In an extraordinary development, TV3 launched a full scale criticism of National’s failure to meet it’s Budget Day promise, last year, to create 170,000 new jobs.
Bill English at first tried to dismiss the horrendous rise in unemployment (7.3%, from the previous 6.8%) as,
“You could call it a blip. There are slow patches but we are on track for 2 to 3% growth.”
But he was eventually pressured to admit,
“In the past two years, [there are] 26,000 people in new jobs, but in the last quarter no new jobs – which is why we want to crack on. We are behind the 170,000 track.”
Which is as close as we will ever get to a National politician conceding that they and their neo-liberal, free market, hands-off, approach has failed.
Every other country on this planet is actively engaged in proactive management of their economies and social policies. Only New Zealand – ‘governed’ (and I use that term loosely) by a Party that is slavishly pursuing a thirty year old dogma – is standing back as our economy goes down the proverbial toilet and will end up flushed out somewhere in the Cook Straight.
The economic realities;
- Unemployment: up from 6.8% six months ago, to 7.3%
- Export sector: in crisis as our over-valued dollar makes selling our products overseas barely worthwhile, losing profits and ending up with staff redundancies
- A critical housing shortage
- A growing poverty-wealth gap
- and thousands more New Zealanders heading overseas
This is in stark contrast to John Key’s vision of the ‘Bright New Future’ that he promised us last year, and the many fine-sounding speeches he made before that in 2008 and since. Unfortunately the rhetoric doesn’t match National’s deeds or results – not by a long shot.
Faced with trenchant criticisms from all direction, English lamely replied,
“We think we have the balance about right.”
God help us.
TV3’s handling of the story left the viewer in no doubt that National was being hauled over the coals. And with a critical analysis not seen for a long time during Dear Leader’s reign.
The steep rise in unemployment was the final signal that National has had an Epic Fail, and from now on it is “gloves off ” by the mainstream media.
As BERL’s economist, Ganesh Nana said bluntly,
“You have a seven in front of unemployment, you have a five in front of dairy forecast payout, a zero in front of inflation and export growth – how many warning signs do you need on the dashboard until you do something different?
Without changes to our policy settings, the short term picture is not pretty, with our models projecting even further rises in jobless numbers.”
Only a year ago, centre-left bloggers had come to this same conclusion when, after the last election, it quickly became apparent to the likes of Tumeke!, The Jackal, The Standard, Bowalley Road, Waitakere News , The Dim Post, et al, that National was reliant on a failed neo-liberal agenda to ‘govern’.
National was not going to govern with pragmatic common sense – it was going to govern from an ideological stance, and nothing was going to change it’s direction.
Since last year’s election, New Zealand has been at undeclared war with it’s own “government”, as unpopular policy after unpopular policy was dumped on us. Coupled to Key’s unhealthy, blind support for the corrupt Member for Epsom; the lies that followed from both men; and this was a “government” we were losing faith in.
TV3’s Duncan Garner simply repeated what bloggers and other commentators have been saying for the past year,
“ Key says now is not the time to change course. But economists are all largely saying the economy has gone into a fragile state.
[...]A change of course is urgently required if New Zealand is to avoid yet another damaging recession.
The Government was shell-shocked by yesterday’s numbers, but it’s praying with its fingers crossed that things come right.
It’s risky. The expensive tax cuts from three years ago have had little impact.
Christchurch needs to be rebuilt fast and Auckland has alarmingly softened, although its house prices haven’t.
That’s seriously concerning, especially when your second largest city is in rubble.
Forget gay red shirts, comments about ‘batsh*t’ and what Key knew or didn’t know about Dotcom.
This blows all that away in terms of importance. This is fundamental. This is the serious stuff.
It’s people’s lives, their jobs, their mortgages, their families, their hopes, their dreams and their security.
It’s the economy, stupid. It wins and loses elections.
The Prime Minister’s sole focus needs to be the economy.
If he can’t turn this around or halt the slide – National will likely lose the Treasury benches in 2014.”
“Is our economy collapsing” askes Duncan Garner? The answer, Duncan, is yes; it is. You just needed to pay closer attention to what the rest of us were saying all along.
As for John Key – I suspect he’ll be avoiding other media from now on, and not just Radio New Zealand.
Dear Leader’s bunker awaits, as critics close in on him and his harried Party.
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As predicted eight days ago, National has abandoned all pretences at meeting our Kyoto Protocol obligations, and cutting back on air pollution,
As this blogger wrote on 1 November, John Key was adamant that National was committed to reducing greenhouse gases, and making environmental concerns a priority for his “government”,
” What global Leaders know, and what the National Party knows, is that environmentalism and a commitment to economic growth must go hand in hand. We should be wary of anyone who claims that one can or should come without the other. And we should always measure a Government’s environmental rhetoric against its environmental record.
In the years ahead it will be increasingly important that New Zealand marries its economic and environmental policies. Global climate change awareness, resource shortages, and increasing intolerance of environmental degradation will give environmental policy renewed relevance on the world stage…
… And, in seeking the balance between environmental and economic goals, National will never forget that New Zealand’s outstanding physical environment is a key part of what makes our country special. Kiwis proudly value our forests, mountains, rivers, lakes, and oceans. They are part of our history and they must continue to define our future.
