Labour hysterically redefining privatisation

February 26th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Most people know what is, which is the sale or transfer of a publicly owned asset to the private sector.

Labour is so upset that National has completed its asset sales programme, that decided to invent new meanings of privatisation:

“The Government is busy privatising facilities across the entire government sector.

“In education alone there are five charter schools opening this year and the Government is now taking applications for a second round of new privately run schools.

So a new not for profit publicly funded school, but privately managed, is now a privatisation. That is like saying that a new medical centre is a privatisation.

“The Government is also using the reconstruction of Christchurch schools as an excuse to privatise school facilities through the use of public-private-partnerships (PPPs).

Now Hipkins claims PPPs are privatisation. This is hilarious as he worked for Helen Clark when she was promoting them all over the place.

“National is also privatising our roads. A PPP for Transmission Gully has become an endless vacuum for taxpayer funding.

Even more hysterically Hipkins claims building a new road that doesn’t even exist yet is a privatisation. And he ignores PPP sees the road end up in state ownership. The level of hysteria and bullshit in this release is beyond belief. To quote NZTA:

While a private sector consortium will be responsible for financing, designing, building, maintaining and operating the highway for up to 25 years, Transmission Gully will remain a public asset.

And to add to his hysteria:

“In the health sector private hospitals and clinics are being used for elective surgery because the public system lacks the capacity to address our growing health service needs.

Hipkins knows that private hospitals performed elective surgery when Labour was in power. It’s so disappointing to see someone argue against using surplus capacity to treat more patients.

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31 Responses to “Labour hysterically redefining privatisation”

  1. Bovver (173 comments) says:

    It’s politics’s, never assume you are going to get a rational argument, especially while the fabians are doing badly in the polls and in need of some media exposure.

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  2. peterwn (3,338 comments) says:

    He is just saying what his core supporters want to hear in the hope they may actually bother to vote.

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  3. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    McCarten will help him . . . Yeh Right!

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  4. thedavincimode (6,890 comments) says:

    He is wasting his breathe because nobody is listening to liebour any more. The problem they have is that given their history the lies now need to be so outrageous that they will only look even more silly.

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  5. labrator (1,851 comments) says:

    The problem for Labour’s hysteria is that the sky hasn’t fallen. Ostensibly nothing has changed with all of these things Labour is raising and as such it plays into Key’s hands. He’s always happy to talk about these sort of questions openly. People relate to that. At last count around 51% of the voting population.

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  6. georgebolwing (1,011 comments) says:

    Next I expect to hear that the benefit system has been privatized because beneficiaries are allowed to spend their benefits in privately owned shops.

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  7. ShawnLH (6,707 comments) says:

    “In the health sector private hospitals and clinics are being used for elective surgery because the public system lacks the capacity to address our growing health service needs.”

    That’s because our die while you wait socialist health care system was incapable of dealing with reality.

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  8. Fisiani (1,052 comments) says:

    Hipkins is not a fan of The Cunliffe. Never has been. This is him attempting to look hard Left to the comrades. he knows howveer that ensuring Labour do badly in 2014 is the best way for him to progress up the greasy pole.

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  9. tas (655 comments) says:

    The left has just decided that anything involving private business must be bad. The socialist state must stand on its own!

    Someone once argued to me that the government should not buy from private businesses, as that would give those businesses an incentive to lobby the government to buy more from them. He thought that was an argument for why the government should do more to fulfill its own needs; I thought it was an argument for why the government should buy less!

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  10. Ashley Schaeffer (535 comments) says:

    But will Hipkins be called out on his bullshit anywhere but on this blog?

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  11. burt (7,436 comments) says:

    DPF

    You are doing it again …

    “In the health sector private hospitals and clinics are being used for elective surgery because the public system lacks the capacity to address our growing health service needs.

    Hipkins knows that private hospitals performed elective surgery when Labour was in power.

    You know it’s different when Labour do it !

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  12. somewhatthoughtful (472 comments) says:

    Charter schools are a privatisation! You’re being disingenuous to claim otherwise, though that’s hardly new.

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  13. Peter (1,695 comments) says:

    They’re doing this 1990s “own the language” thing.

    They don’t seem to realise the internet changes how that works. If the message is inaccurate, you will be eviscerated.

    See the Daily Show.

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  14. ShawnLH (6,707 comments) says:

    “Charter schools are a privatisation! You’re being disingenuous to claim otherwise, though that’s hardly new.”

    No, charter schools are not privatisation. They are partnerships between the private sector and the State.

    The entire education system should be privatised, but that’s not going to happen under National.

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  15. tvb (4,560 comments) says:

    Labour thinks that word privatisation is so toxic they will apply it to anything. For instance spending one’s own money for private purposes is privatisation. People should only be allowed to spend what the Government allows and you get doled out a living allowance to spend at the local co-op. It that what Labour is proposing. Believe me there are activists in the Labour Party who want that.

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  16. alloytoo (582 comments) says:

    Hold On Hold On!

    Hasn’t the Labour pet mayor Lenny the Lounge Lizard been blathering on about PPP’s in respect of the trainset he wants to buy?

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  17. infused (584 comments) says:

    He is a douche. What do you expect.

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  18. OneTrack (3,376 comments) says:

    thedavincimode covered it above. Labour’s competence is so broken, that nobody is listening anymore. They have jumped too many sharks to take them seriously.

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  19. OneTrack (3,376 comments) says:

    “Hasn’t the Labour pet mayor Lenny the Lounge Lizard been blathering on about PPP’s in respect of the trainset he wants to buy?”

    Len just wants his name on a plaque at Britomart, and he will grovel to/cajole anybody for the money to get the tunnel to nowhere started. Doesn’t matter if I makes any sense or not, or even if it is affordable or not. So, if PPPs help him get his plaque, he is going to go with it.

    He does seem to be getting more desperate recently though. Maybe he can see the tide going out on that plan. What did someone say yesterday, only 14% actually travel into the CBD (I even doubt that), with the rest of the travel across the city. I would suggest most of it is north-south (not east-west). And what is Len’s elephant going to do for that absolutely nothing. Useless.

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  20. dime (10,222 comments) says:

    this dude is throwing a lot of tantrums lately. total light weight.

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  21. campit (467 comments) says:

    DPF, there is no benefit to the taxpayer in building Transmission Gully as a PPP.

    The private contractor will borrow money to build it at commercial rates, and the taxpayer will pay for the additional cost involved. What is the point of that? Over the lifetime of the PPP, the taxpayer will pay hundreds of millions more in interest payments and maintenance charges than if the project was financed through Government borrowing and maintained through standard NZTA contracts.

    Exactly how much, we won’t know until after the fact because NZTA is blocking OIA requests on the matter.

    There may be an argument for it if the PPP consortium was taking on risk, but it won’t be. Because of the failure of roading PPP projects in the past, this one will be structured on an availability basis. i.e. the road just needs to be open for the PPP to receive $125m per annum.

    The Taxpayers Union should be getting stuck into this.

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  22. PaulL (5,450 comments) says:

    @campit: surely there is risk in the road being open on the described date within the described price? That’s where many (most?) govt projects go wrong – over budget and late. Sure, it’d be nice if they also took risk on traffic volumes, but no infrastructure investor in Australasia will be doing that any time soon after the schmozzle in Qld.

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  23. Ed Snack (1,941 comments) says:

    Although I think it a disingenuous campaign I don’t think it’s necessarily a political mistake. Many voters respond to the sound bites about “privatisation” and “profit gouging by power companies” without any regard for the facts like it was the Government under one HC that was doing the most obvious gouging back in the 2003-8 period.

    I see this as just part of the overall election year campaign. One of Labour’s (and the Green’s) themes is the old “selling the family silver” to enable “profit gouging by monopolies”; and it’s quite a good line. The retrogressive nature of NZ politics is defined by the fact that a goodly proportion, possibly 40-50% of NZ would gladly beggar the nation as long as their apparently richer neighbours were beggared more than them. That’s why the Cullen phrase “rich pricks” had such a resonance. It is the same reaction that was shown up in the UK where a survey revealed that (I think) a majority of those polled would support a higher tax rate on “rich pricks” even if the net result was ZERO additional government income as long as those deemed to be “rich pricks” were being punished. The point was the punishment, not the income. That’s a sadly common human trait, hatred and envy are powerful drivers.

