Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Stealing policies

David Farrar has posted a list of former National policies adopted by the Clark Government --  a list  that as we all know complements an equally lengthy list of Clark policies not so quietly adopted by National (a list Bryce Edwards promises to compile and post very shortly).  Farrar's list (derived from the Keeping Stock blog) is intended to imply two things to the reader. 

The first is that the charge of Labour-Lite directed at Flip Flop Boy and his mates is undeserved, since it's really Clark and her mates that are 'stealing' policy from National, and not the other way around.   But it's impossible to ignore National's many retractions from formerly principled policy positions, or the number of policy positions on which both parties now agree, or the frequency with which  National politicians opposing a Labour measure go quickly silent when asked if this means they'll repeal the measure when or if they're in power (and if you heard Bill English and John Key yesterday wriggling when asked if they'll repeal Michael Cullen's 'No Bloody Foreigners' legislation, then you heard Labour-Lite warming up for another flip flop).

It's also impossible not to notice that since both parties are so close to each other -- and most of the policies in the list are fairly limp anyway -- there's no way in hell National can honestly represent themselves as a genuine alternative.

The second implication of the list is that National should refrain from releasing too much policy too far out from the election for fear that Labour will continue to take it over.

As I've said before however, what's wrong with having your policies stolen?   if John Key's Labour-Lite really represented a genuine alternative,and they genuinely thought their policies were best for the country then rather than wringing their hands every time the Red Team picked up one of their policies and introduced it, they'd be overjoyed that the direction of the country was changing, and that they were helping to bring it about.

That's if they were genuine. 

If they really were genuine then they wouldn't worry about their policies being 'stolen' -- in fact they'd want their policies to be stolen, all of them -- because if they are and they really were genuine about changing the country's direction, then they'd know that they'd just done that, even from the opposition benches. They'd cheer every time a policy was stolen, they'd congratulate the Red Team on their good sense, and then they'd get on with releasing their next batch of policies that could now go even further towards the goal of changing the country's direction. 

That's what you'd do if you were really genuine -- or if you truly represented a genuine alternative.  National are not.


  1. Thanks for the plug. Yes, I am indeed drawing up a list of National's me-tooisms and shifts towards the centre of the political spectrum. I'm very happy to receive any feedback or anyone else's ideas of what to include. Email me at: edwards.bryce[at]


  2. National are only an alternative for those people who buy clothes according to the designer's label.
    Same pants, different brand.

  3. Does Mr Farrar mention how many policies from the Libertarian Party he has adopted? ...(seeing as he is now the Number 1 Libertarian in the Country)

  4. You're not talking about Farrar I hope - he's never been a libertarian.

    He is a Partisan Water Carrier. And a bald one at that.

  5. The problem is where the demarcation line now is, or is there one.

    The airport and ETS are areas where there is an opportunity to stake out a distinct position.

    Opportunities lost!

  6. Just read page 2 of the Herald article about Cullen and strategic assets.

    Add another one to the list - they want to repeal Cullen's rule changes regarding strategic assets (woah!) and introduce changes saying they should be 51% domestically held (huh?! - talk about giving with one hand and taking away with the other!).

    See below:

    John Key says National would repeal Labour's rule change this week to foreign investment in New Zealand that is likely to block the sale of 40 per cent of Auckland International Airport (AIAL) to a Canadian pension fund.

    He also set out a new position on strategic assets, saying National believed that 51 per cent of strategic assets should be held in New Zealand ownership.

    National defines a strategic asset as "a unique asset where foreign ownership owes a risk to consumer interest or the national interest".
    F'king useless Nats!

  7. Did any of you see little wee small key on the tellie tonite? He was asked whether or not he supported what Labour has done in regards to the Ak airport (Cullen's anti-foreigner regs). The man couldn't offer a straight answer. What an intellectual coward. Can't ever trust someone like that one.


  8. The man couldn't offer a straight answer. What an intellectual coward.

    I will be having a private dinner with John Key on Wednesday night (12/03/08) at my place. I am gonna raise those issues with him of how to deal with the media and not make himself appear to be a flip-flopper. John Key is an inexperienced young politician and he needs all the good advice he can get from old timers National supporters like myself.

  9. Michelle

    Tell him he needs to respond to questions with a straight answer. Tell him to try answering directly with a YES or a NO. Then he should stick to what he has said. Thus far he has appeared to be a jibber-jabbering flipper-flopper of no substance because that is exactly how he has behaved. The man has not stood up for principle and stuck to it. Until he grows a spine he'll be reviled as a wannabe appeaser and little else.


  10. Michelle said "..I will be having a private dinner with John Key on Wednesday night (12/03/08) at my place.."

    Ummmm...Michelle, are you that desperate for dinner guests?!?! ..that lonely?!?!

    What you should do is bet him $1000 National does not get more than 40% of the party vote...


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