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Friday
Sep232016

Prof. Kelsey now Almost Mainstream

"Business as usual" is the unquestioned maxim of our current Government in regard to everything to do with regulation of the economy, business, the environment, or broadcasting, though demonizing particuar dogs is always popular! It is the natural result of eight years at the helm, and the fear of even marginal rejection at the polls that dominates every aspect of what emerges from the tight cabal that dominates - Key, English, Brownlee, Joyce, Bennett, Coleman and Adams.  

The tentative stepping out from anything construed as status quo is frustrating and almost counter-intuitive to those of us who ache for change - even of the moderate variety. Resistance remains paramount and Key's almost paranoid instinct is to avoid anything likely to scare the swingers that he needs to convince one more time, next October. 

It has been interesting in the circumstances to watch the metamorphosis or the person who is probably their most persistent and articulate challenger - Prof. Jane Kelsey. No matter how deeply offensive many (including myself!) have found Ms Kelsey's rhetoric in the past, she is also capable of nibbling at the edges in a thoroughly reasoned manner to achieve her objectives, no more so that in an article in today's NZH that clearly states the case for a fundamental review of in particular, the reach of the TPP. 

Here is an extract:

The National Government is gambling that it can ride out these reversals and continue with an updated form of business as usual. Who knows at this time what a Labour-led government would do.

Both would do well to take heed of Financial Times journalist Martin Wolf, a former high priest of free trade whose 2003 book, Why Globalisation Works, extolled its virtues. Last week in the Financial Times Wolf warned, "Those of us who wish to preserve both liberal democracy and global capitalism must confront serious questions. One is whether it makes sense to promote further international agreements that tightly constrain national regulatory discretion in the interests of existing corporations." (my underline)

This is really the nub of the problem facing those who would promote the TPP as a 'done deal.' It ain't, and regardless of the outcome of the US Election, a tightening of the scope of its provisions that constrain regulatory discretion is inevitable. Without that, the pact is dead in the water! And with it, the US will probably balk. Key's appeal to its geo-political ambitions last week clearly made little impression on hardening US resolve to get what it wants. 

 

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