In a discussion on Kiwiblog’s General Debate thread Sunday, the commenter Sector 7G asked what National have done during their term of government that Labour would not have done. This was in a discussion that had as its central point the idea that National are just driving the same socialist train as Labour to the same destination with the only difference being a slightly reduced speed. The question wasn’t directed at Farrar but he was clearly piqued by the inference and in one of his rare forays into GD suggested a raft of points that he claimed answered Sector 7g’s question. Link.
Mr Farrar’s answer-
[Tax Cuts, Three Strike Laws, RMA Reform, DPB Work Testing, fewer backroom public servants, better tertiary education funding focus, private prisons, the Auckland Council, fibre to the home project, Transmission Gully, finishing the Auckland motorway netwroks, legal aid reform, allowing tenants to buy their state houses, national standards]
This is all pretty much bollocks. Why? I’ll tell you as briefly as I can in the first instance and add to it as more information comes to hand. Sector 7G is actually quite correct in his assertion. The difference between National and Labour is paper thin. It is a big part of NZ’s current political problems that National are considered right wing. They are not right wing, they have been totally destroyed as an effective political party since being gradually infiltrated by leftists from the fifties onward.
It is important that those NZers who desire genuine reform disabuse the NZ public of the perception that National is right wing. We must work to destroy this illusion and replace it with the truth that National are virtually as far left as Labour. Part of this work lies too in presenting the same truth about Keywiblog. Its NZ’s most popular blog, but it is not right wing. David Farrar is a common and garden type leftist typical of those who have taken the National Party far left. It is important that we work to correct mis-perceptions in the media/ public that Keywiblog represents the views of the right in New Zealand. Heavy with social liberalism, and weak in its support for National’s founding principles, Keywiblog is much more a Progressive outlet than a Conservative blog.
Anyway, back to Farrar’s attempt to justify the National Party’s existence-
Tax Cuts- Sold as revenue neutral, and were in actuality a mere pittance in terms of relieving the average working non-government sector NZer of the crushing burden of financing an out of control government, and most calculations I have seen did not factor in the effect of Nick Smith’s lunatic ETS. Secondly, raising GST broke an election promise.
Three strike laws- An ACT initiative. It wouldn’t have happened without David Garret. In fact National watered it down.
RMA Reform- Smoke and Mirrors. Did nothing to change things for the man in the street. The National Party are yet to muster the intellectual and fortitudinal courage to confront the environmental movement as a Marxist strategy designed not to assist in care of the environment but to cripple NZ economically.
DPB Work Testing- Not done yet. Quote from DPF- “Not a lot of detail in the speech, but that I suspect is because details will be laid out on a regular basis during the year.” Response from Danyl MacLauchlan- “Yep, I bet that’s it”.
Fewer Backroom Public Servants- In terms of what has really necessary, practically nothing has been done. National had a chance to drop the Dept of Woman’s Affairs for example and did nothing.
Better Tertiary Education Funding Focus- What is this? The review announced last October? If so, nothing has been done. No ideological approach apparent that differs greatly to Labour’s. The thrust should be getting the government out of the education sector. If one wanted, one could argue that public schools were once a good idea, but since they have been taken over by the extreme left teacher’s unions, they are one of the most destructive political forces in the country.
Private prisons- Prisons? One only isn’t it? Still, its a start. As for the rest, only an option as far as I know.
The Auckland Council- Yep, separate Maori seats, and where are the rate reductions? Nowhere. Rod Hide had to threaten to resign to get things done in the face of resistance from National.
Fibre to Homes Project- Socialism. Nothing to be proud of. National Party founding principle- “to oppose interference by the State in business, and State control of industry”.
Transmission Gully, finishing the Auckland motorway networks- Labour probably would have done this too as its a decision made by the supposedly independent Roading Authority.
Legal aid reform- Not done yet. Power quitting. Changes not specified in detail as far as I know.
Allowing tenants to buy their state houses- Not done yet. A passable idea but nothing really to crow about. If it was mandatory to either buy or get out after a specified time there might be a point to it. Lets await the policy detail.
National standards- My guess is the brave Anne Tolley is about to be hung out to dry by John Key who doesn’t have the balls for a fight with the Teacher’s Unions. Vouchers should be the main focus.
I’ll add to this if and when more information becomes available. Right now, its not looking like a win for Farrar or National.