I am very excited that TDB will live stream the Alternative Aotearoa Election 2020 hui listening to the best progressive voices articulate policy ideas we want to see in the first 100 days of a second Labour Government.
Here is some blue sky thinking that I have been considering that could be in the first 100 days of a possible second term Labour Government.
There are two Jacinda’s, Cautious Jacinda who isn’t transformative and Crisis Jacinda when she staggers us all with her incredible leadership.
The unprecedented pandemic however has forced her hand and demanded ideas and policy that openly challenge the fractured foundations of neoliberalism. Jacinda & Grant have been struggling to keep the country’s head above water, so they haven’t had the time to even begin to consider how we get the hell out of here.
Jacinda & Grant can save us from dystopia but they can’t build the Utopia on their own.
Plus, this is the exact re-ordering of the economy and culture we would be requiring to seriously contemplate if were to combat the climate crisis which behind the pandemic, is a threat far more damaging than Covid 19.
Before we even attempt to reimagine our economy, we must be cognitive of the rapidly deteriorating geopolitical situation in our part of the world.
The battle between China and America has every possibility to go hot as tensions rise…
People in Hong Kong could face life in jail for breaking a controversial and sweeping new security law imposed by China.
The legislation came into force on Tuesday but the full text was only revealed hours afterwards.
It was brought in by Beijing following increasing unrest and a widening pro-democracy movement.
Critics say the new law effectively curtails protest and undermines Hong Kong’s freedoms.
Three US Navy aircraft carriers have been deployed in the Pacific Ocean for the first time in three years, in a show of force that’s prompted a backlash from China.
The Trump administration deployed the USS Ronald Reagan, USS Theodore Roosevelt and the USS Nimitz to the region, with each containing more than 60 aircraft.
The Chinese government, which has also increased its military presence in the region, responded swiftly, warning that “countermeasures” could be taken against the US.
While the US said its move was part of efforts to safeguard against the possibility of another coronavirus outbreak in the region, experts say it was also intended to send a symbolic message of strength to China.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says there is little his state government can do to help an Australian actor sentenced to death in China.
Karm Gillespie, who featured on popular television series Blue Heelers and The Man from Snowy River, was arrested in 2013 at an airport in Guangzhou busted with 7.5 kilograms of the drug ice in his luggage.
The 56-year-old from Melbourne was sentenced to death by firing squad on Saturday which sparked questions over the timing of the decision given the increasingly bitter geopolitical tensions between Australia and its biggest trading partner.
The relationship between the two began to sour after the Morrison Government led calls for an inquiry into China’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, which in turn imposed tariffs on exports and slapped a travel warning on Australia saying students are subjected to racism.
A Chinese Coast Guard vessel has rammed a Vietnamese fishing boat in the South China Sea, prompting fears Beijing is preparing to enforce its illegal claims to the territory.
Vietnamese state media reported a Chinese ship bearing the hull number 4006 had rammed a fishing boat near Lincoln Island in the Paracel Islands. Beijing seized the island chain during its 1974 war with Hanoi. Both nations continue to claim sovereignty.
The fishing boat’s captain says all 16 of his crew leapt overboard after the hull was breached.
Chinese sailors then allegedly boarded the wallowing vessel, seized fish and navigation equipment, and beat and kicked rescued fishermen ordered to pump water out of the damaged vessel.
…and it doesn’t help when suspicion grows at the real story of the virus in China and its release…
Discrepancies in Beijing’s Covid-19 reporting have been raising suspicions since January. Now a new study of Chinese medical, media and bureaucratic reports points to a massive cover-up of the outbreak’s severity.
A new study accuses Beijing’s reported number of infections and deaths from the pandemic of lacking any credibility. And that will have had a severe impact on how the world responded to the outbreak.
…as Professor Anne-Marie Brady points out, economically we are very vulnerable to China…
New Zealand agricultural exports will help keep our economy going during this crisis. New Zealand has enough dairy to feed 100 million people and a cornucopia of other great food and wine. New Zealand also has an innovative services sector and small manufacturing base. We are an export- focused economy, and the standard wisdom of our trade negotiators is that we must not become dependent on any one market—no matter what incentives are offered. The recognised definition of trade dependency is when a nation is 50 percent dependent on one market.
