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Everything is a lie

Written By: - Date published: 7:16 am, February 24th, 2011 - 158 comments
Categories: benefits, welfare - Tags:

guest post – QoT

There’s a hard truth to NZ politics at the moment. It’s not one people like to think about, it’s not one people readily accept, and it’s not one that gives Labour/the Left any actual tools to dismantle the shitty state we’re in. But it helps to be reminded every now and then:

Everything NACT does is a lie.

No, seriously, everything.

The topical example of the day is the Welfare Working Group report, with its vicious, predictable, you-could’ve-paid-Danyl-Mclauchlan-a-lot-less-to-write-it-as-satire recommendations, including forcing some women to look for work when their youngest child is 14 weeks old.

This is bullshit, the blogs cry. The Smiler is quick at hand to (predictably) rule out the most extreme measures. But even the more moderate measures won’t work! We complain. This is no way to get people off benefits! You need job creation, not forcing drug addicts to starve, that’s only going to make things worse!

We are too charitable.

We assume, as does the media (even the good ones) and as do the general public, that the leaders of the Left and Right in this country are just approaching the same issues from different perspectives. They just have different ideas, different theories about human nature and economics, but they’re still looking at the same situation and aiming for the same results.

NACT are not aiming for the same results. Everything is a lie.

I hear the objections already. I just want you to think: which is the more likely scenario, Occam’s Razor-styles?

That our Government is run by people who cannot see that tax cuts don’t stimulate the economy, who do not understand that there are no jobs, who will not acknowledge that being “tough on crime” and simultaneously starving/victimizing the most deprived people in the country are not going to make our society safer …
Or that they just don’t care, and everything is a lie.

Thus we see the entire existence of the Welfare Working Group is a lie. It’s not about people, or liveable incomes, or hope, or dependency, or jobs. It’s all a sideshow, because to people like Key and English and Brownlee and Hide it doesn’t matter what they implement, how or if it’s going to work. The goal is power, the goal is scapegoating beneficiaries (for now), the goal is getting you to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain while he’s stripping your assets for lolly money.

This is the NACT modus operandi: do the bare minimum to keep the economy going. Throw out Crosby/Textor lines to persuade the voting public – a public sadly not entirely made up of people with enough time/energy/interest to argue this shit on blogs – that Scapegoat of The Day is the source of all their problems (beneficiaries, Maori, Greens) without actually doing anything. Pillage everything in sight. Once unelected or bored of juvenile tussles in the House, fuck off in your spaceship to Hawaii and let everything end in fire.

And we are fucked. Because if the comments on this post don’t contain at least one person accusing me of jealousy, of tall poppy syndrome, of conspiracy or paranoia … well, I’ll wonder where all the good trolls have gone. But that is exactly the argument that will be made, and when the kinds of people the Left has to convince in 2011 are exactly those people most susceptible to C/T spin and cheerful Smiler soundbites, and when the truth you’re trying to convince them of is really fucking unpalatable … proper fucked.

QoT hates pina coladas and despises dancing in the rain but nevertheless invites fans, trolls and incoherent spambots to visit her lair at Ideologically Impure.

158 comments on “Everything is a lie ”

  1. Rob 1

    An interesting perspective on it. I am not sure I totally agree that it is entirely a lie to strip assets there probably is some principled stance of wanting less state intervention even if that comes at the expense of peoples lives but they don’t want to say that. Your post was unfortunately ruined for me though by constantly thinking “the cake is a lie.”

    • QoT 1.1

      Ha, that was a key reference point for that phrase.

      Thing is, look at the bailouts of their mates (South Canterbury Finance) and not of vital services (IHC). There’s no principled “the market will decide” ethic in play when the banks are in need of backup funding for their bonuses, and there’s no recognition that the market itself is the reason the financial crisis happened.

      • Rob 1.1.1

        Which is why I don’t totally agree. Their ideology is flawed because they do still want to help out their mates whilst in government so they will do state intervention for purposes like that. However the other social changes they make like Welfare aren’t necessarily just sideshows they may have some principle behind them. I would say for Welfare a lot of them genuinely believe people should not be entitled to government support if they aren’t able to find a job.

        • Cnr Joe

          Rob – “I would say for Welfare a lot of them genuinely believe people should not be entitled to government support if they aren’t able to find a job”.
          Chilling thought mate. The job they can’t find that isn’t there. Proves QoT’s points entirely.

        • Richard McGrath

          Rob, I agree that no government should be able to intervene in the economy to help its ‘mates’. Nor for any other social engineering purpose.

          Like you I believe people that lose their jobs would be appropriate recipients of welfare – but of a private nature, for example through income protection insurance, or through membership of friendly societies, or via recourse to private welfare agencies that target the recipients much more thoroughly than the state welfare system.

          That\’s got to be morally better than having the government asset-strip other New Zealanders to raise the funds needed.

          • Zorr

            What about the people who can’t afford that insurance? Whose only recourse is relying on the government?

            If it is known that every 20 years or so there is an economic bust then where do they set the premiums? How do we ensure that they are charging the correct level of premium and that there is no collusion? Even if we do regulate (how very un-Libertarian though) how do we prevent rotating door employment issues?

            There is a reason the US is in so much shit, and it is because of morons like you proposing that the markets are better at delivering “social good” than the democratically elected officials.

            • Colonial Viper

              Zorr, the easiest thing to do would be for insurance companies to have annual renewals on their cover, and if a big crash occurs, to not renew the policy at the first opportunity.

            • Richard McGrath

              Income protection insurance can be set at any level you like and so doesn’t have to be unaffordable (if it was, insurance companies wouldn’t get much business, would they?).

              If you think insurance companies are colluding, then regulation is hardly going to change that. If you’re not happy with your private insurer, choose another. At least it’s not a govt monopoly with no alternative if you’re dissatisfied (just look at ACC, for example).

              So you’re saying that “democratically elected officials” have more knowledge, skill and experience than private businesses and charities? How does that relate to the credit boom and inflation caused by the American central bank together with the risky loans to deadbeats made by the govt-owned lending agencies, which caused most of the economic problems in the US?

              • Zorr

                uh… the US Reserve didn’t cause the financial crisis and if you are going to stand and try and make that point when all the evidence points to Goldman-Sachs, Merril-Lynch, BoA and the New York Federal Reserve (which is not actually a government organisation) then it isn’t worth having that discussion.

                I am not saying that democratically elected officials necessarily have more knowledge, skill or experience but their priorities are different to private business. I would hope that the an elected official prioritizes the needs of their constituents whereas the employee/operator of a private business is, usually by necessity, prioritizing profit. It doesn’t make them “Bad People TM” but it does mean that they are prioritizing the wrong objective when attempting to provide a solution.

              • LoveWitchYo

                Many low income people cannot afford car, contents or house insurance and then you want to add income insurance we will just have more poverty. How do you support school leavers or recent graduates who are struggling to get their first job so no previous income to have paid income insurance with.
                Whenever I do my budget and see how much of my low income goes to insurance companies I ache for that money to help me cover food, ever neglected dental care, currently overdue car rego and other car expenses so I can get to my part time work while I am dealing with health issues. I still get letters from WINZ to talk about getting into work even though I am working and claiming a very minimal portion of sickness. I like how they send the letters out a day before and so I miss their appointment because the letter arrives a day or two later

          • Colonial Viper

            That\’s got to be morally better than having the government asset-strip other New Zealanders to raise the funds needed.

            Why give more profits to the private insurers? Why not use that profit margin for NZ’ers? Why not just increase taxation instead of asset stripping?

