National tacks left with its fudge it budget

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, May 16th, 2014 - 174 comments
Categories: bill english, budget 2014, national, national/act government - Tags:

treading water budget cartoon

National is obviously worried. The headline policies from the budget are those which a Labour Government would normally be associated with. Increasing paid parental leave to 18 weeks, funding for free doctors’ visits for young adolescents and funds for Kauri dieback disease research are policies you would associate with a centre left Government.  Two of them are policies where Labour has already announced superior alternative proposals. Clearly the Government has tacked left to lessen the effect of policies which Labour has announced.

The budget process is fascinating.  It is a big dump of information. It has been crafted over months and months by some of the finest brains in Wellington and the problems and difficulties have been smoothed over and blended until it takes significant effort to even appreciate that they exist.  Often it takes weeks to digest and understand all of the implications.

It appears that the surplus has been achieved by the stretching of some accountancy norms.  The categorisation of money being paid to Auckland Transport as a loan rather than a grant helps the Government to declare a surplus.  The anticipated growth rate at 4% is herculean.  And holding off reducing ACC levies has made the job much easier.

Some on the apparent left have criticised Labour. Lew formerly of Kiwipolitico fame tweeted that National had already won the election, before anyone has had a chance to understand the nuances of the budget.  He then posted that Labour had been snookered by National adopting its policies.  He claimed that Labour had lost because when National moved left Labour should have moved even further left.  His analysis I found hard to understand.  When a Government starts adopting your policies it is not a failure.

Danyl Mclaughlan summed it up well.  He said:

Back in 2011 National campaigned on asset sales. This year they’ll be running on the extension of paid parental leave and free GP visits for kids. Trust me, the majority of National MPs and activists do NOT want to be introducing those policies. I suspect that’s why Key is floating the vague notion of tax cuts at some distant future date – to placate parts of his base, who will be livid about all this communism and wealth transfer and additional welfare dependency.

This is what an election year budget looks like when the opposition is winning the ideological debate. What are National’s big ideas for their third term? There aren’t any. There isn’t anything to address the housing bubble in this budget so there might be a ‘big idea’ campaign policy around that but I doubt it’ll be a free market solution. Whatever they come up with is probably going to look like a watered-down Labour or Green policy.

As I type this National has been smashing through under urgency the change to the paid parental leave.  A two week increase to paid parental leave will start from April next year, and the further two weeks will start from April 2016.  The use of urgency is at one level difficult to understand.  Couples could bonk to their hearts content in July of this year to qualify for the extension.

Obviously National wants this law passed quickly because Sue Moroney’s bill to allow a much more civilised 26 week period is still on Parliament’s order paper.  National has during the past month engaged in a really blunt filibuster to make sure that Moroney’s bill was not advanced.  Expect English’s veto to be used as soon as National’s bill passes.

And National have been running the line that in Australia a Labour Green Government has run up a horrendous deficit.  I am not sure if the Greens will  agree with that particular proposition but the claim is really naff in that the last Labour Government ran nine straight budget surplusses.  Do not expect an intellectual debate about this any time soon.

What a difference a year makes.  Twelve months ago it was all about selling Meridian shares, this time it was all about giving some muted help to ordinary Kiwis.

It must be election year.  And National must be worried.

174 comments on “National tacks left with its fudge it budget”

  1. The Real Matthew 1

    It’s called an MMP budget.

    You poll the electorate and see what opposition policies are gaining the most traction. You then neuter those policies by implementing a lite version of your own.

    Expect to see more of this in the future from both sides as politicians get a better understanding of MMP.

    • BM 1.1

      I agree.

      I also think this is National going after the weak labour voter who’s not particularity enthused about Cunliife and the strong Green influence.

      Like National, I’d say 20-25% would be the lowest labour would go so there’s still a bit of fruit there which National can harvest.

      Outright majority looking highly likely after this budget.

      • Lanthanide 1.1.1

        “Outright majority looking highly likely after this budget.”

        🙄

        We’ll bookmark this, shall we?

      • lprent 1.1.2

        The last time there was an outright majority in NZ in what could be construed as a MMP way was some time well before I was born.

        With what? 10 reasonably serious parties in contention for party votes. I did count the conservatives and internet party, neither of which I think could win on their own either 5% or an electorate seat, but could conceivably with a bit of party fiddling and some very credulous voters (who I don’t think exist).

        I don’t think that National has a snowflakes chance in hell of getting a outright majority. They will probably be the largest party. But I’d be really surprised if they actually get at or above 45% in an actual election (not one of these pretty inaccurate polls). To get there they have bled the life out of all of their possible coalition partners apart from the taker of John Keys head – Winston..

        Are you still yearning for the good ol’days with Muldoon and his gerrymandered electorates – the ones that allowed National to win decisive victories with less than 40% of the vote?

        • BM 1.1.2.1

          Nope.

          I believe National is after the soft left vote and this budget will convince a lot of left leaning voters to vote for National.
          It’s not going to take a lot of swing voters to take them past the 50%

          Peters is a joke and from what I’ve heard a lot of oldies are going to switch their vote to the conservatives.
          He’s a yesterdays man.

          • lprent 1.1.2.1.1

            It’s not going to take a lot of swing voters to take them past the 50%

            Most of the swing voters already swung that way in 2008. The way that they won in 2011 was because they convinced a lot of people not to vote. I rather suspect that both of those tactics have run their course.

            Peters is a joke and from what I’ve heard a lot of oldies are going to switch their vote to the conservatives.

            Well, I guess that explains why NZF is polling higher at present (and much more steadily) than they did throughout the entire time between 2009 and 2011 outside of the election. Also why the conservatives are currently consistently polling lower they did prior in the months leading up to the last election (and bouncing all over the place between 0.5% and 2.5%)?

            I may not think that polling figures are particularly good indicators of actual electoral performance. However I do think that they are pretty good at predicting trends up or down and the robustness of support when you start looking at a two weekly samples.

            http://www.roymorgan.com/morganpoll/new-zealand/voting-intention-summary

            The conservatives look like they will be lucky to get 2%

            • Enough is Enough 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Remind me how they convinced people not to vote.

              • Colonial Viper

                For the month before the election, the MSM ran a “the election is a foregone conclusion” campaign.

                As it was, National could only pull together a very slim margin in the House, and in doing so ACT and Mp got thrown under the bus.

                • Tracey

                  i wonder how the south auckland voters apparently heading to national for morality reasons are feeling after the collins stuff, and williamson?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Large portions of the NZ electorate are more socially conservative on issues of gender, sexuality and relationships than many identity politics advocates would have us think. There are certainly ways of reaching out to those constituencies and, for instance, Louisa Wall has done an outstanding job of doing just that.

                    Having said that, neither Collins nor Williamson’s latest behaviour impacts those areas AFAIK.

                  • David H

                    And how do you think the Sheeples of Epsom must feel just being TricKey\s ‘lackies’ and voting how they are TOLD not how they want. How many more times are they going to bite the bullet, and vote in another lame Actopoid?

          • Tracey 1.1.2.1.2

            now you purport to know the minds of nzfirst voters? dude, you are a posting tui ad.

    • Tamati 1.2

      Exactly. Couldn’t agree more.

      Vision and plans are things of the past. Those in Government are merely day to day managers who rule on the basis of opinion polls.

  2. The Lone Haranguer 2

    I doubt National are worried at all.

    That their supporters will be swallowing the proverbial dead rat is simply colateral damage in the fight to remain in power and to have the godless commies (Labour and the Greens) taking the bus to Parliament instead of taking the ride in the Ministerial limo.

    The dead rat of extra paid bonking leave is the price they pay for keeping Labour and the Greens out of power.

    And they are willing to pay that price as the Nats have rarely ever compaigned on principles that are dear to their hearts, because they dont actually have too many principles to campaign on. And possibly no heart either.

    At least Act with Roger and Richard believed wholeheartedly that their form of medicine would cure the patient, even if the electorate felt it would surely kill the patient, and voted accordingly.

    I admired the earnest sincerity of the early Act party just like I admire the sincerity of Hone and Mana who have a different medicine, but at least they both have principles

  3. wyndham 3

    It is not difficult to see the slippery fingers of John Key all over this budget.
    Stealing opposition policies – – – not in their entirety but enough to appeal to some Labour voters.
    And then that crafty mention of tax cuts to placate the right wing.

    • Gosman 3.1

      In other words it is a politically astute budget.

      • mickysavage 3.1.1

        So Gossie how did you feel about all of these handouts?

        • Enough is Enough 3.1.1.1

          By the sounds of NewstalkZB this morning they fucking hate the hand-outs.

          Hosking was calling it middleclass welfare. He was steaming at the prospect of free doctors for rich kids.

          The problem is with ACT dead, National will not be out flanked on the right. The nuttie capitalists will vote for them because there is no one else. As unhappy as they are with this budget there is no alternative for them. So national will ignore them this year.

          This is the problem for us Progressives. National will offer hollow sweetners to the swing voters. Those swingers who haven’t voted Labour since 2002 or 2005. Those who aren’t convinced by Cullen and Parker.

          It is our job to show them the sweetners are actually sour and a synical play by a desperate Key to remain in power. Even though he will sell more of their assets in the next three years and relax the anti nuclear laws.

          • Gosman 3.1.1.1.1

            ” Even though he will sell more of their assets in the next three years and relax the anti nuclear laws.”

            I’d suggest you have little in the way of evidence to support this view. John Key has been very clear that there will not be any more asset sales and the anti-nuclear law is not even an issue for anybody.

            • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1.1

              And he was also very clear that he wouldn’t raise GST.

              • Gosman

                I think he stated he didn’t foresee any situation where a rise in GST would be necessary. One came up though and National took it.Hardly an earth shattering breaking of a promise though. Certainly it would be much worse if National either raised the age of entitlement to National Superannuation or sold shares in additional SOE’s.

                • fender

                  Never mind, Act may get to wag the dog harder if by miracle they get back in. Your wet dream may still continue.

                  • Gosman

                    My wet dream has a damn sight better chance of coming true than yours I would suggest.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I think he stated he didn’t foresee any situation where a rise in GST would be necessary.

                  Nope.

                  Nice attempt by you at re-writing history though.

            • Clemgeopin 3.1.1.1.1.2

              He may not ‘sell’ assets, but is more likely to ‘privatise’ ACC, Kiwi Bank and other Government agencies and services. Remember Charter schools?

              • Gosman

                Ummm… tell me how he will privatise Kiwibank without actually selling shares in it?

                • Clemgeopin

                  He could find a way such as having no input or control over it and making it completely independent of the government just as the case is with the foreign owned banks. i.e, allowing the board to change rules and appoint their own directors and chairperson etc to start with. Done slowly, steadily and subtly over time or just break the ‘promise’ and sell, as he did with his GST lie.

                  • Gosman

                    It is largely independent of the Government now. The only influence the Government has is via the board of NZ Post who then appoint the board of the bank. If you wanted to set up a independent organisation that is owned by government the structure behind Kiwibank you couldn’t do much better than what is already in place.

                  • Tamati

                    Allowing board members to reappoint themselves would be a terrible idea. The company still has to act within the law and (I think) shareholders are required to appoint directors under the Companies Act.

                • Tamati

                  Kiwibank could simply issue more shares. Kiwibank would have an IPO and sell shares to the public. The state would retain it’s shares in Kiwibank but would hold those shares alongside members of the public.

                  Wouldn’t technically be the state selling assets, but I can see an awful fuss if they tried to do that.

          • finbar 3.1.1.1.2

            Apparently quite a lot in the lock up walked out halfway through crying its a left leaning budget.

            Someone said yesterday, its not a peoples budget,its a Government budget.

            Labour are correct, its Peter robbing Paul,to scrimp a miserly surplus with their smoke and mirrors book keeping at the expense of CH.CH.and the A.C.C.

            This morning on the tele they had Ardern and Ross.When Ardern challenged Ross,regarding the surplus and fudging the numbers by way of withholding money from CH.CH.and diverting A.C.C.money he was caught, for a second off guard, and lucky for him the interveiw finished without time for a responce.Now i hear English,in a attempt to divert attention from Labours claims of shonkey book keeping and pointing at CH.CH.and the A.C.C. is now saying that, the surplus was gained from the savings from their W.I.N.Z. policies.

            How mongrel is that, take the heat off the truth and bring the perennial whipping victims to the debate,the beneficiaries.

            • Tracey 3.1.1.1.2.1

              it will be a year or two before we know if we were actually in surplus today… apparently.

              • Ants

                Duh – its always that way – the Budget was for the year ahead, so at the end of said year you then judge the Government on how accurate they were.

                They have always made it clear that it would be 2014/15 when they were looking for a surplus.

                • Tracey

                  duh. I know that but ask the average punter, out there and they will tell you the govt is in surplus now. yhat was my point.

          • Tracey 3.1.1.1.3

            hoskings would

            a. refuse the free doctors visit for his children and insist on paying
            b. not apply for parental leave…

            c. stop his asset and salary arrangements designed to reduce his income tax.

        • Gosman 3.1.1.2

          I generally prefer the policies promoted in the ACT alternative budget but am okay with National fighting off far worse left wing policies by adopting some mild ones. In a sense it is like an innoculation against hard core left wing ideas.

      • Puddleglum 3.1.2

        Hi Gosman,

        Given your concerns over Labour’s 2008 budget ‘spend up’, you must be horrified at the extent of the ‘spend up’ in this election year budget?

        But English also opened his chequebook ahead of the election campaign, boosting the cash earmarked for new spending or tax cuts from $1 billion a year to $1.5b from 2015 and rising over time.

        That would free up an extra $1.6b for the election campaign, on top of the $3b already earmarked for new spending, while contributing to a slashing of the 2018 surplus from $5.6b to just $3.5b.

        Yes, that’s $4.6bn of new spending in an election year budget.

        Shameful stuff, eh?

        • Gosman 3.1.2.1

          It isn’t 7 billion of new spending plus a tax cut when the economy is contracting though is it?

          • lprent 3.1.2.1.1

            That was the interesting thing. The contraction in the world and nz economy happened after the 2007 budget. The forecast at the time was for diminished growth not contraction. Read the budget.

            So much so that Key, English, and for that matter Hide, Farrar and most other fools of the right were all calling for the government for more tax cuts and a bigger stimulatory boost by government as a countercyclical economic measure. They just wanted to bias the money towards them rather than those who needed it.

            Basically you are quite incorrect about the history. But then again, you were never one for accuracy. Myth making like you do is just a another form of lying. Something you excel at.

    • David H 3.2

      As I have said before. What’s the Odds that 6mths down the track, if the Nats steal this election. That the ‘stolen’ policies all of a sudden run into funding difficulties. And are canned in favour of Taxcuts to the uber rich yet again.

  4. Gosman 4

    David Parker, whilst making some of your points, still has no problem praising the government for getting the books back in to the black.

    • Naturesong 4.1

      How is borowing $75 million per week getting the books back in black?

      • Enough is Enough 4.1.1

        Have you seen the budget? There will be a surplus

        • Naturesong 4.1.1.1

          Yes, seen it.

          If there is a surplus, why are we still borrowing $75 million every week?

          Very simple question political statement.

          • Lanthanide 4.1.1.1.1

            Because for some reason, the government doesn’t consider debt payment an actual government expense.

            It annoys me that Labour were touted as having surpluses every year. They should instead have been said to be paying back debt.

            • lprent 4.1.1.1.1.1

              That I suspect is largely the fault of our rather thick press listening to the braying of the tax cut fools of the wealthy right.

              I always understood that they were killing debt and Cullen’s speech always made that point.

              • Gosman

                Yet he gave in to them in the end and offered a tax cut right at the end of his time when the country could least afford it.

                • Enough is Enough

                  You admit that we could not afford the tax cuts that National brought in?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Oh the Govt could afford it in 2008 under English, just not in 2008 under Cullen.

                    Shit we need better right wingnuts.

                  • Gosman

                    No, only the ones Cullen promised. The ones National brought in were designed to be fiscally neutral.

                    • McFlock

                      “were designed to be”?

                      They weren’t actually fiscally neutral, though, were they?

                      Even if blinglish was so incompetent as to think increased GST would offset the tax cuts, it turned out that the outcome cost us billions.

                      And the thing is, if we genuinely couldn’t afford the Cullen tax cuts, shouldn’t a competent economic manager have raised taxes to increase revenue and avoid the billions of dollar in debt the government has accrued under national?

                      Amazing how your slimy use of “were designed to be” still failed to hide just how fiscally incompetent the current government is.

                    • Tracey

                      could you post the links from prior to the tax cuts where it was made clear they were designed to be fiscally neutral but may not have been post implementation. .

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      No they weren’t – they were designed to transfer wealth form the poor to the rich and they do that very well.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Gosman, a big part of the tax cuts supposedly being “fiscally neutral” is that the very nature of cutting tax was supposed to increase growth.

                      But yeah, I can tell you’re just running lines now and you don’t actually believe what you’re saying, because no-one with an ounce of sense ever believed the fiscally neutral line, and you know it.

                    • David H

                      OH FFS…. Gosman if you believe that I have a bridge you can buy!

                      Edit: They are costing us, those that will be paying for them 1.1 BILLION dollars a year.

                • Tracey

                  could the country afford it more when the nats brought it in. you are tripping over yourself now.

          • finbar 4.1.1.1.2

            $370 Million per week,now about 50 odd billion they have racked up, saying, its to pay for working for families.

  5. Enough is Enough 5

    Do we really have to recycle meme’s thought up by Richard Prebble and Act?

  6. Hami Shearlie 6

    You remember that famous saying, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” – well National must be very admiring of Labour’s policies as they are copying them albeit in a weak and watered down way – too bad they couldn’t actually think up any of these policies themselves – they’ve only decided to put them in the Budget since Labour thought of them – The Natz really are dullards, seemingly incapable of innovative thoughts of their own! Nothing has changed there!

    • finbar 6.1

      That is the reason why Labour are reluctent to put out their policies,aside from being similar yet more socialy caring in their content.

      Don!t forget, gloves will be off if this corporation gains control again,for they know fourth term Narnia land.

  7. karol 7

    Very good analysis by Gordon Campbell.

    Hate to hurt Bill English’s feelings, but yesterday’s Budget looked like a document the Labour Party might have written – and no, that’s not meant as a compliment. Basically, English will be keeping it steady on the economic fundamentals, while sweetening them with a few social spending gestures aimed at blunting the appeal of already signalled Opposition policy in these areas. They’re tactical blocks thrown in election year for vote-catching purposes, and they’re not being pursued on the basis of what’s affordable – more spending certainly is – or in response to social need.
    […]
    National seems to have perfected the art of lowering the ceiling of expectations, and then painting a few pretty pictures on it to divert the paying customers. It’s nice to have free doctor’s visits for kids under 13. It would be even nicer to have a government that knew where it was going, and had a sustainable plan for getting there.

    On the way Campbell does an in-depth analysis of key points in the budget, and how it offers little to those struggling on the lowest incomes.

    • The Lone Haranguer 7.1

      Karol, the Nats dont have to win the indepth analysis competition. They are focused on winning the 5 minute soundbite that is at the start of the news on TV, with maybe the NZ Herald headlines the following morning. Thats where the votes are.

      There no doubt Labour will have better policies, but there is also no doubt that the Nats currently are way way better at politics than the Labour team.

      And if Labour/Greens win the election, then I will come here and acknowledge that I am wrong and that you are right.

      ;

      • karol 7.1.1

        I’m not interested in the game playing and vote chasing, but in people trying to provide information and analysis that explains clearly what is going on and what is actually involved in the policies and practices – what they will do for all Kiwis.

        Of course the Nats have a very good spin machine, aided by a largely compliant media.

        • The Lone Haranguer 7.1.1.1

          “I’m not interested in the game playing and vote chasing,”

          Karol get real.

          The voters pretty much dont give a toss about the “information and analysis that explains clearly what is going on….” Save your policy wonk discussions for other policy wonks and start crafting information for voters that comes in bite size slogans. You need to win the hearts of the voters and you want to bury them in analysis that they really dont want to know about.

          Why not point out the Nats have increased debt by 500% and the interest will be paid by your children and your childrens children, and that it will eat into money for schools in the future?

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.1

            I really don’t think you could call reading Gordon Campbell’s analysis being buried.

      • Naturesong 7.1.2

        +1

        You can see this clearly when John Key demanded Labour tell everyone how they would reach a surplus / create jobs.

        The answer requires explaining how Labours policies work together, and the listener also needs both the time and background knowledge to understand what is being said.

        I struggle with some, particularly economic, policy and I have advantages already (an interest in policy, willingness to read dry boring documents for hours, an understanding of how complex systems work, a reasonable understanding of history, a voracious appetite to learn new things / ideas etc).

        Where’s the soundbite?

      • Tracey 7.1.3

        by your definition is politics defined as spinning and manipulating the truth to win votes?

        • The Lone Haranguer 7.1.3.1

          Tracey that would have to be one definition of politics. And politics is about winning and getting your policies in place.

          It may not be “pure politics”, infact its damn impure politics if you ask me. But maybe Labour would rather hold onto the purity and be in opposition? Sipping tea and teling their mates how their policies were so much better but the Nats fooled the electorate.

