Sunday, September 21, 2008

Russell Fairbrother - the next big thing for me is railways??

In my ongoing series on Labour candidates...

Russell Fairbrother - Napier (no list placing): Napier was a solid Labour seat under FPP since 1954 and under MMP since 1996, until Russell Fairbrother won it in 2002. He lost in 2005 to National's Chris Tremain, with a 3591 majority, a stunning defeat in what was once Labour heartland country. National also beat Labour in the party vote with 42.2% vs 40.9%. However, like many Labour MPs who lost their electorates, he was back in on the list at number 38, but now he's not on it at all. Russell will be looking for a new job in a few weeks time and it will be about time.

Russell's own profile on the Labour 08 website is abysmal. He claims credit for "bringing the Meeanee expressway overbridge to Napier", when it was simply a very good project that was already a national priority for Land Transport NZ when it approved funding, some time ago. He did nothing. Even his own website is dormant. The rest of his profile is banal platitudes about "I experience both the good and bad of this beautiful city", such as what? Waiting lists? Parents not affording education at the schools they want to send their kids to? Crime? Finally, his biggest priorities for Napier are NOT dealing with intergenerational welfarism, crime and drug abuse among the underclass, inadequate educational achievement, the increasing cost of living, no he says...

"The next big thing for me to achieve is better public transport throughout Hawkes Bay and a strong rail link between the central North Island, Napier, Wairoa and Gisborne."

Well Russell, the railway line has existed for over 60 years, and it doesn't seem too many in Hawke's Bay want to use it often enough, and you can do a lot about improving public transport in Hawkes Bay after the election - you will be free to be a bus driver.

PREDICTION: Russell will be looking for a new job, probably defending hardened criminals because no organisation or individuals failed them "social structures did" (as his maiden speech enlightened us in 2002).

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