I’d love to see wages drop

Written By: - Date published: 7:32 am, May 15th, 2012 - 125 comments
Categories: class war, wages, workers' rights - Tags:

Remember when John Key said he’d love to see wages drop? Yep. How about when Bill English claimed our low wages were our competitive advantage. Uh-huh.

Well the changes they’re bringing in to undermine working Kiwis’ bargaining power will do exactly that. In particular the move to remove the need to conclude bargaining.

Make no mistake, that’s a rule that will allow employers to simply walk away from negotiations. No need to surface bargain. No need to draw things out. Just say “we’re not having a collective agreement here” and that’s it.

John Key is claiming it won’t affect “the vast bulk” of New Zealanders. And, aside from the 360,000 New Zealanders in unions, it won’t. Directly.

But the thing is, union deals drag everyone’s wages up. It’s not just the hundreds of thousands of non-union members on union sites that get to enjoy union-cut deals either – the reason people get paid what they do at (non-union) TV3 is because they’re have to stay competitive with (unionised) TVNZ in the wage market. The reason people get paid what they do at non-union mills and factories is because they need to keep their wages close to the wages paid at union mills and factories. And middle-class people with degrees get paid what they do because public sector unions make sure those qualifications maintain their value. Unionised Kiwi workers are constantly pulling other Kiwi workers up with them.

National understands this. They realise if you keep unions down you keep down the wages of everyone else too.

That’s why they’re undermining the laws that require employers to act in good faith and thus reducing the bargaining power of union members.

Put simply. They’d love to see wages drop.

125 comments on “I’d love to see wages drop”

  1. That’s what made National campaigning on reducing migration from here to Australia so ridiculous in the 2008 election campaign – the driver for the migration was better wages and conditions in Aus, and electing a National govt would only make that difference bigger. It’s taken them a few years to really get to work on increasing that pay gap, but it’s all on now.

    • Do you think National actually thought that lowering taxes for the already wealthy would stop people leaving to Aus, or would they have known that it wouldn’t have done jack shit?

      • Well, right-wing bloggers put plenty of effort into claiming the last Labour govt using the surplus of the time to pay down debt rather than give tax cuts was driving people to Australia (despite Aussies paying at least as much tax as we do), so there’s apparently no limit to the capacity for self-delusion. Key and English, though? No, they know exactly what their job is and they’re doing it.

  2. Carol 2

    John Key is claiming it won’t affect “the vast bulk” of New Zealanders. And, aside from the 360,000 New Zealanders in unions, it won’t. Directly.

    And this is the latest, cynical and nasty, strategy of Key. From attacks on beneficiaries, to “user pays”, first on prescriptions, then…?, Key is targeting restrictions and funding costs to things that will be perceived by the “vast bulk of Kiwis” not to affect them.

    Time for the “vast bulk of Kiwis” to wake up, or too late they will realise the vast bulk of the impacts of the latest swathe of NAct legistation will make their lives very much harder.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      First they Came…

      First they came for the Communists,
      and I didn’t speak up,
      because I wasn’t a Communist.
      Then they came for the Jews,
      and I didn’t speak up,
      because I wasn’t a Jew.
      Then they came for the Catholics,
      and I didn’t speak up,
      because I was a Protestant.
      Then they came for me,
      and by that time there was no one
      left to speak up for me.

  3. peter 3

    ….. and the reason private school teachers get increases is because their pay is often linked to PPTA collective agreements. So more evidence that collective bargaining is required for non-union individuals to improve their lot.

    • burt 3.1

      peter

      Can you provide some links and references to back up this seemingly ludicrous claim ?

      • And how about you Burt, can you point us to credible evidence that undermining collective bargaining increases the wages for ordinary kiwis?

      • peter 3.1.2

        Personal experience of an elite school where pay was linked to PPTA negotiated increases in order to keep the private school teachers ahead of Government teachers. Their boast was to pay more than the Government. What is more pay in the private school only ever increased when the PPTA negotiated an increase for its members. To put it another way the private school teachers relied on their Government school PPTA member associates collective bargaining strength to ensure a pay increase.

        • burt 3.1.2.1

          peter

          Although I can understand from a union supporters perspective this action may seem repugnant I put it to you that the only party offended is the union itself. The same party that wants to have a one size fits all easy peasy contract and clip the ticket on each one if possible.

          The teachers win when their skills are in sufficient demand to enable them to have an ‘award plus’ clause in their contract with their employer – I really don’t see what’s wrong with this.

          Being against this would be like refusing to go to [xyz-tyres] because they promoted themselves as beating any other cash price in town by $10 tyre…

          To put it another way the private school teachers relied on their Government school PPTA member associates collective bargaining strength to ensure a pay increase.

          And the problem with that is ? How else is an ‘average’ teachers salary figure arrived at when the state employes the vast bulk of teachers in NZ under a collective contract? What other employer are the private schools competing with for staff? But sure, bust up the collective monopoly over teachers wage growth and we need to find a different way, I’ll give you that.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.1.1

            The concept of an employment “market” is a travesty: trading people like commodities, by supply and demand. Comparing teachers to tyres.

            Non-union members should not freeload to benefit from the work of union members.

          • Georgecom 3.1.2.1.2

            Burt. The issue Peter raised was how teachers in private schools ratcheted off the state sector wages rates. The state sector rates were struck by a union and the private sector leveraged off that. That is the issue he raised to support the statement that union bargaining drag other workers wage rates up as well, even if not in a union. Peter is pretty much on the money here. No wage increases in the state sector, no direct point of comparison in the private sector to base a relative wage increase on.

            • burt 3.1.2.1.2.1

              Georgecom

              No wage increases in the state sector, no direct point of comparison in the private sector to base a relative wage increase on.

              The collective is used as the market rate for a teachers salary… when the vast majority of teachers are employed under that collective….. Go figure…

              So I’m picking these teachers aren’t in the union then?

              The other thing, what’s the union crying about again… is it that teachers mustn’t be paid more than the collective it negotiates?

          • peter 3.1.2.1.3

            My essential point is that if teachers were all on individual contracts you can guarantee they would all be paid less on average and overall have even worse employment conditions. The strength of the PPTA union provides the bargaining power they as individuals would otherwise not have. No different to professional rugby, league, baseball, basketball sports people, surgeons, airline pilots etc.

            “And the problem with that is ?” – No problem, just as long a people are aware that those paying union fees are helping non-unionists get the rewards they deserve.

            • burt 3.1.2.1.3.1

              My essential point is that if teachers were all on individual contracts you can guarantee they would all be paid less on average and overall have even worse employment conditions.

              Really… you believe that? This is a particularly interesting claim with regard to teachers because everyone I know thinks teachers are underpaid. I’m picking that given the union negotiated rate is taken as a base rate to be added to for private schools that the state employer and the unions (the apparent – good guys) are the problem with teachers pay.

              No different to professional rugby, league, baseball, basketball sports people, surgeons, airline pilots etc.

              Except teachers are more unionised and lower paid than any of these…….

      • Georgecom 3.1.3

        Sorry Burt but Peter is fairly accurate with his statement. Ask around a few private schools and ask them how their pay is set. It is the state education sector often with a premium on top.

      • Hi Burt,

        For your convenience, I present; http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/dear-leader-says/

        No need to thank me. I’m here to help.

    • Dv 3.2

      So how is the govt going to negotiate with each teacher if there is no collective?

      Is this bulk funding by stealth?

  4. Tiger Mountain 4

    Non unionists that benefit from union activity and CEAs are just free loaders and should be ashamed of themselves.

    The middle class welfare of WFF, Working for Families in work tax credit, further shields these weak kiwis from having to get organised collectively and achieve their ‘own’ wage increases from employers rather than fellow tax payers.

    The Natz certainly see low wages as essential, not just “nice to have”.

    • “The middle class welfare of WFF, Working for Families in work tax credit, further shields these weak kiwis from having to get organised collectively and achieve their ‘own’ wage increases from employers rather than fellow tax payers.”

      Interesting point, Tiger. I hadn’t thought of it quite in that light.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Multiple Governments have worked hard to ensure that the top quartile of the population (wealth and income-wise) have been shielded from the real damage caused by the neoliberal transformation of society.

  5. Does anyone remember soon after this story broke that John Key clarified he was referring to Australian wages? Or are we not going to let the truth stand in the way?

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 5.1

      …clarified…???

      Oh laughing like a drain, did you swallow that?

      You poor dupe.

      • Dude, use your head. Fact of the matter is Key clarified that his position was on Australian wages and no-one from that meeting where he said those words has come forward to say anything different. Fact is, you have no evidence that he meant otherwise. All you have is some words that can handily be twisted to support your views when even the man who uttered them says different. 

        • Jackal 5.1.1.1

          Meanwhile in the real world other National conmen have been praising New Zealand’s lower levels of workforce unionisation, ability to operate outside traditional daytime hours, relaxed labour laws and low wages as a good thing as well… Or did that just skip your mind because “Key clarified that his position was on Australian wages,” and of course they weren’t talking about New Zealand at all? Earth to planet apologist.

          • TheContrarian 5.1.1.1.1

            Um, no. Because the topic I was commenting on was purely based on the statement regarding wages and whether it related to NZ or Aus it was necessary to discuss all those other things. 

            • Jackal 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Key was obviously talking about New Zealand wages dropping Contrarian… and look, real wages have fallen under National (PDF). So do you think low wages are a good thing because they will (according to Shonkey and Blinglish) bring investment into New Zealand? Being that we’ve had low and falling wages for a long time and unemployment is continuing to rise, it doesn’t seem that such a belief is based in reality to me.

              • “Key was obviously talking about New Zealand wages dropping Contrarian”

                Congratulations, you have discovered the crux of the conversation I was having: whether or not Key was tlaking about NZ. I am not convinced he was – you I am sure think he was.

                Anyway, no I don’t think low wages are good and I am not happy to be in a low wage economy

                • Colonial Viper

                  And failing to get Australian wages to drop, Key has decided to focus on reducing NZ wages.

            • Pascal's bookie 5.1.1.1.1.2

              But you never really got around to discussing whether it made more sense for him tio be discussing Austrlaia or NZ. You just took him at face value.

              “Carolyne Brooks-Quan: There’s been a lot surrounding the exodus of people to Australia that are lured by higher wages. There’s some calls here for employers to pay more. What’s your take on that?”

              That’s the question he was responding to. It seems pretty clear to me that she was asking Key about the calls in NZ for employers to pay more. As an employer these calls were what the problem was. It’s pretty hard to take her question as being about high Australian wages.

              Key replied that he’d love to see wages drop. If he’d gone on to clarify that by talking about Australia or emigration, or what have you, that might be one thing.

              But instead, he went on to talk about how he would not like to see wages rise if that was only compensating for inflation.

              So, for I think it’s the 4th time now.

              What happens to real wages when nominal wages are not increased for inflation?

