Sunday, May 25, 2014

Reasons to be cheerful - part 3


The latest TV polls have DPF and Keeping Stock leaving embarrassing stains in their underpants, but there's actually a lot for the left to be chuffed about.

First and foremost, we can be happy that National are maintaining their popularity by implementing centre-left policies.  The current National government has been barely distinguishable from a Labour government, and it's paying off for them in the polls.  As well as continuing the last government's programme by retaining Kiwibank, Kiwirail, Kiwisaver (fucking unimaginative twats that the Fifth Labour government were when it came to naming things), the Cullen fund, interest-free student loans and Working for Families (wot? No 'Kiwifamilies?'), the current National government rejected austerity as a response to the GFC and adopted the left's approach to dealing with such crises: borrow to keep the economy functioning.   We've built up quite a bit of debt but it allowed us to weather the storm via the state's ability to borrow ridiculous sums at low interest rates, exactly as a good Keynesian would expect.  They've made a few nods towards traditional National efforts to direct the nation's wealth into the pockets of the already-wealthy, but mostly it's been centre-left all the way.

In its latest budget, the government has offered good traditional Labour fare, in the form of free doctor's visits for children and extending paid parental leave, and by the looks of it the electorate is rewarding them with increased popularity.  Labour must be spitting, and you have to feel sympathy for them (well, if you're a lefty), but in terms of the national interest a centre-left programme is being followed so the overall situation is positive.

To some extent, yes I am putting a good spin on it.  No good has ever come from an NZ government getting a third term, from first Labour through various National governments to fifth Labour.  There's no reason to assume the current one would be an exception, and hubris is already writ large among its participants.  A win for National in September would be statistically highly unlikely to be a good thing.

(Disclaimer:  as a property-owner in the top income tax bracket, I do better under right-wing governments than left.)


7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very well put. Most National supporters don't really care about right wing reformist policy. All they're concerned about is keeping Labour out. English wrote the best left wing budget we've seen since 2005 and it dhows in tonight's poll where 67% of Labour voters approve of it. Take Nationals 51% and add in Labours 30% and it's clear that 81%!of the country are a pile of progressive lefties. This country has $60billion of debt and supposed right wingers are wanking because Labour is on 29%. Fuck them.

Anonymous said...

The thing is, if you call the Nats free dr visits, vague mention of tax cuts, and slowly reducing government spending mildly left wing, then Labour's command and control ideas with electricity control, unions, CGT, higher income taxes,and invasive environmental law must put them into the raving socio-communist
basket.
NZ is better of where they currently are - warming the opposition benches.

Jimmie

Barnsley Bill said...

"A win for National in September would be statistically highly unlikely to be a good thing.'

Agreed.
But.
A loss for National would definitely be a bad thing for NZ.
A coalition of the befuddled, criminal, loony left would be an absolute disaster.
I maintain that our best hope of slowing the descent to third world status is continuing with a blue government.

Watcher said...

Yup they stole Labour's thunder but the cynical we are going to introduce this or that policy after the election has turned many off.
Highest non voting figures on the horizon.

The Gantt Guy said...

@Barnsley:

"...I maintain that our best hope of slowing the descent to third world status is continuing with a blue government..."

Is that the best to be hoped for? A swift descent by voting for hard-left lunatic Marxists, or a slightly slower one by voting for far-left soft Marxists?

FFS, surely our once-great little nation deserves a better end than that? In fact, if the breakdown of the civil society is as inevitable as your comment implies, I'd prefer it to happen quickly, so we can get the bloodshed over and our children can set about rebuilding the country on the basis of genuine freedom?

Anonymous said...

I continue to be amazed by those who clearly have no understanding of the political dynamic.

I would hazard a guess that 70% of the voting public are essentially centrist in outlook ... some slightly right of centre, some slightly left but all essentially moderate in belief.

Both National and Labour have traditionally targeted that middle ground with varying degrees of success.

The problem for Labour is that in recent years it has moved from being a broad church party to one perceived as dominated by unionists, academics, feminists and gays while National has succeeded in mopping up those who now feel disenfranchised from Labour.

The 20-25% who vote for Parties on the hard right or hard left can luxuriate in their self-generated moral superiority ... characterised by no compromise, rather be dead than red or true rather than blue.

The reality is that those on the hard right or left of the political divide will never be called upon to form a Government in their own right and on their own terms.... middle NZL will see to that.

And that perhaps is the strength of our democracy buttressed by the innate good sense of the 70% who decide who really make the running.

Psycho Milt said...

A loss for National would definitely be a bad thing for NZ.
A coalition of the befuddled, criminal, loony left would be an absolute disaster.


Should be OK - the coalition of the befuddled, criminal, loony right we have now seems to have done relatively little damage. I get your point about the relative merits of a hubris-laden third-term government versus the unknown quantity of the flakes in the Opposition, though - consider Clark's third term government vs the potential Brash alternative. The horrors Clark subjected us to were as nothing compared to what we might have suffered under her opponent. I guess we're lucky Key shafted English and then Brash - Key's prioritising of his personal ambition to be a popular Prime Minister has led him to run a government little different from Labour; Brash had actual principles and would have acted on them, which would have had us way down the gurgler by now.