Monday, 8 August 2016

Not a Pretty Picture

Wellington Meets the Hard-Left

Christchurch used to be New Zealand's most hard-Left city.  There were plenty of folk in that metropolis who were heirs of a liberal, works-based Christian tradition.  As the generations passed, "works-based" increasingly became a strident demand for government works, with local government being a big ruler, regulator, and funder via taxation, and central government being pressured to co-contribute.  

The Christchurch earthquake put paid to much of this.  Reality--hard, brute reality--has sunk in and all sort of tradeoffs are now being made in that city.  If they had not had to face real life and real human beings and real suffering Christchurch would likely have remained a hard-Left beacon.

Now, the hard-Left in that city has narrowed down to spending most of its time focused upon what do do with the wrecked Christchurch cathedral.  There are plenty of hard-Left socialists and fellow travellers who feel that "they" own the cathedral--despite the fact they have never set foot within it while it still existed--and who demand that they have the final say as to what will happen to that ruin.  The actual owners, the Anglican Church, have largely been sidelined by the "community"--which is code for those who believe society, aka government, aka taxpayers, need to be stripped of some more money to bring the "community's" plans for the cathedral into reality.  The reflexive Leftist assumption of ownership of the cathedral is a classic symptom of the mindset.  The demand that "others", in this case the Anglican Church and central government, pay for their demands is also an abiding characteristic.  

But now Wellington is probably the most hard-Left city in New Zealand, with Christchurch limping along behind.  That city is exhibiting one of the abiding characteristics of hard-Left governance: breakdown, gridlock, and havoc.
 Local elections are coming up and doubtless the good citizens will have the sense to vote the mob back into council, well, because, they say the right things and have good intentions.

One disaffected voter has expressed his disgust at what the hard-Left, hard-Green council has failed to accomplish.  He has also exposed the dysfunctional toxic environment pervading the Council.  He speaks of a command and control style of government that resembles the style of Sharkey in the Shire.
This Council promised over twenty projects at the start of the triennium. Exactly zero have been completed.

Mr Lavery says the city’s future success depends on a strong working relationship between the city council, the community, businesses, neighbouring councils and central government. A healthy relationship between council staff and elected representatives is also crucial so that council decisions can be implemented quickly and effectively.

Yet this is a Council that has been described as having a “toxic culture”, has locked its elected officials out of its offices, and run a North Korean style control process to ensure that councillors can’t have a voice. Any councillor who steps out of line gets called into the Mayor’s or the CEO’s office.

I have a friend who is a left-wing liberal. He said to me the other day, “I never thought I’d say this, but getting rid of the Wellington City Council in its entirety, even through privatisation, would be a good thing.”

I want to remind people of Island Bay’s controversial cycleway and butchered consultation. Owhiro Bay, where residents were ignored over concerns about a camp site. The shambles around density housing, and again, the lack of consultation. Support for an airport extension that makes no sense, spending ratepayer cash in a clear case of corporate welfare. A total lack of support for local High Tech companies, preferring to buy international products over local (better) products.

A botched consultation over the Hutt cycleway. Bad consultation in the Eastern Suburbs over cycle options. No overall progress on public transport. No progress in transport at all. Poor key performance indicators across a number of council services. Doctoring business cases prior to public release. Multiple complaints to the Ombudsman that have been upheld. Not being able to tell what the actual rate rise is each year.

A high degree of absenteeism from certain councillors. A poor relationship with central government, across many agencies and at cabinet level. Twenty communications staff with far less consultation staff. In-fighting.

They have managed to do some things. They painted polka-dots in Bond Street.

This is a truly awful political construct and badly performing organisation that we are funding.  Don’t forget that when you start voting. And watch for more rewriting of history in the next few weeks. Ask yourself when you read the rhetoric and promises: “How?” How is it that they are going to change the mess that they have got themselves into, and if they don’t recognise the appalling state of the current situation, then should you be voting for them at all?  [Ian Apperley]
The Left are constitutional, reflexive believers in their higher right to exercise command and control.  When a bunch of them get together, infighting, factions, and civil war inevitably result.  Until the strong man, the Big Man, emerges.  It is the only construct that can keep the left functioning for a time.  Command and control, under a Commander and Controller, is the only way to get anything done.  But, as we all know, it's end is bitterness, hardship, and human suffering.

Maybe it will take the equivalent of a Christchurch earthquake to shake the rotten fruit from the noisome tree now growing rapidly in our leading hard-Left paradise.

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