Friday, 6 November 2009

National, one year on

What can you say about the National-led government and its leader Guy Smiley after their one year in office.

Well, what is there to say?  Their list of concrete achievements is … let’s be polite … slight.  Not to say, almost non-existent.  When it comes to boasting, there’s practically nothing to be boasting about.

Helen Clark once had the temerity to say that her ambition for her Premiership was that New Zealanders wouldn’t have to wake up every morning to discover that her government had done something drastic overnight. I say temerity, because the irony can’t have escaped her.  By contrast, under John Boy’s Premiership New Zealanders have woken up after a year to find that his government actually has done nothing – not even to roll back the few things they promised to, or New Zealanders hoped they would.  In fact, after a year New Zealanders might wake up and look around with a clear eye and realise there’s been no real change at all:

  • Nanny is still with us.
  • Her anti-smacking law is still with us.
  • The Electoral Finance Act is on the way back again.
  • The Resource Management Act is fundamentally unchanged.
  • Rates continue to rise at double the rate of the CPI.
  • The global warming/emissions trading scams proceed apace.
  • Our substance is still eaten out by KiwiRail and KiwiBank, KiwiSaver and Welfare for Working Families, by bureaucrats and central bankers, by the IRD and ACC -- and by politicians whose snouts are already in the trough with an arrogance that normally takes three terms to develop, not just one-third of the first one.
  • And in the face of the biggest economic crisis in seventy years, we have a Finance Minister who can talk only about “sharp edges” and “green shoots,” and between times makes a deer in the headlights look purposeful, and Michael Cullen look principled.

Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel famously declared that “You shouldn’t let a good crisis go to waste.” The Bill & John Show haven’t just wasted the opportunity of their lifetime to make-over New Zealand’s government into a lean mean non-frightening machine.  They’ve also wasted the opportunity handed to them on a plate of an opposition with all the appeal to the electorate of a fart in an astronaut suit.

They’ve taken these twin opportunities and done . . .  nothing.  In fact, worse than nothing.

They haven’t taken out-of-control government spending by the throat – instead they’ve watched in grow.

They’ve done nothing to reduce the decades of ballooning deficits – instead they’ve acquiesced as deficits have ballooned, and the fiscal child abuse has exploded.

They haven’t done anything to take the shackles off New Zealand businesses – all they’ve done is “reform” the RMA to take the shackles off New Zealand’s government projects, and “reform” Auckland by constructing a new super-bureaucracy.

They haven’t done anything to meet their election-winning promise of “substantial” tax cuts of “around $50 a week for most New Zealanders” – instead they’ve delivered ACC levy increases, and indications of whole new taxes on the horizon.

They’ve added new asset confiscation rules and new and heinous search and surveillance powers which belong to a police state, not a civilised State.

Bernard Darnton said one-and-a-half years ago that he looked forward to seeing the back of Helen Clark, but did not look forward to seeing the front of John Key. 

One year on from exchanging one from another, the only visible difference is a smile and the endless repetition of the word “relaxed.”  But of fundamental change there is none.

There’s another anniversary this week too that’s worth thinking about in the context of “change”: the twenty-year anniversary of of the fall of the Berlin Wall.  Writing at the Mises Economics Blog, Richard Ebeling reflects on The Fall of the Berlin Wall, and the Continuing Threats to Liberty that we all still have to confront [hat tip Mark Hubbard]:

    “We need to emphasize the threat that Big Government represents to all our freedom — including the right of freedom of movement — and which should be remembered on this 20-year celebration of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Unfortunately, the Collectivist mentality did not end with either the fall of the Berlin Wall or the collapse of communism in the former Soviet Union. It remains alive and well in America [and New Zealand] and around the world, with its insistence that the individual lives for and is to be sacrificed to “interests” of the state. We still have our work cut out for us, to demolish the numerous political ‘walls’ with which the government continues to enslave us through its police power in the growing interventionist-welfare state and the threatening economic fascist order.”

There’s a lesson there that John Boy and his grinning confreres in cabinet might care to grasp -- and those over whom they preside might care to remind them.


  1. Well said Pete, now FFS what are we actually going to do about it, with smiley John at heavenly heights of popularity? It look like this is precisely what the populus generalis is desiring.

  2. The best compliment National has paid to Labour has been to keep their policies intact.

  3. The Libz predicted how appalling this Government would be; indeed I was making highly critical blog posts about them some 20 minutes after they were sworn in.

    If you didn't vote Libertarianz then do not complain!

  4. Elijah Lineberry6 Nov 2009, 22:05:00

    Ahhhhhh... Just been having a cup of tea with yet another good chap from the Libertarianz who is shrugging his shoulders and wondering what the point of it is.

    Third person in the last month to express such sentiments and is a dreadful shame.

    The trouble with the Libz is there is a veto in place over party activities; this veto his held by Richard Goode in Wellington and has been extremely destructive.

    There are those who feel that if Mr Goode dislikes something he will rustle up 4 or 5 of his brain damaged cohorts to moan about it; it is (inexplicably) viewed as an imperative to prevent these people flouncing and so nothing is ever said or done to upset them.

    What this has led to is an emasculated Libertarianz party.

    Those playing the appeasement game should weigh up the loss of a handful of irrelevant lunatics on the one hand with the loss of a couple of dozen 'splendid chaps' on the other; we still have the irrelevant lunatics but are fast losing the 'splendid chaps' and I gather that even Lindsay Perigo himself left the Libertarianz because of Mr Goode (which should have sent a warning signal of his destructiveness).

    We now have a Libertarianz party which is very 'negative', always 'against' things rather than as in days gone by being 'for' a long list of iealistic imperatives; we now have a Libertarianz devoid of enthusiasm, devoid of highlighting important issues, focusing on niche matters of little importance and where the ACT and National parties have been able to claim the high ground.

    This has happened with a whimper, and our own 'militant tendency' has been highly successful in destroying a once great party.

  5. Just what the fuck are you talking about, Elijah?

    Have you been interviewing your typewriter again?

  6. Given it isn't posted using his account, it is either someone emulating him or he's been drinking.

    The message is simple, you either remain inside and piss inside the tent and try to convince others to change if you don't like it, or you fuck off, express your disapproval if you so wish, and get on with your life, set up something better if you wish etc.

  7. I urge the Libz members to expel Elijah from the party. He is doing more damage to the party than good. LibertyScot is correct, if Elijah doesn't like to sort these things internally and not on a public forum like this, then she should fuck-off. This is not a good sign, if there is infighting. Kick this asshole out now or you live to regret not expelling Elijah.

    Elijah is doing exactly what Rodbaiter is doing here, when Eli posts in other blogs. I say, disown this idiot now.

  8. Peter, I did not make that post on here - as you would see by it not being highlighted with a link to my blog.

    Someone is just being silly.

  9. Elijah,

    Even if you made that post on your own website, criticizing Mr. Goode, it is still unacceptable, since your blog is a public forum. Who made comments on that thread? It might be them.

  10. Sally O'Brien7 Nov 2009, 09:21:00

    Utter nonsense from Elijah. He may not have written it here but did write it on his blog. Libz intermittent inertia is due to blows to our moral by so called supporters like Elijah who promise much more than they deliver. He did however do more than most when it comes to action on the streets - certainly more than most commentators here. There are those who know that The National socialists and The Association of Compulsion Touters will deliver more of the same but still fail to offer libz any support.
    Still as shown at our conference last month, the active party members are committed and united in looking for better strategies for what we have always known will be a long hard campaign.

  11. Oh! I know whom you are ... you are that gal who is Goode's girlfriend, (Rosie?) that religious fanatic from Lower Hutt or wherever.

    You are just the sort of person the Libertarianz require; you should join and get to work adding a 'Religious Instruction' amendment to the Libz policies and principles; 'Medieval Witchcraft For Everybody!!' can be the new clarion call.

    Having said that I challenge any "honest" person (*snigger*) to point out any untruths written on that particular blog essay; if I had really written nonsense it would have been ignored, and those trying to deny the truth are simply manifesting my claims about appeasement.

    Looks to me like a cabal of 'secondhanders' attacking the 'rugged individual' who cannot actually care less about your opinions or babyish footstamping; ..(and looks even more like some people are too stupid to realise they are actually engaging in such behaviour, which makes it even more bizarre)

  12. Eli, I am not Goode's girlfriend, Rosie, from Lower Hutt?

    I am from up North. I have met Helen Hughes (the die-hard Libz from up here) once about 2 or 3 years ago and I was impressed with she told me about being libertarianism. I never knew those principles before.

    Eli, you haven't replied to what LibertyScott said. Do your criticism from inside and not from outside on a public forum (like your blog). How hard for you to understand that? You must be an idiot if you don't understand that? Politics is about perception and what you did on your own (public forum) website was a disgrace to the Libz.

  13. Sally, Eli may have done more than most when it comes to action on the streets, but that very appearance of Eli made some people think twice of what Libertarianism is about. I suggest that you Libz hide or keep Eli away from appearing in public representing the Libz , because he talks nonsense & racist. That will drive lots of people away.

    Whatever Eli has done on the streets in the past negates his public criticism of Mr. Goode. Do you see that Sally? All that good work by Eli on the streets, just evaporated with that disgrace blog post that he made on his site. The Libz don't need him, and why are you defending him Sally?

  14. @Elijah: Looks to me like a desperate attempt to get readers to your blog by making up a controversy where there isn't one.

  15. If you didn't vote Libertarianz then do not complain!

    Hardly anyone IS complaining - therein lies your problem.

    And 99.9% of the population don't know who Mr Goode is, and they care even less. So no point in trying to blame him.


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