Reports Of Labour’s Death …

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THIS IS FROM one of Jacinda Ardern’s staunchest allies, The Daily Blog’s editor, Martyn Bradbury. He is not a happy man:

“Labour won’t do a thing about the Supermarket Duopoly. If they won’t bother picking up the largest recommendation from the Royal Inquiry into Historic State abuse after calling for it and paying over $140million, then they sure as Christ can ignore anything the Commerce Commission is frail enough to suggest.”

I agree with him.

How many occasions, since 2017, have there been when the Labour Party, presented with the findings of a committee of experts assembled to study a pressing social and/or economic problem – have ignored it? There was the late Sir Michael Cullen’s investigation into the pros and cons of a Capital Gains Tax. The report of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group. Multiple reports on the urgent need to tackle Climate Change. The Commerce Commission’s initial report recommending the breaking up of the supermarket duopoly.

Asking for an official report was once considered the smart play. Straightforward and simple, it had just 5 steps.

1) Assemble a group of experts and set them to work.

2) Receive their report.

3) After due consideration, declare it to be an excellent piece of work.

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4) Pledge to implement most of its recommendations.

5) Implement most of its recommendations.

Throughout this Labour Government’s period in office it has shown a pronounced willingness to engage in Steps 1 and 2 of this process; a lesser degree of enthusiasm for Steps 3 and 4; and almost no willingness to proceed to Step 5. The question is – Why?

Let’s take another look at Step 1. In the past, politicians began the process of social reform already knowing what they wanted to achieve. This was especially true in the Labour Party, whose entire raison d’être was changing society for the better. If you didn’t have strong opinions on what needed to be done, and how to do it, then what was the point of becoming a Labour Member of Parliament?

This predisposition towards changing the world added an important twist to Step 1. It meant that when assembling your experts you were careful to ensure that a majority of them, and the Chair in particular, shared your own (and the Party’s) view of what needed to be done. Since Labour politicians spent a lot of time talking with all kinds of experts about social and economic reform, picking the right people wasn’t difficult. It also meant that Steps 2-5 were pretty much a pro-forma exercise.

Clearly, the present Labour Party is very different from the Labour Party of the past. What happened?

The answer, as always, is: Rogernomics.

A crucial aspect of Rogernomics was its ferocious intolerance of the moderate social-democratic thinking that had for decades pervaded not only the Labour Party, but also the union and academic circles which constituted the principal intellectual reservoirs of Labour policy.

Inspired and advised by the neoliberal ideologues of Treasury, the core leadership of the Fourth Labour Government made it clear to their colleagues that any attachment to the old ideas and the old sources of advice would not be career enhancing. The sympathetic professors and enthusiastic union officials of yesteryear were banished to the outer darkness, and in their place a whole new breed of ideologically kosher policy advisers stepped forward. Henceforth, the overwhelming majority of experts called upon to guide governments would be convinced Neoliberals.

The old ideas and old sources of advice did not go down without a fight. Indeed, the ideological conflict within Labour between 1984 and 1989 was so intense that it split the party. For those who remained loyal to the Labour Party, however, the whole idea of social reform underwent a profound change. There were now clear perimeters beyond which the guardians of the Rogernomics Revolution did not permit the party to venture. Gay Marriage? Why not. Compulsory Unionism? No way

For those who lived through these intense debates and debacles it all seems like yesterday. But, it isn’t. It is very nearly 40 years since the Rogernomics Revolution and its intensification under Ruth Richardson transformed New Zealand society. A New Zealander born in 1984, could easily have a 20-year-old son or daughter – maybe even a grandchild. The Prime Minister herself was only four years old when Roger Douglas became Minister of Finance. And Jacinda Ardern’s own Finance Minister, Grant Robertson, was just thirteen.

Most of the members of Labour’s caucus have grown up in an intellectual environment completely dominated by Neoliberal ideas. Those who attempt to revive the social-democratic ideals of the pre-1984 Labour Party come before today’s Labour MPs with the unwelcome historical taint of the NewLabour splitters and Jim Anderton’s doomed Alliance. More importantly, they are regarded by the Government’s Neoliberal advisers as intellectual Neanderthals: people who simply do not know how the world works; cretins and naïfs who should be kept as far away from real political power as possible.

Unfortunately, the bits and bytes of twenty-first century Hyper-Capitalism long ago ceased to respond to the impulses of mere human ideology. Though they dare not admit it, the Neoliberals have lost control of the machine. All they are capable of now is presenting increasingly implausible explanations for why everything has gone so very badly wrong.

Understandably, the politicians expected to front for the damage done by the Invisible Hand are in the market for some credible alternatives to more of the same. When Jacinda and Grant sign-off on yet another working group it’s not because they know already what they want the experts to tell them, it’s because the experts they currently rely upon for advice have run out of answers, and they are genuinely interested in what these new experts might say.

When the reports emerge, however, they all read as if they’ve been written by Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, or Max Rashbrooke and Susan St John. The lips of their bureaucratic advisers curl contemptuously; their media advisers’ eyebrows arch provocatively; and with a heartfelt sigh the hapless politicians set the offending document on top of the surprisingly high pile of its predecessors. Another No Go.

The brilliant creators of “The Simpsons” television series said it all in the episode satirising the ideas of Ayn Rand. On the walls of the Randian childcare centre a sign read simply: “Helping Doesn’t Help”.

It’s the story of this government’s life.

94 COMMENTS

  1. Great column.

    I was there at the time when old Labour was torn asunder, and there are various accounts of the gruesome and sometimes personally cruel details (like how Sonia Davies was treated and Jim Anderton virtually frogmarched from his own party conference). When Roger Owen Douglas and Bassett and all the rest finally die it will certainly be cause for celebration for some.

    Chicago School hegemony means that for the Labour Caucus and the private capital that penetrates public infrastructure, and the beneficiaries of the State Sector Act and Reserve Bank Act etc. there is indeed no alternative.

    The only way for this to change is the new gens to get politically active along with those non grasping types in older generations. Elder poverty is a thing at the moment–people trying to scrape by, flatting and living in camper vans in their 60s and beyond.

    • Ah…? Ahem? Hello ? Countryboy here… Mind you, I’m fuck all of a boy these days, I’ve definitely gone over the crest of Old Coot Mountain.
      What have I been telling you’s?
      Can I just say; ‘Labour’ was never much of a party even before neoliberal-capitalism hijacked our democracy.
      A brief spin through that silly little thing called history will attest to that.
      It was the presence and influence of John A. Lee who mixed the ingredients of a proper socialism into the rising capitalist democracy mix not fucking wee Squinty The Savage.
      And let me be clear. Our politic has NOTHING to do with best altruistic intentions for us lot. It was ALWAYS about the money, specifically about our primary industry money, our farmer’s money.
      And do you know what?
      Nothing, has changed. Not one thing. Oh, wait? We have cell phones now. I guess that’s change.
      Our politics and our ball cupping bankster oligarchy need a royal commission of inquiry to go up them like a Southland Sou Wester up your skirt.

      • I often think how a cellphone would have transformed my old man’s life. Being able to call up instructions from the back of the farm. He was always fascinated by Maxwell Smart’s shoe phone for anyone with a memory that long.
        D J S

  2. Well this is certainly one logical explanation as to why the Ardern Labour government rarely seems to achieve any of its stated objectives much less anything of substance.

    And although praise was heaped upon these non achievers for Covid 2020 the simple truth was we had to shut society down so severely and park so many rights at great personal expense lest the death toll and serious long term health problems would have been publically untenable when we realised the reason was our hollowed out public health system from years of budget starvation, low taxation and neoliberalism.

    Pity was in 2017 Jacinda promised so much and promised it so well that clearly more than a few of us were suckered in to her so called “transformative society”. Trouble is for her and her government the voter wants to see real evidence in year 5 of her government, that there is transformation as promised. And there is none. Just a government whose reason for being it appears is to get their rent paid for by us, travel paid for by us and to get paid a handsome salary plus expenses on top of that, by us. But for what? Where is the quid pro quo?

    Even if our PM doesn’t want to admit it just yet, she’s got nothing, she isn’t going change anything in the 18 months she’s got left because there is no plan or talent and she and many of her MP’s will be looking for jobs in 2023 accordingly. Voters might reward liars but not those who don’t deliver anymore than they reward incompetence. And I can’t help but think, long term, Labour have damaged themselves beyond redemption!

    • “And I can’t help but think, long term, Labour have damaged themselves beyond redemption!”

      Couldn’t agree more xray, I think the future Labour politicians will rue the damage Jacinda has done for many years to come.

      Bomber mentioned in one of his articles last week the protests have cost Labour 5%.

      I’d argue that same 5% might never ever vote left again.

    • “Pity was in 2017 Jacinda promised so much and promised it so well.”

      Yea, really surprising; the incompetence, or lack of will,.. Probably both,.
      And a sad thing for New Zealanders.
      The waste of time, waste of money, and lost opportunity.

  3. This is all too true and we are already well aware of it, but who the hell can we vote for or do we have to have a revolution ? Neoliberalism has to be consigned to the file of “Failed Experiments”.
    Yet again it is really another failure that is rooted in the USA.

    • We aren’t in the USA you silly c*** this is NZ. We still practice Neoliberalism here in NZ, we have no choice apart from the Greens, te Maaori Party or TOP. The other 3 X Main Parties National, Labour and ACT are still Neoliberal Parties.

      • Good god, neoliberalism came via Reagan and then Thacher. Douglas merely followed their model. Do some History Ngungkai.

        • it was the then fashionable* ‘chicago school’ shock therapy theory for destroying social democracies

          *there are fads fancies and trends in economics just like teenage girls skirt lengths.

        • Garbaldi I know History inside out especially NZ History. I have Post Graduate Papers in Maori History & Resources from Auckland University my boy and got the History Prize at one of NZ’s Leading Boys Schools hence very well educated in that Area so don’t doubt my understanding of History. History depends a lot on who is actually telling the story, this is where your little boyfriend Poots has got himself in a bit of a muddle lately IMHO. Hope it all ends well for you and Poots.

          • Skiting about how much you think you know because of your qualifications does not impress me when I read your comments Ngungukai. Just try putting some balance in your Americanism and you might see a bit of another world.
            Life experience and real observations are far more important than qualifications. I have a list of them as long as your arm too but they don’t put me up on a pedestal like you want out of yours.
            Putin is a far smarter person than all your western propaganda has let you believe. Cheers.

      • Winston is not even yesterdays man because he has always been an overrated smartarse populist. He is now a senile overrated smartarse populist.

        • Not to mention his bromancer – Hold the ladder steady Shane the Retail Politician.
          Let’s leave them both to the whiskey and durries on their own whare because if they ever get back to Parliament they’ll either be pissing in their nappies or in the hallways.
          They both should reinvent themselves as fashion consultants – 20’s and 30’s style mafioso gear will soon be back in fashion including the double breasts and pot bellies – but hopefully not the machine guns

        • Winston showed his colours yet again when he threatened a letter to the Governor General in the 2020 election. He could have retired with grace but had to go out snarky, a number of people in the North went off him for that little stunt after Jacinda’s excellent handing of first round COVID.

          I shake my head though, when I drive through the nice new state highway roundabouts at Kawakawa and Waipapa and Puketona, and scores of new wharfs in tiny little Kaipara and Hokianga settlements few have heard of, and a board walk around Mangonui harbour etc. etc. there are little micro projects all over the North due to the Provincial Growth Fund. That type of populism is something Labour Greens need to learn.

          At this stage only Greens and Māori Parti deserve a vote. Greens more for potential it must be admitted!

          • TM I’m curious why you consider the Maori Party worth a vote. Is it because of the policies, or MPs there now, both, or something else?

            If there was an election tomorrow I would have serious difficulty putting a tick beside any of the existing options.

            • Both Ben. It is a changed Te Parti Māori these days if you read their policy, statements and media channels.

              I am pākehā but love the young people coming through, up North some of them have read Malcom X and other revolutionaries stories, not the timid Kaumatua of recent times.

      • @ N. You heard about Machiavellian confederates?
        If you think winston peters is worth wasting a space in our parliament again then you haven’t.

    • @ Harry.
      I’m sad that you can’t understand that it is the ‘we’ who are the party. Not the ‘them’.
      Where do you think ‘alternative parties’ might come from? In the mail? A box dropped off outside your house? Via email? ( Most likely and sooner than we might think if I’m to be correct.)
      Neoliberal capitalism has achieved one terrible thing above all the other terrible things they’ve brought down on us. They’ve convinced us by various means of bullying, of corrupting our msm with absurdly massive salaries for the Talking Heads to make sure they did what they were told, or else, and arrogance that they know best and the best as far as they’re concerned is greed is good.
      You, Dear Harry, are a classic example of why we must introduce mandatory voting. If you don’t know the basics of politics then you won’t vote, thus you, and the vote you didn’t use will be irrelevant in the way things work politically. But those who DO know how things work will make fucking sure those things will work best for them, not you, because you couldn’t be arsed to find out how systems function and of how fragile those systems are to intervention and derailment.
      We currently have a system ( political) that’s more a camouflaged ghost of a thing. [It] operates invisibly right in front of our noses, it has terrible consequences for we relatively normal human-beings who just want, indeed need to desperately crawl towards happiness and basic life-stability. Neoliberal-capitalism is constantly, secretly, invisibly pushing and pulling at us to keep us off-balance as we try to have kids, look after our old people and save some money that might be going spare.
      Neoliberalism didn’t come at us from the Labour Party because roger douglas said “oopsie daisy, sorry about that. Didn’t mean to, but now that I’m here let me terminally fuck things up for you”
      No. wodger’s cute wee plaything of a politic has more in common with fascism than capitalism ( I personally believe they’re the same thing anyway. )
      He couldn’t have got up close up to Lange’s back with his dirty little daggers if he’d come at Lange, face to face, man to man. douglas had to slither in through Labours back door, so to speak, and he hasn’t yet slithered out again!
      After nearly forty years Harry! He’s up ACT like a well oiled dildo and creepy fucking seymour hovers around like Smithers fawning over the Great Little Shit. Sorry. Sorry… I do get carried away sometimes, hopefully not literally, not yet anyway.
      ‘Neoliberalism’ is perhaps best explained as a parasite.
      It gets in and under the skin and burrows away at our very foundations. [It’s] in our capitalist-democratic economy, it’s hugely damaging to our social systems and infrastructures and it is truly ghostly, it’s transparent, it’s only visible by the destruction [it] causes.
      Basically, our politic needs a reboot. Just like a computer, our politic needs to be turned off…. we wait….. then we turn it back on again the read the fault report.
      fucking awful luxon, for example, is using the promise of tax reductions as a means to financial growth. How can anyone believe that guff. After all that we’ve been through, the poverty, the hungry kids, the working poor, the homelessness… and he dares to promise tax cuts. He’s a financial blood sucker. He should never, ever be allowed anywhere near our politic. We voters should see him coming a fucking mile away. We should be well AWARE of his presence in all permutations of the concept of awareness. We don’t, though, because he remains all but invisible to the majority who don’t bother voting.

      • Correct + 100% Agree

        Neoliberalism is basically parasitic capitalism for the elite and the wealthy.

        National/Labour & ACT still adhere to the Neoliberal Doctrine.

    • Unfortunately Effiso is only standing for Mayor of Auckland hence he can not influence National/Labour Party Policies. Good Luck Effiso in the Mayoralty Race.

  4. Roger the Rat and Mickey Bassett much just about be PAST THERE USED BY DATES.

    Will Jacinda be having a State Funeral for both of them ?

  5. Try to look at it from another angle: Labour had been out of office for nine years before Ardern was anointed by Winston. Nine long years to ponder policy and work out a detailed plan as to what they would do when eventually they got into power. So what did we get?

    We got ‘working groups’. Scores of them!

    It was evident to most observers at that point that this government had no viable policies and no idea how to run a country. But one thing this government is *really* good at is slogans and demonizing groups. By now the list is long:
    Dairy farmers (Dirty Dairy remember?)
    Rich landowners who should be paying CGT
    Landlords
    Gas station owners
    Tradies with Utes
    Firearms owners
    Supermarket owners
    Men (Or was that more a Helen Clark thing? One loses track)
    White people
    The unvaccinated

    The problem for her is that once she’s made accusations, as PM she’s duty bound to follow up with some kind of action. So she holds an inquiry, pretends to make some changes, then goes looking for the next group to attack.
    How is that ‘Team of 5 million’ working out for you guys? 😉

    • The poor brown ones are currently getting f****d, increased fuel prices will be $4.00-$5.00 a litre soon, inflation 7,4%, record prices for fresh fruit and vegetables, housing prices at record levels and rents soaring through the roof, meanwhile Labour denies there is a problem. The Big Oil Companies are making record profits and these will grow with the current Ukrainian War, the New Zealand Supermarket Duopoly making $462 million additional profits over and above what they should be making, and NZ Real Estate Prices kicking on to the Moon, meanwhile poor young brown kids are going hungry, sleeping in cars if they are lucky, I can see why they are starting to get a little bit pissed off. Time to get some doing going, however there are no major parties to vote for who are capable of doing anything imho.

      • Agree with everything you said AND it likely the multiracial poor (including whites).
        Don’t have the data for NZ but in US/UK racial wealth gaps are accounted for by differences at the top end, mostly the top 10%. There is little/no difference between the bottom 50%.

        To echo CT “All they are capable of now is presenting increasingly implausible explanations for why everything has gone so very badly wrong”
        The ‘racial wealth gap’ is likely one such explanation/distraction, at least in the US/UK. What it means is ‘the black and brown elite not as wealthy as the white/asian elite’.

        The working class don’t figure in the discourse except as a mobilising ploy or fodder for human interest stories in the media.

      • Of course you’re correct – the people at the bottom always suffer most. What I recommend they do is not vote Labour again, because in my experience that’s what Labour governments generally deliver. (I’m an escapee from successive Labour government’s in the UK during the 1960’s and 70’s)

    • the ‘policy work’ should have been done long before they entered the beehive, they could have hit the ground running but didn’t, the only inference that can be drawn is that they’ve acted as they intended to all along.

