And ye shall know him by his key messages

The Greens have released a housing policy around progressive ownership – government builds houses, low-income families rent houses for nominal cost-recovering rent, and extra rent paid goes towards purchasing equity in the house.

As a bonus, rich people’s kids don’t even have to self-select out of it!

Holly Walker did a great job explaining the policy – and how no, Minister Heatley, it isn’t just creating bad debt the way your government did giving tax cuts to the rich – on Firstline.  It was clear, compelling, and made sense to someone like me who really, really avoids the deeper, scarier economic debates over at The Standard.

And when David Shearer was asked to comment on it?

“it comes down to the economic impact of that and whether we could afford it”.

“There’s other areas we would want to take a look at, particularly the economic impact of it. We want to be responsible economic managers and that’s a big proviso on whatever we roll out as policy.”

Good economic managers, that’s his comment.  Economic impact is what’s important – not getting underprivileged families into safe dry homes, stable tenancies, and actually able to work towards owning a house as their circumstances allow.  Not reducing demand on the rental market so landlords can’t just charge $300 a week for any old drafty damp shack.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but when I think about people’s concerns (yes yes, voiced often at The Standard) that David Shearer’s Labour Party might just be a bit of a National-lite no-principles don’t-scare-the-horses-by-actually-saying-anything-too-lefty outfit?  I definitely hear the words “responsible economic managers” ringing in my ears.

Gold star to Shearer’s advisors though for making him sound like he’s been stuffed with waffles.  “Oh yeah, there are other things we’d look at.  Oh, I don’t have examples to cite or anything, I haven’t figured out how to make definitive statements, but we’d definitely look at things.  Lots of things.  Because that makes us sound open-minded.  And responsible.  Especially about the economy.”

I know none of y’all in the big grey building next to the silly round building read blogs, but you might like to consider just how many commenters over at TS are now declaring themselves for the Greens.  Those white-anting bastards.