Hit and miss

Written By: - Date published: 10:13 am, July 8th, 2008 - 24 comments
Categories: national, spin - Tags:

Let’s look at some of the issues National has hit and run on. They were all you heard from the Nats for a while and then they were dropped when their marketing usefulness wore off.

“Power crisis” – dropped in June when it started to rain

“After-tax incomes” – Dropped in May, after the Budget, when it became obvious to even those fooled before that tax cuts can’t significantly lift after-tax wages.

“The wage gap” – Dropped back around February, they still release on every update of the migration stats but no longer mention the wage gap because unions have adopted it as an argument for wage rises.

“Suppressing free speech” – started to look at bit silly when protests against the Electoral Finance Act were not, in fact, banned.

and all the way back to…

“the underclass” – Key dedicated his first major speech as leader to the problems of the ‘underclass’ but he betrayed them. If you were fool enough to be taken in, you would have thought Key, like the Left, genuinely believes in using the power of the Government to help the most vulnerable in our society. Unfortunately, for the ‘underclass’ was just a gimmick. Key never had any intention of helping the poorest of the poor; they were just a tool for Crosby/Textor to turn the man who had spoken of ‘mothers breeding for a business’ into ‘that nice Mr Key’. He hasn’t even mentioned the ‘underclass’ in over a year.

24 comments on “Hit and miss”

  1. What about ‘waste’ in the public service? Proved wrong by SPARC.

  2. T-rex 2

    Through the magic of GerryBrownleeFUTUREQUOTE:

    “Melting snow in the alps has led to an excess of water in the hydro lakes. Poor planning by the government means that this water will be wastefully spilled by the dams, going to waste in a wasteful fashion. National will take progressive and ambitous steps to prevent this waste in the future, through an all encompassing review and $1 billion program to increase available storage, allowing significant tax cuts to ordinary New Zealanders. This will ensure that the power crisis that didn’t happen will be prevented in the future.”

  3. leftrightout – but they need ‘waste’ as the other side of the ‘tax cuts’ coin. It’s wrong but they can’t get rid of it yet.

  4. T-rex 4

    No, they can fund tax cuts with the $1billion spend on hydro storage – just like the broadband plan.

    You seem to be labouring under the misapprehension that money comes from somewhere. It’s technically true, but the somewhere is (as Key can attest to from his currency trader days) OTHER PEOPLE. And hey, they’re probably losers, so who cares?

  5. sean 6

    SP – I was wondering about the tens of billion in surpluses that we have apparently had over the last few years.

    Where has all that gone? Or was Cullen’s “superior” fiscal management actually hot air? Surely if it actually exists that can be used for some of these schemes?

    [it has gone into capital investment, paying down debt, the Cullen Fund and other capital expenditure. Those multi-billion figures you would hear about were operating surpluses, which don’t include those expenses. New programmes like Kiwisaver, tax cuts, and additional funding to health etc have reduced the operating surplus to nearly nothing in the coming year. There is no pile of money sitting around doing nothing and there never was. SP]

  6. BeShakey 7

    sean – firstly, there have never been ‘tens of billions’, but I’ll assume that was hyperbole. The majority of the surplus is exactly where it has always been – the Cullen fund, ACC’s fund, and student loans. Unless you (or National) want to eliminate the future security we now have for superannuation, get rid of ACC (perhaps they do want this but they deny it), and call in all the student loans, then the amount of money available isn’t the same as the surplus.
    Conveniently, the amount of money available for spending is always provided, however reporting or discussing that would undermine the “Labour is sloshing around in pools of your money while you struggle” story and the “National will spend lots on new programmes and give large tax cuts and won’t borrow” story.

  7. oldhippy 8

    He hasn’t even mentioned the ‘underclass’ in over a year.

    State of the Nation speech January 2008:

    This time a year ago, I talked about the underclass that has been allowed to develop in New Zealand. Labour said the problem didn’t exist. They said there was no underclass in New Zealand.

    But who now could deny it? 2007 showed us its bitter fruits. The dramatic drive-by shooting of two-year-old Jhia Te Tua, caught in a battle between two gangs in Wanganui. The incidence of typhoid, a Third World disease, reaching a 20-year high. The horrific torture and eventual death of three-year-old Nia Glassie. The staggering discovery of a lost tribe of 6,000 children who are not enrolled at any school.

    The list goes on and on. The fact is, that under Labour, there has been no let-up in the drift to social and economic separatism.

  8. sean – most of the surpluses have been invested in funds (i.e. Cullen fund) but a big chunk was used to pay down debt we owe to international entities.

    By paying down debt owed we position ourselves better to weather the turbulent global economy. Sounds like great fiscal management to me – definitely superior to increasing our debt levels to pay for tax cuts.

  9. yeah, oldhippy, I knew about that quote but that hardly counts as a mention – oh he uses the term and has maybe two related sentences in a half hour speech. if anything it shows how little he actually cares that he brings up his old catchcry only once in his biggest speech so far this year.

  10. commentator. eh? I don’t believe they are going into moderation.

    Maybe you have the same IP as a troll.

    We welcome all comments that aren’t just mindless abuse or trolling.

  11. Scribe 12

    SP,

    if anything it shows how little he actually cares that he brings up his old catchcry only once in his biggest speech so far this year.

    Kind of like the “top half of the OECD” catchcry? Or “closing the gaps”? Or “knowledge wave”?

    Oldhippy,

    Chocolate fish for you for showing Steve up as someone who’s (to be generous) economical with the truth.

  12. Pascal's bookie 13

    I dunno Scribe.

    If you could find 5 instances of Key making a passing reference to the underclass in the last 9 months then maybe you could say Steve was being economical with the truth.

