Last cab has the mana and the power

Labour has walked out of talks on the Emissions Trading Scheme because National now has the Maori Party’s support for it.

I think Labour may live to regret this move for two reasons.

The first is that any legislation which has as significant an impact as the ETS ought to have as widespread support as possible so it can endure when the government changes.

Labour steamrolled the existing scheme through in the dying days of their administration without trying to get National onside so they are standing on very shaky ground when they say National’s not playing fair now.

The second is that Labour’s petulance give the Maori Party another reason to ally itself with National rather than Labour at the next election.

The Maori Party were, understandably, furious at being called the last cab off the rank by Helen Clark before the 2005 election. John Key invited them into coalition although he didn’t need their votes to govern.

That not only gave him options, which have paid off now, it gave the Maori Party mana and power which they’ve used to stunning effect by making Labour look irrelevant.

Labour could have taken the principled approach and still tried to work out a grand coalition but they’ve let emotion and short term pique get in the way of the long term good of both the country and their own ambitions.

12 Responses to Last cab has the mana and the power

  1. gravedodger says:

    The biggest socialist party just do not get it. Went off 1/2 cocked on CGT when they thought they could get the high ground if National went there and now instead of continuing along the consensual path on the ETS they throw their toys out of the cot. They seem to be still trying to bring the wagons into a laager circle but they will find the area inside is so small they risk trampling each other to death.


  2. HP

    Why would you not pass up long term gain for short trem opportunism.

    The long term option would allow them to demonstrate they are intent on change, their knne-jerk response proves that like leopards they cannot change their spots(behaviours0.

    Consequently, they continue to act like wallies


  3. Sus says:

    Are you in favour of an ETS, HP?


  4. murrayg1 says:

    Get real.
    Of the two, from a long lens, Labour’s was the better, it had better input and consultation, more science and less lobbying.
    Both, however, are fatally flawed.
    Both are the perpetuation on an unsustainable myth, at the expense of future generations.
    To squabble about the difference is ridiculous – too small-minded for words.
    Listen to Nick Smith carefully – “at some point we are going to have to make real reductions”.
    That point will be reached by 2013, so this legislation will be superceded before it gets into it’s stride.
    Nothing surer. Bofore you squabble like kids, think of your kids, eh?
    It’s the only yardstick that matters.


  5. homepaddock says:

    Sus – regardless of the science the politics is settled so whether or not the climate is changing and if it is whether or not human activity is causing it, we’ve got to be seen to be doing something.

    However, the Kyoto Protocol is flawed and an ETS has a lot more to do with increasing bureacracy, consultants and tax than helping the environment.

    Murray – it’s a global problem and it’s no use us cutting down very efficient production of meat and milk here to comply with an ETS if less efficient production increases in other countries.


  6. murrayg1 says:

    Yes, it’s global, but I don’t think of it in terms of meat, or money.
    I ask one thing only – what will our children and grandchildren say?
    Now that we cover the whole planet, and can’t find anywhere new, it has to be treated as a ‘going concern’.
    If you don’t (and the ‘garden shed-at-a-time’ approach is just creepage) then in very short order there is no concern to hand on. Prof Jared Diamond wrote a great book ‘Collapse’, which documents societies which depleted themselves to death, the Romans, Maya, Easter Islanders, Greenland Norse.
    This time we play the game on a global scale, double or quits, no replay.
    All we have to do is hand the place on in as-good or better condition than we found it.
    Match that yardstick, and I don’t care what anyone does, or how much they make.


  7. Sus says:

    I don’t believe what I’m reading here. I thought you had more sense, HP. NZ could shut down all industry tomorrow and it wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference to the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. But we’d all be buggered — and quickly.

    And as for “listening to Nick Smith”, what the hell for? The man’s an idiot socialist who wouldn’t look out of place in the Green party at times.

    I don’t believe the planet is warming; conversely it’s been cooling for more than a decade, and nor do I believe that carbon dioxide is a pollutant, much less the Darth Vader of the planet. But I do believe that Al Gore et al are guilty of mass-fraud.

    This planet is tough. The nonsense from the doom-loving pseudo-environmentalists started with that silly cow Rachel Carson some 30 odd years ago, where she predicted wholesale doom. “Ah, but think of the kids and grandkids!” etc. Interestingly neither her or her idiot colleagues’ predictions ever occurred. Still, it made them some money and gave politicians something to look concerned about. Let’s hear it for fears, worries and concerns to keep the populace on their toes.

    But even if the planet was warming, how the hell is socialism — for that’s the medicine these clowns are prescribing — going to fix it? As the saying goes, socialism doesn’t work at 20 degrees, so why the hell would it work at 22?

    And how is hampering, if not crippling, our economy – making us less competitive, to boot – supposed to help?

    Typical stupid socialist politicians: “Ooh, there’s a problem? Better tax it, quick!



