24 Aug 2008

Refreshing Honesty

This weekend's Agenda programme allowed Maurice Williamson the opportunity to display refreshing tory honesty about the effects of the much vaunted National Party tax cuts policy on the worker's wallet.
While John Key promises everyone a $50.00+ a week tax cut Maurice explained why it was needed- "to pay the tolls that would be levied on N.Z. roads when, under National, they would be semi-privatised under the PPP schemes that underpin the National Party policy documents."
What the N.Z. taxpayer now sees is that "there ain't no free lunch under a tax cut regime" for under such a regime the need to pay tolls (private enterprise taxation) for the use of public facilities becomes obvious as under the PPP schemes the private enterprise"partner" is allowed to tax the public (and claim against the taxpayer for any shortfalls ) to pay for the costs of the roads, the schools, the hospitals and other infrastructure a National Party Government, in partnership with Private enterprise, chooses to build.
It is interesting to note that where-ever such PPP infrastructure building schemes have been in operation (Australia, UK) the taxpayer is forced to bail the Business sector out - effectively paying twice or more over for the facility.
One must thank Maurice for his refreshing honesty when he said that he knew that no one would object to paying $50.00 a week in tolls as part of one's normal household expenses. At least we now know the reasoning behind the tax cut policy - to allow the taxpayer the ability to pay big business for their largesse in donating to the National Party coffers.
Mind you, it is good to see John Key swinging again in typical flip - flop manner over Maurice's out burst of political honesty. It just goes to show that the pretender has an ill fitting set of crosby-textor borrowed clothing. It is about time the un-blinkered observers started shouting that he has no clothes. But that might be all too honest.

22 Aug 2008

Interesting Editing Exercise

The editing of Letters to the Editor of The Herald reveal the bias of the paper quite obviously.
On the 21st a "brevity" was published that read: "When will the intense scrutiny of the funding of N.Z.First be extended to that of National and Labour?"
The full, unpublished, submitted letter read:

Today on Morning Report Rodney Hide said the object of the present inquiry was to get rid of Winston Peters, after which we would have stable government. So much for disinterested concern for democracy.
When will the intense scrutiny of the funding of N.Z.First be extended to that of National and Labour? Who remembers the Exclusive Brethern?

Which now puts a different meaning to the letter - an opinion that,dare one argue it, is contrary to the admitted agenda of the Herald.

16 Aug 2008

Modern Fables with a political twist


There is an 'Old Version' and a 'Modern Version' .... Two Different
Versions! Two Different Morals!


The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his
house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays
the summer away.

Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed.

The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

Be responsible for yourself!



The Labour Party ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The National Party grasshopper thinks the Labour ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away and keeps borrowing against any assets he may have. In fact he campaigns for everyone to do the same as well as stating that others should avoid contributing to the good of all in the interests of selfishness.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

The Herald, TV1, TV3 and Maori TV show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. New Zealand is stunned by the sharp contrast.

How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Kermit the Frog appears on Good Morning with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing, 'It's Not Easy Being Green.'

John Key stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house, declaring it to be in struggle street, where the news stations film the group singing, 'We shall overcome.' He then takes a local to Waitangi to show he cares. (I mean: "Really, really cares. In fact he'll resign if he doesn't really care.")

Gordon Copeland then has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper's sake.

Michael Cullen explains in an interview with John Campbell that the worker ants have gotten rich by carefully balancing the books, investing in the future and saving the state assets and that the National Party Grasshopper is reaping the results of consuming too much while borrowing and failing to invest in assets. The Herald declares that the Grasshopper is showing "enterprise" and is capable of good management.

Rodney Hide makes a series of complaints to the Privileges Committee and the Fraud Office in an effort to discover who is scamming who thus spending more of the limited taxpayers money in political grandstanding campaigns.

Finally, the National Party grasshopper campaigns on a policy of borrow, borrow and sell all state assets and drafts the Foriegn Investment Economic Equity & Anti-Ant Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

The ant is fined, the assets are sold and stripped, the workers are penalised by having their wages cut, their employment conditions heavily curtailed and subject to heavy private enterprise (PPP) taxes (tolls ) to pay off private debts, his home is confiscated by the Bank which begins to call in mortgages and raise interest rates to cope with the heavy borrowing of the grasshoppers.

Any complaints about the actions being taken by the Grasshoppers against the worker ants are tried before a panel of judges that John appointed from a list of self interested big business men who gave several millions to the National Party Coffers.

The Worker ants lose the case.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he doesn't maintain it as he thinks the overseas landlords will do it to protect their assets.

The ant has disappeared in the snow.

The grasshopper is found to have been asset stripped in a sub-prime financial collapse incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of foreign spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighbourhood as they move the income from asset stripping overseas.

Be VERY careful how you vote in 2008!!

12 Aug 2008

Something Old, Something Blue, Nothing new

Recycling is back in fashion with John Key, in typical engkeylish speak, the National Party's "Welfare" policy promises to deliver advantages for the "righteous" and disadvantages for whom righteousness has not been thrust upon.

This article from The Standard is a solid examination of the logic or lack of logic that underpins the National Party's policy position.

Dog whistle politics to some, beneficiary bashing to others. But is there logic to National’s policy on benefits? Gordon Campbell asks:

Will John Key’s policy announcement on welfare this afternoon do much to resolve the problems it claims to address? Hardly…

It is as if National felt the need to beat up on beneficiaries somehow, and somewhere - and so it picked primarily on solo parents, the group of beneficiaries widely recognized as being in LEAST need of extra motivation to get off the benefit.

One angle I thought was interesting was a study done by the Ministry of Social Development which looked at the health (and mental health) status of sole-mothers. If they are already more likely to be sick then sending them out to work with penalties if they don’t is not likely to lead to good outcomes, for either the parent or the children.

And one question I was hoping to hear asked - what are the penalties planned for those who do not abide by the rules? And what happens if there are others (like children) living in the household?

There’s a fundamental difference in approach here with both sides arguing that the studies back their logic. However as Simon Collins suggests:

…there are other factors besides welfare in the breakdown of the traditional family, and forcing parents into paid work may not be the answer.

5 Aug 2008

Which Head Tells the Truth? Does two out weigh one?

Watch Slippery John, with the Crosby-Textor spinners taking control, attempt to deflect the media attention away from the not so subtly secret agendas revealed by the arch controller, English and minion Lockwood Smith to flog off the family silver to the highest bidders and allow private enterprise to levy taxes, in the form of tolls and increased charges, on each and every NZ citizen once Key & co get their hands on the levers of government.
The old adage that any spin is better than facing the truth will be clearly demonstrated from today on as National tries to disguise the falsity of their public policy statements.
The jettisoning of Bill English from the Nat's pirate ship won't help Slippery John recover from this series of, for the first time, honesty from his closest associates.

The revelation that John Key is not talking from the same script as his closest advisers and colleagues demonstrates clearly that he is no more than the smiling "bagman", "snake oil salesman" for the package designed and wrapped by Bill English and Lockwood Smith. Slippery John has been assigned the job of selling the wrapping while Bill and Lockwood conspire to keep the reality of their plans hidden until too late for the electorate to back out of the contract being offered by the bagman.
Bill and Lockwood have placed on record, despite post caucus denials, the real policies of the National Party... borrow against tomorrow, flog off the family silver, remove the safety nets of welfare and social services that have been hard fought for and then claim that they had a "mandate" to do so.
To fudge and hedge with such phrases as "not in the first term of a National Government" is to state "but definitely in the next time we have the power we'll rape and pillage the possessions of the people and pass all the responsibilities of the State to private contractors and businesses."
With two of the National Party's "shadow cabinet" saying we have a secret privatisation agenda" and one saying "that's all news to me" it would appear that the suspicions of the political sceptics are justified.

4 Aug 2008

Conflict in the Engkeylish camp of Tax Cuts, asset sales and increased Borrowing.

A simple question: How does a party leader this answer these questions and maintain logic:
"How will you fund the infra-structure building you plan to do with a reduced tax take from the large tax cuts you have promised?"
Answer""By borrowing thus increasing the public debt."
Question: "But aren't you borrowing to fund the deficit created by introducing huge tax cuts?"
Answer: "No we'd be borrowing to build infra-structure."
To any intelligent listener the logic of this series of answers is as somewhat tenuous and revealing of the speaker's fundamental lack of economic logic as the increased borrowing must logically follow from the reduced income created by the tax cutting programme that he espouses. If the Government has a decreased income flow because the tax take doesn't fund the planned spending then the borrowing is necessary to fund the tax-cuts.
Then the real answer must be that given by the man John Key says he'd be happy to resign to after one term holding the reins of power - Bill English who declared in a taped interview at the National Party Conference "We'll sell State assets - i.e. KiwiBank." (Un-said by underlying the message: at least not until we've been wielding power for a term... and have convinced the public that asset stripping, like the cane was said to be, good for the state as the country's assets are best held by foreign companies.) After all selling the family silver will allow National to reduce state taxes and allow private enterprise to levy taxes in the shape of tolls and increased charges and prices.

3 Aug 2008

Tax Cuts and the politics of selfishness

The calls for and promises of extra big tax cuts coming from the National Party Conference are the manifestation of the politics of selfishness.
They are argued with such self centred statements as:
“I want to avoid paying tax because other people gain a benefit from my tax payment. I believe that those people don’t deserve those benefits.”
“I want to avoid paying tax because I am, at heart, a charitable man and would gladly and liberally give alms to the begging poor so the State needn’t provide welfare schemes.”
“I want to avoid paying tax because I believe that the country can and should borrow against the future to fund any programmes I object my taxes being used to fund..e.g. social welfare, state education, public health services and, anyway, what are insurance companies for for but to provide these services from the investment individual insurance policies are designed for. After all individuals should take responsibility to provide for themselves by buying from private providers.”
“I want to avoid paying tax because I believe that the State, in providing socio-economic developments is providing too much and is employing too many people and thus growing too big - and, anyway, there are too many people getting assistance they don’t deserve.”
“ I believe I shouldn’t pay tax as private enterprise can provide all the services and infra-structure for the economy without the State being involved.”

In all these demands to avoid paying tax, in all the political grandstanding by the National Party the big question is avoided: “ Who pays private enterprise to build and provide all the infrastructure and services?” The answer is, of course, the non-tax paying individual who must pay a premium for the goods and services he wants at an ever increasing rate and price as our ever increasing electricity bills and the asset stripping of Air New Zealand and Rail N.Z demonstrate once private enterprise and the presumed benefits of the competitive economy were introduced under a previous National Government.

It is a pity that the present political discussion hasn’t explored or commented on the fallacies of individualism and the selfishness that underpins the tax cutting policies espoused by the National Party. New Zealand sorely needs the debate to be widened and treated with greater seriousness than we have seen and heard over recent months.

Trusts, Hypocrisy and Politics

It is ironic that the Media fascination with Winston’s fund raising exercises is built on the concerns that gave birth to the Electoral Finance Act.
The Act is designed to encourage transparency about the funding of political parties in New Zealand.

That N.Z. First is now revealed as being dependent on the same funding sources as all the other political parties in the electoral arena - donations from high income benefactors both individuals and business is hardly devastating news. It merely confirms what everyone has known for years - no political party of any size or credibility can exist without seeking out large donations and that, trusts have been used to hide the identities of the donors. The public have long known that the National Party has used secret trusts to channel monies into its accounts so what is different about N.Z. First resorting to the same devices?

To rail against the Electoral Finance Act because it is designed to reveal the sources of finance that support our Political Parties and thus remove any doubts about influence and policy manipulation and then attack N.Z. First because it has been shown as resorting to the devises of trusts and passing the begging bowl around big business in order to fund its activities is to reveal the depths of political hypocrisy that runs deep within the National Party as well as the lack of balance seen in the analysis of politics by those who profess to be qualified to comment.

One must, however, give Rodney Hide and ACT credit as ACT has always been up front about the reasons why its big business supporters have given money to it - as ACT’s policies areobviously designed to provide the pay offs from ACT policies designed to strip all State assets from the common good.