2017: Parting shots from the Right: tantrums, bloated entitlements, and low, low expectations for our Youth – rua

By   /   January 1, 2018  /   15 Comments

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When born-to-rule Tories – with a bloated sense of self-worth and entitlement – slip up and let us peasant know how they really view us – it is usually unsurprising to most on the Left. Take, for example, Bill English’s candid admission that New Zealand’s lower wage rates were beneficial when it came to competing with Australia. On 10 April  2011, in an exchange with Guyon Espiner on TVNZ’s Q+A, English boasted of the benefits of low wages;

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Bill English has low hopes for young New Zealanders.

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Bill English – putting the peasantry in their place

When born-to-rule Tories – with a bloated sense of self-worth and entitlement – slip up and let us peasants know how they really view us – it is usually unsurprising to most on the Left.

Take, for example, Bill English’s candid admission that New Zealand’s lower wage rates were beneficial when it came to competing with Australia. On 10 April  2011, in an exchange with Guyon Espiner on TVNZ’s Q+A, English boasted of the benefits of low wages;

GUYON Can I talk about the real economy for people? They see the cost of living keep going up. They see wages really not- if not quite keeping pace with that, certainly not outstripping it much. I mean, you said at the weekend to the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum that one of our advantages over Australia was that our wages were 30% cheaper. I mean, is that an advantage now?

BILL Well, it’s a way of competing, isn’t it? I mean, if we want to grow this economy, we need the capital – more capital per worker – and we’re competing for people as well.

GUYON So it’s part of our strategy to have wages 30% below Australia?

BILL Well, they are, and we need to get on with competing for Australia. So if you take an area like tourism, we are competing with Australia. We’re trying to get Australians here instead of spending their tourist dollar in Australia.

GUYON But is it a good thing?

BILL Well, it is a good thing if we can attract the capital, and the fact is Australians- Australian companies should be looking at bringing activities to New Zealand because we are so much more competitive than most of the Australian economy.

GUYON So let’s get this straight – it’s a good thing for New Zealand that our wages are 30% below Australia?

BILL No, it’s not a good thing, but it is a fact. We want to close that gap up, and one way to close that gap up is to compete, just like our sports teams are doing. This weekend we’ve had rugby league, netball, basketball teams, and rugby teams out there competing with Australia. That’s lifting the standard. They’re closing up the gap.

GUYON But you said it was an advantage, Minister.

BILL Well, at the moment, if I go to Australia and talk to Australians, I want to put to them a positive case for investment in New Zealand, because while we are saving more, we’re not saving more fast enough to get the capital that we need to close the gap with Australia. So Australia already has 40 billion of investment in New Zealand. If we could attract more Australian companies, activities here, that would help us create the jobs and lift incomes.

Perhaps realising he had dug a hole for himself, English added at the end; “…  and lift incomes“. Though of course, if “incomes lifted”, New Zealand workers would no longer be competitive with their  Australian cuzzies, according to his Bizarro-world “logic”.

In 2016,  at a Federated Farmers meeting in Feilding, English probably felt “at home” and sufficiently comfortable in his surroundings to let his guard down. English attacked workers again, trashing them as “hopeless“;

“A lot of the Kiwis that are meant to be available [for farm work] are pretty damned hopeless. They won’t show up. You can’t rely on them and that is one of the reasons why immigration’s a bit permissive, to fill that gap… a cohort of Kiwis who now can’t get a license because they can’t read and write properly and don’t look to be employable, you know, basically young males.”

A year later, English took a further swipe at New Zealand workers, effectively labelling them en-masse as “druggies. On 27 February 2017, he told the Parliamentary press;

“One of the hurdles these days is just passing a drug test. Under workplace safety you can’t have people on your premises under the influence of drugs and a lot of our younger people can’t pass that test.”

English’s startling (and offensive) generalisation came as a response to questions why National was allowing a flood of immigrant workers when 140,000 local workers remained unemployed.

Blaming others is de rigueur for National when facing one of their countless failures;

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Some more blame-gaming;

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And yet more…

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Not satisfied with those digs at workers and the unemployed, English made it clear only four days before Christmas precisely what he thought of young people bettering themselves through higher education. Responding to Labour’s enactment of their election promise for one year’s free tertiary education – English lamented that “Government’s fees-free policy will ‘soak up staff out of McDonald’s’...”;

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That’s right, folks. Bill English’s ambition for young New Zealanders is to get a job at McDonalds; work hard; and  – stay there. No higher education for you mini-peasants!