    Afterall 5 isn’t a lot, but it’s some. To claim that one instance makes it generous to call him economical with the truth seems harsh.

    Now if you had a few instances of Key actually talking about real, joined up thinking policy solutions…

  13. Commenter 14

    [Tane: I’m moderating your comments. You’re using a fake email address and I have strong reason to believe you’re a commenter who was previously banned for breaking policy.]

  14. Scribe 15

    Pb,

    Steve’s comment was “He hasn’t even mentioned the ‘underclass’ in over a year.” Then he says he knew of a time Key had mentioned the underclass. Need I go on?

    Now if you had a few instances of Key actually talking about real, joined up thinking policy solutions

    Well, if that was what we were discussing…

  15. Scribe. i knew that John Key had said ‘underclass’ in passing in a speech 6 months ago – he didn’t say anything substantive on the issue.

  16. Pascal's bookie 17

    He did say that scribe, and as a professional writer I would have thought you would recognise a bit of dramatic license. Surely when you read his whole paragraph you would see that he meant something substantive, no?

    Are you so literalist with everything Scribe?

    John Key wants to lower your wages, did you hear?

    But anyway, if you’re just in the mood to throw around pedantic ‘liar liar’ accusations, have at it.

  17. Scribe 18

    Pb,

    I made a conscious choice to not use the word “liar”. I often disagree with Steve, but find throwing around pejorative terms like that unhelpful.

    The reason I wanted to highlight this instance, though, with an assist from hippy, was that there is a pattern emerging in Steve’s posts of this sort of economy of truth. There’s a difference between dramatic licence and dishonesty; it’s often a fine line, but I think it was crossed here (and in other places).

  18. Pascal's bookie 19

    Come off it scribe, ‘to be generous’?

    What does that mean, if not “I’m not saying he’s a liar, but he reality that’s what he is”.

    You did not use the word Liar, but that’s what the words you did use meant.

    All hyberboly, metaphors etc are lies if you want to be a literalistic ass. And the bible, to pick a random text, is full of them.

    omigad!! God’s a liar, sorry, ‘economous with the trooff’.

    In this instance, the context of the whole paragraph makes clear what Steve meant. No?

  19. Scribe 20

    Pb,

    What is the Bible full of? Hyperbole? Metaphors? Lies? Or literalistic asses?

    Maybe I was having a bad day. Sometimes the half-truths bug me and I just let them go. Today I didn’t feel like putting up with Steve’s antics.

    I’ve got it out of my system now.

  20. Pascal's bookie 21

    “What is the Bible full of? Hyperbole? Metaphors? Lies? Or literalistic asses?”

    Haha. All of the above I suspect. 🙂

    Let’s see what I can come up with off the top of my head. No offense intended.

    Hyperbole: The thing about descendants of Abraham numbering like the stars of heaven or the the dust of earth. Can’t recall which it was, or maybe both, but that’s a lot of descendants!

    Metaphors: Lot’s. the temple being rebuilt as a metaphor for Christ’s resurrection will do though. Or perhaps more controversially, depending on your theology, ‘the tree of knowledge’ business in genesis, Jesus being shown and offered the whole world in the desert, and ummm, whatever it is that St John’s Revalation is about.

    Lies: The above, if we accept that they are metaphors and we are being literalistic asses about it. But no ‘lies’ if we are allowed to accept that metaphors and hyperboly can stand in for underlying truths that people are trying to convey?

    Literalistic asses: Shaky ground here but I’m betting the one that Jesus rode into Jerusalem wasn’t prone to poetry. Though if there is something in the text…

    I’ve got it out of my system now.
    Good. me too.

  21. Rex Widerstrom 22

    Heads up, lads. Seems like the ABC have been reading the Standard. Australians are about to be treated to a new comedy series set in the office of a PM (who’s never actually seen, or named) but who favours sound bites and glib “solutions”. It’s title sounds hauntingly familiar for some reason 😀

  22. Kevyn 23

    Well the ABC should have no trouble selling this to in every democracy in the world. Everybody will think their current/fomer PM/Leader pf the Opposition is the role model. You have to go all the way back to Muldoon or Lange to find a PM or aspiring PM who didn’t favours sound bites and glib “solutions’.

  23. Kevyn 24

    Steve, Aren’t you being a bit premature including the power crisis in your list of hit and runs. We’ve had less rain than in ’92 and storage in the upper Waitaki lakes is till at a precarious position where the next souherly front could make or break the crisis. Too cold and all we’ll get is snow and a spike in consumption.

    Hodgeson’s solution was bizarre, completely ignored the root cause of the problem. When these schemes were planned every new home had a fireplace, many had wetbacks, firewood was free, coal was subsidised and winter smog was something London suffered from, and no sane person heated their home with electric heaters unless they were filthy rich. By the time the schemes were completed in the 70’s none of thode things were true anymore. Since the original assumptions pointed to modest storage needs that’s all that was built.

    National’s solution adresses the supply side of the problem. The Green’s focus on insulation adresses the demand side. Either insulation hadn’t been invented in the 50s/60s or people were too keen to own their own home and cut corners with some very short term financial thinking. Either way it gave us a housing stock which can’t even utilise the warmth available from the winter sun. Blue skies are a feature of southern winters so this is actually an important area to target. Yet Labour and some Labour led councils such as Christchurch City have been woefully slow to do this even with the houses they own, rented to people who can least afford to spend money on heat that goes straight through the walls.

    Why aren’t there low interest loans for supeannuitants to insulate their houses? Possibly even with repayments deferred until the home is sold or ownership transferred to a trust. The benefits in reduced health costs would justify the favouratism. I can’t see why even National would oppose the plan if a caveat was placed on the home to ensure the loan was repayed.

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    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago

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