Plain English: More and More Policy
By Bill English
Last year Don Brash announced major and controversial policy such as repealing Treaty clauses in legislation and abolishing parole for repeat and violent offenders. Last week Don Brash announced National’s plan to spend every dollar of petrol tax on the roads by the end of National’s second term in office. National will add $100 million extra per year for 6 years to the roading budget until all petrol tax is committed to roads.
The week before he announced National’s youth justice policy, including new parenting orders, which will allow the Courts and the Police to hold badly negligent parents accountable for their young children’s actions. Next week Don Brash will announce National’s education policy focussed on restoring standards in literacy and in secondary school qualifications. After the Budget National will announce its tax policy.
Socialists and Social Engineering
Middle of the road voters are getting motivated about the government’s social agenda. New Zealanders are tolerant people who often prefer to deal with values issues by leaving well alone. So they get upset when a government tries to push a social ideology on them. That’s the uneasiness John Tamihere’s stinging criticisms of Labour comments have tapped. He has said what many middle of the road New Zealanders think.
More importantly, all political commentary on the radio and in the papers has taken the statements as true. No-one has stood up and said the team around the PM aren’t “butch” or that Steve Maharey isn’t “smarmy and lacks substance, ” or that Michael Cullen regularly deceives Labour’s coalition partners about what they have agreed to. Nor has anyone denied Labour is run by a women’s network gays, and unions.
Labour have taken the comments very seriously. If they could say that Tamihere’s allegations were wrong, they would. Instead they have, like Stalin, blamed them on his mental state. Below is what some NZ newspapers and websites had to say about John Tamihere’s colourful description of the inner workings of the government behind closed doors.
Southland Times: A quiet word over lunch
Stuff: Clark concerned about Tamihere's outburst
Stuff: Colin Espiner - No hope now for Labour bad boy
NZ Herald: John Armstrong - Cullen blows his top as the Tamihere circus rolls on
NZ Herald: Editorial - Moment of truth for candid MP
Stuff: Tamihere's words of wisdom
Timaru Herald: Editorial - Time to resign
Sex Changes Top Priority
As if to make sure Tamihere’s points hit home, the Minister of Health has approved $170,000 for four sex change operations in New Zealand in the next few months. There isn’t enough money to provide our vulnerable elderly with decent care but there is plenty for sex change operations, a procedure based on dubious psychological theories. This too will be controversial.
Clark can see the brewing storm so she has put back until after the election another measure important to Labour the Human Rights (Gender Liability) Amendment Bill. This legislation is deigned to make sure that if for instance someone secured a job as a female, then turned up as a male, nothing can be done about it. In fact if Labour pass the Hate Speech Legislation they are proposing, it will be illegal to say you don’t like it.
Bill Richardson RIP
A huge crowd turned out for Bill Richardson’s untimely funeral last Saturday in Invercargill. The funeral was an amazing display of the faith, strength, family and friendship around Bill. As the Southland Times said in an excellent editorial, Bill Richardson embodied bedrock values, but he was special because those bedrock values were so close to the surface. Every speaker at the funeral made the same point in different ways. Bill Richardson represented the best of the South.