One for Mum, Dad

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

Po­lit­i­cal slo­gans con­vey the essence of an era as read­ily as a favourite song or a fash­ion state­ment. Buzz­words like ‘‘Think big’’ or ‘‘ Wage and price freeze’’ in­stantly evoke the by­gone era of Sir Robert Mul­doon, and his fan­tasies of com­mand and con­trol.

Sim­i­larly, the slo­gans of 1980s eco­nomic re­form such as ‘‘There is no al­ter­na­tive’’ and ‘‘Level play­ing field’’ sought to con­vey that a bold new era of op­ti­mism, fair­ness and op­por­tu­nity had dawned for the vot­ing pub­lic – al­though, alas, only the for­tu­nately placed few were ul­ti­mately able to reap the bulk of the eco­nomic re­wards on of­fer.

Ever since, it has been quite strik­ing how New Zealand’s po­lit­i­cal slo­ga­neer­ing has tried to re­as­sure the pub­lic, rather than in­spire it.

Jim Bol­ger’s so-called ‘‘De­cent so­ci­ety’’, He­len Clark’s trade­mark ‘‘ Work­ing for fam­i­lies’’ pack­age and the cur­rent Gov­ern­ment’s in­vo­ca­tion of ‘‘Mum and dad in­vestors’’ have been vari­a­tions on the same theme.

No threats, no vi­sions, but in­stead, a prom­ise of sta­bil­ity, sup­port and con­ti­nu­ity.

Re­peat­edly, the po­lit­i­cal mes­sage to a gun-shy pub­lic has been that this time, this

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