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Worzel's World - All joking aside…

We live in a world rich with irony but poor in virtue and wisdom. So much of contempo-rary life is upside down, inside out and generally topsy turvey that much of what I hear with my ears and see with my eyes gives me a pain in the ass. We are definitely operating at a lower level than is desirable.

One of my own difficulties in accepting my place in the current socio-political miasma is the understanding that within the democratic social contract our politicians and associated publicly funded agen-cies should work for the benefit of the people – whereas it appears to be the premise of those within the government, public, and corpo-rate sectors that we are obliged to work for them. It came to a head recently when a customer service representative mistook the intent of my enquiry. “You don’t have to worry,” he assured me in his best public relations manner, “you comply.”

I informed him that my own compliance was not the issue: “I am a seventh generation New Zealander who has conducted his affairs as honestly and with the necessary hard work and dedication to carve a place for myself in the land of my birth. Too right I comply. I don‘t need someone with a foreign accent to tell me this.”

Hypocritical, ad hoc legislation like the Smacking Bill and the Validation Bill did not comply with either the will of the majority or the basic tenets of common sense. The sale of publicly owned assets, the contracting out, for $30 million, of teacher payroll services to Aussie firm Novapay and the management of Solid Energy failed to comply with the most basic guidelines of sound business practice. My phone call, I informed him, is to determine whether or not he and his organisation comply and if in future I wish to have anything to do with them.

By poking fun at the evils that beset us we may render them tolerable if not necessarily ac-ceptable. The Kiwi propensity towards humour has historically translated into harmonious relations between us humble peasants and those who are elected or appointed to administer our affairs. There have been no Guy Fawkes-like gunpowder plots to blow up parlia-ment. Unlike America we are not prone to the regular assassination of our politicians. Suicide bombing, civil war and armed revolution have not been popularly embraced here. The threat of global terrorism has only required additional work from speech-makers, commentators, journalists, surveillance personal and fear-mongering politicians wishing to impose greater control over an already over-regulated populace. However fire, ambulance and civil defence people have been remarkably quiet. Hospitals are busy. Not with treating terror-ist-related trauma but with an upsurge of dis-ease and poverty linked ailments amongst those in the lower socio economic class.

It is rather funny watching our govern-ment industriously dealing with problems that don’t actually exist whilst ignoring other clear and obvious ones that have undermined and coninue to undermine our once prosperous sovereign and egalitarian nation. Much has been made of John Key’s pro-posed legislation to al-low our surveillance in-dustries greater powers. In exceptional circum-stances passports may be taken from any Kiwi suspected of harbouring a desire to head off and fight in some foreign conflict. It has been ad-mitted that upwards of 50 Kiwi suspects are cur-rently on a watch list of people who may possibly support politically incor-rect causes half a world away. We should keep in mind that none of these people have done anything wrong. Had they done so they could be arrested and subjected to the due processes of our criminal justice system.

However, one such who was found to have definitely done wrong was Phillip John Smith, a convicted murderer and paedophile. Although it seems he was not on any watch list both his father and his sister advised appropriate agencies that he was unfit to be released from prison. Of course state agencies know better than his family. He was granted temporary leave, managed to procure a passport, and is, as I write, in Brazil. The joke of reality is so much more absurd than anything we could invent.

It is indeed fortunate that New Zealand is so obviously not a target for terrorism. The bozo's in the Beehive have proven inadequate to the sim-plest tasks. What chance would they have when confronted with a well-organised group like ISIS or al-Qaeda when they can’t keep track of a single convicted murderer?

It may be funny that the biggest joke in this country is our government, but it’s kind of sad too ‘cause it’s a very expensive joke. We have paid too high a price for a cheap laugh and in the end the joke’s on us. „


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