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Opposing the PM’s statement

Written By: - Date published: 8:49 pm, January 28th, 2014 - 18 comments
Categories: benefits, capitalism, child welfare, class war, david cunliffe, education, equality, greens, hone harawira, housing, jobs, labour, mana, poverty, russel norman, sustainability, vision, welfare, workers' rights - Tags:

The PM made his statement in the House today – it was a bit of a diversionary fizzer:  just looked like a government out of ideas, and going for more of the same, plus tacking on a few responses to opposition policies; a lot of waffle.  The opposition is gearing up for the elections, and there were some interesting responses: some inspiring, some thought provoking, some a repeat of things that need to be repeated again and again this year.

Here is a selection of opposition speeches in the House today.

Cunliffe was on fire (although he needs to pace himself a little better and protect his voice).  Cunliffe calls the speech of “that prime minister“, “visionless and defensive“: a speech from Planet Key, somewhere in Hawaii.

Meanwhile, New Zealand is a more divided country than ever before.  Cunliffe says a new Labour led government IS an alternative.  Cunliffe picked up on some of the themes from his State of the Nation speech from the previous day.

Russel Norman’s speech was more low key than Cunliffe’s, but, his words are powerful and inspiring.  He presented a very responsible agenda for the Greens, while outlining a Green vision for the 21st century.

Norman begins by saying that New Zealand can make history in 2014

by electing the first genuinely progressive government in more than a generation,

with a strong Green Party.  Norman focused on Green Party values and contrasted them with that of the National Governments.

Norman recapped some of the progressive, often world-leading, legislation introduced by previous NZ governments, such as that of the Seddon and Savage government.  He then outlines some of the achievements of the Kirk government.  He said these governments were far from perfect, but they were game changers.

Norman had me cheering in my chair when he said that, 40 years on from Kirk, it’s time for a new wave of progressive government in New Zealand. YES!

He then said that NZ needs a Green government with “values of egalitarianism, sovereignty and democracy“.  But, more than that, it needs to “integrate these values with new modern values of sustainability.”  The “next wave of progressive change that is sweeping the world is green.”  This is necessary as we learn a new way of living “good lives” with finite and limited natural resources.

We are learning to access the unlimited resources of human creativity, ingenuity and generosity in order to live prosperous lives…

I liked the way he called the National-led government “far right“: because that is exactly what they are, behind the smiling mask of our PM.

Jacinda Arden began with reference to the recent State of the Nation speeches.  She said it’s possible to see where there are areas of consensus and where there are differences. She praised some aspects of National’s education policy, and was very positive about the Greens’ policy on school hubs.

Ardern then focused on income inequality, and socioeconomic factors underlying them.

She went on to explain a few things about how Labour’s Best Start policy addresses such underlying factors. She argued that the policy was aiming for some short term results, but also for long term results that will not be obvious for many years: such as drops in people in prisons, and savings on health care.

Ardern was animated when she pointed out that most members of the House had been benefited from family benefits, which were cancelled in 1991 by Ruth Richardson.

Ardern also explains why they focused on the first three years of life for the extra payments to parents – because those were the ones shown to be hardest for parents, needing to be constantly caring for their new child.   This is meant as a building block for a step change.

A strong and impassioned speech from Ardern.

And Hone showed he’s in the House when it matters.  He also began on the increasing inequalities, and the impact on those less well off. He described exactly what that means for many people.

Harawira was dismissive of reports of the “rock star” economy, and said that the benefits of the recovery were going to the richest 1%, while the 99% either stagnate or go backwards.   Hone spells out what this means for those struggling.

Hone said that one single tax cut gift to the rich ”

was more than the entire 22 years of the Treaty of Waitangi settlements when Iwi ended up with less than 3% of what was stolen from them.

He mentions how, in Glen Innes and elsewhere state housing tenants are being pushed out to make way for housing for the rich. He attacked the government’s Charter School policy and anti-worker approach.

And for you, Paddy Gower, Ardner said that 60% of parents are not eligible for Paid Parental Leave.

And as the election campaign gathers steam, I will be listening carefully to see if Labour returns to the spirit of Savage’s government, and works towards a true social security system.

There-is-no-alternative-Aitec

 

18 comments on “Opposing the PM’s statement”

  1. Delia 1

    Annette King was struggling with a terrible cough, but she got some huge stings in as usual.

  2. Tamati 2

    I’m sure both the people watching Parliament T.V. at 2 o’clock on a Tuesday were thoroughly impressed.

  3. adam 3

    I thought Hone aced it, and Winston was funny. I think a real toss up who was worst was between Key or Bubbling Banks. They were both truly awful. I think Key was trying to think how he could stick Hone and Banks looked like he didn’t want to be there.

    Oh and a great poem

    http://dissentingdemocrat.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/one-percenters-say-who-has-little-let-them-have-less/

    • karol 3.1

      I was tempted to also put up Winston’s video – but I thought four was probably enough for one post.

      Winston shows how to be engaging and witty, and still seems quite laid back.

    • Alexis99 3.2

      I found Bank’s speech to be hugely impassioned – we can criticize the policies he advocated but after viewing that I found my respect for him increasing against all odds. I found his a speech of conviction, especially in contrast to Hone who sounding like he was listing bullet points…

  4. millsy 4

    Speaking of Ruth Richardson, I really think that we are still feeling the effects of her budget to this day – We have already seen one ‘lost generation’ and are about to see another.

    The boarded up, crumbling hospitals at the edge of every provincial town are the chief reminder of what was once was.

  5. millsy 5

    And it should be remembered that there was a lot more cut in 1991 than just benefits — health, education, science, NZDF (that was why RNZAF Wigram closed), agriculture, public works, roading, rail, public transport, even water safety FFS, with Water Safety NZ having to compete for lotterty funding.

    What is happening in the USA and Europe, governments bailing out the banks and than getting the money back by cutting government program, was done in this country 20 years ago. And all it did was write off a whole generation, and condemn them to a life of poverty.

  6. fisiani 6

    Wow Planet Labour does exist. It’s like a parallel universe where up is down. No one seriously thinks that there was any better speaker today than John Key. The Cunliffe floundered and sank.

    • McFlock 6.1

      A planet can’t be a universe. You’ve gone and mixed up the penguin’s talking points.

    • Zorr 6.2

      I can no longer tell fisiani.

      If you lifted your mask off and revealed yourself as Stephen Colbert I would be less shocked than if you genuinely believe all this crap you spew.

    • Colonial Viper 6.3

      At least Planet Labour is thoughtful enough to have bathrooms. I guess on Planet Key the inhabitants all shit gold bricks.

  7. Yossarian 7

    Keys his usual agressive ,I am right and you all wrong attitude.
    Cunliffe decent oratory and trying to frame the debate away from National.
    Norman an optional add on whom frankly wasnt that good at all & it showed.

  8. SHG (not Colonial Viper) 8

    A big chunk of the NZ electorate neither knows nor cares that David Cunliffe made a speech yesterday, because some ubergenius in the comms team decided that it would be good for the Leader to make his big speech on a Monday, on the Auckland Anniversary public holiday, on the Australia Day Australian public holiday, on the day of the Grammy awards with Lorde nominated. It’s like Labour sat down and went “hey, let’s choose a day when people are least likely to listen to us or feel positive even if they do”.

  9. Sybok 9

    Jesus! So, to sum up, everyone on the Left was amazeballs; everyone on the right was lameballs. Wow, just wow, because, who’d have thunk it eh? No wonder nobody takes The Standard seriously.

    Be honest, all of it was blah, the same old garbage from all sides, with a blatantly obvious coordination amongst the left parties over the inequality issue. So blatant that it just looks like… politics. Sure because that’s what the public wants over inequality – political point scoring.

    So we’re left with the messy, “so what?” aftermath of the flop of Cunliffe’s speech, delivered on an Auckland public holiday and covering one segment of one issue. Some “state of the nation”. Amateur hour on this blog, amateur hour in Labour.

    Christ and I thought the Aussie left were a bunch of schoolkids.

    • karol 9.1

      And yet, Key’s State of the Nation, and his education privatisation of schools policy seems to have just about sunk without trace re the MSM. Meanwhile, Cunliffe, and to a lesser extent the Green’s polciies are still getting a lot of MSM coverage.

      Even the usual cheerleaders for John Key in the MSM have little to say about Key’s speech yesterday.

  10. Pasupial 10

    Kept watching after Harawira – Banks’ speech is oddly fascinating. Starting with a recounting of his “psychologically disturbed” (0:53) childhood, he proceeds with this rebuttal (5:35 on pt 7):

    “There’s no votes representing those with no hope.”

    What a creep!

    • Murray Olsen 10.1

      I think Banks got his childhood mixed up with that of the previous generation. I grew up hearing all his stories. They were about the depression, but Banks was born postwar. I suspect strongly that he was telling porkies.

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