Quote of the week

August 14, 2010

The announcement from Minister of Finance and Infrastructure Bill English yesterday that government agencies are now being told to consider such partnerships for any new projects brought a predictable, if illogical, howl of protest from Labour, the Greens and the Council of Trade Unions.

Probably the largest single public-private partnership in this country’s history was initiated by the last Labour government. That is the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, known to friend and foe as the Cullen Fund.

Rob Hosking on the Left’s private hang-ups.

These two paragraphs are part of a  column which exposes Labour’s confused position on privatisation but it’s part of the subscriber-only content so unless you’ve paid up you’ll have to take my word for it.


Machiavelli meets Blackadder

April 8, 2009

Rob Hosking saw what I didn’t:

Michael Cullen’s appointment to the board of New Zealand Post has one major political impact – it completely undercuts the basis of Labour’s whole political attack for the past 18 months.

That attack has been based on one word: privatisation.

. . . In short, Labour’s political strategy still appears based on its over-thumbed copies of The Hollow Men.

Dr Cullen’s acceptance of the job at Kiwibank completely undercuts all that.

If this really is a cunning plot to undercut Labour, it’s one of which Machiavelli and Blackadder would be proud, and I hope it works.

But I also hope that it doesn’t put an end to the eventual privitisation – maybe partial, maybe full – of at least some SOEs.

National pledged it wouldn’t sell any state assets in this parliamentary term because Labour successfully turned privatisation in to a dirty word.

It needn’t be and the economy would be stronger if, in the future, we owned less as taxpayers and more as individuals.


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