March 07, 2005
A New (Stolen) Feature
Neil Falloon writes nice things about everyone…
A while ago, David Priapus Farrar promised a new feature on his weblog, Kiwibog: I am going to blog party by party what I like or admire about each MP in that party. It does not mean I endorse them, or that I ignore their misdeeds, but that most MPs are decent people doing the best job they can, and have some good qualities about them.
Sadly, since that wild, love-filled promise DPF has run out of time and energy. Also, the party pills have worn off and he has realised that nobody has anything at all to say about the United Future, Labour and New Zealand First backbenches, let alone anything nice.
To adopt a Kiwibogism, David P Farrar is a "very, very good friend of mine". I'd like to help him out. But I don't do nice. And if you think I’m going to waste a day writing pap about Craig McNair and Dave Hereora, you haven’t been paying attention.
At heart, MPs are almost all identical. There is no point going on about them. It is the ordinary party members that tell you far more about each party.
So here’s the only realistic Guide to the Political Party Membership you’ll see this election year. It's based on real-life people. (My other very, very good friend Damian Christie said he would be delighted to name names when he appears at the Public Address/Nescafe Big Blend 2):
ACT: The archetypal ACT supporter is much like the archetypal NZ First supporter except that, what the latter blames on foreigners, beneficiaries and homosexuals, the ACT supporter blames on the government. (Which, he will confide, is a well-organised network of homosexuals working to further the interests of beneficiaries and immigrants.)
National: The classic National Party member is almost thirty, white and “comes from good stock”. His (fellow National Party) mates complain that he is “pussy-whipped” by his wife - he rarely goes out. Sometimes he yearns for the Tui-fuelled days when he obtained a Bachelor of Arts, the beginnings of a beer gut, and joined the Young Nats. He and his wife are planning their first child. Before he married, the conservative National Party member once got drunk and told me his biggest fantasy: "Getting f***** up the a*** by my girlfriend with a strap-on". Now that is National Party, through and through.
New Zealand First: The archetypal New Zealand First voters are the grandparents of the young man who wants to get rogered by his missus. They don't mind Indians so long as they are taxi drivers, and don't mind Asians so long as they stay in Asia. Granny has been known to linger over a photograph of that young, handsome Winston Peters in a similar way to weblog readers linger over photographs of Olivia Kember.
United Future: The classic United Future voters didn’t actually join United Future until just after the last election. They are a politically naive Christian couple, distinguished from Destiny Churchgoers by having gay friends, or at least a loving lesbian aunt. Swayed by the worm just before the last election, they can't remember what Peter Dunne said or stands for but liked his manner and cheeky bow tie collection. Have since let their membership lapse.
Labour: The archetypal Labour Party member is an early twenty-something homosexual man or heterosexual woman (it would be rude to ask). He or she is not Maori, but this is not through lack of trying. Unlike most people the same age, the Labour party member spends their youthful passion and fiery intensity doing everything they can to defend the status quo and justify the actions of the powerful. But like others of their age, they too are faced with uncertainty and a lack of direction – not knowing what the future holds or, at the very least, how to kill the five years between finishing an MA in politics and standing as a Labour MP in a safe seat. Like most before, s/he will settle on teaching.
Progressive: The archetypal (and lonely) Progressive Party supporter’s name is Matt Robson.
Maori: See Green
Green: Wears a large bone carving pendant and a Tino Rangatiratanga tee-shirt. (Distinguishable from Maori Party supporters because Maori Party supporters are actually Maori.) The archetypal Green Party supporter’s pastimes include saving Tibet, whales, the sanctity of the uterus, native bush, and anything threatened by the hegemony of any group big enough to have hegemony. The archetypal Greenie has no coherent policies to improve either the education or health systems, but is convinced that capitalism has ruined both. Likes to f*** some s*** up.