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Fiasco

Written By: - Date published: 3:56 pm, December 2nd, 2008 - 68 comments
Categories: john key - Tags: ,

John Key’s first test as Prime Minister in a crisis is turning into a bloody fiasco, with the leader of the opposition having to tell him how to do his job through the media. Read the linked article, it’s extraordinary.

For the sake of the hundreds of Kiwis stranded in Thailand, can’t John just spare us the dithering and let Phil Goff handle the crisis?

UPDATE: Hilarious parody over at the Dim Post: ‘Key slams government response to Bangkok crisis

68 comments on “Fiasco ”

  1. Tigger 1

    Brilliant – Key has a major problem on his hands and he’s running around whining about there being no easy solution. Unfortunately Mr Key is going to have to learn that there are some problems that can’t be solved by laying down your Amex Gold?

  2. Rakaia George 2

    Well the Brits haven’t done any better with all Gordon’s “experience” and the Australians haven’t got much further than trying to twist Qantas’ arm…

  3. Jasper 3

    When I read it, I see blame being laid on

    – The Airforce
    – The ‘old and slow’ Hercules
    – The Australians for not lending a helping hand without having to be asked
    – McCully wants other people to come in… only while “some” progress is being made.

    However,

    – Thanks go to the protestors for letting local flights out – NB: Local flights aren’t being used for foreign nationals. Foreigners have to make their own way to U-Tapao … My sister is currently still waiting for a bus/rickshaw to take her some 170 km away.

    Bah. This is an epic fail for Key’s Government.

  4. Tane 4

    What I find amazing is he hasn’t got past the oppositional whining and realised he’s the Prime Minister yet.

    The buck stops with you, John. Don’t sit there whining about the Defence Force, find a bloody solution.

  5. the sprout 6

    maybe Key could charter that fancy jet he used to fly around NZ during the election campaign?

  6. ianmac 7

    Would the response from our Govt be any different if our countrymen and women were in a life threatening situation worse than they are now? Be decisive John! Imagine what will happen if something fatal happens to our people while you play Milly Molly Mandy!

  7. NX 8

    Well, the blame for having both our new 757s out of action ultimately lies with the last government.

    As for Goff’s brilliant advice to sponge of the Aussies; we wouldn’t have to if Labour left our defense force in better order.

    Thanks to Labour, NZ has to rely on K Rudd. No wonder John Key is frustrated.

  8. slightlyrighty 9

    Well the air force could have sent one of it’s 757 widebody jets which could have picked up all 300 kiwi’s at one stroke, but neither are operational at the moment. As I understand it one is being refitted, and is due back into service early next year while the other is in the US about to be re-fitted.

    So the question that should be put is how did the situation arise where both planes are out of service at the same time? This is complete incompetence that should be laid not at the feet of the National Party, but at the previous labour defence minister UNDER WHOSE WATCH THIS OCCURRED!!

    Now who is that again? Are you there Phil Goff?

    Numties.

  9. ianmac 10

    Let me think. If my car broke down I could sit on the side of the road and blame the weather, or the previous owner, or the garage, or my wife
    OR
    I could think of an alternative to get me over the immediate problem. Phone my neighbour, wife, Brother, the AA. Then later figure out what went wrong. But do something with what I have got. Initiative. Decisiveness. Optimist!

  10. Scribe 11

    Phone my neighbour, wife, Brother, the AA. Then later figure out what went wrong.

    And who is the equivalent agency to the AA in this case?

    What do those of you criticising Key suggest he do? Invade Thailand?

  11. NX 12

    Ianmac, HELLOOO.. did you read the article:

    “and his Government is this afternoon considering commercial charter flights or even military aircraft to get stranded New Zealanders out of Thailand……”

    And breaking news:

    “An Air Force Hercules will leave tonight for Singapore or Malaysia so it can be used at short notice to get New Zealanders out of Thailand, Prime Minister John Key said today………”

    … but hey, if you want to rely on the Aussies – well I’m just pleased your not the PM.

