So it’s been one year since Labour won an unprecedented MMP majority (as I predicted) and what did we get?
Another year older and deeper in debt.
Covid has exacerbated poverty, inequality, housing and social collapse.
Labour are still an accidental Government trying to ascertain an ideology baptized in fire.
The Party who dismantled the State under Rogernomics is now desperately trying to rebuild it to function under an avalanche of crises.
There are 3 lenses to look at Labour from over the last year – Policy, Leadership and Covid.
Labour didn’t expect to win 2017 and they didn’t expect to win an MMP majority in 2020 so they had no reform agenda to force the Public Service to act in the interests of citizens and not themselves.
Grant Robertson’s Central Wellington wonksters however had other plans.
The policy wonks saw an opportunity to reform policy and expand the State that way rather than take cattle prods to the eyeballs of their Wellington bureaucrat comrades.
The Wellington Central Wonksters allowed their Wellington bureaucrat brethren to keep their fiefdoms while expanding the State by building a bigger kingdom.
And so it has come to pass:
- 3 waters – will take all local water for the glory of the State!
- Radical Public Health Authority – goodbye failing DHBs
- Universal Union Membership – watch as the capitalists scream
- RMA reform – watch as the capitalists scream more
There isn’t any beauty in the Frankenstein State monolith Labour’s wonk team have welded together, but sweet Jesus it’s huge.
The danger is the wonksters for a bigger State won’t limit themselves to policy and will also create a Big Sister State that criminalizes speech and stomps on civil liberties to punish breaches of woke dogma.
The Wellington bureaucrats will allow this policy reform to pass as it doesn’t impinge on their glass palaces but at some stage the Left have to urgently reform the neoliberal welfare system or allow these unelected bureaucrats to continue to call the shots.
The left love Michael Joseph Savage. Every Labour MP who wishes to push their left wing credentials have photos of him hanging in every electorate office and Minister’s room.
Savage is lauded as the creator of the welfare state in the wake of the Great Depression.
He was swamped when he went into public as NZers gushed over how he had saved them all.
The most hilarious truth, provided by insights from John A Lee who served in Savage’s Cabinet and was the anti-Phil Twyford of his day, (in that he actually built Houses) paints a very different picture from the mythology the left have given Savage .
The truth is that Savage was incredibly centrist and not a radical at all. Backed up by the neoliberal Walter Nash and conservative manipulator Peter Fraser, Savage did all he could to stop transformative change, it was actually Savage’s Caucus who forced his hand repeatedly to be transformative.
The exact same dynamics are at play inside Jacinda’s Labour Government.
When there is a crisis, the Prime Minister shines, but when it comes to domestic policy, she is super cautious to the point of being timid.
Her decision to rule out revoking a racist drug law simply because 50.7% want to continue supporting the racist drug law is an example of this timidness.
Her decision to rule out a capital gains tax, a wealth tax and refusal to increase benefits are also evidence of it.
The counter argument is that she needs to hold the centre, but if you aren’t going to be transformative with an outright majority, when the hell are you going to be transformative?
The reality is there won’t be transformative change unless we the people demand it, or if the Caucus demands it, or if a crisis demands it.
Just as it was with Michael Joseph Savage.
I think Jacinda has done an incredible job navigating us through this nightmare and the lack of gratitude and hate and crazy conspiracy madness vomited on her is an indictment on us as a fractured social media crazed culture of resentment, not on her.
Covid deaths per population:
US 1 in 451
Italy 1 in 457
UK 1 in 479
Spain 1 in 540
France 1 in 566
Austria 1 in 789
Germany 1 in 874
Turkey 1 in 1, 211
Canada 1 in 1, 305
India 1 in 3, 008
Australia 1 in 15, 494
New Zealand 1 in 175, 607
But sure let’s shit on Jacinda’s response!
If Jacinda liberates NZ from our economic straightjacket while avoiding a mass public health emergency, voters will gleefully and gratefully forgive her.
They have big radical ideas when it comes to Worker rights, water and public health but not enough Cabinet talent to implement more of that radical thinking in the traditional areas of housing, welfare and poverty.
Jacinda must cut away the dead wood in her Cabinet and advance talented MPs hungry for real reform.
You simply can not win 50% in MMP and not use that power.
That would be a tragedy for Labour and criminal neglect to those in NZ living at the bottom.
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