Business confidence plummeting like a deadly stone of deadly death

Concern is rising among New Zealand business owners and employers at the falling levels of business confidence highlighted in the recent release of survey data from banks and economists. Many business leaders are reporting significant drop offs in confidence in the first six to eight months of the Labour-led coalition government.

“We all voted National last year,” said one leader, “and when they won the election, we were over the moon. But as it became clear that Winston was going to go with Labour, I certainly felt my confidence levels beginning to wobble.”

A member of the Employers and Manufacturers Federation said there was a definite and significant fall in confidence following the signing of the coalition agreement.

“When it became clear that National had been voted out then my confidence definitely fell,” he said, “I’m never confident with a Labour government. They never give us free stuff like being able to sack people for no reason after 3 months of work.”

When asked whether he thought his drop in confidence had very little to do with any economic conditions, the EMF member said, “Oh… absolutely not. Everybody has stopped investing in anything now that Labour are in charge. We don’t think we’ll be confident again until National and ACT are back in power.”

National leader Simon Bridges, fresh from his Year 13 science field-day said, “this is just typical Labour. When they are in government bringing in surpluses, investing in infrastructure, and lifting wages for everybody, business confidence plummets. When we are in power and racking up the deficits and making sure thousands and thousands of New Zealanders are kicked off benefits because that’s how we roll, then confidence goes through the roof. That proves we are the better economic managers.”

The Labour Party said they weren’t going to comment because it was very unlikely anything they said would have any effect on the confidence of National voters.

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A National Party discussion

National Party caucus. Tuesday.

Simon: What are we going to do?

Amy: What can we do?

Gerry: What are we able to do?

Judith: Could we crush something?

Simon: No! We can’t crush anything. What do you want to crush?

Judith: I don’t know… um… Jacinda?

Amy: Oh my god, Judith. She’s a new mum. What are you going to do? Take down a new mum. You’ll look like an ogre.

Judith (smarmily): I’ll have you know there is no such thing as a lady ogre.

Gerry: Good thing you’re not a lady then! BOOM!!

Amy: Oh my god, Gerry. That’s a woman. You can’t say that about a woman.

Gerry (mumbling under breath): Can’t bloody say any bloody thing these days without bloody offending some bloody one.

Amy: Pardon?

Gerry: Nice work.

Simon: So far nobody has offered any suggestions at all. What can we do? Jacinda’s now the nation’s mother. What can we do?

Gerry: If we can’t hammer away at Jacinda, who could we get? Winston? Twyford? That guy who’s doing the prisons… old… whassisname?

Amy: Yes. We need to get someone.

Simon: Keep going.

Judith: That’s what I said.

Amy: Why don’t we send out some feelers…

Simon: Yes, yes…

Amy: …to the likes of Hooton and Farrar…

Simon: …I’m listening…

Amy: …and get them to find out something about someone… you know… old school styles.

Judith: You know that kind of nonsense is why John Key sacked me before the 2014 election. Bloody Hagar and his unnamed sources.

Amy: Yes… but it’s our only hope.

Simon: Maybe… maybe… but I’ve just had a thought…

All: Go on…

Simon: Well…. we’ve been in government for the better part of the last decade, yeah?

Amy: Yes.

Simon: And… well… pretty much everything that is happening in the economy at the moment is effectively the results of our policies and actions, or inactions, over that decade…

Judith: I’m not sure I like where this is heading…

Simon: …and anything we criticise the government for at this point will just look and sound ridiculous because they’ll say they’re just fixing up our messes. What if we…. check it out… what if we put our heads together and come up with some hard-hitting and visionary policies that will deal with all of those previous problems we created when we were last in government.

Slight pause followed by howls of uncontrollable laughter that goes on for the better part of five minutes. 

Judith: Oh… mercy… that was a good one.

Simon: I know, right!

Gerry: I haven’t laughed that hard in… ages.

Amy: Genius.

Simon: Yes… thank you. So… let’s go with Amy’s plan using Judith’s contacts in the underworld to dig some dirt and have ourselves an old-fashioned whisper campaign. I’ll talk to Hoots about talking on RNZ about some “interesting rumours” he has heard in his circles. Jude… can you get Farrar to write blog post after blog post where he cuts and pastes various articles questioning Labour’s activities before adding the words, indeed, interesting, or these are tough times for the coalition government at the end of each one.

Gerry: What are you going to do?

Simon: Well, Gerry, I’m just going to sit back and bask in the glow of a job well done and prepare to win the next election. This plan is gold!

Exclusive: National Party strategy convergency

Recently the National Party invited MyThinks to their latest strategy meeting entitled, “The Party Strategy Convergency.” Apart from being a grammatical mouthful, this meeting brought together all the bright lights and blue sky thinkers of the election-winning National Party. Followed several hours of meeting, a keynote address was delivered by Sir Archibald Fountain-Penne.

Good afternoon everybody. Thank you all for coming to this strategy convergence. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, what is said in this room, stays in this room.

I can tell you, over the past few hours we’ve listened to all your ideas, ignored them, and I am here now to give you the official National Party talking points when you are confronted by any media questions.

When you are asked by any journalist about any policy the National Party has been in charge of over the past decade, it’s important to use the language of disaster. Our housing issues are now a housing crisis. The challenges we faced in health are now called a health crisis. Any problems in education or the economy are called the education crisis or the economic crisis. Other words you could use are catastrophe, calamity, cataclysm or disaster.

Of course, when National were in government, these words were resisted, and rightly so. The last thing you want is people thinking your running a series of disasters. It’s not nice to be called useless, incompetent, disastrous, dreadful, awful, appalling, horrific, horrifying, horrible, horrendous, atrocious, abominable, abhorrent, frightful, fearful, shocking, hideous, ghastly, grim, dire, hateful, unspeakable, gruesome, monstrous, sickening, heinous, or vile.

The great thing is this: the government is now dealing with all the issues we were dealing with as a result of our own policy errors. That’s not the important thing. The important thing is we sell the idea that this government is failing. Sure they are failing at fixing up the range of messes we left, but that doesn’t matter. Voters are stupid. Why else would Winston still be getting votes? Why would 44% of New Zealanders still be supporting the opposition?

Another thing you can do is suggest we were only “following advice.” This is a great argument. Mainly because it puts the onus for our failures on the bank of faceless public servants. I mean, how were we meant to know? We were only following the very best advice. We are only mere politicians. We can’t be expected to know everything about everything, can we? Of course, the fact we were in charge of the policies that led to the development of the advice we were given does not need to come into it. Just repeat to the journalist you were following advice.

Lastly, if you are new to the portfolio, you can always blame the previous person in charge. This works better than anything else because, more often than not, the former politicians will remain exceedingly quiet on the issue. Who wants to be that former MP making their way in the private sector standing up and admitting to abject failure. That doesn’t look good on the front page of the CV.

Remember, the underside of a bus is best seen by the person you shove beneath it.

Thank you all for listening.

Paula Bennett and the policy that never was, except when it was

Good afternoon my fellow New Zealanders. I, Paula “The Westie” Bennett, have been asked by this obscure blog to post some words from my brain hole. Far be it from me to remain quiet on any subject, I have accepted this challenge and I now sit her in a chair typing words into a document that will, at some point in the near future, be uploaded to this blog I’ve never heard of.

You know, as deputy leader of the opposition, I see a lot of nonsense coming from the coalition government. Take the recent announcement from Sir Peter Gluckman about methamphetamine contamination. From the reaction of Phil Twyford, it looks like he may have been dabbling a bit himself (although I wouldn’t know what that would be like having never taken any drugs of any description OR misrepresented my situation to Work and Income at any time – and I will sue, to death, anyone who says anything to the contrary). Twyford has been all over the place.

What are the government doing? They know what they have to do. Compensation for any Housing New Zealand tenantwho has been evicted or private landlord who has ended up out of pocket from this nonsensical policy.

Even though I was minister at the time and I was responsible for making all manner of policy decisions for and appointing senior public servants to Housing New Zealand, at no point did I exercise any ministerial control over the department. I certainly never suggested that people and babies should be evicted from their homes. And even when I did so those things, I was just reporting Housing New Zealand policy which, as I’ve already said, I and the National Party had absolutely no control over in the slightest. How could we be responsible for this? It’s the government’s fault and we are not the government.

It’s clear the government have been caught short by this research and now they have over 200 state houses that are back on the market for people to live in.

I thought it was important people had all the facts before they jumped down my party’s throat saying we caused this crisis and it was our hysterical dog whistle politics that lead to this eviction policy. It wasn’t. In all the time we were in power we never had one single policy that stemmed from our dog whistles – except for the three strikes policy, and our benefit sanctions, and this one. But apart from that, we had no policies.

I think you know what I mean.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have another important engagement. There is an important walk-on role I have to play on the Jono and Ben show because when you’re deputy leader of the opposition you have to take what you can get.

P xx

Guest post: David Garrett on the three strikes policy

This week, former ACT politician David Garrett authored a guest post on the official National Party policy discussion website Kiwiblog where he outlined his concerns over the Labour coalition’s plans to get rid of one of the few pieces of legislation ACT has ever been able to put its name to. We here at MyThinks were concerned many of our readers would miss out on the many pearls of wisdom Mr Garrett could offer, so we contacted him and asked him to write a guest post on our blog. Here is that post. 

Earlier this year, I sat among the grieving family members at the trial of a third strike murderer. What the family members heard – judging by their comments and questions of me – was to them an incomprehensible judicial farce.

Whenever “life without parole” was mentioned during what was a lengthy sentencing, family members would say “YES” in a loud whisper. Sadly, it was clear to me that the judge was never going to deliver the life-without-parole that ACT, the champion of individual freedom, populist dog whistling, and… DANCE! would have wanted.

This week the family was dealt another horrific blow when Justice Minister Andrew Little announced a “review” into ACT’s three strikes policy. Apart from being the Labour government’s 486th review announced since stealing Winston from the National Party, we all know where this is heading. Labour will get rid of the policy and New Zealand will be overrun with scumbags. I’ve never seen The Waking Dead, but once the three strikes policy is dispensed with, I am sure New Zealand will resemble the zombie apocalypse.

The problem for Labour, and New Zealand, is that the three strikes policy works. It works by locking up the most disgusting individuals so they can never harm anyone again. It also acts as a deterrent. Criminals committing crimes will often stop just before they are about to commit a crime and think, “Hmmm… there’s that three strikes policy from ACT… I better stop robbing this dairy,” and they do stop. They stop their robbing and immediately head out and get a job. If Labour dump this policy, then this kind of criminality will just continue. Dairies will be robbed. Jobs will remain unfilled.

You know, if there had been a three strikes policy around when I stole the identity of that dead baby all those years ago to fraudulently obtain a passport, I’m sure I wouldn’t have committed that crime, or the other assault I was convicted of. I would have stopped and thought, “Hmmm… you know… I don’t think I will do that. Not because it’s the wrong thing to do, but because if I get caught I could, ultimately if my offending continues, end up with a life sentence for doing something mundane like slapping someone on the face.”

But there wasn’t any such law, and I committed those crimes, and now I’m an hypocritical laughing-stock.

Labour are fools if they think people like me won’t be living it up after they get rid of this law.

Regards,

David Garrett, Sensible Sentencer.