During a Parliamentary debate today, National MP Chris Tremain made a number of inaccurate statements that were clearly designed to limit National’s responsibility for any negative consequences due to budget cuts. What made me cringe was this statement:
“Are we seeing riots in the streets of New Zealand?”
Either Tremain was stating the obvious and therefore appearing the fool or he was making a statement that things in New Zealand aren’t bad enough to cause rioting. Both of these meanings seem incongruous to me.
It’s unacceptable that National might measure the effects of their social policies by the amount of rioting that could occur. Do we really need rioting before National sits up and gives attention to the effects of austerity? There’s a vast amount of appropriate mechanisms to measure inequality, many of which are showing National’s policies have completely failed New Zealand.
The fact there’s various different dynamics at play in New Zealand makes Tremain’s association between Kiwi’s response to Nationals budget cuts and the riots irrelevant! It also raises the question of whether such extreme violence is required before National comprehends the resentment felt by the disaffected.
Here’s the embedded video if you can stand Tremain’s awkwardness:
You might have noticed that a point of order was called and then immediately dismissed before being heard. In my opinion, this is a breach of democratic process. The reason a point of order was called was because Tremain was lying about debt management.
National effectively inherited a zero net deficit when they took office, since then they have managed to get the country in hock by $16.8 billion dollars. Here’s the relevant graph:
Crusher Collins then called rubbish to any association between inequality and the riots. Clearly National is adamant that inequality has not led to increased violence or other negative social dynamics. Instead they seem to believe crime is undertaken for no reason… What a bunch of morons!
I’m sure the British Lords were telling themselves their austerity measures were A OK prior to the recent unrest that is sweeping through Britain in a tidal wave of violence as well.