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Less buzz and more cooperative governing

Written By: - Date published: 10:45 am, November 1st, 2020 - 49 comments
Categories: act, Dirty Politics, greens, labour, national, nz first, political parties, Politics, same old national - Tags: ,

I liked the process for the Greens and Labour agreement. From Labour’s side after this election it was logically completely unnecessary, except maybe under some weird scenarios.

Bearing in mind the election result for Labour, these scenarios involved disaffected self-entitled MPs doing a Jamie Lee Ross. But I think that problem is cured for the next few elections. Andrew Little showed by example how to avoid the equivalent of slipping envelopes under the parliamentary press galley doors.

It is probably even somewhat cured in the National party. Even conservatives would have to have a careful look at what the leaking, forced reactions to polling, and internal politicking it cost them up to and after spilling Simon Bridges. It meant that support went everywhere that looked more stable than National – which was just about every party except NZ First and Advance.

Act of course is a different story. Now we can see if this ‘Rimmer’ can manage a group that is even less coherent than the Red Dwarf crew. I trust that screenwriters are watching closely – I suspect there will be material for a half hour comedic series.

But I digress. For the Greens with the agreement, there was a balance issue between gaining governing experience as a party and getting co-opted into someone else’s political agenda. That is a particularly hard political problem to balance. It is also one that the parliamentary Greens and probably even their delegates and members are succeeding in threading. Contrast where they are now electorally compared to NZ First.

I don’t think that it was NZF’s performance in government. Tracy Martin and Ron Marks buckled down and did good solid work. Winston Peters did his usual excellent ministerial and deputy PM job because how he works and how he performs in public are two completely different things. Shane Jones pranced around like a oratorical peacock seeking attention (any attention) like a local comedic version of Trump – but that was all it did.

We’ll find out over the coming years if the provincial growth fund enterprises will sustain themselves or not. But I suspect that it won’t be like the grassroots tech company support that the 5th Labour Government did. All we will see is dead pot plants rather than burgeoning flower bed of our current tech industries.

You could argue that the SFO inquiry into the NZ First Foundation played a part in their rejection. But I don’t think it did. The politics played out in 2007/8 with much the same issues of donations and party funding resulted in a 4.07% party vote compared to their 2.7% this time.

The 2008 political funding was a whole lot more effective political hatchet job by both the media and the other political parties. In my opinion had a far deeper hit on their party vote than this years SFO enquiry. The similarities to the same kind of influence seeking funding tricks being performed by the then National party whip in the current term don’t seem to have any observable effect with National’s vote.

What I think happened was that NZ First took the wrong message from the voters after 2008. They got a solid 4% of the vote because they did good clearly cooperative work in government making policy changes to get better legislation and regulation. But they lost some vote from the spectacle of the parliamentary privileges committee.

This time around they lost vote because ministers did good work in their portfolios, but as a party NZ First seemed to spend most of their airtime proclaiming how great they were constraining the other parties in government.

This is a great thing for a source of political ‘buzz’ for political journalists. They can spend endless amounts of time pumping up and commenting on possible dissension (just ask this years National party MPs). But political journos are the soap opera of news – good at giving what happens in briefings – not so good on real politics.

They are generally useless at describing what is actually happening in government and what the implications downstream are. These days they’re not even that good at describing open party conferences (as Politik’s Richard Harmon points out as a side issue talking about the National party (paywalled))

Personally, I mostly read business journalism for downstream policy analysis to find out what is likely to happen. These days for NZ politics a high proportion of that comes from BusinessDesk. Currently, in my untrammelled opinion, the best subscription I pay for in NZ. For instance looking at NZ Steel (paywalled) and its survival as a local supplier.

But my sense is that with the trammelled times of the last decade and with floodgates of information flowing about just how bad incoherent governance can be – voters are getting more selective. Our political soap operas are disappearing from voters view like watching ads on ‘free to air’ TV. They mostly get ignored.

Instead voters seem to concentrate on how well the governance appears to be working together. Cooperation and active engagement in the process wins votes. Doing the dirty on friends, ‘enemies’, and public officials gets promptly rewarded with voting for others.

Probably the most obvious example with this is when the focus of the select committee set up for parliamentary oversight moved from eliciting information to badgering public officials. I’d have loved to have seen National’s internal polling in the following weeks and month. I’d expect to see a precipitous decline.

In NZ this is the era of constructive engagement while we get through this mess of deflating banks, covid-19 and other diseases, and the less predicable weather patterns. We’ll leave the aghast entertainment for the TV show called the US elections.

That is the framework of the Labour-Green agreement. Lets work together on the things we agree with. Disagree in public about the things we disagree with. Damn well get moving onward with things that we think need to be done.

Like covid-19 responses, climate change, housing, transport, inequities, and the resilience for the inevitable shifts in our economic position. Cooperation and reciprocity works in getting effective governance solutions – and that is pretty obvious when you look offshore right now.

49 comments on “Less buzz and more cooperative governing ”

  1. Phillip ure 1

    An often overlooked reason for the demise of nz first is that we had an electorate wearied/on edge due to the covid thing…and for them the prospect of weeks of peters doing his will he/won"t he waltz was not something to look forward to…post-election…I think the very thought of that possibility made them even more wearied/on edge…they just wanted the whole thing done and dusted..hard to qualify this call of course ..but I think it was a factor in that demise of nz first..

  2. Forget now 2

    Thanks for this LPrent – nice to see someone take a longer term view. Though I regard most political journos as more like gossip columnists than soap opera writers.

    • lprent 2.1

      Nah – they're forever trying to inflate a short incident into a short story into an story arc so that they can keep writing about the same thing for weeks on end.

      Gossip columnists are interested in titbits – not stories. Unless they're doing a Cameron Slater and get remunerated for making fizzy drinks a 'freedom' rather than a health research issue or being paid to invent stories based on some disk drives that just happened to fall into his copious lap to be copied and lied about…

  3. greywarshark 3

    Copious – copied – copped!

  4. Patricia Bremner 4

    LPrent, thanks for your thoughtful post. The thing we must guard against is complacency and arrogance.

    The use and support of the science and erudite people and cross party skills will be needed as we grapple with an increasing number of problems and complexities.

    Choices are diminishing so it becomes critical to look carefully at long term effects and possible unintended consequence.

    Co-operating has been our strength in the way we have managed covid-19, so we need this degree of community to rebuild better and face climate change.

    Weariness with a picture of impending doom must be managed, with local helpful actions for community to be involved in at grass roots, rather than top down actions, contributing to mental and community wellbeing.

    Above all, staying positive and hopeful that we are able to make a difference, managing current pressing difficulties.

    Watching what is happening overseas where free and fair elections appear difficult, leadership and hope hard to come by, and a failure to listen to the science a daily event, I feel blessed to live here.

    • lprent 4.1

      I'd agree (obviously). What is interesting for me catching up with the feed from other sites in the past few days is that appears to be a concurrence emerging. For instance Brian Easton pointing out pretty much the same thing from his perspective in "Kindness And Samfundssind"

      Some of the enthusiasm for the (failed) Swedish strategy reflects a very different account of how society works or how it should work. It argues that we should aim to maintain as high as possible economic output while minimising Covid deaths. In contrast, Denmark went for as few deaths as possible while minimising the impact on the economy.

      These may seem mathematically equivalent, but they involve different strategies. The evidence is that prioritising the economy over mortality as Britain and the US have done – results in very high death rates; prioritising wellbeing over the economy has kept deaths low but – amazingly – has not done a lot of damage to the economy.

      The difference is social management. That is where samfundssind comes in. A strategy which emphasises community solidarity is not one which fits easily with emphasis on the market – the neoliberal strategy.

      As it happens, New Zealand went down the samfundssind path although we called it ‘kindness’. The ‘team of five million’ is about samfundssind. Thus far it has worked. Our anti-Covid strategy, like Denmark’s was not that everyone was to look after themselves (and their close family) but that we were all in this together, that we were to be kind to everyone – even strangers (the Good Samaritan).

      • Patricia Bremner 4.1.1

        I think that will be called "The Swedish experiment", sadly it has cost lives and the long term health of some. A very hard way to discover immunity is short lived.

        There was a great deal of talk of individuals and freedom. Sad delusions.

        Even in societies with cohesion, faltering vigilance led to failure of containment.

        Voices demanding such "freedoms" have become muted in the face of a million cases inside 2 days.. soon to be a million daily….

        Our Leaders led with science and compassion.

        • greywarshark 4.1.1.1

          And the one big thing to note is that noted by lprent. The Swedish ambition of an '…account of how society works or how it should work. It argues that we should aim to maintain as high as possible economic output while minimising Covid deaths', shows no interest in adapting to the reasoned scenario of our future.

