Monday, August 12, 2013

Ambitious for New Zealand?

Back when John Key was first running for prime Minister in 2008, we heard a lot about how he was "ambitious for New Zealand". Its a slogan which suggests that he - and by extension National - wanted to make New Zealand a better place. So, when he was asked over the weekend what he would change if he had a magic wand and could change a policy overnight, what did he choose? To end the terrible child poverty currently affecting 300,000 kiwi kids? To ensure that every New Zealander had a decent, well-paying job? To raise our living standards and close the gap with Australia?

None of the above. Instead if he had ultimate power, Key would change the fucking flag:

In fact, a Nelson magazine asked Mr Key if he could implement one policy tomorrow, what would it be, and Mr Key answered he would change the flag to a silver fern.

I support changing the flag and ditching the Union Jack (not to mention the monarchy and all its feudal trappings). But I also recognise that its a symbolic change (but: symbols matter), and that we have other fish to fry as well. More importantly, its hardly the answer I'd expect from someone who proclaims himself to be "ambitious for New Zealand". And if that's the limit of Key's ambition for our country, if that's all he thinks is wrong with us and needs to be fixed, then we need a new Prime Minister.