Friday, 15 August 2014

Charlie Segar revisited

Who the hell is/was Charlie Segar I hear many of you ask? Actually, I don’t, but I’m guessing many of you will when you see this title. I know I would have if I hadn’t done a bit of research.

First of all, I should point out that he is no relation to Bob Seger as far as I know, but there is a vague connection. He was a musician; a blues pianist and occasional singer and he wrote a song that many of you will know. It is called Key To The Highway. My own collection of music includes several versions of this song, which to those who love the blues is regarded as a standard.

So what has got me talking about Charlie Segar?

Well, the answer is contained in the title of that song. I feel it is apt as several people have recently found ways to send a certain Key to the highway – possibly permanently.

I haven’t yet read Nicky Hager’s book,but it would appear to be a can that is spilling worms that are all  diving for cover and claiming deafness as well as blindness for their reluctance to come out into the spotlight.

I think most of us had a suspicion that behaviour of the sort exposed in the extracts we have seen was going on, but prior to this week we had no real evidence of it and so it remained a suspicion. Those of us who suggested out loud that it was going on were often regarded as ‘conspiracy theorists’. This of course is usually used as a pejorative term; but what happens when the conspiracy is revealed and it becomes clear that we have been ruled by a conspiracy after all?

There will still be a lot of people around who will try to avoid the ugly truth and counter that ‘everybody does it’.

Well, do they?

If so; then they all need to be outed and following this book, I imagine there could be a lot more revelations if that is the case. Nobody is saying that one side has a monopoly on dirty tricks, but even if everyone is at it, that would still not make it right (small “r”).

In one respect we should not be too surprised about what Hager has revealed because it is an inevitable consequence of personality politics. For far too long we have focussed on individuals. This is largely because they have presented themselves to us rather than their policies. Often it has been hard to determine what their policies are and even when you could identify what a politician stood for you would find out after they were elected to office that they didn’t really stand for that after all.

In short; our political landscape has taken on the appearance of a post nuclear holocaust, strewn with the detritus of broken promises, failed economic theories and secret agenda. The whole thing has been ramped up even more this year with jackbooted responses by the incumbents to any free expressions of opinion, satirical or otherwise. The over-reaction to the likes of Darren Watson’s extremely accurate and funny  Planet Key single, which it appears the electoral commission are trying to ban from all airplay (and possibly more) is not counter-balanced by any similarly robust attempts to shut up the likes of Mike Hosking.

I don’t want either of them silenced. They each have a right to broadcast their views and how it can be considered that Darren might influence the voters and that condescending prick Hosking won’t is bizarre. Surely everyone who expresses a political opinion in public could potentially influence voters. As long as we all know what their motivation is, then why shouldn’t they?

And if the politicians are wondering why we are seeing rallies chanting, “Fuck John Key” and burning him in effigy, then they need look no further than the contents of Hager’s book. The Government of our country (whichever hue they might be) are supposed to be LEADERS! What they are seen to do rather sets the standard for all those people too weak-willed to know how to behave. Unfortunately that group is probably in the majority. Just as people idolise the flawed egotists that grace our TV screens and the pages of women’s magazines, so too do they follow the lead set by the leaders of industry and politics. This gets even uglier when the leaders in politics start idolising the leaders of industry. Many of those industrialists are even more amoral than the politicians, and when they begin calling the tune and the pollies dance to it, the ordinary voter gets even more of a shafting.

Personally I don’t see any need to burn John Key in effigy; I’m surprised they used an effigy when a fireplace would have done the job better. And as for fucking John Key, I reckon I’ll leave that to others, thank you all the same.

I think the release of Dirty Politics will be a turning point in this election campaign. I will be very surprised if the Nats can paddle their way out of this particular pongy creek. It has now got rapids and I can’t see how their canoe can hope to negotiate all of those without the crew getting a serious dunking and many sinking without a trace.

Even if Simon the Pixie was to pour a whole tanker load of that oil he is so fond of on the waters and they actually managed to avoid most of the rocks and reach the dry land of the treasury benches, there will still be a whole flotilla of investigations to encounter after that. We could find ourselves having to go back at the polls again in 12 months’ time.

So thank you Nicky Hagar you have probably sent John Key to the highway and as the song says, (in an opening verse custom made for Key):                 
I got the key to the highway,
Billed out and bound to go.
I'm gonna leave here running;
Walking is most too slow”

Let’s hope he doesn’t dawdle. 

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