Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Burning Effigies a sign of despair.

Burning Effigies a sign of despair. The left needs to re-think

This campaign is bitter. People are burning effigies of the Prime Minister, holding Nuremberg-type rallies and destroying billboards.

But why is it bitter?

There are two common reasons for bitterness in disputes. One is genuine and passionate disagreement. Although that often engenders mutual respect, it also often creates hostility.

That cannot be the cause of the heat in this election campaign. Rarely have we had such a National-lite government.

This National government has happily accepted the agenda of the previous Labour party government. They are content to sustain Working for Families, Interest Free Student loans, and race-based legal privilege. They have actually increased government spending, even beyond Helen Clark’s massive increases between 2005 and 2008.

There is little in this National government for a left wing supporter of Helen Clark’s government to object to.

The real reason for all the heat and fury is the fact that National’s strategy has been electorally brilliant. By moving to the left, they have given their left-wing opponent’s nowhere to go, except the fringes of nutty policy and personal vindictiveness.

John Key has succeeded by becoming National-lite in the same way that Clark succeeded by becoming Labour-lite.

That is why the only serious opponent of the National Party, oddly enough, is ACT.

Of course, ACT will enter a confidence and supply agreement with National, at a minimum. Maintaining John Key as the Prime Minister is by far the most important immediate outcome of this election. The alternative is unthinkable.

But the electorally advantageous moves National has made are not in the long-term interests of New Zealand. Electoral success is not always promoted by the best policies. Often it is promoted by pandering to common misconceptions and a bias in favour of the status quo.

National-lite has not much improved public policy in New Zealand. We are still over-regulated and over-taxed. And, on account of that, we are still underperforming relative to our potential.

ACT can make that argument.

But Labour, the Greens, NZ First, the Conservatives and Internet-Mana cannot. They are all committed to doing even more of what National has got wrong. More regulation, more taxes, more unsustainable government spending and more corporate welfare.

How can they seriously criticise National? They basically agree with their direction. All they can do is promote xenophobia, make obscene chants and deface billboards.

National’s move to the left has pushed these parties into looney-land.

ACT is the only serious alternative for people who know that public policy in New Zealand can be improved.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Regulators: Govt To ‘Crowd-Source’ Regulatory Advice

A wide-ranging set of reforms is to be implemented to shake up the way New Zealand government agencies develop, write and implement regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Board Appointments: Some Minister Appoint Less The 3 In 10 Women

“It’s 2015 not 1915: Ministers who appoint less than 3 in 10 women to their boards must do better, they have no excuse but to do better,” said Dr Blue. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The 1990s Retro Proposals For Our Health System

As we learned yesterday, the reviews propose that the democratically elected representation on DHBs should be reduced, such that community wishes will be able to be over-ridden by political appointees. In today’s revelations, the reviews also propose a return to the destructive competitive health model of the 1990s. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Cab Press Conference: Foreign Buyers Register, TPP And Serco

At a press conference today in Wellington, John Key discussed the foreign buyers register as well as the TPP and Serco. Key was questioned on whether a stamp tax might be used as a tool to deal with foreign buyers. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood Satire: Serco To Outsource Prison To Public Sector

In response to high-profile failings, multinational omnicorporation Serco will introduce public management in its prison system. Serco's New Zealand manager, speaking on condition of anonymity, has announced plans for managers from the Department of Corrections to run the Mt Eden Correctional Facility. More>>

National Party Conference: Plans To Nudge Immigrants Towards Regions

The Government will introduce a package of immigration measures aimed at improving the spread of workers, skills and investment across New Zealand, Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse says. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections: Serco Relieved Of Control At Mt Eden Prison, Retains Contract

Multi-national private prison operator Serco has been forced to hand back control of Auckland's Mt Eden remand prison to the Department of Corrections, which has used a 'step-in' clause in its contract with Serco following a string of increasingly serious allegations about contraband, prisoner injuries and a death. More>>

ALSO:

Other Experiments: Failing Charter School Stays Open 'For Kids'

Education Minister Hekia Parata says she has given Te Pumanawa o te Wairua in Northland a chance to continue operating because of her concerns about finding other educational opportunities for its students. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news