The Dim-Post

March 14, 2012

Prime Minister to re-organise office to boost economy

Filed under: Politics,satire — danylmc @ 3:15 pm

The government is to focus its efforts on re-arranging the furniture in John Key’s Beehive office, the Prime Minister announced today, ending months of speculation about National’s plan to reduce the deficit and grow productivity during their second term.

In a speech that is expected to set the political and fiscal agenda for the next two years, Key made the announcement at a breakfast meeting of the Waitakere Business Club, who greeted the policy with sustained applause.

‘This government will form a high level committee to carry out this task, consisting of myself, Finance Minister Bill English, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Northland electorate MP Mike Sabin who used to shift pianos when he was a student and is still in pretty good shape.’

‘This committee will sit atop all other departments and sub-committees focusing on this issue and produce regular reports on current and ongoing furniture deployment and office topology, allowing us to move towards a workspace where I don’t have the sun shining right on my laptop screen for most of the morning and a brighter future for all New Zealand.’

Although some heavy lifting will be required, the government expects to shift the heavy leather couches and wood and steel meeting table  using wireless mobile devices and social media tools, somehow.

The announcement is aimed at voters worried about the government losing direction during tough economic times and Christchurch residents exasperated at the slow rate of the re-build, although it is also expected to quell dissatisfaction amongst business leaders and National MPs who feel that the Prime Minister’s office is too cluttered and twee, with an odd mixture of furnishings ranging from French Empire to contemporary, and  where you can’t hear things properly because of all the hard surfaces.

‘Finding the optimal re-orientation of my desk is vital to restoring ongoing competitiveness to New Zealand business,’ the Prime Minister told reporters at a briefing after the speech. ‘If it’s facing this way you’ve got the sun, but the other way I can’t see people when they walk into the room. There’s a lot of moving parts here and it’s not going to be easy, but we’re up to the challenge.’

Despite criticisms from opposition leaders, Key insists the policy will yield tangible benefits to the economy. ‘Our initial estimates were savings of several hundred dollars a year due to reduced carpet cleaning costs, while Treasury models put a more efficiently arranged office returning five to six billion dollars a year after five years. Realistically the real number is probably somewhere in the middle.’

The radical new reforms will also revolutionise the Prime Ministerial white-board, which leans against a wall and is fastened to a table with blue-tack. Currently the white-board lists operational priorities of the Prime Minister’s Office: rebuild Christchurch, grow the economy, win a third term and be invited back to the White House.

‘Instead of a sequential list we’re looking at writing them in a circle and drawing arrows between them,’ Key explained. ‘Poor policy decisions in the 2000s damaged confidence in the New Zealand economy and we think this will get it back on track.’

The list of priority items are currently re-ordered on a daily basis, using either numbers, asterisks or bullet-points, dependent on fluctuations in world markets, overnight polling data and the flight patterns of sea-birds over Wellington harbor, as they wheel and dive in the empty sky.

41 Comments »

  1. Hmm. The make-up of this Committee is a slight on former woodwork teacher and Cabinet all-rounder Gerry Brownlee.

    Comment by Me Too — March 14, 2012 @ 3:23 pm

  2. Hmm. The make-up of this Committee is a slight on former woodwork teacher and Cabinet all-rounder Gerry Brownlee.

    Possibly. Maybe explained by his inability to properly attach the P.M.’s whiteboard to the wall.

    Comment by TerryB — March 14, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

  3. “Maybe explained by his inability to properly attach the P.M.’s whiteboard to the wall.”

    Hey … those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.

    (Says the life-long academic with a deep aversion to the real world, wherever that is.)

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — March 14, 2012 @ 4:20 pm

  4. Although some heavy lifting will be required, the government expects to shift the heavy leather couches and wood and steel meeting table using wireless mobile devices and social media tools, somehow.

    My brain just exploded with joy.

    Pretty sure I read a very similar proposal in a Clare Curran press release somewhere though, you dirty plagiarist.

