Thursday, 7 April 2005

Bring on the Dancing Cossacks

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]


  1. Peter

    great call to arms, and I like your blog. Definitely nicer than Bob's or that Polish guy's.

    People are too damned comfortable. Fortunately, despite all the nanny-stating and cosseting, regulations and taxation, New Zealanders are doing just well enough to get angry. 4% unemployment? HELL! Break down the barricades! Forced pension payments? Who cares! In the scheme of things, the average Kiwi is not badly off.

    Does it need to get worse, much much worse (as it inevitably will) before anyone sees just how bad it is HEADING?

    Keep up the good fight ;)

  2. You must have missed my rant on Sir Humphrey's on this.

  3. Thanks David. And yes, Lucyna, I did miss your rant, and I can't see it over at Humph's. Any chance of giving a link?

  4. Here you go:

    What I sent to RNZ was a letter I also send to the editor of the Dom Post a while back. It got published too.

  5. A good rant, Lucyna. :-)

  6. Thankyou. See, see, there is one! The only problem is that there are just soooo many issues, I haven't really done anything more with this one.

  7. I do remember the dancing cossacks but was sure it was 1975? I may be mistaken, does anyone know which it was?

  8. It was '75, when National was in opposition and criticising the Rowling government's super scheme. You can watch the ad at

  9. Oops! Well spotted guys. It was indeed 1975. I've just asked someone here to kick my arse for me, and I've corrected my blunder. Ta.


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