Written By: Guest post - Date published: 12:00 pm, November 18th, 2010 - 15 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, democratic participation, farming, Mining, workers' rights - Tags: conor english
They say that those who can frame the argument ‘win the argument’.
Connor English the Chief Executive of Federated Farmers is trying to frame the argument in a right wing way that benefits the rich and privileged, to the detriment of working people and the environment.
The Farmers Federation Chief has launched a public attack on environmentalists, the unions and the protest movement generally, resorting to simplistic right wing rhetoric reminiscent of the Tea Party of the US.
Conner English publicly criticised protesters opposed to the unsustainable rape of the environment by mining and agribusiness, combining this, with an attack on those seeking pay justice for teachers, or union rights for actors.
English’s argument boils down to one simple premise:
….those who want decent wages and conditions (for teachers actors and other workers) must trade this off with maximum exploitation of nature and the environment by big business.
Though slyly framed, Connor English’s argument attacking both types of protest reveals that in truth he favours maximum exploitation of both, workers and the environment, and is opposed to any protest that challenges his corporate agenda.
watching 4 recent protests in Auckland. The first against just the idea of doing a stock take on the minerals that we have. Secondly the idea that a movie might be made in New Zealand on different terms than in some other countries. Thirdly marching for more pay for teachers, and finally, against New Zealand produced food.
if you are marching for “more pay from government” then you should not also be marching against investigating our mineral potential, our creative film sector or indeed our food sector.
The claim is that there is not enough wealth (money) to go round unless big agri-business or mining companies are free to exploit human and natural resources to their limits, (and beyond them), is an emotive and simplistic framing of the argument that leaves out such embarrassing facts as the extreme inequality in the sharing out of the wealth of this country.
As the Greens like to say: “there is enough for our need but not for our greed”.
Connor English is a well paid advocate for those whose personal greed comes above all else.
Connor English in his diatribe mentions the debt crisis, but nowhere does he mention the excessive profit taking by the banks and finance companies that has made getting a house on an average wage an impossibility without going into risky debt.
Connor English in his attack on those seeking fairer wages or protection for the environment accuses them of seeking a free lunch.
But if you are the manager of Telecom, or you are a rich investor in South Canturbury Finance, or the head of big film production company, or the overpaid president of the Feds. you are enjoying a ‘Free Lunch’ at the expense of the rest of us.
Connor English in his attack on the left wants such privileged people to be able to continue to enjoy their free lunch indefinitely, no matter how much damage to society or the natural environment their continuing ‘Free Lunch’ leaves in it’s wake.
Maybe I should thank Connor English for opening up this debate so that a lot more people are moved to counter this simplistically slanted rubbish.