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The Standard

The week that was

Written By: - Date published: 2:29 pm, April 18th, 2014 - 37 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, election 2014, john key, Judith Collins, labour, making shit up, mana, maori party, national, news, newspapers, same old national, spin, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

John Key Prince Philip

This week had everything,

It started off with John Key challenging David Cunliffe to a debate on housing, Cunliffe eagerly accepting and then Key backing out quickly.

The media then said that it was Cunliffe who was afraid for not turning up to Parliament on Tuesday but instead talking to 300 of the country’s top directors and for failing to have John Campbell round to his home for a soft news story. The Herald for instance ran a headline “David Cunliffe denies he is running scared.”

The only scared one was John Key for failing to live up to his promise to debate housing with Cunliffe. This rather startling fact was not mentioned in the Herald Article which chose instead to adopt the National Party counter framing of the story. Dear Herald you are meant to be a newspaper, not the mouthpiece for the National Party.

As for the claims well the stuff up theory definitely applies to the home visit.  It was a case of a not quite finalised arrangement.  David needs every soft media event that he can get and I am sure that his home will soon grace the TVs of the country.

And as for the not turning up to Parliament claim well Key and Cunliffe both originally agreed to speak to the meeting.  Key pulled out and sent Joyce.  Cunliffe went and faced an audience which is not exactly Labour friendly.  As Rachel Smalley, who emceed the event said:

… David Cunliffe was given the opportunity to put forward the position of the left on all of these issues, and he took that. He was booked in some time ago.

No doubt about it, it was a tough audience for him. But it’s an audience that Cunliffe would believe with his business background and his economic brain that he could win over. I’m not so sure. I’m not so sure given the business climate at the moment – our flush economy, the investment in trade, the growth forecasts. Cunliffe was up against it, trying to win over an audience that I think would overwhelmingly vote National.

He made his case for a capital gains tax. He explained why he would change the Reserve Bank Act to influence monetary policy. He pushed the need for economic diversity, to ease our reliance on dairy. Again, I’m not sure how much cut through he got with any of that. But he’s the opposition leader and it’s an audience that he couldn’t turn down.

That’s why I’m a little perplexed that his absence from question time triggered such criticism. Yes, the opportunities for Cunliffe to spar with John Key before the election are few, but just how much cut-through does he get in that environment? And can he really be accused of running scared of the Prime Minister by addressing an audience of business leaders and directors? I don’t think so.

The Government and its support parties did not have such a good week.  The Maori Party showed clearly that it is nothing more than a Kapa Haka party for National.  Native Affairs continued on with some impressive investigative journalism work.

Judith Collins was under even more pressure when it was revealed that Oravida had lobbied the Government directly for help with getting its products into China before the infamous private dinner involving Collins, Oravida directors and an anonymous Chinese Official.  Question time descended into farce as Collins refused to name the dinner guest or reveal his position.  You really get the feeling that but for her seniority and the closeness of the election date Collins’ Ministerial Career would be at an end.

Matt Blomfield, the person suing Cameron Slater was reported to have been shot at and attacked by an unnamed assailant in his home on the weekend.  I am sure that Cameron would not be so stupid as to have been involved in this but you have to wonder if the Prime Minister may be less ready to use Slater’s services because of the rumours circulating around.

The final shares in the power companies were hocked off at a significant underprice amply displayed by an immediate 17% gain in share price.  This particular episode of economic vandalism will be remembered for a long time.

Labour launched an impressive Manufacturing Policy.  This is one of those sleeper issues that really matter in ordinary New Zealand away from the beltway.

And the latest Roy Morgan Poll put a bit of a damper on Easter.  Of course one poll should not be viewed in isolation and it may be another bouncy poll which Roy Morgan seem to produce.  But it seems that the sugar rush of gushing good feelings brought on by the Royal Tour had lifted peoples expectations.  No doubt this was always the intent.

But with the Mana.com party collecting 2% and with National’s support almost inevitably going to reduce it is going to be a very interesting year.

37 comments on “The week that was”

  1. Rogue Trooper 1

    No Comment , which is what Key should say if doesn’t know the answer, ‘stead of making answers up while our journalists let him!

  2. Don't worry be happy 2

    Look at the photo…or better yet the video of Key greeting this particular VIP….ladies and gentlemen…I give you, Ricky Gervais

  3. JamesjLL 3

    Fairy good post except for that last paragraph. You managed to to insert a total nonsense phrase which reduced your otherwise fairly accurate account.

    • mickysavage 3.1

      Why is that James? Do you think National can keep its polling where it is, presuming this is what its actual support is?

      • Markymark 3.1.1

        I agree with James.

        What is your logic for saying ‘National’s support will eventually reduce’?

        It seems like every single poll that comes out, you claim is a flawed, rougue poll without providing any ounce of evidence or reasoning.

        Such delusions does your credibility no favors.

