Parliament

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

 

Oh, to be in England - Upton On Line

Life in New Zealand is so much more difficult these days than it is in England. At least that's what our English friend Dr Cullen must be thinking.

Theirs was a simple plan. Just follow what Tony did (Tony Blair that is). Make up a credit card with vacuous but nice sounding promises that you are determined to keep, smile earnestly, and say very little else.

Oh, to be in England. During the British election campaign Tony Blair never had a one on one debate with John Major. The media is managed with an iron rod in England.

It doesn't work so well in New Zealand. Here, the pesky media bowl up to politicians all the time, they debate issues at length live on radio, they have our home telephone numbers!

So Labour is obliged in New Zealand to defend its promises and to explain just how everything is supposed to work. Dr Cullen, finally, said yesterday how he would fund his 'credit card' promises. This $1.9 billion worth of promises is guaranteed. These are the 'key promises'.

$2.4 billion worth of other promises, however, were 'less guaranteed'.

We haven't noticed the distinction on the campaign trail.

upton-on-line asks, since when are some promises true promises and others non-true promises?

Perhaps Labour should consider amending the Fiscal Responsibility Act to include 'guaranteed fiscal risks' and 'open-ended fiscal risks'.

The Blair model doesn't work in New Zealand. Politicians here have to front up more often. And besides, National doesn't generate such quality sex scandals as the Torys did. The other, minor, difference is that Labour in Britain is a modern party of lower taxes, while in New Zealand, Labour is the party of 'tax and spend'. And just in case they lose their nerve and suffer a fit of moderation, the Alliance is there to keep them staunch.




Campaign Diary:

Upton-on-line visited business folk along Auckland's Albert Street and learnt that what this nation needs is some 'leadership' from its politicians.

The Government, the more disaffected thundered, had merely pandered to the base instincts of public opinion and pressure groups. Nowhere was there conviction or leadership.

It seemed to upton-on-line that some were yearning, (though they would never have admitted it) for a Muldoon or Lange, brilliant performers who didn't necessarily deliver stable government. When pressed, the thunderers were not so sure what they wanted.

We all know that a week is a long time in politics. Projects that take decades are on no one's radar screen, it seems. Less sexy things like paying back the nation's public debt, which wins few votes but is the honourable thing to do, somehow doesn't count as conviction-led leadership from politicians.

Some of the greatest beneficiaries of National's decade of the 1990s are our children and grandchildren, who won't have to carry the burden of New Zealand's public debt. It's taken for granted by voters now, yet if we had claimed in 1990 that we'd not only get the government's books into the black but then pay back debt rather than blow it all, we'd have been greeted with incredulity.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

National Terrorism Threat Level Moves To Medium
Medium is defined as a terrorist attack is assessed as feasible and could well occur. The new level remains higher than it was before the 15 March terrorist attack when the threat level was low. More>>

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK


Environment Aotearoa 2019: Report Warns Environment In Serious Trouble

The report is jointly produced by the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand, and is a follow on from the last report in 2015.

The report says the way New Zealanders live and make a living is having a serious impact on the environment, and the benefits New Zealanders get from being in nature, though not measured or quantified, could be lost. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Scrapping The Capital Gains Tax

As PM Jacinda Arden said yesterday, there was no point in Labour bringing a proposal into the House that it didn’t have the votes to get passed. Looking back, maybe she always felt this outcome to be inevitable... More>>

ALSO:

City Rail Link: Billion Dollar Cost Rise (And Preferred Bidder)

The revised cost envelope for completing the entire Auckland City Rail Link project now totals $4.419 billion. The revised cost has yet to be endorsed by the project’s sponsors (the Crown and Auckland Council). More>>

ALSO:

Meth Scare: Debt Write-Off For HNZ Meth Testing Evictions

People living in Housing New Zealand (HNZ) properties who were wrongly evicted because of flawed methamphetamine contamination policies will have their related debts with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) written off. More>>

ALSO:

RNZ Report: Fears Grow For NZ Nurse Kidnapped In Syria

A New Zealand nurse working for the Red Cross was captured by Islamic State (IS) in Syria more than five years ago, and there are now public pleas for any information that could help bring her home. More>>

ALSO:

Streets Blocked In London: Climate 'Extinction Rebellion' Reaches Aotearoa

Across the world, thousands of people are taking part in a rebellion to avert climate, ecological and human catastrophe. This begins in Aotearoa New Zealand today. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels