Author: Polly Gillespie

OPINION: I may be vilified, tarred and feathered, stoned to death, or bombarded with messages of righteous indignation, but I’m going to go out on a fragile dying elm limb and say: I’ve had enough of ‘we’ve got this’.

Shut up, Jacinda. I need to mention right now as you’re spitting at me, deriding me, deleting me or aghast with horror, that it’s fairly well known I hang to the left, so I’m not anti-Labour at all.

In fact, I find myself in the unenviable electoral voting position of having orange marker in hand in October, with no-one to vote for. Sacrilege!

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern has often referred to New Zealand as the ‘team of five million’.

It’s been a wee while coming, but I’ve finally had enough of the platitudes, and sentimental psycho-babble. It came to a head last week when we were dished up the rehearsed response to a journalist’s question: re the ‘team of five million’.

It went something like this: “We may be all on the same team, but not everyone is on the field at the same time.” It struck me too, that Jacinda wears black like a widowed Queen Victoria when she has bad news, and white like the good fairy when she has worse news, or news that’s half bad and half good.

Yes, she’s a great person, an incredible communicator, and could spin any spin doctor. I like Jacinda and have a particular affection for Grant Robertson and Andrew Little, but I’m just finding it irritating being spoken to like I’m a slightly IQ-deprived child. It’s starting to wear very thin. If anyone says ‘we’ve got this’ one more time I will squeal!

I was chatting to my lover last night. (I love using the term lover, it’s so twee and so ‘not Kiwi’.) We were discussing politics, and he ‘hangs a little to the right’ in every respect. We were debating the qualities of each party, and I was explaining why I can’t vote this year, which horrified him.

He’d assumed I was a mature adult. Silly lover. I was in full rant about the patronising inspirational quotes from heads of state being passed off as scripture, and the word ‘kindness’ being bandied about with reckless abandon.

As in: “Let’s remember to be kind.” “Be kind, New Zealand.” “Be kind to the kind.” “Pay your rent with kindness.” “Love is never having to say unkind.” It’s hard to be kind when you’re quibbling over whether to pay $2 for an onion or $14 for a half-filled punnet of wilting blueberries.

Can we tuck the word away and use ‘decent’, ‘fair’ ‘socially conscious’, ‘helpful’ maybe? He replied: “I don’t mind the spin, I just don’t see any action.” He had a point.

I don’t see any improvement in mental health and addiction services. Hanmer Springs St Mary’s Hospital sits vacant. A place that helped thousands of addicts on the road to recovery. Meanwhile, there’s a promise of a $300 million Sky Path. I don’t usually formally use the acronym WTF, but WTF?

“I can’t vote bloody National!” I yelled at him in my super-alluring black underwear. He rose to launch in to a Right-wing rant, but I cut him off. “They are built on trickle-down capitalism, and they all follow Mike Hosking, like young women followed Charles Manson!”

Polly Gillespie: Can we tuck the word away and use ‘decent’, ‘fair’ ‘socially conscious’, ‘helpful’ maybe?

He went to speak again. I allowed it. “David Seymour has some great policies, and the ACT...” I cut him off. “David Seymour seems OK, but please remember that presently I’m all but unemployed, so I’m a bit scared of his social policy, that looks OK unless you’ve applied for 1000 jobs and not got a single interview, and there are some strange and kooky people in his party.”

The lover was getting annoyed with me. “Don’t tell me you’re thinking of voting Green?” he asked both aghast and surprised. “They’re the bastards behind the Sky Path fiasco!” “No, silly lover,” I replied.

“TOP?” he asked knowing I’d gone rogue and voted that way last time.

“Nah. Silly name, and no chance without a great leader. Plus the whole Gareth Morgan cat scandal.” “NZ First?” I rolled my eyes at him. At this point he reached over to grab me. I ducked.

“Look, Polly,” he said affectionately (not kindly) “we just need to vote for balance. We don’t have to like our leaders. They don’t need to be saints or fairy godmothers. We just need people who are doers not just communicators.”

“I didn’t know ‘balance’ was a party,” I replied cheekily. And with that my lover shut me up with a kiss. 

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