Cunliffe’s bad politics

Written By: - Date published: 8:01 am, November 29th, 2010 - 166 comments
Categories: economy, privatisation - Tags:

I was immensely disappointed by David Cunliffe’s recent announcement that Labour is considering private public partnerships.

Not only because PPPs essentially involve privatising business gains and socialising the losses, or because they’ve been an abject failure almost everywhere they’ve been tried, but because one of the major weak-points National has going into the next election is its second-term privatisation agenda.

By effectively backing privatisation Cunliffe has just made it a lot harder for Labour to attack National on the issue.

Unsurprisingly David Farrar is trumpeting this new shift from Cunliffe and I expect that the government will also be happy to throw this back in the opposition’s face when they are challenged on their plans to flog the family silver.

Frankly Cunliffe has dropped in my estimation – not just because he’s backed bad policy but because he’s shown such poor political nous.

166 comments on “Cunliffe’s bad politics”

  1. I think that we should be careful how this is portrayed. Cunliffe said

    The project scale must be right and the PPP benefits must outweigh any increase in cost of capital, but that leaves plenty of scope for win-wins.

    This is quite a heavy test and IMHO does not represent a change in policy for Labour. I also think that it would pretty well rule out all but the most unusual of PPPs.

    Labour can either put in place a blanket ban and be accused of being doctrinaire or put up a test which requires the PPP to deliver benefits and be critical in its analysis. I do not have a problem with the latter approach.

    Cunliffe has also not backed privatisation. He explicitly said that the policy would only apply to new subsidiaries.

    • Marty G 1.1

      but he’s reduced the difference between Labour and National on privatisation to mere semantics.

      National can go into the election saying ‘we’ll only privatise SOE subsidiaries’ and Labour’s response will be ‘we’ll only part privatise new SOE subsidiaries’ – and people will say ‘what’s the difference?’

      Cunliffe is, for no good policy reason, throwing away a crucial point of distinction between the two parties where the majority of the public is on the anti-privatisation side, where Labour ought to be.

      And PPPs are just fucken dumb.

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        Sorry to be semantic Marty but a new subsidiary being set up with public and private shareholding is not a privatisation of anything so Labour can say it will not be privatising anything.

        It is really difficult to draw the line. Any major transport project represents a joint venture of sorts where the State comes up with the money and what it wants to happen and the private sector then provides the design and construction. Agreed that to date ownership has been problematic and has not featured but I do not see the current approach changing under Labour.

        I also cannot think of a project that would get past the proposed test. It is always cheaper for the Crown to be responsible for the capital outlay and contract with the private sector for design and construction.

        • Marty G 1.1.1.1

          “I also cannot think of a project that would get past the proposed test. It is always cheaper for the Crown to be responsible for the capital outlay and contract with the private sector for design and construction.”

          If it were a meaningless policy then why announce it?

          PPPs regularly envision fantastic returns outweighing the costs – the problem is they rarely eventuate.

          Labour is throwing away a vital point of difference here. think about it from the perspective of a voter who doesn’t know the details: National wants privatisation and, now, Labour wants privatisation too. If anything, Cunliffe trying to explain the difference and attack National for the next 8 months will just make him appear shifty and deceptive.

          • dave brown 1.1.1.1.1

            Agree PPPs are just one method of the private sector milking the public sector. Its a polite version of the bailout which taps into the flow of present and future generations of workers labour to rescue profits when the profit system is already on public life support. Lets flick the switch. Let’s go back to public works accountable to the working class, to build infrastructure that workers’ and not bosses like Key and Co plan for, serving our needs and not their profits.

        • Armchair Critic 1.1.1.2

          It is always cheaper for the Crown to be responsible for the capital outlay and contract with the private sector for design and construction.
          Not always micky. In my experience the lowest cost method was for the capital outlay, design and construction to be undertaken by one party. It was done this way at a council I worked for, back in the days when contracting out was at its zenith. It was quite a shock for me:
          (a) to find a council that didn’t contract everything out, and
          (b) to see that it worked more effectively.
          Anecdotal, of course, and no doubt many of the commenters here can find study after study showing the opposite. Point is – don’t automatically assume contracting out the design and construction is always better.
          Many of the disasters that befell central government projects (cost over-runs, delays) also strike privately funded ones. You just hear less about them, because they frighten the investors.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.2.1

            Many of the disasters that befell central government projects (cost over-runs, delays) also strike privately funded ones. You just hear less about them, because they frighten the investors.

            Or the private sector just cut more and more corners until the project still ‘successfully’ comes in on time and on budget.

            • Herodotus 1.1.1.2.1.1

              From my experience in local body, we have been able to build the same infrastructure for 60% of the council charged levies to cover the cost. Also the infrastructure is in place on day 1 when required. In other cases regarding both local and central infrastructure has been under planning or in construction phase 2-4 years after the area requires it.
              In 1 case re road upgrade and widening. LTCCP in 01 specified, suppose to be completed 04, contract not tendered for until 05, road closed from 03 to 06. The council notice on informing community was still up in 06 with completion date 04 !! go figure. Though my experiences are not PPP’s does display that private coys act faster than local bodies and CAN build more cost efficient and when demand is there. Same regarding U/G of power, SWQP, fibre etc.
              There are for local bodies 20% loadings to cover O/H, and any cost overruns are when funded by levies just increased, no motivation to keep within budgets or timelines.

              • Armchair Critic

                Yes, that sort of thing happens too.
                Gotta ask, though, how come there was a project in a 01 (I assume you mean 2001) LTCCP when the LGA rewrite that required LTCCPs wasn’t enacted until 2002?

                • Herodotus

                  The land acquisition(sub division consent conditions) was commenced in 01 for road widening upgrade, then as the road was 1.5km long and there were various owners ( predominately council & one developer = 80+%) . Then the process was incorp into the LTCCP (To much detail for my attention span to include).
                  For private enterprise time is the most valued resource/cost, for govt and councils they appear to have no concept or value of time. When there is motivation for private enterprise ALL can benefit in the right circumstances.

        • Maynard J 1.1.1.3

          mickysavage: “It is really difficult to draw the line”

          No it isn’t. For example, Cunliffe could say PPPs have a proven track record of failure. That they virtually invariably end up costing tax payers more. That they privatise profits but make us all pay for the losses – that it is a state subsidy on private risk and Labour will not engage in this business model.

          Line drawn.

    • Bored 1.2

      I am not an election strategist but I do like some degree of integrity: what I see from Labour and National is the avoidance of possible vote losing policies, and pertinently might I suggest loss of funding by big money.

      As a consequence the voter and representative democracy are undercut by the power of money and the avoidance of hard issues. We are defrauded of choice and representation.

  2. Herodotus 2

    Not telling any posters what to do (unlike one who was bande for doing so !!!), yet I would have liked to see a post on Cunliffs speech. Especially as what he proposes is new and in some cases untested as a basis for policy.
    Do we not already have a large in no. PPP’s with regard to Housing NZ 10 year lease arrangement with guaranteed rentals and no responsibility for the landlord?
    http://cunliffe.co.nz/?p=582

    • Marty G 2.1

      they’re not PPPs as such, but yes, we do have that stupid policy which puts all the risk on HNZ and all the profit into private hands

  3. tc 3

    Why don’t Labour just shut up about what they really want to do and focus on what they need to say to win back gov’t…….worked for the current mob, the public don’t give an F either way they’ll turf this lot out if there’s a credible alternative.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Yeah it does raise questions. However I would suggest that the policy direction demonstrates how Labour is not ideologically driven (like National is) and also that Labour is fiscally prudent.

    And lets not leave behind another big difference to focus on here: LAB will use PPP’s as a tool when appropriate to create the outcomes which really matter to us: getting people out of cars, off roads, and making sure that much more is done with rail.

    That’s a friggin big differentiator with NAT.

    Yep, one downside is that it might blur the ‘clear bright line’ between NAT and LAB (everyone here knows that I would not be opposed to a more highly state based solution instead of PPPs if possible), but in fact this is a move which is going to annoy NAT immensely. You say it may make it harder for LAB to criticise NAT on privatisation? Perhaps – although I would simply repeat Ed Milliband’s sentiments: markets and private sector involvement are very important and useful for some things, *not everything*. It will certainly make it harder for NAT to criticise LAB on rail and mass transport – something we know that the people of AKL really really want.

    Cunliffe also recognises that the *new* mass *transport* projects that the Govt needs to create and implement will eventually cost billions. (As micky points out this is not about selling off existing assets. Neither is it about privatising activity on schools, prisons or hospitals). He also knows that this NAT Govt will leave nothing in the kitty for LAB to work with. Working with the private sector is an option which should be considered if we want to get that mass transport work ‘on the road’ ASAP.

    • Ed 4.1

      PPPs do not put more money in the kitty. But they may sell New Zealand to overseas interests – then we have a smaller ‘kitty’ with more cash in the short term.

      There was an article somewhere recently about the theory behind PPPs, showing that the assumptions made are unrealistic, and that the only academic support is ideological belief. Does anyone have a url?

      • BLiP 4.1.1

        Here’s what David Cunliffe has previously said about PPPs.

        The Government’s move towards public-private partnerships (PPPs) for big infrastructure projects is facing mounting criticism, with Labour saying it will inevitably lead to fire sales of state-owned assets . . . [snip] . . . “This is one more desperate ploy by a government with no coherent plan for growing the economy or creating jobs,” Labour’s finance spokesman David Cunliffe said today.

        “It desperately hopes the private sector will finance projects it lacks the vision, courage or resources to do itself.” Mr Cunliffe said PPPs were a sop to private interests and had nothing to do with prudent asset management. “It will inevitably lead to bad decision-making, fire sales of crown assets and higher capital costs for taxpayers,” he said. “Negotiating PPPs with savvy investment banks requires specialist skills most crown entities simply don’t have, so National’s one-size-fits-all approach risks taxpayers being taken for a ride.”

