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John Key’s anti-democratic government

Written By: - Date published: 9:31 am, September 17th, 2013 - 47 comments
Categories: accountability, assets, class war, david cunliffe, democracy under attack, greens, infrastructure, internet, john key, labour, national, nz first, privatisation, russel norman, Steven Joyce, telecommunications - Tags:

John Key and his ministers certainly don’t like democracy.

John Key Nat Billboard Corproate vote

This is shown yet again with their rush to sell Meridian.

Opposition Parties are lining up to tell it as it is.  RNZ reports:

Opposition parties say the Government is being arrogant as it pushes ahead with its plan to partially privatise its power companies.

Shares in Meridian Energy are due to go on sale later this month and the company will be listed on the stock exchange in late October.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman says the move is an extraordinarily arrogant one while a referendum on the matter is pending.

“John Key is desperate to sell the people’s assets. He’s pursued that plan relentlessly in spite of all the evidence, in spite of the fact that it doesn’t make any sense economically or fiscally, in spite of the referendum signed by 400,000 New Zealanders” says Dr Norman.

He told Morning Report the Government is acting like a “corporate raider”, asset-stripping state-owned power companies.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says the Government is being pig-headed and will sell the assets even if it means taking a loss.

He says taxpayers will suffer if the partial float goes ahead.

The Labour Party says both Forsyth Barr and Macquarie have revised down their valuations of Meridian Energy in recent days.

Meanwhile, government ministers try to claim it’s sensible financial management, and that they have a mandate to do it:

Prime Minister John Key says the partial float is about reducing debt and strengthening the company.

State-Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall says the referendum on the matter does not reflect the clear mandate the Government got during the last election to proceed with its mixed ownership model programme.’

Elections every three years is not the OK to do whatever you like once in government.  Democracy is an on-going process, and requires consultation with the people as circumstances change, and people learn more.

Key’s government is very much about top-down management.   And if there’s opposition to their plutocratic aims, then there’s all kinds of dodgy deals and arm twisting behind the scenes, as with Joyce’s broadband deals.  Otago Daily times reports, this morning :

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce has confirmed he persuaded would-be participants in a campaign fighting for lower internet prices not to take part.

The Coalition for Fair Internet Pricing claims a recent Government proposal for internet pricing sets the price for copper-based broadband services too high and will result in a windfall profit of $600 million to lines company Chorus, something they say amounts to an unfair tax.

Consumer NZ boss Sue Chetwin who is leading the group last week said leading telecommunications companies and business groups were supportive of the group but “came under considerable political pressure” not to take part.

A telecommunications industry source said both Vodafone and 2degrees had been involved in the coalition but had withdrawn suddenly in recent days.

A spokesman for Mr Joyce said the Economic Development Minister was advised of the campaign about a week before its launch on Thursday.

“He talked either specifically or as part of other conversations to three groups that he understood had been approached to be part of it because he wanted to be sure they were aware of the reasoning behind the Government’s proposal.

“They indicated they would make final decisions whether to participate in due course. He understands that none of the three ended up participating. He takes that to mean the campaign tends to fall apart whenever the other view has a chance to be represented.”

Yesterday, David Cunliffe was critical of Joyce’s “arm twisting”, as reported by Adam Bennett of the NZ Herald.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s “arm twisting” of would-be participants in a campaign fighting for lower internet prices is linked to the Government’s “shabby deal” over ultra-fast broadband with network company Chorus, Labour Leader David Cunliffe said today.

John Key was critical of the Commerce Commissions’ proposal for lowering Broadband pricing, saying they were interpreting the law incorrectly, and that it would bankrupt Chorus.  However, David Cunliffe has called Key on this:

Mr Cunliffe said Mr Key was grossly overstating the effect of the Commerce Commission’s ruling on Chorus.

“The Prime Minister is inappropriately meddling in a regulatory process which ought to be transparent and legally binding, and I note there are issues arising out of that which have yet to play out.”

Mr Cunliffe said Mr Joyce’s “arm twisting” over the Coalition for Fair Internet Pricing was interesting.

“One wonders why this Government is so intent on doing a deal for one telecommunications company not only at the expense of others but at the significant expense of the New Zealand public.”

Mr Cunliffe said the Government’s interference with the commission’s work was about doing a shabby deal with one company and was “more of the same for the National Government”.

Meanwhile John Key tries to smear Labour’s democratic, bottom-up leadership contest as being some sort of far left union manipulation.  It must be quite threatening for Key to now face a Labour leader selected by the Labour Party base of workers, and people who favour a leader who speaks about providing a “fair chance and a fair deal” for all kiwis.

The Labour and Green parties follow and support democratic processes

Meanwhile, Key’s government continues it’s plutocratic ways.

Hollow-men

 

47 comments on “John Key’s anti-democratic government”

  1. Bill 1

    360 odd days and counting.

  2. Tracey 2

    The fish rots from the head…

    Note the claim last week by a National MP that there were 1200 properties in his electorate for sale under $500,000. In fact that was the number in the whole of Auckland… so where DO they learn this behaviour from?

    • dumrse 2.1

      The fish started rotting the minute DC held them up and, they rotted away real quick if i recall. I guess the rest of the exaggeration lesson comes from the new Labour leader who keeps telling us how many people, was that 8, 16 or 18… Living in a 2.5 no make that 3 or was it 3.5 bedroom house. Make up your mind and at least maintain a consistent lie.

  3. tricledrown 3

    the 1% have more democratic “power” than the rest of us combined MRP shares at $2.17.
    National will have to sell the next 2 power co,s for even less!
    Firesale prices more corporate welfare.
    Meridian have already written off $476 million o f capital value as a result.
    $30 million to rio tinto for 1 more year guaranteed operation of Tiwae to get past election with out it being shut down.
    $40 million welfare to share buyers who will already be getting a firesale price!
    Total cost to tax payers for just the bribes $546 million.
    Goldman sacks fees $30 million.
    Nact sale promotion cost $30 million.
    Loss of value
    $476 million
    $500 to $1 billion closer to $1billion+
    True loss to NZ taxpayers close to $ 2 billion by the time each asset is flogged off at firesale prices!
    Even bungling Bills English says.
    Sales at the lowest end of predictions that doesn’t include the bribes and costs!

  4. Jilly Bee 4

    Here we go folks http://www.nzherald.co.nz/technology/news/article.cfm?c_id=5&objectid=11125498 and there’s more in the Herald, but that will do for starters.

    • karol 4.1

      JB, that’s the article I linked to, and quoted from in my post. Do you have a comment on it?

    • Tracey 4.2

      “”The unions decided the leader of the Labour Party,” Mr Key said at his post-Cabinet press conference.

      “The unions have been quite vocal historically about free trade agreements and if that has an impact that will be very sad.””

      Not that corporates determine Government policy… Warner Bros, Rio Tinto, Sky Casino and so on… OH the hypocrisy…or this http://www.businessnz.org.nz/aboutus

      Let’s play spot the brown face and the women

      BusinessNZ Council

      PRESIDENT

      Laurie Margrain
      (EMA)

      VICE PRESIDENTS

      Peter Davie
      (Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce)

      Peter McKee
      (Business Central)

      IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT

      Philip Broughton
      (Otago Southland Employers Association)

      REGIONAL CEO’s

      Phil O’Reilly
      (BusinessNZ)

      John Scandrett
      (Otago Southland Employers Association)

      Peter Townsend
      (Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce)

      Kim Campbell
      (EMA)

      Raewyn Bleakley
      (Business Central)

      COUNCIL MEMBERS

      Graham Mountfort
      (EMA)

      Andrew Hunt
      (EMA)

      Derek Rankin
      (EMA)

      David Thomas
      (EMA)

      Tracey Chambers
      (Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce)

      Richard Stone
      (Business Central)

      Vaughan Renner
      (Business Central)

      Ray Anton
      (Otago Southland Employers Association)

      Major Companies Group

      ACC, AECOM NZ, AG Research, Air New Zealand, ANZ National Bank, ASB Bank, Auckland International Airport, Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd, Bank of New Zealand, BECA, BP New Zealand, Carter Holt Harvey Pulp & Paper, Chapman Tripp, Chevron NZ, Chorus New Zealand Ltd, Compass Group, Contact Energy, Countdown, Datacom group, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, Downer EDI Works Ltd, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, Fletcher Building, Fonterra Group, Foodstuffs Group, Fuji Xerox NZ, Fujitsu NZ, Fulton Hogan, Genesis Energy, Gough Group, Hawkins Group, HSBC, IAG New Zealand, KiwiRail, Landcare Research, Lion, Lyttelton Port Company, Meridian Energy, Methanex NZ, Microsoft NZ, Mighty River Power, New Zealand Steel, Ngai Tahu Holdings Corporation, NIWA, NZ Aluminium Smelters Ltd, NZ Oil & Gas Ltd, NZ Post, NZ Refining Company, NZX, Opus International, Orion Health, Pan Pac Forest Products, Port of Tauranga, Ports of Auckland, PricewaterhouseCooper NZ, QBE Insurance (International), Ravensdown, Sanford, Shell NZ, Siemens (NZ), Silver Fern Farms, Skope Industries, Sky City Entertainment Group, Solid Energy NZ, Southern Cross Healthcare Group, Telecom NZ, Thales NZ, The Warehouse Group, Todd Corporation, Toyota NZ, Transfield Services NZ, Transpower, Unison Networks, Vero Insurance NZ, Vodafone New Zealand, Waterfront Auckland, Wellington Electricity, Westpac NZ,
      Z Energy Ltd, Zespri International.

      How many employees in this group get to “vote” for the measures pushed by them to government?

  5. tricledrown 5

    Tracy the outcome of the tv3 poll conducted during the show was 72% against govts policy.
    28% for.
    If the left can get the message out there they will win!
    National have been caught in a perfect storm where they are being found out.
    The distraction of floating the power co’s is playing into labours hands.

    • Tracey 5.1

      They need to keep selling so they can do a lolly scramble in the next budget (election year no less).

      I note regarding Meridian Key is reverting to the paying down debt line which he use din the last campaign to lure people into the sales and then didnt pay down any debt from the MRP sell down.

      It’s ok, we can TRUST key.

    • srylands 5.2

      Good grief. It is not important. Most New Zealanders couldn’t tell you which power cos were Government owned and which were privately owned. Until all this hysteria started most of them had never heard of MRP either.

      It is a partial float of a couple of government owned power cos. Get over it. The only mistake the Government made is selling only 49%. That was an effort to dampen the hysteria by people that bought into the fiction that they were already “shareholders”. But it didn’t work. They should have gone for 100% – i.e the rational policy.

      Anyway, all the Government is doing is swapping one asset for another. Why on earth should a Government be running power cos? What next? Supermarkets?

      • framu 5.2.1

        Why the hell should we get over it? – considering the majority of NZers are opposed maybe you should get over it and take your stinking thieving hands off our public assets

        get it into your somewhat location challenged head – you, nat, act and every other ticket clipping parasite who supports this policy are in the minority here.

        “fiction that they were already “shareholders”. ”

        fucking bullshit – am I for one am getting damn sick of this pathetic little distraction – we own it via the state, we receive a dividend via the state funding certain things for everyone. you don’t need a silly piece of paper to have ownership of a public asset – there are more forms of ownership under the sun than what you get via the stock market

        ” swapping one asset for another”

        well lets put aside that what the money is being spent on keeps changing – your arguing to sell a profit generating asset to fund a non profit generating asset – what a winner

        It IS important, because the majority deem it to be important – not you

        “What next? Supermarkets?”

        or maybe a straw man?

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 5.2.1.1

          @ Framu
          +1 Well said

        • Macro 5.2.1.2

          Couldn’t have said it better!
          These greedy pricks need to know that what they are doing is nothing more than theft from the common people – well we’re going to take it back.

        • dumrse 5.2.1.3

          Did the left win the last election ? No, so fuck off and wait your turn then you can sell whatever you want.

          • framu 5.2.1.3.1

            Did national win the last election?
            Is basic math a bit too much for you?
            How much % is a majority?
            Do you even understand how mmp democracy works?

            You seem to be arguing for elected dictators.

            you need to get it through your head that…

            1) democracy is an ongoing thing – the govt has to turn up every day and try to win the public to its platform
            2) national didnt win the election
            3) the vast majority of NZers dont want asset sales
            4) democracy isnt about having turns

            so perhaps you should “fuck off”, grow up, educate your self and come back with an argument that shows why assets should be sold despite it not being popular. Because thats the issue – its not national won, you lost (because that didnt happen anyway), its about the govt doing something the majority dont want.

            But im not holding my breath – Considering the sterling effort you made above it might be best to check youve even managed to put your pants on the right way round first.

            Why do you hate democracy so much? could it be that you dont understand how it works

      • Draco T Bastard 5.2.2

        They should have gone for 100% – i.e the rational policy.

        Selling any percentage of the power companies is completely irrational as it will leave the country worse off. We just have to look at telecommunications in NZ to see that. $17b taken out in dividends over the last 20 years and now we’re having to pay taxpayer money to upgrade the network – an upgrade that would have happened with that $17b if we hadn’t sold.

        Why on earth should a Government be running power cos?

        Because it’s the most efficient way to get power out to the populace with the economies of scale making it cost minimal amounts per household to cover running costs and no dead-weight loss of profit (that $17b of dividends that Telecom took out is a loss to the country as proven by the fact that we’re now having to pay taxpayer dollars to get the network upgraded).

        The facts disprove everything about economics that you believe.

      • Tracey 5.2.3

        “Until all this hysteria started most of them had never heard of MRP either.”

        How very superior of you. It’s not the ignorant masses you say are out there that bother me, but the manipulative and deceitful folks like you srylands. How many times have you lied on this blog to bolster your points? Do valid arguments need lies to prop them up? Key seems to think so.

  6. fender 6

    Key thinks he has a mandate to do anything he likes, surprising that he hasn’t fired bullets at protesters…yet.

  7. Jilly Bee 7

    And that’s not all – he was whingeing and wailing about how the unions had elected David Cunliffe as leader – ummmmmm 20%!!! Can’t find actual Herald article and quote – the Aunt is quite a good read this morning.

    • karol 7.1

      Again, JB, I linked to that article in my post.

      • Jilly Bee 7.1.1

        Sorry Karol – I’ve got a tad carried away this morning with what is happening – already. Just a general comment that at last someone is calling the Government to account for their shonkey deals (pun probably intended!). I need to come down to earth a bit and read all posts far more carefully. The same for my earlier comment at 4.

    • framu 7.2

      which the logical follow up question from the journo should have been – “you do know 20% isn’t a majority”

      this after key bizarre claim that national won the election should have the MSM publicly questioning his grasp of basic addition

  8. Linz 8

    Key this morning on TV3: “The referendum is a referendum asking a question whether someone wants assets sales or not, not whether they want the programme stopped. That’s a different question actually.”
    He’s an idiot if he thinks he can get away saying something like with that. It might have sounded clever in a strategy meeting, but the public will see it for what it is and will resent being taken for fools.

  9. aerobubble 9

    Thatcher unleashed impunity upon politics, not since WWII had it had wings. Welcome to vulture capitalism, where disaster capitalism follows in its shadow. Impunity politics can be seen as Pestilence, horsemen of the Apocalypse.

    Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death. Thatcherism reintroduced impunity, the disease meme back intot he body politic. Wars based on impunity in the middle east, on the planet, on resources (on fish even whipping out the cod fisheries of the N.atlantic). Now the middle east uprisings, due in part from the famine from food price spikes. And now the finale, Fukushima, the impunity of capitalism, of a company inadequate to the crisis, in a world where profits come before the planet. Reeking death on ecosystems for thousands of years.

    Welcome to the capitalist apocalypse. Key’s impunity, is National party hollow vision for New Zealand.

    Cavaet, any relation to religion is merely accidental as Christianity long since sucked up all the classic cultural warnings given from generation to generation and put it in a book claiming it came from their Gawd, no, the notion of the four horsemen is timeless, when human created disasters happened their had to be a disease of the mind, exaggeration that spent treasuries on war, loss of food production and then finally the inevitable consequence of death on large scale. It is no surprise to me that Hitler mixed impunity with faith, and no surprise George Bush Junior did so again.

  10. karol 10

    So it looks like Cunliffe is leading on Chorus at Question Time today:

    1. Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE to the Prime Minister: Does he still think that Chorus “will go broke” if his Government does not intervene to change the pricing for access to the old copper-based broadband network as proposed by the Commerce Commission; if so, why?

    With Parker following up with his own question:

    4. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Finance: Did the Treasury provide advice as to whether he should support or oppose overruling the Commerce Commission’s draft determination on copper broadband pricing given that the Treasury has previously advised against subsidising big business such as the $30 million Tiwai subsidy which has “no economic justification”?

    • richard 10.1

      At last! A leader of the opposition who asks serious questions

      • karol 10.1.1

        Slightly shaky/nervous start from Cunliffe with his mind on “caucus”. But he kept calm, took a deep breath and kept on facing Key with the facts.

        And Cunliffe got some support from leaders of other opposition parties.

        And Cunliffe recovered and delivered a solid performance.

        Ice broken – Key may keep up with his nasty routine, but his smile could fade before too long.

        • aerobubble 10.1.1.1

          Key was set to attack, and later govt attacks, were about the Labour caucus. So no, I don’t think Cunliffe slipped, he may in fact have making the encounter memorable, make himself look sympathetic, and also undermining Key inevitable attack on Labour.

          On that note, the Labour caucus division isn’t since those who didn’t vote for Cunliffe about half of the thirty odd MPs, merely indicate how out of touch they were with the party. And so
          its actually quite good for National to attack ‘division’ because its blather, its meaningless, in a week, a month, six months time, Cunliffe will still be leader, leading Labour into the next election.

  11. Stick it Key 11

    Where the sun dont shine you fascist Telling me that this govt has the right to reduce the bag limit for fishing for the good of the fish stock
    You ignorant bastard you and your sort have been allowing gross negligence in the managing of the nations fisheries ever since you brought in the quota system
    WTF you think u know it all get out of my country or [deleted] while stealing my right to fish

    [lprent: One of the things we do not allow is advocating violence to anyone. Read the policy. ]

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    He told Morning Report the Government is acting like a “corporate raider”, asset-stripping state-owned power companies.

    This government is asset stripping the state and it’s doing it so that a few people can become richer while the majority of people drop further into serfdom (it’s the natural result of the commons being fenced).

    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says the Government is being pig-headed and will sell the assets even if it means taking a loss.

    The country will take a loss but National’s rich mates will be much better off and National really doesn’t care about the increased poverty it will bring about. Hell, they probably like that bit as it will help lower wages.

  13. Sable 13

    The mainsteam media is calling Cunliffe’s campaign a “lurch to the left”. At least that’s the headline on Yahoo NZ today. As per usual they are Keys little scribes…..

    • Tracey 13.1

      after this corporate arse-licking gvernment anything is a lurch to the left.

      lurch to caring
      lurch to house the poor
      lurch to feed children
      lurch to sensible economics
      lurch to fair wage for a fair days work
      lurch to safe working conditions
      lurch to save the environment
      lurch to innovation and diversification

    • aerobubble 13.2

      Lurch to the left, well you have nothing to worry about Cunliffe is harmless, Chorus Causus, Key is smoking mad for nothing.

  14. Ad 14

    The Labour base has been refreshed on the meaning of democracy. But the upcoming local government elections, and the impending asst sales referendum, will throw cold water on the concept again until October 2014′s elections – because of their inherent futility.

    The left have made massive efforts to keep popular collective voices alive. But 10 years after the Foreshore and Seabed debate, the Maori Party that resulted are walking dead.

    Cunliffe is a start – all going well – but it will need far more than he to revive the idea of democracy in New Zealand.

