SO THERE WAS a less than 50 percent turnout in the asset sales referendum but approximately two-thirds majority were opposed to them. The figures tell us that 67.2 per cent voted against, 32.5 per cent in favour of asset sales
But, of course, the referendum was prompted by the part-sale of the power companies, - the very same companies that have been price gouging for years , both under Labour and National. Under Labour power prices rose by some 70 percent.
As some of us have been saying for years, it is not enough to just 'keep' these assets - they be must run as social utilities rather than profit driven State Owned Enterprises. If Labour and the Green's were doing anything other than grandstanding, they would of used the referendum to raise this. They didn't.
Labour and the Green's could of used the referendum to begin a discussion and debate about economic alternatives to neoliberalsim and the 'free market'. They didn't do that either.
Labour and the Green's 'commitment' to keeping state assets is shallow and insincere. Cunliffe won't even commit Labour to buying back the power companies and only talks vaguely about when the 'circumstances' will allow such a purchase. Which will be never.
To proudly declare Labour won't sell anything else is sheer self-interested puffery, given there's little else to flog off. I didn't see Cunliffe making any issue out of it in the last Labour Government either. Too busy defending his government's neoliberal policies, I guess.
Incidentally I don't much like the fact that privatised assets like Telecom are seemingly not part of the debate.
Once again, we are given more evidence of Labour and the Green's still operating on the assumptions of neoliberalism. This is a clear warning of the kind of government we will be delivered in November 2014 if Labour wins.
I doubt that this tepid 'alternative' is going to excite the hundreds of thousands that didn't vote at the last election.
Also the enthusiasm displayed by Labour, the Green's and the Mana Party for this referendum wasn't matched by the turnout. The more than half who didn't vote obviously concluded that this is a 'phony war' whipped up by the Labour-aligned chattering class.