Andrew Little’s latest desperate ploy for publicity merely demonstrates so many shades of stupid.
. . . Labour leader Andrew Little has described God Defend New Zealand as “a dirge” and claims many Kiwis prefer to sing along to the Australian anthem. A dirge can mean a mournful song or a lament for the dead. . .
I will concede that the anthem is sometimes dirge-like and have blogged on that.
But that is only when it’s played that way.
If played at a decent tempo it is rousing as an anthem should be.
But to claim that many of us prefer to sing Advance Australia Fair?
As anthems go, it’s a good one but if many of the Kiwis he mixes with prefer to sing along to the Aussie anthem than our own it suggests he’s in touch with a sad subset of people and out of touch with the majority.
The stupidest thing about this outburst, though is the timing when he’s doing the best to sabotage the flag-change process in spite of being on record saying he not only favours a change he supports the referendum process for it.
Here’s Labour’s official policy from 2014:
Labour will: review the design of the New Zealand flag involving flag design experts and with full public consultation and involvement.
We believe that the time has come for a change and it is right for the issue to be put to the public.
And in case that isn’t clear enough, here’s his personal views from last October:
Q: Should NZ change its flag: What’s your personal opinion? Should there be a referendum? If you want the flag changed, what’s your favourite design?
A: Yes, my personal opinion is we should have something more relevant to an independent, small Asia/Pacific nation. I think a referendum is a suitable way to deal with an issue that can be very polarising. . .
Had Labour, perish the thought, got into government then not gone ahead with the consultation and referendum it would stand accused of breaking an election promise.
Going back on the commitment to change for petty political purposes and thereby politicising the process when the government has done all it can to involve other parties is at least as bad.
Given Little’s precarious position, when he’s failed to gain traction for himself and his party and he’s now even less popular than Winston Peters, he should be very careful about making funereal references.
Ask not for whom the dirge plays, it could be playing for his political ambition.
And to those who say the flag issue is merely bread and circuses to distract the masses, you have a very low opinion of the ability most of us to care and do something about more than one thing at a time.