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Hide slammed for telling the truth on Key

Written By: - Date published: 4:52 pm, November 7th, 2009 - 32 comments
Categories: john key, national/act government - Tags:

Some pretty damning pieces on on Hide today from John Armstrong, Tracy Watkins, and Fran O’Sullivan. They compare him to Winston Peters and say he ought to apologise to various groups for his troughing and his comments that John Key “doesn’t do anything”. What I find fascinating, though, is that a senior and powerful minister gave his view on the work ethic and effectiveness of the Prime Minister and that is portrayed as the minister’s problem.

The Dom Post proclaimed it ‘Hide’s gaffe’. Why is it a gaffe? Because he said what he thinks? Because he was overheard? Watkins awards Hide ‘Wally of the week’. I can see why he’s a wally from the Government’s point of view but for the public hasn’t he, accidentally, performed a great service by giving his honest appraisal from the inside of this Prime Minister?

The real problem is for Key. A insider gave his frank views of him and it isn’t a pretty assessment.

Armstrong reflexively dismisses “Hide’s labelling of John Key as a “do-nothing” prime minister [as] patently absurd”. Hmm, is it patently absurd? Has Key done anything on the big issues for left and right?do nothing john

  • unemployment – nope
  • wages – nope
  • gap with Australia – nope
  • climate change – nope
  • taxes – nope (except for the rich)
  • crime – nope
  • “bonfire of regulations” – nope
  • higher standards for ministers – lol

Sure you can point to some insignificant little measures here and there but actually Key hasn’t done anything, doesn’t even have a plan to do anything. And people are starting to worry that nothing is ever going to change.

So, Hide’s assertion that Key “doesn’t do anything”, far from being “patently absurd”, seems right on the money. It has prompted a circling of the wagons from the Right, with Hide firmly on the outside. 

As O’Sullivan says: “He justifiably faced media flak over the devious method he used to circumvent Key’s dictate. But it was not until Hide was caught out slagging Key’s leadership to Act supporters that he faced political utu. It was quickly leaked that Hide had taken a weekend off while in London to attend the Crome family wedding, and another day off in Los Angeles to take his girlfriend sight-seeing at Universal Studios. As a past exponent of the leaking arts, Hide won’t have to search far for fingerprints”

So, O’Sullivan is making two important points – 1) that it was Hide’s comments about Key that garnered him this wrath, not the corruption. 2) O’Sullivan is spelling out in public that the PM is leaking against one of his own ministers (which hardly seems like the thing you do from a position of strength) to further embarrass Hide.

In the eyes of the Right, Hide’s crime wasn’t abusing taxpayer funds, it was exposing Key’s do-nothing government for what it is. And for that crime they are putting him to the sword.

32 comments on “Hide slammed for telling the truth on Key”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    I have to disagree with:
    # gap with Australia nope
    # taxes nope (except for the rich)

    They’ve set up the two working groups that are looking to these issues. Yes, they have not actually *done* anything yet, but it would be foolish to institute policy without actually doing the research as to what the best path forwards is. If they had simply trundled through a bunch of changes in both of these areas without doing the research first, I’m sure you would have been very vocal about that also. You can’t have it both ways – doing a proper job takes research, which takes time, and that’s the path they have started down.

    • Marty G 1.1

      They’ve had a year. In fact, they’ve had 10 years since they were last in power to develop ideas for closing the gap with Australia.

      They’ve set up a working group of their rightwing mates headed by a former leader that will come up with the same rightwing ideas as always. That’s not proper policy research carried out by public servants or independent analysts.

      The fact is, and I’ve shown you the maths before, there is no way they’ll close the gap with Aus by 2025 unless (as an economist was saying on RNZ yesterday) there is some new game-changing scientific invention or resource discovery. Policy changes simply will not make any difference, let alone make us grow 2% faster than Australia for 15 years. The policy changes that National’s taskforce is going to come up with are the same ones that widened the gap to its present state in the first place when they were introduced in the 1980s.

      National hasn’t cut taxes except for the rich. I don’t think they should have but the right does, and Key hasn’t done it.

      He also hasn’t produced that ‘bonfire of regulations’ he promised the ACT conference… hmm, thanks for reminding me of that, I’ll chuck it.

      • Lanthanide 1.1.1

        I find your justifications for why the work they have done doesn’t actually count as ‘work’ rather pointless.

        Whether you agree with the findings, or potential findings, is irrelevant as to whether they have done the work or not.

        As for having “10 years to come up with these ideas”, I expect this means that when Labour finally get back into power you expect that they should be ramming through policy non-stop under urgency for 6 months to get through all of the policies and ideas they’d come up with during their stint in opposition? That’s basically what you’re saying National had the opportunity to do, and hasn’t, therefore they’ve “done nothing”.

        • Daveo 1.1.1.1

          I’m with Marty on the “kick for touch” 2025 taskforce. But let’s take a look at what they’ve done so far:

          – Imposed a wage freeze on the public sector

          – Encouraged the private sector to demand wage freezes

          – Massive lay-offs in the public sector, adding to the unemployment queues and depressing wages

          – Done virtually nothing to keep unemployment down in the private sector, apart from the failed 9 day fortnight.

          – Cut public spending, which has impacted on the small businesses that rely on it and forced them to lay off staff

          – Introduced fire at will law, making it harder for new workers to ask for fair pay

          – Canned the pay equity unit of the department of labour

          This government has done nothing to raise wages to Australian levels, in fact nearly everything they’ve done has had the effect of widening the gap. Pretty dishonest for a party that campaigned on “closing the wage gap with Australia”.

        • Marty G 1.1.1.2

          No. I would expect Labour to come to power with a framework of the policies they want to implement, present them as discussion documents, have the ministries do the analysis work and go through the normal pre legislative consultation process with stakeholders to flesh out the details then pass the laws in the normal fashion. after a year i would expect a set of major changes to be either passed or well advanced

          by November 2000 Labour had passed the ERA, re-nationalised ACC, introduced the 39% tax rate, introduced tax-free student loans while studying, boosted minimum wage…

          • RedLogix 1.1.1.2.1

            after a year i would expect a set of major changes to be either passed or well advanced

            As ten more years passed Zeus thought to play another trick on the frogs… to see if He could get them to vote back King Log.

          • mike 1.1.1.2.2

            “introduced the 39% tax rate, introduced tax-free student loans while studying”
            and hence the damage was done early Marty, it takes a while to fix these fuck ups

      • Paul 1.1.2

        why on earth do we care that much about keeping up with the neighbours – we’re the (http://www.prosperity.com/rankings.aspx) 10th “most prosperous country” on the planet

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 1.2

      Tick, tick, tick…………- meanwhile as the economic recession moves into its next phase, youth unemployment spikes at 25%, maori unemployment hits 14%, consumer spending plummets, private investment is virtually non existent, the NZ dollar skyrockets sending our exporters down the tube and whole generation are alienated by a failure to see a future in NZ John Key is………
      waiting for Don Brash to tell him what to do!!!

      If you have no ideas and understanding of what needs to be done… what are you doing in politics?

  2. GFraser 2

    Listening to Don Brash on Nine To Noon yesterday was frightening, he and his ilk should have no say in the direction this country takes in the future.

    • George.com 2.1

      Brash took exception with the claim that wages stagnated in the 1990s, about 16 minutes and 30 seconds in to the piece. He tried to make the link between productivity needing to rise before wages could. A little later he touched on the productivity gap between NZ and Aussie. According to Brash the productivity growth in what he termed the measured sector has kept pace with Australia over the past 20 or 25 years. Fine, if that is so, then how is it that our wage levels have not kept pace?

      I mean, if productivity allows higher wages, then an aussie type pace of productivity growth in the measured sector should surely lead to an aussie type pace of growth in wages, should it not Dr Brash? So what happened? The Employments Contract Act and complimentary policies like budget cuts. Productivity was ok but wages didn’t push ahead. The neo-liberal project of Brash and his mates failed to have productivity growth flow through to wage increases of the type across the Tasman?

      So, what Brash is actually telling us is that we don’t need to worry about productivity being miserable, because it has not been so bad in the measured sector. What we actually need is higher wages and Australian type wage bargaining in the measured sector. I look forward to the Brash report making this recommendation to the government.

      rob

      • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1

        Fine, if that is so, then how is it that our wage levels have not kept pace?

        Good stuff George. How is it that indeed. Given what he reckons.

        He really needs to answer that.

  3. prism 3

    Closing the wage gap with Australia is a policy rainbow. How can NZ do this? Its being held out like a sweetie to a child. Oz is always going to be better off, especially after we dropped in the business stakes after 1984. It is interesting to see how long it took to recover and get on a parallel upward trend with Oz. It is part of the political machinations, similar to the recent advert from English and politicians who keep mouthing it need to wash their mouths out with soap.

