Iraq - who is for sale?
The Bush & Blair administrations have proposed a draft resolution to the Security Council. So too have France Russia and Germany. You can read the full texts at: www.robsononline.co.nz/latestmatter The US/UK Resolution is an attempt to rewrite the UN Charter. That Charter does not allow for pre-emptive action. It was carefully drafted to ensure that countries only used armed force in their immediate defence. Situations like that over Iraq were to be dealt with by means other than war. With the second resolution we are also seeing an attempt to blatantly buy votes. Angola, Cameroon, Guinea, Pakistan, Mexico and Chile are non-permanent members of the Security Council, and were in support of the French approach of continuing with the inspection process. Now all have been offered large financial and other inducements and are indicating that they might vote for the US/UK position or abstain. Russia and China are also being offered deals. Turkey in return for its territory being used as a staging post for war is to receive approximately US$27 billion. With this large scale vote buying, it is vital that New Zealand stays with its commitment to the UN Charter.
Four weeks leave
Latest news: my Progressive member's bill should reach the first reading vote and go to the Transport and Indus-trial Relations Select Committee next Wed March 5th. Today the coalition government's Holidays Bill was debated and sent to the same committee. I expect that very soon the Select Committee will call for submissions on both bills, and I urge all good people to write in. I am meeting with the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union, a key promoter of the bill, to plan for building even more public support.
Prostitution Reform Bill
We received many letters emails and faxes giving various points of view on this complex issue. After serious consideration, Jim Anderton and I both voted against the second reading of this bill. My full speech is at: http://www.robsononline.co.nz/matters/prostitution.asp
Thursday had Jim and I in Hamilton at an Innovate event. Owners of businesses large and small could talk about how their business had grown as a result of the regional growth strategy. I was impressed by one young Maori woman entrepreneur who has developed a new nappy for baby's first three weeks. It does not irritate the umbilical cord. Mums and dads rejoice. Success comes from Industry NZ and local economic development agencies working with regions, industries, and businesses. The outcome is jobs, jobs, jobs. See: www.industrynz.govt.nz/business I could not let a regional visit go by without meeting our members and unions to update them on progress with the four weeks leave campaign. Unions in the Waikato are arranging for me to speak to community groups and so build on existing widespread support. _____________________
ACT, the Gloom And Doom Party
ACT has highlighted that Government facilitated new jobs in West Auckland-not at any cost to the taxpayer, but through Jim Anderton's work. ACT is ecstatic that not as many jobs were created as hoped. But remember Michael Joseph Savage: "We might make mistakes, but we would make other things too . . . We have to stand our ground and do something worth doing." _____________________
Time to get a life
NZ First Deputy Leader Peter Brown complained to me he wasn't in robson-on-politics. He earns a place with his effort in question time Tuesday 18 Feb. In the middle of a question on economic policy he asked: "can I take it that the only detailed plan to advance this country up the OECD ratings is to turn us into a nation of homosexual immigrants?" Peter, as they say in Yorkshire "there's nowt so queer as folk". See the Question Time transcript each day at: uncorrectedtranscripts.clerk.govt.nz