People who treat politics as a game annoy me. People who see it all in terms of power and cliques and scoring points and winning at all costs annoy me a lot. These people have lost the plot. Politics is not a game. Politics matters. It matters to society, the lives of individuals, and the environment. Politics is about the kind of world we live in.
Too many media commentators have lost the plot. Here’s a prime example:
Astute politics on emissions scheme
Howls of outrage have greeted the news that the Nats have done a deal with the Maori Party on the Emissions Trading Scheme, effectively leaving Labour at the altar. Labour was hopeful of signing its own agreement with the Government on changes to the ETS, but the Maori Party had a somewhat remarkable change of heart within two weeks, and went from opposing the legislation to supporting it.
Now before we look at the detail of what’s proposed, let’s deal with the politics. On the one hand, a broad-based deal that involved support from the major opposition party would have … established a new political consensus on climate change which would probably have been good for the country. On the other, the last thing Prime Minister John Key wanted to do was give Goff any credit for the changed scheme, or allow him to share the limelight – as he himself did when he brokered the accord on the child discipline bill.
It isn’t the best scheme for the environment, although it’s better than nothing. But politically, it’s quite astute.
Consider the messages here. The deal which has been done isn’t the best one for the country. It isn’t the best one for the environment. But it is “politically astute”. Why? Because it rules out the possibility of giving any “credit” to the opposition. In short, screw the country, screw the environment, just as long as no one takes any of John Key’s limelight.
What a crock. The author of that piece has completely lost the plot. To him politics has become a game, the only point of which is to win the game. He has forgotten what politics is for, he has forgotten the real world outside. In cheering on his team in their narrow and short term tactics he is debasing the political process and doing his country no favours. And there are far too many commentators just like him.