Posts Tagged ‘ NZ Politics ’

Politicians miss the point over Bank profits

It’s not surprising the main banks are raking the money in. We’ve had high interest rates for years now, and the majority of the lending (mortgages) is locked in on long term loans that will see the profits roll in for some time to come.

Banks here have also been fairly careful about lending and have moved swiftly to call in any dodgy looking mortgages.

I’m guessing that the Reserve Bank Governor and Bill English are playing to the public gallery when they make nosies about being “disappointed” banks are not passing on the lower interest rates.

It’s all about pretty basic economics, supply and demand.

There is still a strong demand for mortgage lending, strong enough for the banks to not have to compete too strongly with each other for customers, and this is why interest rates are not falling. If the actual pool of mortgage customers had shrunk to the point that the main banks were fighting each other for custom, then you can be sure that rates would be a lot lower. Unfortunately the only way this will happen is if the housing market collapses completely and buyers dry up, and so far this hasn’t happened. There are still enough people out there who can ‘afford’ to pay the high rates and meet the stricter lending requirements for mortgages.

Until the demand drops, Bill English and Alan Bollard can whine all they like, but things won’t change as Banks don’t have to budge. Naturally both of them know this, well, you’d hope they understand this, which is why this is all nice headline material for the MSM.

If the MSM wasn’t so lazy and allowed Politicians to write their stories for them, what they would be doing is calling out the Banks over what they are doing with the profits and why they needed to shed staff so quickly. They could also ask why the ANZ Chairman was tooling around the Pacific being treated like royalty in a corporate jet while the bank was crying poor and laying off staff. They could also be doing a bit more digging on how the ANZ is screwing it’s customers over with the ING scam, where it put customers money into high risk investments, telling them it was low risk. Those events would make for a far more interesting stories.

Mt Albert voters a bit ‘slow’

 

Surprised Mt Albert citizen "wait, WTF! I though bulldozers were little yellow things???, run for your life"

Surprised Mt Albert citizen "wait, WTF! I though bulldozers were little yellow things???, run for your life"

If the nut-job racist locum Pharmacist hadn’t told you volumes about the sort of voter Mt Albert had (aside from voting for Helen for years), then the Motorway situation surely does.

If you were a voter in Mt Albert and wanted the tunnel option, then surely it must have occurred to you that as National has a majority in Parliament, that they were the horse to back? Helen only gave you the outrageously expensive tunnel option to win some votes.

Miss Clark got 14894 votes last election, based on the extra cost of $1.5 billion that’s $110,711.69 per voter, in other words, Labour were prepared to grease the palms of Mt Albert voters with your taxes by $110,711.69 per head to ensure control of the seat.

Why would National bother? It doesn’t need to votes or extra seat to stay in power. Not having the seat already it has nothing to lose by looking fiscally responsible and shoving the road through over land – like it was planned for in the dark ages 1950’s.

The only way to change that would be for the 14894 Labour voters to figure out they are about to be lumbered with a light-weight ring-in Labour MP, and realise that if they voted National, then National might be obligated to mitigate the effects of the road, because they would be in the same position as Labour.

The rest of us in Auckland are sick to death with the endless delays in finishing the roading system in Auckland and our patience with the twits in Mt Albert who are threatening to stand in front of the bulldozers ran out years ago. Just build the damn road, yesterday!

It’s also a demonstration of Nationals business acumen that they’ve decided to go ahead with the over land option – because buying up those properties in Mt Albert in the current property market would be a bargain, they must have dropped by at least 50% it not being the most attractive part of Auckland, just putting that out there!

Rankin appointment inspired

Christine with her baubles of office...

Christine with her baubles of office...

National’s appointment of Christine Rankin to the Families Commission is inspired.

This is going to be a win/win for them no matter how it goes. 

While Christine is no doubt passionate about ‘families’ – whatever the hell that is nowadays – she’s also become a bit of a talk show circuit celebrity. The reason she’s so good on talk-back, or National Radio, is that she’s  good for ratings always going to say something bordering on insane and is guaranteed to get hand wringing liberals frothing at the mouth and the lines running hot.

Christine is divisive, and it you had a Commission that would make you look heartless and Tory by ditching, hell, keep it on, just stack it with your cronies. This is what the thing was set up (by Labour) for, a nice harmless place to give your political mates a juicy paid position to keep them out of your hair.

If Christine and Co turn the whole thing into a circus, National can wind it up, claiming it’s dysfunctional. If, on the other hand, they make something out of it, National can claim it was sensible to put her in.

And in the mean time, if the hand wringers and trough gorgers keep resigning in protest, then that’s achieving something useful as well.

As I said, inspired!

An election on ‘trust’

Just in case you were wondering how out of touch politicians can get…

Helen Clark announced the election date last week, and claimed that the election would be fought on “trust”…

Miss Clark used her announcement at the Beehive this afternoon to contrast Labour and National, saying the election would be about which party deserved the trust of voters.

riiiighhht, so then we get this photo of her beside one of Labour’s new bill boards. And for those of you who didn’t know who that is on the bill board, it’s none other than Helen Clark, who is also leaning on the fence in front of the bill board (no it isn’t the bloke who just erected the bill board). And this is the same person who wants to talk to us about trust.

That doesn’t look anything like her, it’s been photoshopped beyond recognition. If she can’t even provide us with an honest photo, how the hell can she claim the election is about “trust“?

Just in case you can’t see that photo clearly, here’s one fresh of Labour’s web site. God only knows what the new branding is meant to be about, is it a flower? a four leaf clover? why is there a kiwi there, are they worried we might get it confused with something else? what’s the recycle logo for, are we all about the be recycled? What was wrong with the old brand, it was unmistakable, now it’s just messy and confusing, fascinating to know who was responsible for that piece of branding.

Dragging MP’s reputations lower

Labour, and now with their connivance, the one man band party (whose name I forget) run by Jim Anderton, have been releasing bits of National’s policies for them, most recently their health policy

While this obviously raises questions about National’s ability to manage important information, if you take John Key’s word that it was miss laid, this means that someone found it and gave it to Labour. They know it doesn’t belong to them, but they are going to use it to get some political mileage.

MP’s are pretty much right down the stakes in public estimation, way down there with used car salesmen, but you’d think that the government would feel a bit of responsibility to behave with some ethics. 

In the real world I could go to prison for using a document in such a way. This is no different from insider trading or stealing information from a company and using it to gain a competitive advantage, these are not just ethical issues, but legal ones. Parliament has become like a school yard, not only do they think they are above the ethical and moral standards that most members of society adhere too, but they also now seem to think they are above the law.

God help us if we all started behaving like this, society wouldn’t be a very pleasant place to live in. It’s ironic that a socialist government that harps on about ethics and morals and tells us how to behave – where we can buy alcohol from, whether we can smack our kids etc – chooses to set it’s own unique moral code when it comes it it’s behaviour. Fine example!

Government MP’s seem to think this is all a bit of a joke and that somehow it reflects badly on National. They are so out of touch as this says more about the members of this government than it says about National. Do we really want hypocritical people with no morals or ethics running the country for us?

As if we didn’t need any more confirmation that this government has totally lost it moral compass!

Owen Glenn for ACT?

My pick for the as-yet-unfilled position of number five on the ACT party list is…

Owen Glenn

Why, well firstly based on this comment in the NZ Herald;

“I would have thought our MPs would behave in a better manner all round. They should be running the country. I think New Zealanders have a right to be better represented.”

And then the more I thought about it the more it made sense. Clark has been bloody rude to him, unforgivably rude, Winston ditto. I can’t imagine someone like Glenn would have been too impressed, and it wouldn’t be inconceivable that he would bare a bit of a grudge against them.

Number five is high enough to warrant attention, but just low enough not to get into Parliament, as I would imagine he would have enough to worry about with his businesses.

But boy would he and ACT be able to have some fun during the election, the guy who financed Labour standing for ACT. This would bring back some life to ACT which would further cement their credentials as a maverick party based on principals, and Glenn would be able to talk about Labour’s principals from first hand experience.

ACT could claim they left the spot open and then Glenn approached them, he’s already given a lot of money back to NZ via the Auckland University, so he could claim to want to make the ultimate donation and stand for public office.

Side Show Pete Fatigue

The Winston Peters saga now seems to have developed a life of it’s own, and as such has gone from being a revelation to being a bit of a yawn. I suspect that shortly it will have reached proportions that will allow the MSM to dedicate the subject it’s own header button – you’ll have ‘National News’ ‘Regional News’ ‘Politics’ and ‘Winston Peters’.

This is not to say none of this is important, it is, because it demonstrates just how rotten politicians can become over time, especially if they end up having nothing else in their lives except their ‘jobs’. Peters has been there so long now he’s a permanent fixture but as Bob Jones points out in his article on stuff.co.nz he stopped being principled long ago and driven by personal ambition and hatred of the media.

Politicians do live in a rarefied atmosphere and insulated from the ‘real world’, the degree to which they become separated from reality is dependant on what they did before they got voted in, and the quality of their family life seems to play a factor.

If Peters lived in the real world he would have bowed out and turned his skills to something in the private sector – fund raising for example – but he is too deep in to see that he could have bowed out and done so in a positive way. It’s too late for that and even if the latest revelations don’t sink him, it clearly going to be a death by a thousand cuts and there is no way he can come out of it with a shred of dignity or credibility.

I’m surprised Peter Williams has allowed himself to be involved and dragged into such a messy event. While I don’t agree with everything he says, he is clearly someone with principals, whereas Peters seems to have abandoned his years ago. What on earth possessed him to think that Peters was a victim here is beyond me.

My prediction is that this will drag on so long that the voters will lose interest and it will descend into legal arguments that will go on well past the election. This means that Clark won’t need to reinstate him, getting her off the hook. I also think Peters will scrap 5% and be back into parliament. If NZ First was a real political party rather than what is so clearly a cash cow for Winston, then it’s membership base would have got together and ditched him. 

The one good thing to come out of this is National’s principled stand of not doing business with NZ First after the election, even if it means they dont go into government. That was a big call to make and maybe it shows that overall, there are some politicians out there with bottom lines after all, because the last month has tested that theory to the limits!