Jun 15, 2008

Is Winston Finished?

We have been saying that the answer is most probably yes.

And it seems that Bill Ralston agrees.

We hope that National is right and that it is about to go in for the kill. The fact is that Winston is going to try and disrupt any National Party opposition of government that he is not leading. Who cares about the economy or good political leadership. It is all about ego. He wanted to replace his hero Muldoon. But that pesky McLay and Bolger got the job instead. Then they gave the job to a woman, a youngster and now some rich dude who spent many years outside of New Zealand while Winston was slogging at the coal face. Winston is a major risk for National and is best gotten rid off.

Back to Ralston. we were particularly pleased that Ralston has picked up on Winston's recent anti-migrant outburst.

There is an air of desperation about the New Zealand First leader these days, as if he senses his old magic is no longer working. He and his party have repeatedly tried to pull the race card, particularly on immigration, but for once have found little response from the electorate.
However, it does not stop Peters having a knee-jerk reaction any time anyone mentions foreigners in a positive way.
Last week the Department of Labour's immigration specialist, Rob Hodgson, told a Wellington conference that migrants were four times more valuable to the economy than people who were born here. He said immigrants contributed more than $8.1 billion to the economy in 2006, and used only $4.1 billion in benefits and services. By contrast, folk born here contributed $24.6 billion but swallowed a massive $21.92 billion goodies from the state. That meant each migrant contributed $3547 to the country, while a native-born Kiwi added only $915.

Peters appeared to burst a blood vessel at this news, attacking Hodgson's statements as "moronic". Defying logic and mathematics, he clamed the conference had been "fed some ridiculous nonsense" and immigrants carried hidden costs linked to infrastructure, education, health and social services. He seems to have overlooked the fact that New Zealanders born here carry the same hidden costs in infrastructure, etc, and even if you factor these figures into Hodgson's equation, immigrants are still worth four times the average Kiwi's contribution to the economy.
Peters seems unable to comprehend the statistics that show migrants have a higher rate of employment, higher incomes, pay more tax and are less likely to go to prison or get a social services benefit than the average Kiwi.
His anti-Asian rhetoric, which was so politically advantageous in the 1990s, is increasingly falling on deaf ears. Over the past couple of decades, New Zealanders have come into much greater contact with their Asian neighbours and no longer fear them.

Well if racism or anti-migrant positioning doesn't work why not try and control foreign investment???

Stymied by the electorate's refusal to join him in paranoia, Peters finds Labour has stolen his other trusty weapon - a strong stand against foreign investment. Labour's insistence on blocking the sale of Auckland Airport shares to the Canadian Pension Plan and its uneconomic decision to buy back the railways whipped the ground from under his feet. He can no longer trot out his tired claim that New Zealand First is the only party opposed to "selling the family silver".
He will campaign hard and it will get vicious, but this election is set to be Peters' swansong.

Lets hope Ralson is right!!