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“As slippery as a snake in wet grass”

Written By: - Date published: 9:04 am, May 23rd, 2008 - 59 comments
Categories: budget 2008, john key - Tags: , ,

John Campbell interviews John Key on the budget, refusing to let him get away with merely repeating his focus-grouped lines.

At about the 3 minute mark Campbell challenges Key’s evasiveness directly: “I think you are as slippery as a snake in wet grass”.

It’s not just the media that are starting to get frustrated with Key and National’s refusal to come clean on the details. It happened with a family who were interviewed on Close Up too, I’ll post that video shortly.

59 comments on ““As slippery as a snake in wet grass””

  1. Stephen 1

    I know what you’re getting at, but your conclusion seems to be that it’s not fair enough for National to wait for the budget to come out so they can cost their own policies?

  2. IrishBill 2

    Thanks AYB, I missed this last night. I’m amazed at how much Key has changed his tune between this clip last night and his “Tax cuts are not the only priority” line he was running on morning report today. It’s starting to seem less like spin bingo and more like spin wheel of fortune. What will he say next? Let’s spin the wheel and see!

  3. Monty 3

    Stephen is correct – National can now work their policies on what is known. How could National possibly release their tax package without knowledge of Cullen’s desperate lolly scramble.

    [How then, can Key promise more cuts? SP]

    Cambel showed his true leftist colours by that dispicable comment. I imagine the howls of anguish if Paul Henry said similar to Helen Clark – and God knows she deserves the title of cunning – she never answers a question with a straight and direct answer if there is a little difficulty. – I hope to hell the bosses at TV3 haul that prick over the coals for such disrespect.

  4. Lew 4

    Monty: Holding leaders to account is what reporters do, and I think that it was fair comment.

    Key handled it very well, though – didn’t retaliate, didn’t get angry, just calmly repeated his message. He looked bullet-proof.

    I’ll be interested to see a bit more policy, now. I think if National keeps with the generalisations for much longer the electorate will start to get suspicious.

    L

  5. Policy Parrot 5

    GG John Campbell. Called it like it was.

  6. big bruv 6

    Campbell is a disgrace, he is just another in the long line of Labour luvvies who masquerade as journalists.

    [lprent: I see that bruv is still acting like a machine. I wonder where the spam engine picked up that line from. Pity the machine can't spell]

  7. all_your_base 7

    Campbell wasn’t the only one frustrated with Key’s fluffing. I’ll post the other vids in a sec.

  8. Stephen 8

    Paul Henry had a bit of a go at Key this morning too, though in the end seemed to accept that now National had access to a budget they could get down to the nitty-gritty…cutting (*sigh*) ‘pork’ I suppose. They HAVE to wait so they can ‘beat’ Labour (political reasons) while at the same time costing their policies for making everyone ‘rich, richer than astronauts!’ (I’m sceptical about National policies making THAT much of a difference – but still, hopefully they can think of something)

  9. big bruv 9

    Iprent

    Would it kill you to be even a tiny bit objective?

    There is nothing wrong with being a supporter of one side or the other but this place does nothing more than recycle Labour party propaganda and lies.

    [lprent: Stephen just made my point. This is a site for discussion. I'm very harsh on using it as place to drop soundbites. They don't enhance discussion. So I track people who do it as their major form of comment and steadily get harsher over time. From past experience, that includes you]

  10. Stephen 10

    BB, would it have killed you to make the first comment vaguely constructive or even present an argument? (with ‘evidence’)

  11. Stephen. Great Simpsons reference.

    I don’t know how Key gets away with saying his cuts will be bigger and he’ll magically be able to cut waste that Labour can’t

    When he made that comment that there’s been no review of the $60 billion the Govt spends for ten years, the Laobur Ministers cracked up – their jobs are about trying to get more for less, they want to be able to deliver more public services cheaper, not have embarrassing stories of waste or waiting lists, and be able to free money for popular tax cuts. They’re all about trying to cut waste – to think Key can come in and magically do better is dreaming.

  12. RedLogix 12

    Even the rather blue rinse Kathryn Ryan got peeved with JK just a few moments ago, saying “how do we assess your credibility” when Key refused to explain the gap between the $0.5b of cuts he could identify, and the fact that he was promising tax cuts costing MUCH more than the $2.5b Labour have committed to.

    Repeatedly he stated “we will not borrow for tax cuts”, but then went on to say that he would “increase borrowing for infrastructure”… an absurd evasion. Ryan challenged him on this three times, “but you only have one Budget and the numbers all have to add up”, and three times Key just waffled with how complex govt was and by how re-jigging “priorities” he was certain that huge savings could be made.

    In the end Ryan just blew him off, letting the news run over him.

  13. Stephen 13

    A whole generation will be using Simpsons references for a while now, which is good, cos I haven’t had that much Monty Python exposure.

    Steve, their job should of course *always* be to get more for less, but I have never been sure about the incentive to do so, especially when ‘bracket creep’ was providing the government with more tax dollars every year (yes, they spent money on programs). Do you have a view on the Rudd government commanding the public service to make savings of 5%?

    Redlogix, Key said on Breakfast this morning that capping public servant numbers would save a lot of money, but that would very much have to be over the long-term, and would not make a difference if it took effect next year, thats for sure.

  14. gobsmacked 14

    RedLogix

    That was quite a revealing interview, and I recommend people listen when it comes up on the Radio NZ website.

    National’s basic problem (not just for winning an election, but for governing) is that they need a Skyhawk … well, not literally, but their equivalent of Labour coming into office in 1999 and cancelling a big ticket spending item. You get attacked for it, but you have to accept that if you’re going to have credibility. Promising to keep everything that costs money (except that embassy in Sweden!) is just storing up a whole heap of trouble for themselves – not least with their own supporters.

  15. If a Journo said “I think you are as slippery as a snake in wet grass’, to Aunty Helen, you guys would start up a petition to get them fired.

    What a low standard the media has.

  16. Matthew Pilott 16

    Key tried that line on Live last night (and Close-Up I think) – he’s not going to borrow for tax cuts, only infrastructure.

    I’m going to blow all my pay on turps, and then borrow money to pay the bills. This means I’m borrowing to pay for essential serviced, not to get plastered from here to the Horowhenua, right?

    Irish – last night, tax cuts were National’s main, one and only priority. Has he changed his tune overnight?

    I guess the commonplace ceases to be noteworthy but I’d like to know if he’s still at it.

    I also liked the fact that there will be no cuts to the public service, only a cap. Yet Key mentioned ‘natural attrition’ repeatedly last night – that’s certainly a good way to ensure something becomed overworked and inefficient, but what does that matter if your only priority is tax cuts. I don’t care if prison escapes jump 70% or it takes me four months to get a passport!

  17. Stephen 17

    Is there a problem with borrowing for infrastructure i.e. getting future generations to pay too?

  18. Matthew Pilott 18

    Stephen – well yes. Borrowing costs a lot of money. If they’re improvements that are needed now or should have been completed some time ago it’s not good practice to saddle future generations with debt (and the cost of servicing debt) because people aren’t willing to stump up now.

    And it’s still borrowing for tax cuts in this context.

  19. ghostwhowalks 19

    The reason the government should be getting out of increasing borrowing is that the public is doing it for them. Plus the SOEs have their own debt, plus the future railways which will borrow/lease new rolling stock
    Check out what has happened to Iceland in the last 6 months as the debt for transformation came back to bite
    Some bloody long link

    previously there was not a high level of personal borrowing but that has all changed in the last 10 years, with homes, cars , credit cards, houshold items and even student debt making it normal to have large amounts of personal debt

    [lprent: fixed link with appropiate text]

  20. Stephen 20

    Well ideally the need for big infrastructure investments do not just appear out of nowhere (“needed now”), they are planned many years in advance. I’m not aware of any urgent needs in that sense except for WEANING US OFF OIL! ahem.

  21. Lew 21

    Brett Dale: Plenty of journos have said worse to Helen Clark, and I for one am not calling for the banning of anything – bring on this sort of thing. Where I draw the line is with the `Feminazi’ line and similar symbolic attacks of an offensive or obscene nature, though mostly it just marks the commentator out as impervious to reason.

    L

  22. Matthew Pilott 22

    Stephen, often they are planned for many years in advance, and delayed for even longer! That’s what happened in the 1990s – and why Labour has had to spend so much to ‘catch up’. I’ve gone up SH1 from Wellington pretty much yearly for a good part of the last three decades – and the improvements over the last decade astound me, in comparison to the one prior.

    Yes, there can’t be enough investment in public transport, trains and renewable energy sources.

    However other factors make an investment requirement urgent – an unexpected increase in the use of any piece of infrastructure can make it obsolete decades before expected.

  23. LEW:

    I cannot ever remember a Journo on a main network calling Helen Clark a snake or something wrose, there would be an outcry if they did.

    Could you please provide a quote from TVNZ or TV3.

    [lprent: I'm thinking that you are missing the point of a blog. It isn't a news site, it is an opinion site. The posters express their opinion, and then try to back it up.

    In the msm, the only rough equivalent are meant to be clearly marked as opinion peices and editorials.In the latter the media source isn't responsible for content apart from defamation and libel.

