A memo on manners ...
On one hand, I suspect Key is right, and that there are indeed instances of bloat, empty strategising and Wellington log-rolling to be found. On the other, National's use of the perjorative epithet "bureaucrat" for anyone who's not a nurse, teacher or cop is fatuous and offensive.
Fatuous! And offensive!! Just imagine. Crikey, it was only a short while ago -- 1993, in fact -- that my dictionary defined bureaucrat as " a government official." And just fifteen years later the online community's leading Labour apologist is telling us the word is offensive.
This is real progress, people. But there's still more from His Insufferable Smugness as he continues to whimper on behalf of the cardigan wearers ...
Key seemed to be trying to use the b-word in every sentence when he talked to Havoc yesterday.
Well, it was bFM, Russell.
As Victoria University's Bill Ryan pointed out in an interesting interview on bFM later in the day, Key also referred to 'navel-gazers' and 'paper-shufflers'.
Oh, the horror!
Like Ryan, I'm not averse to scrutiny, especially of favoured ministries. I'd just prefer it to be conducted in grown-up language.
"Grown-up language." This plea for civility appears just a paragraph or two above a description of an online exchange as "a classic episode of pants-pooing and toy-throwing." Grown up for sure. Anyway, what's wrong with colourful language, for goodness sake? With calling a spade a spade? Or with those who spend what's laughably called their working hours collecting navel lint and shuffling paper being called 'navel-gazers' and 'paper-shufflers'?
And why the hell should we respect bloody bureaucrats -- the bane of every productive person's life. As my favourite author observes,
A businessman's success depends on his intelligence, his knowledge, his productive ability, his economic judgment—and on the voluntary agreement of all those he deals with: his customers, his suppliers, his employees, his creditors or investors.
And what does a bureaucrat's success depend on? His political pull.
A businessman cannot force you to buy his product; if he makes a mistake, he suffers the consequences; if he fails, he takes the loss. A bureaucrat forces you to obey his decisions, whether you agree with him or not—and the more advanced the stage of a country's statism, the wider and more discretionary the powers wielded by a bureaucrat. If he makes a mistake, you suffer the consequences; if he fails, he passes the loss on to you, in the form of heavier taxes.
Bureaucrats. Screw 'em -- and all the supporters who ride in on 'em.