Well said, Jeanette!

Jeanette Fitzsimons blogged this morning on frogblog about the preoccupation of the media with what Winston Peters may have said and done.

The tragedy is that this is what passes for news, when we ought to be debating what is happening to our economy with rising prices for food, petrol, power and mortgages at the same time as economic contraction and loss of jobs? Shouldn’t we be debating the causes of this, and linking them with peak oil, resource limits and climate change? Most of all, shouldn’t we be debating what to do about it?

It’s not just the MSM – over on Key wee-blog David Farrar has devoted an extraordinary 34 separate threads in the past week to various aspects of Peters’ alleged behaviour, and what others have said and done in response to it.

Now, I’m not suggesting the allegations against Peters are not serious. They are. But they are being investigated by both the Serious Fraud Office and Parliament’s Privileges Committee, and all will come out in due course.

In a week when we saw Labour announce its Emissions Trading Scheme will go ahead and National announce it would be supporting tolls on roads, I would have thought both the MSM and bloggers might have been giving these issues some more attention.

Will the Government’s ETS be effective in reducing greenhouse emissions? Are the transport and agriculture sectors being brought into it too slow or too fast? Will people on low income be adequately protected against emitters passing on the cost of their emissions?

What roads will is National proposing to toll? Whose policy is the real one – Maurice Williamson’s or Bill English’s? How much will the toll charges be? What will the revenue be applied to – public transport infrastructure, or just more and more roads?

These are the real questions people should be asking in deciding how to cast their votes in an election that is less only 10 weeks away? Peters’ credibility is already close to zero – so let’s focus on the policies.