Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter schools & more union crushing employment law

By   /   October 25, 2014  /   21 Comments

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Each of these areas, Charter Schools, work testing beneficiaries, privatising state housing & more antiUnion employment law are all examples of National’s ideology trumping empirical evidence. None of what they’re doing helps with child poverty, educational achievement, homelessness or safe work places & simply put, NZers love it.

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Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes.

This ability to sell hard right ideological policy shifts as boring and bland is part of the secret to National’s success. The real pain being felt by National’s ideology-over-all approach is never felt by those pundits, so that pain doesn’t really exist.

The mainstream narrative is that Key is quite moderate. Tell that to those at the coal face of his reforms where ideology trumps all and empirical evidence is ignored.

Charter Schools: There is no empirical evidence that Charter Schools lift the educational achievement of all, they are an ideological instrument used by this Government to reduce the cost of teaching. By being able to hire unqualified teachers, Charter Schools are an ACT Party wet dream to denigrate the PPTA and NZEI by undermining the pay rates and employment conditions. They serve no other function than to deplete public education. Charter schools are an idealogical experiment and the political joke that is ACT is the justification for implementing it.

Burn the beneficiary to save the beneficiary: The joy with which NZers love to make the lives of those on welfare as miserable as possible will never change unless there is a wide spread on going campaign of attacks by angry beneficiaries on WINZ offices around the country. There simply won’t be any detraction from coming up with new reasons to disqualify beneficiaries unless there is a stunned reaction by NZers to angry beneficiaries committing violent acts. The fact that our own agencies admitted to Government that Child Poverty could be alleviated but advised not to because the Governments ideological position is ‘work sets you free’ (advice the Government purposely and illegally held up for 17 months) means that no amount of empirical evidence will change the view of the National Party or their cheering bennie bashing voter base.

Privatising State housing: The Government did not admit once to their secret agenda of privatising 30% of state houses before the election. The fact that the Government will sell state houses and then pocket the money instead of reinvesting it back into state housing shows how naked their contempt for state assistance is, and shows the stratospheric arrogance of their plans. National know their voter base hate state housing tenants as much as they hate beneficiaries so throwing the poor onto the streets is a bonus, not a distraction to their policy. Handing their social obligations off to churches is ironic when you consider Key wants to reinvade Iraq to stop a theocracy.

Warring with Unions: National will ram through their Employment Relations Amendment Bill for no reason other than to put the boot into the Unions. Under the law it will allow bad employers who are already hell bent on a fight to be able to walk away from negotiations, making a farce of ‘good faith bargaining’. It will allow bad bosses to contract away your conditions for the sake of ‘flexibility’ and make it less secure for workers in small businesses when that company is sold. This is needless beating on a Union movement who has already had its back broken. National voters will cheer from the sidelines with all the gusto of pro Springbok Tour rugby fanatics.

 

Each of these areas, Charter Schools, work testing beneficiaries, privatising state housing & more antiUnion employment law are all examples of National’s ideology trumping empirical evidence. None of what they’re doing helps with child poverty, educational achievement, homelessness or safe work places & simply put, NZers love it.

This is the Government that NZers overwhelmingly supported by handing National an unprecedented larger majority and victory on September 20th. Beyond the dirty politics and mass surveillance lies, National are gutting welfare, damaging public education, privatising state housing and continuing needless employment wars with the Unions. This is a Government of spite elected by a people too laid back to care.

Our anti-intellectualism is so casual, NZers burn books on their BBQs.

Being told we on the left have to have a rational debate when National are basing social policy on their prejudices is disingenuous in the extreme.

 

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21 Comments

  1. Maria says:

    I’m all out of ideas mate, cept to endulge in Chomsky videos and share them with the masses.

    • Chooky says:

      @ Maria…Your opiate indulgence for inspiration is Chomsky …mine is the Keiser Report

      In Episode 671 of the Keiser Report …sassy economists and business journalists Stacy Herbert and Max Keiser show that New Zealand’s problems are international problems.

      They discuss:
      …the implications of the TPP and TTIP global trade deals …which will undermine countries’ democracy…also the remedy for the ‘too many poor people’ for democracy problem …and the media problem

      …in the second part the “Economics of Happiness” Max interviews Helena Norberg-Hodge of LocalFutures.org about the Economics of Happiness in a time of rising inequality

      ….as the Greens say – think small, think local, ignore the media and the importance of your sovereignty and democracy

      http://rt.com/shows/keiser-report/198980-episode-max-keiser-671/

  2. dave brown says:

    This is all to do with smashing the welfare state and driving a stake through its heart to take us back to the Great Depression of the 30s.
    The message is that everything Labour did to make capitalism bearable for workers since the 1930s has failed, and that we have to go back to the open class warfare of the period before WW1.
    What this really means is not just that bloodyminded Bill English is ganging up with Treasury to privatise welfare.
    It means that we are facing an existential crisis of capitalism that is 100 times more destructive than WW1.
    WW1 turned the class war into imperialist war, rallying workers behind national flags to kill one another.
    The social democrats of the Second International voted for workers to pay for the Great Chauvinist war but could not put a lid on armed revolution.
    The war did nothing to stop another depression which forced the bosses to resort to welfare and warfare Keynesianism to control the masses.
    When this failed too, the fascists became the last bastion of capitalist order.
    Again this proved unable to stop a world revolution so the ruling classes embarked on another imperialist war to divide and slaughter workers.
    Capitalism only survived because the Stalinists in every country acted as the bosses fifth column to betray every revolutionary uprising.
    But even that was not enough for the bosses.
    The last vestiges of Soviet Communism betrayed and destroyed by Stalin had to be smashed. The Cold War followed.
    The Cold War was won when the Soviet world crashed in the 1990s leaving Russia and China vulnerable to re-colonisation by the West.
    However, history has played a trick on the West as both Russia and China have been reborn not as weak subservient crony states of the West but as imperialist rivals.
    The terrain has been cleared. The West is in decline pumped up by paper money and clinging on to life with the never-ending ‘war on terror’.
    The rebirth of China and Russia as great powers proves that they no longer represent any figment of socialism but of hyper-capitalism.
    In the West we have the irony of the West jealous of the powerful state capitalism of Russia and China, yet forced to smash all state welfare to defend falling profits.
    The forces that confront each other today then are global capitalism, like the Death Star hanging over us all, and the worldwide army of working people who owe loyalty only to their class and to the defence of nature.
    Welcome to the fight to defend the welfare state, not this time as a failed bosses panacea, but as a step towards overthrowing the bosses’ state and replacing it with a workers state.
    For the first time the ‘welfare state’ will be genuinely in the interests of workers.

    • Dorothy Bulling says:

      An amazing summary of economic history of the last 100 years, a bit ironic that western govts are preparing to commemorate a century since WW1 next year. About the only things that haven’t changed are that we still have poor and rich people. We still have greed and apathy caused by being ground down to the dirt. This all in spite of better living conditions for many people and access to education.

  3. Mike in Auckland says:

    “We have a mandate” and “we have THE MANDATE”, yes, prepare for that to be a highly repetitive message that will be contained in any well targeted, propaganda style communication for the coming three years. It has already been uttered endless times over the last two weeks, in press statements by Key, English, Joyce, Grosser and others.

    Before the election it was all rather “moderate” and about “steady as we go”, and “working for New Zealand”. Voters were told, do not “risk” the things we have “achieved”, while in all honesty, the continuous drop in dairy prices on the world’s auctions was actually sending the true message.

    Today I watched The Nation on TV3, where Lisa Owen interviewed Theo Spierings, the Dutch migrant top boss of Fonterra. Oh, he did not look too comfortable in his skin at various times when her questions put him on the spot. Fact is, dairy prices may drop further, before they recover, and yes, China may not need New Zealand dairy products within 5 years, as it makes extreme efforts to become more self dependent on dairy and other agricultural products. Spierings’ talk about the “upper end” types of services was bullshit. He admitted, the primary production here may become irrelevant, and Fonterra may have to do business overseas, producing there, to survive the challenges.

    As we have under National become so dependent on dairy exports, we are about to experience the largest economic crisis since Muldoon’s Think Big projects and his desperate policies finally fell to pieces 30 years ago.

    So no wonder then, that Key and Nats want to sell state houses, have NGOs take over the responsibility to house the poor, have more (even sick and disabled) thrown off benefits, have labour laws made more “flexible”, as the future will look grim. It will mean for many, scratching the bottom of the barrel, and working for even less, when mass unemployment will hit us, in a country ill prepared for loss of major exports, that are too limited on just a few low value commodities.

    It maybe “blitzkrieg” on an ideological basis, but it is the preparation of NZ to become a “developing country”, to be pushed further down the ladder, to compete at the lower levels there are, and where the state will be more “hands off” and leave affairs to be run by the wealthy and their business operations.

    Maybe people need this to happen, as they do not seem to see the writing on the wall yet.

  4. Crikey says:

    “Our anti-intellectualism is so casual, NZers burn books on their BBQs” and judge the qualities required of a leader, to be the bloke that you can have a bear with whilst he barbecues!
    Even now I hear that our next Labour Leader needs to be a blokey sort of bloke, rather than someone who has proven abilities to bring an apparently disparate group of people together.Save us from ourselves please

  5. Kate Kate says:

    This country is a train wreck in action, cheers John Key Hole Head, I bet Obama has the key to your flip top head. It also sounds like we are signing up for what could become world war three, shit we have come along way as a species.

  6. Wensleydale says:

    We’re too far gone. Nothing short of lynch mobs outside gated communities will rouse the sleepy hobbits from their aspirational delusions. And nothing less than civil unrest will drive home to the rapacious brigands responsible for this farce that they are in breach of the social contract. Only then will it dawn on them that a desperate peasantry with nothing to lose and everything to gain is their worst fucking nightmare.

  7. Stuart Munro says:

    I think it’s about time the pitchforks came out myself – it’s pretty clear that reasoned ‘debate’ and parliamentary process are no longer capable of protecting our assets or our interests.

  8. Mark Wilson says:

    Talk about a delusional over-reaction. The first two ERO reports show that the Charter Schools are working well especially given the less than able students they have.
    And suggestions that the employment law changes will have the effect you say is plain silly.
    Crying wolf is such a manner is the main reason that the public reject your arguments.

    • Dianne Khan Dianne Khan says:

      Less able students, you say? How many have an IEP? How many are ORS funded? And calling students less able is hardly helpful – ability is not always evident in achievement to date, no matter what the school. Perhaps if all schools were given the funds charters get, we’d be able to further help those students with special educational needs.

    • Pete says:

      “….especially given the less than able students they have.”

      You’re talking nonsense unless you can provide proof. The report of one school says “There are currently 106 students enrolled, almost all of whom are Maōri, Pacific or from a low socio-economic background.”

      Are you concluding from that that the pupils are “less than able”, do you have other information which is not public, or have you been sucked into repeating the propaganda crap of John Banks?

      • Mark Wilson says:

        You raise an interesting question – Are people from low socio-economic backgrounds, on average, less intelligent than those from high socio-economic backgrounds or is it all down to environment?

        • Pete says:

          Does intelligence have anything to do with it? Kids in the fancy suburbs do well at schooling because their parents love them and make sacrifices. More kids struggle with schooling in the lower socio-economic areas because of the scumbag, lazy, leftist teachers.
          That’s why the people of Epsom want Charter Schools. It’s their great gift to the poor. Strange their calls, screams and demands to sell off their own local schools to be Charter Schools have registered at zero decibels.

          There are many studies about intelligence and factors affecting it. There are also many studies about schooling. Those areas and the relationship between them and catering for them is complex.
          It’s sort of bizarre that fields which are far from simple has seen such simpletons as John Banks so involved and wielding such power.

    • ALLAN LAURENSON says:

      Go to whaleoil with comments like those You are in the wrong place so redirect yourself to where your unwanted comments would be appreciated by morons

  9. Mike the Lefty says:

    Let’s go back in time about 27 years. We had recently enthusiastically re-elected the 4th Labour government with a slightly increased majority, even though they hadn’t actually released a proper pre-election manifesto. Simon Walker had told us what Douglas, Lange, Prebble and co. REALLY had in mind for us from some leaked papers but hardly anybody believed him, most of us thought Labour would make a few more minor changes and then we would all settle down for a nice cuppa tea and enjoy it all. Little did we suspect how our society was about to be irrevocably changed by the neo-liberals formerly known as the Labour Party. As they raped and pillaged our society of its decency and equality we warned them they would be dog tucker at the next elections. Douglas and his cronies said “we know we will but we don’t care! Our changes will be so immense that the clock can never be turned back. This will be our legacy and we are proud of it. For the next three years we can do what we like and you can’t do diddly squat about it so go f… yourselves”. Forward 27 years to now, the names may have changed but there is a ring of familiarity about the situation, isn’t there?

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      Hah, I have been spending some thought on this. When Roger Douglas and his mates “seized” the Labour government of 1984, they got away with it, at least for a while, and they eventually changed the social and economic fabric of the country forever, for until now at least.

      Now, think for a moment, the smartest new Labour leader would to the same, from a left wing perspective. Get the public vote Labour in on a moderate, middle ground appealing campaign, and the SEIZE THE MOMENT when voted in, and bring back TRUE Labour policies, that will change the country by making it truly more socially just, equitable, fair and progressive, at all levels.

      Of course there will be some former Nat party voters screaming “betrayal”, but hey, they pulled it off under Lange and Douglas in 1984, it can just as well be done from the other end of the political spectrum, at least theoretically. Maybe Andrew Little would be capable of this?

      That would bury National for a while, and perhaps force them to take up more traditional Labour policies again. It can be done by nationalising most of the media, now over commercialised, by renationalising some SOEs, by reversing outsourcing and privatisation, and by solid legal changes in industrial relations, in social security, research, education and more. The Nats would have to spend decades to try and reverse it.

  10. Lizbet says:

    Child poverty in New Zealand is the result of a welfare state that has grown well beyond its commendable intended function of a ‘safety net’.

    • CC says:

      No Lizbet! Child poverty is the result of reduced Government income (corporate tax evasion, tax reductions for the wealthy etc.) and crony capitalisim in which the resources of the many are stolen and given to the few. Now – about all these well paid secure income jobs that will save us from the welfare state and child poverty – where are they and how many have you created? Clearly you are not dependent on flexible work hours, a zero hours contract or have been replaced by a cheaper ‘work unit’.

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      LIZBET – are you for real? When have you last been on a benefit, or applied for it? Nowadays the government has made it extremely hard to get the benefit, let alone get what a person is entitled to, and even that does in many cases not meet the needs, where living costs are high, especially in places like Auckland and Christchurch.

      The accommodation supplement has not been increased for many years and does not nearly cover the rents many have to pay. Under Labour they brought in Temporary Additional Support, which is capped on a percentage basis of the base benefit rate. People struggle to get Disability Allowance and other top ups, and single parents, or couples with children, while on benefits, are the poorest of the poor, and pressured to take on any kind of casual or part time job, if they are considered “fit” to do so.

      Many simply end up as working poor, and you talk about the “safety net” being beyond its “intended function”?

      Get real, go on a benefit, and see what it is like these days. Only because we have socio-economic conditions with much job insecurity, precarious work and so, where many have to hold down two or three jobs to pay the bills, and where many have to return to welfare support again and again, is there still such a high reliance on benefit support.

      And it has many fall through the cracks now, ending up homeless and some even begging or relying on help from family and friends. The situation is the result of failed economic policies, of an increased gap between the rich and the poor, and of policies that were started off by such as Roger Douglas and Richard Prebble, after 1984.

  11. Steven says:

    Hard experience leads me to believe that your sentiments regarding an agenda to further weaken unions are correct. Having worked in a PPTA supported environment and a non-unionised private middle-management teaching environment I was struck by the differences.

    As a long experienced degree qualified educator I earned about the average NZ salary. That is $25,000 less, in the private non-unionised sector than the government sector equivalent. Employment conditions were draconian. I was asked to pay for the training on offer rather than have it paid for by the employer. Yes, I was to pay for training that would help them profit. Although I held a management position on arrival they announce that I would start work on a casual part-time basis until student numbers increased. The hours of work were to vary with the possibility of working in the morning and then returning in the evening. Yes my life was to be arranged to suit their flexible needs!

    I walked out after a month having realised that this downtown tertiary provider was severely under-resourced and most likely a cover for a dubious immigration scheme.

    In my current position I very gratefully pay my union dues as non-union employment is clearly stacked against the employee. The on-going liberalisation of employment law equates to divide and rule and death by a thousand cuts.

    My experience makes me aware that workers require safety in numbers otherwise their conditions are curtailed. Can anyone on the Right convince me otherwise?


 
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