Neutron bombs, consulships in Monaco, treason, TVNZ and where John Key was in 1986. Looking at what politicians and media consider important just nine days from an election, you wouldn't think the world economy is looking worse than at any time since the mid-thirties, would you.
I don't care at this stage about Winston Peters' baubles, his suspension, his censure by the Privileges Committee, what he said to Owen Glenn and when ... At this stage all of that stuff is just sideshow without substance.
I don't care about Chinese immigrants donating to political parties -- except to the extent that the parties donated to are bloody thieves anyway, which of course we already know.
I don't care about who bought lunch for John Key when he was 26, or where he was working -- or which drugs Matthew Hooton was killing his brain cells with at the same age -- and as "neutron bombs" go, even Russell Brown concedes this particular one was more fizzer than most.
I couldn't care less about how many shares Gerry Brownlee owns, or owned. Frankly, I'm surprised he even knows how to buy them.
I don't care about Helen and Peter's marriage, and whether or not he can make a cup of tea -- either after sex, or before.
I don't care about who sacked whom at the Department of Conservation, or which scampi lawyer Ian Ewen-Street slept with.
I don't care about the frankly childish claims of "treason," or how "TVNZ has entered the 2008 General Election campaign on the side of the National Party," or the Herald has entered the campaign on the side of Hard Labour.
Here's what I do care about:
- I do care about the worldwide economic disaster and how NZ's politicians can make it worse. I have no confidence at all that any of the major party politicians has the faintest idea how to confront it. All we can hope for it seems is they don't make things worse. A vain hope, I suspect.
- I do care that at a time of "low unemployment" most of New Zealand's working middle class is now on welfare -- and happy about it -- and there are now 182,091 people (and rising) receiving DPB and Invalids Benefits -- and this is before the full effects of the economic storm hits New Zealand (and before John Key's promise to cover the expenses and mortgage payments of all New Zealanders who lose their jobs in the current recession.)
- I do care that under constant nannying New Zealanders are turning more and more into sheeple.
- I do care that two in five young New Zealanders leave this country's factory schools functionally illiterate and all but innumerate. And I care that good people like Anita McCall continue to die in the country's die-while-you-wait hospital system. And I'm dismayed that in the face of these calamities, both politicians and public seem utterly unwilling to confront the fundamental fact that socialised medicine and socialised medicine are a disaster, and they seem to think instead that the answer is Tony Ryall.
- I do care that New Zealanders' property rights have been taken away by the Resource Management Act and given wholesale over to town planners, and not one major party shows any intention of recognising them ever again.
- I do care that when the world's perfect economic storm is about to hit, both major parties, and most of the minor ones, want to shackle agriculture and industry for the sake of a climatic delusion.
- I do care that the Electoral Finance Act has taken free speech away, yet we've seen no indication from the party who says they plan to "replace" it what exactly they're going to replace it with.
There's more than enough happening right in front of our faces that needs to be addressed --stuff that genuinely affects all of us -- without going through people's garbage to find stuff that doesn't. Stuff that I just don't care about at all.