Posts Tagged ‘John Key’

Nats to ban Black Caps Zimbabwe tour?

February 16, 2009

Woohoo! Good news, from the National government, of all people. Prime Minister John Key has strongly hinted that the Nats will ‘order’ the Black Caps to not tour Zimbabwe this July. If so, this would let NZ Cricket off the hook for potentially millions in default fees, under ICC rules that block a nation cancelling a tour for political reasons. Essentially, the ICC recognise that if the NZ government ban the Kiwi cricketers from touring Mugabe’s land, then the decision is taken out of the hands of NZ Cricket CEO Justin Vaughan.

This can only help Zimbabwe’s quest for human rights; despot Mugabe is a known cricket fan, so it will hopefully send him a clear message that respecting human rights in Zimbabwe is more important to the world than a cricket tour (much as we like the latter).

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Sprung! Nats caught plotting privatisations

August 3, 2008

This will probably be the biggest gaffe truth of the annual National Party conference – Nats finance spokesperson Bill English caught by TV3 on tape saying National will sell-off state-owned Kiwibank ‘eventually’ (i.e. straight after they feel they are safely ensconced in power permanently).

So much for ‘honest’ John Key & his merry band of corporate thieves men. For the National party trolls out there, forming and keeping Kiwibank state owned is good because:

  1. It gives Kiwis competition – a real choice between Oz owned banks that treat us with lousy customer service, and far better locals-focussed service from Kiwibank (and the credit unions). Weren’t National in favour of competition? Or was that not meant to include competition for your rich mates’ banking operations?
  2. It stops vast sums being siphoned offshore by the Oz-owned banks. This lowers NZ’s terrible balance of payments deficit, making our economy stronger.
  3. It strengthens our economy by retaining high-level banking planners/economists in the NZ economy. Oz banks can totally shift this offshore at any time; a domestic bank has no ability to use offshore head office staff to run the local bank.

The follow up questions for National has to be – what other state assets do you plan to sell ‘eventually’? The just-nationalised railways (Ontrack and Kiwirail) that ‘honest John’ was so disparaging about? Surely you wouldn’t sell our roads like you wanted to in the 1990s?

Of even more concern than National’s now exposed policies of privatising state assetts, or even borrowing to give tax cuts to the wealthy, is that of more public-private partnerships.

PPPs are the most dishonest form of privatisation – the state (us taxpayers) get to put up all the capital (and hence take all the risk), so some private company can ‘manage’ the assets’ operations for (typically) 30 years, while making a nice profit on the ‘management’. The company then ‘relinquishes’ the asset back to the state when its good and knackered from their lack of maintenance (increases the profits, dont’cha know?), leaving the taxpayer to fork out for extensively – and expensively – rebuilding the stuffed asset. PPPs have been such a winner overseas.

All premised on the ‘fact’ that the private management company is somehow ‘more efficient’ than state-run management, despite never having supplied proof of this assertion. No wonder National want to sell off Kiwibank – the last thing they want is this awkward reminder of a state bank out-performing their ‘superior’ free market chums…

And the Nats wonder why the Labour-types keep tagging wicked Prince John “slippery”.

Petty Politics – drop an anvil on Dunne!

April 28, 2008

I know it’s nasty, but won’t someone do NZ a favour and drop an anvil on the head of United Future leader Peter Dunne? ACME should be able to nick an anvil off Wile Coyote…

Dunne hibernates for 3 years between elections, then wakes up for a few months ‘common sense’ statements, before lurching off to lala land for another term of Parliament.

His latest offeringis ‘common sense’ support for National’s broadband $1.5bn public-private partnership plan. Regardless of merits (or not) of the idea, it is tiresome to have Dunne – whose only statements outside of the election period seem to be cheap personal attacks on the Greens – to call for party politics to be dropped for the glorious goal of faster broadband.

‘Common sense’ Dunne is not – his statements verge on the banal. Stating that faster broadband is a good thing (duh!) is followed by his killer remark that:

“It’d be excellent if politicians spent more time working out the answer to that question [how do we get…widespread, superfast broadband?]”

Now if only witless politicians like Dunne could do their job and actually think of some solutions, I would hang onto the anvil and not drop it on Dunne. It is the job of politicians like Dunne to ask Kiwis for solutions or to think them up himself – if he hasn’t done either then he is a total failure and should be sacked (ahhh, an election this year!).

Certainly commentators like Bill Ralston should not be heaping praise on ‘dead-loss Dunne’ for failing to do more than state the bleeding obvious. Surely?

Granny gets her gun, rides shotgun for National

February 25, 2008

Granny Herald has rather debunked her nickname lately. Tagged ‘Granny’ Herald for the socially conservative views expressed in the Auckland-based newspaper, the Herald writers have nonetheless pushed strong social liberal positions in recent times.

The latest is a Herald editorial that demands Kiwis ‘get over it’ on the topic of Green MP Sue Bradford’s anti-smacking Act (text of altered S59).

Lobby group Family First seem to have reached the 300,000 required signatures to force a Citizen’s Initiated Referendum at this year’s General Election. This appears to have sparked concern in the Herald editors that National’s electoral victory may be smothered by a resurgent anti-smacking debate drawing out socially liberal Kiwis to back Labour.

Hence, the apparent contradiction in an erstwhile ‘right-wing’ newspaper and lobby group on opposite ends of the tug-of-war. It should be noted of course, that many National MP’s are socially liberal, and voted for Bradford’s bill to become law (irrespective of the redundant nonsense John Key put in as clause 4 – Police have always had discretion on all laws as to whether they prosecute).

What is shocking, is that the editor makes wild assumptions; “many signatures on the petition were, in fact, gathered before the compromise clause was inserted” and “the anti-smacking law is no longer a matter of substance to the public”. Granted, they cite a survey showing the S59 position of just 4.2% of people would “likely influence their election vote”, but this simply reflects the impossibility in voting on 1 issue in an election. People want to choose a government that aligns with their views on a range of topics, not just a single issue – even if viewed as the most important.

Worse by far, the Herald’s editor notes CIR are non-binding, so claims “there is little reason to think this one [if passed – SD] would lead to the anti-smacking legislation being thrown out”. What a cynical expression of our democracy! Regardless of how MP’s voted for the Act, surely a democratic position would be for them to change their position to represent the views of the people that put them in the Beehive to … represent their constituents? That the Herald does not think MP’s would (or should) change their stance – irrespective of the voting outcome) is horrendously totalitarian in outlook. NZ is not supposed to be a 3-year elected dictatorship!

Recall the late 1990’s saw a CIR on firefighting resources get around 90% support, which saw a partial government backdown. To suggest as the Herald does, that a majority of voters in a CIR should be ignored because “attempts to raise a hue and cry over the law during the election campaign would be misguided” reflects the deeper desire of the Herald to avoid a bunfight on anything other than tax cuts and PPP’s for transport, it seems. Granny has got her gun, and is warding off anything that may distract from the core message of a National government.