Peters: Labour class of 2003 – Doyens of Duplicity
21 July 2003
Rt Hon Winston Peters address to the Wellington Rotary Club, Terrace Room, Level 5, Copthorne Hotel, Plimmer Steps 1230pm 21st July 2003
Title: “Labour class of 2003 – Doyens of Duplicity”
One of the most common misconceptions about Parliament is that it should be made up of highly intelligent motivated people who always act in the best interests of the country.
The truth is that Parliament is actually made up of groups of people representing various competing points of interest and they believe that their particular brand of politics is best.
There are two levels of reality in politics. That reality that is happening, and that which is perceived to be happening.
Today I want to talk about these separate realities, because watching the actions of this Government seems like being on some narcotic that makes people believe they are somewhere else.
This is because there is a marked difference from what is actually happening to what is perceived by the public as happening.
Labour has enjoyed a four-year honeymoon so far. That one crucial event that will mark the turning point for Helen Clark’s Government lies in the future.
We are still waiting for the pivotal event that marks the turning of the tide.
This Government is not yet at its own “Stalingrad” - the one event that unmistakably signals the start of the retreat.
There have been stumbles and setbacks but they have been in the nature of skirmishes – sideshows.
The Government has spin-doctored them away with the help of some compliant media – and got back on its high horse.
The fact that National has been firing blanks, mainly at its own feet, has certainly helped the Government.
It was interesting to note that just as the Government came under pressure over Maori claims for the foreshore and seabed, National imploded with a boom that attracted the attention of the flatulence tax collectors.
But the nature of politics is that for this Government, its comeuppance will come.
Although the time and precise event are unknown the underlying cause of its coming fall from grace is already clear.
Because there is one characteristic –one theme - that typifies this Government.
One word has become its hallmark –its “brand” as the ad agencies say and that word is duplicity.
A word that describes deliberate deceptiveness and double-dealing.
What George Orwell called “Double Speak”.
In New Zealand First we know that politics is not a playground and that all governments cast themselves in a favourable light.
All political parties in government office gild the lily, but this government is going well beyond that.
It is addicted to a deliberate strategy of telling two stories –playing both sides of the street – at the same time, while pretending to drive up the middle.
Helen Clark’s government is like a Hurricanes rugby fan at Eden Park who is cheering on the Blues but betting on the Crusaders!
We have a Government that that has entered a new world – in fact a new universe of “spin”.
You can see the strategy of duplicity most clearly in immigration policy and in Treaty policy.
The Immigration Minister has been feeding the public the line that all was well with immigration policy – it was all for the best.
We were all supposed to be winners.
Then out of the blue in November 2002, in response to New Zealand First’s campaign, the public were told the brakes were being applied.
Duplicity – it was all smoke and mirrors just enough to get the issue off the front page. Nothing was done to address the fundamentals of a flawed immigration policy.
Now in June 2003 comes the 180 degree turn – a total policy reversal.
Billed as the biggest change in immigration policy for a decade the Government is now boasting that its June 2003 policy is the answer to immigration problems.
Now, most New Zealanders were not born yesterday.
They know that all this chopping and changing means that not all the policy positions can be right.
We have had a Government running around claiming its policy positions were perfect right up until the moment they were abandoned.
What is this if not a deliberate attempt to throw sand in the public’s face?
Logic tells us that the pre-June policy and the “new” immigration policy that has been introduced in June cannot both be right.
Or has the Government discovered some sort of policy “fourth dimension” where contradictory policy positions can both be correct.
The fact is this - the Government has made a total hash of immigration – as New Zealand First has been pointing out - and is now desperate.
The steps announced in June were an attempt to redress a disastrously failed policy.
But still the Government has the audacity to assert 2 plus 2 is five, and that it knows what it is doing.
The real irony of the situation is that the latest immigration policy announced with such fanfare in June is just as deeply flawed and damaging to the interests of New Zealanders as the previous policy.
What we got was a stack of new rules and a lot of waffle.
The public are on a promise that something is going to happen –some time – to bring the flood of migrants back to a sustainable level.
What we did not get was a sane immigration policy, linked to a sound population policy.
Because nothing is being done to close the flood gates.
New Zealand is still going to be seeing around 50,000 net migrants annually – whatever the term net migration means.
The official statistics show that more than 70,000 immigrants are arriving each year although one independent study calculates the number much higher than that.
And suddenly we are taking in 4,000 refugees and asylum seekers a year instead of the 750 we are obliged to take under our international agreements.
New Zealand First says the Government’s immigration policy is sheer lunacy.
Auckland is bulging at the seams. The social and physical infrastructure is collapsing under the weight of artificially inflation population growth.
And what happens? The Government fails to meet the cost of its immigration folly and local councils start increasing rates by exorbitant amounts to pay for it.
You see by doing this, the Government can keep a massive Budget surplus under wraps until election year to buy votes.
In the meantime, pensioners in the Auckland Regional Council’s area face rates increases of up to 600 percent. Is this duplicity? Or is this duplicity?
Quite rightly the public is alarmed about what is really happening with immigration.
An opinion poll recently carried out showed that more than 80 percent of the population felt immigration levels are too high and that is the real reason for the new policy.
Duplicity dictates that the public must be led to believe that entry conditions are being tightened.
Believe this only when immigration is reduced to a sustainable level – which is tens of thousands below what this Government is allowing to enter.
Despite the pretence that immigration has been severely cut back – and that is the story the media have swallowed, the Minister is still allowing an influx at a grossly excessive level.
The central proposition in the strategy of duplicity is this.
This government thinks it is so smart – so clever – so devious it can pitch different and contradictory messages to selected audiences at the same time – and no one will notice!
In other words the Government is going to have our cake and let multiple groups eat it too.
The strategy of duplicity is at also at work in relation to Maori and it is breathtaking in its sheer audacity.
It is based on the principle that you can fool all of the people all of the time, especially Maori.
There is a simple reason why Maori have been so upset, so indignant, so outraged at the Government’s response to the foreshore and seabed issue?
Because they feel they have been betrayed.
Maori have been well and truly led up the garden path by stupid policies based on race.
Labour have promised Maori that they are the chosen ones.
Maori have been led to believe that they have priority rights over all New Zealand’s natural resources.
A dangerous form of cargo cultism has been nurtured and developed by guilty white liberals and brown radicals, ably abetted by judicial activists interpreting fuzzy laws about Treaty principles.
Expectations have been raised to the roof.
The message from Labour has been – “trust us, we will deliver nirvana”.
Let us lead you into the Promised Land.
But notice when the rest of New Zealand gets wind of what the Labour led Government is up to they are up to and alarm bells start ringing another story is peddled
Remember the infamous “closing the gaps” fiasco?
That was another instance where absurd and undeliverable promises were made to Maori that collapsed when the public got to see through the spin
Because of the foreshore and seabed it is Maori who are now irate.
Ultimately that is the way the New Zealand public in general is going to feel about Helen Clark’s government.
Why did the PM lose her customary cool over Paintergate?
Could it be that what really struck home about this incident was that it exposed the duplicity that runs like an underground sewer through her Government.
But duplicity is a dangerous game.
Miss Clark tried to play it in foreign policy over the Iraq War and its aftermath.
For the domestic audience she headed for the moral high ground.
There were lofty sentiments about sticking with the UN – and suggesting that with Al Gore as President war would have been avoided.
But she also wanted to curry favour with the current US administration.
And remember how she warned about the law of the jungle over the involvement of Britain and the United States in the invasion of Iraq.
Last week that had changed somewhat.
She suddenly understood why the United States had taken military action – and she believed that the British Prime Minister had been absolutely sincere in the run-up to the Iraq war.
Talk about being on both sides of the fence!
And if we look to one of the wars at home – the fight against crime, there is more evidence of duplicity.
New Zealanders have been lectured at length by some government ministers on the tough line this administration is taking against crime.
The talk is not matched by action.
In recent weeks we have seen immigrant offenders paying blood money to get their sentences reduced.
We have seen cases of dangerous criminals being released on home detention.
We have seen armed gangs terrorising residents in the Bay of Plenty and Manawatu.
We have seen increased immigrant crime – kidnappings, extortion, and killings.
We have seen police unable to respond to emergencies because they do not have enough resources.
We have seen long delays in police responses to burglaries – again because they do not have the resources.
Serious offending is increasing – do not be fooled by the soothing noises and the lectures from the Beehive.
The business of Government is about making choices.
The pretence that everyone can be a winner, in all situations, is a falsehood.
Yes - there have been a few winners from immigration –the migrant importation industry being one – but 99% of New Zealanders have lost from an open door immigration policy.
They are starting to pay for it through higher rates and lower access to social services, particularly in Auckland.
The cost of uncontrolled immigration has been hidden by a campaign of misinformation and public relations spin.
Similarly you cannot go down the road to racial division as this Government has done and pretend that New Zealand society will not suffer.
And you can’t keep telling people that you are on top of crime when the police can’t respond to emergencies.
We believe the public will eventually see through the smokescreen of spin and duplicity used by this Government.
Because no matter what the media advisers say, you can’t fool all the people all of the time.
We in New Zealand First are convinced that we have the answers to some of the major issues that face every citizen in this country.
When immigration numbers are so high that 300,000 new New Zealanders can’t speak English – it is time to say enough.
We would reduce the level of immigration dramatically, in line proportionately, with the numbers that countries like Australia take.
If we have a shortage of certain skills, we would allow an immigrant to come in for a specific position, but only if it could not be filled by a New Zealander.
We would ensure that those who do come in are readily assimilated into our society.
We have had major immigration successes in this country and they were based on the people arriving in numbers that could be readily absorbed without straining our social and physical infrastructure.
Our law and order policy of doubling police numbers has already been released.
The cost of this can easily be met from the huge Budget surplus. Crime levels are so high we cannot afford to let the present situation continue.
New Zealand First also has the answer to the race based policies this Government is following.
There must be one set of laws for all citizens and we must all be treated the same.
We face disaster if policies are based on racial preferment.
New Zealand First will repeal all these fuzzy laws that have Treaty “principles” in them that nobody understands.
Nobody in the Labour Party has even been able to tell me what these mystical “principles” really are.
The only principle that we will follow is that we are one people in one country with one set of laws.
Any other position places us in peril.
We cannot leave a country torn apart by racial tensions for future generations to try to sort out.
It will be too late.