Luxon Vs Ardern: Spot the difference

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The liberal middle class have spent two weeks attacking Chris Luxon as an appalling right winger and telling us how we should be very afraid of a Luxon-led government.

Really?

The liberals quite rightly attack his arrogance and self-absorption in hiring a black Mercedes to arrive from across the road into parliament grounds for the first time as party leader. He is an unapologetic rich prick and proud of it. He reeks of long lunches paid for by others and exudes entitlement. He sees his wealth as a sign of his personal success which he “won’t apologise for” despite it being made at the expense of others and adds to our ever-widening inequality. 

He wants to “grow the pie” but doesn’t want to change how the pie is cut up. He wants us to believe growth will make us all richer despite this never having happened in the history of capitalism. It’s called pie in the sky for good reason. 

And despite his desire for economic growth, property is where a big chunk of his money is invested. Nothing productive here – just untaxed capital gains from long term investment while lower-income people pay your mortgages. 

In short Luxon is part of the problem and will never provide meaningful solutions to make this country a better place.  

So there is plenty to criticise with Luxon but on the six critical issues facing the country – housing, taxation, incomes, welfare, inequality and climate change – is he any different from the person he wants to replace as PM, Jacinda Ardern?

No. 

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You can barely fit a zigzag cigarette paper between Labour and National on any of these issues unless of course it is that Ardern has refused to adopt a capital gains tax in her time as Prime Minister while Luxon hasn’t yet ruled it out.

Labour has made tentative steps in so-called “fair-pay agreements” which will begin to make a difference for some low-paid workers but after four years of Ardern-led governments most people on low incomes are worse off: rents and living costs are rising well above inflation; food banks are struggling to meet desperate needs; state house waiting lists are increasing at a much greater rate than the building of state houses; low-income citizens still pay the highest proportion of their incomes in tax; inequality is increasing; responses to welfare reform and climate change have been so pathetic they are embarrassing to talk about.

Labour sits astride the economic roundabout firmly blocking all exits towards a better world while most of us run in circles to make the Luxons of the world wealthier.

So criticise Luxon as much as you like – the pompous rich prick deserves it – but don’t pretend Labour is any different on the big issues. Wringing hands doesn’t cut it anymore.

59 COMMENTS

  1. NZ Labour is unlikely to change its approach, not voluntarily at least. The neo liberal state and legislation is too entrenched and Rogernomics is in the Caucus DNA.

    But they can be made to change in 2023,2026 and beyond. New gen voters will outnumber the boomers (I am one that opposed Rogernomics and the “National 90s” at the time, we are not all grasping bastards! & elder poverty is a reality too).

    Community organisation and direct action and a new political movement can and will have to do it. The Green Party has factions but Chloe Swarbrick, Auck. Central MP is onto it with the housing disaster. She clearly states that housing prices and above all rents, have to fall. The other politicians just brick themselves at that thought.

  2. The difference is at least Luxon has had a real job and has the competence required to achieve his political agenda, even if that agenda is not what we want.
    The biggest blessing of Adern is that she is too incompetent to drive through stupid ideas like the Billion dollar cycle bridge.

    • What is Luxons real job Jay ? I know he has a big job cleaning up the National party and I know he speaks to his mate John most days and is taking advice.

    • I have noticed that the people who are obviously just using insults, rather than any sort of logic in putting forward an opinion, are simply telling us what they lack rather than something that is worthy of a response… The “comment” by our comrade Jays is one of those…
      Unfortunately, NZ seems to be descending into a swamp of ignorance and bigotry at a rate that will have this sort of juvenile self flagellation the norm rather than the exception…
      If it wasn’t for a family issue, I wouldn’t have come back to NZ on a bet, and the drivel I’m reading in the comments section of this, and other sites where they are trying to foster real debate, as opposed to the calls to the flock by the usual suspects (stuff, spinoff, newshub, tv1 etc).. I seriously doubt that I will end my days here.. The people here are too stupid, and self absorbed to do any more than keep electing governments that are nothing more than raiding parties for their corporate/colonial bosses.. what a waste of what should be the best place to live in the world…

    • SINCE WHEN WAS MANAGING A MONOPOLY THAT COULD DRAW FREELY ON STATE BAILOUTS ‘BUSINESS EXPERIENCE’
      and having a chair in talking shops ain’t no biggy most posters here could manage that onerous task.

  3. Quite right.

    Houses hit a new price record yesterday, breaking all previous records set by this government. There is double digit price inflation almost everywhere to add to the obscene unaffordable prices from a year ago. And rents. Now massively unaffordable.

    Jacinda and her government should very much be the toast of not only actual home owners but the wealthy. Never ever had they had a government so attuned to their way of thinking. And it’s still thinking like them. Jacinda, musing yesterday, would like house prices return to the obscenities of just years ago. No idea how but she would like that! That’s nice.

    I cannot tell Labour or National apart except for the competency of ministers because surely National could not be worse.

  4. Thank you John for making a compelling argument to vote for Luxon. If there is indeed hardly a difference between the two, then may as well vote for some sort of economic initiatives like growing the pie, supporting farmers and small business and maybe even a CGT. With Jacinda we have ample proof that fuck all will be achieved for the greater good of all NZ, unless it’s easy woke legislation to appease the fringe and race groups, which will split NZ even more. Jacinda’s legacy…a divided NZ.

    • TK,

      Anyone who doesn’t think NZ was deeply divided when Ardern took office must have rocks in their head and blinkers on their eyes. The gap between rich and poor grew to a record level under the Key Government. Those struggling were seen and treated as the lazy feral enemy. Those creaming it that coincidently supported National were “hard working New Zealanders”.

      Farmers have invariably always been well treated by Governments. Their entitled perspective has been clear for everyone to see the moment we had a Government with the audacity to clean up our diabolically polluted rivers and streams. The misogynistic abuse leveled at Ardern by many farmers during their protests was a fucking disgrace and comes from a period in time NZ is thankfully moving away from.

      The Ardern Government has done more to support small business than any previous Government in my memory and under extremely trying conditions.

      Their handling of the pandemic by comparison with all other countries has unquestionably been successful.

      Moving away from a very deliberate low wage economy has been a win for many Kiwi’s that have previously been treated with contempt. Progress is finally being made on Poverty after years of National being stuck on the issue with their response somewhere between denial and indifference. Anyone struggling must be a lazy person spending their time and money at the Casino, TAB and Pub. Poverty couldn’t possibly be related to a low wage economy and high rents.

      The biggest failing of the Ardern Government has clearly been housing. Phil Twyford installed zero confidence. If Megan Woods in their go to person to get the job done then they are in very deep shit. Politicians of all brands are stuck in a paradox. They must know house prices are obscene and the inequity involved is an absolute disgrace…..but there is zero desire to see house prices drop due to the implications there so fluffy noises are made with some perfunctory tinkering around the edges. If you think National would do any different you’re displaying political naivety.

      I’m not making excuses for the Ardern Government as they have been very disappointing to my eye but context is hugely important. They inherited a health system in turmoil, a housing crisis, child poverty at record levels and severely neglected infrastructure. The Christchurch massacre was an enormous moment in our history. Many believe the handling of what unfolded prevented the usual diabolical revenge attacks.

      The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic and everything that’s come with it has put NZ in a place akin to a wartime footing. The pandemic has derailed every country. Some have managed things much better than others.

      CONTEXT.

      • A good summary, while John is inclined to expect unrealistic results from our governments & I agree that our current government could do better I am equally sure that things would be a lot worse if Luxon was in charge.

      • Unthinking Man,

        At what point does the “we inherited a mess” excuse wear thin? 4 years? 5? Never for a kneejerk Labour apologist like yourself?

        Labour are meant to be Left wing and therefore attack these issues. Kindness was front page. Pained expressions at the hurt of the people. Almost every figure has Labour increasing the decline of society and it had an unprecedented majority since the last election to take strong action on material concerns. Instead? Covid fear hysteria, extreme and dividing state power, and meaningless identity politics .

        The idea society was anywhere near as divided before Labour as it is now is laughable. Before Labour, I don’t recall needing a passport to visit Auckland or an Uncle banned from his career and visiting a cafe due to his personal medical choice. We didn’t have a split health system by ethnicity nor a media that guzzled Government donations with quite such vehemence whilst pretending it is squeaky independent.

        Before you say “Covid did that, not Labour!” – wrong. It has always been a political trade off for our response, as we clearly saw recently in Labour ignoring “expert” advice on passports and traffic light system. Labour has run the world’s second most extremist approach to Covid and gleefully splitting our citizens into two classes. Time to take off the red-tinted glasses – this is Labour’s baby, 100%.

        If it is a contest between Neo-Liberal and Woke (Labour) and Neo-Liberal and Non/Less Woke (National) the “do least damage” demands a National vote. The social engineering and state power drug that Labour is high on is enough to vote against them (for the next election) before they break society entirely.

        And wartime footing for Covid? Except we’ve had no one go to war for Covid (and I don’t remember us assuming all our fellow Kiwis were dangerous in WW2 and to be locked up without evidence – just, like the unvaccinated now, it was when Japanese demonised and locked out of society – notice a theme in how societies can respond badly to crisis and fear?). We also have had 0.06% world population fatality for Covid versus 3% for WW2. That’s an order of 50 times less magnitude. I won’t disagree it’s impacted every country and serious, but Stuff Covid hysteria doth not equal a war. And if it does, I don’t want any part which treats people as one-dimensional vectors of health risk without rights. That’s a tiny step from ‘any means are justified’.

      • Bravissimo!! Extremely well put indeed! I applaud your prose and argument and agree with you on every single intelligent point you make here.

      • Well said thinking man.
        The absurdly priced,(and still rising), housing market is the achilles heel and should have immediately had the brakes applied day 1. It was awash with laundered overseas money and nothing more than a pyramid scheme for ‘investors’ sitting in various mainly northern hemisphere countries around the world .The measures needed to be drastic and hard hitting. They weren’t.!! They were timid not wanting to upset anyone measures.
        Extending the so called ‘bright line test’ by a few years. Wow. That’s bold. ‘Investors’ didn’t bat an eyelid. Now the ‘investors’ are buying up all the new houses at ridiculously high prices and renting them out to those who can’t buy.
        Why? Because they can. Are the house prices going to come down. No!! Because the Government has stated that they don’t want house prices to fall. Even if there is a 30% rise in one year, that is ‘locked in’ as being what the house is worth, even though no improvements were made to said house. There is no logic to this at all and it defies all laws of a market, especially one dominated by ‘investors’.
        Stock markets rise and fall. Interest rate rise and fall. But houses ? No way.
        Recent studies have shown that an affordable home in N.Z is $300,000 based on the average Kiwi income.
        There is now, more than likely, not a single affordable home in N.Z unless there are some serious issues with it.
        That is a damning indictment on 35 years of neglect and abuse of our housing market that many truly hardworking Kiwis built over many many decades before, but is now nothing more than a pile of casino chips bought with what appears to be monopoly money!

  5. I disagree. Ardern has not walked the talk and has proven that politicians are always going to be politicians but the suggestion Ardern and Luxon are similar is incorrect.

    I trust Ardern to produce faux smiles and concerned facial expressions. I trust her to make fluffy feelgood statements that you can’t do anything with. I trust her to be surrounded by people out of their depth. I trust her to keep yabbing on about the team of five million despite seeing that for the nonsense that it is. I trust that Ardern does care about people and is a genuinely empathetic person who wants to level the playing field. I trust that she values people over money which was most welcome after 9 years of the farcical rock star economy. I trust that Ardern is transparent or at least attempts to be.

    I don’t trust Christopher Luxon in any way on any topic. He will look you right in the eye and tell you how much he cares….while he sells your mother. He will hide the significance of his devout religious beliefs when it suits and then attempt to represent them as mothers milk when it suits. His idea of relating to Kiwis is to take his tie off for 20 minutes and eat a venison pie. He will be neck and neck with Simon Bridges in the race to become the National Party leader. Bridges then suddenly withdraws from the race after talking with Luxon and decides to fully endorse Luxon as the new leader. Blind Freddy can see a deal has been done and all the talk is about Bridges being offered the coveted Finance Portfolio by Luxon. When asked about this, Luxon looked straight into the camera and claimed no discussions about portfolios had taken place. Nek minute, Bridges is gifted the Finance Portfolio. Many believe what unfolded says two things about Luxon. The first is he is comfortable to insult the intellect of every New Zealander with an intelligence quotient above 40 and more importantly, he’s fine to look you straight in the eye and tell you bare faced lies. Not a good combination.

