web analytics

It’s the economy, stupid

Written By: - Date published: 1:32 pm, October 16th, 2010 - 11 comments
Categories: Economy, labour, national - Tags:

John Armstrong is at his insightful best today. He’s hit on the emerging change in the political discourse – the economy is going to crap and that’s what really matters, not the meltdowns of minor MPs and racist TV monkeys. And this do nothing government doesn’t care and has no solutions. This is Labour’s chance to offer a real alternative:

Labour sees the debate over economic management starting to shift in its favour. While the international economy remains in flux, the time when National could also lay blame for the domestic economic downturn at Labour’s door is fast receding.

John Key’s prediction that the recovery would be “reasonably aggressive” has backfired. National is starting to look like it does not have the answers. English’s talk of “rebalancing” may be sound economic theory. But the average punter has little interest in that. English is consequently sounding out of touch. National is starting to look very vulnerable.

Accordingly, Phil Goff will stress economic matters in his keynote speech to this weekend’s Labour Party conference. .

He will blast Key for failing to deliver on the “Brighter Future” promised by National, while accusing him of making no progress in closing the income gap with Australia.

Labour strategists see it as crucial that Goff persuade voters that Key raised their expectations and then failed to meet them.

Rather than indulge in shoddy smear campaigns which either backfire or Key simply ignores, Labour has finally worked out that it might be able to break the Prime Minister’s spell on voters by showing his success as a merchant banker has not transferred to his Government’s handling of the economy.

Labour believes growing public frustration over the rising cost of living, worries keeping jobs, the perceived unfairness of National’s tax cuts and New Zealand’s less than stellar economic performance provide the means by which the party can reconnect with voters.

Labour’s new policy taking GST off fresh fruit and vegetables is the first such gesture in a deliberate strategy to show Labour cares.

The party is rapidly discarding the shibboleths of purity that argued such a move was economic heresy.

Having stuck a foot back in the waters of economic intervention in the Clark-Cullen years, Labour is now plunging in much deeper and unashamedly in the belief that the secrets of the success of economies like Singapore and South Korea lie in the state taking a far more active role in planning, assisting and co-ordinating industry development in the various sectors of the economy.

Last year’s conference drew a line under the past. This year’s is being described as “direction-rich”, rather than “policy-rich”. Goff, however, will give a clear steer on Labour’s revised policy on foreign investment. That is likely to result in even tougher conditions on land sales to foreigners than National’s revised position, possibly by imposing a ban on sales above a set number of hectares.

Again, Goff, with finance spokesman David Cunliffe, are showing no scruples about breaking from the past and adopting a New Zealand First hard-sell under the patriotic-sounding banner of “owning our future”.

All of this happening against the backdrop of the latest Roy Morgan poll which for the first time puts the Opposition parties within reasonable striking distance of National and its allies. More tangible was the near nationwide swing to the left in last week’s local government elections. Of particular note was the political rehabilitation of former Labour MPs who were crushed at the ballot box less than two years ago.

11 comments on “It’s the economy, stupid ”

  1. roger nome 1

    Does the standard team have someone at the conference today?

    • lprent 1.1

      I’m there. Andrew Little just finished. But I seldom write about policy. I’ve seen Bunji but noone else that I know as a Standard writer.

  2. roger nome 2

    If Labour puts up a genuine social democratic platform against National’s privatisation agenda they would have to something seriously wrong to lose. NZ has been betrayed by all governments since muldoon. The NZ public has never supported privatisation or the many right wing reforms (Employment contracts act and tax cuts for the rich are the two main ones) that have occured over the last 30 years.

    Finally … finally we may just get a government that comes somewhere near to reflecting the desires of its people.

    • Nick C 2.1

      “NZ has been betrayed by all governments since muldoon”

      “Finally … finally we may just get a government that comes somewhere near to reflecting the desires of its people.”

      You’re delusional. Muldoon was consistently getting around 40% of the vote, only FPP helped him last as long as he did. ‘The people’ are actually quite moderate, they have tended to elect the government which they see as the least radical. A key element of that since Muldoon got thrown out has been orthadox economic policy; not things like privitisation I agree, but most certainly free trade, fiscal conservatism keeping the size of govt to GDP relatively constant.

      • roger nome 2.1.1

        nick – most new zealanders aren’t worried about the two-demensional politico-economic market model. They want thier families to have stability and opportunity. The first certainly hasn’t been achieved, and the for the second to truely have meaning for lower-income families, you need to have the first. So we’ll see who’s deluded come election time.

  3. BLiP 3

    . . . Labour has finally worked out that it might be able to break the Prime Minister’s spell on voters by showing his success as a merchant banker has not transferred to his Government’s handling of the economy . . .

    This depends on who the economic beneficiaries of Key’s policies are. I’m sure there are several merchant banks and related international investors who believe Key is doing a wonderful job. Employers, too, must be thrilled now they can put the jack boots back on. A simpler message from Labour would be to extend sympathy to workers and the middle class who have been hoodwinked as per the direct application of the “Hollow Men” template.

    In chapter after chapter details are given of the inner workings of the [National] Party, providing real insight into what the struggle for power can entail. Brash and his inner circle earned the title ‘hollow men’ through their pursuit of power by not resorting to, but relying on manipulation, dishonesty, and deception. Former National Government Cabinet Minister Ruth Richardson’s advice to Brash (page 68) sums up the theme of power running through the book: ‘Stick to your guns, being in government is worth everything’.

  4. Brokenback 4

    “. . . Labour has finally worked out that it might be able to break the Prime Minister’s spell on voters by showing his success as a merchant banker has not transferred to his Government’s handling of the economy . . .”

    Pray tell , Mr armstrong,how they expect to achieve this ?
    You are expressing your argument in the terms that Crosby Textor laid down.

    Smiling John was never a merchant banker , he was and still is a currency speculator , who by every definition, sanitised, 150% loaded with bullshit or whatever ,is nothing but a highly paid Thief.

    A simple fact , irrefutable , but beyond the means of decent people like Michael Cullen & Helen Clark to enlighten an electorate with their lizard brain over stimulated by Dog whistling and Wall of Bullshit , a la Joyce.

  5. Anthony 5

    EnGlish is a complete fuckhead

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Tokelau Language Week reminds us to stay united and strong
    Staying strong in the face of challenges and being true to our heritage and languages are key to preserving our cultural identity and wellbeing, is the focus of the 2020 Tokelau Language Week. Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says this year’s theme, ‘Apoapo tau foe, i nā tāfea ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clean energy upgrade for more public buildings
    More public buildings will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. Minister Shaw announced that Lincoln and Auckland universities will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to replace fossil fuel boilers. Southern, Taranaki, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Schools back donations scheme for the second year
    More schools have opted in to the donations scheme for 2021, compared to 2020 when the scheme was introduced. “The families of more than 447,000 students will be better off next year, with 94% of eligible schools and kura opting into the scheme,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Ruapehu cycle trails gets PGF boost
    The spectacular Mountains to Sea cycle trail in Ruapehu District will receive $4.6 million in funding from the Provincial Growth Fund for two additional trails, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is an exciting development for the local community, and one that will provide significant economic opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago