Friday, 27 May 2016

Fewer Is Not Better

Good Human Material? Viewed from the outside, Labour offers less-and-less to anyone not already comfortable with the injunctions of political correctness. Lacking the “bullshit detectors” of ordinary men and women, progressive parties begin to mistake the technocratic prattle of “experts” for genuine political wisdom. The logical terminus of this trend is when party leaders start nodding approvingly at Lenin’s historic assertion that what the organisation needs are “fewer, but better” members.
 
HOW MANY MEMBERS does the Labour Party have in its centenary year? According to the veteran political journalist, Richard Harman, the answer is – not a lot.
 
Writing in his “Politik” blog on Monday, 23 May, Harman noted:
 
“Politik has learned that the party’s membership is now probably below that of the Greens, which would place it below 5000, possibly less than half that.”
 
If true, that is shocking news – and it’s only fair to point out that within 24 hours the Labour Party’s new General Secretary, Andrew Kirton, was assuring Harman that it was not true. “We are far, far higher than 5,000 and therefore well above the Greens.”
 
In spite of reassuring his readers that the contested information came from “a usually reliable source”, Harman was willing – as of Tuesday morning – to take Kirton at his word.
 
A more cynical person, upon being told by Labour’s General Secretary that the membership figure is “far, far higher than 5,000”, might offer, by way of response, the words of the infamous call-girl, Mandy Rice-Davies, who, when told that an Establishment big-wig had denied all knowledge of her, shot back the immortal line: “Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?”
 
Certainly, it would be remarkable if a political party with fewer than 5,000 members entertained any serious hopes of becoming the Government. Though its current membership comes nowhere near the quarter-of-a-million figure bruited about in the 1970s, the National Party can still lay claim to being – by a wide margin – New Zealand’s largest political organisation. From its present muster of approximately 25,000, National’s goal is a paid-up membership of 35,000. It’s a measure of the party’s rude health that no one considers that figure to be beyond its reach.
 
Five thousand members, by contrast, is a perilously fragile base from which to launch a bid for state power. Divided by 64 (the number of General Electorates) 5,000 produces an average of just 78 members per electorate! Except that Labour in 2016, to a degree not seen since its formation in 1916, is a party of metropolitan New Zealand – meaning that in National’s provincial heartland its principal electoral opponent has next to no presence at all.
 
But the values of metropolitan New Zealand are not the values of provincial New Zealand – not by a long shot. And even in metropolitan New Zealand there is an important distinction to be made between the values of chic enclaves like Grey Lynn and Wadestown, and the vast suburban tracts that sprawl away from the centres of New Zealand’s largest cities. In the ‘‘burbs’, provincial values have a very familiar ring.
 
If Donald Trump wins the US Presidential Election in November it will be because the Democratic Party long ago lost all contact – and sympathy – with the ordinary voters of the suburbs and the “flyover” states. That “God and Guns” America to which Barack Obama condescended so loftily in 2008.
 
It is difficult to avoid making similar judgements about the New Zealand Labour Party. Too small, and too narrowly recruited, Labour’s membership hasn’t had to do battle with genuine conservatives for the best part of three decades. Progressivism is not improved by being unchallenged. Uncontested, its precepts all-too-easily harden into dogmatic certainties, against which no arguments are permitted to prevail. Lacking the ballast of conservative values, the organisation becomes increasingly vulnerable to erratic helmsmen.
 
Viewed from the outside, Labour offers less-and-less to anyone not already comfortable with the injunctions of political correctness. Lacking the “bullshit detectors” of ordinary men and women, progressive parties begin to mistake the technocratic prattle of “experts” for genuine political wisdom. The logical terminus of this trend is when party leaders start nodding approvingly at Lenin’s historic assertion that what the organisation needs are “fewer, but better” members.
 
