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Beyond the MSM? You Bet!

Written By: - Date published: 10:18 am, September 20th, 2013 - 221 comments
Categories: child welfare, climate change, david cunliffe, economy, employment, gst, housing, labour, Left, pasifika, poverty, trade, Unions, vision, workers' rights - Tags:

It looks like David Cunliffe is aiming to continue reaching beyond the MSM via blogs and social media to connect with the Labour and left base.  It was interesting that so early in his tenure as Labour caucus leader, David Cunliffe chose to do a live interview on The Daily Blog Live, via Skype, last night.  Cunliffe also posted on The Standard’s open mike, to announce that the interview was about to begin.  I do hope this continues.

Critique of some significant points made in the interview

Cunliffe continued to outline his vision, or ambition, to develop a new form of social democracy appropriate for the 21st century context.  He is emphatically keeping hopes alive for a new direction and break with the soft “neoliberalism” of Third Way politics.  There was much in the interview to excite those on the left who have learned to be critical of statements of a new direction from Labour leaders.

In response to some skepticism, Cunliffe says to judge them by their actions. We will.

My main quibble about last night’s interview was that it addressed those on the left knowledgeable about economic and financial policies, at the expense of the everyday language of struggling Kiwis. Many of us are wary of how Cunliffe’s caucus will tackle the crisis of the inequality gap, and work for the struggling poor, especially beneficiaries.  We have become wary after the way Shearer prioritised the “deserving” working poor, while undermining the (allegedly) “undeserving” beneficiaries.

Cunliffe has shifted way from that by nominally acknowledging the needs of the poor and those on benefits and the importance of scoail security as intended by the 1930s Labour government.  However, this still remains to be fleshed out in anywhere near as much detail as his focus on jobs, employment regulations and industrial policy.  Neverthelesst is good to hear Cunliffe speak strongly in support of unions.  This needs to happen for a strong social security policy to be developed.

Cunliffe has been working extremely hard over the last week, to get his team/s organised.  He clearly has a great work ethic. However, once he has sorted out his caucus line-up and internal structures and staffing, I will be looking for a strong cluster of Labour MPs working on social security and policy issues.  I will be looking to see some positive development in social security polices, and on things like the improvement of state housing provisions.

The interview.

The Content of the Interview

Cunlife new hope new vision new beginning

Below is a chronological summary of the content of the interview, highlighting points related to my critique above.

1:50 mins:

Key’s government acts as if the GFC never happened.  But for Cunliffe:

Our challenge is to describe what the next phase looks like for Social Democrats: a programme which will be job rich, value rich, a foundation for a new social equity. But one which is also pragmatically achievable and fiscally affordable. So I think we can do all of those things.

But in doing so, if we’re successful, I think we’ll end up describing a brand new form of community-based social democracy – which will be, I hope, amongst the early versions of that description internationally – Just as we were, sadly, during the Rogernomics era.

Cunliffe favours CGT, and critiques the income inequalities, through which many have become relatively less well-off since WWII, while a small percentage of the top wealth holders have increased their wealth.  While many in NZ are struggling on low incomes, including those on benefits, others gain from income that is untaxed: e.g. through property speculation and share trade speculation. I would add that much of this income is gained through very little effort on by those who gain financially.

Cunliffe attacks the wealthy who avoid paying taxes through trusts etc.  He will be aiming to ensure everyone pays their fair share.

Furthermore, on inequality: we need “a little more in the coffers” so we “get a little more to play with”. (5:30 mins)

I don’t think however that our tax and benefit system is inexhaustible. And there’s a whole bunch of literature around about building into the wage system, better structures and processes, so that we have more social equity.

So stuff like industry standard agreements, which would put unions back at the heart of industrial relations; the idea that we would have a living wage, and that we would highlight that through the government sector; the fact that we would raise the minimum wage; the fact that we would protect vulnerable workers; and the fact that we would get better jobs –  is all part of a package that, rather than redistributes, you might say pre-distributes by hard wiring and better levels social equity right from the start. And we have to change the industrial relations frame work to get there, and we will.

Cuniffe states, human induced climate change is a fact. The climate will shift within various parts of NZ (wetter on the west coast, dryer on the east); sea levels will rise, and their will be environmental refugees, especially from the low-lying atolls of the Pacific.  It may affect our markets and result in some global instability. We therefore need better management of our water resources; build forest sinks; carbon pricing; a workable ETS; participating in post-Kyoto Treaty negotiations.

With respect to poverty, Cunliffe says we need an economy relatively resilient to climate change so avoid escalating unemployment and poverty.

Cunliffe argues that NZ can lead the way on responding to climate change refugees, and that can be incorporated with asylum policy.  This is particularly relevant to our relationships with atolls and islands under threat in the Pacific. (10 mins approx)

And it’s part of a bigger picture, isn’t it? I mean,  New Zealand should be, in my view, kind of like a Nordic of the South Pacific: a small smart country that’s prepared to lead in international human rights. And that’s a contribution we can make.

On New Zealand’s international independence (approx 10.59 mins):

Cunliffe points to his experience when he was a junior diplomat, running an aid programme for a couple of years in the South Pacific and representing the Pacific in Washington DC at Congress. He argues there are now bigger powers operating in the South Pacific with bigger cheque books than we can compete with.  In strategic terms we need to deepen our engagement with the South Pacific, and improve the quality of it, such as with the seasonal worker scheme, bringing workers from Pacific islands to NZ.

(12.36 mins)

I would like to see us develop a Pacific broadcasting capability in the longer term, as we can afford it. […] I think we need to be broadcasting in Pacific languages into the Pacific, out of New Zealand.

Bomber asked (13.05 mins) about the lessons of Lehman’s collapse for the future of neoliberalism: Cunliffe gives his explanation of what happened.

approx 15.13 mins:

There hasn’t been sufficient re-regulation yet in my view of global financial markets.

Then Cunliffe goes on to talk of the problem of the Kiwi dollar being the “speculative plaything of international markets”.  Ultimately this impacts on exports and jobs in NZ, raises our international debt and makes many Kiwis poorer.  FTT (Financial Trading Tax) will likely be in play internationally in the future, but NZ is too small a country to do it alone.

On progressive taxation: (approx 18.33 mins).  Won’t be able to lower GST, at least until the CGT begins to gain traction.  Budget wise, they will be constrained as to how much they can re-progressivise the tax system. It will be done gradually, according to how much can be afforded. There will be some fine tuning of WFF, initially.

20.30 mins:

… we are still thinking pretty hard about delivering for our poorest children. And looking at a range of options to deliver higher levels of support [right into?] the poorest families even [where?] working.

Cunliffe goes on to talk of improving gender equality and empowering women: extend PPL (Paid Prentla Leave), restore ECE (Early Childhood) subsidies so every Kiwi child gets ECE.

Cunliffe explains why they will review the GCSB before changing the law.  The aim will be to balance security needs with rights to privacy and freedom of association of New Zealanders; and balancing domestic issues with those with an international focus.

28.55 mins:

Cunliffe would aim to reinstate NZ’s independent sovereignty and foreign policies, which would maintain friendly and respectful relations with both China and The US, without locking NZ into supporting one or the other.   Cunliffe acknowledges the complexity of the TPPA, but says there needs to be sufficient details released publicly for a genuine public debate about it, in order to maintain our democratic sovereignty.

32.32 mins:

Selwyn Manning puts to Cunliffe, that while there is excitement within centre left about Cunliffe’s leadership, some on left and centre left blogs indicate skepticism as to whether Cunliffe will stick to his promises.  People are wary because they have been betrayed before by Labour politicians, especially 1984-1990.

Cunliffe says he turned down a treasury job in the 1980s because he never agreed with Rogernomics, and has continued to disagree with it.

Cunliffe says the last week he has been hard out making over the caucus line-up, as well as reworking their “internal structures and staffing”. These “mechanics” need to be right before they can  deliver for our people”.  So he says:

… judge us by our actions.  Somebody asked me yesterday, “Are you going to do all those things you said on the campaign trail?”And the answer is, “You bet!”


It’s great to see such engagement with the left blogosphere, beyond the MSM, to produce such a hopeful vision for change.  In the future, some of us would also like to see more fleshing out of social security and other policies to benefit the struggling poor, especially beneficiaries.


judge us by our actions.

You bet! Many of us will.

221 comments on “Beyond the MSM? You Bet! ”

  1. Bill 1

    David Cunliffe really seems to be shaping up to be something quite different.

    I mean, obviously knackered and yet doing a half hour interview with…punters!? Sorry if that sounds disparaging to bomber and Selwyn, it’s not meant to. When I watched the skype thing last night, it crossed my mind that the whole thing was a wee bit like a 21C version of the future PM popping into ‘the local’ to talk politics.

    I’m impressed by the dynamic as much as by the candor and substance of what he says. And I’m a tad concerned that I may be on the cusp of having a degree of trust/belief in a political leader for a second time in my life…

    • Pascal's bookie 1.1

      Fireside chats for the digital age.

    • karol 1.2

      Agree, Bill.

      My critique in the post, is partly my way of keeping my feet on the ground.

      Cunliffe’s statement of leading a new social democratic, Nordic of the Pacific, vision is inspiring.

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        Community based social democracy.

        The mind boggles. I might actually have to help Labour out in this effort.

        • Tiger Mountain

          Lets not get carried away old chap just yet, but yes Labour members are loving this after caucus applying the parking brake for many decades. They have almost got their party back.

          A form of compulsory unionism, obviously not called that, would cement Labour Greens Mana in for a long while. No more free loading, WFF for beneficiaries and/or institute a UBI and CGT.

          The love above is fair enough with a new leader whose brain would not be lonely if gifted another but the pressure has to be kept on to abandon the “third way” temptations.

          • Colonial Viper


          • srylands

            “A form of compulsory unionism, obviously not called that, would cement Labour Greens Mana in for a long while. ”

            What a vote winner that would be.

            • Polish Pride

              Hmmm yes I can see it now small to medium size businesses still struggling after the effects of the GFC will now have unions demanding higher wages through compulsory unionism when the money just isn’t there.

              • King Kong

                No need to worry PP, If the company fails then all the workers (and the boss for that matter) can go on the dole and get WFF.

              • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                @ PP & KK
                Why would a small business want to employ someone if the money is so tight that making wages viable for workers ‘isn’t there’? If the profits are so tight that this isn’t an option, then why are they taking on staff in the first place?

                This ‘can’t afford to pay the workers’ is the type of mentality that is leading to high unemployment rates. It has been said before; if workers aren’t paid decent wages then businesses don’t have customers with money to spend.

                Not seeing staff as integral to the business and paying them sub-wages is a deeply disrespectful and ineffectual approach and is leading to mass failure of our society.

                The thing placing the most pressure on small to medium businesses is the monopolistic effects of corporations and the perks (subsidies) that ensue from this. Also the lack of well paid people to support their businesses. Small and medium businesses are placed at a disadvantage through these inequities, lowering wages is not the solution and is part of the problem.

                Read up and start attacking the real problem here.

                • Tiger Mountain

                  I put the term in to invoke debate, wage rises should be a vote winner really.

                  The key words being “a form of”. Several of the usual suspects took the bait without thought imo. There are already things like MECCAs (multi employer collective agreements) in manufacturing and production that set benchmarks, tho not for much longer with ShonKey’s union busting legislation.

                  Blue Leopard makes some good points too. If a business is not viable put it out of it’s misery. “I am my own boss” aspirational types are usually far from the truth, Subbies-developers spit on them, beholden to banks and various other forms of finance capital and beset by bureaucracy to boot.

                  • Polish Pride

                    What about a business that is viable and has been going along at just over break even for a few years with happy staff until the Union comes in and demands higher wages with the threat of industrial action if they don’t get it. Suddenly what was a viable business becomes unviable.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)


                      I am assuming the businesses that will come under the most pressure are those paying minimum rates. You seem to consider this is a ‘viable’ business. For whom? The owner of the business who is profiting or the workers who have to sign up and provide all the details of their lives to welfare for supplementary assistance?

                      People on welfare are consistently getting a major ‘dressing down’ re their ‘dependency’, however the hidden ‘bludgers’ get supported to continue the memes that allow welfare costs to sky-rocket.

                      Human interactions are important in work and I guess there may be some businesses that have ‘happy workers’ despite paying the least amount possible, however I doubt there are many.

                      In my experience such bosses have a major mean streak and in all cases have complained that they even have to pay that much, they don’t appear to factor in that their workers are their business, nor that such workers are having to ask for supplements from the government. There is always an unhappiness and low team-spirit in such jobs.

                    • Polish Pride

                      Blue unfortunately you make too many assumptions.
                      My business has been the target of a Union that saw an opportunity to justify their position. Weren’t paying minimum wage.
                      and I as the business owner like many small to medium size business owners wasn’t being paid. preferring to keep the money in the business to help it to grow. My choice. So happy staff paid above minimum wage. Business owner not raking in profits still targeted by a union.
                      As for being a mean boss well I don’t think so but then I’m not the one to ask. But our staff have received payrises since we started and have never been paid minimum wage. Some of them know they all get put ahead of me when it comes to ensuring they get looked after.
                      If the union decides to target us again and pushes the issue…. well the end result may be a decline in business due to union action or an inability to function due to union action – end result business closes down and 170 people are out looking for a new job.
                      Never assume.
                      From where I sit (and it is only from where I sit) the only thing you have right is the effect of Monopolies and that needs significantly more regulation.

                      Good staff are hard to find. It is a very stupid employer that doesn’t try to look after them. The problem with Unions is they have no skin in the game. If their action closes down a viable company they simply shrug it off and move onto the next one.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)


                      I can only continue to make assumptions if you don’t provide full details.

                      I have, however, stated my case very clearly with regard to ‘mean spirited’ bosses and it is clear that you wouldn’t come under that definition with regard to pay.

                      I have had many bosses who say they ‘don’t draw’ from their business. This is patently untrue. What do you do for food and shelter? Do you claim welfare? Because all the costs that you use to live on is being drawn from the business, unless you have savings which you are drawing on, or another business. You are in actual fact drawing on your business, paying your living costs and choosing to reinvest in your business rather than a bank or something else.

                      If all goes according to plan, when you finish your business, you get your savings back plus more profit than you would have had you banked the profits that you are making.

                      My main bone of contention is the low wage and this type of message one gets from every boss I have had, that paying wages is somehow a separate evil from the real costs of their business.

                      I am aware that there can be problems with the Union set up and have no idea what your particular problem with the Union is and therefore whether there is an unfairness to it or not.

                      I am, however, aware that bosses have a very good ability of not being aware of their workers value, and fail to see the most basic facts of their economic situation in relation to their workers, and seem to fail in understanding even the simple financial concept such as how much they are ‘ drawing’ on their business in reality.

                      p.s. Do you tell your workers how much expenses you are claim for your business costs, what they are and what type of tax break you get from doing that?

                    • Polish Pride

                      My wife works we live off her wage, We have a house and a mortgage, No welfare claimed.
                      I don’t claim any expenses or tax breaks from the business.
                      My beef with Unions is as I have outlined earlier – no skin in the game, not prepared to listen and be objective and in my view don’t really care about workers. If they did They’d fight to change the system not just work within it to try and justify their pay packet.
                      And yes I get that one day if all goes according to plan I will get a payoff and will get to retire…..if all goes according to plan and I don’t get some overzealous union official being an idiot.

                    • karol

                      Workers have only their skins in the game & they have little power to save their skins without union support.

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      +1 Karol


                      So you are ‘not drawing’ on your business because you have another source of income.

                      Would it be o.k in your view, that a worker told you that they weren’t ‘drawing on your business’ because they were living of their partner’s income? They are, of course, they are receiving income from your business but due to their not spending it they might say to you, you are not helping to keep me in the comfort I have become accustomed to, and feel justified in not paying you the respect for the help you are providing in their life. This is a very similar logic.

                      Where did you describe the problem you were having with unions earlier? Another thread?

                      I would quite like to understand where the unions fail. I am aware that they do at times. They also assist in ensuring that workers interests are kept in the equation.

                    • Polish Pride

                      “Workers have only their skins in the game & they have little power to save their skins without union support.”

                      We have a different view of skin in the game but yes ok lets go with yours vs
                      lets say a worker has skin in the game i.e. their job which they get renumerated for.
                      Then there is me the business owner. My staff get paid ahead of me ( I don’t get paid or take drawings) If my business tanks I lose my money invested, my house, and many of my friends money. It is what it is.
                      Having that much skin in the game I can’t afford for it not to succeed. I also can’t afford to treat my staff like crap. Let alone not making good business sense it just isn’t who I am.

                      What I can’t do is stop the union coming in with no understanding of my business and taking action because they feel like it. Action that could damage my business and even shut it down simply because the union feels like it. If the union screws up where is my come back? What sue them after I have lost everything. Yeah right!

                    • Mike S

                      If the business in your example is paying the workers a decent wage then there’s nothing to worry about is there?

                    • Polish Pride

                      “So you are ‘not drawing’ on your business because you have another source of income.”
                      Correct and because doing so would be detrimental or would mean I have to pay my staff less.

                      “Would it be o.k in your view, that a worker told you that they weren’t ‘drawing on your business’ because they were living of their partner’s income? They are, of course, they are receiving income from your business but due to their not spending it they might say to you, you are not helping to keep me in the comfort I have become accustomed to, and feel justified in not paying you the respect for the help you are providing in their life. This is a very similar logic.”
                      That would be the strangest conversation I have ever had and I am not sure of the relevance.
                      Then I’d say does that mean I don’t need to pay you :)?
                      What they do with their income from me is none of my business.
                      I don’t give a toss if they show me respect or not I checked my ego a long time ago. The only thing I care about is that they do the job they are paid to do and do it well. (well actually a little more than that we have a pretty good culture going at work as well, people do care about others well being)

                      Where did you describe the problem you were having with unions earlier? Another thread?
                      No on this one but I don’t have the numbers coming up on the posts so its a little more confusing than normal.

                      I believe it is easier for them to target and do damage to a SME if they don’t get what they want and if their action closes that business or causes it to become unviable due to their action, what come back is there for the business owner. The Union, they just move onto the next work place.

                      “I would quite like to understand where the unions fail. I am aware that they do at times. They also assist in ensuring that workers interests are kept in the equation.”
                      Where they fail is in thinking I need them to help sort out issues that often don’t exist until they show up.
                      That and that it is easier to target a SME than a big corporate but that in doing so they can do far greater damage.

                      Consulting 101 teaches that to get someone to change you first have to give them a pain point. So Union rep walks into a happy work place and says you know we could get you another $3 per hour you’re not being paid enough in the unions view.
                      No clue as to the financial state of the business and whether that is even feasible.
                      But all of a sudden we have workers thinking they should be on more money when there isn’t any. All of a sudden what was a happy and stable work place isn’t any longer.
                      The Union came in like whirlwind last time stirred up a heap of shit conducted a protest and then left. This was after a staff member was let go for not being able to do the job after multiple attempts to help her. I was paying staff well I was operating within the law but still couldn’t stop them trying to disrupt my business.
                      The nature of my business is such that if staff strike immense damage is done. I can’t afford to piss off my staff and I can’t afford for the union to come in and get them pissed off.
                      So what they need to do is stay away altogether and failing that actually understand that their actions might very well close my business permanently.

                      Personally as they have no stake in my business I just want them to stay well away. If one of my staff has a problem, my door is always open. My staff have never had to ask for a pay rise (well except for one on a night out drinking, we didn’t know she wanted one, we agreed she deserved it and she was given it the very next day, much to her surprise). They aren’t being paid what we want them to be but know they will be as the business grows.
                      This will still be before I get paid as I have enough to live on.

                • Polish Pride

                  Read the comment again Blue. I never said anything about taking on more staff. Think pay rises for existing staff demanded by the union or OR ELSE.
                  Nobody said anything about sub wages either.
                  Nobody said anything about lower wages either.

                  The real problem is the system that has the mentality of taking from one to give to another be it Right wing or Left wing policy.
                  I understand the system very well. I also know better alternatives but you aren’t going to get any of them from our incumbent political parties and most people are so indoctrinated and entrenched in the current system they simply don’t have the time or will to understand better alternatives.

                  Unions are a joke in my view. If they were truly for the workers then they would be the ones understanding the alternatives and pushing to move to a system that frees people from the system and having to work but they aren’t are they!
                  Just so we are clear I’m talking about the Resource Based Economy.

                  • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)


                    “Read the comment again Blue. I never said anything about taking on more staff.”

                    Nor was I.
                    I am asking you to redefine what you refer to as a ‘viable business’.

                    Small and medium businesses are having to compete with the advantages that very large businesses (corporations) are enjoying due to their size. (Monopolistic effects).

                    There has been a divisive notion around (probably derived from these corporate interests) of pitting small and medium sized business owners against their workers.

                    This is a problem

                    Because workers do not cause problems for their bosses.

                    Quite the contrary, workers provide their bosses with the means of having a business. (To labour the point: Try having a business without workers)

                    Instead of acknowledging this bare fact, workers are consistently being asked to do with less and less (which as I’ve previously mentioned causes a whole set of problems for business custom).

                    I repeat, the problem that small and medium sized businesses really face is the monopolistic advantages that corporations are enjoying.

                    When a political leader comes along and starts criticising neo-liberalism and speaks of ‘crony capitalism’ on numerous occasions. It should not be that small and medium business people are sad. They should be cheering.

                    However if you want to be fooled by corporate interests’ memes, I can’t stop you, I can only suggest that you reassess your views based on more accurate and up-to-date information.

                    • Polish Pride

                      “I am asking you to redefine what you refer to as a ‘viable business’.”
                      A viable business is one that is either profitable, breaking even or has a good shot at breaking even in the near future if allowed to continue and will one day be profitable.
                      Is sustainable and pays and treats staff fairly in return is treated by staff fairly.

                      “Small and medium businesses are having to compete with the advantages that very large businesses (corporations) are enjoying due to their size. (Monopolistic effects).”

                      “There has been a divisive notion around (probably derived from these corporate interests) of pitting small and medium sized business owners against their workers.
                      This is a problem
                      Because workers do not cause problems for their bosses.”
                      To be correct the statement would need to be
                      Because Most workers do not cause problems for their bosses.
                      Try two staff that banded together and alienated everyone else in their team forcing other workers to quit so they could do more hours then trying to hold the company to ransom. Unfortunately it was on an evening shift so not easily picked up and one was a manager who until that point had been good.
                      Try two staff in management positions that tried to take over the company by stealth telling contractors it was about to go under and giving them 24 hours to sign a contract with a new company they had set up.
                      Try a manger who disregarded a written instruction so that she could line her and her husbands pockets at the expense of others.
                      Try someone missing out on a management position so changing things in the system to make it look like the new manager was screwing up.
                      In all of these scenarios the business had to payout or continue to pay wages for up to six weeks before it could go through proper process and get rid of the staff members.
                      So workers can and do cause massive problems for a business.

                      When a political leader comes along and starts criticising neo-liberalism and speaks of ‘crony capitalism’ on numerous occasions. It should not be that small and medium business people are sad. They should be cheering.

                      perhaps but what you fail to take into account is that it is far easier for a union to go after a small or medium size enterprise and do major damage than it is to go after a large corporation.. This is the problem

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)


                      “but what you fail to take into account is that it is far easier for a union to go after a small or medium size enterprise and do major damage than it is to go after a large corporation.. This is the problem”

                      A link would have been good to provide instances of this.

                      Any business mistreating their workers is fair game for a Union to ‘go after’ however if they are solely picking on the small fish, then this is a serious corruption of their responsibility. Such would come under the phenomenon of ‘crony capitalism’. I would not support such corruption. Supporting Unions is not the same as supporting any corruption of that form of organisation.

                      Were the managers you speak of the same two or was it a series of six??

                      I am very sorry to hear of the hideous experiences you have had at your business (I am assuming this was your business where these events occurred).

                      I hope your fortunes improve.

                      Perhaps such unfortunate experiences makes you notice the many other staff who are honest and treat your business with respect and help it succeed?
                      Or perhaps not, given your statement:

                      “So workers can and do cause massive problems for a business.

                      After your astute correction of my point; adding “some
                      You could have perhaps made the effort at the same correction in the conclusion of your own:

                      “So some workers can and do cause massive problems for a business”

                      I would agree with that.

                      It must be nice to be able to get rid of dreadful workers in six weeks. You should be thankful. It is a little harder to ‘get rid of’ a mean-spirited boss. Especially in this climate of high unemployment that successive governments have encouraged.

                      When on welfare you can be forced to go to work for a boss with a bad reputation (there are always regular placements in such businesses for work), your life can be and is made a living hell while not even receiving enough to live on without help and you will receive no assistance if you quit.

                      It may not be good for these types of irreputable business people to have high levels of employment; they might have to lift their game, nor is the clout of unions desirable for such types. However all fair and rational employers, should quickly understand that they will not be in the firing line under such circumstances.

                  • Polish Pride

                    Unfortunately for me it was a series of six and yes all within my business over a period of 4 years. It resulted in severe depression and the knowledge of how to change the world(but that’s a much longer story)
                    and thankfully my fortunes have turned around.
                    I have always valued my workers and make damn sure they know it. The problem is there are some that will endeavor to exploit employment laws and ERA knowing full well that many employers will simply pay up a chunk of cash to be rid of the problem.
                    6 weeks is a ridiculously long time in business to live with a problem like the ones we faced and businesses should be able to remove them asap for the sake of remaining staff and the business itself. Or if they go through proper process and it takes six weeks and there is a grievance then the employer in proving the issue should be able to recoup the 6 weeks wages from the employee.

                    So given these issues exist on both sides
                    given the fact that no one should ever be in a position of being trapped in a job with a horrible boss unable to leave.
                    No one should not have enough to live on
                    Why are the unions not using their influence to change the system and free workers from having to work.
                    It is such a flawed system and can be proven as such.
                    I just don’t get it. Do they not understand the possibilities??

                    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                      Oh dear, that really is a terrible run of fortune 🙁
                      Glad to hear things are turning around for you!

                      I thought the Unions have done pretty well voting for someone so openly stating neo-liberalism’s over. I think it will take a lot of work to get the neo-liberal powerbroker’s shifted out…never mind a complete overhaul of the system!

                      At present the way people are being completely and brazenly conned and appear so receptive to such, I think this latest vote is a pretty good achievement!

                      First things first perhaps? (Loosen the power base and getting people to feel more empowered, including to think creatively about the world around them)

                    • Polish Pride

                      that actually sounds pretty good to me.

                    • Ideally employment law should both protect employees from bad bosses and employers from destructive cliques that form within they business, and it should be the basis for fair and honest negotiations around conditions and employers and employees being able to build trust, knowing that if things go badly out of whack the law will protect them.

                      Fortunately this isn’t squaring a circle and if you have any suggestions or just a laundry list of problems you need the law to respect, that’s what consulting is for, and Labour has in the past been pretty good on consulting before it makes major changes to the law, so I wouldn’t worry that anything Cunliffe’s got planned will let a few bad eggs run amock any more than they might otherwise.

                      I don’t think small or medium businesses should be worried, especially if Labour is intending to put upwards pressure on wages- that generally makes the business environment much better for everyone, instead of just for the big winners. 🙂

              • QoT

                Because unions are all about putting their own members out of work. 🙄

            • finbar

              And it would most certainly be a vote winner, compulsory unionism.What most unions did not understand in the nineties when the Nats, like now ,relentlessly attack the workers rights and wages ,was that their membership although enjoying a sustainable living wage that afforded them the right to participate within our society, that their collective unionism afforded them, was not understanding their members ,union membership is the law, and that was the union members excuse to his employer, as the employer questioned their workers right to membership to the union,it was a get out of trouble excuse, and once voluntary unionism was brought into force the members deserted for appeasing their employer, in the hope that they would not be victimized for their union membership.A hope illusional as history has shown, a decline in a affordable living wage, with a increased work load.

              Compulsory Unionism is surly the better option for the betterment of the workers,however unpopular the employer class may find it.

              • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                @ Finbar,

                How very insightful.
                The trolls will be coming along shortly no doubt….

        • Bill

          The community based democracy could have promise. Did I ever do that post on the direction or broad framework of reference a truly left leaning Social Democratic party would take/use if it was genuine about democracy?

          Okay. Did a quick search and it seems I’ve touched on such possibilities in various posts. But I guess this is the one I had in mind.

          The Only Vision….Left.

          …it’s past the time for the parliamentary left to use what time it might have in power to invest in a genuinely empowering and resurgent left through enacting policies that devolve power and decision making to ordinary people in their daily lives as citizens and workers

    • Chooky 1.3

      I also was very impressed with Cunliffe’s ability to talk about complex issues facing New Zealand and NZers in a very simple and concise way…..this speaks of honesty…there was no fudging or dodging of issues

      ….He has obviously thought deeply about the issues and drawn his own conclusions and tentative conclusions….which he puts out clearly on the table …..and while he cant be Father Christmas and fulfill all our wishes and dreams …..and some will be critical …..he is making a very determined effort in the direction of justice and equality and accountability and transparency .

      ..I was also very impressed with the questions put to him

      John Key and Nact will be very worried!….

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.4

      Put not your trust in princes and kings. A pair of twos can take them both.

      Potentially bloody exciting though 🙂

      • Chooky 1.4.1

        @1.4 One Anonymous Knucklehead….I am just bloody grateful that Cunliffe won!!!! ( and not Robertson or Jones….and Shearer is GONE!)……and now there is a sporting chance of taking out Key and Nact!….It does not bear thinking about the damage and destruction and unrest they would cause if they had another term!

        Cunliffe will need ALL the support everyone can give him!!!….as will the Greens….to WIN 2014!

        Thus far Cunliffe seems to be creating a lean mean machine….with Parker and Brandon….so I am optimistic ….cant afford otherwise

  2. Anne 2

    And I’m a tad concerned that I may be on the cusp of having a degree of trust/belief in a political leader for a second time in my life…

    Don’t worry Bill, you’re not the only one. A change of attitude and a change of culture. Dare I dream that we’re on the cusp of a 21C version of the 1st Labour government? Yes I do.

    But we shouldn’t forget that Helen Clark laid the foundation stone for this change despite the neo-con love-in that prevented her from being able to go very far. I know some will disagree, but the political climate ten years ago would have seen the last Lab govt. tossed out after one term if there had been too much of a change of tack. We would have ended up with Don Brash as PM. Be thankful for small mercies.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1

      Tossed out after one term ?. That would have meant Bill English as PM. Brash didnt head the National party till the elections for a third term

      • Anne 2.1.1

        Correct gwwnz. I realised that. But we would almost certainly have ended up with Don Brash further down the track. English is too dour and the public wouldn’t have warmed to him.
        A National-style leadership change half way through – swift and undemocratic execution of Bill and Don’s your uncle. No questions asked, no questions answered.

  3. outofbed 3

    Just listened to it.
    I might just switch back to Labour

    there I said it…….. Shit

    Mind you Wellington Central?

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Great work karol putting all your thoughts down and also the interview synopsis. Would have taken you quite a bit of time to get right.

    • Outofbed 4.1

      i was kinda thinking getting involved locally cv

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Whereabouts are you mate?

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.2

        Oh right, Wellington Central, feel free to visit Grant’s electorate office 🙂

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.3

        And no reason you couldn’t join Labour in Hutt and be part of a movement for change 😉

        • Rosie

          Or, outofbed, you’re more than welcome to come over to the Ohariu Electorate and help boot Peter Dunne out. I wonder who the caucus have in mind to put up against Dunne. They would have to be kick arse. Dunne is like a stubborn stain that won’t wash out, (29 years!)we need someone with powerful bleach like action to shift him.

          PS: You’re not the only one considering switching back to Labour……….

    • Chooky 4.2

      +1 to Karol for all her work and agree…bring back Charles Chauvel

    • karol 4.3

      Thanks, CV. It did take a bit of time, but not that much. I have some experience in doing such things, so I probably did it a bit quicker than if done by some other people.

      Just putting some of my experience to use.

  5. Danger is if Cunliffe doesnt get these plans driven through into policy backed by the same new membership base that put him in the leadership.
    The membership is also going to have to tell him that getting rid of Rogernomics means getting rid of the various neo-liberal parameters that put limits on policy. “We can’t afford it” cannot excuse doing what is necessary.
    Parliament is sovereign and Govt can borrow cheaply.
    We need a public borrow and grow economic strategy.
    Restore control over the Reserve Bank. Key ignores it anyway.
    Reject TPPA its a US corporate re-colonisation of Aotearoa.
    Re-regulate state assets so they can be renationalised without compensation.
    Make Kiwibank a state bank and impose tough CGT that takes the profit out of all private banking and corporate profiteering.
    Abolish all new GSCB and TICS powers. They cannot stand for a year or more while the need for spying is reviewed.
    Like the pre-distribution idea even it it stops short of socialisation!
    Make the employers pay a living wage determined by workers needs not those of profit.
    Full employment, social security, i.e. big state spending on Savage Projects.

  6. Maureen 6

    “But in doing so, if we’re successful, I think we’ll end up describing a brand new form of community-based social democracy – which will be, I hope, amongst the early versions of that description internationally – Just as we were, sadly, during the Rogernomics era.”


    I don’t want to be mean but Shearer’s only vision was the vague “I want to make a difference.”

  7. lprent 7

    Cunliffe also posted on The Standard’s open mike, to announce that the interview was about to begin. I do hope this continues.

    I saw that last night after I got home from work. Unfortunately after both the the announcement and the video, otherwise I’d have rotated it up into a post (nasty bug showed up in regression testing).

    It is a good idea announcing it on the blogs for this type of event. I’ll have a think if it is worth loking for having an easier way for the leftish parties to do this for authorised people

  8. ak 8

    emI don’t want to be mean…../em Don’t then Maureen.

    Remember this is still very much David vs GoLIARth. Our lad will slip up because he’s human, and the massive warchest of mammon will beat the DISUNITY drum relentlessly. Every tiny chorus/caucus, frown or mumble will be trumpeted incessantly, then repeated by Bryce Edwards. Button up, the dodgy neighbours might get ideas. Loose lips enable shits.

    • Maureen 8.1

      I think he did slip up the other day in the House with jokes about Brownlee’s size. This was quickly seized on in Twitter by one of the nicer commentators:) But I’ll forgive him that for his great performance in the Skype interview. There was a sort of tired honesty to it.

      • QoT 8.1.1

        Yeah, nothing undercuts a “let’s talk about the real issues” approach like descending to petty, juvenile insults about people’s bodies. And it gives them permission to keep the debate at that level.

        • Clement Pinto

          Yes, a leader should be earnest and come across as earnest in his/her demeanor putting forward good policies and ideas, preferably in simple terms and with some wit if possible, without resorting to the fashionably cheap shot personal childish unbecoming jibes. Key has been a failure in that respect.
          I much prefer the way Mr Cunliffe has handled the media so far with confidence, calmness and clarity. I am sure he will improve further and becomes even more respected, trusted and liked by the general public. In the end, it is the well presented good and fair policies for the good of the people, society and the country that matter.
          I also like the way Mr David Parker comes across.

  9. the pigman 9

    Whilst I don’t want to get too carried away at this early stage, I think it speaks volumes that despite his clear sleepiness he was happy to spend his evening essentially preaching to the converted, and offering something positive for a change…

    The era of David Shearer Labour already feels like a bad dream from which we’ve woken up (did it really happen? How? What was that all about?). I hope I have the same feeling about the Key government by the end of 2014, however unfortunately he has already done some lasting damage to remind us…

  10. Jenny Michie 10

    A 21st century leader using 21st century technology – at last! And so much more effective as an actual live interview rather than a pre scripted selfie. I’m keen to hear more of what David has to say about the lack of worldwide regulation following the GFC. Something like $8trillion paid out and public services cut around the globe to pay for it and not much put in place to stop it happening again.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 10.1

      Yes, that would be very interesting; what has been changed to disallow the flagrant fraud and destruction from occurring again?

      I’m glad I don’t watch rugby, however I am constantly reminded of the absolute injustice that has occurred surrounding the GFC anytime I see an All-Black with the name of the criminals and fraudsters plastered across their shirts.

      AIG were one of the corporations that gave their managers (who were very much part of the fraud and destruction) bonuses from the bail-outs and only some of these bonuses were reversed after an absolute uproar from US citizens.

      • bad12 10.1.1

        Ummm, you don’t get it, the GFC is meant to happen again, it is the Banksters ultimate weapon to hold against the heads of politicians when their, the Banksters, supremacy in the pecking order is threatened…

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

          @ Bad12,

          Please point to anywhere in my comment that makes you so very sure ‘I don’t get it’?

          I was of the understanding that my comment was fairly well observational and expressed an opinion as to what I thought of the phenomenon surrounding the GFC, yet didn’t draw any conclusions.

          Do you accuse me of ‘not getting it’ because I commented at all? That people who do so ‘don’t get it’ because they would shut-the-fuck-up if they knew the power of those holding our societies to ransom?

          This would be the wrong conclusion to draw. Some people no matter how small keep squeaking in the hope that others will start squeaking and when the chorus of squeaking is so loud and annoying, people in a better position to do something decisive about the mess will feel supported enough to do so.

          It appears that NZ have a few of those people now. They need a hell of a lot of support; an unholy level of squeaking is required for things to change.

          I hope you join in the cacophony and are not one of the defeatist types who think nothing can change so simply and misguidedly figure it is best to spread a sense of hopelessness around.

  11. Ramsay 11

    This is all very well and good but I worry that while David is preaching to the choir the Nats are solidying a media narrative of:

    1- a split caucus; and

    2- more of the same (chorus/caucus etc).

    This is a great site. As is TDB but if you combine their readerships and calculate it as a percentage of swing voters then have we really advanced? That’s where we need to win votes.

    I don’t believe the ‘missing 800,000’ will turn out to vote any more then I believed that conservative voters would turnout more for the Mitt Romney, who pandered to his base to get nominated, than they did for the moderate (by comparison) John McCain. Just ask President Romney, I guess.

    Not neccesarily much more David can do but we need to win the mass media narrative to win the election.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      The mass media are not the constituency, mate. The people are. And you can be never win the corporate media over anyway. So cut them out.

    • Maureen 11.2

      He needs to feed the loaves and fishes to his disciples as well as the multitudes?

      No pressure, David.

      • Ramsay 11.2.1

        You need to fire up the base – I’m on board with that. Just let’s not fool ourselves that Labour will be able to win those centrist voters – those with a headlines only approach to politics – unless David can dominate the mass-media (corporate or not).

        Yeah, it’s a hard task – but it’s the one he signed up for. It’s not impossible, Blair got the nomination of the Sun after all. Whatever bad things he did, Blair advanced progressivism in concrete terms more than Michael Foot did.

        As I said, this kind of engagement is all very well and good. Just not let’s fool ourselves that it’s going to be anything near good enough.

        • Colonial Viper

          Yeah, it’s a hard task – but it’s the one he signed up for. It’s not impossible, Blair got the nomination of the Sun after all. Whatever bad things he did, Blair advanced progressivism in concrete terms more than Michael Foot did.

          Blair is a war criminal and apologist for the City of London banksters. Interesting that he is your “progressive” hero. I always thought he was simply a third way capitalist under orders from Washington DC.

          • Ramsay

            Whatever, man. He won 3 elections for Labour and had some solid domestic accomplishments.

            • Colonial Viper

              “Whatever, man” is your best defence of Tony Blair as an international war merchant, arms merchant and servant of the City of London banksters?

              What a dick. Both of you.

              • Ramsay

                No – my best defence is that Labour had some impressive domestic policy achievements between 1997 and 2008 (five years of which predated the Iraq war) – which was made possible not least of all because they were able to control the mass media narrative.

                • Rhinocrates

                  Fine, well and good – but whatever meagre social policy achievements he made do not excuse his war crimes. They were – to put it politely – not necessary. He could have been a good PM without them, but he chose to commit them nonetheless and hundreds of thousands died as a result. Of course they weren’t white British…

                  If a mass murderer is a vegan and kind to animals… so what? Some of Blair’s policies were good, Blair is not and should be on trial in the Hague. I’d like to see him stand in the dock and say “Ooh, but the Arts Council gave out more grants!”

  12. just saying 12

    …but we need to win the introduce a whole new narrative to win the election…
    …Or winning the elction won’t mean diddly squat


  13. Wayne 13

    Well, reading the article and the posts, what would David Cunliffe really abolish of “neoliberalism”? Of course he will use different language, as he is already showing, but actions also matter.

    Well, he won’t abolish or much change the following:

    Fiscal Responsibility Act
    He can’t increase tariffs and he can’t bring back quotas
    The $ will continue to float and be traded
    How much would he really nationalize
    Would NZ be really the only country of the 11TPP negotiating states not to join

    He could do the following:
    Increase top taxes to say 45% and introduce CGT (the latter is hardly novel in western societies)
    Mandatory awards (the Right would love a battle on that)
    Minimum wage of $18 – $15 is a bit passé and could easily happen under the Nats next year
    Increase all benefits by say 5 to 10%
    A stiff ETS (Not really related to the neoliberal frame)
    Stop all state funding for private schools
    Stop all roads of national significance

    I am sure there are other important things.

    But I wonder if he would really want the size of the state to be larger than 40% – it is around 35% at present. Australia is about the same as NZ, and that is always a bit of a check on NZ for obvious reasons. In France it is pushing 50%.

    I have tried to be realistic as to what David Cunliffe might actually do, as oppossed to some of the more fanciful aspirations of those on this site that I would characterise as “Far Left.”

    I suspect the Nats would quite like to be able to have a political campaign on these things.

    • karol 13.1

      Thanks, Wayne. So you disagree with John Key that a Cunliffe led government would be “far left”?

      And you agree more with Mike Treen?

      Many of us on the left are under no illusion that Cunliffe is anything other than a moderate social democrat. But he may start a new narrative, awaken the country to the realities we are facing for the future, and bring a halt to key’s shift towards the far right.

      I agree with Treen that for real change to happen, if requires massive pressure from below.

      Watching with interest.

    • KJT 13.2

      Thanks for admitting the mess that you and your fellow, thieves, fools, buffoons and incompetents have made of New Zealand by following the Neo-liberal religion over the last 3 decades.

      You have just proved how depressing difficult you lot have made any recovery from your fuckup.

    • Colonial Viper 13.3

      “But I wonder if he would really want the size of the state to be larger than 40% – it is around 35% at present.”

      The country has been on the verge of recession for 4-5 years. In a situation like that, the state needs to play a bigger (neo Keynesian) role to buy time for the private sector to get back up on its feet.

      Europe has of course screwed this up: countries like Greece have been forced by Germany etc to cut govt spending at the same time as the private sector was also cutting back. The result: painful pro-cyclical reinforcement of the economic slow down.

      • Wayne 13.3.1

        Of course the Nats have operated quite large deficits for the entire 5 years in Govt, hitting a peak if I recall accurately of $12 billion in 2010. Effectively it has meant around $40 billion of extra debt, which I would say is pretty neo Keynesian.

        And very little of that relates to lower taxes. The package of 2010 was essentially a tax switch, with GST going up and income taxes going down.

        So Labour’s alternative was (and is) is to increase taxes, increase spending, increase debt to an even greater degree than National and increase regulation.

        And at least by OECD measures NZ has done pretty well. Mind you the China FTA is one of the key reasons for this. Could Labour really get growth higher than 2.5% in the current circumstances.

        • bad12

          The truth Wayne will set you free, nah probably not but we can live in hope, National plans to have Government debt of 70 billion by 2017,


        • Colonial Viper

          Effectively it has meant around $40 billion of extra debt, which I would say is pretty neo Keynesian.

          I do actually agree with you here Wayne.

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

          I think Wayne needs to stop spinning for his incompetent mates in Government.

          When taxes are increased, this allows for more spending and when Labour spend, they tend to spend it on things that create positive results on the ledger balance. And on things that really support the people of NZ.

          So, please Wayne, enough of the ‘Labour = more debt’ spin it’s a load of crock.

          When Labour spends they invest, whereas National spend money on such things as advertising to sell off our revenue-generating businesses, and decide upon fire-sale prices so as to make better statistics for themselves in the next election so that it appears that they have been working for those that they haven’t been. What a jolly good idea that is; now not only are our assets being sold and govt are losing revenue every day from that point, they are being sold for less than the already paltry deal we were going to get.

          How much do we pay for crosby-textor and the bullshit Boris Johnson display of solidarity while-I’m-at-it?

          Or are the perks so good they do it for free?

          • finbar

            It was interesting seeing Key grovel to Johnson,and also Cameron.The shot on the door step shuffle at number Ten, spoke volumes of Key!s position on the world stage and his position in the pecking order.Not often does the N.Z. public see Key,groveling to please.

            • Colonial Viper

              Part of his core career advancement skillset since about 22 years of age.

            • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

              @ Finbar,

              While your perspective is interesting, (and I wasn’t watching as intently; think I was cooking at the time) the concern is in relation to something akin to product placement.

              A technique where the PM gets himself seen with ‘successful’ or powerful types and people make an unconscious link and associate him with such. I assume this is the type of technique that makes textor-crosby so effective in getting politicians voted in who do not represent peoples’ best interests.

        • Stuart Munro

          People forget that Keynesian policies have to be calculated to produce a positive effect. Irresponsible spending is not Keynesian, it’s just incompetent.

          Parts of neo-liberalism would’ve worked a lot better too, if regulators had remembered their responsibility to make damned sure any change worked properly. Traditional liberals were rigorous on honesty – when neo-liberals abandoned it they killed their game.

          • Colonial Viper

            “Irresponsible spending”…I take it you mean corporate welfare for big business.

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

            @Stuart Munro
            Agreed. Wayne and Nat spin don’t factor in the effects of spending and somehow see all spending as the same.

            They don’t see the difference between spending money on a night out at the pokies or reinvested into something that generates capital.

            A business wouldn’t last long with such a poor grasp on finances and neither do countries.

    • Puddleglum 13.4

      Hi Wayne,

      As I’m sure you are aware, just about every health and social statistic turned rapidly negative during and after the neoliberal reforms of the 1980s and 1990s. This is no insignificant fact. It meant, in practical terms, signficant increases in social harm, physical ill health, mental illness and deaths from preventable diseases and self-harm.

      The causal link – so far as the relevant research is concerned – between those reforms and those statistics could be debated if we were simply aloof participants in an economics, statistics or philosophy seminar. But, back in the real world, those reforms inflicted huge harms on individuals, communities and New Zealand society as a whole. Neighbourhoods, communities and suburbs that, today, we decry as harbouring ‘social dysfunction’, ‘benefit bludging’ and child abuse, were, in the 1970s places where people could at least raise families, go to reliable work and live out modest lives. We are the worse for those reforms on so many objective indicators the point should barely need making.

      Here’s some evidence on increases in ethnic inequality in mortality rates and the link to the reforms:

      A causal association between the observed widening in ethnic mortality inequality from (approximately) 1986 to 1996 and the neoliberal reforms of 1984–93 is plausible for at least three reasons. First, the economic restructuring and welfare reforms impacted more severely on Ma ̄ori (as shown, for example, by the differential rise in unemployment rates between ethnic groups over this period, described in Box 1). Secondly, for working age males at least, we found greater socio-economic mediation of the ethnic mortality inequality in the 1990s than in the 1980s—as would be expected if the association was causal.

