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John Key: let me eat cake

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, April 8th, 2011 - 68 comments
Categories: class war, cost of living, election 2011, john key, labour, national - Tags: ,

As I move around the Wairarapa electorate people are telling me the same story. They are struggling just to make ends meet. It is something I am aware of personally. My Subaru costs me around $110 to fill the tank. Last year it cost only around $68. For a lot of people this is a struggle in itself. One woman told me that her grocery bill has now gone up by $60 more than it did before last years budget. Labour wants to help these families that’s why Labour undertakes to remove GST from fresh fruit and vegetables. Two weeks ago pensioner after pensioner told me the same thing. No matter how hard they try they cannot make ends meet.

National laughs at this – that is not surprising they are out of touch but who can blame them? The Prime Minister for example is a man of immense personal wealth. High earning people like him get the most from tax-cuts. The irony is that he obtained his wealth while working as a wheeler-dealer at Merrill Lynch, one of those business houses implicated in the global financial crisis. But he got out with $50 million before it hit the fan. At a time when a large number of Kiwis are struggling to put food on the table our leader thinks nothing of paying $14,000 for himself and his wife to enjoy a six-course dinner prepared by British chef Heston Blumenthal. Worth noting is that a pensioner’s annual income is only $14529 to $19425 before tax. This only serves to underscore the real separation between National and real people. John Key smiles and waves for the cameras in Christchurch then jumps on a plane to Cape Kidnappers to spend the equivalent of a pensioner’s yearly income on one-off novelty dining with his wife – you can’t get more different than that.

National’s plans for asset sales are dangerous. The private sector got us into the global financial crisis and to flog off wealth creating assets to the private sector who will have to rely on borrowing to purchase the assets is folly. To talk about the size of total debt, then to advocate a policy of privatization which will involve the incurring of more debt is nuts. Further if the offer to buy is for New Zealand investors only, they will be sold at a discount as the prospective market of purchasers will be artificially reduced. As I have said previously we just can’t trust National that only 49 percent of each asset will be flogged off, after all National promised they would not raise GST in the first term.

It is seductively easy to overstate the scale and imminence of economic threats and then exaggerate “shock doctrine” arguments for instant radical change. That’s where Think Big, Rogernomics, Ruthenasia and the current reversal of the Welfare State come from. The essence of this approach is to laud the existence and inherent wisdom of the market economy. Yet in reality it was this same unrestrained market that created the global financial crisis in the first place.

The upshot of all this borrowing is now whenever our economy looks like recovering, the benefits of any growth are to be shipped offshore as profits and dividends from now foreign-owned assets, and as interest payments on the debt incurred over the last decade. Last year, New Zealand paid $15.5 billion in profits and interest payments to foreign investors and creditors. Only $3.3 billion was reinvested. That is unsustainable. National has no plan for growth, they are divorced from the every day reality of New Zealanders. Labour put New Zealand in a sound position to weather the financial crisis and only Labour will provide a way out of the mire that National has created.

Michael Bott – Labour’s Candidate for Wairarapa

68 comments on “John Key: let me eat cake ”

  1. higherstandard 1

    http://wairarapalabour.org/

    Ye Gods a DPF doppelganger

  2. Daveski 2

    He’d should have climbed African mountains because that’s what the working class do, eh comrades!

  3. Robb 3

    Some valid points for sure, but a 61% increase in costs to fill his Subaru. I know fuels going up and it hurts but hell that can’t be right.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      Yeah, unless he was talking about the very start of last year or something. Petrol going from $1.70 to $2.18/l is an increase of 28%.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Petrol was hovering just over $1.40/L at the start of last year. Amazing huh. Started climbing fast and vicious soon after that. And yes it did sit through a lot of the year around $1.70.
         
        $1.40 to $2.20 that’s a more than 50% increase and almost matches the OP’s numbers.

  4. [Key] paying $14,000 for himself and his wife to enjoy a six-course dinner prepared by British chef Heston Blumenthal…. a pensioner’s annual income is only $14,529

    disgusting isn’t it. yep, that dinner is going to cost Key a lot of votes

    • fizzleplug 4.1

      I can’t see why it should. It’s his money, he can spend it how he wants. Or does it not work like that?

      • Bright Red 4.1.1

        gee. do you have the same attitude to poor people drinking and smoking?
        And, remember, Key voted himself at least $23,000 of tax cuts so far. All borrowed money. So, whose money was he really spending?

        • the sprout 4.1.1.1

          I can’t see why it should

          i’m sure you can’t. i’m sure Key can’t either.
          but there are many thousands of voters who can

          • fizzleplug 4.1.1.1.1

            So now we should approve what everyone spends their (private) money on? Because it’s certainly sounding like you are advocating for that.
             
            Had he charged it to his ministerial credit card, then yes, justifiable anger. But his own money? Envy.
             
            And to Bright Red – if poor people want to drink and smoke, it’s up to them. But if they do, they shouldn’t complain when they have no money to eat every night. And the “voted himself tax cuts” refrain gets rather tiresome. He voted every other member of Parliament, and a number of people outside Parliament, tax cuts as well. But I don’t actually think there’s any point trying to make you think outside your narrow world view – and it is a narrow world view. So go fuck yourselves, the lot of you.

            • Tangled up in blue 4.1.1.1.1.1

              I’m against tax cuts for the rich, but yes, people should be able to spend their own money as they see fit. (On things legal of course)

            • RobC 4.1.1.1.1.2

              No need to go and fuck myself when the Govt is taking care of my needs in that area.

              ASW: lay 😀

            • Galeandra 4.1.1.1.1.3

              But his own money? Envy.

              No, fizzleplug, not envy but legitimate anger in my case. The rich are easily able to manipulate the game in order  to protect and to further increase their wealth- the RW think tanks and phony institutes in the States give clear examples of how. The wealth gap everywhere  has widened enormously and conspicuously excessive  consumption is not reasonable or ethical when there are others in the community who are materially far to the wrong side of poverty lines.
              The invitation to ‘go fuck yourselves’ shows why any response to your complacent willful ignorance is without point except that 
              what  you unintentionally  offer  is to illustrate the kind of mindset that infects the me-at-any-cost greed of NZ’s petit bourgeoisie. So hang around and troll some more.

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1.4

              Had he charged it to his ministerial credit card, then yes, justifiable anger. But his own money? Envy.

              Envy? Fuck off mate its anger quite a different thing. Anger at the inequality in this society and anger at how our leaders are so comfortable in the lap of luxury even as their subjects are cold and hungry.

              Ah I love it, rule for the rich by the rich. If you have money good on you, do what you like no matter how indecent or outrageous, the paupers can eat cake.
               
              I think that was the point of the post, no?

              • PeteG

                If money is so important to you you should channel that anger into earning and saving more. It does need a bit of determination though.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Better distribution of the wealth would be far better. John Key really isn’t worth $50m. He’s not produced any wealth at ever in his life.

                • Mac1

                  Justifiable anger drives political change. It is the channelling of this liberated energy which drives me into political action. That needs determination. PeteG, beyond a certain necessary amount, some people don’t get that interested in the process of making money. Most of what I do in the community is free/gratis- including the politics. Screw the money. It is people, it is people, it is people. And people need money to do the necessary things. When they are denied, short-changed, screwed; then that is anger-making.

                  This anger and political action is partly for me. To do nothing would be personally shameful. I don’t want to live in a world where I don’t give a stuff, care and do something to help my fellow. And injustice fuels anger, as does waste. Having too much while others starve is unjust.

                  Envy is another emotion. I have no envy for a rich man. There is a lifetime of difference between envy and anger.

                  • Carol

                    Well said, Mac1.  I’ve never understood why some people seem to want so much money. There’s far more important things to do, than focusing on gaining excesssive money.  I’ve pretty much always felt I’ve had enough, and am happy with a modest income, while also having done and achieved some things that are important to me, and some that I have felt have been an attempt to make a contribution to society, or to helping others.  But, it’s a real indictment on our society that many people are struggling just to survive.

                    • M

                      Carol

                      On the same page with you regarding having loads of money – why? Content with my small house and a bit of land my one desire would be to have a bit put by to cover my funeral expenses and something on hand for a rainy day. Increasing food prices mean that a little more income would be welcomed.

                      I tend to be quite wary of those with loads of money because often it is used as an unfair leverage against others. I have female friends who dream of meeting some rich guy whereas I’m the complete opposite and would be concerned with the potential for control and abuse that money seems to inculcate in some men. I’m a listening ear to a friend at the moment whose guy is controlling her with money as she’s out of work and of course can’t tell her what to do but just say to her that I’d be outta there in a heartbeat.

                      If you dare voice that you’re mostly content with your lot people tend to look at you funny and ask why you don’t want to be wealthy as though it’s a character flaw.

                • Colonial Viper

                  If money is so important to you you should channel that anger into earning and saving more. It does need a bit of determination though.

                  Uh Pete, in case you haven’t heard, I married into significant wealth.
                  I get a decent (although not stupendous) monthly allowance from the in-laws, and anything else I happen to come across during the week is just a bonus to be blown on a fancy Michelin chef cooked meal.

            • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group 4.1.1.1.1.5

              That continual tugging of the forelock to your betters must be getting pretty painful, fizzleplug, ‘cos you’ve had to do a heck of a lot of it since Key was elected.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1.1.6

              Had he charged it to his ministerial credit card, then yes, justifiable anger. But his own money? Envy.

              No, not envy, disgust that anyone would waste so much on something so little.

            • Gina 4.1.1.1.1.7

              Key can do whatever he likes with his money true but some voters will be repelled and do whatever they like with their votes simple. He hasn’t done anything illegal but struggling kiwis won’t like hearing about this sort of grossly wasteful indulgence escpecially when the Nats preach belt tightening to the rest of us.

      • Deadly_NZ 4.1.2

        It’s not the money (as far as most of us are concerned he can spend his money any way he likes.)  It’s the hipocracy Here he, and Blinglish are spouting all the platitudes about belt tightening YADA YADA YADA.  Also the fact that he rips off the taxpayer of NZ for thousands with the great tax switch.  So it goes Tax Switch, Platitudes, Excessive spending.  And now it seems that it’s not just his personal hipocracy it’s the whole NACTS Hipocracy Preach belt tightening whilst bailing out yet another company thats backed its self into a corner.

    • well I certainly hope so Sprout ,but how get this out to the voters.
      The Daily papers will not have a word about this . It should be front page news, so tell me how do we educate the mainstream votes on such titbits.

  5. todd 5

    $120 to fill my Subaru, same time last year it was $80 for a better octane… So the calculation isn’t far off for me.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Yes, but why are you running a Subaru? They’re one of the least economic cars on the market.

      • todd 5.1.1

        I run three vehicles. I got the Subaru for safety reasons, the comparison to that vehicle seemed most relevant. If anybody feels like giving me enough money to replace it with a hybrid, I would be happy to accept.

  6. infused 6

    Downsize then. Time to get a better car eh? National are not increasing the price of food. It is increasing world wide. GST hasn’t gone up %15, it’s gone up %2.5 That doesn’t add $60 to your food bill.

    So much shit talk here. There are other facts at play rather than national. Dropping GST on fruit and veg will cost more. It’s a nightmare in aussie and will be here.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.1

      hahahaha. Sucks being in government huh. Resign.

    • Kaplan 6.2

      The Titanic struck an iceberg and sunk but the proximate cause of most of the deaths was too much faith in a badly designed ship and a lack of life boats.

      Do you see the similarities between that and the economic situation we are in? 

      In short, National actually need to do something about our problems, not just sit back and blame everything on them.

      • Bright Red 6.2.1

        actually the iceberg was the proximate (direct, immeidate) cause but the fundamental cause “was too much faith in a badly designed ship and a lack of life boats”

    • todd 6.3

      Unfortunately most shops used the rise in GST to also increase their prices. It is not as simple as changing vehicles. My Subaru is already economical to run, in relative terms. I have no problem with changing my lifestyle to use less but this comes at a cost, a cost that is unaffordable while the cost of living inhibits people from saving to make a change to lower usage vehicles etc.
       
      Thinking that the price of our food should be relative to what overseas markets pay when there are less transportation costs involved seems rather silly. We’re paying in more than one way as it is our environment that is being polluted by these industries. National has increased the price of food along with nearly everything else.
       
      Subsidizing good foods like fruit and vegetables will do more than just making them affordable so people wont need to go to food banks. Whether this is through taking GST off or imposing measures to remove market dominance is irrelevant to the fact that people will eat more food that is good for them. This will reduce our obesity epidemic and many other associated diseases.
       
      The only shit talk here is yours infused and your blame the victim meme that pervades right wing thinking.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.3.1

        Subsidizing good foods…

        Doesn’t need to be subsidised – just a ban on selling the first x amount produced here overseas. This would force prices down to cost price on the local market but farmers would still be able to sell the excess overseas for the global price.

      • Vicky32 6.3.2

        Unfortunately most shops used the rise in GST to also increase their prices

        That’s certainly true. Everything’s gone up by much more than 2.5%..

  7. ianmac 7

    “National made the promise that things would be better with National. John Key you promised. Well we are worse off than ever! I don’t want excuses. Unemployment. Petrol. Food. milk. Democracy. John Key has let us down!”
    That’s what I hear anyway.”

    • PeteG 7.1

      Yeah, damned right. Key secretly used Ken Ring predictions and timed his run at PM to coincide with likely earthquakes. He set in place the 2008 crash while he was working in NY. He revs his car at the lights and has run the world short of petrol. He leaves food on his plate while Africans (and some Kiwis) starve. He’s let us all down. Bastard!

      • Bright Red 7.1.1

        don’t make promises you can’t keep.
        The earthquakes didn’t put us in this hole, unsustainable tax cuts did. The earthquakes just made it deeper.

        • PeteG 7.1.1.1

          Ah, so Labour are to blame too. What did Key have to do with that, did he make Cullen do it?

          • Lanthanide 7.1.1.1.1

            Labour’s tax cuts were unwise, yes, but National’s are far worse. Labour’s were spread pretty equally across all income earners whereas National’s were skewed heavily towards the top end income earners.
             
            Of course you know all this and you’re just trolling.

          • mickysavage 7.1.1.1.2

            The word for today is unsustainable.
             
            The country’s current experiences really vindicate actions taken by Michael Cullen as Minister of Finance.
             
            Don’t you miss him PeteG?
             

            • PeteG 7.1.1.1.2.1

              If you think combined tax cuts were not affordable and should be rolled back should consideration be given to rolling back some of WFF?
               
              Or is that an ideological no go zone?

              • Draco T Bastard

                I’d be more than happy to drop WfF as it’s a subsidy to businesses that don’t pay enough in wages. We’d have to make sure, after dropping WfF, that people are paid enough. I would suggest a Universal Income.

                • todd

                  What gets me is all this talk of us being broke and having to cut all these things that help our poor and society in general and then National come up with billions of dollars to bail out their rich mates.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2

        He set in place the 2008 crash while he was working in NY.

        Yes, that’s right, he did. He was in charge of overseeing the toxic assets that caused the GFC for one bank.

  8. Bill 8

    National has no plan for growth, they are divorced from the every day reality of New Zealanders.

    The essence of this approach is to laud the existence and inherent wisdom of the market economy

    Labour put New Zealand in a sound position to weather the financial crisis

    The essence of this approach is to laud the existence and inherent wisdom of the market economy

    Sorry. That’s a slightly dishonest cut and paste. But only slightly.
    Yes, Rogernomics and Think Big and all the rest of it is essentially lauding the existence of the market economy. But all governments essentially laud the existence of the market economy.
    And all political parties are out of touch because all political parties have a central focus of managing a market economy. If all political parties had a central focus on…oh, I don’t know…developing software programmes, then they would be no more or less out of touch than at present.
    Government has become a preserve of rather elite economic managers and might as well be the preserve of rather elite geeks as far as all those strange ‘others’ (whose stories aid the privilaged and out of touch to gain an intellectual understanding of struggle) are concerned.

  9. lefty 9

    OK. We get the point about National. But what is Labour going to do?
    How are they going to reduce the price of oil or food?
    What are they going to do to stop profits being shipped offshore?
    How will they create more jobs?
    Will they encourage and support workers to strike for decent pay instead of giving WFF subsidies to employers?
    Will they repudiate free trade deals and refuse to sign anymore?
    Will they get rid of the Reserve Bank Act and take control of our currency?
    Will they start taking climate change seriously instead of pissing around with emissions trading or carbon taxes?
    Ah! So many questions.

    • Good questions Lefty.  IMHO:

      1.  They will not reduce the price of oil.  They will hopefully put policies in place so that good quality food will be supplied but this may take more than the invisible hand of the market.
      2.  By preventing the further sale of strategic assets overseas they will accomplish this.  And the Cullen fund could have stemmed the tide.
      3.  They will create jobs in the same way they have been in the past.  By being active.
      4.  Yes.  WFF was a stop gap measure.
      5.  Not sure.
      6.  They will change the Reserve Bank Act.  There will no longer be a preoccupation with inflation.
      7.  Yes, as far as their coalition partners will allow.

      • PeteG 9.1.1

        3.  They will create jobs in the same way they have been in the past.

        50% extra jobs in the public service again?

  10. Peter Bains 10

    I have done well since 2008, my salary has gone from $83K to $96 now. I also enjoy my tax cuts and my mortgage will be paid off by October. So I know where I will be voting.

    The economy was always going to be rough from 2008 because of the GFC. However, it will get better from 2012, not because Labour will be in, that is when National will do what they should have done in 2008, stayed with ACT and revive the economy.

