What’s most interesting is the silent response from the government. This can only be read as a good thing. Usually if a party puts out a policy, you get one of two responses.
1. Condemnation. This almost always follows National Party and Act policy releases and sometimes NZ First releases. There was also a rather scathing response to the Maori Party Foreshore and Seabed policy.
2. Silence (read: endorsement or fear). This follows policy announcements where the Government either can’t slag it off without looking like meanies (eg good tertiary policies would be likely to fall in this camp), or where the government likes it but probably couldn’t think of it themselves.
I would say the Green Party Energy Policy falls into the latter category. If I was Labour (*shudder*) I would be starting to get a bit concerned about energy. It’s a feckin HUGE issue and none of them have got the knowledge to deal with it. It’s just never been high on the agenda. There is only one person in Parliament with a solid knowledge of these issues and that’s Jeanette. What Jeanette doesn’t know about energy policy probably isn’t worth knowing.
Yesterday was a prime example.
Usually in a press conference, an MP goes on for about 10 minutes about the *big thing* and then opens it up to questions. Not yesterday. The journalists there were served an hour long lecture on the issues, powerpoint demo included and actually walked away with a deeper understanding of the issues.
The media worked out a while ago how Jeanette is in these areas. And so have Labour. At the beginning of this year when the cabinet shuffle was announced, there was a whole article in the business section dedicated to analysing what Mallard’s appointment to the energy portfolio meant in relation to Jeanette (basically he’s a seat warmer until after the election…).
As much as Helen appears to loathe Jeanette, I think she realises that if the election results meant having to have a Labour Green coalition and giving the Greens a cabinet portfolio, Energy would be the one to give. Certainly more preferable than giving Trade to Rod!