            It ridiculous to avoid one type of privatisation by using another form of privatisation. Pretty soon there will still be nothing left.

            • Richard McGrath

              Er… taxation IS asset stripping.

              • Zorr

                Stripping your assets to pay for all those roads, sewage systems, water mains, electricity networks and all that other infrastructure…

                Bloody Romans…

              • KJT

                No. It is just getting you to pay something for societies resources you use.

                However like most RWNJ’s who do not like taxation you probably pay a lot less than your share.

                Any one who still thinks private insurance works better should look at the mess that is the American private medical insurance system.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Nor for any other social engineering purpose.

            Actually, the government’s job is social-engineering. Making the resources available for the infrastructure we need and want, setting up rules so that the psychopaths can’t come along and rip people off and then claim that it was legal and setting a direction so that we become a better community. All of that is the governments job and it’s all social-engineering.

  2. stever 2

    Good post.

    It chimes with me with a book written by Ted Honderich many years ago, He’s a philosopher and the book, “Conservatism”, tried to with painstaking (if not excruciating) care, paring away the layers and giving arguments and references all the way (like a good philosopher should), to see what the core beliefs of a conservative are. And he came to the conclusion that they have just one principle—selfishness.

    Now, he is not saying that only conservatives are selfish—clearly, everyone is selfish. In particular, all left wingers are selfish (I certainly am). What he is saying is that, while everyone is selfish, the point about conservatives is that selfishness is their unique political and philosophical motivation. It’s their ideology, if you like. It’s what defines them (at least politically).

    So, everyone is selfish, but conservatives have selfishness as their single political principle.

    • Locus 2.1

      Thanks for a nice summary of Ted Honderich’s book. I’ll go and look for a copy. Seems to me – though probably covered by Honderich – that most right wingers also believe that whatever you have you have, you have earned through your cleverness/hard work/choices etc, and that if you don’t have wealth it’s because you are either lazy or not clever like they are. Which is why they can’t abide the idea that some of their tax (assuming their accountant hasn’t managed to reduce their tax to zero), might actually go towards education/health/housing etc of people who have made bad choices or who haven’t worked as hard as them. Ah… now I get it … right back to Honderich’s conclusion.

      • M 2.1.1

        ‘that most right wingers also believe that whatever you have you have, you have earned through your cleverness/hard work/choices etc, and that if you don’t have wealth it’s because you are either lazy or not clever like they are.’

        Locus, to that I would add also that they’d never admit to their advantages being creamed off the backs of others through minimum wages being paid so their bank accounts are fattened and owning rental properties which close off home ownership for others especially if accompanied by a housing boom. Their tenants then often have to pay outrageous rents for places that are run down – you’d never catch THEM living in the places they rent out.

        It’s all very well if you’ve had every advantage/lucky breaks and a good, albeit, cunning brain but those in such fortunate circumstances would never admit to it because it’s all been by the sweat of their collective brows – yeah, right.

        Anti-spam: aware, you’ve got to be kidding me

  3. On ya QoT.

    National is an uneasy coalition of hard right who think the world is better if them and their mates are enriched and who cares about the consequences and the batshit crazy who have this rabid hatred of anyone who is different so that they can preserve their ill placed feelings of superiority.

    It is a toxic combination. Add to this an indignant hatred of the collective and new ideas and intellectuals and you get a regime that will make Anne Tolley Minister of Education and Paula Bennett Minister of Social Development without even being embarrassed about it.

    Crosby Textor did a great job last time. They made National look a bit like Labour lite. They had people of diverse ethnic backgrounds and used rhetoric which was gentle and uplifting.

    The wheels have started to fall off. Their ethnic candidates such as Melissa Lee and Kanwal Singh Bakshi have been shown to be, how do I put this, strange. And the Crosby Textor veneer is starting to peel away. The hard rabid right core is beginning to show.

    The problem is that good old kiwi habit of wanting to give everyone a fair go. Labour had three goes at the bat, why should National only get one?

    This is why all good lefties need to get active from now. Talk to your neighbours, join your progressive movement no matter what colour it is and get involved.

    Your country depends on it.

    • Pete 3.1

      That is a lie. I’m sure you have convinced yourself of your own lies, and are probably unaware of it, but it’s nonsense.

      New Zealand survived three terms under Labour, will survive this term and probably the next under National, and will survive under they next government (under Labour if it pulls itself out of the past enough to challenge seriously again).

      Most people can see this as a lie because they see that each government (imperfectly) manages without destroying everything, and they see that the “us or hell” proponents are just lying to themselves.

      • mickysavage 3.1.1

        Hmmm a response devoid of analysis that says that I have lied by saying that National will destroy everything when I said no such thing. And no comments on whether things are better or worse. And a suggestion that both parties are the same when with the slightest bit of background knowledge no matter what your beliefs are you would agree that they are different.

        • Pete

          I was referring to “Your country depends on it.” And talking of “devoid of analysis” all you have done is make assumptions or accusations that are incorrect (unknown if it’s lying).

          I didn’t suggest anything like both parties are the same. It’s obvious they are not. For a start they have different sorts of dipsticks on their fringes.

          Our country doesn’t depend on you getting into power. I think most people know that.

          • mickysavage

            I was referring to “Your country depends on it.”

            No you weren’t or if you were then you did not say that. You said

            Most people can see this as a lie because they see that each government (imperfectly) manages without destroying everything

            There is a difference between a country being damaged and a country being destroyed. I was referring to the former, you incorrectly said I was saying the latter.

            You also accused me of lying.

            Can I politely accuse you of being confused.

            • Pete

              I’ll rephrase. You said:

              This is why all good lefties need to get active from now. Talk to your neighbours, join your progressive movement no matter what colour it is and get involved.

              Your country depends on it.

              If you really believe that you are lying to yourself. Your political future may depend on it, but the country doesn’t depend on it.

              • Feck Pete

                How about at least arguing the merits and at the same time get a dictionary.

                You accused me of lying, this involves the intentional saying of something that is not true. But you now accuse me of lying to myself if I really believe something is true. I thought I would be lying if I said something that I really believed was not true. Perhaps you would like to retract and apologise.

                Please also answer what I said. Trolls tend to focus on something and jump up and down about it and ignore what else has been said.

                Can you give us on your opinion on the following matters?

                1. National favours the rich.
                2. Some members of the National party do not like people of other ethnic backgrounds and lifestyles.
                3. National do not like new ideas or intellectuals.
                4. Anne Tolley and Paula Bennett are appallingly bad ministers.
                5. Crosby Textor did a good job last election.
                6. National looked and sounded like Labour last election.
                7. Lee and Bakshi have not turned out to be very good MPs.
                8. Kiwis like giving everyone a fair go.
                9. I believe the country will be further damaged if National is returned to power.

                Go ahead, knock yourself out.

                • Pete

                  I think you might be revealing more about yourself than anything here.

                  1. Statement far to general and simplistic.
                  2. Probably, as is likely in any group of people, but unless you can give specifics it’s a meaningless discussion.
                  3. Also too simple and general to discuss.
                  4. Overstated. Tolley has managed some things poorly. I’m prepared to see how Bennett develops, see if she learns from her mistakes.
                  5. I don’t know and don’t care what job if any they did. The voters delivered an inevitable result because Labour hadn’t done a good enough job to deserve returning to power. If you want to flail around looking for blame you could as easily blame Labour’s failures, and whoever was behind them.
                  6. Not to me. National were cautious, didn’t want to frighten people off, and voters accepted that. Key came across well and seemed like worth a shot. Labour looked jaded and had faded especially in their last term.
                  7. Don’t know much about the nitty gritty of their efforts, on the surface Lee stuffed up a bit. Don’t know about Bakshi.
                  8. In general yes. Like giving the government of the day a fair go?
                  9. I think Labour look weaker than National at the moment – too many has-beens, thin on exciting new talent.

