Flag politics

Liam Hehir writes:

More recently, however, traditionalists have also been bolstered by a growing force within the political Left: Key Derangement Syndrome.

This is a case of strange bedfellows in many ways, because those who loathe Key are also apt to resent the supposed colonial overtones of the Blue Ensign.

What has become clear, however, is that for many self-styled progressives, this concern simply cannot compete with the desire to thwart the Prime Minister.

Correctly perceiving that a new flag would be the visible legacy of his premiership, Key’s detractors are not going to let consistency get in the way of attempting to frustrate him.

Former advocates of state profligacy have been transformed into guardians of the public purse, criticizing the cost of the referendums.

People usually obsessed on the minutiae of Wellington politics now condemn symbolic navel gazing about our identity as a distraction from the things that really matter.

Of course, those positions will naturally change if the next Labour Prime Minister wants a new flag.

It has been interesting watching many on the left become determined to prevent a successful referendum on changing the flag – simply because John Key proposed it. You know that if Helen Clark had proposed it, they’d be praising her for her nationbuilding efforts.

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