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.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news