Greens see racism everywhere

May 23rd, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The Green Party has called the independent report on the 2007 Urewera raids damning and said a dramatic overhaul of police culture was still needed.

The review, released today, labelled police actions ”unlawful, unjustified and unreasonable”.

The party’s police spokesman, Dave Clendon, said it was not okay to “descend like masked ninjas” on a small community, adding that police thinking about the raids had not fundamentally changed.

He believed racial discrimination played a part on the abuse of rights and illegal detention of innocent people.

“Would the police have raided Remuera in Auckland, or Khandallah in Wellington in the same way?” he asked.

Ummm. Engage brain before operating mouth,

Can anyone think of a high profile raid a couple of years ago in Coatesville? One that involved armed police and helicopters? I’m pretty sure the targets were not Maori, but German and Finnish.

And according to the 2006 census, the ethnicity of Coatesville is 80% European, 4% Maori, 3% Asian and 12% other so the racism claim from the Greens is quite unfounded.

And the winners are

February 23rd, 2010 at 12:27 pm by David Farrar
  1. Employment Relations (Workers’ Secret Ballot for Strikes) Amendment Bill – Tau Henare
  2. Smart Meters (Consumer Choice) Bill – David Clendon
  3. Minimum Wage (Mitigation of Youth Unemployment) Amendment Bill – Sir Roger Douglas

Tau’s bill requires all votes on strike action to be secret ballots. In theory almost all unions do this anyway, but there has been some dispute on the West Coast recently about whether this does always happen, so it will be good to have it a legal, not a voluntary, requirement to prevent intimidation.

David Clendon’s bill is inherited from Jeanette and regulates the use of smart meters. Not sure of all the details, but it looks to be worth supporting at first reading anyway so a select committee can look into pros and cons.

Sir Roger’s bill will allow the Government to set a different level of minimum wage for younger workers. I welcome it as there is pretty clear evidence that the huge increase in youth unemployment is bext explained by the scrapping of the youth rate for the minimum wage. National will be nervous about being seen to be “cutting wages” but I hope they will support it to select committee, so arguments can be heard about the linkage.

Rather than cut the minimum wage for any current workers, what I would do if I was the Government is just use it to increase the youth minimum wage more slowly than the adult minimum wage.

Trotter et al on Greens

September 28th, 2009 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

I was interviewed for TV3 News on Saturday about what Bradford’s departure may mean politically, along with Andrew Little, Chris Trotter and Matt McCarten.

I took the view that it was potentially beneficial to the Greens as replacing Bradford with Clendon strengthens their environmental brand and if they are smart they could get as much as 10% of the vote if they position themselves as “greening” the Government no matter if it is National or Labour.

I stressed that the Greens will always support a Labour-led Government over a National-Led Government if one is possible. But if only National can form a Government, the Greens might be able to go beyond their current co-operation agreement to an abstain on supply and confidence agreement.

I understand Matt McCarten saw the move as potentially beneficial to the Greens also, and their ability to work on both sides of the aisle so to speak.

Andrew Little saw it as good for Labour, as Labour could pick up social justice voters from the Greens. I responded that this doesn’t actually help Labour win office, just as National picking up ACT voters doesn’t. And it can actually backfire if the Greens drop below 5% (as they have done in last night’s TVNZ poll). Also I have some doubts that Goff-led Labour will be more convincing to social justice voters than the Greens.

The real benefit to Labour would be if the Greens pick up some centrist voters who were previously put off by Bradford. For that will grow the left’s vote.

Chris Trotter sees the departure of Bradford as being the death of the left as the Greens go middle class.

He’s done a follow-up post today, which has some interesting observations:

The dangers inherent in the Greens’ educative model are demonstrated in their policy on the Treaty of Waitangi. Though the signing of the Treaty, like all historical events, is the subject of multiple, and often sharply contradictory, interpretations, the Greens have adopted an unequivocal and quite inflexible interpretation of the Treaty’s meaning. So much so that when some of their own members, unconvinced by the official party line, openly questioned it’s accuracy, they were deemed ineligible to stand as Green candidates by the Party leadership.

That the dissidents’ views on the Treaty of Waitangi were actually more in tune with those of the majority of Pakeha New Zealanders was an “inconvenient truth” to be overcome by – yes, you guessed it – a taxpayer-funded traveling road-show which would take the “true” meaning of the Treaty directly to the ignorant Pakeha masses and educate them into full conformity with the Greens’ historical interpretation.
Education for the masses!

This authoritarian aspect of the Greens’ political style is nowhere more apparent than in their so-called “consensus-based decision-making” constitution. Described as a means of “seeking positions that the maximum number of people can support, rather than a simple majority”, what these rules actually make possible is the ability of a tiny minority to over-rule and/or subvert the will of the majority.

In practical terms, it allows the leadership of the party, either directly or through their surrogates, to prevent the membership from directly challenging the Green Party caucus’s political strategy and tactics. Rather than promoting the open contest of conflicting political options, it fosters the cobbling together of compromises. Also, by imposing enormous emotional pressure on dissenters, it drives opposition below the surface of party affairs – a situation which, once again, privileges those in senior positions, and makes rank-and-file challenges to official party policy extremely difficult.

That is an interesting analysis of how the much vaunted consensus system actually can favour the hierarchy.

The real candidates?

May 2nd, 2009 at 8:45 am by David Farrar

Phil Goff, making a virtue out of necessity, has adopted the bloggers line of warning that as the other parties are putting up List MPs, someone on their list will enter Parliament if they win. And with the story that ACT will probably put up John Boscawen, this is very true.

So who will enter Parliament, if various List MPs contest and win the seat?

If National’s Melissa Lee is the candidate, then Cam Calder, No 58 on National’s list, becomes an MP. How it works is Melissa resigns as a List MP once she is the MT for Mt Albert, and this creates a list vacancy for National. Cam was an MP for a few days after the 2008 election but lost his seat when specials changed the final allocation. Calder stood for Manurewa and was a dental surgeon, but now is the clinicial director of a medical and sporting equipment company. Also Cam is a mad keen petanque player and actually sit on the executive committee of its global governing body.

If Russel Norman wins the seat for the Greens, then David Clendon, No 10 on the Greens list, becomes an MP. He actually lives in Mt Albert.

If John Boscawen wins the seat for ACT, then Hilary Calvert, No 6 on the ACT List, becomes an MP. Hilary lives in Dunedin and is a lawyer.