What's more important: Dolphins and the environment or kids and jobs?
OPINION: Why do the do-gooders in this country care more about dolphin deaths than children being murdered?
That's the only conclusion any rational-thinking person can come to, judging by the evidence of recent times.
The constant shrieking and campaigning by the sensitive Greens has finally paid dividends, with the Government introducing a ridiculous ban on set-net fishing 3.7 kilometres out to sea.
That neatly wraps around Taranaki's coastline and will shut down most of the commercial fishing operations in the region.
One New Plymouth firm has already laid off 18 staff, which won't in any way lessen the Green mob's celebrations.
Contrast that with the muted reaction from the same quarters as yet more and more baby-killers appear before the courts. Inevitably, the monsters are mum's live-in boyfriend, and everyone in the household is on a benefit.
Something is so wrong with that picture, which keeps getting repeated over and over.
It is a national disgrace. The shameful statistics provide the ultimate evidence that something has to be done, but the silence of those who know better is deafening. Why?
Compare that reaction with the fervour of recent years as the same lot ran endless campaigns to save the Maui's dolphin, never mind that it is based on the most tenuous evidence.
The sightings are so rare that the perceived problem is almost negligible, if, in fact, there is a problem.
It is one of those examples of serial shrieking paying off. They take a particular line and repeat it over and over, on every possible occasion, until it becomes a fact. Think of child poverty in this country and the often claimed number of 220,000 children who suffer from it.
Never mind that they have to make up a new definition of poverty, just keep repeating it until the media and everyone else accept the fact, which invariably comes from some self-serving survey designed to increase their own funding and influence.
When it comes to dolphins, I think they are pretty intelligent - even likeable - for what are essentially big fish. So let's put the interests of them first, because they're rare and bugger the lives of the men and women who will lose their jobs.
Bugger Taranaki's economy and the impact the loss of those jobs and subsequent drop in economic activity will have.
The rights of the noble dolphin far outweigh any such considerations, even if the danger to them is based on the most spurious scientific information.
It's a bit like the reaction to any suggestion that some of the lower- category reserve lands in this country should be disturbed in any way in an attempt to mine the rich natural resources that almost certainly lie underneath the ground.
So often we hear about how lucky Australia is because of the vast natural resources it has. The only difference is that over there, the resources are located in isolated areas well away from anything and anyone, bar a few Aborigines who have yet to fully understand how much they could wring out of the Government if they were properly organised.
So bugger the global recession, the huge impact of the Christchurch earthquake and our ever-burgeoning welfare bill - we will still have a few rare dolphins and undisturbed reserve lands that few ever venture into.
Never mind that new technology in mining means the effect on the environment can be minimal. The debate never even got started before the condemnation, fuelled by half-truths and facts, shut it down.
Where are those who know better as we watch hordes of uneducated youngsters leave the schools that they barely attended?
That is another national disgrace. It is an issue that gets very little traction because too many noble beneficiaries are implicated in the scandal.
Why is education not revered as a sure way of enabling children to have meaningful choices?
Last November, a general election was held and National leader John Key and co campaigned openly and honestly on the partial sales of state-owned assets. National won convincingly, with the biggest percentage of votes ever recorded under MMP.
They are facts. Inevitably, however, they have been reinterpreted and given new contexts that prove that democracy now counts for little. Get 20 or 30 malcontents from the other side to organise a protest and you can be sure the television cameras will be there.
Key, if he knew his rugby, would be reminded of the words of former All Blacks captain Ian Kirkpatrick. In the early 70s, he famously said of the whining Welsh: "You never beat Wales, you just score more points than them."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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