In the current leadership race for the Labour Party there are two candidates: Grant Robertson and David Cunliffe. There has been much discussion of their strengths and weaknesses, but one subject has been delicately avoided; perhaps because of political correctness, or fear of reprisal, the unorthodox lifestyle of one of these candidates has been self-censored out of the public dialog. It is the issue that dare not speak its name.
David Cunliffe is openly, unashamedly inane.
Now let me begin by saying that I, personally, have no problem with inanity. There is inanity in my family. I have silly friends. I myself was absurd myself during a brief experimental period as a teenager and I fully support the inane community. But the Labour Party must ask itself hard questions about whether mainstream New Zealanders will elect a preposterous Labour leader as Prime Minister.
David Cunliffe has made no secret of his inanity. He has openly celebrated his inane lifestyle. Just recently he gave a rousing victory speech on the night of his historic election defeat and only yesterday he told John Campbell that he lost the election because voters prefer stability and prosperity. David Cunliffe deserves our support and praise for having the courage to be open about his daftness.
But is New Zealand ready to be government by someone who constantly says and does stupid, stupid things? Are we mature enough as a people to have a guy who criticised secret trusts while operating a secret trust, and who attacked Key for living in a large mansion while he himself lived in a large mansion representing us on the world stage? Are we wise and sophisticated enough to elect someone rash and silly? I would like to think we are, but realistically I fear the answer is no.
True, the inane have made great strides during the last few decades. People with terrible judgement were once shunned and mocked but now New Zealand’s business, entertainment and media communities are proudly led by gibbering, empty-headed morons. However, prejudice remains: not in wealthy, urban electorates where unconsciousness buffoonery is regarded as normal, part of our vibrant multicultural society. No, sadly it is lower-income Maori and Pacific Island communities where witless dolts still suffer terrible discrimination. Can Labour, in this moment of crisis, pretend that this bigotry against idiocy does not exist? Would it be foolish to force foolishness down their throats?
I do not pretend to know the answer to these questions, but Labour members must think deeply on these issues. In the grand tradition of the Labour Party, they must examine their own values, discuss them with their communities, reach intelligent considered decisions and then do the exact opposite. Labour can make New Zealand inane.