John Armstrong and Bill Ralston are politically poles apart. While Armstrong cheerleads for the government, Ralston has, over the last few weeks, rightly attacked the government over a series of pertinent issues - today, it's the ETS: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/466/story.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10507788&pnum=0
"Anytime anyone mentions the words "emissions trading" my eyes roll back in my skull, my head slumps and I enter an almost catatonic state of boredom.
I suspect this is what the Government is counting on most of us doing, otherwise there would have been a riot when it announced details of its emissions trading scheme last week.
If Labour announced it had come up with a cunning plan that would, over the next decade and a half, see 20,000 jobs evaporate, GDP shrink by $6 billion, dairy farms drop in value by 40 per cent, sheep and beef farms become worth a quarter less, you and I have $3000 less to spend every year, retail prices rise and our wage rate fall by $2.30 an hour, I suspect we would be none too pleased.
Yet, according to the highly reputable New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER), this is what the Government's emissions trading scheme will do. The NZIER is not alone in its criticisms, the Sustainability Council argues that under the Government's programme the big polluters will get a free ride, while households, small business and anyone who uses an internal combustion engine on the road will pay through the nose."
He makes a good point about the way in which the government is introducing the ETS - by stealth. Yet clearly enough New Zealanders see past the smoke-and-mirrors approach that the government has tried to take to have caused alarm in the corridors of power. It seems that David Parker will be discretely sidelined, and as ever, Michael "Fix-it" Cullen will be the go-to guy.
As the election draws ever nearer, Labour's "tight five" of Clark, Cullen, Goff, Mallard and King is firmly in charge. So it's timely to remind you of this - remember the last time they we. collectively, in government - then out of government? This kind of deception must NEVER be allowed to happen again!