Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Power politics

The Muliaga family death is a fascinating example of how politics is all about emotions and not at all about logic.

Mrs Muliaga died when a contractor, sent to cut the power because of unpaid bills, did so, despite being made aware that her life depended on a hospital issued breathing machine.

Now the Muliaga family are complaining that Police should not be investigating the contractor. Instead the Prime Minister and the Muliaga family are all blaming Mercury Energy for sending him and not having processes in place for dealing with vulnerable people on life support.

How odd.

Ever since the Nuremburg War Trials the notion that one is only following orders has been (almost) globally accepted as no defence. If you know your actions will result in someone dying and you carry on you are killing them and deserve to be arrested and brought to trial. Its no different whether you are German, American, Cambodian or Samoan. There is no defence of cultural sensitivity.

The Prime Minister's throwing her weight behind the Muliaga family is even more bizarre. Here is a family which despite being in paid employment, working for families and all the other protections her Labour Government has provided for the past nine years still cannot pay its power bill. Why? Could the high cost of power caused by environmental stalling of increasing capacity combined with high dividends demanded by the Government have something to do with it?

The Prime Minister has typically made a lot of noise and vented a lot of blame in any other direction but toward her own Government. By making the pasty faced executives in the power company into the bad guys she can reassert her street cred. In reality however Clark's government is shitting all over the Muliaga family and those like them by increasing Government charges, and presiding over an SOE system for energy that never has worked.

The death of Mrs Muliaga is largely due to one contractor being an idiot. It is also due to the fact that the Muliaga family either could not, or would not pay their power bill. Nobody should die over an unpaid power bill but in a country as blessed with energy and full employment as New Zealand is, nobody should really find paying their power bill all that difficult. The blame for that lies not with the power company but the Government and H1's huffing and puffing shows she knows it.

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1 comment:

Dave said...

You wrote "here is a family which despite being in paid employment, working for families and all the other protections her Labour Government has provided for the past nine years still cannot pay its power bill. Why"

perhaps they werent getting all their entitlements.....in fact IM preety sure they werent.