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Perceptive Comments

One problem I have seen with people who have an extreme political view is that they see everything as very much black and white. My main political opponent just rules out any possibility at all that what he calls parties of the left (Labour and the Greens in the case of New Zealand) can have any validity or relevance at all. I take a more measured approach. I generally disagree with the right’s overall approach by I do agree they have some good policies. Of course, my opponent uses that reasonable approach as a weakness and says something like: of couse the right have good policies, even you see that, but the left have none.

Of course, he’s totally wrong. For a start the NZ Labour Party is centrist more than left oriented (although that is now changing) and to adhere to a simplistic idea that everything a party does is bad is just self-delusional (and that’s usually the main problem my opponents have – they’re just not really concerned with what’s true).

That introduction was necessary because of what I’m going to say in the rest of this post. I want to make it clear that by agreeing with a party’s ideas I don’t necessarily fully support that party or intend to vote for them. The party in question is New Zealand First. They are primarily a populist party but despite that I have always seen some merit in their policies. There were a few in particular which I found appealing in a recent speech so I want to mention a few of them here…

NZ First’s leader (he really is the party) criticised previous National and Labour governments for following the “same half-baked economic theories based on a discredited, free-market ideology”. I totally agree. The free market has been a miserable failure. I’m not saying we should discourage markets and private companies where they are appropriate but they really can’t be allowed into critical areas like infrastructure, energy, and transport.

I’m hoping they can be eradicated from communications as well because Telecom has just been appalling in its corrupt and incompetent mismanagement since its privatisation by the ideological driven 1984 Labour government when it was sold for far less than what what was worth.

He also commented on the debacle of the foreshore and seabed legislation which has turned into an ongoing source of resentment for many New Zealanders. On the other hand, I guess the fact that neither side of the issue likes the current solution might mean that at least it is fair because I have heard it said that the fairest solutions make everyone unhappy!

There was also mention of the “great Hobbit debacle”. I have already mentioned how I think the government was fooled into giving the big movie corporation tens of millions of dollars worth of corporate welfare in a previous post and I have heard since then that overseas commentators never took the threat of making the movies anywhere else seriously and this reinforces my idea that the government has been totally played for a sucker on this issue.

Peters also noted something that has become obvious recently. That is that, in the past, Labour has drifted away from its left-oriented principles but is now heading back that way. In fact politics in general is heading towards the left which has got to be a good thing after so many years of the unsubstantiated assumption that the new right style of economics was the only option. He described it like this: “Now, in a blinding flash of illumination, Labour have decided they really are a workers’ party after all. And they’ve done almost as much as National to grind ordinary people’s faces into the mud of despair.”

Yes, Peters can be very perceptive and although there are some things he says I which I totally disagree with that doesn’t stop me recognising the good as well.

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