  12. The last thing we want is Labour to handle this crisis.

    I remember being in Fiji in 2006, when there was a talk of coupe.

    The Australians we were with were told, if things really got out of hand their navy would be sent in to rescue them.

    Aunty Helen wanted to have talks with everybody, not the Fijians, but her support base, cant offend her fans in south Auckland, I guess?

  13. Rex Widerstrom 14

    Australians are starting to leave – 289 today – but only because Qantas has stepped in. And that took days of negotiating by the Australian government.

    Possibly that’s why they’ve been so recalcitrant in offering to help stranded NZers – simply because they don’t have the capacity to do so. I’m trying to find something that tells me why Australian Air Force planes weren’t able to do the job days ago…

    I must say this is a somewhat, errr, robust approach from The Standard, Tane. I can’t help wondering whether, had Key had the option of sending in 757s in RNZAF livery days ago, there wouldn’t have been criticism here of his being provocative and militaristic?

    Meanwhile, what’s Air New Zealand doing….?

    [Tane: Na, I was just astounded by Key’s dithering in that article, following his reservations about cost just a day ago. I’m glad to see the Hercules is finally on its way.]

  14. sweeetdisorder 15

    Oh, and when I saw the headline to this thread, I thought we were discussing the big whole in the govt ACC accounts and the fact that Cullen knew about it before the election. But, this isn’t what the thread is about of course, my bad.

  15. Chrisburger 16

    I only joined this site recently because it seemed interesting and fairly informative. But it’s just an endless bagging of every single bloody thing John Key says and does, without acknolwedging the circumstances or accounting for the wider perspective.

    So yeah, four or five posts and I’m tired with this site. A shame, blogs are so much more enriching if you concede some points, but I guess this blog is an ideological rant fest from those still unable to accept that maybe, just maybe, New Zealand was tired of Clark and Co., so there is little hope for reasoned debate.

    Adios Standard (oh and abuse this post all you like, I’m a goneburger.).

    [Tane: Chris, I’m hardly going to abuse you. You won’t be the first, or the last, rightie to leave this place in a huff because you don’t agree with the views of the posters. Seeya.]

  16. insider 17

    Why is the govt even trying to ‘rescue’ people on an extended holiday? That is what travel insurance is for. These people are in no danger and should be told they went into a volatile situation and it is up to them to get out. Did we send a plane to Mumbai or the US after 9/11?

    And it seems like Goff’s advice to Key is to do errrr exactly what is being done

    1 talk to Aus – yep doing that
    2 contingency plan – yep we’ve checked on plane availability. Unfortunately Labour hasn’t left many in service so we are monitoring other flight options like charters and sending a herc.

    And even Goff says it is not a danger spot. So why the worry?

  17. NX 18

    A shame, blogs are so much more enriching if you concede some points,

    Well you’re not the first or the last person to say this.

    To these types of quarries The Standards ‘standard’ response is to direct the commentor to the ‘about’.

    So to save them the trouble: http://www.thestandard.org.nz/about/

  18. sweeetdisorder 19

    Insider

    I think Goff is a wee bit pissed off that nobody is asking him what he would do, so he has to tell everyone. He is still in the adjustment phase between government and opposition.

  19. tsmithfield 20

    Any of Key’s alledged failings pale into insignificance compared to the deceitful arrogance demonstrated by Labour in the latest ACC fiasco. They showed quite clearly that they have no concern whatsoever for New Zealanders. Their only concern was clinging onto power at any cost. Honestly, someone in Labour should be arrested for this.

  20. ianmac 21

    tsmithfield: It is not a fiasco, not yet anyway. There are guidelines for including items in the update. The down for ACC was identified as probable from about April 2008. Treasury prepares the update, not the Labour Party or Govt. Treasury followed the guidelines set out by National when in Govt about 1993. So not a blame for the outgoing Government at all.
    A chance for Key to make excuses for his not being able to live up to his promises. Yes?

  21. gobsmacked 22

    Call these protests? In my day, they’d have stormed the embassy by now. Pah.

