…except negativity and pettiness? My esteemed host has pointed out the recent various twitterings and schoolyard slangings from the inhabitants of the opposition benches (why do we call them benches here, when we have actual seats?) Querying their ongoing case of KDS and their desperation to smear John Key with something, anything they can.
Well it appears that they’re not one-trick-ponies and do they have another strategy after all: The monkeys are going to throw poo at Steve Joyce as well. Clare Curran has her drawers in a bunch alleging that there was some kind of collusion, or mates’ stitch-up because…oh read it yourself if you’re bothered.
Now, I don’t want to litigate whether “correspondence regarding subject xyz”, covers an aside at the end of a letter about something else, saying (in effect) “oh, and I’d like to discuss xyz next time we meet”. From my perspective, that looks like the kind of word games that politicians play all the bloody time.
What I do want to assert is that this is, again, petty shit from a party that got trumped on the real broadband policy front and is now looking to pick whatever holes they can. It’s always been as obvious as Parekura at an Anorexics Anonymous meeting, that the UFB playing field had been designed with the specific aim of forcing Telecom to separate and also that the government would a) need Chorus’ expertise and purchasing power within the project and b) have to avoid them competing with the project from the very good position that their cabinetisation project had already achieved.
I have recently had the privilege of hearing both Joyce and Curran address an industry conference and the difference in the impression they left was clear. Steven Joyce trailed a pragmatic focus on how to encourage uptake and the “taking advantage” of the technology with a five-point plan based on eGovernment, eHealth, eEducation, eDevelopment and eBusiness. He seemed well briefed and up to speed on the opportunities and challenges that fibre will bring. Yeah sure, it’ll take more than sticking the letter ‘e’ in front of the word ‘Government’ to convince me too, and the message hasn’t really evolved from his TUANZ address earlier in the year, but at least they seem to be talking the right talk.
Clare Curran by contrast, was full of how they’d regulate to ensure there were no “digital divides” and even that they would prevent ”digital apartheid”…that must be a special bonus spot prize if you’re playing bullshit bingo along at home... A hard look at the Sky TV “monopoly” was also promised – give or take a shed-load of “personal feeling” vs “Labour policy” disclaimers and lots of “our preference is not to legislate if...” (another one for you there Tui) . The emphasis on what shouldn’t happen was clear, emphasis on what could be achieved seemed absent. A brief canvass of audience opinion yielded “Who the f**k cares what she thinks anyway”, “Could she be any more negative if she tried?” and “I was doing email on the iphone”.
Now, I’m not a National voter, I am a generally lib(eral)itarian free-market believer kind of bloke but I do think that the Government’s twin broadband policies were the right policies and in the Telco industry at least, the free-market has failed us…but that is probably another post in its own right.
So in answer to my original question: It seems not.