A PM but not a leader

Written By: - Date published: 7:17 am, October 13th, 2010 - 91 comments
Categories: International, john key, leadership - Tags: , , ,

John Key is a PM, but it is now clear that he isn’t a leader. John Key can smile and wave, but it is now clear that he doesn’t stand for anything. Consider two recent events on the international stage.

First, India. A leader would have taken action at Paul Henry’s racist outburst against Sir Anand Satyanand. Key did not:

As for Prime Minister Key, what a missed opportunity. While obviously embarrassed by the question, instead of slapping Henry down and defending the Governor-General and the reality of a multi-ethnic New Zealand, he giggled away the question.

Under questioning later, Key said Henry’s comments were “plain wrong” but refused to condemn the man or to boycott his weekly appearance on the show.

As reaction built strongly Key remained — this will surprise you! — “comfortable” with his response:

As for his reaction to the comments at the time, Key said he had replayed the event in his mind over the last week or so, and was comfortable with what occurred…

Even the most supportive of journalists described Key as woeful, late and lame. It could all have been averted if Key had spoken out at the time, but instead this event turned in to a full fledged diplomatic incident, Henry was suspended, and eventually “resigned”. At which point Key did lead a little I guess — he lead the rush to the exit:

Prime Minister John Key says Paul Henry’s resignation has brought “closure”. “This episode has been sad and regrettable,” he said through a spokeswoman. “Mr Henry’s resignation brings closure to the matter and we should now put it behind us,” he said.

Second incident, China. Yesterday NZPA was reporting:

New Zealand’s opposition MPs have congratulated the Chinese winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, but Prime Minister John Key is not keen to talk about it.

Liu Xiaobo, 54, was awarded the prize on Friday. He is serving 11 years in jail for campaigning for democratic transformation of China’s one-party state. He told his wife, Liu Xia, he dedicated the award to the people killed in the 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in central Beijing.

Mr Liu’s prize was applauded in the United States and Europe and US President Barack Obama called for his release. Labour’s spokeswoman for foreign affairs and trade, Maryan Street, and Green MP Keith Locke have offered Mr Liu their congratulations. … Mr Key said yesterday he would not comment about Mr Liu until he received more advice.

As Gordon Campbell comments:

At yesterday’s press conference, we saw a similarly pathetic non-response from Key to the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiabo.

Rather than stand up for principle – Liu has been jailed for 11 years for co-signing a document calling for greater respect for human rights and democratic reform – Key has chosen to run and hide, lest he offend the tyrants in Beijing. Yesterday, the award to Liu had already been applauded by the UK, US and French governments, and by the European Union […and…] President Barack Obama…

And New Zealand’s reaction? What forthright message did John Key send when questioned about our government’s response to the Nobel awards at yesterday’s press conference? “I’m not aware of why he’s in jail and it’s not for me to comment about what’s appropriate in terms of a country’s putting people in those facilities.” Key also said he would take advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, but could not guarantee any kind of public statement on the matter.

Got that? So when dictatorships put people in jail for supporting human rights and democratic reform, John Key believes that “Its not for me to comment about what’s appropriate in terms of a country’s putting people in jail in those facilities.” Offhand, it is hard to think of a more shameful statement – ever – by the person who represents New Zealand on the world stage.

So then, two shameful non-achievements for Key to add to his non-proud record of representing New Zealand internationally. Acting like a buffoon on Letterman, being named a dim-bulb for cannibal jokes about Maori, and now this.

New Zealand is small country, far from anywhere, always on the edge of irrelevance. To continue our proud heritage of principled and effective international contributions, to hold our heads up high on the world stage, New Zealand needs a leader. But all we have is a PM.

91 comments on “A PM but not a leader”

  1. M 1

    I wouldn’t even say we had a PM – an MP maybe but only just.

    This sorry SOB isn’t even worthy of the phrase ‘he runs with the hares and hunts with the hounds’ he just runs all the time like a twelve-dog sled team of huskies.

    Key: Democracy in China? Duh, what’s that, a new disease?

    God, I miss Helen.

  2. Jim MacDonald 2

    NZ PM? Naaah. La-la land leader!

  3. Peter G 3

    NZ is not a small country We are physically larger than England , Does anyone say that England is a small country ??

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      That’s a strange comment, not sure where you are coming from. Firstly, England is not a country. Secondly, England has a population many times bigger than NZ. What was your point again?

      • Peter G 3.1.1

        CV, check out Wikipedia, Engalnd is a country within the United Kingdom.

        Land area 130,000sqkm NZ land area 260,000sqkm

        • Maynard J

          Try economy and population stats.

          Consider our general impact upon the world stage compared to, say, England.

          Also consider whether a literal interpretation is most likely to be the correct one!

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        And his point is even more subtle – at one point the sun never set upon the English Empire. We really have no excuse for not being the best that we can be and yet we always seem to see ourselves as poor distant cousins or something.

