Archive

Archive for September, 2013

Radio NZ: Politics with Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams – 30 September 2013

30 September 2013 Leave a comment

.

– Politics on Nine To Noon –

.

– Monday 30 September 2013 –

.

– Kathryn Ryan, with Matthew Hooton & Mike Williams –

.

Today on Politics on Nine To Noon,

.

radio-nz-logo-politics-on-nine-to-noon

.

Click to Listen: Politics with Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams (20′ 29″ )

This week:

  • More on Hooton’s outburst last week regarding David Cunliffe. Hooton apologises – sort of.
  • The Labour Party’s shadow cabinet.
  • and local body elections.

.

.

= fs =

Advertisement

Endorsing Celia for Mayor

30 September 2013 1 comment

.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown election billboard

.

Website

I am proud to endorse Celia Wade Brown for mayor of Wellington.

In the 1990s, when we were both members of the Alliance, Celia worked hard on issues such as Save Capital Power – trying to prevent the privatisation of Wellington’s Council-owned power company.

She has Wellington’s best interests at heart, and it’s a privilege to support her candidacy.

.

.

= fs =

How To Guide: Voting in Auckland

30 September 2013 1 comment

.

Unions Auckland How to Vote

 

.

Facebook

.

.

= fs =

Guest Author: Dunedin election – my guide to who’s left and who’s not

Mark Baxter

.

Sick of vacuous DCC/etc candidate blurbs that don’t even tell you if most candidates are left or right leaning?

I am. I take local representation seriously – I want to know how Councillors will vote on important issues on Council before they get my vote.

So here’s my list of who’s left and who’s not. V1.1

DCC

DCC – Mayor

 I will be voting for

 Aaron Hawkins – will be my number 1 ranked vote for mayor as his policies are the ones I most support. Also, voting for Cull as number 1 risks being interpreted as support for the status quo. 

  • Dave Cull – will be my number 2. He hasn’t been totally shite, and is possibly the best of the rest. Even if you don’t like him that much, it’d pay to have him ranked somewhere on your list as insurance against the only 2 other potential contenders (ie Calvert or Vandervis – see below) sneaking in.

Mayoral Candidates to Avoid:

 Hilary Calvert – former ACT MP (was demoted by ACT, which is quite an achievement), free market, cut community support, sell assets, etc dogma. Like most ACT folk she isn’t above making presenting opinion as fact. Oh, and even righties in the know will be quietly avoiding her as she seems quite barmy – I’ve had more than one conversation with her where she’ll contradict herself, sometimes in the same sentence, and appear not to notice.

  • Lee Vandervis – a buddy of mine, but we’re on opposites of many things political. He was useful in fighting unnecessary spending, but some of what he considers unnecessary likely are things the traditional left call social services. Plus he probably is too divisive to be an effective mayor. That said, I’ll rank him no. 3 (ie right below Cull) on my mayoral vote – as insurance against Calvert (ie this vote would only be counted if Cull doesn’t win).
  • Oliver Lequeux – seems businessy but hard to say exactly where he sits as he makes Calvert look like a rank amateur in the ability to contradict oneself in the same sentence stakes. Probably mostly a righty. FYI he cited a French Trotskyite party as the party he most identified with, as above, it’s hard to know if he was taking the piss, or if he somehow believes that stance was  in any way Trotskyite. Also arrogant beyond simply being any cultural misunderstanding.
  • Andrew Whiley – very right-wing at the forum.
  • Pete George – has some ok-ish sounding stuff and keen on DCC being more democratic, but gave a couple of dodgy answers to Gyro in their mayoral interview re students. And is a United Future supporter.   

 DCC – Central Ward

 Central Ward – Worth a Look Lefties & Left-leaners:

 These people will be in my top rankings for Central Ward votes.

 Teresa Stephenson – arguably the most left of current councillors, has been helpful working on getting OPSA’s concerns to Council. Haven’t had much to do with her lately so I have no idea if she deserved the mauling she got by the ODT’s report cards (I can’t imagine so, as she’s always button-holing me about Council business whenever she sees me). Applause for her was well down at candidates meeting, so perhaps she needs votes more than ever (for this reason I might rank her #1 on my list).

