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Unemployment? Blame someone else – Key

Written By: - Date published: 7:35 am, February 5th, 2010 - 53 comments
Categories: john key, unemployment - Tags:

A panicked, chaotic series of excuses poured forth from John Key’s mouth yesterday as he attempted to shift the blame for the shocking unemployment numbers on to someone, anyone, else:

“He told reporters it was important to note the economy was not losing jobs, it was a case of not creating new ones fast enough.”

Actually, the economy lost over 2,000 jobs in the quarter. The economy needs to gain 6,000 jobs a quarter on average to keep up with the growing working age population.

“”We have a very efficient economy and as confidence is restored internationally you will see this rate fall.’ New Zealand was part of the worst global recession since the 1930s”

But, John, weren’t you skiting about the record confidence level just a few months ago?

“An economy is like a super tanker it takes a long time to turn around and we had nine years of poor economy [sic] policy that put us in the wrong place,”

Wait, I thought we had “a very efficient economy” and the unemployment was the result of the global recession. I’m sure someone told me that just recently.

Isn’t it funny how Labour’s “nine years of poor economy policy” resulted in plummeting unemployment and benefit numbers, and rising wages while they were in power but somehow managed to cause everything to go to crap a year after they left office? Cunning f#cken Labour, how’d they do that?

What exactly is this “wrong place” that Labour put is in? 3.4% unemployment? No net debt?

It was a crazy performance. A random grab-bag of contrary excuses for doing nothing while jobs burn. It was not the performance of an in-control Prime Minister with a plan.

Key needs to stop pointing the finger at everyone else and start doing his job for Kiwis who need help from their government. But he won’t. Because that’s not why he became Prime Minister.

[Update: Neither Key nor Paula Bennett would front on RNZ this morning. They sent Mark Weldon instead]

[Update 2: I see National’s pollster David Farrar has still failed to comment on these disastrous unemployment figures – probably still trying to think up a credible excuse. He did manage to post on the Herald’s flag distraction though. Speaking of which, the Herald has 10 articles in its flag distraction campaign today. It’s only article on unemployment isn’t under the ‘politics’ category]

53 comments on “Unemployment? Blame someone else – Key ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    Farrar has simply refused to discuss this on his website so far. Given how close his ties are with National that tells me they are having real problems coming up with a spin for the spike in unemployment, and it all smacks of panic.

    • lukas 1.1

      this is a strange attitude to take. When bad stats came out when Labour was in Government and no posts appeared on The Standard about it was there also a conspiracy?

      • Eddie 1.1.1


        • Richard

          I can’t remember any bad unemployment stats during Labour’s 9 years. The headlines that stick in my mind are record low unemployment, followed by unemployment drops further, unemployment lowest since 1960’s, followed by drastic shortages of labour.

        • lukas

          you seriously think that no bad stats came out when Labour was in Government and The Standard was online and nothing was written about it?

          You are delusional this morning.

          • Clarke

            … so you shouldn’t have any problems finding them in the archive and posting the links. We’ll all be here waiting when you get back from your searching.

            • lukas

              Let me get this straight… you want me to go through the archives to find posts that are not there?

              • Clarke

                Sure – it should be a straightforward process:

                1. Select a day when there were lots of bad stats. There should be plenty to choose from across those 9 years.
                2. Do a search of The Standard around the relevant day using a Google site: search that illustrates the absence of anything relevant.
                3. Post the link to the Google search.

                Off you go – we’re waiting.

              • Draco T Bastard

                No, we want you to support your assertions that there were bad stats when Labour was in government while The Standard was online and that there was nothing written about those stats on The Standard.

              • snoozer

                lukas, mate, you made the accusation. Provide evidence or admit you’re talking out your arse.

              • Troll of the week this week is ….


    • Ed 1.2

      I saw reference to the slug from the sewer recently. Surprisingly, Farrar’s site has a poll on what the Minimum wage should be – perhaps he is trying to validate the Herald practice . . . it deserves to have a few sensible responses.

      But yes its all distraction.

      The flag will not be enough – I predict another announcement some time today – an international trip to get Key out of the country?

    • Mr Magoo 1.3

      Please add the Maori party to the list too.

      I was absolutely gobsmacked this morning to hear Turia blaming teachers for kids not having enough education to get jobs.
      She was effectively saying that the teachers are “avoiding scrutiny” at a time when they were failing their pupils.
      I grew up with kids just like those and I can tell you poverty/joblessness of their PARENTS caused it and not the schools. These kids never had a hope and so never gave a rats arse. They understood all too well that the deck was well stacked and so just gave up.

      What the hell?? She has really drunk the cool aid this time.

      But then I picked it well before the election.


      • Daveski 1.3.1

        Interesting attitude there Mr Magoo – perhaps you need new glasses 😉

        Effectively your saying than that if kids come from poor backgrounds, you may as well give up.

        Without a doubt schools are largely failing Maori, PI and poor kids. So we agree the status quo is not working. In order to change that, we need to know who’s failing so we resources can be targetted.

        And you can see where this is heading 🙂

        I agree entirely that league tables don’t help. But not all poor kids fail and there is powerful evidence in place that teacher expectations can and do make a difference.

        At present, parents have the ridiculous situation of the educational conveyor belt forever going forward until NCEA when they find their kids are failing yet no one had ever told them before.

        But I agree with Turia that someone has to be accountable for a system that allows kids to go through without any checks and then be dumped out at the end of it with no quals so little chance of employment.

        • pollywog

          dunno where wharekura ( total immersion high school) is at these days, but if the students there are underperforming as i know they were when i put my kids all the way thru kohanga/kura kaupapa then maybe scrap them.

          Didnt see the point in transliterating maths and science into maori when it’s hard enough to learn those subjects in english. just put more pressure on good teachers to become familiar with the terms and invent new ones.

          so i pulled them at intermediate level and mainstreamed them while still keeping maori language as optional. incidentally they pissed thru maori and racked up untold credits.

          maybe tariana should fix up her own backyard before telling others how to mow their lawns.

        • Mr Magoo

          That is not what I was saying and I think you well know that or at least was so eager to point out what you thought was an obvious flaw your brain stem was not fully engaged.

          I am describing what these kids were doing, not agreeing with it.

          Their environments were so shite there was no way their teachers were going to get through to them.

          Some of them had weet bix for dinner 3-4 times a week, were beaten by their parents and were sent to school every day without lunch so they had to bully it off other kids.

          I watched the teachers try to engage them but they saw the teachers are the enemy.

          If you think “national standards” are going to fix this problem then you are dreaming. I cannot understand how you “cut the red tape” righties can bandy about this completely idiotic bean counter argument and think it is going to work?
          We have evidence of it failing overseas all over the place. It is going to victimize these kids even more and just reinforce what they already think: “I am a dumb arse and there is no point to any of this.”

          Heaven forbid we address the actual problem here which is poverty and the social aspects of education. NONE of which will be solved by national standards and using it as a bat to hit teachers/schools/kids on the head with.
          They did that in the US with no child left behind and now their education system is a JOKE. Their kids are falling behind across the board.

          Of course I am wasting my breath. People from the right have about as much empathy as a potato.

          • Daveski

            Typical left view that only the left understand and have empathy. And of course you’re wasting your breath if you’re on the left – doh 😉

            Turia is right that kids without education won’t get jobs.

            You are right that poverty is a contributor to failure at school, just as social economic status is a primary indicator of success and failure at university.

            Having taught in lower decile schools (have you??) I realise that in most respects you need to be a better teacher to just survive, let alone get results. So the results themselves are meaningless in terms of teacher effectiveness unless you consider some type of added value criteria.

            However, unless you identify those who are not achieving (god forbid we can use the word failing!) we can’t do anything about it.

            Because the problem is that enough is not being done to resource these areas and the NZEI and PPTA need to share the blame by protecting lazy and incompetent teachers.

            • Mr Magoo

              I taught at university and my role was dealing with this aspect specifically. I also used to run school visits for such.
              I also grew up poor myself and as a friend to many of these kids.

              You are wrong to think we currently cannot identify these things. We can.

              That is not the problem and it CERTAINLY is not the solution.

              As per usual, National is big on hot air and big talk, but the actual solutions are either absent or not thought out.

              Just like the jobs summit…

        • Draco T Bastard

          Jeez Daveski, is your reading comprehension really that bad or are you just putting on the delusional right wing spin to make yourself feel better?

          • Daveski

            Not at all. I understand the risks with standards but the problem is the status quo is worse. It allows kids to enter the system and continue to go through the system without any clear message that they are headed for the scrapheap. By the end of NCEA and no quals, it’s too late.

            Naturally, poverty is a significant contributor but by the same token it does not mean all kids from a poor background end up in the same space. So differences can be made.

            Far from being delusional, I think I’m being more rational and empathic that those who aren’t prepared to address the real issues here. And the unions get up my nose by their staunch protection racket that ignores the underlying interests of the students.

            • Mr Magoo

              I am specifically saying that national standards are not addressing the real issue and that it has been shown overseas to make it worse.


            • Draco T Bastard

              It allows kids to enter the system and continue to go through the system without any clear message that they are headed for the scrapheap.

              No, actually, it doesn’t.

              At present, parents have the ridiculous situation of the educational conveyor belt forever going forward until NCEA when they find their kids are failing yet no one had ever told them before.

              See, they can go down to the principal of the school at any time and ask. The standards and procedures that are already in place ensure that where the child is academically is known.

              Then there was the simple fact that MR Magoo said that the NACT standards won’t address the issue which tends to be poverty not the standards. Which you either missed in your reading or ignored for because it didn’t fit your delusional world view. I’m picking the latter.

              • Daveski

                As I mentioned, in this case my delusional world includes teaching in a range of schools including a decile one or two school. With respect, that is not what it’s like “teaching” at university.

                Standards don’t solve the problems per se. Resources need to be targeted at where the problems are. Agreed both Lab and Nats have failed to target resources but likewise the teachers themselves are part of the problem. Teachers should be paid more to teach in these schools so the better teachers are rewarded. As I noted, in ball park terms, the better teachers don’t work in the “better” schools.

                What’s equally bizarre is that any person can find out much more than would be in league tables by reading ERO reports.

                Poverty is definitely an issue. No problem with that. But it does not condemn all to failure which is the inference if not the intention.

                Far from delusional DTB.

              • Mr Magoo

                So you agree that the standards wont fix anything, no serious funding is allocated or looks like it will be to solve the problem, ignore that overseas experience show the harm they can do and …what??

                Your conclusion is that they are great and a must??

                You think that because you have taught in a low decile school that you are somehow more qualified to speak to this and that we must now accept your flawed logic and opinion on how these standards will be different to overseas?

                I think we are just to have to beg to differ on all counts.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    Update: In sticking with the “blame someone, anyone, else” meme Mr. Farrar says in his comments section that his failure to comment is all the fault of the statistics New Zealand website.

  3. Quayyy 3

    I can see why Bennett didn’t front on Nat Radio, after her awful interview on checkpoint yesterday.

    “Well I agree with you Margaret..”
    “I don’t really know the numbers; I’m not the right person to be asking..”

  4. Clarke 4

    Neither Key nor Paula Bennett would front on RNZ this morning. They sent Mark Weldon instead

    That’s fair enough … given that Weldon is being quoted about the economy in the media more than English, I thought he had taken over as Finance Minister … ?

  5. He’ll need a wee break. Some quiet ‘me’ time the wee petal.
    He can do that.

    captcha – confused ffs

  6. The thing with Key is, you can read his face and tell when he’s lying, which is why he doesnt do it much, and when he doesn’t want to answer the questions cos he hasn’t got an answer. And as for English, he seems out of touch and out of step with “everyday ” NZers.

    it’s painful to watch

    Has there been anything by teh maori party on high unemployment ? do they have a plan to reduce some numbers from their end ?

    and what of the under achieving, over populating and criminally minded polynesians ? maybe the plan is let the polys turn to crime and distract the masses with a good ol bit of traditional brown bashing. stimulate the economy by increasing the police and building more jails.

    Bennet should jump on that one and get polys to build their own jails.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Has there been anything by teh maori party on high unemployment ? do they have a plan to reduce some numbers from their end ?

      I’m sure you’ll find that they’re just as enthusiastic about reducing wages as JK.

  7. Paul Mac 7

    Nero ( John Key & Bill English ) fiddle while Rome ( the NZ economy ) burns and all they can do is stand around and pee on the wild fire. Watch out guys, you’ll both end up with very burnt willies in one second flat.
    Nationals managment of the NZ economy and the economic crisis is now exposed as a bunch of w…bankers standing around a fire watching their sausages burn.

  8. Herodotus 8

    For me it is interesting Lab did it and now the Nats. All they do is create prioblems that have long residual effects on NZ well beyond their expulsion form parliament. Obesity, NZ economy, inability to build houses, Finace market etc. And what is worst for me is that many (If not all of them) have any apperciatio what it really is like to like an ordinary live of an ordinary wage (or for soem unfortunates) before this ordinary wage. Lab in the past did not know how, The Nats are displaying their ability, BUT current Lab party still has no idea. Bring on armageddon and get this mess over with !!

  9. tc 9

    Sending Weldon sums up this gov’t and it’s real agenda……business, shareholder wealth, profit first……people not lucky enough to be part of that gravy train….who cares.

    A minister and PM who don’t care or even bother to cobble together a believable facade.

    Weldon is Key’s lapdog and focused on expanding his NZX empire…..a relentless focus on our business mates and shafting the beneficiaries because they deserve it.

    Disgraceful, disrepectful and dereliction of duties to the office they hold……again.

  10. IrishBill 10

    Neither Key nor Paula Bennett would front on RNZ this morning. They sent Mark Weldon instead

    It appears they have outsourced ministerial responsibility to the private sector. As I understand it they will be floating the Prime Ministership on the market some time next month.

  11. weizguy 11

    So Farrar’s posted on it now, with a “look over there” post about youth unemployment. He’s used the shocking unemployment figures to segue to a rant about youth rates. Again.

    No shame.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 11.1

      Perhaps he can ring up his mate Lord Moncton to devise a conspiracy theory to explain to poor economic performance of NZ. You know Lefty Statisticians are manipulating their results to cover up the SuperNova effect Nats policies are having on the NZ economy.

      Then he just has to repeat it enough to make everyone believe it.

  12. Zaphod Beeblebrox 12

    Nice irony is that although the governement refuse to contemplate what NZ might be like with 450+ ppm CO2 by 2040, their chief justification for abandoning our youth is concern for the budget bottom line over the next 20 years.

    Tip high unemployment costs society and your economy a lot more than drawing up an economic strategy.

  13. I love the new way the word “unemployed” is being avoided at all costs. So we talk about the increased number of job seekers who have magically appeared. Jobs have not been lost you understand? AHHHH no I don’t understand?

    Smoke and mirrors are the order of the day and its interesting who is being rolled out to front the bad news and continue the Governments lines. Weldon does appear to be the new minister of finance.

    Mean while Key pops up for a smile and wave session with the media but its now looking more like a grimace.

    So hows the economy going John? swimmingly Mr Espiner swimmingly!

  14. tc 14

    And in yet another display of sycophantic toe the line behaviour by the MSM last night after Bennett made the usual ‘don’t ask me…..it’s a recession, I’m just a minister etc’ interview and Johnny Clown performed as any merchant banker would on an issue they care jack about.

    Any decent media would sieze upon this as the incompetance it is and fulfill it’s duty to ask the tough questions and wait for it……create a relevant news item that advances the issue via the application of intellectual rigor.

    What I saw was tantamount to a high school media studies class requoting the Press release with the usual talking heads to make it look authorative like bank economists…….and they wonder why their audiences are declining.

  15. Mr Weldon took a hospital pass for his mate Mr Key – as the CTU says, that’s gotta hurt. Speedo, as Ms Cactus has named him, was all at sea in an area about which he knows little, and in the context of trying to defend a do-nothing, hope for the best embarrassment of a policy. The country should be up in arms at the 16-24 unemployment figures in particular. Flags, cycle ways, national standards and the rest pale into insignificance in comparison. The really worrying thing about this government is that, if it did start doing something about these figures, its would be so poorly prepared and implemented that the consequences would be worse. There is a now a fundamental question to be asked about the basic political competence of this government.

    • BLiP 15.1

      . . . unless this was the plan all along.

    • snoozer 15.2

      it’s said that before the Jobs Summit, Mark Weldon was telling a leading unionist that the minimum wage was already high enough: ‘what is it? About $18 an hour?; he said.

      When told it was $12 he was shocked.

      Speaks to the ignorance that underlies so many rightwingers’ beliefs. But especially shocking in a business leader who was meant to be running a jobs creation startegy for the govt.

      • Herodotus 15.2.1

        May I remind you that Mallard does not know what a livable wage is. This ignorance is not the sole possession of the right. I have asked this question re livable wage to others within the Lab party for no answer. This is just as if not more alarming as Lab do not know what ordinary NZ have to cope with. As Rome is burning the Emperor is not alone fiddling !
        Perhaps ther eshould be a pre qualifing course for MP’s to sit and PASS as to what is is like to be a pleb.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.3

      There is a now a fundamental question to be asked about the basic political competence of this government.

      That question needs to be asked about party on the political right. They really do try to govern by belief rather than using research and facts. This is probably because the research and facts prove them wrong every time.

  16. PS Mr Farrer’s solution for youth unemployment- abolish youth rates – makes my point. Sure, he’s spinning madly for government, filling the vacuum of their own silence, but he reflects the Right’s approach – it’s the young people’s fault that they are unemployed, because they want (Iand are given in law) a very modest level of remuneration.

  17. Apologies – Mr Farrar

  18. Pete 18

    Stuff’s article this morning ‘Call for action on jobless blowout’ has an intersting quote from our PM (speaking of spin and being defensive):
    “But Mr Key said his summit had been highly effective, adding that one of its star outcomes, the national cycleway, “is doing very well”.”

    Has anyone seen snything on the cycleway since Key announced $5.3M in funding way back in August last year?

  19. TightyRighty 19

    “Isn’t it funny how Labour’s “nine years of poor economy policy’ resulted in plummeting unemployment and benefit numbers, and rising wages while they were in power but somehow managed to cause everything to go to crap a year after they left office? Cunning f#cken Labour, how’d they do that?”

    really eddie, it’s been spelt out so many times. i guess when you walk around refusing to believe that your beloved party left the cupboard bare, with no chance of tax cuts or stimulus and a broken arse train set to maintain, you can spout rubbish like that. the rest of the country knows how labour did it, the polls should be a constant reminder to you.

    • BLiP 19.1

      Another one calling Blinglish a liar!

      “I want to stress that New Zealand starts from a reasonable position in dealing with the uncertainty of our economic outlook.”

      “In New Zealand we have room to respond. This is the rainy day that Government has been saving up for,” he told reporters at the Treasury briefing on the state of the economy and forecasts.

    • snoozer 19.2

      isn’t it funny how they fall back on ‘but the polls are still on our side’ more and more quickly these days.

      captcha – admitting … yeah, it is an admission

  20. BLiP 20

    Clueless on the Nine-Day-Fortnight:

    It will help keep potentially tens of thousands of New Zealanders in work, and it will tide them, their families, and employers, through what could be a tough few months.

    One year later and total to date = 620 jobs “probably” saved.

  21. Waiting . . 21

    Where’s lukas?

  22. SD 22

    I’m sure if Labour were still in power the front page of the herald would proclaim “UNEMPLOYMENT HITS 7.3%”. But not even a mention of that on today’s herald’s front page (page 3) while looking at their website the main political story is “Foreshore and Seabed Act could go this year” PM tells Maori. Talk about double standards. And this is Aucklands main newspaper. Pathetic.!

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