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ImperatorFish: Not Irony #1

Written By: - Date published: 9:54 am, December 8th, 2011 - 28 comments
Categories: act, dpf, national, national/act government - Tags:

Scott at Imperator Fish has kindly given us permission to syndicate posts from his blog – the original of this post is here


Not Irony #1

David Farrar applies some wonky logic in order to blame everything bad the Nats do on the left.

If all the lefties had not tactically voted NZ First to get them over 5%, then National would have 63 seats and not need ACT and United Future to govern, and hence it is far less likely that ACT would have got agreement to have a trial of charter schools. When the main party *needs* you, you will get far more wins than when they simply *want* you.

What’s wrong with this analysis?

  1. “All the lefties”. NZ First got 6.8% of the vote. How many of those people were “lefties?” I’d be guessing, but maybe half at most. So that’s maybe 5-10% of those “lefties” who voted. Most “lefties” have little time for Peters.
  2. “hence it is far less likely that ACT would have got agreement to have a trial of charter schools.” That assumes National reluctantly conceded to ACT’s demands and was not in fact a willing participant.
  3. If John Key and his proxies had not spent the fortnight before the election shrilly denouncing Winston Peters and all his evils, we might have had a majority National government. Even if we assume National is being forced to concede anything it doesn’t really want, it’s an own-goal. Farrar can’t really blame the left for the horrendous tactical blunder he and others made in giving Peters publicity.
  4. If charter schools really were unpalatable to National they could have said “no deal” and just given John Banks a win with something else. It’s not as if ACT campaigned on charter schools, so I’m guessing it was never going to be a deal-breaker.

If any group of voters is to blame for the National/ACT deal, it’s those voters who gave National their party vote and/or John Banks their electorate vote.

28 comments on “ImperatorFish: Not Irony #1”

  1. Blue 1

    It’s amazing how many idiots think Banks had any negotiating power at all during post-election talks with National.

    FFS, he campaigned on ‘a vote for me is a vote for a John Key-led government.’

    He would never, ever, in a million years deny National the vote it needed to govern.

    If anything, the coalition talks between National and Act would have been Key pressing Banks to come up with every far-right idea he’s ever had and saying ‘okay, let’s do that!’

    • He would never, ever, in a million years deny National the vote it needed to govern.


      Key had all the power and Banks had none. Banks’ political future depends entirely on National. If he failed to join a John Key-led National government the Epsom voters would abandon him immediately (and feel ‘cheated’ that their ‘tactical voting’ didn’t work). 

      • Puddleglum 1.1.1

        And … Farrar appears to have abandoned all pretense that he has the ability to think through political events.

        Either that or his post is just transparently inadequate spin to provide cover for a Clayton’s negotiation.

    • Peter 1.2

      More likely that Key said this is what I what done in the Act’s name.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Imperator Fish’s argument is a bit longwinded.

    Best to say – Key is a weak negotiator who, after all is said and done, has no problem with the privatisation of the NZ school system.

    • rosy 2.1

      The only problem with your scenario CV is that you’re assuming a negotiation between Key and the man who said ‘a vote for me is a vote for a John Key-led government.’

      • felix 2.1.1

        That’s kinda the point, rosy.

        Key says he had to negotiate with BANCTS and we’re entitled to take him at his word (‘cos he’s meant to be telling the truth and all that).

        So we don’t really need to make the argument as Key’s own argument (that BANCTS made him do it) only allows for two possible scenarios.

        Either he is telling the truth, in which case he’s a shite negotiator.

        Or he’s lying, in which case he’s just a shite.

  3. It’s not as if ACT campaigned on charter schools,

    Brash did campaign on it, it just didn’t get much coverage

  4. Uturn 4

    A short conversation with a psychopath (as related by David Farrar).

    John Key: I beat you because you won’t fight back.
    Key’s victim: You’re right, I deserve your evil, beat me some more.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      What’s the problem? Sounds like a perfectly happy relationship.

      • Uturn 4.1.1

        Nothing wrong per se. Perspective depends on which side of couch – or in your case, the guillotine – you are.

    • mike 4.2

      Indeed Uturn, that’s exactly the noted typical response when psychopaths are asked if they feel sorry for their victims: “If they were so weak and stupid to be fooled by me, then they deserved what they got.”

      I read of one imprisoned serial killer when asked the same question responded, (I’m paraphrasing from memory here), “Oh sure, definitely. But it’s like, you know when you squash a bug, for a second you think ‘poor bug’. But then it’s over. It’s like that.”

      • Uturn 4.2.1

        The typical response to the above conversation for someone with a secondary psychopath tendency would be, “What’s wrong with that?”.*

        *CV is clearly outside the parameters of adhoc tests and can be excluded from our methods.

  5. mike 5

    “ACT made me do it.”

    “This is MMPs fault.”

    “Lefties who voted for Winston are to blame.”

    FFS Key, are we to believe that the John Banks Party is holding the John Key Party to ransom here? So Banks is dictating policy to you now? Please. You said yes to charter schools, nobody else, take some responsibility. If you didn’t like it you could have said no and given them something else. One seat doesn’t mean they get everything they want. Or are you just full of shit? I think you’re just full of shit. (Who am I talking to… like he’s reading this…)

    At least the good news is that there is surely only so many times he can use the ‘ACT made me do it’ line before enough people become offended by the insult to intelligence.

    And if you really want someone to blame for Winston’s presence, John, look the mirror. Before the teapot debacle, which was a John Key production, he had nothing. No poll love, no media love, no tactical leftie support.

    In a way I’m glad Winston is there. Because right now he will be stockpiling ammunition on Key to gleefully blast him with for 3 years. And there’s so much ammo… Don’t hold back Winnie!

    P.S. “The victim made me do it / this is your own fault” is a classic turn-the-blame-around tactic used by psychopaths. It’s a deceptively powerful ploy using cognitive dissonance – “Maybe I am to blame, I’m sure he didn’t really want to do that bad thing to me, because he isn’t a bad person.” Just sayin’

  6. ghostwhowalksnz 6

    The best thing about making Banks a ( Associate) Minister of Education is that he will do to ACT what Hide did when he was made Minister of Local Government. Just consider it for a while. A dogmatic petrol head who made his money in bars and restaurants, whos previous role was Minister of Police. Aint. going. to .work.

    The other wacky idea mentioned by Brash in his speech ( but in the policy as well) was the increased subsidies for the rich sending their kids to private schools. Somehow they put about the idea that they ‘pay twice’. No mention of those people with no children or those with 5 kids . Or those who children dont go onto tertiary education.
    The other side of this argument is that going to private schools ( not integrated ) ‘saves’ the taxpayers money. Of course they want out of government rules for their schools but in return they get the money as well.

    Somehow their choice becomes our burden

    • red blooded 6.1

      Let’s remember the nat.s have already run this argument and increased state funding to private schools. It was the first thing they did when they got their hands on the steering wheel. (I seem to remember the sum of $30 mill per year.) This at a time of unrelenting cut-backs in the Ministry of Education, funding of Special Education, Alternative Education, pre-school…etc. And the gravy train hasn’t exactly been overflowing in your average state school, believe me!

  7. Tigger 7

    I know no lefties who voted NZF. It’s not a left wing party ffs.

    • js 7.1

      I know a lot of lefties who voted NZF at the last minute. Also several more who were tempted. They just wanted to make sure Winston was back in parliament. They assumed he will be anti-government and give Key etc a hard time. But you can’t assume anything with Winston.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 7.1.1

        Why – anti government – Greens
        – hard time — Labour
        – more seats in Parliament – Mana
        So many better choices for leftys than Winston, who would back a lot of Nationals everyday policies. ( on say benefits)

        Much better to look at polls.
        National poll numbers were consistency over 50% before Winstons rise
        Labours were hovering at the 28-29% mark , about 1% above final result

        The party that lost support as NZF rose was National!

        Voters dont zig zig all over the place, they move a little here or there.

        As ACT didnt rise but NZF did, the numbers had to be Nationals to lose

  8. mik e 8

    You can assume that he will take every opportunity he can get to take Key apart because
    Key has made an enemy for life!

    • ropata 8.1

      I was tempted to vote NZF, because
      a) I want someone in Parliament to stick it to Shonky John
      b) Off chance NZF would hold balance of power and prevent asset sales

      What’s the likelihood of Peter Dunne voting against asset sales? Pretty sure that he promised to oppose. But he’ll just roll over and wriggle for a pat on the head from NACT.

  9. red blooded 9

    Good point. With the new numbers (61/60) Dunny Boy could actually kill this policy, if he was a man of principle. Not much chance that he will, though…

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