Another gutless consensus nothingness from the Labour Government – maybe the Politics of Kindness is too much of a wimp?  

These two are not your mates

Sigh, another spineless capitulation from the Government…

Government plan to get food and beverage industry tackle obesity

Banning junk food and drink advertising near schools, and lowering added sugar levels, are goals of a plan for a partnership between the government and the food industry.

Having ruled out a sugar tax, the government has instead opted to allow the food and beverage industry to create its own tougher self-regulation in a bid to fight the obesity epidemic.

Widespread availability of high-calorie foods and drinks has contributed to making New Zealand one of the most overweight countries in the world, but health minister David Clark, who was running his first marathon today in Arrowtown, praised the food industry for proposing measures he believed could help cut the cut the $624 million a year cost of obesity-related illness.

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…allowing Big Sugar to set the rules is like getting Ronald Macdonald, the Burger King, Wendy and the Colonel to be your unbiased nutritionist.

Of course there should be a sugar tax, zero advertising of junk food to children and a ban on fast food outlets building play grounds on top of removing GST off fresh food and vegetables.

But that would take political courage that was transformative.

The problem with NZ is that underfunding due to the 30 year neoliberal experiment has led to enormous generational issues to overcome and consensus policy making waters down any of the solutions into meaningless bullshit.

The result ends up being;

THE PEOPLE: What do we want?

LABOUR: Incremental change!

THE PEOPLE: When do we want it?

LABOUR: Glacially!

Not really much of a rallying call for progress is it?

What’s the alternative? Accept consensus making politics is bullshit, make the big hard calls, pass the legislation and dare the Opposition to repeal it.

If the Politics of Kindness is just about taking a punch without throwing one it’s not going to get much done.


  1. Fear is driving the constant capitulations….fear that another ‘shower head and lightbulb’ campaign will cost them the Treasury benches….and a belief that at least doing nothing is better than allowing National to continue to exacerbate the situation…in some respects a not unreasonable position, though anything but transformational and only (slightly) delaying the inevitable

  2. Remember election 2008? Labour was portrayed as micro managing people’s lives, including their shower habits. So they are scared stiff to head into that territory again.

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