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Monday, 21 February 2011


Public assets are assets that belong to the people; they were bought by the people for the benefit of the people. Only the people can decide what to do with them, not those who think they are their masters, those who too often forget that they are public servants, elected or employed.

The word 'assets' comes from two Latin words, ad, which means to, and satis, which means enough. Therefore to sell public assets is to leave the people with less than enough, to deprive them of what is of value to them, both because they bought them and they were bought for their benefit. It is betrayal of the people and every generation of their children. That applies in particular to infrastructure assets.

To suggest selling the people's assets is corrupt thinking. To do it is corrupt. The result cannot be for the public good.

'But,' said the masters, 'look, if we sell public assets to the private sector [but they did not say assets created over many years with your hard-earned taxes], you will get a much better deal. Better service, better prices, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah. The private sector will INVEST! You'll see! They'll make things BETTER!!!'

So they sold them. They sold the railways, they sold the electricity sector, they sold telecommunications. They want to sell more.

'Those who cannot learn from mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them.'

They must think we are so stupid and forgetful we will not remember that they ended up having to buy back the railways because they were going to rack and ruin. And that the electricity sector became a self-serving mess, the price of electrons went through our roofs, and the modern technology of generating power where it is consumed instead of far away was ignored in favour of defacing the landscape with Big Toys for All Those Private Little Boys.

In effect they also have had to buy back the telecommunications sector because New Zealand got so far behind in modern infrastructure that the government had to pump in a billion or two to drag us very belatedly into the 21st century. But instead of all the value staying in the hands of the people, the profit on that vast sum will go to those wunnerful private companies that were going to deliver us telecommunications miracles.

The cargo-cult mentality never does deliver. There's no such thing as a free cargo.

Before it was corrupted by the linguistically-challenged who wanted to pretend that they were not using bad language, and so deliberately mispronounce the swear-word for anus, everyone with any education knew that 'ass' is a synonym for donkey. And therefore knew what Charles Dickens meant when he said, 'The law is an ass.'

It is a nice coincidence that 'asset-sale' begins with 'ass.' It is donkeys selling hooves to pay for shoes.

The sweetener for all that ass-headed ideology is that they tell us that the assets will only be sold to Ma-and-Pa investors. Doh! They GAVE the electricity sector to the same Ma's and Pa's. Then along came the corporate greedies and offered them all $1000 or so for their shares. So the real purpose was achieved. Ma and Pa were cheated and robbed for ever after.

Public assets are already owned by every Ma and Pa, and child, in the country. To sell to a small number of Ma's and Pa's is to exchange democracy for hierarchy. Which is corruption.
The assets are already owned by