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Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 am, October 22nd, 2010 - 30 comments
Categories: Economy, national - Tags: , ,

Things are quickly turning to custard for National. The economy is going south fast and Key’s Teflon-coating is so damaged the mainstream media is openly saying we deserve better than a ‘smile and wave’ PM. The Nats’ strategy – try to convince us nothing is wrong – is really bad. It makes them look either duplicitous or out of touch.

Let’s have a quick economic wrap-up:

  • unemployment is not going down as promised. In fact, dole numbers are still rising.
  • the government’s fiscals are so bad that there is talk the Government might not be able to make a politically acceptable election-year Budget and will punt for a very early election instead.
  • we are probably in a recession right now
  • wages and household incomes are falling. The median household is now 5% worse off than when National came to power.
  • the cost of living is rising with a sharp increase in food and fuel prices, capped off by the GST rise.
  • The government is starting to withdraw economic stimulus because it can’t afford to keep borrowing so much (although it can afford to borrow for tax cuts for the rich)

National response to to claim that everything is golden. The problem with that as a political strategy is it requires New Zealanders to ignore the evidence that they see all around them.

For example, National is claiming that wages are rising now, faster than during Labour’s rule. In fact, the stats show that’s not true. More importantly, your real world experience and mine says it’s not true. We know that we are struggling to get inflation-matching pay rises. We know teachers and medical technicians are striking because they can’t get inflation-matching pay rises.

The same is true with jobs. Every month, National makes a big deal over how many people went off the dole and into work. Every month, they omit to mention that more people went on to the dole than came off it – total numbers increased.

In the real world, we know how hard it is to get work. Either we’ve lost our jobs, or had our hours cut, or we know friends and family who are struggling to get work.

National crows that inflation is low (and that is somehow something to do with something they did). But they’re playing number games with what happened months and months ago due to the global recession.

Right now, we’ve just has a 2.2% rise in prices due to GST on top of rapid rises the prices of food and petrol. A poll on Stuff the other had 80% of people agreeing prices made the supermarket ‘a scary place’.

National’s strategy is a lot like the Groucho Marx gag: ‘who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?’ The real world tells us things are getting tougher; National tells us the opposite is true.

The result isn’t that we start to imagine we’re in an economic golden age. The result is that we see National as liars and disconnected. Either National knows that they’re trying to pull the wool over our eyes, in which case it’s a stupid political strategy that tells us they have no economic or political plan, or they genuinely believe that everything is going well, which means they are hopelessly out of touch.

All of which plays nicely as a counter-point Labour’s ‘for the many, not the few’.

30 comments on “Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes? ”

  1. M 1

    Many people will choose to believe their lying eyes because they may feel shame admitting that they voted for NACT and will want to give them ‘one more chance’ to get things right.

    With any luck, continual ramping up of numbers for the grocery bill, unemployment numbers and utility bills will have voters seriously questioning their original need for change and realising not all change is good.

    Before the last election I couldn’t believe my ears when I was speaking with a woman I thought to be fair of mind and found out she was going to vote National. She’s studying for a future career and is reliant on state help at the moment but she loved John Key because he was going to put the nanny staters in their place. She said that people couldn’t use the word nigger anymore and explained that when she was a kid her God fearing family had a dog by such a name and resented that this word was now verboten.

    I told her that where my dad had grown up this was acceptable and that he found it really offensive, so how could fair minded people think this was OK? She didn’t get it. It sounds terrible but I wonder if that once she is on her feet she’ll won’t simply turn around and benny bash those she considers to be inferior from a position of having a full time job and the economic freedoms this allows.

    For the moment I don’t have much confidence in people’s ability to join the dots of how they’re victims of the long con and fear it’s going to take some excruciating economic pain before the scales fall from their eyes.

    Heard on the late news tonight about all the cuts going forward in Britain – looks like Maggie has been channeled:


    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      We have a generation who grew up in the late 80’s and 90’s who have a very different take on the world.

      National have been excellent at playing to peoples’ ignorance, and the fact that many do not understand how civil society developed in the last 100 years or works today. She probably doesn’t even know that all the right wing decision makers in this country got their university educations for free while she is going to spend tens of thousands on hers.

      Well, more hardship is coming, much more, and people who haven’t figured out how the dots are joined will have to learn pretty soon.

  2. Irascible 2

    And now Hide gets into the act with further legislation to emasculate his own bull- The supercity. With a left leaning council & Mayor Rodney, with Key’s agreement, starts to throw the toys out of the cot.

  3. Carol 3

    NACT have no shame and no principles. All they want is to win, and shift the money upwards. They are very devious, and will do and say whatever it takes to acheve their aims. They rely on people being misled by the equally unprincipled MSM. Twist figures, misdirect, shift the blame, repeat it confidently, count on the MSM repeating their perspective…… It’s clear what is happening to anyone who looks closely enough. But many people aren’t interested in looking that closely, and are more focused on their own little worlds, and furthering their own interests.

    And yes, Britain is working in a lot of the same ways as NZ. And it is the legacy of Thatcher. They seem to be singing off the same song sheet as NACT.

    • Bored 3.1

      Carol, I think that what you descibe is always the agenda of the right. What worries me is that the Right are now, despite their protests to the opposite, caught in a perfect storm, as will be anybody who replaces them. The storm is Peak Everything, and it is most visible currently as Peak Finance. As we slip into the Second Great(er) Depression you will observe the Right use “shock” etc to force through their own austerity agenda in which they attempt to seize citizens rights, property and life blood. It will be that extreme, as will be the response. Bad times are with us, we can judge ourselves by how we respond for our fellows as opposed to ourselves.

  4. r0b 4

    Yo Marty – you missed a chance to use one of my favourite album covers of all time!

    • Marty G 4.1

      that’s pretty awesome. I would replace that existing image with it, but the text will be too small… plus i love the way key is swigging on that beer.

      • r0b 4.1.1

        Yeah, plus how many people today would know the cover? Damn youngsters, offa my lawn, etc…

      • M 4.1.2

        Yeah, has a Marie Antoinette flavour.

      • Fisiani 4.1.3

        Thanks for the great vote winning picture and caption of John Key casually swigging a beer whilst turning a steak on the barbie with Prince William at Premier House last year. No such photo of Helen Clark is even imaginable. Thats one of the many reasons that John Key is riding high in the polls. Ordinary people really like him despite the demonic castigation of the impotent resident commies. The fact that you think the picture hurts him shows how out of touch you are.

        • lprent

          I must say that I find your persistent (hopefully) unfulfilled infatuation with John Key endearing, but hardly relevant.

          • Lanthanide

            It really is a bit freaky the way he keeps doing that. I could never imagine writing that sort of thing about any political leader.

            • lprent

              Yeah. I worked closely with Helen at her electorate level for decades and as much as I respect her overall, I can’t imagine ever writing such flapper* drivel about her. I was always keenly aware of what I perceived as both her strengths and her weaknesses.

              * Jonathon Swift was such a good satirist. F reminds me of the image of courtiers to the King in one of the Gulliver’s Travels books.

    • lprent 4.2

      Yeah – love that image (it is somewhere amongst the vinyl stacks). Was never much on the music of Supertramp though. Tended to get irritation whilst coding.

      BTW: I added some feature images of elvish rings to Irish’s two posts…

      • Bored 4.2.1

        Yeah, Supertramp gave me the heebies too, always found a dose of Johnny Rotten cured it reasonably quickly.

    • joe90 4.3

      Great album but Crime of the Century is my favourite.

      Now they’re planning the crime of the centuryWell what will it be?Read all about their schemes and adventuringIt’s well worth a feeSo roll up and seeAnd they rape the universeHow they’ve gone from bad to worseWho are these men of lust, greed, and glory?Rip off the masks and let’s see.But that’s not right – oh no, what’s the story?There’s you and there’s meThat can’t be right

  5. freedom 5

    ‘who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?’

    thought this was an opportune time to mention this is the same strategy used by Dick Cheney and co in the global telling of their 9/11 lies when three steel framed buildings supposedly fell down.
    You saw one thing, were told another and decided to believe that instead of your own eyes.
    It worked for them, maybe Mr Key thought he couldn’t lose either.

    But he is discovering the same problems that plague the 9/11 Official Story, people are actually pretty smart and very resourceful when pushed into a corner. New Zealand is not going to make the same mistake they did in 2008, well most of them aren’t anyway. An early election will be seen for what it is, panic to hold onto the leash of power.

  6. Bored 6

    On the issue of being oblivious to crisis, there is a good interview on todays EnergyBulletin.net in which John Michael Greer talks about how societal collapse results from a lack of awareness. This in particular should warn about the dangers myopic policy aimed at specific short term gain for a sectoral interest group (i.e Nact) can have.

    Basically, the real short form of catabolic collapse is that society always depends on certain resources from nature, and it uses those resources to produce capital, by which I do not mean money, but built capital, buildings, educated people, all the different things that the society creates to do its work for it. When the resource basis runs short, basically the only source of resource that you still got is that built capital. So the society, when it pushes over into this state of collapse begins catabolising, begins feeding on its own capital. It begins tearing down buildings to get the raw material inside them, it disposes of its labor force, it cuts it down. In America, for example, our education system has gone down. That is basically stripping a piece of social capital, for temporary benefit. And that is how a society turns from a successful civilization with a lot of complex things, to 200 years later, when it is a bunch of ruins with trees growing out of it.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      “by which I do not mean money, but built capital”
      That’s one thing that has always annoyed me, the economic definition of ‘capital’ referring to both money and actual built things and generally treating them as one in the same. Clearly they are quite different, especially when we’re all running ponzi fiat currency.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        The fiat currency would work – if we treated money as the tool it is and based it’s value on the renewable resource base rather than as the Prime Resource that most people seem to believe it is.

  7. Lazy Susan 7

    Lie, manipulate, divide and rule is the hallmark of the right. There is a small group of global elite who’s greed knows no bounds. Once restrained by the idea of “what’s acceptable” the bail-out they got from governments in the global financial meltdown has given them an “anything goes” approach.

    The financial system is broken and as it crumbles the elite are grabbing everything they can get. They have no sense of civic responsibility and treat the great mass of the population and planet as resources to be expolited. They are contemptuous of democracy and have a sense of entitlement that they are born to rule. These people are the real enemies.

    Most governments and msm are complicit with perpetuating the lies of the global elite and our government is no exception. Talkback radio and msm are used to channel people’s anger away from the elite and towards each other. Pop culture glamourizes gangs, guns and drugs and champions the idea of winners and losers (sports stars , X-factor, Survivor). This keeps people busy warring against each other and again diverts attention away from their real enemy. The Tea Party movement in the States has very successfully taken Americans rightful anger at their economic collapse and turned it against their fellow citizens

    The recent Actors Equity vs Peter Jackson dispute was a textbook study in how an elite can manipulate, divide and rule. A complicit media uncritically ran the Jackson script that turned fellow workers against each other. Robyn Malcom and AE were simply asking for a meeting to discuss the possibilty that NZ Actors might work under the same conditions as their overseas counterparts. Act 2 of this Jackson epic will see Key and NAct save the day, WB get a nice big tax break and they will continue to use cheap Kiwi labour. The masses of course will cheer the great white knight for saving the day and demonise the nasty unions. Meanwhile the real enemy quietly slips back into the shadows.

  8. Crashcart 8

    So back on track after Mr 9/11 conspiracy.

    At the last election I voted National. I had always voted National. Was raised in a right leaning family on the principle that anyone can achieve what ever they want in a market economy. I watched during the Clark years as what I thought were communist policies designed to turn us into a backwards state were pushed through against what seemed to be the will of the people. Laws such as the election spending were introduced which seemed so undemocratic.

    I DO NOT REGRET OR FEEL ANY SHAME FOR DOING THIS. I will be voting Labor next year. If this term in power has been enough to show me that what right wing policy does to a country is what we see then there must be more people like me who are waking up to how bad things are becoming. They will be realizing a left wing government with a socially responsible agenda actually has a far better chance of building a country that we are proud to live in.

    When our economy continues to slide, unemployment rates go up and crime and other poverty related issues issues get worse as they will in the next year people will not be able to ignore that the current government actually has no answers. Labor will win the next election. If they do things right and make a break from the current destructive spiral, this country could see an even longer term of left government than the last and a real opportunity for us to grow to our potential.

    • freedom 8.1

      i couldn’t resist crashcart, the analogous nature of the situation was there
      in thirty foot high flashing neon
      but as you say, back to the subject at hand ;]

    • Vicky32 8.2

      Good on you, Crashcart! It would be brilliant if more people like you could have the same realisation… 😀

  9. The point is, as crashcart shows, National’s strategy is actually a loser.

    It’s one thing for a politician to doublethink, it’s another to ask the public to simultaneously believe (for examples) that wages are going up faster than ever and that teachers shouldn’t have a rise because no-one else is getting one.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    It makes them look either duplicitous or out of touch.

    Considering that they’re both I don’t see any problem with that.

    The real world tells us things are getting tougher;

    Things are going to get tougher and those of us on the left can’t ignore that. What we have to do is explain why it’s getting tougher and why we can’t go back to living the way we were in regards to excess imports and debt and we have to communicate a vision of a better future that ensures everyone a good living standard, one where people don’t have to question if they can feed themselves and their families or pay the rent.

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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    Applications are now invited from all councils for a slice of government funding aimed at improving tourism infrastructure, especially in areas under pressure given the size of their rating bases. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has already signalled that five South Island regions will be given priority to reflect that jobs ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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