Andrew Dickens: Horrible politicians distracting us from the big issues

Andrew Dickens,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 17 October 2018, 7:00p.m.
While Jami-Lee Ross and Simon Bridges are hogging the spotlight, people aren't talking about the rising energy prices. (Photo / File)

What an extraordinary two days we’ve had in politics and in our national conversation.

Can I just go on record as saying that I don’t like any of the players we’ve been talking about.

Jami-Lee Ross, my god! He was best friends with Simon Bridges - he helped elect Bridges months ago, but look at that!

With friends like Jami-Lee Ross, who needs enemies?

But the smear campaign that has been waged against Mr Ross is extremely distasteful.  They are saying he’s mad, his mental health issue is embarrassing, he’s a liar, he’s duplicitous, he’s disloyal.  At the end of all the names the National caucus has called him, I’d be a little mentally unstable myself. 

A highlight of that low behaviour came late yesterday.  Jami Lee Ross claimed that Simon Bridges was going to level sexual harassment claims against him.  Later last night Paula Bennett corrected that and said the claims were actually about inappropriate behaviour for a married man. 

Well, thank you Paula.  Far better to call a mentally unstable man an adulterer rather than a harasser.  Good for you.  By the way the last time I looked adultery was not a crime

Honestly, all these people are horrible. But I guess that's what comes with the political games.

And what I haven’t liked about it is that a lot of issues have been ignored.

And while this soap opera about the leadership of an opposition party rolls on, other stories are ignored. 

We're worried about the petrol prices, but last night we were talking with Patrick Smellie and he said if you are worried about the petrol prices, just wait and see the energy prices once summer begins. 

Why? Well firstly the hydro lakes are at their lowest levels for 8 years and well below average and yet it’s Spring.  I don’t know if you’ve noticed that it’s been cold and windy this year but not particularly wet. 

So the generators are already rationing which means we have to turn on the gas thermal generators in the North Island.  Guess what?  They’re a bit broken and there have been 2 major breakdowns at our biggest gasfield this year.  Production has been halved and the price of gas is now sky high.

In a delicious irony Genesis, majority owned by the government, is talking about importing coal to meet demand. 

So the climate change government will have to import filthy old climate changing coal, burn it and add to climate change, which will allegedly make the country hotter and drier, so it will rain less, so the lakes will get lower, so we will have to import some more goal. And on we go.  it’s a vicious circle. 

By the way the gas is due to run out in 10 years so the problems will only get worse.   

Meanwhile in another irony wind power generators have been complaining that what with the high cost of resource consents and the low efficiency of the windmills it’s not worth building wind farms anymore. 

So what does all this mean.  High prices.  So you’ll pay more at home.  Businesses will pay more at work.  Products will cost more.  Analysts say that we have a clear and present danger to our economy across all our energy sector. 

Let’s fix it up. Why haven’t we? Well, I don’t know.   I guess 10 years ago we weren’t thinking about today because we were too busy fixing up the problems that the guys 20 years ago failed to think about. 

On Monday, I heard callers ask why does everything seem to be in crisis. It's because it is. We’ve been cheap on infrastructure for generations and unfortunately there’s a price to pay for that and the due date on that bill is getting closer and closer. 

Yet, when the politicians are the ones in crisis, sadly everything else falls by the wayside.

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