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robson-on-politics 16 July

robson-on-politics 16 July

Progressive: positive about people and jobs

Fri 16 July

He started with Maori...

I learnt from Brash's Orewa speech that every concern that I had about New Zealand was caused by Maori. Now National's spokespeople have moved on to add beneficiaries to the list of troublesome New Zealanders who will be in for it. Katherine Rich tried to breathe new life into work-for-the-dole.

She would do well to look at its failure when National was last in power. Hundreds of thousands of working New Zealanders who belong to a union came in for a serve from Roger Sowry (the man getting out before he's in for it.) Apparently it's OK for rich white men to join in the Business Round Table but not for ordinary folk to band together.

Wayne Mapp chose to pick on immigrants and refugees. He must look at the immense contribution made by every wave of settlers: Dalmatians in Northland; Greeks in every port; Cambodians fleeing Pol Pot; hard-working Austrians, Dutch and Indians. And there are many more. Pretty soon that will leave only you and me as possible targets. I know I'll be safe but I don't know about you. National's election slogan could be: "Divided we stand, united we fall." (With apologies to Peter Dunne.) _________________________

It's nice to be appreciated Last week I reminded you that National MPs, by and large, have led the NIMBY brigade in opposing proposed prison sites in their areas. I was fascinated to see my paragraph used almost verbatim by David Benson-Pope in a speech delivered in Otago that afternoon. In lieu of any attribution, an invoice for a bottle of fine wine is on the way to the Minister for the RMA. Check for yourself: and _________________________

Good to see other Progressive ideas appreciated

Five current Labour Ministers date from the TINA age ("There Is No Alternative" was the mantra) of the 1980s. They sat in a Cabinet that sold Air New Zealand and PostBank. They now sit in a Labour Progressive Cabinet that is investing in strategic transportation infrastructure and regional banking and set up the Kiwibank.

We have a progressive government that has overseen the biggest rise in jobs within a five- year period ever delivered in New Zealand history and a drop in unemployment levels to their lowest rate in a generation. Even National, and a former high priest like Don Brash, have abandoned the last generation's mantra. National's annual conference last weekend wasn't about massive cuts to tax and spending, but new vistas of State-funded spending: defence personnel and equipment; police officers; prisons and early intervention and rehabilitation. More spending in education and in science. More spending, dear readers, to address the problems caused by the TINA programme now abandoned by every party. _________________________

Labour MP on transfer?

I can advise that the "will she, won't she jump" question being asked by commentators about Nanaia Mahuta may soon be settled. Warriors CEO Nick Watson has given me the lowdown on how he convinced Steve Price to transfer Admittedly we in Progressive don't have the same cash to offer, and like the Warriors, we may be at the bottom of the table this week. Nick's opinion is that we can offer Nanaia the front row position that Labour never will, so long-term it will be in her interests to make the switch. _________________________

A communication from Christchurch A Christchurch woman is curious about a letter in her mailbox from Helen Clark, claiming credit for cheaper doctor's visits for people over 65. I was asked, wasn't Progressive the party that had the idea and negotiated with Annette King for this policy? Yes, Carole, you are quite right, Jim Anderton is one who made it happen. It seems to be another mistake like the claim that Labour initiated the Progressive four weeks annual leave policy. It's very true, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. health _________________________

You're invited to a special screening of Fahrenheit 9/11 at Rialto Newmarket, Sunday 8 August. Michael Moore investigates how the Bush administration used the tragedy of Sept 11 to push their own agenda. For tickets, ph 09 525 5544, or (To read the Herald story on the film, remove the line-break) yID=3575132&thesection=entertainment&thesubsection=film&thesecondsubsectio n=general _________________________

Tune in Sunday 12 - 1 for the Matt Robson Hour on 531 AM. This week: Sandra Alofivae on what she brings to the Families Commission, and Jim Anderton speaking on the Thrive Pasifika Conference. More on this week's news at < > including the textile industry doubling its exports to $439 million under this government, and hard facts on the West Coast, booming after five years of this government.


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