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Email to Grant Robertson recommending David Slack’s recent article.

Grant Robertson

Minister of Finance

Hello Grant,

Did you see David Slack’s article this week?  I would recommend it to you as he speaks metaphorically about you and your long (to be, retrospectively as it was) career as finance minister.  It may seem unrealistic to extrapolate a continuous 25 year rein as Finance Minister in the context of New Zealand politics.  But the metaphor is applicable in the sense that the surrealistic denial which is characteristic of our present time, within your Labour government’s time, is bringing us to a time of critical decision making now.   Now!   Now will determine whether there can be much of a future, much of a real (non-surreal) future politics in New Zealand and the world.

Slack’s reference to the $30B (yes, ‘B’) which your government has yet to commit shows you have at least a chance to make decisions which can put us in the right direction.  Rod Oram has today mentioned three positive recent developments, not least of which is the closure of the Tiwai Aluminium smelter in the South.  Other opportunities exist and are necessary, such as….

.Funding transport options which trash the total domination of the personal motor car.

.funding a local recycling capability (which, because everyone has to put out the trash and recycling every week -every week!- would bring home the importance of personal national responsibility).

.developing restorative agriculture which would eliminate dairy farming based on feed lots, and encourage plant based diets as well.

There will be others.

Thanks,

Richard Keller

Wellington


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The Editor,  The Sunday Star Times,  Auckland

18 December, 2018

Dear Editor:

The New Zealand electorate is often characterized as a sensible one which uses a rule of thumb test: Is this or that political party capable of getting on with it.  But eight years of a PM who said nothing of significance during that whole time (John Key) should lead us to wonder what the electorate today thinks is sensible. Read the rest of this entry »


Denial is a global thing.

The Editor,  The Sunday Star-Times,  Auckland

13 June, 2018

Dear Editor:

David Slack (“she’ll be right”, 10 June) keeps repeating himself throughout the article to make it clear: we are so clever here in “godzone” at finding ways to deceive ourselves about how clever we are. Read the rest of this entry »


David Slack’s “eve of disruption” a good look at the Post Truth Era

The Editor,  The Sunday Star-Times,  Auckland

03 June, 2018

Dear Editor:

David Slack (‘eve of disruption’, 20 May) leads us on a merry jog around our world of denial beginning with anecdotes of past ways of doing things in NZ that seemingly would never change – pubs disappearing and springing up; housing rentals by the day; railways workshop closing. But he also does well to get around to today’s global climate change denial.  Read the rest of this entry »


David Slack and ‘for any damn reason’ to vote

The Editor,  The Sunday Star Times,  Auckland

31 August, 2017

Dear Editor:

David Slack (27 Aug) says that “ . . . you can vote for whatever reason you like. . . It doesn’t have to make any sense at all”. Analysts and speech writers like Slack have thought that a good rational argument was their best friend, but now know that that was “Wrong.” Read the rest of this entry »


There is no ‘generation’ war

The Editor,  The Sunday Star Times,  Auckland

18 March, 2017

Dear Editor:

Nadine Chalmers-Ross (12 March) says she wants to sort out differences between ‘boomer’ and ‘millennial’ generations, then rips along with the shallow clichés used by those who want to make this a generational war. Is this provocation or ignorance?  Read the rest of this entry »