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Robson on Politics: Right's News Getting Better

Robson on Politics: News From The Right Keeps Getting Better

When Dr. Brash, sometimes called the ACT Party's tenth MP, became leader of the right-wing parties I got stick from some readers after I wrote in this column that this was good news for the prospects of our progressive government winning an historic third term.My thinking at the time was that some of the 21% of the party vote National had secured in 1999 would be lost with ACT's 10th MP now leading the once proud party. The more I look at the in-fighting within the right of politics, the more confident I am that my initial instincts on this issue were about right.

With Bill English as leader the right (Nats, NZ First, ACT, United) won 45.14% of the party vote in 2002. That was significantly higher than the vote that Mrs. Shipley had secured for the right-wing alliance in 1999. There is every indication Brash will fail to match. English's achievement of raising the right-wing vote.

The NZ Herald reports the ongoing warfare:


The one-seat majority 1981-1984 government

There has been a lot of news coverage given to the de- facto leader of the ACT Party, Mr. John Banks, who is also apparently hoping to be the leader of the Opposition after the General Election. Is this the same Jonathan Archibald Banks who was a National MP at the height of the National government's Think Big years 1981-1984?

Does that mean his one vote was critical to keeping Mr. Muldoon's one-seat majority government in power? Older readers will remember what Muldoonism was all about. It was about central government-imposed wage freezes and massive government borrowing. But the Muldoonists didn't worry. Muldoonists used to say that the public wouldn't know a deficit if they fell over one on a dark night but everyone now knows the truth.

The truth is that this Labour-Progressive government is still paying off the interest on the massive debts incurred by the Third National government's big spending and big tax cutting ways.

Rebuilding after Muldoonism:


Did Mr Banks support petrol price rise?

Question: Did the former Mayor of Auckland support the petrol excise rise to fund Auckland's transport infrastructure investment upgrade? Question: Does the ACT Board know this?

The excise rise funds a transport package for New Zealand


National Party signs up to robson-on-politics

I'm rather humbled to hear a staffer for a South Island National MP has subscribed to robson-on-politics. I can also reveal today that the Labour Party Research Unit is also a subscriber.

Since late 1999, Jim Anderton and I have promoted policies that initially had little parliamentary support.

These days, in contrast, even National says it supports Kiwibank, regional development, four weeks annual leave and paid parental leave for workers. To the extent that these progressive gains have been adopted into mainstream politics, then Progressive is doing its job and needs to be back inside the next Cabinet.

[Modestly] Progressive has lot to be proud of


Democracy and the Fourth Estate

In Parliament I highlighted next week’s Regional Development Conference which is attracting very significant interest from every region in the country. It is happening in Napier, championed by, you guessed it, Progressive leader Jim Anderton.

New Zealanders living in provincial and rural areas will, as usual, be able to read about the outcome of the conference via the NZPA network that allows for timely, affordable, regional news from one part of New Zealand to be available to all other provincial newspapers.

NZPA's news-sharing service provides provincial newspapers, including the few remaining New Zealand-owned independent papers such as the Westport News, with an invaluable service, which is why we are all watching with interest to see that our country's regional and national interests continue to be taken into account by Fairfax and APN, the major shareholders in NZPA.

Protecting regional interests:

The conference: http://www.regdev.govt.nz


New Zealanders celebrate new place of worship

Jim Anderton and I were very happy to be able to join over 10,000 hard-working, law-abiding New Zealanders to celebrate the opening of their new place of worship at Takanini last weekend. Years of hard work paid off for the Sikh community who have been helping to build New Zealand since the mid 19th century.

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