As a long time activist for changing the flag, my conscience is prodding me to write something of substance on National's flag referendum. Elsewhere, I have accused John Key of going through the motions. Fucking the dog, as the Americans say. The insubstantial final four flag designs which to go to the people by postal referendum in November lends weight to this theory.
From the start, Key has held the thumb on the scales of fair go. He has unashamedly had a silver fern stamped on his forehead from the start. Little wonder then the flag quango served up three ferns and a monochromatic koru. Ignore the dictat at your own peril.
Key has shrewdly bet each way he can't lose. Entrench that lazy blue ensign for another twenty years or more, or he gets his Rugby Butter logo. The people don't come into it. This is Reality Politics. He has me snookered, that's for sure. All sorts of proxy fronts have formed, from the RSA to the Twitterati, threatening to spoil, sabotage or protest vote just to spite him.
This is precisely the opposite of what Lloyd Morrison had in mind when he kicked off the nzflag campaign over ten years ago. Instead of uniting under a common banner, we are a people divided and conquered.
Having grown up in the 1970's, I have always lived under the Common Market (currently re-branded to EU). I bear no allegiance to Old Blighty. Je ne suis pas an effing Brit. The Royal Union must go.
Accordingly, here's how I'll be voting in November's STV referendum, and why.
1. Monochromatic Koru / Hypnoflag. For starters, it's not an effing silver fern. Ferns are green. The silver is the spores under the leaf. Pungas have red spores. Give me pungas over silver ferns any day. Secondly, since the Board wimped out on Hundertwasser, this is the closest the vanilla people will let us get to truth.
2. Lockwood's Black and Blue Fern and Stars. Yes, it induces sportsball and domestic violence. But that's NZ, eh?
3. Lockwood's Red, White and Blue Fern and Stars. Fucking awful, but still better than
4. Inverted NZTA logo. Keep on rooting that corgi.