The lurch to the right begins

John Key is busily constructing the smokescreen for his third term, and the key phrase is going to be “centre ground“.

“Obviously there are some things we want to do; RMA (Resource Management Act) reform, employment law reform, but they’d be very much based around what’s in the carry over provision … what we talked about before we left. We’re not looking to do radical, different things.”

But let’s remember a few things:

The Employment Relations Amendment Bill which National are going to pass in their first 100 days is radical rightwing reform. Despite the spin that it’s about “fairness and flexibility” in the workplace it attacks rights as fundamental as getting a regular rest break.

The ERA Bill stirred up so much resistance that they weren’t able to pass it last term, especially after John Banks resigned in disgrace.

In fact, it’s the perfect example of this narrative in action: take law changes which will undermine the wages and conditions of every New Zealand worker, make it easier for bad bosses to fire people whenever they want, but as long as you keep hammering the “fairness and flexibility” line you can pretend it’s not a dramatic shift to the right.

If anyone believes that Key’s third term won’t see a ramping up of the rightwing agenda to run down our public services and open more and more of our country to private interest plundering, I have a public/private bridge partnership to sell you.

What do you reckon?

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