Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: What the people want to hear

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  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Dear hearts, that's not the policy they campaign on. That's the policy they deliver.

    That reminds me of the Auckland C ity council elections.... His name was John also: )

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

  • Russell Brown,

    And I wouldn't take a Labour Party press release about what Key might or might not have said on KiwiFM as gospel.

    By the same token, I wouldn't think they'd fabricate a quote either.

    And, in fact, he did say it (to Wallace, not Wammo) here, at about 3.47".

    That sort of two to three hundred dollars a month that we would be delivering to them will make a real difference.

    In context, he is promising this to people "around New Zealand", with specific reference to the TV makeup person (they aren't high earners) with whom he had been discussing financial pressures. He isn't talking about

    So yes, he did promise between two hundred and three hundred a month in tax cuts to "lots of" ordinary income earners. That's a lot of money. Perhaps a reporter could ask him about it ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22759 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Snowy (Milo in the French)

    I thought Milou...

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    John Key's every word is not being scrutinised. The opposite is true.

    You don't need disputed transcripts from Kerikeri. You can just read his speeches in Parliament. And then ask the obvious - screamingly, blindingly obvious - questions. I don't know if the media are doing the first, but they're certainly not doing the second.

    Below is John Key's response to the Prime Minister's statement, in the opening debate of the year, a couple of weeks ago.

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Debates/Debates/7/7/3/48HansD_20080212_00000106-Debate-on-Prime-Minister-s-Statement.htm

    In the first part of the speech he attacks the government. Fair enough - that's his job, no different from any other opposition leader. Get stuck in, score a few hits, rally the troops.

    But then he goes on to say what National will do, when the "horse race" has been won.

    He makes a series of "we will" promises - I counted more than 20. Most of them involve spending more money (that's, er, your taxes). If I had the time, I would itemise each one and "fisk" the whole damn speech, but I'd rather this was done by somebody who's actually paid to do this. None of them has. Not even close.

    Given the recent polls, you would think the media might show some interest in what he has to say, when it's right there, under their noses in Parliament. Something along the lines of: What? How? When? How much? Pretty simple stuff.

    If they have, I've missed it. But I'd be happy to be proved wrong. Preferably before the election.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1324 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    thought Milou...

    Oui, mon aussi.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Next time I'll have a man walk ahead with a flag.

    Zing! I think I might have to steal that.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    He makes a series of "we will" promises - I counted more than 20. Most of them involve spending more money (that's, er, your taxes). If I had the time, I would itemise each one and "fisk" the whole damn speech, but I'd rather this was done by somebody who's actually paid to do this. None of them has. Not even close.

    The parties with a chance of leading a government, and therefore of getting their legislative programmes through, should be subject to exactly this sort of scrutiny -- do the numbers add up?

    One of the things that bugged me most in 2005 was National's costing of its corrections policy. They were going to abolish parole (a really crass, stupid, headline-grabbing idea) build more prisons, etc, for not that much more money. It just didn't seem to add up.

    And the costing for universal DNA testing of everyone arrested (never actually clear, but they seemed to be saying $5m annually) was nonsense -- I did some numbers and it was more like $20m annually. It just wasn't serious policy.

    I did call this one right though:

    Certainly, the number of those already tested would climb in succeeding years, eventually to the point where only the 40,000 never-previously-arrested people every year would need to be sampled. On the other hand, the cohort from the early 90s baby boom is just now reaching crime-committing age (expect many panicky headlines about an explosion in youth crime in the next three or four years).

    They also claimed they'd cover a $350m cut in education spending by cracking down on "the bureaucracy". It was complete tosh.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22759 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Thanks Simon G - I found out one useful thing from that debate.

    Winston watches the Choncords.

    <qoute>Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS: I have seen it for every leader gone. There was Jenny—brave Jenny. She reminds me of the Flight of the Conchords’ song, actually. I ask members whether they have heard that song. She is very much like that Jenny. </quote>.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    That preview function is there for a reason, I know...

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Conor Roberts,

    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).

    You might be right about that. Key has mused about it in the past saying, "It's one of those things where I would have thought some solid work on it makes sense".

    Being a currency shark I'm sure he'll be all too keen to dabble a bit with the Kiwi dollar and economy.

    Remember this from the SST: Key says he does not believe a moral issue arises for the traders who make these speculative attacks on currencies, or for the dealing rooms that carry out their orders. "I don't really see it as a judgemental business. You're simply executing orders for people.

    Interestingly the article also states that Key can’t remember if he helped in the famous 87 attack on the Kiwi currency by a currency shark called Andy Krieger. Yet he says: "He was a pioneer, in the sense he was one of the few people in the world who understood the options market before it was really established. He blazed a trail and that gave him a strategic advantage early on."

    Ummmm, you can remember who your currency shark hero is but not if you helped in the trade that made him famous?

    Is there anything you can remember Mr Key?

    I wonder if he could recall how much higher interest rates have been pushed in New Zealand because of his (and his mate’s) attacks on our currency…

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 57 posts Report Reply

  • insider outsider,

    Conor

    why is money any diifferent from any other commodity? In labelling them 'sharks; who 'attack' you appear to think currency traders are more egregious than those who trade bandwidth or freight space.

    Exporters buy money all the time. They are speculating on its future value. Are they sharks or are they managing their risk? WHere's the moral line?

    nz • Since May 2007 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    The parties with a chance of leading a government, and therefore of getting their legislative programmes through, should be subject to exactly this sort of scrutiny -- do the numbers add up?

    And the numbers are being thrown around freely.

    Key's approach is to talk up "investment" to local media, while promising to control "spending" in Wellington - and hope that the two don't talk to each other. Here's an example:

    http://www.northernadvocate.co.nz/localnews/storydisplay.cfm?storyid=3758749&thesection=localnews&thesubsection=&thesecondsubsection=

    That's a feel-good not-quite-promise (note: "have a look at") that gets the desired response. It's not clear where the hundreds of millions of dollars will come from. I know nothing about Whangarei, and this project may well be a good idea. But like everything else, it costs.

    He did this throughout his DVD tour, in the "heartland". He's just a guy who can't say No ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1324 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls,

    Are the National Party's Lions led by a Don Key or a Cheshire Cat?

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 310 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    Ummmm, you can remember who your currency shark hero is but not if you helped in the trade that made him famous?

    Is there anything you can remember Mr Key?

    Do you remember how he said he couldn't remember which way his loyalties went with the Springbok/apartheid thing? He said he couldn't remember his opinion on the whole issue that polarised NZ, or so I am led to believe, reading about the history of that period.

    I remember thinking either Key was either bizarrely ignorant of and disengaged from his own society at the time, or he is just plain lying.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    If National do go on to win this year, I'm not that bothered. It's not like Whaleoil's going to be Prime Minister. Brash and the people around him really scared me in 2005, but I think National is fairly hemmed in by its promises in 08, and Labour made its own bed by not bringing in enough fresh blood (why Phil Twyford didn't get a good list place is beyond me) and, consequently, failing to reinvent itself after 2005.

    Still ... I'll expand on this in a post (probably more than once), but the most underrated achievement of the Clark governments is the introduction of stability. The confidence that produces is an important component of enterprise: people who feel insecure don't leave their jobs to pursue the big idea.

    But the freakishly soft press Key gets does trouble me. Okay, let's give him the benefit of the doubt on "I'd love to see wages drop", but surely that tax promise gets headlines. I can't help but feel that the only reason it didn't was because Michael Cullen put out a press release about it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22759 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Really? I'd have thought the fact that he drew applause from both Matthew Hooton and Laila Harre on the radio this morning would suggest otherwise.

    Um, I don't think that would mean much if Cunliffe ends up getting shredded in the middle of a typically bloody health sector pay round. There is actually a good reason why successive Health Ministers have kept their extremities out of that particular bear trap. (And with all due respect to Hooten and Harre, considering how truly bizarre they can get, their bouquets needs to be checked for loud ticking noises and a scent of cordite.)

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

    Sorry, I'm not playing. If you really believe the party I support is going to rape your granny, burn your house down, sell us all to Haliburton, bring in slavery, disenfranchise Maori and women, and sacrifice every virgin and cute kitten as a welcome to our new Satanic Overlord, Darth Rove...

    Well, whatever gets you through the night. I find it rather hard to believe that either Clark or Key are Satan Incarnate.

    So yes, he did promise between two hundred and three hundred a month in tax cuts to "lots of" ordinary income earners. That's a lot of money. Perhaps a reporter could ask him about it ...

    Well, spank my arse and call me Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, RB, but I think both National and Labour are going to have a hell of a time *cough* managing expectations around tax cuts for slightly different reasons. Time will tell, I guess.

