A thoughtful Trotter column

Chris gets beaten up so much for his inflammatory columns, I thought I would quote from today’s one with approval:

How can a kid raised among the stark, bare walls of a state house hope to compete with a kid who has grown up with Beethoven and Bach, Rembrandt and Brueghel?

But as I watched the prizewinners make their way across the stage, it suddenly hit me that this attitude was both extraordinarily arrogant, and very, very dangerous.

For one thing, a great many of these prizewinners were the children of immigrants.

Wrenched away from their homelands; required to learn a whole new language; subjected to grotesque racial stereotyping and often outright verbal and physical abuse; these children, backed by their families, have never wavered in their quest for academic, sporting and cultural excellence.

Who is served by belittling, or condemning, the distinctions conferred upon these children? Who is served by an ideology that refuses to recognise that crucial aspect of the human spirit which refuses to accept the brute statistical reality that many are called but few are chosen?

Are we socialists, in our drive for an absolute equality of outcomes, really willing to descend to the level of a certain species of crab which will, when collected in a bucket, seize and haul back into the doomed mass any individual that attempts to escape its fate by climbing out?

Should John Key’s mother be condemned for instilling in her son the notion that, with lots of hard work and a little luck, he could transcend his state house roots?

I think Chris does hit on a key point. Scoialism and Communism does not take of the human ambition, the quest for sucess that can drive people and lead to great things.

Is that why so many other New Zealanders raised in state houses voted against Helen Clark’s Labour-led government last Saturday?

Because, somehow, they had got it into their heads that she would be happier if they never left them? Never climbed out of the bucket?

Or, God forbid, that Labour’s social-democratic state was actually about seizing them in its claws and dragging them back down into it?

Labour has to understand that its state houses, and the welfare state that built them, was just the first, not the last, stage and crowning achievement of the socialist journey. Social democracy must never be about maintaining vast swaths of the population in perpetual electoral peonage.

But that is exactly what Labour was doing. Their mission was to create a majority of people dependent on the state for income, so that they would always vote for a more-state party.

State houses, along with our public health and education services, must be regarded as launching-pads for heroes, not stables for Labour’s donkey-vote.

And I couldn’t agree more.

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