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Ah, breaker one-nine, this here’s the Rubber Duck.


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There are some valid issues in today’s world about the extent to which you transport some items by truck. There is an argument that in some situations rail is an effective alternative. However, you need to have an efficient and commercially run rail operation not a taxpayer funded black hole.

From some of the comments Adam has seen recently he might be forgiven for thinking that the advent of KiwiRail is akin to at least the miracle of the loaves and fishes, as some seem to think a magical new world has suddenly arrived. Well it has not.

It is on that basis that Adam empathises with the truckers and indeed anyone who has to pay RUC, which apply also to diesel powered 4X4 and certain other vehicles.

He thinks that there are other ways to deal with the taxation of such vehicles.

Further, as usual with the regime at present this matter was not handled with any degree of political management. Indeed, political management was woefully absent and through the lack of such management the opposition has been handed yet another gift. H1, Dr C and H2 must be seething that much of the positive gloss they had hoped for from KiwiRail has been lost.

Lost because someone let Annette King, she of the supposed safe pair of hands, announce a RUC increase at a time of rapidly rising input costs for business and a few months out from an election on the same day, the same day mark you, as the launch of KiwiRail.

Did not Adam read the other day that one Helen Clark was the chief strategist for Labour. Well, might Adam suggest that the strategy is not working.

For starters that was a gift horse for any opponent wanting to run an attack along the lines of:’see we told you rail was not commercial, they (Labour) have to attack private business with new imposts as soon as they acquired rail, for rail to stand a chance through unfair and unethical competition.‘ How moronic can you be.

This failure allows the opposition to peddle the line that Labour are rapidly proving themselves to be anti-business, especially smaller businesses with:-

  • the RUC impost
  • the ETS, which many suggest will hit SMEs disproportionately
  • the new rules on flexible hours and parenting facilities
  • state competition, eg rule for private enterprise

All fertile ground for attack.

Indeed, Adam is surprised National and ACT are not attacking harder in this area.

SO what happens the media and talkback are full of the RUC issue and the truckers anger. They are not full of how great KiwiRail is.

Let us not forget that in addition to the big transport operators, many of those operating vehicles liable for RUC are owner operators, working New Zealanders who may well in normal times be Labour voters, plus many truck drivers working for the larger firms will probably be Labour voters, but who may not be now. After all if your bosses start talking about cut-backs and closures would you want to vote for the party that was the straw that broke that particular camel’s back.

Adam thinks it was Matthew Hooton who wrote recently in the Sunday Star Times that Clark’s formerly formidable political management seems to have deserted her. Well Adam thinks it did so well and truly in regard to this. If they really needed to raise RUC, why not wait until after the election. Why piss everyone off now. Furthermore they seem to have provoked the trucking industry to mass protes. Something Adam did not think would happen.

So to finish Adam has found this clip of the old C W McCall song Convoy and offers it as a theme for to-morrow, especially as the film built around the song was about flouting the established norms, so ‘Ah, breaker one-nine, this here’s the Rubber Duck. You gotta copy on me, Pig Pen, c’mon? Ah, yeah, 10-4, Pig Pen, fer shure, fer shure. …’

Ok, so the song is a bit silly, but it is fun. Fun is a good thing.

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