    Even those aren't equivalent to this site. This is run by amateurs not professionals and doesn't charge anything to either advertisers or 'subscribers'.

    But I'd be interested in where this discussion goes.]

    [lprent: my apologies - I read the discussion in my usual backwards order. I see that I was incorrect. It triggered my 'site attack' responses. I've now read the comment stream in correct order.
    Sorry Brett]

  24. RedLogix 24

    The old argument about borrowing is simple. Govt really has to make the same fundamental choice as does any family or small business.

    1. In general borrowing for groceries or the wage bill is completely wrong. (Except to cover very specific short-term requirements.)

    2. Borrowing for unproductive assets, like cars and wide-screen TV’s is generally a recipe for endemic poverty.

    3. Borrowing is acceptable on assets that produce a direct benefit or positive cash flow, eg a home to live in, or plant and machinery that generates income. In this sense all govts (including this one) do borrow to fund infrastructure.

    4. But borrowing is conditional on two main factors, security and ability to service the loan.

    5. Loan servicing is generally limited to a percentage of income. Generally a loan over a certain multiple of annual income becomes “stressful”. If I have a household income of say $60k, a mortgage of about $200-250k is about as much as I can sensibly borrow. But Government lending is not done in isolation; as far as NZ Inc is concerned public and private sector debt are one and the same thing. At the moment NZ Inc has over $350b of private sector debt, any increase in public sector debt is in additional to that.

    JK’s proposals to massively increase borrowing to fund his tax cuts must be seen in this context. More public sector debt means a total higher risk for NZ and higher interest rates for ALL of us. Where is the authoritative analysis and debate on this?

    6. Loan security is the other major factor. Security is what you have to give up when everything turns to custard. For a household, it may be their home, for a business it means bankrupcy… for a nation it means their future. We’ve been through this once before when we sold off assets at firesale prices in order stave off the receivers.

    Far too much of New Zealand is already owned or controlled by overseas interests. JK’s proposal to mortgage off our future means that we are risking what we do have left onto the slaughtering block of big global money. Recall for a moment Rio Tinto’s threats over the Bluff smelter just last week… this is what happens when other people own your country.

  25. Ari 25

    Stephen- borrowing for infrastructure is fine, if you’re not running an ever-increasing debt. Because debts cost interest, paying off debts is an even more stable way of increasing your available cash later than investing is. I have no problem with borrowing to spend on infrastructure, if that borrowing meets a few criteria:

    a) The return from the infrastructure goes directly to either the public or the government.
    b) Failing that, the private companies or individuals who benefit invest even more in the infrastructure than the government does, and make commitments to fair service for the public.
    c) We’re borrowing for something that we couldn’t realistically cut other expenditures/save for in the time we need it.
    d) We run a level of debt that we can pay off during economic highs.

    The problem is essentially that National is promising you both the having and the eating of the cake at the same time, in response to having already eaten all the cake themselves ten years ago. They want to give you excessive tax cuts, but they’re also pointing out we’re lacking in infrastructure- that’s because they let our infrastructure fall behind in the ’90s.

    Essentially, if you take spending on infrastructure as a given, (which it is this election) you have a classic dichotomy:

    Infrastructure and other public spending funded through tax burden in the good economic years and relief of the national debt funds tax relief in bad years, and with constant expenditure on infrastructure, cost reliefs are noticable.

    OR

    Infrastructure and minimal spending funded through debt, tax cuts stimulating spending, but demand fueling higher costs meaning that there’s no real relief during economic lows.

    Personally, I much prefer the first choice.

  26. Stephen 26

    Hmm, what about this from Bernard Hickey?!:

    Buried in the budget is a line about unspecified spending cuts totalling NZ$1 billion over the next four years that Labour will have to find to help pay for the tax cuts. Dr Cullen flat out refused to answer my question in the lockup about what type of spending cuts they would be. The only answer he could have given is that he hasn’t dreamt them up yet. We can be sure he won’t enlighten us before the election.

    http://tinyurl.com/466xzm

  27. Ari 27

    Hah… apparently that chat on wednesday has had us channeling each other, Red. ;)

  28. To start with I don’t trust Hickey as he has repeately shown himself to be both partisan and not very good with numbers. But (and this a big “but”) if he is correct that means finding $250m a year which could mean reducing Public Service growth to $250m a year. That would be a shitty way to do it though. In reality I’d say it’s margin of error stuff as there is not tax cut forecast for 2009 and $250m could easily be picked up by a small (think second or third decimal place) increase in growth.

  29. AncientGeek 29

    Stephen: Interesting.

    That provides a minimum basis for judging whatever the Nat’s come up with. They have to start with at least $1 billion of cuts before they can even start to get bigger taxcuts.

    I wish I had time to follow this at present.

    recaptcha: furor the
    Yes, and I’m missing out

  30. Lew 30

    Brett Dale: So only TV counts, then? Bollocks.

    Although it’s on the subject of radio, I invite you to read my research paper on the topic of attacks on Helen Clark – email me, lewis%feayn;org for a copy. There’s no shortage of such matter out there: Clark is one of the world’s most reviled politicians, by a particular segment of NZ society.

    L

  31. Ari 31

    I’ll have a check with the actual economist in the household tonight and see what he has to say on Hickey’s take, Stephen. I wouldn’t be entirely surprised, and frankly, all that means is that what National would need to offer to trump Labour would be very scary indeed.

    Can Labour afford to do that? Absolutely. This is a tight time in the market and it’s in for some volatility, so whether it’s cuts or big social spending, SOMETHING was called for, and planning for that has been Cullen’s big strategy.

  32. IrishBill 32

    Hey Matt, Key went on and on about how tax cuts are not the only policy that matters when he was on morning report this morning. The link to the podcast is

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

    .

  33. Matthew Pilott 33

    Buried in the budget is a line about unspecified spending cuts totalling NZ$1 billion over the next four years that Labour will have to find to help pay for the tax cuts.

    Stephen – that was a cut out of future spending – i.e. Cullen keeps a portion of projected tax take free for vital discretionary future spending. Previously, $1bn was allocated. Now, it’s $750m.

    If Hickey tried to ask Cullen what future, unallocated (and presumably unknown, at this stage) spending Cullen was going to cut, I’d be unsurpirsed if Cullen was laughing too much to answer the idiot!!!

    Irish – cheers, I’ll take a look. Might make for an interesting transcript to contrast with last night’s effort on Campbell Live.

  34. RedLogix 34

    Of course tax cuts are not the only policy that matters, but the hell of it is that National have spent five years MAKING it so in the mind of the public.

    To now claim otherwise is pitiful.

    Here are some things I really think matter:

    1. Weaning NZ off oil and taking our place in a legitimate global effort to transform our economies toward sustainable technologies.

    2. Addressing the poverty of values now endemic in our communities that have for several generations been alienated from the traditional bedrock institution of the churches. Little to nothing has taken their place for many.

    3. As Nandor spoke to on Wed night, the de-centralisation of power away from the nation state, developing a newer model with seamless regional/cultural/national/global layers in which ordinary people can both have meaningful participation and hold authority to account.

    4. Rebuilding a sense of vision for people that involves more than just making money. It is an old truth that the one and only thing that actually makes us happy is being deeply connected to community around us and being of SERVICE to them. Our current political leadership (both National and Labour) have failed to articulate an authentic leadership that ordinary people can connect with, and this more than anything else is I suspect the reason why politicians are generally held in such low regard.

    I would much rather we could talk about these things, how to build a momentum to some real change … not this fiddling with deck chairs agenda that National insists on.

  35. Stephen 35

    This matter is a little opaque Matthew, thanks.

  36. Stephen 36

    Yes Redlogix, on 3, I’ve always been very keen to see how the Greens mean to articulate the ‘anarchist’ branch of their ideology/s. They got 4 million for the Citizen’s Forum-thing on the EFB, and 10 million more for the ‘Community Organisation Grants Scheme’ (not really anarchist i spose, but very much community-based), but I *really* wish Nandor had been able to do more on this, or at the very least provoke some sort of DEBATE based on some sort of anarchist-grounded idea.

    from http://www.greens.org.nz/searchdocs/speech11849.html, with the other stuff they secured in the budget

  37. Policy Parrot 37

    When JK said “no.1 priority” with regard to tax cuts – did this ring a few bells in similarity to Jim Bolger about “unemployment” in 1990?

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=gm-iB38Py3U

  38. DS 38

    “When JK said “no.1 priority’ with regard to tax cuts – did this ring a few bells in similarity to Jim Bolger about “unemployment’ in 1990?”

    Now we just need Key to start making promises with “no ifs, no buts, not maybes.”

  39. Does anybody here know were money comes from, how it’s made?
    This is a sincere invitation on the subject and not something smarty pants, I’m just interested if anybody has ever wondered about this and done some research?

  40. Lew 40

    Ev: See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Reserve_System for a case study of the US Federal Reserve. Most countries with elastic currencies have some similar central bank mechanism.

    L

  41. Lew:

    I agree, that Aunty Helen is not liked by certain members of society, those members being people who believe in choice and personal responsibility, people who believe the Government isn’t there to bail you out if you make bad choices, people who believe it doesnt matter what your gender/religion or race is, but everybody is EQUAL.

    Yep us common decent folk who pay our bills on time, dont like Aunty Helen.

  42. Lew 42

    Brett: Fire your speech writers, they’re too obvious.

    L

  43. gobsmacked 43

    Brett, I thought you were claiming to be a “lifelong Labour voter”?

    So you have voted for Aunty Helen four elections in a row. A strange way to show her how you feel.

  44. Matthew Pilott 44

    Brett Dale – is it easier to think you’re right when you think in such childish black and white terms?

    Is everything more clear cut when you can stereotype and imagine your opponents away, into a subsection of society that smokes, drinks, gambles and eats bad food?

    Is it easier to be obnoxious when you’re positive that you’re better than everyone else?

    I’m on the verge of retracting my earlier retraction with a rant like that. Here’s a question for you:

    In 1999, do you think that 38.74% of the population were not “common decent folk who pay [their] bills on time”, people who don’t “believe in choice and personal responsibility”, people who don’t “believe the Government isn’t there to bail you out if you make bad choices”, people who believe it does “matter what your gender/religion or race is” and people who don’t think that “everybody is EQUAL”.

    Do you think the same applied to 41.26% of New Zealand’s population in 2002?

    Do you think the same applied to 41.1% of the population on 2005?

    You, champ, have a f%#&ing low opinion of a whole lot of your fellow New Zealanders. Tell you what – I reciprocate.

  45. I use to vote Labour, but never voted for Aunty Helen four times.

    With all she has done in the last few years, I will NEVER vote for her party again.

  46. Matthew Pilott 46

    And on that little rant of my own, good weekend all!

  47. We who want to know 47

    On a complete tangent…

    WTF is going on with John Key’s hair? Is he dying it? Is it plugs? Glued on?

    It’s the receding hairline, the odd denseness, the brown-on-the-top grey-on-the-bottom… what are his imagemeisters thinking?

    [lprent: Please don't go there. I hate the discussions that tend to hang off the physical attributes. They tend to be completely meaningless. I'll tolerate remarks but not full blown discussions. They're soooooooo boring.]

  48. Yeah – business tax cuts, family tax cuts, personal tax cuts, more money for health, education etc.

    I can see why you wouldn’t vote for her Brett. Not enough for the environment. You’ll be doing two ticks Green come the big day, eh?

  49. IrishBill 49

    I think Brett is concerned that the benefit cuts haven’t been reversed. Me too, Brett. Me too.

  50. QoT 50

    Just to totally lower the tone of the conversation, between this and the CloseUp vid linked I’m rather tempted to create a John Key drinking game – 1 shot for “What I CAN tell you is”, 1 shot “I BELIEVE National will” and finish the vessel for that single solitary “We WILL do xyz”.

    In the interests of bipartisan pissing-up, there will of course be other party-leader drinking games: finish the vessel when Helen Clark horrifically pwns her own Party President, a tiny sip for Peters questioning John Campbell’s journalistic integrity, some kind of sliding scale for the wackiness of Dunne’s bowties …

  51. IrishBill 51

    Nice idea Qot but I doubt even I would make it past the first two interviews without passing out if the rules were that loose. There’s about 10 shots in the five minute Campbell interview alone!

  52. QoT 52

    IB – I know I personally would prefer to spend most of this election campaign happily comatose!

  53. gobsmacked 53

    Brett: “I use to vote Labour, but never voted for Aunty Helen four times.”

    Therefore you did not vote Labour at the last election, and therefore you have not switched your vote since. Thanks for finally clearing that up, after you tried several times on this blog to give a different impression. It took a while, but we got there in the end.

  54. r0b 54

    Does anybody here know were money comes from, how it’s made?
    This is a sincere invitation on the subject and not something smarty pants, I’m just interested if anybody has ever wondered about this and done some research?

    Hi Eve

    You can find lots of pages on this, e.g.:
    http://economics.about.com/cs/studentresources/f/money.htm
    http://www.investopedia.com/articles/basics/03/061303.asp

    But I think that you might particularly enjoy the description in this sequence of five videos (“Money as Debt”):
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=vVkFb26u9g8
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=sanOXoWl0kc
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=kTv1fo6sKmo
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=3qicabStQkc
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=7kpSbkaD4tM

  55. gobsmacked:

    The other blogs I write to got it straight away. I guess you guys on the left are a little slow.
    ,
    [lprent: guess you're going to have to explain, embellish and give explanation. Otherwise we'll have to consider that you don't know.]

