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Dying in a ditch over roads

Written By: - Date published: 11:46 am, April 5th, 2011 - 9 comments
Categories: election 2011, transport - Tags:

MartyG raises some very important points in his latest post here. Transport is Auckland’s biggest issue right now. The emerging Labour-Greens-NZF popular front absolutely have to pick up on this if they want to win in November. By dying in a ditch over roads with only 18 per cent support for not having rail to the Shore and 79 per cent for, NACT would hand Auckland to a re-energised opposition on a plate.

Just about anyone out of those 79 per cent could bring themselves to vote for either Labour, the Greens or NZF, even if they couldn’t stand one they could vote for the other; and if all three were singing out of the same song sheet on rail, it couldn’t fail.

All the opposition need say is “We won’t stand in Len’s way.” And repeat it like a mantra from now till November, so that the election becomes a referendum on democracy in Auckland.

NACT are also hugely vulnerable to the fact that their roading schemes will do relatively little for the South and West, and will entrench social divisions. That’s an added point that can be made in campaigning in the South and West, or to anyone of goodwill.

As to the very important question of why the Govt is stuck on roads to the point of departing from the reality-based universe, I think that roads are kind of a symbol of the New Right’s privatisation agenda, of the opposition of private cars to public transport.

Historically, you have to remember that in this country Rogernomics arose, very largely, in opposition to Muldoon’s ‘Think Big’ plans which were actually a response to a premature prediction of peak oil sometime in the 1980s.

In addition to some dodgy projects (e.g. the Aramoana aluminum smelter). Think Big also included things like the electrification of most of the North Island Main Trunk Line and the extension of Wellington’s electric railway services by another 10 km in 1983, from Paekakariki to Paraparaumu.

Deep down, Rogernomics and post-Rogernomics is based on a firm foundation of cheap oil that will never run out and the endless ridicule of anyone who thinks otherwise as a ‘Muldoonist’.

The Rogernomes and post-Rogernomes know that if they admit the reality of peak oil and the need for better PT, the game’s up.

Not to mention the fact that trains, with their timetables and planned station environs, have the effect of making planning look good. That’s why they call it public transport as opposed to the private car, once more.

No doubt there are other more specific lobby motives but deep down that’s the spectre stalking the minds of the Hollow Men.

And that’s why NACT can never backflip and do another Muldoon on this, at least as long as the Hollow Men are in charge, whereas it’s much easier for Labour, the Greens and NZF to come out and say, actually do we need more planning.

At least in this coming election, all NACT’s transport policy guns are pointing in the wrong direction and they have been concreted in and can’t be shifted. To an opposition that can make use of this fact between now and the election, the fall of fortress Auckland is almost inevitable. And as Auckland goes, so goes the country, even if transport is less of an issue elsewhere.

– ChrisH

9 comments on “Dying in a ditch over roads”

  1. arants 1

    The key lobby group is the Road Transport Forum. New roads are a key driver of their industry’s profitability. They don’t care much about public transport per se, except that it diverts investment funds from roads.

    RTF has gold-plated lobbyist status with NACT. Remember also how the RTF paralysed Central Auckland with their trucks when Labour displeased them over Road User Charges, providing NACT and the Herald a big stick to beat the then Govt with.

    • Armchair Critic 1.1

      Remember also how the RTF paralysed Central Auckland with their trucks when Labour displeased them over Road User Charges, providing NACT and the Herald a big stick to beat the then Govt with.
      And yet, funnily enough, when National raised RUCs again last year the silence was overwhelming.

      • ChrisH 1.1.1

        Which I guess constitutes further proof for the “ideology” argument. I’ve always thought the RTF etc argument a little bit too conspiratorial. It’s the icing on the cake, but not the cake.

      • trucker 1.1.2

        @armchair critic
        the truck protest was not about RUC being increased, it was about a minister who made a promise about the way RUC changes would take effect going back on her word.
        The most recent change in RUC was advised in advance as the current minister undertook to do. The overwhelming silence was because the the circumstances were completely different, not because of the party in power.

        • Armchair Critic 1.1.2.1

          Like fuck it was.
          Ignoring the fact that the protest was astroturf, pure and simple, if half the truck drivers in the country protested evry time a minister went back on their word we’d have a very busy rail network.
          IIRC truckers have a reputation for being tough and no-nonsense, according to the stereotype.  And you reckon they got all upset and had a little cry because some politician didn’t do what they said they would?  Ridiculous.

          • trucker 1.1.2.1.1

            @armchair critic
             
            You can choose to believe what you wish, but I have a significant advantage, in that I was there.
            Believe the facts or fiction, it makes no difference to me

            • Armchair Critic 1.1.2.1.1.1

              You are assuming I wasn’t at a protest.  You’ve no grounds for your assumption.
              I expect you assume I don’t own or drive a truck, and that I wasn’t affected by the rises in RUCs.  That would be a pretty poor assumption too.
              Now, to support my claim that it was about the money, not the lack of consultation, here’s a link to the Herald, which states that the protest is about a rise in RUCs.
              http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10519729
              A lack of consultation is not mentioned.  OK, it’s the intro to a request for comments, rather than a well thought through piece of journalism, but the comments are overwhelmingly about, wait for it, the price increase.  Admittedly I’ve not read all 711 comments, but the first few pages give a pretty good idea that it was about the price increase.
              If that’s not enough then here’s another one with Tony Friedlander railing against the increase and then adding a footnote.
              http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10519715
              The footnote?  He does mention he’s upset about the timing, but it’s an after-thought.
              Astroturf, astroturf, astroturf.  And you fell for it?
              Did you protest the last rise? I did, and not because the RTF told me to.  Actually, the RTF were remarkably silent about it. Funny that.

              • trucker

                @armchair critic
                I made no assumptions about your employment or whether you were involved in the protest action.
                You may have been for all I know.
                You were not involved in the decision to protest. How do I know? Because you are wrong in your assumption as to the reasons, and had you been there you would not have said what you did.
                Similarly you rely on the Herald for your information, rather than being the source of the information.
                Did I protest the last increase? No I didn’t because it was done under the conditions that the previous Minister had promised would be done. The difference being that one failed to keep their promise, and the other did not.
                Was I happy about either increase? No.

                • Armchair Critic

                  I made no assumptions about your employment or whether you were involved in the protest action.
                  Apart from the bit where you said “…but I have a significant advantage, in that I was there.”
                  You were not involved in the decision to protest.
                  No, everyone who protested was involved in their own decision to protest.  Just as people who chose not to protest were involved in the decision not to protest.
                  How do I know? Because you are wrong in your assumption as to the reasons, and had you been there you would not have said what you did.
                  You’ve got no idea whether I protested or not.  Stop pretending otherwise.
                  I’ve not assumed anything about the reasons other people protested.  I’ve provided information on the general public’s thoughts on the reasons for the protests, if anything the assumption is theirs. 
                  Similarly you rely on the Herald for your information, rather than being the source of the information.
                  How much proof do you need?  I can find information to back up my point all over the internet (there’s this neat thing called google).  You’ve come up with jack shit to back up anything you’ve said.
                  So sorry I can’t be the source of the information, I haven’t got around to uploading the videos I took on the day to youtube.  I took them with you in mind. 
                  Did I protest the last increase? No I didn’t because it was done under the conditions that the previous Minister had promised would be done. The difference being that one failed to keep their promise, and the other did not.
                  Yeah, and you’re probably too busy organising protests about ministers in the current government failing to live up to their word.  Right?
                  Was I happy about either increase? No.
                  Yet you only acted on one of the increases.  It’s green like grass, it’s on the ground like grass, it’s short and spiky like grass, but you’ve got carpet burn on your knees – must be astroturf. .

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