what is the opposite of deja vu?..(premonition dosen’t seem to quite cover it somehow..dosen’t have the visceral component to the same intensity/degree)…
but, whatever it is, i had one of them when watching the coverage of the tory leader in britain, resigning straight after the election..
this is what brash will be doing in a few months..the parallells are striking..
both leaders were elected, and have held office, mainly as a holding action for their parties..(expectations around howard were not high from day one in britain, he was viewed at best as a stopgap between the last leader (who the british public resolutely ignored) and some as yet unknown saviour waiting in the wings..once again the parallels with here are striking)..
here, brash was clasped to the bosom, in the main, because english couldn’t get any traction in the polls..and there was nobody else in the party who could front up..(this dearth of new leaders coming through is also common ground for ours and their torys..i mean, brownlee?..and heir apparent/wunderkind key has been underperforming in parliament to a surprisingly startling degree; every now and then he stands up and bravely ‘has a go’; cullen just casts a lazy eye in his direction, chews a couple of times, and spits key back out again..all done with an air of insouciance, (cullen barely has to move a muscle )..
the other reason brash was picked is because he is one of the few remaining physical manifestations of the only tilt at policy/political thought our torys have; the tattered rags of rogernomics..
both the english torys and our ones are gripped by an ideological malaise..they are yesterdays people, still attempting the same old schtick..which seems to ignore the changes, (social, economic, cultural, environmental), wrought there and here in the last decades.. and only appeals to their core vote..which is all who votes for them..
our torys haven’t yet learnt the blatently obvious lesson picked up by labour in both countries..that to rule you must colonise the centre (n.b. to greens; there is no other way…)
so brashs’ dragging of national to the right, (supported by his belief systems and the perceived need to differentiate from labour), was doomed from day one, as is supported by opinion polls and will be confirmed come election time..all he will get is the core vote..those pissed at labour will go elsewhere to register their dissatisfaction..any hope/belief held they will flock back to national is delusional..the british results only confirm this..
and very soon after that vote brash will be fronting up to a press conference to announce his resignation as leader of national..for similar reasons as howard..
but of course, the big story around the british election is the consolidation of perceptions of the concept of a three party westminster style democracy..the liberal democrats are now firmly in place in the political landscape in britain, after being written off for decades as fringe-dwellers..
they have become the voice of those who have in turn written off the torys as irrelevant and have had enough of them (don’t like what they do/say), of labour..
the parallells i see here with the liberal democrats are the greens..they are the only party who resolutely opposed the war in iraq from day one..are former fringe-dwellers who by a combination of circumstances, (prolonged exposure and competence being strong amongst them), have moved nearer the centre of our political landscape..have real policies that coincide with the aformentioned cutural/social/economic, environmental changes..and are a voice for those dissatisfied with national/labour, and can’t face the thought of the other fringe dwellers (nzfirst, united whatever, et al)..
i see the greens poised to take their place in the political landscape here as a party of real/realistic alternative choice..if they don’t screw-up..which i fear they are about to do..
i have written on this before on a number of occaisons, (see green things), and what has happened in britain has only strengthened those feelings i have; that the green partys’ wholesale rush to cohabition with labour is a path fraught with perils..and the wrong way to go on both short-term and strategic and longterm longevity grounds..
why on earth they want to tie themselves to a sinking ship is beyond my comprehension…(y’know, the wise rats leave, they don’t rush to sign -up for the last voyage)..
the greens should be standing tall and independent, and be appealing to voters from all across the ideological spectrum..not pushing to be part of the fag-end of this rightwing labour administration..(a 4th labour gvt? i doubt it somehow..a first green dominated govt/coalition? now, there’s a thought..)
the greens are at a cross roads..the time is right for them to take the next step in their growth/development, and present themselves and policies as real/realistic alternatives to the current political paradigm..not just to hawk themselves and the political goodwill/credibility of the green party/movement off for the price of a couple of cabinet seats for the leaders..
those leaders could/would do well to ponder on the fact that they are but temporary custodians, and to not let their personal ambitions over-ride what is best for the future of the green party/movement..(apart from any other considerations it is not theirs’ to give away)..think on..