Agenda

Isn’t it bizarre how the sole issue in politics some ten weeks before an election is the behaviour of one MP, whose  party is running at 2-4% in the polls? Whether we can take his word; who would or would not sack him; what his lawyers think; and who said what to whom. Frankly, who cares?

He may or may not have done something illegal or against the rules of Parliament. The SFO enquiry and the Privileges Committee will attempt to find answers to those questions, and we shouldn’t prejudge the result. Regardless of the outcome of those enquiries, the public would be justified in feeling it had been held in contempt by Peters, when answers to the allegations are supposedly available and would clear up the issue in five minutes. The SFO has the power to compel these answers, but doesn’t the public have a right to them anyway, without weeks of evasion and prevarication?

What is proven is an element of hypocrisy, in claiming to be the nemesis of big business, while taking very large donations from them. But should this be the key issue of the election?

We’ve had several whole pages in most major dailies rehashing this story, when anything new could have been said in a couple of hundred words. Isn’t it time the media got over this person? (there you are: it took me 233 words)

The tragedy is that this is what passes for news, when we ought to be debating what is happening to our economy with rising prices for food, petrol, power and mortgages at the same time as economic contraction and loss of jobs? Shouldn’t we be debating the causes of this, and linking them with peak oil, resource limits and climate change?  Most of all, shouldn’t we be debating what to do about it?

I was invited on to TV’s Agenda yesterday morning – a three hour return drive for me – to discuss the effects of the Emissions Trading Scheme on households, industry and climate change. Instead the debate was solely about Peters. Politicians are fair game, but isn’t the voting public the loser here?

156 thoughts on “Agenda

  1. Jeanette – I think you misunderstand how important issues like these are for both politics and for voters. Issues such as NZ First’s hypocrisy over political finance go to the core of people’s concerns about democracy. I’m surprised you are not more attuned to this.

    Increasingly people are aware that there is a “political class” in New Zealand that are keen to manage us all but and have their own independent interests. Haven’t you noticed that no one joins political parties anymore? Noticed that the voter turnout rate has been slowly but surely dropping over the decades? Noticed that the public no longer trust politicians and political parties? There’s some big issues here.

    Also, perhaps the biggest political issue of debate in the last 12-18 months has been political finance and the ridiculous Electoral Finance Act. This debacle is closely related to the the financial scandal over NZ First and Winston Peters. Like the Green Party, NZ First took a very populist stance towards the EFA and political finance regulation. And we now see how sincerely Winston Peters has been about this.

    People have always suspected that proponents of political finance reform are somewhat hypocritical, and this is being confirmed. Labour, the Greens and NZ First appear to have used political finance reform as a political game to score points or make it look like you were doing something to fix a problem, but this all brings this further into question.

    Bryce
    http://www.liberation.org.nz

  2. Meanwhile, The North West Passage and the North East Passage in the Arctic ocean are both open at the same time for the first time in 125,000 years.

  3. I second what Bryce said.

    The political junkies know the political arena stinks. The electorate can smell it. The Winston saga personifies it. This election will be about the electorate slapping MPs back into line.

  4. Jeanette,
    there is a much bigger issue at point here, the people’s trust in MMP as a means of electing a government!

    So far, under MMP, Mr Peters and ‘his’ MPs have held the power to determine who formed a government. The tail wagging the dog, or Last Past the Post (LPP) has been more emotive then most ‘abstract till they bite’ bills that go through the house of representatives.

    When Mr Peters, and by association, was painted as squeaky clean and above financial and moral reproach, the LPP issue was not as ‘hot’ as it might have been.
    The ‘not interested in the baubles of office’ issue started a rebound on that when Mr Peters accepted high office, with baubles, without cabinet responsibility in return for his vote on confidence and supply. This latest set of revelations has turned up the heat on the situation and only last week caused a significant change in the likelihood that Mr Peters will be the determiner of the composition of the next government. Something that affects us all far more than a single bill before the current parliament.

  5. Jeanette: this issue is not just about Winston Peters. With Helen Clark’s admission that she has known about this issue for six months it extends way beyond NZ First into the heart of the left wing government and it’s hypocrisy..

  6. Jeanette’s right. The whole thing demonstrates nothing but the chronically parochial nature of New Zealand, and NZ media.

    Besides, Bluepeter, slapping people is illegal. You of all people …

    Bryan: hypocracy is a dedicatedly right wing party pretending to care about the population. By its very own doctrine (not that National has any of its own that it can talk about publicly with a straight face) neoconservatism and social well being are mutually exclusive.

  7. It’s quite intriguing that Jeanette Fitzsimmons and the Green Party are trying to play down Glenngate and the dodgy financial dealings of NZ First and Labour.

    By complaining that too much focus is being put on political finance questions the Greens are doing a U-turn from their previous position. Why is this?

    It strikes me that the Greens are quickly shifting on political finance issue now that players on their “own side” on the Electoral Finance Act debate are now looking so dodgy in political finance matters. I recall that in a futile attempt to whip up support for the draconian EFA, Russel Norman went around the country saying that “political finance reform is the greatest political issue facing us” (or words to that effect). Now, strangely, his co-leader is (above) saying the opposite.

    Could it be that the Greens are so unprincipled that they want this matter swept off the agenda just because their “EFA-allies” are now in the uncomfortable spotlight? That’s the way that it looks. Surely if it was their “EFA-opponents” that were being investigated by the privilege committee and the SFO, the Greens would be jumping up and down about it and emphasizing how important the issues are.

    The reality is that Glenngate and the NZ First scandals show that the EFA supporters are rather hypocritical, and the Greens are therefore just playing pragmatic partisan politics in wanting to get this issue off the frontpages because they too are increasingly (and rightly) tarnished by it all.

    Bryce
    http://www.liberation.org.nz

  8. I think it’s times like these where you should be dragging out that party slogan:

    Some things are bigger than politics!

    All the best guys :-)

  9. “Isn’t it bizarre how the sole issue in politics some ten weeks before an election is the behaviour of one MP, whose party is running at 2-4% in the polls? Whether we can take his word; who would or would not sack him; what his lawyers think; and who said what to whom. Frankly, who cares?”

    We should all care Jeanette, perhaps accusations of corruption do not overly worry you but the rest of NZ should be deeply concerned.

    While we (the great unwashed) think that all politicians are nothing but duplicitous sods we are at least of the opinion that most of you are at least free from corruption.

  10. He is not just “one MP” he is/was NZ’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, (+Racing and an Associate for a bunch of other stuff).

    He has campaigned his entire life on being more vitreous than “the rest” and now it has been alleged (with evidence) that he is no better than everyone else.

    Combined with being less than 2 1/2 months from an Election, I would say everyone cares.

  11. Paradox

    Hypocrisy is left wing govt and its coalition partners pretending to care about “their” voters by throwing money at them.
    If they genuinely cared they would stop giving them money and help then create a better life for themselves, if they genuinely cared they would not let people chose to sit on their backside stealing money from the tax payer simply because they cannot be bothered working.

  12. I think it is a little rich for the parties that imposed the draconian EFA on the rest of us to be complaining about our interest in allegations of corruption at the highest political levels.

  13. From David Farrar’s latest post:

    “Also on Agenda Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said it was up to her party, but her preference would be not to have to work with Mr Peters.

    “If you’re sitting around a Cabinet table with someone you have to be able to trust them, you have to be able to take their word.?

    That is a good start. But would the Greens give confidence and supply to Labour/NZ First, if they themselves are not in Cabinet?”

  14. As the major proponent for the EFA the Greens have the moral responsibility to hava a major say on this issue.

    Yet we have the co-leader expressing almost Helen Clark like “nothing to see here, move on” attitude.

    Begs the quetion “how much did the Greens know about the contributions and slippery NZFirst secret trust funds”?

    And will the Greens take the same attitude as the Labour party by blaming the SFO for leaking the information to the press and National? As we have seen by Helen Clark and Jim Anderton.

    Now is the time to show the moral high ground and do like National has done and state that a government with NZ First in it will not have Green support (add the rider if NZ First is cleared of all charges – including the scampi one).

    Even if it means three years in the wilderness to the next election or doing a supply and confidence agreement with National on ENVIRONMENTAL issues only.

    To the people this issue is so important that for the Greens to sweep it under the carpet as not imortant is strange reading of the electorate.

    Sure the economy (which I see you have listed above environmental concerns – well done) is important but so is the Wiston Peters secret trust fund and scampi issue.

    Totally agree with everything Bryce has said so far. Great summation.

    So Greens, time to front up and practise what is preached. Moral leadership.

  15. Gerrit said: Now is the time to show the moral high ground and do like National has done and state that a government with NZ First in it will not have Green support.

    Much as I think most Greens would like Jeanette to be able to say that, she can’t. The Greens’ political positioning (as is it’s policy), is determined by its membership, rather than its leadership.

    The Green Party AGM put a process in place to determine it’s post-election political positioning. That process requires any decision about a coalition or confidence and supply arrangement the Greens may enter into after the election to be endorsed by a Special General Meeting of the Party.

    What Jeanette was reported as saying on Agenda, however, was

    …it was up to her party, but her preference would be not to have to work with Mr Peters.

    “If you’re sitting around a Cabinet table with someone you have to be able to trust them, you have to be able to take their word.”

    She hoped the allegations that most concerned her – relating to Mr Peters recanting criticism of Simunovich Fisheries during a 2003 parliamentary inquiry into scampi quota – could be looked at. The SFO said there was not enough evidence to inquire at this point.

    But I think Jeanette’s point in her blog here is a valid one. The media obsession with this issue, and I’ve blogged about it in greater length over at g.blog, is such that it is distracting attention from other important policy issues that should be being discussed with an election imminent.

    David Farrar has strarted an extraordinary 34 different threads associated with this topic over at Key wee-blog in the last week. Don’t you think that’s somewhat OTT? Of course Peters’ behaviour is important – but surely not that important that the media ignore almost everything else.

  16. “So Greens, time to front up and practise what is preached. Moral leadership.”

    Yes, they can start by answering the question:

    “would the Greens give confidence and supply to Labour/NZ First, if they themselves are not in Cabinet? Would they be part of any government that NZF are also a part of”

  17. BP – I think I’ve explained that – you were probably writing your post as I posted mine.

    I think the chances are nil, but the decision is one for the membership of the party after the election rather than the leadership before it.

