Title: Little Zealand? Credit: Craig Young Comment Tuesday 1st August 2006 - 12:00pm1154390400 Article: 1362 Rights
New Zealand, New Zealand, New Zealand. We invented the sheep, and our pavlovas are registered as weapons of mass destruction at the United Nations. Why does the National opposition look and behave like the (painfully) provincial characters from the BBC satirical series "Little Britain?" Does it really think that it can circumvent growing concern about its apparent lack of meaningful alternative policies to the government through repetition of the cliches "tax cuts" and "political correctness?" Apparently, yes. However, this leads one to consider the following questions. One, what happens when the tax cut loses its ability ro mobilise potential voters through modulated government co-optation of that rhetoric? Two, and as for that overwrought cliche, 'political correctness,' enough already. To put it bluntly, the cliche in question is populist social conservative gibberish for: "Eek! I'm frightened by all this scary urban social diversity, especially all the evidence-based proof that seems to be behind it. I know! If I mindlessly repeat the mantras 'political correctness' and 'family values,' then I'll get away with spouting all sorts of unsubstantiated diatribes about anyone who lives outside the countryside!" Problem is, this gibberish is self-defeating. It usually attracts members of tiny 'macmovements' like the pro-belting fanatics, male backlash rowdies, Exclusive Brethren and all sorts of other tiny social conservative sects that don't really have support outside their remote provincial enclaves. Unfortunately for its future electoral prospects, National seems to have been suckered into regarding these shrill groups of ambulatory fruitcakes as meaningful interest groups. Two cases in point occur to me. One of them, obviously, is Don Brash's image consultant. One might as well try to make over Vicky Pollard from the aforementioned satirical series. I fear the Leader of the Opposition is un-tzshuj-able. More seriously, witness Judith Collins' moronic tirade against Section 59 Repeal. Most New Zealand pediatric, developmental specialist and child health and welfare groups back the Bradford Bill, so why is the over-promoted Ms Collins still droning on and on and on about 'smacking?' After 2002, the Opposition was captured by a horde of unrepresentative rural social conservatives that hate the mainstream, urban liberal New Zealand majority. It's high time that they stopped behaving like a pack of sniffy Daffyd Thomas clones and realised that they're not the 'only political party in the village' under proportional representation. The Opposition realised this in the late eighties and throughout the nineties and unless it does so again, it will be out of power for the forseeable future. Craig Young - 1st August 2006    
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