Centre right vs far left

Prime Minister John Key’s speech to the National Party conference yesterday included a rallying call for next year’s election.

National has a clear plan for New Zealand. We are delivering on that plan, and we are seeing the results.

The fundamental difference between us and the opposition is that we are about doing things, and they are about stopping things.

As we prepare ourselves for the election next year, I can tell you that I’m as fired up to win now, as I first was in 2008. . .

He paid tribute to his deputy and Finance Minister Bill English then listed some of National’s achievements:

Bill has delivered five Budgets – all in tough circumstances. But that’s what growing up in Dipton prepares you for.

Each Budget has laid out further stages in our plan to deliver a brighter future for New Zealand.

Under our plan, we have protected the most vulnerable New Zealanders through difficult times, set a path back to surplus, and built a solid platform for growth.

Under our plan, the economy is growing, wages are rising, the cost of living is well under control and there are 65,000 more jobs in the economy than there were two years ago.

Under our plan, business confidence is the highest it has been since 1999, we are delivering better public services for Kiwi families, and crime rates per capita are at their lowest level in more than 30 years.

Under our plan, we are overhauling a welfare system that is trapping thousands in dependency and giving people more support to get off the benefit.

Under our plan, more kids are getting early childhood education and every child’s going to get breakfast.

Under our plan, more young people are achieving NCEA Level 2, and National Standards are letting parents and schools see how children are really doing in reading, writing, and maths.

And finally, ably led by Gerry Brownlee, we are standing behind the people of Canterbury and supporting the rebuild of our second-biggest city.

These are real achievements, of which we can be very proud.

And I can promise you that through good, sound policy and economic management we will continue to make New Zealand a better place. . .

Former Prime Minister hoped to leave New Zealand no worse off than he found it, and failed.

The current one aims to make it much better and is already succeeding.

This is even more noteworthy when it’s being done in the face of tough financial times and natural disasters.

. . . The Party is in great shape as election year approaches.

We will have to redouble our efforts next year to ensure we keep the hard-won gains New Zealand has made over the past four-and-a-half years.

All of us will have to work extra hard to earn every vote.

Under MMP, all elections are close elections.

And they are not just about National versus Labour, but about the centre-right versus the left.

And it’s clear for everyone to see that Labour has hitched their wagon to the Greens, lurching the opposition to the far left.

Make no mistake, our opposition comes from the far left of politics.

That is a very scary prospect, not only to National supporters but also many swinging voters in the centre and more than a few on the centre left.

It’s important that New Zealanders understand what a Green-dominated government would look like.

They want to tax you more, rack up more debt and make you work two more years before you can retire.

They want a government department to run the entire electricity system, just like it did in the old days when we had blackouts.

They want to stop oil, gas and mineral exploration that would create jobs and growth.

They blame foreigners for all the ills of the country when our future prosperity lies in being open and connected to the rest of the world.

They even characterize businesses relocating jobs from Australia to New Zealand as ‘deeply worrying’.

And they take petty, opportunistic political positions on national security in the face of the obvious need to clarify the GCSB law – a law they passed in the first place!

Well, I can tell you that as Prime Minister, I take the role of our agencies and my responsibilities in terms of national security, very, very seriously.

And I always will.

It’s bad enough for the wee parties to play political games over national security, it is even more stupid for Labour to do so if it wants to be taken seriously as lead party for a government in waiting.

For our part, the National Party has a track record of sensible economic management and policies that actually make a difference to peoples’ lives.

We are guided by the enduring values and principles of the National Party.

They run through the 77 years of our proud history.

We believe in a supportive government but also in personal responsibility.

We understand that businesses large and small create jobs and prosperity in our country.

We believe in supporting people’s hard work and enterprise.

We have tolerance and respect for all New Zealanders and we don’t favour one group over another.

We believe in supporting families – they are the most important institution in our society.

And we have always been the party of home ownership, because we know it provides stability for families, strength for communities, and security for retirement. . .

This message was given to the party faithful at the conference.

But it was of course also aimed at voters.

This is an extraordinarily successful government.

In opening the conference on Saturday, Minister & Nelson MP Nick Smith noted where other parties had been five year into government.

Muldoon was facing internal revolt and external division over the Springbok tour. David Lange was falling out with his Finance Minister Roger Douglas. Jim Bolger faced a similar situation with his Finance Minister Ruth Richardson. Helen Clark was mired in controversy over foreshore and seabed legislation which led to Tariana Turia’s resignation and the formation of the Maori Party.

This government in its fifth year has a united and strongly performing caucus, coherent policy which is making a positive difference, and polls consistently show support at more or less the same level as in the last election.

In spite of that absolutely nothing can be taken for granted.

No party has managed to get 50% of the vote since MMP was introduced and, popular as this government is, it is unrealistic to hope that National could do it next year.

That means we’ll need coalition partners, none of whom are in a particularly strong position at the moment.

The alternative to that on current polling is the Labour Party dependent on the Green Party and at least two others.

That gives voters the option of a centre-right government led by a strong and united National Party or a far-left one led by a weak Labour Party beholden to the Greens.

Anyone not clear on exactly how bad that would be should think about the Finance Ministers.

It’s a choice between Bill English’s steady hands and proven record  or Russel Norman who still believes printing money is a viable option.

That’s a choice between leading New Zealand forward or taking it back and a clear choice between the centre right or the far left.

18 Responses to Centre right vs far left

  1. AngryTory says:

    Make no mistake, our opposition comes from the far left of politics.

    of course the opposition comes from the extreme far left of politics.

    Because National’s policies are themselves “far left” by any reasonable yardstick. In fact several Labour policies – CGT, raising the super age – are to the right of National.


  2. Psycho Milt says:

    …a clear choice between the centre right or the far left.

    In someone’s bizarre fantasy world, perhaps. Given that the policy of a “far left” party would include nationalisation of the means of production, there are currently no credible far-left contenders for government.


  3. homepaddock says:

    Don’t be fooled into thinking Labour’s policies are to the right.

    Its CTG won’t replace any other taxes, it will be in addition to them and it will exempt the family home.

    I’m not averse to raising the super age in theory but Labour’s plan will make little difference to the affordability because they will be restraining, even reversing, economic growth.


  4. pdm says:

    pm – I have no doubt that the `true colours’ of Russel Norman in particular will quickly become evident in the event that he gets anywhere near a position of influence in any Labour/Greens led government.

    At 67 years of age I do not believe the country can afford such a government in my lifetime – be it one day or 30 years plus.


  5. Salad says:

    If you think that the Green party are on the “far Left”, then you know nothing about the Green party, you know nothing about its history and you know nothing about its internal workings and groupings.


  6. phil says:

    Hi, how far left is John Keys government dishing out tax payers dollars to Warner Bros. Americas Cup, RWC, and now, $30 mil to Rio Tinto! Wake up NATS, John Key is a government handout socialist!


  7. TraceyS says:

    The means of production…like energy?

    Without freedom in the use of energy the “means of production” can be controlled if enough people believe in the cause. Levies on emissions, subsidies to promote green jobs, fixing power prices, promoting energy conservation, reducing roading investment, opposing oil exploration, opposing coal mining – aren’t these just the start of manipulating people’s energy choices? Imagine if energy was eventually rationed to each individual in the name of climate change? That would be ‘fair’ in socialist terms. And according to some Greens, massive change is needed immediately. So why not this?

    Sometimes I leave unnecessary lights on or take the long way home just to remember that while it may be frowned on by some, it’s still a free choice. It may not always be. And if Greens had the choice, I don’t think it would be, regardless of whether or not I’m paying the bill.


  8. Roger says:

    I do know its origins were with the Baader Meinhof Gang / Red Army Faction in West Germany. Some parents!


  9. Viv K says:

    The NZ Green party has no such links.


  10. Viv K says:

    Do you not know the meaning of ‘nationalisation’ Tracey? Your answer had nothing to do with it. And you seem to be suffering from paranoid delusions that the Greens would come up with some form of energy gestapo who would monitor your private behaviour. You should probably get more sleep, you are confused, it is your favourite party, National, who will make it legal for the ‘powers that be’ to check on your private life, the Greens are against spying on ordinary people.


  11. JC says:

    “dishing out tax payers dollars to Warner Bros.”

    Which gave a return of several thousand jobs and hundreds of millions in extra tourism dollars.

    “Americas Cup”

    Which is the flagship for the approx $900 million per annum boat building industry.


    Which is estimated to have been worth approx $500 million to the country.

    “Rio Tinto”

    Who knows.. we will undoubted get more from the sale of Meridian as a result and pass off a big part of a dodgy investment to private investors.



  12. TraceyS says:

    The opposite of privatisation. Sums up Labour/Green quite well I think.

    The quantity of energy used by an individual is not personal information. So I find it hard to see the relationship with government “spying”. Being told what can or can’t be done with energy by the government is an entirely different issue. I think the Green Party would love nothing more than controlling how people can or can’t use energy. Maybe that is why quite a few Green supporters are keen to go ‘off-grid’ and to make their own biofuel.

    It is not fantastical to consider that in order to curb climate change we may one day be each allocated x units of electricity or be given a fuel card with a limit on it. There would need to be some level of nationalisation for that to occur. I consider that the Labour/Green power policy is a start. As a great believer in the old saying “no such thing as a free lunch” it’s not that much of a stretch to think that in return for that good outcome people will be expected to accept some limitations on how they use said energy. In fact, I think it is quite a local conclusion to draw.

    The Labour Party believes in equality of outcomes. The Green Party believes in counteracting climate change. Can you not put 1 and 1 together and come up with 2?


  13. Viv K says:

    Nationalisation is the process of taking a private industry or private assets into public ownership by a national government or state. As Psycho Milt said, no credible parties in NZ advocate that. Labour and Green are not far-left, that’s National party propaganda.
    “Sometimes I leave unnecessary lights on or take the long way home just to remember that while it may be frowned on by some, it’s still a free choice. It may not always be. And if Greens had the choice, I don’t think it would be”
    You have just said that if the Greens had the choice you don’t think you would have the choice to leave unnecessary lights on or take the long way home. That’s paranoia on your part. And no government would know if you had extra lights on, or had gone the long way home unless they were spying on you . Spying on ordinary citizens is what John Key wants to be able to do, not the Greens.
    You object to rationing of resources. Hmmm, you’d not have been very popular in wartime Britain then. If there is a limited amount of a commodity or energy resource that can be used and a democratically elected government decides that rationing is the fairest way to apportion that commodity or resource, would you actually have a problem with that?
    1+1=2. I agree with you there, but won’t be following you down some fantasy path where you make up what you think a Labour- Green government might do.


  14. TraceyS says:

    Wartime Britain? War is intermittent. Most people could accept rationing on that basis. Are you saying climate change is intermittent too? If not, perhaps you might be more careful with your comparisons.

    You as good as confirm a view that rationing of energy could be required in the future.

    “Rationale” for permanent rationing of resources + socialist agenda = scary.


  15. Viv K says:

    In reply to Tracey at 1.49. I need to be more careful with my comparisons?! I didn’t mention climate change, I asked you if you had a problem with rationing if there is limited amount of something. You didn’t answer, no suprise there, you still haven’t explained why you thought that overseas dairy processing plants might not already be testing to the same, or higher, standards as NZ ones. So, instead of answering you came up with the idea that people might accept rationing if it was intermittent and then asked me if I was saying that climate change was intermittent too. For the record, no, I wasn’t saying that, that was you. Re-read the comments and you might notice that it was you that brought up rationing too.


  16. TraceyS says:

    What Viv? You are talking about a comment on a different post altogether. And if you look back you’ll see that your interpretation of what I wrote is wrong anyway.

    It’s no surprise you would say climate change is continuous. And that is how war is different to climate change isn’t it? So people might well accept temporary rationing of resources in wartime, but permanently is a different prospect altogether.

    You wrote “If there is a limited amount of a commodity or energy resource that can be used and a democratically elected government decides that rationing is the fairest way to apportion that commodity or resource, would you actually have a problem with that?”. Yes, I would, if that same government had made up the limit, ie. that it was not a ‘natural’ limit in the sense that a resource had come to an end.


  17. Viv K says:

    “your interpretation of what I wrote is wrong anyway”, that’s classic coming from someone who, in the next line said “It’s no surprise you would say climate change is continuous.”. Where did I say that? Again, for the record, the increase in greenhouse gases due to fossil fuel use this century IS continuous (I did just say that)


  18. TraceyS says:

    Thanks Viv, you have answered all my questions.


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