Telegnosis – supernatural or occult knowledge; clairvoyance; knowledge about distant events alleged to have been obtained without the use of any normal sensory mechanism or perception.
Word of the day31/10/2022
Farmers count the cost of government regulation – Rachael Kelly:
The rate of change coming at the agriculture industry and the cost of complying with it keeps fourth generation farmer Ben Dooley awake at night.
Dooley is adamant he doesn’t want to come across as a whinging farmer, and he’s keen to do what he can to improve his 250ha sheep farm and the environment.
He is the fourth generation on his family farm at Mimihau, south-east of Gore, but he fears his sons may not be the fifth.
“There’s so much regulation coming at us and costs just keep going up. I wonder whether it will get to the point where it’s not possible to make a living here and then there won’t be farm left here for them to take over,’’ he says. . .
Key methane technologies misfire – Keith Woodford:
Methane technology breakthroughs cannot stop cannot ruminants from doing what comes naturally
Reducing methane production from pastoral agriculture lies at the heart of efforts to make pastoral agriculture more climate friendly. If only sheep and cattle could be made to stop producing methane!
Here I look at the challenges of making this happen. Unfortunately, those challenges are not easily solved. It is a lot harder than the uninitiated might think.
This is not just an issue for farmers. It is also an issue for all New Zealanders, given that almost half our exports come from pastoral agriculture – currently more than $32 billion per annum. According to MPI, approximately 82 percent of all exports come from primary industries once timber, fish, horticulture and wine are included. . .
Land plan in the firing line – Lois Williams :
A regional council head who wants to spare ratepayers the inconvenience of statutory land rules is ready to abandon a Local Government Commission-mandated planning document
Three million dollars and three years of work by West Coast councils will be down the drain if regional council head Allan Birchfield has his way.
The Greymouth gold miner was reinstalled as chair by a unanimous vote at the first meeting of the new-look and all-male council this week.
High on his to-do list is the scrapping of the recently notified Te Tai o Poutini plan that coast councils and planners have been labouring over amid much angst since 2019.
Farm sales drop by almost 40 percent compared to previous year :
Just released real estate data shows a massive slump in farm sales in the three months to September compared with the same period last year.
There were nearly 109 fewer sales – that is a 39 percent drop compared with 2021, and a 53 percent drop when compared with 2020.
Real Estate Institute rural spokesperson Brian Peacocke said the median price also fell nearly 4 percent, down to $23,080 a hectare, compared with $30,890 recorded for the three months ended September 2021.
He said the sales drop was worse than usual for this time of year – which was a generally slower time – and a few factors were at play including inflation and emissions tax. . .
They don’t care about non-Maori farmers – John Porter:
A new government report to Cabinet, yet again, states Maori are going to be disadvantaged! This time it is Maori farmers.
The Maori Party’s Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said an agriculture emissions pricing system disadvantages Maori-owned beef and sheep farms.
Why, Debbie? Are Maori farmers the only farmers going to be negatively impacted by an agriculture emissions pricing system? Are Maori farmers the only farmers practising regenerative and value-add farming?
I don’t know about you, but I get frustrated with the continual lack of objectivity in pronouncements by the Maori Party. . .
New Zealand wine export value hits all-time high :
The value of New Zealand wine in international markets is stronger than ever, with exports for 12 months to September at an all-time high of $2.03 billion, up 6% from the previous year. USA ($727 million) and Canada ($157 million) are at new record levels. The total value increase of 6% is due to a rise in value per litre, with volume for the 12 months to September decreasing 4% from a year ago.
The month of September 2022 has set a new export record of $287 million, this being the first time the export value has exceeded $¼ billion in any month.
“Record export value in September proves that our customers continue to appreciate the exceptional flavours, commitment to quality and sustainability of New Zealand wines, particularly in key international markets such as North America. Consumers around the world select a bottle of New Zealand wine off the shelf as they know it is a premium and unique product that they can trust,” says Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers. . .
Do we need a hate speech law?31/10/2022
Over at The Common Room, Paul Moon asks: should we ban hate speech?:
What speech is acceptable and what speech isn’t? Could you be prosecuted for expressing an unpopular opinion? Can you even define hate speech? Dr Paul Moon answers these questions and more.
Redefining, undermining democracy31/10/2022
The government’s review of local government has resulted in a report that gives more reasons to change the government:
The Government’s Future for Local Government report released today is yet another attack on local democracy from Labour, say National’s Paul Goldsmith and Simon Watts.
“This is just more of the same from Labour – a whole lot of ideological waffle that does nothing to deliver on the core issues facing communities around the country,” Local Government spokesperson Simon Watts says.
“In almost 300 pages there is nothing that will help deliver better infrastructure, housing and transport systems for our cities, regions and communities – which is what Kiwis need from local councils, not more navel gazing from Labour.”
Justice Spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says National rejects the co-government proposals in the report, just as National rejects co-governance of public services.
“The report’s authors are proposing mana whenua appointments to councils and a shift away from one person, one vote. National disagrees – equal voting rights are a fundamental tenet of our democracy.
“The working group also wants to lower the voting age to 16 and extend the term between elections. These are not the issues we should be focusing on when local infrastructure and services are at breaking point.
“Voters will have a clear choice at the next election, between Labour which is determined to pursue its co-governance agenda and National which will govern for all New Zealanders and most importantly get things done.”
The report’s recommendations redefine and undermine democracy.
Taxpayers’ Union board member Peter Williams wrote in an email that the proposals would fundamentally shift local councils from democratic institutions into unaccountable ‘co-governed’ fiefdoms:
The proposals include:
- Transferring a laundry list of powers that currently fall before elected council directly to hapū/iwi and other Māori organisations;
Democracy isn’t perfect, but it gives us some control over councils and their powers which we would lose if they were gifted to hapū/iwi and other Māori organisations.
- Appointing unelected positions by mana whenua to be given equal status as elected members (including voting rights). But unlike the councillors, the mana whenua representatives cannot be removed at the ballot box;
The government took away our right to vote on Maori wards on councils, but those still adhere to the democratic principle of equal representation. Imposing unelected appointees from manu whenua, and giving them full voting rights, steamrolls one-person, one vote and the equal representation that gives.
- Requiring council staff to conform with ‘te ao Māori values’ by law;
What does that mean, and is it compatible with freedom of religion and speech?
- Funding of ‘Tiriti-based partnership in local governance’ (no matter the cost to ratepayers, apparently);
That sounds like less democracy and more costs.
- Removing the requirement for local referenda before changing the voting system (for the remaining councillors to be elected) by imposing STV across the country;
STV can elect mayors and councillors on votes from people whose first, second, third and sometimes several subsequent choices didn’t get enough support. Does getting through on people’s low preferences really give a stronger mandate than first past the post?
- Lowering the local voting age to 16.
A Curia poll showed only 18% support for doing this; 88% opposed it and 4% were unsure.
One of the arguments in favouring lowering the voting age is to increase participation. The number of people voting might go up but there is any evidence to show the percentage of eligible voters voting would increase?
The low numbers of people voting in local body elections is concerning but lowering the age would not address the causes of that.
You couldn’t make this up: the future of democracy is at stake.
In what is either an Orwellian misstep, or an attempt to gaslight you, Mahuta’s Panel literally claim that these recommendations are to “strengthen democracy”. Imposing co-governance does not increase democracy.
There is now no denying where Ardern, Mahuta and the Government want to take New Zealand.
They want to take us backwards economically and socially and forwards to a racially divided, undemocratic future.
A media release from the TU says the review virtue signals the end of local democracy:
. . . Taxpayers’ Union Campaigns Manager Callum Purves says:
“These reforms would further erode local democracy in New Zealand by transferring more power from elected members to unelected groups without any democratic accountability. This will worsen, not improve, the democratic deficit in local government.
“The only people who should be making decisions in the council chamber on how taxpayers’ money is spent are elected representatives who are directly accountable to their constituents.”
The Taxpayers’ Union met with the Review panel in July on request. The panel confirmed that it had not directly sought feedback from any ratepayer groups as it did not consider this a ‘good use of time’.
That shows the review panel had no regard for the people who fund councils, instead it was driven by the government’s attempts to redefine and undermine democracy.
Word of the day30/10/2022
Equitation – the act or art of riding on horseback; the study and practice of riding and horsemanship.
Dirge Without Music30/10/2022
DIRGE WITHOUT MUSIC
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.
Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains, — but the best is lost.
The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,—
They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.
Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.
Hat tip: The Marginalian
Sunday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.
One of the benefits of being a mature well-educated woman is that you’re not afraid of expletives. And you have no fear to put a fool in his place. That’s the power of language and experience. You can learn a lot from Shakespeare. Dame Judi Dench
Word of the day29/10/2022
Winkle – a small herbivorous shore-dwelling mollusc with a spiral shell; an small sea snail that is edible; to extract, obtain or remove someone or something with difficulty or effort; to use a lot of effort to get (information) from a person.
It’s so dry that:
The trees are whistling for the dogs.
The council closed two lanes of the town swimming pool.
When a country town finally got a brief shower it caused quite a commotion. One of the town’s residents was disturbed by the noise and went outside to see what was happening. Water falling from the sky was such a shock that the man fainted. They had to throw two buckets of dust in his face to revive him.
Church leaders have got together to do their part to conserve water. Until further notice, Baptist churches will baptise by sprinkling, Methodists will baptise with wet-wipes, Anglicans will issue rain checks, and Catholics will pray for wine to turn back into water.
Cows are only producing evaporated milk.
Tech progress freed children and women29/10/2022
Technical progress freed children from hard labour:
It’s summertime and across the United States, children are away from school. The custom of long breaks in the school year dates to when most Americans worked in agriculture and often needed their children’s help on the farm. Of course, most children simply didn’t attend school, instead helping with housework and grueling farm labor year-round. In 1820, for example, primary school enrollment in the United States was just over 40 percent. That percentage rapidly shot upward in the coming decades, reaching 100 percent by 1870. But even then, many children didn’t make it past elementary school. In 1870, U.S. mean years of schooling stood at just 4.28. That number has risen steadily ever since. What changed? Technology, for one thing.
In his book Enlightenment Now, Harvard University professor Steven Pinker recounts how technology helped get boys off the farm and into the classroom. He quotes a tractor advertisement from 1921:
“By investing in a Case Tractor and Ground Detour Plow and Harrow outfit now, your boy can get his schooling without interruption, and the Spring work will not suffer by his absence. Keep the boy in school—and let a Case Kerosene Tractor take his place in the field. You’ll never regret either investment.”
It wasn’t only boys who were helped by technology:
As more farms adopted efficiency-enhancing agricultural devices like kerosene tractors, more boys attended school instead of working the fields. For girls, the huge time savings brought on by labor-saving household devices played a similar role. As running water, electricity, washing machines, and other modern conveniences spread, time spent on housework plummeted. Pinker’s book also contains a telling chart documenting the change.
Most of the work replaced by those technologies had traditionally fallen to mothers—and to their daughters. The time freed up by innovation enabled more girls to attend school.
Washing machines and tractors have accomplished more than just cleaning clothes and ploughing fields. They also freed America’s children to receive an education. . .
It’s not just American children who were freed from farm and house work.
Domestic appliances which reduce the burden of housework have made it easier for women to work outside the home.
Whether they’ve also made the sharing of domestic chores between men and women more equal is debatable.
Understanding and caring29/10/2022
Understanding other people’s points of view is a sign of caring and contrary to popular opinion that the left are more caring, research shows people on the right understand those on the left better than the left understand those to the right of them.
Conservatives and moderates understand liberals better than liberals understand them.
Those who identified as “very liberal” performed notably worse than anyone else.
Via The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion:
In a study I did with Jesse Graham and Brian Nosek, we tested how well liberals and conservatives could understand each other. We asked more than two thousand American visitors to fill out the Moral Foundations Questionnaire. One-third of the time they were asked to fill it out normally, answering as themselves. One-third of the time they were asked to fill it out as they think a “typical liberal” would respond. One-third of the time they were asked to fill it out as a “typical conservative” would respond. This design allowed us to examine the stereotypes that each side held about the other. More important, it allowed us to assess how accurate they were by comparing people’s expectations about “typical” partisans to the actual responses from partisans on the left and the right. Who was best able to pretend to be the other?
The results were clear and consistent. Moderates and conservatives were most accurate in their predictions, whether they were pretending to be liberals or conservatives. Liberals were the least accurate, especially those who described themselves as “very liberal.”
Does this add credence to my belief that many liberals really aren’t very liberal because their ideology and insistence on seeing everything as political closes their minds and, at times, their hearts?
Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.
Life’s not fair. It never was, it isn’t now, and it won’t ever be. Do not fall into the trap, the entitlement trap of feeling like you’re a victim. You are not. – Michael McConaughey
Word of the day28/10/2022
Parviscient – knowing little; having little knowledge; ignorant; shallow.
Spot the culprit – Barry Brill :
Our politicians continue to parrot the fallacy that livestock emissions contribute “nearly half” of the global warming that New Zealand supposedly causes each and every year.
This estimate is, of course, based on several erroneous assumptions – one of which is that each herd of cattle keeps adding more methane to the atmosphere every year.
The reality is that a ‘steady-state’ herd produces steady state methane. For every new molecule it emits an older molecule expires, and there is no increase at all.
Even if the national herd was growing, the changes are trivial compared to the exponential increase in emissions in, for example, the transport sector. In the United Kingdom, the actual figures have been taken out by Cartington Farm as follows: . .
Green dream pushes farmers into the red – Jill Herron :
A multi-award-winning Southland couple share their harrowing experience of regenerative land practices as a warning of what can go wrong down on a green farm
Linzi and Jeff Keen were fencing off waterways and planting natives well before it was fashionable.
In what is a fairly traditional farming landscape near Lumsden in Northern Southland, the innovative couple continue to be the greenies of the hood.
Rolling hills lead the way to their 870ha Tomogalak Gorge farm, which backs onto the tussock country of the Mataura Range. . .
Farmers taxed to buy Audis, BMWs and a Porsche :
Teslas aren’t the only flash cars farmers and tradies are being made to subsidise, with people buying luxury brands like Audi, BMW and even a Porsche Cayenne receiving handouts, National’s Transport spokesperson Simeon Brown says.
“Data from NZTA shows the Government has spent at least $7 million helping to get some 1400 lucky Kiwis behind the wheel of a range of high-end sports cars.
“Included in the list of vehicles the Government has sent taxpayer money to are 325 BMWs, 114 Audis, 64 Mercedes-Benz, and even one Jaguar and one Porsche.
“That’s on top of the $40.9 million that Transport Minister Michael Wood today confirmed has been paid out to buyers of Teslas. . .
Blueberry crops in Waikato wiped out in severe frost :
Losses from a severe frost that wiped out entire blueberry orchards in Waikato this month could reach $25 million, Waikato grower Dan Peach estimates
Most Waikato growers lost 90 percent of their blueberry production while a few lost half their crop.
Other producers in the region were also hit by the cold snap this month, which froze crop of one of the country’s largest asparagus growers, Boyds Asparagus, and decimated strawberry crops on the outskirts of Hamilton.
Peach said some in the sector were figuring out how to make up for the loss . .
Independent report finds Northland’s Extension 350 farming programme a success:
An independent report has found agri-extension and development programme Extension 350 (E350) has been a success in helping Northland farmers reach their goals.
The farmer-learning-from-farmer programme was launched in 2016 with the aim of helping the region’s farmers to achieve their goals and objectives including profitability, environmental sustainability, and wellbeing.
An independent evaluation by Scarlatti Limited has found the programme’s investment of $4.1 million generated financial returns of $48.6 million against measurable financial outcomes. The result reflects an almost 12:1 return on investment, with environmental and wellbeing outcomes additional to this figure.
Extension 350 Chair, Ken Hames, says the report highlights the positive traction the programme has created with famers across the region. . .
New Zealand’s first organic lactose free milk powder range wins gold at artisan awards :
Organic Dairy Hub®’s (ODH) consumer brand, Ours Truly™, was awarded two gold awards in last week’s Inspire+ NZ Artisan Awards for its pair of organic, lactose free milk powders (whole and skim).
The range is the first of its kind in New Zealand, meeting a need for more lactose free options from within the dairy industry.
Hayley Denney, ODH’s Business Development Manager, said the company is thrilled with the award win which reflects a growing market for the products – both nationally and overseas.
“New Zealand-produced dairy products have always been held in high regard offshore, and we have noticed increasing demand for lactose free dairy products globally in the last few years. We decided to meet that demand with our organic milk powders, and it has really been an incredible team effort to get the range off the ground and into consumers’ hands,” explains Denney. . .
Government has sabotaged farming consensus28/10/2022
The government’s butchering of the agri-sector’s He Waka Eke Noa has led to growing farmer rebellion:
A large protest meeting of farmers in Invercargill last night heard Federated Farmers President, Andrew Hoggard, withdraw his support for the Government’s proposal for farmers to pay for their emissions.
And he indicated the Feds would leave the He Waka Eke Noa farm sector partnership that had been working with the Government on a farm emissions policy.
“It’s been two and a half bloody years or more of dumb regulation after dumb regulation after dumb regulation, and for me, it’s just like, Nah, screw it, I’m done with being polite about it,” he told the meeting to applause.
Hoggard last night said the Feds had always opposed the methane reduction target of a reduction of 10 per cent by 2030.
He said his organisation had continued within the HWEN partnership because of its original principles. They were that the agriculture sector would work with the Government to design a pricing mechanism “where any price is part of a broader framework to support on-farm practice change” and “only to the extent necessary to incentivise the uptake of economically viable opportunities that contribute to lower global emissions.”
“It’s just gotten more and more tenuous as we’ve gone along the process, and finally, the government proposal was the knife that cut that link,” he said.
He said Federated Farmers had never supported pricing in the first place because the alternative would have been farmers going into the Emissions Trading Scheme, which would mean much higher payments and no chance of any rebates for mitigation.
“We tried to argue that we didn’t want pricing in there, but everyone else was of the opinion that pricing had to be a part of it; otherwise, the government would reject it (the HWEN proposal)”, he said.
“And so we went along with it because we felt at least then if we’re in the team, we could push back, keep providing that sort of tension, keeping that farmer voice in there. “And certainly throughout the process, we have managed to at least get some changes, some wins, keep some stupid things out of it. “But it has been bloody hard work.”
Hoggard argued that what had been intended to be a levy was now a tax because of the failure to allow for sequestration. To achieve the 10 per cent gross reduction in emissions by 2030, the Government would do so by taxing farmers to force them to reduce production.
“And so the way you’ve got to think of it is that they need a gross reduction, and at the moment, without mitigations, a 10% gross reduction only comes from 10% less dry matter going down ruminants throats,” he said. “And so that is a key thing.
“And to me, that is the fundamental change the Government has made is that change to the pricing principles and that singular focus on achieving the targets at all cost to our communities.”
His views were echoed by two South Island National MPs.
“We will not accept the government’s proposal,” said Southland MP Joseph Mooney.
“Yes, we want the research and development to happen, and we want the science and technology to be able to lower the emissions, but we need to be doing it in step, so pricing can’t get ahead of competitor countries, and we can’t put our food security at risk,” said Invercargill MP, Penny Simmonds. . .
It took a lot of work to get the He Waka Eke Noa proposal together, there were a lot of reservations about it but most agreed it was less bad than putting farming in the ETS.
The government has sabotaged the consensus. Federated Farmers is leading the charge against the proposal and other organisations that had been part of HWEN are also very critical of the proposed changes for very good reasons.
The economic and social costs are far too high for little, if any, environmental gain.
The meeting also discussed the impractical winter grazing regulations.
A leading Southland farmer says she won’t be getting winter grazing consents and hundreds of other farmers will also refuse to get them.
Federated Farmers Southland vice president Bernadette Hunt, speaking at a meeting about the Government’s controversial farming emissions’ proposal and winter grazing regulations at Stadium Southland on Wednesday night, said consents were supposed to place extra scrutiny where the highest risks were.
But if thousands of people had to get them for an activity, it was not targeting the highest risk.
“That’ll mean councils can’t adequately check them out in advance or enforce them so it makes a mockery of the process. You’ll pay for a piece of paper but there’s nothing behind it, and that’s why we don’t support these ones,” she said.
The Government legislation was shoddy and was not ready to go which was why she would not be getting a consent for winter grazing, she said.
She was not asking everyone to boycott the consents, saying it was each individual’s choice, but suggested there would be safety in numbers.
“They can’t prosecute us all.”
She asked the hundreds of people at the meeting to stand with her in boycotting the consents and almost all did.
Hunt made of point of saying the Feds would not defend farmers who operated without regard for animal or environmental welfare. . . .
The video is a livestream of the meeting, the business starts at about 18 minutes.
MUDdying employment not fair28/10/2022
Labour calls them Fair Pay Agreements.
They are mandatory union deals (MUDs) and anything but fair which is why National will repeal them:
Labour’s misnamed ‘Fair’ Pay Agreements Bill will be repealed by a future National Government, National’s Workplace Relations & Safety spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.
“This mandatory union Bill is an ideological overreach that harm will our economy. At a time when both employers and employees want more flexibility, the agreements are a throwback to 1970s industrial relations.
“We all want higher wages and better conditions – especially during a cost of living crisis. But the only sustainable route to higher wages is more productive businesses. This Bill will harm productivity.
“Fair Pay Agreements will make New Zealand’s workplaces less agile and flexible and make all workers beholden to a union agenda. It will force employers and workers within a sector to bargain for minimum terms and conditions for all employees in that industry or occupation, regardless of whether or not they want to be included.
“The modern workplace is changing rapidly and people value flexibility. Labour’s Bill would take us in the opposite direction, towards rigid and one-size-fits-all agreements.
“It’s another example of Labour’s belief that central government knows best. Employers and employees should be able to make arrangements that suit them – not hamstrung by more ideological government overreach.
“Flexible labour markets are one of the foundations of our relative economic success in the past few decades. This Bill undermines that foundation and will harm our economy and our national competitiveness.”
Imagine the uproar if a National government passed a law enriching its bigger funders.
This is what Labour has done:
We now have a law that allows a government appointed body to set pay rates and conditions for an entire industry – even if not a single employer in that industry agrees with them.
Even under the bad old 70s law, employers had a choice – they could reject a bad agreement and face strikes. . .
This law is about forcing workers to fund unions, which is no surprise as 30% of Labour’s caucus are former union organisers. This is 100,000% greater share than in the overall population.
Not only are former union organisers over-represented in the caucus, unions are big, possibly the biggest, funders of the Labour Party.
The left are perpetually exercised over donations from individuals and businesses but there is no evidence they get policy that gives them the sort of power, and money, this policy gives unions.
Business is already gloomy:
Business pessimism has deepened as stronger than expected inflation appears to have rattled firms.
ANZ’s monthly survey of business confidence showed a net 43 percent of respondents expect the broader economy will deteriorate this year, from a net 37 percent the month earlier.
Firms’ view of their own prospects also dipped slightly with a net 3 percent of respondents expecting to be worse off compared with 2 percent in September.
ANZ senior economist Miles Workman said the stresses on businesses, especially cost pressures, remained intense, and responses received after the recent third quarter inflation numbers were generally more negative.
“Costs are still rising rapidly, and passing these costs on has become more difficult as customers become more price sensitive. . .
Businesses will become even gloomier when this law which will MUDdy employment relations takes effect.
Mike Hosking points out that enacting it shows that Labour doesn’t understand economics:
. . . They’re promoting unions and unionisation is a very Labour pastime.
It also comes, ironically, at a time when it’s never been less needed. The labour market is a complete shambles and anyone who wants work has a vast array of choice.
And wages have gone up ludicrous amounts. So much so, that inflation is still way higher than anyone expected, and the downstream consequences are going to be ugly.
That perhaps is the ultimate irony. Even Grant Robertson, one of the biggest fans of things like Fair Pay Agreements and the jobs tax, is already warning about the economic mess next year.
And the economic mess is a direct result of wage rises that have come about for no other reason than the cost of living having gone skywards.
The part Labour have never quite got their head around is that each job has a value, and when you pay more for that job than its value, the way we are at the moment, a couple of things happen, you pass the price on to the punter, who either pays it, which leads to inflation.
Or they don’t pay it which means you then layoff the workers because you can’t afford them anymore.
That’s essentially what unionism is. It’s an annual “we are ripped off, it’s not fair, we are on strike” sort of fiesta for more money for the sake of more money.
Under this latest guise of Fair Pay Agreements, if 10% want an industry wide deal, they get it.
Who cares about the 90%? You can’t afford the rise at your particular factory, warehouse, or office? Stiff cheese.
You can’t agree on the deal they’ve forced upon you? Stiff cheese again. You’re off to compulsory mediation and they’ll tell you what you’re doing with your money and your business.
The greatest sadness of all is we used to do it this way. We did this decades back and it didn’t work. And when the Employment Contracts Act came along and people got choice, they chose what we’ve had ever since, until now. For many, that choice has once again been taken away from them.
In essence, we are revisiting past mistakes because those driven by ideology, don’t understand economics, and they never learn.
It’s beginning to look more and more like Labour thinks they can’t win next year’s election and they’re trying to make the most of their outright majority before they’re out of government.
The more of this ideological and economically damaging policy they push through the more likely it is they will lose and the more National will add to its list to repeal, reverse and scrap:
Had Labour attempted to moderate its policies, there might have been a chance of them enduring past a change of government.
So many are causing so much harm, the next government will be able to start repairing the damage by getting rid of them and these MUDs will be among the first to go.