Matthew Hooton on nine wasted years

Matthew Hooton writes on Facebook:

On 18 August, I wrote in the NBR that the outgoing National government “has proven itself over nine years to be lazy, visionless, arrogant, complacent, dishonest and house-trained by the … Wellington bureaucracy.” I stand by that. It has been a wasted nine years with ministers mostly acting as PR spokespeople for their departments rather than leaders. I am surprised by how pleased I am to see the back of them.

One of the things the Lange government did after 1984, which I hope the new government still supports, is abolish the Muldoon regime’s farm subsidy and other corporate welfare schemes. It led to farmers having to respond to the extent they are now among the most commercially successful people in New Zealand, and new land-based industries emerged including high-quality wine.  

Over nine years, the outgoing government reversed that historic work, establishing the MBIE monstrosity, expanding corporate welfare, reintroducing subsidies for the dairy industry and corrupting government procurement.

Pretty much everyone in the business community except welfare beneficiaries like RocketLab will applaud the new government if it tackles these issues.

He’s spot on there.

Simon Lusk also wrote in reply:

Spot on Matthew, hopefully National will reemerge as a party that makes an unequivocal case for the free market and removing regulation. They should constantly point out that intervention & regulation by both central and local government is the real problem. There has not been a market failure, there has been a regulatory failure.

While Bill English remains leader and his acolytes keep thinking he is the messiah that won’t happen.

National are in the first stage of grief…denial. They actually think they won…whilst true they got the largest amount of votes that was just the battle. In actual fact they lost the war. Until they can reconcile that, and why, then they are doomed to remain the largest party but perpetually in opposition.

I wrote about this risk constantly, but Steve Joyce’s master plan was to continually attack the only person who could have kept them in government. To add further insult to injury, my understanding is one of Winston’s demands was that Nick Smith get no jobs whatsoever. Bill English refused on that point, in order to protect his mate. He chose to go into opposition in order to save Nick Smith a ministerial job. Just silly, silly stuff.

Meanwhile they keep on claiming that they dodged a bullet and handed over the Treasury benches to Labour instead of swallowing just a few more rats and maintaining control of the house.



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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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