Charlotte Rietveld reckons she’ll stick to country knitting following the election.
With the election result marking the start and finish of my career as a clairvoyant, I’ve been sticking to my knitting.
I can’t yet knit, but the immense desire to seek refuge from whatever inefficient, anti-farming, counter-productive initiatives are dreamed up over the next three years has provided all the motivation required.
I suspect both the cottage arts industry and bottle shops will thrive from like-minded people seeking similar sanctuary. Perhaps I’ll follow the Greens’ desire by quitting the devilish pursuit of protein production and convert the woolshed into a knitting and home-brewers’ community centre. A ‘citizens’ assembly’ that Eugenie says is the way of the future.
Naturally my ethically sourced wool and beer outlet will have some sort of earthy name that appeals to the dreaded folk like ‘Greasy Hoptimists’ or perhaps more satisfyingly ‘Needlers and Pathological Lagers’.
Much like Torvill and Dean, Parker and Sage will be far too busy joyfully leaping through their rank, tinder-dry conservation parks to call in. Never mind the demise of our exporting backbone, depletion of tax take and contribution to global food shortages, I’m sure we could find a hand-harvested, spray-free, drought-shrivelled vege burger off the BBQ for them.
Actually we’ll have to ditch the BBQ and make that a raw vege burger – what with no more gas drilling, coal apparently more damaging than Goldsmith’s arithmetic abilities and wood so scarce we’ve got to stitch up half the countryside in trees. But oh (how) their crystal-divined morals about not wanting farmers to get a free feed would probably cause a moratorium on such socialising merriment anyway.
What a relief there’s still marijuana to kick off the non-leather vegan sandals with at the end of the day. Thank goodness we can rely on that burgeoning industry to keep up the taxation coffers. I’m sure its equally ethical vendors will be the first to log on to MyIR to register their GST, PAYE and IR3.
But all this will look blissfully hazy, eerie smoke and mirrors, when the mother of all bureaucratic trifectas rises in the House. Set to become a coalition negotiation nexus, the RMA has the potential to put the steak back on the steel hot plate of my citizens’ assembly coal-fired carbon-emitting BBQ. Eventually.
Not before it gets rewritten under the strident eye of an unbridled zealot like David Parker.
With Eugenie the evangelist at his side, any use of resources after their tone-deaf tune-up will have to promise more than Shane Jones ever could. Not forgetting the pre-existing need to save six snails and consult a dozen dubiously impacted minorities along the way, any development will practically need to walk on clouds to have the minimal impact Sage and her ardent colleagues have as their lofty negotiation goals. Rather a sight for sore eyes it would be for the nation to actually see Eugenie’s bottom lines.
And yet it is exactly this withering experience that has the potential to galvanise industries as the chorus of frustration inevitably gains volume. With Jacinda back touting 10-year poverty-busting, house-multiplying aspirationalism it’ll be interesting to see how stifled developers and rocketing real estate values deal to our housing crises and inequality. Negligible progress is embarrassing after three years, inexcusable after six.
In the meantime, I suggest rural New Zealand sticks to its knitting. Prepare for a policy barrage of equity, kindness and sustainability but we all know it’ll be plain old hard graft that gets us out of this hole. And given that those in power will be too busy seeking the view of blind bats, do keep an eye out for deplorably named woolsheds (Brewers of Diskein?) where like-minded mates can take a load off while spinning some yarns in search of the holy ale.