Further to our piece yesterday on the warped and envy-ridden socialism of Tapu Misa, we reproduce excerpts from a piece by Chris Trotter, posted on his blog Bowalley Road.
Trotter is a Norm-Kirk style Fabian socialist. We suspect this piece was provoked by the slander of the Mad Butcher, Sir Peter Leitch by Labour MP, Darien Fenton. Leitch is an iconic working class hero--a Kiwi battler who made a fortune the hard way and has endeared himself to the public through his works of charity and kindness. Fenton did not like the way Leitch was "public mates" with the Tory Prime Minister, John Key. She apparently saw it as a sell-out by Leitch to the propertied, monied classes. She slammed Leitch on her Twitter account.
Well, a veritable hissy fit erupted
amongst the Chattering Classes and the Commentariat--largely out of fear of what the traditional Labour supporters (who regard Leitch as a decent bloke) would think. Fenton eventually provided a retraction of sorts, only to have another Labour MP, Louisa Wall double down and repeat the sentiment of the original slur.
None of this is worth any air time. But Trotter's recent column on what Labour has become is worth considering. It explains why Labour is having such a hard time gaining any electoral traction and why National is so far ahead in the polls. It illustrates the divide between the blokes who traditionally vote labour and the chardonnay socialist elites who currently dominate the parliamentary Labour Party.
YOU STILL DON’T GET IT, do you Labour? You don’t understand, even now, what National’s done to you? Well, let me tell you. They have transformed you into auslander – foreigners, aliens, exiles in your own country. You’ve been excluded from the ranks of “the people”. You’ve been pushed outside the circle, beyond the Pale. You no longer belong among “us” – you belong with “them”.
And you’ve no one to blame but yourselves. . . .
He then goes on to explain how the working class, Labour stalwarts hung in there while Labour put the country through immense pain of deregulating and deconstructing the socialist state--which had been largely constructed by National (irony of ironies). He continues:
“If Labour is asking us to make all these sacrifices,” they told themselves, “then they must be necessary. Because, when all is said and done, Labour is flesh of our flesh, and bone of our bone. Labour is on our side – and only wants what’s best for us.”
But they were wrong. The people who were running the Labour Party were no longer flesh of their flesh and bone of their bone. They were different. They subscribed to different values. They were managers and professionals – people in charge.
Trotter then returns to a favourite theme of his recent years: the Labour Party has become elitist. They became New Labour, the new masters.
And they no longer regarded working people as the salt of the earth; or the beating heart of the nation; or the people who, in their collective bosom, kept safe the Holy Grail of socialism and a better future. Labour’s new masters looked at their electoral base and saw only rednecks, homophobes and child-beaters.
Families still mired in a working-class existence were, in the judgement of Labour’s new generation of leaders, dysfunctional failures. They were no longer members to be heeded, or even clients to be satisfied. In a bizarre and belittling transformation, they’d become Labour’s patients; suitable cases for treatment.
The English poet, C.K. Chesterton, had the measure of these new masters:
They have given us into the hand of new unhappy lords,Lords without anger and honour, who dare not carry their swords.They fight us by shuffling papers; they have bright dead alien eyes;And they look at our labour and laughter as a tired man looks at flies.And the load of their loveless pity is worse than the ancient wrongs,Their doors are shut in the evening; and they know no songs.
Trotter than describes how, in his view, National have exploited this elitism. Actually, he attributes far too much nous and cunning to the National Party than is warranted, in our view. But it sure makes for a good story.. . .
John Key preached a new message to the New Zealand working-class: a Kiwi variation of Barack Obama’s “Yes We Can”.
Would that National had made that case. They have not. But maybe Trotter is thinking that this message is somewhat subtle and subliminal, but powerful and effective nonetheless.Key’s message was simple: “It doesn’t matter where you were born, or what you parents did: you can and should aspire to a better life. National has no intention of molly-coddling you. Unlike Labour, we don’t regard you as suitable cases for treatment – but as sovereign individuals. What does that mean? It means you must take responsibility for your failures, but, equally, you have the right to enjoy the full fruits of your successes. National isn’t offering to carry you – you’re not children. But, we are offering to clear away all unnecessary obstacles from your path. Labour needs you as weak and pathetic victims; desperate for, and dependent on, the state’s largesse. National says: ‘Stand up. Be strong. Make your own future!’”
Don't worry, Chris. Within two years National will be back to its normal arrogant worst, with the offensive "We are better people than them (Labour) and we are born to rule," attitude that is so offensive to ordinary Kiwi blokes. It is an open question, though, whether Labour will have been able to shed its elitism--can it ever now escape the clutches of elite unionists and homosexuals and feminists? Time will tell.It was a potent message. Because Key was offering working-class Kiwis nothing less than the opportunity to stand alongside National’s rich and powerful supporters and be counted among the “real” New Zealanders. These are the New Zealanders who don’t rely on other people’s taxes to pay their bills. The New Zealanders who try, fail, try again – and succeed. The New Zealanders who believe that with guts and determination they, and just about anybody, can and will – “make it”
If you believed in these things, then you could stand among John’s people. If you didn’t – you couldn’t.
If you rejected the values of rugged individualism. If you placed your faith in the largesse of the state. If you looked upon the labour and laughter of ordinary people with “cold dead alien eyes”, and regarded them as “suitable cases for treatment”, then you weren't one of "us", you were one of “them”. Something odd. Something foreign. Something unconnected. Something incapable of attracting more than 30 percent of the popular vote. Something from somewhere else.