Labour Has Just Lost The Election To National. This means the John Key government and its proposed asset sales will continue to threaten New Zealanders. This also means that the minimum wage is likely to drop even further, beyond the already paltry $13 an hour. This also means that the higher rate of GST on basic food items will remain. What a pity.
As Labour have said “If you think the price of electricity is high now – wait until we don’t own a damn thing”. Phil Goff would have made an excellent Prime Minister, leading the Labour Party in the interests of all New Zealanders wanting to protect our assets, and who wish to create a fairer, more equitable society which would have seen changes such as apprenticeships offered for young people out of work, the minimum wage raised to $15, and GST on essential food items lifted.
Phil Goff worked extremely hard with his campaign, and all commentators on TV3’s show tonight, hosted by John Campbell, agreed that Labour deserved to win bewcause of the effort it had put in, and the response it had achieved. But this was not to be enough, because the other small parties surprised us all by taking much of Labour’s support.
Phil Goff sugggested to reporters tonight, after it was announced that National had won, that he ‘had come to a decision, and that decision would be announced at caucus on Tuesday’. This, regrettably, sounds like Phil, who has just proved himself to be a very worthy and inspiring leader of the Labour Party, might be handing in his resignation. Mores the pity, methinks.
If Phil Goff resigns as leader of the Labour Party, the Labour Party will be left in the lurch in much the same way as Helen Clark left it three years ago, when Labour lost that election after three terms in power. As one commentator tonight said on TV3, I think it might have been Paul Henry, who had some very interesting things to say: “The worst thing for Phil Goff was that Helen Clark took off her crown and put it straight on the head of Phil Goff”. This meant that poor Phil had an awful lot to live up to, and, given that Labour had just lost the election, that was going to be a very tall order. Now, just as Phil is really getting a hang of the ropes and is winning more and more support, it looks as if he is bowing out.
Commentators agreed tonight that history shows it is not usual to change the political power after only one term in power. If Phil was to give it another term, he could see the Labour Party in power next election.
Phil Goff gave a fantastic speech at the wrap up of tonight’s election results. He was positive in his attitude towards the winning party, wishing John Key all the best, and was firm in his belief that the Labour Party has already made a difference by making people aware of the pressing issues regarding asset sales and the need to address social issues such as poverty in New Zealand, by lessening the gap between rich and poor.
That the small parties rose up, for Labour supporters, was a bad thing, and the divided vote has meant that John Key was not voted out. This is unutterably sickening for those of us who do not like John Key, and who really feel that Labour was on the right track with its stop on all asset sales, and its plea to reduce the gap between the very rich and the very poor.
At least the National Party’s Paula Benefit was knocked off her perch. Yes, the well-rounded Paula Bennett was unseated. This is some small compensation for John Key’s remaining in power. Paula Bennett is a person who has risen from state house beginnings to the status of National party politician, like John Key, and like John Key, has no desire to let other underpriviledged people have the same opportunities as she herself has enjoyed in the way of free education, state housing, and student allowances.
Alas, the majority of New Zealanders are not with us on these pertinent social and environmental issues which are dear to the heart of the Labour party. They have voted the same government back in which threatens to sell out assets and make things more difficult for the working classes and the very poor.
However, it is good to see the Greens take 10% of the vote – By the time the overseas votes are counted, they might even have 11% of the vote. This is a huge victory for Greens. It is the first time that any other party besides the two main parties, Labour and National, have won more than 10% of the vote. The Greens are certainly up-and-coming, and will be an even stronger force by 2014, when the next election is due.
Good thing, too, that Hone Harawira and his Mana Party have made it into parliament. Hone Harawira is dead against asset sales, and, unlike Pita Sharples who says Maori iwi could buy the assets if they were offered them, Hone says that selling to iwi is no different to selling to anyone else, because iwi can sell the assets on again for profit. Hone says the assets have been built up by New Zealanders, and that these assets should remain in our custodianship. I couldn’t agree more, and am backing Hone. I reckon Hone will give John Key a run for his money.
It is just great to see Winston Peters back in parliament again with his New Zealand First Party. Winston has an extraordinary ability for sorting out the hay from the chaff. He will hopefully keep the John Key government honest. If Phil Goff can’t be Prime Minister of the Labour Party, then my next choice is most certainly Winston Peters, no matter what party he stands for. Winston was quoted on TV3 tonight, with regard to the Epsom debacle and the Banks-Key Cup of Tea:
“Epsom is a circus”, Winston said, “And whenever there is a circus, somebody always falls off the elephant”. There’s still a slim chance, with Winston Peters and Hone Harawira around, that John Key might just topple off his big white elephant.