Armstrong flays National

August 7th, 2010 at 9:44 am by David Farrar

John Armstrong lets loose at with both barrels:

Shame on National. That party’s behaviour in Parliament over the past couple of weeks has on occasion veered close to being a disgrace both to itself and the institution.

Not that many people would have noticed, however. National’s antics inside the House have been totally shrouded by those of Chris Carter outside. …

The upshot is that Labour – almost by accident – has given National an old-fashioned hiding on that most fundamental of all questions: which party can be can best trusted with the reins of economic management. The one compensating factor for National is that all this has happened largely out of public view.

However, it has given considerable momentum to the three-pronged strategy that Labour is developing in order to try to win the economic policy argument at next year’s election.

The first prong is to endlessly repeat that National has “no plan” – that National has no solutions which will lift economic growth.

That notion has gained currency following National’s recent clutch of policy reversals. The damage done to National’s 2025 goal is of considerable help in reinforcing that narrative.

Hopefully a few people are reading John’s column, and working on ways to prevent a repeat.

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37 Responses to “Armstrong flays National”

  1. Lazybum (259 comments) says:

    This is one of the reasons I will be voting Greens in 2011. National are a pack of wankers now concerned with climate change and listening to the far left (mining etc). ETS was the last straw. No real economic policy.
    Greens in govt will fuck this country but I am past giving a fuck now. NZers are a bunch of pansies now, wondering what the country can do for them, no wonder we are in the position we are in.

    NZ is fucked so we may as well get it over and done with.

    I voted National last election and went to the National party on the last election night. Saw you there David, along with Slater, Christine Rankin etc.

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  2. Robert Mapplethorpe (119 comments) says:

    The best way to prevent a repeat is to throw out Hone Key and his band of Merry Morons at the first opportunity, and for us to vow “Never again” will we allow ourselves to be deceived by such self serving swill as these.

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  3. Lazybum (259 comments) says:

    Labour/Greens are not the answer thogh are they but they may be the next govt. Lets get real here, Politicians have totally fucked NZ up, we are a socialist republic now. Cuba here we come when Secratary General A. Little becomes PM.

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  4. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    We wouldn’t be having this discussion if National were doing what they promised in the election. Just a few broken promises and we’ll get in next time eh?
    Let me think – not substantially reducing the size of the state, throwing away proper fiscal management, not repealing the anti smacking legislation, not stopping the ETS so John Key’s mates can make a fortune at the expense of the rest of us. They are no better than the troughers they replaced. Instead NZ is falling further and further into debt and all the government is doing is pandering to a junior coalition partner. Time for ACT to reclaim the opposition benches methinks!

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  5. Lazybum (259 comments) says:

    L/G/M in power, So we get a savage communist government, Zimbabwe here we come.

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  6. BlairM (2,365 comments) says:

    Yeah at least Labour and the Greens don’t pretend to be something they’re not. I am so sick of these wet National MPs, who make promises and then chicken out on them. The country is dying a slow death, and all they care about is their ministerial cars and salaries. If you set yourself a goal, but aren’t prepared to do ANYTHING towards getting there, what is the point?

    Maybe I’ll vote Libertarianz, they seem to be the only Party who actually believes in implementing the National Party’s core values.

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  7. BeaB (2,150 comments) says:

    I’ll stay with National, thanks. John Key is responsive, flexible and not hide-bound by ideology. I like his mantra, “if it works…” He knows there are no guaranteed textbook solutions, especially when it comes to the economy.
    The fact he is pissing off the right-wing ravers as well as the Left shows me he is running the kind of centrist government most of us want.
    It amuses me too to read our rather lame political writers who seem secretly to long for the jackboot and the slavishly -followed rule book.
    What a blessing our conservative party isn’t run by rednecks who froth at the mouth over issues like race and climate change! Or the Left who want to boss us all round and ‘moderate’ us into silence.

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  8. tvb (4,519 comments) says:

    Whenever the Labour Party is distracted by some internal row John Armstrong thinks he has to step up and provide a one man opposition to the National Party. And this column is typical.

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  9. backster (2,185 comments) says:

    Jack…..I think Labour/Greens /NZ 1st, a return to corruption, excess and incompetence,is more likely and yes it is possible.

    This Government’s biggest blunder is not to introduce Youth rates. Youth rates used to be traditional on leaving school whether entering the trades, public service or private employment even in those days of full employment. It beggars belief that school leavers are being left to laze around because they are too expensive to employ, ensuring they will never develop a work ethic.Our Politicians are too well paid, have too many perks, and are too insulated and comfortable to see the obvious.

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  10. Jimbob (641 comments) says:

    If you start believing someone who writes in the newspaper, you have lost the plot. Everyone has an opinion, you just need over 50% of the population to agree with you and you have won. A nice depression will sort the Men out from the boys. When National starts dropping fast in the polls, which is just around the corner, we will see if Mr. Pinkey has any real balls.

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  11. reid (16,638 comments) says:

    John Key is responsive, flexible and not hide-bound by ideology.

    He’s a fucking wishy-washy, appeasement-loving, surrender monkey, Bea.

    This is a time when hard decisions, fundamental changes of direction and decisive envisioning is required.

    Is that happening?

    No.

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  12. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “I’ll stay with National, thanks.”

    Of course. you’re a gape jawed moron who can’t give one good policy reason for doing so. All just feel good crap.

    National is not the worst government we’ve ever had, but if it thinks it can retain power by being just a little bit better than the worst, it needs a shake up.

    I want them to lose, for they must learn the lesson that we do not want Labour light, and losing appears to be the only way they’re going to get that message. We want the core values National says it stands for and then betrays once in power. You think you can keep my vote by lying and acting cowardly then you’re a bigger fool than you appear.

    I’d rather have the hard core left than a bunch of shifty dissembling cowards led by a charlatan.

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  13. reid (16,638 comments) says:

    “I’d rather have the hard core left than a bunch of shifty dissembling cowards led by a charlatan.”

    See? This is how bad it is.

    When RB says he prefers the lefties, run for the hills.

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  14. Lazybum (259 comments) says:

    Mr Key looks more like Helen Clark in drag every day.
    Advise for Mr Key – tell the Maori Party to get fucked (as Labour did), go alone with ACT support and work on the economy. Let us dig, don’t piss around with a stocktake, we have the minerals so lets dig baby dig.
    Greenies are anti growth and a threat to our existance. Only way to get my vote back.

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  15. Anthony (798 comments) says:

    Sometimes hard decisions have to be and sometimes it is better to at try to get people on board if you don’t the policy reversed at the first opportunity.

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  16. Manolo (14,084 comments) says:

    Armstrong is stating the obvious.
    It is patently clear today’s National Party is devoid of a spine and led by a liar and appeaser, a wishy-washy leader named John Key.

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  17. reid (16,638 comments) says:

    “Sometimes hard decisions have to be and sometimes it is better to at try to get people on board if you don’t the policy reversed at the first opportunity.”

    Anthony lefties will never come on board with respect to some of the decisions that have to be made. They never will. Partly because they have a vested interest e.g. in the employment law arena and partly because they genuinely believe it’s wrong to do so e.g. in the defense arena where building up military ties with the US and re-arming with lots of equipment that has pointy ends would have extensive long-term benefit.

    So with respect to certain things it’s a waste of time getting the opposition on board. The art of politics is to design things in such a way as to be difficult to reverse. We saw that with Hulun’s interest-free student loans. Personally I reckon they ARE reversible, but it will take a considerable amount of the Nat’s political capital to do that, and they have obviously calculated they want to spend that on other areas. And I’m waiting to see what those other areas are. My problem is, I’ve been waiting and they still haven’t told me, and I’m beginning to think they don’t HAVE another area, and that’s a worry.

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  18. flipper (4,240 comments) says:

    So the Nats behaved badly in the House this past week and this was loszt in the Carter fiasco. More to the point: Who gives a shit?

    The target of matching Austrazlia is endorsed, secretly or publicly, by every real New Zealander . Real New Zealanders dont eat statistical quiche!

    The problem with John Armstrong and his like based in the Press Gallery, is that they take themselves too seriously.

    Apart from the beltway bandits and the soft shoe shufflers in Auckland (and bloggers), no one reads their comments.
    Moreover, there has always been a disconnect between Parliament and the great unwashed. The sooner that Armstrong et al divorce themselves from the House and the Beehive the sooner they will be able to write accurately and helpfully about NZ politics and what real New Zealanders think.

    But without the spinmeisters where would they be?

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  19. Robert Mapplethorpe (119 comments) says:

    reid …where building up military ties with the US and re-arming with lots of equipment that has pointy ends would have extensive long-term benefit.

