No Minister

Archive for the ‘NZ Labour Party’ Category

Two classes of New Zealanders

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It’s been a staple of Leftist politics and language since the days of Marx at least, and of course it is a template that can be applied to events further back in history than his time, notably the French Revolution and the Glorious Revoluton of 1688.

Whatever names were given it in different time periods and situations – Feudal Lords vs Peasants, Business Owners vs Workers, Colonialists vs Colonised, Us vs The Other – it has always basically amounted to Oppressor and Oppressed.

I think two quotes are applicable here, the first being the complete one rather than the usual shortened version, since the second part is eerily close to where we are now and where we are going:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.

In this situation we should also not look to George Orwell’s dark vision of Nineteen Eighty Four but a different future dystopia, one that has appealed to me more as the years have passed since the great Counter-Culture revolution of the 1960’s.

“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.”

I have of course made sure that the tags on this post are not just for the Labour Party, but also for National, ACT and the Greens.

At last, some serious commentary

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As a serious political commentator this is what I’ve been waiting for.

If you thought photoshopping Jacinda into Der Führer’s uniform was bad, well,,,,, it looks like somebody has finally taken the classic Downfall bunker scene – a clip that has been the source of so many parodies over the years that it has its own YouTube channel – and applied it to our beloved Prime Minister (and her little friends).

As Downfall parodies go this one’s pretty good although I hate the caption font. There’s one slip up on a caption vs audio bit but they actually manage to get the reference to Stalin placed correctly, which most don’t bother with.

As ever, fluent speakers of German will not be able to enjoy this (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!)

Ganz gave what most people consider the most accurate and greatest portrayal of Adolf Hitler on screen, in the 2004 movie Downfall, which focuses on the final days of the Third Reich in the Berlin “Fuhrerbunker”.

The most famous scene in the movie – the one above – was where Hitler loses the plot completely. He finds out that one of his generals, Steiner, has not carried out the counter-attack Hitler ordered and accuses Steiner of simply refusing the order. He goes on to accuse all the Wehrmacht generals of being cowards and having constantly betrayed and lied to him, and so forth. It’s a terrifyingly awesome and yet pathetic meltdown.

And it was made for parody.

We’ll see how long this stays up before some member of the Branch Covidian cult demands it be taken down.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 23, 2021 at 1:55 pm

I was informed that these were OTT comparisons to NZ

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Vaccine certificate will be central to the new ‘traffic-light’ system – RNZ

It is that sort of comparison that causes the opponents of the current Lockdowns to be ridiculed. And no, you won’t be able to convince me that basically I am (and just about everyone I know) is just the same as the Nazi SS.

It’s certainly time to re-visit this goodie, even if she has resigned, because luckily you’ll still be able to laugh without a vaccine certificate.

Money printer go brrrrr…….

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News out from NZ Stats this morning:

The consumers price index rose 2.2 percent in the September 2021 quarter, the biggest quarterly movement since a 2.3 percent rise in the December 2010 quarter, Stats NZ said today.

Excluding quarters impacted by increases to GST rates, the September quarter movement was the highest since the June 1987 quarter, which saw a 3.3 percent rise.

The 2011 kick was due to the National government increasing the rate of GST from 12.5% to 15%.

This one is due to “money printer go brrrrrrr……..”

Speaking of which, let’s go back a decade to the wonderful Clarke and Dawe comedy bit on the last time we indulged in “Quantitative Easing” to compensate for something that was only slightly less insane than government locking down an economy.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 18, 2021 at 12:15 pm

Faces are nice and numbers are boring.

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In my previous post, Fear Pornography, I said that with the great vaxathon behind them, Level 4 Lockdowns dead and buried – despite, you know, the “science” and scientists still demanding them – the government would start declaring victory and moving on.

They’re not quite there yet, with their silly 90% vaccination target still out there, but they’re talking it down as well, and doing things like this.

There are 51 new community cases today, including four in Waikato, the Ministry of Health says.

There was no media conference today.

Well of course there wasn’t. There are various simple little tricks any government can pull when it wants people to stop talking about things, or not start in the first place. Friday afternoon document dumps of bad news and embarrassing admissions have long been a favourite.

But simply not having a media conference is another. They know that without a human face, especially Jacinda’s smiling one, TV is not going to cover it; there’s literally nothing to look at. They’ll cover some news that does have a human face. Even radio will give way without a human voice.

So you can just make a press release announcing the dry, boring numbers and TV/Radio will report that but quickly move on. We’ve already noticed that, as the bad news of rising cases began to turn up, Jacinda and her team were quick to pull her from the daily Podium Of Truth, leaving it to her minions to deliver the news.

Normally I’d say that they’d also be left to take the heat, but this is the NZ MSM we’re talking about here. They’re simply not smart enough to ask good questions, especially ones that might start counter-arguments to the narrative that they and the Labour/Green party supports.

Now, even those faces have been removed as the whole thing begins the process of being downgraded to the same level as roadbuilding budget announcements.

At some point soon I suspect that Adern and company will not even bother talking about the vaccination rate, and if questions about either it or case numbers are mentioned, they’ll just waffle around them.

No, even though they can’t quite bring themselves to do it yet, they’re probably soon going to start talking about a different number; the number of the day and month on which New Zealand will open up, both internally and to the world. A “Freedom Date” as the British called it.

To do otherwise would be to take numbers that have been useful to the government so far – case numbers and vax rates – and watch them be steadily turned against the government, as they already are.

In any case there are new battles to fight, even on this disease, and on better ground, as we see in the USA.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 17, 2021 at 2:54 pm

Fear Pornography

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Over at Kiwiblog, David Farrar has been maintaining his own chart of the number of cases in the latest Covid-19 outbreak here in New Zealand.

His latest update was yesterday and he titled it with the most obvious headline one can get in this situation, Growing Cases.

I have some problems with this. Clearly, as a National Party man, DPF wants to damage the government, and what better way to do that than turning its own data against it. Since they have boasted so much about case numbers being “crushed” in 2020, let them hang by the same measure now.

But if we continue to scream about this measurement we might actually talk ourselves back into an L4 lockdown. I presume DPF does not want this.

From the opposite POV, Chris Trotter was horrified at the end of the Level 4 Lockdown (Will Jacinda Stand? Or, Has She Already Fallen?) and remains so because he thinks that we could have achieved Covid-Zero as we did in early 2020 with the Alpha variant. I have not had the heart to comment on that post or successive ones where he has spun himself up to the point of demanding total vaccinations, combined with “The Big Stick” to achieve it, even moaning about how his beloved CTU has not got fully onboard. The words “war”, “crisis” and “frightening” have been used, by both him and his largely elderly Leftist commentariat.

Were I to comment over there, I would point out that Labour is actually the victim of their own success in 2020. In the face of zero cases and an incredibly low death toll, all arguments against lockdowns were dismissed, despite solid points such as lockdowns never having been recommended by epidemiologists in the past or by public health bodies around the world, for the basic reason that they just don’t work, let alone all their unseen negatives.

Nobody apparently thought to ask whether we might have some special factors also operating for us, such as:

  • High UV levels that kill the virus in the open much faster than in much of the rest of the world.
  • A far less dense population, even in our largest cities, where single, detached homes still predominate over flats or “row-houses”.
  • Houses that “breath” more than the solid brick and mortar structures of many other countries, something we usually curse (or should) for lousy insulation.
  • A vastly lower use of public transport.
  • An outdoors lifestyle.

But no. As is often the case, we smug, arrogant Kiwis simply decided that we were the smartest and most communal positive people on the planet, (“Team of Five Million” and all that) and that while lockdowns may have failed in other places, even other island states like Hawaii, we had made them work because we’re just so fucking awesome.

There was also no apparent desire to investigate the Waikato University study in early 2020 showing that Covid-19 antibodies were appearing in twice as many samples of donated blood as expected – a strong indicator that the Alpha variant had been spreading in the population well before lockdown, but going unnoticed because for 99% of people it wouldn’t show as symptoms at all or merely as “the sniffles”.

Every year in the USA, the CDC must estimate the number of people infected by the flu virus of the season, in order to calculate the Infection Fatality Rate (IFR), which is always naturally much lower than the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) based on the numbers known to be infected via tests. The IFR is an estimate because for almost any disease there will always be many more people who catch the disease but don’t even know it. In the US the flu has a CFR of 2-3% and an IFR of 0.1% or lower.

To my knowledge we never made much of an effort to calculate the IFR of the Alpha variant here in NZ, which may be down to our public health uselessness (that article uses foreign IFR estimates and then bangs on about racism) or (the more cynical take) because a flu-level IFR number would have popped the fear bubble.

Aside from all this, one original point made was that if the L4 Lockdown had truly worked in 2020, we should have seen a pattern of rising hospitalisations and deaths, before the effects of the lockdowns kicked in after two to four weeks and those numbers began to fall. But we didn’t see that; we saw random deaths during the whole period. The same timing issue was observed overseas.

Even this puts aside the initial argument for an L4 lockdown, “Two weeks to flatten the curve”. Remember that? It meant we were always going to get a certain number of cases, hospitalisations and deaths under each curve, but that the flatter it was the more spread out over time all those numbers would be and the healthcare system would survive.

Only as cases went to zero did the objective change to elimination of the virus, together with the arguments over how such is defined.

Or measured. There’s a terrific article here, Why Is the COVID Case Count So High?, that explores the science behind the numbers. What it comes down to is the now infamous PCR test, a valuable science lab tool that even its inventor has said should not be used in real-world situations:

The inventor of the test stated that RT-PCR was never intended to be a diagnostic test and using it as one was scientifically illegitimate. “[It’s] like trying to say whether somebody has bad breath by looking at his fingerprint.”

The lab starts the RT-PCR by doubling genetic material multiple times to make it easier to identify. In research, if it’s not positive by thirty-five “amplification cycles,”, it’s not positive. FDA guidance indicates that anything found up to 40 cycles is considered “positive.” At forty cycles a glass of water may test positive. Stopping at thirty-five would show that COVID-19 wasn’t any worse than flu, if it was that bad.

The PCR test has produced ridiculous numbers of false positive and false negative tests. Is it any surprise that most people so tested find they have the virus when otherwise they didn’t have a clue.

Where are the saliva tests and the antibody tests, of which the latter would rapidly show the degree of seroprevalence in the population, meaning the degree of natural immunity in existence

Mind you, that figure, were it known, would also destroy the narrative of lockdown-vax as the only path forward.

And this is before asking about therapeutic treatments like monoclonal antibodies, which would also mean less worry about crashing the hospital system and “mass death” should this thing “get out of control”.

That would also destroy the narrative.

In any case, having won the war in 2020 and dismissed the lockdown opponents, when the first Delta case appeared in Auckland, and with a still largely unvaccinated population, the Labour government thought a lockdown war would work a second trick. This despite several months of evidence from around the world that Delta was both more infectious and far less deadly even for unvaccinated people, let alone those vaccinated.

As the graph shows, even Adern had to give up by late September as it became obvious that cases would continue to dribble along in double digits under L4, meaning the disease was spreading anyway and that the costs of lockdown could no longer be justified, with the “science” and the scientists now ignored. Another simple, brutal fact was that people are just tired of all this. Many Adern supporters still can’t accept this, like Trotter:

This is not the Labour Government that New Zealanders flocked to support exactly one year ago this Sunday. That government would never have dreamed of abandoning Auckland to its fate. That Jacinda Ardern told all of us to be kind to one another and gave us her promise to stamp the virus out. She kept her word, and Labour was rewarded with 50.1 percent of the Party Vote.

Where has that Prime Minister gone?

Oh dear. She was always that Prime Minister; Trotter was just too smitten to know it.

But here’s the thing. There is good news in the Covid-19 numbers for the Labour government if they chose to focus on different ones like hospitalisations and deaths. Out of 1855 cases (as of Oct 16) there have been two deaths and a handful of ICU cases: a CFR of 0.11%. In other words 1853 people have walked out, and with natural immunity to boot, even for those who were vaccinated.

The even better news for the government (and hence bad news for DPF), is that while the case numbers have served the purposes of the Fear Pornography Narrative to date – driving the demand for lockdowns and vaccinations, which helped the government – they’re now on the verge of hurting it on both factors. Look at yesterday’s “Vaxxathon” (ugh). I heard that they’d beaten the previous daily record for injections and everybody was patting themselves on the back. A total of 127,342 doses, of which 38,133 were first doses.

Hang on! That means about 70% of them were already booked for a second dose. According to the MOH there are 4,231,778 people who are eligible to be vaccinated. That means that yesterday’s stupendous effort pushed the needle from from 83.0% to …. 83.9%.

