If everything goes well..

Written By: - Date published: 5:32 am, May 28th, 2009 - 23 comments
Categories: budget 2009 - Tags:

Good politics is meeting or exceeding expectations. Good spin is setting expectations.

Key and English have put a lot of effort into setting expectations for the budget. (2000 Kiwis a week a probably wishing they would put effort into protecting jobs). The fruits of which will be this, if everything goes well for them:

English announces tax cuts cancelled because economic conditions are as bad as we knew they would be months before the election. He will suspend or slash contributions the Superannuation Fund that gained a billion dollars last month. There will be other cuts too. Hidden away.

He’ll say it’s necessary to avoid a credit downgrade.

Nevermind that only one ratings agency, S&P, has even suggested we might get a downgrade in the future if things go bad. Nevermind we are rated by Moody’s to be a better credit risk than the US and UK.

Hopefully, for the Tories, the media lap it up. Especially when S&P, oh so conveniently, announces the same day there will be no downgrade.

Cue reporter standing outside Parliament: ‘well, English and Key have done what they had to do. They’ve avoided a credit downgrade’.

Key & English, off to battle windmills

Key & English, off to battle windmills

Nevermind that a credit downgrade was no more a real threat than Don Quixote’s windmills*.

Key and English have convinced the media the windmills are giants. They will be lauded for bravely seeing off the threat.

[* for the illiterate]

23 comments on “If everything goes well..”

  1. gomango 1

    Just trying to work through the logic of your post. Why would you write a comment for those who are illiterate? How could they read that in the first place let alone read the article you link to? Perhaps you could embed a cartoon or an audio link for the illiterate?

    Middle English, from Latin illiteratus, from in- + litteratus literate
    15th century
    1: having little or no education ; especially : unable to read or write

    • Pascal's bookie 1.1

      Dude, I’ll give you a hand,

      1: having little or no education ; especially : unable to read or write

      ‘Especially’ does not mean ‘exclusively’.

  2. IrishBill 2

    Ah yes, quoting a dictionary definition. The stalwart tactic of junior highschool debating and, in this case, a clear attempt at misdirection from the substance of the post.

  3. Zetetic 3

    The refuge of the damned, eh Irish? This illiterate can’t even read the definition he posted: “having little or no education”.

    gomango. You think we should be stopping payments to the Superannuation Fund. You don’t think that for any good reason. Just because that’s what National is doing so it must be right. You lack the courage to say so and have you position torn apart. So distractions it is.

    • cocamc 3.1

      I think they should still contribute to the Super Fund – but I would rather we all have a collective approach to superannuation. Its clear that in the future we probably cannot afford to keep paying universal superannuation and now’s the time to for a new approach.
      Although I don’t support Labour I do believe Kiwisaver was a great idea but I just wish Cullen and Clark had the courage to go further and make it compulsory (as it is in a lot of countries) and therefore reduce the reliance on Government funded superannuation in the future.

    • Bill 4.1

      Continuing in the same vein…Which one of these dots cannot be made to join to all the others?

      a) India,
      b) New Zealand,
      c) International Financial Institutions,
      d) Budget,
      e) Democracy.

      What does it say about a country that will tolerate even a whiff of involvement from c messing with d and therefore undermining e?

      a) That the ‘right people’ are firmly in control and the population suitably managed.
      b) That the ‘right people’ are firmly in control and the population suitably dis-engaged.
      c) That the ‘right people’ are firmly in control and a sickening fluorescent corporatist dawn with a perfectly photoshopped white toothed Colgate smile is trying to flicker into existence.
      d) All the above.
      e) All the above and worse.

  4. burt 5

    Speaking of illiterate

    How is Zetitic spelt. You seem to flip flop between Zetetic and Zetitic

    I note you are currently using Zetetic but when you click on the “author” link it shows Zetitic.

  5. SJ Hawkins 6

    gomango, you miss the point of the ‘for the illiterate’ reference. Zetetic is eager to impress, since most of his posts to date have been sub-standard, and wants to be seen to be well read. Admittedly his choice of phrase was not quite right (being illiterate may make it awkward to read Don Quixote, but it doesn’t logically follow that everyone who hasn’t read it is therefore illiterate), but accuracy isn’t required for one to post at the standard.
    IrishBill springs to Zetetic’s defense because he also wants to appear to be erudite (and because obviously you’re not part of their clique) so reels out some ad hominems that miss the mark (in that while quoting a dictionary definition might be a standard tactic of junior high school debating, it is also a standard tactic of more senior level debating, lawyers, legislators and more). In fact in this instance IB has merely confirmed your method for debating is correct.
    Pascal’s Bookie, the rookie, puts forth a glaring fallacy, that ‘especially’ in this case does not mean ‘exclusively’. In actual fact, in this case ‘especially’ means ‘particularly’. It is used to highlight that this definition (unable to read or write) is the most pertinent.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.1

      Why is the most pertinent? Cause you say so? Fuck off.

      Surely from the context of the post the most pertinent definition would be something along the lines of ‘not well read’. A perfectly legitimate definition.

      • SJ Hawkins 6.1.1

        Perhaps I am then illiterate, for I clearly haven’t read widely enough to have ever seen that used as a definition. In common usage illiterate means not able to read or write. At times I think the term is used to mean not able to read or write very well, usually as an insult. The better educated among us though would never use ‘illiterate’ when they really mean ‘not well read’.

        • Pascal's bookie

          “Perhaps I am then illiterate”

          Clearly so mate.

          Here’s some help for you, (my, I am helpful today):


          3.showing lack of culture, esp. in language and literature…

          … 2 a Marked by inferiority to an expected standard of familiarity with language and literature.

          and lastly:

          Il*lit”er*ate\, a. [L. illiteratus: pref. il- not + literatus learned. See In- not, and Literal.] Ignorant of letters or books; unlettered; uninstructed; uneducated; as, an illiterate man, or people.

          Syn: Ignorant; untaught; unlearned; unlettered; unscholary. See Ignorant. — Il*lit”er*ate*ly, adv. — Il*lit”er*ate*ness, n.

          So there you are, now slightly less illiterate. Don’t say we never do anything for ya.

          • felix

            *fewer illiterate.

          • Pascal's bookie


            (Thought about taking a bit easy on this clown. I hope it sticks around, looks to be almost as much fun as. Ginger but with punctuation. Thought better of it. Error has no rights, as the ‘sod might say.)

    • inpassing 6.2

      excusez-moi, Monsieur Hawkins,

      to the point..

      In what langauges do these lawyers and legislators of your acquaintance debate Don Quixote..?

  6. SJ Hawkins 7

    Thanks PB, you certainly have increased my knowledge of definitions and synonyms for ‘illiterate’ today. It is now far clearer given the context of Zetetic’s allegations that readers of the standard are ‘Marked by inferiority to an expected standard of familiarity with language and literature’.
    I have read Don Quixote, so by Zetetic’s usage, therefore I am educated. To be fair that makes as much sense as anything else I have read here.
    However, in the originally posted definition, not that which you have sought and introduced to retrospectively validate your inaccuracy, it is clear that the context of ‘especially’ in this case means ‘more specifically’. It is an emphasis. Perhaps you could find other definitions to justify yourself?

    1: having little or no education ; especially : unable to read or write

  7. Pascal's bookie 8

    Jesus Mary and Joseph. You really are dumb aren’t ya pal?

    You may have read Quixote, but I doubt you understood it.

    I’ll go through this nice and slowly for you.

    Especially does not mean exclusively. It just doesn’t. (I assume you think that it was this statement of mine that was inaccurate?)

    In the context of this definition:

    1: having little or no education ; especially : unable to read or write

    they use the word ‘especially’ to highlight the fact that while there is a primary meaning/usage, (“unable to read or write”), that meaning is just one particular (though very common) instance of the more general definition of the word: “having little or no education”.

    The fact that you, (and maybe gomango), confused the most common usage with the word’s actual definition only goes to show it’s applicability.

    il- not + literatus learned

    • SJ Hawkins 8.1

      PB, look it up yourself
      es·pe·cial·ly (-spsh-l, -spsh-)
      To an extent or degree deserving of special emphasis; particularly.

      I am interested to know (if you are arguing for the wider definition) who sets the standard that Zetetic is claiming readers fall short of, in that the direct implication of his comment is that anyone who hasn’t read Don Quixote is therefore illiterate? I have to assume you are arguing the same thing.

      By the way, you have confused derivation with definition in the last line.

      • Pascal's bookie 8.1.1

        None of which means ‘exclusively’ SJ. If it did mean exclusively the original definition would read like this:

        1: unable to read or write

        The fact that it doesn’t means that there are other ways of using the word. You accepted this before, have you forgotten? You are correct enough about ways that especially can be used, but none of that proves that especially means exclusively. Which is what I denied. This is all very silly.

        And I confused nothing. I quoted the derivation to highlight why the word is defined, as i explicitlt stated,

        “…of the more general definition of the word: “having little or no education’. “

        • SJ Hawkins

          Yes I concede none of that means exclusively and in that respect I was wrong to intially accuse you of such a fallacy. I apologise for the accusation, and also trust you weren’t offended by me adding ‘the rookie’ after your name, it just rhymed so nicely I couldn’t resist.

          So to be clear, Zetetic’s usage was intended to invoke the definition ‘having little or no education’?

          • Pascal's bookie

            Not offended at all, been called much worse.

            So to be clear, Zetetic’s usage was intended to invoke the definition ‘having little or no education’?

            Well intention is a funny thing, and reading is an active process, with the reader playing a role in interpreting meaning that some say is just as important to the text as the writers intent. But them’s murky waters, and I think Zetetic wasn’t being so subtle in this here instance.

            So generally speaking, I guess that’s what Z was getting at, particularly the form of ‘having little education’ that goes with being ‘not well read’, to bring it back to my comment at 1:56 pm May 28.

            Now you’ve read the Q, so you’re one up one me there, but I got the windmills reference anyhow, on account of me being aware enough of the literature, without having read it, to catch the allusion. So I’m guessing his particular usage at that point warn’t aimed at either of us, which is by the by…

  8. David S. 9

    “Cue reporter standing outside Parliament: ?well, English and Key have done what they had to do. They?ve avoided a credit downgrade?.”

    So, did anyone else just catch Guyon on one news just now?

    • bilbo 9.1

      Played like a fiddle – he is the beehive gimp regardless of those in power.

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