  6. I so much want to disagree with you Chris, but cannot!
    So much hope for our country’s good in 2020; so much disappointment by 2022.

  7. You hit the nail on the head Chris, build it & they will come, what a joke.
    The supermarket racket fiasco might just be the final nail!

  8. National are giving everyone tax cuts by the sound of it, thus a popular policy for many.

    Meanwhile Labour have unveiled more complicated schemes such as 3 water, social security scheme, free speech criminalised, I think more targeted taxes everywhere, to tax more working people and residents.

    I wonder what is going to be more popular???? More taxes for workers or less taxes for workers?????

    Labours tax policy during Covid mostly went to business owners, who then in many cases failed to protect workers.

    Sadly Labour spend too much time worrying about what ACT and NatZ think and giving their supporters millions of dollars of tax cuts and special help and the recipients hate them to their face or behind their backs https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/127955922/calls-for-sleepyhead-boycott-after-director-shares-racist-email Ray Avery never stops bagging the government etc

    Meanwhile Labour are ignoring the many people who did vote for them and like what they are doing previously.

    Many people loved what Labour did for Covid and saved lives by shutting the borders.

    So what do Labour do? Open borders for the ACT and Natz supporters who hate them. Ignore their voters.

    Add more complicated taxes and schemes, they really can’t help themselves!

    Doh!

      • Very doubtful as soon a flat white will be $7 and a packet of biscuits $3. If you can survive on ‘diet’ coke, white bread and crisps you might still afford to be shopping at supermarkets (with free food parcels) but probably be obese and have diabetes. Or you can buy fast food, but same poor health results.

        Bring back the ease of farmers markets every week everywhere which would help support local growers and sell fresh food cheaper to consumers.

        Government need to connect with grass roots people and stop always thinking large or social providing ‘industry’ will help poverty. They make money off poverty!

    • Labour Repeating themselves same as Dear Leader Clarke wanting to tax showerheads and lightbulbs, they really don’t understand the big picture, very few of them have actually done a proper days work in their working careers, Most are either professional paper shufflers or pen pushers. They are relying on these external consultants who must be laughing their tits off. $50 Million on the Cycleway Design on Auckland Harbour Bridge is just hilarious.

  9. Thanks Chris. Yes it’s occurred to me so many reports, so little action. And how much have these reports cost?

    Labour did have 9 years in opposition to figure out exactly what they were going to do. And in that time they promised kiwi build. How come they didn’t know the scheme wouldn’t work?

    And what have Labour advanced without a working group? Self ID, while treating women who opposed it with utter contempt. The Conversion Practices bill when the Min of health originally opposed it and that there is very little evidence it is currently practiced (the true intention of the bill I believe is to prevent parents and health professionals from stopping the medical transition of young Kids)

    • You’re not wrong, Anker!

      Labour was out of power for 12 years (1960-1972) and yet they never stopped coming up with new ideas – many of which National simply watered-down and introduced as their own. When Labour did come to power, under Norman Kirk, there was a virtual explosion of reformist legislation.

      The 9 years Labour spent out of power, thanks to John Key, should have meant that when they got the chance they had a whole sheaf of draft legislation ready to go. They didn’t. Why? One of the reasons is to do with the fact that they hated with a passion the one man among them that had seen through Neoliberalism and dared to say so – David Cunliffe. He had many, many faults – but a refusal to think about the future wasn’t one of them.

      • Very interesting what you say about Cunliffe Chris. Yes a good proportion of his MPs hated him, remember the ABCs.? It sounds like you think that wasn’t just because of Cunliffes faults. Do you really believe he would have dismantled neo liberalism or something along those lines. Curious to hear

  10. Labour and Greens instead of having ‘breakfasts’ and talk fests with industry and industry led ‘social’ initiatives such as OZ owned Compass saving the day with housing and ‘social’ housing providers, and Asian housing initiatives and water bottling interests, maybe look at what social media and real people are saying. (Before the trolls take this over too).

    NZ MSM and Industry say….

    Shortage of truck drivers threatens food deliveries; “can’t be swept under the rug”.

    But on social media comments pages….

    We’re do I get those jobs I’m keen trucker

    Well 21 hour or 23 hour doing 70 hours a week won’t support the family . But the tax u pay will support the government . Getting there free perks on the taxpayers. That’s why they can’t get drivers

    $35 contract plus gst to drive a truck who can afford To work for that and keep a family
    No wonder there is a shortage

    Remove secondary tax and you may find a few spots being filled.

    I got a class 5 license but apparently dont have the experience. Then again also live wrong place right beside a Railway line which could be used as a hub. The problems not shortage of drivers its a shortage of forward thinking to overcome the problems. I know a few with HT licences that do not work in the Trucking industry.

    maybe not a lack of drivers just lack of good wages and Covid restrictions by the Companies

    Can’t afford the bloody food when it reaches the supermarket anyway

    Well if you need them all you need to do is pay them really well and they will come.

    Really, met a lady whose husband is a truck driver.
    He is on a database to be called upon when the businesses are short on drivers to deliver essentials.
    Funny tho he hasn’t had a call. There are drivers out there prepared to help.
    So what really is the problem?

    As one who tried to get into the trucking industry I can tell you it is really hard. Even if you have all the requirements you can miss out due to lack of experience. Fines, ACC levy, liability insurance. All of this is big gamble money if you are unknown. Flip side is that outside of the military none I have heard of are training either. I suggest something like an apprenticeship scheme sponsored by the industry at large.

    Have they all gone to Aussie cause they get paid better. Always the same story about wages in NZ

    everybody is thinking about heading back over why stay when the government ripes you off all the time. They would rather have nz full of unskilled workers to get more votes

    $50 an hour and I’ll drive

    Source facebook NZ herald with trade jobs NZ.

    • Yes that’s the crux of it. Far too easy to say the jobs are there but just to hard to get. The best solution is to pay more. If trucking and reading companies spent less on funding a particular political party and invested in wages equivalent to Aussie say, then they’d more than likely retain trickiest. How do I know this,? A brother n law whom earnt 58000 a year for Fonterra is now earning 135000 in Perth. He lives on the Gold Coast and they fly him in and out.

    • Truck drivers should earn $75…80…90 bucks an hour. Bloody responsible job! Of course, if they were allowed to go at 120 on the open roads, that would balance the time spent to get freight to places, so the cost of goods can stay the same. But just wait until they have to crawl at 70 or 80. This stupid ‘road to zero’ campaign is warming us up for slower roads, but it really means the road to higher prices.

      • And this is exactly why our roads are fucked. Heavy laden trucks going at speed, hardly surprising alternatives such as rail and water are looked at as alternatives.
        It really aint rocket science.

        • Bert and all other train dreamers.
          We simply don’t have the money for a decent national rail network. We don’t even have the money for the AKL train thing. 5 million can’t generate enough tax. Our GDP is too low. We need oil and minerals to make that dream come true. Yes it’s hard to swallow but it’s true. Sheep and cheese and the odd tourist doesn’t cut it.

          • give the contract to china they’ve got recent experience of infrastructure building and can probably do the whole country for the price of a mongolian highway…and let’s be honest their standards can’t be lower than ours…or is it just the old ‘yellow peril’ thing stopping you considering a cost effective capitalist solution…cabbage?

        • Our roads are fucked because they are not built like Italian or German roads, or even some african motorways. They are budget roads. Upgrade them – for all the electric cars and trucks coming soon. You’re not poo pooing electric cars and trucks now are you?

          • Too many cars yes cheap roads and too many people for our outdated infrastructure so what do we do with immigration curb it or what?

          • National built the roads are you saying they are fucking useless now because they used Chinese contractors?
            Sour Kraut, as the biggest dreamer of them all, are you saying train networks around the world that are world leading are inept.
            Your constant promotion of oil, fracking, cracking, environmentally detrimental is so 1980’s, so right wing, so neoliberal. If you keep saying it over and over again then I have a mental health bed for you.

            “”yes it’s hard to swallow but it’s true” Making a statement like that just shows how delusional you truly are and that is the truth.

  11. If Labour and Greens want to get back into power, they might have to stop the smashed Avocado with Industry breakfasts with woke and right wing policy people, and get their hands dirty with real people.

    Looking less likely that a lazy “Hillary Clinton” campaign is going to work.

    “I’m a woman and better than Trump who is a bad man. Neoliberalism is great and really helping development in Asia, (and 1% billionaires who we hob knob with). If your don’t like it, you are a xenophobic, racist! To pay for failed policy we need more targeted taxes for the lazy middle and working class. We don’t actually care about you as our policy people plan our campaigns. Vote for me!

    Labeen seem to have an inability to bother finding out too much what real people’s problems for those living in NZ, are NZ citizens who can’t afford housing, power and food, nor what the middle class homeowners want for their future (a Chinese landfill next door, that brings in overseas waste, an OZ company that stores it’s hazardous waste nearby) and labels them NIMBYS.

    Meanwhile calls from government supporters, getting more Refugee’s from OZ and worried about far away refugees who who are already catered for by countries who have a lot more money and resources than NZ. They also need more migrants for hospitality, tourism and other low end jobs. They also want money from government to kick start their sunset industries that often seem to be catering for people who don’t live here or not socially good for society such as more takeaways, trucks and liquor stores.

