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The Right Talk 29 July 2003 - Winning The Debate

The Right Talk, The Leader's view
29 July 2003

Winning the debate

It's time to signal some good news: we are winning the debate on the flatulence tax. Labour is in turmoil over this ill-considered and totally unfair impost on farmers. They are trying to find an excuse to abandon the tax as they have no way to collect it. They will no doubt blame the Meat Works for refusing to assist. This will be a significant reversal and a tribute to National's efforts in Parliament as well as the nationwide protest meetings by Federated Farmers, a number of which were attended by MPs from National and the other centre-right parties. David Carter and Shane Ardern were to the fore in this and other MPs have joined protests in their areas. I attended the meeting in Otago and addressed the national conference of Federated Farmers on the subject. At the Wairarapa protest, National, Act and NZ First were represented. But Labour's Wairarapa MP Georgina Beyer refused to go and Pete Hodgson, one of the Ministers responsible for the tax, refused to attend unless he was listened to! That illustrates the degree of Labour arrogance. Mr Hodgson, we all recall, described farmers as "whingers" for daring to complain about the tax. National will abandon this levy as soon as it takes office.

We can force the changes

By keeping up the pressure we can force such reversals - and eventually change the Government. One sign of Government panic came last Thursday when I told a National Press Club breakfast of Labour duplicity over their two separate brochures explaining Local Government Act changes. The English language version assured the electorate that nothing much had changed under the new Act. The Maori version explained all the extra provisions that had been included to advantage Maori. By the end of the day, embarrassed at being caught out, Labour had withdrawn the pamphlets. Huge cost, huge waste. This demonstrates the pervasive element of political correctness that is flowing through the Government system and into our schools and institutions as a result of Labour's dangerously blinkered vision. It also shows how the Government is rattled. Nowhere is this demonstrated more clearly than over the beaches and seabed issue. Labour promised to legislate to safeguard the beaches for all, has failed to do so and is trying to compromise to keep its factions together. National's stand is simple. We say no compromise is acceptable and exclusive ownership must remain with the Crown. Our website petition has been inundated with over 40,000 signatures in a week. Labour is spending much of its time fighting internal battles on this, trying to prevent its divisions from becoming public. Watch for more on this and watch for more Government scandals, as well as Labour trying to legislate to keep New Plymouth MP Harry Duynhoven in Parliament when he has clearly and blatantly broken the electoral law and must be suspended.

Go the All Blacks

It is uplifting to see the All Blacks go from lame ducks to hero status in a fortnight after scoring half-centuries against two old rivals, South Africa and Australia. The coach and captain have now (almost) silenced their critics. The World Cup will be a test of whether attacking flair can overcome the narrowly defensive game.


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