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Flip-flopping at warp speed

Written By: - Date published: 3:13 pm, April 17th, 2008 - 31 comments
Categories: assets, flip-flop, john key, slippery - Tags: , , ,

On Monday, I wrote ‘Stay tuned for National’s next assets policy, due out sometime next week.’ It seems I miscalculated. Here’s what Key had to say on asset sales today on newstalkzb:

‘I’m going to go into an election with a group of policies and those policies we will implement or not implement as the case may be if it’s in the point of view if we’re saying we’re not going to sell something. We’re not going to sell assets and the reason for that is that there actually isn’t a strong argument for selling state assets. Forget about your ideological view. I’m actually not ideologically opposed to selling assets I’ve made that quite clear. So i could spend a bit of time selling off a quarter of Solid Energy as was our policy in 2005 and that was my policy so, as the finance guy [sic], or a few Landcorp farms but is that really going to drive higher after tax wages? If we ever change our minds and we ultimately decide that we do want to sell an asset then what we’re going to do is be transparent about that’ (I didn’t transcribe the ums and ahs for comprehensibility).

So, National “will implement or not implement as the case may be’ the ‘no-sale’ policy and Key leaves open the chance of asset sales in the first term in the final sentence.

Let’s add that to our list of Key’s asset policies:

  1. November 2002: advocates privatisation in health and education
  2. November 2005: Sell Solid Enegery and other SOEs
  3. September 2007: Partial Privatisation, lease new school properties off private owners
  4. March 2008: Pro sale of Auckland Airport (eventually)
  5. 12 April 2008: No asset sales in first term
  6. 17 April 2008: Maybe asset sales in the first term, if National implements no sale policy at all.

As you will have noticed, the flip-flops are getting closer together. Let’s graph the rate of flip-flops, on a ‘flip-flop per year’ scale since the last policy.

flipflopwarp.JPG

That’s right, it’s exponential. The flip-flops are coming faster and faster. Based on the formula, the next flip-flop should be in two days, to be followed by another 10 hours later. The tenth flip-flop from now will occur 0.6 seconds after the ninth. At the 16th flip-flop from now (around 63 hours away) the trend line goes vertical, John Key becomes a singularity, and a new Big Bang occurs. What that will do for Kiwis’ after-tax incomes, I’m not sure.

31 comments on “Flip-flopping at warp speed ”

  1. Look Steve – we’ve all see you try to pull this graph shit before. I think you’ll find that the story is a lot different if you look at median inflation-adjusted flipflops instead…

  2. Tane 2

    Sod you idiot, he was talking about Australian flip-flops.

  3. Well in that case I want to know if he’ll use after-tax flipflops when he graphs the flipflop gap. Or try to pass the FF-gap off as a result of pre-envy-tax flipflop disparities. In fact I think he should come clean right now. Come on Pierson do it now! As a commentor on the standard I demand it!

  4. Steve Pierson 4

    “Demand me nothing: what you know, you know:
    From this time forth I never will speak word.” – Iago

    Othello, Act V, Scene II

  5. Matthew Pilott 5

    The whole thing is crap – his theory assumes Key’s flip-flops have an inherent ‘mass’, in order to cause a singularity. Everyone knows that a flip-flop holds no weight.

  6. Steve Pierson 6

    Matt. brilliant.

  7. Matthew Pilott 7

    beautiful theory though

  8. Billy 8

    If one plotted the frequency of scandals during the term of this government from Dover’s underage sex scandal through to Taito (only guilty of helping people) Philip Field I wonder whether it would demonstrate any pattern.

    [knock yourself out. SP]

  9. Tane 9

    It’d be reasonably cyclical I imagine – lots of peaks and troughs. You should graph it Billy, might be good for a laugh.

  10. Steve Pierson 10

    At this point, I should acknowledge the email from my good friend professor Wilfred Owen of CERN, who points out that at the 16th flip-flop from now the flip flops will still be 0.00015764 seconds apart and that we will have to wait 0.00035 seconds and 95 more flipflops from that point for singularity.

    You take the fun out of everything Willy. And, too be fair, you”re doing the calculations on a supercomputer and I’ve got a Dell running Excel 2003.

  11. Patrick 11

    This is astounding. I actually can’t believe that this crap comes out of his mouth *AND* he is the leader of a major political party!

    Seriously, he is rambling like a drunk old man at a bus stop. I almost feel like throwing him some change.

  12. outofbed 12

    flip flops ?
    he just can’t” handle the jandal”

  13. Billy 13

    it’s have to be one of those twin axis ones. The X axis would be the time and the Y axis would be the seriousness of the scandal. Once I have done it, how do I get it to you guys so you can post it?

    IrishBill says: Hi Billy, just email it to startyourownbloodyblog@gmail.com and we’ll make sure it goes up just as soon as we get it.

  14. Steve Pierson 14

    Patrick. I know what you mean. The part where he refers to his former position as National’s Finance Spokesman as ‘finance guy’ and when he says “Forget about your ideological view. I’m actually not ideologically opposed to selling assets I’ve made that quite clear”.

    It’s a rare thing to listen to here him speak and not hear mis-wordings, piled on confused concepts, on top of flawed ideology. He can be so deeply bad that it’s hard to reach in and clutch a specific political point that is wrong amongst all the grammatical horrors.

  15. insider 15

    I couldn’t make head nor tail of what was said so how could anyone know if it was a policy reversal?

    Having viewed thousands of transcripts in my time, I can tell you they often do not convey the flavour or tone of the original audio.

    I think he was saying, “there are likely to be more important things to worry about when we get into govt than asset sales.”

  16. BeShakey 16

    Billy – if your y axis is going to show scandal intensity then you’ll a scandal intensiometer, and you’ll have to activate it retorospectively. Surely it’d be much easier to either have the total number of scandals or the number of scandals in a set period on the y axis.

  17. AncientGeek 17

    SP: you forgot the quantum observer effect. This especially applies in a massless wave system where there is a lot of activity but little substance (like photons or neutrino’s).

    Now you have observed the sequence of flipflops, you have probably affected the probabilities of the eventual outcomes. I’d hesitate to figure out what the eventual outcomes will be now that the effect has been observed.

    captcha: St congestion
    Tell me about it – auckland at rush hours – 4 hours per day.

  18. Billy 18

    That was my preferred approach to begin with, BeShakey. But it doesn’t seem right to rank a, I don’t know, lie over a guinea pig drawing with nicking $800 grand to fund a pledge card you said you’d include in your spending cap.

  19. Steve Pierson 19

    ancientgeek. Yeah, that was Wilfred Owen’s criticism too. He used a variant of string theory in his calculations to try to get past that.

  20. dave 20

    I think you should do another series of flip flop graphs. It’s all about wearing flip flops or as they say handle the jandle. Graph them in categories. Kick flips, over the period that Nandor has skateboarded to work, a flip flop flap graph detailing the instances and when Labour MPs have decided that it is okay to put sunscreen on in the holidays after all the intense flip flopping over the policy flaps trying to ban sunscreen. You could graph Dover Samuels instances of flipping out his floppy in a flash.

    Helen Clark can create a new genre of music: Flip-hop, the sort of music that she likes to relax and recover from other people saying “diddums’ to her before she changes her musical tastes, doing a flip flop from Flip-hop to Trip-hop. Then you could graph how often she trips up over her headphone cords and crashes in the polls every six weeks. Annette King could do a cooking video showing how bad she is at flipping eggs you could call it the Eleggtoral Finance flip flap and it`ll be a flop too, particularly if Helen Clarks Flip-hop ( or is that Trip-hop) is a backing track. You could do a remis of The Gambler. You could graph the sales v the projected sales v what the sales would have been if she used common sense v how much she would have old had the soundtrack been a hip hop one instead of triphop or flip hop

    The possibilities are endless – get to it. They graphs don’t have to be accurate or show the real story – and if you dont like it you could always do a U turn and amend it – that wil bkea flip fpop like a picture..

  21. dave 21

    last line

    a U turn and tamend it – that will be like a real flip flop….

  22. randal 22

    come on dave…stop the puerile rubbish and tell us all which university awarded your MA or is that just another lie?

  23. r0b 23

    Not a bad effort Steve, but in terms of plotting future predictions this really this should have been a log-lin graph don’t you think?

    Interesting points on the quantum observer and string theory however. It’s certainly true that Key’s utterances and string theory are similarly comprehensible, but I think you’ll find that the latter exhibits considerably more branes. No need to worry though, in the end, strings are just the dreams that stuff is made of.

  24. Phil 24

    AG is right – the mere act of observing a flip-flop can change the probabilities surrounding it .
    Or, to put it another way; you might be able to observe the flipflop, but you won’t know which way it’s headed. Alternatively, if the direction of the flip-flop is known, then you probably cannot determine it’s location in space-time.

    Alternative theories worth pursuing;
    1)
    There are sets of clearly understood physical laws surrounding “very big” things (planets, galaxies, the BOP deficit, Michael Cullens ego, etc) and laws surrounding very small things (atoms, quarks, Winstons open-mindedness, ‘chewing gum’ tax cuts, etc)
    But, these laws can come into conflict when we study moderately sized objects – which, i suspect, is why we never have as much change in our wallets as we thought we did, and why I’m always losing socks, and teaspoons… Perhaps we can come up with a “General theory of flip-flop”?

    2)
    Atomic rotation theory tells us that if you split an atom, then reverse the rotation of one half, no matter where you put the other half in the universe it too will instantaneously change direction. I suspect that if we split a flip flop and put one half on either side of parliament, we could produce the same result
    (“We must move forward, not backward. Upward, not forward. And always twirling, twirling, twirling toward freedom”)

  25. AncientGeek 25

    Ah yes quantum spin resonance. A brain is naturally divided (a lot easier than seperating an atom), perhaps we should split the JK’s brain and seperate it. But surely it is too large for the effect to manifest…. hopefully…. possibly…maybe….

    captcha: aged inventory
    Nah – it is all working well

  26. Occasional Observer 26

    Very interesting graph, as always.

    Also very interesting that the theme is state asset sales. On a similar topic, I note that the Standard hasn’t yet called on the Government to oppose the sale of Vector Energy–a whopping great monopoly if there ever was one–to Chinese interests.

    Or for some unfathomable reason, is it okay to sell an entire monopoly to China, but not a minority, non-controlling stake in an airport to Canada?

    [lprent: tut-tut. You’re talking to me again and wasting my time. It is starting to annoy me the number of times I’ve had to point this out over the last few days. I’m starting to feel like permanently removing access from someone]

  27. Tane 27

    Yeah OO, and I haven’t written about lots of things. It’s one of the problems with running a blog in your spare time and without any central coordination – we can’t cover everything. If you want to see something written about go start your own blog. Don’t come on here trolling and demand we write what you want us to.

  28. Occasional Observer 28

    Calm down, Lprent. Fact: The Standard was crowing over the Government’s decision to reject the partial sale, by private owners to private owners, of the Auckland Airport monopoly, to a Canadian pension fund. The Standard has also claimed variously that John Key has a secret agenda to sell state assets; despite the fact that Labour has permitted the sale of hugely valuable Meridian Energy assets, and opened up Infrastructure Bonds in roading. Apparently, infrastructure bonds for roading are all good and appropriate under Labour, but infrastructure bonds anywhere else under National are bad.

    I’d therefore expect the Standard, for the sake of pure consistency, to object to the sale of Vector, by private owners, to a Chinese bidder as well.

    Come off it, Tane. Pointing out consistencies isn’t trolling.

    One of the problems of being the mouthpiece for the Labour Party, and taking positions congratulating them all the time, is that the Labour Party has no principled position, whatsoever, on asset sales.

    [lprent: You keep missing the point (and talking to me again). Consider these points.

    1. Personally I’m in favour of the airport sale, provided that there was regulation to prevent a rundown of assets. My background is in management with a MBA and all that. You are attributing a attitude to me that I don’t share.

    2. The labour party doesn’t run this site, I do.

    3. I suspect that there are almost as many posts that tell the NZLP what they should do in the future as there are ones praising their past.

    4. Take a ban for a week to think over the futility of annoying a sysop. If I see you here before then I’ll lock you out permanently. I could do with someone to test some banning code on.]

  29. lprent 29

    Ummm. I’d be a bit concerned about this graph. Seems like a social sciences theory really. It is short of data points and the curve doesn’t really seem to fit the last data point. Trying to derive a theory from it would appear to over extend the data set.

    Anyway, perhaps using a lagrange polynomial would give a curve that fitted better

    But Steve – where is the data source?

    Humourless sysop signing out…
    Lynn

    I’ve been enjoying Steve’s series of graphed posts. Generally I’ve been enjoying the discussion that results with holes being poked in the data.

  30. Steve Pierson 30

    Phil. great Simpsons reference. and r0b’s ‘branes’ comment was the perfect way to start the day. Amazing what we can do when we devote our energy to taking the piss.

    captcha: ‘club revolting’ drinks are free (but disgusting?)

  31. Phil 31

    “captcha: ‘club revolting’ drinks are free (but disgusting?)”

    That would be “The Palladium” – in the glory day’s of the late 80’s and early 90’s it was an icon of the Chch clubbing scene.

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