National’s reaction to the Labour/Greens NZ Power announcement was telling. They panicked. There was no genuine critique, just ‘won’t someone think of the shareholders’.
The panic affected judgement with Joyce putting out a rant of a press release that would have been nixed if anyone in his office had their head screwed on straight – all it did was reveal National’s weakness and its worry over its exposure on power prices. You can’t mix as many hyperbolic metaphors as Joyce did when he said the Labour/Greens had “jumped the shark with a half-baked Soviet Union-style nationalisation ‘plan’” when talking about a market structure that is normal in many developed countries and expect to keep your credibility.
Russel Norman is right: the failed ‘Mr Fix It’ has no answers of his own to the power price increases under his watch and panicked when Labour and the Greens presented their own.
But the funniest bit was when National tried to say that it is a North Korean idea (you know, North Korea, that country with publicly-listed power companies). In truth, it’s South Korea that has a Single Buyer like NZ Power. And their power prices have fallen 39% in the past two decades while ours have risen 68%.
At the end of the day, National is fucked on this. They stand for the profits of the (often overseas) capitalist elite, which come from sucking the lifeblood from the rest of us. Labour and the Greens have neatly exposed the fact that National stands for the elite while putting themselves on our side. And they’ve done it with a policy that makes a hell of a lot of sense.