    Comment by Gregor W — March 14, 2012 @ 4:40 pm

  5. You for Chief.

    Comment by nw — March 14, 2012 @ 4:41 pm

  6. “(Says the life-long academic with a deep aversion to the real world, wherever that is.)”

    It’s where people earn real money (as opposed to recirculated taxpayer funded IOUs) and produce real things, like milk, vegetables, oil, and metals, (for example).

    (As opposed to conducting courses in such subjects as “The History and Culture of the Adriatic Basin”. For example.)

    Comment by Redbaiter — March 14, 2012 @ 4:50 pm

  7. Christ you’re a humourless fuck, Redbaiter.

    You make me pine for Pete George.

    Comment by Gregor W — March 14, 2012 @ 4:54 pm

  8. History and culture are for moron communists.

    Hey, look at my Confederate flag…

    Comment by Pete — March 14, 2012 @ 4:56 pm

  9. “(As opposed to conducting courses in such subjects as “The History and Culture of the Adriatic Basin”. For example.)”

    I’ll have you know I haven’t taught that course for 3 years now. It didn’t leave enough time for my post-graduate reading group on “Meta-discourses in Ovid’s ‘Ars Amatoria’: A gyneological exploration.” Which is a pretty odd thing to teach at a Law School, I know … but it is only Otago we’re talking about.

    Also, how much milk have YOU produced today, hmmm? You bovine miracle, you.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — March 14, 2012 @ 5:01 pm

  10. “Christ you’re a humourless fuck, Redbaiter.”

    I’m not. I actually find Danny’s satire very amusing and have no trouble congratulating him on his work. As I have done on more than one occasion in the past.

    Being the ignorant and dull brained serf you are Gregor, you should rather leave such judgments to people of sophistication and intelligence.

    Comment by Redbaiter — March 14, 2012 @ 5:10 pm

  11. Also, how much milk have YOU produced today, hmmm? You bovine miracle, you.

    As a person of nominal Jewish matrilineality (in addition to said females being blessed with Scottishness), I can confirm that I do in fact, shit gold.
    Does that make me part of the real economy?

    Comment by Gregor W — March 14, 2012 @ 5:13 pm

  12. Redbaiter, I stand both corrected and in awe of your sophistication and intelligence.

    Comment by Gregor W — March 14, 2012 @ 5:15 pm

  13. “I can confirm that I do in fact, shit gold. Does that make me part of the real economy?”

    Depends who you sell it to. If it’s to anyone who earns any part of their living from recirculated taxpayer funded IOUs, then no. But if you sell it to Redbaiter for money he earned from the milk he produced, then it’s all good. Unless, of course, he’s selling his milk to that collectivist disgrace, Fonterra. Or it is selling milk to people who earn any part of their living from recirculated taxpayer funded IOUs … .

    Actually, because we don’t already have a completely pure free market in which only voluntary transactions between consenting individuals take place, there is no real economy in a real world.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — March 14, 2012 @ 5:19 pm

  14. And metals! A real thing we can produce!

    Comment by PJ — March 14, 2012 @ 5:29 pm

  15. Melt me down and I’m sure you’ll find some phosphorous. As an aside I remember reading a report that crematoria were significant mercury contamination sites.

    Comment by insider — March 14, 2012 @ 5:47 pm

  16. redbaiter claims to love freedom, flies flag of slaveocracy

    Comment by Trouble Man — March 14, 2012 @ 5:48 pm

  17. Why do the smoke-stacks have those things like balconies around them?” enquired Lenina.
    “Phosphorus recovery,” explained Henry telegraphically. “On their way up the chimney the gases go through four separate treatments. P2O5 used to go right out of circulation every time they cremated some one. Now they recover over ninety-eight per cent of it. More than a kilo and a half per adult corpse. Which makes the best part of four hundred tons of phosphorus every year from England alone.” Henry spoke with a happy pride, rejoicing whole-heartedly in the achievement, as though it had been his own. “Fine to think we can go on being socially useful even after we’re dead. Making plants grow.”

    Aldous Huxley. Brave New World

    Comment by Joe W — March 14, 2012 @ 6:19 pm

  18. first you object to the Chinese buying our farms and now this attack on feng shui. bit of a pattern.

    Comment by NeilM — March 14, 2012 @ 6:29 pm

  19. To be fair, the “Beehive” is a nightmare of a design as far as workable space is concerned

    The so called “sensible sentencing trust” should be be insisting that the “beehive” be turned into a prison, it would satisfy their lust for “cruel and unusual” punishment.

    The politicians would find Mt Eden prison much more congenial.

    Comment by peterlepaysan — March 14, 2012 @ 8:13 pm

  20. I’m sure the PM will find an “elegant solution” for his office.

    Comment by Sue Moroney — March 14, 2012 @ 8:35 pm

  21. The so called “sensible sentencing trust” should be be insisting that the “beehive” be turned into a prison . . .

    Panopticon?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panopticon

    Comment by Joe W — March 14, 2012 @ 10:02 pm

  22. Careful, Gregor W, don’t you know that Pete George is Liz Shaw’s middle-aged male equivalent?! Oh god, one more mention and he’ll appear…

    Comment by **** — March 14, 2012 @ 11:41 pm

  23. Speaking of furniture, the real reason why some of it suspiciously vanished from Alamein Kopu’s office years back, was because outer space aliens were scouting for intelligent life forms, so they took all the furniture – and left Mrs Kopu behind.

    Comment by DeepRed — March 15, 2012 @ 2:12 am

  24. This discussion has piqued my interest in the history and culture of the Adriatic Basin.

    Comment by Jake — March 15, 2012 @ 7:18 am

  25. Brilliant, Danyl.

    Also, I won’t be looking at the milk in my cereal the same way again.

    Comment by Ataahua — March 15, 2012 @ 7:26 am

  26. Jake,

    Funny thing is, Redbaiter wasn’t even being original with his example – see below. Even funnier thing, the course was offered by Yale University – a private institution that charges full cost fees to the students who attend. Oh – and in 2011, 27,230 people applied to go to Yale … of which 7.7% were accepted. I know it isn’t producing milk or metal or nothing, but sounds pretty “real world” to me (if such a thing exists, of course)?

    “History and Culture of the Adriatic Basin. An official Yale University Summer Session overseas course. Location: Hvar, Croatia. M-F, 9-12 AM, 5 weeks, 2 credits (equivalent of two standard Yale classes). Co-taught by three professors/lecturers, all from Croatia/Bosnia, currently teaching at Yale. Official course description was appropriately sober sounding: “Byzantine”; “schism”; “Ottoman”; “genocide”; “post-Yugoslav”; etc. Optional lessons in Croatian language.

    What we got: what is now known on the facebook group our class made as “Our Two-Credit Croatian Vacation.” Wake up; go to class (or not) (one full week of the five weeks of classes was “Bosnian Movie Week” and involved nothing but watching Bosnian movies); finish class by 10:30; have the chefs serve lunch; go buy beer at the local supermarket; take it to the beach; get drunk at the beach; come home; go buy more beer; have the chefs serve dinner; go out to one of a small number of nightclubs and get/stay drunk/watch World Cup while doing same. Every day for five weeks. We stopped taking Croatian classes once we knew the words for “Thank you,” “water,” and “beer.” […] no matter—we all got As. (And two credits worth of As! REALLY helped on my law school application!) That fall, word got around and the entire baseball team showed up at the organizing-professor’s normally sparsely-attended “The Balkans in Film” seminar. I guess Yale found out and he no longer teaches the course. Whoopsie!”

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — March 15, 2012 @ 7:36 am

  27. I always thought an “Adriatic basin” was something they used in Henderson to store grapes. There must be a thesis out there somewhere on the cultural significance of storage containers in West Auckland.

    Comment by Sanctuary — March 15, 2012 @ 8:01 am

  28. Excellent, however I am disturbed that no consultation process with any geomancers appears to precede this bold move. Nor have local iwi been invited to send a kaumatua to tramp out any vestigial evil spirits that may be clogging the flow of positive energy in the PMs office. I fear these omissions will doom this laudable initiative to failure.

