Thursday, February 17, 2011

"This Government is Pro-Choice"

Not wishing to be outdone by Tony Ryall's curious views on children's nutrition, that well-known Mubarakian John Key decided to use the same 'other people's choices' line when asked why exactly his government was buying a new fleet of luxury limousines. Betraying his irritating lack of originality, he then did it again when queried about the increasing number of families reliant upon food parcels.

Ryall stated that children's nutrition was "an issue for parents and families" rather than the government. In other words, an issue of choice for which the Government could not be held responsible.

Key argued that he "[couldn't] take responsibility" for the behavior of his Internal Affairs ministry, blamed the exercise of a rollover option in 2011 on the previous Labour government, and then refused to rule out whether he'd have ok'd the sale if he'd known about it. Other people's choices, other people's fault.

He then responded to a question about our rising use of and dependence upon food parcels by attempting to answer a different question altogether - why were more Kiwis out of work and on benefits. This was blamed upon the global recession rather than any indigenous failure of policy; and topped off with a supposition that the only reason one would be reliant upon food parcels would be as the result of "poor choices". Like this government?

Given the cap-handedness of these responses, I can only assume some keen journalist managed the rare feat of capturing senior National ministers outside the protective range of their spin-doctors. Caught off-guard by having to think up an excuse for themselves for a change, they've reverted to type and started spouting what passes for Nat philosophy these days.

Put in terms rather more articulate than the Ministers themselves, their thinking appears to run thus:

'Some problems are beyond the ambit of government to solve. Impersonal quasi-natural forces govern unemployment, and bad things only happen to people who make bad budgeting choices. When things go wrong it's someone else's fault - whether parents, workers, the hungry, or Labour. And since it's someone else's fault, government doesn't have to fix it. So we won't.'

This misses the point on several levels.

As a far greater National Prime Minister (the Right Hon. Sir Robert Muldoon) once put it - "The whole concept of government is based on intervention." Even if Key's flawed economic management were not responsible for lost jobs, higher prices, and some seriously debatable growth in wages, I'd still prefer a government with the gumption to get involved in giving long-suffering Kiwis a leg-up - rather than writing off difficult situations as being the poor outcomes of 'other people's choices'.

That's an excuse, not an answer.

Know this, Key. Votes are 'other people's choices' too.

1 comment:

  1. Yet again another great article about the never ending flaws of this Government's plans and actions(or lack thereof!)