Known principally for his weekly political columns and his commentaries on radio and television, Chris Trotter has spent most of his adult life either engaging in or writing about politics. He was the founding editor of The New Zealand Political Review (1992-2005) and in 2007 authored No Left Turn, a political history of New Zealand. Living in Auckland with his wife and daughter, Chris describes himself as an “Old New Zealander” – i.e. someone who remembers what the country was like before Rogernomics. He has created this blog as an archive for his published work and an outlet for his more elegiac musings. It takes its name from Bowalley Road, which runs past the North Otago farm where he spent the first nine years of his life. Enjoy.
The blogosphere tends to be a very noisy, and all-too-often a very abusive, place. I intend Bowalley Road to be a much quieter, and certainly a more respectful, place. So, if you wish your comments to survive the moderation process, you will have to follow the Bowalley Road Rules. These are based on two very simple principles: Courtesy and Respect. Comments which are defamatory, vituperative, snide or hurtful will be removed, and the commentators responsible permanently banned. Anonymous comments will not be published. Real names are preferred. If this is not possible, however, commentators are asked to use a consistent pseudonym. Comments which are thoughtful, witty, creative and stimulating will be most welcome, becoming a permanent part of the Bowalley Road discourse. However, I do add this warning. If the blog seems in danger of being over-run by the usual far-Right suspects, I reserve the right to simply disable the Comments function, and will keep it that way until the perpetrators find somewhere more appropriate to vent their collective spleen.
Pretty Ugly, Pretty Quickly: That the demographic and cultural divide between rural and urban New Zealand remains a source of deep unease to farmers cannot be doubted. Equally indisputable, historically-speaking, has been the militant, even violent, character of rural New Zealand’s response. In New Zealand history, when the country comes to town, things tend to get pretty ugly, pretty quickly. Morrinsville, New Zealand, 18 September 2017.
YESTERDAY IN MORRINSVILLE farmers rallied against Labour’s
proposed “Water Tax”. Why Morrinsville? Because that was the little country
town in which Jacinda Ardern grew up. Just think about that for a moment. Think
about what it says about the mindset of a distressingly large percentage of New
Zealand’s farming community.
The president of the Waikato branch of Federated Farmers,
Andrew McGiven, told the NZ Farmer
newspaper that farmers were tired of being scapegoated by politicians. Another
protest organiser, local farmer Lloyd Downing, complained to the same
publication in similar fashion:
“The lack of fairness and consistency in some of the
proposed policies, and the laying of blame solely at the feet of rural New
Zealand for all of our environmental challenges is what is frustrating farmers
– particularly when it is well known that the most polluted waterways are in
urban catchments. The water quality issues are a challenge for all New
Zealanders. Farmers recognise that, and are spending tens of thousands of
dollars each on reducing their environmental impact.”
It was in response to these “continued attacks” on “rural
New Zealand” that farmers rallied in their hundreds under Morrinsville’s giant
New Zealanders like to think of themselves as people with
strong ties to the land. It’s a fallacy which perhaps explains the enduring
popularity of the television programme, Country
Calendar. Except that, for most of its history, New Zealand has been an
urban nation. Certainly, by the early years of the twentieth century most Kiwis
resided and worked in towns and cities. In terms of their jobs, lifestyle and
political outlook, these “townies” were a very different breed.
That this demographic and cultural divide between rural and
urban New Zealand was a source of deep unease to farmers cannot be doubted.
Equally indisputable, historically-speaking, has been the militant, even
violent, character of rural New Zealand’s response. In New Zealand history,
when the country comes to town, things tend to get pretty ugly, pretty quickly.
In 1913, for example, hundreds of armed farmers on horseback
(known forever after as “Massey’s Cossacks” after the farmer-friendly Reform
Party prime minister, William Massey) were brought into New Zealand’s major
cities to crush what would come to be known as “The Great Strike”. According to
New Zealand historian, James Belich, exchanges of gunfire between Massey’s
Cossacks and the “Red Fed” strikers were common. Many of the trade unionists
involved in the Great Strike later became MPs and Ministers in the First Labour
One of those unionists was Peter Fraser. In 1945, as Prime
Minister and Labour Party Leader, Fraser presided over the abolition of the
infamous “Country Quota”. This was the section of New Zealand’s Electoral Act
which, ever since 1881, had added a 25 percent weighting to votes cast in rural
The reaction of the farming community to Fraser’s
long-overdue rectification of what can only be described as a democratic
outrage is instructive. In his book, The
Quest For Security In New Zealand 1840-1966, W B Sutch describes how
Labour’s plans to abolish the Country Quota were met with “country-wide
protests from farmers’ organisations, an appeal to the Governor-General asking
him to intervene, and threats of direct action.” Quite what the cockies meant
by “direct action” remains unclear, but the Dominion Executive of the Farmers’
Union (forerunner of Federated Farmers) was prepared to raise the then quite
considerable sum of £250,000 to fund it!
