Monday 29 April 2024

A fast track to cronyism [updated]


The media has been slow to pick up on this National-led government's new policy to help out struggling media organisations.

The policy is to announce, and string out, a steady stream of announcements of blatant knuckle-dragging cronyism, primary among them that Fast-Track Approvals Bill, whose invited-applicant list will be an ongoing gift to every media organisation looking for a colourful headline.

And no on top of that, just to drive home the message, is this weekend's gift to television personality and National Party fund-raiser Paula Bennett of the position of highly-paid chair of Pharmac — in the very week they announce a $1.8 billion increase in the unaccountable bureaucracy's budget to $6.3 billion. Her qualifications for the role? In the absence of a single one of any relevance, one would have to speculate it was her record fund-raising and chasing of donors to the National Party at the last election.

And speaking of donors ....  even the worst resourced newsroom should be able to turn out a veritable assembly line's worth of regular feature articles highlighting which party donors have been favoured with which fast-track approval by three ministers of questionable morals and fitness doling them out like largesse at a corrupt king's court.

As I said a few days ago, it's not a "fast track" for you or me or that small renovation you've been putting off for years as just too damned complicated to contemplate — it's a fast track for cronies and for government bulldozers.

How about we all get the benefit a fast track for our projects, little and large, instead of being tangled up in years of the red tape governments festoon around us while cronies enjoy all the fruits of political favouritism?

In the meantime at least, let's watch the media take advantage of the Government's gift. It should be one that promises to keep giving long after the Public Interest Journalism Fund gives out ...

UPDATE: Yes, of course, businesses need to be able to build. And so do you and I —and for too long we've been stymied in trying to build. But this isn't help for you and me — and when National and Shane Jones promise to "help business" that invariably ends up meaning "help particular businessmen." Just as it does here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very true! Another appointment of a useless windbag , along with Susan Devoy, Patsy Reddy, Meng Foon, Grant Robertson and so on .