Monday, 11 April 2005

Look what Nanny's doing while our backs are turned

Oh crikey, I'm agreeing with Jordan Carter. Well, partially.

Jordan notes that:
One of the more interesting features of the Tamihere affair to date has been the way National and ACT have latched onto his comments about Labour as being some sort of veritable truth. [Labour] are said to be more interested in gay marriage than in running the economy; in prostitution law reform than in building better roads: the basic charge is that Labour is out of touch with middle New Zealand....The reason this has some resonance - and it does have some - is largely because of the way the media has portrayed public life in the last few years. While 95% of Parliamentary time last year was spent on every other area of policy, a hugely disproportionate amount of media focus was on the civil union legislation.
Well, he's right, isn't he. And as it happens, libertarians agree that both the Civil Union Bill and the legalisation of prostitution were good things. In fact, their passing was posibly the best thing to happen in the NZ parliament since Dodger Rugless was eviscerating the bureaucrats back in 1985.

But at this point Jordan's analysis breaks down, and I and he part company. While the focus of the media and populist politicians was on Civil Unions and prostitution as Jordan rightly observes, look what Nanny slipped through the back door:
- A new Building Act (responding to media hysteria) that makes it illegal to build, repair or maintain your own home, and almost impossible to find or pay for a builder to do it for you;
- Smoking banned in bars;
- Revenue-collecting as a priority for police;
- More gravy for the Waitangi Gravy Train;
- Beneficiary numbers at an all-time high, now of course including most of New Zealand's middle class;
- Total tax-take at an all-time high;
- The standard of NZ's schools at an all-time low ...
Must I continue?

We're being had, and while we are populist politicians are wasting time filibustering, and going for the scalp of Tamihere.

I'd prefer they paid attention to what really matters - to New Zealanders being done over by their government. I doubt that Jordan would agree with me on that point, however.

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