Accidentally Pandering To The Rich – On Purpose

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THERE’S NO DISPUTING the shock-value of the statistics assembled by Bernard Hickey in his latest Kaka podcast. What they show is that, in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, the New Zealand Government transferred vastly more money to the business sector and homeowners than it did to beneficiaries and the working poor. Or, as he puts it: “The Labour Government, supported by the Greens, presided over policies that accidentally on purpose engineered the biggest transfer of wealth to asset owners from current and future renters in the history of New Zealand.”

Well … maybe. The problem with statistics is that they are generally presented without regard to context. To be honest, that’s probably a good thing. I don’t think it would be all that helpful (or ethical) for the Department of Statistics to encase its data in a carapace of tendentious ideology. In the 1950s American cop show, Dragnet, the hero’s signature line was: “Nothing but the facts.” That sounds about right to me.

So, let’s not argue about the facts. I’m sure a financial journalist of Mr Hickey’s experience has got the numbers right. What I’m much less certain of is whether his interpretation of the facts makes a great deal of sense.

In a nutshell, what Mr Hickey seems to be saying is that in an unabashedly capitalist nation, a government elected on the strength of middle-class (i.e. homeowners) votes, made sure that the massive transfers of cash required to keep the economy afloat in the midst of a global pandemic went to capitalists, and the people whose votes they really, really, really didn’t want to lose.

Well, duh! Who would have thought it?

And, with all due respect to Mr Hickey, it is nothing short of facile to evince horror and outrage that the perpetrators of this exercise in maintaining class (and, let’s be honest, racial) privilege were Labour and Green politicians. Labour gave away its historical role as the workers’ friend in 1984 – nearly 40 years ago. What’s more, since the introduction of “Rogernomics”, the Labour Party has occupied the Treasury Benches for a total of nearly 14 years. In all that time, it has made no serious attempt to dismantle the neoliberal regime it created. Expecting Jacinda Ardern to behave like Mickey Savage is just silly.

Especially when you consider the makeup of New Zealand’s House of Representatives. Labour, an unabashedly capitalist party, holds 65 seats. National, another unabashedly capitalist party, holds 35 seats. Act, a fanatically capitalist party, holds 10 seats. The Greens, supposedly not a capitalist party, but one which has, to date, done nothing to suggest that it is an anti-capitalist party, also holds 10 seats. Which leaves the Māori Party, an ethno-nationalist party which appears to be okay with capitalism – but only if it’s Māori capitalism – with just 2 seats.

The question I would put to Mr Hickey is: How would he have persuaded this House of Representatives, composed more-or-less entirely of MPs committed to the preservation of New Zealand’s capitalist system, to adopt policies which differed in any meaningful way from those actually implemented by the Labour Government of Jacinda Ardern? Not forgetting that for the first few months of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Prime Minister was dependent on the support of NZ First – a party convinced that capitalism could, and should, do better.

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Presumably, Mr Hickey believes that New Zealand’s parliamentarians, alerted to the sheer bloody inequity of their Covid response, should have felt obliged to come up with something much kinder and fairer.

But why would they feel obliged to do that? Just recently I learned that in the United States the friends of capitalism (about 90 percent of the country) not only believe in the doctrine of laissez-faire – French for letting the market rip – but that they also subscribe to what they call “lazy-fair”. Apparently, because so many of the underprivileged are lazy, it’s only fair that they’re poor. I know, I know, it’s an awful thing to say – although I’m sure it raises a good guffaw among the Country Club set. But, you know what? Although they would never repeat such an awful “joke” out loud, there are plenty of Kiwi MPs (some of them in the Labour Party) who subscribe wholeheartedly to the underlying philosophy of the “deserving” and “undeserving” poor.

Even worse, there are hundreds-of-thousands of ordinary Kiwi voters who subscribe to exactly the same philosophy – with bells on. The awful truth about New Zealand politics is that practically all of our political parties are just too scared to suggest anything like the massive transfer of wealth to the “current and future renters” whom Mr Hickey clearly believes the Government’s Covid response should have targeted.

The only way such a transfer could possibly have eventuated is in a political context dominated by the electoral success of a party aggressively representing the interests of the working poor and beneficiaries. Assuming such a party drew the bulk of its support from the 700,000 eligible voters who declined to participate in the last election, its impact on what politicians considered both possible and acceptable would be huge.

