I warned them

For weeks I have been saying that the National Party would cop a flogging in the media about the inept theming of the conference main function.

I even predicted it this morning in my post about conference. [Number 14]

Lo and behold Chris Trotter has delivered what will probably be the first of many mainstream media posts about the issue.

THIS WEEKEND, in Wellington, the National Party is holding its 75thannual conference. With intriguing prescience, the youth wing of the party is hosting a “75 Years Young” ball with a 1930s theme.

With global markets in the midst of yet another precipitous dive, it is fitting that the Young Nats’ celebration is an homàge to the bleak decade that witnessed their party’s birth.

I’d be dismayed, however, if any of the Young Nats’ guests turn up wearing sugar-bag smocks or shoes stuffed with newspaper. Such attire is more correctly associated with those who found themselves on the receiving-end of National’s forebears’ austerity measures.

The sugar-bags – from which these grim years draw their sobriquet – were worn by “relief workers” to protect their threadbare clothing from the mud and clay laid bare by their shovels. Re-located by the United-Reform coalition government of 1931-35 as far away as possible from the riot-prone cities, the unemployed inmates of the Coalition’s “hunger camps” worked long hours in all weathers for the pittance that was the “dole”.

It was the votes of these men, along with those cast by thousands of other economically and socially brutalised New Zealanders, that finally overcame the chilling “charity” of the United-Reform Government.

Chris got only one thing wrong with the post. It isn’t the Young Nats ball. It is the main conference ball!

I know Captain Panic Pants will be having conniptions over this, he has been worried for some time about the wisdom of the theme. He will be vindicated now.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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