I had for a time believed the wasting of the last nine years was the result of a socialist clique (sorry wash my mouth, democratic socialist, whoops wrong again, social democratic cabal wasting the country’s best financial boom in years.
I am not so sure.
I am slowly coming to the conclusion it was rather a government of academics who started life with fine theories and ideas and who led the country into an imaginary place where social justice was the order of the day.
So that the country of Norman Kirk, of working people, became prisoners in ghettos of despair, and the elites, who only turned left at 18 because they read books in a different corridor of the library from their Tory neighbours, were both ignorant and indifferent to the damage they had done.
As George Orwell said some ideas are so silly and so preposterous that only an academic could believe them.
Meaning I suppose the reality of the world disabuses the more sensible members of the community of such misguided notions.
The are a powerful group, academics, in a party of the working people.
They spend all day in their day jobs lecturing people who by certification know much less than they do.
They have been selected and praised all their lives not for common sense and wisdom but for a mental agility and skill of thought.
So when you put them into a branch meeting in New Lynn there is not much oxygen for ordinary people.
After a while they stay silent while their learned betters take the conversation away from the bread and butter issues that concern them to the arcane abstractions of achieving social justice, gender equity and diversity.
It becomes difficult to socialise as the party socials gravitate from beer, the drink of the workers, to wines and pinkie food that needs a lifetime of study to consume with good manners.
When the beer and sausage rolls are gone and the workers are relegated to doing things like distributing pamphlets and getting out the vote the party ship can sail on to the balmy waters of abstruse arguments and theoretical debates.
Of course you would say the workers should bugger off and found their own party of honest toilers.
The problem with that is its soon evident that out there is a bunch of wilder academics who have read different more emphatic books split into realms of Trotskyites, Marxists, who found other corridors in the university library with the real gospel of social equity, class struggle.
Meanwhile the workers are diminishing anyway, (the academics like them in state houses and on the dole, tidier).
The trade unions whom you could once rely on to have a hard headed appreciation of wages and conditions and the bread butter and jam issues have changed as well and the academics have arrived en masse in those sacred Trades Councils as well.
Instead of the hard bitten officials, who spent years on the job getting in the front of every stoush with good bosses, bad bosses and real bastards before becoming an official and getting a job with the union, there is soft handed Harold, who has a degree in social equity, union studies and who has written a thesis on the effects of the abolition of the Arbitration Act 1898.
For much as I thought Pat Kelly, god rest his atheistic soul, wasn’t a labour man but a true and dyed communist for most of his life and who ran the poker school at Mere Mere, a grave sin, he had worked a day or two in his life and lived the life of the people whom he represented.
But Harold is the new face of the union and he is all up for the workers, a mob he has recently met for the first time.
And Harold or Haroldess is only there until a research job is freed up in parliament and then only until a job is free in a minister’s office and then until a safe seat comes along. But he will give it his best shot.
And Haroldess can go along to the Labour Electorate Committee as a fighter and toiler for the unions and the masses, where it helps that Harold is well connected and knows his wine.
So if there is blame for the wasted nine years and if there’s culprits to be found I am all for blaming it on the academics, give democratic socialism a break and lay it at the door of the well meaning ideologues who left the hallowed halls of academia to teach the common people how to live their lives.
And don’t we owe them so much.