The SST’s focus group

The Sunday Star-Times does its own focus group in Newlands, Wellington.

LYNNE WARREN was so annoyed at the government’s plan to ban incandescent light bulbs that she went out and bought up a sackful. She is tired of Labour telling her what to do.

She doesn’t like the new, green, fluorescent compact bulbs. As a hairdresser she needs lots of light, fast. She doesn’t want to hang around waiting for the bulbs to shine properly.

But the light bulbs were just part of the problem. “The way things are going,” she says, pausing above her client’s rollers, “we don’t get much of a say any more.

I have been surprised by how much the light bulb ban has become a hot issue.

And wait until Lynne finds out that the Government is going to force all hairdressers to draw up a public health management plan, and have to submit it to the Government for approval.

The thing that annoyed her most the turning point in her thinking, it seems was the anti-smacking law. She and her husband have two sons, both now grown-up, and she didn’t think it was the government’s job to tell them how the kids should be raised.

“I have been lucky with my children. They didn’t get into any bad trouble,” she says. She and her husband didn’t mistreat the boys, of whom she is clearly proud. So what business has the prime minister interfering?

The fact that the law change has become so associated with Helen Clark instead of Sue Bradford has been one of a number of strategic blunders by Labour.

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