What the left miss in their criticism of Labour’s monetary policy


There has been some righteous criticism of Labour’s monetary plan on this blog by John Minto and most recently the ever brilliant Susan St John.

Both are valid in their arguments that Labour’s monetary policy won’t directly do much for those on the bottom of the heap, but I think they miss who the target for this policy actually is – NZs middle class.

What is so inspired about Labour’s policy is that it reaches across the class divide to middle class NZ, the very target electorate that Labour need to woo if they want to win the election in September.

Winning Government is all about math, if Labour can’t get up to 35%, there can’t be any combination of progressive parties that equates to the majority necessary to replace National, Labour is reaching out to those middle class families who are eyeing up the climbing interest rates on their mortgages and starting to panic.

In conjunction with the other policy Labour want to include, (increasing the minimum wage, backing the living wage, reducing power bills and making housing affordable), there is enough to widen the positives for the poor. Where their interests will truly be pushed however are via the Greens and MANA. It will be up to Russel, Metiria and Hone to demand real gains for those on the bottom if they are in a position to negotiate with Labour.


  1. And it is disturbing that these things haven’t already been implemented. It couldn’t get any worse for the poor than under this current government. It is a sick, cruel joke. If dead-eyed john got in again, I fear for the social damage he will cause. He needs the poor to remain poor for this unequal society to work. Labor have just changed the rules to this game! Everyone will be valued contributing members to this society. This policy combined with raising the minimum wage, and a capital gains tax will help provide opportunity for everyone – including the poor.

    • I have a suspicion that there will be a number of exemptions to this proposed plan by Labour. Therefore not everyone will be contributing.

      • Similar to the exemptions to truth that Collins, McCully, Williamson, Smith, Gilmore, Tolley,Slater, Key and the rest of the Tory oligarchy ascribe to?

        Did I miss any Gosman, or am I looking at Tory corruption through rose-and-green-and-powdered-milk-tinted glasses?

        I’m sure contributors to this site can provide far more Tory anti-trystes with truth than the sorry octet mentioned above.

        • Unless you have a very short memory, you could make a fairly impressive list of Labour misdemeanors from the Clark years, and a equally impressive list of union indiscretions.

  2. “Both are valid in their arguments that Labour’s monetary policy won’t directly do much for those on the bottom of the heap, but I think they miss who the target for this policy actually is – NZs middle class.”

    Yes, and that has been the critique of Labour from the left for 30+ years now – Labour chase centrist votes.
    For those of us out on the far left (anti-third-way), this seems like a new sticking plaster for the housing bubble.
    That’s all well and good, but lets consider how this will work out. Labour gets in on this centrist ideology by attacking some swing voters who vote based on their mortgage rates. Labour stays in power for 6-9 years and builds up some National wealth, then National come in with the economy riding high and raid the revenue.
    What about the inequality?…Labour have managed to not address that and at the end of Labour’s next term in, we’ll still have easily more than 100,000+ children hungry. Who on the left can honestly say this is the future we want?

    And those of us with goals and expectations are supposed to be happy with 100,000 poverty ridden kids because Labour kept the housing investors happy?

    Those of us on the Left who don’t think Blairite politics is the answer are not greatly impressed with this policy. It seems like a tinkering at best. Sure, it’s a good policy if it’s a minor policy and introduced with other policies that fix the fundamental problems we have in society. So we’ll see what happens…

    I’m not hating on this policy, but we should note it’s not a panacea and it has nothing in common with the founding principles of Labour. I’d put my money in with John Minto and Susan St John because I want to see a better NZ. If I had shitloads of money, was a housing investor, and loved Tony Blair, then I’d probably put my money with Parker.

    TLDR; good policy, but wake me up when Labour stops chasing the centrist votes. I remember this time last year Labour’s problem was they were chasing the middle vote. Same 10 years ago, and same 20 years ago. Why do we crack a boner when we come up with new neoliberalism?

    • CPAG statistics say 170,000 children living ‘below’ the poverty line.

      Salvation army statistics say 185,000.

      These statistics have probably grown by now.

      That’s National’s idea of how to look after the people!!

      If Labour bring back the ‘first home-owners package’ that National dropped, then a permanent home would be very helpful to lots of these children. Permanency. Not having to move home at the whim of a capitalist landlord.
      Home may become a nice place to be, with less household stress, and then these children can have a chance of being awesome future kiwis.

      • The problem with these stats is that no-one believes them because so often they are based on dodgy data. There is no poverty in NZ that is not relative poverty. And there is no poverty in NZ that is necessary or excusable given the country’s generous welfare provisions.

        • And the problem with your comment Anonymous ACT Support Intrinsicvalue is that it’s parroted rightwing bullshit.

          You wouldn’t even know what “the country’s generous welfare provisions” are! Because ACT supporters like you are to goddamn pig-ignorant to trouble themselves with the realities of life.

          Selfish prick that you are!

  3. Labour can make all the promises they like but of they don’t have the money … ?

    Bring the farmer over from The Big Blue Fascist National Party and you have the money . And lots of it . If you have the money , and if you’re true of heart , not like the Generations of Swine before you , you will then be able to apportion those monies appropriately which , unless I’m mistaken , built First World NZ in the first place . We’re only in this awful , and frankly embarrassing situation because a very small number of people took advantage of our trust , stole our stuff and things , ransacked our Paradise and continue to rape her long after her purse is empty and her pulse has stopped .
    There . There you have it . No need for tombs of writings . No need for endless debates . No need for all these bloody endless discussions that just go round and round and round .
    Ever see a one eyed sheep ? I have . I’ve seen many a one eyed sheep . They get cast lambing then they can have an eye ripped out by a Black Backed gull . The most common predator for the sheep farmer . If you’re not diligent and quick off the mark they will also tear the lamb to pieces alive . But that’s another story . But hey ! That’s what creatures do . Don’t get me wrong . I’m not anti Gull . Or Gullist .
    After some emergency attendance , the sheep is stood up carefully and held while she regains her balance as she farts , pees and poos .
    Then , off she goes , round and round in circles until she becomes accustomed to one eye .
    Here we are . One eyed , leaderless . No one to hold us up while we fart , pee and poo . I have yet to see that connection be made between the Farmer and The Money . If Labour refuses to court the Farmer , we will continue going round and round and round and round .
    My prediction for a future steered by the buffoons , fools , liars and swindlers who are our politicians is that NZ Farming Land will be Corporatised . There’s no doubt in my mind at all that , that will happen . Global warming will create food hungry , water deprived hoards to capitalise on and any Corporation not ready to profit from that are not going to stay in business for long . And do you know what will happen then ? We’ll fucking starve . You will see starvation in our already poverty stricken .

    This is what the Willie Nelson said and I quote .

    ” Our food systems belongs in the hands of the many family farmers , not under the control of a handful of corporations . ”
    Wille Nelson . Founder , Farm Aid
    # F27 #OccupyOurFoodSupply .

    While we fuck about looking at our feet for ways to improve and heal the devastation caused to our Primary Industry ( Ie debt leveraged against its very existence ) , its very human infrastructure and the collateral damage that is societal destruction and dysfunction within our city communities , the Black Back Gulls circle overhead .
    Cunliffe had better fucking get onto the particular conundrum quick smart .

    I love analogies don’t you ?

    • Did you know that Samsung makes half of our GDP with only 123,000 people?

      Lesson: Farming sux as a viable income earner.

    • The money of governments and of private individuals works a bit differently. If a government prints money to pay hard working folk who would otherwise not be working there is no loss, in fact a real gain. This is how Savage’s housing policy was able to enrich his whole country in under a generation.

      But certainly farming needs to be looked at – and not just as a cash cow either. If you think farmers have been screwed you should see what has happened to us fishermen.

      Good governments want everyone to prosper, but Key’s mates are making far too much money from distressed assets to care about such things. Shipley doesn’t own six farms because she’s a good farmer, but because she essentially became corporate.

      A good long term thing here might be a tax on distressed assets – make the whole bankruptcy business a money loser rather than a money spinner. Cunliffe did a speech that touched on the problem – didn’t get as far as a policy on it though.

  4. I think your last paragraph hits the nail on the head. This policy is only one tool of a number – and hopefully a few more will be introduced. While I was reading John and Susan’s (who I have the greatest respect for) articles I did feel they were missing a more macro view

  5. With the greatest respect Martyn, winning is not so much about math, it is a human calculation:

    ‘When lenity and cruelty play for a kingdom, the gentler gamester is the soonest winner’ – Henry V

  6. John Minto’s vicious take on Labour’s new monetary policies took me a bit by surprise. Then I reminded myself, this man is a big noise in a party headed by a person who secretly (and not so secretly) calls New Zealanders of European descent “white m..f…s” John Minto used to campaign against rascism and apartheid, now he is in party that has openly rascist members and supports separate parliaments based on race. His credibility is very low.

    • “in a party headed by a person who secretly (and not so secretly) calls New Zealanders of European descent “white m..f…s” John Minto used to campaign against rascism and apartheid, now he is in party that has openly rascist members and supports separate parliaments based on race. His credibility is very low.”

      Come on Mike the lefty…that’s just the image of Hone that the media have projected. You don’t really think it’s as simplistic as that do you?

      Hone’s use of the term ‘white m..f..s’ was about the loss of land under colonialism. Hone certainly was not using that as terminology to describe Pakeha people.

      His credibility is only low with people who fail to question our media. I’m Pakeha and I think Hone is the MP that is most representative of me.

  7. Why aren’t the Tory trolls out soliciting? $5,000 a head for meals at Antoine’s. $55,000 for a golf game (plus $1,000 for a side-bet with the PM). $22,000 for citizenship and a get-out-of-jail-relatively-free-card for “alleged” domestic violence.


  8. Any monetary policy would be better than the one we have right now.

    I cannot understand how our debt is so huge.

    This govt has sold off the peoples assets, and somehow managed to hand over Northland to lots of Chinese.
    There have been cutbacks for the most needy, and our child poverty is one of the worst in the world.
    Sexual and violent crime has increased dramatically.

    What have they done with all our money?

    If our debt is $64bn, then they’ve had a jolly old spending spree haven’t they.
    They have ACC’s $27bn to cover some of that – but that money is allocated for current and future ACC claims. But seriously, what do they think they’ve been doing to our country! Certainly not helping it.

    They have got away with it though.
    Why didn’t MSM make all this information public before it came to this sad state of affairs? It’s because they were gagged by, or sold out to, this government.

    How stupid. It’s too late now to get our assets back! Too late!
    Unless we make new assets, the same as all the ones that have been sold off, and then shut down all the ones we have already sold, by having cheaper rates.

    At the end of the day, how is it possible to sell off everything, and increase GST, while abusing the most vulnerable (and contemptuously) of NZ, and accumulate such a horrendous debt?

    In reality, this should not be possible. Something is very very wrong with this picture.


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