Smile & Wave at the Passionless People
After the weekend’s polls, poor old Scott Yorke is wondering what his Labour Party has to do to get a break.
Asset sales, the Crafar Farms issue, the Sky City pokies deal: every time there's a poll on these issues (however unscientific), the results are damning.
So if people hate these policies, why do the polls say it's business as usual for National?
Scott offers five suggestions to explain this apparent conundrum. Let me offer one more.
The clue to this one was supplied by thinking about the release of Gordon McLauchlan’s Passionless People sequel. If McLauchlan is right, then NZers would generally rather sit down to a nice tea than take an abstract idea seriously—even one to which they are supposedly violently opposed.
"New Zealanders don't give a stuff about anything too much,'” he says with just a bit too much relish.
New Zealand has become "a broken country, and no-one wants to fix it.” And New Zealanders have lapsed "into a lack of passion bordering on inertness.” If a New Zealander feels a bout of passion coming on, "he goes and paints a roof.”
So a smile and a wave and a relaxed backroom deal or two is apparently the right approach for folk like this. You don’t want to overbalance on the roof.
Mind you, there is another answer that Scott doesn’t really canvas either. It is that , bad as this lot are, we are so scarred by nine years of Helen Clark that anything that comes in her colours is going to take years to trust again. (Which is why so many of even Smile and Wave’s detractors are now supporting the Greens’s Ginger Whinger instead of Labour’s Mr Invisible.)
You could object that Smile and Wave has failed to overturn anything that was introduced by Helen Clark—even things to which he was previously “passionately” opposed—so is no different to her in substance. But that would be to take ideas seriously.
PS: There is actually one other possibility to consider.
“There's no question that the Key government has been taking a hammering in the media,’ says Scott. But I wonder if NZers truly take their piss-poor media seriously any more?