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The Standard Week: July 11-18

Written By: - Date published: 2:34 pm, July 18th, 2008 - 38 comments
Categories: standard week - Tags:

Finally, policy. National has two policies which, by all rights, ought to be election losers: the 90 day no rights policy and the privatisation of ACC policy. If any proof were needed that Key’s self-definition as a moderate is just a facade for the same old National, these policies are it. Over 200,000 Kiwis start a new job each year, 1.8 million make an ACC claim. These policies would mean less security in employment and more expensive, less effective injury cover for nearly everyone. No one in their right minds who understands what these policies mean should vote National.

90 Day No Rights policy, why?
National might believe its policy is good for employment and reduces a heavy burden on employers but it doesn’t. All it does is give power to coerce workers with the threat of dismissal, which some bad employers will exploit. The law ain’t broke, and that’s no reason to fix it…[more]

Bullies
Why is it that the right are so much more litigious than the left? [more]

Nats’ ACC policy all about ideology
…no evidence has been provided that privatised ACC will provide cheaper or better coverage or reduce accidents. There is just an ideological assumption that private sector is better…[more]

National adopts Labour’s arts policy
Cultural cringe is now a thing of the past. Kiwis are proud of our identity, and we don’t want to see arts funding cut. National’s realisation of this fact, however belated, can only be welcomed..[more]

Murketing
National has been able to turn the ‘Who Is John Key, Really?’ question to its advantage, by allowing all kinds of different people to project onto him their own desires and blueprint for change…[more]

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38 comments on “The Standard Week: July 11-18”

  1. GMC 1

    We are only a few days away from the next round of polls. Labour will take another pasting, showing their hit and run personality attacks on John Key aren’t working.

    Poll results are boring to the Standard now, it seems.

    [lprent: The Standard is a program running on a machine. It doesn’t get bored, and it doesn’t have opinions. Neither apparently do you. I’m putting you in moderation because I’m tired of adding notes to idiotic comments. This way I can add them when I feel like releasing them. In the meantime address your comments to a human.]

  2. GMC. You don’t understand what a hit and run attack is – it’s when you attack your opponent over their ‘failure’ to solve an issue than run away when challenged to come up with your own answer.

    Labour and others are criticising Key on his policy, competence, and trustworthiness – the three grounds on which a politician should be measured.

  3. Why can’t you introduce a a negative karma system, so I can whinge like a bleating kid just like roger nome does on kiwiblog? I like sucking my thumb roger , do you?

    [Tane: Dad, grow up.]

  4. Matthew Pilott 4

    GMC, may I borrow your time machine? The one you used to go in to the future to be able to comment on whether this blog is bored of polls, despite said polls not having been released at present.

    I want to go into the future to see if I look good with a mullet, if not I’ll just get a haircut now. Cheers.

    P.S if that was an attempt at a hit and run, you’ve got a lot to learn, sunshine.

  5. GMC 5

    Matthew I don’t think you need to go into the future to see that you don’t look good with a mullet.

    I’m only going on the Standard’s recent history of not commenting on polls since they became so disastrous for Labour. The Standard used to comment when things were getting even, particularly the “wow, the tide is turning” one, or describing three polls in a row as “rogue” when they didn’t favour Labour. I haven’t seen a proper poll analysis at the standard for several months now.

    Steve I obviously don’t understand your interpretation of a hit and run. It is only a hit and run if National do it in which case it comes from the Crosby Textor tunebook. Yes yes I understand Labour Good National Bad, the Hollow Men is your bible, and John Key is part of the baby-eating Jewish new world order and he’s a rich prick and the exclusive brethren are backing him.

    It isn’t helping you with the polls. Maybe we should tell Helen to fire all the hundred or so beehive staff she employes as spin doctors and political advisers and get Crosby Textor to advise her instead. It would cost much less money and she would get some value for it.

    [lprent: If you want a news clippings service, then go and find one. This is a site that does commentary, and the commentary is done by human writers who pretty much post on what they like – not what you would like. Don’t like it? Go and find a blog that you do like, or get off your lazy butt and write your own.

    However if you presume to lecture the writers or this machine again, then I’ll boot you with extreme permanently – clear?

    Oh and I’d advise you to read the Policy.]

  6. GMC 7

    Wake up Steve you’ve got some more John Key attack posts to write before you’re allowed to go home for the day.

  7. Tane 8

    GMC, we’ve missed a couple of recently as I’ve been busy, but it certainly hasn’t been ‘several months’.

    http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?cat=4

    Oh, and would you like to make explicit what you were trying to imply with your last comment? Or would you like to withdraw and apologise?

  8. SweeetD 9

    Like I said yesterday, these policies will only be of interest to political wonks and those sad types (like me) that inhabit poli blogs. The rest, most people won’t care in the slightest.

    So, it makes sense to release them now, and get them out of the way, so when the election race is on, you can do the stuff people outside the poli blogs actually care about and effect them…taxes, crime, health, education.

    Once again Pierson, this adds up to a small hill of beans or the 5 sec sound bite on tvone/tv3

  9. “dad4justice

    Why can’t you introduce a a negative karma system, so I can whinge like a bleating kid just like roger nome does on kiwiblog? I like sucking my thumb roger , do you?”

    They do seem to be getting increasingly angry about RogerNome over there, It seems hes really been a thorn in thier side, from even before DPF outing his identity.

    You kinda of have to wonder, when national has such a lead in the polls, they do all seem so scared and angry over there.

  10. Sweet. ACC and work rights affect everyone.

  11. higherstandard 12

    I see they’ve found the little girl that was kidnapped on the Northshore pretty much safe and sound, nice end to the week !

    [lprent: cool.
    BTW: Do you ever get your e-mail the same two times in a row? The identicon is going crazy trying to keep up. Why not just login and get rid of the problem?]

  12. sweeetd 13

    Pierson

    Yes, they do, but they don’t make the top three issues in an election campaign do they, usually health, education and policing. That is why it makes good sense to release them now.

    On their own, yes, this would probably loose the election for the nats, but as this govt is so hated, a majority of people just want to see the back of Helen. It might be an issue for the next election, but under this current climate, people son’t care in large enough numbers about these two policies.

  13. Dan 14

    The right is scared and angry. They have put all their money on the nose with Key, and it is clear already he does not have what it takes: he cannot think on his feet; he is totally dependent on his minders; he refuses any tricky media; he will not debate with Helen Clark; the list goes on.
    A National win…….yeah right!

  14. sweeetd 15

    Dan

    As I heard on Closeup last week, it is Clark that refused to debate with Key outside the election.

    Can you point me to where Key has refuse to debate with Clark?

  15. All the spin, bluster, bribes and lies aren’t working.

    In a trend that has continued for a year now, National have been way ahead of Labour in the Polls, latest Roy Morgan Poll:

    http://darrenrickard.blogspot.com/2008/07/roy-morgan-poll-july-18-2008.html

    Roy Morgan have accurately picked elections and their polling up to elections has been deadly accurate. The 20 point lead by National hasn’t changed for months:

    “These results present Helen Clark with a huge challenge to gain re-election. At the latest, the New Zealand Election must be held by early November and time is quickly running out for Clark to find away to connect with the electorate.’

    There are going to have to be even more massive bribes using taxpayer money to get Labour even close come polling day.

    Labour is going to have to get even dirtier than they have already.

    Good news for NZ though.

  16. RedLogix 17

    Darren,

    I’m intrigued.

    Exactly WHAT has Helen Clark done to you that you hate her so much?

  17. Darren, So people don’t like Clark, great. They probably arent going to like Key once he announces his policies either.

  18. RL, I don’t hate people but I dislike her intensely.

    In my opinion her socialist “Swedish model” has ruined the country.

    KITNO, I don’t necessarily think Key is the answer to our huge problems.

  19. RedLogix 20

    Darren,

    So exactly what is so very bad about Sweden? I haven’t been there (although I did get to Norway once)… but apart from the long winters it seems to be quite a decent sort of place. Not perfect, but neither is anywhere else, and I can think of a long list of places far worse off.

    And looking around New Zealand, I’m wondering quite why you see the place as ‘ruined’? Again NZ is not perfect, by by all formal international measures the place is doing quite well and we have never been better off. I struggle to see how a nation that is ruined can have major cities that consistently rate in the top dozen or so globally.

    Yes we have problems, but most other nations on earth would cheerfully swap theirs with ours.

  20. RL, where do I start!

    Record numbers on welfare
    Crumbling health,education
    Record crime
    High taxes
    State interference in every part of our lives
    Hatred by Clark and co of independence,freedom and democracy
    Wasteful spending
    Massive size of State
    Mishandling of economy for 9 years

    Is that enough RL?

  21. gobsmacked 22

    1,2,3,5,6 are all demonstrably false.

    4,7,8,9 are opinions, but of course, elections are held every three years, not nine. Therefore your opinions have not been shared by a majority, for a majority of the government’s tenure.

  22. RedLogix 23

    Again I am intrigued.

    I’m not sure exactly what ANY govt is supposed to do about a growing and ageing population that inherently drives up the numbers on super and sickness benefits, and I’m going to assume you are not indulging in DPB bashing here… but the one major beneficiary category that a govt CAN be held to account over is unemployment. Last I looked the numbers stood at about 17,000 nationwide. What kind of record is that again?

    Our health sector is under exactly the same pressures as all other nations; rising labour costs and mobility, rising drug bills, rising technology costs, rising demand and expectations. 45% of all people on earth have NO access to ANY kind of health care, not so much as an aspirin and would be puzzled that you describe our perfectly reasonable system as ‘crumbling’.

    Our education sector does fairly well by all international comparisions, (although not nearly as well as those naughty Swedes), so again I’m baffled by your dire prognostications.

    Unfortunately your notion of ‘record crime’ is undone by the facts. Some crime categories are up, many are down… but overall the rates have been declining slightly for about 15 years, when they peaked after the social destruction wrought during the 80’s.

    New Zealand tax burden is a little below average for all OECD nations. Similarly for our public sector. Yes the State DOES intervene in many aspects of our lives. That is it’s job. Usually when the intervention is done to OTHER people we regard it as right and proper… but when the State intervenes in OUR personal lives we get all upset over ‘interference’.

    We have been told about all this ‘wasteful’ state spending for some time now; but have yet to be advised of ANY actual instances actual dollar significance. Usually most arguments on this sort of thing revolve around the meaning you place on the word ‘wasteful’.

    The only item of real interest is this one:

    Hatred by Clark and co of independence,freedom and democracy

    Independence from what? And how does she hate that?

    Freedom to do what? And again, when did she ever say she hated it?

    Democracy? Last I looked our elections are still scheduled for sometime late this year. An election in which the major left wing Parties, (Labour/Greens) will go into with a full detailed disclosure of all their policies for the electorate to judge. Sorry but I still cannot see the hatred here. Maybe you are better at spotting it than I am.

  23. Quoth the Raven 24

    Do you really think modelling ourselves on Sweden is that bad Darren? Have you ever looked at any international rankings ever? Lowest Infant mortality rate – Sweden Best place to be a mother – Sweden (New Zealand fourth) Women’s index rank first – Sweden (fourth New Zealand) They have a higher HDI rank then us. I could look at stats all night and show how good a country it is but I can’t be bothered. Have a look for yourself.

  24. Macro 25

    Red and Quoth
    Darren’s too busy drooling over Morgan polls and reading up some other rightwingnuts opinion so he can regurgitate it here later.
    Gob
    7,8, and 9 could also be shown to be demonstrably false as well.

  25. Dan 26

    Sweeetd, the election campaign is a little way off. You may be right. Key has nothing to debate yet. Who was the Closeup expert?
    I missed that. It would be great in this age of presidential elections to have an opposition that would front up with policies so that we might have real discussion of real policy, instead of name calling and dogwhistling.

  26. 1.Working for Families, which is clearly welfare, gives us record welfare numbers.

    2. a.patients being treated in hospital corridors
    b.patients dieing before they can get surgery, all this when we are paying record taxes for health.

    c.record numbers of kids unable to read,write, count etc
    d.kids in some areas being taught in shipping containers

    3.people don’t report crime anymore because the Police often don’t do anything or simply don’t turn up, so official figures are wrong

    4. the tax take has doubled under this government in the last 9 years while the economy has grown around 30%. Pathetic.

    5. govt “initiatives to tell you what to eat,drink,watch,say,smoke, read and how to bring up your kids.

    6. removal of Privy Council, “anti smacking” bill-refusal of referendum for its dissolution, Electoral Finance Act, passing of a retrospective law to make the stealing of 800K by Labour to buy the 2005 election legal and much more. All passed without revelation before an election or consultation with the public.

    For goodness sake we have a Solicitor General who isn’t a lawyer, that is how much respect Labour have for the law and good legislation

    7 ,8 The size of the State has grown well beyond that of the economy. That is a fact.

    9. with the best economic conditions in generations(nothing to do with Labour) NZ gets an average of less than 3% growth a year. Not good. While Cullen, a Doctor of History(he will only know how badly he has done while looking back in a couple of years)has wasted money on everything that is unproductive.

    There is of course much more but this will do for some good reading for you lot.

  27. In what is possibly what Helen Clark would call a “rogue poll”, Labour have closed to gap in the latest Fairfax/Nielson Poll:

    http://darrenrickard.blogspot.com/2008/07/fairfax-nielson-poll-19-july-2008.html

    The trend has been a 20 point plus gap between Labour and National over the last 4 months with a couple of blips since Sept 2007, so it is not as good for Labour as a look at today’s single polling result might suggest.

    Reinforcing that the Nielson poll might be a rogue one, the Roy Morgan Poll, out yesterday, continues the trend of a 20 plus point lead by National, the same trend established in the Nielson poll.

    Poll watchers will be able to state a slip for support for National if there is a similar Nielson poll in August.

    The Roy Morgan poll has been the more accurate one in predicting election results and the margins of the vote.

  28. Quoth the Raven 29

    Not a single link, not a single statistic just blind assertions – good one Darren. I’m sure someone can tear apart your assertions here I personally can’t be bothered and don’t have the time and much of it is already dealt with in past posts and discussions here, besides the fact that you wouldn’t bother to listen or read anything anyone would provide you with and you still haven’t answered my questions Darren.

  29. share the load guys, I’ll start off with number 1.

    Darren Rickard

    1.Working for Families, which is clearly welfare, gives us record welfare numbers.

    I assume to consider taxation stealing in the first place, so giving people back thier money is hardly welfare is it?

    Is the corprate tax rate cut welfare too?

    Does that make any tax cuts welfare?

  30. RedLogix 31

    2. a.patients being treated in hospital corridors
    b.patients dieing before they can get surgery, all this when we are paying record taxes for health.

    Virtually every health system in the world experiences peaks in demand that cause overloads on capacity from time to time. But the vast majority of patients in NZ are treated in a timely manner, to a reasonable standard of care. Waiting lists are in fact reducing, but in any realistic world there will never be so much spare capacity in the system that every one gets treated for everything with no wait.

    The real gains in health care efficiencies that remain to be made are in the areas of preventative medicine. Diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, fetal alcholol syndrome, drug and alcohol abuse, smokiing relating illnesses and sexual infections are all the result of lifestyle choices we make, yet expect the taxpayer to pick up the cost when our bodies fail as a direct result.

    Yet at the same time you seem to deeply resent any attempt by govt to reduce health costs when it conducts campaigns to address these issues as unwarranted “interference” in your life. You seem to want the unfettered right to enjoy abusing your body if you wish, yet at the same time demand the right to a wonderful health system that will pay all the costs.

    And at the same time you want tax cuts. Can you spot the discrepancy?

  31. Gazza 32

    I can’t see how National’s plan to open ACC to competition is a bad thing. The corporate world abounds with examples of competition in certain sectors benefitting the consumer, why not ACC?

    For example, McDonald’s has to compete with Burger King, and vice versa. The competition here virtually ensures that both providers of fast food try to offer the best, most streamlined service possible, in a bid to out do the competitior and get more customers.

    It seems to me that Nationals plan for competitors in the ACC market will drive down levies, not raise them. The Labour government repealed ACC competition before it had the chance to be fully implemented, so it is not a good example of why this policy cannot work.

  32. Anita 33

    Gazza,

    How will different insurance companies compete for the business? What will they offer to make them different/better from the others?

  33. RedLogix 34

    It seems to me that Nationals plan for competitors in the ACC market will drive down levies, not raise them. The Labour government repealed ACC competition before it had the chance to be fully implemented, so it is not a good example of why this policy cannot work.

    It may, or it may not. Introducing competition to the electricity industry didn’t lower power prices.

    We only need to look over the Tasman to see that workplace accident insurance cover is generally about 25% dearer than the equivalent cover here to get a sensible comparison.

    In general private enterprise and competition works well for selling baked beans and running corner dairies, where the risk of failure is low, the scope is quite local and specific, there is no natural monoploy and the business cycle is short.

    In general public enterprise works best when the risk associated with failure are high, when the scope is wide and general and/or a natural monopoly, and the business cycles are very long, eg intergenerational. This is why the public sector is generally better at things like infrastructure, education, health and police.

    Insurance is poised somewhat between these two cases. In general property insurance is adequately handled by the private sector; by contrast the record of private health and accident cover is much less satisfactory. One only has to see at the appalling record of the American health insurance industry, or to see that 1 in 10 accident claims in Australia finish up in court to realise this.

    Far too many people have been seduced by the idea that just because competition is SOMETIMES a good thing, that therefore it must ALWAYS be a good thing. It aint so.

  34. fiona 35

    Gazza, given that ACC’s administration costs are lower than comparable Australian schemes, how will private insurers offer cheaper accident insurance?

    The answer is that either they won’t (as with the electricity sector reforms), or if they do it will be by offering lower benefits to claimants – particularly as private insurers also have to incorporate a profit margin into their levies.

    They will also try to ensure that as many claims as possible are attributed to other accounts, so employeees levies rise and the government pays more for the non-earners account ie taxpayers money.

  35. Macro 36

    Darren
    To use your figures:
    “NZ gets an average of less than 3% growth a year.”
    A 30% increase in less than 9 years represents an averaged annual increase of over just over 3% actually. 1.03 to the power of 9 equals 1.30.

    WFF is NOT WELFARE! it is targeted tax relief.

    Ever Hospital in the world treats patients in corridors – its called emergency!

    Where are your sources that back up your other claims
    eg
    “record numbers of kids unable to read,write, count etc”
    Such ridiculous assertions don’t enhance your argument.

  36. gobsmacked 37

    A big story this morning, with fascinating implications:

    Rodney Hide on Agenda says Roger Douglas will be in the top 3 on ACT’s list. That means he’ll get in. I know the polls now say he won’t, but he will.

    What will John Key do? So far, he’s been making eyes at Winston .. but does his heart really belong to Roger? Will there be tears and tantrums? Stay tuned for the next episode of NZ’s hottest soap: John and his Lovers.

  37. gobsmacked 38

    Confirming the above:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4624747a11.html

    Note that Key has ruled out Douglas, but won’t rule out Peters. I wonder how our resident righties feel about that.

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