Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Vision Thing

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  • BenWilson,

    I'd agree that the best thing about the speech was that it wasn't worse. Also, I'm inclined to think that Labour actually has spotted the strategic possibility of slipping in just to the left of National, leaving huge tracts of voters to move more to their natural allies, the parties further left. IOW, take National's base, rather than declaring war on the Greens and Mana. Let NZF take the rural and racist vote. Fighting with National over the 30% of people who are (or believe they are) benefited by neoliberalism is a reasonably sound strategy for marginalizing the right wing vote space.

    I say this in the vague hope that Labour isn't really neoliberal at heart now, which is what this speech sounds like to me. If Shearer actually did nothing more than what he says here, it would only be better than National because it would not involve selling family silver and harsher criminal penalties.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8737 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Why is "vision" "a delicate word"?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to 3410,

    Why is "vision" "a delicate word"?

    Roger Douglas.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1668 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Meh, tax and spend, how hard is it?

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to merc,

    Meh, tax and spend, how hard is it?

    Or even print and spend.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8737 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    a Key government that, even to its friends, increasingly seems to make it up as it goes along

    Please let's knock that 'do nothing' myth on the head. Where do you think the rush of govt actions in recent weeks came from? They've been working away at it for most of the last term, just managing the politics more competently than they did in the 1990s.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • Ana Simkiss,

    So how about this for the vision thing: Key announces huge new super-ministry?

    Perople used to be incredulous at the size and variety of tasks of the MED. Imagine this beast!

    Freemans Bay • Since Nov 2006 • 128 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Attachment

    These are the top 50 words in Shearer's speech.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    Please let’s knock that ‘do nothing’ myth on the head. Where do you think the rush of govt actions in recent weeks came from?

    I didn't say "do nothing". I do think that this is a government that increasingly ignores process, prudence and evidence. They might have had the ideas in mind for ages, but the execution looks increasingly haphazard.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    These are the top 50 words in Shearer’s speech.

    Interesting -- and it suggests a certain coherence. I did note a lot of "everything" and "everyone".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19116 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    The idea that immigration, science, and labour rights policy will now all be driven by economic development fills me with confidence.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1668 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    The idea that Tsar Joyce is the One to rule them all is very confidence inspiring (sic).

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Ana Simkiss,

    Perople used to be incredulous at the size and variety of tasks of the MED. Imagine this beast!

    Presumably that's part of the point. It's a good way to justify downsizing it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8737 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to BenWilson,

    Except all of those things (regional development, telecommunications, energy, resources, consumer rights, plsu the new immigration, building standards, science, and immigration) need doing (and need oversight by their own Ministers, to boot).

    You can't just remove entire government functions by changing an organisation chart.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1668 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Totally agree the National govt ignores process - and that the wheels will come off as they try to implement unpopular changes. However it taps far too well into the left's disastrous 'do nothing' meme to claim that policies are made up as they go along.

    This government knows exactly what they were put into office to achieve. But with only a tiny parliamentary majority now, Labour and others can stop them before 2014 if they get their shit together, mobilise support from public and allies and apply concerted and focused pressure.

    A leisurely 3 year plan is just more back-office muppetry that hurts real people whose arses are not cushioned by debating chamber leather. We've already seen three years of that. Thankfully those working to change the game now are broader and stronger than they were.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    High prevalence of 'people' is always a good sign. Sorry it came out a bit hard to read. Might try tweaking settings and asking you to replace the image.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    You can't just remove entire government functions by changing an organisation chart.

    Just watch them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8737 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sacha,

    Interesting post by Gordon Cambell about the knowledge economy yesterday

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8737 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to BenWilson,

    I say this in the vague hope that Labour isn't really neoliberal at heart now, which is what this speech sounds like to me. If Shearer actually did nothing more than what he says here, it would only be better than National because it would not involve selling family silver and harsher criminal penalties.

    Yeah- the stuff about becoming techno-whizzy innovators and thence all wildly wealthy is more-or-less the same stuff we've been getting from eg Stephen Joyce- with a super-sized dose to come, no doubt. Shearer didn't address social justice, inequality, labour law, or market regulation. I think he missed the moment, but he clearly signalled he's looking away off into the distance (isn't that where you see visions?).
    We share doubts, I think, Ben, about whether NZ can reasonably expect to "grow the pie" that much- and for how long. My sense is that how we divide it will become more and more important in shaping the society we inhabit. Aspiration is fine and dandy, but this Govt shows how silly it becomes when it gets unhooked from reality. As a nation we seem a bit like a no-hoper who's always reading self-help books :(

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1599 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Key's good on the what, on the how, not so much. For me it's signalling the time may have come for us all to re-consider the politician's ability to grasp any issues other than self aggrandizement (hehe US spelling must be!).
    What I lament is twofold,
    1. the pervasive nature of media invasion by politicians
    2. the obviously stated fact by them that they don't really care for the problems they daily fabricate.
    For me it's just getting way too much pseudo-information overload. I'm tired of them.
    Rant over.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Russell Brown,

    They might have had the ideas in mind for ages, but the execution looks increasingly haphazard.

    I reckon that as the polls dive the Nats are going to ram repugnant-to-most-voters actions through asap -this year and next so they can pork-barrel their way through their last year of this term.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2636 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hebe,

    they're doing it right now - which is when the opposition is needed.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    The idea that immigration, science, and labour rights policy will now all be driven by economic development fills me with confidence.

    That does depend somewhat on the way one defines economic development, but unlimited economic growth as a driving force is definitely not confidence-inspiring.

    It can also depend on how well you understand economics, period. The NIH in the US generates something like $7 of GDP for every $1 of government funding, a pretty worthwhile rate of return and extremely easy to understand given the network of industries it interacts with, but it's generally lucky to survive with no cuts to its funding, let alone increases.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    We share doubts, I think, Ben, about whether NZ can reasonably expect to "grow the pie" that much- and for how long.

    I think the pie can grow and should grow. But I disagree that it's a completely separate question to "dividing the pie". A very unevenly divided pie can't grow very fast, because neither the people with the big piece, nor those with a very small piece, are incentivized to grow it. A worker, totally alienated from the profits of the company, doesn't really give much of a shit, at heart, about the performance of the company, which is just as likely to sack them in good times or bad, just to make better profits for shareholders. A director, who makes millions whether the company sinks or swims, is in a similar boat. It actually becomes like a tragedy of the commons, without there being any commons.

    But yes, I think the idea that we can grow our pie faster than the rest of the OECD, whilst not ever having any original ideas about how to manage that, is just a rhetorical device to justify dividing it unevenly.

    In practice, both should happen. Growing, because it works, and dividing evenly because it is fair, and it works.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8737 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    There was a time when "having visions of growing pies" indicated madness, you know.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

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