Wondering about political colour

“If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain.”

Winston Churchill

This is an outdated post and will be rejuvenated soon. Since this rant, I’ve reassessed the priorities and am now a Green member. Keep listening. 🙂

I’m not a satisfied member of any political party. I see no future for any of them in their current forms.

I’m neither red nor blue. Those tired labels are irrelevant in the 21st Century. There are aspects of right and left dogma that are desirable and aspects that are best left in history’s rubbish bin.

I’m an environmentalist, but the Green party which I joined a couple of years ago have limited attraction. Their ranks contain too many water melons. They need to wrench their organic roots away from the loonie left.

If Winston Churchill was around today I think he’d add to his famous quote:

If, after you’ve suffered through half a dozen election cycles, you’re still a liberal, a socialist, a conservative, an anarchist or an adherent to any other political label then you’ve not been paying attention.

Political parties and factional politics are dead in the water.

In the 2008 election I voted National. I didn’t want to—they had no vision and no integrity and they offered nothing constructive—but they were the “least worst” of a pitiful bunch and I perversely hoped that, just like every would-be governing party in the past, they were hiding their real agenda and that they’d come up with the goods when the smoke cleared.

I hoped in vain. There was nothing hidden under their bushel. Like Barack Obama, John Key missed a golden opportunity to turn unprecedented support into real change.

Our system seems beyond repair. No party is prepared to stand on principle, to tell it like it is, to start thinking beyond the next election, or to bring an end to the cycle of election bribes and pandering to special interest groups.

H.L. Mencken got it exactly right:

Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule and both commonly succeed, and are right.

If an intelligent and (presumably) economically literate man like John Key won’t go to battle to fix a broken system, who will? Maybe being a successful currency manipulator doesn’t require Economics 101.

“Do you not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?”

Axel Gustafsson Oxenstierna af Södermöre got this right in 1648. We never learn.

The only hope on the immediate horizon would be for a grand coalition between National and Labour in order to foil New Zealand First after the next election.

Then they could get left and right dogma out of the way and reach real agreement on knotty issues like education, jobs, student loans, superannuation, crime, alcohol abuse and the granddaddy of them all, upon which everything else is predicated, productivity which provides the wherewithal to address everything else.

It won’t happen.

Unless…

It’s up to you and me. It’s up to the 99% to understand the important issues so that they can recognize bad policy when they see it – which is almost always.

Prices are on the move—permanently

produce

Basic food commodities are following oil’s exponential rise

It hasn’t made much impact on the news lately, but oil has been on a steady upward trend. That would’ve been big news if it hadn’t been for the even higher peak 3 or 4 years ago. It took a massive recession to deal to that.

The current glitch in the recovery has mitigated against the rise but chaos throughout the Middle East and speculation are nudging it up. Notwithstanding the outcome of political strife, growth in Brazil, China and India and the eventual US recovery are bound to force the price up.

OPEC could try pushing it down for their own ends but unless they can find some new substantial oil resources they won’t have much joy. Failing an unlikely agreement on meaningful and rapid action on tackling climate change sky-high oil is inevitable.

Unless the world economy collapses again, expect US$200 a barrel by 2015.

Good job too

Partly because of the cost of oil and partly because of increasing demand, other commodities are following suit. Brenda Cutress, New Zealand’s Food and Grocery Council executive director, estimated that between 25 and 30 percent of New Zealanders make their grocery choices on price alone.

“They are very, very price-driven, so that while you often hear about demands from some sectors for food labeling, or saying ‘do this’ or ‘do that’, there are some people who do not have the luxury of looking at labels. They buy on price, and it’s going to be really tough for them because they’ve cut their costs to the bone already.”

In other fortunate nations where people are affluent enough to buy groceries on a regular basis, I don’t imagine the situation is much different. Continue reading