The Dim-Post

February 26, 2013

Key blames Solid Energy failure on previous Labour government and fabric of space-time

Filed under: Politics,satire — danylmc @ 9:28 am

Prime Minister John Key has hit back against opposition claims that his government was ‘asleep at the wheel’ when it came to managing the troubled state-owned coal company Solid Energy, linking its problems to an SOE diversification strategy implemented by the previous Labour government and the phase transition that occurred during the earliest picoseconds of the creation of the universe in which the strong and weak nuclear forces separated from the electromagnetic force, allowing for the creation of solid matter. 

‘In 2007 Trevor Mallard called for the SEO’s to expand into new areas, and they started looking for ways to raise capital to restructure in response to that,’ Key said, citing a request for a billion dollar loan made by Solid Energy in 2009. ‘When you combine that with the strong headwinds this government is dealing with as a result of decisions made well before the formation of our galaxy then you have a problem that was not of our making.’

‘But this government is fronting up and dealing with the issues at that company, just as we are dealing with the disappointing situation that the universe is a large, complex structured environment and  not a tiny ultra-dense infinitely hot ball of plasma,’ Key added.

Key also pointed to debt decisions taken by the Solid Energy executives and the inadequate number of temporal dimensions in the visible universe as it currently stands. ‘Obviously the company was allowed to structure its own finances under the SOE act, but if we had fewer spatial and more time dimensions to work in we would have done things very differently.’

The Prime Minister also took aim at policy decisions made by Phil Goff and Annette King, who were Cabinet Ministers during the  nucleosynthesis of the Sun 4.5 billion years ago.

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39 Comments »

  1. ‘But this government is fronting up and dealing with … the disappointing situation that the universe is a large, complex structured environment and not a tiny ultra-dense infinitely hot ball of plasma,’ Key added.

    Evidence, please.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — February 26, 2013 @ 9:47 am

  2. Shearer has announced that Mallard is a wormhole Labour would use to travel back in time to make decisions that are now obvious.

    Comment by NeilM — February 26, 2013 @ 9:54 am

  3. Most would agree about the hole part.

    Comment by Tim — February 26, 2013 @ 10:26 am

  4. Mr Key went on to complain that even as The Right Honorable Prime Minister Sir John Key SA (Smiling Assassin), that he Key had to eat cold baked beans out of a can, because Trevor Mallard had not paid the Power Bill in 1986.

    Comment by xianmac — February 26, 2013 @ 10:33 am

  5. Andrew…

    “Space,” it says, “is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space, listen…”

    ― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

    Comment by Bruce Hamilton — February 26, 2013 @ 10:38 am

  6. Well Key does defy quantum physics, even by observing him he doesn’t collapse into either smile or a wave.

    Comment by NeilM — February 26, 2013 @ 10:41 am

  7. Apparently Norm Kirks death has been reclassified as a neutron star collapse, the resulting electromagnetic effect in the order of 8.5 gigateslas being cited as the principle contributing factor to the NovoPay debacle.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 26, 2013 @ 10:45 am

  8. Heh, I had two browser tabs open – this and an NBR article including this Key quote: “We’ve got a minister of economic development, not a magician. We’re dealing with a global financial crisis, still working through what’s happened with the earthquakes in Canterbury. There’s generally a tough trading position with much of the world and a high exchange rate.”
    I assume the rest of the quote was “… if only we had some form of nationwide central governance mechanism with a “lead” or perhaps “prime” minister, that set the framework for our social and economic responses to such conditions. Until then I’m blaming the lack of magic in our known universe”

    Comment by garethw — February 26, 2013 @ 11:16 am

  9. Prior to the govt opening the books, Solid State Energy existed in a supposition of states.

    Comment by NeilM — February 26, 2013 @ 11:23 am

  10. The real problem relates to a collision between the Brownlee boson, which consists of three quarks (two bottoms, one strange, no charm), and random fermions popping into being at random in the quantum foam of space-time as we know it. Key had no chance.

    Comment by Gareth — February 26, 2013 @ 11:52 am

  11. Having a leafy pot plant in the right place in his office would feng shui the hell out of that pesky space-time problem he’s having.

    Comment by Ataahua — February 26, 2013 @ 12:17 pm

  12. This situation shows, yet again, what a bunch of clueless clowns National are. Everyone knows that the simplest way to deal with any anomaly in the fabric of space/time is to fire a tachyon beam from the emitter array straight at said anomaly.

    Comment by Hazza — February 26, 2013 @ 12:38 pm

  13. I had a look at the SE Annual Reports and if we put aside the politics and ever so clever guffawing Key does seem to have a point. SE did appear to double down on renewable energy investments first in 07/08 and 09/10.

    Year Assets Notes
    07 $0.5Bn Plans to invest heavily in renewables and infrastructure laid out
    “We invest in research and commercialisation of new sustainable forms of energy that use coal, and
    in renewables, such as biomass, biodiesel and solar, that help New Zealand in the transition to clean,
    affordable and renewable energy forms.”

    08 $0.59Bn a whole heap of IFRS boondoggling and allusions to higher retail energy prices

    09 $0.68Bn accelerating infrastructure investment in face of GFC is supposedly a cautious strategy, windfall revenues off volatility in commodities

    10 $1.0Bn GFC “over”, capital investment program finished, revenue down by a third, debt quadrupled, fixed costs up sharply

    11 $1.1Bn CHCH quakes, Pike River, fixed cost up again sharply, new plants in full flight

    12 $0.42Bn Debt up sharply, fixed costs up again, revenue up but losses huge, new plants showing idle capacity

    Comment by Tim — February 26, 2013 @ 1:04 pm

  14. It was all the fault of a mallard quarking.

    Comment by Scintilla — February 26, 2013 @ 1:04 pm

  15. Everyone knows that the simplest way to deal with any anomaly in the fabric of space/time is to fire a tachyon beam from the emitter array straight at said anomaly.

    You’ve been listening to those clowns at Treasury again. It’s about time we took fresh look at the problem, and went with the Green Party proposal of ejecting used warp-cores straight in the heart of anomalies. The resulting explosion will throw us clear of the gravitational pull of S&P negative ratings-watch.

    Comment by Phil — February 26, 2013 @ 1:27 pm

  16. Just remember, it’s not a lie if you believe it.

    Comment by Costanza — February 26, 2013 @ 1:27 pm

  17. SE did appear to double down on renewable energy investments first in 07/08 and 09/10.

    Or you could take the impairment commentary and table on page 8 of the 2012 report at face value, which points the finger squarely at overcapitalisation of traditional mining activity.

    Of $150m gross writedown in the 2012 year, 2/3 is attributable to the Spring Creek and Huntly operations.

    What the reports points to is the strategic incompetence of the executive and board over several years, not one off events.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 26, 2013 @ 1:35 pm

  18. I had a look at the SE Annual Reports and if we put aside the politics and ever so clever guffawing Key does seem to have a point.

    Well, it would be a somewhat stronger point if Key hadn’t also said in 2011 that:

    “At the moment companies like Solid Energy are growth companies and we want them to expand in areas like lignite conversion,” Mr Key said.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5094448/PM-backs-mining-souths-lignite

    So perhaps the best that may be said is that, for all Key et al’s supposed corporate expertise and economic management skills, they were just as dumb as Trevor Mallard … except that their dumbness continued in the face of the all the 2007-2011 changes to market conditions that Tim lays out.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — February 26, 2013 @ 1:41 pm

  19. > the phase transition that occurred during the earliest picoseconds of the creation of the universe in which the strong and weak nuclear forces separated from the electromagnetic force, allowing for the creation of solid matter.

    Actually, the strong nuclear force split off first, leaving the electroweak force, which subsequently split into the electromagnetic and weak nuclear forces. The electroweak unification occurs at the 100GeV scale with the W and Z bosons. Any unification with the strong force would be at at least the TeV-scale, if not much higher.

    During the electroweak epoch (as long as a microsecond or so after the big bang) matter would have still been in a state of quark-gluon condensate. Creation of solid matter would have only occurred much later in the history of the universe.

    Comment by Kiwipollguy — February 26, 2013 @ 1:52 pm

  20. … except that their dumbness continued in the face of the all the 2007-2011 changes to market conditions that Tim lays out.

    Labour had no objection to what SSE was doing over that period either which is not surprising as it was all set in motion under Labour.

    So one could say both parties share responsibility but then again the SOE act is what it is and no govt can judt step in and determine business practice. Nor would one want that.

    Comment by NeilM — February 26, 2013 @ 1:54 pm

  21. You get this kind of shit living in an outer arm. I bet the Sagittarians don’t have to put up with this.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — February 26, 2013 @ 1:55 pm

  22. Hey I didn’t say he was the god boy and Trev was wrong just that the dumb started way back in 07.

    And yes Gregor you are right they did seem to double down on anything that wasn’t nailed down but I suspect the trad assets were over valued as part of the grooming for sale, keeping the banks happy as well as the build of infrastructure and capacity.

    Let the clever guffawing continue.

    Comment by Tim — February 26, 2013 @ 1:57 pm

  23. @Ben #20

    They’re closer the the galaxy’s central black hole, where time travels slower. They’ve still got, like, six weeks to figure out how to get Sagittarius Energy out of this fiscal mess.

    Comment by Phil — February 26, 2013 @ 2:52 pm

  24. the trad assets were over valued as part of the grooming for sale,

    Tim – I think this is the key point. Priming for sale has been a long term activity. Book inflation would have been part of that strategy.
    I suspect work would have started back in ’09-10, conveniently when SE were looking for vast sums to expand and diversify.

    After all, recent history would tell us that nothing looks better to a banker than unqualified, skin-deep asset inflation based on potential forward revenues of a volatile commodity to justify lending.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 26, 2013 @ 2:55 pm

  25. Yup and whichever way you slice it up it looks like a dog fed by a number of parties that I bet Key wishes had been able to flog in 09/10.

    Comment by Tim — February 26, 2013 @ 3:29 pm

  26. Everyone knows that the simplest way to deal with any anomaly in the fabric of space/time is to fire a tachyon beam from the emitter array straight at said anomaly.

    No, that was superseded by research carried out by the Futurama team in the early 2000s. These days, the recommended approach is to use a doomsday device to create a black hole to absorb the excess chronotons.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — February 26, 2013 @ 4:19 pm

  27. After all, recent history would tell us that nothing looks better to a banker than…

    Perhaps, although it was via the scoping for the partial sale that the problems became apparent to the govt.

    Comment by NeilM — February 26, 2013 @ 5:33 pm

  28. This all happened after they disturbed the giant snails.

    Comment by George D — February 26, 2013 @ 5:55 pm

  29. Oh NeilM.

    Your optimistic worldview and unbounded faith in our elected officials to ‘discover problems under due diligence’ as opposed to being compelled to ‘fess up once the cellar can’t hide any more bodies’ is refreshing.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 26, 2013 @ 6:00 pm

  30. It’s all really simple – if everything else in the Universe follows Einstein’s mass/energy equivalence, then surely a company named “Solid Energy” has to as well.

    i.e. E (Solid Energy) = m x c^2 (money times competence squared)

    So if competence is real there will be positive amounts of money. But Solid Energy is losing money, therefore competence must be imaginary..

    Comment by gazzaj — February 26, 2013 @ 7:22 pm

  31. What we need is a Doctor.

    Spacetime problems? Sorted.

    Fixing Key’s prime ministership? That’ll take a bit longer.

    Comment by Frank Macskasy — February 26, 2013 @ 11:01 pm

  32. @Gregor W

    I don’t have an “unbounded faith in our elected officials” I have, or perhaps had, a belief that the govt having major stakes in some industries served the common good.

    But what should go along with that is an acceptance that these SOEs will have bad times as well as good times and that to use the bad times as a mere excuse for partisan bitching undermines the common good argument.

    If politicians cannot resist resorting to making this an issue of what they can out if this fir themselves than I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no good to come from the SOEs and they should be sold.

    I have sympathy for the Nationsl govt as they are stuck and no doubt if the roles were reversed National would be acting like Labour and the Greens.

    So no party had convinced me that the can run a business like a business rather than an extension of their election campaign. And since Labour us supposed to be a centre left party which should be able to make common good arguments I find them once more the most disappointing.

    Comment by NeilM — February 26, 2013 @ 11:15 pm

  33. We need urgent legislation to build an even Larger Hadron Collider and send John Key to the correct parallel universe.
    And can we borrow an articulate version of David Shearer from somewhere?

    Comment by ropata — February 26, 2013 @ 11:34 pm

  34. And since Labour us supposed to be a centre left party which should be able to make common good arguments I find them once more the most disappointing.

    Yet another sorry soul nursing a lifelong trauma over the childhood discovery that they’d been deceived over the existence of Santa Claus.

    Comment by Joe W — February 27, 2013 @ 8:54 am

  35. I have, or perhaps had, a belief that the govt having major stakes in some industries served the common good.

    As do many of us.

    The trouble various governments don’t appear to have cottoned on that it’s not 1950, so pitching coal mining as ‘critical infrastructure’ or ‘common good’ is a bit of a stretch these days.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 27, 2013 @ 9:59 am

  36. On Planet Key, there are very thick deposits of bat shit in the planetary crust.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — February 27, 2013 @ 10:50 am

  37. Hey ropata, what would an articulate David Shearer say?

    What the hell am I doing here?

    What the the hell does the NZLP stand for?

    One thing is for sure, there are an awful lot of non voters out there. They do not like the Labour Party..

    It is hardly surprising that Shon Key does so well in the polls.

    Where the hell is the opposition?

    Comment by peterlepaysan — February 27, 2013 @ 8:20 pm

  38. Articulate Shearer from Dimension XYZZY sez:
    “Never fear little Kiwis. Soon I shall defeat my galactic nemesis, the Jokey one, and usher in a new age of rainbows and pixie dust, solve world hunger, and the All Blacks shall reign for a thousand years”

    Comment by ropata — February 27, 2013 @ 11:10 pm

  39. “it’s not 1950″

    Don’t tell Gerry. This glorious motorway will turn Christchurch farmland into a sprawling Pakuranga and is much loved by the construction industry and sundry well-placed property developers:
    http://transportblog.co.nz/2013/02/27/how-much-sprawl-in-christchurch/

    Comment by Sacha — February 28, 2013 @ 11:05 am


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