Why Stephen Jennings is the exact same dead eyed neoliberal warlord John Key is – a reply to The Spinoff


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The Editor of The Spinoff believes Stephen Jennings’ criticism of Key is some type of renaissance moment when free market capitalism sagely nodded to itself and confessed, ‘We’ve all be a bit naughty’.

I think The Spinoff’s epiphany spotting is misplaced.

Stephen Jennings is the exact same dead eyed neoliberal warlord that John Key is. Jennings’ honey dipped critiques of a Government now facing the reality of a 30 year free market political experiment about to gut the middle classes is the same snake oil Key used in 2008.

Remember the ‘underclass‘? Remember ‘McGehan Close‘? Remember Aroha Ireland? Key avoided having to defend what Right wing policy really does to inequality by pretending to champion the interests of the underclass. It was slick, it was deceitful and it was manipulative.

Just like Stephen Jennings.

Jennings is suddenly popping up out of no where, just like Key did before he was parachuted into the Leadership of the National Party. His arrival is at a point when Key’s brand looks delusional and is tanking in the private polling.

The neoliberal structure is throwing up another acolyte to mask the hard right solutions they want, and what is Jennings solution?

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

Why, it is to smash the Teacher’s Union.

How convenient.

The bankers and the wealthy are panicked because their naked greed over the last 16 years has imperilled us all and the sudden populist uprising against their interests around the Western world is causing those who benefit to rush to dominate the narrative.

Jennings is the problem, not the solution.


  1. We’ve also got another one of these exact same dead eyed neoliberal warlord that John Key is in yet another National zealot who stood against labour’s Stuart Nash who won the Napier seat back from National during the 2014 election.

    This horrid National newbie also “helicoptered” in for a National candidate in reply to our suburban residents association request for him to meet us about all the environmental issues of health threats to our community who live alongside an unprotected busy truck corridor that over 20000 trucks pass every day causing noise, vibration. and air pollution from tyre and exhaust pollution and in his response he said “NO I AM NOT INTERESTED TO MEET YOUR GROUP AS I REGARD THIS ISSUE AS “AN URBAN MYTH”

    He is now the chairman in a dirty campaign of the local business council so these people should be banned from being involved in any opposition that may impact on the communities’ that have control of business interests.

    We hope the incoming new government next year place rules on people who lead these “Chambers of Commerce” and other business agencies that are controlling local business to protect our communities.

  2. Fabulous @ Martyn Bradbury.
    I look at the big picture. Any picture that seems too big ? I step way back then look at it. ( No, I’m not being trite necessarily. I was told that , that’s what one must do in order to get a better view of the thing that one’s trying to figure out. Bugger the details. Look at the whole thing and what do you see? )
    The few who embraced the swindle that we call ‘ neo liberalism ‘ are now the few who must back-peddle like crazy because of the Internet. Who could have seen the Net coming back in the late seventies and early eighties? Who of those scum who stole away with our stuff and things to create idle monsters out of so many and to serve up such unhappiness and misery in Paradise could have seen the Internet coming? Clearly, none of them.
    The big picture, I believe, is this.
    It took many years of hard work to build up what the Bankster Gangsters and their mates stole from us from behind a barrage of logical fallacies and down right lies. The catastrophe that is the educated criminal mind huh?
    They accrued huge wealth from the sell-offs of our stuff via swindlings and would have hoped to salt that wealth away behind legal camouflage for their comfort in their dotage and to build empires from which their families could find future security. And fuck us. Fuck us all. Serves us right for not keeping an eye out right?
    But now ? Oh dear. The mangy old Tom Cat’s out of the bag. And thanks to you Martyn Bradbury, TDB, me or course x and all those others who see a terrible injustice and won’t let it go until the Truth stands naked and fearless before us. ( Oooo ! I’ve not eaten yet and the wine’s kicking in ! )
    To keep it dutifully within with that good Kiwi low key approach. ” Yeah, nah. Bloody good mate. Keep it up. ”

    One last thing.
    When we do see that, in fact, the forest is made up of the trees we thought we couldn’t see it for we must NOT let them go lightly into their burning cauldrons of guilt and dis-ease. We must track the bastards down then imprison and asset strip accordingly.

    • +100

      Wealth is the only thing that matters to these crooks – take it off a few of them & they’ll change their tune quick smart.




  3. Tar, feather and burn the bathplugs at the stake for the neoliberal witchcraft, underhanded treason of selling off state assets and snake-oil salesmen that they are.

    Excuse my language Martyn, but there’s nothing that makse my blood boil as an elderly lady, than the evil and inequality perpetrated by every neoliberal mongrel since Douglas, Prebble in 1984.

    May they all rot in hell and lose all their money in a ponzi scheme and have to live in their cars.

    • 10000% WINNIE


  4. Come on now, Jennings is the reasonable caring billionare apparition!

    Civilised society is fracturing and the mega wealthy know damn well it’s them that are the cause, not that they care. They know its also bad for profits but fortunately in NZ anyway there’s a union that has survived extinction that can both be blamed for the wealthy elites greed and be driven out of business if he and his fellow parasites get their way,. The same bullshit script is probably being wheeled out the world over by those countries respective rich men! Could it be that this allows their filthy money to take over education, controlling the population from birth to death, dictating what these human commodities learn and how much and what to think?

    It’s as outrageous and up there with Nestles desire to take over water. But Jennings is no friendly rich Uncle is he, rather he appears to be a predator and anyone of his financial worth and of course who he represents is a very real threat to a decent civilised society.

  5. that spinoff piece on jennings was a (jaw-dropping) exercise in hagiography..

    unthinking – uncritical..

    who actually owns spinoff..?

    i looked @ their about – no mention..

    aren’t they owned by one of the corporate-media – herald or fairfax..?

    • Duncan Grieve I believe. They’ve also disabled their comments section because ‘people are horrible and say mean stuff’.

      • grieve founded it – but corporate-media is in there too..

        ..that is what i object to..they pretend to be something they aren’t..

        ..they are just the same old thing re-badged..

        ..and the (‘sniffy’/arrogant) comments-turn-off just reeks of corporate message-control..

        meet the new media-boss – same as the old media-boss..

    • Yes Helena,

      They are under orders from the Bilderberg Group and are simply minion’s that carry out orders for the global elite and that is why you see a clear hard nosed similarity over every issue now, and the media is the same parrot for these cabals also as the pollsters are to!!!!

      Does anyone understand how flimsy and vulnerable and easily rigged results of Pollster’s polling data can occur where the companies cannot verify their results or edit them to see if they are changed?

      Was anyone surprised to see a dramatic swing back to the Nasty Nat’s of 10 points this week to 53% from 43% last poll shows clearly as it is just another phoney rigged poll again.

      As they all are prone to electronic manipulation today, so when Natz needed a lift they simply just hacked the pollster electronic base with vote rigging algorithm programming, and changed the results so don’t believe anything about the polls unless they confirmed the result’s were manually recorded and independently audited & re-counted!!!!!!

      So now you know why several countries are now throwing these “source code algorithm bug prone” electronic tabulation hacking polling company’s out of their countries, as they did prior to the last Indian elections including the pre-election pollsters who were also found hacked by this form of hacking alteration of results.

      India for just one such example!
      Here is another;

      Another expert Robert Epstein now believes Google is able to change election or polling as well now so don’t be surprised here.
      Robert Epstein, senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioural Research and Technology.


      By manipulating its search results, Google could decide the next election.
      The world’s most-used search engine is so powerful and national elections are so tight, that even a tiny tweak in Google’s (GOOGL, Tech30) secret algorithm could swing the 2016 presidential election, according to Robert Epstein, senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioural Research and Technology.
      In an op-ed on Politico.com, Epstein said that he and a team of researchers studied behaviour in undecided voters who had been exposed to rigged search results. By displaying results that shone a more favourable light on a particular candidate the researchers could shift opinion towards that favoured candidate.
      The study boosted a candidate’s favourability rating by between 37% and 63% after just one 15-minute search session. The five double-blind, randomized studies included 4,500 undecided voters in the United States and India.
      A Google spokeswoman said that the company’s algorithm is designed to provide “relevant answers,” and rigging them to favour one view over another “would undermine the people’s trust in our results and company.”
      Epstein said Google’s response was “meaningless.”
      “How does providing ‘relevant answers’ to election-related questions rule out the possibility of favouring one candidate over another in search rankings? Epstein wrote in his op-ed. “Google’s statement seems far short of a blanket denial that it ever puts its finger on the scales.”
      The research suggested that swinging an election was “well within Google’s control,” considering that President Obama won the 2012 election by just 3.9% and the 2016 polling is similarly too close to call.
      Though Epstein falls short of saying that Google would rig an election, he points to historical precedent suggesting that Google wouldn’t be alone if it tried.
      Epstein pointed to Western Union’s attempt to swing the 1876 presidential election towards its favoured candidate, Rutherford B. Hayes. The election was the closest in U.S. history, and Western Union used its telegraph network monopoly and exclusive carriage contract with the Associated Press to ensure that only positive stories about Hayes made it on the wire. Hayes ultimately won by a hair.
      On average, Google adjusts its algorithm more than once a day. Epstein said it’s possible that even if the Alphabet triumvirate of Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt didn’t get directly involved in tipping the scales on an election, a rogue employee could tweak the code without the leaders’ knowledge.
      “Google could easily be flipping elections worldwide as you read this,” Epstein said.
      CNN Money (New York) First published August 20, 2015: 9:23 AM ET


      “A well-funded adversary could construct a look-alike chip package containing both a radio receiver and a processor,” Prasad’s team writes in its paper. It is also possible to attack the source code and alter it to contain a vulnerability before it is written into the chip.

      The ECI denied claims of vulnerability for years, calling the EVMs “tamper-proof.” That is until Prasad and his team, which included a computer science professor from the University of Michigan and a technology activist from Holland, got their hands on an EVM and published their findings in early 2010. As a result of subsequent court filings, the Delhi High Court ruled in early 2012 that the EVMs are indeed not tamper-proof. Within days, the ECI ordered the implementation of a paper-trail system that would allow voters to see a printout of their vote after selecting their candidate on the EVM. The printout would display the voter’s choice for a few seconds and then fall into a secure box, providing a physical duplicate to the EVM’s digital count. Yet, for the 2014 election, only 20,600 EVM units have had this paper trail system implemented—just over 1% of the total electronic machines currently in use.

      The other critical defences touted by the ECI include the physical security surrounding the EVMs through polling until counting, unknown ballot order until a few weeks before polling, and the locked nature of the source code. This last one, though, is actually quite worrisome.

      Having the source code masked means that once the simple software that runs an EVM is burned into the microchip, it becomes both unalterable and cannot be read back out, even by the Election Commission. While viewed as a double blind way to ensure security, it is actually a double-edged sword. Today, if an ECI official wished to randomly inspect an EVM at a polling station to verify its source code were correct, he would be unable to do so. One cannot know if any given EVM is running genuine software.

      The problem with secrecy as a barrier to fraud is that it requires absolute infallibility—once compromised in any place, the entire system becomes vulnerable. Making a chip unreadable is also not iron-clad; given extreme patience, it can be overcome. Plus, if Prasad—a friend of Indian democracy—was able to steal an EVM, then the system is breachable. According to the ECI, there are 1,720,080 control units and 1,878,306 ballot units being used during this election—quite a large secret to keep.

  6. He probably is cut from the same cloth as JK, but after 8 years of it, I welcome any criticism of this govt and Key

  7. Well, of course the likes of Jennings are getting worried, because if we have a real global crisis, that will also hit us, and if the government lets the immigration fueled growth bubble continue too long, this will lead to a massive crash of sorts, as things will become totally unsustainable.

    Then even the ones like Jennings will have to worry. They may be able to shift their wealth around, but tax havens can only offer so much security, as long as there is prospect of a timely recovery.

    Things must be very bad indeed, for neoliberal, self serving advocates like Jennings expressing concerns that we need to make some changes as he suggested.

    After all New Zealand is his birth place and home, so he may have done some reflections. At greater age people tend to change their thinking, also become aware of where they come from, and how much they should perhaps cherish their heritage.

