Over the weekend the newspapers provided some interesting reading, as did articles coming into my Inbox from overseas. Both sources, domestic and international showed there is a strong wind starting to blow. It is picking up speed and the possibility of a cyclone cannot be discounted. This wind is blowing in the opposite direction to what the current government would like. International factors are playing a part but most of the wind’s velocity is coming from political decisions made domestically.
First to Fran O’Sullivan in the Herald writing about bad karma for Ardern on the eve of her departure on yet another overseas junket where, once again, nothing of substance will be achieved. I’m beginning to think these soirées we fund are nothing more than an excuse for absconding from the self-created domestic shambles. Fran notes these trade and business missions are big on PR (nothing beyond a smiley face), compared to former Prime Minister Sir John Key, whose missions had a substantial focus on commerce.
According to Fran the open-for-business message will again be pushed even when we are not, at least until all vaccination and mask requirements are gone. That’s unlikely with the messages we’re still getting from the likes of Michael Baker supported by the government. The bad karma Fran talks about concerns international markets going bear and a looming recession; the rising cost of living and inflation; employers can’t get workers; consumer confidence has hit the floor; hospitals are under severe pressure; the winter ’flu is back with a vengeance. Amidst all this turmoil Ardern appears to take a ‘fly me to the moon and let me play among the stars’ approach.
Turn over a couple of pages and one finds Steven Joyce asking if Three Waters is the last straw? He points out that regional New Zealand has had a gutsful and water reforms are the final insult. Steven says water reforms have become a lightning rod for dissent in provincial New Zealand. Regional New Zealanders have put up with a lot over the last five years. The lack of tourists, international students and temporary workers has made the already struggling retail and hospitality sectors less viable still. Steven points out that regional New Zealand is sick of hearing about vanity projects like bike bridges and light rail in Auckland and Wellington.
The A section in the Herald had a two-page spread on retaining Auckland’s heritage housing. The Government appears hell-bent on destroying as much of the city’s ‘character areas’ as it can. Gone will be most of the villas and bungalows which make up the heritage look of much of the inner-city streets. The clowns in this Government seem to think this is where the blame lies for the lack of affordable housing. If the Council doesn’t vote according to their wishes they will simply override it. Any heritage houses lucky enough to survive will be swallowed up and surrounded by high-density apartment blocks if David Parker has his way.
David Parker also fronts the Business section of the Herald in an article highlighting political envy. On the tax front, rather than adjusting the tax brackets, he’s focusing on the ‘rich pricks’ who he thinks are not paying enough tax. He has directed Inland Revenue to collect data on how much tax the country’s wealthiest individuals are paying. He has also asked the department to gather information on how much GST people in differing income and wealth groups are paying. Parker said this was simply a “statistical evidence gathering exercise”. There’s a Tui for you. This nasty little man is all for a capital gains tax.
In my Inbox over the weekend there was a lot of news that will be most unwelcome to the likes of James Shaw. In Europe and the UK the emphasis is switching very much back to coal, oil and natural gas. Most of the blame can be directed at Vladimir Putin but it doesn’t change the predicament the world is now facing. America is also in the firing line. Left wing ideology policies are putting the world in crisis. James Shaw, John Kerry, and other greenie lunatics are now having to face a fossil fuel reality.
They also have to face the basic bottom line fact that the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow. The fact that is being demonstrated right now is: we are years and years away from being able to do without fossil fuels. The problem is reflected in the price we are now paying at the pump. In America, it’s north of five dollars a US gallon and their Energy Secretary is predicting a tough summer. They wouldn’t have been in this situation under Trump. Britain is removing all the red tape associated with extracting natural gas from under the North Sea which would have been left unrecovered. They are also mulling over plans to use less efficient lower-calorie gas.
Coal mines are being reopened across Europe and Australia is in the same boat. Only this week we have been threatened with potential power supply outages. It’s time to forget all the stupid timeframes for zero this and zero that and face up to reality. Trying to walk before you can crawl is a recipe for disaster. Green energy in a viable economic form is not even on the horizon. David Parker can build all the apartments he likes with electric cars parked outside. Where do they recharge? What happens to the batteries at the end of their lives? I have yet to hear the answers.
Claire Trevett in her Herald article asks, with winter here how robust is the Government’s health? It is about as robust as the health system itself. Both are in crisis.
She has a cartoon of Ardern being buffeted by the headwinds. The wind is definitely blowing but not of the type James Shaw would like. Inflation is back. High cost of living is back. High cost of petrol is back. Coal is back. In other words, the real world is back. That should put the breeze up ‘em!