GUEST BLOG: Ross Meurant – Conservative v Liberal: Why I walked from National and Judith Collins Executive

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In February 2018 I was elected to the executive of Judith Collin’s electorate.

In February 2019 I did not seek re-selection.

I had been a National supporter since my days as a police officer (no surprises there).

I had been secretary on Jim McLay’s electorate in Birkenhead.

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I was National MP for Hobson electorate (more or less the electorate Winston occupied in Northland until his demise at the hands of National’s arrogance at the last election).

When I departed parliament in 1996 after 9 years, I voted for Helen Clark.

I voted for my former university lecturer because she said NO to America’s unlawful (UN determination) invasion of Iraq.  And, because I found her to be a person one could trust on her word, when I was an MP.

After Auntie, I saw nothing worth voting for – although I do confess that in 2002 when I was parliamentary adviser to Winston (which culminated in the Scampi Affair )   I voted for my old mate.

I was out of NZ for several years and to return to a government headed by John Key, did not appeal.  But time passed and in 2017 I took Judith’s husband, David Wong Tung (with whom I had been a cop and been at Auckland Law school with), to Western Sahara with me in my capacity as Honorary Consul for Morocco.  See foto Casablanca.

It was a sort of logical step from there, for me to offer to help Judith and so I got elected onto her executive.  However, I soon found that Judith and I, do not share the same view on a number of issues. For starters, she is conservative; I am liberal.

Meurant liberal?  Take the following examples:

It was me acting for my electorate, which tabled the remit to National Conference in 1990 that culminated in the Bolger government adopting Labour’s No Nukes policy.  Note: When I first ran this issue in caucus, Bolger, Birch and McKinnon were not supportive of me – but Winston was.

No Nukes is ostensibly, anti-America which Judith is not.  Whereas, I am.

I advocated legalizing dope while I was a National MP and came under severe rebuke.  Subsequently, I have continued to articulate a case for legalization. Judith does not share this view.

I am strongly opposed to police shooting people and avoiding having to establish their non-culpability for killings, before a proper court of law and not the back-room justice if IPCA.   Judith shows no sign of support for my view on this issue.

I have condemned police failure to recognize and apologize for the corruption identified by the Royal Commission into the Arthur Allan Thomas case.  I have had no support from Judith on this crime of the century.

I am and have been ever since I became a father at 15 years of age, a strong advocate of abortion on demand.  I support gay rights. I support euthanasia but oppose hanging.

When I spoke to the Head Hunters in May 2019, Judith went ape.  Her prerogative, as it was mine to speak to the Head Hunters.  However, the view expressed by Judith in this Herald clip, is probably the point at which I realized: I was no longer a National supporter.

Whatever I was a Red Squad commander, I am not now.

I sincerely wish Judith all the best and remain grateful for some behind the scenes support she gave me dealing with ‘the bureaucracy’ on a personal matter.

In its current state of atrophy, Judith may well be the answer. The Conservatives may rest assured; they have a champion in Judith.

The greatest disappointment or turn-off for me in respect of my recent association with National, is that I found it to be a party of the dying.    It’s supporters invariably seemed older rather than younger. As a result, the party seems to play poodle to America: perhaps harking back to the good old days of matinee movies with old John Wayne and Elizabeth Taylor.

LIBERAL vs CONSERVATIVE.  This is the dilemma facing the current Australian coalition government and their forthcoming general election. Sooner or later, the wheels fall off.

And in my view, this is the emerging dilemma for National.

Rural electorates where attitudes are entrenched and urban electorates of affluence where preservation of life’s accumulated wealth takes priority, manifest as the conservative core of National.

The liberal core?   Well, you tell me. Where is it?

In my view, it’s time for National to re-boot.   If National want to resurrect, it needs to appeal to the “fighting forties”, for this is the generation which takes risks and makes it happen.

I’d start with a flat company tax rate of 20 percent.

I’d jettison capital gains tax, as it is the ladder which historically young people from lower socio-economic homes (as was I) have used to climb out of the gutter.  Invariably, it is these strugglers from below who make up much of the “fighting forties”.

We need policies which encourage (not subsidise) Kiwis who have the energy and the vision and the courage to create jobs.  If these people succeed, the entire economy grows. In my view, this category of people finds their feet in their forties.

