John needs this too


By now you’ll probably have received your voting papers for the flag referendum, and I know that a lot of you won’t be bothering to vote, or will be voting to stick with the current flag.

I have already tried to explain how important this issue is for our retired rugby players. But no-one is more committed to a change of flag than our Prime Minister. Now you might be one of those wreckers and haters who plan to vote against change precisely because John Key is in favour of it. But I’m going to try and make you see how much of a mistake that would be.

I’ve heard just about every objection to the Lockwood flag there is. But none of them convince me that we should stick with the current banner. So what if the proposed new flag is a hideous confusion of colours and symbols? Sure, it’s not perfect, but let’s not pretend that we’ll ever settle on a flag design beloved by everyone. I’m reminded of a saying, which if I recall correctly goes: “perfect is the enemy of the mediocre,” or something like that. If we hold out for something really good, we may miss out on getting something really average. And average is okay, right? Isn’t that exactly what we want from our centrist politicians who don’t stand for anything in particular? We most certainly don’t want a design that is bold and powerful, because that would be too fraught with risk. I’ll tell you who else chose bold and powerful — the Germans in 1933. And we all know how that worked out for them.

The alternative to Lockwood’s starry fern tat is to keep things exactly as they are. And does anyone really want that? We’re not going to have a debate about becoming a republic any time soon, and John Key even brought back Britain’s feudal honours system in order to better reward our business and political elites for all the tireless work they do accumulating money and power for themselves, but can’t we at least change a piece of cloth? If you won’t do it for Richie, will you at least do it for John?

This means a lot to our Prime Minister. It’s the legacy he wants to leave to the country. And what could be fairer than that? Shouldn’t he have something to show for all his efforts? Building a better and stronger economy turned out to be a bit too hard, and poverty and inequality are at record levels. We’re going backwards when it comes to the environment, and there is a housing crisis in our biggest city. People working 40 hours a week on the minimum wage are struggling just to feed their kids and pay the rent. The only growth part of our economy is the food bank sector.

So the flag really is it. It’s all John’s got to hold onto. It’s no wonder he’s investing so much of his political capital into getting the flag changed. He’s done everything he can to screw the scrum, to get his design picked in the first place, and despite all his hard work some people want to deny him even a modest legacy. It’s unbelievable. Why are people so mean?

It’s pretty obvious what’s going on, and why this whole referendum process has turned into a shambles. It’s Labour’s fault. Labour’s to blame for all the hostility against the Lockwood design. Labour’s playing politics, in a way that National isn’t when John Key wears the Lockwood flag on his lapel during official engagements, and when National caucus members stage crisis meetings to discuss strategies for pushing the flag-change message. It was Labour that engineered the Flag Consideration Panel’s utterly underwhelming choices, in order to discredit John Key. We may never know how they did it, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that there’s a dossier somewhere in Fraser House of incriminating Flag Consideration Panel Christmas party photos.

When John Key talks about changing the flag he’s being a leader, a visionary, but when the opposition talks about the flag it’s just grubby and shabby politicking. These people will do anything to discredit one of the greatest National Party Prime Ministers we have seen this century.

We may have another chance to change the flag in the future, once the Queen dies and we find ourselves stuck with that buffoon Charles, and we finally decide to rid ourselves of the entire parasitical royal family. Any move towards a republic would inevitably involve a change of flag. But that could be years away. It’s not as if Elizabeth II is an old woman. We can’t afford to let this opportunity pass us by.

So get your voting paper out and put down a big tick for the Lockwood flag. But if you’ve already voted and want to help the cause further, the only option left for you is to commit electoral fraud. Now I’m not saying you should vote twice, or steal someone else’s voting papers, or threaten one of your neighbours with physical violence if they don’t tick the right box, or find some other way to subvert the democratic process. But the stakes are high, enormously high. If John Key doesn’t get this across the line, then he’ll have nothing much to show for his years in power, and that would be a shame, a terrible shame.

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