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The Standard: ‘Key’s Midas touch – Selling asset sales is a hard job even for Key’ + my comments

Key’s Midas touch

Written By: r0b – Date published: 5:08 pm, June 11th, 2011 – 15 comments
Categories: john key, leadership – Tags: ,

Armstrong is back in fine Key-lovin form today:

Selling asset sales is a hard job even for Key

Such is John Key’s Midas touch, he could probably sell ice-cubes to Eskimos – and at a premium price.

Oh please. Did Key sell mining to the New Zealand public? No.

Did Key manage to sell his position on s59 reform in the smacking referendum? That would be No.

Did Key’s personal endorsement manage to sell Melissa Lee to the Mt Albert electorate? That would be a Hell No.

Has Key sold Maori on the re-branded foreshore and seabed legislation? The Mana Party says No.

Did Key sell Auckland on the Supercity merger, or Christchurch on CERA?

Public opinion says No, but they were forced through any way.

Did Key sell national standards to teachers, or labour market “reforms” to workers?

See above, No.

Did Key in his HardTalk interview sell our 100% Pure brand to the UK?

Catastrophically No.

Did Key sell his cycleway to the world? Hah hah No.

Key remains popular, it is true, but it’s very seldom that he manages to sell we the people something that we don’t want. His popularity depends on not picking fights with public opinion.

The issues on which he does succeed – selling useless budgets, tax cuts for the rich and the GST swindle – are those where most of the public have little interest, or where the media do the sales job for him.

In short, Armstrong’s belief in Key’s “Midas touch” is a product of his imagination. He might do well to reflect on the true moral of the Midas story. In trying to acquire more and more wealth, Midas deprived himself of everything that really mattered.”



errrr….. check out the only polls that really count – election (by-election) results and think again?

How come in the ‘safe’ National seats encompassed by the Botany and Pakuranga electorates – there was only a 36% turnout in the Botany by-election and 30% turnout in the Howick by-election?

How come in the Botany by-election more (former?) National Party voters stayed home (9000) than voted (8000) for National’s Jami-Lee Ross?

Did you notice ACT received less than 700 votes in the Botany by-election?

Where were the opinion polls that predicted THAT result prior to the election?

Not a particularly good look for the National “A” Team, and National “B” (Bra$h) Team – hoping to put together the next ‘Rogernomic$ Coalition Government?

Penny Bright

oscar 9.1

the more i have to read ur incessant viarreah (verbal diarreah) the more I start to dislike your comments Penny. It’s almost as if you don’t actually make any points but post many non sequiters wrapped up in a question.
This botany by election example is bunkum. By elections aren’t an indication of the real feeling at all.


12 June 2011 at 11:36 am “This botany by election example is bunkum. By elections aren’t an indication of the real feeling at all.”

Really ‘oscar’? errrr…. silly me.

I thought actual ELECTIONS are where the voting public actually decide who obtains public office?

Perhaps you missed this analysis of the Botany by-election result by NZ Herald’s Chief Political Reporter – John Armstrong?

Botany byelection loss holds silver lining for Labour Party

By John Armstrong 5:30 AM Monday Mar 7, 2011

At last, Phil Goff has something to smile about.

Exactly why the Labour leader is smiling might not seem immediately obvious given that National’s Jami-Lee Ross won Saturday’s Botany byelection in a canter, securing almost double the number of votes of his Labour counterpart.

The answer is that everything is relative in politics. Labour did better than it hoped. National did not fare as well as it would have expected.

Of some worry to National will be the bleeding of its votes to the New Citizen Party, which picked up 10.5 per cent of the total candidate vote and pushed Act into fourth place.

If replicated in electorates across Auckland with large populations of New Zealand Chinese, such splintering of centre-right support could see large piles of wasted votes if the new party fails to reach the 5 per cent threshold.

That could diminish the centre-right’s representation in Parliament by one or two seats – seats which may well be crucial for National to retain power.

It is questionable, however, how meaningful conclusions drawn from a byelection can be, let alone one as stifled by circumstances as this one. Still, the debut of the New Citizen Party and National’s failure to lift its vote would seem to pour cold water on the possibility of National securing a majority alone. The complicating factor is Saturday’s abysmally low turnout.

However, the non-vote would more likely be weighted in Labour’s favour.

The 36.6 per cent turnout – half that of a general election – meant both major parties got fewer votes than at the 2008 election.

Labour’s vote proved more robust. National’s vote halved from more than 17,000 to just over 8000. In comparison, Labour’s vote fell, but far less dramatically – from around 6500 to just over 4000.    ”


In my considered opinion, as a candidate in that by-election, it proved that campaigning on the issues – particularly against asset sales – was politically effective.

(Former?) National party voters get a power bill every month, and know full well that applying the ‘competitive’ model to a natural monopoly such as the supply of electricity – just duplicates resources – sets up a multiplicity of profit-making empires – and causes power prices to go up – not down.

It is also my considered opinion that the way that ‘democracy’ works in New Zealand tends to operate according to the ‘Golden Rule’ – ‘those who have the gold – make the rules’, and we tend to get the government that the majority of big business want us to have.

This is achieved through mainstream media manipulation of ‘public opinion’.

In my view, the Botany by-election results caused quite some consternation, as it was realised that asset sales were NOT a vote-winner.

So – the tactic used was to try and undermine the main political party with the stated position of opposing asset sales – the Labour Party – particularly by attacking Phil Goff’s leadership.

In my view – it was realised that National were not going to get the numbers to govern alone. As ACT under Rodney Hide’s leadership was looking unlikely to regain Epsom or the 5% Party vote threshold.

Remember – the ACT candidate in the Botany by-election got less than 700 votes.

“As for Act, Rodney Hide may not know whether to laugh or cry. The party’s candidate, Lyn Murphy, got 671 votes. ”

Next panicky move?

The Bra$h ACT takeover – which appears to have seriously backfired.

Given that the personnel and policies of National and ACT are so readily interchangeable, there is essentially no real difference between them.

National and ACT are the National “A” Team and National “B” (Bra$h) Team.

A vote for John is a vote for Don.

A vote for Don is a vote for John.

A vote for either of them is a vote for more ‘Rogernomic$’.

The more ‘shonky’ John Key is exposed as leading the corporate raid on New Zealand – (once a corporate raider – always a corporate raider?) – the more I believe that National will plummet in the polls.

John Key’s forced smile will look more strained and phoney and his eyes will look more hollow as the spin-doctored ‘ordinary bloke’ mask continues to slip………..

Penny Bright

June 11, 2011 Posted by | Botany By-election 2011, Fighting corruption in NZ, Fighting water privatisation in NZ | Leave a comment

The Guardian: ‘Bilderberg 2011: George Osborne attending as chancellor ‘ – Charlie Skelton spots some interesting names on the delegate list

Bilderberg 2011: George Osborne attending as chancellor

Charlie Skelton spots some interesting names on the delegate list

So this is some proper journalism what I just done.

Early this morning a Swiss website published a genuine-sounding list of delegates to this year’s conference. A couple of names leapt out, both of them Bilderberg alumni: Lord Mandelson (2009) and George Osborne (2006-2009).

On the 2011 delegate list, Osborne appears thus: Osborne, George, Chancellor of the Exchequer.

I’ve just spent the entire day trying and failing and failing and trying again to get an official confirmation that Osborne is attending the St Moritz conference, and if so, in exactly what capacity he’s here.

At long last the Treasury Press Office gave me a straight answer, but it wasn’t the answer I was expecting: “George Osborne is attending the Bilderberg conference in his official capacity as Chancellor of the Exchequer” – and he’s coming along “with a number of other international finance ministers.”

Any Treasury staff?

“Probably not more than one.”

So – ok – you mean we’re paying for Osborne to be here?

You mean he’s on Treasury business?

You mean this is an official summit?

You mean he’s talking economic policy with the Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell, the CEO of Airbus, and Russian oligarch Alexey Mordashov, the billionaire CEO of Severstal?

And Henry Kissinger?

In secret?

Behind a police cordon?

Then came the photo. It’s a bit washed out, but that profile… The chancellor in Bilderberg.

We’re not sure who’s travelling with him, but maybe Conservative Home could take a punt? (Or the Treasury Press Office?)

I’m not quite sure why George is taking the trip as Chancellor.

Was he that unwilling to pick up the cost of a flight?

Isn’t he a wallpaper heir or something?

Why would he walk willingly into a blizzard of tricky questions: who paid for his flight? Who’s paying for his security?

What’s he discussing?

Who’s he discussing it with?

Who’s he gone with?

Who’s taking minutes?

Why on earth wouldn’t he just have attended as humble little “Osborne, George”?

Did he think his lanyard would look empty?

Can’t he put ‘Bullingdon Club’ under his name or something?

Right back at the beginning of Bilderberg, the key selling point of the conference was its privacy.

In March 1954, a couple of months before the first meeting – at the Bilderberg Hotel in May – a senior Foreign Office official, Frank Roberts, describes how it was sold to him:

“the idea was that the meeting would be entirely private but that there might be a press conference at the end if the meeting had been successful.”

The meeting was a success, clearly, and its privacy enshrined. But the idea of a press conference seems to have faded away.

It’s shame, seeing as how many questions (and Freedom of Information requests) spring to mind.

Maybe it’s finally time for the original dream of “a press conference at the end” to come to pass.

Oh, and one last thing – I’d like to congratulate Rory Stewart MP on his forthcoming promotion.

Sorry – one other last thing – the Chancellor of the Exchequer is attending a four-day summit with international finance ministers, heads of state and CEOs of banks and corporations… and the press?

June 11, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption internationally, Internationally significant information | Leave a comment

The Guardian: ‘For he’s a jolly good Rockefeller’ (Attendees at Bilderberg Conference 2011)

Bilderberg 2011: For he’s a jolly good Rockefeller

Just when you thought the annual four-day Bilderberg conference couldn’t get any more exciting, a policeman goes and finds a bomb …

One of two men arrested in conjunction with a Bilderberg bomb scare.

Just when you thought the annual four-day Bilderberg conference couldn’t get any more exciting, a policeman goes and finds a bomb. Or at least, he went and found a “tubular device” that at certain angles, if you squinted a bit, looked sort of like a bomb. By that well known bomb manufacturer – Pringles.

All of a sudden the shout went up, out came the handcuffs, and two men (that nobody recognized) were bustled into custody. We’re still trying to find out who they were or what they’re charged with. Ownership of a tubular device is still frowned on in Switzerland. That’s why Toblerone is shaped like that.

In light of this new tubular threat patrols were stepped up, sniffer dogs began sniffing about, and everyone was moved a bit further back from the hotel. Although it must have been a fairly mild scare, because soon enough the first delegates came zooming through the hotel gates in their limos.

Bilderberg’s favourite power couple were spotted: Henry Kravis, head of private equity giant KKR (assets $60 billion) and his wife, Marie-Josée (Hudson Institute; International Advisory Board of the Federal Reserve).

Then in swept Washington’s hawkish ‘Prince of Darkness’, Richard Perle (Hudson Institute; PNAC; Hollinger; former Gaddafi adviser – etc. etc. etc.). We had the usual peekaboo hidings, and impenetrable black windows, but we also got a couple of happy backseat grins…

Around teatime, a massive helicopter flew up the valley, and landed at the tiny local airport. It was one of the few arrivals there today, due to bad weather. A couple of private jets did make it in; their passengers were whisked off the tarmac, straight out of the gates. Not a passport shown, a bag searched, or a body scanned.

“All arranged in advance,” we were told. I must remember to arrange that in advance the next time I go on holiday. Such a timesaver.

Best moment of the day was the arrival of everyone’s favourite Bilderberger, Papa Bear himself – the undisputed King of the Club – David Rockefeller.

