The Mike Hosking Breakfast

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Mike's Minute: Simon Upton has a message you need to hear
Mike's Minute: Simon Upton has a message you need to hear
Was Simon Upton watching the vote in Europe last week? As an outsized group of young people in places like Germany and Italy voted for the right, if not the far right, and didn’t vote for the Greens, despite the Greens being the alleged “go to” team for the young ones, Upton was speaking at the Environmental Defence Society conference. If you don't know, Upton is the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment. Here is what he said; "There is a danger that we all get into a bubble of clear-sighted, righteous agreement and if only other people had sufficient political will and shared our views we would be well on our way to the promised land." He added, "we can close polluting industries or shun them. But in most cases we will simply import the goods. Under certain conditions we must be willing to entertain environmentally damaging activities like mining." He said, "calling for green growth isn't the easy economic and environmental win some people imagine as it will continually trade one environmental issue for another. Any change, even a clean, green one, will be costly "Degrowth wont be an easy sell. Barring something of a spiritual awakening, the reality is we are likely to continue to worship at the church of consumption. Simon Upton, where have you been all my life? It's probably why I quite liked him as a Health Minister many National Party years ago. But there is your wake up call. There is your reality check from a bloke who's job it is to spruik the climate and environment. And the value of his point was laid out in Europe last week. If you bludgeon people - you lose. If you lie to them about the perfection of transition - you lose. If you leave a gap where the lights can't be turned on, on renewables - you lose. If you pretend EV's are the answer but ignore the mining aspect of batteries - you lose. If you close down oil and gas with no consultation - you lose. If you thrash farmers by telling them to have fewer cows and drown them in red tape - you lose. In Europe last week, they lost. The theory around renewables and the climate story of late might have smashed into reality and a general fatigue by most of us over the zealous BS that is pedalled at all costs. The kids in Europe got it. The Environment Commissioner clearly gets it. I hope those at that conference, once they picked themselves off the floor, got it. How about the Chloe's and Jacinda's of this world start waking up a bit and reading the room too. LISTEN ABOVESee for privacy information.
Mike's Minute: Hopefully we don't follow Australia re immigration
4d ago
Mike's Minute: Hopefully we don't follow Australia re immigration
$211 billion. That's a lot of money.  It is what it will cost Australia in lost productivity and revenue as a result of their Government panicking over reaction to the mass arrival of people via immigration.  Such was the panic, they started capping numbers. In capping numbers, they appeared to have made a mess of it.  If you follow Australian politics they make a mess of a lot of stuff, but that’s another story and one to watch later this year if they go to the polls and the Albanese Government turns out to be a one-term.  But by capping numbers they have turned immigration into a political game, not a business one.  You need immigration for skills and labour. By not meeting labour demand you curtail your growth.  It is an open question as to whether we are doing the same.  The flood gates were opened, way too late, and then because it was way too late the panic ensued and we let in all sorts of people, some of whom we wanted, or needed, but many of whom we didn’t.  It's the same reaction here - upset. There is a group it seems in all societies who are edgy about people arriving in their country. Politicians read that and react.  The Hays NZ recruitment survey out this week suggested skills gaps were still an issue here. In fact, 25% of employers said it was worse now than it has been, which is hard to fathom.  But it is nevertheless a reality and hands on deck is a very direct link to growth and I doubt anyone disputes we need growth right now.  Another question for us that Australia doesn’t appear to grapple with is around demand. Do people actually still want to come here? The truly talented and skilled have a world of choice. Are we still on their list?  Anyway, in Australia the price of playing politics is $211 billion.  So on one hand the Prime Minister keeps the punter happy who doesn’t like immigration, but on the other hand business is screaming for staff as they watch the bills mount for things they can't do.  This is where leadership comes in. Real leadership is about making the right decision, not always the popular decision.  Real leadership is about hanging tough when the screamers and moaners are at their loudest  At $211 billion ol' Albanese doesn’t look like he's the goods. See for privacy information.