web analytics

Armstrong on National’s conference

Written By: - Date published: 1:33 pm, August 10th, 2013 - 33 comments
Categories: john key, national - Tags: , ,

Labour has an open and active policy process – with all its democratic advantages and political risks. National is run by money from the top down. It makes National conferences dull affairs. Here’s The Herald’s Armstrong on National’s current Conference in the context of a discussion of Key’s “pragmatism”:

Key those are my principles

Pragmatism rules in Tiwai Pt handout

Just when you think the Prime Minister’s pragmatic streak has surely drunk for too long at the well of political convenience, John Key promptly undertakes an even more audacious departure from the ideological ethos supposedly guiding his party.

Labour could only stare in goggle-eyed wonder at the $30 million “sweetener” handed to Rio Tinto-controlled Pacific Aluminium in shameless fashion to keep the Tiwai Point smelter operating for at least another three years.

“Pragmatism” is the word we all use to describe a party, when it is our own party, selling out its values. Yeah, Key is pretty pragmatic all right. On to the conference…

The announcement of the smelter deal has certainly given any such purists within National’s ranks plenty to ponder at the party’s annual conference in Nelson this weekend. Note the word “ponder”. They will not likely get any opportunity to voice an opinion on this Great Leap Backwards.

Going on recent years, the two-day gathering is likely to be another over-choreographed affair during which Key will feed the news media with some new policy, while proceedings have any spontaneity sucked out of them by a procession of Cabinet ministers detailing (and thus glorifying) their many achievements in their portfolios.

There is unlikely to be any serious grizzling on the floor of the conference. Nothing succeeds like success.

National’s staggeringly high poll ratings will have silenced dissent in the unlikely event that there is any dissent to silence.

Key would anyway rebut any criticism by telling the party that at times, outrageous pragmatism is justified to keep National’s support at a sufficient level where a third term in power is still within the party’s grasp.

Perhaps if those with powerful voices in the media were to focus a bit less on games and personalities, and more on dull stuff like facts and policies, we would see “National’s staggeringly high poll ratings” take a bit of a tumble. Just a thought.

33 comments on “Armstrong on National’s conference”

  1. BM 1

    National is run along the same lines as a business.
    It sells a particular product.
    You either like the product or not.
    Like the product, vote National
    Dislike the product, vote for some one else.

    Good thing about this system is you don’t get hamstrung and tripped over by infighting and man-ban weirdness.

    • Saarbo 1.1

      “National is run along the same lines as a business.”

      With half a dozen majority shareholders running the show…that’ll be right.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.2

      The selling of policy to overseas big corporates has become so blatant, while they thumb their noses to the voters.

      • BM 1.2.1

        No ones been forced to vote National.

        As I wrote above, don’t like what they’re doing vote for some other party.

        • geoff 1.2.1.1

          That’s correct, they’ve been tricked into thinking it was a good idea even though it was a completely shit idea.

          • BM 1.2.1.1.1

            Really?, not the old dumb voters tricked into voting National line, again.

            Fucking hell, the size of the egos on the left are so massive, they could cause a solar eclipse.

            • Paul 1.2.1.1.1.1

              So do you really think that selling assets using the term ‘mum and dad investors’ when only 2% of the population bought shares was an honest policy?
              And do you really think that all those National votes who did not buy shares benefited from the sale of shares?
              Clearly those people were voting against their own interests.

              Now there are many theories as to why people vote against their own interests. And that would be a far more interesting discussion than a dull debate, where you try to explain how National’s policies really are in the interest of the majority of New Zealand’s citizens.

            • Treetop 1.2.1.1.1.2

              A solar eclipse in the name of the GCSB Bill, which when passed will be a dark day in the history of New Zealand.

    • pollywog 1.3

      National is run along the same lines as a cult or religion.

      • BM 1.3.1

        That’s the greens bud, I think you’re a bit confused.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.3.1.1

          Yes, because members of cults all get to vote on the leadership, don’t they BM? Remind me when National Party members voted for the leader again?

  2. chrissy 2

    key runs his party like an Amway convention. Rah Rah. I think I heard that little tolley lady say that they wouldn’t even be mentioning the GCSB Bill smirk smirk! Done and dusted apparently.

  3. Ad 3

    Can anyone think of a single policy area – other than housing – in which Key has not comprehensively outflanked and outplayed Shearer?

    • AmaKiwi 3.1

      Lying.

      Environmental degradation.

      Occupational safety (killing workers).

      Charter schools.

      Taxpayer money to business mates: SkyCity, oil drillers, mining, movie studios, roads we don’t need, etc.

      That’s without even checking my notes.

      • Paul 3.1.1

        Cronyism
        Selling out to international corporates
        Gutting our civil rights

        Again, no notes required.

    • BrucetheMoose 3.2

      You have to give National full marks for doing an excellent job of selling the whole Christchurch rebuild/recovery to the rest of the country as something it is not.
      The Red Zone payouts as being very very fair.
      The CBD Blueprint as workable
      Progress of home repairs
      No housing/ rental problems
      EQC doing a great job
      Brownlee doing a great job
      etc etc

  4. Short Plank 4

    “Labour could only stare in goggle-eyed wonder at the $30 million “sweetener” handed to Rio Tinto-controlled Pacific Aluminium in shameless fashion to keep the Tiwai Point smelter operating for at least another three years.” – John Armstrong.

    The $30 million “sweetener” had nothing to do with keeping Tiwai Point smelter operating. It was to prevent a sudden large increase in available electricity supply with the resultant price drop for all New Zealanders undercutting the proposed sale of Meridian Energy. Had it not been for that National would have happily let Tiwai Point go under.

  5. North 5

    How Monty Pythonesque is this ?

    Tim Groser fresh from the National Party conference, earnestly warning us about “our enemies”.

    Yes we have enemies, without and within apparently. Presumably these enemies were around well before this government resolved to empower itself to spy on its people and make the fruits of their spying available to whomsoever. That it’s in this context that we first hear about “our enemies” is very suspicious.

    Makes one wonder whom the enemy actually is.

    • ropata 5.1

      Enemies! In the interests of National(tm) security the GCSB should keep an eye on opposition MPs

    • BM 5.2

      I’d say the greens need to be looked at

      I’ve read in a few places now that greenies are sending off press releases to media outlets world wide trying to make out that New Zealanders are environmental vandals and NZ is some polluted hole.

      Maybe the media needs to start digging around see how much truth there is to these allegations

      • JK 5.2.1

        Just go and have a look at the rivers and streams, and lakes, throughout New Zealand, BM.
        No need to dig around. They are so polluted no-one can safely swim in them, let alone drink the water without it being thoroughly cleaned/treated beforehand.

        • BM 5.2.1.1

          So you have no problem with environmental fanatics trying to destroy our economy?

          • Pascal's bookie 5.2.1.1.1

            You spelled ‘vandals’ wrong.

          • marty mars 5.2.1.1.2

            I certainly have a problem with economic fanatics trying to destroy our environment – don’t you BM?

            • BM 5.2.1.1.2.1

              I read in another post that said you work in the tourism sector.

              You don’t have a problem with the lies and exaggeration the greens are pushing.
              Lies and exaggeration that will have a direct result on the industry you work in.

              If certain Greens think fucking over our economy and putting 1000’s and 1000’s workers out of a job is a great idea they need to be rooted out and exposed as the destructive and dangerous religious zealots that they are.

              Bring on the new spying lies, lets find out who NZ real enemies are.

              • millsy

                If people like BM think putting thousands of liters of toxic chemicals into our rivers making them unsafe to swim in and making our children sick, and pumping thick smoke into the air, causing untold respirtory problems, is an acceptable way to make a few bucks, then it goes to show that they care more about money then our health.

                Why do you want to poison our rivers, BM, WHY?

                • BM

                  Who’s dumping thousands of liters of toxic chemicals into our rivers?
                  Who’s pumping thick smoke into the air, causing untold respiratory problems?

                  Name these NZ companies.

              • Well believe it or not tourism is based on an environment that people want to come and see and if the environment isn’t there or degraded they just don’t want to come and see it – doesn’t matter how much marketing spin you put on it, they will not come. So the economic benefits of tourism are based upon having an environment that people want to see not the other way round. The real enemies of this country are those that would sell it out by destroying the environment for short term gain, for themselves without considering or caring about the longterm effects of their greed. They are the ones that are making it unsafe for the kids to swim in the rivers and they are key and his exploitative mates, not the Greens – the Greens are one group of heroes that stand (hopefully) against them and good on them for that.