        Seems pretty clear to me. But, hey, that was waaaaay back in August 2010.

  5. Santi 5

    C.V. said “Labour is fiscally prudent.”

    Really? What about Working For Families? No-interest student loans? Closing the Gaps?
    Wow! Would you call that fiscal prudence?

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Hey Santi, 9 years of surpluses, year after year that’s what.

      Bill and John have ZERO track record and getting worse

      Is that what YOU call fiscal prudence? NAT are financial vandals and a fiscal JOKE.

      • Santi 5.1.1

        I’d be the last one to defend Key & co. But the nine years of surpluses happenned amidst one of the longest economic booms the world has experienced. Labour couldn’t be so unlucky, after all.

        Even so, Labour squandered millions in initiatives that went no where. I’ll ask again: what did Closing the Gaps achieve? Why did we buy AirNZ or the trains from Toll?

        • Marty G 5.1.1.1

          we bought AirNZ so that NZ wouldn’t lose its domestic air routes. A foreign buyer like Singapore Air would have shut them down to concentrate on more profitable routes and we would have lost a vital part of our domestic transport infrastructure.

          Likewise, if we didn’t buy the railways back the country would have lost the huge benefits (which extend well beyond the revenue Kiwirail makes) that the rail network provides.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.2

          Nine years of surpluses mate, even through the massive tech bubble and crash, even through the economic disruption of 9/11; Key and English are economic vandals in comparison.

      • burt 5.1.2

        If I overcharge my customers I too could pay off my credit card but my business may fail as my customers get sick of being overcharged while I crow about having a big fat bank balance… Oh that’s what happened wasn’t it. The govt got rich the people got poor then when the govt ran out of steam we were all poor… That’s socialism for you.

    • zimmer 5.2

      Don’t forget Kiwisnail as well Santi.

  6. Jum 6

    The left is going down the same route that Jesson told us about the gang of 4 which had to have Douglas in as Finance Minister if Labour wanted to receive any big money for the 1984 election which they were bound to win anyway given the fickle nature of the New Zealand voter.

    We cannot trust big money. All it cares about is more big money and the power to control governments and more importantly, the working people of New Zealand, extremely low paid and marginalised.

    If Cunliffe cannot see that when you do deals with private partnerships there will be a shareholder demand for dividends, just as is being demanded by shareholders of the misogynist advertising Tower, then he loses credibility. Public loss, private profit will always happen when individuals want to increase their wealth.

    Labour appears to be showing a lack of faith in its followers if it is accepting big money for the next election. People-power is the answer to the next election. But no one seems to be directing them in any clear different route than the corrupt thuggery that is NAct.

    Perhaps Cunliffe needs to give a little more information on why he wants to share any publicly owned assets with private business that did not build up the asset in the first place.

    Is the only difference between NAct and Labour the betrayal or not of KiwiBank owners – Us?

    • Craig Glen Eden 6.1

      @ Jum Cunliffe didnt say he was going to

      “share any publicly owned assets with private business that did not build up the asset in the first place”.

      What Cunliffe is talking about is creating new assests/ projects. If Cunliffe as minister of finance is going to back a rail ring in Auckland he will have to work with private business.

      Len Brown has already said he would be seeking private money for this project. If Cunliffe had said no to strict PPP he would have then ruled out more rail for Auckland.

      That would mean he would be shutting down one of Len Browns major policy planks. Is that what you want! Do you want Len out after one term? For Pete sake I know many of you are Green supporters but shit how else would the Greens or anyone else raise money for such projects.If you want to play oh the Greens are more left wing than Labour go a head but some of us want National and their cronies out and want to take the country forward with options like more public transport.

      How is Cunliffe going to look fiscally responsible by saying yeah hey we are going to do all this stuff and what the hell lets just book it up! Do you think that would get Labour and the Greens into Government? Perhaps you should read Cunliffe’s speech and maybe then comment some further as what you would do if in his position.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        For Pete sake I know many of you are Green supporters but shit how else would the Greens or anyone else raise money for such projects.

        The same way they always do – taxes. Print the money to spend (0% interest), raise taxes to cover the extra money and, once the spending is finished, lower taxes again.

        Using PPP, which includes an interest amount, means that taxes will have to be even higher. How is a government looking fiscally responsible when it’s paying interest that it doesn’t have to?

        • Craig Glen Eden 6.1.1.1

          Keep dreaming no wonder the Greens are a Marginal Party.

          So you want Len Brown out too, DTB. Good onya more roads for Auckland. welcome back John Banks. The Greens are truly anti the environment.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.1

            So you want Len Brown out too, DTB….

            Um, what? Your’re putting words in my mouth there.

            You asked for a way for the rail loop to be funded and I gave an option that didn’t involve PPPs or any other unnecessary interest rates or expenses. A government, be it local or national, should never pay interest as that is fiscally irresponsible and negotiating PPPs increases expenses.

            • Maynard J 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Or fuel taxes, or charges on roads… Hey, a carbon tax could pay for rail, no?

              Or the holiday highway – that would cover it.

              Craig Glen Eden, not supporting your way of funding a rail project isn’t tantamount to rejecting the project.

  7. Herodotus 7

    Also I have (with limited reading on Tobin Tax) why you would tax inflows and not out flows. As taxing inflows attacks warrented behaviour i.e. Supports the exporter, tourists entering and investors to NZ, and also taxes groups repatriating profits offshore e.g. Banks. What David supports is taxing exporters and allowing importers and taking profits out otf the country to get off.
    Re defining the difference between Lab and Nat on this I agree how in a 20 sec sound bite can you, if you cannot then there is no perceived difference.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Also I have (with limited reading on Tobin Tax) why you would tax inflows and not out flows.

      The main behaviour to be discouraged are the billions of hot liquid capital which flow into the country (mostly borrowed by our big banks) and then pushed out on to an unsuspecting public as debt, lots of it.

      • Herodotus 7.1.1

        So how is taxing the inflows any different. Taking the “hot liquid capital which flow into the country ” if there is a profit it still will happen. Investment+profits is greater than investment only. So the govt receives a greater amount of tax so this assists our current account balance? re the unsuspecting public does not the Res bank have ability to adjust Bank ratios to limit the amount out in the market?
        And re behaviour I still cannot see why supporting exports (and cash entering the country)and having an “import” tax(and withdraw money from the country) sounds better than the reverse? this maybe perception yet it would be easier to sell to the media and public.
        Or is there some difficuty in following the money leaving the country than entering it ? As this is the only reason I could see Davids way.

      • burt 7.1.2

        then pushed out on to an unsuspecting public as debt

        Unsuspecting…. as they sign the borrowing contracts they had no idea they were taking on debt…. this is why we need a nanny state isn’t it – to save us from our own choices….

        • Maynard J 7.1.2.1

          A bit of regulation in the financial sector could have saved a lot of people from their own choices. (Difficult to blame them, they weren’t to know that they were taking biased advice from an advisor with a financial incentive to recommend a product thoroughly unsuitable to them, but choosing an advisor would seem like a prudent enough measure, would it not? Isn’t that the whole point? If you’re not an expert, you pay one. Look how well that one worked out…)

          Making people wear seatbelts has in the long run saved people from their own choices, and probably saves the helthcare sector a few mil to boot.

          Just saying it’s not always a bad thing.

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.2.2

          this is why we need a nanny state isn’t it – to save us from our own choices….

          YES. People should be given lots of choices, but they should be left in no doubt which the best choices are and which the most shit choices are. Paternal libertarianism in other words.

          By the way Burt who passed the no driving with cell phones law? The law that experts said was just as likely to cost lives as save them?

          • Herodotus 7.1.2.2.1

            CV if you reside in Jafaland, take a drive on the motorwaty and view the number of people who are using cell phones. For a few months someone on the motorway using was as rare ashens teeth, now it is a common sight. Passing a law is not enough.

            • Colonial Viper 7.1.2.2.1.1

              I hear you. Actually, both policy and law have rather limited effectiveness in changing behaviour in society – more limited than I suspect most policy makers and law makers believe. And its the people who drive one handed while eating lunch which really get me.

  8. Tigger 8

    I don’t see an issue over privitisation here. We all understand selling off public assets and the easiest way to demonstrate the difference to the public is for Labour to force National to say ‘We don’t sell TVNZ, we won’t sell rail, we won’t sell Air NZ etc’. Getting specific about actual assets is far better than trying to have any high level ‘PPP’ type conversations. If Key wants to use this then fine – Goff just needs to say ‘please promise NZ you won’t tell TVNZ’…

    • KJT 8.1

      Labour could stop any sale of public assets right now. Just have the guts to say we will re-nationalise without compensation, next time we are in, if it is in NZ’s interest.

  9. smhead 9

    I think it’s great Cunliffe has come out with some common sense on PPPs. All this handwringing from Labour apologists misses the point (oh but only SOME PPPs would be allowed).

    Irish is damn straight from a left position, it does silence Labour’s ability to irrationally scream down any SOE privatisation as they have done in the past.

    To be fair to Cunliffe though it wasn’t just HIS policy. It must have gone through caucus and be approved by them. Question is, WHY has Labour taken such a big lurch to the right? Obviously they aren’t worried about losing votes to a new party on its left flank.

    On the substance I am uncomfortable with SOEs or crown institutions raising public capital for new ventures. There should be a clear reason why an SOE should be held in public hands. If the SOEs go down an empire building route and start competing with private sector businesses (like Farrar’s Kordia and Orcon example, very bad) then it crowds out the private sector.

    • Marty G 9.1

      I don’t know if it has been approved by caucus. It certainly has no mandate from the party. Members who were at the national conference are fuming that this has been sprung when it wasn’t raised with them.

      • smhead 9.1.1

        Marty it just isn’t conceivable that Cunliffe’s biggest economic policy speech wouldn’t have sign off from caucus.

    • SMhead no matter how you try and spin it this is not a massive lurch to the right. You should have a look at reports from the recent conference to see which way the party is heading and it is heading generally left.

      • smhead 9.2.1

        Don’t be an idiot savage. There are clearly two different and conflicting things going on. One is what Labour is telling its party conferences (we’re going left, hard left!) and one is what Labour is telling the public (we’re not ideological, we’re going moderate). Cunliffe’s speech is for the latter audience. Goff must have signed it off and it must have involved at least the front bench if not Labour’s whole caucus.

        Will be interesting to see if Little draws a line in the sand and has to intervene again. Looks very bad for Labour internally.

        • Colonial Viper 9.2.1.1

          Don’t be an idiot smhead. Conflicting? Different?

          Nah mate, its smart, socialist and very savvy of Cunliffe and Goff.

          Labour is focussing on achieving major public transport goals and taking the emphasis off roads (tick one). It is focussing on ensuring that core NZ infrastructure is not sold off or privatised (tick two). It has promised to help NZ private sector industry get a lift (tick three).

          And Labour is showing that it is going to be very flexible in its approach to make sure the NZ taxpayer gets the best deal from all of the above.

          All good mate.

          By the way the Left are no longer afraid to steal and adapt the corporate tools of the Right to further our objectives of a stronger, more equal, fairer society. Lolz mate 2011 here we come.

          • mcflock 9.2.1.1.1

            The PPP is a right wing policy, full stop. It is a tool with one purpose: to give capitalists the profits of massive government expenditure, bypassing most New Zealanders as it happens.

            And if it really is a plan so cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a ferret, the question becomes “why are the two major parties BOTH convinced that if they were honest about their priorities and policy objectives, they wouln’t get elected?” Surely only one of them is right (and I suspect the right one is the More Right one, because it’s just plain wrong).

            The other question in my mind, being a lindauer leftist myself, is whether Labour really is moving left to defend the workers (and thus might actually receive my vote if I thought they could be trusted), or is Cunliffe inadvertently showing Labour’s blue underthings?

            Ah, bugger – I guess the only winner I’ll be voting for next election once again will be moral, not actually electoral…

            • Colonial Viper 9.2.1.1.1.1

              Well if the Left can’t tell the difference between a tool and a policy then it is in trouble. PPP’s are a tool that have been used by the Right to forward a Right Wing agenda. They can be a tool which can be used by the Left to forward a Left Wing agenda.

              In mass transport projects should we even have any private sector involvement? Why not start up the Old Ministry of Works again and have Govt departments and Govt workers doing all the building of the railways and the rail carriages. We used to have all the skills and capabilities needed to do that, lets just acquire them again.

              If we were really going down the Statist route (which for somethings I think would be a good thing) that is what we would do, and cut private sector engineering firms and operators out altogether.

              • mcflock

                A hammer makes a lousy spanner. Whichever tool you choose indicates your objective.

                Frankly I’m fed up with people saying “oh, [insert capitalist tool] is great because we will implement it sparingly and caringly”, only to have it unexpectedly blow up for the population at large. NOBODY says “oh, we support [replacing wonderful vistas with a stripmine / paying outside contractors more to do a worse job because of minor contractual loopholes / knocking down a corinthian facade to make space for a bullshit concrete and glass borg cube]. But you know what? Somehow we always manage to get a grubby unpolished diamond replaced by a turd ball. PPP are just another item in the list.

                I don’t have too much of a problem with the govt using private contractors in areas that don’t involve directly dealing with people (e.g. social services, prisons, or armed forces) and if they’re watched like hawks and cornered like rats in a trap, but in the long run “if you want something done right, do it yourself”. The saying isn’t “if you want something done right, have several committeee meetings to determine MoUs and contract provisions in the hope that someone whose main priority is to make as much money while doing the least amount of work will provide a better outcome than if you did it yourself”.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Heh, fair enough. I’ll ponder on this further.

                • felix

                  NOBODY says “oh, we support [replacing wonderful vistas with a stripmine / paying outside contractors more to do a worse job because of minor contractual loopholes / knocking down a corinthian facade to make space for a bullshit concrete and glass borg cube]. But you know what? Somehow we always manage to get a grubby unpolished diamond replaced by a turd ball.

                  I think I see the trouble. You’re allowing reality, observation, and experience to cloud your understanding of the theory, ideology, and dogma.

      • burt 9.2.2

        Perhaps they need to just use one internal polling company so that they keep a consistent message while trying to be popular at any price.

        • mcflock 9.2.2.1

          Well, all bets are off now.

          I laughed at and agreed with a comment by Burt – off to have a lie down…

    • Draco T Bastard 9.3

      (like Farrar’s Kordia and Orcon example, very bad)

      Telecommunications is a natural monopoly. Having a single state supplier is far less expensive and we would get better service.

      http://tl.gd/745tb4

      • burt 9.3.1

        You must not be old enough to remember service and costs under the “post office”. Took about 3 months to get a phone connected unless you knew someone in which case it could be done in a day…..

        • Colonial Viper 9.3.1.1

          Don’t be one eyed, the private sector is fully capable of running shit operations too. And Government owned entities are fully capable of running highly efficient, highly effective, highly competitive ops.

        • Draco T Bastard 9.3.1.2

          I’ve answered this before – go do a search. The “3 months to get a phone” is a load of simplistic bollocks.

          • burt 9.3.1.2.1

            Having a single state supplier is far less expensive and we would get better service.

            That is the simplistic bollocks.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.3.1.2.1.1

              I detailed why I said that in the link provided and that is only a small portion of the full logic and facts involved. As I said – go do a search as I’ve addressed it before and then see if you can come back with an actual argument (I won’t hold my breath).

              • burt

                OK, give us a list of monopoly telco companies who provide good service and pricing that is competitive compared to similar size environments with competition.

                Money where your mouth is Draco.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  As I said, not holding my breath for an actual argument.

                • burt

                  You can’t list one can you… not one example of this BS you spout. What a looser lefty.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Can’t use logic or facts against my argument and so reverts to ad hominem attacks – pure RWNJ denial of reality.

                    BTW, Telecom was one such organisation. The service level you get today is far below what it would have been if it had stayed state owned and the service you got before it was sold was 2nd to none. Actual physical constraints was what caused the “bad service” that you were referring to and technology and a little restructuring took care of that before the fire sale. As I said – I’ve addressed it all before.

                    • burt

                      Oh for goodness sake, Lets say in the early 80’s ‘the phone bit’ of NZ post was already a private company.

                      Now physical constraints, that would be poor planning and profit stripping wouldn’t it. Not so in public sector where it’s just unfortunate. Technology badly needing upgrading, that would also be poor infrastructure planning and probably lazy profit taking management mentality holding the customers back while they bleed the last drop of profit from doing nothing. Not so apparently in the public sector.

                      Need for major restructure… well that’s the effect of time on a once working model, but a lack of customer focus, lack of agility and over complicated systems are what normally also help get a business into that state. Lazy profit stripping management helps as well, but apparently not in the public sector.

                      And all the time while being bailed out with millions of tax payers dollars every year… Shameful for private business but apparently fine for a public sector operator who has old technology, hasn’t planned for capacity demand and needs massive restructure.

                      Yes yes we have been over this all before. I still don’t understand why a state monopoly gets a thumbs up from you when it behaves like the self serving corp examples you rile against. What stops you from making the rational connection between the normal outcomes from monopolies being the same under either public or private ownership.

                      Have we had this same discussion about power generators, public and private and the profits the 5th Labour govt took from power generation while consumers groaned about price rises? If we did was that fine because the state owned generators are like tax collectors so that’s OK as long as we just don’t talk about how harshly regressive that form of taxation is….. The corporate meanies are however shocking because high power prices hurt low income families the most.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      State monopolies can be run damn well and damn profitably too.

                    • burt

                      If a state run monopoly is profitable it is over charging – surely ?

                      The ideology that says things must be state owned and must be a monopoly surely finds profit from the people for providing an essential service repugnant? – surely?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Now physical constraints, that would be poor planning and profit stripping wouldn’t it.

                      Nope, limited resources.

                      Need for major restructure…

                      Minor restructure – there’s almost no difference to Telecom in the 1980s to now. It’s been reduced by a few thousand people but the culture is about the same.

                      And all the time while being bailed out with millions of tax payers dollars every year…

                      When was that? Telecom made $272m in 1985, $300m in 1987 (year of restructure) and $310m 1988.

                      What stops you from making the rational connection between the normal outcomes from monopolies being the same under either public or private ownership.

                      The difference between private monopolies and public ones is that the public ones work solely for the benefit of the public while the private ones only work for the benefit of the shareholders. All that profit that Telecom was making would have been reinvested back into the network and we’d have FttH across most of the country by now and it wouldn’t be costing any more. National and Labour have both indirectly admitted that privatisation didn’t work because both have been handing out tax dollars to do what the private companies aren’t – update the network. The lack of them doing so is the dead weight loss of profit – money paid for a service that wasn’t supplied.

                      Have we had this same discussion about power generators, public and private and the profits the 5th Labour govt took from power generation while consumers groaned about price rises?

                      The governments screwed up by breaking up the electricity sector and by demanding a dividend (probably to try and keep taxes down – we instead paid them through higher prices in electricity) instead of allowing the profit to be used to renew and upgrade power generation and reticulation and keeping prices down. We should also have had policies in place to minimise electricity use.

                  • Jum

                    Don’t be silly Burt. Any money made is then used for social needs under a Labour Government; under a NAct government it’ll go in tax cuts for your wealthy mates Burt. Oh sorry; I didn’t mean to let that info out Burt.