Our environment isn’t just a bonus. It’s part of being a Kiwi. It underpins our enviable quality of life. It gives us an in-built edge over many of our economic rivals. I’m thinking, for example, of what Australia would do for our abundant water resources. And, increasingly, New Zealand’s environmental credentials will underpin our prosperity and our trade profile…
… One of National’s key goals, should we lead the next Government, will be to stem the flow of New Zealanders choosing to live and work overseas. We want to make New Zealand an attractive place for our children and grandchildren to live – including those who are currently living in Australia, the UK, or elsewhere…
… Labour has talked big talk on the environment but all too often it has failed to deliver.
• Labour promised to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% – but instead they have gone up by 20%.
• Labour promised a target of 90% renewable electricity by 2021 – but the actual proportion of renewables has sunk to an all-time low.
• Labour promised 250,000 hectares of additional trees by 2020 – but the past three years has seen the worst deforestation since records began… “
Key was emphatic in demanding stronger environmental protections for our country,
” I urge you to read our environment policy in full. But let me pick out some highlights.
First, this policy underlines National’s commitment to addressing global climate change. We view this as the most serious environmental challenge of our time.
National believes that New Zealand, as a responsible international citizen, and as a country that values our clean, green environment, must act to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. This policy sets out our commitment to that goal.
National will set an achievable emissions reduction target for New Zealand. We seek a 50% reduction in New Zealand’s carbon-equivalent net emissions, as compared to 1990 levels, by 2050. 50 by 50. We will write the target into law.
National will also ensure New Zealand works on the world stage to support international efforts to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. We are committed to honouring our Kyoto Protocol obligations and we will work to achieve further global alliances that build on the goals agreed to at Kyoto.
Our approach to future international negotiations will be to work with fellow countries on finding a pragmatic way to include large emitters like China, the United States, India, and Brazil. It’s clear that the absence of these large emitters from any post-Kyoto agreement would severely compromise global progress on this issue.
In order to achieve domestic emission reduction, National will pursue sound, practical environmental policies. We want to reduce emissions in ways that result in least cost to society and the economy.
To that end, we consider a well-designed, carefully balanced emissions trading scheme (ETS) to be the best tool available for efficiently reducing emissions across the economy. “
Up until April/May 2010, Key maintained National’s supportive position on the ETS,
“I’d say it’s unlikely it would be amended.”
But as New Zealanders have now come to expect, what National sez – and what National does, are often two completely different things.
If one was sufficiently uncharitable, one could say that National was highly dishonest as it back-tracked on it’s committments. But seeing as this blogger is not uncharitable, let’s just call them lying bastards and settle at that.
By November 2011 Environment Minister Nick Smith announced,
“ … It is not in New Zealand’s interests to include agricultural emissions in the ETS yet.
And true to word, in August of this year, National introduced legislation to remove agriculture and the egg industry from the ETS, entirely.
By October of this year, National had scrapped five yearly State of the Environment Reports, despite John Key having endorsed it in September 2008.
Today, National completed what can only be deemed as a covert policy to repudiate the ETS and our committments to Kyoto. As Climate Change Minister Tim Groser said,
“The Government has decided that from 1 January 2013 New Zealand will be aligning its climate change efforts with developed and developing countries which collectively are responsible for 85% of global emissions. This includes the United States, Japan, China, India, Canada, Brazil, Russia and many other major economies.”
Which is an outrageous admission from a National minister, and makes a mockery of Key’s fuzzy-wuzzy words just four years ago.
Groser went on to state,
“I want to emphasise that NZ stands 100% behind its existing Kyoto Protocol Commitment. We are on track to achieving our target – indeed we are forecasting a projected surplus of 23.1 million tonnes. Furthermore, we will remain full members of the Kyoto Protocol. There is no question of withdrawing. The issue was always different: where would we take our next commitment – under the Kyoto Protocol or under the Convention with the large majority of economies? We have decided that it is New Zealand’s best interests to do the latter. ”
If New Zealand was “on track to achieving our target – indeed we are forecasting a projected surplus of 23.1 million tonnes” – then why withdraw from the Second Kyoto Protocols?
This makes no sense unless National is continuing to bullshit the public.
This is another broken pledge from John Key, and a failure by National to meet it’s own committments.
Key and National will be held to account at the next election. Broken promises are not a sound basis on which to base an election campaign.
National’s media release is headed, “New Zealand Commits to UN Framework Convention” – as if National was undertaking meaningful committments to environmental protection.
It is a laughable attempt to ‘spin’ National’s broken committments in a positive light.
The truly offensive thing here is not that John Key’s credibility is now shot to hell; nor that National has shown itself to be utterly untrustworthy – but that the Nat’s Party (taxpayer funded) spin-doctors thought that the public was so stupid that we wouldn’t notice.
All they’ve done is drawn more attention to their lies, broken promises, and secret agendas.
Fairfax Media: AgResearch stalls ‘damaging’ report
Tumeke: John Key’s invisible New Zealand
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With unemployment soaring to 7.3%, the highest in thirteen years…
As international speculators push up the value of the Kiwi dollar, wrecking our export sector…
As the gulf between poor and wealthy grows…
As the migration of New Zealanders to Australia continues to increase…
I’m happy to announce to the 1,058,636 people who voted for John Key, that National has their priorities carefully sorted,
Isn’t it reassuring for National Party voters that Key and his Ministers are carefully focused on… punctuation.
And all paid for out of our taxes.
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