31 May 2013


Ever since the emergence of John Pinnochio Key onto the NZ political scene there have been rumours of a concerted dirty tricks brigade behind him and many of his caucus and support Parties: Dunne, United Future, Banks, and ACT.

For much of the time these rumours were ignored and often derided by journalists as "left wing" paranoia but, with the leaks beginning to appear around Key and his caucus it has become clear that the rumours weren't paranoia at all.

Here's the first leak: It targets the Lusk-Slater (Whaleoil) group immediately. A group determined to sell the NZ political system into the fringes of the Republican- Tea Party in return for corrupted influence and control.

Here's the second leak that takes the National Party back to it's 1975 ties with the Republicans who, allegedly, helped fund the National Party's infamous Dancing Cossacks cartoon advertising campaign.A further sign that the Key dominated National-ACT Party want to see NZ as a client state controlled from the States. Even if Key denies links to the Slater-Lusk group his willingness to sell out NZ's legislative process to Warner Bros, big Oil  and an international Casino group would indicate otherwise.

Here's the evidence of their meddling and willingness to corrupt due process in a Labour dispute.

Here's the evidence of the leaking around the Key cabinet as the public perception of Key as lacking trustworthiness begins to grow.

Add to this growing mountain of evidence that the Key led National-ACT govt is on shakey (shonkey) ground the Key orchestrated and orginated attempt to paint a Labour led government as the  communist red flag waving "Devil Beast"  and one sees a panicking and ideologically berefit Party trying to justify its existence by creating an imaginary being to generate fear that the corruption the present leaking exposes will loose it support among its membership. It also paints Key and his cronies into a corner they cannot escape from... as they try to dodge away from the leaked strategies cooked up by Lusk & Slater and, no doubt, supported by those MPs they have mentored and placed in the caucus. It makes Key's (like David Cameron's ) alliance with the questionable tactics of the Crosby-Textor spinners even less acceptable.

27 May 2013


Disingenuinousness from a National Party Hack

I recently got a “survey”, funded from my hard earned taxes, from the local National - ACT MP asking for opinions about the policies implemented by the John "Pinnochio" Key government.

As our local MP spends much of his time in Parliament as a smirking presence behind whichever Minister is speaking then marching into the lobby as instructed one wonders why he bothers to “survey” the voters in the electorate as he wouldn’t be taking the results into any regard anyway.

Anyway, the survey, which caused much mirth in my household, asked if we believed that the Key directed National-ACT govt had policies that worked to boost skills and support jobs... when we have witnessed a growing % of the population recorded as unemployed from the low base of 2008. The promised 120,000 jobs that have been promised since 2009 have not materialised despite the continued bleating by the Finance Minister.

It then asked if we believed that the National-ACT govt had invested in science & innovation when successive budgets have paid lip-service to the “policy” with words rather than convincing investment in the Research & Innovation.

He then went on to ask if we believed that his govt had been effective in developing export markets, ( a very moot point as we have only grown our export market by 0.8%  in the first three months of this year... which is hardly a ringing endorsement of any growth policy coming from the present govt.) rolling out faster broadband and investing in roads and rail. This last point caused even greater mirth especially as the National-ACT govt has caused the closure of the Hillside Railway Workshops in Dunedin, effectively stopped KiwiRail contracting to build rolling stock designed for the NZ rail system and spent a great deal of time deliberately stymieing the Auckland City Council developing an efficient public transport system based on light rail on the grounds that building more roads to holiday destinations makes greater economic sense even though the cost analyses of the road building schemes has proven them uneconomic.

He then has the cheek to ask if we believe that selling shares in the state owned energy companies is one that would boost the economy..... when one considers that 300,000 people, and growing, people have signed a petition calling for a referendum to stop the sale of the country’s assets his ignorance of economics and public resistance to this policy knows no bounds. When public documents have shown that the first Energy company that has been “partially” privatised has ended up being owned by 113,000 so called “mum and dad” investors who bought Mighty River shares earlier this month were companies, trusts and investment institutions then one can see that this “legalised theft” of the state’s assets will not be building a stronger economy... at least not for the taxpayers who funded and built the energy State owned Enterprises in the first place.

As this press release shows:

Govt admits asset sales program in deep trouble
National has admitted that its asset sales programme is a failure with its decision to consider selling Meridian Energy in blocks, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.
Media reports suggest Meridian’s 49% shareholding may be sold down in blocks by the National Government.
“As shares in Mighty River Power hit a new low, the Key Government knows it cannot sell 49% of Meridian Energy in one hit in the current climate,” Dr Norman said today
“Unfortunately, rather than biting the bullet and calling a complete halt to its asset sales program it is pushing ahead with a foolish plan to sell Meridian Energy in chunks.
“The Mighty River Power sale was a mighty flop and the Key Government knows that pushing ahead with another sale will result in even fewer shares going to ‘mum and dad investors’.
“Despite spending millions on advertising the truth is that 98 percent of New Zealanders bought no shares in Mighty River Power at all. …
“It is time for the Key Government to listen to the concerns of commentators, the business community and ordinary New Zealanders and cancel its economically disastrous asset sales program.”

I doubt, though, that our local MP, who would be more at home in the NZ equivalent of the Republican Tea Party - the ACT Party would be able to understand these basic economics and reactions.

Anyway, to continue with the “survey” from our local MP. He then asks if we agree with the Labour-Green proposal to “nationalise” the electricity industry. A question that again demonstrates the economic ignorance of the individual. If he had any wit he would have realised that we have always had a State Owned Electricity industry.. built and maintained by the New Zealand taxpayer but, now, under the neo-liberal policies of his Party being stolen from the country,stolen from the taxpayers and partially removed from contributing to the economy by being sold off to foreign corporates disguised as”mum and dad” investors as this story from the Stuff website shows.

A small number of wealthy investors including businesses and trusts snapped up nearly half the Mighty River Power shares set aside for retail buyers, sparking accusations the Government's sales pitch about selling to "mum and dad investors" was a cynical ploy.
An analysis of the partial float reveals that 101,000 "mum and dad" shareholders were allocated just 13.4 per cent of the former state- owned enterprise. Roughly the same amount went to a much smaller group of wealthy investors, charities, businesses and superannuation funds.
The figures, confirmed by Treasury, show that of the 113,000 retail investors who paid $912 million for shares at $2.50 each, 12,844 buyers who represented the top 10.9 per cent bought roughly half the retail pool. They invested an average $34,618.
Of those, a select sub- group of 394 investors bought $90m worth of shares in parcels of more than 100,000 shares - an average investment of $228,865.
While some were wealthy individuals, they included companies, superannuation funds, trusts, boutique investment firms, funds from deceased estates, sports clubs, small businesses and charities.

Of course our local MP is also somewhat free with the meanings of words, I’ll be charitable and allow myself to believe that it is because he doesn’t have a large vocabulary so therefore doesn’t understand the policy under pinning of the NZ Power policy announced by Labour with the support of the Greens.

The policy is directed to creating a single regulatory body that will purchase the electricity generated by the Power companies (once known as SOES)   at a price that is based on the real costs of generation rather than the fictional cost, created by the “reforms” developed by the then Minister of Energy, Bradford, and instituted by the National Govt in the 1990s, presently used that pegs the price of power to the cost of the most expensive form of generation - burning coal & natural gas rather than the costs from hydro generation. This policy, based on the system we presently use for the purchase of pharmaceuticals, will bring the power bills down by 5-7% a year while giving impetus to the creation of more than 5000 jobs and boosting the economy by some $450 million.

The Labour-Green policy is, therefore, not one of nationalisation but one of rationalisation... a distinction one doesn’t expect our local MP to be able to comprehend of course.

The rest of his “survey” attempts to discover if anyone believes that the moves to constrain and limit the quality of education delivered by our schools through the imposition of the constant testing regime of “national standards” is benefitting our children. If he cared to read the available research he would realise that the importation of largely discredited testing regimes, even dressed up as “national standards”, will not provide meaningful data on our children’s progress and educational achievement.... but then he is also a believer that the importation of Charter Schools which will not be answerable to the Ministry of Education, will not have to employ qualified and registered teachers and will not have to use or deliver the New Zealand National curriculum is a wise and well thought out policy... so what can one say, apart from I despair??

26 May 2013



Many years ago, the now Mayor of Invercargill, Tim Shadbolt wrote a book called :Of Bullshit and Jellybeans” which, in its time, created a great deal of controversy and debate. I was reminded if the book today when I heard and read the present Prime Minister of New Zealand, John “Pinnochio” Key declare that the 2014 election would be one contested by the “centre-right” (National & ACT) and the “extreme Left”- the Labour- Green coalition.

“Normally elections are fought between the centre left and the centre right. That is not what’s going to take place next year. David Shearer has cut his cloth and it is wrapped around Russel Norman.
“But that now becomes an election between the centre right and the far left.”

He cited the Green Party’s policy proposal to increase the money supply and the two parties’ plan to regulate wholesale power prices as examples of their shared “far left” policies.

At this point I fell about laughing because if those are far left policies, how far right are John Key’s asset sales, or the passing of a law to remove the democratic rights of the carers of disabled family members to challenge their payments?

 Here’s what Andrew Geddis posted on the Pundit blog about Key’s government’s latest abuse of urgency in his post, I think National just broke our constitution:
By passing this law, Parliament is telling the judicial branch that it is not allowed to look at a Government policy (not, note, an Act of Parliament) in order to decide whether it is in breach of another piece of legislation enacted by Parliament (the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990). In other words, the judiciary’s primary function – to declare the meaning of law and its application in particular cases – has been nullified. Furthermore, the judiciary’s role as protector of individual citizens in terms of ensuring that they are being treated in accordance with the laws of the land has been removed. While the stakes may be small in the immediate case, this is about as big a deal as it gets in terms of our constitution.

Since Key persuaded the NZ voter that he was a “safe, some what beneficent and careful, responsible person to lead the country “ we have witnessed the wholesale destruction of the country’s economy, the sale of essential state assets, labour laws, conservation protection legislation, local governments’ abilities to control their own destinies in terms of planning and infra-structural needs and a gradual undermining of the education system, the social welfare system and the erosion of trust in the public service as the ability to monitor and deliver them have been cut away in the name of “efficiency”.

What is frightening is that all of these policies are not those of a”centre-right” government, (such a title implies that such a political party would have a greater sense of social responsibility than a party of the Right.) but the actions of a dictatorial, autocratic and right wing party that one would associate with those who dominate the Republican Party of the USA, the Conservative Party of the UK under both Thatcher and Cameron whose policies are predicated with the belief that a country is best governed like a business and, preferably, owned by a foreign corporate who can happily exploit the inhabitants and their industry not for the communal good but for the good of the Hedge Fund manipulators, the affluent 10% whose collective wealth outweighs that of the remaining 90% of the world.

 John Pinnochio Key’s unchallenged assertion that his party is “Centre-Right” deserves all the public ridicule and criticism the New Zealand media and public can muster.... however, as his claim has not been challenged by any of the main stream media outlets it will probably be too late and New Zealand will wake up, sometime after the 2014 election, to discover that the “centre-right” National-ACT party has abnegated all responsibility to govern the country and has decided to pass the responsibilities of managing the economy, developing industry, providing and administering the nation’s transport system, education, health, justice, penal system, social housing provision and other essential services to overseas owned corporates who have, some how, quite fortuitously, purchased them or the rights to administer them from Key and his associates.

New Zealand does face a choice this coming election year... a choice between the Right and the Left... a choice between the Neo-Liberal Right - hell bent in defending the discredited free market competition economy - and the Social Democrat Left - dedicated to preserving, protecting and enhancing the quality of life, of society by carefully and responsibly managing the economy for the benefit of the Nation.