The sort of thing the cockies had in mind only became clear
in 1951, when the first farmers’ government since 1935 was willing to shut down
New Zealand’s democracy for the 151 days it took Sid Holland’s National Party
to replicate its Reform Party predecessor’s success in ruthlessly suppressing
militant trade-unionism in the nation’s ports, coal mines, railways and
Thirty years later, the reactionary cultural instincts of
rural New Zealand were, once again, pitched into a prolonged and violent
confrontation with the progressive values of metropolitan New Zealanders. The
1981 Springbok Tour not only bore testimony to the tenacity of rural
conservatism, but also to its steady migration into the upper-middle-class
suburbs of the largest cities.
When Mike Hosking challenged National’s current leader to
name something he would march for, Dipton’s favourite son was at a loss. This was curious, since the photographs of a placard-carrying Bill English,
seated jauntily on ‘Myrtle the Tractor’, at the 2003 Federated Farmers’ protest
against the so-called “Fart Tax”, in Parliament Grounds, were still in the
archives – and easily retrieved.
When Andrew McGiven and Lloyd Downing encouraged their rural
brethren to gather under Morrinsville’s giant cow yesterday, they were simply
adding another chapter to an already lengthy story of rural antagonism
towards the needs and aspirations of New Zealand’s urban majority. The latter
looked on, appalled, at the selfishness and ignorance which unfailingly follow
the country into town.
This essay was
originally published in The Press of
Tuesday, 19 September 2017.
Labour Nearly Did This: It didn’t really seem possible that Labour could have lost. Its 1969 campaign had broken new ground in terms of media sophistication. Labour’s theme-song “Make Things Happen” had topped the local charts, and its television commercial, put together by a hungry young ad-man called Bob Harvey, was slicker than anything New Zealand voters had hitherto encountered.
“WE’VE GOT IT!” Was the triumphant (if incautious) assertion
of the supposedly neutral Professor Bob Chapman on the night of the 1969
“nearly-but-not-quite” general election. The worthy professor should perhaps be
forgiven for his premature psephological ejaculation. He had marked down the
electorate of Eden as the seat Labour was bound to take if it was on-course to
becoming the government. On the night, Labour’s candidate, the distinguished
New Zealand historian, Professor Keith Sinclair, had taken it. Chapman, whose
Labour sympathies were well known to his colleagues (if not to the television
audience) had waited nine long years to see the National Government of Keith
Holyoake defeated. And, half-way through the election-night telecast, it seemed
as though his political patience was being rewarded. That Keith Sinclair was
also Chapman’s good friend and colleague, merely slapped a good-sized dollop of
icing on the cake.
By the end of the telecast, however, the story had changed.
Sinclair’s narrow election-night majority notwithstanding, Labour had fallen
four seats short of the 43 needed to win. An industrial dispute involving a
ship called the Wainui – culminating
in a march up Queen Street by the communist-dominated Seafarers’ Union – had cost
the Labour leader, Norman Kirk, the Auckland seats he’d needed (and confidently
expected) to secure the prime-minister’s job. Even Eden, after the counting of
Special Votes, reverted to National’s John Rae by the wafer-thin margin of 67
It didn’t really seem possible that Labour could have lost.
Its campaign had broken new ground in terms of media sophistication. Labour’s
theme-song “Make Things Happen” had topped the local charts, and its television
commercial, put together by a hungry young ad-man called Bob Harvey, was
slicker than anything New Zealand voters had hitherto encountered. What’s more,
between the 1966 and 1969 elections, New Zealand had passed through its
sharpest economic downturn since the Second World War. Export prices had collapsed
and unemployment had risen to a post-Depression peak. It seemed inconceivable
that a nine-year-old government, offering such a lacklustre record, could
possibly be re-elected. How was it that Holyoake won?
