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Scoop Opinion: Is The Government Paranoid?

What on earth is going on with this Government? Yesterday Dr Michael Cullen warned business to stop protesting against its policies and then Pete Hodgson says Kit Richards' consultancy to Timberlands is untenable, despite Government taking back Peter Doone as a consultant. John Howard writes.

This Government is becoming paranoid.

Yesterday, Dr Michael Cullen told a business conference in Auckland that he sometimes feels he's struggling against a protest movement in his dealings with business. He warned them that they risk becoming "their own worst enemies."

Well, excuse me! It's called freedom of speech and expression in what used to be called a democracy.

Now we have Minister for Timberlands, Pete Hodgson and his environmental colleagues like Native Forest Action, expressing outrage that former Timberlands executive Kit Richards is back working as a consultant. NFA has called for the Timberlands Board to be fired.

Hang on! What about Mr Richards' right to work which, among other of his rights, is supported international law under a number of UN Charters and Conventions New Zealand has ratified.

Where are their expressions of outrage over the Government taking back former Commissioner of Police, Peter Doone, as a consultant at a pay rate higher than the Prime Minister.

And what about the consultancies of Derek Quigley and Sir Geoffrey Palmer. Pretty selective eh!

This government is building a them-and-us mentality which seems to exclude us.

I notice that Kit Richards is being labelled "pro-logging" by the media. Pardon!

The label "pro-logging" portrays as distorted a picture as it would be if the media referred to environmentalists as "anti-humanist."

Already this government has two court cases against it, with a third on the horizon. At this rate, this is government we simply can't afford to have.

And I was looking forward to a much better society.

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