Key’s economic bravado now reduced to whining

Written By: - Date published: 7:04 am, October 21st, 2010 - 24 comments
Categories: bill english, economy, jobs, john key, labour, monetary policy, national - Tags: , ,

In three short years John Key and National have gone from economic bravado, to failure, to lies, excuses and whining. The Nats are desperately trying to spin excuses for their failure. How did we get here? Let’s take a stroll down memory lane.

The recession and Labour’s legacy

In 2008 the world was slipping into what was obviously going to be a very difficult recession. Economic projections were dire, but 9 years of prudent management of the economy by Cullen and Labour had left New Zealand well placed. Treasury said so at the time in their briefing to the incoming government:

A stable macroeconomic environment gives investors confidence in the New Zealand economy as a place to invest. It gives New Zealand businesses a degree of certainty for making business decisions. Successive governments have done a good job of getting the New Zealand economy in a position where it can respond well to economic shocks. Low levels of public debt allow freedom to look through short-term cyclical fluctuations and there is room to adjust monetary policy to support demand.

Bill English said so too, on Dec 18 2008:

“I want to stress that New Zealand starts from a reasonable position in dealing with the uncertainty of our economic outlook.” “In New Zealand we have room to respond. This is the rainy day that Government has been saving up for,” he told reporters at the Treasury briefing on the state of the economy and forecasts.

Bill is still saying the same, in May 2010. The IMF agreed, and according to Reserve bank Governor Dr Allan Bollard in 2008: “We have enjoyed a decade of growth, the longest period of economic growth since the post-World War 2 era.” More details here.

In short, the coming problems were clear, the economic projections were dire, but New Zealand was well placed to respond. This was the context in which the 2008 election was fought, and in which the new National government took office. So – what were they saying about the economy?

National’s economic bravado: Before the election

Before the election John Key was in no doubt at all about the nature or extent of the economic crisis. He said:

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is no ordinary election campaign. Because this election comes at a time when the global economy is in turmoil and at a time when we are all concerned about what the future may contain. … Earlier this week … I released National’s economic management plan. It’s a plan to bring discipline to government spending, to reduce red tape, to reduce personal taxes, to boost infrastructure investment, and to raise education standards. It’s a recovery plan to ensure our country and our families get through these tough times.

Key and National were chock full of economic bravado. Of their tax cut bribe Bill English promised:

“National has structured its credible economic package to take account of the changing international climate. Our tax cut programme will not require any additional borrowing.” A few days later, Mr Key launched “a tax package for our times” that is “appropriate for the current conditions”. He said it would require “no additional borrowing, or cuts to frontline services to fund it. …

On December 16, Mr English was up in the House confirming “National will not be going back on any of those promises, as we fully costed and funded them”.

Tax cuts were, of course, the centrepiece of National’s five point recovery plan:

Only National can provide a government that is focused on the big economic challenges our country is facing. Only National has a serious, considered plan for delivering financial security to New Zealanders. …

Our economic plan focuses on the long-term needs of New Zealand. It isn’t a short-term set of band-aid solutions. It is a considered plan to get New Zealand through this downturn, put the economy back on its feet and raise incomes. Because in good times and in bad, National will be resolutely focused on strengthening our economy and delivering better wages and living conditions to New Zealanders. We won’t just care about those things in election year.

In short, John Key told us that he was fully aware of the state of the economy and the extent of the global problems, and he promised us that National had a recovery plan to get us through. Key promised to deliver a strong economy and good wages.

National’s economic bravado: After the election

Key’s vacuously “sunny” optimism continued after the election. In 2009:

“…we’re starting to come out of the recession which is good news,” Key said. … “The government has a comprehensive plan, not just for managing through the current recession but also for improving the fundamentals of the New Zealand economy,” he said. “The six policy drivers I have outlined will help to create an environment that allows businesses to thrive.”

Key infamously predicted that New Zealand would come “reasonably aggressively” out of recession. As recently as July this year he was saying:

I also want to pay a special acknowledgement to my friend and deputy, Bill English. What a great job he is doing as Finance Minister. He’s delivered two Budgets that have steered New Zealand out of recession and put the economy firmly back on track to grow and create jobs.

