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Forward to the 70s

Written By: - Date published: 8:43 am, June 6th, 2018 - 112 comments
Categories: capitalism, Iain Lees-Galloway, labour, national, same old national, unemployment, Unions, wages, workers' rights - Tags:

Labour and Iain Lees-Galloway have managed to score the biggest up yours in politics for decades with the announcement that former National Prime Minister Jim Bolger has been appointed to a group tasked with returning industry wide bargaining. And the Nats are spitting tacks.

From Craig McCulloch at Radio New Zealand:

The National Party has taken a swipe at its former leader Jim Bolger as he heads up a working group tasked with radically shaking up industrial relations.

The government on Tuesday announced a 10 person panel – chaired by the former prime minister – to investigate the best way to set up Fair Pay Agreements.

The contentious proposal would allow collective agreements setting minimum terms and conditions for all workers across the same sector or occupation.

National MP Scott Simpson said such a move was a return to the days of industrial strife and strike action in the 1970s.

And Mr Bolger’s appointment did not allay the Opposition’s concerns, he said.

“Jim was actually the Minister of Labour back in the 1970s, so I guess he’s particularly well-placed to lead an initiative that will take us back there.”

Mr Simpson said sector-wide negotiations would ultimately make workplaces less flexible and productive.

“This will do nothing to alleviate businesses’ concerns about the direction the government’s taking New Zealand in.”

Bolger had the perfect response:

“We’re not going to be looking backwards,” he said.

“It’s where we are and what’s the world going to look like tomorrow – and are we going to be able to meet the fair aspirations of all workers in New Zealand?”

He also said that Simpson needs to take a deep breath and a cold shower.

Things were really bad back in the 1970s during the time of the third Labour Government.  Full employment, wages and conditions sufficient to allow a working family to live in decency on one full time wage, home ownership rates of about 70% …

Stand by for some really shrill fearmongering.  And hope that the Government succeeds in getting this introduced.  So that three decades of work conditions being eroded can be arrested.

112 comments on “Forward to the 70s ”

  1. Ad 1

    Employment Contracts Act!
    Like getting Bill Clinton leading #MeToo.

    What next, Bolger leads a new Farmers Union?

    This is just a piece of awesome theatre from Minister Lees-Galloway.

    • dukeofurl 1.1

      At least Bolger has been on record as previously saying time has shown his ECA was a failure when it supplanted the 100 yr old arbitration Act.

      • Anne 1.1.1

        Jim Bolger 30 mins ago on rnz:


        I think it is an inspired choice. Bolger is experienced and a much wiser person now. He’s on record as rubbishing some of the more draconian neo liberal changes of the 1980s and 90s.

        • Gosman

          Bolger was bigging up his employment reforms during the 90’s during his interview this morning. He didn’t make out they were a mistake at all. He certainly didn’t agree that the 1970’s industrial relations policies were better.

          • AB

            Agree with Gosman. Naïve to think of Bolger as having seen the light – my impression is that he still seems a bit schizophrenic or self-contradictory in his comments. He may be still under the illusion that compassionate conservatism is possible.
            Bill Mitchell had this to say about him: Reflections on a Visit to NZ

            “Also at the Roundtable was the former Prime Minister of New Zealand who oversaw the worst of the neo-liberal excesses against the disadvantaged – James Bolger. He was also in the audience for the formal presentation and I had a conversation with him about various things that remain between us.
            In the Roundtable, he was obviously frustrated with the message, which I could have made more personal (against him) had I desired, given his role in the damage that was caused and his apparent recanting in recent interviews.”

      • DS 1.1.2

        Strictly, it didn’t.

        The predecessor to the ECA was the Labour Relations Act 1987, which reintroduced compulsory unionism after Muldoon (and Bolger!) scrapped it in 1982.

        It was Norm Kirk that scrapped the Arbitration Act in 1973 (largely inevitable, since the Court kept giving decisions that pleased nobody), replacing it with the Industrial Relations Act.

  2. millsy 2

    National shows that they want to slash wages and reduce conditions to Indian and Chinese levels. No sick leave, no paid holidays. Etc

    Also, it seems no penal rates, overtime or shift allowances. Same rate of pay, no matter how long you work.

    • Gosman 2.1

      Stop making stuff up. National had 9 years in office. What efforts did they make that pointed towards them trying to reduce employment conditions to Indoian and Chinese levels.

      • ropata 2.1.1

        Zero hours contracts
        90 day fire at will
        Mass import of low skilled labour + student visas
        Proliferation of slave like conditions in orchards and fisheries
        Attempts to break the Teachers Union
        Shortage of OSH/labour inspectors

        • Gosman

          National did not introduce Zero hour contracts after 2008 as far as I am aware and it was abolished in 2016 when they were still in power.

          90 Trials have not been fully abolished by Labour so there must be something about them that is deemed useful. It certainly does not impact on wage rates.

          Do you have hard evidence that slave like conditions have increased over the past 10 years?

          When did they ever attempt to break the Teachers Union (not that I think they shouldn’t be broken)?

          Because we may have a shortage of OSH/labour inspectors that means we must be like India and China now does it?

          • Tricledrown

            Gosman back to fact free BS .
            National instigated many inquiries into pay and employment.
            All uncovered wage theft ,slavery abuses of power by many sectors of the economy.
            Nationals policy allowed these abusers to get away with slavery etc.
            Undermining the education sector by implementing draconian testing box ticking left us with 96,000 youth unemployed when we have massive skill shortages in IT and construction .
            Managers of the economy National have failed.
            National are good managers at spin and propaganda even with all the bought off media on their side people saw through their BS.

            • Baba Yaga

              “Managers of the economy National have failed.”

              Your masters disagree. Labour have frequently commented about the strong state of the economy, both in terms of its fundamentals and its future prospects. The reason labour can go on its ill conceived spend fest is because it inherited a very, very strong economy. Let’s see what they leave behind in 2020.

          • ianmac

            @ Gosman, “Zero hour contracts after 2008 as far as I am aware and it was abolished in 2016 when they were still in power.”
            No. They trumpeted abolition of Zero hours but left plenty of loop-holes so that today it continues.

      • Stuart Munro 2.1.2

        Lax or non-enforcement of immigration and labour laws – record influx of fake students – no wage growth in spite of alleged labour shortages.

        • Gosman

          Apart from students what has the current government done around enforcing immigration laws?

          • Stuart Munro

            It’s got the labour inspectors working again – uncovered a systematic fraud using Malaysian nationals for one.

            • Baba Yaga

              The labour inspectors never stopped working. There’s a list of prosecutions at http://www.mbie.govt.nz/about/whats-happening/news. But never let the facts get in the way of a good story eh Stuart.

              • Tricledrown

                Baby Gaga farm workers orchard workers sex workers fisheries workers education sector all places where slavery wage theft violence and sexual harassment were uncovered .
                National brushed the scandal under the carpet.
                Made a few examples but let industries self regulate not enforcing rules unless those cases made the headlines.

                • Baba Yaga

                  Clearly they didn’t brush anything under the carpet. Prosecutions occurred frequently, as my reference shows. I have no time for employers who act illegally, and having reported one such employer 3 years ago, I can say with confidence the labour inspectorate investigated without fear or favour. To suggest they were somehow influenced politically is a disgusting insult to those inspectors.

                  • Tricledrown

                    Baby Gaga putting words into my post that Don’r exist you show your faux outrage.
                    How many dodgy employers were prosecuted a handful by a deliberately under funded MBIE Labour inspectors .
                    Pike River is just one of many instances of how National protect the abusers by not proactively clamping down on abusive employers.

                    • Gosman

                      How many more inspectors are working now than under National?

                    • Tricledrown

                      Gooseman you know full and well Labour are re organizing the Labour inspectors dept increasing the numbers on the ground.
                      You are being a pedantic troll.

              • Stuart Munro

                They stopped working to the point where any dodgy employer in NZ could have all the underpaid foreign staff they wanted with minimal risk of detection. It’s being wound back (a little) now but the results – large numbers of unskilled migrants are still very much in evidence.

                But you would never let the evidence get in the way of your prejudices would you Baba, you pathetic freak-right hack.

  3. Tamati Tautuhi 3

    It will be interesting to see how the cards unfold on these issues, obviously the neoliberal experiment failed and National’s mass immigration program, and attempts to lift our wages to parity with Australia failed, however I believe that statement was all piss and wind telling people what they wanted to hear ?

  4. millsy 4

    Living standards were at their highest in the 1970’s and 80’s. Cheap housing and utilities helped with that.

    Of course Wayne thinks that the country was too equal and some people needed to be living on the streets because incentives.

    • dukeofurl 4.1

      Thats the trick of the neo-liberals, they said it WOULD increase growth higher than our existing regulated system, much higher.
      In fact it did no such thing at all, so they are reduced to saying …its looking backwards.

      However Australia which retained its arbitration system and ‘awards’ which govern minimum pay rates for various industries shows it still works

      • Gosman 4.1.1

        In what areas is Australia better than NZ? They have similar levels of poverty and inequality. Unemployment rates are similar as well and NZ’s growth rate has been higher over the past few years.

        • Stuart Munro

          Look at their wages to cost of living.

          • Baba Yaga


            Stuart you are spraying bs all over the place today.

            • Stuart Munro

              Now include wages in that calculation moron.

              You’re certainly going all out to destroy whatever vestiges of credibility you once might have had.

            • Tricledrown

              Babygaga Australia has a 1.3% dearer cost of living but Australia has 25% higher wages so who’s spreading it around .

    • Observer Tokoroa 4.2

      The Scum of Greed meets Decency.

      Poor old National. What with its undeserving Knights and other weaklings, it has found that an honest man has decided he hates the exploitation of Workers.

      Specifically, National bastards exploitation. Under which no worker could purchase a three bedroom house.

      Nor would the same National bastards allow the worker to readily afford a Rental.

      For National is a Capitalist Cult – built to extend slavery. It has used Immigration, as one of its anti- Kiwi tools – to destroy decent people.

      Key and English – have dumped shit on our once fine Nation.

      Bulger will shovel that shit right back. Mark my words. he will replace their shit with dignity.

      I should not be surprised if Bill English does not ask if he can assist James Bulger in his Mission. For Billy lacked the Character to stand up to the Capitalist Shit.

  5. Tamati Tautuhi 5

    National and the Bilderbergers want to revert back to feudalism, with the overlords and the serfs ?

    Equity is not an option, National are hell bent of following the US Business Model which the Bankers John Key and Bill English followed.

    We need more homeless, slums and ghettos in NZ, however even the slums in Auckland are expensive, $500-$600k for a dirty old rats nest ?

    • Gosman 5.1

      What moves did National make in this direction in the past 10 years?

      • Stuart Munro 5.1.1

        Practically everything they did.

      • ropata 5.1.2

        Meth housing scandal, housing market ruined by speculation and land banking, record levels of poverty and inequality, building white elephant convention centres instead of public housing, selling NZ off piecemeal to foreign billionaires, signing up to the TPPA, empowering corporations over democratically elected government, spying on NZ citizens and lying about it

  6. Kat 6

    Hosking called Bolger a “turncoat” on radio this morning.


  7. Observer Tokoroa 7

    The Scum of Greed meets Decency.

    Poor old National. What with its undeserving Knights and other weaklings, it has found that an honest man has decided he hates the exploitation of Workers.

    Specifically, National bastards exploitation. Under which no worker could purchase a three bedroom house.

    Nor would the same National bastards allow the worker to readily afford a Rental.

    For National is a Capitalist Cult – built to extend slavery. It has used Immigration, as one of its anti- Kiwi tools – to destroy decent people.

    Key and English – have dumped shit on our once fine Nation.

    Bulger will shovel that shit right back. Mark my words. he will replace their shit with dignity.

    I should not be surprised if Bill English does not ask if he can assist James Bulger in his Mission. For Billy lacked the Character to stand up to the Capitalist Shit.

    • Anne 7.1

      I should not be surprised if Bill English does not ask if he can assist James Bulger in his Mission. For Billy lacked the Character to stand up to the Capitalist Shit.

      I think there might be some truth in that but English was still happy to go along for the ride.

      Btw, its Bolger not Bulger. Better change it before alwyn turns up. He gets a little flustered when surnames are spelled wrong. 😉

      • AB 7.1.1

        It would be worth deliberately misspelling it in order to get Alwyn steaming in his corset.
        But not to ‘Bulger’ – because there was a real James Bulger who was horribly murdered at the age of 2, and we should show that poor wee soul some sensitivity and respect.

      • Observer Tokoroa 7.1.2

        Apology – Bolger

        Gosh I make mistakes. But the man knew and stated – that if the majority of people who do the work do not get paid enough – then National crap must be wrong

        Sooner or later the Nats had to turn up somebody with an IQ. Funny Cult the capitalists. Odd to the marrow.

        Hosking is Capitalist Cult boy. Incoherent usually. Can’t find the right coat. Hope he can get a happier better life.

        • ropata

          > Funny Cult the capitalists. Odd to the marrow.

          That’s because they love money more than people and their relationships are all business transactions. Soulless

  8. Oldfulla 8

    In terms of weird political decisions that are almost guaranteed to end up badly this one ranks up there with the Mana Party deciding to team up Dotcom and Metiria choosing to out herself as a benefit fraudster.

  9. Tamati Tautuhi 9

    Alwyn will be frothing at the mouth when he sees that spelling mistake ?

  10. Darien Fenton 10

    I struggled with these appointments. For a bit. Jim Bolger; well apparently he’s seen the error of his ways. Those Hospo peeps : moan, moan, moan. And Biz NZ enough said. But glad we have two worker reps we can rely on. I think I get what the government is doing in trying to build a consensus for change. I hope that is the outcome. Many people here would rather see them just ram it through, and if it were possible, so would I. BUT this is a coalition government ; the sports person on the panel is a nominee from NZ First apparently and goodness knows why. Labour has to build a consensus around this with the governing parties ; hard job.

  11. Bill 11

    In the short term (and only because we are so disempowered and have lost a clatter of conditions) industry wide awards have my support.

    But in the medium or long term, they’re a crock that will empower cliques (not us) who will inevitably be co-opted to a degree that they will not rock the boat.

    Also. We already know that when a clique is empowered, it’s a very easy thing to disempower it again.

    If wages and conditions are to be improved off the back of worker empowerment, then remove the shackles that come in the form of current employment legislation.

    Or if that’s too big a step for politicians still enamored by the ideas of liberal economics, then set a time limit for whatever structure might be envisaged for these industry wide awards.

  12. Obtrectator 12

    I think it’s worth noting that the ONLY ex-Prime Minister from the National party not to have subsequently taken a knight- or dame-hood is one James Brendan Bolger. Maybe not surprising given his Irish heritage and republican leanings, but it gives you a measure of the man.

  13. Baba Yaga 13

    “Things were really bad back in the 1970s during the time of the third Labour Government. Full employment, wages and conditions sufficient to allow a working family to live in decency on one full time wage, home ownership rates of about 70%”

    …because our mum on the other side of the world subsidised our standard of living. Those days are gone. NZ makes its own way in the world now, but only because we released the shackels of the command economy we had until the 1980’s and embraced the market. Thank heavens we did, otherwise we’d be like Venezuela.

    • KJT 13.1

      Because we had an almost equal distribution of prosperity. And health housing and education were priorities, not how much a few can get.

      Venezuala, that has reduced poverty, increased literacy etc.

      Instead of like the UK, NZ USA etc that have increased poverty and inequality

        • ropata

          Yeah Chavez plunged his nation into unsustainable amounts of debt, we better not do that eh Gosman?

