Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Socialism Revived - An article by Peter Dunne


An Article by Hon Peter Dunne MP
Leader, United New Zealand Party

Most of us like to think of the rise of Mikhail Gorbachev and the subsequent fall of the Berlin Wall as the final deaths of socialism. In New Zealand it had died many years earlier, of course. The Fourth Labour Government had seen to that!

But now, many years later, there are signs of life in the old corpse. In New Zealand, of all places. But it is not the advent of Jim Anderton that is responsible, but rather his Cabinet colleague, Mickey Savage look-alike, Dr Michael Cullen.

Dr Cullen has always been a far more left-wing politician that he has been widely portrayed. Indeed, claims that Dr Cullen is a moderate really show how left wing the current Labour Caucus is. Dr Cullen’s plans for a dedicated superannuation fund have all the aspects of old style socialism that would make the Kremlin proud.

However, it is dressed up the Cullen plan has all the traditional socialist elements of wealth redistribution; envy of success; and complete disincentive for personal initiative.

The superannuation fund is about wealth redistribution because it is essentially saying that instead of using future budget surpluses to cut tax rates, the Labour/Alliance government will use the surpluses to boost its superannuation fund, thus bolstering the retirement incomes of the least well-off, at the expense of the better-off. Dr Cullen has not just rested at increasing the personal tax rate for the top 5% or so; he is now going one step further and denying everyone saving for their retirement the chance of future income tax reductions.



The Cullen plan has all the classic signs of envy and intolerance of individual success. Its perpetuates the flaw that rather than reward society’s achievers, it sees their success – in this case, being able to save for their own retirement – as no more than a justification for saying that they can therefore afford to save for someone else’s retirement as well.

And the strategy also reinforces the Left’s traditional view that people cannot and should not be trusted to look after themselves. Where people do exercise personal initiative, the Dr Cullens of this world prefer to turn a blind eye, and see that as those people’s problem, rather than their achievement. In his version of the Kiwi clobbering machine, people thinking and providing for themselves are to be strongly discouraged, because some may be more successful than others, and that would never do.

Dr Cullen’s grand superannuation plan has more to do with restoring modern day socialism as the dominant ideology after more than a decade of the laissez faire approach of the centre Right, than it has with sustainable superannuation policy. Labour is trying to re-write the nation’s ideological script away from self-reliance and more in favour of collective responsibility, in superannuation, as in accident insurance, education, health and industrial relations.

Their fundamental problem, however, is that the generation of voters they are relying on to pay for the return to socialism are those who have grown up since the mid 1980s, and who know no different world from today’s individualistic, self-reliant one. Not even Dr Cullen will be able to turn their pages of history backwards.
(17 March 2000)


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK


RBNZ Act Review: Govt Plans Deposit Guarantee Scheme

The Coalition Government today announced moves to make New Zealand’s banking system safer for customers through a new deposit protection regime, and work to strengthen accountability for banks’ actions.

The in-principle decisions are part of Phase 2 of the Review of the Reserve Bank Act, which is making sure the 30-year old laws regulating our banking system are up to scratch. More>>

 

Stats NZ: Gender Inclusive Questions Introduced

More than 28,000 New Zealand households will be asked to take part in the upcoming Household Economic Survey. Starting this year, the survey will ask people to describe their gender – whether that is male, female, or if they see themselves another way, such as one of many non-binary genders. More>>

New Report: Are We Listening To Children?

A report released today is a sharp reminder that what children and young people say makes a difference, and that it’s time we paid more attention to their views, says Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft. More>>

ALSO:

The Nation: Canadian Euthanasia Practitioner Stefanie Green

The euthanasia debate is progressing, with the End of Life Choice Bill expected to have its second reading in Parliament on Wednesday. A similar bill was passed in Canada in 2016 ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Gun Buy-Back Scheme

Do gun amnesties and buy-backs save lives? Since it’s always difficult to exclude all of the socio-economic factors that may be operating in parallel, the die-hard denialists in the gun lobby will always be able to find a bit of wiggle room. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The New Op Burnham Revelations

Eight centuries ago at Beziers in France, the papal soldiers besieging the town faced much the same problem as the New Zealand troops engaged in Operation Burnham – namely, how to how to tell the difference among the town’s inhabitants as to which were Cathar heretics, and which were true Catholics... More>>

ALSO:

World Refugee Day: Former Refugees Say Policy Must Change

This year, 1000 refugees will be able to resettle here in New Zealand - but there are restrictions on where those people can come from. More>>

ALSO:

The Lobbyist Staffer: PM Defends Handling Of Conflicts Of Interest

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she's comfortable with the way her interim chief of staff's conflicts of interest were managed. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels