socialism

Good governance and the Labour Party – an oxymoron or a chance for their future

A guest post by Frances Denz.


 

Good Governance practice was initially developed in 1844 by Erskine May for the British Parliament and a bit later  in 1874 was adapted by Roberts in the US for their Government structures.  Since then “Roberts Rules” have become the model for governance both of parliamentary systems and for businesses.  These rules have been adapted over time by the Foundation formed by Roberts supporters.

A key rule of governance is who do the directors represent?  They represent the business or organisation.  Their job, as stewards, is to ensure that the organisation is governed for its own good.  Not for the shareholders, other stakeholders or the community as a whole.

Now this is really interesting in the governance of political parties and of Parliament themselves.

The Prime Minister and his Cabinet have stewardship over the whole country.  Not the Party: not sector interests: not their mates.  A political party has stewardship over the Party as a whole, not the country.  So where does that leave the Opposition? I submit that they are responsible to the country, as is the Governing party.  But the problem with the Labour Party is that their method of nominating their leader is by the sector interests having a vote – for their own interests.  And the Leader has been, by default, the Leader of the Party as well as the Leader  of the Political wing.  Two different roles. (and then you have the Leader of the House, just to complicate matters!)    Read more »

Guest Post – Thoughts on Labour

A reader and new commenter emails:

Dear Team,

I posted my first comment recently after a long time reading and enjoying the blog (as ‘Reasoned and Rational’). Slowly getting drawn into the vortex ;-)

Some time ago I seem to recall an article which indicated that submissions from readers might be considered if of a suitable standard. I wonder if you’d read through my thoughts below and consider if it meets that standard? If so, please feel free to use it at some time when you have space. If you choose not to, no worries, it’s been fun getting it down in writing.

Best regards,

Reasoned and Rational


I grew up in home with a photo of Michael Joseph Savage on the mantel above the fireplace. My Dad was a working man, and the party ‘we’ supported looked after the interests of the workers, ensured a fair deal from ‘the bosses’, was interested monitoring the terms and conditions of employment, and made sure that there was a safety net in the form of social welfare if something went wrong. Social welfare was to catch you if you fell, and support you until you were back on your feet again. You took personal responsibility for finding work and getting back into it as quickly as possible if circumstances changed.

In the house I grew up in there was a pride in working. My Dad was very unhappy when once I mentioned University as an idea. “That’s just for those that can’t work, boffins and the sons of the bosses” I recall him saying. That certainly didn’t mean that education wasn’t valued, and teachers were respected as providing the route to a better job for me than he’d managed.

Times were different. Unemployment was low. Rob Muldoon once half joked he knew all 70 odd registered unemployed by name. Yes, there were only 70! When I got my first job upon leaving school I was employed not because I was the best man for the job, but for the simple reason I was the only one to reply to the ad.

It was easy to change jobs. Give the boss the two fingered salute on a Friday night, read the ‘Sits Vac’ in Saturday’s Herald and there was a good chance by Tuesday or Wednesday you were starting a new gig. Management trainee jobs were good to get all round experience and were plentiful at the time and amongst many other things I got experience at the Otahuhu freezing works with Hellabys and a timber yard with Henderson and Pollard.

My first five elections were all votes cast for Labour, as much out of habit and conditioning as anything else. I was more interested in what was happening on Saturday night than the long term future of the country.

By the end of that fifth election though, I was out the other end of an apprenticeship, married and watching the sense of disbelief and betrayal that the Lange/Douglas Labour government wrought on my father. He never cast another vote for Labour as long as he lived. He could never vote National so he became one of Winston’s supporters.     Read more »

Realists and Dreamers, why Labour is screwed

The Labour party is in dreadful trouble.

The problem they have is a large amount of their supporters think they have nothing to be ashamed of, that they should keep on keeping on doing what voters have rejected for 3 elections now.

Looks at the attitudes of Len Richard’s, the man who famously attacked a protestor with a megaphone.

More than a decade of dirty politics aimed at demonising and destabilising the Labour Party by well-organised and well-funded opponents have taken their toll. The opinion polls reflect the public mood deliberately created by the spin doctors of the right, and the very poor election results for Labour over the last three elections reflect the polls.

They can’t have it both ways.For years the left wing said the blogosphere was irrelevant, especially me…now we are responsible for the demise of the Labour party.

Deluded is a kind word for people like Len Richards. Dinosaurs is appropriate.

Suggesting Labour lurch further to the left when more than 60% of the voters voted centre right is serious delusion.   Read more »

Some more reader questions about Capital Gains Tax

I doubt Labour can answer these, after 4 years they still have no idea what he shape of the CGT will look like.

Hi Cam & All

I have a few questions regarding CGT that I don’t think I’ve seen raised, and which certainly don’t seem to have been put to Cunliffe:

What adjustment will be made to the selling value of a property due to inflation? In other words, this tax fails to take into account inflationary pressures, and is, in effect, a tax on inflationary gains (which, as we all know, is NOT a capital gain in the real sense of the term).

Another thing that is not taken into account is the real cost of purchase. Most people buy a house using a mortgage. The real cost of the house (purchase price + interest) is much higher than the actual value of the house when purchased. Will this be taken into account when determining any capital gain?     Read more »

Pimping the poor but not telling the truth

I see that the Fairfax newspaper North Shore Times is pimping the poor again.

Father of two ‘Ofa Ta’ufo’ou can’t spend more than $100 a week to feed his family.

That’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinks – the works. Any more and the Birkdale resident breaks the household budget.

The 43-year-old works “like an animal” for at least 40 hours a week and still struggles to make ends meet.

“At the moment I can’t afford to take my girls to the movies. So I have to ask: Who has failed my family? The system has.

“And I’m not the only one struggling. A lot of people in the community can’t function as a family because of their finances.”

The community worker says the problem is nationwide and something must be done.

“We need to push people in power to do something about the poverty in this country. People are working like animals just so they can pay the basics.”

Ta’ufo’ou said savings is not a word in his vocabulary.

“I work so hard and can’t save any of it. My wife and I budget every single cent.”

Their combined fortnightly income is $2000, nearly half of which is spent on rent.

Humans should live in dignity, he said.

“This is a human rights issue. Everyone deserves to live like a human instead of spending all their time worrying about money.”

Read more »

Want robots at McDonald’s? Hike the minimum wage

A reader in the US writes:

It’s been an interesting debate here with the usual rough and tumble of different layers of government, it’s a struggle to get the minimum wage to $10.25 an hour which is outraging groups on both sides.

Unlike back home the media provide both sides and then leave it to the viewer to decide. They will have the hard working fast food worker putting across their reasoned position then the small business owner who will have to let a staff member go if the wages are hiked. There is no screaming from a Helen Kelly and neither would the business community have someone as hopeless as the guy from BuisinessNZ either backing their argument.

It’s a compelling argument that if the minimum wage is too high someone won’t get the opportunity of that entry level job which allows them to gain skills and experience that allows them to move ahead. You get a real life view of what would happen if you pass that tipping point of pricing young people out of the labour market and it’s called 50% unemployment and a lost generation in Europe, compare that to the USA where young people in service industry jobs are generally happy to help and happy in life.

If you find yourself at 40 still on the same wage as your 25 year old boss it shouldn’t be up to the government to give you that pay rise…in fact that very same caring leftie government is a threat to you as they will price you out of a job which could end up being a terminal situation.

Read more »

French government collapses, socialism still isn’t working

The cheese eating surrender monkey’s government has collapsed in acrimony.

Francois Hollande has dissolved the government and is now asking the same failed socialist Prime Minister to pick another bunch of socialists. The Frogs  clearly haven’t learned that socialism doesn’t work no matter which bunch of socialists is in charge.

France has coherent single party government and socialism fails and hurts the people it purports to help, imagine what a coalition of socialists would be like.

French President Francois Hollande dissolved the government on Monday after open feuding in his Cabinet over the country’s stagnant economy.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls offered up his Socialist government’s resignation after accusing the outspoken economy minister of crossing a line with his blunt criticism of the government’s policies. Hollande accepted the resignation and ordered Valls to form a new government by Tuesday.

France has had effectively no economic growth this year, unemployment is hovering around 10 percent, and Hollande’s approval ratings are in the teens.    Read more »

Labour relaunches their Hobbit Hater policy

Labour has re-launched their Hobbit Hater policy at the behest of the unions, proving that their investment in purchasing David Cunliffe and the 20% vote for the leadership has provided a cash for policy arrangement that is giving their leaders sticky knickers.

The Labour Party wants to repeal the law changes that were ceded to Warner Bros over The Hobbit films, a move which the Government says would cripple the $3 billion screen industry.

Labour leader David Cunliffe and MP Andrew Little launched the party’s work and wages policy yesterday, which included a boost to the minimum wage, and a commission of inquiry into workplace conditions.

Here’s an idea…why don;t they just declare a wages crisis, and in short order National will fix the problem. Seems to have worked for manufacturing and housing…it’s worth a crack.

So Labour wants to kill off the film industry in NZ, Dotcom’s party just wants to steal it, and the Greens want to destroy the oil and gas industry.

They really are the wrecking ball of the NZ economy.

But wait it gets worse…Labour also wants to kill jobs.  Read more »

Chris Trotter on The Cunliffe

I’ve been waiting for this post by Chris Trotter.

He is the left’s canary in the coal mine. When others blame the messenger it is  Trotter is analysing the message.

MUCH SCORN has been heaped upon the claims of Fairfax political journalist, Vernon Small, that a change of leader could rescue Labour’s electoral fortunes. But shooting the messenger, as so many have done in relation to this story, is a poor substitute for studying the message. Especially a message like this one!

According to Small, if every person who claimed they would vote for Labour if David Cunliffe was no longer its leader kept their word, then support for the party would skyrocket. From its present parlous position, located somewhere between 23 and 25 percent, support would rise by an astonishing 13.5 percentage points to an election-winning 38.5 percent.

Whether this projection is statistically valid or not interests me much less than what the numbers cited by Small tell us about the political preferences of the electorate.

Clearly, there is an extremely large number of voters (several hundred thousand) who would like to vote for the Centre-Left but are disinclined to so while it remains in its current state.

At the heart of this disinclination is the Labour Party itself. Looking at it, they see a tortured, internally fractious, ill-disciplined organisation peopled by individuals who clearly loathe one another, and who seemed determined to not only lose the Election of 20 September 2014 – but all subsequent elections.

Not surprisingly, the person they blame for this state of affairs is the Labour leader, David Cunliffe. In spite of so obviously wanting the job, the general consensus among centre-left voters is that, having got it, he has made a God-Almighty mess of it.

Cunliffe’s tentativeness and outright bumbling has both surprised and disappointed his supporters. He had led them to believe that if Labour’s members and trade union affiliates made him their leader he would lead his party in double-quick time back to its democratic socialist roots. But, when Labour’s rank-and-file did exactly as he asked, Cunliffe spent the next three months doing three-fifths of bugger-all.   Read more »

Is David Cunliffe about to lurch Labour back towards the centre?

Matthew Hooton believes that The Cunliffe may be about to lurch Labour back towards the centre as they attempt to get some traction…any traction at all..in this election campaign.

If that is the case then John Tamihere’s assessment in the Herald this morning is spot on, that “He’s an extraordinarily talented chap but you never get to see the real David. You get to see the David that he thinks you want to see. And that’s his problem.”

Hooton is alluding to that in his column at NBR.

If David Cunliffe becomes prime minister this spring, the origins of his win will be traced to the last week.

This may seem counterintuitive. After all, his highest profile move was his apology for being a man, generally lampooned as absurd. More substantively, though, it revealed a deeply collectivist worldview, where people’s main identity is not as an individual with personal responsibility but where we are primarily members of categories from which we accrue collective guilt and credit.

Such a political philosophy may be abhorrent to anyone who values basic concepts of human autonomy but it was wildly popular among Labour’s Women’s Council, the unions and the far-left activists who back Mr Cunliffe. Some even rang Mr Cunliffe’s office weeping with gratitude.

Intentionally or otherwise, the apology created cover for a repositioning of Mr Cunliffe back to the centre, which would begin at Labour’s conference the following day and is at the heart of Labour’s strategy for the next 10 weeks.

The Cunliffe needs to do this because so far his socialist prescription is failing to resonate.

Mr Cunliffe ran for leader from the far-left, with rhetoric about red roses, the failed neoliberal experiment, the missing million, the misery of 250,000 children living in poverty, and a commitment that his Labour would be “deep red, not pale blue.”

As a strategy to become leader it worked well but it reversed all the progress Labour had made in the wider polls under David Shearer’s more centrist approach.

Talking down New Zealand as a failed state with starving kids wasn’t connecting with voters experiencing economic growth, falling unemployment, rising wages, low inflation, still-modest interest rates and a kiwi dollar enabling them to afford some luxuries after five difficult years.   Read more »