So much for the promises and rhetoric. How did it all turn out in reality?

It all turns to custard

I’ll spare you another big mess of quotes. We’ve all seen the news.

August 2010: Unemployment rate jumps.
August 2010: Tasman wage gap $40 a week wider
September 2010: Kiwi dollar tumbles on weak GDP.
October 2010: Economy ‘fragile’ – Reserve Bank gov.
October 2010: Economy contracted last quarter, says NZIER.

And so on and so on. It doesn’t sit very well with all of National’s bravado does it?

And now the whining starts

National have been caught out badly. They promised that they understood the problem and had a recovery plan. The reality is that they did nothing (except cut taxes, which is somehow supposed to fix everything by magic). The reality is that National have failed badly, and it is becoming more and more obvious. So how do they respond?

(A) Tell lies!

The Nats are spinning all sorts of nonsense about the economy. Fellow Standardista Marty G has been taking these lies apart for weeks (e.g. here, here, here, here). The Nats are claiming that average wages are increasing! Keith Ng takes that lie apart (well yes, because so many low wage people have lost their jobs). The Nats are claiming that the current low inflation is an economic victory! Gordon Campbell demolishes that one (there’s a lot of desperate sale pricing of luxuries but the essentials are still rising). And so on.

(B) Whine and blame Labour!

Perhaps sensing that the lies are too transparent to last, Key has fallen back quickly to Plan B — whine and blame Labour:

“Tens of thousand of Kiwis are finding they just can’t pay their bills,” says Labour leader Phil Goff. Mr Key says that’s not his Government’s fault – he blames Labour. “It’s a lagging indicator, and these people are having to deal with the mess Labour left the country in,” he says.

People can’t pay their bills and that’s a “lagging indicator”? Hello! Out of touch much? Let’s go full circle back to the start of this post — Labour left the economy well placed heading in to this recession (even Bill English said so). Key campaigned on a recovery plan, and said that only National could fix the problems. Key claimed that two National budgets “have steered New Zealand out of recession and put the economy firmly back on track to grow and create jobs”. And now when all the bravado is revealed as bullshit he wants to blame Labour? Yeah good luck with that.

Time to learn the lessons John

John Key, you need to face up to some basic lessons:

(1) Your “tax cuts will solve everything” sham of a “plan” for the economy is a failure. Labour left you well placed to respond to the crisis, and you’ve blown it. As early as June 2009 we were out of recession, but because of your do-nothing “plan”, two budgets later, we are slipping back in.

(2) What is happening in New Zealand is only a microcosm of what is happening internationally. Neo-liberal economics has failed. It died in the heat of the global financial crisis of 2008, and only trillions of dollars worth of “socialist” tax payer bailouts have animated the corpse since then. Even that half life is likely to end soon on the twin pyres of sovereign debt and American foreclosure fraud.

Conclusion

This is a time for fresh thinking, both globally and locally.

Some people get it. People like Bernard Hickey, who has renounced neo-liberal economic orthodoxy. Some organisations get it. Organisations like the Labour Party, who used their recent conference to break the economic mould and promise fresh new thinking.

On the other hand, some don’t get it at all. John Key doesn’t get it. The National Party doesn’t get it. As long as they are in power they will have nothing to offer economically except tax cuts for the rich. As the economy languishes they will have nothing to offer except more lies and pathetic attempts to blame Labour. If the economy does stagger back to health it will be despite National not because of them.

Trace National’s path from economic bravado, to failure, to whining. Consider the alternatives. A reinvigorated and open-minded Labour, or a closed-minded National clinging to failed policies and excuses. That’s the choice facing New Zealand at the next election.

24 comments on “Key’s economic bravado now reduced to whining”

  1. lprent 1

    Great post. It is exactly how I feel about these clowns. They’re full of bullshit, able to piss around the margins with idiot legislation, but totally ineffective at the basic roles of government, and increasingly incoherent as Ministers go off doing their own thing.

    Right now they’re starting to seriously annoy me with the PR lying – with blatant misuse of bogus numbers out of context.

    But I guess that National is getting worried. Those poll trends are Not good for them, and neither is the feeling I am getting when talking to people. Quite different to last year

  2. burt 2

    Good post rOb, you just forgot to mention that NZ was already in recession prior to the global economic crisis.

    • Pascal's bookie 2.1

      Ooh again. Care to comment yet on the actions of the fed reserve in 07 and 08, particularly in comparison to our RB, and how this relates to your oft repeated bullshit?

    • Marty G 2.2

      burt. NZ entered recession in the same quarter as the US, Ireland, Norway, Sweden etc and one quarter prior to the rest of the world.

      We entered recession the quarter after the oil price spike and the sub-prime crisis took off.

      It’s OK to be ignorant of these facts the first time. Now it just looks like you can’t read.

    • Marty G 2.3

      and, guess what, the recession started three years ago.

      Key is the PM now. It’s his job to sort things. Instead he’s whining.

      • Jim MacDonald 2.3.1

        Key, Double Dipton and the other Cabinet Dipsticks

        – they have wasted opportunities that would have put NZ in a better position

        – they have stuffed up priorities that would have helped NZ cope with the recession

      • burt 2.3.2

        and, guess what, the recession started three years ago.

        I agree, late 2007 – So we were in recession before the global crisis, actually before the sub-prime debacle….

        As rOb said;

        In 2008 the world was slipping into what was obviously going to be a very difficult recession.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.4

      yes that was part of the Reserve Banks deliberate policy to give a slow landing along ( remember they were ratcheting up interest rates) with the loss of production due to the drought

    • bbfloyd 2.5

      burt.. are you taking the piss? or are you really that stupid? read the post again moron, and this time, have a break between paragraphs.. you just might find the bits that deal with the recession in 2008 specifically… if you havn’t got it after a few hours of patient reading, then i suggest you stick to your knitting. that, at least shouldn’t tax your tiny little mind too badly… what a complete plonker you are….

    • Fisiani 2.6

      There is a common misguided theme on this blog of how awful National have been.
      A good analogy would be if a rugby team passed the ball across the pitch from player to player. No forward progress just transferring the ball sideways. Finally it gets tossed to the player in the Blue shirt a microsecond before he is hit by 3 huge forwards. it’s called a hospital pass.
      How dare he fumble the ball. The rest of the team did not. He must be awful. They call him nasty names. (unemployment up, deficit up, loser)
      Despite this he has shrugged off the opposition and made more progress in the last two minutes than the reds on his side did in nine minutes.

      • lprent 2.6.1

        It looks more like progress backwards than forwards to me…

      • Draco T Bastard 2.6.2

        Wow, a delusional RWNJ propounding more delusion to justify the way his preferred government fails at, well, governing.

        I’ll spell it out for you Fisiani, NACT have fiddled while the economy burned and now that it’s in ashes they’re blaming Labour even though Labour left the books in better shape than at pretty much any time in the last 30 odd years.

        Now, Labour made some mistakes, the biggest is in supporting capitalism, one of the other one was supporting the delusional neo-liberal paradigm that has, once again, proven that it doesn’t work. NACT are, of course, still pushing this paradigm because it’s made them rich – at everybody else’s expense. Of course, being a bunch of psychopaths they’re not concerned about the damage that they’ve done to everybody else with their greed. In fact, their out there right now blaming the victims.

  3. Carol 3

    An already the MSM, and NACT supporters are whining (in a Stuff article & on the Standard & Red Alert comments) about the actors’ unions being responsible for (predicted) loss of filming the Hobbit in NZ. But, Gordon Campbell shows that it is NACT’s and Brownlee’s fault for not making the financial incentives to film in NZ competitive enough:

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1010/S00119/gordon-campbell-on-the-hobbit-countdown-to-d-day.htm

    Wednesday, 20 October 2010, 9:26 am
    Column: Gordon Campbell

    At his post Cabinet press conference last week, Prime Minister John Key was asked (by me) whether the government-convened talks to keep The Hobbit in this country had included the possibility of raising the level of film production subsidies available in New Zealand. “No,” Key replied, “that hasn’t been on the agenda.” Interesting. Offhand, I can’t recall any other negotiations where this country has had so much at stake, and where we have seemed quite so complacent about going into them at a trade disadvantage.

