14 September 2009

Phil Goff is sorry?

He's sorry for a focus on "politically correct issues" like smacking, light bulbs and shower heads. Then he's sorry that the electricity SOEs make profits and pay dividends to the government (he wants to end this, but forgot there are a few privately owned electricity generators too). He could fix the dividends to the government by privatising it, like how he helped privatise Telecom.

It's more than that Phil - it is an attitude of "we know best", one that saw an enormous expansion of the welfare state with Working for Families instead of just giving people back their own money. An attitude that threw a fortune away on buying back the railways, well over the market price, just for control. A belief that private property rights didn't really matter, and most disturbingly an attempt to censor electioneering, because it would disadvantage Labour.

Frankly, I'd be sorry for the cheerless bunch of mediocre control freaks that comprises most of the Labour caucus since 1999. So good were they that Clark ran it like a tight ship, trusting only a tiny handful like Cullen and Hodgson, whilst regarding most Labour MPs as making up the numbers.

Most of all, be sorry that you gave the National party so many policies it wont reverse, so much spending it will continue with, and the philosophical basis for how it governs - political pragmatism.

What's he proud of?

Kiwisaver - a policy that encourages the myth that you are better off if the state invests your money for retirement than if you did (oh and if you die before national superannuation eligibility, tough luck your estate gets nothing).

Working for Families - the idea that low to middle income working families are entitled to welfare payments, shrouded as tax credits higher than the tax they paid in the first place. A massive extension of the welfare state from the needy to core floating voters... ahh I get it now.

Lowering unemployment - Expanding the state sector is a sneaky way of doing that, but beyond that you're not responsible for private sector job creation. Unless, of course, you remember you did participate in the reforms of the 1990s.

Oh dear Phil. You do have something to be proud of, you introduced serious university fees for students, making them think about whether they study or not. However, you don't want to say it too loud - the Labour party has made a jump to the left since then.

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