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. bbfloyd says:

    I suppose one could say that it’s a lucky coincidence that the tories self interest has had one positive effect….

    I have never known a national govt to act out of anything but self interest… But at least it’s reassuring to know that how it looks is generally how it is with them…Good luck getting any media outlets to talk this up though…

    It would be weird if they suddenly started to “govern” after all those decades of playing silly games with the power…So let’s not waste time by indulging that little fantasy….

  2. David Farrar says:

    Ummn it isn’t the Government that decides if a third whip is warranted, but the Remuneration Authority which is independent.

    Not sure if it means National will automatically elect two junior whips. But I do recall they had a third whip after the 1990 election when they had an enormous caucus.

    A party could appoint as many whips as they want. They just won’t get paid extra, unless the Remuneration Authority agrees there is a need. Just like the Greens don’t get two leaders’ salaries. I presume they split the extra pay between them.

  3. phillip ure says:

    farrar..i see you are having another round of benificiary-bashing over at the swamp..

    ..just as a comparison.. much taxpayer funds have you hoovered-up over the past decade..?

    ..for what we can laughingly call ‘work’…if you can call spreading black-propaganda..’work’

    ..i are the recognised master of working the

    ..playing both national..and labour..and the

    ..but all to your economic-advantage in the

    ..and i’ll bet a hundred bucks to a pinch of bullshit..that your ‘earn’ will make this beneficiaries’ income look like chump-change..

    ..and will you be re-creating that fake-beneficiary you made up for your swamp-dwellers to sttack..?

    ..y’know..!..that hate-figure/whipping-women you served up..?

    ..remember..?..’tania heke’..wasn’t it..?

    (maori..of course..! get that in there you think you will ever apologise to maori and all of us for that apogee of your beneficiary-bashing career..?

    phillip ure..

  4. Anne says:

    I’m inclined to believe David Farrar is correct on this one. What he says seems to make sense.

    Perhaps a little less beltway concerns and rather more concerns for the plight of ordinary people who are desperately struggling to make ends meet – and the deeply serious fiscal and environmental problems we face in the future – would go a long way to restore faith in the Labour Party.

  5. Just checked the UK. I know the parties are bigger, but damn!

    (Wikipedia says) The Government has 17 whips in the Commons, and 11 in the Lords.

    On a pro-rate basis, 3 whips for a party of 59 MPs is about right.

  6. jennifer says:

    Anne, perhaps a little less criticism of Labour and a bit more of National would be useful? The Tories must be laughing all the way to the bank, with all these pseudo-Labour people doing their bidding for them.

  7. Grant Hay says:

    Jennifer you’re out of touch. Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but Labour is in serious trouble, static in the polls for ages, going nowhere and the Greens are in the ascendancy. Many people who have despaired about Labour for years are now just plain angry with them. Why could this be? Why couldn’t you get the 800,000 motivated last election? Why are the Greens growing their vote right across the social spectrum? If Mana ever manage to motivate the demographic they are aiming at, your problems will become even more evident. The “pseudo-labour people” you refer to may once have voted Labour but as Labour moved to the right, they are now the democratic socialists to the left of your “centre right”. Do try to sort out your political compass.

  8. jennifer says:

    Grant, and when did this ‘move to the right’ by Labour happen, the one that has provoked such ‘anger’? Could it have been the 1985 Budget? So this ‘despair’ has been gnawing at them for 28 years. That’s really sad, all that anger and frustration simmering away for decades. Surely enough to drive them completely nuts, wouldn’t you think?

  9. Matt says:

    That 1985 govt did a lot of sensible things which are now excessively demonised by most of the Labour caucus. That ‘despair’ is more a misunderstanding than anything, a misunderstanding that drives them straight into the hands of National…

  10. Grant Hay says:

    @Jennifer, glib and facetious but non-sensical. Come back when you have something serious to say.

    @Matt, you truly are of the right and I have nothing to say to you.

  11. Anne says:

    jennifer accuses me and others of being “pseudo Labour”. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! I recall many side-swipes and trenchant criticisms of Labour coming from jennifer over the past 12 months. My occasional words here are, more often than not, complimentary of the authors whose posts I choose to pass comment on.

    There are many ‘genuine’ Labour members like me who want to see their party standing up for those at the bottom of the heap jennifer. Those who, for example, have been thrown on the unemployment scrap heap through no fault of their own. I know what its like for them because I’ve been there – in the 1990s. I want to see Labour give them some dignity and a feeling of hope… and I don’t apologise to anyone anywhere for doing so!

  12. Jack Ramaka says:

    John Key is gone burger another Hollow Man similar to Brash and Holyoake. Playing the man now and not the ball, I think the wheels are falling of the Tory Trolley.

  13. Grant Hay says:

    @ Jack Rameka. Nice if it happens Jack. Unfortunately two long years to go yet which is an awful long time in politics. Let’s just hope the “left” can learn to play a decent match of tag wrestling between now and then..

  14. Matt says:

    @Grant – really? Floating the dollar was the single most important thing to happen over the last three decades. Pity some people still can’t grasp that step…

  15. Grant Hay says:

    From: Brian Easton. Chapter 4 The Making of Rogernomics (AUP, 1989) pp.92-113.

    “By July 1984 Douglas had joined the group. (of officials who were in favour of a clean float(my comment in brackets)) He argues that he did so mainly because of the issue of monetary control. Whether he was fully aware of the intricacies of the various exchange rate management regimes is unclear. Certainly as late as nine days before the float, Douglas still favoured a constrained, or even dirty, float.

    It is interesting to speculate what would have happened if this policy had been followed. Presumably the mid-1985 appreciation of the exchange rate would have involved intervention and some major review of macroeconomic policy, as the direct intervention failed to restrain the appreciation or as the Government accumulated foreign reserves and injected domestic money. Presumably that review would have paid much greater attention to the role of fiscal policy, and to a revision in overall strategy. It is not unreasonable to argue that if the policy Douglas preferred a mere nine days before the float had been followed, the macroeconomic history of the New Zealand economy from mid 1985 would have been radically different, and much more successful.”

  16. Grant Hay says:

    Clearly a clean float of the NZD in 1985 under Douglas et al is not universally regarded as an unarguably good thing under all circumstances. There were and still are downsides to this very (to use the latest in phrase) “hands off” policy setting.

    May 1st, 2009

    Arguments over whether to de-float the NZ dollar have picked up. BERL Chief Economist Ganesh Nana says the kiwi dollar is one of the top ten most traded currencies in the world, which subjects the country to unnecessary volatility. Exchange rate volatility hurts exporters who are meant to lift the economy out of recession. But the recent rise in the dollar is a stumbling block towards recovery.
    Nana says the currency’s current volatility can be blamed partially on the carry trade, but is also a reflection of the market not understanding what is happening. He lashes out traders saying “the finance markets are trying to say these are all rational movements [in the dollar’s value]… and I think that’s just inflating their own feelings of self importance.”

    He says financial markets have “hijacked” the dollar and what’s needed is an exchange rate target – with the associated policy mechanism and institution to ensure it can be met. He’s calling for the use of a Singaporean “managed exchange rate” model, allowing the market to influence the exchange rate, but having the Reserve Bank back-stop any shifts outside target boundaries. Other business commentators have suggested more drastic measures to counter the steadily rising dollar. Some have called for “quantatative easing” or printing of money.

  17. Jack Ramaka says:

    The NZD is a plaything for the Merchant Banking/Currency Trading Sector I can not remember what the exact statistics are however I think only 1% of foreign currency trades are made by the tradeable sector of the NZ Economy imports/exports.

    The other 99% of trades are made by currency traders/speculators so it is that sector that is determinimg the true value of the NZD.

    With our manufacturing sector being hollowed out by cheap imports from the third world particularly China who have a managed exchange rate and third world wages our manufacturing sector is on a hiding to nothing. Thank God I am no longer in the export manufacturing sector we were struggling at
    NZD 1.00 = USD 0.55.

    We will be Chinese owned in 20 years time most Auckland Real Estate is being purchased by Chinese Nationals at present. Very sensible Shearer, Peters, Harawira, Norman and Turei having a meeting with the export manufacturing sector to discuss their concerns, they are displaying a level of maturity in trying to understand what is happening in a very important part of the NZ Economy.

    I don’t believe Honest John and his Tory colleagues actually have a coherrant plan for the NZ Economy apart from selling State Energy Assets which is the Golden Bullet.

  18. jennifer says:

    @ Grant, so what is your prescription for increasing Labour’s popularity? Lots of referencing of what other people think, but what do you think? Any specific ideas, or just more moaning that ‘they’ should do something about it?

