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Plain English - 25 Nov 2005

Plain English

25 November 2005

Plain English is Back

I will be producing Plain English every fortnight. It’s aimed at my constituents in Clutha-Southland so it will continue to cover local issues as well as national politics. Please feel free to comment on the content and tell me how to improve it.

Wise Southern Voters

It’s a sheer pleasure to have Eric Roy, Jacqui Dean and Jo Goodhew in Parliament after good wins in Invercargill, Otago and Aoraki. Farmers' friend Jim Sutton lost by 7500 despite winning by 7000 in 2002 and Clark has earmarked him for early retirement. The South picked the best candidates and got the best results. Voters in Clutha-Southland came home too, after a decade wandering in the small party wilderness, with the second highest support for National in the country. These new MP’s are part of a big competent caucus already shaping up as a tough and winning opposition.

Confidence Confusion

This week the Government helped win the 2011 World Cup and lost the confidence of business. The southern export economy has been easing back for a while, but the consumption economy looks like it could suddenly hit a wall. Too many things are out of whack and the economy can’t stay as stable as it has for the last 6 years. The current account deficit is huge, household debt is far too high and so is inflation. Unemployment is at an all time low and government spending is at an all time high. If it looks odd, it is. These “imbalances” have to work themselves out and the only way to do it is to spend less. People won’t like it. Rising interest rates on big mortgages are not a recipe for happiness in the suburbs

Whither Winston

New Zealand has been well served by competent foreign Ministers who represented us well, until now. Winston has already been demoted to “a point of contact for foreign government’s” according to Helen Clark. Helen Clark and Phil Goff have made it clear to anyone who is listening that they are in charge and they shouldn’t take Peters seriously. Australian politicians can’t believe what a mickey-mouse arrangement Clark has produced. It’s bad for New Zealand’s credibility. Labour should be warned Winston has his pride. They will pay for humiliating him on his first trip overseas.

School Shrink

Latest figures show school rolls in Southland dropped by about 7% since 1999 despite the perception that the population stabilised in the last 5 years. So good schools can have a dropping roll, just because there are less children around. Unpublished test results show Southland has the top achievement levels for primary school children. Ten years of falling rolls mean every school has to do a good job, just to hold the children they have. Every child can benefit from schools working hard to show they do a good job.

Bill English


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