The Dim-Post

August 6, 2016

Notes on the New Zealand conservative tradition

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 4:56 pm

Rob Hosking has had a few columns in the NBR (paywalled) advancing the theory that:

because most or all writing about New Zealand’s political history was written either from a pro-Labour perspective or, if it criticised Labour it was from the Left, it means there is a colossal ignorance about half the New Zealand political scene

Hosking argues that the left does not understand the ‘traditions of New Zealand conservatism’, which makes the left blind to National’s strengths and renders themselves unable to counter their arguments. And he recommends several books people could read, like Gustafson’s books about Muldoon and Holyoake, or Michael Bassett’s The State in New Zealand to deeper understand the traditions of kiwi conservatism.

Firstly, I am guilty of the lack of perspective he’s writing about, and I plan to finally getting around to reading some of those books – the Gustafson ones especially. (I feel like I wasted enough time reading Bassett’s ridiculous tantrums and rants in The Dominion to ever trouble myself to pick up one of his books.)

But, secondly, while I agree that not many left-wing MPs or activists are familiar with this New Zealand conservative tradition Rob is talking about, I doubt many of them have read many books about left-wing traditions either. And I simultaneously doubt that many National Party MPs or activists have read many of the books on Rob’s reading list. Most MPs read a lot but they tend not to get through many weighty books, mostly because of the endless reams of other crap they have to read. And I’m not convinced that many people on the right share Rob’s adherence to this tradition. Rodney Hide, who writes a column every winter about how global warming is obviously wrong, because he is cold, seems to be a greater influence. This indicates that intellectualism does not closely correlate with political success and, I feel, invalidates a lot of Rob’s thesis.

Thirdly, I am dubious about the idea that the relative lack of historical writing about conservative New Zealand governments is about the bias of left-wing historians, so much as the general bias of all historians to privilege things that are interesting over things that aren’t. Are there more books about the first Labour government than the first National government because historians are left wing, or are there more books because Savage’s government is much, much more interesting than Holland’s?

Fourthly, what even is the ‘tradition of New Zealand conservatism’? Rob’s answer to that would be, I think, go and read the books I talked about. And I will – some of them. Eventually. But I am always suspicious of an argument that merely instructs you to go away and read a lot of very thick books. Popper’s Open Society and its Enemies is arguably the most influential work of political philosophy in the twentieth century: it consists of two large volumes, but can be summed up in one sentence (democracy is the best form of government, not because it guarantees good government but because it is the only way to non-violently remove bad government  ). Other political traditions – environmentalism, neoliberalism, identity politics, social democracy – can all be effortlessly summarised by anyone familiar with them. Why is New Zealand conservatism so deep and nuanced that only lengthy study can elucidate it?

Rob’s argument strays dangerously close to ‘The Courtiers Reply’, a term invented by P Z Meyer’s in the wake of Richard Dawkins’ book The God Delusion, in which many religious critics simply dismissed Dawkins as not qualified to discuss religion because he wasn’t trained in theology.  To mock this argument Myers imagines a courtier replying to the outrageous claim that the Emperor is naked:

I have considered the impudent accusations of Mr Dawkins with exasperation at his lack of serious scholarship. He has apparently not read the detailed discourses of Count Roderigo of Seville on the exquisite and exotic leathers of the Emperor’s boots, nor does he give a moment’s consideration to Bellini’s masterwork, On the Luminescence of the Emperor’s Feathered Hat. Until Dawkins has trained in the shops of Paris and Milan, until he has learned to tell the difference between a ruffled flounce and a puffy pantaloon, we should all pretend he has not spoken out against the Emperor’s taste.

Fifthly, while I am admittedly ignorant of the New Zealand conservative tradition, I’m very familiar with the UK tradition, famously summed up by Oakeshott:

To be conservative, then, is to prefer the familiar to the unknown, to prefer the tried to the untried, fact to mystery, the actual to the possible, the limited to the unbounded, the near to the distant, the sufficient to the superabundant, the convenient to the perfect, present laughter to utopian bliss.

Although I think conservatism is useful as a critique, or a temperament I have never been able to take it seriously as a philosophy, or even a tradition. Strip out the rhetoric and it amounts to a declaration by people privileged by the status quo that the status quo, and therefore their own privilege, must be preserved (although some conservative thinkers argue for the odd incremental reform, to forestall any violent revolutions). Which, of course they’d say that, but let’s not pretend that this is a philosophy or a tradition in the manner of liberalism, or neoliberalism, or Marxism, or social democracy or any other political tradition. Marx nailed it, I think, when he wrote:

Thus the Tories in England long imagined that they were enthusiastic about monarchy, the church, and the beauties of the old English Constitution, until the day of danger wrung from them the confession that they are enthusiastic only about ground rent

But maybe the New Zealand conservative tradition will be more convincing?

Sixthly, I think that what sparked all this off is Rob taking umbrage at various lefties attacking the Key government as neoliberal. I don’t think they are, although neoliberal beliefs in the efficacy of the market are definitely in the mix when they’re forced into policy development. They’re primarily conservatives, but the most important thing to preserve is their own government and in that sense they’re populists who prefer market-based solutions when their focus groups compel them to do something. Maybe that’s what the New Zealand conservative tradition is? I don’t know yet.

Seventhly, a conservative-populist is a smart thing to be if all that you really want to be is in government for as long as possible, but not do very much. But it’s not something that future historians are going to be inclined to write about.

71 Comments »

  1. Are there more books about the first Labour government than the first National government because historians are left wing, or are there more books because Savage’s government is much, much more interesting than Holland’s?

    Two things on this.

    First, 1951. The Waterfront lockout/strike. Not interesting?

    Second, according to wikipedia:

    In 1957, the National Party published a book entitled “A Record of Achievement: The Work of the National Government, 1949-1957,” detailing its accomplishments in office. Under National’s leadership, according to the publication, people now had more money, pensions, cattle, sheep, university scholarships, overseas trips, radios, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, electric toasters, houses, motor vehicles, and telephones.

    Strikes me that this might be a useful text for understanding why National has been in government so much!

