Key speech: strategic blunder?

Written By: - Date published: 2:11 pm, January 29th, 2008 - 110 comments
Categories: crime, same old national, spin - Tags: , ,

So this is John Key’s ambition: throwing troubled teens in boot camp, beating up on beneficiaries and criminalising our children. I’ve only had a quick read through the speech in my lunch break so it’s possible I’ve got this wrong, but I get the distinct impression that Key has made a major strategic error here.

When I first heard murmurings about Key planning a ‘state of the nation’ speech I assumed he’d be running another policy-light pitch at middle New Zealand, big on aspirational rhetoric and with just enough vague policy detail to keep the critics happy. Housing affordability was an obvious topic that came to mind.

That he instead chose the risky (and I’d argue strategically pointless) option of pandering to the base with National’s traditional tough on crime message is puzzling. Sure, it’ll get the talkback crowd going, rile up the Kiwiblog Right and possibly even convince a few blue collar workers to vote against their economic interests, but it won’t go down well at all with the moderate centrists that Key has worked so hard to woo over the last year.

Women in particular will be turned off by coverage like this:

boot-camp.jpg?x58840

Because couched behind this morning’s strategically leaked proposals about education and training National has revealed its hard right core for all to see. As No Right Turn points out:

this is the same old National Party: divisive, punitive, vicious, and bullying those unable to defend themselves. And I’m glad Key has finally made it clear to the public.

This is precisely the face National has been trying so hard to hide from the public over the last year, and so far the centrist game seems to have worked for them. My opinion? John should have stuck with the smile and the nice haircut.

UPDATE: Kiwiblogblog has done a good analysis of the speech here.

110 comments on “Key speech: strategic blunder?”

  1. IrishBill 1

    Agreed Tane, I think Key has certainly missed the mark, unless you mean the Ron Mark (as it seems a lot like his dream policy). I’m less interested in his slurs on youth than I am in a few of the economic asides Key made. In particular the line we will say goodbye to the blind ideology that locks the private sector out of too many parts of our economy. and what parts of the economy Key means.

    But for now I’ll just say that picture of him in the Herald makes him look like Muldoon announcing a snap election. Don’t you think?

  2. National has got my vote, you got to start young when it comes to youth crime or it will get out of hand. These boyracers and Taggers/Vandals need to be taught that society wont stand for even the smallest of crime, to bad Labour doesn’t understand this.

  3. East Wellington Superhero 3

    Read the text from the speech carefully. I’ve pasted it below.

    The Ministry has recommended it and John Key has clearly pointed out that it would NOT be the type of oppressive boot-camp that you are trying to paint.

    I should also point out that the men and women I have been trained by, as a Territorial, are some of the most honourable and selfless people I have ever met. Yes, they push you, but that’s to challenge you.

    Your disrespect for such servicemen and women, which I can only assume is based on prejudice rather than fact is sad.

    “In 2002, a Ministerial Taskforce on Youth Offending recommended that the Army could run programmes for young offenders at army bases. That recommendation was ignored by Labour. National won’t be so blind. I want to make one thing clear, however. Fresh Start Programmes are not going
    to be some sort of short-term camp run by a tyrannical sergeant-major, which attempts to scare kids straight. What I’m talking about is a much more modern approach that tackles the underlying causes of criminal offending. I want to take the effective elements of army-type training and combine them with the most advanced expertise in youth offending and rehabilitation that New Zealand has to
    offer.”

  4. IrishBill 4

    EWS, I think you’ll find that Key’s bootcamps have nothing to do with service men and women. He wants the private sector to run them. The fact that his sub-text is so overt that the headlines are leading with “bootcamp” doesn’t surprise me: Key’s speech is one of the most badly executed examples of dog-whistling I’ve ever seen.

  5. Benodic 5

    It’ll be interesting to see how this shows up in the polls. Call me an optimist but I think NZers are far more immune to this kind of populist dogwhistling than they were back in 2004 when Brash made his Orewa race speech.

  6. Seamonkey Madness 6

    So Irish Bill/Tane, are you against any form of “boot camp”?
    If not, why not?

    If the public sector cannot provide it (if they were to chuck all of the youth offenders in the territorials now, the Army trainers would be swamped), then can you see a gap for the private sector to fill it?

    Take for example the TV series “Brat Camp”. Pack up 10 ‘orrible little chavs and chav-ettes, fly them of to the States, dump them in the Utah desert with new-age, tough-love therapists and hopefully get their head out of their arse, by realising its not all about them.

    Or is even that too harsh a treatment? Or is it because it is run by the private sector?

  7. Matthew Pilott 7

    I read it and wondered how the plan was intended to solve anything. A kid drops out of school and has the opportunity to take a course or something, and if they don’t they’ll get nothing in terms of assistance. That’s not going to cut crime, it would probably exacerbate it.

    Encouraging kids to attend other schooling is not a bad idea, as Labour has already begun under the Modern Apprenticeships programme – chalk up another policy the Nats are going to adopt.

  8. Michele Cabiling 8

    Brett Dale wrote:

    “These boyracers and Taggers/Vandals need to be taught that society wont stand for even the smallest of crime, to bad Labour doesn’t understand this.”

    Fat chance, BD, leftards are too enmired in fashionable sociological theories that give people a free pass based on what kind of toilet training they received.

    IrishBill says: Abridged. Too long Michele and too abusive. Please post links rather than cutting and pasting entire articles

  9. East Wellington Superhero 9

    The headlines say “bootcamp” because reporters know that gets headlines, it has nothing to do with the subtext. Moreover, this is just one aspect of his speech and it’s just one of many ways to help troubled youths.

    Sure, perhaps there’s an element of dog-whistling there. So what? You’re not seriously suggesting that Helen Clark doesn’t do it?

    What about the substance beneath the political spin that all politicians do? Labour has nothing. They have no reponse. Clark doesn’t acknowledge the problems and she has no response.

    Also, the Army does run these programs. I’ve seen them at Waiouru while I’ve been there.

    What do you do for a living IrishBill? I’d be very surprised if it was anything remotely related to troubled youths. Like I said, go and spend some time in a poor neighbourhood with poor kids and then come back and give us your thoughts.

    Also, where can complain about you guys back-dating your blog entries so that you can have nice supportive ones appearing before the critical ones? Maybe it’s my imagination but on a number of occasion I’ve found my entries getting proceeded by entries that weren’t there when I log in. Maybe it’s a technical thing and if so I withdraw my comments. If it’s not then it’s a pretty lame tactic.

  10. Policy Parrot 10

    Sure, Key’s prescription is exactly how you get through to young people, who are already alienated from the rest of society.

    I guess its possible that a few individuals might buck up at a military-style camp and knuckle down, but to the most alienated citizens, they already exist in this type of brutal environment everyday, often whether they are in jail or not?

    Key wants to give our worst youth offenders military-style training? Does that include training with weapons? How can the public feel safe when the government or business would be training up these people who have little regard for society, so that they can wreck an even more deadly and efficient kind of wrath?

