"Ruch, as well as thuck" -Jill Singer Article "New Zealand change as good as a holiday"
Sometimes I read stuff that just makes me want to say something. Well on my blog I can. We all have our days where we'll sit down and read the newspaper. In this case it was an online article on the home page of Melbourne's Herald Sun written by columnist Jill Singer. This lady is an award winning journalist, proudly Australian and well over to the left. That's fine. A well respected columnist though, writing utter baseless drivel is well below the line.
The opening line starts with this
"New Zealanders have voted for change - a leap from Left to Right - with all the enthusiasm and reasoning power of a doped slug".
Yes the majority did vote for change and for mostly perhaps the following reasons if not others. The New Zealand Herald put it nicely when they termed the now former government "The Nanny Government" .
We ended up living in an era of over-regulation and ridiculously stupid political correctness. The introduction of Green MP Sue Bradfords' Anti-smacking legislation, the debarkle over the Regulation of shower flow rates perhaps was the last straw that finally broke the Labour Party camel's back. People were sick and tired of being told what to do - so with that in mind and the economy into a second quarter of recession the bell soon tolled for Labour's end.
But for Jill Singer, well respected award winning journalist that she is, to sit down and write a piece of hard journalism on New Zealand politics. On this score she rates a big zero.
Her opening paragraph took a cynical perhaps narrow- viewed opinion of we who are New Zealanders. I'm wondering if Pharmac had extra funding for a nation of 'doped slugs' on election day. Could it be a secret National Party conspiracy perhaps. Back door deals made with the heads of Pharmac to drop strange substances onto the ballot papers? The answer to that is of course not.
The cynicism didn't stop with the opening paragraph she continues -
"As the rest of the world struggles with the excesses of capitalism and free-market worship, our dearly beloved neighbours suddenly think a former investment banker can make them ruch, as well as thuck."
Free-market worship sounds like the Roger Douglas era to me. Again I disagree. The US for instance, still has a protected market. While the previous administrations have preached the "Free Market Economy" philosophy to every one else on the global platform the protectionism for US producers has stoically remained. Fair enough. When it comes down to the base line taking care of one's own first before taking care of someone elses' pockets.
In 1984 New Zealand lost that protectionism our manufacturers and agricultural producers had so enjoyed, to then Finance Minister Roger Douglas' extreme Keynesian views. Fine in theory. Cold economic models to determine a countries' economic policy in a real world situation needs everyone else playing ball. Except it didn't happen. The major economies remained well protected we didn't.
In just one stroke of the pen - subsidies were removed as were the import tariffs. Suddenly our farmers and manufacturers were facing the cold realty that the NZ Government wasn't going to look after them any more. A lot of people lost their jobs during those hard years, farmers lost their incomes and farms, companies went into liquidation, factories shut doors. Rural towns went dead overnight. The Share Market Crash of 1987 and excessive interest rates helped the process along.
This continued during the recession of the 1990 era when, disheartened with the Labour government, the New Zealand public voted for change. The winner then -National led by Jim Bolger. Jim was later shuffled aside for Jenny Shipley. Cold Corporate Policies, further financial pain and advertisements such as the "Benefit Fraud it's a crime" campaign once again changed the public's attitude. Term of office for the National Government until the 1999 elections. Nine years. Term of the Labour government until 2008 - nine years. People had again asked for change. So much for the history lecture there.
And the point of all this perhaps over opinionated writing?
Two little words "ruch and thuck" Is this english or something made up in the Orion Sector of the Milky Way perhaps? No it was Jill having a go and in turn people had a serious go at her. I wasn't so nasty - just to the point in my email to her on the issue of New Zealand accents.
Jill Singer's reply was just as nice:
"Yes, I take the point re the accent thingo. I’ve had a lot of emails to the effect that Australians say Seeedny for Sydney and so forth, which doesn’t ring true to my ear.
I suppose that’s the thing about accents...my article was written for an Australian audience and we hear things differently. I think we’ve both got pretty harsh accents really...just heard an Australian reporter reporting on Remembrance Day and shuddered to imagine how the French would react to her pronunciation of France.
Anyway, I do now realise that my article would have been much better if I’d resisted my childish and inept attempt at mocking the Kiwi accent.
And thanks so much for being nice about my shortcomings."
Which I was.
Read the article and let me know what you think. I would be very very interested to know.
Thanks to Timespanner for putting me onto the article