All Black is New Zealand

Written By: - Date published: 3:32 pm, September 22nd, 2007 - 5 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

Symbolism should never be underestimated in life, as it can’t be in sport and politics.

Take the Rugby World Cup where the symbolism of the All Blacks has prompted many New Zealanders to scornfully view the French team’s sudden change of playing strip to dark blue. Sacrebleu, what’s going on?

This means that, if the All Blacks and France meet, the uniforms would be so indistinguishable on television that it would force the All Blacks to change to a lighter strip!

If you don’t think that symbolism is important, imagine for a moment the All Blacks playing France in a pale yellow outfit while France appear to be almost All Black in their new trendy strip. Imposters and cultural thieves we’re likely to say. The pride and passion we have for our beloved team is powerfully represented in the unique black jersey and why should we give that away? For my money, the New Zealand Rugby Union should protest loud and hard so that our heritage is not besmirched by such pretenders.

But wait, a much more life-changing theft is occurring right under our noses in New Zealand politics. Aren’t we witnessing a National Party’s attempt to disguise themselves as a party prepared to put on the ‘red’ jersey.well just enough to get elected? How do you beat a successful government, as Labour has undoubtedly been? Well National is trying to do it by stealth & agreeing with Labour as much as possible, then playing on the electorate’s natural inclination to want change after a long period. Labour has delivered much but after a while “it just gets boring” doesn’t it?

Enter John Key wearing nothing much more than a telegenic smile and a faintly red suit.

But make no mistake, National is true ‘blue’ through and through. Their strategy acknowledges Labour’s successes so they’re imitating as much as they can, whilst presenting nothing in return. Imitation may be flattering but that’s not the name of the game. This imitation simply says that National is prepared to say and do anything to get elected, just as the French might do anything to upset the All Blacks.

Make no mistake, the French cannot play like the All Blacks any more than John Key can do what Helen Clark has done. Symbolism simply gives these things meaning – Labour’s ‘red’ and National’s ‘blue’ play a major part in presenting the parties symbolic points-of-difference.

Red is a colour about people and passion. It’s about the blood that courses through our veins and makes us stick together rather than say “stuff everyone else”.

So what does National’s ‘blue’ really stand for? Blue is the colour of burning gas and any object seen from a great distance.

Labour is red, New Zealand is black and National and the French can keep their blue.

5 comments on “All Black is New Zealand”

  1. The colour analogy is interesting. But it think it’s bit crazy to say that the National Party is ‘putting on the red jersey’ and that John Key now wears a ‘a faintly red suit’! There’s nothing leftwing about National in terms of policy or even appearance. The new National is thoroughly centrist and therefore grey. Or maybe you could say that they now wear a multicoloured suit to try to appeal to everyone and anyone & but I’d still argue that if you mix all those colours together you get a murky vague, grey colour.

    Of course it’s also a travesty of political history to suggest that Labour is in any red! We all know that the party swapped their pink jerseys for blue ones in the 1980s. Maybe the party is a bit more murky and centrist like National now. This is why Brian Easton has astutely pointed out that: ‘Labour is no longer red, or even pink, but grey’.

    And, yes, I’d agree with you that ‘Labour has delivered much’ and has undoubtedly been successful & but you need to be careful to remember who Labour have delivered to: the rich. And they’ve been successful because they’ve been able to undercut National by appealing to National voters and delivering business tax cuts and increasing social inequality. The poor have very little to thank Labour for, and instead a long list of genuine grievances against the ‘business as usual’ Labour Party. I think a very good case could be taken to the commerce watchdogs that Labour is breaking the rules against false advertising whenever they use the colour red!


  2. Z K Muggletonspofin 2

    One could argue endlessly the points Bryce makes. However a few questions bring us back to my point:

    1. Which party in the past eightly years has achieved more for those less well-off, and make history-making advances in social justice?
    2. Which party in the future is most likely to look out for those less well-off and take an inclusive view that business strength is also important if we are to survive in a global economy?
    3. Which party has kept to broad social democratic principles (1980s excepted), whilst needing to adapt to the great changes that have occured in our society?

    If you’re wondering about the strength of an answer to question 3, just ask Helen Clark sometime about whether the state should provide decent housing to those who can’t afford it.

    These are the broad reasons why Helen Clark and Labour have been successful. That’s why John Key is trying to pinch some of it for himself. No one with a brain should be fooled.

  3. Ralph Banks 3

    A big advance would be to get rid of ACC and KiwiSaver for poor pricks. Does anyone think that Key would have got where he is today (rich) if he had an envy attitude, like Bryce, or felt the need to help losers like Muggletonspofin.

  4. Hmmmm…. Ralph Banks (who I assume is all_your_base aka Z K Muggletonspofin) looks to be another cartoon creation by you Standard folks! Why don’t you just invite some genuine rightwingers over from Kiwiblog?

    And in reply to Z K Muggletonspofin, I’d point out that you haven’t actually answered any of my points at all! And the further rhetorical questions that you ask actually illustrate more about you than about Labour. I think an historical analysis of the role of the Labour Party is that it is simply the B-team for the business elite in NZ. Rather than playing any proper role in advancing social justice or inequality it has always continued to keep the working class firmly in their place. And of course in terms of housing, this Labour Government has been one of the worst. Clark seems pretty firmly opposed to social housing and refuses to build many state houses at all. I guess David Lange was telling the truth when he said that ‘Helen Clark is so (economically) dry – she’s combustible”!


  5. Z K Muggletonspofin 5

    The All Blacks played this morning’s match against Scotland in their alternate strip with a lighter jersey, presumably because it might be confusing against the usual dark Scottish jerseys. But the Scots changed their strip so that…guess what, it was almost identical to the All Blacks alternate strip. It seems that many international teams now change the strip at will, except notably, New Zealand and South Africa.

    On this occasion, if the All Blacks had played in their usual black strip, it would have differentiated them better.

    It just goes to show, when a team can’t stick to their fundamental principles, confusion rules and eventually you’ll be punished. Take note John Key.

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