Behind closed doors

Written By: - Date published: 7:55 am, August 4th, 2008 - 65 comments
Categories: assets, bill english, national, slippery - Tags:

The scandal over Bill English’s comments at the National Party conference has not only overshadowed Key’s purposely vague conference announcements, it has derailed National’s entire election strategy.

The audio is damning. Clearly and unequivocally, we have National’s Deputy Leader saying National will ‘eventually’ (possibly within a first term) sell Kiwibank. English not only says National will sell Kiwibank, he says they will ‘sort out’ Working for Families but won’t seek a public mandate to do so. They won’t go into the election campaigning on changes to WFF because “the last thing we want is to spend the entire election campaign with families of four on the TV saying Mr Key took our money away”. He acknowledges that some National supporters are “antsy” about National publicly supporting those policies while opposing them in private but “it’s working”. His attitude to “the punters” and the simplistic picture they have of “that nice Mr Key” is also appalling.

So, there we have it: the second-most senior National MP, behind closed doors, among friends, out of the public eye, revealing not only a secret agenda to privatise a state asset but also to change a major source of income for working families, and frankly acknowledging that National is trying to sell Kiwis on a pleasant facade (“that nice Mr Key”), while hiding their real plan.

It is scandalous that what National tells you in public and what they say behind closed doors are such very different things – but, thanks to this recording, they can’t deny their secret agenda any more.

UPDATE: Full transcript up at 08wire.

65 comments on “Behind closed doors”

  1. Higherstandard 1

    SP

    They’re on record as saying no sales of SOEs during the first term, if they want to sell after that then the public can vote them out after term one if they don’t like it.

    In terms of WFF, pretty much depends on the tax package as to how this will be received, seems to be pretty smart politics to me to take it off the agenda for this election and then dismantle it latter during the term as part of the overall tax package – once again the public will run the numbers and see which option they prefer, Labour or National.

    Those pictures of yourself and colleagues on another blog are a bit sad – you need to enjoy yourself and find something outside of politics my friend, there’s a lot more to life than politics, thank God

  2. “seems to be pretty smart politics to me to take it off the agenda for this election and then dismantle it latter during the term as part of the overall tax package”

    – yeah, lying to the public can be smart politics. Doesn’t make it right.

    Re: Whaleoil’s pics. He’s a pathetic little pornographer trying to intimidate people.

  3. Higherstandard 3

    SP

    Tut tut – what’s the lie ?

    If you achieve the same outcome of WFF by tax cuts what’s the issue, from my understanding it’s no change to WFF for at least the next 12- 18 months so people will have the chance to weigh up potential changes versus the tax cuts they will receive.

    I thought you at least looked quite dapper in the pictures not pornographic at all – but surely there’s better ways to spend a weekend, you could have come up to Auckland and watched the Rugby.

  4. r0b 4

    what’s the issue

    The issue is National saying whatever they need to say in public to get elected – i.e. adopting popular Labour policies – while planning to do whatever they like in government. They will mess with Working for Families, privatise KiwiBank, and who knows what else.

    The issue in short is National lying to the public, and the nature of National’s true agenda.

  5. infused 5

    No they are not r0b. National said they were not going to sell assets within the first term. Did they say anything after that? No. It’s not deceiving at all, nor is it a lie. I hope they do mess with WFF eventually. I don’t really care about kiwibank as I don’t use it. I don’t see what the fuss is about with that bank to be honest. It’s been proven on a number of times that’s it’s not much better than other banks.

  6. RedLogix 6

    HS,

    We’ve come to know you as a reasonable sort of bloke, and while I often disagree with you, I can also usually see that where you are coming from is consistent and principled by your own lights. On more than one occasion we’ve come perilously close to consensus on some issues.

    To me John Key epitomises exactly what he is; a sharp corporate suit who did whatever it took to win. I’ve met his type many times, all smiles and soothing meaningless phrases, only afterwards you realise he was shafting you.

    So just how comfortable are you with this National Party under his leadership? At every point they make strenuous efforts to hide or minimise their actual agenda. Why is it that they say one thing in public and another in private? Why is it that Key will say “no borrowing to fund tax cuts’ and then annnounce increased borrowing the very next day? Why is it that National is treating the electorate with contempt by refusing to detail policy? Why is that they announce ‘tax cuts’, but no numbers? Why is it that they say ‘no asset sales’ but then prevaricate with ‘not in our first term’.

    Either they believe in their policies and are proud of them, or they are not. What conceivable reason do they have for all the chicanery?

    OK I accept that the polls are right and the ‘punters’ love JK’s nice smile; but you and I are political junkies, and we both KNOW that behind the smile is an agenda that National is covering up and lying about.

    So how the hell do you stomach it?

  7. SweeetD 7

    A prediction. This will gain little traction in the news. Labour and its agents will drag this out for weeks with the standard creating no less than 10 threads on it.

    Nothing has changed here. No asset sales in the first term. After that, you go back to the people again (its called an election) with your new plans. If they like you, they vote for you and you carry out your plans.

    Personally, sell the bank. Why should a govt. own a bank?!!?!

  8. infused 8

    They are not saying two different things. They have said, we will not sell SOE within the first term. Was anything detailed after that? No. I will ask this again. How is this saying two different things?

  9. They have never previously said they will sell Kiwibank, just that they won’t sell SOEs in a 1st term… they don’t say ‘asset sales in the second term under National’ do they?

  10. mike 10

    Oh dear, wait for another 10 repetitious posts on this shock horror beat up of some throw away comments.

    Key has already reiterated this morning Nats policy of no sales in the first term and public consultation there after.(not that its govt business to run banks in the firsat place)

    Now – must check out these pics

  11. r0b 11

    I don’t really care about kiwibank as I don’t use it.

    Pretty nice summary of your morals there infused.

  12. RedLogix 12

    A prediction. This will gain little traction in the news.

    Absolutely. The media are already being very careful to avoid any real hits on National, and have been for several years now. Oh they do put up a few token slaps with the proverbial wet-bus ticket now and then… but nothing that might cause any real harm.

    So yes you are perfectly correct, it will go right down the memory hole.

    Personally, sell the bank. Why should a govt. own a bank?!!?!

    And why should it not? It owns the Reserve Bank after all. Plenty of countries have govt owned banks.

    And some weeks ago I was speculating about National’s plan to sell Kiwibank. The interesting question would be, “Who would buy it?”.

    One possibility of course would be ANZ National, on whose Board of Directors sits one Dr Don Brash. After all they got PostBank last time around, so they might have an appetite for it.

    Nothing has changed here. No asset sales in the first term.

    Why? If National really believed in asset sales, why wait? If they genuinely thought that it was the best thing for New Zealand, and that they would have a mandate from the public for it, why the delay? What is so magical about ‘not in our first term’?

    There is one likely answer of course, but I wonder if you can work it out for yourself.

  13. outofbed 13

    Well the honest Mr English is the lead item on Radio NZ news

    also in other news

    “The Green Party says it believes climate change is a hoax but only in our first term”

  14. Are you guys going to show the same moral outrage about the SECRET recording of a PRIVATE converstaion that you showed over the recording of Mike Williams’s comments in a forum attended by hundred of delegates?

    Nah, didn’t think so!

  15. Inv2, I don’t recall being outraged at the secret recording of Mike Williams. It’s a fair cop if you’re a politican – what you say behind closed doors should be consistent with what you tell the public.

  16. Phil 16

    I think National should put Kiwibank up for sale. Not as a ‘winner takes all’ private banking bid, but as a listed company on the stock exchange. Offer first preference to legitimate ‘Mum and Dad’ investors, and you would have a huge vote winner.

  17. RedLogix 17

    Inv2,

    Well I don’t know if you are addressing me or not, but there was no moral outrage from me over the recording of MW.

    To me it was clear that Williams had a short-term lapse of judgement that when it was brought to his attention, was promptly corrected. Embarrasing yes, mistakes always are.

    But this recording of English is not a lapse of judgement nor a mistake. He clearly means exactly what he is saying, and I would be very surprised if he resiled from it.

    So far National has been using the phrase ‘no asset sales in our first term’ as a way of ducking the the issue. It left unanswered the real question, what assets WOULD you eventually sell given the chance?

    And finally we have at least one answer, but not one English was willing to say in public.

  18. Phil. I think if National wants to sell Kiwibank, they should say openly, not just to their mates behind clsoed doors.

  19. Phil. Do you really honestly think that when an SOE is sold ‘mum and dad’ are the ones who end up owning it? Every single SOE that was sold is now mostly owned by large corporates, mostly offshore.

  20. infused 20

    “I don’t really care about kiwibank as I don’t use it.

    Pretty nice summary of your morals there infused.”

    Well yes r0b. You know why? It offers nothing other banks cannot do, that’s why.

  21. infused. Do you care that National is saying one thing in public and another behind closed doors?

  22. r0b 22

    You don’t care because you don’t use it infused – it doesn’t affect you so you don’t care about the thousands that it does affect.

    It offers nothing other banks cannot do, that’s why.

    Except, you know, cheaper services, and the profits stay in NZ. Minor details really…

  23. infused 23

    They aren’t Steve. You’re just trying to spin that. To you, this is the big SECERT AGENDA!!!11

    No it’s not.

  24. compelling argument, infused.

  25. infused 25

    The services aren’t cheaper. I looked at it in some detail last year. Queuing up at a post shop to bank didn’t help the cause. Having no one there that I could talk to was also a big fail.

    I deal with ANZ and National Bank. Same banks now yes but operate very differently. I don’t like National to be honest, too lazy to change, but ANZ are very good.

  26. infused 26

    There’s nothing to argue Steve. No asset sales in the first term. Then it’s an election. They will have to be spelled out before that election or National isn’t going to stay in power are they?

  27. RedLogix 27

    Infused.

    They aren’t Steve. You’re just trying to spin that.

    Look it is pretty simple really. When an interviewer asks the question,”What State assets do you plan on selling?”, a perfectly valid answer would be, “None in our first term, but after that we do expect to sell Kiwibank given the opportunity.”

    But that is not the answer we are getting is it?

    It’s called ‘lying by ommission’. Why do you think we would be taken by it?

  28. infused 28

    “It’s called ‘lying by ommission’. Why do you think we would be taken by it?”

    Well this is The Standard… Enough said.

    Does someone have a transcript of the audio?

  29. RedLogix 29

    Wife to husband, “Where are you going?”.

    Husband, “Just out to the footie and I’ll have pint or two after.”

    Real answer: “Just out to the footie and I’ll have pint or two after… AND I’m going to have a quick bonk at the local knock shop on the way home.”

    Part of the truth does not equal the whole truth. Note also the part of the truth that was ommitted. The shameful bit.

  30. Bill 30

    Hasn’t it already been commented that National intend to have govt/private partnership management put in place? ie A ‘soft’ privatisation in the first term.

    And if wff is going to messed with in the first term, then where is the election that would allow people to weigh up the proposals and vote in a different govt?

    And if (when) JK is going to resign if (when)he goes back on Super commitments, what asset or govt programme, recently opened up to be a private business cash cow is he going to become a board member for?

  31. r0b 31

    Does someone have a transcript of the audio?

    08wire is on the case: http://08wire.org/2008/08/04/bill-englishs-gaffe-in-all-its-glory/

  32. randal 33

    they all at it. in the confusion of he said they said there are the calls to sell Kiwibank. one of the real thorns in the tories side. they said it could not would not work but it does. what else are they saying as articles of faith that are really patent lies?

  33. Jasper 34

    I tried to switch to Kiwibank. Really, I did. Support the lil man, go kiwi etc.
    But what a PITA. I got declined for a credit card, mortgage and even a cheque account “as you haven’t been in your current job for more than 6 months” – never mind my previous job was 6 years…
    Poor credit history – eh? I’ve got a perfectly clean track record – “yes, but you have a lot of credit enquiries” FFS, I worked in a bank for 6 years, of course I’ve got a lot of CQs.
    As for no cheque account? – you don’t keep any money in your current cheque account. No, cos I use my credit card for everything and pay no interest.

    Needless to say, Im with NBNZ – infused, I find them a lot better than ANZ. Might be because I have a direct line to one person I deal with consistently?