  18. Toad,

    Understand and see your point about having to take issues back to the members.

    However having confidence in our elected parliamant surely must be a precurser to environmental problems?

    One cant even begin to solve those environmental problems until parliament (the peoples representatives) has the confidence of the people.

    Without t nothing happens.

    Are you taking the Helen Clark attitude “nothing to see here – move on”?

    All the Greens have to do is issue a statement reflecting what the co-leader has said (after membership consultation off course) and get on to the election campaign.

    Russel has been very quiet.

  19. >>I think the chances are nil, but the decision is one for the membership of the party after the election rather than the leadership before it.

    Fair enough.

  20. What a bunch of tediously predictable replies from the various soap boxes that, seemingly, have been set up to form a ring fence around “frogblog” over recent times !

    None are “debating what is happening to our economy with rising prices for food, petrol, power and mortgages at the same time as economic contraction and loss of jobs … and linking them with peak oil, resource limits and climate change.” Nor are they “debating what to do about it.”
    These issues are not what concerns them.

    I fear that Greens, and Green supporters, unwilling to reply to this repetitive and pointless same old “same old stuff” are visiting less frequently and thus increasingly leaving frogblog to its new found fans …

  21. BP, I might add that I hope it’s one that the membership won’t have to make because I hope the electors will ensure Peters won’t be there.

  22. “I fear that Greens, and Green supporters, unwilling to reply to this repetitive and pointless same old “same old stuff? are visiting less frequently and thus increasingly leaving frogblog to its new found fans …”

    That sounds about right to me.

  23. “I fear that Greens, and Green supporters, unwilling to reply to this repetitive and pointless same old “same old stuff? are visiting less frequently and thus increasingly leaving frogblog to its new found fans …?

    That sounds about right to me.

    When the Greens stop taking our taxes for their pet projects we will stop complaining.

  24. Do the Green party admit the possibility that the Emissions Tax Scam will mean the end of many of our rural industries? And the serious impairment of those left?

    The Press Farming Section last Friday gave figures of 83% of our sheep and beef units being uneconomic once this dreadful scheme is fully implemented.

    Given the real financial and hence human carnage this is going to cause, and to every single person in New Zealand, can you please also explain to me how an ETS is going to in any measurable way reduce the effects or causes of a ‘supposed’ global warming?

    This is the most irresponsible legislation that I have seen mooted in the more than twenty five years I have been voting, and I am furious about it.

    Also, now I see that pokies are to go on the ever increasing lists of the banned under the Greens, do you not think it might save some paper, and hence trees, to simply tell us what we will be able to do, eat, sip, suck and think, rather than leave us to floundering through lists of activities and thoughts that will be taken away from us?

  25. eredwen,

    Go to gblog, then. It is a troll – and indeed poster – free zone.

    People are talking about what they find important. I guess no one here is much interested in rehashing the sky-is-falling myth over and over again. Here is the current score: the green movement thinks the sky is falling, everyone else thinks it isn’t.

  26. >>I hope it’s one that the membership won’t have to make

    Indeed. Hey Toad – would the Greens declare not going with any party Winston is a member of, prior to the election?

  27. Eredwen – I think you make the best point of the discussion so far. Any takers?
    BTW, I hope everyone enjoyed the exposay in the papers on the weekend of what NZ first voters are willing to believe in… especially the government conspiracy to cover up alien visits, or the 52% of NZF voters who believe that the US government knew about or planned 9/11…
    On the other hand, it exposes us green voters as being silly enough (93% of us) to believe that the Iraq war was about oil and not democracy. How shameful!
    Just to point out that the papers are doing their bit to cover the issues….

  28. BluePeter – I think you have it a little bit backwards. Everyone else seems to think that if the sky is falling, we can’t do anything about it. The greens are doing what there is that can be done…

  29. Mark – I was stung into posting by Eredwen’s comment – but I refuse to reply to people who preface the words
    global warming
    with ‘supposed’. Take the inverted commas out and we can discuss this.

  30. But I don’t believe the science is conclusive, at all, supporting anthropogenic global warming. That was the reason for the inverted commas. It is arrogant to assume it is a foregone conclusion. I think we’re looking at destroying our standard of living and our freedoms (even more); I think we have already doomed the third world to permanently being mired in that status for they shall never have cheap energy in the volumes necessary to industrialise – and all for nothing.

    But okay, let’s drop the commas: an ETS will cause financial and human carnage – that ‘is’ a given. Why go there? Prove to me how this scheme is going to solve global warming, and that the provable human cost is worth it.

  31. I don’t think that the science was conclusive a few years ago. I think that in the last few we have converged towards a remarkable degree of consensus in the scientific community, remarkable because in most fields of science not agreeing with each other is considered to be a positive thing. We like to have unanswered questions – and there are certainly plenty of those left for the scientists to deal with.
    An ETS such as the one that is being brought in will not solve global warming, by even the most optimistic projections. The whole point of it (ok, this is very much IMHO territory) is to provide a sufficient basis for us to take part in the formation of a global political strategy which might be able to deal with climate change. China is quite capable of warming the planet all on its own – but we can’t seriously expect them to listen to us on the issue unless we get our own back yard in order. Similarly, it is rather difficult to get very upset about the extinction of the Yangtzee river dolphin when we are in line for one of the next marine mammal extinctions.

  32. Why is anybody surprised at Eredwen, the Greens are well used to telling us how to think, eat, raise our kids etc…

    She is simply telling us that as far as the Greens are concerned they will not allow any further debate on the issue.

  33. As I’m working, I’m listening to the radio, on which Clark has just come on regarding the Emissions Tax Scam.

    What a stupid country we are to have put up with you rotten, tyrannical lot. We actually have our Parliament sitting under urgency to pass legislation that is going to destroy our economy. Nik, there is no substance to your post whatsoever, just another bunch of maybes and just in cases. And on that you intend to sacrifice us all.

    I’m bloody furious.

    God I’ve got to get out of this country.

  34. The science has been conclusive for well over a decade. It was pretty conclusive when the negotiations for the Kyoto Protocol were underway in the mid 1990s, and it hasn’t got any less so since then.

  35. Mark Hubbard, I am furious too.

    I am furious that there are people out there like you who have made so little effort to inform themselves of the science and believe the propagnda of the likes of Owen McShane and Brian Leyland.

    If anything, ever, has deserved Parliamentary urgeny, it is this.

    Mind you, as a Green Party member, I’m a bit pissed off too. Because it doesn’t go far enough and fast enough.

    But at least it might set in place a holding pattern until guys like you come to realise the enormity of the worst environmental problem the planet has faced since Homo sapiens became a species in our own right – one that we have caused!

  36. George for every study you can quote to the ayes, I can quote you one to the nays – and the IPCC is discredited as a scientific body.

    But put that aside, you tell me how the ETS, which is provably an economic disaster for New Zealand, and will adversely affect the life of every single New Zealander, is going to measurably stop the ‘supposed’ incidence of global warming? And it better be conclusive because we’re talking about the lives of real people who this is going to financially destroy, plus place us all further and further and further under the thumb of politicians and bureaucrats. And already the State that we’re in, as far as my personal freedom is concerned, can barely be called living, as in satisfying lives.

  37. Are greenies so fragile and fickle that they would so easily surrender their blog to the evil, small minded, smacking, violent, “trolls” like me?
    If you guys actually believe half the stuff you write here wouldn’t there be a little bit more passion in defending it?
    Or is it that when real debate begins your arguments begin to crumble under the weight of evidence and its easier to run and hide?
    Come on guys be a bit more like greenfly and stick it to us (I have actually learned a few things from greenfly).
    There are alot of common sense people on this blogg, come up with some common sense policy and you will get some very strong support.

  38. Mark, if you want to call tens of thousands of scientists liars and dupes, you can do so.

    As for the economic impact of transition to a low carbon economy, we might look at Denmark (for example), who are doing so at low cost and treating it as a chance to change and revitalise their infrastructure and systems. It’s not doom and gloom at all.

  39. Toad said
    “But at least it might set in place a holding pattern until guys like you come to realise the enormity of the worst environmental problem the planet has faced since Homo sapiens became a species in our own right – one that we have caused!”

    Then why are the greens devoting so much energy to social non issues like smacking?
    If you agresively campain on robust environmental issues you will probably triple the green vote.
    The green party is just as guilty of not grasping the urgency of the times.

  40. Shunda – it’s because the Greens care about people too. All the Green MPs I’ve met care deeply about both social and environmental issues (even if their policy portfolios focus on one side).

    If the Greens only campaigned for the environment, they’d be called heartless head-in-the-clouds misanthropes. Oh wait, that happens already!

  41. Shunda, we are. The section 59 issue is a done deal, with the support of National and Labour. Only the ACT MPs and a couple of refugees from other parties opposed it.

    So time to move on. It’s not the Greens that keep raising the s59 issue. But we do need to respond when guys like Brian Lochore keep bringing it up.

    The Greens are campaigning in climate change, peak oil and food price issues, not on section 59!

  42. Give me some links to the Denmark figure please.

    Otherwise you’re both evading the question, quote, again: tell me how the ETS, which is provably an economic disaster for New Zealand, and will adversely affect the life of every single New Zealander, is going to measurably stop the ’supposed’ incidence of global warming? And it better be conclusive because we’re talking about the lives of real people who this is going to financially destroy, plus place us all further and further and further under the thumb of politicians and bureaucrats. And already the State that we’re in, as far as my personal freedom is concerned, can barely be called living, as in satisfying lives.

    And the science is not settled: saying so doesn’t make it so.

  43. In the early nineteen nineties I was living in Kaikohe and regularly attending whakamoemiti at Te Kotahitanga marae just west of Kaikohe. At that time, following the economic restructuring of the nineteen eighties which had a major negative impact on most of the people around Kaikohe, political allegiances on the marae were shifting from the New Zealand Labour Party to New Zealand First, the party of Winston Peters. The transition was helped, or even driven, by the fact that the Peters clan were well respected “locals? (Jim Peters was principal of Northland College, Wayne Peters was prominent in Northland rugby). The Peters family, and Winston, were like kith and kin to the morehu. They were all recognised achievers. And Winston had stood up to the faceless, corrupt “money men? who had turned our world upside down and sold us down the river to international capital under the auspices of the Labour government.

