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A sharp contrast

Written By: - Date published: 12:11 pm, November 11th, 2011 - 21 comments
Categories: education, election 2011, farming - Tags:

When people say ‘there’s no difference between the two big parties’ or ‘where are the policies’, it’s shorthand for ‘I haven’t been paying attention’. We had a great example of the contrast yesterday. National would subsidise expansion of dairy by selling our assets; Labour would get modern equipment to poor schoolkids by cutting sports subsidies to rich schools.

National isn’t against welfare, they just think it should only be for the rich. Like dairy farmers – which, increasingly, actually means corporate, foreign-owned, dairy businesses.

National wants to give $400m from selling our power companies to expand irrigation in Canterbury to allow for extensive and more intensive dairying. The environmental ramifications would be devastating with destruction of the native ecology and increased effluent in the water table and what remains of the rivers. But what do you expect from a party whose leader characterises any water that reaches the sea as ‘wasted’?

Labour would get $75m out of subsidies to private schools and a National policy that pays for sports equipment for well-off schools and re-direct it to lap-tops or tablets for low decile schools.

Such equipment is obviously going to be central to education incoming years, so it’s vital that poor kids are given early access to them. Education professionals have welcomed the policy, only regretting that it couldn’t be extended above deciles 1-3. Well, maybe it could be if National hadn’t borrowed $1.1 billion in the last year for their ‘fiscally neutral’ tax switch.

21 comments on “A sharp contrast”

  1. marxbrother 1

    All true James. What is most distressing about this though is how the polled public clearly seem to be endorsing such policy. I hate to say it but NZ voters seem to associate I-Pads to poor kids as welfare dependency and subsidies to polluting industry, including dairy factories, as a good investment in the economy. How did this attitude develop? Propaganda- the years of RW neo-liberal conservative BS that all private is good and all public is bad, supported by a compliant MSM and a general population that really can’t be bothered looking at the facts for themselves (” Oh, I don’t get involved in politics…”)
    NZ has always had a liking for a bit of benny-bashing and seems to feel good if everyone else is getting it from the Govt but not me. Remember the raids on overstayers and the persecution of ‘solo’ mums in the 70’s and 80’s; remember the voters love of Ruth’s budget and the fervour that someone (those lazy beneficiaries) had to take the medicine and be blamed for the country’s woes in the 90’s? No matter which way it’s looked at the blame for NZs current state lies squarely at the feet of the average NZ voter. Our government is a refelction of our people and perhaps that’s the horrible truth of it.

    • Ianupnorth 1.1

      One interesting fact that I didn’t know (until today) is that it takes 5 litres of water to produce one litre of milk.

      Why don’t we just export water, have less cows and be better off (given that in most shops water is dearer than milk)?

      • Invervegas 1.1.1


        Global average water footprint: 1000 litres of water for 1 litre of milk.

        Drinking a glass of milk (200 ml) costs 200 litres of water.
        Drinking the same volume of orange juice or apple juice would cost 170 and 190 litres of water respectively.
        Drinking a plain glass of water requires only little more than the water itself.
        Drying 1 litre of milk produces 0.2 kilogram of milk powder.

        Hence, the water footprint of milk powder is 5 times higher than that of milk, i.e. 5000 litres/kg.

  2. While the media have been focussing on National and Labour it is actually Green Policy that has been defining the agenda this election and may result in National’s downfall in the end. It is all about kids, jobs and water and the Greens lead the way!

    • Tigger 2.1

      I’m really pleased to see people mentioning the environment as their top concern. I hope it translates into votes against those parties who really don’t give a damn.

      • Enough is Enough 2.1.1

        They are becoming a lot different. Labour is moving away from their past and the hard right Lange regime and the centrist Clark regime toward a more traditional left leaning policy platform.

        However it is the Green Party, as always, leading them. Labour’s big policy announcements have more or less been core Green policy for years. There is no harm in them moving left, in fact it is a fantastic thing.

        The Greens are surging in the polls because, in my opinion, traditional lefties are realising who in fact is dictating left policy. They are beginning to support the policy leaders, not the policy followers.

        Lets just hope the Greens don’t jump too far into bed with that nice Mr Key.

        • Dave Kennedy

          Agreed Enough is Enough we need to have a warning sticker on all ballot papers saying:

          NEW ZEALAND VOTER BEWARE, you have the potential of falling for a television marketing ploy that, post election, will have you stung by a package of policies you didn’t expect because no one bothered to read the fine print. Remember once you have voted you can’t get rid of the package by writing return to sender and putting it in the post.

  3. Uturn 3

    I agree in principle, James.

    As an aside though, my grandfather was smarter than me and led a far more prestigious life than I expect to and when he went to school they were writing on chalk boards. I believe they were called the I-Chalk, or something like that.

