The Dim-Post

July 7, 2012

Quoted without comment

Filed under: psuedopolitics — danylmc @ 7:57 am

Because what can one say? John Armstrong on John Key’s ‘pragmatism‘:

Some on the left have long argued that Key’s portrayal of himself as a moderate conservative is a front and that behind the friendly visage lurks a cool-blooded animal as keen to push a free market-oriented agenda as any disciple of the New Right.

 But Key is into his fourth year as prime minister, so that alleged alter ego would surely have emerged long before now.

Sure, the National minority government has undergone a slight lurch to the right since last year’s election, beating the drum on welfare reform, getting more hard-nosed on housing the poor, seeking to break the power of the teacher unions, slowly privatising the public service, and floating portions of state-owned companies on the stock market . . .


  1. Armstrong’s column is just the latest in a stream of pro-National arse kissing columns and editorials in the last week and a bit from Roughan, Trevitt, Armstrong etc. since National took a big hit over class sizes. The cult of Key has been tarnished, and clearly contrition from the Herald’s opinion writers via obsequious rehabilitation of the PM is the order of the day. Thus, Roughan tells us we are led by the very model CEO, Trevitt informs us his wisecracks have humbled the Greens, Armstrong peddles the compassionate conservative and listening pragmatist line.

    Mind you, the Herald also has Jim Hopkins, a libertarian extremist from Christchurch whose tortured and obtuse prose style masks the idiocy of most of what he says, and Damien Grant, a failed ACT party candidate who is reliably ideologically stupid, to ensure their commentary remains, as they say, “fair and balanced.”

    Comment by Sanctuary — July 7, 2012 @ 8:31 am

  2. Key is pragmatic in the sense that he’ll absolutely cut a deal with Winston if it gets him one more term. (Winston’s not too shabby at this kind of pragmatism himself.)

    Comment by bradluen — July 7, 2012 @ 9:12 am

  3. I agree with Armstrong that John key is not in any way a free market kind of guy.
    Think of the Roads of National Significance with farcical cost-to-benefit ratios, the emissions trading scheme where taxpayers pay for the emissions by the most politically-connected industries and for half the emissions by less-connected industries, the Ultra-Fast Broadband initiative, the EQC rules that force people to get their homes repaired by Fletchers… this government may be Right-Wing, but it’s not a form of Right-Wing that believes in free markets.

    Comment by kahikatea — July 7, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

  4. lemme see if i get this correct. rougham states that the new right alter-ego has not emerged, but then lists a series of policies *very strongly associated* with the 1990s neoliberal agenda.

    i think he’s even forgotten which country eurasia is.

    (ps. to kahikatea, government capture by “right-wing” corporations was highly popular in the mid-C20th.)

    Comment by Che Tibby — July 7, 2012 @ 4:05 pm

  5. Armstrong’s ability to redefine resistance to sweeping right-wing changes as a matter of political mis-management suggests he has spent way too long inside the Thorndon bubble. That’s the most charitable response I could muster to this wilful drivel.

    Comment by Sacha — July 7, 2012 @ 4:16 pm

  6. Well, when you account for pervasive left wing bias in the media this shows just how strong Key and his National Party really are.

    * * *

    Sorry, I blacked out there for a moment. What is this shiny thing I am looking at?

    Comment by Stephen J — July 7, 2012 @ 5:04 pm

  7. “way too long inside the Thorndon bubble”
    Woh, did you just say “beltway”?!

    Comment by Clunking Fist — July 7, 2012 @ 5:18 pm

  8. Sigh! Yet another pledge of loyalty from Armstrong for his Wall Street poster boy.

    Comment by peterlepaysan — July 7, 2012 @ 8:45 pm

  9. @ kahikatea – you need to update your vocab from the Ayn Rand Dictionary of Capitalism, buddy! You’ll find that when the kind of free market capitalists who actually wield power speak of ‘free markets’, they mean a market in which we untermensch workers ca freely compete for lower wages, jobs that vanish like the Cheshire Cat, and the right to buy some of our SOE’s for our private greed.

    But capitalists have always practised a different ‘free market’ at their elevated strata. Free to plunder sate assets for their profit, free to award crony contracts (vis Sky City convention centre), free to pollute at will, etc.

    All depends on which dictionary you are allowed to use 😉 John Armstrong has just recognised the superiority of John Key’s dictionary status, and is willing to to get first mover advantage from prostrating himself at the altar of our new demi-god ruler.

    Comment by bob — July 7, 2012 @ 11:39 pm

  10. bob: “But capitalists have always practised a different ‘free market’ at their elevated strata. Free to plunder sate assets for their profit, free to award crony contracts (vis Sky City convention centre), free to pollute at will, etc.”

    In other words, socialism for the rich. NZ Inc seems to have raised it to an art form.

    Comment by deepred — July 8, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

  11. I have a lot of respect for John Armstrong…..but I suspect he is suffering an effect similar to the frog in the pot of gradually warming water. The transition of the present government to arrogant disregard while doing dumb stuff has happened slowly as they realise their poll numbers stay high almost no matter daft / lame / ill-conceived thing they decide to do…..

    Comment by Steve (@nza1) — July 9, 2012 @ 11:26 am

  12. And for the weekend Roughan/Armstrong/Hubbard triple, here’s a lovely hagiography on Joyce.

    Comment by Patrick — July 9, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

  13. It is, of course, blindingly freaking obvious what Key/Joyce are doing.

    2006-11 was make nice and win, twice. That seam has been mined out, so in 2012 it’s back to 2005 (also care of Steven Joyce).

    Bash bennies, bait Bradford. Bash brownies, bait Hone. Hook and win, with “mainstream New Zealand” (hooray, they’re back!).

    If I had the wisdom of John Armstrong, I would call this a masterful strategy. Being a lesser mortal, I just call it being a divisive, nasty, morally broken piece of shit.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — July 10, 2012 @ 5:46 pm

  14. If you were John Armstrong you’d be a divisive, nasty, morally broken piece of shit.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — July 10, 2012 @ 5:56 pm

  15. “Bash bennies, bait Bradford. Bash brownies, bait Hone.”

    It’s not ebough; you also need “tax cutz11!”, hence the haste for a surplus.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — July 10, 2012 @ 6:14 pm

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