“Lord, give us Democratic Socialism – but not yet!”

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IT PAINS ME to ignore the Prime Minister’s advice, but it’s time to kick some Labour Party butt. As the saying goes: “Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.” And, no, I’m not talking about putting another boot into the tragic posterior of the Minister of Health. My beef is with the junior officers of Labour’s army. These are the folk who should be the most aggressive in the fight for social justice. The ones willing to take the risks necessary for victory. The ones with their eyes firmly fixed on the democratic-socialist prize. Unfortunately – and frustratingly – this is not what we’ve got.

On display is the sort of military prowess that saw a gaggle of chinless, baggy-panted British toffs hand over Singapore to a near-exhausted, numerically inferior and utterly astonished Japanese army in February 1942. Rather than delighting Labour’s allies and supporters with bold and imaginative contributions to the debate on how best to wrestle down the looming Covid-19 recession, Labour’s junior officers are offering nothing but orthodoxy and caution. Even worse, they are expending what little energy they can summon-up on upending buckets of cold water on every radical idea that comes forward.

Why do they always do this? How did dreary pragmatism become Labour’s default-setting? A full explanation would require a book-length answer. Suffice to say that once a party embraces the fundamental tenets of neoliberalism, anything other than orthodox and cautious policy responses will be treated as the political equivalent of upending a can of petrol over your head and striking a match. To be considered a credible contender for bigger things (an electorate seat or a high position on the Party List) requires constant proof that one’s hands are nothing if not “safe”.

Hence the following snippy little comment from lawyer, Greg Presland (The Standard’s “Mickey Savage”) responding to my criticism of his casual dismissal of the suggestion that Kris Faafoi should’ve rescued the best of New Zealand’s magazines by accepting Bauer Media’s offer to sell its entire stable to the Crown for $1.00:

“Gee Chris. In the middle of a pandemic when the country’s collective health and economy are under major threat and possibly a third of businesses are going to the wall do you really think the Government should be sweating about saving the Listener?”

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

Yeah, Greg, I do. I really do. Because even Blind Freddie (and The Spinoff’s Duncan Grieve) can see that Bauer’s ruthless cutting of its losses is about to be replicated across the entire media industry, and that only the Crown has the resources (not to mention the responsibility) to keep our news media alive and kicking against the pricks. Unless, of course, Greg’s desired outcome is actually the more-or-less complete collapse of this country’s independent media – with an absolute state media monopoly the last man standing. That there is absolutely nothing “social” or “democratic” about such a “solution” should surprise no one.

And lest any reader feel tempted to nod in agreement with Greg’s heartfelt concern for “possibly a third of businesses” poised to go “to the wall”: please, just stop and think it through. Is he suggesting that while the Government cannot afford to “sweat” about saving this country’s magazine publishing industry, it can afford to – and fully intends to – save all the others? Can the nation’s small and medium-sized enterprises now breathe a huge sigh of relief, secure in the knowledge that the same ministers who refused to lift a finger to shore-up the foundations of our democracy will nevertheless work like Trojans to rescue their little businesses?

Isn’t it more likely that the only New Zealand businesses with any reasonable hope of being bailed-out by the Crown will be the ones which are, in that memorable phrase from the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-09, “too big to fail”. Remember that Newsweek cover proclaiming “We are all socialists now”? Published the same week Barack Obama nationalised the auto industry.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Obama was right to take over General Motors. Nationalisation is what you do in a crisis – especially when the industry your saving is vital to the future of your country. And that’s the amazing thing, Greg. That you simply don’t get that. Still, don’t feel too bad, because no one in a position to make a difference in the Labour Party has had an intelligent thought about the New Zealand media since the government of Norman Kirk.

So, if the Government is not going to be in a position to rescue every small business in New Zealand, and if up to a third of those small businesses could “go to the wall”, in Greg’s none-too-felicitous phrase, then wouldn’t this be the  very best time to introduce a Universal Basic Income? Especially when the ability of the MSD to process and monitor tens-of-thousands of additional beneficiaries promptly, efficiently and sympathetically is just a teeny bit questionable?

Nope. Wrong again. According to Andrew Little’s former Chief-of-Staff, Neale Jones:

“I cannot think of a worse time to implement a UBI than in the middle of this economic crisis. Some of us are doing fine. Others need unprecedented government support just to stay afloat. UBI would spread that support thinner, or quickly spend 10s of billions we may need later.”

Meaning Neale has no grasp at all of Keynesian economics. No understanding of the crucial importance of keeping up the level of aggregate demand. No historical grasp of the crucial role spending plays in lifting a nation out of an economic slump. Nor does he understand the practical and moral efficiency of universal, as opposed to means-tested, state support. The massively positive effect of telling every Kiwi: ‘You are important in your own right, not because you’re in need of charity but because you are a citizen of New Zealand.’ Everyone keeps telling us that “we’re all in this together” – a UBI would prove it.

But, no. Neale says that being in the middle of a once-in-a-lifetime economic crisis is actually the worst time to consider a payment to every citizen to keep them and the economy afloat. The worst time.

The problem is, Neale, there is never a best time for you guys. Never. You and Greg remind me of Saint Augustine who prayed to the Almighty: “Lord, give me chastity and self-control – but not yet.” In the case of you two junior Labour officers, however, the prayer is a little different:

“Lord, let the Labour Party give New Zealand democratic socialism – but not yet.”

Not yet.

103 COMMENTS

  1. The voters don’t actually want democratic socialism.
    If they did, The Alliance (now the Greens) would be polling in the 30s and Jim Anderton would have been PM.

    The voters want neoliberalism with a compassionate face and an adequate welfare system.

    Sorry.

    • I’m not sure about that Ada. James Shaw, Marama Davidson, Julie-Anne Gender and Co. as champions of democratic socialism? They look more like wokesters to me – quite a different beast.

      • The Greens leaders today are the ones that the public will tolerate and possibly vote for. So, back to what the public really wants, not firebrands

        • @ Ada, That must be why Greens support has plummeted! Sarcasm.

          The more ‘Green’ Greens enjoyed support at 10%+ before climate change was even mainstream.

          The current neoliberal/woke/Green deal Greens seem to struggle to make over half of previous support.

          Saying that, because all options are so horrendous people now have to choose to support COL or else Natz back, even though COL has failed in their election promises of reducing immigration (temp immigration has soared up 18% each year, phones running off the hook at immigration NZ) and Labour and NZ First allowed neoliberalism to prevail with TPPA to go ahead with a very poor agreement that goes against long term local and iwi sovereignty and interests going forward.

        • It’s not about being a “firebrand”. Marama Davidson is pretty fiery on twitter, and Gohlriz and Julie-Anne love to stick it to the white heteronormative patriarchy. The problem is their focus is on identity politics, rather than on democratic socialism or social democracy.

          Clement Attlee was no firebrand. He was very determined, and quietly effective.

          • chruski – Remember Bernadette Devlin ? She certainly didn’t make it to Westminster by being a studious cucumber sandwich butterer. She was a firebrand, and she was loved for it.

            Barbara Castle – was it Barbara Castle with the red hair ?

            Our own Mabel Howard waving her bloomers in Parliament mightn’t have made it past Ada’s neo-Victorian pre-requisites for being a good pollie – this is why Austin Mitchell (I think) called us ‘The Passionless People’ and we must resist all attempts to prove him right.

            • So what. I didn’t say firebrands can’t be effective. My point (which I obviously didn’t explain well) was that some Green MPs are quite “fiery” about particular issues, but their focus is not on democratic socialism.

              It was Gordon McLauchlan who called us “The Passionless People”, but it sounds like you’ve misunderstood what he meant.

        • Ada – Once again you don’t know what you’re talking about. Green support plummeted post the Christchurch Muslim Massacre being utilised by Green women to demonise white New Zealanders, Davidson’s comments re men deleting themselves, and I daresay Davidson’s weird attempt to re-introduce cunt into the NZ vocabulary didn’t help matters either.

          Green supporters, like me, utterly rejected Pakeha NZ being blamed for the Christchurch massacre, but I daresay that my standards are higher than yours.

          And there can be a place for firebrands too – why not ?Just like pale stale white men- oops gender fluids – do you ? This is getting soo oo boring.

          • Snow White, you often write very thoughtful posts. But like so many TDB posters you swerve into abuse: “but I daresay that my standards are higher than yours” & “Just like pale stale white men- oops gender fluids – do you ?”

            Green Party polling since last March is not my point; my point is that the great bulk of NZ voters want neoliberal governments, with varying degrees of compassion, and this has been the case since at least 1987. Perhaps not so many of the people you know, but election results don’t lie.

    • Piss off, the public NEVER wanted neo liberalism, it was foisted upon us, rammed through with no democratic voice whatsoever.

      Are you an American immigrant or plant?

      Whats your agenda, mate?

      Here’s a read just for you.

      New Right Fight – Who are the New Right?
      http://www.newrightfight.co.nz/pageA.html

      Read that and come back again with your American free market bullshit. Guarantee you’ll learn some. Enough to teach you to fuck off with your revisionist post 1984 crap. We didn’t need you then, and we don’t need you now.

      Matter of fact, I guess you wont even have the balls to reply.

      So typical of the far right neo con / neo liberals when they are challenged.

      • Winning people across to your position there Wild Katipo!

        New Zealanders get to vote every three years and they keep re-affirming a generally neoliberal government of one type or another.

        Reality can be quite confronting for ranters.

        • Nice rant Ada.
          We see what neoliberalism brought us with today’s outcome of the EQC inquiry.
          ” A public inquiry has painted the EQC as a well meaning but wildly unprepared organisation hamstrung by Government as it dealt with earthquake claims. ”

          Hamstrung by neoliberalism where funding was inadequate, a Government insurer beset by incompetence, disfunction and arrogance.

          Chris is quite right.

          But to add to your last comment, an insult does not make an argument, for that alone loses the argument.

        • Yeah well the ranters win out here ‘ada’ .

          No one wants to win ‘hearts and minds’ here and this is not the fucking Vietnam war, bud.

          So take that one to heart and see just how the ‘ hearts and minds ‘ B.S served the USA…

          • If you don’t want to win “hearts and minds” (your term), how are you ever going to gain power democratically to change anything?

            What’s your alternative? A gun barrel?

            And we are not the USA.

            Cheers,

            • Dont get smarmy with me mate, and as to your question, it seems a simple virus is doing the workload for us.

              And no , we dont need a ‘gun barrel’ – never did and never will,- unlike America with its revolutionary war and every war its been involved with since.

              What you will find , however , is the collapse of your beloved free market economy. Its a matter of time, son.

              Just a matter of time. Now,- the question is reversed,… what will YOU and you ilk do in that case, eh?

              We hear a lot from your type about how things WONT change, – but bugger all on the reasons why.

              Lets hear it from you why things WONT change.

              • “What you will find , however , is the collapse of your beloved free market economy. Its a matter of time, son. Just a matter of time.”
                Aha, the inevitable collapse of capitalism under its inherent contradictions…. how many decades since Marx predicted that? We’re still waiting…

                “what will YOU and you ilk do in that case, eh?”
                I think we will do quite well, because we are able and not irrational. Thank you for your concern.
                Cheers, Ada

        • Ada – “Reality can be quite confronting for ranters. ” I guess that this explains you then, Ada.

          I’ve been thinking ( yes yes) that you,A, only ever heard the word ‘neoliberal’ fairly recently (was it in the collected works of Roger RIP?) and that you are utterly clueless about its meaning, and therefore you take refuge in wishy-washy blathering for lack of skill to do otherwise, or careless disregard of the truth, or both.

          If you think that the majority of NZ’ers have been going to the polls deliberately seeking a neoliberal government of one type or another, then this is the stuff of comedies. Thanks for the laugh.This, my dear, is simply cutey retrospective posturing.

          Could it be that each morning you wake up, before you put on your make up, you go online to see if the man from Kurow is there, so that you can ping your wee pellets at him because he is something that you never will be ?

          And if you really think that most people are not concerned with the common good, then you may need to get out more. Have a chat with that chappie on the Clapham Omnibus – quarantine permitting.

          • Pouring bile at people you disagree with, or because you think you know what sort of person they are, only shows how embittered you are. And makes it so easy to dismiss you and your post.

            I remember when people used to complain about capitalism. But the fall of the Soviet Union made them sound stupid, so they started complaining about neoliberalism. Change of terms, but the same complaints.

            Who is from Kurow, and why does it matter?
            Cheers,

            • Ada- “Who is from Kurow, and why does it matter?”

              Richie MccCaw ? Because he appeared in photos with John Key ?

              Mr and Mrs McMillan ? For being successful farmers ?

              Pat the Postman ? Because dogs like him ?

              The man on the Clapham Omnibus ? For paying his fare ?

              Other people ? Just because.

              Ciao

        • How could the voters of the NZ 1984 General Election “affirm” a neoliberal government when very very few of their supporters had even an inkling of the massive heist of public wealth and assets that Douglas was about to engineer?

          And when your major, supposedly left wing party embraces the new doctrine, and the corporate owned mainstream media (in pre World Wide Web days) continuously beat the “there is no alternative” drum, then voters “reaffirming a generally neoliberal government” becomes the default setting.

          Something the architects of the betrayal knew all too well.

            • Only because the ‘ voters’ have had to survive, – by shitting on the other voters through housing , rent and enacting the shitty grabastic neo liberal Ruth Richardson Employment Contracts At and going along with Bill fucking English’s low wage economy.

              If given a choice in the matter, – most wouldn’t have, but under the bitch screwing bitch dogma of neo liberalism they never had any options.

              You absolutely have no clue whatsoever about our culture and our history do you?

              None whatsoever.

              And you come on this site with your B.S Americana and try to preach your free market Milton fucking Friedman crap here?

              Are you insane?

              Do you know ANYTHING of NZ culture and economics pre 1984?

              Do you?

              Like the bloody fuck you do.

              Piss off back to Iowa or wherever it is you came from bud, – your a fish out of water here , mate.

              • Wild Katipo Thank you, it cheers me that you’ve
                ID’d Ada as a redneck from Iowa, and not a home grown product.

                I had thought that it was a white narcissistic megalomaniac female who thinks that she is never wrong, and is oblivious to the reality of every day life of many everyday people, cloaking herself with buzz words in clumsy attempts make it look as if her concerns extend beyond herself.

                • ‘ID’d as a red-neck from Iowa”?
                  Accusation taken as proof…

                  If Applewood and Wild Katipo are representative of the Left in NZ, the capitalists can sleep easy in their beds.

              • So you want The Daily Blog to be a a low intellect safe-space for far-Left Kiwis who think NZ was much better in 1973?
                Is it a place for ex-Alliance members to sing the old songs and tell the old anecdotes about how great Big Norm was?

                Righto, each to their own, I guess.

                • This is where I agree Ada. The site is for critical thinking.
                  An earlier post by you…

                  “But like so many TDB posters you swerve into abuse”
                  After an earlier post by you…

                  “Reality can be quite confronting for ranters.”

                  You have dismissed others opines using language like “far left” and “ranters because they do not agree with you. Does this make your’s “far right” and therefore a more intellectual opinion?
                  I’m always open for debate but sarcasm is no debate.

                  • Bert,
                    ‘Far left’ is a description, not an insult.
                    And given the foulness of Wild Katipo, I think ranter was accurate and justified.

                • Far left, far right and everyone in between, that’s who we want.
                  Want to fight about you’re ideas? I’ll fight you, take all your ideas and leave you with nothing.

            • Where have all the political parties gone since 1984?
              Largely to centre and centre-right! FIFY.
              In other words……..”Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.” ~ Henry Ford

              And of course anyone…..ANYONE… who dares raise their head above the parapets and questions the injustice of the current economic system to deeply. Well……there’s a lovely hoard of bought and paid for voices posing as our “independent 4th estate” to shout them down, dig up muck and smear them. Or like Bomber – ya’ just get ‘uninvited’ from whatever platform you formally guested on.
              Meanwhile, mindless narcisstic cocksuckers like M. Hoseking get unfettered access to trumpet the virtues they want you to hear.
              Sell your bullshit somewhere else Ada, I ain’t buying.

        • Didn’t you mention Ada, that you used to live in Australia? Not sure if it was you, or another with right winger who frequents this site.

          Nice to see Scomo was so kind to let the cruise ships disembark now the biggest source of Covid-19 in OZ and under a homicide investigation there.

          Of course NZ did the same thing allowing the tourists to disembark with Covid, but no investigation!

          Only now, weeks into lockdown the brain fart of making sure that people entering NZ are tested and locked down is starting to permeate with our politicians.

          Free entry to everyone from overseas on the back of a weetbix pack resident visa is one of NZ’s mantra’s for the last 6 years! The only reason we got saved is that the airlines themselves cut the visitors, not due to the government being concerned with Covid 19 spread enough to curb travel off their own bats.

          • Still making accusations of being a right-winger?
            Simply because I point out an unpalatable truth…

            Cheers, Ada

            • Nothing unpalatable about it,… just a pack of lies and more lies…so when does the truth start, ada?