    @ Anne, and exactly how should Labour give them ‘dignity and a feeling of hope’? Reverse the Bolger/Richardson benefit cuts? Raise the minimum wage to $20 an hour? Burn an effigy of Roger Douglas? Any specific ideas?

  19. Grant Hay says:

    @ Jennifer. Since “glib” is your stock in trade and despite the fact that I have already made my own feelings pretty clear, I will simply reply in kind that all of your own suggestions to Anne sound pretty good to me.

    Actually, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt (but I expect to be disappointed). The negative feelings towards Labour that I share with many other people stem not only from the betrayal of their roots during the fourth LG (read the wikipedia entry), or the refusal to recant that ideology and switch focus clearly back to the most vulnerable members of society during the fifth LG. It is the arrogance and refusal to engage with their critics over the last 28 yrs which has really infuriated many who used to be loyal supporters. The list of perceived failures is long and has been enumerated by commentators interested in leftist politics such as Chris Trotter, amongst others. I’m glad to see you’re keeping up Labours rich 30 yr tradition of blaming Labour’s critics for all of its woes. By the way, has it occurred to you that Labour has governed for 15 of the last 28 yrs and the 5th LG had the best economic tail wind of any Govt since the early 70’s. Labour can put their collective hands up and share the blame for the piss-poor governance that led us to where we are now.

  20. jennifer says:

    @ Grant, while I appreciate the confirmation, has it ever occurred to your that people like you and Trotter are simply flogging a dead horse; that your prescription for the contemporary application in public policy of your perception of these so-called ‘Labour roots’ is simply wrong and hopelessly outmoded? You can’t just ‘wish away’ the 21st century.

  21. Grant Hay says:

    @jennifer. Righto then. I’m perfectly happy (at this stage) for Labour to keep heading into the corner they’re painting themselves into. How’s that working for you so far? Has it ever occurred to you that it is Labour that is caught in a trap of outmoded thinking? People like me now have other viable alternatives to throw our political support behind. Yes, there are other alternatives to the free-market, third-way [edit: rubbish] you’ve swallowed hook, line and sinker.

    [please note this posting was delayed because the spam filter will pick up swearing. The blog is aiming to be read by anyone from intermediate school aged children up. David Clark]

  22. phillip ure says:

    jennifer..brace yrslf for some bad news..

    ..that neo-lib experiment has proven to be a massive failure..

    ..and i understand how true-believer-t.i.n.a’s like yrslf may find that news hard to take..

    ..but possibly the clearest indicators of this systemic-failure is looking at the stats from then and now..on everything from our world-best rates of home ownership..(achieved by govt policies of the times..and echoed in the greens’ housing policy..)

    ..all the way thru to inequality/child-poverty/3rd world diseases/w.h.y.. to repair the damage done..

    ..we need to look back to what worked..

    ..(and to those who scream:..but we can’t afford it!’ a major reason for rejection..all i have to say is hone heke tax/financial transaction tax..a new tax just voted in by the hardly the radical/wide-eyed proposal it was first viewed as..)

    ..the state needs to raise more money to repair what is so wrong..and to provide more equality/guarantee a basic standard of life for all..

    ..and those banksters are both ripe for the picking..and can well afford it.. you see jennifer..there are ‘alternatives’

    phillip ure..

  23. Matt says:

    Easton in 1989 is probably much the same that doesn’t even understand QE (as per his Listener article) or believing that foreign fiscal deficits drove NZ’s housing bubble.

    Mr Nana: “Exchange rate volatility hurts exporters who are meant to lift the economy out of recession. But the recent rise in the dollar is a stumbling block towards recovery.”

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. Exporters are largely a net cost to NZ’s not a benefit. But, we’ll continue to believe in the complete fallacy of composition that underlies that logic. Clearly de-floating the dollar would be one of the dumbest things the govt or future govt could do. I suggest he resigns from his position immediately because he is clearly unqualified. And clearly those other commentators don’t understand QE either.

    Grant: “the 5th LG had the best economic tail wind of any Govt since the early 70′s.”

    Tehe, that govt drove the economy to the point it’s at now. And the current leaders seem intent on re-visiting those failed economic policies…

  24. jennifer says:

    @ Phillip, so the solution to all our problems is to raise taxes and redistribute the proceeds? That’s what every government has done since Seddon. So what’s with the rhetoric about ‘systemic failure’ and ‘neo-liberalism’? Sugar coating and spin? A clever way to fool the ignorant masses? If you want to raise taxes then say so, and if you want to spend it on poor people, then say so. Better than pretending that Labour is the real enemy of the socialist revivial.

  25. Grant Hay says:

    @phil ure.

    I think we’re wasting our time with these two.

    Matt is clearly visiting from the phone-booth in a parallel universe where ACT hold their party AGM. In this world people like Matt always know much more about economics than highly regarded, well qualified experts getting paid high salaries to do the job Matt believes he could do much better if only someone would give him the opportunity…
    Jennifer is obviously a bit limited and can’t follow a multi-point sentence, can’t understand that we have already both said what she keeps saying we SHOULD say and doesn’t have any response to the points we have both made. I would use the words glib and facile again, but I don’t think she registers what those words mean either.

  26. Matt says:

    Well, it’s easy to simply dismiss and mock me and appeal to some “authority” on the matter than actually attempt to understand yourself – or for that matter, merely attempt to address the point. Probably because you can’t. Clearly you would rather rely on people who offer nothing but the status quo…

  27. Grant Hay says:

    “Well, it’s easy to simply dismiss and mock me and appeal to some “authority”…”

    Whimpered Matt

  28. phillip ure says:

    “..If you want to raise taxes then say so..”

    i thought i already did..on the banksters..remember..?

    ..give them a bit of user-pays up the do know that treasury said a financial transaction tax would raise enough revenue to do away with gst..?

    ..and even taking that with a large grain of salt.(as one must do when evaluating treasury-predictions..who can forget their knee-slapper pre ’08 election prediction that ‘the recession will be over in early ’09’..this as the world economy was falling to pieces around them..)

    ..anyway..even with that small boulder of salt..that is some serious repair-money we are talking there..and that it is from the banksters..just makes it easier/sweeter..

    ..what’s not to love about that..?..unless yr a bankster..?

    ..and yes..that the richest percentile in new zealand increased their personal wealth/assets by 20%/one-fifth in the last twelve months..

    ..that we are one of the most unequal countries in oecd..

    ..that we have slipped in home ownership from world leaders to near the bottom..

    ..that we have 3rd world diseases..

    ..that we have so much poverty..

    ..yes..jennifer..of course all this means there has to be a return to a more progressive tax systems/means of redistribution..

    ..and once again..this is where the banksters/that top percentile/capital gains tax/enviro-taxes all have a part to play..

    ..and also a guaranteed minimum/living wage for all.. do otherwise is just to continue travelling the wrong way down all those stats-paths..

    ..we can have no children in is only that twisted/self-interest/greed-driven neo-lib/rand-ite kool-aid you have so enthusiastically drunk..that deems the impossible..

    ..and economics 101..jennifer..a society cannot function when it is only the richest getting richer..and the rest drowning..either in massive in the middle class..or in outright grinding in those below..

    ..cos’ y’see..jennifer..if everyone is poor..there is nobody to buy the widgets/services the capitalist system needs to happen to function..

    ..what are you unable to grasp about that basic cause/effect..?

    phillip ure..

  29. phillip ure says:

    @ grant hay…the jennifers/matts have their roles to play..

    ..they are the foils in this discussion..

    ..their role is to set up those neo-lib beliefs/mantras..

    ..for their dismantling/refuting..

    ..(they also help in honing arguments..i’ve found..

    ..which is reason number 53 i am against censoring them/their ideas..

    ..’ is so easy to prove..

    ..their grand experiment has been an abject failure for all but the richest..

    ..and the social-damage wreaked has been huge..

    ..(which is where it stops being funny..)

    phillip ure..

  30. jennifer says:

    @ Phillip, at last some ideas, not well formed, but it’s a start. So, this “guaranteed living wage”, at what rate would you set that? And what would the progressive income tax rates need to be to fund it? Sorry to get all ‘technical’ but if you have an incomes and taxation policy suggestion you need to be able to back it up with a few basic facts. Otherwise, it’s simply more venting of that ‘anger’ and ‘despair’ afflicting the hard left for 28 years.

