Polity by Rob Salmond

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Polity: Custard

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  • Tristan,

    Trouble is Labour for what ever reason as still so unlikable I wonder how much difference it will make. Example of this:

    is Bennett new line about how leaking was all a labour smear even though she admited it was wrong

    Soper say labour was grandstanding about homeless people by joining them on the sleep out

    What do you do about an opposition so unlikable that people are happy to believe this crap because it fits thier perceptions better

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 221 posts Report Reply

  • Greg Presland, in reply to Tristan,

    So it is all Labour's fault? Bennett's office is involved in a clear attempted smear and you try and blame Labour? And homelessness is an absolute crisis but Labour did wrong in trying to highlight how bad it was?

    Waitakere • Since Nov 2006 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Tristan,

    an opposition so unlikable that people are happy to believe this crap

    REALLY! So unlikeable? Do you believe any of these things? Do you believe Soper? Bennett?
    Or are you somehow able to deduce this "Trouble" from the ether by...what...sniffing?

    Im still thinking about a response to the post if any, so I'll leave it at that.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1782 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    My daughter just got a speeding ticket. I told her she should have quoted the Police Minister to the cop in her defence. Judith Collins has said people should stop looking at their speedometers and not worry about speeding.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3181 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari,

    The next fifteen months are going to be fascinating

    more like deeply depressing, given the toll the policies or lack of action is having on far too many

    politics is a really stupid game sometimes/often

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 537 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Greg Presland,

    And homelessness is an absolute crisis but Labour did wrong in trying to highlight how bad it was?

    It bears noting that Labour's South Auckland MPs had been working with homeless people in their electorates for a long time before the current wave of stories.

    Soper's column (apart from being as badly-written as usual) is a kind of triumph of not knowing anything.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22695 posts Report Reply

  • izogi,

    I more or less agree with everything Rob's said, but pointing to deficiencies and incompetence in the government is such an easy thing in recent times. It all gets reported, and then the next day comes. I routinely run into people who are sick of the government, but they're sick of all politicians because what Rob's described is, to them, what government is, no matter who's running things. They go out and vote anyway, usually for the status quo because change would be more of a risk, or because it's the devil they know, or something like that.

    What am I supposed to think after reading this? If the point is meant to be that a Labour-led alternative would be better, then I wish there were more in here about what Labour would be doing, why Labour's people are superior, would make highly competent and better Ministers who are less prone to screwing up, and how it'd overall be better.

    Otherwise it's just asking people to vote for the least worst instead of the best. For a party which typically does better when those most susceptible to not bothering to vote actually get out and vote, I don't think this type of writing is likely to lead to a successful strategy.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to izogi,

    ...I wish there were more in here about what Labour would be doing...

    While Rob Salmond attempts to squeeze a little political capital from Treasury's finding that Key's "90 Day Trial policy is a complete flop", Labour's not exactly preparing to dance on its grave. The only change they seem to be contemplating is requiring employers to explain why they fired you.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4590 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    In signaling closer alliance with the Greens, Labour has, however, given you a way to vote for a change of government without having to actually vote for Labour.

    But even so think it’s unfair to say that their “only change” is not significant. Forcing employers to give a reason for dismissal is a big improvement on the current “fire at will” setup.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10596 posts Report Reply

  • tussock, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    That's a big step, really, Joe. The 90 day law still requires you have a legitimate reason for firing someone, but it also says that reason need not be communicated to the employee at any point. National never managed to pass their fire-at-will version.

    Changing it to needing a legitimate reason that they have to tell you up front so you can at least try to fix whatever the problem is, that's a help. It's also basically the law for firing anyone, just with a few less steps.

    Since Nov 2006 • 605 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to tussock,

    Right. There is recourse if the excuse is essentially unfair, discriminatory, untruthful, malicious, etc.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10596 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to tussock,

    The 90 day law still requires you have a legitimate reason for firing someone, but it also says that reason need not be communicated to the employee at any point. National never managed to pass their fire-at-will version.

    My understanding is that, under the 90 day provision, National pretty much exempted employers from being subject to the disputes tribunal. Is there a reason then, apart from electoral timidity, for Labour to retain anything of National's 90 day legislation?

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4590 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    I'm not sure of the detail of employers being required to have a rational reason, but the law seems to do a concise job of ensuring that employers don't have any obligation to provide that reason to the employee, nor be concerned about the employee taking action against them because of it.

    The explanation on MBIE's employment website says nothing about requiring a reason (or not), but does say that the employee would not be able to take a personal grievance.

    Looking more directly at the law, which I guess is 67, 67A and 67B of the Employment Relations Act...

    * 67A(2) says that the employer can dismiss the employee, and the employee cannot bring a personal grievance or other legal proceedings regarding the dismissal.
    * 67B(2) seems to say the same thing a second time.
    * 67B(3) states that the employee can bring personal grievances for any of the other standard reasons (sexual/racial harassment, discrimination, and a bunch of others) which I guess are for things which might occur during the time of employment before dismissal, but explicitly not for unjustified dismissal.
    * 67B(5)(a) absolves the employer of the obligation to let the employee access information about a potential decision to end their employment, and absolves the employer of their usual obligation to allow the employee to comment on any such information or potential decision.
    * 67B(5)(b) states that the employer is not required to provide a reason to the employee.


    So, I take it Labour's proposal is to require that the employee be told why they're being dismissed, yet still prevent them from doing anything about it no matter how unfair or unjustified it is? What other avenues would there be? Could an employee then supposedly complain to a government authority that would be capable of investigating and prosecuting?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    We don't even need right wing commentators, so rapidly can we turn a discussion of the major shortcomings of the government into about the much lesser shortcomings of the opposition. It's like we've internalized the right wing talking points.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10596 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I’m not a massive Labour fan (although I fully admit that they have significantly grown on me since Little took the helm), but seriously, it’s getting to the point where the very much lesser of two evils would be a very big step.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10596 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to BenWilson,

    It's like we've internalized the right wing talking points.

    When Rob Salmond offers nothing beyond passively spectating while National deliver a series of own goals, yes, you could be forgiven for thinking that.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4590 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to izogi,

    If the point is meant to be that a Labour-led alternative would be better, then I wish there were more in here about what Labour would be doing, why Labour’s people are superior, would make highly competent and better Ministers who are less prone to screwing up, and how it’d overall be better.

    Otherwise it’s just asking people to vote for the least worst instead of the best.

    This.

    One of the main reasons the Nats are enjoying such a run of unfettered power is the lack of a credible opposition. I'm sure that if National gets another two or three terms in government, they'll eventually screw up our ecology and fry our democracy to such an extent that Labour might... just might get another shot. But is that really the best option we can hope for?

    Unlike Sanders in the US and Corbyn in the UK, the NZ Labour Party has for years aspired to be National-Lite. It's still neoliberalism, just slightly and almost imperceptibly softer.

    Will Labour chuck out the TPP? Like fuck they will. They supported the bill, despite its ISDS provisions ceding control to multinationals. Ditto the erosion of our labour laws.

    What will Labour do to encourage green energy? Who knows, because they seem to avoid having any strong policies in this area.

    How about the accelerating degradation of our waterways from overfarming? The undemocratic takeover of Ecan? The sacrifice of our rail network to the trucking lobby?

    National's divisive politics promoting inequality and extreme greed should be an easy target for a modern party of the left. But only if that party embraces genuine left-wing values. There's never been a better time for Labour to offer New Zealanders a real alternative instead of a watered down more of the same.

    The slogan "Vote Labour... because we're not National" will never be a vote winner.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1353 posts Report Reply

  • tony j ricketts, in reply to izogi,

    . It all gets reported, and then the next day comes. I routinely run into people who are sick of the government, but they're sick of all politicians because what Rob's described is, to them, what government is, no matter who's running things.

    Sorry I'm late, just got back from England.

    This is exactly what Nicky Hager describes as the intent of the right, because their opponents are more likely to refrain from voting when they feel like that. Venality is what the right actually want from their politicians.

    wellington • Since Aug 2012 • 40 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    The next fifteen months are going to be fascinating.

    Maybe for you Rob, for me they’ll be excruciating. I take little joy from the screw ups on such a scale as this govt is screwing up. Because when those who are supposedly in charge are fucking up as monumentally as this lot are, and have been for years now, people suffer!

    For me, when our idiot PM, showed how his mind works when confronted by facts on BBC Hardtalk years ago now. That should have been the end for him and his dopey friends, they got another term. More fool me.
    Now the shortcomings of this govt are writ large, does the population go into denial mode, because if they or anyone close isnt suffering its out of sight, out of mind?
    And all manner of mental justifications that do no one any good.

    Will Labour/ Greens be different, of course they will. Do they have to sell that to the population I guess so. Will people start paying attention to the direction a govt is taking us in, looking beyond personal interest.
    I can only hope.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1782 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Pattison, in reply to izogi,

    Contrary to popular belief, employers are still required to tell the employee why they had been fired, and to communicate to them during the trial how they are doing - a concept that has big consequences.

    The basis of this is the fact that the law only applies to the point of dismissal. Apart from that, the employer is required to act with good faith, which means communicating whether or not the employee is doing a good job or not. The employer is also required to advise the employee, when asked, what the reasons were for the termination. This is all part of the employer's obligation to act with good faith - an obligation that extends past the point of dismissal.

    The most obvious reason for this is: when the former employee turns up at WINZ, what are they to tell them? The reason for the termination of employment has a big bearing on how quickly they can access financial support.

    Why is this so significant? Well, if an employer is not communicative during the trial, or tells the employee they are doing a good or satisfactory job, and then turns around and fires them for not doing a good enough job, then they were not acting with good faith. You'll only ever get an award for unjustifiable disadvantage - rather than unjustifiable dismissal - but you can still use that to make a claim for compensation for work lost.

    So the provisions are actually more faulty than people realise but employers won't make a fuss about it because, so long as most employees don't understand their rights in this reasonably complicated area, the longer they can take advantage of the situation.

    Ugh.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    How about the accelerating degradation of our waterways from overfarming? The undemocratic takeover of Ecan?

    You mean other than promise to hold democratic elections for ECan, campaign on that, put Bills in the Ballot to achieve that, stand candidates for ECan with an explicit mandate to work towards the return of full democracy at ECan, ...? Yeah, I dunno what Labour's doing about ECan eh.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Is there a reason then, apart from electoral timidity, for Labour to retain anything of National's 90 day legislation?

    Because - exactly like the PM - they prefer anecdata from employers they've met over actual research which shows the policy does not help anybody other than bad employers who can not competently manage hiring and developing their teams. Ambishus.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19611 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Alfie,

    One of the main reasons the Nats are enjoying such a run of unfettered power is the lack of a credible opposition.

    The last few weeks has given me some hope we are past this at last. (Touch wood) no Lab MPs leaking or sticking feet in mouths to distract from a govt floundering on housing is a minor miracle after years of inept stuff-ups. Long may it continue.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19611 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sacha,

    Fortunately the Greens are smart enough to overcome this residual Labour stupidity given a chance in coalition negotiations.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19611 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C, in reply to izogi,

    "I more or less agree with everything Rob's said, but pointing to deficiencies and incompetence in the government is such an easy thing in recent times. It all gets reported, and then the next day comes. I routinely run into people who are sick of the government, but they're sick of all politicians because what Rob's described is, to them, what government is, no matter who's running things. They go out and vote anyway, usually for the status quo because change would be more of a risk, or because it's the devil they know, or something like that."

    Yep, you more or less have said what I felt like saying, or rather writing here.

    It is easy to point fingers, at a government slowly dismantling itself, through incompetence and being asleep at the wheel, for getting into a desperate situation now, as they relied on the Christchurch rebuild, a short lived dairy milk powder boom and immigration to stimulate "growth". They did only a patchwork of other things, and are about to leave a train-wreck of an economy, hence they are so afraid, too afraid to put some controls on immigration and the annual overflow into Auckland, which puts immense pressures on housing, infrastructure and various social, education and health services.

    What people will ask is: What alternative is Labour, or are Labour and Greens going to offer, to get us out of this? With land and house prices in Auckland having reached the sky as a vague limit, how can an alternative government build affordable housing, without hurting anyone, i.e. the ones owning homes and land, being loaded with mortgage debt, who will crumble under the pressure, should their equity in their properties drop in value, and should they be left with massive debt to pay off over the years?

    The state owned land may be there in some places, but sticking the homeless and poor into multilevel small units, thus using land efficiently, will only create the new, future slums of tomorrow.

    We know that Kiwi Build was rubbished, because the costs that Labour talked about last election, would not even pay for the land to buy for the homes. So what miracle will solve this housing crisis in Auckland? And with a building boom we usually have demand increase costs on supplies and labour also, hardly a good basis to build cheap homes.

    To really change the market situation and create affordable housing in sufficient numbers, massive intervention would be needed, which will inevitably lower house prices and hurt some people. Those seem to be the same people Labour desperately tries to win as future voters (the centre of the spectrum).

    And better health and education services will mean more spending, more investment, higher costs, hence only payable by higher taxes for some, again likely to hit some that Labour tries to win as future "middle New Zealand" voters.

    The many in the missing million are again not being reached, or not interested enough to make the difference, so there lies the challenge, to present a valid, competent alternative, that will get voters to vote, that make the difference, all else is just jumping around in joy while Rome is burning, but forgetting your own home will burn with it.

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

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