    But the freakishly soft press Key gets does trouble me. Okay, let's give him the benefit of the doubt on "I'd love to see wages drop", but surely that tax promise gets headlines. I can't help but feel that the only reason it didn't was because Michael Cullen put out a press release about it.

    Well, I'm equally disturbed by the way Clark seems to keep getting away with avoiding questions too (on the rare occasions they're asked). Let's not forget, a few weeks ago the new big picture was raising the school leaving age. Folks may differ, but I thought Clark was allowed to get away with clinging to her talking points like grim death.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    why is money any diifferent from any other commodity? In labelling them 'sharks; who 'attack' you appear to think currency traders are more egregious than those who trade bandwidth or freight space.

    I think the discomfort for me is that ,we hear evidence of the average Joe Bloggs continuously being led up the garden path with promise of good investment planning for retirement. Alot of these people trust, believe, the suits that drive the flash car and live in the burbs. It ain't workin but, and noone is accountable so it feels shonkey. Remember the BNZ,that lot seem to have their own island now. We bailed them... Shonkey.Sorry but I dont want our country traded in some back room deal.

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

  • Snowy,

    very colourful Craig, yet completely vacuous and evasive. a little bit like a Key pronouncement, only more frothy.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2008 • 62 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Worthington,

    I/S's estimate isn't necessarily wrong, but obviously it's the highest possible interpretation. A $200/month tax cut could be delivered to everyone on the average wage ($46,000) for a cost of around $3.5bn. Even that is not a minimum cost, I'm assuming the Nat's overall tax cut package would be similar to what they proposed last time (which was also designed so that the biggest tax reductions, in percentage terms, peaked at about the average wage).

    National have already said they are planning a multi-year tax-cut package, so you could spread that cost over three years at $1.2bn/year. That would still be a lot less than the total growth in individuals' income tax take projected for the next three years ($5.2bn).

    So without the detail on exactly what Key said it's not really clear whether he's making a realistic promise or not.

    Since Jan 2008 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Um, I don't think that would mean much if Cunliffe ends up getting shredded in the middle of a typically bloody health sector pay round. There is actually a good reason why successive Health Ministers have kept their extremities out of that particular bear trap.

    You might also say it's the kind of risk Labour actually needs to take. And it's worth noting that the last two Prime Ministers both proved their mettle in the Health portfolio. If you get out of that alive (as opposed to political roadkill like Pete Hodgson) you just might be up to the big job.

    Well, spank my arse and call me Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, RB, but I think both National and Labour are going to have a hell of a time *cough* managing expectations around tax cuts for slightly different reasons. Time will tell, I guess.

    It's a simpler point than that. Key made a wild promise: will anyone notice?

    Well, I'm equally disturbed by the way Clark seems to keep getting away with avoiding questions too (on the rare occasions they're asked). Let's not forget, a few weeks ago the new big picture was raising the school leaving age. Folks may differ, but I thought Clark was allowed to get away with clinging to her talking points like grim death.

    Both Clark and Key's January speeches were fairly empty, and neither camp could provide the degree of detail that you'd expect of something called policy. But Key was annointed the winner by the nation's small club of newspaper leader writers. Go figure.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22759 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    very colourful Craig, yet completely vacuous and evasive. a little bit like a Key pronouncement, only more frothy.

    Gee, snowy, I'll see your 'vacuous' raise you one 'fatuous' and ask you for a cappuccino with plenty of froth.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Snowy,

    but the thing is Craig, you're our font of National policy

    Wellington • Since Jan 2008 • 62 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Snowy, I don't think other PA users expect to be called upon to explain the lack of policy from their party. Please, keep your posts about the subject, not the commenters here.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Snowy,

    fair enough George. it's just that I can get my party's policies from any number of public, published sources, yet Craig seems to be an expert authority on so many things political that I figured he might be able to fill the vast vacuum of National's non-policy.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2008 • 62 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    I wouldn't think they'd fabricate a quote either.

    i wasn't trying to suggest that but relying on a Labour Party press release without having the full conversation is a bit dicey. but if he was making extravagent promises then fair enough.

    I agree about Labour's sucess economically. they have a good team that have on the whole worked well. Anderson's been very good.

    It makes life difficult for opposition parties the world over - a good economy plus fairly middle of the road econmic policies leaves little for Governments to be attacked on. It's the electorate's weariness with incumbents that gets to be a problem.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

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