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Metro: A government on the ropes

Written By: - Date published: 7:04 am, August 20th, 2016 - 58 comments
Categories: accountability, articles, john key, national - Tags: , ,

Well known leftie rag Metro had a timely piece by Graham Adams last week:

A government on the ropes

John Key is taking a sustained beating over homelessness, house prices and immigration. It may yet be fatal.

Homelessness delivered a serious body blow to the government in late May. Within weeks of The Nation reporting on Aucklanders living in cars, John Key’s government managed to make itself appear not only negligent but also pitiless. Most New Zealanders haven’t yet adjusted to the notion that poor people — including those in work — should aspire to living in a better-appointed garage or a better-upholstered car. That presumably isn’t the “brighter future” Key promised during election campaigns.

It’s way beyond the time when it can deny there is a problem – which has long been John Key’s default setting. Recent polls show that 60 per cent of us think immigration levels should be reduced (including 59 per cent of National voters); 75 per cent think the government is not doing enough to control house prices.Faced with these figures, the government will want to keep two particular pieces of damning information contained; both are potentially devastating.

The first is Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway’s analysis comparing skills shortages to immigrant visas. On August 11, he released figures showing the government granted thousands of work visas for low-skilled jobs despite tens of thousands of unemployed New Zealanders looking for work in those sectors. … If Lees-Galloway and Labour can make these figures stick in the public consciousness, they will destroy National’s claim that they are mostly importing workers to fill a skills shortage.

Then there is the question of how many foreigners are buying houses here. Again, the National government cannot afford to let the truth leak out, and the most vivid evidence of its desperation has been Nick Smith’s response to Duncan Garner’s relentless quizzing on the topic. … Nick Smith’s blatant stonewalling showed how much the government is vulnerable on this point, not least because they have sneered at critics of their immigration policies as xenophobic and racist and downplayed the effect immigrants have on soaring Auckland house prices.

Key’s repeated refusal to agree to review immigration settings looks like a deadly miscalculation. The more he tries to sidestep the problem, the more he will inflame the debate. And he’s now beginning to trip over his own shoelaces as the topic spirals out of his control.

The National-led government — with its laissez-faire approach to homelessness, house prices and mass immigration — is sailing into a ferocious storm. A newly critical mainstream media and a resurgent opposition is a powerful mix.

Go read the whole article on Metro.

58 comments on “Metro: A government on the ropes”

  1. weka 1

    Nice one Metro.

    As an aside,

    “Most New Zealanders haven’t yet adjusted to the notion that poor people — including those in work — should aspire to living in a better-appointed garage or a better-upholstered car. That presumably isn’t the “brighter future” Key promised during election campaigns.”

    THAT is how you talk about poor people without framing them in terms of deserving/undeserving. There is no need for the divisive ‘hard working poor’ rhetoric with its ‘Let’s make sure everyone knows we don’t mean wealfare bludgers’ subtext. Metro’s description is inclusive and neutral.

    • It’s definitely a good way to frame things to go more subtly inclusive of the poor, reframing National’s pro-business language to reflect on them rather than just banging the old virtuous poor drum. Definitely nice rhetoric. 🙂

    • Enough is Enough 1.2

      According to most around here this Government was on the ropes in

      2008; then
      2009; then
      2010; then
      2011; then
      2012; then
      2013; then
      2014; then
      2015; then
      2016; then…. (just go back and look at r0b’s comments and posts)

      It won’t be until they are dead and buried that I will really believe they are gone. A Metro article and some typical cheer leading around here is not going to convince me they are on the ropes.

      We have a lot of hard work over the next 12 months to ensure a Labour Green government can be formed (without the need for Winston)

      • maninthemiddle 1.2.1

        That’s never going to happen. You read it here first.

        • Stuart Munro 1.2.1.1

          Never is a long time – lifeless slugs of flesh like the Gnats decay quickly.

          • maninthemiddle 1.2.1.1.1

            Do you seriously think the NZ electorate is ever going to vote in a Green/Labour government? Not after the wreckage Green parties have caused elsewhere.

