Drifting

Written By: - Date published: 7:49 am, June 10th, 2011 - 27 comments
Categories: budget 2010, budget 2011, economy, leadership, national - Tags:

This country feels like it is adrift. Wandering without direction. Leaderless.

It’s coming up more and more often in the media now – almost continuously since the do-nothing budget in fact. Just yesterday in The Herald for example, Nat cheerleader Fran O’Sullivan was bemoaning the lack of leadership:

The John Key Government’s own growth strategy is a case in point. For example, the shambles over the mining strategy and the failure to put some ballast under the PM’s financial services hub project. Until recently, NZTE has been a relative shambles … the list goes on.

It’s unfathomable that a private sector operator like Key doesn’t put a few more skilled ministers alongside Steven Joyce and Tony Ryall to form a speed team to get major change bedded down.

After three years of economic crises, endlessly debating is no longer an option.

Bernard Hickey was chiding both the government and the Reserve Bank:

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand did nothing today, as expected.

It did nothing to stop New Zealand’s slide in relative poverty.

It did nothing to turn around New Zealand’s woeful export performance of the last decade. …

The Reserve Bank did nothing today even though it knows inaction on its part and the government’s part will mean our gross national income per capita will keep sliding.

It’s time someone did something.

An NZPA piece was pointing out that the Nats’ budget predictions for job growth are simply made up numbers:

The Ministry of Economic Development has not done any analysis of where the 170,000 new jobs promised in the budget will come from.

Acting Economic Development Minister David Carter told the commerce select committee today he was not aware that any analysis had been done.

“Bear in mind the Government hasn’t said it will create the 170,000 new jobs – the budget said there will be 170,000 jobs,” he said.

Bear in mind that the 2010 budget said there will be 170,000 new jobs too, and that didn’t happen. Pressed further Carter said that the “booming private sector” and “food processing” could create the jobs, but as I/S points out these sectors currently about 12,000, and less than 200,000 people respectively, so they’re not suddenly going to have room for 170,000 more.

Meanwhile, with all that going on, or should I say not going on, what are the Nats actually doing? How are they spending the expensive and valuable resource of government?

A bill aimed at changing the nasty habits of some freedom campers passed its first reading in Parliament today.

What’ya reckon, will that fix the economy? No, me neither. The Nats haven’t got a clue how to run a successful country, and most of the things they do try just make matters worse. Three wasted years. We’re drifting…

27 comments on “Drifting”

  1. tc 1

    Drifting ! More like sinking slowly under the many ideologically driven measures that have helped send skills and capital offshore in search of an environment committed to growth and a fair deal for all.

    Remember the campaign billboard in 08 on stopping the Oz migration…..they don’t have the balls nor ability to even get us going in the right direction as that’d mean upsetting their backers.

    • Jim Nald 1.1

      Ahhh … heard about National’s new old campaign song?

      It’s heavily borrowed from a good ol’ Kiwi favourite.

      But delivered by a bunch of vocally challenged frontbench MPs ambitiously trying to be Spit Enz.

      And the song title is: Three Years in a LeaKey Boat

      p.s. another photo-op for John, our universally liked vanilla man .. and he’ll be doing a Milli Vanilli (lip-sync)

  2. Aye drifting and sinking at the same time.
     
    The latest crisis is the rising dollar.  Daily announcements of redundancies and manufacturing industry closures are not coincidental.
     
    And the Government response is …
     
    I get the feeling they prefer worshiping the “invisible hand of the market” because this is an excuse for them to do f all …

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Well the rising dollar is being engineered by the Govt. That’s what excessive borrowing does, as well as signalling major asset sales causing hot foreign cash to rush into our little wee country.

      Its economic sabotage.

  3. Red Rosa 3

    Drifting when and where it suits them!

    Recall the ECan overnight sacking, the continual use of urgency to ram through legislation, the instant response to Warner Bros……

    When it comes to getting wages down, and looking after their mates, the course is ‘steady as she goes’.

  4. Craig Glen Eden 4

    What makes me laugh is the Journo’s the likes of Young and Armstrong have only just woken up. Before this last budget which action and direction wise is the same as the previous Nat Budgets they were championing John Key (smile and wave what a guy ra ra, look look John Keys over their).

    Im glad that they are finally starting to report on some substance but what took them so bloody long, did they get to the bottom of the bottle?

  5. The Voice of Reason 5

    It was really great to see John Key and his team at the Hillside workshops and then later at Yarrows in Taranaki to offer their solidarity and support to the workers losing their jobs under his watch. His kind words, personal modesty and his positive plan for the future were just what the soon to be unemployed workers wanted to hear. Well done, John, well done National!
     
    Oh, wait, that didn’t happen, did it? I guess there’s some photo ops Clueless prefers to avoid.

  6. Jason 6

    Inaction in combination with myopic thinking – a recipe for disaster. The short term thinking is best illustrated by the Kiwirail jobs that Joyce is wiping out by “encouraging Kiwirail to make sensible commercial decisions”. MAYBE some oppressed underpaid Chinese workers can produce rolling stock more cheaply, BUT THE LONGER TERM BENEFIT of investing OUR MONEY into OUR WORKERS and subsequently the local economy will ultimately produce far better results for NZ.
    It doesn’t matter these witless baboons lack vision because they lack the guts to implement one even if they had it.
    Advice for Steven Joyce – go play on one of your highways.

  7. ianmac 7

    Lack of direction and leadership? True. But doesn’t any fuss incentivise the Nacts to get stuck in with radical employment reforms, Welfare reforms, Public Service cuts etc? I can see the master plan being produced at a strategic time perhaps camouflaged by the RWC, and delivered as a rush to the Election and thus the MANDATE will be delivered.

    • ZeeBop 7.1

      National can’t do what is necessary, because what is necessary has not be done for the last thirty years. National, the media, spared the rod on the business financial sector. When business came a calling, National and Labour both said what do you need, never what are you going to give up in return. So National has to look harsher and harder, not sparing the rod on everyone but middle NZ, and it worked if you didn’t notice the growing debt problem, the efficiencies, the lost opportunity, the deportation of skills. Now the world is in crisis, a crisis that will plague us until oil runs out, National and Labour are faced finally with the crunching sound of middle NZ on the march, hurt and angry. National, soft from so many years of opposition and shallow hollowness, that it caves to the world economic illiterates again, more assets sales.

      Its a matter of time now before we all revolt and say enough stupid is enough.

  8. vto 8

    I don’t know if they are completely adrift. Sure, they are in the bigger picture of wider NZ, but in certain areas they have had a plan and have implemented it with brute force (all as quietly as poss though of course).

    One example, is irrigation in Canterbury. Their plan was to get it going, environment be damned. So they aimed the howitzer and let loose, first by getting a horribly conflicted and dishonest Wyatt Creech to write a bullshit report allowing Key and Smith to fire Canterbury’s elected representatives at Ecan and appoint their own stooges. Then later allocating $35million for the irrigation supporters to bolster and establish their business plans (wish I could get that for my business. ha). And suggest that the govt will in fact fund the actual business. (talk about trying to pick winners, which they always said was not possible (Anderton)).

    Another example is the fisheries industry. Subtly and quietly they have opened the gates to mussel farming on the public estate, increased the tuna take, allowed slave labour in our workplaces at sea, etc etc etc. And today paua takes to be expanded (to get rid of the poaching problem no less, ffs). The fisheries industry has had the howitzer aimed at it.

    So, generally they drift, but when it comes to their own pet interests they have had accurate plans and have implemented them with ruthless efficiency and brute force.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      /agreed

      Everything that they have done has been in support of lowering wages and boosting profits. The latter often done by the simple expedient of giving taxpayer money over to the private sector.

  9. Yeah this drifting thesis is taking them at the word, saying what they think we want to hear, but inevitably failing to deliver. Its like the Mafia calling itself a family. And if you don’t believe them that’s your problem. That’s because the NACTs have no intention of delivering to us only them. When they fail to deliver to us its not their fault but Labours, recession and underclass. Yeah the examples of Ecan, ChCh, urgency, bailouts, FTAA etc etc give away their game. They are managing what they can control which is their end of the contract to US, Aussie and China. http://redrave.blogspot.com/2011/06/may-day-statement.html

    • bbfloyd 9.1

      so it’s really a case of”be afraid, be very afraid” when it comes to a second term for the corporate party?

  10. Richard 10

    This quote from Fran O’Sullivan:

    It’s unfathomable that a private sector operator like Key doesn’t put a few more skilled ministers alongside Steven Joyce and Tony Ryall…

    Is pure comedy gold.

    Does Fran know who the other National MPs are?

    • bbfloyd 10.1

      the article reads like a wish list(wish we had real talent in the caucus). the one you write when you can’t find anything good to point up about your own side.

    • Bunji 10.2

      Yeah, Steven Joyce to join the “speed team” – have you seen how long it’s taken him to get a broadband package together? Then it almost all fell apart at the last minute and we’ve ended up underwriting Telecom for some more corporate welfare…

  11. I’m sure our PM will come up with some brilliant ideas when Roger Moore the US ambassador and Bilderberg attendee 2000 and totally clued in NWO insider will get his orders from the current attendees.
    Moore privatisation, moore cuts, moore invasion of privacy and less for all but for the few very rich who will get moore!

  12. NickC 12

    I’m sure some readers here have seen the ‘fight of the century’ video, a mock rap battle between between great economists Keynes and Hayek produced by http://econstories.tv/.

    When asked by Keynes whether he had a plan, or just wanted to do nothing, Hayek had this to say:

    I don’t want to do nothing, there’s plenty to do
    The question I ponder is who plans for whom?
    Do I plan for myself or leave it to you?
    I want plans by the many, not by the few.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Yeah thats a delightful little video.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.2

      I not only want plans by the many I also want society to work which it invariably doesn’t if you leave it to the “free-market” and capitalists. IMO, Keynes was a capitalist and his theory was a means to protect capitalism from itself.

  13. Jenny 13


    Should New Zealand be in the lead in setting global examples in fighting Climate Change and constraining the Financial Bubble economy that led to the Financial Collapse?

    In previous posts I have asked, can New Zealand’s leadership change the world?

    The truth is we can and we have.

    In the 1890s we were the first in the world to introduce universal suffrage.

    In the 1930s with the world’s first comprehensive Welfare State.

    In the 1980s as the world’s first Nuclear Free State.

    Eventually other nations followed our example, (often after several decades)

    Now with the latest news out of Japan, and Germany and America are that these major leading developed countries are to phase out civilian nuclear power generation. Proving again that New Zealand was right to take the lead 24 years ago.

    Despite being a small country at the edge of the world, New Zealand has always punched well away above our weight on the world stage.

    But our global reputation as an international trend setter,and political innovator is being trampled as we turn to timidly follow the global herd.

    David Lange once famously said that financiers are like reef fish.

    Now that the country is being run by a government of financiers we get to witness how true that is.

    Conservative financial policy shapers both outside and inside the ruling National Government have used the excuse that on World scale, halting New Zealand’s Green House Gas emissions would hardly be a fraction of the world total, as an excuse to do nothing.

    This accepted wisdom may look like the safe option. But this follow the flock view, tramples our history. The result is policy making that is short sighted, self centered and reactive, and just like reef fish, explains this government’s pointlessly darting about, or drifting with the current.

    We need a government that is not frightened to take the lead. The global example that we can set, could be truly world changing, This is what the that the Nats. are betraying with their unimaginative policy direction.

    • ZeeBop 13.1

      Peak oil, of the three, climate change, financial debts is the most serious.
      We are not going to stop climate change, we will however stop pushing
      the climate into meltdown, when oil hits $200 a barrel and everyone
      across the N.Hemisphere is eating home made tofu.
      The financial crisis is just the markets single that its out of touch with demand.
      Government globally are trying hard to keep the future calls on wealth
      on track but really its a waste of paper.
      We can either,
      i.) globally raise oil prices to push out the day they are depleted, which
      means the private automobile is dead,
      ii.) go for broke with tar sands and hope climate change isn’t too destructive,
      The right does not believe in government, so i.) is impossible since
      the MSM is controlled by the right wing.

  14. HC 14

    How can a Prime Minister of this coutry actually truly “lead” it anywhere, when he has his second home based in Hawaii?

    He also stated that he does not like to be a party leader in opposition, so if he will not win the election with National, then he will resign and possibly head to his sunny holiday home there.

    Don Key is not sufficiently committed to NZ and this country’s future. He made his money in forex dealings and is nothing but an opportunist that has realised his childhood dream of becoming Prime Minister.

    His photo op ambitions and constant contradictions and lack of integrity and principles prove this.

    National and of course particularly ACT believe in “laissez faire” economic and social policies, and the plans to push 100,000 off the benefit are a core political goal and election policy.

    There is no plan to put in place constructive and effective economic policies for the longer term, except enabling farmers, forest owners, fishing companies and vineyards to produce more of the same.

    No value added production, too little investment in science and development and free trade agreements that tend to favour the other parties are the recipes that they present us.

    We have had decades of this and hardly progressed.

    So we are continuing to drift further down the polluted river to the falls at the end of it. Then we will crash and become another basket case that needs to be bailed out by the IMF, which will force us to sell more state assets, land and whatever else there is to pay off the largely private debt mountain.

    Welfare reforms will see to it that more mentally ill will end up on the streets, that more will be forced into lowly paid work, that competition for jobs will increase, that addiction, crime and prostitution will become high growth industries for the future.

    That other side of the ditch is at the same time becoming more and more attractive a destination for tens of thousands of people that can afford to move there.

  15. Jenny 15


    Here is the sort of world changing initiative that New Zealand could implement.

    If we are serious about fighting Climate Change we need to lobby government as only kiwis can.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Fighting climate change is not a marketable goal though. Counting PPM of methane, CO2 etc, it’s far too abstract. Plus no one can measure how successful the effort against climate change is going in a timeframe meaningful to a politician or a member of the public. And a large enough proportion of New Zealanders think it is bunk anyway.

      Reducing our total fossil fuel and energy consumption by 50% within 10 years while doubling the carbon held in our forests and our lands.

      Now that gets the imagination going and focusses minds.

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