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Still no plan

Written By: - Date published: 7:05 am, December 22nd, 2011 - 59 comments
Categories: economy, Environment, national - Tags:

“Once in office, you’ve got to do something. That is why having a plan matters.” – Simon Power, 2011, valedictory speech to parliament

The government’s paucity of ideas is such that they could only muster 2100 words in their speech from the throne yesterday.

Last term they at least managed 3500, and Helen Clark after 6 years still had 4500 action-packed words of plans in 2005.

But no, 2100 words, largely filled with what their coalition partners are contributing, and asset sales.  Their only real plan is still to sell it off.

As David Shearer said in his excellent reply:

New Zealanders know in their heart of hearts that “sell it off” is the last resort of a government that has run out of ideas.

We can’t get richer by selling our inheritance.

It only leaves us worse off.

Once they’re gone, they’re gone.

The Government doesn’t even know how much they’re going to get for selling them.

But they are happy to pay a hundred million dollars in fees to foreign advisers helping to sell them.

I can think of much better uses for a hundred million dollars.

I think we all can.

There were few other ideas for how to improve the country, just vague empty slogans, much like their election platform.  They stand for growth and jobs and fast broadband and all those nice things – but they tell us no plan of how they’re going to achieve them.

There was also an eerie silence on the Environment, despite yet more extreme weather events still being mopped up in Nelson and the South African leg of climate change talks recently finishing.  The only mentions were in the context of a strong economy allowing us to look after the environment (when the reverse is probably more appropriate), and also watering down the ETS yet further and encouraging oil and gas exploration.  It doesn’t bode well.  Environment is gone from the National front bench, while Labour now has it with their Deputy Leader.  National will neglect the issue of our times.

No plan on the environment, no plan for jobs or skills, no plan for rising inequality, no plan for the coming economic crisis, no plan for the record number headed to Australia in the last 12 months, no plan to get unemployment down, no plan to raise wages, no plan to…

You can see why Simon Power took the money and left.

59 comments on “Still no plan”

  1. Bored 1

    Good riddance to Power, his attempt to rationalise, streamline and make the courts more efficient included:

    * Pre trial disclosure of the defense to the prosecution eroding the accused’s right to remain silent.
    * Dissallowing the right to a trial by jury.
    * Allowing a trial to proceed in the absence of the accused.
    * Remove the word “substantial” from the “miscarriage of justice” test.

    Basically he wanted to overturn hundreds of years of established rights to save a few bucks. That was his idea of using power. Fortunately he did not get his way. Where Shonkey is a calculating bankster Power was a true RWNJ authoritarian.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1

      You havent seen anything yet – most of that stuff is Collins work, Power just had to deliver it.

      Why do you think he left, too many knives in his back.

      Collins will now have Electoral law ‘tidied up ‘ as well the things she couldnt get Power to do

      • Bored 1.1.1

        Interest that Collins the evil bitch is behind it. Another lawyer with no respect for rights. There is a history of lawyers in politics doing dreadful things….Robespierre, Nixon, McCarthy….and now a minor midget One Car Crusher Collins. Sublime to the ridiculous.

        • Ari 1.1.1.1

          Speaking of which, we should definitely combine some Lawyer and Politician jokes. I’m sure they’d make lovely holiday messages to Collins. 😉

  2. Good comment Ben.  I listened to the speech and saw the leaders’ speeches and I had this nagging feeling that something was missing and you have got it right, there is no plan.
     
    At a time when the country and the world are facing the most significant issues possible including climate change, resource depletion and financial devastation you would think that our leaders would have some idea of what they are going to do.
     
    It seems that National has a plan of sorts.  It involves digging a hole in the ground and firmly inserting their collective head into it.

    • That’s one of the failed plans of the election, trying to claim National have no plan. Surely Labour will come up some new ideas to promote their cause. Hopefully they won’t all be negative/anti/bad government and they can show they can lead a positive government some time in the future.

      • RedBlooded 2.1.1

        Gosh you mean like that positive aspiration speech given by John Key after David Shearers speech. No negativity on that side of the house. No siree Boss.

        • Pete George 2.1.1.1

          I haven’t had a chance to watch any of the speeches yet, but if what I’ve heard of Key’s content is an accurate reflection then I’m disappointed with that amount of negativity too.

          I’ve not liked some of Key’s gung ho politics and negative attack and exclusion politics in the past. He’s been more inclusive across the spectrum than probably any predecessor but there’s certainly room for improvement.

          Unless Key changes we won’t see it from him – next PM maybe. And I think Shearer is potentially the one to do that.

      • Jackal 2.1.2

        For once I agree with you Pete George. National does have a plan which they have spent a long time writing… on toilet paper.

      • mickysavage 2.1.3

        Well Petey tell us what National’s plan is.
         
        I have had a good think about it and all that I can come up for National is this:
         
        1.  Sell assets to rich mates.
        2.  Bash beneficiaries
        3.  Keep smiling and waving
        4.  ?
         
        Although it is not as bad as United Follicle’s plan which goes like this:
         
        1.  Act like a lap dog.
        2.  Get a haircut.
        3.  ?

        • aerobubble 2.1.3.1

          Key wants labour to drop CGt as its makes Labour unelectable.

          That’s Key’s setting the agenda after winning the non-election, which was
          won by not discussing the issues, placed after the Rudgy to cover the non-campaign
          campaign.

          Greens however do have a plan, hopefully Labour can get over themselves and
          back it.

          Referendum on Asset sales, and a couple of one days strikes should kick Key
          out office.

          but this requires Labour to also have a plan and motivated to do more than just wait Key out.

        • mik e 2.1.3.2

          borrow and hope no one notices how much
          muddle through economics by shonkey and dipstick

      • felix 2.1.4

        “That’s one of the failed plans of the election, trying to claim National have no plan. “

        That was Pete at 8:44 this morning. Four and a half hours later he still has nothing to add to micky’s summary of the Nat plan.

        I expect he’ll be along shortly with the usual “I don’t have all day to fool around on blogs you know” (which he clearly does as any fule no).

  3. Blue 3

    National do have a plan, just not the sort we’re talking about.

    Their plan is to stay in power as long as possible, sneaking whatever right-wing policy they can past the public, a bit here and a bit there, slowly moving us towards their goal of neoliberal nirvana.

    If they get three terms, or even four, New Zealand will be a vastly different place to what they started with, but no one will have noticed exactly when their country started to turn into a beast they don’t recognise.

    Boiling the frog slowly was always the plan.

    • Ant 3.1

      I agree, all the structure was put in place 20 years ago, they don’t have to do anything as radical these days.

  4. Ianupnorth 4

    They do have a plan – some of it would appear to be here http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10774769
     
    Let everyone leave or find work overseas!

  5. Enough is Enough 5

    Don’t be fooled people. National has an evil plan that was put together about the time English was rolled from the leadership but articulated when Key became leader.

    The plan was always swallow the dead rats in the first term and be Labour Lite (“i.e do nothing”), get a second term and then unleash the hellish hard right policies before we blink.

    Next year the welfare state will be gutted. Ruth Richardson will look like Santa Clause after next years budget. Our infrstructure will be sold to the Chinese…we can’t stop them with the FTA. And to top it all off the unions will get bashed, ECA II is coming to a workplace near you soon.

    When growth stalls we can expect more cut to public services and to stimulate the economy the rich will more than likely get another tax cut.

    This is not a do nothing government. They will do a hell of a lot in the next 12 months…all of it terrible.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      +1

      That’s it exactly. It’s why National didn’t release any policies during the election period as they knew that if they did there’d be no way they’d get elected.

    • dancerwaitakere 5.2

      All under the guise of an impending financial collapse, with the added worry about the rebuild in Christchurch.

    • queenstfarmer 5.3

      I’m afraid such claims lack credibility when they were hysterically made ahead of National’s first term, and came to nothing.

      Although your suggestion “Our infrstructure will be sold to the Chinese…we can’t stop them with the FTA” is interesting, because it was Labour who negotiated, drafted and signed NZ up to the FTA with the Chinese. So if you now claim that the FTA means we cannot stop selling our infrastructure to China, on your theory this must be entirely Labour’s fault.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.3.1

        So if you now claim that the FTA means we cannot stop selling our infrastructure to China, on your theory this must be entirely Labour’s fault.

        Ah, no. Labour wasn’t and isn’t unnecessarily selling the infrastructure – NAct is and so it’s all their fault that we’re going to become even poorer and lose sovereignty of our country.

        • queenstfarmer 5.3.1.1

          What does floating minority holdings on the NZX have to do with sovereignty? Or with the FTA? Or the Chinese?

          If you want an example of 100% sale of infrastructure to the Chinese involving the FTA, look no further than Labour’s last term in office, when they approved the 100% sale of Wellington’s power lines to China:

          Consent has been granted to the joint bid by Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Limited (CKI) and Hongkong Electric Holdings Limited (HKE) to acquire up to 100 percent of the shares of Vector Wellington Electricity Network Limited (VWENL), Finance Minister Michael Cullen said today.

          Labour just cannot seem to get over its hypocrisy on this subject.

          • Colonial Viper 5.3.1.1.1

            IMO that sale was wrong and this generation sale is wrong.

            Unless of course Queenie you are of the “two wrongs make a Right (profit)” camp.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.3.1.1.2

            Slight difference, the government didn’t actually own Wellington’s power lines. Was it wrong to approve that sale? Yes it was, it should have bought them.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 5.3.1.1.3

            Wellington Lines company was allready owned overseas ( before Vector) like a lot of those so called farms sold overseas when labour was in government ( most of those Ha were very large forestry blocks, one block of 3.5 mill Ha actually came back in 75% NZ ownership but the rules said because of the minority overseas owners it was counted as a ‘new sale’)

        • insider 5.3.1.2

          how much ‘sovereignty’ do you or I have over the Powerco electricity assets compared to those owned by Windflow?

          • Colonial Viper 5.3.1.2.1

            Its not about individual ownership mate, that’s what the Right wants from its public asset sell off.

      • Colonial Viper 5.3.2

        I’m afraid such claims lack credibility when they were hysterically made ahead of National’s first term, and came to nothing.

        Uhhhh…its been a common view that National was going to soft soak their first term, and then rip shit and bust 2nd term with the same old neoliberal disaster capitalism we have seen overseas.

        As far as I can see that remains the plan.

      • felix 5.3.3

        Bullshit queenstframer, as CV says that’s been the widely held opinion since the Hollow Men emails laid out exactly that plan.

        Bill English also confirmed it in 2008 when he thought no-one was listening.

  6. fisiani 6

    The government plan is on the following video. watch from 6.39 for the plan.

    The plaintive desperate and totally untrue bleatings here of “there is no plan” get wearisome.
    Get a few new lines. Thanks
    The National Plan in detail can be viewed at http://www.national.org.nz. I won’t link it for that would probably be termed flaming.
    Seasons greetings. May you one day see the light.

    • Ari 6.1

      Oh, we know there’s the unofficial plan, but the official plan is rubbish and doesn’t deserve the name. Let’s see:

      Waste money on roading infrastructure that costs more than its projected return.
      Have a firesale of state assets so that National can complain when Labour has to buy them back at a loss.
      Flood our island neighbours and create a huge influx of refugees by stalling our ETS and acting as a roadblock in international climate negotiations. (That’s not to mention the probability of us being invaded by China for farmland if catastrophic climate change isn’t averted)
      Punish beneficiaries.
      Take away civil rights to “make the courts more efficient”.
      Focus our health system on elective surgeries for the rich and elderly instead of preventive medicine and critical services.
      Take credit for the Greens’ push for insulation of homes.
      Cut funds to charities doing vital work that the government refuses to engage in itself.
      Create school leaderboards.
      Punish teachers with inaccurate performance measures that won’t help education.
      Set ECE targets that won’t be met due to funding cuts.
      Build a stadium in Addington for some inexplicable reason, despite there being more than enough of those.