        And, no, I’m not pointing out that we should become an empire nor am I pointing out that our British heritage is important. Just that we need to stop putting ourselves down and start doing what we need to do to develop as a society rather than staying stuck in the same old, rather pathetic, “farming for the rich” mode.

  4. Agreed.
    Key is many things, but not a leader.

    great pic btw, really captures the substance of the man

    • nzfp 4.1

      But one thing he appears to be is a loyal husband and dad. I know that doesn’t mean it makes him a good leader or PM but it does make him a good dad and husband – at least.

      Obviously I’m no fan of NAct – and will likely never vote for them – while they run the economic platform they run.

  5. BLiP 5

    At least out Minister of Holidays Tourism is out there promoting the 100% Pure brand . . . oh, hang on.

    (As an aside, try mentioning Chinese dissident Liu Xiabo on Red Alert, Labour seems to be a bit coy on this issue as well).

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Having some pollies with leadership qualities would be nice. Did the Greens step forth perchance?

      • BLiP 5.1.1

        Well, John did have to apologise for Norman exercising his freedom of speech. Very brave, of one of them.

      • Good point. All very well to criticise Key but if he fell under a train tomorrow:

        1. How long before anyone noticed he’d been replaced by a cardboard cut-out made from the pic accompanying this post; and

        2. Just who’d step up from the ranks (and I don’t just mean National’s ranks, I mean Parliament’s) as a leader?

        Put it another way, if we suddenly decided to go all American but the only candidates in the first Presidential elections were our existing crop of MPs, for whom could we possibly vote?

        It’d be fun to watch the several who clearly think they’ve got what it takes start knifing everyone, including those on their own side, though 😀

    • Irascible 5.2

      Here’s Key’s brilliant excuse for not offering congratulations to Liu Xiabo on his Nobel Prize despite the congratulations offered by Obama, Merkel et alia. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10680162 Truly the mark of a really informed and onto it PM.

  6. Bored 6

    I am a bit puzzled by the need of people to be “led”. I dont need Key or Goff or any other bugger to lead me and I dont want to lead anybody else either.

    Are we such children that we must be lead by a “strong leader”? Cant we decide issues by concensus, democratic process and represent them with whoever is decided to be best to do so?
    Is’nt it collective leadership by our representatives that is more required?

    • Marty G 6.1

      I don’t think that’s the sense of leadership that r0b means.

      He means someone who represents our values and acts to maintain the dignity of the country and public office.

      Not someone who tells us what to do.

        • KJT

          Yes. Like Sir Anand.

          A credit to Fiji, India and NZ.

        • Bored

          In which case this is what I would expect from every elected representative. So why pick on Keys “leadership” when really really mean his lack of good example? What I am trying to suggest is that to attack National we need to be more accurate in the language we use, and make sure that there is no ability for the response to be ambiguous etc. I am harping back to the formula that he sets the language of the debate wins.

          • BLiP

            What I am trying to suggest is that to attack National we need to be more accurate in the language we use, and make sure that there is no ability for the response to be ambiguous etc.

            John Key is a hollow man. He is a focus-group driven, no-substance, please-everyone PR confection. He is a brand, just like a chocolate. If Crosby/Textor was Cadburys, Key would be a flake.

            Unambiguous enough for you?

      • Lats 6.1.2

        You could argue that he is indeed representing the values of the voters who elected him. The ideals of the left are never going to get a look in while National is in power. As for maintaining dignity, etc., well………

      • Bob Stanforth 6.1.3

        Sorry, whose values – yours? Mine? Or everyone’s, cos that’s a shit load of values. Values for everyone. No, really. Or should we agree on our values as a nation and then have our leader represent them?

        How silly.

        I think you will find a majority (in mathematical terms, simple) of people are quite happy with the way JK is leading and showing leadership. But do keep bleating, its fun to watch. Maybe you mean leadership in the sense of the late and departed HC – which to me was more around highly capable administrator, of which she is, there is no doubt. But then its all gone tits up since then hasn’t it. “Yeah, JK cant lead, we could do SO much better” (snort).

        Wonder if those skeletons are pushing the door at Chris’s place open yet…

      • …Not someone who tells us what to do.

        That’d rule out the return of Helen, which you called for above, then. For while she no doubt reflected the values of far more NZers than does Key, her and her close cabal delighted in constantly telling us what we could and couldn’t do.

        • Draco T Bastard

          I don’t recall that Rex, can you point out some examples to me?

          • Rex Widerstrom

            Clark herself says her style is one of “strong leadership” – term often used to describe people from Muldoon to Thatcher.

            Demonising people opposed to you… “haters and wreckers”, “last cab off the rank”; her attitude to the Greens; accusing Jeannette Fitzsimons and Nick Smith of “colluding” against her rather than answering questions on the substantive issue (“Corngate”); calling Wyatt Creech a “scumbag” and a “sleazeball” and John Yelash a “murderer”, to name but a few… is a hallmark of someone who will brook no challenge to their world view, and looks down upon anyone who doesn’t share it.

            In someone like Paula Bennett it’s explicable (though not excusable) because she lacks the intellectual capacity to debate her critics on their own terms and so must retreat behind authoritarian tactics. But Clark isn’t stupid by any means. She could have engaged her critics but she chose instead to attack them; to not think as she thought was to risk an ugly public attack from arguably the most powerful person in the country.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Although I’ll certainly question the morality of those none of it is telling us what we could or couldn’t do.

          • Lats

            Any Act ammended or passed in parliament is central government dictating what we can or cannot do, so strictly speaking all governments are authoritarian in nature, but I’m guessing Rex is referring to the much touted social engineering embarked upon during the Clark years? So things like Civil Unions, Anti-smacking, Prostitution Law Reform etc.?

            Oops, just noticed that he’s already replied, so I’ll recant this and let Rex speak for himself 🙂

            • Rex Widerstrom

              Some of those things are examples of the outcome of the attitude I refer to above, but I didn’t want to get into the debate of the rightnss or wrongness of specific legislation.

              There was, for instance, far less opposition to Civil Unions than to anti-smacking. I wanted therefore to stay away from outcomes and look at process.

              So I was focusing on Clark’s attitude to anyone who dared take an alternative view. Rather than accord them respect and engage with them on principles, she would sneer and label them as something unpleasant, giving the impression as she did so that she considered herself, and those who thought like her, morally and intellectually superior.

              That’s somwhere on the scale of authoritarianism / totalitarianism / dictatorship (depending on how far it’s taken… with Clark I’d say definitely authoritarian), it’s not in any sense leadership.

    • Colonial Viper 6.2

      Often times change will never happen unless there is a champion to start, define and facilitate the movement for change. That’s a good kind of leadership.

      • KJT 6.2.1

        That is someone who puts themselves on the line for what is right.
        Seen that from Russel Norman. Not from Key or Goff.

  7. tc 7

    Sideshow is your typical chairaman type….sit at the head of the top table, do minimum participation usually enough to get paid, rubber stamp everything the management team do without actually knowing what they’re doing, have plenty of slogans on hand to dish out as if that’s intelligent answers.

    And a pissweak one at that as no chiarman would tolerate the antics of a rogue division (ACT) in the way he does but as we all know without Rortney and company there is no Nat gov’t.

    Phildo at least got one of his slogans spot on “governing for the many not the few”

  8. gobsmacked 8

    What’s amazing about Key is not that leftish people commenting here think so little of him. He’s on the other side, after all.

    No, the incredible thing is that his own supporters have such low expectations.

    Liu Xiaobo wins the Nobel Peace Prize. And here is the immediate reaction from the leaders of the Right-wing government in Germany:

    “Germany was quick to offer its own congratulations with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert calling on Liu to be allowed to collect the award himself in person. Liu was “a courageous man, a man who wants to help bring about democracy in his home country,” Seibert said.

    German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle added: “I am very pleased that his courage and his untiring advocacy of freedom and human rights have been honored. I welcome this courageous decision, which sends a signal to the world that human rights will be supported. It will encourage others to continue this work.”

    (source: Deutsche Welle)

    What a total contrast to John Key’s limp response.

    It’s a sad reflection on the National party, that they are happy to settle for the weakest leader in the Western world, simply because … he’s on the Blue team, and he’s not Helen Clark.

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      I would suggest that China isn’t as important to Germany as it is to NZ. It is only going to become increasingly important to NZ in the future as well.

      • gobsmacked 8.1.1

        Trade between China and Germany is worth $10 billion a month.

        The Chinese Premier was in Germany, holding talks with Merkel, only 3 days before the Nobel Peace prize was announced.

        It is not at all difficult to make clear statements on human rights, and to continue to develop economic ties. It is the normal practice in every ‘liberal’ democracy.

        • Lanthanide

          And what % of Germany’s trade does China make up? Surely not as high as NZs.

          captcha: quantity

          • Colonial Viper

            Hmmmm, but it remains a massive metric shit-tonne of money. The Germans haven’t acted like wallflowers with what they believe in, especially since they see themselves as being an economic leader of the European pack now.

          • BLiP

            What else would you like our government to run past the Chinese before speaking out?

          • Draco T Bastard

            About 10%, mostly imports, as at 2005

  9. I told people when this clown was first elected, that he would become the most hated PM we ever had, – due to the ramifications of peak oil.
    The crime is this clown and his equally idiot mates continue building oil dependent infrastructure, while ignoring the reams of information many of us have sent this and the previous governments over the past 10 or so years. Instead of preparing NZ for the inevitable crash, they continue this cloud cuckoo land outlook. But alas the time to do something has run out, so I guess going in the opposite direction can’t hurt )
    Read the Hirsch report – or not, the govt hasn’t, or acts like it hasn’t.
    > The peaking of world oil production presents the U.S. and the world with an unprecedented risk management problem. As peaking is approached, liquid fuel prices and price volatility will increase dramatically, and, without timely mitigation, the economic, social, and political costs will be unprecedented. Viable mitigation options exist on both the supply and demand sides, but to have substantial impact, they must be initiated more than a decade in advance of peaking. <
    http://oilcrash.com/articles/hirsch.htm ….
    'we' peaked in 2005 ish listen to Helen Clark confirm this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxIp5h0Xtuc
    Only 1 media outlet caught this statement, even her press sectary didn't know about it when I rang her the following day … or on the next call I made several days later …. basically it didn't happen.

    • Jim MacDonald 9.1

      I’m hypothesising here but can someone verify or research …

      significant oil price spikes in the past 40 years (going back to 1970s) are followed by recessions.

      Hmm, if that is going to hold true for the coming years and there is little or no alternative, the news isn’t going to get better if we don’t start to do things differently & urgently, folks.

      Oh, do you think that Prime Minister Whoopdedoo will smile and wave, and when real issues arise requiring decision or action, he will run and hide?

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1

        He can multi-task – he’ll Smile and Wave while Running and Hiding 😀

        • Jim MacDonald

          Indeed. The two (four?) are not mutually exclusive.
          Acknowledgments to Zaphod Beeblebrox (and others perhaps) for the new moniker.
          New monikers morphing into epitaphs!
          And the use of uppercase, which I should have adopted, should be encouraged.

  10. Zaphod Beeblebrox 10

    Maybe his new monikor should be Run and Hide rather than Smile and Wave.

    • Irascible 10.1

      I prefer “Smile & wave, scuttle & run” – scuttle really sums up the character of the man. Run implies the man has some positive qualities as a PM.

  11. Bored 11

    Spot on about the oil, it is starting to bite again, as it did before the recent “crash”. Double dip coming fast.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 11.1

      On the bright side, I think voters in the recent council elections are starting to get it. I suspect voters are getting increasingly impatient with the build more roads because we can mentality.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1

        Especially when the roads being built have no economic validity (less than 1 cost benefit ratio).

  12. ianmac 12

    Recently on the TV news was the sad figure of a young man who is way out of his depth intellectually when being questioned by Justice. I get the same feeling of sympathy for John Key who comes across as lacking philosophy and intellect. When the bubble bursts or at least leaks, where will he go? What will he do? Go easy on the poor fellow.

  13. Bill 13

    Maybe ‘incitement to subvert state power’…the charge brought against Liu Xiaobo, is what caused Johnny Boy to pause. Know what I mean? Maybe he finds the possibility of such a charge strangely appealing and his mind wanders to three guys ripping a balloon and how he could possibly apply a similar charge to such miscreants in the future.

    Or maybe he’s just considered that bloody irrelevant on the international stage that nobody bothered to give him a heads up on he fact that there was about to be a politically motivated Nobel Peace Prize designed to deliver maximum propaganda impact.

    And so he was caught short. Which makes you wonder. I mean, I’m sure he had something to say about last years winner, no?

    A Pathetic Man; not a Leader.

  14. nzfp 14

    incitement to subvert state power

    I agree – I think that’s a great charge. Now lets see – where else can it be applied? I wonder – oh lets see – we have this wee Act that I keep harping on and on and on about – you all know it. It’s the Public Finance Act 1989 No 44 (as at 30 July 2010). There’s these two little sections, section 65L and section 47 which states:

    The Minister may borrow money from any person, organisation, or government (either within or outside New Zealand) (ss47)
    The Minister, on behalf of the Crown, may lend money to a person or organisation […] on any terms and conditions that the Minister thinks fit (ss65L)

    This Act allows the Finance minister via the RBNZ to lend to whoever it likes at what ever terms it likes – such as zero interest over a period of 1000 years. The Act also allows the Finance Minister to borrow from whoever it likes which means the Finance Minister could lend all the money required for the Government to function – without GST or Income taxes or a myriad of other taxes – at zero interest back to the Government over any period it likes – like 1000 years.

    However, despite the Law which explicity states that the Government can do this – Bill English and John Key choose to borrow 250 million a week at interest from Foreign Private Banks – which require the New Zealand tax payers to pay back the principal and the interest in a foreign currency we do not control.

    This is clearly not the intention of section 47 and section 65L of the Public Finance Act. Instead English and Key have indebted the New Zealand public to a Foreign Power – which sounds a lot like:

    incitement to subvert state power

    • Lanthanide 14.1

      Certainly the minister may have those powers. But that doesn’t mean using those powers has no consequence, or only good consequences.

      Essentially you’re advocating quantitative easing/printing money. Look at the recent flutters the US has caused by signalling it is going to start QE mark 2 in the near future.

      captcha: bad

      • nzfp 14.1.1

        Hey Lanthanide,
        No that’s not what I am advocating – the QE the US is engaged in is borrowing from a private banking cartel with interest payments required to a private banking cartel.

        What I am advocating is economic independence as the borrowing from the RBNZ is effectively borrowing from ourselves – meaning that we can write off interest to ourselves or spend directly into the economy to offset any interest we owe ourselves.

        This is completely different.

        When we borrow 250 million from private banks – the RBNZ is required to print an equivalent 250 million in NZ dollars while parking the foreign 250 million in a foreign exchange account. This is because no other institution in the world can create NZ dollars and only NZ dollars can be spent in the NZ economy – not US or Euros or Pounds or anything else at all – for all intents and purposes the foreign currencies are the equivalent of commodities – they must be converted to our local currency first.

        Therefore the RBNZ is creating 250 million NZ dollars a week – anyway – while parking 250 million NZ dollars – borrowed by Key and English – in foreign currency and we are being required to pay interest on that money – no doubt to some wall street currency trader mate of Key’s – ever think of that?.

        I am advocating dropping this step entirely with the government just printing the 250 million anyway – although today printing means an entry in a computer screen – without borrowing a useless – dead – 250 million from a private bank and paying interest on it. That – my friend – is bad.

        I am advocating this because the provision to do this is clearly stated in Law in the Public Finance Act.

        • Lanthanide

          I’m no expert in economics, but surely all you are doing is printing money.


          “A central bank implements QE by first crediting its own account with money it creates ex nihilo (“out of nothing”).[1] It then purchases financial assets, including government bonds, agency debt, mortgage-backed securities and corporate bonds, from banks and other financial institutions in a process referred to as open market operations.”

          “Quantitative easing is sometimes colloquially described as “printing money” although in reality the money is simply created by electronically adding a number to an account.”

          “For example, in introducing its QE programme, the Bank of England bought gilts from financial institutions, along with a smaller amount of relatively high-quality debt issued by private companies.[6] The banks, insurance companies and pension funds can then use the money they have received for lending or even to buy back more bonds from the bank. The central bank can also lend the new money to private banks or buy assets from banks in exchange for currency.”

          • Draco T Bastard

            I’m no expert in economics, but surely all you are doing is printing money.

            Yes, but that’s how money is introduced into the economy anyway using the Fractional Reserve Banking system. The way that Fractional Reserve Banking works is like this. The banks, when they make “loans” print the money. This money is then, in theory, removed from the economy by being paid back to the bank. I say “in theory” because the bank charges interest on it and yet there isn’t enough money in the economy to pay the interest. For the interest to be covered more money has to be “borrowed” into the economy with interest on it setting up spiralling debt that cannot be repaid. We actually have laws against such schemes – they’re called Ponzi and Pyramid Schemes.

            What nzfp is suggesting is simpler and isn’t a Ponzi Scheme like the Fractional Reserve Banking system is. The RBNZ prints the money which the government then spends into the economy. Now, this by itself would, most likely, be inflationary but it’s balanced by the government then removing that money from the economy by the use of taxes and fees.

            Here’s a question for you:

            A central bank [an extension of the government] implements QE by first crediting its own account with money it creates ex nihilo (“out of nothing”). It then purchases financial assets, including government bonds, agency debt, mortgage-backed securities and corporate bonds, from banks and other financial institutions in a process referred to as open market operations.”

            Why would the government be buying government bonds from a private bank and paying interest on money that it just created?

            • Lanthanide

              I understand fractional reserve banking.

              If the government buys back a government bond, then they owe money to themselves at a future date. If they buy corporate bonds, then the company owes money to the government at the future date.

              Where is the government paying interest in this example (except to itself, which it could again just print money for in the future)?

              • Draco T Bastard

                Well, it doesn’t say buying back a government bond but Wikipedia isn’t perfect. The point is that the government would have had to issue the bond in the first place to be able to buy it back and bonds carry an interest component. If they didn’t they wouldn’t sell. The process looks like this:

                1.) Government issues bond with interest component
                2.) Bank buys the bond
                3.) Government buys back the bond for the value of the bond plus interest with money it just printed

                Obviously, if the government can print money (which it can as it’s a sovereign right), then it had no need to issue the interest carrying bond in the first place.

                So, why is the government paying interest again? Especially considering that the government could just have printed the money that it needs in the first place.

                • Lanthanide

                  That clears it up, thanks. I was thinking that the government just pays the face value of the bond at step 3, not the face value + interest.

          • nzfp

            I’m no expert in economics

            Understood – and that’s why myself – and others like Draco – keep bringing this subject up. It is central to everything happening in our society – from Climate change / Environmental Responsibility to Social responsibility to economic and fiscal responsiblity. Evrything hinges on who controls the money and how it is spent.

            Responsible monetary policy and economic control will promote spending on environmental and social sustainability – such as renewable energy sources, public transport, welfare, health and education and so on.

            The problem is that most people don’t understand how money works – or even what money is. However, it most certainly isn’t rocket science. In fact it is very simple.

            Chris Martensons video is good and an eye opener.

            Another very good video on money is “The Secret of Oz”

            • Lanthanide

              You haven’t actually explained why what you want to do is different to what the wikipedia page discusses.

              • nzfp

                It looks like Draco explained it above.

                1.) Government issues bond with interest component
                2.) Bank buys the bond
                3.) Government buys back the bond for the value of the bond plus interest with money it just printed

                Obviously this is fraudulent. However it is allowed under law.

                The Government could print the money directly without ever needing to print a bit extra to pay a bank as interest. The Bank is getting a “Free Lunch”, by making us pay rent (interest) for the use of our own money.

                So when Bill English says “There’s no free lunch here”, not only is he lying but he is being a right arrogant tosser about it too.

                The point I was making above is that the RBNZ is a public bank owned by us. Any interest we pay to the RBNZ is simply interest paid to ourselves – it is purely circular and is essentially the same – although not as elegant – as printing the money directly.

                The US version of the RBNZ is the Federal Reserve System (FED). However unlike the RBNZ the FED is a cartel of private banks. Therefore any interest paid to the FED is paid into the back pockets of the owners and stockholders of the private banks that comprise the FED – which they will spend on themselves or use to speculate.

                Conversely any interest paid to the RBNZ is paid to the Government – which can be spent back into the economy, on such things as education, health, public transport, welfare etc… in lieu of taxes – like GST – remember the “free lunch”?

                Money spent on productive labour – industry, infrastructure, human infrastructure – health, education etc… does not cause inflation. However money spent on non-productive labour – such as speculation in asset classes like land, houses, property – will cause inflation.

        • Robert Atack

          Maybe to better understand what nzfp is saying, I humbly suggest you all watch this 3 hour presentation http://www.chrismartenson.com/crashcourse it covers all the things that would give Key and co nightmares, especially if the general dumb public woke up to the facts of life.
          I have it and many more docos on DVD which I am happy to give to anyone willing to watch them.
          Just email me with ‘DVD The Standard’ in the subject line …. and your address
          All I ask in return is you confirm delivery

  15. burt 15

    I agree rOb, he’s not a real leader till he’s retrospectively validated to excuse himself from an embarrassing court case. Come on Key, you need to trample on democracy so we can sing your priase.

    • KJT 15.1

      Is CERR and rufusing funding to Len Browns council, not trampling on democracy?

      • burt 15.1.1

        It’s good that you bring up CERR because that is quite relevant. You see come the 2011 budget the National party will be retrospectively validating money spent outside of budget 2010 appropriations. Some of that retrospective validation will be for money spent on the Canterbury emergency.

        Now what is going to be different in 2011 compared to 2006 is that National will be retrospectively validating money spent outside appropriation in the best interest of the Canterbury people in the following budget compared to Labour retrospectively validating spending in the best interest of the Labour party under urgency outside of normal next budget cycle.

        But yes, lets talk about lord Gerry.

        • Colonial Viper

          Still grasping at historical straws burt, while the constitutional menace that is CERRA is a clear and present threat?

    • Armchair Critic 15.2

      He’s already shown he can trample on democracy. ECan springs to mind.

  16. randal 16

    your post is very sad.
    john keys is not leader and even he knows that.
    he knows nothing about the world except the coupon rate on the last batch of bonds he sold.
    no histor4y.
    no awareness.
    no nothing.
    if thats what kiwis want then they thats what they hve got.
    just nother version of a travelling salesman dipping into the carpet bag he was given when they shoulder tapped him fr the gig.

  17. nzfp 17

    […] To continue our proud heritage of principled and effective international contributions, to hold our heads up high on the world stage […]


    What “principled and effective international contributions” are you talking about?

    Like when the New Zealand representative to the “Durban II” Durban Review Conference against racism – walked out during Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s speech when he described the Israeli Government as “the most cruel and racist regime”. Where were our principles and effective international contributions when the Israelis murdered 1400 Palestinians trapped in Gaza in january 2009? To a decendent of the victim of a colonial and racist regime, the walkout looked to me like all the colonial and racist regimes supporting each others colonial and racist behaviour.

    Are only pro-American agenda “principled and effective international contributions” the only ones worth considering?

    If we’re going to be principled – we need to be consistent.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.1

      Are only pro-American agenda “principled and effective international contributions” the only ones worth considering?

      That’s what it looks like to me.

      If we’re going to be principled – we need to be consistent.


  18. john 18

    Ahh Yes? With the free market which will give us the best of all Worlds where Government is reduced to a bath tub size all I have to do is tweek the tax system so that my mates get more plus set the hounds onto those Bennies. All I have to do is look vacant and smile and wait for the glorious day when everything is privatized,maybe even the Government itself. With the free market I need not try to construct or even hardly do anything! Good job EH?! Kiwis who don’t make it-well too bad,there’s plenty of fresh air and sunshine here in NZ they can make do with that! I’ve worked so haaard I must have another escape to my loveerly home in Hawaii-they sure know how to kick the butt of losers in the good ole USA!! Maybe another audience with Letterman UM?

  19. softly -softly 19

    So – he’s not a leader but he’s consistently over and above 50% in all polls for preferred PM. His closest opposition has never been over 8.8%..

    Maybe you should have headed this ” A PM – but not my idea of a leader”

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 19.1

      Think you might find all popularist leaders have high approval ratings most of the time. Thats because all their energy is channelled into self-promotion. Its what happens when things get tough that define the good leaders.

  20. Fisiani 20

    This is the old style Stalinist thinking typical of this blogsite which believes that the mere mortals who live outside the Beltway require a powerful and feared leader.
    We have a most popular prime minister with the proven ability to make the correct decision for New Zealand time after time. Week after week he is turning around New Zealand from the train wreck that was inherited from the hospital pass of 2008. This is the reason that the impotent Left hate him so much. Their foaming at the mouth attacks merely convinces the middle ground to flock to him to avoid the rabies of the intellectual dishonest. Foam away. Rant. Call him a baby killer.
    John Key is an easy going optimistic pragmatist who has give each of you a tax cut (and a benefit rise) . You are merely biting the hand that feeds you.

    • gobsmacked 20.1

      It’s the old style Stalinists who locked up the Nobel Peace Prize winner. He spoke up for freedom and democracy, silly man.

      Not bothered about that, Fis? Or are you “intellectually dishonest”?

    • john 20.2

      Hi Fisiani. You make John Key sound like a messiah figure flocked to by the chickens of the middle-we all know what happens to most chickens in the end. The American Middle have been impoverished by their NeoLiberal Governments (Mainly by off-shoring all the manufacturing work for corporate profit) John and Wodney follow the US privatisation minimise the state ideology and aim to privatise ACC and local body assets if they can get away with it. John practices the same line of B.llSh.that Obaamaaa the corporate sheeple does.They suck in people with good looks, nice suits and ever coolness no matter what which reisures people that alls good even though it isn’t! Example as R Atack has said no recognition of peak oil now gone and rising fuel costs now inevitable.

    • Armchair Critic 20.3

      This is the old style Stalinist thinking typical of this blogsite…
      This blogsite does not think. Ask LPrent.
      The antispam often appears to think.
      …which believes that the mere mortals who live outside the Beltway require a powerful and feared leader.
      There’s a myth if ever I heard one. Where do you get this rubbish from?
      Commenters here, in general, have supported the exact opposite. For example, we currently have a powerful and feared leader. His name is Gerry Brownlee and there was a big outcry when he was given his powers under the CERRA.
      So how about a couple (yes, two will do) of links to show commenters here support a powerful and feared leader.
      We have a most popular prime minister…
      According to the polls Wellington had a popular mayor, until the weekend. You keep believing those polls, how could they be wrong?
      …with the proven ability to make the correct decision for New Zealand time after time.
      Proven, huh? I’ll call you on that.
      First, let’s see evidence that he’s made a decision (links please). All I’ve seen is vacillation and indecision from Mr Key.
      Second, let’s see evidence that the decision was correct (links please).
      Week after week he is turning around New Zealand
      so that’s why we seem to be going around and around in circles
      …from the train wreck that was inherited from the hospital pass of 2008.
      It’s a wonder we aren’t all moving to Australia. Oh, hang on, migration to Australia is back to record levels because there are actually jobs in Australia. What’s Mr Key done to create jobs again? Nothing.
      This is the reason that the impotent Left hate him so much.
      I think the dislike is caused by a whole lot of other things.
      Their foaming at the mouth attacks merely convinces the middle ground to flock to him to avoid the rabies of the intellectual dishonest.
      Actually he’s the most prominent of a bad bunch and that’s how he manages to top the preferred PM poll. I’d not put too much faith in that rating if I were you.
      Who else is there to lead National? I can think of a very short list of current National MPs who could replace JK, actually the list is so short that there’s no one on it. Without Key, National are toast.
      Labour, meanwhile, are crippled by their inconsistent (and that’s me at my most polite) media profile.
      Foam away. Rant. Call him a baby killer.
      I’ll leave that to you. Most of the comments here that associate Mr Key with baby killing are yours, the rest are in jest (and not that funny, either).
      John Key is an easy going optimistic pragmatist…
      and thereby not really PM material.
      …who has give each of you a tax cut…
      I thought the tax fiddle was revenue neutral.
      …(and a benefit rise).
      Difficult to get a benefit rise when I am not on a benefit.
      You are merely biting the hand that feeds you.
      The government does not feed me. At all.

      What? Moderation! Why?

      [lprent You copied “Stalin” from F’s comment. It is one of the overused and misused words (and he would have spent time in purgatory as well). You’re correct that the site doesn’t think, the code is pretty dumb – including the anti-spam and the auto-moderating systems. As a programmer I often despair about the ability of humans in anthropomorphizing everything. ]

  21. Tiger Mountain 21

    dumde dum dum duuum-There is no depression in Noo Zeeeeealand, no future, no future, anger is an energy! You are not North Korean by any chance Fisi…

  22. The clowns are waking up …. maybe ??

    Dwindling oil supplies threaten economies
    The world faces decades of economic turmoil and a vicious cycle of recessions as oil supplies run low and prices spike, according to a Parliamentary research paper.

    The paper, The Next Oil Shock, says that known oil reserves would last for another 25 to 32 years, but an oil ”supply crunch” could occur in 2012 or shortly afterwards as demand rises and supplies fail to keep pace. ……………………

    From another clown

    Greens co-leader Russel Norman said the report showed that the Government’s $11 billion road-building programme was ”shortsighted and irresponsible”.

    You have to ask Norman, if building roads are ‘irresponsible’ then what the hell is encouraging people to invest in the ponzi scam Kiwi Saver??

    • BLiP 22.1

      KiwiSaver only turned ponzi when Blinglish got his tender Karori Southland hands on it. Before then, KiwiSaver was a true pension fund for all contributing New Zealanders but now its more of a Robert Maxwell Fund for National Ltd™’s PPP wet dreams.

      • Robert Atack 22.1.1

        The whole concept of KS is a lie … for example an eighteen year old paying into it is hoping there is going to be growth (at least on average) for the next 47 years, and that is just up to the point of retirement, s/he has to then hope there is a system worth retiring into.
        The govt has just admitted New Zealand is looking at supply shortages of oil as soon as 2012, this is going to cause a massive recession, if we pretend this one ends;) so already the 18yo is down.
        The govt is as good as said peak oil (PO) starts to bite (as there is a lag time from peak to bite) about 2012, so we can guess from that, that we are passed peak now. The Hersch Report (mentioned several times in the latest govt report on PO) said if we didn’t go at WW2 speed to develop alternatives to oil (apart from recession,war, and general starvation) then we faced recession,war, and general starvation, so hear we stand several years (maybe 5) behind the event we were meant to be preparing for 10 years prior, that equals about 15 – 17 years to late to prevent total economic meltdown.
        And the govt has been fed these facts for 10 years …. yet even the green party back Kiwi Saver?? KS is dependent on new roads, new houses, a population growth of around 3% which would be about 8 million Kiwis when the 18 yo has her/his 67th ? (sure my math is wrong there, but you get the point?)
        Can the system do this?
        I’m 52 and just don’t think so.

  23. graham 23

    you guys are so anal sometimes
    yes the standard is not a living breathing thing
    but heres a question have any member of national or act been a regular poster here
    So a lay person(non beltway ) can assume to call this a left wing wankfeest
    Helens gone get over it
    we dont want some dried up old hag with no kids to tell us what to do
    If you are so devoid of the ability to think with out being told what to do
    text her in New York and ask for instructions
    But keep up the good fight because you(all the standard writters) and chris are the gift that keeps on giving.You remind normal people why they hate labour

    [lprent: read the about. Mind you I’d publish guest posts from the centre right if they were well written and had something to say. Sadly most of the few that get sent could be written by a humorless rogue bot with a rwnj phrasebook. Rex almost got a post published a few weeks ago. Sadly by the time there was a slot to publish in, events had overtaken the content. ]

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      You remind normal people why they hate labour

      Unsure how you would happen to know any of this kind of people.

      For starters, I’ve never met a ‘normal person’ who used the term “left wing wankfest” EVER, especially since its RWNJ terminology.

      • graham 23.1.1

        i have seen your comments that you write here you arnt normal
        normal people dont belong to polictial parties
        normal people dont like helen clark (otherwise she would be pm)
        normal people dont come here
        normal people support national(look at the polls)
        i very much dout you know any one normal
        just because none of your left wing wankfest mates dosnt use the term dosent mean you are not a one armed bandit

        • M

          So Helen Clark is a dried up old hag without kids, eh?

          Given that you’re so anti-prescriptive re people’s behaviour you’ve undone your argument inferring that Helen should have had kids – rather Big Brother innit?

          Please don’t dog someone’s arse especially re normality when using spell check seems to be an alien concept to you.

          To restore some normality to society please go motorbike riding this weekend without the helmet and oh steer clear of women as you’re no prize.

        • Bored

          How thoroughly eloquent Graham, product of a sound state education perhaps? Anger management classes are available.

          • Lanthanide

            “Anger management classes are available.”
            I’d move right quick on that, before Chopper Tolley finds out and discovers she can shave a few mill off her budget by cutting them (to be moved to corrections, naturally, as it is destined to be our biggest department).

    • john 23.2

      Hi Graham. Thanks for your entertaining post it really lightened the atmosphere which can get a bit serious! Some light humour is most welcome!

  24. Moderator please delete personal or group abuse ….. it doesn’t ad anything to the conversation.
    We are above politicians, we attack them, not act like them.

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    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    1 week ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

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