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Bent Bill

Written By: - Date published: 11:42 pm, February 27th, 2014 - 56 comments
Categories: bill english, equality, poverty - Tags:

What do you call someone who knowingly relies on false information to defend his case?

Bill English.

The OECD pointed out before Christmas that Treasury data was wrong, double-counting the accommodation supplement, and was presenting people to be doing better than they are.

This year, English was challenged repeatedly by David Parker in the House on rising inequality in New Zealand under the National Government.  He denied it, constantly referring to the one report that could somewhat justify his claim that inequality was static.

That report – the Perry report – we now know used the fallacious Treasury data, which “lifted” 20,000 children out of poverty.

National’s record for those in poverty, and on inequality, is dire, and we now know that the one wooden leg that National was trying to stand on is full of borer.

But English knew that last year.

So what do you call someone who uses known false information?  And how much do you trust them?

Note: I’ve just discovered our Gini (inequality measure) numbers don’t include Capital Gains as income – a large source of income for some of our wealthiest (particularly those avoiding tax).  This means that our real Gini numbers are even worse than thought…


56 comments on “Bent Bill”

  1. Sacha 1

    “What do you call someone who knowingly relies on false information to defend his case?”

    A liar.

  2. Philj 2

    English is a very good debater though. Once you can fake it you can make it up. Sounds good. Pity about the truth or trying to help the poor.

    • “..English is a very good debater though..”


      ..i do commentaries @ q-time in parliament..

      ..and english..(along with joyce..)..is infamous for sucking all the life/energy out of listeners..

      ..and sending them into a coma..

      ..phillip ure..

      • Lou 2.1.1

        Oh, thank you, phillip, I was wondering whether I was the only one who is consistently sent into a soporific state by both of those two GNAT members!!

  3. RedLogix 3

    I’ve just discovered our Gini (inequality measure) numbers don’t include Capital Gains as income –

    And how does it account for the very large amount of wealth and income that is controlled by overseas people?

    At the extreme, the whole of NZ could be owned by overseas and New Zealanders could own nothing – and by this measure we’d would be a finely equal place.

    • Mike 3.1

      Gini measures income inequality, not asset inequality which is generally far worse than income inequality. Ceteris paribus, static income inequality leads to widening asset inequality over time.

      • RedLogix 3.1.1

        True – I see what you mean.

        But that still leaves the question of how much income generated in NZ is ‘exported overseas’ and thereby not captured by the statistic?

        For instance – the massive profits generated by the big four Aussie banks? How much of that lands in kiwis pockets?

        • Colonial Viper

          And of course, those profits arent merely “generated” they are monies taken from ordinary Kiwi pockets and small businesses, and exported to support wealthy Australians.

          • Tiger Mountain

            The foreign account deficit is one good indicator of the outflow of capital in the form of repatriated profits to offshore owned corporates.

            “Blinglish”, “Double Dipton” etc has been under the radar a bit around here so good to see the spotlight on him again.

          • Lanthanide

            I thought you kept going on about how the banks ‘printed’ money?

            • Naturesong

              You mean the Fractional Reserve banking system that all countries currently use?

              What has that got to do with all the main banks repatriating all their profits back to Australia?
              Who are in turn owned largely by US and UK banks, and repatriate profits back to the US and UK.

              • Colonial Viper

                Most countries no longer use the fractional reserve banking system – i.e. there are no real limits to the amount of credit that a private bank can extend especially given the advent of the unregulated and non-transparent “shadow banking” system which all the banks now use to fund themselves.

            • felix

              Lanth I think you’re confusing the money that banks “print” to lend to you and I with the money we pay them in interest for providing such a service.

              • Lanthanide

                But that “money that we pay them in interest” was ultimately “printed” by a bank, too.

                • felix

                  Don’t know about you, but I usually have to exchange time and labour and goods and services for it.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Bingo. It’s essentially a scam where manufacturers of this electronic credit, and their top tier of crony credit dealers, can exchange the bits and bytes that they magick up with the hard labour we put into the economy and with the real physical resources of our nations and ecosystems.

                • Mike S

                  Yes, as with all the money in our entire money supply (except notes and coins which are only around 3% of the total), the “money we pay them in interest” was originally created as a “loan” (or part of one) from a bank. The only way new money can enter the money supply is by a person (includes a company or country) ‘borrowing’ it from a bank. All money is created as a debt in this way. That $20 dollar bill in your pocket actually isn’t yours, it is owed to a bank, they are just allowing you to use it for awhile, the same with the money in your bank account.

                  The amount of money that the “money that we pay them in interest” represents however, was never created and in fact has to be paid to them out of the existing money supply. (for example, if you ‘borrow’ 10k from a bank at 10% interest, they create the 10k out of thin air, but they don’t create the amount representing the interest which you have to find from somewhere) In this way the system ensures a cycle of perpetual debt because The total amount of money in the overall money supply, which is ALL owed somewhere along the line to a bank, is always less than the total amount owed + attached interest. New money always has to be created in order to service the interest debt on the existing money, hence the rapid devaluation of our currency due to constant expansion of the money supply (inflation)

                  For anyone that has wondered how the reserve bank raising or lowering interest rates is their main tool to keep inflation low and consistent it is really pretty simple. When they raise interest rates there is less borrowing due to higher interest having to be paid thus less new money entering the money supply thus less real inflation (not cpi index which is a measure of inflation. Rising food prices are not inflation, they are a symptom of inflation, more money in the money supply or inflation means higher demand which means higher prices.) The reverse occurs when interest rates are lowered. very low interest rates in relation to reserve bank performing it’s primary function (keep inflation low), are the same thing essentially as what some call printing money, or stimulus, or QE.

        • Akldnut

          “For instance – the massive profits generated by the big four Aussie banks? How much of that lands in kiwis pockets?”

          And if anything does land in Kiwi pockets – who’s pockets would they be?….. 1 %ers?

          • Colonial Viper


            Some low wage workers may have a couple of thousand dollars stashed up in a KiwiSaver account that they got signed up to, but realistically, its the hedgefunds and the big net worth boys who owns that whole shooting match.

  4. Ad 4

    20,000 is no mere statistic. That’s as if the entire population of Queenstown and Wanaka turned overnight from just fine to wretched poverty.

    20,000 individuals in this country, in poverty, and written off blithely by English as having no statistical bearing. Cruel.

  5. Whatever next 5

    Remembering those secret tapes at the cocktail party, Bill talking about “winning” being the main thing, said it all to me

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    For a Tory, English has been a sensible Finance Minister who has stopped the idiots in National taking us down the damaging route of austerity followed by the rest of the western world.

    • Stuart Munro 6.1

      So the shrinking of the civil service by 3000 jobs was not ideological?

      I’m afraid our Bill is a dyed-in the-wool neolib nutjob who couldn’t grow an economy if his life depended on it.

      “What do you call someone who knowingly relies on false information to defend his case?”

      A charlatan and pretender.

      Unfortunately, the corruption extends to our supposedly ‘free press’, whose concern is not to report the truth, but reassuring sound bites. Bill doesn’t give a feck, he is not merely a completely useless finance minister, but feckless to boot.

      He and Key are gaming the tolerances of our liberal democracy for personal profit. An inquisitorial justice system is required when corruption reaches the top like this. He is not merely lying, he is neutralising the systems designed to make parliamentary democracy accountable and effective. It is not to be tolerated.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        So the shrinking of the civil service by 3000 jobs was not ideological

        Oh, it absolutely was ideological.

        I’m just saying that he didn’t shrink the civil service by 15,000 jobs, as some others in National would have been very keen to do.

    • @ viper..


      (and i can’t be bothered listing the litany/unpacking it..)

      ..i am just gobsmacked that you wrote that..

      ..phillip ure..

  7. One Anonymous Bloke 7

    No Tories prepared to comment?

    Shame got your tongues?

  8. bad12 8

    What do you call a Minister of Finance who deliberately uses data He knows to be incorrect, i would suggest Slippery but the Prime Minister got in way ahead of English to gain that coveted title,

    i would suggest that as English has used this data in answers to the House that what He should be called is befor the Privileges Committee for deliberately misleading the House…

    • Rodel 8.1

      Don’t worry..The Chch Press reported the deception fully in a front page… oh no sorry. It was buried at the bottom of page 14 under all the nonsense about how unhappy Jim Anderton is and 15 National stalwarts leaving politics and so on.
      Ships leaving the sinking rat?

  9. srylands 9

    It seems to have been an error but it was hardly deliberate. It is not getting much press coverage.

    It is all irrelavant to most people.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1

      No, it isn’t irrelevant to most of us, because most of us recoil from such callous disregard for our fellow citizens, not to mention the universal damage inflicted by excessive inequality.

      Bill English knowingly gave false answers to parliamentary questions. Is that ok with you too, S Rylands?

    • Rumour Willis 9.2

      Cunliffe lies about the baby bonus and the media rams it down our throats for two weeks and tells us we can’t trust him.

      English lies about this, “it seems to have been an error but it was hardly deliberate, it is all irrelevant to most people”.

      • Naturesong 9.2.1

        I think everyone now knows that David Cunliffe was not lying.

        The speech writer hadn’t thought it necessary to explicitly state that people would be unable to double dip (otherwise known as or rorting the system).
        Though full details were available online, the précis handed out to the press also didn’t explicitly state that folks would not be able to rort the system.

        But you’re right about it going on for two weeks.
        Is the incestuous nature of the New Zealand media the reason why TVNZ didn’t crucify Gower for his incompetence? I.E. “Watch TVNZ, those idiots over at TV3 don’t know what they’re doing”

      • Rodel 9.2.2

        Cunliffe didn’t lie. Don’ be so blatantly stupidly obviously blatant in your attempt to spin and misguide people. Your attempt is so amateurish and adds nothing to the debate…..just illustrates the dimness of right winger logic if I could even call it that.

    • freedom 9.3

      oh srylands, you really are amusing at times
      four message points in three sentences
      mad skills on display

  10. bad12 10

    SSLands, lift your game wont you, it is irrelevant not irrelavant, yes your declaration of English’s innocence is par for the course, and Bill, being a powerful person didn’t even have to cough up 3 odd million bucks to anyone to prove this innocence unlike another newsworthy individual obviously did,

    If English did not have prior knowledge of the correct information then i should imagine He would relish the chance to prove this befor the Parliaments Privileges Committee…

  11. tricledrown 11

    So blinglish and Benetto have claimed child poverty haven’t got worse on their watch.
    Child Poverty has nearly doubled under National up from 170,000 to 285,000.
    Nothing to worry about Shonkeys reply.
    Ladder pulling double dipping eletist arsholes.

  12. fender 12

    But it’s ok, treasury insisted that there were no “real world” implications.

    So even if there’s another 50 or 100 thousand living in poverty than expected it will have no real world consequence, nothing to see here and no need to do anything about it.

  13. Tracey 13

    apparently lying is only of media interest if you are len brown and lied to your wife.

  14. karol 14

    and Blinglish was all over the place this evening on Checkpoint on Paid Parental Leave.

    The government will probably veto Moroney’s Bill because it costs too much – Bill said they have other higher related priorities. On continuing questioning from Mary, Bill said beneficiary mothers, and some others were a higher priority. Under pressure Bill said he’s not saying he will spend the money saved from PPL by making more provisions for non-working parents…. etc…. not even slippery, just struggling to support his positions on low income parents.


    • xtasy 14.1

      “The government will probably veto Moroney’s Bill because it costs too much – Bill said they have other higher related priorities.”

      Hah, “priority” is election year now, and whatever gets votes is ok and counts. Of course they will pull that one off, to sink Sue Moroney, who is a bit of a gullible one, I must say, and then they will come and present their “new policy” on “parental leave”, being just a tiny bit “more conservative and responsible”, but financially affordable. So they will bring in a gradual phasing in of more parental leave payments and get the voters say, hey that makes sense, we cannot afford to o much now, but bringing it in gradually “makes sense”.

      Labour need to wake up a bit more, and I hope Matt will hold some internal caucus tutorials about REAL POLITIK and agendas soon, so the slow and gullible lot in caucus bloody wake up and get their grips together.

      The Nats will steal and undermine your policies, 24/7, and that is what the y are doing now in election year.

  15. xtasy 15

    Surely, our Finance Minister cannot be wrong, at any given time, he is also the DEP (UTY) PM!

    English is an expert in misleading the public, and he is always very careful with figures and facts, and usually he does not really get caught out, as whatever he says is very ambiguous, wishy washy or can be interpreted in one way or another. That ensures some “protection”.

    Even when he gets it wrong, he will always have explanations. I expect that for this he may simply say, he relied on “more conservative figures”, before “jumping to conclusions” to perhaps accept other (more current or reliable) figures.

    I think he is quite an expert on this. He is not “Bent Bill”, he is “Bill the (Figure) Bender”, that is a subtle difference, I suppose.

    There is always “farming” for an alternative, I suppose, but I suspect, after years in Wellington and Parliament, he would not want to get “his hands dirty” again, pulling the teats of cows or digging “dirty” soil.

    I wonder whether he is lined up for a Royal list title, or whether he may get a nice overseas posting, like embassador, perhaps in a neat place close to the champagne bars.

    • Mike S 15.1

      “English is an expert in misleading the public”

      Sadly, that seems to be an increasingly less difficult thing to be an expert at..

      (Hmmm, “increasingly less difficult”…. anyway, you know what I mean.)

  16. Lloyd 16

    Surely this cock-up and lying should result in a month long campaign by the New Zealand Herald urging a replacement of Bill by a more competent minister, in a similar manner to its campaign against Len Brown?

  17. xtasy 17

    Thisw is all a bit “difficult” stuff, but we are all guilty of not taking it FURTHER! So al l this leads to little, I am going to wait and see, as there are a few other things happening on the fringe matter. Take care all the best.s

  18. RedBaronCV 18

    This is a refreshingly troll free thread isn’t it.
    Frankly, I wonder why he continues to hang around with the Nact’s. I always feel that he sorta argues against a measure then does what everyone else wants and then lies about it. I assume he doesn’t have much internal Nact power as he’s a failed leader so is unlikely to challenge again.

    Any one know – Did he go on the list because he wants to just slip quietly away when he gets a high paying job elsewhere or because his electorate committee where going to dispose of him or both?

  19. RedBaronCV 19

    Oops spoke too soon

  20. Brian 20

    I’d call him a liar.

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