Archive for the ‘National Party NZ’ Category

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Below are some of our articles on the Key-English government.  While English has a somewhat different ‘style’ from Key – he’s rather more dour – his and Key’s economic views were very much on the same page: a middle-of-the-road, easy-as-she-goes approach.  Borrow and spend, slightly reduce income tax and slightly raise indirect tax (GST), slightly increase welfare benefits and keep the retirement age at 65.  Sell some shares in the state’s own capitalist enterprises but keep a majority shareholding in these businesses in the hands of the state.  In other words, on economic policy overall, they were probably a little to the left of Helen Clark.

One difference between the Key period and this year is that English now has a considerable budget surplus to play around – and, of course, 2017 is election year.

The analyses on Redline of the Key-English regime have held up particularly well – especially compared to the near-hysterical attempts of so many on the left to paint Key as some ardent neo-liberal who would take up where Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson left off!!!

The Key-English government in the context of capital accumulation in New Zealand today

Key’s ‘vision’: managing the malaise of NZ capitalism

Rock star economy and the Lost Prophets

Key’s government not neo-liberal, admits Unite union leader

 

by Daphna Whitmore

While Trump’s visa bans and a wall across the US-Mexico border are rightly seen as abhorrent, Labour and the Greens advocate a pretty high wall of immigration restrictions here in New Zealand.

Labour is facing criticism of its long simmering anti-immigration campaign and it is being called out as hypocritical for denouncing Trump while indulging in dog whistle politics.

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Andrew Little peddling Labour’s nationalistic brand

The latest comments come from Peter Dunne who notes that Labour “talks about new migrants as problems, rather than as people”. He goes on to point out this “is exactly the same ‘us versus them’ narrative that contributes to reactionary and damaging policy regarding immigration”.

A few days earlier Graeme Edgeler on The Spinoff website suggested folks take a look at the Citizenship (Western Samoa) Act 1982. (more…)

by Daphna Whitmore

If you support US wars and strong-arm tactics around the world vote for Labour in 2017. That’s the party that is most gung-ho about US world domination right now. Just this week Labour leader Andrew Little criticised President Trump for indicating he wants to pull back on US interventions. Here’s what Little said following the presidential inauguration:

He [Trump] talked about America First and not entering into fights that aren’t America’s fights. But the US plays an absolutely crucial role in world peace and world order and if he is going to fundamentally change that, then who knows what is going to happen and which tyrants in other parts of the world are going to consider that they have a licence to do even worse.(NZ Herald  23 January 2017)

Just how low can Labour go you may wonder? Think bottomless pit and avoid disappointment. Having shown themselves to be more racist than National with their campaign against people with Chinese sounding names, the Labour Party now wants to show they are even better imperialists too.

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Andrew Little visiting troops in Iraq 2016 with National’s Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee

(more…)

Thanks Labour, thanks National.

But, don’t forget, the notion of ‘child poverty’ is actually a crock.  Children aren’t poor.  It’s the parents who are poor.  They are poor because twenty-first century NZ capitalism is a low-wage economy.  They are poor because twenty-first NZ capitalism requires historically high levels of unemployment and underemployment.

So, above all, thanks capitalism for these poverty rates.

Thus it really is no wonder that the ultimate capitalist society, the United States of America, is number one on this poverty scale.

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The blockade. Photo: Joanne Carroll/Fairfax NZ

The blockade. Photo: Joanne Carroll/Fairfax NZ

by Philip Ferguson

Yesterday, unfortunately, the blockade of the Pike River mine entrance ended.  Families of the 29 dead workers from the 2010 explosion had been blockading the mine entrance since November 12 to prevent Solid Energy from sealing it, thus making any attempts to retrieve the workers’ bodies impossible.  The blockade by the families and their supporters had included erecting gates and locking them to prevent the company sealing off the entrance way.

The families are not taking down the gates but they have been forced to cease locking out the company.  Families’ spokesperson Bernie Monk notes, “I understand they (Solid Energy) have legal right of access, but we will be protesting as usual. The landowner signed an easement with Pike River Coal way back, but it was never registered on the title and that’s why we never picked it up. He has let us know that we can’t lock that gate like we have been doing. He feels for us, but there is no legal way we can stop them.”

The families have been able to keep Solid Energy from (more…)

download-1At midday today National Party leader and prime minister John Key announced that he is resigning from both positions, effective next Monday (December 12) and that he will be leaving parliament before the 2017 election.

We’ll have more to say about the resignation over the next few days, but below are links to some articles we’ve run about Key.

Our analysis has stood up remarkably well.  We pointed out from day one that Key was not a new righter or neoliberal in terms of economic policy and that the majority of the left who kept pretending he was were simply making themselves look foolish.  The last thing the capitalist class in NZ needed, we noted, was a new round of ‘Rogernomics’ and ‘Ruthanasia’.  Key was a middle-of-the-road capitalist manager.  In fact, it should hardly be surprising that, on a number of core issues, he has been to the left of Labour.

He has been to the left of Labour on the retirement age and on social welfare benefits, to mention just two examples.  Plus he’s less racist against Asians than Labour.

One possible consequence of his departure will be that the Nats who follow will ally with Labour in a bipartisan move to make workers work more years and create more surplus-value for the capitalist class whose interests both Labour and National serve.

Labour will certainly be delighted with today’s announcement.  The departure of the popular Key just might open things up a bit and give a boost to them and their plans for fresh attacks on the working class once they get back in power.

Anyway, check out the articles below:

The Key-English government in the context of capital accumulation  (parts written in 2008 and 2009)

Key’s ‘vision’: managing the malaise of NZ capitalism

Key’s government not neoliberal, admits Unite union leader

imagesby Phil Duncan

Whatever way the Mt Roskill by-election went, Labour was always going to spin it.  Of course, it would have been more interesting – and amusing – to see how they would have spun it had Labour lost.  Since the seat, and its predecessor constituencies, were historically safe Labour seats a loss wasn’t likely.  However, the trend in this seat has been for a steady drift of the party vote to National and while Labour veteran Phil Goff won it in 2014 with an 8,000 majority, the party vote actually went to National by about 2,000.

This time around Labour are crowing that they won by 6,500 and took 67% of the vote, as opposed to 55% of the vote taken by Goff two years ago.  But this is a crock.

The most salient points about the by-election are that the turnout was not simply down, as you might expect in a by-election, but especially dramatically down; that Woods, despite being given a free run by NZ First and the Greens, took about 7,000 fewer votes than Goff did just two years ago; and that, since National had no need to win, most National voters didn’t bother to vote.  There was no sign of any drift of votes from National to Labour.

What explains Woods’ 6,500 majority is that (more…)