Our beautiful Office Manager breathlessly rushed into our offices this morning (always a good sight) holding aloft a copy of the Dominion Post, the capital’s rag of record, where our recent intervention with some Wellington City Council councillors had become news. Apparently the dinosaurs down south are complaining that having their idiocy pointed out was some kind of attack on the very foundation of our democracy!
The council’s governance portfolio leader, Deputy Mayor Ian McKinnon, didn’t receive a letter but was outraged that his colleagues had. “The debate was in the open and, while there were differences of opinion, no-one tried to hide them. This is really an attack on the democratic process.”
He was probably jealous that he didn’t get the kiddie counting book and calculator with the big buttons we sent to some of his colleagues. We’ll see if we can do better next time, our tightly-constrained budget notwithstanding. However the actual recipients were all faux moral outrage and old-man harrumphing:
Councillor John Morrison was among at least three councillors to receive one of the packages last week. “It is totally derogatory, offensive and pathetic in so many ways,” he said.
A kiddie book is “derogatory, offensive and pathetic”? Really?
Of course the one thing he didn’t say was that we were wrong. Presumably he didn’t want to mess up a good media opportunity with any actual facts – or at least none that the Dominion Post printed – and so nowhere in the story is it mentioned that he supports roading projects with a cost/benefit of only 0.4. Thats right – Mr Outrage seems to stand ready to hose away 60 cents for every taxpayer dollar that’s spent on his pet projects, but it’s somehow offensive when we point it out to him.
In the letter we included with the kiddie book and the calculator we advised that “… it’s never good to look like a dick in public. So avoid making stupid statements about how roads are an investment in the future or how they create jobs, because all the people who’ve already read the book and mastered the calculator will think you’re a moron.”
I know it’s going to feel like tough love, councillor, but we stand by that advice.