First-off, there was the rapidity of the country’s economic
recovery. Export prices recovered and unemployment fell sharply in the months
leading up to the 1969 election. National’s new finance minister, Rob Muldoon,
was thus able to project competence and control in equal measure. To many voters,
the 1967-68 recession seemed nothing more than a glitch, an aberrant departure
from the steady upward trajectory of New Zealand’s post-war economic
performance. Certainly, Muldoon’s message to the electorate was unequivocal:
“I’ve got this!” His reputation as National’s “economic wizard” dates from this
But an improving economy wasn’t the only reason for
National’s surprise win in 1969. There may have been growing ferment on the
nation’s campuses, and increasing union militancy in the nation’s factories and
freezing-works but, at heart, New Zealand remained a deeply conservative
society. The events of the previous year: the annus horribilis of 1968; with its tragic list of assassinations
(Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy) and its frightening clashes between young
protesters and out-of-control police personnel (Paris, Chicago, Mexico City) had
culminated not in revolution, but in the election of Richard Nixon as President
of the United States. There was “something in the air”, alright – conservative
And so, late in the evening of Saturday, 29 November 1969,
it was a visibly relieved Keith Holyoake who gently chastised Professor Chapman
for his earlier – premature – celebration of a Labour victory. Against all the
odds, National’s three-term government had been returned for a fourth. Only the
first Labour Government of Mickey Savage and Peter Fraser could boast an equal
number of consecutive election victories (1935, 1938, 1943, 1946).
But, Holyoake was no fool. He knew that only “events, dear
boy, events” had rescued his party from the jaws of certain defeat on 29
November 1969. Twenty-six months later, on 7 February 1972, just nine months
out from the next scheduled general election, Holyoake would step away from the
prime-ministership – passing-on a poison-smeared baton to his loyal deputy,
Jack Marshall. Similarly, on the night of that agonisingly close contest
(National’s 1969 vote, at 605,960, was just 13,905 votes ahead of Labour’s
tally of 592,055) “Big Norm” Kirk was quietly confident that, in spite of
losing the “nearly-but-not-quite” election of 1969, nothing short of divine
intervention was going to prevent him from leading Labour to victory in 1972.
This essay was
originally posted on The Daily Blog
of Monday, 18 September 2017.
Let's Do This Now! New Zealand is poised to repeat the circumstances that produced the shock British election result of 2015. Those with a retentive political memory will recall how both the pollsters and the pundits were predicting an extremely close election which could very easily see the Labour Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband, moving in to Number 10 Downing Street as Britain’s next prime minister. Didn’t happen.
IF, ON ELECTION NIGHT 2017, you end up staring at the
numbers in horrified disbelief. If National proves the people at Reid Research
are the best pollsters in the business. If the Jacinda Train runs out of puff
several percentage-points short of being able to form a government. If the
Greens: the dear, earnest, tree-hugging Greens; fall below the 5 percent MMP
threshold. If, after all these calamities, you’re casting about in your anger
and your grief for an explanation, then reclaim from the back of your mind this
crucial piece of information from Elections New Zealand.
As at 15 September, just over a week out from Election Day,
“nearly 20,000 fewer young people under 30 [have] registered compared with
Got that? Notwithstanding the fact that the leadership of
the Labour Party has passed to a young woman of 37. Notwithstanding the fact
that Labour is promising to enact a suite of policies aimed directly at
addressing the problems besetting young New Zealanders. Notwithstanding the fact
that the most future-focused of all New Zealand political parties, the Greens,
are at serious risk of being ushered out of Parliament altogether.
Notwithstanding all of these things, fewer citizens under 30 have registered
than three years ago!
New Zealand is poised to repeat the circumstances that
produced the shock British election result of 2015. Those with a retentive
political memory will recall how both the pollsters and the pundits were
predicting an extremely close election which could very easily see the Labour
Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband, moving in to Number 10 Downing Street as
Britain’s next prime minister.
As polling stations across the British Isles closed their
doors, and the counting began, the BBC released an exit poll indicating a
comfortable win for the British Conservative Party. Pundits and Opposition
politicians alike were dumbfounded. When all the polls were predicting a close
race – and some a Labour win – how could the BBC’s exit poll possibly be true?
The Tories knew the answer. They had cottoned-on to what was
happening weeks before. All those young Britons who’d happily told the
pollsters that they supported Ed Miliband and Labour were by no means as
committed to making their way to a polling-booth and actually voting for them.
Older voters, on the other hand, were borderline obsessive when it came to
exercising the franchise. And guess what? Around three-quarters of them were
Two years later, back here in New Zealand, the chances of
something very similar unfolding are distressingly high. Just consider these
additional stats from Elections New Zealand:
“So far, 97 percent of people over 70 have enrolled to vote,
but as the age drops, so does the percentage. Only 75 percent of people between
the ages of 25 and 29 enrolled to vote and that proportion dropped to 67
percent for 18 to 24-year-olds.”
Combine that data with the latest Colmar Brunton poll’s
finding that 67 percent of voters aged between 18 and 34 told the pollster that
they were intending to vote for the Labour Party. 1New’s political editor,
Corin Dann, has described this as a “youthquake” – and if 18 to 34-year-olds
voted in anything like the same numbers as the over-60s, then he’d be right,
and Labour/Green would cruise to a stunning election victory.
But, will they? In 2014 around 200,000 young New Zealanders
declined to cast a vote. If that degree of abstention is repeated in 2017, then
the same gasps of disbelief that greeted the BBC’s exit poll in 2015 will
likely be heard here as the Early Voting figures are released on the evening of
23 September. Youthquakes are not born of young voters’ stated intentions, they
only occur when young people get themselves to a polling station, step into a
booth, fill out a ballot-paper, and drop it into a ballot-box. Jacinda will not
become prime minister by millennials liking her on Facebook. To effect a change
of government, it is absolutely necessary that young New Zealanders vote.
Among all this doom and gloom there is, however, some good news.
When the Tory British Prime Minister, Teresa May, called a
snap election earlier this year, the pundits and pollsters were determined not
to be caught napping a second time. If younger citizens, in spite of declaring
their support for a political party, don’t actually make it to the polling
booths, reasoned the pollsters, then we must adjust our raw results to take
account of the high level of youth abstention.
Accordingly, the overwhelming majority of polls released
prior to the June British election showed the Conservatives increasing their
parliamentary majority. Many of the British pundits went further – predicting a
massive collapse in Labour support across the country.
Young British voters had learned from the experience of
2015. They understood that if Jeremy Corbyn’s “For the Many, Not the Few”
manifesto promises were ever to be honoured, then they would have to get out
and vote for them. Which is exactly what they did – in numbers far surpassing
the youth turnout of 2015. Support for the Labour Party surged. Teresa May lost
her parliamentary majority.
The moral of the story is pretty bloody clear: VOTE!
You can enrol, and vote, at your nearest Advance Voting
polling station (check out their locations at www.elections.org.nz ) right up until 22
September. It is NOT possible to enrol on Election Day itself (Saturday, 23
September) so – VOTE EARLY.
And once you’ve enrolled and voted, make sure everyone
you know, who’s 18 and over, and wants to change the government, GOES OUT AND DOES THE SAME.
This essay was
originally posted on The Daily Blog
of Saturday, 16 September 2017.
Auckland cartoonist Toby Morris has produced this superb pictorial commentary on National's campaign tactics. His chilling adaptation of the Nat's "Winning Runners" television ad exposes the class warfare which, when all the superficialities are stripped away, constitutes the dark matter of every general election.
Victory Lies Ahead, Comrades! Allowing the Greens to make the case for change; assessing the force and quality of the Right’s objections; and then, following a period of extensive consultation, fashioning a suite of reforms acceptable to a solid majority of New Zealanders. Such is the royal-road to making Labour the dominant force in New Zealand politics.
IT’S NOT OFTEN in electoral politics that a party is given a
second chance to get it right. In 1999, Labour and the Alliance (with the
Greens more-or-less in tow) were gifted the chance to craft a political
relationship that could have grown into a near-permanent lock on New Zealand’s
still-new MMP electoral system. That neither partner in the Labour-Alliance
coalition had the wit to seize, or even understand, the opportunity before them
is a testament to the woeful immaturity of the New Zealand Left.
Perhaps the best way to describe the opportunity missed by
Labour and the Alliance (and, after 2002, the Greens) is by deploying a
Think of Labour as a large army marching through enemy
territory. (The analogy works best if the army you’re imagining is a nineteenth
century one – think of Napoleon’s Grande Armée, or Robert E. Lee’s Army of
Northern Virginia.) The much smaller army of the Alliance is spread out well
ahead of Labour’s line of march. Its role: to reconnoitre the territory into
which Labour is marching; noting the disposition of the enemy’s troops; their
strongpoints; and the places where their defences are weak and vulnerable to
attack. Should the enemy encounter the smaller force, the resulting engagement
will give the larger army plenty of time to prepare its defences.
For a while, it looked as though the Labour-Alliance
combination had decided to work in precisely this fashion. The radical policies
of the Alliance – especially those relating to employer-funded Paid Parental
Leave and the rolling-back of the Employment Contracts Act – provoked a
vehement backlash from the business community. Labour was, thereby, warned in
advance of exactly where and how the enemy would attack these measures if they
were adopted as official government policy.
Unfortunately, Labour failed to make good strategic use of
this advance warning. When the business community’s counterattack came (in the
form of the infamous “Winter of Discontent” of the year 2000) Labour fell back
in confusion. The Alliance’s policies were slaughtered. Never again would the
centre-left armies of Helen Clark and Jim Anderton engage the forces of the
Right across such a broad front.
Indeed, in the General Election of 2002, the forces of the
centre-left found themselves fighting each other. Labour and the Greens, at
loggerheads over the issue of Genetic Engineering, were unwilling to march
together. Abandoned by its natural ally, Helen Clark reluctantly joined forces
with Peter Dunne’s United Future Party.
Reassured that there would be no more left-wing offensives,
National concentrated on reinvigorating its worn-out fighting machine and
prepared to take the fight to Labour. In 2005, Labour just managed to hold them
at the border. But, in 2008, National brushed aside Helen’s broken army and
occupied huge swathes of Labour territory.
Nine years later, under the command of its Joan-of-Arc-like
leader, Jacinda Ardern, Labour is again presented with the opportunity to take
the fight to the Right. Once again, they have an opportunity to send their
radical allies out ahead of their main force to draw enemy fire and provide
Labour with the information required to seize the strategic initiative.
If Ms Ardern and her advisers decline to accept this second
chance to put things right – or, in this context, left – then they will, once
again, have denied to themselves, their party, and their radical Green allies,
the opportunity of making steady progressive reform New Zealand’s political
Allowing the Greens to make the case for change; assessing
the force and quality of the Right’s objections; and then, following a period
of extensive and authentic public consultation, fashioning a suite of reforms
acceptable to a solid majority of New Zealanders. Such is the royal-road to
making Labour the dominant force in New Zealand politics.
The test will be whether or not Ms Ardern is willing to
follow the example of her mentor Helen Clark. In 1999, with the Greens under
sustained attack from National, Ms Clark tipped the wink to Labour’s Coromandel
supporters to give their electorate vote to the Green co-leader, Jeanette
If, next week, the Greens are still at risk of falling below
the 5 percent MMP threshold, and Ms Ardern tips the wink to Labour’s Wellington
Central voters to back James Shaw, then we can be sure that the forces of
Centre-Left are, once again, on the march.
This essay was
originally published in The Waikato Times, The Taranaki Daily News, The
Timaru Herald, The Otago Daily Times and The Greymouth Star of Friday, 15 September 2017.
Enough of "Let's do this", Jacinda. It's time to say "Let's do them!" Labour thought it could bluff its way through this election with warm fuzzies and vague promises. They assumed that these would be enough because the electorate has grown weary of the National Government. Well, the Newshub-Reid Research Poll has reminded them in no uncertain terms that this is still a fight.
FIRST OF ALL, it’s just one poll. And, one poll does not a
Labour election loss portend. RNZ’s Poll of Polls which averages out the
results of the three or four most recent polls, presents a considerably calmer
picture. In a nutshell, National and Labour are level-pegging; NZ First and the
Greens are drifting dangerously close to the 5 percent MMP threshold; the Maori
Party looks set to take two seats; Act just one; and the rest (including The
Opportunity Party) simply aren’t in the race.
Even so. The latest Newshub-Reid Research Poll has delivered
a pretty solid kidney-punch to the Centre-Left’s morale. What had begun to feel
like a smooth escalator ride to certain victory has been brought to a sudden,
stomach-lurching halt. The Nat’s are sitting pretty on 47 percent – enough,
with the Greens out of the running, to let them govern on their own.
The cynical genius of the Crosby-Textor pairing has armed
the National Party with a pretty serviceable baseball bat and they are swinging
it hard. Frustratingly, that Nat bat has been carved out of Labour’s errors. In
a fine example of Crosby-Textor’s standard operating procedure. National’s
fightback strategy zeroes-in on Labour’s point of maximum vulnerability: their
MPs’ abiding fear of stating clearly what it is that they intend to do – and
how they intend to pay for it.
Instead of responding to National’s “Let’s Tax This” jibe
with a resounding “Hell, Yeah!”, Jacinda has been persuaded to double-down on
the Little-led Labour Party’s “keep it vague until the election’s safely won”
strategy. The Tax Working Group was supposed to save Labour’s blushes by
placating voters with the promise of wise and disinterested expertise. Clearly,
the party strategists failed to read the Brexit Memo. Had they done so, they
would have been alerted to the fact that the electorate’s faith in “expert
opinion” has grown rather thin of late. The stock response of 2017 voters to
the prospect of having their future decided by a committee of experts is:
“Whose experts will they be?” and “Which side will they be working for?”
Forced to rule out more and more of the promised Working
Group’s most predictable recommendations, Jacinda has been made to look as if
she already knows what her committee’s findings are going to be – but is
reluctant to tell us. This merely reinforces the doubts National has been at
such pains to sow. Tactically, her position is grim. As Paddy Gower observes:
“Part of Labour’s problem is that it keeps ruling certain
tax variations out during heavy interviews. That keeps the story going. And the
problem now is there is no way out for Labour – it cannot backtrack on this. It
has to take its vague tax policy all the way to the election – and National
will hack at it every step of the way. Labour must find a way out of the tax
vortex. Suggestions on back of an envelope to J. Ardern of Mt Albert please.”
Unfortunately, there just isn’t enough time for snail mail.
So, Jacinda, please accept the following as my best shot at describing “a way
out of the tax vortex”.
Strategically, Labour’s best bet is to go on the offensive
over tax. Not by responding to endless challenges to rule this or that tax out
of contention, but by reminding voters why they pay taxes in the first place.
Give it to the voters straight. That if they want better health care, better
education, more affordable housing, improved mental health services and clean
rivers and streams, then they cannot avoid the question of how all these things
are to be paid for. Tell them that Labour’s Tax Working Group will be asked to
come up with the fairest ways to gather revenue, but also tell them that they
should not be in any doubt that gathering-in more revenue is, simply, what her
government has to do if it is to fulfil its promises to repair the damage
wrought by nine years of National rule.
Jacinda should remind the electorate that the determination
of tax policy: how much should be gathered, and from whom; goes to the very
heart of the democratic tradition. It’s why Kings were required to summon
Parliaments. It provided the rallying cry for the American Revolution: “No
taxation without representation!” Taxes are the price we pay for civilisation –
And then she should turn her attention to the farmers.
Because, with their bare-faced lies and angry demonstrations, they have shown
the rest of New Zealand exactly why a Working Group to improve the fairness of
our taxation system is needed. The farming sector’s dirty dairying has been
subsidised by urban taxpayers for long enough. A reasonable contribution from
farmers to the cost of cleaning up the waterways they have so recklessly
befouled is only fair. Jacinda should invite all those who believe farmers
should pay a water tax to join her and James Shaw outside the headquarters of
Federated Farmers in Wellington. The spiteful decision of Waikato cow-cockies
to protest in Jacinda’s home-town of Morrinsville should be answered in kind.
Labour thought it could bluff its way through this election
with warm fuzzies and vague promises. They assumed that these would be enough
because the electorate has grown weary of the National Government. Well, the
Newshub-Reid Research Poll has reminded them in no uncertain terms that this is
still a fight.
The National Party doesn’t do surrender. It understands what
the Centre-Left appears to have forgotten: that every general election involves
a deliberate intensification of what Labour’s founders referred to unashamedly
as “the class struggle”. Or, in the words of Leonard Cohen: “the homicidal
bitchin’ that goes down in every kitchen to determine who will serve and who
“Sunny Ways” have taken Jacinda a long way, but now it is
time for her to unleash a blast of true arctic fury. “Fear and lying” is a good
start, but, to put it bluntly, at this point in the campaign Labour’s voters
are in need of a much more visceral morale boost. The opportunity is there to
deliver a blunt message to all those who believe that taxes are what other
National’s friends in the countryside have raised their
hands against “Let’s do this”. It’s time to show them what it means.
This essay was
originally posted on The Daily Blog
of Wednesday, 13 September 2017.