Perhaps that is why Richard Harman was so willing to believe General Secretary Kirton’s assertion that Labour’s numbers are “far, far higher than 5,000”. Because to believe that 5,000 (let alone “less than half that”) is the true figure, is to more-or-less concede that New Zealand no longer possesses an Opposition worthy of the name.
 
Harman, like myself, is long enough in the tooth to remember what Labour looked like in the early 1980s, when it had 85,000 paid-up members. Unlike today’s shrunken entity, it looked like a Government-in-waiting.
 
This essay was originally published in The Waikato Times, The Taranaki Daily News, The Timaru Herald, The Otago Daily Times and The Greymouth Star of Friday, 27 May 2016.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was a Labour Party member from 2000-2014. Instinctively and intellectually I thought that a Labour Party membership was my political home.

My experience was at times painful dealing with non-verbal uneducated union halfwits and people obsessed with 'identity politics' ie gays, maoris, feminists etc all furiously pushing their barrows at the expense of core policy.

I've had shocking experiences with MP's, electoral candidates, party flunkies including the previous General Secretary and others that couldn't see past themselves or what was in it for them.

Let me predict the 2017 General Election: Labour won't have an icebergs chance in hell. National comfortably home.

Sad but true.

Nick J said...

Back in the late 80s I was on an LEC that represented 6 separate branch committees, each with at minimum 10 members........that's 60 active committee members in that very representative urban electorate. Times that by about 80 urban electorates.....4800 committee members, and countless more people to deliver mail drops, election day organising, signage, etc etc. And that did not encompass the membership rank and file who outnumbered active people by a large multiple. In a nutshell a political party needs foot soldiers to operate, i would suggest that the numbers who left in the "Roger" years were never replaced even to a fraction. This is the failure of the Clark years.

Clarks accommodation with the neo lib status quo was in my mind made possible by her presiding over the politically correct / personality politics era. She garnered a new kind of support knowing that the old support would only come back if she challenged the new status quo. As Chris states Viewed from the outside, Labour offers less-and-less to anyone not already comfortable with the injunctions of political correctness. Lacking the “bullshit detectors” of ordinary men and women, progressive parties begin to mistake the technocratic prattle of “experts” for genuine political wisdom. So true, there are so many agendas at play, so many articles of faith that must not be transgressed, so much you average Janet / Joe scratches their heads at. There is the alarming lingual dishonesty of the Left, the Greens represent social issues in competition with the rest of the Left rather than / as well as environmental stuff. Labour have the name but hardly represent "labour'. Then there is all the codified language of political correctness that assumes authority to damn anybody pointing out contradictions and realities, what a minefield of divisiveness. Who would deliver a leaflet for any of this crew, who could read and decipher it in real terms?

Guerilla Surgeon said...

I'd join if they had some real Labour policies. I mean everyone talks about tax reductions these days. The best thing they could do in the area of taxes to help ordinary people would be to get rid of GST. Which was a purely regressive Roger Douglas idea. Which they also promised I might say that they wouldn't increase. But they wouldn't do that, because they want to give percentage increases to the more well off of us. The fact that we still have GST after any number of Labour government shows that in essence they are labour in name only. You can call yourself what you like, but the proof of the pudding doesn't exist here. :)

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Dammit that should be decreases not increases. We could do with an edit function.

Anthony Rimell said...

Hello Chris.

I too would be discouraged if the suggested 5,000 was close to the mark. However it is not. I've seen the renewals coming through for membership of Labour, and they are well above that number.

What's more, the most recent policy foci, and the new swathe of proposed candidates make it clear that the party has learned from recent challenges.

A new leader, a new President, a new General Secretary, a new focus on policies most New Zealanders really care about, new candidates coming through: personally I think the party is gearing up really well for 2017. Remember, it's only been 19 months since the debacle of the last election. Radical overhaul does take time, if it is to be effective and member-driven.

Anonymous said...

The General Secretary of the Labour party is obviously referring to the affiliated unions membership who the Labour party claims are members of their party, they are not full dues paying members of the Labour party, they are affiliated to the Labour party by their unions capitation fee.
Individually this is peanuts to what a full member of the Labour party pays in annual fees.
Richard Harmann is correct, Andrew Kirton is spinning.

greywarbler said...

