Interview the Leaders VII: National

Written By: - Date published: 3:15 pm, May 5th, 2008 - 122 comments
Categories: interview, john key, national - Tags: , , , , , ,

leaders450.jpg

The Maori Party has asked for an extension on the replies for Tariana Turia and we’re happy to oblige. In the meantime, here are the questions to United Future’s Peter Dunne that we chose from your suggestions.

The general question remains:

Of which of your achievements in politics are you most proud?

For the two other questions we’ve gone with Sam Dixon’s:

You regularly call for cross-party concensus on issues, the latest being the Electoral Finance Act, broadband, and the Emissions Trading Scheme. Isn’t democracy about parties presenting different policy choices and the people having the chance to decide which they prefer?

and Ted’s question (re-worded by Peak Oil Conspiracy):

Which MP from a party other than your own do you find your views most closely align with; and why?

While we haven’t been able to cover everything you asked we have emailed Dunne a link to the questions post so he can have a look at your issues. We’re expecting to post his answers on Monday May 12.

In the meantime, our next leader is National’s John Key. You can place your questions for him in the comments section of this post. Reminder: tough but fair.

122 comments on “Interview the Leaders VII: National”

  1. bill brown 1

    Why do you want to be Prime Minister of New Zealand?

  2. higherstandard 2

    Sorry try this.

    You state that you are an admirer of Sir Robert Muldoon what in particular do you admire about his years in politics

  3. insider 3

    You have limited political experience either in the party or in parliament. WHat has prepared you and makes you more able than any other candidate to be PM of NZ.

  4. Macky 4

    Can New Zealanders expect to see the minimum wage rise to $15 an hour in the first term of a National Government?
    Will National pledge to rise the minimum wage at least as fast as inflation?

  5. Does he understand that New Zealand badly needs a Ministry of Mens Affairs?

  6. WendyC 6

    Since you have adopted Labour’s social policies, will not sell state assets (in fact you will partially nationalise the telecommunications sector), and you have said your tax cuts might not be larger than Labour’s, why shouldn’t I vote for ACT instead?

  7. Steve Pierson 7

    D4J – I think he’s against adding to the core public service.

    to Key: my captcha says “Mr assurances”. have you been mucking around with my captcha?

  8. Billy 8

    What do you say to people who claim that National under your leadership is simply Labour-lite?

  9. Billy 9

    Do you want wages to drop?

  10. gobsmacked 10

    When did you join the National Party?

  11. Patrick 11

    Do you think it is ethical that last year no National MP directly donated more than $10,000 to their party? What does this say about National’s commitments to their principals?

  12. Billy 12

    Is “ethical” the word you are looking for, Patrick?

  13. higherstandard 13

    What is ethical or non ethical about MPs donating to any political party.

  14. Sam Dixon 14

    Is it ethical for National to recieve nearly all of its funding from secret sources? If not, why did National vote against banning the practice?

  15. higherstandard 15

    Are you concerned by the lack of openly gay National MPs ?

  16. Felix 16

    An enormous number of Kiwis own and operate a small business or work for someone who does. National proclaims itself a business-friendly party, but why should NZ business people vote for you when you appear to have little or no experience with the way business is conducted in New Zealand?

    captcha: office sickness

  17. Billy 17

    Compared to whom, Felix? Helen? Michael? David Benson-Pope? Trevor Mallard?

  18. hmm 18

    What changes to the process of electoral law reform and the substantive provisions of the Electoral Finance Act will you make if you become Prime Minister after the election?

  19. Felix 19

    Billy, I’d like to ask Mr Key. If you’d like to ask other party leaders then you should have done so.
    The comparison I’M making is the contrast between the national party’s “pro-business” rhetoric and the party leader’s lack of experience in the type of businesses most Kiwis are involved in, and I think it’s a valid one

  20. Patrick 20

    Billy, higherstandard, Sam…

    Hrrrm… as Sam has hit on, I was referring to the fact that any large donations to their party have been channeled through secret trusts. I would be *very* surprised if no National MPs had donated more than $10,000 in 2007, but I do think it raises ethical questions as to why none of them wanted it to be public knowledge that they financially support their party.

    I have no problems with people donating money to political parties they support, but I do think it should be transparent.

    As such, I think Sam has hit the nail on the head with his question, which I would also like answered.

  21. Dave 21

    Given that you argue your time in London and New York gave you the experience to run the country, why are you opposed to other New Zealanders leaving our shores to further their careers – and experience the same cultural and economic benefits you enjoyed?

  22. big bruv 22

    Do you think that the current PM has done irreparable damage to the office of PM?

    What do you think of her lies, her deceit and her constant manipulation of the NZ police?

  23. big bruv 23

    Why the moderation?, are you afraid that I will tell the world that Clark is an evil maggot?

    Hell…we all know that already.

    [lprent: Ummm I left it on after you annoyed me while working on the site last weekend. I seem to remember using you as a test of the moderation after the site upgrade. I’ll release it]

  24. My question would be:

    “can you give one issue, where you hold a view that is unpopular with the New Zealand public, that you are not willing to compromise your position on, even if the refusla to compromise on that position may cost you many votes in the election?

  25. illuminatedtiger 25

    What’s your policy on domestic violence?

  26. If the Government subsidizes GP visits in exchange for a capped fee, how will lifting the fee cap keep GP visits affordable for Jimmy and Joanna Average?

  27. Tintin or Asterix?

  28. dave 28

    what weak nambypampy questions…

  29. leftie 29

    If you formed the next government, is there anything you would do for working people in New Zealand, apart from cutting personal income tax?

  30. r0b 30

    Mr Key, you have made several public announcements committing yourself to aspects of Labour policy such as maintaining the anti-nuclear legislation, interest free student loans, not selling public assets (during a first term), keeping the Cullen Superannuation Fund, four weeks annual leave and so on. What guarantees do the public have that you will keep your word? Would resign as PM if you broke your word on any of these issues?

  31. r0b 31

    Last sentence should be “Would you resign as PM if you broke your word on any of these issues?”

  32. zANavAShi 32

    Only two? Drat! I have twenty-six questions for him:

    http://aotearoaawiderperspective.wordpress.com/questions-i-would-like-john-key-to-answer/

    But most specifically, I want to know why he thinks his experience playing monopoly with other peoples money makes him a person that we should trust to manage our country in a way the benefits anyone other than his rich capitalist mates.

  33. Paul Robeson 33

    The majority of your party and candidates still on the National front bench hapily ran for office under a much more right wing manifesto last election.

    How do you expect to manage a potential National government where many senior figures have previously been prominent supporters of policies such as bulk funding, asset sales, individual contracts, welfare cutbacks and other policies that are now seen as too extreme?

  34. Paul Robeson 34

    In a tv3 interview last year you said that you supported the U.S.A. and the U.K.’s pursuit of war in Iraq because you “supported countries right to take their own actions”.

    Can you please explain what you meant by that and why the country should feel comfortable about Foreign Affairs with you as Prime Minister?

  35. Paul Robeson 35

    One of the most bitter social divides in recent New Zealand history was the opposing sides of the Springbok Tour protest. It split families and friends. It centred around several issues at the core of New Zealand hearts- our right to sporting friendships and freedoms and our duty to oppose institutional racism at home and abroad, even at a cost to these.

    There was baton charges of protests, pro-tour gangs dragging people out of houses and beating them, and a protester threatened to fly a plane into the stands at Eden Park.

    You have stated that you did not support either side or can not remember doing so. How can you credibly do so given the starkly and passionately different positions taken, and having not witnessed so many recent events in New Zealand history first hand, how can you fully represent the many New Zealanders for whom these were important and formative issues?

  36. Thanks zANavAShi for putting those questions up, I have one more to ad to that list; What did you discuss with your former bosses in October last year when you had a breakfast with them in an office of Merrill lynch in London, and while were at it, what guarantee can you give us that you loyalties lie with us the New Zealand people and not with your former pay masters the Money Masters.

    By the way the answer to the question as to when John Key became a member of National is 1998. No doubt this is when “someone” suggested it would be a good idea if he became prime minister of NZ, since Helen Clark was not being helpful when told to sell this country off to the highest bidder.

    He was an unknown in the body politics until 1998 and three years later he is in the forefront of National ready to depose Donny boy.

    Oh, did I tell you that the Federal reserve act that was prepared by Old Donny in 1988 was the same act that gave the money making rights away to the international banking cartel in the US in 1993.
    Old Donny was owned by the Money Masters just as John Key is.

    In my opinion John Key was groomed by the privately owned Federal Reserve of New York to become their representative of the New world order in New Zealand. Watch: G Edward Griffin;the creature of Jekyll Island.http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8484911570371055528

    I spoke with mr. Griffin in person not so long ago and asked him about his opinion on John Key. He told me,”Let’s put it this way,”He is not an innocent, you don’t get this far without selling your soul, he will sell your country and throw in his mother in the deal.” When I asked him do you think he has been groomed, he smiled and answered;”It has happened before.”

    You want to take chances with a man like that? I sure as hell don’t.

    We need to get rid of the Federal Reserve and start printing our own money, it’s the only way.

  37. higherstandard 37

    Outstanding haven’t laughed so much for a long time

  38. James Kearney 38

    Travellerev- no one reads your insane rants.

  39. Phil 39

    Trav,

    Can you sign my copy of the March-June issue of “Uncensored”?

  40. r0b 40

    I don’t agree with Travellerev either, but folks who respond it would do no harm to leave off the personal stuff. HS in particular should be careful here, since his/her own grasp on reality has recently proved to be somewhat tenuous (see the thread following on from here ).

  41. higherstandard 41

    Grasp on reality – Damn your eyes Sir !

    I’m not the one who attends Labour party singalong meetings – look to thyself foul knave.

  42. vto 42

    John, will you fraudulently sign paintings so they appear as if they were done by you?

    John, will you let a motorcade of yours speed through country towns breaking the law and endangering the inhabitants?

    John, will you pull inane political stunts that achieve nothing such as requiring all builders to ‘register’, or micro-chipping dogs?

    John, will you do nothing about insufficient electricity to keep the people warm in winter?

    John, will you reverse the bizarre mindset (Cullen) that thinks that the state is most important and must be financially robust before the financial health of the people? Do you agree that is a completely arse-about mindset?

    John, will you hand back to the people all of the surpluses that greedy Cullen has illegitimately and unnecessarily taken from the people the last nine years (approx. $35,000 per average family).

    John, will you allow drunk-drivers (Dyson), violent criminals (Mallard), liars (Dalzell etc), bullies (Benson-Pope), corruption (Field), and fraudsters (Clark) in your cabinet?

  43. Matthew Pilott 43

    Sorry vto – Cullen spent that surplus on our railways. I have a spare corner if you want to have a wee cry in it (and I notice you use ‘illegitimately’ – umm no son, not quite! try government/minister of finance…).

    Registered builders are indeed useless, I mean Leaky Houses – Caveat emptor and all that eh. Who’d want the government to take action there? No me – I like my walls rotten and my builders rich from shoddy workmanship/materials…

    vto’s inanity aside:

    John, given your wholesale adoption of Labour Party policies, and a complete lack of meaningful policies from National thus far, there is a lot of confusion as to what National stands for. What are National’s goals for the country if they are able to form a government, and what policies would be implemented to effect this?

  44. I predicted the housing crash two years ago, I was called a conspiracy nut than, but guess what; it happened. My friends do listen to me now. I have people thank me because I talked them out of buying a house in the last couple of months. Ignorance is a sin in my book. I spend 8 hours a day learning everything I can as to why our economy is faltering and why we are still in a criminal and illegal war. Listen and learn and educate yourselves. You’ve got broadband; google and find out. Give me good arguments as to why I am wrong. Because your ridicule is only proof of your ignorance. Sticks and stones and all that lot, you poor poor ignorant people.

    Oh and James my blog stats are sky rocketing and the movies I advise are being watched so I quess some people are reading my “rants” but are perhaps scared to come out because they do mind ridicule.
    I don’t because everything I have been learning about in the last two years has come to pass.

    Phil, I don’t read Uncensored. I don’t believe in aliens or fake moon landings so no I won’t sign your rag. You sad little shit.

    HS your ignorance is only matched by your unwillingness to learn.

    R0b what exactly don’t you agree with. I only give facts so you have no idea what my opinion is.
    Have a nice day.

  45. vto 45

    Oh hi there Someone Else’s Pilott.. Not very convincing.

    Especially re leaky homes. Off-topic, but housing people is my business and take it from me the response to the leaky home problem was shoddy in the extreme. Helped nobody. Put up costs.

    You refer to my questions as inanities.. why? My questions are quite legitimate and provide a link from some of the shonkier aspects of the current govt lot to a possible future govt. I don’t want any future govt to carry on in the way my questions illustrate.

  46. Matthew Pilott 46

    travellerev – one para in your last post says “in my opinion” so as for only giving facts… I must admit I find your posts rather difficult to follow – I think you’re trying to put too much in to them so it appears as a tenuously connected string of unsubstantiated allegations which I doubt many people can make head or tail of.

  47. higherstandard 47

    Eve

    I think the reason most people won’t engage with you is that the vast amount of the population find it hard to believe that Key has been groomed overseas to deliver NZ into the clutches of some dark grouping of international financiers.

    NZ is economically tiny and we have few resources that these people would be even vaguely interested in. The more likely and albeit boring situation is Key has come bcak to NZ with his family and has gone into politics because that’s he wants to make a difference, fancies being PM etc etc.

    Don’t you think if he was groomed overseas they would have given him slightly better Media training ?

  48. IrishBill 48

    the response to the leaky home problem was shoddy in the extreme.

    VTO, there are no more leaky homes being built since the market was properly regulated. You don’t have a rockcote business by any chance?

    [lprent: interesting close italic – fixed]

  49. r0b 49

    HS: I’m not the one who attends Labour party singalong meetings – look to thyself foul knave.

    OK, if I’m to be completely honest here, I’d have to agree that the whole singalong thing was not really a high point!

  50. vto 50

    IrishBill, no I don’t but I have used that stuff.

    Your point makes no sense – you say “there are no more leaky homes being built since the market was properly regulated.” Neither were there any built in the 150 years before the problem popped up.

  51. Matthew Pilott 51

    So vto how are those leaky houses these days? Macically fixed themselves?

    Well vto if that’s the worst you can do in the face of lowest unemployment in decades, presiding over strong sustained economic groeth, raising minimum wage by about 50%, subsidised doctors’ visits for all, free early child education, implementation of a vital national savings plan (albeit two decades late), tax credits for families with children, a healthy thaw in NZ-US relations and numerous other achievements, then you’ll see why I think your points were inane.

    OMFG, she didn’t sign a painting that was for a donation to charity. String the woman up, y’say? OMFG, she was in the back of a car going fast! Who gives a toss about all those people who now have jobs – she must be EVIL! hey,let’s see how well we do with a bankrupt, financially mis-managed state – that would do us all a real favour!

    Inane, mundane, lame.

    If a future government could do all that bad stuff thrice over and perform half as well as Labour has over the last three terms we’d be doing well.

  52. r0b 52

    Test (sorry) Test

  53. r0b 53

    OK, italics are out of control. Never mind.

    R0b what exactly don’t you agree with. I only give facts so you have no idea what my opinion is.

    I don’t want to sidetrack this important thread, so one and only one reply to this question.

    Travellerev, I suspect that we would agree on many matters, and I acknowledge the energy and passion that you put into your research. But some of what you present here comes across as oddly tangental, for example: “We need to get rid of the Federal Reserve and start printing our own money, it’s the only way.” This doesn’t see, to have any relevance in the NZ context, and therefore people are going to wonder what you’re on about in general.

    I suggest that you keep your posts shorter, focus on one topic at a time, and make sure that the relevance to NZ and the current issue / thread is clear.

    Have a nice day.

    You too.

  54. vto 54

    Mr Pilott, I can see this will get nowhere..

    1. Leaky homes is a big topic. Govt response had major flaws that hindered and cost for little benefit.

    2. Economic growth and employment etc are due to a multitude of factors, the main ones being international dynamics and 80s and 90s reforms. I will give this govt credit for not undoing the major structural reforms of the pilloried 80s and 90s (hypocrites btw).

    3. I will also give credit for raising minimum wage and child health care initiatives. No credit for increasing welfare (39% tax over 60k because those are the rich, but WFF for up to $140k because they cannot afford to survive without govt assistance – ha ha ha ha).

    4. ” a bankrupt, financially mis-managed state” Get a grip. We have that with the people. Thanks to Cullen’s bizarre backwards view on ‘his subjects’.

    You may well refer to my questions as ‘lame mundane’ or whatever but I see in you some very heavy and permanently fixed blinkers. I got work to do.

  55. Matthew Pilott 55

    vto – we could indeed go on about this all day. Just quickly, I do wonder why the Construction Industry Council wants National to reconsider making registering as a builder voluntary, seems to run contrary to what you assert. http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominionpost/4512360a23917.html

    So just to help you see why your questions are indeed inane, try and imagine what the response to them will be.

    Do you think Key will say “Yes, I plan to make sure that a National Government would repeat all the mistakes of the last Labour Government??” Doubtful even if that was exactly what he was planning, don’t you think?

    As said – thoroughly inane questions, utterly useless.

  56. IrishBill 56

    VTO, there was no monolithic cladding etc for the 150 years before the issue. We regulate to control a changing environment in the interests of our people. That’s what National never did. They left it to the market instead and look where that got us.

    As an aside, did you ever build a leaky home?

  57. vto 57

    Look Mr Pilott, I am trying to get some work done.. stop distracting me!

    Builders that could not register under today’s system had no more to do with leaky homes than those that can register.

    And just by way of example, I disagree with your description of questions as to attitude to taxation and financial health of the people vs the state as inane. Quite fundamental I would have thought. Maybe you just don’t like the colour of the questions.

  58. vto 59

    Irish Bill, agree to an extent. Monolithic cladding + mediteranean etc dsigns + builders struggling to make a dollar during the 90s and taking shortcuts + some weakened regulation (arguing against myself!) + rain snow sleet and hail = leaky homes. My point was that a lot of the reaction was misplaced, e.g. no more diy when they had nought to do with it, and costs were unnecessarily increased

    And yes I had a couple of problems with leaks. They all fit within my above summation. My solution ever since has been to avoid internal gutters, monolithic cladding (unless true masonry type) and rain.

  59. IrishBill 60

    VTO, I’d agree the pendulum swung a little too far (and may now swing back) but the outcomes of regulation have far less damaging and expensive than the outcomes of the hands-free approach that gave us leaky buildings to begin with. Anyway this is supposed to be a thread about questions for Key so I’ll make no other comment on the building matter.

  60. Higherstandard I’m not asking you to engage with me. I am asking that you educate your self. That is a big difference. Giving smarty pants comments while obviously ignoring information I’m trying to give to you is not engaging. That is just refusing to acknowledge that there might be something you are ignorant about.

    Go on I dare you watch the Money Masters and Money as debt. The last one is nice and simple especially made for ignorant fools like you.
    Drip drip drip in goes the knowledge slowly but surely.

    As for the accusation that I am a “conspiracy nut” because I put it to you that the Banking elite are shady secret conspirators. Hell they aren’t even secret about it. You should read the book “the creature of Jekyll Island” or alternatively listen to the writers presentation about it.
    The Bankers all wrote their memoirs detailing their role in the take over of the Money making business. They are known as the banking cartel. go on read some of these memoirs.
    Rockefeller is on record stating that he wants a New World Order with them as the masters of the universe.

    As for the wealth of this country. These people want the lot and there is a lot of iron sand, gas and oil here as well as gold and other metals. It is a game to them. They want total global control.

    I hope like hell that I’m wrong and that I will look back in 10 years time and think geeee did I make a fool of myself back than or what.

    But so far everything that I have been predicting has come to pass and it is not looking good from were I’m standing.

    Did some of you read up on depleted uranium by the way?
    Here are some nice photos of DU babies
    http://aotearoaawiderperspective.wordpress.com/2008/05/04/1062/
    Go on I dare to have a look at them.
    And then to tell me DU is ok.

    Don’t believe me. Educate yourself.

  61. Steve Pierson 62

    As interesting as all this is – could you ask some questions for Key instead?

    How about – Will you allow a new thermal power plant to be built north of Auckland, and how will that be consistent with your objective of reducing greenhouse emissions?

  62. O drat Matthew you’ve got me there.
    In my opinion means you can say what you want because you have freedom of speech (Supposedly still) Stating it as a fact means you are slandering someone. Since I don’t have irreversible proof, I have to state it as opinion. Fact I state as fact because I can back them up with proof. We have got to play nice.
    Captcha: Mosquito enclosed

  63. Matthew Pilott 64

    Ok vto – those questions are worth pondering, I take it back on the latter counts. So, when you have time, I sggest you re-word them into something a bit more useful.

    John, will you reverse the bizarre mindset (Cullen) that thinks that the state is most important and must be financially robust before the financial health of the people? Do you agree that is a completely arse-about mindset?

    How about: “how important do you think the financial health of the Government and Public sector is? Are there any instances where you would be forced to put the financial health of the Government ahead of the financial health of individual New Zealanders?” or similar…

  64. vto 65

    Ha ha Mr Pilott, will try and phrase a little better. As you have written but tweaked a bit..

    “how important do you think the financial health of the Government and Public sector is in comparison to the financial health of individual New Zealanders and their families? Which do you consider to be of primary importance – the financial health of the Government or the financial health of individual New Zealanders and their families?’

    So does this mean you will put my question to Mr Key, as one of the betters questions asked here?

  65. Matthew Pilott 66

    I’m not the one to make that call, but if the authors here like it they may choose it… I’d say you’ll have a better chance getting a question included if you write it as a genuine positive question, as opposed to one that simply puts the boot into the current govt!

  66. Paul Robeson 67

    Gee it is always good to know that critics think that the worst things that Helen Clark has done has signed someone elses painting that was going up for a charity fundraiser, and been in a speeding car trying to get to a rugby game.

    If a male National prime minister had done that it would have been a rueful larikin grin, and a but the game was good comment on the back of the paper.

    Anyway I suppose it is hardly ever undecided voters on these types of blogs.

  67. Billy 68

    We hear a lot about the “failed policies of the past”. Did they fail?

  68. vto 69

    Obviously not Billy, because Clark et al have left them virtually completely untouched.

    “Failed policies of the past” is the biggest lie of them all. And those that spout that poop know it.

  69. Phil 70

    Trav,

    I have little time for those who claim to have predicted the housing correction (note that I don’t use your term “collapse” because, well, it isn’t…) as I’ve found those are the same people that have been predicting a ‘collapse’ for as long as ‘the market’ – any market really – has been positive territory.

    Then again, if you have proof that you’re smarter than the combined brainpower of the Registered Bank economists and private sector research houses (also hesitantly include the RB and Treasury?) – who until recently couldnt agree on housing market direction if it was a wet paper bag they were trying to get out of – then I kneel in homage to your clairvoyance.

    I’m really sad to hear you don’t read Uncensored. They too are big on NWO, Neo-con conspiracy, and the re-education of the ignorant public.

  70. r0b 71

    Obviously not Billy, because Clark et al have left them virtually completely untouched.

    Wrong vto. Labour have moved to turn back the tide of right wing economic and social engineering in many ways. Specific examples include:

    Repealed the employment contracts act.
    Repealed private insurance (ACC for workplace insurance).
    Renationalised (bought back) Air New Zealand.
    Renationalised (bought back)the rail network.
    Ended market rate rentals (now income related).
    Raised the minimum wage every year.
    Broken up a major private monopoly (Telecom).
    Created a New Zealand bank (KiwiBank).
    Created New Zealand superannuation funds (Cullen Fund, KiwiSaver).
    Interest-free student loans.
    Established the Supreme Court of New Zealand (no more privy Council).
    Passed the prostitution reform act and civil union act.
    Changed health management (district health boards).
    Created many new free-trade agreements (eg China).
    And do on…

    And those that spout that poop know it.

    Guess you should learn a bit more history.

  71. Billy 72

    r0b,

    I think that’s a little self-serving. Monetary policy is unchanged. Benefits have not been restored to pre-1990 levels. They wouldn’t have bought back Air New Zealand unless they had to (and they did have to) and, much like BNZ before them, I think a National government would have bailed out Air NZ in the same circumstances. Jim Bolger wanted abolish the Privy Council, so this is hardly a left-right thing. They wouldn’t have created Kiwibank but for Jim Anderton (damn him). Prostitution reform and civil unions were conscience votes (and, in each case some Labour MPs voted against them) and so were hardly part of core government policy. Unless I am mistaken (and I’m going from memory, so I might be) Act wanted individualised super accounts similar to Kiwisaver, so that’s hardly a lurch to the left.

  72. vto 73

    get off the grass rOb, you’re not right. I knew someone would come up with a couple of examples such as employment contracts act, etc, but the vast majority of those examples you post have zip to do with the so-called “failed policies of the past” as they relate to economic performance (example, what on earth has the Privy Council abolition to do with it?). In fact only your first two are relevant.

    Your reference to ‘social engineering’ is a different matter and takes in most of your other examples.

    A knowledge of history and an understanding of history are two different things. Guess you should learn that.

  73. r0b 74

    Billy: I think that’s a little self-serving.

    Woah – harsh!

    Monetary policy is unchanged.

    I don’t know enough about it to comment, and don’t have time to look into a right now.

    Oh but I forgot one from my list above. Labour raised taxes!

    Benefits have not been restored to pre-1990 levels.

    No they haven’t, but many other things have been done to alleviate poverty, including raising the minimum wage, and getting lots more people back to work so that they aren’t on benefits.

    And so on and so on, you don’t seem to actually disagree with me.

    vto: get off the grass rOb, you’re not right.

    Because you said so?

    the vast majority of those examples you post have zip to do with the so-called “failed policies of the past’ as they relate to economic performance

    Who said we were discussing only economic performance? Certainly not your comment, to which I was replying.

    A knowledge of history and an understanding of history are two different things. Guess you should learn that.

    I guess one of us should. Go do some reading on the difference between the liberal and conservative ideologies. National is a Conservative party, by their very nature they conserve, they don’t change. The core right wing economic policies that you are so fond of are not an invention of the National party in the 1990s. They inherited them from the previous Labour government (a bizarre situation I agree). What exactly did National change in its nine years in office? Oh that’s right, they slashed the benefits.

    Libreal governments are reforming governments. They get things done. In New Zealand the current Labour led government has consistently worked to restore workers’ rights, strengthen the New Zealand economy via nationally owned assets (abandoning the madness of pure market forces), and roll back conservative social ideology.

  74. Billy 75

    “Woah – harsh!”

    Don’t beat youself up: only a “little” self serving.

  75. r0b 76

    Oh well that’s all right then! I’ll sleep Ok tonight after all…

  76. vto 77

    Sheesh rOb, do you not like being disagreed with? Your last two paragraphs are a new issue and old hat, which I am well aware of. I applaud some labour initiatives over the years and have in fact voted for them at times. But when it comes to economic matters my opinion is that they consistently come up well short – perhaps stems from a lack of experience in how to actually make a dollar. But lets not get off on some other tangentialness..

  77. vto 78

    What on earth is that purple patterny thingy to the right of my nom?

    [lprent: read gravatar in the top menu]

  78. r0b 79

    Sheesh rOb, do you not like being disagreed with?

    Love it, that’s why I’m here, same as you. But if you spout rubbish expect to be disagreed with vigourously.

    What on earth is that purple patterny thingy to the right of my nom?

    It is a default identicon because you haven’t set a gravatar yet. See:

    Updates – gravatar/identicon

  79. vto 80

    What you mean rOb? I aint spouted no rubbish yet ya big silly.

  80. r0b 81

    What you mean rOb? I aint spouted no rubbish yet ya big silly.

    Sorry vto, but you are rapdily developing a name for it…

    “Failed policies of the past’ is the biggest lie of them all. And those that spout that poop know it.

    “pro-beaters’. ha ha you bunch of idiots. The state is the biggest “beater’ of them all. The only way they get compliance with laws is through threat of physical action/internment. Same thing. Grow up.

    But better still, you fullas on the so-called ‘left’ keep things up. The public clearly think this labour govt is doing the right thing on many fronts – ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

  81. vto 82

    rOb, I stand by each. Explained each following some challenge and the challengers were weak in their arguments – usually tried to turn the argument to some tangent. Your own rant re liberal/conservative ideology differences as some argument against my points on the so-called “failed policies of the past” is a perfect example.

    If you can’t take your heavy and permanently-fixed blinkers off at least try to pull them to one side a bit. Otherwise it is pointless debate.

  82. r0b 83

    rOb, I stand by each.

    No you don’t. Soon after one of the above you wrote:

    Well as usual, I dwell on my posts post-postage and regret the manner in which I lay out my ideas. Apologies for the roughness and rudeness to individual folk. I will try to keep it more seemly in future

    Do some more dwelling vto.

  83. vto 84

    FFS rOb, are you thick? What you have just pasted concerned the manner of my post not the substance. That is quite clear.

    You have just proved, again, my point above where I said to you.. “and the challengers were weak in their arguments – usually tried to turn the argument to some tangent. Your own rant re liberal/conservative ideology differences as some argument against my points on the so-called “failed policies of the past’ is a perfect example.” You have just done that exact thing again.

    I think this is the point where the umpire declares ‘game, set and match’.

    [lprent: you sound like another competition junkie we had here for a while. I think you belong on my watchlist as a possible flame artist]

  84. r0b 85

    FFS rOb, are you thick?

    There you go again.

    What you have just pasted concerned the manner of my post not the substance. That is quite clear.

    Indeed it is quite clear. But “spouting rubbish” is about what you say, and about how you say it. You’re falling down on both fronts (“manner” and “substance”), but you only allow yourself to recognise it on one (“manner”). That’s OK though, it’s a good start, lots of people don’t even make it that far.

    If you carry on here you might start to honestly evaluate the shortcomings in the “substance” aspects of your debates instead of reflexively rejecting all opposing arguments as weak or blinkered or whatever.

  85. vto 86

    banal

  86. Billy 87

    Why should the government invest in the network for broadband and not the railway network?

  87. Why have you released so little policy and why the policy you have released been so vague?

  88. Billy 89

    [deleted]

    [lprent: Why can’t you children play NICELY! Bloody hell – I sound like a parent.]

  89. r0b 90

    What relevant evidence, historical or international, shows that National’s policies will be better for the average New Zealander than Labour’s?

  90. r0b 91

    And I’d like to very slightly rephrase my original question (from upthread):

    Mr Key, you have made several public announcements committing yourself to aspects of Labour policy such as maintaining the anti-nuclear legislation, interest free student loans, not selling public assets (during a first term), keeping the Cullen Superannuation Fund, four weeks annual leave and so on. What guarantees do the public have that you will keep your word? Would you resign as PM if you broke your word on any such commitments?

  91. Billy 92

    OK. I regret it. I was trying to perpetuate the in-gag that it has become. And I knew it would never get picked as the question anyway.

  92. lprent 93

    Billy: Remember I scan everything,and I read it out of context.

    Usually the items in moderation are spam. That is mainly what it is there for. Revised my remarks.

    Not the greatest thing to read after a long day of debugging.

  93. vto 94

    Oh really Iprent? (my post 3.44pm) Explain. What I see from my short time here to date is one set of rules for people saying the ‘right’ thing and one for the other. Just like this govt (e.g Mallard and assault). And some hyper-sensitivity to the mirror being held up.

    If you follow the clash between rOb and me above you will find an argumentative rOb who makes unsubstantiated allegations. My posts at 4.30, 5.16, 1.19, 3.24, 3.44 respond to her allegations in what I consider a completely reasonable manner. My last one at 7.42 was in exasperation at her further assumptions, incorrect allegations and simply argumentative nature (which she admits to at 1.40).

    [lprent: I’m not into arguing. The only opinion I really care about is my own and a few very selected others. What I look at is behaviour. One of those is commentators claiming victory. It is a classic sign of a flamewar starter]

  94. r0b 95

    vto that is a truly fascinating interpretation of the history of the thread! But I’m not here to continue the discussion.

    I’m here just to congratulate you for not assuming that I am male. The default assumption of so many participants is that everyone is male. The kinds of behaviour that go along with that make some women very uncomfortable on the net. We should all do what we can to improve that situation.

  95. vto 96

    No worries rOb. My instinct was telling me that actually, from your manner etc, and I find my instinct more reliable than more tangible things.

    Anyway, it seems different moods and manners pervade different websites so I will try to adjust accordingly.

  96. r0b 97

    No worries rOb. My instinct was telling me that actually, from your manner etc, and I find my instinct more reliable than more tangible things.

    I’m not confirming my gender either way vto, that (and my age, profession, hairstyle etc) have absolutely no relevance to debate / discussion here. That’s one of the beauties of the net, all the usual social cues are stripped away, and we are all judged on the quality of our words and our arguments.

    Anyway, it seems different moods and manners pervade different websites so I will try to adjust accordingly.

    Excellent, a big step forward. I value the generally sane and constructive environment at The Standard, and I welcome anyone who contributes to it.

  97. My questions to John Key.

    1: Do you believe, New Zealander’s know best how to spend their own money, or do you believe like Labour we need a government to tell us, what to spend our money on?

    2: Would you ever stand in the way of private shareholder’s selling thier shares to whom and for how much they want to?

  98. higherstandard 99

    Assuming Labour are voted out of power at the next election what do you think will be the most significant contribution of their term in government and conversely what do you think will be their most significant blunder.

  99. Matthew Pilott 100

    Brett – pathetic! I know you’re not stupid, so why would you ask such poorly worded and badly thought-out questions!?

    I guess you want to take a dig at people here who support Labour, but wouldn’t you prefer to take this opportunity to ask a real question or two?

  100. higherstandard 101

    Can you envisage a single Trans-Tasman currency within the next decade why/why not?

  101. Billy 102

    I liked Brett’s questions. His apopstrophe use needs seom work, though.

  102. Shane 103

    What employment related legislation would your party introduce or amend if it leads the next government? Please give details.

  103. Matthew Pilott 104

    Really Billy? I’d say that they could be written by an angry libertarian/tory who’s about to begin first year uni, if I were feeling generous.

    I know I’m being rude here, but given there’s a chance to ask a direct question to someone TAB would have paying well under $2 to be PM, I wonder why someone intelligent would write such dross.

    The substance of the questions could be used to make a decent question easily enough.

    I.e. “John Key – your position on the sale of Auckland International Airport wasn’t entirely clear. Are there any assets in private or public ownership you would block the sale of to overseas interests? Would you ever prevent the sale of an asset that is wholly/party in private ownership?”

  104. r0b 105

    Brett’s questions are patsies, which is kinda pathetic. They are the kind of questions you ask when you know your leader can’t answer the hard ones I guess.

  105. Billy 106

    But we’re agreed about the apostrophes, right?

  106. r0b 107

    For sure Billy, if we’re moving on to the really important stuff, his apostrophes are just appalling.

  107. Matthew Pilott 108

    And yet you two seem happy with the comma use? For shame – target fixation, gents, you’re too focused on apostrophes.

  108. Matthew Pilott 109

    Billy, what did you say last night at 8:24? I’m itching to know.

  109. r0b 110

    Commas are a pretty robust species. They breed well in captivity and can fend for themselves. But the apostrophe is endangered!

  110. Matthew Pilott 111

    Endangered? Hogwash! It is excessive, prolific even. It’s like the rabbit – everywhere it shouldn’t be, and only sometimes where it should.

  111. Susan 112

    Were there any particular issues that drove your desire to get involved in politics, and were you involved in an political movements or organisations before becoming a MP?

  112. Billy 113

    It was a question you might have expected ‘sod to ask

    http://newzblog.wordpress.com/2008/01/21/pig-fucking/

  113. Billy 114

    Iprent, my explanation to Matthew has been held in moderation because of the link (damn my foul-mouthed nemesis). Can you remove it and I will attempt a more obtuse explanation that Matthew will be smart enough to decode but will not offend the delicate sensitivities of our future prime minister?

    Matthew: it was a question ‘sod likes to ask IP.

    [lprent: sorry – someone else had already released it. As you say – it was what ‘sod did say. But he didn’t do it on this site (and has been reprimanded a few times for doing so). I didn’t want it directed to a 3rd party, in this case JK.]

  114. Billy 115

    I meant “sensibilities”, of course.

  115. ghostwhowalks 116

    What is the optimum Government debt to GDP ratio for NZ, considering that personal and business debt is much higher than say 10 years ago.

  116. Matthew Pilott 117

    Billy, (if you’re talking about liking Brett;’s questions) there’s a key (ho, ho) difference here, if I read your point correctly.

    ‘Sod’s example is getting someone to deny having done something seen as negative, Brett’s question is to get someone to confirm they wouldn’t do something seen (from his perspective) as negative.

    I don’t see them as being similar; however, I am somewhat…ill, shall I say, though it is self-inflicted, and may be missing your point.

    Cap – ‘the dirty’ – how apropos

  117. Matthew Pilott 118

    Oh FFS I just realised what you were talking about billy, not brett’s question at all! Please ignore my last post, feel free to call me a dullard (just this once mind you, it’s well earned).

    Proves I am indeed hungover and slow.

    You asked that of John Key? Bravo.

  118. Billy 119

    I wasn’t taking about Brett’s question, I was answering this:

    Interview the Leaders VII: National

    I was trying to make a gag and Iprent is right, it was inappropriate.

  119. Matthew Pilott 120

    Yup. I’m a muppet.

  120. Darryl 121

    Hope I’m not too late but here are two possible questions:

    * You’ve talked a lot about closing the wage gap with Australia but your answers all seem to revolve around tax rates rather than the actual issue of wages. Does National actually have a wages policy and if so how is it different from your disastrous wages policies in the 1990s?

    OR

    * Under the last National government most people’s wages fell and the gap with Australia increased by 50%. Under Labour wage growth has been strong and the gap with Australia has remained static. How can National therefore claim any credibility to campaign on the wage gap?

  121. Macky 122

    a variation on Darryl’s question: “You talk a lot about size of the wage gap with Australia but you are always very careful to only talk of raising ‘after-tax’ wages. Tax cuts alone cannot close the wage gap with Australia. Do you think that businesses need to raise gross wages to help close the wage gap? And, if so, how would you ensure that happens?”

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