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — August 6, 2016 @ 5:24 pm

  2. Rugby, racing, and beer! How hard was that to “explain”?

    Comment by Ben Wilson — August 6, 2016 @ 5:25 pm

  3. Let’s face it, there’s a real dearth of good books about NZ politics. The Key era: John Roughan’s puff-piece, so critical that the PM turned up for the launch and signed copies (yes, really). The Clark era: Denis Welch (just poor writing) and Brian Edwards (better writing, but by a fan). Then there’s Trotter … .

    It’s partly the population/market – not worth putting all the work in for a pittance in royalties. But it’s also the sheer mediocrity of our pundits/journalists. They have barely got the language skills to tweet, never mind write a book. Imagine …

    “National needed a game breaker, so they were thinking outside the box. There was no silver bullet, but they had to punch above their weight …’

    (from My Beltway Blather, by Patrick Gower, self-published, 2017)

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — August 6, 2016 @ 5:27 pm

  4. this might be a useful text for understanding why National has been in government so much!

    ‘Be in power during an unprecedented post-war boom’ doesn’t seem like enormously useful advice for Andrew Little and James Shaw

    Comment by danylmc — August 6, 2016 @ 5:32 pm

  5. ‘Be in power during an unprecedented post-war boom’ doesn’t seem like enormously useful advice for Andrew Little and James Shaw

    Again reverting to wikipedia, because of the lack of a good book on the extremely boring 1st National Government that won the stare down with the union movement (by declaring near-martial law), abolished NZ’s upper house, entered into ANZUS and sent troops to the Korean War/Malayan emergency, etc, etc, something jumps out that rather confirms your overall thesis:

    With the economy booming, National campaigned [in 1954] on a platform of ‘steady as she goes’ – simply maintaining the status quo.

    Then, in terms of inspiration for Andrew Little/James Shaw:

    The major issue in [the 1957] election was the introduction of PAYE (pay as you earn) income tax. Although both parties were committed to the introduction of the system, they differed in terms of how the changeover from the previous system would be managed. National proposed a complicated rebate system while Labour simply promised a £100 rebate for all taxpayers on the commencement of the new system. Although denounced by National as a bribe, Labour’s proposal was the more popular.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — August 6, 2016 @ 5:44 pm

  6. That’s when Labour had the Best Campaign Slogan Ever:

    “Do you want a hundred pounds or not?”.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — August 6, 2016 @ 5:58 pm

  7. I think summarising conservatism as preferring the status quo is a bit shallow. Many conservatives would describe it instead as having healthy scepticism of the new given that the new seems to have many attributes that have been tried and failed before, and because of the history of unintended consequences from seemingly enlightened new policies. Many prescriptions on from the left seem very simple (people are poor, let’s give them more money) without thinking about how that will really work (we already give poor people quite a bit of money, are they short of material needs due to not enough money, or due to spending their money on things such as feeding their addictions?).

    (I’d also note I’d never describe myself as a conservative, too many religious undertones for my liking, and too many elements of bigotry).

    Comment by PaulL — August 6, 2016 @ 6:02 pm

  8. think summarising conservatism as preferring the status quo is a bit shallow.

    Like I say, I think it is useful as a critique. But if you have a government full of property tycoons, who think the policy settings around property are great as they are then its hard to take seriously an idea that they’re just following in a noble intellectual tradition.

    Comment by danylmc — August 6, 2016 @ 6:19 pm

  9. Actually, people do think about whether simply giving the poor more money will work, and the conclusion of studies that yes, it is more effective that more prescribed assistance (eg vouchers, food stamps, accomodation supplements, and the like). First link you might come across, the Economist: http://www.economist.com/news/international/21588385-giving-money-directly-poor-people-works-surprisingly-well-it-cannot-deal/

    Meanwhile, spending on alcohol and drugs is lower among the poorest in the New Zealand, quite probably because these things cost money that they don’t have, and food and lodging rates higher: http://www.actionstation.org.nz/endpovertyfaq

    There is actually quite a body of research on this and while we all know of particular cases where people are in a hole because they make bad choices, this mostly just isn’t true.

    Comment by Stephen J — August 6, 2016 @ 6:28 pm

  10. Gustafson’s history of the National Party is very good, can wholly recommend it.

    I do think that NZ conservatism is not distinctly different from its UK parent in any meaningful way, though.

    Comment by Ortvin Sarapuu — August 6, 2016 @ 6:37 pm

  11. “Rob Hosking has had a few columns in the NBR (paywalled) advancing the theory that:
    because most or all writing about New Zealand’s political history was written either from a pro-Labour perspective or, if it criticised Labour it was from the Left, it means there is a colossal ignorance about half the New Zealand political scene. Hosking argues that the left does not understand the ‘traditions of New Zealand conservatism’, which makes the left blind to National’s strengths and renders themselves unable to counter their arguments. And he recommends several books people could read, like Gustafson’s books about Muldoon and Holyoake, or Michael Bassett’s The State in New Zealand to deeper understand the traditions of kiwi conservatism.”

    That may have been (kind of) the case up until the late 60s (more a mix of Left-Labour ,Marxist and middle-class liberal-centrist perspectives), but since then quite a vibrant debate has taken place within New Zealand historiography.

    In the mid 60s – early 70s, for instance, you had quite a vigorous debate between Bill Oliver and Keith Sinclair over the concept of class and the degree of working class consciousness and radicalism in late 19C and early 20C New Zealand. That debate then evolved through the 70s and 80s, with Miles Fairburn (always sceptical of the existence of widespread class consciousness and putting a much greater emphasis on social atomisation and conservatism) fighting it out with Eric Olssen and others. So, you have a number of historians stressing the essentially conservative nature of 19C-mid 20C New Zealand voters and society over the last 50 years.

    And, arguably, on top of that, there’s been something of a ‘conservative turn’ in NZ historiography in more recent years. Back in the late 90s or early zeros, for instance, Fairburn, won Marsden funding for a major new research project on the social foundations of political conservatism in New Zealand (generating a whole swathe of scholarly articles and MAs and PhDs). You also have Labour historian Melanie Nolan and one or two others beginning to place more emphasis on the non-radical traditions within the labour movement and on conservative and social mobility strands among the broad working and lower-middle class and Otago University historian John Stenhouse arguing that New Zealanders were more religious than previous historians have suggested.

