Because we are running this paper, we thought we would go along to our first political meeting ever to cover it.
Locally based MP Parmjeet Parmar has started running a series of meetings bringing in senior ministers to Mt Roskill. Tonight she had hit the jackpot with Finance Minister Bill English speaking. Outside adding to the atmosphere was a group of protestors, officially pro the Indian students here on fake documents. However, rather than simply promoting that viewpoint, it was more like "rent a mob" with numerous union leaders identifiable. Apparently democracy is won by who can shout the loudest rather than who has the better argument.
The meeting itself proceeded cordially with the speech by Bill English followed by Q&A. A few Labour people present lobbed in their questions and were answered. Bill quipped that at a meeting someone had commented that Bill is the best Deputy Prime Minister that we have. Slightly underwhelming!
Everyone attending the meeting were escorted out by police through the protestors who were shouting"shame" at them. Attempts at intimidation of ordinary voters is somehow meant to make democracy stronger and not extreme like in facist or communist regimes? It is weird to experience this is normally docile Lynfield.
Politics does seem to be getting more polarised and with a degree of frustration and even hatred emerging.