Bridges and Adams trapped in the Ghetto of the Comfortable Third

By   /   March 7, 2018  /   19 Comments

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Anyone seized with the notion that the Nats new leadership team might actually make a serious effort to face up to the enormous challenges confronting New Zealand and the world should now un-seize themselves. Adams has made it very clear that National will be governing, as it has always done, for the only New Zealanders who have ever counted for anything in their political universe – farmers and businessmen.

OH, WHAT A SURPRISE – it’s Amy Adams! On the day after Steven Joyce announced his retirement from politics, Simon Bridges appoints the runner-up in National’s latest leadership contest as his Shadow Finance Minister. So far, so utterly predictable.

Equally predictable, but a lot more depressing, were Adams’ announced priorities. In her first press release as Opposition Finance Spokesperson, she singled out “Labour’s overseas investment changes, employment law changes, and proposed new taxes as things that would ankle-tap the country’s medium-term economic performance.”

Anyone seized with the notion that the Nats new leadership team might actually make a serious effort to face up to the enormous challenges confronting New Zealand and the world should now un-seize themselves. Adams has made it very clear that National will be governing, as it has always done, for the only New Zealanders who have ever counted for anything in their political universe – farmers and businessmen.

Just listen to Adams assessment of National’s economic stewardship:

“New Zealand currently has one of the strongest economies in the western world. That’s not an accident. That’s a result of the hard work of New Zealanders backed by the strong economic plan of the previous National-led Government”.

Strong economic plan? And what might that have been? To open the floodgates to tens-of-thousands of immigrants? To facilitate the transformation of New Zealand’s agricultural sector into one huge dairy farm? To quietly inject the trade union movement with yet another cocktail of immobilising drugs? To dole out millions of dollars in corporate welfare to the National Government’s most generous friends?

If Adams’ only measure of success is the growth in GDP under National; or, perhaps, the appreciation in the value of urban real estate; or, the increasing share of New Zealand’s economic surplus currently being distributed to shareholders, at the expense of wage- and salary-earners; well then, yes, her party’s “strong economic plan” may be rated an unqualified success.

That Adams clearly cannot appreciate that all of these positive outcomes need to be set alongside a much longer list of negative economic and social consequences: homelessness, rising inequality, declining health and educational outcomes, environmental degradation; merely reinforces her own and her party’s location among the comfortable third of New Zealand society.

National’s capacity to present itself to the New Zealand electorate as something more than a crude political vehicle for the advancement of narrow sectional interests can only diminish while its leaders feel free to spout such facile and uninspiring rhetoric.

Adams’ words betray her party’s continuing failure to accurately interpret the result of the 2017 general election. Under a proportional electoral system, the support of just one third of the population is simply not enough to guarantee victory.

That National’s support manifested itself in a Party Vote of 44.5 percent only indicates the continuing depressed levels of electoral participation. If the progressive political parties can secure even a modest lift in the participation rate of their supporters (and if anybody can do that it’s Jacinda Ardern) then National’s share of the Party Vote will be driven down even further. Without a coalition partner commanding approximately 10 percent of the Party Vote, Adams’ hopes of re-booting National’s “strong economic plan” will be unfulfilled.

Conservatism, as Winston Peters demonstrated so adeptly at the head of NZ First throughout 2017, is a political philosophy capable of transcending sectional boundaries. Conservatives appeal to their fellow citizens from the much more solid foundation of shared values: individual freedom and responsibility; cherished cultural and religious traditions; the principles of equity and fairness. Values as likely to be found among the poorest members of society as the wealthiest.

Certainly, conservatives are hostile to the claims of the mob, but they are no less hostile to the grasping selfishness of the elites. The power of the state is important to conservatives not only because it guarantees law and order, but also because it alone is strong enough to resist – and, if necessary, overawe – the special-pleading of the heedless rich.

While Bridges and Adams espouse a social and economic programme which reeks of sectional self-interest, the National Party’s ability to break out of the ghetto of the comfortable third will continue to be compromised. If, between them, they are unable to convince the New Zealand electorate that a principled conservative party called “National” still exists, then they may soon find it necessary to re-invent one.

 

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19 Comments

  1. WILD KATIPO says:

    … ” If, between them, they are unable to convince the New Zealand electorate that a principled conservative party called “National” still exists, then they may soon find it necessary to re-invent one ” …

    ——————————

    Nah , shes done and dusted , mate.

    They’ve had their time and they blew it. Too much of the high life and its temptations. While thousands of people and family’s were genuinely suffering and doing it tough they simply ignored the fact.

    John Keys ‘ Crisis ?, – what crisis ? ”… regarding homelessness tells you all you need to know about those that fill the benches of National.

    Do they really think we like to hit ourselves over the head with a hammer and enjoy it so much we come back for more?

    The only ones who will ever vote National now are those mentioned , – the ‘ third’.

    Neo liberalism unchecked and not done cautiously will always expose itself for the lie that it is to the battlers and the struggler’s, – and when that happens you get a reaction.

    Shes over , Rover.

  2. CLEANGREEN says:

    She has slimy eyes that woman.