    But what he said on Q+A was only partly making sense, he was indeed lashing out at the education unions, at least indirectly, throwing out a neoliberal challenge to undo them.

    Never trust a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

  8. I wonder if that rocketship headed for Mars is ready for take-off yet to transport these evil thugs to their safe little biosphere away from the hordes of angry humans.
    It’s not? Oh, dear me.

    • watched a program on tv two nights ago and they say they are launching the mars transporter in 2024 only eight years away he may already be booked as this is when the world implodes they say.

      SpaceX: We could send people to Mars as early as 2024 – SpaceFlight …


      Jun 3, 2016 – Humans on Mars as early as 2024: That is the timeline that CEO and … and so too a big rocket—the Mars Colonial Transporter (MCT). … The first crewed flight of the SLS-Orion stack is expected no earlier than 2021—possibly 2023. … “That’s the future that’s exciting and inspiring,” Musk said, “You need …

  9. I was very confused by the Spin0ff article which seemed to suggesting we need more right wing radicalism because the government has gone to soft.

    Apart from that, I wouldn’t trust anyone who has made billions off the ripping off of Russians.

  10. Nice to see the reference to Aroha Ireland ,… it is such a classic ‘nutshell’ case I often include the link as you know here on TDB and on The Standard. Easily accessible, and clearly demonstrates the subterfuge and deceit of Key and his govt’s real agenda.

    And the vicious cynicism that would enable them to use and manipulate a 12 year old girl – indeed – using her as an ‘underclass ‘ standard of the very thing that they campaigned on . And then have consistently done the exact opposite.

    However, – that was one smart young lady who grew up and got herself out of Keys cesspit and then had the temerity to succeed and then go public when she was older and wiser … and really called Key out for the lying neo liberal globalist he really is.

    Well done Aroha . Yours is a powerful message to us all.

  11. With the media we now have, the likes of Jennings will be ensured a safe playground in New Zealand, and John Key and his government can rest assured to get a fourth and fifth term in government.

    Once again I was dismayed again to day, listening to Focus on Politics on RNZ this afternoon, where Chris Bramwell offered another John Key and government friendly promotion program, letting nobody from the opposition talk, and only John Key, Trade Minister Todd McClay and some business representatives talk about the free trade the government loves to promote.

    The program looked at Key’s and McClay’s visit to Indonesia and what they achieved there. No hard questions were asked, and Key and others could in a relaxed manner explain their views and impressions.

    Who ever hired Chris Bramwell to work for RNZ? She is useless in my view, and her voice instantly turns me off listening to anything she reports. She is one of those at RNZ, it seems, who are the ones the government prefers working at our underfunded state broadcaster:

    One day they may rename the state broadcaster to the ‘National Government Broadcaster’ or “Nat Radio”.

    • Why did you delete my comment ? You published it here and then it was removed and I would appreciate an explanation and if not, please consider putting it back up.

  12. Despite the so called difference of economic policy has anyone else noticed the similarities between this government and the end of the Muldoon government?

    It’s all gone exceedingly authoritarian, and rubbishing any dissent that doesn’t fit with their “market driven” philosophies. Truthiness has invaded the airwaves and media. The ad hominem arguments are boundless it seems, but then it’s easy to poke at and manufacture endless strawmen.

    Jennings analysis of education is a logical fallacy, the pretense that a market could have a one size fits all education for consumers is a mask to attack a labour group.

    The disingenuous discourse around the system failing Maori and Pacific students does not take account of the fact that standardised testing is
    a stick designed by government to bring market forces to bear for greater efficiencies, performance management yard sticks etc. on what should be a public good.

    New Zealand Initiative/Business Roundtable call them what you will have been beating this drum for many years. They finally have their way somewhat with Seymour in parliament and implementation of charter schools.

    However the race to the bottom is over. The IMF have debunked their own specious deregulation advice with analysis that it does not work. Time now for the Kiwi electorate to wake up to capture by the Neoliberal Right of Labour and National.

    Have we got a party that realises Trade and Investment partnerships which cut off our sovereign rights, ability to plan, set living wages, and regulate our environment, banking and working conditions are not worth the paper they are written on.

    I certainly hope so.

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