Parliament

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

 

Tough campaigning in Auckland - Upton On Line

Upton-on-line
www.arcadia.co.nz
19 November 1999

Last evening upton-on-line performed the onerous task of attending a "Celebration of France" extravaganza dinner at Auckland's Sheraton hotel. Our job for the evening was to welcome the arrival of this year's nouveau beaujolais. Bonjour, Monsieur Beaujolais!

The French Ambassador, His Excellency Monsieur Jackie Musnier, spoke briefly but eloquently about the importance of wine for civilisation and went on to make the sage remark, "anyone who drinks wine can't be all that bad". Upton-on-line's eyes misted over.

Helen Clark, we are told, is very fond of Chardonnay (although we are not so certain about some of her more hard-line colleagues).

Does this mean we are obliged to put our faith in Mr Jackie's dictum? Fortunately, there are other dicta on which we can rely at these moments: either, "a week is a long time in politics", or "bugger the polls" will do.

To those in the press who would prefer to knock out their election night stories in advance this week, we have only this to say: "one moment please, there's plenty of life in this old dog yet".

Yesterday (as distinct from yesternight) was spent in and around Queen Street talking to small crowds of workers who took time away from interrogating their screens to ponder the political landscape.

Upton-on-line reminded them of the oft-forgotten fact that this decade National has paid off the country's mortgage (government foreign currency debt, that is). It may not have been a great vote winner, but it's what the country desperately needed and we are immensely better off for it – helping us save about $3 billion a year on our interest bills since 1991. It's a pity that the next generation can't bring its votes forward because it is the greatest beneficiary.

Upton-on-line also ventured into deepest Penrose to part of the Carter Holt Harvey empire where 25 workers asked some of the best questions of the campaign. (The further people's daily lives are from the cynicism of the media and the righteous intonings of lobby groups, the better-humoured and more practical they seem to be).

At the risk of irritating some breathless commentators, upton-on-line expressed increasing exasperation with those who liken us to Ireland or Finland.

New Zealand does not sit in the midst of Europe, surrounded by 300 million wealthy neighbours, welcoming our produce. The richer you are – and the bigger your local market – the more stuff-ups you can afford. 3.8 million people at the last bus stop on the planet have less rope than any other developed economy with which to hang themselves.

So anyone who thinks we can try a spot of indulgent European-style social democracy had better get real. We're not rich enough to pretend that pigs can fly.

Before the electorate next Saturday is the first real choice in 25 years. Labour and the Alliance are offering a genuinely unreconstructed, left-wing government (not seen since the days of Norman Kirk).

It is a political recipe that has cooked up an astonishing array of flops every time it's been dug out of the drawer.

Expect the Government to be pulling out all the stops next week.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Government: Northland To Move To Orange, NZ Prepared For Omicron


Northland will move to Orange at 11:59pm tonight, 20 January 2022, while the rest of New Zealand will remain at Orange as the Government prepares for Omicron to enter the community.
“Vaccination rates have continued to increase in Northland and are now at 89 percent first dose. The easing of the Auckland boundary over summer did not drive an increase in cases so we believe it is safe for Northland...
More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Responding To The Need In Tonga


The power of the Tonga eruption (and the size of the aid response being mounted) have been sobering indications of the scale of this disaster. The financial impact is certain to exceed the damage done by Cyclone Harold two years ago, which was estimated at the time to cost $US111 million via its effects on crops, housing and tourism facilities. This time, the tsunami damage, volcanic ash, sulphur dioxide contamination and villager relocation expenses are likely to cost considerably more to meet...
More>>



 
 



Science Media Centre: Omicron Outbreak Would Move The Country To Red - Expert Reaction

The Prime Minister has announced if Omicron cases spread into the community, the country will move to the traffic light system's Red setting within 48 hours. Jacinda Ardern also mentioned there will be changes to the country's testing regime, with more use of Rapid Antigen Tests... More>>


Government: New Zealand Prepared To Send Support To Tonga

New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today... More>>


Ministry of Health: COVID-19 Immunisation Starts For 5 To 11-year-old Tāmariki

More than 120,000 doses of the child (paediatric) Pfizer vaccine have been delivered to over 500 vaccination sites around New Zealand as health providers prepare to start immunising 5 to 11-year-olds tamariki from today, 17 January... More>>



Statistics: Departures Lift Border Crossing Numbers

The number of people crossing New Zealand’s border went up in November 2021, mostly due to an increase in departures, Stats NZ said today. There were 28,700 border crossings in November 2021, made up of 12,300 arrivals and 16,400 departures... More>>


Financial Services Federation: Open Letter To Government From Non-bank Lenders: The Path Forward On CCCFA Changes
Responsible lenders are not interested in telling the Government “I told you so” when it comes to unintended consequences of changes to lending laws that are now causing grief for everyday Kiwis seeking finance... More>>

CTU: Too Many Kiwi Workers Financially Vulnerable As Omicron Looms
With New Zealand on the precipice of an Omicron outbreak and the economic upheaval that comes with it, the CTU’s annual Mood of the Workforce Survey shows the vast majority of kiwi workers do not have the financial resources to survive a period of unemployment... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels