The Greens are the Bogeymen!

Yesterday’s editorial in the Northern Advocate offers some intriguing observations about the launch of the political (i.e. election) year.

Noting that the PM seems to have spent more time ‘belittling’ the Greens than attacking the policy of National’s largest opponent, the writer proposes that “Of course the Greens are the bogeymen, for one simple reason: They’re right. They might be mocked as “loony left”, but they’re really a pro-environment party with a social conscience…a Green future implies real change, not just tinkering and shadow-plays”.

That’s dead right.  One reason I joined the Greens many moons ago was the Green political analysis that said ‘business as usual’ is not a sustainable option.  We do need real change, not just meddling – we need to live differently, and if we are smart then ‘differently’ need not mean living any less well.

We are routinely accused by our political opponents of being communists; admirers of the command economy; ‘watermelons’; loony lefties. This mindless and frankly boring nonsense reveals first that our opponents have no understanding of Green principles and policy, and also that they have failed to notice that the old ‘left-right’ continuum (dating from 1789!)  is entirely incapable of capturing the complexity of modern political ideologies.

Nearly two decades ago I was teaching politics students at Auckland Uni that the one dimensional left-right spectrum concealed more than it revealed, and that at very least we need to use something like the multi-dimensional  ‘political compass’ approach to even begin to understand current realities.

Maybe we should revive the catch-cry of the 90’s; still valid, and easy to grasp even for the least astute – ‘The Greens are neither left nor right, but in front!”




37 Comments Posted

  1. I am telling you what the WEF says, assuming that you realize that the reason I pointed it out at all is that it is absurd and impossible and stupid to expect it to happen 🙂 Well, I THOUGHT you’d read my mind and know that 🙂

    Population isn’t the problem in NZ as it is elsewhere, but it is a problem for the long haul. I think we can manage it but it isn’t the core of the economic problems WE face.

  2. Nope DBuckley, the arrangement with the banks and the fractional reserve system FUEL that demand.

    The “growth” is NOT REQUIRED in a truly sustainable economy… by definition it cannot be.

    You’re arguing both sides of the coin.

    You quoted the WEF as saying $100T is “needed”. Now we are either part of that, or we are not. If we are part of it, we need to be able to generate our “fair share” of that. if we are not, then totally different rules would apply.

    We are currently some way away from leaving the world economic system…

    But when you say:



    The “growth” is NOT REQUIRED in a truly sustainable economy

    that is indeed true. Other than that pesky issue of population, of course.

    A few generations down the line, then then world population are going to have to grapple with some very thorny issues…

  3. Greens understand Kunstler’s rant

    and this more studied evaluation

    It isn’t that we demand that there be a change, we are telling you that THERE WILL BE A CHANGE. We are making plans to cope with it. The desperate pursuit of growth at any cost WILL be removed from the economic system. The economic system WILL collapse because there is not any way for it to continue.

    No other party has a clue.

  4. So where is the need for growth Dave?

    There are three sources of it but the ones that are “built in” are related to population and knowledge; the former being controllable and the latter being both natural AND sustainable. The one that is the very devil is related to fractional reserve banking, which is probably EASIER for us to change than for almost any other nation because we are very much what you just described.

    1. We restrain our population growth by controlling immigration and inequality.

    2. We replace the fractional reserve monetary system with a sovereign NZ currency that doesn’t charge interest for loans, but DOES charge demurrage for holding on to money.


  5. BJ
    WHAT would a sovereign nation hanging off the edge of the Pacific Ocean, with a population and economy smaller than several cities, do to remove the built in systemic need for growth?

  6. Nope DBuckley, the arrangement with the banks and the fractional reserve system FUEL that demand.

    The “growth” is NOT REQUIRED in a truly sustainable economy… by definition it cannot be. Much of the need for growth and debt comes from the fractional reserve system itself.

    It feeds on itself like any good positive feedback loop will, and it is by definition completely unsustainable. The problem is that the need for growth cannot be removed without first removing the built in systematic requirement for it.

    This can be addressed by a sovereign government directly, barring which the only thing that can be done is to wait for the inevitable and disastrous collapse of the worlds monetary system.

    The Horse and Cart are in the right order here.


  7. Point about ‘non-violence’ is that it’s mostly just hot air. Lots of people love to proclaim their commitment to non-violence, but if you query it, they start on a huge list of exceptions that make their claim to the principle absurd. If the Greens are committed to maintaining military forces, police and prisons, they really ought to be frank about that and drop the silly claim to non-violence.

  8. $100 trillion in new credit would be needed for world growth going forward.

    Which is a lot. Even units such as the metric fucktonne pale in comparison to this monster.

    So the question then becomes, were can something like this come from? The only possible answer is fractional reserve banking.

    In the recent thread We can make history in 2014, BJ notes:

    3. Action to take some of the power of the banks back to the sovereign nation of NZ.

    Clearly the need for $100T globally (and a share of that will be in NZ) and removing the banks who magic this money up from nowhere are incompatible. And this is one of the problems I have with the Greens, which possibly should be in the other thread, that problem being the “Cart before Horse” error. Before we can put point three into practice, we have to engineer the removal of the need. So point three maybe should be point 17 or something, and there needs to be a plan to get to the point where it is possible.

  9. The sustainability argument against BAU is strong.

    The World Economic Forum reported in 2011 that $100 trillion in new credit would be needed for world growth going forward.

    How’s that going to happen? How is the Fed going to stop QE if it has to force that sort of borrowing. It is ALREADY forcing that borrowing through its banker owners borrowing to buy bonds but this is so clever it is stupid.

    So who admits this and is looking for ways to revise the system? That should be all you need to know.

  10. OK, so complete disarmament, no more prisons, a completely disarmed non-violent police force.

    Nope… you took that one further than it can be taken. We HAVE a defence policy and it doesn’t involve the idea of “turning the other cheek”. The fact that we have one indicates that the party is NOT ignoring my 5th principle. There are always a few as might want to do so, but most of them have departed for destinations further left.

    I doubt we need more prisons… what we need is less crime. Which is one expected result of increasing equality. The society is being punished for this mistake and at some point even idiots who think John Key is honest, will figure it out. 🙂

  11. “North Korea has a “high” level of government regulation and control”…

    Isn’t that a bit of a value judgement? 🙂

    (OK how about ‘high by international standards”?)

    And yup – the principles don’t tell me much, nor do I expect them to. Though I’d actually reckon most Green party thinking comes from a social democratic basis, which these principles don’t reflect. They’re are more ‘feel good’ principles than a basis for Green thinking – as I pointed out, the conclusions you would come to based on these principles aren’t reflected in the policies presented.

  12. Sam, the principles never told a lot. Just where the policies come from, and there ARE detailed policies by the dozen on the Greens website.

    Social Democracy – yes – much as the Swedes have successfully managed. MORE government regulation and control than now, much as they have, but calling what we believe in “high” entertains a value proposition that doesn’t really exist. North Korea has a “high” level of government regulation and control… 🙂 One has to watch out for the hidden “value judgements” that one makes.

    What is actually true here is that the Free Market Fundamentalists who seized control of this country in the mid-eighties have driven us to have some of the LOWEST levels of tax, government regulation and control in the OECD, and our status as “mexicans with cellphones” reflects the complete success of our wealthy owners in fooling us into thinking that anything that resembles a SUCCESSFUL society is communist interference.

  13. Well, the problem here is the gulf between the principles and the policies. The principles don’t tell me much – the first tells me nothing about the mechanisms for achieving sustainability, the second doesn’t tell me what the Greens consider ‘just’. No doubt Key would consider the present level of economic equality ‘just’.

    The second and third are more specific. “Decisions will be made directly at the appropriate level by those affected”. Direct democratic decision making by those affected – in a word, anarchism. I rather doubt that this is what the Greens stand for.

    “Non-violent conflict resolution … applies at all levels.” OK, so complete disarmament, no more prisons, a completely disarmed non-violent police force. Again, I rather doubt it, particularly when you call for frigates to be replaced, rather than junked.

    Your policy list tells me more – nationalisation, Keynesian economics, government support for New Zealand capitalism (is that by way of subsidy or tariffs on imports?), well-regulated dope, government redistribution of income to citizens, tax measures for environmental outcomes.

    So social democracy with a high level of government regulation and economic control – is that about right?

  14. At risk of boring everyone to death..

    Lets start with the basics. The Greens build on 4 principles.

    Ecological wisdom:
    The basis of ecological wisdom is that human beings are part of the natural world. This world is finite, therefore unlimited material growth is impossible. Ecological sustainability is paramount.

    Social responsibility:
    Unlimited material growth is impossible. Therefore the key to social responsibility is the just distribution of social and natural resources, both locally and globally.

    Appropriate decision-making:
    For the implementation of ecological wisdom and social responsibility, decisions will be made directly at the appropriate level by those affected.

    Non-violent conflict resolution is the process by which ecological wisdom, social responsibility and appropriate decision making will be implemented. This principle applies at all levels.”

    I agree with those, but to my way of thinking there is a very important one missing. Supported BY those four but more important than any one of them. Survival

    No principle can be pursued to the point where it threatens the survival of the Human Species, Civilization, New Zealand or The Green Party. This one isn’t part of the charter but it isn’t optional. If we commit a principled suicide we aren’t around to maintain ANY principles… it sets a hard limit on what we can in fact, do.

    Overall there is a single overarching word. Sustainability. In examining ANY of the issues we encounter, the question that arises first in the mind of most Greens is whether it can continue. Almost all the economic structures built in the past century do not pass this test. It has become rather a joke and Kunstler’s rant is only a pale indication of how I actually feel about it.

    This is in the way of background though. What do I want to see done?

    1. An end to fractional reserve debt-backed currency.
    2. A heavy tax on CO2 emissions, redistributed directly to the citizens.
    3. The government issuing a currency backed by “work done” and subject to demurrage.
    4. A land tax.
    5. At least 2 more income tax brackets at 42 and 56 percent.
    6. A greatly reduced GST.
    7. Renationalization of the Electrical Power Generators
    8. A program of support for NZ makers of stuff that NZ consumers consume. This is limited to the things where we have SOME capacity to do it, otherwise it gets far too difficult. Examples:
    a. Wool Clothing, Blankets and Rugs
    b. Finished wood products, Furniture, Milled Lumber (perhaps an Ikea?)
    c. White Goods
    d. Rail Cars, Track, materials.
    e. Aluminium Bicycles, Boats other things
    f. Wind Turbines INCLUDING generator sets and bearings.
    g. Farm Equipment.

    In all these there is a substantial resource of ours that can be utilized and employment of New Zealanders can be enhanced while simultaneously reducing our overseas expenditures.

    9. A program of defensive development for things which we really cannot economically make but which are ESSENTIAL to the maintenance of our ability to use the net and to the net itself. These would not meet commercial requirements but standard designs for some things would be archived against catastrophe, and we would develop the capability to implement those designs at in limited quantities.

    a. Disk Drive manufacture.
    b. Semiconductor manufacture.
    c. LCD (or similar).
    d. We already have bearings from the work above.
    e. ….

    *I hear the why? and the answer is that most of human knowledge is now stored in digital form. Our societal and scientific memory is dependent on electrons and magnetized regions of this and optically altered bits of that. Our society can as a result, be lost if the electricity stops flowing, new disk drives cannot be produced to replace the old ones, and processor and memory and motherboards cannot be built that can adequately run the software we’ve come to rely on for communication and storage of our information. We can lose air travel and society will survive. We can’t afford to lose our memories.

    10. A program limiting the construction of infrastructure ANYWHERE less than 20 meters above mean high water. It may not get that bad that fast, but the risk is substantial that infrastructure that is needed at the higher levels will NOT exist and resources to build it will not be present when climate change becomes severe.

    11. Implementation of a UBI in place of most of our social support system. There needs to be a recognition that the value of a citizen to the society is NOT dependent on their ability to produce stuff for others to consume but on their respect and support of other citizens and the society.

    12. Legalization of Marijuana through licensed dealers and illegalization of all substitutes for it. A stupid law that does much more harm than good.

    13. Replacement of the current Frigates with vessels more modern and better suited to regional responsibilities and self defense that we actually require.

    14. More pro-active protection of our economic zone.

    15. University Education provided free of charge to qualifying students.

    I am I think… out of priorities for now. There are myriad additional issues to address but that is most of my wish-list and overall it matches with Green Party priorities pretty well. I support equal rights in all their forms but the sanity check of survival is limiting.

  15. …oil is no longer cheap and world economies can’t grow anymore. They can’t afford to run the day-to-day operations of a techno-industrial society. They can only pretend to afford it.

    From the link

  16. Well, I would be interested to know what you think, BJ, if you have some time sometime. But that doesn’t really answer the questions raised by David Clendon’s post – if the Green Party stands for deep change, rejects ‘business as usual’ and doesn’t admit to having a place on the left-right continuum, then what does it actually want?

    It’s true that other parties don’t put out much of a manifesto, but I have a pretty good idea what the other major parties stand for, partly from experience and also because they tend to sit in fairly well-established places in the political strata. In the case of most of the parties, social democracy, Keynesian economics, slightly less acceptance of economic equality in the case of Labour and NZ First, more in the case of National and Act, freer trade, a regulated private sector, considerable state involvement in the economy.

    If the Green’s want to keep saying “we’re different” it strikes me as incumbent on them to explain in what way.

  17. Mmmm…. OK Sam, You want to know what the ideal Green economy and society would look like? You’d get a slightly different answer from almost every Green on the planet, but there are some commonalities. I don’t have time JUST now and the best I could do would be to give you my own version… but you’ll find I think, that no more detail is forthcoming from any party about what their ultimate goals. My own version?

    Later, and only if you ask… it is probably boring for most folks here and won’t be definitive for the party in any way.


  18. I guess I’m more thinking of the Green’s political ideals, rather than the particular policies adopted in this election cycle. What exactly are you working towards? Easy to say such things as “we want to get New Zealanders into jobs”, “we need to be sustainable” and “we’re against this and that” but that doesn’t really tell me much. Certainly doesn’t differentiate theb party from Labour who employ much the same rhetoric.

    Most of the left politics I hear in recent years suffer from a lack of clarity about position. (I know the Greens pretend not to be ‘left’ but this is just rhetoric surely – like National pretending to be opposed to state spending?). There’s plenty of clarity of critique on the left, but ask people what they stand for and they get vague and awkward, or just come up with platitudes. Noticed this a lot with Occupy (and people like Russel Brand) – strong condemnation of capitalism and the free-market, but ask them what they want and they vaguely say “Oh. um… a financial transactions tax” – which suggests the continuation of capitalism and the free-market with minor tweaking.

    Some of this seems a lack of thought, some just a lack of courage. There’s both a lack of understanding of political positions – even an inoccuous term like ‘social democrat’ which covers much of the present political spectrum is recoiled against – and fear of being understood. People appear unwilling to say what they mean as they fear it will frighten people off.

  19. I am not sure why off-shore mining is so strongly opposed. If the stuff is just below the surface – so no drilling required – and the operation performed properly and in sensible locations, why not? If possible, we should do the processing here as well, to take advantage of our renewable energy resources and provide jobs.


  20. Sam – We are at present, still debating what steps to advocate in this election cycle. What you’re asking is a taste of what will be in the Green’s economic proposals, and as those proposals aren’t finalized yet ANYTHING I say is apt to be wrong.

    Some of the things proposed are realistically not going to be part of that, there is a matter of what the New Zealanders we all know can understand and accept. Some of the things still in play would be land tax and CGT to reduce GST. A proposal for a UBI is not completely out of the question, replacing most of the current arrangements for support. Asset sales would end, no doubt at all and some would be taken back, as possible. Offshore drilling and mining continuing? I do not think so. An emission trading scheme with teeth? Likely. The TPP? Not so much.

    We want to put New Zealanders back to work in jobs that work for New Zealanders. We have wood, we have mills, we have people who would be glad of decent work but we build damned little furniture… instead we export logs?…and other perversions of the comparative advantage story, encouraged by the neo-liberal lunatics. What happened to making wool clothing here? Rugs? Rail-cars?

    Further out is more certainly a UBI, a non-bank[issued currency, a Carbon Tax with the proceeds returned to the people of the country, who as individuals would decide how to spend it. These are things we want to do but the NZ public is not likely to accept without a longer consideration, given the decades of neo-liberal propaganda it has swallowed.

    BAU is NOT sustainable. It will end, and how it ends is up to people who have a different vision from the current crop of misleaders. That could well be us.

  21. Problem for me, BJ, is reading posts like this, starting with “We do need real change, not just meddling – we need to live differently…”

    OK, so far so good, but it doesn’t tell me anything about what the Greens propose, then: “We are routinely accused by our political opponents of being communists… This mindless and frankly boring nonsense reveals first that our opponents have no understanding of Green principles and policy…”

    Again, so far so good, but apart from telling me, by implication, that the Greens aren’t communist, there isn’t much there to help me in understanding Green policy. Then:

    “at very least we need to use something like the multi-dimensional ‘political compass’ approach to even begin to understand current realities.”

    OK, so where does the Green party fit on the political compass? Beats me, we aren’t told. Then it finishes up with the slogan: ‘The Greens are neither left nor right, but in front!”. Again, all it tells me is that the Greens aren’t something. Not left nor right. So what are they? Not left (believers in economic collectivism), not right (believers in economic individualism). What is ‘in front’? Do they mean ‘in the middle’? How will the ‘Green economy’ function? What is the role of business? And the state? And the market?