                    • Herodotus

                      Any money made is then used for social needs under a Labour Government- that is why we were gouged $4b in overpricesd power from the generators
                      http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/goff-wants-dividend-power-companies-cut-125363
                      Yet again Lab appologies for what They did, not to reminded them on the added stress that this caused
                      Jum when you put the pom poms down and realise that Lab screwed you and I and need to be accountable for what they did. I am glad you are happy for pensioners to freeze because they are struggling to pay for the power as long as there is some good out of this gouging then all good. Crap, because of this policy REAL people suffered and still are. But as long as Carter, Wong and co can be flown business class, Govt house can be upgraded for over $50m and the promised stadium on Jafaland water front is ok?

                      Power to the people

                    • burt

                      Jum

                      OK, so pricing essential services via a monopoly to make a profit hit the people least able to afford it really hard but that’s OK because the rich suffer – no wonder Labour govt’s seldom last 2 terms and almost never last 3.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      no wonder Labour govt’s seldom last 2 terms and almost never last 3.

                      Hey burt, we just had a 3 term LAB government under Helen Clark, when was the last time we had a 3 term NAT government?

                      Oh yeah, not in modern history!

                      But don’t let me get in the way of your right wing fairyland.

                    • burt

                      And during that three term govt power prices rose much faster than inflation and profit was taken from generation. Now to a person on a good income a $300-$600/month power bill is annoying but isn’t going to change their life, how about for a pensioner? How about for a beneficiary?

                      Now tell me why GST is so bad because it is regressive and why govt profit via provision of essential services is OK even though it is also very regressive.

                      I know fantasy land stuff expecting defenders of socialist govt to see that the same behaviour they they complain about in business they defend in govt.

          • Herodotus 9.3.1.2.2

            New developments with brand spankn fibre still takes over 4 weeks to get a phone/internet hookup-Its called unbundling with One World as the only coy able to do the hook up. Unforeseen consequences of replacing one big monopoly with 2 smaller monopolies !!!

            • Jum 9.3.1.2.2.1

              Speaking of your ‘crap’ Herodotus, I suggest you don’t know me well. I was chasing public transport improvements, Labour not to end arse up over a Douglas lovein, and learning about people’s overall greed when confronted with a plan or with a tax cut when you were still in your cute little hot pants lad. Grow up. Until people stop being sucked in by tax cuts old people will freeze and quite frankly I’d be pleased to freeze if it meant I didn’t have to suffer under the repeat NAct government which we know that greedy kiwis (not genuine Kiwis) will suck up to. So suck off with your pom pom crap.

              • Herodotus

                When in any of my comments have I made a comment regarding support to tax cuts. As re your comment of the good that arose from price gouging, perhaps you should get in the real world and see how those on pensions have suffered, so you would be pleased to freeze. Unfortunately some die prematurely from as a result of their efforts to cope within their budget.
                http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/461848
                And I have no idea who you are as you dont on my background or experiences, and keep smiling as all cheer leaders do !! 😉

  10. just saying 10

    Despite polls showing the majority would prefer higher taxes and adequate public services to the reverse, Labour continues on the same path.
    I can only assume that it is still slavishly pandering to the soft national vote – the mythical better heeled ‘middle class’ business or professional voter. People they asssume will leave (maybe even divorce them) if not kept in the style they deserve, who wouldn’t be prepared to forsake a single chrome-plated designer kitchen fitting for the sake of social justice and relieving the suffering of those in need. Lovely.

    The only alternative is that Labour really doesn’t want to win in 2011 – I’ve heard it suggested all over the place, but I can’t believe it. The front bench is still visibly outraged and bristling with the ignomony of losing their rightful rule. They salivate at the thought of getting back on top, and don’t strike me as capable of patience. No, I think the NZLP leadership really is that dumb. They really are a study in post-strong-leader groupthink.

    It’s sad, but I’m just curious about which particular ‘crumbs’ they’ll throw out just before the election as their token ‘we’re not neo-lib’ gestures. And to see if the grassroots finally walks away.

    • burt 10.1

      The front bench is still visibly outraged and bristling with the ignomony of losing their rightful rule.

      rightful rule – Oh boy that’s a keeper…

  11. Sanctuary 11

    Cunliffe more than anything is displaying front and centre the disconnect between the left-over, 1990’s neo-liberal rump that still has significant influence in the higher echelons of the parliamentary party but practically zero credibility in the wider Labour Party. Come the next election the declining influence of this aging clique will be even further underlined by new MP’s.

    • smhead 11.1

      Who could blame Cunliffe? Goff is the moral leader of the neoliberal rump, and the only person in Labour’s caucus who said Goff shouldn’t be leader got chucked out of the party. The left should have stood up for Chris Carter. Allowing Goff to Johnalee him cut off any chance of standing up to Goff’s true ideological position.

      Every time Goff has stared down the left in the party he has won (Shearer, Faafoi, expelling Carter, now PPPs). And still the left in the party come back and say only Goff can lead the party in the election. As long as the left in labour have no spine, you will be condemned to being a loser opposition.

      The funny part is that goff doesn’t want to go head to head with Key because he knows Key outstrips him in every popularity measure. And now goff doesn’t want to even take Key on on policy.

      • john 11.1.1

        I never vote for Labour, I consider them to be almost virtually so the second head of a one party state. Goff behaves like a University Academic not like a Party Leader that really believes in anything! Our whole political establishment is infested with rich feel good types who have little concept of service to the people of NZ but serve their own middle well-off classes.

    • Craig Glen Eden 11.2

      What Cunliffe has announced is nothing like what happened in the nineties you are talking crap!

      Tell me Sanctuary how are the Greens going to fund the rail link. Given Mayor Brown has already said he will have to use PPP.

      So I will take a leaf out of Green Party logic/ spin. The Greens oppose the rail link, the Greens don’t want Mayor Brown they must want Banks as Mayor the Greens are in favour of more roads the Greens are therefore a right wing anti environment party!

      Gee aye isnt it fun misrepresenting policy.

      • Bright Red 11.2.1

        you never ‘have to use PPP’ it doesn’t lessen the costs ot the public, it just spreads it over time. The same can be achieved with a bond issue.

        • Draco T Bastard 11.2.1.1

          Actually, PPP will always cost more.

          • Bright Red 11.2.1.1.1

            that’s right – because you’re paying someone’s profit in return for spreading your costs over time. And any decent private investor will charge you for any risk they have to take on.

            in practice, PPPs tend to horribly over-estimate the amount of patronage they will get and need government bailouts.

            • KJT 11.2.1.1.1.1

              Having had first hand experience in the 80’s. The tax cuts were more than offset by the extra costs charged by the private sector and user paid replacements for Government services.

              Our standard of living has been hard hit by cost recovery, borrowing and profit taking.

              Dividends paid to pretend competitive private and SOE power companies.

              Households paying extra so power companies could compete for the corporate market.

              The costs of having 3 separate cell phone networks and the borrowing of private companies to maintain them has resulted in one of the costliest networks in the world.

              The borrowing costs of excessive leveraging by the buyers of previously State run enterprises and the costs of buying back essential infrastructure when private owners have stripped it have been huge.

              The drag on the productive economy of the long past its use by date, RBA.

              Not to mention price inflation for necessities far outstripping the few and far between wage increases. 83% increase in Labour productivity. Over 100% increase in prices of housing, groceries and power. 15% increase in ordinary time wages.

              The experiment has failed. Time the Labour leadership admitted it and moved on.

              Take control of our money off the banks. Spend the money into the economy for necessary infrastructure, as the US did to end the 30’s depression

              • Colonial Viper

                Take control of our money off the banks. Spend the money into the economy for necessary infrastructure, as the US did to end the 30′s depression

                ^ +1

                Unfortunately distancing ourselves from the international banking infrastructure seems a step too far at the moment.

                • KJT

                  It is going to happen at some stage. The US has no show of ever paying back their debts without massive inflation so the whole thing will collapse soon. I am betting about the stage that oil prices triple.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Yeah crude oil futures for next year are sitting at $86/87. A doubling to $170/barrel will provoke a wide spread depression. A tripling to $260/barrel will pretty much finish the rest off.

      • mickysavage 11.2.2

        The inner city loop is going to be an interesting case. The economics are compelling and if you took a long term view and were the Minister of Transport you would be sprinting to Auckland to offer financial assistance. The fact that Joyce wants to fund his holiday highway instead may leave Brown with no alternative but to attempt a PPP.

        Of course Joyce could put the highway up for a PPP and fund the loop. I doubt there would be any takers then however.

    • Colonial Viper 11.3

      You guys are just burnt cause Cunliffe stole your PPP idea and is going to put it in the tool box to get traffic off roads and rail running up in Auckland.

  12. burt 12

    Labour seem to always contemplate PPP’s when in opposition then when in govt they seem to deny they ever intended doing it – that’s the price you pay for being popular at any price.

    • No they don’t Burt. They always say there has to be a robust case and the return has to be significantly better than NZ would get by the State putting up all of the capital itself. Funnily enough none of the suggested projects ever get past this test.

  13. dcra009 13

    You are all trusting Brian Fellows’ heavily selective reporting of David Cunliffe’s speech in the Herald. You should all know better: As far as I can see, the speech was better (though still not well) reported elsewhere, in terms of a new approach to the economy. Reading what the man said, you’d have to be stonecold in your ideological grave not to think this is good progressive direction, a genuine alternative to the Nat’s current recipe, and full of good social democratic sense. Go on, read it and see. Fellow’s headline was looking for sensational reaction: and unfortunately the Standard gave all that and more: only from the left. Maybe that was what Fellows and the Herald wanted too.

