The thinking of a principled well-off (enough) white-guilt Green voter

Megan Nichol Reed writes about her disgust about finding out one of her besties didn’t vote… at all.

Her breezy admission and my consequent devastation reminded me how flimsy the ideas we build up of one another are. Constructed upon the wobbliest of foundations, plastered with the most papery of notions; whether deliberate or not we all make assumptions. The week before the election I was genuinely shocked when a friend I thought knew me as well as any said she guessed I’d be voting for National. But, I said, not a little indignant, you know the things I care about, how I was brought up, how could you think I would give my vote to a party that prioritises this country’s economy over its poorest, over its lands and its waters? And then I realised that it is precisely because she knows me, knows me well enough to see my husband’s income puts me in a different socio-economic demographic to hers that she had taken for granted my politics would lean towards the right.

Typical Remuera Tractor Housewife demographic.  They have generally been scared off by Metiria’s dishonesty.   But not Megan.  Dishonesty comes second to clean rivers.  And an economy to pay for it.

It annoys me to be lumped with a certain way of thinking, a particular set of behaviours, just because I am white and middle-class. The taxi driver who, on receiving the address of my sadly homogenous and affluent neighbourhood, happily reveals his racist core. The woman at the lunch who believes I will share her thoughts on the implicit superiority of private schools over state. And if it is irksome for me I can only imagine how affecting it is to be written off as criminal because you are poor and brown or greedy because you are rich and Asian. To be considered dumb just for being young and sexy or irrelevant for being old and slow.

As opposed as I am to much of what National stands for, I have begrudgingly come to see these past months that unlike many of his predecessors, Bill English is a principled man, that I cannot in good conscience dislike him just for being blue. After reading an interview with our freshly elected, youngest MP ever, Chloe Swarbrick, I decided that I, and the online commentators rubbishing her at the article’s end for her dearth of experience, could, on the contrary, stand to take a leaf or two out of her book. Asked if she was apprehensive about potentially working with Winston Peters, she said: “I think that the whole point about Parliament is that you’ve got everybody in there who has been elected by New Zealanders. So everybody ultimately, I believe, wants a better version of New Zealand. We just all have different game plans about how to get there and what that looks like.”

Idealism is what drives her thinking and she can’t see past the point that clean rivers and thriving kids happen because of a healthy economy.

Just like she can have the lifestyle and privileged views she holds because her husband is bringing home the bacon.

The disconnect is interesting.  But that is a great tableau of a typical white, female, affluent urban Green supporter.

– Megan Nichol Reed, NZ Herald

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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.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.