We can make history in 2014

I wanted to share my response to the Prime Ministers opening statement to Parliament.

What I heard from John Key in his Opening Statement was a negative, aggressive speech that focused more on Labour and the Greens than on National or their own policy ideas. I believe New Zealanders want to hear positive solutions and party’s plans for the future. They’re sick and tired of negative, attack politics and dirty electorate deals. After too many years of putting the spies, the casinos, the oil companies, the polluters first, they know it’s time for a change,

After five years of National selling off our assets and selling out to big corporates, it’s time to put people and the planet first. This year we can make history with another first. In eight months’ time we could see our first ever good green government. In 2014 we can make history and we can elect the most progressive government this country has seen in a generation

If the Prime Minister is going negative, we are going to stay positive. That is the Greens message this election. A Green government will invest in our people, will protect our environment and will build an economy which works for everyone.

John Key’s speech was all about sowing fear and saying the economy is at risk. Conditions are improving but Key is simply papering over the serious cracks. We need a government that will put the books in order and address the pressing economic challenges like massive overseas debt and loss of control of our own productive assets. We need an economic plan that is more than cramming more dairy cows on paddocks and hope some foreign oil company finds something without leaving too much of a mess. Coming out of the global recession it is time to invest for a prosperous future, a richer NZ. We need to invest in infrastructure like a second Internet cable, support our smart IT sector and take advantage of the $6 trillion clean energy, green-tech sector.

For thirty years we’ve been told there is no alternative to ‘Rogernomics’ by his red and blue, right wing successors. Neoliberal economics has plainly failed New Zealand on its own terms. We’ve dropped from 5th on the OECD rankings in 1951 to 23rd today. We’re more dependent on dairy than ever; and we work some of the longest hours for some of the smallest wages and have some of the highest costs of living in the OECD. The Neoliberal economic experiment has seriously cost the country but we can make history and embark on a new direction that works for us not just for corporate elites.

Likewise, after thirty years of growing poverty and widening inequality it’s time for a government to focus on real people not just the Tiawai’s, the Chorus’, the Sky Cities, and the Anadarko’s. It used to be said the Prime minister knew all the unemployed in New Zealand and we had no poverty.  That’s far from the case now. In a land that exports food that feeds 20 million people it’s a travesty our kids aren’t eating before school.  Whole families are deprived of work opportunities and 270,000 kiwi kids are growing up in poverty.

It is highly unlikely many young or unemployed Kiwis will get work on Anadarko’s deep sea drilling rigs. We can however see tens of thousands of people in employment earning high wages in IT or building good new houses, installing insulation under the roof and solar panels on the top. Cheaper energy from NZ Power, affordable housing from our Home for life programme and lifting our kids out of poverty puts people first. A fair go for all may sound like an idea from our distant history but this year we can make history by returning it front and centre to politics and tackle inequality, unemployment and poverty

Thirdly we need to protect what we love and is the foundation of our prosperity – our environment. Under National river nitrogen pollution limits higher are than even the Yangtze River and two thirds of our rivers are unsafe to swim in. We can grow jobs cleaning up our rivers and reclaim our birth right to swim safely in a river or stream. We can do our fair share for a stable climate and grow jobs in climate friendly industries like public transport. And we can take advantage of the $20B annual economic opportunity of clean energy if we choose to go 100% renewable like solar, wind, geothermal over risky deep sea oil drilling.

In conclusion, we are offering a positive alternative to the Prime Minister’s negativity. This election every vote will count and there is a real choice facing the country over New Zealand’s direction. In less than a years’ time we can make history with the most progressive government New Zealand has seen in a generation. The choice the Green Party is offering is a cleaner, smarter, fairer and richer NZ.

11 thoughts on “We can make history in 2014

  1. Sorry,
    I’m getting to the end of my tether with Green politicians telling us how wrong government is, but never actually coming up with concrete action plans to back up the policy blather.

    It’s easy to say “our policy is to have equality of ?????? for everyone, but unless you say how you are going to achieve this desired state it means nothing. To misquote someone, if you’re going to have a policy that mother’s name in future will be “crosspatch”, its a little silly to keep calling her mother.

    for instance, you say “We can grow jobs cleaning up our rivers and reclaim our birth right to swim safely in a river or stream. ” great. How many jobs, who will provide them and how will they be funded? Without answers to these simple questions, you should stick to calling her mother while believing her name should be crosspatch.

    Incidentally. One thing I CAN predict, is that Gareth Hughes will not respond to my post. He never does answer questions here, just pontificates on his vision of an ideal with no indication of how it will be achieved.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 5 (+9)

  2. While I rather doubt Mr Stringer was ever anywhere else other than at the end of his tether regarding Green MPs, he does have a point.

    “They’re sick and tired of negative, attack politics…”

    So how come eight out of the above ten paragraphs slag off National or John Key? And the other two either imply criticism more indirectly or introduce the piece as a reponse to Key’s speech.

    Not that I’ve anything against criticising Key or National, but if you start by announcing you want to make a positive statement, I think this one’s a bit of a fail. And, yeah, it’s all still pretty vague and rhetorical, as I’ve commented elsewhere on this blog.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1 (+14)

  3. Mr Stringer
    I think you ask a good question ” “We can grow jobs cleaning up our rivers and reclaim our birth right to swim safely in a river or stream. ” great. How many jobs, who will provide them and how will they be funded? ….”

    However it is not a simple question. To answer it correctly you’d need to use significant resources of the civil service. I’m not sure that opposition has access to those resources and I’m not sure about the political risk of giving the opposition access to your policy thoughts as they develop.

    All that you can do at this stage is to give a direction. Clean up river and clean energy production development would both generate jobs.

    To me funding would come from polluters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 (+1)

  4. Gareth, another lala land comment. Look at Australia, or Queensland in particular. Hundreds of thousands Solar panels being installed, what does it do to power price? It went up dramatically because the current network wasn’t designed for it? Upgrade the network, you say? Who is going to pay for it? The consumers!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1 (+4)

  5. You know, I’ve had it up to here with all you damn politicians.
    And yes, I’m sorry to say that includes you and you and you, and yes you over there in the corner.
    All you ever do is say whatever you think people want to hear but cynical me doesn’t trust any of you.
    The trouble is you are politicians, the lowest of the low, lower than bloody land agents.

    I’m sorry but I’m sick and tired of reading what you people say, the absolute nonsense that goes on the the house. You’re all guilty of it, the bad behaviour.

    And the worst thing is it’s election year and everybody is going to be getting worse with their bullshit. Yes I mean you too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 (+4)

  6. Specific policies have always been available for perusal on our website.

    There are several things one can expect from the party:
    1. Sustainability ( in economic AND environmental policies). This is overarching and applies to all our thinking. If you see a policy which someone objects to on the basis that THEY don’t understand how it is sustainable you can count on one of three things. Either they didn’t understand it OR it will be changed to make it workable OR it will be abandoned as unworkable. The first is the most common problem for most conservative commenters.

    2. A shift to a working Carbon Price regime for the ETS.

    3. Action to take some of the power of the banks back to the sovereign nation of NZ. A recognition that this is a nation, not a corporation.

    4. A shift to greater equality based on higher taxes which apply to wealth, land and other currently “advantaged” forms of income and lower taxes like GST.

    Does this help any? It should. These complaints are all too common.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4 (0)

  7. BJ
    while I respect your opinion on many things, here I’m afraid you are on the same wishywashy line as I complained of earlier.

    For instance, saying you want to shift to a “working carbon price regime for the ETS” is a little like my 19 year olds telling me he was going to be a millionaire. When I asked him what he would do to achieve that objective, he responded that when he finished his graduate degree (he was just leaving to start his undergraduate degree), he’d let me know. I expect more than a statement of objective from an organisation that wants me to give it partial control of a few hundred billion dollars, I expect at least so parameters of the “working carbon price regime” for me to consider.

    Similarly, for your point 4, why not just say what levels of income, death and capital gains tax you will enact, rather than hide a thorn inside a bunch of daisies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 (+4)

  8. BJ
    while I respect your opinion on many things, here I’m afraid you are on the same wishywashy line as I complained of earlier.

    For instance, saying you want to shift to a “working carbon price regime for the ETS” is a little like my 19 year olds telling me he was going to be a millionaire. When I asked him what he would do to achieve that objective, he responded that when he finished his graduate degree (he was just leaving to start his undergraduate degree), he’d let me know. I expect more than a statement of objective from an organisation that wants me to give it partial control of a few hundred billion dollars, I expect at least so parameters of the “working carbon price regime” for me to consider.

    I also wonder how you will pay for the banks. As to not do so would probably close the door on inbound capital for a generation or two, making it virtually impossible to sustain our standard of living and economic freedom as citizens.

    Similarly, for your point 4, why not just say what levels of income, death and capital gains tax you will enact, rather than hide a thorn inside a bunch of daisies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  9. There are a couple of industries that the Green Party will probably get us involved in.
    1. We will become the home of the worlds largest “file-sharing”, ie ripping off peoples intellectual property, site. Russel has been negotiating the terms with the fat fellow up north.
    2. We will become the worlds largest supplier of wind turbines. We do it by passing a law to require all New Zealand power to be generated by turbines made by Windflow Technology. That will greatly please a green Wellington mayor and a former Green party leader, who own a lot of pretty near worthless shares.
    3. We will take over from Somalia as a home for pirates like Sea Shepherd.
    4. We can offer sanctuary for anyone who wants to avoid extradition to face criminal charges. Fees for this are negotiable.
    5.We can supply training camps for budding terrorists. Keith Locke will provide assistance in obtaining work for graduating trainees.
    There. That is a few concrete proposals

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2 (+4)

  10. Dave

    1. A working carbon price is something that has been demonstrated in Sweden and Canada and which I have elsewhere explained. It does change based on the market but it is in the neighborhood of $170-220 per tonne. At that level the “cheap” fuel that is so damned expensive to our children is no longer economically burnable. Since the money involved is returned to the citizens it is not money that interests the government. People will then vote with their wallets in a classic market adjustment and people who promote the use of fossil fuels will become extinct. Since I’ve said this a number of times before it didn’t occur to me that I needed to repeat it yet again.

    2. I am not doing elaborate spreadsheets to work out what levels a UBI or a Tax should be. I’ll let Gareth Morgan argue his version of UBI and when and if it can be done the numbers will tell us what we CAN do. You are being very cute here, demanding that I provide hard numbers which would be AT BEST guesses as to what the economic landscape would look like. I am not going to engage in guessing games like that. I can tell you the goals, and I can tell you the limit to what we’d do to achieve them (sustainability), but you’re not asking for something that can be had. It is an UNREASONABLE expectation and request.

    Your 19 year old is smarter in that sense, than you are.

    I also wonder how you will pay for the banks. As to not do so would probably close the door on inbound capital for a generation or two, making it virtually impossible to sustain our standard of living and economic freedom as citizens.

    What on earth makes it sustainable to depend on “inbound capital”? What makes you think that the levels of consumption we currently indulge in are sustainable AT ALL?

    http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/the-smog-of-fraud/

    note the last para

    and

    http://www.thereformedbroker.com/2012/08/07/american-idle-five-reasons-we-hate-the-stock-market/

    ” A brief and far-from-complete list of the people and things that have lost all credibility since the the year 2000:

    1. Brokerage firm analysts
    2. Chief Global Strategists
    3. Every Single Regulatory Body
    4. Every once-great money manager
    5. The entire profession of Economics
    6. S&P, Moodys and the ratings agencies
    7. Morningstar’s mutual fund rankings
    8. The mainstream financial media in its entirety
    9. Corporate Executives in the Aggregate
    10. The entirety of the banking and financial sector
    11. Reaganomics
    12. Keynesianism
    13. Our politicians’ grasp on the economy
    14. The ability and sagacity of the Federal Reserve
    15. The structural integrity of our stock exchanges

    As for our “economic freedom” it will increase. WE will be in control of our economic choices, not the bankers. Have you never ever wondered why successive governments have never ever managed to control the growth in housing prices?… or even made a serious attempt to do so? Who profits from those prices?

    I’ll suggest again, Steve Keen’s Manifesto. Particularly the part about the “Jubilee”.

    http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/2012/01/03/the-debtwatch-manifesto/

    respectfully
    BJ

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 (-1)

  11. Alwyn – You think SO small – and you neglect what the National Party has already turned us into – Australia’s Mexicans, peons for the barons of business to take advantage of, dwellers in a dungheap destroyed by neo-liberal principles, swimming in cow sewage while paying tribute to Australian banks…

    The difference between my list and yours has to do with realities.

    The first reality is that I don’t put the rights of ANY corporation ahead of the rights of ANY sovereign nation. You just did.

    A second reality? KDC isn’t a criminal here, was given a “clean slate” certification under German law and there is no reason at all to have him extradited. He ran a cloud storage site, and while people DID store stuff there that violated US copyright laws all he was doing was running a cloud storage site. The habit in the US is for corporates to look for people to “make examples of” so that they can continue their own exorbitant lifestyles.

    – its terms of service forced users to agree they would not post copyrighted material to the website. Companies or individuals with concerns that their copyright material was being posted on Megaupload were given direct access to the website to delete infringing links.

    You need to try to keep track of where the money goes, at least better than Banksie. I lived in Pasadena, and know the Hollywood area well enough.

    Here is the third reality. It comes about (again) because real money represents “work done”. The third reality is that massive wealth disaparities are INVARIABLY the result of people being cheated. The entertainment industry controls a LOT of money, has a lot of power, and is struggling to maintain the monopoly that is the source of that money and power. This isn’t about the artists getting paid, it is about the executives skimming the cream.

    The Sea Shepherd is not engaged in piracy. Perhaps you should examine why you wanted to use that term while you next make your obeisance to corporate Japan.

    Kim Dotcom was welcomed by Key et.al. until his memory was shown to be (inconveniently) more accurate than their own rather flexible levels of recollection. Funny that. Dr Norman at least remembered who he talked with and what was discussed.

    ———————

    The rest of the fantasies you posted I leave ignored in the dirt that they cannot be distinguished from.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3 (-2)

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