Thursday, March 19, 2009

A fat belly

In the past, the political spectrum was much more clearly divided between left and right.

But over the years people have gravitated to that fat belly called "the centre". This has probably as much to do with it being a western world comfort zone than anything else. Our recent elections have been fought and won in this no man's land. Our governments have responded by passing laws and collecting taxes to entrench it. MMP thrives on it.

People can hang out in the centre, knowing that no real harm will come to them and their risks are minimised. The government will be there to hold their hand.

The fundamental problem with the centre is that it breeds mediocracy, laziness and risk adversion. The much vaunted saviour to our current woes, "higher productivity", becomes meaningless as people have forgotten how to really achieve it or, even worse, it is all too much like hard work.

People should choose to give their whole hearted support to either one side of the ledger or the other.

By hanging out in the soft belly they are living in a fool's paradise.

There isn't a more capable man on the planet than John Key to manage and even trim our fat belly, but he is ultimately doomed to failure unless we as a people harden up and give him a clear mandate to move things out of the comfort zone we can't afford.

Otherwise we will wake up one day to discover that all we hold dear has packed up and moved on.

11 comments:

Madeleine said...

There isn't a more capable man on the planet than John Key...????

I think you may be overstating things somewhat, there are definately more capable people out there and that's not to say I don't think he is an improvement on Helen, which I do, but there is a lot wrong with John Key's politics.

WAKE UP said...

Actually, Lou, most of us do live in the centre, in the sense that our everyday lives are conducted there - it's where most of life's daily interaction does take place (indeed, from the temperate tone of most of your posts, compared to some, I think it's where you can be found most of the time :)

Very few people live their lives at an extreme; if they do, it's usually by conscious choice, force majeure, or compulsion. But the vast "ordinary" remain just that.

Enter politics, and here's the rub. The politicians only visit the "middle" to garner votes. Mission accomplished, power obtained, they set about jerking us from Left to Right and back again - again.

We're always actually better off when the LEAVE US ALONE - in the middle.

Cheers:)
Wakey

Lou Taylor said...

Thanks wake up. I'm not advocating an extreme but having a foot in both doors is not a wise way forward. I actually think that the world will become a harder place this century and unless we as a country choose a path that is capable of protecting the lifestle we all enjoy, then as I said, we may wake up one day and find it gone. All I'm asking is that people start to firm up in their minds how we should go about protecting what we have. Obviously I prefer the right side of things as personal responsibility is one of our greatest strengths but if some people choose a nanny state solution so be it. But don't hang out in no man's land.

Lou Taylor said...

Can you name anyone better, Madeleine, to have siezed back the middle ground from Labour? I would like to meet him/her.

WAKE UP said...

" I actually think that the world will become a harder place this century and unless we as a country choose a path that is capable of protecting the lifestyle we all enjoy, then as I said, we may wake up one day and find it gone."

Lou, I couldn't agree more, and that consciousness drives me every day. The choices we make now are critical, and whatever other distastes I might have re politics/politicians in general, I haven't the slightest doubt that we got rid of the Labour goverment in the nick of time.

I think most people have no idea what's heading their way - including, ironically, the vast middle I spoke of :)

Anonymous said...

protecting the lifestle we all enjoy

we cannot protect the lifestyle we all enjoy. That is basically the single problem with NZ. In 1960, 5% of Fonterra's export income went on the health system. Now it's 25% - and increasing fast.

The question is: do those who earn an income, or are worth a "lifestyle" get to keep it - or do those who do not get to drag the entire country down to their North Korean level of dependency and state control.

As Madeline put it: there's a lot wrong with Key's politics in this environment. He'res another money quote:

Can you name anyone better, Madeleine, to have siezed back the middle ground from Labour? I would like to meet him/her.

Key didn't seize the middle ground back from Labour - he seized the hard left. The nearest thing we have to a middle-ground party is ACT - and Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, Joe Biden, Al Franken, Michael Moore - are all far to the right of ACT on every important policy

We have an actually communist party, stocked by actual communists (Greens); we have a hardline socialist party, stocked by ex-communists (Labour), we have a leftwing Maori party stocked by centre-left Maoris, we have leftwing non-Maori party stocked mostly by social democrats (National), and we have a centre-left party stocked mostly by academic leftists (ACT).

We don't have any real centre party at all - the Libz policies are halfway been social democratic and frankly nuts - and as for real right wingers - nowhere to be seen.

Lou Taylor said...

I don't disagree with you anon but many people don't care either way or the other and that's the problem. Until average (maybe a better word than middle) NZers are prepared to become a lot more politically savy we will be stuck with the worst of all sides. I for one am glad that Key swallowed a few dead rats just to be well rid of Labour. At least we are now on the right side of the ledger but ultimately our future direction will be decided by the people.If the people don't wake up to the fact that the world has changed and will continue to do so, then they will get the politicians they deserve. As you point out we can't afford half of what we now have, but in the absense of a revolution we need to use our political institutions to promote change.And that is a slow process. I only care because I want my children to inherit a viable country.

KG said...

Lou, you said "ultimately our future direction will be decided by the people".
And perhaps it will, but the problem is, the productive people in our society are now the minority, so it won't be them deciding the future.
The future will be decided by masses of welfare beneficiaries, bureaucrats and the imperatives of the world economy and global politics.

Lou Taylor said...

KG I don't agree that the productive are the minority. The hard core support for Labour came in at around 30%. They will never budge as long there is someone else's air to breath but the other 60% said last election -enough.It remains to be seen whether that peg in the ground turns into something permanent.Election 2011 will be the next deciding point.(the other 10% are greenufnzf idiots beyond help in case you were wondering that I couldn't add up))

Anonymous said...

I don't agree that the productive are the minority.

How many people earn say over 1,000,000 per year?

right. Pretty small minority.

FAIRFACTS MEDIA said...

the equivalent expression in the UK used to be 'middle of the road.'
But you know what happens if you hang around there for too long.



you get run over!