    • just saying 13.1

      Na, I read the whole speech.
      It’s worse if anything. Includes a proud endorsement of the Rogernomics government.

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        Dude I think you read Ruth Richardson’s website by mistake

        What Cunliffe actually said was this:

        3. NO FISCAL CREDIBILITY

        National talks the talk of fiscal prudence, but do they walk the walk?

        They say they will cut gross debt to below 20% of GDP, but because they have indulged themselves with grossly irresponsible tax cuts, they are keeping it at 35% until at least 2014.

        They say they will reduce government spending as a share of the economy from 35% to 27% by 2024, but it will stay above 34% until just after the next election.

        They say they will keep new spending to $1.1~billion each year, but automatic cost inflation in health, education and welfare will eat up almost all of it, leaving them nothing for new ideas or new jobs.

        They said they would resume superannuation pre-funding when the books return to surplus in 2016, but it is not in the Budget until at least 2020.

        They said the 2010 Budget would be fiscally neutral, but it opened up a $1.1 billion extra hole in 4 years; and $9 billion extra debt in a decade.

        They said they would not raise GST to fund a deficit, but raised it anyway.

        They decried borrowing $250 million a week to keep the economy going, but then gave rich folks big tax cuts, reduced revenue and upped the borrowing to $300 million a week.

      • dcra009 13.1.2

        I’m pretty sure this is not what you think it is, just saying. You’ll have to quote me chapter and verse, and maybe we can have a reasoned conversation.

        • just saying 13.1.2.1

          Don’t patronise me drca009.

          As it happens I was on my way to pick up the quote from scoop and was diverted by the alternative welfare working group report (see open mike).

          quote from Cunliffe’s speech:

          New Zealanders look to Labour to rise to tough challenges.

          We always have: in the 1930’s when Labour charted the pathway out of the great Depression; in the War years when Labour led us through; in the 70s after Britain joined the European Common Market; in the 80’s when we restarted Muldoon’s broken economy; and in the last decade when Labour rebuilt our torn social fabric.

  14. Bored 14

    The whole debate above just reinforces in my mind that Labour, despite rhetoric, conferences and consultative processes are stuck where they have been since Douglas, they desire the centre and dont want to frighten the horses. The “Left” will have to wait.

  15. burt 15

    IrishBill

    Can you please clarify, is this bad politics or bad policy ?

  16. Red Rosa 16

    PPPs can only be a gain to government if they supply special technical expertise to a project. Capital should not be a factor – governments can always borrow cheaper than the market.

    Unless they are Ireland, maybe…. Or if government wants to conceal the real project costs from the voters.

    There plenty of overseas examples of PPPs leaving taxpayers with the risk, and the firms with the profits.

    Unless Cunliffe is angling for a directorship with Macquarie it is hard to see why he is pushing this now largely discredited idea.

    One of the problems with ‘shrinking government’ is the erosion of analytical ability, so PPPs don’t get proper scrutiny. If senior Treasury officials don’t know a snake oil merchant when they see one, the public purse is looted. Of course the Right see this as a great idea.

    But the Irish crash is a case study of how relaxed controls, poor public governance, and cronyism led to open-ended taxpayer commitments. These even now are not fully disclosed, but close to bankrupting the state.

    • Bright Red 16.1

      “Or if government wants to conceal the real project costs from the voters. “\

      You nailed it.

      captcha: spotted

    • Colonial Viper 16.2

      OK back up here, Cunliffe suggested PPP’s be considered as a potential tool in one sector, yes. He did not suggest with it
      – Relaxed controls.
      – Poor public governance.
      – Cronyism.
      – Open ended taxpayer commitments.

      Unless Cunliffe is angling for a directorship with Macquarie it is hard to see why he is pushing this now largely discredited idea.

      Are you truly serious?

      • Red Rosa 16.2.1

        Of course I’m serious. See BLip below on the Danish PPP and the result.

        Your quote (and mine!) –

        ” Relaxed controls.
        – Poor public governance.
        – Cronyism.
        – Open ended taxpayer commitments.”

        Almost a definition of failed PPPs.

        And there are plenty of them.

  17. prism 17

    That’s bad policy and bad politics. I expected better from him.

    I’ll expectorate away. I speeet on you middle-class, right-wing Labour party members.

  18. The Baron 18

    Oh this is so funny watching the vacuous Labour fanboys like CV and Mickey defend this as being totally aligned with Labour policy, while everyone who isn’t angling for an electorate seat is saying WTF.

    WTF alright. Politics 101 – don’t piss all over established “die in the ditch” policy positions, like no privatisation.

    The sheer fact that Cunliffe is already backtracking with clarifications, and that you lot have your knickers in a knot, is evidence of just how badly he has f*cked up here.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      The sheer fact that Cunliffe is already backtracking with clarifications,

      Yeah links please or you’re just spouting as usual.

      don’t piss all over established “die in the ditch” policy positions, like no privatisation.

      No state asset is being sold (except under NAT). Tell me where you know different.

      while everyone who isn’t angling for an electorate seat is saying WTF.

      You’re just burning since the Left is willing to use the toolbox of the Right to get important things done that NAT have no stomach for: getting cars off roads and getting rail built instead of roads.

    • All I am saying Baron is that this is not some sort of radical change.

      In 2008 King and Cullen said the following about the possiblity of a PPP for Waterview:

      The Government will investigate the feasibility of progressing the Waterview Connection section of Auckland’s Western Ring Route as a public private partnership (PPP), Finance Minister Michael Cullen and Transport Minister Annette King announced today.

      Dr Cullen and Ms King said considering a PPP business case alongside conventional procurement options for the Waterview Connection would help ensure the option chosen delivered New Zealanders the best value for money. ”

      The link is at http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/government-investigate-feasibility-ppp-waterview-connection

      Chocolate fish to anyone who can spot the change in policy.

  19. Jeremy Harris 19

    I don’t see what the big deal is for “lefties”, Cunliffe is essentially saying that in any new SOE type projects they are happy for private money and private ownership to pay a part, so what if it increases NZ’s ability to produce or increases efficiency..? That is a good thing…

    • Draco T Bastard 19.1

      so what if it increases NZ’s ability to produce or increases efficiency..?

      As reality has shown over the last three decades, it won’t improve productivity or efficiency. What PPPs will do is decrease them.

      • burt 19.1.1

        And would that be because the most efficient form of operation is a state owned monopoly ?

        • Draco T Bastard 19.1.1.1

          In the services that the state provides – yes.

          • KJT 19.1.1.1.1

            There are times when PPP’s are appropriate. The innovation incubators at the Universities are a good example.

            Natural monopolies, money supply and country wide infrastructure are not a place for private providers. we just end up paying for them several times over.

    • Bright Red 19.2

      if an SOE wants to go into joint ventures with private companies that’s fine – they alreay do it. But Cunliffe is talking about SOEs selling interests in subsidiaries they already own.

      What’s to stop National forcing SOEs to carve off great hulks of their core business as ‘subsidaries’ and selling them? It’s so close to Cunliffe’s policy as to be no difference in voters’ eyes.

  20. Gina 20

    I was thinking Labour and PPP’s earlier today and my conclusion is that they are throwing big business a carrot. Please correct me if I’m wrong here but they are short of money and how the hell are they going to compete with even the limits to election spending that National has agreed to.

    The agreed limits to election spending even though they seem reasonable are going to be really hard for labour to match as their poorer supporters are not flush with cash. We essentailly have a similar situation to the united states.

    Maybe Labour could come clean with the public and let them know that without donations they cannot stand against the corporate check book and that our assetts will be lost unless the public support their campaign.

    Someone could run a website taking donations to give to Labour on condition that they stand against privatising our assetts. If Labour fail to do the right thing then the money should go to the Greens.
    That someone cannot be me I’m sorry. I’ll spare you the details which believe me you don’t want to know but there is a good excuse.

    • Jeremy Harris 20.1

      In California the Republican billionaire candidate for Governor spent $200,000,000 of her own money and lost by 14%…

      Money doesn’t automatically equal ballot success, my vote isn’t for sale…

      I think Cunliffe genuinely thinks this is a good thing…

      • Colonial Viper 20.1.1

        Jeremy, its not about how much money is spent by one individual candidate out of their own back pocket (Carly Fiorina right, ex HP CEO?).

        It is about the fact that no member on *either political side* of the US Congress can get in today without capitulating to accepting massive corporate campaign financing. (The exception being those who are already heavily enriched from the corporate scene themselves eg Fiorina)

        Also recognise that US politicians are no longer interested in buying YOUR vote Jeremy whether its for sale or not. Because unless your vote comes with a million dollar cheque its worthless. A million dollar corporate supplied campaign financing cheque can launch a media campaign influencing millions of votes. Your vote, principled as it may be, becomes largely irrelevant. Politicians do not bother to court you any more, unless you happen to be a Fortune 500 CEO who can write a big cheque.

        Every candidate for US congress is also aware that if they do not get the big cheques which are available from the corporate lobbyists, it is very likely that their *opponent* will get the cheque instead. So you don’t just lose the $1M cheque as a candidate, you opponent goes up $1M too. You end up $2M behind in your campaign.

        And this is why the US Congress now acts as if it represents corporate interests, not the people of the United States.

    • Colonial Viper 20.2

      on condition that they stand against privatising our assetts.

      Now I may get shot at as being a Labour hack, but I’ll make the point again: a public private partnership within the context of a brand new endeavour does not result in the privatisation of any publicly owned assets.

      I agree with the “carrot” interpretation in your comments as long as that carrot goes to *NZ* owned private companies. Now, if Treasury was filled with…treasure…Cunliffe would not have to consider using the PPP concept. Alternatively Cunliffe could say – yes we will get rail throughout AKL but we will raise taxes up and down the country to do it and/or take on more Government debt.

      Both those options come with their own risks.

    • burt 20.3

      Someone could run a website taking donations to give to Labour…

      That’s already covered, here are two such sites;

      http://www.epmu.org.nz/
      http://www.psa.org.nz/Home.aspx

  21. burt 21

    Just as an aside, I haven’t heard UK Labour talking about a “fourth way” so is this “third way” and Labour still think it is 2002 ?

  22. Gina 22

    “In California the Republican billionaire candidate for Governor spent $200,000,000 of her own money and lost by 14%… ”

    Hah! good job and yeah it can happen but then theres the other example of Obama who beat Hillary for the nomination more than likely because he had tripple her funding most of which came from Wall Street. The press are so deceptive in the US. They were declaring that Obama was not taking corporate money and it was a blatant lie that became evident after the election. He was the biggest Wall Street recipient in history.

    Whether Hillary would have been any different to Obama is uncertain. She voted with George Bush his entire term. There are plenty of pics of Hillary at CFR and the Rockefeller ranch and I\’ve read she started out as a republican.
    I really hope Phill Goff is genuine labour as he was a pal of Roger D. There better not be any surprises there.

    I am totally opposed to PPP’s . The world bank promote them and are using the engineered crisis to push them further. Its a deliberate plan. Cause a crisis and they are the solution as they slowly put a noose around our necks.
    The World Bank and the IMF are just down the road to Wall Street and have a revolving door management thing going that includes the Fed and the US treasury. The corruption is all interlinked and I’m sure many of you are well aware of it. Do we really want Wall Street dictating NZ financial policy?

    I agree with Irish Bill on this one. Anti privitsation is the policy Labour can score points on big time. The policy nuIances will not register with the public and they will see National and Labour as the same party and Labour will have lost a major platform.
    I think this might also be a carrot to the right wing journalists in hopes of getting some good press.

    • Colonial Viper 22.1

      He was the biggest Wall Street recipient in history.

      I think the biggest single donation of the campaign was from Goldman Sachs to Obama.

  23. felix 23

    Hey Labour, couple of questions.

    What percentage of voters are opposed to privatisation? 75? 85? Something like that?

    Actually fuck it, that’s the only question I have right now.

  24. BLiP 24

    It is ironic that in his speech Cunliffe referred to Denmark as being a country worthy of emulating. Denmark is the home of the Farum PPP which is internationally recognised as the largest PPP failure ever. The Mayor of Farum has been expelled from office, both the mayor and council face criminal charges, the city is in financial ruin and has lost its economic autonomy, and the citizenry must now pay for the whole debacle through a 3.2 percent increase in taxes. In short, this PPP was judged as “the most spectacular scandal in the history of Danish Public Administration”.

    The simple fact in regard to PPPs is this: government can *always* borrow money at a lesser interest rate than the private sector.

    That fact is inescapable – PPPs are *always* more expensive because they needlessly put tax payer money directly into the pockets of the do-nothing banksters. The easiest explanation of how this works is to consider the prosaic but equally uneconomic “rent-to-buy” schemes offered to consumers: rent a tv for $10 a week for five years and you will own a television which, if you would have put $10 a week into the bank for two years you could buy outright.

    Politicians who promote PPPs are aware of this yet press ahead, not because the funding formula is in the best interests of their constituents but because it obscures the real cost and allows them to be the ones to cut the red ribbons before the fawning media. It is sheer political expediency.

    The other, equally insidious attraction politicians have towards PPPs is that they make the books look better. Instead of the accounts showing an initial massive loan in the current account, all that appears are the regular monthly instalments. Instead of you and me rolling up our sleeves and laying down a railway track for our grandchildren, we get to ride now, the kids get to pay later, and the banksters get to ride for free.

    Cunliffe’s speech is 100% in contradiction to the sentiments expressed by the politicians attending the 2010 Labour Party Conference. That Cunliffe now wishes to relegate the role of Parliament to that of “economic managers” is a slap in the face to delegates and to those they say they represent.

    • Craig Glen Eden 24.1

      So Blip answer my questions which all the greens have been to scared to answer. Given Len Brown has already said he will be seeking private funding of the rail loop,
      Do you support getting cars off the road, have you and the Green Party decided to no longer support Len Brown.

      If Lens out John Banks or someone equally abhorrent will be in. Given Len has said a number of times he cant do the loop without PPP.

      What do you expect Cunliffe to do let Browns rail loop fail . Time to get real people their is no money the Tories are spending/ giving it to their mates faster than we can all shit.

      Cunliffe and the Labour caucus has been totally up front here this is not some change in policy its a very clear attempt to be clear about the need to advance NZ infrastructure and how they intend to fund it with strict criteria. Tough decision need to be made so time to start getting real and stop shit kicking.

      • Draco T Bastard 24.1.1

        Given Len has said a number of times he cant do the loop without PPP.

        Except that he can – he just needs central government to use rules already in place that allow them to print the money rather than borrowing it and a slight increase in taxes/rates to offset the influx of currency into the market. Borrowing the money at interest or using PPPs will actually increase rates and taxes more.

        • Jum 24.1.1.1

          This is a perfect time for Brown to go to the people and put the case; do they want to have their assets privatised by stealth through profit gouging, commercialisation, contracting… or do they want to be proactive and either pay a fuel tax or increase rates, either of which I don’t mind because now we have been dragged into Auckland public transport may actually begin to be of some benefit – certainly Brown will be harrassed in a big way from places that see little evidence of benefit being in Auckland – toll calls being one of the insults.

          Key/Joyce want to kneecap Brown and bring him down for a Banks revenge and a total sell-off under Banks/Key/Joyce of Auckland. Brown needs to wise Aucklanders up to this. Why wouldn’t Aucklanders want to keep their assets and know that public control does end up costing less and the profit of better public transport is all ours. Expertise can be brought in individually.

      • BLiP 24.1.2

        There’s plenty of money, why else would the privateers be circling? Government, including BrownTown, can borrow the money at a cheaper rate that the private sector. Prove me wrong. Len needs to be educated or, failing that, heaved out.

        All this capitalist-driven pleading “there is no money . . . its time for tough decisions . . . lets get real . . . need to advance New Zealand” coming from Cunliffe, Goff and his apologists is eerily reminiscent of Roger Douglas and 1984. What you call “shit kicking”, I prefer to call “ringing the alarm bells”.

    • Colonial Viper 24.2

      Cunliffe’s speech is 100% in contradiction to the sentiments expressed by the politicians attending the 2010 Labour Party Conference. That Cunliffe now wishes to relegate the role of Parliament to that of “economic managers” is a slap in the face to delegates and to those they say they represent.

      Come now man, the phrase Cunliffe used was :

      That’s why I am saying the next Labour Government will be both more progressive and more prudent. Instead of being fiscally looser, we will be more active economic managers. The way you get to recovery of the type I’m talking about is through deeper partnerships and much more aggressive use of the capital account.

      Now if you read between the lines this is in total contrast to National’s laissez faire hands-off economic non management. This is not “relegating” Government to the role of economic management. Cunliffe is placing Government into the midst of the economic action (and despite the Right Wingers crowing about Cunliffe’s speech, we know that they actually hate the idea).

      Last point – people are talking as if we are still in the Cullen years and that surpluses are available to be spent. They are not there, the cupboard is not bare but it is looking empty, and I am betting you that Cunliffe has many more interesting ideas up his sleeve to put the Government’s capital accounts to beyond AKL rail.

      • BLiP 24.2.1

        Now if you read between the lines this is in total contrast to National’s laissez faire hands-off economic non management. This is not “relegating” Government to the role of economic management. Cunliffe is placing Government into the midst of the economic action (and despite the Right Wingers crowing about Cunliffe’s speech, we know that they actually hate the idea).

        Read between the lines all you like. Given the discrepancy between his conference statements and this speech, I well understand why the faithful may be clutching at straws. However, he said what he said – “Instead of being fiscally looser, we will be more active economic managers.” This statement is a direct lift from the John Key Government Instruction Manual. Rather than be a leader, or a builder, or a statesman, he is the CEO and the Cabinet his Board of Directors. No longer is New Zealand a society wherein business is an equal partner with the workers, the families, the children, te iwi, the musicians and the artists but, rather, New Zealand is now a business. NZ Inc. Fuck you very much, Labour and National Ltd™.

        Can you explain how your statement that National Ltd™ has been operating a “laissez faire hands-off economic non management”? Perhaps you haven’t noticed the suspension of democracy to ram through legislation tilting the playing field for employers who may now sack anyone for no reason, did you miss the tax changes which robbed the poor to pay the rich?

        Last point – people are talking as if we are still in the Cullen years and that surpluses are available to be spent. They are not there, the cupboard is not bare but it is looking empty, and I am betting you that Cunliffe has many more interesting ideas up his sleeve to put the Government’s capital accounts to beyond AKL rail.

        Based on what? His decision to go backwards into the murky world of necromantic economics which lie at the base of PPPs? If the cupboards are bare, its time to restock. A tax hike, a Tobin tax, a couple of major infrastructure projects and we’re away. A profitable rail system seems a great way to bring in some cash and stimulate business. Forget about being yet another poxy “manager” and do some work, Labour.

        Still, one good thing. Its confirmed now: the 2011 election is going to be like choosing Coke or Pepsi.

        • just saying 24.2.1.1

          “Its confirmed now: the 2011 election is going to be like choosing Coke or Pepsi”.

          Nah, there’s more difference between coke and pepsi.

          And in the same speech crowing about Labour ‘rising to the challenge’ in the Rogernomics years. They used the ‘cupboard is bare’ excuse then too.

          If there had been a genuine move to the left there would certainly be no fear of the words “tax increase”. There has been no such change, and I have been looking very hard for any indication of a genuine change of direction. The labour leadership doesn’t believe change is necessary. All that’s needed is chucking the ‘grassroots’ a few more bare bones, and making a few more reassuring noises in private – *wink* we might sound like tories but you just wait till we’re back in power!

          • BLiP 24.2.1.1.1

            This “Labour ♥ PPP” position is about trying to shore up the stock market by showing “across-the-board” support for the New Zealand Social Infrastructure Fund Ltd’s plans to privatise all manner of government functions.

            When you compare Cunliffe’s statements from August with this latest speech I can’t help but wonder what information he has become privvy to. Has he been won over with tales of impending disaster, or has he been whispered to by the Hollow Men to pull his head in and stop meddling with their plans. What ever it, even he can’t have been won over by the mathematics of PPPs.

            There’s a very bad smell about this whole issue.

            • Colonial Viper 24.2.1.1.1.1

              yeah OK before leading a revolution to overthrow the current Labour hierarchy based on ? (I’m not sure what) lets take a big breath and remember that PPP’s have been said to be part of a tool kit which might be used in one specific sector IF it makes sense.

              However, he said what he said – “Instead of being fiscally looser, we will be more active economic managers.” This statement is a direct lift from the John Key Government Instruction Manual. Rather than be a leader, or a builder, or a statesman, he is the CEO and the Cabinet his Board of Directors. No longer is New Zealand a society wherein business is an equal partner with the workers, the families, the children, te iwi, the musicians and the artists but, rather, New Zealand is now a business. NZ Inc.

              Cunliffe here is talking about economic and fiscal policy. He is not talking about the overarching purpose of a Labour Government. He is talking about his finance portfolio under the umbrella of Goff’s and Annette’s speech at Conference. From this perspective there are no grounds to say – hey Labour’s going to turn NZ into a business concern – what a twat!

              Can you explain how your statement that National Ltd™ has been operating a “laissez faire hands-off economic non management”? Perhaps you haven’t noticed the suspension of democracy to ram through legislation tilting the playing field for employers who may now sack anyone for no reason, did you miss the tax changes which robbed the poor to pay the rich?

              Yeah I’ll explain it this way: NAT used each of these actions to TAKE the hands of regulation, legislation and government OFF capitalist activity. Yes, I agree with you, taking ones’ hands OFF is an ACTION. They took that action. IMO becoming laissez faire does not simply mean not doing anything, it also means that you actively move to the state of being laissez faire.

              If there had been a genuine move to the left there would certainly be no fear of the words “tax increase”. There has been no such change, and I have been looking very hard for any indication of a genuine change of direction.

              just saying: – why not give the LAB team a break here, they’ve been talking about CGT and making sure that other non tax paying activities are captured. Now if LAB announced in its manifesto that it was increasing PAYE and/or also upping company tax to fund billions in additional spending after 2011 – what would NAT predictably respond with during the election campaign?

              • just saying

                Maybe it could tell the the public precisely how it will raise taxes and by how much, and what it will spend the revenue on and Why. Polls have shown the public prefer higher taxes to services cuts.

                Of course this assumes the NZLP has stopped being ‘Tweedle Trough’ and returned to its roots. The evidence doesn’t support that particular hypothesis IMO.

              • BLiP

                Cunliffe here is talking about economic and fiscal policy. He is not talking about the overarching purpose of a Labour Government. He is talking about his finance portfolio under the umbrella of Goff’s and Annette’s speech at Conference. From this perspective there are no grounds to say – hey Labour’s going to turn NZ into a business concern – what a twat!

                Have another read of speech. You will see he is talking about all of Labour when he said:

                “We will be more prudent because our fiscal strategy will reduce net debt over the fiscal cycle. Labour is a fiscally responsible party. We proved that during our last term when we reduced net debt to zero, despite Bill English calling for tax cuts that would only have inflated the property bubble. . . . [snip] . . . At the core of Labour’s plan there will be an active economic development partnership between government, business and the community to grow good jobs, high incomes and more exports.”

                At. The. Core. Of. Labour’s. Plan.

                Political waffle, certainly, but how do you suppose Labour is going to “reduce net debt over the fiscal cycle” – let me tell you: they’re planning to remove the debt from the current account and put it into the future by paying off ticked-up overpriced infrastructure for ever. Cunliffe has his fingers crossed that this will release cash for the social aspects. That’s what the speech says. Is it your position that this is simply sophistry to protect Labour from potential attacks during the election and to placate wary business leaders?

                Well, guess what, sonny, from now on – months out from the election campaign – National Ltd™ are going to piss all over Labour when ever the subject of privatisation comes up.

                just saying: – why not give the LAB team a break here, they’ve been talking about CGT and making sure that other non tax paying activities are captured. Now if LAB announced in its manifesto that it was increasing PAYE and/or also upping company tax to fund billions in additional spending after 2011 – what would NAT predictably respond with during the election campaign?

                Give the Labour team “a break” – are you kidding? At a time when New Zealand needed to see its leaders in action, asking the tough questions, getting on with business, to show solidarity with the rest of us workers dealing with the shock to the collective psyche after Pike River, those slobs voted to take the day off!! So what did your mate Cunliffe do with his day off? He strolled off to some festival of policy wonks to go back on his word given just two months ago!!

                • just saying

                  LAB didn’t just vote for the day off. It was their idea.

                • Colonial Viper

                  At. The. Core. Of. Labour’s. Plan.

                  Cunliffe is finance spokesman giving a finance and economy talk to a bunch of finance and economy policy wonks. I read this as saying at the core of Labour’s economic plans – which is indicated by the title of his speech. Now you may read this as saying that his speech superceedes Goff’s speech as Leader and King’s speech as Deputy Leader, but I personally do not think that it does.

                  they’re planning to remove the debt from the current account and put it into the future by paying off ticked-up overpriced infrastructure for ever. Cunliffe has his fingers crossed that this will release cash for the social aspects. That’s what the speech says. Is it your position that this is simply sophistry to protect Labour from potential attacks during the election and to placate wary business leaders?

                  So you’re conclusion is that the only way Labour is going to free up cash for use on social needs is by being hamfisted and dishonest in their accounting, and by perpetrating even more intergenerational theft.

                  OK if they do that I’ll be with you at the frakin barricades but I really don’t think this is what Labour’s economic plan is when I look at all the stuff around owning our productive assets, diversifying our economic base, enhancing R&D activity, capital/currency controls etc

                  those slobs voted to take the day off!! So what did your mate Cunliffe do with his day off? He strolled off to some festival of policy wonks to go back on his word given just two months ago!!

                  Yeah that was in bad taste IMO, not sure why Parliament should have had the day off there – with a major disaster all hands should have been on deck. It seems like our leaders do not know how to appropriately mark major events. By the way that was another day at the job of being Finance spokesperson for Cunliffe, he wasn’t away fishing.

                  • BLiP

                    Cunliffe is finance spokesman giving a finance and economy talk to a bunch of finance and economy policy wonks. I read this as saying at the core of Labour’s economic plans – which is indicated by the title of his speech. Now you may read this as saying that his speech superceedes Goff’s speech as Leader and King’s speech as Deputy Leader, but I personally do not think that it does.

                    Cunliffe was addressing the New Zealand Institute of Policy Studies, an academic outfit attached to Victoria University. In recent years it has published learned articles and books covering the policy implications of health, social welfare, employment, trade, climate change, parliamentary process, executive powers, criminal offending, cultural identification, and the provision of official information. To name a few. Cunliffe’s speech was titled “Labour’s Pathway To The Future: More Progressive and More Prudent” – you’ll note, I’m sure, the words “finance” and “economics” are missing from that title. Thus, your premise fails.

                    As a side note, and although inverted, the “progressive prudent” conjunction has famously been applied to Lyndon B Johnson, a chief architect of the “Great Society”. Lets give Cunliffe the benefit of the doubt – one last time – and assume it was a hat tip to LBJ and something he is seeking to emulate next year.

                    Otherwise, see you on the barricades.

  25. JonL 25

    So, Labour seem to be trying real hard, to lose the next election! They certainly haven’t done anything to earn my vote, yet! Disorganised, no apparent spine, no real policies other than more of the same. Do any of them actually think, or have any real convictions (other than the judicial sort)
    I think I’ll just not vote next time….there doesn’t seem to be any real choice of parties with sane, sensible policies, and I don’t vote, merely to vote a party out, which seems to be how most NZ’ers vote!
    A Labour party advocating PPP’s is not a Labour party I’d vote for!

  26. Jum 28

    The major problem for Labour seems to be telling people in words of one syllable about the difference between them and NAct.

    People only pick up on what media tells them. They don’t notice the nuances of Cunliffe’s speech. The supporters of Cunliffe need to tell him that. The cunning NActs have learned the art of repetitive short word stories.

    Labour should get real. In this texting time, if you have to explain your difference there either isn’t one or the difference is so slight (even though the benefits to Kiwis may be hugely different if they take Labour’s side) it won’t matter.

    The word is still privatisation which NAct will exploit the minute Labour tries to tell the public next year that the neo-cons intend to sell us off into servitude.

    If Cunliffe does not get this simple truth, he will be mincemeat. Sometimes your critics are your best friends. They want you to succeed but they know how the majority of people will be brainwashed by the moneymen/media.

  27. Jum 29

    Check out CAFCA – ‘Campaign Against Foreign Control’ needs to be read, Bill Rosenberg and Murray Horton have some excellent research and sound thinking. They are not particularly nice about Labour’s asset selloffs either but like I said before – ‘sometimes your critics are your best friends…’

  28. George D 30

    Problem is that this kind of thinking isn\’t new. It\’s the same NeoLabour that Cullen and Clark and Goff stood for, and it\’s thoroughly widespread within the ranks of the NeoLabour Party.

