Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The perils of political confidence

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  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to DexterX,

    I'm not conceding anything. It is not my race. Although one thing I will concede, is that Brand Key is dangerous and we ain't seen nothing yet if this lot are allowed to continue.
    My hopes and aspirations are the same as they always have been. I only want what's fair for everyone in an equal society.so I'm quite happy in that headspace.
    Treating a Nation like liabilities on a balance sheet does not a friendly society make. It creates a destitute one.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to DexterX,

    I am afraid I have resigned myself to a further 3 yrs of a Government I neither voted for, nor have any confidence in. In my very humble opinion, Labour took too long to get their shit together for this one. And that saddens me, greatly. That being said I will be spending election night with a very lovely friend, and her very lovely husband, and the other denizens of Labour Mt Roskill, and celebrating Labour's wins, whatever they may be. Hopefully, one of them will be that this very fine man who is attached to my very fine friend will be in Parliament after that night. Otherwise, I'm just holding on for 2014.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    celebrating Labour’s wins, whatever they may be.

    If the left and Winston can't hold the reigns this time we know they will come back to clean up the mess, like they always do. Because people are important and the left and Winston care. And before anyone baulks at Winston, he does care about the elderly constituents :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    As for next week and the week after, and the week after that etc.etc.
    More of the same for job losses
    Big stick hits out again.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    I wouldn't be surprised if there was another election before 2014. Things are moving quickly in the world at the moment and the problems ahead pretty major.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3214 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    I am afraid I have resigned myself to a further 3 yrs of a Government I neither voted for, nor have any confidence in.

    The power of positive thinking is not strong in this one. :-(

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    +1!
    And I am still positively hopeful that the re-election of Nats & that bland Mr Key, with his assassin's eyes, wont happen.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Islander,

    And I am still positively hopeful that the re-election of Nats & that bland Mr Key, with his assassin’s eyes, wont happen.

    Matt McCarten has a plan!

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I can split my vote between Mana party and the Labor MP, to get my interests represented in parliament.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4411 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    It is not the blandness that worries me - my concern is that neither Labour nor National have a plan that even attempts to address the issues we are facing or about to face as a nation.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to DexterX,

    I suppose if you keep reiterating this stuff for your comfort, Dexter X, you must believe it,
    Labour has a plan. It’s publically out there- and I think it will work.

    Nats want their same old to continue – despite the failure of everything they said they’d do -which turned out to be – reward their cronies. Phuque that – and anyone who slothily, stupidly or unwittingly, goes & votes for them again. You’re burying this island nation by so doing, phuquewitz-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to DexterX,

    neither Labour nor National have a plan

    If that’s how you really see it, then vote for one of the minor parties instead – but please do vote. The default result otherwise is a Parliament in which the major parties are not challenged either to produce a plan, or to adapt their policies to reality.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1928 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Nats focus on attacking Winston, with Act looking like toast.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    And Key now making overtures about equal pay as a potential policy compromise with the Greens after dismissing it outright during the last 3 years.

    Though his ongoing faith-based approach to evidence would make Alasdair Thompson proud.

    "The reason there is a pay gap is because of the nature of the jobs, as I understand it.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    You know the result here could be a minority National government unable to proceed on asset sales because of the majority in parliament against them

    Which strangely may be exactly what the public (at this particular moment in time) want

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    Absolutely. Hence the noises from National about needing another election soon to unblock their divine right to govern without constraint. Given our system's lack of other checks and balances and the character of Joyce, McCully and others, that's a concern.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Radio NZ has a story about Key warning voters off Winston First (1m27, listening options).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    "The reason there is a pay gap is because of the nature of the jobs, as I understand it."
    Understanding reason fail.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to merc,

    Even a one-page summary of the applicable evidence would disagree with his statement - which shows either how much attention the man has paid, or how prepared he is to say whatever interest groups like employers want to hear.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Sacha,

    I think he is a person who stands for nothing and so everything is fair game.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Sacha,

    Radio NZ has a story about Key warning voters off Winston First (1m27, listening options).

    Which I wouldn’t argue with, really – and there’s also his lengthy track record of being a toxic, divisive douchebag. But in the end, if Winston First gets over 5% of the party vote that’s the end of the matter. I guess all we can do is start a pool on when Winston will find a pretext to flounce out of the room. Again.

    (But, FWIW, I’m not sure the “instability” argument settles the matter as firmly as Key thinks it does. On one level, the whole point of MMP is to act as a brake on hyperactive governments of any stripe. is it really the end of the world if the Government of the day loses a bill, now and them - even one I strongly support. Nope.

    The flip-side of that is that shagging around with confidence and supply is a real nuclear option, and something I’d like to think even Winston wouldn’t be that cavalier with.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Sacha,

    Though his ongoing faith-based approach to evidence would make Alasdair Thompson proud.

    If only one word could sum up the prevailing orthodoxy, ‘faith-based’ would most certainly be it. It was most certainly the case with Dubya and Howard.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Islander,

    It is not the blandness that worries me - my concern is that neither Labour nor National have a plan that even attempts to address the issues we are facing or about to face as a nation.

    @Dexter (not Islander, soz K)

    Actually they both have plans, and they're quite different. It really is quite clear, because both parties are saying it, that this is about whether to follow a neoliberal agenda of selling off state assets to balance books, and dropping wages, and gutting the public services, OR to keep the assets, change the tax regime, and ride it out.

    However, I agree with you that neither of those is going to fix the major thing that is wrong with the NZ economy, that it is agragrian export based, in a time of world recession. I don't know what could fix that within my lifetime, frankly. We've pretty much missed the industrial revolution, with one exception - our farming is industrial, which is why it's so unsustainable.

    The knowledge economy is a flop. I think the reasons for that are actually pretty obvious - knowledge can't provide any sustainable advantage, because it can be ripped off at a moment's notice. You could build up a massive knowledge economy, and find it all flies out to Australia, or is simply copied by whoever can do it cheaper. This is actually what's happening to our middle classes, who were heavily encouraged to build up this economy, and tertiary education skyrocketed. But the dividends of it are mostly not reaped locally.

    This is an international phenomenon, practically the entire wealthy industrialized world fell prey to this fallacy, and it became a Ponzi scheme - we thought we were so fucking clever that it must be the source of our continual wealth, and those with a lot of wealth were certainly able to build it up massively during this period, but they very much did so by taking all the knowledge generated and moving it offshore. Wealth continued to flow towards the technical ownership of all this knowledge, giant corporations, and that wealth trickled down into the pockets of the technocracy that supported it, but mostly that had the effect of concentrating the wealth upwards, until it ended up mostly in the hands of organization which do nothing more than own ie financial organizations. Then, of course, the Ponzi scheme collapses, as the swollen sense of First World wealth became too great and people truly began to believe that a shitty old house in a posh Auckland suburb really is as valuable as the gigantic fuck-off mansion you'd be able to buy in any part of the Third World and live like a king for the rest of your life, for that amount of money. When things get that out of whack, they always crunch back eventually. It's funny to think that practically the whole First World has spent 40 odd years as a cargo cult, imitating the forms of industrial capitalism, but actually destroying it's industrial capital base.

    Ironically, that meant that businesses that were based on concepts of a mixture of not-particularly-scarce-but-still-highly-skilled labour, the trades, have done extremely well, because they do still make something that can't just be taken away from them at a moment's notice. You do still need to have a working toilet, and a functioning electrical system. You can't outsource fixing that to China. You can hire a Chinese person to fix it, but they're someone who has to live in NZ, pay NZ prices and taxes, so they're not any more competitive than anyone else here. It ends up mostly being fair pay for fair work.

    Conclusion in next post (word limit reached):

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    These are not the asset sales you thought they were /Jedi pulpit style/
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10767604

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    So, given that neither party, nor any party in the First World, has an answer to global capitalist redistribution towards the Third World (and I'm not even entirely sure I think it's such a bad thing in a global sense), the question doesn't become "how can we outcompete the rest of the world to grow our economy fastest, to stay on the mouse wheel of capitalist growth?". It is "Given that we can't outcompete, and it is a given, how can we organize our society fairly so that a far lesser level of growth will not destroy everything that is good about NZ's formerly egalitarian way of life?". The answer to that one is obvious, it's the same answer it has always been - society needs to aim to be strongly progressive, levying wealth and capital heavily to keep the bottom rising. To that end Labour does indeed have a much better plan than National. They also seem to have support for that plan from practically every other party than National and ACT.

    So I think if you want to gut NZ, either vote National, or don't vote. If you think this can remain a fair society, while the world works out how the future of capitalism (however long that might take), vote pretty much anything else (other than ACT, who are quite open about gutting, and would like to accelerate it).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

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