This is interesting…
No state house sale moves: Key
The prime minister’s denial of the sale of state houses being an asset sale was “pretty sneaky, because he knows selling off that many state houses without building as many or more is just killing an asset.”
Prime Minister John Key said selling Housing New Zealand or part of it would amount to an asset sale, but the government did not intend to do that, and the sale of state houses was not new.
“The government has sold state houses over the course of the last six years, in fact Housing New Zealand has sold houses prior to that, we have 69,000 state houses and quite a lot of them are in the wrong places.”
No decision had been made on how many state houses could or could not be sold, Key said.
“But what I would say is that the government is keen to build the overall stock of housing available to vulnerable and at-risk New Zealanders.
…for Key to be back peddling as hard as he is now over the stealth privatisation of State Houses suggests that his polling must be coming back with a wave of revulsion over State House privatisations. When a right wing doom merchant like Patrick Smellie is being sent out to calm the horses, you know the horses are dead.
Key’s scramble to downplay what is an ideological assault on State Housing might have to do with the deep seated emotions many baby boomers have with them. To baby boomers, State Houses are a mythical perception of their egalitarian pretences, and they probably have a few in their residential property portfolio. A Prime Minister insults middle class pretensions at their peril.
More interesting than Key’s desperate attempt to downplay a privatisation agenda in Set Housing is the rash of negative stories bursting at the seams of a woefully underfunded health service.
Tony Ryall’s excellent handling of Health meant that it hasn’t surfaced for 6 years as an issue, now however the sector is falling to pieces and Ryall’s skill of robbing these types of stories from gaining oxygen isn’t being matched by his successor.
…everyone uses hospitals and the issue of ones health hasn’t been as ideologically vilified as it has been in other sectors like education. If Key’s Government starts looking incompetent in health and heartless in state housing there exists a non-tribal off-ramp for voters who party voted National.
Annette King in health might be the perfect selection for Labour while Phil Twyford is starting to earn his keep in Housing. Who ever the next Labour leader is will need to pick up state housing with gusto.