Pig Rooting in Kelburn … Said the Roadside Sign.

By The Blonde

Memory is a strange thing. It can be very selective and it can be very fickle, as we all know. I was casting my mind over the years of politics that I have lived through or have been told about, mainly by my maternal grandmother.

As a child, I spent a lot of time with her, partly because I passed their home to and from school. Actually, I didn’t pass it … I always called in as there were always yummy goodies in the cake tins and my grandparents were up for plenty of cuddles and chat.

I realise now how influential they were on my life… especially for the political aspect. My grandmother, who had experienced a very harsh upbringing, was a devout Labour supporter because they were for ‘the working people.’ She had the radio tuned in to parliament regularly. I recall her telling me about the day that Mabel Howard waved some women’s bloomers in parliament in order to emphasise a point.

For those who think that bloomers may be something to do with garden: no, they were roomy knickers with elastic in the waist and around the legs which occasionally caused embarrassment if the waist elastic ‘gave way’. Her strong interest in politics, I believe, led to my strong interest in politics… with one major difference. When I grew up and became really aware, I realised that the Labour view of life was not my view. Definitely not!

Back to the memories that are engraved on my brain… Arnold
Nordmeyer’s 1958 ‘Black Budget’. I still recall the shocked reaction to that budget. Another shocked reaction was to Britain’s choice to go with the European Union.

The pay freeze from Rob Muldoon in the 1980s had dreadful side effects. ‘Rogernomics’ from the Lange government, when mortgage interest rates soared to 22% for a first mortgage and 26% for a second mortgage. The only upside of that time was the interest being paid on term deposits. I recall my parents earning 26% on money invested with their lawyer. Imagine, $52,000 interest in a year on a $200,000 term deposit!

Do you remember the top tax rate, over 60% at one point? Very painful. And don’t get me started on Helen Clark’s vision for the future of our country! It has taken a long time but I can see it happening now… particularly her stated aim at a meeting years ago that “we will infiltrate the education system”.

To get back to the title: in the early 1980s, when Rob Muldoon was
PM, he had a reputation for being a ‘lady’s man’. In Wellington, there would, occasionally, be big signs erected around the city. The messages were unusual and I’m sure that many folk in the Kelburn area would have been concerned about the well-being of their gardens. For those ‘in the know’, it caused much amusement.

I leave it to your vivid imaginations !

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