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Meltdown

Written By: - Date published: 10:36 pm, August 4th, 2008 - 90 comments
Categories: assets, bill english, john key, national, privatisation, slippery - Tags:

The English tape has exploded into a massive scandal. You’ll be familiar with the content of the recording:

  • – English mocks voters as greedy simpletons taken in by a flashy con-man “they’re saying that nice Mr Key, he’s pretty smart, he will get me some more”
  • – He claims Key doesn’t understand basic trade-offs in Working for Families (ie. that you can have a high abatement rate leading to high marginal tax or a low abatement rate leading to some high income families getting small payments, or you can cut payments over all but you can’t have high payments, low abatement and not reach into high incomes): “Don didn’t understand it, neither did John, actually”
  • – Contrary to Key’s announcement last week, he says National will “sort out” Working for Families later on it just doesn’t want the campaign dominated by “families of four on TV saying ‘Mr Key took our money away'”
  • – He says that National will sell Kiwibank “eventually” despite it’s official line against asset sales.

But what’s extraordinary is English’s reaction. At first, it seemed he was going down the classic Crosby/Textor line – deny the conversation, say you don’t remember etc (a la Key when he said he “would love to see wages drop“). He could have crawled away, tail between legs and hoped this would die quickly. But on TV1 tonight, he did something incredible – four times, when asked whether he thought Key did understand Working for Families, English said “it’s a complicated policy” (it’s not, see the trade-offs above); he refused to say ‘yes, Key does understand it’.

English is saying Key is incapable of understanding WfF. That, and the comments on the tape, constitute a blatant attack on Key’s leadership of National. English, 15 year veteran MP, knew exactly what he was saying: Key is not competent to deal in real policy; incapable of doing the job of Prime Minister.

Key cannot allow this to stand unanswered; the Key-English leadership team can no longer credibility survive. The only questions are: which of them is going to go? And how quickly?

90 comments on “Meltdown ”

  1. Tanya 1

    Massive scandal? You wish. It’ll take more than this to stop the Key/English/National machine hurtling towards the levers of power. The Winston saga is still alive and well…

  2. Ok – the righties have figured out they need to pretend to be female posters in order to dispel the idea they are a bunch of white chauvinist malcontent boys. I’ve noticed this is becoming a bit of a regular treat across several blogs. It gives me this disturbing mental image of Cameron Slater in a dress and wearing red lipstick though…

    So “Tanya” are you blar? Or perhaps you’re Murry. Here’s a tip you dick – women don’t use 12 year old boy phrases like “national machine hurtling”. They’re generally smarter than that…

  3. Blar 3

    While I’m flattered Sod, I’m not Tanya. Although if you’d like to chat about people who post under other names, could you please explain why your unique gravatar has popped up next to comments from James Kearney, LFC and a range of other folk here?

    “He says that National will sell Kiwibank “eventually’ despite it’s official line against asset sales.”

    Could you please explain how selling something “eventually” contradicts not selling anything in the first-term of Government?

  4. Oh I don’t think you want to talk about alternate identities blar. Have you been stalking me too?

  5. Blar 5

    Nice misdirection sod. Straight out of the Crosby-Textor playbook?

  6. Probably because as registered users they can set thiers to what ever they like?

    Gosh this sure isnt looking good for english. haha do we know who the good man asking the questions was? or is whale oil desperately trying hard to find out?

  7. r0b 7

    Could you please explain how selling something “eventually’ contradicts not selling anything in the first-term of Government?

    Doesn’t contradict it as you have stated it. But not National policy gets stated in various ways:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4449266a6160.html

    State asset sales …
    National
    No final policy yet. Has said it would do partial floats of some assets, but leader John Key says “I don’t see a strong case for wholesale asset sales”. Key says National would not sell Kiwibank or TVNZ, but would sell the rail network if it was purchased by the government. He refused to comment on whether National would sell off any or all of the government shares in Air New Zealand.

    No mention of first term there. How about this version?
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/blogs/politics/2008/04/14/nats-asset-sales-policy-pretty-clear/

    John Key told Agenda yesterday that there would be no asset sales, either whole or partial, during the first term of a National government. If the policy changed and National wanted to sell some assets in its second term, it would tell the public and seek a fresh mandate, Key said.

    Seek a fresh mandate eh. But hmmm – I didn’t hear Bill mention that in his blurt. Sorry, Nats have been caught with their pants down on this one. The policy damage is done, the effect on National’s leadership remains to be seen.

  8. or is whale oil desperately trying hard to find out?

    Don’t think for a second that Cameron finds this stuff for himself. He’s got a wee mate that does all of this for him.

    Nice misdirection sod. Straight out of the Crosby-Textor playbook?

    Funny how related things fall in together…

  9. Razorlight 9

    Massive scandal?

    Or an embarassing recording. English has been caught with his pants down. It was hardly a conscious attack on the leadership. A private conversation was recorded. He did not know this was going to come out.

    So he will be a bit red faced tonight but going somewhere? What are you on? 15% lead in the polls.

    Come on.

    I look forward to the next 35 posts that try to keep this story going, while the Key/English marriage marchs on towards victory. How many stories were done on the National consultants. How much did it dent their popularity. Your beat ups are a great read but in reality not very effective are they?

  10. “Robinsod
    August 4, 2008 at 11:52 pm
    or is whale oil desperately trying hard to find out?

    Don’t think for a second that Cameron finds this stuff for himself. He’s got a wee mate that does all of this for him.”

    Good point.

    Man it makes you wonder, this person obviously had no trouble getting it out of English, what other gems could there be if more people had recorders in thier pockets!

  11. r0b 11

    Your beat ups are a great read but in reality not very effective are they?

    If this is a “beat up” then I guess TV1 & TV3 are in on the plot (damn commies!).

    As to the effect, remains to be seen really. Still plenty of long weeks between now and election day…

  12. Tanya 12

    Robinsod, sorry to disappoint, but Tanya is my real name, I don’t have a problem with using it here. Honestly, how funny you are. It seems that my post rankled you, hilarious. No, I am not with the boys club, believe it or not, its just too much fun being female!

  13. Razorlight 13

    rOb Crosby/Textor made the msm as well, for a day. But it was The Standard that attempted to keep the story going well and truly past the point the public cared about it. I am just guessing it will be the same with this story.

    And don’t for a second think I am comfortable with this revelation. It is not a good look for National. It’s just I believe it will not be making headlines in two days time. Correct me if I am wrong on Thursday.

    Huge embarassment. Oh yes
    Huge scandal. Keep digging boys, this isnt the one you are looking for.

  14. r0b 14

    It’s just I believe it will not be making headlines in two days time.

    Maybe, maybe not. It made headlines today though.

    Huge embarassment. Oh yes
    Huge scandal. Keep digging boys,

    Y’know, I think lying to the public to get elected should be a huge scandal, don’t you?

    this isnt the one you are looking for.

    I’d be surprised if this was the last such incident for National. I look forward, for example, to Nicky Hager’s next contribution…

  15. Razorlight 15

    Nicky Hager. Once again, come on!! If you are relying on his contributions to defeat Key then you are in alot of trouble.

    That man has as much credibilty as Iam Wishart or Steve Pierson.

    But anyway you call this lieing. I call it an embarrasing fuck up. But one lie/f up that could also happen to the Labour Finance Minister. He wont get caught by a recording but do you honestly think he personally believes in the need for personal tax cuts. There are too many quotes from him over the past 15 years that clearly shows he is fundamentally opposed to any sort of tax cut. He has argued endlessly against them yet is now delivering the. What would a recording behind the closed doors when Clark told Cullen he was delivering these cuts show?

    National has been caught out. Labour is just better at keeping their mouths shut in public.

  16. Massive scandal, meltdown,neutron bomb etc,, just shows how out of touch the political schizo’s are with reality. No wonder Joe Average rates politicians as lowly as a steaming dog turd.These deluded well paid wasteful stud muffins live in a demented world of hyperbole and fiction. Why do we need them cluttering up space, talking shit? Looks like National are on par with Labour in the not too bright stakes.The state is NOT the solution to everything! God help this country.

  17. RedLogix 17

    1. Secret Trusts used to cover up the real source of their funding, and remains a closely guarded secret to this day.

    2. Secret deals with a secretive religion, the are still embarrassed and evasive about.

    3. A secret ‘No Brash, No Cash’ deal that has been covered up.

    4. A nod and a wink from a naive AG conspiring to avoid an audit of their real spending.

    5. A Leader who is forced from power because he has been caught covering up an affair with the Deputy Chair of one of his parties major backers.

    6. A new Leader whose sudden nomination for the safe seat of Henderson remains an open and interesting question.

    7. A Party who despite having the wealthiest Leader of all time, does not appear to have declared any donations from him until very recently.

    8. A Leader that refuses to confirm the name of his PR consultant, despite it being common knowledge.

    9. A Party that despite being the main Opposition Party refuses to release any policy detail for proper scrutiny.

    10. A Party that says one thing in public about asset sales, but says distinctly different things in private.

    And these are just the ones I know about and can recall easily. How many more do we not know about?

    Why then all the chicanery? What drives all this secretiveness?

