Written By: - Date published: 9:31 am, September 17th, 2013 - 47 comments
Categories: accountability, assets, class war, david cunliffe, democracy under attack, greens, infrastructure, internet, john key, labour, national, nz first, privatisation, russel norman, Steven Joyce, telecommunications - Tags:
John Key and his ministers certainly don’t like democracy.
This is shown yet again with their rush to sell Meridian.
Opposition Parties are lining up to tell it as it is. RNZ reports:
Opposition parties say the Government is being arrogant as it pushes ahead with its plan to partially privatise its power companies.
Shares in Meridian Energy are due to go on sale later this month and the company will be listed on the stock exchange in late October.
Green Party co-leader Russel Norman says the move is an extraordinarily arrogant one while a referendum on the matter is pending.
“John Key is desperate to sell the people’s assets. He’s pursued that plan relentlessly in spite of all the evidence, in spite of the fact that it doesn’t make any sense economically or fiscally, in spite of the referendum signed by 400,000 New Zealanders” says Dr Norman.
He told Morning Report the Government is acting like a “corporate raider”, asset-stripping state-owned power companies.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says the Government is being pig-headed and will sell the assets even if it means taking a loss.
He says taxpayers will suffer if the partial float goes ahead.
The Labour Party says both Forsyth Barr and Macquarie have revised down their valuations of Meridian Energy in recent days.
Meanwhile, government ministers try to claim it’s sensible financial management, and that they have a mandate to do it:
Prime Minister John Key says the partial float is about reducing debt and strengthening the company.
State-Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall says the referendum on the matter does not reflect the clear mandate the Government got during the last election to proceed with its mixed ownership model programme.’
Elections every three years is not the OK to do whatever you like once in government. Democracy is an on-going process, and requires consultation with the people as circumstances change, and people learn more.
Key’s government is very much about top-down management. And if there’s opposition to their plutocratic aims, then there’s all kinds of dodgy deals and arm twisting behind the scenes, as with Joyce’s broadband deals. Otago Daily times reports, this morning :
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce has confirmed he persuaded would-be participants in a campaign fighting for lower internet prices not to take part.
The Coalition for Fair Internet Pricing claims a recent Government proposal for internet pricing sets the price for copper-based broadband services too high and will result in a windfall profit of $600 million to lines company Chorus, something they say amounts to an unfair tax.
Consumer NZ boss Sue Chetwin who is leading the group last week said leading telecommunications companies and business groups were supportive of the group but “came under considerable political pressure” not to take part.
A telecommunications industry source said both Vodafone and 2degrees had been involved in the coalition but had withdrawn suddenly in recent days.
A spokesman for Mr Joyce said the Economic Development Minister was advised of the campaign about a week before its launch on Thursday.
“He talked either specifically or as part of other conversations to three groups that he understood had been approached to be part of it because he wanted to be sure they were aware of the reasoning behind the Government’s proposal.
“They indicated they would make final decisions whether to participate in due course. He understands that none of the three ended up participating. He takes that to mean the campaign tends to fall apart whenever the other view has a chance to be represented.”
Yesterday, David Cunliffe was critical of Joyce’s “arm twisting”, as reported by Adam Bennett of the NZ Herald.
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s “arm twisting” of would-be participants in a campaign fighting for lower internet prices is linked to the Government’s “shabby deal” over ultra-fast broadband with network company Chorus, Labour Leader David Cunliffe said today.
John Key was critical of the Commerce Commissions’ proposal for lowering Broadband pricing, saying they were interpreting the law incorrectly, and that it would bankrupt Chorus. However, David Cunliffe has called Key on this:
Mr Cunliffe said Mr Key was grossly overstating the effect of the Commerce Commission’s ruling on Chorus.
“The Prime Minister is inappropriately meddling in a regulatory process which ought to be transparent and legally binding, and I note there are issues arising out of that which have yet to play out.”
Mr Cunliffe said Mr Joyce’s “arm twisting” over the Coalition for Fair Internet Pricing was interesting.
“One wonders why this Government is so intent on doing a deal for one telecommunications company not only at the expense of others but at the significant expense of the New Zealand public.”
Mr Cunliffe said the Government’s interference with the commission’s work was about doing a shabby deal with one company and was “more of the same for the National Government”.
Meanwhile John Key tries to smear Labour’s democratic, bottom-up leadership contest as being some sort of far left union manipulation. It must be quite threatening for Key to now face a Labour leader selected by the Labour Party base of workers, and people who favour a leader who speaks about providing a “fair chance and a fair deal” for all kiwis.
The Labour and Green parties follow and support democratic processes
Meanwhile, Key’s government continues it’s plutocratic ways.