26 October 2010

The Great Hobbit Charade

I know it's not a good idea to make predictions - and I may have to eat my words in a later posting - but I predict that the Hobbit movies will be produced in NZ.

Why? Simply because that's what everyone wants. Just about every hobbit-footed NZer wants it, including John Key ... and even Helen Kelly (the unions having completely renounced threats of a labour boycott since last week). But, above all, I am sure that Warner Bros want that too. After all, the LOTR and Hobbit series are now branded along with NZ as Middle Earth, so there'd be a huge movie-audience backlash if the Hobbit is set somewhere else.

(Alternatively, Warner Bros could look for a cheap location in Eastern Europe, say Romania, i.e. Transylvania, and make a vampire-meets-hobbit cross-over movie. That could work!)

So, why the big charade with 'crisis talks' between Warner Bros and John Key today? Obviously it suits both parties to drag this drama out for all it's worth. Warner Bros get to screw some taxation and employment-law concessions out of the NZ Government, while Johnny-Boy gets to look like a white knight, saving our economy and our international brand - and, above all, making the unions look bad.

What worries me is that this situation will become another excuse to use a nationally significant Event to pass a law that'll allow the government to suspend the law (probably, in this case, the personal grievance provisions of the Employment Relations Act). See my previous posts on the legislation passed to 'empower' the Rugby World Cup and the reconstruction of Canterbury.

The weird thing is that, while we are all presently so precious about protecting 'sensitive' lands from foreign ownership, it looks like the present government (no doubt with jingoistic popular support) could be ready to sell one of our best workforces to the lowest foreign bidder. Scoundrels! If the Labour Party support them this time, I'll be voting for the Greens at the next Election!


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