85,000 members. What a lovely number. It's good that present day Labour can assure us membership is far far higher than 5,000. I often kill off my small plants from neglect, and sometimes I can nurse the life back with careful watering and attention to depredations from bugs.
I hope Labour has a Green thumb, I think the application of a bit of Green fertiliser will help the organic growth and recovery of Labour. After all the Greens have shown how to grow a Party from small beginnings without large additions of artificial fertiliser.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

I see the PC card is being played again. You really must get used to the fact that you are not allowed to make disparaging racist or sexist remarks or crack jokes along those lines anymore guys. It must really hurt, but do your best.

Anonymous said...

Anthony, 27 May @13.20,
yes you have a new leader who is next to useless,
If you have a new President I have never heard of him,
A new focus on policies?????????????????,
new candidates???, your labour is crippled with seat warmers, check Mallard,
gearing up for 2017, you are static or falling in the polls??????????.
SPIN

Anonymous said...

Has anyone seen what a housemaid earns? Its a cool $33000/annum. Odds are they will have to commute. Does anyone (Labour /Green) criticize the fact that we now have an industry giant that can only function with cheap immigrant labour and that (eventually) gdp/ capita could sink so low that the welfare state is unaffordable? Well no. They are good globalists?

W Nash said...

Lenin's quoted remark seems to be presented here as a rationalisation of dwindling numbers. It was made in 1923 during an argument within the Bolsheviks about the growing sclerosis of the communist state.

jh said...

This morning Google News had an item about a Syrian Refugee in Denmark who has been given the green light to bring in 17 of his 20 children and one of his three wives.Meanwhile he says he is too sick to work or to learn Danish. He was confronted by former Syrian, conservative politician Naser Khader.
Later not a trace on Google News but lots of bad Denmark and rosey refugee stories.
The multicultural narrative is that none is better than the other and all are equal and those who disagree are bigots and xenophobes. That's political correctness.

Nick J said...

GS, it may be unpalatable to the ayatollahs of PC, even if they were correct that it has come to pass that political correctness (whatever that really means) has become a term of derision. It is certainly not a vote winner for large sections of both Left and Right. I think your language in defense of "PC" sums up why it is not a vote winner. You said with lordly authority, "you are not allowed". That is a great way to get hackles up regardless of the sanctity of the issue. PC has become percieved by ex Left voters in all its authoritarian negativity. You may say we are not wanted, goodo, we are however the numbers you need.

AndrewR said...

An entire article based on, what? Not just speculation, but fact free speculation. Harman speculated, Labour said wrong. You offer nothing to support your refusal to accept Labour saying membership >5,000. What is the point?

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Nick. You are reading into my comments something that isn't there. "Lordly". On the other hand, ayatollahs says much more than "not allowed".
Aside from that, I don't care what people think PC has become. I don't care about the so-called "identity politics" that so many people resent in their own PC way. (And yes the right has its own political correctness.)
Society has moved on, and the sort of language that used to exist, and still does in some circles, viz "coconuts" "hories" "the little woman" – all that stuff is no longer acceptable. The facts are that many people resent this. Well fucking tough. Suck it up – things change. I also don't care if it wins votes or not. If you want to win votes by using such language, again tough. At least PC forces them to dog whistle.

manfred said...

I think you might have to ban or at least warn jh, Chris. I'm getting thoroughly sick of his racist obsession, tying everything to race.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Manfred. Have a look at the story about the preserved heads being returned to New Zealand on the MSN website. Read the comments. That's who we're dealing with. That's the racist, mean-spirited part of New Zealand society.

Nick J said...

Manfred, I have examined the refugee crisis from every angle, and ultimately it comes down to the need to show humanity, for there but for chance go we as well. That however does not absolve either party to examine the changed relationship, both parties to examine the other (in effect the precautionary principle).

I suspect that is what jh is implying in his statement The multicultural narrative is that none is better than the other and all are equal and those who disagree are bigots and xenophobes. There is a totalitarian bias in the concept that we cannot discuss or present views, to ban jh because you don't agree with him is doing exactly that. I can see the deep dilemma Europeans have when they perceive that their countries are being invaded by cultures other than their own, that appear different and threatening to them. They might be totally wrong but who are we to demand that they are wrong because we see that discomfort expressed as what we perceive as bigotry and xenophobia? All we are doing is avoiding issues that need resolution behind the wall of correctness.

Is jh a racist? I see no evidence. This is not a binary narrative, there is no easy answer, certainly not with banning and labeling.

jh said...

The above post was about culture and political correctness.
Nation states develop successful strategies in a unified culture.Not all cultures are equal in this respect. For example in the Philippines their religion banned birth control and you leave the airport to step over a family lying in the gutter.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Dammit, I put the link in the wrong place :)

http://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/national/us-returns-remains-of-54-indigenous-people-to-new-zealand/ar-BBtyucX

manfred said...

You disagree with the statement that 'none is better than the other'. That might seem fair enough to you, but it is essentially defending ideas of racial supremacy. You are unnaturally fixated on race, and it's starting to become disruptive to the blog.

Anonymous said...

"I think you might have to ban or at least warn jh, Chris. I'm getting thoroughly sick of his racist obsession, tying everything to race."

Manfred the thinking behind your remark demonstrates the fascism of the left/progressive who insists that anyone that disagrees with their group think must be shut down.

greywarbler said...

Labour may have lost the plot. Perhaps it now is a double-barelled name.
Lab - standing for its desire to be in the scientific IT age whether that hurts its low income and even middle income potential members. And the second part - Our is a vain attempt to look down and gather the strugglers and battlers into the fold as if they can expect dedication to their little troubles.

Nick J makes good points about the totalitarian bias that results from PC and how fervent exponents of their own viewpoint end up shutting down discussion. It is not allowed. I struck this on TS about rape culture. The devotees of this new/old feminist issue used to, still, jump on anyone who made any statement and demand they justify it, using their own criteria of what was satisfactory, and what was dismissed outright.
And thinking about racism, Tom Lehrer makes a musical point:
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUwbZ9AlSPI

JH gives the example of refugees in Denmark, a Syrian man with three wives and 17 children. This type of family is because he had lived in a culture which accepted that. Now it is not seen as an appropriate number of children or wives, away from I presume his former agricultural, manual lifestyle. If he is sick and can't work and can't learn Danish, that is something to sympathise with, not automatically use as an example of worthlessness. Reading about what refugees have to go through after their homes, living, country is decimated may help some kindness enter the concern and anger as these people who have been ruined by world politics and its machinations.

Try reading - The Lightless Sky: A Twelve-Year-Old Refugee's Harrowing Escape from Afghanistan and His Extraordinary Journey Across Half the World. And note how hard this young fellow has worked and the education and skills that he has attained in his new land. Despite being a foreigner. He is moving into the 21st century just as we in the west move back to 19th-20th century ways and attitudes. That, Labour doesn't seem to reject strongly enough to assure me of their resoluteness.

Chris Trotter said...

To: Manfred.

Race (or, if you prefer - ethnicity) is one of the key drivers of politics - and has been for a very long time.

Providing commentators on this blog do not descend into using crude racial epithets or inciting racial hatred, discussion of race, ethnicity, immigration policy, biculturalism, multiculturalism, and/or cultural integrity/diversity will be permitted on Bowalley Road.

Anonymous said...

Who has the responsibility to fundraise for Labour?

Is it the General Secretary or the parliamentary leader?

If it is either they haven't achieved anything for several years.

Labour is broke; memberships are at an all-time low. This is not a proper functioning political party.

Labour is absolutley NOT a government in waiting.

Bushbaptist said...

There is often much criticism regarding the large number of children many refugees have.

There are two reasons for this; having a large family guarantees that at least one or two will reach adulthood and reproduce in countries where life is cheap.

Secondly a large family is a requisite in a country that has no welfare system and the children look after the parents in their old age and no longer work.

We need to be a lot less critical and more accommodating to other cultures and their beliefs too. Not all Muslims are "Terrorists", most are just like us -- toiling away to support their families and putting food on the table. Their are extremists in all religions and all too often we ignore the Terrorist actions of our own home-grown religious nutters. People like Tim McVeigh et al.

jh said...


Large size of Syrian refugee families means homes harder to find

http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/nova-scotia/syrian-refugees-halifax-housing-families-1.3413716

Guerilla Surgeon said...

1.The phenomenon of large families in migrant communities disappears after the second generation.
2."This morning Google News had an item about a Syrian Refugee in Denmark who has been given the green light to bring in 17 of his 20 children and one of his three wives.Meanwhile he says he is too sick to work or to learn Danish. He was confronted by former Syrian, conservative politician Naser Khader. "

Anecdote is not data. Research suggests that there is (albeit a small) net benefit from migrants. I would go into details but it is not going to change your mind JH.

One thing I would say though. You are a tour bus driver, who complains about the importation of Chinese bus drivers if I remember correctly. (If not you then someone else.) You might consider the fact that when you go overseas, tour bus drivers often speak English. This is because tourists prefer to be spoken to in their own language. The solution to your problem is in your own hands then. Learn Mandarin or Cantonese. Or migrate to a place that requires English speaking tour bus drivers. See – fixed that for you.

jh said...

Large size of Syrian refugee families means homes harder to find

The average Syrian family coming to Nova Scotia has seven members, according to Gerry Mills, director of operations for the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia.

Some are as large as 10 or 12 people, which means it will take time to find them somewhere to live, Mills told CBC's The Current. Some are staying in a local hotel in the meantime.

"For instance, at the hotel right now we have 120-odd people, we have 50 under the age of five," she said. "This is happening across the country."
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/syrian-refugees-halifax-housing-families-1.3413716

Nick J said...

The empirical evidence supports you BB, suffice to say some NZers have huge families. When I sas young it was the apocryphal Catholics, now it is immigrants.

Today I watched a Youtube about Birmingham moslems worried about the way they fealt they had been demonised because of terrorism. They mentioned Timothy McVeigh. I could feel their pain and anger. That said the current terror is Islamic and people have a reason to be worried. When all sides recognise the fears of the others as valid we might then make progress.

jh said...

Taybeh (Lebanon) (AFP) - In a tent in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, Sanaa al-Absi extracts a condom from its wrapper in front of a group of giggling Syrian refugee women and begins explaining its use.

It is the first time some of the women have seen the contraceptive, which they are learning about as part of a rare programme teaching Syrian refugees family planning in Lebanon.

The subject is a sensitive one, strewn with cultural, religious and even political landmines.

In much of the Middle East, large families are seen as a blessing from God, and contraception is regarded with scepticism or outright hostility.
https://www.yahoo.com/news/futures-unclear-syrian-refugees-lebanon-start-family-planning-114141490.html?ref=gs

http://countrystudies.us/syria/29.htm

Anonymous said...

Guerilla Surgeon said...
Manfred. Have a look at the story about the preserved heads being returned to New Zealand on the MSN website. Read the comments. That's who we're dealing with. That's the racist, mean-spirited part of New Zealand society.
........
or is it political? There has always been a feeling of incredulity around Maori cultural fundamentalism.

jh said...

Today, you can’t understand the Arab awakenings — or their solutions — without considering climate, environment and population stresses.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/22/opinion/friedman-wikileaks-drought-and-syria.html?_r=0

Not sure "in NZ we celebrate diversity" (Woodhouse) is the answer to the problems other cultures/ countries are having.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Anonymous – whoever you are – maybe if it was your great great-grandfather's head stuck in a museum somewhere you might think a little differently. I can't see what this has to do with "cultural fundamentalism". It's more to do with removing a vestige of colonialism that decided that people's heads were okay to display to the public as curiosities. After all, the Greeks want the Elgin marbles back, and that's just statuary.
JH. Given that the New Zealand population – and for that matter the European population is ageing, many people believe that immigrant families are a good thing. After all, somebody's going to have to pay for your pension. I'm not sure it's as simple as that but. As far as family planning goes, that arrives with education of women. Which we do quite well. As I said, the large families of migrants tend to disappear after the second generation.

jh said...

Guerilla Surgeon says:
Research suggests that there is (albeit a small) net benefit from migrants
...
The Australian productivity Commission concluded there was little to zero benefit to Australians from migration (it had all been captured by the migrants).

The Savings Working Group said migration appears to have had almost the exact opposite effect to what was intended.
On other government policy issues, SWG recommendations include:
- A much more strategic and integrated approach to policy generally.
- Serious consideration of the impact of the level and variability of immigration on national saving, and the impact that this might have on the living standards of New Zealanders. There are indications that our high immigration rate has pushed up government spending, house prices and business borrowing.
...
“The big adverse gap in productivity between New Zealand and other countries opened up from the 1970s to the early 1990s. The policy choice that increased immigration – given the number of employers increasingly unable to pay First-World wages to the existing population and all the capital requirements that increasing populations involve – looks likely to have worked almost directly against the adjustment New Zealand needed to make and it might have been better off with a lower rate of net immigration. This adjustment would have involved a lower real interest rate (and cost of capital) and a lower real exchange rate, meaning a more favourable environment for raising the low level of productive capital per worker and labour productivity. The low level of capital per worker is a striking symptom of New Zealand’s economic challenge.


http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/reviews-consultation/savingsworkinggroup/pdfs/swg-report-jan11.pdf


http://www.interest.co.nz/opinion/69997/gareth-morgan-says-data-clear-migration-and-house-prices-he-says-it-numbers-coming-uk

On bus drivers. Most other countries use a local driver and English speaking guide. None of our "source countries" would allow foreigners to drive their countrymen around in buses. As for "Learn Mandarin or Cantonese" that is just snorting arrogance and demonstrates why working people need representation from other than,head in the clouds progressives.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Giovanni Peri did a study in Switzerland where different Cantons let different numbers of migrants in at different times, and found that for educated Swiss people there was a small increase in wages, while migration had very little impact on job availability. That was a comparative study.

The UK migration advisory committee decided that over five years migrants were not associated with the displacement of British-born workers, if anything they displaced other migrants. Not to mention that they filled necessary vacancies, particularly in healthcare. I would suggest that to try to run the New Zealand health system without migrant doctors and nurses would be dangerous.

Ian Buruma found that migrants did not sponge off the system, but tended to go to places where there was work, rather than places where there were generous benefits. (Certainly they wouldn't come to New Zealand if they were expecting generous benefits.)

The OECD calculated that immigrants on average pay as much in taxes as they take on benefits, and sometimes they pay a lot more. Particularly the illegal immigrants who pay taxes at source, but cannot claim benefits.
Goldin claims that young migrants who don't actually need benefits – or won't need them for some years – are actually keeping the US Social Security system afloat at the moment.

Studies in Britain and the US showed that in places where there were many migrants, there was less crime.

So it isn't just as simple as you seem to think.

" As for "Learn Mandarin or Cantonese" that is just snorting arrogance and demonstrates why working people need representation from other than,head in the clouds progressives."
This last was a response to your constant bitching. And the way you manage to guide every topic, including Labour Party membership for Christ's sake onto the subject of immigration. Do I have to put/sarc on everything like that? Incidentally, I've had several friends who drove tourist buses in foreign countries though admittedly mostly in Europe.

jh said...

