I was watching that vid by the Greens on ACC and bikoi. What caught my attention was the bikers’ chant: “who’s next, who’s next?”
The Right loves to atomise us – make us think of ourselves only as individuals or narrow interest groups. Our reaction to the bikers getting hammered with these unecessary ACC hikes is meant to be ‘screw ’em, as long as I’m OK’ and their response is meant to be ‘nah, make someone else pay’.
We were meant to display the same short-sighted, self-centred nasty greed that we’ve seen from big business over the ETS – ‘make someone else pay for my cows’ methane emissions’, ‘make someone else pay for the carbon released if I cut down my trees’. It means that every polluter gets a special treatment, and the taxpayer gets left with the bill.
As atomised individuals, we’re easy to divide and rule. First, they come for the people needing phsyiotherapy and everyone else turns a blind eye because they’re OK. Then the bikers and everyone’s menat to turn a blind eye because they’re not bikers. And then … who’s next?
That’s what I loved about that chant. On the first level, the bikers are saying that they’re not only standing up for themselves, they’re standing up for keeping ACC complete and affordable for everyone. On the second level, they’re reminding non-bikers that it may be the bikers getting hammered today but tomorrow it could be them.
It’s a call for solidarity- a rejection of atomisation. So, I ask you, if you stand by while the bikers get screwed over or people taking night courses get screwed over, or the unemployed get screwed over… – who’s next?
Will it be you? And who will stand with you then if you won’t stand with others now?