web analytics

More Armstrong bullshit

Written By: - Date published: 5:38 pm, September 10th, 2011 - 67 comments
Categories: education, election 2011, labour, privatisation, tax - Tags:

It was galling to see John Armstrong slam Labour for not having released its Christchurch recovery policy having just refused to cover Labour’s skills package or its mining policy.  It’s like the Left can’t win with the guy. Labour releases policy and he turns a blind eye. Labour holds back announcing policy, which after all can’t be enacted until after the election, on an issue that, in case you missed it John, is still developing rapidly and he gets his knickers in a twist.

Now, Armstrong is demanding that Labour abandon its principles.

Goff needs to stop living in the past. On state asset sales, welfare reform, the restructuring of the public service and national standards, Labour is trying to summon the ghosts of the free market reforms of the 1980s and 1990s to frighten voters. Most voters under the age of 40 have no memory of this.

Don’t we John? Actually, we grew up in the years of Rogernomics. We saw exactly what it did because we were the ones feeling the most direct results. Armstrong seems to forget that Labour’s most popular policy is introducing a capital gains tax rather than selling assets and that policy is particularly popular with younger people who have had to deal with the results of privatisation all their lives, don’t remember the supposed downsides of a publicly-owned Telecom etc, and have been locked out of the property market by middle-aged speculators.

If Labour was really smart, the party would have outflanked Key by not only adopting national standards, but arguing for league tables showing how individual primary schools are performing compared with others in their decile.

League tables are a tool of the Right to break the public education system and national standards are the first assault. How does it work?

First, gather some really simple, really simplistic, statistics that are based on ‘norms’ in one aspect of educational achievement. Don’t ask whether Sally is developing problem solving, lateral logic, empathy, creativeness, just ask if she can do 7 times 6 in her head real quick.

Second, use these statistics to rank schools. You’re a bad school if your kids aren’t good at rote learning and, no, we don’t care if their is a fantastic community in your school that is creating new leaders, new explorers, people determined to lead their communities in a better direction because not enough of them can spell ‘ridiculous’. Naturally, parents will want to send their kids to ‘good schools’ and you start getting segregation – ethnic, economic, and cultural – with inevitable long-term results for society

Third, pay teachers based on how good their kids are at jumping through these arbitrary hoops. Less for teachers whose kids are ‘failures’, more for teac… actually, just the same or teachers whose kids are doing well. What happens then? Teachers refuse to take jobs in the very schools that need good teachers the most and the negative feedback loop continues. We know this happens because we can look overseas and see it happening.

Hell yeah teachers oppose that policy because these are people who have chosen to make a career of educating kids. They don’t want to go down a path that is destined to worsen the education of those kids who already have the shittiest prospects in our unequal society.

But Armstrong, seemingly on a whim, thinks Labour should adopt this policy just to gain a march on National.

Goff needs to stop lashing the well-off for not paying their fair share of tax in tough times. The politics of envy are unlikely to impress middle-income voters who aspire to becoming better off as they get older. They do not want to be made to feel guilty about it.

Again, Armstrong is simply guessing here and in defiance of the polls showing that people favour Labour’s tax package over National’s asset sales. The days when the Right could get away with running on a policy of ‘tax cuts tax cuts tax cuts’ and dismiss any opposition as the ‘politics of envy’ are over. You’re seeing the backlash against those policies all over the Western World where poor people and billionaires are all calling for more tax instead of service cuts and more debt.

What the re-institution of the 39% tax rate does is close of the open-ended nature of National’s tax cuts. Under National, the more you earn the larger your tax cut . Labour has said it will close off that open-ended tax cut and close the biggest tax loophole in the system, and balance that by fair and equitable tax cuts – the first $5,000 tax-free and GST off fresh fruit and vegetables. It’s clear that Labour didn’t make these decisions lightly. It’s a carefully weighted package that Labour genuinely believes it the right thing to do.

I think that Armstrong just doesn’t get it. Parties of the Left pick and swap policies on a whim. Armstrong wants Labour to do things that are really bad ideas just because he thinks it will catch the Nats’ napping. That’s all politics is to this old cynic, a game of out-maneuvering your opponents to the cheers of the spectators – the press gallery. Not that Armstrong would actually praise Labour even if it did exactly what he demands. You could hear him clinching his teeth in the couple of articles he deigned to write on capital gains tax.

Can’t the Herald find someone better? Someone who actually investigates and reports, rather than awarding points on behalf of the public whether the politicians are providing a good show? Someone who’s not completely out of touch and who hasn’t forgotten that politics has a purpose and the decisions our politicians make real impacts on people’s lives?

67 comments on “More Armstrong bullshit ”

  1. IrishBill 1

    I’m always amazed at how in column after column Armstrong, a man who never steps foot outside the precinct, so confidently espouses what “ordinary New Zealanders” think.

    I suspect this stupendous self-delusion is due to the fact he’s validated as one of the gang by every other inward-focused political insider (particularly the Nat ones). What a weird wee world filled with weird wee folk the beltway is.

