Bill Ralston: Cullen leads Labour's decline

Bill Ralston: Cullen leads Labour's declineMichael Cullen gave a remarkable impression of the blissfully imbecilic guy on the cover of Mad magazine this week with his "What? Me? Worry?" utterances on the crisis facing world financial markets and the prospects of New Zealand… [NZ Politics]

Bill Ralston is his ascerbic best this morning in the HoS.?

[quote]In Australia, the US and elsewhere, governments and central banks raced to try to save the situation. In New Zealand, Cullen and Bollard had a cup of tea and a lie-down.[/quote]

For the end of Clarkism he hands most of the blame to Cullen.

[quote]Historians will look back in a couple of decades at the decline and fall of the Labour Government and lay much of the blame on Michael Cullen and his dead hand as Minister of Finance.

In his eight-year reign, the Government has amassed huge surpluses through over-taxation, putting pressure on the disposable incomes of already struggling households. His tolerance of high interest rates has strangled economic growth, his approval of record levels of Government spending has led to a huge growth in bureaucracy, waste and heavy compliance costs for business. His obstinate refusal to cut taxes will be seen as another long nail he inserted into the coffin of Helen Clark's three-term administration.[/quote]

Labour's economic credentials?

[quote]National is able to play the card of prudent financial management. "Trust us, we know what we are doing" will be the message from John Key and Bill English and, with their backgrounds in finance, the pair do look like they know how to handle a dollar. With many voters, the suspicion remains that most politicians in the Labour Cabinet would be hard-pressed to read a balance sheet.

When Labour ministers talk about the economy they point to an eight-year period of economic growth, ignoring the fact that most of our trading partners have grown at much faster rates. Besides, we should be grateful the Government hasn't plunged us into total recession yet.

They also triumphantly point to low unemployment, ignoring the fact that business is starved of labour and the high rate of employment is because more than a million Kiwis have fled to greener pastures overseas.[/quote]

Is there any positive news for Labour at all? Well, frankly, No there isn't nor will there be this year.