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Robson-On-Politics - August 13 2008

Robson-On-Politics - August 13 2008

Help To Keep Warm In Winter-Progressive Policy Initiative For Campaign O8

Thousands of New Zealanders, particularly the elderly and the young, suffer each year from the cold as households skimp on heating because of the cost. The Progressive Party has announced it will push hard for government to introduce a universal $200 winter power rebate to deal with this health hazard. Applying the welfare state principle that cost should not be a barrier to the well-being of the people it would be available to all and paid for out of general taxation. It would cost $140 million per year and would be a return to the public of part of the profit of the largely publicly owned energy companies. An immediate saving would be a reduction in health care costs caused by inadequate heating. $200 is the average winter monthly power bill. So this is one month of free power in the winter- a big boost to the incomes of lower income New Zealanders.

And Support From A Strange Quarter- The Friend Of Privatiser Max Bradford

Fresh from telling the media that they would get all the facts on the NZ First donations scandal (but without a date for that!) Mr. Peters also supports a winter power rebate. In 1998 Deputy Prime Minister Peters enthusiastically supported the Bradford carve-up of the electricity industry which was supposed to lead to privatisation, eventually. With great gusto NZ First spoke for and voted for The Electricity Industry Reform Act 1998. Here is Peter Brown, NZ First Deputy Leader and Energy Spokesperson, speaking on, and then voting for, the Bradford Bill in May 1998:

This bill will deliver cheaper power prices for the consumer. It will start with the split of ECNZ. With the baby ECNZ’s, Contact Energy and the private generators, we will have true competition in this country for wholesale electricity...Innovation and efficiency will come in, and the price will go down. The splitting of the lines and energy business will ensure that the price will go through to the consumer at a lower level. That will be a win-win situation for the consumer. (I can hear you saying - Yeah, Right!)

Now the very same Mr. Peters is using Grey Power election meetings to denounce the evil Mr. Bradford and his electricity reforms. Just as he has memory lapses on what happened to the large donations that came to him he can’t remember his actions in the 1990s. Memory loss, convenient or otherwise, is not a good recommendation for high office.

Let’s Not Talk About Kiwibank- Let’s Talk About The Scourge Of Beneficiaries.

I have always seen NZ First as the master of throwing up red herrings to avoid the real issues. Find an immigrant or refugee to bash. Slander an Iraqi engineer by saying he worked for Saddam Hussein and then provide no proof. Blame Asians for crime. But now National has brought back the bash the beneficiary story and declared it to be a policy. Suddenly the talkbacks switch from privatising (eventually) Kiwibank and the disloyalty of deputy English to stories of neighbours who have kids and live in luxury on the DPB. In the theory of six degrees of separation there is not even a cigarette paper between the tactics of National and NZ First. It is understandable as they came out of the same stable and Peters learnt his politics at the knee of National’s Robert Muldoon.

At Least Some Commentators Aren’t Diverted

In an excellent article in The Sunday Star Times (August 11 )columnist Rod Oram has pointed out that National is getting ready to run its failed policies which worsened the recessions of the 1990’s:

Early in National’s first term, the economy was slipping into recession and business confidence was plunging. The new government sharply cut spending, thereby exacerbating the collapse of consumer and business confidence...The second recession shared characteristics with the first: rocky financial markets and economies abroad and weakening demand and confidence at home. And National made the same mistake again of reducing spending and thus the government’s stimulus to the economy.

National’s policies remain the same – cuts in taxes for the wealthy, privatisation and joint partnerships with private enterprise on public projects, cuts in public spending at the expense of the well-being of the lowest paid. Not good reasons for voting for John Key.

And Bill (Deep In His Heart) Agrees.

The grovelling apology to the Leader outside the Caucus room to the media was not just about Kiwibank; Bill had made it clear that he didn’t think much of John’s policy grasp and leadership generally. This is not the first time. In 2007 to North & South magazine Bill aid of his recently elected leader:

I’m a stayer, he‘s a sprinter. I grind away, John just bounces from one cloud to another.

I can’t help thinking that English and his group are like Douglas, Basset and Moore. Key is their Lange. He will get them elected to carry out the real agenda. But they can’t help but show their contempt for the chosen one and let all and sundry know that they are the real force behind the Party.

Campaign News -Progressive Party DVD

This campaign DVD (ready at the end of August) for the Progressive Party vote can be widely distributed. Just contact us if you can use it for a meeting or gathering and want it up on a website.


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