So they’re hanging fire, surprise surprise. This is the biggest move since Douglas Prebble Richardson did their thing, so we have a generation who did their cognition formatting without the experience. Boy are they in for a show!

Cabinet has stalled Hide’s list, worried about the Rankin fallout. So much is obvious. The next step will be to sneak as much of the Roundtable approach into the mix, as they can without backlash – uncontrollable, unacceptable level backlash.

One senses that there is a schism opening up in Cabinet – between the dumb idealogues – both the pushy (Brownlee, Smith) and the passive (Groser) – and some (perhaps led by a Key who wants to be a two-termer) more traditional National in style.

The Auckland backlash may be fudged by the media, but I get the sense not. They are on this one, and you have to remember they are ratepayers themselves.

Timing is of interest, if it comes into existence a year from now, the privatisation process might get delayed until after the next National elections, for obvious strategic reasons. Look for a disingenuous election along the lines of Lange’s “What a great llittle country”, telling comment after his second one.

Water is the obvious target, the dangey being Nestle (or similar) ownership. Their problem is that while democracy exists, and a free press exists, popular angst would vote for reversal, and forced reversal if necessary. Something like buying back the pipes, charging the private operator a squillion to use the service, then buying him up, post -bankruptcy.

Make no bones about it, as we enter the dark tunnel of permanent scarcity of resources, there will be an incresingly intense, frantic and desperate scrap over access and ownership of same.

Water will be the most desperate. You die without it. Watch this pond!


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