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The Standard

Bob Jones – National vs Labour on the economy

Written By: - Date published: 7:08 am, August 8th, 2013 - 83 comments
Categories: class war, economy, labour, national - Tags: ,

In an otherwise dull piece in The Herald recently, Bob Jones finished up with a typically blunt assessment of the impact of Labour and National governments on the economy:

It’s no secret the commercial property industry, numbering over 100,000 people in all of its ramifications, favour Labour governments simply because they like vibrant economies. As the past 40 years show, these always accompany Labour’s periods in office.

But, the stultification corresponding with National governments is welcomed by bigger players as it throws up acquisition opportunities, aside from which there’s more to voting than economic issues and dull governments never last forever.

It seems that Jones can acknowledge the truth that most right-wingers try and deny. Turns out David Cunliffe made similar points in Parliament just recently:

Government members do not like it. They do not like it, because they know they are up an economic backwater without a paddle. They are staring at their fourth deficit Budget in a row, and their fifth next year. It will be their fifth straight deficit in a row, but Labour had nine straight surpluses—nine straight fiscal surpluses—and a higher growth rate. Here is an enduring politics of New Zealand economics. If you take a 30-year history of data and compare economic growth under Labour Governments with economic growth under National Governments, guess which comes out higher? Labour, by over 0.5 percent per annum, has a higher economic growth rate record than occurred under National Governments. As if that were not rich enough, there is another lovely statistic that goes with it that despite that, sometimes business confidence is higher under National. That is because it is purely tribal and because certain wealthy members of the community are able to rip off the system under National and feather their own nests. New Zealanders have had enough of it.

It’s the economy stupid? Then vote Labour.

83 comments on “Bob Jones – National vs Labour on the economy”

  1. Saarbo 1

    Yes, everybody is a winner under a labour Government (well nearly everybody)…and yet only 30% support. It must be something to do with the way they are selling their message.

    Conversely 50% support for National, many of these people are small business owners, wage and salary earners who would better off supporting Labour.

    Well I’ve been watching a bit of Parliament TV lately, the problem is well documented……

    Mr. Shearer.

    • Craig Glen viper 1.1

      Having a good leader who can communicate effectively with the public is certainly crucial, however having a caucus that is smart enough to identify who the best person is who has those skills is needed first.
      Labour needs new Mps/Caucus who can focus on making sure that the Party’s policies become legislation. This lot are to focussed on the Wellington game and other issues motivated by jealousy.
      Cunliffe is currently probably the only person who has the ability to connect with voters for labour. Cunliffe’s ability to communicate complex issues in a simple way is just what is need to get voters to vote Labour.

      • Skinny 1.1.1

        So if you asked Bob Jones as a property investor, how he felt if Labour put 2 economic/financial specialists at the Helm? one could quite envisage his response. A slow draw on his pipe then a nod of ‘yes’ and a reply of “Cunliffe & Parker a very good choice.”

      • crashcart 1.1.2

        My wife has always been a National voter as I used to be. I voted Green last election and she went NAT again. The other day when we were talking politics she said “yes I am sick of National and I don’t want to vote for them this time…but I just can’t vote for Shearer”. Not I can’t vote for Labour but I can’t vote for Shearer. Labour is seriously underestimating how important it is for them to have a leader who looks like a PM in waiting.

        • Alanz 1.1.2.1

          Disillusioned Nats, TWITS and DOLTS can always vote for that hunky chunky, bleeding heart liberal (apparently that can be doubted) in Labour who Grunts and assures neo-libs that there will be no plans to intervene in any other markets.

        • handle 1.1.2.2

          Crashcart, how does she feel about Russell Norman and Metria Turei? Must be some interesting conversations at your place.

        • gobsmacked 1.1.2.3

          Labour is seriously underestimating how important it is for them to have a leader who looks like a PM in waiting.

          Sadly true. What matters is the opinion of three million voters, not three hundred politics junkies who live in the world of blogs and party conferences.

          Anyone who actually has daily contact with the non-political (but voting) public knows that Shearer is at best invisible, at worst a figure of fun. “I don’t like National but …” is the refrain that will kill Labour at the election.

          It is completely predictable, and completely avoidable.

    • Colonial Viper 1.2

      Yes, everybody is a winner under a labour Government (well nearly everybody)…and yet only 30% support. It must be something to do with the way they are selling their message.

