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Rundown of T3 Meeting Last Evening

Apart from Denis Tegg's excellent presentation late in the evening, the major part was taken up with what amounted to a political speech by Scott Simpson at the beginning and end - he did not answer any of the questions that were on the mind of those attending, and who may well have been unexpressed at the sheer politeness of the exchanges. Scott's boyish enthusiasm for Government policy can become trying at times. 

The Chair, whose name escapes me, exhorted us to remain civil, and proceeded to lay-out the discussions around energy, transport, and farming as identified in the Vivid Report, but few appeared ready to get deep into the farming issues and they mremained the 'elephant in the room.  - possibly due to the presence of several farmers. My discussion group had Andrew Goudie - a Plains dairy farmer leading the discussion, and he mounted a spirited defence of the industry. He was also prominent in promoting the EV industry about which he appeared to know a great deal, as did others around the table. 

Other groups also appeared to mainly get their teeth into the safe EV debate.  

That was perfectly satisfactory, but missed wider issues on carbon neutrality covered by the London consultancy - Vivid, on behalf of the Cross-Party Group which is replicated in other countries under the Globe umbrella. It is Government and privately funded here under the chairmanship of Dr Kennedy Graham - Scott was Gung-Ho about the joys of this 'Ccross-Party' relationship that enables wide-ranging discussion on the easy issues, but as our chair pointed out, they are probably too inhibited by their party policies and individual bias to get into the hard ones.

T3 appears to be playing a splendid role engaging various groups and individuals in community effort and discussion. I don't know about Mark Skeldings's influence, but I was dismayed to hear him refer to nationalisation of the fuel industry" as one of the solutions to current and future problems.

Good God, I thought we had left all that behind until I heeard Jeremy Corbyn  at midday today advocating for the nationalising of transport, fuel, post and Heaven knows what else as part of Labour's UK manifesto - I guess this still has an attraction for certain groups, but I would hope that we can surely avoid such simplistic socialist dogma.  

The 50 odd who attended last evening were probably mostly in the Green's camp, and well used to the rhetoric, but I found it all a bit contrived. I wish they could get past these supposed 'solutions' to something more generally acceptable to the majority of voters who are simply hanging in there awaiting the 'promised land.' 

The farmers, or ex-farmers in the room, may or may not have been organised by the Feds to defend the industry. loudly. On the other hand they may have been there to support Scott Simpson. It certainly kept the discussion about effluent and nitogen at a subdued level - after all, we were under orders to be polite! 

All in all, a worthwhile event - let us hope there are more, dealing with the wider issues of climate change, and perhaps not quite so politely!




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Reader Comments (4)

Hi Bill,
Thank you for the comment. It was grand to see you at the Civic. The facilitator was Ross McDonald of Te Puru, who has a fascinating backstory in pointing out the Emperor's nudity to students of the neoliberally inclined Auckland Business School. He did a grand job of simultaneously filling in a few of the gaps that Scott Simpson left out in regard the report - rich on big picture, poor on how to practicalities - and keeping the group on track (and surprisingly bonny) as we began the vital dialogue about how communities begin to imagine adapting to the implications of the science which any sane person would rather went away. I wanted to slightly correct your record - or maybe its a syntax thing - but I didn't say anything about nationalising the fuel industry. I think that was the other Scott in the room: Scott Somerfield. Being part of T3, whose maxim is "the future is local", I support a view of bringing as much decision making and power as possible back to the local level to enable more people to feel that they have a hand and voice in their own destiny, and, equally, can be held to account as appropriate local forums. I did refer to Scott's public comment, and in response spoke to the opportunity of developing a social enterprise, community owned power company, which would evolve from a daytime, solar based provider for businesses to something more comprehensive and inclusive. The recent term "prosumer" refers to people who both produce and consume goods and services, and is one that speaks to a role for citizens that can go well beyond the old roles and vision of both socialist and neoliberal approaches to supply and demand. Both of these are about how relationships with capital shape what happens to whom, whereas the future is, I suspect, increasingly about how our relationships to place shape our experience - as Denis' excellent piece reminded the group on Tuesday. Interestingly, just about everybody who completed the contact information expressed support for the idea of developing local working groups to address these issues. Now we have to get on with that! Thanks again for the coverage. Cheers, mark.

May 18, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermark skelding

Good one Mark - I was perhaps a little 'over the top' in regard to the 'nationalizing' issue - I agree that what you were promoting were 'local solutions' (and ownership!) with regard to solar and other new energy waves. Fair enough, but I am wary of the neo-lib / socialist division. They (the neo-libs) were surely the wreckers of our comfortable late 20th century complacency, and stole the jewels while they were about it, but socialism is surely not the replacement needed to achieve a fairer society now that the horse has bolted. As for local power, decision making and holding people accountable, I would like to be convinced by seeing demand for that demonstrated through public involvement with Council affairs - almost zero by my observation over the last ten years. Anyway, I would love to explore the issue further with you when you have time - perhaps another coffee? Give me a call.

May 18, 2017 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

to be clear it was not Scott Sommerfield who raised the issue of nationalisation -- it was a member of the public (name unknown).

as for socialism and those who hold it out as a bogeyman - maybe they forget that our state run education and health systems, our military, our libraries, our social welfare and national superannuation schemes, to name a few, are all democratic socialism in action

May 18, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterlets

That is a stretch, but you are welcome to your views. I just don't fancy the Venezuela model, even if the diehards get their rocks off over it.
I am certainly not a fan of privatisation - I was member of the Franklin Power Board for nine years - one of the most efficient in the country, and in effect a co-operative in the wider sense. Luxton killed it along with all the rest. But having gone down that road, there is no going back, at least in my view, and despite what Corbyn proposes - he knows he will never be in a position to implement it, but at least he can retire with 'honour.' Even Little understands how toxic it is electorally , and in spite of his leanings he won't touch 'socialism' with a barge pole - just feel around the edges without stirring the pot.
And your examples are not exactly paragons of virtuous 'democratic socialism' at its best I would suggest.

May 18, 2017 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

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