Friday, November 19, 2004

"Destroying New Zealand"

Just Left quotes Don Brash's famous line about how the Labour government is "destroying New Zealand", and aks how

record economic growth, record high employment and low unemployment, a flourishing of the arts and popular culture, the beginnings of a debate on the nation's future and so on, all add up to "destroying New Zealand."

It's an interesting question, and one which the right struggles to answer. Their best attempt is to refer to "values" - that Labour's revival of the welfare state and government services, and its restoration of balanced employment law is undermining the market values essential to New Zealand's future. But as Grey Shade has pointed out (in an excellent essay I should have critiqued weeks ago), these values are an abberation, and have never been part of "the New Zealand way". We have always stood for a helping hand and a fair go; the dog-eat-dog, screw the poor "values" Brash and his ilk refer to are in no way part of our national ethos, and nor should they be.