The TPP: Who Are The Misinformed?

Last week around 25,000 people marched in protest at the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. People of all ages and occupations – a good cross section of the community.

When asked by the media, marchers time and time again eloquently expressed their concern at the secrecy of negotiations, the impact on access to medicines and the cost to our health service, the inclusion of investor state dispute provisions which would allow corporations to sue our government in international tribunals, the impact on patents and copyright laws, the impact on both local bodies’ and government’s ability to procure goods and services locally, our ability to take measures to prevent climate change, the likelihood the TPP will override the Treaty of Waitangi, the fact that the agreement is binding for the foreseeable future no matter if we change the government. These are all legitimate concerns based on the information from the agreement leaked through Wikileaks. Continue reading

No One Wants You to Look the Other Way, John

Our Prime Minister defended sending New Zealand troops to Iraq to join the fight against Islamic State, in his speech at the Waitangi Marae. Mr Key attacked his critics, saying that by opposing sending New Zealand troops they are asking him to stand by and do nothing. To use his own words, “to look the other way when people are being beheaded by kids, burned by kids, and thrown off buildings.”

He’s got that wrong. No one wants him, or New Zealand, to look the other way. What we don’t want is New Zealand trotting along behind yet another US led offensive. US forays into Middle Eastern disputes in the past two decades have been spectacularly unsuccessful. Continue reading

The Election Between Centre Right and Far Left – We Wish!!

Oh the irony of the Prime Minister of a government whose whole trade policy revolves around not doing anything to upset China, describing the upcoming election as a contest between the centre right and far left- as though the far left is the scary part!

Labour and the Greens far left? Only in our wildest dreams. Centre right? National with coalition partners like the Conservatives and ACT. This election is potentially more like far right versus centre left. And that should cause concern to anyone but the mega wealthy. Continue reading

Vote National Out!

Once again we are in an election year. The calls to vote out the National government are coming thick and fast. And the Alliance Party endorses them wholeheartedly. The trouble is the calls are coming from people who have never voted for National and have no intention of ever doing so. In a sense, they don’t count.

At the risk of stating the obvious, the only people who can vote out the National government are the people who voted them in. So any campaign for a change of government needs also be a campaign to change the minds of at least some of the people who voted for John Key and the National Party in the last two elections. Continue reading

The Government Should Stop Taking Economic Advice from the McDonald’s Website

“Selling some of your unwanted possessions on eBay or Craigslist could bring in some quick cash.” is apparently the advice offered on the subject of ‘Digging Out From Holiday Debt’ by McDonald’s McResource Line. McResource Line is a website the company runs to provide its U.S. employees with financial and health-related tips.

It seems the National government has taken their advice to heart, except that it’s not unwanted holiday gifts they are selling off, it’s our essential assets; such as power companies carefully built up by previous generations of taxpaying New Zealanders so that everyone could afford to heat their homes. Continue reading

Would the Real Left Wing Parties Please Stand Up?

The Alliance Party is amused and, quite frankly, confused, to hear John Key repeatedly refer to a possible Labour/Greens coalition as a “far left” government in the media these days.

Key bases his assessment on their new power policy which would see a government provider buying all the power from generators. However Key should ponder the fact that the state owned all aspects of power generation and the distribution of electricity right up until 1999. And no one ever described the Holyoake and Muldoon led National governments of this era as “far left” because electricity was state owned.

Not that being a “left wing” party is a bad thing. For the majority of New Zealanders, having a genuine “left wing” coalition government would be very good indeed. Continue reading