The big Swiss cheese: David Rockefeller arrives at Bilderberg 2011

Doesn’t he look cute? Although it’s a bit naughty of him, going out and about in daylight like that. He knows it’s bad for him. Thank heavens the bomb scare was a false alarm; an explosion would have soured the build up to Rockefeller’s birthday celebrations.

David turns 96 on Sunday, but honestly, he doesn’t look a day over 137.

Spry little David is the last surviving grandson of John D. It was Granddad Rockefeller who famously declared competition a sin, and built one of the world’s great fortunes.

It was Granddad Rockefeller who warned his Bible class:

“Every downfall is traceable directly or indirectly to the victim’s good fellowship” – and solemnly advised them: “Don’t be a good fellow.”

But young David couldn’t live like that. His whole life long he’s tried to spread his money where it will do most good. Like in 1961, when he approved a $10,000,000 Chase Manhattan loan to prop up the apartheid economy. Even then, that generosity wasn’t quite enough, so two years later his bank joined with a number of other financial institutions to extend the South African regime $40,000,000 more in credit.

Of course, as David himself has said:

“We cannot be idealistic. Capital must be invested in countries which have the political stability to guarantee a fair deal for the businessman.”

And with his ping-pong partner, Henry Kissinger, the master of realpolitik (and the topspin backhand) at his side on Bilderberg’s top table, it is hard to imagine much ‘idealism’ pervading the group.

Beyond the heartwarming goal of guaranteeing a fair deal for the businessman.

Which would be all be fine and dandy if the Bilderberg attendees didn’t include quite so many elected officials.

Our own chancellor, George Osborne, was a serial attendee (2006-2009); our own prime minister, David Cameron, sat through the seminars in 2008 before taking office.

And don’t forget Tony Blair attended. Not that he likes to admit it (he preferred lying to parliament about not going).

Breaking news: George Osborne MP is on this year’s attendee list, which has just been published by a Swiss news agency. So too is Peter Mandelson. More on this shortly.

Politicians from the host country are usually pretty thick on the ground, so it was no surprise to see the stately arrival of Barbara Janom Steiner, head of the justice department of the local Swiss canton.

The politicians get to rub shoulders and polish policies with Bilderberg businessmen like W Edmund Clarke, President & CEO of Canada’s second largest bank, Toronto-Dominion (total assets in 2010: 619.5 billion Canadian Dollars), and member of the conference Steering Committee. Clark’s plane into San Moritz was delayed due to bad weather, we were told.

Poor W Edmund Clark. He missed Etienne Davignon’s ‘golden oldies’ movie quiz (3pm in the sun lounge). Davignon was one of the early arrivals. The rumour on the hill is that he’s about to be replaced as Honorary Chairman of Bilderberg (sorry if you’re reading this, Etienne, I hope I haven’t spoiled your weekend).

There was talk of Josef Ackermann, the head of Deutsche Bank, taking over, but Ackermann’s hopes have been dented somewhat by recent accusations of an involvement in dirty slush funds. Not that anyone at Bilderberg is dirty. I mean, hardly any of them are wanted for war crimes. People don’t stress that enough.

June 11, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption internationally, Internationally significant information | Leave a comment

JANE BURGERMEISTER REPORT: ‘Eurozone financial system heading for collapse due to ECB actions, says German economist’

Eurozone financial system heading for collapse due to ECB actions, says German economist

Economist Hans-Werner Sinn has warned that the euro system of central banks is facing collapse because the ECB, acting as a lender of last resort, has directed such a huge proportion of the total eurozone money creation flow – 68% — towards banks in the struggling economies of Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain (GIPS) in return for collateral which is significantly overvalued.

These banks in turn often only have the bonds of insolvent country’s as capital, are insolvent and cannot afford to repay loans to German and French banks.

Only 32% — or 180 billion euros — of the financial flows related to eurozone money creation are directed to the other eurozone countries even though these represent 82% of the economic output, Sinn has said.

“The danger goes far beyond the danger to individual countries,” Sinn said.

The German Bundesbank is the main creditor inside the eurozone bank system but it is highly unlikely it will ever see much of the money it has lent again in the name of tax payers.