    There may also, even at that time, have been a subconscious realization that Winston, like virtually every one of us at Te Kotahitanga, and contrary to the appearance created by his manners, his dress, and his long association with the National Party, was something of an outsider in the New Zealand political establishment. Two decades later, his outsider status is unmistakable. Peters has never enjoyed the support of the moneyed classes, the movers and shakers of corporate New Zealand. Even now, it is clear that his affluent backers were outsiders like himself. The support of people like Simunovich and Yelas has little to do with “big money?. Rather it is an expression of the century old Ngapuhi-Dalmatian alliance, which has always been implicitly directed against the way those of British ethnicity dominate commerce and politics in this country. Even Bob Jones and Owen Glenn, however wealthy they may be, are maverick individuals who have never been part of the inner circle of financiers and politicians. So Peters was, like the rest of us, an outsider who belonged, in contrast to the insiders of the regime who were alien to us. He was smarter and more capable than his more highly placed adversaries, and on the strength of that carried our dreams and aspirations for a future in which we would no longer be beholden to a class of people who lorded over us but were not manifestly superior to ourselves.

    There had always been reservations of course. Personally, I had to suffer Peters allegiance to the British crown, the imperial system, and the colonial institutions of government. After all it was not hard to see that the only way in which an outsider such as Winston Peters could make any headway at all in the New Zealand political establishment was by embracing rather than challenging its core values. We also had to suffer his expressions of prejudice against other cultures, for which there seemed to be no such excuse of political necessity. But we really began to lose faith in Peters when he returned to the National fold in the Bolger government. To many of us it seemed a betrayal, a turning back when we were looking to him to lead the way forward.

    Something else has happened in the political life of Winston Peters over the past two decades. The antipathy of the political establishment and news media towards Peters has assumed extraordinary proportions. And it is hard to see quite what is behind it. There is nothing of great substance, a host of allegations but nothing proven. The media hang in like a pack of pig dogs, snapping and biting but, so far, failing to bring him to ground. So what is the explanation?

    The facts suggest that Winston’s politics are not at issue. It seems to be more what we would call a “personality conflict? in any other context. The journalists simply do not like him. And they do not like him for a number of reasons. Most obviously because he does not show them the respect they think they deserve. More importantly, because they do not think he shows their role the respect that they think it deserves. He regards the media with something bordering on contempt. Peters is a charismatic politician. The only truly charismatic politician we have seen in New Zealand since David Lange. The charismatic politician is utterly confident and fearless, beholden to no one, never the supplicant, always self-assured instrument of destiny. He does not believe that he needs the media, and therefore is not prepared to suffer their fools gladly.

    For its part, the fourth estate cannot abide charismatic politicians, for the simple reason that it has conflicting ambitions of its own. The fourth estate now wants to shape, rather than simply report, the political affairs of the nation. It wants to be able to hassle and harangue the politicians, to move them to a “correct? point of view, and to make them deferential to the media in the way that the media was once deferential to the politicians. The media witches hate Winston Peters with a passion, because, almost alone among the politicians, he will not play their game. I believe that Peters may lose this battle with the furies, these mean-spirited, hypocritical denizens of the media. But in the longer run, the emergence of a fourth estate which is openly politically partisan marks the beginning of the end for liberal democracy. As the balance of political power in New Zealand shifts decisively towards media institutions which are neither representative nor accountable, and which are themselves manifestly corrupt, the days of the regime will be numbered.

  44. >>And they do not like him for a number of reasons. Most obviously because he does not show them the respect they think they deserve.

    It’s mainly because he doesn’t answer questions and plays the man, not the ball.

    I don’t like him because he often takes a divisive stance against Asians and other immigrants for what I perceive to be his political gain. I suspect many voters, except his tiny base, feel likewise.

  45. Mark Hubbard – “God I’ve got to get out of this country.”

    Hate to see you suffer like this! Is there any way we can ease the passage of your leaving?

  46. All Winnie needed to do is say “those are valid questions, I’ll answer them fully to the appropriate authorities within X days” and all this would have been a non-event.
    As it is he seems, at best slippery, and maybe downright smelly.

  47. greenfly

    When all the hard working tax payers have left New Zealand just who are you chaps going to tax the hell out of to pay for your socialist mecca?

  48. big bro – this time, three years ago, all manner of angry, bitter and twisted commentators like yourself, foamed and fumed and pontificated about leaving the country – from the comments you and the crapuscular Mark Hubbard are making again now, not enough of them (if any) did leave. I’d like to extend my offer of assistance in facilitating a mutually beneficial departure to you as well as to Mr Hubbard.

  49. Mark (and George?) it’s more that the whole of Europe has had an ETS since 2005:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union_Emission_Trading_Scheme

    Various American states have had something or other for a few years now too:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Climate_Initiative
    …and the whole country will be doing something when Bush leaves.

    I think Australia is getting theirs ready too – due 2010.

    They are all different, but have the same aim I guess.

  50. We are fixated on the Winnie saga because we have had to forego the idea that we have any real influence on what becomes government policy and law.

    Instead we are reduced to believing in the integrity of you politicians, so when we discover you’ve rammed a broomstick up our jacksies, we bay for blood like the hyenas we are.

    Down with Winnie.

    Down with every duplicitous politician in the beehive today.

    Down with hypocrisy!

    In any case, Winnie has a good chance of his party being re-elected because of the Rimutaka strategy in play by the Labour party.

    He may yet have the last laugh over the SFO.

    However, I predicted in December that National would rule, in concert with the Maori party, and that is how it is going to be.

    Good riddance Winnie. You shouldn’t hold the balance of power.

  51. Greenfly

    I note that you did not answer the question.

    I am also fairly sure that it is not me who is going to be foaming and fuming come election night, the party I support will have at least three MP’s and we will have a new govt.

    Meanwhile you will be commiserating at the demise of the Greens, and you know what they say Greenfly, once gone equals gone forever.

  52. Certain people would do themselves a favour to remember that the ETS was not created in a vacuum, or for the fun of it, but because we MUST respond to HUMAN INDUCED climate change. Of course, if you choose not to ‘believe’ in climate change, then how convenient for you, but just remember to respond honestly to your grand/great-grandchildren who ask you what you did in your time to avert or minimise potentially the greatest threat to human existence, and certainly to existence the way we have become accustomed to.

    The economy does not need to suffer at all, and to suggest that we would buckle under the pressure of adapting our activities and technologies toward a more sustainable future is pretty insulting. Maybe to the older generation, stuck in their ways, the task seems insurmountable. So, do as you threaten and leave overseas – leave the country to the youth and the young at heart! We are more than capable. And might perhaps be better off without you anyway….

  53. >>Meanwhile you will be commiserating at the demise of the Greens, and you know what they say Greenfly, once gone equals gone forever.

    The trouble is BB, the environmental problems that humankind tends to cause will probably worsen unabated. With no pro-environmental voice in parliament we can probably look forward to a nasty period of eco-terrorism. (Not to mention an embarrassing loss of the questionable ‘clean and green’ label.) Unless, of course, another party seroiusly takes up the cause.

  54. big bro – you are right – I didn’t answer your question,

    “When all the hard working tax payers have left New Zealand just who are you chaps going to tax the hell out of to pay for your socialist mecca?”

    but let me ask you, is that a real question, or is it just another slur aimed at the Greens, not really answerable? If I was visiting a blog where the ideas and ideals of your party were being debated, I’d want to engage in actual debate, rather than slagging your party for no particular gain. Commenters here are expressing dismay at the pattern of ‘sledging’ I’m describing and I agree with them. Have you something you really want to debate, substantial questions that aren’t loaded simply to suit your need to ‘demean the Green’? I’m guessing the debates would become very good if ‘visitors’ here subscribed to that ideal. Your thoughts?

  55. Meghan,

    The economy will suffer, because we are introducing costs our competitors do not have. Why would they buy our higher priced produce over our lower priced competitors? Answer: they won’t.

    The “youth” line is so twee. When you grow up, you’ll find the fundamentals of business do not change. The challenges are real, whatever your age.

  56. >>‘luddites

    Personifies the Greens. Regretionists spellbound by a romanticised view of subsistence farm life. Mention technological solutions around here, and they are generally met with derision.

    The electric car, for example.

  57. Okay then Greenfly, on balance, what Green policies offer any reason to me, a hard working tax payer paying a lot of tax, and finding the society I live in becoming increasingly violent, which I logically sheet home to the Welfare State – what policies are the Greens promoting that would possibly make me want to stay, and see my effort and risk taking squandered on building a society I would have desire to live in?

    Name me the specific policies, and details of those policies as applicable to me.

    Also, as a lover of individual freedom, can you please explain to me why the first weapon in the Green policy arsenal for any and everything they do not like is the ban. Why does this party have no respect, whatsoever, for my freedom to choose? Or for my ability to use my mind and make my own decisions responsibly. If your answer is to serve the ‘common good’ then why is the Green Party arrogantly assuming it is somehow the receptacle of knowledge concerning the ‘common good’. Are you cognisant with the concept of the tyranny of the majority?

    Regarding the ETS, I am an accountant, with a mainly rural clientbase – from what I now know of the implications of the ETS, I realise already I have no desire to be doing this job when that dreadful scheme takes effect. Above I have described the likely effects on NZ of the ETS as financial carnage: I was not using that final word as hyperbole. No one above has attempted to detail the measurable beneficial effects of NZ’s ETS in stopping a global warming (a warming itself, which after a lot of reading, I am skeptical about). Further, it is my understanding that the majority, if not all, of the ETS styled schemes in Europe have been failures. I do not have time to go Googling through a lot of related material, but if you could point me to succinct articles on authoritative sites that detail the effects of, and success of, these European schemes, including Denmark, then that would be appreciated.

    Do the Green Party admit the logical adverse financial effects of an ETS? Have you quantified them? If so, can you please link? I repeat, I know from the full implementation of the ETS, in the area where I do have knowledge, that scheme will mean the end of New Zealand’s beef industry. And that is, I suspect, only the start. But I want to see your party’s figures please.

