Monday, 14 November 2011

Aussie ETS

# Big Farming Story of the Week: Aussie ETS.

Julia Gillard has bravely tread where John Keys fears to go, with the implementation of, effectively, a full-blown Emissions Trading Scheme across the ditch. This will undoubtedly make the most unpopular Prime Minister in Australian history even more unpopular and ultimately cost her the top job for going back on her word.

I dislike the imprecise science behind the ETS and the all-encumbering cost it will potentially impose on agriculture. It hasn’t been a huge election issue this year but, as sure as God made little green environmentalists, you can wager it will be a major issue in the 2014 campaign.

National clearly has no intention of including agriculture in its ETS. Labour and the Greens have unequivocally laid their cards on the other side of the table. This country needs to make a philosophical decision on the importance of agriculture to our economy and vote accordingly.

# Big Political Story of the Week: Epsom.

The polls are suggesting National could govern alone. But bet your best farm boots the poll will narrow on Election day and John Key will need the safety net that is the Act Party. Sure Act is polling abysmally, and John Banks might only bring Don Brash into parliament with him if he wins Epsom, but if the only real right wing party is obliterated off the political landscape in 2011, then National could be in real trouble in 2014.

Two weeks out from the election, one of the most intriguing questions will be whether John Key gives the good folk of Epsom the official nod and wink. If the accident-prone Act party is to survive, Key needs to put the kettle on and have that cup of tea with Banks. I wonder if Brash will be invited to smoko?

# Big Sporting Story of the Week: Smokin’ Joe Frazier dies.

Those of us on the wrong side of 50 will fondly remember the golden era of heavyweight boxing when Muhammad Ali, George Foreman and Smokin’ Joe ruled, literally, with iron fists.

If you think there’s a bit of antagonism and angst between ‘Stevie’ Williams and Tiger Woods over race comments, it’s nothing compared to bitterness that existed between Frazier and Ali in the 1970s. Smokin’ Joe supported Ali financially when he was exiled from boxing for refusing the draft to fight in Vietnam. Ali repaid him with cruel taunts about being an “Uncle Tom” - a sellout to the white man. Has history repeated with Williams also biting the hand that fed him?

# Brickbat: The Welfare System.

Campbell Live did a piece the other night on the welfare system and how a solo mother of eight children was faring. The poor, disheveled, uneducated woman was hardly living on the pig’s back but nor should she be as a state-dependent. The welfare system should be a safety net not a chosen profession.

To make matters worse, this obvious drain on society had a Sky satellite dish on her roof. Oblivious to how this might offend many hard-working Kiwi families who can’t afford pay TV, she claimed Sky was for educational purposes for her children. Once again, any parent will tell you young kids, left to their own devices, will always choose Cartoon TV over the National Geographic channel any day. I agree the state has an obligation to see her children don’t starve but the brutal reality is baby-farming should not be a bona-fide paid profession.

# Bouquet: Philanthropists.

There’s an old saying – it’s better to give than receive. Anyone who has ever given freely of their time or dipped into their pockets for a good cause can attest to that.

Bill Gates is the world’s foremost philanthropist. Closer to home we’ve got the likes of Sir Stephen Tindall and in the south we’ve got Sir Eion Edgar, the man whose sharebroking company is the name behind the new Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.

While most of us can only aspire to such benevolence, it’s a worthy aspiration. The older I get, the more I want to give. A sure sign of self-awareness of one’s mortality ahead of judgement day at the drafting gates at the Pearly Gates!

Jamie Mackay is the host of the Ballance Agri-Nutrients Farming Show which airs on Radio Sport and Newstalk ZB.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home