    If you are going to reject the ‘left-right continuum’ you need to replace it with something other than rhetoric.

  22. That WOULD be economic fairness/justice … altering the taxation regime to reduce the GST, add a Land Tax, a CGT, and a financial transaction tax.

    Those are things we can do… and advertise the doing of, and stand for the climate change being addressed with a carbon tax that gets paid back to the citizenry as a dividend. We CAN do these things and should, because as little as the public is interested in the rights of Sri Lankans and the goluboy in Russia, we’d be fools to push such a barrow for this election, particularly with slimeball Key trying to ensure that we are all distracted by a flag of uncertain design. If there were anything more transparent in an Election Year I have yet to see it. Watching the news media lap it up. I have not got high expectations for the future of New Zealand if its people don’t start thinking.

  23. I thought asset sales was a fait accomplis.
    Economic justice, until the banks, international big business et al are made to stump up a decent amount of tax, we have little chance of economic fairness.
    Climate change and our clean green image. The latter is gone for good, the overseas buyers who take over our dairy companies could not care less about pollution in rivers and lakes.
    I am all for the Greens pushing these issues, but do you really think they are the issues which appeal to the ordinaty voter trying to feed, house, and clothe a family on a low wage plus the disgusting 15% extra tax on everything?
    I think the way to get more seats is to work together with other parties to make live more livable for the average family.
    everything that family needs.

  24. There is clarity in some of the metadata. Look at this blog itself. Which issues are in fact commented on, active… those are, in NO particular order here.. .

    1. Asset sales (a branch of the economic issues).
    2. Economic issues and economic justice/fairness.
    3. Climate change and (to a lesser degree) other damage to the ecosystem

    There are dozens of posts about rights, rights in other countries, and all manner of social causes…. and darned little apparent interest. The big 3 are the ones this party needs to focus on because they are what people are interested in. It isn’t that we don’t care, it is that we have to be perceived as focusing on what is most important. That continues to be a problem for the party. We don’t pick our fights but engage on every front at all times.

  25. Dunno, I’m not mad about the ‘political compass’ – admittedly it seemed a good idea when I first heard about it back in the late ’80s – but one of the nice things about the old left-right continuum was that it only measured commitment to economic collectivism, and didn’t muddy the waters with other concepts. These days its pretty damn hard to figure where people actually stand as regards economic collectivism.

    The right likes to use the meaningless term ‘cultural leftists’, as if culture and degrees of support for collectivism have some relationship. Some ‘leftists’ also seem to feel that their commitment to feminism, environmentalism and anti-racism makes them part of the left, when they happily support free-market economic principles.

    Environmentalists’ support for ‘green growth’ and ‘sustainable business’ creates more questions. As does the confusion among the green movement about the terms ‘capitalism’ and ‘free-markets’ which many seem to think are synonyms.

    I recently heard Metiria attack the National Party for being ‘libertarian’ when they are clearly practicing Keynesian economic policies – borrowing heavily, keeping interest rates low and spending up large on public works. The problem with the National Party is that they are using Keynesian economics as a form of class warfare, they certainly aren’t taking the government out of the economy as ‘libertarians’ propose. Calling them ‘libertarian’ is accepting National’s rhetoric at face value rather than analyzing their practice.

    All of this is removing clarity from political analysis. Dusting off the weak old anarchist slogan ‘neither right nor left, but out in front’ is a further move in this direction.

  26. The strategy of the Nats and Key are clear, divide, divide, divide, invent stuff, twist the truth, manipulate, lie and back stab. They are trying to create frictions amongst the more progressive opposition parties, and to also discredit the Green Party, where-ever they can.

    Divide and rule has been their motto since the 2008 election win, yes it was so even before. That is why the Greens and other progressive forces in NZ politics should not be too bothered, ignore all this and continue to focus on what matters: Policies that prepare the country for the future!

    Key also seems to be getting worried, as such personal attacks like over the last few days against Metiria Turei and the Greens in general, they show that he is losing his temper now. All this talk about a “rock star economy” will soon backfire, once interest rates start rising, pushing up housing and mortgage repayment costs, when Asian economies continue to slow (there are worrying signs), when the over reliance on China as an export market, and on a few raw commodities like milk powder, logs, and so forth, will suddenly show the high risk for the under-diversified economy.

    The rest of all this much “celebrated” growth comes from the Christchurch and Canterbury rebuild, and that is a project of temporary duration, which cannot be maintained for medium to longer term.

    This year may have some surprises, which will likely not be good news for the government.

