Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Congratulations, Mr Key

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  • Simon Grigg,

    This new government is superb!

    Hell (which is where I suspect they've gone), just two hours after he was declared the Bali bombers went down..the man is an international powerhouse....

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    The determined creation of wealth, as opposed to the genuine welfare of the populace or the environment, is the ideology we now seem yoked to.

    I did rather get this impression from Key's victory speech, in which "better" seemed synonymous with "richer." It would be nice if we could manage both - generate wealth to improve welfare - but that's not the sense I was getting. "Safer, more prosperous, more ambitious" -- there's an aggressively acquisitive vibe to the vision; at least that's how I read the triumphant squawk of "This is not as good as it gets!"

    Key's childhood anecdote about riding his bike past the homes of "more fortunate children" spoke volumes. He means richer children in bigger, fancier houses. Which doesn't automatically mean luckier, better or happier children. He had a bike. He had a bloody hard-working mother who bought him that bike. He had the brains to get where he wanted to go via state schooling and a bit of ambition. He was a pretty fortunate little dude, if you ask me. And I trust he's paid his Mum back in kind.

    I'm not opposed to a better standard of living, but it has to be about more than the contents of your wallet. Plus, arguably, even if you could transform everyone into happy, fortunate, upper-middle-class consumers riding a rising tide of ambition and prosperity, would you want to? What happens to that "beautiful scenery" when everyone wants a luxury beachfront bach? Where would your yearning, ambitious, PM wanna-be state-house strivers come from?

    Clogs to clogs in three generations, though, eh.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Because it would be one of the less effective ways of helping poorer people...

    A tax free bracket on the first $X000, paid for by pollution taxes and/or a top tax bracket... The Economist (25th April 2006) rates NZ's current tax structure as among the flattest in the world, with only the top 10% paying significantly more than under a 25% flat tax regime.

    Ah hell, is it worth repeating myself endlessly? I might as well give it one more go.

    Free dental care for all. Proper insulation in every house. (These to be paid for by deferring/cancelling new multi-billion dollar motorways). Minimum wage $15.

    Sound, popular, ambitious but affordable. Failed opportunities for a once popular and competent Government.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    National/ACT keep another promise: Tougher Sentencing

    A Taranaki farmer has been sentenced to prison for nine months for posting a threatening letter containing white powder to former Prime Minister Helen Clark.

    Judge Alan Roberts told the Hawera District Court said prison was his only option, in order to prevent copycat offending.

    Douglas Hancock, 61, from 40km east of Stratford, pleaded guilty to making criminal threats after sparking a full scale security alert at the Beehive three months ago.

    His letter called Miss Clark a gutter mole and warned her to get out of New Zealand while she still could.

    It arrived on the 8th floor of the Beehive where staff work for the Prime Minister's office.

    The powder was actually flour, but 58 staff were evacuated for a day and four had to be hosed down.

    Rejecting defence suggestions of community work or home detention Judge Roberts said the crime was tailor made for copycats and a light sentence could lead to prolific similar offending.

    Hancock was also ordered to pay $4694 to the Fire Service and $500 to four employees who touched his missive.

    (Radio NZ)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1319 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    It goes against my usual habits but in wake ("wake' being the right word) of Saturday's events I have decided, to quote Elvis C. to "Maintain radio silence from now on.." --or at least for the next few days. It has been quite a revelation to not listen to radio news/commentary, read the tedious old Herald, or watch TV news. I recommend it. PA is the one exception.

    This resolution was reinforced this morning when I turned on NR, to catch something about the AB's excellent game yesterday, only to hear Roger Douglas sounding like a demented old goat.

    On a completely different topic, I booked a ticket for Leonard Cohen this morning, thinking he might be cheaper than BDO. There are two ticket options: $142 or $172 (both + $5 fee). Maybe I have been out of the loop for live concerts, but ain't that rather a lot??

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2537 posts Report Reply

  • Clarke,

    and the price of petrol dropped 5 c/litre today. This new government is superb!

    John key's biggest threat is the mouth-breathing end of his own support base .... I've had two people tell me today that they're glad National got in, because they're going to repeal the s59 law and pull out of Kyoto in the first 100 days.

    That's the trouble with not presenting any policy - some voters will just make stuff up, and then be outraged when the government doesn't deliver it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • Tomorrowpeople,

    Don't forget, when Key was growing up in a State House, they weren't slums and his family would have got govt. assistance.

    It's not like he would have been working in a coal mine as child slave labour to help his family get by.

    Good on him for being successful but that whole 'if you put your mind to it you can do anything' line is complete bollocks for most average people.

    Speaking of warm fuzzy cliches, I believe I heard Key say he believed in his 'heart of hearts' he could do the (PM) job... awwwwwww.

    AND I also heard Nikki Kaye say something like "I know in my heart I can do this"....
    I mean WTF?
    barrrf!

    Please lay off with the hearts and flowers.

    The Craps tables at the B… • Since Nov 2006 • 188 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Well, FFS Gio,Clark still has my mad respect but did I miss the part where she started channeling Disraeli or Gladstone and started lacing her speech with polysyllables and tags from classical literature? They both did what they needed to do, and even Barack Obama doesn't hit the rhetorical high-Cs every bloody time.

    The different in gravitas and stature (and yes, eloquence, rhetoric) might have been in the hear of the beholder, I guess, but I thought that Key's was a schoolchild's effort, and not a very bright one at that. Which, considering he must have known he would be likely to give a speech of that nature the other night, had me rather baffled. Of all the days he could have chosen to give his speechwriting staff off, the first on the job seems a weird one.

    And, same as Michael, I do think that using no words in Maori in a speech acknowledging you've just been chosen as the Prime Minister of New Zealand is a significant political statement. As was singling Turia out and calling her the leader of the Maori party. Except the rest of the speech made me seriously wonder whether he's bright enough to mean the disrespect.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    AND I also heard Nikki Kaye say something like "I know in my heart I can do this"....

    Wasn't it that she had a good heart, and that's what swung the seat to her? Or something?

    Either way, I agree on the barf.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Tomorrowpeople,

    Free dental care for all. Proper insulation in every house.

    ACT want to scarp that one I'm afraid - "waste of money".

    I mean. why bother spending $1b insulating houses, therefore keeping people heathy and out of the health system when you can keep them sick and charge them for going to the doctor, making billions to fund more prisons?

    The Craps tables at the B… • Since Nov 2006 • 188 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Don't forget, when Key was growing up in a State House, they weren't slums and his family would have got govt. assistance.

    They weren't slums at all around Burnside. They were pepper-potted through middle-class suburbs and everyone (mostly) went to the same school.

    Which is why I've been so appalled by Key's statements about mixed housing in the Hobsonville development.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Tomorrowpeople,

    ...and besides - you'll have a tax cut to pay for the doctor won't you!

    The Craps tables at the B… • Since Nov 2006 • 188 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    I booked a ticket for Leonard Cohen this morning

    Everybody knows that the war is over
    Everybody knows the good guys lost
    Everybody knows the fight was fixed
    The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
    Thats how it goes
    Everybody knows

    Couldn't resist....

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    Anybody find it slightly ironic the Nat's had their election night party at Sky City?

    100s pf people going to the casino, having a good time and all winning big - dat is ironic.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Don't forget, when Key was growing up in a State House, they weren't slums and his family would have got govt. assistance.

    They weren't slums at all around Burnside. They were pepper-potted through middle-class suburbs and everyone (mostly) went to the same school.

    They're not slums in Auckland either (many, if you recall the Coddingtonswallop article in North & South) have satellite dishes on the roof!

    BTW, I still think the BMW she photographed in a state house driveway was hers.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Compie,

    God it was like watching Frankenstein's monster being revived sat night, with that incoherent TINA rant from Douglas. Honestly who the hell found the defibrillator, and with the likes of John Lennon more than ever needing bringing back they go and get that zombie out.

    It was the most terrifying moment of the whole night.

    I will be watching crime levels this term. After all S Power said Labour had 9 years to "stamp out crime", this should be good, hear that folks crime just needs to be stamped out, this could be nirvana.

    Dunedin/Vancouver • Since Nov 2006 • 114 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    ACT want to scarp that one I'm afraid - "waste of money".

    What we got, after a very hard fight with Labour from the Greens, was $1billion for the insulation of state houses.

    What I and others wanted, and kept asking for Labour to back, was a roll-out of insulation to every house in the country. A policy that excludes renters, home owners, and the large majority of the population is quite easy to scrap.

    The people of NZ deserve to live in warm, dry homes. They shouldn't have to go to Australia to do so.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Tomorrowpeople,

    They weren't slums at all around Burnside. They were pepper-potted through middle-class suburbs and everyone (mostly) went to the same school.

    Well this is the thing.
    Back then, even in the 70s when I was growing up - most people were on a pretty level playing field.
    The commonality of super wealthy people didn't seem to be as prevalent as it is now, or at least the aspiration to be 'rich' didn't seem to figure.

    Being affluent is not an absolute sign of success.
    It can be an advantage.
    I think people who are affluent tend to be scared or critical of people who aren't.
    You know - some people just aren't obsessed by money and know there is more important stuff.

    On that note it just seemed to me the likes of the Epsom electorate vote ACT to ring-fence their ongoing wealth creation.

    The Craps tables at the B… • Since Nov 2006 • 188 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    Geoff:

    Leonard Cohen... $142 or $172 (both + $5 fee). Maybe I have been out of the loop for live concerts, but ain't that rather a lot??

    It seems a little high to me, but not completely unreasonable.

    BUT for future reference: if you're booking for a gig Vector Arena, sometimes it's worth waiting until a week or two before an event - Vector have in past sold much cheaper tickets for the rafters once the decent seats are all sold out, OR you'll usually be able to buy tickets on Trademe at or below cost. Sorry for straying right off-topic, but I have to give major props to Vector for gutting the scalping industry without relying on a swathe of toothless regulations.

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 532 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Rodney, speaking this afternoon:

    "We've made it clear that we support John Key and a National-led government. We're not going to throw our toys out of the sandpit, but we certainly think that we face challenging times and we campaigned on a change of direction, and we're looking for that change of direction, and as I've said before, sometimes John Key, I find him to the left of Helen Clark, which isn't good enough for our country.''

    1999 isn't on the internet, so obviously it never happened. But nevertheless, I'm sure Jim Anderton and Helen Clark weren't playing these games when forming their new government.

    ACT and collective cabinet responsibility: a fight waiting to happen.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1319 posts Report Reply

  • Tomorrowpeople,

    John key's biggest threat is the mouth-breathing end of his own support base .... I've had two people tell me today that they're glad National got in, because they're going to repeal the s59 law and pull out of Kyoto in the first 100 days.

    And the farmers are right up there wanting the ETS dumped ASAP.
    The framers just want to keep polluting as long as they can.

    Interesting to note both Key and Helen trying to take credit for s59 when it was really all about Sue Bradford - lol.
    So I don't see Key repealing that in a hurry, if at all.

    So National voters - dealing to your kids with the wooden spoon is still not on - lol

    The Craps tables at the B… • Since Nov 2006 • 188 posts Report Reply

  • Tomorrowpeople,

    *framers, farmers... lol - the farmers are trying to frame us....*

    damn teh internets

    The Craps tables at the B… • Since Nov 2006 • 188 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    I don't see Key repealing that in a hurry, if at all.

    I see a worsening economy, and a highly-publicised referendum providing a useful distraction. You can see where that will lead.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1319 posts Report Reply

  • Tomorrowpeople,

    You reckon?

    Well, according to the Kiwi Party 87% of NZers oppose s59.
    They got 300,000 signatures to prove it....

    uh... hold on - how does 300,000 = 87% of NZers?

    oh well - who needs maths when you ask people a loaded question?

    The Craps tables at the B… • Since Nov 2006 • 188 posts Report Reply

  • richard thomson,

    Being affluent is not an absolute sign of success.
    It can be an advantage.

    I think it was Kathy Acker (__Blood & Guts in High School__ probably & maybe the time is right for her comeback?) who said the point of having money is to make things stay the same. They don't call them conservatives for nothing.

    owhiro bay • Since Mar 2008 • 9 posts Report Reply

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