          Helen Clarke was way better at politics than the Nats of the day. And todays Nats are way better at politics than the current Labour lot.

    • Tracey 7.2

      and labour should repeat over and over all day

      “we are flattered they took some of our ideas to help children in nz, it just goes to show the party with ideas for nz is labour.”

      over and over, regardless of the question.

    • Gosman 7.3

      Gordon Campbell is a lefty focusing on core lefty issues he thinks are important. In this sense all he is doing is spinning the budget from a leftist perspective. Hardly an indepth analysis at all.

  8. greywarbler 8

    Fudging it. Something that John Key does well. We all like fudge don’t we, sweeet.
    Puddleglum looked at this comment below from Jokeyhen quizzically.
    http://www.thepoliticalscientist.org/

    “Part of it is, I think, is, I suspect … I’m a pretty laid back, sort of down-to-earth hopefully approachable guy, and, … and, I think kind of again, what they see is what they get and they like that element of, I’m a regular kiwi bloke.”
    John Key, Morning Report, Friday, 28 February, 2014

    That’s .. um fairly regular for a Kiwi bloke. But Jokeyhen is not one, he has made $50 mill on manipulating money, an arcane activity just on the practical side of alchemy. Not ordinary at all.

    • Tracey 8.1

      flicked through north and south today… i agree he is not just an ordinary bloke, but the people quoted sure believe his schpiel

      • finbar 8.1.1

        As much as i hate to admit it, and should be given a slap, Key, was fired up in the house yesterday, and best speech ive heard in a very very very long time.

        • Tracey 8.1.1.1

          didnt see it. hes usually good when hes had time to practice, opposition are having to work close to off the cuff on budget day.

          strange to have key in the house on a thursday.

          • finbar 8.1.1.1.1

            Not realy for this lot,he is their only card of conection to the unsuspecting voters.

        • David H 8.1.1.2

          I’m more waiting for the debates, and the muck slinging TricKey will bring instead of policy. Then he should be shown up for the hollow man he is. As long as Cunliffe is on song, and stays on song.

  9. blue leopard 9

    So basically over the last few months the narrative has gone from ‘the left have died’ in this country to ‘the left are commanding the narrative’.

    What did it take to achieve that?
    Acknowledgement of what has occurred and congratulations to those people who have helped it occur are in order.

    Congratulations:

    To all the good people and organisations working for the left ( /for people issues) who have continued to speak out, take time, effort and act in order to get the ‘profits are the only thing we need to address’ mentality off the agenda, despite the defeatism that has been going on amongst some quarters of the left wing and despite the massive and deceptive spin emanating from the right. Well done.

    To those good people who got more democracy into the Labour leadership selection process – well done. Look at what occurs when the leader of the largest left wing party starts confidently speaking against the failed status quo and starts describing the elephant in the room.

    To all the good people in the Greens and Mana movement for tirelessly and consistently lucidly speaking out on against massive inequities and offering positive alternatives. Well done.

    Well done yous and thank you.

    …now how the heck do we stop National gaining the credit for all the intelligent ideas and good work of the left??!

    • Jim 9.1

      ‘ …now how the heck do we stop National gaining credit for all the intelligent and good work of the left??!’ We move on and announce more intelligent and good policy next week the week after and every week right up until the election. We expose more dirty laundry of the Nats every week up until the election.
      Sure National have had more of the narrative over the last 2 days, but not the hole week as one would have expected. Next week is business as usual and it is the lefts job to win the battle in the media once again.

      • blue leopard 9.1.1

        Thank you Jim,

        Good suggestion

        I particularly like the way you suggest a positive way forward.

        I can see the latest plan for the National strategy is going to be painting the left as playing ‘dirty politics’ (yet again, another case of National pretending the left are guilty of what National are doing) and I am hoping that there is going to be very thoughtful and assertive measures taken to ensure that there are positive messages coming out of the left as well as continuing to call this government out on their despicable influences and behaviour when this is required and in this way ensure public perception is not swayed by the ‘orrible mindgames of the Nats.

      • Clemgeopin 9.1.2

        ++ Well said. The correct strategy.

      • finbar 9.1.3

        Last week was a fantastic week for Labour.We have 15 weeks or so to the election,hard line to keeping up the higher ground.Let them,the corporation, make the running,pick the targets with care you choose to dig into.And dont get sprung for the same reason.

    • David H 9.2

      Because the Left will have these policies fully though out and fully funded. Unlike the policy stealing Right, that are bereft of ideas apart from. Mine it, drill it, sell it. Well the latest foray into those first 2 areas have turned up nothing but a lot of very expensive dry holes. And as for sell it? Just wait and see if that bunch of megalomaniacs get back into power, the Damage they will do will turn us into another Greece. BUT a lot worse off,

    • Peter 9.3

      You’re absolutely right. In some ways we should be delighted with this budget as it clearly indicates a significant shift to the left by National. The deeper question is whether or not this is a genuine repudiation of neo-liberalism or a cynical ploy to get votes. Then again even if it is just a political ploy it tells us that the left (represented by the movements listed above) is affecting the electorate much more then is reflected in party polling.
      It seems that people in NZ want re-distributive economic and social policies but they don’t want a change of government to get them.
      It really is hard to see where Labour can go from here – they’ve been completely out flanked – universal free health care for under 13’s is so far left of Labour it’s reaching into Mana party policy.
      Where on earth can Labour go from there?

      • blue leopard 9.3.1

        @ Peter

        ‘Then again even if it is just a political ploy it tells us that the left (represented by the movements listed above) is affecting the electorate much more then is reflected in party polling.’

        That is such a good point.

        ‘It seems that people in NZ want re-distributive economic and social policies but they don’t want a change of government to get them.’

        While it is difficult to know for sure, I have to agree that I share a similar feeling, at times, that this is what is going on. Perhaps this is what the spin doctors want us all to be ‘sensing’? Perhaps we need to question that feeling and be slow to draw that conclusion?

        I thought that the article by Michael Timmins had a pretty good suggestion re ‘where to from here?’ [I am assuming that is you that has already commented under the article]

        ‘The challenge for the opposition this election is to break beyond the fog of neo-liberalism, and to tap into the real self-interest of New Zealanders: a better society with more opportunities right across the socio-economic spectrum. They can do this through positive, smart, solution oriented messaging – not through divisive and negative tactics.’

        http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/05/17/crony-capitalism-and-voting-against-self-interest/

        I suspect that the left are really going to have to be careful to find a balance in order to avoid saturating the voters with a negative stance. They need to convince people why the left is better without coming across as too negative. This is not so easy without pointing out many National’s faults on a regular basis. It appears this is going to require very thoughtful navigation.

        • Colonial Viper 9.3.1.1

          It’s going to require thoughtful navigation yes, but the election is in just 4 months and 3 days, and I still pick up no consistent or defining narrative from the Left as to why people out there, should get out and vote the Left in.

          The wider electorate is incredibly information poor and inattentive, if clear and thoughtful narratives are not being built and consistently pushed ASAP, it will be too late. “Keeping the powder dry” until the enemy is right in your face falling upon you with their bayonets is not the optimal timing.

          • karol 9.3.1.1.1

            The Spirit Level’s conclusions need to be repeated continually – more equal societies are better for us all.

