The defamatory guide to NZ’s political youth wings

To put a more positive spin on this article, think of it as a guide to help you decide which political youth wing you would be best suited to. Here’s a description of the stereotypical member of each of the youth branches of NZ’s political parties:

Young Nats

Hoping to get hooked up with some valuable business contacts and maybe even a job. Disdain rather than hatred for the lower classes. Considers him/herself a master player of the game of politics, winning friends and influencing people. In reality, being used as an unpaid telemarketer. Loves sport, doesn’t understand the creative arts.

Male: Gutted he didn’t go to Auckland Grammar or Wellington College, trying to find an old boys’ network to join so he can make up for lost time. Wears a suit jacket regardless of the rest of his outfit.

Female: Snappily dressed, ruthless, no sympathy for criminals or dole-bludging single mothers.

Future job: Lawyer, businessman, accountant, farmer.

Young Labour

Wants to get into Parliament by age 23 to make a difference / change the world. Constantly talks politics, using terms like “socio-economic” and “neoconservative”, almost inevitably at the cost of several friendships. Feels solidarity with the working classes and ethnic minorities despite having little interaction with any of these people.

Female: Assertive, plans to ban tobacco and gambling to protect the vulnerable communities of South Auckland.

Male: Meek, not sure whether asking out his female comrade would be considered sexist.

Future job: Politician, public servant, teacher, academic, spin doctor.

ACT on Campus

Masochistic streak, secretly enjoys being constantly ridiculed and demonised. Utterly convinced that his/her own political views are objective, principled and reasonable, and thus has a mind more closed than a Turkish kebab shop on Anzac Day. Impossible to debate with, refuses to budge from extreme positions (“all tax is theft”).

Male: Hates being called a square, loudly protests to anyone who will listen that he/she loves to party and sometimes smokes weed.

Female: Career-driven, independent, comfortable in a 90% male environment.

Future job: Tycoon of some kind, self-proclaimed Emperor of a 15m2 island (just waiting on the UN to recognise its independence), tax exile living in Monaco.

Young Greens

Wears muumuu and sandals at all times. Regards hipsters as sellouts, and America as an evil empire. Thinks 9/11 was an inside job. Posts dire warnings on Facebook that private prisons are the prequel to A Clockwork Orange. Love/hate relationship with the State. Veganism is a given.

Female: Alternative, borderline obsession with cats, torn between third-wave and post-structural feminism.

Male: Bearded, recently converted to Buddhism, liberates animals from research labs.

Future job: Op-shop owner, shaman, organic farmer, starving artist.
This article first appeared in Issue 8, 2012.
Posted 5:04pm Sunday 22nd April 2012 by Callum Fredric.