It is a beautiful day. Blue green sea, hazy blue-purple mountains, riotous spring greens of my fusion(?) garden with its deciduous imports and evergreen natives. Chocolate coloured copper beech, pink maples, flossy rhododendrons, the glorious smell of fragrantissima.
Begone political glooms. No such luck, they become ever gloomier. Our future is bleak. Credit galore, consumption galore, debt galore. What a surprise. Pollution galore – the beautiful bush surrounded lakes I swam in as a child unswimmable. Did Rena’s oil reach the beach near Matata that my father surfcast from. Dogs chased dotterels, dotterels teased dogs. We became relatively well off, my father achieved his dreams, two daughters at university, two tone Chevrolet Bel Air, big fins, later a slow speedboat.
He was a self-made dairy farmer with a huge commitment to improving the lot of others – (“don’t you dare write to the papers about the smell from Kawerau, the Tarawera river. We’ve got to get jobs!”). He worked for the community relentlessly. I think my mother shared his values, her life more of a puzzle, being a lady the prime imperative. One which she totally failed to inculcate in her two daughters. Community obligations were instilled although our politics are at variance. I was amused when my sister worried that her husband was giving away far too much. Not all the very wealthy live immodestly.
I like to think my parents would have been horrified at the world the free marketeers have spawned although they would not have understood, predicted the inevitable collapse of the faithbased delirium. Derivatives? Bankers as fantasists when once it was almost impossible to get a second mortgage? Jobs outsourced that they knew were desperately needed and especially in areas like the Bay of Plenty?
My parents knew Governments need people in work to pay taxes, save. That Governments need to soak the rich a bit more just in case they squander too much on vulgar display rather than investment. They would have accepted the need to deal with pollution. Dairy farms need clean water to wash their equipment!
As a young, degree enriched(?) woman I envisaged a future of more leisure, shorter, more flexible working hours, men able to escape the drudgery of the metropolis, share the raising of children, everybody to have more time for hobbies as technology (oh the heaven of the fully automatic washing machine) freed us up. A more egalitarian society. My ‘happy’ predictions have definitely not materialised. My later ‘doomsday’ ones are much closer to the mark. We’re in a huge mess of astronomical personal debt, inadequate job growth, ?outright job loss, hideously increased pollution. And that is just New Zealand.
National terrifies – the gloved welfare bashing – but Key is cuddly. All those adoring women !*!*!*! He is not even sexy. Just rich? Labour’s rebirthing is not making much difference, if any. The ‘rejuvenated’ Greens (surely they weren’t guilty of dumping wrinklies) probably have the best policies but watch the compromises. Well done aged, activist John Minto, Mana, in East Manukau. A brilliant bullseye against the sitting (every which way by the sounds of things) Ross Robertson.