                  • Pete you are a troll.

                    Look at your answers. You claim to know nothing about Lee and Bakshi but then claim that labour has too many has beens, suggesting that you know something about their MPs and their performance.

                    You say that my claim that the Nats favour the rich is “simplistic” but if you had the most rudimentary understanding of the tax changes you would agree with this.

                    You then claim to have sufficiently detailed knowledge to understand Tolley’s and Bennett’s performance but then do not know about Crosby Textor’s performance.

                    You are a troll. You imply that you are moderate and balanced but all you are doing is taking the piss.

                    You might also apologise for saying I lied when clearly you thought I did not.

                    And I do honestly believe you are a troll.

                    [lprent: Hasn’t triggered my instincts yet. Reads a bit like a concern troll, but lots of people do that when they first start commenting here. ]

                    • big bruv

                      Goodness me Micky!

                      You just got hammered by a ‘troll’.

                      Clearly you are not stupid Micky (although a life long devotion to the corrupt Labour party would suggest otherwise) but when you have to revert to calling somebody a troll then you have lost the debate.

                      Is it that inconceivable to you that others might not share your desperation to control other peoples lives?, is it impossible for you to grasp that others believe that our society does not need or want big government and their big taxes and wasteful spending?

                    • Pete

                      That’s a bit weak trying the troll put down isn’t it? I’ve been called a lot worse by righties.

                      I didn’t claim to know nothing about Lee. I know nothing about Bakshi (which is what I said).

                      I’ve heard Crosby Textor mentioned a bit, usually seems like attempted smears, but I have no knowledge of what actual part they played in the election, if any. Can you provide details?

                      I’m not trying to take the piss. I’m trying to add something honest to the discussions here. If you just want to act precious when questioned about your sweeping generalisations then maybe that’s not what you want here. But it’s not all about you.

                      I presume you think you are talking on behalf Labour followers, if not on behalf of Labour. If you want to appeal to the left fringe (is that the audience you try to impress here?) then you might do ok. If you want Labour to appeal to moderate swing voters, you know, the five or ten percent they need, then I think you are a way off the mark. Too many extremes, whether deliberate lies or distortions or not, simply aren’t credible. That reflects on Labour’s credibility. And that is reflected in the polls.

                      [lprent: to clarify how it works. We don’t like flamewars that come from troll killing discussions or anything else. It limits what people will do onsite to counter trolls because flame starting annoys us. They highlight and wait for moderators to notice and make a decision. Our decisions tend to either just ignore as part of the background bickering, maybe warn, or just over-react to give an educational experience. Basically it is up to commentators not to attract our attention while we are in moderator mode. ]

                    • Pete if you profess to have no knowledge of Crosby Textor then you have not been following any sort of political debate for the past few years but clearly you have.

                      I do not wish to provide “details”. This seems to be a tactic of yours when you are on weak ground to ask for “details” so that the merits cannot be debated.

                      You are not adding to the honesty of the debate. Your professed lack of knowledge in certain key areas is a giveaway.

                      I am not talking on behalf of anyone but myself.

                      You started off this discussion by calling me a liar. I am calling you on tactics which clearly suggest to me that you do not want to debate, you are only interested in trying to sabotage what is an interesting post.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      If you want Labour to appeal to moderate swing voters, you know, the five or ten percent they need, then I think you are a way off the mark. Too many extremes, whether deliberate lies or distortions or not, simply aren’t credible. That reflects on Labour’s credibility. And that is reflected in the polls.

                      Gotta love it when Righties try and give Labour political advice. My advice to you: go buy a new BMW fleet and ask the PM to imitate his concept of a queer on a catwalk.

                      Oh whoops, that was quick!

                      PS between Labour and Greens the left only need 9-10% more in total from where they stand today.

                    • Pete

                      I have not tried to sabotage “an interesting post”. In my opinion it’s a stupid point and I’ve questioned it.

                      The main thrust of the original post was Everything NACT does is a lie. That’s a ridiculous assertion and obviously unverifiable. It is simply a blanket diss that is so far over the top most people will just roll their eyes at it – and probably at any legitimate accusations of lying if anyone from National or Act have been found to have lied. Crying wolf far too often starts to sound like whimpering weasels.

                      Then MS offered:
                      – National is an uneasy coalition of hard right who think the world is better if them and their mates are enriched and who cares about the consequences
                      – the batshit crazy who have this rabid hatred of anyone who is different so that they can preserve their ill placed feelings of superiority.
                      – an indignant hatred of the collective and new ideas and intellectuals

                      That is not just an extreme attack on National. It is an attack on the 50+% of people who prefer National over other parties at the moment. Labour has to attract back some of that 50+% if they want to get back into power.

                      If anyone who questions extreme abuse of a popular government and those who support it is labeled a troll and “warned off” that changes my assumption about what I thought The Standard might be good for. It appears not to want to encourage wider participation, and it appears not to want to help Labour appeal to a wider audience.

                      I know The Standard is a bunch of individuals, but it is widely perceived as the main mouthpiece for Labour in the blogosphere. Some topics are very good, interesting or thought provoking. Some topics do Labour and it’s ambitions a disservice (in my opinion).

                      I want to see a Labour Party revival, I want to see a stronger Labour movement, and when that happens I may well vote Labour again. But for that to happen wider Labour will have to become more realistic and inclusive – and ease off on the negative over the top bullshit and attempts to quash any questioning of that.

                    • lprent []

                      I know The Standard is a bunch of individuals, but it is widely perceived as the main mouthpiece for Labour in the blogosphere.

                      Red Alert is the closest to a Labour party presence. We are not – we are completely independent. In fact I frequently have to explain this to people in Labour after Irish scalds them or Marty does a paen to the greens.

                      Only idiots like Cameron or Clint really seem to think we are a mouthpiece of Labour but that is largely because both of them are deficient in an ability to perceive difference when they are outside their limited comfort zone. Tactically DPF finds it convenient. It appears that you are of that august company of Dickheads.

                      You appear to have missed that this was a Guest Post by Queen of Thorns. In other words not even by one of our authors, just by someone else out on the left.

                      Now for the warning. I got tired of that particular meme of branding us as being Labour a long time ago – it is only used by trolls to attack the site. I hve no tolerance for it. Use it here again and you will get a ban.

                    • Feck pete you are at it again.

                      That is not just an extreme attack on National. It is an attack on the 50+% of people who prefer National over other parties at the moment. Labour has to attract back some of that 50+% if they want to get back into power.

                      I was talking about the National Party not those who vote for National. Put to one side your estimate of support there are many decent kiwis who voted for National thinking they were going to get something similar to Labour, not what is happening now.

                      If anyone who questions extreme abuse of a popular government and those who support it is labeled a troll and “warned off” that changes my assumption about what I thought The Standard might be good for. It appears not to want to encourage wider participation, and it appears not to want to help Labour appeal to a wider audience.

                      Your comments were symptomatic of trolling.

                      ease off on the negative over the top bullshit and attempts to quash any questioning of that.

                      Now you are playing the victim card. This is your first sentence in your first comment:

                      That is a lie. I’m sure you have convinced yourself of your own lies, and are probably unaware of it, but it’s nonsense

                      I agree that there should be easing off on the negative over the top bullshit.

