MUST READ: NZ First’s Radical Conservatism Must Triumph Before Labour-Greens’ Radical Progressivism Can Succeed

By   /   September 14, 2018  /   48 Comments

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The crucial political failure of Labour and the Greens is that they have yet to appreciate that without the realisation of the radical conservatives’ programme, the chances of a radically progressive programme succeeding are nil. Until the slums of neoliberalism have been cleared, a New Zealand fit to live in cannot be built.

LET’S GET ONE thing straight: this government is not a “pure MMP coalition”. On the contrary, it is a most impure political arrangement. A “pure” MMP coalition is one in which all of the component parties share, to a greater or lesser extent, a set of common philosophical convictions. The National-NZ First coalition government of 1996-97 was one such; likewise the Labour-Alliance minority coalition government of 1999-2002; which was, it is often forgotten, kept in office by a confidence-and-supply agreement with the Greens.

Jim Bolger and Winston Peters – the two principal players in the National-NZ First coalition government – had for many years sat in the same caucus. Both of them grew up in large, and far from affluent, rural families. Neither politician had much in the way of sympathy for trade unions. It was Jim Bolger who commissioned his long-time friend and ally, Bill Birch, to shepherd the Employment Contracts Bill through Parliament. And, it was Winston Peters who voted for that extraordinary piece of union-busting legislation without demur. Both men were staunch supporters of private enterprise.

Significantly, the Labour-Alliance coalition government was also led by two politicians who had sat together in the same party caucus. Helen Clark and Jim Anderton had been friends and comrades for many years until, as happened to so many friends and comrades in the Labour Party, they fell out over what came to be known as “Rogernomics”. By 1998, however, the civil war on the left of New Zealand electoral politics had been brought to a close. Labour and the Alliance were pledged to form a “loose” progressive coalition if the votes went their way in the 1999 election – which they did.

This current government, however, is a very different proposition from nearly all of the coalitions which preceded it. The votes of all three of its component parties: Labour, NZ First and the Greens; must be combined before any piece of government legislation can pass through the House of Representatives. Accordingly, the withdrawal of support by any one of this governing troika of parties can kill any bill.

To make the politics of this coalition government even more intractable, the NZ First Party is philosophically out-of-step with its allies. It has thrown in its lot with the parties of the left for one reason, and one reason only: because it allowed itself to be convinced that Labour’s and the Greens’ hostility to the neoliberal order was as unflinching as its own. In the nearly 12 months that have elapsed since the 2017 general election, however, NZ First and its leader have been given more and more cause to believe that Labour’s and the Greens’ opposition to neoliberalism is more rhetorical than real.

In the absence of genuine and decisive moves against the core elements of the economic and social order erected by Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson, Winston Peters and his party have felt obliged to protect their electoral flanks by either vetoing or delaying the “progressive” legislation promoted by Labour and the Greens.

Peters’ “partners” have been aggrieved by these interventions. But, if Labour and the Greens really believed that NZ First: the law-and-order party; the anti-immigration party; was going to vote for the repeal of the “three-strikes” legislation, or a doubling of the refugee quota, absent the political cover provided by an uncompromising roll-back of neoliberalism; then they were dreaming. Likewise, with the key amendments to the Employment Relations Act. Without the covering fire of “Big Change”, the instinctively anti-union Peters has opted to keep his right-wing powder dry.

The leader of NZ First has no intention of emulating the behaviour of the Alliance leader, Jim Anderton. Once seated at the cabinet table, Anderton, felt obliged to follow Labour’s lead in all things: a strategy that saw the Alliance’s electoral support evaporate at an alarming rate. Peters has done his best to avoid being precipitately or unreasonably obstructive. He did, after all, swallow the dead rats of the resurrection of the TPP and the Labour-Green decision to call a halt to offshore oil and gas exploration. The problem, from NZ First’s perspective, is that the more compromises the party makes to its left-wing partners, the more it is expected to make. Peters is simply making it clear that there are limits to his co-operation. A warrior he may be – but he’s not a Social Justice Warrior!

Which brings us to the truly original aspect of the current coalition: the potential for at least one of its partners to go over to the Opposition, break up the coalition, and bring down the government – without the need for a new election. It would be a dangerous move, but what other option would NZ First – an essentially conservative political party – have if it found itself expected to vote for one piece of radical legislation after another? Coalitions are not suicide pacts.

