David Clark has joined his leader David Shearer in trying to talk up unrest over the assets sales.
(ODT) Protests and street rallies against state-owned assets sales are likely to re-emerge later this year as the petition opposing the sales gets close to the threshold for a referendum.
Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark, a leading opponent of the sell-down as a member of the finance and expenditure select committee, said opposition would continue.
The petition was likely to get sufficient signatures to force a referendum and that would put the Government on the back foot when a “clear majority” was seen to not approve.
Only about 30 people turned up in front of Parliament yesterday as a final protest before the Bill was passed.
Asked whether he believed protests, like the recent Dunedin march, would continue, Dr Clark said unrest was likely to re-emerge as the petition reached its target.
Dr Clark was certain Treaty of Waitangi claims would hold up the sale. He was also not confident the sales would be handled competently, which was likely to cause outrage.
“It is hard to imagine New Zealanders having the spare cash to buy shares in the assets,” he said. “Some will, but many won’t and that will spread discontent.”
Is talking up and trying to promote unrest good for the country? And is it good for Labour?
Labour made asset sales a major election issue. And lost.
Labour have made opposing asset sales legislation a major focus. And lost.
Labour look like trying to make assets sales, via the petition and possible referendum, and trying to talk up protests, a major focus of their term in opposition.
Even if the referendum takes place – next year at the earliest after one or more asset floats will have already taken place. The referendum can and probably will be ignored by Government. So the chances of success are slim.
Labour lost a winnable election. They lost a difficult to win battle in parliament.
So they plan to take the fight “onto the streets” (according to David Shearer in parliament yesterday) in a referendum battle they have little chance of winning.
This is a party that wasted it’s last term by failing to rebuild. Are they going to blow this term as well? They’re on their third strike.