      Thirdly, trends by cause of death also offer some support for a structural explanation. CVD and suicide are causes of death that can respond relatively quickly to changing social conditions (for CVD, this reflects variable risks of dysrythmia, thrombosis and embo- lism). We found an increasing contribution of CVD and suicide to the ethnic mortality inequality for males during the 1980s and early 1990s, followed by a decreasing contribution thereafter—consistent with a causal explanation. For females, a biphasic pattern was seen (albeit less clearly) for suicide only. The greater impact of social conditions on mortality inequality among males than females may reflect differential exposure and response. In fact, trends in unemployment rates were similar by sex within ethnic groups.14 However, it is not unreason- able to expect the response to job loss to be greater among males if they are more likely to be the main income earners. Indeed, the association of unemploy- ment with mortality during 1981–2004 tends to be stronger for males in the NZCMS datasets.

      Yet, here we are some thirty years on hearing that it is somehow beyond the pale that those reforms should be reversed or, better, replaced with vastly more humane policy settings that prioritise people’s health and wellbeing over economic activity whose benefits accumulate to a smaller and smaller proportion of the population.

      Just today, the Herald has reported that budget advisory services have become massively overloaded in the last four years – oddly, the bludging poor appear to be seeking help in how they use what meagre financial resources they have. Perhaps they are just trying to work out how to spend a bit more on fags, pokies and lotto?

      My main criticism of the policy reforms you appear to support is their utter immorality.

      Presumably you believe those reforms to be beneficial to New Zealand and to have had little connection to the worsening of such health and social statistics? I would be interested in any evidence you have to show that these extensive correlations – despite appearances – do not reflect a causal link.

      • xtasy 13.4.1

        We know that Wayne (from the “Shore”) does not give a damned shit about people like us, puddleglum! He lives in an evironment that is a bit like “extended gated communities” and he views all this from an “arm chair” perspective. Wayne deserves to have the poor at his door step, the ones disowned to perhaps “visit’ his home for “assessing” what useful stuff there is for them to “share”, I suppose. Well, I would not want to go that far, certainly not encourage anyone, but Wayne has no clue, and does not want to have one, as to how the bottom end of society live.

      • Rogue Trooper 13.4.2

        20:10 Differing weights and differing measures, the Lord detests them both, Wayne!

  14. Sable 14

    Time will tell if Cunliffe is true to his word, so far it “looks” promising. Lets not forget either the contribution of the Greens, they have done a hell of a lot but have not been acknowledge to any real degree by anyone including this site, which is disappointing.

    • karol 14.1

      Several of us have said often enough that we have party voted Green in recent years, and may continue to do so. At the moment focus is on the leadership change by parliamentary Labour. But the Greens still get mentioned in posts – e.g. NRT referring to Norman’s exposure of Nick Smith’s lies.

      • Clement Pinto 14.1.1

        I personally prefer Labour to have a BIG majority, preferably over 50% in the government and the Greens only a minor presence. Both votes for Labour from me. I am weary of too much influence for the Greens in the next Government as some of their economic philosophy and policies are a big turn off for me and I think for the majority of the people in the country. In a way, the Greens are a little redundant now because Labour does have good environmental policies which are also pragmatic, non extreme, practical and sensible, the party being cognisant of the bigger social and economic picture. This may not be the fashionable PC view and will upset the Greens, but nevertheless this is my view anyway.

        • Wayne

          I would prefer National to have more than 50%, but hey we have MMP (which I did vote for in 1993 and in 2011)

          • Rogue Trooper

            You heard it hear first, from a Nat; $18- 15 Minimum wage is a bit passe , now, so passe , we’ll pass on it for a while yet, Maybe next year…maybe not..

            • Clement Pinto

              The CEOs earning over $500,000/pa +Perks, or approx $240/hr, is obviously not so very ‘passe’ I suppose.

              The CEO’s as well as the minimum wage earners both have families to feed and take care off. Of course, the minimum wage earner and his/her family is not that important, I suppose, right?

        • bad12

          Lolz the Green Party give the Labour Party the luxury of the center of the political realm, my vote, while the Green Party is polling so high, will be off to Mana in 2014 and under MMP neither party are redundant,

          Of course Labour can have my votes and my activism back again at the point where i see a definite time-frame for the inclusion of benefit reliant kids in the Working for Families tax credit scheme and a firm promise of a decent sized State House build in the cities of Auckland and Christchurch…

          • Clement Pinto

            I agree that WWF type credit scheme for non working families and at least simple state housing for every one are laudable essential objectives that Labour should implement.

            Another objective should be to move/start as many offices/services/industries as possible from big cities into provincial smaller cities and towns even if it means co-operative joint investments (with low/reasonable profit sharing and/or tax breaks/incentives where applicable) from the Government+Councils+general public via bonds/shares.

            • karol

              WWF type credit scheme for non working families

              A scheme to send families to work in the wilds?

              In jest – we all do typos.

            • bad12

              Lolz, it always was reasonably simple no frills housing that those with the greatest need could afford,

              Funnily enough ‘the haves’ who derided such housing as slums, fell all over themselves to get their grubby little paws on them in the first big National Government sell off,

              Overall the States housing portfolio is about to become it’s most valuable asset, once the Tories have finished ransacking the power co’s, and, probably an even more endangered species,

              In the fifties and sixties State Houses were the province of the low waged workers, full employment still being the agreed political consensus,

              That changed tho and today State Houses are more likely to be occupied by beneficiaries they being the present bottom of the economic heap,

              Shut out now of course are a large demographic of low waged workers with variable hours and as much out of work as they are in,

              The numbers say it all, with a population of 3.3 million we had 75,000 State Houses, add another million to that population and we only have 67,000 State Houses and National are plundering that number daily,

              Just on those numbers alone we are short of 30,000 State Houses and if anyone tries to tell me that the demographic of low waged workers has not grown at a pace with the population i will be forced to resort to abuse,

              The above is the reason for my open derision of Labour’s flagship housing policy KiwiBuild which looks from where i sit like the socialism of,for, and by the middle class,

              KiwiBuild, much debated here at the Standard would seem to shoehorn the children of the middle class onto ‘the property ladder’ allowing them to bypass the hyper-inflation of the present housing market, such hyper-inflation markedly spurred along by that middle class who in the past 20 years while all of what is out-lined in the paragraphs above occurred have moved into rental property investments as a fashion statement,

              So much so that 100,000 private homes have in that 20 years transited the market to become rental investments aiding and abetting the current hyper-inflation in the housing market to a large extent,

              These ‘investments’ of course need another ingredient to succeed and that is Tenants and the State both in it’s Blue and Red guises has happily provided to that middle class those Tenants by simply restricting the numbers of State Houses available while the population has grown by that million,

              Lucky us, we have laws which forbid shanty towns and the homeless usually hide themselves in someones garage, shed, boarding house or caravan…

              • Clement Pinto

                You are so correct. You make good points and you write so well. You have a good heart and smart head! Problems are a plenty, but the solutions are so complex because political expediency comes in the way in a democracy. One reason I suspect is that most people, including the educated, are either too disdainfully casual about politics, too selfish, too self centred and non patriotic in the true sense of the term. If a government does the necessary radical and bold just stuff, it is likely to get booted out pronto. So the governments are forced to tread very carefully while the injustice and unfairness keeps increasing.

                • bad12

                  Aha, therein lies Labour’s problem, it has to address the ‘bread’n’butter issues facing the bottom end of the economy while keeping it’s share of the middle class ‘on board’,

                  ‘Has to’ of course might be too strong to use in such a sentence while NZFirst survives as a Parliamentary entity, but of course Winston aint going to be an option forever,

                  i have said this befor, having stuffed letterboxes on behalf of the Lange government’s election i was shamed by its later actions, i know ancient history, funnily enough my faith in the Party kept me voting for Labour right up to the point where WFF was denied to the children of beneficiaries, at which point of course i walked,

                  Something i didn’t point out above about State Housing, such housing isn’t simply ‘homes for the poor’,

                  It was State housing which prohibited earlier house price inflation bubbles simply by denying to those who would be Landlords an ever growing tenancy needing housing,

                  State Housing, like roads, and railways are as much a direct subsidy to the employer as they are ‘homes for the poor’ with low fixed rental charges as a % of income such housing lowers wage growth demand…

              • Wayne

                Actually I think housing is Labours big opportunity. A bit smarter and better packaged than the “KiwiBuild” set of ideas that Labour currently has. It is not in the category of attacking “neoliberalism”, but it responds to peoples real concerns.

                After all the Nats under Nick Smith, who can be pretty socialist, has recognised the same issue.

          • The Al1en

            “the inclusion of benefit reliant kids in the Working for Families tax credit scheme”

            Won’t and shouldn’t happen.
            Of course look after the children. Feed them, clothe them, don’t deny them opportunity and make sure they don’t fall through the gaps for lack of a decent welfare/social security system, but WFF isn’t the vehicle to do it.
            Besides, it’s election suicide – Ask Goff.

            • bad12

              Oh i get it, DPB mums are all going to just blow all that WFF money on pokies,lotto and crack,

              Beneficiary parents obviously cannot be trusted to spend such largesse on their kids right???…

              • The Al1en

                That’s a weird world view. How do you get that from what I wrote?
                Are you a “DPB mum” on “Crack”? 🙄

                Working for families – It’s a play on words, but the clues are there. 😆
                If beneficiaries get WFF without working, where’s the incentive to contribute through seeking full or even part time employment?
                Labour would be most foolish to mention that sort of idiocy again.

                Again, it doesn’t mean children of beneficiaries should be denied, but that’s not WFF is or was ever intended for.
                Adjusting benefits and conditions are the way to go to improve those kids outcomes.

                • The Al1en

                  “Adjusting benefits and conditions are the way to go to improve those kids outcomes.”

                  Until one or both parents are working and they take up the in work tax credits like some of us do. A win win.

                • Again, it doesn’t mean children of beneficiaries should be denied

                  But beneficiaries themselves should be denied?

                  • The Al1en

                    “But beneficiaries themselves should be denied?”

                    Clearly the context is established in my first post by the quotation.

                    Should beneficiaries receive an in work tax credit? Of course not.
                    Again, that doesn’t mean a fully functioning, targeted welfare state shouldn’t cover them.

                    • Thanks for the clarification, The Al1en.

                      I don’t think, however, that it addresses the main issue. To state that beneficiaries obviously should not receive an ‘in work tax credit’ because they are not ‘in work’ is to beg the question of what such a tax credit should be called in order to support families most in need of assistance.

                      It would be like the current government establishing a ‘very wealthy person tax credit’ and then responding to criticisms that it is not available for people who are not very wealthy by saying ‘Well, obviously, someone who is not ‘very wealthy’ cannot receive a ‘very wealthy person tax credit’ ‘.

                      The point, surely, is that if there was extra assistance available from the government’s books it should have gone to those most in need, in the first instance.

                      Unless, of course, it is argued that those most in need are, for some reason, not deserving – or not as deserving as those ‘in work’.

                    • The Al1en

                      I see what you’re saying, but It’s not an in work tax credit those families should get, but a better funded, targeted welfare system that services their needs and encourages them back into work.

                    • The Al1en

                      “The point, surely, is that if there was extra assistance available from the government’s books it should have gone to those most in need, in the first instance.”

                      Should mid to high wage earners get wff? No, I think not. Sure that money could be better spent elsewhere, and changes should be made. In my mind, and how it was sold to me, the scheme was intended to assist low wage earners, and also incentivise some welfare dependants back into employment, though you may feel free to disagree because I can’t recall where I got the sales pitch.

                      At what annual income should wff cut off? Name a figure and I’d probably agree and support you.

                    • Ultimately, what such families need – just like all families – is a social organisation that creates supportive interdependencies between people in the same locality so that it is in the interests of all to support those without incomes and integrate them into productive work systems (including, of course, work that, currently, is unpaid).

                      That’s not going to happen anytime soon until market provision of work has a serious competitor.

