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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!

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  • Government offers formal apology for Dawn Raids
    A formal and unreserved apology for the Dawn Raids The Government will offer education scholarships as part of the apology Manaaki New Zealand Short Term Scholarship Training courses Support Pacific artists and historians to develop a comprehensive written and oral account of the Dawn Raids Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Speech to Dawn Raids Apology
    Tēnā koutou katoa, Kia orana kotou katoatoa, Fakaalofa lahi atu ki mutolu oti, Tālofa nī, Mālō nī koutou, Ni sa bula vinaka, Fakatalofa atu, Noa'ia 'e mauri, Kam na mauri, Malo e lelei, Sioto'ofa, Mālō lava le lagi e mamā ma le soifua maua, Oue tulou, tulou atu, tulouna lava ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Bridging the gap – last piece of Northcote Safe Cycle Route now complete
    The opening of two bridges over Auckland’s Northern Motorway is the last link of a cycling and walking route which provides a safe, active alternative for students and commuters, Transport Minister Michael Wood said today. Michael Wood cut the ribbon for the completion of the Northcote Safe Cycle Route, at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Progress in establishment of Aged Care Commissioner
    Recruitment for an Aged Care Commissioner will start next month, to ensure greater oversight of New Zealand’s aged care sector. “This sector is responsible for supporting a large and often vulnerable population. While most people are able to access quality care, there have been cases where that care has fallen ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New record number of homes consented
    In the year ended June 2021, the actual number of new dwellings consented was 44,299, up 18 percent from the June 2020 year. In June 2021, the seasonally adjusted number of new dwellings consented rose 3.8 percent. In June 2021, 4,310 new dwellings were consented, an increase of 3.8 per ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Communities backed to tackle wilding pines
    Twelve community projects across New Zealand will receive a share of $2 million to carry out wilding pine control, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor announced as part of Biosecurity Week. “Wilding pines are a serious problem that threaten many of the unique landscapes that New Zealanders value. Community groups and trusts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Health Minister Andrew Little responding to the New Zealand Nurses Organisation's rejection of ...
    I was advised last night that the result of the ballot of Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa New Zealand Nurses Organisation members have rejected the latest proposal to settle their collective agreement. Let me be clear: the proposal was one they put to the Government. The Nurses Organisation rejected their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation introduced to Parliament
    Legislation has been introduced to Parliament to protect against practices intended to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Introducing the Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill, Minister of Justice, Kris Faafoi, said the measures proposed were aimed at ending conversion practices which don’t work, are widely ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New school site for booming West Auckland
    The Government will build on a new school site in West Auckland to cope with rapid population growth in the area, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. The Ministry is working with existing local schools to determine how the 1.5-hectare site at 279 Hobsonville Point Road will be used to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Trans-Tasman travel window to close at midnight tomorrow
    A further 500 MIQ rooms released for managed returnees from NSW Further Government actions announced today are balanced to provide more certainty for Kiwis wanting to return from Australia, while continuing to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, acting Minister for COVID-19 Response Ayesha Verrall says. The actions were foreshadowed last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt investing millions in Hawke's Bay and Tairāwhiti schools
    Napier Boys’ and Girls’ High Schools are among those set to benefit from a $16.5 million investment in the Hawke's Bay and Tairāwhiti region, Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash announced today. The Government has set aside money in Budget 2021 to accelerate five projects in Napier, Hastings, Havelock North ...
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    3 days ago
  • Game changing Jobs for Nature investment for Northland
    Conservation Minister Kiri Allan has announced Jobs for Nature funding for a portfolio of projects that will create ‘game changing’ gains for nature and communities across Northland/Te Tai Tokerau as part of the Government’s acceleration of the economic recovery from COVID. “This portfolio of 12 projects will see over $20 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Third COVID-19 vaccine receives provisional approval
    New Zealand’s regulatory authority Medsafe has granted provisional approval of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 18 years of age and older, Acting Minister for COVID-19 Response Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. New Zealand secured 7.6 million doses (enough for 3.8 million people) of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine through an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bowel-cancer screening programme is saving lives
    More than 1000 New Zealanders have had bowel cancer – New Zealand’s second-most-common cause of death from cancer - detected under the Government’s National Bowel Screening Programme, Health Minister Andrew Little said today. More than 1200 New Zealanders died from bowel cancer in 2017. The screening programme aims to save ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt welcomes draft report on the retail grocery sector
    The Commerce Commission’s draft report into the retail grocery sector is being welcomed by Government as a major milestone. “I asked the Commerce Commission to look at whether this sector is as competitive as it could be and today it has released its draft report for consultation,” Commerce and Consumer ...
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    4 days ago
  • Christchurch’s Youth Hub ‘set to go’ thanks to further Government funding
    Construction of New Zealand’s first, purpose-built centre for youth well-being is ready to get underway thanks to an extra $2.5 million of COVID-19 response funding, Housing Minister and Associate Minister of Finance, Megan Woods announced today.  “The Christchurch Youth Hub is about bringing together all the things young people need ...
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    4 days ago
  • Next step to protect Milford Sound Piopiotahi
    Expert group lays out plan to better protect iconic UNESCO World Heritage site Milford Sound Piopiotahi and its surrounds Funding confirmed for dedicated unit and Establishment Board to assess the recommendations and provide oversight of the process from here Milford Opportunities Project a test case for transformational change in tourism ...
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    4 days ago
  • Funding for projects to reduce waste from construction and demolition
    The Government has announced funding for projects in Auckland and the lower North Island to help reduce construction and demolition waste. “Construction is the main source of waste sent to landfill, and much of this could be reduced, reused and recovered,” Environment Minister David Parker said. “The Government is funding ...
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    4 days ago
  • Speech at the launch of the National Hepatitis C Action Plan
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Thank you Anglesea Pharmacy and Te Manawa Taki for hosting this event. As a doctor, I saw first hand the impact of hepatitis C. I met Moana in 2019; she came to the infectious diseases outpatient clinic at Wellington Hospital having tested positive for hepatitis C. Like ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Plan to eliminate hepatitis C as a major health threat by 2030
    A plan to eliminate hepatitis C in New Zealand, reducing liver cancer and the need for liver transplants, has been released today by Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall. “Around 45,000 New Zealanders have hepatitis C, but only around half know they have it,” said Ayesha Verrall. “Symptoms often ...
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    5 days ago
  • School upgrades and new classrooms for West Coast, Tasman and Canterbury
    A funding injection from Budget 2021 to complete four shovel ready projects and new classrooms at six schools and kura will provide a real boost to local communities, Minister Dr Megan Woods announced today. “This Government has committed to providing quality fit for purpose learning environments and 100,000 new student ...
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    5 days ago
  • Warmer Kiwi Homes smashes annual target
    The Government's highly successful insulation and heating programme, Warmer Kiwi Homes, is celebrating a key milestone with the completion of more than 38,000 insulation and efficient heater installs in the year to the end of June, smashing its target of 25,000 installs for the year. “The Warmer Kiwi Homes scheme ...
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    5 days ago
  • Exemption granted for Wallabies to enter NZ
    Bledisloe Cup rugby will be played in New Zealand after the Australian rugby team received an economic exemption to enter New Zealand. Travel between Australia and New Zealand was suspended on Friday for at least eight weeks following the worsening of the COVID outbreak across the Tasman. New Zealanders have ...
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    5 days ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes three diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced three New Zealand Head of Mission appointments. They are: Mike Walsh as Ambassador to Iran Michael Upton as Ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union Kevin Burnett as Ambassador to Indonesia Iran “Aotearoa New Zealand has a long-standing and constructive relationship with Iran, despite a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Enhanced Task Force Green Approved for West Coast and Marlborough
    The Government has activated Enhanced Task Force Green (ETFG) in response to the West Coast and Marlborough floods, Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “To assist with the clean-up, up to $500,000 will be made available to support the recovery in Buller and Marlborough which has experienced ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt support for upgrade of Eden Park players facilities
    Minister for Sport and Recreation Hon Grant Robertson has announced funding to upgrade the players facilities at Eden Park ahead of upcoming Women’s World Cup events. Eden Park is a confirmed venue for the Rugby World Cup 2021, the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022, and a proposed venue for matches of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More jobs and quicker public transport motoring towards West Auckland
    Work to improve public transport for West Aucklanders and support the region’s economic recovery by creating hundreds of jobs has officially kicked off, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff this morning marked the start of construction on the Northwestern Bus Improvements project. It ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government backs critical health research
    Research into some of New Zealanders’ biggest health concerns including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease is getting crucial support in the latest round of health research funding, Health Minister Andrew Little announced today. The funding, awarded through the Health Research Council of New Zealand, covers 31 General Project grants ($36.64 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Bay of Islands hospital facilities to bring services closer to home
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Andrew Little have joined a ceremony to bless the site and workers for Phase Two of the redevelopment of the Bay of Islands Hospital in Kawakawa today. The new building will house outpatients and primary care facilities, as well as expanded renal care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Raukokore re-imagined with ‘smart’ relocatable rent to own housing
    Iwi, Crown Partnership Relocatable, fully insulated housing, connected to a new solar plant Provides a pathway to home ownership New housing in the remote eastern Bay of Plenty community of Raukokore shows how iwi and Crown agencies can work together effectively to provide warm, dry, energy efficient homes in a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Cabinet accepts Turkish authorities’ request for the managed return of three NZ citizens
    Cabinet has agreed to the managed return of a New Zealand citizen and her two young children from Turkey, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The three have been in immigration detention in Turkey since crossing the border from Syria earlier this year. Turkey has requested that New Zealand repatriate ...
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    6 days ago
  • Govt delivers more classrooms so children can focus on learning
    Extra Government investment in classrooms and school building projects will enable students and teachers to focus on education rather than overcrowding as school rolls grow across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis say. The pair visited Ruakākā School in Whangārei today to announce $100 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New station a platform for AirportLink to take off
    Every Aucklander with access to the rail network will now have a quick and convenient trip to the airport, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said during the official opening of the new Puhinui Interchange today. The new interchange links the rail platform with a new bus ...
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    1 week ago
  • 10 days sick leave for employees delivered
    Legislation doubling employees’ minimum sick leave entitlement to 10 days comes into effect today, bringing benefits to both businesses and employees, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. “Our Government is delivering on a key manifesto commitment to help Kiwis and workplaces stay healthy,” Michael Wood said. “COVID-19 ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates Fiame Naomi Mata’afa on Election Win
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tonight congratulated Prime Minister-elect Fiame Naomi Mata’afa on her victory in the Samoa’s general election. “New Zealand has a special relationship with Samoa, anchored in the Treaty of Friendship. We look forward to working with Samoa’s new government in the spirit of partnership that characterises this ...
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    1 week ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel with Australia suspended
    Quarantine Free Travel from all Australian states and territories to New Zealand is being suspended as the Covid situation there worsens, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. From 11.59pm today Australians will no longer be able to enter New Zealand quarantine-free. This will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Growing conservation efforts in Gisborne
    A big injection of Jobs for Nature funding will create much-needed jobs and financial security for families in TeTairāwhiti, and has exciting prospects for conservation in the region, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The projects target local communities most affected by the economic consequences of COVID 19 and are designed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Flood recovery given further assistance
    The Government is contributing a further $1 million to help the flood battered Buller community, Acting Emergency Management Minister Kris Faafoi announced today. “Buller is a small community which has found itself suddenly facing significant and ongoing welfare costs. While many emergency welfare costs are reimbursed by Government, this money ...
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    1 week ago
  • Funding for five projects to reduce food waste
    The Government is funding five projects to help address the growing problem of food waste, Environment Minister David Parker announced today. “New Zealand households throw away nearly 300,000 tonnes of food every year, half of which could still be eaten. By supporting these initiatives, we’re taking steps to reduce this ...
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    1 week ago
  • Temporary Accommodation Service activated for West Coast flooding event
    The Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) has been activated today - meaning residents on the West Coast of the South Island and in the Marlborough region hit by flooding over the weekend can now access help finding temporary accommodation, announced Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Poto Williams in Westport today. ...
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    2 weeks ago