Hey folks, Happy New Year and all that jazz. The naughties are done, and the tens have begun.
Back in August I made some foolhardy promises about how much writing I might be doing. Hasn't happened. I was still too busy with other things - an ongoing restructuring at work, thesis work and of course Labour Party activity.
After a solid long break though I am feeling a little more loquacious, and so I hope to be offering a few more things here in twenty-ten as we're all calling it.
Last year politically was interesting. For me the biggest plusses are two, one found inside Labour and one found in the Government.
For Labour, the big plus is that we've resisted the historic tendency of left wing parties to undergo a round of infighting after losing office. Losing elections sucks, and the idea that people might like to have it out with each other and lay blame etc is not a surprising one. Problem is that it's self indulgent crap, and not what voters expect. The British Labour Party is doing that already, in advance of losing its election this year, but we aren't - and we won't. That's a relief.
The government is a big plus because it has shown firstly that it isn't a bunch of radical libertarians, and secondly that it doesn't really know what it wants to do. The first is good because it means John Key's campaign was honest. If I was an unkind man, I would describe him as a sheep in sheep's clothing, but I am not, so instead I will say he's an amiable, smart guy who is doing what he said he'd do.
The "what should we do next" is a plus because eventually people will tire of a government they sense doesn't have a plan. New Zealand faces lots of challenges that the government can play a key role addressing. This government already doesn't look like it has the ideas to tackle some of the biggest - particularly our economic situation, which is a theme I will come back to again and again.
As I observed back in August, the focus of my writing will be on Labour and on issues. It won't really be on the Government or the National Party, or their hangers on. Partisan rants will have to come from other authors, I'm afraid.
I'll be popping up now and again. I've got a few pieces on Labour strategy, the lessons of economic geography, broadcasting policy and others that I am chewing on. If I get one decent piece out per week, I'll be happy.
Best of luck for a great 2010!