    On the other hand, smarter, richer, people than the next generation of toffs will turn out didn’t need any more sports gear than an inflated pig’s bladder.

    So if there really is large scale shortages, perhaps the money should be directed into skilled teachers and their support, rather than familiarisation with bells and whistles. Technology is a wonderful tool and should not be ignored, but there is a common misconception that without it, the human brain is at a disadvantage. It cannot substitute intelligence and those that society have decided aren’t intelligent because they aren’t popular, rich or pretty, shouldn’t be made to believe that possessing current techonology validates their inherent abilities.

  4. Enough is Enough 4


    I agree with your statement that people who ask to see the party’s policies have not been paying attention.

    National has an extremely scary arsenal of policies that should scare the shit out of all of us. From labour relations to asset sales to dairy farmer welfare there policies are clear and should be resisted. Educate yourselves people on their policies so that you can tell your mate at the pub or your cousin what National will do to our country if they win again.

  5. Akldnut 5

    National – $1.1 billion in the last year for their ‘fiscally neutral’ tax switch (for the few)
    Labour – $75m subsidy switch (for the many)

    Sez it all really

  6. johnm 6

    A Sharp Contrast

    Key Goff
    Sexy and successful Plain and f*cking boring
    Dresses in beautiful suits and I couldn’t mention what Goff dresses in
    Suave, International a successful operator About as inspiring as a block of cheese
    who made clever millions manipulating currency gone off.

    What a man he has his own million dollar home Goff? Where the f*ck does he live man!
    in Hawaii where the big surfing goes down and
    all those scantily clad American chicks strut their

    Glamorous and Internationally successful. cool Pathetic bread and butter plodder dresses in fantastic clothes. suit like a sack.
    not worried about Child poverty, the mini-mum
    wage GST on Veges and all that Poor man bull-


    • Lanthanide 6.1

      You think Key is a “suave international a successful operator”?

      Did you see the 3-way handshake? Did you see him ham it up on letterman as their clown of the week (Paris Hilton did the top 10 list the night before)?

      Actually most of your post is pretty incoherent so you’re probably beyond help.

      • Hami Shearlie 6.1.1

        John Key – a cringe-inducing embarrassment to NZ!

        • Dan1

          I am so embarassed by Key. When I think back to previous Prime Ministers, with the exception of Muldoon, I was quite happy with the image projected by the leader both home and abroad. Some, such as Kirk, Lange and Clark, I have been proud to be associated with.
          Key, with his delayed adolescence, attention seeking, lack of any intellect or substance, and his appalling FIGJAM personality……..I just want to cry.

    • Adele 6.2


      Why does an expensive suit, an expensive home, give you such a boner?

      You could dress Key in Arab robes festooned in gold and he would still look like a blotchy white guy from Neuw Zeillund. Kermit the frog has more suaveness than Key – and most likely a better bank balance. Vote Kermit the Frog!

      Better yet, vote for substance over style.

      • johnm 6.2.1

        Hi Adele
        I was being satirical trying to show how many of our self interested selfish voters really do buy Key’s smarmy ultra shallow pitch. The old kiwi way of we are all in it together has split into I’m all right and I vote for smile and wave who will keep it that way! E.G. No Capital gains tax to pay on my 9 houses being paid for by wage slaves who can’t afford even one. Part of Satire is to provoke outrage and reaction and find some truth in that process.

        Give me workmanlike Goff any day! With a social conscience.

        I had 2 or 3 of you on for a while lol!

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.3

      That was a political message from the National Party.

  7. anne 7

    I’m with Dave Kennedy, Under the shroud of the rwc Key stated “There will be much,much,
    deeper and bigger cuts in their second term in office which will involve everyone ” this needs to be got out into the public arena because it has been put on the back burner of the media as it will show national and key’s true intentions,given that he is bemoaning the economic position in the last week,which is a way of brainwashing the public into believing the nats are only doing what they have to do,while bringing in policies that enhance the income of their elite and mates,it has already started with farmers going to receive $500 thousand of tax payers money for water irrigation.
    Perhaps the fight for office needs to be taken on their corruption practices,there are plenty,
    one of the main ones was SCF,.there needs to be a reminder to the nats,that though there is
    a smile and wave assasin there are some people who can see through the smoke screen,national needs to be asked to explain why English changed terms and conditions,had a meeting telling the investors they now had a crown guarantee,a run on deposits and english did nothing,costing
    $2b to the tax payer,this election needs to be beefed up on honesty with the public having a
    right to know exactly the nats corruption behaviours were.

  8. giovani 8

    the germans thought Hitler was the man once just like the fools who worship Key.

    And look what happened to them.

    Don’t let us go down that road with national, we’ve gone to far right already.

    The right is wrong for NZ vote them out.

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