Newsworthy - November 26 2004
Newsworthy - November 26 2004
Political correctness No. 5
Rum, sodomy and the lifejacket – It’s almost 200 years since Lord Nelson’s famous naval victory over the French and Spanish in the Battle of Trafalgar. To kick-start the anniversary celebrations, an actor dressed as Nelson posed for pictures on the River Thames at Greenwich. But before he was allowed to board an RNLI Lifeboat, safety officials made him wear a lifejacket over his 19th century admiral’s uniform.
How would Nelson have fared if he had been subject to modern health and safety regulations?
Floorshow and seabed fiasco
Parliament was in urgency last week to ram through the Foreshore and Seabed Bill which has the potential to provide for Maori to secure customary rights to 10% of the coastline.
In a curious convention the Parliamentary calendar in the debating chamber is stopped at the date that urgency starts. So it was 16 November on Thursday.
The Bill contains provision for European groups to assert claims for customary rights if they can show substantially uninterrupted possession of the foreshore and seabed since 1840. The Government can not suggest any groups which would be entitled to make such a claim and I do not believe there is any such group.
All of this is done in the name of political correctness so that the Government can somehow assert that Maori and non-Maori are treated equally.
National Party policy to date
To date National has released policy in eleven areas. Here is a summary:
Treaty/Maori - Put an end to the Treaty grievance industry and to race-related political correctness, abolish separate Maori electorates, and ensure that all New Zealanders have the same rights before the law.
Law and Order - We stand on the side of victims, not criminals. We will recruit and resource additional police, record the DNA of all convicted criminals, abolish parole for all violent and repeat offenders, and change the Proceeds of Crime Act to help the police deal more effectively with gangs.
Tax - An initial focus on tax relief for low-to-middle income working people, particularly families, a cut in the corporate tax rate from 33% to 30% to at least equal the Australian rate, and a steady reduction in the top personal income tax rate.
Superannuation - An absolute commitment to maintain the age of eligibility and the level at which superannuation is paid (relative to the average wage) for those aged 50 and above.
Local Government - National is pledging to work with local government to reduce costs for ratepayers. We propose establishing a joint working party between Local Government New Zealand and an incoming National Government to review the full range of local government legislation and to reduce the cost to ratepayers.
Transport National will remove the regulatory and political roadblocks which are creating gridlock in our cities. The consents process must be speeded up, and that requires reform of the Resource Management Act – National will introduce the appropriate amendments within three months of taking office. National will simplify the agencies responsible for roading decisions, and move over time to put the funding of the roading network on a sound basis.
Industrial relations - National will restore the balance between employer and employee and loosen the union stranglehold that is stifling productivity. We will repeal legislation that stops our most capable workers on individual contracts from negotiating a better deal than their co-workers who belong to a union.
Environmental Issues - National will not impose a carbon tax on New Zealand businesses when that would put them at a disadvantage against our main international competitors. New Zealand is involved in the first commitment period of the Kyoto protocol until 2013. We will review future participation at that time, in light of the developing scientific understanding of climate issues. National is committed to the conservation and protection of our unique environment.
Energy - National will change the law to give electricity lines companies the ability to generate more power than regulations currently allow. That will increase investment in the energy infrastructure which we need for economic growth. National is committed to ensuring transparency in billing for electricity consumers. This will allow people to see what actually makes up the cost of their consumption each month, and will ensure that electricity retailers are honest about the reasons for any price increases.
Welfare - National will end the cycle of welfare dependency. We are exploring options for “work for the dole”. We want to restore the work test for those on the DPB when their youngest child reaches school age and we want to work on getting down the number of women who refuse to name the father of their child.
Education - We have to ensure every child leaves school able to read and write, no matter what their parents’ income or where in the country they live. We want a system that allows good teachers to be rewarded and we intend to end the culture of waste on low quality/no qualification courses.
Political Quote of the Week
"I see no dignity in persevering in error", Robert Peel - British Prime Minister