This week we have Eugenie Sage, Green MP, to speak to us about the 3 Waters legislation. Eugenie was on the Select Committee which considered the Bill. Like most people concerned about the 3 Waters legislation I will be interested in Eugenie’s observations about the process and where she sees the supposed “reform” of water infrastructure in NZ ending up.
I have a lot of time for Eugenie, and I respect her integrity, her principles, and her commitment to hard work.
I have been struggling with the Reserve Bank’s actions this week. In the Sunday Star Times today columnist Andrea Vance wrote:
“If ever there was an example of how monetary and fiscal policy is stacked against the ordinary man this is it. We are making people poorer so that they can spend less. What’s even harder to stomach is the bare faced lack of accountability”
…The central bank is at least partly responsible for causing the housing price bubble, and consumer price inflation and now aggressively tackling it with higher interest rates.
…and then there are the politicians. The Labour-NZ First-Greens government pumped billions into the economy that created a generational wealth imbalance and created eye watering profits for Australian owned banks.”
In a supposed left-wing government is there a voice who understands ordinary working people at the current cabinet table?
One person who expressed a left-wing view well was Ian Mikardo a son of Jewish refugees who served as a Labour MP in East London from 1964 to 1987. During that time, he fought hard for the rights of the impoverished and for those struggling on the periphery of society. He is reported as saying:
“Every bird needs a left wing and a right wing, and it can’t fly on its right wing alone.”
As I reflect on Ian Mikardo’s quote above surely it’s time for us to have serious debates about the needs of the poor and the lack of their inclusiveness in our society. It appears that the current interpretation of what is left wing is to centralise everything.
Martyn Bradbury wrote this week in a definition of the NZ Political left:
Middle Class Identity Politics Activists have taken over the Left and because they benefit from rigged capitalism, they don’t really ever challenge the neoliberal economic hegemony because that would challenge their own privilege. What they are good at however is cancelling people for crimes against woke dogma, unfortunately cancelling people for woke dogma doesn’t put bread and butter on the table.
Poor people won’t be in the kitchen arguing over pronouns during the recession. Because the Left no longer have the intellectual capacity to challenge free market capitalism, it has no solutions other than compulsory Te Reo, mandatory cycling and personal choice self identification. ‘Free land for Gay Whales’ is our intellectual contribution to the economic debate.
A professor who was retiring from the med school in Auckland was asked what needed to be done to address health issues. He replied, “get everyone a job and a home to live in”.
When I consider this comment, I reflect that the Reserve Bank governor this week was promoting more unemployment in this country. The actions of the Reserve Bank are moving policy to a point where home ownership becomes a mirage for working people. Am I on my own as I pause and ponder when will the current economic framework be changed so that we move to the sort of society so many of us grew up in. People had jobs. Education was free. The investment by the state was not measured on individual gains but on community ones.
Serious public debate is needed on the deeply planted entrenched inequalities that have been built into our economy. The current Labour government appears to be bedding them in even deeper.
“We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.”.Martin Luther King
Are we, good people, to accept what the Reserve Bank has decreed and stay silent, or are we to support decent public debate about alternatives to current economic dogma? Many of us have got our own homes. We have grown up in a time of shared economic benefits. We have the pension. Are we to comply with the question of Rev. King and embrace “appalling silence”? The depressing thing is that what the National Party is promoting is boring old out-of-date thinking which will make the gap between those who have and those who have not even deeper.
Here’s a photo of homeless people in Portland. The Reserve Bank policy seems to heading us in this direction:
One of my favourite columns in the paper is the “Letters to the Editor”. Every now and then there’s one which tickles my fancy. This week there was a beauty. It read under the heading “Economic concerns”:
“My wife and I are very worried about the NZ economy. The soaring inflation and the subsequent crippling mortgage interest rates are a real concern. So we have decided that we don’t want children.
We are going to tell them in the morning” K. Webster, Belfast
Dan van Asch says
A strong interrogation of the latest entrenchment ideas promoted by Eugene and her centralist colleagues is now required. Democracy appears to be slipping from the grasp of the voter. A very worrying situation to contemplate.
Hi Dan – Rosemary here – imo the Greens do not have the vote or influence to move the Labour majority, unfortunate but true.
Robert Zuch says
If we accept that the broad division of the polital spectrum into the left and right wing is still valid, then we can probably identify the economical right wing electorate in today’s NZ as that which benefited from asset accumulation (primarily through property). But I am unable to decipher who the impoverished struggling left wing electorate are, and who their political representatives are. If it is the Green Party than it would mean that the left wing electorate is either small or it does not identify with the Green Party programme.
David guthrey says
Perhaps, more people, including myself, prefer to think beyond left and right politics in our more integrated, complex , materially rich, highly polluted planet.