  58. greenfly, I can’t speak for big bro but I understand his frustration.
    I want to like greenies, and possibly even work with them on well thought out methods of sustainable management. Problem is we inherit the NZ communist party at the same time.
    It is incredibly frustrating when one group (greens) requires people with more conservative social beliefs to convert or be dismissed.
    You have Megahn and yourself telling those who are frustrated to bugger off, and refusing any questioning of the causes of global warming.
    People get nervous about that sort of dogma, cause they don’t know whether to trust you or not.
    I bet big bro, myself and others here would not require you to drop every aspect of your social beliefs/lifestyle to work on sustainable management together, so why is it a prerequiste for you guys?

  59. I think they have a mixed view of technology BP, (not that there is that big a sample size of actual Greens on this forum, and there are more nerdish technological discussions here than any political blog i’ve seen), but in any case I was referring to technological innovations ‘that need to be adapted’, as Meghan alluded to.

  60. BB,
    The majority of our compeditors will incur the costs though as their governements will also need to provide the funds to pay for their emmisions and will as such require tax increases, the difference here is that those that produce the emmisions will have to offset them, thus driving the indutries to adopt more efficent measures and not penalising our clean industires, plus if implimented orrectly it will introduce a whole new market from which our economy may benifit. The goods and services in which we have comparative advantage may change alittle as costs that were previously externalised are internalised, but we should keep all of out absolute advantages and our markets should be reinvigorated by the redistriution of capital within the market.
    All in all, if implimented correctly, it will have positive economic effects, and positive social ones aswel; though as it is it probally wont be implimented correctly.

  61. Wow! this thread is really worth reading!

    Having spent several hours away from my computer, I have returned … and am impressed and heartened by the general change in its content and tone.

    THANK YOU to those who have been instrumental in / have contributed to this.

    eredwen

  62. shunda – nah -you’re misreading my intent. Conflict and tension make for dynamic interactions (the best kind – there’s nohing so boring a circle all agreeing with each other). That said, there is little to recommend gormless point scoring of the kind that has commentors prefacing their ideas with hackneyed cheap shots like – ‘watermelons’, ‘luddites’, ‘communists’, and so on. Debate the issues without the loaded side-swipes and you’ll raise the level of discussion. It’s the pointles cliched broadsides that rankle. :-)

  63. I would appreciate someone from the Green party supplying links and answers to the questions posed in my immediately preceding post.

  64. eredwen Says:
    What a bunch of tediously predictable replies from the various soap boxes that, seemingly, have been set up to form a ring fence around “frogblog? over recent times !

    I fear that Greens, and Green supporters, unwilling to reply to this repetitive and pointless same old “same old stuff? are visiting less frequently and thus increasingly leaving frogblog to its new found fans …

    Eredwen…firstly a “thank you”…to those who set up and maintain this blog, as a public forum.

    The opportunity for the average Joe (like me) to let you Greens know what we feel about your performance is valued.

    Personally I think you have made it very clear that you dislike the input from outsiders.

    This is a little sad, because much can be gained by sampling the information, attitudes and knowledge of the whole blogoshere, rather than just those who agree with your current view.

    I would suggest that you remember that only around 5% of the population seem to agree with you.

    The remaining 95% (for various reasons) have a different view.

    How sad that you want them to feel unwelcome if they have new or different ideas.

    I guess that if the Greens prefer not to make any changes, then they will continue to hover near 5%

    Hmmmmmm…

  65. Oh wow – a pity I had no time to get back to this last night. BB, something I have been wanting to ask you for a while – have you actually read any Ayn Rand?

  66. greengeek – I don’t think that that was what Eredwen meant – at least my impression was simply that she felt that there was a lack of diversity of comment on this particular thread – and on quite a few others. My personal opinion is that I am not the only one who has gotten a little tired of replying to BB and BP and people like Mother Hubbard, lives in a cupboard, hasn’t been out lately to smell the carbon – sorry, that isn’t personal, just the name ;)

    I guess that a lot of us work and post quick comments when we have a moment and don’t always feel that we have the time to go and chase up the links to support what we are saying – I don’t actually think that there’s so much wrong with that, in that people are free to post evidence in support of their rebuttal of my insubstantial comments… I will just post what I find time for…

  67. Well Nik, if you go to my last substantive post above I have given you exactly what you were asking for: a considered series of questions and information requests to allow you to explicate policy and its underlying philosophy. I have also made every post to this thread under the honesty of my real identity, not a cowardly nom de plume. So, if not you, can some Green party member or supporter, instead of taking cheap shots, actually supply answers to the questions, and links to the information requests.

    I have copied my applicable post again below:

    … on balance, what Green policies offer any reason to me, a hard working tax payer paying a lot of tax, and finding the society I live in becoming increasingly violent, which I logically sheet home to the Welfare State – what policies are the Greens promoting that would possibly make me want to stay, and see my effort and risk taking squandered on building a society I would have desire to live in?

    Name me the specific policies, and details of those policies as applicable to me.

    Also, as a lover of individual freedom, can you please explain to me why the first weapon in the Green policy arsenal for any and everything they do not like is the ban. Why does this party have no respect, whatsoever, for my freedom to choose? Or for my ability to use my mind and make my own decisions responsibly. If your answer is to serve the ‘common good’ then why is the Green Party arrogantly assuming it is somehow the receptacle of knowledge concerning the ‘common good’. Are you cognisant with the concept of the tyranny of the majority?

    Regarding the ETS, I am an accountant, with a mainly rural clientbase – from what I now know of the implications of the ETS, I realise already I have no desire to be doing this job when that dreadful scheme takes effect. Above I have described the likely effects on NZ of the ETS as financial carnage: I was not using that final word as hyperbole. No one above has attempted to detail the measurable beneficial effects of NZ’s ETS in stopping a global warming (a warming itself, which after a lot of reading, I am skeptical about). Further, it is my understanding that the majority, if not all, of the ETS styled schemes in Europe have been failures. I do not have time to go Googling through a lot of related material, but if you could point me to succinct articles on authoritative sites that detail the effects of, and success of, these European schemes, including Denmark, then that would be appreciated.

    Do the Green Party admit the logical adverse financial effects of an ETS? Have you quantified them? If so, can you please link? I repeat, I know from the full implementation of the ETS, in the area where I do have knowledge, that scheme will mean the end of New Zealand’s beef industry. And that is, I suspect, only the start. But I want to see your party’s figures please.

  68. Mark Hubbard – that’s alot of ‘ask’ I’m working all day today (I’m a consultant – who’d have thought!) I’d like to reply and will do so as soon as I’m free. I’m very interested in your concerns ‘as a lover of individual freedom’ and the ban-everything issue and would like to comment on those (for openers)
    Cheers

  69. Cheers greenfly – yeah, working here also. I know that one: I have to pay for the whole welfare state :)

    Note, the above post with the questions is going to appear again somewhere, I suspect, as I reposted with a blast at nik, however, this blog seems to have a glitch whereby every now and then a post (normally a bigger one) disappears for some hours when I post, then does show, but up the thread where I originally posted it. Perhaps it’s moderation? If so, and it’s the site’s right to moderate, but the more sensible solution would be to surely ultimately post to the bottom of the thread. Plus, such moderation ultimately is frustrating and will affect the quality of debate. I think Bryan Spondre’s moderation on Chris Trotter’s site is more effective: he posts directly, but with strike-outs: a nice honesty to it also.

    Anyway, I wonder if this goes straight up, or …

  70. Okay then Greenfly, on balance, what Green policies offer any reason to me, a hard working tax payer paying a lot of tax, and finding the society I live in becoming increasingly violent, which I logically sheet home to the Welfare State – what policies are the Greens promoting that would possibly make me want to stay, and see my effort and risk taking squandered on building a society I would have desire to live in?

    Logic is not involved in sheeting home violence to the welfare state. The massive unemployment and alienation that occurred in the ’80s and the ’90s is a more logical cause.

    We cannot claim credit for reducing unemployment but we have played a constructive part in reducing the alienation that separates people from society and makes them more likely to be violent.

    These include:

    * Our support for the end to prohibition of soliciting and brothal keeping

    * Our support for the Civil Union legislation

    * The (almost past) Mothers and Babies bill that allows mothers to have their children with them up to (I think) 2 years old.

    * Sue Bradford’s Minimum Wage (Abolition of Age Discrimination) Amendment Bill

    * Funding in the 2007 Budget for a new Chief Advisor: Integrated Care, to work within the Ministry of Health.

    * Repeal of section 59 of the crimes act

    These will all go a long way to increase the sense of exclusion many people feel. And only one of these things can be considered a ban – and that was removing the legal defense for beating a child. More work we have done to reduce violence.

    Also, as a lover of individual freedom, can you please explain to me why the first weapon in the Green policy arsenal for any and everything they do not like is the ban. Why does this party have no respect, whatsoever, for my freedom to choose? Or for my ability to use my mind and make my own decisions responsibly. If your answer is to serve the ‘common good’ then why is the Green Party arrogantly assuming it is somehow the receptacle of knowledge concerning the ‘common good’. Are you cognisant with the concept of the tyranny of the majority?

    We almost never resort to bans in our policy. That is a problem of perception. Some things should be banned, so some of our policies do call for bans. But take a look at our policies and you will find they are positive and constructive.

    We are very cognisant with the concept of the tyranny of the majority. That is why we use consensus decision making. “Appropriate Decision Making” is one of our core principles.

    http://www.greens.org.nz/charter

    Regarding the ETS, I am an accountant, with a mainly rural clientbase – from what I now know of the implications of the ETS, I realise already I have no desire to be doing this job when that dreadful scheme takes effect. Above I have described the likely effects on NZ of the ETS as financial carnage: I was not using that final word as hyperbole. No one above has attempted to detail the measurable beneficial effects of NZ’s ETS in stopping a global warming (a warming itself, which after a lot of reading, I am skeptical about). Further, it is my understanding that the majority, if not all, of the ETS styled schemes in Europe have been failures. I do not have time to go Googling through a lot of related material, but if you could point me to succinct articles on authoritative sites that detail the effects of, and success of, these European schemes, including Denmark, then that would be appreciated.

    We do not like the ETS either. Which is why we considered derailing it. We prefer simpler and fairer schemes. But we have to get something in place that can be improved rather than the “do nothing” approach of National and Co.

    BTW:

    http://are.berkeley.edu/courses/EEP131/fall2006/NotableStudent04/ClimateChangeRich.pdf

    http://yosemite.epa.gov/EE/Epalib/incent.nsf/c484aff385a753cd85256c2c0057ce35/0483a144da8fa434852564f7004f3e68

    Two articles on “the effects of, and success of, these European schemes” I found with 5 minutes on google.

    A GP statement about the ETS

    http://www.greens.org.nz/node/17308

    peace
    W

  71. Some stuff that has been done on the effects of this ETS:

    The NZIER did a report several months ago(http://www.nzier.org.nz/includes/download.aspx?ID=79602), which said:

    “The Government’s proposed Emissions Trading Scheme could cost New Zealand 20,000 jobs, reduce agriculture exports, cut wages and slash almost $6 billion from gross domestic product.?

    Basically it assumes 42% GDP growth from 2007 to 2025 under the ETS, vs 44% without it. It also assumes that there would be no international action to combat climate change, assumes there would be no technological change, no benefits from action, and no costs of inaction.

    The New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development put a report out on the business opportunities offered:
    http://www.nzbcsd.org.nz/_attachments/NZBCSD_climate_change_business_opportunities.pdf.

    Haven’t looked at it much though.

  72. Bliss (does no one on here have enough courage of their convictions to have their opinions attached to their real selves?)

    I’ll have to get back to your initial answers later, I’ve not time now (needless to say, I don’t agree – a system that pays people for having children must devolve to the type of violence we have now, because we are paying people to be parents who are just straight bad parents, and they through their children are replicating over and over the problem. No love, often immature with no ability to cope, reliant on the State all their lives, no work ethic, no role models, no respect for property rights, including, ultimately, the right of another to their life. And outside of benefits such as the DPB, there is no more ‘evil’ piece of legislation in NZ today than Working for Families’).

    Time is running out.

    The ETS. Your answer just destroys me. There was most certainly the option to do nothing: that was the sensible one. By doing something you have led us down the path to financial ruination. The only way you can prove otherwise is to point me to figures you have done, cost/benefit, that demonstrate to me you have looked at what damage this will do to our economy, and have attempted to quantify this. Link please?

    And think what this says about the Green’s if you have made this momentous decision, based on no quantification or economic analysis at all? I would say irresponsible in the extreme, (but then we’re back to the welfare state). I look forward to the figures with genuine interest, for my clients have the most to initially lose from an ETS (but only slightly before we all then fall victim to the higher cost economy this necessitates, and its congruent further loss of basic freedoms ‘I’ should be able to take for granted).

  73. StephenR: thanks for those links, although I was aware of the reports cited … and I suspect, as it will pan out, they understate the case. The key is the ‘reduce agricultural exports’ line. Imagine where the NZ economy would be now if an ETS were in place, taking a knife to what is really one of our few remaining success stories; the dairy sector.

    But my point is really, the Green’s have voted for this, I want to know if this vote was taken on their own analysis of all the facts, or sheer ideology, and to hell with the facts, and an individual New Zealander’s quality of life.

  74. Mark Hubbard said: And outside of benefits such as the DPB, there is no more ‘evil’ piece of legislation in NZ today than Working for Families’).

    I think you may have just inadvertently answered my question above Mark.

  75. bliss Just about everyone of the examples you gave has been controversal and many believe could ultimately assist in a more violent societey. Nice proff of social engineering though.
    I also note that NONE of your examples have ANYTHING to do with the environment, and the only mention of environmental policy is the one the greens said they didn’t want!!
    Please tell me why anyone should believe the greens are the best bet for saving the environment.
    Clearly the more pressing agenda for the greens is combating conservative views of NZs whether there is any mandate to do so or not.

  76. Toad, you’re being too esoteric for me, and I’ve not had a chance to view the video you linked.

    What type of freedom you ask? Well, I’m a Libertarian, but don’t let that jump you to conclusions.

    But perhaps you could explain your position a little more clearly?

    (And I have a lot of sympathy for Shunda’s posts, especially above.)

  77. Oh, and Toad, in your quotation of me, you missed the important, substantive part, namely: ‘a system that pays people for having children must devolve to the type of violence we have now, because we are paying people to be parents who are just straight bad parents, and they through their children are replicating over and over the problem. No love, often immature with no ability to cope, reliant on the State all their lives, no work ethic, no role models, no respect for property rights, including, ultimately, the right of another to their life.’

    Perhaps you could speak to that?

  78. Er yeah Mark I don’t know what parliamentary parties base their analysis on – unlikely to be reports like the ones I gave, but they likely submitted something along the lines of their reports during the public submission process.

  79. … Bliss, I’ve just noticed the links at the bottom of your posts. I’ll check when I get some time. Now, later …

  80. Looking at bliss’s Yosemite link – i’d *totally* forgotten that Sweden has had a carbon tax since 1991!

  81. Yes, Sweden is the oft-cited example of a ‘good’ Welfarism. But that country is actually the example of the economic problems with the Big State (quite apart from the philosophical/freedom of the individual issues).

    Example: Have a look at the facts. Quote:

    … Sweden’s unparalelled increase in prosperity between 1890 and 1970 and a lingering economic performance from 1970s onwards. In 1970, Sweden was the fourth wealthiest country in the world. After 1970, the Swedish system turned into troubles, having left a painful effect which ended in early 1990s when Swedish economy slid into a disastrous recession.

    And from the report on which the above brief was based. Quote:

    “The Swedish system is in serious trouble. The Swedish economy is no longer creating jobs – private sector employment has been shrinking for decades, and the public sector can no longer absorb more workers… Many Swedes are pessimistic about the future, in large measure because they cannot imagine how their system can survive, yet cannot overcome the political obstacles to changing it.”

    ~ Virginia Postrel, Reason Magazine November 1999

    And it’s not surprising there are signs of that country now embracing the benefits of privatisation, starting with education.

    Interesting Sweden went into, quote, ‘a disastrous recession’, at the time of bringing in their ETS! Early 1990’s. I can’t prove a link, I’ve not studied it, but if I was a betting man, or even a reasoned man …

    I’ve skimmed Bliss’s link to our own Green Party’s page above: and that page so far raises my fears further, at least, certainly does not allay them. But I need to look at it more closely before commenting more.

    (I really hope all the html codes above work; apologies otherwise.)

    Toad, old bean, you’re very quiet.

    Lunch over.

  82. I too am now experiencing time problems, but whatever is the case with Sweden, it has been basically the top country in the world for most metrics you can think of, and they’re hardly suffering now, despite what Reason said 9 years ago. Did read an article in the Economist not so long ago which said something similar. Oddly they did very well after the recession/carbon tax.

  83. … Sweden is an interesting case. I must have a good look when I can. Just come current statistics:

    Current unemployment over 6%: given the size of their public sector, which I imagine they use to soak up unemployment, as Labour have been doing here, this would appear quite high.

    GDP: 2007 – 2.8% (middling), 2008 – 1.9% (not so good). Imagine this without the drag of an ETS, because same will have to be reducing GDP. Perhaps closer to 3% GDP and an extra percentage of the population employed, given, like us, they’re an economy with a big agricultural component … let’s see, population 9.2 million, extra 1% employed, something up to 100,000 jobs. Hefty price for the sake of an extra tax, especially considering that they’ve been doing this since 1991, yet, supposedly, climate change rampages on, so it would appear all the pain is for naught :)

    Probably not very scientific of me though. Ahem.

  84. no not terribly. I think the fact that the rest of Europe (Sweden’s competitors I suppose?) now participate in a scheme would mitigate the ‘drain’ on the economy.

    I notice that the NZBCSD cites the MED as the source of their business opportunities, so I presume one source that the Greens used were MED studies. Can’t say if or to what extent they took them into account, but I don’t speak for the Greens.

  85. Mark Hubbard – setting down for a break between jobs, thought I’d try to answer a question or two from you, but suddenly found myself hamstrung, when I realised that I’m one of those ‘greens’ hiding behind ‘a cowardly nom de plume’, as you so subtly put. I puzzled also, over another of your questions,
    ” Why does this party have no respect, whatsoever, for my freedom to choose?”
    and wondered how you felt about my freedom to choose a frivilous ‘name’ to write under. Seems you don’t willingly afford me that freedom. Curious. I wondered too, whether you are under the impression that commenters on this blog are all green policy wonks. Your demands for policy detail, substantiated, detailed research ; your “considered series of questions and information requests to allow you to explicate policy and its underlying philosophy” and request to “name me the specific policies, and details of those policies as applicable to me”, makes me wonder if we ought to be charging you for the service :-) Are you able to access the Green’s website? I’m almost certain they display their policies there, in some detail.
    In your role as a rural service person, you’ll be hearing from many people who don’t give the Greens top billing. That comes through loud and clear in your comments. Naive question from a cowardly nom de plumer : your beef farmers; putting programmes into place in case global warming presents itself ‘unexpectedly’ are they?

  86. I think the fact that the rest of Europe (Sweden’s competitors I suppose?) now participate in a scheme would mitigate the ‘drain’ on the economy.

    Yes, by now being an insane drain on the whole of Europe apparently. And if all these countries are running an ETS, but there is no measurable change in an (inverted commas) ‘supposed’ global warming, then what a waste. Or worse, what a fraud.

    Indeed, this almost seems a corollary to how the gap between poor and rich in New Zealand has been reduced: that is, by taxing the (inverted commas) rich over to Australia so their incomes don’t register anymore.

    Just doesn’t seem an intelligent way to run a life, let alone a country. (I’ve still got to have a decent look at Bliss’s Green Party link, but it more and more looks as if it is not concerned at all with any sort of analysis of financial impact (I am yet to have proof the Green’s have conducted any before they voted our futures away on this scheme, for the sake of not ‘doing nothing’): rather, that document simply ponders how many taxes can be laid on (and on and on and on) to stop us producing carbon. In other words, a rejoicing at the number of ways to destroy an agricultural based economy. Just a pity we’re all reliant on an agricultural based economy for our lives, and standards of living). [At this stage I've completely lost control of my brackets.]

    (Oh, I’m previewing this and see there is another post from Aphid above :) Why would you name yourself after a pest, Greenfly – you better keep a tongue lashing away from young Toad. Anyway, I’ll have to get onto your post a bit later.)

  87. Shunda barunda Says:

    I also note that NONE of your examples have ANYTHING to do with the environment, and the only mention of environmental policy is the one the greens said they didn’t want!!

    I was looking for policies and achievements that acted to reduce violence. Not wanting to try to take credit for lowering unemployment (which in the future will be the greatest contribution to lowering violence) I found examples where we acted to increase cohesion and inclusion.

    Also making the point that most of our policies/achievements have little to do with banning things.

    It is impossible to take care of the environment in isolation from human society. Human society is an integral part of the eco system of this planet. Without social justice the only path to environmental (as opposed to ecological) wisdom would be via an authoritarian police state!

    That said:

    The Greens highlighted the illegal Pacific logging issue through a coordinated campaign Sept – Dec 2007 Woolworths have ended their import of paper products from this source. We can take the credit.

    Waste Minimisation (Solids) Bill.

    $8.8 million wetland conservation in Budget 2007.

    won $2.2.m to help farmers go organic – The Organics Advisory Service

    Sue Kedgley’s campaign to ‘Save The Wellington Trolley Buses’. She won.

    Environmental Education Fund – a $13m green budget bid

    Successfully campaigned against the Government weakening it stance on GE.

    How’s that?

    Peace
    W

  88. Couldn’t help myself.

    wondered how you felt about my freedom to choose a frivilous ‘name’ to write under

    I’d figuratively die defending your life to choose whatever name you like. But that doesn’t deflect from my condemnation that the use of a nom de plume is cowardly: too scared to put a name to your thoughts and actions. I would draw attention that this is probably a result of our welfare mentality, under which the individual is no longer felt to be, or expected to be, responsible for their actions and words .. which brings me full cycle back to our increasingly violent society.

    and details of those policies as applicable to me?, makes me wonder if we ought to be charging you for the service

    Oh but you are: it’s called tax, the highest charge there is. Your services most certainly are not free, greenfly, as Clive James said of the Soviet health system, it cost them everything they had, including in their case, their very lives, and in mine, in this case, my freedom (and the two are really the same).

    In your role as a rural service person.

    Oh pleeease. Surely the advantage of me using my actual name is you can tell I am a bloke. I am a ‘rural service man’. A niggling little point, but one that means the world to us all.

    our beef farmers; putting programmes into place in case global warming presents itself ‘unexpectedly’ are they?

    No. Thanks to the ETS we can have them packed off out of their paddocks long before they’ll have to consider that. Hope you don’t like beef, greenfly, it’s going to be in very short supply :)

  89. I can’t resist – it is the linking of our “agricultural based economy” to our “standards of living” that gets me this time. We need more industry, and technology in this country, and far less agriculture if we are ever going to “catch up to the rest of the oecd” in terms of GDP. Not that I think that that is the be-all and end-all by any means – but if you look at countries of a similar size to NZ, Denmark and Ireland, that not so long ago relied on agriculture to the same extent that we still do, and you look at where serious economic policy has taken them, away from agriculture and into the top half of the oecd….
    The longer it takes us to change, the harder it is going to be. The economic argument for moving away from agriculture is incredibly strong, even before you put an ETS in the picture.

  90. I am glad that it is so important to you to be a non-cowardly MAN, Mark. Most of us don’t use real names because – well, because, we don’t actually WANT to know that much about each other … ;)

  91. Bliss, a statement of mine that no one here has touched, and just part of the reason why I logically sheet the violence in our society back to a welfare state that breaks the connection between cause and effect; the need to be responsible for one’s actions, quote:

    “.. a system that pays people for having children must devolve to the type of violence we have now, because we are paying people to be parents who are just straight bad parents, and they through their children are replicating over and over the problem. No love, often immature with no ability to cope, reliant on the State all their lives, no work ethic, no role models, no respect for property rights, including, ultimately, the right of another to their life.’

    I put that directly up against your generalising statements, I found examples where we acted to increase cohesion and inclusion.

    I would be interested in your comment of my concrete givens verse ‘cohesion and inclusion’, which I find so vague as to be unhelpful at best?

  92. Right, I’ve ruined work for the day, now must go walk the dog … (I’ll hug a few trees for ya’all while I’m out there ;)

  93. “we are paying people to be … just straight bad parents”
    One man’s concrete givens, another person’s blatant overgeneralisations…

  94. Oh nik! I’d put money on it some of the most technologically advanced businesses in New Zealand are our dairy farms. We will always be, via our temperate climate, a rural based economy. You are almost stating an ETS is doing us a favour by making farming uneconomic so we can get rid of the farmers. No, you are saying that! Insane.

    That is nuts. That is the end of us.

    The Silicon Valley is in our dairy sheds and our paddocks.

    And even supposing you’re right, we move to another base for our economy (by 2013, yeah right), then who is actually left to feed the world. Not all countries can be producing widgets, some will always have to feed us.

    The EST is knee-capping our most important industry.

  95. “we are paying people to be … just straight bad parents?
    One man’s concrete givens, another person’s blatant overgeneralisations…

    You might not like it, but that is not an overgeneralisation at all. But argue to the logic of my statement, not the semantic fringes.

  96. Mark – surely your farmers hold out hope that the ETS won’t become a reality (Key might overturn it etc.) and must therefore, looking to the future, have something in place as insurance against adverse climate effects (or the markets demands as a result of an expectation of climate disruption if you must) Our insurance companies know how to play the ‘what if game’ successfully, surely your farmers understand ‘risk’ (or are they assured in the belief that there is no danger at all of getting slammed by the climate)?
    btw – your reasoning over the use of nom de plumes is crap. There are many reasons why someone, myself included, might choose to write under one – e.g. its, fun :-) , my actual name might be over-exposed already, I might have a ridiculous real name (Rodney Roy-Douglas, for example, or Peter Dunne) etc. etc. “too scared to put a name to your thoughts and actions” , nope. Greenfly are only ‘pests’ to those who don’t understand their role in the environment. Bit of a blind-spot for you there Mark.

  97. Mark Hubbard confessed to the view

    “.. a system that pays people for having children must devolve to the type of violence we have now, because we are paying people to be parents who are just straight bad parents, and they through their children are replicating over and over the problem. No love, often immature with no ability to cope, reliant on the State all their lives, no work ethic, no role models, no respect for property rights, including, ultimately, the right of another to their life.’

    Logic is useful. But repeating assertions is not logic. As Lewis Carrol said “…what I tell you three times is true”

    The reason no one wanted to reply to your assertion is that it is so ignorant of the issues, such BS, so typical of shallow and superficial analysis as to be not worth addressing.

    We do not pay people to have children. We do pay benefits that prevent parents who fall on hard times from starving.

    By helping parents good and bad parents are helped. What would you have us do? Starve them till they decide to be nice? Perhaps we should install video cameras in their houses and only punish them when they are demonstrably bad. Not.

    Peace
    W

  98. Perhaps there is no climate change greenfly?

    Or, if there is, the best way to combat that is extracting water, or stopping water, especially flood water, from going to the sea, and using that to grow grass and crops.

    But guess what Party is making it a very, very, very, very expensive business to extract, or reservoir water?

    My clients know risk, they face it every day. But a government that can and does play God, with no respect for property rights, is a risk that it is utterly impossible to insure against, especially governments’ that hate wealth and production, even though it is the hand that feeds them. And us.

    The name issue is simply one of honour, and of responsibility. As I have said, they were the first victims of our welfare state.

    Now, does anyone want to deal with the substantive issues I’ve raised above – starting with the Green’s analysis of the financial costs of voting for the ETS – just to assure me they were make a responsible vote, on all the facts. Bliss’s earlier links were interesting, and frightening all at one.

  99. Mark Hubbard said: …we are paying people to be parents who are just straight bad parents, and they through their children are replicating over and over the problem. No love, often immature with no ability to cope, reliant on the State all their lives, no work ethic, no role models, no respect for property rights…

    Sorry, Mark. Like you (maybe, unless you are a corporate Director raking in the Director’s fees, or a property developer raking in the tax losses, and were on the golf course this afternoon) I have to do a day’s work too.

    I don’t think I really need to reply yet, because you haven’t replied either here or on g.blog to my earlier post re which version of freedom you support.

    Think it’s your turn next Mark. At the moment, the points are in my favour.

  100. Come on Mark – whether ‘it’ happens, or not (climate-change-for-the-worst) there must be provision made. Irresponsible not to accomodate the possibility. I’m genuinely surprised at you. As to water – surely you jest! The Greens are making the business of extracting water very, very etc. !!! No Mark! Water is the big issue, coming on stream :-) and allocation issues are the battle ground. Who’s sucking it up? Townships where I live are suddenly (!) finding, there isn’t enough. Where is it dissapearing to? (clue: there are cows in the picture) Your clients, you say, face risk every day (don’t we all). I recall (over and over) claims made to soften the blow of climatic events (floods, drought). Your belief that the government is God, is mirrored in the view of your clients, it seems! Lastly, you call on ‘us Greens’ to analyse the financial costs of voting for the ETS – I’m bound to ask you, what might be the financial cost of not voting for the ETS!

  101. Bliss, Greenfly, I am part of an organisation that has a remarkable number of characteristics to the ideals that so many greenies claim to hold.
    A few are:
    Approx 50% participation by women in leadership positions of all levels .

    Strong social justice values particularly for the poor, with projects spanning the globe.

    Strong beliefs and strategies on minimising the excessive greed that weakens the capitalist system and creating an environment of social responsibility.

    Developing disaster response units to assist in emergency’s and help mitigate the inefficency of state funded emergency response.

    Strong beliefs on stewardship of the environment and an absolute commitment to true sustainability, this is becoming an increasing focus and will eventually be a majior aspect of our organisation.

    You would think with all of the above, the greens would be our best friends, but sadly the greens and their friends have been more critical of our organisation than most.
    This is why I am absolutely convinced that it is ideology, not the environment, that is the primary motivator behind the green movement.

  102. Yes Shanda, I know. Perhaps you could reveal why it is that greens baulk at your ‘organisation’ ( you do know why it is) Close, and yet so far away. I’d love to hear more (from my Transition Town perspective) about your “Developing disaster response units to assist in emergency’s and help mitigate the inefficency of state funded emergency response.”
    Now thats interesting!
    “Strong beliefs on stewardship of the environment and an absolute commitment to true sustainability, this is becoming an increasing focus and will eventually be a majior (sic)aspect of our organisation.” Is this for real or are you spinning? Tell us more (good man!)

  103. Mark,

    I’d put money on it some of the most technologically advanced businesses in New Zealand are our dairy farms. We will always be, via our temperate climate, a rural based economy. You are almost stating an ETS is doing us a favour by making farming uneconomic so we can get rid of the farmers. No, you are saying that! Insane.

    Dairy farms will only get us so far. Leaving aside your assumption that we will always have a temperate climate, there is no logic in assuming that because we have always had a rural-based economy we will always have one.
    i am not the first, nor the cleverest person to make statements like this. However insane. Try going to http://macdiarmid.ac.nz/news/video/rsnz.php
    Paul Callaghan is the sort of person we should all be listening to on issues like this…

  104. Toad – I’m not interested in watching your video on what looks like prostitutes. I do not want ‘prostitutes and panties, or whatever I briefly saw all through my computer’s history). Let me guess, without a welfare state women are forced to sell their bodies? Yes? I’ll return to this below in answer to Bliss. (Note, though, I agree, so long as people do not understand what is quite a simple notion, individual freedom bounded only by the non-initiation of force principle, then I will be forced for the rest of my life, into sacrificing it to the needs of others over whom I have no control – I will never, that is, get to live in a free country.)

    Regarding your g.blog link that simply takes me through to a general blog: please be more direct; I do work too, and don’t have time to look through an entire blog for a question.

    Bliss, firstly thank you for addressing one of my questions directly. Appreciated.

    By helping parents good and bad parents are helped. What would you have us do? Starve them till they decide to be nice? Perhaps we should install video cameras in their houses and only punish them when they are demonstrably bad. Not.

    Do you frankly believe I want to see people starve?

    You are addressing a symptom of the welfare state by supplying welfare to it: that is, the welfare state, whenever it is anything other than a safety net, and we’re way past that, will always produce the very underclass it is supposed to be saving, and produce it in greater and greater numbers. You do not have some sort of moral high ground here because you think you are ‘caring’. The welfare state is one of the cruelest states there is. Dooming more and more of its young to hopeless lives of futility and anger. Just watch the news every night at six.

    You stated that my logic was wrong when I made the equation ‘pay people to have children’ = families who live out their lives completely dependent on the state. Well, and I have to be careful here because I am posting under my own name, and I am now talking of other lives, but I can drive you to a single house where that has already happened fives times, now into its second generation. Then I could drive you to another one after that. If you inculcate irresponsibility, then give the teenage mother the option of a living on the state (and completely allowing the father to abnegate his responsibilities altogether), then nine times out of ten she will take that route, and in my opinion throw away her life, and her baby – because she didn’t have to make a responsible decision to either abort, or to adopt out. Or to not get pregnant in the first place, remembering it was the welfare state, the mentality it engenders, that is the ’cause’ of the pregnancies in the first instance.

    I know the evil of the welfare state. And through compassion would like to see it gone.

  105. Greenfly if you hadn’t believed all the spin and negative publicity generated by the more Left wing citizens of the world, you would know exactly what I am talking about.
    Of course if some greenies had actually done some research instead of vehemently attacking on ideological grounds, you would realise that we actually agree more than we disagree, and an opportunity is probably lost.

  106. Nik, putting aside the question of how we feed the world, and why a country which has the jump on the rest of the world, almost, by being able to grow grass year round, would want to forsake that to produce computerised mouse traps, you expect up to be able to shift an entire economy away from its base and its strength by 2013?

  107. Mark, I can assure you that Fonterra is in business to make a profit, not to “feed the world”. The fact is that our current rate of agricultural production is causing severe environmental problems in this country, in order that we can sell milk powder to lactose intolerant people in asia. I frankly do not find it a convincing business model. I am talking about a 30-50 year plan, not a quick fix. You really should watch the video, or at least read the synopsis on the web site to get a quick idea…

  108. Mark – when you get a moment (you are certainly dominating the debate all of a sudden :-) tell me about palm kernel. You talk about ‘being able to grow grass year round’, yet we have farmers calling in this ‘supplement’ in increasingly large amounts, causing environmental vandalism at the source (jungle down, palm plantations up) What sort of industry does that!

  109. Mark,

    I for one agree with pretty much everything you have expressed on this topic.

    I’m pleased, yet also scared, that an accountant views the ETS in the same way I do. It seems to me you are in a good position to evaluate the potential outcomes.

    Certainly, the outcomes you have mentioned tally with my gut feelings about this artificial system which will fall prey to the vagaries of international business and plunder.

    I also agree with your comments about funding/encouraging parents who are great at breeding and poor at raising children.

    I’ve been quite surprised by what I’ve seen of the Green Party over the months I’ve been keeping an eye on frogblog.

    Unfortunately i’ve come to the conclusion that they exist to represent a small portion of our population, rather than representing the issues I expected they would focus on.

    There are some sound posters here, but they are not warmly received.

  110. But that doesn’t deflect from my condemnation that the use of a nom de plume is cowardly: too scared to put a name to your thoughts and actions. I would draw attention that this is probably a result of our welfare mentality,

    You obviously haven’t been on any ‘blogs’ before this one then!

  111. Greenfly There has been quite a dramatic shift in the past 5 years or so in how evangelical, or in green terms “fundamentalist” christians view the environment.
    This from Dr Ray Bohlin is typical of the recent shift,

    “God told Adam and Eve to cultivate and keep the garden (Gen. 2:15), and we may certainly use nature for our benefit, but we may only use it as God intends. An effective steward understands that which he oversees, and science can help us discover the intricacies of nature. Technology puts the creation to man’s use, but unnecessary waste and pollution degrades it and spoils the creation’s ability to give glory to its creator. I think it is helpful to realize that we are to exercise dominion over nature not as though we are entitled to exploit it but as something borrowed or held in trust.”
    “Christians of all people should not be destroyers. We may cut down a tree to build a house or to make a fire, but not just to cut it down. We have the right to rid our house of ants, but we should not forget to honor the ant in its right habitat. While there is nothing wrong with profit in the marketplace, in some cases we must voluntarily limit our profit in order to protect the environment.”

    As you can see, although the aplication maybe a little different, you should be able to work with these people.

  112. Greenfly
    Disaster response teams have become a large focus of many Christian based ministries particularly in the USA.
    This from Rick Joyner of Morningstar ministries after hurricane Katrina,

    “The ministry that we partnered with to help oversee and staff a Point of Distribution (POD) was Urban Life Ministries (ULM), led by Carl Keyes. My initial instructions to our team leaders who went to the Gulf to see how we could help was to find someone who knew what they were doing and team up with that person. I think we found the very best with Carl and his team at ULM.
    I just received a report that since September 5, 2005, the base where we teamed up to staff, was able to provide “more than $25,000,000 in relief, and the ULM volunteers have donated more than 150,000 hours removing debris from homes, beginning partial repairs on homes, feeding and cooking for the people, and distributing goods.? I know in just the first month, more than six hundred tractor trailer loads of goods were distributed at the base, and it must be several times that many by now.”

    As you can see these organisations are particularly effective where the US govt was not. Once again the media doesn’t touch this stuff.

  113. shunda – this is brilliant stuff. I am aware of the Anglican embrace of environmental issues, but not of these you have described. Is this a reality in New Zealand or are these American evangelicals you are describing. Why is this shift not evident in our communities (I’ve been looking hard and talking with ‘such folk’ for some time now) With both our camps ‘reading from the same page’ (let’s say) do you think it would be fair to say that the things seperating us ( you say ideology) need to be explored in the open. You’ve had a good go at some of ours (non-violent conflict management for example :-) How about giving me some real-time, local examples of this enlightened thinking from your sector. I’d appreciate the chance to learn.
    P.s. can you give your ‘church’ a name? Mine is ‘green’.

  114. Greenfly
    These examples were from the USA, however some of these ministries do have a following in NZ.
    It would be fair to say the church in NZ is a little behind the Americans and Europeans on environment issues, but this is beginning to change.
    Although I belong to a denominational church the denomination means very little to me, I prefer to work with like minded people of any church.
    Infact part of this move towards sustainable management has included a breaking down of denominational barriers. Many christians are now viewing the church as a “body” of believers, which brings about a better sense of community. I think as this sense of community develops people become aware of how our actions are linked, which brings on a more enlightened approch to the environment.
    There is of coarse resistance within christianity to this, as there always is when tradition is challenged.
    I am actually going over to the States shortly to one of these ministries and I hope to learn a bit more about the practical approaches they are undertaking.
    Our congregation is looking at teaching people to grow their own vege’s, there is a possibility to use the church buildings for workshops for the community to attend etc.

  115. “Shunda, the greens have a specific agenda when it comes to comments posted.”

    Really? My post was just answering greenflys questions and was probably one of the more tame posts I have made!!!!
    Is there like a “religious” filter or something? cause there was nothing offensive in it.

  116. shunda – you believed d4j’s dippy jibe!! I’m looking foward to your comment and have no doubt it will surface, unsullied by agenda real or imagined.

  117. but I’ll have to leave it until tomorrow – I have an early morning radio interview and better be fresh! (topic: the explosion of interest in growing food at home)

  118. greenfly said
    “shunda – you believed d4j’s dippy jibe!! I’m looking foward to your comment and have no doubt it will surface, unsullied by agenda real or imagined.”

    post has appeared up at 9:57, …..paranoia returning to default levels,……… tolerance increasing,…….. peaceful demeaner attained.

  119. i can’t believe the gall of john key saying national will not go into coalition with nz1st after the election because of this, chap on radio the other day said he couldn’t remember the last time something like this happened in politics!

    why isn’t “the hollow men” compulsory reading, why are members of labour caucus not conspicuously carrying copies of it around parliament & whenever they appear on tv, flipping it open to cite specific page & paragraph numbers for anything relevant that national/john key do or say?

  120. The tragedy is that this is what passes for news, when we ought to be debating what is happening to our economy with rising prices for food, petrol, power and mortgages at the same time as economic contraction and loss of jobs? Shouldn’t we be debating the causes of this, and linking them with peak oil, resource limits and climate change? Most of all, shouldn’t we be debating what to do about it?

    Since this is the really important paragraph in Jeanette’s post I’ll throw my ha’penny’s worth in. I would have done so earlier but I had the good fortune to be made redundant at the start of the first run of good weather in months so I’ve been busy spring cleaning and finishing the raised hot-bed mini greenhouses for my vege garden that good flooded.

    The short answer to the last question is get used to it!

