Who remembers former Labour MP Matua Shane Jones?
He was the Labour MP and Cabinet Minister who was heavy on rhetorical flourishes but light on work. His most famous achievement was to be outed as having purchased porn on his Ministerial credit card.
He showed his commitment to the Labour Party by taking a specially created job organised by Murray McCully shortly before the 2014 election. He then came back as deputy leader of New Zealand First. During his tenure NZ First’s party vote declined by two thirds and he was placed a distant third in the Northland seat, a seat he self predicted that he would win.
His budget takes are full of those familiar rhetorical flourishes mixed with gibberish that featured throughout his career.
Like this take:
This year Grant Robertson, despite Covid-response bouquets, will receive brickbats as families struggle with economic hardship and social engineering. Too many firms are grappling with workforce shortages and creeping red tape. Robertson will lecture us about climate change whilst minions run around Auckland puncturing SUV tyres.
Kiwis know the private sector is the economic engine, generating funds to meet our societal obligations such as health. It is already spluttering and there will be a loud backfire clap after this Budget. The motor is weighed down with new costs from cameras on fishing boats through to scrappy unions. At the very least, the Government should cease feeding inflation and call time on unnecessary regulation.
Where to start? Claiming that social inflation is causing inflation is a new one. Complaining about full employment is another. And suggesting that Labour Party minions are responsible for an isolated case of tyre slashing is borderline defamatory.
As for the economy it is performing very well especially compared to overseas. If Shane ended his lifetime habit of not reading papers he would realise this. The cameras on fishing boats are not new and there is no sign of unions being more scrappy.
But his rhetoric gets worse. He says that he hopes climate change funding will be “for practical infrastructure and not wasted on minority hobbies such as bike-riding in Auckland.” He also says that the budget should “cancel the bottomless pit of consultancy gravy known as light rail”.
If we do away with walkways and cycleways and public transport then there is not a great deal else that we can do.
He finishes with a flourish which makes you wonder how he ever became a Labour MP and says that without external experience, CEOs of public service entities shouldn’t be employed to run the State. Private enterprise experience rather than a pure state sector diet is crucial in maintaining “the engine of growth”.
What is particularly galling is Shane believing that he can criticise the budget even though he has no idea what is going to be in it. Such uber confidence about a subject that he has absolutely no knowledge about is a feature of his career.
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