I enjoyed reading Steven Joyce’s article in the Weekend Herald, outlining the choice this country faces. His headline “Progress v Protest: The choice is ours” reflected the protests of the weekend before last and commented on the irony of the protest. The participants no doubt possessed many iPhones but not much Intelligence.

Had they possessed more of the latter they would have indeed understood the irony. Should we feel sorry for them? It’s a good question. As Steven points out, if you were to ask them what we should do instead, things that would create higher incomes for all of us, they would stare back blankly.

Steven’s next point provides the answer. “Either wilfully or ignorantly they don’t make the connection – between how much we pay our nurses and doctors and how much the country earns.” Their understanding of economics is on a par with their ignorance of what is used to make an iPhone. This sort of mentality makes the country poorer.

The photo shows a sizeable percentage of the participants being from a younger generation who have yet to wake up to the realities of life. They might be excused on that basis but there were also older types who don’t want any extractive industries in this country. Ever. They want iPhones but don’t believe in extracting the materials needed to manufacture them. At best they are NIMBYs (not in my backyard), which only adds hypocrisy to their irony.

These fervent types are on a par with those Maori who blame all their woes on colonisation. There is a certain similarity between the two tenets. If it weren’t for colonisation, Maori wouldn’t be where they are today, and most would happily acknowledge that fact. The same applies to extracting minerals from Mother Earth to increase our country’s wealth. The rabid thinkers in these areas are simply not living in today’s world – maybe they would rather not.

The Government is proposing to take environmental harm into account. It is not going to mine on conservation land and industrial mining is now carried out in a far more environmentally friendly way than in the past. The protesters of course are against mining in any form. I’m also sure they would also prefer not to see a dairy cow in a paddock. No doubt any farm animal is offensive to them. Agriculture is another no-no. The previous Government thought so.

Fortunately we now have a Coalition Government that has at least a basic understanding of how the economy works and the means needed to extract ourselves, along with the minerals, and get back to economic wealth. It is impossible to have one without the other; a fact highlighted by our dangerously low oil and gas reserves. It is only by increasing the size and value of our industrial, agriculture and tourism industries that this country will return to riches.

As a comparison, Australian mineral exports to China alone are worth $49 billion.

A right-wing crusader. Reached an age that embodies the dictum only the good die young. Country music buff. Ardent Anglophile. Hates hypocrisy and by association left-wing politics.