Sir John says it best – when he says nothing at all
Paul Henry Hope was far from hard hitting when his life long idol and BFF ( best friend forever ) – Sir John appeared on Refucking Paradise the other day.
Instead Paul pulled his bigoted, bullying head in – and assumed the manner of a very friendly bum licker.
He talked to Sir John like he was on a hot date.
Smooth soft tones…gentle love and romance …the sensitivity of a man lost in admiration so deep, that he might cum in his pants at any moment.
The sycophantic saliva dripped off’s Paul’s drooling brown tongue as he greeted this wondrous human being.
Oooh, God he is so fine.
Paul gushed that Sir John was the “Chinese whisperer” and asked his fabulous hot date whether this Government was being far too cautious in a Global Pandemic?
“At the end of the day, achtually – they’ve told us about what we can’t do – but not what we can do” said Sir John like a hawk eyeing a bald squirrel.
“So you are saying they are being too cautious John?” – prompted Paul.
Which was the closest Paul got to probing the bottom of that remark.
Paul was really begging for a yes to make his show the centre of attention.
But Sir John was not going to let Paul lick his arse on the first date.
No, no, no.
Sir John played hard to get on this point.
Saying the Government was being too cautious just so NewsHub would have a headline – would later involve Sir John having to explain his comment with a load of details and examples.
Sir John simply would not be able to justify things.
No this conversation had to be kept vague and general.
So he avoided saying the Government had been too cautious.
The same effect could be achieved by unaccountable innuendo and let’s face it – that was the role Paul played by not digging into what Sir John was implying.
Too much scrutiny would reveal to the public that the Government are announcing new initiatives almost every other day during Alert Levels.
That was not Sir Johns intention – and neither was it Paul’s.
All sorts of details would have to be put on the table.
Like how all those financial packages were announced without waiting for Budget 2020.
You know – the loss carry back scheme, wage subsidies, rent increase freeze, 80% risk share with banks – etc etc etc.
Like the launch of 35 new employment centres and online tools to help the unemployed find a job – which Jacinda was talking about just last night.
Like the fact we know the RMA is being fast tracked by David Parker because he told the Epidemic Response Committee that work is in rapid progress on this last week.
Like how Hunting was banned at level 4 but not at level 3 – you can hunt locally now, as well as swim, surf, drive to a beach in your region, fish off the shore, collect some fast food, buy freshly made coffee, slightly widen your bubble.
Like how Grant Robertson has told us that the previous budget responsibility rules are now waived – which means more than the initial $54 Billion is on it’s way to help us all.
Like how we know the government is meeting with heads of industry every day to figure out targeted relief.
Like how the public now knows real help is on it’s way to help businesses and landords with commercial leases – announced by Jacinda yesterday.
Like how 400,000 extra people can now go to work at level 3 – which means the New Zealand economy is operating at 75% of normal levels.
75% of can do – versus 25% of cannot do.
“Instead of waiting till the end of Level 3, I just think the Government should be waking up every day and thinking what more could we do.” – said Sir John.
Uninformed viewers looked at each other and said ..
“He’s right you know”
Which was really the point of the whole love fest between Paul and Sir John.
It was not Paul’s job to challenge Sir John on his “hard hitting” show.
It was about Refucking Paradise.
It’s Paul’s job to agree with everything Sir John says, to bow low before the God’s of money, to worship elite Bankers and to blindly cuddle, lick and fawn over every panty wetting word.
Oh Paul wriggled in his seat, his knees clenched tight together.
With an absence of facts, an absence of detail, an absence of challenging the opinions of past politicians – the public could be persuaded that Sir John ( The Chinese Whisperer ) was actually pointing at something very sleepy going on with Jacinda’s Government.
Paul never did ask Sir John to clarify whether Level 3 should just unravel on a daily basis and how that should relate to scientific advice about risking a return to Level 4.
No – where is the sexy fun in that?
Who needs science and pesky public health experts?
Not National – nor it’s fans.
Instead after a good bum licking – Paul concluded that fair points had been made by Sir John.
It was implied this Government really was asleep at the wheel – waiting around for level 3 to finish – doing nothing in between.
Viewers were left thinking there really should not be any restrictions at all – on what we can do during a global pandemic.
But informed citizens knew better.
They knew National are on the rocks, the Government has never had so much support, Public Health matters, Paul’s show is shit, and Sir John can’t actually get into the details of what he is talking about.
The smile on his face let’s us know he’s pretending
The touch of Paul’s hand says he’s still a good friend
When National should fall…
Sir John says it best – when he says nothing at all
I woke up this morning to hear a disturbing sound.
The jingle jangle of modern NZ media suggesting we blame Ashley for shit he could not do anything about – when Media had not raised the alarm themselves for years.
Can you recall Media like Stuff or NZME putting the issue of New Zealand’s EPIDEMIC CONTACT TRACING capability on page one at any time during the past decade?
“You’d better think” said Aretha
“You’d better think about the consequences of your actions”.
The Media are supposed to hold Governments to account – according to themselves ( snigger ) – but I’d bet four fried chickens and a coke – nobody can find any evidence of Media doing their fucking job on this point.
Instead they want to blame Ash.
The guy shouldering the effort to protect us all.
I hate Illinois Nazis.
But I hate a lazy media as well.
They have filthy mouths and bad attitudes.
Stuff wrote today how we should not be afraid to ask questions about Ashely’s performance when Stuff were themselves “back in five minutes” all through January and February.
How about not being afraid to ask Media about their own performance?
It’s only THIS week that Media have gotten around to raising issues that have been sitting in the corner for years.
Begging to be highlighted by a media that actually gets out from behind it’s 24 hour news cycle keyboard.
Yesterday Grant Robertson raised the point to the bespectacled ferret Goldsmith – that he would struggle to recall fighting for more contact tracing capability back in 2016.
Yes National, what did you do about it?
Infometrics told us National cut $1.7 Billion from the Health Budget between 2010 and July 2015.
“How often does the media train run by here?”
“So often you won’t even notice it”
That’s the other problem.
If it’s not a scandal it’s not a headline.
Professor Skegg told Simon Bridges he’d written a book about how successive governments have ignored Public Health concerns – trading them off – like economists do.
Fix the cigarette lighter.
Nobody in the media has gotten around to highlighting the issues in Professor Skegg’s book – even now.
Instead Simon Bridges has quarantined long term Public Health issues and focused solely upon the time it has taken to respond urgently to a situation National is partially responsible for.
Yesterday Bridges ( the most isolated figure in NZ politics ) told media his bogus petition garnered 50,000 so he is not worried about how 24,000 furious kiwis think he is a cock.
A petition pleading for policy already in action.
Bridge’s is hardly on a mission from God.
You can’t lie to the Penguin.
Yet again nobody in the Media said to Bridges :
“You miserable slug! You think you can talk your way out of this?”
Instead the folks at Newshub, Stuff and NZME did the usual job of leaving it up the public to decide – apart from Clare Trevett who had the good sense to write :
Comedians know they are in trouble when they find themselves explaining their punch lines.
Media should remember the situation Ash has been dropped into and how we’ve all been lucky to have such a great dude doing whatever it takes to get us through this.
There are 106 miles to Elimination, we have a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses.
Now is not the time for a lazy media to lash out at the driver.
Instead they should take a good look at themselves.
Media in Self Isolation for years
Jobs versus Lives
Even while the South Korean CDC reported two days ago that 51 patients recovered from the coronavirus, tested negative, then positive again within a relatively short time – money was all some people cared about in New Zealand.
Was this a case of 51 false negatives – or did this virus REACTIVATE?
If so – what does that mean for all the money men stirring the pot around about now – how some small businesses will fail soon unless we hurry back and start coughing on each other?
Reactivation – will mean this thing goes on longer – and don’t forget there is still potentially 14% of cases in new Zealand that are still under investigation – which could be counted as community transmission.
Unless all of this is very well understood in 9 days time – odds are we’ll be staying in lockdown for a further 14 days.
And that will cause some shit to go down with the money men who do not buy this medical expert opinion stuff anymore.
Howling, moaning, weeping and wailing about money will start to be amplified by Newshub, Newscrap ZB, the NZ Herald, TVNZ and of course Sean Plunkett – as National gather it all up and accuse the Government of destroying our economy unnecessarily.
They wouldn’t do that?
National have just pulled off a blatantly political stunt in broad daylight with their bogus petition AFTER knowing full well – mandatory quarantine was already planned by the Government.
These people have brass necks.
Now the National Party are focusing upon the 20th April – when Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will show her hand and most likely announce Lockdown will continue for a short while longer for solid reasons to do with unknowns, uncertainty and be not risking fucking things up.
“An absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”
That’s the line – and PM Ardern will hold that line and defend it against greedy political fuckwits who are already practising their howls.
We will require another two weeks to complete all the necessary testing to seal this sucker off and run it down into the ground, and know for sure about matters like “Reactivation” and “Community Transmission”.
On the 21st March, Sam Stubbs wrote :
“..Facts don’t often get in the way of a good panic..”
Which is a two edge sword about panicking to get back to work OR panicking to go hard and early to prevent deaths.
Economic facts are tied up with medical facts in the days we now live in.
Medical facts suggest once you are dead you will not recover.
Economic facts suggest we recover from recessions and even depressions, but at the cost of great suffering.
Sam was saying the worst case economic scenario may not necessarily happen and we should be careful not to “talk down” the economy – two days before NZ went into Level 2.
Today – Sam is saying :
“Perhaps a decision to move into Level 2 or 3, sooner rather than later, may be what’s necessary to keep both Covid-19 under control and the economy alive.”
Which all boiled down to Sam worrying about public opinion and the fact Winter is coming.
Where have I heard all this before?
The truth is – you know nothing Jon Snow – and neither does Sam.
Which is why for the sake of another two weeks of Lockdown – most intelligent Kiwis will support a decision by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to finish what we started based on scientific evidence and the best medical advice.
Looking around at the record death rate in New York yesterday, the downplaying of Covid-19 by Trump in the early days – and the plight of Sweden now after talking about protecting their economy…and ignoring medical facts…
I know who I trust.
And it’s not the greedy Lannisters.
Jobs versus Lives
Sticky the stick Insect lashes out
Simon Bridges was in a world of bother today as some of the press finally got around to noticing – that he was driving up and down the North Island – when he could have stayed at home and used Zoom to do his job.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a room full of journalists that it was not up to her to tell the Leader of the Opposition how to run his operations – but it was obvious Simon was being a total pillock and risking front line services having to rescue him if he had an accident.
“Eye wool do what eva eye want to cos eye is impotent” – said Mr Bridges earlier today as he flipped the proverbial bird at the nation once again.
“Important – not impotent” – remarked a kid who could read.
“Dat’s wot eye said” – reckoned Simon.
Suddenly what looked like a knobbly dry stick – bent forward in it’s dry knobbly seat and asked in a dry knobbly tone …
“Will you be asking David Clark to resign …”
Everyone in the room groaned and said For Fucks Sake – under their breath.
Sticky the stick insect – otherwise known as Tova O’Biased – had been chewing her bark off, obsessing day and night about David Clark for at least 5 straight days now.
“What a fucking lecherous mole, wasting the time of the PM in a pandemic like that”, murmured decent citizens all up and down the nation.
The PM explained how David Clark was a very competent minister and how she would be doing no such bullshit thing just so Sticky could write her dumb partisan story and drag shit on for almost a week.
But sticky the stick insect would not pipe down.
On and on she bitched and moaned about apologies being needed by hospital workers, and the PM cut her off like a chainsaw cutting through … a stick.
Would Newshub run the story about Simon Bridges for five straight days – like they had about David Clark?
Of course not.
All Nat based media had turned a blind eye when David Bennett urged kiwis to panic buy – and now Simon Bridges had once again proven he was a dinosaur using a laptop and preferred to waste Limo fuel ….there would be no 5 day campaign in the media to nail his sausage roll to the wall.