The problem, of course, is that every party which has tried to mobilise these voters has failed miserably. The Internet-Mana Party may have had a brilliant manifesto (so brilliant that I voted for it) but its share of the 2014 Party Vote was a demoralising 1.42 percent.

In other words, if all the “current and future renters” had voted for Internet-Mana in 2014, its ideological and political influence would have made the Covid-19 response delivered by Labour over the past 21 months unthinkable.

And that’s what I mean by statistics shorn of context not amounting to very much. For the only people who counted – the people who voted – Jacinda Ardern’s and Grant Robertson’s Covid response was good enough to see them returned to office with 50 percent of the Party Vote. That Mr Hickey should be surprised that the values of politicians tend to reflect the values of their supporters is, itself, surprising.

If he wants a revolution, Mr Hickey will need to do more than excoriate Labour and the Greens on Substack – he’ll need to organise one.

 

 

109 COMMENTS

  1. Chris, I accept that you don’t like the current orthodoxy however I have yet to see a clearly outlined alternative that would successfully replace it. There are aspects of liberal capitalism that are hard, as ‘the market’ is an unforgiving and harsh mistress yet it appears to be the least bad of our options.

    I am one of those who has done incredibly well from the splurge simply because I happen to own a house in Auckland however I have two kids and I despair at the scale of the mountains they’ll have to climb to catch up even if I help. For those without family able to do so, it must seem impossible and unjust.

    It would be good if we could Abolish the left wing land boundaries, invest in huge upgrades to our roading systems to make huge areas of land attractive places to live, knock over those race courses, golf courses and collapse the price of land. Incentives for businesses to relocate to central Auckland would drive efficiencies into public transport making that work better. Here’s another crazy thought, compulsorily purchases of whole streets of 1/4 blocks along major public transport routes, bowl those 1950’s houses, replace with modern, warm terrace houses

    Problem is, all these student and career politicians have no idea how to get the markets to behave as they’ve never been at the pointy end having to make hard calls and then galvanising others to deliver success.

    • If the twentieth century was the to coffin of every leftwing project, then the twenty first century will be every right to wing projects coffin.

      We was all supposed to work as one or not at all. But this monster grew in the shadows namely private capital and every tool we had to fight private capital got the privatization.

      The only thing left to do now is quicken capitalism’s death until every pulse and breath leaves it’s lifeless corpse. The some incantations and fire and brimstone to make sure.

    • Yeti – If you’re saying that the student and career politicians have never had to endure ‘ the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’, then I agree. That may be why they enter politics, and why they appear disconnected from the realities of everyday life, and why we need to develop the resilience to deal with them.

      • at least the trumpanistas believe in something largely unfocussed prejudice but at least they’re driven by something…career politicos are just climbing the corporate ladder in Prole Management PLC their only goal is money and a corner office.

    • What do you mean you are “one of those who has done incredibly well from the splurge simply because I happen to own a house?”

      The house is still just a place to live as it was pre-splurge. Because it’s worth more? So you sell it and have to spend all the money you’ve been paid to buy an equivalent place. You’ve done incredibly well because you’re in a different house but you’re in the same financial situation?

      • if you can’t afford that nice retirement place in the country even by flogging your town house because prices have risen so much, you’re no better off, and you don’t have a million bucks until the asset is realised…if you have a mortgage all you ‘own’ is ‘x’ dollars of debt.

  2. Laissex Faire Coined by the french Physiocrats, Laissez faire meant “let us be”, free from the royal taxes shifted onto labour and industry. The Physiocrats alternative was the Single Tax ( L’Impot Unique ) falling on the land held by France’s hereditary aristocracy and royal family. Adam Smith advocated such a tax on Britain’s (absentee) landlords, and subsequent economists extended it to include rentier income in general.
    Today’s right wing libertarians have reversed this original idea of laissez faire to mean freeing the rentier class from taxes. This shifts the fiscal burden onto labour and consumers – the reverse of what the Physiocrats , Adam Smith and other classical economists meant. Libertarian anthropologists draw pictures of a mythical age in which no public sector existed with no palaces or temples to regulate economies and levy taxes or fees for basic public services. Such junk archaeology about a ‘natural’ or ‘primordial’ society provides a faux-historical rationalisation for junk economics. P.139 J is for JUNK Economics a guide to reality in an age of deception Michael Hudson

    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laissez-faire

      Laissez-faire (/ˌlɛseɪˈfɛər/ LESS-ay-FAIR; from French: laissez faire [lɛse fɛʁ] (audio speaker iconlisten), lit. ’let do’) is an economic system in which transactions between private groups of people are free or almost free from any form of economic interventionism such as regulation and subsidies.

      Trying to change the meaning from the generally understood meaning doesn’t really help.

  3. The irony is, that as a landlord and property owner, if I was cast my vote purely on my own selfish economic benefit, I would vote Labour.

    Let that sink in…

    • Yes of course BG and that’s what they’re counting on.
      They are politicians interested only in winning elections.

        • What schools you been going to? The ones I went to indoctrinated students to believe that “winning doesn’t matter.”

            • Not in private schools or state-supported religious schools where a woke-free education which endorses competition as a good thing is still taught. For those schools the problem is parents who try and beat the ballot system by temporarily moving residence or suddenly discover a religious affiliation never previously displayed.

              • yup another case of middle class hypocrisy, they advocate for state schools practicing the latest novel experimental educational theory for the proles but make bloody sure that little tristan and cressida go to more traditional institutions..wonder if they know something?

                chances for smart working class kids are essential I say that as grammar school boy..look at any famous achievers from a working class background in the uk who went to school from the 40s to the 80s a staggering number are ex-grammar school pick any field you like from actors to scientists….there is no further argument neccesary

              • Anne with an E. I know of someone who took out a second mortgage on their home to pay for a daughter to attend the Anglican secondary school which Bill let’s-privatise-everything English sent his daughter to. They could see advantages in doing so.

                • Did that, or they, encourage their daughter to take up one of the essential career paths? Like picking fruit our driving. truck?

                  It doesn’t matter what school you go to or how much out costs we need people in certain jobs.

                    • I advised one of my ex’s to send her girl to a catholic school even though she hated it as a kid and I’M Aa lifelong atheist and wouldn’t spit on the pope if he was on fire.BECAUSE she’d get a decent education…the theraphy would come later.
                      surprisingly very smart kid went to local school and is now a scientist…but frankly that’s down to her not the school

    • Agreed, and Labour knows that, hence the piss poor housing for low income family progress…flood the market with affordable housing, house prices across NZ will drop

      • I want young New Zealanders to buy their own homes. Purely for the benefits it brings to society. A person living in their own home becomes a influential part of a neighborhood. A unfortunate transient renter doesn’t…well not fair, let’s say is less likely. The kids stay in the same school for longer, the parents feel like they belong, they protect their patch against those who want to destroy it and everyone benefits.

        Kiwibuild was supposed to do that, but instead they blew a whole lot of money on a marketing slogan, a whole lot of administration and not much else. To make matters worse, the govt is now out bidding potential new home owners at stupid auction prices!

        Again, I reiterate, if I only cared about myself I’d vote Labour.

        • bg your points on ‘community’ do indeed ring true..but long term iron clad tenancies (if you behave) could fix that…stability, time in area, personal investment in area, continuity of schooling etc etc etc………..
          A BIG downward effect on some communities is the landlords ‘ok that’s 1 year up, move out now, I can hike the rent for a newbie’ mindset.

    • Oh that sunk in at the general election in 1987 when safe National seats were nearly won by the New right that was only three years old by the NZLP that had ben captured and neutralized by the big money men and the bastion of the poor and working class the Labour party of Savage ( who was never really on side with Labour values ) and Norm Kirk was sold out and replaced with what we have today …a compassionate New Labour answer to the capitalist neo liberal order that has never been a friend but an enemy of the people the Labour party was formed to protect.

      1984 was our coup de tat that was designed to wipe out any resistance or support for working people and their interests and reform not just the economy but destroy the what was left of a discredited at the time Labour movement.

      Jacinda and Grant and their privileged MPs like Luxton’s representatives support that status quo and just like to pretend that belonging to LINO means that they like to pretend they are representing the downtrodden but none of their policies or actions support this at all.

      Its NOT what they say and tweet or put up on Facebook its what they actually stand for …….and that is a continuation of the market economy.

      They are frauds and if they had any real respect , dignity and sense of outrage at what these policies are doing to our most vulnerable people and many middle class families they would act.

      And as Chris points out the capitalist people vote LINO because that is the only alternative in is what is ( until the current majority ) an MMP parliament which can support a real left wing alternative alternative but the spell will need to be broken and that will come with an unstainable , failing capitalist system.

      • You are absolutely on the button and I never thought I would agree with you.
        Jacinda Arderns Labour Government have absolutely abandoned support for struggling people and indeed made their lives miserable.

  4. If he wants a revolution, Mr Hickey will need to do more than excoriate Labour and the Greens on Substack – he’ll need to organise one.

    So, Bernard or anyone else should not bother speaking the truth unless they are able, instantly, to align the world according to the ‘way it should be’.

    What the???

    • But Kheala, one of the official bits of advice dished out to citizens faced with the possibility of being in a corona affected household advised them to stock up on noodles. Noodles. Nutritious noodles ?

      And still they shy away from dumping the gst on food which places such a big economic and health burden upon those who can least carry it.

      • 15% GST on essential foods and medicines!!
        Right down the line – every step of the way from planting a seed etc etc. The govt’s cold grubby grabby hand taking taking taking from our children, from our poor, from all of us!!

        Aus doesn’t do that; UK doesn’t do that; Canada doesn’t do that.
        Why are we here in AO/NZ being singled out to carry such an insane burden?

        I’m guessing… “Baaaa… baaaa…baaaa”

      • We in AO/NZ grow Vitamin C-rich food, fruit and veggies which are prized around the world. Yet too often, especially in rural areas, fruit and vegs are a LUXURY that only the rich (as in the comfortable middle class) can afford.

        Rural stores rarely stock fresh fruit or veggies except an occasional dried up orange or plastic-looking apple or sticker-covered imported banana (unless some kind local brings in something they’ve grown). Why don’t the stores get them in? I’ve asked – Fruit and veggies are too damned expensive!!

        The kids are hungry for real food. How to they build up any immunity if they can’t get basic fruit and veggies?

        Successive govts have caused this unhealthy situation, which is so wrong in a land that grows so much fresh produce.

  5. Yes, representation for ethnic and religious minorities, but not for the largest minority… filthy renting peasants. Labour in Name Only? Absolutely.

  6. I’d been thinking that some of the menu details leaked during the first Ardern wedding debacle sounded elitist. Fresh venison and so on featured in the early 20C at my grandmother’s wedding, when the evil colonialists hunted, fished, or grew all their own food in a way no longer practicable or necessary, but good food beyond the reach of so many now, and provided by the whole parish back then.

    Those leaked menu offerings have a snob value dispelling notions of left wing being grass roots, but eagerly embracing the trappings of the privileged rich to whom it may appeal, in much the same sort of way that the Greens seeming-obsession with sex and gender may be calculated to entice the young and naive who are still learning of such matters – in Grandmother’s day, they were working hard, and learning on the job.

      • My “property portfolio”, J S Bark, consists of a single house, located in a middling Auckland suburb. It is my family’s home. No lodgers – except an importunate cat.

        That’s it.

        Sorry to disappoint.

    • The pastime of Capitalism is a disease of the soul. That’s why the soulless are so good at it.
      What’s it like @ Andrew? To not have any friends, only opportunities?

  7. The wage subsidy, which was $12 billion of the $20 billion, was only paid to businesses as the conduit. They had to pay it all to their employees, in fact they had to maintain 80% of the wage in order to claim the subsidy.

    So to call the wage subsidy a payment to businesses is a serious distortion of what actually happened.

    The bigger impact on assets prices was QE, which was a Reserve Bank initiative. This really boosted the capacity of banks to lend on mortgages, which dramatically drove up house prices over the last 18 months, particularly when it was coupled with the lowest interest rates for over 100 years. So all house owners got a big boost in their wealth. This has dramatically increased inequality, which has especially impacted those who are not house owners. Their share of the wealth pie has substantially declined, if not in absolute terms, certainly in relative terms. And of course has made it much harder for them to actually become house owners, especially in the major cities.

    • Ok Wayne, but it is still possible to live equitably in rented homes, as millions have done elsewhere for generations , and many of us have visited and stayed in such places, and they functioned well. Here, government blathers about not doing it unless they can do it “properly “, so they mess around while renters often have no security of tenure, and the rents which they may pay, unfortunately, often cater to the ‘ Greed is good ‘ mantra. There’s little middle ground, and no excuse for this.

      • I agree that renting can be a long term option. 60,000 Kianga Ora clients are testament to that.
        However, it inevitably means that they miss out on the biggest opportunity to build wealth, which is owning your own house. At least in NZ, where housing has always been a store of wealth, a significant increase in those who permanently rent will increase inequality.

        • Whether government should provide long-term or permanent accomodation as per Kaianga Ora is a separate and difficult issue, but ironically those most in need of it, whose least concern may be the accumulation of wealth, appear to be the worst catered for and left at the mercy of the community which can be rather ruthless.

          But still, people do choose to live as renters in some of the great cities of the world, and the not so great cities, and enjoy a reasonable quality of life not money focused in the way that now, here in New Zealand, paying for accommodation, whether owned by oneself or by another, consumes whole pay packets.

          This sort of scenario destabilises society, and that might be what it’s all about, divide and rule.

          • people rent long term in europian cities because they don’t have the feudal tenancy laws we have….full stop.

        • with our Mcjob fetish for increasing numbers of people that just ain’t happening the answer for those people is a regulated rental market, you can’t pay people shit and expect them to ‘invest’ when they’re living hand to mouth.

        • “However, it inevitably means that they miss out on the biggest opportunity to build wealth, which is owning your own house.”

          Is it actually the house that is the source of this “wealth”, or the land that sits underneath it? Isn’t the problem the fact that they are claiming ownership of something that should be regarded as a “common” , and which should be subject to a tax, or leased from the state.

    • and how much of the corporate covid socialism was embezzled? and who’s going to prison for that theft?

      answers on a postcard to the usual address…

    • I agree, and as interest rates increase, the wealth of the property investors who are leveraged in their investments will decline, this there will be less inequality between homeowners and renters.

    • It was $15.7b and it was a ‘Bailout!’.
      Let’s not perpetuate this bs any longer! Employers were, and legally obligated to pay their workers, not the government.

      By taping into Robo’s $100b ‘bazooka’ of QE. The employers got a free at no cost to them, a $15.7b Bailout!

      All they had to pay was the 20% of what the Bailout didn’t cover!

      If they were true capitalists they would have rejected the cash bailout and let the business sink or swim or sell a few investment properties to cover the cost.

      The wealthy and homeowning class got Bailed Out with a total of $67b of Robo’s ‘Bazooka QE’ which was approved back in March 2020.

      So let us not fuck about how poor and impoverished the wealthy are and the poor business sectors are.

      It’s a fuck’n pandemic! Adapt!

  8. House price increases of 20-30% in one year.

    Labour should be ashamed of themselves.
    They rule out any measures that would be effective,tinker around and hope.
    Hopeless.

    • Blazer et al.
      What is with this misconception that Labour, or National, or any politician regulates controls the housing market??? It’s simple: everyone wants to be in NZ (because it’s a nice place!), but there are not enough houses. That is the current state of the market, nothing else. Economics 101. End of story.
      If you want more houses to drive prices down, ask Labour to make easier, not harder to build them. And that is where the problem is…Labour is making everything so much harder with WASTEFUL policies driven by ideology rather than practicality. How many house could you build with the ‘consultation costs’ for Kiwibuild or that Cyclebridge? Many many many! That’s what you get when you have a PM who can ‘doesn’t do economy’. It’s just not her gig. Clearly, she doesn’t want to leave that kind of legacy. Imagine though if she did: “Jacinda made sure most people in NZ could afford their own home”…wow what a legacy!

      • of course we could have a proper state house building project ohhh I dunno like a Dept of Works or summat…

        Great strides are being made in prefab/kitset even computer printed housing…where is NZ? FUCKING ABOUT AS USUAL

      • Are you thick or just plain stupid?
        The Govt can levy empty houses,vacant land,legislate for first home buyers,introduce stamp duties ,CG…amongst other things to control rampant property prices…if they had a mind..to!

        • I’m thick and plain stupid, in fact all of the above, clearly. That’s why you are a multi-millionaire and I’m not. Whatever you say, there still wouldn’t be enough houses. Economics 101 still applies. – not enough houses. Won’t change for the next 30 years. Over to you. BTW, I didn’t insult you so drop the insults. They just prove how stupid you are.

            • And they are owned by people who live in that second house they own.
              Unless the government is happy to ‘consolidate’ these privately held properties into NZ housing stock these houses will not house anyone.
              Again, we need to build houses to rent. Or take houses away from people that had the good fortune to buy them at some stage in their lifes or who may have inherited them.
              How much communism do you like with your cup of Joe?

        • yup something should be done about ‘ghost houses’ preferably something ‘nationalisationy’ , housing permits until dirt is turned are meaningless, some kind of state procurement agency for a state programme like oh let’s say pharmac, could bring down prices of materials and deal with foreign suppliers unlike our raft of piecemeal gouging middlemen.

    • Yes Blazer but remember they were going to fix that but instead it’s worsened.
      Just another hollow election promise to gain votes.
      Pay also to note that all the Labour MPs are doing nicely.
      Ashamed I agree but they certainly don’t appear to be.

  9. Covid made the NZ rich $952 billion (make it $1 trillion) richer and the poor $480 million more in debt. Looks like the biggest wealth grab since the land wars. Why? It’s so unfair…

    Here’s some context as they say
    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2020/03/10/guest-blog-dave-brownz-from-coronaviris-to-the-commune-how-to-save-humanity-from-destruction/

    Actually, workers pay for the bloody lot with their labour even before gov’t put the rich on the benefit.

    Explanation is here.
    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2020/05/19/guest-blog-dave-brownz-budget-whinging-vs-socialist-planning/

    Time for workers to stop paying for the bosses shit.
    How to reverse this shituation: some ideas
    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2020/04/07/guest-blog-dave-brownz-business-as-usual-no-thanks/

  10. With 11.7% being the real number of UB/recipient’s of a benefit, financial support. 368,000.
    Less than 30,000 jobs advertised nationally on trademe and most, 95% are recruitment companies competing for applicants and against other recruitment companies.
    More than 11,000,000 food parcels in the past 12 months and still 25,000 people living in motels at a cost of $1m per day and they also have run up additional debt of $400m to pay for the accommodation with WINZ/MSD that they will never be able to afford to pay off.

    Somethings gotta give soon. Ay?

    • And add to that inflation at a 30 year high.
      Doing a great job for the working class people of NZ devaluing their earnings whilst increasing their cost of living.

    • Inflation. What’s not including land values. Auckland alone is $675b worth of land valuations not captured in these SNZ inflation figures.

  11. Yes Covid has made the rich richer but really the entire economic system is set up to benefit those with money and assets.

  12. So, we have a middle to upper class party and an upper class party, with the former keeping the unrepresented in check. Yeah, this all makes sense. We can see why neoliberal economic policy was both introduced by Labour and remains unchallenged by Labour. And now I can also see why mandates and divisive Covid measures, that disproportionately effects the working class, were introduced. Labour are a better right-leaning party than National, this deserves to be said, but the Left really does need a Left-leaning party that stands separate from the pretend-to-be-Left Labour party.

  13. If Jacinda walked past one of the ever growing food banks but their was a rich prick outside in his Ferrari I am sure she would go and talk to the rich prick before even acknowledging the food bank. She is one of them, not us. Always was always will be.

    • Well no, that would be your chauffeur driven Mercedes limo shinyman Luxo!!

      Jacinda fought to get food into schools – school lunches for lower deciles – against the cries of the Nats.

      • Kheala. Thank you for reminding me that it was the Nats who stopped the free milk in all New Zealand primary schools throughout my childhood, on very spurious grounds. There were also free apples back then – I think they tried to say that it was a temporary war or post-war measure, so they stopped the apples as well.

        It was a group of local mothers who started up the free lunches in schools in Porirua, paying out of their own pockets, and then other femmes complained to the Dom-Post that the lovely ladies were making non-nutritious luncheon sausages sandwiches.

        Luxon in his big black car is wonderfully funny optics, even Granny chuckled over that one. Mind you, if he drives in his cruddy holiday jandals, the roads are safer if he does use chauffeurs instead.

        • I didn’t mind when the milk went – If the crates were left out in the sun too long it went off (and I didn’t drink it – had an allergy). We didn’t get apples, but we did get hot cocoa in winter – and one time they handed out vitamin E pills.

          There were wild peach trees down the back of the school, so we’d raid them in summer.

          Sometimes someone would bring a whole smoked kahawai and share it, and once a cray. At the end of the year we had a big hangi on the school grounds.

        • you know what will happen in NZ we’ll have a 10year debate on the details of the menu, whilst not ideal by a long chalk a mystery meat pie is better than no pie

  14. Fucking Brilliant! Always read CT articles because you will regularly hit gold.
    “The Internet-Mana Party may have had a brilliant manifesto (so brilliant that I voted for it) but its share of the 2014 Party Vote was a demoralising 1.42 percent.”
    Probably the only genuinely left wing party we’ve had in recent memory and a terrible loss from the political landscape. To gain traction in the political system you need to have a middle class voting base – for left wing party’s that means lot’s and lot’s of “champagne socialists” who vote on behalf of those with less.
    How do we convert more of NZ’s middle class into champagne socialists? That’s what we need to figure out.

  15. watched a good doco last night ‘the decade the rich won’ surprisingly from the bbc free from dogma and rhetoric….informative and factual bit like the pre-pro tory ‘auntie beeb’.

    anyhoo should be available at the usual places on line..well worth a look.

  16. Hosking writes: ‘Why do we accept this Covid farce from the Government?’ Before you bag him…yeah yeah whatever…he merely highlights the inability for any of us (left or right) to hold this govt to account. Unlike an english football team, we can’t turf them out midway through through their contract. Or even haul them into the boardroom for a serious bollicking. Pity. They need it! They must just loooooooove not having to answer to anyone. Especially ‘I ate the pies’ Robertson (looking at that picture).

  17. That photo of Ardern & Robertson, giving the thumbs up to the Neoliberal Agenda that Labour foisted of NZ in the 1980’s via the depraved & totally discredited Finance Minister Roger Douglas, totally sums up what is being touted as “The Great Reset”? In the last 2 yrs, we have seen the largest transfer of Wealth in the History of Mankind, using the Covid Pandemic crisis as cover for this unprecedented thievery by an Elite class! In NZ, property owners are the beneficiaries of this massive Wealth accumulation! The out of control Money printing by Central banks, with our own Reserve bank conjuring up $60+ billion out of thin air is now causing huge Inflation thanks to QE currency debasement! The fake money is supposedly for Covid relief but in reality its being passed to the Banks to fuel the Housing Market & Property Speculation, driving asset prices to unsustainable levels! And what will be the result? A return to Feudalism? You will own nothing, but you will be Happy! Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 Dystopia, Generation Rent for Life, Generation Traffic lights & Covid Jabs forever? That’s the end goal here, you will be broke & be grateful! Thank you Jacinda Ardern, maybe you should take off your Covid hat & put on Michael Savages Socialist hat, you know the Man who created a fair, just, affordable & decent NZ Society rather than the Capitalist deathcult one we have today!

    • 🙂
      Glad to know you’re at least partially on to it.
      It”ll probably take a decade a more as we’ve entered the era of post truthinex and common sense (in that space, going forward). But as an influencer once said : “It won’t be the haps in this space, going forward, BUT, it will happen..
      Fuck she’s a beauty ain’t she?
      Pantene ruls! Now there’s a sales point we could all get behind. JA’s split ends. Clarke’s post fishing wash, Marama’s golden ablushements, and James.
      Win win!.
      Fuck me @ Chris Trotter – its possible you could even get behind an increasingly hairy back – it that space

    • Our problems seem to have nothing to do with capitalism. However, the powers that be need to stop the banks creating money out of nothing; and perhaps make banking a state owned public utility.

  18. I don’t wish to be a cunt @ Marama, but I just saw you on ONE News (YOUR news! with Max Headroom and the team).
    It looked suspiciously like you bleach that set of crockery occupying your jaw. I realise it’s not as ample as others who can’t actually help the disability they’re lumbered with. but it reminds me of a Mangaweka viaduct before the deviation.

    Actually, I take it back – I’m quite happy to be a cunt until you and James get your fucking shit together

      • It’s not really Once Was Tim’s fault but the constant government inaction that does it. Some people need to have scatalogical language thrust at them before their cool, dignified reserve can be breached and you find out whether there is a real person in there or just some well-modelled doll with hidden wires coming out of their arse.

