Written By: - Date published: 8:27 am, October 2nd, 2017 - 194 comments
Categories: bill english, climate change, Environment, ETS, james shaw, Media, national, public transport, same old national, sustainability, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, transport, winston peters - Tags: Eugene Sage, julie anne genter
I just listened to Bill English being interviewed on Radio New Zealand. He disclosed that he had rang Winston Peters personally on the weekend but that Peters had not returned his call. He also talked around and then gave a really weak response to the question whether he had offered the Greens James Shaw the Deputy Prime Minister’s position or the Finance portfolio if the Greens lined up with National.
This was not an accidental disclosure. English also revealed the unanswered call to Duncan Garner on the AM show.
He tried to avoid discussing the crisis that will be caused when the special votes are counted and National’s majority is trimmed if not obliterated. And I can understand National’s desire to negotiate now. I am confident that waiting for the specials to be counted will mean that the negotiating dynamic will be different. Rather than a Labour-Green-NZ First Government relying on a knife edge majority a more substantial majority will mean that such a proposition will be more feasible.
National is trying to manoeuvre the Greens into a position where they have to enter negotiations, even though this will be damaging to the Greens. But having one of your paid help describe the Greens as mainly hippies and drug addicts and then expecting them to negotiate in a civilised manner six weeks later requires lots of chutzpah. After nine long years of environmental degradation and dirty politics can National really expect anything different?
And the Herald is continuing its Pro National Government coverage with an interestingly article with the title As New Zealand waits for a new Govt, more come out in support of National-Green deal. It is only after reading the article that you realise that the “more” is former National Prime Minister Jim Bolger.
With the greatest of respect the article does not make sense. For instance it contains this passage:
Until now, the people urging Greens to consider talks with National have come from outside the party.
That includes senior National ministers who have floated the idea of a National-Green coalition in a bid to strengthen their hand in talks with NZ First leader Winston Peters.
I always thought that senior National ministers were members of the National Party. Have I missed something?
Nandor Tanczos is mentioned in the article. But he says that the Greens going into coalition with National would be political suicide. This is hardly what could be described as “support” of a National-Green deal.
Perhaps National should show it is serious by offering fundamental changes in policy. Adding agriculture to the Emissions Trading Scheme for one. Committing to meet New Zealand’s climate change goals by internal carbon sequestration and CO2 and methane suppression would be another. Placing Eugenie Sage as Climate Change Minister and Julie-Anne Genter as Transport Minister would be other offers that could be made. Cancelling the roads of national significance projects and putting the billions of dollars into public transport, walking and cycling projects and rail should be part of the mix. And not having a real target for reducing child poverty would be a deal breaker.
New Zealand First and the Greens are doing the right thing in not negotiating with National right now. National’s desperation is showing.
Update: I have just reread the Herald article and it seems that it was suggesting that Nandor Tanczos was the person outside of National who was urging the Greens to talk with National. He said it would be political suicide. No wonder I was confused!