    Word captcha: represented.
    The internet has a sense of humour.

    • Craig Glen Eden 31.1

      Gee the Greens are getting desperate arn’t they must be time they got a new leader Russell Normans only plan to increase the Green vote is to attack Labour to win votes! Russell just like in the Mt albert by-election you are a poor performer and a real looser. Time for a new Leader Greens you are about to taste political suicide with this monkey.

  29. Gina 32

    Who is tricking the labour party into electoral suicide again. Who has been advising David Cunlife that people will get his version of PPP’s. Who put forward the light bulbs policy. Is someone in Labour not really for Labour. Look at any advisors very carefully. If they have sold you one lemon they may be selling you another.

  30. Jum 33

    Are you implying I’m a greenie you silly boy? I’m a better friend to Labour than it knows. They need to look at their communication methods with people. Remember how well NAct did with saturating Labour strongholds with their blue lies. FFS, I even heard that some people were voting for National because they’d been told Helen Clark would still be Prime Minister, but under National they’d get huge tax cuts. Labour needs to know that NAct has the cunning of greed and powermongering that will see them use the most vicious and lying tactics they can to win. That is all that matters to NAct. Kiwis are just collateral damage. If Cunliffe starts using the language of NAct they will not succeed. Labour is better than NAct.

    The NActs are like a Hydra – with many heads all saying the same thing. They have no creative thought processes that will bring a better world. Just same old, same old. Destructive, negative selfishness is all that NAct espouses. The gender mix in Labour is important, although the Greens have a better model with co-leaders.

    The winning capability of Labour is that it argues; it debates. That is its real strength. Out of conflict comes a better solution, providing Labour does not close its mind to all possibilities and doesn’t keep ignoring its critics. Even Public Partnerships could be looked at in that vein but not in the same way as NACT does, and definitely not using the PPP thinking or even the same words. It does not work. Greed always wins out. Power and money into the hands of the few of NAct/businessrotundtable will always happen and will always create the rich and the poor.

    • Craig Glen Eden 33.1

      “Even Public Partnerships could be looked at in that vein but not in the same way as NACT does, and definitely not using the PPP thinking or even the same words.”

      This is what Cunliffe and the Labour caucus has done ( looked at PPP but set strict criteria) and you and others have done nothing but rubbish the guy all yesterday.Trying to make out its some relic of the Douglas area.

      “I even heard that some people were voting for National because they’d been told Helen Clark would still be Prime Minister, but under National they’d get huge tax cuts.”

      Right so now we are meant to believe that this is Labours doing! Do you have rocks in your head.
      please do us a favour vote Green please vote Green.

      “The gender mix in Labour is important, although the Greens have a better model with co-leaders.”
      The Co leader arrangement is a stupid arrangement IMO its for people who cant make the hard decisions. A Party who is going to be in Government has to have a Prime Minister. Pick the best person for the job if its a woman then pick her as Labour did with Helen.

  31. Jum 34

    Craig Glen Eden

    Change ‘silly boy’ to ‘fxxwit’. Read carefully: “some people (Labour supporters) were voting for National because they’d been told (by National – you obviously need hand-feeding) Helen Clark would still be Prime Minister, (in a National government. The voters liked Helen Clark and the lying NAct knew this and exploited it by saying not only could they have Helen Clark continue as Prime Minister in National “but under National they’d get huge tax cuts” (too). Win/win – but in the end they got neither.
    The political junkies don’t get that New Zealanders really don’t want to know about hard core politics – they just want more money and security. They have little idea of what public good policies they are giving away that Labour put in place. That’s why they get exploited by NAct. But, John ‘we’d love to see wages drop’ Key has no intention of giving the average New Zealander more money unless he can take it back off them at 3 or 4 times the rate – GST, road charges/fines/acc levies, etc.

    “definitely not using the PPP thinking or even the same words.” My words.
    This is what Cunliffe and the Labour caucus has done ( looked at PPP but set strict criteria) Your words.
    I am looking at his speech now;
    “Crucially in a capital constrained fiscal environment, we will better leverage the Crown’s balance sheet in new and innovative ways.
    We can expand public-private partnerships for new transport infrastructure. The project scale must be right and the PPP benefits must outweigh any increase in cost of capital, but that leaves plenty of scope for win-wins.”

    Again read carefully: I said not to use the same words. NAct will attack him with using the same jargon, when he tries to attack them on their appalling record with PPPs. As David Cunliffe talks about ‘new and innovative ways’ then surely he is not talking about PPPs. He is talking about something fairer not PPPs. They are unfair to the taxpayer. They always involve shareholders who want profit at the expense of New Zealand taxpayers. He needs to have a unique word for his innovation.

    We can agree to disagree on the co-leader option.

  32. Craig Glen Eden 35

    Its possible that we are talking past each other Jum but I will give you the same respect you have chosen not to give me.
    You are talking Shit Jum or is it Dumb. Yeah not hard to throw insults dipshit.
    Try sticking to the issue if you can!
    The issue is you are not helping the cause with your bullshit semantics. I will make it really simple for you try and keep up!

    Labour has not moved to the right by using the term PPP also Cunliffes audience was not joe public it was to The Institute of Policy studies .If they changed the language Labour would be accused of blurring or fudging. Cunliffe is explaining how Labour will be doing things differently a more active engaging type of economic strategy, a strategy that will use many tools BUT only when it will be of benefit to NZ state.
    He has had to cover PPP because it is an option which as I have explained Len Brown has already said he is considering to fund the rail loop. Cunliffe probably wouldn’t chose PPP, however he wont rule them out if they will benefit the Nation, he and the Labour caucus are obviously aware of there pit falls. Do you get it?
    Labour has not moved to the right with this speech, this is not a return to the Douglas days as many (green supporters) are trying to make out.
    While it might suit the Green agenda to try and create that impression it is straight out dishonest.

    One of the things I admired about Jeanette and Rod is they didn’t engage in this destructive form of politics, honesty was the hall mark of their leadership I believe.
    While I didn’t always agree with he road they took I think they were genuine and good for the left. . Norman is destructive for the left. He is conceited and short sighted, sadly.

  33. Jum 36

    Since you started swearing at me calling me a Greenie, I throw 3 fxxkwits and a gobshite back at you and up you by 2 dipshits.

    Don’t you get it yet twit; don’t tell me, convince the voters who don’t give a shit. And tell them in words of one syllable. Attacking me won’t matter one iota. The really sad point is blogs don’t sit on the breakfast table on a daily basis like the Herald does, spewing out its poison.

    • Craig Glen Eden 36.1

      I don’t disagree with you that Labour when dealing with the public has to be way more succinct with its message and particularly when addressing the media.
      I would take it a step further and say some serious training needs to be done from the top down. However thats not the case here, Cunliffe was addressing people who are familiar with the language, PPP are talked about in Labour policy documents. To change the word private to something else would simply be seen as using a trojan horse. Cunliffe was not creating a billboard or sound bite.
      He has exposed the Greens and there supporters though with how they intend to not work with Labour. Some in the Greens seem to think that by attacking Labour that it will increase their vote but it wont and we could end up with Nact for another term. Raise you by three twits if that can be done.

    • JoelW 36.2

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10691142

      Actually Jum, the Herald did quite a good editorial on Cunliffe’s speech. I suggest you read it. Oh, and the speech for that matter.

  34. Jum 37

    I talked about pp – public partnerships. I have a real anti about private business involving itself in public works. Call me politically naive. There’s just too much history with ppps that ends in tears.

    I also wasn’t suggesting misleading with a different word for ‘private’ – that’s NAct’s dirty tricks bag.

    ‘New and innovative’ as Cunliffe quoted must be that – something new. Nothing less from a Fulbright Scholar will do.

    In 2000, Helen Clark gave a speech to the Labour Party Conference:

    In it she said:

    “Next time you hear a Tory talk about personal income tax cuts: ask the question, how can our nation go ahead without the public resources to make huge investments in our future potential? Tax cuts are a path to inequality and underdevelopment in today’s circumstances. They are the promises of vision-less and intellectually bankrupt people.”

    (In today’s circumstances they apply once more.)

    But and here is the true nature of the NAct pondscum:

    First Key, then English – one week before the 2008 general election, misled the public by misquoting Helen Clark. They misquoted that she said: ‘Tax cuts are a path to inequality and underdevelopment. They are the promises of a vision-less and intellectually bankrupt people.’ Spot the nasty little difference. Clark was talking about 2000 not being good for tax cuts, not forever. Then they added a tiny little ‘a’ which changed the wording to suggest Clark was talking about New Zealanders not NAct.

    This is the extreme nature of these rightwing weasels. It was possibly Brian Nicholle or Steven Joyce who engineered it. Key had about 46 spin people working for him before he became pm.

  35. Jum 38

    Joel W – you are not listening. Read the above post, again. It does not matter how nice Cunliffe’s speech is, all 13 pages of it read to people who understood it. The rightwing weasels will just lift out the PPP words and the privatisation word and tell everyone in New Zealand through all the avenues that you and I know are waiting to disseminate the mantra of Key and English that David Cunliffe believes in PPPs and privatisation too, but National will promise them bigger taxcuts like they did last time when they lied about not raising GST.

    So many New Zealanders stop reading the paper past the headlines and they stop listening to the news past the tragedies and the hollywood hype.

    New Zealanders in the 80s and the 90s and now again in the ‘teens’ are selfish and greedy. Key is the ultimate greedy moneytrader of them all and if you don’t understand how he works on these NZers Labour will lose the next election. You seem to think you’re dealing with humane people in this government – these are extreme rightwing money-making powermongers. They don’t think the way human beings do. Money and Power is all.

    PS Any replies to ppps-suck-toll-roads-do-too/

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    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    3 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    4 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    4 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    5 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

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