The dire bias of New Zealand’s mainstream media was required to prop up a hopeless shambles of a National Party who were a dog’s breakfast right now.
Sticky the stick insect stalked off to lampoon David Clark for the sixth day in a row …while the rest of the nation sighed a collective sigh and moved on – knowing they could never expect an even playing field from these media assholes.
And they wonder why – they are going broke.
Sticky the stick Insect lashes out
MBovis – they opened the gates
OECD record breaking homelessness
Cold damp classrooms for kids
Big parties at $10,000 a pop for an invite
Tiny surpluses at the expense of ACC
Deficits for six years in a row
Super expensive motorways we can’t afford
Shit pay for teachers and nurses
Shit running down hospital walls
Being at the centre of global tax evasion scandals
Dirty politics on the 9th floor
Booting innocent housing tenants onto the street
Refusing to seek scientific advice about meth contamination
Making backhanders with crony mates
Deleting 450 texts
Bashing down doors at 3am – stroke force raptor – rah!!!
Not taxing multinationals
Drilling around nearly extinct dolphins
Cold pensioners in Winter
Rising electricity costs
Foreign donations split up to look legal
Miserable minimum wage increases
Removing workers rights
More beggars on the street
Cold damp flats
Drilling for fossil fuels forever
Not attending Waitangi Day
Cracking down on protests with violence
Scandals, leaks and gossip
Widening wealth inequality
Poisoning rivers, lakes and streams
Plastic shit everywhere
Forgetting what they did when caught
Getting drunk in the changing rooms
Paying for US TV coverage
Sending other people’s kids to war
Saying Pike River mine is too unsafe
Doing way less on Climate Change
Pulling pony tails
Making light of that – when the victim complains
Dishing out Knighthoods to themselves
Tax cuts for the rich at election time
GST rises for the poor after promising not to
Being 70,000 houses behind their supply targets
Unaffordable houses – fuck the first home buyer
Racist school curriculums
Underinvesting in the regions
Killing off rail
Appointing old mates to run the GCSB
Cutting foreign aid to our neighbours
Ripping up conservation land
Forgetting about fuel pipe lines to the airport
Promising 10 bridges in Northland
Vile hateful texts while having affairs
Going to ground when the heat is on
Fake news and how it can be exploited to win
Attack ads that are dishonest
Refusing to even measure poverty
Lying about 11.7 Billion dollar holes
Borrowing $70 Billion
Refusing to invest in the super fund
Turning a blind eye to tax avoidance
Covering up bullying reports
House price inflation
Weak capital reserves in banks
Selling our water as fast as possible
Selling our land as fast as possible
Installing foreign spies
A bent and crooked opinion based press
No public broadcasting
A meaner, more disgusting New Zealand
What do National voters vote for?
The fact 75% of National MPs have investment property and vow to repeal any CGT is not self interest according to the NZ Herald.
The self interest of the NZ Herald
Who pays the NZ Herald? Advertisers and subscribers.
While its free online reach has grown, the circulation of the country’s biggest paper, NZME’s New Zealand Herald, has been tracking steadily downwards for years, falling in 2016 from 134,000 papers a day to 127,000.
It now offers subscriptions for $1 a day and “premium content” ( lol ) will retreat behind a paywall soon in order to rescue the bleeding business model.
The demographics of the NZ Herald’s shrinking audience is well known to both the marketing and sales departments within NZME and it is careful to point out that it does not necessary agree with everything it publishes.
The demographics of the audience are also well known to the NZ Herald’s advertisers.
But let’s face it – it’s always been a conservative audience made up of get ahead empty nesters and self congratulatory recent retirees.
This is why the NZ Herald political page was covered with anti-CGT headlines yesterday.
The content feeds the prevailing opinions and prejudices of the known audience.
That’s how you keep them.
Plus the content is frequently also aligned with the prevailing views of major advertisers as well ( but not always ) especially when the vast majority of business decision makers vote National.
Neutrality is trumped by the bias of commercial imperatives.
Mike Hosking and Barry Soper ripped their spleens about how if every recommendation in the TWG report was not adopted by cabinet then it’s just not fair and a sign of bungling weakness by a naive government.
This was clearly preposterous.
No working group ever expects every one of it’s recommendations to be adopted and it is standard operating procedure in New Zealand law making that only some portion of the range of options are adopted by ANY government.
For example Judith Collins decided NOT to adopt the recommendation from the Electoral Commission to lower the MMP threshold from 5% to 4% whilst adopting other recommendations made by the commission.
This is normal and you don’t find Mike Hosking and Barry Soper ringing the bells about these matters unless it’s an issue that matters to the prevailing demographics of the audience or to advertisers.
The infection of self interest is not in dispute.
Constituencies matter including dwindling revenue streams for newspapers.
Bryce Edward’s “roundup” role is to reinforce conservative views because repetition with reach is the formula for shifting public opinion.
Top of Bryce Edwards reinforcement article today was the views of Hosking and Soper – along with Guy Espiner who had also fretted about watering down the proposed CGT to one that only focuses upon property investments.
This is all standard propaganda, feeding an audience with the prevailing perspectives it wants to hear.
Jacinda cannot walk the talk is the sound bite.
Ironically the NZ Herald Editorial today is all about how self interest plays no part at all in the decisions made by MPs when falling into their respective party political camps.
The fact 75% of National MPs have investment property and vow to repeal any CGT is not self interest according to the NZ Herald.
Their reasoning is that a poll suggested a majority of New Zealanders were opposed to a CGT in a polling period well before 20 February 2019 and because only 20% of the population own 80% of the assets that would be taxed – this clearly shows the public is not self interested but principled instead.
The weakness in this argument is that the Newshub/Reid Research poll they refer to was conducted before the release of the TWG final report to the public on 21 February 2019 and it’s not until 21 April 2019 ( approx ) that cabinet will decide what recommendations to adopt or scrap.
54% were opposed but 14% of the respondents were unsure in that poll – so there’s a fair margin for swing here.
As the public forms a view about any specific proposal – those numbers are going to move around. Some of the NO votes might became YES etc.
It’s not until AFTER cabinet release it’s policy that the NZ Herald could reasonably argue who was in support of a policy involving a CGT.
The poll they should refer to is yet to come.
But self interest might tempt them to suggest such matters are already determined and fixed in stone to their shrinking revenue base right now.
The prevailing pattern in our media starts with a huge build up of speculation and waffle which rises to a crescendo before a cabinet decision making process takes place.
Media reports what other media have already reported and a helicopter of possibilities takes off and flies around while Judith and Simon and Amy get in front of cameras and Mike Hosking knows all the answers from his pulpit.
Then something entirely unexpected happens – and cabinet makes a sensible decision that gets one day of coverage before everyone rushes off to speculate on the next topic.
Right now the CGT Speculative Helicopter is buzzing over rooftops and swooping into households, offices and retirement villages.
However it will land eventually and when it does we’ll all have some facts to consider.
In the meantime self interest rules for the press who make hay out of frenzied ongoing speculation and for the National Party who are determined to repeal any CGT no matter what it is – no matter how unfair or fair.
That self interest is etched in folding paper, timber and mortar despite the rest of the world all evolving to a far more principled position in the 21st century.
The self interest of the NZ Herald
G News – the good news
After a week of factless ranting about our non existent catastrophic relationship breakdown with China, the MSM suddenly dropped the topic and fucked off onto a new topic for the next weekly news cycle.
The good news is that after a week of gnawing angst from our MSM over baseless hype about New Zealand’s relationship with China – this pile of bunk was tossed into the rubbish bin and we moved on from that shit.
Not so good was that it was immediately replaced by feverish speculation about what parts of the recommendations from the Tax Working Group might stick and become legislation.
As if speculative spin will do any good two months before anything is decided.
Utter morons suddenly became tax experts like Duncan Garner, Mark Richardson, Mike Hosking, Audrey Young, Simon Bridges, Gerry Brownlee and Paula Bennett.
Like a flock of fuckwits they all rushed to pen their opinions that the sky was falling, two months before the Coalition decided anything.
Rubbish I know, yes, it’s boring but still some of us ignored it completely.
Somewhere in Point Chev someone celebrated a birthday and staggered home, entirely oblivious to all of this shit – while the MSM fuckwits bleated frantically about the end of the world.
Notably every single fuckwit claimed the middle classes would be most effected while none of them referred to any hard statistical data to support that bogus claim.
The vast majority of the extra tax would come from the wealthiest 20 per cent of Kiwis, who own more than 80 per cent of the assets that would be newly taxed.
The reason National have to lie about how a CGT will mostly impact the middle classes is because they don’t have the numbers amongst the top 20%.
So they have to misinform New Zealand hard out.
Even Michael Cullen said he reckoned this tax shit would end up being reduced down to just the property related tax and the business tax etc would be dismissed by Cabinet.
In which case Winston will be hailed a hero again.
In other news – Paula Bennett said she was worried about Taxi Drivers in Taranaki in 30 years time, after a bogus report paid for by BIG OIL was passed around the MSM as if it were the gospel truth.
Nobody believed Bennet gave a rats arse about Taxi Drivers and most people never even read the Big Oil report she was bullshitting on about.
Yet they still held opinions about it and that dreadful woman wanked on about how worried she was – after helping to decimate the Taxi Industry herself.
Thankfully the report was 100% bebunked because : it was crafted to leave out 30,000 new jobs that would be created by alternative energy industries, the report also ignored the 100,000 square kilometres of sea bed that is still be explored under existing permits and….and the report was based on another report that said – this is an attempt to quantify the almost unquantifiable.
Jacinda kicked Simon’s ass again about the Housing Waiting lists after she revealed National had removed Category C and D people off the list in 2010 to make it artificially look better.
The far more open and transparent Coalition put those categories back onto the list and it sprang back up to 2010 levels. ( over 10,000 )
Thousands of angry Nat Troll barked and foamed at the mouth over this with no fucking clue what had really happened.
I watched their ignorance and said nothing.
No headlines clarified the matter and most people did not even know about the issue.
Speaking of not knowing, a gathering of men at a “Men’s Night” in Sandringham grumbled about how Labour promised no new taxes , but not one of these men ( so smug, so knowing ) knew how they had been lied to about what was really promised and none of them could accept they were uninformed or too lazy to check what they heard.
Well maybe one of them could.
The MSM had shortened “No new taxes beyond those we have already committed to in our first term” down to “No new taxes”, but the men at the men’s night were all blissfully ignorant about this and comfortable in their misplaced outrage over this lying government.
This same microcosm of ignorance is repeated across large segments of New Zealand society.
Sometimes it is best to say nothing unless you know your facts.
Facts like none of us are Gerry Brownlee.
New Zealand beat Bangladesh in the cricket but nobody could say what that meant after India gave NZ a towelling in the first three ODIs.
You’ll have to wait till the World Cup to find out.
PM Ardern told the Aussie PM that Aussie deporting people who hardly lived here to NZ is corrosive to our relationship with them.
You can tell an Aussie , but you can’t tell em much!
Remember the underarm?
I’ve got to go make a coffee for the wife and make the bed.
G News – the good news
The Emperor’s New Clothes
New Zealand’s exports of all goods and services to China were worth $16.6 billion for the year ended September 2018.
A year before then this was only $14.0 Billion.
Check that out – in one year of working with Winston Peters, Jacinda Ardern, David Parker and others – New Zealand exports to China have grown by a massive $2.6 Billion.
That is a phenomenal amount of growth in our exports under the Coalition Government.
That extra $2.6 Billion in export growth to China has ALSO occurred during the Pacific Reset – which was announced in early March 2018.
Which can only mean it does not fucking matter what speeches about “asymmetrical power in the South Pacific” are made by Winston.
None of that impacted our rapid growth in exports to China.
Instead they grew by $7,123,000 per day.
Wow that’s a great deal of growth but while it’s growing away like the clappers our media are writing headlines with these words in them :
“We have a big problem with China.”
The media are running around like chooks about a delegation who cancelled a visit to an event, a few rumours about tourists cancelling trips, speculation there might be an issue for exports, and a plane trip that was turned around due to an administrative error.
Yes apparently while we are experiencing record export growth with China and not one dollar of trade has been refused nor one kilo of milk powder stopped at any port – we have this huge problem all of a sudden.
So far the big problem involves media thinking we should have had a meeting by now.
Unless you have a meeting at the same times that John Key had his AND IN THE SAME LOCATION – well – there you are!!!
John Key said he took what the Chinese media had to say with a grain of salt after he endorsed the decision at the Hague to declare China’s rock hopping claims in the South China Sea to be illegal.
Yep – and at the time the media did not hop up and down claiming we had a big problem.
John went to China and our media relaxed.
Especially Barry Soper and other subject matter experts like Corin Dann ( LMAO ).
Funnily our exports to China dropped massively from $13.296 Billion in 2014 to only $11.125 Billion in 2015.
I’d say that was indicative of a relationship problem – despite meeting with the President in Beijing.
Hilariously this terrible drop was precisely at the same time when the same NZ media started to report we had a “rock star economy”!!!
Instead of wailing in unison that we had a problem with China while exports tumbled, the media and National supporters were triumphant.
Not so today.
Worried heads shake in fear.
The list of grave concerns is repeated at a surface level and passed along for instant comprehension and consumption.
Much is made of how Winston begged for US foreign aid in the South Pacific and pissed off China.
Yet none of the commentators can see that this is wholly appropriate at a time of American protectionism.
No not one of them, including professors at Victoria University.
There’s Trump pulling the plug on aid and funds for the likes of the UN and rattling sabres about better trade deals and the USA not paying so much – so of course New Zealand needs to make it’s case for a continuation of US aid and even more support from the USA in our region.
On top of this there’s been six coalition ministers visit China within the last year.
Yes six. Or was it five? Doesn’t matter.
That’s fairly active and busy.
David Parker met with his Chinese equivalent in November and had a right old chat about trade and that upgrade to our FTA.
November 2018 was not long ago really.
Last week China’s ambassador, Wu Xi, invited Winston to dinner where he and she talked about inside information.
Information that none of the media nor members of the New Zealand China Council are privy to. ( David Mahon, Fran O’Sullivan etc. )
But oh we have a BIG PROBLEM – apparently according to them.
As you know Air New Zealand admitted they made administrative errors but half the population are still out of the loop about that red herring.
Notably only after headlines claimed it was political and about our relationship with China.
PM Ardern has met both the President and the Premier of China since becoming PM but those meetings were not in Beijing.
Our media think it’s time the location of the meeting was stressed rather than actually having a meeting.
This is like the media in Fiji being pissed off until their PM has a meeting with ours in Wellington.
OMG I know!!!
Never mind the fact our PM visited their PM in Fiji or they met at trade talks.
Not enough hoopla.
That’s how our media are behaving towards China.
It’s a bit of reckless disregard for our exporters really – stirring up a hornet’s nest from perfectly booming trade.
The other fact is National would have done the same over 5G and Huawei.
The TICSA legislation that governs the GCSB in this area was after-all – passed by National.
Yes – so they can bugger off about their fake positioning about this.
If anything this week’s hype about our “big problems” with China is a study in who is politicised in our media.
I wonder who is paying some of these media hacks behind the scenes to dress up the narrative that our relationship with China is clad in problems?
Whoever that is – is keen to dethrone the New Zealand government and take control.
Desperate enough to harm our economy in the process!!
Now who fits that description?
Someone wearing blue.
The Emperor’s New Clothes
G ( I’m not back, just had to say something this once )
The centre right play catch up
After a year of having nothing sensible nor comprehensive to say about what it would do differently – the centre right now expects it will have something to say later this year.
In August 2018 John Key said, “”If you look at what has driven a lot of New Zealand’s demand in the time I was Prime Minister from ‘08 to ’16, it was a significant increase in migration, a very strong housing market, a lot of confidence running around in the business community, what was very low interest rates, and over time globally a capacity for governments to spend a lot of money.”
Key went onto to say that most of the things that drove demand were now reducing.
Truth be told the Chinese GDP growth rate was reducing all through Key’s term – but whilst it was slowing down – it was still growing and still is.
The consequences of record migration pouring on top of a tax free inflating housing market are now obvious to two thirds of the population while we sit and wait for the Tax Working Group’s recommendations about rebalancing a “revenue neutral” tax system.
The centre left ( and others ) saw the consequences of growing homelessness years ago while Key stood there and said there was no housing crisis repeatedly.
New Zealand burst into first place in the OECD – when it came to homelessness – and housing affordability hit near historic lows.
Rome burned while Fran O’Sullivan fiddled how great Key was and what an amazing rolodex he had built up as he attended Davos for the first time.
Simon Bridges was asked what he would do differently from the Coalition at the same time Key made these comments – and after a long rambling mangled journey through the woods and across the sea – his reply boiled down to spending more on education, health and infrastructure ..and he threw in science and innovation as after thoughts.
In other words National had no specific idea nor direction at all and hid behind the excuse that it would be imprudent to reveal their hand too soon.
While National issued statements criticising working groups and costs – it also concluded that Labour must have been lazy in opposition.
Cheerleaders in the press nodded despite the fact MMP meant that manifesto policy work had to be negotiated, modified and transformed after the 2017 election – and that much of the detailed implementation could not be done properly in opposition because no opposition has access to the necessary resources.
Don’t even mention Royal Commissions of Inquiry and how none have ever happened based on the whims of an opposition party.
The public were fed a line by the centre right that it should ignore all of those realities as if they simply did not exist.
The centre right decided to peddle the notion that promises were broken after just a few months into a three year term.
This dishonesty was cynical and showed that the politicking from the centre right was well and truly now in a post truth era.
They were treating New Zealand as if it was stupid.
But there is evidence some of it is.
Budget 2018 was clothed in helpful clues that transformation takes years and not everything can be done in one budget – yet nearly every commentator wailed how that budget was not transformational enough.
A severe lack of patience and understanding about a longer term view emerged. The transformation would not be televised in one week according to it’s news cycle.
To the contrary Television got it’s nickers in a twist about two cancelled interviews when Jacinda went off and delivered a speech about the unified coalition high level 12 point plan.
The centre right moaned about trivia like who was in the audience while Jacinda delivered the high level plan saying – hold my beer :
Build a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy
• Grow & share New Zealand’s prosperity
• Deliver responsible governance with a broader measure of success
• Support thriving & sustainable regions
• Transition to a clean, green and carbon-neutral New Zealand
Improving the wellbeing of New Zealanders and their families
• Ensure everyone is earning, learning, caring or volunteering
• Support healthier, safer, & more connected communities
• Ensure everyone has a warm, dry home
• Make New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child
Providing new leadership by Government
• Deliver transparent, transformative and compassionate Government
• Build closer partnerships with Māori
• Value who we are as a country
• Create an international reputation we can be proud of
“This plan represents our shared vision and priorities; Labour, New Zealand First and the Greens. It establishes the foundation for the Government’s work and includes issues of particular importance to each of the parties which are supported by all of them, Ardern said.
Few in the media could get their heads around what a high level plan actually is versus a detailed implementation plan…but all of the 900 detailed work items in the coalition work programme would slot under the appropriate high level bullet point.
TVNZ gave the plan a begrudging one minute of head shaking coverage on a Sunday evening.
Simon Bridges rubbished it the next morning but had no plan himself.
Centre right commentators instead concerned themselves with wedge issues that did not exist – over things like refugee numbers and – the vastly important matter of Karel Sroubek.
That was the Centre Right and it’s vision.
National were awarded 8/10 by Tracy Watkins for this.
Now New Zealand only has to wait until mid 2019 until National start to talk about RMA reform and how it will speed up building houses or roads.
The idea is not new – it’s been around for years – and streamlining it involves balancing the conflicting forces between the environment and investors.
Small government means no regulations standing in the way of the bulldozers or oil drills and most of the centre right cherish this notion – that freedom is the freedom to plunder.
While PM Ardern attends Davos and makes her influential contributions about climate change, mental health and the wellbeing budget ( one that shows people matter not just money ) …the Centre Right will roll over in bed and sleep in again.
This is not the hardest working opposition – it’s a lost gravy train searching for legitimacy whilst still following the blind vision of yesterday’s mistakes.
The centre right play catch up
G versus Liam Hehaw
It’s clear Jami-Lee Ross inflicted some damage on National. Quite how much is unclear.
Soyman’s on 7% and National are sliding around 37%.
Nevertheless, I doubt anybody within the party’s caucus would deny its armour has been dented by the fiasco.
They would read whatever script was given to them.
But assuming nothing else emerges, National seems ready to take the lessons on board and move on.
They were moving on as fast as they could – refusing to answer all questions.
For the most part, the media seems to have become aware of the dangerous territory its coverage was veering into.
The fact Soyman was conspiring with Pullya to hoodwink the media and …then there was the truth…you know …dangerous stuff …what was that disloyalty stuff all about? I suppose democracy is the loser if we never find out the facts.
The fact Parliament is in recess provides additional breathing space for Simon Bridges while the whole affair, he must hope, will continue to fade.
Oh it won’t – we have very long memories and so does Jami-Lee. It’s just a breather.
Parliamentary recesses are also, of course, an opportunity for Government ministers to seize the initiative and set the agenda with positive news.
Like 95 regional projects underway? Like those 68 new Kiwi build houses down in New Plymouth announced today? Then there is $30 Million being spent on State Highway 3 announced today as well. Yesterday we heard the government would spent $20 Million on a new health centre in Westport. We also heard about a 10 year plan to restore quality in early learning yesterday. Yes – such news is always happening – but frequently its a bit buried by scandal.
Announcements can be made in a question time-free environment. It’s kind of like a free hit in twenty20 cricket.
We’ve seen announcements most days by PM Ardern – whether parliament was happening or not – which is more than that past government did.
During the last National Government, for example, there was an expectation something significant would be announced at least every other day during a recess period. At least. It was something ministerial advisors built up to.
This is where you tell a big porky…go ahead…
Interestingly, it’s not something the Ardern ministry has been able to replicate.
Ha ha ha – the Ardern Ministry exceeded it – easily.
Probably the biggest news last week was Andrew Little confirming the Government would press on with its plans to re-enter the Pike River mine, which was sealed following that terrible explosion in 2010. All things being equal, it looks like re-entry will begin in February.
Before you go on – let’s look at the announcements made last week. 12 November announcements – 1. The Inquiry into the process that led to the appointment of a Deputy Commissioner of Police has found that the process was sound. 2. Royal Commission of Inquiry into State Abuse scope was expanded to include Churches. 13 November Announcements : 1. Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters officially opened New Zealand’s first resident embassy in Ireland at a ceremony in Dublin. 2. Minister of Housing and Urban Development Phil Twyford and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff announced a partnership that will fund $91 million of roading and wastewater infrastructure to support the building of 9000 homes at Wainui, north of Auckland. 3. NZ calls on Japan to stop Southern Whaling programme. 4. Former Governor-General and High Court Judge Dame Silvia Cartwright will lead the public inquiry into EQC. 5. The Government is pioneering a new approach to allow whānau and communities to flourish with an investment of $15 million towards whānau-led community housing developments. 6. The Minister of Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta announced 24 community-led housing repair projects will receive funding from the Māori Housing Network, totalling $5.8 million. 14th November announcements 1. The Pike River Mine Drift will be re-entered. 15th November announcements 1. NZ Women’s Rugby will host the World Cup in 2021. 2. A $40 million investment from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will enable KiwiRail to build a new regional freight hub near Palmerston North. 3. A $400,000 investment from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will be used to fund the first stage of an Advanced Aviation Hub at Whanganui Airport. 4. Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced a Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) package for Manawatū-Whanganui of about $48 million. 5. An upgraded free trade agreement with Singapore will make it easier for New Zealanders to visit and do business in South East Asia. 16th November announcements 1. New Zealand and Australian Ministers for Foreign Affairs announced today a joint commitment to partner with Pacific Island countries to enhance our collective cyber resilience. 2. New Zealand, Chile and Canada today reaffirmed a commitment to work together to advance trade that benefits all their citizens. – – I missed out a few but you get the picture. Now some of these are significant and others less so – but they are all news and all happening at a frantic speed during recess.
This confirmation will be gratifying for many of the families of the deceased miners, of course. And it reaffirms a longstanding commitment to re-entry on the part of the Labour Party.
Plus NZ first and the Greens. It was the right thing to do old bean.
New details were also announced in relation to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the historic abuse of children. Its remit has been expanded to include religious institutions and the commission has been re-named accordingly. The timeframe for the inquiry, which looks to be the most expensive in our history, has also been extended to reflect that wider mandate.
What were the costs of all that abuse? How much potential did it stifle in New Zealand – and how expensive is healing and justice…if we wish to ALWAYS mention costs?
Nevertheless, the point at which announcing developments in reviews, reports and consultations could be touted as political achievements for this Government is well and truly in the rear-vision mirror.
No it’s actually a new development that cannot be found in a rear mirror. It’s now. It’s about getting things right along the way – same with anything planned really…like say 100,000 New houses in ten years…it’s okay to announce new housing developments as they happen.
Looking through the Government’s announcements, it looks like it has joined in on an international declaration on biodiversity, agreed upon a shared commitment with Australia for enhanced cyber-security in the Pacific and determined farmers are making more and better use of the National Animal Identification and Tracing Scheme. All very good and worthy things, of course. None of them, however, is the type of thing that penetrates the public consciousness or puts the opposition off-balance.
Well National did no such thing with every single announcement – if that is what you are claiming? Instead – each announcement is just informing us of the unfolding plan.
On the first anniversary of the Ardern ministry’s foundation, I did a radio interview on its achievements to date. One of the things I had to credit it with was its achievement of internal stability. Plenty of people had predicted that a Labour – NZ First – Greens Government was bound to fall apart. But while there have been a few wobbles from time to time, the arrangements are looking pretty rock-solid.
Despite constant headlines about potential wedges every single day – it was all utter nonsense and spin.
For all their stability, of course, rocks do not tend to be agile. If the coalition has managed to overcome its internal contradictions by resolving to concentrate on reviews and international meetings then it will present a rather slow-moving target for the Opposition.
Obviously the Opposition cannot even keep up with the number of announcements let alone understand how agile the coalition is. Here you are criticising it for updating the scope of an inquiry and saying that is not an announcement – when it is the very agility you cannot see. Blinkers off young HeHaw.
National enjoys few natural advantages over this government in an MMP environment.
They have yet to read the manual.
One tailwind it does enjoy, however, is that if you don’t count ACT, which few people seem to do these days, it is really the singular voice of opposition.
On 37% and shrinking.
That gives it a lot of freedom in crafting an alternative agenda while the Government is weighted down by the need for three-way agreement on anything significant.
It has not slowed the Coalition down at all. They made over 1070 decisions in year one – in smooth consensus. There is no evidence of the nonsense you are talking about.
On its own, policy rarely wins elections – and rightly so.
National don’t even have that.
If you’re going to square off against a popular leader and the head of a first-term Government, however, then the right alternative vision is essential.
They are listening for the next year they say.
National needs to set out an agenda that is simple, responsibly populist and, ideally, something Government parties can’t plausibly seek to replicate.
It’s called a BRIGHTER FUTURE lololol.
Seeing a Government limited in its ability to do much more than it is already doing, the temptation for National might be to try to steal a march on it now. That may be a mistake.
Oh they are sinking – sinking – sinking – why stop now.
The next election is still almost two years away and, its alternative vision being one of the few things it can control, National shouldn’t rush how it crafts it.
Ha ha ha yes – keep doing nothing.
The unco-ordinated nature of the governing troika isn’t going to change anytime soon.
Such cohesion and unity – what a marvellous team.
In the meantime, there is one other thing that National does control: internal discipline.
Does this involve spankings or is this about diets?
The recent troubles appear to have been non-fatal. MPs would be wise to ensure the party is not put to the test again.
You mean no more lying to manipulate the press? Or no more hanky panky when you are married? No more bullying? No more harassment? No more arse covering? No more deleted texts? No more refusing to answer questions? Or no more driving the limo to pointless meetings? Whatever you mean – I doubt it will make a spot of difference. This lot needs a total clean out. Too rotten down to the core – and we’ve got a world leading woman at the wheel instead.
G versus HeHaw
Friday Morning Coffee
On 1st June 2022 the NZ Herald blazoned the following headlines across it’s front page…
“NZ needs to hustle for more trade – Christopher Luxon”
The NZ Herald gave the National Party the “agency” ( the strong man of action and delivery ) again in its headlines – by neglecting to mention New Zealand had just signed a Free Trade Agreement with the UK on 28 February 2022.
That was only three months earlier.
It was crucial to omit that amazing recent FTA outcome under Jacinda’s leadership in order to manipulate election polling results for the top 3% back home and maintain the myth repeated by Luxon that …no matter what sector you looked at …this government had not delivered any improved outcomes.
The strong man of action ( Luxon – tantamount to murder ) tried hard to pour cold water on world famous PM Jacinda Ardern’s gobsmacking success – reconnecting New Zealand to the USA by suggesting we are not hustling enough to get FTAs over the line.
Welcome to today Mr Luxon.
Welcome to today.
Today’s FTA with the EU is massive for exporters in a wide range of sectors and it’s largely a done deal thanks to the direct efforts of world famous PM Jacinda Ardern.
Clearly there were rumblings of concern earlier this week amongst the top 3% that Jacinda might pull off an FTA with the EU and somebody took the extraordinary step to commission a freelance writer to publish a “her shine is fading ” article in the New York Times as soon as Jacinda Ardern flew off to hustle for this deal.
New Zealand media wasted no time earlier this week promoting the opinion article in headlines.
The opinion article was based upon opinion and arguably fact poor when it comes to the premise of the article when PM Jacinda Ardern is clearly the most preferred PM in New Zealand by a margin of 13 points and nobody else gets over 30% in any poll.
Wealthy capitalists had already pledged their support to the “strong man of action and delivery” and so every effort had to be made to drag the female PM down in local media.
This unprecedented negativity in our media was partly about misogyny and partly about sheer greed, because a significant tax cut was on the table for the most wealthy, fair pay agreements could be scrapped, bottom feeders refused all pay increases, Maori ambition could be stalled, big petroleum was under pressure, supermarkets were being forced to become more competitive and of course Groundswell hated the communists lol.
So all week long local media sharpened their knives getting ready to plunge them deep into the heart of an EU FTA success pulled off by Jacinda Ardern – in the exact same way media had rubbished Budget 2022 for fours straight days in the middle of a Kantar polling period.
There was no limit to the efforts made by media to tilt the playing field for the small minority upper class, and last night we all witnessed Mark Mitchell make a massive buffoon of himself in a Justice Select committee – but there was not a single headline about this.
Our local media were just not really interested in how thick and dishonest Mark Mitchell really is compared to the vicious campaign they dealt out against Poto Williams.
Talk about better outcomes, it looks like there’s been no further drive by shootings related to gangs for quite a while – and all of this has happened thanks to the work of Poto, the Police and Chippy ( who has only been in the job two weeks ).
The latest outstanding success of world famous PM Jacinda Ardern is contrasted with the bumbling delays by Christopher Luxon to speak out about Roe vs Wade and the removal of a post by Simon O’Connor ( liked by Simeon Brown ).
When Luxon says no improved outcomes have been delivered – he means the UK FTA and EU FTA now in 2022 alone – along with all the fabulous economic results that never make headlines in our local media.
“Well, well, well take a bow Mr Luxon”, was the headline written by Claire Trevett when National caught up to Labour at the peak of Omicron in our community in the first week of March 2022.
Such glowing headlines were based on nothing more than unscrutinised spin and an election bribe, ( certainly not policy ).
Already the NZ Herald has shifted away from the EU FTA headlines and rushed to publish “‘Wrong and regrettable’: China hits back after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern comments on superpower at Nato summit.” in order to throw shade on Jacinda’s historic speech at Nato.
It’s all hands to the negative pumps in our media as they work hard to bring down women in leadership positions.
Meanwhile the strong man of action ( tantamount to murder ) was last seen skulking around in a Singapore Junk before slipping away to a first class seat on his way to self serving meetings with invisible capitalists and Tories – all on the tax payer dime.
I’m really pleased this morning that Jacinda has been able to secure this massive outcome and deliver it for so many sectors of New Zealand exporters.
It’s all just a day in her working week as her star shines so brightly that all the freelance writers getting paid to serve up “anti Jacinda hit pieces in international newspapers”, have got to wear shades.
What an outcome.
If you are a Nat – it must all seem tantamount to murder that a woman can outshine all the swinging dicks so spectacularly.
Standing ovations from G News.
Friday Morning Coffee
1.During the Key years, the Natz created the so-called ‘Rock Star Economy.’ This consisted, largely, of four main aspects: Immigration Real Estate Asset sales with tax cuts thrown in as a sweetener. Let’s look at each in turn:
2.Immigration. During the 9 years of Natz mismanagement of the economy, over 400,000 new migrants came to NZ. Most were unskilled. This had the desired effect of creating a pool of unemployed and so depressing wages. But it did add to the GDP!
3.Real Estate. The Natz failed to build houses and other infrastructure for the growing population, with the result house prices rose. (L, at last, are getting ahead of the house demand!) This was good for the GDP figures, not good for home buyers.
4.Asset sales further enriched the rich. Don’t believe the ‘mum and dad’ investors BS – the vast majority of shares went to the wealthy or super wealthy. But, once again, GDP figures benefitted.
5.The bonus, for the already wealthy, was tax cuts. But these had to be paid for: for ex, in two years the Natz made NO new capital investment in the health system, and budget increases didn’t keep up with inflation. Over the Natz period, our social services went backwards!
6. Now, have you heard anything from this present crop of Natz (very much like the last harvest!) that suggests they will do anything differently?
7.Luxon is an evangelist – women’s rights will take steps backwards with the Christian right in control.
8.He also has little concern for the ‘bottom feeders’ of our society – about his only announced policy is to give the wealthy much more money, and the bottom $2.15 a week. This is Neoliberalism, trickle down economics, which DOES NOT work, not for the majority of the citizens.
9.God knows, Labour are not perfect, but at least they are trying to make NZ a better place for all its people, not just the 1% and their 9% hangers-ons. It would be a sort of collective suicide to vote in the Natz next year – like the turkey’s voting for Thanksgiving!
10. As you will probably realise, I don’t know how to create the ‘thread!’ Still, as always, #NationalNotFitToGovern
From a media journalist whistle blower
As a regular writer for a notable media company I am astounded by their editor’s failing to publish my writings for the reason that (in their sole opinion) it could negatively affect democracy and simultaneously rile their advertisers. Thus, I am so outraged at what the profession has become that I have decided to leave my position effective immediately and tell my story here instead….
THE UNTOLD STORY:
It has been reported to myself via a very reliable and credible source high in the ranks and privy to sensitive information of the National Party that they are in fact running scared behind their wall of brazen bravado. Scared that the world is fast changing away from right wing governments in lieu of left leaning social initiatives in the search of greater universal infrastructures and climate protections. Scared also that if predictions of NZ’s inflation recovery, growing GDP, low unemployment, declining house values, and FTA’s with both the UK and EU coupled with closer ties with Australia and the US beds into our domestic economy then the results of the 2020 election would be proven to be no outlier for many years, if not decades to come.
My blue-blooded blue-rinsed source is also leaving their once beloved National Party citing ongoing embarrassments such as the despicable behaviours of Michael Woodhouse and Ms Boag during the pandemic, and every day continuance of ‘dirty politics’ and the fallout of such that has already cost many prominent MP’s their positions on both sides of the political divide; but ultimately her latest learnings have been the final nail in the coffin for her. “We no longer have a democracy driven by policies for the people – rather, we a democracy driven by a few people for the policies of a few, no matter what the personal, social, or financial costs amount to. This is not what I signed up for, and I want no further part in what is simply a boy’s club pandering to corporate donors”
According to my source, huge sums of corporate donor money have been invested into media analytics, market research, and political strategists on an agenda that can only be described as “very ugly.” Over recent months we have already publicly seen a small taste of what is actually planned in entirety for the remainder of this political term and the upcoming 2023 Election campaign. “Think UK and Jeremy Corbyn, and that’s pretty much what it will look like, and after the recent failing of Scomo in Australia, the stakes have been raised even higher. It’s all there sitting in a bunker like war-room, and the Commander is not who you think it is” said my source.
The already petty and fact deprived personal attacks by National MP’s upon Labour portfolio managers (described by many as misogynistic) form nothing more than part of a choreographed list of identified targets designed to undermine the Labour government at every turn. This week, it is the (re)turn of Todd Mulller to attack Jan Tinetti fresh from a by-election loss saying she is not focused on her (now expanding) portfolios.
Also fresh from haranguing Nanaia Mahuta and scalping Poto Williams, even if Tinetti had won the age-old right-wing dominated safe seat of Tauranga, the plan always was to attack and bully her following the result. Just as the media and PR plan was always to boast the victory as a major swing in public mood away from Labour (despite factually being no different than 2017). “It was always fated that Simon Bridges would vacate his safe seat. The plans for this have been in place since prior to 2017, even as far as back to when Christopher Luxon entered into the Botany By-election”, she said.
Wow, and there you have it, guts spilled and spelled out for all to see. Intriguing and entertaining surely? For many politically attuned and savvy minds this scenario has long been known but never vehemently proven. True or not, it’s captured your attention – the attention of a mind looking for greater understanding of its surrounds. If a bored old man can pen this and capture your mind this easily, then just imagine what all the professionally targeted and produced materials that fill our media are doing to you and your daily judgements. Materials designed by marketers, political analysts, and strategists to fool you as described above. That for sure is real, even if the rest of this is just me pulling your leg.
“The Committee agreed to further reduce the level of monetary stimulus at this meeting by increasing the Official Cash Rate (OCR) to 0.5 percent. The Committee noted that further removal of monetary policy stimulus is expected over time, with future moves contingent on the medium-term outlook for inflation and employment.” – said the Reserve Bank of New Zealand on 6 October 2021.
This was the first shift back up in the OCR ( and interest rates ) to reduce stimulatory conditions – and this move was consistent with signals sent by the Reserve Bank back on 18 August 2021 ( One day after NZ plunged into level 4 lockdown for Delta ) when the Reserve Bank said :
“The Committee agreed that their least regrets policy stance is to further reduce monetary policy stimulus to reduce the risk that inflation expectations become unanchored. However in light of the current Level 4 lockdown and health uncertainty the Committee agreed to leave the OCR unchanged at this meeting.” ( 18 August 2021 )
The reason I have written the two quotes from the Reserve Bank last year is because Bernard Hickey made the interesting remark on NewsHub Nation this morning that support for Labour started to ebb away around about October 2021 and the record shows that in most polls – the news that interest rates were going to climb again did result in Labour falling from around an average of 45% down to the low 40% range from October onwards.
There was some large group of voters ( approximately 500,000 ) who shifted their voting intentions away to an alternative based mostly on their own personal financial situation after house prices had ballooned to unsustainable levels and now the signs were – the party was over.
The profits on paper were going to slide because the Reserve Bank now had begun to drive up interest rates and this thing called an “OCR Track” showed that interest rates were going to climb in the medium term.
In other words that shift in the polls had nothing to do with government policies nor performance ( although some might argue another lockdown did not thrill some people when money is more important than human life ) – and to some extent it showed that large sectors of our electorate don’t give any political party agency if they are taking a hit financially in their own bank account.
Scrolling forward to today – media are trumpeting that “National have the wind in their sails” while at the same time National are saying they are still working on their policies.
It’s ridiculous really that National can be in the lead when they will transfer so much wealth to the top 3%, drive up inflation with tax bracket shifts, and take a knife to the Public Service to pay for it all.
Perhaps this insanity is mostly an “Anti Government” payback for a few dollars lost off a house value or kiwisaver account – rather than anything to do with who has the best interests of New Zealand at heart?
“This is the worst government ever”, is a catch cry heard in DumbTown from Trumpanzees as the Angry Toilet Brush stands supreme over them all – the knower of all things as per usual.
It’s laughable because it is so tragic really.
Small brains seeking to apportion blame and being led around by the nose by an angry toilet brush.
Right now Media are upbeat about “don’t look at your Kiwisaver account balance” for a few years – and talking up the dire prospect of “a recession” as reporters tell the class of “DumbTown ignorance” – what a recession actually is – for the billionth time now. The lowest ignorant denominator always needs a reporter to say slowly that a – recession is two quarters of negative growth. And then everyone is an expert and all experts runs for their lives bleating that they blame Grant Robertson and his “addiction to spending”.
However despite the fact the US is 95% likely to go through a recession, and Brad from the flat is on every single media channel warning that “we’re gonna bounce around” – most people know that the tiny eeny weeny -0.2% negative growth in the March 2022 quarter is mostly to do with the impact of Omicron and there will be a bounce back in the June quarter.
I mean it’s obvious to anyone who looks into it.
For sure Brad reads the Reserve Bank monetary policy statements which informed him about a period of global economic volatility right now – just like most people who take an interest – but it is possible to pin point that polls took another hit for Labour around the peak of Omicron in early March 2022 – which collided with rising petrol prices and soaring food inflation.
That’s when Luxon did his “inflationary tax bracket shift” speech in the middle of a Kantar polling period.
It was all PR – but it was precisely timed – and it was about tapping into public anxiety and worry.
Again this was all about a financial hit on people’s wallets that had precisely nothing to do with whether the PM said the word “crisis” ten times a day or whether the minimum wage and benefits were set to rise by huge amounts on 1 April 2022.
Christopher Luxon wriggled in his chair with glee and the smuganometre exploded such was the smugness that now inflated National party politicians – because even with an inflationary tax cut that meant austerity was the future for DumbTown’s middle classes and a neglected public service would be slashed to ribbons once again – National surged, soared, and skyrocketed in the polls as voters paid the government back for their 1st world problems – like spoilt selfish children throwing their rattles across the political spectrum.
Naturally the war in the Ukraine, Covid, Supply Chain delays and international factors were positioned as just a big Government excuse by Luxon who repeatedly said domestic inflation was being largely driven by record government spending while media cheerleaders nodded in 100% agreement and Matty McClean gave Jacinda the death stare.
However as you and I well know ( lol ) Adrian Orr made it more than clear to media in May 2022 that Luxon was talking about a “small beer” effect on domestic inflation and because of some dangerous media code of silence and failure to focus scrutiny upon the Opposition – nobody wrote a headline about this except NewsHub. It was like media intentionally setting up a pathway for any old dishonest tyrant to grab the wheels of power in New Zealand.
“We are thrilled to have you in the studio Chris” was the tone rather than “Why are you bullshitting New Zealand?”
All of this was frustrating for some who saw Labour’s support being chipped away at by people in the media who seemed to have abandoned their part in all of it.
Yet as previously mentioned many people just looked at their wallets and were not even paying attention to media.
Yes it’s a sad reflection on the selfishness, greed and stupidity of a large band of swing voters who vote for money in their own wallets before anything else, and how media simply pour fuel on that fire.
The government made Luxon look ridiculous when it cut 25 cents off the petrol excise and reduced public transport by 50% – but turns out nothing the government does ( short of gifting everyone $250 grand and raising their house price again ) will shit the dial just yet.
Perhaps the Government can take some solace in the fact that while they continue to govern extremely well and implement big changes like Health Reforms, the Maori Health Authority, Water Infrastructure Reform, Climate Change Adaptation and Emissions Reductions Plans as well as introducing competition to the Supermarket duopoly, merging TVNZ and RNZ, bolstering Police support, relieving the Gib crisis, securing Trade Deals and strengthening our regional Foreign Policy – that what they are seeing in declining polls is not a reflection upon all of their excellent hard work and all the better outcomes this work will bring in the long run.
It’s more about some greedy people thinking whether they made or lost money off their house value in the past few months or how their Kiwisaver account is down by 10% on its earlier balance – and lashing out like spoilt brats about it.
“Down with the Government, I want my theoretical money back that was made from record low interest rates in a pandemic “, is the bitter cry in DumbTown.
As far as I am concerned we should not be too down hearted by the fact that some people are the way they are about these ups and downs – because you nor I can really change anyone else but ourselves.
I do think it’s vital we kick up a noise about the dangerous media approach to the Opposition we have in new Zealand while it operates with almost zero scrutiny upon evidence free Opposition rhetoric and it’s probably comforting to realise that when inflation begins to fall later this year ( not yet we have to get past the July period first ) down to around 4.4% in March 2023 that some of the selfish vote will return as house prices bottom out and by October 2022 the rising OCR track will reach a peak and level out.
Some voters will start to see the light at the end of the tunnel and with it the stupidity of Luxon’s nonsense – while the swing vote will see money came back to them again slowly.
In summary 2022 is difficult because political clowns with no good policies get to strut up and down with trumpets blowing up their arses from our sycophantic media and for short while it seems everything is dark, cold and miserable as you curse your fellow kiwis for their ignorant fickle selfish detachment and lack of gratitude through Covid.
But keep your eyes on the beginning of 2023 when everything starts to come back and if by then there’s no more new dangerous Covid variants – the sun will start to shine again and Luxon’s plan to crush the poor ( bottom feeders ) and fool the middle classes with inadequate tax bribes will come more clearly into focus.
That’s why I am not feeling too despondent right now.
It’s a longer game.
I know that world famous PM Jacinda Ardern is correct when she says it is just a difficult time right now – as Nato invites her to attend its Leadership summit ( ha ha unlike Sir John ).
So let’s keep our chins up and see the longer game as it tilts back towards Labour and the Greens after this period of “the Smug Emperor’s New Clothes” passes by like a long cold winter full of pompous Nat shite.
We’ve got the best government in ages and they’ve just moved some crack troops onto the front lines with more to come as the swirling economic circumstances gradually swing back in favour of the government.
Think I might have a ginger nut to celebrate the near future.
Saturday Lunchtime Coffee
Friday Morning Coffee
The National Party have a number of clear advantages over Labour and the Greens when it comes to getting their messages through to voters. The most obvious are the massive donations National receive from the upper class each year along with an almost 100% free pass from major media organisations while they are in opposition.
In 2021 National received five times the financial support that Labour did – even while Labour were saving people’s lives from Covid.
It’s got nothing to do with what is best for the majority of people.
The combination of a huge marketing budget and an almost 100% free pass from media organisations counter balance the disadvantages that National face in a democracy where over 50% of the voters are workers – not business owners.
Positive media and an almost “free pass” for Christopher Luxon and an almost 100% negative media for the Government has been a fact in our lives now for at least six months.
I say almost “free pass” because it is true that there are occasions when Christopher Luxon is caught out and there may be a solitary headline once a month that says something like “Luxon sits on a table at a school and Tikanga questioned?” or “Gaffes won’t help Luxon win”
World famous PM Jacinda Ardern never sat on a table at a school but even when a school visit by the PM is an incredibly joyous occasion and Luxon’s school visit is cold, sparse and potentially breaches Tikanga – the Luxon friendly media make the issue about a handful of protestors gathered outside the school rather than what is happening inside the school with the PM.
It’s only when a debate stirs up on social media about Luxon sitting on that table that main stream media decide to make it a story.
“Protesters gather at opening of Te Aratai College in Christchurch as Jacinda Ardern speaks” – was the headline at the NZ Herald.
The negative tilt on “all things government” means that the PM even has to point out to the media that it would be a shame if they made the protests the focus of their stories. Yet media generally ignore such requests and carry on regardless leaving New Zealand to discover what actually happened inside the school on social media.
Frequently headlines like “Is Luxon a game changer?” accompany him arriving in his black mercedes at parliament in a PR stunt for cameras when he could have just walked across a street, rather than a more fitting headline like : “Is Luxon fit for office?”
“According to the squeezed middle he’s not that fit”, said an organic punga
“There she goes”, said a flax bush imagining a button flying overhead and out to sea.
There’s a certain relationship between National and the big advertising clients of media organisations that also plays a moderating effect in Newsrooms around New Zealand.
One of the most recent examples of a media organisation working together with National to promote itself to its advertisers was about a week ago when Luke Malpass interviewed Christopher Luxon on a couch at Stuff’s new office space.
“Kia ora good morning and welcome to Stuff’s new live space in our brand new Wellington Office and we are THRILLED to joined this morning by National Party leader Christopher Luxon.” said Luke.
The camera was positioned so that Stuff’s CE Sinead Boucher was positioned exactly in the centre of the frame, closest to camera, as Luke asked Christopher Luxon patsy questions and got Luxon to comment on Stuff’s amazing new office space a couple of times.
Luxon said it was fantastic.
The joint advertorial for Stuff and the National Party showed Sinead looking busy on camera in the background as she picked up her laptop and moved it two feet closer to her second in charge seated next to her and began one of those “Hollywood extra style” conversations about an issue as the camera rolled.
Meanwhile Luke let Luxon loose about Government Spending in the Budget again and predictably Luxon suggested it was Government spending that was was the real villain when it came to inflation.
That was an example of the free pass – on a message that was critical to National’s rise in the polls over the past six months and one that with the exception of Jack Tame on Q&A has been allowed to just sit unchallenged.
There were very few media attempts to pin Luxon down about the “small beer” impact of government spending on inflation and National slightly tweaked its spin to avoid discussing the quantification of that effect.
Media should have challenged this whole narrative much more thoroughly over the past six months but instead Luke just pointed his foot at Luxon in admiration and showed us all his designer socks.
The big spending advertisers that Stuff tried so hard to bring onboard might have enjoyed that because it reinforced the myth many had already mostly swallowed that the Government was somehow to blame.
Luxon is on record at the Hamilton National party conference boasting that the cost of living crisis is the way in which National will win the 2023 election and Ipsos informs the press that the cost of living is the number one issue on New Zealander’s minds right now.
So it’s even more egregious that Sinead just sat there while her political editor failed to dig into the number one issue and gave Luxon a free pass on it.
In fact Luke prompted Luxon to say he’d reform the Reserve Bank because it’s been Adrian Orr who has repeated many times now that government spending is only small beer – in terms of it’s effect on inflation and how it has nothing significant to do with the OCR track.
There should have been headlines all over media about Adrian Orr’s small beer comment – but instead there may have been one headline at NewsHub and none anywhere else.
The comments were reduced to fine print by Brian Fallow and Thomas Coughlan at the NZ Herald and then never seen again.
Instead Hosking made it his business as did Q&A to resurrect Don Brash from the crypt to try and undermine Adrian Orr’s statements.
Such was the damage control required if National were to stay around 40% in the polls based on a myth.
Luke also raised the puff piece written by Guyon at RNZ which was real woman’s weekly promotional stuff – crafted to sell clicks and make Luxon closer and more connected to the electorate and nothing to do with the misleading spin he was repeating every day.
Luke allowed Luxon to suggest we’ve taken our eye off trade as Luke failed to mention the FTA New Zealand signed with the UK as recently as 28 February 2022.
Two way trade with the UK was worth $6 Billion in the year to March 2020 whereas trade with India is worth about a third of that at around $2.2 Billion according to MFAT.
Sinead’s boy Luke just let Luxon repeat this previously spun nonsense as he fed Luxon prompts for his next spin that sowed doubt about the strength of our relationships with the Pacific islands.
Luke thanked viewers for joining Stuff in it’s inaugural interview in Stuff’s new live space and despite the disappointment I felt that Luke had not included free steak knives with his free pass for National, I imagined Sinead would have been glad she could get back to normal after the camera stopped recording and tidy desks would get messy again.
She’d be able to shake Luxon’s hand and meet with him in her office without anyone reporting about it.
It was a bit like how TVNZ’s executive team have closed ranks and refuse to comment on who signed off Mr Santamaria’s employment contract at the very top.
Was it former National MP and CE Simon Power or was it just Paul Yuricish who is on gardening leave while Phil O’Sullivan acts as head of news?
In conclusion, we all read earlier this week how NZ Herald journalist John Weekes claimed media and the Opposition both have a responsibility to hold the Government to account and how this tended to be negative and that Government have their own PR machine for the good news.
Clearly this deliberate focus by media allows any old racist, myth talking tyrant to rise in the polls and get their hands on power in a democracy.
An electorate that almost never hears the truth from its media about the myths and half truths claimed by the opposition is almost certainly going to hand over power to any tyrant with the right sales skills and PR company.
We have all seen this over the past few months.
I think something should be done about this state of media in New Zealand and I suspect it’s about naming journalists and their bosses and holding them to a record of account about specific issues in evidence on social media so that a record of how media have failed our democracy can be examined carefully by everyone.
Friday Morning Coffee
National’s Tough on Crime Laws – It all just a PR Stunt
On 2 June 2022, The Western Australian ( leading news source ) announced that the new tough gang consorting laws in Western Australia were absolutely nothing but a PR stunt because not even one case had made it through court and you could still buy meth cheaply on the streets of Perth months after the laws were first passed – but no New Zealand media organisation has published the facts after the National Party copied the same laws and announced them on 11 June 2022.
On Wednesday 8 December 2021 the Western Australian government passed the following laws to hit organised crime including bikies. :
1. New crime of consorting contrary to an unlawful consorting notice will attract a maximum five-year jail term
2. New offence of displaying insignia of an identified organisation in a public place will attract a maximum 12 month jail term and fines of up to $12,000 or $60,000 for corporations
3. New offence of consorting contrary to a dispersal notice will attract a maximum 12 month jail term and $12,000 fine
The Western Australian Government wrote that “Police now have the power to target individuals involved in serious and organised crime and disrupt their activities by banning them from associating with one another and wearing their patches.”
Yet it turns out that the very first test case had not even passed through a court trial yet and even if there was a conviction, there would be subsequent appeals in higher courts, as lawyers got richer and meth was still dealt out cheaply on the streets.
“This is probably not going to make a jot of difference” said Ben Harvey, a senior reporter who knows more about the state of policing and the Western Australian crime scene than most.
G News can report that a veteran bikie named Troy Mercanti is the first test case and Mr Mercanti was issued with an anti consorting notice, broke the terms on day one – and now faces a court trial.
“Outlaws, don’t obey the law, the clue is in the name”, said Ben Harvey scoffing at the idea that new laws will have any effect.
Under the anti consorting notice Mr Mercanti is not allowed to consort with 31 other well known people in the Australian underworld for the next three years but it seems he is still being lined up as the poster boy for the WA Police to show Mercanti is now “Nigel No Mates” in what is more of a psychological war with bikie gangs.
Meanwhile back in New Zealand nobody at Stuff, the NZ Herald, NewstalkZB, 1 News or RNZ has challenged Christopher Luxon to show his evidence that these new tools, laws and measures are proven to work.
Christopher Luxon has denied that National just slapped these ideas together after a quick google search to take political advantage of a two week shooting spree in Auckland.
Luxon maintained this morning that there was very good evidence that these new laws are working in Australia but as G News has just revealed – that evidence is not established in Western Australia because the laws are far too recent and the impacts on bikie gangs are both in doubt and remain untested.
“If Luxon was trying to do something about the shootings in Auckland – and had been developing these polices for several months then he would not have chosen such untested ideas”, said G from G News.
Most New Zealanders know that there is good evidence that patch bans have failed to work and how they also have unintended damaging consequences.
It’s also true that during “several months” of policy development work National have not done any work on the Bill of Rights impacts such laws may have in New Zealand and National remain very sketchy on the operational resources and costs to patrol such laws.
In complete contrast, Police Minister Chris Hipkins has said he has no time for political rhetoric about ideas that do not work and how evidence based policy is what he is far more interested in.
Minister Hipkins ( Chippy ) met with Police Minister Andrew Coster this morning to hear first hand what tools the Police need and to work closely with them to enable them powers and tools that will really make a difference.
“It’s amazing how slow New Zealand media have been to outline a timeline and shine a light on the facts in Western Australia”, said G from G News.
“Well he would say that wouldn’t he”, said National Party supporter dead keen for more vote grabbing PR stunts.
National’s Tough on Crime Laws – It all just a PR Stunt
Forever Tuesday Morning
Just like that Chippy said goodbye to his magnificent role as Covid Response Minister and donned his cop shades, cop gloves, cop vest and cop chewing gum – ready for the next mission.
There was very little gratitude, no trophies, no awards, not even polite applause for all the great work Chippy had done when the going got tough and Chippy stepped out of shade and said something like – what ya gonna do about it – before tackling such a big mission, much of it in unchartered territory, in the spotlight of public scrutiny.
As you know Jan Tenetti is taking a load of the Education portfolio off Chippy so he can focus on this new mission and as we had all seen – Chippy made his presence felt almost immediately with Covid.
National are running around in circles wailing Chippy won’t make any difference as they get ready for the Chipstorm.
Straight away people felt like Chippy was slapping stuff into shape at MIQ facilities – and sure enough he rocked the Covid world along with Ash ( to his non smoking friends ) and most of us grew to like and respect Chippy – cos he took no shit, and he had plain answers, he admitted issues along the way and he was also able to laugh at himself.
Even the Angry Toilet Brush had to admit Chippy was a force to be reckoned with.
“When the Chips are down, the Chipster comes to town”, said an organic punga
“The chippolatta BBQ is packing heat”, said a flax bush
There’s a grease spot on the lawn where Mr Plod used to be standing now that Chippy’s on the job.
Through Covid the flapping flounder had sat on the mudflats repeating “Shoulda done it sooner”, but that was criticism based on fantasy, envy and admiration – cos Chippy was way ahead of the former cancer stick salesman and snap chatter of 13 year old girls.
Much like the Ministry of Health suddenly facing a global pandemic and fighting a range of issues after years of under investment in public health , Police now face a spike in gang tensions and ram raid crime and although they act independently, Chippy is going to bring a unique set of skills he has built up in a very long career.
Skills that make him a nightmare for people like Mr Plod.
If Mr Plod lets the politics go now – Chippy will not look for him and will not pursue him, but if he doesn’t, Chippy will look for Mr Plod, he will find him, and ….election 2023 is over for National.
A leaf of evidence gently fell to the ground from portfolios past.
Everyone now knows Chippy has a degree that majored in criminology and all that – but Chippy is excited and already lining up the job like a tin can on a fence post and world famous PM Jacinda Ardern talked about how Poto acknowledged with all the politics swirling around the portfolio she was not able to focus on what is now needed.
“Bring on the Chipstorm with Mayonnaise”, said an organic punga driving to the flat to check out the big brain on Brad.
“Make mine a Luxon with Cheese”, said a flax bush.
Yes this was world class leadership from world famous PM Jacinda Ardern – who had long planned changes around Trev and Kris and smashed everything into shape like a boss yesterday.
It all made sense and everything agreed that National’s “get tough on law and order” posing was pure politics that would not work, policy ideas on the hoof, ideas scrambled together on the fly, possibly illegal, some of it copying Labour’s FireArms Prohibition Orders, most of it copied from Western Australia and none of it costed nor backed up by evidence that it will work.
Luxon has failed to get all that done. It was sloppy, poor delivery, a bloody mess, a lesson to all about bad execution and planning and the public knew it balls to bone.
If it wasn’t for blatant media support National would be nowhere near the Government in the polls right now for so many reasons.
World famous PM Jacinda Ardern shone in her US visit, shone in her Australian visit and now cleans up with a reshuffle that caught our media by surprise.
I don’t know about you but I am feeling positive that these moves are going to spell a whole world of pain for the Nats in coming months and we’ll all keep on moving in the right direction.
Yes I will also miss Trev after he leaves in August cos he brings a bit of viv to the role of parliament’s referee and none of his critics can really fault him for his decisions in the House. The core stuff that matters has been very well handled by Trev and I hope kiwis can see that.
“Go on Plod, make my day”, said an organic punga.
“Spread em”, said a flax Bush.
I love the smell of a good reshuffle in the morning, smells like victory.
Forever Tuesday Morning
Simon Wilson has hit the nail on the head, again.
Christopher Luxon made a big speech on Saturday, and then spent 20 minutes trying to explain to journalists what he really meant. It was confusing.
The headlines were about his “tough on gangs” proposals. But he also talked about the evil of co-governance, the value of social investment and the way “spending” and “bureaucrats” make everything worse.
The Government “co-governance” proposals for water and health will give Māori agencies important roles. This, Luxon said, is “an assault on the fundamental principle that everyone’s vote carries the same value as everyone else’s”. National, he said, “doesn’t support co-governance of public services”. Neither of these things is true.
Perhaps Luxon has not read last month’s column in the online magazine e-tangata by National’s Minister for Treaty Settlements, Chris Finlayson.
“My perspective on how to put things right is fundamentally a centre-right one,” wrote Finlayson. “It asks the question: ‘Why does the Government think it knows best?’ The Government makes heaps of mistakes. I was in there for years. I saw; I know. So, I don’t think that Government has all the answers, and I agree with Ronald Reagan that, so often, Government is the problem.”
Then he wrote, “If you apply this to the history of our land, the question becomes: ‘Why should the state be the one to control everything? Why can’t there be principles of sharing power?'”
Finlayson held the Treaty settlements job for nine years. Before his time, he noted, the National-led Government in the 1990s signed the Waikato-Tainui settlement, which covers rivers and harbours. “What did people think was going to happen? It had to be about power-sharing, and that’s what we got with the Waikato River Authority.”
He also cited the example of Te Urewera, where Ngāi Tūhoe assumed “administrative responsibility” while he was minister.
TVNZ’s Yvonne Tahana asked Luxon on Saturday how he felt about this. He said it was fine, because Treaty settlements are different. She asked him why – the principle of shared power is the same – but he couldn’t answer.
The fact is, the water in the Waikato and a whole range of health and other services in Te Urewera are subject to “co-governance of public services”. This doesn’t worry Luxon, but he’s happy to sloganise about it anyway.
Finlayson said, “The idea that power can be shared scares some people. Whereas my attitude is if central Government has failed in so many areas, which it has, and if there are different ways of looking at issues that involve bringing iwi into decision-making, or handing over decision-making, then let’s give it a go.”
Christopher Luxon could champion that idea. But he’s chosen not to.
Finlayson, quoting the former British Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd, referred to the “sour right”. He said, “There are always going to be people like that, and you have to be reasonably charitable towards them for a while — and then just ignore them and get on with things.”
Luxon, instead, is pandering to them.
That’s also what he’s doing with his tough-guy gang posturing. The appalling drive-by shootings plaguing Auckland right now are the result of an utu-inspired gang war between the Tribesmen and the Killer Beez, as Jarrod Gilbert so insightfully explained yesterday.
It requires a committed, in-their-face police response and it will take a little time. But it’s already happening. As Luxon and his police spokesman Mark Mitchell both accepted on Saturday, the police do not need any extra powers for this.
But Luxon announced his new policy: Ban gang insignia in public and give police the power to stop gang members gathering in public, associating with each other, in real life and on social media, and “accessing guns”.
It’s frightening to see 500 gang members attending a tangi and then roar down the road on motorbikes. It might be a lot more frightening to watch a thousand police trying to stop that happening.
And it’s confusing to think how the police might stop gang members talking to each other on social media. As for guns, the police already make tens of thousands of unwarranted but legal firearms searches.
Luxon’s gang plan would probably breach the Bill of Rights Act. He responded to that on Saturday by saying gang members who break the law have given up some of their rights.
But we don’t have a Bill of Rights just for nice people who never do anything wrong. We have it for everyone. We proclaim the rights that belong to all because that’s how we ensure they belong to each one of us.
Just before he launched into the chest-thumping, Luxon said, “National will bring back the long-term, social investment approach so that resources are directed where they can do the most good.”
Social investment is a welfare strategy developed under Bill English. It recognises that with big-data analysis, it is possible to identify most of the people who are most at risk in society, right from their pre-school years. It proposes in-depth, targeted investments to help those children, so they don’t grow up to become traumatised outcasts and criminals.
It’s disputed. Few would deny the value of helping the kids in most need and everyone knows the first years are the most formative. But the big-data profiling has the potential to be badly misused. And a precisely targeted system could deny support to many more kids who really need it but aren’t “at risk” enough.
There are three big points to make here. The first is that social investment is expensive: It requires strong funding across many government agencies. If Luxon cuts taxes, where will the money come from?
The second is that social investment recognises that solving social problems is a complex business. If we really want to reduce crime, social alienation, family harm, poor mental health, substance abuse, bad health, underachievement in school – whatever marker you want to use – we have to address the way little children are raised.
Getting tough with gangs is pointless if we don’t do that. National knows this. Luxon could have explained it to his supporters. He chose chest-beating instead.
And the third point? Social investment requires skilled officials to administer it: To design the programmes, do the data analysis, manage the social workers and other frontline staff, analyse the results, look after the funding, pass on the necessary skills, promote the programmes so they get to the right people … To make sure it works.
But Luxon also used his speech to complain about a “pattern of more spending, more bureaucrats and worse outcomes”. Asked after the speech, he said his Government would spend the money on frontline workers instead of bureaucrats.
It’s just blather. Tough on gangs, don’t give Māori any power, down with bureaucrats. They’re slogans, drifting free of the tether of reality.
The thing is, we really do have a public service problem in this country. Too often, they’re risk averse. Too often, they’re not committed enough to their duty to carry out government policy. But these are culture problems, not a problem caused by excess spending.
You rarely hear bosses in the private sector admitting they employ “bureaucrats”. They have senior leadership teams and other essential managerial types.
Suggesting frontline workers are the only valuable workers is like saying the only staff an airline needs are pilots and cabin stewards and baggage handlers. Maybe those guys on the tarmac with the paddles. Are they frontline?
Luxon probably wouldn’t go that far. Despite all the blather, he surely knows how the world works. After all, he used to run an airline.
When New Zealand media attack
When New Zealand media attack a cabinet minister these days it’s often not about anything to do with that minister’s performance in the actual job and much more to do with a scandal or something stupid a minister did outside of their core duties.
Hundreds of media attacks usually centre around a scandal or some stupid act – and these attacks are sustained for a long period of time.
In the case of David Clark the Government swapped him out and demoted him after he’d twice broken some Covid Rules as Minister of Health.
Many argue those mistakes should have been enough for him to be sacked.
World famous PM Jacinda Ardern persevered with David Clark until finally Tova O’Brien made out that David Clark had “brutally thrown Ashly Bloomfield under a bus” over who was responsible for hundreds of people released back into the community without a negative test.
The media pile on was all too much on top of the other issues David Clark had created for himself
Despite Dr Bloomfield rejecting Tova’s “mind reading” allegations and National Party claims that the relationship between himself and the Minister had broken down – a concentrated media frenzy managed to create a sufficient distraction in the middle of a pandemic to dislodge Clark from his portfolio.
It was about removing the noise.
This noise was half about David Clark’s stupidity outside of his core role and half a media attack conjured up out of a media myth created by Tova O’Brien.
In came Chippy who smashed the job out of the park.
“Chippy was amazing and took no shite”, said an organic punga.
“How the media hated the way Chippy shut them all up”, laughed a flax bush.
Today there will be a minor reshuffle of cabinet portfolios announced at 3PM and nearly all of the Press Gallery have rushed to report that it is widely expected that Police Minister Poto Williams will lose her portfolio because – she is under fire in the media, under pressure by the media, struggling in the media and Christopher Luxon has called for her to go in the media.
In this case there is no particular incident of stupidity nor scandal outside of the core role of the Minister that New Zealand media can point to, nor is there anything tangible that any journalist can raise as a performance issue concerning Poto Williams.
To the contrary.
The Deputy Police Commissioner remarked on Thursday that Poto Williams has been a very supportive Police Minister.
Police numbers are up, spending on police is up, heaps of arrests are happening, there’s an organised crime unit, 60,000 guns have been removed, there’s a gun register on the way, there’s fire arm prohibition orders on the way, there’s solutions for ram-raids for 500 small businesses, and Police are sending in their ideas and proposals to the Minister on and on and on.
Poto has performed very well in the House recently as well.
Not even Christopher Luxon can actually define exactly what is the issue at fault – when it comes to the role of Police Minister and instead he has made a vague stab at “her leadership”.
But that’s really all.
Nothing precise nor exact.
No real performance issues.
When you look at the actual history around what the media appear to be unhappy about with Poto Williams – it boils down to an expectation that she fit a stereotypical masculine cookie cutter of a Police Minister who growls and barks, has more traditionally masculine traits, more manly mongrel – and how Poto Williams occasionally hesitates and says “um” when answering questions in the debating chamber – and for this alone – she had to go.
“She’s go to go”, say National Voters.
A poll of National voters says most think Poto should go.
The media have based a great deal of their attacks on Poto Williams on this masculine cookie cutter that would exclude most women from the role of Police Minister and of course there was the TVNZ 1 News – fake news beat up – by Benedict Collins on 6 April 2022.
TVNZ 1 News misled the public claiming that Poto Williams had said “it was not her job to look into crime statistics” that had been delivered to her office that morning.
Poto never said any such thing.
TVNZ were way out of line.
This was terrible. It does not get much worse.
Benedict Collins misreported that Poto Williams was refusing to look at the data – because it was too operational – when the truth was Poto Williams actually said – she was not prepared to step into commenting on the very operational data until she had more time to look into it.
This misreporting by TVNZ 1 News led to downstream unjustified media attacks on Poto Williams by Claire Trevett, Kerri Woodham, Ryan Bridge, Audrey Young and more recently Peter Wilson, all of whom wrongly undermined Poto Williams in the media.
New Zealand media had created a very wrong impression and wrongfully amplified that false perception.
A set of media actions that played into the hands of the National Party who stepped up their attacks on Poto as well.
Remember in all of this – Poto Williams had done nothing wrong whatsoever in her role as Police Minister.
There were no complaints from the Police at all and they know the separation between their responsibilities and those of the Police Minister.
There’s has been a big spike in drive by shootings in Auckland ( which have killed nobody yet ) in the past few weeks and we should not overreact to that.
That matter has root causes in an UTU tit for tat Gang war between the Killer Beez and The Tribesman that started in 2018 when a gang leader was shot dead buying a motorbike.
It’s not about Poto Williams and her role.
The Police Minister cannot direct police operations.
The police are all over these matters in Auckland.
The Minister can only support Police with the tools they need to do the job and it sounds like Police are very happy with the support they are getting.
The only reports anyone has heard to the contrary have come from Mark Mitchell who is not prepared to name any Police Officer who feels frustrated.
It’s all hearsay and unverifiable anecdote from National.
New Zealand media have managed to unfairly create an unjust perception of Poto Williams.
If Poto Williams is moved out her role because of it – that would send a signal to all girls, women and people from the Cook Islands or other Pasifika Islands that – Stuff, the NZ Herald, TVNZ, NewsHub, and Newsroom – will not tolerate any of them ever being a Police Minister in this country.
It’s not about performance in the role.
It’s about a cookie cutter stereotype.
If you suspect that this amounts to pure misogyny and racism I would 100% agree with you.
Because what else can it possibly boil down to?
This morning Luke Malpass, Ryan Bridge, Jenny-May Clarkson, Jo Moir and others are all expecting Poto Williams to be removed from her portfolio after world famous PM Jacinda Ardern has repeatedly told them all – even today – time and time and time again – that she has confidence in Poto Williams.
But still media do not.
To me this shows us all very clearly that New Zealand media are hunting in a pack and trying to create unjust reshuffles in cabinet that are not based on performance and merit in the role – but on masculine stereotypes, racism and sexism.
If Poto Williams is removed as Police Minister at 3PM it sends a signal to every Pasifika girl that she better not try to step into that role.
There’s no opportunity for them to hold public office in New Zealand.
Luke Malpass says it’s widely expected and has himself suggested Poto should be replaced in Stuff.
Audrey Young thinks Poto Williams must go – as do most of the NZ Herald political writers and NewsCrap ZB broadcasters.
This media judgment even extends to TVNZ and RNZ – but in all cases – there is nothing any of them can point to that is a performance issue.
New Zealand Media have attacked and undermined Poto Williams in a disgraceful and shameful manner like a pack of sexist, racist bullies.
There is no scandal.
There is no stupid behaviour outside the role.
The Police are happy with the Minister.
There is actually no problem that has anything to do with the Minister here at all – end of story.
But still New Zealand media want Poto gone and if she is not gone they will all say it was a critical miscalculation by PM Ardern – without really detailing why.
There will be no apologies from any of the media no matter how unjust, sexist, racist and egregious they have been.
In fact if they succeed – they will celebrate on some level.
They will write accounts to justify the unjustifiable – while patting Luxon on the back for getting it right again.
High fives and well done Jacinda for listening to Luxon’s call – will be the tone.
It’s what “Helen Clark would have done” will be trotted out.
Personally I feel that unless Poto Williams herself has expressed a desire to refocus her work in another portfolio – then the Government should not reward this disgusting media behaviour with a scalp – because that will only encourage more of the same baseless attacks on female cabinet ministers.
That’s not who we are – but it is – exactly who our media have become.
This should concern every New Zealander who cares about a fair deal from our media for cabinet ministers who have done nothing wrong whatsoever in their job.
When New Zealand media attack
Should Peter Wilson keep his job?
Peter Wilson is a life member of Parliament’s press gallery, with 22 years as NZPA’s political editor and seven as parliamentary bureau chief for NZ Newswire.
Peter Wilson has a weekly column at RNZ and this week he asked if Poto Williams should keep her job and called his article “analysis”.
Truth was all Peter Williams actually did was scour through media articles that formed part of the “Get Poto” campaign, select a few comments made by Christopher Luxon in three media appearances on Wednesday 9 June 2022 – where Luxon called for Poto to be axed – and Wilson repeated again what Luxon had said.
The media appearances Peter Wilson selected for amplification and repetition were from Morning Report with Susie Ferguson, TVNZ Breakfast with Matty MacClean and NewsHub AM with the former ManBun and on each occasion Peter Wilson quoted Luxon saying that Poto was struggling, violent crime was up, gang crime was up and Police don’t feel backed up.
That was not analysis.
It was selective stenography.
Analysis is more like pointing out the remarkable fact that nobody in our media challenged Luxon this week to name those amongst the Police who did not feel backed up.
That verifiable fact just stepped out of the shade and introduced itself to readers in an otherwise fact free desert populated by stenographers.
Luxon is making up stories that suit him that he cannot back up.
Matty MacClean, the former ManBun and Susie all allowed Luxon to simply say – he’d met a lot of police in his travels and these faceless, nameless Police, all feel very frustrated and are not getting the tools they require.
A real analysis of politics last week by Peter Wilson should have dug into why Luxon and Willis are frequently referring to anonymous, unverifiable anecdotes to make their cases in media interviews?
Why is that exactly Christopher Luxon?
Remember the homeless man referred to by National MP Michael Woodhouse?
Wilson could have started with that example of this practice.
Peter Wilson might have then referred to how Nicola Willis cited the story of a man just released from prison who magically decided to just walk up to her to complain about things.
That incredulous story was uttered by Willis on Friday morning on NewsHub AM a whole day before Peter Wilson published his “week in politics” article.
National’s case that Police are frustrated, don’t feel supported and don’t have the tools – relies entirely upon made up stories.
A nameless man said he was frustrated so Poto has to go.
That’s the big story – and this is the real root of matters for media analysis but even when contradictory evidence is placed directly under the noses of our Press Gallery ( Peter Wilson ) they choose to ignore it.
It’s just not newsworthy – and not their job to focus upon the actual hard core truth in the spin.
The notion Police are not feeling supported was also directly contradicted by Deputy Police Commissioner Wally Haumaha on Thursday morning when he told Jenny-May Clarkson on TVNZ Breakfast that Poto Williams is a very supportive Minister and police are getting the support they need.
The Deputy Police Commissioner repeated this twice on TVNZ.
If Peter Wilson was really worth the money he is paid by RNZ as a Press Gallery Journalist – surely he would have included the direct evidence to the contrary that highlighted the weakness in Luxon’s spin – in his “analysis” and not side step around it?
Yet Peter Wilson omitted what the Deputy Police Commissioner had to say as if it had no bearing on the matter of Poto Williams and how the police feel about her performance.
Instead Wilson stuck to the old stenography formula of first quoting Luxon and then quoting the Government – leaving out the root problems in the content.
They call it “analysis” at RNZ.
Peter Wilson selected the following comment made by world famous PM Jacinda Ardern to give his stenography about Poto Williams some balance…
“An increase in numbers ( Police Numbers ) … a doubling of the organised crime unit, firearm prohibition orders, the work we’re doing on criminal proceeds,” Ardern said. “This is all progress that is ultimately making our police force better prepared, albeit in a very tough environment for them.”
Yes all of these matters are happening despite the make up stories spun by Luxon.
After copying a few quotes – Peter Wilson got down to inserting his opinion about how surprised he was that Poto got the role of Police Minister in the first place.
“It was a surprise when Ardern appointed Williams to the role after the 2020 election. She was a minister in the previous government but had no experience of that sort of portfolio.” – wrote Peter Wilson.
That’s when Peter Wilson presented the argument that Poto Williams was not the right “type” ( stereotype ) and frankly this boiled down to amplifying the misogyny about being a “natural fit” for the role :
“In April this year the New Zealand Herald’s Audrey Young wrote an article about Williams. In it she said that if Labour was to have any hope of regaining control of the law and order agenda, Ardern needed one of her best ministers in the job. Young explained why she thought Ardern had chosen Williams, despite the MP not being “a natural fit” for the role. “In Labour or National, the portfolio has gone to people who are naturally hard-line law and order types,” she said. “Ardern clearly chose Williams precisely because she didn’t fit the stereotype. Her expertise was in community health and welfare, and tackling family violence.”
Peter Wilson did not cover the fact that Audrey Young wrote her article in the wave of “Get Poto” articles that followed on from how TVNZ 1 News did a hit piece on Poto on 1 News at Six on 6 April 2022.
TVNZ claimed Poto Williams had said “It’s not my job to look into” a matter that was very operational about violent crime statistics.
The large number of stats had been sent to Poto Williams in the morning and she was on her way into the Debating Chamber when she was ambushed by Benedict Collins.
Poto never said anything about “not my job to look into it ” – that was TVNZ who claimed that she did – and clearly a massive misrepresentation of what Poto actually said was broadcast on the TVNZ 1 News programme that evening.
This blatant misrepresentation by Benedict Collins caused hundreds of complaints to be made to TVNZ.
Notably the offending footage included Benedict Collins telling on Poto to Uncle Luxon in his office – and Luxon said Poto was a Minister all at sea in her portfolio.
All of it was a media beat up and Benedict seemed way too cosy with Luxon in his office, almost as if Benedict was in some kind of paid service as he told his mummy what the nasty minister said.
If Peter Wilson was any good at his job he would have highlighted that Audrey Young’s article was all based on the media noise that this gross misrepresentation in our media produced – NOT – anything wrong that Poto Williams actually did in her job.
We are talking about a media beat up and how Audrey decided a media beat up is justification for Poto to be sacked and replaced by someone more stereotypical.
Perhaps the stereotype of a “burly former cop” as Claire Trevett coined it – would solve all the drive by shootings?
“Mitchell is a burly former cop who looks and talks the part. Williams is the polar opposite.” wrote Trevett as Peter Wilson scrubbed that from his article.
Peter Wilson dropped all that context – but he did quote another sentence written by Claire Trevett in the NZ Herald on 8 April 2022 as part of the media beat up on Poto after TVNZ’s terrible misrepresentation :
“It’s not likely to save Williams when Ardern next reshuffles her cabinet. The Herald’s political editor, Claire Trevett, put it this way: “Of late, one of the National Party’s most valuable assets in its attempt to turn law and order into an election issue has been Police Minister Poto Williams.” Trevett described Williams as “a liability in a portfolio which is rapidly becoming very political” – wrote Peter Wilson.
Yes Peter Wilson failed to also state that Trevett had referred to TVNZ’s misrepresentations in the very same article :
“She was inexcusably unprepared for questions about the police response times on high-priority callouts. Her office was sent the numbers by TVNZ hours before she was asked about them. Williams response? She did not know the numbers and it was “an operational matter that I am not prepared to step into”.
Peter Wilson AND Claire Trevett should have both known Poto Williams meant “step into comment right now in an ambush interview”, because she needed more time to read the tome of data she had been sent only hours earlier that morning.
This was clearly a case of media getting it wrong ( Benedict Collins ), then getting it wrong again ( Trevett ), then getting it wrong again ( Audrey Young ) and Peter Wilson ( the stenographer ) getting it wrong a fourth time months later.
Talk about media incompetence.
And now the same media are calling for Labour to replace Poto Williams if they want to win the 2023 Election.
Surely RNZ should be questioning why they continue to pay Peter Wilson to continue churning out misleading stenography and failing to pick up on “the homeless man” stories of the National Party?
There no real “analysis” in his recycling of media nonsense.
Peter Wilson also placed a plug for Luxon in his “analysis” by suggesting we all read Guyon Espiner’s woman’s weekly style puff piece about the great white hope :
“Luxon has overseen a remarkable turnaround in National’s poll ratings since he became leader, and if you want to know what makes him tick read Guyon Espiner’s in-depth RNZ article ‘How Christopher Luxon is rebranding the National Party’.” – wrote Peter Wilson.
Peter Wilson is a life member of Parliament’s press gallery, with 22 years as NZPA’s political editor and seven as parliamentary bureau chief for NZ Newswire.
But should he keep his job?
I don’t think so.
I think we need better media that gets into the truth behind the spin.
Should Peter Wilson keep his job?