Lindsay Perigo: Tree Hugger with a Forked Tongue
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LINDSAY PERIGO: TWO OF THE BEST!
Two of his best editorials this week.
~ A Tree Hugger with a Forked Tongue
~ PI Show editorial that would have been, October 8, 2001
You have to hand it to politicians - the fork in their tongues must qualify as a Wonder of the World. Case in point: National's environment spokesman Nick Smith. During his tenure as Conservation Minister, libertarians repeatedly pointed out to him the viciously anti-property rights nature of the Resource Management Act. Dr Smith did not want to know. Instead he defended the Act - after all, his own government had passed it - referred to me personally as a "bastard," refused to participate in a multi-party debate in his electorate on property rights, & continues to describe libertarians' approach to environmental issues as "simplistic."
Now, however, National has tumbled to the vote-catching potential of the antipathy toward the Resource Management Act that is out there. Nick Smith & his leader have taken to the road in a bid to tap this potential. Today, he wrote this in his weekly Sunday News column:
"National last week outlined plans to fix the Resource Management Act. Home-owners, farmers and businesses need a break from the stifling bureaucracy that has grown from this 10 year-old act. It is madness that it takes seven years to get consent for a new road. No wonder our cities are gridlocked every morning and evening. The delays and costs caused by the act are driving away investors and jobs in key industries like timber processing. Kiwi battlers trying to build a simple patio or garage on their section are frustrated by some of the stupid rules that have come out of the act. The government is not just ignoring the problem but making it worse. It won't stand up to the extreme Greens on this issue and New Zealand is the loser. ..."
Excuse me? Is this the same Nick Smith who stood idly by while Steve Applegath got done for $25,000 for turning a bog on his property into a duck-pond without Resource Consent? While Dan Riddiford got Periodic Detention for laying the groundwork for a paua farm on HIS property? While thousands of home-owners were told what colour they could paint their own houses? While thousands of farm-owners had huge tracts of THEIR land locked up as "Significant Natural Areas"? While the Adrian Chisholm saga unfolded?
National will "fix" it, says Dr Smith, after all these years. How? Wow! - this gets radical, so brace yourselves: National would have the Environment Court rather than politicians violating your property rights (how will we notice - it's usually the Court, not politicians, who do it now). No mention of REPEALING the RMA, or of instating property rights into it (which would have the same effect); no mention of overturning "intrinsic value," "sustainability," "kaitiakitanga" & deference to the Treaty of Waitangi - the sources of the act's viciousness. Some fix!
Oh yes, it's the same Nick Smith, all right - only the fork in his tongue has gotten big enough to hug a tree with.
~ PI Show editorial that would have been, October 10, 2001
She's gone. Jenny Shipley, Prime Minister of New Zealand, 1997-99, Leader of the Opposition, 1999-2001. What she did to Jim Bolger - that which Bolger did to McLay, which McLay did to Muldoon, which Muldoon did to Marshall - has now been done to her. She's been rolled as National Party leader. She says she has "some scores to settle." Jim Bolger is laughing like a drain in the precincts of his pay-off, our Washington embassy. Do we care? Should we care?
When Shipley rolled Bolger I wrote:
"I returned to Auckland [from delivering a speech in 1993 to Shipley's electorate faithful in Ashburton] reluctantly persuaded that this politician of whom I had been tempted to think highly was in reality just another calculating power-tripper like her colleagues, measuring her every word for effect, cognisant of her party's stated principles [free enterprise & individual liberty] but in way actually beholden to them. Nothing in the interim has persuaded me otherwise. Mrs Shipley has presided over bureaucracy-ridden, Roundtable-inspired health 'reforms.' She has refused to countenance the relaxation of our fascist drug laws. She has said the Ministry of Women's Affairs will be abolished 'over my dead body.' She has voted against voluntary euthanasia. She has remained mute as the full horror of her precious Resource Management Act has unfolded. She has proved to be every bit as much of a lickspittle to the Land Transport Safety Authority as her disgusting predecessor in the transport portfolio, Maurice Williamson. And worst of all she has faithfully played the game - the cheap, tawdry, Machiavellian game of power politics. ... Simon Carr has recently likened politicians to psychopaths in their obsession with power (unearned), status (unreal) & money (other people's). What we saw in recent days, to borrow Carr's simile, was just another psychopathic orgy, one of thousands & thousands in the sorry history of power-lust all over the world."
Now, in Shipley's place, we have Bill English, who described himself today as more "pragmatic" than Shipley - which is to say, better able to play the game. He's personable & smart, to be sure. He may well lead National, against all odds, back to the Treasury benches next time. But he won't hesitate to pander to Maori racists, Politically Correct educationalists, eco-Talebans & whining welfare bludgers in the process - that's what his New-Age, MBA-speak about "reaching out" with a "forward vision" really amounts to.
So what, really, is the point? The point, of course, is power.
"Plus ca change ..." I said when Shipley rolled Bolger. I say it again now.
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