The tale of the wicked giant. An old fairytale by Sir Bob.

Sir Bob Jones: Teller of tales.

I was chatting with a couple of teenagers the other day, generation Z’ers I guess you might call them. We were having a discussion about what exactly government was and why we needed one. It’s quite a hard question to answer. There are plenty of papers and books published on this subject but in reality they’re reasonably heavy going, and if you can get a teenager to actually read a discussion paper then you’re a better man than I.

Then I remembered reading an old book that was written by our very own Sir Bob Jones, way back in 1978. The book is titled ‘New Zealand The Way I Want It and in that enlightening tome is Chapter 14, ‘A 22nd Century Fairy Story. The Tale of the Wicked Giant. Of course I wasn’t able to coerce the teenagers to actually read the book but I believe that the intelligent readers of Whaleoil might appreciate seeing it in a short series of posts.

You can all read Sir Bob’s latest musings and thoughts on his No Punches Pulled blog which is regularly highlighted on our fair site. In the meantime, enjoy over a few days, his delightful way of describing governments as it all just seems too jolly familiar at the moment.

The Tale of the Wicked Giant.

Once upon a time, many years ago and a very long way from anywhere, some brave explorers discovered a beautiful new land which they called New Zealand.

Eventually they sailed back to their home where they told everyone of their discovery. Many of the people in their country were unhappy for they worked long and hard for only enough money to barely stay alive. They listened to the explorers’ account of New Zealand and some of the more adventurous ones said, ‘It’s silly to carry on here where life is hard and hopeless. Let us instead sail to this distant paradise and make a new country for ourselves.’ And so they did.

At first everything was very difficult but as the years passed the settlers became prosperous and were happy. The fields were bountiful and life was peaceful. But once they had time to relax and consider their good fortune some of them began to worry. Life is good here, they said, but what if something should happen to change that. So they talked among themselves and finally they decided what was needed was a strong servant to protect them against dangers unknown.

They chose from their numbers the biggest of them to be their servant-protector and they gave him a new name, which was Government. He was quite a nice chap at heart and was popular with his fellow men but to tell the truth he was also secretly pleased at this development. The reason why was that unbeknown to the others he had always craved for their admiration and for fame but although he was big and strong, this had never happened. Now everyone knew him and he was very happy.

The people also were happy for now they were safe from dangers unknown with good old Government standing by to protect them and they went back to their farms and factories with renewed peace of mind. As Government could not work and be vigilant as well the people agreed he could put a small charge on all the goods coming into New Zealand, so that he had enough money to support himself.

The people called this charge ‘duty’ to remind Government that it was paid to him for his duty to protect them. This worked very well although after a while, the people noticed that Government was growing bigger and fatter, for he had little to do and spent his time eating and drinking. But as he was a jolly old giant, the people did not mind that his duty was making him into a huge giant, for they knew, should dangers unknown arise, he would be so much the stronger to cope with them.

As the years passed the settlers grew old and their children took over their farms and businesses. The children were fortunate for they did not have to toil as hard as had their parents now that the difficult pioneering work was completed and they soon found themselves with time to spare for other things besides work.

Most of them used this spare time for playing games or even just sitting around talking, while some – the more energetic of them – applied it to their farms and businesses and made them even more prosperous.

Now it is here that the story should finish with … ‘and the people of New Zealand live happily ever after’ but alas, that is not what happened.

Yous see, a very small group called the malcontents (this word meaning that they became ill when content and only content when they were discontent and therefore were in fact never content) gathered together and said how imperfect life was and how much better it would be if everything was changed. There are some things, they argued, that are natural human rights such as schools and hospitals and therefore these should be free instead of being paid for by the people who were using them.

The people laughed at this idea and said to the malcontents, ‘We have those things now. Why do you complain?’ It is true we have them now,’ answered the malcontents, ‘but not as natural human rights, which means free, and therefore our society is unjust.’

Chapter 14, ‘A 22nd Century Fairy Story. The Tale of the Wicked Giant.

To be continued… tomorrow.

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