2013 – The Year that Was
National – High Point Achievement Award
Staying high in the polls despite controversies; scandals; obvious lies told by it’s Leader; making it harder for first home buyers to own their own home; rising child poverty and inequality; kids eating out of rubbish bins and increasing poverty-related diseases; damage to our precious image as a “Clean and Green” nation; rampant corporate welfare; ongoing harrassment of welfare beneficiaries; lack of jobs; threatening to kick tenants out of State Housing; cuts to early childhood education; reducing worker’s rights and attacks on Unions; increasing wage gap with Australia; … and on it goes.
New Zealanders must have cast-iron-stomachs to tolerate such a blatantly anti-Kiwi party that goes so badly against our much-vaunted “fair go” and supposed “egalitarian” nature.
National – Low Point Screw-Up Award
Hard to choose.
There is so much ghastliness from this shabby government – where does one start?
Perhaps this little story, that recently appeared on Radio NZ’s website;
Perhaps nothing better illustrates the transfer of wealth better than the poorest people having to pay for higher prescription charges, whilst those on higher incomes received a $4 billion tax cut.
Someone had to pay for Key’s generosity, and New Zealand’s poorest and lowest paid workers drew short straws. That is how a wealth transfer occurs; high income earners get a tax cut and low income earners and welfare beneficiaries get increased user-pays government charges; a rise in GST; and costs for privatised services.
Meanwhile, the Middle Classes scratch their heads and wonder why the poor can’t put food on their table?
National MP of the Year Award
Maurice Williamson – for his “Big Gay Rainbow” speech.
For that speech alone, he deserves his seat in Parliament.
Labour MP of the Year Award
David Shearer – for grace and courage under fire from those around him; the Left; the Right; the media; et al.
We yearn for decent politicians in Parliament who look, sound, and behave like ordinary Kiwis – but savage them to pieces when we actually get one.
NZ First MP of the Year Award
Tracey Martin – one of Parliament’s best kept “secrets”. One to watch out for as her career in politics is on the rise. Recently elevated to Deputy Leader of NZ First, she has the potential to increase her Party’s public approval (once Peters has taken retirement – perhaps in Tauranga?).
She may actually make serious inroads into the left-wing vote…
Green MP of the Year Award
Russell Norman – for calling John Key out as the new Rob Muldoon.
Maori Party MP of the Year Award
Tariana Turia – for her unceasing battle against Big Tobacco. This woman has more cojones than half of Parliament rolled into one.
It’s a shame she’s resigning. This blogger would love to see her carry on her Associate Health Minister role in a Labour-led government. God knows we need someone of her integrity and determination to stand up to corporate power.
Best Party Policy Award
Mana Party – for it’s Feed The Children Bill. Hone Harawira and his Party managed to forced National to take some action on this problem. It may not be enough, but Mana got the ball rolling.
Mana deserves to be back in Parliament next year. Hopefully with a couple of extra MPs?
Leftwing Blogger of the Year Award
Burnt Out Teacher, on The Daily Blog, for her poignant insights into the teaching profession; the education system; our children; and how National government ministers simply haven’t a clue.
As an example of her brilliant writing, check out her blogposts here.
Honestly, she is bloody good.
Honourable mentions go to blogger Marama Davidson for her deep social conscience and feminist ideals, and Martyn “Bomber” Bradbury (the latter for trying to herd
bloggers cats) for making “The Daily Blog” one of the Left’s most effective tools.
Rightwing blogger of the Year Award
Cameron Slater. Always.
The man is a constant reminder why we carry on the struggle for a saner, fairer, society.
Thank you, Cam. Please don’t ever give up. You’re the best motivational we have.
Most Coherent Rightwinger Award
Matthew Hooton. The guy is scarily rational-sounding. Please god, do not let him take leadership of the ACT Party. Pretty-pleeeaassse! (See previous blogpost: Suggested candidates for new ACT leader)
Runner-up: none. The rest are as mad as a box of cats.
Muppet of the Year Award
1st Runner-up: Colin Craig.
Chemtrails. Moon Landing Hoax conspiracy.
Again, ’nuff said.
2nd Runner up: again, Colin Craig. For being daft enough to threaten The Civilian with a law-suit. (Unless… it was a clever conspiracy by Craig to gain more publicity for his Party?! What next – chem-trails in the sky spelling out “Vote Colin Craig in 2014“?!
Naive person of the Year Award
Dealing with Cameron Slater?! What were you thinking, woman?!?!
Really, Really, Dumb Comment of the Year Award
John Key, on the asset sales referendum,
“Well the numbers don’t look like they’re that significant. I mean at the moment it’s sitting at around about 40 per cent.”
Key added that the number was “not absolutely amazing, it’s not overwhelmingly opposed”.
More people voted in the referendum (1,297,281) than voted for National in 2011 ( 1,058,638).
Only an idiot who is hell-bent on losing an election dismisses a voter turn-out that was significantly larger than those who voted for your Party.
It seems that Aaron Gilmore was not the only one who allowed his Tory arrogance to slip out.
Really, Really, Dumb Action of the Year Award
Goes to John Key for taking two ex National Ministers, who supported the 1981 Springbok Tour, to Nelson Mandela’s funeral – whilst deliberately not inviting any of the anti-Tour leaders of the protest movement.
On top of which, Key then abused Hone Harawira for going to South Africa – and Harawira was actually a part of the anti-Tour leadership!!!
“This is a guy that went to South Africa on a jolly and shouldn’t be billing the taxpayer for it. The bottom line is we took a delegation – whether he likes it or not – that represented, in our view, the right mix. I personally don’t believe there was a role for him to go to South Africa.”
Class act, Mr Key, real classy.
Curious Story of the Year Award
The blockade of our meat exports to China for, ostensibly, “paperwork problems”… (see previous blogposts: What’s the beef, guv? and Taiwan FTA – Confirmation by TVNZ of China pressuring the Beehive?)
By “coincidence”, at the same time, New Zealand trade officials were also negotiating a Free Trade Agreement deal with Taiwan – which Beijing China considers a renegade province.
Did Beijing flex it’s muscles with a subtle warning of what might happen if the FTA deal went too far? Was the “paperwork problem” a face-saving cover-up by Key’s government?
I believe it was.
Reality Check of the Year Award
So next time the Nats are crowing that unemployment is dropping, just remember, as the old song goes,
“… it ain’t necessarily so!”
See previous blogpost: The REAL level of unemployment
Runner-Up: The same Census revealed that 12.9% of households rely on some form of communication other than landlines: ie, cellphones (see previous blogpost: Census, Surveys, and Cellphones (Part rua).
Which makes the Roy Morgan poll the most accurate, as it is the only one that currently phones respondents on their cellphones. Other pollsters call only landlines.
Stasi Award for the Year
Peter Dunne and John Banks – both of whom voted for the GCSB and Telecommunications Interception Capability and Security (TICS) Bills. New Zealand moved a couple of steps further toward being a policed surveillance state.
The irony of Banks voting for these two Bills should not be lost on us. ACT is supposedly the Party that wants to get government “out of our lives”.
Voting to increase state powers of surveillance and data gathering is anything but.
Direct Action Award
The chap (chapess?) who left this message on the footpath outside a National MP’s electorate office: One Dunedinite’s response to the passing of the GCSB Bill…
Direct. Too the point. Nicely done.
John Key Liar of the Year Award
… goes to ****drrrrrumrolllll****
Hint to Mr Wewege: if you’re going to deny a relationship, make sure you haven’t been Tweeting her with naughty messages. Doh!
Honest Blogging by a Rightwing Blogger Award
This Award is rare as hens-teeth – but this year it is given to David Farrar, for reporting on Luigi Wewege who lied about *not* being in a relationship with Bevan Chuang (see above).
Good stuff, DPF.
Spiteful, Hateful, Intemperate, Tosser*Award
To Michael Laws! Ten years in a row – a world record for tossers!
This time, for abusing women who decide to bear, raise, and care for children with Downs Syndrome, instead of aborting them. (See: How human is Michael Laws?)
This was a new personal-best low for Laws, whose humanity is in dire question.
Laws, you really, really need to STFU.
(*note the acronym)
Runner-Up: Bob Jones, for his bizarre and downright repugnant comments about encouraging someone to commit suicide. (see: Calling all white, old, rich men who are decent – please rein in your peers!)
Jones was put firmly in his place with this beautifully written blogpost by Sarah Wilson – What is the cost?
H is for Hypocrite Award
Paula Bennett – for her on-going vendetta against welfare beneficiaries. National’s victimisation of the unemployed, solo-mums, widows, etc, is nothing more than a nasty attempt to blame these people for being out of work.
Yet, when Key, English, or one of their other taxpayer-bloated, National cronies have to explain why the economy is not doing so well – they refer to the Global Financial Crisis as an excuse.
Of course, when Bennett was on the DPB, she did very, very well out of the system (see previous blogpost: Hon. Paula Bennett, Minister of Hypocrisy).
Runner-up: National MP and Associate Social Welfare Minister, Chester Borrows. For aiding and abetting Bennett’s rampage against the poor and the dispossessed (see: OIA Request points to beneficiary beat-up by Minister Chester Borrows).
Shame on them both.
Victorian Era Bash-The-Poor Award
Destiny Church co-leader, Hannah Tamaki – for suggesting on an episode of TV3’s The Vote that the poor in New Zealand shouldn’t be complaining if they live in cold, drafty houses and can’t afford heating.
They should all just cuddle up under a blanket.
Well, there y’go! Sorted!
Event of the Year
The death of Nelson Mandela – one of the most inspirational human beings in modern times.
#1 Suggestion to National Leader, John Key
Call an early election.
Then feel free to enjoy another holiday in Hawaii.
#1 Suggestion to Labour Leader, David Cunliffe
Nothing would better send a strong message to New Zealanders that child Poverty is a growing crisis in this country, than if you took on the portfolio of Minister for Children.
It would send a message that the welfare and future of this nation’s children is our number one priority. Nothing else is as important.
Quite simply, our children are our future.
Wouldn’t this look good on the door to your new office on the Ninth Floor,
Rt. Hon. David Cunliffe
Minister for Children
Ticking Time Bomb for the Nats
Increasing child poverty?
Widening wage gap between Aussie and Kiwi workers?
Growing wealth inequality?
Dangerous deep-sea oil prospecting/drilling of our coast?
Stubbornly high housing prices?
Lack of jobs?
Nope. Whilst all those things are growing problems and a toxic brew for any government, none of them will bring down the Nats.
But this will;
Most people can easily become accustomed to a constant ‘diet’ of bad news of poverty, inequality, environmental damage, etc. They aren’t affected by such problems on a day-to-day level.
But as interest rates rise, so will mortgage payments increase for the middle classes, and that, people, will be a weekly (or fortnightly) reminder. Coupled with low wage growth and rising prices – and home-owners will start to be seriously hurt in their back pockets.
In their wallets.
This will put a stake through the heart of Key’s aspirations for as third term.
Dear Leader’s last remaining ‘gloss’ will be stripped away. And all his pathetic attempts to blame the previous Labour government will be treated with the derisory contempt it deserves.
As always, it will be naked self-interest from the middle classes that undoes this wretched, incompetant government. (A government that can casually throw millions of tax-dollars at Rio Tinto, Warner Bros, Skycity, et al – but seems paralysed – like a possum caught in the glare of approaching headlights – when it comes to feeding hungry kids at school.)
Self-interest by the middle classes – the central theme of neo-liberalism.
Gotta love the irony.
On a positive note, summer is here; we’ve survived another year of Tory mis-management and Key’s lies; and our economy may start to pick up if Aussie and Chinese markets stay bouyant. Fingers crossed.
Merry Christmas to one and all!
And Kiwis – vote yourselves a really neat prezzie next year: vote yourselves a new government!
This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 26 December 2013.
Radio NZ: Pharmacies ‘carry cost’ of increases
NZ Herald: Norman – Key ‘acting like Muldoon’
NZ Herald: Peters’ new kid plunges into fray
Radio NZ: Further mortgage rate rises ‘inevitable’
Fairfax media: PM playing down voter turnout
NZ Herald: Mortgage woe looms
Fairfax media: Wewege denies relationship with Chuang
Kiwiblog: Not in a relationship!
Fairfax media: School breakfasts bill goes before Parliament
= 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
- Trumpwatch: One minute closer to midnight on the Doomsday Clock
- Letter to the editor – Bill English dives head first into the cover-up cess-pool
- Letter to the editor – Commission of Inquiry, NOW!
- TV3’s The Project – A Babyboomer lowers the boom
- The Rise and Rise of Daddy State: MSD blackmails NGOs for private data
- 2017 – Ongoing jobless tally
- Trumpwatch: The Art of Deflection
- Trumpwatch: Fake News, Soft News, and Non-News
- The Mendacities of Mr English – The covert agenda of high immigration
- Election ’17 Countdown: The Promise of Nirvana to come
- Trumpwatch: “… then they came for the LGBT”
- Election ’17 Countdown: Joyce – let the lolly scramble begin!
- Election ’17 Countdown: The Strategy of Ohariu
- Trumpwatch: The Drum(pf)s of War
- The Mendacities of Mr English – Social Services under National’s tender mercies
- Trumpwatch: Muslims, mandates, and moral courage
- Trumpwatch: Voter fraud, Presidential delusions, and Fox News
- Cutting taxes toward more user-pays – the Great Kiwi Con
- St John management applies tourniquet to workers’ throats
- Letter to the editor – Juliet Moses does NOT speak on my behalf!
- The Legacy of a Dismantled Prime Minister
- Trumpwatch: Trump escalates, Putin congratulates
- Protestors condemn Russian involvement in atrocities in Aleppo
- The Sweet’n’Sour Deliciousness of Irony: Russia accused of meddling in US Election
- Charter Schools in a Post-Truth Era
- The Dismantling of a Prime Minister – Completed
- The Mendacities of Mr Key # 19: Tax Cuts Galore! Money Scramble!
- The Rise of Great Leader Trump
- An earthquake separates John Key and ‘The Iron Lady’, Margaret Thatcher
- When Life is a Lottery
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