Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Auckland Airport debacle should be celebrated by the Greens

As Peter Cresswell has rightly pointed out  little is more hypocritical and sanctimonious than the Green Party joining in the criticism of the Government for the accidental disruption to the pipeline from Marsden Point refinery to Auckland.

The accident, which is essentially a grand scale version of the sort of minor accident that contractors cause on water, gas, electricity, telecommunications utilities from time of time, is the first time this has happened for the over thirty years that the pipeline has been in operation.  The pipeline is privately owned, having been privatised by the fourth Labour Government (and is owned by a consortium of all of the major oil companies), and was built for sound reasons.  It is cheaper and much more energy efficient (and has much more capacity) than the coastal oil tankers, railway and road tankers used previously.  Note that much of the rest of the country is served by coastal oil tankers that then get fuel distributed by road.  

Yet consider how the Greens treat fossil fuels now or indeed the entire environmental movement?  Imagine if NZ Refining Company was seeking to build that pipeline today under the RMA.  It would take years to gain consents, and the Greens would oppose it, claiming it "intensifies Auckland's dependence on fossil fuels, which are killing the planet" etc.   I bet there would even be murmurs had Auckland Airport sought to expand its storage facilities for jet fuel, after all no transport mode is more fossil fuel dependent than aviation.

So the widespread cancellation of domestic and shortfall international flights should be celebrated by James Shaw and his band of serial underachievers in the Green Party list.  Think of the CO2 emissions cut, as serial planet killers (airline passengers) are shepherded onto fewer flights.  Think of the hurricanes stopped, think of the oceans that stop rising, think of the glaciers saved.

The Greens want no more oil exploration in New Zealand, no more oil extraction,  they along with their sister outfits like Greenpeace, and the analysis free virtue signalling zone called Generation Zero, cry foul anytime there are any steps to increase production, reduce the cost or provide new ways to use fossil fuels.  

You can be sure the Greens will one day campaign for Marsden Point to be closed, and that they will oppose Auckland Airport's proposed second runway when it seeks resource consents for it to be built (on its land) after 2020.   You see this is the same Green Party once led by Jeanette Fitzsimons, who some years ago wondered why there couldn't be less international trade, as she talked about ships that went between countries carrying the same goods ("why couldn't we just make more of what we need at home"), this is the same Green Party that wants you to pay more for energy and transport (whether directly or through taxes) so that there can be a zero carbon future.

Well you sure are now, these are Air NZ airfares from Auckland to Christchurch tomorrow.  Stay home peasants, save the planet:


So it's like this.   If you really want to boot out National and annoy me with a Labour Government, then vote Labour.  Leave the Greens alone, let the simpering, hypocritical, virtue signalling haters of science, individual freedom and Western civilisation drop below the 5% threshold.   They lie openly about the impact of their policies on climate change, for it is like telling a child to stop peeing in Lake Taupo because it will save the lake from pollution, they conceal the impacts on energy prices, taxes, transport and the effect on the economy.   Let's be VERY clear, if the philosophy of the Green Party was applied across the world today, New Zealand would be a much much poorer place, because many of our exports would be shut out of overseas market (with the inane "food miles" idea), tourism would drop dramatically because air fares would be much higher, and imports would be much more expensive as import substitution is attempted - again.

Make the Greens history this Saturday. 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

New Zealand General Election 2017: The choices for freedom

Well as many think the election is interesting, I find it mind numbing.  It has become the Bill vs. Jacinta show.  Bill, who is not media savvy, not very good at tough decisions (especially around cutting loose liabilities in his party, who keep stacking up in every growing numbers) vs. the shallow, empty headed Jacinta, who has ridden on the back of the same vacuous enthusiasm that brought Macron and Trudeau to power (and is partially responsible for both Obama and Trump).

The bigger picture is there is a fairly simple choice between two governments.  A National-led one almost certainly needing support from NZ First, and as usual ACT, possibly the Maori Party (although that looks difficult).  A Labour-led one with the Greens hand in fist, possibly with the Maori Party, and maybe even needing NZ First.

Frankly, either look grim.  National is looking tired, and the McCully nonsense smells, Steven Joyce is fast and loose with figures and Simon O'Connor is appalling.   After three terms, most governments run out of ideas, and the Nats are overrun with kneejerk, reactive politics.  It is difficult to know what it stands for, except staying in power and keeping Labour out.  Reminiscent of how the National Party has governed almost always, and even campaigned, except perhaps from 1987-1993 when it believed in the government doing less, or 2005 when it stood for tackling the growth of identity politics in New Zealand.   Now it is a party of "we wont tax you as much as Labour".  It is a party of corporatism, the status quo and of being in government.  It has had nine years to fix the housing bubble and is only now starting to appreciate that the fundamental problem is in the planning system, that it defended, and the obsession of local authorities to restrict the supply of land for housing.  Does it tackle the narrative about child poverty by noting that absolute poverty is low, that the solutions of the left of more welfare wont work, that the fundamental problems of poverty are poverty of aspiration and attention from parents, insufficient use of birth control and the shocking incidence of intergenerational welfarism?  No, it wont point out the size of the welfare state, the urgent need for education, stable and safe family structures, and to address cost of living issues that are due to state intervention (e.g. housing, cost of local government).  It embraced the middle class welfare Labour put in place.  It only looks good for one reason.

Look at Labour.  It has a manifesto filled to the brim of ideas that are as if nobody learned from the 1980s, with the law of unintended consequences devoid from its policy.  Its policies on housing are xenophobic and based on hundreds of thousands living in state owned ghettos, but at least it would abolish Auckland's urban growth boundaries.  It will constrain the rental homes market, presumably so the state can be landlord, with all of the success that has brought in recent decades.  It will tax water (but daren't think of commercialising and privatising water or rivers).  It wants everyone to pay for tertiary education and is committed to not raising the age of National Superannuation.  Nothing like bribing both ends of the age spectrum with borrowed money is it?  It wants more welfare.  Yet it's what else Labour embraces that concerns me.  It wants net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, regardless of cost (and certainly regardless of benefit, which is zero).  It's the warm embrace of identity politics, there needing to be special programmes for every group, and topped off with the application of the Human Rights Commission against discrimination based on gender identity - which raises the prospects of trans-women having access to women's facilities (and even questioning this is treated as an act of "hate", rather than establishing boundaries between the objective and the subjective).   It is the Labour Party that continues to see nuclear weapons as bad generally, putting our allies in the same camp as North Korea, Iran, China and Russia.  It wants to grow media by making you pay for media that will suit its perspectives on the world.  State media rarely provides an outlet for the views of those who want less government, in part because its very existence depends on left wing politics. 

So I'd prefer National over Labour, simply because the changes Labour wants to bring all involve more spending, more taxation, more regualtion, more government and less treatment of people as individuals before the law, and more as "categories".   There would be less economic freedom, less prosperity, less individual freedom and more rent-seeking from the public sector, Labour's preferred groups (media, unions, local government) and less accountability to consumers and taxpayers.

The Greens are beyond the pale, demanding vast amounts be spent (or taxed) to pursue high cost virtue signalling around climate change, despite it having no net impact on climate change.  The Greens resist treating people as individuals, as they promote structuralist identity politics on a grand scale.  Everyone is judged on sex, race and other victim/oppressor identity classifications.  Labour in power has a high chance of bringing the Greens on board.  The Greens want to gut the private rental market by making it almost unviable for small scale landlords to operate.  The only element of Green Policy that is worth supporting is on drugs, but that is small in the scheme of things.  This is the party that wants to wage war on gambling,   It has policies on umpteen minor matters, it wants people to be able to get leave from work as victims of domestic violence, but proven by whom?  It perpetuates the radical feminist myth that raw stats on pay mean women are being actively discriminated against in pay.  It wants Treaty of Waitangi claims to be perpetual and maintains the Maori nationalist myth that Maori and non-Maori are two nations who are working separately, with the Maori nation in a form of separate development, with race based democracy entrenched and expanded.  It doesn't think of Maori participation as Maori people participating, but in Maori organisations being treated as having a special interest on all public policy matters.  The Greens would impoverish New Zealand, reward poor behaviour and parenting, tax success and restrict who you can trade with, what you can do with the money you have left, and treat everyone as belonging to an identity group.

The Maori Party, of course, is primarily about identity.

So what's left?  Legalise Cannabis? Well yes, but it has no chance of any influence and it wont confront any other issues.  TOP?  Well the party led by the man who wanted to sue me because I confronted him on his idiocy on North Korea could be dismissed by me on that alone, but on policy as well it is dire.  It wants to tax wealth, so that anyone who has saved gets their savings taxed, as well as the income on it.   There is no fairness in widening the tax base, and it is claimed to be a way of addressing issues that are largely unrelated to tax (such as housing supply).  Beyond legalisation of cannabis, TOP would take a decidedly nannying view on healthcare with new taxes on food that it doesn't like to subsidise food that it does like.  

So what about NZ First?  NZ First I have always written off, because the economic nationalism and populism is largely nonsensical.  However, there is one element of NZ First worth supporting, which is the rejection of Maori nationalism and identity politics.  No other party is prepared to argue for all New Zealanders being treated equal under the law and abolishing separate political representation for Maori.  This is toxic in itself, and is one reason I am less concerned about NZ First than I used to be, but beyond that it is a party of economic lunacy and more state control.

So I am left with ACT.  ACT is weak on dealing with identity politics, but strong on reducing the size of the state on economic issues, and in reducing the state's power on education (which is very important).  ACT largely gets what is needed on housing as well.  It takes a more pragmatic evidence based view on environmental policy (unlike almost all of the others).  On immigration it strongly supports migrants embracing liberal democracy.  I'm not keen on David Seymour's views on abortion, and ACT is silent on drugs (except for reducing police efforts on personal consumption) but that isn't enough to dissuade me.   It is the only party seeking to constrain the welfare state, lower tax and has a strong tendency to support less rather than more solutions from government.  It is welfarism, mediocre education, the sclerotic planning system and the culture of dependency and identity politics that is holding New Zealand back.  It is a shame ACT wont confront the latter as strongly as it once did.

So I party voted ACT and electorate voted National (my candidate in Wellington Central seemed ok, although her chances are poor).   I'm hoping that it will mean National needs ACT to govern and so will be positively influence further in education and hopefully in other ways.   However, I'm far from enthused, I'm more motivated by avoiding the Jacinda and James show.