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Guest Post: QoT – Mmm, delicious linear time

Written By: - Date published: 10:12 pm, November 4th, 2008 - 28 comments
Categories: humour - Tags: ,

I loved this post for QoT so much that I asked to reproduce it in full here. It resonated with me after reading the comment stream today. So, from Ideologically Impure, an observation on the patently ridiculous… Lynn

Ideologically Impure

Ideologically Impure

This comment over at The Standard cites one of my favourite (or, really, least-favourite) bits of political bullshit often parroted in this country (and sorry, Standardites, it ain’t the one about y’all being a Machiavellian Secret Labour Party Front, that’s just lol-tastic).

It’s the, ‘Well you’ve had nine years to do suchandsuch, and you haven’t!’ line, which gets brought up, almost invariably, any time the Labour Party have announced a radical new (and, let’s face it, vote-attracting) policy. Like universal student allowances, or tax cuts (and GOD did we hear it constantly when Cullen finally rolled them out).

And it’s always pissed me off, but I had a hard time explaining exactly why. Last week? Lightning bolt!

The National Party is the nation’s teenaged son, who threw a huge party in the 90s. Mummy Labour and associate minor-party aunties have spent 9 years cleaning up the broken bottles, half-full cans of Woodstock, getting the vomit out of the bathtub and apologising to Council workers for the illegal bonfire, while National sits back and says ‘JEEZ, MUM, you haven’t even vacuumed the carpet, what the hell have you been DOING all this time? God, it’s shocking how lazy you are. I’m sick of the way things are around here. It’s time for ANOTHER PARTY.’

The more I think about it, the clearer it gets. The friends little Nat wants to invite are the same wankers who got thrown out last time for being lying little shits. Like a sulky teenager, when confronted by the fact that he and his buddies have been caught smoking behind the bike sheds, he just mutters that it’s not fair that somebody narked.

Have Labour led perfect Governments for the past nine years? Fuck no. Have they achieved everything they may have wanted to achieve, or that their supporters might have wanted them to achieve? Probably not. But, and stop me if I’m sounding a bit too Emissary here, the Labour Party, like the rest of us, only have so many hours in the day and so many sessions in the House, and they’ve got a shitload of policy through (love it or hate it).

Criticising them for announcing policies now by saying, ‘Why didn’t you do that while you were busy doing a lot of other stuff, some of which was probably necessary to lead up to this, or was a higher priority*, huh? HUH?’ is just ridiculous.

Mind you, what’s new?

*Take the aforementioned student allowances. Am I pissed that I’ll never benefit from them, after years of borrowing for living costs? Yes. But fuck me would I be a lot more pissed if I’d been given $150 a week and still slapped with compound fucking interest while studying full-time.

28 comments on “Guest Post: QoT – Mmm, delicious linear time”

  1. milo 1

    Actually, if you look at parliamentary business, you’ll find many times when the order paper got very very thin. Labour have done some things in a hurry, had bursts of activity, and spent long other periods doing not much at all.

    If you don’t believe me, ask Idiot/Savant

  2. Strangest post I have read in a long time, and I go to a lot of forums.

  3. milo – you are completely correct but there is more to getting policy through than order papers such as working to achieve consensus to get your policy through…

    Oh and I do think Labour could have done more but not the “more” National is talking about…

  4. djp 4


    I see the point you are making but you may have it the wrong way around.

    The last outgoing Labour govt left the economy in the poop (~1990) and this current outgoing Labour govt seems to be doing the same thing, whereas the last outgoing National govt (1999) seems to left with positive economic trends (granted the previous Muldoon era was a nightmare).

    As for your footnote I translate it to you just being angry that you didn’t get free money off the taxpayers back… boo hoo

  5. bobo 5

    Yes I found it crazy how Labour got attacked for announcing policy as if was sitting on all the ideas for 9 years, you have to save new policy up for the next mandate or what is the point of having an election just using existing policy.

    My Pet urban myths about Labour are.
    ” Things are so much better in Aussie why are record numbers going”

    Well they fail to mention Aussies leaving Australia is at a 30 year high , can someone please tell Helen in her next debate to say this as a rebuttal to John Key constantly saying NZers are leaving for Australia in droves and maybe lower airfares and a higher minimum wage might have something to do with it.

    Milo – no activity is hard to say being joe public we don’t sit on select committees or see much apart from the debating chamber which is a small part of parliament and people only tend to look to parliament when things arnt going so well.

  6. sweetd 6


    If labour loose the election, do the standard servers get turned off?

    [lprent: It costs me about $170/mo and most of that is to stay in the local net. I can maintain that level indefinitely (paid for out of my ex-smoking savings). I suspect our traffic will drop after the election. If it doesn’t then we’ll look at how we pay for the site.

    BTW: Virtual server singular (plus a backup at home). I’ve had time to make this site as efficient as possible. It has meant that our doubling speed has just (and only just) been exceeded by my ability to make the site more efficient. I only had to do a single hardware upgrade since Feb despite the massive increases in traffic and posts]

  7. Paul Robeson 7

    I couldn’t think of anything more appropriate actually than the Ballad of Calvary St when I watched the bickering on the debate. Funny that the male/female aspect is reversed as embodied in our current leaders.


    ‘To hag and grumble, growl and fight:’


    yes some cliche busters and lead-ins would be good. But only if they work.

  8. lprent 8

    To tell the truth, it was the almost perfect characterization of some of banality I read here today that got me.

    It did sound exactly like teenage whining. Then I turned the TV on and got exactly the same lines from Key. Teenage boys…. All I can say is that it is a wonder that they live to grow into adults. The ones that don’t grow into adults seem to join Act or the young Nat’s and blog using the same lines repetitively as a mantra….

    BTW: That is not a general aspersion on all Act or Young Nat supporters. But of course the useful ones are campaigning at this part of the cycle…. Teenagers, especially males, are (of course) notorious for their aversion to hard work. They prefer to let ‘mother’ do the work. I’ve lived with a few

  9. lprent 9

    I finally clicked into the comment that QoT found here. That was amusing – I’d actually noted on the comment about the ignorance of the dweeb that made it. No wonder the post resonated…

  10. Ari 10

    The last outgoing Labour govt left the economy in the poop (~1990) and this current outgoing Labour govt seems to be doing the same thing, whereas the last outgoing National govt (1999) seems to left with positive economic trends (granted the previous Muldoon era was a nightmare).

    National grew the overall economy a very small amount for a massive expense in inequality, social welfare, pollution, degradation of state assets, and so on. I’m tempted to say that most of it was probably GDP inflation anyway. (ie. shifting the costs of their poor economic management onto things that aren’t measured in GDP, like many of the aforementioned.)

    I should also point out that in terms of how Labour has managed the economy it is actually in rip-roaring shape, the problem is that we’ve left ourselves open with bad free trade agreements and similar debt-based economics to the mistakes that the USA made- mistakes that have been systematic failures in both Labour and National’s economic plans. So the economic slowdown is mostly international. (Although some of it is to do with the eventual reality of peak oil and the impact it has on food prices- which National hasn’t even talked about seriously, let alone developed a plan for it)

    As for pre-1990, may I simply pleased “Sir Roger Douglas”? Essentially Labour tried to out-National National, and most anyone who supporters Labour now wouldn’t have wanted to support them then.

  11. Unfortunately, the situation is described all too accurately.
    I’ll give you an example,

    1. National spent years complaining about the sale of state assets, how it was unpatriotic, and how they would STOP it. In fact, they sped it up.

    2. National also promised to abolish the tertiary fees for university education, say “out it will go”. They changed the name, but costs went up over 250% during their period in office.

    3. National promised to abolish the superannuation surtax, where assets and income were measured against pension, yet it took 6 years – and NZFirst leverage. They also cut pensions back to 60% of the average wage.

    4. National promised that they would not affect your overtime pay. Then they introduced the ECA, which eliminated the word “union” and removed all mandatory penal rates.

    5. National promised us a “decent society”. Saying that Labour had betrayed the historic social contract. I’m not suggesting they didn’t, here btw. But to do go and do the exact opposite, or not move at all on these issues was an outright disgrace.

    This time, they highlight:
    * Rising violent crime
    * Low wages and the outflow of talent to Australia
    * Low educational achievements
    * Nanny statist

    There is no vision here, folks, just a highlight reel of Labour’s failings, failings that National intend to do absolutely nothing about, except harp on about so they can pretend they care. Their policies will not stop rising crime, increase wages, or educational achievements – their ideological disposition proclaims that stuff is personal responsibility – not the place of the government. They wont repeal any of social legislation they highlight as Labour’s minority agenda. Just like last time. And the amazing thing is, some of us are convinced to expect a different result, even though over 80% of the front bench was in Parliament immediately following that 1990 election.

  12. Iprent,

    I have greatly enjoyed commenting here the last few months and if God forbid JK and his cronies get to be in power I suspect we will need the Standard site even more to keep a National led government’s nose to the grindstone.

    In fact think the Standard will get more traffic if National gets in while the figures will drop if Labour wins.

    I really hope you and you fellow Standardista’s will decide to keep it going for at least a year longer after the elections.

    [lprent: When we set it up, we were looking at the 2011 election as when this would be useful. We figured that was when blogging would become hugely important politically in NZ. We wanted to get a strong left presence established earlier. Its overwhelming success has taken us by surprise. So it will be running for quite a while more.]

  13. IrishBill 13

    There’s no way we’ll be stopping after the election, Trav. It’s just too much fun.

  14. QoT 14

    djp, you sound like the dad in a Humorous Political Story in the DomPost last week, who said of his 17-year-old son, “Well, he’s got high principles but he doesn’t pay taxes.” To which the son replied, “Um, Dad, I have a part-time job, of course I pay taxes.”

