Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Poor global citizenship

The government was pressed hard in the House again today about New Zealand's status as a tax haven, and Bill English came up with a new defence line: "The Mexican tax base is not our priority". Which probably sounds good, until you stop and think about it. Because what English is saying is that we should allow ourselves to be used to destroy the tax base, government and society of other countries. And, by implication, that other countries should allow themselves to be used to destroy ours. After all, if Mexico's tax base isn't our priority, then our tax base can hardly be Mexico's. Or Panama's. Or the Cayman Islands'. Or the Cooks, for that matter.

New Zealand prides itself on being a good global citizen. Today, Bill English repudiated that. He thinks its just fine if a small clique of corrupt New Zealanders profit by fucking over other countries and promoting crime and terrorism. He will give them safe haven. And that's just not on. We're a better country than that, and we should shut down these crooks.

But it isn't just a matter of global citizenship - its also pragmatic self interest. The 1% are the common enemy of every country in the world. They loot, they pillage, they steal, and they don't pay their way. We should be clubbing together against them in collective self-defence. Instead, Bill English wants to defend them. And the reason why is obvious: because he's one of them, not one of us.