Posts by Euan Mason

  • Hard News: It was 30 years ago today, in reply to Sacha,

    "It was one of the best National governments we ever had"

    It was the first Act government, economically. And they would never have got away with it if National had been their parasitic host.

    It's very electorally convenient for National to have ACT as a coalition partner to take the blame for excesses such as stuffing our Emissions Trading Scheme, selling our assets, punitive union and employment legislation, punitive unemployment legislation, exploitive and pollution-friendly environmental legislation, attempting to privatise education, regressive taxation, and ultimately for the Trans-Pacific-Partnership Agreement that will sell us down the river. Roger Douglas loves this stuff, as does ACT. Make no mistake, though, these are National's policies and tendencies. ACT is where JK's head really lies, but in ACT he would lose middle ground voters. Historians will not look kindly upon this government.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: It was 30 years ago today,

    Muldoon has a lot to answer for, but when you see it from his perspective it is understandable, albeit disastrous. New Zealand’s way had always been government intervention. When something big was needed the government created a department and invested in it. This included railways, mail, telecoms, forestry, power, education, health, shipping, roading, research, and even farming was a quango given the support for research and subsidies the department provided. NZ was economically part of Britain, the rich agricultural rump of an industrialised nation, until Britain joined the EEC. We hit a loss of our export market and the oil shocks simultaneously and became a rich country with a third world economy. Muldoon’s answer, whether he voiced it as I have or not, was to have the state industrialise by intervention because that was the New Zealand way.

    However, there was a difference between state interventions of the 1970s and previous ones. Intervention to create a domestic wood supply and ultimately a burgeoning export industry, for instance, could be done one small piece at a time, with adjustments as problems became apparent. The risk was low. Think big projects, however, involved massive initial investments with taxpayers bearing all the risks of massive loans. Muldoon failed to appreciate the difference, and we went from being one of the richest peoples per capita in 1968 to the most indebted per capita in 1979 with very little successful industry to show for it. Many third world countries followed this same pattern, but usually with corruption added in.

    This is how “state intervention” became dirty words in NZ.

    Enter Thatcher, Reagan, Douglas and the new panoply of right wing neoliberals, and NZ was ripe for slaughter. We lost our assets, our jobs and our innocence. You could argue that Muldoon mortgaged them, paving the way for Douglas and Richardson to finally dispose of them.

    I welcomed the Labour government of 1984 without realising that, as one of my right wing friends puts it, “It was one of the best National governments we ever had”. Lange realised only belatedly what his Pandora box contained and by then he couldn’t close it.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dotcom: Further news of the unlikely, in reply to Mark Graham,

    Unless they can catch Key out with a direct lie. And he's too smart for that.

    I doubt even a direct lie would do it. He's the ultimate teflon PM.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Hope and Wire,

    Watched it to the end, and thought, “It’s a brief taste, not quite the right flavour, though, and doesn’t really portray what we lived through”. My mother would go white every time she heard about an earthquake; she was 9 years old in Napier in 1931. Now I understand why she went white, but Hope and Wire doesn’t explain it.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Hope and Wire,

    Some of the emotions and attitudes portrayed feel real, but maybe it was an impossible task to render the feeling of earthquake after earthquake after earthquake after earthquake. I keep watching thinking, where are the aftershocks?

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Hope and Wire,

    Footage of the first earthquake was too mild. It only lasted for about 7 seconds on film, and that sent shivers up my spine, but the real one lasted over 40 seconds and seemed like an age. It was also too quiet on film. The real one was a hell of a lot louder.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Labour's Fiscal Plan:…, in reply to FletcherB,

    Thanks FletcherB. Couldn't have said it better myself.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Labour's Fiscal Plan:…,

    Joyce was simply rude on Morning Report, and he clutched at straws when challenged by Parker. Joyce appeared to be saying that what was wrong with the proposed capital gains tax was that it didn't apply to all houses. Yet his party won't implement that solution across any houses. Go figure.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Letter,

    Mr Liu seems to operate by making donations to all and sundry in an effort to buy his way past obstructions that would stop people of lesser means. It is probable, therefore, that a donation to the Labour Party was made. Will this affair encourage MPs to pay attention when their officials advise that a character doesn't merit their help?

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • Field Theory: It has started,

    I enjoyed the game, and I can see why the Croatian manager is a bit miffed, but his player did hold Fred and although Fred's reaction was very poor and pathetic acting, the hold could have prevented a goal. Without the acting the ref wouldn't have done anything, and players need to learn to play by the rules in the box. Holding and shirt pulling in the box are mostly ignored in order to avoid penalties, and they ruin the game.

    I've played keeper from time to time and I've never enjoyed the kind of protection from a ref that we saw today. It would be nice. :)

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 162 posts Report Reply

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