Yesterday John Key claimed that Labour wouldn’t repeal the Sky City law. He had heard it through the ‘Auckland traps’. I know that our politicians mingle with high powered people and gossip and get information from lots of sources but something about the Prime Minister not referring to any kind official briefing or advice really icks me. It sounds beneath him but if that’s how he wants to play it I guess that’s fine. I think the National party knows that this bill is pretty unsavoury to the public and they will do almost anything to try and put the ball back in Labour’s court.
And they have done it now. David Cunliffe is in a position where he cannot say that he will overturn it. Likely it is because he hasn’t had proper legal and policy advice of the implications and does not want to say anything that will come back to haunt him in the future but the public won’t see that and the narrative has already turned.
The Government knows that any future Parliament can do whatever they want so now the conversation has shifted to ‘breaking a contract’. That sounds much worse than ‘reversing a bad policy’. Breaking a contract has all of the ‘bad faith business dealings’ connotations and it successfully paints Labour as people who don’t understand business. This is quite genius actually. But as No Right Turn has pointed out, Parliament is sovereign so John Key and Sky City cannot hope that they'll get into their cozy little deal and we are all just going to take it no questions asked.
Here are some rebuttal lines:
- John Key has made a deal on behalf of the New Zealand public that is fundamentally bad for this country.
- There is no evidence that this deal with increase anything but our gambling problem.
- Any future Parliament has the right to reverse policies that are bad for the country and Labour reserves that right when we are in Government.
- We are not going to be bullied by corporate interests.
- John Key wants to govern by 1 vote. The vote of John Banks. We will continue to oppose those tactics because that is our job.
- Labour are currently looking at options on how we can build a convention centre without relaxing our regulations which are designed to reduce harm.