  56. r0b,

    I was given the Money as debt DVD by the guy who made the film because I got in touch with him after seeing the movie on line. He is a really nice guy.

    I just wanted to know how many people actually thought about how money is made.

    Not a lot it seems.

    Have you seen the “Money Masters”
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-515319560256183936
    It is a really good documentary about the history of the money cartel.

    I also really like Edward D. Griffin when I met him in Sidney. He wrote an extensive analysis about the the true nature of the Federal reserve. The creature from Jekyll island.

    So if money is made out of thin air, as the Money as Debt clearly shows, then why are we paying through the nose for it?

    We are made to believe that banks ought to be paid interest because they take a risk in lending us “their money”, but they don’t, they just create a negative on their balance and a positive on the balance to whom they are lending too. And then they cash in on the interest.
    9% in return for nothing, quit a good scam if you ask me.

    So if banks don’t have to take risks to create money then why are we borrowing from them in the first place? Why can’t “the people” just take back the right to make their own money and do it interest free?

    If, as this documentary clearly shows, private banking is a monumental scam then why don’t we break away from it and take our lives back into our own hands.

    And lastly if, as this documentary clearly shows, the big international reserve system is owned by private Bankers and supported by the government as a system to enforce the repayment of loans made out of nothing why do we still obey it like mice in a tread mill?

    So if we can determine that the Federal Reserve system has nothing to do with the Federal government and is just a name to keep the people from really understanding how money comes into being, than why are we even remotely considering John Key as a contender, knowing he has been working as an advisor to the very top people in this privately owned cartel.

    For god sakes he even talks about borrowing more money. If you understand the Money as Debt system you know that that is the road to debt hell. if he had come home to do some good here he would have said,”Right people, I know how the system works and it’s not good, we are going of the international money grid.

    The fact that he doesn’t tells me all I need to know.

    Why does nobody question this system?

  57. By the way have you seen the documentary the corporation:
    Very scary
    video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3969792790081230711 part 1
    video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7365345393244917682 part 2

  58. Jum 58

    Re comment byRedLogix
    May 23, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Good point
    On No 4
    I hope you will be asking this of the Prime Minister and Labour with their election pledges. They are the best party to govern, but could certainly bring some more community to decision making.

    although
    ‘Labour’ “have failed to articulate an authentic leadership that ordinary people can connect with”
    I have a problem with. I’m ordinary and I connect very strongly to the PM’s leadership of the last 8+ years. The best things she has done is recognise the hole that business left in wages and with Michael Cullen is filling that need, to Business’ shame. The social changes for gays and the safety of prostitutes, who fill the demand from male society, were great. The microchipping was an own goal.

    But
    On No 2
    If your idea of that, with the ‘church’ influence and the ‘values’ includes forcing women and men back into roleplays of the 50s and back, you can keep that idea.

    Speaking of the shame of business – I just opened a box of Sultana bran and there is 3 inches height of wasted cardboard packaging, all designed to trick me into thinking size matched price. Disgraceful, on so many levels including the environmental one.

  59. Lew 59

    Jum: “I’m ordinary and I connect very strongly to the PM’s leadership of the last 8+ years. ”

    You and an apparently-shrinking proportion of the electorate. This is the sort of self-centred `makes sense to me so the rest of yous must just be stupid’ attitude which has fed the `arrogant’ and `out of touch’ memes.

    “Disgraceful, on so many levels including the environmental one.”

    But it worked, didn’t it? End of story. If you don’t want this sort of strategy to be commercially viable, don’t condone its use by purchasing those products.