              Or do we really have to scroll off the long dreary facts and social reports of the last 3 decades…

              Perhaps I should start with this to extricate yourself from you smugness and condescending attitude…

              Search Results
              Web results

              The great big list of John Key’s big fat lies (UPDATED) | The …thestandard.org.nz › the-great-big-list-of-john-keys-big-fat-lies-updated

              No , its boring as hell.

              Like you , ada, full of shit. Just like John Key was. Read it if you will, to most here, its a dreary litany of well known facts about the far right in this country… and a complete yet outrageous bore.

        • Most Kiwis do what MSM tells them to do.
          More ranters are needed. Kiwis should not fear having a backbone and joining with those who make a noise demanding social capital.
          Kirk was the last prime minister who publicly moved us towards greener pastures…… but then he got ill… and died………a very sad loss for NZ and international dialogue. The right rejoiced and took the reins again.
          How often do you hear World Peace as a political goal. Nah not from our politicians.
          Kiwis are kept scared and obedient. Suckers well exploited.

          • “Kirk was the last prime minister who publicly moved us towards greener pastures…… ”
            Yes, that was my point. You have to go back 45 years to find a genuinely democratic socialist PM.

            Since then, you know the story.

        • There is no other choice is there, tell me who to vote for, I haven’t voted Labour since the mid eighties. I was a founding member of New Labour then the Alliance and then in the early 2000s the Greens. But frankly I don’t think they have anything to offer. I suspect that James of all of them is the most right wing and hell he co leads the party. In his diatribe trying to get the position as co-leader, he said he would double the party membership, well anyone can say that but has he NO NO NO. They all believe in capitalism as it stands, they have all accepted neo liberalism. They didn’t like it but then they were told TINA and most of them believed it and have accepted it.

          Yes Kirk he was the man!

      • You are right in saying it was foisted on us, at least initially – as Lange and Douglas didn’t campaign on a neoliberal platform, certainly not in 1984. But do you really need to spit bile when you disagree with someone? And do you expect this site to be an echo chamber?

        • Msate- if you took into consideration the amount of people who have died as a direct/ indirect result of neo liberalism in this country you wouldn’t even stoop to that question.

          Should I recall the 3 year old child or the security guard who died because of shitty moldy homes,… or the medical report to the John Key govt which stated bluntly that children in NZ are dying of preventable third world diseases as a direct result of cold, damp , moldy housing???

          Are you emotionally thick?

          Or do you just have a bad memory?

          And that… is just the tip of the iceberg.

          Perhaps in this country , we have been far too polite for far too long. If you cant cut it, – get out of the kitchen.

          Begone with you and your politeness.

          You are either with whats happening or dragging the anchor on whats needed. The choice is yours.

          Because I don’t remember the neo liberals ever giving us any choice.

          • WK and John W – thanks for having patience to answer these ignorant trolls.

            “Perhaps in this country , we have been far too polite for far too long.” ~ Wild Katipo. QFT
            You betcha’. If the economic recovery package for New Zealand becomes YET ANOTHER bailout of the existing parasites, then all bets are off say I. Back in the day, FDR knew it was The New Deal, or workers revolt. Anything less than a similar response and it’s ‘Goodbye Labour’, and ‘Hello to the Workers First Party’.
            Because that’s what it’s gonna take to get any real change.

            Capitalism is fucked and requires full-on life support on a regular basis. And – on just a teensy weensy side note – it’s responsible for anthropomorphic climate change.
            Time for our elected officials to fight for their constituents, their families, and their communities. And not suck up to the Banks, Insurance Companies and big corporate backers.

            There will NEVER be a better time. Tomorrow is too late.

        • douglarse was a plant who moved quickly through Labour ranks on the back of his father’s long association with the party so was not suspect.
          He was already associated with the Mont Pelerin Society, being an extreme right neo liberal think tank.
          He was made very wealthy for his treasonous campaign.

      • “So typical of the far right neo con / neo liberals when they are challenged.”

        Just to refresh my memory. What party introduced neoliberalism to little old NZ? I dont remember it being a National government.

      • It’s a plant all right. Actually a weed like that rotten bindweed, determined and always looking for a place to make a show. I would say someone who has been set, or set themselves, to keep churning out the Nat BS and sew discord, and weeds.

    • How do we know what voters want? Hell they don’t even know what they want. Most of the public believe that a government budget operates the same as a family budget. that’s why leaders lead.

      • People make choices in polling places. Every three years. They get the governments they vote for.

        How many small parties have sprung up and been rejected by the voters?

        • The world is crumbling Mr Ada. I was told today that the recovery could be a short as 12 mounths away (I paraphrase) that’s a very optometric outlook. Even if you want to believe it will be over in 12 months that’s 30 trillion in wealth wiped away. That’s a lot of pissed off former rich people who believe just like everyone else that they shouldn’t have to suffer. So be kind Mr Ada, be kind.

        • What a bullshit argument. Just because something is the status quo, or politically convenient, doesn’t make it right or true. Who voted “for” neoliberalism? By your measure, the same number of people who voted for a nationwide lockdown. (Everybody and nobody; there was no choice).

          People vote on tribalism and personality, hardly ever on policy. And they aren’t necessarily wrong to do so. Leadership qualities (personality) really count, especially in times like this.

          BTW the economic successes of the 20th C were due to bold Keynesian spend-ups, not shitty small minded neoliberal austerity

  2. Maybe the government should have grabbed the opportunity to nationalize Air NZ, instead of bailing them out … again.

  3. Agree 100% Chris Trotter.

    The money should have been distributed in a UBI to NZ citizens only. I have no idea why Labour and COL seem to think that money that NZer’s pay in taxes should be distributed at the rate of $12million plus to OZ Harvey Norman’s workforce and supermarkets and dubious Ponzi takeaway shops….https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/120861003/coronavirus-retail-giants-use-government-welfare-to-get-through-crisis if they are OZ workers (and lets face it they are not, as too expensive, big business in NZ want workers targeted from the third world for cheap labour that is NZ’s immigration base, as the Pacific Islanders and Maori that used to be NZ’s cheaper workforce, do not have the political donations and perceived passivity to poor conditions and wages, that the new recruits have).

    NZ government and neolbierals are now propping up the third world with NZ welfare and spreading it too thin. All while preening how morally superior they are. Not really when you look at the statistic that show their efforts are making NZ 2nd class citizens in their own country.

    On the topic of foreign welfare. You have to wonder why our officials give away NZ taxes to hundreds of thousands of migrant pensioners who can come into NZ get a free pension, gold card, winter payments without having contributed any taxes or even lived here for the majority of their lives?

    According to COL, and wokies like Susan ST John in any articles I’ve seen from her, they seemingly lack any disagreement with migrants claiming NZ welfare like pensions without contribution the 1 million of taxes needed to fund it, and now Asian pensioners are tripling in NZ. I wonder why! All that generosity prised and regifted from the hands of NZ’s working poor by our government, also now being rerouted to foreign multinationals like Harvey Norman.

    The pensioners coming into NZ getting a UBI pension on dubious criteria, don’t have Chief-of-Staff, Neale Jones or Greg Presland being concerned at all, unlike their defence against a UBI for all NZ citizens.

    Meanwhile NZ citizen’s by birth and actually living in NZ for much of their lives, seem to get bare minimum of support, Northland residents don’t even have water now, due to poor management by councils and too much immigration and development there that does not match the natural resources and money available, hence water shortages).

    Furthermore with so much money going out in odd places (aka migrant pensioners, Tarrant types) NZ beneficiaries live on a fraction of what the OZ government pays out to their beneficiaries.

    OZ is able to pay more because they are careful who they allow to claim benefits there. No such luck in NZ.

  4. Then we get to how the industries in NZ who are ‘networking’ with government always seem to get the big hand outs. Aka Air NZ.

    Rob Fyfe, former Air NZ CEO who now is tasked with organising ventilators by industry is also begging for money inspite of seemingly zero experience in health care, https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12317978

    Meanwhile the new CEO of Air NZ, is a former Walmart president including Asia and China and has a son who is a league player, Yippee, NZ royalty!!!!! He even was born here before leaving and making real money overseas to avoid NZ’s low wages. Airline experience not necessary! Governments handouts arriving pronto!

    Rio Tinto, who if they actually left NZ, it is estimated would make electricity prices drop for the majority of people and businesses in this country are also allowed to leave their hazardous waste around to boot. https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/southland/mataura-asks-govt-act

    Don’t bother picking up your waste seems a familiar theme in NZ.
    Iwi furious at company’s plan to leave oil production equipment on Taranaki sea floor
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/te-manu-korihi/411463/iwi-furious-at-company-s-plan-to-leave-oil-production-equipment-on-taranaki-sea-floor?fbclid=IwAR157VNhFYRa80NJqQk6Pa720Zl8wobuI4__NbhgsKT4JliARo3iKT3TU94

    Why have non means tested UBI when a person might get a few xtra $$$$ when NZ corporate shareholders are bleeding money with sunset and high risk industries that deserve NZ taxes more!!!!

    Get more polluters into NZ and make sure the taxpayers pay for the clean ups of their waste!

    aka Mobil did not have to pay for a $10 million cleanup of its heavily contaminated former oil storage site at Auckland’s tank farm in Wynyard Quarter. The global oil giant has succeeded in a Supreme Court challenge to the clean-up bill from Auckland Council-controlled Waterfront Auckland (now Panuku Development Auckland).

    Funny why people don’t want to pay more tax, when this is what it is spent on!

    Privatise the profits, socialise the losses!

  5. I’m less inclined to be as media savvy as you Chris, but I can appreciate your views,… for as we all know ,.. the media shapes public opinion, and , as such wields a tremendous weight of political influence. Keep on at it, Chris,… you have to. As long as you can , you must.

    ————————–

    … ” The Crown has the resources (not to mention the responsibility) to keep our news media alive and kicking against the pricks ”…

    ————————–

    I am reminded of the ‘Man in Black’ himself, the wonderful Johnny Cash, and his song… ‘When the Man comes around’…

    Johnny Cash-The_Man_Comes Around
    https://youtu.be/k9IfHDi-2EA?t=4

    I often liken you to Cash. Socially aware, a truth teller, and a speaker to power.

  6. Calling the UBI a national dividend as Social Credit did (does) might carry the sense of sharing entitlement desired.
    I think the system has to collapse before it can be reorganised as profoundly as is necessary. I think Winston is waiting for that to happen , and has been since choosing to go with labour after the last election.
    I had misunderstood QE. Lots of commentators spoke of it saddling the public with debt to the measure of the QE money created, but at the same time it was described as being used for the purchase of existing bonds and securities already in the marketplace, and hence was injecting new money that was not anyone’s debt into the economy. But subtly the difference is that it has been mostly spent on newly issued bonds from the treasury issued purely for the purpose of QE. In this case it is coming into existence as a debt the government has incurred on our behalf with the sole purpose of bailing out the financial sector. Most UBI discussions outside of social creditors are talking about the same process for funding that. This will not fix the overall problem though it will help with the immediate difficulties of citizens and small business.
    If QE had been issued without the device of issuing bonds to facilitate the extent of it. By simply writing up a credit in everyone’s bank account, then it would have been replacing money issued as debt into the economy with real positive money. But by tying it to a government bond issued solely for that purpose it adds to the overall indebtedness instead of alleviating it.
    The world is saturated with debt that can’t be paid. the cure has been to dream up devices that can on one hand allow the debt to be serviceable by reducing interest rates to zero (for banks and finance houses) and by spreading it ever wider so it is shared by all. QE has been the means of moving a huge slice of it onto the public , now being done here. But all that does is to kick the can down the road, And a UBI funded the same way will do the same.
    What the powers that be are doing is to balance the mountain of debt spread out evenly throughout all of society’s structures so that everything is perfectly saturated. The result will be that when the trigger occurs there will be no one and nothing left out. The collapse will be complete . Then we will have some politicians thinking laterally.

    D J S

    • The usual areas will whinge the most about taxes and government in general espesially repurposing WINZ. Because there is no work and WINZ staff don’t want to move. Sometimes redundancies is a kind of kindness.

    • Simplified.
      Robertson used QE which entails the NZRB creating money and supplying private banks. With this system the money gets tied up in the financial system and becomes a profit stream for bankers pushing up asset prices..

      A better and simpler way of increasing money supply is for the RBNZ to create money and put it directly into a Govt account to be spent on whatever the govt needs. That money then circulates increasing money supply.

      Effectively no debt is created

      • Or the NZ Government sells bonds to the RBNZ, which creates the money to buy the bonds and the Government then spends it.

        • The alternative is a currency backed by some sort of finite resource. That would be both deflationary and volatile and, not really suited to this crazy world we’ve built.

  7. The day Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders pulled out of the US Presidential race is, ironically, within the same 24 hours CT writes this article.
    The day for the revolution CT pines for will come – sooner for us than the US -but not just now, sadly.

    A not entirely unrelated matter occurred to me today and recently. I see, in today’s news, AMI, the insurance company, has ‘generously’ offered its airtime and social media advertising space to families and groups to promote kindness in the community.
    This, within a week or so of sending me my household insurance bill for the coming year which has increased by 30 percent over the previous year (I haven’t, for decades, made a claim against the policy). My contents policy also went up 10 percent. Similar large increases in premiums have occurred in recent years. They do NOT anywhere like equate to my meager income increases by any stretch of the imagination.
    What a bloody rip-off. What hypocrisy!
    If you have money to give away, AMI, reduce your premiums to your loyal, long-suffering customers!!
    Come, the revolution!

    • @ Verity, Yes corporate elites seem to be advertising a storm encouraging kindness to corporates not actually practising kindness themselves! Supermarkets don’t seem to have any kindness in their prices either inspite of their advertising to make others kind, no sign of that themselves!!!

    • Kiwis needs a state owned insurance company like we had.
      No shareholder profit built into premiums and provide competition for the cabal of offshore pirates.

      You are not alone VV. Many can no longer afford insurance……………

  8. Ada – You cannot know what the ‘voters’ want any more than Amy Brooke may think that she knows what ‘the silent majority’ wants, or how they feel – sic –

    “…the silent majority, has long been used to refer to New Zealanders who are not highly vocal, nor stridently demanding – like our customary special interest groups, but who nevertheless, quiet New Zealanders, keep their eye on what is happening to the country. And their patience is running out, noting the continual handouts of hard-earned and undeserved millions of dollars to a noisy minority of part-Maori descent whom it pays financially to keep demanding more and more of taxpayers’ funding. Their appetites are apparently insatiable.”

    You(pl) may both err.

    You can really only know what you want – and even then, feelings tending to be subjective, you (pl) may possibly err about your own wants – but that’s okay, so long as you don’t project your wants onto others. And polls err too, did you know ? Their outcome can be tempered by how they are structured – and some people tell lies.

    An adequate welfare system has not been a concern of neoliberalism. If this were so, then our welfare system in New Zealand would not have deteriorated into the bleak Dickensianism which it has under years of neoliberalism, nor our health system be barely adequate, and sometimes, exceedingly cruel.

    If you think that you can justify neoliberalism by linking it with compassion and an adequate welfare system, then I think that the evidence suggests that you are wrong – which may – subconsciously – explain your little apology at the end.

    Which brings me to my friend, St Augustine. His exhortation cited by Trotter is probably quoted out of its very tragic context even more than Sartre’s, “Hell is other people, ” and it does not do justice do a great philosopher.

    However, I can say, that the hidden force that guided Augustine on his path was his love for the truth – and I wouldn’t even start to try and apply this to Neale Jones’s comment because I know little about economics, but I am very shocked if he is unaware that right now there are NZ’ers desperate about the future, knowing that their lives are forever changed, and that these may be decent hard-working people who deserve better than callous disregard.

    A while back I discussed with someone, the appointment of a young woman with zero qualifications, to an important re-insurance position. I was told that they deliberately put young people into these jobs because the young usually see things in black and white and they can be more ruthless – a business expedient – than older people who see the shades of grey. Looks like that’s happening again, and it’s not good enough.

    • “Ada – You cannot know what the ‘voters’ want”
      No, I just look at voters’ actions and the resulting election results.

      I’ll re-state what I first posted – if New Zealanders wanted democratic socialism, they would have voted for it in greater numbers.

      • When sheep are herded into a paddock A, it’s ‘cos they “chose” the paddock. Yeah right.

        Show me a party advocating “democratic socialism” who got the same airtime, the same coverage, all totally unbiased and without insinuating overtones overlaid by by a hostile 4th estate, from the last 30 years.
        You can’t because there hasn’t been one. However, far right cranks like the ACT party have enjoyed a disproportionate of coverage over the years. And they only exist because of an Electoral rort! FFS.

        • I am inclined to agree with this
          When sheep are herded into a paddock A, it’s ‘cos they “chose” the paddock. Yeah right.

          We need civics in schools NOW!

          We need people to understand and not just react to ‘tax cuts’ and vote for that whilst the squeeze goes on our public health system and all the other ‘public’ systems we need and wish to retain and improve.

          However what does this do for the 3 poorest electorates in the country, Manukau, Mangere and Manurewa which Labour has held for ever and done NOTHING for – just placeholders.

      • I admire your restraint Ada. I may have resorted to rancorous ad hominen if I were you, which would be unwise as you have most ably demonstrated. I fear the lack of comprehension and the willingness to jump to the conclusion that you must be what you’ve given no hint of, may be because most people are a little crazy these days.

      • “if New Zealanders wanted democratic socialism, they would have voted for it in greater numbers”
        Lols, NZers spent well over 55 years fighting for, voting for and building a democratic democracy before it was pulled out from under their feet without even a by-your-leave in the 1980s. Since then the NZ public never offered a credible alternative to neoliberalism to get behind and support. Peak disillusionment occurred in the early mid 1990s with plummeting participation in the democratic process. Followed by a vain and futile wait for the Clark Govt to even stand up for Labour Party principles.
        The neoliberal takeover, supported by a corporate Press hostile to any alternative, has been almost total and finally sealed in perpetuity by the TPPA.

  9. I rather view discussing Labour as akin to kicking a dead horse. It looks so much like National now its almost indistinguishable. Our politics look a lot like the US’s these days, two parties, much the same outcome. You only need to look at the rapid passage of the TPPA to see that.

    If you want change we need new parties, its that simple.

    • Agree Sean K, I hope Mana resurrects. They enjoyed cross ethnicity support and actually had more party votes than ACT and the Maori party last time.

  10. The Listener and Metro both great once, faded remnants now. Print standards have dropped too in many periodicals–text strike through apparent on light GSM matt or very lightly coated stock, muddy digital colour settings…have not bought one for a decade, so I don’t have the passion for the product Chris has. And face it–few if any of the Bauer stable had made a consistent transition to online publishing. I used to spend a lot of disposable income on magazines and books–and V8s and partying–the rest I just wasted!

    anyway…there possibly was a case for a media bailout for the sake of preserving talent and skills for a new PBS or suchlike?

    The Labour Party Caucus no longer has enough members who know what social democracy is, let alone support it, and totally don’t want to fight for it! Yet this is the perfect opportunity to return flogged off infrastructure to public ownership and other working class friendly angles.

    Agree there should be an emergency BI–Basic Income credited to any individual with an IRD no. that applies for it, IRD have the details to just do it, bypassing punitive WINZ/MSD. MSD seems unable to overcome its denial and punishment model quickly enough to distribute urgent assistance even if it wanted to. Self employed, rural, contractors etc unaccustomed to applying for help will get a shock when they start telling WINZ staff about a partner, or a partner that is still working and…Stand downs…and owning a property oh boy are they in for a wake up.

    Basic Income now!

    • @Tiger Mountain, The Listener and Metro both great once, faded remnants now….

      Yes, but that might be also linked to overseas ownership pushing a neoliberal agenda.

      If they become a NZ owned company or collective again and change their perspective to a local one, people might actually start reading it again, who quit years ago based on their u turn of editorial policy and lack of investigative journalism to mainstream froth.

    • Gossip travels faster than the truth, brother. All this speople you want to make redundant, don’t you think they’ll respond in kind?

    • All sharp-teethed professional activists now, Labour. In lieu of a membership. The pride before the fall.

  11. With 44,000 signing on to the bene in the last 2 weeks and more than 1 million people in receipt of the wage subsidy. “This shits just got reels!”

    What will they do next?

    40% of the workforce is unofficially on notice by no fault of their own.
    A third of them are expected to sign on and be introduced to the MSD-WINZ poverty converter and be crushed! Or will this government find some balls? Introduce a UBI to save their political skin?

    The virus will map a course of its own whereas the economy is only as healthy as its people. Which do you decide to save?

    It is the greatest event of my lifetime and I think it is for many. The opportunity its presenting is one of those that needs taking. It’ll make or break her premiership.

    Lets see if she has any substance thats been so badly lacking …

    • “The virus will map a course of its own whereas the economy is only as healthy as its people. Which do you decide to save?”

      The virus isn’t mapping a course of it’s own. Have you not seen the news. It is being managed!

      “Lets see if she has any substance thats been so badly lacking ”
      The sad reality is you just plainly dislike the P.M. for no other reason than jealousy. You are clearly on the right of politics as your constant disdain of the P.M. shines brightly through your posts.
      World reporting tells us that countries are extremely envious of the guidance and governance of this pandemic by our P.M.
      I you are putting the economy over lives, then let you be the one to work on the front line.

      As for the economy, “it will map a course of its own”.

      • bert, I think I’ve said it before. Have a nap or a cup of tea and a bickie.
        Its not personal, I just dont think she has done anything different to what isnt scripted. Its like a TV sitcom government leadership Julie Christie Media Works TV Reality Shows.

        Just like the alphabet, B follows A, C follows B ect … Neoliberalism is formulaic.

  12. Absolutely bang on Chris. For as long as the Neo-Liberal ideology was sweeping all before it, with its terrible consequences kept hidden by an acquiescent and complicit media, the Labour party’s chardonnay socialists could get away with paying lip service to the idea of Democratic Socialism, safe in the knowledge that their alleged convictions would never be tested. But now, with a global pandemic having exposed Capitalism’s essential lie, the opportunity to effect real change is suddenly there for the New Zealand Labour party, but don’t hold your breath.

  13. The Bauer story (and its implication for AO/NZ) is not simply about the (print) media. It is a crosscutting matter that potentially links to many policy fields important for shaping the present and the future.

    With the right strategic orientation the government (or other inspired groups and individuals) could practically demonstrate how to lead or implement successful transformational change.

    Not just as lip-service but as tangible behavioral re-orientation toward a different set of socio-economic values.

    Essentially, in a nutshell, in reality, eventually, this is how a green new deal would start. Not as big political proclamation but as well guided gradual replacement of neoliberal features.

    At the end of the day it would not be about a bail-out of the Bauers or about constraints caused by Covid-19, but very much about recognition of political opportunity and creativity.

    “Imagination!” Yes, Chris Trotter, the Labour Party could probably do better on this.

  14. Nothing will change if anything neoliberalism will only get more ingrained into our society. And as for climate change action after this pandemic, good luck with that. The majority of the public and those in power wont want a bar of it. It will be all about getting people and business back up and running again.

  15. Fair enough responding to the ‘critique’ @ Chris – but don’t keep it alive.
    The Standard’s an interesting beast at the best of times (and I’m glad it’s there). In some ways though it’s just another feeding ground for people’s egos (as is this place sometimes), and you’ll probably never convince the likes of GP that there’s various alternative views other than what he (professing to represent the party line) is prepared to entertain.
    I don’t know GP from a bar of lysol soap (thank Christ) but he reminds me somewhat of the legal profession’s equivalent of a Paul T. He’s probably got the cleanest ulcers in the land to go with it as well

  16. Snow White and Wild Katipo please desist with the rudeness you make out like you know it all and no one else does that is really unhelpful.

    • Michal All you have to do is pick uot some of the things they say that you know are wrong and reply. That would be helpful for everyone. WK gets excited, in some ways it is a nice change to meet someone with passion for a good NZ for us all. Just hang in there and use this as a practice session because the heat will up this election year.
      Steam heat (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0szHqIXQ2R8

  17. The NZLP of July 1916 too 1989 is dead.

    Neoliberal ” third way ” the market with a smile Social democrats have dragged the boat back too the harbour but you cant come ashore.

    There is no fire in the members of the current party because they don’t understand the real enemy that is staring them in the face.

    The destruction of the progressive wall of protection including the labour movement and the subjugation of the minds of the many has been the neoliberals greatest triumph.

    It means that if you are on the right the new “third way ” is still the enemy but these pretend socialists will dare not interfere with neoliberals and their dominance of countries and their economies.

    The arguments between National and Labour are a million miles away from the egalitarian approach too protecting people from the ravages of the market.

    But with help from Muldoon’s recklessness 1975 -1984 he ultimately endangered the people he was trying too protect and left us facing the wolves with no weapons to ward them off.

    There is hope with the ” movement ” Bernie Sanders and others have been advocating where the ravages of the corporate approach too everything has created the most severe of conditions too exist in that he is advocating a different approach.

    Sure he will not be President but he like in 2016 has started the conversation and shown people that there is an alternative.

    As we have seen the firepower of vested interests is without compromise.

    So much so it has bought out its opposition the Democratic party with endorsements of huge amounts of money and so intoxicating the money is they have sold themselves and millions of Americans out too the corporate elite.

    The other most brilliant move was too harness the fourth estate ensuring that we never see carnage that exists all around us where it no longer informs or educates but entertains.

    He will step away from the stage but others will be there too carry on with the progressive message.

  18. Jacinda and Labour are firmly locked into the systemic settings dominated by the neoliberal forces and by those that run the bureaucracy.

    If they step out of line, they will be destroyed one way or another, they know this, same as Helen Clark knew the modus operandi by those who really hold power, hence they will do only what they can get away with, without upsetting the rich and powerful, and the lobbies that support them, down even to the petty bourgeoisie, always desperate to prove their worth, to cling to the lower rungs on the ladder.

    So expect little, and it shows in how they treat beneficiaries, what they are really about.

    • Acute, Marc. Climate change and the poor are what matters. Don’t know how to get that elected, just know that.

    • The fingerprints of business NZ, offshore investment and bankers; are all over most govt decisions. It is seldom a matter of public debate as the discussion is behind closed doors.
      A dirt file is assembled on most politicians to be used when needed.
      MSM is tightly controlled including RNZ.

      • No need to conspiracise, John W. The facts are enough, and such suppositions volley up the ball for our unscrupulous self-interested opponents. Who deal in pleasing fictions as a matter of normal commerce. And plain facts are beautiful enough for the people’s cause.

        • Dirt files are well known to be assembled. Over the years several of my politician friends have been reminded of events much earlier in their lives or their family’s history, that if revealed with the right spin, be hard to defend.
          On the other hand incentives to change positions on issues have been laced with offers of vehicles or services. None of this is new to politics.
          Many are not aware of the darker side of human nature.

  19. I think I’ve come up with a better way of not paying a (sort-of) UBI to the wealthy.
    Means testing is rejected economically only if small amounts are being distributed over a large group – and these are not small amounts – because then it is practically inefficient. And the physical process of testing everyone manually is costly.
    Means testing is also rejected morally because recipients can develop a sense of inferiority, pauperism, shame or stigma in the use of a publicly provided service, and attribution that one was being or becoming a ‘public burden’ because they have to apply and prove they have no or little wealth.
    The latter argument is not valid in this situation because instead of asking beneficiaries to apply for a UBI, the governent can easily identify the wealthiest New Zealanders and just not pay them. And that is the major argument trotted out worldwide and I’ve never seen this response to the argument. It absolutely pisses me off that so many kiwis receiving a pension literally do not need it and think it is something they are owed, when that has never been the case. But we truck on with Muldoon’s gentleman’s agreement and the wealthiest among us get an extra $19500 each a year.
    I owned part of a JV with Veda Advantage that identified the top 10% of New Zealanders by wealth using Baycorp credit data, vehicle rego data, NZX registry data and property ownership data to model investment behaviours and asset holdings. It wasn’t perfect – nothing ever would be – but it would be cheap as chips compared to analysing the whole population and an organisation like NZ Post’s data division would be able to lead it. We didn’t have access to the IRD or OIA for example. Other wealthy people would be asked to self-identify and the data could be run 6 monthly or annually in case a very wealthy person lost their savings. And people could appeal.
    Speading money across people who don’t need it leaves less for those that really do and the UBI is a lazy idea that will see the poor most disadvantaged. And I’ve never seen anyone doing this instead – removing the stigma and avoiding paying a benefit to the rich. We could do the same with pensions.

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