There's not one thing in PM Chippy's "Five Economic Priorities" for Chippies in the Hutt
PM Hipkins released his Five Economic Priorities yesterday. The language is comical, using every buzz word known to motivational speakers. NZ should develop "a strong global reputation", be a "Centre of Excellence", go for "sustainable agri-tech", be a "global leader" in renewables, "digitally creative" and focus on "premium tourism" (meaning rich people flying Business & Private, one supposes, not unwashed backpackers driving vans).
In other words, it reads like something a billionaire who stays in eco-friendly lodges, owns a tech business where everyone earns a million a year, attends global leadership conferences in places like Davos in Switzerland, has a superyacht powered by bio-fuel and invests his or her spare cash in sustainable energy start-ups, would come up with. As such, my reading of Chippy's "five economic priorities" is that they will put up the cost-of-living.
The odd thing is that there's nothing in his priorities for ordinary men or women. The PM may like to pretend he's on the side of bread-and-butter working-class folk concerned about things being affordable, however, at least in the US, such folks would read his five economic priorities as something concocted by Hollywood producers, Silicon valley weirdos & Prince Harry types, with help from Hilary Clinton. And run for the hills.
Oddly enough, we've just been visited at Auckland University by Professor Massimo Morelli from Bocconi in Italy who gave a Distinguished Lecture about populism. He said populist leaders often go for five commitments to wrangle votes. Apparently psychologists have identified "five" as a magic number. He said Italy's former PM, Silvio Berlusconi, had a Five Point Personal Contract, and there was a populist party in that country called the "Five Star Movement. Former Republican Speaker of the House in the US, Newt Gingrich, has advocated a "five point plan" for America. At least Chippy's in good company.