Well 2010 has been a year for some political surprises such as Brown’s landslide victory over Banks and Celia’s win in Wellington and some not so surprising moments too such as Gerry and John’s lies about the Hobbit and the announcement of ACC privatisation just a few days before Christmas.
The big question is what will 2011 bring? Here’s a few things I reckon we’ll see.
A July election: For all the reasons I’ve given in my previous post on this I’m sticking by this prediction. The only reason I could see National going late would be to make the election a sideshow to the RWC and thus avoid any serious scrutiny.
More stories about how bad the public service/ACC/State Owned Enterprises are: The government will continue to leak stories and quietly recommend OIA’s to media in order to soften the ground for further cuts and privatisation.
Increased bennie bashing: We’re already seeing the low level campaigns about how sickness bennies need to get over themselves and get back to work as well as the rip-off stories leaked from Bennett’s office. Expect this to be ramped up.
A black budget: Just like the last time they were in power the tories will exacerbate the recession by cutting public spending and revenue. Probably through increased corporate tax breaks. They’ll claim it’s because we have a debt problem. Kiwis who are having to pick up more of the tab privately and earning less in real dollars because of high unemployment and removal of work rights will go further into debt.
More calls for Goff to go from vested interests: The gallery seem to have decided they want Goff gone for a bit of sport and National have been pushing the idea since Goff came in. Let me be clear on this – leadership change at this point would be a fiasco. Labour are heading for a mid-thirties result under Goff and, depending on how the left/right mix comes out across the whole of parliament, that might be enough to see the brakes applied to National’s right wing agenda. If Goff is deposed and there’s a July election that number will be a lot lower.
More ACT problems: They’ve managed to put the lid back on tight since the Garret debacle but there’s plenty of problems brewing for ACT which are likely to blow up big time this year. Whether this will spell the end of the party in parliament is the big question.
No new significant political parties: As much as I’d like to see a McCarten/Bradford/Harawira party in parliament and a Brash-led party bleeding ACT to death and not making the threshold it simply ain’t going to happen.
But I reckon NZ First will be back: Winston won’t get a seat but he’ll pick one to stand in that is good for grandstanding. Instead I reckon Ron Mark will stand for and take Wairarapa. They might even get five percent. And as much as I despise Winston’s racebaiting, he’s got some good economic policies and a hell of a lot more charisma than anyone else in parliament.
Well that’s me done for 2010. I’ll be celebrating tonight much the same way I do the end of every year – with a few friends a few LP’s and a few single malts. I wish all our readers well for the year ahead.