Today's letter: Scoundrel's refuge

Heather Marion Smith writes rot (November 10) when she compares the Save Manapouri Campaign to opposing asset sales.

If Meridian were part-sold I wouldn't know the difference, but raising the lake would have its shore on my front lawn.

Asset sales are an economic matter, whether it is better to leave the capital in these assets or to release some of it to invest in the earning potential of the next generation of taxpayers.

Labour understandably is against such an idea, recognising they would squander the proceeds on social welfare programmes that leave the recipients more dependent on state aid than before, and Grey Power opposes it because they are more concerned with how they can meet next month's power bill than who can pay for next year's geriatric care.

What's the alternative? Emigration and borrowing?

Greece and Ireland did both, the young emigrated and the old borrowed. They have come to a sticky ends.

If this is our patriotic duty, it not only demonstrates that patriotism is the refuge of a scoundrel, it is also the refuge of an idiot.

Fifty thousand New Zealanders emigrated for Australia last year taking with them all our investment in their upbringing, health and education.

How many millions of dollars does that represent? We need to be worried more about our loss of human capital investment, than the paltry dividends that may go overseas with asset sales.

The Southland Times