 

Ross Meurant: 

After 21 years as a cop, Meurant resigned with the commissioned rank of inspector O/C Criminal Intelligence Section & V.I.P. Security; a nationwide profile role as a Red Squad riot group commander and an earlier reputation as a ruthless detective with a tendency to enforce the rule of police.

During 9 years as a Member of Parliament and the Executive as Under Secretary, he was accused of being an arms trader; was fired from the Executive by Jim Bolger for having a perceived conflict of interests (becoming a director of a Russian bank) and started the first political party to be registered under MMP.

After 4 years in the wilderness teaching kids to ride horse and property developing, he returned to Wellington as parliamentary adviser to Rt Hon Winston Peters where allegations of conflicted interests with roles he had with three major fishing companies and a race horse baron and later in false allegations of corruption culminating in the Scampi Enquiry.  

From 2005 Ross lived abroad pursuing commercial options in Zimbabwe, the Balkans, Czech Rep, Syria, Russia, Morocco, UAE, Iran & North Korea.  

Today in New Zealand he is trustee and managing director of NZ forestry and property assets owned by absentee Russians & Honorary Consul for Morocco.

Ross has a B.A. in politics; a Master’s in economics and law and COPs in law.       He speaks Russian, rides horses and water-skis.

He is the author of:

Two biographies:  The Red Squad Story & Beat to the Beehive.

Two novels: The Syrian Connection & Sex, Power and politics.

12 COMMENTS

    • Get there in the end? Where? An Act party supporter?

      Seems Meurant believes in the trickle down theory recommending that company tax be set at 20%.

      Still, do we even care?

      • Worlds lowest company tax rate:

        Qatar: 10%
        Singapore: 17%
        Saudi Arabia: 20%

        Which tax rate would you prefer? One with a Middle Eastern Feudal monarchy or one with the highest property owning democracy in the world…, choice seems obvious.

        As an aside Singapores corporate and top tax rate is 33%

  1. There are conditions in the electorates that can reduce the options for organising. And those conditions are scarcity of resources. When the National Party first formed in 1936 it was in response to the Welfare State and labour laws so there was no scarcity yet, you could still pick up resources off the ground. Scarcity of resources means there’s competition, scarcity of resources means that not everything can live, and so that reduces the options for the system, or in this case The National Party of Aoteroa New Zealand.

    Ok so options for selecting candidates is reducing but that’s not always the case because if it were true everything would just die. And y’know extinction events can happen, but there’s something else going on. There are enabling constraints that open up the system to new constraints and new options so look around, look at other people. There’s variation. There is considerable variation that increases the options for electorate candidates.

    So what’s going on here. There’s a feed-back cycle that’s cycling through, you’ve got a high ranking MP selecting the conditions that reduces the options that are available and then the variations opening her up kind of like an accordion where the variations in voters opens up the accordion and the selective constraints pushes it back down, and as it cycles through being opened and pushed back down its constantly struggling to be better suited to the environment and that’s evolution.

    What I’m trying to say is this is one of the great great theories, it’s one of Charles Darwin’s great theories. He got to sail around the world then comes back to make a world changing theory. But notice how much that this theory is at the foundation of biology, how much it is beholden to the enlightenment, and how much it is beholden to aristocratic ideas which are virtual governors.

    A governor is a device that puts limits on any system so a steam train would have a governor to prevent the pressure from building to a point it explodes. But this comment is not an actual governor, it is an example of a virtual governor, and the generation of ideas is a virtual generator for any self organising system. The idea being when you put a virtual governor, systematically together with a virtual generator such that it systematically regulates a feed back loop because when you attach a virtual governor to a virtual generator you get a virtual engine. So this is what Cleo-Dynamic modelling is, which is a relatively new style of economic modelling.

    So this is what dynamic systems is, it can show you an engine with a feed back loop and can show you why it isn’t such a random event simply because there are are set of enabling and selective constraints.

  2. Yes Ross I hear your call for Judith, but my reservation is with Judith being in a close association with the Chinese Communist party and that Government is bordering right now on being the most powerful economy in the world, and being controlled by a Communist ‘dictator’.

    I was in the NZ Army for the best part of the 1960’s when we were invited to join the US lead coalition to stop Chinese expansion through the pacific as you may recall, so today I am still in fear of that Chinese expansion still apparent today, so where will Judith Collins sit on this?

