Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Wellingtons "Greening of the Quays" project is designed to lift the appearance of a dull concrete barrier between a wonderful waterfront and thousands of CBD shoppers and office workers.

Will the greening of John Key and New Zealand's National Party lift the appearance of their dull policy barrier? Will it bring the environmental quality of our wonderful planet to the explicit attention of the hundreds of thousands of National voters?

Yesterday Key outlined some of his "core principles" to drive his leadership - including the following statement:

"It is a mystery to me why the political Left acts as if it has a monopoly on environmental policies, when it is obvious to anyone who cares to look that all of us, across the political spectrum, with the exception perhaps of the Greens, have taken too long to put the protection of our environment at the forefront of our thinking. That needs to change. In the National Party we have taken steps to do this, and we will be taking more steps."

"[P]rotection of our environment at the forefront of our thinking" - something I'm looking forward to seeing clear indication of. Just how will the much vaunted Blue-Green vision for New Zealand play out. Especially as National will most likely steer our good ship following the 2008 general election.

Two similarities spring immediately to mind. First, to David Cameron the British Conservative Party Leader who lurched greenward after winning party leadership late last year. Second, and this would apply to both Key and Cameron, similarities to The Once-ler in the iconic Dr Seuss story The Lorax are abound.

The Once-ler had become a recluse (unlike Key) having pillaged the landscape in order to make his fortune. At the end of the story The Once-ler offers the very last truffula tree seed.

"Plant a new truffula. Treat it with care.
Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air.
Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack.
Then the Lorax
and all of his friends
may come back."
Was yesterdays speech to party faithful the peace offering of the Once-ler? Is his audience able to embrace the seed and "treat it with care", or has all the "figgering on biggering" consigned the political right to eternal myopic inertia?

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