What Labour and the Greens have apparently failed to grasp is that Peters is committed to facilitating not a radically progressive, but a radically conservative revolution. NZ First’s political programme is dedicated not to carrying our nation forward but to taking their country back. The New Zealand which Peters and his colleagues is seeking to restore is the New Zealand whose provinces thrived; whose families felt secure; whose culture was proudly British (with just a smidgen of Maoritanga thrown in for good measure) and whose future was something to be shaped by the hands of its own people – not the talons of a rapacious and globalised capitalism.

The crucial political failure of Labour and the Greens is that they have yet to appreciate that without the realisation of the radical conservatives’ programme, the chances of a radically progressive programme succeeding are nil. Until the slums of neoliberalism have been cleared, a New Zealand fit to live in cannot be built.

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48 Comments

  1. […] …as Chris Trotter points out in his brilliant blog today, NZ First will give on progressive issues if they see Labour and the Greens rolling back neoliberalism, and to date the Greens are too market worshipping and Labour too ideologically  frightened to engage in that economic debate. […]

  2. Sam Sam says:

    Politicians have nothing on the typical CEO. Where are the people poisoned by chemicals? The people burned alive in unsafe working conditions with the emergency doors chained shut? The labourers in sweatshops? The bashed up union organizers? And all the other things that real-world corporations have done and still do to their victims?

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      Good article Chis,

      NZ First have some excellent policies with ‘common sense’ and need to be heard and policies enacted upon as part of their agreement, as NZ First rail transport policy using more regional rail is needed. (RONI)

      http://kiwirailblog.blogspot.com/2014/07/nz-first-rail-policy-announced-railways.html

      • Sam Sam says:

        No extreme is good, and retooling and up skilling more workers than is being made redundant is also good – which are things the private sector isn’t known for.

        I think the days of the purely State run railways and monopolies are gone. Once enough people get a tast for rent seeking its almost impossible to yank there heads out the trough.

        Any attempt to restrain the private sector merely becomes another hurdle for it to overcome, rather than an ironbound rule it must abide by.

        It’s difficult trusting the private sector: its own inherent nature drives it to sacrifice everything on the altar of profits, no matter how many people suffer.

        And next time some government stooge comes along and smashes the economy in the face, wanting tax cuts and redunacies and says “here’s my 100 page plan to reform the economy” that no one gets. Just tell to piss off.

  3. David Stone says:

    The last paragraph says it all . Well done Chris.
    Starting from where the world is now, what Winston has to persuade the government to do is far more radical than the sticking plaster fixes that they are trying to plaster over a basic neoliberal settlement continuum .
    D J S

  4. Afewknowthetruth says:

    The time to get things right was in the 1970s. NZ, like every other ‘civilised’ nation, failed because it was caught in the web of deceit of the bankers Ponzi scheme.

    Four decades later nothing can change for the better because the banks are still in control, and no politician is willing to challenge that control.

  5. Cemetery Jones says:

    “The New Zealand which Peters and his colleagues is seeking to restore is the New Zealand whose provinces thrived; whose families felt secure; whose culture was proudly British (with just a smidgen of Maoritanga thrown in for good measure) and whose future was something to be shaped by the hands of its own people – not the talons of a rapacious and globalised capitalism.”

    I don’t see the problem, especially how grievously wounding that will be for your average Spinoff reader.

  6. LOLBAGZ says:

    the roof is a log jam at the crappy capstone cafe, and the menu sucks

  7. Ngungukai says:

    NZF & Winston are aiming to do what is best for all New Zealanders and this should be a cornerstone objective for all Political Parties here in NZ if NZ is going to progress as a Socially Democratic Country ?

  8. Michelle says:

    Agree with Ngungukai. Winny is trying to do what is best for all NZers. From hind sight Winnie has had 9 yrs to sit back and watch the circus and see the mess left from the under performing last lot who delivered their brighter future alright but only for the 1%.
    Only a mug would vote for them again.

  9. Johnnybg says:

    Trotter, is a spokesman for NZ’s middle class, liberal head in the sand elite. He & his colleagues still believe that ineffective parliamentary democracy, political party bullshit & voting are, in these warlike life & death times, still relevant. This elite hegemonic class are completely out of step with the real (how best to ensure the long term survival of humanity somewhere on the planet) struggles of our times. Their dinosaur views are still influenced by totally discredited 20th century liberal & neo-marxist thinking.

    There is absolutely nothing RADICAL about Labour or Winston first. All political parties in NZ are jam packed with both social & economic liberals who continue to support in both word & deed, the furtherance of the destructive & soul destroying globalisation agenda.

    Here is a useful definition of radical for those in any doubt: a person who advocates thorough or complete political or social reform; a member of a political party or part of a party pursuing such aims.

    Sounds almost revolutionary don’t it. The word radical comes the Latin word for root. Being radical really means addressing the root causes of what ails us & our nation in preference to being the para-medic at the bottom of the cliff.

    The radical overhaul & revitalisation of our nation will only come about when some kind of anti-establishment, national unity or salvation government comes to power. Maybe this was what Trotter was hinting at, but Winston first could never become the vehicle for such radical change, as they’re in total lockstep with the liberal, party political establishment.

    We simply don’t have the time anymore for pussy footing around with careerist party politics, cosmetic tinkering & liberal social engineering fantasies.

    This is why I believe what is desperately needed in NZ right now is a truly radical, broad based, green nationalist movement.

  10. Rickoshay says:

    I agree with Chris and Winston to an extent, But neither go far enough, lets all face a fact, NZ and us Kiwis have been the focus of a failed economic experiment.
    The answer is not more of the same, its time for proper political debate on the subject and a new direction, even if that means a mass roll back of legislation and a public consultancy on the issues affecting us all.
    The current system of mass surveillance and media manipulation can only lead to Chinese style repression complete with reeducation camps.
    Our allies have become our biggest threat, ask yourself what you want our country to become when your children inherit it.

    • Johnnybg says:

      Not a bad Rickoshay. Winston is the biggest charlatan & political racketeer our nation has ever known. His various power play & ego massaging antics over numerous decades have cost our nation millions. There is a wall with his name on it that’s dying to be painted red.

      • CLEANGREEN says:

        JOHNNY BG(reen)

        Today’s “Green Party” are far now solidly become just another ‘market driven’ political Party to ever be “radical” – sorry there.

        • Johnnybg says:

          Agree; the watered down greens are now firmly entrenched in the business as usual liberal elite camp, & are completely irrelevant. I’m all for the formation of a completely new radical, green tinged nationalist, anti-establishment movement.

  11. david in aus says:

    “LET’S GET ONE thing straight: this government is not a “pure MMP coalition”. On the contrary, it is a most impure political arrangement. A “pure” MMP coalition is one in which all of the component parties share, to a greater or lesser extent, a set of common philosophical convictions. ”

    I have to disagree with you. You are describing a First Past The Post style government. They share common philosophical backgrounds albeit in a ‘big-tent’.

    The whole purpose of MMP is to more representative of the views of the population. Its aim was to move politics to the centre and the 5% threshold was there to remove extremist elements.

    MMP governments as in Italy, Sweden, Germany are a motley crew. Sometimes there are Grand-Coalitions, combining the main parties of the centre-left and centre-right when they are both threatened by an upstart party.

    The main themes that unite NZF and Labour are Power and the belief of the rights of States over the Individual.

    Styming of the ‘Progressive’ or ‘ACT’ agenda is the expected norm in the MMP system. The only way that would change is receiving >50% of the primary vote.

  12. david in aus says:

    Radical Conservatism= oxymoron.

    Conservatives are never radical: they want the status quo and only then incremental change.

    A more accurate term for NZF is Reactionary Conservatives.

  13. Andrea says:

    “NZ First’s political programme is dedicated not to carrying our nation forward but to taking their country back.”

    Somehow this doesn’t ring true.

    We’ve been going sideways and backwards for a long time now.

    If the conservative (little ‘c’) element is saying, ‘This is what’s good about us as a nation. We want this kept as our bedrock’ – what’s the problem?

    ‘Here is where we stand to start the clearance of neoliberal and other social engineering efforts from the past thirty years.
    ‘Here is the picture of us as a successful nation.
    Here are the values we live and hold in this nation.
    These are the measures we use to assess what is being offered, or proposed. If what is planned does not enhance this, strengthen this, increase cohesion and inclusion then, ipso facto, we’re on the wrong path.
    Let’s begin with agreed clarity, regardless of party or ethnicity, or personal ambitions in this context.’
    Conservative – of what makes us Kiwis.
    May it happen so.

    • David Stone says:

      Notice that Chris has referred “taking our country back” not “taking it backwards”. A very different idea .
      D J S

  14. Observer Tokoroa says:

    “Until the slums of neoliberalism have been cleared, a New Zealand fit to live in cannot be built.” Chris Trotter

    No one that I know of has done anything to grab the Capitalist Slaughter Men and Women of New Zealand, and grind them into an ignominious death.

    The so called Leaders over 30yrs have thrown stale fush and chups at the populace. But nothing else. And in so doing the wealth of NZ resembles an up turned Pyramid of poverty. Needless. Grusome. Wretched.

    The Rural inclined, Horse Stable minded Winston Peters has arranged a little spider card – “The Gold Card” – as a token reward for his voters. It is something of a sop to Widows. Not a tool to fight down Capitalists.

    Michael Cullen is the only Leader to have taken a bite out of the Wealthy. Even if it only be a small thorn in the Capitalist Carcas, it is very significant in a land that does nothing much.

    On the 20 August 2018 – Michael Cullen’s Kiwi Saver had reached $50 Billions Saved. For Kiwis.

    He is without question the finest politician That NZ has produced since Michael Savage.

    Winston Peters has nothing much to show for his long spell as a leader. A charming smile perhaps. His dictatorial approach does upset quite a few people. But a number of his go nowhere policies have real merit, if only he promoted them energetically.

    Irrespective of what he does to his own caucus, it would be unwise if he were to cut off the toes of Jacinda Ardern, our Prime Minister. For she is the here and know Politician. A very gifted Leader of the people.

    Unlike Winston – she will bring warmth into our homes. Money into our pay packets. Housing where none exists. She has these essentials underway already. The Capitalists are choking like corpses.

    Long Live Jacinda.

    • Jum says:

      If Winston Peters cuts off Jacinda Ardern, he will prove everything I have ever thought about him. I never vote for him because he may side with National/Act – a party that used to have some principles that has disintegrated into a greedy, selfish, quagmire of entitlement. Money to those that don’t need it, taken from those that worked to produce it (be it human or animal).

      I can’t carry on; I need to go and wash my hands. The dirt of politics in NZ has never been SO grubby.

      • Sam Sam says:

        Before Grant Robertson adopted the role of Finance Spokesperson before he became a minister he was still held in great esteem amongst Social Justice Warriors as one of the permanent seat warmers of The Labour Party. During this relative period of success for Robertson the peculiar John Key drastically shifted narrative into the realm of social media. What was once clear and precise is now unclear and The Labour Party experienced a difficult time tapping into and using social media as it now appeared dark, full of cist genders. Labours donors greatly reduced which concerned all Labour members but especially caucus. Many believed that Labour would be come a minority party and other lesser parties rallied to assume Labours position as the dominant centre left party and would soon besiege Labour policy. Labour Party campaign guru Matt McCarten how ever still believed that the Māori seats could assure victory. His theory though enraged many social justice warriors as they believed this introduction onto social media was a sign that fascism had returned, and was a sign that The Labour Party caucus was incorrect in the way campaign strategy should operate, even though McCartens strategy was so robust that he didn’t need to be campaign manager for it to assure Labours 2017 election. They, The Social Justice Warriors believed that social justice was the only true path. These Social Justice Warriors then came up with beliefs of there own. They also believe that there is no free speech only speech itself.

        Because of this Social Justice Warriors believe that their only power relies on deplatforming and a group of Green Party delegates even started a small campaign among the left itself. This new online click group greatly worried the right with in Labour as they and others knew the dangers of high finance and wanted the click groups to understand that as well. Some people tried to explain to the click groups that there is a capitalism/greed and a democracy and they are meant to be separate. One is used for power and destruction the other for good and for life, because together they used to be feudalism. These social justice warriors still desired to study the mysteries of public policy and power with in social media memes and desired to separate beneficiaries from the angst of the real world and seeks to create a new movement with in the left known as hashtag movements and “we are beneficiaries.” These new click groups wanted to explore all the mysteries of public policy. This greatly concerned some with in the left who tried to expose them because like me they predicted that fracturing the society would invoke shades of feudalism if not full blown Stasi style authoritarianism. Although these click groups made up of Social Justice Warriors had not fallen into the secrete world of the Stasi yet, there was great potential that they one day would. Because if one looks into the National Parties petting zoo namely low wage, WINZ discipline then they’ll look into a financial abyss and the abyss looks back.

        Most Social Justice Warriors and leaders of click groups will tell you that there’s no there is no saving capitalism and that capitalism is the literal incarnation of the devil and that powerlessness only lay in ones self. Social Justice Warriors also claim that if they can control voters they can control parliament itself. I how ever believed otherwise wishing these Social Justice Warriors well and hoping they would not fall back on authoritarianism due to there own ignorance and lack of understanding of finance. What became of many Social Justice Warrior administrators that no longer participate over at the Standard.co.nz is unknown. What is know is that none of them became an authoritarian lefty with in the coalition government.

      • Mjolnir says:

        “I never vote for him because he may side with National/Act ”

        Indeed. My thoughts precisely.

    • lloyd jordan says:

      what a lot of trash Cullen the great HaHa dont make me laugh he was the head neo all through the clark era, created kiwi saver as the death merchant of NZ super.. its usurping date to be when the funds near similar payouts…exactly the same as the aussie super scheme ready to usurp the gvt super.. those that have no kiwi saver super through being denied an income from being employed will under Cullens scheme be doled out as per now a pittance keeping them so weak that the thought of protesting becomes impossible.. winnie is a saint compared to Lucifer right hand man Cullen

      • Observer Tokoroa says:

        Hi Lloyd Jordan

        So you hate Michael Cullen.

        But you just accepted Rogernomics as did Winston Peters. You were like nice sweet puppy dogs. Didn’t lift your finger or your ass.

        You are the problem. You did nothing but suck up to Wealthy Capitalism.
        Thanks for nothing Lloyd.

        • Sam Sam says:

          IDK, Australia has the second highest pension values in Asia. If they had of stuck with the Keating plan then and raised employers contributions to 15% instead of the 6% the desiccated coconut John Howard cut from 9% then the average each Austrlaia could put away would have been something like $50k per yr. Instead Coconut focused on immediate suger highs and cut super contributions from $50k to $25k with a rising retirement age currently at 70. Ridiculous.

          So what happened was, and what the Little John Howard aka Simon Bridges wants to do, is take all the money now for the tax cuts so they can get reelected on the back of totally mouth humping every one under 70 years old. Grant Robertson may have noticed John Key and Little key-Mr English had focused on reducing wage pressures on employers at the bottom tax bracket so below $24k – now these people are part timers, in and out of the work force, can’t even afford to save. Leaning on these people for tax cuts for the rich was a ridiculous proposition but people like Lloyd drunk the cool aid any way.

          Instead of cutting incomes at the bottom we should be raising avwrage incomes past $50k-$70k when inflation could justify a rise instead of tax cuts. But the intellectual lightweights in The National Party couldn’t even muster an argument. That means they pandered to premodona journos instead of have to think about anything. Normal people don’t save until they’re 50, after they’ve payed off a chunk of the house, got rid of a few children so of they put away with employer/government contributions into their supers for 10-15 that would be enough for 70% of the income some one has in the final week of work through out their retirement. But John Key shat on all that and sold it for cheap money now instead of more money later.

  15. WILD KATIPO says:

    [ ‘ NZ First’s political programme is dedicated not to carrying our nation forward but to taking their country back. The New Zealand which Peters and his colleagues is seeking to restore is the New Zealand whose provinces thrived; whose families felt secure … ‘ ]

    Well said.

    Conservatism isn’t inherently wrong either: life in NZ pre Rogernomics had its ups and downs but nowhere near the personal poverty it has now. Its OK to play with figures on a balance sheet or quote some economic neo liberal guru but the truth is – in real time far too many people still live hand to mouth week to week.

    ( An example of the euphemisms of economics is the word ‘correction’ in the economy. When what that really means is failed mortgages, failed small businesses , declining services, declining rural populations , massive personal debt etc…)

    And this neo liberal rort has been going on and on for 3 decades.

    Frankly many of us have had enough of cowardly govt’s that only play to big business and the monied vote. REAL corrections in the economy would entail shifting this country back nearer to what it was pre neo liberalism. Similar to what NZ First envisions. There were plenty of millionaires in NZ pre Roger Douglas and his treachery. And there were many family’s of working class means who were well looked after as well. Not living in cars and garages or sleeping under a bridge.

    The days of the ‘fair go’ for all.

    And it might surprise many that the govt of Sir Rob Muldoon was closer to today’s MANA party in social policy than the Greens. Let that sink in awhile. And if it takes NZ Firsts conservatism to get any semblance of that back then so be it. The only point of difference is with trade unions. I believe they are a must to prevent imbalances of power.

    There’s a trade off if we want to have a fair society. And if we do have belligerent employers, then they need to be reeled in. And I say that because there have been dozens of cases of big employers absolutely abusing workers, – backed up might I add by the likes of govts such as the John Key years. That sort of vicious inhouse collaborating with big business has got to stop.

    I like RICKOSHAY’s take :

    [ ‘ The answer is not more of the same, its time for proper political debate on the subject and a new direction, even if that means a mass roll back of legislation and a public consultancy on the issues affecting us all ‘ ]

  16. J S Bark J S Bark says:

    Well done M Trottoir.

    Still firmly in charge of the Weimar Republik Jah?

    Don’t tell me; I can guess what comes next…

  17. Matt Moulson says:

    “The slums of Neo Libralism” , slightly dramatic,. Me thinks it was not all roses before 1984. Would Chris prefer us to be living in Venezuela or Chile at the moment.

    • WILD KATIPO says:

      ^^^
      L0L!

      Typical right wing response to quote those two country’s.

      You notice they never talk about Scandinavia,- a more or less democratic socialist group of country’s…

      incognito
      https://www.currentaffairs.org/2018/08/why-the-nordic-model-wont-work-in-the-u-s

      ——————————-

      And just because their argument is so ludicrous,- here’s the whole piss take of the neo libs in full…

      ——————————-

      AUGUST 21, 2018
      WHY NORDIC “SOCIALISM” WON’T WORK IN THE U.S.

      To further viewpoint diversity, we present a conservative guest columnist…

      by BEN SHAPIRO
      EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is not actually by Ben Shapiro. Though it might as well be.

      It has become fashionable on the left to say that the United States should adopt the social welfare policies of Nordic countries like Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Scandinavia. Radical socialists say that just because these countries have higher per-capita incomes, roaring economies, lower inequality, lower poverty, more innovation, more leisure time, better healthcare, subsidized childcare, free college, and more happiness, they provide an argument for socialism. They do not.

      First, they are not socialism. They are actually capitalist, and that is why everything they do is working. Sure, the state may own a gigantic percentage of the means of production, and have “large public sectors, strong job protections, and labor markets governed by centralized union contract.” But socialism means tyranny and an incompetently-managed centrally planned economy. None of these countries has so much as a single gulag. Nordic countries are not socialism, and anyone who thinks Stalin is good should look elsewhere for their economic model.

      Second, they are socialism, but nothing they do is actually working and also they are very different from the United States and none of their policies would work here. It’s important to remember that the United States is not a Nordic country. We have more people. We are in a different hemisphere. We do not speak Norwegian. Crime is low there, whereas we put many more people in prison without achieving nearly the same level of safety. The whole comparison is apples and oranges. Saying that free college and single-payer healthcare would work in the United States just because it works in Sweden is like saying that we could watch the Aurora Borealis in Miami if the government said so. Well, we couldn’t. That’s a fact, and facts don’t care about your feelings. You may think you can just wake up and start speaking Swedish. But you can’t. Fact.

      The Nordic countries are not the flawless paradises that leftists say they are. The social welfare state has eroded any semblance of a work ethic. We can see this from the fact that Norwegians work fewer hours, take more vacation time, and are higher paid than their American counterparts. Working yourself to death is the American way. These Nordic countries are being destroyed by their enormous sloth. Bernie Sanders and the Hysterical Left think America should also be destroyed by giant sloths. Is that the future we want for our children?

      Because social democratic programs sap a country’s vitality, they are correlated with depression. People in Nordic countries often get high rates of Seasonal Affective Disorder. This is almost certainly due to the fact that it is extremely cold there. But paid maternity leave almost certainly contributes, because of a culture of dependency. It’s no accident that Bernie Sanders is from Vermont. Hope leftists like six-month winters.

      I have other things I can say. In Finland, 6 percent more students are enrolled in STEM majors than in the United States. This is a statistic leftists never mention. Why are they afraid to tell the truth? In the Nordic countries, unions and employers collaborate peaceably. Unions here are not peaceable. They are always holding signs and “fighting” for 15. You can’t collaborate productively with someone who is always trying to fight you. It doesn’t make sense.

      Also, these countries pollute. Norway profits from oil. Only a leftist could think this was leftism! If you want free healthcare, you need to be willing to accept the environmental damage. If socialists knew basic economics, maybe they’d realize that.

      Norwegian prisons are unbelievably comfortable. Norway gave Anders Breivik an Xbox. Do you think he deserved one? No. Yet the left insists mass murderers deserve video games. Typical.

      Something about migration. Homogeneous. Cohesion. Culture. Equality is born of trust. You can have social democracy, or you can have non-racist immigration policies, but you’re not allowed to have both. That’s just a fact, and facts don’t care about people.

      Yes, it’s true that people who have actually lived in Nordic countries have said that their strong social safety nets have almost nothing to do with a uniquely homogeneous or altruistic culture:

      This vision of homogeneous, altruistic Nordic lands is mostly a fantasy. The choices Nordic countries have made have little to do with altruism or kinship. Rather, Nordic people have made their decisions out of self-interest. Nordic nations offer their citizens—all of their citizens, but especially the middle class—high-quality services that save people a lot of money, time, and trouble.

      But none of that changes the fact that there are fjords in Norway and none in the United States. It’s wishful leftist delusion to think that what works in one place could provide a useful example for another place. Have I mentioned demographics? There are fewer people in Scandinavia, which matters for reasons I cannot explain.

