robson-on-politics 9 July
Progressive: positive about people and jobs
Fri 9 July
Hey big spender - Dr Brash disowns Rogernomics
Next week marks the 20th anniversary of the so-called Rogernomics Revolution. There was a telling insight into how that radical experiment has been abandoned, even by its own one-time cheerleader, in Don Brash's law and order speech last Sunday.
The Big Story is that Dr. Brash didn't mention spending and tax cuts. Instead, he outlined a vision of a breath-taking, State-funded spending spree extravaganza to pay for a doubling of the prison population and up to six more prisons (four already on the way) and a promise to better this progressive government's strong record of increasing police numbers and investing more in early intervention and offenders' reintegration programmes.
But Don's NIMBY caucus doesn't back new prisons
But every time the Labour-Progressive government proposes a new prison site, National MPs lead the not-in-my-backyard brigade. Paul Hutchison opposed Springhill at every turn and imported more National MPs in support. Phil Heatley railed against the Northland prison to save his seat. Bill English is not keen on the Milton site. And when there was a hint of a Bay of Plenty site, Tony Ryall went into overdrive. National, to have any credibility, must say where it would build six new prisons. Contrast that with Jim Anderton who as a Christchurch MP provided leadership in siting the new Youth Justice Facility South in the city. Construction is under way now. http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1044
Whenuapai report released
On Wednesday, Jim Anderton released a report on the future use and disposal process for Whenuapai airbase. Before a decision can be made, the implications of all options needs to be investigated further - particularly whether or not there is a need for a second commercial airport in the Auckland region, the national and strategic considerations, and the likely impact of any decision on the local community. http://www.nzdf.mil.nz/public-documents/downloads/report-on-whenuapai-airbase-consultation.pdf (or go to http://www.nzdf.mil.nz/public-documents/index.html and click through) http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1037
Auckland Rail Patronage Figures Rise
During the week, it was reported that the number of people using Auckland's rail services has risen by a third in a year. The Labour - Progressive government's investment in the transport infrastructure of our regions and cities is delivering positive, incremental gains for people, business and the environment. http://www.progressive.org.nz/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1033
What happens when Labour isn't Progressive
Since 1998, New Zealand's coalition governments have been minority administrations. About 99% of the negotiations that take place between Labour and Progressive over policies take place without public ado where rational opinions are advanced, business cases presented and government decisions are made.
On occasion the parties aren't in agreement about where we are going - for example last year Progressive signalled its opposition to tertiary fee increases, its opposition to lifting at this time the moratorium on GMOs entering the food-chain and its opposition to the final prostitution law put before Parliament. Labour initially opposed our Kiwibank and four weeks' annual leave.
Labour's announcement this week that it has secured National backing for changes to immigration and passport regulations means the majority in Parliament can advance legislation which I have opposed. I support action against those who commit passport fraud - such as the Israeli agents on trial in Auckland. Progressive is totally committed to defeating the fundamentalist terrorists who kill innocents in the name of a Holy War.
But I don't accept that insulting new migrants will defeat terrorism. Like all first-world nations, we need to attract settlers wanting nothing more than to contribute to our economy and our society. Sufficient controls are already in place to detect wrongdoing. We should invest more in helping new settlers to integrate into New Zealand - rather than introduce unnecessary hurdles and treat them with suspicion.
Two NZ Herald articles on when Labour isn't Progressive http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?thesection=news&thesubsection=&storyID=3577401&reportID=55514 http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?thesection=news&thesubsection=&storyID=3573325&reportID=55514
August 1 - Day of Shame One year ago on August 1 Ahmed Zaoui was declared a refugee. He has spent -and his 20th month in a New Zealand prison. Time to remind Helen and Michael that we honoured another fighter Xanana Gusmao of East Timor, with the Order of New Zealand. Lest we forget. http://www.amnesty.org.nz/zaoui including frequently asked questions.
Remember! Tune in Sunday 12 - 1 for the
Robson Hour on 531 AM. This week: Matt Hakiaha from the
Parole Board on what actually works in the real world. More
on this week's news at
http://www.progressive.org.nz including reducing power
bills and benefits of fair trade.