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Posts Tagged ‘Left’

  1. Praise the Lord and pass the luke warm dishwater

    May 5, 2016 by emweb

    Out there in the big wide world – or at least the big white western world – traditional politics has polarised. When anxieties rise, people think more left or more right. The Great Depression of the early 1930s led to the massive increase  of Fascism and Communism, bloodshed and trauma.

    When things are going well, economically at least, the extreme ends of the spectrum shrink and the middle expands. Look at the 1950s.

    The middle of New Zealand has definitely expanded – and it’s stuck in spread mode. Trump is so right-wing in his pronouncements, even dyed-in-the-wool Republicans tremble. While the United States tussles with the mawkishly Hitlerian antics of Trump, Sanders almost daily surprises with increases of a constituency that self-admits to being left – quite incredible in itself, in present day America. The only figurehead left upholding the middle, currently, is Hilary Clinton, the darling of her own establishment, and the pillar of its own smug ennui. If she wins (and we have to hope she does, over Trump, as unattractive as that prospect is), she will have a vocally and avowedly disenfranchised left wing to deal with on her own side of the fence – something that hasn’t properly existed in the US since the 1960s.

    In England, Jeremy Corbyn is hated by his own party establishment but loved by its members. Those members put him there, whereas here in New Zealand, the practically useless unions still managed to get their own man in, instead of change and vision. In Europe and elsewhere, right-wing anti-immigrant and refugee parties are surging as people fear the future; fear the mini holocausts that flame across the Middle East; fear the consequences of their actions and inactions while struggling to stay out of it no matter the cost.

    Here, the Left let a middle manager of a union rule the Labour Party again, eschewing the chance to break out of the white hetero middle class male mould even a little.

    Here, the political fight is for the middle.

    Here, it comes down to who you’d rather have at your barbecue, or currency trading at your bank, or who you think is a good bureaucrat. Someone who looks the same, doesn’t stand out, but can still make the ‘hard decisions’ to let a few rich people make even more money.

    It’s boring. They’re boring. Rather than a titanic struggle, we have a disagreement over that bowl of boiled potatoes on the table. Who gets the biggest piece of white bread. Incremental shifts in slight tweaks of policy.

    Labour won in New Zealand a few decades ago by embracing the middle. National won that middle back and now enacts Labour-type policies (what National used to refer to as ‘nanny-statism’) while pretending to still represent conservatism: laissez faire economics and farmyard interests under the smokescreen of increasingly telling people what to eat, drink, smoke and what medicinal drugs it will or won’t allow.

    Is the middle a fight we can win? Not any more. It’s irrelevant, it doesn’t engage youth (and who can blame them), and it’s just bloody boring.

    The world is under increasing stress.

    And the middle’s not going to solve anything.


  2. Lefter 80 ~ Things fall apart …

    February 18, 2016 by emweb

    The centre cannot hold … this country (and, OK, many others to be sure) has developed into a fight for the centre over the last few decades in a race to who can be the most mediocre. Awesome, right? Fighting for the centre? I mean, once it was a battle to drag the country, then the rest of the world, into a future in which women were allowed to take an equal role in society, workers had rights as well as their exploiters, in which all people were cared for … we had the 40 hour week, the first real Welfare State, New Zealand mandated and ensured minority representation in parliament, at least for Māori… I do dare say it: all that made New Zealand a great nation was firmly on the left.

    And now the hardest fought battle is for the centre.

    And yes, John Key has won that battle. Repeatedly.

    But the world is changing and the centre is no longer holding. The battle for power in the United States may devolve to Trump on the far, crazy right and Sanders very distinctly on the left. In Britain, avowedly left-wing Corbyn took the top job in the Labour Party, much to the chagrin of the Labour Party’s ‘leadership’. What is the appeal? Both are not scared to say they’re left, for a start. Something both Labour Parties have found difficult for decades.

    Neither are centrist.

    That’s what you get after years of battling for the centre. Over here, Labour ‘likes’ Sanders but is worried by Corbyn, who has created a groundswell of voter support and who has already been responsible for a massive rise in grass roots Labour Party membership. NZ Labour’s attitude here reflects connections to Labour UK’s leadership more than anything else. We bought Tony Blair’s popularity contest off the back of our own terrible neo-liberal dalliance and we’ve been stuck there since, despite John Key doing it so much better.

    Of course, Labour here could actually grow some convictions and come from a similar stance to Sanders and Corbyn. Actually, you don’t even need to grow some – just resuscitate the ones the party was founded on.

    Remember those?

    Too scary? Then you really don’t deserve votes.

    Because National is currently staggering, Labour – what are you going to do? Never before has ennui so dogged this party of the moneyed and the glib. Key catastrophically mishandled Waitangi Day, then got booed at the League. That would have been unthinkable even a few months ago. Meanwhile, up north where the running-scared Key should have been, Stephen Joyce went from looking like an imperturbable manager to just another suited dickhead thanks to a very deftly-pitched toy penis.

    The ‘new flag’ looks awful – want proof? Even many National MPs think that. John Key’s personal vanity project to foist his corporate conservative logo onto the nation’s masthead is faltering badly, meaning they have to turn up the heat to bring even their own people in line. Once again, this would have been unthinkable a short time ago, when National’s caucus was as tight as Judith Collins’ pursed lips. Meanwhile people like me, who have long hated the Union Jack being part of ‘our’ flag long after England turned its back on New Zealand (a process which has accelerated recently, with punitive measures against Kiwis who want to work and live there) finds myself about to vote to keep the damn thing, both to spite John Key and because, frankly, the alternative sucks and the process to come to this design sucks more.

    Two million dollars was promised to ameliorate emergency housing months ago and … surprise! Not a cent has been spent. Meanwhile, 27 million has been squandered on the ‘new’ flag. How much of that has been spent? How many people made tidy profits from that process while other kids go hungry and while people have to live in cars, garages and on the street?

    State house evictions have accelerated. And concurrently, National has cut funding for mental health in Canterbury coz – who cares? Clearly not the National Government, which has failed to rebuild the city, failed the traumatised citizens of quake-ridden Christchurch and clearly couldn’t actually give a shit apart from keeping its insurance cronies sweet and crowing about a little building work – much of which has been mishandled.

    As for dairy, are we crying foul yet? We should be – how have all the eggs in that basket actually worked out for this short sighted ‘governance’?

    Gareth Hughes absolutely skewered Key in a speech in Parliament in an excoriating and painfully-accurate dissection of our Prime Minister’s current state of affairs … oh for someone like Lange in Labour who could do this so well! Now it’s the Greens we have to turn to for in-depth socio-cultural commentary.

    Meanwhile, National has its Trump in waiting, in the form of Judith Collins champing at the bit to muscle in and erect her police state. Her alternative is ‘bite the hand that feeds’ Bennett.

    Who has Labour got?

    This is your chance. Like never before.


  3. Lefter 77 ~ we’re not ready for National’s collapse

    June 23, 2015 by emweb

    I’ve been thinking and saying for years that Labour needs a full renewal. Over here on the left, we’ve been grasping hopefully at whatever straws National hands us, praying that one after another failure, misstep and gaffe will be the long awaited key to a right collapse. Time after time it has led to nothing as National’s caucus unity and spin machine gloatingly triumphs.

    Now we’re in mid 2015, however, National has never seemed so jaded. Key has become so uncaring and arrogant, he can no longer be bothered learning even basic facts for his news appearances, and besides, most of his public appearances these days revolve around making excuses for mistakes by his MPs. Spin supremo the maleficent Steven Joyce completely wrong-footed the entire northland by-election campaign from beginning to end, giving National’s veteran enemy Winston Peters a grand campaign platform while even managing to make Peters come across as a working class hero, as unlikely as that is. (In this entire by -election, Labour was only notable, if at all, by its absence.) Nick Smith increasingly comes across, even to his own supporters, as a blithering twit, and even Bill English appears as if he doesn’t care and isn’t paying attention. Meanwhile the prospect that Judith Collins is seething in the wings salivating over what she considers her inevitable ascent must be shaking even the bluest of loyalists: she’s pure poison. Even her own colleagues and staff are afraid of and unsettled by her.

    But so what? There’s no viable alternative. When Labour had the chance to reinvent itself with the leadership process, offer a purpose, decide on its future and image, present a new voice and emerge as a credible, new-left voice for the twenty-teens, instead we ended up with old school Andrew Little, there only by dint of what’s left of the unions voting him in against the wishes of his caucus and members. This is Old Labour at its worst – the union stump is holding back the party, refusing to engage in the future, still jealous and possessive of its loss of decades-old working man’s power, still refusing to believe, against all evidence, that those days are long gone.

    I know many in Labour, including people I respect, fought hard to stop Labour collapsing in the last leadership process, and perhaps even to prevent Labour sintering into conservative and progressive factions.

    But that’s what I wanted. Because what would have emerged would have been something worth voting for.

    The old, scarred party staggers on, unable to let go, unable to capitalise beyond a few cheap shots here and there, its factions still treacherously leaking things to the press, back stabbing, arse covering, unhappy with the leader they didn’t vote for, unable to form a cohesive world view they can sell to the swing voters.

    Sad, sad, sad – because now National can fail as much as it wants and still win the next election.


  4. Lefter 71 ~ Dot-con

    July 17, 2014 by emweb

    There’s an election coming up. Once again, National is polling strongly, Labour has yet to make real headway, and the Greens (and Labour, for that matter) have what percentages they do retain threatened by the Internet Mana party. This new hybrid party will only do any real good in the current socio-political scene by appealing to those who would vote National, but if anything, having Laila Harré as head of The Internet Party and teaming it with Mana makes them look left wing, rather than as a party typical National supporters might swing to. The only real impact this unnatural hybrid can make is to energise the overly large sector of the young adult demographic that doesn’t actually vote. This is also, of course, the most attractive sector (and the only place for any real traction) for the Greens and Labour too, to increase their vote. So once again, this new party conglomeration is actually more threatening to the left than it is to the right, despite the stated intentions of Kim Dotcom and his oft-quoted deep (and justified) dislike of John Key.

    Even this is a marker for the left – it’s an attractive position to those who already dislike National and Key, while being unattractive to those who do like Key. Internet-Mana is unlikely to sway anyone from the right while simultaeniously adding to the fragmentation of the left.

    So, thanks a lot.

    Of course, philosophically, Kim Dotcom belongs on the right – after all, he’s a laissez faire trader who made millions from selling other people’s intellectual property illegally. At heart, he belongs with Act.

    Meanwhile, what does National actually stand for? As we have seen repeatedly, it’s a party run by the rich. Almost every week for the last year we’ve had our faces rubbed in the directorships, landholdings, property portfolios, company and international trade interests and the personal wealth of ministers in National. We also often see that John Key is once again holidaying in his luxury pad in Hawaii – he has another at that rich people’s preserve at Omaha north of Auckland.
    So who do you think these people instinctively serve? Not ordinary New Zealanders.

    Let me be clear, here: nobody ever gets rich from just doing good. Meanwhile that vast pool of people that has little is where wealth actually comes from. They buy stuff. It doesn’t actually matter how little they can afford, as long as you can get them to buy something they don’t need, you’re onto a winner. And when they run out of money completely and end up out on the street, so what? Social services have been cut to make the current account deficit look better. It’s good PR.

    If a large proportion of this struggling market doesn’t vote at all, National couldn’t be happier.

    And if you think National has anyone at all in the party with a good heart, look who they need as their allies. You’d have to be pretty blinkered to think Act was a party you’d want to go into coalition with. Its leader was found guilty of fraud, its founding philosopher sounds like a fizzing right-wing nutcase and it’s new leaders are, frankly, both naive and hilarious. And if the blank-eyed ravings of Colin Craig and his personal Conservative Party doesn’t make you feel odd in the stomach, well, vote National. Because these are the only viable partner options for National, although the vestige of the Māori Party might still be around. For the fact remains that National has been slowly dismantling Māori ever since the party made the mistake of its pact with Key.

    National needs to be as popular as possible – it wants and needs to govern with a full majority. Then it can finish destroying New Zealand’s egalitarian society and welfare state all by itself.

    The only hope for New Zealand is that National doesn’t make it.


  5. Lefter 21 ~ What does ‘Labour’ mean?

    November 3, 2009 by emweb

    As I feared, it appears Labour MPs and party members have accepted the mindset that Labour will lose the next election in two years, and that’s how they’ll change from the Old Guard, starring Phil Goff, and move on to something we can believe in.

    If the Old Guard had any balls, they’d start doing something about this now and set up a future Labour, as I’ve said before.

    But it’s unlikely. Pride must triumph for a decent fall to result, I fear. So we’ll suffer another term of National because of this stupidity – National happily privatising NZ services to both make them more expensive for users, to depreciate their utility and to line the pockets of National’s wealthy dependents and speculators.

    And then Labour will have to buy them all back, at even greater cost, to get services running again. But what will National’s cronies care for this? Nothing – it’s a license to print money, after all.

    When I really think about it, I don’t actually know what the Labour Party stands for any more. Do you? To me, currently, it looks like an ineffectual left wing of the National Party.

    This may sound harsh, especially as Labour was responsible for a lot of good over its three terms. But Labour was also responsible for some embarrassingly pedestrian miss-steps. And who can forget the ghosts of Labour c1980s? We can’t forget because, like a slap in the face, that arch right-winger Roger Douglas is back in parliament under his true colours, leering at us and cackling like Muldoon.

    Meanwhile, National’s business supporters wait in hope for the True Blue moves they’ve been dreaming of. These will let them ‘compete’ more (shorthand for ‘make more money with less regulation’). And the farmers await their National nirvana too; they’re already asking for cuts to welfare benefits to save money to lower the currency so they can sell at even better rates, while charging those same disadvantaged New Zealanders more for second grade, home-market agri-produce due to their pecuniary god called ‘export requirements’.

    Will their hopes be fulfilled? Not while John Key remains fixated on his personal popularity. But he can’t have it both ways. The dam will break.

    Meanwhile, it’s enough to make any caring human quail. It also brings back other ghosts – of the 1920s and ’30s, when Labour first rose towards power, and when Wellington and the farmers used to entrain people into Auckland to beat up unionists and break strikes. Farmers had to get their produce to market and, unfortunately for them, a lot of it had to pass through Auckland. And boy, they just couldn’t get Auckland wages low enough, could they? All this while the business owners sat in their Remuera hills and pulled strings.

    Back then, it was damn clear what Labour stood for. Labour literally stood for those who laboured – the eight-hour day, non-dangerous workplaces, better conditions, fair wages, equity and rights.

    But now it feels like Auckland against the rest again. That Auckland comprising suburbs of workers and unemployed, anyway. And it’s up to MPs like Phil Twyford and Jacinda Ardern to rally the cause.

    But what’s the cause, Labour? Without clear branding, you’re lost. If you can’t tweet it in 140 characters (or at least, tweet a link), you don’t exist.

    And we won’t be getting a new manifesto from Phil Goff and co.


  6. Lefter 19 ~ Going to Prison

    September 23, 2009 by emweb

    In New Zealand, currently, there is some disquiet about our exceedingly high ranking of numbers imprisoned. We rank well above many other Western-style democracies. New Zealand seems to be throwing people into prisons at an unprecedented rate.

    The prison population was too high under Labour (a slightly left party that has been in power for three terms until ousted last year by the more right wing National Party). However, it’s now higher still, and National’s response has been to build prisons from shipping containers and to make more prisoners share rooms.

    This is so typical of the difference in right versus left philosophies, I just have to comment.

    The left (again, and understandably, generalising) tends to look at why people commit crimes, and tries to target resources accordingly. Not that this was super-effective under nine years of labour. But the left generally believes that people are good, although guidance can be called for.

    But the right, generally, thinks people are bad. The right therefore prefers to capture and punish offenders, rather than try and figure out why they are offending. You can tell somebody is right wing as soon as they start spouting off about locking people up, and getting certain people off the streets, and about ‘punishment’.

    The difference is illuminating. Philosophically, the left is saying ‘as people, how can we assist other people to be/do better?’ while the right is saying ‘criminals are other. As so  they are beyond redemption; they should be segregated from normal society.’

    The left’s efforts get characterised as those of a ‘nanny state’. Anyone against the left eagerly seizes on such catchphrases and they get repeated so much, any real meaning soon becomes lost.

    But what do the right’s efforts get characterised as? Perhaps the left just isn’t as good at one-liner denigrations.

    (Perhaps it should be.)

    But that’s beside the point. New Zealand has a high prison population because we have large disenfranchised minorities, and because the gap between rich and poor has been growing quickly over the last two decades.

    Just as wealthy people seem to be much more preoccupied with securing themselves and their property, they also seem to be much less willing to look at the possible causes of high offending rates. Partly because they are, themselves, partly responsible.

    I’m not defending criminal activity, by the way. I find violent crime utterly abhorrent. Physical violence immediately denies a victim their human rights. It’s prehistoric.

    But yes, it’s very effective. When you have nothing, or you have a drug habit, or when you’re bored out of your mind, it’s a relatively obvious and immediate option.

    So expect National to keep throwing people into every more crowded jails as they protect the farmers, the landed gentry and the business-owning classes from the other, while promising ‘better’ (as in lower) conditions that can be forced upon workers because of high unemployment.

    Does it make you feel proud?


  7. Lefter 18 ~ I choose

    September 14, 2009 by emweb

    I promised to reveal my own political bent more fully. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. I could sum it up in one word, but that word is so often grossly misrepresented that I would be doing myself – and you – an injustice.

    So I do it in several words, and you can draw your own conclusions.

    I place myself on the left, but many who are firmly to the left either do not consider me to be left at all, or consider me deluded. This is due to my having no doctrinaire Marxism or even residual Marxism in my makeup at all. So they find that difficult.

    Even left wingers often choose (or worse, don’t choose) to blindly follow a doctrine.

    I choose not to blindly follow a doctrine.

    I’ve never been a communist. I do agree with many aspects of Socialism – ie, that since the state is a social construct, it should have a regard for the wellbeing of the people inside that state.

    I’ve never been right wing. In other words, I do not consider the common man to be placed there for me to exploit and make financial gains from, and to rule with laws. (And besides, I too am a common man.)

    But here’s where I differ from most left-wingers: I refuse to accept (or try to refuse to accept) any impetus directed at me without examining it first.

    I fundamentally believe in my own right to consider, then accept or reject, any directive that comes my way.

    I know – I would be useless in an army. That’s as it should be – and as it should be for any thinking individual. No armies, no wars.

    Sometimes I do decide to accede to directives, that’s true. Even to ‘leadership’ for given periods. I am a very loyal person, once I decide to assign that loyalty. I also consider that to be my right. But don’t ever expect me to follow blindly, because I don’t.

    So, often I decide to follow societal or legal directives, but I always try and consider them first. How will they effect me? How will this effect others? What will happen if I don’t? If I do?

    I view the world as a set of systems. Some systems, on the face of it, are ‘legal’ systems and some are not. Each has its advantages and each has its disadvantages. Each can have moral justifications in different circumstances. I believe in examining everything that comes my way and deciding for myself whether I take part or not. In other words, I refuse to accept a ‘legal’ system over an ‘illegal’ system at face value; ‘just because’ one is one, and the other is ‘other’.

    In this way I do not need to suffer guilt if I decide to do something ‘illegal’. I choose, having considered the pluses and minuses and the possible impacts on myself and those around me. And I have to accept any consequences that I am, hopefully, fully aware of.

    Legal systems often have the same array of advantages and disadvantages as illegal systems. For example: if I choose to run a business under the laws of the state, I am accepting certain restraints on how I can trade. Like constraints on profit, since I have to pay taxes (which I do willingly, BTW). I can’t undertake fraud, larceny and indulge in stand-over tactics on competitors if I want to exist inside this system. If I do, I am subject to punitive measures mandated by the state. But I am ‘allowed’ to wreck the business prospects of competitors using the many legal means available, depending on how astute and rapacious I am. (A fact I find disturbing.)

    Or I can decide to do something illegal. Advantages are no taxes and no restraints, and possible instant gratification. Disadvantages include incarceration, and other punishments, if caught, as well as social and societal disapproval.

    (Those are very broad examples.)

    Basically, I believe that I have the ability and the intellect to choose what I do, having considered why I would do it. Do you have this belief?

    This individually human philosophy is considered anathema by many regimes. It has been thoroughly repressed by states both left and right …

    Historically there have been many examples of my philosophy working. When it works, it’s brilliant – no repression. Pure freedom. Thoughtful cooperation.

    Of course, I am also a realist. I choose to live in New Zealand; essentially it’s a centre-conservative nation. I choose what I follow and what I don’t follow. I choose which structures to take part in. In some instances I choose to actively further various societal aims, on committees and in volunteer capacities, for example.

    In other words, my beliefs don’t mean I drive on the wrong side of the road. That would be stupid and dangerous.

    My personal political beliefs are well developed, sound and heartfelt.

    I think; I choose.


  8. Lefter 13 ~ Representation

    May 10, 2009 by emweb

    Who do they serve?

    According to Statistics New Zealand, the working age population of New Zealand was 3,229,200 (in the year ending March 2007). Of those, 2,126,200 were employed.

    We’re supposed to be a nation of small businesses, as I said in Lefter 12 (The King of Bongo, below), but 53% of new small-to-medium NZ businesses fail in the first three years, according to a Westpac survey.

    Westpac’s analysts put it down to poor financial literacy (this was in 2003). Yes, exactly. I’d add ‘crap management skills’ to that indictment. Anyway … the National Party traditionally appeals to, and finds support from, business people, and from those running small businesses, including those in the farming sector.

    But how many people is that? In 2006, 1,511,250 New Zealanders (so around one-and-a-half million) were in paid employment – ie, they were employees. Another 234,954 were self-employed and without employees while 142,881 were officially listed as employers.

    In other words, about 76% of the listed workforce consists of people working for others. So going by this very crude calculation, National’s policies traditionally represent about 24% of the NZ workforce.

    Of course, more than 24% of the electorate voted them into power.

    Another way of looking at things would be to look at who got tax breaks. National appealed to New Zealanders’ greed with the promise of tax breaks with the implication – lapped up, sadly – that Labour was holding back from passing on their just rewards. Assuming that we’d rather have $10 bucks to spend at the Warehouse but don’t need a government-built road to take us there, perhaps.

    So when National passed on those ‘just rewards’, the tax breaks only went to those earning over $44,000 per year.

    Well, according to payscale.com, an average NZ office administrator earns $37,900, a graphic artist/designer $40,622 and a Personal Assistant squeaks over at 44,069. But if you’re about to go onto a nine day fortnight or a four-day week … goodbye, tax break.

    Last November, the salaries of MPs, ministers and the prime minister were raised by between 4% to 4.8%, by the way. So cherish the luxury of workers being able to grant themselves their own pay rises while they rule over a country going ever deeper into recession. Of course, that luxury goes only to those holding the reins of power, and of the economy, I’m afraid. Including certain board members whose callous disregard for the well being of others has placed them in positions of financial power.

    Great, though – the average wage has been increased to $12.50 an hour. Hoorah. That’s $26,000 a year for 52 x 40-hour weeks. For 60-hour weeks (not uncommon), that’s $39,000. No tax break for you, hard worker.

    Note that the average hourly earnings are much higher than this minimum wage, at $24.33 per hour. That’s a tidy $47,443.50 a year for a common 37.5-hour week, which squeaks over the tax break line, but the average figures are skewed by all those mega-earners out there who are firing people like crazy to protect their own privileged positions. Not to mention rising unemployment; it’s up 2% over the last three months. Not to mention those high earners also got much bigger tax breaks from National.

    Does your government represent you?


  9. Lefter 5 ~ Politically Correct

    December 10, 2008 by emweb

    Bizarrely, as I write this, two young men with swastika tattoos are washing the house. The house washing people didn’t say anything about neo-Nazi operators. It’s not like the firm was called Himmler Housewash or anything. 

    ‘Politically Correct’ is one of the catch phrases people seemed to love to use to label all sorts of sins of the Left, and of the Labour Party. 

    But what does it mean? 

    Being politically correct means you don’t act on racist, sexist, or homophobic assumptions – or that you try not to, assuming you’re aware of these tendencies in yourself. You live and let live. You don’t promote racist or sexist acts. You try and be mindful of the rights of others and to treat people as your equals. 

    What on earth is wrong with that? Every major philosophy and religion in the world says essentially the same thing.

    You have to wonder if those who rail loudest against ‘the PC brigade’ are the worst recidivists of racism and sexism. It’s easy to assume they hate the strictures of being politically correct because it’s the antithesis of their real beliefs. And if their real beliefs are the antithesis of being PC, you probably won’t want much to do with them as they are not rational, reliable human beings. 

    When people ask me, with a withering tone, if I’m politically correct, I say ‘Yes, I am.’ Then I ask them ‘What’s wrong with that, exactly?’ It pays to challenge people on these statements as, unfortunately, you’ll discover they don’t often know what they mean. They just like the easy put-down. But it’s time to pull the rug out from under their feet, especially as National sets about dismantling the structures that attempt to keep our society decent and fair. 

    So explain what it means, then ask them to explain what is so wrong with treating people with respect. Be proud to be politically correct.