Showing posts from March, 2017

Labour/Green budget rules make sense

The more the Green Party talks about economic policy the more it is perceived by some on the left as becoming mainstream and accepting neoliberal philosophies. Sue Bradford and the CTU have protested that the agreed fiscal constraints announced by Labour and the Greens are a sellout and that the growing inequality in New Zealand won't be addressed under the proposed Budget Responsibility Rules. Many on the left are feeling uncomfortable that the business community and David Farrar are praising the announcement. There is a widely held perception that National Governments constrain spending, and are therefore fiscally responsible, and Labour Governments spend large and accumulate debt. There is also another perception that to rectify the social inequalities in New Zealand, and address our environmental degradation, then fiscal restraints must be put to one side. Both perceptions display a good deal of economic ignorance. There are also some Green supporters who want to see

Running from "Hit & Run"

We are constantly fed positive stories regarding the professionalism, adaptability and resourcefulness of those employed in our military forces. While much of it is probably justified, an element of deliberate whitewashing has occurred when things have gone astray. Our country has traditionally supported Britain and the US in numerous wars and since 1899 we have lost around 30,000 soldiers in different overseas' conflicts.  Obviously the most casualties occurred during the two world wars, however almost 130 have been killed since. Between 2010 and 2012 we lost 10 soldiers in Afghanistan. Wars are terrible and losing comrades in armed conflicts must be extremely difficult to deal with. The professional credibility of our forces can be judged on they way we manage such situations. Sadly we have sometimes fallen short of those standards and a need for revenge has clouded thinking. Few know of the shocking 1918  Surefend Massacre in Palestine. The New Zealand Mounted Rifles

Nick Smith's Waterloo?

Nick Smith is desperately trying to dismiss the growing concerns from many New Zealanders that our water has been undervalued and over-exploited. While farming intensification has caused a major strain on our natural water systems he has firmly stood his ground against putting a value on water and expecting businesses to properly account for their operational impacts on water quality and supply. The fact that overseas companies can extract water for free and profit from the exported resource became a tipping point for many. Smith is quite right when he claims that water bottling plants take a miniscule amount of our country's total supply, however he deliberately ignores the impacts on individual catchments and anger of communities whose own water supplies have been compromised. Over twenty people gathered outside the Environment Southland building on Tuesday to join a nationwide protest. It was a damp, grey day but many of those who made the effort to come were not people a

Bill English Embraces Homeopathy

Bill English has been the Finance Minister for three consecutive National led governments. After substantially cutting taxes for the wealthy in 2009 he discovered that the increase in GST did not make the policy fiscally neutral and a hefty level of borrowing was needed to make up the shortfall. Public debt under a Labour Government totalled around $10 billion when National took office and this quickly ballooned to $60 billion. While Bill English continually used the Great Financial Crisis (GFC) and the Christchurch earthquake as excuses for increasing Government debt, this was only partially true. The impact of the GFC on New Zealand was not that great as all of our major banks were not affected and by 2011 our rich listers were seeing their wealth increase by around 20% . Major, government supported projects in Christchurch have continually suffered delays and recovery budgets have been under-spent . Bill English and his Government have made little effort to increase revenu

Bill English's Dictionary

New Zealand's Prime Minister, Bill English, has an honours degree in English Literature. He is described as a 'social conservative' in Wikipedia and worked in Treasury as a policy analyst before becoming an MP in 1990. Over his political career he has worked hard at changing the definitions of many words in common usage and, in his previous role as Finance Minister, has created a dictionary based on his political philosophy and neo-liberal economic perspectives.  THE 'ENGLISH' DICTIONARY  Auckland proper   noun   property investors paradise that needs more motorways . beneficiary noun a lazy person of no economic value (probably on drugs) who should be working. Being on a benefit is equivalent to being hooked on drugs removing them is the best thing we can do. compensation noun something to be avoided at all costs . corporation noun the ultimate institution that deserves protection and subsidies . development noun money making venture tha

Defending our young unemployed

Bill English has continued with the National Government driven meme that young unemployed New Zealanders are drug addicts, lazy and unemployable. Previously John Key had stated that unemployed New Zealanders failed drug tests and lacked a work ethic . Before becoming Prime Minister English had bluntly told a Federated Farmers meeting that " New Zealand workers are pretty damn hopeless ". Both Key and English used conversations with their employer mates to justify their statements rather than data and research. The reality is some distance from the myth that National is perpetrating to justify the large numbers of unskilled migrant workers coming into our country. Before the Christchurch earthquake the construction industry workforce was steadily shrinking and apprentice numbers had been cut. There is obvious justification for bringing in construction workers to make up a skill shortage (if we had continued building state houses at the same level as we did thirty years