In spite of an inadequately educated media seduced by multicultural dogma and its insistence on designer tribalism, the Coalition Government needs to display more of its conservative instinct and confidently remind New Zealanders of some simple but critical truths. For example, to recall GK Chesterton’s claim, Tradition is the democracy of the dead. It means giving a vote to the most obscure of all classes: our ancestors.
Is there some light near the end of the tunnel?
I would like to see the Coalition Government break through the Leftist demand that would declare us all guilty before there has been a trial. “Sentence first, verdict afterwards,” says the Queen of hearts to Alice towards the end of her adventures in Wonderland.
“Let the jury consider their verdict,” said the King for about the twentieth time that day.
“No, no! said the Queen. “Sentence first---verdict afterwards.”
“Stuff and nonsense!” said Alice loudly. “The idea of having the sentence first!”
“Hold your tongue!” said the Queen, turning purple.
“I won’t!” said Alice.
“Off with her head!” The Queen shouted at the top of the voice.
Chronically infected by Critical Theory, the source of multiculturalism, the Left would accuse conservatives of systemic oppression. Inspired by the Wonderland Queen’s trust in the power of human passion, of what ought or ought not be done, it’s more than happy to cast the first stone and all the others as well. We should have realised by now, living under the weight of increasing regulation, that the Left’s primary weapon is the administration of process like that of the Circumlocution Department in Dickens “Little Dorrit” where bureaucrats rule.
The Left has nothing new to say about the human condition. Its trinity, diversity, inclusion and equity (DIE) is parasitic. It steals the Genesis revelation of human dignity, deconstructs it and turns it into self-authenticating identity. Ironically it seeks the death of its host.
The Coalition Government needs to be like Alice and call out “stuff and nonsense” when it sees it, even if the Left does turn purple.
First up it needs to remind New Zealanders that the rule of law depends on conserving its foundation which rests on the unique claim in Genesis. We have been created male and female in God’s image and it is this creation story that gives every individual in Western Civilization his or her dignity. Without the transcendent foundation the rule of law becomes the victim of constant change and government fiat. Doubters and deflator’s could do well to read Tom Holland’s scholarly work, “Dominion; the making of the Western Mind.”
It should be obvious that the democratic process requires a traditionally formed and morally responsible people who would retain those things that they know and love. To paraphrase Chesterton, progressives (Leftists) would take every fence down before they know why it was put up. They would get rid of “Original Sin”, but they can’t. They simply replace the Disobedience in the Garden by failure to affirm the relativism of multicultural doctrine. Alas, their new religion offers neither forgiveness nor redemption.
The Coalition Government needs to state boldly that social justice is not justice and why. Perhaps every MP should read, that American treasure, Thomas Sowell’s superb and definitive “Social Justice Fallacies”.
No matter how hard the government might try it can’t manufacture equal economic outcomes for everyone. We have different habits, abilities, attitudes and ambitions. The Left’s doctrine of equity is impossible and undesirable. It’s solutions are always about increasing government power and financial manipulation to ameliorate the imagined problem of social justice.
The conservative mind has always understood and should insist that the natural intergenerational family is the primary institution of civil society; the bedrock for social order and good mental health. Variations supported by the government can only increase the impoverishment of children because they are not intergenerationally self-sustaining. They drain the public purse.
Diminishing the natural family encourages government to centralise power; a catalyst for tyranny. And anyway living at the expense of the state should remind us that the state lives at the expense of everyone.
I would like to hear some bold statement from the Prime Minister declaring that the free market is a major contributor to a productive and meaningful life. It is not a philosophy or ideology. It’s what people do when left to their own devices in order to create wealth. It’s pejorative descriptor “capitalism” is a Marxist invention.
The conservative mind needs to flex its muscle and not be intimidated or seduced by Leftist cant that would control the language of political dialogue and inhibit free speech and thought; prevent it, if it could get away with it.
Bruce Logan is a conservative Christian author, a retired teacher, a Francophile who has spent every northern summer in Provence since 2008 with his wife Mary, until Covid killed it all. He's working on his third novel.