Whatever it takes

Auckland’s Airport: “whatever it takes” to win

My RSS reader popped up an article at No Minister that linked to this article by Michael Bassett. It really is very good, it should be the mantra for opposing Labour.

A few weeks ago in a speech at Waiuku, south of Auckland, I spoke of the ?whatever it takes? mentality that the Labour Party uses these days when they campaign for re-election. They overspent by $800,000 in 2005, the money coming from the taxpayers. The Police wouldn?t prosecute, but Labour was shamed into paying it back. This time, after crimping their opponents? efforts with the Electoral Finance Act, Labour?s ministers intend spending more of our money on their own electioneering. Whatever it takes. It is also clear that they are now happy to sink the value of privately-held shares in public companies if they perceive any short term political advantage for themselves. Single-handedly, David Cunliffe knocked hundreds of millions off the value of shares in Telecom held by New Zealanders. Yesterday, in the middle of a share-purchasing process, came a ham-fisted tightening of overseas investment rules in what Michael Cullen deems (without defining the term) a ?strategic asset?. That move cut many millions off the value of Auckland Airport?s shares held by mums and pops around this country. Fortunately my wife and I don?t own any airport shares, but current ministers will happily damage the personal assets of people who have been saving for old age if they get in the road of Labour?s re-election. Do you believe Helen Clark and Michael Cullen when they say we should save? If you do, you are a fool. They?ll destroy the value of your savings on a political whim.

Bassett is exactly right. There was no need for this law change. They only changed the law in 2005, so that makes this either a highly political move or an admission that their regime they passed in 2005 was woeful. To make those changes has destroyed wealth of the 50,000 shareholders in AIAL. Labour only scraped through last election by a mere 20,000 odd, so they deadset have a deathwish. Add the dramatic tanking of the housing market, more wealth poured down the drain and the collapse of the Finance Sector, yet more wealth destroyed, National is again facing the prospect of coming to power with nothing but financial landmines to stand on.

Ministers are playing on the economic and political ignorance of voters. The New Zealand Herald this morning rightly labels them guilty of ?xenophobia?. Whipping up a populist storm against foreign control is an old political game. The fascists did it in the 1920s, the Nazis in the 1930s. Anti-Semitism and racism are linked to this kind of selective opposition to concepts that people don?t understand, and therefore instinctively oppose. This government is guilty of the worst kind of political cynicism.

There are times these days when the modern Labour Party seems beneath contempt. Be warned. There is worse to come. Because of the opinion polls, ministers are desperate and will do anything to hold on to office. ?Whatever it takes?.