  2. Garibaldi 2

    Your supposition that the mainstream media is turning on the govt is premature at best. The media narrative is controlled by its owners and they certainly aren’t friendly to the left, to put it mildly. A cynic could also point out that the govt’s woes are self inflicted and not a result of a pussyfooting neolib centrist Labour party.

  3. Paul 3

    ‘A newly critical mainstream media’

    At that point my credulity snapped.

    Henry.
    Hosking.
    Garner.
    Soper.
    Williams.
    Christie.

    We do not have a critical msm.

    Indeed the consolidation of ownership is only making it more and more the mouthpiece of large corporate interests.

    • weka 3.1

      You’re looking in the wrong place. Of course there are the neoliberal lackies. But if you focus on them alone you are missing the ones who aren’t. There are also the ones who naturally conservative but who are no longer cheerleading Key/National or are at least questioning wtf is going on. Henry, Hosking etc will be last on the boat. You need to look at the ones whose attitude has changed. That’s what I took the post to be meaning.

  4. Brendon Harre 4

    There is blood in the water, the whale named JK is wounded. Even the young Rimmer shark is circling.TV editor Tim is preparing to film after observing first hand. http://pundit.co.nz/content/seymour-calls-out-bridges-as-weak-on-auckland-traffic

  5. save nz 5

    +100 – eventually the truth had to come out.

  6. Bearded Git 6

    The lie constantly being spun by Key on immigration is that the figures are so high because “so many New Zealanders are coming home” the sub-text being that they are coming home to John Key’s wonderful new NZ.

    This lie was called out by Colin James in a recent article in the ODT where he said that last year a net 4,000 NZ’s left for Oz and more people had been leaving for Oz over the whole period of this government.

    The number of people leaving for Oz has reduced…but that is not the same thing.

  7. Siobhan 7

    I appreciate the sentiments…but there is still something odd about the Metro article.

    It mentions ‘wages’ only once, and the terms of employment, or Employment law, well, not once, and ‘renting or rentals..again, not one mention.

    These are the major concerns of the people most at risk due to Government inaction and free market policies.

    It is very much an article aimed at the ‘concerns’ of the average home owning Metro reader, who would scream blue murder should their house price plummet due to any Government taking any real action on any of the issues raised.

  8. mosa 8

    Key the great comeback kid still has one more budget, an election date and media manipulation up his sleeve ahead of next year.
    We write him off at our peril.
    It may be 2020 before we see a change and by then if they survive a 3 year term it will be a watershed election and a new generation of leadership will be on offer.
    No one should underestimate this man and the forces who back him and his desire to be in government long term.
    Look back to the last 2 elections too see how it will play out, the signs are there already.
    Siobhan your Metro analysis is spot on.

    • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal 8.1

      The way I read this article -is National are in trouble. There is a lot more searching questions. But this doesn’t necessary mean the end. JK could fend off the sharks.

      Moving away from the blood water/shark metaphor. Basically the 2017 election is still in balance. If the left work hard they could win it. If JK pulls out some more tricks and keeps the wool over enough punters eyes then the right could win it.

    • bearded git 8.2

      I think a stable and honest labour leader, no KDC, the green/lab pact and the Gnats floundering on the housing crisis will make this a totally different election

      • Leftie 8.2.1

        Agreed, +1 Bearded Git.

      • mosa 8.2.2

        Yeah i want a change just like the next guy if they are being honest.. all i am saying is dont underestimate this government and the media.
        LabGreen have two big enemies here and it will be dirty fight the type Key is good at.

        • Leftie 8.2.2.1

          That’s true Mosa. NZ has never had such a dirty player like John Key before.

        • Duncan 8.2.2.2

          Agree. People are quick to forget Keys success is primarily from the number of people who have been made very wealthy from the housing crisis and trades and associated industries are bbooming.
          And this has now spread well beyond Ak.

  9. Reddelusion 9

    A labour green coalition is unelectable once the disinfected of light falls on it during election coverage, coupled with little angry andy is unelectable. National are comfortable with this fact and its current high polling in its 3rd term. Labour tends to do ok during recess and holidays ie when it shuts up, unfortunately during and election it can’t hide and its full retardness is exposed, more so now with its formal coalition The issue is not that people are not as happy with national but more so when a choice has to be made re a better alternative there is not one, little and robbo directed by greens and unions, possibly peters is simply unelectable and easily discredited via a public election campaign

    • b waghorn 9.1

      this has been todays paid advert from keysycophants inc

      • Reddelusion 9.1.1

        Yes but unfortunately for you very true

        • ropata 9.1.1.1

          you wouldn’t know truth if 50 tons of it landed on your head

          • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1.1.1

            That might explain the ranting illiteracy: it’s concussion.

            • Reddelusion 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Come on OABY you know deep down what I am saying when it gets through that socialist mist and fairy dust that surrounds you this is exactly how next year is going to pan out, If denial works for you to then, go for it😀😛

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                I note that you think “unelectable” means “holding 59 seats out of 121”, and that you can’t spell disinfectant.

                I further note that the opposition block has led all but one poll since 2015.

                • maninthemiddle

                  ‘Since 2015’? Is that all? And who is this ‘opposition’ block, and what is their relevance? We live in an MMP environment, OAB. He who can do the deals wins. NZF will NEVER go into a Green coalition.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Meanwhile, on Earth, the observations I made were a rebuttal of Reddelusion’s illiterate rant, fucko.

                    I have less than no interest in your opinion.

    • Leftie 9.2

      Ahhh the Dracula principle. Sunlight IS the best disinfectant, so now that that light is shining on the Nats in earnest, watch the Key vampire wither and die away, it’s only a matter of time now Reddelusion.

    • North 9.3

      This prick @ Reddullsion is tripping I’m sure of it !

    • Which is why National are so arrogant and dismissive of the housing crisis and unskilled migrants pouring into this country and lowering our wages.
      Labour should be polling high with these two issue alone but don’t due to the issues you have correctly pointed out.

  10. righty right 10

    they need the immigration to pump up the GDP numbers take that away and the economy is one sick dog

    • Reddelusion 10.1

      Really before it was high dairy prices in our one trick economy, now it’s immigration, when immigration comes off the boil whats next, I am sure you will find something as quickly as labour finds the next crisis in our Neo liberal hell hole that has one of top ten most liveable cities in the world

    • maninthemiddle 10.2

      Bollocks.

    • ropata 10.3

      +1.
      The NZ economy is a big lie, and the liars are in charge.
      Stupidly supported by useful idiots RD, RR, MITM

  11. Bearded Git 11

    Vancouver has just implemented a 15% tax on foreign house buyers. This has caused August house sales in Greater Vancouver to drop from 597 in 2015 to 87 in 2016.

    The info is here:
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-18/vancouver-housing-market-implodes-average-home-price-plunges-20-1-month-market-devas

    Of course their are no parallels with Auckland (sarc).

  12. Quite correct. Check out Fran OSullivans article in the Herald about laundered money in our house market from yesterday and this mornings article by Bernard Hickory re Visas. I have said this before, greedy NZ employers love high migration from poor countries as these people are more submissive and will put up with crap wages and conditions. The problem is, they also being down wages and conditions for the rest of us. It’s about time greedy corporates in NZ were given a boot up the arse and forced to pay a fair wage. Good work from Labour for with the Visa statistics, yes make this stick and Keys pathetic claims of all migrants being skilled will go up in flames. This, combined with sky rocketing house prices will see Nationals poll numbers plummet.
    People are sick of crap wages and high living expenses and Keys arrogance that he shows towards the house crisis and now migration issues will see them turning away from National in droves
    Incidentally, I heard our leader in the house saying that there are plenty of houses in Aucklsnd for under 650k. So I did a search on trade me and all that came up was dodgy units or the occasional old run down house that would need more spent on it to be liveable. Perhaps members of the house might want to ask Key where all these magical homes are for under 650k because I can’t find them. However, remember we are on the cusp of something special. More like we are on the cusp of third world living standards.

  13. North 13

    Hurrah, latest Reddelusion unplugged –

    “…..the disinfected of light coverage angry retardness exposed deep down what I am saying socialist mist and fairy dust trick economy top ten most liveable cities in the world !” Still tripping I reckon.

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