The problem with Jacinda continued…

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Back in early 2017 I wrote a blog called “The problem with Jacinda…” at the time she was the Labour candidate for Mt Albert in the byelection created by the resignation of David Shearer.

If I say so myself it was a prescient piece. Shortly after, in a whirlwind political ascendency she was Labour deputy leader, then Labour leader and then Prime Minister.

Those who so frequently lament the lack of transformation under Ardern should remember this is the person who went to work for Tony Blair in the UK AFTER the invasion of Iraq and went to hear Blair speak when he came to New Zealand some years later. It wasn’t surprising to me that, in her first big policy announcement as the person who said she went into politics to deal with child poverty, she declared Labour would halve child poverty in 10 years.  She is more concerned to assure the obscenely wealthy she will never again propose a capital gains tax than she is to support the most vulnerable. Hugs without hope.

It is irrational and hopelessly naive to expect there will be any transformation under Ardern. Transformation will only come from radical political action outside parliament while the barricades are burning.

I’ll finish with a bit of that piece from January 2016.

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The problem with Jacinda

People from across a wide political spectrum like Jacinda Ardern. Unlike most politicians, she comes across as personable and sincere and is often portrayed as the young face of a new generation of Labour politicians – heaven knows they need a new one.

It was Labour after all which left 175,000 children living in poverty in 2008 after nine years of government during a time of strong economic growth.

People are often surprised when I say I am much less impressed with Jacinda.  I’ve heard her speak in public many times and have shared the platform on various panels with her and others (in my case to represent MANA Movement while she represented Labour) to discuss issues such as child poverty, housing, inequality and the struggles of beneficiaries etc

Jacinda is very skilled at empathising with questioners on any of these issues. “Yes, the figures are terrible aren’t they…”; “We can’t let this situation continue….”; “It’s just so awful…”; “As a country we must do better than this…” etc

However, there is never any concrete policy to deal effectively with any of these issues (although in housing Labour has begun to move strongly in the right direction – eg reforming Housing New Zealand as a government department)

To put it bluntly I think Jacinda has perfected the political art of sounding good while saying nothing of substance.

My opinion of her politics took a serious dive in 2011 when in the space of a short time she attended the launch of a book by Paul Henry – yes that Paul Henry – and then attended a presentation by none other than Tony Blair at Eden Park.

I was one of the protest organisers for Blair’s visit and while we had a good crowd outside calling for Blair to be arrested and charged with war crimes, Jacinda Ardern was inside with a bunch of big noters helping give credibility to him and his visit.

 

106 COMMENTS

  1. NZ’s International Reality, “Reality” TV show for reels!

    I think ‘we’ all need to lower our expectations.

    This vacuous celebratory superficial government and population arent into solving any of the important issues that can heal and bring society together. Sad really.

    Its all literally “White-Noise”.
    Whats more important to this government and ‘followers’ is image, EV’s (that increases mining production in impoverished nations, causing more child slave labour, pollution of the environment), and Green Wash’n Capitalism where you can offset you and your families 4000 kgs/per person of CO2 emissions flight to the UK & back for a few bucks and still believe youre contributing to Saving the Planet! Middle Classism, FFS!!

    The world has been hijacked by vanity and individualism where you can opt-in or out of social issues and crises as and when you please, whichever cause makes you feel good about yourself, matters.

    Time for the Maori to send out eviction notices!

    • DennyPaoa: this is almost the identical comment that you made on the Waatea news post below. So: if it’s appropriate there, it ain’t here.

      “Time for the Maori to send out eviction notices!”

      As for the Waatea comment: what the hell is this supposed to mean?

      • D’Esterre – “…he sings each song twice over, lest you should think he never could recapture the first fine careless rapture…” (In a manner of speaking..)

        (Looks like DP’s angling for a job with HNZ too.)

    • Well said. It’s the people as much as Labour. Complacency, among the majority, while the least, mostly Maori, try to keep themselves above water. That was the calculus and condemnation of Roger Douglas. What do we do?

  2. it must be a xmas miracle I agree with John Minto opinion put forward in this article and applaud him on the work he did to expose the back room deals of the current mayor of Chch

    • To be honest if you want to tackle child poverty stop children having children. The times of teenagers popping out kids just to prop up a lifestyle of being a DPB /benefit solo mother with the state giving you a house a long-long gone .Time for teenagers/parents to wake up as the gravy train has stopped.

      • To be honest if you want to tackle child poverty stop children having children. The times of teenagers popping out kids just to prop up a lifestyle of being a DPB /benefit solo mother with the state giving you a house a long-long gone .Time for teenagers/parents to wake up as the gravy train has stopped.

        • Tim how very simplistic of you, read the spirit level. When people have real jobs, real incomes, shelter food the rate of teenage pregnancy drops, as does the prison population, mental health stats… How many teenage pregnancies are there really. Frankly I wouldn’t want to eke out a living on the pathetic money any of them get. It was never ever a gravy train, it was primarily caused by neo liberalism introduced by the Labour government. Business needs unemployment I am sure you know that, they want to pick and choose and keep a bank of people prepared to live on the smell of an oily rag for minimum wages.

  3. John, I am sorry that you feel that way. From others of my comments it probably goes without saying that I disagree with you, deeply, profoundly, absolutely. I believe that we in Aotearoa are incredibly lucky, not only to have her as our present Head of State, but also for the good people around her, including Andrew Little and a number of others.

    It’s difficult to know where to start, but your main argument seems to be that at 25/26 yrs she worked in Blair’s wider cabinet. She never met him at that time btw. She did not specifically want that job but had run out of money. In an interview she gave in August 2017 she comments about taking that job, here.

    I take it from that that your own life has been entirely committed to your present cause. I don’t know, but I have to ask, what were you doing when you were 25/26? I don’t mean to be offensive, I just think that you seem to have impossibly narrow requirements for the early life of anyone who would be your national leader?

    • “what were you doing when you were 25/26?”

      I apologise for that, John, and withdraw it. I’ve just read that you were being bashed up by rugby supporters, after the Halt All Racist Tours protests.

      However, I still see your dismissal of Jacinda for her time of working for the Blair cabinet office as being a step too far.

  4. John: “I was one of the protest organisers for Blair’s visit and while we had a good crowd outside calling for Blair to be arrested and charged with war crimes, Jacinda Ardern was inside with a bunch of big noters helping give credibility to him and his visit.”

    Jacinda: The MC that night was very soft on Blair, “asking a line of questions about lucky shoes, and stuff like that” and no one was addressing the elephant in the room.

    “I remember thinking, if I ask a question will I embarrass anyone? But I really wanted to ask about Iraq. So I did. I said, ‘Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently?’ Basically implying, would you not have gone to war?”

    “And he said, ‘I would have prepared to be there longer.’ Totally unapologetic.” At this link.

    • Thanks for your posts Kheala, much appreciated, it puts balance to this somewhat slanted anti Jacinda article. its not the first from him, dont know why he wants to repeat it.

      • Have you thought of going to a right wing blog. They think the poor are responsible for everything — you know, rather than those who decide things.

      • How is it slanted, clearly 8800 peopole are interested in what he has to say. Oh dear he didn’t see she was anguished at the Mosque shootings and did some gun reform, Little has gone into Pike River. of course these things are good but the elephant in the room is the gap between the rich and the poor, inequality is not going to change under her watch.

    • Kia ora ano Kheala
      At that meeting Jacinda offered a patsy question to her old boss, the war criminal Tony Blair, which gave him the opportunity to justify his crimes anew.
      As she admits, it was the money which drove Jacinda went to work for Blair. She could have taken an honest job as a waitress or an office cleaner, but she chose not to. Instead she chose to work for lucrative reward in the service of an unrepentant war criminal.
      If that is the sort of person you want as your Prime Minister, then so be it. But she is not my Prime Minister. I do not recognise her as having any authority whatsoever.

        • Kia ora Kheala
          I choose to follow people who have strong principles and little in the way of personal ambition among our local kuia and kaumatua.
          However I would not seek to impose that choice on you or anyone else.
          That is where I differ from the colonialists out there who would like to force their choice of leader – whether that be Jacinda Ardern, Simon Bridges or anyone else – on the rest of us.
          Nga miihi

          • Geoff F “That is where I differ from the colonialists out there who would…”

            Who are “the colonialists” ? As far as I know the colonialists are long gone and buried.

            Are you sure that “colonialist” is not a word used by some as a synonym for all contemporary Pakeha ? And if so, why ?

            • Be hush now: he’s ‘woke’.

              It’s all about the unchangeable past – which is a LOT easier to sound off on about than making a workable present. Finger-pointing is easier…

              Every ethnicity in this country has ‘colonialist’ roots. It’s because the place keeps on being ‘discovered’ by interested parties who settle down rather than facing the trip ‘home’. Or gather the lads for a bit of aggression and aggrandisement on the folk who got there earlier.

              A very ‘human sort of thing to do, no?

              • Really every ethnicity, no not Maori. The rest of us came from other places in the world and we trampled our way in. We never learnt from Maori. Tell me how many elderly Maori are in rest homes in Aotearoa. Not one in the home I have been to regularly recently.

          • Clearly a new Left party representing first and foremost those at the bottom of the heap. neither major party is ever going to deliver this.

      • She was young. It would be interesting to hear what she really believes but she manages to believe things on telly that she doesn’t do in reality. Admire her gymnastics.

  5. “Those who so frequently lament the lack of transformation…”

    …are very often National Party reps or other right wingers, whose most common meme seems to be taken from one mr Trump, being “The do-nothing party”.

    Sadly it is being swallowed hook, line and sinker by some on the left.

    • None of the interested Left are prone to any publication of National. We don’t swallow whole. This comes from our hearts: ’92, ’35, no other date because of people like Jacinda Ardern and Grant Robertson.

  6. “I think Jacinda has perfected the political art of sounding good while saying nothing of substance.”

    This is what many on the left dont want to acknowledge. In regards to our poverty crisis alone, Ardern does not deserve re-election. Hardship has worsened under her watch.

    • And you think National does @MickeyBoyle? The recent report on poverty/hardship covered the National government NOT PM Jacinda Ardern and her government. there’s a time lag and another report due out early next year will still only cover a portion of her government and still include National.

    • If not her then who else becomes prime minister. Because the reality is that if you don’t work to get Labour, with all its faults, re-elected then Simon Bridges will be the next prime minister. Do you want the Natz back. If the Left had any sense they would infiltrate the Labour party in the same way the extreme Right did leading up to Rogernomics

      • Oh Peter I know plenty who have done this to no avail. Neo liberalism still dominates the Labour Party.

        I would never ever join Labour they are the ones who sold the working class out and on and on it has gone.

    • MickeyB – I replied to you but it is below on the page somewhere.

      In brief, yes, there is a poverty crisis. Absolutely, it needs to be addressed urgently.
      But blaming Jacinda and turning on her is not the way to go.

  7. “In regards to our poverty crisis alone..”

    I’ve just read Susan St John’s post on the Welfare Group report, or the Govt’s dealing with it, and have to admit it’s a shocker. There has to be some sane way of responding to all this – to the appalling state of our welfare system and now, very little hope of meaningful improvement.

    “…Ardern does not deserve re-election.”
    I don’t see the answer being in throwing out the only hope we have of anyone listening. It’s just a matter of finding some effective way of getting the message across, – that this is a crisis, and it needs to be dealt with now. (Also, the alternative in govt would be worse.)

    • Kheala

      I am pleased to see you have read Susan’s piece. Everyone knows the answer to bringing people out of poverty, increase benefits, but oh dear me Labour’s polling will be telling them not to do this because it won’t bring in votes, and the middle class see the the poor as sponges as do the Nats. Jacinda should have done this at the very very beginning of getting in. People would have got over it and moved on by the 2020 election AND they would have seen the difference this would have made to our society. Have you read the ‘Spirit level’! We didn’t needd a dam costly working group to tell us this, and then bury the recommendations.

      • “Jacinda should have done …”

        It’s soooo easy, innit, to sit back from the peanut gallery and “know” all the things that someone who’s actually doing the work “should” have done. …Regardless of their situation, regardless of all the demands of that work, regardless of the various tragedies and dramas that have to be dealt with during that time, regardless of the vast heaps of crap they have to clean up from those who were there before.

        The mark of the truly competent is that they fulfil their jobs in exactly that way. They make it look easy. Then everyone expects ten times more from them.

        More peanuts mate?

      • Michal, I checked out “The Spirit Level” on line, and have ordered a copy. I’m sorry if I’ve sounded a bit antsy and edgy. (The Aus bushfires threatening family, are a contributing factor).

        I still believe that Jacinda, together with some others in our present govt, including Chloe, …are the best chance we have had in a long, long time to help bring about a re-balancing, towards social equity. I’m concerned that we may be about to blow that chance. If we do, we could very easily end up with something far more oppressive and repressive, and with inequality skyrocketing again. I see a real danger of that.

      • The Spirit Level “provides hard evidence to show how almost everything, from life expectancy to mental illness, violence to illiteracy, is affected not by how wealthy a society is, but how equal it is.”

  8. We all know her and Grant. Thanks for spotlighting it, kaumatua. Recent radio report with her saying exactly the same thing about the poor, and her actions in full contradiction. But of course it was National Radio and the ‘all’ of us is just the liberal intelligent who note the livid hypocrisy. We are significant but can be negotiated. They’re relying on the Clarkian good oil. Her pol sci insights.

  9. Hi john, I heard Jacindas response to the tony blair stuff. She had been volunteering in New York at a soup kitchen and couldn’t get a job and was offered the job with Blair. When she went to his talk in Auckland she asked him if he regretted going to war in Iraq……

    The trouble with Jacinda is that if she doesn’t win the next election we will be stuck with Bridges. That is National

      • “no real difference”

        One difference is that Nats can are blur the lines between themselves and another country’s governance. That other country does not have a history of respect for intercultural differences. Think Uighur, Falon Gong, and of course Tibet.

          • Michal,
            Either give some linked references to back up what you’re saying, or you’ve descended to trolling.

            thanks in advance.

            • In H1’s time, 1999-2008.
              Therein lies many of the problems we have today which were continued by National during their reign of terror.

              Clark & Cullen failed to address the issues of a poor health sector in decline, failed to reignite housing construction and shortages in teaching ect … instead, encouraged rabid rental house investment by the middle classes who’re now, having a few regrets but arent so much concerned about poverty or homeless anymore because its wasnt their fault! They’re more interested in Green Wash’n Capitalism, which is even worse.

              The Clark & Cullen era set up what we have in situ now. They just picked up from where Roger Douglas left off.

              Same boss, just like the old boss.

  10. Hi, asking John what he was doing at 25-26 is a very good question. At that precise time, he was mobilising half the country to oppose the 1981 Springbok tour. John Minto has always been unwavering in his principles, including the idea that radical change must come from radical action. He is one of the most exceptional people I have ever met, and is also warm, caring, funny, intelligent and a ferocious opponent. I have said in my own blog for Christmas that I like Jacinda very much, but I am not sure that she, or her fellow government members (many of whom I also like) have the ability to make the changes we all want and need so desperately to get the country back on track.

    • Hi Liz, Thank you for your reply. I realised my error in putting that question to John and apologised and withdrew it immediately.

      “John Minto has always been unwavering in his principles.” I understand that now, (the ‘always’ bit) and I have great respect for him. That’s exactly why I am thinking about what he is saying, and then replying for discussion.

      ” including the idea that radical change must come from radical action.” Certainly, some situations demand that. And, if specific changes do not become evident in the nearer future, something like that may be the way to go. I would like to see what early 2020 brings first. Change is ahead of us, one route or another.

    • “I do not recognise her as having any authority whatsoever.”

      Funny that, I felt the same way for 9 years under Key.
      I most certainly recognise Ardern however.

  11. Poverty is directly caused by the low wage economy. They are trying to increase wages via the minimum wage and are up against huge resistance by everyone who supports National-half the voting population. To those who say Jacinda is no better than National, think before you speak. How would you increase pay packets? How far would you have gotten to date? They are doing stuff, which is a shit load more than the Nats would do.

    • Spot on GreenBus.
      Any one who talks about ” child poverty” has fallen into the trap of blaming the victims. It is families who are in poverty not just the children in that family.
      Since the advent of neo- liberalism/ Rogernomics there has been a deliberate attempt to destroy the economic, social and political power of the working class. The assets of the State that had been built by the sweat and the blood of working class men and women were sold to overseas robber barons. The rights of the working class to organise and defend their members were stolen by the State. The economic and social stability of the working class was destroyed by structural unemployment and the creation of a disenfranchised underclass totally dependent on the largesse of the State benefit system.
      So don’t talk to me about child poverty when my father could house and feed a family of 8 working the dirtiest of jobs at the freezing works while my son, working on the modern version on the exact same site cannot, no matter how hard he Tried, do the same for his family.

    • Raising the minimum wage by itself will only lead to hours being cut and employers being forced to lay off workers as they need to pay extra to all workers to keep them all happy but there is no increase in productivity to pay more wages. What is needed for the government to get behind a well paid work force building houses roads and rail rather than the government giving work to the lowest tender and forcing down all wages. This government inherited a pot of gold and have frittered it away on fees free a failed gun buy back giving everybody rich and poor the winter heating allowance the 3 billion bribe money for NZF but little on the enviroment leaving the Greens playing a definate second fiddle role. Jacinda has played a great role in the two tragedies of 2019 but John Key was just as good a leader in the christchurch earthquakes and Pike River. That is why they are leaders cream always rises to the top

      • Pike River Mine??

        You’ve GOT to be kidding mate!!

        Mr Key promised!! that he would ensure the men were brought out (their remains). He repeated it. He said he would ensure that every possible attempt would be made, or words to that effect.

        Do you even need link evidence? …do a google search mate and you’ll find a dozen or so right on the first page. Including a video of him making that promise.

        Zero effort made in that direction. Yet this present govt began to do just that, – to do whatever they could to begin the process, immediately that they were in govt.

      • “John Key was just as good a leader..”

        Mr Key went through some very slick and nifty moves (imo) to ensure that no-one would be held accountable for the Pike River Mine collapse. If that is your idea of a “good leader”, it is certainly not mine!!

      • “just as good a leader in the christchurch …”

        115 people died when the CTV building collapsed. Faulty engineering was found to be the cause of that collapse. No-one was held accountable. That does not signify “good leadership” in my books.

      • Trevor Sennett – On the contrary, sometimes the scum rises to the top – as exemplified with John Key heading the Nats.

        Ask the Pike River families. Ask the people in pain on ever- increasing hospital waiting lists. Ask the folk booted out of HNZ houses with phoney P tests – carried out by a nat supporter getting rich and richer while children sleep in garages and sheds getting scabies and rheumatic fever and all the deprivations of Dickensian England; ask the peasants up in the beautiful Hindu Kush whose villages the NZDF smashed, and killed their old people and children and burnt their tiny handful of books and tried to cover up. This, Sennitt, is what happens when the scum – your sort of people – are allowed to float to the top – and it won’t happen again. But keep looking up, just in case something trickles down…down onto the graves of our young men who have killed themselves in terrible numbers. That the way you like it, Sennitt ?

        • has anythink changed . The numbers at Chch city mission up by 21 percent and those on benefit wait at 2am to get to see their case worker. Hospital waiting list still growing as cancer patients die and 5 lives lost due to Parmac trying to save money and the Minister said nothing. No government is perfect and none will please all the people as we all look at thinks in a different way and see different solutions . My problem is with Labour they came in under the guise of caring for the underdog but have done little to help them . The record show 175000 chidren in poverty and millions spent on motels . Broke promises will be the record left by this government

  12. Maybe John just maybe it is you that is the problem.

    Times have changed, people have moved on.

    You haven’t.

    To criticise Labour’s most successful politician since 1987 who singlehandedly IS the reason there is a Labour coalition government currently, for being too popular, really says it all.

    Merry Christmas.

      • Well she changed our gun laws after the chch massacre. She showed incredible leadership after that outrage and genuine leadership in offering love to the Muslim community. John seems to have overlooked this in his post, but I think for someone who has spent his life fighting racism, it’s a puzzling oversight. Also is his omission of the Christchurch call. But can I also mention continued increases to the minimum wage, healthy homes bill, winter electricity payment, builiding more state homes, calling bullshiton the bogus meth testing industry which saw many state house tenants kicked out and the zer carbon bill, recently updated. Piloting a feed the kids a la Hone in schools, setting up a cancer agency which prioritises Maori and pacific. Islanders. Oh yeah and raising nurses, teachers and teacher aides wages. Committing to fixing our shittybuildings like middle more and schools. You see John, what really pisses me off about your article is it gets picked up on msm and then voters read it and think, yeah Jacinda a dog, and then swing to national……is that what you want John. Ffs sake please don’t say it’s the same. National wouldn’t have done any of the above and you know it

        • The gun law has been a disaster. Still 100000 guns out there not in gun safes now but hidden prime pickings for gangs. Winter payment goog idea for those that needed it but an overseas holiday for many wealth pensioners . Minium wage increase without any means for bosses to increase productivity will lead to hours being cut and lay offs. Wages for nurses teachers ect came only after strikes . Many are still waiting for their rises. The year of delivery did not happen for the extra 21 per cent of families who turned up to the City mission xmas meal .
          Benefits show no sign of increase despite a huge surplus left to them by National. Roads falling apart after 2 years of neglect now a promise to fix in election year.

          • The funniest thing about you Trevor is that for a National Party voter you have the temerity to hold up poverty and scream ‘Labour done nothin’ when your arsenals were in power they were throwing beneficiaries onto the streets in the middle of a housing crisis. I find your criticism hollow and self serving.

          • I call bullshit on what you are saying Trevor. Re the gun law does that mean they should have not bothered to change it cause there’s still 100000 guns out there? People hoarding and hiding guns can now be charged. Or do you prefer a situation like America with frequent mass shootings, homicides by gun and in fact America one of the few countries where suicides trending up over 50% of suicides are by gun. One of the few things that slows down suicides/homicides is access th lethal means. So we are following in Australia’s footsteps and banning some of these guns. Australia did this after port Arthur. Guess what no massacres. That is just your first point.

            • I do not feel any safer since the buy back. The guns used in the massacres were legally obtained and if someone wants a gun there are plenty out there. The buy back was tipical of this government rushed to appeal to the masses with little regard for the result. All that has happened is that thousands of normally law abiding people are now criminals just the same as good farmers are made to feel quilty because of a few bad ones

              • Unsafe Trevor – I’d be happy to pay your fare back to England if only I could be sure that you wouldn’t return to NZ and continue singing the “Song Of The Whinging Pom” – especially off Key.

                • “I’d be happy to pay your fare back to England…”

                  Heh 🙂 We could start a “Go Fund Me” page, specially for trev to go home. Get there in no time, I reckon.

                • How do you intend to get ride of the NZ voters that will be voting National. At the last election National won more seats than Labour and do you really think anyone who voted National then will switch to Labour based on their performance so far. They may pull a rabbit out of the bag but I doubt it. A free trip home would be nice though thanks for the thought especial now it is a full on Conservative country

                  • At the last election more people did not want National back in govt than did.

                    Your semi-coherent ramblings are an apt example of why.

                    Your ignorance of the jurisprudence of the Treaty – the foundation document of the country to which you have chosen to flee, and never stop whining about- is glaringly obvious, I suggest, to all Maori,
                    and most Pakeha.

                    It is bad manners – and totally non-u – to live in another country and ping away at its politics – more so from of position of such profound ignorance.

                    • Do you not think the whing pom dig is racist . I became a NZ in 1984 . I learnt much about the treaty as I trained young Maori in basic hospitality . My grip is the broken promises. If you are honest have this lot done a good job so far

          • I have to give credit to you for the quality of the crap you spout – unless of course you have facts to back up what you say.
            Start with: “Roads falling apart after 2 years of neglect.”

            Explain, details, facts, quantify. Please.

            • If you check the National Road Carriers ass facebook page it is full of bad roads and they report maintainable costs have risen . After 2years of nothing this government are now looking at spending 10 million on roads .Funny it is election year coming up

              • Thank you for your reply. Of course it’s a non-reply. It tells us that you cannot back-up up a claim of two years of nothing and two years of neglect. A person would have to be blind, stupid or not have travelled anywhere to say there have been no repairs/maintenance on roads in the last two years.(Or all of those things.)
                Quoting that National Road Carriers facebook stuff as a reasonable response suggests that blindness and lack of travel are the least of your worries.
                Not apologies for any perceived rudeness in my reply. Treating us and the rest of the world with such contempt deserves the truth.

          • Why would the guns not be in gun safes?

            No one comes to inspect.

            There are inspections annually for registered pistol users but long guns – no.

            And who counted so that you could give a number?

            Holes in the story. Definite holes…

        • Suggesting that people are going to ‘swing from Labour to National’ because Minto has bagged her is nuts.

          Ardern is very good at hand wringing and showing angst. None of the really big things are happening at all.

          Sure she showed compassion at the appropriate times any PM would have done that.

          Someone points to a whole lot of relatively little things, raising teachers and nurses wages is just one of them to me. Teachers used to earn the same as back benchers look at the gap now. The monetary value put on both these sectors is really poor.

          The big thing is poverty – giving an energy payment out to pensioners across the board was dumb, it should have been means tested and gone to only those that needed it. And then it could have also gone to those on benefits or minimum wages.

          Labour tied itself up with that ridiculous ‘fiscal responsibility’ agreement with the Greens. Everyone says that health has been underfunded for 30 years through successive Labour and National governments. Surely it is a priority to put in a really huge amount of money to rectify this.

          Mmmmmmmmm I wonder how many MPs don’t have health insurance!

          Neither Labour nor National have ever addressed the on-going issue of tax fraud. Billions of dollars a year, and the same amount of money is allocated to addressing this as is allocated to addressing benefit fraud – which is somewhere in the vicinity of $40m.

