Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Traffic cops and communists

Why the hysterical emotion from the left about their election loss, wonders Home Paddock this morning after windows were broken and Molotov cocktails left (but not lit) at a National Party office in Dunedin.

There was a ”huge amount of emotion” among those on the political Left after National’s sweeping election victory, ranging from ”demoralisation to anger to incredulity”, said University of Otago politics lecturer Dr Bryce Edwards.
    ”[The vandalism] shows a very exaggerated and extreme outcome of how many on the Left are feeling, but it doesn’t typify it.”

The emotion is everywhere.

Lefists across the commentariat are disembowelling themselves and each other in hyperbolic overreaction to an election win by a centrist, if not centre-left, government.  After two terms of pabulum, National will now start privatising, claims one. National will now start running the country for the wealthy at the expense of the people who actually do the work, says another. My favourite is a young Labour supporter and his girlfriend who say on Twitter they cried all weekend about the incoming government because now 250,000 children in poverty won’t be fed. "I keep going to the river to pray,” they say, “Cos I need something that can wash out the pain."

You might say that if children not being fed is their thing they might stay home instead and make some kids a few sandwiches, but that would only lead to accusations of being churlish.

I can understand the sackcloth and ashes about having your electoral arse handed you on a plate. But why the all frightened hyperbole about the new govt?

It’s not like the country just elected Basser al-Assad.

Here’s a clue from one lefty who does angry more than he does anything else.

Martyn Marin Bradbury’s dad was a traffic cop.* ‘So what?’ you might say. Everyone’s dad is something.

Well, I reckon it’s quite revealing. Here’s a hypothesis.

Just imagine the daily mental state of a traffic cop. Rarely if ever would you spend any part of your day reflecting on, say, how great the traffic is flowing, or how drivers are doing really well on the roads today, or how individual drivers’ decisions are coming together into a great natural harmony. Hardly ever would you come home, toss your hat on table and declare “What a great day of self-directed driver action I saw out there today.”

No, none of that hippy shit. From the point of view of a traffic cop every driver is a potential fucking accident who is only kept in line by a traffic cop’s boot up his arse. Or the threat thereof. All that stands between drivers and disaster is the command and control of the MoT’s finest.

To a traffic cop, no-one is safe out there without their top-down, all-seeing, do-as-I-fucking-tell-you kind of command and control.

But guess what, customers?

That’s exactly the same way most lefties view government.

From their point of view, when they say the Prime Minister runs the country, they mean it literally. From their point of view, the world really wouldn’t function if government shut down for a day. And by government, here, I don’t mean if the police went away for a while: I mean if the police stayed and the rest of the apparatus of state folded their tent and shuffled off for a short period. If all the planners and regulators and policy-makers shut up shop and left everyone to get on with it.

Now, that’s clearly not gonna happen under any kind of National government, no matter how many tears are shed. But from the point of view of the leftie with a traffic-cop outlook, that’s the most frightening thing you can imagine – and that’s what they’re imagining now.

Because to them National represents fewer planners and regulators and policy-makers. (If only!) And without all the planners and regulators and policy-makers putting a toe up everyone else’s arse, and without the government delivering school lunches, every child goes hungry, and every adult is a potential fucking accident just waiting to fall into poverty or penury or worse.

Not for them the vision of entrepreneurs heading out into the world every morning looking to create new values. For them, the only thing going on is going on because of government.

From the point of view of this kind of leftie, without government wrapping its services around them and everyone else (unless of course those services are provided by the GCSB, or they’re wrapping around their enemies), the world is a frightening fricking place, just one unregulated banker or dairy-farmer fumble away from disaster.

No wonder they’re all going hyperbolic.

* “…the 40-year-old son of a moustachioed traffic cop from blue-ribbon Dairy Flat,” says the Herald. And they would know.


  1. Well said. I particularly like the comment about Key not being Bashir Assad. The number of people I know who genuinely believe he's a dangerous right-wing extremist is truly surreal.

    Frankie Lee

  2. I don't think their view is that nuanced. It's simply 'not my tribe'. I know a feral Labour voter, his whole outlook was shaped by a childhood spent in Thatcher's UK. There is no reasoning, it's simply good (Labour) vs evil (not Labour) and the facts will not intervene, he'd make a good priest.

  3. Very good analysis. In addition to their gov't dependency philosophy there's also an element of plain tribalism. In the week's leading up to the election many of my online criticisms of anything cherished by the left were interpreted as support for John Key. Rather than defend their position, the response was "but John Key has done worse". They seemed to genuinely find it very hard literally to separate the issue from the tribal politics.

  4. [Lefists across the commentariat are disembowelling themselves and each other in hyperbolic overreaction]

    Are they what?!
    The stage of grief they were up to last I saw was radical skepticism. "I don't know," and "You can't know what happened.." was a mantra I witnessed over and over.
    A little earlier I observed displacement as a stage of grief coupled with the certainty that all the abstaining voters were to blame. Strongly assumed these voters are all Left.

    I think this is worthy of more study for a possible link-up to becoming a traffic cop and completing the cycle.

  5. to quote Chris Trotter a large part of the “centre right are spiteful and willfully ignorant”
    that’s why the centre right won.
    We are stupid ; We do not realise that the left is superior to us; we have no compassion; It was the weather ; some people didn’t vote ; they would have voted Labour ; the centre right lost our moral compass; Dotcon was a visionary; Hager is brilliant; people don’t understand our tax policies; the centre right are dishonest; It would be better to let the Labour party die than change; we banned all the centre right from our blogsites and we knew what we knew; anyway the election was rigged, we hate John Key so there; it didn't happen


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