Remember the "Dancing Cossacks"?
Don Brash doesn't. Bill English didn't. However, many New Zealanders do still remember the Dancing Cossacks from that infamous 1972 National Party election ad, in which the Labour Party's compulsory superannuation scheme was excoriated as "a joke," "a dangerous idea," and - with those Cossacks - a communist takeover by stealth.
That was National in 1975.
Today, we have a Labour Party superannuation scheme (the so-called Cullen Fund) different only in detail to that lambasted by National in 1975, and deservedly so.
When first proposed, then National leader Billy-Boy English said that he had "no problem in principle," with the Cullen scheme. So much for what half-a-century has done to National's principles. To his credit, new National leader Don Brash said at first that he would scrap the scheme; it was "fundamentally flawed," he said, correctly. To his great dis-credit, he later resiled from this 'commitment.'
So, in 2005, with the Government banking a $7 billion surplus and taxpayers reeling under the load, where are those Cossacks now? Where are they when a busybody 'research institute' proclaims that we must be "forced" (their word) to save money, and not a single person is heard to say "you'll not force me to do anything, thank you very much!" Not one. Michael Cullen welcomes the report, but says only that such a scheme is "too expensive." We can only thank goodness he deems a $7 billion surplus to be sufficient!
So I just have to asks: Does anyone remember a certain referendum a few years ago? Does anyone still remember those Dancing Cossacks? Where are today's cossacks? There are none it seems in this National caucus. And none it seems, elsewhere!
[Edited with date correction, Sat 9 April, 1pm]