Tag Archives: John Key Bullshit

it’s not a freakin train set

In a very clear signal as to National’s intentions with the national rail network, John Key has once again belittled a very important infra-structural aspect of our economy.

The Labour government yesterday bought the remainder of the rail network including an Interislander ferry (the other two are on lease) after 15 years in the private sector. The original NZ rail network was a major causality of the radical right wing sabotage of the Fourth Labour Government – Rogernomics (the merits of can be debate for and against for eternity).

Under Jim Bolger’s National government in 1993, the rail infrastructure of NZ was sold 60% to overseas investors and 40% to NZ investment company Fay, Richwhite & Company, which proceeded to asset strip the company (as these investments tend to do), reducing it to a shadow of a rail network. There is of course the murky business of the New Zealand Securities Commission investigation into the alleged insider trading of David Richwhite and Midavia Rail, which was settled with a $20million dollar settlement, although Richwhite was able to escape any liability or acknowledgement of guilt (I guess $20mil will buy you anything).

Fast forward to 2008, and the Government bought back the entire rail network of Toll NZ, thus once again bringing into the national asset base. Those ideologically opposed to governments owning companies (and to that extent infrastructure) have signalled their outrage, and of course on of the architects of this whole mess Richard Prebble has shown his displeasure, no surprise considering he is deeply entwined in far right politics these days.

I could (and probably would) argue that in the current climate of insecure global commodity prices, fluctuating and sharply rising fuel prices, increased transportation costs and the need for modern transport infrastructure, that a rail network will play increasingly major role in the economy of a modern nation. This will of course have to be with a new mindset and not revert to old ways of thinking about business and rail networks – but hey Kiwi’s have never been one to shirk away from innovation.

{Side note, Colin Murdoch the Kiwi inventor of one of modern life’s most important tools the, disposable syringe, passed away this week. A great Cantabrian inventor.}

However, National’s current leader expressed his displeasure at the news of the government purchase with the flippant comments, that the Government has bought a “Train Set”, tells us so much about Nationals thinking, particularly around strategic national infrastructure assets. He was either being a completely facetious, sanctimonious and/or completely disingenuous, or dear we say it – just a complete twat.

The national rail network, remembering it’s an integral part of any modern infrastructure, is not a train set. Are the hydro dams children’s backyard lakes? It is very disappointing that someone who pretends to be a future Prime Minister could be so flippant and work in sound bytes so easily. Does he think the average Kiwi is incapable of understanding the issues, that he has to reduce the argument to that of kid’s toys?

It would have been bloody refreshing for the man who wants to run this country to have said something along the lines like; National is opposed to the purchase of this national infrastructure asset, however, as it is now back within the national asset list, we will be looking to make this an incredibly efficient, innovative and profitable national asset as possible.

No no, Key doesn’t want governments owning ‘Train Sets’.

And NZ if you are rightly proud of ACC (unmatched internationally), hold on to that for a short while, National of course has signalled that this is going to be opened up for competition. And considering how well opening up national assets in NZ has gone in the past, be very afraid.


Leave a comment

Filed under economics, Politics

John Key Bullshit #1-08

This morning on National Radio (30 Jan) John Key was pontificating about the glorious new policy on Youth Crime. He made some claim about the achievements of the youth boot camp run out of Waiouru. The presenter Geoff tried to correct him on a point, stating that they had the head of that program on earlier and the facts were that the boot camp numbers were declining due to the strong job market.

and this is classic, to that John Key’s reply was “I don’t accept that”.

What don’t you accept Mr Key, that the man running the boot camp was seeing numbers decline. Well that is a real shame that you don’t accept facts from the front line. One can only question the validity of the rest of their claims with regard to this policy, considering that Key doesn’t take into account the advice of those running the things.

I would have thought that a party that wants less govt involved in peoples lives, creating a strong job market in which private enterprise provides the means for keeping youth on the straight and narrow would have been the obvious choice, apparently not.

As for this crime wave that is sweeping the nation, by which he is implying is a youth problem, so far this year the murders committed haven’t all been perpetrated by youth, and a large number have been in fact once again domestic violence, with the majority of fatalities being women.

Further Key claimed that the family of the shop keeper killed in the weekend had their lives destroyed/devastated by the youth who had committed the crime. Once again by implication this crime wave and murders is a youth problem. Wrong Mr Key.

Once again do we mention the family of the young 15 year old boy who was killed by a 50 year old businessman for tagging. I wonder what turmoil that young man’s family is going through.

Mr Key is once again applying the over simplistic brush (not to mention false logic) of crime committed by youth = all crime is youth crime. Why because it’s easier to sell to the angry general public, and makes for better sound byte politics and youth becomes the political football de jour.

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics