Hooton on Gervais and Ardern

Matthew Hooton writes:

movie stars and other performers have always been the world’s most ludicrous virtue signallers.

Comedian Ricky Gervais calling them all out made this week’s Golden Globes the most splendid awards ceremony in the industry’s history.

Was definitely the highlight.

The more important target of Gervais’ remarks were the companies that have disingenuously put virtue at the heart of their brands. He named Apple, Amazon and Disney but his list could be expanded to most of the corporate world, including surely the majority of New Zealand’s so-called Climate Leaders Coalition.

The reality is that companies all too often sign up to such initiatives not because their pledges reflect their activity but as a substitute for action.

Spot on – pledges being a substitute for action.

The same is true politically.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the leaders of the National, Green and NZ First parties boast about the world-historical nature of their Zero Carbon Act but the country’s biggest greenhouse gas emitters have been happy to go along with it knowing it does little more than set up a perpetual working group in the form of a toothless Climate Commission.

So too Ardern’s Poverty Reduction Act, which is entirely about overpaid bureaucrats writing reports rather than overworked social workers helping the marginalised.

Likewise, not a single new project will go ahead because the Government has set up a new Infrastructure Commission. Its political purpose is to provide an excuse for inaction.

Few people realise all the zero carbon act does is set up a fancy working group who will write reports on what NZ could do.

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