GUEST BLOG: Bryan Bruce – Beware of the Right

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I caught a little of THREE’s breakfast show this morning.The host Ryan Bridge was snapping out an opinion moment that we should not elect governments on the basis of the personality of the leader.

I didn’t record it but,as I recall, his words were to the effect that we should not elect governments on good looks and personality but on policy.

Of course I agree. Policy is a far more important thing to consider than personality when casting your vote.

But the piece was a not- so- thinly veiled attack on Prime Minister Ardern on the basis of her looks and personality and it was right there that the self- serving aspect of Bridge’s argument revealed it’s shallowness.

Putting personality politics aside Jacinda Ardern is proving herself to be an outstanding leader. Full stop.

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As for policies – because of the a the Cov-19 pandemic Labour’s economic policies have moved in the Keynesian direction I have advocated for a very long time. That the economy is there for the many, not the few.

Labour still aren’t there yet in my view. I still see large corporations getting in their ear with the’ too big to fail’ fallacy. ( Let’s not bail out Air NZ let’s just own it!)

The coming few years ( I cannot guess how many) are going to be tough. We are going to have a recession and it is going to be a big one.

I want to elect a government that gets actively involved in the marketplace not one that says’ leave it to private busines to fix’.

Why? Because businesses are focused on profit , not people, and always act in the interests of their shareholders.

Governments are elected to act in the interests of the people and we can control who rules us by voting them out.

We cannot contol those to whom we give the power to exploit us .

Once you allow( as we have done) private interests to run our mortgage market, it essentially gives a licence to those private interests to print money.

So when you listen to people like Ryan Bridges expressing his opinion think about who is paying his salary.

THREE is entirely owned by a New York based Hedge fund.

Don’t be fooled.The global financial elites have not been sleeping during the pandemic. They have been lobbying hard to get back to “business as usual”.

But let me remind you “business as usual” – the pre pandemic economy- benefitted the few not the many and THAT is what they want us to return to.

Well I for one don’t want that. How about you?

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

12 COMMENTS

  1. ‘THREE is entirely owned by a New York based Hedge fund.’

    So THREE goes under when that New York based Hedge fund goes under. ….later this year or in 2021 (bearing in mind that the US is now a basket case living on borrowed time and fictional assets).

  2. When looking for examples of an electorate voting for personality rather than policy look no further than the government of John Key. His rule was characterized by complete lack of action in so many areas requiring attention. While portrayed as fixing many of the ills in NZ, in reality it was shrinkage of the state by stealth and leaving many NZers to the vagaries of the charity sector as they abandoned their responsibilities in areas like housing. Labour have discovered to their cost that the legacy of this neglect is a state service incapable of delivering. Given the polls, i think the rest of NZ have finally woken up too.

    • Awesome comment, but I disagree with your last sentence.
      NZ have acted to preserve the lives of the over 60s.
      Unless we realise this Jacinda could lose the next election.

  3. Stop and think is a poignant step right now considering what has and is a repetitive cycle that must be broken. The problem is, by who?

    Maybe she could address these mistakes made by her party?
    “When the Fourth Labour Government was elected. These changes included more private business models within government, a reduction in universal payments such as child benefits and an increase in targeted benefits, set at low rates and designed to only be a ‘safety net’.

    The goal of this macro-economic restructuring was to create more efficiency. The result was a rise in income inequality, which was indicative of other sweeping changes towards punitive, and profit seeking, policy models within health and welfare”.

    So what has changed?

    PS: The 5th Helen Clark Labour Government failed to address “Closing the Gaps” and got carried away with making the middle class rich by making them all landlords and SME business owners whilst the gaps of inequality got bigger and maori were relegated to the back of the queue, right behind the migrant house buyers. Gen X became the lost generation as are the gen Y and Millennials are about to be rubbed out.

  4. Good post Bryan – so true. And Alan my thoughts on John Key are indicated by his approval to build a new memorial in Wellington to distant WW1, which including all costs I believe was $16 million. Meanwhile in recent news the men who were exposed to nuclear fallout are asking for help with their health needs. I think Vietnam vets also need help. And in Nelson we had a 90+ plus Brit who fought in WW2 denied as cost containment, a plaque for his grave when he goes (he is still out and about being an oldie inputting instead of just drawing money and breath as community activity). Money has been raised to ensure that he gets honoured properly.

    Poncy politicians like the grand gesture, usually to an irrelevant cause, because dealing with real need in a fair way would be creating a precedent. As Jim Hacker said to Humphrey Appleby? ‘You mean, if we do it once, we will have to do it again?’ I love Yes Minister and advise to go to youtube on google and enjoy a selection of the seriously funny satires. A short laugh lightens and brightens, but of course must not replace the citizen activism which as Dr Ranginui Walker named his book, is ‘Struggle Without End’.

      • Trevor that would depend on whether you consider corporate negligence resulting in mass death worth investigating and prosecuting. And providing truth to the despicable coverups.

        About showing integrity and not abandoning new zealanders in favour of protecting corporate interests and failures of neo liberal governance

      • Trevor that would depend on whether you consider corporate negligence resulting in mass death worth investigating and prosecuting. And providing truth to the despicable coverups.

        About showing integrity and not abandoning new zealanders in favour of protecting corporate interests and failures of neo liberal governance

        • An interesting thought. If any opposition politician’s son was in the Pike River mine, their Party would press to have him and all of the miners excavated out and quickly. However here is where the lack of community and the differing strata of society shows up. It is unlikely that a National politician would have a son who would be working as a miner. And thereby hangs the tale of regretting the money spent, although the mining was considered a national service and essential when they were working in it.

  5. What Ryan Bridge REALLY meant was that we shouldn’t elect governments on the basis of the personality or physical attributes of the leader – unless it is a government of the political right and then its OK.

  6. Bryan i couldn’t agree more with your post and very succinctly put.

    Your comment sums up the challenge facing many of us in New Zealand.

    “Why? Because businesses are focused on profit , not people, and always act in the interests of their shareholders.

    Governments are elected to act in the interests of the people and we can control who rules us by voting them out.

    We cannot control those to whom we give the power to exploit us .

    Bryan i always enjoy your posts and you have a better understanding of our current malaise than any politician or so called experts.

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