... I have boiled down my top 10 story wish-list for 2009 to just one issue: How to ensure that New Zealand - a young country that many of us love - draws once again on that frontier mentality which spurred our forbears to make the radical reforms that will be necessary to secure both us and our children a strong future in a changing world. Given the extent to which so many Kiwis have been glued to the State's welfare teat, this won't be easy.I am grateful to Mr Brown for drawing my attention to the latest completely hatstand outburst from Fran O´Sullivan. I believe it explains the curiously disconnected tone of Ms O´Sullivan´s many essays on political matters: obviously she is living in some parallel New Zealand, a place which once was much like Oklahoma, the musical by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, but has since fallen into decadence. In this other New Zealand, the inhabitants once had a frontier mentality, while we lack even a frontier. In this Bizarro New Zealand, her people were self-reliant and adamantly against government dependence, even while `swaggies´ turned up at her mother´s door. In Bizarro New Zealand, people need to be weened off welfare, during the recession.
Meanwhile, in Real New Zealand, we recall that we have the World´s oldest democracy and the world´s second-oldest welfare state (the oldest is Germany, a country which has been driven to Third World status by the rampant welfarism of its feckless citizens). In Real New Zealand, the citizens realised that they would have to work together and help one-another; and they realised that theirs was an economy that was unstable and vulnerable to periods of depression. So they created a system for pensions and the like (offer did not apply to Asians and immoral women). Then Michael Joseph Savage came along and created a comprehensive system, which included really good state housing and dental nurses. This endured for years, until a bunch of nasty men (which included Roger Douglas and Phil Goff) took over the Labour Party and remodelled the system to inlude such moral values as spite and suspicion.
Over in Bizarro New Zealand, removing the welfare system is just the thing to do in a recession, a necessary Reform. In Real New Zealand, people shudder when the word `Reform´is used; they recall the Reforms of the 1980s, which opened up previously unplumbed depths of despair, while making nasty men very rich.
But, in Bizarro New Zealand, such things do not happen. People come to the door, men go to war, women become strong, members of Generations X and Y want it all and they want it now. Tra la lee. What were we saying? Oh, never mind. Oh look, over there: the roll call of scientist dissidents has not snowballed. Oh well, at least we have capacity to take delight in life's simple pleasures instead of being captive to a consumerist affluenza with all its attendant dissatisfactions. And when we were children, staying at the archduke's, my cousin's, he took me out on a sled, and I was frightened. He said, Marie, Marie, hold on tight. And down we went. In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter. Ours is a young country, which many of us love.
Because, in Bizarro New Zealand, there is no such thing as a non sequitur.