                    • Pete

                      I’ve already said I understand that the Standard is a bunch of individuals. But I have also suggested the perception of a fairly close association between The Standard individuals and Labour ambitions is much more widespread than a few “dickheads”.

                      I was aware this was a guest post. In the first paragraph:
                      “and it’s not one that gives Labour/the Left any actual tools to dismantle the shitty state we’re in.

                      That sounds sort of Labour related. Regular posters here applauded, and it seems that criticism is frowned on as trolling.

                      The closing paragraph:
                      when the kinds of people the Left has to convince in 2011 are exactly those people most susceptible to C/T spin and cheerful Smiler soundbites, and when the truth you’re trying to convince them of is really fucking unpalatable … proper fucked.

                      That sounds like it’s looking at the election, and about the Left (led by Labour presumably), and acknowledges a need to try and convince potential voters. I presume the post was an atempt to do that. I don’t think it will appeal to anyone outside the “we’re good, they’re bad” club. And I don’t think the labeling of any dissent as trolling with ban threats will do the right sort of voter convincing either.

                      [lprent: That topic has been routinely used to start idiotic discussions here by dickheads many many times. It is defined here as trolling because we have stated our position many times including in the about and to try to re-litigate it is implicitly saying that we are lying. After I read the first couple of hundred comments full of unsubstantiated bullshit on the topic I found it tiresome. I really don’t care how you raise the topic, you do so at your own risk.

                      Now I don’t threaten bans, I warn when people are likely to get one so they have an opportunity to modify their behavior. You appear not to understand the difference so you’re now banned for a week as an educational experience about why it pays to listen to the people moderating when they talk about your behavior. ]

                    • QoT

                      acknowledges a need to try and convince potential voters

                      So you selectively ignored all the bits about how this isn’t a message people want to hear and will have little success with the majority of disconnected voters?

                      And Gods forbid a political poster writing in an election year think that analysis of the current political atmosphere have a relevance to the election.

                      PS. You don’t have to be a Labour voter to think that we as a nation are fucked, mate.

      • Craig Glen Eden 3.1.2

        So your argument Pete is the people survive regardless of who is in power. Well ok but while,society may still be here contrary to what National believe and Mr Bennett said in Parliament a Governments role is to improve its peoples lot. Remember a Government is elected by the people for the people.

        If you look at just about every social and economical measure this country is going backwards due to this National Governments lack of management and poor policy.
        Key is moving the Nations assets to a small already rich few, how is that benefiting Mum and Dad survivor? Because far from what Mr Key believes many people are struggling to make ends meet and that number grows everyday.

        • Pete

          “Key is moving the Nations assets to a small already rich few, how is that benefiting Mum and Dad survivor?”

          That may not be a lie, but it is not backed up by any facts.

          “If you look at just about every social and economical measure this country is going backwards due to this National Governments lack of management and poor policy.”

          That statement is lacking in any factual backing too.

          Better or worse – very difficult to measure when taking chaning times and economic conditions into account.

          Who is responsible is also very difficult to measure, the effects of many policies last far longer than a single term or a single government. It could easily be claimed that the country is still affected by what the real Michael Joseph Savage did.

          • Colonial Viper

            “Key is moving the Nations assets to a small already rich few, how is that benefiting Mum and Dad survivor?”

            That may not be a lie, but it is not backed up by any facts.

            Dude, really? Not sure where you have been last 10 years or what you have been smoking. I’ll give you two words:

            Contact Energy

          • Craig Glen Eden

            Well Pete I haven’t given specifics because on this site what I have said has been backed up by post after post after post of analysis.

            But just two examples for you Pete, which if you disagree with me you prove otherwise.

            1 This Government is increasing unemployment by making public servants redundant.

            2 The median wage has decreased during this Governments watch.

            Go a head Pete knock your self out we are waiting to see just how bat shit crazy you are.

          • bbfloyd

            pete, you put a strong opinion forward. unfortunately, that’s all it is, just an opinion. as well as a shallow attempt to justify the current governments policies..

            you are still missing the point. this government, or at least the senior members of it, know how much damage is being done to society by their actions. if you want comfirmation, watch them in action in parlaiment. as has been pointed out, key is a different person from the “smile and wave” nice guy you see on tvnz’s syncophantic news broadcasts. they make no bones about how little they care about ordinary kiwis. they gleefully tel blatant lies to justify their stealing the peoples money, and livelyhoods.

            the blatant misuse of rules set up to bring honesty and accountability into the debating of laws is regularly abused. the rules do not cover a govt that has no interest in governing on principled policies. if they did, then we would not have had so much law passed under urgency, which has been their favored vehicle for bypassing the rules of fair play. if, in fact, this govt were an honest one, truly interested in governing for all, do you think that they would need the shroud of urgency to operate under? or do you think they would be happy to have the legislation passed under such strictures debated openly, with public, and interest groups informed and included in the consultation process?

            surely they would.. but this party doesn’t. and yes, the things govt does today have long term ramifications, but those ramifications can be good, or bad. at present we are looking down the barrel of some very bad long term ramifications. why is it so hard for you to see that? are you so emotionally tied to this govt’s propaganda that you can’t let go the old bigotries and falsehoods in order to see what is really happening? i asjk you to go and see for yourself, who these people who claim to be our rightful leaders really are..be prepared for disappointment. but be aware that no-one here will laugh at you for admitting you were wrong. it takes a real adult to do that.

          • Draco T Bastard

            That may not be a lie, but it is not backed up by any facts.

            NACT want to sell off state assets and if they do get sold they will end up being owned by the rich few so, it is backed up by the facts which means that you’re either stupid and denying reality or lying.

        • Cnr Joe

          As that ridiculous Nat backbenchwarmer David Bennet said in the house ‘the Govt is not here to make peoples lives better (sic)’,
          that is why the Right lie for if not that, then what is Govt for?

          • Pete

            Shouldn’t people strive to make their own lives better?

            The government may help, but it cannot make.

            • Rob

              Depends on the circumstance people are in. The government is able to save peoples lives by giving them assistance where they would be unable to provide it themselves. Taking the example of us having a comprehensive welfare state it is pretty easy to see that giving people the ability to have food and shelter where they could not have achieved it themselves is actually making their lives better not merely helping.

            • Cnr Joe

              yeah, but this Govt is actively making peoples lives worse, strive all you like but for godssake be rich, then they’ll help.

            • Colonial Viper

              Shouldn’t people strive to make their own lives better?

              The government may help, but it cannot make.

              Or it may not, I suppose. Depends on the least that Bill and John need to do to get elected I guess.

              • Pete

                Agreed, government can also interfere too much and stuff things up and make it harder for people to make their lives better. Not just the current government.

                • mcflock

                  And people can struggle and try with good honest intent but still make their own lives worse.

                  Govt can be bad, people can do themselves no favours, government can make lives better (e.g. conducting rescues), people can make their own or others’ lives better.

                  What’s your point?

            • QoT

              Your question presumes that some people don’t.

              [citation needed]

          • Dick Whyte

            Hey – do you have a reference for this quote? It’s not that I am doubting it, I just wanna be able to quote it with authority.

            What a telling statement.

  4. Very good post. It breaks my little modernist heart but it seems to me you’re arguing that it’s not just Brand Key that is a symbol symbolising nothing in the real world but the government’s whole damn agenda.