  • Aaron Hawkins – Green candidate, left, previously has his own good ideas for civic development etc. Will be ranked near the top of my list; certainly will be an asset on Council.
  • Jinty McTavish – incumbent, young leftyish. Good responses at forum. Will be near the top of my list.
  • Neville Peat unsure of his exact politics but he was always one of the more helpful councillors when I’ve submitted to ORC on student needs. His answers were reasonably lefty and sensible at the forum (left, realistic, and not being shafted for short-term or fantasy gains). Eco focused outlook.
  • Francesco Hernandez – left and some potentially good initiatives, but can be wacky and sometimes out of touch with others. I share concerns over his ability to recognise his own competence limits, but he’d be more of a positive influence than a negative one, especially in what he’d vote for and against, and certainly a good in for student/education issues, so he’ll be somewhere on my list. 
  • Richard Thompson – leftish, gave all the right answers at candidates’ forum and seemed genuine and competent. Background with anti-smelter at Aromana movement and manages Acquisitions. Some with unspecific negative comment about him from previous employees. He’ll be on my list, but probably at the bottom of this group as needs my vote less than those above.
  • David Benson-Pope – Unbelievably I’ll likely have him in this top ranking group, he gave all the right answers at candidates meeting, and seemed to be genuine about the why (as opposed to a skilled politician saying what people want – which he made indeed be).

Central Ward – Buffer Group:

In my rankings list these people will go below the group of people above, in that I prefer the people above primarily, but I’d prefer these people below instead of the righties.

  • Kim Mitchell – gave some good answers at the forum, but came late (she had to work) so not a full range of evidence to judge. Probably leftish. She will be near the top of this buffer group of votes – and probably should be higher.
  • Tat Loo – also gave ok answers, but hard to know exactly how he’d actually vote. Clearly states that he is against asset sales. Labour ideals. Also towards the top of this buffer votes group – and possibly higher.
  • Nicholas, Letisha – young, some good lefty answers, but careful not to go off her Greater Dunedin script.
  • Irene Mosley – gave ok answers, but hard to say for sure how she’d vote. Probably leftish. Also Greater Dunedin. Buffer.
  • Chris Staynes – from his answers at the forum I initially classed him as a rightie, but after some further clarifications he is more left-leaning than right (eg no infrastructure asset sales), and certainly sympathetic to the left whilst keeping an eye on the city’s finances. Greater Dunedin.
  • Kevin Neil – hard to say, his blurb sounds standard pretty right-wing fare (eg cut consents red-tape, Council just do core work, etc) and he has that smug conservative Christian zealot look you feel you’d like to punch in the face – but he but gave mostly good answers in the forum (and when he explained his points above they were less right ideologue that they sound) leaving one thinking “shite, actually I might like to have a beer with him instead of punching him”. I suspect he’s certainly not as right as he’s come across, and could even be a bit left in some areas. I’ll likely put him towards the bottom of my buffer votes as even if he is a righty I’d rather him than the dyed-in-the-wool righties.
  • Dave Cull – on the remote chance he doesn’t win mayor he’d still be useful on council, so I’ll be ranking him around here.

Central Ward – Unknown Possibly Left or Left-leaning:

  • Christine Garey – Makes specific reference amongst her generic statements to “I want to live in a city where public transport is affordable” and also notes the importance of cycling safety. Potentially leftish. May be worth ranking low in one of the groups above.
  • Julian Crawford – ALCP. Single issue of little relevance to local bodies imho. Seems to offer little else. But maybe worth adding somewhere as a protest vote if ACLP are your thing.
  • Kevin Dwyer – almost completely lacking in detail and fairly uninspiring in most of the available literature. Possibly well intentioned but hard to establish his political leanings.

 Central Ward – Unknown Possibly Right-leaning:

 Pete George – has some ok-ish sounding stuff and keen on DCC being more democratic, but gave a couple of dodgy answers to Gyro in their mayoral interview re students. And is a United Future supporter.  

