English agrees with Labour on climate change

Written By: - Date published: 6:09 pm, September 20th, 2007 - 12 comments
Categories: climate change - Tags:

What the hell’s going on? This press release from Bill English today under the heading “Emissions Regime Proposal Looks Sound”:

It goes on to say; “National Party Deputy Leader Bill English says the climate change framework announced by the Government today is in line with National’s proposals in this area”.

Please, please, does anyone imagine that the Labour government is doing so well that the National opposition no longer finds anything to oppose? Could it be that the National Party now admire what Labour is doing so much that all they need do is agree and wait to replace the government next year?

Don’t be fooled. Labour’s policy is sound alright, but National do not agree, as can be seen by the posts on National MP’s statements below. There is never any doubt that they operate a secret agenda, knowing full well that Labour is right to strongly address the emissions issue. Their ‘pretend’ policies on anything worthwhile hides behind an agenda to cut services, ignore threats to the planet and make tax cuts available to those who should be paying more for the damage we’re doing to the environment.

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12 comments on “English agrees with Labour on climate change”

  1. Yes – The Standard is going to have difficulty dealing with this issue. It’s deeply problematic for you guys whenever Labour and National actually agree with each other. It reminds people that they two parties are essentially tweedledum and tweedledee.

    Rather than finding any credence in your conspiracy theories about National only ‘pretending’ to agree with Labour but really wanting to unleash a ‘secret agenda’ to destroy the environment, most voters will see that Labour and National (and other parties) all essentially think the same and have no real alternatives. And rather than National compromising to adopt some sort of leftie ‘socialist’ policy, it’s actually quite the reverse: Labour and the Greens have adopted a climate change policy that sits very naturally with the rightwing because it is totally market-oriented.


  2. all_your_base 2

    Bryce, willing the world to binary opposition won’t make it so. I think most parties can see that some degree of compromise and consensus is required for stable, broad-based government. I don’t make the leap that you do to saying that that means that all parties are just the same.

    What comes through in your comments is that you see politics as largely one-dimensional. For me it’s not. I assume, though I haven’t checked their manifestos, that both ACT and the Greens oppose slavery. Surely you wouldn’t claim that New Zealand would look the same under them Rodney as Jeanette and Russel?

    Nor do I think that a family on minimum wage would tell you the same story in ten years’ time were the Nats to win next year. Whether or not these policies affect you – user-pays hospital charges, a return to market rents, privatisation of ACC, decreases to minimum wage – for lots of people they’re the difference between living above and below the poverty line. Stop being precious.

  3. OK – so if this is all the case, then how about you come up with some details of this secret agenda that you allege exists within the evil National Party in terms of climate change.

    And how can you argue that National wants ‘tax cuts available to those who should be paying more for the damage we’re doing to the environment’ when this is entirely Labour’s position as well? Don’t forget it was Labour that just cut corporate taxes in the budget! This was the first tax cut for business since the 1980s when Labour was last in power! Why don’t you condemn this? It sounds like The Standard is in favour of business tax cuts when Labour does them and opposed to business tax cuts when National does them!

    But your point about me trying to ‘will the world to binary opposition’ is a bit silly really. After all it’s actually The Standard that keeps trying to make out that there is this big binary difference between Labour and National, and I’ve merely been showing that this is false. So it’s actually The Standard that tries to draw up this black and white one-dimensional world of Labour=Good and National=Bad! I think you need to find a better defence…

    And the argument about slavery is a bit pathetic and meaningless too. Try again!

    Any family on the minimum wage at the moment should actually be pretty pissed off with Labour. This government has totally betrayed the poor. Inequality in NZ has actually *worsened* under Labour! And yet Labour continue with it’s discredited neoliberal policies. And *that* is precious. Surely you can do better than that?


  4. toms 4

    I don’t get you Bryce. You save all your bitterness over Labour for this site? What, are you an ex-Alliance type with the rejection issues?

  5. principessa 5

    And the Nats have been too scared to announce policies because they reckon Labour’s stealing their policies. Truth is sometimes they announce policy Labour has already been doing. It would seem the real copycats are the Nats?

  6. John 6

    No, I don’t think Bryce is ex-Alliance. My guess is that he is David Ferret. Bryce has a lot to say about what he is against and what is wrong with various parties on the centre left, but he never says what he is for.

    The interesting thing I find is that he is very very protective of National. There is something odd about that.

    The more he talks the more he sounds like someone who is trying to spin National to the centre and put people off Labour, the Greens and Progressive.

    Maybe he is connected with the Brethren?

  7. Z K Muggletonspofin 7

    Bryce maaate! Can I clear something up from my last post, which seems to have generated a flurry of comment and counter-comment. We know who you are. You are one of those people (small in number but very noisy) who believe they think about the issues so deeply that they have a mandate to argue ‘anything’.

    Here’s the reality. Successive Labour governments have actively strived to improve the lot of the majority of New Zealanders – that’s all about trying to be inclusive. While they might not have always got it right, the intent has been there. That’s why in our history Savage, Fraser, Kirk and Clark are such stand-out leaders. Who remembers Holland, Hollyoake, Marshall, Muldoon, Bolger or Shipley as being great leaders who actually worked to create a much better society for all? They occupied office with bugger all to show for it, except to pander to a minority. Certainly few thinking historians would put these National leaders in the same league as the former group.

    So Bryce, attach your brain to your keyboard and enter the debate with some perspective. As my good friend Mr all-your-base says, watch out for National to attack with user-pays hospital charges, a return to market rents, privatisation of ACC, decreases to minimum wage. Why? Because that’s what Holland, Hollyoake, Marshall, Muldoon, Bogler and Shipley would have done (maybe not Hollyoake), which is why Key will do it, even if Bill English (the Hollyoake of 2007) may fall out with him as a result.

  8. I’m puzzled by the comments in response to my own here. Is this a forum for discussion and debate or is it just a Labour Party hack blog? Your allegations that I’m ‘connected with the Brethrens’ or really David Farrar/Ferrit in disguise are bizarre.

    Ironically, everyone that posts on this blog seems to feel the need to do so under some disguise, yet it’s *me* that gets criticised for being in disguise when I’m not at all! The fact is that I have commented using my real name together with a link to my own political blog that provides details about myself, where I work and how to contact me!

    The Standard would love to think that anyone who criticises theLabour Party must be from the National Party. Life is not so simple – and certainly not as ‘binary’ as all_your_base makes out. My criticisms of the Labour Party are from a socialist perspective. I actually spent the whole of the 1990s being active in organising against and protesting against the National Government. Since then we’ve had yet another crappy Government, and I’m happy to point out the overwhelming similarities between Labour and National.

    And I can assure you that there’s absolutely no bitterness involved. I’m just refuting some of the more simplistic and misleading ideas being propagated on this blog.

    My argument that Labour is economically orthodox and that it has clung as close to the new centre of politics is not simply *my* opinion, but the accepted view amongst most political commentators and political scientists. I’m happy to provide evidence to back this up. While I do think that National may be worse than Labour in some areas of social policy, there really is no longer any yawning ideological gap between Labour and National and there hasn’t been since the 1970s. Both parties will continue with the neo-liberal business as usual approach to economic and monetarist management and policy differences are only likely to arise in the policy margins.

    That’s my analysis as someone who has studied NZ party ideologies from a leftwing perspective for a number of years. It would be great if you could all respond to the issues I raise with some rational debate rather than just trying to dispose of my arguments as being those of a rabid right-winger. Far from it!

    The Labour Party gets an easy ride from much of the left. While there’s heaps of decent leftwing criticisms of the National Party around, there are few around who bother to hold Labour to account. Yes, the Alliance used to do this, and even the Green Party occasionally did, but this no longer really occurs. So I play my part where I can.


  9. I would also add a couple of points to follow on from the comment from Z K Muggletonspofin (who I assume is actually another disguise for all_your_base).

    Social inequality was largely held in check by Muldoon (as well as Holyoake) and mushroomed under the fourth Labour government. Before the advent of the fourth Labour government the wealthiest 3% of NZers held 20% of the wealth; after the fourth Labour govt, the same three percent held 37% of the wealth. Also, the idea of user-pays doesn’t come from National, but Labour.

    Moreover, even under the first Labour government social inequality increased. (I can’t recall the figures off-hand, but can supply them in the future if you want them). Central to this is that under the first Labour govt there was a massive increase in labour productivity and a much smaller increase in real wages: this is graphed in a book of economic figures called “Counting the Numbers” (might have the title wrong) which I came across about two years ago.

    Dear old Mickey Savage was also a virulent anti-Chinese racist, as were pretty much all of the cabinet ministers in the first Labour government. Have a look at their speeches in parliament in support of the 1920 Immigration Restriction Act. Not very “inclusive” behaviour, to say the least!

    That this wasn’t some aberration can also be seen by the fact that Labour, not National, started the “dawn raids” and that Labour supported Muldoon’s stripping of tens of thousands of Samoans of NZ citizenship.

    Oh yeh, and Labour jailed a trade unionist in 1974, over industrial action, something Muldoon did never did.


  10. Tane 10

    Bryce, you’ve got it all backwards: all_your_base is actually a front for ZK Muggletonspofin, who is in turn a front for me. I’m not sure who IrishBill’s a front for, but I suspect it might be all_your_base.

    And for the record, I respect your analysis and point of view and welcome the debate. Doesn’t mean I agree with you, but then that wouldn’t be much fun, would it?

  11. all_your_base 11

    I second Tane’s post. But that could just be because Tane’s a front for me. I expect it won’t be long before ZKM jumps in too. Bryce, I’ll let you know when I disagree, your comments are very welcome, I guess I’m just a little sad that you think your glass is half empty.

  12. ak 12

    And I third their posts, but that’s because I’m a front for ka.
    No argument at all with you Bryce, but the most noble aims in the world are useless if they never come to fruition. The Alliance disintegrated from a position of strength and achievement over…what? Some soldiers volunteer to go to Afghanistan – and months out from an election the staunch “leaders” of the party collapse the hopes and dreams of thousands of supporters in order to remain ideologically pure. (please, please, spare us your version of this)
    Point is, you might be absolutely right in your analysis but delivery on the ground is all that matters. Fact: we’re going to have either a tory-led or labour-led government next year. No one’s got time for navel-gazing when there’s a war on.

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