Political pointers

It seemed slightly incongruous, but to have an Emmerson anti-National cartoon beside the editor's statement that "No political statements from candidates will be allowed prior to the election" seemed, itself, to be a political statement.

It is perhaps too much to expect a similar political statement regarding Labour Party offerings.

I offer some suggestions. It should include such statements as "Despite nine years in opposition, no unambiguous tax policy except seven new taxes; re-introducing both mandatory trade unionism and cross-industry pay rates."

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Of course, there is the one about is it five or seven leaders in nine years and how long before the current one changes when she loses?

- Abridged
DAVID BENNETT, Whanganui
EDITOR'S NOTE: The 'no political statements' rule does no apply to cartoonists. 'Equal opportunities' Emmerson has, of course, depicted Jacinda Ardern doing a series of backflips over tax policy.


Scaremongering

In the 1999 election, the Alliance ran with Labour "to keep it honest".

Like the current election, ridiculous red-baiting and fake news economic scaremongering were floated daily. Crazy worries about "high" taxes (though after a small increase they were still very low by OECD avreages) were pervasive.

Soon after the 1999 election, New Zealand went through its longest period of sustained growth in decades.

The government statistics show unemployment sank to the lowest level in years - a rate never attained by National - inequality began to fall for the first time in years, and homelessness was practically unknown.

And we sailed through a global financial crisis in 2002, barely remembered in NZ. The Labour-led coalitions sustained a healthy budget surplus which saved NZ when the 2008 global financial crisis hit.

In 2017, the notion of "keeping Labour honest" also applies to the Greens. But today, the stakes are higher.

In this age of what the Guardian's George Monbiot accurately calls "climate breakdown", we need decisive action. The Greens are more progressive than Labour on most issues, from the TPPA, to the environment to the overall economy.

- Abridged
BRIT BUNKLEY, Whanganui
Poison perils

Minister Nick Smith claims rat poison attack, but it was not by the community protesters, protesting the poison drop.

First he welcomes dropping 26.5 tons of brodifoucom-laced cereal baits to kill predators.

But these baits also kill the insects and mice the birds rely upon for food and, when eaten, kill the bird. too.

The brodifoucom is toxic for two years, preventing the return of birdlife and insects.

The science is not clear that dropping poison all over our lands and homes will save any birds - 63 years of this poison and we have few birds but lots of rats and stoats.

Trapping is the only way to keep the numbers of predators under control.

MERV SMITH, Bulls
Blatant bribery

National's big election spend up is only catch-up for all the penny-pinching they've done to health, education and policing.

This is just blatant bribery and a confession of their economic mismanagement.

LEN GOLDSACK, Gonville
NZ's Trump

At the risk of becoming a political seer (after all, I did predict Trump's presidency a year out in your columns!), do I dare suggest New Zealand has now found its version of the Trump presidency and Brexit political revolution with Labour's leaders Jacinda Ardern and Kelvin Davis?

A political coup of stunning possibilities with the youthful X-factor. She reminds me of a young Helen Clark.

I have always been a swinging voter. I'm getting old. Time to have faith in the young to save the planet. My generation hasn't done it.

PAUL EVANS, Whanganui
A bit of fun

Re: Michael Mayson's letter "Jersey contest":

Just a bit of fun, Michael, nothing to do with tragic events. Only crimes of fashion - a lookalike contest, all about fashion and fun, not unlike those of Elvis.

Perhaps at your next M.A.A.B.O.F. (Men against a bit of fun) meeting you could discuss children dressing up as pirates, or the disproportionate amount of jokes directed at the Irish.

Seldom is humour victimless.

Apparently nine people dressed in an attempt to emulate David Bain's questionable fashion sense. Whip de do!

HENRY R SCOTT, Central, Whanganui
Plain crazy

K A Benfell criticised John Martin for calling President Trump "probably crazy". I also believe that John was wrong - he should have omitted "probably".

Mr Benfell went on to praise Trump for pardoning Sheriff Joseph Arpaio, a racist bigot who was finally being brought to account for flouting the law.

Usually pardons are granted after a conviction. Only an equally bigoted racist would let Arpaio off before a fair trial took place.

STEPHEN PALMER, Bastia Hill