Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: What the people want to hear

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  • Jean Hughes,

    I just don't get it.
    Why are so many posts here assuming and inserting words (pro or agin) into what was actual quote of what Keys said? Do you all assume words in every other politicians quotes? Are you all so generous in assumptions of knowing what the politicians mean. I can see several opposing opinions here. Is everyone here so desperate for change that this now an acceptable way to read/interpret National Party quotes? As I don't see the same leniency with any other Party quotes. The fact he cannot say he made a mistake, and what he really meant, is a real worry as is the fear that this continual practice at evading truth and opinion now seems to be acceptable. Are we being trained by the practice into reading what we want to see in his quotes and then accepting our own interpretation without it ever being confirmed? Am I missing something here?

    Mangere • Since Nov 2006 • 83 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    Cheers Jean, that is exactly my point.

    Shoot, he might have said, "we'd love to see wages [of sin] drop, but we know he doesn't seem to have a view on religion (or he does, it depends who's asking).

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 574 posts Report Reply

  • Alastair Jamieson,

    That we even need to debate what John Key's policy about wages might be in a blog discussion based around ambiguous media reports is ridiculous. If the blighter expects anyone to vote for him, why aren't his policies laid out in detail in a policy manifesto? Call me old fashioned, but that's the least I'd expect. OTOH at least we have somewhere to discuss these things...

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 99 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    What really concerns me about Key is that he not only appears to utter whatever vacuous message he thinks is current audience wants, but that he'll do exactly the same when scrutinised, and that the MSM are happy let him get away with it.

    Which means that if/when National form a government, we'll have an virtually mendacious PM providing cover for a group of ministers from the 90s, and I have yet to see any evidence that they aren't going to restart their failed agenda from back then.

    They'll be able to do a lot of damage while Key presents them as government that delivers all things to all people. It'll be another National-led trainwreck that Labour/Greens will have to fix up.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Thomas Johnson,

    Is everyone here so desperate for change that this now an acceptable way to read/interpret National Party quotes?

    In this case it seems that the reported statements don't represent a logical statement from Key. There is also the apparently informal occasion, and that it isn't a reflection of National's policy.

    I don't see why all politicians can't be given a bit of the benefit of the doubt when some reported statement seems to be in marked contrast to their policy and/or practice.

    Remember Key's slip of substituting Labour for National at last year's conference. There may have been a few jokes made, but there wasn't a flood of press releases and blog posts taking it seriously.

    For an example of this applied to Labour, I haven't seen any serious suggestion that Helen Clark formally or seriously offered Owen Glenn a ministerial position. To do so would be contrary to what we expect of Clark.

    Similarly for Key, the line Labour is pedaling that once in Government he is going to be personally out there slashing wages just doesn't seem credible to me.

    Wellington • Since Oct 2007 • 98 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Cheers Jean, that is exactly my point.

    Me too

    I gather the person asking Key the questions was not a journalist. A journalist you would think would have done a follow-up question to clarify what Key was saying. The article itself looks poorly written

    .I have been completely misquoted after being reassured and having my comments reread by a Herald journalist, and, was only talking about a drinking establishment!

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    I don't see why all politicians can't be given a bit of the benefit of the doubt when some reported statement seems to be in marked contrast to their policy and/or practice.

    Thomas, how do you square the above comment with RB's observation below ?

    Key has given a variety of explanations for the comment -- he can't recall, it never happened, he was talking about Australian wages, it was just a joke -- and questioned the professionalism of the reporter (or "young guy taking notes") who was present.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    what a truly appalling way to select the leaders of the country. "Damn the actual legislative program they'll put in place or their policy intent - let's just let them cage-fight it over pointless and irrelevant soundbites"

    To point out the obvious, the selection criteria for the leaders of the country are in our hands. Sure, the media may focus on the horse race, and ignore substantive issues - but that doesn't mean we have to.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • Snowy,

    I don't see why all politicians can't be given a bit of the benefit of the doubt when some reported statement seems to be in marked contrast to their policy and/or practice.

    i agree, but lowering wages isn't exactly inconsistent with National's fundamental opposition to the labour movement now is it?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2008 • 62 posts Report Reply

  • insider outsider,

    According to the Standardistas the AUstralia excuse is an invention by Tracy Watkins...

    It's getting confusing who said what. (like the Fawlty Towers sketch with the deaf lady)

    nz • Since May 2007 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    Key has given a variety of explanations for the comment -- he can't recall, it never happened, he was talking about Australian wages, it was just a joke -- and questioned the professionalism of the reporter (or "young guy taking notes") who was present.

    I thought he was having a dig at the way Labour explain things...

