Of BULLSHIT & JELLYBEANS
Many years ago, the now Mayor of Invercargill, Tim Shadbolt wrote a book called :Of Bullshit and Jellybeans” which, in its time, created a great deal of controversy and debate. I was reminded if the book today when I heard and read the present Prime Minister of New Zealand, John “Pinnochio” Key declare that the 2014 election would be one contested by the “centre-right” (National & ACT) and the “extreme Left”- the Labour- Green coalition.
“Normally elections are fought between the centre left and the centre right. That is not what’s going to take place next year. David Shearer has cut his cloth and it is wrapped around Russel Norman.
“But that now becomes an election between the centre right and the far left.”
He cited the Green Party’s policy proposal to increase the money supply and the two parties’ plan to regulate wholesale power prices as examples of their shared “far left” policies.
At this point I fell about laughing because if those are far left policies, how far right are John Key’s asset sales, or the passing of a law to remove the democratic rights of the carers of disabled family members to challenge their payments?
Here’s what Andrew Geddis posted on the Pundit blog about Key’s government’s latest abuse of urgency in his post, I think National just broke our constitution:
By passing this law, Parliament is telling the judicial branch that it is not allowed to look at a Government policy (not, note, an Act of Parliament) in order to decide whether it is in breach of another piece of legislation enacted by Parliament (the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990). In other words, the judiciary’s primary function – to declare the meaning of law and its application in particular cases – has been nullified. Furthermore, the judiciary’s role as protector of individual citizens in terms of ensuring that they are being treated in accordance with the laws of the land has been removed. While the stakes may be small in the immediate case, this is about as big a deal as it gets in terms of our constitution.
Since Key persuaded the NZ voter that he was a “safe, some what beneficent and careful, responsible person to lead the country “ we have witnessed the wholesale destruction of the country’s economy, the sale of essential state assets, labour laws, conservation protection legislation, local governments’ abilities to control their own destinies in terms of planning and infra-structural needs and a gradual undermining of the education system, the social welfare system and the erosion of trust in the public service as the ability to monitor and deliver them have been cut away in the name of “efficiency”.
What is frightening is that all of these policies are not those of a”centre-right” government, (such a title implies that such a political party would have a greater sense of social responsibility than a party of the Right.) but the actions of a dictatorial, autocratic and right wing party that one would associate with those who dominate the Republican Party of the USA, the Conservative Party of the UK under both Thatcher and Cameron whose policies are predicated with the belief that a country is best governed like a business and, preferably, owned by a foreign corporate who can happily exploit the inhabitants and their industry not for the communal good but for the good of the Hedge Fund manipulators, the affluent 10% whose collective wealth outweighs that of the remaining 90% of the world.
John Pinnochio Key’s unchallenged assertion that his party is “Centre-Right” deserves all the public ridicule and criticism the New Zealand media and public can muster.... however, as his claim has not been challenged by any of the main stream media outlets it will probably be too late and New Zealand will wake up, sometime after the 2014 election, to discover that the “centre-right” National-ACT party has abnegated all responsibility to govern the country and has decided to pass the responsibilities of managing the economy, developing industry, providing and administering the nation’s transport system, education, health, justice, penal system, social housing provision and other essential services to overseas owned corporates who have, some how, quite fortuitously, purchased them or the rights to administer them from Key and his associates.
New Zealand does face a choice this coming election year... a choice between the Right and the Left... a choice between the Neo-Liberal Right - hell bent in defending the discredited free market competition economy - and the Social Democrat Left - dedicated to preserving, protecting and enhancing the quality of life, of society by carefully and responsibly managing the economy for the benefit of the Nation.