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robson-on-politics 3 September 2004

Progressive: positive about people and jobs

Fri 3 September

No, it's not good for you.

Parties that urge us, with gay abandon, to "decriminalize cannabis" mantra must get off the grass. No-one can risk our kids' future by encouraging cannabis use. I said so again when I highlighted a report from Hawke's Bay this week on the dangers of the drug. There is significant concern at its potential to do serious harm. On the Hawkes Bay report http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1162 _________________________

Praise for community action against P

Unlike some of the drug hauls at our ports that have been dramatically covered by media networks, the day-after-day-after-day work of community workers against dangerous drugs doesn't get onto the six o'clock news. But their daily grind is as important in fighting drugs as the hauls at our ports or the smashing of mobile P labs. Look at http://www.phight.org.nz, established by unsung hero Denis O'Reilly. He, Harry Tam of Community Advocacy and Research Trust, Mane Adams of Mokai Whanau Ora and Jed Thian from Firm FM dance radio came in to the Beehive to give an update on efforts of their community to fight against drug peddlers who are destroying people, most often from our lowest-income households. Launch of the Phight CD-Rom resource kit http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1144 _________________________

Your pro-growth, pro-jobs, anti-drugs, insurance

Progressive this week selected four candidates to campaign for the Party Vote in Auckland. An odd week that saw ACT, Greens, United, National and NZ First play awful games over our vital trade with China, cannabis, and uncertain pension policy, reminds me again why I so much want our forward-looking government to win next year so we can keep, and build on, our gains since 1999. Labour won't win a majority in 2005 - it will govern in coalition as it has these past five years. We'll be campaigning to keep the next government a Progressive Labour government, focused on job-creation, growth, stronger social services and turning the tide on drugs. Not tinker, tailor, but: Obstetrician, Entrepreneur and Barrister campaigning for party vote http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1160 http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1159 _________________________

China, force of the future

A funny old week in terms of political alignments. China doesn't seem to be liked by Opposition parties. Their society has given so much to human civilisation and will continue to give so much as its economy seems set to grow to surpass all others. Recognition of that reality by our Government seeking a trade deal doesn't mean that the Chinese government is off-limits to criticism.

Abuses of human rights, suppression of democratic unions, and jailing of the Falun Gung should and must be highlighted. And New Zealand must not sign just any old trade deal. But China is not the only low wage economy. Do we campaign for Australia to reject Kiwi-made goods because our average weekly wage is $200 less than theirs? Or because we don't have four weeks annual leave for all yet?. Perhaps we should have some confidence that Chinese workers will organise, as they have done before, for democracy and better conditions. Chinese workers need not wait for the Green Party to arrive to understand the laws of class struggle. National under Don Brash would have us say No to the future. They'd instead support the absurd proposition that China is not one country. It is hard to imagine a stance more detrimental to New Zealand's national interests than that adopted by the Opposition this week. What we've said on China http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1164 http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=535 _________________________

Opposition would unwind pension security Opposition politicians also outlined their wild ambitions to again drag National Super into uncertainty this week. At a conference Monday on retirement income policy, I was taken aback by some of the anti-progressive commitments given by Opposition parties to disband the NZ Superannuation Fund if ever they join a coalition government, to raise the age of super, and to re-introduce the awful uncertainty of the 1980s and 1990s. The hallmark of a civilised society http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1163 _________________________

Hell is: Stuck in a lift with a Nat/NZ First coalition Visiting the Passports Office with the select committee scrutinising the Identity Bill found me marooned in a lift for 20 minutes with two Nat MPs and one NZ First. It proved a second attempt at coalition would be as disastrous as the first. _________________________

The Robson Hour Sunday 12 - 1 Radio 531PI: talking to Helene Ambler with the PM in the Pacific, Ana Afuie on why Brits won't apologise for locking her out of UK, and Alf Filipaina campaigning for re-election in Manukau.

At www.progressive.org.nz < http://www.progressive.org.nz > there is more on the above, Kiwibank getting into business banking, making seasonal work viable, why NZ First is unfit for government, and more. Subscribe to robson-on-politics by fax to 04 472 7620 or email to matt.robson@parliament.govt.nz < > mailto:matt.robson@parliament.govt.nz> Similarly to unsubscribe.

ENDS

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