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report Reply

  • insider outsider,

    Yes Snowy and if you really believe that then Labour believes anyone earning over 66k is a rich prick and potentially even a class traitor.

    nz • Since May 2007 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • daleaway,

    I think we have a fairly clear idea of what to expect should John Key be leading the next government. As he hasn't issued a manifesto, I'll sketch some salient points for him (happy to help).

    Tax cuts delivered by way of massive social services cuts. Beneficiary bashing. Sale of state houses. Hospital closures. Sponsorship in schools encouraged, replacing some government funding.

    Rejigging the RMA to permit more and faster greenfield development and make easier and more profitable the lives of property developers, mining industries, and polluting industries such as dairy farming. Cl;imate change deniers will get discreet government backing.

    I wouldn't rule out a National Government bringing in one currency with Australia (with much rhetoric about New Zealand taking its place in the wider world). However, I don't think the Air Force would get its planes back.

    The Employment Contracts Act would be back, though, double strength. They've been longing for this one.

    There will be a token woman in cabinet. With luck, they may yet find that disabled Maori woman from Dunedin to tick all the minority boxes on one salary.

    Meanwhile we will all be happily distracted by talk of a new flag.

    It's always worked before, so why not use the tried and true? Back to 1990 we head. I think I'll stay home and plant spuds.

    Anyone else like to venture some of his probable policies? Craig?

    Since Jul 2007 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Snowy,

    yeah i suppose you're right insider, National have always been such champions of workers wages and conditions - that's why the ECA was such a success.
    and you're right too, lowering workers' wages is about as unlike National as releasing policy, or having a leader that wasn't a corporate implant.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2008 • 62 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    I wouldn't rule out a National Government bringing in one currency with Australia (with much rhetoric about New Zealand taking its place in the wider world).

    I doubt this. The Australian economy is increasingly dual speed and traditional macro-economic tools are struggling. I'd doubt it would be in NZ interests to have a single currency unless there was first a lot of thinking about the roles and devices available to central banks and other economic regulators.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    Daleaway,

    You forgot slaughter of the firstborn, fire falling form the sky, and a great beast arising out the ocean.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Thomas Johnson,

    Daleaway - presumably Key will be eating babies too?

    Do you really think the Nats will campaign on such a platform? Presumably not.

    Do you really think they will, immediately after being elected, implement the sort of policies that you invent, and expect to get re-elected in 3 years time?

    Anyone would think that Labour wasn't offering tax cuts, never closed a school, and had a good environmental record.

    Wellington • Since Oct 2007 • 98 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    I don't see why all politicians can't be given a bit of the benefit of the doubt when some reported statement seems to be in marked contrast to their policy and/or practice.

    For politicians in general.... fair enough. We all make the odd verbal slip.

    For Key.... how on earth would we know if its in contrast to policy or not when there's almost none on the table?

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 889 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Its funny - I didn't see journalists bending over backwards to make excuses for Mike Williams when he got confused over the difference between a loan and a donation.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    Dale, don't forget repeal of the Electoral Finance Act, amassing of a huge fortune and buying the next election :)

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 574 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Snowy (Milo in the French) said:

    lucky for him the mainstream media are being so charitable though because Key seems incapable of uttering an unscripted and vetted line without making himself look like an arse, or at best an amateur who's way out of his depth.

    Yeah, I'm beginning to suspect very strongly that the public has stopped listening to Helen Clark, and Labour more generally. They could be singing "tax cuts for all, petrol prices halved, and mortgages at 4%" and people would still be moaning about political correctness and how they're off to Australia.

    But ... are people listening to Key? If they were, the might notice that after 1-2 sentences of platitudes, he gets himself in an awful pickle. Indeed, everytime he opens his mouth for longer than 30 seconds, he does maketh an arse of himself. It doesn't seem to matter.

    Which is a bit strange.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Snowy,

    Do you really think the Nats will campaign on such a platform? Presumably not.

    I think you can take it to the bank that they won't, which is why I'd like to hear an emphatic denial from Key that he never said he'd "love to see lower wages" in NZ.
    It'd be the next best thing to like, a National policy.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2008 • 62 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Easterbrook,

    2008 is shaping up to be the year New Zealand got a new hairstyle - "I just felt like a change".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 262 posts Report Reply

  • daleaway,

    Dear hearts, that's not the policy they campaign on. That's the policy they deliver.
    We watched it all happen last time, and the time before.

    I thought you would pick up the jocular distinction. Next time I'll have a man walk ahead with a flag.

    Since Jul 2007 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    2008 is shaping up to be the year New Zealand got a new hairstyle - "I just felt like a change".

    Yeah, and where the hairdresser promises you a decent society style, but gives you the radical neoliberal look instead.

    It takes years to grow back, y'know.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

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