GUEST BLOG: Bryan Bruce – Hippocrates please. Not Hypocrisy


Historical records, some etched in stone and going back at least 3000 years, show that we have known the core values we should all hold to make our society the best it can be .

Today I happened to watch, on PBS, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi talk about the hypocrisy of President Trump’s proposed budget which puts the lie to nearly everything he said in his State Of The Union Address last week.

She made the same point that I have also raised in some of my previous posts – that a government’s budget reveals its morality and true beliefs.

If a government decides to give millions to yachting but not feed children in schools then that’s a moral decision not just an economic one.

If you decide to spend more on roads for vehicles that use fossil fuels than on providing free public transport to reduce carbon emissions ( not to mention congestion) then that also a moral decision.

TDB Recommends

If you refuse to tax the wealthy who are getting richer in our country at the expense of the many , then that too is a moral decision not just an economic one.

As I say,we have known for a very long time what we need to do as members of a society to make it the best it can be.

Today I’ve quoted Hippocrates the ancient Greek physician who lived over 2300 years ago.

Neoliberal economics , introduced by Labour in 1984 (and still practiced by them ) put on steroids by National and supported today by Greens and NZ First (by virtue of choosing to be in cabinet ) has done enormous harm to the lives of ordinary families in our country and as we head towards the election I’ll be reminding you of the specifics of the damage it has done to the lives of most New Zealanders since its inception and what we must do to change the economic and moral direction of the next government by using your vote to get the best tactical outcome.

The way I describe Neoliberalism is that it is the economics and politics of selfishness.

Even the Ancient philosophers knew that cooperation and sharing made for a better society.

So more Hippocrates and less Hypocrisy please.

Because if you want a more egalitarian society where we look after each other and every child gets the chance to be the best that they can be – then it’s time to abandon the “me” society driven by the Economics of Selfishness and usher in the “we” society driven by the Economics of The Common Good.

Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.


  1. When Labour transformed the landscape for Kiwis with free health, revised pensions. the family benefit for every child, cheap mortgages through State Advances for home buyers and small businesses, nationalising the BNZ, State housing. basic food subsidies and a raft of social legislation; the nation did well at all levels with a new hope.

    Since then the BNZ has been privatised and most other social legislation has been repealed or substantially changed. Even the Public Health System is being eroded by lack of funding and private insurance funding a private competing system who hire out facilities to Public Health who cannot afford to build facilities.

    Education is free by law but schools are charging families and that has been allowed to creep in along side the increasing privatsation of education . Tertiary education was free or with minimal cast but now full costs and student loans weigh down our youth mortgaging their future.

    Labour has tried to free up the first 3 years of tertiary education but has been stopped at one year and hardly a peep in MSM. What gives.

    Labour had a morning paper called “The Southern Cross”, but no more.

    The NZ public have been worn down with neoliberal MSM controlled by Business NZ with its offshore parents.

    We are loosing our institutions promoting social reform endowing our younger generation

  2. Yes Bryan.
    Thank you, and so depressingly true.
    “Neoliberalism is that it is the economics and politics of selfishness.”
    To which I would add, that we need a new term. In a real sense ‘ Economics is politics’ and vice versa. They are inextricably intertwined. The compartmentalisation is manufactured, and a large part of our dire predicament. The ignorance of this by economists and politicians says a lot.

Comments are closed.