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Nats Backdown on Backbone

Fri, 4 Mar 2005

Nats Backdown on Backbone

"Privatise the lot" says Libertarianz Leader Bernard Darnton in response to today's spineless backdown on asset sales announced by National's John Key.

"Barring their first getting themselves elected - about which they themselves look increasingly desperate - there is not a single good reason for National not to sell all state-owned enterprises in the next three years: to inject new capital into these companies, to get rid of the underperforming politically driven ones (like Kiwibank) and to get the state further out of business," Darnton said.

Darnton says this "spineless backdown on principled action in pursuit of electoral success" by National's John Key brings to mind National's Robert Muldoon's condemnation of Bill Rowling as "a shiver looking for a spine to run up and down." One would think the clearly spineless Mr Key would have learnt from the floundering failures of his soft-shelled former leader, Mr English ...

By contrast, if Libertarianz were elected, affirms a very upright Darnton, "all state-owned enterprises would be gone by lunchtime."

Libertarianz asserts there should be complete separation of commerce and state in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of church and state. "You can't have one player - the state - acting as both player and referee," says Darnton. "The results in sport as in business are generally disastrous as we've seen so often historically. In our first term of government, Libertarianz will sell or distribute shares in ALL state-owned enterprises, crown companies and crown-owned businesses to the public."

Darnton produced a list of state-controlled entities he would personally ensure were gone by lunchtime:

Kiwibank NZ Post Meridian Energy Genesis Energy Mighty River Power Transpower Solid Energy Landcorp Television New Zealand Air New Zealand Ontrack Broadcast Communications Ltd MetService Airways Corporation

"Privatisation should in the first instance be undertaken to eliminate public debt, which inflates interest rates and is a burden on taxvictims; and thence to give the public a shareholding in these companies --so that Dr Cullen's own desire for New Zealanders to save and own shares will be implemented by creating true public ownership and sovereignty."

"We hear much talk on the left about the 'people's assets' and the people having control over these assets - well Libertarianz will de-politicise the assets altogether and give full property rights in state businesses to New Zealanders," declares Darnton. "Then the people can decide themselves if they wish to hold shares in a power company for example, or if they would rather sell and buy themselves a new TV!"

"The important principle is to get government out of business as fast as possible!"

ENDS

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