Knowledge is Power

Te Matauranga ko te Kaha


What's Left?

Bryan Bruce

On a number of occasions over the last couple of years I've noticed that some  people who have disagreed with something I have written or said have complained that I am " not objective" and sometimes "that I am just a Leftist" .

Well, let's see.

First of all I think it is impossible for any of us to be "objective" about human events because we are all swimming in the stream of life - not  standing on one of the banks watching our society float by. So as writer and film maker I think it's more honest to state what I  think about an issue rather than pretend that my attitudes and opinions do not influence how I  edit my observations about the social world.

As for being labeled a "Leftist" -  what exactly does that mean?

Is it because I think the purpose of our economy should be to create the greatest good for the greatest number of our citizens over the longest period of time? And that the purpose of government is to make that happen - not create a playground for the greedy few?

Or is it because I think the collective wealth of our nation should invested in the health and well- being of its citizens? That we should look after each other when  we get sick or  injured or very old?

Or is it because I think that education is a social good and  should therefore  be free and fair , up to and including University?

Am I a Leftist because I  think everyone is entitled to a warm dry affordable place to live and we have an obligation as a civilized society to make sure that happens?

Or because I think no child should go hungry in our country and that by feeding a healthy lunch to all our children at school we would improve the future health of our nation?

Is it because I  think babies need their Mum's and Dad's and we should give parents the opportunity have the time to look after our youngest citizens by paying for them to be able to do  that.

Or is it that I think it is in the long term interest of our nation that  everyone under the age of 18 should receive free medical and dental care?

Perhaps I'm a Leftist because of the way I think we could pay for those things? That  the more you benefit from a society the more you have an obligation to pay back to it and so we should have progressive  taxes that more fairly distribute the nation's wealth and that banks and financial institutions should pay a small levy on every financial transaction they do to meet the many social needs of our society.

Is it because I think the measure the worth of a nation is how it looks after it's most vulnerable citizens not the opportunities it provides for overseas "investors" to make their fortunes here?

Do those things make me a "leftist"?

If they do, then so be it.

Because to think otherwise, in my view, wouldn't be morally ... right.


PS. Cartoon by Chris Slane


Want to join the discussion?


Who is Bryan Bruce?

Bryan Bruce is an award winning documentary maker, and best selling author. Born in Scotland in 1948, his family emigrated to New Zealand in 1956. He grew up in Christchurch and attended the University of Canterbury where he graduated with an M.A.[1] in Sociology and Philosophy and Christchurch Teacher’s College where he earned a Diploma in Teaching.

Bryan is best known for his work on 'The Investigator' documentary series, 'Inside Child Poverty' and 'Mind The Gap'.