Monday, May 03, 2010

They're not listening yet

Saturday saw the largest protest march in a generation, with 50,000 people marching down Queen St to protest at the government's plans to dig up our national parks. In the face of this the right have been reduced to pathetic spluttering, first trying to quibble the numbers (AKA sticking their fingers in their ears and saying "I can't hear you"), then trying to pretend that - despite the evidence of their placards and chants - people didn't know what they were marching for - spin repeated this morning by Gerry Brownlee. It's the classic right-wing response: call the peasants ignorant (meaning: "they don't agree with us") so you can ignore them - and it reveals the contempt for democracy at the heart of the right.

But if they ignore our protests, one thing they can't ignore is our votes. And this march has put the government on notice that if they press ahead with this plan, they will be in opposition after the next election. Some of them - the radical glue-sniffers - probably think that’s worth it if they can slash and burn enough before they go. But I am hoping that saner and more self-interested heads will prevail.

Meanwhile, I have to ask: if "the numbers are roughly 50-50 on this" as Brownlee claims, where are the 50,000 people marching down Queen St in favour of mining? Where are the "kill the kiwi", "I love holes" and "dig here, dig now" campaigns? I'm not seeing a lot of popular support for bulldozers, tailings-dams, and acid leaching. In fact, the only people who seem to be speaking out in favour of it are the mining companies and the government...