    There is no doubt the latent will to collective consciousness is there – and far more technologically possible – but does not yet exist.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.1

      But the upcoming local government elections, and the impending asst sales referendum, will throw cold water on the concept again until October 2014′s elections – because of their inherent futility.

      Oh, I think it’d be more adding fuel to the fire as more people realise that their democracy isn’t and start demanding it.

  15. Paul Campbell 15

    Selling your power company? then it would be bad time for someone to suddenly announce cheap fusion. …..

    http://www.dvice.com/2013-2-22/lockheeds-skunk-works-promises-fusion-power-four-years

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      It’s all bullshit, fusion has been 10 years away for the last 50 years, wake me up when someone can demonstrate a 10MWe plant (the equivalent of a small wind farm) working continuously.

      • Paul Campbell 15.1.1

        normally I’d agree with you – but Lockheed’s skunkworks have a certain reputation, I can’t imagine them announcing anything unless they were certain they have it locked up

        • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.1

          I always think the game with these things is the congressional appropriations game. “With just another 5 years of funding and $250M…”

          Having said that, the “Skunk Works” has delivered on some pretty amazing stuff, most of which we probably don’t have any idea of yet.

          IF there is a breakthrough in accessible fusion power generation…expect it to be limited to US military and govt use only for many years.

      • Murray Olsen 15.1.2

        Fusion power was 10 years away 50 years ago, but with recent advances it’s only 40 years away today. Every time they make an advance, they find more than one new problem. I’m dubious about this one as well.

  16. tricledrown 16

    Serialyarandfraudster.
    Timr you did some economic history back in the 1880,s.
    Even the right whingers realised that you couldn’t have 5 power lines from five different generators that you couldn’t havr five different water or sewage lines to and from your house.
    It was tried you tell me how successful it was!
    Back then they realised it would be better if everyone owned utilities because the evidence proved it was more effecient!
    The free market myth that competition is good even back then when adam smith was imposing his unscienfic wrath of nations on us,Adam smith reckoned that competition only workef if their were at least 5 genuine competitors in the market.
    Where dors that happen anymore if it ever did.

  17. tricledrown 17

    Flim flam Key roll up roll up I have this free market snake oil it will make your future brighter.

  18. tricledrown 18

    Srylands supermarkets would be good at least we would have another competitor in this monopoly driven private sector!
    Meridian write down of $476 million dirty deal to get meridian sale over the line before next election.
    If meridian sold that power at a profit meridian would be worth a billion dollars more than it is now!
    Don’t tell me your masters didn’t tell you that little minded minion!

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    That's the only conclusion which can be drawn from John Banks' laughable sentence for filing a false electoral return. A hundred hours of community service and an evening curfew for deliberately attempting to undermine our democracy? Well, that will encourager...
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • Feed: Food Show 2014: Not Bad
    There are a number of things you can count on at The Food Show in Auckland. Among them: the stall immediately to the left of the entry to the hall is always a busy one. It's most people's first stop,...
    Public Address | 31-07
  • And justice has been seen to be done
    So the first line of John Banks' future obituary has now been written: "John Banks, former mayor of Auckland and a long serving MP and Minister for the National and Act Parties who was convicted of falsely reporting contributions to...
    Pundit | 31-07
  • People talking’ #17
    It being the weekend that truffle growers from all over New Zealand meet to discuss their trade and to eat the fruits of their endeavours, I will be absent from the Hot Topic helm for the next few days. Please...
    Hot Topic | 31-07
  • Gordon Campbell on the rise of ISIS, and Labour
    While global attention got distracted by the fate of MH17 and the atrocities in Gaza, the world’s other mega ‘bad news’ story – the rise of ISIS-led fundamentalism in Iraq – has reached a tipping point. Reportedly, the ISIS fighters...
    Gordon Campbell | 31-07
  • Wet bus ticket
    So John Archibald Banks has been convicted and sentenced for electoral fraud. Good. But the sentence is a complete joke. Here's what he got: 100 hours of community service. That's about 12 days of community work. A bit light, but...
    Polity | 31-07
  • Banks follows fathers footsteps