Empty suits

From Aardvark today:

The [young Maori] girl in question appeared to be bright and intelligent — however her lack of general knowledge and simple comprehension of the world around her drew the quality of her education into focus. Despite all the media coverage (the Sunday papers and TV were full of it), she was unaware that John Key was leader of the National Party.

Dude. I. a former member of the National Party, and I’m only just barely aware that John Key is the leader of the National Party. Until they stop electing Dorky White Guys In Suits to the job, who CARES who’s the leader of the National party? In FACT, who the hell wants to know ANYTHING about the National Party these days? It’s not as if they actually proclaim any kind of actual platform that differs wildly from that of Labour.

Hell, I’m almost asleep right now from making this journal entry, just because I had to type the phrase “the National party” more than once. Fuck the National party.

I’ll stop right now, in fact, before I have to wonder out loud once again why the economic right always seems to be coupled with the dingbats who’re so socially conservative they disapprove of the use of the Wheel, and may actually be witholding judgement on Fire until they see how it works out.

Is there some rule that says you can’t be socially progressive and not in favour of sprawling government and excessive taxes?

17 thoughts on “Empty suits

  1. In the tiny snippet I saw on TV the poor kid looked absolutely terrified- I don’t know about you but excessive nerves can certainly make me lose all sorts of general knowledge (in fact I’ve been known to write my name and address down before making really scary phonecalls).

    Do you really have a national party membership card? I’ll have to think about whether I can continue to be your friend 😉


    1. Oh go on, it’s always nice to be able to say ‘some of my best friends are card-carrying members of the National Party’.

      Please tell me ‘fuck the National Party’ is an expletive and not an instruction. Even I have limits.


      1. Oh please.

        I bet you have secret nookie fantasies that involve some dorky white dude, his blue tie swishing back and forth with his exertions, whispering in your ear “And who will be paying for this initative, I ask you? The taxpayer, as usual!”.



    Sprawling government and large taxes are pretty much part and parcel of being socially progressive – someone has to run and pay for all those nice services that keep citizens healthy, educated and happy. I think it’s a small price to pay to stop NZ from straying anywhere near the type of problems the US has.

    It would be nice if government were able to be efficient and incorruptible, but both sides have problems with that. Given this fundamental problem, I’ll take a more taxes any day.


    1. I am indeed. I’ve ALSO been a member of the Labour party, so don’t be so quick to judge.

      The problem, as I’ve said before, is that I don’t agree with all parts of both major parties in this country. I’m kinda hoping that as MMP gets more bedded in, we’ll start to see goverments composed of acual coalitions of small parties, rather than the current “Govt = 1 x Big Party plus 1 x Satellite Extreme version of the Big Party.”

      Perhaps it’s time to form the Sensible Party.


      1. Start down that road and you’ll turn into Peter Dunne 😉

        I do like the potential that MMP has for being able to take a pick’n’mix approach in voting. There’s no party I agree with fully enough to actually join.


    2. “Sprawling government and large taxes are pretty much part and parcel of being socially progressive – someone has to run and pay for all those nice services that keep citizens healthy, educated and happy. I think it’s a small price to pay to stop NZ from straying anywhere near the type of problems the US has.”

      See, I like to think of myself as socially progressive. I’m pretty sure I am, in many ways. What I’m not, is left-wing when it comes to taxation, or the size of government.

      I also like the idea of lower taxation (slowly lowered over time) – not purely out of self interest (although, I will admit that there’s a smidge of that in there), but because I think lower overall taxation increases economic development in general, and everyone’s lot improves in the long run.

      That said, I’d be in favour of increased taxes *if I thought the government was using my money efficiently*.

      That’s all I really want out of a government. Return on investment. Do the things I care about – helping those in society who need help, looking after those who need looking after, enforcing laws (although we could do with fewer bullshit laws, and more active enforcement on ones that matter), mediating/arbitrating disputes.

      From where I sit, the reality is that big government is inefficient government. (same applies to big companies). I don’t expect that to change, or government to be able to function if it was instantly made smaller… but I would like to see some sort of ‘efficiency’ or ‘return on investment’ concept in their accountability.

      Meh, I could ramble like this for hours… but I won’t.

      O, I used to enjoy (and be infuriated by) our political arguments… I hope you’ve got my email, if so, flick me one if you want to chat about this stuff some time.

      (Not, and hopefully never will be a card carrying national party member. Just for the record).


      1. I agree, but I have no illusions that it’s ever going to happen in my lifetime, and I’d work to change it but politics leaves me bored at best, suicidal at worst. Small government spending taxes efficiently and taking care of the population in unobtrusive ways – it seems like any reasonable person couldn’t ask for more. But yeah, I just can’t see human nature getting out of the way in order to make it happen. At least not on a large scale.


      2. I don’t expect it to happen either.

        But, I’ll do my little bit by continuing to argue, and vote (where appropriate) for smaller, more efficient government that works well, and does all the good stuff that I want a government to do.

        ‘cos if I don’t, that’s one little bit of pressure less.


  3. If if weren’t for the fact that our local Labour MP is so nicely morally conservative, I’d probably be voting something weird like National/Green. Luckily we’re not in the US where that extreme-left vs. extreme right tomfoolery is so entrenched.


    1. I do hope you mean “perception of” extreme left and extreme right, because the only thing they have here that I can see is extreme right and nearly-the-same extreme right. “Left wing” in the US would be something like ACT. Minus the warm fuzziness.


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