Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Signposts and weathercocks.

I have been reading up about Tony Benn a UK politician from the past. He was mentioned in a Facebook post and that prompted me to go searching for more. The more I read the more I like him. He said; “I admire anyone who speaks their mind whatever their party and divide politicians of all parties into two categories: the signposts who point the way they think we should go and the weathercocks who haven’t got an opinion, until they’ve studied the polls, focus groups and spin doctors. I have no time for weathercocks and prefer signposts even if I think they point in the wrong direction.” Tony Benn

Where have all the "signposts" gone? Politically in our country there seems to be few "signposts". Russell Norman of the Green Party was one but he moved out of politics. I thought David Shearer was one in the Labour party, though thoughtful and quietly spoken. But his leadership position was taken over by a "weathercock" in David Cunliffe.  Sufficient to say among our politicians there seem few truly principled people. Most act like wishy washy teenagers on the playground, following what ever they think is popular, and sometimes bullying like teenagers too.

The media with their superficial treatment of what is often superficial stuff encourage us to be "weathercock" people, following whatever is popular. 
But it is hard being a "signpost".  I have during my life been a bit of a shaky signpost, in my better moments having the courage to try standing up for truths I hold dear. It is lonely. It is not always popular. You do not "fit in" easily. 

I find I too easily take the cowardly option of retreating into silence, bottling up my unease with what is going on about me. That is not good either. Oh to be a true signpost! 

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