Fairfax yesterday posted this article where business high fliers were asked what they thought political parties should be talking about this election year. I prepared this post as a fictional interview of ordinary people and their thoughts on what the parties should be talking about as this view should also be heard but then Fairfax posted this article today where real ordinary people were interviewed. The difference in views between the high fliers and the ordinary people is somewhat jarring although the paper could have provided real balance by talking to someone surviving on a benefit.
Rod Drury, founder of Xero and who is estimated to be worth $400 million, made some comments in the first article which disclose an interesting world view.
He was a member of the delegation that recently travelled to Australia with John Key. According to the article his concern is that the election will turn on “stuff that’s not important”.
What I’d like to see is the Government have another term because they’ve had two terms where they got the debt sorted and Canterbury [rebuild under way].
“I think they’re very smart people and I’d love to see them get a third term to use that great platform [to] do some more exciting projects . . . the one we keep talking to them about is [an international internet cable] so we can take more control of our destiny.”
National could win the asset sales argument by demonstrating that proceeds were being used to build up exciting new 21st century assets.
Labour needs another year or so to bed itself in under David Cunliffe.
Such economic illiteracy coming from such a senior businessman is a worry. It obviously needs to be repeated that in June 2008 Labour had paid off
all crown debt and the crowns accounts showed a slight surplus. By September 2013 net Crown debt had reached $60 billion and increases in debt are predicted for years to come.
Of course many will then trot out Key’s mantra that Labour had left the country with a decade of deficits but this statement is essentially a lie. The Global Financial Crisis was the cause of the sudden change in the country’s finances but instead of Helen Clark and Michael Cullen being blamed I can suggest many other names of those who should take responsibility. Names such as Wall Street, Morgan Stanley, Bear Stern and my personal favourite Merryl Lynch. Because it was a bunch of robber merchant bankers that brought the world’s economy to its knees.
As for getting the Canterbury rebuild underway Drury should go to Christchurch and ask ordinary people what they think about the speed of the rebuild. The response will not be polite.
And the International Internet Cable? This was a private enterprise proposal that has not got past go yet. The Government is struggling to get its broadband initiative happening so the chances of it doing anything further are remote. About the only infrastructure proposal by the Government that is happening, apart from roads of notional significance, is Key’s cycleway and even this is struggling to be built.
And these exciting new 21st century assets? We have not seen any yet. And it needs to be said again that the power company shares could have been retained and the income used to fund the construction of these assets.
Fairfax would do better to have analysis and discussion of the state of the country rather quoting cheerleaders for the Government.