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Saturday, September 10, 2005

Exclusive Brethren vs The Greens

UPDATE 2007: Please visit my new blog (NZ Conservative) where I am recompiling this information and ensuring the links stay working: Exclusive Brethren vs the Greens

The Exclusive Brethren (EB) exercised their democratic right to print political brochures. Unfortunately, they bucked the trend and rather than blasting National Policy, they came out with a brochure criticising the Greens. They made 15 points, and provided an assessment of the environmental impact the Greens have had on our Flora and Fauna in the wake of a Labour-Led government.

The Greens were quick to brand the brochure as a "campaign of lies". Jeanette Fitzsimons, Greens Co-Leader also referred to the brochure as 50% outright lies and 50% gross exaggerations. Other pro-Green commenters and main stream media seemed to accept that this "cult" had lied, and I had seen nothing from our investigative reporters spelling out the content of the EB Brochure. I had a look for myself, to see if what they had said were indeed "all lies".

My findings were that 15 of the 16 points were absolutely fair comment to make with regard to the Green policy. Points 4,5,6 and 8 were debatable as to the exact numbers and costs, but that is standard fare for politics. There was one point only I could see no justification for the assertion, or any reason they may have had to hold that opinion. Just one.

For Jeanette to brand their brochure a "campaign of lies", "half full" of "outright lies" is in itself, a gross exaggeration. In an election where we have Ross Wilson, head of CTU saying "National will fund tax cuts with workers lives", and Labour allegedly sending "eviction notices" to State Housing tenants to show a vote for National is a vote for eviction, the opinions expressed in the Exclusive Brethren brochures are mild, and with as much foundation. For example, the Greens can hardly claim its a lie they don't support the Kyoto Protocol. Their opinion is the tax payers will not be paying the billion dollars per year in Kyoto taxes, because they will convince Labour or National to turn it around just in time. We'll see. In the meantime, do the Greens support Kyoto? Absolutely.

I list the main points put forward by the EB Brochure, and my verdict. Please accept a one line summary is not always a clear explanation. It is backed up by detail. Click on each link (the highlighted word Guilty or Innocent against each item) to learn what my research uncovered. Click below to reveal the full list:

1: Introduce a capital gains tax on family homes.
The Greens recommended this in their Eco-Tax Submission to parliament 2001. They quoted from that document as recently as 5 Sep 2005. Lets assume they mean what they say. Guilty!
Update: Read the linked comments. Maybe they don't mean what they print?

2: Increase petrol and diesel taxes.
Greens want to remove tax exemptions on diesel, and add a Kyoto tax. Prices up and Guilty!

3: Introduce a carbon tax, and putting power prices up.
Greens are in favour of carbon taxes, and it is arguable power prices will increase. Guilty!

4: Support Kyoto Protocol - the billion dollar bungle
Kyoto = Greens. Guilty!

5: Add 4 more ministries and [...] more bureaucrats
The Greens plan to grow the government - Guilty.

6: Cut defence spending by 50% and disarm our forces
If you do the set of sums offered by Jeanette Fitzsimons, it looks that way. Guilty until clarified. [Jan 2008 Now Clarified: No defence - Guilty.]

7: Ban the building of new prisons and teach criminals art
Once again, Green Policy. Guilty.

8: Spend roading money on uneconomic and novel public transport schemes
Underground rail is novel and expensive. Maybe not as muuch as roads? Its a good debate. On the Guilty Train.

9: Block construction of vital new roads with tortuous RMA regulations.
The Greens support the RMA. It's tortuous. Some parties want it gutted.Guilty by association.

10: Push high country farmers off their lease-hold land.
All they want to do is raise farm rents...and they complain about State Housing: Within range of Guilty

11: Permit right-to-roam over property.
They support public access over private property. Guilty.
Note: Right-to-roam is a phrase meaning access private property without owners permission.

12: Decriminalise illegal drugs - like cannabis.
Like cannabis? You mean hash, skunk, and marijuana? Guilty man.

13: Offer financial assistance to cannabis growers for alternative employment.
I could find no specific policy for this. Clean and Innocent.

14: Create rainbow communities. Legalise Adoption for Same Sex Couples.
Create? No, just support/encourage. But the rest is true, and we'd be quibbling. Guilty.

15: Voted against including the right to own Property in the NZ Bill of Rights
Other countries might need it, but NZ doesn't the Greens say. That explains why they have a right to be Guilty.

16: Support Labour, who are destroying/not maintaining the environment
With declining numbers of Kiwi, Hector Dolphins and wetlands, they have a point. Its Labours fault, but they are Guilty.

Greens version of the Rebuttal (by Jeanette Fitzsimons)

The thrust of this rebuttal was to label anything that was basically true a "half truth". There were 7 of those, and one point she fully conceded, and one she ignored, making 9 out of 16 points in the region of "OK, they have a point, but we can explain". That really destroys their credibility in attacking the brochure the way they have done. This is NO WORSE than the Greens own style of politicking seen in their press releases and website.

Of the other 7 points that Jeanette labeled "outright lies", I agreed with her on one of those points. The substance of rebuttal on the other 6 would seem to be in splitting hairs on the numbers, or debating the actual effect of the policy. I found very little substance in the Green blog on their costings, which makes it harder to form an opinion one way or the other [Update: I may have found data I was looking for, I'll update when I get a chance]. That's why I submit it is very reasonable to bring these points to debate. The Greens have responded with "gross exaggerations"

The Greens campaign on being a straight up and refreshingly honest party with the importance of the environment as the underpinning of all human prosperity. Acting in an arrogant manner and labeling the EB brochure a "campaign of lies" from a "cult group" does not demonstrate any discernible difference from Labour. They would do well to embrace criticism in a more positive light. The Hector Dolphin, the Kiwi, our forests and lakes may be depending upon it.

Well, that's my opinion.

The EB Brochure itself: The Green Delusion
[Click to Expand/Contract]

Minor update 11:45am
Update 12:33pm to correct link order between points 11 thru 16. Sorry!

Side Topic: International Green Conspiracy

2008: All updated over here at NZ conservative: EB vs The Greens

Labels: , ,

Posted by ZenTiger | 9/10/2005 11:30:00 pm


Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

Looks good. Now just need to get people to read it.

9/10/2005 11:48:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This needs to be in a newspaper, soon.

9/10/2005 12:37:00 pm  
Blogger reid said...

Do you think it has made much difference? You'd need to be really stupid to interpret it the way the media clearly want you to interpret it. Are people really that stupid. Surely they see it for what it is?

9/10/2005 01:50:00 pm  
Blogger reid said...

The overall story I mean, the lies the media are spinning, etc.

I wasn't talking about the brochure itself, that's a work of art.

9/10/2005 01:52:00 pm  
Blogger Lucia Maria said...

I think the attack on Don Brash and labelling the whole thing lies is a distraction from what is actually in the brochure. It's deliberate and shows just how managed the media hysteria is.

9/10/2005 01:57:00 pm  
Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

I doubt it has actually done too much real damage. For every swinging voter who is swayed away from National there will be another who is sickened by the manner of the attacks. No, I think the vote will go on more serious issues than a late campaign beat up. The elction will be decided on the underlying issue what social direction the country is to pursue. I think Labour will be removed from office, no what mistakes National make last week or next week. People are sensible enough to see bully boy Pete's mouthings on agenda for what they are. Self serving hot air, like Mallards, without a shred of evidence.

9/10/2005 02:13:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and if they do come up with more evidence waht's the cover story for the cover story gonna be?

9/10/2005 05:30:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

its not about the leaflet or the greens. Thats all by the way side now. Don let us all down and has now apologised. He has not told the team whats going on. Politics is not like business, big ego's and personal agendas will derail all the best intensions............

9/10/2005 05:36:00 pm  
Blogger Lucia Maria said...

No anon, that's what it's been made into - not what it's actually about. Classic magicians trick is to distract the audience while the "magic" occurs in plain view.

What is plain to me is that the Greens are terrified by the contents of this brochure.

9/10/2005 05:46:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's how it all plays out in the mind of the swinging voter who goes by newspaper headlines and 15 second video clips on TV.

9/10/2005 05:57:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

Are we talking about the honesty of leaders?

Do we need a 15 second sound bite?

"Greens Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons LIED when she accused the Exclusive Brethren of producing a leaflet full of outright lies"

She built a rebuttal document to try to hide the information, but on checking 15 or the 16 points made in the leaflet stand up under scrutiny.

For example, the very first point Jeanette lied when she said the Greens have no intention of a Capital Gains Tax on the Family home. She called the Brethren liars. However, CGT on the family home is outlined on page 55 of the Greens 2001 Eco-Tax Submission.

Headline "Jeanette caught in lie on Capital Gains Tax and falsely maligning the Exclusive Brethren"

9/10/2005 06:02:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

oops, it was page 66.

9/10/2005 06:08:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I agree with you about honesty of leaders but there are voters who don't go into the detail of stories and go by what is on TV.

According to this week NBR poll approx 36% still don't know that the party vote is decides who the next government will be. So there are plenty of voters who are not up to speed on many election issues etc.

Btw your articles about the EB pamphlet and the Greens is really good, well done.

Not a great tonight for Clark on the TV news. Got ratty with Guyon Espiner, negative coverage of that dopey state housing eviction notice and the stuffup with the police recruitment.

9/10/2005 06:25:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

um zen... are you basing your claim on a historical think-paper/submission on eco-tax from 2001...

greens' 2005 housing policy is quite emphatic that no capital gains tax should be paid on the family home...

would that not be a more accurate/relevant/current depiction of the greens policy on this subject..?

i know it blows your assertions out of the water..but..y'know...

(did you not refer to this current policy before making this erroneous claim..?)

yours in accuracy of data....


9/10/2005 06:56:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

I was indeed basing my point on the eco-tax policy submission of 2001, an excerpt which Jeanette linked to, to prove that they never have had such a policy.

Strange that she called this an "outright lie" when it would have been more sensible to say "we may have in the past, but this year we decided to change that policy and exclude it.

The point is Jeanette is making claims these are outright lies. They are not.

Anyway, do you have a link...I'll loook anyway, but I didn't notice it on my first search.

9/10/2005 07:20:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

Phil, Are you having me on? I have just been through the Greens Housing Policy, ratified May 2005, and there is no mention of CGT that I can see?

Did they knock a new one up today perhaps?

A link would be really good at this point...

9/10/2005 07:33:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry..don't have the link..(i'm a luddite..remember..?..)

i just remember rod donald saying on more than one occaison there should be no capital gains tax on the family home...that's a given..

isn't that clear enough..?

(should we troll through old act thinkpieces/submissions to attempt to construct similar flights of fancy to yours..?..)


9/10/2005 08:44:00 pm  
Blogger Lucia Maria said...

Aha, just like Jeanette tells us all that capital gains tax on the family home was lies, all lies! When in reality in the fine print part of the tax submission included it. I wonder if the Green leadership count on their supporters not actually reading stuff.

Trust us, would we lie to you? No, we are the Greens, we never lie.

Yeah, right.

9/10/2005 08:49:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

Phil, trolling through a Greens Party Tax Submission to see what their policy statements are is hardly constructing a flight of fancy.

Spending considerable time going through the Greens website looking for clarification, and not finding any, is hardly constructing a flight of fancy.

It's stated in a policy document.

What else has Rod said at meeetings I should be aware of that contradicts their policy documents? That they look forward to the installation of nuclear powered generators?

I return to the central point. JF said this "allegation" was an outrageous lie". She linked to an excerpt that directly contradicted her statement. Here rebutal gave the thumbs up to the concept of CGT, adding more to the mystery.

The sum of that is the EB made fair comment. It cannot be slammed as outrageous lies.

Maybe the outcome of this might be a new document from the greens reversing the EB allegations. Thus:

1. No CGT on family homes
2. Building more prisons
3. No adoption of children to same sex couples
4. Withdrawal from Kyoto
5. Retaining Diesel exemptions
6. No carbon surcharge
7. Stop working with Labour until Labour get serious about the env.
8. Will enshrine property rights in the Bill of Rights.
9. Do not support right-to-roam.
10. Push for stiffer penalities on cannabis

Why don't I just stop at 10? I suspect the EB would consider a retraction of their brochure if the Greens just promised those 10 things.