    I see evil behind them.

  3. bert says:

    They work for corporate business at the expense of everything else, even the hard right wing business and Chinese analyst Fran O’Sullivan admitted that.

  4. Marc says:

    “Equally predictable, but a lot more depressing, were Adams’ announced priorities. In her first press release as Opposition Finance Spokesperson, she singled out “Labour’s overseas investment changes, employment law changes, and proposed new taxes as things that would ankle-tap the country’s medium-term economic performance.””

    Not even the MSM reported that, it was mainly about Labour’s and the governments unaffordable policies and many promises made that cost money.

    We are being fed endless BS by the TV and other MSM, and so the masses continue to be brainwashed to death, until death, at least.

  5. Marc says:

    Economically we are now almost a colony of Mainland China, given the high level of exports going there, we replaced dependence on the UK with dependence on Mainland China, a country with contempt for the Rule of Law, totally undemocratic, breaching human rights law all the time, and always using strong arm tactics, should anybody dare criticise them.

    So we are economically less dependent on the UK and the US, we sign a bizarre CPTPP agreement, offering little advantages, we sell out big, and pretend to the mostly ignorant voters, hey, we are an economic ‘power’ of sorts, supposedly so ‘strong’ economically.

    Any true economic observer in the world will laugh his or her head off.

    Amy Adams is another mercenary to the upper and upper middle class of this country, a traitor, to be honest, in my humble opinion. It matters not much, whether the traitor Bridges without a bridge, Amy Adams or even Crusher Collins leads the Nats, they are all the same of the same batch of traitors and corrupt sell out operators, who deserve NO respect.

    Given the continued MSM brainwashing, perpetuated by much idiotic social media, the masses here will never learn and hear the truth, they will continue to decide in corrupt a manner as their leaders. Who offers me a bigger pie on my plate? Just saying so, if you say so, I will vote for you.

  6. bert says:

    Was the National Government behind this despicable act? Three very powerful National ministers have resigned since then.
    As for the right wing supporters, here is the evidence as to why the Labour led Government are required to have so many inquiries into the past National Governments endeavors.

  7. RosieLee says:

    At last back to the true left Mr Trotter. Keep it up. Don’t back down.

  8. countryboy says:

    ” National will be governing, as it has always done, for the only New Zealanders who have ever counted for anything in their political universe – farmers and businessmen.”

    I’ve just driven 6 hours, I’m tired and hungry but worse! Sober. So I’m going to deliberate over this one incase I chase off down hill and say mean things about the ever fabulous Chris Trotter….

    Watch this space…. Or not. Up to you. x
    In Ch Ch now. Auckland tomorrow. My birthday on the 11th. I expect salutations. You will find me in the arms of my fabulous female human.

  9. Pete says:

    Strong economic plan? Let’s just look at the state of the country in terms of some of the Grand Plans that got us here.

    How about early 90s? Okay Ruth Richardson and Jenny Shipley, tell us about your legacies. As primary architects of our society, how is what you built going right now?

    Okay Amy, now tell us why we should trust you?

  10. Blake says:

    Adams is about as ” out of touch ” with the New Zealand people as John Key was out of touch with being honest and truthful and ethical.

    They both were and are suck ups to the greedy and criminal corporate and farming elite. The ole boys network.
    Neither are to be trusted and certainly not with running our country.
    Good riddance Steven Joyce. The Nats are slipping deeper into the dungy
    where most of them belong. Snobby ; scared little power hungry pathetics who live in the illusion that they are something special , what a joke.

  11. orbital panda says:

    Chris has received another testosterone injection.
    Simon’s wife said that Simon enjoys helping improve the lives of NZers .mmmm which ones would that be. Homeless? Poor?
    I’m picking “hard working” ones. The National Party seem to be developing secret code words.
    “Hard working NZer” meaning -not the other lazy bunch of no hoping losers who have nothing cos they lazy

    • Victoria King says:

      More so, lazy is implied- to be interpreted as poor. Hardworking means the social climbing rich.

  12. esoteric pineapples says:

    I imagine National will use good old common conservative prejudices to try and win the conservative poor

  13. Afewknowthetruth says:

    Do you mean you are not enjoying the ‘Better Brighter Future’ that National declared it would deliver in its electioneering slogans?

  14. Michelle says:

    It’s about time the media in our country started doing their job by calling these lying b..d tories out for what they really are. I have already heard many missed opportunities every time simon 10 bridges opens his mouth about the environment he needs to be reminded.

  15. R.P. Mcmurphy says:

    there is no economic plan per se. The New Zealand economy is and always will be reactive to the world markets for our produce. National pretends that is manages and steers the economy to greater heights but that is pure bushwah. The founding document of the NZ economy is the World Bank Report from 1966 and nothing has changed since then.

  16. Crissie says:

    Yes the media have to take responsibility for where we are today. They continued to listen to the lobbyist that were employed in the Prime Ministers office.
    I listened to a really good interview on Putin and how Russia has no political philology now except the ‘Dollar’ backhanders that they are paid to be loyal to him. To me is seemed like you could have changed a few words and you would of had what we have been experiencing in this country.