If a series of opinion polls are to be believed, then we have a dead government walking.

But the rising fortunes of John Key and the National Party is not an indication of enthusiasm for Key's brand of free market economics; the simple fact is that people are fed up with Helen Clark and the Labour Government. By default almost, John Key and his team will be occupying the government benches in six months time.

Key, while harbouring some hard right views, has largely kept these under wraps and he has also managed, so far, to keep his more gung ho free right wing colleagues in line. They've even taken aboard a green agenda - it's alluring enough to keep the sorry Green Party interested in doing deals.

But, really, the new 'centrist' National Party is largely a wafer thin creation - scratch the surface and you'll find the likes of Bill English and Maurice Williamson making their plans.

But an economic crisis is engulfing the world and the waves of that crisis have begun to hit New Zealand. Like Clark and co, Key and his parliamentary colleagues have no solution to the crisis. The recent round of redundancies is only the forerunner of bigger job losses to come. As well rising prices - everything from food to fuel to mortgages - are slicing into people's incomes and fueling a recession.

Michael Cullen's modest tax cuts have largely been coldly received. Key's repeated remark that all working people got was the price of a block of cheese has struck a chord.

New Zealanders have effectively been disenfranchised. On offer come November is Free Market Party 1 or Free Market Party 2.

Whether they'll be any minor parties in parliament after the general election is debatable but, really, who cares? After all, all the present minor parliamentary parties don't offer any alternative to the free market consensus.

The exception is the Alliance which isn't presently in parliament.

The 'free market' has failed and its time to offer a new, alternative vision for New Zealand society.


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