The Editor, The Wellingtonian, Wellington
15 May, 2017
Gordon Campbell (11 May) wonders what sort of myth of ‘real New Zealand’ will be popular with voters in September or even whether these attempts at image by the political parties will be successful at all. The images he sees in train are old ones, what he calls ‘social nostalgia’.
All good, but the nostalgia for the past also must be seen in a longer, deeper context in order to understand the NZ politics of 2017, or 2008, or even 1984. This has been a time of fundamental change, and has been recognized as such globally in one way or another since the 60’s and has been a factor in politics since the 70’s.
Adding to the threat of nuclear weapons, the assault on the earth, which in recent years has become understood through climate change science, had revealed the need for fundamental change the scope of which is terrifying to a majority, not just the professed deniers. The nostalgia which is having the most political impact is the desperate insistence in NZ that we ‘go slow on climate change’ and in the USA to take the lead in putting it out of mind altogether.