Most of the electorate sees through Labour's and the Green's political grandstanding on state-owned assets.

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.


  1. Excellent piece Steve. Funny what excites much of the left! I've put a link to your piece in my own article on the issue at:



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