    I wonder if you could quantify some of these long term benefits? ANZUS? I don’t think so. Free Trade? Only if you want to see a further erosion of NZ businesses. Presidential visits?

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  20. Viking2 (11,577 comments) says:

    Well of course Armstrong is right, the Nats. don’t have a plan nor do they have intellectual horsepower nor do they have idea’s nor do they have any balls.
    Lets look at housing and Heatley for example. Now all kiwi’s have know for a hundred years that Housing NZ is a cot case. Private landlords have been saying this stuff forever but,, what did Heatley do.
    Well despite the fact that Bob the Builder Clarkson prepared and handed them a report with the needs to do and the haves to do and the way to do he set up a high powered committee to re investigate the issue. Two years later we have a report that repeats all that has been said for 30 years and absolutely no inspiration nor any clear plan to fix the problem. Worse that report was prepared by people who had no skin the game of housing but people who were either causing the problem or who were trying to cope with the problem i.e. bankers, developers,social agencies. The residential landlords were no invited nor asked about the problems and how to fix them.

    The problem apart from needing another report is that Heatley actually couldn’t give a shit about Housing just like Williamson doesn’t give a shit about leaking buildings. These subjects are not their passions in life they are handed them by a Prime Minister who had to give out things to people who demanded the salary that goes with being a unqualified Cabinet Minister.

    No company would employ someone to manage a part of their business if that person was uneducated in that subject and had no passion for the subject.

    We appoint Cabinet Ministers to take charge of big issues and serious issues and these people have no idea at all about the issue, have no passion for it and really will only do what they need to fill in their day. They “take advice” from dept’s and committees etc because the are technically illiterate in their subject.

    Parliament and its rules need a boot in the arse.
    Aside from the issue of use of whips to maintain status quo with poor governing as was again used this week by all the socialists, the extent of the problem goes right to the formation of Cabinet and the allocation of various specialist portfolio’s to those seat fillers.
    Cabinet should be a somewhat smaller and should consist of a core group that deals with NZ’s interests and then it should be extended via portfolio Ministers. These, a bit like Ministers outside of Cabinet should be MP’s from anywhere that have a passion about a subject, such as housing, who will do a proper job of fixing the issue rather than wasting time, money and effort filling in 3 years as currently happens.
    Rodney Hide is a good example of how this should work. Dedication to fixing one our biggest problems. Knowledge, capability, doesn’t have to be in a Cabinet but has all the access he needs,etc etc.

    Look at the progress we might have made Had subjects like the Structure of education been separated from the teaching of education. Currently the lines are so blurred and tangled that no one, least of all Tolley will ever make a difference to education. Its a bloody great monster. Chop it into bits and fix it. Same goes for so many other area’s.

    Similarly with the efforts to catch Aussie or better referred to as RAISING NZER’S WEALTH AND STANDARD OF LIVING”.

    There is so much to do and I remain unimpressed with Keys ability to establish and manage change using people with the right knowledge and skills.

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  21. Manolo (14,084 comments) says:

    “We appoint Cabinet Ministers to take charge of big and serious issues and these people have no idea at all about the issue, have no passion for it and really will only do what they need to fill in their day.”

    Well said, Viking2. Today’s sad reality.

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  22. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    It’s all over, past the point of no return. These last few decades have so brainwashed the people of New Zealand that there is now no way out except our own self destruction. Socialism has become the opium of the people and the withdrawal symptoms are now to great for any government to contemplate. I suspect even if the National socialists were to suddenly find a set they would be way to small and way to late to make the slightest bit of difference. The ballet box will sort out any government that even hints of cutting off the swill. Sadly the only way I can see of any chance for redemption is a total meltdown of our finical system, a war or a natural disaster, time to start again.

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  23. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    We are witnessing the very public progression of governing for what’s best for the country, through to governing for what’s best for the ruling elite.

    If the government represented 15% of the economy I wouldn’t really care. But when it is closer to 50%, and there are fewer than 1.7 taxpayers for every beneficiary, then way way too many NZers are financially hog-tied and won’t think beyond next week’s lotto draw.

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  24. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    @SSB – Consider this quote:

    A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

    Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage. [Reference]

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  25. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    So I’m picking Krazy we are in the “apathy to dependence” bit, then what would I know. Anyhow must go and give the girls their silage, they might be dependent but they certainly don’t suffer for apathy.

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  26. Honest John (191 comments) says:

    “Hopefully a few people are reading John’s column, and working on ways to prevent a repeat.”

    That’s a very chilling sentence DPF. Are you really suggesting that Key gag another journalist ala “would love to see wages drop”? :-)

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  27. Honest John (191 comments) says:

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. ”

    More wishful thinking from the authoritarian right. You guys can really show yourselves to be ugly creatures when the mask slips in the comfort of like minds.

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  28. nickb (3,696 comments) says:

    At least we now know that National does not care about catching up with Australia, and knows it is impossible with their idiotic policies. Better than pretending.

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  29. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    @Honest John, feel free to engage in dialog rather than just spewing ad hominems. If you feel the quote is nonsense and that history does not show evidence of this cycle then let’s hear your views.

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  30. Johnboy (17,026 comments) says:

    “John Armstrong lets loose at National with both barrels:”

    Has the sad old prick got two barrels or has he drunk one of them.

    If he can come up with an alternative to JK other than Goofy then I am all ears.

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  31. Steve (4,593 comments) says:

    It is the Maori Party that is the problem. When it comes to numbers the Maori Party is like a welfare pass to John Key and National. Just appease the racists and you can do whatever you want.

    Now John Key, soon it will all change because the Maori Party and Maori are lazy and greedy. You can not keep giving to them and still expect the same vote. The goose aint laying golden eggs no more John and it wants something back for all of the golden eggs given.

    Time to take off the tin foil hat and put the thinking hat on. If you think I am being racist, ask Hone first.

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  32. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    Hopefully a few people are reading John’s column, and working on ways to prevent a repeat

    Oh, gosh… it’s all so complicated though… how to prevent a recurrence… gee, I hope they have their best brains on it, but even they might not come up with a solution.

    When they’ve gnawed their knuckles raw and still don’t know what to do, can I suggest, as philu might say, that sometimes drugs are the answer.

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  33. eszett (2,432 comments) says:

    Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage. [Reference]

    krazy kiwi, did you actually bother to read your own reference?

    It’s not actually a quote, but a compilation of quotes by different people, that changed over time. The final part, the “Fatal Sequence” was added by Henning Webb Prentis, Jr., President of the Armstrong Cork Company.

    the Fatal Sequence was not coined by a political figure or noted historian, but rather the president of a cork company. The passage of time merely encouraged quoters to attach an author’s name that strengthened the authority behind the words.

    And that is where the vice of misattribution lies. Perhaps the words speak the truth of democratic governments; or perhaps they do not. But either way, attributing the words to a scholar who never spoke them is to lend to them an authority and reliability that they do not deserve. Quotations should not be given fictitious attributions merely to lend credence to the messages they impart. To do so is to favor persuasiveness over accuracy, and to sacrifice truth for the sake of image.

    You can subscribe to it if you wish to do so.

    So what you are advocating is, if you cannot get your way through a democracy, than take it by force, right?

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  34. db.. (86 comments) says:

    Why would the National Party tell you and the Labour Party their plan for the next term NOW???

    Especially when the Labour Party is well know for theft.?

    You will hear in the same sort of time frame as for the last election.

    db..

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  35. BeaB (2,150 comments) says:

    Do you really want a government that does everything for us and bosses us round. Surely making this into a prosperous country again is up to us, not a small group meeting in Wellington. Why are so many of you so keen to have them throw their weight around? Events and life unfold. There is no magic solution. Or are some of you just dying to shout Sieg Heil?

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  36. Bogusnews (477 comments) says:

    To me John Key showed his colours for all to see long before the election.

    I first particularly noticed it when ACT came up with their alternative approach to health. Key dismissed it out of hand, so strongly in fact that he said National would never allow Roger Doug in the premises. I thought to myself, lets see, Health now has 12000 managers (one for every hospital bed), is spending an additional 5Billion a year, yet productivity has gone down the toilet and the waiting list has more than doubled. In spite of this, JK thinks a bit of tinkering around the edges and all will be right.

    It’s the same with the economy. It is no surprise to me that we are dropping further behind Aussie when you consider his out of hand rejection of the task force proposals in favour of their own tinkering (bicycle tracks around the country, are you kidding me!)

    I utterly hate the thought of Labour getting back in, but frankly, National deserve the flogging that Armstrong has given them.

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