      • I’m so pleased you’re concerned @GA.
        Unfortunately there is a growing number of people sick to death of a kind and transformational government that’s prepared to be “crude and abusive” to the most vulnerable in their team of 5 million.
        And while I believe JA is genuine in her intentions, it’s clear the ‘cistern’ in which she operates means any progress is sometimes impossible.

        Robert Reid hit the nail on the head:
        “No one mentions that every government is a coalition between the elected governing party(s) and the senior bureaucrats.
        The bureaucracy acts as more of a handbrake than NZ First ever did.
        But most ruling parties let it continue to dictate policy”

        It has become far worse since the 80’s reforms.
        The abused and undeserving should know their place in the pecking order and just be very nice and accepting of their lot eh @GA ?

    • Not at all they have done nothing for the people they pretend to represent but rather made the wealthy more wealthy.

  19. Cindy is slipping in the Polls. Great job on Covid but its time to end the fear. Its time to really care, care about housing, prices, putting food on poor tables. Cmon Cindy, preventing something is fine, doing something is better.

  20. I see the right wingers especially the granny herald, tv 1, some zb hosts, media and commentators are salivating over themselves with the poll results. The govt made sure everyone kept their job and I saw that with my nephews and others working through the pandemic. At the end of the day Jacinda and Labour have saved the lives of thousands of Aotearoans and kiwis should be more appreciative – 52 deaths verses UK 150,000 and USA 500,000. Yes we are lucky – lucky that the hopeless greedy Natzact coalition losers arent in government worshipping the $$$ because a year ago NZ would be a failure like the UK, Aus and the USA having to rely on RATS as their only tool of last resort. The Natzact would be importing body bags now not vaccines. What country does the greedy right say to follow now – Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, UK, Australia. I’m loyal to Aotearoa and listen to the scientists not the uneducated right wing Qnon BS.

  21. has anyone else been slightly depressed by the return of RNZs Checkpoint? with it’s twaddle, I’m already missing a person reading the facts of ‘what happened today’ information ‘just the facts’ as they say instead of being prodded to think the ‘right’ things…how about we sack ’em and bring the temporary crew on full time.

    and why do those ineffectual lightweights get a month off (no doubt paid) it’s not like they work weekends is it….ohhhhh nooooo the pooor dears willlll just faint roighttt away if they don’t get a month in the country…and that just about sums up ‘the panel’ in a sentence too.

    • ” has anyone else been slightly depressed by the return of RNZs Checkpoint? with it’s twaddle ”

      Nope ditched it over a year ago after becoming increasingly disappointed with what a once excellent service non biased facts only broadcaster had become. But when you load the board with National party Joyce-Key hacks that’s what you get.

      A cure for your creeping depression is simple ….turn them off ! so many of us have.

      • I can’t stand the pitch and pace of the female voice that dominates. That sort of wait for this, gossipy style. And are we hearing the most interesting and important news? Sometimes. But I liked it before – it’s a shame to have to wean oneself away from what was a good product and the point is that it stood for the NZ way and values that younger listeners could learn to appreciate. When you start getting goosebumps because the young pretenders haven’t grown up enough to appreciate your efforts, and you start adopting too many facebook or similar, affectations then where is the quality for people who appreciate it. Hopefully the information coming over will aid the democracy and not be trying to be popular with all.

      • RNZ has never been unbiased it’s just actually the quality of their reporters, as reporters is in decline….and I SAY THIS AS SOMEONE WHO’S ENGLISH IS APPALLING…but they mangle the language unmercifully..no run throughs or sub editors?

  22. I see even MSM are now recognising the greatest gap in New Zealand’s history between the rich and poor under the Jacinda Ardern Labour Government.
    How could anyone think Jacinda Ardern and her ministers are doing a good job for the poor people of NZ when they are widening the gap?
    I’m flabbergasted!

      • I’m not part of the Labour Government who promised to deal with these issues but instead because of their incompetence have made things worse.
        Greatest gap between the rich and poor in the history of New Zealand?
        How can you endorse this cruel attack on the poorest people in our country?

    • they’re ‘noticing’ it now specifically because the brown envelopes have arrived from the usual anti-labour sources.

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