              If you assume, shockingly, that the second half of key’s answer relates to the first half, is it reasonable to assume that he was talking about NZ wages?

              • Look, PB. This conversation wasn’t concerned with what incomes/wages are doing, inflation, unemployment etc etc. I was never arguing about what wages are/should be/have been/projected to be nor do I have any enough information handy to argue it.

                This was merely what Key said, what the transcript said and what the clarifications were. I have said what i think and you have said what you think. We have both presented case for/against each others positions and neither have convinced the other. 

                • Pascal's bookie

                  This conversation wasn’t concerned with what incomes/wages are doing, inflation, unemployment etc etc. I was never arguing about what wages are/should be/have been/projected to be nor do I have any enough information handy to argue it.

                  But surely if we are discussing what Key said, then what Key said is relevant? What he said is quite clear.

                  He said that he doesn’t think wages should rise just to acount for inflation.

                  I know that’s very incovenient if you want to think that he can’t have been talking about NZ, but, he said it.

                  You don’t need any more information contro. Just what he said and some basic math.

                  What happens to real wages, if nominal wages don’t rise to account for inflation?

                  The answer is, as everyone knows, is that they drop.

                  So that’s why I think he was talking about NZ.

                  You’ve yet to give any reason to think otherwise, apart from, ‘he said so’. But unless you just want to believe him in spite of the context outlined above, there’s no reason to believe that.

                • Jackal

                  Pascal’s bookie clearly outlined the reason why Key was reported as saying wages dropping (in New Zealand) was good. After people rightfully criticized his statement, Key came out with another reason that contradicted what was initially said and reported… basically calling the reporting (and transcript) dishonest. Instead of being an apologist, you should be calling Key on his obviously obfuscation Contrarian.

                  • As this has been going nowhere, all day, I’ll make this my last comment.

                    There are reasons to believe Key was talking about NZ or Aus. You can either decipher the transcript as PB has done to mean one thing (and Jackal does) or you can listen to the clarification later to believe another. Either case can be made and neither case is open and shut. So I am just going to leave it at that. You can call me an apologist if you like but I am highly critical of John Key in a lot areas (particularly the search and surveillance bill) but I am not convinced in this case.

                    Flame me, call me..whatever, but that’s where I am leaving it…enjoy your evening.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      I’d hoped that you might actually give us some reason to think he was talking about australia. You keep saying such an interpretation is reasonable, and that the NZ interpretation is just based on anti-Key bias, but can’t say what’s unreasonable about my reading of what he said, nor offer an alternative.

                      It’s a shame you choose to flounce instead of back up any of the things you’ve been saying all day, but here we are.

                    • It’s hardly any more flattering to Key to assume he was talking about wages in Australia.

                      If the aspiration is to ‘catch up’ to Australian incomes by having those incomes fall then it’s not much of an ‘aspiration’, is it? It’s like wanting to win a race by wishing the other competitors  would all have heart attacks so that you win by default.

                      Further, if incomes were to fall by a lot in Australia and fell by less in New Zealand we could ‘catch up’ by reducing our wages at a slower rate than Australia reduced its wages.

                      Perhaps that’s what Key meant?? He’d like to see wages drop on both sides of the Tasman – but ours less precipitously?

        • Contrarian, even if Key was referring to our Aussie cuzzie’s wages dropping – even that is a lunatic suggestion.

          Take a moment to clear your head and think carefully; if Australian wages dropped, what do you foresee would be the inevitable consequence for our exports to Australia?

          If our customers in Australian earn less, then ipso facto – – – – – – . Connect the dots.

          Christ almighty, why do we leftists have to spell out basic economics to rightwingers who support market-based ideology?!

    • Te Reo Putake 5.2

      Er, he was lying. Obviously. By the way, why do you think it would be any better if he really did want Aussie wages to drop? What have Aussie workers done to deserve him wishing them a blighted future?

      • Read and learn something

        Why bother lying when anyone could have discovered he was in fact lying but no-one has come forward to contradict him

        • RedLogix 5.2.1.1

          Given that this government has done everything in it’s power to reduce New Zealand worker’s bargining power and wages… and that actions speak louder than words…I’m inclined to believe Irish’s interpretation.

        • Tiger Mountain 5.2.1.2

          Have looked at the various Herald, Stuff and original Bay Chronicle reports. The Fairfax journo Edmonson is now PR flak catcher for the Far North District Council and won’t comment on the matter.

          He maintained for several weeks in 2008 that his take on Key’s comment was correct. Key’s people then visited Fairfax senior management and Edmonson subsequently clammed up. Key is clearly lying when trying to reframe.

          Anyway the substantive point is wages WILL drop in New Zealand if CEA bargaining is undermined as National propose and as ShonKey told the SME tory audience at Kerikeri.

        • bbfloyd 5.2.1.3

          exactly little contra….. why bother to lie when you can simply threaten the newspaper in question, and force them to retract under threats of legal action, and other various methods a government who can change laws, and regulations has….

          are you really that stupid conti boy? or are you just stuck so far up your own arse that reality all looks brown and murky to you?

          this was extensively covered when it was going on, and only the terminally stupid, or fully encrusted tories refused to acknowledge the obvious…..

          johnny sparkles was giving the country a free preview of the methods his cabal would be building on to suppress any dissenting views, or revelations regarding just what they do, rather than what the hacks in the news media are directed to report on…

          if we aren’t very careful, we’re going to take irelands place in the “thick joke” section of the humor lexicon…. and every halfwit tory left behind here when yet another of our smart young graduate leaves in order to actually have a life worth living, makes that racial profiling that much more inevitable…

          thanks little conti, and thank the rest of your flea brained tory twit brigade for giving us yet another reason for the rest of the world to know us, and laugh….

