The 2014 election result

I have a few thoughts about the result last night. They are in no particular order so I’m just going to type them up and see how they fall.

  1. National appear to have won an outright majority despite being shown to be utterly corrupt with their constitutional machinations highlighted in Dirty Politics. Obviously New Zealand are taking John Key’s line that his massive right-wing conspiracy is actually a massive left-wing smear campaign. I suspect National and it’s allies will see this vote as an actual endorsement of how they are acting and the undermining of our constitutional conventions will continue unabated.
  2. National have succeeding in lumping Kim Dotcom in with the ‘left’ because of his association with Hone. Hone is gone, Mana is gone, and the left have not increased their vote. Dotcom is poison and a lot of people out there see him as a criminal trying to manipulate the New Zealand justice system (National are not ‘criminals’ because they haven’t been arrested yet). Labour knew this but the polling told New Zealanders they would need Mana to cross the line. People have stayed with National because of Dotcom.
  3. National were critical of Dotcom ‘buying’ the election. I wonder how many millions they have spent on their reelection. Why isn’t that considered buying an election? Because National do it?
  4. Has Labour suffered too much from trying to take out John Key? People love that millionaire banker. He’s one of them. I have absolutely no time for him but I have to admit he is one of the best politicians we have ever seen. A quietly ruthless everyman quick with the selfie and the withering schoolboy putdown of an opponent. He knows exactly how to play the game and we are all being played.
  5. Maybe New Zealanders, as a whole, are now only voting for things that affect them personally? Are we no longer that egalitarian society of fairness from the post-war baby boom generation that set John Key and his ministers up so well for their lives of success? Maybe New Zealanders no longer believe in thinking about the less fortunate? On Friday, a person I know who I thought was a bit more caring than this, suggested the ‘poor’ would have more money if they spent less on alcohol and cigarettes. I’m picking this is not an isolated feeling. It was still disappointing to hear.
  6. Labour are trying to attack Key for being this duplicitous character. However, if 50% of the public are willing to give their vote for him then they should move on to something else. As hard as it is for them not to attack someone who they see at the heart of, let’s call them questionable practices, if all of New Zealand love him then you’ll just be seen as playing the man not the ball. People won’t go over to your side because you attack the character of the leader of the other side. They will go to you when they are suffering, if they see a viable vision or if they are utterly sick of the governing party. I can’t see the latter happening any time soon.
  7. National now have a majority. They can do anything they want. Anything. Watch out if you’re a teacher, poor, and/or receiving a benefit. Your time is up. They don’t need any supporters now so they can totally do what they want. Whether their ‘reforms’ have time to bed in and begin hurting the middle classes before the next election we will have to wait and see. The other thing that might help the is Key resigning / being rolled. I suspect Crusher is waiting in the wings ready to spray old tea all over National at the first available opportunity.
  8. David Seymour and ACT are going to be utterly chewed up and spat out by this parliament.

We in the left a grieving for our democracy. I suspect the right will use this time to rub salt into our wounds with some of those classic schoolboy put-downs we all know and love.

Today utterly sucks.

Here’s a picture of the führer and his henchmen to remind you who’s in charge of where we are heading.


John Key responds

Good morning.

I just wanted to set the record straight on some of the dross that’s been swirling around in Wellington for the past couple of days. It’s clear to me, and the rest of New Zealand, that we are sick of left-wing nutters jumping on the Kim Dotcom twitter train to Watergateville. I will not be taking that train.

This is a slanted, one-sided smear and I’m not going to tell you our side.

At the end of the day, the only thing that matters to New Zealanders is me saying, “at the end of the day” before many of my sentences. Farrar has run it past our focus groups and it’s received a 32% approval rating. This is in marked contrast to Labour’s constant “thanks for attending our latest policy launch” which barely scrapes a 61.76% rating.

For too much of this campaign, Labour have been playing dirty politics by releasing a raft of sound policy. At the end of the day, this is ridiculous. The Labour we all knew and loved under Phil Goff couldn’t handle a one-liner in a leader’s debate. This Labour is full of ideas. At the end of the day, I hate it.

At the end of the day New Zealanders will decide. Do they want a government who has a vision that creates a vibrant and competitive New Zealand full of jobs and hopes and dreams or do they want THREE MORE YEARS!

Because at the end of the day it’s all about THREE MORE YEARS!!!


Polls and Statements

So the latest polls are out. Labour are mid-20s, National are mid-50s, and the Greens are mid-teens.

I tweeted this morning about the vast number (nearly 16%) in the Fairfax Ipsos poll who register as ‘undecided.’ The same figure for Roy Morgan is 5.5%. I’m no polling expert, but I am quite good at the maths. Having one sixth of people not knowing who they will vote for only 2 months out from the election suggests to me that people want to vote for someone else other than Key and his wonderful band of merry joy-bringers, but are yet to be enthused by Labour and the Greens as a viable option.

Also, that means National’s 50-odd% is actually a percentage of DECIDED VOTERS which actually gives them a support figure under 50%.

40% of voters want a change of government. That’s quite a large proportion.

Of course, Farrar is bringing out this old argument again:

However it is hard to see how Labour can credibly form a Government if they get a result in the 20s, even if it becomes mathematically possible.

Although at the moment a change of government is looking unlikely, I would point out that the conservative sector of the vote in Australia has been a coalition for years – made up of the (ironically named) Liberal Party and the country / farming National Party. They even call themselves the Coalition. I don’t hear Tories complaining when that coalition wins power.

Ooooo…. they shouldn’t be allowed to form a coalition because they don’t have the mandate. Labor has the mandate. They are the biggest party.

Wouldn’t happen.

Yes. It is mathematically possible because you need 61 or so seats to form a majority in an MMP parliament. If you only have 49.003% and all the other parties form a coalition because they decide they have similar ideals then ya-boo, sucks to you.

It’s not Labour or the Green’s fault that National’s chosen coalition partners have self destructed over the course of this parliament and the only one they’ve come close to fostering causes bile to rise in the back of many throats.

Ultimately, when Key and Cunliffe go head-to-head we will see some fireworks and maybe momentum will swing to the progressive side of the spectrum.

Education Amendment Bill changes have been approved

So… if you’re wanting an idea about how the teaching profession is going to exist now, look no further than this rubber stamp.

According to news from Radio New Zealand this afternoon, the Education and Science Select Committee have approved changes to the Education Amendment Bill that will allow the Minister of Education to appoint every single member of the new Teachers’ Council.

Just to clarify what this means: Every single member of the board responsible for the registration and disciplining of teachers across New Zealand is going to be appointed by Hekia Parata.

The new body is to be called EduCANZ (see my previous posting on this). It’s a pretty little acronym which flows off the tongue quite nicely – as opposed to the bile that rises in the back of my throat at the thought of the National Party being in complete control of my professional body.

Would the Medical Council let the Health Minister appoint all the members of their governing body? Would the Law Commission welcome the Justice Minister or the Attorney General having full and final say over the make up of that organisation?

These are all professional bodies who have strong ties to government funding. Many billions of our tax dollars are spent on health, education and administration of the law. What’s to stop the (National & ACT mostly) government deciding they want to control those sectors through appointments and such like? I doubt they would be allowed to get away with it, however. Those bodies have strong voices and would never let the government take control of their professional bodies.

ASIDE: I’m not saying we teachers are ‘letting’ the government take charge of our professional body. I made a submission, as did many thousand of others, but they were ignored. When has this government every listened to the education sector about any of its policies?

But then this government has shown in the past how little regard it has for the rule of democracy. Just ask the voters of Canterbury. Want a regional council? Well you can’t have one. We have important work to do.

At present the Teachers’ Council is a partly appointment, partly elected body. When the bill is passed this will be a totally appointed body – a body whose sole aim will be the destruction of the teaching profession (don’t believe me? Have a look at what is happening to professional teaching organisations and unions in the United States). Once you have a subservient profession, then you can mould and manipulate to your heart’s content.

Of course, if National don’t manage to cobble together their various has-beens into a coalition of the desperately willing, then we may not be forced to endure the ignominy of having our profession deconstructed in this way.


Mr B


Education bill changes approved: RNZ, 15 July, 2014.

Labour’s grand plans

Well it’s official. Labour is going to dump National’s Standards and reduce class sizes by reallocating the hundreds of millions of dollars being spent by National on policy nobody wants.

I would be very interesting to be a fly on the wall at the offices of National’s PR boffins this evening. They will be absolutely freaking out, surely. National failed massively by trying to reorganise the ‘teaching ratio’ which, after a few weeks of middle class voter parents freaking out, was dumped. Labour are saying, “not only do we think bigger class sizes are bloody stupid, we are actually going to make class sizes smaller.”

National are on very shaky ground. They have that grand-master of political strategy Hekia Parata steering the ship towards the ragged rocks of doom. Labour need to exploit this weakness.

Labour have looked around at child poverty and National being in it for their rich mates and decided that is not really going to get them votes. What will get them votes is improving outcomes for the kids of all those wavering voters who probably don’t really want to vote for National but quite like John Key and aren’t really that fussed about Labour in comparison.

NOTE: I must point out that I am in no way throwing to one side (and nor are Labour) the importance of child poverty and the massive impact it will have on future New Zealand OR the equally massive impact neoliberal policies for the ultra-rich will have. Both of these things are important but, oh so unfortunately, they do not really impact on the middle class.

These few days out of the classroom are going to be most interesting.

Mr B.