So, the ideas suck but the jobs summit was never meant to produce recession-busting ideas. The fact is this was a propaganda stunt. A $65,000 propaganda stunt paid for with our tax dollars. And it worked brilliantly because, in a trademark move of Key’s PR team, it communicated different messages for different audiences.
The message for the media, to be passed on automatically to the public, was ‘John Key is a uniter, not a divider, he’s focused on the issues and open to new thinking’. The fact that the media hasn’t even bothered to publish the ‘top twenty’ ideas shows how willing they bought into the PR message over the substance.
The message to business was communicated by the fact that they outnumbered unions and NGOs ten to one, and by the fact that every stream and the summit itself were chaired by businessmen. And that message was ‘business is back in charge, baby’. National/ACT was telling business that the Government’s doors are open to business (and not others) and that policy would prioritise business interests. And that shows in the ‘top twenty’ the businessmen came up with. Ask yourself, how many of those ideas are really going to create jobs? And how many are about putting profits first and people second?