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Trust Yourself Not Them - Upton On Line

Defiant, modern, challenging, National's billboard "Trust yourself, not them" hangs likes a roadmap to the soul above the hustle and bustle of Auckland's Wellesley Street.

It pares all the talk back to the essentials in this election campaign. In case it's also a touch enigmatic, here's upton-on-line's elaboration:

Trust yourself with the money you earn, or let Labour and Alliance take more of it from you, presumably for your benefit.

Trust yourself to settle your own employment contract, or let Labour and Alliance bring back union control and collective bargaining.

Trust yourself to decide how you want your children to be educated, or let Labour and the Alliance re-instate PPTA dominance and central control.

Trust yourself to decide what programmes you want to watch and listen to, or let Labour and the Alliance decide for you with quotas.

Trust your own sense of morality, or let Phillida Bunkle's Employment Equity Bureau decide it for you.

This is not a contest between the Libertarian and Communist extremes. We don't have to choose between unalloyed 'survival of the fittest' and a Soviet combine harvester. It's more subtle than that.

Between National and Labour it is a question of degrees.

National's instinct is to favour individual responsibility and freedom. It's sceptical about what governments can achieve, but it's not close-minded about the possibility of government action.

Labour's instinct is to doubt people's abilities and to assume the state knows best. Most of life's problems are, for Labour, ones which politicians can resolve.

Let's throw in another slogan: it's your choice, use it or lose it.


Unlike Morning Report upton-on-line feels no need to interpret what you all saw last night on Holmes. It was a good show. Upton-on-line was intrigued by the bands of loyalists drafted in by the parties to support their leaders. The Alliance team, dressed in red and green uniforms, looked as though they came from a home removals firm. The Labour supporters (slightly more upmarket) looked very much like teachers disguised as pizza "delivery persons". The New Zealand First people were all grim believers. The Act team was a mix of hungry homesteaders and prosperous rentiers. Only the National team looked to be recognisably middle New Zealand and, typically, forgot to clap at crucial moments.

Most remarkable facts:

There was a sudden explosion of facts on student loans. Fifty percent of students don’t have a loan, only one percent owe more than $50,000, the average loan is $11,000, and the vast bulk owe less than $10,000.

Most intriguing revelations:

Mr Peters’ claim that we would all be wealthy if Norman Kirk’s super scheme had been allowed to burgeon (nationalising the stock exchange in one fell swoop).

The Chief Executive of Bendon was apparently a ventriloquist.

Mystery of the night cleared up:

Mr Prebble’s confirmation that the Aramoana didn’t ground.

Winning one-liner of the night:

Jenny Shipley’s observation that Mr Anderton never resigned from Parliament even though he demands that other party hoppers should do so.

All in all, a bouquet to Paul Holmes for another very good TVNZ debate. The rather light-hearted "yes and no" segment provided exquisite torture for politicians who could barely cope with the stricture.


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