McDonalds New Zealand realised immediatley the implications of English’s derisory comment and quickly fired out a statement countering the former-Prime Minister;

“We don’t expect to see much impact as a result of the Government’s free fees policy.”

When a major business contradicts National – the political party ostensibly representing the interests of business – you know Bill English has screwed up. Essentially his brain was in ‘neutral’ when his mouth opened and words tumbled out.

It should come as absolutely no surprise that English is so harsh in his criticism. Labour’s one year free tertiary education is only the beginning. It heralds a gradual return to what  New Zealanders once enjoyed: near-free tertiary education.

It is another cog removed from the creaking neo-liberal system as it is dismantled, piece-by-rotten-piece.

Postscript

According to Wikipedia;

[Bill] English went on to study commerce at the University of Otago, where he was a resident at Selwyn College, and then completed an honours degree in English literature at Victoria University of Wellington.

After finishing his studies, English returned to Dipton and farmed for a few years. From 1987 to 1989, he worked in Wellington as a policy analyst for the New Zealand Treasury…

Bill English undertook his tertiary education prior to 1987. Student fees/loans did not start until 1992.

That means Bill English graduated with his Commerce and English Lit degrees without having to pay fees or take  out massive loans. His tertiary education was (near-)free.

A job at McDonalds awaits him.

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References

Scoop media:  Guyon Espiner interviews Finance Minister, Bill English

Fairfax media:  Bill English describes some Kiwis looking for work as ‘pretty damned hopeless’

NZ Herald:  Unions demand Bill English apologise for describing jobseekers as ‘pretty damned hopeless’

Fairfax media:  Bill English says employers are regularly telling him that Kiwis can’t pass drug tests

Twitter: Newshub – Bill English “soak up staff out of McDonalds”

Mediaworks:  Government’s fees-free policy will ‘soak up staff out of McDonald’s’ – Bill English

Wikipedia:  Bill English

Other Blogs

The Standard:  Kiwi workers are pretty damned hopeless – says Bill English

Previous related blogposts

John Key – Practicing Deflection 101

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

National under attack – defaults to Deflection #2

National under attack – defaults to Deflection #1

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15 Comments

  1. Christine says:

    English seems to have a sickening detach from the reality of life for youth who, unlike his, do not have two parents, and furthermore, two parents on high incomes. A sickening detach for anybody really, not able to claw advantages for themselves. I used to think that his constant battering and stereotyping of eg young people, was due to his being a parochial dope with limited life and world experience, but I now think him and some of his fellow travellers sociopaths, the last sort of people who should be given power.

    His desperate and possibly genuinely held belief about McDonald’s workers – which so many of our offspring were as students – may reflect the inner panic of a limited man obsessed with user-pays for absolutely everything – whether they can afford it or not – and the tedious squealing of the nouveau riche that the poor need to be kept in their place, and kept down.

    How good it would have been had our parliamentarians agreed that sometimes we have to take a punt on our young people instead of constantly consigning them to the rubbish heap – probably some sort of psychological transference.

    • Cheema says:

      “English seems to have a sickening detach from the reality of life for youth who, unlike his, do not have two parents, and furthermore, two parents on high incomes. “

      Unfortunately @Christine, Blinglish (to use the old politically incorrect joke about those only in tune with the rythym method), is still trying to figure out what caused the fruits of his own loins.
      Someone should bug that confessional. But no matter, Judith probably already has that in hand

