Written By: - Date published: 10:07 am, December 18th, 2012 - 35 comments
Categories: assets, capitalism, class war, cost of living, exports, jobs, john key, poverty, same old national, slippery - Tags:
It was John Key’s turn this morning to front up to TV3 for a look back at the year. He was in his best soothing and slick used car salesman mode. All is well on Planet Key, and anyone who says different is delusional. His tone was that down-to-earth, mode of reeling off facts in quick succession, making it hard to concentrate on any one point before he’s on to the next one. People, especially the powerless and those suffering most from disasters and financial down-turns, do not seem to compute on the Spinmeister’s Planet: it’s all facts and figures and balance sheets.
Firstly he was called into Prime Ministerial mode to talk about the help the government will provide to Samoa and Fiji. There wasn’t one message of support or concern for the suffering on the people from those disasters. Interviewer Samantha said, 200 mill probably needed and was eventually able to pin him down to the sum the NZ government will provide as being probably more millions than tens of millions.
Economy and Surplus Target
John Key reckons the country’s till on track for a surplus 2014, even though globally there’s a picture of slowing growth. Key produces his inevitable “Let’s take a step back”, to acknowledge that some groups will be unhappy, but overall picture is robust and strong. Might some of those unhappy groups be people struggling to find affordable housing or get enough money to put food on the table? Not something that gets a mention on the sunny side of Planet Key.
Samantha asks about the people facing pretty bleak Christmas without a job. However, bleakness doesn’t compute with this spinmeister. Again, it’s all a matter of figure. Samantha put it to Key that there is now a 12 yr high for jobless figures. Key said the numbers are too high. He talked about how the government was dealing with the issues by focusing on how to create jobs. He said that it is “a major focus of government attention, is to create the environment to get numbers down. However, some things being beyond the government’s control.
Nevertheless, all is well on Planet Key, and some things will help, which the government can encourage: the rebuilding of Christchurch, the beginning of movement again in the Auckland property market.
2012 Rating the Performance of Key and His Government
Key reckons the government has done pretty well (8 out of 10) in the context of the conditions. The bankster spinmeister says,
If you live in a sort of dream world, um, as the opposition do where you don’t have all these things like , you know, Europe melting down and Global financial Crisis, and all of those things [interesting how Key gestures with his hands like a lord surveying the world before him, and is smiling while he talks], of course it’s easy. But in the real world, actually I think we’ve done pretty well.
This is the NAct MO: they project their lack of engagement with material realities onto the opposition. It is just untrue that the opposition don’t recognise the impact of the GFC. They have been producing statements and policy outlines indicating different ways of countering it. They criticise the government for blaming all their failings on the GFC. Why do no MSM journalists call Key and his ministers on this? However, having initially quibble over the accuracy of the jobless numbers, Key admits this is the government’s weak point:
The one number that sticks a bit is the employment rate, but outside of that, things are generally on the improve. The interest rates are low, cost of living’s reasonably low. We’re actually narrowing the wage gap with Australia.
But the government’s doing really well, according to Key on crime (rate’s falling), health (system’s improving) and education (more kids in ECE and getting NCEAs. He doesn’t respond to the mention of Kim Dortcom and dismisses criticisms as being an inevitable part of politics, and part of a healthy democracy. However, democracy has been continually undermined by Key’s government: in Christchurch (CERA, ECAN), and Auckland (unaccountable CCOs), and parliamentary process (record numbers of Bills passed under urgency). Part of a raft of things Key claims as positive:
We’ve been doing a lot of reform over four years which is making us more efficient.
Key’s New Year’s resolution is all about himself: the doctor says he needs to shed 2 kilos.
What wasn’t mentioned
Asset sales, John Banks, Dotcom saga, energy and climate change issues….. what else?