    The short answer to the second question is that we have been doing just that here on frogblog, but the news media prefers the simple pre-digested version – blame the investment bankers. That way they don’t offend their readers and, more importantly, they don’t offend their advertisers who are mainly encourage people to buy more “stuff”. Eventually we’ll all end up with so much stuff we’ll have to buy bigger houses to put it all in. All on “easy” credit of course. The only solution is to bypass the MSM, using the net. Or maybe some subtle guilt advertising, using that quiet voice in your head that says “did you really need to buy what you bought today, can you really afford it, will you ever be able to enjoy now you need a second job to pay for it?. All you need to do is find a retired billionaire who has had a road to Damascus moment.

    The news has to have a focuas point, the smaller the better. A person rather than a planet. The news is allowed to scare people out of their socks but it’s not allowed to scare people out of the shops. These days the MSM puts advertisers first, voyeurs second, token balance third. The environment only features if there’s a protest or a “solution” that can be sold to people.

  121. Thank you Kevyn, that last paragraph is “quote of the week” worthy.

    I hope your recent change of fortune is as positive as you frame it to be. Good gardening!

  122. Shunda barunda

    The Greens have good relationships with people of faith. Including Christians.

    I do not see how you can hint that the Greens are against organised religion. Where is your evidence?

    peace
    W

  123. I would say it is up to you (us) to get the ‘environment’ into the news – get creative, get into action – today’s editorial in our paper is all about the spectacular rise of home gardening, tunnel house sales and the blossoming of new orchards across our region. Those stories don’t happen by accident. Start your revolution from the ground up (and develop some pet journalists :-)

  124. Shunda, any people at your church into the whole ‘we have dominion over the earth, God gave us this gift so we should exploit it’? Is sort of a sub-demographic of ‘anti-environmentalism’, but I think it’s fading…

  125. shunda – good 4 u. I strongly suggest you don’t waste any time getting things in place. You’ll find everything you need here (despite the lure of the USA)

    “Our congregation is looking at teaching people to grow their own vege’s, there is a possibility to use the church buildings for workshops for the community to attend etc.”

    I can help you with this (it’s my ‘bread and butter :-) If you are interested, email me at this address:
    office@sces.co.nz

  126. Mark Hubbard seems to be of the opinion that social violence is a consequence of social welfare. I don’t think that view should be dismissed out of hand. When social largesse is accompanied by a softening of moral standards, and the removal of a range of moral prohibitions, then it is not unreasonable to expect a deterioration in social behaviour – in other words it is quite conceivable that some people will start to act in the manner of an over-indulged child.

    On the other hand a harsh regime of bread-and-water-if-you-are-lucky will have no better social consequences. Violence, and other kinds of anti-social behaviour will surely follow.

    The only sensible basis on which to found a social order is one of strict moral guidelines, with appropriate penalties for transgressions, accompanied by compassion, care and concern for the disadvantaged or underprivileged.

    The ideological standoff between those who argue for compassion without rules, and those who insist on rules without compassion, is unproductive. The ideological dispute between pure market capitalism, welfare state, and socialism misses the point.

    We could do without a welfare state if capitalism was true to its founding principles of austerity, thrift, benevolence, charity, piety, honesty etc. Unfortunately international capitalism has abandoned its saving graces, and in New Zealand over the past three decades we have seen an unrelenting saga of greed, arrogance and dishonesty from the most voluble advocates of the free market. And neither is socialism is immune to processes of moral degeneration, as we have seen in the Soviet Union and China. But the consequences of moral decline cannot be addressed by simply changing from a socialist, or social welfare, economic system to a pure free market system, as the people of Russia have discovered. “Free market? oligarchs and the industrial mafia provide scant, if any, improvement upon the rule of the commissars.

    Getting rid of the welfare state would not solve New Zealand’s problems. It might even exacerbate them. Raising moral standards in the home, the board room, and the institutions of state sounds more sound like a hard ask than a quick fix, but it is the only viable way out.

  127. You can hardly argue that Russia has a pure free market – the state would seem all too willing to interfere when it feels like it…

  128. Oh Geoff, goodness me. As StephenR said, the Russians are so far from holding a free market you could drive a tank through the notion, indeed, to prove my point, they regularly do. A free market, as with a free society, can only exist based on the non-initiation of force principle, from a Government on the people – you can’t be forced to do something against your will, you can’t be forced into, or out of, contract.

    But other than that, this is just a quick explanation because I’ve dropped from the thread, and I’d hate y’all to think I’d become fed up, or dead. The fact is, I only intended the one day hit and run, and I’m just too busy to carry on, plus I’ve obtained enough from posting to form what will do as my view on the Greens, which is that the Green dream is a bit of a nightmare for those of us who value freedom, satisfaction in a life well lived, and prosperity – or at the very least keeping a little of your own money, or even enough to make life seem something approaching worthwhile.

    I’d like to wish you all luck in the upcoming election …

    … I’d like to, but I can’t, because if you win, then the mentioned nightmare will begin apace.

    But I will wish you peace, Bliss. Though I suspect with the spiraling cycle of violence that welfare is lurching us into, such good intentions will nowhere near be enough.

  129. As a semi-infamous cartoon goes Mark:

    “Are you coming to bed?”

    “I can’t. This is important.”

    “What?”

    “Someone is wrong on the internet”

    You should be very proud if you manage to stay off.

  130. > Author: StephenR
    > You can hardly argue that Russia has a pure free market – the state would seem all too willing to interfere when it feels like it…

    > Author: Mark Hubbard
    > Oh Geoff, goodness me. As StephenR said, the Russians are so far from holding a free market you could drive a tank through the notion…

    Sorry, I didn’t intend to imply that Russia was a pure free market. I used quote marks around “free market” in relation to Russia in one instance, but inadvertently failed to do so in another. The point I was trying to make is that when Russia made the ideological change from communism (of an imperfect form) to capitalism (of an imperfect form) the fundamental problems of Russian society just reasserted themselves in the new context. A similar thing happened to New Zealand in the aftermath of the Labour government’s “economic reforms”. The point I wanted to make is that to be viable and sustainable an economic system must be supported by a moral order. When the economic system is cut loose from its ethical base then you are going to have problems.

  131. Mark Hubbard Says: … I’ve obtained enough from posting to form what will do as my view on the Greens, which is that the Green dream is a bit of a nightmare for those of us who value freedom, satisfaction in a life well lived, and prosperity – or at the very least keeping a little of your own money, or even enough to make life seem something approaching worthwhile.

    I’d like to wish you all luck in the upcoming election …

    Mark…I agree with you on the “prosperity” comment, but not on the apparent level of selfishness embodied by the comment about “satisfaction in a life well lived”.

    There are generations coming after you, and therefore some portion of the green message will benefit them, so needs to be balanced against the realities that the current “Green” party forgets: ie that OUR needs are as important as our great grandchildrens’ needs.

    It is about balance.

    I’m finding it hard to find a party that gets it right.

  132. Geoff, okay, i’m not surprised. There are factors like law & order and corruption (are they by any chance the fundamental problems you refer to?) which are nominally independent of economic arrangements which are quite important to what you’re talking about. If they were optimal i.e. Russia was calm and clean, I think their situation would be somewhat different. Oh for an experimental country!

  133. greengeek – why is it that your line’
    “OUR needs are as important as our great grandchildrens’ needs”
    seems so petulant?
    A sensitive observer of grandfatherly and more especially, grandmotherly behaviour knows that sacrifice is part and parcel of maturity and indeed one of its pleasures. I’m not sure whether you are differentiating between needs and wants but I’m getting the impression that you are a wanter.

  134. greenfly…I was commenting that Mark Hubbard seemed to be selfishly expressing one end of a spectrum when he said ” the Green dream is a bit of a nightmare for those of us who value freedom, satisfaction in a life well lived, and prosperity”

    I tried to make the point in my comment, that the Green party takes the opposite end of the spectrum..ie that our great grandchildrens needs are MORE important than ours.

    I, instead, take a middle view, that we need to be cognisant of our great grandchildrens’ needs, but that we should not let our own needs be destroyed by trying to save EVERYTHING for future generations.

    The ets WILL put at risk the everyday fabric of our lives.

    Those who hated Rogernomics need to open their eyes and see how the ETS has the potential to place our very land and property rights in the hands of overseas interests.

    Do you want your future grandchildren to be able to play on the lawn of the family home? Or will it be ok by you if they get to make weekend visits to the MacDonalds playground, and spend the rest of the week in an apartment?

    I know that the Greens would have preferred to vote against the ETS, and I am sad that they voted FOR it, on the basis that it kept them in with Labour, and was a foot in the door toward better legislation.

    Sadly, the Green party so misunderstands what the ETS will do, that they will never be forgiven for what it does to NZ.

    Luckily for the truly green-minded individuals who care about what type of NZ they leave to their children, the National party will probably undo the ETS harm that the Green party have contributed to.

    It is funny you should label me a “wanter”. All I really want is peace on earth, and adequate solar power for everybody. Oh, and a faster electric bike, and separate cycle roads.

    Oh yes, I also want a government that preserves huge public areas for the homeless who have no chance of affording homes. And new laws permitting trailer parks like they have in the US (where else will I be able to afford when I am old?).

    And new laws making it possible for our future generations to build themselves houses like our pioneers did…basic, uninsulated, cheap constructions that kept them housed till they could afford something better. Where is the sense in forcing young families to pay for houses that cost $400,000??

    There just seem to be too many people pushing the “lets aim for perfection” barrow, instead of “evolving” society slowly towards a better place.

  135. Mark, having been a prisoner of the regime, I think I know something about the desire for freedom, which I shared with all my fellow inmates in Mt Eden prison; those who had been convicted of murder, rape, burglary and fraud as well as those of us who had been imprisoned for refusing to serve in the regime’s military forces. Everyone wants to be free, but freedom should not be the be-all and end-all of existence. In the long run it is better to worry about one’s moral duty than to fret over one’s freedoms.

  136. In my comment on the antagonism between Winston Peters and the Fourth Estate, I indicated that the conflict centred around Peters personal attributes rather than his politics. It has now become apparent that is not the case, and that the political elements in the conflict, in particular New Zealand’s political and economic relations with Australia, underlie the savage media campaign being waged against Peters and the New Zealand First party. See the new comment at http://www.republican.co.nz

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