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The National Party Old Boys’ Club

Written By: - Date published: 10:45 am, August 7th, 2008 - 17 comments
Categories: same old national - Tags: ,

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Tane’s made the point before but it’s worth making again: National may have a new frontman but at its core is largely unchanged – and since being ousted nearly a decade ago, members of the National Party Old Boys’ Club have been plotting their return to power.

Political reporter Dene Mackenzie notes today in the ODT:

Nine members of former prime minister Jenny Shipley’s 1999 cabinet – including Mr English and Dr Smith – remain in John Key’s caucus, and the weekend’s revelations are sure to fuel speculation that they may not have entirely left that era’s ideology behind.

Some may find it difficult to imagine, for example, that people like Mr English, Murray McCully, Maurice Williamson, Dr Smith and David Carter are no longer supporters of the privatisation that was a core policy when the party was led by Jim Bolger, and MPs like Sir William Birch, Ruth Richardson and Mrs Shipley.

Some of the nine MPs still in Mr Key’s caucus were acolytes of Miss Richardson – committed to private enterprise and individual liberty – and they were promoters of the free market and small government.

They were part of a government that established Crown Health Enterprises (where you paid to go to a hospital), the sale of New Zealand Rail, and the Bank of New Zealand…

Following the weekend’s revelations from Mr English and Mr Smith – however they were ascertained – voters have at least two more legitimate reasons to press National on what it intends to do with legislation such as the minimum wage, four weeks’ leave, and accident insurance; and ownership of KiwiSaver, Kiwibank, KiwiRail, Air New Zealand and the state-owned energy companies.

17 comments on “The National Party Old Boys’ Club ”

  1. [lprent: Banned – so deleted.]

  2. Substantive, Hoolian.

    The picture was made for a slightly different story in a post months ago… The other seven are from the privatisation era and Wayne Mapp is the one who had the 90-Day Bill as a private members’ bill

  3. [lprent: Banned – so deleted.]

  4. rjs131 4

    I never realised that Tau Henare was a member of the National Party in the 1990s? Or didnt the labour party research unit check this post?

  5. r0b 5

    So really Labour, too, has its own “Old Boys’ Club’ – consisting of Clark, Cullen and Goff, who since being ousted nearly a decade ago, have been plotting their return to power.

    Ummm – what? Pick up a newspaper some time Hoolian.

  6. Patrick 6

    Didn’t Tau hold a cabinet post as a NZFirst minster after the 96 election?

  7. yl 7

    Hoolian,

    again, you seem to be missing the points of the posts. I think this post is saying that National are still following the same ideas and ideology that New Zealand rejected in 1999. I would argue that most New Zealanders still reject these principals and that is why the Nats still are keeping them quiet.

    You cant argue on the fact that Cullen, Goff, and Clarke are from the 1984 reforms because they are now in power and are not carrying out those principals.

    You seem to be making a lot of misdirection yourself but not reading the posts properly.

  8. But most, if not all of Labour’s Front bench, including Aunt Helen are from the 1970s and 80s.

    National had more than 20 new young members at the 2005 election.

    Time for a Labour clean out, starting at the top…

    Hang on the election will take care of that:)

  9. Kevyn 9

    yl, While the ideology of the 1990s may have disappeared at least one of the very stupid ideas proposed during that time has been progressively implemented by Labour. The RAG recommended replacing the National Road Fund with regional roading SOEs. The public rejected this idea because it smelled of privatisation by stealth. The local government association opposed it because it trashed the egalitarian underpinnings of road funding. Everybody pays the same petrol tax and RUCs irrespective of where they live or drive. Regions that have lots of cars and not a lot of roads don’t need all their money so they can afford to give some to regions with lots of roads and not a lot of cars. Thus Auckland helped Northland. Canterbury helped (and still does) the West Coast.

    First national was removed from the name of the fund. Then the power to allocate funds for regional assistance was shifted from the Board to the Minister. Then Crown funding was provided to specific land transport regions. Then the petrol tax was increased with the limitation that the revenue was to be regionally distributed according to population rather than according to need. Last month legislation was passed that gives regional councils the power to request regional petrol taxes to fund regional land transport programs outside of the national land transport program, which can include converting state highways into regional highways. The end result is the same loss of egalitarian principal that local government feared from the RAG proposal. Labour has been either clever enough or stupid enough to convince local government that the RAG plan is good idea simply because it uses regional councils instead of SOEs.

    There were some good ideas in the RAG report, mainly related to the legal status of utilities within road rights of way and future proofing land transport funding by replacing petrol taxes with GPS RUCS. Labour has spent the last nine years redoing the RAG enquiries on these issues. These consultations are still on-going at least as far as tolls are concerned. On the utilities issue they seem to caved in completely to the utility companies desire to have absolute access to road corridors irrespective of damage to roads or danger to lives. It really is time a certian telecommunications company was forced to put road safety ahead of shareholder profit.

  10. jimbob 10

    Not that it will make any difference to way you guys think and operate, but can I just quietly point out that to follow this logical through to its conclusion, Labour must still believe in asset sales, flat tax, and job cuts because, let’s see, it’s front bench consists of: Annette King, Michael Cullen, Phil Goff, and Helen Clark – all of whom were present when Labour was in power and hocking off the family silver as fast as it could in the late 1980s

  11. r0b 11

    Not that it will make any difference to way you guys think and operate, but can I just quietly point out that to follow this logical through to its conclusion, Labour must still believe in asset sales, flat tax, and job cuts

    Nothing logical about it sorry. Can you spot the tiny flaw? Hint – Labour have been in government for 9 years.

    We will find out what National believe in if and only if they get into government. Actions, as they say, speak louder than words.

  12. “Actions, as they say, speak louder than words.”

    How many Labour MP’s appeared in our criminal docks lately r0b?

  13. r0b 13

    One?

    How many National MPs lied to the public recently?

  14. Kevyn 14

    rOb, Two out of three ain’t bad.

    Of course there have been no obvious asset sales. Undeniably the sale of Courier Post to DeutshePost wasn’t a sale, it was a joint venture partnership, like the one between Daimler and Chrysler. How many other state asset sales have been concealed behind the facade of “SOEs must have the freedom to make strategic beusiness decisions”?

    How many thousands of valuable jobs in export manufacturing have been lost and replaced with “valuable” jobs in property maintenance franchises or shopping malls or road building?

    Actions in a smokey room speak as loudly and accurately as a chinese whisper.

  15. r0b 15

    rOb, Two out of three ain’t bad.

    What three? I can only remember Mallard – arguably Henare should have been in the dock with him.

    How many other state asset sales have been concealed behind the facade of “SOEs must have the freedom to make strategic beusiness decisions’?

    I don’t know – how many?

    How many thousands of valuable jobs in export manufacturing have been lost and replaced with “valuable’ jobs in property maintenance franchises or shopping malls or road building?

    I don’t know – how many?

  16. Kevyn 16

    r0b, Sorry, I meant these three – asset sales, flat tax, and job cuts

    Actually they weren’t rhetorical questions. I really wanted to know if my personal knowledge was of typical or untypical events. I still have a job at GL Bowron so that particular question is kinda personal. If the dollar falls as “predicted” by the usual suspects I’ll probably be OK. But I can’t see those jobs coming back. They’re closer to the end consumer than we are.

  17. r0b 17

    Actually they weren’t rhetorical questions. I really wanted to know if my personal knowledge was of typical or untypical events.

    Oh – OK, I did take them as rhetorical. So state asset sales behind a facade? I don’t know of any. I don’t know enough about the Courier Post thing to have an opinion, but if it was an asset “sale” I think we would have heard a whole lot more about it?

    Manufacturing jobs lost overseas? Every one is too many. I’m not a big fan of internationalisation myself. But I don’t think you can write off the other jobs created in the economy with scare quotes. NZ has something approaching full employment, and that’s a great thing.

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