web analytics

Coddington on our overgrown weeds

Written By: - Date published: 2:01 pm, June 6th, 2010 - 21 comments
Categories: class war - Tags:

Tall poppy syndrome. It’s one of those useful, mindless terms that comes up again and again in our political discourse. Like its cousin ‘PC’ it is used to delegitimise any criticism the behaviour of those with privilege and power towards others. It survives because it is useful to an elite, not because it makes any sense.

Today, a former defender of the elite, Deborah Coddington, rips apart those who cry ‘tall poppy syndrome’ whenever the rich are accused of preying on everyone else:

“About the only thing Alan Gibbs has in common with Mark Hotchin is an interest in building a house in Paritai Dr, though Gibbs’ house was in good taste, was completed, and he left it many years ago to reside in London.

I thought about Gibbs’ liking for our poppy-lopping when I heard Mike Hosking leap to Hotchin’s defence.

“There is an undercurrent in this country,” said the broadcaster, “and it manifests itself a lot in the print media, of wanting to persecute people. Their sickle can’t cut enough tall poppies down.”

Hosking clearly thought it wrong a journalist had tracked Mark and Amanda Hotchin to their holiday resort. They had committed no crime, he said, just made bad business decisions.

Some say corporate wives should be left out of this. But in the past I’ve been on the other side, sharing in the spoils, then suffering reporters representing angry creditors.

I know how it feels, but creditors have every right to be aggrieved, especially when people who owe huge amounts of money continue living the life of Riley.

But does anyone see themselves as a tall poppy?

Wellington’s property developer Terry Serepisos believes he is. But in April, Serepisos’ carefully manufactured public image, on which he’d been working for the past several years – sponsoring the Wellington Cup at Trentham races, carefully posed photos with then Prime Minister Helen Clark – started to unravel.

Contractors working on his Century City Hotel told the Dominion Post they’d been waiting for 18 months for payment.

Serepisos said the bills were in dispute and, “I get that stuff all the time, it’s the tall poppy thing.”

Why are they this country’s tall poppies? Just because they drive flash cars, have made a pile of money, and have glamorous women on their arms?

They certainly prove that money, no matter how much of it they take – and Hotchin along with his mate Eric Watson took $91 million in dividends – can’t buy class….

…the rich-listers who have benefited from investors’ lost savings are not tall poppies.

They’re just casts from worms which might one day grow tall poppies, and they well deserve to be hounded for not paying their bills.

If these people died tomorrow, would they leave New Zealand a better place? I think not.

They are, as George Orwell wrote in his 1940 essay The Lion and the Unicorn, “an entirely functionless class, living on money that was invested they hardly knew where, the idle rich, the people whose photographs you can look at in the Tatler and the Bystander, always supposing that you want to.

The existence of these people was by any standard unjustifiable. They were simply parasites, less useful to society than his fleas are to a dog.”

21 comments on “Coddington on our overgrown weeds ”

  1. Jenny 1

    The trouble with parasites is as often seen in nature or in the world economy, is that by draining the lifeblood of the host they depend on, they risk sickening and sometimes even killing their host.

    Of course, the parasites can’t see this from their awkwardly situated vantage points behind their bloated engorged bodies. (or fortunes).

  2. Doug 2

    The trouble with parasites is as often seen in nature or in the world economy, is that by draining the lifeblood of the host they depend on. A bit like Len Brown sucking of the poor Ratepayers.

    • Tigger 2.1

      “A bit like Len Brown sucking of the poor Ratepayers.” This makes no sense and when a slam makes no sense it is an utter fail.

      • The Baron 2.1.1

        Makes a lot of sense to me. bastard property developers and left wing politicians expense accounts – both unlimited in their greed, both unlimited in their sense of entitlement.

        both utterly disgusting.

        both rightly pillored.

        • Tigger 2.1.1.1

          Thanks Baron, you obviously have some magic understanding of ungrammatical sentences that eludes me. And if we’re talking spending practices – Phil Heatley’s must leave you red with rage…

          • The Baron 2.1.1.1.1

            Heatley does, Tigger. Any politician with an engorged sense of entitlement does.

            Doesn’t help your mate Len that he is in that company though, does it.

  3. bobo 3

    Personally I think Tall Poppy died out back in the 70s if it ever really did exist as a mindset, its the opposite these days with “Small Poppy” syndrome where the media and talk-back beneficiary bashing is the norm, “them poor lazy bludgers” getting something for nothing or living the dream as Bennett puts it.. Just look at the pathetic admiration over celebrity and bling in reality tv that has been around now since the mid-90s, Key has benefited from this as most swing voters admired him for simply being rich.. thinking wow why would a 50 Million + rich guy like him want to be a poorly paid prime minister , almost like how kiwis are so flattered when a pop star buys up land in nz or says something nice about the country, they really couldn’t careless how Key made his money… Eric Watson, Terry , the other guy who defaulted on the metropolis developments, all metro media darlings of the time who are “aspirational” .

    • seth 3.1

      People voted for Key because he’s the kind of guy that kiwi’s aspire to being, and we were sick of the bloated welfare state that Labour was forcing upon us. The underdog who worked his way from nowhere to be successful.

      The fact you claim to know why “most” swing voters voted for him and his party is just a load of rubbish.

      You sound really bitter. Either that or envious.

      • bobo 3.1.1

        Bloated welfare state yeah right – record low unemployment under Labour .. You sum up my point well 🙂 mr disgruntled blame it all on the bludgers first time caller..

        Key had stable state housing, free university education paid for by the war generation, nothing particularly underdog about that from most other kiwis of the day.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    Speaking of tall poppyism, I see the one-two smear machine of Slater and Farrar tried to splutter into life today.

    When it comes to the supercity mayoralty, Bhatnager, Slater, Banks, Farrar, Ralston and Boag all spell DESPERATE.

  5. RedFred 5

    Watch the Tall Poppy defence role out for The Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Wayne Eagleson who been livin large in Las Vegas. He has been travelling with NZ Post chief executive Brian Roche et al this most interesting given the Kiwi Bank connection…

    http://msn.nzherald.co.nz/nz-government/news/article.cfm?c_id=144&objectid=10650068

    Spending up his large tax cut early I presume, oops that might be envy!

    AK47 and Boozing in Vegas, just the man to control access to the Prime Minister.

    • Doug 5.1

      I always thought Unions and the Left advocated for Holidays.

    • Jared 5.2

      How he spends his holidays is none of our business.

      • RedLogix 5.2.1

        How he spends his holidays is none of our business.

        But when he spends it whooping up large with some well known lobbyist’s in Vegas then it’s no longer just ‘holiday’… it’s political.

        Besides, from Eagleson’s actions I’m still entitled to draw my own conclusions about the character of the man, a man who is very close to our PM and filling an important role in our political system.

        • Lew 5.2.1.1

          Exactly. Not much use in the “partying with lobbyists” line, but — by definition — anything the PM’s Chief of Staff does is political and speaks to the administration’s character and standards. It was ever thus when Heather Simpson occupied that role.

          L

  6. felix 6

    Doug and Jared, it’s probably best to wait and see what Farrar wants you to say about this. It saves a lot of backpedaling and contradiction later.

  7. Why use right wing men as an example, why not Suzanne Paul, shes the queen of using tall poppy syndrome and the media.

  8. What’s wrong with chopping down ‘tall poppies’, is that we should be bleeding them to make calming opiate for the masses instead…it’s just so wasteful.

    …though i reckon some poppies do need brought down to size. Whats hard is figuring out which ones to chop and which ones we let go to seed.

    captcha : ridiculous 🙂

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Tokelau Language Week reminds us to stay united and strong
    Staying strong in the face of challenges and being true to our heritage and languages are key to preserving our cultural identity and wellbeing, is the focus of the 2020 Tokelau Language Week. Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says this year’s theme, ‘Apoapo tau foe, i nā tāfea ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Clean energy upgrade for more public buildings
    More public buildings will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. Minister Shaw announced that Lincoln and Auckland universities will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to replace fossil fuel boilers. Southern, Taranaki, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago