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


robson on politics


a weekly newsletter from Matt Robson MP Deputy Leader of the Progressive Party

U-turns must be based on principle to succeed . . .

It has been a very interesting week in politics. Don Brash has reversed all of the arguments National previously advanced against making the income taxation system more progressive! Dr Brash now says any government he leads will mimic our progressive government's proposed financial support for low-to-medium income families.

National needs now to embrace all the other good work of the progressive government - like our industry training strategy and everything being done by Investment NZ, Trade & Enterprise and the Foundation for Research Science and Technology to encourage new sources of productive investment leading to high quality jobs.

National also needs to remember the lessons of our political and electoral history. Dramatic U-turns only deliver electoral returns if based on principle and conviction. In other words, it won't work unless it is real.

. . . just ask Mike Moore If Dr Brash is in doubt he should cast his mind back to the desperate promotion of Mike Moore to the leadership of Labour weeks before the 1990 election.

He was presented as the guy for the battlers after arrogant policies transferred strategic New Zealand-owned assets to foreign-owned, job-shedding oligopolies.

Those private firms proceeded to use their dominant positions in local markets to siphon-off our national wealth overseas in the form of inflated dividends achieved by under-investing in our nation's infrastructure - passing the tab to the next generation.

In the late 1980s, Labour's policies saw our current account deficit mushroom, our unemployment skyrocket and the welfare dependency phenomenon was born.

The real battlers of New Zealand weren't fooled for a moment by Moore's promotion because they knew it was a poll-driven event which didn't address the underlying causes of the real battlers' disgust and exasperation with an unlistening and panic-stricken administration. But Labour wasn't trashed in 1990 only because of the content of its policy betrayals after the 1987 election. It was trashed also because of its elitist, "There Is No Alternative" (TINA) mantra used to bully and silence anyone that disagreed with the programme it was railroading into law regardless of public opinion.

Progressives in government The Progressives' key contribution to the coalition government is to push hard for principled and practical policies. We don't do U-turns on policy or principle but we're pragmatic about the best delivery mechanisms for our principles because we let evidence get in the way of our prejudices.

Four Weeks Annual Leave for all workers, Kiwibank, paid parental leave, effective regional and industry development, a strong and consistent anti-drugs stance: These are policies the Progressives have ensured are the record of this coalition government for over four years since 1999.

Without us, these things would still be on Labour's "To Do One Day In The Future" file.

Ironically, Labour's initial reaction to these progressive policies promoted by its coalition partner was often negative. Labour would have very little to take to the public in the next election had it not backed down on its initial hostile-to-luke warm response to Kiwibank, four weeks' annual leave, paid parental leave, meaningful regional development policies, and a strong anti-drugs position.

An independent Progressive Party is needed in the next Parliament to continue to keep Labour's feet firmly on the ground every time there is a frightening poll result. Our achievements:


Other happenings this week Jim Anderton continuing the battle at a successful meeting of anti-drug workers. My call for more National party U-turns. The new Spanish PM bringing combat troops home from Iraq and why that means the world needs better leadership to fight terrorists. Ways to use benchmarking to lift the performance of the economy (simply put, by comparing your business with similar ones and making improvement to match or better their practices.) The opening of the Marlborough Wine Research Centre, a regional partnership initiative for a key industry. And National's spokesperson showing a complete disregard for the rule of law.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election