    • Sam 1.1

      You know before the 2008 elelction, John Armstrong was seen to be the Labour party puppet on the NZHerald.
      Now he is the National party puppet?
      Could it be that he is actually saying out loud what jsut about everybody in NZ, outside of Labour, is thinking and saying?
      That Labour cannot win with Phil Goff?

      The RWC is a hiatus in the political world.
      Imagine how Labour would fare under Shane Jones on October 26th.
      He is about the only person in the Labour caucus who could match John Key in public speaking, someone who can “sell” the CGT and other Labour policies. He is a natural speaker, not some apparatchick from the sausage factory production line that is the Labour party hierachy.
      Goff cannot come out and effectively “sell” these policies, he has far to much baggage of the “flip-flopping” kind. This will come back to haunt him, especially after the write-ups in the Sunday Herald a few weeks ago when these flip-flops were highlighted.
      Goff cannot sell Labour policies, unfortunate for him but disastrous for Labour.
      There are lots of people who like the policies, including me, but are turned off by Goff.
      No matter how good the product, if the salesman is useless it won’t get sold.

  2. Chris 2

    Armstrong’s like an amateur PR man. Always offering free advice to politicians.

    • Blighty 2.1

      I wonder if Hoots will be pleased or insulted to be compared to Old man Armstrong?

      • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1.1

        The Herald does have an alternative voice- David Farrar

        Yet strangely Farrar has columns in both Fairfax and APN.

        Ive never heard of that happening before. Normally writing for the opposition would be a sackable offence.

        It sure is strange times we live in.
        A political columnist seem to come recommended by the governing party, an offer you cant refuse

  3. Phaedrus 3

    Your comments on education and national’s standards are so accurate. There is a wealth of information from overseas that makes several things very clear. The most glaringly obvious is the link between socio-economics / poverty and children’s learning progress at school. This is indisputable, so when we look at the growing equality gap in New Zealand, there is only one possible conclusion to draw: government policies that are increasing this equality gap are therefore directly responsible for issues with children’s education. There is no other possibility, and that regardless of whatever sticks the government chooses to use to beat schools and teachers over their collective heads, the answer lies elsewhere. As in overseas jurisdictions, particularly the USA, from where this educational nonsense originates, the government will not admit that their policies are responsible, and, again following the USA model, seek to divert attention by using schools and teachers (and if re-elected, the teacher unions) as scapegoats. There is nothing original about the government’s national standards policies, which have nothing to do with education and plenty to do with politics and business. This is easily substantiated by a little research online, so anyone who wants to take issue with this interpretation would be advised to use facts, not prejudice and belief. Interestingly (sadly?) correspondents like Armstrong, and all other pro-national standards advocates, never use research and evidence based data to support their arguments. One could speculate why that is?

    One thing that is crystal clear from overseas evidence (and again easily substantiated from some internet research) is that the standards/achievement movement is used to justify ‘school reform’, which by some amazing coincidence involves bringing in the corporate sector.

  4. Afewknowthetruth 4

    ‘Now, Armstrong is demanding that Labour abandon its principles.’

    Labour abandoned its principles decades ago. It morphed into a ‘me too’ pro-corporate party that promotes the agendas of global corporations and insane economists.

    The fact is, both Armstrong and the Labour Party are living in the past and both will become increasingly irrelevant, unless they change radically -which is something both appear to be completely incapable of.

    The industrial age is rapidly drawing to a close. We are living in a post peak oil world in which all past economic arrangements are rapidly disintegrating and all paradigms associated with mainstream economics are redundant. Not only that, we are also living in the age of environmental consequences [of industrialism], which are getting worse by the month. Economic meltdowns, nuclear meltdowns, drought meltdowns and ice meltdowns (the ice in the Arctic Sea has reached the lowest level recorded in all of history: and this is just the start!!)

    Most people still refuse to accept reality and most are going to learn the hard way, taking their own progeny down with them in an orgy of denial and stupidity. The RWC is a prime example of denial and stupidity occuring right now.

    • The Baron 4.1

      Oh hai AFKTT – isn’t the world meant to be in meltdown, ah, right now? Or has the timetable changed again?
      If there is no meltdown in September/October, will you please stop hijacking every single thread with your family radio style apocalyptism? Or will we just get a new timeframe, based on your undoubtedly excellent research and 30 years experience?

    • Deadly_NZ 4.2

      “The sky is falling, the sky is falling” Chicken Little.
      “The Dam is leaking, the dam is leaking” Some young kid.
      “Economic meltdowns, nuclear meltdowns, drought meltdowns and ice meltdowns ” Afewknowthetruth

  5. Eddie 5

    I’ve just seen Blue sent through a similar guest post:

    A media blackout on politics during the Rugby World Cup might be just what Labour needs, says the Herald’s chief Tory commentator http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10750712.

    I agree, but not for the reasons Armstrong sets out.

    His column today clearly demonstrates just how much of a Tory shill he really is. He looks at the world through blue-tinted spectacles, and has no shame in that because everyone he knows probably wears them too.

