Sunday, September 23, 2007

National hasn't learned its lesson

The National Party still wants to sell us out. On Agenda this morning, National deputy leader Bill English was asked about his party's privatisation plans. His answer was illuminating. First, he said that National was planing to sell parts of our State-Owned Enterprises (though he would not commit to saying exactly what). And then there was this bit:

GUYON What about the electricity companies, they're big assets, and what about giving Kiwi mums and dads a shot at owning some shares in those?

BILL Well I mean I wouldn’t exclude any, clearly those kind of assets are very topical at the moment, some of them are running very well, they're making substantial profits for government which you know get spent on health and education, so if you sell down the government's not going to get those profits, but yeah we'd look at partial floats of those.

You get that? National wants to hock off our most profitable government-owned companies (which are profitable because they're an infrastructure monopoly, and therefore exactly the sort of thing we want to keep in public hands), even though those profits are used to fund education and health and lower taxes. And English even admits that this is not about whether the companies are well-run; as he says they are "running very well" and returning large profits to the public of New Zealand. Instead, it's about funnelling that monopoly revenue into the pockets of his rich mates and donors, pure and simple.

Clearly, National hasn't learned a thing from the 90's or their defeat in the last three elections (or the defeat of their policies in the three before that). And until they do, and publicly resile from their extremist NeoLiberalism, they should not be trusted with power ever again.