Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Limping Onwards

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  • Sacha, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    I recall a rousing speech by Bob Harvey

    He's a good left leader, and adept at working with business and others. More like that please.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Lew Stoddart, in reply to Jan Farr,

    Yes that’s true – but negativity is always a winner – and our message is not negative.

    Due respect, but it's bullshit to say that positivity can't be a winner.

    Change you can believe in
    The audacity of hope
    Yes We Can
    Choose a brighter future

    That's jut winning narratives from 2008.

    Other than that, we have:

    The man from Hope (Clinton)
    Morning again in America
    Never had it so good
    I agree with Nick (arguable, but he is Deputy PM)
    and most obviously, A New Deal.

    I could go on, but I think you get the point.

    L

    Wellington, NZ • Since Aug 2010 • 109 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Due respect, but it's bullshit to say that positivity can't be a winner.

    Yup, in fact I think it's more likely to be a winner. But it's also bullshit that there is nothing negative in leftist opposition to an incumbent government. Of course one of the main things they're selling is how shitty the other guys are. I even happen to think it's true.

    What positive message could even be sent at this point? A detailed spending policy, promising growth to pay for it all?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Sacha,

    Great debunking of the debt crisis myth by Johann Hari, which Rich linked to on Keith’s thread. Sounds rather familiar..

    Great analogy:

    It’s as if tomorrow you became so panicked about your mortgage that you decided to pay it all off in one year, by ceasing to buy food and water. You get sick, and your house gets repossessed.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2933 posts Report Reply

  • Lew Stoddart, in reply to BenWilson,

    In full agreement with your assessment of Labour under Clark, and the way forward, Ben. Also it's completely true that the left doesn't have a monopoly on evidence; there's plenty of delusion on our side of the fence as well. The notion that revolutionary socialism can be democratic is probably foremost among the left's illusions.

    But that narrative worked pretty well in its day, and in spite of a century's evidence to the contrary, people still believe that shit.

    L

    Wellington, NZ • Since Aug 2010 • 109 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to BenWilson,

    What positive message could even be sent at this point? A detailed spending policy, promising growth to pay for it all?

    Why not both a positive and a negative approach? Something to the effect of, "NZ's future can belong to you (pic of wind farms). Or it can belong to Wall St robber barons (pic of Bernie Madoff)." Didn't it work for the Nats' Iwi/Kiwi billboard to a certain degree? If Maori issues and welfare are the biggest wedge issues of the Right, then the most obvious Left ones are probably job stability and asset sales.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5430 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Sacha,

    I doubt Goff or King could credibly oppose privatisation given their baggage from the 80s. Who’d take them seriously?

    I am sick of this argument that blames Labour for the fall out from Muldoons ill fated dictatorship. That prick left this country in the same state that these buggers will, given the chance. You can't go blaming Goff and King for stuff that happened back then, they had little power over the likes of Prebble, Douglas and the rest of the turncoats. There was more than just the sickening stench of free market philosophy in that term. For instance;

    Treaty of Waitangi Amendment Act 1985 — extended the scope of the Waitangi Tribunal to retrospective claims dating back to the Treaty
    Constitution Act 1986 — codified important constitutional conventions
    Homosexual Law Reform Act 1986 — legalised homosexual relations
    Immigration Act 1986 — liberalised immigration, particularly skilled migration, into NZ.
    Māori Language Act 1987 — made Te Reo Māori an official language.
    State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986 — established the first SOEs
    State Sector Act 1988 — made the civil service more business-like with Chief Executives instead of Permanent Secretaries
    Public Finance Act 1989 — changed the reporting and accountability for government expenditure
    Reserve Bank Act 1989 — enabled the Reserve Bank to autonomously pursue an inflation target
    New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 — enumerated civil, political and criminal procedure rights
    Establishment of the Royal Commission on the Electoral System
    Declaring New Zealand to be a nuclear-free zone

    Source Wikpedia

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Lew Stoddart, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    If Maori issues and welfare are the biggest wedge issues of the Right, then the most obvious Left ones are probably job stability and asset sales.

    Framing, man, framing. It’s not ‘job stability’, it’s ‘an economy that works for you’; and it’s not ‘asset sales’ it’s ‘ownership’ or ‘a stake in your country’ :)

    Also, compare and contrast a la Iwi/Kiwi was a good gimmick, but inventiveness and a new iconography is required. They did OK with this sort of approach over mining with ‘yours, not mines’ billboards and so on. Govt backed down, which is good, but Labour failed to drive it home.

    Labour’s leadership has to make its mind up on which key issues to pick up on, and fight in a way that’s authentic to them. I hope they already have, and are just sitting tight.

    L

    Wellington, NZ • Since Aug 2010 • 109 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Lew Stoddart,

    Labour’s leadership has to make its mind up on which key issues to pick up on, and fight in a way that’s authentic to them. I hope they already have, and are just sitting tight.

    Or they're waiting for us netizens to finish this interminable discussion and hand them their talking points.

    I would not even grudge them if they did, in fact I'd feel flattered to have so much influence. But I don't rate myself that much. If I were asked how to decide on the points, I'd actually suggest making a open-source effort, some kind of wiki available to people in which to frame the policy they'd like to see. Decide within a fully participatory framework. If nothing else, it would be a fantastic reference.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Lew Stoddart,

    Framing, man, framing. It’s not ‘job stability’, it’s ‘an economy that works for you’; and it’s not ‘asset sales’ it’s ‘ownership’ or ‘a stake in your country’ :)

    Precisely. The message has to be be thought-provoking without coming across as pontificating. That's where Jenny Shipley fell short when she was in Govt.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5430 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Precisely. The message has to be be thought-provoking without coming across as pontificating.

    Let’s not make them run before they can walk, Red. Goff and Cunliffe should try making a policy announcement with costings that don’t have that notorious Rogernome Brian Easton calling bullshit. Or Goff opening his mouth without begging tto be called a "do what I say, don't say what I do" hypocrite.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Or Goff opening his mouth without begging tto be called a "do what I say, don't say what I do" hypocrite.

    Yup, I can't warm to the guy, who was the Minister of Education when student fees were first introduced. 15 years later, after I finally pay my loan off, he wants me to elect him Prime Minister? Cheers dude, but die already.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Steve, there was also the considerable progress on women's rights such as the battle to ratify the UN's CEDAW (to eliminate discrimination against women), the establishment of the Ministry of Women's Affairs, state support for childcare - also the removal of early childhood from social welfare to education, and the incredible discussion about social policy around the Royal Commision's report, which still provides a benchmark in many areas.
    For those interested in this era from the perspective of some who were there the following is an interesting book (but only one chapter recognises the contribution of women: disclaimer I wrote it).
    Margaret Clark (ed.) Lange and the Fourth Labour Government (Dunmore Press, 2006).

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3214 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    State Sector Act 1988 — made the civil service more business-like with Chief Executives instead of Permanent Secretaries

    I'm not so sure I'd exclude that one from the stench of free market ideology. This was the Act which took my Dad from being a government employee in the Psychological Service, offering specialized support and advice to schools for their most difficult, troubled students and families, to working for private firms doing just the same thing at twice the price with half the coordination, no pay rise and no job security. The management and ownership structure has changed so often he's lost track and doesn't care.

    At about the same time, from memory, special schools were permanently ended, and kids with special needs were mainstreamed wholesale as part of "Tomorrow's Schools". From memory this was a Goff initiative. It wasn't all bad - some disabled kids have flourished in the mainstream. But for any that fall through the cracks there is quite literally nothing offered by the Government.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to BenWilson,

    State Sector Act 1988 — made the civil service more business-like with Chief Executives instead of Permanent Secretaries

    I’m not so sure I’d exclude that one from the stench of free market ideology.

    Correct. Pure free market ideology, based around the flawed thinking that business operate more efficiently than government, so let’s make government more like business. I’ve worked both sides of the fence and businesses are at least as inefficient as government and often more so, but they don’t have the media camped on their doorstep reporting their every mis-step with shock and horror.

    What that act did was fragment the sector so badly that all this duplication arose that English now says he is trying to get rid of. It had to – instead of a shared infrastructure, each agency had to build its own. Agencies had to compete for funding to do the work they’d always done. People who were unprepared and untrained in commercial corporate methodology were overnight expected to cope with a very different environment, and they weren’t allowed to make mistakes. Where we had had a cohesive (and largely cooperative) government sector, we now had lots of silos with their own performance measures, none of which included cooperation.

    Did the state sector need to be reformed? Yes, there were issues, especially in secretiveness and responsiveness. Yes, there was a definite need for management to modernise, to look at better ways to do things. Change was required. But the State Sector Act was driven more by perceptions of Gliding On than by actual good public management practices. It has created far more problems than it solved.

    Also, I have my own suspicions that Douglas wanted to turn agencies into businesses to make it easier to flog them off, but that’s another rant ;-)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2933 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to BenWilson,

    Section 8 of the 1989 Education Act (which set up Tomorrow's Schools) legislated for the right of all children, including disabled children, to attend their local school from 5-19 years, This was huge and I think Goff was minister at the time.

    He also made playcentres free under the shift of pre-schools from Social Welfare to Education. I remember this vividly as it meant our playcentre was funded on roll returns like kindys and we didn't have to put all our energy into fundraising.

    Special Ed 2000 which was the big push for mainstreaming (although poorly resourced and explained) and brought in the problematic ORRS scheme, was in 1996 under Minister Lockwood Smith.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3214 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    ‘a stake in your country’

    If any campaign by either major party starts referring to me as a New Zealand 'stakeholder' I will not be held responsible for my actions.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to BenWilson,

    Minister of Education when student fees were first introduced

    Indignant but understandable response to the government's plea for ex-pat student loan owers to pay up in the Herald.

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    What happened in the 1990s (after the change of government) was that the Department of Education was scaled back to a small policy ministry, special ed services was split off as a business and schools could purchase their skills, and professions like speech language therapy had their career pathways removed, and training cut back. Planning for numbers of kids, or new teachers was seen as unnecessary as the market would provide what was required. Hence by the end of the 1990s huge shortages in SLTs, inadequate support for special needs kids and poorly privately trained teachers, who could be also paid minimally through bulk funding.
    Just saying that the 1980s might have set some of this up, but most of the bad stuff in education happened in the 1990s.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3214 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    At about the same time, from memory, special schools were permanently ended, and kids with special needs were mainstreamed wholesale as part of “Tomorrow’s Schools”. From memory this was a Goff initiative. It wasn’t all bad – some disabled kids have flourished in the mainstream. But for any that fall through the cracks there is quite literally nothing offered by the Government.

    Testify. We've seen both sides of this. One kid whose needs were suited to the system -- and one who didn't fit and was utterly failed by it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Danielle,

    a New Zealand 'stakeholder'

    think of it as a vampyre flick

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    I'd actually suggest making a open-source effort, some kind of wiki available to people in which to frame the policy they'd like to see.

    they did, though I haven't checked it out - Open Labour

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to Sacha,

    This was huge and I think Goff was minister at the time.

    Goff and the Russell Marshall - after '87. The late Harvey McQueen describes Russell as Lange's attempt to protect education from Roger Douglas.

    they did, though I haven't checked it out - Open Labour

    That's what I meant earlier when, in answer to Lew, I referred to Claire Curran's efforts. A really positive development.

    I've got to say, having vehermently opposed student loans when I was in student politics, I'm not entirely sure they're so bad albeit in need of modifications.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Paul Williams,

    I've got to say, having vehermently opposed student loans when I was in student politics, I'm not entirely sure they're so bad albeit in need of modifications.

    I'm just the opposite. I didn't oppose them at the time. But now I feel that they were a major stone around my neck, and the entire mindset that they created caused me to make life choices that have led down paths that were not really to my benefit, or society's. The nation missed out on many years of tax from me because of them. Other people I know have ones that have exceeded $100,000, and no prospect of ever paying them off. To offer that kind of debt to children with no security, no proof in the ability or even intention to pay, little regard for the way in which it alienates entire generations to their own country, is unwise.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr, in reply to Lew Stoddart,

    Due respect, but it’s bullshit to say that positivity can’t be a winner.

    Change you can believe in
    The audacity of hope
    Yes We Can
    Choose a brighter future

    That’s jut winning narratives from 2008.

    Other than that, we have:

    The man from Hope (Clinton)
    Morning again in America
    Never had it so good
    I agree with Nick (arguable, but he is Deputy PM)
    and most obviously, A New Deal.

    I could go on, but I think you get the point.

    Of course I agree with you, Lew! And am feeling inspired (in a positive way) by the debate that's resulting.

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 395 posts Report Reply

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