    Comment by Conrad — March 15, 2012 @ 9:27 am

  29. a workspace where I don’t have the sun shining right on my laptop screen for most of the morning

    The Beehive is in Wellington. For satire to work it has to be at least sort of believable.

    Comment by helenalex — March 15, 2012 @ 9:36 am

  30. Key’s speech today didn’t quiet match this speech from yesterday. But I see he does promise great new things for the business-government interface via the magic of IT.

    (Me, I’d settle for broadband that is faster than dial-up, and works when the curtains are closed.)

    Comment by Me Too — March 15, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

  31. No wonder our economy is in the shit: any private sector organisation could tell you that you write each operational priority on a separate PostIt(r) note and then you can reorder them without having to rewrite them. It saves writing AND wiping time: you pick those low hanging fruit when seeking productivity gains.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — March 15, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

  32. “Me, I’d settle for broadband that is faster than dial-up, and works when the curtains are closed.”
    Because the best of the web comes to the fore when the curtains are closed…

    Comment by Clunking Fist — March 15, 2012 @ 12:58 pm

  33. At last I see how govt spending up large on the UFB can enhance our productivity: get our wanks over faster and then back to work!

    Or would it allow us to have more wanks in a given period…?

    Is this the milk of which you speak, Redbaiter?

    Comment by Clunking Fist — March 15, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

  34. And up yours, helenalex: you can’t beat Wellington on a good day!

    Comment by Clunking Fist — March 15, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

  35. Damn it, my “ultrasmallfont” on a good day “/ultrasmallfont” fake html gag didn’t work. I really shouldn’t use technology.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — March 15, 2012 @ 1:16 pm

  36. ps welcome home, Danyl, we’ve missed you.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — March 15, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

  37. Give that man some Ritalin.

    NB – re comment 32 CF you raise an important issue re productivity. Redbaiter must now go by the moniker of ‘Pumping Fist’ in your honour.

    Comment by Gregor W — March 15, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

  38. The Q now is can we get an opposition MP to ask John Key in Parliament about the *real* productivity gains of their UFB policy and what research Treasury has done into its economic benefits? (And what’s the bet Key will reply with comments about how much he loves his wife?)

    Comment by Me Too — March 15, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

  39. This re-organisation has strong backing from esteemed academics such as Associate Professor Bill Ryan from Victoria University’s School of Government, who explained the theory underpinning the new ‘results orientation’ this morning on Nine to Noon thusly:

    “the better public services report identifies a few ways in which we can begin to get to this – what is in public management terms a bit of a nirvana – about the best ways to run a public service, the better public services report has a huge amount of promise in it, I think, as far as I’m concerned, a huge amount of promise, I think the real issues that we are confronting at the moment, are whether firstly, Government has the intelligence, wit, creativity, and imagination to see what it has been given, for the media and citizens generally to begin a much more mature approach to the whole business of grappling with really complex public policy problems, and the third set of issues, which is the one you have been focusing on this morning, which is how in the heavens do we make this work?”

    Lynn Freeman seemed to be struggling to follow, and must have cracked a smile when he later came out with this gem:

    “in making that remark, it is an opportunity for me to say something, which is that, ah, when I make these kinds of remarks, people often turn to me and say ‘what are you smoking’, ha ha, at the end of it all”

    [audio src="http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ntn/ntn-20120316-0915-public_service_shake-up-048.mp3" /]

    Comment by Jim in Tokyo — March 16, 2012 @ 5:14 pm

  40. @CF: I agree; I just wish we got more than 10 of them a year. (That’s probably unfair, since the weekend was lovely, but right now I’m looking out the window and everything is in greyscale.)

    Comment by helenalex — March 19, 2012 @ 9:19 am

  41. But it’s Monday, so where’s the harm? :^)

    Comment by Clunking Fist — March 19, 2012 @ 11:30 am


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