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Michael Bassett: MODERN LABOUR STICKS TO THAT OLD TIME RELIGION

One of the fascinating byways of history is the weird religious cults that people had followed over the years. In Oliver Cromwell’s time there were the Shakers who shook with the power of the Holy Spirit, and who went off to America, getting madder in transit. And there were the Levelers who held property in common. And the Fifth Monarchy Men who believed that four cycles of earthly power had come and gone, and ascended mountains at appointed moments hoping to welcome the fifth, the rule of their version of Christ. Come to think of it, my mother told me about a crowd who went up Mt Eden in their night attire in 1931 to welcome the return of Christ, got rained on, and were rather bedraggled on their descent.



Today there are still a few who have faith in Jacinda's Labour government despite the overwhelming evidence that it is an outmoded religion, lacking analytical and executive skills. Ministers tell you they’ll solve inflation by spending more; they’ll fix the shortage of nurses in hospitals by refusing to allow easy entry for foreign-trained medical staff; they’ll stop our locally trained nurses heading off overseas by getting them to settle their wage claims for half the current rate of inflation; they’ll lift kids out of poverty by persisting with failed methods of teaching literacy and numeracy in schools, and by teaching them Te Reo; they’ll improve Maori lives by giving co-governance powers to Maori aristocrats; they’ll fix all your problems by employing 17,000 more bureaucrats than we had five years ago, and inflation will waft away on the breeze, hopefully in election year….



All political philosophies have an element of faith to them. Believers have to think their nostrums will work. The problem with this government is that many of its policies have been shown historically to work no longer. Even before the Labour Party was formed in 1916, rent controls led to landlords selling their rentals, causing central city slums in many countries. By the mid 1940s one European economist who had surveyed rent controls at work in Europe concluded that the only thing that did more damage to central cities than rent controls was pattern bombing. But we hear today’s crop of Labour ignoramuses still musing about possible rent controls. Learning from history is not something the current lot are prepared to risk instead of their doctrine. A caucus of trade union hacks, low level lawyers and lesser bureaucrats simply rely on Labour’s ancient religion: if it moves, control it, if it makes money, tax it, and if there’s still a problem, throw taxpayers’ money at it.



The fact that much of the old-time religion doesn’t work anymore, and that many parts need re-thinking and re-shaping to cope with modern life, is regarded as a form of apostasy. The sort that in their minds afflicted David Lange’s and Jim Bolger’s governments when they sold banks and enabled better services to emerge. Last week, instead of risking Kiwibank shares falling into Australian hands, Grant Robertson parted out with an un-budgeted two billion dollars that he could have spent on more deserving causes to buy the outfit. From Day One, twenty years ago, that bank was surplus to requirements. It delivers no measurable benefit to ordinary Kiwis. Keeping Kiwibank in the government’s hands will guarantee that it stays small and uncompetitive. But Labour’s old-time religion will remain intact. The banking lessons learned by the Fourth Labour Government in the 1980s where the ASB and then the BNZ under Jim Bolger quickly strengthened themselves by allying with expanding international entities, will now never be available to Kiwibank. You can count on it not growing much above its current 4% of the banking market. It will be tied hand foot and finger to the Minister of Finance and the government’s purse strings. A stagnant asset.



Having parted with an un-budgeted $2 billion, a few days later came a sneaky plan to charge GST on managed and KiwiSaver funds. This directly broke Labour’s “No New Taxes” pledge. The plan would raise an additional $225 million a year, and many billions down the track. Hapless David Parker who eternally gives a possum-in-the-headlights stare on TV, was made to look foolish. Colleagues spent the next morning defending the new tax, falsely claiming that it had been in the pipeline for years, and busily preparing newspaper advertisements paid for with taxpayers’ money. But then they heard on the 3pm news that the new tax-grab was off. In Labour’s world of political chaos one wonders who is the Ayatollah who authorizes such religious advances and retreats. Did the new tax ever go before Cabinet?



Come the next election, I suspect the Labour government will resemble those 1931 pilgrims, traipsing down the mountain like wet sheep. One has to hope, however, that eventually a brighter, better educated crop of political hopefuls comes along, a group that understands what works and what doesn’t, who aren’t tied to some old-time religion, and have been living in the real world.


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82 Comments


pdemontalk51
pdemontalk51
Sep 01, 2022

Michael. A great polemic. You spoke of Shakers, Levellers et al and people traipsing up Mount Eden in 1931. One group that you missed were the Rogernomic Neo Liberal fanatics of the 1980s.

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Rogernomics was one out of the box for Labour, it was something so overdue and necessary (perhaps not perfect) but Lange got the stitch when it actually mattered the most being when he had sights on Social welfare, health and education.


These three monster are still today the behemoth that entraps taxpayers with excesses waste and bloating in every direction.

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gordonpotts4
gordonpotts4
Sep 01, 2022

We are in a spiritual war,the GOOD against the BAD,the BAD are climbing the ladder.

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gordonpotts4
gordonpotts4
Sep 02, 2022
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I agree totally.

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gordonpotts4
gordonpotts4
Sep 01, 2022

Ha ha,2031 is just around the corner.This old time religion actually comes from Europe,

which no one is prepared to talk about why? (well history is not taught anymore in schools). The Catholic Pope is the one that is steering the West into mad governance,he said to recognise the deciduous people in the western democratic countries.That is what is happening here,now do you see why Ardern is supporting the

Maori cause every way she can,the rest of her madness is to dumb every one down so we are not alert to our democratic rights.

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Yes, add to that the ingrained pre-programming already installed within, anything contrary is feverishly repelled as: - untrue, not as I see it, disinformation...


This mindset is an intentional status to have where the install self belief mindset is everything. All else are lies... "I just know it is...".


There is no reasoning, logic, common-sense etc possible that can possible exude from these types of humans. This is 101-Physco stuff.


Evidence of the Physco-Pathologically liar mindset is everywhere to be seen. Examples: - the endless promises of housing, less street inhabitants, caring, kindness etc have all failed to happen, in fact the opposite is the actual result. Even then denial of the obvious outcomes achieved, there is no means to…

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Michael - what a beautiful piece.

The wicked tooth witch and her sycophantic toads need to depart now.


Let there be, somewhere, as you say, "a brighter, better educated crop of political hopefuls comes along,.....and have been living in the real world."


I continue to search hi and lo these new political hopefuls but I am not finding them anywhere at the moment.

Do you any idea where they may be hiding?


Thanks for the wonderful writing, dont stop please.

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Sadly, the best who are "fit for purpose" don't enter politics, only those with an uncanny ability to fail at a real job or have no real job ever do so. Evidence is everywhere in Wellington of that: failed lawyers, teachers and more Bura-rats galore... If they were dogs it would be akin to rabies - although only the symptoms are obvious.


Add to that, the essential element is the ability to flap the lips/jaw endlessly, meaninglessly without saying anything of use or value. Some call it a silver tongue, some call it honey mouth - same thing.


Answer... all candidates "must" place anything that they promise/say into one of two categories... the default being the former.

A. Binding polic…

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Aaron Shanahan
Aaron Shanahan
Sep 01, 2022

The labour party? I used to believe. As a blue collar tradie I did.

Hijacked now, by intellectual fuckwits that have absolutely no clue about how we operate.

The labour movement is dead.

Communism is in.

They treat the people they purport to care for like idiots.

Well.

To the labour party?

To hell with you, to hell with the way you treat me, as a bluie, and to hell with you trying to remind me I'm to thick to look after myself.

Fuck off. Pander to the lazy and stupid, and satisfy your own queer and twisted ideology.

Fill your boots. But don't empty my wallet whilst you do so , and stop deliberately destroying what was once …


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Got that right

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