    Ardern and Luxon are an entirely different breed to each other. The only thing they have in common is both being politicians with all that entails.

    • Thinking-Man I think you are right about Christopher Luxon. He’s a business man, and businesses want profit.
      He is on the phone a lot to John Key, and any protégée of that person has to be regarded with suspicion, especially when he seems to have much the same “ Dirty Politics” crowd holding his hands. He has a track record of denying women reproductive rights over their own bodies, a bit like Key feeling free to use a little waitress just to have a bit of fun with, but worse.

      He is vulgar. Ardern was never vulgar.

    • Yep, you strike the bullseye yet again! I wish people would stop the scuttlebutt about Ardern, look at the alternatives for chrissake she has done well and we can only wish and hope she would do weller, on all points raised. But stop fooling yourselves anyone else would be better – where in the world is there a better leader? There isn’t. But that’s because Bernie was slipped a micky by Obama, so we have him to thank for that.

    • Thinking man. No identity politics here. I’m glad youv’e got Luxon all sorted out before his seat even gets warm. Of course there is a difference between Ardern and Luxon. We already know Jacinda is useless don’t we. Oh no that’s right she’s kind when lying and socially she is so much better even though that page is blank. But that’s trying to be transparent I know. .”The Ardern Government has done more to support small business than any previous Government in my memory” maybe you could list all the great things Jacinda has done for small business that you believe no previous government in your memory has or would have done. I take it then you don’t like Luxon or National.

    • TM you have a strong point in that since the abandonment of ideology by the ‘political class’ on both sides, in favour of corporate prole management, as you would expect mediocrity rises to the top in any cooperate hierarchy..

      it may only be my perception but it actually seems the intellectual standards and capabilities of all pollies has fallen in the last 30 odd years….I mean thatcher had some evil bastards in her gang but they were reasonably competent and well educated as were many of their opposition Tony Benn springs to mind.

    • Well put – Luxon is a conservative – by definition he only cares about the status quo. He’ll only raise all boats by making his boat bigger. Whilst Ardern may give us a flotilla of dinghy’s at least there will be room for the drowning.

  6. “ Food banks are struggling to meet desperate needs” says it all really. The fact that state budgetary advisory services refer clients to food banks, is appalling.

    Even more unacceptable is the failure to recognise the daily struggle of folk who access food banks, people who live on crap food , or go hungry . This, of course, keeps a permanently demoralised emotionally disabled underclass, yet another ugly facet of the divide and rule dynamic.

    Further, it doesn’t have to be this way, and it may take the turfing out of both Labour and National to build a decent stable society.

    • It is a big disgrace that people in the country like New Zealand need food banks for survival. I am not an economist but one thing I know that the way out of poverty is not easy but is possible for the children by means of education. In one stage of my life I was also a teacher in the Primary school and could see what an incredible improvement can be achieved. So any government, Labour or National or whatever, which really wants to achieve improvement must invest in education. First give teachers good salaries, give good teachers to future teachers, insist on the excellency of both, insist that children have to achieve standards in singular subjects and make effort to help them to, give schools money so that they can provide free breakfasts and lunches for children from low income families (others can have them, too, but have to pay), give them money so that they can organize free after school activities, sports, arts, special classes e.g. laboratories, workshops, but also special classes for children that need extra help so that children from broken or crowded homes have place to do homework and develop their interests and socialize with others. Lots of money but the best investment of all.

      • Yes invest in Education, not run it into the ground under National, aye Kraut.
        And get rid of the anti vaxxers in that profession they are a disgrace.

      • Alexandra Corbett Dekanova. All good, but only part of a bigger picture.

        Just another part : Electricity companies now send households docs to help stop them getting their power supply cut off. One document requires the name of a person dependent upon a supply of power, type of medical equipment required, name of doctor
        or healthcare provider, and the phone number of doctor or healthcare provider.

        This raises massive privacy issues.

        And what about the households who cannot afford to keep their families warm, but have no medical out ? Get the power cut off ? Reconnection fees ? Credit rating impact ?

        It’s not so long since my electricity bill was just another fairly insignificant bill which arrived monthly. Now it’s a major cost. I know persons who cannot afford to heat their homes, including one who regularly turns the hot water off, and he smells. It’s not a good way to live, and it has its own health implications.

