Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol. 34, No. 18. October 6 1971
Local Body Stakes
Local Body Stakes
A small but attentive congregation at Victoria University were recently privileged to attend a requiem mass for local body elections in Wellington. Celebrants were His Holiness Sir Francis Kitts, Cardinal A.P. O'Shea and Father D.M. McMillan. A vain attempt to disguise the sombre nature of the occasion as a secular 'election meeting' by all three celebrants was easily perceied by the majority of the audience, which displayed a nostalgic desire to return to more traditional forms of these services.
Mr McMillan, pet shop proprietor ordained in the 'Social Credit' faith, commenced the service in the most irreverent and unholy fashion, by, in effect, discounting the need for clergy in Wellington local body politics. He wanted a city manager, a taxation expert, a minibus feeder service, a monorail and a municipal waste-dispoer. McMillan inadvertently revealed that his schoolboy image was in fact more than skin-deep when he said that the cost of a municipal waste-dispoer was "very difficult to calculate"; a blunder that may cost him his holy orders if it reaches the hierarchy of his own faith.
A strange hush fell over the congregation when a reincarnation of Cordell Hull rose to speak. Unfortunately it was in fact A.P. O'Shea, former Secretary of Federated Farmers, who has emerged from retirement to take Wellington back to nature. Mr. page 5 O'Shea's slogan for these elections' is "Come on Wellington", a gem of originality which should mobilise and radicalise a broad coalition of citizens behind him. In a manner befitting Billy Graham and thus suitable for such a serious religious occasion, he said, "I'm going to ask you young people to give up half a day a year",...to help fill in the deplorable potholes behind the War Memorial. "There's a good deal of altruism about, if I become mayor I'm going to tap it." (Mr O'Shea had earlier revealed that he had already been given a substantial contribution from a friend who was a plutocrat). Mr O'Shea made reference to his long association with the university -"I'm a life member of the Football Club", he said. Although he obviously has no chance of victory as a conservative candidate fighting a conservative mayor, it is to Mr O'Shea's credit, that he managed to provide the only memorable comments of all three candidates.
- "I would never run down parks" (answering a question about houses being replaced by parks).
- "I'm always willing to see two points of view - my own and the wrong one" (on his responsiveness to pressure groups).
- "If you all give a hand with the potholes, I'll give a hand too" (Mr O'Shea is sixty-eight years old.)
Doing his by-now tiresome Blossom performance yet again, the present occupant of the Holy See, Sir Francis Kitts struck an unforgiveable blow at intern-denomin-ationalism by appealing to the congregation to return a full Labour ticket onto the Wellington City Council. Out of sixteen members of the Council, he said we have six Labour men. To Graeme Mackay's cry of "What about Olive!?", Sir Francis demonstrated his amazing grasp of biology by retorting, "she does as good a job as most men; better than you." If you want direct representation on the council, he cried, "give us David Shand and Warwick McKeen." Sadly there were no offers. After an historical discussion of the great Labour Councillors of the past, including Bob Semple and Peter Fraser, Kitts surprisingly referred to the Labour Party's policy. However to the relief of the congregation, be only talked about the great deal of study and sound ideas that had gone into it and did not, thank God, mention what the policy was. Once again, Kitts demonstrated his ability to get to the guts of any problem, when he exclaimed that the biggest problem confronting Wellington City was one of money. He promised to put pressure on the Government for additional sources of revenue, a promise which might well come true if the present supply of dwarfs in the Cabinet is not speedily replaced.
While it is definitely the responsibility of any 'election' commentator to suggest whom to vote for, I sadly urge all voters to stay away from the polls on October 9th. The method of appointing the incumbent to the Holy See of Wellington must be changed and be made, as it always should have been; in Rome. - R.I.P.