Rob Muldoon declaring that women on the DPB who took money under the table were worse than tax evaders.
These were the days when my neighbours were encouraged to snitch if men stayed too many nights with me, and when mortgage interest rates were capped, but not mine because I'd owned a house with my husband and couldn't get an institutional loan - mine was 19%.
I didn't take Muldoon's assessment of me and my kind - I knew I wasn't trash as he implied - but it was mighty memorable.
Has the IRD ever promoted dobbing in tax cheats as widely as dobbing in benefit fraud has? I remember under the Shipley Govt, the "Benefit fraud. It's a crime" and ACC's "someone else's money" TV adverts were frequently promoted.
And it sounds like WINZ's culture of punitivity goes back long before Christine Rankin became its CEO. In any case, the time seems right to rethink the existing orthodoxy, now that the Great Recession and acts like Theresa May's effective bribe to the DUP have made a complete mockery of the austerity mantra.
Josh Marshall has been pointing this out for a while now. It might be that what does in Trump himself will be the unwanted light shed on his business finances by any investigation.
As in the kind of investigation that got Al Capone nabbed for tax evasion?