The Labour intelligentsia have been wailing over their computer keyboards today. The end of the Labour Government has impacted on them deeply.
Chris Trotter in the Sunday Star Times has even argued, bizarrely, that the Key Government means a return of the patriarchy!
Trotter and friends have always been comfortable with the Clark Government, the occasional mild criticism not withstanding.
This identification with the Clark government has largely been about its liberal, essentially middle class, social agenda. For the likes of Russell Brown, Oliver Driver, Martyn Bradbury, Chris Trotter and co this has been 'their government' led by 'their people'.
But what has irritated me for the past nine years (I'll get over it eventually) is their failure to condemn Labour's neo-liberal economic agenda - in fact, people like the patronising Russell Brown have praised the Labour Government for apparently making New Zealand more 'economically creative' and 'assertive'. Brown's been talking tosh for years but, hey, people bought it.
The problem for the Labour intelligentsia though is that these very same economic policies have been screwing working people.
While the intelligentsia have done fine out of the Clark Government thanks very much, for ordinary people the reality is low wages and increasing job insecurity.
The massaged unemployment figures hide the fact that many people, as jobs have become more casualised, cannot get enough paid hours to maintain an adequate standard of living. These are the growing working poor.
It's stuff like this that the intelligentsia have not talked about - they have been too busy talking about Helen Clark's support for New Zealand culture, civil union and anti-smacking bills, refusing to send troops to Iraq, etc.
This smug lot, constantly on our television screens. have never felt inclined to adopt a consistent critique of Labour's free market economics.
Yet bloggers like Martyn Bradbury, despite remaining silent about Labour's neo-liberalism, have wasted no time to attack Key for his neo-liberalism.
Writing on Tumeke! Bradbury had this to say;
'In these polls, it is quite clear that we are about to move in a very different direction than the United States. Rather than the groundswell of mistrust of Wall Street that has given rise to Obama's election, we look set to have a symbolic representative of the old American order as our Prime Minister. It is worth examining how Key is able to escape controversy over this comparison and why, in the wake of an economic crisis, our tradionally centre-right main party is able to capitalise on symbolic association with centre-left parties overseas.(Tumeke!, Nov 9).
But, hold on - was Labour ever going to move away from its neo-liberal economic policies? No, it wasn't. Yet Bradbury wasn't perturbed about this. He wasn't castigating Clark as a 'representative of the old American order.'
What bugs the hell out of Bradbury, Trotter and co is that the Nats have come out of the cold and crashed their party. The Labour intelligentsia have had the run of the roost for the past nine years and now someone else has moved in.
It would be nice to think that the middle class intelligentsia, the chattering class, might find it in themselves to adopt a critical stance on the New Zealand political system and finally start advocating real alternatives to market economics. Hell, here's an outrageous idea -they might even like to have another look at Marx!
But it won't happen. They will spend the next three years firing shots at National and trying to revive the fortunes of Labour.
They want their clubhouse back in three years time...