WHILE WE’RE DEBATING the economic competence, or otherwise, of the four candidates vying to become the male co-leader of the Greens, here’s a blast from the past from John Hanlon.
Damn the Dam was released in 1973, and tunefully encapsulates just about all of the sentiments that propelled the Values Party into the forefront of progressive New Zealand’s imagination during the General Election campaign of 1972.
The Values Party can lay a pretty solid claim to being the world’s first “green” party. (Which is why I found it so odd that only Gareth Hughes was willing to cite one of its earliest members, Jeanette Fitzsimons, as his personal political hero!) But, as Hanlon’s song clearly illustrates, it carried within it, almost from the moment of its birth, the inherent contradiction between the needs of the natural and the human worlds.
As my wife puts it (rather brutally I’m afraid): “I’d rather have cheap power than the bloody fantail!”
Even within the ranks of the late (and, by some, lamented) NewLabour Party, the comrades rapidly sorted themselves into the “Red-Green” and “Smokestack” factions.
In the end, just about all political struggles boil down to a set of arguments based upon giving “power” – however narrowly or widely defined, to “the people” – however narrowly or widely defined. “Tiny animals, little birds as well” don’t get much of a look-in. Which is why Russel Norman was so emphatic in his insistence that the Greens must learn to speak the language of human priorities, aka “Economics”.
Still, it’s a lovely song.
Video courtesy of YouTube.
This posting is exclusive to the Bowalley Road blogsite.