    While I think NZ needs to take refugees within reason, the issue is that NZ seem to have such high migration levels already per capita and growing poverty and massive professional skill gaps in NZ and that seems to be what many NZ politicians only care about. After record lazy, fraud led, high needs led immigration levels for decades, there are still fewer skills in NZ, and a disconnect with reality with what government seem to think is important.

    Sadly in climate change, every week there will be a terrible incident creating chaos around the world and refugees. The woke want to concentrate on helping the overseas people, not actually stopping the problems occurring and getting worse, such as solving climate change. (NZ’s contribution is to buy overseas carbon credits to help our polluters keep in business here). Woke are actually making refugees worse in the world, by not taking their responsibilities seriously here for climate, ocean and biodiversity .

    Pro Talks: NZ awarded humiliating ‘fossil’ status at COP26
    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/cop26/pro-talks-nz-awarded-humiliating-fossil-status-at-cop26

    Government haven’t up skilled NZer’s who are already here and increasing course places and incentives for NZ citizens to go into nursing and medicine. But they did do some big management structure for polytechs.

    Even with Covid our immigration policies are so broken they support a criminal getting NZ residency before a doctor and how much did government increase the medical places to the levels they obviously need to with another 1 million people and Covid?

    More broken systems, led by self interested lobby groups successfully lobbying bovine Government.

    • Both Labour and National do not give f***ing rats arse about NZ Citizens, we do not educate and train our young people, we take the lazy option and import overseas students and throw our young ones on the scrap heap. We have a mass Immigration Policy put can not even build enough housing to house new immigrants, people are getting tired of the sheer incompetence of Government here in NZ.

      • Do our young people want to be educated and trained? Isn’t easier to lounge around and collect govt aid? Also, NZ has a shocking work ethic compared to many other nations. We freak out at having to do 5 minutes overtime. Watch some building sites on weekends…if they are busy, it won’t be kiwis working there.

          • SNZ
            Say I’m born here. Am I wrong? As a nation do we have a great work ethic. Are we as productive as we can be? I’ll give you an example, the roadworks in Dome valley north of AKL. One Saturday morning we counted 17 machines or caterpillars. One was being operated, 16 were not. Surely a national main road should be worked on 7 days a week to get opened as soon as possible?

            • Not a good idea to cite the situation of a typical rort project, It is infrastructure paid for by taxes. The contractor ensures he is paid for the number of workers and machines he puts on the ground, not results. This is a good example of how privatisation and neo-liberalism ride hand in hand to screw us all.
              It all fuels the cost of living crisis but has made millionaires of formerly tin-pot small roading contractors.

        • no one minds occasional overtime as such, but at overtime rates NZ employers want normal rate or unpaid overtime…every single day..can you blame people for not buying that pony?

    • @SK Another poster, Brenty summed it up in a previous post. Ardern is good in a crisis that is universally agreed upon to be tragic but bad in a crisis where we need disparate points to come together in some way.

      I’d add good at cultural signalling and PR but ineffectual with chronic socio-economic issues.
      Which is normal for the modern neoliberal ‘left’ throughout the anglosphere.

      • Ta Tui
        Aaah yes I get it now. So the, hardernd (get it, h-ardernd nudge nudge) Jacinda fans call it brilliant leadership when she tells us to do stuff and we do it. But now she’s under pressure to actually really DO something herself that works, and it’s not. That’s must be it.

        • Not a lot of real practical work in the real world, ie getting your hands dirty and actually running a business. I doubt whether Chrome Dome has actually got his hands dirty either. The Airline he ran was a Monopoly with the backing of the NZ Government.

          • Yes and speaking of chrome dome he is gonna get eaten up come election debates cause he is not a politicians bum whole

  12. This whole thing of choosing Labour or National (with a few token coalition partners) needs to be completely done away with and rebuilt from the ground up. Decentralisation is key part of this – i.e. removing central government powers and massively increasing regional powers. Until we take back control of our various councils and electorates, and acknowledge that the central government has no role to play in how they are governed, nothing is EVER going to change. Any and all Corporate lobbying needs to be made irrelevant – we need LOCAL governments “of the people and for the people”.

    • Nitrium
      Nice idea, won’t work as suggested. There has to be a control over regional councils, if they get too much power it goes to their head – good icon needed here with head bursting like balloon to show that this is serious problem. Perhaps using a water melon might be less disgusting to look at!
      Don’t forget the truism – Power TENDS to corrupt, and absolute power TENDS to corrupt absolutely.