    Come 2014 we will be in a better position with a growing economy and jobs better due to Chch plus other exports such as mined products. (This will increase wages as well).

    On Key’s dinner, it was his money, not yours or mine. Something the left do not seem to get at all.

    • LynW 10.1

      Could I quote logie97?

      ‘might just come down to how much the voter has become more selfless or selfish in his/her approach to the world – traditional left/right ne ce pas.’

      anti-spam word   revealing!

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      You obviously didn’t notice that we’ve gone back into recession (if we ever actually left it) due to NACTs bad fiscal management. If NACT get back in they’ll make it even worse.

    • Galeandra 10.3

      Something the left do not seem to get at all.

      Something like 96K a year and a paid off mortgage.

      Don’t look too hard in the mirror. Maybe your ethical skin will be thickening at the same rate as your waistline. Guess you could always help out at a local food bank to find out how the other 80% lives.

      • Peter Bains 10.3.1

        I have a 7 year old Autistic son to help look after so people at the food bank are better off as most of them have a fully functioning brain. Whether they use these functions or not is another issue………….. Hence I need to be selfish and think of my sons future once I am gone. Anyone fancy to swap my position?

        • McFlock 10.3.1.1

          “Anyone fancy to swap my position?”
          Someone who has an autistic son but isn’t on $96k a year?

    • Carol 10.4

      Something the right don’t seem to get is that people don’t always get paid what they deserve, and some people get money they don’t deserve, through swindling, paying their workers wages that are too low etc.  How did Key get rich?  Not by producing anything useful, but by gaming the system, at NZ’s expense.  Is it all really HIS money?
       
      Workers have tended to work harder than ever over the last 30 years, and yet the rich have got richer and the poor have got poorer.  So where did all that excessive money come from that is now in the hands of the wealthy?

    • Colonial Viper 10.5

      On Key’s dinner, it was his money, not yours or mine. Something the left do not seem to get at all.

      His money? So you are saying that he can just waste it or use it to shit all over the poor and hungry in this country, just to show us that he can?
      Nice to know.

      • Peter Bains 10.5.1

        Yes he can CV. Just like you can spend your money on anything you like.

  11. Samuel Hill 11

    Mass protests during World Cup has got to be the go.

  12. Vicky32 12

    Ironically, from what I have seen on his TV show, Heston Blumenthal’s food is rubbish! (Every time I see his programme, it makes me further determined to move from semi-veg to vegetarian…)
    Yes, the inequality is simply appalling.
    Vicky

  13. Tanz 13

    Cat food anyone? While Key dines like a king, many people are survivng on noodles, soup, or worse.

    It is his money yes, but what decadance to spend so much on one dinner while his country men/women and children look on. Bad taste in the extreme? I hope it does cost him many votes.

    Finally, it’s only money and he can’t take it with him. Éye of the Needle…

    • todd 13.1

      I hope he chokes.

      • Mac1 13.1.1

        I  don’t. I want him to see the repudiation of his ethics and philosophy, such as it is, on November 26.  And the people on noodles, soup or worse have to be energised to see that happen; as do we who are better off lest we become like John Key- bereft, barren and to be pitied.

    • rosy 13.2

      I see the Brit PM has the message that he needs to pretend we’re all in this together…  appearances count At least we can get a laugh out of knowing that all that money can’t be used when you’re preaching austerity to others.

  14. red rhebelghirly 14

    The point I would say is the hypocrisy of Key and his flamboyant spending whilst pensioners and others are barely surviving..
    The Government tax cuts which only benefit those on higher Income.The increasing costs.. (subaru or no subaru) that are hitting the lower income earners..
    The selling off of our countries private assets.. to Large overseas capitalist Corporations.. which as Mr Bott pointed out is indicative of keys background.
    The fact that keys said gst would not go up and that he would not be selling off N.Z assets.. shows keys and his government for who they really are….
    Nice hat Mr Bott
     

  15. BevanJS 15

    One woman told me that her grocery bill has now gone up by $60 more than it did before last years budget. Labour wants to help these families that’s why Labour undertakes to remove GST from fresh fruit and vegetables.”

    I wonder if she spends more than $30 per week on fresh fruit and veg? My wife and I don’t usually and we’re vegetarians.
    0.15 * 30 = Go Labour, build a system at what expense to give her $5 back?  I believe she said she was missing $60.
    Oh that’s right, it’d create completely non-productive public service jobs – wonder who that sector typically votes for?

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