Friday, April 11, 2008

Get a grip

The right wing in New Zealand—aided and abetted by the mainstream media—has gone apoplectic after the government decided to prevent a foreign takeover of Auckland International Airport. Get a grip, people.

Fact number one: The right to make a profit at any cost is not a fundamental human right. I know that will come as a surprise to National Party supporters, but it’s true. Second, all the government did was prevent our main international airport—the gateway to New Zealand for the vast majority of foreign visitors—from falling into foreign hands.

There is nothing in the government move that would prevent treasure-seekers from selling out to Kiwis—you remember them? Here’s a clue: They’re the people who actually live here, they’re the people who stand to lose from foreign takeover of strategic assets. They’re also, in many cases, the people who built the assets that the right wing in general, and the National Party in particular, are so keen to sell off to the foreigners with the fattest wallets.

After the poor rich people are done whingeing and moaning about how hard done by they are, the rest of us can consider buying shares in the airport: Kiwis investing in a strategic Kiwi asset—what a radical concept! And apparently too bloody obvious for the frothing right, the National Party or the mainstream media.

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