My how things have changed.
Michael Joseph Savage
A reader and new commenter emails:
I posted my first comment recently after a long time reading and enjoying the blog (as âReasoned and Rationalâ). Slowly getting drawn into the vortex ;-)
Some time ago I seem to recall an article which indicated that submissions from readers might be considered if of a suitable standard. I wonder if youâd read through my thoughts below and consider if it meets that standard? If so, please feel free to use it at some time when you have space. If you choose not to, no worries, itâs been fun getting it down in writing.
Reasoned and Rational
I grew up in home with a photo of Michael Joseph Savage on the mantel above the fireplace. My Dad was a working man, and the party âweâ supported looked after the interests of the workers, ensured a fair deal from âthe bossesâ, was interested monitoring the terms and conditions of employment, and made sure that there was a safety net in the form of social welfare if something went wrong. Social welfare was to catch you if you fell, and support you until you were back on your feet again. You took personal responsibility for finding work and getting back into it as quickly as possible if circumstances changed.
In the house I grew up in there was a pride in working. My Dad was very unhappy when once I mentioned University as an idea. âThatâs just for those that canât work, boffins and the sons of the bossesâ I recall him saying. That certainly didnât mean that education wasnât valued, and teachers were respected as providing the route to a better job for me than heâd managed.
Times were different. Unemployment was low. Rob Muldoon once half joked he knew all 70 odd registered unemployed by name. Yes, there were only 70! When I got my first job upon leaving school I was employed not because I was the best man for the job, but for the simple reason I was the only one to reply to the ad.
It was easy to change jobs. Give the boss the two fingered salute on a Friday night, read the âSits Vacâ in Saturdayâs Herald and there was a good chance by Tuesday or Wednesday you were starting a new gig. Management trainee jobs were good to get all round experience and were plentiful at the time and amongst many other things I got experience at the Otahuhu freezing works with Hellabys and a timber yard with Henderson and Pollard.
My first five elections were all votes cast for Labour, as much out of habit and conditioning as anything else. I was more interested in what was happening on Saturday night than the long term future of the country.
By the end of that fifth election though, I was out the other end of an apprenticeship, married and watching the sense of disbelief and betrayal that the Lange/Douglas Labour government wrought on my father. He never cast another vote for Labour as long as he lived. He could never vote National so he became one of Winstonâs supporters. Â Â Read more »
Matthew Hooton has written an article in the NBR talking about who could be the next Labour leader.
He speaks of centrist candidates Stu Nash and Kel Davis as potential leaders if they can win their seats.
Depending on how their electorate races go, two names would emerge: Labourâs candidates in Te Tai Tokerau and Napier, Kelvin Davis and Stuart Nash.
Both live and breath Labour values but are reasonably centralist, in the John Key mode.Â Both have played for the parliamentary rugby team, drink beer out of the bottle, are married to women and have kids.
If Mr Davis makes it back to parliament, he will have defeated the formidable Hone Harawira and kept Ms Harre, Ms Sykes and Mr Minto out.Â By working hard at the local level over two elections, Mr Nash will have overturned Nationalâs massive 9108 majority from 2008.Â Both will have done it by getting National voters to tick red.
In Mr Davisâ case, he would become the first Maori leader of a major political party.Â For Mr Nash, he would be seeking election as prime minister in 2017, exactly 60 years after the last Nash, his grandfather Walter, took Labour to power.Â Moreover, in Labourâs centenary year, the grandson of Michael Joseph Savageâs finance minister would be leading the party towards power.Â If they worked together, a Nash/Davis ticket would be a dream team.
Thanks to Trevor Mallard the era ofÂ reconstructing new life from recovered DNA is upon us. No longer is it in the realms of Science fiction to bring Dinosaurs back. He wants the Moa brought back but why stop there?
Think of the possibilities Trev.
A reader emails:
If Grant Robertson becomes Labour leader, and in time, becomes Prime Minister, we’ll have to describe him as “New Zealand’s firstÂ openlyÂ gay Prime Minister”.
Just in the same way that some in Labour insist on describing Helen Clark as “New Zealand’s firstÂ electedÂ female Prime Minister.”
There is some debate that Michael Joseph Savage was gay.
Personally I couldn’t give a toss for who someone sleeps with, I look at their ability and life experience and for that reason I find I am opposed to Grant Robertson rather than his sexuality.Â Read more »
Watch this video from this morning on The Nation.
After Jami-lee Ross has his bit to say about his bill they let Darien Fenton have a crack and she lies right from the get go about Ports of Auckland.
Things are getting rather dire for David Shearer, in desperate need of a distraction he has pulled out the guitar again.
If Helen Clark wondered whether the stress of David Shearer’s job was getting on top of him, she got her answer late on Tuesday night when she popped into his office to find him sitting back playing his guitar.
Earlier that night, Clark had spoken at Victoria University and then had dinner with about 20 Labour MPs. Shearer did not go to either event.
He won’t say what Clark and he discussed in their meeting, other than that they agreed Opposition leader was “a pretty tough job”.
The guitar is his way of relaxing, and the fact that he was relaxed about Clark – a notorious workaholic – catching him playing it speaks volumes.
He barely knows Clark, although he inherited first her electorate and then her job as party leader. His obvious lack of idolatory of her is an indication he is not your typical Labour leader.
For a start, his office lacks the requisite photo of that other Labour icon, Michael Joseph Savage. He says there are a couple in his electorate office; one was left by the previous tenant – Helen Clark – and the other is of origin unknown.
That’s another nail in Shearer’s coffin…no photo of MJS on his wall…plus the capital offence of not fawning over Dear Leader.
Cactus is on holiday, so in between betting with the pedicure lady on how fast she could drink a bucket of booze (the pedicure lady lost) and lounging by the pool she has managed to look through David Shearer’s speech to the greedy oldies:
I found a copy of Shearer’s speech after his brag link on twitter and gave it a little pool read today and the whole thing was non-original, same-same, nothing new, nothing invigorating and I am actually sure I have heard plenty of the speech before only under the guise of ACT when it started. Most telling was the opening, just how Roger Douglas or Richard Prebble used to start one, with a narrative about bludgers to grab the attention of the audience.
Wow, sounds like Cactus might be downloading a Labour membership form.
I found the speech non-controversial, non fearsome and nothing in there that makes me think they are any different to National really.
Little wonder Shearer’s supporters don’t want Cunliffe back from his overseas jaunt during recess.
If I am not offended by the content then the genuine political left must be having kittens over Shearer by now. Forget the abysmal polling.
Shearer is proving to be about as right-wing and waffly with it in his social policy as Roger Douglas. No wonder his team are going to white-ant the only contender more left wing than Arnold Nordmeyer and capable of large scale tax increases that the left demand.
Of all recent Labour leaders I bet Shearer doesn’t even hold a faded crinkled picture of Michael Joseph Savage on the wall hanging in a rusty nail frame in his home study for friends to admire.
No wonder the base is all a flutter at the attack on their hero David Cunliffe.
The last time a Labour Leader or Senior MP called a beneficiary a bludger or that they needed a “nudge” (read – elbow) they were sitting around a table getting bloated eating fish and chips.
You mean this time Cactus?