Goff has his (rather confusing) speech about Nationhood(!) up on the Labour web site (I love the graphic at the top of the text). Amidst all the tedious waffle (‘I dream of young entrepreneurs, Maori and Pakeha, who develop the exports of clean technology to the world . . .’) and bitching about Hone Harawira (divide and conquer, guys) he makes a good point that Labour really should expand on:
Just as we as taxpayers had to pay for Rob Muldoon’s supplementary minimum prices to farmers that many of you here will remember – so someone has to pay for the subsidies of today.
I’ve been thinking similar thoughts: it’s ironic that after years of Labour screaming about a secret neo-liberal agenda Key’s National Party has moved towards Muldoonist style protectionism, but here we are. The big difference is that under Muldoon we subsidised companies that created lots of jobs, now we’ll subsidise companies that create lots of pollution.
Alas, much of Goff’s speech is a medicore attempt to play the race card and complain about ‘Maori privilege’ (he then pretends that’s not what he’s doing and talks about ‘reconciliation’, ‘partnership’ and ‘healing’). It’s almost as if he dimly understands what a golden political opportunity Smith’s ETS has given him to attack both National and the Maori Party but he can’t quite comprehend how to go about it – he’s like a blindfolded man trying to carve an ice-sculpture with a blow-torch.