    The broader international turn over the past 50 years has, of course, been towards ‘Social History’ as opposed to the old focus on Political Elites. So it’s not entirely surprising that, until the last couple of decades, little had been published on individual political leaders. But, as Hosking’s list suggests, we do now have a series of biographies (and book chapters) on individual Conservative PMs – from Massey to Coates to Holyoake to Muldoon. That pretty much rivals anything on Savage, Fraser, Nash and Kirk (the very first biography of the latter, for instance, has only just been published in the last year or so).

    Comment by swordfish — August 6, 2016 @ 7:15 pm

  12. Sammy
    Remember the consequence of Labour’s 57 slogan. The Black Budget (though in fairness, it was mainly due to things outside their control) – it was to haunt Labour and keep it out of office for most of the next twenty years.

    Comment by chrism56 — August 6, 2016 @ 8:17 pm

  13. The essential definition of a New Zealand conservative is whether a better Britain imperialist who retired to Wiltshire or a global monet trading capitalist who plans to see out his days in Hawaii, they primarily see NZ as a place to make money rather than a place to live.

    Comment by Sanctuary — August 6, 2016 @ 8:20 pm

  14. @Stephen J: I wasn’t talking about money as compared to in kind support. I was talking about whether the fact that there are homeless people in NZ is likely to be solved by increasing benefits/housing allowances etc. But it’s an example not a specific, it’s more about the different sorts of solutions that the right and the left seek, and the level of respect for the potential adverse effects of new ideas. Conservatism isn’t just about changing nothing, it’s about being sure that change is actually an improvement, rather than change for change’s sake.

    Comment by PaulL — August 6, 2016 @ 9:16 pm

  15. Surely Muldoon’s crazy govt – Think big, carless days and of course the Springbok tour has to end up somewhere in the mix of interesting nz govts.

    Comment by artcroft — August 6, 2016 @ 9:25 pm

  16. Conservative mantra: let’s not be hasty now.

    Comment by Korakys — August 6, 2016 @ 9:34 pm

  17. As far as I can see – which isn’t very far – there’s only one person with any ideas to speak of in this Government – Bill English – and his ideas are not conservative ideas.

    A.

    Comment by Antoine — August 6, 2016 @ 10:45 pm

  18. Surely Muldoon’s crazy govt – Think big, carless days and of course the Springbok tour has to end up somewhere in the mix of interesting nz govts.

    I think so too. To me, the most interesting governments in my lifetime are Muldoon and Lange/Douglas. Although I’m sure, as per Andrew’s points about the first National government, that the future wikipedia article about the Key government will sound fascinating (the Christchurch Earthquake! Troops in Iraq! Housing hyperinflation!)

    Comment by danylmc — August 7, 2016 @ 6:25 am

  19. there’s only one person with any ideas to speak of in this Government – Bill English – and his ideas are not conservative ideas.

    Maybe they’re part of the New Zealand conservative tradition?

    Comment by danylmc — August 7, 2016 @ 6:26 am

  20. @Danyl hehe

    Comment by Antoine — August 7, 2016 @ 7:47 am

  21. To me, the most interesting governments in my lifetime are Muldoon and Lange/Douglas.

    And modern music is rubbish, fashion is silly, while the youth waste their time staring at phones to catch the Pokemons … not like back when I was a young man and we had really interesting things going on. Now … get off my lawn.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — August 7, 2016 @ 7:50 am

  22. Antoine – I’d argue Bill English’s approach to politics is closer to genuine conservatism than anyone else in politics today but I’ll come back to that another time.

    Also – what prompted it certainly wasn’t the ‘neoliberal’ thing, for all that various discussions have gone down that particular rabbit hole, and I have, to the detriment of my time management, followed them on occasion.

    What prompted it was a number of discussions – some amongst friends, particularly one at an election night party a couple of votes back. Another was a particular discussion here, funnily enough, back in (I think) 2014 about a mock election poster from 1972 which purported to be from National & which was incredibly racist.

    It was, you might remember, taken as a serious genuine effort.

    The immediate trigger though was a discussion on the Twitter about Jim Bolger’s speech in Christchurch a few weeks back, when he expressed concerns about the effect of long-term inequality on a society. There was quite a bit of comment that Bolger had become a liberal in his old age.

    And I was pointing out this concern for social cohesion is very much in the conservative tradition, and it is a very narrow, reductive, and just plain wrong, view of New Zealand history to ignore that.

    These comments about Bolger’s speech weren’t from idiots – in fact they were from people whose jobs you would expect them to have a deeper and more subtle knowlege of New Zealand history and politics (one of ’em was a political science lecturer FFS).

    Those two columns also aren’t the first time I’ve touched on this: I did a piece on a specific aspect back when Sir Graham Latimer died. It’s here – paywalled, http://www.nbr.co.nz/opinion/order-paper-activism-conservatism-and-kiwi-identity-rh but there is a read free for a month offer on at the moment if you go via this bit http://www.nbr.co.nz/free

    I’m probably not going to write about this again in NBR this week – three columns in a row on this subject might stretch the interest of NBR readers in political history a bit too far – but if I get time I’ll do a personal blog on the issue.

    This issue is much, much closer to my heart than which team in politics in up/in, and which is down/out.

    Comment by Rob Hosking — August 7, 2016 @ 8:21 am

  23. Just ordered on Book Depository “Don’t Buy it: The Trouble with Talking Nonsense About the Economy” which outlines the possible leftish needs for survival. By Anat Shenker Osorio

    Comment by ianmac40 — August 7, 2016 @ 10:27 am

  24. Another possibility to throw in the mix is that the Left don’t misunderstand the Right, they just don’t agree with it. I don’t find conservatism hard to understand at all. I just don’t happen to agree with it, particularly not on social issues. Nor do I find the idea of being a thief or a pedophile hard to understand. Their differences of opinion with me are quite simple, at times. But also irreconcilable.

    For instance, the bit about conservatives hating on gays – that part I understand perfectly well. They’re bigots, a pretty old idea, one of the oldest, even. I’ve heard their reasons for their hatred many times. It’s quite hard not to hear things like that, they’re repeated often enough. Then we come to the more important question: After achieving mutual irreconcilable understanding, what am I supposed to do about that? I should alter my rhetoric to hate on gays so that I can capture this group?

    But this is all moot because an important part of the idea of conservatism as a concept is that it’s totally vague and has no actual opinions. After my above paragraph, you might be tempted to say that conservatives aren’t against gays any more because actually being gay has been legalized since the 80s and is totally normalized now. Now conservatives don’t hate gays.

