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Dream on Don!

Dream on Don!

Don Brash is dreaming if he thinks the world can sustain the old-fashioned vision he has outlined in his Orewa III speech today, the Green Party says.

"He totally fails to deal with the biggest risks to our economy," Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

"It is ironic that on the day the "Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change" report is published in Britain, warning things are far worse than previously thought, his vision of the economy does not acknowledge this threat at all. He plans to live in a world where climate is stable, where we can go on indefinitely increasing greenhouse emissions with no consequences, where oil is cheap and abundant, where there is no limit to the expansion in dairying and our rivers will just take care of the waste.

"He also totally fails to take into account the human cost of his dream. His failure to understand the lives of sole parents is shown by his words that being a full time parent raising the next generation is "a tragic human waste". Is he saying these people should be out at work leaving their children to roam the streets?

"He complains that government spending to assist low income families and students in debt will be inflationary and expects us to believe that the higher spending by well off people after his proposed tax cuts would not have the same effect. It seems inflation is OK when the spending is on luxuries.

"We didn't need to wait for tonight to know what would be in the speech - tax cuts for the well-off, private health and education, attacks on sole parents, attacks on our holidays and our employment protection, more roads rather than better transport, "reform" the RMA so people can't control what big developers do in their district, more prisons rather than more rehabilitation of offenders, some empty words about the environment, and the continued failure to recognise the special cultural and economic needs of Maori.

"Immigration is a new issue for Don. He warns us that it might undermine our common values. Why doesn't National invite Winston to be leader? At least he does this number with more style and credibility. So what does he tell us about National's new policy on immigration? That National will take the enormous step of giving it 'careful consideration'.

"We should be very wary of his statement of faith that as long as we get wealthier we will be able to protect our environment. He doesn't offer a shred of evidence for this. The growth in dairying has increased our wealth and been responsible for worse water quality. The growth of energy use and particularly cars and roads has raised GDP and increased air pollution and climate emissions. Growth in the fishing industry has made us wealthier but killed thousands of albatrosses and other seabirds, as well as dolphins and other marine mammals. How well will our planet cope with Don's dream of more of the same?

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