MEDIAWATCH: Danyl McLauchlan’s challenge to the self serving Public Service is one the Left must pick up


Daniel McLauchlan is one of the greatest political columnists in New Zealand and I hate that he is making me finally buy a subscription to the listener so I can read him weekly.

He’s so good he has finally made me pay money to the fucking Listener.

He’s also writing for The Democracy Project and while I am loath to link to that disgraceful NZ First apologist email masquerading as ‘public interest journalism’ (when really it’s little more than a daily corporate intelligence list behind a paywall), Daniel’s latest crusade on attacking the Wellington Professional Managerial Class raises important questions on how the State should regulate itself during Late Stage Capitalism that the Political Left need to look at…

Unjarndycing the State

The dogmatic political left invests its faith in the bureaucratic state; the dogmatic right trusts oligopolistic free markets – leaving New Zealand with crumbling infrastructure and corruption

…the Political Left have allowed the self-interested Public Service and the Professional Managerial Class to push self interested virtue signals rather than structural change and increased capacity of the State!

David Seymour says the Public Service is Left wing, bullshit!

If only this was true!

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The Wellington Bureaucracy isn’t left wing! It’s a self interested Professional Managerial Class who use identity politics to mask their neoliberal hands-off-do-nothing-but-build-glass-palaces fiefdoms.

Oh they do the reo, and expose their pronouns and militantly ride bikes, they are effortless in their use of inclusion as a means to dominate and control the narrative, but they are a middle class clique, not left wing egalitarianism.

The Wellington Bureaucracy is a culture war of woke middle class Identity Politics aspirations backed with State funding, they may aesthetically be Left but they sure as fuck aren’t economically Left.

To brand the Public Service as ‘Left’ misdiagnoses the disease, symptom and patient!

The real power struggle in NZ isn’t Left vs Right, it’s between the Professional Managerial Class Corporate Consultants who influence policy to maintain their dominance and profit margins vs the self serving Public Service wanting to spend taxpayer money on their latest glass palace.

The Politicians are merely a masquerade of democracy to ensure participation that generates legitimacy, but the real power is between the Corporate Consultants who influence all policy to keep NZ deregulated and the self serving Public Service who are in it for their own fiefdoms.

he only chance any truly progressive movement gets in NZ politics is to ram your changes through in the first 100 days of any new Government.

That stops the self serving Public Service from stymieing your agenda and it stops the corporates from influencing it.

If we want true progressive policy to tax the rich and remove costs from peoples lives, it needs to be rammed through in the first 100 days or it won’t happen.

That’s why Labour have been so feckless and useless, they had no 100 day plan in 2017 and they didn’t expect to win an MMP majority in 2020.

They effectively became captured by the self serving Public Service and the Corporate Consultants.

Daniel talks about the lack of actual competition to the self-serving Public Service and to that effect Māori Social Service Providers could easily become the competition the self serving Public Service needs while building State capacity with a Ministry of Green Works.

The lack of results from a self serving Public Service riddled with Corporate Consultants could finally be challenged by Māori Social Service Providers that treat everyone who comes, but in a Māori cultural setting.

That development can drive the self serving Public Service to be far more responsive and force actual results out of them.

It’s allowing regulated capitalism to inject the dynamic of competition while building State capacity.

Imagine a scenario where Iwi joined forces with the State to create a 3rd Supermarket Operator with a focus on lower costs to customers, better work conditions for workers and better prices for suppliers.

Or expanding existing community health groups that are open to the entire community but run within Kaupapa Māori.

Same with Māori schools.

You can generate the competitive friction Capitalism requires while building up the State, not denigrating it.

A new relationship with the self-serving public service is required, you can’t build more capacity into the state if the self serving Public Service only care about building glass palaces.

You can’t pour billions into public services and get no better service!

The self serving Public Service are gatekeepers and to force real change requires a Left wing that already has the policy ready to push through in the first 100 days.



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  1. Mr. Bradbury: your venting surely must be simply to see how many times you can refer to a “self-serving public service” without blowing a gasket? It sure as hell demonstrates very clearly that you either did not read or did not understand the column you based your spiel on.

    • I don’t think that a small government fits 5 million kiwis who love to travel. We need a lot of embassy and diplomatic staff to negotiate trade and access. Roads need built. Armies raised. Small government is just for corporates who want to regulate themselves it’s fucken terrible idea.


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