Sad and forlorn

Bowalley Road

Go and read Chris Trotter’s sad and forlorn post about Saturday’s failed protests, there is a definite air of resignation that time has moved past protestors:

“That one was clearly a lot bigger than this one’s going to be”, I commented, looking around the little square and registering how empty it was. Others seemed to share my sense of embarrassment at the low turnout, self-consciously lining the sides of the square.

The first of the “Aotearoa is NOT for Sale” protests, on 28 April, had attracted up to 8,000 people, but it was already clear that last Saturday’s wasn’t going to be even half that size.

I had feared it would be so. The law enabling the partial sale of the state-owned energy generators has been passed (albeit by a single vote) and the Government’s $120 million promotional effort is about to begin. Many New Zealanders, though deeply opposed to the sale of Mighty River Power, must’ve heard about Saturday’s protests and asked themselves: “What’s the point?”

And so the drums started beating, the marchers chanted “Power to the People!”, and the ragged column of 2,500 to 3,000 souls began it’s slow trudge up Queen Street. I looked around me and saw the multi-coloured union and political party flags fluttering, and the hand-painted banners bobbing up and down. (The best I saw read: “New Zealand: 51 percent pure – 49 percent for sale.”). “Who’s got the power?” Someone bellowed. “We’ve got the power!” the marchers bellowed back.

I lifted up my eyes and the gleaming towers of the banks and finance houses seemed to lunge towards me: BNZ, AXA, Deloittes, ANZ, National Bank: giants of glass and steel standing like sentinels along the length of Queen Street. I wondered how impressive we looked from those top floors. Did the financiers, looking down, see a torrent of angry humanity pouring through that narrow canyon like a river in flood? Or did they see a line of scurrying ants: too tiny and remote to merit more than a dismissive sneer?


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  • Yeah, it was in the Press today: he does seem to be disheartened. Don’t go thinking he’s lost his teeth though. I suspect the Left will be back in, unfortunately, in 2014, and under Trotter’s mean-spirited, bitter ethic, it’ll get vicious.

    (Delete if you don’t want other links, Whale.)

  • Pete George

    A big part of the problem is that these protests aren’t ‘Power to the People’ (as some promote them), they are organised by politicians trying to manipulate people with false promises in a futile attempt to get some power that they failed to get in the last election.

  • Wayne

    If elected, said Mr Minto of the Mana Party, “we will renationalise any asset that has been sold, and deduct any dividends paid from the purchasers compensation.”

    Well the ain’t ever going to happen John and, isn’t it time you hung up your “protest banners” and just disapear – you are totally irrelevant and NZ is over your whinging mouth.

    • gazzaw

      He must have led a very sad life Wayne and to cap it all he has ended up as a bitter OLD man. How unfulfilling. Has he succeeded at anything he set out to achieve?

    • baw

      Has he not heard of a little thing called interest. 

    • Patrick

      Plenty of us wish we had known who & what he was when he showed up at our College back in 1981 with his HART soapbox – & I am not referring to the HART issue more the fact that he has over the years been a complete & utter oxygen thief.
      Mearant should have dealt to him with the baton – damn good fisting in the Auckland Central Police Cells would have slowed him down.  

  • Guest

    I dont share my political thinknig with CT but enjoy the way he writes.

    But Chris, looking at that photo you’re taking a hell of a lot of poetic license to claim 2500-3000…

    • Than

       Trotter is certainly a good writer. Even when you disagree with the message, you enjoy the words that convey it.

      Regarding numbers, the figures I’ve heard so far are “well above 1000” (from Stuff), 3,000 (from the Herald), and a radio claim that the police estimate was 4,000. But really… does the exact number matter? It was smaller than the first march, that much is clear. And like the first march a large portion consisted of Green/Mana/Union supporters who would march in anything opposing National.

      This is another example of people’s words (or rather poll responses) opposing asset sales not being matched by their actions. At this point there is enough counter-evidence to say the polls are wrong, and start asking why that is the case.

  • Guest

    Did the Greens reimburse expenses for that miserable rabble?

    • Onetrack770

      They probably paid them to turn up. That’s what parliamentary funds are meant to be used for, right?

  • What Chris Trotter seems to conveniently forget is whilst at it’s lofty heights 8,000 largely unwashed lefties with conviction could turn up.  hundreds of thousands of normal kiwi’s sat in the categories of  couldn’t care less or actually were in the 51% of Kiwi’s who gave the govt it’s mandate in 2011.
    Sad sad souls.

  • Johnboy

    While they were all marching I opened another can, took a gulp and farted!

  • Pukakidon

    They got more a blanket mans memorial than the stupid protest.   The Labour party continue to dig a deeper hole for themselves when they mix with the likes of Bradford, Munto and the lazy dirty foreigners that come here to stuff up our country.   Listen to the Greens, not many true kiwis among them, all whinging foreigners.

  • Mediaan

    Still too many to be showing such monstrous ignorance.

    Very glad to have some identified by name in news stories, others by news photos.

    Will be able to write and abuse them by name when and if it becomes clear the asset sold was a rotten investment.

    These stupid people obviously don’t know that assets go up AND DOWN in value.