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Written By: - Date published: 9:47 am, July 30th, 2011 - 39 comments
Categories: economy, leadership, polls - Tags: ,

Another gem from I/S at No Right Turn:

Stuff this morning had more results from their poll, reporting that National’s lead is built on trust in its handling of the economy:

National’s yawning lead in the polls is built on an even larger gap in confidence on handling the economy, new polling shows.

The Fairfax Media-Research International poll shows 49 per cent of voters think National has the best plan to fix the economy, well ahead of Labour on 17 per cent.

I’m absolutely boggled by this. To point out the obvious, we have a stagnant economy, 155,000 unemployed, and record high inflation. And the reason we have these things is because National’s “response” to the recession was initially to do nothing, in the belief that the market would sort itself out, and then to try and cut our way out of trouble (with the expected result – an austerity-driven recession, just like 1992). By any empirical measure, they are failures at managing the economy – because they are ideologically opposed to the very idea.

And yet, somehow the fact of National’s dismal non-performance can’t penetrate the dogma that they’re businessmen, so therefore they know what they’re doing. Quite apart from the fact that most NZ businessmen don’t know what they’re doing – you have only to look at the dismal performance of NZ businesses to see that – this is simply false. The economy is not a company. Anyone trying to manage it as if it was (e.g. by “tightening our belts” in a recession) is going to drive it into the ground. Which is exactly what is happening now.

These are not people I want running the New Zealand economy. They have no plan to boost growth, no plan to create jobs, no plan even to ease the effects of the disaster they’re overseeing, except to hang on and hope – while of course using it as an excuse to flog state assets, our common property, to their rich mates. They are economic incompetents, and they do not deserve our faith or our support.

39 comments on “Boggled ”

  1. Aero 1

    Last night a right wing nut on TVNZ talk show might have well have said for every bennie would be better off dead for all the good they are. Sorry, but when we measure society by asking illinformed right wing nutters to respond, in prime time no less, we really need our tv editorial staff heads examined. Shit in shit out after all. If we measure in slime, conceit, lies, distortion and snearing nastiness as was exhibited last night then we will produce a chronically under performing economy.
    Hire better TV staff, and don’t invite shock jocks on prime time, geez, how hard could that be I mean they do it dw, bbc, etc. TV sets the frame of debate in society, so we get high poverty, high unemployment, feed the richest first politics because of the faceless people in TV talk.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Labour did not understand the pivotal role of TV and media ownership in a democracy.

      Not like Rupert Murdoch does.

      • Aero 1.1.1

        Or human rights concerns given how discrimatory language persists in the media.
        Someone very rich will not pay any tax, will fund charities soup kitchens that sweeps the
        growing inequality under the carpet, out of sight. The poor government gets at handling
        the economy, handing the economy over to the richest, the more the rich shore up the
        poor policy making by funding charities to hide the social ills.
        Then some fat head rightwing twat comes on tv and declares the bennies do not pay\
        tax, sure he’d never heard of GST, or PAYE on benefits, or tax on the first dollar earned,
        or tax on savings in the bank. No, its a lie to say the poorest in our society do not pay
        tax yet the TV presenters let it pass without mention, that’s wrong becuase its discriminatory

        And guess what! young kiwis actually move to Australia to pay off their student debt because the first dollar earned they keep all of it, since Australia has a tax free treashold, Oz has GST off food, has a CGT. Just like the UK. Because unlike NZ, OZ and UK don’t tax their poorest at such high rates. And there in lies the gross lie of the media class, the poor are carrying NZ, not the rich.

    • Afewknowthetruth 1.2

      TVNZ is a corrupt, for-profit corporation. The garbage it churns out is designed to promte profits for itself and other corporations, and to enrich TVNZ executives.

      The key is to not watch TVNZ ‘news’ or ‘debate’ or ‘background reporting’. It’s all propaganda and sensationalism, interspersed with celbrity gossip, and punctuated with advertisements for crap churned out by corporations.

      Hell would feeze over before the presently-constinuted TVNZ would provide worthwhile information on the issues of our times and unbiased commentary.

      PS. Don’t bother making complaints to the Boradcasting Standards Authority: it is rigged to maintain the status quo.

      • Aero 1.2.1


        • George D

          Thirded. Cullen’s refusal constitute TVNZ as a public broadcaster rather than a for profit SOE was among his worst mistakes. NZers have lived in a low-information environment for the last 20 years, and it gets no better.