      It wouldn’t be long before all the Johnny come latelies, the newbies and the oldies, settled their differences and divided up the territory and budget between them with their pet projects.

  13. I think coolly reading over the events leading to the introduction to Rogernomics is helpful as they have often been forgotten. Wikipedia recounts it well.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogernomics#Events_after_the_1981_election

    Events after the 1981 election
    After Labour’s narrow loss in the 1981 election, Douglas found a growing audience in the parliamentary party for his view that Labour’s established approach to economic policy was deficient. His colleague Mike Moore claimed that there was a public perception that Labour policy sought “to reward the lazy and defend bludgers”. Douglas’s case for a radical approach was strengthened by the belief among many of his parliamentary colleagues that the economy’s deep-seated problems could only be solved by extensive restructuring. It was understood that some restructuring must follow the Closer Economic Relations agreement with Australia, which took effect in 1981 and reduced barriers to trade between Australia and New Zealand.[18] At the same time, many economists were arguing for the greater use of competition as a tool of policy, and expressing concern about excessive or inappropriate regulation of the economy.[19] In 1983, Lange succeeded Rowling as Labour leader. He gave Douglas responsibility for economic policy and made it clear that economic policy would determine other policy.[20]

    Although Douglas was innovative in his approach, and his open disregard for Rowling had earned him a reputation as a maverick , he remained within the mainstream of economic thinking in the parliamentary Labour Party.[21] He argued in 1982 that the government should actively support small business, and intervene to stop the aggregation of assets by big business. In his view, the government should use the tax system to encourage productive investment and discourage speculative investment. Until the end of 1983, Douglas saw exchange rate, tax and protection policies as means of actively shaping the business environment. In August 1982 he supported a contributory superannuation scheme as a means of funding industrial development and in February 1983 he wrote a paper called “Picking Winners for Investment” which proposed the establishment of local consultative groups to guide regional development. In a paper dated May 1983, Douglas argued that an unregulated market led to unhealthy concentrations of market power. [22]

    A new direction, 1983–1984
    At the end of 1983 there was a marked change in Douglas’s thinking. He prepared a caucus paper called the “Economic Policy Package” which called for a market-led restructuring of the economy. The key proposal was a 20 per cent devaluation of the dollar, to be followed by the removal of subsidies to industry, border protection and export incentives. The paper doubted the value of “picking winners” and saw only a limited place for government funding of economic development.[23] His colleague Stan Rodger described the paper as a “quite unacceptable leap to the right”. It immediately polarised opinion in the Labour Party. [24]

    Douglas characterised the policy package as restrained and responsible, and an appropriate response to the country’s economic difficulties.[25] He acknowledged the contribution to the package of Doug Andrew, a Treasury officer on secondment to the parliamentary opposition, among others.[26] W H Oliver noted the close alignment of the package and Economic Management,[27] Treasury’s 1984 briefing to the incoming government.[28] His assessment was that Douglas was predisposed towards the Treasury view because its implementation required decisive action and because greater reliance on the market solved what Douglas saw as the problem of interest-group participation in policy-making

    So what happened in latter part of 1973? Did a Mata Hari grab hold of Douglas? Did Australia have a part to play? Did someone hold some shining baubles up before his glazed eyes? And interest group ideas in his tiny mind, was he just thinking about unions? Did he think about all the entities in the whole world that would act as interest groups if he opened the gate? Apparently he didn’t have the vision beyond what was expedient.

    That leads to the question of whether these temporary groups of electees should have so much power. We have seen with Brexit in the UK how having a simple majority is suitable only for simple matters, and it’s far too easy to sway the unsure to make a winning side, and someone can be influenced by that fact and the heady state of being a Decider? That makes for bad, incontinent decisions.

  14. she was also a welfare queen herself living like a cult leader off her acolytes money and gladly accepting the govt old age benefits she claimed to despise

  15. personally I think ‘crisis wot crisis’ has hurt her as much as anything…you can piss in my pocket just don’t tell me it’s raining…people go shopping every week so they KNOW.

  16. Read more history ; I just found this today. http://www.nzlii.org/nz/legis/hist_bill/wrepdb198452493/
    I was there ; named scabs were given license to work despite opposition from working people about the health & safety risks. There was an inquiry ; I have the documents. But what followed was Jim Bolger, and Nationals Employment Contracts Act and what followed in the 1990s. Be careful of what you wish for.

  17. I congratulate Mr Trotter. This is the most incisive political observation for the last 3 years in either NZ (or where I live, Australia). The government looks like a generation who grew up thinking “Yes Minsker” wasnt a comedy, but was instead an instruction manual. Make omelets – break some eggs on the way. Just dont sit around making excuses

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