Tuesday, September 1, 2015

With Four Dud Options ... Time To Do As Winston Says And #KeepOurFlag

Well that was fantastically underwhelming, wasn't it. Yesterday, we saw the final four flag designs announced ... and hopefully, with any luck, the final four nails in the coffin of this insufferable exercise in Prime Ministerial arrogance.

Now I'm not naive. It's certainly possible that a reasonably large proportion of Kiwis were potentially open to a flag change, when this debate first got going. We'll never know precisely how many, because National decided in their inestimable wisdom to do this whole process back to front and ask us *if* we wanted the flag changed *after* getting us to choose which flag we wanted it changed to.

But through a combination of spirited advocacy by laudable organizations like the RSA, and a rising chorus of disquiet about both the $26 million dollar cost of the process as well as the somewhat lackluster results it's evidently produced ... public opinion appears to have swung in fairly decisively behind the "anti-change" camp.


For what it's worth, before the outset of this process I was not entirely unfavourably disposed toward one day changing the design of our flag. But it would have to be to the right one. And almost as importantly, done through the proper process.

None of these four designs are "the right one", as far as I'm concerned; and whatever you wish to call the way National has gone about attempting to ensure a flag-change, "proper process" sure isn't it.

And in any case, throughout the course of the flag-change debate ... I've actually discovered just how enamoured I really am with the one we've got at the moment, anyway.

I actually think I've come to really like it. Stirs the heart, fills it full of #Nationalist sentiment. Respects our history (well - part of it, anyway) ... and DOESN'T look like some sort of two-bit corporate logo.

Or, for that matter, an instrument of mass hypnosis.

It may not be perfect - but it beats out ALL the available competitors (all four of them) by a flag-pole furlough.

So as we careen toward the upcoming flag referendum with an ill-disguised sense of national nausea ... what are we to do.

Short of armed insurrection against the Government (settle down NZ Police - I'm not actually advocating that. Please don't drag Bomber down to Central Station again on my behalf), how are we to protect our flag from the forces of iniquity and inequality which apparently seek to despoil it?

After all, we can't vote to keep our flag in this initial referendum.

So what can we do?

Simple. Write "Keep Our Flag", or "KOF" on your ballot paper rather than ticking any of the lackluster options on offer.

This will "invalidate" or "spoil" your ballot.

The government doesn't really have to take notice of people who just simply don't vote.

But they DO have to record the numbers and make a note of it when you deface your ballot. (And yes, yes I am aware that given the four designs on the ballot paper, it's pretty much already fairly visually defaced as it is)

So what we're trying to do here is FORCE our Government to listen to the people, through an exercise of democracy. Radical idea, I know.

When enough Kiwis send back in spoiled ballots - rather than pliantly voting for the red-and-blue plastic plate logo, as we're expected to - it will become plainly apparent to the Government that this entire process has been not just an expensive farce, but a fizzer into the "bargain".

That's why Winston Peters is calling on New Zealand voters to send back defaced ballots, rather than taking part in this undignified exercise in highly expensive sack-cloth selection.

Because it's quite honestly the only option at this stage that makes sense - given we have no other real way to express our support for the present flag and the extant status quo.

In summary: when your ballot-paper turns up in the near future ... do the right thing and keep it Kiwi.

Don't bother voting for any of the seriously average designs on offer.

Just put "Keep Our Flag" or "KOF" on your ballot paper instead.

That'll ensure the Government gets the message!

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