  18. sdm 18

    This is not a scandal. It is a beat up led by left wing 21 year old bloggers, so scared at the prospect that they are going to lose, that those who work hard might start to get ahead, and god forbid, sucessfulness may not longer be ideologically opposed to government policy.

    Lets deal with what english said.

    1 “John didn’t understand”

    I take it as this – in the past, National/John Key tried to design an alternative to WFF. Their objective was to provide a policy that left no body worse off, but created incentives to work harder and keep a creater percentage of their income. They werent able to. Does that make Key inelligible for PM. Of course not. Consider if I am a CEO and I try and develop a new, say, marketing policy. Say I am unable to come up with one – that doesnt necessary make me unable to do my job.

    2. “We will have a bit of a sort out”

    I hope they do. The problem is that with the country is that labour have brought the place so far to the left, that they have mainstreemed ideas that are contary to success. I really hope National does have a bit of a sort out.

    Looking forward to the utter rejection of the Clark government in september, providing she lasts the week….

  19. Daveski 19

    SP – I enjoy your research driven posts as they raise points that are worth debating.

    However, the desperate personality driven drivel is increasingly hysterical and laughable. No party wants to confuse its messages so English’s comments weren’t helpful and I’m sure caused embarrassment.

    However scandal it’s not. Simple repeating the view that this is lying doesn’t make it so. SP has been the first to criticise National for not having detailed policy yet there is a policy statement on this that is not contradicted by English’s statement.

    So r0b – why wouldn’t you quote the actual policy that I could find in a couple of minutes browsing the Nat’s site. Does omission on your behalf count as lying as I’ve seen plenty of others try to argue.

    http://www.national.org.nz/Article.aspx?ArticleID=28267

    As for massive scandals, the Double Standard doesn’t count in terms of analysis of the media.

    And as a final comment, if this is such a scandal, why the lack of outraged response to Winnie’s finance deals.

  20. outofbed 20

    looking forward to the utter rejection of the Clark government in september, providing she lasts the week

    So how do you expect to be taken seriously with crap like that ?

    I fear you may have fallen for too much media hype and could be in for a big let down
    There is a very very good chance that Labour will win in November

    The Nats only have drop a few percentage points from their current polling and they will not have the numbers.

    We know that English was shafted by Key in the leadership struggle
    and detests him

    The only thing holding a fractured National party together is the prospect of another 3 years in opposition

    The cracks have started to appear and the campaigns haven’t even started

    I therefore remain reasonably confident that the Nats will not win in November

  21. coge 21

    ‘Sod. I think I understand your logic.
    1/ Tanya is a womans name.
    2/ No women vote for National
    3/ Therefore Tanya must be a man.

    Remember Reilly ace of spies?

    “He attends church regularly, he is punctual & he has polished shoes. No, he cannot be a spy”

  22. Speaking of “massive scandals”do you reckon that Bill English will have the bit between his teeth this arvo when he questions Annette King about why one of her own Ministers is calling for the EFA to be reviewed?

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2008/08/anderton-and-efa.html

    Sure, it’s a stupid blunder by English, but a “massive scandal” – yeah right.

  23. randal 24

    the nats profess to be a party that does not believe in government but yet they want to govern. I dont thnk they will get the chance. Their m.o. will be rejected by the people of this country as the precious whimperings of a gang of huns trying to hide their essential dislike of anybody else and theintention to do them down if they get halfa chance….goodbye national.

  24. sdm 25

    outofbed (but not necessarily awake):

    I understand what you are saying. You think a Labour-united-maori-green-nz first coalition can get 50%. It won’t last three years, but clark doesnt give a shit because she will probably go after the election, her reputation secured that she has won 4 elections, and off to some cushy job offshre. Goff gets the hospital pass, loses the next election….

    Thats the logic. Now the problem with that is obvious. Firstly I think National will win Tauranga and Winston doesn’t get the 5%. That limits Labours options further.

    Secondly I think that English is bang-on when he says people are sick of clark and cullen. I meet lots of people in my work, and the feeling is unamimous – they are sick of Labour. I think given the choice, people will choose growth and prosperity over dependancy and backwards economic thinking.

  25. Phil 26

    “chauvinist malcontent boys.”

    Remind us again how many XX’s you have posting on your blog? how about The Standard?

    [Tane: We have several female contributors.]

  26. Righties. This has moved beyond the tape, which is damning enough in itself. It’s English’s reaction which is incredible. Let’s run a counterfactual:

    Imagine Micheal Cullen on TV, repeatedly undermining Clark’s leadership by refusing to say she understood a major policy, and saying its ‘complicated’, although you clearly purport to understand it yourself.

    Would any of you seriously not think that was done on purpose to attack Clark? Would any expect Clark to roll over and take that?

  27. sdm 28

    Umm, Goff on Alt TV a few weeks back?

  28. Draco TB 29

    I think given the choice, people will choose growth and prosperity over dependancy and backwards economic thinking.

    So, you think that they’ll vote Labour anyway?

  29. Billy 30

    You’ve convinced me, Steve. It’s “exploded” into a “massive scandal”. There are eviscerated bits of scandal stuck to the walls.

    Contemporaneously, I accept that Winston soliciting donations in breach of the old Electoral Act and then not declaring them is just a beat up. And that the Prime Minister’s outrage at democracy being for sale to the highest bidder extends to everyone who might do that except if they are on her side.

    Personally, I am glad this came up. All of your pretending that there would be an employment law holocaust if National got into power must have been starting to bore even you.

    This “scandal” was also helpful for providing this week’s opportunity for Out of Bed to predict that the tide is turning and the public are waking up. That makes one such prediction a week for 61 straight weeks.

  30. Daveski 31

    Stuff doesn’t give a proverbial while NZH article could have been written by SP (and I thought it was a Tory vehicle??).

    No one on the right has challenged that this is embarrassing.

    Neither is it surprising that English is the policy king and Key the salesman/delivery/team leader. It happens in all sorts of organisations – in fact, in many organisations, real power lurks below the visible leader. Not Labour obviously!

    The point is that this is supposedly a “massive scandal”.

    It’s not Watergate.

    As for Double Standards, we all happily adjust our perspective on secret recordings depending on who gets caught out. Given the outrage from the left the first time, the consistent pov would have been to rail against the invasion of privacy. Mind you, at least English wasn’t proposing to do some illegal 🙂

  31. Tane 32

    Stuff doesn’t give a proverbial

    Bro, the Dom Post mentions it on the front page, in the editorial, has a full article on page 2 and has a cartoon dedicated to the scandal.

    As for Double Standards, we all happily adjust our perspective on secret recordings depending on who gets caught out.

    I think if you’re a politician saying something different behind closed doors than you do in public then it’s fair cop. From the tape I heard of Williams and people I spoke to who were there, I don’t think he did anything more than try to move the meeting along by going “yeah, great idea mate” to someone who made a suggestion – you know, the polite thing to do. It was Audrey Young’s breathless front page reporting of a ‘secret plan’ that made it an issue. But that’s another issue entirely.

    [lprent: I was there – that is exactly what happened. It wasn’t a ‘plan’ – it was a suggestion from the floor of the congress. It was pretty obvious later that it wasn’t a good idea. ]

  32. Daveski. I don’t recall being outraged by the Williams recording, I recall being pissed off with Williams for agreeing with something so stupid that he ought to have known was wrong because people I had spoken to months ago had said it wasn’t possible.

    But the recording of that conversation was a fair cop – if a politician is telling people behind closed doors something different than what the public is told that deserves to be exposed.

  33. just to be clear then, Daveski etc, you’re cool with English saying WfF is a complicated policy and refusing to say Key understands it?

  34. outofbed 35

    I understand what you are saying. You think a Labour-United-Maori-Green-nz first coalition can get 50%.
    NO I don’t think that
    The bottom line is If National does not get 47% then it is the Maori Party who hold the power to Government formation
    The answer is going to be who is the most likely to do the deal

    IWI/KIWI anyone ?

  35. sdm 36

    “So, you think that they’ll vote Labour anyway?”

    No I didnt mean growth in the public service – i meant private enterprise. But as none of you have experianced it, i cant expect you to understand

  36. Daveski 37

    Tane – apologies – should have clarified that I was referring only to the online version. I have not seen the Dom Post today and should have clarified that.

    My comments re secret recordings were not meant to be one-sided. SP I take your word about your reaction but certainly others here responded differently. Personally, I think the public despises any politician of any hue for saying different things in different situations.

    To repeat my pov, it is definitely embarrassing that English put himself in this position.

    I must admit I’m a little surprised that English didn’t play the game but I still don’t see it as a scandal. I noted in an earlier post that power doesn’t always rest at the very top – by that I mean the ability to influence and drive policy/strategy.

    Obviously worth exploring further but it’s not Watergate nor does it look like derailing National at least on what is so far presented.

    I get the feeling that this election will be the most brutal.

  37. sdm 38

    “The bottom line is If National does not get 47% then it is the Maori Party who hold the power to Government formation
    The answer is going to be who is the most likely to do the deal

    IWI/KIWI anyone ?”

    Wreckers and Haters….

    Also if NZF dont make it, those votes will be reallocated (many of which will go to National) United could deal with National….

