Getting with the programme
Labour's new team. Shearer announces portfolios.
Exciting, but dangerous. Jacinda so high up - the only way is down. They want bold they got bold.
Looking forward to Shearer speaking in parliament against the Nat's woeful plan to privatise everything.
The 50th Parliament has opened with the Government committing to build a more competitive economy in spite of the testing times New Zealand has recently faced.
The speech from the throne, written by the Government, was delivered by Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae, and outlined the Government's programme for the next term, delivering no surprises.
No surprises with the fall-back, reactive Tory policies of, corporate welfare/privatisation, screwing over young and vulnerable workers, welfare beneficiary bashing, obsession with crime and order, starting out with a delusion that there is no depression:
"The economy is recovering, having grown in eight of the past nine quarters, and 63,000 more people are employed now compared to two years ago.
"This recovery is forecast to continue.''
The European debt crisis was the biggest risk now facing the country, but the Government was in a relatively good position to deal with the fall-out, Sir Jerry said.
The Government's plans to sell shares in state assets to pay for new projects, to reform the welfare system, and to introduce a "starting-out-wage'' for young people.
Sir Jerry also spoke about new legislation that would be brought in to strengthen sentencing, parole and bail laws, saying it would be harder for those charged with serious offences to get bail.
Shearer and Robertson are so new to the front bench that I don't rate their chances of making much of an impression in this first week of the parliament. They have three years till the next election and that is a very long run in, so they shouldn't get too worried with polling and the media etc. for the first year and just focus on getting stuck into National and convincing people they are the government in waiting.