          • Colonial Viper

            Yep. Rupert Murdoch understands how important it is to not have solid, impartial public broadcasting.

            The last Labour government, for the sake of a few millions in dividends and a lack of left wing ideology, didn’t get why that was.

            When you let corporatised, commercial media rule, do you really think they are going to be grateful to you, Labour? Or just laugh at you while they stick it to you?

          • uke

            The irony is that the first Labour government nationalised NZ radio stations in 1936-37, because the tory newspapers had so misrepresented their policies to the public. Labour brought in live broadcasts of parlimentary debates, so that the people could hear what was actually being said. Public broadcasting became a way to bring some balance to political discourse.
            The Labour Party most certainly forgot this lesson in the 1980s and we are now rueing the consequences. One would hope they consider restoring some integrity to NZ public broadcasting when they return to power.

  2. Afewknowthetruth 2

    9 out of 10, if not 99 out every 100, New Zealanders is clueless when it come to the fundamentals of economics or the handling of the economy.

    That is why National is able to maintain the pretence that things are ‘not too bad’.

    We are on the same slipperly slope as Greece, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Britain, the US etc. It’s just that we haven’t slid as far down it just yet.

    Larry Chin summeed up the current US situation nicely:

    The grotesque political carnival gripping Washington is being referred to as a “debt crisis”. But the debt and the looming default of the United States are merely symptoms of the wider calamity that remains deliberately unaddressed.

    This is a global collapse: the death and controlled demolition of a global capital system built on petroleum, political corruption, institutionalized fraud, the manufactured “war on terrorism”, the wholesale looting of taxpayer funds, and the imminent destruction of state social programs and civil society.

    This collapse is thoroughly detailed by the prescient Mike Ruppert in his book Crossing the Rubicon, the book Collapse: The Crisis of Energy and Money in a Post Peak Oil World, and the film Collapse. His web site Collapsenet continues to report on events as they happen.

    World collapse is also fully explained, from a different perspective, in the book The Global Economic Crisis, edited by Michel Chossudovsky and Andrew Gavin Marshall.

    Chossudovksy writes:

    “We are not dealing with a narrow defined economic crisis or recession. The global financial architecture sustains strategic and national security objectives. In turn, the US-NATO military agenda serves to endorse powerful business elite which relentlessly overshadows and undermines the functions of civilian government….The meltdown of financial markets in 2008-2009 was the result of institutionalized fraud and financial manipulation. The “bank bailouts” were implemented on the instructions of Wall Street, leading to the largest transfer of money wealth in recorded history, while simultaneously creating an insurmountable public debt.”

    Today’s elite global criminal enterprise finds Washington’s political players—led by the devious corporate appeaser Barack Obama, and the neofascist right-wing Republicans and Tea Party—enthusiastically sharing a common vision of destruction. It is delusional to think these criminals are “racing” to save anything (besides their own rear ends). They are merely scrambling over the best method of securing even more power and wealth for their corporate puppet masters; arguing over the fastest, most effective way to eliminate social programs. And how to exploit the propaganda to their advantage, ahead of elections.

    As pointed out by Patrick Martin, the “debate” over default ceilings and government spending cuts is a fraud. He notes that “the Democratic administration and the congressional Republicans are using an orchestrated crisis over the raising of the federal debt ceiling to create the conditions for an unprecedented attack on the living standards and social rights of working people”.

    And, as Richard Heinberg points out in his latest book, [economic] growth is over. You cannot have economic growth on a declining energy and resource base.

    The clowns in National and the clowns in Labour may be able to keep up the pretence that they know what they are doing for another year or two. Or it could all come crashing down over the next few months. Nobody knows.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Voters prefer Labour policy but not party: Poll

    Voters prefer Labour’s remedy for the economy over National’s, according to the latest Herald-DigiPoll survey – but they still don’t like the doctor.

    Now, that has just got to show just how irrational people are. Like the policies but won’t vote for them.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Actually its not irrational, its very human.

      Similar to liking the handiwork your plumber does, but being very clear that he is not the type you would invite back into your home socially.

      Worth examining further, this one.

      • Ari 3.1.1

        Indeed. I think what labour needs to be researching right now is why people don’t trust the messenger if they like the message. Some of it is obviously the marketing success of the National Party, but I think there’s probably also negative views of the last Labour government that might need to be addressed, too.

