SUE BRADFORD ARGUED that the death of Mrs Muliaga is "an indictment" of Max Bradford's "market reforms" of the electricity industry, "an indictment" of the cold-heartedness of capitalism, and a signal that all electrical producers should be taken back into the arms of the caring state and peremptorily renationalised.
Yet neither Mercury Energy nor Mighty River Power are private companies. Nor did Bradford's reforms take these power producers away from the arms of the state: These are both state organisations. Any resemblance to anything outside North Korea is entirely accidental.
SUE BRADFORD ARGUED that access to electrical power is a right.
At the same time her colleagues in the Greens are doing everything they possibly can to make the production of power more and more difficult; everything they can to raise costs by having extensive restrictions and carbon taxes and the like placed on existing power plants; they're enthusiastic supporters of Kyoto, which guarantees to make power more expensive, and the RMA, which makes it all but impossible to reliably transport power to NZ's largest city; and they're doing everything they possibly can to stop the production of new power plants, cheering loudly every time their protests and the RMA between them sink new plans for more power (Think how they cheered when Project Aqua, Marsden B, and Genesis' Whanganui River hydro schemes were canned).
In the face of opposition such as that from her colleagues and supporters, how are the power companies supposed to keep producing cheap power and keep making it widely available, as she insists they must? How are they supposed to deliver this "right" that she talks about?
MATT MCCARTEN ARGUED that the person who switched off the power to the Muliaga's home should have known what would happen to poor Mrs Muliaga when he did that.
Yet he also argued that there was nothing wrong in the family (four sons in all, ranging from a seven-year-old to a twenty-one-year-old) sitting down for two hours with their dying mother to sing hymns, since they didn't know that she was dying... How, we have to wonder, was the poor contractor supposed to know what the family themselves apparently weren't aware of?
BRADFORD ARGUED THAT people shouldn't leap to judgement by "playing politics," and McCarten argued that people shouldn't be condemning this family before the facts are known.
Yet even before the facts are known (and in complete disregard of the facts that are known) these two between them have leapt to make political capital out of this tragedy.
There's an error here in both of them that is far more than just one of logic.
UPDATE: What did Mrs Muliaga die from? On that, as Whale Oil suggests,
the quote of the week comes from Lindsay Perigo on Eye to Eye just after one of the socialists say her death should be blamed on poverty. Quote:Well she didn't die of starvation.As I've said here before, poverty in South Auckland is generally not a shortage of money. It's an excess of poor choices. Today's Herald highlights the result for Mrs Muliaga of some of those choices.
Mrs Muliaga was fatally ill when she left hospital last month and not expected to live much longer. The obesity-related heart and lung disease which was killing Mrs Muliaga was being kept at bay by a cocktail of powerful medication - not the oxygen machine. Mrs Muliaga had previously turned her back on using the drugs to seek traditional Samoan health care...And in this case, no one did. Shame on those who use tragedies like this to make political capital.
Mrs Muliaga was suffering from cardiomyopathy - a weakness in the muscle of the heart brought on by a lack of oxygen being carried to the organ. The illness, lung disease and associated breathing difficulties were related to her obesity. She had been admitted to Middlemore Hospital in April and was discharged on May 11...
It was not the first time she had been hospitalised since the illness was diagnosed about five years ago. On previous hospital stays for the same problem, Muliaga had been told her lifestyle had to change or her health would not improve. This time, like previous times, she was stabilised and released with medication that would help relieve the symptoms. She was also given the oxygen machine, which is intended to assist her breathing - not to breathe for her.
When doctors who had treated her heard she had died after the power cut, they were astonished. On release, she was not so ill that the machine was critical to survival...
"No one should ever die because they can't pay a power bill," [said Mighty River Power chairwoman Carole Durbin].