          Half a trillion dollars and still rising

        • Tricledrown

          Venezuela has been run by totalitarian dictatorships ever since the US started meddling in South America.
          No govt will succeed in Venezuela as the Drug Cartels control most of the country a direct result of the Nixon led war on Drugs.
          The money from the profit on illegal Drugs ending up in tax havens to be used by the tax dodgers of the developed world .
          The Panama Papers uncovered the tip of the iceberg on the levels of corruption by big banks and the complicity of right wing govts allowing light or no regulation of this massive corruption meaning they are deeply involved.

          • Gosman

            Are you claiming the Chavista regime is controlled by the drug syndicates?

            • KJT

              Venezuela, like Greece, was one of the last countries to get out from under right wing Fascist Governments, after WW2.

              Of course, that has nothing to do with their current problems? Eh!

    • Stuart Munro 13.2


      The worthless and backward far right, not having comparable skills to the entrepreneurs of other countries, decided to wreck the economy for short term gain instead of rising to meet the challenges of the twentieth century. They were sure their opposition would clean up their mess.

      Unfortunately the degraded left of that period had forgotten their roots and didn’t know their economics any better than the crooks and shysters on the other side of the gallery. Cue four decades of going backwards as a country.

      • Baba Yaga 13.2.1

        Today NZ is considered an economic rock star, so much so even Labour are talking up the economy. But not you. You are content to whinge and moan and let the benefits of living in the best country in the world pass you by. Perhaps you should consider a move to Venezuela?

        • Stuart Munro

          “Today NZ is considered an economic rock star…”

          Apocrypha from an HKSB hack flattering the fools who comped his trip here. No-one with any economic credibility thinks the banality of Key kleptocracy was in any way admirable.

          “Perhaps you should consider a move to Venezuela?”

          This is my country you sick far-right arsehole. How about you fuck off to Israel where you can murder children without being considered in any way anomalous. We know you want to.

          • Baba Yaga

            Not just HSBC. NZ has had high praise for its economic direction, most notably perhaps from the labour party. Suck that up!

            As for NZ being ‘your country’, no it isn’t. You constantly make unsubstantiated claims to criticise this country as if you have some kind of sick death wish for NZ. Your comments around matters on the economy (including claiming NZ’ers don’t have “comparable skills to the entrepreneurs of other countries”) are particularly inaccurate, which leads me to assume you would be far better off in a country where propaganda is the meal of the masses.

            • Stuart Munro

              We’ve had this argument before, moron.

              A New Zealand government is accountable to its citizens, not to the international banking mafia.

              It is to work for its citizens, not for other interest groups, and to represent their enlightened best interests.

              Throwing people out of state houses for spurious P crimes may have allowed the worthless Bill English to make his government look good on paper from an accounting perspective, but it falls short on good governance criteria.

              As a troll and RWNJ uncritically supporting a regime that could not achieve real growth ex-migration over 1%, your economic standing is rather below that of an undergraduate – go away and read some books and come back when you’ve learned something. If you really must.

              • Baba Yaga

                None of which is in any way relevant to your lies and slander about NZ’ers and our economy.

                Under Clark, Labour removed a number of our democratic rights without mandate or consultation. Clark’s government spied on NZ’ers and lied to its own party about it. They tried to restrict the size of shower head we used, ffs. But for all that I would never bag my own compatriots or publish lies about our economy in the disgraceful way you do.

                • Stuart Munro

                  “I would never…”

                  I don’t think there’s much a pathological liar like you wouldn’t do, Baba.

                  You’ve already published lies about the economy – you repeat Bill English’s nonsense like a drunken cockatoo – but it doesn’t pay the grossly inflated rents caused by his distinctly unwise decision to let the banks inflate the residential property market.

                  I am merely holding him – and mindless sycophants like yourself – to account. Real rightwingers love accountability – they don’t lie their way into and out of trouble like the previous government. It was an objective failure in every respect, and your constant whining does nothing to improve it.