    L

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    Occasionally erudite | 30-07
  • “Improving”
    End-of-Year process positive for Novopay, Steven Joyce, 17 January 2014:Minister Responsible for Novopay Steven Joyce says a 100 per cent completion rate for schools involved in the End-of-Year process and an accompanying low error rate are tributes to the hard...
    No Right Turn | 30-07
  • Farmers don’t set out to pollute our rivers
    It can be easy to vilify farmers. But no farmer sets out to create pollution, and the evidence suggests that many farmers are either already acting responsibly or that they are lifting their game. In particular, dairy farmers are acting....
    Gareth’s World | 30-07
  • Guide to economic evaluation part 3: What is agglomeration?
    Debates over major transport investments often get caught up in arguments over benefit-cost ratios, or BCRs. In recent years, projects such as the Transmission Gully and Puhoi to Warkworth motorways and the City Rail Link have been criticised for their...
    Transport Blog | 30-07
  • Where to now for Colin and the Conservatives?
    It’s (almost*) official – there’s no deal for Colin Craig in East Coast Bays. Murray McCully will not be knifed, thrown under a bus or given concrete shoes to go swimming in. Given that Mr Craig had already accepted he...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-07
  • Real men say sorry
    There are a couple of universal truths that all men should be aware of. Firstly, it takes a bigger man to walk away. Of course men can be accused of being weak if they don't confront their problems with violence,...
    The Jackal | 29-07
  • Why my children took part in a playful protest against LEGO’s partner...
    Jessica Edberg is a mother of two. Her daughter, Lily, aged 7, took part in a playful protest yesterday against LEGO's partnership with Shell. 50 kids in total protested by building three giant LEGO Arctic animals outside of Shell's HQ...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 29-07
  • Race to the Bottom or a Fairer Society?
    In a season when some small parties are indulging in competitive racism it is important to remind ourselves of the great gift of living in our country, a Pacific nation with a Treaty that affirms a peaceful negotiation. The Orewa...
    frogblog | 29-07
  • 3 reasons to vote this election
    Here are three Bills before Parliament that have not passed their third and final vote. The next Parliament will decide if these three Bills become law or not. If you want to have your...
    Tertiary Education Union | 29-07
  • Poll of Polls update – 30 July 2014
    So the latest One News Colmar Brunton poll came out on Sunday. I was up in Tauranga, preparing for a trial, which meant no blogging (plus, it’s remarkably difficult to update a Poll of Polls and then blog about it,...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-07
  • TSB Today: Broken English
    In my post at The Daily Blog today — Broken English, broken government, broken climate — I take a look Bill English’s unguarded comments on climate change. Apparently, it’s a non-issue. As you might expect, I am somewhat less than...
    Hot Topic | 29-07
  • The truth about women
    Marianne Elliott is a former employee of the Human Rights Commission here, and the author of Zen Under Fire, about her time working for human rights in Afghanistan. Here's the remarkable and must-read guest post she has put up about...
    The Hand Mirror | 29-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: the descent into sheer farce, according...
    . . It had to happen, I guess… The media pack-campaign against Labour Leader David Cunliffe has managed to  plumb new depths of absurdity. On TV3, on 24 July,  TV3/Tova O’Brien ran this report on their 6PM News bulletin, about...
    Frankly Speaking | 29-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: the descent into sheer farce, according...
    . . It had to happen, I guess… The media pack-campaign against Labour Leader David Cunliffe has managed to  plumb new depths of absurdity. On TV3, on 24 July,  TV3/Tova O’Brien ran this report on their 6PM News bulletin, about...
    Frankly Speaking | 29-07
  • $212 million in spending on roads with few benefits
    A couple of days ago I received a bunch of documents from an OIA request to the NZTA on the $212 million in regional road spending announced recently. I haven’t been able to look at them yet seeing as I’m away however...
    Transport Blog | 29-07
  • State Department cuts through the acid political environment on oceans and ...
    Secretary Kerry hosted a remarkable conference in June called simply Our Ocean. It enlisted international policy makers, scientists, and the private sector to take action to ensure a healthy ocean for the future. The conference laid out the science, impacts, and...
    Skeptical Science | 29-07
  • Vote Choice: Winston Peters – the Conservative
    Vote Choice: Winston Peters – the (well, a) Conservative This week’s featured politician is Winston Peters. According to Peters life begins at conception because…the royal baby (?!). We know this because, again, Bob McCroskie from Family First did the hard work for us...
    ALRANZ | 29-07
  • National Makes Jokes About Domestic Violence, and Now Unemployment
    How far we have fallen in NZ that our current Government spends much of it’s time in Parliament making jokes about domestic violence, and today – unemployment. Key and some of his dishonest thieving Ministers have in the past few...
    An average kiwi | 29-07
  • Guest post at the Standard: Walking through the wrong door is the least of ...
    I have a guest post over at the Standard right now – Walking through the wrong door is the least of Gerry’s problems. Jump over there and read it in full! What we need in Christchurch is more houses, now....
    Rebuilding Christchurch | 29-07
  • Minor Party pre-campaign pontifications
    A look at the tracking polls for small parties helps explain what’s been happening over the last few days (larger interactive version here); The Conservatives are only slightly higher than they were last election suggesting they’ll get 2.6% max. Probably...
    DimPost | 29-07
  • Minor Party pre-campaign pontifications
    A look at the tracking polls for small parties helps explain what’s been happening over the last few days (larger interactive version here); The Conservatives are only slightly higher than they were last election suggesting they’ll get 2.6% max. Probably...
    DimPost | 29-07
  • An abhorrent innovation
    The Rt. Hon. Humphrey Horswell, QSM gives his opinion on the recently-released National Party list...
    Imperator Fish | 29-07
  • Stuart’s 100: #2 Whitcoulls Queen Street
    Urban designer Stuart Houghton has set himself a personal project of coming up with 100 ideas for improving Auckland at the rate of one a day. He is Tweeting them here: @HoughtonSd  Discussing this project with Stuart he said that “I see the city is...
    Transport Blog | 29-07
  • The OIA and the Statutes Amendment Bill
    Back in February the government introduced a Statutes Amendment Bill to make numerous "technical, short, and non-controversial" amendments to legislation. The bill included several amendments to the OIA and LGOIMA which I thought fell into that category. The bill was...
    No Right Turn | 29-07
  • How We Solve The Income Inequality Problem
    click here for some very good ideas from the New Economics Foundation...
    Closing the Gap | 29-07
  • How to make farmers clean up their act
    Order them to stop milking until they've fixed their effluent problems:A Thames farming company has been hit with a $47,000 fine and ordered to stop milking until it fixed the overflowing effluent system at its Kopu farm. The order came...
    No Right Turn | 29-07
  • The Truth About What Keeps People In Poverty From Those Who Live It
    Click here to read this report from the Family 100 Research Project July 2014...
    Closing the Gap | 29-07
  • Eye Candy, Window Dressing and Deep Pockets.
    I came back from six weeks abroad to see the beginning of the Internet Party’s “party party” launches. It leaves me with some questions. It seems that what the Internet Party has done is this. Using Kim Dotcom’s wallet as...
    Kiwipolitico | 29-07
  • Wealth, Income and Inequality in Australia.
    worth a read click here...
    Closing the Gap | 29-07
  • World News Brief, Tuesday July 29
    Top of the AgendaLull in Gaza as Pressure for Cease-Fire Mounts...
    Pundit | 29-07
  • National’s roads are pure pork
    Last month the government announced it would be spending $212 million on regional roads. Every single one of the priority projects (and eight of nine lower priority projects) is in a National-held electorate, which suggested immediately that this was pre-election...
    No Right Turn | 29-07
  • Another fluoridation whopper from Declan Waugh
    Declan Waugh is a self-proclaimed “scientist and fluoride researcher” who seems to spend all his time misrepresenting and distorting  scientific literature and health data to promote his anti-fluoride cause. Waugh has an avid following, among fellow anti-fluoride activists and propagandists. The...
    Open Parachute | 29-07
  • Whyte supremacy
    Emphatically, he says, an ACT party led by Whyte would not go to war on Treaty issues. “I’ve got no interest in Maori-bashing as a political game.” Dr Jamie Whyte back in January when he assumed leadership of ACT.  The...
    DimPost | 29-07
  • Whyte supremacy
    Emphatically, he says, an ACT party led by Whyte would not go to war on Treaty issues. “I’ve got no interest in Maori-bashing as a political game.” Dr Jamie Whyte back in January when he assumed leadership of ACT.  The...
    DimPost | 29-07
  • New Fisk
    It's not just radicalised Islamists - what about foreign fighters who flock to the other side?...
    No Right Turn | 29-07
  • How we should deal with rorting MPs
    Prosecute them for theft:Former parliamentary speaker Peter Slipper tried three times to have criminal charges thrown out of court following claims he misused his travel entitlements during several trips to some of the Canberra region's most prestigious wineries. But three...
    No Right Turn | 29-07
  • July 14 AT Board Meeting
    The Auckland Transport Board is meeting today and as usual I’ve had a look through the papers to see if there is anything interesting. Below is the collection of items or comments that caught my eye. The rest of this...
    Transport Blog | 29-07
  • Powerful and Cold-hearted
    click here to read this compelling article ...
    Closing the Gap | 29-07
  • Wilkinson and Picket Lectures in New Zealand
    Click here to get these lectures. Folks who missed the Douglas Robb lectures last month can view them here l...
    Closing the Gap | 29-07
  • The Changing Priorities Of Protest
    The Changing Face Of Protest: In marked contrast to the theologically- and ideologically-driven protest movements of the 1960s, 70s and 80s, contemporary protest, like this demonstration against the latest Israeli assault on Gaza, tends to be led by those whose stake in...
    Bowalley Road | 29-07
  • Why Voters Aren’t Angrier About Economic Inequality
    This is the USA but there are strong parallels here in New zealand ...
    Closing the Gap | 28-07
  • Goodbye Nick Smith
    On the back of recently trying to silence DOC over their concerns about the impact of the Ruataniwha irrigation project on water quality in central Hawke's Bay, Nick Smith is once again bullying a statuary body with threats that clearly...
    The Jackal | 28-07
  • Minister for Conservation of What?