The Right Talk The Leader's View - 22 October 2003
22 October 2003
US ship visits hysteria
Don't be deceived by the media hysteria this week over my suggestion that the Government should test the waters with the US by inviting a US navy ship to visit. Left-wingers in the media parroted Government lies that this would mean nuclear-armed and/or nuclear powered ships. It wouldn't. No US surface ships carry nuclear weapons any more and none of the ships that would come to New Zealand are nuclear-powered. Apart from the submarines, which stay submerged in deep waters and would never visit, the only ships that are nuclear powered are the aircraft carriers and they would never be sent to New Zealand. There is no mystery about this although some reporters kept saying it was not known which ships were nuclear powered. Any 12-year-old can look up the propulsion methods on the US Navy website. The interesting thing about this hysterical reaction was that it demonstrated once again that Labour and its supporters do not want to have a serious adult discussion on this issue. They use scare tactics to close down the debate. We are in a new era in the Pacific now, with the United States wanting us to back a beefed-up anti-terrorism campaign in the region, so an overture like this could lead to progress in other areas of the relationship. If this leads us into a free-trade agreement with the US, like Australia is negotiating, then our economy will receive a huge boost. National has a task force carrying out a rigorous examination of all aspects of our relationship with the US. This will report soon on what it considers the best policies for New Zealand. The caucus will take this into account in developing our policy.
More hysteria at Apec
State Television and Radio went into rhapsodies over Helen Clark's 12-minute so-called "pull aside" with George Bush at the Apec meeting in Bangkok. This was portrayed by these propagandists as some sort of international breakthrough by Saint Helen. Considering that the 30-odd other leaders at the meeting had the same treatment, this was absurd. Especially when the Beehive spin implied that this courtesy in some way made up for the considered and emphatic message delivered a few weeks ago by American Ambassador Charles Swindells. His was a carefully-crafted policy message from the Washington departments of State and Defence. Basically it showed we are never going to achieve a free-trade agreement with Washington under Labour. National has copies of the cable traffic between the Government in Wellington and the New Zealand embassy in Washington showing that achieving a free trade agreement with the US is Labour's priority foreign policy objective. Now the Government has failed on the objective, it is trying to fool the public. Helen Clark said at the end of the Apec meeting that New Zealand would not lose out in relation to Australia over the free-trade agreement. That's clearly nonsense as Australia is likely to sign its agreement by the end of the year. Where were the Gallery reporters who should have been chasing this? They were too busy spreading the Beehive's misinformation on ship visits.
Galloping political correctness
This week we saw the results of Labour's increasing tendency to spend our money on politically correct campaigns. This time it was the $11.8 million of our money the Government is spending on "educating" us not to correct children by smacking - this at a time when it is revealed that Child Youth and Family does not have the staff to respond to prevent cases like the Coral Burrows tragedy. Millions of dollars is being doled out to anti-smoking groups to pursue their cause of banning smoking in bars and money was spent on lobbying to ensure the success (by one vote) of Labour's pet campaign to legalise prostitution. We will bring you more details of these "educational" campaigns, funded by your money, in future editions. Watch this space.