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

  • Time for inquiry into petrol margins
    It’s time for an inquiry into petrol companies as margins are once again at the high levels that prompted concerns late last year, says Labour's Energy Spokesperson Stuart Nash. "Over the December January holiday period, petrol importer margins jumped to… ...
    2 hours ago
  • More talk as Auckland congestion worsens
    The main impact of the Government’s agreement with Auckland Council today will be simply to delay still further decisions needed to relieve the city’s traffic congestion, says Labour’s Auckland Issues Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “Government has been aware for more than… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Serco inquiry extended
    A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “My office received a tsunami of complaints so I’m not surprised the terms… ...
    24 hours ago
  • Truck Shops ignore consumer laws
    A damning Commerce Commission report out today highlights the failure of the Government to protect poor and vulnerable families from unscrupulous truck shops, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer. “The report found that 31 out of 32 firms it… ...
    1 day ago
  • Taihoa at Ihumatao says Labour
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has called on the Government to rethink its controversial Special Housing Area in Māngere. Auckland Council is today meeting to discuss the development which borders the Otuataua Stonefield Historic Reserve. This project is to get… ...
    1 day ago
  • Figures suggest National deliberately excluded farming
    Figures showing the dairy industry would be categorised as high risk if there were a further five severe injuries within a year, strongly suggests National designed its flawed system to deliberately exclude farming, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    1 day ago
  • Bleak report on the state of our children
    A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says… ...
    1 day ago
  • Dodgy data used to justify axing KiwiSaver kickstart
    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    1 day ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    2 days ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    2 days ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    2 days ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    2 days ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    2 days ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    3 days ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    3 days ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    3 days ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    4 days ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    4 days ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    4 days ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    4 days ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    4 days ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    6 days ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    7 days ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    7 days ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    1 week ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    1 week ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    1 week ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    1 week ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    1 week ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Crucial Auditor General investigation welcomed
    The Auditor General’s decision to investigate the Saudi sheep scandal is important, necessary and welcome, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says. “The independent functions of the Auditor General are a cornerstone of the New Zealand system of… ...
    1 week ago
  • KiwiSaver sign-ups continue to fall
    New KiwiSaver sign-ups in July were 45 per cent below the monthly average, despite John Key saying axing the kickstart “will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver”, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson… ...
    1 week ago
  • Contact bows to pressure
    Contact Energy’s decision to cut its pre-pay rates to be in line with its customers who pay monthly is good news and the company deserves credit for responding so quickly, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer.  “Two months ago… ...
    1 week ago
  • I’m pushing for a ‘fair go’ for solar
    My Fair Go For Solar Bill was pulled from the Members’ Ballot last week and is set for a vote in Parliament. In this blog post I explain some of the background to the bill and how it aims to… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Key must explain why Health and Safety Bill pulled
    John Key must explain why his Government is delaying the Health and Safety Bill when Pike River families have travelled to Wellington specifically to register their opposition, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday afternoon John Key suggested the bill may… ...
    1 week ago
  • Diving for sustainable scallops
    Last week, there were calls for scallop dredging to be banned in the Marlborough Sounds, following scientific report saying that 70% of the Sounds had been lost from dredging, trawling, and sedimentation from forestry. At the same time we see… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Backdown whiff in state house leasing option
    Bill English’s admission that the Government is looking at leasing large numbers of state houses to non-government providers has the whiff of a backdown, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This is an acknowledgement by Bill English that he has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis downgrade threatening banking sector
    The out of control Auckland housing market is now threatening the banking sector, with Standard and Poor’s downgrading the credit rating of our banks out of fear of the bubble bursting, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Today we have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Good money after bad for failed experiment
    The National government are throwing good money after bad with their decision to pump even more funding into their failed charter school experiment, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There are already major problems with several of the first charter… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National borrows Labour’s idea on urban development
    Labour's Associate Environment spokesperson Phil Twyford says he welcomes the Government's adoption of Labour's policy for a National Policy Statement on urban development, and has called on the Government to take up Labour's offer to work together on these issues.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Toothless OIO never refused a single farmland sale
    The Overseas Investment Office has approved more than 290 consents from foreign investors to buy sensitive land in New Zealand, but has not turned down a single application says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash  “The Minister of Land information,… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere