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Mike Heine: Ghost Of Milosovic Enters PM's Body

Prebble's Rebels Weekly Column

Isn’t it funny how at the same time Yugoslavia overthrows its crazy dictator, Helen Clark decides to become even more autocratic? Has the ghost of Milosevic entered Clark’s body?

I am referring to, of course, the call for the head of the Business Roundtable to be rolled. Earlier this year Kit Richards became the topic of my first Scoop column when he spoke out against the Government’s abolishment of the West Coast and got sacked for doing so. Well now Roger Kerr helps someone get a newspaper advertisement published and he too gets to suffer the terrifying feeling of Helen Clark’s breath down the back of his neck.

The advertisement was the brainchild of a concerned young New Zealander, Richard Poole, who wants to stay in New Zealand but is giving up a higher standard of living to do so. He is not alone. Over 600 other names were on the advertisement calling for a solution to our problems. And in less than two days the website set up in support received almost 10,000 hits. It must also be pointed out that the ad was non-partisan and was ultimately paid for by the signatories to the ad and not the Business Roundtable.

Clark and the rest of the Government however are well known for being opposed to criticism of their policies. Instead of doing the right thing and responding to the ad with some sensible solutions, they attacked the authors and demanded Kerr’s sacking. I could have sworn that Kerr wasn’t employed by the Government, so why they have made this call I do not know. I somehow doubt however that the Roundtable will be eager to do the Government’s bidding on this issue, considering what the Government has done for (or to) business lately.

Just as bad is the senior adviser to Jim Anderton, Tony Simpson, calling Richard Poole a “half-wit”. This is about the most reasonable debate you can expect from the Ministry of Economic Development if you don’t agree with their views. It is a symptom of what is known as the ‘bunker mentality’ – when something/everything isn’t going right, you tend to think everyone is against you and you are more prone to get snappy to people who question your way of doing things. This is not a defence of Tony Simpson (you should all know me better than that!), it is merely a possible explanation for why Labour and the Alliance have reacted the way they have.

Let’s analyse this theory further:

Arguments in support:
- nothing is going right for the Government
- virtually everyone IS against them

Arguments against:
- the Government has always been snappy to their critics
- Tony Simpson is obviously a half-wit himself.

The point of all this is that Clark and friends must be a lot more tactful and constructive in their responses to others, whether they subscribe to their beliefs or not. For example, if a few hundred young New Zealanders asked me what should be done to entice them back home, I would ask them, “what do you want done?” The answer would likely be “a decent health and education system, and lower taxes”. This is a fair request, however the current Government would be likely to reply with something along the lines of “go stuff yourselves, ya horse-fondling Thatcherites!”

Someone who would most probably take more offence at the ‘Thatcherite’ part of that insult is Young Labour’s Jordan Carter. He is one of the last people you would want to try and entice people back to good ol’ NZ. He seems to think that the last government’s student loans scheme is what will prevent people from coming back. Not so. Even scarier than a high student loan is the prospect of free education resulting in even higher taxes which, unlike a student loan, will have to be paid for the rest of our lives.

To find someone who’s crazier than a Labourite, you naturally have to go even further to the left. Staunch Alliance has put out a press release saying that higher income taxes and stronger unions “sounds pretty good” to them. That has got to be one of the stupidest press releases of the year, and I’ve seen some really stupid press releases in my time. Trade Unions are not about workers, they’re about themselves. A union-dominated labour force is bad news for individuals who want to look after themselves. In a few months you can chalk this issue up as one which will pose even bigger problems for our besieged Government.

Being a right-winger, it is unlikely that Clark and co. read this column, and even if they did, they wouldn’t take it too seriously. However, look for this current spate of bad behaviour to come to an abrupt halt soon, and not because of me or Richard Poole. It will cease because of something more powerful than any other force combined – the One News Colmar Brunton Opinion Poll.

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