    Say National get 44%. Act and United get 2% each. National could pick up the balance needed by the redistribution of those votes for parties that dont make the threshold

  38. This just in …

    National party deputy leader Bill English has issued a statement taking back comments he made about selling off Kiwibank and seeking to play down talk of him criticising John Key.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10525377

    [Tane: Russell, sorry for the delay, you got caught in the spam trap.]

  39. Blar 40

    Daveski. I don’t recall being outraged by the Williams recording, I recall being pissed off with Williams for agreeing with something so stupid that he ought to have known was wrong because people I had spoken to months ago had said it wasn’t possible.

    From memory, you and your fellow bloggers ignored the issue. What else could we expect from a bunch of partisan hacks?

    [Tane: Blar, a quick search pulled up this – http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=1743. Apology welcome.]

  40. Matthew Pilott 41

    sdm if none of us have experienced private enterprise, then Key eats babies and pisses crude oil into the Waikato for kicks.

    Grow up.

    As for this being a slight embarrassment, it was the first story (make that the first two stories) on three last night, for about 12 minutes.

    People might be ‘sick of Clark and Cullen’ but the 600,000 people who joined kiwibank because it’s a Kiwi-owned bank might be prepared to overlook that.

    TV1 also ran this story at midday and in the evening.

    It was also on three on Sunday, and one and three on Monday night. It’s been in every newspaper, and mentioned on front pages.

    There are about five aspects to it:

    1 – trustwortiness. Saying something and meaning another. While technically not out of line with their policy, it’s pretty damn clear what National wants to do, and it’s easy to imagine them taking steps to make it happen, trying to slip around a promise.

    2 – leadership. Even Garner was promoting the Key vs English aspect of it and saying they clearly have different views.

    3 – kiwibank. Lots of people like it, including Consumer, which pointed out that they have forced the foreign banks to keep their branches open, have kept mortgage rates down and fees low.

    4 – Key. If English thinks he doesn’t understand WfF, how can that be a good look., Unlike someone’s hypothetical CEO not being able to develop a marketing policy, WfF is a very big game in town. If Key can’t handle that, maybe he is just ‘that nice Mr Key’ and nothing else

    5 – voters. National clearly doesn’t think much of ‘the punters’ and that will rile a lot of people. Nothing worse than a senior politician seeming to hold people in contempt.

    Pretending that this is small fry isn’t going to wash, righties.

  41. Hoolian 42

    You are so pathetic, Clinton. Get a life.

    Statement On Secret Recording

    Press Release by New Zealand National Party at 10:14 am, 05 Aug 2008

    “Statements of mine secretly recorded at a social function last Friday and published over the weekend have caused confusion and concern about National’s policy on Kiwibank and Working for Families,” says National Party Finance spokesman Bill English.

    “I did not choose my words well.

    “We have worked for several years to find a better way of allowing families to keep their own income.

    “We opted to retain the existing structure because we were not willing to create uncertainty for families under pressure. If we are elected we will work to improve the system for families without reducing entitlements.

    “With respect to Kiwibank, I shouldn’t have made the comments I made. National has had no discussions about Kiwibank and has no plans to sell it.

    “Comments I made regarding the complexity of WFF have been construed as criticism of John Key. That is wrong. My repeated responses to this question yesterday reflected my determination not to widen the debate – not an attempt to criticise John Key.

    “I should have made it clear that I meant no such criticism and I’m making that clear today.”

    ENDS

    Ooooh, big scandal, Clinton! You’ve really hit the nail on the head on this one. All you do is whinge.

  42. Matthew Pilott 43

    Blar, why the explosion at RedLogix? It was a fairly simple mistake. Can you please try and restrain yourself a bit, you’re like a three year old who has learnt their first swear word and are saying it as much as possible for the reaction.

    Tell you what. My three year old cousin grew out of it after only a couple of weeks. You’ve been at it for about a month now, so she’s already got the drop on you, and I presume you’re not three. Try and prove to us that you’re not within, say, 10 years of her age, which is how it looks thus far.

  43. sdm 44

    Matthew

    English was referring to the PAST. He said “Don didn’t understand it, and neither DID John” He is referring to the past. If he did “key doesn’t understand” fair enough, but thats not what he said. They tried to develop an alternative in the PAST, but couldn’t. Thats all he said….

    Its not like Key is backing a corrupt foreign minister or anything serious….

  44. gobsmacked 45

    Here’s the Dom-Post (Stuff) reporting of that press release (see Hoolian’s comment above):

    National Party deputy Bill English has been forced into an embarrassing public apology over “loose talk” recorded secretly during a cocktail function.

    With National Party leader John Key at his side, Mr English read out a statement to journalists this morning acknowledging that his statements had caused “confusion and concern” about National’s intentions on KiwiBank and Working for Families.

    Hardly a non-issue, when the leader and deputy leader have to front up to the press together, to try and kill the story.

  45. bill brown 46

    Press Release by New Zealand National Party at 10:14 am, 05 Aug 2008

    Explaining. Is. Losing.

  46. RedLogix 47

    Blar,

    Oh yes… Helensville, not Henderson. Silly me.

    And I appreciated the rest of your substantive rebuttal too.

  47. Hoolian. thanks, I’ve seen the light. I know you have the best interests of myself and the Left at heart. So, I’m off to be a sharetrader.

  48. ben 49

    The English tape has exploded into a massive scandal.

    Probably the single most stupid comment I’ve seen this week. What a beatup.

  49. Rob 50

    Wow isnt it sad when all the lefties have to go on is this little bit of media spin that didnt show the full transcript in the first place.

    I guess its no different than Helen on TV looking NZ in the eye saying I dont want to ban smacking because the NZ public dont want that. Yea right !!

    Isn’t it refreshing in Bill English to see a man who is big enough to make an apology. We haven’t seen that in this arrogant Labour Government in 8 years. All their cockups and problems but not big enough to apologise. Shows a different standard maybe even a democracy rather than a dictatorship.

  50. monkey-boy 51

    Did you call for Goff to resign when he said he has no plans to challenge the leadership ‘at present’?

  51. Matthew Pilott 52

    sdm, it’s not like Key’s not backing working with the same… As has been said, no one comes out of that looking too well, if there’s substance toi the allegations (although I note only the frothy types call it corrupt, and even then they should think about it carefully – if Winston was corrupt,

    As for the semantics and hair-splitting, English said (no fewer than four times) that it’s very complicated and refused to be drawn into whether Key does understand WfF. Hardly a ringing endoresement there!

    Hoolian, given that all you do is…whinge, well, I don’t really need to point out the obvious do I?

  52. randal 53

    he’s starting to look like a half skinned iguana… iggey?

  53. gobsmacked 54

    “A massive scandal” is hyperbole.

    But this *is* a serious problem. How it is described on a partisan blog is hardly significant. How it is seen by the voting public is what matters. And it’s not good.

    @ Monkey-Boy: the difference is, does the issue resonate with voters?

    The public already know that a) Goff wants to be leader and b) he won’t be before the election. Everybody knows both of those things, and so the story has no “oomph”.

    Key and English doing a public kiss and make-up is a much bigger deal. When did they – or Clark and Cullen – last have to do that?

    Ever?

  54. Blar 55

    Pilott, stop being so sanctimonious – calling someone a fuckwit is not an explosion.

    RedLogix, you can’t demand substantive rebuttal when you say stuff like:

    “a new Leader whose sudden nomination for the safe seat of Henderson (sic) remains an open and interesting question”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/feature/story.cfm?c_id=1502247&objectid=10523287&pnum=0 This was canvassed here and has been also canvassed extensively in the past. Your comments about the Dianne Foreman thing are similarly weird. Given that the whole thing was revealed by the Associate Minister for Panty Sniffing Trevor Mallard in the House, can you please explain how Brash ‘lost his job’ ‘covering it up’?

  55. outofbed 56

    Billy

    That makes one such prediction a week for 61 straight weeks.

    Yeah its getting a problem people cross the street if they see me coming
    The problem is though is, when I am proved correct that will equally piss people off
    I am destined to be alone and unloved 🙂

  56. Blar 57

    [Tane: Blar, a quick search pulled up this – http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=1743. Apology welcome.]

    Tane, I forgot someone tried to gloss over the whole thing. In fact, that post reads a lot like this one:

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2008/08/the_full_english_quote.html

  57. Tane 58

    So you’re wrong again Blar. That’s okay, I’ve noticed more and more righties coming on here solely to smear and misdirect. When you’ve lost the social and now the economic arguments what else is there to do?

  58. Blar 59

    “When you’ve lost the social and now the economic arguments what else is there to do?”

    You’re a hoot Tane. Precisely how many of the ‘neoliberal’ reforms have Labour rolled back? It looks like the right has already won on free trade, tax cuts, monetary policy, balanced budgets and the use of PPPs.

  59. Tane 60

    Blar, Labour have a strong streak of neoliberalism and I think it’s bollocks. That’s why I don’t vote for them.

    My comment was referring specifically to the number of less intelligent right-wing commenters on this site who have resorted to smear and misrepresentation because they can’t win the substantive arguments.

  60. RedLogix 61

    OK guys so I’m willing to go with the idea that this is probably not the most massive scandal of the century. SP is a bit of a whippersnapper after all, and the odd spot of hyperbole can be expected in the young from time to time.

    On the other hand, whenever Bill English says anything from now on in are we allowed to ask ourselves if this is actual National Party policy, or just his opinion? Because Bill is a big boy now. He stands to be our next Minister of Finance. On Saturday night he clearly expresses the idea in private that he would sell KiwiBank if he could; on Tuesday he’s making press releases saying that he would not.

    Not a good look.

    Blar,

    The problem with Brash was not the affair itself. It was WHO it was with, and the fact that the political implications of it could not be covered up indefinitely.

    As for the Helensville scrap. The open question is still WHY. There are plenty of impressive people about, very few get handed a safe seat because head office suddenly takes a liking to them.

  61. Like I say, there are three grounds on which to judge a politican and a party:

    policy
    competence
    trust

    National has failed on all three in this debacle.

  62. gobsmacked 63

    Jeez, these guys can’t help themselves. They’re trying to get out of the hole but they just keep digging:

    From that commie rag, NBR:

    Mr Key said he did not feel the comments had undermined his leadership and his deputy, who retained his confidence, had not been forced by him to make today’s statement.

    He said Mr English’s comments on his understanding of Labour’s families package had some merit in relation to his 2005 position.

    “I was advocating as the finance spokesman a much more radical overhaul of Working For Families.

    “For the last two years Bill and I have working very closely on that issue and what we’ve come to recognise is that it is a lot more difficult to change and I think he had a valid point.”

    Great way to reassure families, John! You wanted a “radical overhaul”, but unfortunately it’s just … difficult.

    (But easier once you’re in government?)

  63. r0b 64

    This is not a scandal. It is a beat up led by left wing 21 year old bloggers

    Well how cool is that. Now Steve and other Standard authors are leading, hmm let’s see, TV1, TV3, Radio NZ, The Herald, The Dom Post, ZB Radio, and all the rest!

    Use your ultimate power over the media wisely Steve, lead them towards the light…

  64. Tim Ellis 65

    I think it is refreshing that Bill English has apologised for his loose comments. He didn’t blame the media. He acknowledged that what he said caused confusion, and apologised for it. He is being held to account by John Key.

    It is a pity that Helen Clark, who used to be so good at holding her ministers to account, has lost the art of being accountable, and making her ministers accountable. Now she allows that farce of a foreign minister to continue throwing mud at everybody, rather than apologise for deliberately misleading people and acting like a hypocrite. I understand that Labour’s polling company is polling people to see what the prime minister should do with him, so it isn’t a beat-up.

  65. Higherstandard 66

    Red

    Kiwibank is an interesting issue – the only person who called this right and without whom there would be no Kiwibank was Jim Anderton, from memory everyone else was lukewarm to disinterested to anti.

    Personally I can’t see why you would sell Kiwibank if it’s profitable, the public like it and it acts as a competitor to the larger banks in terms of keeping them sharp with their rates.

    While I don’t think governments should generally be in the business of running retail banks in this case it appears to be performing well or at the very least OK and one would think there’s more important things for National to be looking at.

  66. lprent 67

    Blar: In case you hadn’t realised…

    When Tane says

    Blar, Labour have a strong streak of neoliberalism and I think it’s bollocks. That’s why I don’t vote for them.

    That is me. A reluctant socialist. It is the company that you have to keep on the right that makes me go left.

    The right is incoherent on anything beyond winning the next election. The combinations between the romantics, elitists, and just plain greedy are terrible. That doesn’t make for good policy decisions now for what needs to be done for 20 years out.

    The left at least does think ahead, and somewhat more coherently. They usually compromise with each other more readily as well – makes for better governments.

  67. r0b 68

    He acknowledged that what he said caused confusion

    Ya know what? I don’t feel confused at all. I found Bill’s comments to be perfectly blindingly clear. Nats will say whatever it takes to get elected, then do whatever they please after that. What could be clearer?

  68. Matthew Pilott 69

    Nice try Tim. So English is great for apologising for comments he clearly and enequivocally made, but Clark is wrong for not apologising for Winston Peters’ various indiscretions. That’s really going to wash as a useful equivalent situation!

    Blar, it’s not being sanctimonious. Say you’re at a reataurant and something isn’t right do you ask for it to be corrected or mouth off abuse at the waiter? RedLogix isn’t a ‘fuckwit’ because he mixed up Helensville and Henderson. That’s a pretty low bar you’ve set for being up for some pointless abuse. I know it’s in your interest to drag this site down, and it’s not sanctmonious to counteract that.

    So the challenge is still out there, sunshine – you’ve already taken two weeks longer than my three year-old cousin – how long will it take you to grow up a little?

  69. rave 70

    Interesting this concept of “labour-plus”.
    A cynical playing of the plebes as punters who are driven by their need for a bit more money from the Nats.
    Here are these rich parasites who live off the hard work of the punters patronising them for not having enough money to live on.
    What a joke, condemning WFF and then having to admit that if you tampered with it yourd be condemned by families of 4 saying give our money back.
    As a punter I’d say screw you English. I don’t like being called a welfare bludger for having WFF top up my wages. I’d tell you cynical anti-worker bludgers on the public tit that I only need a top up because my fucking boss will not pay me a living wage! I’m working class not under class arsehole!
    As a punter I’d say screw you English. You want Kiwi Bank for your Aussie banking mates? No way. I’m getting out of BNZ, ANZ who screw homeowners and speculate in subprime. Then I’d nationalise you just like Hugo Chavez.
    And I’m only getting started.

  70. Blar 71

    lprent says: ‘the right’ is evil. Individual right-wingers are bad people I can’t stand to be around. As a far sighted and virtuous individual, I have no choice but to be left-leaning. Woe!

    “RedLogix isn’t a ‘fuckwit’ because he mixed up Helensville and Henderson.”

    When you are trying to discredit someone because of their involvement in a selection, you do look like a fuckwit if you can’t even name the seat the selection happened in.

  71. randal 72

    what does all that mean..piffle. the right are psychologically disposed to dominate for pleasure and exploit for profit. they get to form a government every now and then when they can hide their fangs long enough to form a coalition with other likeminded blighted individuals

  72. lprent 73

    Blar: Show me one place that I said that the right were evil?

    What I said was (paraphrasing so you might understand) – that the right were incoherent because there were too many flavours and the combinations between them were terrible.

  73. Draco TB 75

    hat the right were incoherent because there were too many flavours and the combinations between them were terrible.

    I’ve said before that the right would probably do better if they split up into several parties but that I don’t think they will because they want that single party rule.

  74. lprent 76

    The one big party of the right always seems that they like mixing lemon sorbet with chocolate ice cream.

    Individually ok, but makes a horrible sticky mess when stuck together. It is an experiment that only a child could love.

  75. Matthew Pilott 77

    When you are trying to discredit someone because of their involvement in a selection, you do look like a fuckwit if you can’t even name the seat the selection happened in.

    No you don’t, Blar. It’s a fairly simple mistake, people often type in a hurry when at work, for example, breaks don’t last forever. That’s exactly why you need to grow up.

  76. Felix 78

    What do you mean it’s melted oob?

    That’s the most internally consistent post Davey’s ever written.

  77. outofbed 79

    I meant the the site seems down

  78. Felix 80

    Really?

    I thought that was his new style – no words, just symbols.

    It’s pretty good by his standards.

  79. outofbed 81

    Doh ! Fuck I need a coffee

    ɫ����œd�R���|R

  80. Swampy 82

    This is such a beatup. Last week it was Winnie, this week it is lame duck Clark watching the appropriations bill third reading slip further and further away as Peters strings out his use-by date. But the difference was that last week the media beat the whole thing up, this week they aren’t which means it will fade from public prominence even faster – like most of the causes campaigned here.

  81. Swampy 83

    “Secret Trusts used to cover up the real source of their funding, and remains a closely guarded secret to this day.”

    etc.

    I’m sure you could dig the same sort of dirt on Labour if you chose to. Then why the bias?

  82. Swampy 84

    “Imagine Micheal Cullen on TV, repeatedly undermining Clark’s leadership by refusing to say she understood a major policy, and saying its ‘complicated’, although you clearly purport to understand it yourself.”

    Exactly what happened in Labour when Phil Goff was quoted on his leadership ambtiions couple of months back?

  83. Swampy 85

    “People might be ‘sick of Clark and Cullen’ but the 600,000 people who joined kiwibank because it’s a Kiwi-owned bank might be prepared to overlook that.”

    Is that proven? It’s like saying everyone who signed up for WFF is a Labour supporter (lol)

  84. r0b 86

    This is such a beatup.

    Is it? Are TV1, TV3, Radio NZ, The Herald, The Dom Post, ZB Radio, and all the rest part of the plot? Damn commies.

    Exactly what happened in Labour when Phil Goff was quoted on his leadership ambtiions couple of months back?

    Oh yeah, that’s it exactly. The situations are exactly the same. It’s OK Swampy, this is all just a bad dream. You’ll wake up soon and you’ll be in your Happy Place.

  85. Swampy. You’re interesting. Assume you’re UK based because you come on here in the late evening hours after a thread has dried up, make 3 (always 3) successive comments, which usually state something already dealt with earlier in the thread or something already dealt with in the wider discourse…. you’re welcome to do so of course, it’s just interesting and I wonder i you might be able to contribute more challenging and substantive comments in the future.

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