    We we should be very careful who is our leader here, least we swap our ‘allegiance’ for another super-power as this one is a dictatorship not a democratic Government as history has proven.

  3. Oravida swamp kauri Judith is pro America? No mention of her ties to Chinese business?
    Appreciate your (perhaps) finding yourself, but you seem to be missing half the picture.

    • +1 KEEPCALMCARRYON, don’t think Auckland is 50% American ex pats, so defiantly only half a picture there, even less!

      Saw on 60 minutes last night, immigration scams are happening in Malta led by government policy, essentially you can buy an EU passport for 1 million dollars and so has encouraged a huge amount of wealthy people to buy their way into being an EU citizen.

      The government of Malta has many accusations of being corrupt and creating a way for the world’s corrupt to money launder through their EU passport they bought from Malta, from their home country and become an EU citizen. A prominent journalist was murdered for speaking out by a car bomb.

      So being an EU citizen means nothing these days as like other places in the world, someone is making a dollar from sale of that identity and nationality.

      In NZ our government does not even charge 1 million for citizenship but allows immigration lawyers and middle men immigration consultants to create near instant NZ residents and citizens here for around $100k and have the existing tax payers pay instead while enriching certain individuals in the process, (40k for the immigration lawyers and people traffickers, 20k for the NZ ‘degree’ and $40k to buy the job)… then our new residents are welcome to go on welfare or make yet another (mostly loss making) cafe/restaurant/fast food/import/export business here… as a laughable entrepreneur/high skills shortage area, or just marry someone or bring your relatives in, while our productivity lowers further and further and our wages plummet while living costs climb.

      Sadly the poor left in their home countries still have all the problems of being poorer and less chance of democracy while the new residents also create new problems in their new country (and the new countries allies aka NZ/OZ or Malta/EU) by having some shady characters who are now suddenly sporting a new passport/new identity and no skills or real interest in their new country apart from escaping the problems of their old country which presumably they were successful in to buy another passport somewhere else. More buying up stuff and self advancement and paying money/donations/bribes to get more concessions and keep the status quo.

      I guess in NZ we don’t need car bombs as all dominant discourses have come to the same conclusion, lazy/profit driven immigration is not a factor to the growing issues of housing shortages to lower wages as the wokies believe in immigration, the unions believe in immigration and the right believe immigration… and now we are getting weird articles that are worried about NZ being a US poodle ( but happy enough for us to be an Asian Shih Tzu).. perhaps representing more Russian and Moroccan interests in his thinking..

      NZ should represent ourselves, our own culture and identity in the Pacific before the ‘money’ trail has led to the current crazy gravy train for many in power while those left are trawling the food banks… including the working poor, recent redundancies of locals, jobseeker up… but apparently this is all wonderful stuff as is our stagnant productivity and growing stupidity with less skilled people being attracted to the NZ passport !!!!

      No wonder the Natz started their last election campaign with a Pakeha Barista (look closely and he does not appear to living the dream) perhaps that was their mistake.. locals in NZ still want more for their lives than an unpaid internship with muffin break and a dream of a living wage of $20p/h working in a cafe.. the irony that Kiwibank affordable houses were aimed at $120k wages when the living wage is $40k…. then take out, tax, student loans, Kiwisaver…. add on the average costs of living… now taxpayers have to subsidise the workforce wages which seem to be getting lower and lower…

      Sadly I’m not sure the labour government have got a different long term vision from Natz to offer… just it will take slightly longer with Labour and has a kinder face in Jacinda.

    • There is a bit of a crises going on in both major parties because they don’t resemble much like what they started out as. Sad really how we have failed to honour our elders.

  4. Small pedantic note re. your timeline – you imply that you voted ‘for Helen’ in the late 90s over her stance on the invasion of Iraq, which was in 2003. Was it actually the 2002 election in which the issue was hotly debated when you first voted against National, or were there other divisive issues that had you cross over in ’96 and/or ’99?

  5. There is only so many who can use property investing to climb out of the gutter and we’ve reached that point well and truly. And look at the problems this country now has as a result of using housing as a casino chip. Tough shit to those born at the wrong time.

    And it’s not the Nats attitudes toward the US that concerns me, that’s old news, it’s their connections with Communist China.

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