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Friday, September 09, 2005

Outright Lies #6

The Greens are claiming the EB brochures are filled with outright lies. I'm having a look at the claims, one by one, to see how the EB may have formed their opinion.

Outright Lie #6: Cut defence spending by 50% and disarm our forces

It is a fair opinion, when speaking of defence capability, to use the term "disarm our forces" to put forward the idea that if our defence capability is wound down too much it will be almost useless. That is not to say a token defence force will not exist. The Greens use this very logic all the time: when the Greens say there will be no public transport under Brash (and JF pretty much said that recently), she was trying to get across the idea that Public Transport needed more money thrown in to improve it, and continuing with the same expenditure will leave a token transit system. That is opinion. And so is the EB statement that a decrease in spending will effectively disarm our defence capability. To refute their point by taking the meaning that they want to disband the armed forces completely is disingenuous. Apparently, they just want to hamstring it.

Note also, the Greens want to redefine want defence spending includes. They want to add in the cost of civil defence and foreign aid to the defence budget. They want to increase foreign aid threefold, and then add that in to the defence budget and call it "peace building" and therefore part of defence. The next time Kiwi soldiers are asked to die for their country, we'll simply get them to throw bundles of cash at the enemy, thus averting another Hitler taking over the world.

A visit to the Green Policy List on their web site finds many policy statements, but NONE on Defence. On the issue of Home Security, they want to abolish the GCSB and close its two signals intelligence bases at Waihopai and Tangimoana. They have been on record being very happy dismantling our Strike Wing, resigning from the Sirius project:
"Why should we waste hundreds of millions of dollars equipping the Orions with a cutting-edge anti-submarine capability ... When did we last see a hostile submarine around New Zealand's coast?

Verdict: Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. Guilty.

Minor update Sat 10th, 3:50PM. Extra info added

Jan 2008: Major updates over at my new blog, including proof of the "50% cut to defence spending": NZ Conservative - Greens have no defence on this one
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Posted by ZenTiger | 9/09/2005 12:26:00 pm


Blogger Tane said...

Well this is one Green policy area I'm uncomfortable with. I can only hope that as the world gets nastier (and it will, especially if Peak Oil is not the lefty conspiracy theory my Sir Humphrey's friends think it is), the Green Party becomes more pragmatic in it's approach to world affairs.

Still, I think it's a very bold statement to say we'd cut defence spending by 50%. The wording from Jeanette is pretty loose, and you could interpret it that way if you want, but I'm not sure that this is what the party intends. Defence is low on our radar, even by NZ standards, so it may just be that no-one has really thought about it. Time will tell, but I'm pretty certain that I won't lose my camoflague uniform and hand it in for some bright orange Civil Defence overalls.

9/09/2005 04:18:00 pm  

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