            Income and wealth inequalities are seen most starkly when comparing those at the top and the bottom – but the wider implications are that if they are more equal, we all benefit.

            • geoff 9.3.1.1.1.1

              My feeling about how the power of the status quo in society works, is that very little changes until you have a ‘storming the bastille’ moment. So nothing much changes pro-actively. There is no anticipation, there is no reasoned debate which weighs up the pro and cons in an objective way.
              It’s all grubby hands clinging to their power until they’re forced to relinquish it.

              And when change finally occurs, it’s usually not a massive change, it’s usually not completely dire for the elites, it’s usually just a mild change for them. Not relinquishing their power, only loosening it a little.

              Take for example, the housing situation. It’s just getting worse and worse and everybody knows it but nothing is happening. And that’s purely because of vested interests who are determined to squeeze as much as possible out of this stupid market system.

              And so we’ll probably have some event occur, perhaps another economic downturn and loads of economic peons, such as ourselves, will get shat on because a minority of dumb monkeys just couldn’t bring themselves to share a little.`

              I sometimes think that the best you can hope to do as an activist is merely foment that bastille moment a little earlier than it might otherwise have occurred.

              • blue leopard

                I would have thought that the topic of this particular conversation is how to create that ‘storming the bastille moment’?

                And isn’t this done by raising peoples’ awareness to:

                One: the Problem,
                Two: the Consequences of that Problem if the Problem is Ignored

                the consequences being created now
                the consequences in the future

                Three: that There Is an Alternative.

                Have I missed anything? (seriously any others?)

                Karol’s suggestion takes in all the above 3 steps.

              • Colonial Viper

                My feeling about how the power of the status quo in society works, is that very little changes until you have a ‘storming the bastille’ moment. So nothing much changes pro-actively

                That’s the way it looks but it is not the way it is. Kiwis pay attention to information they are provided and they talk amongst friends and family. With good information (always lacking out there) and presented with a narrative which makes sense and with good alternatives, voters will change their minds or try something new.

                But Kiwis are also fairly conservative – in the absence of clear new information and narrative, and without any distinctly different and solid looking choices – they will stick with what they know and what has worked in the past.

          • blue leopard 9.3.1.1.2

            I am a little bit baffled by your stance here CV. (response to 9.3.1.1)

            Did you read Peter’s comment above where he says that the shift to the left by National in their budget ‘tells us that the left (represented by the movements listed above) is affecting the electorate much more then is reflected in party polling.’

            Likewise, I thought that certain moves the government made on social spending in their budget was a clear indication that the left’s consistent message re inequality and ‘sharing our countries wealth between all, not just the top percent’ is taking effect.

            I think this is actually quite a big shift, recall the complaints at the start of the year re Labour (in particular) needing to front-foot on issues and now look at what has occurred. I believe that the left are actually starting to take charge and direct the narrative.

            The question that I posed in response is how does the left continue to command the narrative and in particular, not have it that National take credit for things that they are only doing for a positive election result and doing weakly at that.

            You appear to be of the view that this left-wing narrative isn’t out there or is weak(?), whereas I am viewing that it is out there and it is starting to take hold.

            • Colonial Viper 9.3.1.1.2.1

              You appear to be of the view that this left-wing narrative isn’t out there or is weak(?), whereas I am viewing that it is out there and it is starting to take hold.

              I think that we may be both right. Your view that the public is ready for change and starting to become very concerned about some of the societal and economic inequalities that they are seeing/feeling. And my view that the political parties of the Left (which are not the same thing as the Left overall) are not providing coherent leadership, narratives and policies which really give voice to that.

              The question that I posed in response is how does the left continue to command the narrative and in particular, not have it that National take credit for things that they are only doing for a positive election result and doing weakly at that.

              To my mind, the Left is most successful when it forces both National and Labour (and the other political parties) to move further Left.

              • blue leopard

                It is good to define what exactly we are referring to (!) Yes, in this conversation I have been referring to left-wing political parties when I have referred to ‘the left’ – because for me this conversation is about the election and what the left-wing political parties can do to retain command of the narrative and be credited for that (i.e the left get voted for what they worked to effect, not the right wing parties gaining votes from their poor copy of the left’s aims).

                Whilst I would like to say there is agreement between us, I continue to view that we are actually in disagreement on the particular point as to whether the left-wing political parties are achieving a clear narrative. I am saying I think that they are; that they have made a substantial inroad to commanding the narrative. You appear to be saying you don’t think this is occurring.

                I wouldn’t disagree that there could be more coherence, (particularly in the sense of cooperation amongst the parties) but I disagree that there is no coherence or no narrative.

                From previous comments you have written, I believe you are in more contact with more people than I currently am and am wondering if this is the difference. You are reflecting what you are hearing ‘out there’. and are coming to the conclusion that people are still not clear on what the left-wing political parties stance is. I would hope that you analyse what exact type of people you are in contact with prior to drawing that conclusion as a generality though. That the National party have felt the need to provide quite a lot of expressions of social concern (recent pay-outs to social services prior to the budget included) indicates to me that there is quite some feeling out there in the wider community that aligns with the stance that the left wing political parties have been taking, so much so that National have felt the need to act to be seen as addressing these issues that the Left are raising.

                Re moving further left – I really am not sure with this (not rhetorical – I really am not sure!) – I think this is the quandary that Labour, in particular, are in. If they move too far left they scare a certain group of people, if they are too centrist , they put another group of people right off. I don’t know enough about New Zealanders’ general political views (how many hold what views) to really accurately draw any conclusions, however I think so far Labour have been doing pretty well in getting people understanding and onboard with some very important issues – to the extent that National have fairly well had to go back on some fairly long running views they have been putting across (‘there is no problem with inequality’, ‘hands-off is good’, ‘taking money from peoples’ wallets and spending is bad’, ‘trickle down will solve it’)

        • karol 9.3.1.2

          Clearly the issue of inequality is getting traction causing Key to tackle that head on. The Nation is covering the issue on TV3 next Saturday. It is framed as the left saying there is rising income inequality, compared with the right saying it isn’t.

          Key focuses on (OECD) stats showing averages, means/medians over time, showing no change over a couple of decade. The point to hammer here is that on such measures, inequalities rose markedly around the 80s and 90s, and have stayed there. It needs to be a whole change in approach to bring it down.

          Rising income inequality is seen most starkly in NZ when comparing the top and bottom percentiles. Such inequalities feed wealth inequalities. Wealth inequalities are much higher than income inequalities. Those on higher incomes are able to invest in assets and other financial products that increase their long term wealth.

          The biggest rise in income and wealth inequality is in the US – thus we do not want to be too tied to their approaches, or to have our wealth and finances siphoned off to US corporates.

          • blue leopard 9.3.1.2.1

            I think you are onto something there. It is positive and very helpful to focus on inequality. Positive because you wish the best for those that are not ‘getting a fair share’, who are a large group, and very helpful because people need to understand the connection between inequality and good conditions ergo why this needs to be addressed: because without this awareness the policies required to fix the problem don’t get the support they require. (As Robert Reich’s ’10 Ways to Fix Inequality’ pointed out)

            The information you shared on yesterday’s Open Mike re Key saying ”Maybe at the margin it has become slightly less unequal” indicates a chink in National’s usual extremely flippant denial.

