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Op-Ed: Keep Jeanette away from Power

SOLO-NZ Op-Ed: Keep Jeanette away from Power

By Scott Wilson

June 3, 2008

Just one more chance, given her announced likely retirement in 2011, to keep Jeanette Fitzsimons out of Cabinet and away from implementing eco-faith based initiatives ....

She's long been the nice warm fuzzy face of the party, and although she means well, it is an enormous relief she hasn't had the reins of power. I won't miss her for one moment.

Given the Green Party belief that leadership should be shared by sex, it means fascist Sue Kedgley, racist Metiria Turei or serious fruitloop Catherine Delahunty (if the Green vote holds up as in the polls) will be the replacement. None will be as warm and fuzzy as Fitzsimons who was polite enough to keep quiet in debates (better to be thought of as foolish than prove it).

However Jeanette isn't that warm and fuzzy - she has spread fear, irrationality and ignorance as part of her career. You only need look back at the history of her press releases, which goes back ten years. Furthermore, she manufactures her own version of what others say or advocate. The mainstream media have let her get away with it for far too long.

She has long opposed world trade, not getting her non-business-like brain around the concept of comparative advantage. After all, she'd argue, why ship aluminium from New Zealand to the USA to make into planes flown in New Zealand? She worships at the altar of rail, pouring other people's money down this obsession, selectively quoting a report to say rail looks better than road, yet ignoring the parts of the report that say the marginal environmental costs of road and rail freight are similar. However, it is too easy for me to rip to shreds this complete nonsense, better to focus on the rest of the evidence.

She's been substantially responsible for spreading the unscientific scaremongering about genetic engineering, calling it "anti-environment and anti-health", with no objective evidence to prove it. In fact, much of the 2002 election campaign was based on fear spread by her and her colleagues that GE hadn't been proved safe, much like electricity, flying, fire and the wheel (all of which have killed thousands, of course). In 1999 she proclaimed it was the last Christmas to enjoy "potatoes you can trust." What nonsense! She said free trade with the USA would allow irradiated food into the country, because anything with the word "radiation" is bad. In fact I lost count of the bizarre GE press releases by her.

She spreads the anti-nuclear scaremongering as well, opposing a shipment of nuclear fuel to Japan, saying it could be used for making bombs, which a power company is unlikely to be interested in. Yet she has not yet ever protested outside the Iranian embassy in Wellington against its failure to be fully transparent with the IAEA. Nuclear bad, though she hasn't told the Japanese or the French how their economies and environments will be destroyed by nuclear power ... maybe because they haven't been.

She treats the country as if land is owned by everyone, not property owners - she has little concept of property rights at all.

She has supported wholeheartedly the confiscation of Telecom's property rights on grounds of "promoting competition", but completely opposed splitting the then-dominant government electricity company ECNZ, because apparently it's ok for the government to control three-quarters of the country's electricity market.

She claimed the Wellington Inner City Bypass would see heritage buildings destroyed (it didn't) and people would be forced from their homes (no private property was destroyed), and that a community was "fighting for its survival". Of course the community still exists and congestion has been eased.

She makes the bizarre assertion that US foreign policy is a "programme of bombing the poor of the developing world in order to feed its oil habit". As if the US seeks to target poor civilians, and has attacked more than one major oil producer. Slanderous nonsense. She says "War is a violation of the UN Charter, unless a country is a proven aggressor."apparently attacking Iran, Kuwait and the Iraqi Kurds and marsh Arabs didn't count for Jeanette.

She digs the filthy dregs of lies further by saying Don Brash's call for the state to be racially neutral is some sort of sexist racist plot. "Like the Victorian imperialists he's emulating, Dr Brash's vanilla vision is of a patriarchal, middle-class society where all women bake scones, all men are bankers - and the only brown faces are products of the tanning clinic." So vile ... there being nothing about Brash which is sexist, there being nothing about decrying people of different careers and nothing about removing other races from society. She further said "National would deny what will soon be a quarter of our children the chance to grow up understanding and celebrating their own heritage." When did Don Brash or National say it would ban Maori culture, or engage in neo-Nazi policies? Doesn't matter - smear smear smear. She then said "he essentially wants Maori to be brown Pakeha" - more utter lies.

She said "Te Puni Kokiri, Te Mangai Paho and other Maori agencies set for the chopping block under National had done wonderful work in emboldening and supporting Maori New Zealanders." Yes, though mainly those working for them. Jeanette loves bureaucracies and spending taxpayers' money, because you see, that is about "support". Statist nonsense.

She might get credit from some for sort of living the Green lifestyle to some extent, with an eco-friendly house (recycling her own excrement allegedly; need I say more), and she is into biking and public transport (although I don't think she always gets the train to and from Wellington). She has supported legalising possession of cannabis by adults for personal use, but has shown no interest in people being accountable for their health costs. However, overwhelmingly her political career has been one of simpering scaremongering, predominantly about GE, more recently spreading utter lies about what was once National Party policy on having colour-blind government, and perpetuating the nuclear "bad" nonsense, along with cheerleading on unilateral action on "climate change", with a dash of exagerrated anti-Americanism thrown in.

If she was just silly, as she is on most issues, she could be laughed away. However she's not; she's a deliberate distorter and scaremongerer. She has led a fight against science and reason that, to its credit, Labour has partially resisted. It is like a dangerous dogmatic religion against genetic engineering, and that is her legacy. Meanwhile, her campaign against Don Brash, which was a vile distortion of what he DID say and what WAS his policy was the sort of filthy fictional politicking that she accused the Nats and Brethrens of applying to the Greens.

Whichever party is dominant after the next election, let's hope the Greens are not part of that government. Labour almost certainly would need the Greens, National shouldn't - it should treat the Greens with what they deserve, to be ignored as quacks. Meanwhile, it is about time the media turned their eyes on Jeanette Fitzsimons and what she really is about.


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