GUEST BLOG: Finn Jackson – Teenage Lobotomy



As a teenager, I have had considerable frustration finding other teens that share my passion for Politics.

As we all know, there are many stereotypes for a teenager: loud, showy and obnoxious. A human body clad either in jeans and some angry-looking t-shirt, or a pair of short shorts and a tight tank top.

The other major stereotype meanwhile is a short, bespectacled, either unusually tall or short person with no dress sense; the type of person who goes out wearing track pants and a polar fleece or socks and sandals. You all know what I’m talking about.

These two stereotypes are incompatible, you may think. And I’m not just talking to adults here. My fellow teenagers, pull those headphones out of your ears and listen to me.

This idea couldn’t be more wrong. The idea that you must either be loud, brash, annoying, and not know the first thing about politics, or quiet, gangly, covered in pimples and a expert on everything from Economics to Social Development is total… Rubbish.

I am sixteen years old, and I don’t fit into either of these camps. I am not an Emo, Goth, or any of these annoying clichés. Nor am I a person who spends all their time online gaming. I am your average teenager, who has a few pimples, but has no problem with their dress sense. I listen to punk rock and grunge, but I love history and spend some time working with computers. I do my schoolwork, but I swear, as the saying goes, like a sailor.

See what I’m getting at?

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If I can manage it, not being a brainbox with no life outside of Skyrim, nor being a full-scale “Wild Child”, who goes out getting nine year-olds drunk at skateparks, and huffing out of plastic bags, why is everyone else placed in these two boxes?

I now speak, or type rather, directly to Teenagers.

Why should I care about Politics? You may ask. What does it have to do with me? It’s just a lot of middle-aged boring people talking about stuff no one can understand.

What I would say, if you asked me this is, quite simply, It has everything to do with you.

The Politicians are only there, in office, because the people put them there. You are one of the people, you have the tools for change.

Don’t be a Teenage Lobotomy, brainwashed into thinking that you have no influence over the world. Don’t think that you can’t do anything, that nothing you do can change anything. If you are old enough, enrol to vote. Encourage others to do the same. If you aren’t old enough, try and get others interested and involved in politics. If we all do these things, we can end the year with a government we want.

My name is Finn Jackson. I turned sixteen this year. I was born into a family of journalists who were very involved in politics. Since birth I have been surrounded by talk of Mayoralty Campaigns and election stratergies. This has influenced my entire life, and has prompted me recently to join the movement for change.


  1. Go for it Finn! Well done for having an interest in politics. My advice to you is to use your logic and ability to reason when deciding which political ‘horse’ to back. Remember that we get what we deserve at the polling booth.

    There is a growing number of disconnected voters who have the idea that they can vote themselves rich, which has in the past and will continue to lead to nonsensical, well intentioned but unaffordable grant, benefit and incentive schemes based on envy and in the name of income redistribution. this has to stop, or at least be better targeted.

    Human instinct dictates that on the whole our behavior is based on consequence. Poor social policy either dilutes or removes consequences of behavior that is considered anti social. Someone who has made no effort to change anti-social behavior or who has made a succession of bad life choices should have to suffer the consequences of their actions and not expect a political party to decide that the law needs to be changed to protect the rights of the “oppressed.”

    Fairness is not necessarily about equality. It is about incentive, reward and diligence. If you do end up in politics, don’t make the same mistake that most political parties are in the world right now and get your priorities back-to-front. Simply reward personal responsibility, hard work and diligence, and punish those who seek to avoid the consequences of their actions. Good luck!

    • The hard working low-waged people are being milked like cows in this country, siphoning every cent back out of their pockets so you are floundering around in deprivation. So working your arse off actually gets you no where now, just keeps your feet on the mouse wheel invented for you by the Oligarchs. Most people I know do more than one job, both partners are forced to work and they all worry incessantly about rising power prices, the cost of food and petrol. These people know how to budget, they know how to live on next to nothing and employers know this. We live sustainably so others can live in total excess. The inequality is grossly extreme. Workers are taking on more responsibility, many having to do the jobs of two people on less hours and less money. Meanwhile we all see employers turn up to work in their Ferraris, Porsches (I am not kidding) while the employees struggle to keep their crappy old cars on the road and register them or else the system will siphon more money out of them. The view from the ground looks very different from the ivory towers of black and white logic.

      • I am sorry to read that you feel that way Kate. It sounds like you are getting ripped off in one way or another. In my opinion, getting ahead in life is all about risk, namely lowering it, removing it, passing it on and deciding how much you are prepared to shoulder yourself. In other words, risk versus reward.

