If ACT were made up for a show like “The Thick of It”, or “Veep”, they would be dismissed as too ridiculous and extreme for the audience to swallow. “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver would surely ask, “How is this still a thing?” And yet the good folk of Epsom keep on conspiring with the savvy but manipulative Key government to inflict this farce with a constantly revolving (and always revolting) cast on the rest of us, year after year.
Here we are in 2014 and the fierce proponents of Small Government, tax cuts and cutting government expenditure seem perfectly happy to take the $500,000 of taxpayers’ money that comes with the (invented) roles of Under-Secretary to the Minister of Educations and to the Minister for Regulatory Reform. As soon as he hits parliament, David Seymour has shown himself to be a true ACTite, in the tradition of Rodney Hide, David Garrett, John Banks et al. They talk up the benefits of cutting government expenditure and making people stand on their own two feet but just can’t quite seem to get the irony of the position from which they preach to the rest of us…
Let’s remind ourselves that this cult of free-market extremists has had 5 leaders in the last 3 years, won only 0.7% of the Party vote nationwide (on par with the Bann 1080 Party and fewer than the Legalise Marijuana Party) but is a convenient excuse for some of Team Key’s more aggressive attacks on core NZ values. Charter Schools are for-profit businesses, raking in government resources but not accountable the Teachers’ Council (they don’t require qualified teachers) or the requirements of the Official Information Act. When Seymour says (on The Nation yesterday) that he wants all schools to have the option of becoming charter schools and argues that they are a lot more accountable than other schools, it’s time to really worry about the influence this Right-Wing Think Tanker is being empowered with by this “We can do anything now” team. Similarly, he sees the Resource Management Act as putting too much emphasis on the environment, and believes it’s time to start completely again.
Seymour argues that policy and parties should be “(From the) ground up, not driven by Wellington.” YES! So, David, listen to your own words and think about your position. Who put you in power? Having done so, who gave you a ridiculous level of power and resources for a first term MP (and a practically non-existent Party)?
While she and I are not often on the same wave-length, this time I’m with Lisa Owen when she asks, “Is that how you cut government spending? Are you the best use for that money?” – (Lisa Owen, The Nation 4/10/14)
– red blooded