The Dog’s Bollocks

Truth is like a dog’s bollocks – pretty obvious if you care to look.

The New Pacific Solution

Working for the Man — a great report tonight on Foreign Correspondent on New Zealand’s pacific island guest worker program. It certainly looks like a win-win situation all round. New Zealand’s primary producers benefit from reliable and cheap labour and hence New Zeland consumers and the national wealth. The island workers earn in an hour what they would earn in a day back in Vanuatu. The employers are liable for $3,000 for each worker not returned to the airport when the visa expires. The workers return home after 30 weeks with the equivalent of a couple of years pay saved to invest in their families and community — effectively bypassing the corruptions of government and the millions we have spent on them to little avail.

Rudd’s cabinet is now considering a report commissioned on the New Zealand model, and seems likely to give it the go ahead.

The only problems I see are the provision of sufficient goodwill and oversight to ensure that workers are not subjected to conditions in breech of the program’s requirements — remember Queensland’s sugar slaves last century? Inevitably we will absorb a higher proportion of pacific islanders into our population than we have now. Which means at least a generation of suspicion and fear from the white working poor fomented by the likes of Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt.

Other than those concerns it sounds like an excellent development.

What, with Kevin-spin-master-and-world-traveller-Rudd paving the way for a rigorous free trade agreement with China on his recent photo-op in Beijing, and this — why that’s two sound economic reforms in one week! And a lady GG to boot!

The Howardian Old Guard must be grumbling in their beers. “That damned Rudd is just too bloody clever for his own boots and his massive ego. See! It’s all just spin and style over substance.”

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The Dog’s Bollocks

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