        In our personal experience we lowered our exposure to food price rises by learning how to grow vegetables, tackled electricity prices by renting a house that faces the sun, or at least is built at the top of a ‘sunny face’ and by cutting our own firewood either by asking for permission from the regional council to clean up willows in the riverbed or by cleaning up fallen trees on farms (getting to know farmers instead of criticising them from afar can be very advantagous!). The hardest obstacle to overcome is that of being in a low paid job. The catch 22 is that you need experience to get a job, and you can’t get a job without experience. The other catch 22 is that you need an education and a qualification to get better pay, but you need better pay to be able to afford the better education. We have all been there. Tertiary education may look expensive in the form of a student loan, but there is not a polytechnic or university course in the country that the student pays more than 13% of the TRUE cost of the course. The well educated among us prefer to turn that around the other way and say that education is a damn good investment for two reasons, firstly it is ‘subsidised’ 87% by the taxpayer, and secondly because a good education can never be taken away from you no matter what. That is the sort of logic being applied by the middle and upper classes. Those guys are being subsidised to hell by taking advantage of a system (interest free student loans, 87% subsidies on courses and other student benefits) designed by socialist political parties to give you the best chance to get ahead. For all of the faults you pin on National, they have not removed Working For Families (communism by stealth according to John Key) or interest free student loans.

        Get in now while these arguably unaffordable benefits still exist!

        • Hi Mike, I am an artist who lives as sustainably as I can to gain true independence. My husband deals with a lot of different businesses due to the nature of his work and has seen the entrepreneurial spirit of those working in poorly remunerated jobs. People are the true wealth in this country and also the most undervalued. We invented the system – why invent a system that enslaves ourselves. How enlightened is that. We have built a system based on cynicism and exploitation where people who step outside the rules in any way are to be punished. If you don’t get ahead then you must be stupid or lazy. If you stick to the rules, work hard and are clever enough you will get ahead. You have it all nicely worked out – black and white. Yes, I am being sarcastic here. If only life was that simple or I was that simple-minded!
          New Zealanders are exceptionally clever people, they find ways around opposition by any way possible. Everyone that I have met has grand dreams and aspirations for the future. Maybe it is time for you to believe in PEOPlE and not a biased system controlled by a tiny elite. It is the middle class that is suffering now!

          As to our situation, we do everything we can to reduce costs, including growing a garden, fishing, cockles, compost toilet, harvesting rainwater, and painting art works. I pulled out of this exploitative system as far as I can to do what I want which is living to paint. I live on the fringe by choice, but others are kept in the system by getting into dept, mortgages, kids, by having jobs that take every ounce of energy from you. Most jobs ARE poorly paid in this country that is why renumeration rates for jobs are never advertised. As an employee, you are advised by your employer to keep any pay-rises (if you are lucky enough to get one) private. There is so much secrecy and obfuscation about the wage market because no one wants anyone to know what is really going on out there! They want everyone to believe that everyone is living in black and white paradise.

          • My advice….concentrate more on increasing income than cutting expenses. It tends to be a better use of one’s time.

            Yes. People are the true wealth of any society, but modern society tends to take a dim view of those who think the world owes them a living. It must be hard to accept that as an artist, you are only as good as what the buyer thinks of your work.

            • Mike, don’t misunderstand me, I am extremely proud of my work. As of the week ending tomorrow, I have five paintings in a front page collection on curated by the saatchi gallery London director. I feel like I am on top of the world. You have to go through hard to get to easy so the saying goes, make sure you pick your life well as you have to live it.
              As to your previous posts, they all reek of right-wing smugness and self-righteousness. Most of those on this site genuinely want to create an inclusive society rather than an exclusive one.
              It is hard to see the true worth of people when you have such a dim view of the world.
              And stop with the advice – no-one can stand a know it all.

              • Kate, I am glad to read that life as an artist is treating you well, an artists life can sometimes be a bit unreliable financially.

                I am not right wing. I am as centerist as they come. As a guide, left wing tend to be pro state control of ‘society’ and pro personal freedom, whereas right wing tend to be pro state control of the individual and how they think/act and anti state control of ‘society.’ I am pro personal choice (and consequences of those choices) and anti state control. That puts me smack dab in the centre.

