Aaron Gilmore, eh? He’s clearly finished in the National Party. Not for the view he expressed when he threatened to get a young waiter sacked, but because by doing so he’s lifted the veil on the carefully covered elitism that drives the national party’s agenda.
Don’t believe me? Well consider this comment yesterday from National’s leader:
Unfortunately, the kind of people who are probably, frankly, Labour and Green supporters, and will be less sophisticated as investors will get frightened off,
Got that? John Key sees Labour and Green supporters as “less sophisticated”. Because clearly if you know what you’re doing in the world of big business you’re smart enough to be a National voter. The rest of us are just (as ex-national party leader Don Brash described us) “punters in punterland”.
Colin Espiner gets it. He points out in his column today:
The trouble for National is that Gilmore has played up to exactly the sort of born-to-rule Tory, I’m-more-important-than-you stereotype that John Key has worked so hard to dismantle.
The thing is Key’s work hasn’t been to dismantle the stereotype so much as to disguise it – to provide a palatable, personable, front for a party that has consistently governed in the interests of the elite for the last four years. From the taxcuts for the rich, to the subsidies for big business, to the vociferous reaction to NZ Power, to vetoing paid parental leave, to the current cuts to Kiwi workers’ rights, this government has shown itself to be one that sees everyday Kiwis as little more than a resource pool for their wealthy mates.
The problem they face now is there’s a real mood in the electorate for transformative economic change. With NZ Power, Labour and the Greens have started to tap into that mood and hopefully will continue to do so.
As Jon Johansson puts it:
the Labour-Greens power announcement is an important landmark on the road to the 2014 election – a challenge to orthodoxy and the rise of an alternative.
Shown this alternative, even “less sophisticated” voters can see the current government for what it is. And no amount of “everyman” John Key photo-ops or scary there-is-no-alternative shtick from men in suits will change that.