Dec 24, 2007

Focus On Climate Change Due To Pressure From The Greens?

In his final politics column of 2007 in The Press Colin Espiner suggests that the Greens forced Labour to take climate change seriously. Rubbish. Read the Curran report. Labour was intent on making this the central plank in its policy portfolio well into 2006. Labour saw National as being vulnerable on the issue (don't forget that Don Brash was still leader). David Parker, with the help of Clare Curran and the media team at the Ministry of the Environment were given the task of making this the public's #1 concern. Anyone who disagreed was to be discredited.

With the Ministry for the Environment team clearly not up to the task, Treasury, Ministry of Economic Development, MAF and Transport teams were mobilised under close scrutiny from both Helen and Heather on the 9th floor of the Beehive. Deputy PM Cullen was told to take a leadership role also.

The result is a new cult. We must all believe in climate change and agree with the Government's proposed policy response. To disagree is to risk, as one letter writer actually suggested in a letter to the Dominion Post recently, being as evil as holocaust deniers.

Helen's strategy has been unbelievably successful. The media have been compliant falling for the Curran inspired strategy hook line and sinker, and even big business is going to great lengths to avoid being painted as politically incorrect. When the Government recently introduced its legislation, 119 MPs supported it, only 2 were brave enough to oppose it.

This is nothing to do with the Green Party, indeed, as we are seeing in the opinion polls, it is deeply threatening to the Greens. They are being squeezed from all directions.

The Hive does believe that climate change is an important problem that needs to be addressed. We support global action and New Zealand playing a leading role in achieving this action. We also support domestic policies that are going to make a difference at a global level.

But we are not going to hesitate to hold the Government or National Party to account for adopting bad policy, or policy that is motivated by political as opposed to global environmental impact motives. And we will continue to hold the media to account for not seeing through what is currently going on.