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Jacinda Ardern resigns as prime minister of New Zealand

basquebromance

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In terms of financial aid, Ardern’s strategy was notably stingier than even some of the policies enacted under reactionaries like Donald Trump, leaving desperate Kiwis flooding food banks to survive amidst the economy’s shutdown. Businesses were the exception, of course, availing themselves of millions of dollars in government support while posting huge profits, sometimes even firing their workers or slashing their pay. For the most part, in the face of Ardern’s government politely suggesting these supports be paid back, businesses have refused to settle up.

While Kiwis struggled under inadequate financial assistance, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s quantitative easing program made possible a flood of cheap money that turbocharged a speculative frenzy in the country’s already-overinflated housing market. The result has been — together with the supply chain– and Ukraine war–related pressures the rest of the world is experiencing — an explosion in the cost of living in New Zealand. House prices have rocketed even further out of reach for any normal working family’s income, and rents have followed suit. Homelessness, already bad before the pandemic, has worsened, with more and more families ending up living in cars and government-subsidized motels.

Ardern’s government had been explicitly warned this would happen at the start of 2020, but had failed to act. Once living costs exploded, and despite the record profits accrued by banks and other businesses, Ardern, in what was a pattern in her leadership, ruled out a commonsense response to this that risked drawing the ire of the corporate world. Unlike a conservative British government, the EU, and others, she therefore refused to implement a windfall tax to claw back this wealth and use it to alleviate Kiwis’ suffering.

This two-tier imbalance was endemic to Ardern’s pandemic strategy. There is maybe no better example of this than her government’s border policy. Having first campaigned on cutting immigration numbers, Ardern appeared to view the pandemic and the temporary restrictions it demanded as a way to finally put this policy into motion. Ardern’s famous “be kind” mantra never seemed to apply to the hundreds of visa-holding families split between continents who were kept needlessly, indefinitely separated for years, causing severe mental anguish and even the breakup of marriages.

Ardern was made personally aware of the intense difficulties experienced by immigrants, but nothing changed, even as famous and ultrarich travelers were able to waltz through the border with ease. As she embarked on an immigration “reset,” Ardern drove out some of the very essential workers her government relied on in key sectors like health and aged care, mistakenly believing they would be filled by returning Kiwis. This fumble contributed to a post-pandemic labor shortage that hurt the very business sector Ardern normally went out of her way to mollify.
 

basquebromance

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She leaves office with many of her original goals unmet, with even her policy triumphs chock-full of limitations. Child poverty may have modestly dropped, but it still sits above the OECD average. New Zealand’s child poverty numbers are significantly worse than those of social democratic countries like Denmark and Sweden that the country aspires to, and closer to countries like the United States and Mexico. It also falls well short of the government’s own targets — it is nowhere near on course to hit its ambitious goal of a 5 percent rate by 2027.

This would be a disgrace at any time. But it should be particularly disappointing for a politician who has said that child poverty was the reason she became a politician, made it her signature issue, and personally filled her newly created minister’s role for reducing it. As prime minister, Ardern talked about ending child poverty entirely, but she undoubtedly could have done more to try achieve this. Four years after putting together an expert group to fix the country’s broken welfare system, she had yet to fully implement a single one of their recommendations, with one of the panel charging that her government had “resisted every recommendation we made.”
 

basquebromance

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Despite the histrionic griping of property investors who got wildly rich under her, Ardern’s tenancy law reforms didn’t much change a playing field still tilted toward landlords. She refused to pursue rent control, just as she defiantly ruled out putting in place a capital gains tax despite the idea’s newfound popularity. New Zealand is now one of the few developed nations not to have one.

The continued sorry state of the nation’s housing issues suggest that as welcome as her government’s interventions were, they proved to just be nibbling around the edges of the problem. The social housing waiting list has jumped over Ardern’s time in power, hitting nearly twenty-five thousand by September last year. Additionally, the stratospheric house price inflation of 2020 still hasn’t been erased, and both the UN and New Zealand’s own Human Rights Commission have dubbed Labour’s inability to deal with the problem part of a wider “human rights crisis” and a “massive human rights failure.”

To see her policies through, Ardern continued to rely on the private sector. Labour’s plan for eighteen thousand new state homes by 2024 consequently fell well short of the number of Kiwis on the social housing register. Worse, her government has quietly been selling off state-owned land and public housing to developers and private owners, breaking a campaign promise. A billion dollars that could have gone toward a large-scale program of building state homes was instead spent housing people in motels.
 

basquebromance

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Ardern had once singled out New Zealand’s shocking mental health issues as a priority, claiming that it was an issue that “we all have a stake in.” Once in office, however, she stalled for time with yet another government inquiry into the matter. And although she plowed nearly $2 billion toward mental health early in her tenure, major gaps and general foot-dragging left the country’s mental health system in largely the same, dire state as it started. Government officials have since tried to keep the inconvenient “data and negative statistics” away from public eyes.

Special mention is owed to climate change, what Ardern called her “generation’s nuclear-free moment,” referring to the country’s bold antinuclear stance that’s the source of much pride for many Kiwis. To say that Ardern’s government didn’t treat the climate crisis with the urgency her 2020 “emergency” declaration demanded is an understatement. While looking good on paper, in reality, Ardern’s major climate programs have gone absurdly easy on agribusiness, the country’s worst polluter, while overall falling short of global carbon-reduction targets. As a result, New Zealand under Ardern came to be viewed as an unserious poser on the issue by its partner governments, who at one point considered simply leaving the country out of a major summit of climate leaders.

Ardern has had to endure a lot of ugly, misogynistic vitriol, along with the usual concerted business opposition that Labour leaders face for so much as lightly tinkering with the system. But in the end, Ardern’s greatest obstacles were self-inflicted, the result of conservative political choices that fatally narrowed her options.

Rather than follow through on the bold campaign promises that got her elected in the first place, Ardern and her finance minister, Grant Robertson, quickly pivoted to prioritizing fiscal responsibility. Upon winning their first election, they adopted spending rules that amounted to a “fiscal straitjacket,” and spent the next six years boasting, often to luncheons of assembled business leaders, how little they were spending and how much debt they were paying down.

This could have at least been coupled with a revenue-raising strategy that also attacked the country’s ballooning wealth inequality. But Ardern and her government preemptively ruled out any commonsense measure for this purpose: no general wealth tax, no inheritance tax, no higher tax rate for tax-avoiding trusts, and of course, no capital gains or windfall profits taxes. Refusing to embark on deficit spending but unwilling to tax the rich, Ardern effectively snookered herself.

It was a dilemma Ardern tried to occasionally solve through austerity, such as an unpopular pay freeze on public sector workers, or through regressive tax hikes on working Kiwis. The result of these measures was a desperate hunt for revenue, which ironically led her government into treacherous political waters anyway. Contrary to her energizing 2017 campaign slogan, “Let’s do this!” the joke quickly became that it was harder to list what Ardern’s government would do than what it wouldn’t. Ruled out at various times from the Ardern playbook was everything from free dental care to exempting fruit and vegetables from the country’s regressive sales tax, a policy Labour had once campaigned on in 2011. Despite declaring that “neoliberalism had failed,” Ardern ended up doing little to solve the debilitating crises resulting from neoliberal policies.

This was often explained away in Ardern’s first term, not unfairly, by pointing to Labour’s coalition with the conservative New Zealand First party, which acted as a “handbrake” to her transformative ambitions. But Ardern had no excuse after the historic mandate she won in the 2020 election, giving Labour an outright majority in parliament, a first under the Mixed Member Proportional system introduced in 1996.

It’s hard to overstate the scale of political opportunity Ardern had at her fingertips beginning in 2020. In a system of parliamentary supremacy like New Zealand’s, there is no filibuster, no right-wing council of elders, not even a written constitution, that could have halted the ambitions of Ardern’s Labour. Her party had the votes to pass whatever it wanted, a historically popular leader, and overwhelming public trust and goodwill thanks to its successful steering through a world-historical crisis. The Labour Party that introduced neoliberalism to New Zealand in 1984 had far less than this going for it when it ruthlessly dismantled and overhauled New Zealand’s political economy, only for the worse. What would Ardern’s Labour do to reverse this for the better?
 

basquebromance

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Not all that much, it turned out, as she proceeded to continue on the incremental path of operating as the leftmost edge of post-1980s neoliberalism. After first using her mandate to try to cut the pay of government workers, she delivered a budget depicted by the press as “dyed the deepest red” and framed by her party as reversing National’s transformatively cruel 1991 budget. Its centerpiece? A supposedly “biggest in a generation” welfare boost that even one of the country’s leading business groups thought was too stingy.

Ardern’s government then abandoned the Zero COVID strategy it had leaned on, but kept its penny-pinching approach. Opposing the big-ticket policies it had ruled out, Ardern’s government has spent the past year or so floundering in the face of a worsening cost-of-living crisis that quickly overtook COVID as Kiwis’ biggest concern.

While important and desperately needed, Ardern’s boosts to government payments for those struggling were often eroded on arrival by skyrocketing costs. The one-off cost-of-living payment introduced last year to help Kiwis cope with this crisis was comically small at only $350 and left out superannuants and those getting government support. It was far less than any of even Donald Trump’s pandemic-era checks, and not nearly enough to cover even a week’s rent in much of the country. Come 2022’s budget, Ardern’s government put in place more strict limits on spending and borrowing to “ensure New Zealand maintains some of the lowest government debt in the world.” Her finance minister once again ended the year boasting about how little the government was spending compared to its center-right predecessor.

Despite overwhelming support for making it permanent, Ardern scrapped her government’s successful half-price public transport fares on the eve of an election year. She also failed to take up the Commerce Commission’s idea of solving New Zealand’s price-gouging supermarket duopoly by creating a state-owned option. As a result, the most high-profile proposal for dealing with the crisis was the plan to throw thousands out of work through higher interest rates outlined by Reserve Bank governor Adrian Orr, who Ardern reappointed a month later despite this.

It’s little wonder then that, predictably, Ardern’s approval rating and Labour’s poll standings have tanked over the past year.

In many ways, Ardern’s time as prime minister was summed up in her approach to the issue of legalizing marijuana. Rather than spend political capital legalizing it through legislation, Ardern kicked it over to a referendum. Then, despite pleas from pro-legalization campaigners, she assiduously refused to lend her personal popularity to the cause and kept her personal view on the matter quiet, only for the effort to fail by less than seventy-thousand votes. Only after it was dead did she tell the press she’d voted “yes.”
 

basquebromance

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a politician’s job is being well liked, charismatic, and winning over public trust, Ardern was enormously successful. More importantly, she succeeded by turning values typically dismissed as weaknesses in politics — values like empathy, kindness, and positivity — into political assets.

But there is another part of a politician’s job, and that’s to use that positive public profile and the power it brings with it to improve people’s lives and leave the world in a significantly better state than when you started. Sadly, the kindness and empathy that were Ardern’s mantra these past six years all too rarely translated into material policies that benefited working people. This was a product not of maliciousness but, tragically, undue caution and timidity. Now Ardern’s party is paying the cost. The New Zealand public will pay the cost too, if Labour’s resulting collapse in popularity ushers in another right-wing government that views the wealth of the richest as its biggest concern, and the poor as mere bottom-feeders.

If still-overwhelmed food banks and homeless families aren’t the clearest measure of the failures of Ardern’s time in government, then it’s the fact that only a single Labour MP even put themselves forward to be the next New Zealand prime minister. Chris Hipkins, Labour’s next leader and now prime minister, would do well to learn from Ardern’s mistakes and abandon her government’s fiscal conservatism in favor of the transformative agenda that initially won her power.

As for Jacinda Ardern, she is at peace after her announcement, telling the press she “slept well for the first time in a long time.” If only the hundreds of Kiwi kids living in cars could say the same
 

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basquebromance
Far out, do get out much?
A lot to read, as I have a short attention span. :goodposting:
 

cnm

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Henry Oliver

Lol. A music and magazine editor, pissed his magazine wasn't listed as an essential service during COVID management.
 

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bambu.

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a politician’s job is being well liked, charismatic, and winning over public trust, Ardern was enormously successful. More importantly, she succeeded by turning values typically dismissed as weaknesses in politics — values like empathy, kindness, and positivity — into political assets.

But there is another part of a politician’s job, and that’s to use that positive public profile and the power it brings with it to improve people’s lives and leave the world in a significantly better state than when you started. Sadly, the kindness and empathy that were Ardern’s mantra these past six years all too rarely translated into material policies that benefited working people. This was a product not of maliciousness but, tragically, undue caution and timidity. Now Ardern’s party is paying the cost. The New Zealand public will pay the cost too, if Labour’s resulting collapse in popularity ushers in another right-wing government that views the wealth of the richest as its biggest concern, and the poor as mere bottom-feeders.

If still-overwhelmed food banks and homeless families aren’t the clearest measure of the failures of Ardern’s time in government, then it’s the fact that only a single Labour MP even put themselves forward to be the next New Zealand prime minister. Chris Hipkins, Labour’s next leader and now prime minister, would do well to learn from Ardern’s mistakes and abandon her government’s fiscal conservatism in favor of the transformative agenda that initially won her power.

As for Jacinda Ardern, she is at peace after her announcement, telling the press she “slept well for the first time in a long time.” If only the hundreds of Kiwi kids living in cars could say the same

Fiscal responsibility is now a crime?
In a social capitalist society, which NZ and Australia are...not everyone gets a free home from the State.
The idea is you work hard and get your own home, buy your own place to live.
Then, the State tries as best it can to build/find/fund housing for the very poor, very disabled, very sick etc.

Misogyny? Politics is a boxing match
Wanna get in the ring?
Bring your gloves with you...and your 'thick skin like a crocodile'.
 

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he-he this is good! ;)


Body Language: Jacinda Ardern,​

That's what a puppet looks like after they've been thrown under the bus by its master.

If only she listened to Metallica!


End of passion play, crumbling away
I'm your source of self-destruction
Veins that pump with fear, sucking darkest clear
Leading on your death's construction

[Refrain]
Taste me, you will see
More is all you need
Dedicated to
How I'm killing you
[Pre-Chorus]
Come crawling faster (Faster)
Obey your master (Master)
Your life burns faster (Faster)
Obey your

[Chorus]
Master, master
Master of puppets, I'm pulling your strings
Twisting your mind and smashing your dreams
Blinded by me, you can't see a thing
Just call my name 'cause I'll hear you scream
Master, master
Just call my name 'cause I'll hear you scream
Master, master

[Verse 2]
Needlework the way, never you betray
Life of death becoming clearer
Pain monopoly, ritual misery
Chop your breakfast on a mirror

[Refrain]
Taste me, you will see
More is all you need
Dedicated to
How I'm killing you

[Pre-Chorus]
Come crawling faster (Faster)
Obey your master (Master)
Your life burns faster (Faster)
Obey your

[Chorus]
Master, master
Master of puppets, I'm pulling your strings
Twisting your mind and smashing your dreams
Blinded by me, you can't see a thing
Just call my name 'cause I'll hear you scream
Master, master
Just call my name 'cause I'll hear you scream
Master, master

[Post-Chorus]
(Master, master, master, master)

[Instrumental Bridge]

[Bridge]
Master, master
Where's the dreams that I've been after?
Master, master
You promised only lies
Laughter, laughter
All I hear or see is laughter
Laughter, laughter
Laughing at my cries
Fix me

[Guitar Solo]

[Verse 3]
Hell is worth all that, natural habitat
Just a rhyme without a reason
Never-ending maze, drift on numbered days
Now your life is out of season

[Refrain]
I will occupy
I will help you die
I will run through you
Now I rule you too

[Pre-Chorus]
Come crawling faster (Faster)
Obey your master (Master)
Your life burns faster (Faster)
Obey your

[Chorus]
Master, master
Master of puppets, I'm pulling your strings
Twisting your mind and smashing your dreams
Blinded by me, you can't see a thing
Just call my name 'cause I'll hear you scream
Master, master
Just call my name 'cause I'll hear you scream
Master, master

[Laughter]
 

bambu.

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New Zealand has joined just a handful of other countries in giving money to developing countries for the loss and damage wrought by climate change.

Climate Change Minister James Shaw and Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced $20 million will be ring-fenced from a climate fund filed from revenue gathered from the emissions trading scheme.

It took all-night negotiations to get the topic onto the official agenda for the first time at this year's UN climate summit in Egypt.

Pacific countries and other developing nations have been pressing for compensation for the emissions caused by richer nations over hundreds of years and its consequence on developing states' economies.

COP27: New Zealand offers $20m to developing countries for climate change damage

#####

That money could be used to buy "the hundreds of Kiwi kids living in cars" a camper van each.
 

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New Zealand has joined just a handful of other countries in giving money[/i] to developing countries for the loss and damage wrought by climate change.

Climate Change Minister James Shaw and Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced $20 million will be ring-fenced from a climate fund filed from revenue gathered from the emissions trading scheme.

It took all-night negotiations to get the topic onto the official agenda for the first time at this year's UN climate summit in Egypt.

Pacific countries and other developing nations have been pressing for compensation for the emissions caused by richer nations over hundreds of years and its consequence on developing states' economies.

COP27: New Zealand offers $20m to developing countries for climate change damage

#####

That money could be used to buy "the hundreds of Kiwi kids living in cars" a camper van each.
The climate change used by the globalists is just words, backed by bullshit. There's no doubt that there is change, it's governed by our sun. But yes, wasted money by our governments. One thing it's doing in spending money is accelerating inflation.
 

JasonAlcor

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Kindness, empathy, and compassion were values at the heart of Jacinda Ardern’s political career — but they were often absent from her government’s policies. The result was a squandered opportunity to overhaul New Zealand’s economy for the better.
LOL... she a muppet and was doing exactly as she was "TOLD" to do.
 

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Why she resigned from JP?

:boo_hoo14:
 

Frankeneinstein

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Stealing fire from the heavens

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