    Armstrong admonishes Goff for opposing National Standards, saying that league tables ‘are what parents want’. He claims that the ‘politics of envy’ will not impress “middle-income voters who aspire to becoming better off as they get older.”

    In Armstrong’s world, the only people who oppose National Standards and league tables are teacher unions. All middle-income voters aspire to become wealthy tax-dodgers.

    What a world he lives in.

    Let me introduce him to the world that the rest of NZ lives in.

    Many parents wouldn’t even look at league tables if they did exist. They send their child to their local school. End of.

    They want a good education for their kids, and they trust their local school to provide it. They’re not insecure social climbers who insist little Johnny must to go to a ‘superior’ school, because if he doesn’t he will never grow up to be a currency trader at Merrill Lynch.

    Their idea of tax-dodging is doing a cash deal with a tradesman or taking money under the counter, not setting up a fancy trust and hiring a clever accountant.

    They don’t need to avoid the top tax rate, because they’re not on it.

    Apparently, Goff should also stop ‘being negative’ and admit that “National has got it right on some things.”

    What those might be is anyone’s guess. If you’re a Tory, then yes, you will wholeheartedly believe that National has got it right, and be licking your lips in anticipation of what Key will deliver in his second term.

    But if you have something of a ‘socialist streak’, it’s hard to think of anything National has done right.. And there’s the cold fear of what they will do it they get another term.

    Armstrong appears to be encouraging Labour to become ‘National-lite’ to win the election.

    I think all Labour really needs is a break from worthless media ‘commentary’.

    We could do without Armstrong and his ilk, who love to publish the flimsiest of rumours about Labour’s ‘leadership battles’, despite knowing full well that there will be no change of leader before the election. We could certainly do without the useless hacks who refused to even report Labour’s youth employment policy.

    Roll on the blackout. Long may it continue.

    – Blue

    • Thanks Eddie and thanks very much Blue.

      Whatever happened to the idea that politics was a contest over ideas, values and principles?

      How can Armstrong consider himself a political journalist when he is so blatantly complicit in sucking politics dry of any import?

      • Blue 5.1.1

        Unfortunately that is exactly what political journalists are there for, Puddleglum. To suck politics dry of anything that matters. To turn it into merely a game.

        I don’t know how they can hold their heads up with any sense of pride these days, when half of what they write is fluffy trivia, and the other half consists of telling the public what the public think.

        It seems to be up to the business writers and commentators to produce anything of substance with regard to what’s really going on.

        Ultimately it’s the last thing you would expect from a journalist, to find one that seems to genuinely believe that everyone thinks the same way he does. Most have more self-awareness than that, a necessary consequence of having to interact with a wide range of people. But that’s what Gallery hacks lack, I suppose. They interact only with a very narrow subset of people.

    • Rob 5.2

      Eddie comments that

      “Let me introduce him to the world that the rest of NZ lives in.

      Many parents wouldn’t even look at league tables if they did exist. They send their child to their local school. End of.”

      Many parents do in fact read everything they can about their childrens schools. ERO reports are downloaded and fully scrutinised. Many parents do not just end up sending their children to the local school. End of.

  6. marsman 6

    Armstrong is yet another ‘journalist’ with little brain telling us what should happen to and in our country. What a cretin!

  7. Advocate 7

    While disagreeing with most of what Armstrong espouses, he raises some good points. The current Labour Party is yesterdays “Nationals” in too many areas. It’s time to start again and return to the basics, to clearly lay out points of difference. But judging by the reactions here, that isn’t something the more extreme left will even accept has happened, let alone change. Is Labour really still the Workers Champions or have the workers decided otherwise and abandoned them. Clarity, change, progress and leadership is needed for the future

    • Eddie 7.1

      In an MMP world, the sides divide into vanguards and centrists. It’s the job of Mana and the Greens to pull the debate leftwards. Labour’s job is to bring the centre along with more moderate leftwing policies.

      • Sam 7.1.1

        The cente don’t necessarily want moderate left wing policies if that means these come with the Greens and Mana radicalism attached.

  8. big bruv 8

    Oh poor babies.

    Not happy with somebody expressing an opinion that you do not agree with?

    Still keen on silencing free speech are you?

    Suck it up guys, Armstrong is centre left at best (if not a screaming bloody pinko) and if he thinks Labour are out of touch then you would do well to listen to the man.

    But then….you guys only want cheerleaders.

    • Eddie 8.1

      No, i’m not trying to quash free speech. I’m expressing my own in criticism to Armstrong’s. That’s how debate in a democratic society works.

      You seem to be saying that I’m not allowed to contradict Armstrong because that’s an attack on his rights. Sounds like, by your logic, that you’re trying to silence my free speech.

    • Big Bruv…

      Cool! Silly Questions!

      Excellent! I get to practice my Silly Answers!!

      Rule #1: “Not happy with somebody expressing an opinion that you do not agree with?”

      Oh no, we’re bloody ecstatic, mate!

      Rule #2: “Still keen on silencing free speech are you?”

      Yes, hence why you’ve posted here. Oh, wait…

      Rule #3: “Suck it up guys, Armstrong is centre left at best (if not a screaming bloody pinko) and if he thinks Labour are out of touch then you would do well to listen to the man.”

      Yes! Yes! We should adopt all of National’s policies; take on all their MPs; and have John Key as our Dear Leader.

      But… hang on… doesn’t that make us a National duplicate? Hmmm, seems a bit redundant… Why not just morph into National? And going by your suggestion, why have any other parties at all?! We could just have a One Party State.

      But then, doesn’t Rule #3 conflict with Rules 1 and 2?

      How can we have free speech and opinions we differ with, as you’ve suggested – and still follow Armstrong’s Thought Command to adopt National’s policies?

      Damn, Asimov’s Three Rules of Robotics were so much simpler.

      Rule #4: But then….you guys only want cheerleaders.

      As opposed to… John Key’s cheerleaders?

      Can we choose any cheerleaders we want? Or do we have to run it past you and Armstrong to see if it’s “NC” (Nationally Correct).

      Just checking, Bruv. We proles await your dictat… *winks*

  9. RedBaron 9

    I think what this is really saying, is that the detailed polling/focus groups are showing a lot of resistance to Nat policy. He is hoping to tar Labour with the same policy brush as the Nats, a sort of “Nat’s Lite brand” (the reverse of the last election) so that it then frames the election in terms of “personality politics” and photo-ops for Key.

    Message to Labour, keep putting out policy!

    • big bruv 9.1

      Yes!!

      Please keep putting out policy, we can all do with a good laugh.

      • AAMC 9.1.1

        You won’t be laughing by the end of Nat’s second term BB. When poster boy retires and we’re left with his legacy, economically crippled and taking it up the arse from our new owners.

    • Georgecom 9.2

      My thoughts exactly, Armstrong is wanting Labour to be more like National rather than staking an alternative position. If winning this election is about being more like National then its going to be a bugger to lose, but so be it. The country actually needs a fairly different approach to what National offers. Labour, at least, is starting to develop some serious alternatives. Not a job cmpleted yet but some serious thinking is taking place. So really, if all Mr Armstrong has to offer is ‘be more like National’ then he offers very little in terms of positive solutions to our current and future problems. We don’t need more smile and waving Mr Armstrong, we need more future focused solutions. Little of what Mr Armstrong sets out seems to have a use by date extending beyond November 26.

  10. Hilary 10

    Has anyone noticed that there are a large number of grey aging white male journalists who all just adore John Key? Simple psychology suggests that they aspire to be like him with his power and wealth, but mainly envy his supreme personal self-confidence. So they imagine that they are him, and then of course have to praise his every move and by extension his government.

    • HC 10.1

      Maybe they are just the group of remaining, aged court jesters that follow the emperor and compete for his favourable wave and smile? Senility sets in at some stage, so they seek the company of the crazy emperor who can think and communicate at their reduced and limited level.

  11. RedBaron 11

    Hey Big Bruv did you get the short straw of minding the blogs whilst the rest of the old boy network
    went off to the rugby without you?

    Couldn’t agree more Hilary, except I don’t think the aging males are confined just to occupational class “journalist”. What I would like to know is whether this belongs to the same class of pe**le extension as “buying a sports car?”

  12. SHG 12

    As a parent I love national standards and league tables. Love em.

    • IrishBill 12.1

      Good lord. The trolls are breeding.

    • Policy Parrot 12.2

      I bet its the same reason you love John Key.

      All gloss and no substance. Just a pretty picture which actually means nothing. More interested in airtime received than results achieved.

      • SHG 12.2.1

        Moved my son to a private school with stellar ratings in every category. Couldn’t be happier.

        • Dv 12.2.1.1

          But private shools dont do national standards, so how you know how your kids are doing?

          • Eddie 12.2.1.1.1

            I think you just broke SHG’s brain, Dv.

            • QoT 12.2.1.1.1.1

              Nah, it’s easy, Eddie. We all know people with more money are better than people with less, ergo private schools are superior.

          • SHG 12.2.1.1.2

            Never said I chose a school in New Zealand.

            • Dv 12.2.1.1.2.1

              My question still stands!

              • SHG

                I live in a country where all schools, public and private, operate under a national standards system and can be ranked and compared against each other by a range of criteria. Figured that was self-evident.

                I chose the school I considered to be the best according to the things that I felt were most important for my child based on the information available. Happened to be a private school.

                • rd

                  So that country MUST be higher in the educational rankings than NZ?

                  HOW do you know that the Standards are consistent and reliable?

                  HOW do you know the evaluations are not scammed?

                  Can you describe the system of national standards that are used to see if you are comparing like with like.

                    • rd

                      Thank you for that
                      That answers the questions asked I had BUT the NAPLAN is NOT the same as the NZ National Standards. There is an attempt to have sort of national consistency and reliability.

                      From the referenced web site.
                      >assesses students using common national tests in Reading, Writing, Language Conventions (Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation) and Numeracy.

                      That implies a written test

                      >NAPLAN tests are developed collaboratively by the States and Territories, the Australian Government and the non-government school sectors. Experts in assessment and educational measurement provide technical advice in the development of the tests.

                      Thats different to NZ too. Many experts have panned the NZ Standards.

                      >exemption from NAPLAN tests. These include students from a non–English-speaking background who have been in Australia for less than one year and students with severe intellectual or functional disabilities

                      I dont believe there are any exemptions in NZ

                      >A test administration authority in each State and Territory is responsible for the administration and delivery of NAPLAN tests, support for schools and delivery of reports. National protocols for test administration ensure consistency in administering the tests by all test administration authorities and schools across Australia.

                      This implies a rigorous moderation. Not present in NZ standards.

                      Many of the issues and problems in the NZ standards could have been sorted by a trial.

                      The NZ standards are neither National Nor are they consistent reliable standards.

    • Jum 12.3

      SHG

      Then you obviously didn’t do your homework on what a complete mess they made of people’s lives in American schools.

    • AAMC 12.4

      As a parent I love my local multi cultural multi economic school who don’t support the national Standards.

      Previously my kids went to a Montessori in the tory hotbed of eastern Auckland. Great way to learn, pity about the vacuous monoculture. And so we moved and put our kids in the local primary where the Polynesian mums give their time for free, where they all learn about each others cultures and traditions. And my kids are nit only succeeding academically but are also developing a rich and open worldview. Previously they just aspired to swimming pools and overseas trips like their classmates.

      • Descendant Of Smith 12.4.1

        The high school my kids went to has the best results in the area for taking kids from the level at which they enter the school, often with poor literacy and numeracy and lots of other issues such as drugs, to leaving school with some qualifications.

        Unfortunately league tables don’t show this improvement – they only show the final qualifications they have when they left – often leaving to do seasonal work to help support the family they come from.

        Does the school’s (effectively teachers) ability to improve where people’s performance make them a better or worse school?

        The school also takes those kids kicked out of other schools and gives them another chance to learn. Most take that opportunity.

        The school does this with no old boys network to raise funds, the loss of income under this government from removing adult classes, not large numbers of overseas students to generate income.

        Based on league tables the school under performs – based on what they get coming in the gate they perform much better than schools that often won’t take these students.

        My daughter thought about going to a more white middle class school but having paid it a visit couldn’t get over the shallowness of the students there and the lack of ethnic diversity. Sure one visit a summer does not make but it was enough to put her off completely.

        Happy with her education but much more happy that she has grown up in a mixed diverse culture where she understands what it is to struggle and how to be generous and help and support others. Where there is a sense of community and we’re in this together.

        Sure their has been some bullying etc but far less than I experienced at boarding school – but then I was a scholarship kid – my mum and dad didn’t own a business or have lots of money, my name wasn’t put on the waiting list when I was born,

        I did learn a lot however about abuse of power – including by the teachers who condoned much of the behaviour.

        There’s more to education than reading, writing and ‘rithmetic. There’s more to education than becoming cannon fodder for employers.

  13. tc 13

    Armstrong is a joke of a political journo and constantly comes across as a nat shill who never actually analyses anything just puts forward his opinion.
    Credibility comes from playing the issues like commenting on policy but he continually goes goff goff goff like the compliant media poodle and sideshow fanboy he is folowing the CT handbook but hey it’s the herald after all.

  14. Phaedrus 14

    Isn’t it wonderful how the moment an opening appears for ignoramuses to spout off, they appear. You’ll notice that no one has bothered to argue the case for national standards on the basis of research and evidence. Instead the usual personal attacks, insults and red herrings appear.

  15. peterlepaysan 15

    SHG. How can you love something you have never had?

    Like a real education that encouraged you to use logic and judgment?

    Perhaps this is difficult if the ability to exercise logic and judgment is missing in the first place.

    This probably explains your ridiculous post.

    Go back and crawl under you national party rock.

  16. randal 16

    The question is ‘cant the herald find someone better’ and the answer to that is yes. they just dont want to. they prefer a thing like armstrong carping from the sidelines without ever contributing anything. thats what you get from a tory press with no balls.

  17. RedBaron 17

    Does anybody log the quantity and volume of right wing trolling activity? Personally, I think they come out onto the attack when they think the right wing is losing ground, and I may be wrong but I think the quantity is steadily growing.

    • Jum 17.1

      Red Baron,

      You are absolutely correct. They were out early after the fiasco last night, trying to spin the blame belonging to Joyce and Barnett, Key and Hide, on to Brown, yet we all know that Len Brown is hated by this government and they have done everything they could through the tactics of Joyce as transport minister and Barnett as business contact to prevent public transport becoming a truly useful part of Auckland’s business and leisure lifestyle.

      Money must be the reason why. So who is getting paid for stopping public transport being progressed faster, who is paying that bribe and where are those corrupt persons getting the money from? Judging by the SCF rort, it will be the New Zealand taxpayer.

    • tc 17.2

      Yup and some posts they don’t touch as they can’t mount a decent troll attack as CT don’t have any lines for them to trot out.
      it’s a well resourced full time activity as the nat party are loaded…..best financial shape ever thanks to some very happy hollow men backers.
      Can’t have any healthy debates now can we, not part of their agenda and this excellent blog is heavily targeted as they know the truth and use every trick to stifle it.

    • The Baron 17.3

      Not sure where you get the idea that the right is losing ground… How much did Labour fall in the last set of polls again?
      Too much wakky bakky pal – the paranoia is setting in. Seems to me that the stupider the commentary, the more people come online to point out how stupid it is. Isn’t that a more logical solution than some secret right wing email list commanding the loyal to comment on the #5 political blog in NZ?

  18. big bruv 18

    Notice how the crowd cheering for John Key when he spoke at the rugby?

    The people love the man.

    • Draco T Bastard 18.1

      Damn, it’s only been a day and the RWNJs are already trying to rewrite reality.

      Lastly I couldnt believe the bad reception Key got from the downtown crowd people booing and screaming all sorts of negative stuff the young folk really seem to be seeing through John the con. People started yelling vote Labour get rid of this dick.I have to say that made the night even more special.

      Must be truly upsetting when reality doesn’t conform to your most dearly held beliefs.

      • The Baron 18.1.1

        Reality = a comment on a posting on the standard, Draco? My, this explains so much about your particularly vain catch phrase then.

        So the bar for reality really has got lower. Laughing hard at you right now.

      • big bruv 18.1.2

        Reality is that Key has a 70% approval rating.

        I know how much that annoys you, I know that Labour could only ever dream of such levels of support and I know that in your heart you are aware that the coming election will be a blood bath for Labour.

        All that makes me smile.

        • Colonial Viper 18.1.2.1

          Reality is that Key has a 70% approval rating.

          Only in Epsom and Remmers.

          • the pink postman 18.1.2.1.1

            Way back in the 1920/30s one Adolf Hitler had 98 % approval rating. Among the British aristocracy Mussolini was almost a god. The majority lived ,if they lived, regreted their support. Im sure that the NZ public is going to regret being conned by Key .Very much so .

    • “Reality is that Key has a 70% approval rating.”

      “The people love the man.”

      “I want to be his man-wife.”

      What were you saying about “cheerleaders”, Bruv (10 Sept, 7.58)? Really, you need to reign in that fawning. The Ninth Floor have phoned and said your sycophancy is putting them of their Bellamy’s fish and chips…

  19. RedBaron 19

    And Big Bruv, according to the right wing blogs, polls and the Herald the right were going to win Auckland too……

    However, good of you to confirm that you have been left minding the blogs whist the “boys”go to the rugby. It’s what the inadequate do to try to curry favour with those they see as their “betters”.

  20. Zaphod Beeblebrox 20

    What did Dirty Harry say about opinions? Everybody has them.

  21. Oligarkey 21

    Good post. Though you got the title wrong. Should have been “Armstrong wrestles with Labour, gives hand-job to Key”.

  22. newbie 22

    maybe he was just writing it to see if anyone was still reading or if he could write anything!

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Budget boosts Carbon Neutral Government commitment
    Budget 2021 delivers $67.4 million to support the transition to a carbon neutral public sector by 2025 State Sector Decarbonisation Fund receives significant boost to support more schools, hospitals and other government organisations to replace coal boilers with clean alternatives Funding boost will also accelerate the Government’s ‘electric vehicles first’ ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Report shows progress on Homelessness Action Plan
    The Government has welcomed the release of the second progress report on the Homelessness Action Plan, showing that good progress is being made on every one of the immediate actions in the Plan. “Homelessness will not be solved overnight, but I am pleased to see that this plan is continuing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Arts and cultural festivals get funding boost
    One of New Zealand’s oldest cultural festivals and a brand new youth festival are amongst four events to win grants to help them grow, attract new audiences, and boost local economies.  Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash has announced new support from an incubator fund launched last year to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt to rev up reductions in transport emissions
    The Government is calling for feedback on a range of potential policies to eliminate emissions in the transport sector. Transport Minister Michael Wood today released Hīkina te Kohupara – Kia mauri ora ai te iwi - Transport Emissions: Pathways to Net Zero by 2050, a Ministry of Transport report outlining ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government recognises David McPhail’s contribution to New Zealand comedy and television
    Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni today pays tribute to David Alexander McPhail (11 April 1945 – 14 May 2021) – New Zealand comedian, actor, producer and writer. David McPhail ONZM QSM had a comedy career that spanned four decades, across both television and theatre.  “David’s contribution to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Support for drought-stressed regions fills a need
    An innovative iwi-led plan to help maintain water supply to a far North community battered by drought is set to get underway with support from the Government, Acting Minister for Emergency Management Kris Faafoi says.  “The impacts of climate change are not something that just our grandchildren will have to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • KiwiSaver default provider scheme improvements slash fees, boosts savings
    Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders will be significantly better off in retirement following changes to the default KiwiSaver scheme, Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark said today. The new default provider arrangements, which will take effect once the terms of the current providers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Industry leadership for our training system becomes reality
    Six new Workforce Development Councils formally established today will ensure people graduate with the right skills at the right time to address skill shortages, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. Every industry in New Zealand will be covered by one of the following Workforce Development Councils: •           Hanga-Aro-Rau – Manufacturing, Engineering ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Rotorua Emergency Housing update
    The Government has announced a suite of changes to emergency housing provision in Rotorua:  Government to directly contract motels for emergency accommodation Wrap around social support services for those in emergency accommodation to be provided Grouping of cohorts like families and tamariki in particular motels separate from other groups One-stop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further COVID-19 vaccine and economic support for the Pacific
    New Zealand will be providing protection against COVID-19 to at least 1.2 million people in the Pacific over the coming year $120 million in Official Development Assistance has been reprioritised to support Pacific economies in 2021 Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Associate Health and Foreign Affairs Minister Aupito William ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Statement on the escalation of violence in Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Gaza
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today expressed Aotearoa New Zealand’s grave concern at the escalation of violence in Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and Gaza. “The growing death toll and the large numbers of casualties, including children, from Israeli airstrikes and Gazan rockets is unacceptable,” Nanaia Mahuta said “Senior officials met ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Trade Minister to travel to UK and EU to progress free trade agreements
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor announced today he will travel to the United Kingdom and European Union next month to progress New Zealand’s respective free trade agreement negotiations. The decision to travel to Europe follows the agreement reached last week between Minister O’Connor and UK Secretary of State for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to Business New Zealand
    Kia ora koutou katoa It’s great to be here today, at our now-regular event in anything-but-regular times. I last spoke to some of you in mid-March. That was an opportunity to reflect on an extraordinary 12 months, but also to reflect on how the future was shaping up. In what ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Te Hurihanganui growing with Nelson community celebration
    Nelson is the latest community to join the Te Hurihanganui kaupapa to drive change and address racism and bias in education, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Speaking at today’s community celebration, Kelvin Davis acknowledged the eight iwi in Te Tau Ihu for supporting and leading Te Hurihanganui in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Te Hurihanganui Nelson Community Celebration 
    Te Hurihanganui Nelson Community Celebration  Victory Community Centre, Nelson   “Racism exists – we feel little and bad”. Those were the unprompted words of one student during an interview for a report produced by the Children’s Commissioner in 2018. They were also the words I used when I announced the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Child wellbeing reports highlight need for ongoing action
    The Government has released the first Annual Report for the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy and the second Child Poverty Related Indicators (CPRI) Report, both of which highlight improvements in the lives of children as a result of actions of the Government, while setting out the need for ongoing action.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Formal consultation starts on proposals for Hawera schools
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced a formal consultation for the future of schooling in Hawera. "Recent engagement shows there is a lot of support for change. The preferred options are for primary schools to be extended to year 7 and 8, or for a year 7-13 high school to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • He Whenua Taurikura: New Zealand’s Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
    The Government is progressing another recommendation of the Royal Commission of Inquiry report into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain by convening New Zealand’s first national hui on countering terrorism and violent extremism. He Whenua Taurikura, meaning ‘a land or country at peace’, will meet in Christchurch on 15 and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Hundreds of new electric cars for state sector
    Total of 422 new electric vehicles and charging infrastructure across the state sector $5.1 million for the Department of Conservation to buy 148 electric vehicles and install charging infrastructure $1.1 million to help Kāinga Ora buy 40 electric vehicles and install charging infrastructure 11,600 tonnes of carbon emissions saved over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Apartments give new life to former Trade Training hostel
    A building that once shaped the Māori trade training industry will now revitalise the local community of Ōtautahi and provide much needed housing for whānau Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today. The old Māori Trade Training hostel, Te Koti Te Rato, at Rehua Marae in Christchurch has been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Opening of Te Kōti o Te Rato at Rehua Marae, Ōtautahi
    *Check with delivery* It is a great pleasure to be here with you all today. I acknowledge Ngāi Tūāhuriri and the trustees of Te Whatu Manawa Māoritanga o Rehua Trust Board. The opening of six new apartments on these grounds signifies more than an increase in much-needed housing for Ōtautahi. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major step to pay parity for early learning teachers
    Certificated teachers on the lowest pay in early education and care services will take another leap towards pay parity with their equivalents in kindergartens, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said in a pre-Budget announcement today. “Pay parity for education and care teachers is a manifesto commitment for Labour and is reflected ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Wind Energy Conference
    Tēnā koutou katoa Tēnā koutou i runga i te kaupapa o te Rā No reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa  Thank you Grenville for the introduction and thanks to the organisers, the New Zealand Wind Energy Association, for inviting me to speak this morning. I’m delighted that you ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to New Zealand Drug Foundation 2021 Parliamentary Drug Policy Symposium
    Speech to Through the Maze: On the road to health New Zealand Drug Foundation 2021 Parliamentary Drug Policy Symposium Mōrena koutou katoa, Tēnei te mihi ki a koutou, Kua tae mai nei me ngā kete matauranga hauora, E whai hononga ai tatau katoa, Ka nui te mihi! Thank you for the opportunity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt to deliver lower card fees to business
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark has today announced the Government’s next steps to reduce merchant service fees, that banks charge businesses when customers use a credit or debit card to pay, which is estimated to save New Zealand businesses approximately $74 million each year. “Pre COVID, EFTPOS has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government support boosts Arts and Culture sector
    Government support for the cultural sector to help it recover from the impact of COVID-19 has resulted in more cultural sector jobs predicted through to 2026, and the sector performing better than forecast. The latest forecast by economic consultancy ‘Infometrics’ reflects the impact of Government investment in keeping people in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt takes further action against gang crime
    The Government will make it illegal for high risk people to own firearms by introducing Firearms Prohibition Orders (FPOs) that will strengthen action already taken to combat the influence of gangs and organised crime to help keep New Zealanders and their families safe, Police Minister Poto Williams and Justice Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Thousands of MIQ spaces allocated to secure economic recovery
    Five hundred spaces per fortnight will be allocated in managed isolation facilities over the next 10 months, many for skilled and critical workers to support our economic recovery, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor say. “The Trans-Tasman bubble has freed up more rooms, allowing us to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand Sign Language Week a chance to recognise national taonga
    This week (10 – 16 May 2021) is New Zealand Sign Language Week (NZSL), a nationwide celebration of NZSL as an official language of New Zealand. “We’re recognised as a world leader for our commitment to maintaining and furthering the use of our sign language,” says Minister for Disability Issues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Economic resilience provides more options in Budget 2021
    Securing the recovery and investing in the wellbeing of New Zealanders is the focus of Budget 2021, Grant Robertson told his audience at a pre-budget speech in Auckland this morning. "The economy has proven resilient in response to COVID-19, due to people having confidence in the Government’s health response to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to BNZ-Deloitte Auckland Breakfast Event
    Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today, and to share with you some of the Government’s thinking leading into this year’s budget. This will be my fourth time delivering the annual Budget for the Government, though the events of the past year have thrown out that calculation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Rotuman Language week affirms language as the key to Pacific wellbeing
    The first Pacific Language Week this year  makes it clear that  language is the key to the wellbeing for all Pacific people said Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. “This round of language  weeks begin with Rotuman. As I have always  said language is one of the pillars of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Budget delivers improved cervical and breast cancer screening
    Budget 2021 funds a more effective cervical screening test to help reduce cervical cancer rates A new breast screening system that can proactively identify and enrol eligible women to reach 271,000 more people who aren’t currently in the programme. Budget 2021 delivers a better cervical screening test and a major ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ-France to co-chair Christchurch Call Leaders’ Summit
    New Zealand and France will jointly convene the Christchurch Call Community for a leaders’ summit, to take stock of progress and develop a new shared priority work plan. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and President Emmanuel Macron will co-chair the leaders’ meeting on the 2nd anniversary of the Call, on 14 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New South Wales travel pause to be lifted tomorrow
    COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says the current travel pause with New South Wales will lift tomorrow – subject to no further significant developments in NSW. “New Zealand health officials met today to conduct a further assessment of the public health risk from the recently identified COVID-19 community cases in Sydney. It has been determined that the risk to public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • March 15 Collective Impact Board appointed
    The voices of those affected by the March 15 mosque attacks will be heard more effectively with the establishment of a new collective impact board, Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment Priyanca Radhakrishnan announced today. Seven members of the Christchurch Muslim community have been appointed to the newly established Board, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More young Kiwis supported with mental health and addiction services
    Nearly quarter of a million more young New Zealanders will have access to mental health and addiction support in their communities as the Government’s youth mental health programme gathers pace. New contracts to expand youth-specific services across the Northland, Waitematā and Auckland District Health Board areas have been confirmed, providing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New hospital facilities mean fewer trips to Auckland for Northlanders
    Northlanders will no longer automatically have to go to Auckland for lifesaving heart procedures like angiograms, angioplasty and the insertion of pacemakers, thanks to new operating theatres and a cardiac catheter laboratory opened at Whangārei Hospital by Health Minister Andrew Little today. The two projects – along with a new ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Fair Pay Agreements to improve pay and conditions for essential workers
    The Government is delivering on its pre-election commitment to implement Fair Pay Agreements which will improve wages and conditions, as well as help support our economic recovery, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. Fair Pay Agreements will set minimum standards for all employees and employers in an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Establishment of the new Māori Health Authority takes first big step
    Sir Mason Durie will lead a Steering Group to provide advice to the Transition Unit on governance arrangements and initial appointments to an interim board to oversee the establishment of the Māori Health Authority. This Group will ensure that Māori shape a vital element of our future health system, Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago