A post at The Standard – Andrea Vance on Andrew Little’s game plan – asks:
What do you want/expect to see in Andrew Little’s state of the nation?
The resonse was a number of wishes and wishlists.
I would like to see him define the debate on Labour’s terms – so, say, talk about jobs, wages, salaries and fairness in a world of the 1%ers. Within that framework talk about looking at a UBI, about workplace reform – maybe with German style workplace councils to stimulate productivity (but also introduce backdoor worker organisation without using the dreaded “trade union” words) and worker buy in.
UBI = Universal Basic Income is a minimun wage/benefit set at a ‘livable’ level.
Talk about the need to create a fairer society through better wages. In other words, make the argument where National are not delivering anything at all to the vast majority of Kiwis – wages and salaries.
Oh and how about saying that under Labour a bunch of scoundrels and pirates in rusty old fishing boats would not be allowed to humiliate our Navy and plunder fish stocks in the Southern Ocean.
The want lists includes.
- Concrete policy on climate change. Divest from fossil fuels.
- A clear independent foreign policy based on peaceful cohabitation of the planet with other cultures and nations.
- Pull out of TPPA deal
- Significant tax increases for the wealthy and corporations.
- Massive investment in public transport
- Investment in regional NZ.
- Rebuild NZ’s local manufacturing in areas where .
- Promote sustainable farming practises.
- Build 100,00 state houses.
- Change laws on rental properties to dis incentivise Multiple ownership of property.
- Stop all foreign ownership of businesses, land and property.
- Nationalisation of energy, transport, water, telecommunications, health and other core national interests.
- Political donations only through membership of a political party and at a low rate of say $30. So the numbers of your supporters, not the wealth is what counts.
- The reinstatement of genuine public broadcasting.
- Democratic workplaces..cooperatives, worker owned companies.
- Highly subsidised public transport
- The conversion of inner city carparks into green spaces
I think an unqualified apology for the events of 1984 to 1990 would make for a cleansing break from Labour’s tragic embrace of neoliberalism.
A full time youth jobs guarantee for those 25 and under. 37.5 hrs per week at the minimum wage, where you are expected to perform to a full employment standard.
A return of freight back to rail. Especially in regions with high truck traffic levels, and highway gridlock.
Lastly cartridge of dangerous and hazardous waste by rail. Never should Petroleum and oils be carried by road.
I’ll just be grateful if we could just have one Labour leader until the 2017 election.
A caucus that spends less time waiting for their turn in government while playing internal politics and more time on making sure that they win a general election.
I would like to see the Labour Party categorically state that the policies of greed and self-interest, as promoted since the Labour Party of 1984, do not work and that people simply do not go about their lives on the sole basis of greed and self-interest (bizarre thought isn’t it).
…. then link that statement to the current government, plus failures the result of those policies such as leaky homes, the GFC, Pike River, etc
I think there needs to be an unqualified apology for the events of 1984 to 2015. Without the Lange regime, this year would be very different politically and economically.
The day I see Andrew Little take on John Key over South Canterbury Finance, which is John Key’s biggest achilles heel by a country mile, the issue that will bring him down and banish him from the political landscape for good, as well as set National back for at least a decade, is the day Labour will win back my vote.
Until that day comes, I have written Labour off as National-lite. When Labour KNOWS how corrupt Key and his cronies were over that issue and they do nothing about it, they are just as corrupt for turning a blind eye to it. I am sick of listening to their empty rhetoric and bullsh*t.
@ Paul’s list –
# Divest from international ‘reserve’ (with a snap of our fingers we create the money you need, but you’re not allowed to try this trick ) bank system
# Exercise sovereign right to create independent government-backed local currency
# Hand over SIS and GCSB files to ordinary citizens spied on, ‘illegally’ or otherwise
# Stay alive if possible – look out for extrajudicial assassination drones with which PM is comfortable
He probably should be promising a public broadcasting channel.
I’d like Andrew to show to all Kiwis that he has the vision thing and that he has the passion to take us along with him.
I’d like him to demonstrate that he is a quick but not hasty decision maker, that he is thoughtful and analytical and then committed to his decisions.
I want him to show that he is a team builder who supports his bench with his big strength and toughness.
Andrew needs to continue showing that he knows himself and that he is very comfortable in his own skin. The public want to see his character and to understand the role it plays in his leadership style.
1. Most voters are employees – tailor policy to them.
Over 70% of FTE workers are employees. It is our challenge to remake society so that one again can be successful through thrift and hard work as an employee, not solely through property trading or business ownership. Increases in minimum wage, industry specific wage floors, guaranteed union representative access, changes to work trials etc. Improve and expand the current apprenticeship system.
2. Making the tax system work
Making the tax system fairer. Sure the tax system would be simpler with a single rate of tax, but this rate needs be to discounted at the lower end so that lower income people can both survive and contribute to society, and thus compensatorily needs to be elevated at the higher end in order to pay for the discount at the lower end.
There needs to be a commission into tax to address horizontal fairness (i.e. all sources of income being treated the same for tax purposes), closing loopholes through a system design which also achieves the social policy objectives, and cracking down on tax fraud through omission and false statements. Establish a department within IRD specifically to help SME’s deal with tax/regulatory issues.
3. Regional Development + Extractive Industry
Regional development through direct central government investment, i.e. moving some staffing resources back into regional cities, tax incentives for large manufacturing businesses to locate their factories in regional New Zealand. Continue to allow extractive industries in negotiation with the local people in regions such as Northland, East Cape, West Coast – with the stipulation that a portion of profits be reinvested in the same regions. Encourage regional diversification. Make use of Solid Energy as the main/dominant operator of all mining/extractive operations wherever possible – as it is a SOE, and thus theorectically subject to political and social considerations in a different political environment.
4. Living and Transport
Improve and update the KiwiBuild policy – perhaps a new moniker as well. Build warm and dry, energy efficient houses in communities serviced by public transport. There needs to be another 50k state houses built.
Build up feeder/domitory towns that have public transport available/potential.
Reintroduce commuter rail to Christchurch, and improve existing services in Auckland and Wellington.
5. Education Sector
Increase the hours available in the 20 hour free scheme to 30, and lower the starting age to 2.
Continue with the excellent school fee policy.
Reintroduce funding for the night courses scrapped by National.
Review NCEA to make sure it is delivering its policy objectives.
Changes to the student allowance eligibility criteria, i.e. if there remains an income threshold, there should also be an asset test, and increase the weekly borrrowing limit for living costs for those dependent on student loans.
Review the whole tertiary funding sector with a view to eventually establishing universal student allowances at a living level, with minimum pass/grade levels required.
I would like to here that the ordinary people matter to him, and his labour party.
that he will work to bring back the 40hour week and 8 hour day. I would like to here him differentiate labour from the greens. I would like to here precisely how labour is diiferent from national.
For me to vote Labour again I would like to see Little concentrate on the key economic concerns of people that have been ignored for the past 30 years and are issues that National will never deal with in a million years.
a) Apprenticeships – Re introduce the old apprenticeship system for trades. Its senseless that the hands on trades such as hairdressing, florists are learnt in a classroom rather than the practical hands on experience of the old apprenticeship system. Higher education institutions have been coining it out of the young for far too long and fail with their theory learning only to give these youngsters the practical experience that the employer needs. Its time to send them down the road as these youngsters not only end up with not having the practical experience required, but also end up with a huge hefty student debt to pay off.
b) Food costs – Why are we paying what we do for food in our supermarkets. What is the breakdown for the cost of milk, bread and butter. Its interesting that the only Labour Party member to mention this issue was looked down by Labour as a filthy closet National Party supporter and that this issue was not picked up by any other member when he departed the party. Why is that? Is there more to this issue than the general public knows and are Labour too scared or just simply don’t know how to tackle it.
c) It is not only the employees that are getting a hard time, there are also plenty of self employed or contractors that don’t get a fair deal when dealing with the bigger corporates. Offering support for these people would help with a fairer society for businesses rather than big corporates being the dominant players.
d) Workers definitely need representation, since the introduction of the ECA Act in 1991 (which Labour did nothing about during their 9 years of power) wages for Kiwis have become low and no longer give people the income to meet soaring living costs.
e) Unions are the dinosaurs of yesterday, a new method of worker representation needs to occur. Unions fail to give people the choice of their representation ie: if you work in a shop than your union is the shop workers union despite if you think they are good, bad, effective or jack shit useless. It needs to change where workers despite their role, get to choose the group that represents them therefore keeping those that choose to represent workers do as the worker wants rather than what they want.
f) Living costs – Again, like the food, why are we paying what we do for rates, power, insurance, housing and transport (petrol) costs. Are these costs valid in that is what it costs to provide these services or are the 1%ers coining it off the rest of us?
Little needs to return Labour back to their original tradition of looking out for the key economic concerns of people. He also needs to recognise that the welfare reforms National have made are necessary and need to stay. Labour fell into the trap of allowing welfare to become a alternative to working rather than a helping hand. Little also needs erode the PC ideology that currently dominates the Labour Party. PC ideology that does nothing to help the average family put food on their tables.
Seems to me at this stage he needs to play to his strengths and focus on education/training — which he would have had a lot to do with during his EPMU stage — perhaps with a dash of innovation and supporting of manufacturing. At the moment, he just needs to be solid, play a straight bat with no outrageous hook shots.
Little may like to point out market voids (such as housing, export growth, employment, etc) and explain how a hands on Government will fill these voids – i.e. build more homes, create new export focused SOEs, thus grow our wealth and provide more decent paying jobs.
Less anger, more smiles, more reason, more about what he’s going to do to lead this country (if that comes his way), less about sniping at the current government, but more about saying what he would do. Have more of a global view.
He could also do with a good media adviser to help him come across more clearly, engage with voters, speak more clearly – keep people engaged for the long game.