    To make people want to re-join decent society, we need to show them the benefits rather than the consequences. Deterrence simply doesn’t work – does a robber really think of how many months/years he/she will spend in jail when robbing the local for their next fix?

    This policy also risks alienating otherwise good youth, who simply drop out because school does not suit them. Why should teachers be required to put up with those who don’t want to be there, and often prevent others from learning by acting up. Mr. Key also needs wake up, the government already has a great strategy with school dropouts by moving them into modern apprenticeships.

    Labour needs to come out swinging, and say what this could really mean for New Zealand. It’s not a solution, its simply moving the violence to a higher playing field.

  11. Tane 11

    Hi EWS, I’m too busy to engage in conversation right now, happy to discuss later.

    We don’t back-date blog entries. If you’re talking about comments you’ll find the system doesn’t automatically refresh the page when you submit your comment. You have to do that yourself, and frequently someone else will have posted in the time it took to write yours. I hope that makes sense.

  12. IrishBill 12

    We’ve never changed timestamps. When you post a comment other comments that have been made in the interim will not appear until you hit refresh.

    I have lived in some of the poorest areas in the country in my time and I can say I’ve seen them get a lot healthier and safer in the last eight years.

  13. East Wellington Superhero 13

    Tane, understood. Guess I’ll just have to be quicker next time. Still disappointed in your analysis though.

  14. Tane 14

    Well, I kind of expect that EWS, we do come from different sides of the spectrum. Don’t misunderstand this for an analysis of the speech’s contents though, I don’t have time for that at the moment – it’s just my initial impressions about how the speech will resonate with the public.

  15. Sonny Thomas 15

    Key’s plan is a farce! It’s too little, too late! Trying to change a life time of behaviour that is so readily engrained at 16 is too late. Start at 16 months. Start earlier than that. This is not policy of great hope. It will not revolutionise anything.

    Also, it’s hardly consistently policy. The Nats have already said that they want mandatory, standardise testing of all 5 year olds. And if they can’t read streamline them. Basically create bigger gaps for kids to fall into! Disenfranchise them by telling them they’ve failed. Keep them in a class with underachievers – obliterate their sense of hope and then when they’re 16 and want to get out of a system that has damaged them. Make them stay on for a further two years.

    That’s good policy. Yeah right!

    What is more… is those young people like Bailey Kurariki Junior grew up under a National government that didn’t care. There was nothing Labour could have done to stop them. Society had already turned their back on the Bailey’s of Waitara and New Zealand. Some progress has been made – more needs to happen. But this short sighted, punitive policy is not the answer.

  16. insider 16

    Having read this and heard Key on other occasions, he has been very impressed with Project K/Outward bound type programmes and mentions them in the speech. It appears this more what he is suggesting as part of a long term supervision programme.

    It may be that a lot of women who find it hard to control their children and want them to improve may be turned on to someone offering practical help not turned off. Wouldn’t you?

    Labour will find it hard to attack because apparantly they are already funding ‘boot camps’ run by the army. Let’s not forget the Urewera boot camps they have been funding as well via various benefits/grants…

    Love this dog whistle from Parrot – “Key wants to give our worst youth offenders military-style training? Does that include training with weapons? How can the public feel safe ….” etc blah blah

    wonderful imagination there.

  17. mike 17

    I think it was a very clever speech.
    Its not really pitched at National voters as they will always vote for him instead he’s trying to pick up some labour voters from shitty suburbs who are sick and tired of having their houses tagged and being bullied by these little turds.
    And his timing was perfect. Over to you hellen…

  18. Blah, blah, blah

    Fear

    Blah, blah, blah

    Revenge

    blah, blah, blah

    Labour suck

    We’ll do better (but I’m not saying how)

    I think that pretty much sums it up. I also think that if we’re talking about 1000 hard core ciminal kids then they must be very active and good at their shit to have driven the whole of New Zealand into the state of fear and failure that Key describes. If only we weren’t all so productive in our chosen fields.

  19. milo 19

    So is it the army or the private sector running these camps? Make up your mind … you can’t have it both ways.

    And an interesting comment about people “voting against their economic interests.” Suggests some of you really do see society as being engaged in class warfare. How quaint.

  20. Santi 20

    Key’s plan is sensible.

    Someone has to teach these louts and bastards how to behave, and the plan is a step forward compared to the inaction, “community-based” approach (whatever that means), readily-available welfare benefits, and the mumbo-jumbo tried so far.

  21. ryan 21

    I think the unrealistic parents of repeat youth offenders should go to boot camp instead of housie and the pub.Many primary school children are without a lunch when they attend school .
    That way you could try and stop the children facing house arrest later on in life .
    At least they get food in the army .

  22. Sam Dixon 22

    milo – tell the hundreds of thousands of people whose wages went down under National that the idea of class warfare is quaint.

  23. Someone has to teach these louts and bastards how to behave

    You’re right Santi, and I guess in your case it’s IrishBill and his big old banning stick.

    You certainly so seem to be making a stab at analysis now…

    IrishBill says: ‘Sod, you are out of line. If you don’t want a taste of my “banning stick” you’ll stay on topic and not attack other commenters.

  24. Brownie 24

    Why not give it a crack? The system is failing some of these kids as it is (remembering that the camps are a last resort measure).

    It certainly can’t do any worse than whats allready happening.

    [lprent – junk warning – this is probably dad4justice under yet another alias. It is in his usual IP range and with the usual comment type.]

  25. Sonny Thomas 25

    Santi – you’re a scumbag! If you want to have a dictatorship piss of to somewhere that doesn’t want engagement with people, and wants to take time to seek out a solution. Shithead!

    IrishBill says: Santi has made a comment (albeit one I strongly disagree with) without attacking other commenters. Please refrain from abuse.

  26. milo 26

    So Sam, are you an unreconstructed Marxist-Lenninist, and proud of it?

  27. East Wellington Superhero 27

    Rodinsod, did you read the speech. It did have solutions. Just because you repeat “National has no solutions” over and over again, it doesn’t make it true.
    And in terms of driving NZ into a false state of fear – tell that to chap who was stabbed in the neck on the weekend or the tourist murdered in Taupo or the 30% of kids at Hutt Valley High who fear being bullied – note that some of their classmates had been sodomised with a variety of instruments including scissors. I meet a young girl on the weekend who wasn’t comfortable at that school.

    Milo – the term ‘private sector’ means ‘not the government’. What’s wrong with someone other than the govt getting involved with society?

    Sam Dixon – wages actually went up under National and have stopped rising under Labour. That’s why tradespeople are moving to Australia. Wake up.

    I guess I’m new to this forum and not familiar with what you guys do for a living but can I ask what you do? What qualifications or experience do you guys have?

  28. Santi 28

    “tell the hundreds of thousands of people whose wages went down under National”

    Sam, who’s been in charge of the economy over the last nine years? Why continue blaming National for the pathetic performance of our overtaxed economy?

    The culprit is in front of us and wears red!

    As per Sonny’s comments, they neither desreve nor warrant response.

  29. g 29

    And what’s Labour’s answer to solving youth crime, tell them to get outside, it’s summer!

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0801/S00038.htm

  30. Tane 30

    wages actually went up under National and have stopped rising under Labour. That’s why tradespeople are moving to Australia. Wake up.

    Rubbish.

    National: it’s not worth the pay cut

    But that’s a different topic.

  31. IrishBill 31

    Santi, The wage-gap with Australia began under the right-wing 4th labour government and increased under National. Under Labour that gap has closed but very slowly. I agree with you that Labour hasn’t done enough to increase wages but given the fact that employers (especially multinational employers) have been making record profits over the last nine years and yet wages haven’t seen anything like the same increase I’d like to know how you would do it.

  32. Michele Cabiling 32

    Sonny Thomas wrote:

    “Young people like Bailey Kurariki Junior grew up under a National government that didn’t care.”

    What a load of crap. Love isn’t raised in taxes and dispensed by government bureaucrats. These kids are usually the product of several generations of scrotes who have been encouraged to reproduce irresponsibly due to the easy availability of welfare benefits.

    The link below is to an article by British slum doctor, Theodore Dalrymple. Though written of conditions he has observed in Britain, it might have been written of New Zealand or indeed any other Western country that rewards women for having babies without viable partner, whilst failing to insist that there is a reciprocal community obligation on welfare recipients.

    Recommended reading for you chardonnay socialists. Having worked for Housing New Zealand as a tenancy manager when I first left university, I can attest to the replication in all too many state homesof the conditions Dalrymple describes.

    The problem is not “insufficient welfare” it’s REWARDING people for socially unproductive behaviour. Yet another FAILURE OF GUMMINT.

    http://www.city-journal.org/html/14_4_oh_to_be.html

  33. Key makes some good points, and has identified an important issue. But everyone is missing the point. John Key’s plan is not ambitious. And it is absent of hope. Why? Because it deals with the symptoms and not the causes of the problem. My ambition would be to build a society where our young people don’t get into serious trouble in the first place; where our young people are not alienated and are not dislocated from their fathers and families.

    http://tonymilne.blogs.com/i_see_red/2008/01/labour-believes.html

  34. gobsmacked 34

    Apparently John Key’s planning a follow-up: taking a kid from McGehan Close for a nice ride in the back of his car, and dropping him off at boot camp.

  35. Santi 35

    IrishBill, I’d put the issue of multinational employers aside, since New Zealand consists mainly of small/medium enterprises and businesses.

    You ask how to do it? By lifting productivity. By reducing personal taxes, so the workers can keep more of the money they earn (and rightly so). By adjusting the thresholds for inflation, which Cullen and Dunne have stubbornly refused to do. By making NZ a more attractive destination for foreign investment (you’d need to dismiss the opinion of the legion of xenophobes).

  36. Matthew Pilott 36

    EWS – this was from a judge that generally supported Key’s ideas:

    “Apprehensions for youth offenders as a whole is declining but a small group of 750 to 1000 young boys are offending more violently,” Judge Becroft said.

    Giving some recent examples of nasty incidents only shows that agenda-driven propaganda is working on you – if you want to make a rational analysis you need to look at longer term trends than last weekend’s headlines. This principal Youth Court judge is saying the numbers of criminals is falling.

    Fear is merely being used here based upon a spate of murders – do you want policy based upon fear, or a reflection of what is going on in society? Fear can be used in many ways – check out the US Patriot Act and Homeland Security Act for stirling examples. I don’t want that kind of fearmongering to dictate politics in New Zealand.

    Michele – you’re right, it is a failure of government to a certain extent. Further reducing the government’s ability to assist poor families will only exacerbate the situation. Intervention to reduce poverty, and breaking the cycle will help – turfing people out of state houses and cutting their benefits (pseudonymous with small gummint right?) won’t unless you plan to starve “the scrotes” to death or encourage them to commit more crime.

  37. IrishBill 37

    Santi, the majority of New Zealanders who work in the private sector are employed in medium or large businesses and a large number of those are owned by overseas interests. We have had lifts in productivity before and we have seen massive profits in the last decade including several billions of dollars a year in the banking sector alone. But we have not seen a major increase in wages. When you talk about productivity as the answer to higher wages you are espousing trickle-down theory. That is you are claiming that increased productivity will mean increased profits which, in turn, will mean increased wages. We have had significantly increased profits but not wages, further increasing profits will not change this. Trickledown does not work in practice.

    As far as foreign investment goes, we are currently the third best country for ease of business. This can be seen by the vast amount of foreign investment we have in this country. And the vast amount of money that investment takes out every year in profit.

  38. East Wellington Superhero 38

    Tane,
    Actually, you’re wrong.
    For full-time workers (which is most people) the MEDIAN effective (taking into account tax and inflation) take-home pay has grown less under Labour than National in 1990s.
    Moreover, the supposed ‘social dividend’ has not been returned.
    But you’re right, we’re off topic – but you’re still wrong.

  39. IrishBill 39

    Also Santi, I agree with you about shifting income tax thresholds (though that’s a pretty minor fix) but not about taxcuts. We’d need a 20% tax cut to even come close to matching net wages in Australia and we’d still be a lot poorer than them counting the user-pays public service charges such a tax cut would require.

  40. Santi 40

    “My ambition would be to build a society where our young people don’t get into serious trouble in the first place; where our young people are not alienated and are not dislocated from their fathers and families.”

    Tony, your ambition is laudable but it’s also utopia. It hasn’t happenned anywhere on Earth because by nature human beings are difficult entities, and not two of us are equal.

    That’s why any measures towards improving the economy and a complete overhaul of the welfare state are mandatory steps.

  41. Tane 41

    EWS, have another read of the post. I used nominal median wage in the first graph, then adjusted the stats for both inflation and taxation in the second (and even excluded the value of WFF and improved social services). National still came out in second place.

    The fact is wages are still growing faster under Labour than they ever did under National.

  42. ryan 42

    “My ambition would be to build a society where our young people don’t get into serious trouble in the first place; where our young people are not alienated and are not dislocated from their fathers and families”.

    Well said Tony Milne and I share your ambition .This is more ambulance at bottom of hill stuff again I’m afraid. We must strike at the core of issues and address the huge problems caused for society by family breakdowns, estrangement and the new age scourge of fatherlessness.

  43. East Wellington Superhero 43

    Tane, I guess the difference is that you haven’t used full time workers? I don’t know but I guess if you’re including part-time workers then of course the median will be lower. this however, is hardly a good conmparison.

    Anyway, that’s it for me. To nice to be indoors now.

    Go Eastern Wellington.

  44. Dale 44

    So some blue collar workers may vote against their financial interests. What a load of crap Im a sraypainter and pay the top tax rate,pay the highest interest rates in the developed world and watch family and friends move to Australia where the population is not treated like a cash cow for socialist propagander.Most blue collar folk dissagree with the continual interference in our lives,I wont be told how to bring up my kids by this nannystate. One thing is for sure the barstards wont force me out of my country. Its time to stand up for your selves and stop being so dependent on this government.

  45. RANDAL 45

    the last natoinal govt came in on a programme of self responsibility, self regulation and civil society. all a lot of hogwash and now we are paying for it big time a decade later with a totally infantilised population with nothing else on their minds except themselves their harley davidsons and their big bore bums and racial prjudice and bogotry…civil society natoinal style!

  46. Sam Dixon 46

    Dale – you don’t pay the highest tax rates in the developed world – the highest tax bracket in Australia, for example, is higher than the highest one here.

  47. IrishBill 47

    Dale, I trained in a trade when I was much younger. I watched the many people I know in the trades leaving NZ in the nineties as work dried up. Now they are coming back and often have more work than they can do. Admittedly my experience is in the building trade but the feeling I get is that there’s a lot more money around for all tradespeople. I don’t know if you were working as a spraypainter in the 90’s but if you were I’d be interested to know if you’ve noticed any differences.

  48. PM 48

    Tane said: “That he instead chose the risky (and I’d argue strategically pointless) option of pandering to the base with National’s traditional tough on crime message is puzzling”

    My god, you think getting tough on youth crime is “pointless”???

    One just has to have a look at the front page of any paper to see just how out of control youth crime has become under Labour.

    Let’s go with the Herald online:

    North Shore bashings accused denied bail
    One of five teenagers charged over a series of violent attacks on the North Shore has been denied bail…

    14-year-old in court over Tokoroa murder
    There were emotional scenes in the Rotorua Youth Court this morning as a 14-year-old fronted on a murder…

    Krishna murder accused appears in court
    A 16-year-old boy charged with the murdering a 22-year-old man in a Manurewa dairy has appeared in the Manukau Youth Court.

    etc, etc, etc.

    And that was just today. This doesn’t mention the hundreds of people assaulted, many seriously, every week in this country. The fact that it’s hard to walk down a public street in most of our cities without being inundated with youth-gang graffiti. The list goes on and on and on and on.

    Yet you categorise someone saying “hey, enough’s enough. Let’s do something about it” as “pointless”. Well, Wayne, I can tell you with much certainty that you and your Labour backers are well and truly out of touch with reality (and public opinion) if you honestly think that’s the case.

    Totally unbelievable.

  49. Dale 49

    Sam I said the highest intrerest rates. And to pay the highest tax rate in Australia you have to be earning about 3 times what I earn.

  50. RANDAL 50

    oops bigotry not bogotry but as the revealed natoinal party policy is so much crpa it shoudl be flushed down the bog

  51. Tane 51

    My god, you think getting tough on youth crime is “pointless”???

    I said the choice of topic was strategically pointless. If you think John Key chose youth crime today because he cares about it deeply then you’re only kidding yourself. Politicians of all stripes engage in extensive polling and focus group testing to decide their key issues and test their messages. There will be a strategy behind this, I just don’t think it’s a very good one.

    One just has to have a look at the front page of any paper to see just how out of control youth crime has become under Labour.

    I prefer to use stats rather than the front page of the paper. Stats tell us what’s really happening, the paper tells us selective information that an editor thinks will sell newspapers.

  52. Ben R 52

    Tane,

    How can anyone discuss policies intelligently, when you distort Key’s speech? How exactly is he “beating up on beneficiaries”?

    One of the reasons Barack Obama is appealing to voters, is that he doesn’t try to demonise his opponents – he even acknowledges they may have good ideas.

    There is no dispute that there is a problem with youth gangs & increasing random violent assaults.

    Shouldn’t there be something in place for school leavers on welfare to give them something productive to do – something to aim for?

  53. Dale 53

    Yes Bill I was working in the trade in the 90’s and when the Nats brought in the employment contracts act I was gutted. So I went truck driving for the same money.In 99 I voted for Labour after hearing Helen say no new taxes and a return to the old working policies.I have’nt seen that happen ,but then upon reflection it would be a great disservice to reinstate the rules of the past,if we want to compete with the rest of the world.But I strongly object to being used as a tax cash cow.And I havent known anyone who has come back to NZ from Aussie cause they would be better off.

  54. lawyer dude 54

    It is most encouraging that the Principal Youth Court Judge Andrew Beecroft would support Mr Key’s comments.

  55. IrishBill 55

    Hey Dale, I’m pretty sure Labour was promising another tax bracket before they were voted in (I know the Alliance had an 8 tier policy – which I’m in favour of). The real issue is not taxes because a sustainable tax cut is only going to be a few dollars a week for most people. The issue is wages.

    At the moment the two largest banks in New Zealand are shifting $2bn in profits across the ditch every year. The telcos another $1bn , the two main media outlets another $3-4 hundred million and the list goes on. Some of this profit needs to go into paying New Zealanders a decent wage. We are, after all, the people who pay for the bank/phone/advertising and work to make sure these businesses profit. But this won’t happen without the government stepping in and they don’t want to because they are scared (although the Alliances KiwiBank idea was a bloody good one).

    I see you’re familiar with the ECA from hard experience. So am I. I don’t think for a second National won’t take us back to that.

  56. Draco TB 56

    And to pay the highest tax rate in Australia you have to be earning about 3 times what I earn.

    And you still aren’t paying as much tax here as you would in Australia.

    http://www.oecd.org/vgn/images/portal/cit_731/52/32/36366632TaxingWages_Chart_1_1.jpg
    http://www.oecd.org/vgn/images/portal/cit_731/51/55/36366659TaxingWages_Chart_1_2.jpg

  57. Ben R 57

    This is from the 2002 Ministerial Taskforce on Youth Offending http://www.justice.govt.nz/pubs/reports/2002/youth-offending-strategy/ministerial-report/section-2.html

    “Army Initiatives

    The Taskforce wants the youth justice sector to be able to benefit more from the resources and programmes provided by the Army. It believes that the skills and disciplines promoted by the Army have the potential to have a beneficial impact on youth offending.

    The Army has examined how its current programmes could be better targeted towards young offenders and has identified two programmes, the Limited Services Volunteer Scheme and Youth Life Skills, that could be developed further to meet the needs of ‘at risk’ youth.

    The Limited Service Volunteers (LSV) scheme was primarily designed as an employment programme, but is known to have positive effects on behaviour and offending patterns. This programme is run in conjunction with the Ministry of Social Development. Burnham Camp in Christchurch has the capacity to handle up to 1704 LSV trainees per year based on six residential courses, each of six weeks, with 284 trainees on each course.

    Youth Life Skills (YLS) courses specifically target 14 to 18 year olds and provide training in skills designed to improve a person’s integration with the community. The Army could provide 75 YLS residential courses per annum, each of five days duration with 20 students on each course for a total of 1500 students per annum. Fifty of these courses would be conducted in the North Island and 25 in the South Island.”

  58. I found it particularly offensive that he politicised Sir Ed the way he did. Bad form!

    I made some comments about Labour’s fantastic economic management, and National’s spin but no substance on the matter here: http://mariavontrapp.blogspot.com/2008/01/its-economy-stupid.html

  59. Monty 59

    John Key has just been on Close-up- and he was excellent – obvious he has had media training and has improved and learnt how to do a policy launch. HE WAS CLEAR, CONCISE AND MADE SENSE.

    This will appeal to the masses and already he has set the agenda – Clark can only but cry into her organic Hubbards muslie –

    I expect to see another lift in the polls as a result of this. Good policy, priced and with an action plan. And importantly – very Prime Ministerial.

    Game on socialists.

  60. Hey, MVT – welcome back! I’m so chuffed, I’ll even overlook your site promoting Labour…

  61. The Double Standatrd 61

    Tane

    Perhaps you would care to explain why that apparent stronghold of Teh Party – the Counties Manakau police district – has the worst violent crime stats in the country? Obviously whatever Labour thinks it is doing, isn’t working. It’s all very well for the middle class liberal standardistas to blather on about how Key has made a strategic blunder, but I doubt your values are shared by many in South Auckland who live in fear daily.

  62. RANDAL 62

    Judge Beecrof is a nutter…bet he has the coplete set of rumpole and watches one every night! the Judiciciary has become as infantilised as the proletariat

  63. lawyer dude 63

    Judge Beecroft is not a nutter.Have you looked in the mirror lately?

  64. Concerned from Tawa 64

    While the Standardistas beat up Key’s policy here, Annette King says Key is just stealing labour policies and wrapping them in a blue ribbon. The standard mob really should consult the 9th floor BEFORE posting, it would save so much confusion and embarrassment. Labour = Good. National = Bad. It’s all getting rather hollow.

  65. James Kearney 65

    Did you think Concerned of Tawa that maybe a lot of people on the left aren’t happy with Labour’s criminal justice policies and think they’re too right wing?

  66. Sigh…….. I will try that comment again and hope it takes .

    Sam Dixon, you need to get new material. Your comment to Dale at around 5p.m. was typical twist and shout. Yes Oz has a higher tax rate, but it does not cut in at such a low amount as ours.
    Dale is typical of many kiwis I come into contact with. All struggling but caught by cullens rich prick tax.
    Sam, You need to bang yourself against a wall for a bit until you’re less rubbish.

  67. The Double Standatrd 67

    James

    You think that the family of Shayne Pita Walker in Tokoroa were Labour voters last election?

    Reckon they might think Labour’s criminal justice policies are too right wing now that there son has been stabbed to death, allegedly by a 14 year old, who I bet has a lengthly ‘youth justice’ history?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10489369

  68. RANDAL 68

    hah…roused someone out of their torpor…dont bet on it lawyer dude…this country has been copletely infantilised and so pervasive are the effects that only a totalitarian autarky could turn it around.

  69. James Kearney 69

    Double – of course the families of murder victims would like tougher sentencing but I’d rather our criminal justice policies were based on reason and evidence than revenge. Individual cases are tragic but they don’t make good public policy.

  70. Ben R 70

    James,

    That’s true that evidence should be relied on, not emotion. Consider Steven Levitt’s paper, which shows the effectiveness of custodial sentencing on reducing crime figures:

    http://pricetheory.uchicago.edu/levitt/Papers/LevittTheEffectOfPrison1996.pdf

  71. Rich Prick 71

    Key’s speech was kind of refreshing, hinting at the old concept of personal responsibility and consequences for one’s actions. If I caught a tagger defacing my property I’d tag him and send him home to explain his condition to his mother. The problem at the moment is that the mother being pissed or p-addled probably couldn’t care less.

    Oh great, two shootings just reported in South Auckland. Can’t wait for the descriptions of the offender/s. Probably were youth offenders who have graduated. Why do you all wonder that we are seeing horrific offences now … nine years of soft-on-offender policies. They learn young you know.

  72. Shakespeare 72

    Tane,

    I’m not so convinced this is the strategic blunder you contend it is.

    I’m guessing that you formed that opinion on the basis that National is trying to win over the female/urban metro-sexual vote and in appearing tough on law and order is going against that.

    To my mind, National’s tackling what is a very real problem within society (as all would recognise) and providing pragmatic, dynamic policy in response. Policy likely to scare away the women and others who found Brash too abrasive and scare-mongering?

    No.

    The solutions offered seem very palatable – giving offenders more opportunities and more support in breaking out of crime and re-integreating back into society. We’re not talking about longer sentences. We’re talking about residential programmes which aim to educate, motivate and give order to lives so desperately in need of it. Scare-mongering? How could it be?

    While many of you scream at the thought of the private sector being involved (GOD FORBID!), I would far sooner trust the likes of Project K, the Salvation Army and various church groups than I would WINZ or the Ministry of Social Development. What I hope is emerging in National is true conservatism – the government having a role in society, but the government recognising when others can do the job better.

    I’m hoping National will be further supporting those already making a huge difference in this area.

    It infuriates me the way some of you attempt to demonise an idea before even considering it – for instance, allowing someone other than government to be involved in society; and also, pulling the whole 90s line. Labour’s had 9 years. THE STATUS QUO’S NOT WORKING.

  73. Michele Cabiling 73

    Ryan wrote:

    “We must strike at the core of issues and address the huge problems caused for society by family breakdowns, estrangement and the new age scourge of fatherlessness.”

    These things aren’t just “acts of god.”

    The elephant in the room is that they are actually “acts of gummint.”

    They are cause by a generous no-fault welfare system that has incentivised irresponsible lifestyle choices, insulated those making them from a dose of corrective reality, and allowed them to socialise the cost of poor decision making onto the community.

    Numerous studies have shown that children growing up in fatherless families feature disproportionately in EVERY social pathology.

    Boys growing up without dads are more prone to substance abuse, mental illness, violent behaviour, abusive behaviour towards women, imprisonment, not completing their education.

    Girls growing up without dads are more prone to substance abuse, mental illness, hooking up with men who behave abusively towards women, not completing their education, promiscuity, teen pregnancy.

    The leftard agenda is to chain people to the state and promise them ever-increasing amounts of other people’s money in order to continue to get their votes. We are now approaching a tipping point at which those with their hands out and the do-gooders in the taxpayer-funded ‘caring,’ ‘sharing,’ and ‘helping’ professions who service the takers will form a permanent political majority.

    It’s not about ‘compassion’ for those pandering to this constituency at all, it’s about the will to power.

    Think about it. If Liarbour eradicated poverty, it would render itself irrelevant.

    Socialism is the myth that two people can live off one another indefinitely without working.

    It is also three wolves a sheep voting on what’s for dinner.

  74. burt 74

    Ryan also wrote:

    Well said Tony Milne and I share your ambition .This is more ambulance at bottom of hill stuff again I’m afraid. We must strike at the core…”

    OK so you think addressing the symptoms of family breakdown is an ambulance and getting inside families and fixing them is a fence at the top. Deal with the sources, deal with the results – two very different schemes. I agree with you.

    So clearly the strategy is to implement both schemes. The fence at the top needs fixing and there are plenty of bodies still in the process of falling so we need the ambulances at the bottom for a while yet.

    I know, I know it’s too non partisan and would require some kind of agreement between the red horse and the blue horse in the two party system we have.

  75. Rich Prick 75

    This must be a record for any January, 15 homicides, 8 or so of which so far would suggest teenager offerers, and now we have a double shooting just reported in South Auckland. John Key and the National Party are indeed onto something. And I like their solutions.

  76. milo 76

    East Wellington Superhero – clearly I didn’t explain myself well enough; I was being critical. But to ‘address’ your other question; I am strongly opposed to people’s views being given weight based on their employment, qualifications, or experience. In my view arguments should be evaluated on their merits, not on the supposed merits of their sponsors.

    So I’ll decline to tell you of my fine career as a chief bottlewasher and intellectual dilettante!

  77. IrishBill 77

    Good to see some debate here. For what it’s worth I don’t think Labour has done a good job with crime but I don’t see that as a reason to make it worse with vindictive policies like this. What amazes me is all of you people calling for harsher measures while simultaneously claiming Labour has failed. Labour is tough on crime. Sentences have got longer and parole has got harder to get. More children are being tried as adults. Newsfash: it doesn’t work. We have never had a proper coordinated rehabilitation programme in NZ nor has the structural poverty created by a series of fiascoes from Muldoon to the 4th Labour Govt to the god-awful 90’s ever been properly dealt with. Personally I think Labour should be ashamed of the lack of courage and the failures to use proven progressive policy it has shown in this area

    But that doesn’t mean I’m going to vote to make it worse under National.

  78. AncientGeek 78

    Wow, actually reasonably a good discussion. Well, with the exception of Michele (do you ever get off slogans? and use links pleassseeee), TDS (i think you know how to use long words), RANDAL (please grow up soon..),and probably a few others.

    Moderators are doing a pretty good job…

    Soldiers in NZ are professional soldiers. We don’t spend something in the order of a million dollars training them (at least to RF Sargent (?sp) level) to defend this country from EXTERNAL enemies to waste them. The army will not do this except for the ones that they consider are capable of being good soldiers. That is a limited subset of the what Key is considering.

    I wouldn’t really want to hand kids over to rejects from the RF on a $35 million budget. We’d wind up with recreating the great borstal
    criminal training system again. It is a high price to pay over the next 30 years for a clueless key victory in this election.

    Best comment that I liked in the above debate:-
    From Tony Milne:

    Why? Because it deals with the symptoms and not the causes of the problem. My ambition would be to build a society where our young people don’t get into serious trouble in the first place; where our young people are not alienated and are not dislocated from their fathers and families.

    By the time that a problem has become evident, it is already too late. I think that by the time that boot camp or outward bound or whatever seems a solution, you can’t keep them in a camp. They will escape. They did at borstal, CMT had its problems with keeping people there. Hell I managed to get out of Waiouru without a pass a few times and I had no real motivation to do so.

    Intervene a lot earlier and it is cheaper – anyone who has dealt with children knows it is a lot easier at before age 12. I’d comment here that $35 million is a pathetic amount for this type of program.

    Deal with the family earlier. Do it by giving better pay for people willing to serve in low decile schools. Look at supporting social workers, reverends, school counselors, and the other unsung hero’s at the front line – but do it BEFORE kids hit puberty.

    I’m afraid I think this cr*p from clueless is just grandstanding.

  79. Concerned from Tawa 79

    I lived in the Middle East and Singapore for most of my working life. These countries have some of the harshest penalties for crime, zero tolerance, and very low levels of crime. No rehab, no talk, no social workers, no SST. I even went to a public beheading in Saudi Arabia! People who tell you westerners get pushed to the front to watch are wrong, you really have to elbow your way to the front.

  80. IrishBill 80

    So you want a dictatorship in which most of the people who’ve commented on this thread tonight would be too scared to do so? I like your implicit presumption you’d be the watcher and not the one on the block. Very optimistic.

  81. burt 81

    IrishBill

    I kind of agree with that, but I wouldn’t vote for the party that does nothing while admitting it’s policy achievements of the last 8 years haven’t worked. So I would say don’t vote Labour if I was personally ashamed of their lack of courage to implement their own policies.

    I’ve never voted based on ‘I’m sure they will do something this term’ after an appalling track record. Each to their own I guess.

  82. gobsmacked 82

    Concerned: you can’t have these dictators on Farrar billboards and then adopt their policies …

  83. Concerned from Tawa 83

    I think Lee Kwan Yew was my favourite dictator. He’d be well impressed by the EFA. Less so by the graffiti around Auckland.

  84. IrishBill 84

    Burt, I haven’t seen Labour say its policies are not working but am certainly not “personally ashamed” of them. Nor would I vote (or have I implied I’d vote) on the basis of “Im sure etc”.

    I’m going to take this opportunity to remind you that you are technically banned from here and that you should probably have a think before you try to put words in my mouth in such a facetious manner again.

  85. AncientGeek 85

    Actually in the news today, I heard something that concerned me a lot more than than Key’s speech.

    This is a rather harrowing interview with the victim of a gang-rape by Kathryn Ryan on 9 to noon in National Radio.

    I’ve known a bit about this case, but a couple of points in this interview appalled me. The background of this case is that a group of off-duty police performed a gang rape of a young woman in a lifesaver tower at Mt Maunganui. This interview was about the early release of one of the people convicted of rape in this case.

    Now apart from the police officer involvement and their actions in this case:-

    The actions of the parole board seem almost incomprehensible. They were about to release the prisioner on home detention, without informing the victim.
    The police brother of one of the convicted, Steven Hale, looked up the victims address.
    The victims description of the effect of the parole merry-go-around makes the prospect of anyone making a complaint of rape a horrific prospect

    Normally I tend to look at the SST as being a bit over the top. But in this case I think that they deserve a big kudo’s. Similarly project Austin (?sp) from the police.

    My main problem with this case that is the question of “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” that Juvenal asked – roughly translated – “who guards the guardians?”.

    We don’t give the type of authority that we give to the police lightly. The level of responsibility on the police officers should be correspondingly higher. This has resulted in an increase of the powers of the old Police Complaints Authority to form the INDEPENDENT POLICE CONDUCT AUTHORITYrecently – but as far as I’m concerned probably it did not go far enough.

    I am a bit biased, one of my relatives ran into an abuse of police powers a few years ago. It was pretty scary realizing at that time that there was effectively NO control on the police apart from what they chose to exercise on themselves.

