ACT's The Letter 8 August 2005
ACT's The Letter 8 August 2005
The nation is in the phoney war between the dissolving of parliament and the opening of the campaign. TV3s debate will open the real campaign. Winston has asked Muslims to turn in any tube bombers they know. The Greens falter. Industrial unrest rises.
The savage personal attacks by Labour Ministers on Westpac economists who questioned the affordability of Labour's student loan policy were motivated by their understanding that economic credibility will decide the election. If the electorate decides Labour have become tax and spend socialists they will lose mortgage belt voters as interest rates rule their pocket book. Similarly the ferocity of Labour's attack on the bank is an indication of the intensity of the attack to come on National's tax policy.
John Howard showed it was possible to out-promise the opposition and to convince mortgage holders that the policies of the opposition are inflationary. Like last week, the independent economists questioned government figures but were no match for the government spin.
Labour's targeting of the student vote is hurting the Greens. They have never managed to achieve their polling support on Election Day. In June 2002, 6 weeks prior to the election, the Greens polling support was 9%, falling to 7% on Election Day. Today they are polling just over the 3% threshold and are on track to fail. Green MPs are middle-aged professional politicians who are starting to look old fashioned while Green voters are under 23 - the group least likely to vote.
War on Terror
Winston's call for NZ Muslims to turn in any terrorists they may know appears not to have assisted his polling. Even Winston's supporters find his claims opportunistic.
Tony Blair insists suicide bombers are a perversion of Islam. This week in Britain's Spectator Magazine, critics like Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, the director of the Institute for the study of Islam and Christianity are saying "Could it be the young men who committed suicide were neither on the fringes of Muslim society in Britain, nor following an eccentric and extremist interpretation of their faith, but rather they came from the very core of the Muslim community and were motivated by a mainstream interpretation of Islam?"
He claims "By far the majority of Muslims today live their lives without recourse to violence, for the Koran is like a pick-and-mix selection. If you want peace you can find peaceable verses. If you want war, you can find bellicose verses…You can even find verses that specifically command terrorism, the classic one being Q8: 59-60, which urges Muslims to prepare themselves to fight non-Muslims, "Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including the seeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies."
"For the government, the time has come to accept that… multiculturalism is dead." Our politically correct media are not reporting this enormously important debate, the outcome of which will impact on every secular Western society. For a fuller version of this article go to www.act.org.nz/islam.
How does a state guard against homegrown terrorism? Prior to the Sydney Olympics NZ security stumbled across a cell in Auckland who had infrastructure plans for Sydney. The Govt has had repeated reports from ERO that the Muslim school at Mangere was teaching a very radical version of Islam and not teaching the NZ curriculum. On the other hand property values in the area have risen as Muslims seek homes near the school and non-drinking law abiding Muslims make for a good neighbourhood.
TV3s debate on Thursday night is absolutely crucial for third parties. He who is not there is lost - so United's fate is sealed. President Bush it is said lost all three debates with Senator Kerry. Howard did not win the Australian debate. So a poor performance by Clark is not fatal. Winston's image is fixed - his party's fortunes will not be affected. It's important for Brash, a first timer. He needs to win to be PM.
No one has more at risk than Rodney Hide. He needs to demonstrate his great intellect, wit and good humour. One leader out of every debate has emerged the winner and ACT has the great advantage of having a clear position. We think it could be Rodney that drives the worm up.
In his valedictory, Richard Prebble told the House he had a shell case, which was awarded, to his unknown relative Sergeant Roy Prebble by his teenage platoon for saving their lives in Crete. The army had been unable to find a closer relative to whom the shell case could be presented. The power of publicity. Sergeant Roy Prebble's younger brother Allan has made contact. There were three brothers, Roy killed at Monte Cassino, Maurice at El Alamein and Allan too young to go. He is delighted to learn of his brother's heroism and of the shell case. A member of the platoon has also made contact confirming Sergeant Prebble's remarkable heroism.
Wisdom of Crowds?
Last week we asked who you thought would be the government after the election. 28% of The Letterreaders said Nat/NZF, 22% said Lab/Grns, 20% said Lab/Grns/Maori and 15% said Lab/NZF or Nat/ACT.
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This Weeks Question
Our poll will open after TV3s debate on Thursday night. Our question is "Which leader won the TV3 debate?" We will release the verdict of the country's largest email newsletter. Vote at www.act.org.nz/TV3debate.