For my sins (and I know they are many) in another life I had the experience of working with Clayton Cosgrove.
He was then and remains today a quite unlovely fellow; with all the attributes (and looks) of a Mafia thug but without the compassion.
And there he was on the TV1 News last night dishing the Government for their $30m subsidy to keep the Bluff Aluminium Smelter in operation until at least 2017 when perhaps the world economy has rebounded and the demand for high quality aluminium (and the smelter produces the highest quality product) means that industry can again return to profit.
Cosgrove failed to answer the one simple question ... would Labour let the Smelter go to the wall? Clearly that was the inference one could legitimately take from his comments.
All he could rabbit on about was that the Government, in granting the subsidy, was making Meridan Energy a more saleable proposition when it is partially privatised later this year.
Of course that is a flow-on effect of the decision but the greater flow-on effect is the retention, directly or indirectly, of 3,200 Southland jobs and a reported $535m (10.5%) contribution to Southland's GDP. Those figures alone justify the $30m subsidy.
But nary a word about that from Cosgrove. Clearly in Labour's lexicon people and jobs don't count and that's why 'Labour' is a swear word in the deep South.