Improvised Explosive

Swinging to the right

Swinging to the rightShane Wairau is ready to take the plunge into a new era without a Labour Government. At 34, the former Labour voter is now married with a 1-year-old son and working as business manager for a tourist bungy jump operation in Queenstown. After… [NZ Herald Politics]

Labour are rooted if this article in the Herald is anything to go by. For starters it was written by Simon Collins a guy who probably thinks that Communists are hard right. Then there are the quotes from former Labour supporters;

“We’re going to have to work till we drop because we can’t afford to retire,” adds Hopwood. “We’re all in the drivers’ union. They [the employers] offered us 1.5 per cent. We wouldn’t accept it, so we haven’t had a pay rise.

“I usually support Labour, but I’ll probably go with National. With a bit of luck we’ll get rid of the Prime Minister.”

More in keeping with the country’s mood, two Invercargill retailers in their 50s who give their names as Caroline and Heather feel abandoned by their party.

“Labour is supposed to be a family-oriented party, but taxes have gone up, it’s harder for young people to get a house. Two of my children live in Australia,” says Caroline.

“My father is 90. He’s been a Labour man all his life. He is lost. He doesn’t know who to give his vote to.”

Heather, whose only child has also gone to Australia, says: “I’ve been a Labour person all my life and I’m absolutely lost. It really hurts me and I almost feel like not voting – and I used to go out and canvass for Labour.”

The mood for change sweeps from low-income suburbs such as Manukau’s Clendon, where 18-year-old hairdressing student Ashley Kumeroa is voting National because she resents paying taxes for people who are “fit enough to work but decide to stay home”

“The things that affect me are children’s things – things that Labour has promised haven’t really happened.”

“I think the Government has got too arrogant in the way they force everything down our throats,” says Rodney Thurlow, 38, a Rotorua sawmill scheduler and father of a baby born in May.

“Everything’s going up. No one’s getting any wage increases,” says Onehunga mechanic Graeme Wedding, 54, who is voting National for the first time since the Muldoon era in the 1970s.

“I always thought Labour was supposed to look after the working people, but they’re not. I think they could have given us some relief on our fuel instead of taking a percentage of the increase.”

In Christchurch, a grandmother pushing her grandchild in a pushchair around a suburban mall declines to give her name because she was “home-invaded, bashed and robbed the week before last”. “I haven’t been able to stay in my own home since then,” she says. “Psychologically, I’m terrified at night. It’s life-changing.”

“They should harden up the prisons – less internet and underground heating and three-course meals,” chimes in pregnant Telecom call-centre worker Maree Ragg, 28, relaxing in the lunchtime sun in Christchurch.

“There are too many no-hopers around, too much unemployment -_ a lot of guys that are not willing to work. They’re getting paid not to work. I think they should be looking at putting people into work more.”

Many of those leaning towards National, like Mangere Bridge chicken-boner and mother-of-three Sandra Taratu, 43, are attracted by the policy to make sole parents work at least 15 hours a week when their youngest children turn 6.

“They [Labour] are paying all our tax on the beneficiaries – they should be working too,” says Taratu, who has voted Labour all her life.

“Maybe I’ll vote for National. They are going to get all the ones that are on the benefit to work.”

Yep, Labour are screwed.