Point 1: The Prime Minister
Key’s appearance at Waitangi’s Te Tii Marae was marked by the usual “theatre” (as Labour’s Shane Jones refers to it – see: Titewhai Harawira wins over escorting PM at Waitangi) and the media were only too happy to focus their attention and cameras on the drama of the day.
Someone, though, profitted enormously from today’s (5 February) events,
Unfortunately for the Left, Key’s mana was only enhanced by the public spectacle of his calm, stately, demeanour and will have raised his popularity as Prime Minister by several percentage points. Middle Class Pakeha will have lapped up Dear Leader’s performance – especially his vow to “keep returning”.
Shades of Douglas MacArthur’s famous quote during World War 2, “I came through and I shall return“.
Not in 2014, I hope.
National governments are too costly for our economy and social cohesion. Just ask any of the 175,000 unemployed or 250,000 children living in poverty or 40,000 jobs lost in the manufacturing sector in the last four years.
Point 2: Pastoral property
The Great Sell-Off of our country continues unabated, as news came out today that Chinese company, Yashili New Zealand Dairy Company has announced that it has applied for Overseas Investment Office approval to build a $210 million milk processing plant at Pokeno in Waikato, and a Swedish company, Southern Pastures Partnership, has been approved by the OIO to purchase eight Waikato dairy farms, totalling over 3,000 hectares.
Once again, we are seeing the most productive and profitable parts of our primary industries being sold off to foreign investors.
See also: Swedish investors buy farms from Hart
Those naive enough to believe that this will benefit us – need to look again.
What the Swedes and Chinese have done is make an immediate investment for long-term gains. The dairy industry is profitable now – when the human population on Earth reaches 9 billion, it will create incredible wealth…
… wealth for those who own the means of production.
In this case, the profits made by Yashili New Zealand Dairy Company and Southern Pastures Partnership will be ‘exported’ back to the home-nations of the investors (Sweden and China), along with the goods that they produce.
We will end up with some taxes paid by employees (us) and the companies.
But most of the dairy pay-out from Southern Pastures Partnership and profits from exports by Yashili New Zealand Dairy Company will be remitted overseas.
The consequences, if it needs to be spelled out will be;
- lost profits to us, as a country
- lost foreign revenue, through exports,
- a worsening Current Account deficit.
In years to come our descendents (most of whom will be living in Australia by then) will look back at us and wonder at our lack of foresight and economic naiveté.
In short – how dumb were we?
Point 3: Parata
Further to my blogpost on 18 January, our very own Invisible Woman – Hekia Parata – our so-called “Minister of Education”, was still shying away from appearing in the media. (See previous blogpost: Parata, Bennett, and Collins – what have they been up to?)
Campbell did another story on the Novopay fiasco today (5 February), and invited Ms Parata to an interview.
She was nowhere to be seen. (And as I speculated twelve days in my blogpost – Karma for Key? – the reason may be that she’s been told; “stay away from the media and keep your mouth firmly zipped, sweetie“.)
Which is just as well, as Campbell had some further remarkable instances of cock-ups made by Novopay. Like, school cleaners getting paid $20,000 for working 24 hours a fortnight?
Maybe John Key’s promise in 2008 to raise the wages of New Zealanders has finally come true?
Nah. No such luck – just more Novopay cock-ups.
Meanwhile some teachers were being paid $0.00.
Never mind paying $100 million for Novopay’s lemon – perhaps National should’ve just left it to Lotto? The results would’ve been about the same.
= fs =
So let’s see how well Dear Leader and National Does Responsibility…
Blame: drug addicts
Blame: music production company.
Blame: the media (always a good flogging-post for polis in trouble)
Blame: previous Labour government, Recession
Blame: Allan Hubbard. (Hubbard had not been convicted of any offense.)
Blame: previous Labour government (again).
Blame: previous Labour Government (yes, again), Europe, and the United States.
Blame: Wall Street (an industry sector in which Key used to work)
Blame: election campaign (damned inconvenient, these “election” things)
Blame: Polls, “edgy” things, state asset sales, and “lots of challenges out there”.
Blame: “Somebody” (or anybody, whatever)
Blame: Pike Rive mining company (which was following de-regulated safety laws enacted by National in 1991.)
Blame: “global economic headwinds” (but not an excuse beneficiaries may use).
Blame: Rugby World Cup, the general election, and Diplomatic Protection Squad.
And when National has run out of people, institutions, countries, and things to blame – they can always refer to the mystical realm,
And of course, there are the none-too-subtle attempts to blame welfare beneficiaries for not having the jobs that existed prior to 2007/08,
Taking responsibility, National-style – means someone else copping the blame. Or sunspots.
Are we all clear on this?
Clayton’s Responsibility – The Responsibility You’re Taking, when You’re Not Really Taking Responsibility,
Wilkinson’s resignation was almost on top of the public release of the Pike River Royal Commission of Inquiry report. She was the “sacrificial lamb”, with the deliberate objective to short-circuit media and public debate over National’s culpability in the de-regulation of the Mining Inspectorate in 1992.
Wilkinson’s “resignation” wasn’t taking responsibility – it was a carefully-crafted exercise in damage-control.
Note that Wilkinson retained her other portfolios (at the time), along with her $250,000-plus salary plus Ministerial perks and allowances (see: ‘What have I done wrong?‘).
Indeed, any attempt by National to take responsibility was watered down when Key said,
“Under successive governments, since 1992, the influence and reach of the mining inspectorate was eroded.”
Mr Key says the Government accepts there were systemic failures in the regulatory regime across successive governments.” – John Key, Govt responds to Pike River Royal Commission, 5 November 2012
So there you have it. Key’s comments attempts to spread responsibility as far as possible across twenty years of “successive“ governments. Because, as we all know, if you spread responsibility – like margerine – as wide as possible, it becomes thinner and thinner until there’s bugger-all of it left.
The Nat’s spin doctors earned their tax-payer funded salaries that day.
Taking responsibility National style reminds me of that famous phrase from the 1970 movie, “Love Story“,
For Dear Leader and his cronies, the sentiment is the same,
Previous related blogpost
= fs =
For a better New Zealand…
~ Cleaner rivers
~ No deep-sea oil drilling
~ Less on Roads - more on Rail
~ A Living wage at $20.20/hr
~ Marriage equality - Yay! Got that one!
~ Strong, effective Unions
~ No secret free-trade deals
~ Breakfast/lunches in our schools
~ Introducing Civics into our school curriculum
~ Cut back on the liquor industry
~ A fairer, progressive tax system
~ Fully funded, free healthcare
~ Ditto for education, including Tertiary
~ Fund Pharmac for Pompe's Disease medication & other 'orphan' drugs
~ No state asset sales!
~ Rebuild public TV broadcasting!
~ Keeping farms in local ownership
~ Reduce poverty, like we reduced the toll for road-fatalities
~ State housing for life
~ Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!
~ Stronger communities
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