O’Sullivan and Watkins – warnings to the Nats

Written By: - Date published: 7:08 am, July 18th, 2016 - 196 comments
Categories: john key, national, useless - Tags: , , , , ,

Even National’s fans are worried for them these days. Fran O’Sullivan:

Rich-lister sends message to Key

Rich-lister Stephen Jennings’ warning that “we are facing an iceberg” deserves to shatter business complacency on housing. It should also shatter the complacency of the Prime Minister – if he allows himself to hear it.

Jennings has confronted the business elite with some unpalatable truths: rising house prices and immigration-fuelled economic growth are masking an underlying “iceberg that lies ahead”.

“We are sleepwalking into an economically ugly place,” he warns. “How can we look at ourselves in the mirror and say how can we live with having one of the most unequal education systems in the Western world – and even if you are very selfish you better say to yourself that is not sustainable. “Those chickens are going to come home to roost.” Powerful stuff.

No one from National’s front bench was present to hear him prick the Key Government’s self-satisfaction. That Government has been widely lauded for grappling with the fallout from the Global Financial Crisis and getting the books back into surplus. It has also been a stable Government. But it is now dangerously moving into the self-satisfaction zone that tends to creep up on an administration that has held power for a long time.

Several guests were disappointed no one from Key’s inner circle was present. “Are they going to take the message back to the big guys?” one asked me. “Jesus Christ, what are your grandkids going to do?” said another, predicting it would not be long before young New Zealanders head off overseas again because they could not get a toehold here. …

Tracy Watkins:

Housing solutions out of reach

Here are the signs that the Government has lost some of its usual composure.

Ministers have fumbled the housing issue – badly. This week’s “announcement” about the Government forgoing Housing New Zealand dividends seemed particularly untidy.

The shine has come off some of its star performers, including Key’s personal favourite to succeed him, Paula Bennett. If housing is the Government’s achilles heel, it has become Bennett’s bêête noire. There are even questions about whether Housing Minister Nick Smith – one of a dwindling number of faces from the last National government in the 1990s – is on borrowed time.

Meanwhile, ministers appear embroiled in an escalating war with the bean counters across the road at Treasury, rubbishing the advice of their paid boffins on everything from bowel cancer screening to the 90-day-trial period.

As for ideology, that’s been conveniently tossed overboard. A $2 billion programme to renew the state housing stock, and let’s forgo the HNZ dividend while we’re at it? Pah, why not! Even if it’s not so long ago that Finance Minister Bill English was reminding everyone dividends were useful for imposing commercial discipline on Crown-owned entities. A view that is, by the way, as core to National ideology as saving the whales is to the Greens.

Or maybe it’s just an old-fashioned case of third-term blues. Because National is certainly running hard up against the realities of a third term. The country’s problems are well and truly theirs to own, and fix. It used to be fun blaming everything on the last Labour government but only the most try-hard National MPs still laugh at that joke. There are too many seemingly insoluble problems, like housing affordability, which lurches from bad to worse with every $50,000 hike in the median house price.

According to insiders, Labour feels like it’s owning the housing debate at the moment. Labour’s policy is certainly easier to understand. In a nutshell, it’s build more houses. National will howl that things are never that simple. But that’s the curse of being in government. It never is. That’s why they call it the third-term blues.

The “third termitis” meme is becoming well established. Plenty there for the Nats to ponder.

196 comments on “O’Sullivan and Watkins – warnings to the Nats”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    “Third termitis” carries the hidden assumption that the National Party has become less competent. There is no evidence that this is so. They were a shit government when they took office and nothing’s changed apart from the damage piling up.

    • Paul 1.1

      But the shit they have caused is now starting to affect the middle class who voted for them.

      Deborah Hill Cone: A rent in the social fabric.

      Not only are renters treated, shamefully, as if they are gulag-dwelling mushroom-sprouting gypsies but they also carry more than their fair share of the financial risk upfront. If you rent a place for, say, $500 weekly (good luck finding that) you have to pay about $3000 in bond and upfront rent. The very people who are struggling most are not likely to have a few lazy grand sitting around. Then, If you move and you have the kind of property manager who tucks his shirt into his undies, you will not be able to get your bond back unless you fight it through the tenancy tribunal.
      Many people who are in this position would not have the communication skills, or personal resources to go through this process; something landlords know.
      This is a real quote from another zombie landlord: “I love renting to beneficiaries because they’re too stupid to take you to the Tenancy Tribunal if you keep the bond.” Maybe not stupid, just suffering. Desperate people don’t make a fuss.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11676285

      Hill Cone normally writes about less political issues.

    • NZJester 1.2

      Yep the moment they took over and claimed the previous Labour Government left them nothing in the government treasury and the country was in bad financial shape was the moment their lies and mismanagement of the New Zealand Economy started. They actually got left a treasury account with the debt paid off and a good tax and SOE money stream coming in, along with a good credit rating. Something they immediately proceeded to screw up by giving the rich a tax break this country could not afford by borrowing money to do it and plotting to sell off as much of the SOEs as they could to their rich mates for them to collect the money instead of the NZ people.
      They hit the treasury benches with the worst mismanagement this country has ever seen in any previous government.

      • Actually to be fair they were initially somewhat complementary of the Labour government’s financial management. It took until well into the first term for them to start bagging on it more overtly.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.2

        ep the moment they took over and claimed the previous Labour Government left them nothing in the government treasury and the country was in bad financial shape was the moment their lies and mismanagement of the New Zealand Economy started.

        Their lies and mismanagement of the economy and the country started long before then. It started back in the 19th century when National was still two or three parties.

        They hit the treasury benches with the worst mismanagement this country has ever seen in any previous government.

        They hit the Treasury benches with a plan to screw over NZ for the benefit of the rich and they’ve done that extremely well over the last 8 years. After all, even after screwing over the country for 6 years they still got voted in for a third term.

        • Two or three? I always thought National was a (then) grand coalition of the Liberal and Reform parties?

          • Draco T Bastard 1.2.2.1.1

            I could be wrong but I think that there had been another party that held a seat here or there in the 19th century that got swallowed up by one or the other main parties. A few real independent candidates as well.

            You’re right in that it was usually a coalition of the Liberal and Reform parties that made up government but they never held all the seats.

            It’s a well known aspect of FPP that you always end up with two parties vying for the electorates.

      • seeker 1.2.3

        Spot on NZJ@826am.
        Have marked this comment as being the near perfect kernel of the nutshell, hope you don’t mind if reused at times.(plus MatthewW.’s bit of ‘to be fair’ addition, not that the Nacts. really deserve any fairness, having been so hideously unfair , unjust, greedy and inhumane – examples of which can be found throughout theStandard’s archives.)

        • NZJester 1.2.3.1

          Feel free to use the comment.
          Any good things from Labour they took credit where they could too.
          They also basically took credit in Hawkes Bay for Labours hard work getting New Zealand apples access into Australia. Labour wedged the door open with taking the case to the international court and National was still a bit hesitant at first pushing that door fully open.

        • National will never be fair and will probably never deserve us being fair to them. I use additions like “to be fair” because I believe their debating position is so weak on most issues that we can pick their strongest arguments, stack the decks with a fair amount of reasonable doubt for them, and still knock them out in an unbiased debate. The problem of course is that people on the left never receive an unbiased debate, but that’s neither here or there. If nobody on the Right is going to care about getting the facts right and being honest, at least we can do it, while giving them a bloody nose at the same time.

  2. Keith 2

    I read O’Sullivans article. My first reaction was have the elite no gratitude for all National have done for them, the cheap labour they freely exploit, imported largely from India courtesy of and in the form of “Student visa holders”, or the fact National have ensured next to nothing has been done to deal with foreign property speculators. I mean its the reason you the wealthy donate to National surely? Even now National are shopping around for more competition in the cheap exploitable labour market by considering Indonesian “Student visa holders”. Where’s the thanks?

    Fran has an insight into National like no other but the trouble is she genuinely appears to believe in National being the only game in town, they’re quite simply her kind of people. Her belief in blind neo lib thinking makes her a dinosaur. Worse is she also rates highly the right of ultra right Paul Goldsmith and the highly arrogant Dr Jonathan Coleman, the same former GP who embraces the likes of Coca Cola, the same man who does not want a walking lane over Aucklands Harbour Bridge because the riff raff cycling, running or walking (exercising it’s called) would simply wuin his precious Northcote Point and yet is minister for Health. Her backing of this pair polaxe’s whats left of her arguement!

    I think Jennings was rattling his jewellery at National not because this rich lister gives a damn about his fellow countrymen but because a couple of shitty polls may mean the good times for him and his wealthy ilk are numbered. The thing is Jennings must see that Nationals economic incompetence is doing great harm but yet he still thinks its worth talking to them rather than writing these idiots off. And from that I take its a call to for the time being go back to first term Key and pretend to be moderates!

    • Stanley 2.1

      Fran’s appeal to the Nats dried up when she got herself involved in Dirty Politics. She has hardly written anything positive about them since and has ceased cheerleading to now back stabbing.

      • adam 2.1.1

        Fran O’Sullivan is a conservative, and I disagree with her politics. But I think she has integrity, and when she realise that she had been played by the dirty politics machine, she was rightly, a bit peeved.

        I’d also point out as a conservative, she will bangs heads with neo-liberalism. As has been well demonstrated by O’Sullivans writing for some time now. She wants a conservative national party, and thinks that national are the only way to get a truly conservative government.

        Again, why I disagree with her, but I don’t think for one minute she is backstabbing. She is outlining a conservative analysis for her fallow (yes the spelling is deliberate) conservatives.

        • Indeed, if you want a Judith Collins Brand™ of National-supporter commentary, tune in for some Fran O’Sullivan. Like Collins, she genuinely believes what she’s saying and thinks it will be best for New Zealand. (unlike Collins, of course, there’s no evidence that she’s mixing personal gain with business)

          It looks increasingly like said brand is what we’ll get whenever Key is given a bloody nose enough to, or voluntarily, retires. On the one hand, this will probably negate their focus-group politics advantage, as it has relied on branding National as a liberal right-wing party that’s flexible on social issues and in touch on populist sentiment. On the other hand, a conservative National Party would be even more disastrous if they ever got into government.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      +1

      Bingo.

    • seeker 2.3

      Very well put Keith@8.04am.
      Alarm bells rang with me too when she gave such high rating to the arrogant, unprincipled, key clone Coleman. I can’t believe Coleman took the Hippocratic oath, it must have been the Hypocritic oath, which he certainly sticks to, unfortunately.

  3. Keith 3

    I must add i do NOT believe Nationals flip flop on Housing NZ’s dividend nor do I believe there is a policy to repair or build extra state housing.

    If we are to accept that even National would not sacrifice this countries economy in a tweet to cling to power then surely English and his very recent budget was a carefully calculated process to proceed over the next fiscal year that is not one to be uprooted by a panicking Stephen Joyce twitter outburst. Bullshit to that!

    Whatever the Nats are claiming to doing in state housing is either a lie or is already spoken for anyway and has just been repackaged. And in anycase these proven liars should not be believed!

  4. esoteric pineapples 4

    Chris Trotter recently said that any government that ignores a housing crisis does so at its peril.

  5. Fustercluck 5

    Many of the virtues that kept NZ isolated from the worst of the 2008 GFC mean that NZ is also capable of its own isolated bubble burst.

    The rise in real estate “values” is the result of a very small number of recent sales (compared to the total housing stock) and a very small number of salivating buyers. All it takes to collapse the market is a small change in mood within this group and the dominoes will start to fall.

    Our devotion to selling commodities to dominant economies is another house of cards that Fonterra and forestry built.

    Tourism is pretty much the only value added industry we have but low paying jobs and fickle consumers make this a fraught sector.

    Good luck to all!

  6. Muttonbird 6

    Key and McClay not even on the same page even though they are holiday together.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/308869/minister-seeks-answers-over-alleged-steel-dumping

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11676423

    Key sounding particularly panicked there, pleading for the ambassador to ring him if there are any problems.

  7. Jenny Kirk 7

    Key sounding his usual dismissive self – “nothing to see here” “nothing to worry about” even tho other countries are sounding similar warnings, notably the USA and Brussells.

  8. ianmac 8

    The trouble with “warnings” this early in the election cycle is that it incentivises the Government into remedial action, in plenty of time before the next election.
    And just because some Government supporters cry warnings does not mean that Labour-Green is seen as an alternative.
    And the full force of Anti-Andrew-Dirty-Tricks Brigade has yet to be unleashed by Dirty Steve and Cunning Johnny.

    • mosa 8.1

      The rich man is well funded and has a huge war chest at his disposal and thanks too the MSM its influence bought some time thanks too the so called enemies list Key hinted at having in his possession some time ago he is odds on favourite to win a fourth term next year.
      If the polls do narrow and Labour moves ahead it might be a contest, but they have been behind for 8 years and still are thanks to the stranglehold Key and co have on the political centre.
      No one has dominated like this scince Muldoon who had total control for 9 years up too 1984s collapse.
      A lot of water to go under the bridge yet.
      It will be a filthy fight the worst so far.

      • Jono 8.1.1

        Maybe we will see a repeat of the 1984 snaps election if the polls keep going the way they are going…

  9. save nz 9

    All I can say is that the Natz are going down and if the opposition and their supporters want that to continue, don’t bite the hand that supports it whether rich or poor, business, working or unemployed.

    Snapping the heels that agree with the left, is what keeps the Natz in power. The Natz spread fear that chaos will reign if the left get in and the pitchforks approach is not really what most people want either, it’s the left version of the punishment approach.

    Stable, fair, equal, forward thinking, diversified economy and sensible government is what people want in my view, not ideology the far right neoliberalism we currently are enduring or the “crash the country” and have another GFC, where if we look at the US, many people lost their jobs, their house, their retirement and the super rich just bought everything up cheap and made the place more unequal. Now in the US they have the cops vs blacks racial tension. Constantly shooting poor black Americans with no consequences has now created a new threat of angry black Americans (and with good reason!), the war on terror (now shown to be a sham from the Chilcott report), the creation of ISIS that didn’t even use to exist.

    Now we have angry China apparently on trade in NZ.

    That’s Fucked up Natz lazy policy. We have Key, who has zero plans apart from self enrichment and crony sales of NZ.

    We have Blair that was so vain that he gets Britain involved in an illegal war and then had no plan on the invasion itself (soldiers sent to war without proper equipment).

    Then we have Cameron who has the referendum with Brexit and then again has no plan what happens if they vote inconceivably not what he expects?

    The last decade of politicians seem to think they are A list Celebrities, going to parties, being members of an exclusive club, glamorous dinners, and working out their next tax haven to funnel money into (as the Panama papers reveal, politicians were the biggest user of them). Not to mention starting wars and spending billions on arms that they think are so necessary, the people they don’t seem to have more care for.

    Wonder why citizens are getting angry?

  10. Siobhan 10

    When even Mike Williams is expressing concern you know there something up with National.
    Of course his piece in the Hawkes Bay Today (today) starts out about how he was invited as a speaker to the Labour Party’s 100th anniversary celebrations.
    You might think he would then take the time to analyse and critique Labour Party Policy, instead it is a piece, in fact an apology, for what he considers to be a case of tardiness in the part of National Party in relation to housing.
    If I were one of the planners at National I’d invite Mike along as a speaker, he is, after all, a very loyal friend.

    • Anne 10.1

      That article came across to me as a well presented, objective resumé from Mike Williams and I detected no sense of an “apology for National’s tardiness in relation to housing”.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/hawkes-bay-today/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503462&objectid=11676354

      • Siobhan 10.1.1

        Thank you for the link, it reinforces my take on the article. I would quote the whole article but i’ll just leave you with this…”National might have deserved some sympathy had it not delayed for so long in addressing the crisis.”

        And I’m sorry, but I still can’t see any attention given to Labours policies, though they do get a mention at the end..”For once, Labour has the edge on a major issue. Let’s see if they can turn it to their long-term advantage.”

        Like I said, and here we do agree, it appears to be a resume from Mike, looking for an invite to National.

        • red-blooded 10.1.1.1

          Siobhan, this article was gently taking the piss. It was outlining the ad-hoc, disorganised, unsuccessful and unoriginal approach National has taken towards housing. It didn’t cover every issue (eg the pointless war against the Auckland council, or the failed attempts to get private “stakeholders” to buy and manage State houses), but it explored an angle and it pointed out that the Nats are looking wonky and performing poorly under pressure. When Mike Williams said it was almost enough to make him feel sorry for them, the word you seem to have managed to overlook is “ALMOST”. He was being ironic – he was definitely not “looking for an invite to (sic) National.”

            • red-blooded 10.1.1.1.1.1

              I’m not endorsing everything Mike Williams has ever said on every possible topic (he’s not the Messiah); I’m commenting on THIS article, on this issue (National’s mishandling of housing policy in recent times).

              To be honest, I don’t have time to check out all the links you’ve provided. I did check-out the first one, though. There was nothing at all in that piece that endorsed the privatisation of prisons, or Serco. What the article did do was mull over the national shame of our high rate of imprisonment, possible ways to improve prisons to maintain family contact and help reduce reoffending, and applaud the more humane facilities being provided in a new prison. I seem to recall some discussion of the approval of The Howard League for Penal Reform, too. Not radical, but not dreadful or right-wing.

              How about considering the ideas and arguments explored in the things that you read, rather than categorising them according to your view of their author?

              • Adrian Thornton

                “How about considering the ideas and arguments explored in the things that you read, rather than categorising them according to your view of their author”

                Maybe you should be the one taking that advice?
                First lets just establish that the piece Williams wrote here on the “South Auckland prison” is the private for profit run Auckland South Corrections Facility (ASCF)
                http://www.nzherald.co.nz/hawkes-bay-today/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503459&objectid=11446050
                You don’t have to look far to see what a disaster Serco is everywhere it goes, I will leave that easy research for you, however it is telling that Howard League UK do not approve of Serco at all…
                http://www.politics.co.uk/blogs/2016/03/09/serco-s-prison-falls-into-chaos

                Of course even he is to embarrassed to point out that it is a Serco prison, at lest he has that much self awareness.
                In his first paragraph he says “while it may go against the grain to see the best part of a billion taxpayer dollars spent on locking people up, I came away thinking that the money might be worth it.”

                Spoken like a true neo liberal. Start addressing this appalling social disaster at the bottom of the cliff, just the sort of short view politics we have come to expect from the centre left and right. Instead of Williams talking up English, Collins and Tolley in his regular Hawkes Bay Today opinion pieces, maybe he should look past the end of his nose to see that it is because of Nationals (and recent Labours) neo liberal policies, that so many more citizens have been left disenfranchised ( and lets not even get into the abandoned mental health sector) and on a one way road to prison to start with.

                Then he goes on to say…
                “The approach taken in countries such as Sweden, Norway and Germany is that the punishment is the removal of liberty and the sentence is the opportunity to educate” etc etc.
                Not of course mentioning that Sweden, Norway and Germany are all state run prisons, and NOT for profit prisons.

                I could go on and on but I think I have made my point.

                maybe he would better serve the public interests if he gave some oxygen to the issues that cause these terrible crime rates to begin with, unless of course he is a real believer in private prisons…oh and of Bill English’s fiscal vision on social spending which he also seems fond of.

                I will leave you with my favorite quote from Williams in regards to the South Auckland for profit Serco run prisons.

                “It’s a brave initiative we should all support”

          • Anne 10.1.1.1.2

            … this article was gently taking the piss.

            Precisely. Maybe too subtle for some.

            • adam 10.1.1.1.2.1

              Were we reading the same piece? Subtle my ass, It was full neo-liberal clap trap.

    • adam 10.2

      My take is Mike WIlliams is as a radical centrist. And is as painful to read, as he is to listen too.

      An apologist for the liberalism, and a stark reminder that the labour party are, at the core, not to be trusted. Because they simply can not remove the blight within, neo-liberalism.

      Funny how that old chestnut always pops up no matter how hard the fanboys here try to spin it otherwise.

      • Adrian 10.2.1

        Yes Adam, I completely agree. Williams is just the sort of Third Way reactionary we are seeing in the UK now being totally exposed for what they are when confronted with what a real Left wing party looks like.
        Hopefully one day we will see a NZ Labour Party emerge that has the balls to tackle NZ’s neo liberal greed culture head on, and not grovel to the middle class as we are sadly now witnessing.

  11. Repateet 11

    The warning to the Nats doesn’t mean they’ll come up with ways to make things better but instead they’ll come up with strategies to make people think things are good and would be worse without them.

    Look for ramping up of stuff about terrorism. Listen at night to Gerry and co. on their knees at night-time prayers praying for some earthquake type catastrophes.

    Wait for John to be welcoming gold medallists back after the Olympics. Listen for Hekia in raptures about NCEA results and Seymour raving about the success of charter schools. See Farrar highlight and embellish the ordinary everyday nothing stuff into some sort of triumph.

    And wait for the rabid attacks.

  12. Richardrawshark 12

    I suspect it works like this,

    John Key Meets Murdock, or whoever runs our NZ media, buys a positive spin for his prime ministerial bid, pays the money, but the media like the Herald say you’ve got 2.5 terms of free media and no criticism. Because they know ass kissing doesn’t sell papers, and ass kissing failures even more so.

    Times up.

  13. maninthemiddle 13

    This type of narrative is very similar to what leftist blogs posted before the 2014 election. In fact at times it was even more hysterical then, with the hit job conjured up between Labour and Hager (aka ‘Dirty Politics’) and the monumental flop that was the ‘Moment of Truth’ that had you all salivating. Nothing changes. Because NZ overall is far better off under national, NZ’ers keep voting for them.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1

      Yes dear.

      “NZ overall” is a slight stumble in the otherwise blind loyalty you transmit so passively. You hit all the points in the witless false narrative though.

      We need better mouthpieces.

    • Lanthanide 13.2

      It’s pretty obvious that there was no collusion between Labour and Hager, because Labour (stupidly) ran a “no negativity” campaign that prevented them from capitalising on Dirty Politics. I remember noticing at the time that Grant Robertson and Cunliffee were being pretty circumspect on what they were saying about National, and kept trying to focus on Judith Collins, even though her part of DP was fairly minor.

      If they’d colluded, as you are lyingly suggesting, they would not have run the campaign in that way.

      • maninthemiddle 13.2.1

        It was entirely obvious they colluded, for the very reasons you outline! Are you seriously that stupid that you cannot see the link between a campaign titled ‘vote positive’ and a hit job called ‘dirty politics’? You’re another one I have a bridge to sell…

        • Lanthanide 13.2.1.1

          Except your assertion that there is collusion isn’t backed up by any facts at all, just your wishful thinking.

          Labour’s “vote positive” campaign prevented them from attacking National outright, but the Greens, Internet-Mana and NZ First had no such compunction. It left Labour looking muted and odd, not really capitalising on Dirty Politics which was a complete black swan event for all parties in politics.

          • maninthemiddle 13.2.1.1.1

            It’s backed up by what we are supposed to believe was a massive ‘coincidence’. Yeah, nah. Besides, are you seriously suggesting Labour didn’t ‘attack’ National at the last election? Another dreamer who can’t understand why National keeps winning.

            • Lanthanide 13.2.1.1.1.1

              “Besides, are you seriously suggesting Labour didn’t ‘attack’ National at the last election?”

              Please quote some of Labour’s attacks on National at the last election.

              • maninthemiddle

                Are you serious? I’ll post one at a time, to avoid incurring the wrath of the good people who run this blog.

                http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2014/07/labour_candidate_attacks_national_mp_for_having_a_family_holiday.html

                • Lanthanide

                  That was not during the 2014 election campaign when they had pledged not to be negative about National, which is what we are talking about, remember?

                  2 strikes and 2 misses, got anything else?

                  • maninthemiddle

                    Again…hahahahah

                    • Lanthanide

                      I’ll take that as a “no”.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      I’d take that as you’re in denial.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Take it as whatever you want. So far you’ve failed to substantiate your claims and when challenged have simply laughed.

                      Pity that you’re not willing to have an argument in good faith, unlike myself.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “Take it as whatever you want. So far you’ve failed to substantiate your claims and when challenged have simply laughed.”

                      Yes, I have laughed. At your desperation to weasel out of the hole you’ve dug.

                      Repeat after me:

                      “An attack by a Labour MP is not a attack by Labour.
                      An attack by the Labour Party leader was not an attack by Labour.
                      An attack by the Labour Party Finance spokesman was not an attack by Labour.”

                    • Lanthanide

                      1. You haven’t presented any attack by a Labour MP
                      2. The attack by Cunliffe was not during the 2014 election campaign, which is what we’re talking about
                      3. A defence is not an attack

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “1. You haven’t presented any attack by a Labour MP”
                      Now you’re just lying.

                      “2. The attack by Cunliffe was not during the 2014 election campaign, which is what we’re talking about”
                      Cunliffe had just been elected leader, months out from an election. You’re desperate. And losing.

                      3. A defence is not an attack
                      That depends on the wording. The wording was an attack.

                      Three swings, three hits.

                • framu

                  got any where labour was running a secret hit squad out of the leaders office?

                  cause that was what dirty politics was actually about

                  hard to see what sort of world you live in where the standard run of the mill public attacks that all parties have done for decades is ..

                  A) some how a new level of dirty behaviuour,
                  B) something labour invented or
                  C) worse than having secret guns for hire peddling your dirt for you

                  • maninthemiddle

                    Secret hit squad? Earth to Lanthanide…earth to lanthanide. BUT…that was John Key, MP, not the National Party!!!! Hilarious!!

                    Here’s another ‘attack’. Oh and you can’t argue a Labour MP isn’t Labour on this one….hahahah

                    http://www.labour.org.nz/joyce_s_dodgy_sums_fool_no_one

                    • framu

                      who do you think your talking to?

                      and FFS – it was run out of JKs office on the 9th floor via jason ede when JK was (and still is) the leader of the govt

                      but do go on making a fool of yourself

                    • maninthemiddle

                      To you L. By your logic, you can’t blame the National Party for what John Key does, let alone jason eade. Then you have the problem that whatever they got up would have been the same as goes on with Matt McCarten….

                    • Lanthanide

                      That is a reply by David Parker to an attack that Steven Joyce made.

                      He factually refutes Steven’s points.

                      He does not attack Steven in any way.

                      So, 3 swings and 3 misses.

                      Also, you might want to get your eyes checked. ‘framu’ doesn’t look anything like ‘Lanthanide’.

                    • framu

                      “To you L”

                      try reading the names at the top of each comment next time

                      just to get you started, mine starts with an “F”

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “That is a reply by David Parker to an attack that Steven Joyce made.”

                      No, it was an attack on Joyce. Oh but of course Parker is not the Labour Party, is he?

                      “Mr Joyce has tried every trick in the book in his shoddy attack. ”

                      “Joyce’s dodgy sums fool no-one”

                      Not an attack? Fact based?

                      I have a Tui billboard.

                    • Lanthanide

                      “Mr Joyce has tried every trick in the book in his shoddy attack. ”

                      “Joyce’s dodgy sums fool no-one”

                      Not an attack? Fact based?

                      Correct, not an attack, and they are fact based.

                      If someone sells you a house and its roof leaks, it is a “shoddy” house. Just as what Joyce did was an attack – and a shoddy one.

                      Joyce’s sums are dodgy, as Parker already outlined. Again, factual, and not an attack.

                      He was DEFENDING Labour’s policy, in a clear and factual way. A clear and fact-based defence is not an attack.

                      I have a Tui billboard.

                      I find that surprising, since you seem to be missing half a brain.

                      That, btw, was an attack.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “Correct, not an attack, and they are fact based.”

                      It’s an attack, if not why usethe words ‘dodgy’ and ‘shoddy’? You’re denial is heading rapidly into dishonesty.

                      “He was DEFENDING Labour’s policy, in a clear and factual way.”
                      No, he was attacking the messenger. The public didn’t buy it.

