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Polity: In search of National’s ideas

Written By: - Date published: 12:19 pm, August 5th, 2014 - 14 comments
Categories: election 2014, national, same old national, Steven Joyce - Tags:

polity_square_for_lynnReposted from Polity.

I’ve noticed recently that National likes to talk a lot about everyone else’s ideas, but it prefers not to discuss its own. Steven Joyce’s shout performance on The Nation is a good example. Why would that be?

First, National would rather point backwards to the global recovery than forward to the next three years. Yes, there has been a recovery. Yes, it has been pretty much all over the globe. Yes, patting yourself on the head for it looks a bit silly.

Second, the recovery hasn’t resolved many of New Zealand’s serious issues. Unemployment remains higher than when National took office. Child poverty, too. Home ownership continues to slide. We’re sliding towards a two-track education system. And so on.

Pointing to the recovery won’t fix those problems.

So what will?

This is where National runs into real trouble. Its forward-looking ideas are entirely insipid. Examples:

  • National sees a plummeting home ownership rate, and this year its big idea is “cheaper nails.”Insulting.
  • National sees joblessness in the regions, and this year its big idea is “uneconomic roads in Ministerial backyards.” Borderline corrupt.
  • National sees low income schools falling behind, and this year its big idea is “corporate-style takeovers by rich school Principals” Doomed to fail.

Last year’s ideas, BTW, weren’t any better: selling the family silver, bigger class sizes, and lower standards for property developers. Although, to be fair to National, they have had the good sense to start copying Labour on ideas such as paid parental leave and better support for young families.

This is the central challenge National faces. It has to dress up “riding the tide” as “having a plan.” Because the plans it actually has these days are dogs, and they know it.

14 comments on “Polity: In search of National’s ideas ”

  1. Tracey 1

    Because if they promise nothing they will consider they can do anything.

    I notice they arent telling us whatolicies from ACT! MP! NZFIRST! UNITED FUTURE they will accede to

    Its the national party

    Bringing you nothing specific until septmber 21

  2. Kiwiri 2

    How about this for an upcoming National hoarding/billboard?

    National: dog’s breakfast for you, Antoine’s dining for me.

  3. raegun 3

    “Polity: In search of National’s ideas” good luck with that, you might to take a survival kit and an epirb with you, though

  4. RedLogix 4

    The core problem is that they really do not believe in government.

    Yet no corporate would tolerate directors, or senior execs with such a slack attitude towards their business.

    • geoff 4.1


      It’s not about having policy for National. It’s about holding the line for the corporates for as long as possible.

  5. Tel 5

    Polity makes a point, National are bereft of ideas, but also fails to see the obvious. National are not pushing out any policy ideas on purpose, preferring to be elected on the same mandate as the previous election. ie vote for us if you think we did a good job for the last six years, but this time round they’re doing it by stealth. If they manage to pull the wool over the voters eyes, it opens the gates for more asset sales etc etc etc.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Part of the strategy has to be to get National to rule out more of what it has been doing:

      • Rule out more private prisons (inhumane to profit off prisons)
      • Rule out more power privatisations
      • Rule out selling Kiwi Bank
      • Rule out more charter schools
      • Rule out cuts to student funding
      • felix 5.1.1

        Thing is they don’t seem to have a problem with ruling things out and then doing them anyway.

        Like raising GST (and every other (non-income) tax fee and levy on the books), sacking public servants etc.

        And so far about half the country is cool with it.

    • Tombstone 5.2

      I think you’re absolutely bang on and I think it’s also about Key’s need to have his ego further stroked and so this win is more personal I think than it is political. If he gets the win his ego will balloon a thousand fold and god help us all should that ever happen is all I can say.

  6. Blue 6

    This election is the first post-policy election in NZ, consigning this antiquated notion to the dustbin of history. You don’t need policies to contest an election – National is proof.

    People don’t even seem to have noticed that they intend to vote for nothing. The only thing on offer from National is three more years of John Key. If he doesn’t decide to quit partway through.

    I propose that in 2017 we just do a reality TV show instead. Much cheaper.

  7. feijoa 7

    National’s approach seems to be to reframe everything into how bad Labour is. If you watch people like Key and Joyce, they say, well, Labour did this or that 10 years ago, and why didn’t Labour say anything about James Cameron’ s purchase of land , and Labour sold assets when they were in power, blah blah blah
    Labour needs to frame the debate for itself
    This election is about our country’s future, and Labour has to look ahead, and not let National drag up the past. Labour has ( I think!) learned from the past, well I think DC has.

    • georgecom 7.1

      indeed, and that is what Robertson was doing to Joyce over the weekend, reframe Joyce each and every occasion to cast him as a do nothing government frame and labour as forward thinking and set to fix things. Joyce was struggling.

  8. RedBaronCV 8

    Yes where is the policy NACT.
    BTW I listen to the Breeze sometimes between 8 and 9 in the morning. Last couple of mornings heard JK both mornings – just soft rubbish – how the hell does discussing your first date tie in with an election but better than discussing what you are going to do.

    • miravox 8.1

      Well soft rubbish worked for him last time. I hate that I remember his cat’s name.

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