At a glitzy function, some well known New Zealanders spoiled things by voicing that New Zealand should have a new flag. Their views were greeted with surprisingly healthy applause from the assembled crowd of luminaries.
It was no coincidence that John Key was present that night.
This is how politicians lose touch; they are surrounded by either like-minded people who are disconnected from the masses, or people sucking up.
This is also why the elite regularly gets things terribly wrong; they try so hard to appear to be motivated by greater concerns than mere mortals. They are all busy concerning themselves with ‘Brand New Zealand’ and other such twaddle.
Their judgement is confused by a desperation to be part
of whatever new thinking is currently orthodox – the bien pensant.
The two thirds of the public who prefer the old flag, do so for wildly varied and sophisticated reasons. I think I can embrace them all by summarising that the proposed flag is a bit too rubbish to be worth the effort.
This is why our nation’s very small band of self-styled ‘thinkers’,
and some celebrity not-so-thinkers, have talked each other into supporting a shitty flag, mistakenly believing it signals big thinking about our nationhood.
Some of the elite have recently claimed that the process has been worse because it was democratised. They want a design elite to have decided the outcome.
I don’t have an answer to the invented problem of how to change a flag, but whatever we do, we’re always best leaving it to the relatively unencumbered clarity of the ordinary person.