Labour/Alliance Coalition "End of the World" for Farming

  • Dr Lockwood Smith

A Labour/Alliance Coalition would be the end of the world for New Zealand's farming sector, Agriculture Minister Lockwood Smith told Rakaia farmers today.

"Labour has turned its back on Tony Blair and Robert Reich and has embraced Jim Anderton and Pam Corkery," he said.

Dr Smith was commenting on yesterday's d étente between Labour and the Alliance.

"I can't believe the more sensible wing of Labour - represented by people like Jim Sutton and Mike Moore - has been forced to go along with this move.

"It means that the politically-correct left-wing of Labour has won the battle for the party's soul and is now frighteningly in ascendancy.

"Urban left-wing liberals like Judith Tizard, Steve Maharey, Lianne Dalziel and Marian Hobbs have finally got their hearts' desire.

"These Labour MPs have always been closer to the Alliance than to their Labour colleagues Jim Sutton, Geoff Braybrooke and Mike Moore."

Dr Smith said the Labour/Alliance Coalition was the only alternative to a National-led Government, and farmers needed to know that any rural votes going to Helen Clark, Michael Cullen and Mike Moore would effectively be going to Jim Anderton, Laila Harre and Pam Corkery.

"We know that Helen Clark is weak while Jim Anderton is a hard-nosed political operator. His hard-nosed tactics have seen him dominate the NewLabour Party which in turn has dominated the Alliance.

"He would undoubtedly dominate a Labour/Alliance Coalition."

Dr Smith said such a Government would be the most left-wing and anti-farmer in New Zealand's history.

"It would not be a Savage-type Government which kept tax at 14.4% of GDP, at its very peak. It would be by far the biggest-spending, biggest-taxing and biggest borrowing Government in New Zealand's history.

"It would force up interest rates to the 20% plus levels seen under the last Labour Government, by squandering taxpayers' money on its politically-correct pet projects.

"It would disengage from the rest of the world and try to rebuild Fortress New Zealand.

"It would be totally focussed on the trendy, liberal, politically-correct urban set.

"For farmers and rural New Zealand, it would be the worst Coalition Government imaginable."