  4. George D 4

    I also disagree with Rodney.

    ACC is very major. Putting Auckland into a holding company in order to sell all its assets is major. Our foreign policy has turned around about 90 degrees. Our climate change policy is much much worse than Labour’s pathetic policies. Spending billions and billions more on roads is major. Gutting employee protections is major.

    Stop repeating the centrist bullshit lines that the right wing pundits (aka the NZ media) are spinning.

    • Daveo 4.1

      You don’t understand George. People aren’t saying that Key literally hasn’t done anything, they’re saying he has no vision.

      • RedLogix 4.1.1

        Or maybe he has a vision; but it’s being kept from our view.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1

          That’s the most likely – National would never get into government if they told people what they really wanted.

      • Lew 4.1.2

        I think letting attack-dog Rodney take the heat for all the hard stuff, and letting Hone take the heat for expressing the frustration many Māori feel at the māori party’s marginalisation in this government shows remarkable vision.

        L

  5. Homo Domesticus 5

    Friends don’t be fooled by the schoolboy grin and dimples. John donKey, a politician who kisses babies and wears a rug, is a fraud. Perk bludger Hide is right Key has done nothing.Friends, aw shucks glove puppet donKey talks tough but does not deliver, nor will he. He got tough on useless Richard Worth, although we don’t know what Dr Worth really did wrong, but he will not do the same to a Cabinet colleague. He is not that stupid; he knows that those that pulls his strings, the international current speculators, Business Roundtable, Brash and Douglas and Whithead etc will not like it.

    Homo d.

  6. Ianmac 6

    I’m a bit late for this but remember the hammering Helen took for saying Winston was in another Party and she could do nothing more that take his word?
    Now we have Hone and Rodney more or less in the same boat. Shouldn’t Key be hammered for the same “crime” as was Helen? What goes around comes around eh?

  7. Nice post.

    Thing about National is yes they have only had a year in power, but they’ve had 9 solid years gaining splinters on their arses on the other side of the House to gather ideas and direction as to what they would do once elected.

    It appears now that they spent that time having nine years of taxpayer funded holidays themselves. So forgive Rodney for taking some time out (count two small breaks) when its clear that ACT has spent that 9 years gaining a plan for what it would do when Labour departed.

  8. ak 8

    A plan, sweet Kate? Dear, simple, soul-less, simpering shrew! A plan, my Kate? As Gaul condemn thy very politic heart and all the world’s amok? Tempetuous, teeth-edged, blistering Kate! Kenst not thee the blade of ultimate doom poised finally pon that leprous Thatcheritic curse? Yet rail thee still the dregs of piteous mammon’s plans?
    Dear, sweet soul, yet hope abides. Though thy words speak thee a fool, yet thine eyes speak me of love.

  9. Sonic 9

    So the “Plan” was to destroy ACT in one fell swoop? After this week Rodney could not be elected as a School crossing warden in Epsom.

    Bye Bye Rodney and au revoir Act.

    Now we get Key.

  10. vto 11

    Is there any comparison with when John Tamihere told the truth about life under labour?

    I imagine bith John’s and Rodney’s assessments contained elements of the truth.

  11. Swampy 12

    Hide is a populist cretin, just sawdust in his cranium, no backbone at all. You don’t have to be anything special to lead any of the 2% parties in Parliament, Act, United, NZ First etc. Just make a lot of noise and get elected, but prove you don’t really have any principles at all.

  12. Skylark 13

    Why the surprise about Key’s lack of leadership?
    In the Sunday Star Times Feb 15 2009 Anthony Hubbard quoted him that after 100 days the most surprising thing about being PM: “I thought all of the official advice we would get would, for the large part, makes decisions for you. That’s not the case. It’s good advice, but, more often than not it presents you with [a range of] of solutions and you need to make the call”

    The trait of a leader? No, the man is merely an office manager!
    He wants to be told what to do, and Rodney has obliged.

  13. oassiss 14

    Until NZ along with the rest of humanity maintains focus on quality of life rather than quantity of manipulation as per “economy”, none of us will get net benefit.
    Many of the rich are miserable people with miserable existence justified by veneers of comparative junk.
    A major difference tween humanity and other is that humanity is mostly directed by innunmerable addictions: ranging from gods thru possessions.
    Re quality of life, the self determined superior species is at the back of the pack: in that scenario second equates to last.

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