Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Dismembering Telecom

Yesterday I celebrated the two-week parliamentary lay-off with Mark Twain's words: "No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session."

I was wrong to celebrate. No man's life, liberty, or property is safe when the legislature isn't in session either.

What I hadn't counted on in my all-too premature celebrations was David Cunliffe's desire to be noticed -- and the gap in the parliamentary programme gives him that -- and the Clark Government's complete disregard for property rights,

He's seen his chance. While Labour-Lite timidly put their toe in the water suggesting, just maybe, that we might -- just possibly -- be allowed to buy shares (but not all of them) in companies that the government has no business owning at all, Labour itself is forging ahead announcing plans to dismember one of New Zealand's biggest private companies.

And Labour-Lite will have nothing to say in defence of that company. Count on it.

: NBR has some details of this vandalism by government, Telecom being told by the Net Nanny it has "20 days to provide the government with detail about how it will separate into three operating divisions." You can look elsewhere for those who are salivating at the statism -- and you won't need to look very far.

UPDATE 2: Those around the place excited about this dismembering and bemoaning Telecom's underinvestment in the network they've being stripped of might want to think about who's responsible for said underinvestment: themselves. As I've said before, "No one but an idiot or a cabinet minister would expect to see businessmen or women making a long-term investment in infrastructure when theft of such an investment is imminent, or the breakup of that investment is on the cards."

See all posts on Telecom here.


  1. Putin would be proud of Clark.

    There's not such a great leap of the imagination from the dismemberment of Telecom, to his action over private oil giant Yukos. Khodorkovsky was a potential political rival so he was imprisoned on trumped up charges, a Russian Court declared Yukos bankrupt, and forced a sale of assets to another a State Coy.

  2. Normally, I'm with you all the way. But if ever a company deserved drawing and quartering, it's Telecom. Naturally, the preferred solution would have been to open the telecommunications market to all comers, but Nanny would have been cross about that. Telecom's breathtaking incompetence and stupifying arrogance would have been right home in the old USSR. Kind of the Aeroflot of the the telecom world.


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