Those of you who are old enough to remember humming the chorus to this famous Simon and Garfunkel song may be taking time to revisit especially given its warning against complacency.
Another appropriate quote that could be added in today’s corrupt political climate is one used by JFK - “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing!”
When these memorable lines are added together, they provide a powerful lesson for keeping us safe.
Make no mistake, l believe that evil does exist in our society, most of it in subtle forms that are too often overlooked because we are encouraged to accept an environment that peacefully co-exists with the consequences.
Let me explain.
This nation went to the polls last year, supposedly voting for a government that would provide security against the largest threat to our existence since WW2 - the COVID pandemic.
At a time when most people could think of nothing else, voters overwhelmingly rewarded the Labour government with a second term. While one could argue that the result was a forgone conclusion given there was no other issue to consider, it might have been a different story had we been privy to the government’s post election intentions that were deliberately withheld.
I’m talking about the intent to introduce racist legislation that could give unequal electoral advantage to only one (often a minority) community group through the introduction of Maori wards.
I am suggesting that this issue had and still has the power to become a decider in any future free vote and may well have made a difference at the last election if it had been part of Labour’s manifesto.
The fact that Labour deliberately withheld that information from voters indicates that it knew it could not defend against such a betrayal and consequently chose the cowardly and deceitful route to a guaranteed electoral success.
I am hopeful that the ramifications of this act of duplicity will not be lost on those of us who believe in the values of equal opportunity and a shared future for all.
Above all else, we must respond to this outrageous grab for power with a refusal to accept the legitimacy of these tactics. We must resist any attempt to cement this “evil” concept into our statute books. We have options. One is with our vote at the next local body election.
And before people rush to accuse me of incitement to violence or whatever, l can assure you that l am doing nothing more than advocating peaceful protest that is best demonstrated at the ballot box whenever that opportunity might next occur.
Chris Trotter’s insightful piece reinforces my view of a government that is frightened of its own shadow and has been spooked by the negative reaction to its own arrogance.
It is amazing how a little bit of bad news can panic those who most would consider to be in an unassailable position.
Yet nothing would surprise me given this mob’s propensity for denial.
When you no longer believe your own mantra, it is a sure sign that the wheels are about to come off. Maybe Chris is right and we are about to see some irrational giant leap of faith.
It brings to mind another song from yesteryear - Peter, Paul and Mary’s - “The times, they are a-changin.”
Clive Bibby is a commentator, consultant, farmer and community leader, who lives in Tolaga Bay.