web analytics

Armstrong on National’s conference

Written By: - Date published: 1:33 pm, August 10th, 2013 - 33 comments
Categories: john key, national - Tags: , ,

Labour has an open and active policy process – with all its democratic advantages and political risks. National is run by money from the top down. It makes National conferences dull affairs. Here’s The Herald’s Armstrong on National’s current Conference in the context of a discussion of Key’s “pragmatism”:

Key those are my principles

Pragmatism rules in Tiwai Pt handout

Just when you think the Prime Minister’s pragmatic streak has surely drunk for too long at the well of political convenience, John Key promptly undertakes an even more audacious departure from the ideological ethos supposedly guiding his party.

Labour could only stare in goggle-eyed wonder at the $30 million “sweetener” handed to Rio Tinto-controlled Pacific Aluminium in shameless fashion to keep the Tiwai Point smelter operating for at least another three years.

“Pragmatism” is the word we all use to describe a party, when it is our own party, selling out its values. Yeah, Key is pretty pragmatic all right. On to the conference…

The announcement of the smelter deal has certainly given any such purists within National’s ranks plenty to ponder at the party’s annual conference in Nelson this weekend. Note the word “ponder”. They will not likely get any opportunity to voice an opinion on this Great Leap Backwards.

Going on recent years, the two-day gathering is likely to be another over-choreographed affair during which Key will feed the news media with some new policy, while proceedings have any spontaneity sucked out of them by a procession of Cabinet ministers detailing (and thus glorifying) their many achievements in their portfolios.

There is unlikely to be any serious grizzling on the floor of the conference. Nothing succeeds like success.

National’s staggeringly high poll ratings will have silenced dissent in the unlikely event that there is any dissent to silence.

Key would anyway rebut any criticism by telling the party that at times, outrageous pragmatism is justified to keep National’s support at a sufficient level where a third term in power is still within the party’s grasp.

Perhaps if those with powerful voices in the media were to focus a bit less on games and personalities, and more on dull stuff like facts and policies, we would see “National’s staggeringly high poll ratings” take a bit of a tumble. Just a thought.

33 comments on “Armstrong on National’s conference ”

  1. BM 1

    National is run along the same lines as a business.
    It sells a particular product.
    You either like the product or not.
    Like the product, vote National
    Dislike the product, vote for some one else.

    Good thing about this system is you don’t get hamstrung and tripped over by infighting and man-ban weirdness.

    • Saarbo 1.1

      “National is run along the same lines as a business.”

      With half a dozen majority shareholders running the show…that’ll be right.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.2

      The selling of policy to overseas big corporates has become so blatant, while they thumb their noses to the voters.

      • BM 1.2.1

        No ones been forced to vote National.

        As I wrote above, don’t like what they’re doing vote for some other party.

        • geoff 1.2.1.1

          That’s correct, they’ve been tricked into thinking it was a good idea even though it was a completely shit idea.

          • BM 1.2.1.1.1

            Really?, not the old dumb voters tricked into voting National line, again.

            Fucking hell, the size of the egos on the left are so massive, they could cause a solar eclipse.

            • Paul 1.2.1.1.1.1

              So do you really think that selling assets using the term ‘mum and dad investors’ when only 2% of the population bought shares was an honest policy?
              And do you really think that all those National votes who did not buy shares benefited from the sale of shares?
              Clearly those people were voting against their own interests.

              Now there are many theories as to why people vote against their own interests. And that would be a far more interesting discussion than a dull debate, where you try to explain how National’s policies really are in the interest of the majority of New Zealand’s citizens.

            • Treetop 1.2.1.1.1.2

              A solar eclipse in the name of the GCSB Bill, which when passed will be a dark day in the history of New Zealand.

    • pollywog 1.3

      National is run along the same lines as a cult or religion.

      • BM 1.3.1

        That’s the greens bud, I think you’re a bit confused.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.3.1.1

          Yes, because members of cults all get to vote on the leadership, don’t they BM? Remind me when National Party members voted for the leader again?

  2. chrissy 2

    key runs his party like an Amway convention. Rah Rah. I think I heard that little tolley lady say that they wouldn’t even be mentioning the GCSB Bill smirk smirk! Done and dusted apparently.

  3. Ad 3

    Can anyone think of a single policy area – other than housing – in which Key has not comprehensively outflanked and outplayed Shearer?

    • AmaKiwi 3.1

      Lying.

      Environmental degradation.

      Occupational safety (killing workers).

      Charter schools.

      Taxpayer money to business mates: SkyCity, oil drillers, mining, movie studios, roads we don’t need, etc.

      That’s without even checking my notes.

      • Paul 3.1.1

        Cronyism
        Selling out to international corporates
        Gutting our civil rights

        Again, no notes required.

    • BrucetheMoose 3.2

      You have to give National full marks for doing an excellent job of selling the whole Christchurch rebuild/recovery to the rest of the country as something it is not.
      The Red Zone payouts as being very very fair.
      The CBD Blueprint as workable
      Progress of home repairs
      No housing/ rental problems
      EQC doing a great job
      Brownlee doing a great job
      etc etc

  4. Short Plank 4

    “Labour could only stare in goggle-eyed wonder at the $30 million “sweetener” handed to Rio Tinto-controlled Pacific Aluminium in shameless fashion to keep the Tiwai Point smelter operating for at least another three years.” – John Armstrong.

    The $30 million “sweetener” had nothing to do with keeping Tiwai Point smelter operating. It was to prevent a sudden large increase in available electricity supply with the resultant price drop for all New Zealanders undercutting the proposed sale of Meridian Energy. Had it not been for that National would have happily let Tiwai Point go under.

  5. North 5

    How Monty Pythonesque is this ?

    Tim Groser fresh from the National Party conference, earnestly warning us about “our enemies”.

    Yes we have enemies, without and within apparently. Presumably these enemies were around well before this government resolved to empower itself to spy on its people and make the fruits of their spying available to whomsoever. That it’s in this context that we first hear about “our enemies” is very suspicious.

    Makes one wonder whom the enemy actually is.

    • ropata 5.1

      Enemies! In the interests of National(tm) security the GCSB should keep an eye on opposition MPs

    • BM 5.2

      I’d say the greens need to be looked at

      I’ve read in a few places now that greenies are sending off press releases to media outlets world wide trying to make out that New Zealanders are environmental vandals and NZ is some polluted hole.

      Maybe the media needs to start digging around see how much truth there is to these allegations

      • JK 5.2.1

        Just go and have a look at the rivers and streams, and lakes, throughout New Zealand, BM.
        No need to dig around. They are so polluted no-one can safely swim in them, let alone drink the water without it being thoroughly cleaned/treated beforehand.

        • BM 5.2.1.1

          So you have no problem with environmental fanatics trying to destroy our economy?

          • Pascal's bookie 5.2.1.1.1

            You spelled ‘vandals’ wrong.

          • marty mars 5.2.1.1.2

            I certainly have a problem with economic fanatics trying to destroy our environment – don’t you BM?

            • BM 5.2.1.1.2.1

              I read in another post that said you work in the tourism sector.

              You don’t have a problem with the lies and exaggeration the greens are pushing.
              Lies and exaggeration that will have a direct result on the industry you work in.

              If certain Greens think fucking over our economy and putting 1000’s and 1000’s workers out of a job is a great idea they need to be rooted out and exposed as the destructive and dangerous religious zealots that they are.

              Bring on the new spying lies, lets find out who NZ real enemies are.

              • millsy

                If people like BM think putting thousands of liters of toxic chemicals into our rivers making them unsafe to swim in and making our children sick, and pumping thick smoke into the air, causing untold respirtory problems, is an acceptable way to make a few bucks, then it goes to show that they care more about money then our health.

                Why do you want to poison our rivers, BM, WHY?

                • BM

                  Who’s dumping thousands of liters of toxic chemicals into our rivers?
                  Who’s pumping thick smoke into the air, causing untold respiratory problems?

                  Name these NZ companies.

              • Well believe it or not tourism is based on an environment that people want to come and see and if the environment isn’t there or degraded they just don’t want to come and see it – doesn’t matter how much marketing spin you put on it, they will not come. So the economic benefits of tourism are based upon having an environment that people want to see not the other way round. The real enemies of this country are those that would sell it out by destroying the environment for short term gain, for themselves without considering or caring about the longterm effects of their greed. They are the ones that are making it unsafe for the kids to swim in the rivers and they are key and his exploitative mates, not the Greens – the Greens are one group of heroes that stand (hopefully) against them and good on them for that.

          • millsy 5.2.1.1.3

            So you have no problem with corporate fanatics trying to destroy our environment.

            BM. I am going to tell you this right now.

            The wilful discharge of toxic chemicals into our rivers and lakes and poisonous gases into our air for the sake of making a few bucks is nothing less than a CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY.

      • felix 5.2.2

        “I’ve read in a few places now that greenies are sending off press releases to media outlets world wide trying to make out that New Zealanders are environmental vandals and NZ is some polluted hole.”

        That’s not how you spell “written”.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago