Many liberals, many drinks at Drinking Liberally

Written By: - Date published: 12:49 pm, June 5th, 2008 - 9 comments
Categories: activism - Tags: ,

Drinking Liberally last night was another raging success. The crowd was about 80, lots of new faces and good fun had by all.

Given an open brief, Michael Cullen went back to his roots. He talked about social democracy and what it stands for; what that meant growing up in a working class family and why he stays true to those values. I would like to see Cullen talk from those values more often. He then brought that into the world of politics and compromise he now deals in and answered one of the toughest questions for a Labour politician, ‘why so moderate?’, quite well.

I didn’t think he provided a good answer as to how Labour can get across its values and long-term vision message across to beat Key’s ‘tax cuts and hollow platitudes for all’ line but he was very impressive when answering a range of questions from political narrative to inflation-targeting in Keynesian economics to the long-term place for Maori. His answers didn’t please everyone, naturally, but they were all well-informed and thought-out. The enormous breadth and depth of knowledge, on policy and other matters, that both Cullen and Clark possess is something we’ve almost come to take for granted; except, when you look at what the other side has to offer, you’re reminded it’s quite extraordinary.

So, cheers for another great event, Drinking Liberally. Looking forward to the next one.

9 comments on “Many liberals, many drinks at Drinking Liberally”

  1. Mark 1

    I really enjoyed Cullen’s talk. A very smart guy and some excellent answers.

    I do think he fudged the Reserve Bank Act question as well as the one on benefits, but I’m still amazed he was willing to go to a bar and answer unscripted questions from the crowd. Hardly the arrogant and out of touch guy the Nats try to paint him as.

  2. I’m amazed that Cullen and other Labour MPs never point out that beneficaires got a tax cuts along with everyone else in the Budget. It’s only $250 a year, but when your benefit is only $10,000 a year, that’s a big amount.

    On the RBA question, he did avoid talking about whether interest rates should be set with other factors than interest rate in mind, but his discussion fo price stability to a social democratic government was interesting.

    captcha: countered dummy – headline after a Labour resurgence in the polls at Key’s expense?

  3. mike 3

    Steve,
    Did he say anything about cancelling the chewing gum tax cuts and whether that has cost Labour votes?

  4. Ari 5

    Of all the days to fall sick… I was kinda looking forward to hearing from Cullen, too. Good to hear that things went well though. 🙂

  5. On the matter of benefit cuts – last week I was having a rant about Cullen’s meanness vis-a-vis benefits to my mate who is on the dole and he pulled me up and pointed out that the tax cut will be the biggest benefit rise he’s had. I still don’t think it’s enough but it was sobering to be reminded that even a few dollars more is a big thing to a lot of people.

  6. erikter 7

    Micky Porton, tell your mate to get his act together and get a job.

    Barring some health problem or physical conditions, there are plenty of opportunities and no excuses for not to be employed.

  7. randal 8

    SP. glad to hear it went well. glad he fudged the rb question and any others. that is his skill as a politician and besides they are someone elses responsibility and usually sub rosa. get used to it. he doesnt have to nor should have to say anything he doesnt want to say. he always says it is labours job to be fair and that is his vison.

    erikter…offer him a job or its none of your business. who do you think you are to comment on another person who you d ont know about their situation. thats rude.

  8. kisekiman 9

    And I guess your mate has been on the dole long enough to have seen a couple of CPI increases over the years?

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