Trotter still thinks the missing million are about to rise up

Chris Trotter is still mistaking a few rowdies blocking up the centre of Auckland for some sort of mass uprising against the evil government of John Key.

He would think that though, because he can’t count. He claims there were 30,000 protesters yet no media outlet – usually protest-friendly – has provided a figure above 10,000.

That aside, Chris Trotter falls into?the?trap of believing that one protest will mark the end of the most popular government in modern history.

The fear inspired in the political class by the clearly bi-cultural quality of the 4 February demonstration was expressed, at least initially, in the scornful depiction of the protesters as ignorant dupes of the usual ?commie? suspects. What those making fun of New Zealanders very real, if ill-expressed, anxieties about the TPPA simply ignored was the fact that in democratic societies most citizens take their cues from trusted cultural and/or political leaders, by whose deeper understanding of complex issues they are more than happy to be guided.

What fear? Any political movement that can’t even get basic facts right about their cause is ultimately doomed to fail. Many of the ferals marching couldn’t even tell you what the TPPA stood for let alone any of the agreement’s content. Few of them can actually get the surname of our Prime Minister right so it is doubly hard to take them seriously. ?

Only a few days ago, it was to Labour voters? trust in Helen Clark that the TPPA?s promoters were appealing, in an obvious attempt to convince them that Andrew Little?s opposition to the agreement was mistaken. When, however, it became clear that Centre-Left voters put more faith in Jane Kelsey?s assessment of the TPPA than Helen Clark?s, its promoters immediately began mocking them. The very idea that ordinary people?s views might be taken seriously was treated as a joke.

Which brings us back to those construction workers? fists breaking through the plastic.

In that arresting image of militant solidarity there is a symbolic message to which the neoliberal elite would be wise to pay heed. They have grown accustomed to dominating this country?s political discourse as effortlessly as they dominate its economy. They are not used to being contradicted by people they dismiss, contemptuously, as ?losers?.

But as Bob Dylan reminds us: the losers of today may be tomorrow?s winners ? when the times they are a-changing.

Actually they are “losers”. Claiming that the protesters are the true centre-left and Helen Clark is no longer relevant, while a confirmed Marxist like Jane Kelsey is more believable, is just fantasy stuff.

Watch the next polls Chris, and then see what you think. After the protests and the farce of Waitangi I should think John Key’s government will be more popular than ever, and so popular that Key might be tempted to go for an early election against a cash-strapped Labour party bereft of real leadership and out of relevant ideas.


– Bowalley Road