This is not a blog devoted to NZ and its many glories (and few ignominies - don't mention Saturday night's alarming rugby loss) but there is a very odd debate occurring in NZ at the moment which sometimes feels like it is me and the PM against everyone else.
That debate is over changing out flag, which the NZ Herald reports on here. I think our flag should be changed because it includes the Union Jack which is a throwback to when we were once a colony then a dominion and generally a 'Where Britain goes, we go' nation. Those days are long gone and we should have a flag which reflects our independence as a South Pacific nation. (I go further, we should ditch the monarchy the day after the present monarch abdicates or is buried).
Hence my 150% support for our PM John Key taking the initiative in a scheme which will see us referendumise on the matter of changing the flag, and if we change, which flag we change to.
But the naysayers are grizzling over spending $26m on the exercise saying it would be spent better on school lunches. Er, say what? When $26m is spent on those lunches there will be more lunches to buy. Once we have a new flag we have the new flag for ever, or at least for a long time.
Other naysayers are saying that our soldiers fought and died under the present flag and some kind of dishonouring of their sacrifice will occur if we change the flag. Er, say what? Did 'our boys' fight for our flag? I think not. They fought for freedom, democracy and justice. They fought with Allies of many nations and many flags, not for the freedom to fly our flag in a foreign desert.
Now for sometime I have carried on the right hand side of the blog my preferred design for a new flag.
Needless to say I am thrilled to find that in an unscientific poll conducted by the Herald, that design is one of the top two preferred designs ...
Continuity with the present flag through the retention of the Southern Cross.
Inclusion of the treasured national emblem, the silver fern, already present on many sports uniforms.
Red in the top design is also a continuity feature with the present flag.
Black in the bottom design is a nod to the colour which features in most of our sports uniforms.
Meantime, more pressing matters consume us ... the All Blacks have a shot at the theology of REDEMPTION on Saturday night with a return match against Australia. But they will need a theology of Self-Examination and Penitence if they are to learn from their errors on Saturday night past.