Campbell: Reasons Why We Can’t Afford Another National Government

Written By: - Date published: 8:27 am, September 11th, 2014 - 51 comments
Categories: election 2014, national - Tags: , ,

Gordon Campbell posted an excellent piece yesterday on 19 Reasons Why We Can’t Afford Another National Government. The “headline” of each reason is below, go read the full article for the well argued support that Campbell supplies in each case:

1. The Key government is planning to reduce the extent and quality of public services.
2. Despite the existing levels of child poverty. Working For Families has been cut by stealth.
3. National’s decision to stop payments into the Cullen Superannuation Fund has been idiotic.
4. National has failed to acknowledge, let alone resolve the housing crisis.
5. The government has violated privacy and increased the powers of the surveillance state.
6. Beyond the Christchurch rebuild, there’s not much going on in the way of net job creation.
7. After six years of this government, New Zealanders are barely keeping their heads above water.
8. Our sovereignty in foreign policy and trade has been diminished.
9. No discernible plan exists for growing the economy in partnership with the private sector.
10. The Key government sold down stakes in our highly performing assets – power companies and Air New Zealand – for no good social or economic reasons.
11. Our export economy is still dangerously dependent on dairy products and raw logs.
12. The Key government has presided over persistently high levels of unmet, unmeasured need in our health system.
13. A slim Budget surplus has been achieved by real cuts in health and education. This will get worse.
14. Child poverty is being virtually ignored.
15. The Ultra Fast Broadband rollout is too little, too slow, and is self-defeating.
16. The Key government has lowered the standards of ethical governance, and accountability.
17. The state’s coercive treatment of beneficiaries will pick up pace.
18. The government is failing to fund the gathering of essential information.
19. National and its crackpot allies in the Act Party still believe cutting taxes is a path to growth.

A compelling summary, but it isn’t complete. I’m sure that Standardistas can add to the list…

51 comments on “Campbell: Reasons Why We Can’t Afford Another National Government”

  1. Cameron Slater
    GCSB
    TPP
    JK acting like a fool on world stage
    Christchurch
    Public Transport
    Cost-cutting/deregulation (leading to Pike River, Rena, forestry deaths, leaky homes)
    Closing schools
    Closing Dunedin railway workshop
    Closing Dunedin science institute
    Not fixing rail to Gisborne
    Spend up on roads, ignoring cost benefit

  2. Culture of bullying in public service
    Police pressured to lie about crime stats
    “Bull” English record overseas debt

    Charter schools
    “National” Standards
    “Expert” teachers helicoptered in to lower performing schools
    Teacher performance pay by stealth (violation of collective contract, undermining teachers union)
    Novopay
    A series of useless education ministers
    Ministry of Ed. working against schools, lack of engagement with community

    National hates teachers…

    • Pacman 2.1

      Why does change mean that National hates Teachers ?
      The current education system does a good job of educating most students but struggles to lift under performing students and extend truly gifted students. We can not continue to keep doing the same things and expecting that parts of society will suddenly start succeeding. National should be commended for trying something new. (regardless if it ultimately works)

      Simple registration of teachers has not solved these issues (nor has it protected kids from pedophiles either) so suggesting Charters schools are bad simply because they do not have registered teachers is in my view a failed argument. It is the quality of the teachers that is key.

      Numerous studies have shown that the quality of teachers is the single biggest influence on the success of education. The teachers unions have fought any efforts to improve the overall quality of teachers. Most teachers are good at what they do but as a group, are brought down by their refusal to deal with the small numbers of duds within their ranks. Everyone no matter what job they do, how long they have been at it and how good they are, can benefit from training and constructive criticism so why is the suggestion of Expert teachers (chosen from within the profession) not a good idea ?

      It should be noted that the Nova pay system was signed off by the Labour Government and was fundamentally flawed from the outset. The chosen system required changes to the core code – normally a no no in system selection. This left National trying to make a silk purse from a sows ear, as the saying goes.

      Instead of resisting all change (good and bad) the Teachers unions need to come alongside the government and suggest and promote new ideas.

      • Rob 2.1.1

        Come on, its easier just say that National hates teachers.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2

        Note: the Novopay trainwreck was signed off by the National government. Yes, it was. Stop rewriting history I’m sick of providing free education to wingnuts.

        Household income is the single most important factor in determining education outcomes. Yes it is, don’t make me rub your face in Hattie’s acknowledgement of this. Or don’t you know where your citations are from?

        The National Party doesn’t listen to teachers. They are to education what Ebola is to healthcare.

        Meanwhile, they’ve got you either believing lies or actively spreading them. Which is it? Are you dupe or duplicitous?

        • Pacman 2.1.2.1

          Hello Anonymous Bloke. I would suggest I am nether.

          As I said the Nova Pay contract was signed in 2005 by the then Labour party. National continued forward with the system because the old DataComm system was at end of life and left them will little choice. The underlying issue was the poor choice of system in the first place. Simply repeating a statement does not change it into fact.

          What does “They are to education what Ebola is to healthcare.” actually mean ? Throwing about such comments does not aid you argument. Ebola would not effect the Health System, rather it would effect the patients. This would seem to confirm my view of may education commentators, more worried about the system than the pupils within it – the very reason it exists.

          National, I think may have given up listening to teachers as they have shown themselves as a group to resist all change no matter what it is over many many years..

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2.1.1

            No, you said it was “signed off” by Labour – another attempt to rewrite history. National in fact went live with a buggy product even after Talent2 sent them a list of unresolved problems. National were under no obligation to do so, your attempt to blame Labour fails.

            Their agenda for our education system is not driven by pedagogy; it is driven by what looks like ideology and is in fact greed: more public money being siphoned off by corporate interests treating education as a commodity.

            Teachers were quite happy with the improvements to the national curriculum, which was developed and implemented with input from all stakeholders. So much for your lies about their resistance to change.

            Still, your parroting of these tired right wing lies answers one question: it’s duplicity, not ignorance. New Zealand has had a gutsful of you ratfuckers. There’s nowhere for you to hide.

          • framu 2.1.2.1.2

            “I would suggest I am nether.”

            then why are you

            a) making basic mistakes with historical fact?

            b) repeating some very tired arguments that have gone round the block and found wanting several times already?

            c) utterly ignorant of the historical and known attitude that the nats have towards unions and teachers (you know – one of the biggest unionised work forces remaining)?

            and

            d) apparently unaware of global trends re: right wing attempts to make money out of education?

          • McFlock 2.1.2.1.3

            Just to summarise:
            Labour contracted a company to supply a product.
            National chose to go live with an incomplete and broken product.

            The main reason National did this is that they view being a minister (and being a company director) as simply being a big paycheque for rubberstamping shit other people put in front of them. And they blame their subordinates when things go wrong.

            The tories are wrong.

            Being in charge means that you are responsible, so you chack the work your subordinates do. And if they fail, it’s because you failed to give them proper guidance. The buck stops there, at the top. Truman knew it. Labour and Green mps know it. Nats just think they’re entitled to get huge paycheques for running a fickle, fraudulent and frequently-failing fiefdom.

          • Elly van Eel 2.1.2.1.4

            Talent2 was also selected to provide a new payroll system at New Zealand Post.
            The Australian company was awarded the NZ Post contract in 2010 to create a centralised payroll programme to replace the existing regional system. After it went live in 2011, thousands of NZ Post workers were also under-paid or over-paid.

            EPMU national industry organiser Joe Gallagher described the new NZ Post payroll as a ‘dog’ of a system and said: “We had workers overpaid, underpaid, not paid, you name it, we had it. We had instances where people got significantly large amounts and occasions where they were paid minus amounts.” He said he was aware of team leaders “paying for their employees’ groceries and petrol to cover pay problems, while others had faced the possibility of mortgage defaults.” Given NZ Post’s problems with Talent2, Mr Gallagher wondered why the company was awarded another Government contract. In fact, contract negotiations with the Ministry of Education appear to have begun long before the contract with NZ Post was signed – although NZ Post went live first.

            The above is a cut/paste from Wikipedia. So, far from National trying to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear, they had ample time to withdraw from negotiations with Talent2 but chose to ignore the precedent set with NZ Post and in fact re-negotiated the contract a further two times.

      • framu 2.1.3

        “The teachers unions have fought any efforts to improve the overall quality of teachers”

        thats bullshit – utter bullshit

        you cant evaluate a response through the lens of those trying to assert an agenda onto a group that doesnt want a bar of it – thats what you are doing

        what they have resisted is yet another attempt by the right to force them into a competitive, monetised model with zero input from themselves. A model that will weaken outcomes for both the students, teachers and society

        the teachers and their relevant bodies have plenty of ideas and a desire to improve results for all – but they arent being listened to, as usual, by the right

        The quite rightly see the current trend from the nats as being part of the GERM movement which seeks to turn education into a tax payer funded profit stream and weaken the teachers position at the same time

        have you ever heard of G.E.R.M.? – what the nats are doing fits right into their playbook

  3. miravox 3

    Removing voting rights – ECan, prisoners.

  4. Conflicts of interest: Oravida, MediaWorks, who knows what else
    Whanau Ora: billion dollar pork barrel?
    Unaffordable housing
    Farms sold overseas
    50% of waterways full of effluent
    Mining conservation land
    Rakaia river bed sold overseas

    General culture of pillaging

    GST raised to 15% (highly regressive, major broken promise)
    Asset Sales were next
    Helping the “underclass” never happened

  5. westiechick 5

    Nightschool classes – such a fantastic aspect of NZ life. Gone.

    • ropata 5.1

      stronger communities / education are not in the “national” interest
      it’s all about turning people into disengaged zombie consumers of corporate messages

      must not allow critical thinking and honest reporting

      war is peace
      whaleoil is truth

  6. Heather 6

    The list is very full and comprehensive.
    We can not have this National Government returned because we need to hold our head up proudly on the world stage with a leader who has respect, not one who has become a laughing stock and brought New Zealand into disrepute with his involvement in the dirty politics.
    Thinking and respected New Zealanders have been asking questions on this posting for many weeks, they have had no answers, no one has had any answers. The way in which Key has acted about answering important questions about his involvement and some is his cabinet’s involvement in the dirty politics saga is deplorable.
    The whole question of the involved of Rich and her conflict of interest with liquor, tobacco and sugar business must be investigated and she must be removed from the position on the Health Advisory Board.

  7. Tiger Mountain 7

    it is worth reading the full article

  8. weka 8

    “17. The state’s coercive treatment of beneficiaries will pick up pace.”

    In the past week, beneficiaries now have ID checks in order to get into a WINZ office.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 8.1

      Well thats for obvious reasons.

      But I remember the days of Ruth Richardson, when there were no security guards at all, in spite of much bigger numbers.

      • weka 8.1.1

        What obvious reasons?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.2

        Nah Ghost: the lessons of inequality take time to bed in. NZ had only had a few years of it under Shipley.

        That said, wrapping the karma cloak around Tully just trivialises a tragedy.

        • weka 8.1.2.1

          Nine years, started with benefit cuts. So what is different about this time? Bennett is taking it to a whole new level. It’s not just about making sure people don’t have enough to live on, it’s about making a class of people pariahs and then rubbing their noses in it. Tully was inevitable.

          As for ID checks, Tully was known to the office he committed murder in. ID has nothing to do with it. What it does is create another level of stress and distress for beneficiaries and sends a strong message – you are all responsible for this but you still have no power.

          WINZ and the MSD have demonstrated that they can and will act quickly when it comes to the wellbeing of people so long as those people are of the right class (employees).

          • Jeeves Ponzi 8.1.2.1.1

            Hear hear regarding Tully being known- and this governments ( and governments past) obsession with making its own citizens prove themselves again and again.

            My own experience in WINZ was being asked for ID before I was allowed ask a question, being told that my passport was ‘invalid’ as ID because it was out of date.
            Not to mention the positively Stasi-esque Photo ID Driving licenses regime, and the bizarrely ill-conceived Dog micro-chip fiasco.

            My favourite of course is the racial profiling currently going on in the health system where ‘foreigners’ (islanders) are being asked to prove their eligibility to GP’s white middle class 60 year old receptionists- who take it upon themselves to set up de facto immigration border controls all over the country.

            “Make life illegal, and you can control the living”.

  9. Ad 9

    It’s worth reading his article in full.

  10. JanM 10

    I wonder if another three years of these vicious ratbags will be sufficient to wake up the idiots voting for them now? I can’t believe there are so many stupid people in this country!!
    It will, of course, be a bit late by then, we will be a hollowed-out shell. The process will be fascinating to watch, in a gruesome sort of way

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1

      People mistake battles for wars; this war never ends.

    • Lloyd 10.2

      A lot of New Zealanders believed the lies about John Key being a nice bloke and that he was a financial magician and selling assets would keep our economy strong. If they reject John Key now they have to face the fact that they have been taken for fools by that nice John Key. It is often very difficult to admit you have been duped and that your life beliefs are based on false ideology – look at religion.
      Unfortunately a lot of New Zealanders will never accept the facts about the John Key theft-ocracy and it seems likely that not enough will accept the truth before the election.

    • johnm 10.3

      JanM

      Yes, they fall for the Smirking Chimp hook line and sinker, he’s nothing but an asset stripper. The rich get all the assets plus the commonwealth’s wealth base via endless tax cuts and also via spending cuts and privatisation enabling tax cuts social intervention is anathema,the rest sfa!

      ( It’s his smug behaviour and actions that revolt me. As just a social person he’s probably as nice as anyone can be )

  11. shona 11

    This is why I read the Standard, because of the comments I know I am not going mad. Other people can also see what has happened to our beautiful country , a hollowed shell full of disengaged zombie consumers! Exactly!.

  12. emergency mike 12

    “Oh, it looks better beyond the forecast period.”

    John Key

  13. adam 13

    20. The most ideological government this country has ever seen.

  14. the voter 14

    Thank you Gordon for finding the spade now lets dig the hole deeper and throw Natzional in it

  15. Mike 15

    Those points of failure are valid yet the polls show little recognition or fault by the electorate. Is the lack of a strong and plausible left alternative coming forward the reason or has Key’s evangelistic fog shrouded the whole country and the electorate is in a sleep walk? There is no plan to take to the monumental task of growing the economy as successive governments have frittered away opportunities over the years by tinkering at the edges. Now we have to act and both majors offer really nothing to move forward. The blind leading the blind to a large extent. For mine the only one to sit on top of this for now and make sure a start is made is NZ First. Peters is the only one that recognises the problem and the only one with clear policies ( of their own and not copied from others) to move ahead. The problem is most are hung up on angst concerning personalities and the policy thrusts including NZ First’s are basically ignored.

    • ropata 15.1

      Winston, is that you?

      Labour + Green 2014 is the strongest Left coalition in 30 years, hundreds of pages of policy are available if you care to look.

      • alwyn 15.1.1

        I read them. Then I felt sick and started to work to keep the idiots on the left out of office.
        The more people learn about Labour and the Greens the faster their poll numbers fall.

        • ropata 15.1.1.1

          What kind of work are you doing?
          Useful idiot, sock puppet, or dirty political smear merchant?

          Can’t say you’ve achieved much as yet but I’m sure the corporate overlords will reward you

          • alwyn 15.1.1.1.1

            There, there diddums. Getting all excited like this can’t be good for your blood pressure.

            • weka 15.1.1.1.1.1

              🙄

              Funny how the GP numbers keep going up the more exposure they get.

              • alwyn

                The “exposure” the Greens get doesn’t include their dirty tricks does it?
                Did any of the TV channels, or any paper except the Press, cover the Green Party and its identity theft campaign of submissions regarding E-Can?
                They used peoples e-mail addresses, and names to create false submissions.
                Such nice people aren’t they?
                http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10474271/Greens-rebuked-for-email-tactic

                • weka

                  🙄 You are telling lies, alwyn.

                  They made a mistake, which they admitted and corrected. Do you have a problem with that? Or do you prefer politics where people can’t admit mistakes and instead lie to cover up?

                  • alwyn

                    Perhaps you can tell me what are the “lies” I am supposed to be telling?
                    Do you deny that they did it?
                    The only “mistake” they made was thinking that they could get away with it and not realising that it would get back to the people concerned.
                    They should have remembered the traditional advice given to new MPs. Before doing something ask yourself how you will feel if it is on the front page of the Herald tomorrow.
                    The Green Party rely on the fact that the MSM seldom call them to account, as is evident in this case.

  16. feijoa 16

    ALSO
    – they will privatise ACC
    – and WHAT THE HELL was going on with Sky City

  17. bearded git 17

    and few talk about the fact National will gut the RMA. This will have a major adverse effects on our best landscapes. The effect of this is not given enough profile by Labour.

  18. mike s 18

    That’s an excellent article by Gordon, should be compulsory reading at the voting booth!

    This is off topic sorry, but can someone please explain to me the preferred prime minister polls and how they work. John Key is down to 61.6% in the latest one, his second lowest ever but at 61.6% is still miles in front of Cunliffe who has risen to his highest at 17.9%

    My question is that at 61.6%, does that mean that there are quite a few left leaning voters who say they would prefer Key as prime minister??? Because there certainly isn’t over 60% support for rightwing parties. If so then WTF!? I certainly couldn’t imagine any labour voter preferring Key? So who?

    Or is it that some respondents only know the name John Key so just put him down coz they don’t know the names of any of the others?

    I just find it hard to believe that large numbers of labour, greens and NZ first voters would prefer Key as prime minister. These preferred pm polls have always nagged at me, I would have thought that they would more closely resemble the party support poles, maybe I’m missing something

    Fuckin’ polls…

    • weka 18.1

      I’d want to see the question and how it was asked. There is the issue of people who didn’t respond to the survey, or that question. Was there an option to say none of the above? etc.

  19. tricle up 19

    the porkometer is a piece of equipment that the herald uses to check the porky content in a article the facts become subjective in a flash..

  20. philj 20

    The government killed off non commercial television in NZ ,TV7 and the children’s channel. Heartland tv, NZ tv history, is given to Sky. National has corporatized our media. RNZ has been underfunded and has been dumbed down and its business/ political/market bias is pronounced. Interesting times ahead , whoever governs.

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