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NRT: Numbers out of his arse

Written By: - Date published: 1:25 pm, August 22nd, 2012 - 31 comments
Categories: john key, Privatisation - Tags: , , ,

I/S at No Right Turn had several good posts up yesterday, here’s one of them:

Numbers out of his arse

Remember when the opposition challenged the government on its plans to bribe the rich with taxpayers’ money via an asset sales “bonus scheme”? And remember when John Key slapped then down by saying:

If the entire float earned $5 billion and 20 per cent of investors were ‘mum and dads’ the total cost would be $60m based on an Australian model, he said.“$60m for the entire programme. So it’s $60m, not a billion, three, or whatever ridiculous numbers are in the paper this morning all those numbers are wrong.”

(Emphasis added)It turns out that he was pulling those numbers out of his arse. An OIA request through FYI, the public OIA site, has revealed that the Prime Minister “was not provided with any specific advice” on the costs of his bonus scheme (it also claims that he didn’t say what he’s on the record as saying – the sort of transparent nonsense you get when you leave spindoctors to write your responses). So, faced with media questions, he made numbers up to defend his case.

And we’re supposed to take National seriously as economic managers? Sorry, but I’d prefer someone honest, who bothered to ask for advice before making a decision.


31 comments on “NRT: Numbers out of his arse”

  1. Tracey 1

    so, perhaps the taunt across the house now from Opposition should be

    “show us the funny money”

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1


      • Akldnut 1.1.1

        There should be a whole session where they opposition ask only questions where dodgey figures have been used and the whole opposition scream out “Show us the Money” with each question.

        Would be hilarious.

  2. Adrian 2

    There was a fascinating discussion with an ex-CIA interrogator on NatRad yesterday about spotting lies. He has a book Spy the Lie I think. Anyway his interpretation was that sociopaths were compulsive liars and vice-versa, they cant help just making shit up, but when found out and corrected and questioned their behaviour is the give away, loss of eye contact, lip licking and blaming others. Remind you of anyone ?

    • mike 2.1

      This is basically correct. They are totally confident in their own ability to talk their way out of anything. They are indeed very good at thinking in their feet when questioned, and will not hesitate to simply make shit up (with half-truths and unverifiable statements) when necessary. This confidence makes them better liars, and coupled with a business suit and a position of authority it is a very powerful tool.

      However they can get lazy, being so confident in their own BSing ability, and come up with some very weak lines. Also they are impulsive and compulsive in their lying, they just can’t help themselves.
      They believe they are superior and others are stupid, they are too smart to get caught. This can be a strength and a weakness.

      When called out some will actually maintain a fierce eye-contact, but blaming others, questioning credentials, “That source isn’t reliable,” “How dare you / The insinuation is offensive”, attack the interviewer, are standard.

      • mike 2.1.1

        A true psychopath will argue that black is white if they have to, and make you fell stupid for questioning it. In fact Robert Hare has found that they will lie even when they know that the person they are lying to to knows they are lying. A very interesting finding, implying that there is more than just lying as the rest of us understand it going on here. Hare concludes along the lines that at a deep level they actually believe that reality can be altered by saying so. Anyone who questions is an obstacle to their world, (which is why they often seem to react with genuine indignation), and must thus be removed from their world somehow.

  3. Tracey 3

    I must say Adrian I found his eyes darted much more than usual on TV3’s news last night.

  4. Chris 4

    He’s doing a lot more of sucking air through his teeth when he finishes a sentence.It’s so irritating.

  5. Wayne 5

    The Prime Ministers background is finance, in which he was very successful. He can sort these sort of numbers in a ballpark sense pretty easily, certainly better than anyone else in Parlaiment. He will certainly know this area much better than anyone in Treasury.

    Like most high level experts with decades of experience in any field, he will have a good sense of the realistic dimension of the issue. That is what experts can do; they can rely on their expertise and judgement without having to cross check every aspect before they venture an opinion.

    So the OIA does not prove anything.

    • fnjckg 5.1


      • Murray Olsen 5.1.1

        After giving Wayne’s post much thought, I find myself in full agreement with your profound evaluation of it.
        In my line of work some people consider me an expert, and I can usually do a quick evaluation of a given problem and have an opinion. Following on from forming this opinion, my response would be either:
        1. This could work, so it’s worth my while actually doing the calculations. 
        2. This is unlikely to work, but possible, so let’s check it out.
        3. This’ll never work because it violates the laws of nature (or something else).
        Key does not give the answers of an expert; he gives the answers of a conman or used car salesman.

    • framu 5.2

      That might work just fine in international finance wayne – but hes the prime minister

      he cant just go “werll youse are all wrong” based on a guess or assumption. As someone entrusted to run the country he ekshully needs to back things up with evidence – and the OIA proves he doesnt have any

      and when you add in the juvenille “show me the money” business, its even more imperitave for Key to back things up with facts. Its kinda like me saying that your wearing your pants all wrong while theres a soft summer breeze across my own butt cheeks

      all this “its a guess”, “back of an envelop” stuff isnt the way you run a country

    • Carol 5.3

      Key can also walk on water, turn water into wine, and rise from the dead. We don’t need evidence of this because he survived in the business world.

      PS: A finance trader is a glorified salesman, using figures as much to deceive as to inform.

    • Dv 5.4

      Would a financial advisor get away with is sort of rubbish?

    • mike e 5.5

      Wayne kerr Investment banker yeah right lokk up Merrill Lynch on the net and corruption and in three weeks when you have read all the low down dirty insider trading ponzi schemes etc that ML have been involved with tell me Shonkey hasn’t been involved in any of them.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.6

      Wow, you do have some delusional fantasies don’t you?

      BTW, did you notice the Global Financial Crisis going on ATM? You know, the one caused by people just like your hero John Key?

    • mike 5.7

      Let me help you out there Wayne.

      The Prime Ministers background is siphoning money from the middle class, in which he was very successful. He can pull bullshit numbers out of his ass pretty easily, certainly better than anyone else in Parliament, people conning people with shonkey numbers that sound vaguely plausible is home sweet home. He will certainly know this area much better than anyone in Treasury.

      Like most high level experts with decades of experience in any field, he will have a good sense of the realistic dimension of the issue, but he’s sure as shit not going to tell us about that. That is what con-men do; they rely on misinformation and half-truths without bothering to cross check every aspect before they venture an opinion.

      So the OIA proves that John Key pulled hypothetical guestimates out of his ass with nothing to back them up, them used them in an argument to counter his opponents.

    • Dr Terry 5.8

      And exactly what kind of background in finance would you call that? Many such backgrounds include very devious dealings. Just because it happens to be a financial background (most describe it as “business”, in fact) does not infer that it is necessarily clean or ethical. That is cause for enquiry.

    • Colonial Viper 5.9

      The Prime Ministers background is finance, in which he was very successful.

      Investment banking and financial market speculation has NOTHING to do with understanding the real economy.

      That is what experts can do; they can rely on their expertise and judgement without having to cross check every aspect before they venture an opinion.

      Key could only do this in the fields of investment banking and financial market speculation.

      Do you want him to gamble with the fortunes of NZ?

  6. Blue 6

    I wasn’t aware that there was any other method for getting numbers in the National Government. They are either pulled out of John Key’s arse, or Bill English’s arse.

    It’s not like we have any journalists in this country. The Nats don’t need to go to any trouble to impress anyone.

    • lprent 6.1

      You forgot Nick Smith – he was pretty good about lying with numbers as well.

      How soon the the reshuffle do you think? They can’t keep a man with his talent for bullshit numbers out of a National government for long…

    • Herodotus 6.2

      Why then in question time can not Labour (The main opposition party) with the ability to ask more questions and follow up with supplementary questions hold the govt to these? Simple direct questions, then follow up the following day or two. Set the minister/PM up. With the experience/skill & wisdom? that Lab has it is not evident 🙁
      Even with Peters with all his experience and delivery could not contain himself yesterday getting himself red carded in the 1st few minutes, and as a result lost his ability to ask a question.

  7. xtasy 7

    English is a clown now, stating that Solid Energy is not fit for selling, admitting the Maori Council and Waitangi Tribunal can stop the sale of yet another energy company, if not all. So the shambles are now becoming facts. Key and English are out of answers and sense, looking like the sad clowns in a circus that is not getting any crowds to laugh and cheer. It is over, dear sell out brigade, pack your bags, surrender and go to your quarters – in opposition soon!

  8. tracey 8

    ACC report due today so the PM decides this is the day to ignite the euthanasia debate… Coincidence? Divert attention from a cornerstone of nz to something highly emotionally charged…

  9. irascible 9

    As a money trader (high stakes gambler) being able to lie convincingly about possible returns on a bluff is the key skill needed to part fools from their money. This is the technique KeY uses to spin his way out of situations he has no real grasp of. The hocking off of the State Assets is a policy KeY has no convincing argument for except that his cronies will benefit.

    • bbfloyd 9.1

      He wouldn’t be able to spin his way out of a paper bag if our fourth estate was worth half a tin of goat shit….they are actually his real diplomatic protection squad….. shielding us from the truth of his duplicity, and his serious mental imbalances….

      he could fart the first four bars of beethovens ninth, follow through on the last bar, and be lauded as being “statesman like”, and his “statement” to have “substance”…

      With that level of protection, when is he EVER going to be exposed for what he is?

      • Blue 9.1.1

        I can actually imagine that, sadly.

        “The Prime Minister gave an impressive performance at his post-Cabinet press conference this afternoon, farting the first four bars of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

        Those in attendance were unable to work out what exact statement Mr Key was making, but say it sounded very impressive.

        “He got four whole bars in, totally note-perfect too,” said Tracy Watkins of the Dominion Post. “That’s why the voters love him!”

        Her sentiments were echoed by Mr Joe Bloggs of Kaitaia.

        “He’s a real Kiwi bloke, that’s why we all voted for him,” Mr Bloggs said. “Good on him, I say.”

        Greens co-leader Russel Norman was unimpressed with the Prime Minister contributing to New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, and Winston Peters said the Prime Minister’s conduct was “disgraceful.”

        Sources within the Labour Party say that MPs are desperately scrambling to eat as many beans as they can in the hope of matching John Key’s performance.”

    • Tiresias 9.2

      A money trader at a place like Merrill Lynch has no need to lie to anyone. He is allocated a tranch of capital, given some insider information plus software that runs algorithms measuring risk and returns in real time, watches a screen and only has to press the proper buttons at more or less the right time to see a profit. Some traders, though, think that the huge advantages they gain from being on the House side of the gamble are down to their inborn brilliance and natural superiority, and so look to climb the ladder from the trading floor to the offices above by trying to get a better return than the safe 0.01% on the millions they trade. A very few succeed.

      Key never got off the trading floor, so he was at least bright enough to know his limitations.

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