          That requires a commitment to reining in our businesses, our careless and feckless demands and expectations, using less of everything, recycling much, enabling a whole-of-society plan to cope by using clever schemes that ameliorate climate change.

          Where is that in a wish – to maintain as high as possible economic output…! What is it about Swedish nature that they can utilise to make a nation that feels successful with a different perspective?

          • Patricia Bremner 4.1.1.1.1

            They talked of single person households, and social distancing as key.

            I think they went with one view.

  5. greywarshark 5

    What handsome leaders at the political table! Not a bloated or crazed and destructive face to be seen. And hand signed on paper, how old-fashioned and formal, durable and transparent that is; paper, even stone, for endurance and accessibility for all the centuries, let's keep our records systems using them, with on-line for speed and short-term communication.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/429597/labour-and-greens-formally-sign-cooperation-agreement (see vid)

  6. Bazza64 6

    Agree that those that went on “attack mode” before the election lost votes. Judith’s accusations against Jacinda about lying, Winston bagging Labour & claiming he was the handbrake on bad decisions, Winston dissing immigrants again didn’t work at all when the votes came in. David Seymour supported immigrants & told Winston to be careful as those immigrants might be looking after him if he ever ended up in a rest home.

    Act did well but we will have to see how they perform as a new party as there is always risk for a whole lot of first term MP’s. Time will tell if they have the discipline of the established parties or if just stays as the David Seymour party.

  7. WeTheBleeple 7

    Great post. Are we now 'the shining city on the Hill?'

    May our genius remain anchored, while our brilliance shines for all the world to see.

    • lprent 7.1

      I suspect that we have more warts than that. I see for instance that Alison Mau just pointed out that David Seymour has been doing the nutbar thing with respect to the Human Rights Commission.

      Alison Mau: Human rights are your rights too, David Seymour

      I suspect that we're going to a see a lot of similar really daft incoherent ranting from Act over this term.

      In this case you can pretty well guarantee that it comes from the members of the Act party wanting the 'freedom' to be the racist arseholes grunting coded messages in public – regardless of who it offends. After all that is how I identify most libertarians as being based on past experience.

      • WeTheBleeple 7.1.1

        Yes, I was being a little glib.

        We are also in a seriously admirable position on the world stage. If we can work as a team, well, collective efforts could lift us higher than ever. This to and fro from bad faith actors and partisan politicians just exhausts people and their resources.

        Let's hope ACT leads by example in how not to be, similar to how National recently led with their chin.

        Then National can steal all the right of center votes back by being 'not ACT' which, strangely enough, would be a shift to the left for those votes.

        I hope the benefit of the doubt I've lent this government is repaid. I still have some trust in Labour – despite their dropping the ball on cannabis. We all read the room wrong at times.

  8. Ad 8

    In 2017 New Zealand First got 7.5% of the vote.

    For that they got:

    – Deputy Prime Minister

    – Minister of Foreign Affairs

    – Minister for State Owned Enterprises

    – Minister for Racing

    – Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control

    – Minister of Defence

    – Minister For Veterans

    – Minister for Children

    – Minister of Internal Affairs

    – Minister for Seniors

    – Minister of Forestry

    – Minister for infrastructure

    – Minister for Regional Economic Development

    And 4 votes out of 18 in Cabinet.

    – Plus, 3 Under-Secretaries

    In 2020, the Greens got 7.6% of the vote

    For that they got:

    – Minister for Climate Change

    – Associate Minister of Housing

    And nothing inside Cabinet.

    Sure, it may look like co-operation an awesome process and whatever, but the reality is the Greens aren't material to this new government. They look like they got done like a dinner.

    • anker 8.1

      What do you think the Greens should have got Ad? if you were Jacinda Ardern and the powers that be in Labour what would you have given them?

    • Dennis Frank 8.2

      Only to partisans. Others will see the collaboration as sensible strategy for the present. It makes sense to embed a broad center-left governance praxis because it will reshape public consciousness by producing progress for Aotearoa.

      That's if the PM can secure participation of her MPs in the right spirit, to enact legislation that produces real progress. So we await delivery of suitable results. How many Twyfords does Labour have lined up to stymie the collective enterprise??

      Will we see a battle for the soul of the Labour Party emerge, in which conservatives endeavour to stonewall progressives?

      The test of this scenario is likely to show up in the media as soon as legislation developed by Green (and/or progressive Labour) ministers fails to get cabinet approval. I trust the PM has a good sense (already) of how to get the numbers in support of progressive legislation, and selects her cabinet on that basis.

      Andrew Geddes informs us that Green ministers are bound to defend any cabinet decision in their portfolio even if they disagree with it – despite that they are outside cabinet. Illogical, but he's correct. https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/01-11-2020/the-greens-are-now-part-of-the-governing-team-if-not-the-government/

      Here's the clauses of the relevant section of the Labour/Green agreement:

      29. Ministers from the Green Party agree to be bound by collective responsibility in relation to their Ministerial portfolios. When speaking within portfolio responsibilities, they will speak for the Government representing the Government’s position in relation to those responsibilities.

      30. In accordance with the Cabinet Manual, Ministers from the Green Party must support and implement Cabinet decisions in their portfolio areas. However, Ministers from the Green Party will not be restricted from noting where that policy may deviate from the Green Party policy on an issue. If this is required, it may be noted in the Cabinet minute that on a key issue, the Green Party position differs from the Cabinet decision.

      31. When Ministers from the Green Party are speaking about matters outside of their portfolio responsibilities, they may speak as the Co-leader of the Green Party or as a Member of Parliament.

      32. Agree to disagree provisions of the Cabinet Manual will be applied as necessary.

      https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2020/10/the-full-proposed-cooperation-agreement-between-labour-and-the-greens.html

      I hope significant policy differences get managed in a continuing spirit of goodwill, so the collaboration does embed and provide the conceptual frame for the next election.

      • Tricledrown 8.2.1

        Not being bogged down with paper work it means Green MP's can spend more time with constituents and organizing their networks etc.

    • The Al1en 8.3

      I've never been one to think of you as being politically deep, but comments like this and since the announcement was made, hint you’re always going to be a lapping puddle than a bountiful ocean.

    • Patricia Bremner 8.4

      No not really Ad. The Government did not need the Greens, but has included them 2020

      Winston knew without him there would be no Labour Government in 2017.. he had POWER. People felt it was disproportionate to the vote.

      This is more proportionate, and means the Greens will be there to be a partner in 2023.

    • Incognito 8.5

      False equivalence. I recommend Hot English Mustard at your next BBQ to sharpen the mind. You’re correct that the Green Party is superfluous to the new Government even though they have two Ministers from the Party. Something to do with a ‘mandate’ or something rather …

    • lprent 8.6

      It isn't the percentage that you get that counts – which I think I pointed out in the post. It is how many MPs you have to put towards a coalition, what you bring to a coalition and and what your cost is that makes the result.

      In 2017, Labour needed one of two parties to gain the required MPs. NZ First brought some experienced ex-ministers in play at a lower cost to Labour policy. They also brought an attitude about the Greens – the one that said we don't want to be too closely associated with them. 46+9 MPs = 55 MPs (61 required)

      The Greens brought a lack of governing experience – made more so by a recent falling out with some of their most senior MPs, and a rather high list of bottom line costs. 46+8 MPs = 54 MPs (61 required)

      Labour formed the core of a minority government – they went with the simplest and most productive option. They also provided, with a confidence and supply agreement and limited policy advances, the required voters to make a government. 46+9+8 MPs = 63 MPs. It also meant that the Greens could build governing skills.

      In the case of all three parties it meant that they locked National out of governing – which is what they (mostly) all wanted. The Greens because they find Nationals policies just appalling. NZ First because they find most of National's electoral tactics appalling over the previous 25 years.

      This left the Greens mostly able to push for their preferred policies without getting too tied up in ministerial responsibilities while still being involved in policy making at a ministerial and select committee level. That is something that they have continued with this most recent agreement.

      But this time Labour didn't need the Greens for parliamentary votes, but chose to provide the opportunity anyway. I'm sure that there are some annoyed ambitions in the Labour caucus as a result. But building a working political relationship and a better way than 'being in a government destroys minor parties' of the last 25 years is worth their outrage.

    • WeTheBleeple 8.7

      Proof of how desperate National are to retain power. They don't care who does the work, probably prefer to avoid most of it, just so long as they pull the strings.

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    “One Labour to rule them all” supporters deserve their moment of triumphalism, the Key years were no fun at all for many of us, and this Govt. has overwhelmingly put public health before private capital, as the squeals of corporates and SMEs have shown.

    But, 2023 will be a different election–Labour will likely need the Greens for numbers again. NZ Labour shows no inclination so far to deviate from Blairism or Roger’n’Ruth’s legacy in any way, shape, or form. This inertia will not endear them to those still battling Climate Disaster and social inequality!

    Will even for one instance, Fair Pay Agreements, be implemented at long last now the hand brake is gone?

  10. Stuart Munro 10

    Well, if it's to be the hum of concerted effort, they might start with a few training courses.

    For employers.

    How to Recruit and Retain NZ Staff.

    And, How to Stay in Business Without Slave Workers.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      yes

    • Patricia Bremner 10.2

      Yes Agree 100%

    • lprent 10.3

      I'm rather enjoying the current border controls. Apart from the tourism dependency that I did know about, it is really showing up some of the unsustainable business models. I am surprised that I didn't know about that have been so dependent on cheap air travel. Tractor drivers?

      It does point up the way that the picking industry in particular needs to start looking at how to make their labour needs more year round. And that some of those silly stand down rules in WINZ need a drastic revision

      • Graeme 10.3.1

        Yeah, most skilled seasonal occupations have become annualised and internationalised. Tractor driving, machines have become larger more sophisticated and very expensive, requiring very qualified drivers so they work rotating seasons around the world. Our problems will be nothing compared to the countries with really big acres and equally big gear. They aren't the old Fergie any more. Same with shearing, it's a full time international career now with an international workforce. Came as a shock to most people that we didn't have the capacity shear our own sheep any more.

        The WINZ stand-downs are very much an issue at the unskilled level, they become a huge dis-incentive to taking short term work.

        • Stuart Munro 10.3.1.1

          We can still shear alright – my brother used to, down near Mataura, and he set up the German offseason for that crew – it's been a nice little earner over the years – they were blade shorn before that. The nephew still shears too, between university.

          Put the word out, and kiwis will come. Screw them around and they've got better things to do.

        • James Thrace 10.3.1.2

          The stand downs have been scrapped until July 2021.

          Ideally they will remain scrapped.

          • lprent 10.3.1.2.1

            Stand-downs were and are a bloody stupid idea anyway. Their effective economic effect is to make labour markets more rigid.

            It means that people stay in jobs that they aren’t suited for. People can’t build a work record or even a career that allows them to gain work experience in casual jobs because there is no fallback. It leads to exploitation by the arsehole employers. It means that people who have disabilities or personality quirks can’t look for somewhere that they can cope.

            I know people who’d be perfectly happy moving around jobs at one or more times in their lives and who employers would love as annual or casual workers. Not great on fixed or permanent positions for one reason or another. Mostly they sit on benefits or in a cheap living space without exploring because the benefit stand-downs make moving around to be way too risky.

      • Sacha 10.3.2

        And that some of those silly stand down rules in WINZ need a drastic revision

        They really do not stack up. Yet only the Greens seem to have had policy about removing them.

        • greywarshark 10.3.2.1

          The neoliberal way is to treat them rough and the softies will get tough and get out there and WORK and as we are told regularly, work is good for you and will cure all ills. You just have to try it (said with a knowing smile to the people who are imagined to have never tried being self-supporting.)

          • lprent 10.3.2.1.1

            The problem is that if you want a local casual workforce to be available for picking, pruning etc then there are several things that need to be provided.

            1. Accommodation for short term stays
            2. Wages in the form of:-
            • A wage capable of carrying over between sporadic work and downtime
              or
            • A industry capable of providing work year round – eg with a crew and company that does that
              or
            • And ability for pickers to move on and off benefits without having to fight the dumb rules each time.

            This crap about relying on pickers from offshore to come on what amounts to a casual basis in circumstances that damn well lend themselves to exploitation is completely unacceptable. I'd accept it if there was work inspection done – but that doesn't appear to be the case.

            The labour inspectors have been gutted. The businesses indirectly employing aren't paying for or providing the required oversight against exploitation and bad conditions. And I suspect that there is literally no control over the whole visa system that supports it.

            However as this year is showing pretty clearly, it is also a crap risky business model to depend on something that is likely to fail repeatably in the coming decades. Doesn't matter if it is disease, fuel costs, terrorism, or whatever. Relying on a low cost labour force flown in is just a stupid business practice. Eventually it is always going to bite those businesses dependent on it in the arse – and probably bankrupt their business.

            • Craig H 10.3.2.1.1.1

              This looks a good model

              Three Marlborough businesses which have come up with a plan to offer year round employment in seasonal work by taking on workers from each other as each season finishes. Contracts are similar so that the workers have similar terms and conditions.

            • Tiger Mountain 10.3.2.1.1.2

              Have said similar on The Standard previously. The ability to move seamlessly between work and a benefit without stand downs, and maintain part time hours while on a benefit without crushing abatement levels, would help immensely.

              Also individualising benefits is needed as Covid has demonstrated to a number of middle class couples. Who you live with, are friends with, or in a relationship with, should not affect welfare eligibility-let alone be an excuse for some sort of rearguard 60s moralism on behalf of WINZ/MSD. These agencies have operated on some twisted dark kiwi version of the infamous “Work will set you free” for far too long.

            • RedBaronCV 10.3.2.1.1.3

              And I saw local down south who was very pleased that they had been offered school hours for a job in the picking industry. Say what? I'd have thought that that would always have been on offer.

              I too like the current border controls -long may they stay – gives us a very good look into which industries pull their weight and which are just living off society generally and need a serious reset. Can't wait to see some industry studies.

  11. RedLogix 11

    Slowly over the next few decades it will become more apparent that it matter less which party is in power, than who is serving the people.

    Then all this nonsense will fade away.

    • swordfish 11.1

      .
      One key concern for the future: Polls & Surveys over the past decade (both within NZ & Internationally) suggest disturbingly low levels of support for Democracy & democratic norms among the Millennial Generation.

      Reflected, no doubt, in the authoritarian-elitist tendencies of Intersectional activist Millennials … the usual suspects (you don't need me to name them) … no co-incidence they're dispropotionately from affluent establishment backgrounds, where families are used to weilding power over others. (But it's OK because apparently it's "all in a good cause" … apparently we can trust them to be unusually wise, unusually moral & unusually selfless … LOL).

      Interestingly, despite their greater tendency to vote Left, Millenials tend to be a little less social democratic than older voters in core attitudes towards welfare & privatisation. Has the new COVID-19 zeitgeist transformed these latent attitudes ?

      • lprent 11.1.1

        .. no co-incidence they're dispropotionately from affluent establishment backgrounds, where families are used to weilding power over others.

        Personally I've found that Kings appears to be where the dumb kids of affluent families go – based on my interactions with them as adults. There are a lot of Auckland Grammer kids who seem to come out with the same moral and intellectual standards as Cameron Slater and his mob of cretins.

        But this is just a rule of thumb. I’ve also met some great people from both. But yeah – born to rule generally doesn’t work.

      • RedLogix 11.1.2

        That's genuinely interesting and new information swordfish. I'm honestly at a loss for a meaningful response …except to say that it does make sense.

      • Pat 11.1.3

        @ Swordfish…..are you planning on an analysis of referendum voting patterns at any stage?…am curious a to demographic breakdown after reading yet another article, this time by Chris Trotter attributing the cannabis result to (essentially) boomers plus….dosnt ring true to me especially following conversations with quite a few under 30s.

  12. greywarshark 12

    People propounding the problems and the prescriptions for the cure will fade away. The problems won't and that is why what Stuart suggests – training for employers, and actually all people, in emotional intelligence and the importance of good systems, trust and being straight with others.

    Before we older ones fade away and the young are left without guidance and the received wisdom that is observable and therefore accepted. Otherwise they will have to repeat the cycle again through experience – which is bitterest of the three ways of getting wisdom.

    Employers need to have training and workshops on how to treat and control others, because an employer needs to do both to make sure that the work gets done properly in a timely fashion. And workers need security in their jobs and understanding of possible fluctuations in their income with low catches, climate change etc.

    And the government steps right in and has gap-filling jobs, integration, not leaving people hanging either workers – or employers who may have been done in by rapacious employees!

    We need a joined-up system that we can hop onto, hang onto a strap, and travel to where there is work or skills study, to make us all-rounders with something to offer which will be embraced by happy employers. That sort of adapable worker can feel a quiet satisfaction in their ability to form a valued part of a team just about anywhere.

  13. greywarshark 13

    New research yields starling cost from cat disease. This is theoretical but seems a sound figure.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/2018770798/cats-costing-billions-each-year-by-spreading-diseases

    Diseases transmitted by cats costs the Australian economy more than A$6 billion annually through their impact on human health and livestock production, according to research conducted by Professor Sarah Legge and her colleagues at Australia National University in Canberra.

    In NZ – some information.

    https://www.familydoctor.co.nz/categories/infections/toxoplasmosis-a-patients-guide/

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