- Date published:
6:30 am, May 12th, 2011 - 77 comments
Categories: economy - Tags: john key
The doyens at the Herald got their (no doubt large and sensible) knickers in a twist the other day about Labour’s attacks on John Key claiming Labour needs to focus on the big issues.
The same day Key had a wee whinge about the opposition focusing on trivia.
Now you could be forgiven for asking whether there was some irony in this missive coming from the same paper that regularly prints celebratory gossip stories and beat ups about Hone Harawira and his extended family.
But that would be mean.
A better question to ask is why would the opposition focus only on the big complicated economic questions when the government gets away with not fronting on them.
As an example, the same day the Herald ran that wee editorial John Campbell spent two minutes of his show describing how the Prime Minister had refused to front on the economy again. And that he had only fronted four times in the last year. Two of which were about the earthquake.
Similarly the next day morning report ran a story about the upcoming budget. Their talent? Cunliffe and Brash. That’s right – the finance minister didn’t front (and I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard Geoff or Simon use the phrase “the prime minister was not available for comment”).
But a story about BMW deals and National Party donations? Well that gets met with an immediate media release from John Key.
Y’see the thing is you have to fight the ground you get when you’re opposition and this government has repeatedly refused to address the big issues.
To be honest I don’t think they could do it even if they wanted to – just look at Key’s abysmal performance on the big issues on the BBC’s Hardtalk.
Frankly until they show they can front on the economy, on unemployment, on their lack of any real plan, on their failure to do anything but photo ops and dirty politics this government has no authority to whinge about being attacked on “trivia”* at all. By running a strategy of avoiding the real issues and depending on shallow controlled photo op politics the Nats have made their own bed.
But it’s pitiful to see them complaining about having to lie in it.
* I’d also point out that the “trivia” that they are being attacked on is certainly not politically trivial as it goes to the heart of what their worldview is. And it certainly isn’t a worldview predicated on Kiwi egalitarianism.
They are also so hypocritical. They spent years bashing everyone in sight about speeding cars, tennis balls and the like and then when the compliment is returned they cry unfair and dirty politics.
Their analysis of the economy is superficial at best and downright dishonest at worst. The best thing they seem to be able to claim is that savings rates are up. I am sure they are, partly because of Kiwi’s nervousness and partly because of Kiwisaver. Neither of these aspects are due to Government policy, except perhaps the fear aspect.
Key’s continual denial of responsibility is becoming very apparent. He denied responsibility for concerns about the BMW donation. Yet as the Prime Minister AND the leader of the National Party he either knew about what was happening OR he does not have a clue about what is happening on his watch. Either option causes deep concern.
Time to keep attacking them, on every front, major and minor.
The more that National complain we are doing something, the more we do it, the more we make them complain. Labour – winning, National – whining.
Except, what most people see, National – won. Labour – whiners.
Haha nice reversal, just realise you’re backing a team with no plan except for your own whining complaints.
Putting words in our mouths again peteG.
We the NZ surf’s are so grateful that we have people like you to tell us what we should think!
The current ‘BIG’ issue is Fukushima … and no one is talking about it
I think because we are already nuclear free Kiwi’s aren’t too concerned about it.
All the people I know are well aware of the situation of Fukushima Dai-ichi. You might recall that nuclear lobbyists were trying to convince NZ to go down the nuclear path prior to the “accident.” This included many National ministers, Bill English saying that the Nuclear Free Aotearoa policy would be gone before lunchtime should spring to mind. Now we have Brash trying to make us believe no US war ships are nuclear powered, so we should allow them into New Zealand waters. It is a relevant issue for New Zealand because there are some really really stupid people in power at the moment, that want nuclear power. Fukushima has not changed their minds, it has just delayed their agenda. Vote for National, for a radioactive future… Vote for the Greens, to ensure a safe future with a nuclear free New Zealand.
No sorry Brash said nothing about their propulsion systems, he just mentioned their armament was non nuclear. However the conventional weapons that they have, Like the Tomahawk that’ll blow you out of your shoes from 1800 k’s away, and they have bucket loads of those. Just look at the opening of the Iraq war, as they sent hundreds of these missiles on their way, just to say Hi to Saddam. Brash must have overlooked the propulsion systems were nuclear. Yeah Right.
talk about it all you like robert. it’s a serious issue, but it’s not the one this post is dealing with. so if you could say something relevant, that would be nice.
i suggest you put up a post on fukushima. you’re bound to get lots of feedback.
