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Straw Men

Written By: - Date published: 11:40 am, December 22nd, 2010 - 11 comments
Categories: national - Tags: , ,

National are running out their favourite tactic again – the Straw Man.

We see it regularly with every highly-paid “Working Group” they establish.  They choose the participants to make sure they get the ideas they want to implement, plus a bit more.  Then they cleave off the extra bits to look “moderate”.  The ultimate Straw Man is Brash’s 2025 Taskforce – to make the other Working Groups look reasonable.  John Key openly established it and said they were unlikely to take their recommendations – showing its pointlessness for anything other than political posturing.

So, they may be privatising the workplace accident insurance marketplace, but they’re not pushing ACC out entirely.  And their “Steering Group stocktake” has said to kick ACC entirely out of the workplace, motor vehicle and medical injury accounts, so really they’re just being moderate… in much the same way as someone proposing to murder your family, but then only beating you about a bit – you should be thankful, right?

Dr Smith describes the stocktake report as “contradictory”, and leaves Rodney Hide to defend it – but despite it being bad work, he’s still taking some of the recommendations.  If someone’s homework isn’t good enough, you get them to go off and do it again, making sensible recommendations, not just only implement some of it, surely?  Better yet, get the work done by someone else who can put a logical argument together.

Far better a logical argument than the logical fallacy of the middle ground, that National push the media and public into.  They push out the extreme – then get ACT to defend it – to move the Overton Window and look moderate.  It’s all right out of the Crosby Textor playbook I’m sure…

11 comments on “Straw Men ”

  1. Now watch for Lord Ashcroft’s appearance . Key’s secretive friend ‘ unless we can stop it ACC will be sold . And Im expecting UK tax dodger friend of Margaret Thatcher and good mate of Key will be in the background readybto pounce and buy. I bet the payout will be a nice lump sum to the National Party election coffers. Maybe even a bitofcash to ACT. W

  2. SPC 2

    It’s about contracting out support to the unwaged.

    Competiton for ACC, is to prepare the way for insurance modelling and “competition” in welfare – this allows employment co’s to take on UB people and new community groups to take on those incapacitated (SB and IB) and for those on the DPB – well faith based groups would be interested.

    This leaves only Super untouched (for now).

    Ending state sector provision, for privatisation of service delivery – changes the relationship between citizens and government. We know that it allows SOE to place business before politics, and in welfare it allows budget restraint (in the same way health is managed) to dictate decision-making and yet de-politicise this. The reasult will be an increasing acceptance that poverty is too hard (on the budget) and that its the responsibility of individuals and or charity to cope with the consequences.

    It does however mean more capacity to radically cut taxes during the next economic upturn while the poor are cut off and bleeding (1991 reprise with teeth this time – remember the $1B tax cut because of a budget deficit and then the subsequernt $1B income tax cut when the budget went back into surplus).

    PS Will anyone support this idea – submission by the 24th to the Welfare Working Group.

    Allowing workers to resign within 90 days of taking up a job and going onto the dole – would allow workers to change jobs with lower risk and beneficiaries to try out jobs at no financial risk.

    It balances out the employee/employer rights in the first 90 days – makes it a two way relationship, where each is able to move on with no risk. Allowing beneficiaries to try out jobs at no financial risk reduces barriers to employment.

  3. Rodel 3

    Great timing. Week 1: Newspapers run a series of cherry pick articles to show how inefficient &
    amoral ACC is- ‘journalists’ congratulate themselves on great stories.

    Week 2: Smith announces surprise thin end of wedge changes to ACC.

    Week 3: Christmas is here, the re-start of privatising ACC story fades in memory
    Voices praising ACC are ignored-(good news is no news) and anyway
    media is by now on holiday.(Were they ever not?)

    Week 4 Crosby Textor banks its cheque.

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