- Date published:
7:30 am, October 1st, 2023 - 5 comments
Categories: act, Christopher Luxon, david seymour, election 2023, national, privatisation, public services, same old national, uncategorized - Tags:
Skyfall was 10 years ago but it has a message for all public servants local or central as you choose your vote.
With Luxon at the helm and Seymour filling key cabinet positions, you know there is no limit to how many of you will be cut in order to afford the tax cuts. You have grown used over 6 years to being elevated above the market. Like in days of old. But when National and ACT get in, that privilege is assassinated.
For those public servants of a redistributionist persuasion who see poverty as worth alleviating, or even for those of a minimally statist persuasion who see state instruments simply greasing the wheels of efficient international capital, you know they are going to come for you irrespective. They won’t stop at the consultants. They won’t stop at the Maori and women’s and islander and other pc departments. They won’t stop at the bullshit quangos.
They will need to liquidate tens of thousands of public sector salaries to afford what they have promised.
That means you. Don’t think that legislative protection like EECA or EA or NZTA or ACC or Pharmac or or anything else with a board will be sufficient protection. Vote for your job or you have a high chance of losing it.
The Prime Minister has taken the position we’re a bunch of antiquated bloody idiots fighting a war we don’t understand and can’t possibly win. Fer chrissakes listen to yourself we’re a democracy and we’re accountable to the people we’re trying to defend.”
To which M responds:
You don’t get this do you. Whoever’s doing this, whoever’s behind this, he knows us. He’s one of us. He comes from the same place as Bond. A place you say doesn’t exist….. the shadows.”
Bond even in the era of Daniel Craig is of course a way to make a caricature of the state in extremis. But M’s response shows that she knows that the only way to survive this kind of Luxon Prime Minister is to be self-identical with the market: a place where policy and market outcome are brutal, fearless, without pity, and licensed to do a kind of violence that pays no redundancy. M needs a kind of public servant who views hard market engagement as necessarily hostile and directly threatening.
Skyfall has a really clear view of political economy, in which even the most secretive and extreme forms of the state are regularly held to public and media scrutiny as long and hard as as they see fit. That is a democratic New Zealand in operation.
Aside such classic corn as “I like you better without your Baretta” as Bond slips nude into the shower behind Severine and she responds “I feel naked without it”, we can see what is at risk for the public servants of Wellington in this election. What is at risk is an even meaner form of the Key government: where like Key stitching together the Sky City deal direct to that board, markets are played one big swaggering commercial play at at time. Deals may well in time explode like Joyce’s Transmission Gully or grossly metastasize like Bridges’ City Rail Link, or do their best to be indistinguishable from market players like Bennetts’ Kainga Ora, but Ministers will surf over waves of your accumulated blood because that is the National-ACT way to redistribute tax: over your salaried dead body.
All the institutions Labour had formed over 6 years, like recentralised health or recentralised tertiary education, they are no sufficient protection when tax cuts require ‘balancing the books’ on the coffins of your careers.
A National-ACT government will need no place for a State Service Commission, or Tertiary Education Commission, or Creative NZ, or university, or commission for talking about carbon markets, or regulator thrown on the red tape bonfire, nor any reason for an NZTA if it gets in the way of an Infrastructure Commission hungry for its first big deal of the term. A National-ACT government has no idea what to do with the public service, so it will stoke its tax cut furnace with the cold dried saving of your dead career.
For all those in local and regional government grown used over 6 years to more and more responsibility, more gradual devolution from the centre to carry out the re-regulation of spatial and agricultural capital, prepare for your career to end. There will be no more regionalisation of nodes of power. There will be no more talk of partnership be it local or communitarian or iwi. Farmer-politicians will roll you over. Real estate players-turned-politicians will write deals over your graves. You will be cheeping chicks in entities really run between heavy-beaked CE and Mayors.
Every single public servant from nurse to lecturer to DPMC needs to vote to save their jobs, and vote against National and ACT starting Monday. Because unlike Daniel Craig, you’re not issued with Walthers to fight back. Be then stirred, not shaken:
Your one bullet is your vote.