    But the role of the parole board in this case is…. well… a travesty of natural justice.

    I may have to consider the SST’s positions a bit more carefully after listening to this interview.

  86. Jeff 86

    National Government played a HUGE part in this “violent Youth” problem we are facing today, it was National under shipley who legalised 18yr old to drink, therefore we have 12 & 13 yr old alcoholics now.
    I`m sick of these national blowhards spouting off policies that are absolute rubbish and will only waste more taxpayers money.
    Get rid of gangs and the problem will cease, its as simple as that, yeah thats right, too scared to do it!!!.
    While you`re at it Mr Keys, why dont you repay all those poor beneficiaries the money National stole in the “mother of all budgets” with interest,,,could our violent nation be poverty driven?, i think so.
    Just look at all the cuts National made to essential services during the 90s, we are still recovering today,
    as far as our large family is concerned National Govt is a power hungry profit driven scam for the well heeled to become richer, and we will NEVER vote National again.

  87. Jeff 87

    Oh I almost forgot!, Thank you Helen for the good grace of reinstating the $20 pw National took off needy pensioners 1993. remember the upsurge in foodbanks?.

  88. Santi 88

    Jeff, your anti-National rant has more myths than facts. Let’s dissect them:
    “It was National under shipley who legalised 18yr old to drink, therefore we have 12 & 13 yr old alcoholics now.”
    Utterly simplistic to blame the lowering the drinking age on youth violence. With or without permission these louts and young criminals will get their hands on alcohol. On the other hand, why punish the youngsters who behave well and want to buy a beer and learn to deal with booze at that age?

    “I`m sick of these national blowhards spouting off policies that are absolute rubbish and will only waste more taxpayers money.”
    What are you talking about? The money-wasting policies are the ones implemented by Labour over the last nine years, which have given welfare benefits to people who don’t deserve them.

    “Get rid of gangs and the problem will cease, its as simple as that, yeah thats right, too scared to do it!!!.”
    Spot on. Who’s government is this? Who’s directing the Police?

    “While you`re at it Mr Keys, why dont you repay all those poor beneficiaries the money National stole in the “mother of all budgets’ with interest,,,could our violent nation be poverty driven?, i think so.”

    Travel overseas no have an idea what poverty really is. You appear to be a good example of the mentality that the state owes you a life. Forget about those benefits and take your life in own your hands.

    “Just look at all the cuts National made to essential services during the 90s, we are still recovering today”
    Stretching it a bit, uh? This is 2008 and Labour has enjoyed almost a decade of economic prosperity. Why do you keep blaming National, when your anger should be directed to Helen Clark and the Labour Party? Are you afraid of offending the hand who feeds you?

    An immediate overhaul of the welfare system is what is required. Other measures are superfluous.

  89. East Wellington Superhero 89

    Milo said:
    “In my view arguments should be evaluated on their merits, not on the supposed merits of their sponsors.”

    Well, yes, ideas should be argued on their merits. However, people are posting ideas here that lack evidence but are supported by views of human nature gleaned from who knows where.

    In such a case where there is no academic evidence I’m loath to believe a middle-class 23 year-old arts student really know what’s wrong with the kids in south Auckland and Porirua and I’m more inclined to listen to a 40 year family-man or -woman who has actually worked with troubled youths. So, in my opinion experience does have a role.

    Actually, having been an academic at the University of Otago in the past, I’m not always convinced by so-called academic evidence either – but that’s another story.

  90. Michele Cabiling 90

    Jeff wrote:

    “Thank you Helen for the good grace of reinstating the $20 pw National took off needy pensioners 1993. remember the upsurge in food banks?”

    Socialists want government to be the agency of first resort, rather than the last. They decry the existence of food banks and cite the failings of capitalism as the cause for their necessity. Yet, a food bank is a capitalist response to poverty and helping the needy.

    How can socialists possibly justify, at a time when government welfare spending has reached an all-time high, spending even more tax dollars on welfare — simply to replace a non- coercive, voluntary welfare system that is already directly responding to a community need? The answer is simple: they can’t.

    It’s not the plight of the needy that disgusts socialists when they see a food bank. It’s the idea that capitalism is doing the job that socialism can’t. Make no mistake about it.

    It’s the will to power by chaining people to the state we’re looking at, not concern for the poor, when socialist politicians talk about eliminating private responses to public needs.

  91. Monty 91

    The problem with the left (Tane IrishBill etc) is that no matter what Key says – they will say National= Bad.

    The fact that Clark straight away does a “Me too” on National policy shows the desperation in her mindset. Would she not have been better to ignore what Key said and made her speech on an unrelated topic and try and get the initiative and the last word.

    Saying that I appreciate the way Labour have now let National set the agenda at the beginning of the year for the 4th year in a row.

  92. Monty 92

    Good point Michele –

    No socialist has ever been able to explain to me why Labour promotes more dependance on the state. Labour have incrementally diminished the concept of self responsibility and at the same time have increased Welfare to the first rather than the resort.

    WFF has made middle class families reliant on the state, yet these same families struggle to pay the rent and the mortgage.

    John Key with this policy and more will follow along the same theme will bring back less reliance on the state and more self responsibility. The welfare cheque needs to be the last resort and only as a safety net. People are no longer listening to Clark and Labour – they are the party of the past – National is the party of the future.

  93. Michele Cabiling 93

    Right on, Monty!

    The families that created this country built their own homes, devoted untold backbreaking hours to clearing bush or draining swamps to create farms, grew their own food, took care of their own health and educated their own children. They depended on themselves and perhaps their neighbors. They did not depend on the gummint in Helengrad.

    In exchange for the risks they took in coming to this country, they found freedom and the potential to create wealth for themselves and their children. There were no guarantees, just opportunities.

    Once New Zealand was settled, New Zealanders saw other frontiers to conquer: The same spirit that drove them across the ocean drove them to be innovators and entrepreneurs in industries that already existed and in new ones they imagined and brought into being.

    Liarbour has always offered the antithesis of the early settlers’ vision. It provides instead, limitless opportunities to become dependent on government.

    What could be farther removed from the New Zealand that the early settlers imagined, where they could live free from undue government interference, than Liarbour’s vision, in which everyone is a serf on Nanny State’s plantation.

  94. milo 94

    East Wellington Superhero:

    What would a young temperamental aristocrat bad boy know about love?
    What would a young patent clerk know about physics?
    What would a young homosexual know about marraige?

    I’m okay with youth. You do have a point about relevant experience. But I still distrust arguments that can only be epxressed as being from authority.

  95. East Wellington Superhero 95

    Milo

    All arguments are expressed as being from some authority, the question is who or what will be your authority – measured evidence or wacky social theories that are trendy but have no way of being measured.

    Anyway, I get your point and I think you get mine. Let’s now try and make NZ better for kiwi kids in Porirua.

  96. insider 96

    Jeff

    my mother runs a foodbank. She said they had been unusually busy this year with people lining up for parcels. Bloody Ruth Richardson…

  97. Monty 97

    I am most surprised – Being a Labour Party Blog I would have expected the standard to have done a post fawning over Helen Clark’s “Me-eeeeeee Too-ooooooooo” youth policy trying to (but buggering it up because policy on the hoof is bad policy).

    The problem for the left is that it will be too hard vilify John Key’s speech and policy when Labour are set to do a poor and pathetic attempt to copy.

  98. Tane 98

    Patience, Monty, patience.

  99. Sam Dixon 99

    Monty – if you think the PM’s speech was written in 20 hours in response to Key’s speech yesterday you’re dreaming. That’s simply not how speech writing at that level works. If you read the speech it’s talking about expanding prgormames that are already being pilotted.

  100. Sam Dixon 100

    Have to say, I thought going a day after Key would be a bad move for Clark because it was givign the first shot to him but you look at the papers today and she already had the front page fo he Dom while he was seocnd apge, and that was before her speech came out. Tomorrow editions will be dominated by her speech and his will be relegated to a distant memory.

    Also, Labour and experts got to tear Key’s policy apart and then Labour was right back on the initiative.

  101. AncientGeek 101

    Monty, I’d make two observations.

    The nats are a great party for dealing with symptoms rather than root causes. Done it all the time I’ve been politically aware.

    They’re also great at causing problems, leaving it to the left to clean up. The left in government have been dealing with the consequences of the Mother of all budgets in the early 90’s, ever since they came into office. This has been mainly by getting people back to work, but also trying to repair the social damage in schools, housing, etc etc.

    In this case we are talking about the people (who are now teens) whose families and lives were destroyed by that budget and its after effects.

    Since the nats are so predicable about causing social problems – I wonder what ones they are planning now, so they can use the results for an election strategy a decade or so later.

    Now that was almost paranoid – I’m starting to sound like a right wing loon. See what being associated with extremists does to a centrist.

  102. Michele Cabiling 102

    Ancient Geek wrote:

    “The nats are a great party for dealing with symptoms rather than root causes. Done it all the time I’ve been politically aware.

    “They’re also great at causing problems, leaving it to the left to clean up.”

    Really?

    The problem is the welfare state. Who created the welfare state in the first place? Liarbour.

    Who (in the wake of the McCarthy Royal Commission of 1972 created “entitlement-based” welfare without demanding reciprocal responsibilities from bebeficiaries? Liarbour again.

    Who introduced the DPB as a lifestyle choice, thus incentivising fatherless families, and all the downstream social pathologies that flow from this deficient [anti-] family model? Liarbour again.

    For an excellent history of the welfare state in NZ that every NZer should read, see:

    http://www.act.org.nz/node/20743

    With one in three working age NZers now dependent on some form of gummint benefit, who should get the blame? Liarbour.

  103. insider 103

    Sam

    I agree but on the other hand I think Key’s ideas will be perceived as a bit more forceful than HC’s ‘more of the same but better’, especially with the crime stories going around today on gunfights in Manukau and stroppy teen ticked off by judge.

    Key basically got a free run on TV and she may not because they will be contrasting the two and asking ‘after nine years what’s new?” . Raising the leaving age I don’t think is that dramatic a policy, especially after Key has effectively said the same thing.

  104. Phil 104

    Now that we’ve all had a chance to digest John and Helens fisrt salvos of ’08, I’m inclinded to think that the Nats are on to a winner with the youth justice line of thought.

    Put it this way;
    The “natural” voting bloc that supports the Nats is probably around the 35%-40% of the population (same for Labour too) with the remaining 20%-30% being spread across the rest of the political spectrum.

    With National polling at 50% at present, they will know that some of those voters (probably 10% of the population) are ‘traditionally’ Labour party supporters, so they need to make a call about the best way to hold that groups attention.

    Making a couple of educated guesses about that demographic, I’d speculate that they’re lower-middle income households, probably with families, and may not have got a great deal from WFF.

    I suspect, given the latest media headlines on crime, that this group is accutely aware of what it’s like to feel unsafe in their own neighbourhood. I think they’ll respond favourably to any promises of cracking down on gangs and youth crime.

    To put it another way; it may not make good policy, but it does make good politics.

  105. AncientGeek 105

    Who introduced the DPB as a lifestyle choice, thus incentivising fatherless families, and all the downstream social pathologies that flow from this deficient [anti-] family model? Liarbour again.

    What a pile of bollocks. If you look at the stats on the DPB, you find the vast majority of people on it are there for less than 5 years. Typically as a result of a marriage breakup with young kids and while the kids get old enough to not require fulltime supervision.

    Amongst the people I know who have been on the DPB, one now runs a factory, three are lawyers (seems to be a popular retraining option), one is in marketing, and none of them were on it for more than 5 years.

    Seems like a more sensible option than forcing marriages to stay together both for the kids and for the partners.

  106. AncientGeek 106

    I’d add that the worst case kids I’ve run across these days (from my small sampling) have actually come out of dysfunctional two parent families. The DPB reduced a source of a major conflict between separated parents – it reduced the money issues as a cause of friction between them.

    Kids with separated parents tend to move back and forth between parents, living at different households at different times, usually with their parents respective new partners. Must help with socialization. Thats not to say they’re without issues – but I find them less screwed up on average

  107. Rich Prick 107

    Now that we have more detail of the shootings in Auckland, it is safe to say that it is indeed safer to not live in a Labour electorate.

  108. AncientGeek 108

    I’ve had a look through the two speeches. It is a pretty characteristic difference between the two major parties in my opinion. Both are looking at pretty much the same problem.

    National – short term, no real vision, and looking for a quick fix to a current symptom. Definitely a populist move as it gives people someone else to look down on. Doesn’t really think about the true costs – it is under-budgeted, and under detailed. The military (rightly) would hate to do this and would drag the chain – doesn’t fit their mission. Same as work for the dole didn’t think about allocating enough of a budget to make it more than a putative exercise.

    Labour – longer term, and has a chance of fixing an underlying problem of generational transmission of lack of skills. Does have a more realistic budget. But is definitely not orientated to pandering to the moment. You can see why Labour is disliked by the main stream media – they don’t produce headlines that sell newspapers or get people to read ads.

    Obviously, I prefer labour’s approach. I’m really only interested in long term fixes.

  109. RANDAL 109

    in the event keys speech was more political pandering to a slavering electorates need for emotional outlet besides teev and tmops. theright wing mantra of 1984 was ‘ideas have consequences’ which means in NZ terms that the burbs have been abandoned while ‘civil society’ has an ongoing reality show to brighten up their lives in their sterile enclaves and gated communities…just another show and tell labouring under the twin fallacies of composition and divison and solipsistic infantilisation of the population at large

  110. The site provides information regarding speech on troubled teens. This speech explains the blunder related to troubled teens. Speech explains that there is special boot camp also available for criminals.

    http://www.ala4christ.com/

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