All for one

In Newsletter Editorial5 MinutesBy Dave McCoidOctober 13, 2023

Whether it’s a force of nature or a force of humanity, with everything occurring worldwide, our poor old general election barely counts. Or does it? Is our wee wrangle for power a reflection of the world beyond our borders? After all, don’t we say New Zealand is the world’s postcard? Physically, it certainly is, but maybe socially?

As Kiwis, many of us suffer the cringeworthy trait of thinking the majestic beauty of our wee islands – and some noteworthy acts of human endeavour in our young nation’s first 250-odd years – make us a teensy bit special. Alas, no. We largely behave just like the rest, and Saturday’s election certainly has the potential to prove that beyond doubt.

I think where Greta Thunberg went wildly wrong was where she pitched her assault. I also think the worst day of her life will be when she’s an elderly codger, sitting watching some young person on Swedish TV blaming the crap out of the old people for the level of ‘shite’ the planet’s in.

I honestly don’t know why these people petition their cause at politicians. Politicians are responders. They give the illusion of initiators, but they’re only reacting to the protestations of those who elect them. Yes, I’ll give you they will sometimes initiate things to preserve their popularity, but they’re only allowed to do so because the populous is either apathetic, stupid, or both. Where the thrust of any activist’s attention should go is the mass most affected by the potential negative outcome: those who can effect the change if the issue is big enough. The problem is, if she did that, she might get a little disillusioned. Like I’ve said before, stand on the balcony of any major shopping mall anywhere in the world, and it’s not full of planet-wrecking pensioners. The bulk is by far and away millennials forward. Aren’t they the ones wanting less carbon? Pollution? Consumerism?

The famous ‘How dare you…’ line should have actually gone, ‘How dare you continue to consume at the rate you are when the planet is in pain’, looking squarely at the sub-40s, not the post. Everything that happens on the cash register side of the counter is a direct response to what’s happening on the customer side. The bulk of those customers now are… millennials and onward.

The same phenomenon is visible everywhere. ‘Too many trucks on the road!’ If you say that out loud, you’re telling the world more about your inability to join the fundamental dots of day-to-day reality than you are about there being too many trucks on the road. Okay, so let’s fix the problem from your end first. If whoever gets in on Saturday night mandated ‘truck-less’ days, such that only two-thirds of the fleet worked on any one day, that’d be good, would it? It’s like saying we’re going to cure obesity by putting half the food on supermarket shelves. Politicians, trucks, supermarkets – they’re all response mechanisms.

There’s an awful political ad doing the rounds to encourage young voters to do their bit at the ballot box. In it, a young lady says, ‘I don’t vote because I feel my vote isn’t heard’. My first thoughts on hearing it were there’s so much to unpack in that one line it’s almost too daunting to contemplate. It speaks to entitlement, overabundance and privilege. It speaks to an education system in tatters. It speaks to a complete ignorance of the origins of freedom. Probably worse of all, it does nothing to uplift the role and rights of women. If you’re going to play garbage like that, at least do the old Crimewatch voice muffler to avoid any form of gender association.

Come Saturday, we’ll get what we deserve, and if we end up with a wily, arrogant, rude, fact- and policy-deprived old man holding the balance of power yet again, then young people  – just like the environment situation – that’s on you and your lack of personal accountability.

At least we’ll all be victims together.

All the best

Dave McCoid

Editorial Director