Thursday, May 15, 2014



Conventional wisdom says the most persuasive of all political slogans is "it's time for a change."
 That long has been true whenever a government has been around for so long, it has turned into an ordeal.
However, let me offer something just as compelling, which should be a battle cry for the Tories. "It would be hard to do worse."
There's no need to list all the sins, goofs and scandals that cause the record of the Liberals to stink like a swamp on a hot day. No need to wade through the muck and sift and sort when it's all so rancid.
Years ago I was part of a crowd surging north towards Wellington from a Blue Jays game. The Jays had won and everyone was in a good mood. Until we waited and waited while the constable in the intersection managed to screw up the traffic in every direction but still kept the people penned on the sidewalks like cattle in the stockyard.
"Come on, come on, " I urged. Apparently my voice carried because the cop pointed at me and yelled: "Do you think you could do better?"
The crowd hushed. I said "it would be hard to do worse." And the crowd guffawed and snorted and the cop turned as red as a stop light because the evidence of failure stretched in every direction.
Lorrie Goldstein, the Sun's associate editor (sorry he always wanted to be known as the SENIOR associate editor) urged me to disappear as quickly as possible since he feared an escalation of hostilities.
I didn't worry because that saying has an all-or-nothing challenge about it.  Just look around and try to pretend you haven't screwed up.
In this election, when you yell "it would be hard to do worse," there is no need to argue further over every wasted billion and horrendous mistake and screwed up ministry and cancelled gas plant and letting natives trample laws because the whole damn outfit hasn't worked
So the budget doesn't matter and what the government promises in the future doesn't matter because the past budgets and the past delivery on platform planks has been a mess.
The Liberals would love for us to forget their record. Unfortunately for them, there are countless variations of a view on why we shouldn't. They date back to Plato. George Santayana's version was:"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
Do we really want a repeat of what we have suffered since 2003?

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