Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Sometimes, you win

Over the weekend, Labour revealed its housing policy. Part of that policy was to stop sucking "dividends" out of Housing New Zealand, and instead get the company to reinvest that money in growing the state housing stock. The government immediately dismissed the idea, claiming the dividend was a "discipline" on Housing New Zealand. And then, within a day, Steven Joyce was tweeting that they'd decided not to take it - something which has now been confirmed by Bill English.

Forget all the bullshit about "flip-flops" and "U-turns" and policy on the hoof. The government has adopted a policy we want it to adopt, presumably in response to public pressure, and that's a good thing. Sure, they've done it in a chaotic, messy way which shows that they have no real idea what they're doing - but that doesn't change that fact.

It also shows how effective a good opposition can be. Presenting policies to the public, winning them over, creating a constituency for change and forcing the government to react - this is how parties can force change even when not in power. The Greens have been good at it, and its great to see Labour finally stepping up and trying it too, rather than trying to just float into power without doing anything to earn it.