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Policy roulette

Written By: - Date published: 1:30 pm, February 8th, 2010 - 29 comments
Categories: education, election 2011, health, national - Tags:

I don’t recall the date or anything, but I remember the exact moment I decided to get politically active. Rob Muldoon was called by some brave journalist on the fact that National seemed to be ignoring all its election manifesto promises. Muldoon just grunted, and said that manifesto promises were dreamed up by advertisers, and nothing to do with him. The flippant way that he dismissed the issue made me angry, how are we supposed to make rational choices at election time if the policies are meaningless?

National haven’t changed. According to their health policy before the election:

Restructuring doesn’t necessarily change the way people work. Structural change diverts the attention of doctors and nurses away from improving patient care. National believes our health service can be improved without the distraction of restructuring. …

National will: … Not carry out another round of restructuring of the public health system.

Like Muldoon before him, Tony Ryall has no intention of keeping this promise. Initially at least he had the decency to pretend to feel guilty about it, but now it’s just full steam ahead:

Super-clinics plan in big health shake-up

Primary health services are about to undergo their biggest shake-up in nearly a decade, shifting some hospital services into the community and creating new super-clinics.

In that article we get a rare honest appraisal from Ryall of how the Nats know they can get away with their policy lies, and how they view the public:

Most people in the country wouldn’t know a PHO if they fell over it. This plan of strong community engagement is probably more of a myth.

So there we have it. On the one hand, Health and PHOs, we the public are too dumb to know or care about complicated stuff or National’s policy promises. But it isn’t always the same story! Because we’re also told that on the other hand, Education and “National Standards”, we the public all knew about this obscure detail in National’s (Tax cuts! Tax cuts! Tax cuts!) election policy and are therefore deemed to have completely endorsed it. In short, for National, election policy only matters if it happens to suit their real agenda. Remember that in 2011.

29 comments on “Policy roulette ”

  1. ghostwhowalksnz 1

    Sounds like the PHOs, which are privately owned, are to become a new tier in the health system. At the moment they are ‘invisible’ to the public and just an administrative service for their GPs.
    Not far from where I work is a large super clinic called White Cross. It seems to do a lot of the things that national are talking about. There is a pharmacy, dental, xrays and so on.
    Welcome to the new private clinics that will be called Health Maintenance Organisation of HMOs. I guess they will be taking say $10 pw from the enrolled patients

    captcha bed

  2. BLiP 2

    Profit before health – thanks National Ltdâ„¢ I’m loving it.

  3. tc 3

    Yup and the bigger promise was to reduce beauracracy and the number of public servants under ‘Helengrad’

    So Ryall increases that by getting more talking heads at the MoH to restructure DHB’s and now this………21st century muldoonism

  4. gitmo 4

    Superclincs are not in any way new ….. I’m not sure what’s sadder that you’re trying to spin this as some kind of bolt from the blue or that Herald and/or the ministry is pretending that this is some kind of new initiative.

  5. National cant have it both ways which is what they always try and do. Either its a major policy step or it is not what is it. Secondly they said they would leave PHOs alone before the election now he Vile wants to cut them by half so in my book he lied during the election.

  6. vto 6

    “how are we supposed to make rational choices at election time if the policies are meaningless?”

    You mean like ‘top half of OECD’ r0b?

    You must have some decent imprints on the side of your head from all those blinkers you wear by now…

    • r0b 6.1

      You mean like ‘top half of OECD’ r0b?

      No I don’t. That was a goal relating to factors beyond the government’s control (NZ improved, other countries improved too). So, a goal that Labour failed to meet (on some measures), and National will fail to meet too. Just as National will never get NZ caught up to Australia.

      I mean making a promise relating to factors that are within the government’s control – “we won’t restructure the Health system”, then breaking it – by restructuring the Health system.

  7. Jim Nald 7

    With each day, the National party’s duplicitous approach to governing and their erratic adoption of policies in contradiction to their promises become more evident.

  8. National have changed.
    They do value these commitments.

  9. don’t recall the date or anything, but I remember the exact moment I decided to get politically active. Rob Muldoon was called by some brave journalist on the fact that National seemed to be ignoring all its election manifesto promises. Muldoon just grunted, and said that manifesto promises were dreamed up by advertisers, and nothing to do with him.

    Having been a political journalist through the Muldoon years 1978-84 (both in the press gallery and outside it) and having felt his venom many times in response to my articles exposing his activities, I can say with some considerable confidence that Muldoon said no such thing.

    Muldoon wrote, or presided over, the Nats manifesto at each election he was leader at, and took great pleasure in implementing it.

    The first party that ignored its manifesto was Labour in 1984 (when Douglas hijacked its policies) then National in 1990 (when Richardson did the same).

    But Muldoon never delivered anything other than what he promised, To the great misfortune of New Zealand.

    So stop making it up.

    • r0b 9.1

      I can say with some considerable confidence that Muldoon said no such thing.

      I guess you made a mistake this time. It was one of those defining moments for me. I can’t tell you where he said it, or when, and it’s far too old for Google etc. But I can tell you that it has always been a vivid memory of the moment that I decided that National must be opposed. (Perhaps he was drunk at the time, as per his famous snap election).

      Quite agree about Labour 1984 though, they certainly went off the rails big time.

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