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Re: Welcome to Johnkeyistan (Murray Horton) reply – 2012

Re:  Welcome to Johnkeyistan  (Murray Horton).  Submitted by Richard Keller.

Murray’s descriptions of the political parties in the 2012 Parliament are entertaining and spot on.  I agree that the Green Party has lost its “solid activist, campaigning tradition”, and missed an opportunity when it rejected Sue Bradford’s leadership bid earlier.

But Murray’s explanation for the popularity of the National Party, and John Key in particular, seems weak by comparison to those hard hitting descriptions.  “Basically it’s [Key’s] popularity alone that won national 47% of the vote”, doesn’t say much.

John Minto’s description of the election also clearly demands a stronger explanation of National’s success:

“One would think that with a global recession caused by corporate greed and stupidity and with persistent high unemployment and families struggling, a Tory government which had just increased GST and given massive tax cuts to the wealthy would have been easy meat for Labour.”

John is not overstating the case!  And furthermore there has never been a clearer understanding within the 99% of their situation than today after the 2008 bailout of the finance industry crooks in the USA.  Similar circumstances of conservative electoral success, where the poor and the middle class are both struggling under conservative policies, are occurring elsewhere in the world and invite us to seek a more global explanation.

So what is a more robust explanation?  Naomi Klein’s analysis of the growth of climate change sceptics in the US conservative ranks (re: Heartland Institute’s Sixth International Conference on Climate Change) can point us in that direction.  The climate change deniers understand, she observes, that the implications of climate science (human induced climate disruption) clearly point to prescriptions for change which are anti-capitalist and green, and represent fundamental change.  Since they are unwilling to accept that type of change then, reversing the logic, the climate science must be false.

A similar reverse logic is being witnessed here in New Zealand, and possibly in other western democracies.  People in consumer economies are beginning to realize that their purpose in life, under our current economic system and money system, in its advanced ‘rush to glory’ phase, is to work hard so that someone can become fabulously rich.  To avoid that would mean to reject the capitalist, exploitative ways of living which have characterized many civilisations for centuries and which provide the momentum into today’s super-greed phase.

How much of our way of life (consumer) would change?  It has become widely recognized that fundamental change is required.  This is too much change to contemplate for the average Kiwi so the eyes glaze over and find John Key as a pleasant embodiment of the know nothing view regarding fundamental change.

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