Wednesday, 18 March 2009

What did the Nats ever do for us?

I've refrained rom commenting much about the new government, to give it a chance to show how it means to behave. given that it was confronted with an almost unprecedented economic crisis on taking power, I thought Key et al deserved a little bit of lee-way. Well, they've had enough time to show us what National stands for, and I don't like it.

It is a cliche that every new governemnt must 'hit the ground running.' Most immediately trip up - Tony Blair quickly came undone with the fiasco over the retention of the Millenum Dome, Eurofighter, the Bernie Ecclestone affair and Robin Cook's ludicrous 'Ethical foreign policy,' which consisted of selling the same sorts of weapons to the same sorts of people as the Tories had, and which Robin Cook, had righteously condemned, before power instantly corrupted him.

National have managed to stay on their feet and are running well. Only thing is, they've veered further to the right than they indicated in their campaign, and have surprised me with the audacity of the open way they flaunt their neo-liberalism. Still, with generally adulatory media coverage, no-one seems to mind too much what they do.

Since they took office, they've introduced the toxic fire at will bill (1), cancelled the Electoral Finance Act (2), disembowelled the Resource Management Act (3), rolled back the faint hearted efforts Labour made towards addressing Climate Change (4), spat on gender equality (5) and cynically followed the populist posturing of ACT and Sensible Sentencing (6) while moving to contract out running the prisons that will be needed to cater for the new 'clientele' (7).

Now, on top of that, they are putting the country up for sale (8).

I would have thought the National Party, if it was to live up to its name, would show some interest in the good of the nation. There is nothing here but a reckless promotion of the short term interest of the business class and international capital looking for a low wage economy to exploit in the name of 'development' and a nice place to relax while the watch the little people scurry about making them more money.

To paraphrase Monty Python, "What did the Nats ever do for us?"
1 - '90-day probation legislation comes into effect,' by unattributed NZPA article, 1st of March, 2009. (http://www.3news.co.nz/90-day-probation-legislation-comes-into-effect/tabid/423/articleID/93354/cat/64/Default.aspx)
2 - 'Electoral Finance Act repealed,' unattributed ONE News/NZPA/Newstalk ZB article, published by TVNZ, 17th of February, 2009. (http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/electoral-finance-act-repealed-2491786)
3 - 'Government Reform of the Resource Management Act,' press release by the NZ Government, 3rd of February, 2009. Reproduced on scoop.co.nz.
(http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0902/S00023.htm)
4 - As described previosuly on lefthandpalm: http://lefthandpalm.blogspot.com/2009/03/fiddling-books-while-planet-burns.html
5 - 'Government kills pay-equity inquiries,' by Patrick Gower, published by the New Zealand Herald, 20th of February, 2009. (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10557714)
6 - 'Three-strike law may breach rights' by Patrick Gower, published in The New Zealand Herald, 2nd of March, 2009. (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10559461)
7 - 'Kiwi assets 'for sale' under review,' by Colin Espiner in The Press, 18th of March, 2009. Reproduced on tuff.co.nz. (http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/2271626/Kiwi-assets-for-sale-under-review)
8 - 'National's Radical Private PRison Agenda,' by Idiot/Savant, posted on No Right Turn, 9th of March, 2009. (http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2009/03/nationals-radical-private-prison-agenda.html)

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