Polity by Rob Salmond

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Polity: Unity, success: Chicken, egg?

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  • tony j ricketts,

    and to get back to Stuart Nash - one thing that troubled me was his use of the Napier/Hastings merger issue, where the more numerous and wealthier Napier doesn't want a bar of merging with the less numerous and poorer Hastings. Even then, it took the intervention of Garth McVicar splitting the tory vote (plus possibly 2000 Party-vote Green voters who didn't vote for their candidate) to give him a reasonable win. Labour has to win party votes!

    wellington • Since Aug 2012 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Kirk Serpes,

    What this comes down to is a lack of strategy and skills

    Yes. If Labour can't perform basic backroom strategy and comms functions, no amount of shuffling frontpeople will make a difference. Shunning or undermining your likely coalition partners is also not something voters ignore.

    If only the incompetent would get out of the way. Perhaps what is most needed now is swift, firm persuasion to that effect.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Unfortunately the people you think are incompetents who should move on will be people who many others would see as important champions of whatever. It's a universal rule that everyone wants to get rid of the dead wood but very few people agree on what, specifically, the dead wood is.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    dead wood is

    Deadwood who?

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C, in reply to Pharmachick,

    Labour have a number of problems, and besides of the perception in the public that they have been too divided, they also have a credibility problem.

    We only need to look at the social security policy area to find hypocrisy. What Labour MPs say during debates and question time in Parliament, and also during election campaigns, does often not match with what they did when last in government.

    There was criticism directed at welfare reforms, e.g. the rather radical, draconian measures introduced in July 2013 (under the ‘Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Act’). Some Members criticised these reforms brought in by National, but the criticism was rather limited and did not last for long.

    Perhaps this was, because Labour was planning something similar, when they were still in government in 2006 to 2008. They were then going to follow earlier UK reforms, and bring in more measures to “support” sick, injured and disabled into work. At that time only some measures with increased “work ability” expectations and so were introduced, but they did already create internal Regional Health Advisors and Regional Disability Advisors, who would re-assess many on the then sickness benefit, and eventually also those on the invalid’s benefit. They involved their “designated doctors”, and even started training them (!!) under the newly created position of Principal Health Advisor, one Dr David Bratt, was responsible for that. He is known as a hard line supporter of the failed UK approaches.

    His position was created in 2007, and he is still in his job, feeling more audacious under National led governments, even likening benefit dependence to “drug dependence”. Here is one of his many presentations, doing just that (see pages 13, 20, 21 and 35):
    http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/GP%20CME/Friday/C1%201515%20Bratt-Hawker.pdf

    His employer seems to support such a position he has taken, having also adopted the UK “findings” coming from such “experts” like Mansel Aylward, who was known for making claims that much sickness is just “illness belief” (in the mind of the affected).

    This OAG report reveals what already happened under Labour, when last in government, and what they were planning:
    http://www.oag.govt.nz/2009/social-development/docs/social-development.pdf

    They were clearly going down the same kind of road that the Nats have gone. Perhaps Labour was not going to go as far, and try to implement such new policies more gradually, more gently, but they have indeed actually similar ideas, it seems, as the Nats do. When I heard Annette King criticise new measures the Nats want to bring in like “social bonds”, to basically experiment with mentally ill they want to shift into work, it sounded “hollow” to me, and not convincing. There are sadly too many skeletons in the closet that Labour still have.

    You find such hypocrisy in other policy areas, and perhaps many voters see it, thus thinking, what difference would it make to vote Labour, and then vote National, who are at least considered more “stable” and being better “managers” of the economy (which I have my doubts about). Hearing Phil Twyford raise issues with the housing policy of the Nats, he keeps quiet on what Labour would offer. They have also neglected state homes, and have things to answer for.

    I was struck by the lack of comments from Labour on social security matters, throughout recent years, and in the election they did not even talk about beneficiaries, as even under Labour, the media and public moved further to the right re social security or benefit support, wanting less of this.

    All this tells me that Labour have again shifted to the right, and this new “think tank” or what they call it, is a sign of more to come. It is not good news, and it will not help Labour, with the perception people have of the party.

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison,

    And then there is our democracy house reality.

    It's a one seat majority parliament. The "Parties who know National are a pack of rich elitist banking men terrified of the real common man and woman, feral as they are " need two more seats. Two more seats.

    More people vote against National than for them.

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Pharmachick,

    I don’t believe in communism

    Think of it as enlightened self-interest, then. Every child whose education is hampered by hunger, or who suffers a poverty-related disease will be a drain on the public purse for decades.

    In South Auckland, we're already facing a public-health time bomb that was set ticking in the 1990s when various "third world diseases" rocketed. This stuff does hurt us all.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Stalin and Mao didn’t believe in communism either.

    Jesus was a communist. Respect.

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I don’t believe in communism

    Think of it as enlightened self-interest

    If Marx were to drag himself out of his crypt, he'd probably look at our public education, pulic health, and social security and mutter- 'we won!"
    Or he might have a few decades back. Now public services and welfare are all on the retreat :(

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Jack Harrison, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Aye, public service, strange latin words.

    wellington • Since Aug 2014 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    I can't help but think the moment Labour starts talking about Labour it could be talking about something else.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Marc C,

    Our two major parties are globalists - following this ideology;

    http://www.rmit.edu.au/media/public-site-media-production/documents-to-be-sorted/documents/pdf/ideologiesofglobalizationes4cefpg6ifj1/es4cefpg6ifj1.pdf

    It's really interesting to look for those parties that out rightly deny one or more of those six core claims. They are the real challengers of the status quo.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    name the back office Labour peeps who are bastions of competence. Go on.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Jack Harrison,

    he was way cool, apparently

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    important champions of whatever

    woo

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    tis not all dead wood,
    some is fresh stoopid.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Sacha,

    the back office Labour peeps who are bastions of competence.

    Rob Salmond I reckon. YMMV :)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah, in reply to Paul Williams,

    I can’t help but think the moment Labour starts talking about Labour it could be talking about something else.

    Indeed. Of late Labour has been talking about housing and the future of work, and the major response to the formation of "Progress" has been to say, "Oh, that's interesting. Labour is a broad church." And then party leadership has carried on talking about things like, well, housing and the future of work and the like.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    agreed. and he had the good grace after the election to admit he got it wrong.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Samuel Scott,

    I don’t understand why anyone thinks they’re *entitled* to a house in Herne Bay or Khandallah right out of School/Uni. Our parents *aspired* to that and worked their way up the ladder.

    Hehe, my mum bought a 6 bedroom giant victorian mansion on the cliffs above Freeman's Bay when she was about 22. This is a young woman from a lower middle class solo parent family in south auckland. Can you imagine a young family from those circumstances buying a house at 22 of any size in any suburb in any major city in NZ now? It is not possible.

    I'm not sure my parents *aspired* to anything at that point. They were creative free spirited individuals who left university in the late '60s with no debt into a society with close to full employment where buying a huge rambling victorian villa was just part of that next lentil and baby filled stage of life (I guess our inner city suburbs had been emptied by the rich moving out to new build 'burbs). I think boomers became much more aspirational through the 80s as house prices went crazy and that became the game.


    ...sorry to comment on something from 3 pages of comments ago, I just found that hilarious.

    South Wellington • Since Feb 2008 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Samuel Scott,

    I'm not sure my parents *aspired* to anything at that point. They were creative free spirited individuals who left university in the late '60s with no debt into a society with close to full employment where buying a huge rambling victorian villa was just part of that next lentil and baby filled stage of life...

    One small point - to the best of my recollection, Government policy up until the early 70s restricted banks to making loans only for new housing.

    Re. "aspired" - I'm sure Paula Bennett's case manger was trained to gaze into her eyes to detect any lurking flicker of entitlement. Finding only the pure light of aspiration, her ticket out of munterville was given the deserving stamp of approval.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to Samuel Scott,

    I bought a small cottage by the ocean (Waitati, Dunedin) in 1980 for $8,500 - took me 3 years to pay it off (would have been sooner but my car was stolen during the '81 tour, cops weren't all that interested in finding it) - it had an outside bathroom and toilet, hot water from a coal range.

    Remember it was a time of hyper-inflation and petrol shortages, salaries went up crazily (until Muldoon's disasterous price/wages freeze).

    My Dad had a 3% 30 year house loan, he waited to pay it off.

    In the US I had 30 year loans I could always pay principal off whenever I liked, refinancing was trivial, we followed the rates down refinancing several times over 10 years.

    NZ mortgages suck, short terms, penalties for paying them off early, high interest rates.

    When we moved back to NZ we got a mortgage (we put down 80%) that was at a slightly higher rate but also tied to our chequing account -the ATM showed a large negative number that slowly decreased as we paid it off.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2606 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Deborah,

    Indeed. Of late Labour has been talking about housing and the future of work, and the major response to the formation of “Progress” has been to say, “Oh, that’s interesting. Labour is a broad church.” And then party leadership has carried on talking about things like, well, housing and the future of work and the like.

    One of the better ideas by far to come from the Future of Work is the proposal for an ICT apprenticeship system. It solves the problem three-fold: the ICT industry not being able to find enough skilled people; workers finding the barriers to entering the industry too high (such as myself); and the skills goalposts shifting every few years or so. Pity then, that Prostetnic Vogon Joyce isn’t interested, instead setting up an ICT grad school which only reinforces the rungs at the top of the ladder, rather than the missing rungs at the bottom where it's needed most.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5416 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Re. “aspired” – I’m sure Paula Bennett’s case manger was trained to gaze into her eyes to detect any lurking flicker of entitlement. Finding only the pure light of aspiration, her ticket out of munterville was given the deserving stamp of approval.

    The Paula Bennetts of this world are deluded if they think that everyone can graduate with distinction from the (Charter) School of Hard Knocks like she did. More likely it’ll be savaged by the ERO for driving its students to suicidal despair or violent frustration, prefects abusing their power, grade tampering, and corporate welfare.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5416 posts Report Reply

  • fraser munro, in reply to Pharmachick,

    true - but trying to be the love child of tony blair and a blue suit (with a red tie) wont do it either

    ranui • Since Nov 2014 • 14 posts Report Reply

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