    We’ll see more of this especially with McCarten’s appointment. Higher tax rates on higher incomes, probably a financial transactions tax (which will probably have a negative impact on revenues, but the point is to punish those nasty people who make lots of financial transactions), re-nationalisation, and more government intervention via subsidies and other market distortions. These will work this time because those promoting all these policies are such obvious great intellects who really know better than we do what we really want and need.

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  24. emmess (1,398 comments) says:

    Len just wants his name on a plaque at Britomart, and he will grovel to/cajole anybody for the money to get the tunnel to nowhere started. Doesn’t matter if I makes any sense or not, or even if it is affordable or not. So, if PPPs help him get his plaque, he is going to go with it.

    Yeah and that fuckwit wants to “privatise” (in Labour’s terminology) rubbish collection to pay for it.
    Which in my opinion is the last thing that should be “privatised” because if my neighbour doesn’t want to pay for it, their rubbish is going to blow across my property.

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  25. campit (467 comments) says:

    many (most?) govt projects go wrong – over budget and late

    In recent years all of NZTA’s big projects have come in on time or before schedule and at or under budget. In Auckland that includes the Manukau Harbour Crossing, Grafton Gully, Victoria Park Tunnel, SH20 extension. So again I ask, why a PPP?

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  26. Ed Snack (1,941 comments) says:

    emmess, you already pay for rubbish collection, I can’t see that privatizing it would change that dynamic. The two best reasons I see for privatizing it would be:

    1. It is more effective to have complete separate operators and regulators; reduces the opportunity for complicity and should lead to more effective adherence to legitimate rules;

    2. It removes much of the management from mostly indirect political interference. That’s both generally and with regard to things such as pay negotiations where governmental organizations are much more susceptible in general to political capture and influence. Doesn’t always apply, the existence of government subsidies can also have an impact, for example the car industry in Australia and plants like SPC’s (picking two things recently in the news) In Australia though the unions have way more clout (and muscle in more ways than one) than here.

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  27. Fentex (1,138 comments) says:

    Now Hipkins claims PPPs are privatisation

    Britain’s experience with them is their PPP’s were a shallow excuse for public funding of private wealth which seems like something fairly called a form of privatisation.

    NZ, being a less corrupt place in general, may have more success with the concept. But anywhere the private interests take no risks and increase the cost the concept will be a failure, which is quite probably common where government processes are already efficient which many of ours, due to that lack of corruption, are.

    Even if private participation increases some costs there may still be an argument for them if they assume risk the government is better off without, and in seeking to mitigate that risk produce more business (a construction company for instance once owned by government replaced by private industry will look for work when the government isn’t paying for any).

    But this isn’t all that simple – NZ has unavoidable problems for being a small country at the end of the world, we don’t have a lot of capital sloshing around looking for businesses to build and invest in and much of what we need is more efficiently done by coming together through our government – but doing so when in need encourages doing so when not in need and crowding out plausible investment in private industry.

    There are a lot of judgement calls to make and no one who pronounces intentions solely on ideological grounds should be trusted in these matters.

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  28. Short Shriveled and Slightly to the Left (743 comments) says:

    I’ve just realised what is going on……Labour are making a mockumentary on how to lose a winnable election….they are trolling us Joaquin Phoenix style

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  29. itstricky (2,027 comments) says:

    No, charter schools are not privatisation. They are partnerships between the private sector and the State.

    Bollocks, they are. There’s no difference between a State school and a Charter school apart from the fact that there are non-unioned teachers. It’s a step towards privatisation and you know it. That’s why the righties love it so much, not because it has any fundamental factors that are actually going to make a difference.

    The entire education system should be privatised, but that’s not going to happen under National.

    …if you look forward to the day where the electricity company sends you a flyer in the mail… “Fix your electrity rates with us for the next 3 years and, as a bonus, we’ll throw in a free boarding school education for your child – you won’t have to see them for 3 years and when they come back they’ll be all kitted with rote learnt facts up for a life in drudgy drone Corporate land. Apply now!”

    There are some things that the free market just doesn’t do.

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  30. ShawnLH (6,707 comments) says:

    “there are some things the free market doesn’t do.”

    No, there isin’t. And the free market does education very well, vastly better than the state.

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  31. itstricky (2,027 comments) says:

    Based on a sample of Private schools whose catchment means they are far far more heavily resourced and mobile than a State school. Yeah, I hear your “logic” and it’s putting me to sleep.

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