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Entry 1404, on 2012-06-25 at 14:02:51 (Rating 4, Politics)
Continuing with the theme of austerity I want to make another point which I didn't emphasise much last time. In fact this point goes beyond periods of time where austerity is a popular option and is common at all times, whether financial conditions are difficult or not.
My point is that even at times when money is being saved by cutting services, reducing pay, and introducing other interventions allegedly designed to improve the economy, there is always plenty of funding available for projects which the ruling elite feel they want to go ahead.
I've noticed this in companies and organisations I have been involved with: management will cut funding for services which don't currently interest them for some reason but it will become apparent later that at the same time they have spent heaps on something else (often a service with far less real value than the one suffering the cuts).
It's most apparent in governments, of course, because they have the biggest budgets and are under the most critical examination. They will cut costs extensively in one area but despite pleading poverty will always find plenty of cash for their pet projects which might fit in best with their political ideology.
Naturally I have a specific example. In this case it is a visit from some members of the British (and officially New Zealand) royal family later this year. Apparently the Department of Internal Affairs is refusing to release figures regarding the cost of this visit, even to parliament who are ultimately responsible for the payment for the event.
According to a Stuff poll 80% of New Zealanders don't want to pay for this visit. I think that number is probably a bit higher than it would have been if the visitors had been more popular members of the British royalty but in this case it is probably the two biggest jokes from this anachronistic dynasty: Prince Charles and his wife Camilla.
Really this is probably the best thing that could be done to help the republican movement in New Zealand. I know there are some royalists who will just think it's "lovely" to see anyone like this visit but to most of us it's just an insult. If you do want to send any of the useless parasites over at least send someone who deserves a small amount of respect, like the Queen herself!
But apparently New Zealand doesn't rate highly enough to be worthy of her attention: she's probably too busy walking the corgis or preparing inane and insulting speeches for her loyal subjects.
The cost of having the buffoon Charlie and his hideous wife here is likely to be quite high too. The prince doesn't take commercial flights like us commoners. Oh no, he demands a personal aircraft to ensure he receives the appropriate level of exclusive comfort!
But as I have said in the past, austerity measures are never evenly applied. One of the main reasons they exist at all is that the ruling class of thieves (corporate heads, royalty, the rich in general) demand to maintain their lavish lifestyles even though it's them who have caused the problems we currently face.
And that has to be financed some way, doesn't it? I'm sure the rest of us are happy to make a sacrifice like that for such a good cause!
Comment 1 (3214) by Jim on 2012-07-09 at 10:35:51:
Whatever you think of the royal family they are still popular here in New Zealand and the alternative of an elected president doesn't seem very attractive does it? Look at countries which have a president: USA, Russia, more political corruption.
Comment 2 (3215) by OJB on 2012-07-09 at 20:12:47:
Well I take your point regarding certain presidents but there are good and bad republics and good and bad monarchies as well. At least with a president you can vote them out if they don't do a good job. With a monarch you're stuck with whatever you get.
There's also the more philosophical question of whether someone should be a ruler simply because they were born into a particular family. I can't see any way to justify that in a modern context.
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