It’s Time For Disaster Socialism


“NEVER LET A CRISIS go to waste.” That was the key take-out from Naomi Klein’s 2007 book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Remember the stories? Who could forget the one about the way the American Right took advantage of Hurricane Katrina? How it looked upon the tragedy of New Orleans’ flooded public schools, and saw only a heaven-sent opportunity to privatise the city’s education system.

I know Jacinda wants us all to “Unite Against Covid-19”, but I also know that out there the One Percent are working feverishly to protect, defend and if possible extend their gains of the past 35 years. The neoliberal elites survived the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-09, and they are absolutely determined to survive the Global Pandemic of 2020. That cannot be allowed to happen. The Left must drive the stake so deep into Neoliberalism’s black heart that, this time, it does not get up. What’s needed now is “Disaster Socialism”.

Last December, contemplating the rout of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, I observed:

A democratic-socialist leader possessed of a sophisticated strategic sense would understand that election manifestos are best restricted to promoting policies that the electorate actually wants – not policies his (or her) comrades believe the electorate should want. Let the drift of events – economically and socially – propel the party in directions which the capitalists may not like, but which they no longer feel able to redirect. Most importantly, identify the one reform most likely to undermine the institutions upon which their opponents’ rely most heavily for protection. Implement it early, fast, and without compromise.

In the context of the current crisis, the “drift of events” is pushing the Coalition Government inexorably towards introducing some form of Universal Basic Income (UBI). Finance Minister Grant Robertson has (very wisely) refused to rule out such a measure. Indeed, it is difficult to see how preventing a precipitous descent into mass poverty and significant social dislocation can be avoided without some form of UBI.

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If Jacinda and her colleagues wish to avoid New Zealand spiralling down into the sort of mass civil unrest that characterised 1932 – the darkest year of the Great Depression – when angry crowds of desperate unemployed smashed-up Auckland’s Queens Street and fought running battles with the Police, then constructing some form of income floor for the population to stand on is pretty much unavoidable.

The beauty of the rising clamour for a UBI is that it is not actually coming from the Government. Rather, it is bubbling-up (as all great social reforms should) from below, as thoughtful people look ahead and see the black hole into which New Zealand’s economy will disappear if some form of income guarantee is not introduced – and quickly.

(Which is not to say that Robertson will not be finding it difficult to suppress a wry chuckle. Remembering the derisive reception the UBI option received when it emerged from Labour’s 2016 “Future of Work” discussions, he will no doubt be thinking “what goes around, comes around”!)

Even more beautiful than the genuinely popular nature of the demand for a UBI, is the fact that the voices of the capitalists themselves – especially the smaller ones – are joining in the clamour for change. They know that the thing they have to fear the most is (as Franklin Roosevelt rightly observed in March 1933) “fear itself”.

When people lose all confidence in their ability to escape the economic calamity assailing them, their whole mind and body are attuned to only one thing – survival. Their own and their family’s future fades to black. “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” In times like these the most important thing a government can do is give people hope. And, in the midst of an economic catastrophe: hope = money. If the people have no hope – no money – they cannot and will not spend. Every capitalist with a brain knows this. They know that impoverished consumers must put at risk the entire capitalist system. That’s why they, too, however reluctantly, are coming to the conclusion that the introduction of some sort of UBI is inevitable.

Ironically, this leaves Neoliberal Capitalism’s official spokesperson, Simon Bridges, off-side with a growing number of capitalists. His objection to the introduction of a UBI is that once introduced it will instantly become a permanent fixture of the twenty-first century welfare state. Abolishing it will be politically impossible. He’s right, of course. A UBI, like Mickey Savage’s “social security”, is one of those reforms which the Right must, at almost any cost, prevent, because once it’s in, it’s in for good. National’s wartime leader, Sid Holland, came to this realisation only slowly. He had to be beaten three times at the ballot box before he was ready to reassure the electorate that Social Security would be safe under National. Clearly, Bridges knows enough of his own party’s history to grasp the importance of heading a UBI off at the pass.

And, when I use the expression “at almost any cost”, I’m not exaggerating. So appalled was the New Zealand Right at the prospect of Social Security coming into force that, on 2 February 1939, one of their number poured petrol over the timbers of the half-constructed Social Security Building in Aitken Street, not far from Parliament Buildings, and set them alight. The resulting blaze lit up Wellington’s night sky and reduced the construction site to ashes. Not that Mickey Savage and the people who had just re-elected the Labour Government were deflected by the arson in Aitken Street. The Government, private builders and the construction unions, working together, took only weeks to construct a new Social Security headquarters. It was opened by the Prime Minister on 27 March – just five days from the coming into force of the Social Security Act on 1 April 1939.

Similar determination is now required of Jacinda and her government. The present crisis demands a bold measure to both reassure and economically support an anxious nation. She has the power to meet the people’s need – and she must use it. If calling the reform UBI is a problem, then for God’s sake call it something else! But get it in place, Jacinda. Let Bridges and all the other neoliberal ideologues howl. After all, how much attention did they pay to the howls of protest that greeted Rogernomics and Ruthanasia? What goes around, comes around.

And when the Covid-19 Pandemic passes and we all emerge into the sunlight, the emergency measures will need to be given permanent legislative form. To accommodate this reform many other things will have change – not least our taxation system. A UBI will require the One Percent to pay their fair share. Something they haven’t done since the early 1980s. Employers will also face changes. No longer in fear of “the sack”, their employees will demand a fairer distribution of the surplus they create: more for the workers, less for the shareholders. The UBI will thus unleash a torrent of innovation and creativity – helping as nothing else can the rehabilitation of New Zealand’s stricken economy.

The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better opportunity to be strong, to be kind, and to make it okay for those who have waited so long and endured so much.

Let’s do this! Now!


  1. Yawwwn, why is it socialists/marxist’s always believe ‘now is the time’ to implement policies that were rejected by the voting public during normal times!?
    If the policies of the far left are so good why are they never promoted during election campaigning? Because the majority of voters roundly reject them.
    They have to be slipped into law during a crisis, when no one is watching…..shame on you and Arden if this happens.

    • Even before the Wuhan virus we where talking about a UBI partly because of automation and I want to stress that is not my rational for a UBI, never has been, but it’s quite useful because it’s easier to explain how certain masters of the economy should really be the servants.

      Anyone who reads the ABCs of capitalism knows that wealth is built up over generations so if we have private inheritance then we should have public inheritance to. This means of Social Justice is fundamental to why I believe in a UBI.

      Another reason to support a UBI is because it frees people from domination by people in authority using a fair arbitrary-power that provides people with basic security. In this regard those who support a UBI claim that a UBI is not to eradicate poverty per se but it is for handling the issue of insecurity.

      I read very carefully Wayne Mapp’s responses to TRP’s post about a UBI on the standard yesterday and from Mr Mapp all I saw was how the middle class would get squeezed, I didn’t see a single policy to address any of the insecurities of the population because that is behind the strict populism and that is behind the mental health crises to date. There are plenty of studies out there that proves mental health and mental security is improved by having basic securities.

      What we find in trial UBI’s since the 60’s (and I wish people would look at the evidence instead of relying on their views) and what UBI enthusiasts find is that the emancipation value of a UBI is greater than its money value. We are only just learning that the values of a UBI grows relative to the demands of the labour force so that the demands of public learning grows rather than just surviving. We know from our own experiences that society suffers from deprivation of these values. So instead of paying a bank $5 a month to do transactions that only cost $1 the public might be incentivised to input those transactions themselves via PayPal or something, so cutting out the middleman and dealing direct with people and making the master the servant again.

      A UBI isn’t the panacea to the corona virus but it is apart of the new system we should be building in the twenty first century.

      • Two trials for UBI have already been undertaken. One in Manitoba Canada and one in Finland. In both cases the trials were stopped because people stopped going to work and the local economy collapsed.

        As for UBI being a solution to automation: That’s a cure for a problem we don’t yet have! With unemployment around 4-5% we are at or very near the structural minimum unemployment and rely on contract labour from the islands to pick crops.

        • For what ever reason capitalism has ceased functioning for all intents and purposes it’s just that hard right jingoists can’t accept the reality of the corona virus. 2 weeks ago we had a typical right wing free market approach to Australia’s corona bail out packages and now there’s 2700 infected and 12 dead and corona cases just keeps blowing past Freemarket response. So it’s going to take a couple of years for reality to catch up to right dogma and ideology.

        • The UBI trial in Finland was to a select group of existing unemployed for one year as an experiment to determine if unconditional payments would increase employment. The experiment was flawed on a number of levels. It was never a universal basic income introduced on a national basis rather an unconditional basic income to a select few.

        • Not true. Manitoba stopped coz incoming conservative gov axed it before trial was scheduled to end. Finland wasn’t a real ubi …very low amount and only given to already unemployed. Many areas of positivity found in study. Manitoba fewer hours worked was due to people being able to reduce hours to care for children, elders. Once again many positives found. Alaska has a UBIZ-like dividend has seen good outcomes, Tribe getting casino dividend saw good results too. Most evidence points to positives outweighing any perceived negatives.

        • Must you disseminate absolute rubbish!! The Manitoba trial named ‘Mincom’ was stopped because of a change in government and the new conservative government saw no value in funding an analysis of its predecessor’s project.
          “Those boxes, full of mimeographed surveys and handwritten assessments, sat in a government warehouse for decades, largely forgotten. Around 2008, Evelyn Forget discovered them and has been analyzing the results since.”
          “The initial results are striking: the vast majority of Mincome participants kept working.
          Primary wage earners worked a little less, but only slightly.
          Married women backed off too, but mostly to take longer maternity leaves.
          There was a drop in work by teenage boys, but Forget says many simply were able to stay in high school longer. Their families weren’t as desperate for another breadwinner.”
          “Hospitalizations fell significantly, especially for mental health problems.”

          If you want to know the truth of the results of Mincome, the Manitoba Guaranteed Annual Income, Evelyn Forget’s research is here:

          So go peddle your lies elsewhere Andrew.

        • Andrew:
          > With unemployment around 4-5% we are at or very near the structural minimum unemployment

          What interests me about these comments is the recognition that being unemployed is a job, one that the economy needs at least 4-5% of the working population to have, at any given time. So people taking on that job ought to be paid at the minimum wage, if not the living wage (as public employees), not turfed into avoidable poverty. This is one of the strongest arguments for a UBI I can think of.

          • Danyl you completely misinterpreted my post.

            Scratch beneath the surface and that 4-5% I mentioned are those that are essentially unemployable – if they went to work they’d be more trouble than they’re worth. Typically, they’re people of low intelligence, maybe illiterate, have a really bad attitude or maybe have an addiction. And combinations of the above.

            Nothing to do with “recognizing being unemployed is a job”

            • Your idea of intelligence is nothing to be desired. New Zealand is going to come out of this pandemic with record debt. We are going to have to ignore old people who make it difficult and slow to get the money to where we want it. Do you honestly think you have a greater intellect than Wayne Mapp?

      • UBI or call it what you will, is a basic part of a village looking after its own and through that creating a stronger base for its daily life which can be seen by some as the economy.
        But there is more to that security than the dollars shared.

    • But the alternative is at least 10 times worse . If the trickle down theory worked, why is business asking for handouts particularly big business. Where is their personal responsibility, where are the people yelling “social handouts ” are bad in this case? Shame on those narcissists.
      Are these businesses labelled as dole bludgers?

    • I find it strangely comforting that in these times of the Chinese Communist Party Virus – Wuhan 2019 the useful idiots are still so tone deaf and clueless that they’re planning to exploit this human tragedy to further their ideological goals. Plus ca change plus la meme chose.

      • An hour after announcing Trumps 3 trillion dollar back to shopping package the U.S. infection rate surged. Is your ideology connected in any way to the economy?

    • The world had kind of changed. We will never go back thev way we were. It was never didtsinsblw. Now we know and need to use ploivies that work for the new world.

      • Sorry to say this but everyone said the same thing about the GFC, and within a few months it was all forgotten and it was all back to the usual nasty neo-liberal habits.
        It takes more than a pandemic to disturb the great world money-go-round.

        • Well, Stephen Mills as the spokesperson for the Left on NatRad Monday morning programme. Still supports the neo-liberal coup of 84.

    • Imright
      Have you ever considered the lack of public education about the benefits shown by socialism.
      Also the bias the MSM has towards neo liberal memes without discussion of the consequences.

      Right and left hardly exists in NZ politics at Parliamentary level. Its mainly right and harder right.

      The socialism thrust of the first Labour govt and the clear farsightedness of Harry Holland and John A Lee and others, gave Savage direction that pulled NZ out of the depression and laid a foundation all have benefited from since.
      Until a rat dirty douglas imported a very different thinking and the short sighted egotist Lange failed to stop the rot which now has become systemic. Lange had his nuclear moment right but had no understanding of what his moles were doing to NZ.

      UBI will impose a fiscal load that I believe requires nationalisation of bank lending services into a state owned and Govt run institution.

  2. Yes–call it something else if necessary–but a universal income is needed right now, as a combo sooner rather than later, with free Wifi, fare free public transport and power generation and supply returned to full public ownership and control.

    In the short term we are two weeks away at best from looting, a crime wave, and widespread breaking of the lockdown. Modern consumers operate on a “just in time” basis like employers do. Shops always open, preserving food and planning ahead a long lost art for many. People surviving week to week are stuffed in a situation like this–a low wage economy and low union density has ensured that.

    I am close to a number of union organisers and know the specific questions they have been facing from workers the last two days, and it is not a pretty sight. Some employers, but not many, are doing “the right thing” and paying people for now, and then take leave, but many are dragging their heels, essentially cutting people adrift. There are two tiers of Govt assistance following the Ministry of Health dictate for nationwide isolation. This has confused some, but never mind, UBI now is the obvious way out of social chaos in the short term. In the longer term I agree with Mr Trotter that UBI would be a conduit for political struggle to roll back neo liberalism.

    • It’s the case with all right wing governments globally that there ideology of personal responsibility and adapting ones life style to the changing economic system dogma is found wanting. Scott Morrisions Australian Federal Government blew sixty six billion dollars 2 weeks ago on his ideologically driven corona recovery package and virus numbers blew right past Scomo’s recovery efforts. Now is not the time for petty politics. The only leadership that can be tolerated is competence.

    • @ H J.
      We must come to realise that whenever something, in this case a virus, raises the spectre for the need for special actions and quite dramatic ones, then of course, there will be many factions who will be using [it] for many reasons and not all of them noble. Gauging public push-back will certainly be one of them. To the unscrupulous, covid-19 will be an information windfall.
      That’s why we must all watch out for each other. We, like ‘Them’ should be measuring effects, taking notes and making plans of action.
      I certainly don’t want to get sick, and speaking very broadly I have scant respect for most humanoids at the best of times so staying away from my fellow beasties is hardly a challenge. I have a squadron of Piwakawaka come inside to fly over head as I make a cup of tea. That’s more me, sadly. Or not…?
      The right.
      The right should remember, with at least as much enthusiasm as they pretend to forget, that it is the labourers and tradespeople, and in particular farmers who earn our money. Not them. Not the right.
      They simply soak our money up and stash it away after shovelling it into the gaping maws of foreign banksters.
      Back in the late 1960’s my Southland farmer father used to talk about a UBI.
      Farming was a seasonal occupation so he thought it necessary that seasonal workers who serviced agriculture needed a UBI to remain healthy, ready and willing for when the seasonal work called for them.
      Not, as the farmers favourite parasite, the dreaded Natzo’s would have us believe; to starve, subjugate, disenfranchise and humiliate with poverty which begets ignorance and social dysfunction.
      We must remember. The national party Right are the yapping Poodle mouthpiece of the ‘Them’s’. The true power elite here, and with absolutely no doubt their dubious and secretive connections to those of a similar ilk in foreign countries.
      And where is that exactly? Someone might ask?
      Well, that’d be an easy question to answer. ” Just follow the money?”
      Our $6billion dollars in yearly net profits the banksters take out of our economy? Into who’s pudgy hands does that end up in?
      The homeless would agree when I say not fucking ours, that’s for sure.