    After all, it isn’t as Minister of Economic Development Gerry Brownlee isn’t aware of the benefits or major film productions to New Zealand – both now, when we’re offering a 15% rebate on the local spend by foreign film companies or later, if we chose to raise our bid slightly. Last year, Brownlee reportedly put the case for production subsidies this way – “Can anyone tell me what’s wrong when we put up 15% and they give us 85%?” Right. Yet surely, the same logic applies if the ratio is 20% to 80% – or even if we raised our subsidy level to the 25% that some parts of Eastern Europe are now offering, and settled for a 75% share of the bounty? That still sounds like a good deal to me. Why isn’t Spada – not to mention Sir Peter Jackson – putting on the table at least the possibility of the government sweetening our bid? After all, back in January, Spada’s Penelope Borland was saying publicly that “in fact New Zealand now has one of the more modest rebate schemes for international productions.” Exactly. So why is Spada (and everyone else) now choosing to ignore that reality?

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      I read that and laughed.

      One of the major selling points of the neo-liberal delusion was that you didn’t need subsidies as the “market” would fix it all automatically and make everything cheaper due to “competition” and yet every major undertaking in NZ, and around the world, still has massive government subsidy. Privatisation is failing, as it always has, to step up to the challenge of actually improving society. All it (privatisation) does is ask that the people take pay cuts, lower working conditions and also pay for the capitalists to become even richer and then blame them for being poor.

      We need to get rid of capitalism, and its irrational market as it is, quite literally, killing us.

  4. ZeeBop 4

    Brownless says employment legislation not flexible enough to allow actors to negotiate
    a better deal over the Hobbit movie and so we are going to lose it offshore because of
    existing laws. Actors will still be employed but not here in NZ. But its a timely
    reminder than unionism can mean loss of jobs, and the current government will crow
    if it happens. But actors are global workers and can move, or take jobs from those
    who do move to the new Hobbit stage in ?E.Europe?

    Government obvious hates the man in the street, as students are now finding, students
    can’t be trusted to vote out complusory student fees. How stupid is our government,
    without the political hustlings put on by unions we don’t get to track the political
    agitators of the future, whether they be gormless rightwing or leftwing ones.
    Student unions provide opportunities to the future radio shock jocks, future
    accountants doing the union books, future politicians, even allow state security
    services a means to discover the new threats or potential staff of the future.
    What is government thinking? forcing a new wave, generation, of political
    activists out of the limelight of student politics to the back alleys of the internet?

    Cut, cut, cut. The voters are rightly targetted by National for voting for neo-liberal
    stupid policies over the years, and well National are going to keep on offering neo-liberal solutions.
    Its like National are forcing voters to prove their faith in the economics of stupid
    by taking the cuts without a fight.

  5. Carol 5

    And when NACT is not whining, it’s cutting back on democratic rights, because it knows most of the less well off don’t usually vote for NACT:

    http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/voting-rights-bill-slammed-3845371

    A bill that will ban all prisoners from voting has been slammed as undemocratic by the Maori Party.

    Currently only prisoners serving terms longer than three years are forbidden from voting – the Electoral Disqualification Bill extends that to all prisoners. The second reading of the bill passed through Parliament 63 votes to 55 last night.

    Labour voted against it, and the Greens said that this bill breaches UN Covenants on human rights.

    So, is NAC’s grand plan to blame everyone else, and meanwhile ensure opposition is diminished by incacerating more and more people, and disenfranchising them?

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      NACTs plan is always to blame someone else for their failures. They have no sense of responsibility or a conscience.

  6. WOW… i just had some fatcat mofo buy me a new fridge stocked full of food and paid for by his taxcut.

    he said it was all part of the trickle down generosity for the poor and needy credo he’s decided to live by and that next week he’s going to stimulate the retail sector and develop his social conscience even more by consuming us a new lounge suite.

    …and then i woke up on my shitty couch, hungry as a muthafucka wondering how to meet the rent increase and pay the next hiked power bill.

  7. BLiP 7

    You overlook the fact that Natonal Ltd™ has been particularly successful with its real agenda of making the rich richer and the poor poorer. From that point of view, John Key has truly been a maestro.

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    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    7 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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