English to go over asset sales lie?

Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, July 11th, 2011 - 61 comments
Categories: bill english, privatisation - Tags:

Labour has been chipping away at National’s case for asset sales for months. The hole in the budget has been exposed, the ‘mum and dad investors’ myth has been quashed, the efficiency argument has been broken. Now, Bill English has been caught out lying to Parliament over advice that shares would go to foreign buyers. He’ll be forced to resign.

The case is pretty clear cut.

On Thursday, Trevor Mallard asked Bill English in Parliament:

Hon Trevor Mallard: What is the official advice that he has received on whether foreign investment would be essential to his plans for privatising assets?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: We have not received any advice that it is essential

Yet, English had received and read a report, which was released with the budget documents, that says:

“significant participation by foreign investors will be essential”

Open and shut. English misled Parliament. You cannot do that. It undermines our democracy if a minister can pervert the one opportunity to hold him to account by blatantly lying to Parliament and the public.

So, what needs to happen now? You might recall that John Key came to office promising higher standards than the previous Labour government. You might also remember that David Benson-Pope survived a lot of criticism but when he misled Parliament (and herself), Helen Clark sacked him. I think we should all expect that standard or better to be upheld in this case.

61 comments on “English to go over asset sales lie?”

  1. vto 1

    Get the bastard!

    And every single other politician who lies and deceives. Even if it gets the lot of them.

    We need a system that incentivises honesty. The current system clearly does not.

    • “We need a system that incentivises honesty. The current system clearly does not.”
      Agree with you VTO. The Capitalist system cannot incentivise honesty because that would mean using profits to reveals that profits are expropriated surplus-value.

    • Hennie van der Merwe 1.2

      We will have none left!

  2. johnm 2

    The Old Bill Shuffle has tripped himself up on this one! I can’t understand and never will why these morons want to sell off new Zealand to foreigners, it’s daylight robbery of the New Zealand people. And I can’t understand for the sake of venal tax cuts people vote for them and betray their own homeland to make us serfs in our own country! The NeoLiberal divide and rule propaganda has divided NZ into groups none of whom seem to feel we are all Kiwis a commonality rather than ACTnat’s attitude we are taxpayers and consumers only(And then much easier to control venally!),citizenship does not practically apply for them.

    • Rich 2.1

      Whereas having NZ assets in the hands of good-ol-keewees such as Allan Hubbard, the Crafars and the Talley family is just fine?

      • logie97 2.1.1

        FFS Rich have you just exposed some Good Ol’ Kiwis that we should be on the look out for? Think that just confirms further why the assets should not be sold – period!

      • Jonny 2.1.2

        F*kn A …. those people have ALL tried to do their best for their fellow NZ’rs and that is why a deceitful criminal system is stealing their properties

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      I can’t understand and never will…

      It’s because they see themselves as citizens of a global elite club more than they see themselves as citizens (and stewards) of New Zealand.

  3. Peter Martin 3

    ‘So, what needs to happen now? ‘

    Mallard will whine to the Speaker, who won’t find anything amiss.
    Business as usual…

  4. toad 4

    He should have been sacked over the Double Dipton accommodation expenses affair.  The fact that he survived that means he will probably survive this too.  Without English and Joyce pulling the strings, the shallowness of Key would be totally exposed.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      Agreed.

      He’ll just say “oops, I was wrong” and that’ll be the end of it.

    • mik e 4.2

      get borrowing bills name right double dipping dipstick from Dipton . The state owned energy companies that borrowing bill is going to flog off are returning 17.6% per annum profit to the govt so where is the income going to come from to replace that more borrowing and hoping enough people vote for them until they realize we ,ve been duped by the double dipper

  5. MikeG 5

    Slightly off-topic, but the part in the report that caught my eye was on page 4:
    “…and we consider the programme would be viable, but highly complex.” and
    “However, a range of issues would make the complexity of the programme substantial.”

    So according to National, it’s ok to sell off SOE’s in a mixed ownership model even though it is highly complex, but you couldn’t possibly introduce a CGT because it’s too complex to administer!

  6. Jim Nald 6

    This is tough.

    He has been such an asset as a national mascot for rorting that it would be such a pity for Key to temporarily forgo double standards and permanently dump double dipton.

    On the other hand, this is an opportunity for Key to bring one of his own into the office of the DPM.
    Brownlee has proved himself a paragon of incompetence and Power has a brighter future off National’s benches.

    Jobkiller Joyce would be perfect for DPM in training for PM.

    Key will not be able to believe his good fortune, thanks to this opportunity, to shift from blaming Labour for the past 9 years, to blaming Bill for the more recent past 2.5 years.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      “Jobkiller Joyce would be perfect for DPM in training for PM.”

      Everyone is expecting Joyce to be the next leader now that Power has stepped aside. I’ve seen it suggested here that English will be moved out of the finance portfolio due to poor performance (particularly over the last year or so) should National win the election. I guess with that mindset, it’s feasible Key could pull the trigger now and put Joyce in, but with Labour’s CGT policy imminent it’ll be batten-down-the-hatches for National and avoiding distractions like changing finance minister at the moment. But should this story get any legs, this could be a coup-de-grace for Labour.

      I guess the other problem that National have re: Labour’s CGT is that Key himself has stridently opposed it, so he couldn’t now take this opportunity to replace English as a way of flip-flopping while keeping himself distant. Such a change would vindicate Labour’s position anyway. Seems National are stuck in Lady MacBeth’s position – they just have to keep soldiering on against CGT, even if it leads to their eventual defeat.

      • Jim Nald 6.1.1

        Well … he can only lie so much, so long, to so many people. And then the truth catches up.

        • KJT 6.1.1.1

          You can fool some of the people some of the time……………………….

          • Zorr 6.1.1.1.1

            And all of the RWNJ morons all of the time… is that how the quote ends?

            • ropata 6.1.1.1.1.1

              unfortunately the RWNJs want to believe that money man Key will magically pull $$$$ out of his arse and make us all millionaires (except those unruly natives, they should get nothing)

              regretfully I must admit I was a Key supporter too. but the NACToids behaviour {asset sales, bashing benes, stupid roads, screwing over chch} has been a horrible reminder of tories’ true nature.

            • KJT 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Bob Altemeyers research on authoritarian, in America right wing, followers.

              http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

              ‘they thought the reasoning was sound because they agreed with the last statement. If the conclusion is right, they figure, then the reasoning must have been right. Or to put it another way, they don’t “get it” that the reasoning matters–especially on a reasoning test’.

              The book is actually rather funny at times. Anyone who has met people who believe implicitly that something is correct because they are correct, will recognise the type.

  7. Craig Glen Eden 7

    I will be very surprised if the MSM will even pick this up they arnt interested in the truth, hell if they were Keys bullshit would have been exposed a long time ago.No it will be turned around by the MSM and it will be Goff’s fault for allowing Mallard to ask the question” has Bill English lied to Parliament”.

    • peter 7.1

      The MSM in this country are about as much interested in the truth as Rupert Murdoch.

  8. Jim Nald 8

    7/11, New Zealand: The twin powers come down.

    The PM, thanks to his winning streak, can smile and wave goodbye, in one day, to two former leaders of his party and send them packing for political oblivion.

  9. sweetd 9

    ***
    Hon Trevor Mallard: What is the official advice that he has received on whether foreign investment would be essential to his plans for privatising assets?

    Hon BILL ENGLISH: We have not received any advice that it is essential

    Yet, English had received and read a report, which was released with the budget documents, that says:

    “significant participation by foreign investors will be essential”
    ***

    Seems like you are confusing two different points. One, has he recieved any essential advice? Two, what part of that advice is essential to achieving the desired outcome. Duck shoots and misses.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Ah, no:
      1.) He was asked if he received advice. He had as the Treasury report makes clear.
      2.) The advice said that foreign participation was essential to his plans for plans for state asset sales.

      Which is what Trevor asked about and to which Bill English lied.

    • Eddie 9.2

      please don’t comment when you’re stoned. Mallard’s question is on advice English received on whether foreign investment would be essential. English denied having received any. He had.

  10. ChrisH 10

    This would be a Grade A lead-the-news scandal in the UK or Australia. The reason is that the bit about foreign ownership being essential is the second of four “Key Points” on the first page of the report. The fourth point, by the way, says “Maintaining maximum flexibility will be critical…”. So the point has been made twice in four bullet points, more or less. Game set and match, either English is an idiot or a liar, no two ways about it. It’s not like this is buried in the fine print or anything. Jeez I hope Labour are on the ball about this and don’t let him get away with some mumbled apology.
    (PS this is non-searchable content attached to the searchable PDF in the link to the report. Readers have to look for it the old fashioned way.)