      NO NO NO NO NO NO

      Although CGV is correct in that a crucial factor is the quality of Labour leader, their comms skills, and how that leader can get caucus focussed on getting real stuff done for the country, as opposed to playing stupid Wellington bubble based games. But there is much more.

      1) Labour as it exists today is a poor fit for the mood and attitudes of the country – they are a political elite who see themselves as intellectually, morally, politically and culturally superior to many NZers. (eg. So many NZers are…greedy, self centred, red necks, racist, ignorant, backward, misogynists, etc. if only they knew what we knew they’d all be Labour supporters!)

      2) Labour does not know who its core voters are any more, let alone be able to enthuse them to turn out. Also: core voters =! voters to be taken for granted.

      3) The electorate does not respect the lack of political punch and cohesiveness of the Labour caucus. In many circles, if you mention that you are a Labour supporter, you are often smirked at…even by people who used to be strong Labour supporters but have gone elsewhere.

      4) Labour doesn’t know how to play outside of the big cities. Palmerston North and West Coast are the only “provincial” seats that Labour holds, and PN strictly speaking is an urban seat with a university base.

      5) The electorate still has an unconscious understanding of what gutsy game changing Labour values are all about yet all it sees is compromise after compromise echoing centrist and right wing positions.

      6) Labour has a “broad church” concept which misses the point. It ensures that identity minorities are well represented but socioeconomic minorities like beneficiaries are largely ignored.

      etc

      the big one I have missed out is how Labour has let its economic and financial power base throughout the country get eroded to nothing (union movement crippled unable to call a general strike etc), but the NATs can pick up a $2.1M HQ in the diplomatic section and invite in Ambassadors from all around the world for a cuppa.

      So “selling the message better” will help, but isn’t going to cut it.

      • Craig Glen viper 1.2.1

        I agree that major change is needed in our economy so all NZers are able to improve their situation Socially, Educationally, Economically and in terms of Health. This type of change has in the past been done by Labour, Labour can do it again( under Cunliffe) but this time it will need the Greens to get their hands dirty, something they have been unwilling to do in the past. Labour has in the past had a very good on the ground team ( hard working Party faithful) with Shearer in charge I cant see that occurring at the next Election.

        • peterlepaysan 1.2.1.1

          Greens get their hands dirty? Never let it be said.
          Wash your mouth out!

        • handle 1.2.1.2

          “will need the Greens to get their hands dirty, something they have been unwilling to do in the past.”

          They told Labour not to go into coalition with them. Oh, wait.

      • Winston Smith 1.2.2

        You’re on fire today

      • Saarbo 1.2.3

        mmm Interesting CV, I cant disagree with any of that. But I wonder if some of the points that you make come about because of the way they are going about selling themselves or perhaps the perception that they are creating from their dysfunction.

        Below is a message from Phil Twyford a couple of weeks ago and I think they do have a message to sell….also the Labour Party Policy Platform is outstanding. So I dont think you are so much disagreeing with me, just highlighting the result of a dysfunctional caucus with a hopeless Leader.

        http://thestandard.org.nz/labours-new-housing-policy-shearer-on-qa/#comment-669958

        …but I would have thought that using the Crown balance sheet to build 100,000 affordable homes, and legislating to make it mandatory for landlords to provide warm dry homes was pretty good evidence in a housing policy of a committed move away from hands off free market policies. Put that alongside a jobs and modern manufacturing policy that includes rewriting the Reserve Bank Act, a government procurement policy that puts Kiwi firms first, R&D tax credits, a Capital Gains Tax, and raising the top tax rate for >$150K. Add that to a commitment to do away with the Bradford electricity reforms and introduce a single buyer model, a promise not to sell any state assets, and a commitment to strengthening collective bargaining (rather than weakening it as National is doing). I know it won’t satisfy everyone at The Standard but policy-wise that all adds up in my view to a pretty decisive break with the old orthodoxy.

        • Colonial Viper 1.2.3.1

          Oh I think that the Labour policies are a country mile ahead of the NATs, no doubt about it. I’m voting Labour no matter who the leader is.

          So yes, not disagreeing with you really, other than to say that most of what you list are what I would call “centrist” “middle of the road” economic policies quite common in many other capitalist countries around the world.

        • Olwyn 1.2.3.2

          I agree Saarbo that these policies look good. However, they come accompanied by great caution concerning any mention of core Labour values, the banishment of the left of the party, and a background of vicious antics designed to shore up the present leadership team. What is more, these policies come in the form, if we do A then B will follow, which allows room to do A while neglecting any additional conditions that would bring about B. For example, the restriction of foreigners buying domestic property may not make houses more affordable, or may continue anyway through some unclosed loophole. We promise B and will do whatever it takes to achieve B would be far more convincing.

          As to allowing Cunliffe a little more leeway, that does not amount to much if he is given little ground to stand on. Once again, it might intend an impression, but most people have had a gutful of impressions,and want substance. A picture of a loaf of bread is not much use to a hungry person. And as to the 6 mill. for Plunket, nice, but it is not something that National could not do if it found itself in need of a good news story.

          Basically, the methods used to promote and maintain Shearer haver demanded that he be exceptional, and fulfil the expectations of the membership and potential voters to a high degree. But he has been neither. Instead he has spearheaded an unsuccessful attempt to reconfigure the Labour party culture, and now hopes that cautious concessions will be enough to save him.

      • Granted 1.2.4

        “they are a political elite who see themselves as intellectually, morally, politically and culturally superior to many NZers. (eg. So many NZers are…greedy, self centred, red necks, racist, ignorant, backward, misogynists, etc. if only they knew what we knew they’d all be Labour supporters!)”

        The above comment IMO reflects quite a few who comment on this site.

        I often support Nats but am “over them” however I can not stand the thought of either Shearer, the fat deputy, or the Greens, being in charge of the country.

    • Hami Shearlie 1.3

      Got it in one, Saarbo – The ABC crowd in Caucus obviously hate David Cunliffe so much that they’d rather lose the next election – are they really the kind of people that Labour party supporters want representing them?

  2. vto 2

    I like reading Bob Jones sometimes. When he is not off on some abusive social type rant. His economic rants are sometimes quite revealing.

    His point here around property people liking Labour governments is entirely true, even though they never vote for them. I recall just before Clark came into office some such people and I were conversing and they were busy ramping up their property holdings for this exact purpose.

    And the Nats? Bob has them right as well – this current scummy lot being the perfect example of what he describes.

    It is worth reflecting on the rising unemployment figures – worst place hit is the south of NZ. But there is a full blown dairy boom going on there at the same time. How is that trickle-down going? The neoliberal revolution is under pressure. It is being exposed for its failings all over the place right now – think Pike River, finance companies, leaky homes.. It may take a little longer but the entire philosophy behind it is being questioned by all and sundry as we speak. Except for gosman and srylands. I guess a couple of future museum examples could be useful.

  3. Huginn 3

    and now maybe someone can ask Alan Gibbs how Hayek would have voted on the GCSB Bill

  4. Tiger Mountain 4

    Things have gone better under Labour led governments, more real job ads, the average person is under less pressure, not beneficiaries of course, but unemployment was way lower during the Clark years. Whereas the Nats target their ‘top drawer’ supporters and stuff the rest.

    The Labour party though has been running on empty for far longer than expected, real fuel rather than fumes is needed in the tank. David Cunliffe (with beard) needs to be installed as leader at the upcoming conference, and then start ripping into Key and National/ACT/MP/Dunne. And seriously engaging the non voters rather than denigrating them (e.g. the roof painter).

    I can imagine the usual suspects among the affiliates that are pushing some wall papering unity line. Unity at all costs, or on dubious grounds will be another flat tyre to continue the automotive theme.

    The conference is the time to change leaders. An opportunity will be lost if this does not occur a year out from the next scheduled election. The real torys and neo lib rump in Labour play for keeps, it is beyond time for Labour members to do the same and take back their party. The Greens and Mana are just going to get bigger over the next decade, and frankly if Labour can’t move on to a more classic social democratic strategy it is the wreckers yard for them.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      but unemployment was way lower during the Clark years.

      Unemployment was low that period because spending and sales in the economy were high. And that was largely due to Cullen tolerating the creation of a massive private sector debt bubble as a way to push new cash into the economy.

      Nothing particularly virtuous about that. If National had been in power at the time and let the same thing happen, unemployment would have been (relatively) low as well.

      • Tiger Mountain 4.1.1

        Back up the bus CV, Hillside was still fully open, as were many manufacturing enterprises now long gone, thousands more public servants were employed, Kiwi Bank and Kiwi Saver and indeed the “Cullen” fund were set up. Unemployment was lower because more people had actual jobs.

        Debt bubble? what are you on about? Many individuals and small businesses are over extended and in the crap and there has been a property bubble. Private sector corporate and finance capital activities are best reflected in the current account deficit which comprises mainly repatriation of profits offshore.

        Unemployment has risen under National for various reasons.
        • they like a higher level to put downward pressure on wages
        • full employment is not a goal for neo lib torys
        • public services and infrastructure has been slashed
        • a negative environment has been created, if not for Australia soaking up thousands of kiwis it would all be on here just like certain parts of Europe

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          No need to back up the bus – simply look at your own facts from a different perspective.

          Hillside was open because the government was spending into Hillside. Spending is required to create employment.

          There were thousands more public sector jobs because again, the government was spending into the public sector.

          Unemployment was lower because more people had actual jobs.

          This sentence is a…whatyoumacallit. Circular.

          Debt bubble? what are you on about? Many individuals and small businesses are over extended and in the crap and there has been a property bubble. Private sector corporate and finance capital activities are best reflected in the current account deficit which comprises mainly repatriation of profits offshore.

          The current account deficit is the cashflow. You need to look at the balance sheet to identify the debt bubble. Net NZ debt.

          • Macro 4.1.1.1.1

            “This sentence is a…whatyoumacallit”

            Tautology

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tautology_(logic)

            • Tiger Mountain 4.1.1.1.1.1

              My sentence on employment “Unemployment was lower because more people had actual jobs” whilst vulnerable to pedantic self pleasuring such as yours Macro is also demonstrably true, with an undercurrent of sarcasm for the benefit of CV.

              There WERE more people in employment during the last Labour led government than the current dirty filthy tory one. The means by which this was achieved may not match some readers views on how it should happen but, but…..

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1.2

              Thanks Macro…

              TM yes there was definitely lower unemployment under Labour not disputing that one bit.

              The other thing to remember is that financially, a paid job is always a cost which requires additional expenditure.

      • Foreign Waka 4.1.2

        Mr Cullen’s stewardship of the countries finances was superb! There is no doubt about it. Mr English has no handle on the situation, his concept is that of a farm and he treats NZ like one. Occasionally, he is getting some help from Mr Key i.e. Poker deal when things get a bit too dull. Being in charge of a country means a bit more than what we see today. The biggest problem is that there is no real money circulation and this is akin to “if it ain’t moving, it’s dead” scenario.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.2.1

          Let’s not kid ourselves. English has got a pretty solid grasp of the country’s finances. We might not like his priorities or his politics but that is another matter.

          Mr Cullen’s stewardship of the countries finances was superb! There is no doubt about it.

          Oh indeed. But not in the way most Lefties think. I’ll break it down for you

          1) Private sector permitted by Cullen to go into high levels of debt
          2) The debt creates cash deposits into the private sector, increasing private sector economic activity (“growth”)
          3) Cullen taxes that private sector economic activity, taking that free cash from the private sector balance sheet and moving it to the public sector balance sheet.
          4) Resulting public sector surpluses used to retire public sector debt.

          OR TO SIMPLIFY, UNDER CULLEN:

          Government debt reduced and exchanged for increased private sector debt.

          • srylands 4.1.2.1.1

            Wow you finally got something right!

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.2.1.1.1

              Thanks. Without irony, even :)

            • Mike S 4.1.2.1.1.2

              Yep, that’s one of the ridiculous things about our economic and monetary system. You can’t lower public and private debt. If you decrease private debt then public debt has to increase and vice versa.

              • Colonial Viper

                So not matter what happens, the banks and the bond holders get their cut of interest charges.