    Still, gotta love the “Key sends in Hercules” headlines. Stand by for TV pictures of the PM greeting the returning tourists at the airport, and a macho soundbite or two from his speechwriters (“This sit-in will not stand! On the beaches of Thailand, we have drawn a line in the sand”). Maybe they could rustle up a VC for the backpacker who made the ultimate sacrifice, sharing his duty free with the other passengers.

  22. George 23

    You call this a fiasco? why is the governments fault that these people are still stuck there? why don’t the people stuck make some efforts to get themselves out? OH NO, nine years of a labour government have created a government dependent sector of society. Idiots.

    where is the wailing over the Billion dollars missing from the ACC acounts? thats the real crime today.

  23. Kerry 24

    perhaps us decent kiwis need to take a leaf out of the Thais book and take over the airports til we get rid of this useless government!!!!

    As for ACC? cant you right wingers read??? I’d say Johns realised his promises before the election are gonna cost big time and how hes scratching around for more money…what to do…thats right blame Labour….the only decent government we have seen in 30 years.

  24. sweeetdisorder 25

    Kerry, no, Labour hid this fact from Nats, Treasury did not report it in any detail. Once again (twice in a row now) Labour has left a hole in the government accounts only to be discovered after they were removed from office.

  25. j 26

    Yes it’s a fiasco the hundreds of people are ‘stranded’ in close proximity to tropical beaches, cheap beer and perfect weather. Lets airlift them out of there right this instant. If they had any inclination to really get out they’d have caught a bus on train to KL.

    Are any of the standard’s writers going to post on the ACC issue or are you just going to sweap it under the carpet?

  26. RedLogix 27

    It will probably turn out that officials have exactly followed the PREFU update rules as to what they could and could not include. The hole in the budget was probably there all along to be seen, if only they had looked in the right place. In that case Key and English will look amateurish idiots for not understanding what was happening.

    If then they try to cover this up and blame Treasury officials, the consequence will be one very betrayed and pissed off department that will owe them no favours.

    If they go negative and blame Labour, this will pretty much terminate the ‘honeymoon’ with extreme prejudice.

  27. NeillR 28

    Redlogix, you’re so naive. Labour have been so stupid as to allow National carte blanche to privatise ACC. What a bunch of muppets – but thank fuck they won’t be allowed near the chequebooks again for a very long time.

  28. mike 29

    Under labours watch we get both the NZRAF’s large aircraft out of action at the same time – nice one Phil Goff!

    And I see the dead bodies are starting to be discovered by the Nats.
    1 billion shortfall in ACC, but there will be plenty more smelly corpses to uncover left by the sinking ship that was Labours last term

  29. RedLogix 30

    NeillR,

    Labour have been so stupid as to allow National carte blanche to privatise ACC.

    Yes that occured to me too, but it would be equally naive to think that the Nats haven’t just cooked up an excuse to justify a privatisation they know would be unpopular. Frankly that strikes me as equally, if not more, plausible than any attribution to Labour’s stupidity.

    It’s an argument that can be made to cut both ways at this point in time.

  30. Remind me why New Zealand voted in these halfwits?

  31. toad 32

    Let’s leave the ACC issue for another thread, when we’ve all had time to research it.

    But back on this thread, it doesn’t matter what Labour might have done or not done in the past. It is now Key’s problem, and if the Airforce have not got aircraft operational to do it then the obligation on the Government is to charter commercial aircraft (and pay the insurance risk) to get everyone who wants to leave Thailand out of there.

    Personally, I’m thinking about a trip there myself (if there is an airport open that I can get in through).

    As a Green, I like to keep my air miles to a minimum, but it is tempting to be on the spot to give moral, and if possible practical, support to those who uphold the principles of democracy, social justice, and and environmental responsibility.

  32. gingercrush 33

    How are the protestors upholding the principles of democracy?

  33. j 34

    “Remind me why New Zealand voted in these halfwits?”

    The audacity of hope?

  34. gomango 35

    Why is the government expected to fetch Kiwis stranded in Thailand? Hello? Now this genuinely is nanny state gone mad. So anytime I am overseas and have a travel disruption I don’t have to do anything except sit on my arse and wait for an Air Force plane to arrive and take me home? Where was the plane for my wife and kids when they were stranded at Heathrow last year? This is not a Bali bombings situation when an evacuation response is warranted for medical reasons, and where the Aussie air force did a superb job for injured aussies, kiwis and brits plus very badly injured other nationalities. Those of us uninjured had to sit around for a couple of days until flight backlogs cleared – didn’t get offered a free ride to Darwin. Emergency evacuation is not just so you can make it back in time for work next week. This is what travel insurance is for. Disruption to travel. Pay for alternative transport, catch a bus to Kohsamui , Chiang Mai or Phuket. Get on the train to KL. Or stay on for another two weeks and enjoy the poolside some more.

    I really can’t believe the whining on this subject. The stupid woman on the news last night whining about “i work a full time job and now I am spending 8 hrs on the phone and internet trying to help my daughter stuck in Thailand.” Get a grip on yourself.

    This debate is incredible – nowhere in the media or on the blogs is anyone actually discussing why the government has a duty to evacuate in this situation. Are we now so pathetic as a nation that any time something inconvenient occurs we look for a government response and are too lazy/stupid/unmotivated to look after ourselves?

    On Holmes this morning a travel agent on holiday in Thailand was interviewed. He was amazed that sending a plane is even being debated in NZ. His story? “We booked a flight from Phuket (or KohSamui – dnt recall) to HK and have been on buses/train for 20 hours getting there. No problem, in fact it has been an interesting experience all paid for by travel insurance.” Common sense at last.

    Debate on this blog would have much more credibility if it wasn’t just find an angle to attack Key on everything, and ignore other issues (like Acc). And yet, I’d actually agree if you were attacking Key here for a completely inappropriate, nannyish, feel good response to a travel disruption.

  35. Spectator 36

    where is the wailing over the Billion dollars missing from the ACC acounts?

    Missing? It wasn’t collected in the first place: it’s in taxpayers’ pockets. It’s interesting to see that, less than a month after the election, the outgoing government are being lambasted for not taxing New Zealanders enough…

  36. Toad said “Let’s leave the ACC issue for another thread, when we’ve all had time to research it.”

    Why? It’s SP who wants to talk about a fiasco!

  37. j 38

    Well at least somebody agrees with me. I was there in June when the protestors were storming govnt buildings and most of the tourists in Sukhumvit and Khao San didn’t know or cared what was happening. And now that their travel plans have been interrupted they think they should be airlifted to safety. I’d rather use it as an excuse to extend my vacation.

  38. gomango 39

    I think the point being made re ACC is the eerie parallel with the BNZ fiasco – the hiding of information that should have been noted well before the election.

    Though I am alittle surprised at what this story is about. I remember commenting on ACC on this webite some months ago, responding to some uninformed yokel who was bleating about our ACC being the “worlds best model” – and don’t quote pwc reports back at me – I have both commissioned and written those reports and the first rule for the author is “follow the money”, or “who’s paying the bills”. You could prob find the analysis quite quickly by searching my name. If our system is so good why is it
    a) insolvent
    b) inequitable
    c) riven by cross subsidies from employers and workers
    d) far removed from the original intent of the ACC scheme (you should read the commission of inquiry report setting out recipe for ACC)

    But the point I make is that everyone knows ACC is underfunded to the tune of around 6 billion dollars (across all their accounts). I don’t recall the exact detail or numbers as I no longer have much to do with that world, but ACC has been unfunded for years, wont get back to even (on the most optimisitc, outdated projections) to 2014 – try 2024 maybe. And from memory the 6 billion number was based on the 2007 report so things are way worse now. 10 minutes reading the anual report (available on the web) will tell you everything you need to know.

    This current story is about the non-earners account which is funded mostly by govt transfer, not levies. As such, the government of the day should have been very aware of the underfunding and chicanery around not reporting it is just that. By the same token, the Nats were clearly asleep on the job as it would not be rocket science to work it out.

