The Labour sense of humour

I had an interesting exchange today when I tried to sign up to the newsletter of my commie opponent in Selwyn, David Coates. On his website you can sign up for the Selwyn Standard, a newsletter for “members, supporters and friends of Labour in Selwyn” As I am quite happy to be his friend, I figured I may as well get his newsletter, but it wasn’t as easy as it sounds!

Upon emailing his agent to sign up, I received this response:

I am afraid that the Selwyn Standard newsletter is only for supporters and members of Labour in Selwyn. If you require information about David or the campaign, please feel free to contact him directly or check the website for updates.

Oh, so I can’t be a friend? How disappointing! My reply:

I wasn’t expecting that response. There must be a hidden agenda I’m not supposed to find out about!

But maybe Labour staff lack a sense of humour:

I think it is quite reasonable that as an opposing candidate you are not privy to where and when we plan to carry out campaign activities, what help our campaign might require from supporters or other matters of a sensitive nature, just as you would not expect to be allowed to attend our committee meetings or read our internal documents.

To which I could only say:

I was speaking in jest about secret agendas, your MPs are continually joking about them in the house and I presumed the humour would not be lost on someone interested in current politics.

I expect it will be an interesting campaign, but possibly not as amusing as I was hoping. It would be extremely easy for anyone to give false details and obtain their newsletter, so if they are offering a sign-up link for it on his website they can hardly consider it secure. Stooping to the level of Trevor Mallard and obtaining other parties internal documents like this is a bit low however, especially for a candidate for a Christian party. I have decided to set a better example, this election is about “trust” after all. But if anyone else receiving the newsletter finds anything in it I may be interested in, feel free to pass it on!

True situation with 1080

Further to my previous post on the Kiwi Party’s poorly thought out vote-buying policy of banning aerial 1080 drops, there has been an excellent article on this issue in the Waikato Times.

This article points out at length all the problems with 1080, and interviews several people about it, most of whom are opposed to it. But even those opposed to aerial 1080 are not suggesting banning it:

Dean Lugton says children used to come to his farm and he would take them hunting in the bush.

“We couldn’t do it this year because of the aerial drop (at the Rangitoto Range),” he says.

“Everyone understands there are areas that they need to use 1080 in but why use it in areas that are totally able to be hunted on?” he says. “You can hunt the Rangitoto, you can walk over it, I have been for 18-19 years. I don’t think it is an area that needs to be bombed with the amount of 1080 they have been using. It is wrecking recreational hunting.”

Read the whole article. These people have serious concerns about the effects of 1080 in particular places where it is used. But they also understand there are only alternatives in accessible areas.

But Paul Etheredge from Ti Miro, whose property is near to where a aerial drop was carried out last year, says he sees 1080 as a “necessary tool for controlling possums”.

“I have no concerns about the way it is done. I would rather see it done some other way but I can’t see any biological control in the pipeline for quite a while,” Mr Etheredge says.

We need to continue research into alternatives, and encourage alternatives where they exist. Hopefully we can eventually stop aerial application of 1080, once we have found an alternative. But we cannot jump to knee-jerk vote-buying “solutions” on this or any other serious issue. Policy must be practical.

Would slaughter stock rather than pay tax

It has taken me a while to post on this one, sorry about that. On September 9, Straight Furrow published an article on Gavin King, a Selwyn sheep and beef farmer who has done the sums and worked out that the ETS passed by Labour (and which will be kept by National) is completely unaffordable – in fact he would rather slaughter his sheep and cattle than pay for it. A few quotes:

Many farms would fall over depending on the final tax rate and it would severely hurt service industries, he said. …

“They have evolved over thousands of years burping and farting and to think we can change that in a short time is stupid. Several hundred years ago there would probably have been more animals than today.” …

King has 8840 sheep stock units and 1595 cattle stock units, so his yearly tax could range from $93,525 to $187,050, he said. …

Meat & Wool estimates that about 82% of sheep and beef farms would be uneconomic if the carbon tax is passed.

This is damning. I have known the Kings for years and would hate to see them go out of business, but this is the situation faced by every farmer in the country, including my own family. Farmers are already struggling and cannot afford another cost, especially one as pointless as this, because even Greenpeace states that the ETS:

“will deliver no significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions”

This legislation is a disaster for farmers. But National, who most farmers have traditionally voted for, will keep it, with a few tweaks. These tweaks may make it slightly more affordable but as a result will make it do even less for the environment, so it will still be completely pointless.

Only The Family Party will repeal this legislation and commit to basing future legislation on science and economics. It is crazy that an Auckland-based party is now the one direction farmers can turn if they wish to stay in business, with National betraying them, but if that is the way NZ politics is going so be it.

Global cooling?

Amongst all the predictions of global warming, here is a scientist (Professor Don J. Easterbrook) “putting his reputation on the line” on a prediction that:

“temperatures will cool between 2065 and 2100 and that global temperatures at the end of the century will be less than 1 degree cooler than now. This is in contrast to other theories saying that temperatures will warm by as much as 10 degrees by 2100.”

Professor Easterbrook is a geologist, and seems to base this prediction on current and historical trends. I have no idea whether he is correct or not, he could be completely wrong. The article shows a number of other people who also believe the earth has stopped warming.

I post this not to say global warming is wrong, I make no assumptions about that, but to point out that there is disagreement and a need for a Royal Commission of Enquiry into Global Warming, to base our policy on science and economics rather than popular theory.

Hat tip: No Minister