They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I guess we should be flattered by this leaflet from Labour MP Brendon Burns which appeared at the Christchurch eco-show:
Not only is the image of Mr Burns rafting the Hurunui River strangely similar to many of those from Russel’s Dirty Rivers Rafting Tour…
…but the language is suspiciously familiar as well. ‘Quality of Life’ is an old Green Party slogan from years ago. On the back of his leaflet Mr Burns has this to say:
‘Clean and green’ is the basis of our economic livelihood – both for what we produce and our huge tourism industry.
Now where have I heard that before? Oh that’s right, at Russel’s speech to the Green Party AGM in June.
We say clean and green is the basis of our economic success. No environment, no economy. Clean and green: If we keep it real, we’ll all be better off.
Funny, I know it was in Christchurch, but I don’t think I saw Brendon Burns there. He must have read it online.
Here’s something else Russel said in that speech which Mr Burns seems to have conveniently ignored:
When Labour was in office the export economy was driven by massive expansion in dairy and tourism. Both sectors are built on clean and green, but they’re heading for a terrible collision.
Labour took advantage of clean and green as tourism boomed, but put up no fight to protect our rivers and lakes while those waterways were being overwhelmed by dairy effluent.
Labour invested in clean green branding PR but did not invest in keeping it real.
It’s nice to see that Brendon Burns now agrees that clean water is our birthright, that our brand is the basis of our economy, and that our precious wild places, like the Hurunui River, are under threat.
But his party had nine years in Government and not only did they do nothing about it, they actually facilitated the destruction by supporting irrigation schemes like the Hurunui Water Project. They sat on their hands while our rivers and aquifers were drained and polluted, and attacked the Greens when we spoke out about it.
So excuse my cynicism but actions really do speak louder than words. It’s a little hard to listen to the party that caused the water disaster telling us about the passion for clean water they have suddenly acquired now that they’re in opposition.