Playing to lose

Written By: - Date published: 10:19 am, December 7th, 2011 - 88 comments
Categories: election 2014 - Tags:

“That’s MMP for you” John Key smugly proclaimed in justification of his charter schools policy. Apparently, it’s MMP’s fault that he chose to rort the system and then us the one ACT MP as an excuse for unmandated rightwing policies. But why are the Nats suddenly acting so haughty and pushing through unmandated policies? The answer is MMP.

Yes, Labour got a trouncing at the polls but under MMP that doesn’t mean National had a landslide. In fact, they may end up with exactly the same number of MPs as last time, 58, and, at most, one more (not so many wasted votes this time).

National+ACT+UF will equal just 60 or 61 – a bare majority at best – not the easy 64 majority of last time. National+ACT+UF+Maori Party would equal only 63 or 64 if the Maori Party is stupid enough to sign its own death warrant a confidence and supply agreement, compared to 69 last time. And that’s likely to drop by a seat or two when Sharples and Turia leave in about 18 months.

So, the Nats’ position is significantly weaker despite a result that appears to be about the maximum that the New Zealand public is willing to give a single party – don’t forget National shed 3-4% compared to the final polls and about 6% over the campaign – New Zealanders won’t give one party carte blanche (National’s grievous error in giving NZF all that air-time helped too)

Next time – probably no Maori Party, likely no ACT (especially if Labour, the Greens, and Mana get smart and don’t stand candidates – Parker standing in Epsom to boost his profile for a leadership race only to pull out of that race at the first hurdle was so silly), and maybe no Dunne if Labour has even a slight resurgence or the Greens and Mana get smart in Ohariu too (it’s dumb to whine about the Right using legitimate tactics and fail to respond in kind in those seats).

National would have to hold all its party vote and hope New Zealand First doesn’t get back in, or the Conservatives do.

It seems clear their strategists don’t think that will happen. Not with them selling our assets and years more of delays on that ‘brighter future’ as the economic misery continues. Key’s personal turning point with the public came two weeks before his re-election (just as it did for Clark in 2002), and he will never be as popular again. The ipredict money is already on National losing in 2014, days after their record result.

So, National will go for broke this term. Push through all kinds of crazy stuff – a lot of it pure ideology (spending cap, asset sales, charter schools, welfare privatisation, RMA reform, work rights attacks, cuts to the minimum wage). They know it will cost them votes but they’re not going to win another term anyway, and the MPs with their jobs on the line will be non-entities like Cam Calder and Aaron Gilmore, so they’ll get in what they can.

The first term was about doing a little, stopping Labour doing a lot, and getting re-election. This term is about doing whatever they can before they get turfed out. National’s playing with nothing to lose these next three years, and that’s what makes them so dangerous.

88 comments on “Playing to lose”

  1. King Kong 1

    Come on, surely everyone knew this was the plan.

    Why do you think us National supporters kept so quiet in the last term as our party behaved like a pack of fairies. We knew that after the election they were going to show their teeth and get some real policy rolling.

    Buckle up ladies.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1

      So they are acting like a FPP government , hiding their promises ?.

      What WAS in the plan was to increase subsidies to private schools which are failing because of the mis- match between the level of fees and what the punters can pay.

      Considering the ‘plan’ was to sell off the state owned assets but they had to temper that due to public opinion, I think Key -or Banks- dont give a stuff about education and its just some red meat to throw to the slavering dogs like King Kong.

    • felix 1.2

      That’s right Monkey Man, we all said this was the plan and you fuckwits all denied it.

      You all spent three years calling us paranoid and deluded and saying there’s no hard-right agenda being deferred til the second term.

      And now you’re proud of being a liar? What a sack of shit you are.

      • King Kong 1.2.1

        Welcome to the layer cake son

        • felix 1.2.1.1

          Hey Monkey Man, stop pretending you had us fooled. We called you on it and you lied. Simple as.

          Enjoy your worthlessness.

          • King Kong 1.2.1.1.1

            worthlessness with my team in power…will do

            • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Oh your worthlessness is not to do with your team, its to do with you being an oxygen bludger.

            • felix 1.2.1.1.1.2

              That’s correct Monkey Man.

            • Lanthanide 1.2.1.1.1.3

              Oh, they’re “your” team are they?

              There’s that thing about coming for jews, coming for the trade unionists etc, and then they come for you.

              • Gosman

                That must be the most overused phrase in political discussions.

                Anyway why do you think King Kong has some pulse on the policies of the National party? As far as I can see he is just yanking you lefties chain’s and you are all responding in a terribly predictable manner. It is quite funny to see actually.

                • felix

                  Not allowed to take people at their word, Gos? Not allowed to take people’s words at face value?

                  Bit weird coming from you I must say. You’re usually such a stickler for straight-reading.

                  Is it now your position that there is such a thing as subtext and that it can be taken into consideration when interpreting communication?

          • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.1.2

            Can’t a monkey even delude himself properly nowadays?

            • felix 1.2.1.1.2.1

              I’m not sure he’s even aware that he’s confirming the accusations made.

              • Tigger

                I think King Kock and his ilk need to buckle up – Key wants to leave, his government has a slim majority and with extra Greens, Winston and a renewed Labour the Opposition shitstorm will be fierce. Hope you enjoy the ride, KKK, it ain’t gonna be a pretty time for your lot.

                • felix

                  Throw the borderline retarded yet unfathomably solipsistic rain man Banks into the mix and let the games begin.

    • Spratwax 1.3

      I knew it- and I’m not a GNAT. Key playing the phony centrist for the first term, all smile and

      wave…yeah, right! It’s just that you have 100% backing of the corporate media- that was your

      huge advantage. A lot of people still read Granny and Stuffed (albeit online- subscriptions must be plummeting,

      I don’t know how many calls I get in the evening offering discounts and other crap for a

      subscription) and watch the 6pm tag team infotainment. By 2014 they’ll be hurting too much to

      buy the media crap. It could be a dangerous game that the GNats are playing. Key is going to

      need that house in Hawaii.

      • Akldnut 1.3.1

        They offered me 12 months free herald at the beginning of the year (Feb) and only recently offered another 3 months free.

    • vto 1.4

      “Buckle up ladies.”

      Watch your back mrs kong. Everybody knows where you lot live.

  2. tc 2

    what fascinates me is how much control they exert over the MSM in terms of framing arguments in a way that pleases them

    Yesterday on the increasingly missable morning report Robertson tore into Bradford whilst she was attempting to answer his questions on child poverty I think, then it was is as if the producer in his ear went ‘election’s over geoff….we’re safe back off’ as the seecond half he let her finish.

    Then we keep hearing it’s all the unions fault Mearsk are shifting a contract from akl to tauranga with the usual responses from barnett etc.

    Tauranga got no unions then ? why do they have a smooth operation yet akl don’t ? maybe a management issue perhaps or Tauranga sweetened the deal or another commercial reason….cue some more anti union moves on a deal that’s been months in negotiation but look at the timing of that announcement eh.

    • If there weren’t unions around then NZ management would have no one to blame for their incompetence.

      The really said thing is the way that this Government will continue to smash up the vestiges of the trade union that are left.  Their hatred is pathological.  When teachers and actors, two of the most passive respectful unions the country has even seen, get branded and attacked in the way that we are seeing you know that there is something seriously wrong with the Government’s mindset. 

  3. fisiani 3

    Posters here have spent 3 years wailing for National Standards to be trialled.
    Now National plan to trial two charter schools in poorly performing areas……….Outrage.

    The leftist fear is that the 2 charter schools will be hugely successful and that children will actually learn rather than just be written off. The proof of their popularity will be if there is a huge demand for places as both staff and students.

    Watch out for David Shearer soon endorsing a charter schools trial.

    • RedLogix 3.1

      Tell you what. Seeing as how this is ACT policy, and it is only the electorate of Epsom that has given ACT anything like a mandate.. how about we trial this charter school idea in Epsom?

      • Tigger 3.1.1

        Let’s also trial using pixie dust to turn donkeys into unicorns shall we? A crap idea is a crap idea. No trial needed.

      • felix 3.1.2

        Good idea RedLogix!

        Let’s trial the spending cap in Epsom too. ACT policy and all that.

        • Lanthanide 3.1.2.1

          If what Epsom wants is good for New Zealand, than surely what ACT wants is good for Epsom, too?

          • Hami Shearlie 3.1.2.1.1

            Epsom foisted Banks on us all – only fair that they should suffer the first pain inflicted by John-Hymie-the-Robot-Banks! I lolled when he said he’d only seen 4 movies, “because they’re more than an hour long and I can’t keep still for that long” – sounds like ADHD or ADD to me – Wonder what his dosage of Ritalin is? And, how is he going to survive in Parliament? That can go on till midnight!

      • Gosman 3.1.3

        Whose this ‘we’ you are mentioning here? In case you forgot your lot failed to win the opportunity to decide substantive matters of policy at the recently concluded election. Next time the left wins the right to form the Government you can decide to give people the right to build Charter schools wherever. Until that time you have little say in the matter.

        • felix 3.1.3.1

          Lol Gos.

          Best everyone on the left not say anything at all for three years then.

          • Gosman 3.1.3.1.1

            Once again ascribing a view to me that I haven’t actually stated Felix. Well done. You are getting quite good at that.

            I never stated that left couldn’t bitc# and moan about policies they dislike. In fact it very good at doing so, just rather ineffectually most of the time.

            I just pointed out that trying to suggest the ‘We’ should do something was nonsensical as ‘We’ doesn’t include you at this point.

            • felix 3.1.3.1.1.1

              We are all one, Gos.

              ps I’ll play your silly game. Where exactly did I ascribe anything to you in the comment above?

              Please be specific and point out the exact bit where I state “Gosman thinks x” or similar.

              lolz

      • Vicky32 3.1.4

        how about we trial this charter school idea in Epsom?

        😀

      • Akldnut 3.1.5

        +1 Epsom Girls & Auckland Grammer

    • Blighty 3.2

      I see you’ve got your lines from Farrarblog for the day.

      by your logic if you were trialling macheting every second child then it would be a good idea too. National standards should have at least been trialled, because they are stupid but ideally they wouldn’t have been done at all. Likewise, charter schools should ideally not be done at all.

      charter schools will, as overseas, appear successful by sucking up the good students while not actually making the country any smarter.

    • Deadly_NZ 3.3

      Welcome to McDonalds High. 1st year buns, 2nd year patties and salad, 3rd year Fries, and to graduate to the Local store with honors and minimum wages. Milkshakes.

      What a croc.

    • Spratwax 3.4

      No chance! In the US, academics know these schools don’t work and it’s well-documented but

      now Obama and the GOP are trying to force them on the public- democracy?-not a chance!

    • Draco T Bastard 3.5

      The leftist fear is that the 2 charter schools will be hugely successful…

      No fear of that as we already know that they won’t be. All that they will be is another drain on taxpayer funds to enrich people already wealthy.

  4. Uturn 4

    “(it’s dumb to whine about the Right using legitimate tactics and fail to respond in kind in those seats).”

    Maybe. Depends how far a sense of realism has drifted into pesimism.

    If 50% of NZ are incapable of moral reasoning, there may be an argument for taking the sharp toys off the kids. As you say, the Darker Future on the way for many will be enough to end this current bunch. Unfortunately, voters falling prey to the usual contagion emotion or “mind of the mob” will not present them an idea of why what happened was wrong, and leave the option open for later governments, yet again.

    It could be an opportunity for any and all of the Left Parties to promote and fix the obvious problems with MMP, while keeping MMP. We could then say bye byes to ACT and other destructive clans without falling into the old end-justifies-the-means actions. Because it’s really hard to then campaign on what is right when you’re knowingly and publicly promoting doing the wrong thing. Once you know that legitimate is not always right, you’re obliged to act correctly and begin the difficult, but ultimately better, climb back up the slipperly slope.

  5. The Voice of Reason 5

    If National really believe they are forced to accept ACT policy as a result of MMP bargaining, then that tells me that Key is shite at negotiation. Banks would have happily taken the ministerial salary and perks and no policy gains at all (and that’s assuming that he even knows what ACT’s policies are).

    In fact, I would say that Banks would have happily accepted the salary, perks and a requirement to wear a clown suit in public, if that is what Key required in order to allow him to win the seat. ACT, and Banks, simply have no power in the negotiations. They bring nothing to the table, except a single vote that National know is always going to used to support them, whether or not ACT are in coalition.

    Nah, just more Tory bullshit.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      I think Banks just went along to the meeting and Joyce would have laid down all the things that National were prepared to offer and Banks got to take the list back to the party council who chose what they wanted.

  6. In Vino Veritas 6

    I dont think it would be to far fetched to say that the iPredict odds on National being defeated in 2014 are in a large part, to do with the impression they will have no centre right coalition partners, therefore handing the government to the centre left. Since it seems the Greens at least, are here to stay, Labour will have to go into coalition. And goodness me, when that happens, the Greens will definitely want their pound of “unmandated” flesh from the Labour Party. I wonder how much bleating you will do then Eddie?

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      A National defeat for 2014 is not sufficient, a National humiliation would be.

      • chris73 6.1.1

        It wouldn’t be a bad idea, just like 2002. Act could get its (sorry) act together and go back to dealing with economic issues and not faffing about with the SST leaving the conservatives to shore up the religious nutters (and soak up Winstonfirst) and National to come back in 2020 to fix the mess two terms of Labour will have left us with

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1

          Act, like most economists, wouldn’t know what an economy was if they tripped over it. This is probably due to them listening to self-same delusional economists.

    • felix 6.2

      In what sense are the Greens “unmandated”, IVV?

      • In Vino Veritas 6.2.1

        In the same sense that eddie and other’s posting on the Standard do not believe National has a mandate Felix.

        • felix 6.2.1.1

          I think you need to read a little closer then. National has a mandate for whatever they campaigned on, which is fuck all really. Selling assets. Brighter future. Banning some thing or other.

          Know who has next-to-no-mandate-at-all? John Banks.

          So why is he allowed to dictate extreme right-wing policy to nice, centrist, don’t-rock-the-yacht Key?

          • In Vino Veritas 6.2.1.1.1

            Felix, as you well know, minority parties under MMP have an awful lot of power, given that they can make or break any possible coalition. Just as Labour will find out in due course when they cosy up with the Greens, as they will have too (unless of course, Labour bastardises themselves and adopts Green policies and ideas to take votes away from the Greens). Given that the Greens have a list of things they want to ban that runs over 100, I’d suggest that this is a simple starting point.

            • felix 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Banks would bring down the National govt if they don’t give him what he wants? That is what you’re saying, isn’t it? ‘Cos we’re not discussing a hypothetical here. You’re saying that National believe Banks would actually bring their govt down.

              The same Banks whose entire campaign was that he’d support National come hell or high water?

              The same National govt without whose assistance and endorsement he wouldn’t even have a seat at all?

              Oh yeah, they must be shaking in their boots.

              • Colonial Viper

                ACT strong man Banks arm twists John Key who fought valiantly against Banksie’s plans to ruin the public education system for days on end without rest but finally to no avail.

                LOL

  7. tsmithfield 7

    Most contributors here were wholeheartedly embracing and enthusiastically promoting the virtues of MMP in the run up to the referendum. I find it amusing how the squealing starts from many of the same contributors when MMP delivers up outcomes they don’t like.

    National has simply played the cards that were dealt to them under the MMP system in the strategically most advantageous way for them.

    If you don’t like the rules, then change the rules. Don’t complain about the fact that people exploit the rules to their best advantage.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      “when MMP delivers up outcomes they don’t like”

      Neither ACT nor National campaigned or said anything about charter schools. In Christchurch when they went through a thorough review of the future of education they never mentioned charter schools.

      This is National’s policy, pure and simple, and they’re saying it’s a result of MMP because they want to shift the blame there and give the two-ticks-national-reject-MMP-FPP crowd (such as yourself, presumably) something to feel smug about.

      As usual you’ve bought their lies hook, line and sinker, though.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        tsmithfield speaks of “MMP” as if its a political party that somehow forced both John Key and John Banks to accept charter schools.

        • tsmithfield 7.1.1.1

          Come on. You lot were whining from the moment that National started doing sweetheart deals with Act and UF. Yet the MMP system that most here love and extol makes these types of dealings possible.

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.1

            Get a grip. Key didn’t resist Charter Schools in the slightest because his backers are for Charter Schools.

          • felix 7.1.1.1.2

            “Yet the MMP system … makes these types of dealings possible”

            How so, ts?

            What aspect of the Nat/ACT deal is specific to MMP? (or the Nat/UF one for that matter)

            As far as I can see they could do exactly the same under any system that uses electorate seats.

            • tsmithfield 7.1.1.1.2.1

              Felix: “As far as I can see they could do exactly the same under any system that uses electorate seats.”

              I wouldn’t achieve anything with with FPP, which uses electorate seats. So you are incorrect.

              • felix

                Perhaps I wasn’t clear. I was asking you to please explain what exactly it achieves under MMP that it wouldn’t achieve under FPP.

                It seems they could do exactly the same for exactly the same result.

      • Pete George 7.1.2

        “Neither ACT nor National campaigned or said anything about charter schools. ”

        See:

        it was in Don Brash’s campaign speech on education – I read it when I was reviewing all the parties’ education policies. I’ve excerpted the key details below. I also covered it in more detail at my blog last night. Anyone involved in education policy would have recognised it as charter schools, even if Brash didn’t use that phrase.

        http://dimpost.wordpress.com/2011/12/07/building-the-knowledge-economy/#comment-58865

        That the media chose to stir a cup of tea to death rather than report on actual policy is not Brash’s fault.

        • felix 7.1.2.1

          Why is Don Brash dictating policy to National? Where’s his mandate to do anything of the sort?

          At least your mate Peter seems to know what his sliver of support is worth and doesn’t ask for much (although really, a ministerial posting for a margin-of-error level party is still taking the piss a bit)

        • Lanthanide 7.1.2.2

          And yet it’s nowhere on their website.

          Don Brash also spoke about decriminalising marijuana. In fact, Don Brash said a lot of things, most of which have not come to pass. Except for these charter schools. How odd.

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2.2.1

            http://www.act.org.nz/policies/education

            I suspect that “independent schools” is an euphemism for it. Basically, couched in terms that people wouldn’t recognise it.

            • Lanthanide 7.1.2.2.1.1

              The only line in there about “independent schools” is really just talking about private schools.

              Charter schools would indeed fit under that definition, but the line doesn’t say anything about creating new independent schools or trialing new models.

      • In Vino Veritas 7.1.3

        Lanth, buying into lies hook line and sinker is not the sole domain of the centre-right, from your posts, it’s apparent you’ve bought into Labour’s lies hook, line and sinker.

    • Craig Glen Eden 7.2

      We are not complaining we just want John Key to tell the truth, open honest campaigning thats not to much to ask is it? If you are going to mine Schedule four land and you think its in the Countries best interest put forward your arguments, have some electoral honesty. If you want to trial some new Charter Schools tell the people thats what you are going to do, don’t hide behind John Banks.

      Key and National are gutless don’t claim you have a mandate to do things when you reduce the campaign time to 4 weeks then wont let your MPs go to public meetings. Is that the type of Government National Party members want, dont complain when the masses take back the control because if you dont think it will happen take a look around the world, in case you haven’t noticed people have had enough of Leaders who say one thing and do another.

    • felix 7.3

      “I find it amusing how the squealing starts from many of the same contributors when MMP delivers up outcomes they don’t like. “

      lolwhut? National delivered this outcome ts. They delivered Banks and ACT and this policy. Nothing to do with electoral systems.

    • Spratwax 7.4

      Ah, but they still have no decision on Chch central , Waimak, Waitak and Ak cent because the

      specials still need to be counted. I love MMP and have no complaints, but it looks like Key is

      jumping the gun and trying to get stuff done before the possibility of losing his slim majority.

  8. felix 8

    Hey John Key.

    If ACT told you to jump off a bridge would you do that too?

  9. Glenn 9

    Hopefully before the next election or bielection the opposition leaders will get together for a cup of tea and a strategy session. They aren’t doing themselves any favours in marginal seats.

  10. randal 10

    sok.
    kweewee and binky have already played their losing card.
    the nashnil gubmint might hang in there but the writing is on the wall.
    trying to payoff a faction by completely f*cking over the school system is a guranteed no no.
    byeeeeee.

  11. Roy 11

    *Sigh* I suppose we now face three years of having to listen to John ‘Sore Loser’ Key blame MMP for every nasty thing he does, because the electorate didn’t give him the Unbridled Power he craved.

  12. Spratwax 12

    Remember when…… the NZ public thought he was honest John. His honesty and integrity were

    his most valuable qualities.

  13. Chris 13

    I came across this on wikipaedia I wonder who the british expert is “New Zealand

    Since 1989 New Zealand has also made provision for Designated Special Character schools. As of 2011 only two have been established. (These are not to be confused with “state integrated” schools—mostly Catholic,[39] and formerly private—that are “integrated” into the public school system, while retaining their proprietors, which are required to have a “special character” in their integration agreement with the Crown that would be preserved by the school’s continuance.)

    In December 2011, the Associate Minister of Education-designate and member of the minor ACT Party John Banks, announced a policy of setting up charter schools in South Auckland and East Christchurch within a year, following the appointment of a British expert in charter schools as the new Secretary of Education. Banks intends to set up charter schools as alternatives to public schools, in some cases taking over the facilities of a state school. They would be funded by the state with contributions from private businesses or organisations such as churches and tribal groups. Students could be selected on their special abilities from the local school. Teachers would not have to be trained or registered or receive any training to teach in such a charter School. There would be no fixed salary-scales and teachers would be paid on results rather than on teaching ability. The Associate Minister said that this would enable people in the community who do not have normal teacher training to be employed to teach children. The president of the Post Primary Teachers’ Association said that in Britain it is a failed model with only 17% of students doing better in a charter school compared to state schools with 37% doing worse than in the state system. In a detailed comparative study of well-funded schools in New York, the research concluded that despite charter schools hand-picking their students in a lottery system, students in state schools do statistically better in state examinations. The president pointed out that the state education system in New Zealand was considerably superior to either the US or the UK state education systems.

  14. Charter schools are as far Right as one can go.How many people out there other than the religious nutters think so called Christian education is best.What can we expect ,Well creation instead of evolution ,just what the American religious right is demanding . No qualified teachers. I bet the sexual perverts are already contacting each other.Do we really want to risk our young peoples future and health with unqualfied staff.
    Teachers better wake up now,Get organized get behind Labour ,either join or make a donation .because this ACT /Nat government is going to destroy your unions and then put in place this horrendious plan for Charter schools. I have no doubt that this has been planned over the last three years and now its fruition time. The religious aspect of this plan is only one part ,I have no doubt a full scale privatization plan is on the table .Charter schools is the first move towards privatization.

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