    So ignore the cheap rubbish talk about the “bogeymen” and get on with it, prepare to replace this useless government, that only has the wellbeing of a few on their mind, and that caters more for Hollywood and oil and mining corporations, than for the average New Zealand worker or even downtrodden.

    The time is coming, that few will still believe John Key, the leader of the “hollow men”.

  27. Education is an area where the Greens should target National. On the way to work, I could scarcely believe my ears when Key was on the radio extolling the virtues of a good educational system. What’s the point of education if you are simply going to ignore it because of your commitment to irrational ideological beliefs?

    National is committed to despoiling all our natural resources and beauty because of its desperate addiction to fossil fuels and the irrational belief in endless growth. These are same fossil fuels which science strongly intimates will lead to calamatous global warming and ocean acidification within this century.

    Dictate the political narrative. Greens shouldn’t get drawn too much into responding to Key & his cronies. Hammer him on the environment, and when he tries to use the “we need jobs, what are you doing about it?”, hammer him on the pathetically low number of New Zealanders likely to be employed in this last mad dash for fossil fuels.

  28. Today’s reply to the letter I posted above was a doozy! In it, the over-heated writer talks of “green tentacles” “puppet-master Norman” and the post itself is titled “Green wolves”, beautifully illustrating the points made in the first letter.
    Green wolves! I like that.

  29. @greenfly, zedd

    The Nats tried the “demonise the Greens” strategy back in 1999, focusing in particular on Nandor and the cannabis policy. It backfired big-time. 6 weeks out from the election the Greens were polling between 1% and 2% and looked like they had no show of getting into Parliament. By the time of the election they had crossed the 5% MMP threshold, thanks as much to to the Nats’ attacks as to a good Green campaign.

    I say “bring it on”. Most of the public are not stupid enough to fall for that strategy, and it will serve only to make the Nats look desperate.

  30. @Greenfly

    I agree with the issues raised in this post.. scare-mongering & propaganda, in the attempt to create cracks between Labour & Greens (Keys probable only chance of another win in 2014 ?)

    Its interesting that Labour is the ‘Key-partys’ biggest challenger & yet they continually attack the Greens, with allegations of being ‘loony left fringe’.. If this is true, what does he call the ‘craig-party’ ??

    I applaud the Greens for raising the issue of Cannabis law reform, BUT I’m sure Key will use this as further ammunition to attack & label the Greens (even though a majority (> 60%) of kiwis in recent polls appear to support it!)

    Good Post Mr. Clendon

    kia ora koutou

  31. This letter appeared in The Southland Times yesterday:

    Watch national demonise the Greens

    Anyone following New Zealand politics will know the National Party is in trouble.
    As the election approaches, its lack of partners is becoming obvious to everyone; Peter Dunne and John Banks have been or are being investigated for serious misbehaviours and it’s their two votes that have given National its slim majority in Parliament.
    With only that odd ‘bring back the smack, man didn’t walk on the moon’ Mr Craig to replace them, National knows that its best chance, its only chance, is to attack the Green Party.
    Labour, in coalition with the Greens, will win the election comfortably, National knows, unless it can demonize the Green Party, by calling them names every time they ask questions about coal mining, deep-sea oil drilling, genetically-modified foods, climate change; all of those things National wants but New Zealanders are unsure about.
    Calling your ememies ‘crazy’, ‘mad’, ‘loopy’ or ‘evil’ works quite well, as Mr Key, who does it often, knows.
    By frightening New Zealanders at every opportunity, the National Party hopes to disguise the fact that its support from other parties is weak.
    Look out for it, as the year progresses, not only from National MPs, but also from its supporters who comment in the media, even the writers of letters to this newspaper. Attack, demonize, frighten and lable is the strategy.
    If National can convince you that anyone who questions them is a terrorist, they’ll be in with a chance.

    Robert Guyton

  32. “We are routinely accused by our political opponents of being communists; admirers of the command economy; ‘watermelons’; …”

    The ‘watermelons’ line always causes me to raise an eyebrow. In the movie Salvador the President of El Salvador describes the Catholic church as watermelons to a bunch of his inner-circle while preparing to demand one of them assassinate Archbishop Oscar Romero.

    I think the first time I heard the term ‘watermelon’ used in New Zealand was by Richard Prebble (probably talking about the Greens) and I remember thinking, ‘Sick bastard, hasn’t this idiot seen the movie Salvador’.

  33. They wish to make you the bogey men so the other parties will not join hands with you to make our nation decent again.
    So watch out for the wicked witch of the right!

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