Friday, December 26, 2008

Backing into 2009

In 1990 the incoming National government wasted no time
in getting rid of laws like the Pay Equity Act and the Labour
Relations Act. Within a year or so it rolled back most of the
late Labour government’s progressive social legislation.
Now, in 2008, the incoming National government has also
wasted no time in repealing a different set of laws. This
time they’re rolling back the green agenda. Or, to put it
another way, they’re giving the fingers to global warming,
resource depletion and all that namby-pamby nonsense
about saving the planet.

It is perfectly valid, actually, to ask what planet John Key
and his colleagues are on, because all the evidence so far is
that it’s not Planet Earth. They're talking up roading at the
expense of rail. They've ridiculed out of existence a more
(literally) enlightened approach to light-bulb use. They’ve
dispensed with the previous government’s requirement,
nugatory as it was, for petrol to contain at least a splash of
biofuel. They're allowing again the building of coal- and gas-
fired power stations. They've put the Emissions Trading
Scheme on ice.

Of course the argument is that we’re in the middle of an
economic crisis (how convenient) and that people’s incomes
and immediate fiscal welfare must come first. Fireman, save
that job! Can they not get it through their skulls that, if not
confronted now, the much more significant eco-crisis we’re
in will cost everyone far much more in the long run?
Goodness knows, the Clark government was scarcely an
environmental role model, but it looks positively deep
green compared with the Tories' business-friendly blue.

My heart sinks when I hear John Key boast that economic
growth is his 'No 1, No 2 and No 3 priority'. The Speech
from the Throne, which outlined the new government's
program was, as Rod Oram said in his Sunday Star-Times
column, a speech for 'a time and conditions that no longer
exist.' Brilliant. New Zealand has just elected a government
facing backwards. So we blunder into 2009, not greenly, as
it were, but bluely and Brownlee.


Sanctuary said...

It is interesting to see you use the phrase:
"...but it looks positively deep
green compared with the Tories' business-friendly blue..." Will be truly ironic once the shrieking from business when we are hammered by green tariffs in our distant markets as a result of the "the gummints lack of vision and leadership" begins.

Truth Seeker said...

The National government - looking backwrds - reflects those who voted for them. Thre is a HUGE mass of people out there who know very little about a great deal. They are arrogant in their ignorance. We can see this in the "policies" of the National party as articulated by David Farrar in a comment on The Standard recently (December 22, 2008 at 8:38 pm):

"More spending on infrastructure, less spending on bureaucracy, lower regulatory costs, lower taxes to increase consumption,"

What infrastructure? Which bureaucrat? What regulation? How much tax and at what cost in reduced services?

None of that was clear - or known. Together they add up to a vague list of unfounded prejudices and preconceptions.

Facts? Not necessary when your *beliefs* are enough.

Evidence? Irrelavent when you have *faith* you are right.

The common theme here is the underlying presumption that the facts - reality - doesn't matter.

It's the same madness that infects the minds of US Republicans and lead us all t the biggest global crash since the Depression. Reality always wins.

Yet here were in New Zealand, REPEATING this folly at a time when its consequences are manifest.....but the arrogant inorants don't know what they are looking at and assume that their faith in the very same policies that caused this mess ("less bureaucracy" and "Less regulation" for sarters) is the way forward.


But you can see why it is this way. National is the party of followers. They don't allow much democracy in the that party and they plan to get rid of MMP and strip the rest of us of the only vote that actually counts....for their own advantage, of course.

By contrast, a party like the Green Party is full of well-informed people who insist on being able to vote on *everything* - candidates, leaders, list rankings, party officers, pos-election agreements and major policy planks. Not a party of followers - as anyone who has been to a Green conference can attest.

Democracy requires voters make informed choices. The people who voted for National appear to have voted on faith alone.....lacking the background knowledge to see that parties policies for what they are: a *proven* fast-track to corruption, fraud and failure BECAUSE the policies themselves fail to take account of reality.

Who knew? Not National's voters....clearly.

Not that Labour's voters know any more....but at least Labour's policies showed a higher level of correltation with verifiable reality - embodid in the very policies National is now geting rid of with such blind glee.