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robson-on-politics Fri 31 Oct

robson-on-politics Fri 31 Oct

"Here comes the old, dressed up as the new"

Poet-playwright Bertold Brecht could have been predicting the Ministry-of-Silly-Walks style anointing of Don Brash as leader of the National Party.

Within 48 hours, the good doctor was prescribing a two decade backwards leap for New Zealand to the poison of Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson. What does he want to do? He wants to sell Kiwibank and Television New Zealand, and give his rich backers a tax handout so great he would have to borrow to fund it. He is also going to unpick our nuclear legislation to please Washington.

A Brash administration would do great harm to productive businesses which are flourishing as a result of Jim Anderton's partnership between government, industry and the regions. Such a government would also increase poverty among the most vulnerable.

The choice for voters now is a Brash-Prebble government hellbent on the Unfinished Business of Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson, or the continuation of the regional and economic development and social progress of the Helen Clark-Jim Anderton government.

My challenge to Peter Dunne and Winston Peters is to say frankly before the election who they would support. _____________________

United Future: will they / won't they debate drugs

Jim Anderton agreeing to debate Nandor Tancoz in Ohariu-Belmont on cannabis has sent Peter Dunne into a spin. The United Future leader had refused the initial Green challenge. Now that the debate is going ahead in his electorate between the Progressives and the Greens he wants to be in - but only if his conditions are accepted. He set this all out in a lengthy press statement wherein he accused the Progressives of inhaling second hand marijuana smoke and alleged that made us "mentally unstable."

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I think I remember lectures from Mr Dunne on the lamentably low standards of political debate and the need to exclude personal abuse. Sorry Peter - the debate between the Greens and the Progressives includes is about the issue of all forms of drug abuse including the tobacco industry for which you have a soft spot. The debate also is in Auckland at the Otahuhu Town Hall on Thur 27 November where Matt Robson and Nandor Tanzcos will put the positions for each party. _____________________

Implementing four weeks leave

Because I am seeking support for four weeks leave to become law sooner rather than later, I wrote to the 52 Labour Party MPs this week saying, in part:

I was delighted that the Labour Party declared its support for my private members bill on four weeks minimum annual leave at the CTU conference. We have made huge strides since the initial Labour decision, later reversed, not to support the bill to select committee.

We have now reached a crucial stage where I would like to gain further support. That stage is the issue of the implementation date.

The initial proposal put to me was that either workers who had had four years service would be entitled to four weeks, with an implementation date sometime in the next term, or those four weeks for all would be introduced one day every year beginning sometime in the future, until four weeks was reached. Neither proposal was acceptable to the Progressives.

The CTU speech is affirmation to me that Labour now accepts bringing in the reform as one step but wants it late in the next term.

In the firm view of the Progressives, those workers who have waited 30 years while some have gained four weeks leave; who have seen their working hours extended; who have had their weekends taken; and who have suffered the loss of many other conditions, those workers deserve to move to parity with the rest of the workforce beginning in this Parliamentary term.

Therefore, I would ask for your support to implement the Progressives' private members bill on four weeks minimum annual leave this term. The Green Party has already given that undertaking and NZ First, while not having given a commitment to the implementation date, have stated through Peter Brown that they are warm towards my bill.

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