            It made me realise that if National keep saying ‘it is all good here’ and denying that there is a problem it alienates the people who are really hurting (who have experiences a degeneration in their circumstances) and for that sector who have had no degeneration yet no improvement will also see that Key is lying.

            National must be realising this for Key to make a statement containing that clause, which fairly well undermines all the denial they have been conducting with the ‘not a problem, its all good, inequality hasn’t widened ‘ hogwash.

  10. Clemgeopin 10

    Professor of public policy at Victoria University Jonathan Boston slams ‘modest’ families package and says it’s a “very modest” package that equates to only $125 million a year out of total Budget spending exceeding $70 billion.

    He has accused the budget of doing “very little” to address inequality and help those most in need.

    He says, that these budget measures are ‘effectively going to benefit a very small proportion of the families who need assistance’ One of the unaddressed problems is that many social programmes are set at a certain level, then forgotten about, says Prof Boston.

    “Some core aspects of social expenditure are not inflation-adjusted. The accommodation supplement which assists many poor families, particularly those renting in the private sector, which is quite expensive, that hasn’t been adjusted for inflation for nine years,” he says.

    “The in-work tax credit hasn’t been adjusted since it was introduced almost nine years ago. The family tax credit, the top rates have been locked in place, so they’re not being adjusted.”

    The effect is that poorer families are becoming worse-off over time.

    “We have, according to the estimates of the Ministry of Social Development, more than 25 percent of children in poverty, and there’s really very little in this Budget that’s going to make a significant difference,” says Prof Boston.

    Mr English says despite the surplus, and predictions for greater surpluses in the coming years, he didn’t allocate more to social spending because it would push up interest rates.

    He says future tax cuts are a possibility, but Prof Boston says it’s unlikely they will help those in need.

    “They’d have to be targeted right at the bottom end, and the experience of tax cuts over three or four decades in this country is that most of the benefits have been reaped by people on higher incomes.”

    Mr English believes putting too much money into parental tax credits and leave would be unfair to families without dependent children.

    Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/Professor-slams-modest-families-package/tabid/1607/articleID/344479/Default.aspx#ixzz31pc54fBE

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Mr English believes putting too much money into parental tax credits and leave would be unfair to families without dependent children.

      What, like his own family and John Key’s own family? Good to know they are thinking of struggling parents out there instead of the well off 50+ set with adult kids.

    • greywarbler 10.2

      That lack of inflation adjustment is a very good point and a dastardly practice to decrease expenditure while not making any overt moves. Then painting the recipients as whingers and poor budgeters. Super is inflation indexed.

      It seems that the quality of mercy in the minds of the well-off and right-wing is so strained that they care naught about anyone except those with the strongest claims, their parents and the plight of little children who can always pluck a heart string when they can find one that isn’t as flat as the catgut on an old tennis racket.

  11. Skinny 11

    Make no mistake National and ACT will follow the Right Wing Governments of England & Australia and other Right lead Nations. You only have to look at some of their new intake getting drafted in.

    The opposition party’s need to go for broke announce the policies they have in common, carve up cabernet positions prior to the election and show they are a Government in waiting. Winston will need to play the game.

    • tinfoilhat 11.1

      “The opposition party’s need to go for broke announce the policies they have in common, carve up cabernet positions prior to the election and show they are a Government in waiting. Winston will need to play the game.”

      Ha.. outstanding double entendre… I bet that a lot of the MPs carve up cabernet positions on a daily basis !

    • greywarbler 11.2

      Skinny
      I like your new satirical term ‘cabernet positions’ for the pollie in-group.

  12. McFlock 12

    National are so fucking out of ideas it’s pathetic to watch.

    Pretending to be Labour-lite worked in 2008. In 2011 the nats could blame labour, wear fluoro vests, and have a RWC three-way.

    2014? After asset sales, ballooning debt, multiple corruption scandals, and outright contempt for the nation, the nats are regurgitating Labour-lite?

    It would be funny, if the election weren’t too close to call

    • Tracey 12.1

      yup, throw out some carab, disguised as fudge to win the election, then claim mandate again, and move rightwards

  13. fisiani 13

    The Budget has come and gone and the resounding successful message of steady as she goes, gradual improvement for all and cream for the kids is settling into the subconscious of the people who will be at the ballot boxes in 126 days. All the frothing here matters nowt. The phone is off the hook. Of course it will be close but the chances of National winning in September have improved in the last 24 hours you must admit.

    • Tracey 13.1

      onto your fourth bottle of champagne fizzi??

    • Skinny 13.2

      I tend to see it more likely those at the bottom many of whom make up the non voting 800,000 from the last election have just been incentivised to vote in Sept. That’s vote the Government out wingnut.

      Expect the number of hardcore protests like being witnessed today outside SkyCity to increase. The New Zealand voting public stand up and take notice when Kiwi’s act up rebelling again the Government. Well done I like your style ‘power to the people.’

      • fisiani 13.2.1

        The hard core protests you so admire are actually loved by National for they play into the script of the rent a mob Leftist activists who foam and froth like a rabid animal yet are all just noise and impotence. Compare them with the safe pair of hands of John Key and Bill English and Stephen Joyce at the front of the scrum. I hope the Sky City protests are on every TV channel tonight. They will raise the Party vote for National. It always amazes me how the Left do not understand this and keep making the same mistakes.

        If you are so confident the get onto ipredict and put your real money where your mouth is. If the Left will win easily then simply take money off us mugs who are raking it in by shorting The Cunliffe and the gang. Grant Robertson is loving this.

        • blue leopard 13.2.1.1

          O.k here is the comparison you asked for:

          John Key and Bill English and Stephen Joyce are at the front of the scrum of a mob who foam and froth like a rabid animals yet are all just noise and impotence. This mob are hired by the top 0.01% most wealthy and narrowly self interested of this country via Cabinet club donations and other such non-transparent means.

          Those people protesting outside the Sky City mausoleum consider the policies coming out of this incompetent rented mob are damaging this country’s education system and are not serving the greatest interests of New Zealanders wishing to be educated.

          Your point was?

          • fisiani 13.2.1.1.1

            Just watched the coverage on both channels. Fantastic. The nutbars were out in force and achieved deserved public contempt. Please please show it tonight especially the TV3 clip.
            Have you ever wondered why only the Left thugs use microphones? They believe that noise equates to action. It equates to votes for National.

            • blue leopard 13.2.1.1.1.1

              Yes, hopefully the incompetent rent-a-crowd of the 0.01% were there and are aired making their terribly fudged and compromised statements too.

              Hopefully Key condemns people speaking out on this important issue, as he has done in the past. This will remind everyone viewing of all the important issues Key has flippantly ignored. It will remind everyone of how many educational opportunities National have destroyed and how National don’t appear to want an educated, informed or politically active public.

              Something to look forward to alright.

              • Gosman

                Only a small sub section of the very hard left believes that nonsense. Certainly no mainstream left wing politician would run with that line. This is probably because they know they would be laughed out of town for being some wacky conspiracy theory nut.

