Apologies for the digression, but I can't believe I missed that Owen McShane had died. Always had a soft spot for him -- knew his brother and niece, and had cordial if implacably opposed correspondence from time to time.
Eric Crampton of the NZ Initiative has been vocal expressing his concern that SIBs here will fail because of excessive monitoring and bureacracy.
I've been thinking about this, and the above made me realise. In a normal market, service users evaluate quality and change suppliers themselves. I don't like the results I'm getting for myself, and I go elsewhere.
Here though, the purchaser and the consumer of services are not the same. And the consumers have no voice (prisoners) or have strong barriers to acting effectively (mental health consumers). So there must be strong independent controls in place, audit regimes and inspection and so on. We know from experience that self-inspection is not reliable and leads to gruesome mis-reporting. The only other party that can monitor effectively is the state.
So the idea of a SIB-funded service being lightly monitored as a requirement for it to succeed is a bit of a laugh really.
The other thing that bugs me about this is that SIB funding is presented as a way for government to conduct experiments or pilots away from the dead hand of bureaucracy. But the thing about the kinds of service in question is that they are very high stakes. Get them wrong, and people die. Very different from the average business taking risks where the worst outcome is people lose money. The conservatism and risk aversion is there for a very good reason. It's not a bug, it's a feature.
Good management is an art and a skill in its own right, and – like the ability to teach or communicate to ‘lay’ audiences – it doesn’t automatically go hand-in-hand with professional expertise.
Amen. While I will rail against the cult of management and managerialism with everyone else, nonetheless good management is a thing, ideally coupled with the appropriate technical/professional background. People with no training for it in management jobs can be pretty terrible too.
Pardon me if I don't find Kerry Bolton a credible reference on immigration, or indeed anything.
Why do they never refer to their track record of sound economic management, budget surpluses, Kiwisaver, the Cullen Fund etc.?
But we do! Those messages just don't get reported most of the time, because they don't fit the stereotype. The Very Serious People of NZ media have decided that National are competent economic managers and Labour are loonies, and that is that.
There is a whole other debate about what constitutes sound, what kinds of deficits are good vs bad, who did most/least to moderate the property sector, and so on, of course.
Thank you for picking my tweet as an illustration. I’m sure many other people made better tweets that night and really, if it hadn’t been for the New Zealand cricket team and all the sad people on Twitter, I probably wouldn’t have tweeted it at all. In the end it’s about how you tweet, not what you tweet, and I’m just disappointed for the guys, really.
Is that Sun cover trying to remind people (pork, bacon, Milliband's face pulling) that Ed is a yid?
I don’t understand why a body like NZ On Air can’t replace the work that these public broadcasters do by funding appropriate shows.
A potential problem with piecemeal, show by show funding, is that it's hard for talent to develop and expertise to build up. Such funding is inherently insecure and short term. It's an issue in many sectors where the product is complex and cultural and improves with practice (see for example science funding).
No doubt that in public debate, opponents are labelled cranks.
But when I said don't be a crank, I was thinking in the context of one on one interactions.
Best summed up in this classic post from Simon Garlick:
I pulled up at a small park in Adelaide’s north-east suburbs to find a group of local residents waiting for Zappia and eyeing the grey clouds warily. A staffer arrived and put up a couple of folding Zappia signs shortly before Zappia himself got there. With the exception of myself the attendees were all white senior citizens. At 37 I was probably the youngest attendee by at least a quarter century, while the oldest would have been the woman who mentioned in conversation that she was 92.
I felt it would be polite to wait my turn so I stood back for a while and allowed the others to begin raising their issues of concern. It was at this point that the event took on a surreal quality. Discussion revolved around the following topics for the first half an hour or so:
Asylum-seekers and immigrants, and what Labor was doing to keep them out. (Subtext: I’M NOT A RACIST BUT KEEP THE DARKIES OUT MATE)
Foreign investment in Australian corporations and what Labor was doing to restrict it. (Subtext: I’M NOT A RACIST BUT KEEP THE ASIANS OUT OF OUR COMPANIES MATE)
Privatisation in general and would Labor promise not to do any more of it. (Subtext: I’M NOT A RACIST BUT IN MY DAY YOU COULD RING UP THE POST OFFICE AND SPEAK TO AN AUSTRALIAN MATE)
Exports of natural resources to China and residential-property sales to foreigners, and what Labor would be doing to curb it. (Subtext: I’M NOT A RACIST BUT THE CHINESE ARE BUYING UP OUR COUNTRY MATE)
The inadequacy of healthcare for senior citizens… ("Whew, a sane line of discussion at last") …and how frustrating it is to be unable to find a doctor who can speak English properly. ("FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUU")
Yeah, but then it got weird.
Zappia was asked why Australia was shipping so many millions of tonnes of coal to China when it was self-evident that moving all that mass across the equator would physically destabilise the planet. I mean, just look at all the earthquakes lately. Then Zappia was asked by one elderly gentleman why the Government did not solve “the alcohol problem” (people didn’t get drunk in his day, no sir) by simply banning alcohol. “They had the right idea in America in 1920!” he said.
Think about this for a second: these are the people who turn up to meetings with their local MPs.