          The latest from Labour is to put huge amounts into more roading, can’t seem to figure out that climate change is contrary to this. Everyone knows that rail is where it is at.

          I have never ever supported the National Party, the party of business, entitlement, selfishness and the rich!

          I have in the past 27 years voted for New Labour, the Alliance and then the Greens although I think the latter have done some good things, domestic violence and the referenda on marijuana come to mind, I don’t think they are great like they were when Jeanette, Rod, Sue Bradford, Nandor and co were there. Shame about the Mana party I support their philosophy and some of TOPs stuff is very good also.

          It is a shame Kheala that you can’t stay with the topic in hand rather than making silly comments at people. I have no idea what ‘propaganda’ you are talking about, the facts speak for themselves.

          • “It is a shame Kheala that you can’t stay with the topic in hand rather than making silly comments at people.”

            I am absolutely serious in everything that I have said to you. Or asked of you. If you’re able to quote a specific comment, I will clarify and show you that seriousness!

            For pity’s sake, mate, the future of many, many people is ahead of us, one direction or another. Of Aotearoa. Your old grudges about stuff that you’re hanging onto, from things that happened in a different millennium, is getting in the way of your ability to see what’s ahead. IMHO.

          • “Suggesting that people are going to ‘swing from Labour to National’ because Minto has bagged her is nuts.”

            Suggesting that what John has to say, or what you have to say, has no effect on people, makes even less sense. Why then bother to say anything at all?

            Of course what we say has an effect. Why else are the Nats paying exorbitant amounts (so I read) to invest in Social Media influencers etc.

            The point is, NOW is a really good time to make positive suggestions for the future, to find ways to bring about changes for the better, social changes. (rather than harping on about stuff from past decades).

            • I think you are under some delusion if you don’t think positive suggestions have been made. Two of the ‘commissions/groups’ that Labour set up have reported back.

              The Tax Working Group’s No. 1 recommendation was to introduce a capital gains tax. This will not happen under Ardern’s watch she has made that clear.

              The inquiry into poverty reported back in May? and the chief recommendation was to increase benefits by 47%. This won’t be happening either because it won’t be good for Labour at the next election because many of the middle class see the poor and especially those on benefits as sponges.

              What exactly is the point in setting up these commissions of enquiry etc. if you are then going to bury their recommendations. Many many Kiwis have known for many many years that the poor simply don’t have enough money and this has nothing to do with ‘poor’ spending choices which many think it does have.

          • Michal,
            I appreciate that you have taken time to reply and have put some thought and substance into your response. This is a weighty topic, and deserves more time than is available in just this thread. I hope the discussion can continue in the days or weeks ahead, and then hopefully the various branches of the “Left” might find enough common ground to move ahead without sabotaging each other, and to achieve something worthwhile for the future.

      • “but what has SHE DONE?”

        THIS is what I meant when I said earlier that some lefties are swallowing the right wing propaganda line “hook, line and sinker”. It’s a meme that has its origins right out of the t-rump play book, endlessly repeating crap about the “do-nothing party”.

        Michal is playing around with it like a kid with a troll-doll for Xmas. Whoopee! Let’s see what it can do! Will it fly?

      • “She” has done Heaps! Plenty of photo shoots!
        ‘She’ has done heaps to avoid following through on their 2017 campaign promises!
        “Shes” quick at appropriating any culture and its values and made them hers!
        “She’s” awesome! And should be the next head of the UN.
        “She” is just too much for this little country!
        “She” is bigger than us.

          • Where’s he misdirected to. He’s the only one here that has described her accurately. Her strength is the photo shoot and silver tongue. Some say National and Labour have the same philosophy just wear different colours. If that’s the case why wouldn’t you pick Bridges and his team as they will at least do what they preach. For the most part.

            • Yes they will stab you in the front, they always do it is when the others stab you in the back you feel totally done over.

              • And, when Jacinda stabbed you in the back, … when exactly was that? Was it during her pregnancy perhaps? (Dangerous creatures, these pregnant PMs!)

                Or was it while she was giving birth to Neve? I understand that women can thrash around a bit while giving birth, so… I guess it’s possible.

                Oh, I’ve got… It was during those six weeks at home with her newborn – Yep, that will be it! After all, who know what she got up to during that time.

                • My goodnes you really do show your adoration of Ardern. Your comments are so silly. The workers of New Zealand many of whom are on the minimum wage expect more of a Labour government. It is not about me it never has been it is about the downtrodden and the poor who have successive raw deals from both the nats and Labour. Labour has always garnered all those votes out in the three poorest seats in the country in South Auckland but what do the people get in return – mostly dam useless MPs who seem to be really unable to fight for their communities.

                  Good people I am sure those MPs, well the current ones are, but being a good person is simply not sufficient, I worked in Parliament for 6 years, you have to go in and fight and fight and fight for your patch and I see no real sign of that.

                  Rights to decent shelter, food, a job paying sufficient to live on, is this too much to ask.

                  • “you have to go in and fight and fight and fight for your patch and I see no real sign of that.”

                    Then maybe that is the message we need to get out there. Your experience is invaluable. Let’s not waste it, but find a way..

  13. Wow, the contrast between the substance of PeterH’s comment and vacuousness of Jimbo’s comment is staggering.

  14. Here is a direct link to Susan St John’s post on the Welfare Report. Interment of WEAG Report

    She notes, “There is no shred of an indication that core benefits will increase; not now, not in the medium term, and not in the longer term either.”

    With so many thousands of people needing food boxes, not just at Christmas but throughout the year, something is very wrong.

    • Kheala, your last comment. Y’ know 84 was a war on Maori. I see it in my home of Gisborne — the poor suburbs. Makes me cry when I get back to my comfy bachelor flat. Completely understandable the increase in gang numbers. If our commonwealth wants to cut out the poorest 20 %. Which the 45 % who support National want to do. I’m glad I’m on the right side, the people who think about our country.

      • Sums, I know. It is heartbreaking, what has been done to Aotearoa. I was away for couple of decades, a while back now, – I still feel grief over what happened during that time.

        Some of it can never be undone. Now though, there is a chance to turn some of it back, closer to where it should be.

        • Much of it can be fixed it’s just they don’t have the stomach to fix it, despite crying when various things were introduced when the nats ruled.

  15. When Jacinta declared ” Let’s do this” “this was interpreted to mean whatever the listener wanted it to mean. What she was deciding was simply whether to take the plunge and accept Little’s offer to take the leadership role. She has the personality to pull off that leadership role with bells on. She is a great figurehead/ mascot and if she had a party to lead with any honest socialist ideas, or any ideas at all save trying to get elected again next time round it would be a great combination as everyone (nearly) wants her to succeed and to restore some social justice to our country. But she isn’t everything. Her role and her forte is to sell the administration not to formulate policies or to understand and repair the fallacies of the neoliberal globalist agenda that we have all been following. Winston was the only hope among this lot to do that but I feel he might have had enough of the fight and be looking to a comfortable retirement.
    D J S

  16. Ms Ardern is not a lone ice cube bobbing on the top of your glass of fizz.
    ‘What has Jacinda done?’ is a fluff question, surely?
    She is Prime Minister of a government in a sort of democracy.
    She is not a dictator or a president.
    She works through a Westminster-style government with members and ministers and ministries and departments. Or did something change while we were asleep?
    Maybe it did.
    We’ve fallen for that ‘star at the top’ BS indulged in (to their cost) by America. The rot’s been there in our system for decades. Key was a particularly nasty effusion of this cultish style of ‘government’.

    By what are we measuring performance? How are we gauging the effectiveness of policies implemented, investigations undertaken, programmes begun and barely two years on?
    Hmm?
    Realistic?
    Probably not.
    ‘Oh, the Tooth Fairy has come among us! One smile and all will be fixed!’
    Sweet innocence.
    Thick as.
    It takes years and years and years to make cultural changes in government departments. Continuity. The appointment of leaders who share a similar ethos. (Thanks to Roger Douglas and the like of Helen Clark for wrecking that. Political appointees. Ha!)
    And you want some little rabbity woman with a draggle of similar aged barely-awakes to make changes in two years?
    Whadarya?
    All together now:
    Totally unrealistic.

  17. Thanks, Andrea. For pointing out the Left comes from unpaying sacrifice. Savage was 70. And the comfortable middle class brought down the people in ’84. I’m not entirely sure her and Grant won’t change. Is that what you’re saying?

    They didn’t notice what all of the Left ’84 generation did? The two were birthed in the parliamentary Labour Party. She talks about the poorest but doesn’t do. Doesn’t go back to Murupara, where there’s a good chance she’ll be mugged.

    Follow the money seems right.

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