          • millsy 5.2.1.1.3

            So you have no problem with corporate fanatics trying to destroy our environment.

            BM. I am going to tell you this right now.

            The wilful discharge of toxic chemicals into our rivers and lakes and poisonous gases into our air for the sake of making a few bucks is nothing less than a CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY.

      • felix 5.2.2

        “I’ve read in a few places now that greenies are sending off press releases to media outlets world wide trying to make out that New Zealanders are environmental vandals and NZ is some polluted hole.”

        That’s not how you spell “written”.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Government freezes elderly out of insulation subsidy
    Government cuts to the Warm Up New Zealand insulation subsidy means it will now only be available for rental properties and could leave many elderly homeowners cold this winter, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In this year’s Budget the Government ...
    8 hours ago
  • Shewan report delivers rebuke to National
    John Shewan’s report into foreign trusts is a rebuke to John Key and the National Party who have protected an industry that has damaged New Zealand’s reputation, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Three years ago the Inland Revenue Department ...
    10 hours ago
  • Auckland Airport rail analysis must be made public
    The Government should publicly release its detailed analysis of rail to Auckland Airport before it closes off options, so the public can have an informed debate, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Transport Agency today said it is ...
    13 hours ago
  • Minister approved OIO consent despite death and investigations
    Louise Upston must say if she knew Intueri was being prosecuted for the death of a student and under a funding investigation when she approved its overseas investment consent to buy another education provider, says Labour’s Land Information and Associate ...
    2 days ago
  • Brexit vote costs NZ effective EU voice
    Despite being extremely close the result of the referendum in Britain reflects the majority voice, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “While we respect the decision to leave the EU, it goes without saying the move will usher in ...
    3 days ago
  • Pasifika Education Centre doomed
    The Pasifika Education Centre appears doomed to close down this December, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio  “In a written question I asked the Minister whether he would put a bid in for more money. His answer ...
    3 days ago
  • Onetai Station review a shameful whitewash
    A report released today on the Overseas Investment Office’s (OIO) good character test is a whitewash that does nothing to improve New Zealand’s overseas investment regime, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson David Cunliffe. “The review of the good character test ...
    4 days ago
  • We need a national strategy to end homelessness now
    Long before I entered Parliament, housing and homelessness were issues dear to my heart. I know from personal experience just how hard it is to find an affordable home in Auckland. In my maiden speech, I talked about how when ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Capital feels a chill economic wind
      Wellington is on the cusp of recession with a sharp fall in economic confidence in the latest Westpac McDermott Miller confidence survey, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Clark.  “Economic confidence amongst Wellingtonians has dropped 12% in the past ...
    4 days ago
  • Dive school rort took six years to dredge up
    News that yet another private training establishment (PTE) has rorted the Government’s tertiary funding system since 2009 shows that Steven Joyce has no control of the sector, says Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe. “Like Agribusiness Training and Taratahi, ...
    4 days ago
  • National’s housing crisis hitting renters hard
    National’s ongoing housing crisis is causing massive rental increases, with Auckland renters being hit the hardest, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    5 days ago
  • A Day with the PSA
    This week, along with Labour MP Kris Faafoi, I accepted an invitation to spend a day working alongside the good folk at the Public Service Association in Wellington. As the Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson for the Greens, I was ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • A Day with the PSA
    This week, along with Labour MP Kris Faafoi, I accepted an invitation to spend a day working alongside the good folk at the Public Service Association in Wellington. As the Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson for the Greens, I was ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Government holds Northland back
    New information shows Northland remains the most economically depressed region in New Zealand, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Clark. “The latest Westpac McDermott Miller regional survey found that more Northlanders believe their local economy will deteriorate this year than ...
    5 days ago
  • Rebstock report into MFAT leaks a disgrace
    An Ombudsman’s report on the Paul Rebstock investigation into MFAT leaks shows the two diplomats at the centre of the case were treated disgracefully, says Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi.  “The Ombudsman says one of the diplomats Derek Leask ...
    5 days ago
  • More families forced to turn to food banks for meals
    Increasing numbers of families are having to go to food banks just to put a meal on the table, according to a new report that should shame the Government into action, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    5 days ago
  • We have a housing emergency in New Zealand
    Auckland, New Zealand, where house prices have risen 20 percent in the last year alone We have a housing emergency in New Zealand.  Like many people we are ashamed and angry that in a wealthy country like ours, we have ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    5 days ago
  • We have a housing emergency in New Zealand
    Auckland, New Zealand, where house prices have risen 20 percent in the last year alone We have a housing emergency in New Zealand.  Like many people we are ashamed and angry that in a wealthy country like ours, we have ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    5 days ago
  • Aussie reforms signal trouble ahead for school funding plan
    Plans by the Government to return to bulk funding are likely to see increased class sizes and schools most in need missing out on much-needed resources, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The signaled return to bulk funding is ...
    5 days ago
  • Toxic Sites – the down low on the go slow
    In  2011, I negotiated an agreement with the National Government to advance work on cleaning up contaminated sites across the country. This included establishing a National Register of the ten worst sites where the creators of the problem could not ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Aucklanders face new motorway tax of up to $2500 a year
    The Government wants to tax Aucklanders thousands of dollars a year just to use the motorway network, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Officials estimate the average city commute is 11.8km. This means for the average Aucklander commuting five ...
    6 days ago
  • 15 corrupt bank managers identified in student fraud
    New information show 15 bank managers in India have been identified by Immigration New Zealand as presenting fraudulent documents on behalf of foreign students studying here, Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Documents obtained by Labour under the Official Information ...
    6 days ago
  • National leaves Kiwi savers the most vulnerable in OECD
    News last week that Israel’s Finance Minister will insure savers’ bank deposits means New Zealand will be left as the only country in the OECD that has no deposit insurance to protect savers’ funds should a bank fail. Most Kiwis ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    7 days ago
  • Comprehensive plan for future of work needed
    A Massey University study showing many New Zealanders are unaware of the increasing role of automation in their workplace, highlights the need for a comprehensive plan for the future of work, says Grant Robertson, Chair of Labour’s Future of Work ...
    7 days ago
  • Another National Government failure: 90 day work trials
    On Friday last week, the Treasury released a report by MOTU economic consultants into the effectiveness of the controversial 90-day work trial legislation. The report found that there was “no evidence that the policy affected the number of hires by ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    7 days ago
  • Iraq mission extension case not made
    The Prime Minister has not made the case for extending the Iraq deployment another 18 months nor the expansion of their mission, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “Labour originally opposed the deployment because the Iraqi Army’s track record was poor, ...
    1 week ago
  • Denial is a long river
    William Rolleston from Federated Farmers made the absurd claim on RNZ on Saturday that “we actually have very clean rivers”. This statement doesn’t represent the many farmers who know water quality is in big trouble and are working to clean ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Denial is a long river
    William Rolleston from Federated Farmers made the absurd claim on RNZ on Saturday that “we actually have very clean rivers”. This statement doesn’t represent the many farmers who know water quality is in big trouble and are working to clean ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Melanoma deaths could be avoided by an early access scheme
      The tragic death of Dunedin’s Graeme Dore from advanced Melanoma underlines the cruelty of this Government in promising a treatment but delaying for months, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson Annette King.  “Graeme was diagnosed with Melanoma last year. He used ...
    1 week ago
  • Assessing the Defence White Paper
    The Government’s recently released Defence White Paper has raised questions again about New Zealand’s defence priorities, and in particular the level and nature of public funding on defensive capabilities. The Green Party has a longstanding belief that priority must be ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis’ confidence drops again: Economy needs a boost
    Westpac’s consumer confidence survey has fallen for the seventh time in nine quarters, with middle income households ‘increasingly worried about where the economy is heading over the next few years’, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This survey is a ...
    1 week ago
  • Relocation grant simply kicks can down the road
    The response by state house tenants and social agencies to the Government’s rushed plan to shift families out of Auckland tells us what we already knew – this is no answer to the chronic housing shortage, Opposition Leader Andrew Little ...
    1 week ago
  • Peace hīkoi to Parihaka
    On Friday a Green crew walked with the peace hīkoi from Ōkato to Parihaka. Some of us were from Parliament and some were party members from Taranaki and further afield. It was a cloudy but gentle day and at one ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Children’s Commissioner right to worry about CYF transition
    The Government must listen to the Children’s Commissioner’s concerns that young people under CYF care could be ‘negatively impacted’ as the new agency’s reforms become reality, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern. “Dr Russell Wills has used the second annual ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill English exaggerates PPL costs to justify veto
    The Finance Minister has used trumped-up costings to justify a financial veto against parents having 26 weeks paid parental leave, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “Bill English’s assertion on RNZ yesterday that the measure would cost an extra $280 million ...
    1 week ago
  • Government must refund overcharged motorists
    Labour is calling on the Government to refund motor registration fees to three-quarters of a million Kiwi motorists whose vehicles were wrongly classified under National’s shambolic ACC motor vehicle risk rating system, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says.“Minister Kaye’s ridiculous ...
    1 week ago
  • 90-day work trials an unfair failure which must change
    A new Treasury report shows the Government’s 90-day trials haven’t helped businesses and are inherently unfair, Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “The Motu report found that 90-day trial periods had no impact on overall employment and did not ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Massey East houses a start but Nick Smith should think bigger
    The Massey East 196-home development is a start but the Government must think bigger if it is to end the housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “It is great the Government is finally realising it needs to build ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More changes needed to ensure fewer cases like Teina Pora’s
    Teina Pora spent 21 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit, shafted by a Police investigation that prioritised an investigator’s hunch over the pursuit of credible evidence. Yesterday’s announcement that the government is to pay him $2.5m in ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Labour sends condolences to UK
    The New Zealand Labour Party is sickened and saddened by the murder of British Labour MP Jo Cox, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Ms Cox was killed in cold blood while simply doing her job as a constituent MP. She ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shameful refugee quota increase still leaves NZ at the bottom of the list
    Minister for Immigration Michael Woodhouse announced this week that the government will put off increasing the refugee quota by 1000 places until 2018.  It’s a shameful decision that undermines the Government’s claim that it takes its international humanitarian obligations seriously, ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Paula Bennett as a victim hard to swallow
    The National Party spin machine has gone into overdrive to try and present Paula Bennett as the victim in the Te Puea Marae smear saga, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Bill English in Parliament today tried valiantly to paint ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Voters to have the final veto on paid parental leave
    New Zealanders will have the final right of veto on a Government that has ignored democracy and is out of touch with the pressures and demands on families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “Today’s decision by National to veto 26 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Collins should put Kiwis’ money where her mouth is
    Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash is calling on anyone who has received a speeding ticket for going up to 5km/h over the 100km/hr open road speed limit to write to him and he will take it up on their behalf ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the leadership on equal pay for work of equal value?
    The gender pay gap in the public service is worse than in the private sector. I’ve always found this particularly galling because I expect our Government to provide an example to the private sector on things like human rights, rather ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis’ real disposable income goes nowhere for the year
    New Zealanders’ hard work for the last year resulted in no increase in real disposable income, showing Kiwis aren’t getting ahead under National, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Today’s GDP figures reveal that real gross national disposable income per ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Pora case a case to learn from
    Conformation that Teina Pora will receive $2.5million from the Crown for more than 20 years of wrongful imprisonment does not fix the flaws in our system that led to this miscarriage of justice, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “The ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government needs to start again with RMA changes
    The National Government’s proposed changes to the Resource Management Act have attracted more than 800 submissions, many of them critical of key aspects of the Resource Legislation Bill. There has been much criticism of the new regulation making powers given ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    2 weeks ago
  • Bennett’s briefing completely unacceptable
    It is completely unacceptable that Paula Bennett briefed her political staff on the police investigation into Hurimoana Dennis after her meeting with him, despite it having nothing to do with her social housing portfolio, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to Green Building Council
    Building smarter, greener cities It will be clear to anyone who has been watching the public debate on the housing crisis that housing in New Zealand is sadly far from being economically sustainable when Auckland has the fourth most unaffordable ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere