Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Mr Status Quo

Well I may as well start the new year the way I intend to continue. I began the morning with a groan reading the DomPost. I even used the 'g' word which I always reprimand my children for. Say golly or gosh or goodness. But I had an excuse. The subject being John Key and his proclamations for New Zealand. How bad a prime minister is he going to be?

On maintaining the welfare state;

"It's not only the provision of welfare for people in need, it is a statement about who we are. That we don't have overt signs of poverty. That for all the frustrations we may have about the odd individual who might rip the system off we are prepared to back it because we look at New Zealand as a better country than those who don't have it."

"The vast bulk of core services will be delivered by the state and while we do want to introduce choice it is equally important that we deliver really well. So rather than a view that we say there is no role for the public health sector or we want to diminish that in some way, our view is to say we are frustrated by the fact that it is not delivering performance for what's being spent - so how do we fix it?"

It's all more of the same political claptrap we have heard from both Labour and National for donkeys. The problem isn't the state, it's just the way the state's doing things. A position not unlike that taken by those who maintain communism wasn't a problem, it was just the way it was implemented.

If National doesn't want to diminish the role of the public health sector then it doesn't want to boost the role of the private health sector. Status quo.

If National is prepared to tolerate the welfare state being ripped off and still back it then they are not interested in reform. Status quo.

There will be no fundamental change under National. The intergenerational welfare comatose, the crime it creates, the gap between poor Maori and the rest of society, the wretchedness of having to build more prisons to accommodate our high levels of violent crime, extraordinarily high rates of depression, addiction, and teenage pregnancy - do they matter?

I guess they don't because there are, according to Mr Key, no "overt signs of poverty". Perhaps he really does believe this is as good as it gets. I think that is the most charitable interpretation I can put on his words. In which case he really is Mr Status Quo.


Anonymous said...

Excellent post Lindsay. I hope you don't mind, but I have copied and pasted it, with link back to your blog, (and full credit to your name) in that other fine site, Lindsay Perigo's SOLO Passion.

When someone says something so succinctly, which is so important, I just want to 'get it out there', and no sense in me trying to put it into my own words, which would be the worst sort of plagiarism anyway.

Mark Hubbard

Anonymous said...

The problem facing National, if they win this election, is that it is so hard to take away the money that Labour has, with scant thought, thrown at every problem. The lower socio-economic groups have grown up believing it their right to receive without earning and any change will result in a one term government. National are caught in the same conundrum as the French politicians - they will just have to keep on supporting policies that either don't work, are unaffordable or are immoral.

This is the legacy of Labour governments throughout the world.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

mawm, as I may have commented before, the poor are the tail wagging the dog that is NZ.

Mark, thank you.

Unknown said...

Lindsay, specifically refering to your "Mr Status Quo" item.
Why do you think Steven Franks is a potential candidate for National?

If you choose to reply, more than three words would be required..

Lindsay Mitchell said...

You would have to ask the National Party hierarchy why (or if) he is a "potential candidate".

If you are asking me why he is putting himself forward I'd say National is a reasonably reliable vehicle for him to re-enter parliament.