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The pragmatist

Written By: - Date published: 12:09 am, May 26th, 2008 - 38 comments
Categories: john key - Tags: , , ,

38 comments on “The pragmatist ”

  1. AncientGeek 1

    Now that is funny, and accurate.

    Somewhere up close to an election you can imagine him still spinning lines, and in the backroom, people trying to make the lines fit the published policies. Question is, does this clueless wimp even read his own party policy? Does he read? Does he understand?

    Nice to have a laugh before going to bed.

  2. Interesting to note that no litigation has resulted from the wholesale corruption conducted by Helen Clark and her twisted cronies, which is meticulously highlighted in the book Absolute Power.

    Nice to have a sad laugh of disgust first thing Monday morning.How could this country get so dishonest ?

  3. higherstandard 3


    Sadly it appears to be endemic throughout our public service as per the front of this mornings NZ Herald.


    I do however give the Prime Minister credit for calling for further work on the murder of the Kahui twins.


    Why everyone had to tiptoe around these scum for months is beyond me.

  4. Stephen 4

    D4J, why don’t YOU litigate?

  5. erikter 5

    Person 1: “A lot of people aren’t comfortable with beatings but they don’t want to see, you know, stressed and harassed parents, you know, pulled in by the police because they, they smacked a child.”

    Person 2: “So you do not want to see smacking banned?”

    Person 1: “Absolutely not, I think you are trying to defy human nature.”

    As it happens Person 1 turns out to be none other than Helen Clark. She is a real pragmatist!

  6. Ari 6

    HS- I have no doubt it’s actually much the same in the world of private business, so…

  7. mike 7

    “this clueless wimp ”
    Good to see that petty personal attack is still alive and well @ the standard.

    [opinions of commentators are not the opinions of the blog. Hell, opinions of posters aren’t necessarily the same. SP]

  8. erikter would have a point if Clark’s change of mind to support the anti-whacking legislation was done for political gain. It wasn’t.

    Having listened to the arguments she made a principled decision to do what was right for children, even though she must have known that this would cost support amongst a critical segment of Labour voters. And it has.

    That’s called principled behaviour, erikter. Key’s flipfloppery ways are about saying whatever it takes to get votes, regardless of the principles involved. Pity you can’t see the difference.

  9. Stephen 9

    If it’s “alive and well” here, then it’s at supernova stage on kiwiblog!

  10. Stephen 10

    Wasn’t brokering a deal with Key effectively weakening a Bill that was ‘right for the children’ unprincipled behaviour? Or did it need the votes i.e. better to have a weaker Act than a non-existent one…?

  11. Clarks stand on the anti smacking law was a classic case of standing up for whats right not whats popular, and im sure in more enlightened times she will be remembered fondly for it.

  12. Mike: “Good to see that petty personal attack is still alive and well @ the standard.”

    Ah, you beat me to it Stephen. That comment is a bit rich coming from one whose spiritual home is kiwiblog.

    On the anti-whacking Bill, it was better than nothing at all. Not all pragmatism is bad.

  13. erikter 13

    Person 1: “My view is that tax cuts are largely offered as a political bribe, not because of beneficial economic or social effects.”

    Well, Person 1 is Michael Cullen, another pragmatist of the highest order.

  14. National disgrace 14

    After watching the Bastion Point docos last night, I was filled with revulsion that we might elect a man like Key, who admires Muldoon (who ordered in the troops) and is aligned with Brash (remember Orewa?) I don’t think the party of bitter white men (oh, and the bitter white Judith Collins) has actually come that far since ’78. ( Yes, I know Graham and Bolger did great work here, but there’s been serious backsliding from the nats since then). Settle all treaty claims in 5 years? As well as being wildly unrealistic, and insulting, what is the burning rush? Give these people we have so thoroughly shafted some respect.

    I’m the same age as Key, did my business degree at the same time, and wonder how the hell someone growing up at the same time could end up so narrow minded, shallow and ignorant. The worry is there are so many out there like him.

  15. Stephen 15

    “admires Muldoon”?

    gota be quick round here jafapete, i am fast like panther

  16. middleground 16

    National Disgrace,

    I suspect Key being so narrow minded, shallow and ignorant could have part to do with being from being raised in Christchurch. As prejudice as this comment sounds, I fail to see any integrity in the ‘majority’ of citizens whom reside in the garden city.

    I guess you could also quote Goff somewhat and say he lacks ‘substance’

  17. Stephen 17

    way to piss off an entire major New Zealand city – ‘middleground’ is a very odd choice of name in the context of that post!

  18. higherstandard 18


    Absolutely I’m sure you’re right.

    It may be a selfish but nepotism and dishonesty/corruption in private business is less concerning for me than in the public and civil service who are paid for and elected by the public to act in the public’s interest

  19. mike 19

    middleground – being predominantly anglosaxon and having your sights set a bit higher than the average NZer does not make Cantabs ignorant.

  20. middleground 20


    Generally I’m quite reserved, however after a brief visit to the city and to witness the extent of larrikinism, not to mention outright racism; I lost all faith in the city.

    Middle ground is a logical fallacy. Don’t assume it’s a direct link to my character and beliefs.

    Check out http://www.idrewthis.org/d/20070815.html for an example.

  21. Stephen 21

    Haha! Good point, though I would want to know what the elephant is trying to achieve by putting kittens in a blender – perhaps we can work around using kittens at all! Yeah often people’s blog names mean nothing at all, no surprises with your one really. And i’ve never been to Chch so…yup.

  22. middleground 22


    ‘being predominantly anglosaxon’ as compared to which other cities? I think you’ll find most major centres in New Zealand retaining an ethnic mix where Europeans contribute to 80% of that diversity.

  23. Stephen 23

    Try living in wellington city, white-as.

  24. middleground 24

    I do live in Wellington

  25. Stephen 25

    I would’ve thought Euro would be 90%+ there (not counting Hutt or Porirua)

  26. QoT 26

    I’m with Stephen: Wellington only looks good ethnic-diversity-wise if you count the entirety of Greater Wellington and keep your eyes closed when walking through the CBD.

  27. deemac 27

    well my Wgtn street is predominantly Asian – Indian and Chinese – but it is a middle class area so that figures;
    also there can’t be many places in NZ more ethnically diverse than Newtown

  28. Mr Big 28

    That’s not fair at all. You leave John alone!! There’s nothing wrong with being flexible is there?

  29. deemac 29

    PS great Groucho Marx quote – he would have recognised Key in an instant

  30. Ari 30

    It’s not so much that he’s flexible Mr Big, as hyper-reflexive. He doesn’t appear to have any policy that’s set in stone except, well, tax cuts. I’ve often been caught defending politicians who change their mind based on sound principles as not being “flip flops” or some equally patronising principle, but Key doesn’t seem to have any real justification for his changes of opinion- just fairweather politics. And I think calling him on that is fair enough.

  31. Daveski 31

    You guys are priceless!

    “That’s called principled behaviour, erikter. Key’s flipfloppery ways are about saying whatever it takes to get votes, regardless of the principles involved. Pity you can’t see the difference.”

    So 8 years of principled no tax then a desperate attempt to buy votes (and clear the till to leave Nats nothing) is principled?

    Heck, they didn’t even have the principles to wait until 1 April!

    Politicians will do what they can to call the shots. Helen’s done this time and time again – that’s being flexible and not flipfloppery, isn’t it?

  32. erikter 32

    “Having listened to the arguments she made a principled decision to do what was right for children..”

    That statement would’ve made Houdini look like an amateur.

    Jafapete, you’re a shoe-in for the NZ gymnastics team because youre quite a contortionist.

  33. Daveski 33

    “So 8 years of principled no tax” … I wish 🙂

  34. illuminatedtiger 34

    Hey FD is the litigation going against me?

  35. r0b 35

    So 8 years of principled no tax then a desperate attempt to buy votes (and clear the till to leave Nats nothing) is principled?

    Daveski, There are sound economic reasons to accumulate surpluses when the economy is running well, and spend them when it is faltering. Pascal’s bookie wrote about it at some length here:

    Commentators on the Budget

    If Cullen was the type to try and cynically buy an election he would have done it in 2005. The tax cut now is to stimulate the economy and help people struggling with rising costs. (Of course the fact that it’s an election year may also have been considered!)

  36. AncientGeek 36


    Sadly it appears to be endemic throughout our public service as per the front of this mornings NZ Herald.

    The herald article you referred to this morning was fascinating. Mainly because it didn’t actually say ANYTHING. It just insinuated that there was a problem.

    Read it carefully again, but this time look at what is said rather than what is insinuated. There is not a single instance of the policies that were on the first page being breached. Effectively what is said in the article that ex-council employees are charging more as consultants than they did as council employees. In a number of cases there were uncontested quotations. It doesn’t say why they were non-contested. Perhaps no-one else quoted? Who knows, because the herald’s writer doesn’t say. Where they gave instances of spending, they didn’t say if the these were for the quoted values, or for agreed variances.

    Now there is cause for concern. But presumably the internal and external auditor’s looked at this – it is part of their job.

    But to me, this looks like the start of a smear campaign against someone – probably David Rankin.

    It has all of the hallmarks. Lots of numbers floating around, but not even a instance given of any malfeasance. A few names associated, but no proof of anything.

    The Herald is not what it used to be. This must rank along with their anti-EFA campaign as a blatant bit of political campaigning by a useless media outlet. If they can’t point to instances that are suspicious, so they smear.

    Also it looks to me like you swallowed it hook, line, and sinker without looking at what the article said.

    BTW: I have zilch to do with the council apart from paying rates.

  37. Dean 37


    “If Cullen was the type to try and cynically buy an election he would have done it in 2005. The tax cut now is to stimulate the economy and help people struggling with rising costs. (Of course the fact that it’s an election year may also have been considered!)”

    Of course the fact that it’s an election year may also be the only reason.

    Would you like me to quite Clark and Cullent on the subject of tax cuts in years gone by? Or would that make it feel too much like a slippery flip flop?

  38. gobsmacked 38

    Can we have a separate, regularly updated thread for Key-speak? This guy is just unreal!

    From Newstalk ZB today:

    “John Key says the National Government at the time determined that being involved in the [Vietnam] war was the right thing to do.

    He says the conflict came at a time when New Zealand had a strong attachment to the ANZUS alliance, so given the circumstances it was probably the appropriate thing to do. Mr Key says he does not think it is helpful to relitigate events which took place a long time ago.”

    Key justifies Vietnam war? John, it wasn’t a movie with a cool soundtrack, it was a monumental disaster. It was slaughter. Millions died. It wasn’t “appropriate”. John, have you ever read a history book?

    This would be hilarious if it wasn’t so bloody embarrassing.

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