At National party HQ, where does the buck stop?
Nick Smith has finally thrown in the towel. After 30 years at the trough and convincing Nelson voters he had their interests at heart instead of his own.
Smith is a conscientious worker, and he has almost exulted status in my mind as being one of the few National MPs who ever wrote back on one of my criticisms. (I’m joking of course) It was some Maori separatist issue he was in favour of, and although the letter was just a fob off, at least he responded. He is probably not as devoid of principle as many politicians. Faint praise indeed.
Smith was a founding member of the Blue-Green faction in the Nats, and this makes him someone with no regard for the party’s founding principles. Namely those supporting the right to contract and for govt to stay clear of private business. The true approach in the Nats should be to let environmental issues be decided by market forces, (and that doesn’t include manufacturing a completely fake market for “carbon credits”).
The Blue-Greens under Nick competed with the red-Greens as to who could come up with the most hare-brained schemes. In fact Smith is another of those Nat party long termers who would have done far much more for the country being in Labour and pulling it to the right, instead of in National pulling it to the left. Here are just a few examples of Smith’s nanny state green-left lunacy:
- in 2011, set target of 50% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050
- pushed for carbon trading legislation
- claimed deaths from air pollution in NZ were four times the road toll
- also in 2011 made grants to schools to push green brainwashing initiatives
- declared in 2008 that man caused climate change was the “number one environmental issue”.
- told Federated Farmers climate change was a “global tragedy”
- invested in collecting 28,000 unwanted television sets. No one knows what happed after they were collected
- threatened to tighten regulations on use of fireworks
- pushed for wind and solar farms
- dolled out $5 million to Maori groups for the care of waterways (in partnership with Maori party)
- invested $200,000 in crushing mussel shells
- supported calls for a Warrant of Fitness for houses
- handed out millions of dollars to start up environmental companies with no reporting on results (precursor to NZ First Provincial Growth Fund)
- in 2015 claimed the govt was well on the way to reducing housing supply shortages
If someone showed you the above list and said it was in reference to some Green Party MP, who wouldn’t believe it possible? Smith actually had the record (2019) for the most mentions of climate change in the house (see diagram).
So Smith is no loss, and neither is the recently failed candidate Jake Bezzant, another imposter who obviously cared not one skerrick for Conservative life principles and therefore the founding principles of the party he sought to represent. Jake is just one more in a long line of like pretenders who were selected by National under the presidency of Peter Goodfellow.
People say the rot begins at the top, or that the buck stops here, and in each case its a pretty fair assessment of Goodfellow’s failures. The party has drifted far to the left and been a weak and ineffective opposition to Labour for some decades. Goodfellow, who inherited millions from his family, was elected as President in 2009 and like Smith and so many other long termers, must bear a large part of the blame for the party’s dysfunction. Especially its drift from its founding principles. He has to go, and the sooner the better.