I speak of course of a letter to Lady Hillary, the wife of Sir Ed, to whom he left his watches when he died.
Read that: His watches. Watches owned by him. Watches which were given as gifts to him, over which he therefore had, quite legitimately, complete freedom of disposal.
This, however, is not the view of the meretricious, meddling arsehole from the Orwellianly-titled Ministry of Culture and Heritage who wrote the aforementioned letter.
That shiny-arsed arsehole stated in its letter the view that Sir Ed’s watches—specifically a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Oyster awarded to him after he climbed Mt Everest (I emphasis the appropriate words just to make it clear who was up Everest achieving heroism, and who therefore is the owner of the fruits of that feat)—belong not to the hero who climbed Everest and to whom the watch is actually engraved, Sir E. Hillary, but to all the non-climbers and seat-warmers who sat at home basking in his reflected glory.
The fact that Sir Ed achieved such a magnificent accomplishment is all the more reason, according to the arsehole, for confiscating the fruits therefrom.
What a disgusting perversion of morality.
This letter-writing arsehole would have found a fruitful home for itself in the places whereof Orwell often spoke. The sort of place in which heroes become public property, success becomes a reason for punishment, and the fruits of achievement become the object of confiscation—and the greater the achievement, the more virulent the confiscatory power.
I did not think New Zealand had got there yet.
But perhaps I am wrong.