Blowing raspberries and calling names is what politicians do when they have nothing else to say. When you have substantive alternatives, and you know they are popular, you argue for those.
If you are a critic of Labour’s new, interventionist electricity policy, there are only two questions I’m really interested in:
Do you think the current system is working? And, if you don’t, what’s your alternative?
Unable to state whether they think the current system is broken, opponents of Labour’s policy have failed to state an alternative other than ‘keep things just as they are.’
Minister Joyce has openly stated he sees nothing at all wrong with current price levels, and the fast pace of power price rises.
In what amounts to a Colbert-like parody, Colin Espiner manages to call Labour ‘Monster Raving Loony’, and never stops to reflect on his own statement, “I'm no fan of high power prices...”
If you follow that statement with the word ‘but’, instead of the word ‘therefore’, then you have no place abusing others’ intelligence or coherence. He had a pretty simple job - if he’s no fan of higher prices, what is he going to do about them?
Other cheerleaders summoned Hugo Chavez, Polish shipyards and North Korea.
Chavez has been the top talking point for the National Government’s cheerleaders. It makes me think they don’t really understand what is objectionable about North Korea and Hugo Chavez. Let me help them out: The suspension of democracy and human rights, militarism, global war-mongering, the mass impoverishment of citizens and gangersterism. Regulating the electricity sector to normalise profits? Not so much.
When you have substantive alternatives, and you know they are popular, you argue for those. The abuse only comes out when you have nothing else left.
I wrote a bit about Margaret Thatcher recently when the old witch died, trying to work out how she got away with her war-mongering, impoverishment and anti-society morality. The answer is that she flattened the left with the simple declaration, ‘there is no alternative.’ There always was, but the left spent too much time calling Thatcher names instead of articulating a better policy.
Ironically, therefore, for all their summoning of the ghosts of Hugo Chavez, it is Labour’s opponents who are behaving today most like Arthur Scargill and the monster raving loonies who could never state their alternative.
National is now in the position of defending an indefensible, expensive, failing, unpopular, broken mess. Long may they continue.