  4. Wyndham, George 4

    Cunliffe didn’t have a flawless week. Is his Wellington team made up of the same twits that Robertson hired to undermine Shearer?

    • mickysavage 4.1

      His staff are very good. It has been an extraordinarily stressful 7 months since he took over as leader and has attempted to get things working with essentially new people. But they are talented and are starting to hit their straps.

      I font it hard to work out what he did wrong this week. The matters I have mentioned it all looks like the right decisions were made. But the hats are way better at getting their lines out through the media than Labour is.

      • Jimmie 4.1.1

        I’m surprised you didn’t mention the chunky Transport policy MS?

        Such heavy weight academic planning should have had a fair piece of mention in your post…..

        Heh smacking the truckies – almost as good as luke warm showers from 2008

        • Rogue Trooper 4.1.1.1

          can only chuckle at that one, really. 😎

        • felix 4.1.1.2

          I didn’t realise there were still people interested in NZ politics who don’t understand how showers work.

  5. Wyndham, George 5

    A Republican whinging about having too little time with the royals? Did the twits in his office recommend this?

    • Rogue Trooper 5.1

      I too found this a concerning play, came across as you infer.

    • mickysavage 5.2

      It was an off the cuff response to a question and I suspect that Cunliffe was dammed either way. If he says nothing then they will say that previous complaints about the politics of the Royal Tour were unfounded, but if he complains they will say that he was politicising the issue. Honest the spin is strong in this one. If you have a look at what he actually said it was very restrained.

      • Rogue Trooper 5.2.1

        I heard David on te RNZ ms, while keeping my ear to the grindstone (that would hurt :-) ) Have I told you how a bench grinder is utilised to relieve the fluid pressure behind the nail of a squashed finger…lesser of two harms.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    Is our economy about to pop? I do feel that it’s probable.
    Is this why John Key called an early election? It is, after all, rather difficult to get re-elected while the economy’s collapsing.

    12 Reasons Why New Zealand’s Economic Bubble Will End In Disaster

    Really, it’s just a matter of time before our economy collapses in upon itself.

    • Rogue Trooper 6.1

      an informative overview of topics frequently raised by Hickey , Shamubeel Eaqub et al; Draco. probable? likely? highly likely? certain? So many questions Rogue, for a fleeting visit. Wonder if the bottom will drop out of USS Enterprise kitset models…

    • karol 6.2

      But, wouldn’t that mean that Key et al are left in charge of, and responsible for an economic crisis….. leading to a possible collapse of government?

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1

        It’s unlikely that the government would collapse, possible but unlikely and they’d still be in power and able to implement more Disaster Capitalism and austerity.

    • Rogue Trooper 6.3

      Time to renew free subscription to the International Business Times; nobody enjoys being the last one to know.
      Apparently, it has been claimed, FOMO (fear of missing out) drives a lot of social network behaviour.

      How is your industrious and marvelous self karol? The summer treat you well, while sparing stormy extremes out your way…

      • karol 6.3.1

        I’m fine thanks, RT. Had a very pleasant summer. Some friends over from the UK for a bit, some reading done….. although the political landscape is looking a little wintry…. Winter is coming!

        And you?

        We need a flax root initiated total culture change…. as important as a change of government.

        • Rogue Trooper 6.3.1.1

          the political landscape is indeed looking a little wintry in many ways karol, along with much of the MSM, National Radio, CL and Al Jazeera excepted. Made a few comments over at Brian Edwards today, will get back into it next week hopefully; as once was recommended to me- Be Aware . and there is much to learn via the net, balanced with some deeper reading.
          Regards.

    • Seti 6.4

      The underlying comparison is with GFC defaults, however neither NZ nor Aus has a sub-prime lending market. Also, inflation is benign meaning interest rates will rise slowly, allowing any bubble to gradually deflate. Of course there will be casualties who over-extended but the majority will manage.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.4.1

        His implication is that most of our housing market is sub-prime and bubbles have a tendency to pop, not deflate quietly.

    • Ad 6.5

      They are fair risks, all of which we have been carrying for quite some years without disaster.

      To me the standout one is not property markets and exposure to Australian banks (which are effectively underwritten by Australia’s Four Pillars police), but the NZ currency versus the US. We continue to be propped up by the US currency and remain the sixth highest traded currency in the world.

      When the $NZ drops say just two cents, petrol goes through the roof, together with other household staples like wheat. Winston’s speech to Grey Power laid it all out pretty plainly.

      We also could give ourselves a break.
      – We weathered the GFC capital meltdown better than most countries, despite all of the risks outlined in the note from Forbes.

      Central government is certainly raising debt, but in Christchurch and in the motorway system it is also forming new assets with that debt. (We don’t have to agree with the assets being formed)

      In China, India and Australia, we have positioned ourselves in what is as close to a global economic sweet spot as anyone could in the world. None are infallible, but all remain strong.

      Household savings are certainly weak. But we are improving. We could certainly improve eg with making Kiwisaver compulsory, but are a whole sight better than we were when Labour left power.
      The lower end of the property market (the most vulnerable) is cooling. The negative end of that is of course the generational shift away from owning your own home (or even your own car). But in terms of risk to the country, the Reserve Bank has made the right moves and is softening the real estate market at just the right rate of deflation.

      I look forward to his longer piece, but I’m not convinced yet.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.5.1

        Central government is certainly raising debt, but in Christchurch and in the motorway system it is also forming new assets with that debt. (We don’t have to agree with the assets being formed)

        A useless motorway is a waste of scarce resources that brings nothing to society.

        Household savings are certainly weak. But we are improving.

        No we can’t because our entire economic system is based upon debt to the banks. Increasing savings will actually decrease the amount of money in circulation.

        We could certainly improve eg with making Kiwisaver compulsory, but are a whole sight better than we were when Labour left power.

        No, we’re not. That’s why he was highlighting all the debt.

        • Ad 6.5.1.1

          Doom I tell you! Doom!
          Woe, woe! All shall love me, and despair.

          • greywarbler 6.5.1.1.1

            When DTB pops your dreamy bubble Ad you find it amusing. You can’t stand having the facts of hard reality. But keep blogging – it’s fascinating seeing the skewed vision that NACTs have and RW generally. Without you I wouldn’t be able to get the picture, to see the arrangement of economic bumf to form such a pretty pattern.

      • Colonial Viper 6.5.2

        They are fair risks, all of which we have been carrying for quite some years without disaster.

        Hmmmm. This is a very problematic statement when it comes to statistics and probabilities.

        Having spun the revolver’s chamber around a few times in a game of russian roulette and having survived each time, does not mean that you should be lulled into a false sense of safety that the very next spin will not end in “disaster.”

        Your comment reminds me of the completely broken “value at risk” models that Wall St analysts used and still use, the ones which predicted that the underlying risk of a subprime mortgage meltdown was much less than one in a thousand (or ten thousand) years. And of course, this broken risk modelling held true and it all kept working month after month – until it didn’t.

    • Offtopic, but I giggled on reading this sentence:

      “the United States and Japan, which have both had zero interest rates and quantitative easing programs to boost their economies”

      Oh my gods! Quantitative easing! I thought that was, like, some crazy hippie voodoo Greens policy to print money which will lead us all into ruin!

      • Colonial Viper 6.6.1

        A government issuing (i.e. spending) new currency into general economic circulation and QE are quite different things.

        • Colonial Viper 6.6.1.1

          I should add that governments whose currencies are considered ‘reserve currencies’ are far more able to issue new money as they want to. The US with its dollar is the ultimate example of this because of how much international trade is conducted in USD, even when the USA is not even a party of such a trade.

  7. Whatever next? 7

    If Labour can stop worrying about personality politics, and being seduced into utterly pointless debates about which leader ” is the fairest of them all”, we can so easily win in September.
    The asset sales referendum results should be mentioned regularly, and when questions about Labour Leader come up, just laugh, we are not that pathetic we have idolise a person, but are more interested in his attitude towards reducing the wealth gap, thanks for asking

  8. NZJester 8

    The National Party spin doctors seam to have to many friends in the main stream media right now who are helping them spin the facts away from the truth. I find it very strange also they are claiming David Cunliffe is the one running scared, when all the real facts show it is John Key who is truly running scared.
    You have to wonder why Key canceled going to that meeting himself and sent one of his underlings. To me just another sign that shows it is Key running scared from David. I’m sure David was originally expecting to debate Key at the event.
    John Key had absolutely no interest in the NZ flag debate until bigger stories about National Party scandals started to break in the media and he then starts talking about that and getting it put on the front page pushing all the scandals away from the front page. You do have to wonder how independent the editors of a lot of the main stream media are when all the real stories keep getting pushed to the back pages for fluff pieces unless it is a scandal about one of the opposition parties.

  9. Whatever next? 9

    NZ jester, you have focused only on leaders…..what if didn’t dignify the nonsense with responses?

  10. vto 10

    The most telling political event of the week was when John Key coldly dismissed the murder of a New Zealander in Yemen by the United States government as “a legitimate operation”.

    Key’s approach was wrong on countless fronts. So very wrong. Chillingly.

    Key is a cold-blooded psychopath. He is an absolute kunt. I loathe him.

  11. Blue 11

    He may have been a New Zealander, but he was working actively for a terrorist group. These are the risks taken when entering into a criminal and murderous enterprise, as he did. Are you suggesting you support his motives and decisions to enter into terrorism and the New Zealand government shield him ? That’s just bizarre. The only cold blooded psychopath I see in this saga is the psychopath that was killed before he decided to kill more innocents. You have serious mental health issues that need addressing if you believe this man wasn’t an active player in the murder of innocents.

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