To all the people who have fought for so many years to keep the issue of a universal student allowance on the political agenda. Thanks for your patience and forbearance, even if you (like me) haven't raised it recently. Together we created a continuum of strength that has brought us to today.
To the parties who kept promising a universal student allowance, the Alliance, the Greens, the Progressives, even NZ First. Even though I've never voted for most of you your pledge made me consider it, and no doubt brought in a few votes for you over the years. Shame you'll have your glory stolen now, but I hope you get to bask a bit in the righteousness first.
And, to my friends in Labour, including the ones I have never met or even heard of, who kept putting those remits up, kept arguing with caucus members, and didn't let my moaning about their ridiculous incrementalism make them shelve the issue in a bitter fugue. It seems that sometimes "What do we want? Incremental change! When do we want it? As fiscal conditions allow!" can deliver us something I thought might never be won ;-) Good on you for fighting the good fight that I wouldn't hold my nose to take part in.
But it all means nothing unless the Forces of Good (that would be the centre-left) hold the Treasury Benches come Xmas. I think I'm starting to understand why Labour want a fourth term. I'm starting to think I want them to win it too, and not just because they're better than that other lot.
Is Labour's universal student allowance promise all that feminist? Probably not. But it did make me pretty happy today, not least to think that there will be young women out there who will be able to be independent from their families, from their partner, and have opportunities that otherwise might be shut off from them. And they won't have to suffer a choice-shrinking debt to study. Yay!