Monday, 28 August 2017

Cursed policy wishes

I had fun in last week's column at the National Business Review. Our Executive Director really wishes that elections would be about policy rather than personality stuff. I get nervous when elections are about policy.
Our executive director at the New Zealand Initiative, Oliver Hartwich, has always had a strange antique monkey’s paw on his desk. I never thought much of it – perhaps a bit creepy but maybe it’s normal for Germans.

But, not long ago, I swear that one of the fingers on that paw curled inward.

And so I naturally started worrying about tax policy.

You see, that finger curled not long after Oliver had been fervently wishing, again, that the election turn away from personalities and sideshows to focus on policy.

That paw’s curled finger looked ominous.

And then election policy announcements started getting a little strange.
Then I go through some of what we got, when politicians started talking policy. I conclude:
But the scariest part of the whole thing is that Oliver doesn’t really have a cursed monkey’s paw. I made that part up. More accurately – I stole it from an old folk tale.

A couple asked the paw for £200; their son was killed in an industrial accident and the company paid them £200 compensation. They then wished their son’s return but thought better of it on hearing something shambling in the darkness towards their door. Their last wish sent it away.

Politics itself is the cursed paw. Voters wish for things they think they want, politicians promise to deliver and what comes out at the end is often as horrifying as that unseen thing that shambled in darkness.

Be careful what you wish for in elections. It can be hard to wish it away.
You can catch the whole thing here. ($)

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