    Which brings us back to the real problem with this discussion. When we talk about giant sweeping forces like traditional NZ conservatism, and NZ radicalism, it’s nice and easy, because it’s all abstract and doesn’t involve contextualizing or even identifying what the positions even are, or who holds them. It’s when you start actually getting down to opinions it’s much, much more icky, and less easy to make the sweeping generalizations. Conservatives will turn out to be a totally divided group, like all these huge binary concepts always are. If you find a credible conservative axis in some multidimensional space, it will explain SFA of the difference in positioning of individuals. I say this because even the really big one, the left-right division already does this and it’s all downhill from there for other explanatory axes. And if you make conservative simply synonymous with right wing, you’ve brought nothing whatsoever to the discussion.

    So in other words, if you’re going to complain that conservatism is this huge important and misunderstood concept in NZ, you have to do that by identifying what it is, and proving that is as huge as you say. Put up on that, or shut up, really.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — August 7, 2016 @ 11:10 am

  25. I’d have said that conservatives in NZ are mostly drawn to NZ First, and as such, are distinctly a minority. But maybe Colin Craig would disagree and claim them for his own, being the only party actually touting its conservatism directly. In which case it’s a smaller minority again.

    But then again, when I studied the differences in the social attitudes of NZ First voters and Labour voters using the NZES, it was actually hard to distinguish the groups. Mostly the differences seemed to come down to demographics. So again, I don’t find this concept very explanatory. It would seem that the NZ Left is actually very conservative, possibly more so than the Right. Which means that all these left wing historians are the perfect people to write about the tradition of NZ conservatism. It’s also a mind fuck and makes me think that political discussion like this are a big old waste of time. Get down to actual stats and this shit just falls apart like sandcastles in the tide.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — August 7, 2016 @ 11:17 am

  26. I’m not sure it’s reasonable to categorise conservatives as hating gays. Sure, some of them do – often part of the religious wing that I have little time for. But the conservative tradition would be more about saying that our traditional family structure has done quite well thank you, and that family breakdown is a contributor to some of the poor outcomes that many people have in life these days. On that basis they are opposed to things that might weaken traditional marriage.

    I don’t personally agree with that, but then I’m more a libertarian than a conservative. But I think it’s unfair to characterise that position as hating gays, it’s a more robust position than that.

    Comment by PaulL — August 7, 2016 @ 12:17 pm

  27. @25 Ben, yeah, I agree. There’s a whole political philosophy thing about what in theory various points on the political compass believe. But a) many of those idealistic positions aren’t very workable in the real world, and b) most political parties these days seem to be mostly about acquiring and retaining power, and if that means abandoning your principles that’s fine too.

    Or I guess I could less cynically describe it as the intersection of pragmatism and managerialism. And to some extent that’s the reality of government – 95% of the decisions would be taken by any reasonable centrist politician from either side, and the views of those who aren’t near to the centre aren’t likely to drive any government in NZ any time soon. With that background being a competent manager of the government and the economy is actually most of the job.

    I suspect this explains a lot of the popularity of the current government – they’re actually quite good at running government once you get past the beltway issues. Sure, people to the right might like a bit of roll back of some of the more extreme elements of middle class welfare (such as interest free student loans for example), and people to the left might like a bit more intervention and perhaps more involvement of unions in people’s daily lives or such like. But the average joe on the street doesn’t care too much, and isn’t going to go changing their vote based on that. However, the thought of an unproven and somewhat scary sounding party, with coalition partners who are even less proven and even more scary sounding, replacing the current govt is probably something that changes votes. In short, Labour (and the Greens) don’t currently look like an alternative government.

    Comment by PaulL — August 7, 2016 @ 12:23 pm

  28. > I’m not sure it’s reasonable to categorise conservatives as hating gays.

    I think Ben’s point is that conservatives are a broad church and any attempt to make blanket statements about them is likely to mislead?

    A.

    Comment by Antoine — August 7, 2016 @ 12:26 pm

  29. Ben: I think the third para in your comment at 24. captures the essence, once stripped of the pejorative language. And a lot of it goes back to what a lot of us got taught at a formative age, which is the quite erroneous idea that conservatism is against change.

    It very much isn’t, as anyone who’s studied the main points of Burke or Disraeli or Oakeshott should know. Really, its about *how* a society adapts to change.

    It isn’t about a particular set of ideas one is seeking to lead a society to, or impose upon a society. It is about working with the traditions and customs of that society, adapting them to change and perhaps extending them into previously ignored or neglected areas.

    For various obvious reasons there are problems with this approach in colonial societies.

    I know this will make a lot of people reading this splutter, but one of the most important influences on me in this area was some of Bruce Jesson’s comments, back in the ’80s, on the absence of a genuine New Zealand conservative tradition, and how that made it too easy for radicals (he meant, of course, the radical right, but I’d apply it to radicals from any part of the spectrum).

    Oh, and on your final para at 24. I’m working on this. Been writing rather a lot over columns over the past couple of years, not just these recent two. Perhaps I need to collate all this together into book form.

    Comment by Rob Hosking — August 7, 2016 @ 12:31 pm

  30. Please do put them in book form Rob. “It isn’t about a particular set of ideas one is seeking to lead a society to, or impose upon a society. It is about working with the traditions and customs of that society, adapting them to change and perhaps extending them into previously ignored or neglected areas. For various obvious reasons there are problems with this approach in colonial societies…” A fair comment I think if you forget that they only work with the traditions and customs that maintain their own positions, not the traditions and customs the progressive elements of society follow. I’ve always found that self serving selectivity so very arrogant.

    Comment by David Tank — August 7, 2016 @ 3:14 pm

  31. Here’s my pithy take on the conservative tradition in Aotearoa:

    Privileged, Pākeha, pin-striped and paternal.

    Also, I think likening our conservatives to those in Mother England is fraught because they differ in a very significant way. The conservatives a England are tangata whenua, here they are not. So in England they want to preserve their heritage (or what they see as their heritage), here they don’t have a deep-rooted heritage, so are as likely to destroy as conserve, given the preference for Mammon over actual conservation of the status quo.

    Comment by Mikaere Curtis — August 7, 2016 @ 6:28 pm

  32. >I think Ben’s point is that conservatives are a broad church and any attempt to make blanket statements about them is likely to mislead?

