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James Robinson



A slightly irritating girl asked me the other day, “why don’t you write an editorial about me?” Now see, I’m no Clive James, but I’ve heard that one a lot. When I declined, the reply was surprising. “Well you’re always complaining in your editorials about having nothing to write about.” Stupid smarty-pants.
So in honour of the penultimate nature of this piece, and the last real editorial before I lay on the editorial where I thank everyone and get deep about the fact I have to do something with my life, I have three separate editorials that I have chosen to turn into little mini-editorials. LAST WEEK we had a VUWSA election. An election that you all know about, but very few probably voted in. Last Monday the results came in, and the few who had any recourse to be there at 6pm on a Monday night were huddled into the cavernous space of the Mount Street Bar and Café. Which also turned the whole occasion into a notable affair because the pub itself happened to be open past 6pm. Wow! Holy social occasion Batman!
As most know by now, Nick Kelly lost. An incumbent seeking re-election, Kelly had a tough road to hoe, with recent crises and levy rises. And I praise Hayward for unseating Kelly, on the grounds that it was nice to see someone run an actual campaign in a student election. I mean, why do Gareth Robinson and Ta’ase even bother running when they insist on not having any form of campaign presence?
In losing Nick, you have my condolences. It’s been a rocky year at times for the Salient– VUWSA relationship. But that is just the nature of what we do. Nick is the employer of the Salient staff, and not too many bosses have someone on staff that is employed to keep an eye out for your failings and report them to 20,000 people. It hasn’t always been plain sailing, but we’re still standing and talking to each other at the end of the year. Salient also congratulates Geoff Hayward, and wishes him all the best for his term as President in 2007. Salient writer conquers Presidency. Nice one dude.
Kelly’s defeat blocks out the Kelly-Cosgrove- Pratley black out of the top three positions at VUWSA, which I think will work in the association’s best interests. And nothing against any of the three candidates, but the Presidentminion- minion’s girlfriend combination kind of reeked. Anna Duggan, an affiliated Young Labour colleague of Hayward’s missed out onWelfare Vice-President by 10 votes. A close loss, but probably again for the best, forcing Hayward out of his comfort zone, if there could be anything resembling a comfort zone when you are a incoming VUWSA President with no exec experience.
If anything it will be a smoother year. A gentler exec, with new faces, old hands and only the great Chris Renwick mystery to try and factor in. And once again, turn out was between 4 and 5 percent. As we say each year, maybe next year will be the year that people start giving a shit? I WENT home in the weekend to the Hawkes Bay. Visiting my former-home town of Havelock North, I was flabbergasted. Gone was the cute little small town, the few shops, a couple of pubs, petrol station and “old people coming to die” feel of the place. In was an overarching bland stench of cash. The money from the toy-town property developments situated a little out of Havelock and the province wide wine boom had spilled in and wiped away anything that resembled character. I sat in a local pub, a pub that used to be a pokey local favourite, where everyone knew the pub owner’s name and had their picture on the wall. I sat in the now triple wide pub, now achingly dull in every aspect, with a new Shed 5-esqe bar restaurant across the road and a boutique cinema and Lone Star nearby, and I felt sorry for this town.
It may be a shallow line of argument, but when everyone loves talking about how our economy is in this dreaded ‘slump’ that is always predicted but never arrives, our provinces are looking okay. (And I guess the record low level of unemployment contradicts that as well.) The money had come in and the class had left. As a nation we’ve been all about the bling recently. TradeMe, the egalitarian internet marketplace that cuts out that middle-man and has been so popular with consumers, was sold to the Rupert Murdoch owned Fairfax Media. Rupert Murdoch, a man made rich on the spoils of being the very middle-man that TradeMe seeks to remove. Our own local pizza pioneers Hell Pizza are strongly rumoured to be selling to Burger King. And who can forget 42 Below bending over for Bacardi? Hmmmm… homgenisation!
And what’s worse is that in no way am I antiglobalisation. But who knows? Pending results of recent identity crisis, I just don’t know. WE ARE celebrity mad in WellyWood. And you will never know just how close we came to a front-page prank on the Dom. We were one good conscience away from our dream stunt to end the year. I implore you to read to Bran-Power on page 50. We were so close. Putting our money where our mouths are we tried to show the Dom up to be as shallow as we often criticise them to be. And we so nearly succeeded. Still, key word here is nearly.
John Ong, all round good guy and my Critic (Otago University) counterpart said in an editorial recently that he was glad to have cashed in his editorial about writing an editorial chip before me. He also said in that same editorial that the average person has point six of an opinion each week. Well, I’m five times the average guy. Because that’s three whole opinions. And it’s only Tuesday.