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Robson-on-politics 1 April


Robson-on-politics 1 April

Iraq

The amount of money that already has been spent on the American led war would have met all the costs for substantive development projects to eradicate under-development not only in Iraq but in the surrounding countries and for the Palestinians. What will eventually be spent would meet the development costs throughout the entire world for years to come. This war far from under-mining terrorism will give it impetus. And the supposed weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the causus belli, are not as September 11 showed, necessary to launch devastating terrorist attacks. Michael Young in a March 26 article in The Daily Star of Lebanon pointed out that the pretexts for the war were to overthrow the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, to destroy weapons of mass destruction and to eradicate the source of terrorism.

But, he writes, the logical way to deal with these fears would be to:

-- take steps to eradicate the root causes of terrorism in order to isolate the terrorists and turn their own people against them prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction through the rigid implementation of international conventions and

set up zones free of weapons of mass destruction and force countries to respect them. This would of course mean that Israel would have to play ball.

See: http:// http://www.dailystar.com.lb/opinion/26_03_03_b.asp

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Higher Japanese tariffs make fair rules urgent New Zealand beef exported to Japan, our fourth largest market, already faces an incredible tariff of 38.5%. Tokyo wants to increase that to a stunning 50%. This is a clear example of why we need fair international trading rules. As a small nation we depend on them.

See my full statement: http:// http://www.progressive.org.nz/media/releases/pr20030331-mr-japan-dutys.htm

_____________________

Electricity

Low hydro lake levels mean that winter could see an energy crisis. Jim Anderton has had some very pointed words to say on the issue in the Sunday Star Times. In relation to the Bradford "reforms" he said: "The market is actually working the way it is meant to and it is resulting in failure - and that is what I call a market failure. In other words, it is a market doomed to failure."

But what to do? The Minister for Economic and Regional Development has said that "You can't keep going back and saying, there's another crisis fellas, come on, rally around." So he is part of a task force , led by Michael Cullen, looking at long term solutions. Watch this space.

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Corrections & restorative justice

A new Corrections Bill will be sent to select committee this week. It tidies up existing legislation and regulations to meet the needs of the modern system as well as reflecting the many reforms which are aimed at reducing re-offending. I will talk to Margaret Wilson, the acting Minister, about the possibility of the legislation being amended to facilitate the use of restorative justice processes already underway in our prisons and to allow for future developments. Email restore@clear.net.nz for more information about these processes.

_____________________

Getting young people into jobs Regional and economic development include Auckland and other cities. This week Jim Anderton launched pilot programmes in Waitakere and Porirua to provide young people with a better chance for jobs.

This is another step towards our aim of everyone under 20 in education, training or a job by 2005. For the full story see:

http://www.progressive.org.nz/media/releases/pr20030331-ja-waitakere-youth-jobs.htm

Another Progressive MP today?

Today of all days I was approached by an opposition MP, quietly considering the future and very impressed by our Jobs Machine achievements. If I have not already said enough for you to understand what this means, just ask.


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