Remember the person in the South Island squirting expanding foam into large-bore car exhausts? If you block a car’s exhaust, the car won’t go. The expanding builders’ foam was particularly clever. It starts out as a stream of chemically smelly stuff, then expands and hardens into a major, hard-to-shift blockage.
That reminds me of National. The party is everywhere. John Key and his minions appear on TV every night, in the paper every day, and on the radio continuously.
Saying what? Very little. They’re just busy filling the vacuum left by Labour’s collapse in the last election.
This is clever. They are expanding to fill the void, becoming a kind of ersatz, temporary über Labour. The soft-spined swing voters pat themselves on their backs, because things didn’t ‘change’ all that much after all. The right wingers pat themselves on the back too – well, National may not be doing anything destructive to workers yet, but hey, at least it’s National. Right?
The left wingers – reduced to being left whingers like me – well, we just gnash our teeth powerlessly because we know what’s coming. National faces are everywhere, always talking, smiling those ghastly penguin smiles, saying much, doing very little. They’re expanding into a big hard block taking up all the space where Labour used to be. That big block will solidify, filling all the space up, hardening into the great big right wing bloc that will, if all ends badly, follow the true agenda of the National Party. This will happen in the second term.
How Tim Grosser’s words on National Radio still ring in my ears: “… with the centrist position this party is taking for this election”.
Kim Hill, conducting the debate, did not even pick up on it.
What is the position of the National Party? Keep a percentage unemployed to give employers leverage – that’s your life and livelihood, that leverage. A little desperation keeps business owners’ coffers full, lets them play hard ball with anyone they don’t like, and lets them drive down wages in a ‘competitive’ labour market. That’s ordinary people desperately trying to get jobs, that ‘competitive labour market’.
The worst thing is, this recession is playing right into National’s hands. The unemployment rates are going up and no one can even blame them. They’ll just say ‘it was the recession!’ and let them settle to their preferred ratio of about 4 per cent.
It makes me sick. Wait and see.