web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

From “Cost-based to Value-based”

Written By: - Date published: 8:34 am, October 10th, 2013 - 7 comments
Categories: benefits, david cunliffe, employment, greens, housing, labour, mana, poverty, sustainability, Unions, wages, workers' rights - Tags: ,

As Eddie posted, Cunliffe made a very important speech to the CTU conference yesterday, re-committing parliamentary Labour’s to unions and to strengthening workers’ rights.

There was a bit of a discussion, started by Mary, last night on The Standard, about whether Cunliffe’s Labour would continue to marginalise beneficiaries while promoting the work ethic.  I’m withholding judgement for now, and will continue to party vote Green to ensure Labour doesn’t cave to powerful right wing pressures, as well as keeping Labour left on social security issues.

Nevertheless, it was a significant, rousing and inspiring speech by Cunliffe, not just for the policy pledges as outlined by Eddie, but for the underlying philosophy expressed by Cunliffe – and in this he indicated a significant shift for parliamentary Labour: “from a cost-based to a values-based” strategy.

That is, Cunliffe is focusing on an inclusive society and one that provides a good life for “all” Kiwis, with opportunities for all. This is where his policies begin, and from that the financial based practicalities will be worked out.  This is the reversal of the “neoliberal” agenda, that always focuses on economic matters first, while the social set-up follows and many struggle.  This bankrupt, bankster serving, money-and-profits-above-all, “neoliberalism” benefits the few over the many, and at the expense of the less swell-off.  The whole of society suffers.

Cunliffe is pointing to a different kind of society and policy platform.

He did not separate the deserving from the undeserving poor, and he did not just talk about the good life for all “workers”, but several times repeated that it was for “all New Zealanders”.  Cunliffe began his speech talking about the plight of New Zealands precariat, and the unacceptable situation that unemployed people are living with: for instance, families with nowhere affordable to live, crowded into garages.

Main points from Cuniffe’s speech are reported here alongside videos and audios of the speech.  I still will be waiting to see what Team Cunliffe will offer beneficiaries.  A fair, livable and sustainable New Zealand needs a reformed social security system that works for ALL Kiwis.

A strengthening of worker rights and provisions is needed to turn life around for too many struggling Kiwis, and as part of a caring and inclusive society.  However, I prefer values that don’t reinforce the punitive protestant work ethic.  I prefer values that recognise not all Kiwis can participate in paid work, while many make a positive contribution through various kinds of unpaid work.  Unpaid work is not necessarily done daily, weekly, or between set hours.  But it is an important part of a well-functioning society.

Meanwhile, here is Cunliffe’s CTU speech – it is a significant one.  And not “strident”, as claimed by Michael Fox on Stuff.  But rousing, inspiring, and hopeful.

TVNZ report

3 News report

NZ Herald report.

[Update] Gordon Campbell also touches on some of the same themes as in my above post.  Extracts:

Dutifully though, the Dom-Post served its political masters by calling the speech ”strident” – you know, as in “strident” feminist – while the NZ Herald pressed much the same buttons via its headline “Labour Re-affirms Support For Unions’ Agenda.” Get the point: it’s the unions agenda, and he’s in their pocket. For a relevant contrast, try imagining the Herald headlining a John Key speech as “National Re-Affirms Support For Plutocrats’ Agenda.” Wouldn’t happen. In fact, responding to the needs of workplaces in strife is fairly familiar territory for Cunliffe.

[…]

The aspirational context of the speech though is likely to prove more important on the campaign trail next year than the policy details. What Cunliffe was outlining was a society where people and their families no longer get treated as disposable commodities. The speech envisioned a society governed by the value of people and the potential of their children, and not simply by the cost of their labour. If Cunliffe can marry this kind of feelgood vision with enough fiscal responsibility to be credible, National will have a fight on its hands next year.

[Update 2] Turei’s speech to the CTU – on Living Wage, asset sales, and insecure work and more.

7 comments on “From “Cost-based to Value-based””

  1. Rogue Trooper 1

    Very Good.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Outstanding synopsis karol. FYI I’ve communicated to Cunliffe once in the last couple of months with regards to the subject of ensuring beneficiaries are not sidelined by exclusive languaging and a focus on “workers”, and in the last few days he has made reference to the accomplishments of the “Kurow Three” so I know that the topic of ‘social security’ is not far from his mind.

  3. Chooky 3

    thanks Karol….Go Cunliffe

  4. aerobubble 4

    A fight on their hands? Really, do you think Labour have it in them?

    Just listening to the pod of Dr Grimes, where he starts off saying everyone agrees that inflation targetting works, despite the policy being introduced after the middle east glut of cheap high density fuel and leading up to the present day with huge global indebtedness. I ask you, what does a religion look like, well economics is a religion when men like Dr Grimes can not cite one instance where inflation targeting doesn’t work. The essence of the argument is, politician can read, they see that a glut of high density fuels is on the way, this will produce a driven economy that has nothing to do with how well the rent seekers sponge up the wealth (which they have done very very well) or how effective the role of a central bank is in bring down inflation when seriously it wasn’t them, it was simple the force drive of cheaper and cheaper oil. Driven economies like war time economies) are very stable and very predictable, lower inflation was inevitable with monetry easing.

    So its not about being entirely defensively coming across as fiscally responsible, its about attacking the lies of the last thirty year that have improvised our society, turning middle classes into beggars and beggars into untouchables, while strip mining wealth to a 1%.

  5. Chris 5

    That has to be one of the most outstanding speeches from the left for a very long time.

    As an aside we finally have a Prime Minister in the making who can articulate his message clearly and concisely.

    I look forward to hearing more about New Zealand and seeing Nu Zillind dispatched with haste to the nearest trash bin.

  6. xtasy 6

    This was a pretty strong and good speech by Cunliffe, the first such speech I heard from a Labour leader since Helen’s best times! Especially towards the end he sends home the message and makes a strong commitment.

    But as Mary, and I agree a lot with her, as a beneficiary at present, for mostly health reasons, I have suffered immensely under this present government, even having been driven close to suicide a few times, I will wait for what Labour has for us in store!

    I want to be treated fairly, respectfully and be included in my journey towards work or treatment, not by some demagoguery, ideological government that relies on pseudo science and manipulations by a Dr David Bratt as Principal Health Advisor for MSD and WINZ.

    Labour will have to throw out this crap that they present us, and the biased, largely insufficiently, or even unproved, ideas by one Mansel Aylward from the UK, paid for his “research” by a basically corrupt US insurance giant by the name of Unum Provident, who also were involved in designing work capability tests and welfare reforms in the UK, where thousands died, either through suicide, or early death, for not coping with expectations by DWP.

    I last read this submission, which gives me more concerns about what comes next in NZ:

    http://www.nzma.org.nz/sites/all/files/sub-WorkAbilityAssessments-Providers.pdf

    MSD’s Principal Health Advisor Dr Bratt and his team seem to be preparing new ways of outsourcing Work Capability Assessments, to be done by selected professionals, some not even with medical qualifications! This affects ALL sick and disabled on BENEFITS: THERE are major changes happening, yet again, and it is highly worrying stuff!

    Hence until I hear a clear commitment by Labour that satisfies me, I will at least party vote Greens or even Mana, simply for this reason!

Links to post

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Waihopai – years on, still the same
    On 24 January, I attended the Waihopai Base protest in my electorate.  It was attended by a great range of people who are all concerned about the direction our country is heading in.  Thank you to all of those who… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    17 hours ago
  • Greens call for ring-fencing of state home proceeds
    The Government must ring-fence the proceeds of any state home sales and spend every dollar raised on more Government-built homes in order to address the housing crisis, the Green Party says.Prime Minister John Key has indicated that his first major… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 days ago
  • English breaks his $6000 wages promise
    Just one month into the new year Bill English has already rowed back on his election promise of real wage rises for New Zealanders, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “During the election campaign National promised Kiwis that the average… ...
    7 days ago
  • National fails to produce evidence justifying attack on RMA
    The National Government is misusing evidence provided in the Motu report on planning rules to justify gutting the environmental protections secured by the Resource Management Act (RMA), says the Green Party today. The Motu group's research into the impacts of… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    7 days ago
  • National fails to produce evidence justifying attack on RMA
    The National Government is misusing evidence provided in the Motu report on planning rules to justify gutting the environmental protections secured by the Resource Management Act (RMA), says the Green Party today. The Motu group's research into the impacts of… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    7 days ago
  • RMA changes won’t knock a dollar off the cost of a new home
    The Government’s proposed changes to the RMA won’t increase the number of affordable homes or knock a dollar off the cost of building a new house, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “Tinkering with the RMA will not solve National’s housing… ...
    1 week ago
  • Palestine – NZ talks loudly in New York, does little at home
    Even though New Zealand has been gently slumbering over the last few weeks, world affairs have been progressing at its usual break-neck speed. There have been a number of significant steps since we all disbanded from the last parliamentary year.… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • DOC debacle means hundreds may have missed out on fishing licences
    Hundreds of families and recreational fishers may have had their holidays spoiled by missing out on their fishing licences, with Conservation Minister Maggie Barry preferring instead to focus on more high profile portfolio priorities over the summer break, Labour’s Conservation… ...
    1 week ago
  • Effective action needed against pirate fishing boats
    New Zealand’s failure to detain pirate shipping vessels poaching endangered species in our region is simply not good enough, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “We send New Zealand naval vessels to the Arabian Gulf to board pirate ships there… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing affordability crisis gets worse under National
    News that Auckland’s housing is now among the 10 most unaffordable in the world confirms the Government’s housing policy has failed, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After six years in power, National’s housing policies have not fixed the housing… ...
    1 week ago
  • Rheumatic fever rates continue to soar despite millions spent on prevention...
    The Government’s $65 million spend on rheumatic fever prevention has made little impact on the alarmingly high rate of the disease among young New Zealanders, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Latest figures from ESR show there were 235 notified… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum in Quito, Ecuador
    I was honoured to speak to the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum, calling for cooperation and action on climate change. You can read my speech below. Greetings from New Zealand in our first language – kia ora nga mihi nui… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Government wipes off $5 billion in tax debt
    Since coming to office, the National Government has written off $5 billion* in tax debt owed by more than a million, Labour MP Stuart Nash says. "There are two sides to the New Zealand economy under the National government: the… ...
    3 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere