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Posts Tagged ‘john key’

Moral justifications in a moral vacuum cannot be heard

6 August 2013 3 comments

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A recent TVNZ story,

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Spy law legislation passes second reading

Source: TVNZ – Spy law legislation passes second reading

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In the same TVNZ story, note the invocation of Helen Clark’s name by John Key;

“That is just the way things are,” he said. “We live in a global environment where there are real threats, that’s the point we make with the GCSB legislation, it is why Helen Clark passed the legislation in 2003.”

And,

“It is obviously small numbers but there are small numbers of radicalised New Zealanders, who have either gone over into those environments or returned, and I don’t think this is terribly new, I suspect Helen Clark would have signed warrants as well.”

Source: IBID

It’s not that Key is trying to shift blame on to Labour – as he usually does when avoiding responsibility for one of his stuff-ups (see: Taking responsibility, National-style, and National’s disdain for taking responsibility). No, this time he is invoking the credibility and mana of his predecessor to justify his own dubious  actions on the scandals and unpopular legislation swirling around him.

Despite a few trivial errors of judgement, Clark left Parliament with her reputation intact; enhanced; and invited to work for the United Nations.

Contrast that to John Key whose reputation for distortion; fudging the truth – and in my opinion, some outright lies – has left his reputation in tatters.

Channelling his predecessor’s name appears to be  Key’s last card to justify an unwarranted extension of governmental power; the growth of the policed surveillance state; and his involvement in illegal spying on a member of parliament and a journalist.

If that is all he’s got left , then he’s heading for rock bottom.

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 4 August 2013.

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John Key & George Bush…

3 August 2013 3 comments

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John Key, George Bush, and The Bogeyman

 

 

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’nuff said.

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Radio NZ: Focus on Politics for 2 August 2013

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- Focus on Politics -

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- Friday 2 August 2013 -

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- Brent Edwards -

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A weekly analysis of significant political issues.

Friday after 6:30pm and Saturday at 5:10pm

The Prime Minister remained defiant this week despite evidence emerging his office had pressured the Parliamentary Service to release phone records to the inquiry into the leak of the Kitteridge report on the GCSB.

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Radio NZ logo - Focus on Politics

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Click to listen: Focus on Politics for 2 August 2013 ( 17′ 38″ )

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Acknowledgement: Radio NZ

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How deep is Key in this mess?

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Key's office ordered records released

Source: Fairfax Media – Key’s office ordered records released

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It now appears that the Prime Minister’s office was involved  in obtaining Andrea Vance’s phone records.

If it can be shown that Key was directly involved – this government will fall.

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Facepalm #3: John Key

On TV3 News tonight…

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John Key - Kim Dotcom - GCSB

Acknowledgement: TV3 – Did Key lie, or is Dotcom bluffing?

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One of the worst interviews from Key. His comments had to be heard to be believed…

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Did Key lie, or is Dotcom bluffing1

0:45 – “He makes so many claims that are just factually incorrect..”

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Not true.

In fact, to date, every claim that Kim Dotcom made in regards to John Banks has been proven to be true. Not one statement from Dotcom has been disproven as a lie.

Either Key was woefully ignorant of this fact – or once again he has deceived the public.

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Did Key lie, or is Dotcom bluffing2

0:56 “And to the best of all the records that we’ve checked and we’ve gone extensively through every  record my office holds, there is no evidence that we can point to we’ve heard of the guy, prior to the 19th of January 2012.”

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So why does Key have to  go “through every record my office holds ” to answer a simple question whether or not he knew of Kim Dotcom much earlier than he has admitted? Surely he would know this without having to go through his office records?!

Why also is Key referring to “there is no evidence that we can point to we’ve heard of the guy” - when his own memory should be sufficient? Why does he need to check if evidence exists or not?

Evidence of what?

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Did Key lie, or is Dotcom bluffing3

2:09: “The man is a conspiracy theorist. He makes things up.”

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He makes things up“?!?!

Key is accusing other people of “making things up”?!?!

John Key is perhaps the most dishonest Prime Minister we have seen. He bends the truth to suit the situation. He is conveniently forgetful to such a degree that the term “brain fade” has entered common usage. His reputation for making it up as he goes along is now common knowledge.

As I wrote before; Kim Dotcom has been 100% up-front with the people of New Zealand and has never been caught out lying or even bending the truth.

The same cannot be said of John Key or John Banks.

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A Special Facepalm for John Key

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Doing ‘the business’ with John Key – Here’s How

25 April 2013 15 comments

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This Blogger has deduced the new, simplified,  John Key Style of Doing Business.

Phase 1

Meet socially and conduct an ‘informal chat’. This leaves only the barest record of any meeting; nothing said is documented or reported; and plausible deniability exists if things go pear-shaped.

From April, last year,

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Prime Minister defends loan to MediaWorks

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” Published: 8:28PM Friday April 08, 2011 Source: ONE News

The Prime Minister is defending his decision to loan $43 million of taxpayer money to private media companies.

John Key claims the loan scheme was designed to help the whole radio industry.

But a ONE News investigation has revealed MediaWorks was the big winner after some hard lobbying.

Key is known for being media friendly, but he’s facing criticism from Labour that he’s become too cosy with MediaWorks which owns TV3 and half of New Zealand’s radio stations.

It has been revealed the government deferred $43 million in radio licensing fees for MediaWorks after some serious lobbying.

Key and the former head of MediaWorks, Brent Impey, talked at a TV3 Telethon event.

“I just raised it as an issue but we’d been looking at it for sometime. My view was it made sense. It’s a commercial loan, it’s a secured contract,” Key said.

It’s believed the loan is being made at 11% interest.

But in answer to parliamentary written questions, the Prime Minister said he had “no meetings” with representatives of MediaWorks to discuss the deal.

Two days later that answer was corrected, saying he “ran into” Brent Impey at a “social event” in Auckland where the issue was “briefly raised” and he “passed his comments on” to the responsible minister. ” – Source

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The up-shot of Key “running into Brent Impey at a ‘social event’ in Auckland” was that Mediaworks were offered a $43 million dollar loan, despite being earlier declined by Broadcasting Minister, Steven Joyce.

For full background on this story, see earlier blogpost:  Politics-Free Zone? “Tui” time!

As John Drinnan, the NZ Herald’s business writer and media commentator wrote at the time,

So much for market forces. The future of the radio industry was decided behind closed doors in talks between industry incumbents and a former industry player, and signed off by Cabinet.  ” – Source

Hmmmm…  Now where have we heard this just recently?!

From April, this year,

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SkyCity deal was PM’s own offer

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10:20 AM Wednesday Apr 18, 2012

Prime Minister John Key has confirmed he offered a deal to Sky City allowing the casino to have more pokie machines in return for building a multimillion-dollar convention centre. Mr Key, speaking from Indonesia, confirmed he made the offer to Sky City in his capacity as Minister of Tourism, Newstalk ZB reported…

… Mr Key was asked last July in a question for written answer from Green MP Sue Kedgley whether he or any of his ministers had met representatives from the casino to discuss changes to the Gambling Act.

He replied: “I attended a dinner with the Sky City board 4 November 2009 where we discussed a possible national convention centre and they raised issues relating to the Gambling Act 2003″. ” – Source

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That’s how it’s done. Neat, no fuss, no questions from pesky media – sorted. (Even better if the business party pick up the tab for the evening!)

Phase 2

Promise Big Numbers.  It doesn’t matter if the numbers never eventuate because they were fictitious to start with. By the time the media and public realise the true facts, the issue will be all but forgotten. A week may be a long time in politics – but a year positively guarantees  collective amnesia for 99% of the public.

From December, 2010,

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Cycleway jobs fall short

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6:00 AM Wednesday Dec 8, 2010

The national cycleway has so far generated just 215 jobs – well short of Prime Minister John Key’s expectation of 4000.

In May, Mr Key said he expected the $50 million project, which involves building 18 cycleways throughout the country, to generate 4000 jobs.” – Source

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Who can remember the initial cycleway project and the promise of 4,000 new jobs?

Precisely.

From March, this year,

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Key defends casino pokie machine deal

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08:23 Mon Mar 5 2012 – AAP

Opposition parties are accusing the government of selling legislation through an agreement that will see Auckland’s Sky City build a $350 million convention centre in return for more pokie machines…

…  But Mr Key says it’s a good deal for New Zealand.

It produces 1000 jobs to build a convention centre, about 900 jobs to run it ” – Source

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In a year’s time, who will recall the promise of 900 new Convention centre jobs?

Who will care that only a hundred-plus eventuate?

Precisely.

That, my fellow New Zealanders is how John Key Takes Care of Business, in this country. (Dropping to one bent knee and kissing his Don Of Don’s ring, wins extra ‘brownie points’.)

Of course, this isn’t the transparency that John Key promised the country in two recent elections – but considering that National has no other job creation policies they can rely on, they are desperate to clutch at any offer of a business proposal that may create even a handful of jobs (no matter how short-sighted, shady, or ethically dubious).

National’s blind adherence to new right dogma that “governments do not create jobs; only the private sector creates jobs” is not only nonsensical, but traps them in an ideological mindset that does not permit them to consider historical  alternatives. John Key’s – and National’s – dilemma forces them to rely on business, whether it be shady casino deals or selling our productive, revenue-earning farms to overseas investors.

It is a trap of their own making, but we the taxpayer, will end up paying one way or another.

Continued at: Doing ‘the business’ with John Key – Here’s How (Part # Rua)

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Previous Blogposts

Time to bend over again, fellow Kiwis (part # Rua)

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NZ Herald: Pokie deal is a devil’s bargain

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First blogged 23 April 2012

John Key’s State of the Nation speech – post mortem

25 January 2013 28 comments

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John Key today delivered his State of the Nation speech. This is my appraisal of the contents of his address to the people of New Zealand…

Whether it’s welfare reform, law and order, education, the rebuild of Christchurch, or continuing our improvements in public services, it’s full steam ahead.

But no mention of jobs?

We’ve made a huge turnaround in the government’s books, we’ve brought in the biggest changes to the tax system in a generation, and we’re making significant changes to reform the welfare system and strengthen work obligations.”

Still no mention of jobs!

Among other things, we’ve introduced 90-day trials; set time limits for the consenting of large projects under the RMA; introduced a competitive new system for awarding oil and gas exploration permits; got ACC back into good financial shape; and kick-started a multi-billion dollar programme of infrastructure investment.”

Where are the jobs?

” …an economy that was left unbalanced, and in poor shape, by the previous government.

Bullshit. Aside from being National’s “Big Lie“, Labour posted several Budget Surpluses, and payed down debt.  How long can National keep blaming Labour for non-existant ‘mis-management’?

“…  the impact of the Global Financial Crisis

That was FOUR years ago – what has National been doing in the meantime – aside from banging on about welfare “reforms” and adding to unemployment by cutting back on the State sector and under-mining the export sector by not addressing the high Dollar?!

Since the bottom of the recession, in mid-2009, the economy has grown at an average of just under 2 per cent a year, and economists are expecting that to strengthen further.”

Yeah? Reallllly???

Which economists? These ones; Rodney Dickens finds economists consistently over-estimated growth?

And how can it be ‘strengthening’ when unemployment is rising; the export sector is being knackered by our high dollar; and government austerity is dampening growth?

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Govt austerity slows growth, keeps rates low - RBNZ

Source

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Key is practicing more of his “vacant optimism”, and bugger all else.

Our employment rate is very high in comparison to other countries, with over three-quarters of all New Zealanders aged 20 to 64 in work. There are still too many people looking for work who can’t find it.  But forecasts show employment continuing to increase and unemployment falling.

Bullshit. Unemployment has risen in the last four Quarters,

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New Zealand Unemployment Rate jan 2012 - dec 2012

Source: Trading Economics – Unemployment

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By what stretch of his money-addled brain is he expecting it to fall? Especially when the 170,000 new jobs predicted in 2011 by a vacantly optimistic Key, have yet to materialise.

Interest rates are at 50-year lows.

Oh, puh-leeese.

Interest rates are not determined by government. They are set by the Reserve Bank. And current interest rates are low only because the economy is weak.

Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard said: “New Zealand’s economic outlook has weakened a little since the March Monetary Policy Statement.

“Political and economic stresses in Europe, along with a run of weaker-than-expected data, have seen New Zealand’s trading partner outlook worsen. Furthermore, there is a small but growing risk that conditions in the euro area deteriorate more markedly than is projected in the June Statement.

The Bank is monitoring euro-area developments carefully given the potential for rapid change.“Increased agricultural production and the weakened global outlook have driven New Zealand’s export commodity prices lower.

The resulting moderation in export incomes, although partially offset by depreciation in the exchange rate, will weigh on economic activity in New Zealand. Fiscal consolidation is also likely to constrain demand growth going forward.

See: Reserve Bank Monetary Policy Statement June  2012

Is Key taking credit for a weak economy?! Go on, Dear Leader, I dare you to do it!

Prices for primary exports are holding up, and our terms of trade remain high.

Say whut? Has Key been caught out fibbing – again?  Terms of  trade are not “remaining high”. Quite the opposite,

New Zealand’s terms of trade fell to a three-year low in the September quarter as the country’s strong currency ate into returns from an increasing volume of dairy exports.

The terms of trade, which measures how much imports can be bought with a fixed quantity of exports, fell 3.2 per cent in the three months ended September 30, according to Statistics New Zealand. That’s more than the 1.8 per cent forecast in a Reuters survey of economists. Export prices sank 6.3 per cent, ahead of the 3.6 per cent expected, while import prices declined 3.3 per cent versus an anticipated 2 per cent fall.

See: New Zealand Herald – Terms of trade hit three-year low

Primary export prices are not “holding up”. They are falling,

Dairy, which accounts for about a quarter of New Zealand’s exports, was the biggest contributor to the falling export prices and rising volumes, with volumes surging 32 per cent in the quarter, even as prices sank 13 per cent.

See: IBID

This isn’t a “State of the Nation” report – it’s a work of goddamn  fiction.

That will be centred, of course, on Christchurch, where the spend is now estimated to be around $30 billion. But construction is also expected to pick up in other areas, and manufacturers across the country will be gearing up to supply materials.”

Again, more vacant optimism from Key.

If two major earthquakes had not trashed Christchurch, where would the “growth”  come from? What would be driving economic growth and employment? Faith in the Free Market?!

Volumes

Total manufacturing rose 2.6 percent.
Excluding meat and dairy product manufacturing, sales fell 1.4 percent.
Meat and dairy product manufacturing rose 13 percent.

Values

Total manufacturing rose 1.6 percent.
Excluding meat and dairy product manufacturing, sales fell 1.1 percent.
Meat and dairy product manufacturing rose 9.3 percent.

See: Statistics NZ Economic Survey of Manufacturing: September 2012 quarter

In any three-month period in New Zealand, between 100,000 and 200,000 jobs disappear, and between 100,000 and 200,000 new jobs are created, as businesses start up, expand, contract and close altogether.”

Is Key suggesting that there are “100,000 to 200,000 new jobs” created within a three month period?!

The man is in la-la land.

Statistics NZ revealed that for the Setember 2012 Quarter,

The number of people unemployed increased by 13,000 people.
The employment rate fell 0.4 percentage points, to 63.4 percent.
The number of people employed decreased by 8,000.
The labour force participation rate remained unchanged, at 68.4 percent.

See: Household Labour Force Survey: September 2012 quarter

I see no evidence of 100,000 or 200,000 new jobs anywhere. Unemployment, however, rose from 6.8% in the June 2012 Quarter  to 7.3% in the September 2012 Quarter.

Key’s speech mentions none of this, and is as vacantly optimistic as he was last year, or 2011, or 2010, or 2009…

Because the truth is, you only get jobs and growth in the economy when people invest money, at their own risk, in setting up a business or expanding an existing business.

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But the only way net new jobs can be created is by private investors putting their money into businesses in New Zealand.”

Which brings us to the matter of Market failure. We simply are not seeing the number of new jobs required to soak up any of the 175,000 unemployed.

Since 2009, a net total of 114,200 Kiwis left for Australia and elsewhere (see: Johnny’s Report Card – National Standards Assessment y/e 2012: migration ). One could only imagine the staggering level  of  unemployment if Australia  wasn’t an economic “safety-valve” just across the ditch.

” Governments can encourage investment but they can also discourage investment.

A government can load up big costs and uncertainties onto business.

It can make people unwelcome because they are considered to be the wrong nationality to invest here, or in the wrong industry.

And it can lock up the resources of the country.

That would certainly discourage investment.

But as I said, we have to be a magnet for investment.

That’s why my Government is working hard to reduce costs and uncertainties for business.

That’s why we welcome investment that benefits New Zealand.

That’s why we are keeping our own costs down.

That’s why we are ensuring people have the right skills to contribute to the workforce.

That’s why we are ensuring the country has the infrastructure it needs to grow.

And that’s why we’re focused on opportunities to use our natural resources productively and sustainably.”

Ok. So again – where are the jobs?!

After four years of National’s “working hard to reduce costs and uncertainties for business”, “welcoming investment that benefits New Zealand”, “keeping our own costs down”, “ensuring people have the right skills to contribute to the workforce”, “ensuring the country has the infrastructure it needs to grow”, and “focused on opportunities to use our natural resources productively and sustainably” – why are we not seeing this translated into more jobs?

Instead we are seeing unemployment GROWING – not reducing.

Something is terribly wrong here.

” This year we are launching five new vocational pathways that clearly signpost the subjects young people should take to prepare for vocational careers in construction, manufacturing, the primary sector, the service sector and social services.

This year there will be over 4000 places available in trades and services academies, allowing young people to explore vocational career opportunities while still at school.

And there will be around 8700 Youth Guarantee places for young people to study fees-free outside the school environment.”

Two years after the earthquakes that levelled Christchurch?! National has belatedly realised that Market failure is not delivering the number of skilled tradespeople required, and government intervention is needed?

Oh well, better late than never. At least they didn’t wait till after the 2014 elections… Or the turn of the next century… Or the Second Coming…

“Under Labour’s wasteful management, up to 100,000 people a year listed as being in industry training were in fact “phantom trainees” who achieved no credits and in some cases were no longer alive.”

Oh, how original – more Labour-blaming!!

I suspect that figure of  “100,000″ is pure Key bullshit. But regardless, how long is National going to use Labour as a scapegoat?! Especially since, I suspect, that had National kept Labour’s apprenticeships scheme, we’d have the necessary numbers of tradespeople to help re-build Christchurch.

But I guess it’s easier for the Nats to do nothing; wait for the Market to deliver results – and then blame Labour when that nutty idea crashes and burns.

I hope Key realises that the finger-pointing of Labour-blaming is wearing rather thin? People are wondering when the Nats will start taking responsibility for their actions. Especially since National is the Party of personal responsibility,

We also need to remember the enduring principles on which the National Party is based – individual responsibility, support for families and communities, and a belief that the State can’t and shouldn’t do everything.” – John Key, 30 January 2007

Source: National Party

“That has freed up some very significant funding to re-invest in expanding apprenticeships.”

Oh? How much?

Is this “new” money?

Or money stolen from other budgets such as Vote  Health, eg;   for grommet operations for kids with glue ear? (see:   Grommet cuts fear )

One will excuse my cynicism, but with National’s current maniacal obsession with balancing their books, they are constantly robbing Peter to pay Pauline. The net result is that state services are being cut back and no  part of our community is safe from National’s cost-cutting slash-and-burn activities.

One thing is for sure – some other part of the community may find their services wound back to pay for National’s “expanding apprenticeships”.

” So today I am announcing a new initiative to expand and improve apprenticeship training.

This has a number of parts to it:

1. From 1 January next year, we are…”

“Next year”?!?!

Well, never let it be said that National moves with decisive speed when confronted with critical economic and social problems.

Initiating their “new” apprenticeships scheme will mean another year that Christchurch suffers a shortage of trained workers; another year we could have been training some of the 85,000 unemployed youth in this country. Another year – wasted.

This isn’t a government “on top of things”. This is procrastination by deliberate design. Perhaps Key is hoping that the Market will do the job in the next twelve months, giving National an excuse to quietly forget and drop this scheme?

“…we estimate that around 14,000 new apprentices will start training over the next five years, over and above the number previously forecast.”

This sounds remarkably familiar… Didn’t we get a similar promise in 2011,

Treasury say in the Budget, as a result of this platform on what we’ve delivered, 170,000 jobs created and 4% wage growth over the next three to four years.” – John Key, 19 May 2011

See: Budget 2011: Govt predicts 170,000 new jobs

Which was backed up on their 2011 election flyer,

“National’s Brighter Future Plan will help businesses create 170,000 new jobs over the next four years.”

Source: National Party

That one didn’t work out very well either.

Key went on to say,

“The whole idea is to kick-start new apprenticeship opportunities ahead of the curve, so that thousands of New Zealanders get to learn a new trade that will last them a lifetime.”

I have a simple question for our smile and wave Dear Leader; why didn’t they do this immediatly after the 2008 election? Why didn’t this come out of the Jobs Summit in 2009?

And why, as he’s said above, are they now leaving this critical problem to be addressed next year???

All in all – there is little here to create new jobs, now, when we need it the most. Even his comments regarding infrastructure are just so much ‘fluff’,

“Moving on to infrastructure, the Government will this year continue its significant programme of investment, which supports thousands of jobs across the country.”

Well that “support for thousands of jobs across the country” hasn’t worked out so well. Unemployment has risen four quarters in a row. Redundancies were happening across the board, up and down the country. 175,000 New Zealanders are now out of work. Three months prior, that number was 162,000.Before that, 160,000. (see previous blogpost: Johnny’s Report Card – National Standards Assessment y/e 2012: employment/unemployment ) The numbers are going the wrong way.

“In terms of housing, the Government is itself planning to build more than 2000 houses over the next two financial years…”

Two thousand?

That number is derisable and falls woefully short of the 20,000 new houses  required to be built each year to keep up with demand. As Warwick Quinn, from the Registered Master Builders Federation, said last October,

New Zealand had fallen way behind the required build rates of 20,000 homes a year, hit by the global financial downturn that began in 2008...”

See:  20,000 houses for Chch in next five years

Two thousand new houses over the next TWO years?

That doesn’t cut it, Mr Key. Not even close. In effect, what Dear Leader has done is acknowledge that a critical housing problem exists – but that National is unable/unwilling to address it in any meaningful way.  Their ideological attachment to free market dogma binds their actions at every turn.

Two thousand new houses over two years is a joke. Not a particularly funny one at that.

” We need more houses built in New Zealand, at a lower cost. That means we need more land available for building, more streamlined processes and less costly red tape.”

Now THAT comment worries me.

Didn’t we go through a de-regulation of the building industry in 1991? And didn’t we end up with billions of dollars of poorly built homes that leaked and rotted?

And wasn’t the end result of that disaster a situation where  liability ended up with local body councils paying 25% for repairs; central government 25%; and  home owners were lumped with 50%?! Oh indeed that IS the case!

Up to 89,000 home owners were affected by the “red tape” de-regulation of the early 1990s – and Key appears to be staggering drunkenly  down the same route. (see: Leaky home payouts start tomorrow )

Will this be a  repeat of the same errors of history all over again?!

Key went on,

” It’s ridiculous that we allow councils to demand almost anything as a condition for the consent.

And it’s ridiculous that we allow them to charge whatever fees they want.”

Why not? After all, National demands whatever taxes and government fees they want. Eg; rising petrol taxes; increased early childhood costs; increased ACC fees; raised GST, etc.

But when backed into a corner, default to Strategy #1 – blame Labour. As Key then said,

” Labour’s so-called ‘plan’ to build 100,000 houses doesn’t do anything to fix the actual cost of building – so will either fail miserably, deliver dwellings that people don’t want to live in, or require massive taxpayer subsidies. It’s dishonest and it doesn’t stack up.”

Well, Key would know about dishonesty: John Banks. Raising GST when promising not to. Mystery email regarding Standard & Poors. Clandestine meetings with Skycity executives. Pledging meals in schools, then recanting.

Key derides Labour’s plans to build 100,000 new houses, proclaiming it will “fail miserably”.

This from the smile and wave man who lives in a multi-million dollar mansion; has a holiday home in Hawaii; and god knows what other property – while young New Zealanders are desperate to buy their own homes. (See: Frustrated home buyers want investors to be discouraged)

This from the same smile and wave man who offers New Zealanders 2,000 new homes over TWO YEARS.

It beggars belief how anyone can take John Key seriously these days. The man is a joke.

Key then took the stick to local body councils,

“But if councils aren’t able to change their planning processes, then the Government would have to get a lot more proactive, because we are very serious about resolving this issue.”

Oh really? “Very serious”, eh? So serious that in four years National has done nothing about our housing shortage?

Moving from blaming Labour, Key now seems to be beating up on  local body councils.

Does National ever take responsibility for anything?!

On the environment…

” New Zealand is rich, for example, in minerals. The Greens and Labour oppose it, but we are going to continue to encourage development of our country’s oil, gas and mineral resources.

Looking across our resource base as a whole, what’s clear is that we need a much better system of planning and resource management – one that enables growth and provides strong environmental outcomes, and does so in a timely and cost-effective way.”

National’s ‘devotion’ to “strong environmental outcomes” is amply illustrated by their abandonment of the Kyoto Protocol; watering down the ETS,  and scrapping the five yearly State of the Environment Reports, despite John Key having endorsed it in September 2008 as one of National’s own policies. (See: National scraps crucial environmental report , Government shuns second Kyoto committment )

Anything Key, or one of his ministerial muppets, utters about environmental concerns can be safely dismissed as empty platitudes.

On the TPPA,

“The Greens and their fellow travellers say the TPP is anti-democratic. That is nonsense.”

Interestingly, Key does not say why claims that  the “TPP is anti-democratic” are “nonsense”.

Nor does he acknowledge that the TPPA negotiations are currently held in secret. The public and media are excluded from proceedings. Eventually, the TPPA presented to Parliament will  be a done deal, with no chance for media analysis and public oversight. If that’s not anti-democratic then I fear that Dear Leader has no concept of the principles of democractic participation.

Considering Key’s penchant for secretiveness when it comes to deals with corporates such as Mediaworks, Skycity, et al, It’s not clear to me why we should take him at his word.

On asset sales…

” Subject to the Supreme Court’s decision, this will start in the first half of the year with our offer of up to 49 per cent of the shares in Mighty River Power.

We also want to proceed with another IPO later this year.

The whole share offer programme will be a shot in the arm for New Zealand’s capital markets.”

Really? So National is flogging of half of Meridian, Genersis, Mighty River Power, Solid Energy, and further down-selling Air New Zealand… to satisfy “New Zealand’s capital markets”?!

Key’s background as a money-trader appears to have besotted him. The Big Sell-off has begun, and he’s positively salivating at the prospect.

Meanwhile, over 75% of New Zealanders don’t want a bar of state asset sales. But hey, so what? Anyone would think this was a democracy?

“At the same time, the Government will maintain majority ownership of the companies, and will use the proceeds to invest in other public assets, like schools and hospitals.”

Rubbish. National will use the proceeds to balance their books. Any other suggestion to the contrary is patent nonsense.

“That’s because overseas investment in New Zealand adds to what New Zealanders can invest on their own.”

?!?!

That makes no sense… Typo? Brain-fade? A drunk speech writer?

“It creates jobs, boosts incomes, and helps the economy grow.”

*sighs*

So much bullshit…

Let’s remind ourselves  for the zillionth time that,

  • unemployment is up
  • the income gaps between New Zealand and Australia continues to widen
  • the economy is “growing” at a snail’s pace and as it does, our Current Account deficit grows. Why? Because increasing economic activity boosts profits for foreign owned companies, which means more  profits remitted overseas, which results in a worsening Current Account deficit. That, in turn, impacts on the interest rate we pay for our own capital (borrowings for mortgages, etc),

John Key knows all this – but he ain’t sayin, Billy-Bob boy.

And businesses aren’t so happy either,

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The axe falls - Industry boss blames cuts on Govt

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On Science & Innovation…

” Finally, despite tight times, the Government is continuing to put a real priority on science and innovation. Research funding will be greater this year than it ever has been, because new ideas are a key driver for a modern economy.”

Didn’t National remove the 15% R&D tax credit soon after winning the 2008 election? If that’s putting “a real priority on science and innovation” – I’d hate to see the Nats in full-flight when they positively hate something. (Oh yeah, kinda like beneficiary bashing.)

So back to default Strategy #1,

“But I can guarantee you one thing – Labour will oppose almost all of it.”

Yeah. Piss poor of Labour not to support National when Key demands absolute fealty. In fact, Labour, Greens, and NZ First should just bugger off and leave National to govern on it’s own… and we know what that’s called, don’t we?
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dancing cossacks
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Perhaps  New Zealand would be better served if – instead of constantly deriding and blaming Labour, the Greens, NZ First, local body councils, and Uncle Tom Cobbly – that National focused on the problems confronting our nation; our economy; and our society.  Fixating  on  Opposition Parties for eighteen  paragraphs is not a good look. Defensive, much, Mr Key?

John Key’s constant reference to Labour makes him look fearful – and perhaps so he should be.

By 2014, National will have been in office for six years, with very little to show for it. If Key goes to the election with nothing more except playing a bitter blame-game against Labour, voters will desert him in droves. Voters want results; something reassuring to make them feel better -  not excuses. Certainly not high unemployment, a stagnant economy, growing child poverty, lagging wages, more and more people taking flight to Australia, etc.

” As for the National-led Government, our plan will encourage investment, strengthen the economy and boost jobs.

People know what that plan is, we have stuck to it and we will continue to stick to it.”

Well, I’m happy-as-larry that National has a plan. Because most people haven’t got a clue what Dear Leader and his Nat mates are up to. Aside from cutting state and social services,  asset sales, and subsidising multi-billion dollar film companies, most New Zealanders are scratching their heads wondering precisely what this wonderful “Plan” is.

In 2011, business leaders were asking precisely the same thing,

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Business NZ sees no economic plan

See: Business NZ sees no economic plan

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Key’s speech can be summed up threefold;

1. Consisting mainly of wishful fantasy – with facts and the last four years disproving almost everything he claimed as a “success”,

2. Constantly blaming others for his own Party’s policy-failings. Grow a pair, Mr Key; man up and own your failings.

3. National’s faith in the ability of the Market to produce economic growth, jobs, and higher wages has been sadly misplaced. His announcement on 2,000 new homes over two years is an insult, and National’s new apprenticeship scheme is two years too late, and too little.

National’s neo-liberal policies are more faith-based dogma than anything rooted in Real Life – and the chooks are coming home to roost.

This wasn’t a State of the Nation speech – it was a Statement of  National failure. A Hekia Parata-style own-goal.

If this is National’s idea of a “bright new future”, they’ve just sent Labour and the Greens a very long concession speech for the next election.

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References

NZ Herald: Full text: John Key’s state of the nation speech

Other blogs

Pundit: Mom, apple pie, apprenticeships & not much else

Idle thoughts of an Idle Fellow: The Ruminations of Robert Winter: The Negative Mr Key

The Dim Post: All part of the service

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Dear Leader, GCSB, and Kiwis in Wonderland (Part Rua)

3 October 2012 12 comments

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From previous related blogpost,

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NZ First Leader, Winston Peters, managed to extract this gem from Dear Leader during Question Time in Parliament,

Government Communications Security Bureau—Briefings Since November 2008

3. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS (Leader—NZ First) to the Prime Minister: How many times has he been formally briefed by the Government Communications Security Bureau, by year, since November 2008?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister) : My diary indicates that I have been formally briefed by the Government Communications Security Bureau the following number of times, by year, since 2008: twice in 2008, 15 times in 2009, 11 times in 2010, 10 times in 2011, and 15 times in 2012.

Source: Parliamentary Hansards, 25 September 2012

Key’s response is extraordinary for two reasons,

  1. He gave a serious answer and not the flippant, juvenile wise-cracks he normally indulges in (which, we, the taxpayer, have to pay for as he wastes Parliamentary time)
  2. The answer he gave revealed that Key had met with the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) fifteen times this year alone – and the subject of GCSB surveillance on Kim Dotcom – possibly one of the most colourful, controversial, and contentious people in the country – was never raised once?!?!

John Key. Met. With. The. GCSB. Fifteen. times.

See: Dear Leader, GCSB, and Kiwis in Wonderland (1 October)

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Key was definitely in the country – in part -  whilst the GCSB was spying on Dotcom. (See: Prime Minister John Key’s Address in Reply Debate – 21st December, 2011)

At some point between 21 December and 27 January, Key holidayed in Hawaii. (See:  John Key Video Journal No.50)

On 27 January 2012, Key attended the annual Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting and  joint meeting of senior Cabinet Ministers. (See: PM to visit Australia with Ministers)

Second question: Was surveillance of Dotcom discussed at any meeting around that time period by the Officials Committee for Domestic and External Security Coordination (ODESC)? If not, why not? Considering that ODESC is responsible for “oversight and policy guidance of the Bureau, if the Dotcom cases and cross-organisational liaison did not merit discussion – what then,  is ODESC overseeing?

See: Spy VS Politician

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And now today;  3 October,

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Full story

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As this blogger wrote two days ago (1 Oct),

The answer he gave revealed that Key had met with the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) fifteen times this year alone – and the subject of GCSB surveillance on Kim Dotcom – possibly one of the most colourful, controversial, and contentious people in the country – was never raised once?!?!”

It now appears that my disbelief was well-warranted.

The issue of Kim Dotcom did arise at a GCSB meeting on 29 February, this year.

That 29 Feb meeting with GCSB took place only forty days after the raid on Kim Dotcom’s mansion in Coastville (Jan 20).

And Key still maintains he can’t recall being briefed?

It appears that this is not the first time Key’s memory of  events has ‘failed’ him,

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Full story

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Full story

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Full story

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Full story

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The Prime Minister has not been upfront with the people of New Zealand. This blogger believes there is more to come out, and furthermore that we will see some damning revelations disclosed to the public.

In fact, if it is proven that John Key knew more about the GCSB-Dotcom Affair than has been revealed thus far, and if links to overseas interests are shown to be correct – then this government will fall.

National has been on borrowed time since the John Banks-Teapot Tape Affair, and this issue will be the final straw.

Addendum 1

This blogger endorses full citizenship to Kim Dotcom; his family; and his mates. Anyone that can show up a government to be as corrupt/inept as National deserves full citizenship.

Addendum 2

It appears that the public already had an inkling in November last year as to “who was more likely to bend the truth”.  See: John Key: Safe hands, forked tongue?

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Fiji, Canterbury, and deferred elections

7 September 2012 1 comment

Announced in July 2010,

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Full story

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So let’s see if this blogger has sussed this correctly…

Postponing an election in Fiji is a bad thing, with Dear Leader demanding that the Fijians tow the line,

Nothing I’ve seen would mean that Mr Bainimarama would have any reason other than to hold elections in 2014 if he’s a man of his word.”

“Man of his word”! Good! Well said, Dear Leader, well said. Coup  leaders who over-turn democratically-elected institutions need to be held to account.

Uh oh…

Announced today (7 September),

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Source

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???

But… but…  Prime Minister John Key said that pledges to hold an election should be honoured!?

What’s going on here?

Surely, Dear Leader is not having one standard for our Fijian cuzzies, and one for himself? That would be… hypocritical.

Let me say one last thing – Nothing I’ve seen would mean that Mr Key would have any reason other than to hold elections in 2013 if he’s a man of his word.

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Other Blogs

Christchurch a guinea pig for National’s absurd idea’s

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“Dopey is as dopey does”, according to Dear Leader

31 August 2012 20 comments

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For a man who was raised in a state house; in a single-parent family; and who had all the benefits of a free tertiary education, John Key’s attitude towards those at the bottom of the socio-economic scale leaves a lot to be desired.

Let’s re-cap,

  • John Key’s father died, leaving his mother a solo-mum, to raise children by herself,
  • She would have received the DPB or widow’s benefit (and quite rightly so)
  • She would most likely have been eligible for the Family Benefit, paid to families with children until Ruth Richardson scrapped it in her  1991 “Mother of all Budgets”
  • John Key’s family  enjoyed a state house, with low-rent and security of tenure
  • And lastly, John Key was given a free, tax-payer funded University education (no student fees or debt)

When the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group (EAG) report was released, it’s recommendations included,

First, the group will call for a Warrant of Fitness for landlords. Given John Key has this weekend stressing the success of the Green-inspired home insulation scheme, but the disappointing uptake from landlords, it’s a timely bit of advice.

A WOF on rental homes would ensure poor kids don’t grow up in leaky, cold and unhealthy homes. Really, a safe, warm house should be a basic requirement if you’re going to charge rent. Who can argue with that?

Second, it’ll call for meals to be provided more widely in schools. Some, such as Deborah Morris-Travers from Every Child Counts says that’s a no-brainer. Children need food if they’re to learn and deal with the social demands of school. Some are less keen, however, arguing it takes the onus off parents and puts more pressure on teachers to feed as well as teach our children.

But another study shows this could just be the thin end of the school wedge. Every Child Counts’ Netherlands study this week talked about schools becoming a community hub, with not only meals but before and after school care, nurses, social workers and clubs.

It’s a bold prescription, but one that works overseas by helping working parents and keeping families connected to their schools.

Third, the EAG is expected to call for some form of long-term and universal state assistance for kids – maybe a Universal Child Benefit, or some money every week for every child born. Until 1991 we had such a thing – a Family Benefit. That went in the Bolger/Richardson years.

See: Tim Watkin: It’s time to talk about child poverty again

These three options could put a serious dent into child poverty. A Universal Child Benefit – along the lines of  the old Family Benefit – could add an extra $150  and  extra food on the tables of low-income families.

John Key’s response? In Parliament, responding to a point made by Greens co-leader, Metiria Turei [error correction], he bellowed with great gusto,

We are in an unequal society in New Zealand in her view because the rich are getting richer. And now she is on her feet telling me ‘give the rich families even more for their kids’. What a dopey idea that is.”

See: Key dismisses payment for all parents as ‘dopey’

What a mean-spirited, shallow-thinking man we have as a leader of our nation.

without a  doubt, John Key has a constituency of many other selfish, mean-spirited, short-sighted people in this country. There are a fair number of ill-educated and self-centered who think that the only solution to poverty is to do nothing, and let the poor struggle on. These people have no compassion.

That is the kind of  shallow-thinking that will eventually  doom a society to growing income-disparity; increasing gap between the Haves and Have Nots; and eventual social dislocation and violence.

Such people who think that the poor are poor because they deserve it are a far greater menace to the fabric of our social cohesion, than all the patched gang-members in our community.

For John Key to dismiss a proposed  Universal Child Benefit as “dopey” shows us only one thing; he has forgotten his roots. He has forgotten where he came from. He has forgotten not just the sacrifices of his family – but the strong community support that he benefitted from, and gave him the opportunity to make himself rich.

John Key is where he is because other taxpayers contributed to his housing, education, healthcare, and well-being.

He did not do it by himself.

This blogger does not begrudge Dear Leader’s bulging bank account of $50 million.

What I find reprehensible  is that he would deny other families the chance to access similar support to give their children a decent start in life.

Paula Bennett did the same with the Training Incentive Allowance. Bennett used the TIA to gain a free tertiary education for herself – and then cut the Allowance in 2009. Other solo-mothers can no longer use the same TIA to put themselves through University, and get of the DPB.

See: Bennett rejects ‘hypocrite’ claims

This blogger wonders at the like of John Key and Paula Bennett,  and  how they can deny others the same state-funded assistance that they themselves benefitted from.

What kind of human beings are these people?

How can they forget the assistance that they received when in need?

And what possible satisfaction  do they get when they deny state assistance to their fellow New Zealanders? Especially the same assistance that Key and Bennett personally benefitted from?

The greatest poverty that a society can endure is not monetary. It is a paucity of leadership. It is a lack of hope. And it is a disconnect in social compassion.

When we allow cruelty over compassion, then we are in deep trouble.

It is said that when facing a problem, the three challenges are,

  1. Identify the problem,
  2. Come up with solutions,
  3. Have the Will to implement those solution.

We know the problem.

We have the solutions.

Our leaders are still looking for #3.

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Previous related blogposts

Once upon a time there was a solo-mum

Hypocrisy – thy name be National

Hon. Paula Bennett, Minister of Hypocrisy

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What’s up with the Nats? (Part tahi)

19 August 2012 3 comments

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If there’s somethin’ strange in your neighborhood

Who ya gonna call?

Natbusters!

If it’s somethin’ weird an it won’t look good

Who ya gonna call?

Natbusters!

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Intro

Ever since the National Party conference at the end of July, the National Party has been strutting the political stage like a bunch of patched gang-members, strutting about the main street of some small town in the back-blocks.

Key, Bennett, Joyce, Collins, Parata, Banks – even lowly backbenchers like Maggie Barry – have been obnoxiously aggressive in policy announcements and dealing with the media and critics.

The Nats have been unrelentingly in our faces ever since John Key uttered the threat,

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Full story

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This is not just about confidence.

This is something new. This is about a new, hyped-up, aggressive style of taking criticisms and failings, and turning it back on the critic.

Steven Joyce was on-style on TV3′s “The Nation” (19 August), when he belittled and badgered two journalists (John Hartevelt and Alex Tarrant)  who asked him pointedly about National’s short-comings. Joyce’s response was typical Muldoon-style pugnacity.

This interview with Joyce is charachteristic of how National Ministers have been belligerent in their responses.  It is singularly  instructive,

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Full story

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Interestingly, Joyce has a “go” at Labour; then the Greens; and even Hone Harawira throughout the course of the interview.  He even blames the global financial crisis and throws that in the face of Alex Tarrant, as he responds to a point.

Everyone gets a dose of blame – except the one party that is currently in power. So much for National’s creed that we should all take personal responsibility for our actions.

It appears that  National’s back-room Party strategists have been analysing the first few months of this year and have realised that when things go horribly wrong, or the latest string of economic indicators reveal more bad news, the relevant Minister(s) responds  with  aggression and with defiance.

If the old say “explaining-is-losing” is a truism, then any explanation offered automatically puts a Minister on the back-foot.

The best way out of such a sticky moment; take a page out of Rob Muldoon’s book, ‘How To Win Friends/Enemies and Influence the Media‘.

And National’s Ministers have been playing this ‘new’ game perfectly…

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John Key

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Key has always played the part of the arrogant, born-to-rule Tory well.

Despite trying to put across the meme that he has never forgotten his “working class/beneficiary” roots (See:  Reflections from New Zealand: Address to the Menzies Research Centre John Howard Lecture), his obvious disdain for those who are the  most deprived and powerless in our community occassionally slips out, as when he derided the poor for being… well, poor,

But it is also true that anyone on a benefit actually has a lifestyle choice. If one budgets properly, one can pay one’s bills.

And that is true because the bulk of New Zealanders on a benefit do actually pay for food, their rent and other things. Now some make poor choices and they don’t have money left.”

See: Food parcel families made poor choices, says Key

That attitude came to the fore recently when Key decided that attending his son’s baseball game in the United States was a more pressing engagement than attending the funerals of two Kiwi servicemen killed in Afghanistan,

See: Key to miss soldiers’ military service

Key gave an explanation that, well, frankly astounded most New Zealanders,

In the end it’s a very, very difficult decision. I’ve got to let somebody down, but my son makes huge sacrifices for me and my job and, in the final analysis, I’ve just decided it’s probably the right thing to do – to go and support him.”

See:  Commitment to son will keep PM from funerals

“Sacrifice”?!

It’s hard to see how Key’s son has made a “sacrifice” that is more “huge” than two soldiers who gave their lives in the service of their country.

For good measure, Key then had a ‘go’ at our Hungarian allies – also serving in Afghanistan – and who have lost seven of their own troops in the neighbouring Baghlan province,

As far as I’m aware, the Hungarians don’t go out at night. Not in Afghanistan anyway – they might in Budapest.”

See: Hungarians condemn Key’s jibe about troops in Afghanistan

A nice bit of deflection there, from Dear Leader. What better way to evade his responsibilities in an apalling decision not to attend the two funerals, than to point the finger at somone else.

It’s not often that one of our Prime Ministers has successfully disrespected the fallen soldiers of not one – but two nations. Quite a feat – even by arrogant right wing stands.

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Postscript 1:

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SIDELINE SUPPORT: Bronagh and John Key on the first day of the Senior Little League World Series at Mansfield Stadium in Bangor, Maine.

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It seems that Dear Leader is not above a bit of “embroidery” when it comes to singing the praises of his son’s involvement in the game of baseball,

Prime Minister John Key has told United States media his son’s baseball team’s appearance at an international little league  tournament is “big news back home”…

[abridged]

His support for his son caught the attention of the local Bangor Daily News. He told the paper his son’s team making the tournament was big news back home, and might spur growth in a sport that was already “growing reasonably rapidly”.

“I think over time there’s a chance baseball might be a much bigger sport relative to softball in New Zealand,” he said.

“But competing with big sports like rugby I think is a long way down the road.” About 4000 people are involved in the sport in New Zealand and Baseball New Zealand said it was the “fastest growing summer team sport” in the country. “

See: Little leaguers ‘big news’, says proud Key

Postscript 2:

The deaths of three more New Zealand soldiers was announced on the morning of  Monday, 20 August.

On Radio NZ, John Key stated that he would be attending their funerals. Apparently he has no other pressing engagements coming up.

Listen: Radio NZ Prime Minister John Key on Morning Report (@  8.10 )

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Continued at: What’s up with the Nats? (Part rua: Paula Bennett)

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Identifying a hypocrite in three easy steps.

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Full story

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So poverty is a result of  “poor choices”?

I guess that justifies Dear Leader John Key turning his back on society’s most vulnerable. After all,  “poor choices” justifies blaming the poor for being poor, instead of having $50 million in their bank account.

So Mr Key, how did that free tertiary education and subsidised state house work out for you?

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Categories: Social Issues Tags: , ,

Guest Author: Open letter to Eugene Bingham or would you have voted for John Key if you had known

- Evelyn Gilbert,  Aotearoa a wider perspective

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If you find this informative may I suggest you send the link to your John Key voting palls!!!

Eugene Bingham is a journalist for the New Zealand Herald and he has been the writer of most of the articles about John Key and has repeatedly interviewed him. He wrote amongst others the Unauthorised biography which appeared in the 19 July 2008 New Zealand Herald edition and is well worth reading.

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“You have sold your soul to the Devil and wrote the article as a PR stunt for the man who is now our Prime Minister but who is in fact one of the Arsonists of the perfect firestorm about to hit this poor small Nation.” Evelyn Gilbert

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Dear Eugene,

I have been thinking about writing this open letter to you for a while and today I felt was the right moment to tell you what I think about you and the way you have helped John Key get elected.

I will not beat around the bush. I’m not build that way, so here goes.

You are an insult to what was once a noble and very necessary profession in order to take our politicians to task if found wanting (thanks to the internet people like me can do our own research and we are no longer depending on frauds like you for our information).

You are either incredibly bad at your job because it appears that either you did not double check John Key’s story, something every self respecting journalist should do, or you have slipped over to the dark side and you willingly lied and allowed John Key to lie to your readers.

Either way you ought to be ashamed of yourself and resign today.

Why, you ask, is this blogger so crass in her accusations?

We have a government in which John Key is the Prime Minister. He has been elected based on information available and let’s not forget the much hyped need for “Change”.

In a functioning Democracy the press as the fourth estate is responsible for making sure that all the relevant information is available for the public to be able to vote in their best interest.

In the run up to an important election it is of the utmost importance that the public knows all about their politicians there is to know and if it means that a politician is not voted in because it turns out that said politician is a liar or a criminal than so be it.

In a time such as this when the entire global economy is crashing because of Wall street manipulations it is of the utmost importance to know everything there is to know of the most important opposition leader especially if that politician has made his money through parasitical speculation in the international finance world. That same world which is now collapsing due to it’s own irresponsible financial speculations.

Eugene, you failed to do that job so spectacularly and in doing so you helped put in power a man who has no business governing us in these times and the future will tell that you were instrumental in keeping information away from us that would have surely changed the out come of this election.

Let me give you but three examples of your failure to supply us with real information.

  1. The true relationship John Key had with Andrew Krieger and the attack on the NZ dollar in late 1987.
  2. The role John Key had in the Asian Crisis, the Russian collapse and the collapse of the LTCM hedgefund.
  3. The role John Key had in the Subprime trade and the real timeline of the Subprime crisis and the subsequent collapse of the global economy.

1. The true relationship John Key had with Andrew Krieger and the attack on the NZ dollar in late 1987.

You have in multiple articles told us that John Key only went to work with Andrew Krieger after Andrew Krieger in 1988. In fact you even give a specific date in this article. In it you state that John Key starts to work for the Bankers Trust on 29 August 1988. If this is true than John Key could not have worked with Andrew Krieger. Not for the bankers trust or any other bank. Because Andrew Krieger left Forex on 30 June 1988 and did not return to that trade until September 1990.

How do I know? Because Eugene, I did what you should have done.

I googled the name Andrew Krieger and Bankers Trust and found 3, that is three, (here, here and here) articles in the New York Times online archive (Especially put on line for journalists like you Eugene) written by three different journalists at three different times and each of those articles Chronicles Andrew Krieger’s career at that very crucial time. It turns out that Andrew Krieger (who because of his spectacular attack on the NZ dollar was a bit of a Wall street celeb) left the Bankers Trust in as early as December 1987 but no later than February 1988. He then went to work for George Soros as a senior manager from sometime March or April and left that position in June 1988. An interview with him in September 1990 reveals that he didn’t trade in the Foreign Exchange business beyond some very limited trading conducted solely for himself.

Other than that, the trade that made Andrew Krieger famous was conducted in mere hours only seven days after Black Monday (while New Zealand was still reeling from the worst crash in recent history) and if John Key was the sole manager of the hundreds of millions of dollars he traded in for Andrew Krieger as you state in your 19 July “Unauthorised” biography, it can only have been during that famous attack.

Eugene, if  John Key traded with Andrew Krieger during what was the first speculative attack on a currency ever and which was followed by several world crisis provoking super attacks in which John Key partook don’t you think it would have been essential for us to know?

If John Key willingly engaged in behaviour that risked his country’s economy and  he is prepared to lie or let you lie about it 20 years after the event I thought it would have been paramount that you let the public know especially in an “Unauthorised” biography. It sets after all a precedent. If he was prepared to collapse his own countries currency in a speculative raid than he would have no qualms about doing it to other countries either.

2. The role John Key had in the Asian Crisis, the Russian collapse and the collapse of the LTCM hedgefund.

Totally lacking in your “Unauthorised” biography is one of the most important periods in recent banking history other than the mere mention of how John Key came through the Asian crisis relatively unscathed and how John Key had to fire hundreds of colleagues earning him the nickname “the Smiling Assassin”.

Whether that is because John Key just fluttered over it while he spoke to you or you choose not to go into the subject it is never the less another gross dereliction of duty on you part.

The Asian crisis 1997 and the collapse of the Russian currency in 1998 were closely connected.
They were both the result of the actions of several hedgefunds. One of them being George Soros’s hedgefund and the other the Long Term Credit Management hedge fund also known as LTCM.

This hedgefund collapsed so spectacularly as a result of speculative Forex and derivatives trading it had to be bailed out by the Federal Reserve of New York in order to protect the entire global system from collapsing. John Key may or may not have been involved in the trading that lead to the collapse of the fund but you picture him as firing hundreds of his colleagues at Merrill Lynch, earning him the endearing nickname of the “Smiling Assassin” but the only time Merrill Lynch was forced to fire that many people was in the aftermath of the LTCM scandal putting John Key right in the middle of yet another major Forex scandal. In fact in 1999 John Key is introduced as the managing director of Debt in 1999 in this article.

How do I know? Because unlike you I did the research and a couple of simple google searches wielded al this information. So once again Eugene you either are bad at your job or you and John Key willingly lied to us, the punters.

3. The role John Key had in the Subprime trade and the real timeline of the Subprime crisis and the subsequent collapse of the global economy.

In what is perhaps either the most blatant show of ignorance on your part or perhaps the most blatant lie you state unequivocally in your “Unauthorised” biography  that the subprime products were only hatched in 2004 and 2005.

That is outrageous.  In fact it’s so outrageous that for this remark alone you should resign.

Why is this outrageous? Because it is common knowledge that house prices started to rise in the late nineties.
Not just in the US but around the world, including New Zealand.

This rise had nothing to do with higher wages, more prosperity or more production. In fact jobs in the entire Western world had been disappearing for years  to China, wages were either stagnant or falling and more and more people had to take on debt to make ends meet.

That alone is a sign of bubble building.

But once again if you had taken the trouble Eugene to google subprime timeline you would have found this interesting Subprime timeline (just one of many) and this little graph telling you that as early as the beginning of 1998 the subprime markets exploded from less than 1% market share to a whopping 14%.

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The years 2004 and 2005 was merely the time the bubble started to show it’s first cracks.

And if you had done your job and you would have spend another 5 minutes googling you would have found this graph as well.

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And to top it off you would have found what enabled the subprime crisis and why it will inevitably collapse our economy together with the entire world’s economy, thanks to scumbags like John Key and his ilk aided and abetted by people like you.

What enabled the subprime crisis were three factors

  1. Easy CreditProvided by the Federal Reserve bank of New York and the City of London.
  2. The order given by the US Congress to Fanny mae and Freddy mac to give mortgages to every Tom, Dick and Harry and their dog. Yep, the US congress actually started the subprime mortgage selling. I suggest you read the timeline I linked to above.
  3. The repeal of the Glass Steagall act, unofficially in 1997 and officially in November 1999.This act put in place in 1933 to prevent Commercial banks from merging with investment banks to stop them from acting like the right side of the second graph had been promoted by Alan Greenspan since 1987 and had cost the Wall street investment bankers between $ 100 to $ 200 million dollars.It would have been inconceivable for John Key not to have known about the 1997 beginning of the subprime housing bubble build up because the repeal of this law was literally like giving the fox the key to the hen house and was greatly anticipated by every single Wall street/ City of London banker because it would strip every single bit of regulation away.In fact it was signed the same month John Key was invited to become one of only four advisors to the Federal Reserve bank of New York.  He represented Merrill Lynch. The others represented Citibank, Lehman Brothers and UBSWahrburg.  All those banks are either gone or in the process of going as a result of the subprime crisis.

These three items alone are enough to expose John Key as at least a liar and as the financial collapse progresses he will perhaps even be called a criminal as the mechanisms of the crisis will be exposed for what they are; The wilful manipulation of the money market by a small group of private banksters.

I said I would only take three issues on which you have been either ignorant or wilfully dishonest and I have shown comprehensively that you could have given us all the relevant information but you didn’t.

I could have added to that the derivative trade which has been building up another bubble about to collapse and in which John Key was a Key operator for Merrill Lynch or the collapse of the Bankers trust bank as a result of fraudulent Derivative trading or the fact that Andrew Krieger traded not in actual currency but in a Derivative called “options” connecting John Key to the Forex derivatives trade in as early as 1987. In fact in 2006 the Chinese government suspended the Forex Derivatives trade on the grounds that it was way to dangerous. The list is simply too long but rest assured Eugene, the information you refused us is out there and available to us.

In ending this open letter to you Eugene, I have to conclude that either you are staggeringly ignorant and therefore undeserving of your job as a journalist for a major newspaper in such a position to be tasked to investigate and write an “Unauthorised” (let’s face it there was nothing Unauthorised about the whole stinking article) biography of the man poised to become the next Prime Minister or you have sold your soul to the Devil and wrote the article as a PR stunt for the man who is now our Prime Minister but who is in fact one of the Arsonists of the perfect firestorm about to hit this poor small Nation.Either way the only honourable thing to do is to resign.

If you sold your soul to the Devil I hope he paid you handsomely because you are going to need every cent in the next 10 years as you find that less and less people can buy the rag you call home.

- Evelyn Gilbert

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Acknowledgement

Reprinted with kind permission from aotearoaawiderperspective.wordpress.com

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Jobs, jobs, everywhere – but not a one for me? (Part Toru)

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“The driving goal of my Government is to build a more competitive and internationally-focused economy with less debt, more jobs and higher incomes.” – 21 December 2011

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So John, how’s that “More Real Jobs” campaign pledge working out for you?

Tell us more about these “Real Jobs” and how we’re going to get “More” of them?

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Full story

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Plus on top of that,

Latest redundancies;

And tell us, John, how will drug testing unemployed and State control over solo-mother’s (but never solo-dads)  birth control, give us “More Real Jobs“?

Surely, John, your plans for drug testing and birth control for welfare recipients  is not a cunning diversionary tactic from your Party strategists (paid out of our taxes) to deflect public attention from your total inability to generate “More Real Jobs“?!

You wouldn’t stoop to such a cheap trick, would you, John?

Surely not?

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Additional

Unemployment rate lifts to 6.7pc

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Conflicts of Interest?

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It appears that having had a “taste” of selling our state assets, Dear Leader is continuing the process. Will he personally  benefit from the partial privatisation of SOEs,  by buying shares?

Because it seems that members of parliament may already be lining up to buy state assets that we, the people, currently own.

Minister for Courts, Associate Minister of Justice, and Associate Minister for Social Development, Chester Borrows has admitted his intention to  buy shares, according to comments he made on the last episode of ‘Backbenches’, on 27 June,

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[click on image above to carry through to TVNZ video - See comments @ 4.45 ]

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The exchange between Host Wallace Chapman and Chester Burrows;

CHAPMAN:  “Will you be buying shares in Mighty River Power?”

BORROWS:  “Yes, probably.”

CHAPMAN:  “Ok.”

BORROWS:  “I’m a mum and dad investor, well I’m half of a mum and investor partnership.”

CHAPMAN:  “So you will be.”

BORROWS:  “Yep.”

It appears that all pretences of avoiding conflicts of interest between National MPs and investments, have been done away with. With the wealth that many National MPs possess, it is not hard to see that they stand to benefit from state asset sales.

National Ministers will no doubt have a deep understanding of which ‘Mixed Ownership Model’ corporations are good investments. They will also know which  ‘Mixed Ownership Model’ corporations will benefit from future government policy-decisions and infra-structure development – all of which will boost the value of any shares they hold.

Is this a vested interest in partial-privatisation?

Is this a conflict of interest?

Is this verging on self-serving corruption?

In this blogger’s opinion, it is hard not to arrive at these conclusions.

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Guest Author: My thoughts on the Listener article on our Dear Leader

- Alan Benton

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THAT SKY CITY DEAL, AND DUE PROCESS

He’s impatient at progress to allow SkyCity more pokies in return for a new convention centre and more jobs. ‘Opponents would want to criticise it for lack of process. In fact the argument has probably been that there is too much process and it has been negotiated for two years”

Indeed, and it is still full of holes. That’s why you have process John. So we get to find out whether you’re selling us one more bile-ridden lie. And it appears that is indeed the case… too much process brings up difficult concepts such as due diligence, assessing the costs and benefits realistically, not ideologically, and putting it all on the table for the citizens who are going to have to pay for it in real terms see whether they actually do want to prostitute themselves to the forces of corporatism that have wrecked many a country before, and will continue to do so.

A SALESMAN, NOT A STATESMAN

His salesmanship can cause you to forget the appalling rates of child poverty, abuse and violence and have you believe he can actually solve it

Nope, not this guy. We haven’t seen real progress in the time they’ve been in. We’ve seen: declining wages, higher costs in food, taxation skewed toward the low end in order to prop up tax relief for the high end. To create what? More jobs? That dribble down theory? Gee it didn’t happen last time, won’t happen this time. How quickly people will forget. As Hitler once remarked, you can always rely on the people to have a short memory.

EVER THE OPTIMIST

The Government may still have reserves of political capital, but Key accepts it will never have any real money to spend

He then goes on to quote the woes of Europe. Woes created in large part by the former collegues of his, through financial tools that were labelled by the New York Lottery Board as so similar to Casino gambling they would have to step in and regulate it as such, unless the Fed fiddled some more. They did. Enter global economic meltdown.

ON AUSTRALIA AND OUR EVER INCREASING EMMIGRATION…

Key doesn’t blame them for leaving if they are low-skilled people who can massively increase their wages.”

Trouble is, it’s not only the low skilled. The highly skilled, the highly educated are also leaving in droves. And he’s going to increase that through his Governments complete mismanagement of the Education sector, in particular their attitude toward Graduates.

ON SELLING US TO THE WORLD (QUITE LITERALLY)

Anyone who thinks he is going to ‘abandon the view that trying to sell NZ to the world’ is misguided. ‘The future of NZ lies in selling more to the world than we buy from it and earning more than we spend’ In his eyes, it’s that simple

Trouble is: he is taking a simpleton’s approach. We could sell a crapload more to the world by retaining our own resources. We could therefore presumably earn more instead of hocking it off to the highest bidder and letting that earning potential sink totally. As it did last time we sold off our SOE’s and NZ earnt nothing. Actually some NZers earnt a lot, Sir Michael Fay and David Richwhite spring to mind.

That is, after they’d excused themselves from the country to a tax haven, having gutted NZ rail and reduced it to a wreck – that the public had to clean up of course. Somehow, people think (although a lot less are convinced now) that selling your assets that are giving a good rate of return for the investment made … is going to *make* you more money. The brutally simple logic of “How about instead of earning 51% of possible returns we earn 100% of possible returns, like we are doing right now, is really intelligent.” Way to grow the economy John…

THE UNDERCLASS and WELFARE REFORM

The bad news is that there has been relatively low pay increases and you may have lost overtime and things like that, so the houshold income may have been more constrained than usual.”

Oh indeed they’re more constrained. Which is why foodbanks were running short, poverty is on the rise, more are unemployed than ever. And that line to Australia for actual real pay, and household income you can actually live on, is getting bigger.

‘At the end of the day a little more cash may or may not at the end of the margins help. Usually more money helps a little bit but it is much more deep-set than that’

Actually, a little more cash would FUCKEN HELP A LOT YOU BASTARD. But yeah I agree, it is more deep set than that.

It’s called being deep set enough at ensuring those at the margins are kept marginal by following outdated Neo Lib dogma and the Chicago school of Economics that has been shown to be the vile sham it is. It delivered us a global meltdown and took a wrecking ball to countries that were coping, and now, thanks to the derivatives bullshit that Key and his cronies presided over, the 99% as such is paying for. With massive, massive interest, and a debt burden for generations to come.

ON ATTITUDE, GETTING OUT THERE, GETTING A JOB! ANY JOB DAMN YOU!

He respects his mother for her attitude at getting out there and getting a job, as a cleaner.

Well good on ya, I’m sure she was a nice woman, but let’s again be honest. Attitude alone won’t create a job. It’ll help get the job… but not if there isn’t one to get. And forgive me for not aspiring to be a cleaner, as I’ve been told to, what with degrees and a work history of 15 years, I’m still aspiring to give something to this country.

Just not that enthused at aspiring to work in a depressed, low-wage, set-to-be-loaded-with-debt so we can subsidise these companies that aren’t creating jobs despite the passes they get kinda country.

So, are the sole parents cleaners of today voting for him? ‘Probably not,’ he concedes. ‘But some will, some do. And there are lots of people I meet that like the fact I am ambitious for their kids and for them.’”

Then get on with creating an economy and framework whereby people see, for real this time, that they’re valued as workers, where earnings keep up with inflation and we have a society that values community over aspiring to simply be rich. Instead, he’s set about creating a society that somehow is supposed to handle the idea that a 30% wage gap with Australia is a good thing, as Bill English opined, where workers aren’t changed in status overnight at the behest of a corporation and that some people just don’t aspire to be all about the money as a measurement of success.

ON HOMES

“‘We’ve done a lot more probably we have been given credit for,’ he claims, listing the 200,000 homes …”

Yes John, that policy was forced onto you by the Greens. It had to be, otherwise you wouldn’t have given a flying fuck about it, just be fucken honest about it for once.

AND ON BEING THE POSITIVE SMILEY GUY

“‘Yep, I’ve been positive in the last four years and will be positive till the day they drage me out, because I am fundamentally a really positive person.’”

Happy happy joy joy John. I’d rather you drop the smile, get real about things, and realise the hopeless optimism in the face of the crushing fact (dirty four letter word that it is) you have failed utterly in every single election promise you made first time round, let alone the second swindle.

ON WINNING IN 2014

If he wins again in 2014, will he guarantee to see the term out? ‘To be honest, I haven’t actually thought that through at this point,’ he stalls, before recalling his sales pitch. ‘I’m going to stay for as long as I think I can make a difference‘”

You have indeed made a difference John: you delivered us a country that was once producing well, and are now planning on selling our productive capacity / wealth to the highest bidder not for economic reasons of “growing the economy” and “wealth for all NZers” (because any look at the economics lays that lie out flat for the bollocks it is, even 5th Form maths will tell you that one) – surely what you sold most vehemently – but for the reason that it actually only increases the bottom line of your favourite mates, let’s be clear about that one, that’s where you’re going, so it is necessary to prove you’re still in the fold really.

It could never create wealth for NZ, because we won’t have a handle on that wealth creation. Not to mention that his mixed ownership model might run foul of the WTO anyway, favouring as it does certain parties and not others. Let’s not forget your hasty and intense negotiations on the FTT, which would hand corporations an even BIGGER rod to beat up countries economically by allowing them to sue governments where they think their bottom line is being unduly diluted by – shock horror – policies that might actually benefit citizens above the bottom line.

ON BEING A GREAT LEADER OF OUR COUNTRY

“‘Look around the world, Cameron is polling 29%, Merkel is in the 20s. THere isn’t an incumbent government in the world that is polling anything near like we are‘”

There is also no incumbant government in the world that has PR like you do to paper over all your shite. Cameron is coming unstuck because his PR machine is knee deep in shit, and the veil will soon be lifted on Fairfax’s overtly sycophantic drivel so more people will ultimately see that it has all been pretty one-sided cheermongering.

RICHARD PREBBLE CASTS HIS EYE ON OUR DEAR LEADER

I think he is possibly the most gifted politician in our lifetime, certainly the most popular

True. I’m sure people thought Hitler quite gifted too. Popular doesn’t equal substance, and Key lacks in spades the substance side. But popular works, so haul out Watkins for the lovefest to begin all over again when the going gets tough for the Dear Leader.

TROTTER ON KEY

There is a tremendous amount of intellectual snobbery in the Labour Party in particular, if not across the left in general, which regards someone who’s done very well in business as a lesser being than someone, perhaps, who’s won the Booker prize.’

Not really, I don’t consider myself a snob. But hey I lose my rag at people who claim they’re proud to be Right Wing, but don’t even know where it began, and what it has generally delivered since time began. The roll call of disasters on the right could certainly have some companions on the left side of the spectrum, but if people raise that Stalin was a communist line, yes I will lecture them on the difference between the types of communism, and totalitariansim, which is Stalin’s home.

Not to mention all the other mad, mad theories of the Right that have delivered financial markets that fail, corporations that fail, banks that fail, endless wars, and that nameless and unsee terror we need to fight in an endless battle between y’know, us and the “evil doers”

I consider that being informed and wanting to be a citizen who is aware of what impact he has one his fellow human beings and the planet we live in, not one who doggedly pursues the fatally flawed built-on-a-lie money is everything vibe.

The whole article left me a tad depressed about our future as a country, one that might not recapture the egalitarian, give everyone a fair suck of the sav country I think used to exist at one point.

We’ve been taken over by the corporatists globabally, and we’ve got one of the slimiest of them all in charge of sending us to our economic and social oblivion faster than he can make it to his holiday house in Hawaii…

It is a truly sad thing.

We need these people gone, if not by snap election, PLEASE by 2014!!!!!!!!!!!

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Why Hekia Parata should not be sacked

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Dominion Post poll

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Disclaimer: This blogger is not a National Party voter. In fact, Hell would experience a Christchurch-style snowstorm before I would support National in any manner – unless it was to assist them to call an early election.

Having said that, there are three reasons why Hekia Parata does not deserve being stood down as Minister of Education – despite the debacle over classroom sizes and cutting teacher numbers.

1. Collective Responsibility

Parata’s attempt to cut back on teacher numbers was a budgetary consideration handed down from on-high, from Bill English’s office.

Since 2008, National has been cutting back on government departments and state sector employees.  Almost every part of government – from the Department of Conservation to the NZ Defence Force – has been forced to cut staffing numbers.  These cuts were part of National’s policy of reducing state expenditure after their April 2009 and October 2010 tax-cuts.

See: Thirty-five jobs may go at Niwa

See: DOC confirms 96 jobs to go

See: MFAT plan puts 50 jobs on the line

See: Housing NZ staff face further cuts

See: 2500 jobs cut, but only $20m saved

See: IRD cuts 51 provincial jobs

With massive borrowings of $380 million a week; a ballooning deficit; and a shortfall in taxation revenue, National is deperate for deep cuts if it is to balance the books by 2014-15.

As journalist Duncan Garner wrote earlier this year in January,

Key has finally dropped the optimism and is talking about the downside. He doesn’t do downside well – he prefers the good news.

But there’s no walking away from the reality. The Government’s treasured surplus target in 2014/15 may not happen. And if it wants to get there then more cuts are on the way. “

See: Economy on skids, cuts to come

Parata’s Plan to cut teaching staff and increase classroom sizes was dressed up as “improving teaching quality and professional leadership” – which was exposed as patent bollocks when she stated,

The changes to teacher:student funding ratios were to have saved the Government around $174 million over four years, of which $60 million was going to be invested in improving teaching quality and professional leadership. “

See: Teacher funding ratios to remain the same

Sacking Parata for policies that every other Minister has been implementing seems pointless. Especially when National’s essential policy of cutting expenditure and services would remain unchanged.

That is the real crux of the matter; an ongoing programme of  reduction in  social services because of two tax cuts we could ill afford, and which National was irresponsible in making.

2. No mis-deed

Parata did nothing illegal, immoral, or inappropriate.

She simply carried out National Party policy.

So if  the buck stops anywhere, it should be on the desks of Dear Leader John Key, and Finance Minister Bill English. At this point, rather than unfairly targetting one single person, we should be looking at National as a whole.

Will the Prime Minister take responsibility for National’s slash a burn of the state sector? Fat chance.  Thus far,  Dear Leader has shown little inclination to taken responsibility for anything – unless it involved opening the Rugby World Cup; supping beer with visiting royalty; or other smile and wave photo-ops.

In fact, John Key seems more than willing to allow Hekia Parata to be hung out to dry on this issue.

This blogger sees no political gain in demanding Ms Parata’s head on a plate.

However, in the spirit of collective responsibility and shared culpability, National  should resign and call for an early election. The classroom/teacher debacle has impacted on National’s mandate and an early election is necessary to restore confidence in government.

3. Who would replace her?

Perhaps the strongest reason not to sack Parata is simply that it would achieve very little for National’s opponants. John Key would simply replace her with another Minister – one perhaps tougher and more doggedly determined in pursuing narrow, National Party policy.

Better Parata, a chastened lame duck -  than a cocky pitbull, looking to prove himself in the eyes of his fellow Tories.

Keeping Parata as Education Minister, it is unlikely that she will attempt further cuts to the education sector. Not unless she has a deeper masochistic streak we were unaware of?

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Postscript

Further to my previous blogpost where I wrote,

Congratulations to National.

John Key, Bill English, Hekia Parata, et al, have succeeded in teaching our children their first lesson in politics. An entire generation of children have seen political machinations at work, first hand, and the “bad guys” were ministers from  the National Party.

When our children learn about the Right Wing in politics, in such a personalised, in-your-face manner, the future of this country suddenly became a lot more rosy.

Future support for the Greens, Labour, and other centre-left Parties is all but assured.

Thank you, Ms Parata. You are a fine teacher for our young folk.

Duncan Garner wrote in his blog on 6 June,

I got home last night and my 12-year-old step daughter was waiting for me with a stern message: “We all hate John Key,” she exclaimed.

Why, I said – pretending to be shocked by it all, but secretly knowing what she was about to say.

“Well, he’s going to close our cooking and technology classes at our school. So we all hate him. And we’re writing him letters – no one likes him at our school anymore,” she said.

I won’t name the school. But whether or not she’s right, and whether or not this Government backpedals on its move to increase class sizes, the fallout is immense – and perception is reality – especially for the children and their mums and dads.

See:  Hekia Parata should’ve asked one simple question

John Key’s legacy for the future:  an entire generation alienated by this arrogant National government -  a gift  of immeasurable value to the left wing. Just as many who lived through the “reforms” of Roger Douglas in the 1980s use the term “Rogernomics” as a pejorative, to describe destructive, extremist, politics from a past era.

No one saw that coming.

And now, waiting in the wings,  the coming asset sales furore…

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Additional

Colin James: A win for Shearer. But much work still to do

Related Blogpost

Class-sizes, pigs wearing lipstick, and State-enforced sterilisation

Other blogs

Minister’s rose-tinted glasses are two generations out of date

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When the mask slips

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Politicians take utmost care when the media are anywhere within cooee. They understand that a slip of the tongue or the wrong facial expression can be recorded, and reported, for the rest of the population to witness firsthand.

The “tea party” between John Banks and John Key was  a conversation they believed to be private; was recorded;  and subsequently made public.  With thirty-plus media within a metre of the two politicians, what were the chances of holding a ‘private conversation‘ separated by a few millimetres of glass?  Slightly better than wining 1st division Lotto Powerball, one would have thought.

So politicians choose their words carefully and present their best possible image to the voters.

Every so often, though, their guard drops and we glimpse their real personas.  Once their  public mask slips, we discover what they really think – especially of us, the voting public…

4 May – The Prime Minister’s blokey facade is momentarily displaced by his obvious disdain for New Zealanders who oppose him, and oppose his planned state asset sales.  With mocking dismissiveness, he said,

How many people did they have?  Where was it? Nope wasn’t aware of it.

Well over a million New Zealanders voted for National in the full knowledge we were going to undertake the mixed ownership model.  So look, a few thousand people walking down the streets of Wellington isn’t going to change my mind.” – Source

The words were bad enough, but look at the expression on his face and vocal tone, @ 2:14,

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His arrogance was laid bare for all to see. He was laughing  at us.

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25 May – Following the release of Budget 2012, University students showed their displeasure and protested on the streets of Auckland. The protestors blockaded streets; over-turned rubbish skip-bins; and vented their frustrations at guests who attended a post-Budget-related function where Dear Leader was giving a speech.

English responded with breathtaking, derisory, arrogance,

Yes, there’s a protest movement out there but who’s really listening to them?   They get on TV and they can make a bit of a racket … dragging a few rubbish bins around, they need some Greeks to show them how to do it.

It gets reported, mainly because it blocked the traffic, [but] who’s listening? Most people actually think the students got a pretty fair go and they should count themselves lucky that they’ve still got interest free loans and get on with it because, you know, get your training finished and get a job and start contributing. ” – Source

Aside from the fact that politicians like Bill English and John Key took advantaged of free tertiary education (prior to fees being introduced in 1992), and others like Paula Bennett had their tertiary fees paid by WINZ – it is staggering that English could respond with a comment inciting protestors to riot !?

When English said that ” they need some Greeks to show them how to do it  “, what else could it be called, except incitement? See video @ 1:19,

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Frank Macskasy Blog Frankly Speaking

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It seems fairly clear as to the contempt that National politicians have for the rest of us. But that’s ok. Many of us feel precisely the same contempt for John Key, Bill English, Paula Bennett, et al.

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Media sources

TVNZ:  English suggests jobless move to Christchurch

TVNZ:  Key unfazed as protesters descend on Parliament

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Three Jokers and an Ace

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This has been one of those strange weeks that only a National-led government can give us. Part of that strangeness has been described in a previous blog, with the antics of  Paula Bennett, Pita Sharples, and a slow train-wreck called ACT.

See: 20 May: End of the Week Bouquets, Brickbats, & Epic Fails

But before the weekend was over, there was more neo-liberal nonsense to follow. One thing you can always count on with the Nats – they’re good for a facepalm on a regular basis…

First Joker: David Carter

Local Government Minister, David Carter’s performance on TVNZ’s  Q+A, on  20 May,  was an exercise in National’s  ‘Daddy State‘ policies revving up several notches.

Not content with forcing assets sales, fracking, and deep sea drilling on us – the NPPB (National Party Politburo of Bunnies)  is now issuing diktats from on-high to local body councils.

Firstly, Kommissar Karter instructed local bodies what was  acceptable “core services” by local body councils,

GREG

Okay, core services – what on earth are core services? Because there seems to be a lot of scope in what a core service is and what a council should be taking care of.

DAVID

Well, it’s certainly clear what core services are, and they are rates and rubbish and water, et cetera. But this legislation’s not about saying to councils, ‘You can only embark on core services.’ It is still the responsibility of the council to engage with its community and find out what services that community wants. But we want that debate to be far more transparent than it has been in the past.

GREG

Well, hold on. It sounds like the Government’s wanting a bob each way in this. They’re wanting to say they keep in touch with what’s happening with the rates, but they’re only to go and do core services at a local level or not. Which way is it to go?

DAVID

We are not saying that councils can only do core services. If you take my Christchurch City Council, for example, and it runs the Ellerslie Flower Show in Hagley Park. You could argue that’s not a core service. The council has determined that there is value in delivering that show for the people of Christchurch, and, frankly, I meet a lot of people on planes who are travelling from all over New Zealand to come to that. The council’s decision is to run the Ellerslie Flower Show, and that is a decision for the council to make. It’s certainly not a decision for central government to make or for myself as minister.  “

Then the Minister advised the Great Unwashed what was not acceptable “core services”,

”  DAVID

We’re certainly going to get local government to be far more focused on what activities it undertakes. In the past, some councils have stepped too far and undertaken activities, Hamilton city, for example, with the Grand Prix racing. I think that was an activity that went far beyond where local government should have gone. It cost local government in that area a lot of money. We’re not saying you cannot run race cars; we’re saying you need to think very very carefully before undertaking that activity. And by putting these financial management tests in place, I think councils will think more carefully about some of those longer-term extraneous activities they’re undertaking than they did in the past.  “

So according to Kommissar Karter,

  • V8 car races – out
  • Flower shows - in
  • Asset sales – in
  • local democracy to choose our own expenditure: out
  • centralised, National Party control over expenditure: in
  • core service by councils – tba

The Minister then added, for good measure in case the proles had not understood his Diktat from On High,

”  DAVID

You’re hitting on the essence of the relationship that should be between local government and central government. It has to be truly a partnership, but it’s not on for local government then to step into the space which is clearly central government’s role. And it is central government’s role to establish the education system in this country. It is central government’s role to establish parameters of measuring the success of that. We can then work with Len Brown and his council, particularly as he tries to develop solutions to some of the social problems in South Auckland, and we’re happy to work with him in a partnership. But the core responsibility still remains with central government.

Which, if implemented, would mean that Otorohanga’s Council-led  and community-based initiatives – which has seen unemployment and youth problems plummet – would not be a core Council responsibility?

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Frank Macskasy Frankly Speaking Blog

Full story

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Had National’s policy of curtailing Council activities been in full-force, youth unemployment and associated problems would remain unchanged, or probably much worse in that small town.

See also:  Youth unemployment a growing problem

Or was the Minister expecting Otorohanga to wait for Central Government to address the worsening crisis of youth unemployment? Youth unemployment which has rocketed from 58,000 to 87,000 this year?

How would National’s policy, to “reign in” local Councils,  impact on other towns and cities that attempted to take steps to address our growing social problems? Would Auckland prohibited from pursuing a programme similar to Otorohanga?

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Frankly Speaking Frank Macskasy Blog

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David Carter’s performance on Q+A was simply breath-taking. If anyone thought that Labour was guilty of  creating a “Nanny State” – they had to watch Carter to see National go several steps further. In effect, central government will be dictating to local bodies what they can or can’t do.

Democracy? Not in our towns or cities, according to Minister Carter.

National is taking over. Curfew at 7PM.

See transcript: Q+ALocal Government Minister David Carter interview

See video:   Q+A: Local Government Minister David Carter (15:28)

The irony here is that whilst National stands by and watches unemployment soar, local communities, through their elected representatives,  are taking steps to address this growing problem.

Meanwhile, National’s response to unemployment is not to implement job creation programmes – their  response is to fiddle with welfare.

Which leads us to the next issue…

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Second Joker: Paula Rebstock

Q+A’s interview with Paula Rebstock – appointed by Welfare Minister Paula Bennett to head a board to oversee the implementation of National’s welfare “reforms” – is continuing National’s mission to demonise the unemployed; widows; solo-mums (but never solo-dads), and others who rely on social welfare to survive.

Since National has no job-creation plan,  Dear Leader and Paula Bennett are shifting responsibility for lack of jobs onto welfare beneficiaries. (Because we know that welfare pays for the mansion, limousine in the drive-way, and the beach house in Hawaii. Oh, wait, no, that’s John Key.)

It is a most pernicious form of scape-goating.

It is shameful, and panders to the nasty prejudices that reside in the dark depths of our vestigial reptilian hind-brain. For the Working and Middle Classes, who have always had the sneaking suspicion that welfare offers an opulent lifestyle – until they themselves are made redundant – only to then discover the true nature of just how paltry welfare actually is.

To put this issue into some context, New Zealand’s unemployment doubled after the global financial crisis and resulting recession,

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Frank Macskasy Frankly Speaking Blog

Source

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Rebstock headed the infamous “Welfare Working Group” in 2010. Some of the  recommendations of the WWG were so punitive and inhumane as to return to the Victorian Era. Even John Key was moved to reject many of Rebstock’s extreme proposals.

In November 2010, Rebstock was interviewed by Paul Holmes on Q+A,

”  PAUL

So that means a bit of government intervention, that means government providing these [jobs], presumably.

PAULA

Well, I don’t know if it does, and I think this is a really important point. If we look at how the labour market in New Zealand has performed, it is true we’ve been in a recession and we’re now moving into a slow recovery and jobs have been an issue, but since 1986 this economy has created more than 500,000 jobs. Now, it responded as well as almost any economy in the world to the economic environment. We had one of the highest employment rates in the OECD. I think that it is a little bit of a cop-out to say that we can’t deal to some of the issues around long-term benefit dependency because of the job market.

PAUL

Oh, come on, Paula, the jobs simply aren’t there. I mean, if you look at 2006, there was a 30,000 net gain of jobs. In 2008 it had gone down a bit – 9,000 net gain. God knows what it is this year.

PAULA

We actually are experiencing a gain in jobs. The labour statistics that came out last week show that. I’m not saying that we haven’t been in a recession, Paul, but this is the time right now to prepare people for the recovery. They need to be ready to take the jobs that are there.  “

See:  Holmes interviews Paula Rebstock (15 November 2010)

Unfortunately for everyone, the jobs were not “out there”.  With the recession is full swing, exports were down, and companies were laying off staff in their hundreds.

Unemployment in November 2010 was 6.4%. By January 2011, it had reach 6.8%. The rate moved up and down, and currently sits on 6.7%.

See:  Unemployment rate lifts to 6.7pc

Fast forward 18 months, and despite the economy continuing to stagnate, National is pursuing it’s scape-goating of unemployed and solo-mothers (but never solo-dads), and Rebstock and Bennett are both  still ‘singing the same song’.

On 16 May, Bennett said,

The cost of today’s total number of beneficiaries is estimated at $45 billion. It makes good economic and social sense to provide targeted support up front to get more people into work sooner.

This new approach will be embedded at all levels of the welfare system and the board will be responsible for ensuring accountability and overseeing the delivery of reforms that will see fewer people on welfare for long periods.

See:  Minister defends new welfare board

Not. One. Word. About. Job. Creation.

National is displaying an almost Obsessive-Compulsive antipathy on welfare issues.  Their sole focus is on welfare and welfare beneficiaries.

As if 80,000+ New Zealanders decided to chuck in their jobs in the last few years, and instead live the life of luxury on $204.96 a week (net).

See:   WINZ  Unemployment Benefit (current)

Yet, not too long ago (29 April), Social Welfare Minister Paula Bennett actually admitted,

PAULA         
No. There’s not a job for everyone that would want one right now, or else we wouldn’t have the unemployment figures that we do.

See:  TVNZ Q+A: Transcript of Paula Bennett interview (29 April)

So why is National spending $1.1 million on Rebstock’s ‘Work and Income Board’ to oversee WINZ – when it ain’t welfare that’s broke. It’s the job market that is 160,000 jobs short?!

See:  Rebstock to head welfare watchdog panel

Bennett goes on to say,

”  I’ve got fantastic frontline staff, I’ve got fantastic upper and middle management that are working hands on with policy changes and implementing that frontline.  “

“Fantastic front line staff”.

“Fantastic upper and middle management”.

“Working hands on with policy changes”.

But no jobs.

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Third Joker: John Key

National’s “Gateway” scheme had its origins during the Mana by-election, in 2010. As some will recall, it was National’s grand plan to beat the Labour candidate, Kris Faafoi.

National’s candidate was… Hekia Parata – the current Minister for Education.

Ms Parata lost by 1,406 votes to Labour’s candidate. (The margin widens when adding centre-left votes for the Greens and Matt McCarten.)

See: Mana By-election 2010

It appears that the “Gateway” scheme was little more than an election bribe for Mana voters; a “lolly” to entice people to vote for Parata.  National lost, and were stuck with fulfilling their policy pledge.

(Damned inconvenient when that happens, I guess.)

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Full Story

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Heatley touted the scheme, grandly proclaiming,

It is important the government provides opportunities for people to move into home ownership. Affordable homes schemes such as Gateway is another way we can assist more people into a home of their own.”

But by May of this year, it seems that it was ‘no longer important the government provides opportunities for people to move into home ownership’.

John Key announced it’s cancellation last week.

For a man who was raised in a taxpayer funded, and subsidised, state home with his siblings and widowed mum, and who benefitted from a societal  value that decent housing was a basic human right – John Key has some very strange attitudes toward providing shelter for the poor and vulnerable,

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Full story

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The Gateway scheme details,

GATEWAY SCHEME
* For first home buyers earning under $100,000 a year
* They can get a mortgage to build or buy a house on state land
* Must have at least a 10% deposit
* Have 10 years to buy the land

It’s interesting to note that Key is unable to deliver “low cost” housing for couples earning under$100,000 and says,

The Government has looked at that programme and decided that’s now not the most effective way of going forward.

So we think the capacity for lower income New Zealanders to own their own home is greatly enhanced by the fact interest rates are lower.

“If you have a look at the average home owner in New Zealand, they are paying about $200 a week less in interest than they were under the previous Labour Government.” – Ibid

His comments raises several issues,

  1. It says a lot about Key’s impression of what constitutes “lower income New Zealanders” when the threshold is up to $100,000 per couple. Perhaps by his multi-million dollar standards, a couple on $100,000 is “poor”?
  2. Derides the previous Labour government and claims credit for lower interest rates, by stating “they are paying about $200 a week less in interest than they were under the previous Labour Government“. As if current low interest rates are a result of National’s intervention? (Interest rates are determined by the Reserve Bank, and are currently low because our economy is stagnant. National can take credit for the latter, but not the former.)
  3. How can  providing decent, affordable housing for low income earners  be “not the most effective way of going forward” ?
  4. Key is living in a millionaire’s fantasyland if he seriously believes that “ the capacity for lower income New Zealanders to own their own home is greatly enhanced by the fact interest rates are lower“.  Dear Leader doesn’t understand that the interest rate can be irrelevant if people can’t afford to buy a home in the first place.

If ever there was ever an instance of the Silver Spoon mentality – look no further than our current Prime Minister, the Rt Honourable John Key.

New Zealanders are deluded if they think this man can relate to their ordinary, everyday, lives.

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The Ace: John Tamihere

As mentioned in a previous blogpost, John Tamihere is hosting an excellent, low-key, intelligent, current affairs chat show on TV3 (Sunday mornings) called “Think Tank“.  Last Sunday’s (20 May) episode focused on child poverty in New Zealand and what practical steps were required to address this growing social crisis.

Last week, it was pokie machines and their effects on communities.

As the show’s name suggests, the goal is not just to look into critical social issues – but to come up with solutions.  The show’s panel of four people offers solutions; and the guests scrutinises each suggestion.

It’s a chat show for sure – but instead of superficial inanities, the conversation is serious and fit for adult consumption.

This is good television. This treats the viewer as   intelligent and capable of considering complex issues.

This blogger can only live in hope that this is the turning point of 21st century television, and we are seeing an end (or at least slow reduction) of the execrable rubbish we have been served up, since  commercialisation and dumbing down became the norm for broadcasting in this country.

John Tamihere is perfect for the role of host for the show. Not a polished or trained media front-person, John Tamihere has walked the hard yards in life and has moved from the tough neighbourhoods of South Auckland to the halls of power in Parliament. He’s lived life. He’s seen things that Middle Class New Zealand has no wish to see or experience, outside of comfortable television shows.

This blogger’s only criticisms revolve around scheduling and lack of promotion.

Scheduling “Think Tank” on Sunday mornings ghettoises the show. It relegates it almost as an ‘after thought’.  It would be an act of naked political subversion to broadcast it during prime time viewing. (That should give National’s/NZ on Air’s,   Stephen McElrea something to howl about!)

The show also needs more promo on TV3. This blogger discovered it only by sheer fluke. Not promoting it leaves us wondering if TV3 doesn’t really want to draw attention to it? Perhaps doesn’t want to draw the ire of certain National Party ministers?

One hopes not.

TV3, as your print-media colleagues used to say, Publish and be damned !

It’s a good show.

Be proud of it.

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Media sources

Loans for housing on crown land

Holmes interviews Paula Rebstock (15 November 2010)

Otorohanga’s success story

Council goes solo to help young jobless

Key backs cut-off for cheap homes plan

Minister defends new welfare board

TVNZ  Q+A: Local Government Minister David Carter (video)

Reserve Bank to keep OCR unchanged though hikes flicker on horizon

References

Official Cash Rate (OCR) decisions and current rate

Previous blogposts

Fear and loathing in the Fascist State of New Zealand

Bennett confirms: there are not enough jobs!

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National Party Supporters and their Empathy for a woman with a terminal disease

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National supporters seem somewhat antagonistic – especially if someone dares criticise their Dear Leader.

In another insight into the psyche of the National supporter’s mind, this Blog presens this post from John Key’s  Facebook page. It starts of with an image from National’s regional conference, held at the up-market Wairakei Resort.

Another Facebook User, Ms Allyson Lock, was not impressed. And she made her feelings known in a somewhat innocuous  post.

It drew an instant, venomous response from National groupies and John Key sycophants.

Even after they discovered that Ms Lock was suffering from a terminal disease; that she and her fellow sufferer’s of Pompe’s Disease had been consistently ignored by this government; John Key has not shown the same concerns he expressed to breast cancer sufferers in 2008; and that her disease was terminal – many of the National supports showed an utter lack of empathy and caring. Many were contemptuous of Ms Lock and her condition.

Is this the core culture of  National – an extreme selfishness and uncaring with is borderline sociopathic?

I let the reader decide.

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John Key

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I’ve just updated our Central North Island supporters on National’s plan for a Brighter Future, getting a great reception
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  • 58 people like this.
    • Max TweedieThat sentence is an oxymoron.

    • Allyson LockWairakei resort eh, pretty flash! I guess us Kiwis are paying for that? No wonder there’s no money for Kiwis who have Pompe disease and need treatment! Brighter future? What a crock!

    • Jonathan AllenChip on your shoulder much Allyson?

    • Tyrone BarughAllyson, it’s a party conference. The party’s donors and supporters itself pay for conferences and events like this. Not parliamentary services, not the taxpayer.

    • Sean Harleygod save the queen.

    • Tim ShielsAllyson, National Party regional conferences are paid for by National Party members, not that taxpayer.

    • Mark Stephen TerryBrighter future? John, are you finally installing skylights in the Beehive?

    • Campbell Downiebright future… if your in the top 10 percent… shame new zealand will only have rich and poor in its future and no middle ground… the middle ground is leaving John… cant you see that ??????

    • Allyson LockOne on yours Jonathon? You might want to ask WHY i made that comment before you take a swing at me.

    • Allyson LockWell i’m glad to hear that Tyrone. I’m sick of my taxes being spent on soirees for the government!

    • Matt PaullOMG people, do you really think for one that he reads these comments, and secondly that he personally runs this Facebook page and uploads photo’s? Jesus christ

    • Allyson LockJohn Key only reads and reacts to what suits him Matt.

    • Ailsa UreWhy should one man, who with many others, is tryingto do his best for our country under difficult world conditions, be held responsible for my or your individual success or failure? Try to build up, not tear down!

    • Tyrone BarughClearly not. The PM has more important and less delegable things to do with his time. Does that matter? No – people are still engaging, which is good.

    • Jonathan AllenWhy would I ask why? Couldn’t care less.

    • Stephen KeastWhat a bunch of idiots. Take your hate somewhere else, no one wants to hear it. If you have no money then do us all a favour stop paying for your internet subscription.

    • Stephen KeastAlisa is right. He’s the leader of the country. He’s not responsible for personally fixing all of your problems. Your attitude is appalling Allyson. Build up, not tear down…. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • Margi Nutmeg Huzzah MacMurdoYes Stephen, Freedom of speech and lively discourse is most certainly not welcome in the ideologue sausage mill!

    • Chris CampbellSome people will complain regardless of the party leading the country and their political orientation. Only when they are handed a quality of life to those ‘above’ them will they ever appear satisfied – they are prime candidates for illustrating New Zealand’s epidemic of tall-poppy syndrome. However, class equality is very much infeasible (if you agree with the concept so much, take a look at Soviet Russia or China). John and his party are doing a stellar job, and those knocking them typically do not understand the rationale behind decisions made, expect instant results, and/or are delusional left-wingers.

    • Marc BaileyOr are still all up on Uncle Helen’s D to see that the best man for the job right now is doing a pretty stellar job.

    • Di Bottchergr8 statement chris :)

    • Allyson LockStephen, my attitude is appalling? How dare you! I have a fatal disease which has a treatment available, John Key won’t even reply to my to my letters begging for this treatment to be funded. This treatment has been approved for use in NZ, but NOT funded! There are 5 of us in this country condemned to death because of John Key and his cronies! So, Stephen, WHICH is most appalling? My ATTITUDE, or John Key’s lack of care? A brighter future for ME? I DON’T THINK SO! And before you slate me even further, if it was your son, daughter, Mum or Dad, sister or brother with this disease, would you have the same attitude?

    • Allyson LockAnd if you couldn’t care less Jonathon, why make your petty statement in the first place?

    • Les RobinsonSounds like the 5 of you Allyson need to get down to Parliment and stand your ground and prove to them you need the medicines to survive..if in front of him he wont ignore..

    • Chris CampbellLetters directly to John Key? That’s what your local MP is for.

    • Di BlackAllyson Lock, your attitude is appalling. I have a nasty illness too but I don’t blame John Key for it.

    • Allyson LockWe’ve done that Les, got escorted out by security.

    • Allyson LockHave done that Chris, no go there either.

    • Allyson LockDi, i don’t blame John Key for my illness at all. Why on earth do you think that? What I need is medication to help me. Do you get medication for your nasty illness? I hope there is a medication to help you. There is for me, John Key won’t make money available through Pharmac to fund it. That’s my beef!

    • Mark GrayAllyson bugger off to the whinging labour facebook page, plenty of negative losers over their with the “poor me”, “give me everything for free” syndrome. And no I dont care about your illness, everyones got problems. Some of us just choose to get on with it. This page about the great things JK and national are doing. Keep up the great work Mr Key.

    • Allyson LockGee Mark, i sure hope you never get an illness that you need treatment for. And i’m not a labour voter, i actually voted for Key. And i don’t ask for “everything”. My husband works full time in the military and works more hours than most people do in a week. So why don’t you bugger off Mark? I’m not a negative loser, but you certainly know how to put the boot into someone when they need help. Yaay for you, hope you feel really good about yourself.

    • Rachel LodewykThanks Allyson for standing up for,those who have medical conditions for,which there is treatment but no funding. Inherited conditions can strike anyone at anytime… Especially rare ones. So for all of you commenting on Allyson’s remarks, this could be your child, grandchild or any family member. She is not asking for any special treatment just a chance at obtaining drug therapy that is available. NZ gives cancer treatment to smokers and drug treatment to diabetics who are obese… Smoking and over eating are by choice. Drunk drivers are cared for in our hospitals… I could go on… Those of us living with inherited conditions that are not our fault live,with the knowledge that governments promise assistance to get into power then do not follow through.

    • Allyson LockThank you Rachel, i know you understand our plight. I tell you, it gets hard to keep standing up to be counted when you receive so much negativity. I cannot beleive there are so many nasty people out there who absolutely do not give a toss about their fellow human beings. You’re right though, it can happen to ANYONE! God help them when it does, because this government won’t. I bet most of the people on this thread have been helped by medication or have a family member who has, and they take it without even thinking twice. Imagine if they knew this medication was out there, which could save their life, or the life of a loved one, but John Key said…NO! For those of you who have said my attitude is appalling, shame on you.

    • Rachel LodewykEveryone is one new born away from being in a situation where they need access to medicines that will save a babies life…. It is a shame it takes devastating news to bring them around.

    • Allyson LockYes it is a shame. I guess mans inhumanity to man is alive and well in NZ, right from John Key down. I also wonder how many mothers are reading this. How would they feel if it was one of their kids? How would they feel if they knew they would not live to see their kids finish high school? I wonder if just ONE person on this thread will think about it and feel ashamed enough of their nastiness to want to make a change and gain an understanding? I sure hope so. I think I can guess the ones that won’t. Sad.

    • Rachel LodewykThey live in a different world where the biggest problem is what to serve for dinner. I don’t understand why my life is the way it is… I just wish I could live in new Zealand AND my child could receive the medicines that are saving his life. But as long as some one some where is paying the bill… What does NZ care? We are no longer a burden on the government after 20years of paying taxes..

    • Allyson LockYes exactly Rachel! I actually am even surprised that some people in this thread actually admit to not giving a dam. Or maybe I should not be surprised? Shame on them. I bet not one of them will say “hey, let’s here your story, let’s see what we can all do to make NZ a better place for all Kiwis”.

    • Allyson Lockthat would be “hear” your story…

    • Steve LockAs usual the ignorant are willing to put the boot into someone who has made a negative comment about John Key. Mark Gray, Di Black and Jonathan Allen (who isnt even in NZ) are quite happy to slam someone for raising a valid issue without even understanding it themselves. John Key is great at having his photo taken – he never misses an opportunity, but he wont stand up and do anything to help the people who actually need assistance. His MP’s are just as ineffective – there are over 50 other countries in the world that support people with the rare disease that Allyson has and that Rachels son is getting treatment for but John and his cronies like Tony Ryall continue to ignore our repeated request. Maybe there just arent enough votes in rare diseases to make them care

    • Stephen KeastAllyson, your first comment was “Wairakei resort eh, pretty flash! I guess us Kiwis are paying for that? No wonder there’s no money for Kiwis who have Pompe disease and need treatment! Brighter future? What a crock!”That sounds like a snobby little stuck up idiot with a bad attitude who is just an anti-government broken record.Perhaps you could pitch what is actually wrong with you and what you have done to try and get support before using your situation as flack against me? That would be much appreciated and you’d probably get a better reaction from others

    • Stephen KeastYou need to go to their door, either that of your local MP or the beehive and advocate for it if you want it funded for you. Otherwise private care is probably the only way. All the best for your future.

    • Stephen KeastThat or a good idea would be to write on the news pages’ walls… They would probably bite and do something useful for a change

    • Allyson LockStephen, I have been to the doors of parliament, and to the doors for my local (National) MP, no one is interested. I’m not a snobby little stuck up idiot, and I have not previously been an anti-government broken record. As previously mentioned, i voted for John Key. If you would like me to “pitch what is wrong with me” I will. I have a disease called “Pompe”. It is a fatal disease without treatment. Treatment for this disease is funded in nearly 60 countries worldwide. New Zealand, Australia and Wales seem to be the only “first world” countries dragging their heels on funding treatment even though enough evidence exists to show that treatment works. I have fundraised to get myself overseas to get on an experimental treatment because our government refuses to fund treatment for me and the other 4 people here in NZ with this disease. One of those people is my twin brother.

    • Allyson LockAlso Stephen, where is my attitude towards you appalling?

    • Stephen KeastWhat I’m getting as is that before you explained anything, you came across as just another person who seemed to think that party meetings should be held in some mud hut somewhere and that anyone that spent any sort of money was some kind of deranged dick. That to me is an appalling attitude.

    • Allyson LockI’m not going to make an apology for that considering the fact it’s not what I meant at all. And that said, do you find it “appalling” that the National government spend around $8million per year on cheauffeurs but ignore people with rare diseases who need treatment to survive?
    • 12 minutes ago

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To those folk who support National and John Key – that is your democtratic right, and let no one take that away from you.

It is worthwhile, though, to pause for a moment and consider that political parties and their leaders are no infallible.  They can make mistakes.

When folk like Allyson Lock take time to share their feelings about the way our own government has treated someone (or, in this case, totally ignored her) – then it is worthwhile listening and trying to understand where she’s coming from.

If a business ignores their customer’s needs – those customers will go somewhere else. That business will suffer accordimngly.

If a Party in power ignores it’s constituents – the same principle can apply.

What is the point of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising, at election time, to attract voter-support – when in the intervening three years, your Party ignored the needs of constituents?

Ponder that, next time National drops in the polls.

And ponder that a modicum of compassion to one of your fellow Kiwis, who is facing an uncertain future, will not go amiss.

Ms Lock is simply  seeking her own “bright future”.

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Related blogposts

Priorities?

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Citizen A – 17 May 2012 – Online now!

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Citizen A

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- 17 May 2012 -

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- Phoebe Fletcher & Phil Twyford -

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Issue 1: John Key attacks the media and then says he didn’t attack the media, legitimate concerns about the fourth estate or the need to get prescription cost increases, union bashing and Teacher basing out of the headlines?

Issue 2: Paula Bennett has announced a new board of business people to evaluate welfare reforms. What do we pay Paula for and why are they only business people?

Issue 3: Did the revelations in the Sunday Star Times last weekend of how involved John Key was with the ‘financial services hub’ idea concern anyone else?

Citizen A broadcasts 7pm Thursday Triangle TV

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Acknowledgement (republished with kind permission)

Tumeke

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Dear Leader says…

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Frank Macskasy Blog Frankly Speaking

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Questions to Ministers

Recession—Prime Minister’s Statements

1. Hon PHIL GOFF (Leader of the Opposition) to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that by early 2010 New Zealand will be coming out of the recession “reasonably aggressively”?

 Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister) : Yes, I stand by my full quote from March 2009, which is: “… I think by the end of 2009 early 2010 this time next year we’ll be starting to come out of that and I think starting to come out of it reasonably aggressively. I’m more optimistic about 2011 than 2010 but nevertheless I think 2010 will be positive.” Those statements have proved to be absolutely, entirely, 100 percent correct.

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Full Story

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Full Story

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Frank Macskasy Blog Frankly Speaking

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Hon Phil Goff: When looking at the blowout in the Government’s deficit of $2.5 billion over the last 6 months, how much of that deficit can be accounted for by tax cuts for the wealthy, which it is now shown that he is effectively borrowing in order to pay for?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: None.

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Hon Phil Goff: Two years into his Government does he take responsibility for the economic results that came out today, which were much worse than Treasury estimated 6 months ago, or will he continue to blame everybody else for his failure?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Well, I cannot take responsibility for a global financial crisis, although Michael Cullen once blamed me for it. I cannot take responsibility for an earthquake. I can take responsibility for doing something about leaky homes—the previous Government did absolutely nothing for homeowners—and I can take responsibility for New Zealand having the best tax switch it has had in 25 years.

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Frank Macskasy Blog Frankly Speaking

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Hon Jim Anderton: Has the Minister of Finance seen figures released today showing that retail sales slumped by 2.5 percent after the GST increase to 15 percent in October, which went with rising prices, falling real wages, and higher unemployment; if so, how are those outcomes a sign of the economic step change that the Prime Minister promised?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: I agree that the flat consumption is in sharp contrast to the record of the previous Government, when from about 2004 onwards the export sector was driven into the ground and New Zealanders went on a debt-funded spending binge. We make no apology for the fact that our policies are designed to turn that round by encouraging savings and exports. An increase in GST and an increase in the effective tax rate on housing will help us to avoid the same kind of binge occurring again.

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Source

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7. Hon ANNETTE KING (Deputy Leader—Labour) to the Prime Minister: In light of his statement of 9 February 2010 that “I worry that there are signs of an emerging underclass in New Zealand”, what action has his Government taken to reduce the number of children living in poverty since that statement?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister) : The Government believes that paid employment is the best way out of poverty for children and families. This year we have been working hard to create jobs and grow family incomes by strengthening the New Zealand economy, and repairing the damage done by a global recession and 9 sad years of a Labour Government. We have continued to run substantial deficits to fund social services that support children and families, including those in vital areas such as education and health, and to fund income support payments, like Working for Families.

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Frank Macskasy Blog Frankly Speaking

Full Story

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Hon Annette King: Did he say to a delegation of Church leaders whom he met in late November to discuss the future of welfare in New Zealand: “If we cancelled welfare to 330,000 people currently on welfare, how many would starve to death? Bugger all.”; if so, does he stand by that stupid comment?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I have no recollection of the comment. What I do have a recollection of—

No doubt we can take John Key at his word?

Of course we can.

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Reference

Parliamentary Hansards 14 December 2010

Other Blogposts

Pundit:  Lies, damned lies, and National party spin-doctoring

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From “Nanny” State to “Natzi” State?

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Frank Macskasy Blog  Frankly Speaking National Nanny State beneficiary bashing

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National has been working overtime (do they pay their media advisors, strategists, and spin doctors overtime?) to deflect public attention away from their mis-management of the economy, and one scandal after another.

See Blogpost:  The wheels are coming off, and there’s a funny ‘plink-plink’ sound

Whether it’s Nick Smith/Bronwyn Pullar/Judith Collins/ACC; John Banks and Kim Dotcom; John Banks and Sky City; John Key and Sky City; Murray McCully and wasted millions of taxpayer’s money over the aborted MFAT re-structuring -  John Key has had one ministerial scandal after another. It has been  an eye-opening, horrendous (for the Nats)  litany of failure, stuff-ups,  and dodgy dealings.

With a majority of just one seat, Dear Leader cannot afford even one resignation and by-election. It could cost him his second term in government.

On top of scandals, there are the non-stop bad news stories, on the economy and social problems,

* Unemployment continuing to rise – now at 6.7%

* Paula Bennet admitting there were were not enough jobs

* Youth unemployment up from 58,000 last year  to 87,000 this year

* Current account deficit widens to $2.7 billion

* Jobs-driven migration to Oz at high of 53,000

* Wages continue to lag behind Australia

* $12 billion student debt a national liability

* Treasury’s Monthly Economic Indicators – Numbers reveal National disgrace

* Child poverty growing, and children scavenging for food scraps

And adding insult to injury, Australian businesses are coming to New Zealand to set up shop, to exploit our lower wages,

* Aussie firms sending business across ditch

It’s been one failure after another, and people are starting to take notice; National is falling in public opinion polls.

This blogger predicts that the bad news is not about to end any time soon. National’s reliance on the private sector to provide jobs and growth is based on blind adherence to neo-liberal dogma – not on any common sense ideas. Blind adherence to ideology, and wilfully dismissing indicators of continual failure, is a process that is ultimately futile and doomed.

Just ask the Russians. It only took them about seven decades to realise that their experiment in marxist-leninism was dragging the USSR backwards, not forwards. They abandoned it, and that was the end of that particular episode in human history.

Neo-liberalism – the reverse side of the coin of extremist socio-economic systems – is on the same path to doomed failure.  There are those who understand this perfectly.

Rightwing governments, such as National, are political dinosaurs – watching the asteroid of change  rushing towards us – but not understanding the implications of the revolutionary change that is impending and inevitable.

Instead, National’s party strategists, media advisors, and contracted publicity/campaign  strategists have embarked on a time-honoured, proven course, of deflection; beneficiary bashing.

The strategy involved;

  1. Assessing public attitudes towards welfare, beneficiaries, and solo-mothers
  2. Identifying key issues regarding welfare, beneficiaries, and solo-mothers
  3. Putting together a plan, complete with media releases and policy “drafts”
  4. Priming friendly media, NGOs, and political allies
  5. Release, and stand back.

See Blogpost:  The Dark Art of ‘Spin’ – How It’s Done (Part #Rua)

The result was a two-pronged “blitzkreig” on the public,

  • “voluntary” contraception for solo-mothers
  • making immunisation mandatory for welfare recipients, by linking it to recieving state benefits

This blogger should point out that National most likely does not, for one moment, believe it’s own propaganda. People like John Key, Paula Bennett, et al, understand the statistics and realise that prejudice surrounding welfare beneficiaries is based largely on misinformation; anecdotes; and a fair measure of misogyny (demonstrated by the fact that attacks on solo-parents are always focused on solo-mothers – never  solo-dads).

They know, for example that the number of young solo-mothers aged 18 to 19 is 2.7% of the total number of welfare recipientsdown from 3.1% in 2007,

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Source

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It is also worthwhile noting the following fact,

Five year trend

 The number of clients receiving a main benefit at the end of March decreased from 266,000 to 256,000 between 2007 and 2008, then rose to reach 332,000 in 2011 before decreasing to 323,000 in 2012.

 Between March 2007 and March 2012, clients receiving a main benefit became slightly more likely to be aged 18–24 years and to be male.

 Changes between 2007 and 2012 which have affected the number of clients receiving a main benefit include demographic changes (eg an ageing population, people having children later in life) and changes in economic conditions.

Source

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Note the relevant points:

1. The number of clients receiving a main benefit at the end of March decreased from 266,000 to 256,000 between 2007 and 2008, then rose to reach 332,000 in 2011 before decreasing to 323,000 in 2012.

 2. Changes between 2007 and 2012 which have affected the number of clients receiving a main benefit include demographic changes (eg an ageing population, people having children later in life) and changes in economic conditions.

Point 1: the increase in welfare recipients  directly correlates to  “changes in economic conditions” – the global banking  crisis in 2008, and the resulting recession.

Point 2: The number of people on the DPB can be affected by “an ageing population”, as this Benefit can be paid to individuals caring for an elderly person, as well as children.

The overall rise in welfare recipients also correlates to,

  • a steadily growing rise in youth unemployment, from 58,000 last year  to 83,000 this year,
  • National’s  policy which calls for job creation by the private sector, and not by central government,
  • failed relationships, leaving the mother (generally) to care for children*, adding to those already on the DPB.

This is not rocket science. This is fairly basic economic facts which everyone understands fairly well.

Which then begs the question; what does contraception and immunisation have to do with an increase in welfare recipients that was caused, mostly, by “changes in economic conditions” ?!

The answer, of course, is nothing.

But then again, National’s proposals to “offer” contraception and “link”  immunisation to welfare payments has been a red herring from Day One, as outlined above.

National cannot announce to the country that ” all beneficiaries are diseased, reckless breeders“. That would be… crass. Not very subtle at all.

The more subtle way to go about vilifying and demonising a group in our society is to do it by innuendo.

Do not call solo mothers (but never solo dads) “reckless breeders”.

Do “offer” them free contraception.

Result: No direct association has been made between solo-mums and “reckless breeding” – but the unspoken  innuendo is there, hanging in the air.

Do not call beneficies “dirty and diseased”.

Do make immunisation compulsory for their children.

Result: No direct association has been made between beneficiaries and calling them “dirty and diseased” – but the unspoken innuendo is there, unsaid.

That is Phase One of National’s deflection strategy.

Phase One, I hear you say? There’s more?!’

Oh yes, this strategy is a two-fer-one deal. The unspoken labelling of beneficiaries as “dirty”, “diseased”, and “reckless breeders” is only the first part.

The second part is the predictable (and justified)  outcry from opposition political parties; NGOs; prominent citizens; bloggers (hullo!); etc, etc. This draws further attention to National’s grand strategy, giving it media ‘oxygen’.  In drawing attention to this vile policy, the public and media attention are drawn away from bad news stories about the economy and social problems.

As Business NZ CEO, Phil O’Reilly, stated on TV3 news tonight (13 May),

“… we have an economy that’s struggling.”

When is the last time we heard a news report on unemployment? The John Banks/Sky City/Dotcom/John Key/Sky City/ACC/BronwynPullar/Judith Collins scandal(s)? A stagnant economy? More New Zealanders fleeing the country to Australia? The worsening poverty crisis? The growing gap between income earners? Asset sales? Poverty-related diseases? Etc, etc, etc, et-bloody-cetera…

The bad-news media reports are there – but now displaced from page 1 of newspapers or lead-stories on TV/radio – and relegated as secondary or tertiary priority stories. Instead, those issues are now replaced with stories about beneficiaries, contraception, and immunisation.

National got it’s money’s-worth I’d say, on this propaganda exercise.

In case anyone still harbours doubts that National is really, truly, whole-heartedly not remotely  interested in the health  of beneficiaries, let me remind the reader of Labour’s attempt to remove fatty food-products from school tuck-shops, from June 2008,

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Full Story

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National’s response to this and other health-related concerns?

This is how much they cared for the well-being our this nation’s children,

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Frank Macskasy Blog  Frankly Speaking National Nanny State beneficiary bashing

Full story

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Frank Macskasy Blog  Frankly Speaking National Nanny State beneficiary bashing

Full story

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Frank Macskasy Blog  Frankly Speaking National Nanny State beneficiary bashing

Full story

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And true to it’s word, when National came to power in November 2008,

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Frank Macskasy Blog Frankly Speaking National Nanny State beneficiary bashing

Full story

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Which kind of proves how much concerns National has toward the health of the nation’s children.

Which is not very much.

In Germany in the 1920s and 1930s, the far right used gypsies and jews as scapegoats. We don’t have gypsies, and if the Nats tried demonising Jews, they’d find an Israeli crack-commando squad  knocking on John Key’s door  and asking, “can we have a quiet word with you, sunshine?”.

I guess beneficiaries are the next best thing.

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* Note

This blogger’s partner’s cousin, “Shannon”,  is now caring for her three young sons after her husband walked out on the family – youngest child was 18 months old at the time. He was having an affair and has  moved in with a female co-worker from his office. “Shannon”  is now a solo-mum, on the DPB.

She did not “breed” whilst on the DPB. “Shannon”  was married when she had her three children, and the family was on a reasonable income.  So what should she do now? According to some right wing nutjobs, should she euthanase her children so they do not become a “burden on the state”?

Whilst “Shannon” is now labelled a “DPB bludger” by National and it’s supporters, her husband is free to start another family with his new partner. If he walks out on her,  and any children they have together,  as he did with “Shannon”, he still avoids responsibility – and his new partner is labelled a “bene bludger”.

Are folks picking up a common theme here?”

*

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Media

NZ Herald:  Stuck for ideas, Govt preys on powerless

Previous Blogposts

Why did the fat kiwi cross the road?

You’ll have a free market – even if it KILLS you!

Christmas – would you like fries with that?

The wheels are coming off, and there’s a funny ‘plink-plink’ sound

Bennett confirms: there are not enough jobs!

No poverty and food scavenging here

And MORE beneficiary bashing!!!

Other Blogs

Tumeke:  And now, forced vaccination of beneficiaries & never ending detention – this week has been red neck heaven

The Standard:  Teenage dreams

Waitakere News:  Pike River will be Key’s undoing

The Dim Post:  Talkback bait

The Jackal:   Myth-busting rightwing prejudices

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= fs =

That was Then, this is Now #11

Money in the Banks (Part #Toru)

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ACT PRESIDENT CONFIRMS DOTCOM – BANKS

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SUGGESTED $50K DONATION SPLIT IN TWO!

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In an interview on Radio NZ’s ‘Checkpoint’, ACT President Chris Simmons confirmed that ACT MP John Banks did ask Kim Dotcom to split a $50,000 donation in two.

Chris Simmon, ACT Party President

Chris Simmon, ACT Party President

He told Radio NZ’s Mary Wilson,

He has given me an indication as to why he made that suggestion – and that was that he initially was going to put in $25,000 of his own money and he figured that other people should be putting in the same sort of numbers.”

See:  ACT president confirms Banks suggested donation be split

This astounding admission contradicts John Banks’ earlier assertions that he had no knowledge of any donation from Dotcom,

If someone says to me, ‘How can I put money into your campaign?’ what would be wrong with telling them that – if that was that case? “

See: Banks sought split donation: Dotcom

John Key must stand down Banks as a Minister, whilst the matter is investigated by Police. In fact, this blogger goes further; there is now sufficient evidence that John Banks has consistently lied on this issue; provided a false campaign donations return; and tried to cover up the donations from both Sky City and Kim Dotcom.

As John Key said to then-Prime Minister Helen Clark, over Winston Peters,

It is no longer acceptable or credible for Helen Clark to assert a facade of confidence in her Foreign Affairs Minister and to fail to ask the plain questions of him that she has a duty to the public to ask. Helen Clark must stand Mr Peters down as a Minister. That is what I would do if I were Prime Minister. Helen Clark has stood Ministers from Labour down for much less.”

Key is now Prime Minister. He should know what to do next.

See:  Banks denies calling Dotcom over donation

As this blogger wrote in a previous blogpiece ( Money in the Banks ,Part #Rua ); again, Dotcom’s claims are confirmed – whilst Banks’ story changes almost daily.

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Previous Blog Posts

Money in the Banks

Key on Banks; Staunch, stupid, or stuck?

John Banks – Demented or Slippery as an eel?!

Money in the Banks (Part #Rua)

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= fs =

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