The 9th floor – Jim Bolger

In the third The 9th Floor interview Jim Bolger is headlined as ‘the negotiator’ but is stirring things up on ‘neo-liberalism’ and race relations.

RNZ: The Negotiator – Jim Bolger: Prime Minister 1990-97

I think Jim Bolger might be about to spark a debate. Two debates actually. One on our economic settings and the other on race relations.

On neo-liberalism:

He says neo-liberalism has failed and suggests unions should have a stronger voice.

“They have failed to produce economic growth and what growth there has been has gone to the few at the top,” Bolger says, not of his own policies specifically but of neoliberalism the world over. He laments the levels of inequality and concludes “that model needs to change.”

So should we scrap neoliberalism?

Or fix what’s wrong and leave what is generally working ok?

On race relations:

He says Treaty of Waitangi settlements may not be full and final and that Maori language tuition should be compulsory in primary schools.

Indeed Bolger is at his most passionate speaking about Maori issues. He has a visceral hatred of racism and explains the personal context for that.

We asked him whether future generations will open up Treaty settlements again – given Maori got a fraction of what was lost – or whether they are genuinely full and final. He says it is a “legitimate” question and “entirely up to us”.

If Maori are still at the bottom of the heap “then you can expect someone to ask the question again because it means that society has failed”.

He is also scathing of former National leader Don Brash’s Orewa speech on ‘Maori privilege’. “It wasn’t anywhere near as bad as Trump but it was in that frame.” Of course Don Brash never made it to PM, replaced by John Key in 2006. ‘Gone by lunchtime,’ was the political phrase popular at the time.

Bolger also says it’s time to give power back to unions.

Being a more recent Prime Minister makes the issues he raises more pertinent to today’s debates.

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9 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  April 21, 2017

    Always liked Bolger as far as Natz pollies go.Had decency something glarinhly lacking in some of those that followed him.From the article….’Bolger says neoliberal economic policies have absolutely failed. It’ s not uncommon to hear that now; even the IMF says so.’….this truth is still vehemently denied by so many….and plenty on here too.

    Reply
    • Brown

       /  April 21, 2017

      Never rated him and this is just virtue signalling by an old fool. Anyway, what accent did he use when saying this? Knowing that allows us to determine the target audience.

      In respect of the bigger picture the fundamental problem is simply the human condition. How awful it is when we need legislation to keep people acting in a barely moral and ethical manner.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  April 21, 2017

        so you don’t like Bolger,or Muldoon,any Natz P.M’s you do like?Shipley?

        Reply
        • Brown

           /  April 21, 2017

          When anyone becomes a politician my default position reverts to distrust so I would say I don’t like any of them.

          Reply
    • Corky

       /  April 21, 2017

      Take an old man, a comfy sofa and a bottle of Whiskey and you have the mellow musings of an ex polly who can afford a bob each way.

      So everyone, lets put his views to the test. Please, oh please, vote the Left in. Blazer can be the sites narrator regard the demise of New Zealand…and the demise of the left.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  April 21, 2017

        the left made NZ the great country it is.The right enrich themselves and maintain the status quo.Progress comes from the …left,the right resist…change.

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  April 21, 2017

          Its true the Left have made the big calls…its incorrect to say the right are always out to enrich themselves.

          Your problem is to believe the current crop of deadbeats on the Left have the ability to run our country, nay, stay in power longer than half a term.

          That’s why I want you as site narrator. The posts will be fascinating.

          Reply
  2. Gezza

     /  April 21, 2017

    Neoliberalism. Corporations explained.

    Reply

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