Thursday, November 05, 2009

The sideshows

So politicians like to take advantage of their salary and perks that come with it, some within the rules, some outside the rules.

Like you should be surprised. Of course it isn't quite on the grand scale of rorts that the British House of Commons has been, but still it demonstrates self seeking that people bizarrely think shouldn't occur from people meant to represent you.

Are you surprised the MSM spends so much attention on it? You shouldn't be. You see it has two characteristics that work so well for the modern reporter:

1. It's a scandal that people are interested in. It is something people can relate to.
2. It's incredibly easy to get the concept across. MP, gets paid a lot (well, to the average punter), gets overseas holidays, flying business class. It is an outrage.

However, as much as it gives sound reason to be a little cynical about them all, it is chicken feed in the scheme of things. It doesn't require much analysis, as a binary deal, it fits in with television especially, where TV news in essence likes to boil things down to an All Black test. Good vs bad. Right vs wrong. Simple.

You wont get any real debate about whether education should continue to be a compulsorily funded state system, or not. You wont get any real debate about whether the war on drugs is really the right response to the problems with P. You wont get any real debate about whether it makes sense for the state to own three power companies and a coal company. You wont get any real debate about whether spending half a billion dollars on electrifying Auckland's train system is good value for money. You wont get any real debate about climate change, whether New Zealand should sign up to something that far richer and larger CO2 emitters per capita are having little to do with.

In other words, debate about policy.

Too many in the MSM pander to a tabloid sensationalist view of politicians. However, do any ever ask "why should you trust these people to buy your health care" or "retirement income" or "accident insurance" or "kids' education" or "transport system" etc? Is it because you don't actually care, but just care about personalities? You're that vapid?

For you see, both Mr Hide and Mr Harawira are in part responsible for the current government and passing supply bills to do all of those things. If you get annoyed at these antics, and antics of past politicians of all colours, why do you keep thinking putting your trust in them is going to get better?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't really care that those issues you mention are not being debated, it is more the fact that absolutely nothing at all is being debated. NZers just don't seem passionate about anything these days. Investigative journalism seems dead in the water and television can only serve up an hour of timid political analysis on Sunday morning before Powerbuilt motor sport kicks in.
I really don't care too much about Rodney or Hone but I get seriously pissed off when the political process as a whole gets by year after year with as little scrutiny as it does. Ian