We sat down last night and watched the live stream of a Moment of Truth that really took much more than a moment and was, in fact, an hour and 47 minutes. I watched because I thought it was responsible to. If there was going to a bombshell that would destroy our current government, I thought it might be a good idea to hear what it was.
They talked about security, privacy, cables, computers, the TPP, and TPPA, Xkeyscore and the GCSB. I’m afraid XKeyscore is pretty much going to be another one of those vaguely technical words that will fade into the ether of things that people talk about passionately that has no tangible influence on the day to day running of my life. I had to wiki what Xkeyscore actually was, and to my understanding it is a big super computer that is not quite as powerful as the one in the TV show Person of Interest. And then, I had to google GCSB because it occured to me that while it’s discussed a lot, I didn’t entirely know what the acronym stood for – Government Communications Security Bureau, FYI. Again, another technical phrase that probably does impact on my way of living, but not in a day to day sense, that for the most part just goes over my head and fades into the distance – over shadowed by the nagging of my very boring life as a part time employee and full time mother. When I look around there are many things that I care about.
I care about the availability of a world class education through our local school. I care about our income and whether there is enough money in the account to pay for groceries (there is, thanks mostly to working for families). I care about whether or not I can afford to send my three children to swimming lessons (I can’t, I send one). My youngest has asthma and I care whether we have access to the doctor and the medicine to keep her lungs functioning properly (we are blessed that there is, and will be till she’s 13 if National’s policy gets implemented). I care about access to public services, like the library, staffed by a local council, and wonder if the idea of a centralised government-level fund would be better than local rates (it might be, this is worth debating). I care about the roading initiatives we are in line for and the new high school being built in our area.
I care about the cost of housing, I care about the children born into families that for what ever reason see their children go hungry, cold, sick and under-educated. I care about Hamilton’s homeless who are going to be banned from the inner-city through bylaws but no direct intervention to help them. I care about New Zealand’s homeless who aren’t entitled to benefits because they have no place to live, and with no money to pay a bond or rent in advance have no way of getting into a place. I care about beautiful, pristine outdoor spaces and I care about renewable energy and warm, healthy homes.
It’s not that I don’t care about privacy and freedom and internet security and data collection, I’m just saying it’s down the list. We all live like that. We have our priorities and our focus and our concerns and that is okay. Just make sure you have figured out yours, get into the polling booth on September 20 and put a big orange tick next to the party that aligns the best with your own list. That’s what matters.