The National Party’s leadership coup is proof if ever proof were needed, of how far to the left we have all travelled. I have written previously on The BFD about Peter Hitchens’ broken political compass, and how lost we are, not having the correct socio-political equipment to navigate by. Or rather, how lost we are now that the Marxists have taken over the ship without anyone noticing.

In line with the new norm and current expectations, Mr Muller comes across as solidly centre-left, in a liberal-democratic kind of way, while Nikki Kaye still ranks as one of the most left-wing voices in New Zealand politics – especially amongst the intelligible ones. Kaye, I am sure, will prove herself to be New Zealand’s answer to Justine Greening. With Todd Muller not staking any particular claim to fame, Ms Kaye’s is her record of out-Jacindering Jacinda. There isn’t a ‘woke’, leftist or liberal cause she isn’t prepared to back – identity politics and all.

In Muller’s ‘get-to-know-you’ interview performances – some adequate, but mostly excruciating – the notable aspect was not the answers he gave, but the questions he was asked, and which were allowed to be asked without challenge. That his Catholicism was so much commented on by interviewers tells us in effect that Christianity is perceived and portrayed as a novelty in this country – at least by the metropolitan liberal elite which runs the show. How did it come to this?

We learned that Muller opposes euthanasia and abortion, but, he argued, only in counterpoint to Kaye. When backed into a corner on homosexual ‘marriage’, he professed to not ‘ticking all of Catholicism’s boxes’ and offered his reluctant support. Why is the media even on this hobby horse? Legal marriage reform is old news and there is no going back. It is doubtful parliament will ever debate the issue again. The reason, of course, is it’s not the policing of the law which the left is after, but the policing of hearts and minds. A lot of people are accepting of the right of others to same-sex union, but privately feel that it is not something they would wish for themselves, their families, and particularly for their own children. To say so, however, is to be burned at the stake on the great media Bonfire of the Vanities.

Muller was similarly forced to stumble over the question of whether or not he is a ‘feminist’, settling finally on the idea that he probably is one. Again, this ought to have been batted aside as a non-issue, a straightforward matter of personal choice – and certainly not something by which people should be condemned.

Contrast Muller’s questioning with the uproar which would ensue if non-traditional members of our society were ever quizzed on television about their views. Would a Muslim political aspirant ever be asked by somebody like Jack Tame about the compatibility of his faith with New Zealand society? And why, I wonder, hasn’t the Prime Minister, or anyone else on the left, been pressed about their atheism and obvious hostility towards Christianity – an ideology which is actively pursued with the religiosity of a zealot.

Finally, Muller was forced to put his Trump cap back in the drawer – something he is sure to be reminded of by year-end. At that time Trump will have been re-elected. But he, most likely, will have failed to convince enough New Zealanders of the centre-right cause – his proper mission, about which he has said precious little. After all, he supports the lockdown. He’s OK with the erosion of our liberties. He supports profligate spending, and his point of difference appears to be that, while borrowing just as much, he believes that he could spend your money better.

Muller’s alternative spending plan, announced this weekend, is to subsidise employers by $10,000 for each new employee they engage. This is pure corporate welfarism. While borrowing and spending by the government isn’t a de facto inflationary cause, it will be if labour costs are artificially maintained, and allowed to fall at less than the rate of productivity. Placing workers in jobs which aren’t really needed will push us into an inflationary spiral, compounding our problems and proving that those in politics never learn.

The fact that many western economies in the 1970s managed to maintain high levels of both unemployment and inflation is due to policies such as this.

Whatever happened to tax cuts? Or to removing red tape? Or to small government? Or committing to policies promoting individual freedom and liberty, instead of having us live under the shadow of a command economy and ongoing government tyranny?

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