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No One’s Fault But Ours

Written By: - Date published: 5:45 pm, September 9th, 2014 - 66 comments
Categories: john key, tax - Tags:

Nothing so clearly demonstrates John Key’s contempt for the New Zealand voter as his confidence that we will believe whatever he tells us. He has had ample experience to back up that confidence.

The course taken by the dirty politics saga is perhaps the most obvious case in point. If the polls are to be believed, the electorate do not want to believe that we have allowed a Watergate – differing from its more notorious predecessor only in that it is just a little more hi-tech than the crude burglary of the Watergate building – to spread its tentacles throughout our public life. They are happy to accept assurances from John Key, accompanied by facial expressions of concern and sincerity appropriate to the moment, that there is nothing to worry about, rather than face the facts that are virtually incontrovertible.

By the time the various inquiries have reported and the truth is finally established, Mr Key knows that memories will have faded, interest in politics will have subsided, and most people will happily return to what they see as normality – a normality where it is then regarded as acceptable that our political leaders should lie and cheat, and abuse power in order to keep it. They have, after all, been assured that this is just the nature of modern politics and “everyone does it”. Better not to ask awkward questions.

The most recent instance of Mr Key’s confidence in his ability to manipulate opinion to his advantage is quite different. It is his indication, against the advice of his own Finance Minister, that a re-elected National government might cut taxes. This was surely the most cynical of all the election “promises” we have heard so far.

Mr Key, on this occasion, has shown himself to be an adept practitioner of what the Australians call “dog whistle” politics – the conveying of a message that is interpreted by the listener (or voter) as meaning more than what is actually said.

The calculation on this occasion is that the mere words “tax cuts” will convince the voter that a bonanza is in store and that the way to bring it about is to vote National. But this is not a case where the fine print fails to bear out the supposed meaning; there is no fine print.

All we have is a thought floated by the National leader. The most cursory examination of what that thought is based on shows how insubstantial it is.

We are invited to believe that the prospect of tax cuts is a consequence of the “return to surplus”. But that surplus has yet to materialise. It has – after a six-year delay – been celebrated in advance, by virtue of some very clever and somewhat misleading public sector accounting, but looks less and less likely with each passing day.

The brief consumer boom we have enjoyed off the back of record dairy prices is already dissipating; as that balloon deflates, so too do government tax revenues. The forecast surplus, tiny as it is forecast to be, may well not materialise at all in any immediately foreseeable future.

That has not dissuaded Mr Key from promising to spend it in advance. But it almost certainly explains why – as Bill English no doubt insisted – we will see nothing of any proposed tax cuts, if at all, until the 2017 budget. It might be thought that, if they do materialise at that point, that should be a matter for the 2017 election three years away rather than for one in 2014.

Nor can we have any assurance that any cuts would mean much. Raising the minimum wage by $1 an hour would provide four times as much help to a hard-pressed family as the vaguely indicated sum produced by the tax cut apparently contemplated three years hence.

Mr Key’s much-heralded announcement, in other words, has little substance and no detail – its flakiness compounded by the alacrity with which he upped its supposed value when the initial reaction was less than ecstatic. It is a classic example of smoke and mirrors, a piece of expert legerdemain, a construction deliberately built on shifting sands.

Can we blame John Key for so blatantly trying to mislead us? Yes, but only up to a point. The real culprits are us; we care so little about our democracy that we simply do not make an effort to sort out the wheat from the chaff. We quite literally do not want to be bothered; we would rather be invited to believe than to think.

Sadly, there is a price to be paid for our indifference – and we will all pay it. We will have acquiesced in a further and damaging debasement of standards in our public life. We will have exchanged at least the goal of decent government in the interests of the whole community for the standards of the snake-oil salesman.

Bryan Gould

9 September 2014

66 comments on “No One’s Fault But Ours”

  1. feijoa 1

    The arguments for a tax cut vs a payrise as a way to put more money in peoples pockets is a no brainer.
    A tax cut by definition MUST mean a cut in public services – health , education,

    So, really people at the bottom are no better off with a tax cut, as they will pay more for their doctors, prescriptions, ACC part charges, school donations, power prices,
    etc

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      “A tax cut by definition MUST mean a cut in public services – health , education,”

      No, that’s not true at all.

      It simply means revenue is reduced. That revenue could have been going towards any number of things other than public services, such as debt repayments, or government boondoggles that produce no output like failed computer system upgrades (INCIS etc).

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        If you look at where most government spending goes, it would be fair to say that with revenue cuts social welfare, education and health will inevitably suffer – as they require the lions share of government monies.

        The alternative framing you are suggesting is actually a close relative of National’s concept that no “frontline” staff would be affected by budget cuts. That was of course, never going to work in reality.

  2. Ad 2

    Deeply patronising and misguided article.

    New Zealand voters have proven their intelligence time and again.
    Most National supports are evaluating sustained economic growth and charming leadership versus beltway process issues, rising inequality, foreign ownership, environmental degradation etc.

    So far polls consistently show National voters prefer rational self interest.

    not the most generous view of humanity, but stupid it ain’t.

    • tc 2.1

      Sadly have to agree with you there Ad although I found the ones I speak to haven’t figured out they’re the frogs in the pot yet unlike their charming leader.

    • Anne 2.2

      Deeply patronising and misguided article.

      That’s going way too far Ad.

      The majority of voters it would seem do “prefer self interest” but it is only rational in respect of themselves and the immediate environment. It is irrational in a broad community interest sense, and will only bring further disorder, crime, poor working and living conditions and a gradual deterioration of the standard of living for everybody apart from the top 10%. There is nothing intelligent and insightful about that. Indeed it’s sheer stupidity.

      That is what I take from Bryan Gould’s article and I agree 100%.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1

        +11111

        That’s it exactly. The so-called rational self-interest is, once you get into the nitty gritty, irrational and pure bloody stupidity.

    • Kat 2.3

      @Ad “New Zealand voters have proven their intelligence time and again”.

      Agree, however the media and nonsense polls have been a poor navigational aide of late for the usual 10%-15% of floating voters that decide every election in this country(hence Keys tax cut dog whistling).

      It seems the FPP system is a diehard, and coupled with the manipulation of what represents democracy by our leaders and a sycophantic mainstream media it is a godsend that we are perhaps on the cusp of intelligent political awakening in this little country.

      Well, similar to 1981, 50% at least.

    • So far polls consistently show National voters prefer rational self interest.

      The polls provide no evidence for an expression of ‘rational self interest’.

      You are inferring a motive from a behaviour and that is a fraught exercise at the best of times.

      There is no more evidence from the polls for your claim than there is for Bryan Gould’s view that people who support National are, generally, more concerned with believing than thinking.

      In fact, there may be more actual evidence for Gould’s view than yours. The Horizon Research Political Conduct Survey (see Section 4.1), for example, reports that 45.4% of people had not read and have no intention of reading the book ‘Dirty Politics’.

      When it comes to this issue at least, a good proportion of the electorate have no intention of reflecting on the available claims and evidence and coming to some reasoned position on it – that is, they have no intention of thinking about this matter.

      Presumably, that 45.4% are content to simply arrive at a belief about the matter based on pre-existing beliefs and commitments or some other ‘evidence’ that does not include thinking about the allegations at issue.

      You might claim it is a ‘beltway process issue’ but that would only be the case if your definition of such issues was simply that ‘ordinary’ New Zealanders have no interest in thinking about the topic – which is a bit of a self-fulfilling definition and, ironically, actually borrows Gould’s explanation.

      More generally, if it is to have any meaning, the term ‘beltway issue’ surely has to be defined in a way that distinguishes it from lack of interest or consideration by the electorate otherwise we’d have to include an awful lot of important matters as ‘beltway issues’ – e.g., macroeconomic policy settings, which I presume you don’t see as simply ‘beltway issues’ yet are likely to be uninteresting to most people.

      You may simply be exercising a ‘good faith’ principle – that we shouldn’t call people unthinking simply because they disagree with us. If so, I’d agree that it’s a good starting principle.

      But there has to be a point, surely, when that good faith principle has to get rejected in favour of other interpretations based on evidence (e.g., reports from people that they have no intention of encountering the matters to be thought about).

      Personally, I don’t think it’s condescending to say that people don’t think about some things – I call it realistic, partly because I know there are some things that I can’t be bothered thinking about.

      That doesn’t mean I’m incapable of thinking in general just that, over some things, I simply don’t think and don’t want to think.

      Similarly, for many people the vast majority of political issues may not be the kind of things they can be bothered thinking about – even out of ‘rational self interest’. (I suppose you could argue that it could be in their intuitive ‘rational self interest’ not to spend time thinking about such issues. But that’s another discussion.)

      • Tracey 2.4.1

        Plus 1

      • Nort 2.4.2

        j think you are right to some extent, especially when it comes to the older voters they cannot be bothered thinking about whats going on. But i think there are an awful lot of national supporters that no exactly how nasty things have got, know exactly who they are voter back into power and are ok with it. Even if Collins was still in there committing fraudulent deals. These people would stay true to blue.

    • Inky 2.5

      @Ad.

      Evaluating his charming leadership? If they were as clever as you think, they’d be evaluating Key’s litany of lies. What leadership? He’s apparently in Hawaii or out of the office having a cup of tea when anything big goes down with the GCSB etc. All the “I don’t knows”, “Can’t remembers”, “I forgets”, “I wasn’t there’s” should have worn a bit thin with even these highly intelligent, deeply evaluating Nats voters by now.

    • New Zealand voters have proven their intelligence time and again.

      You’ve proven your lack of it with this comment.

    • North 2.7

      I frequently find you deeply patronising Ad. In this instance I believe you completely misunderstand the “we” Bryan Gould employs. Which is your problem not his.

    • Lan 2.8

      Think myself so called “Labour” should be happy for Bryan to be bothering to write such articles. I despair of “Labour” these days and am probably going to vote elsewhere out of sheer frustration. Please get rid of all the old geezers in “Labour” like Mallard, Dyson, Goff etc who have been around too long and need to make a serious decision to retire. Their pensions will be ample for continuous travel and similar distracting and amusing frolics.

  3. joe90 3

    The shoe fits.

    A breakthrough by a talented University of Huddersfield student has shown for the first time that people with psychopathic tendencies who have high IQs can mask their symptoms by manipulating tests designed to reveal their personalities. It raises the possibility that large numbers of ruthless risk-takers are able to conceal their level of psychopathy as they rise to key managerial posts.

    http://www.psypost.org/2014/09/research-shows-increased-numbers-psychopaths-high-levels-business-27988

    • emergency mike 3.1

      “large numbers of ruthless risk-takers are able to conceal their level of psychopathy as they rise to key managerial posts.”

      I thought this was already known. It still needs to be repeated often though.

  4. Clemgeopin 4

    It is astounding that many commentators in the media seem to lack integrity and honesty while many voters pay scant interest in important political issues and details.

  5. b waghorn 5

    My delema is do i use my vote in the hope that enough other people will vote to get rid of them or do I go for say NF with the thougtht that at least he’ll make the buggers pay a bit

    • Clemgeopin 5.1

      Personally I feel voting NZF is a risk because, even though Cunliffe has said he is happy to have Winston in his coalition government along with the Greens, Winston may actually end up propping up National because Key is likely to give him anything he wants in order to make sure that National is back in power. While I do like and respect Winston’s wit,intelligence and wisdom, I will still give both my votes to Labour as that works best for Labour and me, and the country in my opinion.

      • RedBaronCV 5.1.1

        Or take the advice given here yesterday if you really want a centre left government. partyvote greens candidate vote labour create a left wing overhang

        • Clemgeopin 5.1.1.1

          That is a stupid advice because it will diminish and affect the Labour vote and boost the Greens who most people are afraid off for their extremist tax and environmental policies.

          It is more sensible to have a strong Labour party presence in the coalition and a smaller Green influence for the LONG TERM survival of the left progressive movement.

          Labour and the Greens can achieve THREE TIMES more in their social, economic and environmental policies by surviving as an acceptable good moderate government for THREE or MORE terms rather than get kicked out by the scared electoral horses in one.

          The Greens HAVE their core die hard 10% voting supporters anyway. That is the ideal % for the next government. It is far more important for Labour to get about 33% to 40% party vote support.

          If you don’t understand that, then, in my sincere opinion, your stance is just a selfish greedy mentality for a short term feel good political gain at the expense of Labour or you do not understand simple and sensible politics for the long term good.

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1

            and boost the Greens who most people are afraid off for their extremist tax and environmental policies.

            Which “extremist” tax policies are you referring to? Which “extremist” environmental policies are you referring to?

            It is far more important for Labour to get about 33% to 40% party vote support.

            But Labour doesn’t know how to achieve that in the modern political environment. In fact they’re going to be hard pressed to get 30% support come Sept 20.

            • Clemgeopin 5.1.1.1.1.1

              I said, ‘people’ are scared of Greens for their extremist tax and environmental policies. These may be real or perceived. Policies such as 40% tax on higher incomes, ban on mining, ban on oil drilling etc.

              • framu

                so if were talking real policy – because “shit in my head” isnt something you can actually argue about – what policies? and why are they extreme?

                you cant run about the place shouting fire unless you can point to some smoke – and you cant talk absolutes then drop back to “well some people think this way” within two comments and expect to be taken seriously

          • Tracey 5.1.1.1.2

            Wow, just wow. If anything you would have swayed me away from labour with that outburst.

            • Clemgeopin 5.1.1.1.2.1

              “Wow, just wow. If anything you would have swayed me away from labour with that outburst’

              You have already said you are a Green voter and that you have been asking all your family to give their party vote to the Greens anyway. So, I don’t believe I have ‘swayed you away from Labour”!

              • Tracey

                There is still time to change my vote. I wonder if you dissuaded the commenter away from NZF

                • Clemgeopin

                  “There is still time to change my vote. I wonder if you dissuaded the commenter away from NZF”

                  He expressed his opinion, I expressed mine.

                  There are millions of people voting. I am sure I will not be able to persuade all of them or even most of them to wisely give their party votes to Labour for the best outcome in this election. Wish I could!

          • framu 5.1.1.1.3

            “your stance is just a selfish greedy mentality for a short term feel good political gain at the expense of Labour”

            kinda hypocritical there

            • Clemgeopin 5.1.1.1.3.1

              No, not being ‘hypocritical’, but being pragmatic, practical, fair and wise for the good of Labour AND the Greens for the long term benefit of the progressive movement. Take a step back and think things through carefully.

              • framu

                “at the expense of Labour”

                Your being 100% hypocrite

                your calling green voters selfish and greedy while at the same time attempting to get them to weaken their party of choice so labour can be stronger – which is selfish and greedy of you

                Why are you going to such lengths to start some sort of factional war among the left? – youve done this a few times now and you are completely hardline about it

                • Clemgeopin

                  “Why are you going to such lengths to start some sort of factional war among the left?’

                  Not going to any ‘such lengths’. Simply stating the obvious that it would be better for the LONG term good of the left progressive movement if the Greens or the NZF are not too powerful a force in the possible coalition. As I stated, Labour being around 35% with the Greens and NZF around 10% each would be, in my opinion, the ideal, moderate and palatable combination to most of the people, left, right and centre, in the country. that is simple common sense.

                  Your stance of asking people not to give their party votes to Labour, but instead to give it to the Greens is the crooked, cunning and clever-by-half disingenuous scheme of the Greens which will end up doing most harm to the Labour’s strength in the coalition government which is a dumb move overall for the reasons I have stated.

                  I personally have nothing to do with the Labour party, except that I will be voting Labour and I try to think independently. You and everyone else should too.

                  • framu

                    “Your stance”

                    seeing as the only stance i have taken is that i dislike the way your doing this im intrigued how you see that affecting any sort of vote

                    its the “my opinion is truth and if you disagree your greedy and selfish” that makes me wonder what your up to. Thats the sort of tactics you can find amongst fundamentalist xtians

                    Its incredibly sanctimonious and condescending

                    it isnt the first time youve attempted to create a wedge on the left

                    your still a huge hypocrite by the way

                    • Clemgeopin

                      Ignoring your personal attack on me, all I have done is express my honest opinion that a strong Green presence in the coalition is actually a big problem for the left progressive coalition and not a solution. Only a strong Labour presence will endure the electoral test of time, unless you are happy to scare the majority of the general voters and be kicked out in three years. Try and understand the New Zealand political and common sentiment. The voters are supreme and we need to win them over, not just the diehards to survive.

                      I do want the Greens in the coalition, just as I would like Winston to be there there too. I am not opposed to them. I am thinking long term for the good of everyone.

                    • McFlock

                      well, people can think long term for themselves. And long term, labour has been pretty mediocre in the “left wing revolution” front than they should have been. So they need a bit of spine from stronger left wing parties.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      “So they need a bit of spine from stronger left wing parties.|

                      No, I completely disagree with that spin.

                    • framu

                      “Ignoring your personal attack on me,”

                      what the fuck are you talking about? wheres the personal attack? Point it out?

                      all i have criticised is your approach and behaviour in your attempts to bludgeon green voters to weaken their party of choice and highlight that your being a total hypocrite and are using the tactics and language found in fundamentalist xtian “dialogue”

                      You repeatedly put forward your opinion as a truth, a truth that is so self evident that if you disagree your labelled greedy and selfish. Its the “im right and everyone else is wrong no matter what” that i find offensive and utterly unhelpfull to any kind of united left voice. And its not the first time youve gone down this road.

                      But you know what? All it is is your opinion, thats all. So dont dare to try and tar anyone with any kind of label for thinking differently to you

                  • KJT

                    Labour has yet to show that they are not simply National light, “with anaesthetic”.

                    Note that both National and Labour poll better when they adopt, “left” policies.

                    The country desperately needs a strong dose of sensible future orientated Green policies.

                    • Clemgeopin

                      Which of these core Labour policies do you think are not strong leftist policies?

                      *100,000 new, affordable homes
                      *Free healthcare to under 13s, pregnant women and over 65s
                      *Raising the minimum wage to $16.25
                      *Ensure every rental is warm and dry
                      *Everything paid for, plus we’re in surplus
                      *Ensure all Kiwis under 20 are in work, education or training
                      *Best Start for Kiwi kids
                      *Reduce unemployment to 4% in our first term
                      *Lower class sizes
                      *Extend paid paternal leave to 26 weeks
                      *Ensure that all our rivers and lakes are clean
                      *Lowering power bills
                      *Convert the dole to apprenticeships
                      *Protecting our land from speculators
                      *Christchurch recovery policy
                      *Capital gains tax excluding family home
                      *Increase tax to 36c/$ for incomes above $150,000
                      * investments to upgrade regional economies and create jobs
                      *Auckland and Christchurch city Rail Link
                      *Public Service Television Station
                      *Ban shark finning , animal testing of cosmetics, synthetic highs.
                      * New ministry for children
                      *Restore Adult and community education
                      *Kiwi assure insurance
                      *Marine reserves
                      *Abolition of secondary tax
                      *Inquiry into wages and collective bargaining
                      *Review of spy laws.

                      Heaps more ‘lefty’ policies in this link below to show how wrong you are in your false assertion.
                      http://campaign.labour.org.nz/all_our_announced_policies

                    • McFlock

                      *100,000 new, affordable homes
                      …for the middle class. but a start.
                      *Free healthcare to under 13s, pregnant women and over 65s
                      …a start
                      *Raising the minimum wage to $16.25
                      …tokenistic. what about a living wage? And fixing automatic increases to inflation?
                      *Ensure every rental is warm and dry
                      …which people were campaigning for ten years ago. Why not then?
                      *Everything paid for, plus we’re in surplus
                      …so says everyone.

                      and so on.

                      Oh, most of the policies are reasonably left wing. That’s why I’ll probably end up party-voting labour. But it’s vanilla left-wing. No major change, easily rolled back by the nats next time. A nice bowl of rice is tastier with a sauce of strong red and green chillies 🙂

                    • weka

                      Why not vote Green then McFlock?

                    • McFlock

                      Too many hippies for my taste.
                      And the social policy seems to me to be tacked on to the environmental policy, rather than having a coherent left wing root that both policy branches grow from. It was only 10 years ago that nandor was arguing that the greens were not a left wing party.

      • Flipnz 5.1.2

        Winston seems more like Muldoon reincarnated every time I hear him. I wasn’t even old enough to vote at the time. Old people liked him and they vote. As did my father.

        • Tracey 5.1.2.1

          Winston has done one thing he will always have my respecrt for; the winebox revelation which labour and nats tried to shut down…

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      Tactically vote for the policies that you’re most comfortable with.

  6. Flipnz 6

    Key is an artful spinner of stories. Listen carefully and he is telling you what to believe and think all the time. He does this by appealing to the what ‘smart’ people think so clearly if you disagree you are not ‘smart’. Like an apparently wise, worldly and experienced uncle or grandparent. He is painting a world view for you and if you do not subscribe there is something wrong with you. You are not a true ‘Kiwi’. It takes time to see it but if you pay attention you’ll get it and maybe start to critique it.

    • CrashCart 6.1

      Hence his often repeated “What kiwi’s actually want” line. It is good for him in two ways. It allows him to frame the answer that he actually wants to give and not what he is being asked. Also it sets up the idea in listners that if that isn’t what they wanted then they are not in line with other kiwi’s so the issue is with them and not the PM.

      Just once I want to see a reporteer ask John Key where he gets the absolute audacity to speak for what Kiwi’s want. Then get him to answer an actual question. When it comes down to it JK is as far from an ordinary Kiwi as you can get and the media need to stop letting him get away with it.

      I guess I am “assberatinal” as well.

  7. Paul 7

    Great article.
    If National get 45% of the vote, then 35% are turkeys voting for Christmas.

  8. b waghorn 8

    I am on the left side but tactically if the worst happens and slimy key gets in it would be better to have Winston in than the child beater Craig

  9. cogito 9

    Great article.

    “the snake-oil salesman” has to go.

  10. Blue 10

    I think this video sums up New Zealand’s reaction to the Dirty Politics saga quite nicely:

    Interested in good government we ain’t.

  11. philj 11

    xox
    I’ve always wondered how con men do it. They knock on your front door and you invite them in.

    • cogito 11.1

      I never invite them in. I look in their eyes and then give them 30 seconds to get off the property.

  12. Nic the NZer 12

    While the Meanies are in power it remains just the gradual slow grind towards a low wage economy and more empty economic promises. While the Meanies remain in office we can not have nice things (like functioning state services which are not under constant attack by their own ministers). This choice to leave the stingy, empty promise, meanies in office is entirely in our hands. The sooner the electorate wakes up to this the sooner the country can have the nice things on offer (like a high wage economy, like a well funded education system, like an affordable health system, like happy state services).

  13. Matt D 13

    Wow. I had no idea I was so stupid. Thanks for clearing that up for me. There I was thinking I was voting for National because of the great job they have done in managing our economy. Turns out it is because I’m so dumb.

    http://m.kiwiblog.co.nz/2014/09/issues_that_matter_-_the_economy.html

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      What exactly is it that you think you know of “the economy”?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.2

      The notion that stupidity is a gateway to right wing political beliefs has some statistical validity (Hodson & Busseri 2012, Kanai et al 2011) but these are only generalisations.

      I can’t see how a great job includes 280,000 children in poverty.

      “Our opponents say more children are living in poverty than when we came into office,” Key tells me. “And that’s probably right.”

      Sydney Morning Herald Sept 6th 2014, h/t Molly.

    • Tracey 13.3

      Do you understand that the earthquake and dairy prices provided that “economic” good time and dairy prices have now halved since february and where is Bill going to get another earthquake?

  14. The real culprits are us; we care so little about our democracy that we simply do not make an effort to sort out the wheat from the chaff. We quite literally do not want to be bothered; we would rather be invited to believe than to think.

    Well, active participation in politics is taking up time that most people would rather spend on other things. Of course people who like thinking and arguing about politics don’t see it the same way, but the majority do not. The same goes for most things as most people only take an interest in their own lives and their own small sphere of reality. The level of public ignorance, even among the tertiary educated is amazing.

    Part of it is that a lot of people just don’t read, and many of those who do read, don’t read books, and many of the people who do read books solely read books that are essentially a form of pornography (romance novels, violent crime novels, etc.).

    What’s unreasonable is expecting a public who are mostly ignorant or mistaken about political facts – and who have no incentive to remedy this – to be able to vote in such a way that produces anything more than a crude result based on appearances. In addition, we know that aggregating votes can’t really produce a “public will”. About the best it can do is remove truly awful and incompetent governments over time.

    Oh well…

    • Tracey 14.1

      He is, i believe, telling people to look a little deeper. I suspectjust reading party policy would be a huge step forward and requires no marching, no arguing, no debating, just a smidge of self directed laerning. His point, I suspect, is if peooe dont want to do that we all get the government “we” deserve.

  15. Brian 15

    Good article.The problem we face as a nation is private debt. Finance and debt pyramiding are weapons of mass destruction that goes hand in hand with mass deception.All ponzi schemes come to an end and thats what the housing ‘market’ resembles .This might be a election that the ‘left’,with hindsight ,might be relieved to lose.Citizens will only take notice when there indifference is shattered and they have to confront what if. Austerity might be the kick starter they need.If national do get re elected, they get the tpp signed and it won’t matter.
    We will become serfs to wall st.Elections will be a quaint footnote in history.

  16. Jrobin 16

    It has to be said though ” if we believe the polls” is an important point. The polling companies do not have to be fully transparent. If dirty politics claims are true, having read this and Hollow Men, then the manipulation of some of the polls is totally possible and highly likely. Who owns the polling companies ? Same people who own private media perhaps. More scrutiny needs to focus on polling, who does it, where do they poll, how is it reported.
    Some observations, at crucial moments positive polls from Ipsos Fairfax poll appears soon after. Roy Morgan Polls which often contradict this trend are not reported, take the latest Roy Morgan which said Election too close to call, Nats fall 3 to 45 %. This poll only reported by Barry Soper. Even the left wing are really gullible about polls and mindlessly repeat headlines instead of looking closely at a range of polls. Information is presented using subliminal colours and graphics to be manipulative.
    Colin James poll of poll on RNZ graphic an example of use of symbolism. The graphic had Labour arrow red trending down before the poll had established that as fact
    . Polls mean something, or used to, but in this environment of propaganda and misrepresentation I don’t think we can trust them as unbiased. They are so effective as a depressing and disempowering tool I find it hard to believe that our dear Leader and his backers who have a lot to lose, would not resort to more dirty tricks.
    A public and open inquiry into polling IMO is necessary for democratic process to be transparent. Polls need critical examination.

    • NZJester 16.1

      The only polls that should matter is the official one taken to see who we want to be the government. Polls can influence people and should be banned within a month of the election date.
      It is funny how the National percentage in those polls taken by polling companies is always higher also than what they receive in the real polls. I’m sure some of it is due to those on the left being to tired after a hard days work and just not wanting to be asked a lot of questions so saying no to the polling companies when they call asking people to take part.
      I was looking at a pie-chart the other day that someone posted that showed that although National received the highest number of the votes cast at the last election they did not have the largest single chunk of the eligible voters pie. That largest chunk of the pie was non-voters. I have heard time and time again the line that ‘All politicians are lairs so I’m not going to bother to vote’ as the most common excuse for people not voting. With the ‘My vote will make no difference’ being the second most common. I think the mantra that ‘The Left Do It To’ that John Key and the rest of National keep chanting over every one of the revelations of dirty politics is an attempt to keep that portion of the non-voting population stable and refusing to vote. National knows that there is no votes to be had form them in that large number of cynical non voters, as they would believe National has been doing the underhanded tricks that Dirty Politics has brought to light. National knows they have nothing to fear from them however as long as they keep them believing Labour is just as bad. If they where to wake up to the fact that voting for the left is more positive than not voting National will quickly loose their majority.

  17. fambo 17

    It must be a rather unusual place to be in when you are the Prime Minister of a country, knowingly lie in the most obvious manner, and then watch a million or more people swallow it. You must feel like some sort of god.

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