News Worthy - 13 October 2006
13 October 2006 - No. 88
The hoodwinking of Epsom voters
The word “hoodwink” has a straight forward etymology. The verb meaning “to blindfold” dates to 1562. By 1610 the verb was being used figuratively meaning “to deceive”. It is simply a compounding of the words hood and wink.
National voters in Epsom have been hoodwinked by ACT on at least two significant counts:
- ACT made the claim that if Epsom voted for an ACT MP that would put the “ACT team back in Parliament”. That was a nonsense because the Party Vote of ACT was too low to permit that possibility.
- Epsom voters didn’t vote for an ACT MP on the basis that he or she would take the ACT Party into a possible coalition with Labour, yet that is the clear prospect which has now been raised by ACT.
The New Zealand Herald of 12 October 2006 accurately portrays the second argument in its billboard.
Crime Figures Just Get Worse
Any claims that the present government is on an active path to deal to the criminal element in New Zealand are no more than claims without substance.
Violent crime has continued to trend upwards since this Government came to power. Since 1999/2000 violent crime has risen by 26% from 40,090 to 50,644 offences, with grievous assaults up 54%, and serious assaults up 30%.
These figures show an alarming increase in the intensity of violence across the community. Also of concern is a sharp increase across a range of crimes in the past year alone.
Violent crime is up 10.2%, with grievous assaults up 19%, homicides up 31%, kidnapping and abduction up 46%, intimidation and threats up 14%, robberies up 20% and serious assaults up 13%.
- Sex crimes are up 8.2%, with sexual attacks up 10%.
- Dishonesty offences are up 7.8%, with car conversions up 17% (to 5,611), house burglaries up 11% (to 3,914), and receiving stolen goods up 33%.
- Drugs and anti-social offences are up 6.3%, with busts for new drugs (methamphetamine) up 50%, and drugs (not cannabis) up 19%.
- Property damage is up 15%.
With crime up in 10 of the 12 police districts it is now clear that the problems are not restricted to one or two areas.
These figures are an indictment on the crime prevention strategies of this Government, and mock the promises by Labour and NZ First to reduce crime.
A Clean and Green Environment
On 6 October 2006, National released a discussion paper "A Bluegreen Vision for New Zealand". In the byzantine world of politics it has drawn strong support from the Green Party which is an excellent outcome.
The key policy proposals include:
- Capping carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation and introducing a tradable emissions permit system to encourage forest plantings.
- A contestable sustainability investment fund offering $1 billion over 10 years.
- National standards and transferable water permits to ensure lakes, rivers and streams are swimmable and fishable, and the resource is allocated efficiently.
- Stopping unsustainable forestry and ensuring imported wood comes from sustainably managed forests.
- Creating new national parks at Waipoua in Northland and the Waitakere Ranges.
- Tighter car emissions standards for noise and pollution.
- Giving hunters and fishers more say in managing their recreation.
- Backing community conservation projects with funding to save New Zealand's unique native species.
- Instant deportation for visitors who deliberately breach New Zealand's biosecurity laws.
- Providing financial incentives for recycling and introducing a national system of recycling bins.
The paper has been put on the party's website - www.national.org.nz
Exodus To Australia Continues Unabated
The latest immigration statistics show that the exodus of New Zealanders to Australia is continuing unabated.
In the 12 months ending August 2006 we had inflows of migrants from the United Kingdom, Fiji, India, Japan, Philippines, China, Germany and South Africa.
But the inflow of long-term migrants from those top eight countries is almost completely swamped by the net outflow to Australia of 20,400. That was unchanged from the previous year.
Political Quote of the Week
“Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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