Liam Bateman writes.
Facebook is a wonderful tool, is it not? Not only is Facebook a great source of entertainment, but it’s also a great way to bring people together in a common interest. I can name a pair of cases where this has happened for me, not only as a political activist, but in my personal life. But that is not what I am supposed to discuss today. The reason I opened my article with this comment on the social network is because of a wonderful letter I obtained through Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway’s page.
Printed in the Palmerston North newspaper, the Manawatu Standard, Mark Byford wrote an outstanding letter to the editor calling out the excuses of the National government’s failures in the economy. Mark Byford is an outstanding Labour activist in the Palmerston North electorate who has actively campaigned against zero hour contracts, the GCSB legislation and many other laws passed by the Tories. He’s also been recognised by other left wing groups overseas, being asked to speak at the memorial of gay rights activist Harvey Milk. He is an outstanding young man, and someone who I can imagine within Labour’s caucus in the future.
Mr Byford’s letter read the following:
I find it an insult to basic facts when the Prime Minister stands up in Parliament and attacks the economic credibility of Labour. The last time Labour came into office, National had left the books in a mess. In five years under Labour, we saw unemployment go down from 7.2% to 4.3%. People on unemployment benefits down from 144000 to under 68000. Individuals on unemployed benefits for more than two years dropped by 70%.
We also saw the introduction of KiwiSaver, Kiwibank, the Cullen Fun, Working for Families, interest-free student loans and much more. John Key claims Labour “loves to spend” But the stark reality is, Labour in government lived within its means.
The difference between Labour and National is that Labour paid the bills and at the end of the day had a budget surplus rate of 100% over nine years in government. National have been in power for nearly seven years. Their surplus rate? 0%. Under this government, the regions are being left behind. This is no longer a country of opportunity. It’s time for National to give Kiwis some real answers rather than pointing the finger at the previous government. It’s been almost seven years. It’s time to take responsibility.
If this were an essay, I’d immediately give this top marks. Mark, you have hit the nail on the John and Bill’s seven years of incompetence. As I said before in one of my first posts on Insiders, it seems all Tories are incapable of taking responsibility for failure and this letter highlights it.
The Prime Minister should cut the crap and start acting with responsibility. Acknowledging you made a mistake is not a sign of weakness, it shows you know when to say you have not been the messiah you have been painted as. Even Helen Clark knew when to acknowledge when she had made mistakes during her tenure as Prime Minister, so why can’t Johnny boy?