                • ropata

                  Are you drunk? NZ had anaemic growth in terms of income per hour actually worked, the GDP numbers were inflated by immigration and speculation. Yes the top 10% professional classes were toasting their own brilliance at stealing $500 billion from the rest of us via tax free capital gains

            • Tricledrown

              Baby Gaga HSBC is a corrupt organization under prosecution for a range of corrupt practices.
              Look a cross the Tasman very serious charges being prosecuted against the big four banks and their major share holders including most of the world’s largest trading banks.
              The rock star groupie baby haha needs to go to rehab <1% growth in GDP per head over 9 year's
              Baby gaga spinning BS as usual.

  14. greywarshark 14

    Bolger was the politician who talked about NZ being a decent society.
    He has found that the present rift in society requires a Bailey bridge too far.
    He didn’t say ‘I’ll be back’ but strides on like Schwarzenegger and will I hope be like Batman in our Gotham City.

    I liked the way he put down that smart-alec Scott Simpson. If they had shut Scott up at college and opened his mind to the economic difficulties that good politicians understand, they would have earned their expensive college fees. That’s a generation gap that requires bridging too, but Labour will have to build the bridge, and with properly specified materials that we know will work for us.

  15. Dorothy Bulling 15

    Bolger has admitted that his partyy was wrong to smash workers rights and now he has a chance to right those wrongs. We have so many issues with low wages and the generation he ground down are the parents of those who are the problems now. Go back to a decent wage for a decent days work, and help get people into decent homes. Then see how much that will save the health system, among other things.

    • Gosman 15.1

      Except he was quite happy to own the changes to employment laws that he presided over on the radio this morning.

  16. alwyn 16

    I never thought that on this Blog we would have so many people applauding the actions of Rob Muldoon.
    He was, of course, the totally dominant politician of the 1970’s and Prime Minister for half the decade. And there I was thinking that the left hated the man. Now they are cheering for him.

    • DS 16.1

      We’re not.

      Muldoon abolished compulsory unionism, and let inflation eat the minimum wage (fun fact – the minimum wage in real terms hit its all-time low as he was leaving office). Both were reversed by the Fourth Labour Government (yes, that one).

      • alwyn 16.1.1

        But you all are, implicitly, praising Muldoon.
        If you are going to go on and on about how great the 1970s were you are forced to admit that it was all due to the PM of the time.
        Like it or not the PM for the bulk of that time was Rob.
        I personally thought that he was a total disaster but opinions clearly vary.
        The current CoL are following his habits of course. Look at the announcement that they would not issue any new oil/gas exploration permits. No evaluation at all about what that would entail and no consideration as to whether it would have the desired effect.
        Rob was the same. He decided to add a sales tax to Caravans. The closest thing to an analysis of the effects seemed to be Rob’s belief that real New Zealanders didn’t own caravans. They owned, as he did, bachs. Killed the industry stone cold dead.
        He also did things like arbitrarily awarding a general wage order of, I think, 5% after the responsible authority hadn’t.
        Later he just froze all wages and prices.
        My God, he was sometimes as incompetent as Twyford.

      • alwyn 16.1.2

        I note you think “Muldoon abolished compulsory unionism”.
        Well no, actually. That didn’t happen until 1991. Muldoon may have still been in Parliament but he was ignored by all.

        • DS

          Compulsory unionism was abolished in 1982 (under Muldoon). It was then revived under Lange before being abolished again in 1991.

          • alwyn

            You are right. The Muldoon Government did abolish compulsory unionism in 1983, only to have the new Lange Government re-impose it.
            I remembered the bill but I thought it had never gone into law.
            Memory can play you false. I should have checked before making my comment.

    • Anne 16.2

      I never thought that on this Blog we would have so many people applauding the actions of Rob Muldoon.

      We damm well are not. In practical terms his reign didn’t begin until the start of 1976 and by the end of the decade he had created so much discord that friends turned against friends and rellies turned against rellies – oops ‘relatives’ for alwyn. 😛 At one point I was told by a sibling never to darken her front door ever again. She forgot about the back door so the problem was easily solved. 😉

      In fact Muldoon was the catalyst for the over- the – top neoliberal regime which followed. If it hadn’t been for him it probably wouldn’t have got off the ground.

      • alwyn 16.2.1

        Of course he was an arsehole.
        However he was the dominant politician of the 70s and if you think the 70s were wonderful then you must be grateful to the man in charge.
        Or do you think that politicians aren’t responsible for good things that happen and equally cannot be blamed for anything bad?
        The housing problem has nothing to do with National for example?

        One thing I do agree with you is “Muldoon was the catalyst”. Of course he was. He completely screwed the New Zealand economy. Douglas’s reforms were essential after the dreadful Muldoon years. I differ with you, as I am sure will not surprise you, on the description of over-the top. I believe they were necessary and you will have observed that after more than 30 years no Government has made significant changes.

        • In Vino

          Utter rubbish, alwyn. The 70s were good because of what Muldoon inherited, not because of how he started ruining it. You really need to get control of yourself and stop trying to put your thoughts into other people’s mouths.

          • Ad

            Muldoon was a bigger socialist than Lange, Kirk, and Nordmeyer put together.

            And as Finance Minister appointed under Holyoake, then for his first two terms as Prime Minister, he was incredibly popular. He and Holyoake made this country for three decades within which Labour were insignificant blips.

            • In Vino

              Umm, NO.
              Kirk was 2200+ times the socialist and honest politician that Muldoon was. Another National ‘economic wizard’ who did the economy no good. He did not protect the Left. It was only in his dotage that he accidentally resisted the Rogernomes. Accidentally.
              Muldoon was cruel, manipulative, and tried to protect the old system only because he lacked imagination.
              Ad, you have a romanticised memory. Muldoon was incredibly popular, but only because he projected a strong image.

              • Ad

                Kirk achieved even less than Nordmeyer and is now remembered for one photograph.

                Muldoon’s legacy, apart from slaying the weakest, dumbest wussiest Labour Party the country had ever seen for 14 years 9 as PM, is in gifting New Zealand one of the most carbon neutral electricity generation systems in the world.

            • alwyn

              “Muldoon was a bigger socialist”.
              It was a fairly widely spread joke at the time that Muldoon and Rowling were in the wrong parties.
              Rowling would have done very well as a National Party leader.
              Muldoon, on the other hand would have done very well in the Labour Party.
              I don’t know what Rowling thought about it but Muldoon got very unhappy. He thought he had risen above the working class, I suspect.

              • Ad

                As the leader of ‘Rob’s Mob’ he had superior proletariat instincts to the grey fey bourgeoisie running Labour. Rowling would have been fine as Chair of a local Rotary.

        • Draco T Bastard

          However he was the dominant politician of the 70s and if you think the 70s were wonderful then you must be grateful to the man in charge.

          The 1970s were a result of decades of changes. They didn’t magically appear out of nowhere.

          One thing I do agree with you is “Muldoon was the catalyst”. Of course he was. He completely screwed the New Zealand economy. Douglas’s reforms were essential after the dreadful Muldoon years.

          No. The economy was completely screwed over by the capitalists as per normal. All Douglass’s reforms did was make it even worse as he took us back several decades to the failed system of the 18th and 19th centuries.

  17. Tricledrown 17

    Alwyn Muldoon was a Lee Kwon Yew fan. Lee moved his Nation into the 21st century Muldoon moved us backwards he was an Politician who knew where votes could be bought cheaply.
    Another borrow and hope politician just like borrowing Bill English.

    • alwyn 17.1

      I was looking for the sarcasm tags around this.
      I find it hard to accept that you would want to go the way that Lee Kuan Yew took Singapore.

      I suppose you might like the Income Tax rates.
      “Key points of Singapore income tax for individuals include: Singapore follows a progressive resident tax rate starting at 0% and ending at 22% above S$320,000. There is no capital gain or inheritance tax. Individuals are taxed only on the income earned in Singapore.”
      Do you think Grant would go along with those?

      Or perhaps you don’t really like the National Superannuation we have?
      Then you would like the Singapore approach. Basically there isn’t any universal payment. You pay for your own. There is, for a very, very few people of course
      “In addition, Singapore has a stringent means-tested
      public assistance scheme which is officially designed to provide less than minimum
      subsistence level of income”.
      To get that you really have to have absolutely no assets, no family and are incapable of working at anything. I believe there are only a few thousand recipients.

      The New Zealand minimum wage is currently $16.50/hour.
      What is the National minimum wage in Singapore? Well there isn’t one.
      There are certain minimums that can be paid in various sectors of the economy but you really wouldn’t want to try and live in them.
      A basic indoor cleaner has a rate of about $1,000/month.
      Do you really want that system?

      Jacinda would probably like the Singapore system though. The Prime Minister collects a cool $1.7 million per year.

      I hope you don’t want to buy a car. A basic Toyota Camry with the 2.5 litre engine will cost you more that $150,000. Petrol isn’t to bad though. It costs the same as here.

      You might like the drug laws there of course. Instead of a slap on the wrist for having a bit of cannabis you are assumed to be trafficking if you have 15 grams and there is a mandatory death penalty for 500 grams.

      Are you really in favour of moving to the 21st century the way Singapore has?

  18. In Vino 18

    Ahh – in case you missed it, alwyn, Trickledrown was not praising Lee Kuan Yew. (Politician who knew where votes could be bought cheaply.)
    So much keyboarding for another miss, because you jump to conclusions…
    I think you name all the Lee Kwan Yew policies that you admire, funnily enough.
    While thinking Trickledrown will abhor them. Putting words in other people’s mouths, again.
    In societal terms, not everyone admires Singapore. In economic terms, Lee Hwan Yew did build the economy, and bring Singapore towards the 21st Century. But in economic terms only.
    Here in NZ, Muldoon (typical National) pretended to have superb economic skills in controlling the economy. He used to come on TV and say, “Just a little fine adjustment here..” and slam on a stupid price or wage freeze.
    He proved to be incompetent at economic management, as most National governments do.
    Or do you really condemn all those economic measures you list, which (in your opinion) Trickledown is advocating? Weasel arguing, alwyn.
    You are boring us, and you need a healthier pastime.

  19. alwyn 19

    Please clarify your comment, if you can.
    How do you come to the conclusion he wasn’t praising Lee? Surely you don’t read him to be saying it was Lee who bought the votes cheaply?
    Alternatively are you saying he doesn’t approve of the 21st century. Is he, like you, convinced that Civilisation was at its peak in the 12th century?

    Then you say “I think you name all the Lee Kwan Yew policies that you admire”.
    If that is really what you think I can only tell the truth about you.
    I think you are stupid. Completely, totally stupid.

    I suppose I could sum up my opinion of you by using your own words.
    “You are boring us, and you need a healthier pastime.”
    Begone thou surly knave.

  20. In Vino 20

    Don’t presume to quote Shakespeare when you obviously lack reading skills.
    Trickledrown was damning Muldoon for being a fan of all those dumb policies that Lee instituted ( as you list) then still damning Muldoon for failing to achieve what Lee did.
    Are you slow on the uptake?

  21. Timeforacupoftea 21

    Perhaps we could bring back David Lange to fix child poverty !

    • One Anoymous Bloke 21.1

      Another thing that didn’t exist until you were no longer responsible for tackling it.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 21.2

      Another thing that didn’t exist until you were no longer responsible for tackling it 🙄

  22. Cold Hard Truth 22

    As I have said repeatedly in my opinion there is little difference between Labour and National anymore. CP-TPP, 90 day law and now asking an ex National party leader to head up a working group on industrial relations……

    • David Mac 22.1

      Yes our major political parties striving to be the representatives a majority of NZers might vote for. As they get better at discerning we’ll see increasing sameness.

      This is not necessarily a bad thing. It prompts a party to consider: ‘What can we do that they’ll love?’ alongside ‘What is our point of difference?’

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