  • Nigel Harwood – civil engineering background. Another candidate lacking in detail, other than saying he wants more jobs for Dunedin. No sign of him being left-leaning.
  • Phillip Cole –focus on improving public transport options but not a fan of spending money. Wants to cut all non-core projects to reduce Council debt – hard to determine what non-core is code for (he gives South D library and Mosgiel pool as examples). Has a few potentially interesting ideas, but probably right-leaning.
  • Lindsay Harrison – Mister Minit. Supports oil exploration and stupidly high hotel more or less unconditionally. Probably a right-leaner.
  • John Evans – has a theme of smaller government and personal responsibility, pointing to right-leaning. Also Nazi comment made to Critic.
  • Malcolm Dixon – literature is all generic statements. Owner of Terry’s Beggs. At the last election he wanted to introduce 30 minute free parking, quite on cycling and buses though. Possibly safe to assume he is right-leaning.

Central Ward – People to Avoid:

 I will not be ranking any of these candidates

 Hilary Calvert – former ACT MP (was demoted by ACT, which is quite an achievement), free market, cut community support, sell assets, etc dogma. Like most ACT folk she isn’t above making presenting opinion as fact. Oh, and even righties in the know will be quietly avoiding her as she seems quite barmy – I’ve had more than one conversation with her where she’ll contradict herself, sometimes in the same sentence, and appear not to notice.

  • Oliver Lequeux – see above in mayoral candidates.
  • Rachel Elder – right wing with right-wing rhetoric.
  • Warren Voight – right-wing at the forum and in his rants. Stood for Democrat Party 2011.
  • Andrew Whiley – also very right-wing at the forum.
  • Tom Ross – mostly right-wing ideas and outlook. Seemed an affable old chap, but was unaware of the facts behind many of the issues he commented on at the forum.
  • Conrad Steadmen – right leaning, real-estate agent and ex-policeman (and Sally Army iirc) so draw your own conclusions). Boring, conservative, and mostly right focused.
  • Ali Copeman – right-wing; “very happy” with the status quo. Her most important requirement for council structure is that it is “business friendly”. She’s the Director of the Otago Chamber of Commerce.
  • Paul Hudson – nice old-school conservative (the sort that acknowledges welfare is needed unlike these new-school ACT folk). Right, but with a heart – but will vote with the old boys at the end of the day.

ORC

 I will be ranking the following group in my ORC vote

 Michael Deaker – incumbent, been somewhat a supporter when I’ve submitted on cheaper/better buses. He genuinely seems to want a working bus network rather than some other incumbents who give the impression it’s a job they’ve been lumped with and don’t care that much about.

  • Marc Schallenberg – competent, nice guy, green interests (important to have on ORC) and offers a background in evidence-based decision making.
  • Gretchen Robertson – green interests (important to have on ORC)
  • Trevor Kempton – maybe, like Deaker, he at least mentions public transport (if not access equity issues).

ORC – Noteworthy:

  • Stephen Woodhead – not a lefty at all, but not an unreasonable righty ideologue (ie he will actually listen to arguments).

 ORC -People to Probably Avoid:

  • Bryan Scott – thinks the limit on public subsidies on bus fares is about right at only 50% but can’t give any logic for why 50% is about right.

SD Health Board

I will be ranking the following in my SDHBvote

  • Donna Matahaere-Atariki – a passionate advocate for the right to health, especially for the most vulnerable members of society. No visible campaign so probably desperately needs number 1 votes.
  • Richard Thompson – experienced, strong advocating for Otago focus. See Central Ward comments above.
  • John Chambers – “100% committed to the public system”, and mentions that all staff including cleaners need to be consulted in developing strategic plans. Sounds left-leaning.

SDHB –Maybes

I’ll consider ranking the following as they seem the better of the rest of a non-descript bunch

  • Graham Roper – seems to attack the “it’s all about the money” focus.
  • Mary Gamble – questioned high IT costs in the face of cuts to health services (ie what eventually rumbled Sawn).

SDHB – FYI

  • Peter Barron – had an advertising complaint upheld against his Huntsman Steakhouse that “used sexual appeal to draw attention and degraded women in general”. The ad, published in the community paper, showed a woman holding a slab of raw steak in front of each of her bare breasts.
  • Paul Douglas – “land disposals to reduce deficit”, potentially right-wing (not sure, maybe they have land that is genuinely not needed?).

About this list

These are my personal opinions, which I’ll be basing my local body votes on. They are based on information from:

  • Candidate’s own comments at forums & media
  • Official candidate info booklet
  • Candidate profiles published in ODT, Critic, Star, & Gyro
  • Profiles on vote.co.nz website
  • Profiles on Greater Dunedin website
  • Random Facebook & Google searches
  • DCC Councillor’s pages
  • My personal & professional experience with candidates
  • Opinions from trustworthy sources

I encourage you to contact candidates directly and ask them how they’ll vote on issues and concerns you have.

.

.

= fs =

Mark Baxter

Endorsing Jeanette for ADHB!

29 September 2013 Leave a comment

.

 

Jeanette Elley

.

Facebook

Jeanette Elley is standing for the Auckland District Health Board. I endorse her and other Auckland City Vision candidates for local body elections this year.

We need more community-oriented candidates elected into office, and a move away from the quasi-National Party hacks who see no further than dollar signs whilst looking past community needs.

Jeanette would be an asset for the ADHB and I support her candidacy!

.

.

= fs =

 

Endorsing Ariana for Wellington Regional Council!

29 September 2013 1 comment

 

.

 

Vote Ariana for Wellington Regional Council

 

.

Facebook

Ariana is of the people, for the people. She has my 101% endorsement for Wellington Regional Council – we need more people like her!

.

.

= fs =

John Key Twits

27 September 2013 4 comments

A recent twitter from Dear Leader caught my eye…

.

Key Twitting

Source: Twitter

.

Which is remarkable, as only last year, John Key had this to say about low-paid workers (predominantly women) in the aged care sector,

.

pm-no-money-for-aged-care-workers1

Source: Fairfax Media –  PM: No money for aged care workers

.

Indeed, he was dismissive about any increase for low-paid workers,

It’s one of those things we’d love to do if we had the cash. As the country moves back to surplus it’s one of the areas we can look at but I think most people would accept this isn’t the time we have lots of extra cash.” – John Key, 28 May, 2012

As a sop to criticism, he added,

Key this morning acknowledged there were problems with rural rest homes workers paying for their own travel, effectively reducing their wage below the minimum wage of $13.50 an hour.

Travel is one of those areas where we are looking at what we can do.”

Source: IBID

His committment to find other ways to remunerate low-paid workers of course never amounted to anything. They never do.

Of course, Key’s lament of a lack of cash hasn’t stopped government ministers, SOE executives, and departmental heads from generous salary increases.  Nor throwing massive corporate welfare-subsidies at Rio Tinto, Warner Bros, Rugby World CupSouthern China Airlines, a golf tournament, etc, etc.

Every low-paid, exploited, worker in this country has a vested interest in voting at the next election.

Getting rid of this repugnant, self-serving government is the only way to make Key’s tweet above become a reality for those who most need it.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 23 September 2013.

.

*

.

Previous related blogposts

Priorities?

Health Minister circumvents law to fulfill 2008 election bribe?

Aged Care: The Price of Compassion

.

.

= fs =

Radio NZ: Politics with Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams – Hooton loses the the plot?! 23 September 2013

23 September 2013 10 comments

.

– Politics on Nine To Noon –

.

– Monday 23 September 2013 –

.

– Kathryn Ryan, with Matthew Hooton & Mike Williams –

.

Today on Politics on Nine To Noon,

.

Radio NZ logo - Politics on nine to noon

.

Click to Listen: Politics with Matthew Hooton and Mike Williams (18′ 22″ )

  • America’s Cup,
  • Labour set to unveil new caucus line-up,
  • Labour candidate selected for Christchurch East,
  • and John Key’s visit to Balmoral.

Acknowledgement: Radio NZ

Listen out for Matthew Hooton launching into a full-scale hysterical rant over David Cunliffe. Hooton has either lost the plot – or this is the beginnings of a sinister right-wing scheme to destroy David Cunliffe’s reputation via a slander-campaign.

In my view, it is the latter.

Yes, folks, Cunliffe is such a threat to John Key’s government that National’s strategists have launched a smear campaign against the new Labour leadership.

Watch out for more of the same in coming weeks.

By the way – Kathryn Ryan was so annoyed at Hooton’s performance that she cut the segment short at just over 18 minutes. Normally, her Monday political panel is around 25  minutes or longer.

.

.

= fs =

How can you tell John Key is lying?

17 September 2013 2 comments

… His lips are moving.

Ok, it’s an old, old joke.

But it seems to be a truism more and more each day, as his shonkey government flounders, that he is resorting to untruths in panic and desperation.

A recent example, as reported on Radio NZ on 10 September,

Key predicts new Labour leader will take party to left

[abridged]

“It’s very important to understand whose voting. It’s not New Zealand mums or dads that are voting. It’s actually the union movement and they will want payback time when he becomes the leader and that means a big move to the left. And ultimately I think that will have quite a negative impact on jobs and growth for the economy.”

Source: Radio NZ

As the RNZ report went on to state, “under the Labour party’s new rules, unions get only a fifth of vote“.

40% of the vote –  nearly half – will be from  New Zealand mums or dads  that are voting (or those who are members of the Labour Party).

So once again, Dear Leader is caught out fibbing to the media and the public.

Which is interesting and ties in with a chat I was having at a Dunedin New World supermarket last night (11 Sept). Two young check-out operators noticed my “no asset sales” sticker on my satchel and we starting chatting about the Labour party leadership contest. For two young teenagers (17? 18?) they seemed remarkably well-versed in who the candidates were and their personal preferences. Then the subject got on to John Key.

The opinions of these two young women was simple; they did not trust him one bit. They also could not understand why he was so popular with the public. One remarked that his “body language” alone showed he was being dishonest when speaking to the media. The other was put off by his “we-know-best” arrogance.

In my travels, I’m meeting more and more people who are disenchanted and disillusioned with our current truth-bending Prime Minister. People are not fools and eventually pick up on a politician’s propensity for spinning BS.

But here’s a question for Mr Key; when will he allow the rank and file membership  to vote to choose the leader of the National Party?

Because under current National Party rules,  “mums and dads” have no say on the matter.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 13 September 2013.

.

.

= fs =

Congratulations, Mr Cunliffe!

16 September 2013 3 comments

This blogger extends his congratulations to David Cunliffe for his successful selection as Labour’s new party leader.

A special mention should be made of Grant Robertson and Shane Jones – both of whom are talented individuals and  would also have made fine leaders.

All three men campaigned with integrity, decency, and maturity.

As for John Key, who derided the Labour’s selection process – would he care to put his leadership to the test, and allow National Party rank and file members to vote on the leadership? Yeah, nah…

.

flying pig

John Key announces National’s leadership will be put to Party members for a vote!

 

.

It is now time for every fair minded New Zealander to roll up his or her sleeves. We have work to do, and a  corrupt, self-serving, ineffectual Tory government to throw out. Whether we are Labour, Green, Mana (NZ First?), we all have our bit to play to rebuild our decent society.

As David Cunliffe said on National Radio this morning – the election campaign started today!

 

 

 

.

.

= fs =

 

Fred Pohl, RIP

14 September 2013 2 comments

.

Fred Pohl November 26, 1919 – September 2, 2013

Fred Pohl
November 26, 1919 – September 2, 2013

 

.

Fred Pohl was one of my favourite science fiction authors.

For me, his most memorable book was the novel, “The Age of the Pussyfoot“, a story of a man revived from cryonic suspension into the 26th century. The novel was more about the cultural shock of a human being 600 years out of his time, and having to adapt to an alien society, than “hard sf”.

Most notably, for a novel written in 1969, Pohl predicted the coming of the cellphone/smartphone with uncanny accuracy. The device he calls the “joymaker” in his story could easily pass for the mobile devices we so take for granted in the 21st century.

Such was the imagination of one of the greatest sf writers humanity has produced.

RIP, Mr Pohl. And the teenager that I was, thanks you for the gifts that you shared with us.

.

*

.

References

Wikipedia: Fred Pohl

Wikipedia:  The Age of the Pussyfoot

.

.

= fs =

 

 

 

 

Categories: People Being People Tags:

Latest Roy Morgan Poll – on course to dump this rotten government…

14 September 2013 3 comments

.

red-green-up

.

Maintaining a consistent picture, Roy Morgan’s recent poll shows that New Zealand is on course to dump the current Tory government;

National: 41% (- 3)

Labour: 32.5% (+ 1)

Greens:  15%  (+ 1)

New Zealand First: 6.5% (+ 1)

Conservative Party: 1.5% (+ 1)

Maori Party: 1% (- 1)

ACT:  1% (+ .5)

United Future: 0.5% (unchanged)

Mana Party: 0.5% (unchanged)

Undecided/Declined to say: 6% (+ 1)

It apears that the Nats are continuing to lose support as they proceed with asset sales and unpopular legislation such as the GCSB Bill. The latter was perhaps a watershed moment as New Zealanders witnessed the arrogance of John Key and his shabby government.

The only “wild card” in this scenario is Winston Peters. As always, the question is – which way will he jump?

Those voters who want a change in government should be cautious is supporting NZ First.  There is no guarantee that Peters will support a Labour-led coalition. (See: NZ First opts for National)

It is also interesting to note that 6% of respondents were either undecided or declined to nominate a preference. That is a sizeable chunk of voters and in itself shows that people are looking for possible alternatives to Key and National. The Roy Morgan report states that the number of Undecideds/Refused had increased by one percentage point.

Even as National bleeds support, voters are re-thinking who to support.

This blogger maintains a prediction that we will see a change in government in 2014 (if not earlier).

This will be Key’s last term in office.

Note: Roy Morgan is the only polling company that phones mobiles, as well as landlines. It is therefore more realistic in poll outcomes than those companies that contact landlines only.

.

*

.

References

Roy Morgan poll

Previous related blogposts

Latest Roy Morgan Poll shows change of government! (2 Sept 2012)

Shock News: Roy Morgan predicting change in government (8 June 2013)

Mr Morgan phoned (1 Sept 2013)

.

.

= fs =

Categories: The Body Politic Tags: ,

A letter to our Aussie cuzzies…

8 September 2013 14 comments

.

old-paper-with-quill-pen-vector_34-14879

.

A condolence letter sent to our Aussie cuzzies…

 

.

from:     Frank Macskasy
to:     Sydney Morning Herald <letters@smh.com.au>
date:     Sun, Sep 8, 2013 at 4:13 PM
subject:     Letters to the Editor

.

The Editor
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
.
Sir/Madam,
Now that Australian voters have made their decision at the ballot box, they can look forward to a change in government.  They can also look forward to tax cuts promised by incoming PM, Tony Abbott.
But what else do Australians have to look forward to?
Well, if his government is anything like the National government we’ve had since 2008, Australians can also look forward to cuts in Federal government spending; massive redundancies in the state sector; a rise in unemployment;  cuts to social and other government services; union-busting and fall in wages;  and a resulting recession as a drop in spending flows through your economy as a whole.
Here in New Zealand, that is precisely what has happened, with cuts to everything from early childhood education to border bio-security control (with resultant influx of foreign pests).

As for tax cuts – beware of sneaky governments. They tend to raise charges, sales taxes, fringe taxes, and other government fees to make up for the revenue shortfall.

So welcome to our world of fiscal austerity; entrenched high unemployment; and lower and lower wages.

You seem to have caught our ‘bug’ – the “New Zealand Disease”.
I wish you luck. You’ll be needing it.

 

.
-Frank Macskasy

(Address & phone number supplied)

.

.

= fs =

A short, open letter to the new leader of the Labour Party…

5 September 2013 3 comments

.

poverty-pass-it-on

.

Kia ora and g’day…

Firstly, congratulations on winning the leadership of the New Zealand Labour Party. With the “primaries” out of the way, it’s now time to knuckle down and work together to throw out this self-serving, incompetent government. A Labour-Green-Mana(-NZ First?) coalition is a government-in-waiting and there is much work to be done to rebuild our society.

Our first concern should be child poverty. This is a pernicious problem (I refuse point-blank to call it an “issue”) which creates a toxicity that seeps through every aspect of our society and economy. Even National-voting comfortable middle class aspirationists cannot escape the consequences that child poverty creates in our country.

New Zealand once had a great record of being at the top of the OECD for child welfare. (We’re still near the top of the OECD PISA ratings in education, despite what supporters of ACT’s misguided Charter Schools policy might say.)

Some estimates suggest around quarter of a million children living in poverty.

This is unacceptable and it beggars belief that some New Zealanders think it is not their problem. Well, I’ve news for those naive people; it is our problem. Ignoring it will not make it go away. One way or another, we all pay for this ongoing cancer in our midst.

Our current Prime Minister, John “What-me-worry?” Key, is Minister for Tourism. He diligently carries out his duties to promote tourism by lounging on the warm, sunny beaches near his holiday home on Hawaii’s island of Maui. Quite how this benefits New Zealand tourism escapes me… but I’m no expert on this matter.

An incoming Labour Prime Minister can do much better. (In fact, I can’t see how he couldn’t.)

It is my belief that the new Leader of the Labour Party, and incoming Prime Minister, should declare to the country the seriousness of child poverty.

This can best be done by creating a new role of Minister for Children.

It would send a clear signal to every New Zealander that this is our number one priority and that the obscenity of child poverty will no longer by tolerated by decent, fair-minded New Zealanders.

There is no need for a Ministry of Education or any similar bureaucratic body. My suggestion is for an ODESC-style agency comprising  of representatives from various ministries; departments; and NGOs  which would liaise and draft policies and agendas to attack child poverty.

Child poverty is a crisis in our once egalitarian country. There is simply no excuse for a society that considers itself fair and decent to permit this to fester.

As for those who bury their heads in the sand by playing the blame-game – suggesting that parents are at fault for having children when their social-economic circumstances are dire – should reflect on these points;

  1. Children do not choose which families they are born into.
  2. Parents circumstances change. Prior to the global financial crisis, we had low unemployment at around 3.4%. It is now approximately double that. Parents do not choose global financial melt-downs, nor the poverty it creates.
  3. The neo-liberal economic “reforms” of the 1980s and 1990s promised us a “trickling down” of jobs and increased prosperity. None of that has happened and instead wealth has trickled upward. It is now harder and more expensive to raise a family than it ever has been since 1984.

The next Prime Minister of New Zealand will not have the luxury of lying under a Hawaaian sun on a beach in Maui.

As Minister for Children, he will have his work cut out for him. This will be a real working Prime Minister.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 2 September 2013.

.

.

= fs =

Mr Morgan phoned…

1 September 2013 15 comments

.

Roy Morgan logo

 

.

Roy Morgan is one of the most regular polling companies in New Zealand.

It is also the only one that calls respondents on their cellphones, and not just landlines. As such, it is more accurate because not every household in 21st Century New Zealand has a landline.

Last night, I answered my cellphone – and the caller was from Roy Morgan polling.

The questions, from memory;

  • Do I support legalising cannabis? (Yes)
  • Who will I give my electorate vote in 2014? (Labour)
  • Who will I give my Party vote to? (Greens – Though this may change to Mana.)
  • Is the country headed in the right or wrong direction? (Wrong direction)
  • What is the number one problem affecting our country? (Unemployment)
  • Do I expect my circumstances to improve, worsen, or no change in the next twelve months? (Worsen)
  • Do I expect my circumstances to improve, worsen, or no change in the next five years? (Uncertain – it depends if we have a Labour-led or National government)
  • Have I travelled over 40 kilometres in the last month? (yes)
  • Do I listen to the radio? (yes – though they didn’t ask which station, strangely enough)
  • Do I listen to radio on podcast, TV, or smartphone? (yes)

There were a few others which were asked, but they escape me for the moment.

So there we have it – polled by Roy Morgan, via cellphone.

I look forward to the next results to come out.

 

.

.

= fs =

Categories: Various Tags: