web analytics
The Standard

Framing the argument

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, November 18th, 2010 - 15 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, democratic participation, farming, Mining, workers' rights - Tags:

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.

There is no free lunch

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.

Jenny

15 comments on “Framing the argument”

  1. joe bloggs 1

    .

    there is no free lunch

    I can see how that would grate with the cloth cap, cardy-wearing Left.

    • NickS 1.1

      And unsurprisingly you’re missing the fairly obvious point that such a framing as used by Conner ignores the costs of strip mining otherwise renewable resources in the name of “progress”, making it somewhat hypocritical. As returning ecological resources back to prior productivity is a hell of a lot more expensive than maintaining it in the long term, as ecologies aren’t nice wee linear systems. Then there’s the costs they foster onto society like polluted rivers, algal blooms and in the case of Canterbury, polluted aquifers, dust storms from totally dry river beds and a loss of recreational activities such as swimming, fishing and jet boating.

      But hey, it’s awwwwwright as long as we get rich in the short term, despite ignoring all the future bills.

    • bbfloyd 1.2

      joe…you wear your bigotry well… been practicing a while by the look…

  2. I’m sure he’s had a lot more free lunches during his time than the average person – even if you restrict that to the literal sense – hypocrite

  3. HitchensFan 3

    Well his brother continues to have a free lunch for his entire family

  4. Craig Glen Eden 4

    “No Free Lunch” No unless your brothers name is Bill in which case its free accommodation free cleaner. Im sick of these Tory hypocrites. Most of Conner English’s type have not done a hard days work for years.

    Lets see Conner get off his arse and start a business from scratch , working 16 hour days beholden to a bank and trying to pay school fees, feed and provide for his missus and kids.

    As soon as I hear that term theirs no such thing as a free lunch I know the person who makes it is eating corporate lunches, guaranteed..

    People who work or run their own business one don’t often get to stop for lunch and two when they do, what ever they eat will be something they bought with them from home.

    While I know violence is not the answer but I would love to do a few celebrity bouts with some of these pricks. Not that I am a celebrity just I would love to punch the shit out of them for a good cause or two. Yes I know “oh that’s fighting talk” but I feel better just getting it out!

    • Pascal's bookie 4.1

      No free lunch:

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10688316

      New Zealand farmers are unlikely to be brought into the emissions trading scheme in 2015 unless scientific advances are made in reducing animal emissions and our trading partners make giant strides in putting a price on carbon, the Government says.

      Speaking at the Federated Farmers National Council yesterday, Climate Change Minister Nick Smith noted the Government had already said it would not proceed with the inclusion of agriculture and other sectors until it sees comparable progress from other countries.

      The entry of the agricultural sector into the emissions trading scheme (ETS) has been delayed once – from 2013 to 2015 – and the Government has also increased measures to shield the sector from the full impact of the scheme once it does enter

    • joe bloggs 4.2

      Nah it’s not fighting talk, you old sook, it’s just good old-fashioned grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side jealosy

      • Craig Glen Eden 4.2.1

        Come hear and say that joe bloggs. ha ha.
        Jealous of what?
        No not jealous just sick of Tory Hypocrisy. These people who suck of others are all to ready to preach about self responsibility but as soon as they can they are into anything and every thing they can get. English, Bennett, Grosser,Hide, bla bla. It wouldn’t be so bad if they just did their bloody jobs, but no they have to preach at us and all the while keep taking from us.

        I feel a chant coming on “enuff is enuff stop taking our stuff”

      • bbfloyd 4.2.2

        “it’s just good old fashioned jealousy”,says the man as he walks away with the family silver toward his bentley..

  5. Lez Howard 5

    Connor is Nelsons Breed One Eye One arm One Arshole

  6. vto 6

    Take a snap-shot of the NZ environment in 1850.

    Take a snap-shot of the NZ environment in 1900.

    Take a snap-shot of the NZ environment in 1950.

    Take a snap-shot of the NZ environment in 2000.
    (and maybe take one more of Canterbury waterways in 2010 for good measure).

    And what do we see? A constant degradation in the environment. Which leads to …

    The quite obvious conclusion that extrapolated out to 2050 the environment will be in such a poor state that farming itself may even collapse. Certainly there will be no rivers to swim in, all drinking water will require removal of shit and inclusion of chemicals, there will be no bees, there will be no wide range of flora and fauna, there will be increased soil loss, etc etc.

    The farmers are doing NOTHING to stop this slide. And it is not even their environment – they are shitting in an environment that is not their own.

    I am disgusted in farmers, as represented by the likes of English and Nicholson (an even bigger dipshit).

  7. vto 7

    I’ve got it! Connor English was in fact referring to the BIGGEST free lunch currently on offer in New Zealand – the free lunch that is the environmental slice that the farmers take for nothing to support their own lifestyle.

    Farmers take of the environment is NZ’s biggest free lunch. Name one bigger Connor.

    You want to frame the argument? Well then, perfect framing Connor – you just allowed the description of the biggest free lunch going.

    • Bored 7.1

      Thank you VTO, somebody had to say it. It really pisses me off, in the last 30 years we have witnessed the collapse of the lowland trout fisheries almost entirely due to the farming sectors increasing innappropriate land usage and industrial farming practices. As the trout go, so have the other species of flora and fauna in these systems. It is a disgrace. Federated Farmers as a single body are to my mind the ecological equivalent of concentration camp guards.

      On the up side there are a number of success stories out there with individuals and groups of farmers who have done somethng about the impact of farming on the environment. These farmers give me faith that their is an alternative vision and methodology to the intellectually challenged myopia proposed by English. As you say he is the biggest taker of a free lunch, he ranks in my mind with bank robbers and banking executives for larcenous intent.

  8. Bored 8

    As an alternative vision to the English rip shit and bust how about this:
    * restoration of wetlands to be paid for with a levy from all water extraction users (urban and rural) as a key policy toward ensuring a constant and clean water supply for farmers and city dwellers.
    * long term tradeable government bonds backed by hardwood timber planting on marginal land and farmland rented for the purpose to provide local (as opposed to imported supply of hardwoods) whilst providing erosion control.
    * fencing off of riparian edges from all stock to allow riparian systems to act as a filter to agricultural run off as an unemployment relief package.
    * substantial government subsidy to farmers to begin non industrial sustainable practices for the retention of soil moisture and fertility.
    * redirection of Massey and Lincoln toward leadership in education of agricultural sustainability, backed by non market based emphasis and investment in government funded agricultural research.

    Dont think English will go for it as it does not involve ripping the shit out of our future….

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Worker safety top of mind tomorrow and beyond
    Workers’ Memorial Day, commemorated tomorrow, is both a time to reflect and to encourage a better safety culture in all workplaces, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway.“On Worker’s Memorial Day, working people across New Zealand will remember those… ...
    6 hours ago
  • Communities forced to stomach water woes
    Confirmation by Health Minister Jonathan Coleman that he is to wind up a water quality improvement scheme will leave thousands of Kiwis with no alternative but to continue boiling their drinking water, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. The Drinking… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Labour calls for immediate humanitarian aid for Nepal
    The Government should act immediately to help with earthquake relief efforts in Nepal, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “The Nepalese Government is appealing for international assistance following yesterday’s massive quake. The full impact is only now being realised… ...
    11 hours ago
  • New holiday reflects significance of Anzac Day
    Anzac Day now has the full recognition that other public holidays have long enjoyed, reflecting the growing significance it has to our sense of identity and pride as a nation, Labour MP David Clark says.“The importance of the 100th Gallipoli… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Housing crisis hurting export growth
    If Steven Joyce wants to revive his failing export growth target he needs to make sure the Government gets to grips with the housing crisis, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Our exporters are struggling to compete… ...
    3 days ago
  • Gallipoli’s lesson: never forget, never repeat
     A special monument to one of our greatest war heroes should be a priority for the new Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “This will honour the spirit of Lieutenant Colonel William Malone, who led 760… ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister for who? Women, or Team Key?
    Louise Upston yesterday broke her silence on John Key’s repeated unwanted touching of a woman who works at his local café, to jump to the defence of her Boss. Upston repeated Key’s apology but, according to media reports “she refused… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Taxpayer bucks backing US billionaire
    Kiwis will be horrified to know they are backing a Team Oracle subsidiary owned by a US billionaire, Labour’s Sports and Recreation spokesperson Trevor Mallard says. It has been revealed today that a Warkworth boat building company, which is wholly… ...
    4 days ago
  • English’s sins of omission: ‘Nothing left to be done’ on housing
    When Bill English said ‘there is nothing left to be done’ on the Auckland housing crisis he had overlooked a few things – a few things, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.  “He’s right if you ignore: ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate change now hurts Kiwis
    Kiwis have twice been given timely and grave warnings on how climate change will hit them in their hip pockets this week, says Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The first is the closure of the Sanford mussel plant and the… ...
    4 days ago
  • Clean, green and chocolate!
    Like many people I absolutely love chocolate! But until recently I hadn’t given much thought to how it was grown and produced. Fair trade and ethical food production are core Green Party principles, so yesterday Steffan Browning and I were… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    4 days ago
  • National admits loan shark law not up to it
    National has admitted new laws to crack down on loan sharks, truck shops and dodgy credit merchants aren’t up to the task of protecting vulnerable consumers, Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Paul Goldsmith has acknowledged the laws might just… ...
    4 days ago
  • Power and the Prime Minister
    I’d like to acknowledge the young woman* who has publically told her story. It was a very brave thing to do. She kept her story very simple and focussed on her experience of what happened. It told of unwanted attention… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Extra holiday offers time to reflect
    The Mondayisation of Anzac Day provides New Zealanders with an opportunity to spend more time with their families and their communities, Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark says. “This is the first time legislation I introduced, to have Anzac and… ...
    4 days ago
  • More angst and anguish for red zone locals
    Local residents will be bitterly disappointed by the Government’s cherry picking of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding compensation for red zoned property owners, Labour Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson and Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “Home owners have taken all… ...
    5 days ago
  • Australia shows why we need a sovereign wealth fund now
    Australia has not managed its great mining boom well, says HSBC’s chief economist for Australia and New Zealand, Paul Bloxham. When times are good, governments need to save for the bad times that will inevitably follow, and this can be… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Pure Water- pure rip off
    New Zealanders’ rights to fresh water must be protected before commercial allocations are given, but the Government is allowing resources to be taken, says Kelvin Davis MP for Te Tai Tokerau.  “The Government needs to resolve the issue of water… ...
    5 days ago
  • Cabinet paper reveals weak case for Iraq deployment
    A heavily redacted copy of a Cabinet paper on New Zealand’s military deployment to Iraq reveals how weak the case is for military involvement in that conflict, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  The paper warns that given the failure… ...
    5 days ago
  • Malaysia’s booty is Kiwis’ lost homeownership dream
    It’s unsurprising the Auckland property market is so overheated when Malaysians are being told they can live large on Kiwi’s hard-earned rent money, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “A Malaysian property website lists nearly 4000 New Zealand houses and… ...
    5 days ago
  • Ministry’s food safety resources slashed to the bone
    The Ministry for Primary Industries’ failure to monitor toxic and illegal chemicals in red meat is a dereliction of duty, Labour’s Primary Industries and Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI compliance officer Gary Orr today admitted National’s much-vaunted super… ...
    5 days ago
  • Ministry must protect organic food industry
    The Ministry for Primary Industries must take urgent action to protect New Zealand’s $150 million organic food and beverage industry by establishing a certification regime, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Despite working with Organics Aotearoa on the issue… ...
    6 days ago
  • Tony Abbott, indigenous rights, and refugees
    This week, Tony Abbott has visited Aotearoa New Zealand, bringing with him his racist policies against indigenous Australians and his appalling record on refugee detention camps. Abbott has launched a policy “to close” remote aboriginal communities, which is about as… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    6 days ago
  • PM’s housing outburst bizarre
    Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has described the Prime Minister’s latest comments on the Auckland housing crisis as bizarre. “John Key is deep in denial. He must be one of the only people left who are not concerned about the risk… ...
    1 week ago
  • Deflation: Another economic headache linked to housing crisis
    National’s housing crisis is causing even further damage with the second consecutive quarter of deflation a genuine concern the Reserve Bank can do little about, as it focusses on Auckland house prices, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Pot calling the kettle black over fossil fuel subsidies.
    Over the weekend alongside nine other countries the New Zealand Government has endorsed a statement that supports eliminating inefficient subsidies on fossil fuels. Fossil fuel subsidies are a big driver of increasing emissions. Good on the Government for working internationally… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • At last – a common sense plan for Christchurch
    The Common Sense Plan for Christchurch released by The People’s Choice today is a welcome relief from the shallow debate about rates rises versus asset sales, Labour’s Christchurch MPs say. "Local residents – who have spent weeks trawling through the… ...
    1 week ago
  • National must lead by example on climate change
    The National Government must meet its own climate change obligations before it preaches to the rest of the world, Labour's Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. "Calls today by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser for an end to fossil fuel… ...
    1 week ago
  • Biosecurity rethink a long time
    The Government has opened New Zealand’s borders to biosecurity risks and its rethinking of bag screening at airports is an admission of failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. Nathan Guy today announced a review of biosecurity systems in… ...
    1 week ago
  • Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage
    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    1 week ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    1 week ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    1 week ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    1 week ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Zero excuses, end zero hour contracts now
    It’s time Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse cut the weasel words and banned zero hour contracts, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Michael Woodhouse today acknowledged zero hour contracts are unfair. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • We’ve reached Peak Key with ‘artificial target’
    John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “For seven years and two election campaigns, John Key has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Top 10 need to know facts on climate change
    All the numbers and stats around climate change can be confusing, so we’ve put together a handy list of the top 10 numbers about climate change that we should all know- and then do something about. You can sign up here to… ...
    GreensBy Frog
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere