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Nats’ unconstitutional looters’ bonus

Written By: - Date published: 7:42 am, June 21st, 2012 - 101 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, privatisation - Tags:

So, National expects 200,000 people to buy shares when it hocks off our assets. Call me simple but there’s 4.4 million of us, 3.3 million adults. Seems like nearly all of us won’t buy shares. But here’s the real rub: they’re talking about a bonus for the elite who can afford to buy shares and hold on to them. A gift from us to them. And National’s got no legal right to do it.

You might remember a joker called Charles I. Parliament pissed him off because it kept on criticising the fact that he was spending lots of taxpayer money on poorly run wars and whoring it up- and they refused to pass laws authorising his taxes and spending. So, he decided that he shouldn’t have to ask Parliament for the right to levy taxes and spend money. The Parliament rather thought he should. After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, the issue was settled and Charles I ended up losing his head.

After that, things continued more or less in a settled manner for 350 years. The monarch and, later, their government could only raise money and spend money under the right of Act of Parliament. That’s why we have a budget each year.

The Constitution Act confirms this state of affairs:

22 Parliamentary control of public finance

It shall not be lawful for the Crown, except by or under an Act of Parliament,—

  • (a) to levy a tax; or

  • (b) to borrow money or to receive money borrowed from any person; or.

  • (c) to spend any public money.

Great. So we’re all clear on that.

Except…

National’s got this plan to give New Zealanders who buy shares in the state assets a bonus share for every 15 they hold for two years (if they follow the Queensland model precisely). It’s what you might call a looters’ bonus for the 6% of New Zealanders that National expects to buy shares, paid for by the other 94% of us who end up owning less of these companies.

As Russel Norman points out, that’s spending of public money. It’s taking taxpayer wealth and giving it to someone else. Whenever the Government wants to do this, it has to get Parliament’s permission. That’s why Treaty settlements have to go through Parliament – because they involve the Crown spending in the form of unrequited gifts to iwi in the form of land and, often, shares.

So, where’s the legislation where the Government has asked for and received Parliament’s permission to spend taxpayer wealth by giving away shares? Well, it’s nowhere. It’s not in the Budget, and it’s not in the Mixed Ownership Model Bill. And, they don’t have time to put it in a future law because they will be incurring this expenditure, in terms of the way the government accounts for these things, in a couple of months when it sells the Mighty River shares with a promise of bonus shares to come if people hold on to them.

John Key seemed to have trouble understanding this. The Budget, he said, allows for asset sales. Well, yes, the Budget does say the Government will sell shares in assets for cash and use that to buy other capital . But there’s a fundamental difference between selling something for market price and giving it away – the latter is expenditure, the former isn’t.

There’s no mention of giving away shares to anyone in the Budget. The Government has not got Parliament’s permission to do it.

How has National fucked up such a basic thing? I mean, it’s not like they couldn’t have put this in the Budget or the asset sales legislation – they still would have passed. But, at the same time, this isimportant stuff:  it is a pillar of our democracy that Parliament is sovereign and the Government can’t tax or spend without its permission.

The reason National hasn’t asked for Parliament’s permission is that it is so disorganised that, two months from the first sale, it still hasn’t decided what form the looters’ bonus will take. They’ve been planning this for years and they still haven’t got the most simple things sorted with only weeks to go.

National’s got itself in the position of trying to pull the same shit that got Charles I a date with the axe simply because the ministers are too lazy and half-cocked.

How’s this going to play out? I see another embarrassing back down in John Key’s future. The looters’ bonus is going to go the way of increased class sizes. And even that won’t save him from the chop in 2014.

 

101 comments on “Nats’ unconstitutional looters’ bonus ”

  1. Carol 1

    It seems like Key will back down on just about everything else… class sizes etc, and possibly even not doing anything about super, but asset sales is most like Key’s only raison d’etre, and, consequently, he’ll do anything he can, no matter how undemocratic or unfair, in order to sell of the country and decent living for future generations.

    Where’s the Queen of Hearts when you need her?!

  2. Kotahi Tane Huna 2

    Can they push this through under urgency?

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Can’t see why they couldn’t, for all the bluster in this post.

      Nor why this should need to be done before the first sale. The government is allowed to make any retroactive laws it wants, so even if the accounting for this would end up being ‘retroactive’ there’s nothing stopping them from doing it.

      • Deano 2.1.1

        National rushes through retrospective law gifting hundreds of millions of dollars of shares to people who already have enough money to buy shares.

        Yeah, that’s a political winner, eh?

        • felix 2.1.1.1

          Doesn’t need to be a political winner. This is the “second term” that the Nats were saving all the unpopular stuff for.

          These are the “ambushes for NZ”, Deano.

          English knows he’s not coming back, he as much as admits it with his taunts to the opposition over buying back our assets. Key is having the shittest year of his life and can’t wait to get out as soon as the job’s done.

          Half the Nat MPs are just waking up and smelling the coffee now. They actually drank the kool-aid over the “brighter future” and really did worship at the 50 million dollar altar of their money-trading god. They’re dupes and rubes and they’re only just figuring out they’ve been had in the worst way, that they’ve been fooled into selling someone else’s lie and believed it themselves.

          But the ones with their hands on the tiller are the ones to watch, and they don’t give a fuck. It’s grab what you can and get out.

          • Te Reo Putake 2.1.1.1.1

            Funny you should mention ‘smelling the coffee’, Felix. That was the name of the report the UK Tories used when they decided to reform and rebrand under David Cameron a few years ago.
             
            Ironically, the champion of that rejuvenation, Lord Ashcroft, has now put the boot into Cameron, noting that the public have a negative impression of his apparent  “smugness, arrogance or ruthlessness”. He goes on to warn that the Tories risk defeat at the next election if they try and portray Labour leader Ed Milliband in a negative light, because voters see that as reflecting a lack of substance in the party poking the borax. NZ Labour appear to have finally learnt that lesson a couple of elections too late.
             
            All Ashcroft’s comments could equally apply to Key and National, particularly this one:
             
            “A view is gaining ground that the government lacks direction, with the number of U-turns – each trivial in itself – suggesting policies are not properly thought through…The party badly needs a sense of direction.”

          • Bunji 2.1.1.1.2

            It’s worth having a re-read of The Hollow Men, and the things they wanted to do in a Don Brash second term.

            It’s looking awfully familiar…

            • felix 2.1.1.1.2.1

              So it should. It’s not like they ever abandoned the plan when they changed the face.

              • fatty

                “So it should. It’s not like they ever abandoned the plan when they changed the face.”

                True, John Key came to the centre in 2008 with one thing on his mind. Same as Clark did in 1999…they take the middle vote and then they move out to their respective sides. Same process is happening now with Shearer as he tries to seduce the middle, when he gets in he will drift to the left…and then…etc, etc, blah blah blah.
                As sad as these asset sales are, I’m more concerned over the way history is repeating itself. Why we would want to repeat our failures is beyond me

        • Lanthanide 2.1.1.2

          It’s probably not a good look. But there’s nothing stopping them from doing it.

          Parliament is sovereign and cannot be constrained; it cannot even pass laws that constrain it’s own powers, eg to ‘entrench’ a piece of legislation requires a separate law to be passed, and that law itself could be repealed with a simple majority.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2.1

            There’s a way to fix that. Make the entrenchment law require a referendum with 75% or better to remove and removal without a referendum is treason with an automatic 20 year sentence for everyone in parliament who votes to remove it and nationalisation of everything they own.

            The government can get away with shit like this because they’re not held to account at all and as long as that’s true then we live in a dictatorship and not democracy.

            • McFlock 2.1.1.2.1.1

              There’s a way to fix that. Make the entrenchment law require a referendum with 75% or better to remove and removal without a referendum is treason with an automatic 20 year sentence for everyone in parliament who votes to remove it and nationalisation of everything they own.

              So they just repeal the treason law, then the referendum, than change the law they wanted to change.

              I suppose you might be able to do a Dr Who vs the Angels solution and have two laws, each immediately dissolving parliament and going to a general election if a bill altering the other reaches its third reading without being endorsed by a 2/3 or 3/4 majority in a referendum within the previous 2 years. And tacks the bill to a binding referendum at the same time as the general election. 

              • Draco T Bastard

                So they just repeal the treason law, then the referendum, than change the law they wanted to change.

                Which would get them 20 years jail and lose them everything they have. The idea is to write the law in such a way that they can’t touch without the referendum and if they try it’s straight to jail.

                • Lanthanide

                  Parliament can’t do that.

                  Parliament cannot legislate to constrain it’s own power.

                  The only way parliament can be constrained is if it were dissolved, we had a constitutional convention that created a new (written) constitution under which all future parliaments would operate.

  3. dd 3

    When there’s money to be made then Key cares and won’t back down.

  4. Dv 4

    Where are the shares going to come from?

    They have sold 49% Thus any more shares’given’ will push the shares owned to over 49%

    OR
    If they could also issue the bonus to all share holder ( Govt as well) to retain the 51/49 spilt
    But all that does is dilute the share value, and that is not really a bonus.

    as an aside I suspect the Might River sale will be the only sale.

    • Chris 4.1

      What would happen is whenever anyone buys some shares the Govt will put the bonus shares in reserve (i.e. you buy 15 shares they will put 1 share in reserve that won’t be sold). Then if the person holds onto the shares they will be issued with that share. If the investor proves not to be eligible for the share the share in reserve will then be sold at the end of the year.

      Basically in the first lot of sales the govt will sell 46% of the shares and the remaining 3% will be sold or issued at the end of the period.

      • Dv 4.1.1

        OK that would work.
        be interesting to see if that happens.

      • Deano 4.1.2

        they’re going to have to allow a buffer against future capital floats too – unless they expect future governments to chip in 51% whenever a company wants to raise some capital.

        • Shane Gallagher 4.1.2.1

          They will simply sell off assets like dams and other generating stations. Then the companies can become shell companies with sub-contracted privately-owned generating stations supplying them with electricity to on-sell to their customers. Any power price increases can be blamed on the sub-contactor power stations and as they sit at one remove from the retailer there is little that the consumer can do to punish the bad seller… Well if I was an evil capitalist that is what I would do…

          • Fortran 4.1.2.1.1

            Shane

            You forget that the Government, whoever they are has 51% of the shares and can determine what these companies actually do.
            In case you don’t remember 51% is greater than 49%.

            • Te Reo Putake 4.1.2.1.1.1

              Fortran, you forget that minority shareholders have rights and can and do influence the direction of companies. The companies cannot legally act in a way that disadvantages shareholders, large or small. So it is reasonably easy for smaller shareholders to group together to get control of a company, even if they still only have a minority shareholding. For example, Gina Rinehart, the Aussie mining magnate, has just taken effective control of the Fairfax media group with less than 20% of the shares.

            • Shane Gallagher 4.1.2.1.1.2

              “Can” does not mean “will” and the fact that National tried to sneak through a way to lessen the government’s shareholding to less than 51% through the non-voting shares loophole (at least Dunne stopped that) means that they would happily do this… the problem is that it is do-able and therefore will probably be done.

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.2.1.1.3

              You forget that the Government, whoever they are has 51% of the shares and can determine what these companies actually do.

              yeah except National will gift the majority of Board seats to private investment firms, and promise that the Government’s own Board members will stay out of the way of corporate interests.

  5. Tom Gould 5

    Pretty obvious now why Key is so keen on the pokies. It’s like he’s back at Merrill. Fun times. Even with the power to make laws, it’s still not edgy enough. The adrenaline only flows when you push beyond the limit. Constitutional niceties are just red tape to be slashed in his world. Besides, he has a mandate, right?

  6. Kotahi Tane Huna 6

    “How has National fucked up such a basic thing?”

    It’s hard to imagine an evil cabal could be so fundamentally incompetent.

    On the other hand recent research demonstrates that low intelligence is a gateway to right-wing politics. Perhaps they just don’t get it.

  7. Gosman 7

    How did Queensland manage to get this passed then?

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 7.1

      Why don’t you Google it and let us know?

    • Deano 7.2

      Simple. They passed a law saying they could.

      There’s nothing fundamentally illegal about gifting our shares to the elite. they just have to have a law saying it’s OK.

      • Gosman 7.2.1

        Apparently it is unlawful though. Well according to James Henderson it is.

        • Deano 7.2.1.1

          Are you actually this dumb or faking it?

          What is unlawful is gifting public property without Parliamentary authorisation.

          Queensland got Parliamentary authorisation for gifting the bonus shares.

          National has not.

          • bbfloyd 7.2.1.1.1

            Yes, he really is that dumb…….who else would pick a handle that reminds people of condoms?

            • Lanthanide 7.2.1.1.1.1

              I really don’t understand this supposed condom link you keep bringing up.

              • felix

                You haven’t heard of Gossamer? That’s ok, he probably hasn’t either.

                • Kotahi Tane Huna

                  Gossamer’s an apt nickname – light and insubstantial – I didn’t get the condom reference.

                • Gosman

                  A word of caution for you felix. Your screen name is linked with a far more ‘interesting’ sex related product than the rather far fetched linkage that is being attempted with my one. You might want to do a Google search on Flexi Felix ;-). I personally think this is far more apt than a mere condom.

  8. captain hook 8

    I dont know how queensland did this.
    she never told me.
    you are telling the story so youtell us how queensland did this.

  9. Gosman 9

    Who are you attempting to communicate with here?

  10. tracey 10

    The reason its not in the current legislation is because they never intended the bonus. But as public opinion becomes more obvious they needed a mum and dad sweetener…

    • marsman 10.1

      Bribing the rich to buy stolen goods.

    • bad12 10.2

      It may not ever get into the asset sales legislation either, Slippery the Prime Minister in the best traditions of a cheap trader desperate to flog off goods He got on tick is trying to generate interest in the sale of the assets among the real Ma’s and Pa’s of the New Zealand heartland,

      As it now stands its the wealthiest 8-10% of the New Zealand population plus the various superannuation funds that are showing the interest in buying the stuff,

      There is apparently in the asset sales legislation a clause which forbids Minister’s, MP’s and their staff from purchasing shares in the stolen assets,

      I wonder if such a clause also clearly forbids the ‘blind trusts’ and ‘managed funds’ so favored by the likes of our Prime Minister from indulging in the purchase of tranches of the shares being sold…

  11. I think criticism is premature, there is no firm idea of if or how this would be done yet. There’s possibly some merit to loyalty shares but I think the market may be best to be left to work without this sort of distortion.

    If New Zealanders choose to buy and then sell shares speculatively, either quickly or as soon as the loyalty term expires, and if non-New Zealanders choose to buy, then so be it.

    But ACC, the Cullen fund, Kiwisaver funds and NZ owned institutional investors are more likely to buy and hold as a proper investment, so there’s a good chance much of the ownership will remain here medium term. I don’t see the foerign ownership sky falling, much.

    • bbfloyd 11.1

      Here we go again…..I suppose someone had to put forward a truly mealy mouthed defence of this rather obvious example of traditional national party incompetence, and arrogance….

      Shame it had to come from someone who is a part of that three ring circus….albeit as one of the midget clowns, but a part nonetheless….

      And yes, i know lanth has tried twice to support this untenable position, but your defensive posture is more amusing to lampoon….

    • Deano 11.2

      Pete. For God’s sake. In two months, National will be selling $1.8 billion worth of shares. How can it be too early to be asking where the power to give away free bonus shares comes from?

      • Pete George 11.2.1

        I don’t think they would be free. The Crown would sell less shares initially and hold the “loyalty” block of shares until the expiry date, then issue those shares that were due. They may have some loyalty shares left over from those who sold early, so the Crown would have a larger shareholding, or could then sell those shares (up to 49% total).

        If I bought 1500 shares knowing if I kept them for say three years I’d get another 100 shares I’d judge the price of the shares accordingly ie based on ending up with 1600.

        The power companies are unlikely to be growth orientated companies, so apart from a few short term speculators most are likely to buy for earnings (dividends) over a medium or long term.

        • felix 11.2.1.1

          “I don’t think they would be free.”

          Of course not Pete, we’ll be paying for them.

          They will, however, be given away free of charge. Which is the only thing Deano could possibly have meant.

          Bit of honesty please.

          • Pete George 11.2.1.1.1

            No, use a bit of common sense. If the market values the total number of shares at $1b regardless of how the shares are packaged than that’s what the Crown will get.

            The only way the Crown will be worse off is if the market values x number of ordinary shares more than x number of ordinary shares plus y number of loyalty shares.

            And the Crown could be better off if the market values the ordinary+loyalty package more, or if the difference is covered by the number of loyalty shares not issued.

            • felix 11.2.1.1.1.1

              Ah, so {(x now) + (y later)} is worth as much as {(x+y) now}.

              Good to see the govt has their best man on the job.

        • Deano 11.2.1.2

          You would be paying for 15 shares plus a promise of another gift share in two years time if you keep the 15.

          Yes, the promise would be worth something to you, so you might be willing to pay more than jsut for 15 shares – although, and this is really important, you won’t be determining how much you pay for the shares, the government will set the initial share price.

          Whether you get the gift share might be dependent on what you do with your other shares but it is not part of the purchase of those shares (think about it, you wouldn’t get money back for the loss of the gift share if you sel your other shares and don’t get to take up the gift share).

          But this isn’t about you. this is about the right of the Government to make that gift, and to contract to make that gift.

          That share is a gift. Which makes it government spending.

          And the government has to get the Parliament’s permission to spend money. It has not done so.

          • Pete George 11.2.1.2.1

            It isn’t a gift, it isn’t free, it would be a part of a share package that any market valuation would take into account.

            • Pascal's bookie 11.2.1.2.1.1

              Pete,

              1) The day after the ‘loyalty bonus’ shares are handed out, what do you think will happen to the share price?

              2) And what will happen to the total value of the shares someone owns?

              • 1) The share price may adjust a bit but it’s likely the market will already have taken it into account to an extent as it was anticipated.

                2) They will reflect what the market thinks they are worth at that point in time. That could be more or less or the same as when the original shares were issued (but that’s no longer relevant).

                Shareholders will hope their investment has appreciated a bit in value but most are likely to be more interested in the dividend yield and longer term prospects.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  Pete, if the share price reflects the fact that there will be bonus shares coming, if it is factored into the share price, as you maintain, then the value of a block of shares shouldn’t change when the bonus shares are added to the block., and the share price should drop for each individual share.

                  That’s, as you would have it, ‘common sense’.

                  Surely?

            • Deano 11.2.1.2.1.2

              It is a gift because the Government is only getting the money for the 15 shares. When it gives the bonus share away later, it gets no money for that. So, it’s a gift.

    • Ed 11.3

      If loyalty shares are to be part of the asset sales process then that should have been included in the issues on which the select committee heard submissions. At the very least such a scheme requires additional costs to administer, even if the effect on sale proceeds is not significantly affected.

      National should invite further submissions and re-open the select committee to consider them.

    • Kevin 11.4

      Pete George makes a valid point in stating that institutional investors such as Kiwisaver Fund Managers, the Cullen Fund, ACC, and other S.O.E.’s would stand to benefit considerably with the issue of loyalty shares because those organisations would be taking a long term view with their investments and would no doubt qualify for loyalty shares if they are issued.
      In consideration of that the loyalty shares argument is a non event, speculators won’t qualify and the take up by institutional investors would provide an element of protection to other long term investors in the marketplace.

      • Colonial Viper 11.4.1

        And so why are rich private individuals being given this same share bonus out of our collective national wealth?

    • Pete – a question for you.

      How do you feel having your name linked to asset sales that are not supported by the public, and which is shredding John Key’s political image, even as we debate this?

      How do you feel about having your name associated with asset sales – as Max Bradford was in 1999, when he promised us “cheaper power”?

      The funny thing is, you may feel that you have a mandate and that mandate is on your side… but you’re dreaming if you truly believe that. The truth is that the public loathe this programme; understand that it is a rort; and will exact their vengeance at the ballot box. (Translation; your boss can kiss his electorate goodbye in 2014 – if not earlier.)

      And the campaign against asset sales continues to grow; http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/campaign-flood-the-beehive/

  12. tracey 12

    Premature? Do you mean no one should challenge or question, just wait til irs rolled out and then when its too late wring our hands?

    Do you accept that a loyalty bonus means taxpers have to pay more in one or two years to a specific part of the population who had a spare $1000 to buy shares during high unemployment and a recession?

    • By all means chalenge and question, I didn’t say you shouldn’t, I was just adding my opinion.

      I presume the loyalty shares would reduce the number of shares that could be sold as the loyalty shares were put aside until they were due to be issued. It wouldn’t cost taxpayers more – in fact taxpayers could gain from it as shares sold before the loyalty expiry would be retained by the Crown or sold for more money.

      • And on the issue of loyalty shares…

        If National has a mandate to sell these SOEs…

        If everyone adores Dear Leader…

        And if the public is “warming” to asset sales (as JK has claimed)…

        Why is there a need for LOYALTY shares?! Why the need for a blatant bribe?

        Any ideas?

  13. tracey 13

    Pg dont you think they have left it a bit late to allegedly start thinking about a loyalty payout, and that conveniently they xant give us any details?

  14. felix 14

    This is the same attack Pete George often makes on anyone questioning the govt. It essentially says ‘there’s no validity in protesting something that hasn’t actually happened yet’.

    The other old chestnut goes along the lines of ‘there’s no use in protesting something that’s already done and dusted’.

    This is the reality of what Pete used to refer to as his “new way of doing politics” with more democracy, more involvement and more transparency.

    • What or who have I attacked?

      You seem to be attacking me for expressing my opinion, doing what you accuse me of doing.

      • felix 14.1.1

        And that’s exactly how you usually frame your attacks. Pissing on my feet and telling me it’s raining.

        • Pete George 14.1.1.1

          I think here you pissed on your own feet and blamed it on me.

          • felix 14.1.1.1.1

            Sure Pete.

            Are you pressuring Peter Dunne to support any of the proposed amendments to fix the multiple loopholes in the asset sales legislation?

            Or are you just coming here and saying ‘shhhhhh’?

            • Pete George 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Make a case. There have been a heap of amendments and I haven’t read many of them. It’s hard to differentiate the loophole busters from the loopy.

              • Deano

                Give us an example of a loopy one. Since you’ve read some (there are only 30-odd and they’re all really short, btw)

                • There was a big pile of very loopy ones that Mallard tried to get included at 7.33pm on Tuesday night but the chairman rejected them as frivolous – they could be called loopy.

                  I can’t remember them all, but at a glance SOPs 37, 39, 44, 51, 53, 61, 69, 71 look like they have varying degrees of loopiness.

                  • Deano

                    you mean the ones that would ban foreign ownership, stop sales until after the referendum, stop the removal of the companies from the coverage of the Ombudsmen and Official Information Acts (something the Ombudsmen called for) ….?

                    • Gosman

                      Yeah stop sales until after a referendum that hasn’t yet received enough support to mean it will be held. That is pretty loopy.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Gosman, the government can call for a referendum at any time. They could put in an amendment that creates a binding referendum if they wanted.

              • 70% of the publuic oppose asset sales…

                Labour, Greens, NZ First, and Mana are campaigning on behalf of said public…

                Calling the amendments “loopy” suggests you view public opposition as “loopy”?!

                Would that be a correct perception, Pete?

                • No, not at all, I didn’t say anything about perceptions of the public, I was talking about some of the SOPs – as you know.

                  Some of thoseopposing certainly have some loopy arguments and tactics – and worse – but my perception is that there are also many who people oppose for genuine reasons, some of them with a lot of feeling.

                  I don’t know how you can claim who certain parties are campaigning on behalf of, except for their own self interest. There will be many variations in views and allegiances of those who oppose and those who are not sure.

                  • “I don’t know how you can claim who certain parties are campaigning on behalf of, except for their own self interest.”

                    ‘Self interest’?!

  15. Johnm 15

    Shonkey isn’t worried about the chop in 2014 because he will have further successfully wrecked the Commonwealth of New Zealand which Commonwealth He and his RWNJ NeoLiberal crazies detest heartily. The whole bunch of ’em need to be processed through a metaphorical guillotine, (Not a real one!) until the selfish b*stards no longer bother us with their stupid BS. Otherwise we will end up like France prior to the revolution ,if we haven’t already, the economy dominated by the rich and the rest of us wage slaves with our social contract being relentlessly whittled away piece by piece. Poverty will become further entrenched and our former egalitarian society a distant myth only remembered by those over 75.

    Privatisation of Public wealth is anti-democratic it transfers power from the people to those who have the money and ends in the marriage of money power with government which is Fascism. Shonkey already symbolises this: He represents money and seeks to increase the power of the monied classes against the plebs.

    The worldwide financial fiat system is collapsing under the weight of its own greed and stupidity and this devaluing paper is looking for real assets with real income to protect its power at the expense of the people. As to Charles the 1st: despite the majority of New Zealanders clearly against Asset Sales, Shonkey behaves as if he has a divine right to flog of his people’s wealth (He is supposed to represent all of us technically in his role as PM not just his rich mates) for the gain of his own class.

  16. fisiani 16

    So virtually everyone with a Kiwisaver account will get access to bonus share revenue since virtually all the providers have indicated they will seek shares. That sounds like a vote winner.
    I wonder how many posters on here will change their Kiwisaver provider if the provider takes up mixed ownership model shares. That would truly test whether this is a principled position or just what it appears to be….
    Since the Superannuation fund will also be buying shares in the mixed ownership model will the same posters call out for a personal lower pension. You know the answer.

    • Deano 16.1

      No, because looters’ bonuses are only for retail investors.

      Your Kiwisaver owns units in a fund, which owns a variety of financial assets. You don’t actually own the shares yourself.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.2

      Amazingly enough, I already get a return on them because I already own them along with everybody else.

  17. prism 18

    I’ve noticed bloggers venting about Chris Trotter. He was on with Jim Mora tonight strongly attacking the idea that just voting for a party isn’t enough to give it a mandate for anything it has listed on its agenda.

    Strange. I thought the closeness of the two parties with their outriders, plus the importance to the country, the people and economy, and the wicked secrecy of these ‘democratic’ nations deciding on this would have brought an opposite response. Someone said that an election was as good as a referendum, and it may have been him.

    Of course that is utter tosh. Focussing on one thing and asking the voters for a decision, hopefully after they have read at least the summary of the proposal, is a lot different than a ‘pocketful of mumbles, such are promises’ made before an election and when there is an uncertain future. And sometimes people just vote for a different party in frustration and disappointment with the incumbent one. And sometimes they fall for a breezy personality,, so relaxed, and a nice smile and a whiff of financial success, such a heady perfume. Only sometimes you get a pig in a poke.

    • Carol 18.1

      I was driving. I heard the bit where Trotter showed himself trying to make the MMP system relevant to 18yrs+ uni students, by talking about a Christian Bieber Party as a hypothetical….. in touch, very.

  18. Bob 19

    How many NZer’s bought Spring Creek Mine shares when Labour sold 49% of it in 2007? Did they have a mandate to sell 49% of a state asset? Did they inform the public prior to selling 49%? If it was such a great idea in their last term in office, why is it a bad idea now?

    Answers: None, Yes, No, it’s not.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1206/S00283/remember-when-part-three.htm

    • Draco T Bastard 19.1

      It was a bad idea then, it was a bad idea in the 1980s and it’s a bad idea now. In fact, it’s been a bad idea for 5000 years.

      Breaking up the commons and giving it into private ownership is a bad idea. Simple as that. Labour have learned this, NACT haven’t but, then, they won’t as they’re the ones who will benefit from it while everyone else suffers through more poverty and deprivation.

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