As I blogged a few days ago, hard left Green Party list MP Denise Roche, in a recent speech to local school children, stereotyped the over 65s as being bludgers, despite most of them having retired after a lifetime paying taxes and rates - the same taxes that built the school facilities.
Not unsurprisingly, Roche used the occasion to spout her Green Party political message and to launch into a political tirade, against, among others, the over 65s. As if ‘elder abuse’ weren’t already a serious concern in New Zealand, Roche revealed her prejudice by stating that too much of our taxes are put into the over 65 year olds, yet children are going to school hungry, and living in poverty - as if the two things were connected.
As clumsily short-sighted as Mayor Len Brown’s mantra that ‘children and young persons should come first’ (with no regard to equality and egalitarianism); the Green message takes it further - now children are the victims of those who’ve worked all their lives; paid taxes and rates; built this country and its economy and have committed the crime of being ‘over 65’. The Greens preach a political agenda that sets one section of the community against another.
The message to the baby boomers and beyond is - you don’t count, you’re unimportant and to prove it, we’re taking your rates to spend on our kids.
This attitude was forcibly brought home to me when I was on the Local Board with current Board chair Paul Walden. Not content with voting against giving a grant to support the film team making the Hip-Operation Crew documentary (a film that will benefit the Waiheke economy through international promotion of the island) Paul shouted ‘Shame’ on the rest of the Board for doing so; a cry taken up by his sycophants in the public seats.
Contrast Walden’s and Roche’s negative attitude towards ageing with that of our Hip-Operation Crew who promote a positive message about getting older and set a can-do example for youth to aspire to. This is shown in a recent interview reported in the Shanghai Daily.
New Zealand's Hip Op-eration Crew, who range in age from 67 to 95, see much that is admirable in Chinese culture, particularly the respect shown for the elderly, manager and choreographer Billie Jordan told Xinhua.
"They want to show respect to the values of the culture, to older people being seen as valuable members of the community. It's not something that's so common here in New Zealand," Jordan, aged a sprightly 44 herself, said in a phone interview.
Twenty-two dancers would perform two numbers over six minutes at the Taipei Stadium before an anticipated live audience of 14, 000 people at the "Seniors on Broadway" event to celebrate the elderly on stage.
While it donates a lot of its earnings from performances to youth charities, the group aims to fight ageism and the idea that the elderly are less capable than younger people.
"We want the Hip Op-eration Crew to be role models to show that you can keep learning and enjoying life as you get older. They might not be able to perform all the moves as they get older, but they still want to grow as people," said Jordan.
The ‘boomer and beyond’ generation have a positive attitude to life. That’s what’s made New Zealand so successful. But that doesn’t mean that they should be thrown on the scrap heap as they age and their needs ignored. Our politicians have a responsibility to ALL age groups and ALL ratepayers, not just their own children.