      Free healthcare sounds nice. Free college sounds nice. Being able to take time off to spend with your newborn child instead of immediately having to return to work or else get fired sounds nice. But nice things cost money, and people in these countries pay taxes. If you think taxes aren’t money, you’re a snowflake.

      Leftists, therefore, must stop looking at the Nordic countries. Rationality requires it. Please, please stop looking at the Nordic countries.

      EXTRA DISCLAIMER: This column is parody. Not actually by Ben Shapiro. Parody!

  18. GorgeTruly says:

    After reading this morning your extensive article, my thoughts were concerned with your last paragraph, which highlighted to me a need to understand, how do you define ‘a New Zealand fit to live in’?

    It would be helpful for me to have you define this because, with all due respect, there is nothing precise for me to hold on to.

    What precisely to you see as this new NZ that would be ‘fit to live in?

    • WILD KATIPO says:

      Pre Rogernomics for a start , my old codger,…

      Its pretty simple.

      Like this one idiot,…

      New Right Fight – Who are the New Right?
      http://www.newrightfight.co.nz/pageA.html

      • Afewknowthetruth says:

        Unfortunately a return to pre-Rogernomics is not possible because the damage done over the past 3 decades is so great.

        The small businesses that manufactured shoes, clothing, furniture, leather, fabrics etc. are all gone, the equipment sold to overseas buyers or trashed, and the skilled people are now elderly or dead. The railway yards and repair facilities are gone, along with all the equipment and skill base.

        Many of the homes with the potential to grow food that existed in the 1970s are gone -replaced by multiple units with no access to land.

        Strawberry fields and pasture have been built on, and in the larger cities there are now thousands of acres (for want of a better word) of dysfunctional suburbia, crammed full of people who are dependent on insecure and rapidly depleting petroleum for their very survival.

        Rogernomics and the consumer society it spawned have made such a mess of the NZ landscape it is almost impossible to rectify anything.

        However, nature will ‘fix’ it all eventually -as it is doing elsewhere in the world right now. And people are not going to like what nature does to fix the mess.

  19. CLEANGREEN says:

    Egalitarianism is now the way forward again as Labour started it in the 1940’s, and the 1% must be scaled back to the meager levels it was before “privatisation” raped our country.

    History speaks volume as the ‘now modern NZ’ – is on the rocks now and near bankruptcy; – setup by all the Neo-liberal folly, rape, slash, and pillage, that was begun by the 1984 Labour Party and their minister of finance – Roger Douglas, and since then was carried on by successive National lead governments especially under the john key sellout national government.

    Remember when John Key sold our crown assets and said “it would benefit us all financially”?????.

  20. Andrew says:

    I think you’re reading too much into all this Chris

    Winston went with Labour because he sensed their weakness and incompetence. He knew that once formed he could wrest control from the others and dominate.

    His life goal is to be PM and he’s achieved that.

  21. Marc says:

    I cannot really see the Greens being all the ‘neoliberal’, nor does Labour sound that ‘neoliberal’ when I hear some of their Ministers and MPs talk. It appears rather NZ First is putting on the brakes to progress, as they are too afraid of upsetting NZ and even imported businesses, thus perhaps losing donors.

    At best we have a neoliberal light, business as usual kind of government, of parties that have some difficulty of finding enough common ground. That is true of course. I saw this coming, hence I warned Labour and Greens to go into a government with NZ First, as they would have to sacrifice too much.

    Had they left NZ First out to find some ground with the Nats, we would by now have a disastrous, yes more disastrous power and government arrangement, where every tiny policy or government decision would depend on what Winston and NZ First would decide. There would be so much insecurity in any government agreement between Nats and Winston First, it would not last as long as this government has already lasted.

    That is of course what voters and also the MSM are not aware of, as it did not happen that way.

    Had Labour decided, like Greens, to wait a bit more, to sacrifice a few things, and let things run their course, so that National could only govern with Winston, we would have a disillusioned electorate by now, they would perhaps cry out for a Labour and Greens government, that could win in a landslide and govern for three term.

    As Labour and Greens went with NZ First, they have now sold too many principles, look more so desperate, and weak, and they will be punished for this desperate effort to govern with NZ First, they will not have a chance of government in 2020 or before, and in o ne or even two elections afterwards.

    That is the huge tragedy that we have now, we may face Nats come back sooner than feared, and rule with a vengeance, and those that need Labour and Greens, they will suffer more than ever before, even worse than during the nine years the Nats ruled since 2008.

    I feel very worried and sad about the state of affairs, it is a calamity what we will get, a very great tragedy, and no progress that is urgently needed will come NZ’s way for a decade or more to come. A wasted opportunity, a lost generation and a lost future for many.

  22. David Stone says:

    Just how radical / fundamental a makeover is needed for any government to effect real equity through the population is given some perspective here… http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50258.htm , and in more depth in the piece it refers to here … https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-26/central-banks-buying-stocks-have-rigged-us-stock-market-beyond-recovery.
    If you read these they give an understanding of the impotence of a modern government in a world where bankers hold all the cards. I fear that none of our politicians, probably not even Winston though perhaps he, has ever applied themselves to where the real power in the world lies , or begun to come to grips with what must be done to wrest that power back to government on behalf of the people. The only recent politician who ever publicly talked about money and banking as if it were something that the state should take an interest in was Russell Norman . Why did he withdraw just when we needed him?
    Please read those articles, esp. the Zero Hedge one.
    D J S

    • Afewknowthetruth says:

      Good to see someone else pointing out the role that banks have in keeping governments locked into dysfunctional policies focused on economic growth.

      The fact that perpetual growth on a finite planet is mathematically impossible and that the system is certain to collapse fairly soon seems to be of no interest to the vast majority of people.

      The fact that much of the destruction we witness (both environmental and social) is a consequence of participating in the global bankers’ Ponzi scheme also seems to be of no interest to the vast majority of people.

      At some stage in the future the rate of destruction in NZ will exceed the capacity of the system to make repairs, and the energy required to run the system will not be available. That point has already been reached in numerous locations overseas.

      • David Stone says:

        When money is being decreed in such vast quantities at will by one part of the system , as described in these articles now for the benefit largely of those creating it on one hand, while governments all over the world are screwing their subjects down with austerity as if money was the only thing that is precious of scarce, where is the sanity?
        For the most intelligent species there has ever been as far as we know we do some pretty stupid things. This is the fable of the cats the cheese and the monkey ( I always thought it was mice cheese and an Owl but I looked it up) . We squabble over whether workers get a fair share of what their efforts produce or the entrepreneur gets a fair effort from them, while all the surplus value is siphoned off by those given the exclusive right to create the medium of exchange, and issue it as debt to everyone .
        D J S

        • Sam Sam says:

          Yeah well, we have to begin including Surplus Countries. The OECD, World Trade Organisation and G7 organisation are run by debtor countries. In the G7 America has an economy about $13 trillion and Trump signed an $800 billion defence budget plus about another billion so they’re running a deficit budget of about 15% meaning they’re inflating there way out of debt, which means no one is going to want to buy the bonds. When you go to sell your bonds much later the real value will be half the US dollar but the nominal value will be double so it’s a paper gain only.

          Now the U.S. U.K. France. Japan all run deficit budgets and account for about 60% of the G7 voting power. China, India, South Africa and Brazil all have huge surpluses, maybe not in money now but they have huge resource wealth or untapped human capital and they’re not going to be dictated to by the debt narrative. Why on earth would the BRICS nations hand over half its global power and money to fund debtor nations spending habits in the G7 block. China has the second most powerful Navy which means globalisation debtor nation style is finished.

          We may as well put globalisation on the back burners and promote APEC a lot more. Better they talk at APEC than in the G7.

  23. sumsuch says:

    How would we know without your elucidation, Chris? You’re like a torch scout for him, which we are supposed to accept. Couldn’t he say it himself, what he wants specifically along those righteous lines.

  24. sumsuch says:

    I expect what you’re saying is NZ First is Muldoon’s National Party. Which I’m sorry said PM’s early election, from great retrospect, didn’t give me a chance to vote for. That social economics should come before liberal individual mores. Despite them playing every ‘card’ in the noxious right wing deck. 84 and 18, the same hard pill to swallow.

    I don’t know about the Greens but NZ First is to the left of Labour economically, and has more energy about it than the Greens. So thanks for that insight. But they’re as hard to stomach as Muldoon with his divide and rule and minority and truth bashing. And how would Winnie go dismantling neo-liberalism with National? How important to him are his economics versus his social conservatism (was going to say ‘red herrings’)?

  25. Betty Clearwater says:

    Winston’s plan to advocate for wool cladding would have been a win for the environment, for farmers, and the ecologically less destructive wool/lamb/mutton industry. A win for Canterbury in particular.

    They are not totally bereft of good environmental ideas. And despite what the muddle-headed Greens think, nationalism and green sherpherdship can go together.

    A lot of environmental problems arise from a lack of focus on an integrated, self-supplying domestic market. As well as the failure to police/defend New Zealand (and international) waters.