  2. JustMe says:

    Bill English, the Double Dipping MP for Dipton, will go down in history as an abysmal failure when it came to the general election of recent and past. The ghosts of past election failures will most likely come back upon him and he may well find the sharks within the NZ National Party circling around him waiting for their opportunities to shine in glory(within the NZ National Party).
    Yes his electorate voted for him but how many low-income NZers voted for a guy who once told NZers and especially those on low-income that ‘NZers are living beyond their means and MUST experience financial cutbacks…” Meanwhile, back at the English ranch, he was too busy double dipping and when caught out he gave us all the impression he viewed double dipping as his right and not a NZ taxpayer funded privilege. Oh what a woeful and poor example of a person he well turned out to be.
    New Zealand is well known in the Western business world as a deliberately kept low-income country. But its politicians like Bill English seem to live by some misguided sense that they(English and co)are entitled to treat those on low-incomes as ‘scum of the earth(or quoting one National Party supporter I worked with) the ‘great unwashed”.
    If Bill English didn’t have the NZ taxpayers to fund his life-styles and perks of the job for both him and his family and let alone hands to make more than enough gestures when trying to ‘make a point’ then we may well see a shallow and pointless character which is an adequate description of the NZ National Party as it is now.
    But then perhaps English was hoping for a knighthood like he gave to John Key upon his pending exit out of NZ politics. And if so what perfect examples of the fact the knighthoods are wasted upon has-been politicians who resorted to greed for oneself and his/her cronies when it so well suited them.
    The world of demeaning New Zealanders who dream of high ideals just because they work for McDonalds needs to end with Bill English. He shows to us all his lowly opinion he(and John Key)have always had of low-income NZers. It’s a true reflection of a political party that has way exceeded its Best Before Date.
    Lets be assured that whilst Bill English may post his latest pizza update we will hardly ever expect to see him working at McDonalds on the minimum wage. His sense of entitlement and rule is something out of the realms of pure stupidity on his part.

    • Cheema says:

      “It’s a true reflection of a political party that has way exceeded its Best Before Date.”
      Best before….meaning USE BY date.
      I notice in that photo ‘wifey’ buys his socks and probably undies – at the local Farmers, and probably lays out his matching clothes for the day in the spirit of her being part of a good wholesome functioning self-entitled family.
      “But its politicians like Bill English seem to live by some misguided sense that they(English and co)are entitled to treat those on low-incomes as ‘scum of the earth(or quoting one National Party supporter I worked with) the ‘great unwashed”.
      You wouldn’t be the first to have heard that either – including from the likes of the oh-so-sophisticated puller of ladders and her enterage of fawning media fans who got where they are today through good ole hard work and effort.
      /sarc
      Trouble is, for them anyway, simple mathematics means they’re on the way to oblivion

  3. WILD KATIPO says:

    Bill ‘ the Double Dipper’ English.

    Wanker.

    Neo liberal wanker.

    Are some of you old enough to remember Margaret Thatchter and her catch phrase ” The Left is good at spending money so long as its other peoples money ” ?.

    Well , we now see the global effects of that bitchy pointed statement aka Brexit and the rise of Jeremy Corbyn as people are fucked off with these liars and opportunists and seek to rid themselves of their odious presence. The facts are , … the neo liberal right winger is among the most self entitled , self gratifying , self seeking piratical leech ever known to be enabled to exist and inbed themselves in modern western economic history.

    And it was Thatcher and Reagan themselves who were the ‘spiritual figureheads ‘ for this odious Milton Friedman Mont Pelerin society subversion.

    The Double Dipper is a minor bit player way down in little New Zealand, – or so we would think until we looked a little closer – perhaps then we should recognize parasites like this for who they actually are.. the Shipleys, the Richardsons, the Douglases… and English , – and their unholy mission.

    They – (and many others such as those of the former Business Roundtable now calling themselves the ‘NZ Initiative ‘ ) – comprise a consecutive continuation of the neo liberal plunder of this country since 1984 . Officially.

    It was recognized by them ( and their Mont Pelerin masters ) that this country back in the late 1960’s had the 6th highest living standards per capita in the world. Ranking just behind Denmark. And thus a golden fruit ripe for the picking to be plundered by them and them only.

    When Roger Douglas suggested his mad economic theories to Norman Kirk , – Kirk rounded on him and stated ” If you ever mention that again I will have you expelled from the Labour party ”.

    This was the lineage of enablers of the Double Dippers heritage.

    His political ancestral origins, as it were.

    His natural habitat.

    But we are not without our sources , and we owe so much to those who created a chronology of the origins of the neo liberal rort, who they are , how they operate , – and just what their overall game plan really is.

    One such site is this one – from the late Hugh Price :

    New Right Fight – Who are the New Right?
    http://www.newrightfight.co.nz/pageA.html

    And of course these two excellent documentary’s :

    New Zealand – In a Land of Plenty Full Doco – YouTube
    Video for New Zealand – In a Land of Plenty Full Doco▶ 1:44:13
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x04aJ_ICqYo

    New Zealand – Somebody Elses Country Full Doco – YouTube
    Video for New Zealand – Somebody Elses Country Full Doco▶ 1:47:20
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJQvKIHV6n4

    This should at least help to bring you up to speed as to the motivations , attitudes and activity’s of the Double Dipper.

    This odious , despicable and contemptible little man.

    Second time General Election loser for the National party.

    • Christine says:

      Yep, Wild Katipo is correct in calling English an odious, despicable and contemptible little man – but is it PC to call somebody ‘little’ ? Even if they are ? In every sense of the word? Can we do that ?

      The McDonald’s references were a smart-alec little idiot clowning to his circus, fourth form show-off stuff. But most contemptible of all is English being constantly referenced as a practising Catholic, or a devout Catholic, when the message of the Sermon on the Mount is the complete antithesis of what his bunch of greedy self-serving neoliberals represent. I doubt if English could even begin to understand how despicable his govt’s demonising of the poor and needy has been, or how odious and shocking is the fracturing of contemporary NZ society.

      Key will just be remembered as a serial pony-tail puller whose honorary PhD is an affront to serious academics; English will be forgotten, but the effects of the pair of them linger, like bad smells.

      • WILD KATIPO says:

        … ” but is it PC to call somebody ‘little’ ? ” …

        Diminutive in mentality and / or spirit / conscience / moral fibre.

        Perhaps I should have been more specific.

        However I must admit I find the word ‘wanker’ as being a catch all descriptive term far more fitting to the subject at hand.

  4. let me be frank says:

    another well supported commentary Mr Macskasy….it is worth noting however that National have no desire to lift wages to the level of Australia despite ‘Honest’ Johns early claim (long forgotten)….

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4874517/Key-wage-gap-claim-rebuffed

    ….indeed their desire was to retain a competitive advantage over Australia by retaining that wage differential and offset any negative migration impact by their extremely loose immigration policy…in other words ,they lie (yet again)

    Are we surprised?

    • Indeed, Let-me-be-frank. A point I’ll be following up in my next blogpost, which relates to English’s attitude.

    • Christine says:

      No, Let-Me-Be-Frank, we are not surprised, but we have to ask where the hell did we go wrong that we have produced politicians, and their adherents, who have lost sight of the fact that workers are human beings, with the same needs – and maybe desires – as everybody else, not commodities to function at the whim or need or greed of capitalist systems, and to ask why even the word, ‘worker’, is now fraught with negativity.

      That we now have current politicians and aspiring politicians speaking of having a kinder society, is a splendid way to enter into a new year and one can only wish them well knowing what they may be up against with such a dumb divisive and destructive opposition.

  5. Mike the Lefty says:

    What it boils down to is that the political right have still not grasped the fact that THEY LOST POWER.
    Poor stupid deluded buffoons.
    I feel so sorry for them.
    Not!

    • Not just “lost power”, Mike, but the entire 30-year experiment has failed. The first year free at tertiary education will be the beginning of the winding back of free-market intervention in State services.

      If the Labour-Green-NZFirst coalition can make it for nine years, the process will have become too embedded for the Nats to reverse. I think they understand this.

      • WILD KATIPO says:

        And Blingish’s dream of having slave labour camps and cucumber sandwiches will be out the back door.

        And so will he.

        Couldn’t ask for better for man who keeps losing his party’s tenure.

  6. WILD KATIPO says:

    Oh – and here’s an excellent article on Stuff telling it how it is: I kind of wish we had heard more of this sort of thing during the last 9 years , – but I do understand how editors answer to the oligarchs who own the networks thus the editor cowardice.

    New Zealand isn’t working | Stuff.co.nz
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/100220542/New-Zealand-isn-t-working

  7. mosa says:

    It is funny how things work out.

    The National party were about to start a fourth term until Winston pulled the plug and prevented three more years of this bunch of bastards.

    I cringe when i hear some praising English for his ” steady as she goes ” and this great disciplined leader who wont rock the boat and the ” steady pair of hands “with the economy yet was prepared to keep enforcing the policies that kept most kiwis subservient to the neo liberal system with no hope at all for a better life by being paid a livable income for their hours of effort.

    Makes you wonder at what Key ” Mr Popular ” was saying behind closed doors about this section of the population.

    These people who vote and support the National parties policies are not real kiwis , we are better than that.