When National is under attack – Deflect, deflect, deflect!

By   /   April 17, 2016  /   21 Comments

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As I have pointed out in previous blogposts, when threatened with bad headlines or a scandal of some description, National’s automatic defense is generally to default to one of three* deflections;

Blame previous the Labour government
Release story on ‘welfare abuse’
Blame Global Financial Crisis or similar overseas event

There are plenty of past instances of this kind of strategy.

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national-and-john-key-blames

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As I have pointed out in previous blogposts, when threatened with bad headlines or a scandal of some description, National’s automatic defense is  generally to default to one of three* deflections;

  1. Blame previous the Labour government
  2. Release story on ‘welfare abuse’
  3. Blame Global Financial Crisis or similar overseas event

There are plenty of past instances of this kind of strategy.

In February 2013, the Auditor-General found that National gave Skycity special treatment when negotiating a convention centre in return for 500 additional pokie machines. In a damning report, Deputy Auditor-General Phillippa Smith said;

“Although decisions were made on the merits of the different proposals, we do not consider that the evaluation process was transparent or even handed.”

National’s response was immediate. The following day, Associate Social Development Minister Chester Borrows launched into an attack on so-called welfare fraud;

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government-cracking-down-on-benefit-fraud

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In May 2014, faced with mounting criticism over National’s incompetent mis-handling of legalised synthetic marijuana, our esteemed Dear Leader announced a new policy to introduce a new, restrictive, regulatory framework for psychoactive substances. Key had no shame in blaming Labour for the  Opposition attempting to offer solutions to a botched drug-policy that National was wholly responsible for;

Mr Key said that, in hindsight, the Government should have taken an ultra conservative view last year and not given any legal high substances a waiver.

And he said the Labour Party forced his Government’s hand over announcing a new ban on synthetic drugs, which will take effect on 8 May.

The Government’s new ban was announced late on Sunday after the Labour Party said it would announce on Monday its own plan to immediately stop the sale of synthetic cannabis and other psychoactive substances.

Mr Key said his cabinet decided last Tuesday on a ban but wanted to keep quiet about it to cut down on stockpiling by consumers.

He said the Labour Party has not affected the Government’s policies on synthetic drugs but forced its hand in terms of the announcement.

Also in mid-2014, National was hit with multiple bad-news media stories;

Smith gives nod for open-cast coal mine on conservation land

NZ unprepared for a deep water oil spill,  Greens say

Consumers hard hit by hefty electricity price rises

National’s fix over GCSB draws a storm of protest

Loans door shutting on first-home buyers

High petrol prices hit struggling families

Job ad stall hints at unemployment rise

SkyCity deal doesn’t add up: Treasury

Housing plan ‘a weak compromise’

Right on cue,

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thousands-stopped-from-getting-benefits-not-entitled-to

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Currently, our esteemed Dear Leader is facing political, media, and public heat over New Zealand being a party to the tax-haven industry. When challenged, Key first denied that New Zealand was a tax haven;

“Tax havens are where there is non-disclosure of information – New Zealand has full disclosure of information, and so all you’ve got is New Zealand’s taken a different view from a lot of different jurisdictions and that’s because the way we tax is we tax a settlor.

In other words, it’s all about making sure New Zealanders pay their fair share of tax, what we’ve got is quite a legitimate regime.”

As mounting evidence from several sources disproved Key’s weak assertions, he was forced to announce an enquiry into the country’s trust laws.

Then Labour Leader, Andrew Little, challenged Key to disclose his tax-returns – which Key refused point blank.

Again, on cue, National’s media strategists dropped a Deflection #2 ‘bomb’ into the public discourse, with this offensive vilification of ” basically young males” from Bill English;

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Farmers agree Kiwi farm labourers 'hopeless' - radio nz - bill english - beneficiary bashing

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English’s disparagement of young, unemployed New Zealand men was roundly condemned by fair-minded New Zealanders – but the demonisation tactic had worked. For a moment, the public and media had taken their eyes of the Tax Haven ball. Which would not be the first time;

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hey everyone look up there

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However, in making that ill-advised comment, English may have accidentally opened a can of inconvenient but still-salient facts;

  1. Prior to the 2007/08 GFC, unemployment stood at around 3.4% – or 78,000 workers.
  2. As the GFC/Recession impacted on our economy, unemployment reached 7.3% by 2013 – throwing 154,000 people out of work.
  3. Seventysix thousand people lost their jobs as a result of dubious activities in the financial markets. Or did those 76,000 suddenly decide to voluntarily give up their jobs to go on the dole for $200 a week?
  4. Though the official unemployment rate is currently at 5.3% – there still remains 133,000 out of work.
  5. In 2009, National scrapped the Training Incentive Allowance which benefitted many solo-parents looking to re-train and move off welfare into paid employment

The history of entrenched high-unemployment can be seen to have taken root in the late-1980s, as right-wing economic “reforms” were implemented by Roger Douglas and his cronies. Note the rise of unemployment rate and numbers from late 1987 and early 1988, when neo-liberalism was introduced into the economy and workplace;

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trading economics - unemployed persons - 1986 - 1989

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trading economics - unemployment rate 1986 - 1989

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Reference: Trading Economics – Unemployed PersonsUnemployment Rate

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So not only was English blaming 133,000 workers for being out of work as the global economy was slowly recovering from the Global Financial Crisis – but is evidently blaming workers for the steady rise of unemployment since the implementation of neo-liberal economics in this country.

Free trade agreements have also played a role in the destruction of jobs in New Zealand. As more and more manufacturing and service jobs were relocated to low-wage societies (China, Vietnam, Pakistan, Fiji, India, etc), the numbers thrown out of work increased in our own country.

Cheap clothes and shoes from low wage societies are not cheap. They were paid for with the jobs of our fellow New Zealanders.

Bill English’s repugnant diatribe at Federated Farmers – where his ignorant, red-neck views no doubt found sympathy with certain elements from the crudely-informed rural community – are in stark contrast with his stated comments on 28 May 2009. As the GFC storm was beginning to buffet our economy, English was full of sympathy as more and more people were ending up unemployed;

“We are particularly concerned that the economy creates new jobs. The burden of a recession falls most harshly on those who lose their jobs and on their communities. We owe them every effort to create the opportunity for a new job.”

Mr English apparently no longer believes “we owe them every effort to create the opportunity for a new job” and has shifted the “burden of recession” firmly back onto the shoulders of the unemployed.

Or perhaps it is high time that people started asking the acolytes of the Church of Neo-liberalism – at what point do they understand and accept that blaming the victims of their failed, inflexible, free-market doctrine will not make that ideology work?

How long do we have to wait, Mr English?

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stock-photo-9680569-square-peg-in-a-round-hole

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Postscript

* In Auckland’s on-going housing-crisis situation, a fourth Deflection can be applied as a useful tactic to take the heat of National’s inept policies;

4. Blame the RMA

Number 4 deflection can be used in conjunction with Number 1 deflection. Or even Deflection #2, for maximum reactionary responses from the ill-informed.

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References

Fairfax media: SkyCity report slates Government ministers

Radio NZ: Govt cracks down on benefit fraudsters’ partners

Radio NZ: Legal highs to be regulated by July

Radio NZ: Thousands stopped from getting benefits not entitled to

Radio NZ: NZ’s ‘world-class’ tax system defended

Parliament: 3. Prime Minister—Statements

TV3 News: ‘No doubt’ NZ is a tax haven – expert

Radio NZ: Farmers agree Kiwi farm labourers ‘hopeless’

Fairfax media: ‘Hopeless’ comment a sign of a tired Government

Employment.govt.nz: Employment and unemployment – March 2008 Quarter

Trading Economics: Unemployed persons

Statistics NZ:  Household Labour Force Survey: September 2012 quarter

Statistics NZ:  Labour Market Statistics: December 2015 quarter

NBR: Bennett cutting a benefit that helped her – Labour

Scoop media: Speech – Bill English – Budget 2009

Additional

Radio NZ: Deputy PM will not apologise for comments (alt. link) (audio)

Other bloggers

The Daily Blog: Hypocritical narrative blames the victim rather than the cause for economic ‘failings’

The Standard: Trickledown has failed

The Standard: Offers of help flood in to Bill English

Previous related blogposts

Benefit fraud? Is Chester Borrows being totally upfront with us?!

The Mendacities of Mr Key #2: Secret Sources

John Key – Practicing Deflection 101

National under attack – defaults to Deflection #1

National under attack – defaults to Deflection #2

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Yellow-crosses

 

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= fs =

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21 Comments

  1. Helena says:

    B R I L L I A N T
    Thanks, Frank. I do hope this piece of writing travels far and wide and is lodged in a reference library for the future to see the bulls@!t we endured.

    • Words says:

      I second that !!

      • Trey says:

        Third!! That was brilliant Frank

        • Blake says:

          Great Martyn. Thanks !
          Master Blame Shifters ! ! ! ! !
          our good ole Boys network of Natz idiots who have no clues and still have their heads buried deep in denial and hypocrisy.

          The trio of King Blame Shifters – Jonky Donky ; Bill English and Steven Joyce – the Dildo man cock face.

          Our country suffers under their lies, greed and poor leadership.
          Brilliant mind f____ers and why so many are fooled and still believe in them is beyond me.

  2. Mike in Auckland says:

    A pretty “hopeless” government, I reckon, that is the extreme deflection, to call the desperate and poor on benefits, forced to accept any job, in the provinces or elsewhere, to call them “hopeless”. Who dares turn a job down to face a 13 week stand down period for the benefit, I ask?

    In reality it is the government that has been and is “pretty hopeless”, as they have no answers to safeguard the economic and social future of New Zealanders, and certainly no answers to the environmental disaster we are facing, like a train coming running towards us at high speed. Pretty hopeless is what I call English, Key and the rest of the gang.

  3. CLEANGREEN says:

    “at what point do they understand and accept that blaming the victims of their failed, inflexible, freWhere did you see/hear TrickyKey say we have gone from $8 Billion when we took over from Labour to almost $100 Billion between 2015/15???

    Treasury have told us here.!

    http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/forecasts/befu2015/021.htm

    Net core Crown debt peaks as a share of GDP in 2014/15…

    Gross debt is expected to peak at $93.6 billion in 2016/17

    e-market doctrine will not make that ideology work? How long do we have to wait, Mr English?”

    Yes indeed Mr Fudge it all English!!!!!!! He is a lousy finance Minister saying anything his puppet masters tell him as he is just a mindless twit.

    Treasury has announced his policy has increased our Crown Debt drastically up now from $8 Billion when national took office to a whopping 94 Billion and increasing now so we are going bankrupt while they diddle while we burn.

    Where did you see/hear TrickyKey & English say we have gone from $8 Billion when we took over from Labour to almost $100 Billion between 2008 to 2015???

    Treasury have told us here.!

    http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/forecasts/befu2015/021.htm

    Net core Crown debt peaks as a share of GDP in 2014/15…

    Gross debt is expected to peak at $93.6 billion in 2016/17

    • Sam Sam says:

      Those where all projections. Using treasury logic I could project the f&$king star ship into enterprise will appear in 3, 2, 1

      None of Bill English projections last more than 2 weeks when revised projections start pouring out of His office

  4. Jack Ramaka says:

    Amazing JK is still 50% plus in the prefferred PM ratings he must have that x factor, I would like to know where the Government has spent the $110 billion since it came to power in 2008 ?

    Especially when the Government can not find the $2.0 Billion for the inner city rail link in Auckland ? Meanwhile we spend hours a day in our cars twiddling our fingers.

    • Trey says:

      They spent it on tax cuts for their rich mates

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      JACK THE POLLS ARE RIGGED AND FALSE BELIEVE THIS;

      Statistician Finds Proof That Our Elections Are a Sham so we need paper voting by two independent manual double counting systems and retain the paper for future counting as shown here in this article,
      Can our MP’s open an enquiry into NZ election process please, are there paper votes still able to be recounted by opposition folks for accuracy? This may signal a suspect surprise if records show voting number’s were altered or if the Election Commission prevented Opposition folks from being allowed to recheck a SAMPLE OF THE VOTES IF THEY COULD GET HOLD OF RECORDS?
      ——————————————————————————–

      http://www.activistpost.com/2015/09/statistician-finds-proof-that-our-elections-are-a-sham.html

      Statistician Finds Proof That Our Elections Are a Sham
      TOPICS:ElectionsJoshua Krause

      September 4, 2015

      voting fraudBy Joshua Krause

      Many of us have suspected for years that American elections are a sham. Not only does it seem like nothing changes no matter how many times we vote the bums out, but sometimes the votes themselves don’t seem to add up. Especially now that we have electronic voting machines, which don’t provide a whole lot of accountability and are notoriously easy to hack.

      Fortunately, you can still tell when the votes don’t make sense, even with electronic voting machines. In states like Kansas, where in some counties they use electronic voting machines that also record the votes on paper tapes, there seems to be some blatant inconsistencies with the voting results from the past few elections.

      Beth Clarkson, chief statistician for Wichita State’s National Institute for Aviation Research, said last week that she noticed results for the last several elections in the state failed to add up. “If we’re not being counted accurately, we’re losing our right to vote without even being aware of it,” she said at an event commemorating the 95th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote.

      Clarkson has sued the state of Kansas for the power to examine the voter tapes, which record every stroke a voter casts on the machines. In Sedgwick County, for example, that amounts to 385 feet of tape stored in 42 boxes. Clarkson is eager to examine the records, claiming she noticed abnormalities in the numbers.

      “I don’t understand why those patterns are there, the patterns are very definitely real. But we don’t know what’s causing them or why they’re there. They do fit what would be expected if election fraud is occurring, and that’s very concerning.”

      “This is not just an anomaly that occurred in one place,” Clarkson said in April. “It is a pattern that has occurred repeatedly in elections across the United States.” She says the pattern routinely favors traditional Republicans — even over Tea Party candidates.

      Well isn’t that a big surprise? What’s also not surprising is how the authorities in Kansas are reacting to her claims. After Clarkson sued the state of Kansas to view the tapes, State Secretary Kris Kobach asked the judge to block her case. I guess there’s nothing to see here folks.

      Nope. There’s nothing suspicious about a Republican official trying to prevent a statistician from investigating a case of voter fraud that, if true, may have been committed by Republicans. It’s also not a hypocritical action for someone who was elected on a platform focused on preventing voter fraud, and who introduced legislation that would prevent illegal aliens from voting. I guess if voter fraud helps the Democrats you must change the rules, but if it helps Republicans you can just brush it under the rug.

      This little device delivers turnkey Internet privacy and security (Ad)
      The only question that remains is, are the Democrats doing the same thing in the states where they dominate the elections? It wouldn’t surprise me at all if they’re hacking the machines to suppress non-mainstream candidates from their own party. Either way, at least we have another phony election to look forward to next year. Once the results come in on November 8th, we’ll know exactly who the most corrupt politicians are.

      Image Credit

      Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger.

  5. mary_a says:

    Frank just when I think you can’t get any better, you do. This would have to be your best work yet. Many thanks.

    If Frank is able to produce excellent intelligent articles such as this, informing the people, why can’t msm?

    Yep, when the going gets tough, NatzKEY lies, cheats, deflects and blames. It’s what it excels at to take the heat off itself. Well it’s wearing a bit thin now, because we Kiwis have woken up to the deception and fraud at the top!

    Time to begin rattling the FJK crooks’ cages now! They need something to unsettle them and it can only come from us ordinary Kiwi folk, who have had a gutsful of being ignored and deceived! We need to get organized and take to the streets, like the Brits are doing right now!

    • Winnie says:

      If it’s Key personally under attack, then it’s:

      I forget
      I mis-remember
      No-one told me
      Look, the past is the past – nothing to see move on – and anyway I’ve got knighthoods to sort out
      Most kiwis (that vote for me) don’t worry about this sort of detail and as Richie said, just “doin’ my job”
      Someone in my office read this and didn’t tell me
      Look, the same sort of stuff happened under Labour and the media are just beating up on this issue because it’s a slow news week
      Well just flag it, I’ve been talking to Barack and it’s all good, so let’s not go there

      • elle says:

        Winnie good comments ,but Martyn has been deflected again , Key has passed the torch to English and Bennet,English blaming farm workers Bennet blaming the family and neighbors for not pimping on
        beneficiers!

        Keep the heat on Panama papers thats what Key is trying to deflect from,also the Sky City story ,maybe they are tied together.
        Key might have big shares in Sky city and that would explain his favoured treatment of them.It could come out if its found hes part of secret trusts.
        Also.. on TV1 Richie Mc Caw collecting the award for Team of the year,the All Blacks.

        The NZ cricket team did pretty well ,maybe Key dosnt have a favourite in the Black caps! not that i think Richie encourages Key,
        McCaw seems a bit embarrassed.
        The audience seemed unhappy on the scenes shown, Maybe the All blacks get undue attention.
        Someone should tell Mr Key that other sports count and their players work just as hard. not all voters are rugby fans.

  6. Thank you for the supportive comments, folks…

    It appears that some in the msm have picked up on English’s comments, with Jane Bowron writing this scathing piece in the ‘Dominion Post’ this morning;

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/columnists/79012560/hopeless-comment-a-sign-of-a-tired-government

  7. Mosa says:

    Well done Frank
    Now if we could just get this out to thinking kiwis out there we might just expose these criminals and bring our country back from the edge.
    Only need a spark to start the fire.

  8. Nick J says:

    Great empirical info Frank. In a court of law you would get a conviction. In the Court of Public Opinion the facts don’t matter and yesterday’s news is just that. Whilst Key gets to sing hymns of deflection he stays in front. It’s like a long term drawn out version of tell a big enough lie and you will be believed. And if you have believed those lies for so long you might feel it too scary to turn your creation of unreality aside and open to scrutiny.

  9. saveNZ says:

    Totally agree. +100

    Another popular strategy in MSM is to run property stories to deflect or engage left voters. Is there going to be a crash? Should there be a capital gains tax? Or as per yesterday, are young people being too fussy in Auckland? (There were no views on a house in Otara for sale for $600k (does anyone else think that $600k seems pretty high for first home owners?).

    Yesterday an article, “Home truths: Here come the Jafas, buying homes in the regions”. (no mention of why Auckland’s are being displaced by approx 40,000 migrants per year who are never or seldom mentioned in the MSM or left blogs). Imagine the uproar if MSM replaced the headline “Home truths: Here come the migrants, buying homes in Auckland”. And we will certainly not see the headline ‘lazy immigration propping up National policy since 2008″.

    From wiki
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_fraud

    “Immigration law may also be used to manipulate electoral demography. An example of this happened in Malaysia when immigrants from neighboring Philippines and Indonesia were given citizenship, together with voting rights, in order for a political party to “dominate” the state of Sabah in a controversial process referred to as Project IC.[7]”

    “Disenfranchisement[edit]
    The composition of an electorate may also be altered by disenfranchising some types of people, rendering them unable to vote. In some cases, this may be done at a legislative level, for example by passing a law banning prison inmates (or even former prison inmates), recent immigrants or members of a particular ethnic or religious group from voting, or by instituting a literacy or other test which members of some groups are more likely to fail. Since this is done by lawmakers, it cannot be election fraud, but may subvert the purposes of democracy. This is especially so if members of the disenfranchised group were particularly likely to vote a certain way.”

    …p.s.. maybe there is a reason why Bill English describes Kiwi men as ‘pretty hopeless’. win win. Can’t read, can’t vote.

  10. Mike the Lefty says:

    Can’t argue with anything you say Frank.
    Unfortunately the sleepy hobbits of this country have become so accustomed to being told what to believe and never to question anything (trust Uncle John) that their response will be the usual indifference.
    This is not the New Zealand we need in the 21st century to combat all the social, economic and environmental problems that we have.
    We need leaders with vision, character, and integrity.
    Instead we have Key, Joyce, English, Woodhouse, and Guy.
    We need good journalists to analyse the options, investigate and give us quality information so we can work out our own solutions.
    Instead we have Henry, Hosking, Garner, Slater and Plunkett.
    Where did we go wrong?

  11. elle says:

    Re comment on Martyn taking his eye off deflection , sorry i meant Frank the writer of the excellent article.

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