I am so excited that the government has bought back the railroads! It shows Labour is committed to thinking into the future. This Labour-led government thinks long term. The railways were run down in the early 1990s after they were sold off. The way forward is rail, not road. If we invest in rail infrastructure the long term gains are far greater than building more roads as petrol prices rise. It is so reassuring that the railways will now be in the safe hands of a government that invests in helping New Zealand plan for future events, something NOT integrated into the business plans of a private company. Way to go, Dr Cullen!
5 May, 2008
23 April, 2008
Of course, I’m back because there’s some other things I’m supposed to be working on at the moment. The beauty of having more to do is I seem to get more done! If that makes any sense. I’ll do a REAL blog post soon… you know, some witty comment on current affairs. Huh. (“Huh” reminds me of “Heh.”, which reminds me of Jane Clifton’s recollections of Muldoon in her book Political Animals. And Muldoon reminds me of syphilis. Funny how the brain works.)
Sorry I left the blogosphere for a while, I moved and never got back to it. But I’m back!
13 February, 2008
How convenient that Rich has resigned right after Helen Clark has announced a series of fantastic policies including the issue of tackling housing affordability. The media will probably be all over Rich’s resignation rather than focussing on the good work the Labour Party is planning to help people, including enabling people to own their own houses, the rolling out of “B4 School checks” to detect and assess how children will cope in school, “School Plus” – lifting the age of participation in school or other forms of education to 18, a new funding model to assist Non-Governmental Organisations working in our communities, support for victims of crime, and a whole host of other policies in other areas like health and supporting New Zealand families.
Katherine Rich’s resignation from the National Party is a huge loss. Her more social liberal views represented a rarely seen compassion in the National Party. Rich was the only National MP to support the repeal of section 59 of the Crimes Act which removed a legal justification for child abuse. Rich got the National Party to drop bulk funding for schools. The National Party is now even MORE unattractive to female voters and anyone who has a social conscience.
Which just reminds me… a lonely figure among the old, pakeha men on the National Party’s board of directors, Judy Kirk represents the only female. Funny that she’s the President. Perhaps the Nats think this status makes up for the otherwise complete lack of adequate female representation.
10 February, 2008
This morning at work a little person came into the shop. I put through the items he was buying but he didn’t have enough money on his EFTPOS card. There I was, thinking about how the poor man must have a hard life of discrimination. In the confusion of voiding items, he swiped something. That cunning bastard! Duped. By a dwarf.
5 February, 2008
I am so happy about all the wonderful political blogs we have in New Zealand (especially the left-leaning ones). Stargazer is the latest I’ve discovered. It’s written by a very interesting woman who says she doesn’t like to be put in boxes – I know that feeling. It’s great read new perspectives – Stargazer brings quite a few into the blogosphere.
2 February, 2008
It’s great to hear Clare Curran has won the Labour Party selection in Dunedin South. We need more women like her in politics.
1 February, 2008
I believe that everyone should have access to free tertiary education. Because a education leads to a better paid job, and a more skilled workforce. Because people with less money should have the same opportunity as the wealthy. And because learning is valuable in itself – people benefit from education on many levels. Therefore the state should tax people, and provide this free education for everyone. Now that’s simplifying, but it’s how I really feel.
Now some people would have you believe it’s good to pay yourself to get an education. If you want one, you pay for it. But what if you can’t afford it? How can we give these people the same opportunities to succeed as any other?
You could loan them the money. But then they’d have to pay it back at some point. And if those people who weren’t as well off didn’t have… oh, I don’t know, say, a $500 lump sum, then they will have to pay it all back. If your Mummy or Daddy had money, then perhaps they could pay off the money and you could receive a reward – a small debt write-off. Now wouldn’t that be fair?
Of course I don’t think that’s fair.
31 January, 2008
I was thinking this morning about how much politics is a part of my life. But really, it’s not just my life, politics is central to everyone’s lives, whether they realise it or not. I realise this is rather a politically geeky thing to say – but hey, I figured if you’re reading my blog then I might be forgiven! My family get irritated when I talk about politics at the dinner table. They’re scientists – they like to discuss things like kidney ferns and isotopes and acute demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy. Whatever that means. I kinda wish I did biology in year 12. The funny thing is, while most people profess to hate politics, they’re talking it all the time – whether it’s how much they’re getting paid, how well looked after they were in hospital, how many bloody pointless letters studylink sends them, what little Suzie learnt in school yesterday, or the weather (yes, weather is politics – climate change politics). Most of these things I’ve mentioned are social issues – things that actually affect the way people go about their daily lives. And it’s these things that the Labour-led government cares about. Labour was founded on the principles of community well-being. Labour cares about what we care about – whereas National instead has a focus on individualism. Take John Key’s State of the Nation speech a couple of days ago. While the first message people perceive (after the scaremongering about youth crime – ambulance at the bottom as usual from them) is that National supports free education, the hidden agenda is 1. Privatisation of year 12 and 13, and 2. cutting benefits to 16 and 17 year olds. I.e. if you are 16 or 17 and you are pregnant, sick, disabled, or looking for work, you wouldn’t be able to receive the Independent Youth Benefit. Good one, John. And what exactly did he mean by “genuinely too sick to work”? I was too sick to work recently, so I had to go on the sickness benefit. I would not have been able to without a medical certificate. Seems pretty genuine. And I would have been earning about three times as much (in my near minimum wage earning summer job) if I had been well enough to work. I really wish I could have been at work! Sometimes, people are in unfortunate circumstances. And that is when we should collectively support them.