                      In the interim, it is not about ‘targeting’ social security. It is about making social security dignified. The ‘incentives’ to return to work should primarily be social (i.e., from family, friends, neighbours, local community), not financial.

                      So long as the prime ‘incentive’ to work is assumed to be financial then the temptation for policy makers will be to screw down social security to make it impossible to live a dignified life while one is on it. That assumption also stokes the stinking, divisive fires of disdain against those on benefits.

                      That all creates nothing but anxiety, desperation, destructive competition between people and, ultimately, indifference, apathy and despondency.

                      It also does nothing to make work more worthwhile or to make the person working have greater control over their work, which is the real issue behind any reluctance to work (despite the ludicrous assumption underpinning economics that people aim to avoid work – i.e., that work is a ‘disbenefit’ and something to be avoided – nothing could be further from the truth about ‘human nature’; just notice how active and effortful children are, given half the chance. Such an assumption only holds when one is selling one’s labour to perform tasks one is not at all intrinsically motivated to perform.).

                      Using social security levels to ‘incentivise returning to work’ is a morally bankrupt and inhumane approach to social security and results in just the kinds of suffering we already have.

                      It’s also an indictment of our social and economic arrangements if that is truly what is required to get people to work, create and be innovative.

                      At what level should WFF cease? Well, there’s talk of a ‘living wage’; what about a ‘living household income’? Leave the numbers to ‘experts’, but a living household income should do what social security was always meant to do – ensure that everyone in society lives at a dignified level, at a level that enables them to participate fully in society – with or without work.

                      That means, in practical terms, that there is a material level of wellbeing – relative to the population as a whole – below which no-one falls in our society. That level – now I’m really being optimistic – should be one which ensures that there would be no statistically significant effect on the present and future outcomes of children raised in such conditions compared with children raised more affluently.

                      I’m afraid, however, that many people in New Zealand are too immersed in a kind of individualistic, self-focused bitterness toward their fellow citizens ever to embrace such a vision for New Zealand society.

                      They lack faith in their compatriots; or, better, they lack faith in the efficacy of a humane society.

                • bad12

                  Oh yes of course we should starve the children of beneficiaries to provide an ‘incentive’ for their parents to ‘seek’ work,

                  Of course there IS enough jobs out there in the economy for ALL beneficiaries who have dependent children right???

                  If the children of the middle class needed such a top up in their parents income then the children of beneficiaries needed it 10 times more…

                  • The Al1en

                    “Oh yes of course we should starve the children of beneficiaries to provide an ‘incentive’ for their parents to ‘seek’ work,”

                    Do you deliberately filter the bits in my post to suit your bad moods, or is it just a warped perception?

                    I wrote…

                    “Of course look after the children. Feed them, clothe them, don’t deny them opportunity and make sure they don’t fall through the gaps for lack of a decent welfare/social security system, ”

                    “Again, it doesn’t mean children of beneficiaries should be denied,”

                    “Adjusting benefits and conditions are the way to go to improve those kids outcomes”

                    Seriously, if you’re going to put words in my mouth, then I urge you to do better, much better. :smirk:

                    • bad12

                      Yes exactly what you said, the implication inherent in your comment is of course that beneficiaries are all lazy bludgers who sit around sucking on the welfare tit for year after year after year,

                      So much so that you think they need ‘incentives’ to get a job while you blithely ignore the fact that there are not enough jobs in the economy to employ the beneficiaries with children,

                      The facts tho tell a different story and the majority of beneficiaries are in that status for a relatively short period,

                      Its a bit hard to go into denial of the original comment and it’s intent, but have fun trying…

                    • The Al1en

                      “Yes exactly what you said, the implication inherent in your comment is of course that beneficiaries are all lazy bludgers who sit around sucking on the welfare tit for year after year after year”

                      That’s an outrageous and obnoxious interpretation, not to mention an outright lie.
                      Shame on you for having to make up a fantasy position to make a point.

                      “So much so that you think they need ‘incentives’ to get a job”

                      I totally dispute the insinuation (as you’ve lied and made it all up), but the incentive of in work tax credits is a fact I can attest to from personal experience as outlined in a thread here a few days ago.

                      “while you blithely ignore the fact that there are not enough jobs in the economy to employ the beneficiaries with children”

                      Again, I’ve done no such thing. You are now intertwining lies to reinforce the dodgy ground you inhabit. Stop it and think for a moment.
                      Your issue is wff should be paid to beneficiaries and until that happens, you won’t vote Labour. My contest is that it should not, as it’s a dog of a policy that’s cost one election already, and that there are better ways to improve the outcomes of dole households with children than to alienate a percentage of voters by giving them something for free which a great policy, by name and nature, requires others to work for. Your vote wasted at mana is a sacrifice Labour has to make to maintain political credibility in order to form a government. You may not like it, but there it is.
                      Now before you make up more lies and say that’s my position based on jealousy and resentment, it is not. I’m just saying it like Michie did over the gay pm that never was.
                      So suck it up and/or gtfo with the lying.

                      “The facts tho tell a different story and the majority of beneficiaries are in that status for a relatively short period,”

                      Great. I hope they enjoy spending the wff cash when they get it and realise what a valuable asset it is for working families.

                      “Its a bit hard to go into denial of the original comment and it’s intent, but have fun trying…”

                      You should know I don’t do denial, but then you’d have to actually read one of my posts instead of imagining your own version. 😉 😆

                    • bad12

                      Yawn, you know as well as the rest of us do that WFF was cynically devised as an ‘in work tax credit’ instead of a benefit along the lines of an inclusive ‘family benefit’ to simply deny beneficiary children such income,

                      Beneficiaries have never needed an ‘incentive’ to seek or get work, the turnover in the roll of those receiving benefits even befor the WFF ‘incentive’ was introduced provides the proof of this,

                      The point being that to a large extent the numbers of beneficiaries stay relatively the same which provides the proof that there are not enough jobs in the economy,

                      But carry on with your little insinuation that beneficiaries need an incentive which discriminates against their children, it is along with the rest of your comment where you deride offering such payment to the children of beneficiaries as ‘something for free’ simply a matter of as the song says, ”your true colours shining through”,

                      Lolz, the Mana Party might be considered by you as a wasted vote but like your stated attitudes toward WFF for beneficiary children it shows your ‘true colours’ to be some form of Neanderthalic ‘grey’ from the FPP era,

                      At the point Labour ‘really’ need the Mana Party to form a Government they would fall all over themselves to remodel WFF into a more universal child benefit and State Housing would suddenly become ‘in favor’ again with that Party,

                      The political credibility you speak of would then be a joy to watch, and i would be highly amused as to why you think WFF cost Labour an election, please gladden my day by expanding upon that little theory…

                    • The Al1en

                      No offence, but you reason like a dimwit. I’ve clearly shown you’re lying, yet you continue with the same themes down the same track, just with fresh insults and an invigorated shuffle. There simply is no way to combat that using informed opinion and sound technique 😉
                      Out of genuine compassion, I don’t really want to insult you, so I’ll just say your comments and ‘style’ let you down much more than they ever pull me groundward.

                      “like your stated attitudes toward WFF for beneficiary children it shows your ‘true colours’ to be some form of Neanderthalic ‘grey’ from the FPP era,”

                      Ignoring your insinuation as nothing but the largesse of a very disturbed and angry man, again, you’re wrong, again.
                      It says you don’t really understand that a retarded policy in the eyes of vast swathes of the electorate = certain defeat for Labour in 2014.

                      I’m still not surprised at your lack of perception 😉

                    • bad12

                      Yes of course all ‘Wing-nuts’ when called to account on matters of fact slide into the realm of petty low brow abuse as a retort which is the sum total of your latest comment, ( the question i would insert here is do your knuckles scrape as you perambulate),

                      i suspect that you are in fact such a ‘over-coat changer’ that you took the WFF payments and then returned the favor by voting National in 2011 so as to ensure you would also get the tax cuts being offered, you reek of it,

                      Please tho, i am deeply interested, on the humorous level as to why you ‘think*’ WFF cost the Labour Party an election already,

                      Please expand upon this theory for my and other readers enlightenment,(or at the least a jolly good laugh at you),

                      *’Think’ i suspect in your case is akin to a pig going oink, nothing much really occurs above the natural level of a knee-jerk…

                    • The Al1en

                      “i suspect that you are in fact such a ‘over-coat changer’ that you took the WFF payments and then returned the favor by voting National in 2011 so as to ensure you would also get the tax cuts being offered, you reek of it,”

                      Nope, I’m as red and green as my logos eyes.
                      Not buying into idiot policy does not change that at all.

                      “Please tho, i am deeply interested, on the humorous level as to why you ‘think*’ WFF cost the Labour Party an election already,”

                      Already been explained, and touched upon twice now. Reread, or don’t, it’s your call. 😉

                      “Please expand upon this theory for my and other readers enlightenment,(or at the least a jolly good laugh at you),

                      *’Think’ i suspect in your case is akin to a pig going oink, nothing much really occurs above the natural level of a knee-jerk…”

                      Ahem :chortle:

                      “Yes of course all ‘Wing-nuts’ when called to account on matters of fact slide into the realm of petty low brow abuse as a retort which is the sum total of your latest comment, ( the question i would insert here is do your knuckles scrape as you perambulate),”

                      At least the irony lets us part on a lol moment.
                      But sadly at you, not with you 😆 🙄 😆

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      “put words in my mouth”; is that an open invitation…
                      (liked all those knobbly bits to Twiddle, Mr.)

                    • The Al1en

                      ” “put words in my mouth”; is that an open invitation…”

                      Are you saying I need the services of a lyricist or a better vocoder than the one I ended up buying? http://www.tubeohm.com/TubeOhm/VOCODER.html
                      You may be right about the former, but AL1 says “Does not compute” 😆

                      “(liked all those knobbly bits to Twiddle, Mr.) ”

                      Glad you like her, she’s a beaut alright, and with the coming update it’ll be like she’s shaved her legs.

            • QoT

              WFF is “not the vehicle” only because it was specifically designed as a subsidy to shitty employers and a bribe to the middle classes. It’s like saying a submarine “isn’t the vehicle” to cross the Sahara in.

              • The Al1en

                I also see it as a way to boost incomes for struggling families, though you are correct about it being a subsidy for low wage paying employers in a low wage economy.
                Still, I thank HC for it’s introduction, like many working families do.

                “It’s like saying a submarine “isn’t the vehicle” to cross the Sahara in.”

                😆 It’s what it is, but is still electoral hari kari and I think Labour are wise enough to know this now.

                • QoT

                  It was only electoral seppuku because they had no strategy around it. You can’t invest significant branding and legal costs into making something specifically anti-beneficiary and then turn on a dime and say “oh okay now it’s about beneficiaries”.

                  This is my eternal bugbear with Josie Pagani, who insisted that the “extending WFF to beneficiaries” policy was unpopular – because, to her, people hate beneficiaries getting handouts, not because giving it a paradoxical name was a bad idea.

                  It’s like campaigning on a policy of “we’re going to extend the Bacon Subsidy For Meat Lovers to cover tofu” and acting surprised when people think this is a contradiction.

  15. Sable 15

    BTW your comment editor does not appear to be working properly.

    • lprent 15.1

      Minification of the scripts is the usual reason. But doesn’t appear to be the case here.

      I think it is a case of an update of the colorbox by another plugin. That what is being used as the popup.

      Weekend job.

  16. Tracey 16

    cgt is on second properties right, not the family home? does cgt of this type mean that landlords will sit longer on their properties rather than selling them? is there research on the impact this has on rental affordability?

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      CGT does need to be on family homes as well.

      A heavy CGT will encourage those investors focussed on providing properties which are good for long term rentals, as opposed to those in the market only to flip the property non for a capital gain.

  17. bad12 17

    i will say nothing about empty rhetoric which skates around all the issues without offering a specific policy on any of them,

    Good on David Cunliffe for winning the leadership of the middle class social democratic Labour Party, but, what exactly is David promising to actually DO,

    i eagerly await the specifics, any specifics, befor voting day would be a big plus…

    • Lefty 17.1

      Exactly Bad 12.

      In the meantime the job of the left activist is to continue trying to organise the maximum disruption of capitalism at every opportunity. This is the only way a possible future social democrat government will be pushed into making meaningful concessions to the poor (I’m not just talking about the small percentage who still belong to unions) on behalf of their masters.

  18. One Anonymous Knucklehead 18

    If The Standard is to become a place where Kiwis discuss things with the PM, and you take a long term view, it would be a real shame if the next right wing PM (in 2040, say) didn’t feel welcome here.

    If the quality of political discourse is to change the Right have to be part of the equation.

    I’ve suggested right wing guest posts before. I’m sure Dr. Mapp, for example, would be a prime candidate.

    • Rhinocrates 18.1

      If the quality of political discourse is to change the Right have to be part of the equation.

      What’s is this “quality” of which you speak? 🙂

      Dr. Mapp,

      Bah! They’ve all bought into the myth of “media management”. They don’t have principles, they have a “brand” (ideologies are so passé, don’t you know?).

      Considering that they have made it their strategy not to engage in any forum where they don’t have total control (always unavailable for interviews in real media, instead appearing on talk radio and photo ops), I doubt that that will happen. Even that moron Hoots seems to have realised that he can’t easily present his spin as “unbiased reason” any more. I guess that that makes him incrementally smarter than the average Nat (which isn’t saying much – to paraphrase Wells, in the country of the imbeciles the moron is king), but their stubborn ignorance may well be their undoing of course…

    • Rhinocrates 18.2

      There are some of the right whom I respect. Simon Upton unfortunately seems to be invisible these past years, but Craig Ranapia has always been astute and cuttingly perceptive. I’d like to see him or someone like him contribute. I’m sure that what they would say would challenging and valuable.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 18.2.1

        “…challenging and valuable” – exactly. I agree with your general assessment of the likes of Hollow Man Hooten and others like him who are part of the problem: theirs, for want of a better phrase, is the Tea Party way, but the Tea Party is not the whole story of the Republicans any more than the Hollow Men are the whole story of the National Party.

      • risildowgtn 18.2.2

        Upton now lives in France and has done since he bailed NZ


      • Rogue Trooper 18.2.3

        and Michael Woodhouse… “It has been said that those who maintain life well do not meet rhinos or tigers on land…” :50

  19. Tracey 19


    plus 1

  20. Hi Standardistas Thanks for your comments. I know actions will count for more than words. We are planning on that. We can’t promise everything but we will delive what we promise.

    In respect of CGT, CV (should I call it CVT?) it won’t cover the family home as these are the main assets of many battlers and in any case the politics of doing otherwise are horrible.

    Let the debate rage on…

    • Clement Pinto 20.1

      If you don’t include CGT for the family home for political expediency, how about bringing in an inheritance tax to even up the economic and social playing field and to help bridge the ever widening wealth gap somewhat?

    • bad12 20.2

      Excellent Mr Cunliffe, debating the pro’s and con’s of proposed policy, (everyones), is what makes the Standard a great read,

      i and i presume a lot of others here would be well pleased if you had the time to put up the odd Post on any issue that you have a mind to, tis a great place to have any idea prodded,poked, and measured…

    • karol 20.3

      Thanks, David, for taking the time to drop by and respond, especially as you seem pretty busy right now.

      Many of us Standardistas do love to debate….

    • Rogue Trooper 20.4

      Thank You, David.

    • Rhinocrates 20.5

      Again, thank you. I was infuriated by Shearer’s arrogance towards blogs and the precariat and his ignorance of new media. Labour needs to see how the world is now, how the media works now, not how some people think that it “should” be.

    • The Chairman 20.6

      The unintended consequences of a CGT and continuing on with an ETS

      In areas where property prices are skyrocketing, the high market demand and housing shortfall will allow vendors to pass the fiscal burden on.

      Resulting in further increasing the cost of housing in those high cost areas, locking more first home buyers out.

      Furthermore, property investors largely invest in property because they distrust the share market and banks are more willing to finance their investments, hence a small tax hit won’t discourage investors if there is still money to be made.

      Therefore, a capital gains tax will largely fail to curb property speculation.

      You state there hasn’t been sufficient re-regulation of global financial markets and talk of the problems of speculation in the Kiwi dollar, yet favour a workable ETS?

      An ETS is volatile and open to market speculation. A carbon tax is not

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 20.6.1

        +1 For the ETS comment

        Yes to carbon tax
        NO! to ETS

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 20.6.2

        Yes to a carbon tax. The burden of AGW will fall mostly on those with the least resources and the government must be there for them.

        Do CGTs reduce property speculation in those countries that have them? Do they lead to a rebalancing of investment priorities when they are introduced? Do they allow governments more flexibility in their approach to taxation?

        David Cunliffe has said that a CGT might lead to a reduction in GST, for example.

        • The Chairman

          Regardless the nation, input costs, wherever possible, are passed on.

          While comparisons with other nations can be helpful, to form the best assessment one has to ensure related prevailing variables exist in both.

          For example, does the nation or areas in comparison also have a housing shortage coupled with strong demand and soaring prices?

          In short, an environment encouraging investment and allowing costs to be passed on., effectively making tax incentives (to re-balance) redundant.

          Do the investors being compared with also have a large distrust in the share market, limiting alternative investment opportunity and discouraging re-balancing?

          Do the nations in comparison also suffer a small share market with a lackluster of share offerings?

          While a new tax will broaden a Government’s revenue stream, one has to weigh the negatives costs and unintended consequences of implementation.

          Lets hope David reconsiders.

          • Colonial Viper

            Most people will not be able to afford diesel and petrol within 15 or so years. What do you suggest we do?

      • Murray Olsen 20.6.3

        A CGT on properties which was spent on state housing could take a lot of heat out of the housing prices. A CGT spent on private prisons wouldn’t. I think it’s the way the revenue is spent that’s important. It could also be used to cut, and eventually abolish, GST.

        • Colonial Viper

          Death tax mate. Also double the GST on rates. And lets get used to the Government spending new NZD into the economy.

        • The Chairman

          Tax is not the only way Government can generate a return. Hope you’re also still reading, David.

          Yes, not only will further Government participation in the market (in this case lower cost housing) help alleviate the current housing shortage, but will also allow Government to broaden its revenue stream and generate a return., which could also possibly be used to offset a lowering of GST.

          However, while Labour have announced they plan to build a number of low cost homes, this and the related effect on property prices will take some time to flow through and impact on current market trends .

          Meanwhile, the negative unintended consequences of a CGT will impact on the market, further driving up prices in areas of short supply and strong demand, locking more first home buyers out.

          Indeed, Government expenditure is totally relevant and should not be overlooked, but nor should the negative unintended consequences of tax changes.


    • Colonial Viper 20.7

      In respect of CGT, CV (should I call it CVT?) it won’t cover the family home as these are the main assets of many battlers and in any case the politics of doing otherwise are horrible.

      😀 Ah yes, that political capital is likely better spent elsewhere…

  21. Anne 21

    I also say thank-you to David. A Labour Party leader who actually takes time to read and respond to our comments!

  22. Arfamo 22

    Christ what a difference it makes to just have a Labour leader who’s capable of articulating a collection of sentences.

  23. Rhinocrates 23


    Goff said he’d like to pork Liz Hurley, just like Key, only he’d do his wife first (so that makes him a Sensitive New Age Guy and not at all sexist). Beltway Grant said he was the new generation because he was born in the 70s (and stayed there)… and for no other reason than that – and succeeded in failing. Jones drank a pint of Old Spice and waved his willy about. Mumblefuck said that blogs are rubbish and no-one reads them and attacked beneficiaries and teachers when trying to score a few Grey Power votes and still blames his failure on everyone else.

    Instead of dismissing an electorate that doesn’t kiss his arse to his satisfaction, David Cunliffe engages.

    Finally a Labour leader that might be relevant?

    I might not even have to cross my fingers.

  24. xtasy 24

    And EXCELLENT post by Karol, I must call this here!!! It is exactly raising the questions I ask also. And thank you, despite of remaining questions, for David to drop in and leave comment.

    There are a fair few of us who have been “through the mill” so to say, and I mean damned WINZ for that!

    I have a friend who went through hell with them and a “designated doctor”, he was close to take his own life after that “hatchet doctor” made his recommendation to WINZ, who of course chose him to deliver exactly what he did. We have WINZ and MSD select the doctors they refer sick and disabled to if there are “questions” about their health conditions. Usually you would think the own doctor (“host doctor”) knows best, but WINZ do not like that, as they rather get people off their benefits, to save money.

    Hence the “designated doctor” scheme, which really is an “evil” scheme, when you look at it closely.

    Now my friend complained about a “designated doctor” who clearly (it is all documented) made an appalingly biased and wrong decision. It was though the decision WINZ wanted, and so he was about to be thrown off his benefit. He complained and even took it to the High Court, and strangely, maybe not so, suddenly MSD came with “settlement negotiations”. So that went on for damned 10 months, and after that they agreed to leave him on the benefit he got before, including a back pay.

    He realised the doctor they used breached the Code of Ethics and other laws, so made a complaint to HDC. That went very wrong, and an initial decision, as the more recent one (by their “legal” department) basically told him to get “stuffed”. Yes, that is real, he was told that they will not bother to further investigate, and this means the HDC Office is covering up the illegal practices of “hatchet doctors”, which WINZ doctors, same as some ACC assessors plainly are.

    Now the whole shit is hitting the fans, and something will be made public soon, and the rotten doctor will be exposed! We have 290 doctors volunteering to work for WINZ and do questionable assessments, and many of them are very dodgy! WINZ prefer certain ones, and the one in question is probably the main hatchet doctor in Auckland, as so much anecdotal information at hand tells us.

    We are going to deal to this, and it is time to name and shame!

    For David Cunliffe to shy away from this scandalous shit that is going on within WINZ and MSD, especially now after the appalling welfare reforms, is close to being a scandal, that is in my eyes at least!

    • big bruv 24.1

      Appalling welfare reforms?

      You mean making people at least look for work?
      You mean removing the benefit from those who are ripping off the system?

      Anybody who thinks they can have a free ride is a parasite, anybody who thinks that they have unfettered access to my money (that I work long and hard for) can think again. I applaud the actions of this government, one can only hope that next year they go even further.

      Removing the right to vote from those on the dole or the DPB would be a great next move, there is no way that we should allow bludgers to have say in how other peoples hard earned money is spent.

      • karol 24.1.1

        Auditioning for a part in Christmas Carol?

        So much humanity in one comment.

        Do you really think everyone gets paid for the amount of work they do? Especially when they work makes a contribution to society?

        Do you really think all paid jobs make a positive contribution to society in keeping with the amount of money they get paid?

        Do you really think you could be paid for work without taxes paying for the infrastructure within which a workplace operates?

        It’s not your money til the taxes are taken out of it to contribute to the general good (services, structure, etc) that enables us all to exist.

        So many misunderstandings in one BB comment.

        • big bruv


          You know full well I am not talking about those people who work. I am talking about the parasites. The same parasites that the left think are deserving of more of my money for doing nothing more than voting for the left wing parties and sitting on their backsides all day.

          Do I think that all paid jobs make a positive contribution to society….yes, those who work are at least playing their part in contributing to a positive society if for no other reason than they send a positive message to their kids.

          Do I think that I could work and pay no taxes?…no, of course not. However I despise my money going to bludgers, DPB breeders and parasites who have no intention of ever working.

          Oh..and Karol, it is my money, I earn it and the government steals it from me every two weeks.

          Why is it that you lot think I should pay more money in tax so others can lay about doing nothing?

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

            That diatribe reminds me of something a role for Jack Nicholson would spit out between clenched teeth.

            Lighten up big bruv, clearly when we get a decent political party in that places a priority on 100% employment (rather than interest rates or inflation) all people will have the opportunity to ‘make a positive contribution’ and feel part of society, then they will be happy and so will you..

            Perhaps you should vote for Labour, I believe aiming at full employment was what Mr Cunliffe was speaking on, just prior to getting voted in with overwhelming numbers by those that represent the workers of this country.

            [lprent: I was just about to dump that diatribe when you answered it. see http://thestandard.org.nz/beyond-msm-bet/#comment-699848 ]

          • karol

            For the record, some people make a far more positive society by things they do that don’t earn money, compared with some paid jobs.

            Some paid jobs contribute to the ill health of people, who end up needing the services of our health services.

            Fibnancial speculators can ruin our economy.

            Meanwhile, a parent bringing up their child, someone doing voluntary community work can make a far more positive contribution to the social well being.

            Tax is not your money. Your comments are all ME, ME, ME, MINE, MINE, MINE. No person is an island. Tax goes towards the education, development, transport systems, health systems, etc, and other infrastructure that enables workplaces to function.

            Some people get paid far more than their work efforts are worth, others far less.

            The numbers of people able and unwilling to work in paid employment are few. And some of the biggest bludgers earn high wages. The more people on low income, the worse for the functioning of the whole society.

            • srylands

              “The numbers of people able and unwilling to work in paid employment are few.”

              Yes that is technically correct but the problem is that too unemployed are un”able” to work. They do not have the skills and attitudes to function in a modern economy.

              What work in a modern economy is a cannabis dependent unskilled 25 year old going to do? Or a 19 year old DPB recipient with two kids to two absent fathers. She does not have NCEA L2 and has no skills worth worrying the interview panel.

              With these people the line between unable and unwilling to work becomes blurred. Unless the incoming government is going to achieve 100% “employment” with fake jobs funded by other taxpayers you can forget about employment for the teenage mums and drug addled drop outs. But we can teach their kids to do better.

              A priority is fixing education, and especially early childhood education. Focus on the needy kids in South Auckland. Not wealthy rent seekers in Oriental Bay. That way even if the current generation is lost, in 20 years things will get better.

              • xtasy

                “What work in a modern economy is a cannabis dependent unskilled 25 year old going to do? Or a 19 year old DPB recipient with two kids to two absent fathers. She does not have NCEA L2 and has no skills worth worrying the interview panel.”

                Hey Srylands, are you working for Melissa Lee by any chance?

                How many, or rather few, fall into those categories?

                And what is wrong with trying to train and upskill people, which of course will in those cases be financed by taxes? Or do you share the view of BB that your money is YOUR money, prior to taxes, so that the government should bugger off and leave it all in your pockets?

                Somewhere some compromises are necessary, and even under Labour, believe it or not, there was a lot of pressure put on people on benefits before 2008. It is hardly about “lifestyle choices”, as some right wing jerks here try to tell us.

                I know Melissa Lee by the way, and she has “changed” a lot, from the once upon a time Central Leader reporter that she was, she has changed much to the worse, and is mostly all about herself these days!

      • bad12 24.1.2

        Yes BB, you will of course just luuuurve Paula and Bill from Diptons ‘new’ policy on fridges and washing machines then,

        Lolz this might give your heart cause to stop, but that’s a small price i am willing to pay to keep you informed of ‘your’ Government’s largesse with YOUR money,

        No more of the old Labour Government scheme where the Bene’s could buy a 2nd hand fridge or washing machine in a one stop shop process at their local WINZ office,

        Nothing is too good for Paula and Bill from Dipton’s boys and girls, all beneficiaries will now be entitled to do that one stop shop for the fridge and washing machine at the local WINZ office and ALL the fridges and washing machines will be brand spanking NEW,

        Guess what Big Bruv, take a real big suck on the oxygen coz that’s your National Party’s new policy and YOU are f**King paying for it whether you like it or not…

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 24.1.3

        The tiny hate-filled minority reveals his character again. It’s good that low-life trash like Bruv are here to show us what the National Party is.

        • big bruv

          The tiny hate filled minority are here already. Just open your eyes and read some of the poisonous contributions from the long standing members of the left.

          [lprent: I thought you were talking about yourself. Banned for 12 weeks for trolling because that is how many comments of that type I can see on this page of your recent comments. As far as I can see *all* of your comments today have been that type. Assertions without substantiation and not explaining why your sick wee fantasies are worth considering.

          You’ll be back in time for xmas. ]

          • xtasy

            Good riddance lprent! I have rarely read so much hatred coming from one commenter, and I am no angel, I admit.

      • Pascal's bookie 24.1.4

        hey bruv, any idea why all ‘your’ money has a picture of the Queen on it?

      • xtasy 24.1.5

        Bla Bla BB, “Arbeit macht Frei”, that is your preference, I am sure. In English it means “work sets you free”, and it was put up as a sign above the entrance to Auschwitz concentration camp in Nazi Germany and occupied Poland.

        We are not quite there yet, but WINZ and Bennett are working overtime to invent the next nasty policies, putting even more pressure on sick and disabled, to “usher” them into supposedly “suitable” work on the open job market.

        But in your eyes all sick and disabled must be nothing else but “bludgers” that are “ripping off” the system, right?


        Sadly there is too much of an underlying tendency amongst some in this country, to embrace modern day fascism. I cannot rule you out from that, given your kinds of comments here.

  25. big bruv 25

    Look like somebody might have been padding out their CV.


    Is “refresh” a euphemism for telling lies?

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 25.1

      Nope. That’s more like when you steal a dead baby’s passport.

    • bad12 25.2

      big bruv, is your current sniveling bullshit a euphemism for ‘will the mods please ban me’…

    • karol 25.3

      Ah. I’d be hard pressed to find anyone who can remember me at a couple of jobs I did in my late teens and 20s – even early 30s. But they are on my CV, and I did do them.

      What’s in community service? Some things are notice, some good contributions go un-recorded. I do hear one or two stories from people around New Lynn of little acts of services to the community done by DC in the past, that are not on his CV. Acts appreciated by the person/people who do remember them.

      • Colonial Viper 25.3.1

        Can someone from the MSM please check what John Key was actually doing during the Springbok tour?

    • Ramsay 25.4

      Crud! There’s no sense in pretending this doesn’t have the potential to damage Labour. This is how it started with Gilmore.

      Of course, Cunliffe is no Gilmore but this kind of things allows the media narrative about David being egotistical to harden.

      David, I love you man, but instead of chiming in here can you focus on the MSM?

      • Colonial Viper 25.4.1

        Gawd you’re a useless MSM lovefester.

        • Ramsay

          Whatever, man. I don’t ‘love’ the MSM but I do respect their power to shape voter perceptions. If it wasn’t for the MSM focus on the teapot tapes last election is there any doubt there would be a National majority in the house?

          • Rhinocrates

            You should acknowledge the power of the MSM, but not respect it. The last Labour “leaders” (I use the term loosely), ran in fear of it and the party suffered accordingly. That power is not infinite and it can and must be challenged. Mumblefuck said the polls and blogs were “rubbish” and failed, but David Cunliffe knows that he must engage because he knows he must and that it might work.

            Platitude alert! The path of least resistance always leads downwards.

            Save string.

            A stitch in time saves nine.

            Look before you count your chickens.

    • joe90 25.5

      Over at the sewer Adolf calls this for what it is.

      I’m no friend of Labour but this story is a disgraceful beat up.

      “His curriculum vitae said he was a union delegate for three years, between 1987 and 1990, and co-convener for a year. The PSA’s electronic records do not go back that far, and the union could not produce anyone who remembered his activities.”

      Such is the evidence which Stalin used against his enemies.

    • Chooky 25.6

      @ big bruv…… this is servious INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM!?……WOW….He did not update his cv…..?!

      …..Boy are you getting scared ! Eh?

      (If you looked at my outdated cv…..most people wouldnt remember me or what I belonged to or what I was active in at the time….derrrh…)

      It is what Cunliffe is and does at the moment that counts

      • amirite 25.6.1

        Because it’s easier to go through some old irrelevant CVs than for instance, investigate all of John Key’s lies and shady business deals.
        They’ll rather be his arse lickers and write about what he’ll wear at the queen’s dinner.
        The MSM in this country are pathetic, sycophantic sell-outs.

    • QoT 25.7

      Oh for fuck’s sake.

      Manager Jill Hilston said she has worked there 18 years and could not recall him. Cunliffe’s spokesman said he gave budgetary advice in 1987 and 1989, some 10 years before he entered politics as the MP for Titirangi.

      It’s 2013. 2013 minus 18 years takes us to 1995, six years after the time Cunliffe’s spokesperson said he volunteered there. So what fucking relevance Jill Hilston’s comment has to Cunliffe’s statement is beyond me.

      Not to mention the added problems of (a) volunteering not always being the best-recorded work and (b) pre-internet history being a lot harder to find even if you don’t have (c) poor/inconsistent record keeping of such things.

    • Colonial Viper 26.1

      Wow, you righties are really reaching desperately now.

    • felix 26.2

      If you righties ever want to get any traction you need to stop obsessing over Cunliffe.

      It’ll do your cause no good and it only makes you look petty to the electorate.

      • Colonial Viper 26.2.1

        I suppose they could start praising the grand vision and promise of Key, English and Brownlee…

      • swan 26.2.2

        I this advice based on the experience of your multi-year Key obsession?

        I certainly dont care about Cunliffe, but it appears you guys do.

        • Colonial Viper

          lol yeah that must be it, National has no preference as to whether they are up against Shearer or up against Cunliffe.

        • felix

          Wouldn’t have expected that to go quite so completely over your head, swan.

          But yes you’re right. I’m obsessed with Key, that’s why I spend my Saturdays on right-wing blogs posting links to articles about him.

          or something.

    • QoT 26.3

      I love how Farrar pretends to be a neutral media commentator. “Oh, this story will keep going on, the media will keep pushing it” – as though he himself won’t be a key factor in ensuring it doesn’t go away.

      Also loving how he’s being decried as a “fake” and an Aaron Gilmore over a few community service items on his CV. If there are lies, by all means, let’s expose them. But let’s not pretend that being unclear on a few details of volunteer work from 20 years ago magically erases his proven work experience and service since becoming an MP.

      • billbrowne 26.3.1

        Well it seems they spent who knows how much energy talking to pretty much anyone who had ever had anything to do with DC since he was 7 and this is all they came up with.

        I’d like to think I could stand up to that type of scrutiny without having to leave the country – but I couldn’t.

        • Clement Pinto

          What intrigued me is that these ‘journalists’ did not interview or give a chance for Mr Cunliffe himself to confirm, deny or clarify the issues.

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

            Is it my imagination or are the media going from bad to worse?

            p.s Clemento, thanks for your feedback on the other thread conversation we were having of a few days ago. I think that the assumptions I was making may have been incorrect, or in the very least I didn’t express myself clearly! And never got back to you on that, so mention it here.

            • Clement Pinto

              No worries mate. It is always good to debate and express different points of view rather than be blindly loyal, obstinately deaf and diabolically dumb. The price of freedom and democracy is eternal vigilance. Cheers!

          • Rhinocrates

            Of course not – that would involve doing work. To be fair, the pressures on journalists these days are such that they have to get “stories” out, not truth. “Scandal!” is an easier story than, “Well, that’s what someone says, but now let me explain…” The former fits in a soundbite, the second doesn’t.

  26. captain hook 27

    So doncoyote is busy sucking up to royalty to ensure his knighthood but its more like fiddling while Rome burns.
    the real question is who is getting the payoff from the sale of meridian.
    3 guesses!

    • swan 27.1

      The Crown.

      • Colonial Viper 27.1.1

        Goldman Sachs.

        • Rhinocrates

          It would have been Merrill Lynch, but they’re not around any more, oddly. Still, there’s that knighthood and the directorship of some corporation or other. Sir John Key, CEO of Whatevercorp has a ring to it.

          You know, I read in Wikipedia, the actor Corbin Bernsen has the world’s largest collection of snow globes!

          Money/knighthood/snow globes are so important!

  27. Poem 28

    Another awesome thoroughly well written article from karol… many +1’s

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