      • CB . That 6 billion is the tip of their true profit, well massaged and hidden in books that are a black hole to our IRD as they involve a constant flow of money over seas each night and back in the new day through many sets of books in tailored havens.

      • Fantails wonder into your home? Lucky you. As a gardener I speak fluent fantail to those close hangers-around, but believe if one lands on me that’s death.

    • Helena Jordan: ” U.K. Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens is of the opinion that this “virus” should no longer be considered as a high consequence infectious disease.”

      I hadn’t seen that YouTube clip, but I’ve certainly seen the above information elsewhere online, with a link to that UK government website.

      It’s a puzzle indeed as to what’s going on, both there and here.

      I’m in Wellington. I have heard public health talking heads claim that there is community transmission here in NZ; an acquaintance mentioned this, along with their belief that it’s happening in this area. I pointed out that there are no reports of confirmed community transmission: if there were, we’d have heard about it already.

      And if there are undiagnosed people in Wellington, it’s obvious that they aren’t getting sick (or not sick enough to need medical attention). Were that otherwise, we’d surely know about it already. Nobody could accuse the government of keeping quiet about the cases!

      Moreover, this is a small society: if there were community transmission, that information would have leaked out already.

      • D’Esterre – They can be sick but not get attention as systems are overloaded. Unless you can name the source of you possible infection you will not get tested.
        So much for community contagion being tracked at this very important stage.
        I rang the hotline on behalf of an exhausted sick young man who could not get access to testing, and found the same response.

    • Just thinking about ‘justice delayed is justice denied’. I realise our good courts probably will take a different view but I understand justice and will not let it be delayed.

  3. … ” Let Bridges and all the other neoliberal ideologues howl. After all, how much attention did they pay to the howls of protest that greeted Rogernomics and Ruthanasia? What goes around, comes around ” ….


    Too bloody right !!!

    Excellent article, Mr Trotter.

  4. And renationalise all our vital infrastructure so it meets the needs of the nz people, not just a bunch of investors.

  5. So we’re all in this together, according to Ms. Adern. Perhaps, if she could travel through time, (and some people seem to think she is capable of miracles), she would say the same thing to those aboard the Titanic as it approached its iceberg. Well, 60 percent of the first class passengers (including 97 percent of the women travelling first class) survived the wreck, compared to 25 percent of the third class or steerage passengers. Disasters always expose the inequalities and injustices of class-divided society, as has the Covid-19 crisis, in New Zealand and internationally.
    And why do Chris Trotter and others persist in identifying “neo-liberalism” as the evil to be destroyed? There’s no such thing – it’s just capitalism. And if you don’t drive a stake into its heart to finish it off, to use Mr. Trotter’s vampire analogy, it will eventually reconstitute itself and come at you again. That’s a lesson social democrat heroes like Mickey Savage and Jeremy Corbyn were incapable of learning.

    • ”Social democrat heroes like Mickey Savage and Jeremy Corbyn” were well aware of the need for a MIXED economy.

      Not one of pure capitalistic greed, nor one of Bolshevik Communism.

      What we seek is an economy much like the sensible Scandinavians…a MIXED economy. Our Australian born Mickey Joseph Savage was one who emulated that same sensibility as modern Scandinavian country’s,…and it is a pity, we do not follow that model.

      • The structure of corporates controlling business and politics needs to change before we have a democracy.
        Where are our unions, workers cooperatives and broad based representative decision makers to counter corporate power of Business NZ.

    • Chris describes himself as a socialist so I’m sure he agrees with you. Putting up with capitalism worked for 50 years til 84. Our dominance needs to be cut into the tree trunks now.

      Myself, I like the spirit of free enterprise. Just don’t like those weird driven folk to decide about the rest of us.

      • SS – “Just don’t like those weird driven folk to decide about the rest of us.”
        Give them a change and they will and always do.
        Allow them an inch and they will take many miles.

  6. All for a UBI for NZ citizens only. We all have seen how many people queue up for handouts who don’t appear to need them apparently 10% of NZ arrivals for the last 15 years get permanent residency without any income. Tarrant who blew away 50 people in cold blood was one of them, and I don’t fancy encouraging more of the world here to be provided for, even as they train for 3 years to kill others… Likewise the Meth smugglers who got permanent residency in NZ while never producing a NZ tax return… Too many people flocking to NZ to commit social harm on other’s in NZ and the government does nothing. Needs to stop.

      • @ John W, Incompetence, ideology, right wing and woke policy, user pays policy, allowed them in.

        Also inability to change our immigration policy to dampen demand with globalism and cheap travel becoming available to the masses.

        Inability to look at Australia and China and mimic the same visa conditions to their nationals as to ours.

        Aka Australia has changed their criteria for Kiwis living in OZ when the immigration surge happened, so other Nationals living in OZ can’t vote and use the health system without certain conditions, but NZ just waves more Tarrents and criminals into NZ to fulfil their ideological whims here, and take up housing and resources.

        Likewise Kiwis can’t reside in China and get free medical, super and vote there but many Chinese (dual) nationals can here. Kiwi’s can’t buy a house over there and (not sure) but I don’t even think Kiwi’s can operate a Chinese business without a Chinese partner taking a 50% cut.

        We need reciprocal social welfare conditions for immigration to start operating ASAP!

        • “Incompetence, ideology, right wing”
          johnkey and banksters international plus locally Business NZ plugging for more consumers and stuff the country.

  7. Capitalism has failed us all finally so it seems that a new policy incuding the best of Capitalism and socialism is the clear way forward not to have balance to include all who inhabit our future ecomnomic policy my dear friends. Great article from Chris Trotter.

    • It IS a great article from Chris Trotter,…and despite my disagreement regarding Roosevelt and the Democratic party ( who supported slavery in the South ) , and ‘Honest Abe’ of the Republican party who opposed it during the American Civil War….I’m still a big Chris Trotter fan.

      I just think he has a few historical facts wrong . 🙂

      God bless you, Chris.

      Love ya.

      Your wonderful.

      Methinks we are best off to have a mixed economy as the Scandinavians have. I have always said this, I will never change…I know it is best for all,… for the rugged individualists, to the homely more conservative types keeping home and hearth together. And for all the less well off in society in which with a turn of the dial we could all easily become.

      Here ya go , Chris,…

      I can tell your an old rocker… just like Martyn is.

      I Don’t Wanna Stop

  8. Dassle 72.

    I watched Jecinda on telly address the Nation for Lock down. She said. Act
    Like you have it. Fuck I nearly shocked drinking my beer. She has put
    Death wish on us. She is The Angel of Death. She backs Abortion Euthanasia. Murder. She is not what she seems.

    • Keep your hair on Darrel. A lot of people are putting others at risk because of ‘but I don’t have it so it’s fine’ attitudes. All Jacinda was saying is that we need to take the same precautions we would if we did have it. If everyone does that, there will be a whole lot less community spread, and we can all get back to normal within a couple of months, as they are in parts of China.

      Latest news from the Chinese city where I live is that public transport is now operating as normal, with a full schedule of subway trains, and no compulsory temperature checks for commuters. Meanwhile, as countries close their borders to transit passengers and flights get insanely expensive, I’m wondering when I’m going to be able to return.

    • She backs freedom of choice, do you want a right wing dictatorship, because that’s what you’ll get.

  9. What happened in NZ at 11.59pm last night? A coup d’etat perhaps? The Socialists within the Government have taken control?
    Withdrawn the Nations workforce ✔
    Secured the State Apparatus ✔
    Control the Cabinet ✔
    Have control of the ‘Cheque Book’✔
    Have no opposition & no bloodshed✔
    And it took less than one minute✔
    The Socialist People’s Republic of Aotearoa was born✔

    • Add the fourth estate too. All they seem to be doing is ‘parroting’ the pre-prepared news briefs and gone all “newsy influencer” reporting.

      I didnt think a nation could be dumb’d down so much! Lets see how ‘Deep’ this can go, or not?

  10. Just gotta love the fact NZ and Oz govts are “negotiating” with the banks for a mortgage holiday…. of course you can have one sir, but the interest will keep accruing! So NZ has effectively shut down yet the banks that are given the approval by our govt to operate (and suck significant loads of folders from thee shores) end up calling the shots. Yet these funds are loaned into existence by the banks, so they create the money for your mortgage out of thin air then charge you interest for it…….this peeps is govt sanctioned theft. Who is in control, us thru our govt or the banks?? The answer shows where the problems begin. While we continue to believe in a human created system (neoliberal econimics and all the fractional reserve and usury etc it includes) that must have continuous growth on a finite planet, the outcome will allways be the same… collapse.

    There is a significant chance that those in charge (as you can see not your govt) will utilise this crisis as a perfect foil for a global monetary reset with them still at the top of the heap…. the question is of course was it intentional or an accident???
    And unfortunately labour/national leftwing/rightwing are all part of the same bird, try and find find any politician who questions the basic tenets of Neoliberal economics (MMT or whatever it is disguised as today). And unfortunately most of us sheeple are toooo darn busy surviving to even think about it.

    For an alternative view on covid-19 have a view of this
    read the comments as well, interesting times indeed

  11. This is the shot over the head before the shot into the chest.

    Labour too believes in ‘politics is the art of the possible’. I think they may have taken it too far to the heart. How would I know what they really think? But all the wind for beneath their wings.

  12. Having now read Trotter’s column, magnifico! His ‘politics is the art of the possible’ has now, 36 years late, intersected with the possible. But all the successful ‘Left’ politicians have taken surviving during the rule of the rich too far to heart, even if they know the truth.

    So silly the great American demo-crat Sanders was only 3 weeks out from over-throwing their oligarchy. Instead …

  13. Does not look like we are going towards disaster socialism, but shock doctrine, disaster capitalism or Chinese/Russian totalitarianism in NZ. Our justice system seems to have stopped being fair.

    The good news for the woke, is that we are not racist!!! We have billionaires from around the globe, all different ethnicities who are now NZ citizens and residents to do with NZ what they will. What upstanding new citizens/residents are they! Sarcasm.

    Russian billionaire Mikhail Khimich’s drink-driving charges dismissed

    The troubled redevelopment of the Waiwera Hot Pools complex by Russian billionaire Mikhail Khimich has ended in liquidation

    Donald Trump, Peter Thiel and the death of democracy

    Mainzeal’s Yan says NZ laws don’t apply in China, won’t pay back $18m

    Controversial citizen William Yan AKA Bill Liu admits money laundering of ‘significant sums’

    Their billionaire business sense seems to be generating social harm to other individuals and small businesses in NZ, major NZ firms liquidations like Mainzeal left their subcontractors in the lurch and bankruptcies after years of local ownership at Waiwera effected the town greatly.

    But it seems billionaires are exempt from paying back fines or even appearing in NZ courts like local citizens are expected to do.

  14. If ever you were looking for confirmation the forces of Neoliberalism were prepating to defend their patch, Mathew Hooten’s column on today’s Herald says it all ….
    “One thing is clear. Free-market capitalism is unsurpassed at inventing, creating and producing houses, cars, iPhones, cool sneakers and jeans. We need to get back to it as soon as we can “

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