Everyone has been force-fed the line that the Internet Mana video of students chanting what we’re all thinking, “F*ck John Key”, is the product of a Nazi-style political rally of drunk and stupid students. I’ll leave it to Bomber, Frank and co to explain why this is completely wrong. What I want to write about is the underlying indications the video gives out, which no-one seems to have picked up on.
Let’s start at the beginning. Where was the video filmed? In Christchurch, where we’ve been living in a broken city for four years. That’s more than half of National’s time in office. That’s the whole of the last political term. We’ve been living in a city filled with collapsed and damaged buildings, liquefaction, and freezing homes. Then more recently, there have been massive areas of empty land, dotted with the not-so-occasional pile of rubble, and buildings still waiting to be assessed by engineers, four years after the September 2010 7.1 earthquake, three years after the February 22 6.4 earthquake.
Throw in nearly 15,000 aftershocks and the massive amount of bureaucratic organisations, such as CERA, EQC, ECAN, and those fucking insurance companies, and there’s a basic idea of what we’ve been going through.
But then remember the floods, the geography of our schools changing, a pretty much broke council (though of course they aren’t as bad as Bob Parker and Tony Marryatt), the fact that areas of Brighton now sink at high tide, the complete lack of a rebuild.
Now you can begin to get an idea of the financial, democratic and physical damage done to our city. But of course you don’t hear about that. What we hear about is the shiny new convention city given to us by that nice Mr Brownlee, and that stadium. Neither of which, frankly, anyone gives a shit about at the moment, because we’re more concerned with our own homes and lives, our families and friends than we are about continuing the neo-liberal experiment of business, business, business.
Why should we have to pay for a rugby stadium, when the Rugby Union made a large surplus in the last financial year? And why should we have to pay for basically a giant mall in the old CBD, when everyone knows that that area is dead? The business districts have moved outwards, and the old area is only kept alive through Re:Start container mall (tourists), Ballantyne’s, and the bus exchange being there.
The feelings of anger and resentment are not limited to we angry, activist studenty types. The only people satisfied are the business owners, the Rugby Union, and the people in the richer suburbs where the repairs were all done quickly. The government made a massive mistake when they decided to help some of the rich first, and left the middle class to suffer. Because basically, most of us middle-classers are self-centered, what-can-I-get-to-make-my-life-easier types. A lot of us turned to National in 2011 because of the feeling of stability they offered. But now we’ve seen what utter dorks they are when tasked with the rebuild of a city. Nothing happens for ages. For a party that claims to hate red tape, they’ve done an awfully good job of creating new reels of it.
It’s not just a few students who are feeling like this. It’s the vast majority of the city who would quite happily take to the streets chanting f*ck John Key, f*ck Gerry Brownlee, f*ck Steven Joyce, etc etc. We’re all angry, and no one realises it outside the city.
Come 20/09, there will be an electoral landslide to the left, unprecedented in it’s enormity. Tony Milne will win Christchurch Central, Christhurch East will stay firmly in the hands of Poto Williams, Meagan Woods will keep Wigram with an increased majority, and James Dann will give the Gerrypiller a shock in Ilam. Waimakariri is definitely going back to Clayton Cosgrove — National candidate Matthew Doocey was whipped by Poto Williams last year. Port Hills is more unpredictable: Nuk Korako is a very strong candidate for National, and Labour’s Ruth Dyson is a strong incumbent. This electorate is the only one that could feasibly change hands to National.
As for the party vote, Labour’s will increase dramatically, barring a smear campaign from National close to the election. The Greens will increase, but New Zealand First will be the big winner here. You can scarcely go anywhere without seeing one of their billboards at least twice. Same with the Greens, and Labour has billboards everywhere. National have some billboards, but pretty much all of them are trashed.
Not looking encouraging for National, is it? F*ck John Key.
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.