        • aerobubble

          That’s easy, news media proto fascist guests. That’s why people don’t trust Labour, its a social hedge. If the proto fascism perpetuated by so many talking heads on the TV actually ganed real power voters would regret being seen supporting the ‘left’. NZ is deeply conservative, cheap and weak livered. Sure when if comes to charity and being seen ‘helping’ then kiwis are great, but you have to remember that most people live in petrol suburbs designed to keep public dissent to a minimum, people seperated, communities hard to form, social cohesion to a minimum so markets could rip good highly capable people out of their comfortable family and communities and take them off to the big smoke and growth profits, yeah hah!

          The right will not engage in constructive policy making, it has the answers, answer, free market. And its bollocks since the free market doesn’t have a master, so the market is a much left wing as it is right wing depends on the market needs. The market needs consumers to have sufficient funds in their wallets, so the market wants more socialism in government. When the market has another glut of cheap energy it will want parasite rightwingers to be shafting good government our of the way and growing profits at all possible haste. Nuff said.

      • ak 3.1.2

        Onnit Vipe. Or a bit like a steady provincial plumbing firm up against a national franchise with flash vans and deluges of weekly junk-mail, TV ads etc boasting flashy “specials” and savings (north of $50! Buy now!)

        Only one way for poor old Goff&King Cistern Systems to compete with Lovertories-R-us’ massive advertising budget: simple, clear flyers in every letterbox pointing out the failures and broken promises of the flash harries, and emphasising the long and proud history of the local firm (and the distribution network’s right there in the membership list. Hard slog on the ground, Winnie, Hone, Mining and the Lenslide showed how it can be done)

        “They never paid out on the $50 special”

        “They’re stealing your own drains and selling them off to their mates”

        “Their work has always cost you more”

        “They’ve put your kids into debt to pay for their gold taps”

        “The systems they designed overseas are clogging up and collapsing”

        “100 years of proud, sound workmanship and more money in your pocket”


    • Blue 3.2

      Before the last election I vividly recall seeing a woman responding to a vox pop saying that times were tough and that if it wasn’t for Working For Families there would be a lot of people who couldn’t make ends meet.

      Despite that, she was planning to vote for National.

      A lot of voters don’t seem to get the fundamental point that if they want Labour policy, they have to actually vote for Labour.

      • Anne 3.2.1

        After Labour’s announcement of the CGT policy a ChCh woman in her thirties (prob) was interviewed. She said she thought it was a good idea and she was all for it etc. etc. When asked who she would be voting for she said “National”.

    • I think Draco it also reflects a timing issue. At least things are getting better! Eighteen months Labour could not get anyone to listen. Now they are listening with respect and agreeing and starting to think. But they are not yet ready to change their vote which is essentially an admission that they were wrong. It will happen though.

      • Herodotus 3.3.1

        Perhaps it was the issue of here is labours platform, then we had the financial crisis and we were presented as a solution a mini budget yet with no details just for the voter to base labours response on faith. Faith ran out, that was part of the reason national was so strongly supported at labours cost.

  4. Labour may as well run under the “This one’s about trust” slogan again, because that’s the problem. People might like the ideas Labour is coming up with but they don’t want the party back in government. The party still has that air about them that they think they did nothing wrong in government and it’s all just a great big misunderstanding caused by the media.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Better to trust the party which explicitly promised not to raise GST and mess with KiwiSaver? And then went ahead and did so?

      How about John Key saying he knew nothing about the new BMW limos – except that he signed off on them?

      Trust huh. Its what it is all about.

      • Philoff 4.1.1

        But John Key is so nice! He’s just like us: sometimes he makes mistakes. Helen blamed her mistakes on everyone else. See the contrast?

        People think Key is humble and nice; Labour suffers under the results of Helen going from popular and competent to Helengrad. They still haven’t managed to shake that off.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Helen blamed her mistakes on everyone else.

          No she didn’t and Jonkey and Nactional blame all their mistakes on the last Labour led government.

          • Philoff

            Yes, National and John Key do blame the previous Labour govt for everything – but at a personal level they come across as owning their mistakes, which Kiwis like.

            Can you find me a single example of Helen Clark admitting she made a mistake or saying sorry for anything, apart from election night 2008?

            • Draco T Bastard

              but at a personal level they come across as owning their mistakes,

              No they don’t. They lie about them.

            • Colonial Viper

              John Key never owns up to a mistake or FUBAR incident; it always gets left to Brownlee, Joyce and English to front up to the music while he himself ducks away and hides, protecting his nice image.

              Surprisingly effective strategy so far I must say.

              Its like NZers don’t have an attention span any more. And unless the situation for most NZers gets worse than that present in the eastern suburbs of Christchurch, it doesn’t seem like people will fight to get rid of National.

              • Philoff

                Key seems to have a very good eye for when he should take the rap and when he needs to pass it off to someone else, yes, which means he can come across as owning his mistakes and so can the others. It won’t be until well into the second term until people get sick of it, but they will.

                It’s not about reality, but about how people perceive them, unfortunately. Worse, it seems to be much more about whether people like someone than actual rubber-meets-road policy and real effects on real people!

                Labour cannot hope to win unless something happens that fundamentally undermines Key’s image as a nice guy who people would like to have a bbq with. At some point in the second or third term (yes, the prospects of that are chilling) the electorate will turn against Key, suddenly deciding he is a vacuous rich prick without a moral backbone, who says blue is his favourite colour one day and yellow the next.

            • r0b

              Can you find me a single example of Helen Clark admitting she made a mistake or saying sorry for anything, apart from election night 2008?

              It still astounds me how selective people’s memories are.  Yes, I can find more than one, for example: “Helen Clark apologised to the Bush Administration last month for offending the US in saying it would not have invaded Iraq if Al Gore had been President”…

              • Philoff

                Look, I don’t have a political bias against Labour – I am died in the wool Labour. My memory is not being selective because I want it to confirm my bias.

                The search you link to brings up her apologies to Samoa, Vietnam vets, Chinese, Homosexuals, et al, – it’s all the same apologies on behalf of NZ to groups for past behaviours. That is quite different for what I am talking about.

                The apology to Bush was damage-control after a diplomatic blunder – she was essentially forced into it. Even if I concede that it is a meaningful personal apology, that is still only ONE.

                Can you tell me of one instance (apart from after 2008 election) where Clark said, “I stuffed up” or the equivalent?

                I clearly remember Helen Clark being asked if she had made any mistakes in office in the 2008 election campaign and her saying no. Labour’s public image is one of a Party that doesn’t think it made any mistakes in office, but thinks the voters will realise their mistakes sooner or later and vote them in again.

                • Colonial Viper

                  You’re a dyed in the wool astroturfer is what you are.

                • felix

                  Whereas John Key happily admits his weakness is… chocolate.

                  There’s your humble ordinary PM.

                  • richard

                    His real weakness is hubris – never heard him admit it though.

                    • felix

                      Now that you mention it…

                      For all Philoff’s earnest protestation above, I can’t recall ever hearing John Key take ownership of a mistake and apologise.


                • r0b

                  Even if I concede that it is a meaningful personal apology, that is still only ONE.  Can you tell me of one instance (apart from after 2008 election) where Clark said, “I stuffed up” or the equivalent?

                  Ho Hum

                  Prime Minister Helen Clark has admitted that she mislead parliament but says it was not intentional. Clark denied any recollection of endorsing references to spiritual and cultural landscapes in a resource management amendment bill. But the Opposition is crying foul because her apology to Parliament fell outside the televised question time.



  5. Bill 5

    It’s not Ireland. It’s not Portugal. It’s not Greece. It’s not Italy, etc, etc, etc.

    And as Helen Clark counselled us voters during the last campaign “You don’t change horses in mid-stream.”

  6. tc 6

    It’s not mid stream on nov 26, it’s the right time to dump the hollow men, the business interests and bankers behind them and set a course for a more equitable NZ.

    The damage wrecked will already take years to correct, you only get one shot at raising a kid, building up public transport had momentum under labour, now deliberately losing traction under Joyce and as for the UFB the industry is appalled at the con job, not to mention the huge sums of money all the other players threw away as they knew what was on the cards once the hollow men took power.

    Games changed but not for the party of the elite and privileged

  7. felix 7

    People don’t like to admit they’ve made a poor choice, especially if doing so would be admitting they were fooled into it.

    I reckon there’s a fair few people who voted for Key – or for “north of $50” and “time for a change” – who regret it but aren’t about to admit they were taken for a ride.

    • Herodotus 7.1

      Well Felix what were the alternative available options? A mini budget but no details : that to me states either there was no plan or that labour had a plan but this would have meant going back on promised tax cuts that the voter would not have accepted.

  8. lollercaust 8

    Boggled? that the public dares to know better than left wing commentators? I’m boggled that the poll didn’t ask the respondents who the best looking mp’s are.

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