There was a letter in The Press yesterday from a National supporter in North Canterbury. She wrote heatedly:
"I am sick, sick, and tired of the fights going on with the parties. They are all like little children playing what I call 'Babby house".
Note the reference to ALL the parties. We don't get to find out what Babby house involves, but she goes on to tell them to:
"Pull your socks up".
But then she claims :
"National has done heaps for our country."
So, clearly not ALL parties are playing Babby house and have wayward socks. It seems National has:
"always been there, especially in our major disasters, earthquakes and floods."
I'll leave aside the vexed question of National's actual record in managing the aftermath of said earthquakes and just note that, as National leads the government it would be a bit odd if it had absented itself during major disasters.
Just when you'd think it couldn't get any better, she makes the extraordinary claim that :
"John Key has kept our country afloat, bad times and good."
Clearly the cult of personality is alive and well in Sefton. She then makes the rather cryptic claim that she has :
"never known people to follow other parties like sheep."
I have no idea if that means that she and other National supporters do follow like sheep but she gets back on the TeamKey track with the assertion that :
"At least John Key knows where the money is coming from".
Well, she's right there, he's fully aware of where he's borrowing it from. But she wanders off into lala land again with the claim that he :
"won't dib into it like the other parties would, and get us into a mess."
I assume she meant 'dip'. Clearly she's completely unaware - like most people who vote National - that we are in more debt now than when National took office.
Finally, she exhorts us to :
"learn to trust the man. He knows what he's doing".
I'd write in and say that I know Key knows what he's doing - and that's precisely what scares the crap out of those of us with some claim to intellect. But, I suspect that it wouldn't make a skerrick of difference, so I probably won't.
I am mocking this poor correspondent - not as a person - but as an exemplar of a set of platitudinous, inaccurate and parochial attitudes. Really I should reserve my anger and my contempt for those who have the power to encourage originality, accuracy and liberality and who fail to do so.
I've read at least one newspaper every day for almost my entire life and I've had enough of sensationalist and misleading headlines, more white space and photographs than print, airhead froth, biassed domestic and second-hand world news - and I'm seriously considering cancelling my subscription to The Press.
This week's final bale of straw, other than moronic right-wingers' letters to the editor, was the fact that they trumpeted their own poll result as evidence of National's imminent victory, and for the second time, and this time much more prominently, they featured a photo of the leaders' debate with John Key in the forefront in fine focus and an out of focus David Cuncliffe in the background. The symbolism is as obvious as it is unworthy. If they'd done the reverse the Right would have been screaming 'foul' and with justification.
Call me old fashioned but I do still hold to the notion that our fourth estate should be a vigilant guardian of democracy. The Press is asleep on the job.