118 thoughts on “General debate, December 20, 2011

  1. Dear DB; I’m right (!) with you on taking care of the disadvantaged – it is a measure of our Civilization – and there’s a lot of work up ahead on That road.
    Think the whole notion of typecasting is over-rated, unhelpfull and never a fair thing. To seek to pigeon-hole or stereo-type ideas is some unique folly.

  2. I’m essentially unrepresented in conventional politics, because most politics is dominated by “wingers”, and most wingers want to trash some portion of society or other.

    I’ve have previously been accused on this very blog of being a left winger (as I believe in society supporting the disadvantaged) by a left winger, and now I’m apparently a right wing ranter, with chemical boost to boot.

  3. Yeah Buckles! You actually agreed with one of my ridiculous Posts – only last year – are you an ACT supporter on Drugs?
    One of the Brethren the great Fakirs Excluded perhaps?
    Lets have your life story – underline all the good bits
    And keep it sweet
    Happy 2012 – and do you think the book of Revelations is playing itself out before us?
    If Jesus comes back – will he come to NZ?
    Would we even know?
    Regards
    Mark! :))

  4. Well Phil, so far its one nil to me. I offered – several times, and from many months out – to eat humble pie if I was wrong over the elections. I expressed – several times – the hope I was wrong. History records I wasn’t wrong, and thus I didn’t have to eat the pie.

    And despite you being wrong, it seems you are unwilling to eat the humble pie.

    We’ll continue to play this game. I’ll make the offer for the next election right now, and we’ve still got the entire term to go; if the Nats get rolled I’ll eat the humble pie. But I wont be eating the humble pie, and the desperation will increase in Labour as the next caretaker is elected.

    You abused my brain size on my last prediction, and my obviously inferior brain got it right.

    I’m just going to say this once: stop abusing the messenger and listen to the message. That message is that there is zero evidence at this time that Labour will fare better at the next election than they did at the last one. Perhaps that will change. But if your approach is characteristic of the Left, and you think that the last campaign was a success, or even nearly a success, then the die is already cast.

    Now if all you want to do is ad hominem me some more, then fine, go ahead, float your boat. But no amount of attacking me is going to change a thing. And I’d also note that makes you part of the problem, rather than part of the solution.

  5. No mandate dbuckley… if they put that issue to a referendum and it won, they’d have a mandate. What they got was a bare majority… and the sales are not universally admired within the National party. One would expect them to lose on a conscience vote as well.

    That said, the silverware is still on its way… we haven’t put up the petition for a referendum… but I suspect that SOMEONE will think of that little thing.

    BJ

  6. “..But, you believed that Labour had a realistic chance at the last election..”

    f.f.s buckley..!..as bj pointed out…despite a record high vote for them..national just scraped in..

    ..if that isn’t/wasn’t ‘a realisic chance’..what the fuck is..?

    “…and seem to think that they will in the next election…”

    ..as would most others with half a brain..

    ..and as for yr 2020 predictions..

    ..why don’t you get back to me then about them..eh..?

    ..see you then..

    ..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  7. I don’t disagree with what you say, BJ, it’s a view that is being espoused.

    However, if the country wanted to stop asset sales it could have done so, by the same way (I’m assuming) you and I tried, that is by the simple expedient of ticking a box on a piece of paper.

    So unfortunately, we find ourselves now in a position where the silverware is on its way to Turners. But to claim the bastards flogging it off don’t have the “mandate” is really just sour grapes.

    We could have stopped it. We didn’t.

  8. dbuckley

    Labour – if one includes the full panoply of parties left of center/opposing National-ACT missed by about 1%… National’s “mandate” is a single seat of 120 or whatever it is. That they CALL that a mandate to do anything is a clear indication of how duplicitous they are.

  9. What you’ve missed Phil is (a) its going to be a long, long time before Labour are back in power, (b) Labour are continuing to think short term about their leader and PM-in-waiting, having selected the least bad of a mediocre bunch as a caretaker, and (c) continuing tha theme, the severe lack of depth of quality throughout the party.

    Hughes is, to be polite, a stretch, and would require considerable rehabilitation and PR support to patch over an indescretion, but there are no other stand-out members of the Party with both the skills required and are of the right age and likeability to be ready to step in when JK is ripe for rolling. To say Jacinda is the other choice illustrates the problem. But she appears to have the likeability factor all sorted, and has no history of being a liability.

    This may sound like crazy talk. Its clear you think so :) But, you believed that Labour had a realistic chance at the last election, and seem to think that they will in the next election. It simply isn’t going to happen. So instead of business as usual, what Labour need is a game changing plan. Anything less will simply fail.

  10. just back to the original ‘idiocy’..45for a mo’..

    ..care to explain how darren hughes will be the next labour pm..?

    ..i seem to have missed something there..

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

  11. Phil noted:

    ..that particular piece of madness came from buckley..

    ..i got my idiots mixed up…

    Just so we’re clear here Phil: I’m the idiot that repeatedly stated what would happen on election night, albeit whilst hoping I’d be wrong.

    I’m now telling you what is going to happen on the next election night. You can put it in your diary as a done deal right now. Unless JK commits some personal blunder from which he cannot escape blame, or he goes under a bus, he’ll be leading the Nats into their third victory.

    I’m 90% certain the same will happen in 2017. But by 2020 Jacinda will be of the right age, and is the right sort of apparently nice person to go head to head in personal politics with JK. JK will be aging, and not so pretty in the prettyness game. He could get rolled.

    Sit back and watch it play out Phil. This is what is going to happen. Or it may not. But one thing is certain; based on recent history, your crystal ball is less well calibrated than mine.

    That old tactic of shooting the messenger does not change the message.

  12. Kerry,

    I’m not sure if the German car makers run their own schemes and as such do not have the pension liabilites as provisions in their accounts.

    Is the system in Germany, state pensions paid out of employer and employee contributions? Much like the Cullen fund and Kiwisaver?

    The US example where the employer run the pension funds has been found to be deeply flawed.

    Mind you plenty of independently run pensions schemes have also folded. As have some state run ones (think Russia, Eastern bloc countries or Zimbabwe).

    As have union organised ones have been corrupted to prop up socialist governments.

    http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/27825

    Auto worker should have insisted to be represented on the pension fund admin boards to ensure those funds were not used to to “prop” up an ailing company or enabled union corruption.

    The USA state under Obama is showing further weakness by having the state take over the pension liabilities of the auto makers.

    Interestingly now that the state has taken over (bail out guarenties) the auto industry they have also taken on the pension liabilities

    GAO notes the complicated role played by the federal government, which guaranteed those pensions and now owns GM and Chrysler. GM and Chrysler bought union peace by overpromising pension benefits, knowing that the taxpayers stood behind those promises. Now what should the government do, take it out on the auto workers or hit the taxpayers to benefit the auto workers? Your elected officials will have little difficulty making this decision, invariably hitting future taxpayers to benefit favored constituents, like the auto workers.

    http://articles.businessinsider.com/2010-04-07/news/30017803_1_contribution-requirements-retirement-plans-gm

    Does not look like US auto workers will ever get the hourly rate enjoyed by the Germans.

  13. Gerrit. Yes lack of investment by US car makers in quality and technology.

    And a greater share goes to skilled German workers and less to administrators.

    It is doubtfull if German pension funding is less expensive. They get much more generous pensions. It still comes from the same pockets whether State or private.

    The difference is the US pension funds were raided to keep up profits and share prices.

  14. PhilU,

    I suspect that there are at least four reasons,

    1- Much higher levels of automation in the german plants = less workers but higher pay. View some of the “megafactory” doco’s on discovery. Especially the VW one. Very high levels of automation. This requires higher skilled operators that can programme robots, etc. No-one picks up a pk screwdriver to screw a door handle on for example. Higher pay for higher skilled workers. Be interesting to see a comparison of worker numbers per car manufactured as a measure of productivity.

    2- Dealer distribution network are owned by the auto companies. No middle men to add a layer of distribution costs to a car. VW for example the customer comes to the factory to pick up their new car.

    http://europeforvisitors.com/germany/cars/vw-autostadt-car-towers-customer-center.htm

    3- Better build quality for higher sales = higher profits = higher wages

    4- Cars designed for tommorrow such as diesel or electric powered options, sized to suit the needs of the customer and with higher levels of safety, etc. Better cars = higher sales.

    Not sure if the $33.+ figure for American Auto workers includes their pension fund contributions. Not normally included in the hourly wage figures reports.

    Car companies in the US are hamstrung by massive pension fund liabilities sitting on their books. Less money for investment into robot technology leading to higher wages for higher skilled workers.

  15. http://whoar.co.nz/2011/german-auto-manufacturers-high-profits-and-high-pay-show-why-u-s-labor-laws-need-to-be-stronger/

    “…German car manufacturers make more than twice as many cars as American manufacturers.

    German auto workers earn an average of $67.14 in wages and benefits – while American auto workers earn an average of $33.77.

    We’re told that American auto workers need to accept pay cuts because they earn too much for the manufacturers to be profitable –

    – yet German manufacturers are very profitable –

    – despite paying so much more.

    So, how does that work?…”

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  16. “”The problem is that we do not have the right set of policies to encourage growth to actually pull us back to where we once were””.

    Yeah. Because our current set of idealogs think the “market” will save us without any planning or leadership from Government.

    If a business manager “left it to the market” he/she would be sacked.

  17. “”The question must then be posed – are they really capitalist? You can claim to be one thing, and be something completely the opposite – the Communist states were always keen on calling themselves the Democratic Republic or Democratic People’s Republic even though they were definitely not democracies””.

    Neither were they really communist, or even socialist. The closest to a communist society we have seen were the Jewish Kibbutz in their original incarnation. Some communities in the Coromandel in the 70’s were also close.

    I agree that “capitalists” do not really believe in capitalism. If they did they would not be always trying to restrict the freedoms of workers and the rest of us so they can cheat.

    I do actually,. At the level of SME’s (Builders, Small shops and market farmers) it works fine. So long as it is Democratically regulated so the cheats do not run away with all the money. (Leaky buildings, Christchurch property developers.)

    “This capitalist generally believes in capitalism for its own sake, not because I could skew markets to my own advantage”.

    I do not necessarily disagree. We have yet to find a better allocation system at a local level. See above.

    “Are those SOEs actually successful though? Figures released by Pricewaterhouse Coopers indicate that the best performing electricity company by far is privately owned, with the worst performing electricity company being state owned. When you have bureaucrats/party hacks running the show, you don’t get efficient companies”.

    It depends. Quality management does not, in the real world, seem to exist only in the private sector. In fact we have a whole generation of private sector managers who’s only management skill is cost cutting and destruction.

    I happen to know that the present managers of SOE electric companies have a vested interest in not running them to efficiently because they have their eye on the higher pay and share options from privatisation.

    If they were not capable of being run well then they would be unsaleable.
    Is taking 4 billion of monopoly profit out of the economy in the overall best interests of the country anyway. It may be that selling electricity at cost helps our export firms to become more competitive.

    We are told this works for Labour?

    “I am going to beg to differ there. In a market situation, if you don’t like the rate you are being paid, there is the option of seeking alternative employment. All that unions do is destroy companies (we have seen that with car manufacturers and airlines in the United States, and the Ports of Auckland here), and hinder those who just wish to carry on with their normal lives (when the ferry workers used to go on strike every Christmas, it caused pain to those who just wanted to take their families on a holiday to the other island)”.

    Rubbish. You had a free education and health system, bought in by the union movement. Lunch, coffee and limited hours at work, bought in by the Union movement. Reasonable working conditions, bought in by the union movement. Without unions it is likely you would be an underpaid child labourer with no education and no hope of bettering yourself.

    The decline of US car companies was more to do with Managements failure to invest in plant and quality control to match the Japanese as well as US workers no longer having the money to buy cars. Even that arch “socialist” Henry Ford said. “Workers should be paid enough to buy the cars they make” He knew that his prosperity depended on that of American workers.

    Your ” free market” capitalists” do everything they can to restrict the freedom of workers to move to better employers as well as using exploitation of labour to put good employers out of business. At present almost all employers in NZ are bad. The good ones either went to the wall or joined the ranks of the bad.

    The cooks and stewards abusing power is not an indictment of all unions, just as POAL is not indicative of all employers.

    “The state had its grubby hands in virtually everything that went wrong with the global recession. Because you had state owned entities such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae purchasing mortgages off banks, the banks did not really care who they lent to. Even then, because of Clinton era regulation, banks were forced to lend to people that might have not been able to pay their mortgages back. Because of government imposed tight land-use regulation in California, the Pacific Northwest and other parts of the United States, house prices doubled in a few years. Because of the government bailouts of the Savings and Loans in the 1980s, executives knew that they had very limited downside risk, particularly if they were “too big to fail”.

    Counterfactual. It was adventuring by unregulated banks and the unraveling of the ponzi scheme, where unproductive parasites like the banks and the wealthy, took to much out of the real economy to gamble with. that really caused the GFC. Every thing fell over when they tried to take real wealth away with ponzi money.

    “In the one place where capitalism was actually allowed to work (that being Iceland), things have pretty much returned back to normal. Meanwhile, in Europe and America especially, the government is bailing entities that should be allowed to fail left, right and centre and all that is doing is reinforcing the notion that provided you are “too big to fail”, you can do virtually anything without any downside risk”.

    I agree. But the “capitalists” who own the system took steps in Greece and Italy to make sure that no one could follow Iceland, in making a democratic decision to tell the banks to take, their well earned, bath.

    Bailout money should have gone into direct investment in infrastructure and stimulating a real sustainable economy.

    A fraction of those trillions could have eliminated child poverty on earth as well as stimulated demand.

    Instead the same people have been given more of all our wealth to squander.

    “The thing is that had Cullen lowered the corporate tax rate, then our economy might actually be in a much better state at the moment. Throughout the 2000s, Liberal/National Governments in Australia gave generous tax cuts instead of hoarding surpluses, and in case you forgot, Australia did not suffer a recession and is only choking now because the retail sector cannot survive courtesy of the extremely high wages they have to pay their staff”.

    Because being the cheapest is working so well for us!

    Australia is doing well because a strong Union movement kept the wealth in Australia. Unlike us who give it away too the already rich to blow on US derivatives and Hawaii holidays.

    “”As to the large surpluses – we needed every dollar in debt paid down (or Cullen Fund) to be able to borrow freely now.

    No, what we needed was a stronger economy so that we did not experience the tough times. Instead what we ended up with was the situation where government spending exploded and a system created where people were taxed only to have their money returned back to them once it had gone through the hands of a bureaucrat””.

    Money was kept in the economy and re-spent, instead of leaving for good as we have under NACT. Which is why SME’s did so much better under Labour. Or do you still believe in the discredited economic theory that Government spending crowds out the private sector.

    “”Our recession was caused by high interest rates of the RB in response to the housing bubble and exacerbated by the GFC, lower company tax rates would have merely transferred higher tax paid profits to offshore owners of companies””.

    Exactly what we have seen happen.

    “What lower corporate tax rates would have done is encouraged firms to come here, and would have helped strengthen our economy and even potentially provided us with more tax revenue. Instead, we are still reliant on milk and tourism to pay our way”.

    Worked well for Ireland. Didn’t it?

    Our own recession was caused by a banks lending on safe existing assets only and deliberately pushing prices up so they could make more in interest.

    Been either ACT or NACT light since 84.
    Like NACT, to enmeshed in ponzi neo-liberal economics to ever escape.

    “”Are you seriously thinking that things were better prior to 1984? In case you forgot, our economic decline occurred in the two decades prior to 1984, and since 1984, the decline has been arrested. The problem is that we do not have the right set of policies to encourage growth to actually pull us back to where we once were””.

    Pretty hard to claim the decline (which was shared by most of the world at the time) was arrested when we have since grown at a much slower rates than similar countries that did not swallow the Neo-Liberal prescription whole.

  18. john-ston – you really are allowing your politics to influence your opinion on economic policy and its efficacy.

    The higher OCR we had over the period explains why we went into recession and they did not (the NZ RB placed more emphasis on combating inflation than they did) – their company tax rate was not significantly different to ours over the period.

    And no economist would relate the symptom of retail sector struggling in an economic slowdown with wages for retail staff causing the said economic downturn.

    As to the large surpluses – we needed every dollar in debt paid down (or Cullen Fund) to be able to borrow freely now.

    And do you really believe that firms can be attracted to come to New Zealand by lower corporate rates? That’s a belief, and unlikely to be true in practice. Has anyone identified even one firm that would do so?

    No, our recession was not caused by the bubble but by our choice of response to it (a high OCR, rather than alternatives that did not impact adversely on the productive sector of the economy).

    And as for the saying the bubble could have been easily prevented (by some land use regulatory changes) – the bubble occured in a range of countrues, so unless there was a land use regulatory issue common to a lot of countries, this was not the major problem. More likely it was easy access to money to speculate on property ownership, rather than to invest in productive ventures. Bubble conditions involve the potential for lower risk CG (a CG does not prevent this it only allows some tax revenue to government).

  19. JS. Supporting inefficient firms, monopolies, cheats and poor management seems to be mostly a failing of Governments that claim to be capitalist.

    The question must then be posed – are they really capitalist? You can claim to be one thing, and be something completely the opposite – the Communist states were always keen on calling themselves the Democratic Republic or Democratic People’s Republic even though they were definitely not democracies.

    Of course capitaqlists do not really believe in “free markets or capitalism” only markets they can skew to their own advantage.

    This capitalist generally believes in capitalism for its own sake, not because I could skew markets to my own advantage.

    Like giving away our successful SOE’s to prop up our inept and failing big business sector.

    Are those SOEs actually successful though? Figures released by Pricewaterhouse Coopers indicate that the best performing electricity company by far is privately owned, with the worst performing electricity company being state owned. When you have bureaucrats/party hacks running the show, you don’t get efficient companies.

    And stopping workers from using their power in a free market to get a fair share.

    I am going to beg to differ there. In a market situation, if you don’t like the rate you are being paid, there is the option of seeking alternative employment. All that unions do is destroy companies (we have seen that with car manufacturers and airlines in the United States, and the Ports of Auckland here), and hinder those who just wish to carry on with their normal lives (when the ferry workers used to go on strike every Christmas, it caused pain to those who just wanted to take their families on a holiday to the other island).

    And the recession was due to RWNJ policies that de-regulated financial speculation, cut wages and delivered the real economy to financial fairy lands. Carried out by both Labour and National.

    The state had its grubby hands in virtually everything that went wrong with the global recession. Because you had state owned entities such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae purchasing mortgages off banks, the banks did not really care who they lent to. Even then, because of Clinton era regulation, banks were forced to lend to people that might have not been able to pay their mortgages back. Because of government imposed tight land-use regulation in California, the Pacific Northwest and other parts of the United States, house prices doubled in a few years. Because of the government bailouts of the Savings and Loans in the 1980s, executives knew that they had very limited downside risk, particularly if they were “too big to fail”.

    In the one place where capitalism was actually allowed to work (that being Iceland), things have pretty much returned back to normal. Meanwhile, in Europe and America especially, the government is bailing entities that should be allowed to fail left, right and centre and all that is doing is reinforcing the notion that provided you are “too big to fail”, you can do virtually anything without any downside risk.

    At least Cullen kept enough of a surplus to give us breathing space.

    The thing is that had Cullen lowered the corporate tax rate, then our economy might actually be in a much better state at the moment. Throughout the 2000s, Liberal/National Governments in Australia gave generous tax cuts instead of hoarding surpluses, and in case you forgot, Australia did not suffer a recession and is only choking now because the retail sector cannot survive courtesy of the extremely high wages they have to pay their staff.

    As to the large surpluses – we needed every dollar in debt paid down (or Cullen Fund) to be able to borrow freely now.

    No, what we needed was a stronger economy so that we did not experience the tough times. Instead what we ended up with was the situation where government spending exploded and a system created where people were taxed only to have their money returned back to them once it had gone through the hands of a bureaucrat.

    Our recession was caused by high interest rates of the RB in response to the housing bubble and exacerbated by the GFC, lower company tax rates would have merely transferred higher tax paid profits to offshore owners of companies.

    What lower corporate tax rates would have done is encouraged firms to come here, and would have helped strengthen our economy and even potentially provided us with more tax revenue. Instead, we are still reliant on milk and tourism to pay our way.

    Our own recession was caused by a housing bubble that would have easily been prevented had land-use regulations not been so tight (especially in Auckland).

    Been either ACT or NACT light since 84.
    Like NACT, to enmeshed in ponzi neo-liberal economics to ever escape.

    Are you seriously thinking that things were better prior to 1984? In case you forgot, our economic decline occurred in the two decades prior to 1984, and since 1984, the decline has been arrested. The problem is that we do not have the right set of policies to encourage growth to actually pull us back to where we once were.

  20. And JS.
    I want them to vote Green, not Labour.
    Labour is a lost cause.

    Been either ACT or NACT light since 84.
    Like NACT, to enmeshed in ponzi neo-liberal economics to ever escape.

  21. john-ston

    WFF merely extended family tax credits that already existed (brought in with GST and replacing family benefit) with a new category for those IN Work. This was done as an alternative to increasing existing family tax credits – that had not been increased in line with inflation since the 90’s. So in a sense it was an entitlement transfer, one from those on benefits to those in work.

    As to the large surpluses – we needed every dollar in debt paid down (or Cullen Fund) to be able to borrow freely now.

    Our recession was caused by high interest rates of the RB in response to the housing bubble and exacerbated by the GFC, lower company tax rates would have merely transferred higher tax paid profits to offshore owners of companies.

  22. JS. Supporting inefficient firms, monopolies, cheats and poor management seems to be mostly a failing of Governments that claim to be capitalist.
    Of course capitaqlists do not really believe in “free markets or capitalism” only markets they can skew to their own advantage.

    Like giving away our successful SOE’s to prop up our inept and failing big business sector. And stopping workers from using their power in a free market to get a fair share.

    See others posts about the myth of the free market.
    http://thestandard.org.nz/summer-service-open-mike-25-31122011/#comment-421437

    And the recession was due to RWNJ policies that de-regulated financial speculation, cut wages and delivered the real economy to financial fairy lands. Carried out by both Labour and National.

    At least Cullen kept enough of a surplus to give us breathing space.

    Which NACT is rapidly squandering.

  23. apologies john-son..

    ..that particular piece of madness came from buckley..

    ..i got my idiots mixed up…

    ..you all tend to blur into one..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  24. WFF is not socialist. It is a benefit paid by wage earners and firms, who pay decent wages, to prop up those who do not.

    Kerry, please explain how transferring money from wage earners and firms that pay decent wages to prop up those who do not is not socialist?

    Nationals big business backers would be totally unhappy, with the upward pressure on wages, resulting from removing working for families.

    So, it is not as if they will suddenly vote for Labour – especially if the removal of Working for Families was met with a tax reform package that might see competitive corporate tax rates, for instance.

    There are of course the simple minded folk – those who write media editorials and such who do not understand that surpluses during growth periods in the economic cycle do not last and thus the large tax cuts that seem affordable at such times result in large deficits.

    SPC, a surplus of 2% or 3% of GDP during boom times might be reasonable, but the figures recorded during the Cullen years (at least until 2005) was closer to 6% and 7% of GDP.

    Fortunately the legacy of scrooge Cullen in paying down debt enabled us to cope (being able to borrow) better than we would have otherwise.

