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

Pacific Spying: Mass Surveillance Of NZers Confirmed By Former GCSB Director - Contradicting PM John Key

Scoop Editor Alastair Thompson Reports: Yesterday morning former GCSB Director Sir Bruce Ferguson confirmed mass surveillance of New Zealnders in the Pacific is taking place as revealed in the latest Snowden leaks investigated by Nicky Hager. In 2013 John Key told press gallery reporters that in the event mass surveillance was found have been conducted by the GCSB, he and the director of the GCSB - his childhood friend Ian Fletcher - would resign. As the controversy deepens a year and half later Fletcher has already resigned. But will Key? More>>

Gordon Campbell: Legal Fudging Of The GCSB Revelations

As many have noted, the Hager/Snowden revelations of the spying by our security agencies on our Pacific neighbours and allies is a virtual re-run of the pre-election debate. It is a situation where the government (a) stonewalls, (b) baldly asserts that mass surveillance is not occurring despite the Snowden evidence that it is, and (c) claims that the GCSB actions were lawful. Yet as Greens Co-Leader Russel Norman says, this can be true only if the legislation passed last year by the Key government has made the mass surveillance of New Zealanders – and the related handing over of their private data to the NSA – lawful. More>>

Latest:

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Women's Day, March 8: It’s Time For Men To Step Up For Gender Equality

UN Women is launching the HeForShe campaign in New Zealand at the International Women's Day Parliamentary Breakfast, and is calling on New Zealand men — including politicians and community and sports leaders — to show their commitment to gender equality by signing up to this global campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Teina Pora Wins Appeal: Gordon Campbell On The Privy Council Decision

The quashing of the convictions of Teina Pora for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett in 1992 has shone a spotlight once again on a major gap in the New Zealand justice system... More>>

ALSO:

Urgent Bill Planned: MP Pay Rises To Match Public Service

Prime Minister John Key today announced an overhaul of the Remuneration Authority Act, tying MP salaries to those of the wider public sector, which will be passed under urgency. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: MP Pay Rises, Solid Energy, Iraq

Prime Minister John Key answered questions in his Post-Cabinet press conference about the Iraq deployment, Solid Energy and National’s decision to overhaul the Remuneration Authority Act. More>>

ALSO:

Worksafe: MSD Charged Over Work And Income Ashburton Shooting

WorkSafe NZ has laid one charge against the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in relation to the shooting at the MSD Ashburton office on 1 September 2014 in which two Work and Income staff were killed and another was injured. More>>

ALSO:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news