                • blue leopard

                  What nonsense? Not sure what you are referring to there, no nonsense contained in my comment…unless you are referring to Keys flippant attitudes toward speaking out and education – that is nonsense, yet I am certain that many people view education as important, not just ‘hard left’. That is why education has become an election issue.

                  • Gosman

                    This nonsense. Especially the last part.

                    “It will remind everyone of how many educational opportunities National have destroyed and how National don’t appear to want an educated, informed or politically active public.”

                    Why is no mainstream left wing politician stating this?

                    • blue leopard

                      It isn’t nonsense National have taken away educational opportunities.

                      Why is no mainstream left wing politician stating this?

                      Aw how sweet, will you only believe something to be true if you hear it from a ‘mainstream left wing politician?’

                    • David H

                      Jezuz Gossy you are turning into Pete George MKII.

                • Tracey

                  you speak on behalf of the right and now the left and hard left, a regular sybil

              • Penny Bright

                errrr ….. I was one of the protestors outside Sky City today.

                Nobody ‘rented’ me.

                Some of us are persistent and consistent in our opposition to ‘corporate welfare’ and this ‘war on the poor’.

                It’s called ‘making a stand on principle’ / ‘standing up to be counted’ – sort of thing …….

                Probably that would be sailing into uncharted waters for some of you whiners and whingers?

                (Meant of course in a caring way 🙂

                Kind regards,

                Penny Bright

                • David H

                  “It’s called ‘making a stand on principle’ / ‘standing up to be counted’ – sort of thing”

                  All things that are totally alien to the RWNJ’s Penny.

        • Tracey 13.2.1.2

          cant use your hands in the scrumb fizzi or the ruck…

        • Tracey 13.2.1.3

          cos everyone has money to spend on ipredict. everyone on planet key.

        • Skinny 13.2.1.4

          Just wait until National try push harsh employment law changes, the masses will hit the bricks in protest and the whole Country of workers, many (46% in the last year) of whom havent seen the trickle down effect.

          The workers revolt against National will shatter any chance of re-election I promise you that my friend.

    • Clemgeopin 13.3

      Actually, this budget could work AGAINST the Nats because people will see that they have tinkered with their opponent’s policies, pretending it is their own! There is nothing for housing, nothing of vision, nothing for the poor or closing the income gap or any progressive stuff. People will see that National has done of BS hoodwinking hoax and they will realise that Labour policies and programmes are far superior to National or ACT policies.

  14. Clemgeopin 14

    Many of right wing Nat supporters will be fuming at this budget as it is against their ideology and philosophy to follow socialist policies. I think a good chunk of the hard Nats will drift towards ACT, while a few soft Nats will drift towards Labour. I doubt if this budget will entice any left supports to drift towards National. For National, this budget could be a double edge sword, hurting it, at least a little, both from its own left and right factions. What do you think?

    • Gosman 14.1

      Why would soft center left Nats drift to Labour when National is offering more left leaning policies than they have before?

      • captain hook 14.1.1

        why? because the national party at present is a bunch of venal graspers that even appall real national party people.

        • Gosman 14.1.1.1

          Me thinks this might be wishful thinking on your part.

          • captain hook 14.1.1.1.1

            methinks you dont really think at all.

          • McFlock 14.1.1.1.2

            nah, it’s obvious to anyone who has watched ministers over the last 3 years.

            heh
            If dunnokeyo has a quick “cup of tea” with unclecousin, do you think it will be planned weeks in advance with an invite to the ambassador?

            • Gosman 14.1.1.1.2.1

              That must mean an awful lot of people aren’t watching Ministers given the high degree of popular support the current government still enjoys.

              • blue leopard

                lol you sum up the basis of National’s ‘popularity’ so well.

              • McFlock

                You’ve been reading Fizzy too much.

                We’ll see in a few months just how popular johnny no-mates really is.

          • David H 14.1.1.1.3

            you sure you’re not PG gossy? Starting to look like it with all the bullcrap you’re spouting.

      • Clemgeopin 14.1.2

        Because I suspect there are many honest, fair minded, non-hypocritical soft supporters of National with some honour and integrity, who will see through the cunning, dishonest tactics of coping some of the Labour’s socialist polices even though it is against National’s right wing ideology and realise that Key and English are dishonest opportunists and will decide to vote for the real thing instead, the Labour Party.

      • Jim 14.1.3

        Well Gosman, its only the day after the budget and the narrative has move on to whether the gap between the rich and the poor is growing or not. The statistics used by the government up until March where shown to have got a please explain for obvious statistical bias by the OECD in December last year. John Key used cherry picked statics today to say the gap between the rich and poor has not changed in the last 15 years, and was debunked by David Parker within hours. Even a middle class person like myself instinctively knows ( i.e poverty measures, food banks being used more.) that the gap is widening, so this is an argument Shonky cannot win in the court of public opinion. So why is he saying this? He’s desperate that’s why!!

    • Tracey 14.2

      but will they all refuse to take the free visits fortgeir kids and the extra leave? nah, they will take it and keep their tax reduction schemes in place

  15. Gosman 15

    Test

  16. fisiani 16

    Enjoy learning from the best Finance Minister in our history.

    • fender 16.1

      “…..our history.”

      That explains a lot, you’re definitely no adult, but pretty good for a 6y/o.

    • David H 16.2

      Maybe in your history Fizzi But not in mine. I’d have to say that Cullen is streaks ahead of Blinglish

  17. Tangled_up 17

    However, the Government claim the additional $150 million a year to cover the extra leave is too expensive. “There’ll be a time I’m sure one day when paid parental leave will be expanded but it has to be when we can afford it and not when we’re running up bill on the credit card,” said Key

    http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/key-rules-extending-paid-parental-leave-5420393

    Nek Year . . .

    A $172m a year extension to paid parental leave will initially take it from the current 14 to 16 weeks on April 1 next year, rising to 18 weeks a year later.

    • David H 17.1

      And Blinglish will use his VETO to kill Labours bill for 26 weeks PPL and try to make people feel grateful.

  18. McGrath 18

    The family aspect of the budget is proving very popular with some of my left-leaning friends. Some of which are saying that they cannot believe they’ll be voting National this year. It is as BM said, National are going after the soft Labour vote (and suceeding).

    • Lanthanide 18.1

      Which doesn’t really make sense. Surely if they like these Labour-lite policies, they will actually like proper Labour policies any more?

      Then it just comes down to trusting whether the Labour party “are competent” and can “run the country”. Personally I think you’d be hard pressed to do a worse job than National currently are, especially as there will be Greens in the next cabinet to give a bit of spine to Labour.

      • McGrath 18.1.1

        The current Labour Party are not “grabbing them” (for lack of a better term). Many feel disillusioned with Labour’s performances to date, which is obscuring any policy announcements.

  19. Mike the Savage One 19

    Thank you those that described me as a “troll” last night. It is an honour, as that will only generate more questions and attention.

    The motto is, first ignore it, then ridicule it, then attack it, right?

    I have reason to be critical, and it may not have been worded well at times, but Labour has now only ONE option.

    They have to redraft their whole election campaign, and reassess what is important, and what is less important.

    The recommended slogan or catch call must now be:
    “WE CAN DO BETTER” than National and Key and English, and that then carries into delivering BETTER policies in detail, like for parental leave, like for free doctors visits for children, like for better support for new families, and it must certainly include, WE WILL DELIVER ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING, nothing less.

