In the last episode of Blackadder Goes Forth, which is set on the Western Front in 1917, the mad General Anthony Hogmnay Melchett, informs Blackadder and his chums that they will be going 'over the top' come the morning,
Melchett ( brilliantly played by Stephen Fry) says to Private Baldrick: 'Don't fear. If you should falter (on the battlefield), I will be right behind you'.
Blackadder mutters: 'About 35 miles behind you!'.
That scene sometimes comes to mind when I'm reading more self-serving dirges from various politicians and corporate 'leaders' about how 'we' all need to make 'sacrifices' in this time of the Great Recession.
However those who are waxing lyrically about 'making sacrifices' for 'the common good' are the very same people who have made no sacrifices at all. They've pushed us 'over the top' and then retired to 'the lifestyles they have become accustomed to'.
There is no 'we' - just 'us'.
What 'sacrifices' has the Minister of Finance, Bill English made, for example? This guy has screwed about $500,000 out of us by pretending that the family home was in Dipton.
But that hasn't stopped him preaching about the need for 'economic restraint'. He's feeding his face with cream buns but expecting us to make do with bread and water.
As it was during the First World War , its the working class who are being sent 'over the top'. This time we're not being mowed down by German machine guns but by the scourges of job losses. wage cuts, cuts in social services, etc.
There's a class war going down and our so called leaders, the Labour Party and the CTU and PSA 'leaderships' have disarmed us and gone over to the other side.
When working class resistance fighters are sorely needed we have ended up with.... Helen Kelly, Andrew Little, Phil Goff. The General Melchett's of the labour movement.
Like the original General Melchett, they are 'right behind us'. ..thirty five miles behind us.
CTU President Helen Kelly's last defiant comment on Twitter was: Discovered fantastic new Indian restaurant. Aaina. Upper Cuba. Yum.'
Which just about sums why we've been losing this war.
The cosy arrangement that union officials have had with the both Labour and National government's over the past two decades has removed them from any understanding of the real needs of rank and file union members.
It's time for the troops to rebel, get rid of all the General Melchett's and replace them some real leaders.
Now that would really be 'yum'...