New Zealand is now dangerously dependent on the China market. 50 percent of New Zealand imports are from China. New Zealand is strategically dependent on China for 513 categories of goods; and 144 of them have applications in critical national infrastructure.5 New Zealand is the most dependent on China for strategic goods of all the Five Eyes states. Meanwhile, 33 percent of New Zealand’s dairy exports, 41.9 percent of meat exports, 58.3 percent of logs and timber exports, 37.5 percent of seafood exports, 46.5 percent of wool exp
…the problem isn’t just economic. NZ secretly signed itself up as a military target when we agreed to allow RocketLab to be a launch site for CIA satellites.
We are buying those 4 new sub hunting planes with the torpedoes because we have to protect ourselves from Chinese and Russian subs sitting off the East coast.
So we are economically tied to China but militarily America’s target in this neck of the woods.
Great – so with tense geopolitical tensions all over the South Pacific, NZ needs to turn inwards.
Here are some thoughts I have had as to how we keep the country afloat until a vaccine is found (3 years-5 years away).
The new Artistic State – 200 000 Artists:
We used to have an artists benefit, time to bring it back until there’s a vaccine. $490 a week for making art. You would have to bring Art to apply for it and monthly you would need to show what art you’ve made, be it poetry, short stories, painting, music, dancing let’s bring a tsunami of artists into our culture. We know the never ending growth model isn’t sustainable, wouldn’t 200 000 artists be the kind of counter to that zero sum game?
The Artisan economy – tax penalties and tax amnesty:
Allow for domestic manufacturing and design. Allow people to become artisans in the product they are selling. Lower tax penalties and provide a tax amnesty as entrepreneurs get out of their current business model and take the risks to build something new. Glass blowing, Flax weaving, Jewellery, farmers markets – things that will need to get manufactured here because plastic junk in a 2$ shop isn’t sustainable.
We urgently need to consider a boutique tourism model rather than hyper tourism. Wealthy tourists who can afford 14 days in mandatory quarantine will pay any price to holiday somewhere there is no plague. We urgently need Government to invest in quarantine venues now.
Free Public Transport:
this would be the single largest reduction we could give poor people while incentivising more Aucklanders to get out of their cars.
200 000 new State Services Jobs:
We currently have 300 000 State service workers, one of the problems of the 35 year neoliberal experiment is no one stopped to reflect on it. Maybe, as has been highlighted by Covid, we need another 200 000 state servants. That’s more teachers, nurses, general staff, seeing as the State will be one of the few employers, we need them to step up.
Amnesty for migrant workers and international students CURRENTLY HERE!
We can’t invite people here under the illusion of citizenship and exploit them and then tell them to bugger off, everyone should have amnesty.
No immigration outside returning citizens and permeant residents:
We should give amnesty to those migrant workers and international students already here, but for everyone else the border remains locked and only brings in Citizens, permanent residents and boutique tourists.
Boutique High Tech Migrant Workers:
We need to see the opportunity of large data companies wanting to move here and actively pursue that.
4 day week & Living Wage:
We have to make all state sector jobs a living wage as well as 4 day working weeks.
Universal Union Membership:
Unions have shown to be the only protection essential workers have, they have proven themselves time and time again as the only protection workers have. It is time to demand universal union membership, no ifs, not buts.
Debt Cancellation from the state:
The beneficiaries locked into debt or the working poor getting fines then can’t pay, or getting loans from State agencies you can’t pay back – that all needs to stop right now.
Enormous increase in prisoner housing for prisoners leaving prison with wrap around services:
The biggest problem for prisoners is that there is usually no housing for them on release and there isn’t anywhere near enough support when they are first released. We need better housing and better wrap around support services.
GST off fruit and vegetables:
Just do it already and give poor people some space to breathe.
Free condoms and contraception:
In every Family Planning clinic, high school, local Doctors and Universities.
Free sanitary pads and tampons:
These should be free in every school, uni, doctors or Family Planning Clinic. They should also be free at every workplace.
Lower the voting age to 16:
For God’s sake, they are the ones facing the worst parts of climate change! Alongside a civics course – allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote and watch how quickly Politicians start listening.
Have to pay for all of this somehow and a 30% inheritance tax is the way to go.
Financial Transaction Tax:
Need to punish the fast money traders and tax .01 cent on every financial transaction.
Build em, let communities grow roots and allow these people to buy the house themselves from the Government via their welfare payment.
30 000 new State Houses built by a new Ministry of Works Department that can build State Houses.
We allow State Houses for Life so those people can grow deep roots into their community and enjoy stability.
The desperation Landlords use is created by the homeless and the over crowded state housing, if we remove that demand from the bottom the market will have to treat tenants respectfully rather than exploit them.
This election could produce the most progressive Government NZ has ever seen, the time for ideas and how we can reimagine ourselves is crucial work and we have a short period of time to influence.
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