David Seymour says it’s imperative to hold a referendum about co-governance because it is divisive and undemocratic. But his own policies prove him a liar. He knows full well that calling for a referendum will cause further division, by whistling Kiwi racists to his heel.
While we bicker about Ti Tiriti o Waitangi, he is already at work to increase – on purpose!! – the wealth of the already-wealthy. By cutting taxes for rich people, he gives them more and more money, and with that, more and more power to override our democratic institutions by using the law as a bludgeon against community interests.
You can see this clearly in Waiheke where the community fought for a decade through the courts against the development of a marina for million dollar leisure boats. Eventually an Auckland councillor advised giving up resistance because it would cost the Council too much. The Kennedy Point marina is now complete, with no apparent benefit to the community despite the promised “trickle down” apart from a few more lattes ordered at local cafes.
Over the last 20 years, there have been more than 50 internationally renowned publications about the dreadful impact of increasing wealth disparity on all sectors of society – except the wealthy, of course. Unanimously, they prove repeatedly that wealth inequity causes massive and disruptive divisions in society. And they prove that the neoliberal cant, that tax cuts for the rich benefits “raises all boats” – benefits everyone – is universally untrue. That has not happened anywhere in the world.
Yet David Seymour is pushing the new government, the Nat-axis, to adopt classic austerity policies that will divide New Zealand even further into the Land of the Large Loser Crowd. To run cover for this policy, which economist Mark Blyth describes in Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea, Seymour is using “culture wars” to distract attention from the real issue of the Kiwi majority’s increasing penury.
American historian Heather Cox Richardson, spells out how this game is being played by US Republicans in one of her most recent letters. email@example.com
Her various publications have charted how graduated taxes had fueled America’s rise as the international economic powerhouse, and now how the wealthy are using the courts to rule that tax – for them – is bad. And we can all see that since Reagan’s revolution, America’s economic paramountcy has declined, accompanied by the rise of destitution, disease and dysfunction.
At the ACT annual conference speech in July 2021, Seymour said: “Some people think it’s somehow wrong that many of New Zealand’s greatest business people got together and donated over a million dollars to ACT in March alone. I’m very proud that such people are backing us.” Now it’s payback time. He’s backing them.
This is the Nat-axis dream.