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National’s “major policy shift it talks about behind closed doors”

Written By: - Date published: 10:50 am, August 20th, 2008 - 30 comments
Categories: articles, Media, national - Tags: , ,

This revealing quote is buried in the middle of today’s Herald story by Fran O’Sullivan headed “All change on the gravy train”.

It does make one wonder where the real journalists are in that paper. If the Herald knows there is a major policy shift being talked about by National behind closed doors, why isn’t it telling the rest of us?

It does indicate however that the 50% of respondents to the TV1 Colmar Brunton who do not believe that National is being open about its plans have got it absolutely right.

Sources in the business community have been telling us for some time that John Key has been going around saying behind closed doors that National will “unpick” all Labour’s policies, contrary to what he has been saying in public.

According to Fran, “Power company berths are sought after”. This is not only because their chairs command higher directors’ fees, but also because the prospect of privatisation provides major windfall possibilities for inside directors and managers.

It’s high time the Herald stopped writing only for those who want to get back on the privatisation gravy train, and started informing Kiwi voters about National’s real plans.

30 comments on “National’s “major policy shift it talks about behind closed doors””

  1. Fran O'Sullivan 1

    FFS – “John A”!

    It probably doesn’t occur to bloggers – who yet again aka Idiot/Savant are withhold their identities – that the major policy shift is in fact a “crony cleanout” and getting SOEs/Crown Crocs operating at more arm’s length from Ministers.

    This has been talked about in the commercial community – where directors are fed up with having to second guess the Beehive through the “no surprises” policy – rather than operating in standard fashion.

    You may not regard that as an issue – but it is – hence the policy shift.

    Unfortunately the Standard’s propagandists are too lily-livered to use their own names out of fear someone might take a poke at them in revenge. Well – welcome to the real world and stand behind your opinions if you dare.

    Fran O’Sullivan

  2. Pascal's bookie 2

    Is that the real Fran? If so then, ummmm, lawks.

  3. IrishBill 3

    I believe we’ve been through this identity issue before Fran and we’re not going there again. I’m much more interested in your claim that:

    “directors are fed up with having to second guess the Beehive through the “no surprises” policy – rather than operating in standard fashion.”

    Would you care to elucidate on what you mean by “second guessing” and “the standard fashion”?

  4. Kiwi-to-be 4

    It is amazing that a political party that claims to be in opposition to Labour refuses to publicly state any of their policies. The only “policies” that have been revealed publicly is only by leaks. The idea of ANY party withholding this sort of thing from voters is profoundly undemocratic.

    Its plain as day what National is up to– they are riding on the wave of anti-Labour sentiment alone, and oh, MAYBE they might let kiwis know what they’ve got in mind two weeks before the actual election. As long as it makes the rich who support National happy, and as long as everyone else is duped…

  5. Crank 5

    Irish,

    had a chat with a mate of mine at Meridian Energy. He told me that during the recent energy crisis they were forced by Mallard to hold back capacity and buy on the spot market at top whack prices in order to meet Meridians supply contracts.

    The idea that if it really hit the fan this Government owned capacity could be chucked into the grid averting political disaster.

    They were losing something like a million bucks a day maintaining this policy.

    This kind of Government meddling makes it pretty hard to run the company

  6. fran, if it is the real fran. My name is in the open and since it has been I have been the subject of a relentless stalking programme from your friend Cameron Slater and other mates of David farrar.. now, i’m not worried but if others don’t want to expose themselves and their families to that kind of intimidation then I support them.

    At least we are honest about our political biases, that’s more important than individuals’ names.

  7. Or indeed, why a policy of briefing Ministers so the latter know what to expect, and so SOEs and Crocs aren’t directly undermining government policy is a Bad Thing?

    And really, I’d take the claim that the “major policy shift” is a “crony cleanout” more seriously if Fran hadn’t just spent her entire column talking about national’s plan to replace labour’s cronies with its own.

  8. Great stuff, we go from a closed door government to another closed door bunch of wimpsters, the only difference being the colour of the doors.
    Knock on red, knock on blue,waste of time,fob off central, then book a plane ticket outta here for the sake of ones sanity.

  9. randal 9

    the power company should never have been sold in the first place. note the singular.it was operating to rigid return on equity parameters so it was efficient but the same idiots who nearly bankrupted dow jones and the wall street journal also persuaded the National Party idiotologues in the 90’s to sell everything so now we are in the postion of having to pay through the nose because the market demands it. for market read bondholders, speedboats, sportsplanes, mansions matched his and her bentleys and any other toy excessive profits will buy.

  10. randal the rich poor violin snapped its strings years ago, ho hum , boring girls…..

  11. randal 11

    yeah well the inheritors had to sell the company because the idiots blew it

  12. yl 12

    Randal i agree,

    I would love to see the power station back where it should be. Owned by the people for the people.

    In the 1990’s they used the argument of ideology and the fact that we needed to clear debt. They do not have that excuse this time and that is why they are seeing the opposition to this policy. e.g. kwiwsaver has been working beautifully.

    I would not be surprised if National were proposing putting country into debt so in 5 years they will have to excuse to sell off our most prized assets.

    The idea of putting the country into debt is a great election strategy for Joe public because it allows them to offer tax cuts as well as maintain (if not increase) current spending levels. Something for everyone. Then all they have to do is defend the idea that increasing debt is not a bad thing.

    With the state of the world economy, i do not think that it is a good idea.

    D4J, i hear you moan all the time on here. Please indulge me into the kind of society that you would like to see. You never seem to be happy.

  13. lprent 13

    Unfortunately the Standard’s propagandists are too lily-livered to use their own names out of fear someone might take a poke at them in revenge.

    What do you mean?

    You are inaccurate. Almost down to Jane Cliftons standard (Clinton Brown instead of Clinton Smith).

    I’ve always been visible under my own name. Of course that means that I’ve had some really stupid attacks on my previous employer by some pathetic lusers. Then there has been other hunting around the net that has managed to identify that I’m a long time labour activist (the only known one amongst our writers) and long-time net user. There have been people making comments about where I live (hey they can read a whois!) and a general level of creepiness by the rabid people on the weirdo right.

    Of course they could have just read the About. I’ve been quite open about it when it comes up or gets asked. I do this type of stuff on a volunteer basis all of the time and have done so since I did my MBA in 1985.

    It isn’t the thought of someone taking a poke that is a problem. It is the thought of someone attacking me at what I work at or attempting to get at me via the family.

    Steve Pierson aka Clinton Smith has been out under his own name for quite a while. I’d guess that he has had the same experiences.

    That is all pretty full-on for what is a unpaid activity. At least you get paid to take the damn risks from the nutter fringes.

    The site is Anonymous – bullshit…

    Steve writes well over half of our content. The Standard probably has less anonymous content than is in the publications you write for. How many “Staff Reporters” does it take to provide content for something like the herald.

    But in the end, your comment is just crap anyway..

    The comments around here will tear any bad content by our writers apart. For that matter comments tend to get the same critical analysis. That is why there has been a marked improvement in the quality of the posted content

    Through moderation of the incoherent, we’ve eliminated pretty much all of the people who cannot construct a argument or who are too anti-social to tolerate differing opinions. Most of the people who survive commenting here tend to be older and in various forms of business (it shows in their comments). They’re the type of people that something like NBR in their heyday would aspire to have as readers.

    Of course they are just the tip of the iceberg, the lurkers are about 50 times larger. The success of the site can be measured in its simple growth.

    A lot of the people who comment here now could probably write posts to The Standard. But (sigh) they seem to prefer to comment, or they have their own blogs.

    It’d be nice if the right could have something up to The Standard. But that is sadly lacking at present. That sense of collective enterprise required to run a quality site on the small of an oily rag appears to be missing. Instead there is a range from the raving whale to the dog-whistle and news clippings and not much content to sink your teeth into.

    Lynn Prentice

  14. Matthew Pilott 14

    Another example of the pettiness of MSM journalists – Ms O’Sullivan, if that is you, it’s a terribly immature look. You lot need to learn some basic manners!

    In what way is this a ‘major policy shift’ for National? Most would call it SOP, so it just looks like a poor choice of words if nothing else.

    But seriously, get over the anonymity thing, you’re just embarrassing yourself. Having yet another MSM journo take a petty swipe at bloggers just makes you all seem very insecure.

  15. insider 15

    However Lynn

    Fran is correct that John A has completely misread the article in question whcih was almost entirely about hte stacking of boards and the speed and volume with which it is being done. the Policy change was in terms of getting better results from the SOEs by removing the political influence.

    Irish

    I’ve certainly seen instances where decisions are not necessarily made on their merits but on the likely political impacts. There’s a court case in Wellington making such allegations at present. That’s not how SOEs are supposed to act – that said I’ve been in private companies where that has happened too, but they are not governed by statute.

    Crank

    The reason they were ‘forced’ to withhold was likely because of the irresponsible way they were generating at a time of record low inflows. But this raises the whole issue of political intereference Fran alluded to. and it goes both ways, because some SOEs and their CEOs seem to think the ‘state’ in the title gives them a free pass on proper commercial behaviours because they have the ability to call on govt support in a way private operators can’t

  16. lprent 16

    Sure, but she attacked the site and the writers in general in the last paragraph, so she got my usual response to that. That was what I answered, not the remainder of her comment.

  17. r0b 17

    Goodness doesn’t Fran sound grumpy. Heh.

    It’s no wonder if she needs to come here to vent a bit. I think “journalists” in the print are feeling increasingly pressured by blogs, if only because so many of them are being forced to become “bloggers” too.

    Lynn made a very relevant observation in the thread “Leave it to the pros” – http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=2755#comment-81336 – to the effect that a lot of journalists have been speculating on the relationship between journalists and bloggers lately (Bill Ralston, Vernon Small, Chris Trotter, Jane Clifton). I think we’re in the early stages of a slow paradigm shift.

    Bring it on I say. Better the voices of the people in discussion on blogs than paid pundits telling us what to think from the pulpit of their owner’s editorial pages. Sorry Fran.

  18. Fran,

    who yet again aka Idiot/Savant are withhold their identities

    Use a spell checker and read your stuff out loud like they taught you in journo school, it helps.

  19. Anita 19

    travellerev,

    That whole first paragraph made me think it’s not the real Fran O’Sullivan; I don’t believe a working journalist would write anything so incoherent and stylistically poor.

  20. Fran,

    About the Standards propagandists and the meaning of the word Propaganda the following;

    Propaganda is the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behaviour to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist.
    Garth S. Jowett and Victoria O’Donnell, Propaganda and Persuasion

    The 19th of July spin article “in Search of John Key” in the NZ herald comes to mind. Especially when a little googling gives such a
    different picture.

    The Wikipedia page on propaganda is actually quit a nice read.

    Here we just talk and discus issues. You may not like the way we discus issues but propaganda is your business not ours.

    Anita

    I agree but it is so much fun to answer who ever it is. LOL

  21. handle 21

    I agree with Anita – it’s another very successful misdirection. Fran may be prone to frothing at the mouth but she does know how to write.

  22. Anita 22

    Have we got a bush (or real) lawyer around with an opinion on Fran O’Sullivan’s ability to defend herself against impersonators on the net?

    I’m awfully curious all of a sudden 🙂

  23. Anita 23

    Sorry guys…

    Ok, on topic.

    I wonder if Key is keen on wage increases for people-like-them, higher wages for the better paid.

    Most (all?) of their anti-worker policies will hurt poorly paid workers far more than National voters.

  24. Anita 24

    meep 🙁 Wrong thread, can’t edit the comment 🙁

  25. Anita

    You’re funny

  26. Quoth the Raven 26

    Those journos working on a dying medium are getting angry.

  27. Dean 27

    “It’d be nice if the right could have something up to The Standard. But that is sadly lacking at present.”

    Too true. I’d love to see a right wing blog call someone an “Uncle Tom” and still remain writing articles for it, yes. The howling would be a most entertaining crescendo.

  28. r0b 28

    Too true. I’d love to see a right wing blog call someone an “Uncle Tom’ and still remain writing articles for it, yes.

    Say Dean, what do you think of that moron Whale posting photoshopped porn of politicians and teenagers on his classic right wing blog?

  29. Too true. I’d love to see a right wing blog call someone an “Uncle Tom’ and still remain writing articles for it, yes.

    Ha! is that the best decontextualised smear you’ve got deano? After a year of posts and comments from the Standard crew that’s it??? Mate you need to get out more.

    Oh and Dean? I get the feeling you’re not in the “captains of industry” class the nats are keen on looking after. I guess that makea you an uncle tom – though I’d be more inclined to use the term house nigger. Eh, boy?

  30. ‘sod, for decencies sake could you use ‘house slave’ instead of the n word?

    Deano, I never called anyone an Uncle Tom, I accused National of tokenism. Different things, and I’m sure you’ve the intelligence to get the difference.

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