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The Standard

Why so afraid?

Written By: - Date published: 11:21 pm, May 13th, 2009 - 29 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, national - Tags:

Labour asked for an urgent debate in the House today on the Waterview announcement. Smith denied it because the announcement hadn’t then taken place. A minute later Joyce made the announcement. Labour then asked leave of the House for an urgent question to Joyce, Brownlee denied leave.

What are they so afraid of? When did you ever read the headline ‘Government collapses after urgent debate’ or ‘Govt’s polls tumble after question in the House’?

It got me thinking that there is a weird pattern of cowardice to the whole way National acts. Really weird – they’ve got a solid majority.

Waterview – don’t just say ‘look we want a slightly cheaper option, stuff the community’ instead give out misleading costs and hold off announcing until the last moment to avoid questions in the House before the recess.

Supercity – come up with a plan in secret. Refuse to give details. Publish the Bills at the last minute. Ram the first one through under Urgency (don’t get me started on the Maori Party, big brave speech against the Supercity, then vote for going into Urgency to pass the Bills like good house slaves).

Why don’t they just come out and say ‘we want a city that works in the interests of big business. This is our plan. We won’t be listening to your submissions (and we’ve stacked the select committee to make sure of it). You’re not getting a referendum because you would vote against it’? That would be brave but no.

Why don’t they have the courage to say ‘we’re pro-privatisation, anti-controls on business that’s why we’re going to privatise ACC, setting up SOEs for privatisation, and why we’re gutting the RMA and the Cullen Fund’? That would be the truth but they’re scared to say it.

Go back to the campaign. National didn’t run on its principles – low regulation, low tax for the rich, low public services. It ran on ‘tax cuts: like manna from heaven and a cure for all ills’.

It shows how much they really believe in tax cuts that they’re the first thing they drop (oops, ‘defer’, must run the line if I ever want to be a real journalist). If they really believed in tax cuts they would be keeping them and slashing Working For Families or something else they oppose. They’re afraid to do what they believe in because of the cost in the polls (oops, ‘deferring tax cuts won’t hurt National, forgot the line again).

If they had the courage of their convictions, National would be open about them and encourage debate secure in the knowledge their ideals would prevail. Instead they go into overkill trying to prevent any chance for debate and always misrepresenting their own aims.

Cowardly, really.

29 comments on “Why so afraid?”

  1. edoze 1

    Ah, so do you really think people want to read utter garbage like the above post.

    Its filled with yet more hyperbole and stale 2008 rhetoric, enough to loose you another election.

    Quotes like this leave me crying into my soup:

    “Good house slaves”

    “It ran on ‘tax cuts: like manna from heaven and a cure for all ills”

    and the best

    ” if I ever want to be a real journalist”

    Crapola!

    • Jared 1.1

      My political leanings are obvious, however I like to read and comment on certain “The Standard” content to get a balanced perspective. Unfortunately it would seem, “The Standard” has highlighted the low standard of commentator it can some times attract, gutter style scaremongering open ended accusations and insinuations. Some on here actually offer stimulating debate, Tane, Steve Pierson, IrishBill amongst others, yet Zetitic has really dropped the standard. Sad really.

      • Zetetic 1.1.1

        I thought the ‘balance’ we were meant to provide was a counter-balance to the Herald.

        But according to you we’re meant to be some kind of Peter Dunne of blogs.

        Damn, I’ll have to read my Standardista handbook again.

        • edoze 1.1.1.1

          Could you have your head any further up your ass?

          The herald is a REAL newspaper, with REAL journalists, who write REAL articles. In may not always be the best, in fact some articles are just as crap as your post tonight, but don’t confuse a political blog with a mainstream newspaper. It makes you look even further out of your depth.

          Oh and on the matter of your substance, when i read some i will comment on it. Until then i will continue to howl, in fits of laughter i hasten to add, at what can only be described as a joke post. All you did is spew forth a varied range of anti national nonsense.

          • Zetetic 1.1.1.1.1

            What part of my comment or the journalist quote in the post could possibly make you think I had my tongue anywhere but firmly in my cheek?

            If you’re going to get in a huff every time someone has a laugh we’re not going to get on well. But I suspect you’ll keep coming back because you enjoy the conflict (sshh, so do I)

            I see you did address the substance at the end there, describing it as nonsense. Perhaps you would like to elucidate your thoughts on which parts are nonsensical and how so. That’s how debate works.

          • Ag 1.1.1.1.2

            The Herald ceased long ago to be a real newspaper, as did most other newspapers.

    • Duncan 1.2

      “Crapola!” he screams. No critique of the substance of course, because every word is true.

    • Zetetic 1.3

      Any time you feel up to it, you can take on the substance.

      In the meanwhile, feel free to have your little whine like a little boy.

      • Jared 1.3.1

        What substance?
        “instead give out misleading costs.”
        Misleading costs? I have already challenged you on this in my earlier post.

        “Supercity – come up with a plan in secret. Refuse to give details. Publish the Bills at the last minute. Ram the first one through under Urgency”
        Check out auckland.govt.nz its all there, for everyone to see. The first bill was pushed through under urgency for a reason, it lacks any debatable substance other than legitimising the Auckland Council entity and forming a transition committee. Something to write home about for sure.

        “‘we want a city that works in the interests of big business. This is our plan. We won’t be listening to your submissions (and we’ve stacked the select committee to make sure of it). You’re not getting a referendum because you would vote against it’? That would be brave but no.”
        A referendum is pointless when the effort involved in soliciting a Yes or No answer could be better channelled into a more transparent select committee process where actual concerns are able to be aired, rather than a frivolous referendum. Your comment about working in the interests of big business is pure scaremongering.

        “Why don’t they have the courage to say ‘we’re pro-privatisation, anti-controls on business that’s why we’re going to privatise ACC, setting up SOEs for privatisation, and why we’re gutting the RMA and the Cullen Fund’? That would be the truth but they’re scared to say it.”

        Setting up SOE’s for privatisation? You mean allowing TV3 and Sky access to NZ on Air funds to provide balanced broadcasting than allowing the TVNZ gravy train to continue?
        Once again, pure scaremongering, the RMA is not going to be “gutted” nor is the Cullen Fund. There has been talk of allowing private operators access to the earners fund and providing a more competitive service as we saw in Nationals previous term.

        “It shows how much they really believe in tax cuts that they’re the first thing they drop (oops, ‘defer’, must run the line if I ever want to be a real journalist). If they really believed in tax cuts they would be keeping them and slashing Working For Families or something else they oppose. They’re afraid to do what they believe in because of the cost in the polls (oops, ‘deferring tax cuts won’t hurt National, forgot the line again)..”

        Either you have selective memory loss or are just a deluded party fan boy but Labour also campaigned heavily on tax cuts, $10.6 Billion, chump change huh? I wont deny National ran a campaign on Tax cuts, but it was not the only policy it ran.

        • Con 1.3.1.1

          I wont deny National ran a campaign on Tax cuts, but it was not the only policy it ran.

          That’s right! Who can forget the courageous stand they took in favour of energy-inefficient light bulbs?

          • Jared 1.3.1.1.1

            I seem to remember an Energy policy draft relating to limiting shower flow as well?

  2. Jared 2

    Misleading costs? Merely because you believe the decision doesn’t go your way you deride the NZTA and Treasury figures by calling them “misleading”? What exactly is so misleading about presenting the exact fiscal position of both options (I assume you take exception with the inclusion of inevitable financing costs for the tunnelling options)? The first bill in a set of 3 for the supercity sets the Auckland Council up legally and forms a transition committee, seeking a debate on the merits of such criteria is frivolous. The public will have their say in the select committee stage, but then again you will marginalise this as a “mere front” and “big bad man key won’t listen to us”. He has said he will listen, and I will hold him to that. So will the country if he is deemed to have done a poor job as we will see in the outcome of the next election.

    I do find it ironic however how you make out that National are breaking precedent by passing a bill under urgency (Labour have never ever ever done that. ok maybe once, or twice, oh whos even counting?), even when the contents are a non issue. I can see why you would take objection to the passing of the final 2 bills under urgency, but really, a bill that merely legalises the Auckland Council entity and forms a transition committee? My heart bleeds for you.

    • Zetetic 2.1

      You won’t hold him to it. When the select committee refuses to hear many submitters and ignores the rest, you’ll say ‘oh well, they had their consultation’.

      • Duncan 2.1.1

        But you get to vote once every three years. That’s all the democracy we need isn’t it?

        • Zetetic 2.1.1.1

          True. Guess I shouldn’t have wasted my vote on RAM but when I saw a really fat RAM dude wearing a ‘GST off food’ shirt I was like ‘awesome, those guys are getting my vote’

          • edoze 2.1.1.1.1

            Please Lynn, oh please, read the above comment and know you made a mistake allowing this person the passwords needed to file posts.

          • Duncan 2.1.1.1.2

            I’m noticing a real lack of humour here from edoze. You’re not getting all PC on us now are you dozee?

          • Zetetic 2.1.1.1.3

            Seriously, edoze. you didn’t see how funny it was.

            The total lack of self-awareness or irony in a guy who clearly has no trouble getting more than enough food calling for the price of food to be reduced.

            Which is not to say that I support GST. Regressive Thatcherite idea.

          • QoT 2.1.1.1.4

            You were doing SO well, Zetetic, and then you have to fucking blow it with this:

            The total lack of self-awareness or irony in a guy who clearly has no trouble getting more than enough food calling for the price of food to be reduced.

            So we’ve got “making assumptions about people’s lifestyle based on their size” combined with “basic misunderstanding about the fact that a key reason for campaigning to remove GST from foods is to lower the cost of fresh and more nutritious foods” resulting in a subpar fat joke. Not funny, not clever, not cool.

      • Jared 2.1.2

        Scaremongering bullshit as per usual. Its in John Keys interests to listen to his constituents and the Auckland population to ensure the smooth integration of the Supercity, your continued denials of democratic process are childish, your assumption that just because National are running it no one will get a say. Grow up. Perhaps if you had prior evidence of Key ignoring a select committee recommendation then sure, but you have nothing.

        • Zetetic 2.1.2.1

          It depends how you view Key’s interests. Does he just want to do what is popular or does he (or at least National and Act) want to create a more rightwing country?

          If so, it is obviously in their interests to create an Auckland Supercity like the one they’ve designed that will render grassroots groups toothless and favour candidates with lots of money and create a (rightwing) mayor with huge powers.

          If they can slip this through while the public is still largely turnef off politics, all the better.

          Which is why they are using Urgency, of course. Not because there is a pressing time constraint, which is the reason Urgency exists.

          Next play: you say ‘but Labour did it too’. You won’t get any argument out of me, I voted RAM remember. But I wonder if you use ‘but he did it too’ as a guidence to correct behaviour in your own life.

          • Jared 2.1.2.1.1

            Actually there is a pressing time constraint. As of next November, the Auckland Council will take control from the 6 other councils and all assets will be transferred into the Auckland Council hands. You can assume that a Supercity is merely for the benefit of “right wing interests” however in the end, its sole purpose is to reduce the inefficiencies of having six of the same in each different council, 2 rates bills, 6 different long term plans. Its about making sure Auckland works together, cohesively, and as we have seen, even now, none of the mayors can work with each other civilly. The urgency was to get the formalities out of the way so there is more time to debate the finer details of representation under the Supercity, it isnt out there to some how deceive the Auckland population. It is a mere formality, it doesn’t need to be debated, it would be frivolous to waste time.

            The reason why I highlighted the continued Labour Party hawking of passing under urgency was to show their hypocritical attitude considering their past. Passing under urgency is justified at times, and National and Labour have both passed when they should and shouldnt have, but in this instance the passing under urgency was perfectly justified, something I think you are struggling to accept.

          • r0b 2.1.2.1.2

            The reason why I highlighted the continued Labour Party hawking of passing under urgency was to show their hypocritical attitude considering their past.

            All governments use urgency on occasion. Only National has so abused the process as to earn a stern rebuke even from their fans at The Herald, which wrote of National’s tactics in its first 100 days:

            It [National] has adopted a bulldozing approach that is disturbingly at odds with democratic Government. Gerry Brownlee would not even name the bills to be passed under urgency, but only the subject areas that they canvassed. Worse, he refused to give Opposition parties advance copies of any of the bills, until just before they were to be debated in Parliament.

            The fact that the matters were being dealt with under urgency already meant that there would be no chance for public submission; there is no room in the action plan for tedious details such as the select committee process, by which interested parties get to express their view about proposed legislation. But the public was denied the opportunity to even see the legislation, because the Nats were producing for debate law that had not been completely drafted and officially tabled and therefore, under Parliament’s rules, cannot be formally published.

            Extraordinarily, it was left to the Greens to scan paper copies and, in a samizdat-style operation reminiscent of the gulag-era Soviet Union, publish them on its own website. It is a state of affairs seriously at odds with the notion of a Parliamentary democracy.

            It is entirely possible that National is in the grip of a first flush of legislative enthusiasm. If so, it will adopt a more measured pace in the new year. If not, there is cause for concern. The Clark administration was often described as taking a “nanny state” approach – but it did consult widely; the Nats, by contrast, are looking remarkably like bullies.

            Sure enough, they’re still at it. “Cause for concern” indeed.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.1.3

            however in the end, its sole purpose is to reduce the inefficiencies of having six of the same in each different council, 2 rates bills, 6 different long term plans.

            Except that there’s no indication that the super city will be any more efficient. All the bureaucracy will still be there and it certainly won’t be any more efficient than it is now. I’d almost be willing to lay odds that it will be more inefficient. There are other, better ways to get Auckland working together than removing democracy.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      The referendum is, of course, to see if the Auckland Council entity and transition committee are actually needed. Why rush to make them when the majority of Auckland don’t want them?

  3. Wayne 3

    Ouch. Harsh but true.

  4. bilbo 4

    One hysterical and misleading post about the families commission followed up by this …….. D+ must do better.

  5. Philonz 5

    Although Zetitic’s post may veer into hyperbole at times the central point is a good one. There has been an obviuos unwillingness on the part of the current Government to answer questions or debate in the house. I know they have a majority and a debate might not change much but it’s important for a transarent system. This is NOT a partisan issue, it’s about the nature of our parliamentary system and the importance of answering questions, partaking in debates and consulting the public via select committee.

  6. Graeme 6

    Labour asked for an urgent debate in the House today on the Waterview announcement. Smith denied it because the announcement hadn’t then taken place. A minute later Joyce made the announcement. Labour then asked leave of the House for an urgent question to Joyce, Brownlee denied leave.

    The application for an urgent debate was denied because the announcement hadn’t taken place before 2pm, not because it hadn’t taken place.

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