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Jeez I hope Labour are on the ball about this and don’t let him get away with some mumbled apology.

      Well, as Trevor Mallard has already taken it to the Speaker it’s the Speakers job to ensure Bill is removed from parliament. If that doesn’t happen then it’s because Lockwood would be covering for him.

  11. WTF? 11

    Keep screaming girls, no ones listening.

  12. Deadly_NZ 12

    Funny how this story disappeared off of the front page of Stuff very quickly , and did it even make the pages of the Granny Herald??

  13. tc 13

    Correct WTF those who get paid to report fairly, uphold democracy and follow due process aren’t listening……too busy looking after their personal interests rather then NZ’s.

    Control the message via ya mates in the media…..kaching all round.

  14. Murray 14

    The whining gets louder as Goff slides deeper into oblivion

    • Eddie 14.1

      I love rightwhingers who hate democracy and think we should all bend over to our rulers.

  15. Murray 15

    Fortunately most of us are mature enough to know that democracy is alive and well, and its not a matter of bending over to our rulers.
    Not like the left who appear to be engaged in some imaginary and futile class war.

    • KJT 15.1

      Democracy??

    • felix 15.2

      Your rulers are lying to you and you’re loving it you sap.

    • Eddie 15.3

      so, you don’t have a problem with the fact that your deputy prime minister lied in your parliament?

      • Gas Guzzler 15.3.1

        Oh please, Helen lied to the NZ public for more than 20 years about [deleted]

        [A drive-by attempting a thread-jack. I see your last vist here a month ago was moderated as well. Next time you attract attention you will earn a ban….RL]

        • ropata 15.3.1.1

          Who? What? Do you even care that the nations wealth, built up by the sweat of generations of Kiwis, is about to be hocked off by Money Man Key and his merry men?

        • KJT 15.3.1.2

          Her private life is none of anyones business.
          It did not affect her ability.

    • Colonial Viper 15.4

      Not like the left who appear to be engaged in some imaginary and futile class war.

      The Class War hasn’t been futile!

      The rich have successfully waged it and got even more wealthy and powerful!

      You see the news where workers get 1.5% pay rises and bosses get 23% pay rises? Perhaps you have a hard time telling real from imaginary, but thats a different kind of problem you have, not a political one 🙂

      • KJT 15.4.1

        “The class war is real. And my class, the rich class, are winning”. (Warren Buffet).

        • mik e 15.4.1.1

          True but eventually enough people are made poor by these policies and then they get tossed out

  16. freedom 16

    Lately, a number of comments supporting National’s actions have reminded me of a valid question I heard in a movie a few years ago

    It’s from the movie Seven, when Detective Mills is chatting to John Doe as they head out to the desert to discover the very final result of the killer’s agenda,

    So there’s John Doe, quietly riding in the back of the car,
    complacent smile and flacid eyes as Mills asks him;
    ” – when you are sitting there, masturbating in your own faeces do you ever go wow ‘ it is amazing just how insane I really am! ‘ “

  17. Deadly_NZ 17

    There is only one problem I have with this, and thats Mallard is involved. And unfortunately it seems that every ‘good’ thing that happens when Mallard is involved, just has the nasty habit of turning to shit. And the biggest question I have is why has it not been reported in the MSM??? Up for about 30 mins on stuff then gone. Looks like a clusterfuck by someone. And my big question is WHO?

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      Mallard’s a top hand mate. The reason he is always in the middle of emerging shitfights is because he takes the shit on that others rarely will. That to my mind is upside, not downside.

      As for the MSM, yeah they really give a damn about our democracy eh.

  18. freedom 18

    (please excuse the mild brain explosion above, I had to vent)

    but seriously Who would not agree that this is shaping up to be a perfect event for a concerted effort by those who believe in Democracy, to get information into the Public Domain. This issue is the core of the National Party Election platform and the media reaction is as much a part of the story as what was said by the Minister.

    For myself and a few friends we will use Social Networks, send out e-mails, use what printers we can get access to, talk to our neighbors, chat with people at the Bus Stop, in short use any and all forms of public address that are available. It goes without saying we will ignore Talk Radio. If we want this sorted we will have to tell people ourselves. Over and over again for the next four months.

    The facts in this exchange plainly show there is no place for third umpire skulduggery from the Speaker, The Minister of Finance was caught and bowled. he’s OUT !

  19. We need to hold politicians personally responsible. Privatisation is a scam. If you wish to see what happens if we allow it to continue please see the website http://www.getthepowerback.info.

    • BLiP 19.1

      Interesting site . . . love your work.

    • freedom 19.2

      Many people are being told about your story Simon. You have many supporters around the country who are trying very hard to get people aware of this story and hopefully force some interest from the media. If nothing else, the people belatedly discovering this story become more are aware of the actions of the Police.

      The Police do a difficult job and it is in general the laws they enforce i have a problem with except when you get situations like yours where individual officers act with apparent impunity and unwarranted vilolence.

      The Police use of violence in the video, especially the continuous assault with a baton upon a prone individual has no justification at all. This happens all too often in NZ, and has done for a very long time. One of my earliest recollections of such an event was during the Springbok tour. One of my brothers got rolled in a march. After being thrown onto the ground he had a cop on each limb as another sat on his chest. My brother got done for resisting arrest. … he tried to move his head out from under the boot of the Policeman stomping his face.

      Kia kaha Simon from an Aotearoa Grassroots Truth Movement supporter

  20. DavidW 20

    Hate to rain on the parade guys but you had better get the brollies out.

    The key word in Trevor’s question was “privatisation” and that was also his mistake. The government, by insisting that the sales will be for less than 50% of the assets to be floated, can claim that they have no “privatisation programme”
    He hits, ………. its in the air, ……… aaaah……………. dropped on the boundary!!!!

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      Did you notice how English didn’t deny that he had plans for privatising the assets?

      Indeed English’s response showed that he did have privatisation plans!

      Hmmmmm looks like the ref is going to allow the catch haha 🙂

    • Carol 20.2

      The word was privatising and this is a verb that designates a process of shifting publicly owned assets to private organisations. It doesn’t need to involve an end goal of shifting all of an asset totally into private ownership, but indicates a shift in that direction.

  21. randal 21

    when Czheckoslovakia privatised they gave everyone a grant to buy shares and structured the corporate documents to stop buyouts of small investors.
    why cant we do that here?

    • ropata 21.1

      why should we? state assets are owned by everybody. any change of ownership reduces our sovereignty and makes no economic or social sense.

    • mik e 21.2

      Cos we already own them and they are performing well so all we are doing is handing them from alot of owners to few and and the rest of us will have to pay more for our electricity .

      • Colonial Viper 21.2.1

        I’d do what Randal says as long as the Government prints the $7B in grants which are given to each citizen equally to buy the shares.

        And then over the next 10 years, the Government buys back all of those shares by printing a further $7B.

        In the mean time, each citizen earns a direct income from their shareholding.

        (Deal is obviously structured so that only the Government can buy the shares)

  22. Paul Carruthers 22

    I think Bill English should be subjected to a media trail, lasting approximately 12 months or more. I think it should start with the announcement to the whole of New Zealand of what the outcome of that trial will be, before we start the investigation. I think we should invite everyone who could possibly make money out of his assets to go into a frenzy, speculating on their worth, and drumming up the sale process in the media. In the meantime, we should do an audit of his assets and worth. We should use the same valuers and auditors Bill used on SCF – that way we can be reasonably assured that we will get his assets for less than 50% of their worth. Once we have managed to convince New Zealand that Bill is in fact a crook (well……at least those people who won’t ALREADY believe that by the time we have annihilated him with the media trial) – let’s hang him out to dry in public. Then we can declare him insolvent, and therefore unable to afford a lawyer. Once we have successfully achieved that, lets have a national public debate in the newspapers, about whether we should extend the bugger any compassion in the form of legal aid to defend himself with. You know……defend himself against the charges we said we would find him guilty on when we started our “investigation”. If we are REALLY smart though, we will make sure his assets are sold and that he has no way to defend himself, so that we can rely on our friends in the media to convince New Zealanders for us that Bill really shouldn’t be entitled to any justice.

  23. Paul Carruthers 23

    Re the above post: “hang him out to dry” is a figurative term, meaning “put on public display and accused endlessly with the same phrases until they become urban legends and are accepted by the general population because the media keeps portraying the accusations against him as facts”.

    On reflection, I think I might be being a bit unkind to Bill suggesting we do things like that.

    What I suggested in my previous post was actually very cruel, vindictive and unnecessary – and I really can’t imagine why anyone would want to treat Bill that way.

    I really can’t imagine why Bill would want to treat anyone else that way either.

    It would be a profound breach of their rights under the Bill of Rights for a start, and we can’t have that now, can we?

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