  31. Grant Hay says:

    @jennifer. What makes you think we are hard left? I doubt whether you have enough of a political compass to understand what hard left in both the international and New Zealand context means. You sound like the Republicans who call the Democrats socialists or even, in their wilder moments, communists. Will you at least concede that during the course of the 4th Labour Govt it wasn’t people like me and my family who suddenly changed political ideology? You will agree I presume that it was the party that moved right, not us that moved left? My politics are very little different to that of my parents who were first generation university educated professionals and their parents who were working class tradesmen and staunch Labour supporters. Up until you know when…

  32. Grant Hay says:

    @ jennifer. I notice you’re very good at demanding that we come up with a complete solution to all the worlds problems which has to fit in with your world view before you’ll accept them. And of course they have to be our own original policies, because we’re not allowed to reference other authorities and sources of ideas counter to your own. I also note that you’re a bit light on counter proposals of your own. I presume you’re happy with business as usual as you don’t want any policies of a more radical bent? You may be prepared to admit that life has only got worse for working people and indeed a growing permanent class of unemployed in NZ over the last thirty years, of which Labour was in power for fifteen. Are those people just supposed to accept that situation? Are you prepared to accept it? The progressive / socialist Labour party I grew up with wouldn’t have accepted it.

  33. Grant Hay says:

    @ jennifer. You can read? Here’s a “pop quiz” for you. What was the name of the tax Phil Ure suggested as a means of funding progressive social policies? Find that and then come back and ask a different question to the one you asked in your last post.

  34. Grant Hay says:

    @jennifer. Righto then. I’m perfectly happy (at this stage) for Labour to keep heading deeper into the corner they’re painting themselves into. How’s that working for you so far? Has it ever occurred to you that it is Labour that is caught in a trap of outmoded thinking? People like me now have other viable alternatives to throw our political support behind. Yes, there are other alternatives to the free-market, third-way ideology you’ve swallowed hook, line and sinker.

    NB. This was originally posted at 12.03 jan 31, but has been in auto moderation since becauce I used a mild profanity in place of the word ideology… :)

  35. Matt says:

    @phillip… “guaranteed minimum/living wage for all” and “[MY] role is to set up those neo-lib beliefs/mantras”.

    You do actually realise that this policy option is a neo-liberal construct? To dismantle you might actually have to understand the literature first.

    @grant… Taxes FUNDING spending, more neo-liberal tosh.

    So, so, out of paradigm.

  36. Grant Hay says:

    @ Matt. I believe I’ve already indicated that I’m not interested in discussing financial and economic matters. Especially with a self appointed expert who has political views well to the right of mine and probably closely aligned with those of Genghis Khan. What I am interested in is how the Left in this country organises itself POLITICALLY in order to make a better world for ordinary working people so that they do not become the victims of a system which just chews them up and spits them out. Are you interested in discussing that? If so, let’s be havin’ you…

  37. Matt says:

    The problem is, they are joined at the hip, politics/economics/philosophy. I didn’t appoint myself, I just pointed out where you are clearly wrong, theoretically and empirically. But, I’m a illiterate, uneducated, world war waging psycho…

    Organisation won’t solve anything, unless those who wield power are actually educated in the matter at hand. And please don’t talk about victims, my family has seen plenty over the last year – 3 months of no pay on the picket line, continually supporting those worse off than us, local MPs (great), leadership? Pretty much invisible. Ngahiwi Tomoana to the rescue!

  38. Grant Hay says:

    @ Matt. OK. Maybe I read you wrong. But the fact is that when you’re talking economics and finance you don’t sound like any lefty I’ve ever heard before. I also think it is unreasonable of you to expect people who have a political opinion to also have a high level understanding of economics. I don’t think it is necessary for all of us to be experts in order to discuss politics and hold an opinion about policy settings. In fact, I refuse to shut up about my political beliefs just because I don’t have an education in economics. I won’t be treated like a child and sent off to wait while my “betters” talk over my head about what is best for us. If you want to get into the nitty-gritty of such things your local branch and annual conference workshops are probably the best place to discuss them with other “policy wonks”. :)Do you have suggestions about how to improve the lot of workers and those who’ve been left behind over the last three decades? All most of us can do is shop around and choose from what the various parties have on offer. For the many people like me to Labour’s left, that means we’re looking at Green or Mana depending on our personal preferences. There’s nothing else…

  39. Matt says:

    I understand what you’re saying, and frankly been uneducated in economics is probably a good thing. Because then we get into structural and institutional problems of the tertiary sector that parade lies and empirical falsities as reality.

    A basic macro-economic concept that is reality, is SPENDING = INCOME = OUTPUT. Ie, unemployment (7.3%) and underemployment = ? I saw a document to the ILO that stipulated close to 22% (from the govt). Are massive income losses to society (as well as other types)

    Two choices, cut taxes or increase spending. Both have their negatives (dependent on policy). I would do both, just to confuse. The first step would be a $30,000 tax-free bracket. Scraping GST. And driving public employment programs, not training (neo-liberal).

  40. Grant Hay says:

    @ Matt. How about UBI? Oh and good luck persuading Labout to do any of this…

  41. jennifer says:

    @Grant and Phillip, simple question really. At what level would you set the “guaranteed living wage”? Come on, it’s your idea. Or haven’t you thought that far? Enough to simply criticse Labour for not adopting it? Job done.

  42. Grant Hay says:

    @jennifer. You won’t answer our / my questions. Why should we / I answer yours? If you want a two way discussion have one. Otherwise stuff off.

  43. Matt says:

    Morgan, a tit. So out of paradigm. The problem is what he admires – orthodox (classical/neo-classical) economics. This sums it up for me: “The solution to income insecurity has to go beyond palliative care”. Fundamentally, such constructions are based on said “constraints” imposed on govt. Which is rubbish.

    Nb. that wasn’t his quote.

  44. Matt says:

    @jennifer – easy, at the level independently come to, that is the poverty line. Not that I endorse such things, them being of moronic (neo-liberal) persuasion and all…

  45. phillip ure says:

    wot grant said @ 2.54 pm..

    phillip ure..

  46. phillip ure says:

    did you train @kiwiblog there..jennifer..?

    you have that same discernible pattern of commenting as the rightwing bottom-dwellers there..

    ..namely..throw out catch-phrase/cliched-slogan..

    ..then totally ignore any considered answer..(and especially any demolition of cliche number one..and certainly do not respond to said demolition/critique)

    ..and just move onto the next catch-phrase/cliched-slogan.. is both tiresome..and bleeding

    ..and really does you/your cause no

    phillip ure..

  47. Grant Hay says:

    @Matt. I’m having trouble following you Matt and I suspect I speak for most of the people who read you. This is partly because of the disjointed snippets you drop into the middle of discussions, often in the form of more or less disparaging snorts :), and partly because of your terminology and mode of expression. It is difficult, for example, to know what to make of your remarks which imply that noted economists such as Morgan, Nana and Easton have ideas which are “out of paradigm”, when by most peoples understanding of the term paradigm, they are in fact well within it. These people are orthodox economists and use orthodox terms when they act as pundits to explain economic matters to us, the great unwashed. Then, when we recycle their ideas and terminology (admittedly in a fog of ignorance), you say that all of that is “so out of paradigm” as well. If you want to use economic theory to educate and persuade I think you need to re-visit your pedagogical technique, because at the moment I doubt if you’re having the effect you’re after. I say this in the nicest possible way and with the best will in the world :).

  48. phillip ure says:

    for jennifer…just to show how seriously out of whack things are..

    “..The world’s wealthy gathered in the Alps again last week to discuss how to ‘solve’ the world’s problems.

    The world’s biggest problem – suggests one top global anti-poverty outfit – may be their fortunes.

    Apologists for inequality have a standard retort to anyone who calls for a more equal distribution of the world’s treasure.

    If you took all the wealth of the wealthy and divvied it up equally among all the poor – the retort goes –

    – no one would gain nearly enough to accomplish much of anything.

    Oxfam International – one of the world’s premiere anti-poverty charitable organizations – would beg to differ.

    The world’s top 100 billionaires now hold so much wealth – says a new Oxfam report –

    – that just the increase in their net worth last year would be ‘enough to make extreme poverty history four times over’..”

    (ed:..would you like to read that last sentence again jennifer..

    ..and then get back to us..?)

    phillip ure..

  49. Grant Hay says:

    @ David Clark, (or other moderator). Hate to tell you, but your spam filter let the b-s word through on Phil Ure’s post of January 28, 2013 at 6:05 pm but moderated out same word on my post of January 31, 2013 at 12:03 pm. The filter is also letting a few other mild expletives through. I understand the need for you to run a clean family show here , but given the fact that most intermediate age kids these days swear like troopers I think it’s a case of that particular horse having well and truly bolted…

  50. SPC says:

    matt, so you propose cutting taxes (a tax free minimum at a $15 an hour minimum wage – $30,000pa) abolishing GST and increasing government spending.

    Given the budget deficit and public debt impact of this, what would you say to get voters to go along with this … ?