Polity: Today’s Herald editorial

Written By: - Date published: 10:10 am, July 2nd, 2014 - 33 comments
Categories: making shit up, Media, newspapers - Tags: , ,

polity_square_for_lynnReposted from Polity.

Here’s your New Zealand Herald opining on policies that Labour should announce this weekend:

The Labour Party holds its pre-election conference this weekend. It has every chance of producing a policy that might give its supporters a sense of direction. Labour already has announced new taxes on high incomes and rental property sales. The revenue it stands to gain gives it room to announce that it can finance something more productive than an extension of social benefits.

Then again, Labour could surprise all pundits by promising to pay down debt faster than National and resume contributions to the Cullen Fund earlier. Promises such as those might not set its conference alight but they would be a sign it is seriously ready to return to power. National offered a future of little more than road cones; Labour can probably do better.

Um, yeah. So Labour already did that. Last Wednesday. As reported but eh Herald’s Gallery team.

Once the Herald’s editorial team catches up, I am hopeful of a Monday headline screaming: “Labour seriously ready to return to power.”

Given recent history, however, I am preparing for: “Desperate Labour, lacking ideas, copies Herald editorial.”

33 comments on “Polity: Today’s Herald editorial”

  1. Tracey 2

    For the link challenged

    “In its alternative budget released today, Labour said it would pay down debt faster than the National Government’s Budget projections this year with a shake up of the tax system including its flagship capital gains tax policy, a 3c hike in the top personal tax rate, and a crackdown on tax avoidance by multinationals.

    As revealed by the Herald this morning Labour says it would raise as much as $200 million a year in additional revenue by tackling tax avoidance by big international companies.

    However Labour Leader David Cunliffe today said Labour’s fiscal plan meant its new spending initiatives including its “Best Start” child support package would be built on “strong and sound fiscal foundations” allowing it to pay off the National Government’s “record debt” by the end of its second term.

    Under Labour’s plan, net debt including the impact of the NZ Superannuation Fund would be back to 3 per cent of GDP by 2021.” 3:32 PM Wednesday Jun 25, 2014 Herald

    • srylands 2.1

      “As revealed by the Herald this morning Labour says it would raise as much as $200 million a year in additional revenue by tackling tax avoidance by big international companies.”

      How exactly are they going to do this without the cooperation of other jurisdictions? New Zealand has no jurisdiction over these companies.

      I have found nothing in the issued policy statements. What exactly are the law changes that Labour will introduce? And what are the assumptions behind the $200 million number? Now that the seconded Treasury analyst has gone from the Leader’s office (a terrible mistake), these numbers have much less credibility.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1

        Yes, because Treasury oozes credibility. Remember when Michael Cullen had to rub their ideological little faces in the real world consequences of minimum wage increases, and they didn’t listen until their little red faces were almost raw, and then started dishonestly backsliding the first chance they got?

        The problem is too many delusional Friedmanites, and it results in their manifest bias and incompetence. A bit like yours really.

        • srylands

          OK smartarse. Who has costed the $200 million? The last time I checked Treasury could add up fiscal costs.

          And yes the Treasury does ooze credibility. Stop acting like an embittered version Winston Peters and address the issues.

          The tax policy is an empirical problem. Somebody must have the assumptions behind the $200 million. You obviously have no idea.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            They can add things up? Wow, that makes them as useful as an Excel spreadsheet and infinitely more opinionated.

          • KJT

            Treasuries fiscal projections have never been correct in living memory.

            As fictional as National’s budget surplus.

            As I have said repeatedly, we could have saved a lot of money, by replacing the whole lot with a Don Brash doll which you could wind up to say, ‘cut wages, cut taxes, sell everything’!

            Or a couple of Augers looking at chicken entrails.

      • fisiani 2.1.2

        Labour could not afford the Treasury official as they had to spend money on a spin merchant. They assume that the average voter and churnalist is too thick to question press releases. The latest crap about paying schools to stop donations but allow requests for ‘activity fees” is just meaningless and is just throwing money at schools to carry on as usual. How does that educate anyone. An army of tax officials in Google and Facebook offices which are ummmmm NOT in NZ. They just make up numbers but forget to tell us that they will have to double them when they have to have a Cabinet 50% Green. Is this the best they can do or are they planning to blind us with bullshit in the last week and hope that the churnalists accept it as gospel.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Grammar and syntax proving too difficult with spittle-flecked keyboard 😆

        • You_Fool

          As a side point, if the next cabinet is 50% green party MP’s then that will be because the population of NZ has voted to give the Greens such strength in decision making in the parliament (approx 25% of the nation minimum,) which you might not like but that is OK because your vote will count in the % that Act or National or whoever you vote for get and thus the power they wield in the next parliament.

          I know MMP is hard for you to understand, but it is actually quite simple.

      • DH 2.1.3

        “New Zealand has no jurisdiction over these companies.”

        Actually NZ does. This is an issue of transfer pricing and we’re quite within our rights to make some reasonable arbitrary assumptions on the level of it and tax accordingly. Their local offices are NZ registered companies and as such they’re subject to our tax laws.

        • srylands

          Yes their subsidiaries are. So what do you do when they shut down their local subsidiaries, sack all the workers and service NZ from Sydney?

          And I still have not had an answer to the law changes that will be made or the costing assumptions behind the $200 m. Is this because there are none?

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            No, it’s because no-one gives a toss about your demands. The full fiscal plan is available as a download from their website, and no, I’m not providing you with a link.

          • DH

            Why would they set up in Sydney? Google can already bill NZ customers direct from Ireland if they want to, the fact they don’t should tell you that having a local presence means something to them.

            No-one’s threatened to shut down their subsidiaries anyway, they’ve merely promised to tax them justly. If they don’t like it they can bugger off, always someone else in the wings to take their place. These are all service businesses here, they don’t create any wealth in NZ they just take business away from others.

          • blue leopard

            @ Srylands,

            It was all over the media a few months back

            ” $1 billion to $6 billion a year – is the amount calculated to be lost to government coffers through tax evasion each year…”


            It would appear that 200 million is 20% of the lowest estimate that New Zealand is losing from tax evasion – and just over 3% of the highest estimate. I would guess they are being on the conservative side on what can be recovered in order to ensure they are not making promises they can’t keep.

            Anymore questions?

            • North

              SSLands and FizzyAnus seem very defensive today……SSLands’ unmannerly “OK smartarse.” @ really rocked me I’ll tell ya.

          • Bluey

            Law changes will happen through will of the people and governments, already happening in Europe with Google.
            To quantify things, Google made about 12 billion US last year. So NZs share of that (in proportion to global GDP) might be 0.2% or 24 m. So if we got a share of tax it would be about USD 7m. Of course it could be higher if you exclude China where Google is banned. It’s not a huge amount, but if you add together all the other mutli-nationals operating in the same way it is quite easy to visualise NZD 200m in additional tax.

      • Tracey 2.1.4

        yes sylands, the herald fucked up again. Is that what you are asking?

  2. srylands 3

    “Um, yeah. So Labour already did that. Last Wednesday. As reported but eh Herald’s Gallery team.”

    I think the Herald means evidence based policy.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      They’d better get the hang of evidence-based reporting first.

    • Richard Christie 3.2

      I think the Herald means evidence based policy.


      The New Zealand Herald aka The Lickspittle Press.

  3. blue leopard 4

    I have just finished watching ‘The Battle of Chile’ by Patricio Guzman and in response am feeling particularly sore about the state of our media.

    The film informs me, among other things, that those who are advantaged by having a system that guarantees resources aren’t shared out fairly absolutely do use the media to create false ideas in peoples’ minds as to how workable such a system is. Such actions are driven by pure and extremely narrow self interest, they lead to prejudiced and unkind attitudes toward fellow compatriots – and this easily (perhaps inevitably is more accurate) leads to violence.

    Propaganda tactics such as what we are seeing shuts down informed debate and informed choices and fairly much spells the end of any chance of keeping our system workable.

    The only way to reverse this situation is for people to stop reading and believing the crap being propagated and seek out more trustworthy sources of information – preferably from a variety of sources.

    I view it as truly treasonous what our media are now conducting. It is time journalists got together and refused to agree to the orders they are receiving.

    To journalists far and wide: Your bosses aren’t going to change unless you make a stand. They couldn’t continue on their sorry track if people refused to take their orders. It is neither ethical nor professional what you are being asked to do and being obedient is leading to an unethical and non professional media in this country and a very misinformed public. You have to choose what to be obedient to – factual reporting or spreading lies. You should not be agreeing to orders that lead to false representation of the facts, theories, our society, reality or anything else I have missed.

    • cogito 4.1

      Great post.

      Unfortunately kiwis appear to have lost the ability to stand up for what is right, preferring instead to simply do what is expedient and lines their pockets. It’s been a downward trend for years, but has sunk to new depths under the jackboot of liar Key.

      NZ is in dire need of renewal, which will only happen if Key is removed on 20th September.

      • blue leopard 4.1.1

        Thanks cogito,

        Whilst I agree that there are plenty of New Zealanders who have a very narrow focus and are fundamentally greedy I believe there is something else going on here too.

        That is; there is something in our culture – particularly in ‘white’ New Zealand – that is against speaking out, that it is wrong to voice an opinion -” Do not rock the boat

        I understand whole books have been written about this matter – often it is referred to as apathy, which I think may be not the most accurate label -‘inhibited’ may be better. So perhaps (hopefully) not all of it is about lining pockets – some of it may be about keeping quiet because we believe that speaking out is somehow wrong. Sadly it leads to the same results regardless of the cause.

        I am unsure how to address this cultural issue – but it needs addressing. One can be in a group of people who all have a similar complaint and they just won’t speak out. I have experienced this more than a few times. It is a pretty dire quality when things are going wrong.

        I don’t know what it is that sometimes causes this inhibition to disappear and an issue gets New Zealanders’ out in large numbers objecting – as occurred with the nuclear free NZ – I would like to know what that is; because it really is past time that people stopped allowing what is happening in our country from proceeding. (If you or anyone has any clues on this – please do share).

        [I am aware that in another comment you referred to yourself as an ‘ex-Pom’ you may already be aware of this facet of NZ culture…but just in case you aren’t I wrote about it.]

        • cogito

          Yes, interesting blue leopard.

          I have been here many years and have become only too aware of some of the features of NZ behaviour…

          I think there is a lot of “don’t rock the boat” – basically FEAR – in the kiwi psyche, just as there is a lot of buck passing and double-talk but, given sufficient reason/provocation, people will stand up and be counted.

          In recent times, this has been most evident in Chch with those who have been badly treated by EQC etc, and have felt that they have nothing to lose, and so have taken a stand…. but it has taken a lot of courage for them to step out and be visible. By doing so, however, they have not only shown up failings and mismanagement in the system, but have also gained strength and confidence. That is something that needs to be tapped into and built on and spread around the country. People need to feel empowered to stand up and demand change.

          On the matter of apathy, my daughter came from home Lincoln Uni the other day. I asked if she had come across much political activity on campus…. To my surprise, she said there was very little happening, and the only party that appeared to be doing anything were the young nats…. How sad is that! So often it is at uni that young people develop their political consciousness….

          • blue leopard

            Yes fear is a good word for it. We are a country of cowards. (Go the All Blacks and all ….)

            I really hope that your suggestion that the Chch experience might teach us something and that lesson spreads throughout the country does occur. We can live in hope. I thought that one good thing that might arise from such a tragedy, as the Chch earthquake was, was that New Zealanders’ would start to realise that bad things happen to innocent people – it is not solely about choice – and that a more realistic and compassionate culture might develop…so far I have been pretty disappointed on that front…

            That really is sad to hear about the non-political activity in Uni. There is one observation I would like to share in that regard – I have just gone back to study at Uni level and not only is full time study now delineated as 7 papers not the 6 papers that it was when I was last studying, it appears to me that the workload per paper is substantially more than it was. I therefore suspect that there is not much time for any political activity for students these days because if they are not studying they are probably having to do some paid work to make up for the insubstantial pittance that the government provides and expects students to survive on….I guess this state of affairs suits certain governments just fine – I mean who needs politically active people in a democracy….. 🙁

            • cogito

              “bad things happen to innocent people – it is not solely about choice – and that a more realistic and compassionate culture might develop”

              Absolutely right!!!!! We’ve had a bit of experience of that first-hand in the last three years…. and gee, did we have a fight with certain bent and lying individuals in the bureaucracy. They actually almost succeeded in totally destroying our lives, and we are still suffering the effects. This is what happens when governments provide financial incentives for people to act in particular ways as opposed to acting according to principles of fairness and justice.

              You are certainly right re uni life these days. When I did my degree and postgrad years ago in the UK I had everything paid for and even managed to save a few quid! How times have changed….

      • Chooky 4.1.2

        +100 blue leopard and cogito

    • emergency mike 4.2

      All true bl, NZ MSM journalists are the lowest I’ve seen. I think the problem, at least partly, is simply a lack of deeper intelligence.

      I fear you might be barking up the wrong tree trying to appeal to their better nature however.

  4. philj 5

    Hey journo!
    That was a great story about the bacteria being greater on women’s cellphones than men’s. We’ll lead with that on the front page!
    Our MSM is pathetic, gutless and biased. Campbell Live is the best we’ve got, and that’s a commercial channel!

  5. Macro 6

    The Herald rang and offered me a free paper for a month 6 weeks ago – I said yes because it’s great for composting and covering the weeds with. I wish I hadn’t – it only encouraged them. Then again I feel heartened that all that written manure is doing such a good job as mulch, which is pretty much all it is fit for.

    • Tracey 6.1

      i took that offer so when they rang back i could tell them why i will never pay a cent for it.

  6. Tom Gould 7

    The latest anonymous Herald editorial calls on McCully to apologise to all wronged parties over the diplomat fiasco. McCully claims to have been misinformed by officials. I recall the Herald claiming to have been ‘misinformed’ by its ‘sources’ over recent ‘misreporting’ that caused huge damage to wronged parties. Where’s their apology? What’s that “h” word again?

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