Garth George: Eight more reasons to dump Clark

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As if they were necessary, the Herald over the past week or so has thrown up at least eight good reasons to dump this Labour-led Government.

And none has anything to do with Winston Peters, who, in spite of all his years in Parliament, seems never to have learned one of the basic rules of politics: when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

The reasons, in no particular order, are:

1. The ill-conceived and unnecessary Emissions Trading Bill, which has been rammed through the House in the dying days of this Administration.

This is one of the biggest rorts ever perpetrated on mankind because, as hundreds of eminent meteorological, environmental and geological scientists have pointed out lately, for the past three years satellite-measured average global temperatures have been declining.

They say that is leading to increasing scepticism that the call to sacrifice living standards to "save the planet" is just political spin designed to persuade the public to accept green taxes.

Given the record low winter temperatures and massive snowfalls across both hemispheres this year, they say, the hypothesis of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of dangerous, human-caused global warming has become unsustainable.

John Key promises that National will amend the bill promptly when in government next year. He would be much better to dump the whole thing, based as it is on discredited "science" more than a decade old, and start again.

Because the only people who will suffer as a result of this legislation are the long-suffering public who will pay more for everything from petrol to bread as carbon credit traders, governments among them, rip us off for millions.

2. The allocation of stalls at the public trough to a whole bunch of Labour lackeys, contrary to the long-standing convention that such appointments should not be made within three months of an election. It is only to be hoped that National can winkle these people out and get rid of them promptly, even if contracts have to be bought out.

3. News that at least 400 New Zealanders die every year because of a shortage of hospital beds; that heart operation numbers in Auckland have taken a tumble as a result of the short-sighted decision to shut down the world-famous Green Lane heart unit; that cancer sufferers cannot get radiation treatment and either have to wait interminably at risk to their lives, or go to Australia or to Waikato where the hospital in Hamilton the other day had two beds for 16 patients with 70 waiting.

4. Figures showing that parents last year had to cough up well over half a billion dollars in fees and donations to keep our schools running, a whopping $56 million more than the previous year; and that hundreds of primary schools are so desperate for staff they are paying employment consultants huge sums to find people to teach our kids.

5. A Defence Ministry report revealing that our armed services can't fly, can't sail and can't fight because the Air Force, Navy and Army are desperately short of resources, materiel and personnel to make them effective.

Defence chief General Jerry Mateparae is to be commended for coming to the defence of the men and women he commands, but his words on this page were really only platitudes. Anyone who knows a bit about defence matters has known for years that our armed services are a disgrace, and have withered under the pacifist philosophy of Clark and Co, beginning with the dreadful decision to scrap our air combat capability.

6. The incomprehensible decision to deprive policemen of the right to stand for local authorities; and the gutless decision of the Commissioner of Police to refer to politicians the decision to arm some officers with Tasers.

The duck-shoving over the Taser issue is simply further evidence that command of our once much-admired and respected police force, which once kept itself aloof from politics, is these days reduced to arse-licking impotence.

When the new broom takes over the levers of power within the next couple of months, the first thing it should sweep away is the commissioner and his cronies and replace them with real policemen.

7. Labour's moves to acquire state funding for political parties, which mean in effect that you and I have to foot the bill for electing, or allowing political parties to appoint, generally unsuitable people to highly-paid positions of influence.

8. The Government's continued insistence that it, and its Green component in particular, knows best what is good for us and how we should live our lives - everything from the food we eat to the cars we drive to the light bulbs we can use, to how we discipline our children, to whether we can sell privately-owned land for housing.

Roll on November.

- NZ Herald

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