                      I’ve given you three examples of Labour attacks. Want more?

                    • Lanthanide

                      “It’s an attack, if not why usethe words ‘dodgy’ and ‘shoddy’? You’re denial is heading rapidly into dishonesty.”

                      I already answered this question before you even asked it. You need better reading comprehension.

                      He said it was a shoddy attack, because it *was* a shoddy attack. An attack that can’t withstand basic analysis of the facts that are freely publicly available is shoddy.

                      He said Joyce’s sums were dodgy because they *were* dodgy, as he’d already outlined.

                      If he instead had said “incorrect” and “wrong”, would you have also been upset, even though they are equally representative of the quality and correctness of Joyce’s argument?

                      “I’ve given you three examples of Labour attacks. Want more?”

                      You’ve given 3 examples of what you think are attacks by Labour during the 2014 election campaign, all 3 of which I’ve refuted. Let’s recap:
                      1. One of them was by a candidate, not an MP, criticising a National MP. The candidate does not speak for the Labour party as a whole – far from it.
                      2. One of them wasn’t even during the election campaign, so fail there.
                      3. One of them wasn’t an attack, but a defence, with quite a detailed rebuttal of the attack outlining why it was incorrect.

                      If you can find some actual examples of Labour attacking National during the 2014 election campaign, then yes, I’d like to see them.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “He said it was a shoddy attack, because it *was* a shoddy attack.”
                      No, it wasn’t. ‘Shoddy’ is an attack, a perjorative. You’re running.

                      “He said Joyce’s sums were dodgy because they *were* dodgy, as he’d already outlined.”
                      No, they weren’t. He may have disagreed with them, but ‘dodgy’ is a perjorative. You’re still running.

                      “You’ve given 3 examples of what you think are attacks by Labour during the 2014 election campaign, all 3 of which I’ve refuted.”
                      No, not one.

                      “1. One of them was by a candidate, not an MP, criticising a National MP. The candidate does not speak for the Labour party as a whole – far from it.”
                      Bollocks. In fact your desperation is laughable.

                      “2. One of them wasn’t even during the election campaign, so fail there.”
                      Wrong. Cunliffe had just been elected leader, months out from election day. He went on the attack.

                      “3. One of them wasn’t an attack, but a defence, with quite a detailed rebuttal of the attack outlining why it was incorrect.”
                      As I have shown, it was an attack, by the wording.

                      I’ve given you examples, and there are more. Suck it up.

          • Chuck 13.2.1.1.2

            Labour’s “voted positive” campaign was seen as BS by many.

            Only the Labour inner circle will know if it was orchestrated to coincide with Hagers “Dirty Politics” Matt can you please release all your emails!!

            Colin James penned this in his post election overview: “Might the Hager exposures have generated a quasi-populist surge to Labour away from National? If anything, polling suggested Labour was damaged as much as National. Voters seemed to read the phrase “dirty politics” as a tautology: all politicians do it”

            • One Anonymous Bloke 13.2.1.1.2.1

              Chuck is a conspiracy theorist. Please give generously.

              • Chuck

                “Chuck is a conspiracy theorist. Please give generously.”

                As this is the world you live in OAB, I take the above as a complement 🙂

            • framu 13.2.1.1.2.2

              “Labour’s “voted positive” campaign was seen as BS by many.”
              “Voters seemed to read the phrase “dirty politics” as a tautology: all politicians do it””

              considering that hagars book wasnt about standard operating procedure, but was about the govt running a secret smear machine im not that surprised that theres people who still think labour were involved.

              say it slowly with the rest of us – “if, labour, were, involved, why, did, they, run, a, campaign, that, prevented, them, from, capitalising, on, it?”

              FFS – how many years back was it? People still dont have a fricken clue what the book was actually about?

              • Chuck

                “considering that hagars book wasnt about standard operating procedure, but was about the govt running a secret smear machine im not that surprised that theres people who still think labour were involved.”

                So what is “standard operating procedure” framu? All the public see of our politicians (All of them Nat/Lab/Gr/NZF/etc…) are playing got u games in Parliament.

                “say it slowly with the rest of us” – “if, labour, were, involved, why, did, they, run, a, campaign, that, prevented, them, from, capitalising, on, it?”

                I am surprised I need to answer this…”Vote Positive” was there attempt to capitalise on Hagers book. In the main they left the Greens/NZF to do the donkey work for them. It could be argued that Labour assumed if they projected an image of being above the dirty side of politics, the voters would of rewarded them in the election. However as Colin James wrote “Voters seemed to read the phrase “dirty politics” as a tautology: all politicians do it” End of story.

                “FFS – how many years back was it? People still dont have a fricken clue what the book was actually about?”

                That is why Hager’s book failed…he played god. As in picking and choosing who to put in and leave out in the book to suit his narrative. The general public called BS on Hager…re-read Colin James sentence above.

    • Wensleydale 13.3

      ” Because NZ overall is far better off under national…”

      Yes. And black is white, right is wrong, and up is down.

      • maninthemiddle 13.3.1

        The evidence is overwhelming. That you deny it is your problem.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 13.3.1.1

          Homeless working families deny it too. The doubling of child poverty since 1984 contradicts it.

          The Salvation Army denies it. So does the Lancet and Auckland University.

          Meanwhile, at The Standard, you come to parrot the lines you have taken so long to learn. You can easily be replaced by a sign saying “doo doo doo doo…right…good…” No-one would notice.

          • maninthemiddle 13.3.1.1.1

            This government hasn’t been in power since 1984, my friend.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 13.3.1.1.1.1

              I didn’t say it had. Perhaps you can think of a reason I might have mentioned it anyway, especially in the context of the other sources I referred to.

              However, I expect you will say something that you imagine supports this shit government instead.

              • maninthemiddle

                The discussion is about whether NZ is better off under this government. Get with the program.

    • dv 13.4

      Better off
      Huh
      120 billion debt.

      • Stuart Munro 13.4.1

        The debt isn’t even the worst thing this useless backward government have done.

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/82217080/west-coast-sick-of-burying-people-after-suspected-suicides

        They’re not stealing our children’s future – that’s long gone – they’re taking the present. Zimbabwe has a brighter outlook than NZ under Key.

        • maninthemiddle 13.4.1.1

          Blaming the government for suicide is the sort of ludicrous claim that has turned the public of NZ off the left a long time ago.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 13.4.1.1.1

            If the suicide rate went down, who would be claiming the credit?

            • maninthemiddle 13.4.1.1.1.1

              Suicide rates declined between 2010 and 2015. I wait for you to give the credit for that to the government. I don’t – the suicide rate has virtually nothing to do with any government in NZ.

              http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11524628

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                I can help you understand some of the links: the mental health of a society is inversely proportional to the GINI, for example. Don’t forget to hate and reject this fact.

                • maninthemiddle

                  Bollocks. The decline in suicide rates between 2010 and 2015 OAB…did you praise the government? Did you?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    That’s what’s called a red herring, in that it addresses nothing I said. Better luck next time.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      It goes directly to your comment “If the suicide rate went down, who would be claiming the credit?” and “the mental health of a society is inversely proportional to the GINI, for example.” The rates went DOWN between 2010 and 2015. How did that correlate to the GINI OAB?

                      You got yourself into this mess.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      You asserted that there is no link between governance and the rate of suicides. I posited a link, using the GINI as a metric.

                      You threw your toys out of the cot and flailed and failed to address the point. Exactly as I predicted.

                      I have better things to do than read your bad faith drivel. Don’t forget to hate and reject this fact.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Yip OAB, I posted above that MITM doesn’t seem interested in having a good-faith argument, without having read this comment of yours.

                      I think that sums it up really.

          • Muttonbird 13.4.1.1.2

            Important connections can be made between Government policy and the health of society. Further, important connections can be made between the health of society and the rate of suicide.

            I believe the promotion of individualism at the expense of fostering communities is a key part of this government’s ideology and indicators of ill-health in society are on the rise.

            While funding gets stripped from health budgets and communities are unstable and transient because of the high rate of property speculation, NZ’s communities are being left to wither on the vine.

            • maninthemiddle 13.4.1.1.2.1

              The country with the lowest suicide rate in the OECD is South Korea. South Korea’s welfare spending is 7.6% of GDP, the OECD average is 19%. Perhaps you should be arguing if we reduced welfare we would lower suicide rates?

      • maninthemiddle 13.4.2

        NZ’s debt is tiny, and almost entirely the result of CHch and the GFC. I assume you would have preferred we cut benefits instead?

        • Lanthanide 13.4.2.1

          ” and almost entirely the result of CHch and the GFC.

          Thanks, so it wasn’t caused by Labour, then, as National liked to parrot with their “decade of deficits” that they almost delivered on.

          • maninthemiddle 13.4.2.1.1

            No. National took the necessary steps to avoid the blow out they inherited.

            • Lanthanide 13.4.2.1.1.1

              Yes, just like Labour would have done, had they won the 2008 election.

              What Labour wouldn’t have done, is irresponsible tax cuts funded by borrowing in the aftermath of the GFC, immediately preceding the worst natural disaster this country has ever seen.

              • maninthemiddle

                The tax cuts were a common vehicle for stimulating a struggling economy. They were applauded by economists, and were instrumental in NZ experiencing a shallower and shorter recession than most western economies. There is no evidence Labour would have been able to contain the deficit, particularly given their propensity for wasteful spending.

                • Lanthanide

                  “were instrumental in NZ experiencing a shallower and shorter recession than most western economies. ”

                  Citation please.

                  “There is no evidence Labour would have been able to contain the deficit, particularly given their propensity for wasteful spending.”

                  You mean, like how they ran surpluses for 9 years?

                  Michael Cullen famously bragged in 2008 that he’d “left the cupboard bare” for National’s tax cuts – by introducing his own tax cuts that raised the top tax threshold to $80,000 (amongst other things). National repealed those tax cuts, because they believe that when you earn $70,000 you are rich, and you should therefore pay the top tax rate.

                  Even though Labour had already implemented tax cuts and used up all of the surpluses they had been generating over the past 9 years, National cut taxes anyway – by borrowing. Something that Labour would never do.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Cullen was wrong. The cupboard had our stuff (water quality, power companies, schools, hospitals, human rights, the rule of law) in it.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      Cullen was right. Labour had thrown money at all of the above, with little or no real gain in outcome. Oh and I love your cheek in mentioning water quality!!

                  • maninthemiddle

                    “You mean, like how they ran surpluses for 9 years?”

                    During the best terms of trade in 25 years.

                    Nationals tax cuts worked. NZ recovered from Labour’s recession and the GFC faster than expected, and ahead of most OECD nations.

                    • Lanthanide

                      In 2005 National campaigned on large tax cuts. Had National won the 2005 election and instituted those tax cuts, in 2008 the country would have been in much worse a position to weather the economic storm.

                      You can say that Labour just “got lucky” during 1999-2008, and to some extent I agree with that. However the other half is what Labour CHOSE to do with that luck, and that CHOICE was to pay down debt.

                      Unlike this current government, which has now (thanks in no small part from the tax cuts) run up the largest debt this country has ever seen, which will pretty much never be repaid. And each year it sucks about $6B out of our economy in straight interest repayments.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      …meanwhile, in New Zealand, homeless families, with witless cheerleaders dancing around them waving empty rhetoric.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 13.4.2.1.1.2

              I admire how well you’ve learned your lines. Eight years is a long time though, and they were soundly debunked more-or-less immediately on the first telling.

              Loyalty can be an admirable quality. In a dog.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 13.4.2.2

          Not giving away fiscally irresponsible tax cuts is the alternative you appear to be completely ignorant of. I expect you work very hard to maintain your ignorance, since it manifests itself in everything you say.

          • maninthemiddle 13.4.2.2.1

            You mean the fiscally neutral tax cuts? The ones where property owners paid more tax?

            • Lanthanide 13.4.2.2.1.1

              The one where “macroeconomic growth” was required in order to be “revenue neutral”.

              There is no way to prove the required macroeconomic growth actually occurred, but since we can see that tax returns were below forecasts for 4 years following the tax cuts, leading to greater deficits, we can be pretty sure that the tax cuts were paid for by borrowing, and were not “fiscally neutral” as advertised.

              • maninthemiddle

                The total tax take is not a reflection of the tax cuts alone, but also of the fact that the economy was in recession! The tax cuts stimulated the economy, which turned around well before many other oECD economies.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  The tax cuts stimulated the economy

                  According to whom? You have asserted a fact. Put up or shut up.

                  • maninthemiddle

                    It’s simple. Individuals spend. When they have more disposable income, they spend (or save). Tax cuts give people more disposable income. It’s basic economics OAB. Beyond you, perhaps?

                    And then there’s the evidence. NZ’s economic performance has been up there with the best in the OECD since the GFC.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I note your ability to parrot the dogma. Meanwhile, I challenged you to cite your source. I note your failure to do so.

                      Put up or shut up, parrot.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Remember, GST was increased, increasing the prices of everything. So for the majority of the population (not those in the top 30% of incomes), their disposable income wouldn’t go any further, and in many cases it wouldn’t go as far as it used to.

                      “And then there’s the evidence. NZ’s economic performance has been up there with the best in the OECD since the GFC.”

                      Please present this evidence, instead of referring to its existence.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “Remember, GST was increased, increasing the prices of everything. So for the majority of the population (not those in the top 30% of incomes), their disposable income wouldn’t go any further, and in many cases it wouldn’t go as far as it used to.”
                      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10646041

                      “Please present this evidence, instead of referring to its existence.”

                      “Noting that New Zealand’s economic growth has been faster than most other developed countries in recent years, the OECD commented in 2015 that: “inflation and inflation expectations are well anchored… Strong fiscal monetary policy frameworks and a healthy financial sector have yielded macroeconomic stability, underpinning growth. Employment is high, in large part thanks to flexible labour markets and ample immigration, business investment is robust and households and firms are optimistic.””
                      https://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/investing-in-nz/opportunities-outlook/economic-overview

                      “Handling the crisis
                      Like most OECD countries, New Zealand’s economy experienced an economic slow-down following the global financial crisis in September 2008. As in other advanced economies, business and consumer confidence declined. Unlike most OECD countries however, after a 2% decline in 2009, the economy pulled out of recession. It achieved 1.7% growth in 2010, 2% in 2011 and 3% in 2012. That compared with 0.3% growth in the UK and negative 0.9% in the euro area; 0.4% in Japan; 1.1% in Canada; and 1.6% in the USA.”

                      “Recent performance
                      By December 2014, annual growth had risen to 3.3%, the fastest rate of expansion in six years and, according the New Zealand Treasury, one of the strongest performances in the OECD”

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      one of the strongest performances in the OECD

                      …and you cannot understand how this undermines your position. That’s not a question.

                      Your scriptwriters are blind to the fact that no amount of average can justify homeless families, you silly mouthpiece.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “…and you cannot understand how this undermines your position, can you?”

                      Ah, it has been me arguing comparisons with the OECD OB. Read and learn, my friend. Read and learn.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      “it has been me”

                      No amount of average can justify homeless families. There, I repeated it, to rub your face in the comparison I’m making, as opposed to the red herring you’re busy humping.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “No amount of average can justify homeless families.”

                      I’m not talking average performance, I’m talking near top of the OECD. The left don’t like it, because it goes against your obsessive narrative. There have always been, and will always be, homelessness. Many choose that option, many others make bad choices to arrive at that. I prefer an economy that rewards initiative, not indolence.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Right, then you have to explain why so many more people are choosing indolence and homelessness under National. You can’t of course, because they aren’t: it isn’t a choice.

                      Your entire narrative is hate-speech, a vicious lie. Get out of the way.

                      PS: the Left don’t like it that working families are living in cars. Your only answer to this is to tell lies about the Left.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “Right, then you have to explain why so many more people are choosing indolence and homelessness under National. ”

                      No, I don’t, because I’m not making those choices. But what I will tell you is this:

                      1. There are more people employed in NZ than ever before.
                      2. The NZ economy is (as I have demonstrated) performing very well by global standards.
                      3. NZ’s net migration demonstrates a significant vote of confidence in the direction of our country, and contrasts markedly with a decade ago.
                      4. NZ is spending more in welfare than ever before.

                      “Your entire narrative is hate-speech…” Translation…I don’t like what you’re saying so I’ll label what you say to shut down you’re opinion.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      It’s ok, Einstein: you explained it down the page. They’re making more bad decisions because welfare. The rise in bad decisions since 2008 can be attributed to the increased welfare payments National has been handing out.

                      I think you’ll find that population increase tends to make the workforce get bigger. That’s why we measure the unemployment (sorry, shirking) rate as a percentage.

                      Yes, we’re spending more on welfare than ever before. That’s because their are more shirkers drawing pensions, and more shirkers making the bad decision to be made redundant.

                      No wait, according to your deep reckons at 13.5.2.2.1, there are more shirkers because there’s more welfare.

                      Of course it’s hate speech: blaming the unemployed for something you admit is driven by welfare payments. Why would you do a thing like that? It’s almost as though you haven’t thought about it at all. Funnily enough, it all does seem a little familiar.

                      Polly wanna cracker?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Oh, and in case you been wondering, it undermines your position because if we’re so wealthy there’s even less excuse for doing nothing about homelessness.

                      Duh.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “They’re making more bad decisions because welfare. The rise in bad decisions since 2008 can be attributed to the increased welfare payments National has been handing out.”

                      What rise? I’m not sure as a proportion of the population there has been a rise, I simply don’t know. But what I do know is that welfare payments have risen in real terms under this government, but never did under Labour. That must stick in your craw.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “because if we’re so wealthy there’s even less excuse for doing nothing about homelessness.”

                      We’re doing plenty about homelessness. But there is individual responsibility as well. You know, like getting a job, turning up at WINZ, not spending money on alcohol and ciggies.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Back to hating on your peers. Didn’t take you long. What a shitheel.

                • Lanthanide

                  “The total tax take is not a reflection of the tax cuts alone, but also of the fact that the economy was in recession!”

                  The recession ended in March 2009. National cut taxes in 2009 and 2010. So the total tax take was not a reflection “of the fact that the economy was in recession”.

                  “The tax cuts stimulated the economy, which turned around well before many other oECD economies.”

                  We were out of recession before any of National’s tax cuts could take effect. The reason our economy did better than other OECD countries is because Labour had spent 9 years paying down debt, so that we almost got to a net-0 debt position. They did that by running surpluses for 9 years straight. It was Labour’s successful management of the economy that put us in such a good position to whether the GFC, and despite National’s reckless cutting of taxes, the Canterbury earthquakes.

                  If National had won in 2005 with Don Brash and cut taxes like he’d promised, we would have been in much worse shape in 2008.

                  You really need to do better research, because clearly you don’t know what you’re talking about.

                  • maninthemiddle

                    “The recession ended in March 2009.”

                    You don’t understand the difference between a technical recession and it’s ongoing impacts. The global economy, of which we are a part, was far from out of the woods in March 2009.

                    “The reason our economy did better than other OECD countries is because Labour had spent 9 years paying down debt, so that we almost got to a net-0 debt position. ”

                    And yet we went into recession BEFORE the impacts of the GFC.

                    You clearly are prepared to lie through your teeth. Or you’re just ignorant.

                    • Lanthanide

                      “You don’t understand the difference between a technical recession and it’s ongoing impacts.”

                      You are the one who said the economy was in recession. You are factually wrong, sorry.

                      “And yet we went into recession BEFORE the impacts of the GFC.”

                      Yes, because of a drought. Are you going to blame Labour for the weather?

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “You are the one who said the economy was in recession.”

                      Because it was!

                      “Yes, because of a drought. ”

                      Partly. But there was also the combination of high government expenditure, high interest rates and high inflation. A remarkable combination of incompetence.

                    • Lanthanide

                      “Because it was!”

                      Except the recession ended in March 2009, before any of National’s tax cuts.

                      “Partly. But there was also the combination of high government expenditure, high interest rates and high inflation. A remarkable combination of incompetence.”

                      1. The government expenditure was high, but they will still running a surplus
                      2. High interest rates reflect a strong economy.
                      3. By 2007 the inflation rate was not particularly high in historical terms 2.7% from Q1 2007 to Q4 2007.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “Except the recession ended in March 2009, before any of National’s tax cuts.”
                      Only technically. For all intense and purposes, the global economy was in trouble, and the NZ was going to be dragged with it. If you don’t know that, I can’t help you.

                      “1. The government expenditure was high, but they will still running a surplus”
                      Wrong. 2009 was a huge deficit, left by Labour. Treasury were predicting a decade of deficits left by Labour. The economy was sick.

                      “2. High interest rates reflect a strong economy.”
                      Not in NZ they didn’t. They reflected an economy that was hyped by excessive and poor quality government spending, and poor control over the economy more broadly.

                      “3. By 2007 the inflation rate was not particularly high in historical terms 2.7% from Q1 2007 to Q4 2007.”
                      By 2007. When the economy had already started diving. What is the inflation rate today?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 13.4.2.2.1.2

              Obviously you believe they were fiscally neutral. However, unlike you and I, Lanthanide can do basic arithmetic.

              No, wait, I can do basic arithmetic too.

              It’s ok, studies show* that political beliefs mess with your ability to do sums.

              *ok, ok, they were psychology papers, and I’m trying to give you the benefit of the doubt.

        • dv 13.4.2.3

          Nope not given Tax cuts
          Bailed out SCF
          for a start

    • mac1 13.5

      “Because NZ overall is far better off under National, NZ’ers keep voting for them.”

      maninthemiddle, I note your use of the qualifier “overall”, ands to me that is a very important word.

      I live in a society. I have friends, neighbours, family, acquaintances, fellow church members, fellow club members, colleagues, fellow pub goers, walking mates- all of these are part of the “overall”. Generally people care for those closer to them, as to whether they are ‘far better off” or better off at all.

      Then there are the people we don’t know- what happens to them we have learnt to not care about, in a reversal of traditional religious and cultural values. Indeed we have learnt, and had been taught, that these people are our rivals and competitors. If they fall over in life it’s because of their fallibility and character flaws. They brought it upon themselves. They deserve what they’ve got.

      All of us fall into that continuum from being psychopathic to a saint, from being a Ponzi schemer to a Father Theresa like the Pakistani man Ehdi Sahab who died very recently. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdul_Sattar_Edhi)

      How much poverty, homelessness, sick people can I put up with before I realise that these people affect me? How much inferior housing, loss of or lack of services, rising rents, rising damp, can I tolerate?

      Do I wait until they affect me, or until they affect my family, or my friends or those ever-increasing circles of contact that we have with people in our community? Or do I include those who I know about but do not actually know?

      Because, most New Zealanders know of people who are struggling and are not getting enough help. They know that many are poor and disadvantaged. When does it shift from being “ok overall” to not being ok? When do Kiwis in enough voting numbers say not good enough for my fellows?

      That point will be different for each of us. That point for me I discovered before I had the vote. An underclass is never ok. People out of work is never ok. Exploitation of people with high rent and poor housing, low wages and conditions, and punitive contracts is never ok.

      maninthemiddle, where is your point where you say “not good enough overall”?

      • North 13.5.1

        MITM isn’t going to answer your question Mac1.

        The theism such types embrace in relation to The Weak Man allows only mantra. It does not allow acknowledgment of doubt. No No No ! This is the Brighter Future. Which is absolute. Like unbending faith. There is the occasional Freudian slip, such as “overall”, but the theism and the social pathology do not permit acknowledgment. Or human care for the victims.

        Adolescent behaviour really, to be kind. Social pathology is the greater worry.

        • mac1 13.5.1.1

          I did say there was a continuum, North, from being a saint to a psychopath.

          MITM may well not answer my question, but maybe I have cast a seed of a doubt, maybe someone else has read and answered the question for themselves, maybe it was just good for me to clarify my thinking.

          Can empathy be taught? Can people rationalise that self-interest actually works best when everyone is better off? Like Denmark. http://politicsbreaking.com/9-reasons-denmarks-socialist-economy-leaves-us-dust/

          I remember that Jim Anderton, when campaigning in the wealthier suburbs of Christchurch in his Sydenham electorate, said that the people in the leafier suburbs understood they were safer when all people were in jobs, had a decent income. They know that crime went down when everybody had enough to get by.

          • maninthemiddle 13.5.1.1.1

            I have empathy in spades. But I am not blind. I have posted before that I use my business background to work with those less fortunate to help them make better decisions. I do this for free. I provide budgeting advice, I write CV’s, I provide mentoring, I get people out of financial agreements they can’t afford. But here’s the thing…the vast majority of people I help are in the position they are in because they have made bad decisions, AND THEY ADMIT IT. They aren’t hand wringing liberals who want to throw money at the problem, they are real people who have made real mistakes and want to get their lives back on track. So don’t lecture me about empathy.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 13.5.1.1.1.1

              It’s amazing how so many more people make bad decisions whenever there’s a National government. It’s almost as though the entire narrative is bollocks or something.

              • maninthemiddle

                Not so. People make bad decisions under all governments. Despite what the left (and the compliant media) says, I was just as busy during the Clark administration.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  The bad decision shirker rate has gone from ~3% in 2007 to ~6% today. It’s because there’s more welfare being paid out badly applied. You’ve already explained that.

                  Why are National forcing people to choose redundancy and homelessness with their application of welfare?

                  Would you like a sword for that knot you’re in?

                  • maninthemiddle

                    The bad decision shirker rate may not have changed at all. Employment is at record levels. Migration is at record levels. Welfare is at record levels. And welfare beneficiary numbers are dropping. All good news.

      • maninthemiddle 13.5.2

        Under the lastLabour Government, when housing was far more unaffordable, when mortgage interest rates hit 11%, when inflation was destroying our savings, when the government used poor quality spending to boost employment and drive NZ into an early recession. When we had a PM who threw police under the bus, who signed paintings she didn’t paint and told lies at a whim. That’s when I call “not good enough overall”. As for 2016. We have a stable economy that is the envy off many western countries. We have low inflation, low interest rates and high employment. Your comments about the poor are condescending to those alleged ‘poor’. They need jobs, which this government is providing, not welfare, which is all the alternative have to offer. And if they chose not to work, then they have lost the right to be part of the ‘overall’.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 13.5.2.1

          When the moon was made of cheese, and got too close to the sun, and melted, and cheese dripped all over Taranaki, that sucked too.

          • maninthemiddle 13.5.2.1.1

            Did it? Sounds like another of your fantasies.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 13.5.2.1.1.1

              Mirror mirror on the wall,
              Who’s that wingnut staring back,
              Unaware of all,
              His jaw is slack.

        • mac1 13.5.2.2

          Oi, maninthemiddle, you great putter of words into people’s mouths…… again.

          Where have I said that the poor need welfare, and not jobs? You who accuse me of living in a parallel universe!

          You have a habit of saying that someone says something and then attacking what you say they said. I did say things about wages, conditions, housing and contracts. Those things are not welfare- three of them are actually about jobs, which you accuse me, as a supporter of alternatives to this government, of not talking about. They’re about decent jobs, which pay well, in a safe and decent environment, and fair treatment in contracts for jobs.

          Tell me this, how many people can you categorically say who, not being in work, chose to be out of work? You see, I’m old enough to remember full employment in New Zealand. Funny that, but very few were out of work, and far fewer therefore who could have been said to have chosen not to work. They actually chose to go to work, when work was available. Perhaps you can explain to me why it is is in times of full employment that people choose to work, but in time of unemployment, as we have with over 5% (even calculating it as this government does who is actually employed), then we get these shirkers?

          Learn to argue straight, maninthemiddle, for at the moment you are a man (presumably) somewhere dangerously in the middle of a continuum between being a fool and a troll.

          • maninthemiddle 13.5.2.2.1

            Hi Mac1

            I appreciate your comments, so I will dial back a little.

            “Tell me this, how many people can you categorically say who, not being in work, chose to be out of work?”
            My experience is many do choose not to work. This may take various forms…it could be a subconcious choice through a lack of confidence or education (these are the profile of people I work with particularly), or it could be outright laziness. Believe me when I say I have met all sorts.

            “You see, I’m old enough to remember full employment in New Zealand.”
            Me too. When the NZ economy was protected by Mother England, when you couldn’t purchase foreign exchange without a license, when you couldn’t import anything without quota etc etc etc. Those days were not sustainable.

            “Funny that, but very few were out of work, and far fewer therefore who could have been said to have chosen not to work.”
            I agree…and seriously we have a serious problem with the expansion of the welfare state and the how it has destroyed initiative,

            “They actually chose to go to work, when work was available. Perhaps you can explain to me why it is is in times of full employment that people choose to work, but in time of unemployment, as we have with over 5% (even calculating it as this government does who is actually employed), then we get these shirkers?”
            This is a good question, and the answer lies much deeper than in economic policies. The application of welfarism in NZ has promoted these attitudes. We have chosen to give people benefits as a hand out, not a hand up. Welfare has moved from being a temporary state to a permanent lifestyle choice. I am a supported of the welfare state s originally conceived, where it acts as a safety net for those in genuine distress. But over the years too many people have accessed this ‘net’ as a life-long option. I could use state housing as an example, where we now have people claiming entitlement to live in a state house far too large for their needs.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 13.5.2.2.1.1

              🙄

              So shirking is caused by welfare.

              Except that in 2007, the shirking rate was ~3%. Obviously the increase in welfare payments since then caused the shirking rate to rise.

              The deep reckons of the right.

              • maninthemiddle

                “So shirking is caused by welfare.”

                No. As you would have understood if you had read what I wrote with some perception, it is the ‘application’ of welfare.

                “Except that in 2007, the shirking rate was ~3%. Obviously the increase in welfare payments since then caused the shirking rate to rise.”

                Well perhaps. Welfare has increased substantially in value since 2007, and we have just seen the first real increase in over 30 years.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Why is National so much worse at applying welfare than Labour? Look at the way their shoddy ‘application’ of welfare has led to a doubling of the unemployment rate and more homeless working shirker families choosing to move into their cars.

                  I’m glad you’ve been able to make clear how utterly self-contradictory and clueless your entire body of dogma is.

                  • maninthemiddle

                    National is actually much better at ‘applying’ welfare, as is shown by the decline in numbers on benefits. Employment is at record levels in NZ, so you’re, once again, just plain wrong.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Unemployment in 1999 was ~8%. Unemployment in 2007 was ~3%. Unemployment now is ~6%.

                      It is quite clear which party has the better track record.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      It is quite clear that you have no idea what you’r talking about. Comparisons of that sort are childish. But here’s a suggestion…google ‘global financial crisis’. Then compare NZ’s unemployment rate with other OECD nations. We’re doing very well.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      To recap, people with jobs choose to be homeless to spite the government, which causes global recession, which causes unemployment, which the National government can take credit for.

                      Under Labour, unemployment falls for eight straight years and it’s all their fault.

                      In summation, you can’t tell your arse from your elbow.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “To recap, people with jobs choose to be homeless to spite the government, which causes global recession, which causes unemployment, which the National government can take credit for.”

                      Can you give me an example of a person in full employment who is homeless?

            • mac1 13.5.2.2.1.2

              “I appreciate your comments, so I will dial back a little.”

              Yeah, nice to get past the civilities, maninthemiddle.

              So, let’s now move to stage two. I can’t insult him, I can’t get away with false logic, straw men and putting words into his mouth, I will have resort to the old “Believe me, I know what I’m talking about” routine.

              Your words, “My experience is ………. Believe me when I say I have met all sorts.”

              The problem here is that I have little to go on in terms of credibility, due to your ploys in stage one. So, forgive me please if I get a little tetchy about lack of evidence, and say I still don’t believe you.

              Then you write, “I agree…and seriously we have a serious problem with the expansion of the welfare state and the how it has destroyed initiative….”

              Stage three- blame. In this case blame the welfare state. Blame the beneficiaries, blame the useless bums, “why don’t you get a job, feller”. That by the way, is putting words into people’s mouths. Because it is easier to apportion blame than to look at root causes in greed, lack of empathy and a moral compass that points inwards rather than outwards into the world.

              Are you trying to tell me that the welfare state caused unemployment, a loss of jobs and desire to work? A nice assertion to fit the blame the victim scenario. Again, without solid evidence and argument, I have to decline your kind offer to believe you.

              Stage four. The old saw. The ‘welfare as a drug dependency argument.’
              Man, you can’t even get past the platitudes.”Hand up, not a hand out”. You write, “But over the years too many people have accessed this ‘net’ as a life-long option.” Again, I’d ask for figures and argument about causality here.

              Finally you wrote, “I could use state housing as an example, where we now have people claiming entitlement to live in a state house far too large for their needs.”

              i’d say yes you could use state housing as an example where people who have lived in a state house for many years and have built up connections with an area-friends, clubs, places, activities- and are then told to move on out of the area, because the house is too big. Yes, it’s entitlement, maninthemiddle, but it’s entitlement to be treated decently, humanely, respectfully.

              And the one thing that this government has shown is a lack of decency, humanity, and respect. A society, and its government are judged by how it treats its less well-off. The record is poor. The judgment is merited.

              • bbbut, he’s got empathy in spades!

                • mac1

                  So have grave diggers, Robert Guyton……. so have grave diggers.

                  Bury the problem, deep where it won’t stink, sometimes secretly so we won’t know where the body is, or mouth platitudes over the caskets having contributed to the death, shed a false tear with lukewarm tea and a sausage roll, touch the sleeve and leave……… back to a life dealing in more death-causing sick housing, lack of services, poor wages and conditions, cruel contracts, war and corruption.

                  The stink is above ground, in our noses………

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  We made progress though: he’s admitted that it’s National’s ‘application’ of welfare that has caused the unemployment and homelessness increase since 2007.

                  So at least he can’t go back to hating on his peers any more.

                  • maninthemiddle

                    No, I haven’t. Employment is at record levels. Record levels.

                    • Pure, unadulterated, shameless trolling.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      How can stating a fact be ‘trolling’. Oh, that’s right. Trolling = code for “I don’t like what is being said so I’ll try to shut it down”.

                    • mac1

                      You’re right. And you’re wrong.

                      “The jobless rate in New Zealand rose to 5.7 percent in the first three months of 2016 from an upwardly revised 5.4 percent in the previous quarter. However, the labour force went up 1.5 percent, the largest quarterly increase since 2004, resulting in more people both employed and unemployed.

                      The number of unemployed persons increased 7.4 percent from the previous period to 144 thousand. Employment rose 1.2 percent to 2399 thousand, rising for men and women, including for women going into full-time employment (10,600 people). The working-age population went up 0.8 percent to 3685 thousand and labur force participation rate went up to 69 percent. ”

                      Source: http://www.tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/unemployment-rate

                      The accusation of trolling is in the figures that you quote-good for the government- without acknowledging that unemployment is also increasing. Manipulation by selective quoting. Very easy to do. Very tempting. You say below that trolling is code for shutting down an opposing view. I’d say that selective quoting of facts is as unconducive to the truth as such attempts.

                      For example, maninthemiddle, you could have noticed that I left in the Wikipedia quote about Oliver Stone some criticism of his work. That’s fair quoting. I didn’t censor it, as you have over both unemployment and employment figures being on the rise, due to increased population

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “I didn’t censor it, as you have over both unemployment and employment figures being on the rise, due to increased population”

                      I haven’t censored anything. My claims about employment are demonstrably correct. With a growing population caused by record numbers of people returning/migrating to NZ (a vote of confidence in NZ’s direction) unemployment would be expected to be far higher, but economic growth has soaked up much of that migration. You also need to take into account job vacancies. In the year to Feb 2016 (http://www.mbie.govt.nz/about/whats-happening/news/2016/vacancies-rise-in-january-mbie-jobs-online-report) job vacancies rose by 8.7%. Employment levels are a complex picture, with many variables.

                    • mac1

                      maninthemiddle, you replied to One Anonymous Bloke who spoke of unemployment and homelessness. You quoted back a fact that employment is at record level, to rebut his point about unemployment.

                      So for you to say that employment is up is dishonestly argued when figures show, as I have quoted, that unemployment have increased, especially when compared back to 2007, the time of a Labour Government.

                      That is trolling, Not addressing OAB’s point about unemployment. Misleading. Dishonest. Bullshit, in my terms.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “So for you to say that employment is up is dishonestly argued when figures show, as I have quoted, that unemployment have increased, especially when compared back to 2007, the time of a Labour Government.”

                      That just shows how disconnected you are, and how little you understand the economy of NZ.

                      Employment is a different measure to unemployment. Unemployment is a broad measure that includes people in many different circumstances, including those who simply are content to suckle of the public tit. Employment is a measure of how many jobs an economy creates, and is a far better measure of how economic growth translates, particularly at a time of record immigration.

              • maninthemiddle

                “Stage three- blame. In this case blame the welfare state. Blame the beneficiaries, blame the useless bums, “why don’t you get a job, feller”. ”

                I didn’t blame the beneficiaries, I ‘blamed’ the welfarism, which is actually the fault of the state. WFF, for example, was an appalling attack on individual enterprise and initiative.

                “Are you trying to tell me that the welfare state caused unemployment, a loss of jobs and desire to work?”

                Unemployment? Yes, at an individual level, welfarism removes the motivation (in some) to retrain, relocate etc to find work.

                “Again, I’d ask for figures and argument about causality here.”
                Causality? I think you’re confusing terms. As for data on long term welfare dependency, there is plenty:

                “Almost half of the people who entered the benefit system before their 18th birthday spent five or more of the next 10 years on a benefit.”

                “These figures were an indictment of the Labour Government’s welfare system. The fact that there was no work expectation at all for almost 80 percent of welfare recipients meant that instead of incentivising able-bodied beneficiaries to get a job, the system was paying them to do nothing. Without work requirements, many beneficiaries who could and should have been working, ended up ensconced in long term welfare dependency.”

                http://www.nzcpr.com/understanding-welfare-dependency/

                “Yes, it’s entitlement, maninthemiddle, but it’s entitlement to be treated decently, humanely, respectfully.”

                And they are. The is ample notice, alternatives provided, yet the entitlement mentality is strong simply because we allow it. Welfarism is a poison on individual enterprise, a curse on society.

              • Chuck

                “i’d say yes you could use state housing as an example where people who have lived in a state house for many years and have built up connections with an area-friends, clubs, places, activities- and are then told to move on out of the area, because the house is too big. Yes, it’s entitlement, maninthemiddle, but it’s entitlement to be treated decently, humanely, respectfully.”

                Two comments mac1…first on last weeks Q&A program Andrew Little confirmed a “statehouse for life” is not Labour policy (so both main parties have the same idea). Secondly I can confirm that “private owners” also have to sell up family homes once the kids leave / retirement etc. In most cases they too leave behind memories and friends…but have to make the hard decision to downsize.

                • maninthemiddle

                  There’s also the way some of the state house tenants treat the properties…http://www.nzherald.co.nz/bay-of-plenty-times/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503343&objectid=11584383…need state housing yet can afford to smoke P!

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Some unemployed people turn out not to be model citizens? Who knew! It’s amazing, this ongoing stream of revelations.

                    We’ve learned that unemployment and homelessness are caused by bad decisions, which in turn are caused by the ‘application’ of welfare. I’m not sure how it explains the working homeless, but I’m sure some glib gibberish is in the offing.

                    I know. The working homeless are so appalled by the application of welfare that they make the bad decision to move into their cars to spite the National Party, and make it look like they’re a clueless bunch of incompetents who don’t care enough to do the most basic things like build and maintain state housing.

                    What ingrates the working homeless are. They don’t even have the decency to be bludgers to legitimise the hate.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “Some unemployed people turn out not to be model citizens? ”

                      Who mentioned ‘unemployed’ people…

                • mac1

                  I understand the need to downsize, Chuck. Of course. But to tell someone that I can’t house you in a state house of a size that I determine suits my situation, as state landlord, so you’ll have to go to another suburb with attendant disruption of schooling, friends, clubs, community life etc is what concerns me.

                  This is of course exacerbated by state house sales, slow repair and cleaning of ‘contaminated’ houses, small numbers of new houses being built in the affordable or social housing category,and by rising rental costs. If there were sufficient houses, there’d be far less problem.

                  If I were renting,or buying, I’d have a better chance of staying in my area of choice than if I were only limited to state houses.

                  This is indeed my situation. I will probably choose to sell my own house and then rent in an area where I want. A time of life choice. In my small town, it’s not so much of a concern as distances are smaller, and community ties are more easily kept. BTW, my boarder has just taken up a rental option to house his immigrant family. $265 pw for a two bedroom former state house, one private landlord owner for the past 18 years. He’s able to walk to work. That on the news last night would secure a garage in Auckland that is not fit for purpose for a family dwelling.

                  At least, Chuck, you do identify that there is a problem when being compelled to shift houses. It’s a question of how much choice, how many options.

    • reason 13.6

      you won’t find many truthful moments from John Key

      Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I cannot confirm whether the Bahamas is a tax haven or not—I simply do not know….

      “” Rt Hon Winston Peters: Referring to his statement that New Zealand is not a tax haven, is the Antipodes Trust Group Ltd a foreign trust operation or a domestic trust operation?” …………. It is not about his pecuniary interests. I am asking about the status of an operation that he is familiar with, because of his connection with the chief executive and lawyer, namely the man who set it up. That is not a matter of pecuniary interest. I want to know the facts

      ********************************************************

      Andrew Little: How does he reconcile his claim that his close personal adviser had assured him that he had no links with Mossack Fonseca with today’s revelations that show that Mr Whitney has had dealings with that firm?

      Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Firstly, I have got no responsibility for Mr Whitney or any other New Zealander. But I stand by the statements that I have made in relation to Mr Whitney. I think incrimination by insinuation could be a very dangerous game ….

      ***********************************************************

      Andrew Little: Does he oppose New Zealanders and multinationals using another country’s tax laws to dodge New Zealand tax, given that he allows foreigners to do the same thing here?

      Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I cannot talk for Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the Red Cross, but what I can say is that every country has a different tax system

      **********************************************************

      David Seymour: In what century did the wine-box inquiry take place?

      Rt Hon JOHN KEY: One so far back I can hardly remember it.

      *********************************************************

      James Shaw: If New Zealand is not a tax haven, why would Mossack Fonseca—a company which, by its own admission, has 95 percent of its business in avoiding tax—urge its clients to use New Zealand’s foreign trust and company structures as a way of avoiding tax?

      Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Two things. Firstly, there can be quite legitimate reasons why people have a foreign trust, and I suggest the member leave the House and ring Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and Red Cross

      ****************************************************************

      ” offshore trusts, a means of avoiding tax so common that even the dogs on the street could tell you what they’re used for. The users of trusts enjoy relative anonymity which makes it difficult to ascertain who owns them, what assets they control and thus how to tax them.”

      **************************************************************

      Andrew Little: Why did he push through a law in 2011, which Labour opposed, that cut the tax rate for foreign funds to zero, a move that PriceWaterhousecoopers said put New Zealand on a par with renowned tax havens like Ireland, Luxembourg, and the Caymans?

      *************************************************************

      John Key was good at building tax havens on the quiet ……….. but he’s had a dose of the Panamas and had to stop that shadow banking scheme.

      “The rich, via lobbyists and Byzantine tax arrangements, actively work to stop redistribution. Inequality is not inevitable, it’s engineered.”

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/8515361/Money-trail-leads-home-to-New-Zealand …. A good article from Nicky Hager showing how rich criminals and national often work together for the greater bad …..

      • maninthemiddle 13.6.1

        I have a long list of Clark’s lies, but unlike you I prefer not to bore the others here to death with pages long posts.

        • Lanthanide 13.6.1.1

          Are you Rick Giles, by any chance?

        • Robert Guyton 13.6.1.2

          We too, maninthemiddle, prefer that you don’t bore us here to death.
          Perhaps a long, self-imposed exile?

          • maninthemiddle 13.6.1.2.1

            That would let you all get away with far too much!

            • One Anonymous Bloke 13.6.1.2.1.1

              Paging Dr. Dunning-Kruger.

              • Ah, the good doctors and their illuminating study ” inspired by the case of McArthur Wheeler, a man who robbed two banks after covering his face with lemon juice in the mistaken belief that, because lemon juice is usable as invisible ink, it would prevent his face from being recorded on surveillance cameras.”

                That must have smarted! MITM?

  14. Kevin 14

    Time for a change.

  15. Smilin 15

    Why do we give this Key govt any latitude, everything they’ve done has been directly related to one individual, Key and he is not the country
    So when are we going to wake up to the 3 term govt of incompetence indulgence and treason and get our democracy back not a capitalist regime that is totalitarian in its nature

    • Michael 15.1

      When there’s a viable alternative I guess. On that basis NACT looks good for another couple of terms, al least.

  16. Michael 16

    I’m not sure that Labour is really “all over the housing issue”. FWICS, its policy is to do as little as possible (no pun intended) to change the status quo. It’s much-trumpeted “build more houses” for sale to first-home buyers, at 600K a pop, seems ever so slightly out of reach to people sleeping in their cars or on the streets of our cities. It looks to me that Labour’s strategy of bribing enough middle-class voters to win sufficient Party votes to form a government (with the Greens and Winston First dragging its fragrant carcass over the finish line) continues to ignore the needs of the poor and vulnerable. Not quite in keeping with the aims of the founders in 1916?

  17. reason 17

    If people could live and sleep in shell companys and trusts john key would be a genius ………..

    National are good for property speculators and laundering dirty money.

    If you took the speculators and overseas buyers money out of Aucklands housing the bubble would go pop ………. And As the Auckland disease is spreading rapidly around the country the sooner it pops the better for NZ citizens …..

    “all of Ireland had become subprime. Otherwise sound Irish borrowers had been rendered unsound by the size of the loans they had taken out to buy inflated Irish property………..

    That had been the strangest consequence of the Irish bubble: to throw a nation which had finally clawed its way out of centuries of indentured servitude back into it.”

    “All of the Irish banks are profitable and well capitalised,” wrote the Merrill Lynch advisers, who then went on to suggest that the banks’ problem wasn’t at all the bad loans they had made….. but the panic in the market. ”

    “The Final Days of Merrill Lynch

    as Wall Street turned to rubble and panic threatened to come unleashed, Ken Lewis, the CEO of Bank of America, agreed to swallow one of the country’s most toxic investment houses.”….. Merrill Lynch

    Apart from getting rich himself everything Key has touched or worked in has turned to shit ………………….

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