If this much vaxxing effort, lockdown fatigue/anger and fear pornography has only got us to that level, I can’t imagine what else can be done to push it higher.

As a result it may well be that even the MSM will stop focusing on case numbers, much as the Covid-19 death toll counters vanished from the screens of CNN and Fox News once Biden became President in the US.

That’s if the government doesn’t stop focusing on case numbers before the MSM. They’ve clearly and repeatedly told everybody, including all the poor souls they and the MSM have scared to death over the last eighteen months, that L4 Lockdowns are not going to return.

Moreover, they’re likely to declare victory on the vaccination front for the same reason: all that can be done, has been done, although we may see screams for booster shots at some point, depending on media hysteria.

Their supporters will take longer to catch up on these bitter truths but as a former Prime Minister was known to say in her deep, dulcet tones: “It is time to move on”.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 17, 2021 at 11:03 am

Baptists and Bootleggers, Bishops and Biker Gangs

Baptists and Bootleggers is a well known phrase created by an economist some decades ago that describes how two groups of people seemingly opposed to each other can actually end up supporting common goals.

For much of the 20th century, Baptists and other evangelical Christians were prominent in political activism for Sunday closing laws restricting the sale of alcohol. Bootleggers sold alcohol illegally, and got more business if legal sales were restricted

I think we’ve reached this stage with the Auckland (and now Waikato) lockdowns, following recent events with mass attendances at two funerals for Maori gang members, plus “Bishop” Brian Tamaki’s little protest at The Domain.

In both cases the Police did not make any arrests. The Vet has already had a post on how one gang member was allowed to self-isolate at home. Cactus Kate draws a broader conclusion in Covid Zero is Dead:

The Cops did absolutely NOTHING today. NOTHING. What does that tell you? Who runs the country? 

We do. The people.  

I’m picking the cops don’t think they joined the force to enforce Covid regulations.

They chatted to Brian pre protest, they knew he was doing this =  no arrests. None. They never stopped him leaving his home to break the law.

It’s like they are afraid of anyone Maori or from the Pacific Islands. But I think it’s broader than that. They don’t agree that they actually have to enforce this Covid rubbish now vaccinations are available to all.

The weekend saw an internal revolt. The Cops went to that protest, stood there and did nothing.  White middle class Karen’s were horrified.  What does that tell you?

Like Cactus I am not at all horrified by what the gangs and Tamaki have pulled off. Shoving your fingers up the noses of our stuffed-shirt politicians and bureaucrats should actually be a time-honoured activity, given what arrogant, entitled, amoral, ignorant, dumb and sometimes outright evil bastards they are.

I also liked her suggestion, although I don’t think the gangs are short of a bob or two:

Our new mates in the gangs are holding tangi and holding their middle finger to Ardern and her mates. They are the pioneers of showing this situation to be a sick joke. 

You cannot suspend rights and freedoms in the New Zealand Bill of Rights for an indefinite period. That’s never reasonable. No plan.  When is this ending? Ardern has said “the start of 2022”. That’s not fooling anyone. 

At this point I am quite happy to contribute to a gofundme for gangs that break these utterly stupid rules. Every single day.

Reminds me of a post I wrote in 2019, looking back at the GFC, The Penny Begins To Drop:

Brian and Ilsa — the nice upper-middle-class retired couple, who always follow the rules, and never ever break the law — who don’t even cheat on their golf scores — even when they’re playing alone (“Because if you cheat at golf, you’re only cheating yourself”) — have decided to give their bank the middle finger. They have essentially said, Fuckit.

“We follow the rules, and look where that’s gotten us?” she says, furious and depressed. “Nowhere. They run us around, like lab rats in a cage.”

But Ilsa is quietly, constantly insisting that they stop paying the mortgage altogether: “Everybody else is doing it—so why shouldn’t we?”

A terrible sentence, when a law-abiding citizen speaks it: Everybody else is doing it — so why don’t we?

Of course the alternative path is one laid out by Chris Trotter in his latest outburst about how yet another Giant Central Control and Command experiment has fucked up and the search is about to start for the Wreckers and Traitors who will stand before the Peoples Revolutionary Court:

… those The Daily Blog Editor Martyn Bradbury colourfully calls “Death-Cult Capitalists”.

But for those who see human existence as a pitiless struggle to determine the survival of the fittest; for those who see human-beings as means to an end, never as ends in themselves; for those who would let thousands die rather than see the strong restrained in any way; for these people there is only one word: Evil.

Chris is never the most coherent or consistent of commentators. Just a few days earlier he was looking across the Tasman at Melbourne in horror and saying this:

Stamping out Covid-19 by stomping on the heads of our fellow citizens? Is that really what New Zealand wants?

I made the point to him that:

I’m sure it will be what quite a few New Zealanders will want if they see case numbers (and perhaps even deaths) rise, despite vaccinations, as the country opens up. An Untermenchen will be required for such a failure.

The joke is that just a week later, Chris has now arrived at this point with his two most recent articles (Introducing Mr Stick.and Why Is Labour So Frightened Of “Mr Stick”? (plus his commentators)

Luckily for him “stomping” with “Mr Stick” won’t be needed to destroy people.

Written by Tom Hunter

October 10, 2021 at 9:40 am

Right on the money

Courtesy of the Bassett, Brash & Hide blog.

Were this to ever be published in the NZ Herald or Stuff, their businesses would likely be burned to the ground.

Fortunately that’s what’s going to happen when the government money spigot is eventually turned off.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 18, 2021 at 6:00 am

Which Gang Has More Brains?

Got $3.7m for shouting ‘Vote Labour.’
Couldn’t read a simple deportation statute

Written by adolffinkensen

September 8, 2021 at 10:59 am

Posted in New Zealand, NZ Labour Party

Tagged with

A Cullen Obituary from the Left (updated)

I’d been waiting for some days for Chris Trotter to write an obituary for Michael Cullen and it finally came a few days ago.

The reason I was especially interested in Trotter’s take on Cullen’s political life and legacy was that Trotter was always part of the Old Labour Left that hated every aspect of the Rogernomics revolution in the 1980’s, fought against it, and has never accepted the permanent changes in the nation caused by it.

So what would he have to say about the man who stayed with Labour and threaded the needle between harsh criticism of the reforms while also yielding to them enough to get Labour back into power in 1999 and then stay there for three terms?

Cullen called his recently published memoir Labour Saving. The title is instructive. Like so many Labour Party members confronted with the unrelenting radicalism of “Rogernomics”, Cullen had to decide how best to preserve the political party responsible for improving the lives of so many New Zealanders.

I had no idea he’d published a memoir. All politician’s memoirs are going to guild the lily but given his intellect and wit I think I’ll have to read it.



Well, it seems that over at the Croaking Cassandra blog, former Treasury economist, Michael Reddell has done a review, Reading Michael Cullen. Doesn’t sound like he’s too impressed.

If you want a canter through the things the government did during those nine years, trivial and not, I guess this is the book for you. Almost everyone did everything ably. But to anyone who was around New Zealand at the time, you simply aren’t going to learn very much…

there is little insight anywhere in the book on the many really significant political figures Cullen worked with over the years, none at all on Helen Clark (or Heather Simpson for that matter). There was almost no insight on some of the key public servants, or anything on the tensions. interactions etc.

But there is also a sense of someone who – despite the training as an historian (which he often reminds us of) – just wasn’t that reflective.

Specifically Riddell goes into a lot of detail about the economic debates between the government, Reserve Bank and Treasury that occurred at the time but states that much of it is simply missing from the book, even though Cullen was very much a major figure in them.

Oh well, guess I’ll wait for the charity shop sales.


According to Trotter, Cullen – like Clarke – was convinced that Labour could still do good things and that haring off after Jim Anderton was not going to work. I think time has proved Cullen and Clarke correct.

What I find interesting is Trotter’s inside view of how Cullen operated in the heat of the Douglas reforms:

The choice of Cullen as the promoter of this “No GST unless …” solution was extremely shrewd. Within the Labour Party, Cullen was widely credited as having liberal-left leanings. Prior to winning the St Kilda nomination in 1981, he had been an active member of the Castle Street Branch of the Labour Party. Founded by the late Austin Mitchell, Castle Street, like Auckland’s Princes Street, was seen as a haven for university-based radicals. If Cullen was convinced that the regressive effects of GST could be offset by tax-cuts, then Labour traditionalists – as well as Labour “modernisers” – could vote in favour of Douglas’s “reform” with a clear conscience.

Heh, heh, heh. An age-old political story where the insider is trusted because of past words and deeds.

Trotter goes on to describe how this tactic would be used repeatedly years later in the Clarke Administration and of course he thinks many of the solutions were a cop-out to the new and powerful NeoLiberal Class in NZ. At this point the obituary becomes more about Trotter’s thinking that any insight into Cullen’s beyond that claim that while it was clever and subtle politics it was a betrayal:

The big reforms that constitute his political legacy: The Superannuation Fund; Working For Families; KiwiSaver; far from being the solid social-democratic victories Labour presents them as, were actually a sequence of inadequate workarounds for the problems created by neoliberal policies Cullen now knew better than ever not to challenge.

He’s talking of the Winter of Discontent in 2000 and Cullen being intimidated by Big Business. Funnily enough I don’t recall Cullen ever being “intimidated” by anybody!

In contrast to that take my memory of the time (and I had only just returned to NZ after a decade away), was that business and many ordinary people had simply gone into their shells after the post-election triumphal screams of Labour activists had drowned out Clarke and Cullen’s pre-election assurances that they weren’t going to turn the clock back. Cullen’s “performance” at the Auckland Club was merely to re-assure business people that he really had meant what he said before the election.

(On a personal note I can say that this, plus Shipley’s shambolic National government, were the reason I voted for Labour in 1999, the last time I would ever do so.)

Trotter and other activists undoubtedly thought that, having ignored election promises and policy papers, to the extent of doing a 180 on them in 1984, the same could happen again. I still recall reading a Letter To The Editor of the NZ Herald sometime in early 2000, from some outraged Labour voter, angrily demanding to know when Cullen would “buy back our phone company, our airline and our railway company?”

Well two out of three ain’t bad, though I’ll bet he still wasn’t happy, especially since it was obvious that Cullen only reluctantly did so with Air NZ, to the point of having discussions with Singapore Airlines about taking it off the government’s hands.

But back to Cullen – or should I say Trotter’s specific take on Cullen’s big three reforms:

The Superannuation Fund (quickly dubbed the “Cullen Fund”) kept billions of dollars safely out of the hands of cash-starved ministries. This sequestering function was amply demonstrated by the speed with which the National Government suspended contributions to fund its GFC and Earthquake recovery projects.

Working For Families, far from being “communism by stealth” acted as a giant wage subsidy for New Zealand employers.

KiwiSaver, a privately run scheme, unguaranteed by the state, poured billions into the pockets of financial institutions. Social-democracy, at least as Mickey Savage and Norman Kirk understood it, had been murdered in the Cathedral Room.

Oh FFS. Trotter can be fun to read but he really lets his writing and emotions spin out of control at times with florid bullshit like this.

Both of the superannuation approaches were simply pragmatic, common-sense things that could stand the test of time and which had counterparts the world over. Given the degree of government control and influence in both it’s hard to paint them as Capitalism Red In Tooth And Claw – but that undoubtedly is how Trotter sees it, as opposed to his implied utopia where all tax cash flows into the great Central Coffer of government to then be doled out under the precision control of politicians.

Having said that I do agree with his point about Welfare For Families (that’s really what it is under the propaganda name of WFF), but I would suggest that’s basically little different than many government schemes of the past that enabled New Zealanders to live a decent life when their wages and salaries couldn’t span the gap. Not just State Housing but things like the State Advances Corporation and so forth.

In my eyes WFF was simply a sad acknowledgment that even after the Douglas reforms, NZ capitalism was proving to be as hopeless in increasing productivity, and thus incomes, as before.

For all his praise of Cullen then, Trotter naturally finishes on a bitter note showing that, after all these years of knowing Cullen and those who worked with and against him, he still doesn’t know how it happened, as he asks who Cullen really was:

This “too clever by three-quarters” MP with a left-wing reputation – who was willing to sell Rogernomics to a confused and disoriented Labour Party? This Labour Finance Minister who left state housing underfunded and beneficiaries’ children unassisted by Working For Families?

Perhaps I should not be so hard on Trotter’s mystification. The most able politicians have always been those who cloaked much of what they believed and wanted in veils of mystery. Few, if any, are truly open and transparent and those that are rarely succeed in the craft.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 1, 2021 at 12:00 pm