In 1978 the Conservative party in the UK ran a billboard ad campaign across the country called “Labour Isn’t Working”.

It was run in anticipation that Labour Party Prime Minister James Callaghan would call a general election. It was revived for the general election campaign the following year, after the government lost a vote of no confidence in the wake of the Winter of Discontent.

We are approaching our own Winter of Discontent as the economy reels from Chinese Plague aftershocks. There are now more than 200,000 people unemployed:

There are now more than 200,000 New Zealanders receiving either JobSeeker Support or the Covid-19 Income Relief Payment.

New data released from the Ministry of Social Development on Friday showed that 56,000 of those people had requested support since March 20.

In the week ending June 26, the number of people receiving the Covid-19 payment had risen to 10,579. This is a payment of $490 a week for 12 weeks for full-time workers who lose their job due to the pandemic.

The number of people on a Jobseeker Support benefit also rose compared to the week before, after falling for the last two weeks as people transferred to the Covid-19 payment.

Over the four weeks to June 26, an additional 11,500 people had sought income support from either the Jobseeker Support benefit or the Covid-19 payment.

Labour isn’t working.

When the second tranche of the wage subsidy expires, conveniently just after the election, then expect to see the numbers of unemployed sky-rocket. It will easily be another 200,000.

All the government has done with the wage subsidy, is kick the can down the road.

The economy is not going to recover anytime soon, as Chinese Plague numbers continue to grow in the rest of the world. The Government won’t be able to keep the borders shut forever and when the gates open a bit wider then we are going to see catch up on the number of cases.

The hollow slogans of going hard and early won’t mean anything to those who have lost their jobs.

For them the valid slogan is “Labour isn’t working”.

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Cam Slater
As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats. Cam has previously voted National, Act and NZ First, he never was ever tempted to vote Labour or Green, but once contemplated voting for the Maori party. They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners. He is fearless in his pursuit of a story. Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.