    As for Aussie banks owning NZ Banks – nothing to stop mum and dad investors from plowing their money into ANZ, NBNZ, ASB (though at 40$ a share, CBA is a bit costly) and even NAB (for BNZ)
    Bank shares are a steal by the way. Most are now around $15. What a bargain.
    As for the real topic – sell Kiwibank? Well, whoever buys it certainly needs to look at the principle behind KB’s operational model. It’s certainly vastly different to any bank I’ve worked in.

    Bill – no if/when about JKs resignation. SP’s post a while back on here about Keys drunken Matterhorn night with Espiner and Garner made it into that social epitome of all that is well and good in NZ – Bridget Saunders “About Town” blog.

    disclaimer: I am not the Jasper who occasionally authors a post.

  34. Daveski 35

    As far as SP is concerned, it is a scandal that the National Party is being consistent with its policy.

    There is a clear policy that states no asset sales in the first term.

    That is a policy by which the Nats should rightfully be judged. At no stage has any asset sale beyond that been ruled out or in. There was always a real possibility of asset sales in a second term which English’s comments simply confirm.

    As for Kiwibank, I don’t notice any comments about the last time the Govt owned a bank and the bailout of BNZ.

    Don’t confuse the Reserve Bank with a trading bank either – they are completely different beasts.

  35. Daveski. Yeah, you’re right, last time a government privatised a publicly owned bank it was a disaster – the private owners starting runing it into the ground immediately and it needed a taxpayer bailout to stop a collapse that would have brought down the domestic financial system…

    Daveski. National has never said they would sell Kiwibank, they have been going around promising no sales in a first term and refusing to comment on sales thereafter on the grounds that they don’t plan that far ahead… now, behind closed doors, we’ve got English saying they already plan to sell Kiwibank.

  36. Rob 37

    Government Private partnerships great idea!! Refreshing instead of coming from THE STATE MUST CONTROL EVERYTHING.
    It goes without saying that the state doesn’t have the best business brains in the world and should be utilising private partnerships in some areas. Otherwise there is no competition and we never get better at what we do we get left behind as we are to internalised living in our own little vacuum. So good on the Nats for putting it on the table. Only the hard line Commies Will Be against it

  37. Daveski 38

    SP

    I agree is is clumsy on English’s behalf – broken English?? – to confuse the issues.

    From your last post, I think we agree about the policy in the first term.

    The issue is whether English commenting on what could happen beyond the first term is a scandal or not.

    Obviously, if something happened during National’s first term, it would be a real issue.

    Cheers

  38. Quoth the Raven 39

    I wonder if Bill English will come out and say “I was talking about Australia.”

  39. Matthew Pilott 40

    Rob mate you’re always quick to applaud Crosby-Textor’s game plan. Do you think they told English to lie and say he never said it, then have a cry about being held to account for what he said, followed by saying he doesn’t remember it?

    Being their no.1 cheerleader and groupie, Rob, you must feel a bit let down, they’ve handled this one terribly. Maybe Key gets all the attention from them; English could do with a hand at the moment.

    While I’m at it, do you think they were stupid to set Key up for such a fall? I mean to come up with a joke of a line like “hermetically sealed” tax cuts, and to hope we’re all too stupid to see that borrowing for infrastructure is the same as borrowing for tax cuts? Not money well spent there, you must say. You must feel heartbroken and distraught over all this. Even if you fell for that last line, I assure you plenty of others can see through it.

    Refreshing instead of coming from THE STATE MUST CONTROL EVERYTHING.

    Rob, the state doesn’t need to control everything. No one actually thinks that. In case you haven’t noticed, the other banks aren’t very happy about Kiwibank. The reason for this would be, oh, I don’t know, maybe the competition from Kiwibank…

    Only a blinded Tory will be against keeping kiwibank for ideological reasons. I think you’ll find a lot more than ‘hard line commies’ will be against National’s unofficial policy, why do you think they made that pledge in the first place? Because people want everything sold? Ahh, somehow doubt it Rob.

  40. infused 41

    Jasper: I should have clarified. My business is with ANZ my personal is with NB.

    I have my own business banker at ANZ and at NB. I just find ANZ easier to deal with as I am not dealing with someone at the branch. My calls go to Auckland. Where as my NB account manager is at the branch and pretty hard to deal with.

    It’s a biased view though since one is a business, the other a personal account.

    I did have a business account with ASB 5 years ago. What a disaster that was.

    To the topic, I read the full transcript. Still don’t see anything. The only out of place comment was about Key.

  41. insider 42

    Where;s the evidence the main banks are concerned about Kiwibank? Have their revenues and profits been damaged by KB? Hardly. It and TSB have less than 3% of the market. It was actually an opportunity to clear out all the accounts that were unprofitable and shove them onto the taxpayer.

    How does KB rank in terms of ROI against other banks around the world? If it is lower, who is effectively subsidising the banking of KB customers? Note the debt issues that even large banks are getitng into and how quickly things can go bad to see the risks in banking.

    One of the interesting things about KB is that it makes far more than other banks from non interest income (ie bank fees) even after the NZ Post payments subsidy is removed.

  42. handle 43

    Infused, you may recall this section of the 08Wire transcript:

    “..So the only the raw choice is: fix the problems; or take money off them.

    And there’s no way you can fix the problems without taking money off them. So we’re sitting here saying the punters are keen to keep it. They’re facing a recession.

    The last thing we want is to spend the whole election campaign with families of four on TV saying “Mr Key’s taking money off us’. You can’t do that.

    NATIONAL DUDE: Yeah.

    ENGLISH: So later on we’re gonna have to have a bit of a sort out. Yeah, we’re gonna do something, but we can’t do it now..’

    Are you really claiming there’s nothing in that?

  43. r0b 44

    To the topic, I read the full transcript. Still don’t see anything. The only out of place comment was about Key.

    There are none so blind as those that will not see.

    TV3 saw the story and ran it. Radio saw the story and ran it. It even got a mention in The Herald. So – suggest you get your eyes checked…

  44. Daveski 45

    But don’t forget r0b in the Kingdom of the Blind, the one-eyed man is King!

    The story is undoubtedly embarrassing for the Nats – hence newsworthy – but nothing more. To suggest something of scandalous proportions is laughable but at least consistent with SP’s views.

    On a related matter, could someone please point me in the direction of Labour’s policy to renationalise Toll Rail. Given the comments above, it would seem only sensible and reasonable for Labour to have clearly flagged this with $$ values attached.

  45. Scribe 46

    RedLogix,

    Plenty of countries have govt owned banks.

    I was wondering about that the other day. Can you list which countries have government-owned banks? (And not the reserve banks in their respective countries.)

  46. infused 47

    handle: That could mean anything… WFF does need to be changed though.

    “TV3 saw the story and ran it. Radio saw the story and ran it. It even got a mention in The Herald. So – suggest you get your eyes checked ”

    That’s funny, when stories are run about Labour in that media you can still reject it.

  47. r0b 48

    To suggest something of scandalous proportions is laughable

    So its Ok to lie to get into government? Not even a little bit scandalous? Just a teeny bit?

    I remember the day I decided to become politically active. Some time after the ’81 election National was called by a reporter on not sticking to the promises made in its election manifesto (manifestos – remember those?). Muldoon replied words to the effect that their manifesto was just a bunch of stuff dreamed up by “advertising men” and had nothing to do with him. Made me kinda angry.

    Well, at least you could say that Muldoon was honest about it. Key and the Nats of today are still playing the same game – promise whatever it takes then do whatever you like – but they’re worse than Muldoon, because they’ll never even be honest about it…

  48. Daveski 49

    1. National’s policy (link supplied if required) is not to sell assets in the first term.
    2. Nothing has happened to change that.

    It would be scandalous for the Nats to say they would NEVER sell state owned assets and then reverse that stance but that has never been the case.

    All you’ve got is English admitting they will/might eventually sell Kiwibank which is consistent with their current policy.

    Embarassing – yes. Scandalous/lying – no.

  49. handle 50

    “And there’s no way you can fix the problems without taking money off them.

    Yeah, we’re gonna do something, but we can’t do it now..”

    I’m not saying it’s unique to National, but there’s undeniably political cynicism in that conversation.

    Given the backroom shennanigans last election, I can see why comments like that might scare the horses. Can’t you?

  50. r0b 51

    Embarassing – yes. Scandalous/lying – no.

    So then why is it embarrassing? It there’s “nothing to see here” why the media attention?

    1. National’s policy (link supplied if required) is not to sell assets in the first term.

    See above on Muldoon – its a politician’s promise. It matters little what they say, and much what they do. Bill has given us clear proof of where their true intentions lie.

    Perhaps they’ll dress up asset sales in some kind of complex legal clothing to pretend that they aren’t breaking their promise, but I’ll lay you good odds that break their promise is exactly what they will do.

  51. sdm 52

    This is so blown out of proportion I dont know where to start. Firstly its not like Labour have always been honest – before the 2005 election Helen was against a smacking ban – and then we all know what she did. She wasn’t exactly up front when she dumped the privy council either – didnt see that promise on a pledge card.

    So English says “we will deal with that in the future” – its a non specific line. The left blogs have gotten a collective hard on because they think its a scandal – no its not.

    And I think Labour needs to be very careful here – glass houses and all….

    [lprent: Wrong. What was said was that labour wasn’t going to introduce legislation. They didn’t, Sue Bradford of the Greens did.

    However it was Labour policy to support this type of legislation because there had been a passed remit years previously (which was why the question was asked). So when Sue’s bill lucked in and got drawn from the ballot, the Labour MP’s were required to support its intent.

    So what you have demonstrated is integrity by Labour rather than the reverse. It was in their platform, but not planned on being acted on in that term. They followed principle and the party members wishes and supported the bill when it unexpectably managed to make it into the legislative program. ]

  52. Higherstandard 53

    Red

    Apologies for the tardy response this morning has been chaotic.

    I’ve met Key a couple of times – he is a smart operator to be sure but does I believe have a significant social conscience (more so than many on the right are comfortable with I’m sure)

    In response to your other issues let me try answer each individually

    How comfortable are you with this National Party under his leadership?
    I think he is the best person to be leading National of their current mob

    At every point they make strenuous efforts to hide or minimise their actual agenda. Why is it that they say one thing in public and another in private?
    I agree completely I think they are scared to say anything that might be misinterpreted or latched on by opposition parties..

    Why be scared of saying things such as

    …”we’ll keep WFF for 24 months but then it’s gone and will be replaced by Tax cuts which will mean XYZ for families… ”

    or “we’ve committed to no sales of SOEs for our first term and we’ll look at their performance during that time with a view to privatising XYZ if we can realise XYZ funds for investment into XYZ.”

    Why is it that Key will say “no borrowing to fund tax cuts’ and then annnounce increased borrowing the very next day?

    I have no issue with this comment dependant on what the borrowing and investment is for.

    Why is it that National is treating the electorate with contempt by refusing to detail policy? Why is that they announce ‘tax cuts’, but no numbers?

    I think that issue is purely driven by politics, they are committed to no detail prior to the election period proper I think we both know that the electorates attention span is slim and that they will rely on the MSM to vet the actual policy and numbers to make it palatable for the general public.

    So how the hell do you stomach it?

    I think Michael Cullen got it right when he said something along the lines that this year was all about control of the Treasury benches and we’ll get a load of half truths and cak from the Nats and Labour through the entire year – I agree that it’s disappointing and adds to the gross disrespect I, and much of NZ, have for politicians but it is the state of our democracy that we let the twats in National and Labour get away with it and then don’t have any step change in NZ.

    The thing that perturbs me the most is that regardless of National or Labour I don’t think we’ll get the step change that NZ needs to push it ahead in the world as both sides are too scared to upset anyone and it’s the parties at the periphery maori, ACT, Greens and Progressive that are left to actually speak their minds.

    So in a nutshell do I trust National/Labour to do anything grand that’s going to make much difference in NZ – sadly no.

  53. Dean 54

    lprent:

    “lprent: Wrong. What was said was that labour wasn’t going to introduce legislation. They didn’t, Sue Bradford of the Greens did.

    However it was Labour policy to support this type of legislation because there had been a passed remit years previously (which was why the question was asked). So when Sue’s bill lucked in and got drawn from the ballot, the Labour MP’s were required to support its intent.

    So what you have demonstrated is integrity by Labour rather than the reverse. It was in their platform, but not planned on being acted on in that term. They followed principle and the party members wishes and supported the bill when it unexpectably managed to make it into the legislative program.”

    Yeah, and she didn’t really say “I think you’re trying to defy human nature”, either. Really, you can explain it away all you like but that’s business as usual for Labour – waffle on about failed reforms of the previous government while saying one thing and doing entirely another, and the best part is their members lap it up.

  54. r0b 55

    while saying one thing and doing entirely another

    Ahhh – what? You can make up a list of things where Labour did things that they didn’t specifically state in an election campaign (like buy back rail). That’s different from saying one thing and doing entirely another.

    The incoming Labour government if 1999 was the first in a very long time that kept their election promises. They don’t have a perfect record since then, but in general they have been the most honest government in this respect since before Muldoon.

    If you want to see a case study in “saying one thing and doing entirely another” then keep your eyes on the Key government, if there is one. Bill English has already kindly warned us how it is going to go down…

  55. gobsmacked 56

    The TV3 bulletin tonight was “good news, bad news” for National.

    The bad news was – it looked very bad. Everybody loves Kiwibank.

    The good news was – TV One’s story was worse!

    To be fair, Bill English didn’t stab John Key in the back. The knife went straight in the stomach. Working For Families is “complicated”, he patiently explained. You wouldn’t expect someone like John to understand. Luckily, Bill could.

    Insert, and twist.

  56. outofbed 57

    Just saw the TV3 bulletin

    And then TV1
    Fuck Key is going to be pissed.
    At last, as forecast it’s unravelling
    This should give the left the 3 to 4% they need to get home!
    Thanks Bill

  57. r0b 58

    Well well well. Good pieces on TV1 & TV3. This is what NZ needs – to see behind the mask. And to hear from the people (like those KiwiBank customers) who would be affected by the Nat’s true agenda. Because that true agenda is unelectable, and everybody knows it.

    The interesting question is whether they are going to get away with it, and sucker us into electing them in 08. If they do we can’t say we weren’t warned…

  58. outofbed 59

    r0b
    Jeez its annoying that we have to have a secretly recorded conversation to “out” what we(the politicaly aware) already knew
    At last though the MSM are doing their job even Espiner at stuff says

    Don’t underestimate the magnitude of this stuff-up – it’s an enormous blow to National in my opinion. Most people don’t follow politics very carefully, and they will have missed all the nuances and caveats you mention. The only thing the average person will have picked up from this story is that “National plans to sell Kiwi Bank’. It would be more accurate of course to say Bill English would like to sell Kiwi Bank one day, but that’s not what people will take in from what has been said. Labour will seize on this like a drowning man seizes a liferaft. I can’t underestimate the damage this comment could do to National’s popularity. Partially because it’s a covert recording that appears to show a politician saying one thing and doing another. Partially because it also indicates a difference of opinion between English and his leader. But mostly because Kiwi Bank has quickly become a national icon and the vast majority of New Zealanders don’t want it sold. It may not stop them voting National, but it might make them think twice.

    Having said that it should fairly obvious to all and sundry that the National Party or more rightly J Key will say anything to get elected
    even if it means being “economical with the truth”
    I have never any doubt that HC won’t be the next PM
    NZ’s do not like being taken for mugs, I suspect

  59. Swampy 60

    Based on that transcript this post is a total beatup.

  60. Swampy 61

    And why would you sell Kiwibank – well that is very plain, Labour is an anti-private government and Kiwibank is a typical bit of Labour having an opportunity to undermine the private sector in some way through government subsidy of a competing enterprise.

  61. “subsidy”? You dick.

  62. r0b 63

    Swampy: Based on that transcript this post is a total beatup.

    Yeah righto Swampy. I guess TV1 & TV3 didn’t get your memo.

    OOB: Jeez its annoying that we have to have a secretly recorded conversation to “out’ what we(the politicaly aware) already knew

    Amen.

  63. Scribe 64

    RedLogix hasn’t got around to answering my question from yesterday (and he has no obligation to) — after he said “plenty of countries” have government-owned banks — so I wondered if someone else might be able to help.

    Can you list which countries have government-owned banks? (And not the reserve banks in their respective countries.)

  64. r0b 65

    Scribe – 2 minutes with google will answer your question. For starters: India, China, Brazil, Nepal, Thailand, Philippines, Costa Rica, Iran, Taiwan, Pakistan, various Latin American countries, and there are state owned banks in USA, Germany and others.

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