Stephen Franks sums up the state of the government’s books so well.
Just as in 1990 a National government is going to have to do the unpopular tidy-up to get things working again. Quite apart from the budget blow-out there’ll be the management catastrophes in Immigration, Health, Defence, Corrections, De-forestation, carbon foot-print and Kyoto, local government over-reach, house prices, and many others.
It reminds me of what happens when adults leave their silly kids for a weekend. When the adults return the fridge is empty, bottles lie everywhere, lots of stuff has been broken, the credit cards have been stolen, and it will take months to get the smell of drink and worse out of the carpets.
Stoners and other losers keep turning up at the door asking about the next party, and the kids whine when they’re told they’ll have to help with the clean-up and do their homework before they can go to another party.
I contrast our feckless government’s performance (despite its masterful political management) with how Chile has dealt with its period of commodity price boom. Chile has salted away US$10bn against the time when copper prices fall.
The sad thing for H Clark is that her legacy may be no better than that of Muldoon. Both had superb political management skills. Neither used them to take on any really worthwhile political leadership project. They could have used that political skill to do something hard, like reform welfare, or education. instead neither has reversed New Zealand’s relative decline when compared with our neighbours and competitors.
Stephen Franks points out that the attitude of the Police in this country is backwards. (Ok, we knew that, but he makes a good point about where.)
Only in a police state can policing be left to the police. In free societies the police and innocent citizens have the same powers, and the same excuses – the difference being that the police do full time what ordinary citizens do when confronted with law-breaking (see my ealier posts here and here).
It is long past time for the police to bury that stupid phrase – ‘taking the law into your own hands’. In our own hands is where the law always was, and must be. It must be something all of us are willing to uphold. In this stretched out land there will never be enough police to protect the weak from the strong if the police are the only ones trying. The law can only prevail when those tempted to prey on the weak know that the weak have behind them not just the police, but an entire community.
Post of the day goes to Stephen Franks, pulling apart the decision of the Electoral Commission.
A purposive interpreter might have assumed that Parliament intended to stop third parties acting under the influence of, or in collusion with, or congruently in campaigning with the party. Such an interpreter might have given a wide meaning to “involved in” so that it impedes that two way coordination of plans and interests. Instead this interpretation says the literal words require that the involvement be by the EPMU in administering the party, and not the other way.
The decision will be a comfort for those who’ve been struggling to make sense of the Act. In effect this decision says don’t bother. If the words do not make sense in relation to the probable objectives of the Act, the Commission is not going to strain to find a way to turn nonsense into sense.
It’s hard to tell what’s worse. The EFA being so badly written, or the EC ignoring the parts that are inconvenient to the government.
…well, Stephen Franks is a former Act MP. That doesn’t excuse this though.
Hm, now where have I seen something like that?
Does it say something that Rodney’s is a “smart” car?
Jordan’s blog is always good for a few laughs these days.
This all fits in well with an agenda that swept around Wellington a couple weeks ago: that National’s planning a “Shock and Awe” agenda of following on the 80s/90s agenda if it wins the election, and then spending two years trying to get everyone forgive and forget.The events of the week suddenly make that rumour, which seemed frankly a bit nuts, a big step more credible.
Wow, so what ground shaking events are those?
- Former ACT MP Stephen Franks was selected by National as their candidate in the prime seat of Wellington Central.
- Roger Douglas gave a press conference at Parliament, outlining his policy agenda which would be the negotiating point between ACT and National in a post election scenario. It’s the Blue Agenda, back to 1988 all over again.
- Bill English and John Key ruled out the idea of Douglas in a senior position in a National-led government…
So National grabs one of the last Parliament’s most respected MPs, then distances themselves from someone who Jordan considers an extremist.
I’m sorry, exactly how are either of those things a bad idea?