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Marc My Words: Eat Your Greens

Marc My Words.
From Marc Alexander MP. 5 December 2003
United Future NZ-Christchurch Supplement

Eat your Greens.

It's hard to know where to begin. First, we see the ideologically driven Government deny the freedom of choice to those who risk their hard earned investment in the hospitality trade; and second, we see a push to prioritise compensation for work not done over work done. It's enough to take the common out of sense and the sense out of the common!

On the face of it, it sounds like a good idea to discourage smoking. Undeniably, it's a habit that exacts a terrible health toll. Anyone who's ever witnessed the slow and often painful effects of smoking can't help but reach the conclusion that walking around with a burning bunch of rolled up dried leaves perched between the lips, is an incredibly stupid idea.

But the Smoke-Free Environments Amendment Bill wasn't really about educating the public on the idiocy of smoking. There are no provisions to alert people to the dangers of smoking nor any to help give up the habit. What the Bill was really about was State control over, and the denial of choice to, those who would invest their money in an industry that employs tens of thousands. It now puts some businesses at risk. There are many restaurants that are already smoke-free.the only difference being, it was by their choice. Customers can vote with their wallets without help from the heavy hand of Government do-gooders who do not themselves risk one cent.

Now, with the passage of this ill-advised legislation, clouds of smoke will blast pedestrians as they walk on the public pavement past bars and restaurants. We won't have any choice at all unless we risk walking on the road itself!

What galls most, is that this social engineering propagated by ideological zealots imposes their choice over ours when the venue is privately invested (such as restaurants, bars and clubs), but not in the taxpayer funded prisons where outlaws will be able to smoke to their hearts' content!! Why is it that the lawful are deprived of their freedom to choose while those who commit crimes against us have their choices respected? What must the old diggers think, when given cigarettes as part of their rations in war, they fought for a freedom now denied them, and given to lawbreakers!

The second piece of offensive legislation this week is the insipid Status of Redundancy Payments Bill. The effect of this piece of nonsense is to elevate redundancy payments of workers over those of creditors when a company goes belly-up.

We're not talking about wages owed, nor even about holiday pay (since that forms part of the income from work done). This hair brained legislation puts payment for non-work ahead of that for work already done by suppliers. How can it be reasonable to risk the incomes of all those who supplied their labours and products to a business, only to be exposed to the danger of non-payment?

Small businesses will have no choice but to stop extending credit and demand payment on delivery. The result will inhibit the ability of business to hold stock, and could retard growth. If this idiocy becomes law then the many businesses that run on narrow margins will be severely hurt. I suspect that many will close. Banks will likely take a more discriminating look at the possible exposure to redundancy payouts should the business need a temporary extension of credit.

This Bill is cloud cuckoo-land stuff because it seeks to reward something that doesn't exist rather than what does; that is, work not done, over work and services already given. Why are employees who haven't done their day's work getting paid over those that have?

So who supports these examples of witless law?

It's no surprise that while both started out as private member's Bills they adhere closely to the jaw-dropping agenda of feet-and- head -in-the-air Socialists. They are also fully embraced by the medieval thinking of the dope-loving, anti-family and anti-business Green Party.

And that brings me yet again to the question so frequently asked; why does United Future work with a Government with which we more than occasionally disagree with?

The truth is that rather than sit on the sidelines complaining, United Future takes its role in Parliament seriously by maintaining a constructive and relevant influence. We want to be part of the solution and contribute where we can, yet still retain our ability to disagree with the Government and cooperate with the Opposition when warranted. Quite simply, we need to be in the game if we want to play. Any abdication of our responsibility would usher in uncertainty, ambiguity and insecurity.

Besides. the prospect of this Government being led by the irresponsible and reckless Greens is too terrible to contemplate.

ENDS

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