Monday, October 01, 2007

Back to the 90's with National

So, John Key wants to boost the government subsidy to profit-making private schools while allowing the private sector to build and operate public schools. Does anyone detect a theme here? Despite having lost three elections in a row, and seen their extreme free market agenda defeated in every election since 1990 (but unfortunately imposed anyway through deceit and the distortions of FPP), the National Party has learned nothing and forgotten nothing and still wants to drag us back to the 90's. Oh, the worst of it is supposedly gone - Key now eschews bulk funding, just as he denies any plans for full selloffs of state assets (except for Solid Energy, and LandCorp, and anything else his rich mates want) - but OTOH given the deceit exposed in their health policy (which somehow failed to mention that it would be leaving doctor's fees to the market), can we really trust them on that?

As for the policies themselves, they follow National's current policy agenda of looting the state. Increased subsidies for private schools means higher profits for their owners and lower fees for the snobs who choose to exclude their children from the state system in an effort to perpetuate privilege and avoid them "falling in with the wrong crowd" (i.e. ordinary New Zealanders). And renting school properties means giving their owners a perpetual, risk-free revenue stream, while forcing the government to pay an inflated price to cover not just the cost of building the school, but also the owner's profit. As with their health, aged-care and privatisation polices, it's all about redirecting state revenue into the private pockets of National's donors and cronies, and if it happened in Indonesia, we'd make no bones about calling it exactly what it is: corruption and crony capitalism.