    If the brains up there in the top Labour echelons get that worked out, they still have a chance. National comes with “baggage”, and that is the “small print” of their policies, with additional, unsavoury policies, with terms of policies, and much else.

    One issue will be and must be immigration. Perhaps put aside your “internationalistic” benevolent approach to that, and rethink, as the kind of immigration now suggested and expected will put immense pressures on infrastructure, not just housing. Talk to people in the UK about that, perhaps, as they have due to such pressures in too large numbers moved to support the UKIP and other new or not so new right leaning political movements. I sense New Zealand will face the same back-lash, if the immigration drive to boost the population, for supposed “economic” gains will be allowed to continue.

    Len Brown and his Unitary Plan is working through much criticism in submissions at present, due to the insane plan to boost the Auckland population to 2.5 million or more, and one must ask, where does the infrastructure and other resources come from to provide them with water, housing and else, when we already have a damned crisis here?

    Labour will be well advised to learn from this, and change some policies, and push the housing issues, the immigration issues, the neglect of the regions in economic development, the over dependence on Mainland China, and much more. I also advise them to bloody start doing more for the working poor and those on benefits, who are as sick and disabled not able to “better” themselves, and who need support and help. Not even talking about them will not help Labour, as they are side lining traditional voters.

    Once Cunliffe and his too divided MPs get this sorted, and themselves sorted, we may yet see some political challenges to the increasingly over confident, arrogant John Key and his lot.

    Best wishes, Mike

    • mickysavage 19.1

      Mike

      The debate around here can get pretty robust and pointed. Some of the stuff you say I agree with entirely, some of the other stuff leaves me shaking my head!

      The unitary plan is not designed to increase growth, it is just getting ready for what appears to be inevitable. If you asked Len and the Council if they want all these extra people they would probably say no.

      • Mike the Savage One 19.1.1

        No probs with robustness, I am guilty of the same.

        I am also happy with the fact that some of what I may have and may say will make some people’s heads shake. If that was not the case, we would all be robotic politically correct idiots, towing the line at the level not to be crossed.

        As for the Auckland Unitary Plan, it is based also on the Auckland Plan, and that policy in there is pretty clear, that they not only expect a larger population, but welcome it. Last I heard, Len was all for it, that is where I disagree with him and some others.

        Best wishes.

      • Tanz 19.1.2

        Would you live in one? It’s straight out of the Marxists guidebook, and will wreck Auckland as we know it, and impoverish the impoverished even more. Cause the people of Auckland were not asked, as usual.

    • greywarbler 19.2

      On the night shift Mike? Why don’t you concentrate on one subject at a time and bullet your ideas. Then the value of your suggestions can be better absorbed. And you could write some of this direct to Mr Cunliffe so he gets to see it. It might make all the difference.

      • Mike the Savage One 19.2.1

        Grey, I will work on it, but there was a major event yesterday, called “the budget”, which is complex, but also throws around a lot of topics and issues, that both government and opposition may struggle to deal with. I struggle with it, tried to give a comprehensive summary, also got lost with some distraction, but it also meant, others got distracted or irritated.

        I have no problem with that, and with criticism, it will all be looked at. I am not really against Labour in its original form and for its original purpose and misison, I am critical of where they are now, and where they seem to fail, hence I dare to raise it.

        Perhaps they will take note, which will be positive, I am sure, otherwise the political environment will have evolutionary processes take place, that may mean some other forces will become more popular.

        Let us wait and see and perhaps be surprised.

      • Mike the Savage One 19.2.2

        Cunliffe and Labour were presented stuff from a number of persons I know, but they do not seem to give it any serious enough consideration. So given that, they get bitten by the very failures they are responsible for. Labour have many problems within, and as long as they choose to ignore some matters, issues and policies, they will continue to suffer.

    • McFlock 19.3

      Thank you those that described me as a “troll” last night. It is an honour, as that will only generate more questions and attention.

      There goes your credibility when it comes to communication advice.

      Your major error is assuming that the answer lies with labour alone. Not under MMP.
      Your second error is claiming that there’s only one way to do something – in a democracy, that means you’re not willing to listen to anyone else’s ideas.
      As for the immigration detour… wtf???

      • Mike the Savage One 19.3.1

        Your opinion is irrelevant to me, as I have read your opinions on other matters, and they do not always convince.

        • McFlock 19.3.1.1

          lol

          I guess that makes you merely a theatre critic: you know what should be done, you regularly watch it done badly, but if you could do it yourself you’d be an actor rather than a critic.

          • Mike the Savage One 19.3.1.1.1

            lol McFlock, you are indeed amusing, and will continue to be so, best wishes, and enjoy your travels into the mind-sphere into the “never never” space

        • greywarbler 19.3.1.2

          Mike tSO
          You sound sort of patronising. But it will be interesting to see what ideas you wrestle with. Though you may like to stop typing and read the ideas that other people put forward here. There is good discussion to be had or just read as others test ideas for practicability.

          • Mike the Savage One 19.3.1.2.1

            Read my comment on Phil Twyford’s guest post perhaps, I may be making sense there, if that is at all possible.

            I do read others’ comments all the time, some are not worth to be taken that serious, others are, so there will always be some discussion, re pros and cons, and in the end we are all a bit “subjective”, as that means being human, and nobody is perfect.

        • Lanthanide 19.3.1.3

          I find McFlock to generally be an up-standing contributor with good thoughts and arguments.

          You on the other hand are a flash in the pan, jonny-come-lately, spraying around that Labour are doomed on the basis that National feel threatened enough by them to have modelled their budget after their philosophy. If that’s ‘doom’ then it really isn’t that bad after all in my book.

  20. Descendant Of Sssmith 20

    Don’t trust National one skerrick.

    It’s an election year and they’ll do what they need to do to try and get in government.

    Freeze/reduce the police budget – wait for the election promise to increase funding to the police

    Transferred housing assessment to MSD – wait for the massive sell off of state housing and the transfer of tax payers money to private landlords

    Fake surpluses and more borrowing – wait for the but we have no choice but to sell more state assets, conservation land and so on

    Promise tax cuts – it’ll be but we promised them and so must do it regardless of the consequences even though we have to borrow more

    Government departments will only be accesable on-line with more office closures in the regions and more centralisation in the cities

    These pricks will slash and burn even more than they have and the most disadvantaged will suffer the most

  21. Murray Olsen 21

    My only thought on this budget is that, if NAct can come up with something that people consider left wing, we really have forgotten what left wing means. The opposition parties have to show what a real left budget would look like. I suggest they divide it up into areas of responsibility, and Labour not be allowed near superannuation or social welfare in general.

  22. greywarbler 22

    MO
    Good m.o. Divide and rule in a different way.

  23. Yanz 23

    sorry re the spelling mistake, cause should be course. Is MS still there?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Swiss tax agreement tightens net
    Opportunities to dodge tax are shrinking with the completion of a new tax agreement with Switzerland, Revenue Minister Stuart Nash announced today. Mr Nash and the Swiss Ambassador David Vogelsanger have today signed documents to update the double tax agreement (DTA). The previous DTA was signed in 1980. “Double tax ...
    2 weeks ago