I was watching a couple of clips from the debate on workers’ meal break rights, the one where the Maori party decided to vote against workers’ rights. In one of the clips, Michael Woodhouse said something very interesting.
You probably haven’t heard of Michael Woodhouse. He’s a first term Nat. His one claim to fame is having the same surname as Owen Woodhouse, the architect of ACC. I’m pretty sure they’re not related and it wouldn’t matter if they were but, nonetheless, Michael gets to read the patsy questions on ACC to Nick Smith as he dismantles the wonderful scheme that Owen created.
Anyway, Woodhouse was speaking on the amendment bill weakening workers’ rights to a break and said “I was heard it said that political discourse requites two things: trust and understanding. And it’s certainly true here. Labour don’t trust us and we sure as hell don’t understand them”
I think it’s very enlightening that he chose to put it that way.
The Right don’t understand the Left. They can’t understand that people can be motivated by something other than short-term, self-centred greed and hatred of those who threaten that.
We see it in John Key’s comments that he couldn’t understand why Michael Cullen had spent his life in public service saying ‘he could have made a lot of money in the private sector’.
We see it in the conspiracy theories that Righties generate about climate change – they can’t understand that we could be motivated by a long-term outlook for the interests of everyone and the planet, so they invent bizarre fantasies where scientists are in it for the money.
And, of course, we see it in the myth of that people on a benefit are all bludgers. They simply can’t understand that the Left sees benefits as a safety net for people who fall on hard times, not some scam.
On the flip-side, we on the Left do understand the Right – it is the greedy, nasty, vindictive, knee-jerk, short-sighted, and stupid drives that sits deep in our reptilian brain. And that’s why we don’t trust them.