Public rage at govt policies and lies

Written By: - Date published: 11:43 pm, November 30th, 2009 - 21 comments
Categories: national/act government - Tags:

On Nightline just now there was coverage of a meeting held by Nick Smith in St Heliers. Two interesting things:

1) there was an astounding level of anger, even vitriol, against him and the government over the ETS (from both sides of that argument), over the shabby backhander for selected iwi to buy Maori Party support, over the ACC levy hikes, and over the removal of coverage for sexual abuse victims. Bikers calling Smith a liar. Sexual abuse victims calling him heartless. Smith locked positively pathetic in the face of it all. In fact, the footage showed him losing his temper with one speaker.

Smith is clearly a liability to the government. But, then, which minster isn’t? English, Hide, Bennett, Brownlee, Wilkinson, Tolley, the Cabinet is a roll-call of people who have managed to embarrass the government and anger the public in one short year. And it’s all being allowed to go on because there’s no leadership from the top and no control, because the supposed leader is no leader at all.

2) Smith admitted that National would never have given the forestry backhander to those iwi if it weren’t to buy Maori Party support. Which makes a lie of everything he, John Key, and every other Nat and Maori Party MP has been saying for the last two weeks.

National claimed that had they not bribed the iwi there would have been court cases over the lost of forests those iwi had won in Treaty compensation because they couldn’t be converted to non-forest uses without facing carbon charges. That argument was obviously a lie along, the documents to prove the iwi had no legal case were public. Nonetheless the lie was told and the minister has now admitted he, his Prime Minister, his party, and his allies lied to us. Of course, he’s only admitted that after the ETS is safely passed.

This government believes it’s OK to lie to the public if it helps get their policies passed. Well, they may have fooled the public once but in two years they’re going to have to try to do it again, and with ministers like Smith that job gets harder by the day.

21 comments on “Public rage at govt policies and lies”

  1. gobsmacked 1

    “Smith admitted that National would never have given the forestry backhander to those iwi if it weren’t to buy Maori Party support.”

    I watched the report. That was a real jaw-dropper. He blamed MMP! (never mind that the Maori seats have nothing to do with MMP, or that he could have dealt with Labour instead).

    An incredible admission, which should lead every news bulletin tomorrow … but I won’t hold my breath. Key will be “relaxed”.

  2. john 2

    The nightline report didnt reflect my experience of the meeting, the ETS was a minor part of the meeting and most of the anger and vitriol was to do with increased ACC levys. There were a couple of questions around the ETS from bikers most of which were either openly racist or showed a complete lack of understanding of this countries history of colonisation and oppression of Maori.

    The protest against cuts to funding for sexual abuse survivors was really inspiring, particularly the two women which presented Nick Smith with the banner covered in messages from sexual abuse survivors. I was really happy to see the bikers support this protest with many joining the picket ouside once the meeting was over.

    Anyway I’ve put some photos up from tonight on Flickr, feel free to use any of them on the standard or other left wing sites.

  3. outofbed 3

    Just listened to it Did he really liken our poxy ETS reponse to
    kiwi soldiers doing their bit in the ww1 and ww2?
    fuck I detest that Guy

  4. BLiP 4

    Thanks Nick for your lies and incompetence. Your work has, finally, resulted in the heartening sight of people now angry enough now to bring their banners and their voices into the streets and public halls. Get used to it.

    • Rex Widerstrom 4.1

      Let’s see now… the first “banners and voices in the street” I personally recall was the widespread protests against the SIS Act in Muldoon’s time. It passed.

      Since then I’ve seen literally countless more, each as ineffective as the last.

      Not that we shouldn’t, and nor am I implying any criticism or scorn of those who take to the streets – indeed I’ve done it myself on occasion.

      But if only a fraction of that flush of anger could be extended into prolonged campaigning not about one issue or another (because there’s inevitably disagreements amongst us about those) but into making a better system which informs us, then lets us have a say, and exerts proper control over the succession of immoral hucksters who get themselves elected.

      Or better yet, they all resolve to elect only independents committed to truly representing the people who put them into Parliament.

      Yes that’s bitter and cynical, but I just know that whatever protests are raised will be met with the same contempt (disguised or blatant) with which such things have been treated for decades, and I feel so damned tired of it all.

  5. Neil 5

    “There were a couple of questions around the ETS from bikers most of which were either openly racist or showed a complete lack of understanding of this countries history of colonisation and oppression of Maori.”

    Goff’s getting his message across to some, whether that makes up for the votes he’ll lose in the Maori community only time can tell.

    • Ron 5.1

      Not fair, Neil.
      There IS the usual racist response to any Maori aspiration or advance. It doesn’t need Goff to get that lot started. I have looked at Goff’s speech a couple of times now and I see an attack on a Tory party. The Maori party have made that bed and I sure as hell hope that the opposition make them lie in it.

  6. Tim Ellis 6

    So much widespread outrage and anger towards the government, after only one year.

    Funny how the polls are saying otherwise.

    • Nick 6.2

      Yip. And the people are so angry and the lies so pronounced the only alternative (Goff) is at 4%.

    • Hell Tim what is going to be your contribution to posts when the polls turn.

    • prism 6.4

      The people won’t change till something badly affects them personally and they can blame the government. The govt is in a holding pattern at the moment that’s why support is high. If you ask a simple question ie which govt do you prefer, the one just voted out, or the one that is in that hasn’t been in long, they will vote in the practical way of supporting the current one.
      That’s why Nats are higher. Labour has to work at its policies and capabilities – that’s all.

  7. Bored 7


    One year in only, Helen had much the same polling year one. I do recall the right groaning and moaning in their continuous outrage from minute one of nine years, reaching a crescendo of righteous indgnation toward the end.

    So in summary, take off the eye patch and watch this space, we are only going to get louder. As they say sauce for the goose.

    • Geek 7.1

      The problem with what you are saying is that Helen held the job for 9 years. I bloody well hope that Nationals current polling don’t carry them through for that long.

  8. Adrian 8

    I must have missed it last year, but a comment yesterday that more Maori voted Nat than Maori Party in the last election is illuminating. Like it or not , we do have a system where a unrealisticly small number ( Act, UF, MP, etc) can have a huge effect on political outcomes. Helen Clark’s skill in recognition without disproportionate power is sorely missed.

  9. outofbed 9

    Look for more “thats MMP” next year at the Nats try and get that particular meme going
    like the 10 years of deficits etct etc

    • prism 9.1

      Yes they would love to get rid of the thorn in the flesh that is MMP – having to take other people into consideration, to consult meaningfully and give way on some things, that’s so timewasting. MMP is not a perfect answer but like the quote about democracy in general, it’s better than the alternatives.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    Well, they may have fooled the public once but in two years they’re going to have to try to do it again,

    It’s going to be a lot less than two years – more like two months. Actually, I don’t think they’ve stopped lying for the last year. They have to else they wouldn’t be able to get their policies in place at all.

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