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

 


Labour's Socialism by Stealth


Labour's Socialism by Stealth

Weekly Column by Dr Muriel Newman MP

The beginning of a new year is a time for reflection - where have we come from and where are we going to as a nation.

While we undoubtedly finished last year with a buoyant economy, the country continues its inexorable slide to Third World status. From being a world leader in living standards we have now dropped to 21st position in the OECD rankings, below Puerto Rico. As a result, many working families are struggling, with average wage growth not keeping up with inflation. It has been estimated that taxpayers' real take-home pay has declined by 3.3 percent since Labour was elected.

So what lies ahead?
As a self-confessed social democratic government, Labour's long-term goal is to introduce socialism through the democratic process.


In his classic 1945 work "The Road to Serfdom", London University Professor of Economics Frederick A. Hayek warns against the dangers of creeping socialism: "Democratic socialism, the great utopia of the last few generations, is not only unachievable, but to strive for it produces something so utterly different that few of those who now wish it, would be prepared to accept the consequences".

He argues that the goal of socialism is the abolition of private enterprise, and of private ownership of the means of production - in order to create a planned economy in which a central planning body replaces the entrepreneur working for profit. He sees central planning - using coercive powers to establish protectionism, picking winners and creating privilege for the few at the expense of the many - as the greatest threat to freedom.


Throughout the ages, political freedom has been the catalyst for progress, unleashing energy, innovation, creativity, harnessing the skill of the entrepreneur, and building prosperity. Civilisation itself was built on the liberal ideal of respect for the individual who, endowed with freedom, could be ambitious, happy, and build a successful life.


Hayek warned that socialists now regard freedom as the root evil of modern society. Since the embodiment of freedom is competition and the free market, along with its accompanying price system, the erosion of competition is a prime target of socialists.


Labour's progress in this regard has not gone unnoticed. New Zealand Herald Business Editor Jim Eagles, in a December 28 article looking at the year in review, stated, "the most significant development which has gone almost unreported, may have been the downgrading of competition as the best way to achieve an efficient economy". He concludes that "even a small move back to the government seeking to take decisions by fiat, rather than by allowing consumers and producers to decide for themselves by exercising choice, is a retrograde step".


During its term of office, Labour has done much to erode competition: ACC and Air New Zealand have been renationalised and the largely state-owned power operators now enjoy a virtual monopoly. The Fonterra monopoly was approved without Commerce Commission scrutiny, and the merger of New Zealand's second and third largest supermarket chains creating a near monopoly will undoubtedly lead to higher prices for milk and other food products.
Corporate welfare is back on the agenda as Industry New Zealand uses hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayers' money to pick winners … like Sovereign Yachts! Regulators now have control of the telecommunications industry and tertiary education sector, with centralised surveillance and administration for clubs, sports bodies and organisations with gaming machines.


Sweeping new powers of general competence have been given to local government, which will take centralised planning to new heights. Signing up to the Kyoto protocol, while damaging New Zealand's economy, will satisfy the socialists' international agenda of redistributing wealth between nations.


In considering these issues, two important questions spring to mind: firstly, does this government have any mandate to destroy competition; secondly, how do they get away with it?


The answer to the first question has to be "No". While Labour won office on a credit card of pledges in 1999, it returned to power last year with no agenda. That leaves us vulnerable to a plethora of socialist legislation that could be passed without public mandate, but with the support of the radical far-left Green Party or ex-Labour led United Future.


To answer the second question, it is important to remember that propaganda is the greatest weapon of socialism: Labour won power in 1999 with a promise of 'no tax increases for those earning under $60,000', yet since they have been in office, more than 20 new levies, fees and charges - all of which are essentially new taxes - have been sanctioned through parliament onto an unsuspecting public.


Labour's propaganda extends to rewriting history - transforming the right to 'one law for all' enshrined in the Treaty of Waitangi, to a highly creative 'partnership with the Crown', enabling the creation of special privilege in legislation for Maori.


Labour uses anti-capitalist propaganda: commercial enterprise is disreputable, making a profit is immoral, and anyone who employs people is exploiting them. They promote anti-competitiveness by persuading people that the formation of monopolies is in the public interest. Even private property, historically one of the most important guarantees of freedom, is no longer sacrosanct, with Labour giving more power to planners at the expense of property owners.


New Zealanders need to recognise that socialism hasn't gone away at all; it has donned more modern attire and is now threatening our fundamental right to be free to pursue success and achievement in our own way. The concluding words of Hayek: "The guiding principle, that a policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy, remains as true to-day as it was in the nineteenth century", is surely a principle worth fighting for.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news