I haven’t had much positive to say lately about Labour, but it’s from despair rather than malice. Finally, though, a light at the end of the tunnel. And an incandescently bright one, too. Let’s hope it shines on all the dark corners created by National over the last two terms, with their patsy yes-man partners. David Parker presented a policy – a policy! At last! One that’s profound, well thought out and, best of all, even innovative. And it’s not one National can steal, as it’s too counter to National’s coda. Neo Liberals might rail at the level of state economic control it implies, but that’s because it’s a policy that’s bad for the greedy and good for everyone else. Yes, that’s what I mean: it’s a good policy that’s good for the country. Parker even nails his ‘egalitarian outcomes’ to the masthead – it’s what Labour was founded on, but how long since you heard anyone say it?
Civilised countries have schemes, you see, that draw on national savings plans to balance the economy. Personal savings helped Japan weather the collapse of the ‘Asian Tiger’. Best of all, KiwiSaver does something to counter the stranglehold Australian banks have on New Zealand money. Again, a good thing. Note that Just days after the ANZ posted a record NZ profit, Westpac followed suit … at the same time as Westpac is running ads to asking Kiwis to donate to their rescue helicopter. Excuse me? Your record profits came from us.
Pay for it yourself.
How long does anyone honestly believe New Zealand can carry on as a low-wage, high risk (in Rod Oram’s words) economy? Until the bubble bursts. But that’s the game National is playing. National knows Labour will have to put everything back together again sooner or later, and so the cynical seesaw continues.
We entrust our welfare – social and economic – to those we vote for. National has blatantly been flogging the country’s assets off while keeping the economy turning in favour of local consumers rather than our exporters. People are pleased because they can buy more stuff they don’t need, as the country sinks deeper into debt. Debt always comes back to bite. But it’s such an easy sell – everyone likes buying stuff. We can hardly stop ourselves – so someone has to do it for us. Meanwhile, National’s core constituency gets richer in the short term.
And good lord, the Sunday Star Times even has passages that are quote-worthy. I love this one from Parker: “Giving rights to the minority never takes it away from the majority.”
Meanwhile, New Zealand’s majority party is becoming very frayed around the edges. MPs have quit, Judith Collins and Maurice Williams have shown where arrogance leads and John Key’s smile looks increasingly strained.