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Brash locked in '1984' time-warp

Brash locked in '1984' time-warp

An horrific vision of a racially and socially segregated police-state in which the lucky few shelter in their gated communities and increasing numbers of transgressors are incarcerated for ever in high-rise prisons is emerging as Dr Brash's vision for New Zealand, the Green Party warned today.

"Look closely and you can start to make out the invisible ink on the Brash agenda," Green Co-leader Rod Donald said. "What is emerging is the most extreme experimentation with New Zealand society since Messrs Douglas and Prebble were let loose in 1984."

Mr Donald said New Zealanders should look very closely at some of the 'ideas' the National caucus has been throwing around at its conference over the weekend, such as:

* Sky-scraper prisons to house all the inmates it intends incarcerating as a result of its 'eye for an eye' policy of legal retribution;

* Ditching the Resource Management Act if National and its big-business backers find it 'too hard' to amend, thereby denying communities a in say what's appropriate for their own backyard;

* Draconian social welfare 'reforms' such as a work-for-the-dole scheme, that would further punish people - and their children - for the 'sin' of not being able to find a job;

* More State assistance for private schools, institutionalising the growing gap between the education available for poor kids and rich kids.

"Throw into the policy mix national's previously stated intentions to dishonour the Treaty, abolish assistance programmes targeted at Maori and to renew military ties with the United States, and you have a spectre that's too horrible to contemplate, " said Rod Donald.

"Flushed with the poll-rating success of its simplistic slogans, the National Party is proposing an extraordinary raft of reactionary policies that will do more to damage the social fabric of this country than was inflicted on us by the new-right agenda of 1984."

Mr Donald said the right-wing American model being espoused by Dr Brash made the choice for the electorate a clear one.

"You can either choose a Labour-led, Green-supported government that is committed to working with all New Zealanders for a prosperous, peaceful and sustainable future - or you can go back to the failed policies of 1984, that degrade the environment and divide society by making the poor poorer and the rich richer."

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