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Nov 04, 2004

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Jordan

Well, for you there is no hope, not because the things you discuss as needing to be addressed are wrong, but because your analysis is totally incorrect. You have constructed, from whatever source, a picture of New Zealand that is violently at odds with reality. Don Brash did the same thing, with his "Labour is destroying New Zealand" stuff last year. He realised he was wrong, and has desisted.

If half the things you accuse Labour of were true, then we'd be out on our ear. The sustained, broad-based public support for the current government, its economic success and reinvestment in social services should by now have forced you to consider whether your analysis and facts were right.

The fact you remain deaf to the evidence that is all around you, explains why your movement isn't going to win the next election. There is plenty of time for you to start listening and get back in touch, but I believe that you (as a group, not you personally) are too arrogant and confident of your own rightness, to listen, to learn or to get it right.

Rich

For most people, social market capitalism (what you seem to regard as close to Communism) works on a basis of simple arithmetic.

Let's take one possible policy a right-wing government could introduce - charging for hospital visits. This would no doubt fund a small tax cut, but for a majority of the population, this would be eaten up in hospital bills. This is true of most public spending, and makes voting left a rational decision.

In some countries, including a large one that has just had an election, the right gain power on a regular basis by playing on fear and bigotry amongst the "working people". (aka Social Conservatism). With less well educated people than Kiwis, this works well...

Of course various parties of the right espouse social liberalism, but how many have ever been elected (interested to hear of any examples??)

James

Maybe I don't read enough right blogs, but I still don't get the 'Helengrad' label. Well, it's very clever that 'stalin' and 'helen' sort-of-rhyme, but if the point of the label is to link stalinism and authoritarian soviet policies with the labour government of helen clark through their similarities, well it seems to show up an ideological bias more than a worthwhile analysis. Unless you're being ironic, of course.

We are a capitalist welfare state run by a centre-left government that have not fundamentally reversed the neoliberal policies of the 80s and 90s. The labour government have tinkered around with a few issues, mainly social, but describing our government as 'socialist', to me, says more about perceptual bias than it does about the government.

James

btw sage, my post says 4:10am but it's 5:10pm. Is that your site or my computer? Just thought I'd point it out...

Jordan

Rich - the National Party has. The party of the Human Rights Act; of Treaty Settlements... that National Party had a remarkably good record on human rights etc. The current leadership seems to be trying to bury it, or parts of them do, but it's a strong trend in New Zealand right wing thought.

sagenz

none of you have the slightest idea of what I am getting at. New Zealand has lost its path in the world. we used to stand for something real. Contributing our people to bringing freedom and democracy to the world and being self reliant. being part of a bigger idea. now it is hold the hand out to the state and whine loudly they need to giver more.
Jordan - Brash desisted, not because he realised he was wrong, but too keep the powder dry. helen is nothing if not politically astute. The resonance that Brash ideas had with New Zealanders as evidenced by the massive increase in polls showed that a sustained campaign would bring out support for National. helen and cronies performed a complete u turn in their bid to hang onto popular support. These are actions of your group 3 people.
Rich - The discipline that charging for hospital visits brings is that encourages people to understand there is a cost to everything. Your logic is precisely the problem. you see no problem with the state providing everything. state provision has a dead weight. If 10 visits cost $100 each to the hospital providing, then charging people $20 per visit will allow 12 people to visit. Instead, if taxes were increased by $20 for each original visitor perhaps only $100 of that $200 would be able to flow on to the hospital. thus only 1 more person is provided health services.
Basic economics. the same applies on student fees. If you contribute something it has a value.

James - helen and even more so margaret wilson are authoritarian socialists. there is no irony - stalingrad, leningrad, are some examples. helen is not stalin. check out the motto at steve kearneys blog - "the states role will be whatever I determine the states role to be". The clear theme of their policies is to make New Zealanders more reliant on a more powerful state.
"capitalist welfare state " - and helengrad are moving towards the welfarist idea and away from the capitalist balance.
National has a proud record on human rights. It was a successful political tactic of the left to whine long and loudly about some of the political flaws that are inevitable in government. Their holier than thou attitude in the 99 campaign is precisely what makes such hypocrisy grate now.

dave

There are several reasons why Helengrad is in power.

1. a good economy
2. Many voters on the centre like Labour
3. we havent had the next election.
4. the centre vote.

Anyway, it depends on what you mean by left/right. Socially, general, theologically/religious/ economic?

Hey, I'm not hard left or right - Im in
the centre, ( well, balanced, you could say :-) and the centre is the biggest group of people, and is the group that determines the election.

Furthermore, people vote based on gut feeling. Some who like Labour's economic policies do not like the sodial ideaology, but they think Nationals economic policy is worse - so they vote the lesser of the two evils. Its the economy, stupid.

And finally, I don't think your economic analysis is correct. And categorisning people self responsibility rather than state responsibility does not equate to left/right IMHO.

stephen

You might consider that a *conservative* view in New Zealand would be in favour of a welfare state. To remove and reduce social security is a radical departure from the status quo.

You might also ask yourself how the economic policy of this goverment differs from its National predecessor, and while I'm sure Jordan would disagree, I would say the answer is "hardly at all". This goverment's leftiness is manifested much more in the social policy sphere than the economic. And as it happens, I think NZ'ers these days are pretty loose and mellow compared to their 1950s equivalents, so they don't feel the same outrage that their American counterparts might.

In fact, yer genuine 70's Labour activist wouldn't recognise Labour now as a left wing goverment. Where are the price controls? The tariffs? The high marginal tax rate? The property speculation tax? The state-supported collectives? Subsidies for local industry? State-owned infrastructure?

So there's your answer. Labour IS a right-wing, or at least a centrist party (though it may be to the left of National). You are personally too far to the right to realise what the middle is.

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