  39. jbc 40

    toad’s message just reinforced what I had been thinking of those stranded travelers all along: that there are thousands (if not tens of thousands) of New Zealanders that would much rather be “stuck in Thailand” right now than stuck in their present domestic situation.

    Obviously Toad’s motivation is not what I had in mind – but it illustrates the point. Hardly a need to get flustered about conjuring up military transport to rescue people under threat of life. I’m sure the Govt would get better bang for their dollars spent on problems in NZ – but then I guess Tane’s post has vividly shown the value of an expensive PR exercise decisive rescue.

    In any case: anyone but the most witless individuals can still leave Thailand if they desperately needed to. It is still business as usual in the tourist destinations which share land borders with Thailand. The friendly protesters might even help point you in the right direction.

    Toad: Kuala Lumpur and then catch a train.

  40. tsmithfield 41

    The argument raised by Labour is that the ACC position was not absolutely clear prior to the prefu, hence they were not required to include it.

    However, the point Key has made is that the general magnitude of the deficit was known in May that year, so a provision could have been made. Furthermore, the exact liability was known by the Government before 22nd of October, several weeks ahead of the election. Therefore, the Government had an obligation to update the prefu report.

    Labour is trying to justify its behaviour on a legal technicality. Even if this technicality is found to stand up, that does not absolve them from the moral and ethical obligation to do the right thing by both the incoming government and the people of NZ. The fact that they did not disclose the information shows how morally bankrupt they are.

    The problem for Labour is that they no longer in a position to interpret the rules to suit themselves. Therefore, the ministerial inquiry may find that indeed the law has been broken. Anyone have any idea on the penalties involved? Personally, I hope it includes jail time.

  41. higherstandard 42

    tsmithfield

    “Anyone have any idea on the penalties involved? Personally, I hope it includes jail time.”

    Nothing repeat nothing will happen in terms of penalties. Labour kept the issue under wraps because of the pending election I find that reprehensible but can understand their motivation.

    Sadly I don’t expect any different behaviour from this government under similar circumstances unless somehow there’s a step change in transparency from politicians and the civil service in NZ.

  42. Ari 43

    The audacity of hope?

    I thought we dealt with why comparing Key to Obama was hilarious like, months ago. There was neither audacity nor hope in Key’s campaign, whether you ignore the third-party attacks or not.

  43. Tigger 44

    ACC – just more proof that Key is a whiner, not a doer. There’s a problem – what does he do? Find a solution? No. He is going to spend a heap of cash on a Ministerial Inquiry to find out who knew about the problem.

    You’re in charge John, do something about it!

    Oh, and if we want to talk legacies left by outgoing governments we need to look at the mess that National left the entire country in after their last nine year berth…

  44. higherstandard 45

    Tigger

    “Oh, and if we want to talk legacies left by outgoing governments we need to look at the mess that National left the entire country in after their last nine year berth ”

    Gosh what a pointless exercise as people could just respond as below.

    “Oh, and if we want to talk legacies left by outgoing governments we need to look at the mess that Labour left the previous National government …………. ”

    Most if not all NZ governments are the beneficiary or victim of global economic conditions which they have had little say in and their job is to navigate a little economy on the edge of the world through those conditions.

  45. Django 46

    What is it about the moaning state dependent left?

    When one travels one should factor in the inherent risks of doing so. If Insurance does not cover situations then surely an individual should be liable for their own evacuation. Anyone would think there was civil war the way some here bleat on.

    As usual though when public opinion prevails (apparently and I am not convinced that that was anymore than bleating left wing blogs and bored journos)the inherited from the Labour government’s available vessels of rescue are found to be lacking.

    You cannot campaign on a platform of little to no functional air force and then expect a government to dash on mercy missions.

  46. gomango 47

    Tigger – come on, be at least a little even handed. What was Helens first response to any issue – ministerial inquiry, though that process was a bout burying facts. This one clearly has the opposite intent. And by the press reports he is going to do something about it – borrow another billion dollars.

    The only whining I have heard has been coming from lawyers, consultants and lobbyists all used to feasting on the gravy train, showing concern that Key may confiscate their ladle.

    Every debate we seem to have in NZ shows the same thing over and over again. We have no apolitical commentators, everything seems to be about the vested interest.

  47. Pascal's bookie 48

    gomango, I suspect the consultants and lawyers and lobbyists will do quite nicely out of this government. What’s that little slush fund ACT was given for doing ‘research’ all about?

  48. Tim 49

    You have to feel at least a little bit sorry for Cullen, he was clearly struggling in the job he was given even in the days of plenty, and was well out of his depth by the end of it. It’s no wonder he couldn’t sleep very well. I’m guessing he’s relieved to be out of that job, probably had his best sleep in months after the election.
    That said, I doubt he feels any ongoing guilt about screwing New Zealand and running it into the ground. The only person he’ll feel sorry for is himself, the smug little creep.
    Time to open everything up for public scrutiny. Name and shame some public servants (those who have been playing games with the OIA for a start) and look at Labour’s political appointees to roles that shouldn’t be (politicised).

    [lprent: Reads like a troll – soundbites with no actual content. Add to watch list. ]

  49. gomango 50

    pascal – i don’t disagree. Just a different set of vested interests which makes carping from either side even more hypocritical. One sides carping because they lost their place at the trough, the other side is carping because they haven’t yet secured a place at the trough.

    Just remember the trough is paid for by you and me.

  50. Whero 51

    Brilliant quote from Don Key on the front page of NZ Fox-News-Herald:

    ” . . . every day that I don’t act is another 48 hours . . . “

  51. Phil 52

    Very first comment on this thread:

    Unfortunately Mr Key is going to have to learn that there are some problems that can’t be solved by laying down your Amex Gold?

    Unfortunately Tigger is going to have to learn that AmEx gold is so 2006. AmEx Platinum is “the new black”.

  52. Pascal's bookie 53

    Phil, Isn’t the new black a line of credit from the Fed Reserve, or is that just the old red…

  53. insider 54

    Isn’t red the new black? ie the colour of the bottom lines of the government’s accounts?

  54. Scribe 55

    Whero,

    Nice work taking Key out of context and using ellipses.

    Here’s one for you: “David Parker . . . is . . . the laughing stock of the international community. Labour will hold . . . these backward looking policies.”

  55. Tigger 56

    Phil – sorry about my error. Quite happy to be oblivious re Amex’s credit cards – I think Amex’s are for rich tossers.

    gomango – Last time I looked I wasn’t a professional journalist so being even-handed and balanced aren’t ethical considerations I need to be concerned about.
    Anyway, Key is whining – he’s quoted as whining – that’s not my opinion – he’s actually in print moaning about how hard he’s got it and how bad things are for him and his government. If I did that when I started a job my boss would be wondering what nightmare he had just hired – which is no doubt what some people who voted for Key will be thinking themselves.

    Look, Key is facing a test with the Thailand issue and so far he’s tripping over his feet, looking indecisive and weak. As far as I’m concerned – New Zealand, told you so. He’s NOT PM material – never was, never will be. We were sold a horse and got a donkey.

  56. higherstandard 57

    “Amex’s are for rich tossers”

    Why’s that ?

  57. insider 58

    it’s “pricks” Tigger, “rich pricks”.

  58. Kerry 59

    Tigger – you are EXACTLY right.

    Poor us. Everytime i see that thing who calls himself PM on telly i cringe…..oh the embarrasement to have Forrest Gump as our representative!!

    Run Forrest Run…..

  59. Phil 60

    Great story re AmEx and the ‘new rich’

    I went to dinner with some friends, one of who was trying to impress a girl well recognised as being quite materialistic. When it came time to sort the bill, he graciously offers to pay for the whole table and then get cash from the rest of us later.

    He whips out the standard (green and white design) AmEx, to which the girl ever so slightly disdainfully responds; “Oh, I didn’t realise they still made those”.

  60. QoT 61

    Love the response from some of the righties here. It’s so beautifully in line with Key’s own inaction to spend time pointing fingers and whingeing about “it’s all Laaaaaaabour’s fault” while NZers might, you know, actually be in trouble and need a way out of Thailand.

  61. insider 62

    Will you be sending a Herc next time there’s a strike at Heathrow QoT cos perish the thought someone’s holiday arrangements are interfered with and they are late back for work. And London is pretty dangerous. They even have bombs going off there and protest marches and everything.

  62. will 63

    I thought a prime minister’s role was to be Prime Ministerial. That is, making decisions. Intelligently and decisively, minimal dithering, and no dithering on camera.

    Like, arranging transport on standby immediately and telling the country so. If air force planes are being repaired, chartering a plane off air new zealand if necessary is surely within a prime minister’s options. Instead this imposter whines about how the previs guvmint ran down the err fawce. Or something. (shouldn’t a prime minister also be intelligible?)

    These right wing trolls who slither over here from whaleoilspill used to moan in unison about helen being bossy, when we now see this is making decisions. Being a prime minister.

    I bet they miss her already.

  63. Akldnut 64

     Tigger “He’s NOT PM material – never was, never will be. We were sold a horse and got a donkey.”

    Theres no need to be insulting…….to donkeys. 🙂
    The comparison should be we were sold a sweetened up orange and ended up with the mother of all lemons

  64. gobsmacked 65

    Insider & co are missing the point. They’re arguing (logically enough, from the right) for a government that does less. But John Key campaigned on promising a government that does MORE.

    Everything you’re not happy with (schools, hospitals, your holiday in Thailand, the price of cheese) would be fixed by Choosing a Brighter Future. There was no philosophical debate about what a government should or shouldn’t try and do for people – that was so 2005. Key shut the debate down. He offered more goodies for everyone, and no losers. Santa Key is coming to town!

    Now, he could just say “The problems in Thailand are not our responsibility”, but that would mean – oo, er – telling some voters what they don’t want to hear. John Key doesn’t do bad news. He’s addicted to the Happy Talk. So this kind of thing is going to happen a lot more, and on much bigger issues than this. This is what happens when you elect a man who thinks being Prime Minister would be, wow, sooo totally cool … as long as nobody does anything really mean, like criticise him.

    Case study: here’s an interesting story from 3 News. What would you do if you were PM? And given hundreds of similar cases around the country, when would you stop doing it?

    “The Government may be about to bail out cash-stretched Surf Life Saving New Zealand to ensure that our beaches are guarded this summer.

    Life Saving is one of many charities badly affected by the economic downturn. It has lost about $4 million of funding from corporates and charitable trusts

    Twenty-five percent of its income comes from fundraising activities and another 25 percent comes from lottery grants and local government.

    But the other 50 percent which comes from charity gaming, community trusts and corporate sponsorship has dried up as a direct result of the current economic downturn.

    That has meant Surf Life Saving has been looking at how it might scale back operations, or at least that was the case. After being made aware of the situation by 3 News, the Community and Voluntary Sector Minister announced the Government will come to the rescue.

    “We are very concerned to hear that given the number drowning we are seeing around the country,” says Tariana Turia. “I prepared to meet with Surf Life Saving to talk through what the issues are and how we might help them.”

    That is likely to mean financial help and while Ms Turia does not hold the purse strings in this new Government, her boss, Prime Minister John Key, is the patron of a Surf Life Saving club and may be sympathetic.”

    (3 News)

    Me, I’d give them the cash. But then, I’d cancel the tax cuts for the wealthiest as well 🙂

    Any righties prepared to say No to the handout? I bet you John Key isn’t. Form an orderly queue, John is your friend, and is eager to please.

    Prime Ministers who desperately need to be liked are always the weakest. And that’s what we’ve now got. Get used to it.

  65. randal 66

    here is john keys big chance to be a leader
    a man amongst men, and all he has done since he got in is run around likea chook with its head cut off and when he is standing still alll he can do is whinge and moan andd blame
    wow
    what a guy

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