The Government has a major advantage on addressing the “big issues” – they get to present the budget. This will soon show in detail what their plans are for addressing the “biggest issue” – trying to stop the country from going broke.
What will the Labour response be? Anything other than complaints?
What I think Labour should follow up with is a comprehensive plan of what they would do in next year’s budget should they become Government. Otherwise all we will get is “trying to do something” versus “whinge”.
PeteG ,where were your comments on John Key’s pathetic BBC interview?
National’s head office advising John Key to stick to pantomime and play charades for the upcoming BMW interview called SoftCo*k.
I’m surprised that Key did not order a convertible BMW for him self, so that he would be more visible for smile and wave.
That doesn’t come anywhere near belonging in the category of “big issue”, it was a “blip issue”.
I haven’t seen the whole interview, I couldn’t find it.
Many blip make clear John Key blooped.
Mr G that Hardtalk interview is indeed one of the “big issues”. It exposed Key’s numerous weak spots, which happen to be knowledge about his subject, inability to construct and verbalise a coherent sentence, and pathetic pushing of lies and fibs.
New Zealand needs a Prime Minister who does know the subject, is able to talk properly, and is honest.
That is a big issue. He was useless.
There you go:
Two parts – and if this doesn’t make you squirm for our country you must have an incredibly high embarrassment threshhold, hell, Key even admitted that our debt was bearable in 2008, never of course acknowledging that this was Labour’s doing. Key is the classic schlemiel and only serves to bring out the Samuel L Jackson in me from Pulp Fiction.
Key should stick to what he knows, gambling, mincing down catwalks and oh, kidding himself he’s the cutest trick in shoe leather.
I think you’ll find that our environment is a big issue – without it, we die.
you dont need the whole debacle, just the one little 3 minute highlight, and you will get the message. Key has no substance.
Meh, they gave a round of tax cuts for the rich last year, plummeting our accounts billions further into the red over the next couple of years.
Anyway they need to make the country go broke so they have an excuse to sell our assets.
Oh frak off, Labour is going to raise taxes on the wealthy, the only “whinging” is going to come from “rich pricks”.
Do you agree or disagree with the following:
1. When Labour left office the crown had no debt?
2. The global financial crisis was well and truly under way at the time.
3. Cullen’s frugal nature meant that surpluses were used to repay debt and invest in the Cullen fund.
4. National’s tax cuts are clearly unaffordable.
5. Although it was appropriate for National to run deficits to minimise the effect of the global financial crisis it needs to show leadership and come up with a plan.
6. Apart from a cycleway, talk of turning NZ into an Irish type financial hub and mining conservation land there is really no plan.
7. I repeat there is no plan and when you try and shift this onto Labour do you agree that National are in power and they are the ones who should actually have an idea of what to do?
We do not have “trying to do something” unless by that you mean “smiling and waving”.
I suggest you wait to see the budget, as I am, because that is the latest plan. Grizzling in advance is a bit pointless don’t you think?
Then we can decide if National is doing enough to address the current situation. Which includes addressing huge ongoing financial commitments made by Labour, expenses that are widely thought to be unsustainable as they are now.
They have already made clear they won’t address the three big ones for them until after the election to ensure they have a mandate. It is pretty clear this budget is just going to tinker around the edges cutting random areas of public spending to make it look like they are dealing with debt problems.
Blaming Labour is pathetic. Bill English has sunk NZ into a $16 BILLION debt hole, last time he only got to $10 BILLION before we booted him out.
The Nats have been in power for two years and eight months. Surely they have a clue about what they might be doing.
Which includes addressing huge ongoing financial commitments made by Labour
Fuck PeteG, repeat a myth often enough and it becomes fact.
Go and educate yourself. Go to the Treasury’s website and pull up past financial statements. See how much of Labour’s “ongoing financial commitments” actually were used to reduced Govt debt and build up assets on the Govt’s balance sheet.
Some of Labour’s spending, esp. in the last 3 years of office, was in the “nice-to-have” category, sure. But to buy into the spin that the country was economically mis-managed for the last decade shows your gullibility rather than your (economic) literacy.
I’ve never claimed the country was economically mis-managed for the last decade, what does that say about your literacy? Cullen managed some things very well and some reasonably well, mostly before Labour resorted to costly election bribes.
As a result some of Labour’s “ongoing financial commitments”, like Student Loans, WFF and KiwiSaver, are a continuing burden, one that the country can’t afford without going further into debt. Most people with (economic) literacy understand that.
Labour seem to want to lock in these ongoing costs, so I’d like to know how they are going to reduce our borrowing and reduce our debt.
I know putting up income tax for higher earners and companies is one thing Labour has suggested, but they haven’t said what they will do about the possible adverse affects, like pushing more businesses and more tax earners to head overseas.
Now I will question your actual literacy (mine is fine by the way):
I never said you said that …. I said you bought into the spin that …
It was an accusation based on the comment you made.
The rest of your post is so full of irony I don’t know where to start:
Labour’s costly election bribes? How about National’s costly election bribes, where they said they wouldn’t touch things like WFF, student loans etc etc. Isn’t this more relevant to the current mess we are in? Fuck, you are harping on about bribes made in 2004. National have been in Govt since 2008. How much fucking time – if the 2004 Labour costly election bribes are the reason for our mess – does National need to undo them?
“Labour seem to want to lock in these ongoing costs” … No, No, NO PeteG. National HAVE locked in these ongoing costs because they were elected on the basis they wouldn’t undo them and are hamstrung to the extent they can only tinker around the edges. That has NOTHING to do with Labour.
“I’d like to know how they (Labour) are going to reduce our borrowing and reduce our debt.” Perhaps you should ask the same question of the current Govt, you know, the one that is currently borrowing $380 million a week … go and read those financial statements like I suggested to see how much has been borrowed since Nats came to power. Go on.
But you saved the best to last: “like pushing more businesses and more tax earners to head overseas.” Seen the migration figures lately? Record numbers departing for Australia already? You think Labour can make it any worse??? Ha Ha Ha HA HA HA
You think Labour can make it any worse???
Yes, and I don’t find that funny. You don’t???
But I’m relieved they’re unlikely to get the chance for a few years.
Arguing with you is like arguing with a phalange. You shift and move and your words do not mean what they should and you never answer a question directly.
How about this? National has been in power for two years and 7 months and do not have a coherent economic plan. Are you worried?
Ask me after the budget.
You are being played at the moment. Does that worry you?
I am being played by you. It does not worry me but in the interests of bandwidth and the country’s poroductivity you should try and make your comments fact based and rational.
BTW you still did not answer my question. Are you worried your beloved government does not have a clue what it is doing?
You nong. National dribbling out pre-budget smidgens.
It’s pointless hissy fitting on bits of info.
MS, don’t argue. Just mock. Much more therapeutic.
Aye, RobC, deep breath …
After dissecting your 11.51 post is THAT the best you can come back with???
Record deficits, record numbers leaving NZ and all you can say is, hand on heart, it would be worse under Labour. What a fucking comedian.
Actually, the country can afford them. What we can’t afford is the rich pricks making off with all of our wealth and complaining about having to pay taxes on it.
I can’t wait to see what National are going to do about the huge ongoing commitment of the tax cuts for the top third.
I also want to see an alternative mandate for not touching Kiwisaver and not selling state assests. Only seven days and 2 hours and 30 minutes to go until it is revealed how screwed the country is.
We’ve already seen two of their budgets – they left NZ worse off and further in debt. Those of us with a functioning brain aren’t expecting anything else from this government because their one selling point was lower taxes and they’ve failed to do what this government said they would do.
No Labour should continue to show that Key is a liar and English tries to cover for him. Sooner or later the msm will have to cover it.
Also lets face it the Herald is unlikely to write stories about Labour’s major campaigns anyway unless there is a scandal involved in them.
Key should man up and do some decent long interviews for the people of New Zealand. What a wimp. And a prick for not doing so, simply for the people of NZ. And arrogant. Who does he think he is refusing to discuss in depth these big issues. These big issues have a big and direct impact on people’s daily lives. And he just barges ahead as if he’s the boss.
In fact, I caught a first wee whiff of the same sort of arrogance Clark had last night in his answering of questions around the BMW donation. It was as if he was above that sort of issue as he had much bigger things to concern himself with. It was as if he has become completely used to being the man and orderng action and actually doing some actual work was beneath him. The arrogance of being in power too long. Means time is up.
Let’s hope for a strong performance by Goff in the debates
It’s not a question of who he thinks he is but how much he thinks we’re allowed to know. From his actions of not fronting on the issues it appears that he thinks that we’re not allowed to know anything.
He did do one decent Interview. And he probably went away swearing NEVER again. Steven Sackur, made him look like a clown, he was scrabbling around for answers like a man stuck in quicksand. It was great.
Actually agree with you here.
But to be frank, Labour is entirely complicit in Letting National act this way. Every government needs an effictive opposition to Hold them to account. Labour have fundamentally failed on doing this.
Middle NZ (this is where the battle is. you know this) don’t give a shit on whether Govt House was painted, which cars the government is leasing or any other such hyperbole.
What Middle NZ see and respond to is a government that is making considered decisions. Those on the left (and those on the right) only see inaction and fluff. But middle NZ is neither left nor right.
The opposition in contrast is seen as an absolute shambles that can’t seem to do anything than schoolyard politics. The only policy directions we hear about are idealogical fluff that do not go in to any depth about how they will be paid for. THIS is why Labour are polling so badly. It is Why National will get its mandate at the next election, but most succinctly, its why the Left will only have itself to blame. You guys let this happen.
lol Key and English tell us we all need to tighten our belts, and have cuts to our services, while buying new BMWs and new drapes for themselves on our coin.
Actually, on coin borrowed from China.
So I’m sure you don’t want people to talk about this and try and dismiss it.
all of “Middle NZ” earns less than $40K p.a. you chump, and they are starting to see the hypocrisy embodied in National.
Actually CV, I think part of the problem is people don’t have a clue what class they’re in. A report from the Policy Exchange in the UK asked this question:
On a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 means the poorest tenth of people in Britain, and 10 means the richest tenth, where would you say you fit in?
“Most people believe themselves to be in the middle of the income distribution, or very slightly below the middle.
61% say they believe they are in the middle 30% of earners. 78% believe they are in the middle 40%. Only 2% of people believe they are in the top 30% of earners, while just 9% think they are in the bottom 20%.”
I wouldn’t be surprised at similar results here.
I’d like to see the actual numbers, but what it shows is that people who are pretty well to do, don’t consider themselves to be. But it also means they think that their level of wealth is “normal”, and therefore out of touch with people who have it much worse off than they do.
I would say it’s the same situation here – a family of 4 making $70k in Auckland wouldn’t really consider themselves “wealthy”, although compared to the average they are.
Actually that second point makes me question the original survey. If they’re simply comparing it to the percentiles for ‘all of Britain’ is really not useful. They should be comparing them to the percentiles in the smallest geographic area that they can – eg someone earning 50k in London might be low to middle, but someone earning 50k in Northern Ireland would be middle-upper. When you answer a question about how wealthy you feel, you’re really making a judgement based on your everyday experiences, which are formed based on where you live, not some nebulous concept of national income distribution.
“You guys let this happen.”
Classic Sam, it’s all our fault! but hang on I think National are in power Sam????
Try again Sam.
Agree totally Sam. How can the endless whining about “the media don’t like us etc etc” possibly improve the lefts position. Choosing Hone Harawira as a poster boy for the “true left” whatever that is, is also a suicidal move. Middle New Zealand are where the votes are, not on the fringes either left or right. It is that simple. They don’t care if a certain red headed MP has been acting inappropriately with a young man, they don’t care of Richard Worth can’t control himself, they don’t care Mallard is a convicted violent offender, they don’t care if Wong’s husband has tagged himself on to her for a business trip. If a party, any party, doesn’t appeal to the normal everyday folk in the “middle” and reflect their values and needs, then they lose, and lose badly. No amount of “head in the sand” ignorance changes this. Also producing policies of any kind that make a difference would be a huge start, but only if they recognise the majority of New Zealanders, not the lunatic fringes.
Choosing Hone Harawira as a poster boy for the “true left” whatever that is, is also a suicidal move. Middle New Zealand are where the votes are, not on the fringes either left or right.
Not if you’re a small party aiming for something not much above the 5% mark. You can gain by attracting people to vote who wouldn’t vote for the main parties fighting over the middle ground.
Be scared Blue, the middle NZ you are talking about earns $60K p.a. or above.
That’s what – 20% of voters?
Everyone else is hurting when filling up a tank costs $130 and a power bill costs $250. They can feel their income sliding behind the cost of living…while CEOs get 14% pay increases.
LOL you guys are in trouble now
Also, there is no such thing as “the centre” or “swing voters”. What changes are the relative proportions of moderate lefties and moderate righties voting in any given election that gives the impression of the existence of the mythical “centrist” whose vote is for sale. In order to win an election you don’t sell to these people, you should just go full steam ahead with your agenda and attempt to include them so that they are encouraged to vote come election day.
No the middle is usually within one standard deviation either side of the mean, which means around 67% of New Zealanders live in the middle. Ignore them at your peril. I don’t measure people on their incomes, its a socialist thing to do and has no depth of analysis of a persons worth. There are more people living in New Zealand than just the bottom 5% that you and Hone deem to be your constituency or the top 5% that Act seem to be targeting, and the democratic rights of those people in the middle (the majority) need to be addressed because of their sheer weight of numbers. “Trouble”?, what a joke, the polls would indicate otherwise, but you keep dreaming for your community based, hemp wrapped utopia and I’m sure it’ll arrive, at about the same time as Helen finally comes out. That is to say, never. Although if your ideals are the “correct” ones, why doesn’t it get any traction, except for the freakish and friendless on the left? Or is the media to blame again?
That’s an idiotic definition of “middle”, for starters you are assuming that its a normal distribution, secondly you mean to tell me that New Zealanders who are on $20,000 p.a. are what you call middle NZ?
LOL what a poverty struck country we are
Then you won’t mind if we tax rich pricks a bit more then? Since them losing a bit of income won’t really reflect on their worth as a person? 🙂
And how about if we pay workers what they are worth then, like Australia does? You would be all for that huh?
I’ll repeat what I said CV, in green crayon if it helps, I don’t measure people on their incomes, it is a shallow, and shows an emotional immaturity that baffles me. Hence your argument, such as it is, lacks any evidential robustness. It is a normal distribution, as any demographic in a sample of 4Million is. The mean moves but the standard deviation proportion is the same over a normal distribution. So yes i guess if you want to engage your hatred of all those folk that earn more than you, taxing them is an option, as I’m sure it will be an option for Labour as an election platform. Get it into your head there aren’t enough “rich pricks” to make a difference to the tax take and obviously pay for the unfundable programmes you and Labour would promulgate.
How do you know income distribution in NZ is a normal distribution? You are already clearly wrong from the outset but I want to know where you got your bad info from.
Unlike you, I measure people by their incomes and am proud to do so. People are worth a lot so they should be paid a lot. Don’t you agree Blue? Time to push the minimum wage up to $15/hr right? After all, people are very valuable unique individuals, they must be worth at least that much, don’t you agree?
Or are you full of shit.
OK you answered the question, you are full of shit.
The top 100 richest people in NZ control roughly $60B in assets.
I suggest we start with a 5% p.a. asset tax on them. That’s $3B a year raised. Next.
“Whining about ‘the media don’t like us etc etc'”
Actually Blue, bringing peoples attention to the existence of bias in the media is both appropriate and necessary. One does not have to look very hard to find examples and the very fact the people are now looking more closely means that the bullshit PR that passes for journalism in this county has less scope to further defile the notion of democracy.
The fact that people like you don’t like the attention and label calls for impartiality in the MSM ‘whining’ just means that the pressure is working.
Bias is a perception, nothing more. In my experience when one is on the losing side, the word bias is immediately conjured up to explain a lack of success in getting ones message across. My perception is that the media investigate claims and come to conclusions based on the evidence in front of them. an example may be the BMW beat up by Labour. If you squint hard enough, sure you can make a claim that a donation was made by one company which led to another company getting a contract. You can also discover that neither was connected in any way whatsoever, you can also choose to ignore these facts and continue down this track even without any shred of evidence, alienate the public and look foolish. Thanks Chris Hipkins, you truly are a complete goose of epic proportions. What is it about gingers and Labour?
I think your only problem with the media in this country is that it is not biased towards the left enough, rather than its moderate stance currently.
And here, it is the biased perception of the MSM which counts.
Nope, bias really does exist. The fact that you think it is only perception shows that you’re either really ignorant and/or lying.
Blue, I just read you dribbling on about “Bias is a perception”, then you come out with a line like this “What is it about gingers” Your an idiot, think about it!
Very Good Campbell, I couldn’t agree more.
I don’t see any mention of the big issues anywhere here.
Peak Oil … we’ll be fallling off the extraction cliff very soon, and that means the end of present economic arrrangeemts.
Environmental collapse …. industrial activity is killing the life support systems that make life on this planet possible.
Unravelling of fiat currencies: most have lost 4/5 their value against gold in the past decade
Species extinction -especially bees…. without ecological balance we all die.
Population overshoot most cities are in gross population oevershoot and won’t be able to feed their populations a few years from now..
No wonder nodody wants to talk about the big issues and all we get is discussion of trivia. .
‘As an example, the same day the Herald ran that wee editorial John Campbell spent two minutes of his show describing how the Prime Minister had refused to front on the economy again. And that he had only fronted four times in the last year. Two of which were about the earthquake.’
despair. is this a democracy? when do we get some of those BBC type journalists who will say ‘no it doesn’t’ and ‘you didn’t answer my question’. Or are English journalists of a better quality so Key will deign to be interviewed by them?
English journalists seem to be of better quality which probably means that Jkeyl will probably run from being interviewed by them as fast as he can now that he’s actually been on the receiving end of such an interview.
What I think Labour should follow up with is a comprehensive plan of what they would do in next year’s budget should they become Government
I agree with this part of your comment.
National being a complete failure may not be enough and Labour need to present to the public some fresh ideas on how to grow this country.
You want Labour to come up with next year’s Budget, due in May 2012, when no one has any idea how the rest of this financial year is going to go? Or how much bigger a hole English is going to dig for the country?
That’s not very sensible now, is it?
Well, you and a handful of others here have already decided that National is ruining the country, so Labour only has to say how much they have to resurrect us from the ruins.
They’ll have no money and huge debt to work with but that should be no problem to the super socialists.
“They’ll have no money and huge debt to work with but that should be no problem to the super socialists.”
Maybe peteG the people will stand up and say we want an honest government and a fair society, begone you impostors.
And maybe peteG we can elect a government that work for the people and not just there wealthy mates..
Then maybe peteG the people will start to believe that there endeavors are not a waste of time.
Yes I maybe dreaming peteG, but anything will be better, than this lot of lazy, useless, trothers we have running the Nation at the moment.
Running the nation????? Nope this is economic sabotage. Get the country completely screwed Get re elected with a NACTMAUF coalition of the ‘Old school’ then Roger and Brash write the next budget sell power companies, KiwiBank, Oh Hell I had a rant about this last night, After a long day and a couple of wines I just let the frustrations run. Here if you interested.
You do realise that if National sell our power generation, you and your children will be much poorer for it, and foreign investors will take the lions share of the profits for themselves instead of what currently happens to the profits today. The Government uses that money to provide services for the people of NZ – it doesnt get pocketed by foreigners.
Say bye bye to that good situation my friend, that’s who you are backing.
Well not an actual budget. More a smart and realistic plan of action that will resonate with voters. ie actual specifics of what they are going to do and how are they going to fund it. ‘Progressive taxation and closing loopholes’ won’t win the election.
If National win the next election I am damned sure the elections would have to be rigged!!!!
So what are the big issues?
I would say the national debt of $16 billion is a big issue and afewknowthetruth has nailed it;
Peak Oil (price of petrol)
Environmental Degredation (agricultural industrialization)
Collapse of the Ecosystem,
Endangered Species (bees, native birds etc.)
Human Rights (on the industrial front)
Free Trade deals with USA ( compromising our sovereignty)
Opening the Gates to Foreign Investors (as above)
The only mantra the Nat/Act government has to address the above issues is Economic Growth regardless of whether it is sustainable or not.
Good list. I’d add weakening democratic institutions (CERA, ECan, Auckland super city, laws passed under urgency – bypassing select committee processes)