Jacinda’s first announcement is to just do the bleeding obvious.
It’s been greeted with ecstatic cheering crowds that were so huge they almost took up the entire bloody viaduct.
While thousands were cheering on Labour, here was the room for the Green Party Maori launch…
It really says something about the low horizons we have when Labour can bring forward rail in a decades time and it be called ‘ambitious’
Jacinda’s announcement is of course a wasted opportunity because all Labour are doing here is gentrifying the public transport system faster than National will. It’ll go down like a drunk in a brewery with the train spotter anorak club at Greater Auckland but if all Labour are offering is a gentrified public transport system so Simon Wilson doesn’t have smelly poor people rubbing up against his corduroy jacket it’s a wasted opportunity.
This is where the Greens need to pounce.
Winston’s Gold Card that gives the oldies free public transport is one of the greatest retail politic moves of all time. Every time they bloody use that card they pray to God to keep Winston alive for just one more election.
The Greens need to emulate this.
The ‘Green Card’ would allow students and beneficiaries to use public transport for free. What is the point of building first class public transport system if it’s just for the middle classes to be able to leave the Prius plug in hybrid in the garage of their leafy suburbs? The poor and the young are the ones who are hardest hit by transport costs, if the Greens promised a Green Card that gave free bus and train transport (not Ferry’s because that’s just a rort) it would perfectly connect with their environmental credentials as well as their new staunch stand with beneficiaries.
The SuperGold card costs about $30million a year, a Green Card would probably cost the same, but when you are talking billions on building this infrastructure, millions is chump change.
The huge chunk of none voting beneficiaries who make up the missing million already have strong reasons to vote Green for the $180 per week increase in benefits, adding free public transport would be the icing on the cake. Launching a Green Card would also inoculate the Greens from the move to free tertiary education that Labour are looking at.
Jacinda’s announcement today was a wasted opportunity – they should have announced a ‘Red Card’ that does exactly what I’m suggesting the Green Card does – but by bringing infrastructure building forward they have looked like they have momentum, and momentum is more important in politics than genuine social policy that solves issues like inequality, poverty and environmentalism.
The most important thing today was the crowds of enthusiastic cheering Labour supporters.
There is real change in the air with Jacinda, that she can announce a nothing policy move a decade earlier than 30 years away and be greeted with cheering crowds is what matters. The Greens need to make that announcement meaningful or risk more empty rooms like the one above.