Friday, 18 October 2013

A question for National Party supporters

There’s no doubt the National Party under John Key surfed a wave of support unprecedented in MMP times—riding polls that showed them over the journey easily able to govern alone, if they wanted to.

Key’s own personal popularity with the electorate bought the Party enormous political capital, enough popularity to allow Key and Co to climb out from under a series of mini-scandals with little more than a smile and wave.

If you’ve been a National Party supporter, it’s been a great ride.

I, those five years of power however, I wonder whether they’ve spent all that political capital wisely. 

I wonder if National Party supporters wonder that too?

They took power, they had a whole country looking to them for answers, they acquired the political capital that comes with widespread popular support, but what of long-lasting importance did they actually do with it all?

Given that the National Party now looks to have begun its inevitable electoral decline—these things generally and inevitably being cyclical—and having few supporting parties to bail it out electorally—even to the desperate levels of cobbling together support that the ragtag Shipley parliament managed—I reckon that’s a question National Party supporters should start asking themselves wow their tide is going out:

Did they spend all that political capital wisely?

In other words, and this is what I’d like National Party supporters reading this to answer, if they will, is to reflect on what fundamental changes this National Government they’ve supported has achieved, and whether they National Government they’ve supported has spent the enormous political capital of the Key era wisely.

What did the Key Government do with all that support?

What did they buy with that political capital that made New Zealand a better place?

What real long-lasting achievements can they point to?

What permanent, concrete changes can you point to?

And did they, in the end, deserve your support?

Please. Tell us.


  1. What, no National Party supporters reading?

    Or none with any real, long-lasting permanent, concrete changes you can point to?

  2. I got the following from their website, but if you compare each point with 100 actions which are the complete opposite, it is little surprise the NationalSocialists are a bit quiet and embarrassed.

    Perhaps you should have asked for examples of socialism, and betraying principles (much easier one to answer)

    "..The National Party seeks a safe, prosperous and successful New Zealand that creates opportunities for all New Zealanders to reach their personal goals and dreams.

    We believe this will be achieved by building a society based on the following values:

    • Loyalty to our country, its democratic principles and our Sovereign as Head of State
    • National and personal security
    • Equal citizenship and equal opportunity
    • Individual freedom and choice
    • Personal responsibility
    • Competitive enterprise and rewards for achievement
    • Limited government
    • Strong families and caring communities
    • Sustainable development of our environment.

  3. What do you want National supporters to say, Peter?

    Will any answer they give change your opinion?

    Frankie Lee

  4. Why would National Party supporters read a blog that espouses the philosophy of freedom? They only want to be in government cos they like the comfy chairs.

  5. @Frankie Lee: They can say whatever the hell they like. The questions were only partially rhetorical, and no doubt they will see it differently than me--but since I know some (allegedly) freedom-loving Nats do read this, folk who've argued before the Nats will be good for us, I'd like them to try to explain.

  6. Fair enough. I would certainly agree that they could have done better.

    Frankie Lee

  7. * Loyalty to our country (unless the FBI comes a-calling with a dubious warrant)
    * National and personal security (so long as it doesn't involve self defence or anything)
    * Equal citizenship (except for the Maoris who can have a few billion dollars, change the name of everything against the will of the people, and in return Tariana promises not to call the National party 'racist')
    * Individual freedom and choice (to do as the State tells you)
    * Personal responsibility (except in all the areas we don't trust you to decide for yourself - so no drinking, smoking, speeding, eating hamburgers etc)
    * Competitive enterprise and rewards for achievement (apart from the 33% we will steal from you to reward the useless, ignorant, lazy and worthless)
    * Limited Government (other than all the socialism and endless number of new Govt departments we have created in 5 years)
    * Strong families and caring communities (except for adultery and betrayal of families by our mates like Richard Worth and the Mayor of Auckland)
    * Sustainable development of our environment (except for anyone actually wanted to develop, you know,, or a mine)

    Perhaps one of the pro-freedom National people can give an example of how their government differs from Helen's?

  8. I thought you loved it when governments did fuck all PC?
    The trial period for new employees is a good thing as far as I'm concerned, apart from that, not much has changed. Do they deserve support? In the real world, yes, a quick glance at the horseshit coming out of Cunliffe's mouth should be enough to make up any persons mind with an IQ above room temperature. I'd rather they did fuck all then the great leap backward being promised by the left. That is, unless you have a realistic third option?

  9. I suspect the answer for many will be "better than Helen", which of course continues the 80 year trend (barring a partial surge of testicular fortitude in the mid 80s/early 90s) of the so-called "right" accepting the politics of the left and basically doing "no worse" than the other lot. The mainstream of politics in NZ is in the centre-left, as it is in the developed English speaking world. The only time the "right" wins power is when the public, aided and abetted by the celebrity/scandal/personality driven media, get tired of the left being in power because it doesn't deliver an measurable improvements, and as time goes on gets more hectoring and the public says "stop".

    The "right" is classically conservative. It doesn't reverse almost anything done by the previous government, and does little to reform anything. It gets ousted when people get fed up with them.

  10. "That is, unless you have a realistic third option?"

    I recall talk on this blog and others like it, in the wake of the last election, of a coordinated effort to create a new "Freedom Party" out of the Libz and disaffected National and ACT supporters. Did anything come of these efforts?

    Frankie Lee

  11. I would include:

    1/ In general running the country well in tough times. Despite the earthquake, GFC, South Canterbury Finance and a host of other things the NZ economy has proved to be surprisingly strong - stronger in fact than our friends over the Tasman.

    2/ Cutting the marginal rate and closing various tax loopholes. So that despite the lower tax rate, revenues are now increasing thanks to a broader tax base and buoyant economy. The government is heading toward surplus - maybe now's the time to cut the marginal rate again? Thus increasing business activity some more.

    3/ The improvements to the welfare structure that makes it more difficult to endlessly bludge off hard working by producing a string of illegitimate offspring. Not far enough I agree but its a start.

    4/ Starting of partnership schools, thereby breaking the socialist,brainwashing, hegemony the teachers unions have on education in this country.

    5/ Cut thousands of positions in the civil service by rationalising departments. Helen and her crew added (if I recall) about 45,000 civil servants to the tally - a dead weight around the tax payers neck.

    6/ Reforming the RMA - that Great Hindrance to our national prosperity. Not enough but its a start. Hopefully we'll be mining on the Denniston Plateau any day now.

    You may not like Key but wait until you get Cunners, Hone and the Greens - you'll be begging for mercy within weeks!

  12. All that would be great - if only it were actually true.

    1. A red herring

    2. Marginal rates just went back to where they were in the 1990s - 33% is still too high; the objective should be to lower the tax take to as little as possible. We need to be looking to Vanuatu or Hong Kong for tax rates

    3. Simply not true - more people are bludging on welfare than ever. Saying 1001 times "it is harder to get welfare" does not make it true.
    When 200,000 people are sent a letter saying "your benefit stops next week - get a job, you bum" then there will be actually changes to welfare.

    4. Give it 10 minutes and it will be Socialism 101 morning and afternoon.

    5. Another big lie - the number of civil servants has increased, as have the number of departments, as have salaries.

    6. Not true - simply a lie.

    Now that ACT are finished, and National are governing out of Das Capital - there is only 1 political party which stands for freedom and that is the Libz

  13. What makes me lol the hardest is the paranoia complex everyone on the left STILL has about Key.

    You would think 2 terms would be enough to prove whether someone is a Milton Friedman worshipping grubby money trading wolf of wall street. Instead the most ring wing policy we have is selling minority stakes in businesses no government should own in the first fucking place.

  14. Mr Lineberry's response to my (anon) list is just a right wing rant, not based on fact. I sympathise with his feelings because I too think the current National Party is too wet and Left for the good of the nation. But before you complain about them, wait until Cunners, Hone and the Greens take over!

    Key understands that you've got to feed the medicine in small doses. Make incremental changes so as not to frighten the horses and keep on getting re-elected.

    Patience Grasshopper!

  15. "Make incremental changes so as not to frighten the horses and keep on getting re-elected."

    Incremental and small steps in the right direction would be acceptable - but when getting re-elected becomes everything, to the extent that you forget which direction you're mean to be heading, what actually gets achieved?

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