Red Alert

Armstrong lambasts National

Posted by on August 7th, 2010

John Armstrong has unusually harsh words for National in today’s Herald column.

“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 … National has ended up being done like a dog’s dinner over one of its most fundamental planks – the closing of the gap between what New Zealanders earn in comparison to Australians … such has been the comprehensive mauling of the concept by Labour over the past week or so that National will now be loath to resurrect it. It is now a loser for National and looks like remaining so through to next year’s election”

“What has been disturbing in this debacle, however, has been the way National has responded to parliamentary questions about the income gap. The low point came on Wednesday when Steven Joyce briefly deputised for Brownlee … A week earlier, Brownlee had told the House in response to a question from Labour that “yes”, the Government did have milestones by which it would measure the progress it was making towards closing the income gap … So eyebrows shot through the chamber’s ceiling when Joyce made the startling admission that there were, in fact, no such milestones. Even more startling was what Joyce said next. Brownlee had given Labour what was technically known as a “brush-off”…”

“Brownlee’s gaffe about the income gap having narrowed since National came to power prompted a desperate search by National for anything that served as evidence, however questionable, of that being the case. Much of the evidence is to the contrary – including some of the material National has dug up. 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.”

The government have had an easy reign so far, but as Armstrong has pointed out, the shine is starting to come off. National is reverting to type with their ‘born to rule’ attitude. They brush off serious questions by making wise cracks. Up until now that strategy has served them well, but people (particularly journos) are getting a bit sick of it. Questions are now being asked about what exactly National’s plan for New Zealand is. The answer seems to be they don’t have one.


26 Responses to “Armstrong lambasts National”

  1. MikeG says:

    What Joyce really meant was ‘Brownlee had given Labour what was technically known as a lie’, but I guess it’s un-Parliamentary to call someone a liar even someone from your own team.

    How can this bunch be called to account when a deliberately incorrect answer is simply called a brush-off?

  2. Ben says:

    Yes, but most also realise it is either the present government or end up like greece under Labour

  3. Alwyn says:

    Wow. One of the caucus has finally woken up and read the paper. It must have been a very late BBQ last night.
    David Farrar, who is I believe in Austria, commented on this 7 hours before you came to life.
    If Labour are ever going to get any traction they are really going to have to get up a little earlier on Saturday morning

  4. Mac1 says:

    Ben do you know what Bill English and treasury said about the NZ economy after Labour left office? Along the lines of we are in a good position. Better lines than the lines you’ve chosen to spin from the NACT Crosby Textor phrase book.

    National just might end up as grease under Labour’s wheels, though. Wheeeee!

  5. DeepRed says:

    @Ben: And Mr Blinglish reluctantly admitted that Dr Cullen’s restraint had left NZ in a better fiscal position than most.

    Furthermore, if the country “can’t afford to keep hopsitals and schools running”, then how come it can afford pork-barrel “holiday highways” and what is effectively polluter welfare?

  6. Gooner says:

    National might not have a plan, but ACT does.

  7. Mac1 says:

    Gooner, so did Baldrick. Except his was cunning.

  8. Spud says:

    He he he :-D

  9. Phil Lyth says:

    Alwyn, you precious wee flower. If you look around the interweb you’ll find at least two Labour MPs commented before your dear little friend. Get over it.

  10. Mac1 says:

    Cripes, Ben , can’t you even say deleted off then” without the use of a surrogate?

  11. Herodotus says:

    Redred commented “@Ben: And Mr Blinglish reluctantly admitted that Dr Cullen’s restraint had left NZ in a better fiscal position than most.”
    So regarding stats we had the worst 4 year run ever regarding Current Account deficiit avg 8%. So how does that equate to your statement. There are many stats over the last 9 years that wil state that Lab/Nat have done/or are doing a great job re the economy. The real question is how is the Kiwi Family coping, and from mty observation life is geeting increasingly more difficult, unless you are a previous owner of the likes of hanover or any other finance coy owner.
    yet the stats also ciomment that the avg increase of income per household has increased by 4.6% and we have only worked an extra 1.6% more hours so we workers are creaming it under Nat work a wee bit more for greater income
    http://www.bnz.co.nz/binaries/w050810.pdf
    Like a very famous golf statement. Every shot makes someone happy. So every statistic justifies some politicdal means, be it the govt or opposition. Irrespective of how it effects day to day life of the voter.

  12. peterlepaysan says:

    I am intrigued why Armstrong is on the attack.
    He is infatuated with Key.
    I smell a power play within the Nats.

  13. Ben@8.02 – I think that video clip sums up the National Party’s attitude to voters quite well.

    Alwyn@6.02 – Actually had a busy morning out and about. Enjoy blogging and reading stuff online, but it’s not the only focus in my life! Perhaps they were quicker at commenting on the National MPs blog, oh wait….

  14. Mac1 says:

    Herodotus,
    Ben made a bullshit political statement. Deepred and I called him on it.

    English had to admit that the NZ economy had been given some breathing room through the fiscally conservative, prudent stewardship of Michael Cullen. I think that is a very important position, outside of the hurly burly of ‘we said you said, we did you did” politics or statistical manipulation.

    You are right, though. Life is getting harder for most. The poorer, the worse it is.

    I am not an economist or a statistician. Somehow, your comparison of money earned and hours worked seems false. Inflation or cost of living needs to be computed in there somewhere. I await greater minds than mine to enlighten me.

    The BNZ Tony Alexander link seemed rather bleak to me. Most of the graphs seemed to be pointing the wrong way, and those that show an upward trend sre small or start from a low point. I presume that is the point you make by providing the link. I couldn’t see anything to illuminate your assertion about earnings and hours worked.

  15. Joyce: Most overrated Minister for a long time…

  16. DeepRed says:

    @JMH: He’s not a Minister, he’s a Prostetnic Vogon.

  17. Trevor Mallard says:

    And minor error in Armstrong story – the Speaker has two letters – I don’t think lies in Parliament should be tolerated.

  18. Herodotus says:

    http://www.statisticsnz.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/work_income_and_spending/employment_and_unemployment/QuarterlyEmploymentSurvey_HOTPJun10qtr.aspx
    Highlights
    For the June 2010 year:
    Full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) increased 1.3 percent.
    Filled jobs increased 1.0 percent.
    Seasonally adjusted (SA) total paid hours increased 2.5 percent.
    SA total gross earnings increased 4.6 percent.
    So we are currently experiencing a great recovery !!!!! I’ll have a tui
    p.s. BNZ weekly commentary is not so supportive of the recovery

  19. Ben says:

    @ Deep Red and Mac, maybe in your imagination, in any event you are reflecting on past economic positions, whereas what I am saying is the crackpot solution for the economy suggested will simply take us down the path to greece, spain et al

  20. Loota says:

    DeepRed, in that case when is joyce going to give the House a poetry reading?

  21. MikeG says:

    @ Alwyn 7 Aug 6:02pm
    Since when was Farrar a member of the National caucus?

  22. Spud says:

    She means the National squakus :P
    (No offense Farrar).

  23. Draco T Bastard says:

    Questions are now being asked about what exactly National’s plan for New Zealand is. The answer seems to be they don’t have one.

    Of course they have one – they just can’t tell anyone what it is or they’d be removed from power. It involves giving all of NZ’s wealth to themselves and their rich mates and not caring about anybody else.

  24. David T says:

    Gerry Brownlee was acting prime minister the other day. I think Gerry has been acting ever since he became a cabinet minister!