          • TheContrarian 5.2.1.3.1

            Yeah, I’m not a tory.

            • Te Reo Putake 5.2.1.3.1.1

              Every comment you’ve made today strongly suggests otherwise, Conformist. Of course, ‘I’m not a Tory’ is also the line most libertarians use when they’ve been tarred with that particular brush, so if that’s what you are, why don’t you just fess up and we can all have a good laugh at your masterful political persona, oh Superman.

              • “Every comment you’ve made today strongly suggests otherwise” 

                Because I think Key was referring to Aus and not NZ makes me a tory? 

                • Te Reo Putake

                  No, that just makes you seem foolish.
                   
                  Howabout you answer the more serious question. If you are not a Tory, then how do you define your politics? Perhaps you haven’t tried to do that before and you are just confused as to the differences between left and right. Perhaps you are like PG, who claims to be centrist, but advocates for the National Party (ie, a hypocrite). Certainly, if I remember correctly, you refer to yourself as a misanthrope on your website, so that suggests libertarian to me.
                   
                  Anyway, one thing is sure, coming on TS and attacking the left wing commenters and posters here, defending Key and braying ‘what Burt said, what Burt said’, doesn’t make you a contrarian. It makes you just another brick in the wall, I’m afraid.

                  • So coming on the standard an agreeing with everyone is what makes one a contrarian? Interesting. I always went with the dictionary definition A person who opposes or rejects popular opinion. 
                    The popular opinion around here being somewhat different from my own.

                    I don’t have a rigid political ideology – I vote with my head, not my heart. PG being being a centrist and voting National =/= hypocrite and being a misanthrope =/= libertarian

                     

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Bud, if you define yourelf as a contrarian because you oppose or reject what you think (incorrectly) is the consensus at The Standard, then you are not a contrarian according to the definition you quote. TS is a left wing blog, therefore the contrary position to that is right wing. So, not a contrarian, just a conformist lickspittle.
                       
                      I have seen nothing from you that is in any way contrarian, in the sense of the definition you quote. You sound just like any other conservative and Lord knows enough of them have been on this site over the years claiming to be the voice of reason for me to be able to spot the genus.
                       
                      As for how you vote, I’m guessing a little blue, a bit of yellow and occasionally LibertariaNZ, even though you know its a wasted ballot. Am I warm?

                    • “TS is a left wing blog, therefore the contrary position to that is right wing”
                      Do you really think it is that black and white?

                      A conservative? Please. All you have to support yourself is your abusive nature against those you disagree with/dislike and using terms like Tory, rightwing and conservative are merely ways to justify your lack of intellectual rigour and your need to abuse others to feel like a big man.

                      Oh and, BTW: I have never voted ACT or for the libertarian party. I have voted National before admittedly but I have voted for the left many more times than the right (something around 8 – 1).

                      No you may lay on more ad homs – if it makes you feel better 

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Ha ha! Bleating about non existent ad homs, while using ad homs yourself is pretty unbecoming, The Conformist. I believe that’s what the youngs folk call a Fail.
                       
                       

                    • Example of Ad Hominem

                      Contrarian “I don’t believe that John Key lied
                      TRP “Of course you would say that, you’re a Tory/Consertvative” 
                      Contrarian “I just don’t believe Key lied, and I am not a tory.  Here’s why i don’t think he lied
                      TRP: ” Like I said, you’re a Tory, so of course you don’t think he lied. Further, you probably vote ACT National , so I can’t believe what you say.”

                      That is a text book example of an ad hom. And it is what you have been doing
                    • Te Reo Putake

                      And what does making up quotes make you, pal? Desperate?

    • freedom 5.3

      Just to be clear oh contrary one, he wanted to see the wages of one of our biggest trading partners drop so they could afford fewer of our exports? yeah that’ll help grow our economy and deliver that brighter future. It was a stupid thing to say however you spin it.

      The only brighter future John Key can deliver is the momentary flash of sunsparkle as his flight leaves for Hawaii in 12-18 months.

      • shreddakj 5.3.1

        Most malicious prime minister ever.

        • Roy 5.3.1.1

          Indeed, and that is really saying something. (Yes, I’m old enough to remember Muldoon).

          • shreddakj 5.3.1.1.1

            I’m not quite that old (born in the 80s) but what I’ve learned about Muldoon was that he was more power hungry rather than straight out malicious. Key just seems incredibly insidious to me.

      • “Just to be clear oh contrary one, he wanted to see the wages of one of our biggest trading partners drop so they could afford fewer of our exports?”

        Oh, so now you are making things up too? All you have is opinion, vapid and baseless opinion. Use your head.

        • shreddakj 5.3.2.1

          You’re the one saying he wanted Australian wages to drop, freedom is just pointing out some of the implications of that.

          • TheContrarian 5.3.2.1.1

            Someone else who didn’t read the linked story.

            • s y d 5.3.2.1.1.1

              Yo contrarian, this is from your own link
              “I would never have advocated for [wages to drop] so either the comment was incorrectly reported, or it was in relation to Australian wages.”
              C’mon, admit it, key is a terrible liar

            • bbfloyd 5.3.2.1.1.2

              i’m confused…. why is everybody giving so much attention to a little cont of a blowass? has no-one learnt why idiots like little cont come here in the first place?

              it’s to derail any sensible discussion, and drag it down to the level they are comfortable with… name calling and obfuscation are the only tools available to brick heads like this, yet too many (well meaning) people attempt to argue “facts” with these clowns…

              meanwhile, those who would like to be informed have no choice but to go elsewhere to get involved in “grownup” debate…….i’ve taken to reading the articles, then checking the comments section for certain handles before actually reading them….

              if they don’t get the attention they crave, then there is no reason sensible discussion can’t follow what are usually informative, and researched posts….

              come on guys and girls…. ignore the bratty children and lets have some good dialogue…

              • freedom

                sometimes its fun to poke a lump of meat just to see if it really is dead. There is always the possibility it might be alive and there could still be a chance of rescue.
                But alas, as inevitable as it is dissapointing, we discover it is only a lump of dead meat.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.4

      He said he was joking then he said he was talking about Australian wages. Methinks he said exactly what he said and that the reporter reported it correctly – John Key said to a NZ business person that he wanted to see wages drop and he meant NZ wages.

  6. Here is the transcript of the conversation and it is quite obvious that the “We would love to see wages drop” is in relation to the first part of the question: Australian wages.

    Carolyne Brooks-Quan: There’s been a lot surrounding the exodus of people to Australia that are lured by higher wages. There’s some calls here for employers to pay more. What’s your take on that?
    John Key: We would love to see wages drop.
    The way we want to see wages increase is because productivity is greater. So people can afford more.
    Not just inflationary reasons, otherwise it’s a bit of a vicious circle as it comes back to you in higher interest rates. We really want to drive that out. 

    This was followed – nearly a year later – by Key stating he didn’t remember but was speaking tongue in cheek. Look, there are plenty of reason to dislike Key but this…this is a big pile of nothing

    • Ah, John Key’s typical eloquence, his mastery of the english language is so clear! Not.

      “…There’s some calls here for employers to pay more. What’s your take on that?”

      “John Key: We would love to see wages drop.”

      If he meant Australian wages, he should have said so, but since he’s borderline illiterate he couldn’t manage to effectively communicate what he actually meant. Either that or he said what he meant, that he wants to see wages drop.

      • Nice cheery picking and quote mining. Ignore the bits you don’t want to address and highlight the bits you do. .

        “If he meant Australian wages, he should have said so” He DID say so – when it raised by Cullen some months later that is what he said.

        • shreddakj 6.1.1.1

          You’re an apologist and a half, defending the religion of Jonkeyism.

          • TheContrarian 6.1.1.1.1

            Not an apologist – I just know a bullshit story when I see one….and this is one as is plainly laid out in the transcript.

            • shreddakj 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Sigh…… No it isn’t. I think you need to go back to school and learn grammar. While you’re there, teach some to John Key too, because if he was talking about Australian wages as he later claimed, it was not clear from what he said.

              Pink elephants are more expensive in Australia. There has been some talk of raising prices here. What’s your take on this?

              I would love to see prices fall.

              • Whatever, you chose to insult my intelligence. Great – good one.
                This is fucking bullshit and even a cursory reading of the transcript, the subsequent clarification, the fact no one at the meeting has said any different all point this being bullshit.

                But you can complain about grammar all you want which is particularly weird considering visual clues are what are missing here. i.e did Key laugh (or the audience laugh) after his comment.  
                But sure man, complain about the fucking grammar. And yeah and quote-mine and cherry-pick some more which is what you have done again in your example.
                 

                • Pascal's bookie

                  What audience?

                  I don’t think you’ve read the details too closely yourself there C.

                  It wasn’t a public meeting, it was a chat in a cafe.

                  • Audience = the people listening to him 

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Sure, when you said ‘audience’ and ‘no one at the meeting’ you were talking about that one person.

                      Perfectly natural use of the language there.

                    • Michael Cullen even said: “Which is it, Mr Key? Should we believe what you told a business audience in the Far North or what you have been telling national media for months?” 

                       

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      An audience of one, Conformist. It was an interview, not a meeting with the Pope.
                       
                      The journalist, despite having his job threatened, stuck to the truth. Key first denied saying it, then when it was proved that he had said it, then lied to say he meant Australian wages, as if that was acceptable anyway. You don’t see the leaders of other countries we trade with expressing a desire to see the incomes of their neighbours drop, do you? No, because they aren’t lying half wits, for the most part.
                       
                      Still, stick to your fanboi man crush. That’s just sooooo contrary to the establishment view of Key, isn’t it?

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      This is the other, kind of important wrinkle to the story:

                      Journalists react to attack on media freedom

                      Key went to the CEO of APN, who *instructed* the paper to run a ‘clarification’.

                    • @Te Reo Putake

                      “stick to your fanboi man crush”
                      Yeah, sure. Denigration. Nice one 

                      “That’s just sooooo contrary to the establishment view of Key, isn’t it”
                      Actually, i have a very critical view of Key but it is much easier for you to label others who disagree with you “a Key fanboi” because that way you don’t actually have to consider or listen to anyone elses arguments or positions. You can safely scream “national Lover” or some other denigrating term and that is your argument made for you.

                      pathetic. 

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Dude, you are only contrarian in the sense that the voices in your head appear to be arguing with each other. Face it, you are just another dull witted righty; a Pete George without the winning personality.

                    • More of the same from Te Reo Putake.
                      Zero in the way of reading comprehension or ability to form coherent arguments of thought patterns, but high in the ability to denigrate.
                      Like I said:

                      it is much easier for you to label others who disagree with you “a Key fanboi” because that way you don’t actually have to consider or listen to anyone elses arguments or positions. You can safely scream “national Lover” or some other denigrating term and that is your argument made for you. 

                       

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Yep, you’re really convincing me, Conformist. How is the air up there, wedged as you are somewhere near Key’s colon?

                      It’s not me that needs to form the argument, as it is you that is claiming that Key was correct when he lied later about meaning Oz, not NZ. And, I’ll ask again, why is it appropriate for a NZ PM to publicly state that he want the incomes of a neighbouring country to drop, if that is what he really meant?

                    • It’s not me that needs to form the argument, as it is you that is claiming that Key was correct when he lied later about meaning Oz, not NZ. 

                      yeah, that doesn’t make any sense – gibberish. You are claiming Key lied and meant to drop NZ wages. All the evidence has been presented that he meant to indicate it was Australia. As you are not convinced and are question the evidence it is up to you to provide the argument he lied.
                      P.S. Saying “I don’t need any evidence” or “It is obvious” is NOT an argument.

                      why is it appropriate for a NZ PM to publicly state that he want the incomes of a neighbouring country to drop, if that is what he really meant?
                      Has a New Zealand prime minister never made a joke at Australias expense before? Are no Australian premiers guilty of making jokes about NZ?

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      “…all the evidence…”

                      What “evidence”, dupe? The word of that mendacious wretch?

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      The only ‘evidence’ that he meant Australia is that that is what he claimed when challenged on it. Then he claimed that he hadn’t said it at all. Then he attacked the journo. Then he went to the CEO of APN who (coincidentally I’m sure) instructed the newspaer to make a ‘clarification’ (not a retraction) in blatant example of corporate interference in editorial control.

                      The only other thing you’ve cited as evidence is that you imagine he might have laughed when he said it, but I’m discounting that becuase it’s just something you made up.

                      If you read the transcript it is clear that the question he is directly answering is about NZ wages, and that he clarifies his ‘wages drop’ comment by saying that he thinks wages should not rise to compensate for inflation.

                      What does that do to real wages? They drop, just like he said.

                    • Lanthanide

                      “All the evidence has been presented that he meant to indicate it was Australia. ”

                      “Evidence” eh? Like Bill Clinton’s “evidence” that he didn’t have sexual relations with that woman?

                      No, what has been presented is after-the-fact justification and spin, at best.

                    • Well, whatever.
                      There is nothing to suggest otherwise outside of:
                      “I think he meant New Zealand so that is what i am going to stick by”. That is all you have. 

                      If you read the transcript it is clear that the question he is directly answering is about NZ wages

                      No, it isn’t clear at all. But, again, people with an axe to grind and no ability to think logically or with rationality will believe what they want anyway and no amount of “Hang on, maybe put your hate aside and think like a reasonable human-being”  from anyone who might disagree or wish to challenge your prevailing POV that John Key, by your own definition, must be lying.

                      Good luck with that 
                       

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      and that he clarifies his ‘wages drop’ comment by saying that he thinks wages should not rise to compensate for inflation.

                      What does that do to real wages? They drop, just like he said.

                      You’ve missed that part both times I’ve mentioned it the thread, it’s starting to look deliberate.

                      So the ‘NZ wages’ interpretation makes his answer consistent as a response to a query about NZ wages, which is funnily enough, what he was asked about.

                      The rest of your comment is just more hypocritical ad hom blather.

        • Lanthanide 6.1.1.2

          ““If he meant Australian wages, he should have said so” He DID say so – when it raised by Cullen some months later that is what he said.”

          Um, no, if he meant Australian wages, he should have said so AT THE TIME THAT HE MADE THE STATEMENT.

          That way we could be sure exactly what he meant. As it was, he was ambiguous AT THE TIME THAT HE MADE THE STATEMENT and that is what we are dumping on him for. He either genuinely did mean Australian wages AT THE TIME HE MADE THE STATEMENT in which case he is a poor communicator, or he genuinely did mean NZ wages AT THE TIME HE MADE THE STATEMENT and his later ‘clarification’ is a bald face lie that is only possible because he was ambiguous in the first place.

          Sorry for the shouting, but some people’s skulls are quite thick.

          • TheContrarian 6.1.1.2.1

            Every time you make a tongue and cheek remark to clarify it instantly? I don’t because usually I smile or laugh or give away some other visual clue. Do you know anyone who wanders round explaining their comments as soon as they make them?

            This story is bullshit. Why not focus on some real lies Key made instead this “I think he is lying even though evidence points to the contrary” stories
             

            • shreddakj 6.1.1.2.1.1

              You don’t have to clarify statements if they are clear to begin with.

              “How high are you?”
              “Yes”

              His actions don’t point to the contrary at all though. So you could say that if his statement was referring to NZ wages it would be far more accurate than if it was referring to Australian wages. Perhaps though he wants them to fall there too, capitalists usually want wages to fall in general.

            • Lanthanide 6.1.1.2.1.2

              No, it’s not bullshit.

              There are only two ways to look at what he said:
              1. He did not CLEARLY explain, at the time he said it, that he meant Australian wages, and this is because he is a bad communicator.
              2. He actually meant NZ wages, and used the ambiguity in his statement to lie about it later and say he really meant Australian wages.

              That is it. He was ambiguous, if you deny that then you don’t, as shreddakj says, have a good grasp of grammar.

              Now once you accept the fact of the matter, you can then come up with justifications for his actions: maybe it was an off the cuff remark or something he wasn’t paying very much attention to. Sure, fine. That does mitigate the situation a lot, perhaps even entirely, but it doesn’t change the underlying fact that he was ambiguous.

              • Ambiguity =/= lying.

                And, once again, I don’t wander around CLEARLY explaining every comment I make unless someone expresses confusion.

                • Lanthanide

                  So you admit there is ambiguity in his statement then.

                  • I think if you were there when he said it there would be no ambiguity and the ambiguity only arises when people want see it. I don’t see it.

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      “I don’t want to see it” FIFY

                    • Sure buddy, whatever you say.
                      I see Key make many other mistakes, lies and bullshit comments but for some reason this one I ignore.

                      Seems likely.

                    • freedom

                      Since you strongly state there is no ambiguity in your mind about what he meant then we can return to our earlier inquiry. If it was Australian wages he wanted to see drop, how is that a helpful practical or indeed intelligent ‘off the cuff’ comment for our PM to make about one of our largest trading partners?

                    • “how is that a helpful practical or indeed intelligent ‘off the cuff’ comment for our PM to make about one of our largest trading partners?”

                      I never said it was helpful or intelligent.
                      But has a New Zealand prime minister never made a joke at Austrlias expense before? Are no Australian premiers guilty of making jokes about NZ?

                    • Clashman

                      So Contrarian you state “I think if you were there when he said it there would be no ambiguity and the ambiguity only arises when people want see it.”
                      The reporter was there when he said it, how was the satement reported?

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    So know you are claiming Key was joking? So why hasn’t Key claimed that in his own defence? Is it because you are making it up?

                    • This was in the link TheContrarian linked to in comment 5.2.1

                      Yesterday, Mr Key said the first quote would have been a “light-hearted” reference to wages in Australia dropping as one way to close the gap between the two countries and make New Zealand wages look comparatively more attractive

                      Jokes  – ‘light-hearted’ comments – tell us quite a lot about people’s orientations. What we notice as potential humour indicates how we hold an issue ‘up to the light’.

                      For example, in the same situation, I might have said – ‘light=heartedly’, of course –  “I’d love to see the moths fly out of employers’ wallets”. And that would have said something about my orientation to the issue of wages, wouldn’t it?

            • freedom 6.1.1.2.1.3

              As you are stringently defending what the PM said, you must have some strong views about what he said and I surmise those of us who replied were interested in your impressions of what the statement made by the PM meant for NZ/Aus wages. Or were you only, once again, playing distractionary games and wasting everyones’ time. If the other lies you refer to are so important why have you not posted any? Or were you only, once again, playing distractionary games and wasting everyones’ time. If the idea of dropping wages is something you favour , say so. Or were you only, once again, playing distractionary games and wasting everyones’ time. If you do not want to see NZ wages drop , say so. Or were you only, once again, playing distractionary games and wasting everyones’ time.

              • As you are stringently defending what the PM said, you must have some strong views about what he said and I surmise those of us who replied were interested in your impressions of what the statement made by the PM meant for NZ/Aus wages”

                Already answered that

                “If the other lies you refer to are so important why have you not posted any?”

                Not relevant – we are discussing the validity of this particular incident which I am contrasting against other, real, bullshit remarks Key has made.

                If the idea of dropping wages is something you favour , say so

                I don’t favour it

                Your comment itself, Freedom, was a waste of time

                 

                • freedom

                  of course it was you fool, it is called stating the obvious

                  or is that stirring the oblivious ?

                  • Tiger Mountain

                    “The Contrarian” posts really portray TC as a bit of a tory brown noser, heh, gave us a slight break from Pete today though. PFDs (Pete Free Days) or even MPDs (Minimal Pete Days) are considered good days by some of us.

                    Sure anyone can comment here if they take some notice of the Standard rules, but those with their own web presence such as United Follicles Pete and Contrarian are freeloading imo.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Yep, agreed. I don’t mind targeted links, such as the Jackal’s, because they lead somewhere that is often of interest to the likely reader of TS. PG, on the other hand, posts the same teaser and link on every site that’ll still have him.

    • framu 6.2

      “he didn’t remember but was speaking tongue in cheek”\

      so he didnt remember what he was saying – but he did remember how he was saying it?

      you can believe Key all you want re: “love to see wages drop”

      but actions of this and previous national Govts, and the idealogical playbook they use are strongly in favour of downwards pressure on wages.

      So im going to favour the combined effect of actions and ideology over “PM says something after media reports comment” on this one

  7. Bill 7

    Cheers Irish. I’m sitting here thinking this post might be the most depressing I’ve seen published on ‘the standard’. So in ‘not a little’ desperation and seeing as how I’m a bit of a dummy on how legislative changes can be made in the parliamentary setting, I’ve got a question.

    Isn’t it the case that whatever Cabinet proposes has to pass through the house? Which means it’s not a case of the changes National are making, but rather the changes they want to make?

    I’ve no confidence in either UF or the Mp to do the right thing by anything or any one other than what they perceive to be in their own short term self interest ie, maintaining their position (however impotent) within the ruling faction of government for the duration of this parliament.

    But I’m curious. Anyone recall any stated positions by any of these parties on Employment Relations?

    Not expecting the wobbly bellies and flouncing hair of either PD or PS and his mP cronies to come a-riding out of the sunrise to ‘save the day’. But in a parliamentary setting and with unions and labour in general so hog tied already, what option is there besides pressuring or appealing to the likes of PD and the PS brigade in the (probably) vain hope that they do the right thing? For once.

  8. National and it mates have the Grover Norquist approach to Industrial Relations.  They want to weaken the Trade Union movement that much they can then drown it in a bath tub.
     

  9. BernyD 9

    We should canvas NZ to create a “Free Market” Union.

    That’d put a smile on some faces.

  10. True Freedom is Self-Governance 10

    Whether or not he was joking is irrelevant, the fact that he said this at all is proof of his disregard for the welfare of others. In fact, if he was joking it makes him look even worse. Treating the hardships that too many people in this land of plenty face every day as a joke is pretty bloody low, I hate to imagine what he thinks but doesn’t say out loud.

  11. captain hook 11

    according to the theory the ‘invisible hand” gives to all but here in new zealand it only seems to be able to steal from the poorest without their knowing.

  12. Kotahi Tane Huna 12

    Whether or not Key akshully meant what he said? Well we live in a dinnimic environment, and for everyone who thinks he meant it I can show you a shill who says otherwise.

    Either way it’s a red herring – the fact is his government is acting in such a way as to severely undermine wages. If they think that will somehow boost the economy they are in for a shock. I will not be surprised to see population decline.

  13. freedom 13

    on a side note re: “I will not be surprised to see population decline.”

    -remember this is the endgame for many of his cronies. Perhaps he will find out some more details at this year’s Bilderberg 2012 meeting, May 31-june 3. A meeting to which John Key is rumoured to have been invited. This year it returns to US soil, The Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles hotel, in Chantilly Virginia to be precise, but as they usually book multiple hotels to throw off the scent, we will have to wait and see.

    Why is our PM on this list? maybe Mike Moore could tell us eh?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Bilderberg_participants#New_Zealand

    Feel free to ignore it completely, but please be aware that the attendees list is sourced directly from leaked Bilderberg documents gathered from legitimate sources. Sources whose actions have exposed and embarrassed many Bilderberg attendees. People can deny they exist all they want, but after fifty years of that strategy even the Bilderberg Group itself had to declare it is real. It does exist, but it is just an innocent gathering of friends that happens to involve many of the world’s major political/royal/business folk so naturally it has some of the toughest security measures outside of a G8 summit. A few mates enjoying a seriously private cup of tea if you will.

    So anybody know where the PM is scheduled to be post budget?

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 13.1

      “remember this is the endgame for many of his cronies”

      Um, yeah, nah. Endgame? To coincide with the Mayan calendar end of the world in December perhaps? What happens after the endgame? The after match drinks?

      Or just another hackneyed pretence of knowledge of the minds, plans and opinions of the “powerful”?

      • freedom 13.1.1

        the Maya Long Count denotes the end of this, the Fifth Age, as prescribed in their beliefs and history. It does not nor ever has proclaimed to denote the end of the world. The well documented Maya history was effectively destroyed overnight, thanks to the pyro-manic tendencies of the church in the 17th century. How the Maya came to have the calendar is debated in numerous books but principally involves the 5000 year cycles of polarity shift in the Sun. The Sun, being the principle force behind life and death on this planet, can most certainly provide an environment where the world as we know it may end. It is a natural recurring cycle and the Earth is still here. The modern hysteria over how the Long Count marks the end of the world is not without merit but is conflated to serve numerous motives and is employed by a diverse range of people. Some influential, some manipulative, some just nuts.

        We do not know the truth as to what will occur on this crazy rock, and no-one who is alive today can honestly say they do, not without some very squirrely questions being asked. The ongoing exposition of facts and the questions human ask do combine to provide some highly interesting answers though. granted they are answers that usually promote more questions, but that is the joy one gets accepting one does not know everything.

        If you and others are serious in your offhand dismissal of the ‘nefarious plans’ of the world’s elite i can only hope you are correct. I hope you are correct but I do find it difficult to ignore the cause and effect from actions taken by, amongst others, the Industrial Military complex. I cannot easily dismiss the wreckage wrought by the IMF, the Council of Foreign Relations, MSM propoganda, GMO etc etc etc. The reality I do accept is that the next few years is a complex and dangerous game where any original plans must now be so far out of their control that the only controlling force can be Chaos itself. We all pretty much just have to watch the maelstrom play out, ducking from the shrapnel when we can, holding close the fragile taonga of our society. Taonga that we must save at all costs. Namely the humanity and freedom that is the birthright of every child, every woman and every man that calls Earth home. Anything else is only serving the selfish greed and bloodlust that built this mess in the first place. peace.

  14. captain hook 14

    hugging his pillow.

  15. The determination to undermine workers rights is part of a wider sinister plan that is effectively a declaration of war against New Zealand’s poor. The war against terror had no real basis and neither has the war against our poor, the intention in both cases is to ensure the profits of the already rich.
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/05/nationals-war-against-poor.html

  16. I take it that Key and English do not mind if the whole country empties out and goes to Australia, because that is what their policies are encouraging. Perhaps they have finally realised we will never catch up in pay parity with Australia, so they decided to follow the old adage “If you can’t beat them, join them.”.

    The sarcastic element in me says we might as well become the seventh state now.

  17. Johnm 17

    Re Pic at head of post:

    Key: “I’m ready to drop my swim shorts when that busty porn whore wearing nothing comes over to f*ck my rich c*ck” Happening in Hawaii of course Bronwyn’s back in underclass land , NZ, Free to live again! There’s more dropping than wages here!

    IrishBill: totally out of line. Take a week off.

  18. Kyle 18

    Of course the government wants wages to drop, the poor the people, the more control you can have over them. simple as that. They are raising the price of scripts from $3 to $5, lower the wages, and then the already over priced food and petrol will be harder for everyone to afford. living on $40k will no longer be possible, because that same wage will be $30k when it drops. Dropping wages serves no purpose other than businesses and the government and makes it harder for people to make ends meet.

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