    I guess I’ve been getting to this idea myself but hadn’t managed to express it. I was just struck the other day when showing that wages haven’t really risen ten percent under National that there was no way a sane person could believe it was true – so, the nats weren’t really trying to describe the real world, nor did they rely expect anyone to believe them. It was ersatz government

    • QoT 4.1

      I think Brand Key is a part of the wider power-seeking agenda – the anti-intellectual hand in the fluffy non-threatening glove part.

  5. ianmac 5

    Marty: “I was just struck the other day when showing that wages haven’t really risen ten percent under National .”
    10% is certainly what they claimed. But it might have been counter-productive as many people would have looked at their money versus cost of living and thought, ” I am not better off it must have been the rich ones who are 10% better off or Key is lying. Bastards!”

  6. We are all part of the lie. Which is that we can keep growing or maintaining the statuesque while facing massive repercussions from climate change and peak oil.
    The fact is we are fast coming to the end of life as we know it. It wouldn’t matter if we had Mother Teresa morphed with Robert Kennedy as our leader and the house full of Buddhist monks.
    We are living in a culture of lies, everything is based on lies, just like Easter Island or any collapsed society/culture they all grew to big for the land base then fell over and died, and the same thing has happened to us, except we are free wheeling in our Wile E. Coyote moment, due to oil and other fast running out fossil energy.
    Alas our moment of truth is only moments away, the splat will make Christchurch look like an apertiser.
    We are all lying to ourselves …… especially on election day 🙂

  7. toad 7

    But even the more moderate measures won’t work! We complain. This is no way to get people off benefits! You need job creation, not forcing drug addicts to starve, that’s only going to make things worse!

    Getting people off benefits is not the real agenda of the WWG and NACT. Just look at the targets – 100,000 less people on benefits in 10 years. Well that’s a distinctly unambitious target. It is only slightly more than the increase in beneficiary numbers over the two years NACT have been running the show. That could easily be achieved in a much shorter timeframe by implementing policies that actually create jobs.

    The real agenda here is two-fold. Firstly, to appeal to the bigot vote by scapegoating benefriciaries for New Zealand’s economic woes. But more importantly, the agenda is wealth transfer – from the poor to NACT’s wealthy corporate backers. Forcing hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom have a marginal capacity to work anyway, into the labour force to compete for jobs that don’t exist is a sure-fire way of keeping wages low.

    • Pete 7.1

      Do you think that no effort should be made to assist and encourage people to move off welfare?

      But more importantly, the agenda is wealth transfer

      Have you any facts to back this up? Or are you either lying to us or lying to yourself?

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        Have you any facts to back this up?

        The tax cuts that went to the rich while tax increases (GST) went to the poor. So, yes, the facts back that up as well.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.2

        Pete I hope your masters are giving you more than minimum wage to do their bidding.

        As for wealth transfer – did you notice the PM getting $1000 p.w. in tax cuts? What did hundreds of thousands of minimum wage earners get instead…25c/hr.

        That’s what I call wealth transfer.

  8. Olwyn 8

    I agree with you QoT: as I have said before, they seem to see their task as remaining electable while delivering up the country to their mates, without requiring any serious obligations of the latter, some of whom probably have more clout than a government anyway. Since it is hard to persuade anyone that this is a good idea – “vote for me so I can screw you over and deliver the proceeds to my rich mates” – they rely instead on calculated impressions, like the butterfly shadows kids make with their hands, or more succinctly, lies.

    This is where they differ from the conservatives of old: those guys could cast themselves as the backbone of the economy and say, if you don’t look after us, no one gets looked after. Certainly, it wasn’t always true, NZ was often a place to make money so you could go back to England a rank or two higher, but many did stay and at the very least it was possible to make a case for that position. But these guys do not want to be the backbone of anything, they just want stuff, and more stuff, and no obstacles to getting that stuff. There is no making a case for this kind of behaviour, so instead they provide us with a puppet show, and pick our pockets while we argue over whether or not Mr Punch has a clue.

  9. lprent 9

    Inviting spambots – coherent or incoherent – are you MAD!

    But the rest of the post, whilst over egged, is accurate in it’s description of the general NAct strategy in my opinion. Commission extremists to write extreme reports. Repudiate the most extremist bits and state that you will implement a radical program of the remainder and a really short legislative period to do so. Determine the keel of opposition that forms. Adjust if it looks like it’d make John Keys personal polling drop. Never bother to actually discuss implications of the proposed changes.

    • QoT 9.1

      Inviting spambots – coherent or incoherent – are you MAD!

      Well some of the ones that try to flatter you in hilarious Babelfish speak are quite amusing …

  10. Adrian 10

    There is another subtle theft going on. The recievers of SCF are pressuring good businesses that have borrowed from SCF for the money back even though THEY HAVE NOT MISSED A REPAYMENT. The Goverment (read English) wants the 1.6billion back and it is strangling and forcing the sale of said businesses for knock down prices. I have no evidence that the SCF recievers have themselves bought or are about to buy any of these affected operations but I do know that in the wine industry there are quite a few companies owned privately by principals of recievership companies. I only know about the wine industry, what about other industries? Were they bought legitamately ?. Generally the startup wine companies are owned by young winemakers and grapegrowers and this is another example of assets being stolen and transferred to the wealthy elite. Bastards!

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      This is the old trick of using paper debt and foreclosure documents to acquire property and other hard assets at bottom basement prices.

    • Olwyn 10.2

      I have heard grumblings and rumblings of this type of thing – of farmers having their mortgages foreclosed by banks having not missed a payment because the bank has deemed them over-leveraged. Does anyone know more about this?

      • arandar 10.2.1

        I heard the same thing from a rural insurance agent very worried about some of his clients. Banks were demanding reduced budgets after lending to buy and over-draft on the very same budgets and were raising interest rates on clients who were already sailing close to the wind. While not foreclosing, there were farms going quietly onto the market under pressure from their bankers despite their books looking as good or better than when they’d been financed into the business.

        • Draco T Bastard

          All of this seems to indicate that we need some sort of political inquiry into these things.

          • Colonial Viper

            The farmers involved could always go to their mate, the local National MP, and get it straightened out.

            • Arandar

              The agent also said rural suicides were up (or farm ‘accidents’ if you like) and that’s not something anyone’s talking about either. Oh, and it was dairy farmers he was talking about in case anyone thinks it was the poor hillcountry sheep and beef farmers. Dairy farmers who’d been allowed/encouraged to borrow and were now too deep in debt for their bankers liking… kept quiet and under the radar to keep property values up, I suppose. God knows we wouldn’t want to scare off the overseas investors skimming off the cream. We saw exactly the same thing in farming and small provincial businesses in the ’90s and we’re seeing it again anecdotedly.

  11. marsman 11

    Right on QoT. ‘The Hollow Men’ forewarned us of the capacity for nastiness of NAct, they lied to get into power and haven’t stopped lying. They are a bunch of lying thieving morons.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      Although some of the people who support NACT are morons the people at the top controlling them aren’t. Those people are intelligent psychopaths.

  12. B 12

    Yup you have it right Qot great post. Although I think there are some in National who are genuinely well-meaning -just deluded and/or a bit thick (eg paula bennett).

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Paula Bennett is not “well meaning”.

      • B 12.1.1

        I honestly think she is – just not very intelligent….her reasoning seems to be shes been a beneficiary and got a great job by working hard (obviously shes ignoring the major role a strong economy, support from her family and luck have played in that) so now she thinks every beneficiary can have an amazing life if they too get a job…

        • Draco T Bastard

          She also took away the support that she used while on a benefit to get the job she has now…

          Pulls ladder up behind her…

          Nope, not well meaning.

  13. ZeeBop 13

    Of course everything National say is a lie. Its a shit in shit out moment. The economics of oil have changed, National unwillingness to accept that makes their assumptions false. Cheap oil allowed the balloon to bulge and grow, turning thousands of unprofitable activities into investment and profitable ones, even parts of government. This is obvious to any engineer, or business person, even housewives understand this, that when money is coming in then they can afford more, have different behaviour, even ideals for the future. But this is where National make their horrendous mistake, they get we have to cut back but think the market will rebound, that economics as normal will resurface. But its clear that even the rules of the economy have changed, in expanding times tax cuts did feed investment money to start ups, nolonger because what start up will spend big. Organic growth is now the way for businesses to grow, not lavish spectaculars IPOs. So why has National an inability to understand? Well its easy they all think they are business experts and in the last thirty years it looked like they were! But it was just cheap oil that made anyone with networks wealthy, yes even dumb politicians.
    National have a clear case of hubris – they just can’t admit they were all dumb sh*t for the last thirty years, their success was not their own making, it was cheap oil and cheap credit.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      in expanding times tax cuts did feed investment money to start ups,

      Nope, even in expanding times tax cuts fed more money into consumption. It was only government spending that allowed economies to grow. Cut taxes and the government spending that they support and the economy shrinks unless that same spending is transferred to the people through debt which is what happened from the 1970s under neo-liberalism.

  14. What do you expect when capitalism is a lie.
    It doesnt create equal individuals who fail because they choose to fail.
    It is based on one class exploiting another and calling it civilisation.
    Wake up!

    • Pete 14.1

      Capitalism is certainly far from perfect, but alongside some socialism it’s proven to work much better than communism, which is a failed experiment.

      It’s not possible to make everyone equal, even if it was an vaguely attainable goal.

      • bbfloyd 14.1.1

        that’s a stupid thing to say pete. you have done nothing more than prove your ignorance of reality, and susceptibility to right wing propaganda. it is the failure of capitalism that has brought the world to the point of collapse.

        read your histories. the basic tenets that capitalism works from have created a limited approach,and have a finite lifespan. growth, growth, growth. where is the unlimited space to grow into? we seek it here, we seek it there. but it is nowhere to be seen. is it all gone?

        without “growth”, capitalism is dead. and so are we if we don’t wise up.

        try to understand the difference between socialism and totalitarianism, if you can, because totalitarianism, whether left wing, or right wing, is an abberation. could you call chile under the pinoche regime a shining example of capitalism at work? they were supported by powerful capitalist nations, yet proved to be as brutal, and unsuccessful as most left wing totalitarian regimes. is that an excuse to say that capitalism, or socialism is unworkable?

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.2

        Commun1sm has not yet been tried and so it cannot have failed.

        It’s not possible to make everyone equal,

        Actually, it is. The problem is the psychopaths who will always think of themselves as more deserving and that everyone should pay them for being so.

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.3

        Ever heard of that highly profitably communally owned enterprise, Pete? What was it called again…Fonterra? Something like that.

        • Pete

          Isn’t Fonterra owned and controlled by farmers? Business people? Something like that.

          I’m not against community ownership – of some things. The argument is what balance of private versus public ownership will serve us best. Fringe righties claim everything should be private enterprise based. Fringe lefties want far more government ownership and control than is good for us. I’d go for picking what is the fairest and most efficient. Fonterra is an interesting hybrid of communal/private.

  15. freedom 15

    Recent lies include the public statements referring to the WWG report which states very clearly the plan to shift the abatement rate. At present any extra income is taxed at a secondary tax rate up to $100, then a further 70c in the dollar is recovered. The WWG want to change this to 55c in the dollar and begin abatement at $20, (they do not mention that secondary tax will still be applied) down from the current $100 (which they have at $80 in their report)

    The report is full of innaccurate data that simply lies about one the most crucial and misunderstood aspects of Welfare, Secondary Tax Income. The data completely misrepresents the way abatement is structured and the suggested changes will make any beneficiary who is lucky enough to have part time work financially worse off, but it will increase the government tax take.

  16. M 16

    QoT, accurate description of our situation but it seems people just love being lied to, well those who never have a quiet moment to consider anything.

    If there are so many job opportunities why are there long queues at food banks?

    The other day I was out at a mall and the line of people trying to hock off their now surplus jewellery was massive. People must be doing it hard when they will sell their few trinkets for paltry sums (wealth transfer anyone?) probably just to make their rent or kids’ school fees and by the cut of some of the people some definitely looked to be upper middle class.

    Nice one Key, congratulations on dicking your fellow NZers.

  17. Benefit bashing – check
    Crosby Textor – check
    scapegoating beneficiaries – check
    over emotive generalisations – check

    Wow, all the hallmarks of yet another silly post on the Labour funded Stranded. I’d laugh but considering our country has far bigger worries than some cheap beatup post I think I’ll save it for happier days.

    [lprent: Look I can understand your frustration at the forthcoming demise of Act probably assisted by The Standard advertising itself in Epsom. But surely even someone as delusional as you must have noticed such overt things as the advertising on the site that now relieves me from paying for it myself. ]

    • Deb 17.1

      Yes, while the majority of the country have their shoulders to the wheel literally and metaphorically those who “care” more than the “Conservatives who sell everything to their mates” are busily spitting out their platitudes with the usual vitriol. It is patently absurd to make the emotive statement that ” Everything NACT does is a lie.” as much as it is inane to suggest that a comprehensive report can only contain ” vicious, predictable recommendations”.

      Like Clint I’d also laugh at what I feel is a typical thestandard post, if the timing wasn’t so atrocious

      • lprent 17.1.1

        There is no such thing as a “typical thestandard” post – there are too many authors for that to ever happen. But I guess you have to simplify everything to the point that you become capable of handling the facts.

        It is a guest post, so it’d be difficult for this to be ‘typical’ anyway. Guest posts are usually put in specifically because they have an opinion that is different to the authors with write rights.

        Why don’t you ask QoT about whatever you don’t like in her post?

      • felix 17.1.2

        It is patently absurd to make the emotive statement that ” Everything NACT does is a lie.”

        Got any examples to the contrary, Deb?

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.3

        Wow… the Standard is advertising in Epsom??? Any ways for your readers to support this campaign further???

        • lprent

          I’m arguing for it… Can’t think of a better place to expend our surplus. Will be good advertising for a political blog site as well.

      • QoT 17.1.4

        It’s kinda funny, Deb, but I noticed no such objections from you to the (also post-earthquake) post comparing the WWG’s report and eugenics, on which you commented several times under your other “Vicky32” handle.

        I’d hate to assume that you’re just basing your reactions on our previous conversations, so perhaps you could seriously engage with the topic and come up with an actual argument?

        Also I don’t think “platitudes” means what you think it means.

        [lprent: different ip, different geological location, different person. ]

        • felix

          Are you sure that’s the same Deb? Usually she keeps the same identicon thing whichever name she uses.

          • QoT

            May not be, in which case I stand corrected, however the style reads the same to me.

            • Carol

              Doesn’t seem to be the same person to me. VickyDeb is left wing, the Deb above looks like an unapologetic rightie to me.

              • QoT

                I disagree, Carol – the Deb above looks like someone who really has a bone to pick with me, and I can quite easily see VickyDeb using the timing of this post as a rod to try beating me with.

        • QoT

          I stand corrected, then. Come on people, get some individual handles!

    • Draco T Bastard 17.2

      I’m pretty sure that lying about the Standards’ funding is an instant ban. I also note that you don’t bring any facts to support anything you say – probably because there aren’t any. This would indicate that you’re lying.

      • lprent 17.2.1

        I think it is the first time I have seen it this year. Clint is still in a time warp in an era when Act was politically relevant and that myth was current. It is what happens eventually to many of our exported citizens – they lose touch with their home.

        We should take pity on him and hope that he becomes aware of his delusions enough to get help.

    • QoT 17.3

      Dude, I fucking WISH Labour funded this shit. You may have noticed the lack of commenting by moi throughout the day, indicating that I have to do an actual *job* 8.30-5 to pay the bills.

  18. good post well put. i don’t think the headline is an overstatement either.

    NACT’s default is to lie – their guiding ideology and stated intentions are lies after all, so it’s bound to be all down hill from there on. they were elected on a lie, and maintain popularity on the basis of lies.

    they only tell the truth when it’s unavoidably prudent to do so.

  19. Anne 19

    Had a minor contretemps with a hair dresser the other day. Intelligent but apolitical. She commented on Phil Goff’s lack of political presence – that’s what she meant anyway. I agreed his TV presence came across as wooden and unnatural but… “at least he doesn’t tell lies all the time like John Key.” That threw her, but don’t know whether she really took it in. Normally a Labour voter too but she’s been hoodwinked…

    • stever 19.1

      How’s this for a soundbite—–“If John Key didn’t lie all the time, he’d even more boring than Phil Goff”……oooer! perhaps not 🙂

    • big bruv 19.2


      Clearly you are wrong, she cannot be intelligent and a Labour voter.

      Perhaps she was not thrown by your stupid comment, perhaps she was standing there thinking what an idiot you are but because you are the customer she decided not to offend you.

      The fact is Anne that the public love Key, they trust him and so far he has not done anything to lose their trust.

      Unlike Labour….

    • Deb 19.3

      Ann – if this is all you’ve got in your casual about-town electioneering, I fear it may not work. Had you’d been chatting on here or talking to your core constituents, I am sure your opinion may have got the encouraging backslap you were after, but anyone with a modicum of discernment, (“apolitical” or not) may well be thinking that nothing much has changed over at Camp Rollaroundinthemud. Maybe she was thinking about the nice lady who loves John Key just in for the last blow wave AND who tipped her:) Maybe, while you were dismissing JK as the bloke who “tells lies all the time”, she was doing the Maths on Phil’s promises and was taking good stock on his long and much reported flip-flopping stance on scores of social and economic issues, not the least of which is the part much of his shadow cabinet played in State Asset sales.

      • Anne 19.3.1

        “Ann – if this is all you’ve got in your casual about-town electioneering, I fear it may not work. Had you’d been chatting on here or talking to your core constituents…”

        Oooh I say, that is flattering… so which MP am I supposed to be?

        It’s fun reading the confused fantasies of the likes of BB and Deb. I think they should emigrate to America and join the Tea Party?

  20. big bruv 20


    With each passing week you guys manage to sink lower and lower into the sewer.

    [this is trolling. make an argument as to why to you disagree with the post or get lost]

    • big bruv 20.1

      Not happy with the truth then?

      Lol…gotta love the Standard, the only place when telling the truth is classified as trolling.

      • Marty G 20.1.1

        if it’s the truth, it shouldn’t be hard for you to make a case for why it’s the truth.

      • bbfloyd 20.1.2

        BB, i have to admit, i am getting bored with having to point out to you that hypocricy is not a valid tool of proper debate. it is simply a form of abuse the way you are utilising it.and it simply reflects badly on your intelligence, and maturity. please try not to inflict it apon what is a generally intelligent debate.

  21. Truth and Reality

    nothing is perfect
    in the space where nothing exists
    will one find perfection
    the perfect nothing

    accept nothing as fact
    question everything
    determine your own truth
    define your own reality


  22. HC 22

    IT IS APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY – what they are doing, also called “brain washing”!

    Repeat a lie a thousand times, and it becomes true to the one who hears it again and again – against all reason!

    A lot of the commercialised media apply the same in various ways. And naturally that is also how advertising works.

    Hence best protection is to shut out those lies and take a hard look at black and white print and what is “detectable” between the lines!

    • Draco T Bastard 22.1

      Hence best protection is to shut out those lies and take a hard look at black and white print and what is “detectable” between the lines!


  23. Nick C 23

    I for one would like to send my wishes to Zetetic. Hard luck buddy: You no longer have the title of most paranoid, delusional, moronic poster on The Standard. In a close but clear decision it goes to QoT.

    [i’m not sure what makes you think you can come here and just launch personal abuse at writers. Take a week off. Marty]

    • Nick C 23.1

      Amoung other things I am refering to this: http://thestandard.org.nz/foreign-banks-buggering-nz/

    • Nick C do you have to abuse every time you post? If you take out the personal abuse the following represents a standard comment made by you:

      • Nick C 23.2.1

        Only the real nutters micky. Nutters like you actually.

        It’s a pity because there are actually some authors here who are worth reading; lprent and Marty for example, whos writings I do enjoy reading and discussing. And then you just ruin it with absolute crap like this. Theres not one substantive thing in this post that is even worth reading, let alone responding to. It’s just all the paranoid delusions from the left carelessly thrown togeather into one giant clusterfuck.

        • mickysavage

          Nick do you have to abuse every time you comment?

          Try it, go on, post something that is abuse free.

        • bbfloyd

          nick… maybe you should club together with twits like big bruv et al. between the lot of you, there may be the beginnings of a personality. in science fiction terms, it would be referred to as the “hive mind”. it would still be nasty, but you may be able to develop the self control required to debate at better than childhood level.

    • QoT 23.3

      Oh Marty, you banned him before I got my prize certificate! I am hurt.

  24. Tel 24

    All politicians are liars aren’t they? 😉 as I look at the burnt out charred remains of my 2 year old bullshit detector, my mind wanders to the things that concern me deeply about the current government: the total absence of empathy. At a time when people are reeling, grieving, dying, being painfully crushed to death over a period of days, listening to Key’s wooden public statements regarding Christchurch read directly off what sounded like failed first draft of a Whitehouse State of the Union Address, got me thinking Key simply has not a single jot of empathy in him, and that is really sad.

  25. Pete.Just wait until the West grovels for Communist oil .Why dont you join the Tea Party.

  26. Blondie 26

    Great post QoT. Sadly rings so true.

    Though like someone else said, I’m sure there’s a few National MPs who aren’t cut from the same cloth…. eg Nikki Kaye seems to be a bit more caring and liberal than some of her fellow members?

    Actually she doesn’t really fit in National at all, really. Besides having a heart, she’s also attractive.

    • bbfloyd 26.1

      beauty being in the eye of the beholder, i’ll have to take your word on nikki kaye blondie. she has shown a tendancy toward opportunism and blatant self promotion though, which is a trait that national encourages. she may well have too much heart and empathy to be a long term nat prospect. i bet the people in her electorate hope so.(as far as empathy and heart goes).

    • felix 26.2

      They tend to get weeded out before they rise to any position of real power though.

      If what you say about Nikki is true then the best case scenario for her career in the Nats is to keep her head down, speak when she’s spoken to, run errands when required, do as she’s told and quietly maintain a low profile.

      With a bit of luck she’ll be able to hide on the back benches undetected for a decade or two.

  27. Octavia 27

    “We are too charitable… We assume… They just have different ideas, different theories about human nature and economics, but they’re still looking at the same situation and aiming for the same results.”
    ^ Absolutely. Incisive as usual. They just don’t care, which is the particularly horrible bit. Hard to convince a person that their proposed changes to sickness benefits/the independent youth benefit/etc will just fuck things up more and hurt more marginalised people when they clearly don’t believe that those ‘lower’ than them are ‘real’ people (deserving of all those rights and human dignity and compassionate community support and other namby-pamby shit) in the first place. For this to be a good-faith discussion they would need a base level of care. And I don’t think John bad-food-parcel-choices Key has this (because really, there’s a point where someone keeps kicking you that you need to step back and say “Okay, it is becoming fairly clear to me that this smiling git actually hates me and probably isn’t interested in hugging it out”).
    And add in the presence as one of WWG’s advisors Peter class-placement-is-determined-by-inherited-genetic-potential-and-bootstraps Saunders and yeah, it’s fairly clear we’re proper fucked.

  28. bbfloyd 28

    i like your prose octavia… it helps that you are speaking my mind as well i suppose, but i couldn’t have put it better.

  29. Irascible 29

    This story from the USA has a familiar sound when we look at the actions of the Key led NACT govt in New Zealand.

    Big business demonstrably pulling the Governor’s strings as they conspire to flog off the state assets and reduce the tax take from the business sector.

  30. just saying 30


    I completely agree with you QoT, that the NACT leaders (and their backers) really don’t care. Our resources are being stripped right under our noses, and they know it, and the harm it will wreak is of no concern to them.

    However, I don’t believe that consevatives as a group don’t care. I found the above TED talk interesting and I’ve thought about it a lot since I watched it. One of the messages is that consevatives are very afraid of loss of order and are willing to sacrifice those that are different or vulnerable if they believe that order is under threat. But not necessarily because they don’t care.

    • Octavia 30.1

      “are willing to sacrifice those that are different or vulnerable if they believe that order is under threat”

      When it is your life and dignity as a human being that is sacrificed, semantics over whether that is based on really not caring or just fear don’t mean much. Intent doesn’t change the outcome, which is that those who are different or vulnerable are seriously hurt by those who are not. It’s cold comfort to their lived reality.

      • just saying 30.1.1

        Without question Octavia.

        I’m really most interested (particularly as a different and somewhat vulnerable individual myself) in understanding, and trying to find a way through. Classing all conservatives as uncaring is unhelpful to that end imo. What I’m trying to say is that there is caring that may be able to be appealed to, if the fear of disorder can be appeased somehow.

        Well, maybe not, but the fact is people are feeling threatened, and that can lead to hatred and cruelty in otherwise mainly good-hearted people. There are many real threats facing the world right now. How can we find a way through that maximises the best in people? I’m not sure there is a way frankly, and I’m not trying to excuse the behaviour believe me.

      • Colonial Viper 30.1.2

        Let’s remember that the “Loss of Order” we are talking about here represents their position in the pecking order vis a vis privilege and economic advantage.

        Class equality and financial egalitarianism are values espousing this very loss of (pecking) order.

        So they will oppose with the last breath, and with the last dollar that they have, these principles.

        • just saying

          Let’s remember that the “Loss of Order” we are talking about here represents their position in the pecking order vis a vis privilege and economic advantage

          Not necessarily in this case CV. Remember there are a lot of working class conservatives who vote against their best interests. I don’t think “aspiration” is the only reason.

      • RedLogix 30.1.3

        There is the old geek joke about there being 10 different types of people; those who understand binary and those who don’t. Dividing people into different types is always a fraught pastime…but I’m willing to go with this one… that at root here is two different ways of relating to other people.

        The advent of agriculture brought along with it the essential notion of property. And that innovation has proved a double-edged sword…for there has always been a segment of the human population who was seduced by this idea to the point that their property held a greater significance than the welfare of other people. For as agriculture allowed communities to grow beyond the scale of a clan or small village, the sense of anonymity that crowds permit, overtook their sense of the intimate and personal, muting the natural sense of conscience and shame that might have otherwise moderated their avaricious greed.

        • Afewknowthetruth

          The idea of owning things undoubtedly predates agriculture, but it was the adoption of agricutlre that really set humanity on the wrong path. That and using fossil fuels.

          Now that we are in gross overshoot in practically every way possible – population, land use, exploitation of natural resources, energy etc. there is only one way…. and that’s down.

          Oil is around $112 today, up 6% in a few days. The end of industrial society is clearly in sight for those who are not blind.

          Therefore, expect the lies to get bigger and more frequent from all political parties.

          • RedLogix

            Agreed the idea of property was probably not unknown to hunter-gatherer societies…but it was the advent of agriculture that made it important.

            Otherwise yes.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Prior to the advent of agriculture the land was “communal” – everybody used equally. Afterwards it became private and the “owners” used others to cultivate it. The ownership of the land then became power over others and this ownership model exists to this day in the form of capitalism.

              The ownership model we use has become too narrowly defined while encompassing everything. That which cannot be removed from the commons must always remain communally owned.

    • QoT 30.2

      consevatives are very afraid of loss of order

      But the thing I note, js, is that if they’re “willing to sacrifice” the poor et al to preserve their “order” then it’s only “order” for a very specific group of people: themselves, the wealthy and the elite. And bugger anyone else who suffers because as long as the rich as doing fine then “order” must be in place.

      • Octavia 30.2.1

        Ha, yup we’re always encouraged in general to think from the perspective of the Haves rather than the Have Nots, that being society’s slant. So stability for the Haves becomes general order, better lives for the Have Nots becomes disorder. Sigh.

        • just saying


          It’s not just the “haves” buying into this shit. There’s a very big fear amongst many of the “have-nots” that if the elite are not appeased chaos will ensue – that we are all dependent on the largesse of the elites for our very survival. The elites are by definition a minority of the population, and yet a huge number of people (maybe even a majority) appear to be ready to stomp all over those who are different or particularly vulnerable – most recently beneficiaries. And it’s apparent that our communities are fast going backwards in attitudes to women, people with disabilities, gay, bi and transgender communites, minority ethnicities, the poorest and other ‘others’.

          Yeah, we are truly fucked. I’m scared, and no amount of trying to understand is going to make a jot of difference.

  31. kultur 31

    I think we just need to keep repeating ….

    No jobs
    No growth in the economy
    Falling standards of living
    Rising cost of living
    A government who has no plan and needs natural disasters to take focus off their ineptitude and inability to govern – cynical I know – but nonetheless true
    A general public who are basically still nieve enough to swallow the lines being dished up
    A general public who are used to complacency and keep on practicing it
    Media who have an unhealthy obsession with performing metaphorical fellatio on John Key and his cronies

    It IS all a lie – and when all our real stuff – our land, our future, our hopes, our sovereignty, our assets are gone – people will wail and gnash their teeth and probably still believe Key and his cronies when they say “it was the global financial crisis”.

    And some of us will say – tough shit dumbfucks – you let it happen.

    Just a casually expressed opinion.

    • Afewknowthetruth 31.1

      Most things ‘official’ are quite Orwellian. If it’s unsustainable it’s called sustainable. If it’s basically filthy it’s called clean and green, If it’s moronic it’s called vibrant.

      Unfortunately most people are too ignorant and stupid to see past the lies.

      Hence they will vote for whoever promises ‘a better brighter future’ until it all collapses.

      (Collapse could be later this year the way things are looking).

  32. Jeremy H 32

    I think you suffer from jealousy, tall poppy syndrome, imagined conspiracy and paranoia…

    (you did say you expected at least one of us evil Capitalist pig-dogs to say it)…

    • QoT 32.1

      Yeah, but unfortunately your friends were a lot snappier and a lot less literal. Still, A+ for effort, I guess.

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