- Date published:
7:58 am, April 13th, 2023 - 47 comments
Categories: Christopher Luxon, minimum wage, national, same old national, workers' rights - Tags:
Apologies for not posting lately. It has been busy at work and I took the chance over easter to be with Whanau.
Which gave me the inspiration for this post.
Because it is really difficult to reconcile Christopher Luxon’s deep commitment to Jesus Christ with his willingness to trash the holiday even though it is based on Christ’s ascension from the dead.
He has a problem with public holidays and has been relentlessly negative about them, all of them.
To his credit he did not agree with Simon O’Connor that Matariki day should be given a more neutral name like Messier 45 after a French astronomer but says it should replace another public holiday like Labour Day. O’Connor rather bizarrely thought that using a Te Reo name did not respect cultural diversity.
But Luxon did suggest that Labour day should be cancelled and then had to to walk back his suggestion.
His views about the importance of Easter to the Christian faith and the need to reflect on the importance of Jesus Christ appear to directly conflict with his view that we should review our trading laws.
He is also adverse to that other tenet of the New Testament, that we should look after the poor, including the working poor.
For the Bible did quote Jesus Christ as saying:
Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
It seems that Luxon is troubled about the issue.
In 2021 he said he was a fan of minimum wage increases, but only if they could be afforded. From Television New Zealand:
“I’m a big fan of increasing minimum wages, but when you do it when your economy is growing around 3 to 4 per cent mark so you can sustain in,” Luxon said.
It comes after he said in April that the increase in the minimum wage — from $18.90 to $20 — was hurting small businesses.
Luxon told Q+A small businesses were already also feeling the impact of the doubling of sick leave and a new public holiday.
“All that cost gets shunted across to small business to pay for. As a result, it’s a big disincentive for them to invest back in their business and actually create new jobs.”
He also complained about the effect that minimum wage increases were having on his morning coffee.
In February 2022 Luxon again said that he was a big fan of increasing the minimum wage but only when growth in the economy was growing at a rate of 3 to 4 percent and could not say if National would support an increase at the time.
From Henry Cooke at Stuff:
It’s really about the right time and the right place. Fundamentally, you’ve got to look at it and say, you know, the research would say ‘If the economy is growing around three to four per cent, and it’s broad-based and it’s healthy, that’s a good time for you to take minimum wage increases”.
The annual GDP growth rate at the time was 6%.
More recently he has insisted that tax cuts that would see the Prime Minister’s net income increase by $349 per week and the net income of someone on the minimum wage increase by $2.15 was somehow fair.
It is helpful to remember these things as the election campaign rolls out. People need to reminded clearly which side National is on. And it is not on the side of ordinary workers.
"…Because it is really difficult to reconcile Christopher Luxon’s deep commitment to Jesus Christ…"
That is because his prosperity doctrine is a heresy. It amounts to a return to the pagan belief in the Gods disposing favour on those who can afford to sacrifice the most, on a closed feedback loop that if you can afford to buy the Gods favours, your wealth is evidence that it worked.
Once you absorb Luxon and rest of his happy clappy mates are about as Christian as Diocletian what they say and do kinda makes a lot more sense.
And as yet Luxon's not part of the 1% – which is why he wants the mortgage interest tax deduction restored (he does have 6 properties, so the amount would be substantial).
The thing about Pentecostals, of the born again heresy, is they believe that their God is coming to kill off the majority of the planets population after their rapture up to heaven. Those who have that sort of religion are not known for their social gospel (or any concept of egalitarianism), but for coveting power and exercising it over others. Which sort of explains their adoration of Trump.
Presumably National will leave the most obvious expressions of such extremism to the back pages of the ACT manifesto, which only see the light of day in coalition talks.
This one always makes me chuckle.
More aimed at Microsoft than god. But still funny.
Just as the USA was built on genocide and slave labour, this country was built on colonisation, land theft/dubious acquisition, and above all Cheap Wages.
A low wage economy has officially been with us since National’s union busting 1991 Employment Contracts Act. Wages and productivity parted company soon after.
What ever invisible man Mr Luxon may believe in, his abiding focus is keeping the profits up for the 1% with a few jolly up asides for the aspirational petit bourgeoisie that typically vote Natzo.
Religious hypocrisy has few limits when it comes to politics. Christians in the USA support serial sleaze Trump because he delivered the anti woman policies and bent judges they craved. In NZ Brethren intervened in the “Don Brash” election with their flyers etc. Destiny and other monetising outfits try and steer their members in a certain political direction.
People should be harder on Baldrick, the Natzos are bad enough but in concert with ACT (freeze minimum wage etc.) it will be 1991 repeated if they gain office.
That is because his religion is no different to most of the rest of them and is constructed on a solid foundation of the establishment and retention of male control, power and privilege.
So, from what I have seen, Luxon previously got got attacked for being too hard-core Christian.. And, as per the article he said his faith was being misinterpreted. And now he is being attacked for not being Christian enough by pointing out apparent hypocrisy? But could it just be evidence that his faith was misinterpreted as he said?
Sanctuary identified the issue–Upper Room sect (referencing where the Last Supper was allegedly held) appears an elitist group where rich men may indeed go to heaven!
With the camel.
Like others in their caucus a social conservative – the only sign of liberalism the allowance of gender ID on DL and passports (legislation 2009 and into effect 2012) and their bringing to the house legislation (2017) to effect similar change to birth certificates (completed in 2021 and supported by their entire caucus).
Luxon has signalled he wants those under 25 to come under life management external to Work and Income while unemployed – with the capacity to cancel benefits. The selection criteria for that, given the potential to abuse power over youth (coercion to conform) has yet to be made known. Anyone who has come across religious providers of services knows what can happen.
Luxon and National just want the youth to learn to be docile before authority (God and mammon) – thus there is also the 6 months hire and fire rules (employees who fear and obey the boss) they want to return to.
It's difficult to reconcile anything Christopher Luxon purportedly believes in since he appears to believe in both everything and nothing all at the same time.
His "beliefs" seem to be nothing more than a collection of vague slogans that have been workshopped and focussed grouped to death. Which is terrifying coming from a man who is trying to paint himself as a future Prime Minister, but also very much on brand for National. An empty suit leading an empty party that's both morally and intellectually bankrupt.
I guess from a political perspective it at least has the advantage of not scaring the electorate.
If National doesn't ever stand for anything it doesn't have to do anything scary and difficult like coming up with policies or being accountable.
I have to stand up for the team here lol.
I guess we all have our personal beliefs. However, if we are representing a team with diverse personal beliefs, we shouldn't push our own personal beliefs at the expense of the team. Otherwise, a leader is implying that the rest of his team also holds those personal beliefs, which likely is not the case.
So, a good leader should represent the collective views of his team. Not his own personal beliefs.
So, perhaps this stance is just showing Luxon has the strength to step back from his own personal belief system, and hence answers some of the previous concerns about his own beliefs influencing the direction of the NP, and potentially a government?
Is there any truth to the rumour that National is planning a response to New Zealand having its first "gender" equal cabinet, by holding a lottery to decide which of the caucus will stand up for women by changing gender so National can guarantee it would do the same?
Oh yes, we forget that true leadership involves not having any original ideas, parroting the party line (even when it's vapid nonsense) and bringing absolutely nothing of yourself to the role.
Either the man is the leader of the party, or he's not. In which case you might as well send out Maureen "[email protected]*$ing useless" Pugh, Harete Hipango, or future Prime Minister Simeon Brown.
At least they articulate some kind of consistent policy. Bullshit policy to be sure, but policy nonetheless.
That depends on leadership style, which is a whole area of study in itself.
My impression is that he is more of a delegator than a charasmatic style leader, which is probably why we here more from various National MPs than Luxon himself.
And that is probably a good thing in a strong team.
I agree with you there tmsithfield: Delegation is absolutely a legitimate (and often empowering) leadership style. And works real well when you're more of a prima inter pares like a party leader.
That said, we're talking about someone who wants to be the next Prime Minister. Part of the job is telling people what you actually believe and articulating an actual theory of change.
All Luxon has delivered thus far is vague mumblefuckery. The public deserves better than that.
It used to be National stood for something: A fair crack for everyone. A state that was limited in scope but made sure to look after those less fortunate. A compassionate, legitimate conservatism that accepted the fundamental critique of society offered by the labour movement, tried to do something about it, and offered something other than lukewarm platitudes about "opportunity".
I would characterise the current National caucus as a lot of things, but strong ain't one of them.
It was only a few months ago that Luxon had to gently shove his agriculture spokesperson out the door because she straight up abused her power as an MP to influence the criminal prosecution of her son.
I guess that is an aspect we would be expected to disagree on.
I disagree with that statement. I think the job is telling people the agreed collective position of the team on various issues. Personal beliefs shouldn't have any effect on that.
I respect your disagreement and understand your argument.
Mine is less about Luxon's personal beliefs and if they influence his political positioning (although I do have doubts about the ability of a multimillionaire airline executive to empathise with the day-to-day struggles us mere mortals have to cope with) but more with his (and National's) inability to clearly articulate a position on anything.
But at the end of the day he's the party leader and public face of whatever internal politicking goes on behind the scenes. And until he no doubt is spilled in a Barbara Kuriger/Simeon Brown led coup after losing the next election by a whisker, his statements are National's statements.
To be fair, I think National have been keeping their powder dry with the election coming up due to the fear of any good ideas being gazumpted.
So, you probably will here more going forward. Not that I expect you will like much of it. lol.
Probably not. But that's democracy shrug
But Luxon is not alone in his views within the Natz caucus. There's quite a collection of, shall we say, god-botherers, and growing, if that fellow Fleming gets elected.
Whether they have the numbers to out vote the so-called 'liberal' wing of the Natz remains to be seen.
If that really were an issue, then there wouldn't be any talk along the lines of cancelling Christian holidays would there, as pointed out in Micky's article.
I am interested in why people with Christian views should bother you? Did you also have similar concerns when Choudary was in parliament for instance? As he was a Muslim, so I guess a God botherer who bats for the other team?
"…I am interested in why people with Christian views should bother you..?"
Because given half a chance they turn private worship into matters of public morality and thence into a theological position that acts as the primary jump-off for public policy formation in a secular state.
IMHO how you worship in private is your business, but your Church should pay tax for everything that doesn't involves alms for the poor, priest should be subject to conscription and pastors ought to keep their opinions strictly confined to their pulpits.
If you are that mad keen on the God botherer stuff then put your money where your mouth is and let's have a Kirchensteuer for NZ.
That is a fairly broad generalisation. I think you would find that Christianity is a much broader church than even Labour or National, if you pardon the pun. So, those comments may apply to quite a small segment of that group.
I am not saying this applies to you, but the reason for including Choudary in my previous post, is that I find it interesting that people who seem to be triggered by Christianity, often seem very accepting of other religions that often have much more extreme views with respect to women and gay rights etc.
abstained on legislation to allow legal prostitution.
after initially abstaining he voted in favour of civil unions.
I remember making some effort to convince the MP to take a common cause approach. I did not bother with the Christian ones.
I believe in someone's beliefs are so staunch that they can't abide by joint cabinet responsibility, then they shouldn't be in parliament.
But, I guess conscious bills are another issue. But, in those situations, the person with an objecting conscious vote will usually be in a minority. And if not, then the wisdom of the bill in the first place is probably dodgy.
As Sanctuary said, a person's religion is no business of mine, so long as they keep it private.
But I have a real fear of any fundamentalism, be it Muslim, Jewish, Christianity etc. Then religion flows over into policy, which is more often than not imposed on the general public.
Roe vs Wade, for example.
Sure. But, again, that is more of a problem in the US where they have a very strong evangalical movement. Not so much here. There is very little chance that people with such views would be able to greatly impact on policy.
On the other hand, parliament is supposed to be representitive of everyone, right? That would include fundamentalists as well, as part of our society. There are plenty of things I am not happy about as well, so far as influence goes. But, that is part and parcel of living in a democracy.
It's been said much better by Sanctuary, SPC, Tiger Mountain et al, but I'll just add my tad:
Never ever trust a religious fundamentalist!
But perhaps he isn't a fundamentalist as you suggest.
Otherwise, he likely wouldn't be talking about cancelling Easter holidays etc, as pointed out in the article. From my experience, fundamentalists tend to be fairly hard-core and uncompromising.
So, I don't think you can have it both ways.
It seems I am arguing against two opposing positions here, that both can't be true at the same time.
Either Luxon is a hypocritical flake, who gives lip-service to Christian beliefs, as Micky seems to be arguing in his post.e.g.
Or he is a hard-core fundamentalist, who is likely to influence his party or a future government into all sorts of strongly conservative directions that are dangerous, as some seem to be suggesting above.
It's simple, prosperity religion is about the wealthy lining their pockets and posing as the favourites of God. It's the last phase of each and every empire. And Luxon’s perspective is formed and informed by American values.
I haven't really looked into his religious beliefs at all, as it doesn't seem at all relevant to me. Anymore than Bill English as a Catholic, or Choudary as a Muslim when he was in parliament for that matter.
But, I would be interested to know about the prosperity doctrine beliefs he apparently has. I have seen a few comments about that, but no links yet?
It's bog standard, garden variety American fertilizer that began in the pentecostal sphere of their nativist exceptionalism (but now influences the Hispanic and black faith community, where pastors present bling as a brand endorsement – pointy fish adjectives added in for free).
PS I got a million dollar bill in the mail this Easter – some pentecostal group had this writing on the back about the coronation of Charles, in the USA they write about God on their currency).
Yes, that prosperity doctrine stuff is fairly old news. It has been around for years.
From what I saw, it tended to benefit the leaders of said groups more than the members, who tended to be the sources of said leader's wealth.
You haven't given me a link to show Luxon prescribes to such views though.
And, to be fair, there is actually a kernel of truth in that doctrine, in that "give and you shall recieve" actually does often work.
But the problem is that prosperity doctrine people believe that money given will result in money being returned. But, the truth is that what someone often gets back is just the sense of pleasure and satisfaction from seeing something given do good in someone elses life, which IMO is often worth a lot more than the money given.
There is this general perspective from Chris Trotter.
Note the Edward S comment
A bit of a long bow to link Luxon to all of that though. There is a lot of speculation in those comments to start with. And people who attend church meetings don't always agree with everything a particular church espouses. Neither should they.
No – I don't think there's a contradiction. Luxon is a heretic, who subscribes to a willful and self-interested misinterpretation of the words of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Gospels. This heresy is potentially very dangerous for the rest of us. Therefore Luxon is both not a Christian (a heretic), and has dangerous fundamentalist ideas. (Note: I'm repeating Sanctuary at 1 and SPC at 8.1)
The origins of this heresy have been mentioned by SPC at 126.96.36.199. I tend to agree that being American in origin, this heresy and all others like it, try to reconcile two mutually hostile facts – that the country was originally settled by religious refugees intent on creating God's kingdom on earth, but who went about it by a brutal exercise in what Marxists would call "primitive accumulation", dispossessing native people and enslaving black Africans. Put crudely, it is a Christianity that is optimised to accommodate capitalism.
This sort of theme has been repeated a number of times on this thread. But, quite frankly, there has been bugger all evidence put forward to justify it. Again, you have just made a bald assertion, without anything to back it up.
To be a proper heretic, Luxon would have to be caught expounding theology at odds with the great creeds of the church, e.g. the Apostles Creed
But Luxon doesn’t engage his faith much other than as a vehicle for his platitudes and conservative instincts. Conservatism in itself is not contradictory to Christian beliefs. But Capitalism certainly is.
One could argue that Luxon is a tool of Capital (aka Mammon); which isn’t a mere heresy, it’s a grotesque cultural phenomenon, an egregore arising from human greed, that camouflages its emnity towards God and all humanity, and destroys the Earth
Unbridled capitalism is the ‘dung of the devil’, says Pope Francis
I'm in two minds over Easter, on one hand I love the days where everything is shut down and we just reenergize and hang out with loved ones or go on a holiday/road trip.
On the other hand Easter rules are weird and vary from street in some places, I'd prefer we had more clarity and it remain a nationwide holiday.
As for minimum wage, we know what the Tory's think, high immigration rates so wages stay down and rents go up due to increased pressure on housing stock.
I love increases to minimum wage, if wages kept up with my grandparents generation, many of my generation would be able to afford to raise families on single incomes like previous generations, but unfortunately my gen just can't…
My biggest concern though with min wage increases is by not changing tax thresholds for lower and middle income earners we have put some low paid workers in higher tax brackets, which is not fair …. It's just taxing the poor more and thats just not very Labour.
Allllllsoooo …. We were promised the removal of secondary taxes six years ago but everyone I know working two jobs is still paying them, c'mon labour…. Abolish secondary taxes.
We're the left we should back workers and the strivers and guarantee a high standard of living for those who can't.
easy for luxon ,or any christian to have a bob each way. when old white men invented christianity, and wrote the book of their rules, they deliberatley left loopholes and inconsistencies in. a good example are the right-to-lifers in the u.s. ardently anti-abortion, but mostly in favour of capital punishment, and the highest number of handgun owners. they hold up opposing parts of the bible as proof of their gods mercy-vengance. check out samuel L jackson, pulp fiction.
Luxon's religious noises are politically calculated, nothing to do with the Bible or teachings of Jesus at all. The OT prophets are very keen on respecting holy days, and the NT writers exhort Christians to treat workers fairly. Actually quite revolutionary at the time, given the oppressive cultural context of the Roman empire, where life was cheap.
Luxon's actual value system is shown by his actions and unguarded statements. He is a creature of corporate management who thinks NZ is like a business.
This means austerity: cuts to public services, externalising costs, attacking wages and conditions, obsession over accounting rather than human wellbeing, huge expenditure on PR fluff and marketing.
And that's just the surface stuff. Corporate values are machiavellian. These guys all read "The Art of War" and think criminals like Elon Musk are heroes. Espionage, disinformation and dirty tricks is how global capitalism thrives.
National have always loathed Labour Day holiday because it is a celebration of how when workers stick together they can win. Up til now they have been too scared to dump it but that might change as the ACT rabids put on the pressure.