          • Foreign Waka 4.1.2.1.2

            Mr Cullen was employed by the average taxpayer and delivered, in full.
            As for private companies going into debt, no government can stop that if we are part of the western economy. If it would be the other way around, we would be a lost cause. Besides, all western economic activity is build on debt, so there is no change in approach just in distribution of the profit of it.
            Mr English is reaping the benefit of the now enormous Kiwi saver program that gives this country the credit rating to the benefit of business. There were already calls for some of its share of it, just watch this space in the future.
            Debt levels have soared between 2008 (17.4% of GDP) and 2012 (35.9% of GDP). This mountain of debt also goes hand in hand with reduced investment in the social infrastructure, loss of jobs, which are either lost altogether or replaced with minimum pay for part and casual jobs. By selling even more assets, this gap will be getting bigger in the future. But not to worry, we got more of the gambling machines, synthetic drugs and more sport than all of Europe. This will keep us calm and collected when we discover that we are finally broke.

    • Te Reo Putake 4.2

      TM, my understanding is that their is no mechanism for conference to change leader. While I agree it would be great timing for it to happen there, and a boost to the internal democracy of the party, we are still operating under rules that effectively mean that a leadership change is a matter for caucus.

      • Tiger Mountain 4.2.1

        Yep, TRP that is how the rules read though if it does get to a situation where a simple majority of caucus at any time wants a change, the make up of the electoral college has changed following the 2012 conference with more weighting to party members and affiliate members. Look I am not a LP member or fan of social democracy as an ideology so have restricted my comments here to very few on the matter. But participating in political life you get the drift. I know people that have done many hard yards for the Labour Party and they deserve more in terms of having a combative capable leader.

        • Te Reo Putake 4.2.1.1

          Dead right, TM, we are not being well served by the current leadership. That’s not just Shearer, but those keeping him in his job. However, as I’ve been saying since the last conference, he’s not going to be replaced before the election.

          On the upside, I note that Shearer has been happy recently to allow Cunliffe to speak for the party on a few issues. That suggests he is a) comfortable that his leadership isn’t going to be challenged, and b) aware that Cunliffe is an asset that needs to be used positively.

          • weka 4.2.1.1.1

            Would be interested in your views on Trotter’s latest piece about the conference, LP leadership, caucus and rank and file, policy platform etc.

            http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-08082013/#comment-676637

            • Te Reo Putake 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Well, as usual, Trotter speaks the a position well outside Labour. He’s gilding the lily in many places, including the supposed Clark endorsement of Shearer, but some of what he is saying may be correct. I am aware that affiliated unions are trying to play an honest broker role. However, that may be difficult if those propping up DS see the unions as wanting him replaced by Cunliffe.

              Conference is going to be great fun, whatever happens. I’m looking forward to attending.

          • thechangling 4.2.1.1.2

            “he’s not going to be replaced before the election”.

            From memory, every continuously low polling political party leader in opposition in New Zealand is replaced about 12 months prior to a general election as part of the election strategy, and if that doesn’t happen this time around it will be a large breakaway from what has become orthodoxy in New Zealand politics.
            I’m picking it will happen (probably not at conference) because if it doesn’t, Labour will be committing political suicide with a leader who is seen as putty in Key’s hands.

  5. Rodel 5

    Sad but Shearer reminds me of Rowling- nice, intelligent and ethical, but makes little impact on the masses.
    Labour needs a leader in the Kirk-Clark mold. With the above attributes but able to inspire.

    • Hami Shearlie 5.1

      Rowling was streets ahead of Shearer – he didn’t play well on camera during the election campaign , but if you look at his interviews he was intelligent and very articulate – Shearer is NOT!

      • Rhinocrates 5.1.1

        Rowling was compassionate, sincere and competent. He wasn’t a showman like Lange, but he could do a good job. Shearer is a petty bureaucrat who can’t stand anyone else around him actually being capable, because he thinks that they make him look bad and that matters more than anything to him, hence those who are “disloyal”, no matter how good they are to the party, are punished.

        Enough of this “nice guy” bullshit. He’s a petty, vain, vindictive mediocrity. He’s only where he is because Goof and Thing see him as a way of guaranteeing their meal tickets. “New Zealand? Yeah, OK, whatever…. look at the menu at Bellamy’s!” is all they think.

        • Murray Olsen 5.1.1.1

          I always felt a bit sorry for Rowling. He came after Big Norm, one of the legendary leaders, and suffered by comparison, especially against Muldoon. It’s a real shame that it took a super-sized egotistical showman to beat the midget sized egotistical showman that was Muldoon, and more of a shame that he was asleep at the wheel while ACT Mk 1 took over.

          Rowling was far superior to Shearer. I can’t fault your description. What the hell ever inspired him to come back and save us?

          • Rhinocrates 5.1.1.1.1

            Likewise, I feel sorry for Bill Rowling. I wept when Norm died, but Bill Rowling was a good man still and could have led longer. Lange was good, but those arsewipes Prebble, Douglas and Goff (spit) were already established in the party like the cancers they are.

          • Rhinocrates 5.1.1.1.2

            What the hell ever inspired him to come back and save us?

            Just another gig – that’s all.

            “Oh yeah, looks like that will pay, another step up – ‘PM’ looks good, could get me a good board membership later…”

            Goof and Thing think “yeah, keeps us fed” Dalziel says – and this is direct quite from a Nine to Noon interview, “Normal voting patterns will resume” as if they have a natural right to rule and soon the stupid electorate will see the error of their ways.

            What you see is a sense of entitlement and a complete abandonment of any of the original ideals, or any ability to see the real state of the present.

            “Labour” as it was is dead… but a real Labour Party could still live, and I think it does – in the party now, in the back benches. Get rid of the parasites in the front rows now!

  6. Sable 6

    I’ll vote Green thanks all the same.

  7. Rosetinted 7

    That is because it is purely tribal and because certain wealthy members of the community are able to rip off the system under National and feather their own nests. New Zealanders have had enough of it.

    Nailed it Cunliffe. 😉

    Bob Jones is totally calculating and he knows what’s good for him. So he can be thoroughly analytical. He was referred to by Maurice Williamson this morning concerning earthquake strengthening as saying there needs to be certainty in standards, trying to get some sensible action from the pollies apparently.

    Listening to Kathryn Ryan trying to get Williamson to answer the question reminded me of trying to hold some slippery thing in my fingers. Twist this way and that, go round, over the top, come at the problem from a philosophical viewpoint, take a long term view, consider the possibility of a 10 degree earthquake, compare earthquake dangers to those facing drivers every day, talk about life involving risks that we have to calculate, anything but Answer the Bloody Question!

  8. tracey 8

    Jones made money and got a knighthood and wants a republic… what he thinks matters because?

    • Rosetinted 8.1

      Because it suits us to listen to one of the prominent money men if he steps outside their charmed thinking circle. Even rich people can have useful things to say from time to time.

      • blue leopard 8.1.1

        + 1 to Tracey’s question
        +1 to Rosetinted answer
        Great line of thought!

      • Rosetinted 8.1.2

        tracey
        I say us because I know there are a few people who will agree with me, not thinking of speaking for TS as a whole. And it seems to me that the art of coping with life is using what you have the best way that you can, but keeping in mind the problems arising from your own and other people’s tendencies. So I wouldn’t diss RJ though he would me probably if he knew me.

        Politics is the art of the possible. So we have to know how to choose the least bad when we have obscure choices, or find a way of somehow upsetting the card stack and starting a new balancing act.

        The Quotations Page says –
        Politics is the art of the possible.
        Otto Von Bismarck, remark, Aug. 11, 1867
        German Prussian politician (1815 – 1898)
        (Unfortunately he died before he could create the possibility of not having the First World War etc..)

        • Rhinocrates 8.1.2.1

          “Least bad” is still not good enough. We need to send that message loud and clear.

          The neofascists have been saying that about the GCSB Bill: “at least we’re not North Korea.”

          Do you think that’s good enough? I don’t.

          Do you know the parable of the boiling frog?

          • Rosetinted 8.1.2.1.1

            Rhino
            You’re talking fairy theory, utopia. Every time we vote at elections we have to choose don’t we. Wake up and keep your dreams as a powerhouse for your actions, but we can’t build Rome in a day, just get a home perhap from Labour policies. Often there is one good thing that comes from each election’s winning party and a hundred negative things on a scale of 1-100.

            That’s how life works and you just have to keep banging away trying to get better or being ready to fight for what we have now. Denniston Plateau being mined so that the West Coasters don’t have to move place and move with the times

      • tracey 8.1.3

        Agreed, and so can non rich people, but they dont get columns in the Herald. The rich are well represented in the opinion-piece stakes… the poor are not, especially with a tesicle-less Labour party.

        My objection to RJ is many-fold and mostly he is similar to Michael Laws in his expounding from the comfort of his leather chair looking out over the water about how everyone else needs to live their lives.

        If I had my way the editor, and letters to editor would be the only opinion pieces in the paper. Too many mistake opinion for fact.

        I take your point, that those who agree with his view on Maori and lazy poor and other things might listen to him when he says something like this too… but they are the apathetic, which knows no socio-economic stratum.

        Did he march in Wellingtons GCSB protest, given how much he values privacy?

    • Craig Glen viper 8.2

      Robert Muldoon if he was a live could probably give you the answer that question tracey.

  9. tricledrown 9

    Rosetinted last time bob jones brought down Muldoon it looks like he’s had enough of the celebrity cult leader that is shonkey!

    • Rosetinted 9.1

      tricledrown
      Who knows what goes on in that dark, shadowed space that is Bob Jones mind – watch this space!
      Actually he writes a newspaper column so his thoughts are not unknown, except to me as I prefer to read crime fiction! But I think he’s astute also a loose cannon – like Winston Peters.

      • Ennui 9.1.1

        Rose, there have been a lot of “loose cannons”….their uniform crime has been to step out of the current orthodoxy and state a contrary opinion or take contrary action. Examples….Churchill on the rise of fascism…Nelsons direct approach to the French line…..Keynes approach to the crisis of capital…Mandelas approach to reconciliation. Loose cannons need to be encouraged!!!!!!

        • Rosetinted 9.1.1.1

          Ennui I see your point. Anyway as long as they’re not firing at me!! I’m being se;f-centred again I know but…. A great line up you’ve got there.

        • tracey 9.1.1.2

          but let’s not be silly and put RJ in the same category as those you mentioned, although he would agree with your comparison I am sure.;

          Where’s the head of the city mission’s regular column in a newspaper, or the head of the Sallys?

  10. Richard Down South 10

    Labour look very much like a party without leadership (real leadership), and their core values have shifted more right… to the point where theyd rather pander to corporates, than take more traditional stands on issues which matter

    • Sable 10.1

      Agreed. I used to think Labour were a party of the left but now they look an awful lot like National. They need to reform if they want to tap into the large working class vote in particular. I see no policies to date that really help our the “Kiwi battler” who are in many ways a big part of their core constituent.

      Instead they seem obsessed with the rich and middle classes who are in the first instance mostly ardent National supporters and in the second instance split between National and Labour. They are overlooking a BIG group of voters at their peril.

      • Rhinocrates 10.1.1

        They’re “ashpirashunul.” The big mistake that naive people make about demography is to assume that there is some sort of bell curve that lies in the middle and so therefore, the middle is the ideal.

        Maybe there is a “middle”, but what and how is it? Why does it matter, would it actually secure votes? The ABC-ers want prestige. They’re the ultimate “upwardly mobile”. They want Labour to be the new National, yet they have no idea about the new class structure, or the precariat.

        Throw the fuckers out! We need real representatives, not time-serving apparatchiks.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1

          “Middle class” = the top 20%. Household income of $80K plus, individual income of $55K plus, at a guess.

          • Rhinocrates 10.1.1.1.1

            That’s the essence of “ashpirashunul”. They’re the people you want to think you are or would be.

            Labour In Name Only doesn’t want to be seen to be associated with roof-painting “losers” and “bludgers” because it thinks that the voters are, like themselves, “ashpirashunul”.

            Thatcher called Blair her greatest success – well, Mumblefuck is Key’s.

        • tracey 10.1.1.2

          +1

          The “middle” is an illusion. Most people think they are the middle, equated with normal. So they hear policies allegedly for them. At least the poor know they are fucked, the “middle” are that group being pulled along by their dicks toward the goals of the top 1% on the basis that if they work hard enough and vote the right way they can get to the 1%. They are dreaming. They are way more deluded than those at the bottom, but being university educated will resist any idea they are stupid. hence, they can’t be wrong and rarely change position on things.

          • Rosetinted 10.1.1.2.1

            Reminds me of Marx and proletariat and bourgeoisie.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bourgeoisie

            I think he considered that it was hard to get away from the proletariat class. He made it that you changed class when you had the means of production. But there seemed to be another view about the bourgeois in wikipedia and that sounds like our present middle class. One adjective used was materialistic.

  11. Populuxe1 11

    I’m surprised anyone still cares what Bob Jones thinks

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