    Had Cullen not been ideologically opposed to cuts in the corporate tax rate, then we might have not even ended up with a recession.

    What got National into power was lying about their real agenda.

    Labour did the same thing though. They never campaigned on banning smacking, legalising civil unions, nor legalising prostitution. I highly doubt that Clark would have won had she mentioned those policies (remember, the Pacific Islanders are very socially conservative, even if they are habitual Labour voters).

  25. john-son obviously knows something re hughes the rest of us don’t….

    Where did I say that? Even now, I am still of the view that Labour made a big mistake in having the leadership challenge so soon after the election and that someone such as Andrew Little could have revived the Labour Party.

  26. “…As the treasury reports, conveniently not released until after the election showed…”

    that’s twice in a row – treasury have done that before..

    ..serviced national in that manner..

    ..remember how just before the last election..

    ..they made their benchmark-prediction..

    ..that ‘the recession will be over in the new year’..

    ..that ‘year’ was 2009…

    ..fucken idiots..

    ..they make these po-faced predictions..

    ..and then three months later issue equally po-faced predictions that call their previous predictions as total horseshit/fairydust…

    ..why the fuck are they ever even quoted..?..let alone believed…

    ..and these treasury-clowns get paid eye-watering amounts of money to shovel this proven delusional-crap..

    ..’the world is a vampire..!’..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  27. “..I think the next Labour PM will be either Jacinda Ardern or Darren Hughes..”

    john-son obviously knows something re hughes the rest of us don’t….

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  28. yes..as well as with their/any losses…

    those large-employee-numbers/minimum-wage employers like nothing more than being able to socialise their costs/overheads..

    ..which is what working for families is…

    ..their costs/overheads paid/subsidised by the rest of us…

    ..duplicitous bastards that they are…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  29. What got National into power was lying about their real agenda.

    If they had come in with the truth. We are going to cut your wages, cut services and sell off your assets to give more money to overseas corporates, while increasing police powers so you cannot rebel, they would never have been elected.

    Keys “show us your money” was one of the most blatant examples of bare faced lying and bullying I have seen from a politician for a while.
    If Key was really the money expert he makes out to be he would have known that his figures were a lot more dodgy than Labour’s. As the treasury reports, conveniently not released until after the election showed.

  30. There are of course the simple minded folk – those who write media editorials and such who do not understand that surpluses during growth periods in the economic cycle do not last and thus the large tax cuts that seem affordable at such times result in large deficits.

    It’s not just government spending that needs to be checked at such times, but also the awarding of tax cuts. Lest a government face increasing taxes or cutting spending for budgetary reasons during a recession – the consequences in delaying a return to growth being obvious.

    Fortunately the legacy of scrooge Cullen in paying down debt enabled us to cope (being able to borrow) better than we would have otherwise.

  31. WFF is not socialist. It is a benefit paid by wage earners and firms, who pay decent wages, to prop up those who do not.

    Nationals big business backers would be totally unhappy, with the upward pressure on wages, resulting from removing working for families.

  32. What got National into power was the lure of tax cuts. All Labour could offer was “tax cuts are unaffordable”

    dbuckley, no-one was ever going to believe the line “tax cuts are unaffordable” when Scrooge McCullen had been sitting on ever growing surpluses and had been trying to find every excuse under the sun to not give tax cuts.

    This is not a centrist government, it’s just committed to taking its time so it stays in power long enough to bed in reforms.

    The issue there is that the later you leave something, the more likely it is that when the other side finally gets into office, they will simply reverse it.

    Of course, there are some areas that are still disturbingly socialist about National. They aren’t all that keen on scrapping welfare for the middle classes (a.k.a. Working for Families).

  33. What got National into power was the lure of tax cuts. All Labour could offer was “tax cuts are unaffordable”

    Of course, Labour were right, but that doesn’t alter the fact they lost the election. They were unpopular anyway because of all the things I said and that you added to, and failing to offer at least what the Blues were offering meant that for most people, they could see they would be better off with tax cuts under National.

    National could offer a (Brighter!) future where people would be better off due to tax cuts, and Labour had no answer. It was a one-off moment.

    Labour can’t win the same way, as National will always offer more, even if it is unaffordable and irresponsible

    It was the Clarks and Blairs that made the arrogance mistake; I’m convinced that JK has learned from that, and will not make the same mistake.

    Get used to a blue future.

    Phil was telling me I’d be eating humble pie post election day on this issue. Well, turned out there was not a swing to Labour, despite National having what must be one of the most unpopular polices ever. Labour weren’t even on the same page as National at the last election. I think the next Labour PM will be either Jacinda Ardern or Darren Hughes. And thats a way off.

  34. This is not a centrist government, it’s just committed to taking its time so it stays in power long enough to bed in reforms.

    And besides voters get tired of the governments spin on everything, governments get arrogant because they get returned by voters and take this for granted. People even imagine that smacking children (Key backed the legislation into law) and shower water were significant reasons why people left Labour.

    Whatever governments do, it favours some and not others – and the opposition can redress the balance and restore equity. Centrist voters are aware of this and ensure this happens.

  35. Methinks you misunderstand the nature of centerist politics.

    The core idea of a centerist party is to get re-elected term after term after term by not annoying the voters sufficiently so they’ll vote somewhere else.

    Only after that filter is passed to policies get implemented.

    Teflon Tony and his sucessors forgot this, as did Helen; they didn’t filter out the stupid policies, and so they annoyed the electorate, and subsequently got rolled. Don’t assume the JK will fail to learn from history and make the same mistake.

    Thus it hardly matters that a new Labour leader exists; JK is in the house until he does something stupid, and then he’s out. Who is in the opposite corner and indeed what their policies are matter not a jot.

    Of course, the Green party can take some of the credit for Helen being ousted; who didn’t think that messing with peoples showers wouldn’t cause a ruck???

  36. National, as a pragmatic centralist party can adapt

    National? The wholly owned subsidiary of the owners of everything?

    They are “centralist” only in the sense that they never transgress the boundaries set by their owners. The problem is that they don’t really KNOW how owned they are.

  37. Assistant frog

    At least I have got people (well, at least four of us) talking about the issue.

    Perhaps the better example is Metiria Turei taking offense at Winston Peters saying Te Ururoa Flavell was hiding behind the skirt of a woman. Is that the argument you want us to have Assistant frog? In that case there’s entrenched sexism as well as veiled bigotry all rolled up in erroneous attributions.

  38. spc..i prefer ‘blank-eyed hell-wraith’..

    ..it was first coined to describe cameron..

    ..but it fits key..to a tee…

    .they both also have that nicole-kidman big-flt-screened tv forehead…

    ..i think they were both made in a lab somewhere..

    ..the same lab..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  39. no..assistant-frog…we aren’t talking about it..

    ..we are taking the piss…

    will you be around over the xmas break..?

    ..fun-times..!

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  40. It’s just laziness in use of language – there are those who choose not to hear and those who choose not to see … and they will not even talk to those outside their party on the issue of poverty.

    They have pin ball eyes and they see the economy as a gaming machine where capital goes in one slot and the untaxed capital gain comes out another.

  41. ‘assistant-frog’ is turning out to be quite a hoot…eh..?

    ….does a good routine in/as straight-frog..

    ..i’m picking virgo…

    ..(shit..!..are we allowed to say ‘straight’ any more..?

    ..’cos there is fucken lot of them out there..eh..?

    ..oh fuck..!..can we still say ‘out’..?

    ..’cos y’know..there is a fucken lot of them out there too..

    ..i’m lost…

    ..we need a list..there..assistant-frog..

    ..and you know how you virgos just love making lists..eh..?..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  42. Hey, don’t over-react, Suz, Phil, Jackal. I’m not going to moderate anyone’s comments over things like this. Just a suggestion re language use and respect for those with impairments.

    At least I have got people (well, at least four of us) talking about the issue.

  43. can we still call ‘the natz’ bastards..?

    ..’cos..y’know..!..

    ..there’s a fucken lot of them out there..

    ..eh..?

    ..’bastards’..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  44. so..as a rough guideline..

    ..no word can be used if a person is actually like that word..

    ..how is pregnant-silence holding up..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  45. Assistant frog

    One of our Green MPs is Deaf, but she will listen to anyone who has anything sensible to say.

    K frog… but I think you’re being somewhat touchy. Pity the Natz weren’t listening is a more PC way to put it. They aren’t listening because they don’t want to. Therein lies the difference to my insult that was in no way directed at deaf people. Am I allowed to write that they’re blind* as well… or is it too much of a veiled insult? What about ‘moron’ or ‘idiot’ and other such fantastic derogatory forms of speech?

    Please define your mores Assistant frog, before I inadvertently breach your boundaries?

    *I see others have asked the same question… perhaps Assistant frog might deign to answer?

  46. Suz, I am confident Jackal didn’t intend it as a put-down – from what I’ve seen Jackal is usually very aware of issues of oppression and discrimination.

    I’m just suggesting to commenters that a more careful use of language so it doesn’t associate a conscious refusal to acknowledge the opinions of others with a sensory (or any other sort of) impairment may be more appropriate.

  47. Frog: I’m delighted Mojo is an MP, and would be interested to know if she felt offended by Jackal’s, to my mind, innocuous comment. Unless you’re aware of a whole lot of Natz who lip-read and/or sign, I doubt very much there was a put-down intended. Will “blind” be the next no go word?

  48. ‘pity the natz are’ hearing-impaired…

    anyone got myopia…?

    can we still say ‘the natz’ are blind…?

    ..or should we use sight-impaired…?

    ..we need guidance here..

    ..lost in a p.c jungle..

    ..as we are..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  49. Kerry, MC is only here to negate the Green Party position (on whatever issue) with the only diversions being to malign those who support it, making an attempt to sow dissent between groups (such as conservationists and animal welfare activists) or to simply make the assertions/attacks on the party of the sort made above.

    I doubt he is even associated with the bluegreens.

  50. Russel flirted with Jesus and made some very good position statements.
    Hone spoke to the activist in this insect, leaving me wondering at the possibility of a name-change, only ‘brownfly’ doesn’t stir me or those around me much :-)

  51. phil u

    shearer is kinda kicking arse in his first speech in parliament..

    Yep! A good speech full of positive ideas. Pity the Natz are deaf.

    [frog: Sorry, got to pull you up on that, Jackal. Let's not use the term "deaf" to describe those who refuse to listen. One of our Green MPs is Deaf, but she will listen to anyone who has anything sensible to say.]

    key is sneering in reply…

    A disgusting display of arrogance and stupidness. Nobody I know voted for that.

  52. Lets hope that The Greens can continue to work with National to pursue mutally agreed and nationally beneficial programs for this second term, and lay the groundwork for a third and fourth term of doing likewise.

    National, as a pragmatic centralist party can adapt, and hopefully The Greens can shed some of their nuttier Red ideas to continue to acheive much. Shucking their Reds off to the nutters-and-seperatists like Mana and Labour where they belong will be a great thing for The Greens.

    With luck, NZ will have teal future.

  53. I think it’s obvious that Russel was talking up the vote. It’s what you do when you’re trending up. The Party’s goal was to break 10% and we got 11.1%. I assure you the “inner circle”, as well as everyone else I’ve talked to in the Party is thrilled that we achieved and exceeded our target and increased our MPs by 50% or more in two elections running now.

  54. gee..!..maybe the green mp’s could find some pot-cojones..?

    ..and stand up/fight on this one..?

    ..finally..?

    (oh..!..sorry..!..i was just obviously daydreaming there..eh..?..

    ..silly me..!..eh..?..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  55. does anyone else see the ironies in peter booze/dunhill triumphantly proclaiming his latest ban as ‘the last nail in the synthetic-cannabis coffin’..

    ..while his leader promises to drug test the unemployed..

    ..just before flying off to his compound in hawaii..

    ..a place where a civilised cannabis-regime is in force..

    ..and where..if he desired..

    ..he could pop down the road and legally purchase regulated/tested-pot..

    ..maybe a journalist could ask him some time to detail the moral/social-dissolution from/in a country with a civilised pot-policy..he must view/be exposed to on a daily basis…?

    ..the bare-faced hypocrisy of both those men is breathtaking…

    (and of course..the media in britain is reacting with horror at the civil liberty intrusions from their proposed drug-testing of the unemployed…

    ..here..of course ..our compliant/fucken-useless/kiss-arse mainstream media would be unable to remove their lips/tongues from keys’ arse long enough to demur..

    ..how do those little corporate/elite mouthpieces/slaves sleep at night..eh..?

    ..they must have long ago buried any ideas of the role of the media in a democracy..

    ..and journalistic-ethics/principles/standards..?

    ..don’t make me fucken laugh..eh..?

    ..of course…should this drug-war ramp up as key promises..

    ..one could easily forsee reactions from activists..

    ..up to and including a retaliatory outing of drug-using politicians/media/elites…

    and hey..!..journos..!

    ..first they came for the unemployed…

    ..(but that’s ok..you are safe..for now…drug-testing public servants/teachers will be next..

    ..it’ll take a while to get to you..

    ..you just slumber on..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  56. Yes Kerry; the knee-jerk reaction was to spray ‘dispersant’s’ all over the oil spilled – does life get more stupid? – I just don’t know.

  57. “..phil – it was surmised Greens might get 15 MP’s (not 15% of the vote)…”

    ..correct me if i’m wrong..

    ..but 15% of the vote wd have given 18 mp’s..eh..?

    ..and my memory is of norman talking about what it would be like..

    ..with 18 mp’s…

    ..(hence my assumption of realistic hopes within the green inner circle..

    ..of reaching that 15%..

    ..hence my labeling the drop to ten percent..

    ..rising to 11% with specials..

    ..as a collapse of sorts..

    ..and my asking the question is that green inner circle trying to nail down why? that happened…

    ..and how to try to modify behaviour/tactics to prevent that happening again in the future..

    ..that is why i am somewhat dismayed by insider-valis’ airy dismissal of ‘only a 10% drop’..

    ..and hope that is only for posture-purposes here..

    ..and does not reflect the actual views of that inner-circle..

    ..that is why all this matters…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  58. “The most shocking fact about war is that its victims and its instruments are individual human beings,and that these individual beings are condemned by the monstrous conventions of politics to murder or be murdered in quarrels not their own”
    Aldous Huxley –
    English novelist and critic, 1894-1963

  59. “The search for the truth is the noblest occupation of man; its publication is a duty.” – Anne Louise Germaine de Stael

  60. “There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.” — Buddha

  61. “It is yet another Civilized Power, with its banner of the Prince of Peace in one hand and its loot-basket and its butcher-knife in the other. Is there no salvation for us but to adopt Civilization and lift ourselves down to its level?” – Mark Twain

  62. Secret statistics

    WTF! $2500 a day for something Statistics NZ should be doing anyway… and for a website that’s a bloody disgrace!

    It does have a system for attaining information without going through the Official Information Act 1982 though… let’s see how that’s working…

  63. Valis,

    I dont think it was a “winner and loser” situation.

    National asked and was turned down (IE start high in the negotiation and work down to an acceptable compromise).

    No biggy, just an opening position that is easily traded as the “tension for change” on either side was near zero.

    Of more interest is what both parties will discuss in the new year. There is in fact much common ground and, in a cooperative MMP environment, many mutually beneficial goals to action.

  64. phil u

    um..!..what exactly..?

    Increased support.

    and traded off for what..?..exactly..?

    It appears that the Greens have traded off nothing in having a Memorandum of Understanding with National.

    ..not just the pink batts..again..

    I don’t think the healthy homes initiative uses pink bats phil u. The benefit to the Greens in terms of public support has been greater than what it has been for National. I’m not saying that the MoU is entirely responsible, but there are a few right wing swing voters who also comprehend environmental issues out there.

    Speaking of contaminated sites… what the hell is this: Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand – Contaminated Sites

    Toad

    I don’t enjoy the involuntary regurgitation of my dinner.

    Sorry about that Toad. I thought a small dose might not be so problematic.

  65. it looks like they have rolled over again..

    ..and once again..

    ..their ‘understanding’ purchased for very little…

    ..and..valiant try there..valis…

    ..for 15 years of endeavour..

    ..in anyones’ language..

    ..that is sweet fuck all..

    ..eh..?

    ..and i do seem to remember thart the bike-trail thinky was keys’..eh..?

    he campaigned on it last time..

    ..remember..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  66. @Jackal 6:23 PM

    Huh? ‘Baiter?

    First time I can recall anyone on frogblog has linked to that site. How about we keep it infrequent – I don’t enjoy the involuntary regurgitation of my dinner.

  67. Toxic site cleanup, better bike trails, ground based pest control and, yes, millions in batts, are all good things, for which we’ve traded nothing that you’ve ever been able to show despite so much trying.

  68. “…this is simply a maneuver by Key to not uphold the MoU… while also making the Greens look bad…”

    so..why are the green co-leaders playing along then..?

    ..if that indeed is the case..?

    ..i sense a logic-chasm there..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  69. “..There’s no question that the Greens have gained more from previous MoU policies,..”

    um..!..what exactly..?

    and traded off for what..?..exactly..?

    ..and please..!

    ..not just the pink batts..again..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  70. Looks like it isn’t just a few Greenies who are concerned about a possible deal with National. Here’s what the ever repugnant TrueblueNZ has to say about John Keys comments:

    John Key today reaches the nadir of his treachery to date by floating a proposal to sign an agreement with the hard left Marxist group calling themselves the Green Party. (Aka the Watermelon Party).

    LOL Not to cause offense, but it appears you have something in common with a RWNJ there phil u.

    I tend to agree with Valis… that this is simply a maneuver by Key to not uphold the MoU… while also making the Greens look bad. There’s no question that the Greens have gained more from previous MoU policies, so it’s understandable that Key would want to end that.

  71. phil, as I see it with Labour adopting the Green Party campaign language to get back votes – National is trying to show centre-right voters who prefer a coalition with Greens to Act or United that National will not work with the Green Party and thus they should return to National.

    This is the same old two parties trying to squeeze out competition, now they have to live with MMP.

    National would also prefer a small scale party shorn of voters going to Labour (because they can get nothing from National in 2011) – one that was more compliant to National Party leadership once in a weaker position than now.

  72. “..why did it not say so before the election?..”

    because at that stage key might have needed the greens..

    ..now he does not…

    ..until 2014..that is..

    ..key is currently fingering/undoing the green-pegnoir..

    ..seeing how far they will go..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  73. Let’s talk about Mana party ties with the Destiny Church eh phil u… but on the other hand, that is old news as well.

    Fukushima highlights industry failures

    It appears that the IAEA is biased and all too willing to help a corrupt industry that is more concerned with protecting their interests than the well being of people around the world…

  74. phil – it was surmised Greens might get 15 MP’s (not 15% of the vote).

    Dobbie – given what is in this Dom Post report what was said by the Green Party leader (in the Herald report) was very restrained and constructive – questioning even that is suggestive of someone who wants Greens to support National rather than represent Green Party policy.

    “But in a sign that National intends playing hard ball, Mr Key hinted that any deal during this term of Parliament involving policy concessions might hinge on their response. If the Greens were unable to see themselves supporting a National government in the future there may be little point in trying to forge a Memorandum of Understanding,as the two parties did last term.

    “I want to have a discussion with them about what the future of the two parties is,” Mr Key said

    “If there is no future then it is simply a policy type agreement and we have those agreements in a way with Labour.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/6166368/Key-wants-long-term-Green-Party-relationship

  75. (excerpt:..)..”..What a funny mix of ambition and Greeniness she is. She is not, by the way, one of those lifestyle Greens; she is a political Green…”

    that quote is from that interview..

    (one worth reading..if you haven’t already seen it..)

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10731552

    and yes..turei is as she says..’a political green’..

    ..the green party is the vehicle for her political ambitions..

    ..and once again she is correct when she says she is ‘not a lifestyle green’..

    ..her enthusiastic eating of..and fondness for draping of the body in the tanned/cured/dyed skins of..dead animals..

    ..couldn’t be a clearer example of how ‘green’ is her lifestyle..

    ..and is only one example of many..

    ..(this is part of the reason i am so nervous about her warmth towards these rightwing tories..

    ..i fear she is thinking like a politician..

    ..with the priorities of a career-politician..

    ..(ie..her own..)

    ..and not like a green..

    ..those priorities are not ..in her own words..what drive her..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  76. oh..i thought you were around 15%..

    i seem to remember norman musing about the number of mp’s that would mean..

    ..but you are right..

    ..it is just under a third..

    ..my bad there..

    ..nothing to worry about there then..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  77. SPC seems to be reading quite a lot into a typo of mine, while ignoring the point at hand (for it’s an uncomfortable one?)

  78. “…This insincerity from National is more about trying to undermine broad spectrum support for Greens..”

    yep..!

    ..that has been keys’ game all along..

    (are you wondering at all why yr support plunged by a third..from pre-election polling..

    ..to the result on the day..?..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  79. I gotta say Meteria’s comments in response to JK’s proposal, as reported in the Herald, don’t come across well. Is she really the right person to be co-leading the Party in an MMP environment with a National Govt. Clearly she is incapable of working constructively with them. She lost me when she said ‘I’m a political Green. Not a lifestyle Green” in an interview with Michelle Hewitson. Talk about leading from the back.

  80. It’s a little cynical for National to develop a coalition policy with two other parties and then suggest he is looking for abstention on confidence and supply from Greens – effective compliance with the course that is already determined by others.

    What if Greens choose to respond by seeking to have the support agreements with ACT and United torn up first?

    After all Greens could have given, via abstention on confidence and supply, a mandate to the National Party to rule alone – yet National did not even approach the party with that offer.

    This insincerity from National is more about trying to undermine broad spectrum support for Greens by showing them to be last cab off the rank for National and yet unable to obtain anything from National unless they roll over and support the whole coalition with ACT and United programme.

  81. This environmentalism must be the concern of middle class Pakeha. I wonder how Green Shearer intends the party to be in opposition to National’s own extraction policy.

    This reminds me of Clark and O’Connor at odds over logging on the West Coast.

  82. This from Labour’s Shane Jones is not reassuring:

    Labour’s Shane Jones is back on the front bench and signalling his intention to shake things up by championing mining for job-starved regions…

    Jones picked up the regional development, associate finance and Maori economic development portfolios and he said yesterday unemployment in provincial New Zealand, responsible for other social ills, would be his big focus.

    That meant weighing up job opportunities in “the extractive industries”, including mining, against the party’s environmental message.

    Looks like the Greens might be fighting this battle on two fronts over the next 3 years.

  83. Key is free to put anything on the table and is clearly trying to put the pressure on, which might be expected. It seems he could be looking for a way out of the MoU.

    Green intentions haven’t changed, which is to expand the MoU. The co-leaders can not agree to abstention. That would require a special general meeting of the Party.

  84. I thought the agreement with Key-party would be another MOU (to work on issues that are common to both) BUT NOT any formal coalition or confidence & supply arrangement !?

    Kia-ora

  85. I see that John Key wants the Greens to do a deal to abstain on Confidence and Supply.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6166315/National-kicks-off-talks-with-Greens

    If this happens I will see it as a massive betrayal of the vote I gave the Greens this election, and won’t ever vote for this party again.

    I expected the Green Party to oppose the destructive agenda planned by National this term, not to enable National to have a secure majority and a relatively easy ride.

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