The latest justification for Key’s vanity project is to claim that it’s not a political decision.
Flag vote not political: PM
Prime Minister John Key has pulled back in his personal campaign to change the flag in a last-ditch bid to get left-wing voters back on board as the historic vote looms.
Since announcing the referendum in March 2014, the Prime Minister has been a vocal crusader for change, making his pitch in speeches and interviews as well as wearing the alternative flag as a lapel pin.
However he has been less vocal about the issue this year, and admitted that was an attempt to try to get those on the left who might vote against change for political reasons back on board.
Labour has repeatedly depicted the flag referendum as Key’s “pet project” because of his personal investment in it.
“I’ve been trying to ensure the politicisation doesn’t stop people voting for the flag. For change to take place you need a decent number of voters who do not support the Government to vote for change.
“To get it over the line you can’t just rely solely on National voters because there is always going to be a contingent of National voters that just don’t support change. That’s quite legitimate – this isn’t about a political issue, it’s about whether you support change or not.”
That’s right, Key is claiming that we shouldn’t judge the flag change as a political event, we should do it for the aesthetics. It’s a spin line being parroted by the NZ Herald (surprise, surprise).
Audrey Young: Utterly simple vote hijacked for party purposes
Bear in mind that two years ago, when John Key first announced there would be a flag referendum, the reaction of the Labour and Green Party leaders was to welcome it and say that they too would hold a referendum if they won the 2014 election.
Between then and now the leaders of the left have persuaded their supporters to oppose the process, criticise the cost, condemn the timing, question the motives, mock the alternative, and to vote “no change” in order to embarrass a political rival.
The entire flag debate from the start has been used as a political distraction when ever the Government needed something to fill the media instead of critical analysis.
$26million is an obscene price to pay when we have 305 000 kids in poverty and children being sexually and physically abused in State Care. When state tenants are freezing to death in rotting state homes, when over 500 children are homeless in Auckland, when beneficiaries can’t make ends meet, when the Government is signing away economic sovereignty and when students are studying on the breadline – participating in a project that is designed to obscure those very issues is not only ethically reprehensible, it’s doing exactly what the National Party wants you to do.
Key’s Corporate Rugby flag represents the culmination of 30 years of neoliberalism. It represents a NZ whose creed is ‘me first’ where community has been reduced to the boundary line of the gated tribes we inhabit.
Poverty has soared in this country by a truly obscene amount…
Nearly one in three New Zealand children ‘living in poverty’
“Child poverty – it’s not choice.” That’s the message that outgoing Children’s Commissioner Dr Russell Wills wants to spread through social media in a challenge to Government policy.
His latest annual Child Poverty Monitor, out today, says children living in households earning below 60 per cent of the median household income after housing costs, have almost doubled from 15 per cent of all children in 1984 to 29 per cent last year. Children hospitalised with poverty-related illnesses more than doubled in the 1990s and have increased further in the recent recession.
“Everything points to things being far tougher than they were 30 years ago. That’s not right in a country like ours and it’s not fair,” said Dr Wills, whose five-year term as Children’s Commissioner ends in June. “Today I’m asking New Zealanders to show they share our concern by spreading the message #itsnotchoice.
If they visit our website they can take part in a selfie campaign and show that we’re all behind the need for things to change for our kids.”
Political scientist Dr Bryce Edwards said the message was “a beautiful contrast” with Prime Minister John Key’s claim in 2011 that “anyone on a benefit actually has a lifestyle choice”.
…those 305 000 children in poverty is what Key’s flag represents. The triumphalism of distraction Sport becoming our National symbol reduces our flag to a branding exercise, which hardly justifies removing the blood drenched stamp of Empire.
An alarming number of Auckland families are being forced to live together in one house so they can afford rent and living expenses, a leading budgeting adviser says.
It comes as an ASB analysis of the New Zealand housing market released to the Herald today reveals that Auckland has a disproportionate share of multiple families living under one roof.
These families crushed into more and more overcrowded housing as speculators grumble that their housing portfolios are a little light this year is what Key’s Corporate Rugby flag represents.
To try and claim that the flag change isn’t political is Orwellian double speak at its most obvious.