  8. gravedodger says:

    murrayg1 you seem to be focused on the consumption of resources at rates that indicate imminent disaster. This phenomenon has been going on since recorded history has been around. Gee they probably worried about the continued supply of hickory shafts for arrows after Agincourt when the daily consumption extrapolated to an annual figure would have indicated that the arrow production would grind to a halt.
    In the latter half of the 19th century it was predicted that at current consumption of coal, related to known reserves, the world would grind to a halt in some 50 to 100 years. The truth was somewhat different as alternatives were found and the potential crisis avoided.
    Sheesh today I had a filling replaced by my dentist. He replaced an amalgam filling that Mrs GD, who was a school dental nurse, put in my mouth some 47 years ago, with a resin based filling that was hardened to allow eating when I left the surgery freeing up the mercury required for the amalgam. It is called progress and scaremongering by arguments such as yours only serve to disrupt such advances by diverting thought and practical solutions when those who will solve problems to abandon the search.
    Our grandchildren will wonder why people such as you with your blinkered narrow views ignored what they will see as obvious solutions to problems that you so clearly see as insurmountable.
    Peak oil is a classic case as resources that are not viable will become viable as technology and economic advances continue. How many years are we able to power the planet with lignite coal reserves that some planners ignore as in the past turf or peat was ignored as an energy resource.
    Open your mind to solutions where resources that appear to be impossible or nonexistent are developed as an answer to problems that you see as a glass half empty when others of us have a glass half full and know where we will get a refill.


  9. homepaddock says:

    Sus – Maybe I wasn’t clear enough – I think an ETS is stupid. It will at best have little or no impact on the environment, probably make it worse (by encouraging businesses to go to other places with poorer standards) and it will hurt the economy.

    The whole Kyoto Protocol is a triumph of bureaucracy and politics over intelligence.


  10. murrayg1 says:

    gravedodger – what you fail to grasp is the exponential function.(no offence, most people do)
    I suggest you google: Albert Bartlett The Exponential Function
    He is a retired(USA)Prof, very droll, gave a very good lecture here a couple of years back.
    Google also: Hubbert Curve (the proven depletion tool for a finite resource) (hint-try the ‘images’ too)
    For a simple thought – take an orange, and one person. One orange per person. Now take that orange and ten people. They now have a tenth each, a huge reduction per head, EVEN THOUGH NO ORANGE HAS YET BEEN EATEN.
    At the beginning of the industrual revolution, all the oil was in the ground, and there were 1 billion people alive. Now half the oil is gone, and there are 7 billion people. That means there is one/fourteenth of the oil per person, than there once was.
    On top of that, per-head we consume it much more than in the 1930’s (for instance). If that first half went in 100 years (since the Model T and Wilbur Wright) the last half will go (mathematically) in 18 years. Exponential graphs always tent to the vertical.

    Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking history is linear……..

    The 18 years is just the maths, of course. There will still be oil being pumped in 50 years, but at inconsequential rates.
    How you get a society which has grown empirically on the back of oil (we consume 1000 44gallon drums of it per second) off the stuff even as the supply dwindles with increasing rapidity towards zero, beats me.

    Business as usual it will not be.

    It gets worse than that. oil is energy, and we cherry-picked the best first. The last half is deeper, sparser, more sulphurous, heavier, further offshore – all of which require more energy to obtain. The energy-profit will be much less than that of the first half.
    Which is why I get niggled by the Left vs Right stuff. In light of the above, arguing about ETS semantics is a waste of time. This is like a big snowfall, needs the community to bury it’s differences and pick up it’s shovels.

    Go well – while you can……


  11. gravedodger says:

    Thankyou murrayg1, I accept the fact that at current consumption some resources will run to shortages but IMO the replacement theory will solve most by creating an alternative.
    Nuclear energy can replace oil in so many situations with todays technical knowledge without the solutions that are yet to be found. For example my preferred means of travel is surface for the obvious reason I do not have feathers and a ground proximity warning device is not a basic piece of equipment that I require therefore a nuclear powered ship and electric vehicle could solve my travel needs. I accept busy people consider air travel as essential but more people are finding that modern communications can circumvent the need for so much of that travel. While I accept your concerns I guess I am more confidant of progress.
    My major concern for the future of our planet is population growth, not from a consumption stance but from the crowding/ proximity angle. One lesson from 50 years of work in primary food production, any concentrated population scenario of any plant, livestock or grazing activity always leads to a much higher risk of disease , spoilage and stress related phenomena that require increasingly innovative solutions.
    As so many cultures and religions are based on fertility as good without regard to the increasing problems that will ensue then we will have reached consensus as to outcome but will still possibly be arguing about why


  12. Sus says:

    Murray, the examples you provide all point to the same thing. That is, if resources *are* in short supply, it’s largely because govts are preventing individuals from finding supplies, incl alternative supplies, hence the global restrictions on drilling in spite of the technological advances.

    The answer to your orange example is simple: grow more oranges.

    But govts can never do that. They literally create nothing. They simply get in the road of people who can.

    So rather than call for *more* control, which will only serve to further any rationing, it is logical to call for *less*, to allow those who know what they’re doing to do it, with profit as their incentive as it should be.

    Or you can sit on your hands and wail. It’s up to you. But if you expect market interference and state legislation to fix problems, you’ll be waiting a hell of a long time.


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