Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Right Talk - Weekly Comment from Bill English

Right Talk - Weekly Comment from Bill English


28 March 2003

The War

Helen Clark will never again visit Washington as New Zealand Prime Minister. She's too proud to go where she will no longer be allowed through the door of any senior official or politician. Her argument that New Zealand's position on the Iraqi war will have no cost might go down well with the media, but it's wrong. Her break with Australia, Britain and the US is a hugely significant shift in our foreign policy, made worse by the Labour Government's statement to the UN on Thursday. It was a disgrace, making no distinction between the two sides of the Iraqi war. Saddam has to be disarmed and our friends are losing soldiers' lives doing it. We should be supporting them at the UN, not indulging in an academic dirge on aid.

The Worst Kind of Intervention

The energy market is sending a clear signal -we're too short on gas, water and coal to generate enough electricity to meet demand at current prices. This is the market working - but it would work better if the Government sorted out its policy on Kyoto, carbon tax, electricity and gas regulation, and its purpose in owning 60% of the electricity industry. That should be plenty for an activist Government to do. It could even get on with opening up the Government-owned Kupe gas field.

Instead the Government made the worst type of intervention. Helen Clark announced the Government will intervene some time to do something [about what - the rising prices? Gas shortage?]. As a result investors no longer have any certainty about what the rules are and the following day shares in two power companies lost $100m in value. Until there is some certainty, investment in this sector will be avoided.

Sports Revolution

Local sports clubs might be the incubators for the talent of the future, but their money is drying up. Kids' sports teams can't get the grants they used to. Local adult sports, like social cricket and touch rugby, are losing their funding. The Government has plans to put an extra levy on pokie machines, effectively taking money from local organisations and giving it to the Lotteries Commission [or the Lottery Grants Board?] and local bodies. The idea is to reduce funding to mainstream sport, redirecting the money to politically favoured projects. The new national sports organisation, SPARC, looks politicised and unwilling to be an advocate for sport. It's got so bad that national sports bodies met on Thursday in an unprecedented show of unity to protest government's anti-sport policy.

The spread of political correctness will leave nothing untouched: Labour plans to get its hands on every aspect of national life.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news