    Any money students receive towards living allowances, which makes it easier to focus on study instead of juggling sometimes two or three jobs while somehow going to lectures and doing assignments means students get through uni faster – which means even less taxpayer money funding all those papers they won’t be failing.

    It means they get out into the glorified Real Workforce (hospo and retail clearly not stacking up next to a 40-hour-week pushing paper) sooner, it means fewer people drop out (and that’s all those Taxpayer Dollars going into their classes wasted) and it means they’re on higher wages, paying more in tax, sooner.

    You are SO RIGHT, djp, we should punish them for the temerity of wanting tertiary education by saddling them with debt for life. After all, everyone senior in the National Party didn’t need Government handouts – a fact which I’m sure is totally unconnected to the whole no-fee-charged tertiary education they had access to.

    Sorry, must go, my part-time job might not mean I actually count as a Taxpayer, but the boss still requires I show up on time! Can you feel the injustice?

  15. max@gmaail.com 15

    Sounds like a weird kind of bow out to me.

    I guess you guys have access to the internal Labour Party polling numbers aye.

  16. djp 16

    hey, I never said they all dont pay taxes, its just a perk that comes out of everyone elses pocket thats all.

    No one is talking about punishing either.. you statists have some funny logic (not robbing peter to give to paul = punishing paul)

  17. Vinsin 17

    What i don’t understand is how no one seems to get the correlation between students being saddled with a huge amount of debt and large numbers of New Zealanders leaving to go overseas where money is easier to come by.

    Making studying easier through a universal student allowance is probably one of Labour’s best policies, it’s one that will actually have real positive effects in the years to come. National’s student policy? I get the feeling that because a lot of National’s members had a free tertiary education which they spent going to parties and drinking lion red that they assume every student now does the same as them, and that somehow an allowance to help someone study is really a boozing allowance.

  18. Felix 18

    Or they think, bizarrely, that education is a “perk”.

  19. Janet 19

    After the election I expect it will be even more vital to have the standard monitoring and commenting – whatever the outcome.

  20. QoT 20

    djp, the “why should my taxes pay for X” argument never gets old with the right, does it?

    It’s that tricky linear time thing again. Sure, right now I’m a student in the bottom tax bracket daring to partake of tertiary education. But in this thing we call the future, I will be paying more in tax because of it. And unless, djp, you have never been Paul, getting benefit from taxes paid by an earlier Peter, it’s not a line of argument that’s going to work from you.

    Because that would assume you never went to school. Or used public health services – not even getting immunized as a kid, because why should some childless person’s taxes have paid for YOU to not get mumps?

  21. Iprent and Irishbill,


  22. Ianmac 22

    As probably one of the oldest here (7 grandchildren and one greatgrandson) I find the site great outlet for expressions of democracy and for me to remember how to spell hard words like fair and bureaucracy!
    Long Live Standard!

  23. burt 23


    Like a sulky teenager, when confronted by the fact that he and his buddies have been caught smoking behind the bike sheds, he just mutters that it’s not fair that somebody narked.

    So Labour saying in 2006 that it was unfair that they got pinged for stealing $800,000 when other parties did it too was not OK!

    I’m glad you have realised that “others did it too” or “It’s not fair to single us out” is childish. But it leaves a big problem – how do you defend killing of Darnton VS Clark and retrospectively validating theft of over a million dollars and an unknown amount of money over 14 years without the “others did it too” defense?

  24. Felix 24


    Ah it never gets old.

    Tell us the one about Cullen Muppet again.

  25. burt 25


    Is that it? Is that all you have? Felix the ad hominem master, must you always follow me around and attack me rather than what I say?

    Is that all you have the mental capability to do? Seek help Felix, this internal rage and self loathing that makes you expose your lack of reasoning will make you unwell if you don’t do something about it.

  26. Vinsin 26

    Burt, please notice how you fall into the exact kind of personal attacks you claim to be a victim of. This is classic National tactics, when someone disagrees with you it’s a personal attack – of course we can’t expect National to uphold the principles it judges other people by.
    Listen I expect every government to have a certain amount of corruption inside it; however, if a government balances out that corruption with a great deal of efficiency than I don’t mind. Right now Labour is doing, has done, and – possibly – will continue to be a more efficient government than National. The “others did it two” defense is childish, yes; however it is ultimately true.

  27. Felix 27

    Sorry burt, I didn’t realise this was your blog. I must remember not to “follow” you here again.

    “must you always follow me around and attack me rather than what I say? ”

    That is the single most funny thing I’ve ever heard from you burt. If you insist on coming here and posting the same thing every day I’ll keep taking the piss. It’s not big or clever but neither are you and it amuses me to see you get angry now and then rather than just being miserable all the time.

  28. Felix 28

    seriously though burt, why don’t you tell the “Cullen Muppet” joke anymore?

    That was your best work. The smartest, most cogent, most profound and witty thing you’ve ever done and I do miss it.

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