Friday, April 04, 2014

Gated Reverb and Other Sounds of the '80s

One of the great tragedies of the NZ Left is that they have swallowed whole the myth of the Fourth Labour government. Despite all evidence to the contrary, Lange is still revered as a saint instead of the dithering Billy Bunter he was, and Rogernomics is still vilified as voodoo economics.

The Douglas revolution was all but air-brushed out of the Labour Party narrative at the 90th anniversary party at the Beehive, and at other times it is passed off as an aberration. In reality, old Labour MPs such as Joe Walding supported Rogernomics whole-heartedly.

Alas, the false narrative has become the accepted history. This may or may not explain why the party is currently resorting to circling its ever-decreasing wagons.

The tragedy can be summed up in one day; December 17th 1987. Here's Mervyn Wilkinson Hancock's take on it, from the excellent The Sixteen Members of Parliament for Palmerston North 1871-2005, Chapter 15, pg. 511:

Lange broke Cabinet collective responsibility and cancelled the package with his cup of tea. It was clear enough that Lange was exercising a veto power that he did not have, but what can you do? Lange pulled a Muldoon v Fitzgerald where the courts could not go to enforce it, in Cabinet.

Fast forward to today, where Idiot/Savant at No Right Turn complains that the Greens are the only party with a Universal Basic Income policy. If you throw that Rogernomics promise of $370 a week in 1987 dollars into the Reserve Bank's Inflation Calculator, it comes out in 2014 money just shy of $700 a week. That's a reasonable sum for a subsistence family to live in some dignity.

Instead, we're stuck with this hopelessly complex bewilder-beast of WINZ which dribbles out far less to scrape by on, enforced by pains in the forests of paperwork and performance art.

NZ, I love you, but you piss me off.