Salmond on the new political era

Written By: - Date published: 9:31 am, September 6th, 2017 - 62 comments
Categories: jacinda ardern - Tags: , , ,

On Newsroom Dame Anne Salmond writes:

Dame Anne Salmond: It’s the end of an era

In New Zealand at present, a seismic shift is under way. Despite all the hype, this election is not really a contest between left and right. Instead, the tectonic plates between the generations are shifting.

Since the 1980s, New Zealanders have been gripped by neo-liberal doctrines. Here, life is understood as a competitive struggle among individuals. In this Darwinian contest, each seeks to minimise their costs and maximise their benefits, with individual success as the ultimate goal.

After more than thirty years of this kind of hyper-individualism, however, a young, smart generation is stepping up, who think very differently.

They focus on the long term future, and the quality of our relations with each other and the planet – Gen Zero on climate change, for instance; Marnie Prickett and Lan Pham in the debate over freshwater; Max Harris with his book The New Zealand Project; David Hall and his Policy Observatory website; or Dan Hikuroa on our relations with the ocean, among others.

These millennials are astute and free-thinking, with a refreshing optimism and generosity of spirit. Jacinda Ardern is one of this new breed of Kiwis. They make the neo-liberal die-hards seem moribund, stuck in an ideological morass.

‘Jacindamania’ is not just about an individual politician, however caring and attractive. It marks a changing of the guard between generations, and a time to try out new ideas.

Well worth reading the whole piece on Newsroom.

62 comments on “Salmond on the new political era”

  1. JanM 1

    Reading this article yesterday by this brilliant woman lifted my spirits enormously. Wow!

  2. gsays 2

    For me, this change was articulated by Jacinda a couple of times in the recent leaders debate.
    Early in the piece, the PM was droning on and on, Gower went to stop him and miss adern waved a hand dismissively and said something along the lines of “let him talk”.
    Later when asked what she brought to the table, as quick as a flash she answered “generational change and a vision for new Zealand” (my recall of what was said).

    The times are a changing.

    • When the individuals of a nation compete amongst themselves with no hope for better lives it inevitably results in the collapse of that nation.

      Capitalism with the inequality and the competition that it engenders simply destroys societies.

      This is something we’ve learned before hence the bans in all major religions on greed and usury. We’re having to learn it again because there’s always some people who think that they’re better than others and who will lead society down this path to destruction.

  3. AB 4

    “Things thought too long can be no longer thought” (Yeats)

  4. Strategos 5

    Bill was Rogers assistant in the old days. It may be premature to call it a rejection of the Rogernomes.

  5. tracey 6

    I hope the changing of the guard at the head of Labour heralds all of this. I am not kidding myself that those who have most benefitted from the last 40 years will slink away. Maybe to regroup and come again but nit gone for good.

    I suspect that will be her biggest hurdle, including from some with her own party.

    Thanks Prof Salmond for your wisdom. Again.

    • I am not kidding myself that those who have most benefitted from the last 40 years will slink away.

      Yep. This thread addresses that point:

      It’s all one big dynamic. Older people getting rich—unprecedentedly rich—by dismissing their obligations to society & young people’s future.

      Of course, it’s not just the old people getting rich but they are the ones that ushered in the Greed is Good paradigm that’s destroying our society.

      EDIT:

      Faced with that crisis, we hear the chorus of profitable inaction: gradualism, incrementalism and a “realism” that ignores physical reality.

  6. mike 7

    I desperately hope that Professor Salmond is right in sensing the seismic shift in generations that will sweep away the fatuous and destructive greed of neo-liberalism. It’s been a long time coming. Being a baby boomer has, over these years, become an embarrassing burden. Especially when we remember the promise and excitement of our political beliefs when we were the young people waiting for a seismic shift. When it came, our whole value system was hijacked by a group amongst us few realised was even there. As we focussed on peace and extending the great benefits New Deal politics had given us, our idealism blinded us to those who saw our pursuit of individual freedom as an opportunity to screw others, and our laziness in formulating new structures an easy beat. What we got in the end was a dictatorship. A dictatorship of salesmen, which grew into one of corporatisation and advertising. Its more recent focus on hatred for education and rational thought is the perfect corollary for a business dictatorship, in that the pursuit of profit at all costs requires base cunning, not study or reason. Inquiry tends to shine light into corners corporates would rather not have exposed. Salman Rushdie has recently pointed to the stupidity of, ‘this idea that the elite is now the educated class, rather than the wealthy class. So you’ve got a government with more billionaires in it than ever in history, but we’re the elite – journalists and college professors and novelists, not the ones with private planes and beach front properties in the Bahamas. It’s a weird time.”
    Many baby boomers have been hankering for the seismic shift Professor Salmond senses. After thirty years in purgatory I think we hanker for the shift even more than we did for our own. At least this time it seems we have a generation that’s prepared to work hard to achieve it.

    • JanM 7.1

      Very well said, Mike – I do hope the shift is successful. When you can see the possible end in sight, you begin to realise how much grief you have suppressed for so long. Hopefully, this time, we will be more aware of the ‘spoilers’ within

  7. Bill 8

    Yup. There’s a sea-change underway throughout swathes of ‘the western’ world and the so-called “Washington Consensus” is looking shaky.

    But pretenders are attempting to ride that sea-change – Macron and Trudeau come to mind.

    So where’s Jacinda’s NZ Labour Party positioned? Is it more alongside Trudeau and Macron than it is it in step with Corbyn and Sanders?

    If the tone of press coverage can give any indication (and I think it acts as a reasonable barometer), then we’d have to conclude that Jacinda and NZ Labour are not the alternative to Liberalism many seem to hope for.

    Or there’s the observation that doing “better” (NZ Labour aspiration) is not doing differently. Just saying.

    • Pat 8.1

      you would appear to have company in your musings

      http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2017/09/jacindas-biggest-challenge-redefining.html

      ….time will tell, but one thing is for sure we do not need 3 more years of what we’ve had

      • Bill 8.1.1

        NZ is going to get another three years of Liberal governance led up by either National or NZ Labour. It would be preferable in my book to have that government led by NZ Labour.

        But seeing as how I’m no fan of Liberalism (never have been) I’ll be voting for a party that will hopefully have the wherewithal to make their tenure uncomfortable.

        Essentially, the beginning of end for Liberalism in NZ (if it’s to begin) commences after 23rd September, and it doesn’t unfold within the Beehive.

        • Pat 8.1.1.1

          if the end of (neo) Liberalism is to unfold then ultimately the Beehive will be involved

        • Incognito 8.1.1.2

          I reckon that the Beehive will be one of the last bastions of and possibly one of the last battlegrounds against (neo)liberalism. The Establishment will resist and fight back and retrench behind the last walls of its power. Never forget that the political system not only made it possible for (neo)liberalism to take hold and ‘flourish’ but also that (neo)liberalism in turn changed the political system to suit its ideological pursuits. In other words, the two are near-inseparable, inoperable and possibly incurable.

  8. Economic growth and progress is about serving your people.

    Actually, the economy is about ensuring that everyone has a good living standard, that no one is in poverty and that we live within the sustainable limits set by the environment.

    That pretty much rules out economic growth and rich people. Economic development on the other hand is a must have.

  9. Ad 10

    Stop looking for a thesis when you should just read what’s on the packet.

    You’ll get housing reform, transport reform, water reform, tax reform, labour reform, tertiary education reform, and health reform.
    Its no mystery. It’s published policy.

    There are no super-brains in her senior ranks. No hidden agendas either.

    Bowalley Road is mired in sickly nostalgia and hasn’t delivered anything except apocalyptic binge-purge cycles for a decade.

    If she makes it, it will be her way, with no mechanistic ideology, just well-forecast policy.

    • Pat 10.1

      assume thats aimed at me as i posted the Bowalley link….
      “You’ll get housing reform, transport reform, water reform, tax reform, labour reform, tertiary education reform, and health reform.
      Its no mystery. It’s published policy.

      agreed

      ‘There are no super-brains in her senior ranks. No hidden agendas either.”

      agree and disagree….the consequences of the agenda are deliberately withheld…and I’m comfortable with that.

      “Bowalley Road is mired in sickly nostalgia and hasn’t delivered anything except apocalyptic binge-purge cycles for a decade”

      largely disagree, CT would appear a fan of Keynesian theory (as am I to a degree).however his understanding 0f history and his intimate knowledge of the period of change in our recent past is invaluable when he writes his provocative articles

      “If she makes it, it will be her way, with no mechanistic ideology, just well-forecast policy.”

      largely agree, expect JA will indeed have a great personal influence over the direction any Labour led government takes , and on current outline that can only be for the better

  10. I am loving the generational change happening. I want the gnats out. Labour under JA is saying some really good things. I see the Greens doing well too. Overall it is all going really well. Let’s keep focused on the goals and keep working hard to get the gnats out.

  11. eco Maori/kiwi 12

    Yes another great lady joining in our fight for a change in the systems of New Zealand and the world. New Zealand is a world leader in changing systems for the better of the oppressed .

  12. Wayne 13

    Nothing Jacinda has said signals an end to neoliberalism if by that it means the basic structure of the economic system.
    More like Helen Clark, mark 2 but with a much less strict school marm aspect. And of course the interests and perspectives of a new generation.
    Justin Trudeau and President Marcon for instance have not embarked on whole economic change. To the extent Marcon has it is for a more market approach.

    • DSpare 13.1

      Wayne

      like Helen Clark, mark 2 but with… the interests and perspectives of a new generation.

      So; completely unlike Helen Clark, in other words (unless you mean that she they are both female leaders of Labour – in which case English is the same as Muldoon). As for; “strict school marm aspect”, I know it’s been said that; “the past is another country”, but I didn’t think that was what you were meaning when you said you were travelling overseas. How was the 19th century?

      Regarding; “an end to neoliberalism”, this is a voice your might be more likely to pay attention to:

      Bolger says neoliberal economic policies have absolutely failed. It’s not uncommon to hear that now; even the IMF says so… “”They have failed to produce economic growth and what growth there has been has gone to the few at the top,” Bolger says, not of his own policies specifically but of neoliberalism the world over.

      He laments the levels of inequality and concludes “that model needs to change.”

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/91769882/The-9th-floor-Jim-Bolger-says-neoliberalism-has-failed-NZ-and-its-time-to-give-unions-the-power-back

      • WILD KATIPO 13.1.1

        I want to know if the surf was great on his holiday in Afghanistan.

        They say the desert makes great mirages.

        Just as reliable as ‘ Waynes’ neo liberalism.

    • Andre 13.2

      “Neoliberalism (neo-liberalism)[1] refers primarily to the 20th-century resurgence of 19th-century ideas associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism.[2]:7 These include economic liberalization policies such as privatization, fiscal austerity, deregulation, free trade,[3] and reductions in government spending in order to increase the role of the private sector in the economy and society” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoliberalism

      As Ad notes upthread, under Jacinda’s leadership we would be likely to get “housing reform, transport reform, water reform, tax reform, labour reform, tertiary education reform, and health reform”. But those reforms appear unlikely to increase privatization, fiscal austerity, deregulation etc, quite the opposite is more likely. So no, not neo-liberal. But not a revolution away from the mixed public-private economy we have now, either. It’ll be liberal, particularly socially liberal, but not neo-liberal.

      • tracey 13.2.1

        I certainly hope so. Of course the devil is always in definitions of things, such as, “reform”.

    • Stuart Munro 13.3

      Helen, for all her neo-liberalism, was still infinitely better than your vile kleptocracy Wayne. I just hope Jacinda has big enough teeth to savage the ministers who indulged in corruption.

      • That would be nice to see. Can’t happen though unless there’s already laws to bring them to justice.

        Of course, the big one would be the new government putting in place effective measures against corruption.

        • Stuart Munro 13.3.1.1

          We have laws on the books now quite adequate to punish the kind of frank corruption that has become commonplace under this failed administration – given the political will.

        • eco Maori/kiwi 13.3.1.2

          Draco T Bastard +100

      • Patricia Bremner 13.3.2

        Stuart, Jacinda has shown a deft ability to deal with problems as they appear.

        She has called as she sees it. So far I give her 3 out of 4. She could have handled the situation with Metiria with more generosity imo.

        She is a large picture player, so views problems from that perspective.
        “How does this effect the goal???”

        Her aims are lofty and indicate value stances, not wealth to be made.

        • Stuart Munro 13.3.2.1

          Yes – if she lives up to what seem to be her intentions she’ll do rather well.

          But in constitutional terms a rigorous scrutiny of the peculations of the outgoing kleptocracy is rather important – not merely in terms of contemporary justice, but to consolidate a precedent of less corrupt administrations for the future.

    • tracey 13.4

      “school marm”
      Still something of the sexist/misogynist ay Wayne.

  13. Richard Christie 14

    Dame Salmond seems to be writing with the misconception that Labour’s economic positioning is not essentially neoliberal.

    • tracey 14.1

      I think she writes from Hope Richard…

    • Pat 14.2

      if Labour are to greatly increase state/socail housing and implement a government run and funded affordable home programme (as stated) then that is a fundamental step away from the small government/market led ideology of neoliberalism…it cannot help but be the first step in unwinding 30 years of misconception.

      • McFlock 14.2.1

        that’s the thing that really bites my balls about the “Labour are neoliberal” argument: they want Labour to break in 100 days social and cultural attitudes that took decades to construct.

        If you promise unicorns to a population that expects to be lied to, they’re even less likely to believe you.

        • Stuart Munro 14.2.1.1

          I think many people would be quite satisfied with a change as rapid as that under Roger Douglas. Less even, as long as the direction and intention were unmistakeable.

          • McFlock 14.2.1.1.1

            Even if “many” equalled “most”, that’s the rub, ain’t it. How do you persuade people your direction and intentions are unmistakeable in an environment of chronic mistrust?

            • Stuart Munro 14.2.1.1.1.1

              I think a few good faith departures from the status quo would establish some credibility with those who are looking for more.

              We’re not really seeing the signals I’d expect if Labour were truly moving away from neoliberalism. Things like accommodating a few left voices (Hone springs to mind), or going some way to endorsing Metiria’s anti-poverty concerns.

              In this instance my use of ‘many’ referred to readers here, some of whom have indicated they want more from Jacinda than a makeover for Labour and to be rid of the rump of Key’s kleptocracy.

              That said, the things she said in the debate about housing being a right seem to indicate a thaw in Labour’s position. It’s just that things have got pretty bad, so that I at least hope that is a first step of many, rather than being all we’re going to see.

              • McFlock

                The key to keeping the momentum going is in their coalition partner. Greens will push them left, NZ1 will push back on some things.

                For me, it’s not about trust or credibility. It’s simply that Labour are better than national, and a non-national government needs Labour. Everything else is secondary to that – without a change in government, things will keep getting worse.

                How significant that change in government becomes is down to what pressure the governing parties are under to stick to their campaign rhetoric. The biggest pressure comes from their coalition partners.

                Remember, some of the best and longest-lasting policies from Lab5 came from their coalition partners or private members’ bills.

                • Richard Christie

                  they want Labour to break in 100 days social and cultural attitudes that took decades to construct.

                  100 days? Aww c’mon,

                  It’s been almost 30 years since the the fourth Labour Govt. There has been been ample time to signal any sincere turnaround in economic position. The sad truth is that Labour’s stance over that period has been a factor in embedding those neoliberal attitudes.

                  • McFlock

                    Well they weren’t going to wake up in 1991 and reverse course immediately, were they?

                    They’ve been changing over the last few elections. You might not have noticed. Now Labour’s well on course for change, the country will follow at its own pace.

    • Patricia Bremner 14.3

      When you consider the first policy was to discuss “conditions of work”, perhaps she is looking at the signals of change.

  14. Ad 15

    At 71 anything under 50 looks like generational change.

  15. Macro 16

    Frankly continued economic growth, in a finite world, is a scientific falsehood. When is Labour going to admit this?
    What is needed is not Economic growth – but achieving prosperity without growth, and that is actually not all that difficult – but some will have to give up a little to allow it to happen (and that is the difficult bit).

    • What is needed is not Economic growth – but achieving prosperity without growth, and that is actually not all that difficult – but some will have to give up a little to allow it to happen (and that is the difficult bit).

      QFT

      What we need is economic development – increasing diversity that caters to the local market and minimises international trade. It’s unlikely that we’ll see that though as Labour has been focussed upon trade for it’s entire being as the be all, end all of increased prosperity. This is why we have a national focus on farming despite the fact that agriculture only employs ~7% of the population and is the primary reason for the declining state of our enivironment.

    • Siobhan 16.2

      +1
      While we are at it, I personally am not going to vote for anyone who says we need ‘increased productivity’ to get wage growth. Productivity has been growing for…yonks. And sure, its a numbers game, with more people working more hours. And I realise that GDP per hour worked is stagnant….
      However most people who I talk to, orchard workers, supermarket workers, engineers of all types, teachers etc ALL talk about being expected to do more work as individuals, and that their workplaces are producing more with less staff.
      So whatever’s wrong..its nothing to do with the workers.
      Our wages are supposedly not growing due to productivity issues…yet ‘the economy’ and shareholder profits seem to be wonderfully ‘productive’.
      Without starting a debate about Venezuela…how about a “Law for the Control of Fair Costs, Prices and Profits” in NZ.

      https://www.reuters.com/article/sweden-welfare-profit/rpt-swedish-profit-cap-on-private-welfare-companies-to-be-put-before-parliament-idUSL8N1LK0RU

    • Patricia Bremner 16.3

      Jacinda made a statement that “Climate change” is her generation’s “Nuclear free ” moment.

      If all policy is through that basis, change is coming. Huge change.

      • Macro 16.3.1

        And yet Patricia Labour publishes Election adds like the one at the top of this Post saying:
        “Economic Growth and Progress is about Serving our People”
        which clearly shows they are still in lifting the boats by growing the economy ideology.

    • eco Maori/kiwi 16.4

      Macro we will have to give up the money sham and some people will lose all there power man there will be a lot of tears .

      • Macro 16.4.1

        Yeah I know! But there is a good book on the subject “Prosperity without Growth” By Tim Jackson which is worth a read.
        and
        “What is the Economy for anyway?” also excellent.

  16. Well , I’ve railed against neo liberalism frequently , – as a lot of people here and elsewhere have , – seems it just might be possible soon to finally be able to take a rest from that soon.

    Thirty three years of taking shit from fuckers like that is a long time to contain simmering anger.

    And watching thirty three years of their bullshit justifying of themselves and their greed by pouring salt in the wound of every worker each time they opened their filthy lying sewers they call their mouths on every TV and radio interview.

    Being a manual labourer / semi skilled tradie most of my life during that whole era , – I only know too bloody well what it was like , – for me and thousands of others , – and their ( usually young ) family’s.

    I knew what a pack of shitheaded pricks WINZ could be , – depending on who you happened to get on the day.

    Not only would I like to see a move away from neo liberalism , – but a working group set up to establish parameters definitive of neo liberalism, as an ideology , as a philosophy and as an economic theory. And that also includes recent historic economic theory’s as far back as the 19th century such as that expounded and promulgated by the likes of Friedrich Hayek among others. I would like to see that once defined , – measures were then taken to make certain practices illegal , and reinforced by regulatory practice.

    Think that too difficult?

    One has to look no further than the social democratic practices and Keynesianism practiced by New Zealand post 1945 – 1984. The most prosperous and egalitarian era of this country’s history.

    It would be possibly too much to ask for retrospective justice in regards to treason charges by manner of theft of a nations assets and the selling off of those assets at ridiculous prices via inside trading , – however , – there is enough out in the community today that would be baying for some sort of restorative justice met out to those who originally / currently plundered ( 1984 – present ) and ransacked , – and indirectly – caused the deaths of thousands due to their treasonous , anti community , individualistic self centered philosophy of neo liberalism and relegated hundreds of thousands of others to a life of near poverty. Let alone being responsible for the attempted weakening of our social democracy by such Free Trade Deals as the TTPA.

    New Right Fight – Who are the New Right?
    http://www.newrightfight.co.nz/pageA.html

  17. Incognito 18

    A very good post.

    I also got seduced and sucked in and drank from the neoliberal well and it tasted good initially and I came back for more. But it became too much of good thing. It seems I am not alone in this.

    • Well don’t feel bad,… chemical manufacturers employ the same tactic when making ant poison as well so you definitely are not alone .

      798265093789058794585968588695874579857894174856472933357969857798759947598774987978947469576957685768586576058608650609809863095688765786895765865768576857698579579409049767378798784794711598779743978945989978
      ants cant be wrong.

      Until they are dead.

  18. Peter 19

    “But, here’s the thing: Campaigns — especially those for president — are rarely won and lost on “carefully thought-out policies.” They are almost always won on emotions — positive ones or negatives ones. It’s a lesson Clinton should have learned when she lost the Democratic presidential primary back in 2008.” CNN 7 September

    I believe Dame Salmond is on to it. My guess is that Ardern is doing the better job of tapping into emotions. Her slogan does just that. She has the ability to connect emotionally with a wide range of people and address the issues of the next generation.

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