Another difference from the other list-compilers (apart from a sense of perspective) is that with very few exceptions I don't believe there have been any truly evil NZers in public life (well, maybe just the last two on my list). For the most part they've just been either bumbling mediocrities or slimy power-lusters who as a result of their meddling and manipulation have made others lives more difficult than they needed to be, (or in the case of Robert Logan or William Massey spread disease inadvertently).
And I've only selected nine, still leaving one spot for your own suggestions. Come on, convince me.
- Robert Muldoon - an easy target, to be sure, and a deserving one. For nine years he lay across NZ's political, commercial and social life like a dead weight. Once his Government was finally deposed, the feeling of fresh air sweeping through the country was almost palpable.
- Simon Upton - this poseur brought in and administered the worst violation of property rights since the war, the RMA, and presided over and was responsible for the tragic contaminated blood scandal. Asked before the fragrant fool headed off to a Paris sinecure whether he regretted anything in his political career, he proudly declared, "Nothing gnaws at my soul."
- Lord Douglas Douglas Graham - speaking in the wake of giving millions of dollars of taxpayers' money to Ngai Tahu for things those taxpayers hadn't done, Graham declared: "The sooner we realise there are laws for one & laws for another, the better." No one did more for separatism in NZ than this former Minister of Apartheid and certified pompous arse. When first selected in the safe seat of Remuera one of the selection board confided afterward that it has always been considered that National could win the seat if it put up a donkey as a candidate - "and that's just what we've done this year," said the worthy gentleman. It is a fitting epitaph.
- Julius Vogel - a Keynesian before Keynes, and a Muldoonist before Muldoon. An inveterate booster and meddler and a believer in big government -- we largely have him to thank rather than the later Fabians for beginning NZ's accelerating growth of government -- his profligate borrowing to pay for 'Think Big: The Vogel Years' almost bankrupted the small, young country, destroyed lives and dreams, and led to almost twenty years of depression. Unlike many of the others in this list, Vogel at least had the shame to leave NZ and retire in disgrace -- but not before extracting a taxpaid pension from the bankrupt government.
- Russell, McVeagh, Simpson, Grierson, Bell, Gully, Sue, Grabbit & Run, et al - simply gruesome all of them. Hip-deep in sharp practice, legislative chicanery and monopolistic bullying the lot of them. Dick Cheney did a good thing when he shot one of their breed. I like to think it was intentional on Cheney's part.
- Marie Clay - a turner of minds into mush. The woman whose 'Look-and-Guess' approach to reading taught three generations of New Zealanders how to be illiterate.
- Colin McCahon/Ralf Hotere - producers of Emperor's' New Clothes for those too blinded by pretension to see it.
- Pick a missionary - any missionary. Introduced native New Zealanders to Western mysticism when they were still enmired in their own, before earning their trust and using it to sell them out.
- Te Rauparaha /Hongi Hika - these two stone killers murdered, enslaved, raped, looted and had eaten thousands of pre-European NZers (and more than a few Europeans as well), ceasing only when they could call on law and a new Treaty to protect their conquests. Truly evil.
TAGS: History, New Zealand