Polity by Rob Salmond

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Polity: Decrypting “social investment”

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  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    but they need to be pointing to all the times they have been this nation’s saving grace and not hiding their light under a bushel.
    To borrow the metaphor du jour from National, it’s time for them to ‘capitalise’ on their past ‘social investments’ – and step up with solutions that address the causes and not the symptoms of the malaise – if not full blown illness – that grips our country.

    This is a call to arms, not alms….

    They're not listening....

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report

  • Marc C,

    This is what the CTU's Bill Rosenberg had to say about the government's investment approach:
    'The “Investment Approach” is not an investment approach'


    I think one needs to read that before considering the "investment approach" as being good or useful.

    And here is an earlier post that was discussed on this website of blogs over a year ago, also worth reading and reflecting on:

    Without much in the way of evaluation, how can we make a fair judgment on the so called "social investment approach"?

    But according to the Salvation Army and their experiences there is certainly more than enough need for more social investment.


    Auckland • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Marc C,

    Sally forth...

    the Salvation Army and their experiences

    I'm surprised the Government hasn't tried either blaming them for not pulling their weight or tried to foist the social and emergency housing onto them -- they seem to be the Government's go to organisation for 'dirty jobs' they don't want anymore - like problem gambling, or when Bill English thought they'd buy up all his unwanted Housing NZ stock.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Marc C, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Blaming the Sallies for the government's failures would be too blatantly obvious a desperate attempt to divert attention. So they may realise that won't help them. And the government may also think, they better not upset the Sallies, as they will still need them for such future 'dirty jobs' as you suggested.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report

  • Joe Wylie,

    The Sallies in NZ appear to have learnt from their ill-advised blunder of the 1980s, when they publicly opposed homosexual law reform. Unlike the US, where they've become active deliverers of privatised welfare and even probation services, they've largely kept themselves aloof from any political taint.

    The Church's willingness to become a tool of Government policy seems to be at the discretion of its local hierarchy. Closer to home, John Howard took what seemed a highly provocative approach when he appointed the very willing Salvation Army Major Brian Watters to head his ramped up punitive approach to drug law enforcement.

    Declaring that "The wages of sin is death", Watters literally played the role of Christian soldier in the Australian war on drugs. "I say it's a phoney war. We're running around with popguns and they're chocolate soldiers. If we had the same approach towards stopping the invader in 1942 as we've got towards this problem now, we'd all be talking Japanese today."

    On his retirement in 2005 Watters went on to a stint on the UN's International Narcotics Control Board in Vienna.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Marc C,

    what the CTU's Bill Rosenberg had to say about the government's investment approach

    a great read, thanks.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Marc C,

    Looking again at this publication in the NZMJ from 20 November 2015, and at another link I provided before, I wonder which one was first in finding out the flawed statement and lack of credible science reference issue:


    PDF with post on separate blog:

    Read pages 16 to 21 in the PDF on 'nzsocialjusticeblog2013' and see how the author found out about Bratt's misleading info and "science" data not stacking up well before the researcher at the University of Otago in Wellington wrote his piece published in the NZMJ.

    The blog post is dated 09 August 2015, updated mid September that year, and the NZMJ article is from 20 Nov. 2015.

    Is there someone ahead of some others in higher offices? Maybe it is just a coincidence, but I guess this may disturb some.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report

  • Seriatim,

    Wellington • Since Dec 2010 • 57 posts Report

  • Tom Semmens,

    “Labour needed to be ambitious and bold to win the next election…”

    Fat chance you’ll get that from the current hopeless bunch of intellectually lazy cowards that make up the NZ PLP and it’s advisors!

    This post of Rob Salmond’s is cut and paste Blairism of the most mind numbingly vacuous. Let’s accept neoliberalism. Then let’s adopt the loaded language of the right to discuss the problem. Then say, hell, the National party is kinda on the right track!!! So vote for Labour, just like National only we promise to do it a bit better! Nothing new to see here then from the NZLP, stuck in the 1990s since forever.

    Rob Salmond, Pablo over at Kiwipolitico summed up the NZ Labour party brilliantly:

    “Labour are hopelessly co-opted and behind the times.”

    And the worst thing is, this post on policy demonstrates the Labour party is still so far up it’s own arse it can’t even see that.

    And if this all seems a bit personal and rude, well I have completely lost patience with a complacent, lazy party that refuses to accept the need for internal change, refuses to move into the 21st century, refuses to accept that it is hopeless short on talent and disconnected from huge parts electorate and still refuses to give it all up and let someone else have a go.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report

  • Marc C, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    "And the worst thing is, this post on policy demonstrates the Labour party is still so far up it’s own arse it can’t even see that."

    Tom, I am afraid you are right. And the speech Andrew Little delivered as Pre-Budget speech may have offered a good summary of National’s failings, and mentioning much aspirational stuff Labour wishes to do, but it is just more verbal diarrhea that offers nothing of substance, not even much of a clear direction. Making endless promises to deliver better policy, but saying nothing about how that can and will be achieved will not convince “middle New Zealand”, as he calls his intended audience, to vote for Labour.

    One would have expected a clear direction by now, but I see none. This post by Rob shows us that Labour is indeed stuck in the past of the last 2 to 3 decades, and has not learned much from it.

    NO “Bernie” or “Jeremy” in sight, no NZ version of them, nowhere at all. And such ones as Pagani are the “commentators” the MSM continue to invite and present as the “left’s voice” on matters. It is stuff that drives many to despair, I think.

    Little’s speech and comments on it on The Standard:

    Josie Pagani’s stand on things, e.g. the TPPA:

    Why bother with “National Light”, many will ask.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report

  • Tom Semmens,

    I know I shouldn't be replying to an NZ post in the middle of the night when we are on a terrace drinking beer on a glorious Spanish evening in Jerez de la Frontera, but the Labour party bugs me. They current PLP is squandering a century old legacy. If Labour has the cajones to accept just one of the four things I said it was refusing to see then it or the wider social democratic left could mount a coherent attack on the right. But its hubris is total.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report

  • Tom Semmens,

    And since the sherry here is indeed dulce, I will add where the fuck are NZ’s muscular intellectuals of the left in Labour? I was at a Podemos gathering in cafe in the main plaza of my town the other week and a bunch of perfectly ordinary Spaniards had a much more bracing critique of capitalism in one afternoon than the NZLP has had in the last 40 years. Now who has a cigarette...

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Mike Smith has been doing a good job with the Fabians for the last couple of years. Most weeks there is a talk by a 'muscular intellectual of the left' or two in a crowded church hall in Wellington and a robust discussion. So these things are happening, but you probably have to seek them out, or start your own.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3229 posts Report

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Most weeks there is a talk by a 'muscular intellectual of the left' or two in a crowded church hall in Wellington and a robust discussion.

    Little (no pun intended) risk of 'robust discussion' here. The comments on these Polity posts mostly follow the same pattern. People attempt to engage in good faith with Rob Salmond, as if whatever issue he's purported to raise might be advanced by the insights of a bona fide Party insider. Rarely if ever does he respond. For the most recent example, see Sacha's unanswered question upthread.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Rarely if ever does he respond.

    Hey...I asked if Labour had a Plan...(back up the page somewhere) and voila! An email arrived in our inbox from from Andrew himself with ...a Plan!

    Heartwarming. (I hear that the Cetacean's Bride got a similar one, and here was I thinking it was just little old moi...)

    Do better Rob Salmond.

    Get with the PA program...you can't just post...and not come back and engage.

    Else we'll think you think we're not worth your time.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,

    I have a lot of time for David Parker, he's prepared to make the hard calls because they need to be done, not because they are politically expedient.

    Having had a coupla long and wide-ranging conversations with him recently.
    I trust him...
    ...and to be honest there's not many people I say that about these days.

    He has the feel of old school Labour and of someone who's ready to 'muck in' as needed to make things happen.
    Labour needs a few more like him.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Marc C, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Yes, David Parker deserves some respect, he has indeed done some good and hard work. Sadly, as David Cunliffe chose him as a kind of deputy opposition leader, he was after the last disastrous election result sent further down the ranks.

    He seems to be working his way back up though, and Labour could indeed do with a few more of such dedicated MPs that also have potential.

    Some of the self mutilation that Labour has engaged in over recent years can though also be blamed on a rather one sided media, giving Key a prolonged honeymoon and now an almost royal treatment, that is for most the time. Only very recently has he got some scratches on his teflon coating, which start to show.

    Anything coming from Labour is already looked at very critically, before examining the details, so negative is the impression many have.

    To really make a difference Labour needs to be bold and decisive, have a plan, but every year we hear the same, let us wait until before the next election, which will leave too little time to set the tone for anything new they may come up with. That is a disastrous strategy in my view.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report

  • Marc C,

    Further to my comments above, re Gordon Purdie’s criticism of statements in the AFOEM’s position statement on the health benefits of work (strongly promoted since 2010/11 also then used as support to welfare reforms in New Zealand), it appears the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) and the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (AFOEM) are now having some doubt about their own “research” sources.

    The document ‘Realising the Health Benefits of Work’ is now “under review”, it seems:
    (see note behind the link for the PDF on their website)

    Since October 2013 they have also seen a need to qualify earlier statements by stressing now that it must be “good work” that can have health benefits.


    And since then they also make available a PowerPoint presentations, clarifying that some of the information and statements first presented at the launch of that position statement were not quite what they seemed:

    Read: "Why update the evidence?"

    "Consensus statement and evidence not updated since 2010."
    "Some of the assertions in 2010 are associations, not cause and effect."

    So bold claims first made, when “experts” like Mr Mansel Aylward from the UK came here to promote all this, are now continually being reviewed and added to or corrected. This is simply paddling back from so-called “evidence” that was used for justifying welfare reforms also significantly affecting sick and disabled in New Zealand, that took effect in July 2013!

    Auckland • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report

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