See, the Greens prefer to say these allegations were "lies" rather than just stadn up for the oppposite of those policies - because you know, barring the 1st one (and that's debatable), and the second one (they can't be that impractical?) that they would not be stepping down from those policies.

It was wrong to call them lies, and they know it. They are smearing the Brethren as badly as they can by promoting the idea the Brethren "made many substantial lies".

9/10/2005 09:12:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

Actually, instead of all of that. Perhaps I can just say:

"Nice try Phil. But no dice. You going to bring in Rod's grandmother in as a character witness for the Greens next perhaps?"

9/10/2005 09:15:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lucyna..once again..slowly..this was (i assume)a thinkpiece/submission that at some stage was grinding its' way through the policy process...obviously it didn't make it..

green policy is no capital gains tax on the family home..

what do you not comprehend about that..?

you and zen are presenting a total straw argument..


9/10/2005 09:16:00 pm  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

Phil. If there is no CGT policy mentioned in their 2005 document but one is mentioned in their 2001 document then it is not unreasonable for non-Green Party members to consider it still on the table, or at the very least think the Greens wish for one but recognise it is politically impossible.

At least that is the logic applied to National's supposed foreign policy stances by the Greens and Labour.

If the Greens are against a capital gains tax then they should simply come out and clarify the issue.

9/10/2005 09:26:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

further clarification for you...

the greens have no policy as yet on capital gains tax...

therefor they can have no policy to impose a capital gains tax on the family home now..can they..?

what are you finding so difficult to understand about that..?


9/10/2005 09:43:00 pm  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

Personally nothing, but that is not the same standard the Greens apply to anyone other political party.

Therefore I don't see why they shouldn't be held to the same (impossible) standard.

9/10/2005 10:00:00 pm  
Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Good God. Wall to wall media headlines please. Greens spruiker lies to public. Absolutely can't be trusted. Not fit to be allowed within fifty miles of blog. One minute he said 'Green policy is no capital gains tax on the family home.' And he was speaking very slowly so the world heard him. After he thought about it he realised what he meant was 'the greens have no policy as yet on capital gains tax...' And these guys try to paint Dr Brash into a corner? Good Heavens they've just admitted that if they are electd on Saturday we'll have capital gains tax by Sunday. They've even forgotten it's written into their policy documents. The ones they wished they hadn't written because Rodney Hide remembered them.

9/10/2005 10:08:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

On 5 September 2005, a new document was created by Jeanette Fitzsimons.

It was an extract to the Greens 2001 Tax Policy Submission, and was linked from JFs rebuttal that the Greens did not support a Capital Gains Tax of the Family Home.

That’s how out of date the 2001 Tax submission is. It is so out of date, it is used as the basis for a rebuttal on 5 September 2005. 5 days ago. Guess what it says.

It says that Jeanette could not fairly call the Brethren liars on that point.

9/10/2005 10:18:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

The Greens at Frog Blog want to assure me there is a better explanation.

All of their submissions are done by a small team of people, and don't have time to think every-thing through.

So they often list ideas that they think we should discuss, even if they don't support them.

In this case, they want the other parties to discuss a CGT on an "owner-occupied" home, and suggest a transition period would not be required.

When the vote is held, they will obviously vote against it. However, if Labour and NZFirst and United Future and the Maori Party should vote it in, good on democracy.

That's really good. Their defence policy probably calls for a referendum on Nuclear ship visits.

It still doesn't mean Jeanette can call the Brethrens liars.

9/10/2005 10:23:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you're dancing on the heads of pins guys..it's embarassing....

(i personally think slum landlords etc etc should be liable for a capital gains tax..as they are in most other countries..but i would fight tooth and nail against any tax on the family home..)

but that is all irrelevant..as ..the..greens..have..no..policy..on ..capital ..gains..tax..


9/10/2005 10:30:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

Phil, you appear not to have read much of what I've written about.

I made the point that the Greens labelled the brochure by the EB's as "a campaign of lies"

If you go through their policy statements and submissions, you can see at best, some misunderstanding.

The Greens built a straw man argument. You are focussing on the detail of one item, which still shows how the Brethren could reasonably infer the Green's position.

Calling them liars suits the Greens to look afronted, it suits Labour to make Brash (basically unconnected) look worse because this is a "cult".

what are you finding so difficult to understand about that..?

9/10/2005 10:33:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

Greens are pro Kyoto?
So why call the EB liars?

Greens are pro same sex couples adopting?
So why call the EB liars?

Greens do not support enshrining property rights in the Bill of Rights?
So why call the EB liars?

Greens have an Eco-Tax Submission paper from 2001, that they specially quote 5 days ago, which recommends CGT on family homes...
So why call the EB liars?

Catching on now Phil?

9/10/2005 10:37:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there a SST Poll tomorrow?

9/10/2005 11:02:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

zen you are right in that i have not read the entire opus you composed on the pamphlet subject..i have a rainy long weekend coming up..i'll try to fit it in then..

i have been responding to you on this capital gains point because you were pushing it on all fronts..and i knew you were wrong..in the 'facts' about green policy you were/are presenting..


9/10/2005 11:05:00 pm  
Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Phil, you lost the game by an innings and six wickets when you finally admitted that in your mind Green policy is 'what I heard Rod say' rather than what is writ.

Looks like Ashes to the Poms, courtesey of God.

9/10/2005 11:45:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

For Godsakes Phil, don't forget my footnotes. That's where half the thesis is. You might want to borrow a larger screen for that week-end.

We need the rain down here. Hope you were planning on catching up with my first volume soon.

I don't know who is more stubborn, but I win on word count.

9/10/2005 11:56:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent, Rodney's linked to your exclusive.

9/11/2005 12:45:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

adolf...looks like election to lab/grn, courtesy of god..?


9/11/2005 06:02:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On financial assistance to cannabis growers, see this paragraph of Green Policy on industrial hemp:

Policy Point 2 : Where practical and desired by local communities, licensed cultivation of industrial hemp will be encouraged in those economically-depressed rural areas of New Zealand which may now be financially dependent on income from cannabis cultivation.

9/12/2005 02:47:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greens are pro Kyoto? So why call the EB liars?

Because EB actually said "Support the Kyoto protocol - the one billion dollar bungle.", and this was called a half truth as the Kyoto protocol is defined as being a billion dollar bungle, which is incorrect. Underestimation of the impact of the protocol might have been a billion dollar bungle, but this is not the same thing - so it is a half truth. The first part is true, the second part false.

Greens are pro same sex couples adopting?
So why call the EB liars?

Because EB actually said "Create 'rainbow' communities. Legalise adoption for same-sex couples.", this is a half truth because the Greens do not create these communities, they merely don't discriminate against them - a position consistent with the 1990 bill of rights.

Greens do not support enshrining property rights in the Bill of Rights?
So why call the EB liars?

Because EB actually said "the Greens voted against protecting private property rights", whereas all they did was not put property rights on the same level as human rights.

Greens have an Eco-Tax Submission paper from 2001, that they specially quote 5 days ago, which recommends CGT on family homes...
So why call the EB liars?

Because EB actually said "Introduce capital gains on family homes", and while the earlier tax claims

Catching on now Zen Tiger? Did you remember to take your blinkers off before reading the rebuttal?

9/13/2005 01:55:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfinished paragraph, silly me.

Because EB actually said "Introduce capital gains on family homes", and while the earlier tax claims

should be

Because EB actually said "Introduce capital gains on family homes", which is not currently policy, and even reading the 2001 RFC, specifically excluded the "family home" by only being payable on realisation. That is, while a home stays in a family you don't pay any CGT on it.

9/13/2005 02:00:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

Wow, just noticed your reply Frog.

You are splitting hairs. You've pushed the line to the media of gross distortions and outright lies, and in the detail we can quibble.

Like the fact you are now saying the family home would have capital gains tax on, but only on realisation.

That implies you don't think that families might want to sell their house at some point to buy a bigger one? Extra kids come along, need to move closer to the school etc? If they sell, then WHAM! hit with CGT.

So we are back to quibbling over the minor points of interpretation. Until I get a sense that the Greens can respond positively to criticism over their badly worded policies, without sledging a religious group for having an opinion, I shall continue to provide some balance, since the media seem to jump all over conspiracy theories for all the wrong reasons.

9/16/2005 09:50:00 am  

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