Red Claire gets giddy over the Yellow Man

Spring has arrived and National’s self-appointed canary is trilling with gleeful abandon.
That canary is Act leader David Seymour.

Just as miners used canaries in a cage to warn of impending doom from gas leaks, Seymour has appointed himself to the same role for National.

Seymour is in a state of constant vigilance for signs of toxic gases which show National has strayed from the path of righteousness.

In Seymour’s book, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce is the gassiest of them all.

In September, Joyce put out a press statement gloating about new data which showed the rich were paying more tax and the poor were paying less than in 2008. Joyce said it showed the tax system “significantly redistributes incomes to households in need”.

Seymour – a fanatic for flat tax – saw two words. They were dirty words and they smelled like communism: “income redistribution.”

Seymour was quite justified in flagging this. After all, what Joyce described as “income redistribution” was what National would normally call “bracket creep”.

As readers of the blog have pointed out, National is drifting ever more left. ?The price of keeping Labour and the Greens away is slowly becoming higher. ?

Then last week, Joyce further compounded his crimes by dismissing a Productivity Commission recommendation to reintroduce interest to student loans. Seymour accused the Government of being too chicken to even debate it: “Muldoon lives!”

By now Joyce had quite an impressive tally of alternative titles to his name. He was Minister of Corporate Welfare, Minister of Communism and Muldoon.

The reason Key gave for ruling out interest on loans was the same he gave back in 2008, when he adopted Labour’s interest-free policy in the first place: if he put interest back on to student loans he would lose the next election.

According to Seymour, this might not be a bad thing given the Government was veering wildly left. “What is even the point of electing a National government?” he asked.

Then along came a reminder for Seymour of what else was in the balance should National get voted out. Himself. The reminder was delivered in the form of the Green Party decision not to stand in a Mt Roskill byelection to give Labour’s candidate Michael Wood a clear run.

The point is that without a National government, ACT won’t get to play with the big kids. ?Seymour needs to focus on the bigger things.


– Claire Trevett, NZ Herald