This Month's Editorial
Editorial: Taming the Tigress
Author: Fr Kevin Toomey, Editor
“The life and dignity of millions of men, women and children hang in the balance. Decisions must be judged in light of what they do for the poor, what they do to the poor, and what they enable the poor to do for themselves. The fundamental moral criterion for all economic decisions, policies and institutions is this: they must be at the service of all people, especially the poor. (American Bishops’ 1986 pastoral letter, Economic Justice for all, 24)
As I write on the day after Margaret Thatcher’s funeral, images of her in the aftermath of the Conservative Party Conference bombing in Brighton and her prayerfulness stay with me. She seemed at her most human and personal at that point in her public life — showing an endearing hint of uncertainty. As she said of herself, “There’s not much point in being a weak and floppy thing in the chair, is there?” What she achieved as Prime Minister of Great Britain, however, has brought both plaudits and brickbats. She was “a tigress surrounded by hamsters,” as John Biffen a former Cabinet colleague famously mused, a unique politician who changed things, and whom everyone followed — a game-changer and an earth-mover.
Many countries including New Zealand moved politically because she led the way. Indeed, Rogernomics is a fair imitation of what Baroness Thatcher achieved, sometimes even more far-reaching, in that our local political structure brooks no opposition.
And once in power, a New Zealand government of whatever stripe works without checks or balances. We lack a House of Lords or an Australian Senate, even with the strong benefit of mixed-member proportional representation (MMP). Read More »