That sinking feeling

Written By: - Date published: 10:07 am, October 21st, 2011 - 16 comments
Categories: disaster, Mining, spin - Tags: , ,

More protests in Tauranga. Simon Bridges blames “out of towners”. That’ll go down like a cup of cold sick with the angry locals. Guess that’s what you get from a first-term MP who has only ever had to ride on Key’s coattails and is now confronted with a real challenge.

Because I’m feeling charitable, here’s a hint National:

You need to really confront the issue of our lack of preparedness for oil spills and announce deepsea drilling won’t be permitted until we are prepared. This silly ‘a container ship running aground isn’t like an oil rig blowing out’ just doesn’t cut it. They’re both oil in the sea and the second is clearly much, much worse.

By asking people to believe that a deepsea oil spill presents no danger given how difficult the Deepwater Horizon was to cap and our manifest inability to respond with timeliness to even a moderate spill, you’re asking people to go against their common sense.

And your blind determination to rush to dig up a resource that a) isn’t going anywhere b) isn’t replaceable and c) is only getting more valuable over time before taking measures to contain the risks just looks reckless.

Every time you run that line, the tear in your credibility gets a little wider.

16 comments on “That sinking feeling”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    Here’s a nice story in the Press about how Brownlee lied about a process whereby red-zoners could dispute their council valuation:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/5826034/Red-zone-challenge-proposal-scrapped

  2. Daveo 2

    Bridges is a light-weight. I had a yarn with him once and he described himself as on the left of the National party. When I asked him what he meant by left and right he couldn’t explain the difference but seemed to think it had something to do with supporting queer rights.

    • Tigger 2.1

      Simon ‘Lefty’ Bridges a supporter of us gays? Like Kaye he probably talks a nice game but don’t expect them working on a marriage equality Bill anytime soon. We’re just votes to them, they don’t honesty give a fuck about us.

  3. Nick 3

    Bridges is like many conservative politicians, in that he probably doesn’t give a fuck one way or another about teh gheys, and would support marriage equality if it was the politically expedient thing to do, and didn’t alienate his base.

    But make no mistake, he is not to the left of National, at least on social issues. He falls squarely into the anti-choice camp when it comes to the reproductive rights of women.

  4. Uturn 4

    This is the first time I’ve heard a writer here not completely rule out drilling, but say there should be investigations into improved methods for safety. I’ve heard other opinion that oil is just totally unacceptable as a resource and that’s that. Well that’s fine too, as an opinion, but I don’t agree. Our oil resource here should be part of a wider strategy to shift towards environmentally friendlier options, but to rule it out completely seems unrealistic. Worse case conspiracy theory: someone will eventually take our supply whether we are using it or not and, by that stage, we better have a safe method. If we don’t, it will be our own neglect, for ideology sake, that undoes our environment. Think of it as a defence policy that doesn’t need guns or killing.

    NZ’s practical concern for things Green is part of our marketable national identity. Not only can we help ourselves, we might even help the world to see out the end of oil dependency in a less risky manner. Other advancements to help the shift to green technologies might include frictionless machinery and lubricants that do not rely on fossil fuels – that are comparatively cheap. Now’s there’s a big challenge for someone. So I hope that talk of drilling, but with caution, does not become one of those political euphemisms for “not now, not ever”. There are big opportunities for NZ, there.

    • “This is the first time I’ve heard a writer here not completely rule out drilling”
       
      I suspect that there will be a time when we will be “forced” to drill – for our own use once the downhill luge to no oil gets faster and when the international price gets so attractive.
      The problem I have is that deep water drilling is only a recent development in oil extraction. It has not matured as a technique and the Deepwater Horizon is an example of that.
      We have no pressing need to drill now and good reasons to wait – until the technology improves, when we would get more $$$, and we have a government with a spine that would insist on strong royalties for the benefit of NZdrs.
       
      Prospecting is essentially harmless and ordinarily I wouldn’t object to it but for the suspicion that once we know it is there then we will have every man and his pitbull down here to pressure the pollies, (who would just love to make their government look good by increasing revenue). And before you know it we have started drilling.

  5. Uturn 5

    As far as the cartoon goes,

    National never had credibility, on Rena or anything else. Their one trick is to bark tough at something and hope “the market” does the work. Not surprisingly, only things that require a signature to change, get done. Labour talk quietly because they aren’t listening by the time they go public and they usually have an intact support group willing to do the work. Whether we like what they get done, or not, they have credibility to get things done. National are aspirational, which is the worst type of ineffectual windage.

  6. tc 6

    The image is all they have, once that’s punctured a few times the deflation will be rapid as the substance behind it is wafer thin.

  7. Ianupnorth 7

    Without wishing to offend anyone, Bridges is a happy clappy bible boy; he wanted to solve hungry school children by introducing a programme called ‘fishes and loaves’ by getting local churches to provide meals – despite the fact most of those kids parents have no chance of getting work.
     
    My concern would be who is going to oust him; he is very kind on the eye to the blue rinse brigade in God’s waiting room.

  8. Policy Parrot 8

    “John Key and the truth. Like oil and water, some things are clearly not meant for each other.”

  9. DJL 9

    He looked like one of those plastic bobble head figures you stick on the dashboard of your car, standing behind Key during a TV interview last week.
    I guess it could be said, Key has the full set

  10. Tom Gould 10

    It has taken them 17 days, and tied up huge resources, but the Tories have finally managed to find the smoking gun. Seems the MV Rena wreck is all Labour’s fault due to a decision Gosche is said to have made a decade ago. Problem solved.

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