Possibly the most boring van trip to Dunedin in NZ history.
Labour held their conference in Dunedin, Jacinda’s speech…
Ardern’s speech tacitly acknowledged that some of the most trenchant criticism her Government faces includes from the left about policies like Kiwibuild, and her Government’s self-imposed spending limits under its Budget Responsibility Rules.
She went on the defensive over Kiwibuild helping thousands of young families into a home “not through a subsidy but the Government using our scale and buying power to do what the market hasn’t.”
She also quoted Labour hero Michael Joseph Savage in his quote about state housing: “We are trying to cater for everyone … we do not claim perfection, but we do claim a considerable advance on what has been done in the past.”
…can be filed down to 17 words…
Hey, I just met you and this is crazy
But here’s my number, Let’s do this maybe
…it’s easier to tell the Party faithful that their hopes and dreams are too unrealistic than to admit most Minister’s are barely in control of their Ministries.
What was interesting in this was Labour’s defence of signing away our economic sovereignty to our corporate overlords (aka the Business Responsibility leash), and it was this…
And she defended the focus on surpluses because “nobody knows what’s around the corner”.
This Government was formed because Winston Peters believed in his bones that a great reckoning of neoliberal capitalism was about to come crashing down around our ears and his special arrangement with Labour that is secretly locked away is to be brought out in that emergency. The Greens are fast becoming a middle class vehicle for woke identity politics that will alienate more than it can build, while Labour are treading water waiting for this crash so as to adopt a far more radical and genuinely transformative platform, but without that crisis the change is less than pedestrian.
The inability of the Government to force real compromise from the neoliberal bureaucracy and the Wellington elites means sweet fuck all has really changed for the poorest and weakest amongst us, and while there is truth to the argument that it will take a few terms to counter the under funding of National’s 9 years in power, that can only stay true for so long.
…the truth is that the neoliberal settings of the NZ political economy have not been challenged by this Government because the push back and fall out would be too large, so for the time being Labour are trying to woo back the middle class vote with KiwiBuild after the middle class became seduced by Key’s speculative property bubble that earned them more from untaxed Capital gains each year than their actual job.
You can be liberal and progressive and as middle class as sea salt on greek yoghurt while doing goat yoga but when National are creating an illusion of wealth in excess of what your day job pays you, it doesn’t matter how many Tesla’s or hybrids you buy, you’re voting National every election.
Jacinda wants to be the friendly non threatening Namaste to their slumping middle class property portfolios.
While that is smart politics, and while I certainly agree the children of the white middle classes need to get ahead (because gosh it’s just so tragic when little Brock and Apple aren’t able to creatively flourish), it can’t be at the expense of the New Zealander’s living in cars, living homeless or the poor, the Millennials and the Gen Xers, because if it is at their expense, then this Labour Government are no different than the National Government.
What is KiwiBuild other than free market luck egalitarianism? Is the KiwiBuild ‘spillover’ just a less imaginative ‘trickle down’?
If 100 000 ‘affordable’ houses are to go to the children of the middle classes, then 100 000 also need to go to the state tenants and renters and Millennials and Gen Xers who have been locked out of home ownership by a 30 year neoliberal economic model that has punished the user pays generations while insulating the cradle to grave subsidised generations.
Doing anything less makes everything else bullshit.