        Govt can go overboard about providing super insulated homes, double glazing, heat pumps etc, but South Islanders grew up in a cold environment quite robustly, and without expecting every room in the house to be heated, but when the simple basics like this have become such big issues for many people, it’s government that’s sick.

        So, do homework at school because there mightn’t been enough light at home, and it’s too cold and crowded and noisy ? This is New Zealand today, wasting it’s kids.

        • Snow White, I agree with you. I wrote just about one problem that I am a bit exoerienced at. Power bills represent another one and they will be bigger if the future governments want to cut more fossil fuel based power plants without building dams plus e cars etc. I would prefer to have cheaper power than so called clean power. Otherwise people will have to return to old furnaces, fire places as did our great granparents.
          That is why we should probably look more at policies of political parties, their programmes and people they have if they are able to bring about changes needed the most than just at the leaders.

        • ”South Islanders grew up in a cold environment quite robustly, and without expecting every room in the house to be heated”…

          Yup.

          ”So, [they] do homework at school because there mightn’t [be] enough light at home, and it’s too cold and crowded and noisy ? This is New Zealand today, wasting it’s kids”…

          Yup again, – family’s living in vans, a disgrace in a so called first world country. In a land of rich resources. When we should be going back 36 years and rooting out all these neo liberal politicians for treason.

          TREASON.

      • I must admit when I arrived here 25odd years ago I was shocked that school dinners weren’t a thing, FFS back in the 60s (and before) we had meat, 2 veg and sticky pudding(not tremendously healthy but filling) dinners and poor kids got ’em free, things have changed considerably since the neo-lib dominance but an allegedly advanced country with no provision for school meals is a disgrace…

        and no charity efforts whilst praiseworthy are not the answer, every instance of charitable intervention is a failure of government

  7. Fascism 25: Democracy 0.

    Corporate Welfare 165: Social Welfare 7.

    Propaganda and deceits 25,000: Honesty 3.

    LINO. Labour In Name Only.

    • Exactly. “work with and struggle against” perhaps as an old political saying went. Pressure Labour with no illusions, for useful reforms for working class people–and–build a viable socialist alternative movement.

      Never say never, because there are bigger shocks coming for this country, and any capitalist response will not do for the majority. COVID mark 1 showed how people can change their activities if necessary, despite the endless whinging of the petit bourgeoisie.

    • As one of those who left the Labour Party in 1989 to help Jim Anderton build a genuine socialist party – i.e. the NewLabour Party – I know how exhilarating the feeling of stepping out into the unknown to do something new and positive can be.

      But, be warned. That feeling seldom survives the impact with the very real obstacles to setting up any viable political party – let alone one dedicated to changing society profoundly.

      Ask yourself: “Where is the NLP now? Where is the Labour Party it hoped to replace?

      It ain’t easy, comrades.

      • True. The NLP and Alliance are exhibit’s A & B in what can go wrong. But what were the alternatives at the time after the 80s Backbone Club purge of anyone resembling a leftist in NZ Labour. The NLP saw leftists like Sue Bradford put a spanner in too, she is a leaver, and she left the NLP too early.

        Just as Internet Mana was a worthy attempt at a circuit breaker when frustration at not shifting Teflon John Phillip Key (the infamous FJK) reached its peak for leftists.

        My thoughts are not for a new Parliamentary Party, but for a movement that through direct action and community organisation with NGOs, Iwi organisations, some unions and ordinary people, puts up a programme for items such as a state house mega build, for existing Parliamentary parties to include in their platforms. If they don’t want to house the people etc. then alternatives will have to be found.

        An alternative might be something to the left of the Greens, as ACT is nominally to the right of National.

      • It can’t help when the left come up with twaddle like this from Green party MP Dr Elizabeth Kerekere: ‘As a takatāpui, cis-lesbian fem ally to our takatāpui, trans and intersex non-binary whānau, I am very proud to commend this bill to the house.’
        Or Marama chiming in with her thinly disguised racist rants against “colonisers”.
        On top of that far left/socialist/marxist theory has proven, in practice, to be a failure at best, a tyrannical disaster at worst; the vast majority of sane Kiwis know that so it’s hardly surprising that the two main parties take a more centrist approach including liberal economic policies. Give it a go though Stevie.

        • David George You need to understand that Elizabeth Kerekere’s life has been blighted by “ colonialism “, too. The Greens messy potage of sex, gender, racism, cherrypicked “colonialism” , and wilful ignorance of history, either reflect poorly on our education system, or they are community mischief makers, and for no positive or constructive purpose.

          You see David, before “ colonialism “ according to Elizabeth, New Zealand Maori enjoyed greater gender diversity than they do now, then along came the colonials, and put a stop to all this, and Elizabeth’s mission is to counteract
          the missionary position. Load of tax-payer funded twaddle.

          The alphabet people need to explain how freedom of the anatomy is going to impact on the climate change and global warming which are real existential threats, but they can’t. They have a hell of a nerve being members of an
          theoretically environmental party at all.

        • David G Thanks for that Parliamentary quote, mate. I’m copying it onto Christmas cards for the Australian rellies who I am kindly educating in our Kiwi ways – prefaced by “non” – to unconfuse them – insofar as one can.

          Any chance of pinpointing somebody standing up and saying that they’re heterosexual ? Can they do that or is it hate speech ?

  8. Jacinda from announcements, also known as the Lockdown Queen, smiles as she actions unpleasant stuff, and brides the MSM, via the Local Democracy Fund, to give her a free pass…while Luxon is a bit more sincere in his actions.

  9. John you really shouldn’t play the stupid and supremely tiresome media game of ruling things in or out.
    I have heard entire segments on Checkpoint that revolved around whether a politician was ruling something out or not by saying or not saying anything and it all amounts to very little in the end.

    • Yep there’s a lot of empty nothingness out there from planet to planet in space. And judging by the empty space between neo liberal politicians ears its a long way before they could ever find their way back down to planet earth.

  10. Ardern’s mantra is that she doesn’t want to crash the housing ‘market’ because apparently the average mom and dad has everything invested in
    this vile Ponzi scheme. Owning one or two properties is a privilege in this country, not a get-rich-quick scheme. Owning fifteen or a hundred should be criminalised; if you accept this ownership model while holding a government mandate then you are the problem (house ownership should be like Superannuation, enabled after twenty years citizenship). If you accept that the average NZ house price is the equivalent of two Lotto wins while doing nothing about it, then you are not fit to govern. And if your only hope for the future is relying on house prices to increase year on year and relying on realtors like Ardern to do your bidding then you deserve to lose the lot when it crashes.

  11. I absolutely agree one hundred per cent with you John.
    The massive funding of the ‘Rentier Class’ took advantage of QE who then went out on a shopping spree, buying houses which made them all $400b wealthier!
    For that, all NZ’ders get lumped with massive inflationary costs. So far inflation is tracking to be between 8% – 9% annually. But if we were to include land values, real inflation would be in excess of 15%!
    With culturalism, populism and partisan politics playing out. None of the Crises you’ve pointed out will be addressed by either the left or the right. Why? Because they’re not interested. All they’re interested in is being in ‘Power’.

    They’ve both gotten drunk on it by being in government for more than a single term.

    Oh, what a conundrum?

  12. One of the reasons Labour isn’t doing more to help the hopeless halfwits that are unable to organize is because they want to stay in govt to see if they can make a difference. I look through the Labour caucus and see honest people that do want to make a change as opposed to the nasty nat caucus that is full off horrible self serving nasties. Any govt that wants to be there in NZ knows that the real politic says that you can’t scare the horses or your out. No matter what the screaming unrealistic bomber blow hard shout or social libertarians like me say the reality is that anything too radical will see you out and let the nasties in. The trouble with this is that the new nasty party is really nasty!! So suck it up up whingers and support the best of the devils

  13. Why do people see an immediate correlation between Christopher Luxon and his property portfolio? This never happened with John Key, Helen Clark, Nick Smith, Winston Peters, Jeanette Fitzsimons, Sue Bradford, anyone from the good old Parliament days of egotistical power players.

    What Chris Luxon represents is a refreshing way of thinking about policy. He wants to grow the pie. He does also want to change how the pie is cut up. He wants to do this over time. For a National leader to speak publicly with their Deputy about lowering the cost of housing over a number of years, it’s definitely promising.

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