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 »