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Surely A Pre-Election Turning Point 

Recent events give rise to mild concern at the direction we are heading in this normally fairly moderate and rational political debate where both sides tend to balance each other out, and we end up with a neither one way or the other election where the MMP rules sort out in the end which side of the pendulum rules. 

But clearly nine years of National, and its staid agrarian rooted policies (remember Syd Holland?) have led to a level of frustration, and radical sugar-coated solutions that seem based on neither reason or common sense - just how much each participant can put 'out there,' while aiming at the lowest common denominator? 

Even normally glum and dull National as exemplified by their colourless leader have fallen into the trap of progressively making offers to the electorate that will be hard to fulfill, without substantial adjustment to tax rates, and benefits.

But Labour,and more recently the Greens have now set the bar very high indeed with the $2.5b social benefit bonanza announced by the Greens at the weekend. Where they imagine this additional funding will come from has by no means been adequately explained, and yet their supporters on the left and extreme left appear ecstatic at the prospect.

By the use of the newly minted and widely touted benefit of social media, they may well be able to inspire an otherwise indifferent, but significant section of the population to attend the booths on 25 September. But by setting the bar this high in order to correct the undoubted disparities that have crept into our society over the nine years, and beyond, the proponents may well be underestimating the likely reaction should their apparently hastily concocted basket of benefits fail to materialise for any reason, including being devalued by the likely resulting inflation. 

The Greens may have better off retaining the support of 'Remuera tractor drivers', by offering a more moderate package of benefits and taxes - as I said in my earlier post, they may gain virgin voters, but lose the widespread (and often unstated) support amongst the RTDs.

As for Labour - there appears be a developing and seething antagonism and resentment, represented by departures to the clarion call of Winnie the Pooh whose nascent appeal based on maintaining white middle-class values, and repelling boarders has visceral, if not fully admitted appeal to sections of the Left. 

What is really concerning arising from all this, is the otherwise absent appearance of violence that has erupted elsewhere in the World as an excuse for securing change by whatever means available. Recent events in Berlin a case in point that should be an object lesson for anyone who believes it could not happen here. 

The process is well explained on 16 July by Karl du Fresne in his Blog - "The Self Righteous Rage Of the Left"

"Political violence in the past has often been associated with the far Right, but these days it’s the self-righteous rage of the Left that presents by far the greater threat to democracy.

It manifests itself not just in outright violence, but also in the howling down of any opinions that challenge leftist orthodoxy. Alarmingly, this intolerance of dissent has taken hold in universities, once regarded as bastions of free speech and critical thought.

This process has been hastened by the rise of identity politics, which aggrieved minority groups use as a platform for demanding special treatment, and by the fashionable dogma of post-modernism, which dismisses reason and truth as artificial constructs that serve the interests of ruling elites.

Post-modernism has the enormous advantage that it can’t be challenged on a rational basis, since it rejects reason and logic as tools of white privilege. Essentially, it seeks to pull the rug out from under all the accumulated knowledge and learning that forms the basis of Western civilisation." 

Not a bad summary of the situation we may be facing here as the stakes get higher and higher. The pollies have an obligation to tone down the rhetoric, and present us with reasoned and rational options - or is that asking too much?




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Reader Comments (2)

"The Self Righteous Rage Of the Left" This is a very good phrase that sums up the situation well.

"It manifests itself not just in outright violence, but also in the howling down of any opinions that challenge leftist orthodoxy. Alarmingly, this intolerance of dissent has taken hold in universities, once regarded as bastions of free speech and critical thought." And this is exactly is happening to anyone who questions the left's global warming mantra. Sadly Chris de Freitas' sensible voice on this and other topics was lost to us all this week.

July 19, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCoromandel 49

Who of us in 'ordinaryland' even understand what du Fresne is saying?

July 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRussell

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