    Kind of, although calling them a church is like calling “compassionate” a church. “Conservative” is a predicate describing a set of people, rather than a coherent group or movement. I’m reading a normative use of the term by Rob, imposing a definition that could well be at variance with common usage. Which is fine, it would be nice if it was as precise as that, if conservatives could be reliably identified with it. Then we could actually see if the claim that it’s not understood by the political left holds up, or if it is, in fact, massively overlapping of the political left, which I think is highly likely when you describe it in such sweeping terms as “It is about working with the traditions and customs of that society, adapting them to change and perhaps extending them into previously ignored or neglected areas”, which could probably describe the ambitions of every political party since the beginning of time. Until you actually start nailing the term down to particular beliefs (caveated perhaps by a particular time and place), it’s not very descriptive, and as such, not very illuminating.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — August 7, 2016 @ 6:28 pm

  33. Hosking is as bad as all current press gallery habitues: a B.A. in Political Studies and being on initmate terms with political advisors to middle-of-the-litter ministers does not qualify one to pronounce on the historiography of executive government in New Zealand. These people cannot comprehend the difference between politics and administration.
    Bassett’s absurd little volume is a lazy polemic – poorly researched – not a reputable history. Better to have recourse to Lipson’s ‘The Politics of Equality’.

    Comment by Son of Dad — August 7, 2016 @ 6:37 pm

  34. “The conservatives a England are tangata whenua, here they are not.”

    Are you actually praising the Conservatives in England, or just criticising them in an extremely esoteric way

    Comment by Ortvin Sarapuu — August 7, 2016 @ 7:31 pm

  35. “I’m more a libertarian than a conservative.”

    Oh dear

    Comment by Ortvin Sarapuu — August 7, 2016 @ 7:33 pm

  36. NZ has seen more radicalism than conservatism since 1984.

    Comment by Sacha — August 7, 2016 @ 8:40 pm

  37. @Mikaere Curtis “ here they don’t have a deep-rooted heritage, so are as likely to destroy as conserve, given the preference for Mammon over actual conservation of the status quo.”

    Well said. I’d like to conserve the ecosystems that support human civilisation. So I get to be called a wild, wacky Green. While those who are running an uncontrolled experiment with the world’s climate are called “conservative”

    Comment by Corokia — August 7, 2016 @ 8:43 pm

  38. I agree with Mikaere (#31) completely, but even so that’s just part of the whole & raises the interesting question of how many centuries a conquering tribe has to retain hegemony until they qualify as tangata whenua.

    Then there’s the traditional dichotomy of conservative/progressive: the former being adapted to the status quo, the latter seeking to improve it. The former has a psychology of emotional dependence on current reality akin to the relation of a toddler to its security blanket. The latter has a psychological dependence on transition away from the status quo towards a better world. Thus conservatives produce right-wing political alignments and progressives produce left-wing political alignments. If political psychology existed in acadaemia, that would be principle 1.01, I suspect.

    George Bernard Shaw had a nifty way to frame this relation of the individual psyche to politics: “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” So now you know why leftists are such an unreasonable bunch of people…

    Comment by Dennis Frank — August 7, 2016 @ 8:55 pm

  39. ” how many centuries a conquering tribe has to retain hegemony until they qualify as tangata whenua.”

    Four

    Comment by Ortvin Sarapuu — August 7, 2016 @ 10:14 pm

  40. “Are you actually praising the Conservatives in England, or just criticising them in an extremely esoteric way”

    Neither praising nor criticising; simply characterising. There’s a lot not to like about the English conservatives, but burning down their heritage is not one of them (His Majesty’s, for example).

    “how many centuries a conquering tribe has to retain hegemony until they qualify as tangata whenua”

    In the context of Aotearoa – thanks to our commitment to bi-culturalism – we will likely never know.

    “While those who are running an uncontrolled experiment with the world’s climate are called ‘conservative'”

    It all depends on what you are trying to conserve. In the case of the ‘uncontrolled experiment’, it is their access to power, and the planet be damned.

    My main observation of conservatism, especially the conservatism about which Rob Hosking expounds, is that from a historical perspective it took place in an environment of ideological certainty coupled with limited data i.e. they thought they were right and had limited capacity to validate their assumptions. Today, the likes of Key, English, Bennett, Joyce, McCully etc act as if their is no way to invalidate their claims, but there is a LOT of research and data that proves that their approaches are, at best questionable, and at worst of negative value.

    Today’s conservatives are untroubled by sector groups or expert opinion, they blithely ignore any advice that is counter to their view. They have lost their grip on reality, and this is why I oppose them *

    * Plus the points Ben Wilson raises around homophobia and general arrogant disdain for anything other than cis-gendered nuclear families…

    Comment by Mikaere Curtis — August 7, 2016 @ 10:35 pm

  41. “There’s a lot not to like about the English conservatives, but burning down their heritage is not one of them”

    I take it you don’t view public housing or schooling as part of the UK’s heritage, then.

    Comment by Ortvin Sarapuu — August 8, 2016 @ 12:42 am

  42. I think conservativism as a concept contains many more nuances than are suggested by using it as a catch-all description of collection of biases which are not acceptable to a separate or different ideology. In part because it is so nuanced, often the only way its opponents can get any traction when seeking to oppose it, is to use descriptions which are supposed to invite a value-judgement about conservatism, and then rally like-minded people to partake in a collective condemnation of it.
    So, then deriding a view as conservative becomes a lazy way to wash one’s own clean linen in public, and suggests that anyone who deserves a specific label must by implication be conservative. Which makes me smile, because I’ve met people from all parts of the political spectrum who under this qualification would qualify as conservative if I were to construct their political identity around one of their character-traits.
    But to my mind the truly pernicious and enduring power of conservatism if it qualifies as a discourse, is that it is like Alzheimers, no matter how we dismiss it as something that happens to other people every one of us has the potential to get it as we get older.
    In that respect, loudly announcing that one is ‘against’ conservatism hazards becoming another way for people who are afraid of getting old to fool themselves and others that they are still young. So the realisation that one might be becoming conservative is like experiencing a political mid-life crisis.

    Or, as Father Ted had it:

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDRi

    Comment by leeharmanclark — August 8, 2016 @ 6:58 am

  43. The link didn’t show up so I’ll try again. it really is quite funny..

    Comment by leeharmanclark — August 8, 2016 @ 7:03 am

  44. Kind of, although calling them a church is like calling “compassionate” a church. “Conservative” is a predicate describing a set of people, rather than a coherent group or movement

    Ben, I think you are on the right track with this and your previous comments.
    It gets even more granular though, to the extent that there are plenty of people who identify as social conservative/economic liberal, or vice versa (accepting that in this sense, I’m applying the “little l” to liberalism).
    Which is to your point I guess; it’s easy to talk about “big L” Liberalism because it’s been well defined and grounded in both historical tradition and events. Conservatism, not so much.

    Comment by Gregor W — August 8, 2016 @ 9:19 am

  45. i see bill english as the standard bearer of conservative intellectualism in the current government:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/2711246/Bill-English-defends-taxpayer-cash-for-house

    my definition of a conservative would be someone who lacks the ability to imagine being anyone but themselves

    Comment by rodaigh — August 8, 2016 @ 9:46 am

  46. It gets even more granular though, to the extent that there are plenty of people who identify as social conservative/economic liberal, or vice versa (accepting that in this sense, I’m applying the “little l” to liberalism).

    I have to say I don’t think self identification on that kind of scale is very illuminating. Mostly because of the problem with the terms liberal and conservative, which are ill defined. Unless you specify what it is that a social conservative actually believes, then you can’t really identify who actually is one. You just have a term that people like the sound of, or don’t, but which doesn’t really say much about them.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — August 8, 2016 @ 10:35 am

  47. And really, what is actually so hard about spelling out what a conservative believes on actual issues? If they’re this big political movement, surely that should be really easy to characterize. If you have to give all this vague philosophical guff instead, then you’re either just too embarrassed to come out with what the views of this movement are, or you really don’t even know what they are. Which one is it?

    Comment by Ben Wilson — August 8, 2016 @ 10:37 am

  48. Conservatism is paradoxical: it is an ideology that distrusts ideology. It is deeply skeptical of the ability of ideology or political theory to deliver real improvements. Rather, it regards ideology of the right or left as the stuff of dangerous extremists. Genuine conservatives are barely more enthusiastic about neoliberalism than they are about socialism, but they find the former less challenging because it respects some of their touchstones like private property. But where they differ from neocons is in the belief that embracing a radical reform agenda can deliver a better world. Conservatives are essentially pessimists (they would say realists) who believe the world as it is, with all of its problems, is still better than most alternatives. I think people like John Key and Keith Holyoake are clear examples – it’s why pragmatism and “whatever works” gets championed over any principled response to a challenge.

    The presents a real problem for the political theorist: how do you write books about an anti-theory? I think Oakeshott nailed it, for what it’s worth.

    Comment by Nick R — August 8, 2016 @ 10:47 am

  49. I have to say I don’t think self identification on that kind of scale is very illuminating….If you have to give all this vague philosophical guff instead, then you’re either just too embarrassed to come out with what the views of this movement are, or you really don’t even know what they are.

    True, but people still do it.

    I think this identification is more of an acceptable proxy (i.e. “socially conservative” is code for a mixed bag of ideas around the class, individual rights, reproductive rights etc.) that actually saying those things in public. Which is a fair call I think as otherwise, conservatism devolves into some form of identity politics which is anathema to conservatives.
    Also, these elements are all on independent sliding scales; a self identified social conservative might conceivably be OK with teh gays, but not so hot on abortion.

    So circling back, I agree with you that there really isn’t anything such thing as Conservatism from an ideological standpoint or in the NZ context, anything so deeply rooted that can be identified as a “tradition”.
    It spans to many thing and often holds too many contrary positions to be coherent. The best that you can do I think is to put qualifiers in front of Conservative (“Big T” Traditionalist etc.) to get an idea of what people really mean.

    Comment by Gregor W — August 8, 2016 @ 11:30 am

  50. @Nick R, 10.47am

    To look out the window and see “the world as it is, with all of its problems, is still better than most alternatives” is not the view of a pessimist. That there is an optimist, with a half full glass.

    Comment by unaha-closp — August 8, 2016 @ 2:16 pm

  51. Half the points being attributed here to “conservatism”, could equally be true of the 5th Labour government – populist, long lasting, incremental approach, pragmatic.

    To figure out what modern conservatism means in practical politics is simple, it is the stuff John Key does now that Helen Clark would not do – charter schools, asset sales. All the rest (the majority) is just pragmatic or populist government that is neither progressive or conservative.

    The centrist politics of the middle cannot be considered conservative, because Helen Clark was definitely not a conservative

    Comment by unaha-closp — August 8, 2016 @ 2:54 pm

  52. I agree with you that there really isn’t anything such thing as Conservatism from an ideological standpoint or in the NZ context, anything so deeply rooted that can be identified as a “tradition”.

    I’m undecided personally. I don’t deny that they may exist, but I don’t know how to identify them from the vague summary of the motivations of the Conservative that seems to be offered whenever I ask about what they actually believe in. Conservativism is presented in this context more like a way of life or a set of guiding principles, to be interpreted at will by the individuals. That might even be true, that there is some big group of people who think like this most of the time. I just don’t see any evidence for it, nor can I even see how you could get evidence. As presented, it’s like a personality type rather than a political standpoint. You’d probably be able to identify this kind of conservative by a psychometric test, maybe. What you wouldn’t, however, be able to do, is use that in any useful political way, because their views are not clear, their position is not clear, they don’t work together, they aren’t represented by anyone. I mean, even calling your party “The Conservative Party” didn’t quite make the MMP threshold.

    Why am I interested in “conservative” people more than “cautious” or “entrepreneurial” or “righteous” or “pragmatic” or “decisive” or “judgmental” people? It’s just a term defining personality traits which are spread across the population, and appears not to be related to political viewpoints at all. If I’m wrong about that, perhaps telling me what those political viewpoints actually are might clear the matter up.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — August 8, 2016 @ 2:55 pm

  53. I expect Josiah {Joe) Ralph Hanan, Attorney General in the National Government from 1960 to his untimely death in 1969, gets a mention in Barry Gustavson’s 1986 book, “The First Fifty Years” (I haven’t read it), but he really deserves a book of his own. I don’t think he could be described as a conservative, nor could his achievements be claimed as part of National Party/conservative tradition.

