Finally – mainstream media is catching up…
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.
= fs =