A guest post by Owen Jennings:
My neighbour, many moons ago, was an old style socialist. In the mould of Mickey Savage. He championed the down and out. He would have willingly got out of his socks for you. He distrusted control and authority of any sort. He appreciated the value of democracy. While he worked for equality of outcomes, he saw value in equality of opportunity.
I think of Patrick, often, when I come against those who claim to be “socialists” today. Because they have few of Patrick’s noble attributes. Quite the opposite.
It struck me forcibly watching the various reactions to the US Supreme Court decision on Roe v Wade and more recently the Court’s decision to severely clip the wings of the Environmental Protection Authority. Like it or lump it the Court said, in both instances, “power belongs to the people, not some centralised authority, controlled by elites”. Generally, the “socialists” went nuts over both decisions. Washington took a massive hit.
Today’s brand of socialism is totalitarianism. It is centralised control. It is disdain for the ordinary people. Whether it is Roe v Wade or Three Waters, it is the elites who want to keep decisions away from the democratic, “every-person-a-vote” approach so they can exercise their superior knowledge, their advanced form of management. In its simplest form the repudiation of Roe v Wade was about whether the Supreme Court with its narrow focus on the Constitution should make a determination on abortion or whether it was a decision to be made by the states, a decision closer to the people.
It is why the media, accomplices to the current socialist cabal in Wellington, went after Luxon. Knowing his private views he just might open up the decision in NZ on abortion to the people. Those ignorant oafs could not be given a say on such a matter. Luxon wondered, for a moment, what had hit him. He is still making the transition from the boardroom where decision making gravitates up to the top, to politics where decision making best gravitates to the people. Hopefully he is getting the message that he not only works for the ‘shareholders’, they should determine the direction.
The legacy of Ardern and her government will ultimately be seen as a massive power heist. Influence stolen from the people. From Covid rules to He Pua Pua, from the pathetic attempts to build houses to the doubling of bureaucrats in education, from taxing cow farts to captain’s call on gas exploration, from crudely forcing Te Reo on the population to controlling tenancies, from creating new ministries and building bureaucracies to the demolishing of the DHB’s, from sneaking in union control of wage bargaining to demanding Māori wards almost every major decision involves a shift of power from the people to Wellington.
Such is nature of totalitarianism in a small population the elites have to pull in family members to keep the hoi polloi from the levers of power. Nepotism is a close colleague of totalitarianism. Two control knobs that the new socialists keep a tight handle on are controlling the narrative and engendering fear. Most of us are too busy and too disinterested to dig below the story of the day. Keep up the good news stories, distract when required, buy more allegiance if necessary but do not lose the storyline. Covid and climate change are godsends for twisting the fear knob. There is nothing like the ‘end of the world’ and ‘we only have six months to act’ to keep the masses in semi-panic and under the whip.
Ardern has made the most of her PR training to run a clever propaganda program. Her daily appearances during Covid, her smiles for selfies, her media beat-ups when touring, her shutting down debate with a churlish, “I reject that”, have kept her in the limelight, distracting too many from what has been cooked up by the ransom-holding Māori caucus and the growing arrogance of the Wellington elites.
The hard question is, “will this centralisation be undone?” Are National working around the clock in their smoke-filled rooms to find ways to return power to the people? Are there strong, well-considered plans being hatched to de-centralise? Could you envisage an Orewa speech from Luxon outlining bold plans to cut bureaucracy, establish charter schools very firmly for the long term, bring health care back to the people, localise local bodies, defund the media, and more?
Patrick will not be voting next year. Wherever he is, votes are not needed. Were he still here there is one thing certain – he would not be voting for growing centralisation and the power of totalitarianism. So, who would he vote for?