      How is any of that rubbish going to deal with the recession, the environmental crisis, or the social problems we’re facing? Kick out the 1% from government, and we’ll do much better.

    • Georgecom 6.2

      Which ‘plan’ do you mean Fisiani?

      Do you mean the veiled alternative ‘plan’ outlined by folk above?

      If your contention that such a ‘plan’ doesn’t exist, then I have no idea of what you are referring to.

      If we utilise some common understandings of the term ‘plan’
      “A scheme, program, or method worked out beforehand for the accomplishment of an objective”
      “To formulate a scheme or program for the accomplishment, enactment”
      “An orderly arrangement of parts of an overall design or objective”

      This suggests something methodical and thought through, with defined purpose and end goals.

      Clearly the last 3 years of the National Government doesn’t meet that definition.

      That is, unless you believe the Government has been planning for ‘Wave goodbye to economic growth and your loved ones’, stagnation, unemployment, high poverty and inequality and ongoing environmental degredation. If that is what the National Government has been planning to achieve, they have done very well.

  7. coolas 7

    I agree with those who see National does have a plan, but it is disguised, and being applied with stealth. The plan is simple. Move as much wealth as possible from Public to Private. Asset sales is blunt and obvious, the other stuff less so: policy in ACC, Education, Health, NZAid, and so on, are all favouring private sector contracting of services. Shrink State involvement in favour of corporate participation is the plan. And, yep, it’s Thatcherite ideology – harness the human potential for greed.

  8. randal 8

    the plan is to socialise losses and privatise profits while graabing as much as you can.

    • coolas 8.1

      Yep, all about grabbing, as opposed to sharing. Pursuit of personal profit before the needs of the tribe, but that’s the core of today’s capitalism, is it not?

  9. Unfortunately, Labour’s ‘plan’ included raising the pension age to 67 which has got to be one of the most anti-working class measures in a long time.

    Philip Ferguson
    http://rdln.wordpress.com/2011/12/16/burying-or-reviving-the-corpse-of-social-democracy/

  10. KJT 10

    It is not that NACT have no plan. they do!

    Their problem is, if they had been honest about their plan, no one would have voted for them.

    The plan: To steal much as they can from all of us before they are voted out.

  11. vto 11

    “But they are happy to pay a hundred million dollars in fees to foreign advisers helping to sell them”

    Look, this is obscene. It is bad enough that the assets are being ditched, but employing some goof to sell what are the easiest things in the country to sell is just D U M B.

    I am sure the unquestioned line is that ‘oh, we need to get outside contractors to do this, we don’t have the expertise, blah blah blah’, but the absolute reality is that a sales agent is N O T N E E D E D.

    New Zealand governments have done countless so-called private commerce type, and other, activities since its inception. New Zealand governments have done all sorts of things that not a single private organisation has ever done. Examples include;

    1. Setting up banks.
    2. Developing businesses such as airlines.
    3. Building railways which criss cross the entire country, including hills and mountains and rivers and swamps.
    4. Developed thousands of houses.
    5. Built and operated an entire army.
    6. Dealt with countless natural disasters.
    7. Set up and run an organisation which takes money from people (ird).
    8. Developed an entire health system which provides for people to be born, looked after and buried at the end.
    9 ….. please keep adding….

    Not a single other organisation in New Zealand, public or private, has E V E R done as much. The government is loaded to the hilt with experience and ability to turn its mind to create, sell, develop, run, organise, build, destroy, amend, legalise,,, anything.

    So why the fuck does this useless government need to pay a bunch of sales agents $100,000,000.00 plus GST to sell something for which there will be a queue?

    It’s fucked.

    And brainless.

    • Dan1 11.1

      And too many New Zealanders voted for the so called “aspirational” nonsense of the NACT party. No policy but aspirational! I refuse to allow my depression to impede my Christmas whanau gathering. My resolution for the New Year is to do my bit to expose the lying conniving government that we have.

  12. Pete 12

    The Nats were created by the rich. They pandered. They devolved. They look and feel human. Some think they’re being human. There are many copies. And they have no plan.

  13. james111 13

    Just loved Keys speech he got it right on David Shearer will be full time stopping all the fractions fighting in the Labour Party.

    David Cunliffe doesn’t like David Parker. David Parker does not like Grant Robertson. Grant Robertson does not like Clayton Cosgrove. Clayton Cosgrove . . . he’s not real fond of Andrew Little. Andrew Little doesn’t like Shane Jones. Shane Jones doesn’t like anybody in the Labour Party. Phil Goff does not like David Cunliffe, and Annette King doesn’t like anyone that Phil Goff doesn’t like. And I say to myself, it’s not hard to see why they chose someone who’s spent half his life in war-torn places like Somalia and Bosnia, because that’s what the Labour Party’s like now.”

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Wait until the NAT factions see that Key has outlived his usefulness (that happened about a fortnight before the election). Combine that with NAct losing their slim majority through fate or foul play.

      That’ll be when the real fireworks start.

    • Armchair Critic 13.2

      …David Shearer will be full time stopping all the fractions fighting…

      All the fractions? He’s the leader of the opposition, not a maths teacher.

      Your idle speculation, which is all your comment amounts to, and your on-screen fantasies are getting a bit over the top. I reckon you’ve jerked off onto the keyboard too many times and stuck the “f” and “r” keys together. How about you clean up your act (and your keyboard) and come back with something intelligent to say.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 13.3

      This is Key’s plan? To spend the next 3 years talking about imagined things happening on the other side of the aisle. Thats in between bashing up poor people and making us scared of criminals. 

  14. Dan1 14

    Armchair, you must realise these trolls follow their leader. Key is the master of mis-speak. Remember his Rubby World Cup troty.
    Factions become fractions which become frictions and thence fictions… which sums up their policies really.

  15. When so many areas deserve the government’s full attention they focus instead on education, our primary system is ranked amongst the top five in the world and yet major reforms are proposed. In education National does have a plan but it has nothing to do with delivering better outcomes for children…
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.com/2011/12/government-attacks-new-zealands-highest.html

    • James111 15.1

      Sure David what went wrong under 9 years of Labour Child Stats were no better

      • mickysavage 15.1.1

        James111 how about you go away and learn up on recent history before making comments like that.
         
        Levels of childhood poverty decreased dramatically under the last Goverment particularly after the introduction of working for families.
         
        And the quality of education provided also improved significantly, until teacher ed was slashed to pay for National Standards PR.

      • Dave Kennedy 15.1.2

        Also James, while Trevor Mallard led the shoddily managed schooling reviews he did increase spending considerably in early childhood education. This was a much needed boost to bring the sector closer to the funding levels of the rest of the OECD (we spend .6% of our GDP on ECE while the OECD average is 1%). When National got in they expressed horror at the increases and immediately cut $400 million from their budget.

    • Craig Glen Eden 15.2

      Interesting stuff Dave shows how nationals approach to education is totally ideological.

  16. Eduardo Kawak 16

    The real unfortunate thing is that National’s “no policies campaign” still won. Labour was second by miles.

    Glad-handing in front of the cameras by Jonkey seemed to be the only campaign strategy and he didn’t even do that very well. Cue tri-shake fumble with Richie and Mr Lapasset, and a certain cafe incident.

    Reminds me of that Flight of the Conchords episode with Brian Sergent as NZ’s Prime Minister. Actually, Sergent does a better job than Jonkey.

    • McFlock 16.1

      They didn’t “win”.
       
      The only reason National can sell assets is the fact it has one proxy and one I’ll-vote-for-anything-as-long-as-I’m-in-cabinet “parties”. If it had its true representation level, it would have a no-sales govt with the maori party. They went from 60% down to 49% based on “no policies”. Winston went from zero to hero based on some actual policies. The greens got a boost from their “oil spills are bad” policy framework which was underlined purely by chance. Labour peaked maybe just a week or two too late.

      The walkover that the local tories were predicting certainly didn’t happen.

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