OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Dear Labour Caucus

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  • Deborah,

    Back on topic, and you will please excuse the somewhat munted presentation of this comment - I'm still trying to learn how to.drive my lovely, shiny iPad (Chrissie pressie from my darling)...

    Is New Zealand politics being taken over by the commentariat?

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa, in reply to Isaac Freeman,

    Attachment

    For my part, Russell, I would very much like it if you could provide us all with unicorns to ride around on. I think this is a very strong proposal, and I can’t see any reason not to just go ahead with it. There really is no downside.

    I believe that Russell is already shipping the unicorns as I type. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe, etc, but I have actually SEEN. (In Kingsland, two days ago; see attached pic. Mine hasn't arrived yet but I know it's only a matter of time).

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1408 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Jolisa,

    O! Beautiful! But I like chestnut unicorns...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Just a note Megan Woods was a business manager for our CRI. She doesn't come from a science background AFAIK but her time here should have given her some insight.

    Indeed; I had a reasonable amount of contact with her during my Young Labour Christchurch years - she was very involved with YL, probably why she got Youth Affairs - and she struck me as someone who was aware of the issues I'd like a science spokesperson to be aware about, i.e. stuff of concern to the people actually doing the science.

    It is also significant that Shearer has taken on Science himself. Especially given much of the commentary from National implied they believed science and innovation needed a prominent role in cabinet which led to some musing that John Key might take on the portfolio.

    I guess I was disappointed that it was handed to Joyce along with eleventy-seven other jobs, it would have been nice to see the government give science the prominence in their cabinet that they gave it in their rhetoric (don't mean rhetoric as a pejorative but it seems to come out that way).

    National talk a good game about science, but they've never shown much understanding that it it's not as simple as putting money into projects that have "direct business relevance" (however that's measured) and getting money out. It's really easy to talk about how science leads to innovation and Other Good Things, but the devil, as I'm sure you know, is in the details. And it's the devil I'm interested in, metaphorically speaking.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2087 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Wisdom you say? Did you know that Sofie means wisdom. Jus' sayin' ;)

    Biblically (old testament), Sophia is the wisdom of God.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2468 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to merc,

    “direct business relevance” (however that’s measured)

    Probably whether titanium razor wires or steel ones are more effective for fortifying the local McMansionville.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 3896 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Hey Keith: long time no see.

    I've been thinking that New Zealand should create a sovereign wealth fund. It would be managed along the same lines of the Cullen Fund, but it would be called something institutionally reassuring like the NZ Trust Fund, or the Department of Winning.

    The funding would come from the re-introduction of a 10% estate tax of all estates over $100,000, increasing to 20% on all estates over $1,000,000, and 30% on all estates over $10,000,000, indexed to inflation. (Owner occupied residences with a value of under £500,000 might be exempt. The Fund would also encourage private inter vivos charitable contributions. (Boom: I said inter vivos. Death tax this, haters).

    It would be a long term project, but the Fund would have three major aims:

    - the permanent domestic ownership of New Zealand infrastructural and financial assets, including banks, power generation companies, and strategic landholdings;
    - a permanent reduction in income tax rates for salary and wage earners;
    - the provision of an independent income stream for use in the elimination of poverty and the creation of a totally free, cradle to grave education and scientific research system.

    I don't really care whether Labour chooses Barack or Hillary. Just find a way to improve the lives of its supporters, nay, all New Zealanders.

    (We might also have to have another look at New Zealand's trust law, and reverse National's decision on gift duty. Where exactly was the Legal Beagle when this happened? Aye? Nek minute.)

    Good talking as always - you never write anymore.

    Kind regards,
    WH

    Since Nov 2006 • 526 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    This is an improved version of the impeccably conservative Legacy10, but for some reason New Zealand abolished its estate tax and won't have a capital gains tax for the foreseeable future.

    |

    Since Nov 2006 • 526 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    she struck me as someone who was aware of the issues I’d like a science spokesperson to be aware about, i.e. stuff of concern to the people actually doing the science.

    This is what I like in politicians (apart from sincerity and ideological coherence). An awareness of the issues, and sufficient depth to address those things that are actually important in any given sector. These things are often not all that obvious to outsiders, and are often well ahead of the big and sexy ideas and projects that grab headlines. The temptation of new MPs and ministers is to run in and spend time and money on the latter.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2077 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    The funding would come from the re-introduction of a 10% estate tax of all estates over $100,000, increasing to 20% on all estates over $1,000,000, and 30% on all estates over $10,000,000, indexed to inflation. (Owner occupied residences with a value of under £500,000 might be exempt. The Fund would also encourage private inter vivos charitable contributions. (Boom: I said inter vivos. Death tax this, haters).

    It would be a long term project, but the Fund would have three major aims:

    - the permanent domestic ownership of New Zealand infrastructural and financial assets, including banks, power generation companies, and strategic landholdings;

    I couldn’t help it.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2077 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    I stand to be corrected by someone who knows what they're talking about, but I'm a uneasy fan of Muldoon's hydroelectric dams. I saw this big red crane here in London recently and it was awesome - it made me think about building stuff. It's like I'm always telling complete strangers at the pub, you've got to Think Big. I'm not a big fan of coal though. F*ck that shit.

    I met someone on the Electricorp board once. They told the Government not to sell. But no - there'll be cheaper power this way, Max Bradford said. What a dick he was.

    Since Nov 2006 • 526 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The full phrase is "don't be a dick" and I always thought it meant what I said above.

    Some guy once said, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Whether you share the mythology that has grown up around him, that sentiment is something to live by.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1701 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to nzlemming,

    "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

    a popular maxim.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15711 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Okay - this is my last post - I have work in the morning - but if I had Max and Maurice alone in a room I'd do something unspeakable involving scatological references and freezing pensioners from Invercargill. Haps Craig!

    Since Nov 2006 • 526 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Nats signalling Greens arrangement now may be conditional on support past 2014. Hopefully they're not that silly given where the power balance seems likely to be by then.

    Prime Minister John Key has signalled he is interested in a long term relationship with the Green Party that would see them potentially propping up a future National government by abstaining on confidence and supply.

    Key is holding talks today with Green Party co-leaders Russel Norman and Metiria Turei, and says he will be exploring with them whether such a relationship is possible.

    But in a sign that National intends playing hard ball, Key hinted that any deal during this term of Parliament involving policy concessions might hinge on their response.

    If the Greens were unable to see themselves supporting a National government in the future there may be little point in trying to forge a Memorandum of Understanding, as the two parties did last term.

    Guess Labour had best be getting on with talks too.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15711 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to WH,

    Going Busch...

    if I had Max and Maurice alone in a room I'd do something unspeakable

    makes me think of those other bad boys Max and Moritz


    House...
    I've been swearing in the MPs myself today:
    That Bast**d John Key
    F**kin' Bill English
    Bl**dy Nicky Wagner
    etc...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4196 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sacha,

    Nats signalling Greens arrangement now may be conditional on support past 2014.

    Phew

    But Turei this afternoon said the idea of abstention had been canvassed "hypothetically" but dismissed.

    "We discussed abstention in a hypothetical circumstance. But the fact is that Government has been formed, they have a sufficient majority to be Government over the next term," Turei said.

    "We've both agreed that we'll be looking at our policy, they'll be looking at theirs and seeing where we can find that common ground."

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15711 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    At least the discussion about "left" etc here didn't get derailed by silly neolibs. Though that James chap must be older than a spotty 15 if his dad was really at school in the 1920s.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 15711 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Sacha,

    Some people have far too much free time. Also, I don't believe that Farrar is that far right, but only because I don't think he actually has any political principles beyond gaining power.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1701 posts Report Reply

  • Lara,

    The self-censoring I do in matching the tone of this community is totally swamped by the self-censoring I do because I know the internet is public medium which never forgets.

    This. Also, while I'll do myself the courtesy of saying that while I'm probably as clever as ya'll, I am far less articulate, and far more conflict (or even criticism) averse. Should you wish to talk about the politics of Antarctica, however.... no, even there the collective knowledge of PAS would walk all over mine. That's why I like this place.

    Russell: I think you really do do an absolutely fantastic job here. I love this space (I mean it!), and there aren't many places on the 'net that I'd say that about. Thank you for all the effort you put in here. Merry Christmas!

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2009 • 74 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to rjal,

    Steve, I think you’re being a bit unfair to Damian there. My take on that comment was that it was about the Left and Right in the parliamentary and electoral context, as framed by the blog post and following discussion. It’s possible to have a discussion about media bias within that context without question begging,

    The conversation around media bias grew out of the discussion following the blog post, sure. But Gio specifically noted the bias as the favouring of “the right-wing approach to politics”, not just favouring the National Party. And he explained it as a wider systemic issue, rather than the collection of individual journo’s biases. The person who brought up the issue of media bias, Andrew E, agreed. So there’s that context as well. One of Damian’s counters was that Labour had been reasonably treated by the same media. In that context, it’s not goal-post shifting to raise the issue of how left Labour really is, because that’s obviously relevant to the matter of whether the media (yes, here in NZ) are favourably disposed to the right-wing approach to politics. If you respond to that point by claiming that Labour are 'left' in an NZ context, it becomes question begging. You’re defending against the accusation that media are biased against the left by defining them as having favourably covered a ‘left’ party.

    I think Russell was refering to Giovanni’s comments to Damian later on in the disscussion when referring to baiting.

    Possibly. A number of similar comments were made. I think I was getting the term ‘fight baiting’ from the ‘fight chasing arsehole’ comment Emma Hart made.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1122 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    There were only 29,710 deaths registered in New Zealand for the year ending 30 September 2011, so maybe we need to link this up with a CGT. I think the major problem with my proposal is going to be family farms. I propose that instead of selling land to realise estate tax upon transmission, the Fund should, on the making of an appopriate application, instead place a charge on then land so that the estate contribution can be paid when the land is next sold, or after 10 years. I don't want to blow my own horn or anything, but this could be the best policy idea I've ever posted. I tell you the truth, a prophet is never accepted in his hometown.

    Not to interrupt other conversations to which I am not a party, but whenever this site gets meta I'm reminded that some of us started calling Michael Laws a c*nt. Now this is just one man's opinion, but I never looked at rule one quite the same after that. There are lots of techniques one can use to diminish others that fall short of explicit rudeness, but at least the obvious ones have the virtue of being straightforward.

    I've been given access to a coffee machine that used to belong to Lehman Brothers. It makes a cappacino that's as amazing as it sounds: I've spent most of the last two weeks feeling overcaffeinated and derivative. (I'm here all week.)

    Okay: that is my burst of creativity for the next twelve months. I am changing my password back to something I can't remember.

    Since Nov 2006 • 526 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to BenWilson,

    You happened to pick that moment when the subject was also a very topical matter.

    Yes, that’s usually the time I try to pick.

    That's the spirit!

    I’m curious what you think is brave about my writing? Is it brave because I take personal risks that are just foolish on the internet, or because I fight quite hard against peer pressure and write about controversial things, risking to seem a fool in this forum? Or something else?

    The second, more or less. You seem relaxed about stating your opinion even when it will obviously go against the grain somewhat.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1122 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to George Darroch,

    Labour’s leftness seems to be one of those working assumptions. It’s easy to find evidence that they are. Yet it’s also easy to find evidence against,

    Just look at one of the more 'Left' policies they came out with in their fairly desperate race to get some electoral traction prior to the election: Capital Gains Tax. A 15% CGT is squarely centrist.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1122 posts Report Reply

  • rjal, in reply to Steve Parks,

    Thanks for your reply Steve, I think it's time for me to fess up and admit that on my first reading of the Damian vs Gio conversation, Gio looked to be acting in a way that was hopelessly contrarian, and had me grinding my teeth and feeling a strong urge to scream "That's not what Damian means!". Some of Gio comments do have a strange effect on me -- he had me licking utensils in my kitchen not all that long ago.

    Your first comment on this issue -- a sort of idiots guide to the conversation -- helped enormously. I saw a consistency in Gio's comments that I had somehow previously missed. Looking back I now wonder how I missed what now seems obvious (sorry Gio) and has given me pause for thought. I really should have mentioned that in my first comment.

    I will probably post something more substantive on the areas on which we disagree -- which I think are small -- in the next couple of days. I think I will also say something to Gio -- seems weird talking about him in the third person.

    Thank you everyone for your words of welcome. I think I will stick around for a while.

    Since Dec 2011 • 6 posts Report Reply

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