Why all the surprise over the idea that New Zealanders have a socialist streak?
When Prime Minister John Key said all New Zealanders had a “socialist streak” it referred to their caring for others, he says . . .
Key said he could vaguely remember the meeting and said his comment was during a discussion about very right-wing policies.
“I think New Zealand is a very caring country, I think New Zealanders do have a heart.”
New Zealanders did not want to see the “overt” signs of poverty here that were present overseas, he said.
Asked if he had a socialist streak he said “absolutely” and pointed to Government programmes to help people during the global recession.
“I’m a product of the welfare state.”
The only thing I’d take issue with is the notion that you have to be socialist to care or that caring makes you a socialist.
Margaret Thatcher said, no one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions – he had money too.
She also said, the trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.
Being a capitalist doesn’t mean you don’t care about others and it’s capitalism that gives you the means to help them.
But life isn’t black and white and single colour polices aren’t always the best solution.
People like me nail our colours to a party’s mast but those colours tend to be tartan. The background for mine has varying shades of blue with some green (note the small g) and yellow squares, and the odd pink or even red stripe.
It’s called pragmatism. You stand firmly on your principles and philosophy but are driven by the will to find what works rather than by pure ideology.
And regardless of what your politics are, if you don’t care about people then you’ve missed the point.