Red Alert

National gets more whipping

Posted by on January 28th, 2013

Just before Christmas the Remuneration Authority released their determination regarding MPs pay. Naturally, all of the media focus was on the fact that MPs were getting a pay rise just before Christmas and it was to be back-dated. Personally I agree with the idea that MPs pay and entitlements should be set on a 3 yearly basis and changes should only come into force following each election, but that’s a discussion for another day.

Hidden away in the determination was another interesting little change. Political parties with more than 45 MPs are now entitled to a second junior whip position. So with Michael Woodhouse taking on a ministerial role, and Louise Upston almost certain to step in the Chief Whip’s shoes tomorrow, National will now have to elect two new junior whips. The smart money seems to be on Tim McIndoe and my Breakfast TV sparring partner Jamie Lee-Ross.

I agree with the decision to increase the number of whips big parties can have. It’s a big job and under MMP it’s getting even bigger. But it’s interesting the National government decided to implement the change now, rather than wait until after the next election, when it wouldn’t look quite so much like they were changing the rules to suit their own interests.


86 Responses to “National gets more whipping”

  1. Jack Ramaka says:

    1% of the world’s population controls 99% of the world’s wealth I wonder whether this is where some of the world’s problems lie.

    We look to Government’s and taxpayers to solve the world’s poverty problems however they are funded by 99% of the world’s population who are in the minority when it comes to funding.

    Hence the 1% hold the key to solving the problem however GREED always seems to get in the way.

    If you look at the wealth list in NZ most have been handed a leg up by Government to get to where they have got financially.

    Government and business are extensively linked world wide, certain companies here in NZ have always had a cosy relationship with successive Governments and profited extremely well at the expense of NZ Taxpayers.

  2. Dave says:

    Let your clients decide what you’re worth. MP’s salaries should be set by the voter. That way, no MP can use the feeble excuse “The Remuneration Authority forces us to take pay rises, so what can we do?”

  3. Matt says:

    @SPC – yes. The problem is that you believe a yearly budget outcome, which is dependent on many economic forces (private, public, net export position) is in any which way relevant… Go look at Japan, or the US, continuous deficits, low interest rates… I’ve said many times, public debt = irrelevance. It’s just NZ denominated govt bonds/securities which can NEVER not be met…

  4. SPC says:

    The problem matt is that you cannot answer the question – how to convince voters that the deficit and debt level does not matter.

    Political parties need a mandate, how would one get a mandate to enact the policy mix you propose?

  5. phillip ure says:

    another fact for jennifer to digest..

    ..and to maybe get back to us on..?

    “..Income inequality is at its greatest level since The Great Depression – with the top one percent of Americans capturing an astounding 93 percent of all annual income gains in the post-2008 era..”

    phillip ure..

  6. jennifer says:

    @ Phillip and Grant, still waiting. At what level would you set the “guaranteed” living wage? And to pick up on other comments, how would you have it paid for? Just throwing up a possible FTT and getting rid of GST and income tax below $30k is not helpful. I wonder how you get on in the supermarket? Tell the check out operator that the top one percent are really rich and they should pay, and walk out with the groceries?

  7. Grant Hay says:

    @ jennifer. We are still waiting for you to make ANY considered response to ANY of the points we’ve made. You are intellectually bereft and there is no discussion to be had with you..boring. Yawn.

  8. phillip ure says:

    i have given you two relevant-quotes to respond to..

    ..quotes that detail what that neo-lib revolution has wrought..

    ..and you just come back with more of yr same-same..

    ..’supermarket’..really..?..that’s yr best-shot..?

    ..and you really think you are helping yr rightwing/t.i.n.a-cause/case..?

    ..that is called trolling..jennifer..

    ..phillip ure..

  9. jennifer says:

    @ Grant, you have not asked any questions, simply made broad and provocative statements expecting a response. This approach seems to be typical of the radical left, that way they can never be held to account for anything and never be nailed down on the practicalities. I’m well aware of what Gareth thinks, but I’m interested to know if you can back up your own call for a “guaranteed” living wage by telling me at what level it should be set.

  10. Grant Hay says:

    @ jennifer. “you have … simply made broad and provocative statements expecting a response”.

    And what do you think you’ve been doing?

  11. Grant Hay says:

    So Jenny… Are you a Labour party member? I’m just wondering because, since you accuse me of being “hard left” (mirth), do you actually ever wonder about belonging to a party that still uses all the symbols and trappings (red flag, Labour (name), union affiliations, etc). of a working class socialist movement while catering for the aspirations of the educated middle class is well….. hypocritical really isn’t it? I nearly wet myself laughing a few years back when I saw a bunch of Labour MP’s stand to sing “Keep The Red Flag Flying”. To be fair, some of them looked mighty sheepish…

  12. Grant Hay says:

    Actually..I see the red flag is no more to be found except on The Standard’s mast-head and observer status only at the Socialist International, so Labour is gradually divesting itself of the connections to it’s past. Keep up the good work…

  13. Grant Hay says:

    Here’s a song for you to sing courtesy of Leon Rosselson:

    The people’s flag is palest pink
    It’s not the colour you might think
    The middle classes stand and cheer
    The Labour government is here
    We’ll change the country bit by bit
    So nobody will notice it
    And just to show that we’re sincere
    We’ll sing The Red Flag once a year

  14. jennifer says:

    It’s appropriate you raise a protest song written 124 years ago, and illustrative that no-one sings it any more, except you by the looks. Longing to recreate the past, or your version of it, might be fun over a few chardys with a few old Trots, but hardly the way forward for Labour or the country. However, about that ‘guaranteed’ living wage …

  15. Grant Hay says:

    Actually, as I pointed out a little earlier, The Labour caucus sang it in public on tv a few years ago during Clark’s time. Much to my amusement and that of many others I’m sure. Phil Ure is right. You’re a troll who lacks intellectual honesty. Doubt if you even know or understand what that means. You don’t even have the courage of your convictions enought to nail your colours to the mast and state your own political beliefs. Utterly contemptible.

  16. jennifer says:

    @ Grant, how can I be a ‘troll’ when I am simply asking you to define at what level you would set the ‘guaranteed living wage’ raised earlier? I accept that it is frustrating for you if I refuse to rise to your bait, but that’s hardly trolling. My personal political leanings are irrelevant but seem to be vitally important to you, so you can confirm your prejudices. The intellectual dishonesty is all yours.

  17. Grant Hay says:

    I’m not frustrated in the least “jennifer”. I just think you’re a dishonest twit and not worth any more of my time. And you won’t be getting it.

  18. SPC says:

    Jennifer, why do you address the question of how to afford a policy programme proposed by matt to Grant and phil? matt says affording it is not important to him, as to how to get others to accept his position, he has yet to say.

    My question for you, is how is National going to afford to make the tax nuetral changes it made a few years ago. Because there is no evidence that the changes made have been nuetral. One wonders how many of the measures to reduce the “budget deficit” have actually been to afford the cut to the top rate of income tax.

  19. John W says:

    Jennifer
    The “way forward” is to continue with massive aggregation of wealth by the few, marginalising further the rest, demolition of the welfare state, privatise everything, ramp up education costs, expand exclusive segregation within education, greater restriction of the public access to information and have a revolving door between Govt and the banksters [ which we already have so visibly with Brash and Key].

    The US model which is being forced upon us while we dither arguing over minor details.

    Do you want to go “forward”.

  20. jennifer says:

    @ SPC, the funding issue is not my issue. I simply asked at what level the ‘guaranteed living wage’ would be set. Fairly straight forward question. After days of diversion and name-calling, still no answer from those proposing it.
    @ John W, I think you will find that the ‘aggregation of wealth by the few’ has been going on in NZ for decades, indeed longer. Didn’t Seddon break up the big run holdings? As for the rest, that’s been going on for decades too. My question is what do you propose is done about it? Many of the left seem to believe that restoring the benefit levels to pre-Richardson and upping the minimum wage will fix everything. Along with making education at all levels ‘free’ and severly raising income tax on the ‘rich’, which remains undefined. As for the ‘bankers’, they are a fact of life, always have been. Vogel borrowed 10 million pounds to build the railways from English banks. Nostalgia is not a good basis for public policy in the 21st century, in my view.

  21. Grant Hay says:

    As I thought. “Jennifer” is not of the left. Agent provocateur by name and troll by nature.

  22. John W says:

    Jennifer
    Nostalgia has nothing to do with it. You seem to accept injustice and social decay and justify it on its historic existence.

    Who is living in the past with rose coloured spectacles
    .
    In case you are not widely read I would suggest you research world trends of wealth accumulation and the systems by which a tiny group are achieving this. Give yourself a bit of background and some moral inklings may be aroused – perhaps. Yo may even gain some insight to where this is heading.

    I put back to you your question of what lies ahead. Your reference to “good basis for public policy in the 21st century” seems devoid of any explanation. Do you accept organised global breaking down of social order for the profit of a small group of bankers as a good basis for public future policy.

    Private banking is a disaster in the guise of business.

  23. Grant Hay says:

    @ John W. Can I join your fan club? :)

  24. jennifer says:

    @ John W, like your comrades, you can’t get past the personal insults, can you? The ‘tiny group’ have been accumulating wealth for centuries. Even applied Marxism couldn’t stop it. The boys in the politburo did pretty well for themselves. As for the ‘global breaking down’ conspiracy, these are just theories to keep the left perpetually wrong-footed. Seems to be working.

  25. Grant Hay says:

    House sorting day for newbies at Hogwarts. Jennifer sitting on stool. Sorting hat thinks for two seconds….Ahhhh easy!! Slithering of course…

  26. phillip ure says:

    my psychic tells me that jennifer is a national party mp..

    ..y’know..!..that party where they mistake low-rat cunning for intelligence..

    ..just saying..!

    phillip ure..

  27. Grant Hay says:

    I think any who’ve tried to engage with “jennifer” feel the way Brer Rabbit did when he engaged with the tar baby. It’s all sort of sticky and icky and you need a bath afterwards. None of the usual techniques of debating a human adversary are in play from jennifer’s side of the conversation. It’s as though someone who used to be called jennifer has been taken over by body snatchers. Shhh. Did anyone hear wings rustling? I mean most real human beings, even if you don’t agree with them, you can see where they’re coming from. You can tell they have real beliefs and opinions which usually stem from somewhere deep inside where they’re passionate about something that compels them to enter a discourse. If you’re passionate about your beliefs you’re usually proud and happy to own them. jennifer doesn’t. jennifer just wants to play little mind games. jennifer never wins an argument because jennifer doesn’t actually argue. But equally no one can win an argument with jennifer because….jennifer doesn’t actually argue. Weird. Go figure.

  28. John W says:

    Jennifer, with respect due I still see no forward plan in what you say. I assume you have a point of view about what you are arguing towards.

    Nostalgia was quoted by you and yet it also could be contained in what you say as it stands. Nostalgia has a place and no insult was intended in my comment. I try to leave any such things to others.

    In spite of various views of the past, things have changed in many ways over recent centuries. The present state of affairs is an accumulation of consequence arising out of exploitation through colonialism, wars, revolts and the background of exponential expansion of population and energy consumption. This path cannot continue on its present course. We only have one Earth.

    Class subjugation is not new nor desirable to most thinking people. The Russian overthrow of the Czars was partly funded by the bankers who have funded wars also for some centuries. There is nothing precious about Marxism which has been replaced by another overthrow with oligarchs heavily funded also.

    I assume agreement with Govt representing the educated will of the people is what most aspire to, along with outcomes of open justice and rights not depending on wealth nor class, sex or belief system, race or age. Welfare has to be a part of this or any system of such Govt will lose its course.

    Some countries are moving towards better Govt and outcomes while we are moving away.

    The Govt stats put out many sets of figures reporting measure that show this.

    Look thought the distribution of wealth in NZ and you will see the rapidly falling percentage of wealth held by the bottom half of our population.

    I am interested in you take on what can be done to change this decay.

  29. SPC says:

    Jennifer, your posts February 4, 2013 at 9:41 am and February 5, 2013 at 8:30 am are not consistent.

  30. Red Guard (Te Kauwhata) says:

    Excellent post Chris! But you can hardly blame the tories for handing out plum jobs, they’ve only got a year and a half to go before they’ll be relegated to the opposition benches again :)

  31. phillip ure says:

    jennifer could be garrett..

    ..he amuses himself/pretends relevance by posting on various forums under multiple-personas..

    ..it is chronic at kiwiblog..

    ..he has a brutalist-style of writing..(c.f..’A defining architectural style of the postwar era— characterized by severe, abstract geometries ..and monolithic)..which is easily recognisable..

    ..and often he would be sprung by his second comment..

    ..on the surface – jennifer has much of the garret about her..

    ..a softer/gentler garrett..?

    phillip ure..

  32. jennifer says:

    @ Phillip and Grant, interesting speculation but again, avoiding the question.
    @ John W, fair enough, but it was my attempt to get some definition around ‘what can be done about it’ that started this. We have had all manner of diversion and deflection, but still no answers. Seems to me, that unless public policy proposals are fully formed, they are of little practical use, simply theories. Perhaps the hard left is incapable of anything other than ‘head in the clouds’ dreaming about the socialist nirvana? And venting their anger and despair at anyone who questions it. That way, as I mentioned earlier, they can never be held to account for anything? I pity the Labour people who are trying to put together a policy platform that stands up to detailed and robust scrutiny, which it will need to, if this is the level of advice they are being offered?

  33. Grant Hay says:

    To those who’ve been following this, hmmm, debate but missed it the first time I posted it, here is a link (complete with many calculators including one for finance ministers :) ), for people who really want to read about the concept of a UBI. http://www.bigkahuna.org.nz/

    Gareth Morgan and Susan Guthrie have developed an interesting idea and the site suggests answers to all the questions jennifer says haven’t been answered….

    The Q&A section answers many of the more obvious questions but I for one would be deeply interested to see a more detailed discussion about their suggestions, but this is not the place…

    Equally, this is not the place and we are not the people to suggest or develop the minutiae of economic policy settings. To suggest that it might be is, frankly, bonkers.

  34. jennifer says:

    @ Grant, asking at what level you would set the ‘guaranteed living wage’ is hardly the “minutiae” and daring to even ask the question is hardly “bonkers”. If you have not thought it through, then just say so. A simple ‘I’ve no idea at what level to set it, but Gareth reckons $11k per adult’ would have sufficed.

  35. Matt says:

    @SPC – why? The mandate of Labour is National-lite. You frame the narrative the same way… Public debt impact, fiscal deficit impact. As I have said many times, it needs to be framed by the REAL impacts on society.

    @jennifer – the same way the government pays for everything, by crediting bank accounts.