    Coming from a strong family tradition of liberal thought and involvement in politics (his uncle was a Liberal MP, 1899-1925), Ralph Hanan had an ability to remain detached and to shun any suggestion of adhering to a party line. Many of the reforms for which he was responsible were peculiarly his own, but he was able to persuade his National Party colleagues to incorporate them as government policy.

    His many achievements included:

    Abolition of capital punishment (1961) – having had to introduce the bill, he then crossed the floor to vote against it.

    Status of Children Act (1969) – gave all children equal status under the law, regardless of their parent’s marital status.

    Domestic Proceedings Act (1968) – created a statutory means by which women could seek maintenance orders against the fathers of their children (and thus qualify for emergency benefits). This Act replaced the Destitute Persons Act 1910.

    http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/5h6/hanan-josiah-ralph
    http://taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz/publications/2010-dd-supporting-children/appendix-1

    Comment by Kay — August 8, 2016 @ 3:50 pm

  54. So we’ve gone from “what is NZ conservatism” to “what is conservatism”? Wow.

    Maybe reading some Burke would help.

    Comment by Ortvin Sarapuu — August 8, 2016 @ 4:50 pm

  55. Maybe reading some Burke would help.

    Or perhaps just putting up what you think it is would help. What do NZ conservatives believe about actual things that should happen in NZ? I’m not much interested in how they view life, much more interested in what their opinion is on, say, gay marriage. But of course, it doesn’t have to be gay marriage, that just happens to be one of the more obvious point on which being a conservative is used as an excuse for objecting. On other issues, there seems to be little consensus.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — August 8, 2016 @ 5:42 pm

  56. Popper’s Open Society and its Enemies … consists of two large volumes

    Come now. They’re normal trade paperbacks.

    Comment by herr doktor bimler — August 8, 2016 @ 5:56 pm

  57. “Or perhaps just putting up what you think it is would help.”

    Please don’t pretend that you are really interested in the opinion of Some Random Internet Guy and that I’m doing you a disfavour by withholding it.

    Comment by Ortvin Sarapuu — August 8, 2016 @ 6:48 pm

  58. Imagine if a social scientist polled our electorate to measure the proportions of voters who self-identify as conservative, liberal, progressive, radical, green, libertarian, socialist, etc. Imagine if they simultaneously polled current party support, and correlated both.

    Would such an application of the identity-politics frame illuminate our political motivations? I suspect so. Would it make our blog comments more informed, less speculative? I suspect so. Yet our universities churn out political scientists without doing any such relevant work. What use to the public are political scientists who merely comment from the position of ignorance just like us? You could factor in that academics are not public servants & thus are free to choose their traditional pretensions to relevance over making a genuine contribution to society.

    Easy to see why some on the right think universities are a waste of money. Anyway, tonight NewsHub broadcast the latest Reid Research poll results, and they imply that the Roy Morgan result of a week or so back was rogue. Left & right are equally balanced (neither able to form a government) so the guy holding power over the center will create the next government if this new status quo persists into the next election. He’s usually categorised as conservative – yet efforts to depict him as unprincipled lost currency years ago. Ponderings on this blog about what content the conservative label represents in Aotearoa are therefore more likely to be informed by understanding his views than any consistent pattern of thought & behaviour in past politicians. Why? Because our voters have given him this power, and they’ve been doing so rather consistently for the past 20 years.

    Comment by Dennis Frank — August 8, 2016 @ 8:13 pm

  59. I think some of the objections people have about whether conservatism is a coherent ideology could equally be applied to large segments of the left. Expecting everyone who claims to be conservative to have the same views is about as useful as expecting everyone who claims to be progressive to have the same views.

    I’m happy to write what I think a conservative is and stands for, but there’s no reason to think others would agree, and as someone who doesn’t self identify as conservative I’m not sure it’s useful for me to write it down. I’m not sure many who are commenting here would self identify as conservative, so it perhaps makes sense none are taking it upon themselves to write a list of what a conservative believes (and of course, there’s risk of the no true scotsman problem once I start writing it).

    Nevertheless, I’d presume a conservative believes:
    – in the inherent value of traditional family structures, and therefore opposes changes to the definition of marriage, opposes childbirth out of wedlock, opposes divorce. Therefore I presume they oppose gay marriage. (I personally don’t follow the rationale, as I’d have thought that allowing more people access to marriage allows more people access to those traditional family structures, but plenty who self identify as conservative seem to think the logic stands up)
    – believe in the value of hard work, and tend to believe that many forms of social welfare reduce the incentive to hard work
    – believe in private property, and the right to do as you wish with your private property (in some people this seems to include your wife and your kids, but I guess that’s sort of logical)
    – tend to be religious and belief in 10 commandment type stuff – which I think leads to lots of strong views on justice and punishment
    – often see multiculturalism as a change from what we had before, and what we had before was working…..so therefore often anti-immigration

    I’m sure I could continue all day, but perhaps that gives a flavour of where I think the tracks lie – interested in other’s views. Or does nobody else have an inkling of what conservatives believe?

    Comment by PaulL — August 8, 2016 @ 9:24 pm

  60. I think some of the objections people have about whether conservatism is a coherent ideology could equally be applied to large segments of the left.

    This is very true! The difference however, is that historical Socialism (like Liberalism) is at least grounded and defined in some objective way, inasmusch as both positions define what they are, as well as what they are not. I think Conservatism only tends to do so for the latter, at least in any dogmatic sense.

    The difficulty comes down to measuring things by degrees. I can only use myself as an example as per your list.

    – I strongly believe in the value of the traditional family structure. However, my parents have never married and I have no particular beef with non-traditional relationships. I do however strongly feel that the best structure is the best way to bring up kids, noting that I have no empirical evidence to prove this, merely unfounded belief.
    – I believe in the value of hard work yet also believe in the necessity of social welfare.
    – I believe in private property and the right to dispose of it as one sees fit. However, I also support inheritance taxes and those on unearned wealth. For some sectors I would support State ownership (though generally this would be on the basis of efficiency).
    – I am not at all religious, but have what would be considered reactionary views on justice and punishment, even though I acknowledge that research indicates it is counterproductive. However, I also believe an enormous number of people are unneccessarily incarcerated.
    – I don’t agree that multiculturalism has an inherent value in of itself. Though I am a proponent of cosmopolitanism, I don’t particularly agree with our current immigration settings.

    Maybe that makes me a conservative in the NZ context. Who knows.

    Comment by Gregor W — August 8, 2016 @ 10:05 pm

  61. Conservatism isn’t an ideology, it’s an anti-ideology. That’s its great strength in practice and its great weakness in any debates based around theory. Which tends to be a big reason why conservatives, apart from whimsically reckless types like myself, tend to avoid such debates.

    Comment by Rob Hosking — August 9, 2016 @ 7:19 am

  62. Conservatives believe that the state can only function by raising taxes on the private sector. Thus they believe that piffling regulations and interventions, proven to stifle the private sector, are damaging not only to their right to accumulate private property and use it for what they wish (within reason), but harms the wider economy and the taxes raised, and thus contributes to a cycle/circle of increasing the rates of taxes to compensate, plus increased spending on welfare for those caught out at the bottom.

    Examples?
    1. EQC. The private insurance industry functions pretty well, so why does an arbitrary amount of cover have to be provided by a government organ, always believed, and now proven, not top be up to the task.
    2. Council building inspections. proven time and again to be “all care, but little, if any, responsibility”. How about allowing insurance companies stand behind new builds?
    3. Auckland Unitary plan. One of the key reasons for the housing problem in Auckland, arguably “town planning”. Look at how the desire to centrally plan what the residential areas of the city looks like has resulted in too little land being available to build on. Now, folks within the council what to set minimum sizes on apartments. Why? And what could the effect of that be? Possibly, apartments are more expensive than they need to be.

    Do we agree on whether consenting adults should be able to stick things in funny places? I doubt it.

    Why do many folk “believe” in “traditional family structure”? Because research suggests it’s a good way to raise children. Next best thing? Two dads or two mums? So if there are no children, there’s no family, and thus little objection (even in some religious circles) to adults getting together in fun ways.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — August 9, 2016 @ 8:08 am

  63. Sorry: “Do we agree” means, within the “conservative community”.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — August 9, 2016 @ 8:17 am

  64. Conservatives believe they are pragmatic. Libertarians have a desire for nearly everything to be privatized, even roads. All roads. Yeah, mental, eh?

    Comment by Clunking Fist — August 9, 2016 @ 8:19 am

  65. “– I don’t agree that multiculturalism has an inherent value in of itself. Though I am a proponent of cosmopolitanism, I don’t particularly agree with our current immigration settings.”

    Why exactly DO progressives appear to believe in multiculturalism? And in unfettered immigration? Most of us non-progressives believe that it is an instrument of cultural Marxism, designed to destabilize the status quo, allowing some kind of new order to rise or take over (be careful what you wish for: the juries out in Europe on whether it is going to be EU-led totalitarianism, sharia law or the rise of the extremes).
    Many conservatives believe that most people, who consider themselves progressives, embrace immigration and multiculturalism without understanding why it is a tenet of “liberalism”, thus marking them as “useful idiots”.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — August 9, 2016 @ 8:28 am

  66. @Clunking Fist: Everybody believes they’re pragmatic, regardless of ideology.

    Comment by Ortvin Sarapuu — August 9, 2016 @ 10:04 am

  67. Conservatism isn’t an ideology, it’s an anti-ideology.

    That’s wrong, I think. Marxists and neoliberals also claim that they aren’t ideological. Marxism is just historical science, you see, and neoliberalism is just economics. Conservatism is an ideology dedicated preserving to the status quo, rather than changing it, but the status quo is not neutral. It has winners and losers and you’re making an ideological commitment to those outcomes.

    Comment by danylmc — August 9, 2016 @ 12:42 pm

  68. @Clunking Fist: some Libertarians belief everything should be privatised, even roads. Some progressives believe there should be no private property. Some conservatives believe the country should be run based on the guidance given in the bible.

    I kind of like the old “socially liberal and economically liberal” view, which in the olden days was called liberalism, and now-a-days is really called libertarianism I think (although a mild form). Hence my description of myself as such, only because it more accurately describes me than conservatism (socially conservative and often economically liberal….but sometimes all in favour of big govt), or progressivism (get out of my social life, but I’d like to tell you how your money should be spent for the good of the country), or …… I dunno, NZF who are into both telling you where to stick your junk, and also how to spend your money.

    The problem is that nobody in those boxes particularly likes being in those boxes, and likes to redefine the box to make themselves feel good. I guess we all do that.

    @Danyl: I’m not sure I agree that conservatism is solely devoted to the status quo. I still think it more nuanced, and that simplification makes it sound like a bunch of old guys saying “it used to be better in the old days.” To the extent that there’s any ideology inside conservatism, I still think it’s the belief that newer is not always better, and that most things have been tried before, and failed for a reason. There’s a reluctance to try new things without evidence that those failings in the past have been addressed, but I’m not sure that’s the same as always preserving the status quo. Conservatism has a strong thread of charity running through it, and (as always in debates between left and right) often shares the aims of the left, but disagrees on the path to get there. I’m not sure there’s any significant group out there who believes the poor should die in the streets of starvation, but there is disagreement about how best to help those people.

    Comment by PaulL — August 9, 2016 @ 8:42 pm

  69. If you look at our history, you can see that conservatives tended to have been vehemently against all the social issues that have now triumphed and made it into legislation. So we’re talking about gay rights, issues of race and creed, the fact that people should be able to be treated properly without having to get married and have three children and live in a nice suburban house with a white picket fence, the right of caregivers of disabled children to be paid properly for their work even if they are related to their child, the list really does go on. If these Conservative traditions continued to flourish, through the 1980’s of the Springbok tour and gay rights issues, through the 1990’s of inflated house prices under National, through to today, I really don’t know what would have become of the country and the world.

    Comment by Daniel Lang — August 10, 2016 @ 11:09 am

  70. There’s small-c conservatism of the “steady as she goes and don’t rock the boat” garden variety – Keith Holyoake is the best example of this. And then there’s big-C Conservatism which spans a wide gamut that includes Colin Craig, Winston Peters, Ruth Richardson, Bill English, Steven Joyce and Judith Collins.

    Comment by Kumara Republic (@kumararepublic) — August 10, 2016 @ 11:53 pm

  71. ‘Big C’ indeed. Especially Winston.

    Comment by leeharmanclark — August 11, 2016 @ 7:47 pm


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