I see birth rates are up in host society UK (even though the rate is lower than in the source country). Call them "British" (socially engineer their identity : "how kiwi are you?") but as Putnam notes it will take 50 years (on past experience in the US) until there is some sort of cohesion. Not that developed countries can develop their economies ad infinitum so the joyful people may finish with a lower (overall) standard of living?
The top dog progressive and business person probably fancy they will come out on top (with the added advantage of cheap labour).

jh said...

JH. Given that the New Zealand population – and for that matter the European population is ageing, many people believe that immigrant families are a good thing. After all, somebody's going to have to pay for your pension.
.....
An argument rejected by the Australian Productivity Commission. Unless fundamental economic issues change the migrants themselves age etc. The highly skilled migrant is a myth (lie).

Unknown said...

Labour has a perception problem, it can call itself labour till the cows come home but will (on decades of past performance) be judged as PC Progressive.
The reality is that National, Labour, Green and Act are globalist, NZ First is the only nationalist party. David Farrar is playing on the *incompetent* meme given policy poorly drafted by the likes of a hairdresser. That doesn't mean NZ First doesn't have a case (none of the globalist parties link immigration and house prices), just that they don't have access to the same resources the globalist parties have (including media outlets).

Unknown said...

Bus drivers working for Ritchies out of Queenstown (Great Sights to Milford Sound and back etc) have just had their pay clipped. Tour bus drivers these days just bounce above the minimum wage. But least they get to experience diversity - something their fathers viewed over the sights of a 303. Lest We Forget - The NZ Labour Party.

jh said...

GS
We all ought to know by now that these studies aren't politically neutral eg
The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research believes we'd be better off with 15 million of us.
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8024613/Optimal-size-for-New-Zealand-15-million

Unreported (pre-dated):
Based on a large body of new research evidence and practical experience, the consensus among policymakers now is that other factors are more important for per capita growth and productivity than migration and population growth. CGE modelling exercises for Australia and New Zealand have been influential in reshaping expectations.
http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/research-policy/wp/2014/14-10

The OECD calculated that immigrants on average pay as much in taxes as they take on benefits, and sometimes they pay a lot more.

Dear Jean-Christophe,
I am appalled that the OECD would publish such a partisan document as the policy brief “Is migration good for the economy?”

http://www.populationmatters.org/open-letter-migration-oecd/

Guerilla Surgeon said...

JH. I didn't say that some of the studies aren't politically neutral – some of them may be, but some of them by reputable academics, and not produced by government agencies. All I said was it's a lot more complex than you think. You do tend to prefer black-and-white, simple solutions. I doubt if ANYTHING is as simple as you seem to think it is.

Anonymous said...

With Labour & the Greens in their so-called marriage all Key has to do on the 2017 election campaign is say:

'If someone puts a pistol to your temple, what do you do?'

Answer: Anything they say.

It's the implied threat of Greens wanting to take control of the purse-strings or the treat of disbanding the partnership to topple the government.

All Key has to say is that to any voter and they will know that a Labour/Greens government won't last.

JH said...

Wallace Chapman and Paul Spoonley are discussing "middle New Zealand" (as used by Andrew Little).
Spoonley says Little is like Trump appealing to disenfranchised whites (my words) but there are a lot of "significant minorities" who vote for Clinton. He thinks Labour has been bruised electorally and is "reaching out". "Middle NZ" is a dog whistle to white New Zealanders. No link was made to immigration and housing but apparently the hot topic around the BBQ is that the middle class children may not be able to afford houses.

Spoonley says "Auckland has transformed itself into the worlds 4th most diverse society". "It is fascinating". That is like saying "the building burned itself down". It was the politicians and elites who "transformed" our society, led by academics like Spoonley ("he's written about 20 books") who believe the state is a racist construct and the goal should be an ethnicless society.

jh said...

And when we have an ethnicless/ multicultural society "education is the key". But who decides on what values are taught? Asian elites think completely differently to Western elites?