                What you call self righteous I prefer to call ‘passing on free advice of what has worked for us’ to others who talk of poverty, despair and hopelessness as if it is society’s fault and only extensive government sponsored theft of income through political envy in the name of income redistribution is the only answer. My biggest turnaround in life came from a chance to ask advice of a man who I considered lived a life close to the way I wanted to live and seemed to be succeeding. If you feel life for you and all you know is about perfect, so be it, but I am reading nothing but “it’s the governments fault” on this blog and quite frankly you are becoming a bit of a bore.

                I may come across as a know it all in your opinion, but I would rather that than walk around with a black cloud over my head.

                • I have a question about your warning statement “extensive government sponsored theft of income through political envy in the name of income redistribution.”
                  Are you talking about tax cuts for the rich or raising the minimum wage? What are you so terrified of? Equality? Remember that the 85 richest people on earth now have the same amount of wealth as the bottom half of the global population, which is about 3.5 billion people. The 1 percent have amassed 46 percent of the worlds wealth. Do you really think that is fair?
                  Come on young people, you all need to change this system and reclaim your future!

                  • Actually I was more concerned about a breach of my civil liberties through legalised theft and the liberal view of “what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is ours”.

                    One percent of the population have amassed 46% of the worlds wealth? So what! 85 people share the same financial wealth as the bottom 3.5 billion people? Almost all of us receive what we are worth. Sometimes it isn’t hard work that wins the reward, it’s one GOOD idea. If a guy (let’s say A.J.Hackett) has a really good idea and makes millions out of it, what makes anyone else think that they deserve a share of that? They can get their own good idea and have the fortune and job satisfaction of their own. That statistic is misleading at best. Your 3.5 billion people includes remote African tribes, Inuit fishermen, African American street kids abandoned by their absentee fathers and crackhead mothers to name just a few. For heavens sake, the average New Zealand beneficiary is probably viewed with considerable envy by a Chinese peasant farmer. A bit more perspective, a bit less emotion please.

                    So in short, I do think that is fair and I am also well aware that in a democracy such as ours governments are voted in and out by the majority and social policy is usually designed by the left. The average home owning wage and salary worker is already paying an all-in tax and levy rate of over 50% (income tax, rates, petrol tax, levies and standing charges), while the bottom 40% (at least) effectively pay no income tax at all due to the effects of WFF. That’s the NZ tax system. Confused? Is that fair?

                    • Hi Mike, I actually worked and lived in Queenstown when the Skyline Bungee was set up and guess what it wasn’t an A.J Hackett enterprise, it was tied up in red tape shut down and taken over by A.J Hackett then re opened to this day. The council members who at the time owned the Four Squares in Queenstown, they stopped the supermarkets from getting into the area for as long as they could cream it in from the Four Square shops. I had to pay about 40% more for food there than anywhere else in N.Z at that time. This was a long time ago but that’s how I remember it back then. Cronyism rules.

                    • Almost all of us receive what we are worth.

                      Is that some sort of quasi-religious, determinist view of reality?

                      You obviously revere these moneyed, neo-royal, “barons” as some kind of elite worthy of your worship?

                      Mike – it may come as a shock to you, but those 85 multi-billionaires don’t give a toss about you as much as you seem to care about them.

                      You may hold your Overlords in reverence – but the rest of us view them as the cheating parasites that they are.

                    • The average home owning wage and salary worker is already paying an all-in tax and levy rate of over 50% (income tax, rates, petrol tax, levies and standing charges), while the bottom 40% (at least) effectively pay no income tax at all due to the effects of WFF. That’s the NZ tax system. Confused? Is that fair?

                      Yes, Mike, it is fair.

                      The bottom 40% pay no tax because they earn next to bugger-all and are living in near-poverty.

                      Would you rather that the rich pay less tax and the poorest 40% in our society pay more tax?

                      Fuck me, maybe we should pass the hat around and raise a few extra quid for the richest 1% in New Zealand?

                      Shall I open a vein for them while we’re about it?!

                      What is it with you sycophants?! Are you only deliriously happy if your nose is stuck up the anal orifice of the nearest multi-millionaire?!

                      The 50 Richest Men (and they mostly are male) must be happy that they have you as a faithful toady.


                      They don’t even know you exist.

                  • “extensive government sponsored theft of income through political envy in the name of income redistribution.”

                    I’d say that sums up any tax system that takes a higher % of income from one group to prop up the incomes of another. Every person in this country should pay the same % of their income in tax, anything else is legalised theft.

                    • Spoken like a true ACT supporter.

                      And, judging by ACT’s nil percent support in the polls, I’d say that nearly 100% of New Zealanders think your ideology is self-serving crap.

                    • “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”. Today, Marxism, tomorrow exterminate the Jews. What ever happened to fairness?

                      “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is ours”. What ever happened to respect for your fellow man?

                      You may consider it obscene that a person may be paid $100,000 a year, but spare a thought for a couple struggling with a mortgage and raising a family on a combined income of $100,000 being expected to pay at least $30,000 in income tax alone, then rates, fuel tax and the like. What is the justification for them paying $30,000 in income tax? You think they need to be punished for being more financially successful than you. That is spiteful politics of envy at its worst.

                      Attempting to claim unearned income through legislation is a gross breach of personal freedom and the epitome of legalised theft

            • Mike says:
              March 24, 2014 at 8:03 am

              My advice….concentrate more on increasing income than cutting expenses. It tends to be a better use of one’s time.


              Why didn’t I think of that!

              It was all so simple!

        • A Bachelor of Property Administration doesn’t make you well educated. Sorry. I don’t feel any envy for you and your trite little existence on your north facing slope. Student loan debt is becoming a huge problem, all over the world. While kids from rich families use the money, along with what daddy gives them, to speculate with property or stocks, those less well off are faced with a crippling payback regime once they graduate. If they go overseas to use their skills because they won’t lower themselves to work in some NAct think tank or advertising agency, they get treated as criminal fugitives. But you’re OK. You and your north facing slope. Aren’t you lucky state houses are being removed from north facing slopes? You wouldn’t want to live next to those people, would you?

        • Mike,
          Your seem to be saying that in this life risks lead to rewards.
          In that case should the same not be true for the banks? They lend money they have created out of thin air and then charge borrowers interest on it. I can’t see much risk in that.
          The practise of fractional reserve banking – lending say nine dollars for every dollar deposited to earn even more interest- has the potential of running a risk of bank failure. No, wait, it that ever happens they are “too big to fail” and the taxpayers are forced to socialise them with a bail out.
          Banks seem to be on a “win/win” scam and it’s about time we all wised up and did something about it.
          The more prices rise the more interest they can make lending fictional money on interest paying credit. Printing more money causes inflation, an invisible tax on us all because inflation means our saved money is worth less than it was as prices have risen.

          • You are absolutely right and no business is “too big to fail”. I am a fan of facing up to the consequences of your actions, and banks are certainly not doing that of late.

            As for the practice of fractional reserve banking, we very nearly saw a meltdown in Greece recently when the public could see the writing on the wall and caused a run on funds. But the main motivation behind government bailouts such as these is that a large scale failure could, in the ruling party’s opinion, cause economic instability on a scale big enough to cause widespread down-the-line business closures (unemployment), a plunge in the value of the currency (rising costs of imports), a run on requests for welfare (tax rate rises) and near shutdown of service towns (loss of critical mass for delivery of services such as schools and hospitals). These kinds of problems tend to hit the lower paid and lower skilled the hardest. Governments do these kinds of bailouts (GM, Holden/Ford Australia, banks, etc) under the impression that they are helping the people this blog claims to represent. If you think that is bollocks, then you need to tell them that now!

            • Mike says,
              “Governments do these kinds of bailouts (GM, Holden/Ford Australia, banks, etc) under the impression that they are helping the people this blog claims to represent.”

              Seriously, it doesn’t cross your mind that governments may be more interested in saving the shareholders’ stakes in these companies, with the added advantage of being able to screw more concessions out of the workers in exchange for saving their jobs?
              At the same time bankers are paid exuberant bonuses and CEOs’ salaries continue to rise into the stratosphere.

            • Mike – “a run on requests for welfare”

              Caused by the Global Financial Crisis and the business elite you support.

              Because I can tell you now, Mike, there were no unemployed, solo-mums, invalids, widows, etc, in any of the Board Rooms on Wall Street, when the sh*t hit the fan in 2007/08.

              Or do you expect the victims of the GFC – those millions who lost their jobs in the resulting recession – to quietly lie down and die?

  2. Excellent article Finn. Wish you every success with your political endeavours. Hope to hear more of you.

  3. Finn – good on you for taking an interest in politics! I started out roughly your age as well, and moved along the political spectrum from the Right to the Left, as I grew older.

    I read. I took notice of things happening around me. I listened to people and weighed their views. I knew a brilliant young guy (around my age), who was Sonja Davies’ son, Mark.

    He taught me to look at things critically, and to pull the curtains aside to see what lay behind.

    But that was my journey. You will have you own.

    I hope you have as much fun as I did (and still do!).

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