In breach of ECB rules, Greek, Irish and Portuguese and Spanish banks have been receiving hundreds of billions of euros of special financing from the ECB under the pretext that they are just illiquid — emergency liquidity assistance operations – when these banks are largely insolvent like their governments and highly likely cannot repay the loans made to them by German, French and other commercial banks.

Much of the collateral they have offered in return for loans at benchmark interests is extremely overvalued, research by Der Spiegel revealed.

These banks have, in turn, lent the money to insolvent governments at penal 6% interest rates imposed on countries by the EU and IMF. The banks are using their profits, it seems, to repay debts owned to German and French banks in a huge scam.

In the event of a default or credit event by Greece, Ireland or Portugal, the ECB will have to write down the losses and face the ire of tax payers – one reason the ECB is opposing a default.

The tax payers of the eurozone are set to stump up for the losses amounting to hundreds of billions of euros incurred by the euro system of central banks when th insolvent commercial banks attached to insolvent governments eventually fail.

Even the UK will have to stump up for the inevitable losses to insolvent under the so called emergency liquidity assistance operations in proportion to its central bank share capital even though the UK is not even in the eurozone.

The ECB and eurozone governments seem to be trying to draw out the moment of collapse as long as possible but a collapse is inherent in the Ponzi scheme structure that is emerging.

“By shifting so much of the eurozone’s money creation towards indirect finance of deficit countries, the system has had to withdraw credit from commercial banks in creditor countries. Within two years, he states, the latter will have negative credit positions with their national central banks – in other words, be owed money by them. For this reason, these operations will then have to cease,” explains Martin Wolf in the FT.

Or else  the ECB will have to print money to cover the external deficits of the GIPS countries, creating inflation.

Eurozone coins and notes in circulation account for just 9 per cent of broad money (M3) supply. Almost all of the money in a contemporary economy consists of the liabilities of

June 11, 2011 Posted by | Internationally significant information, Jane Burgermeister Report | Leave a comment

The Guardian “Bilderberg 2011: All aboard the Bilderbus’

Bilderberg 2011: All aboard the Bilderbus

As the Bilderberg conference heads towards Switzerland there’s still time to book your seat on a minibus to St Moritz

St Moritz: Preparing to host Bilderberg

St Moritz: Preparing to host Bilderberg. Photograph: Tom Jenkins for the Guardian

As Europe groans, and austerity bites, as defaulting looms, and once proud nations fall to their knees in debt, there’s only one annual conference of bankers and industrialists that can step in and save us all…


Next week, in Switzerland, Henry Kissinger and his brave band of corporate CEOs, high-wealth individuals and heavyweight thinktankers will lock arms with Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and David Rockefeller, and stand their ground against the economic contagion.

The last thing a bunch of bank bosses and multinational executives wants is for the nation-states of Europe to collapse, allowing their assets to be bought up on the cheap. Right?

Besides, if anyone can lay claim to fathering the EU, it’s Bilderberg. Sixty years ago, Europe was a mere Bilderbaby, conceived in a solemn ceremony on Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands’ mattress. It grew into a fine young Bilderboy, but the years have caught up with it, and now it seems its knees are creaking and its heart is weak.

Perhaps the clear mountain air of St Moritz will prove just the tonic. The Bilderberg Group is gathering there between 9-12 June, at the Hotel Suvretta House, described on its website thus: “Like a beautiful fairytale castle, our hotel is embedded in the fantastic alpine landscape of the Upper Engadine.” No mention of the magical rooftop snipers or the fairytale ring of armed riot police, but maybe they’ll be updating their website in time for the conference.

Bilderberg 2011Josef Ackerman, CEO of Deutsche Bank, practises his backflips.

The hotel promises that the Privatsphäre of the guests will be utterly respektiert, which goes for the conference, as well: the press will be lucky to get a whiff of Kissinger’s toast in the morning. It’s a shame the attendees are still so phobic of attention, seeing as how this year there’s shaping up to be more press interest than ever. People and the media have finally started noticing this quiet little conference at the centre of the storm. The last two countries to play host to the meeting were Greece and Spain, both of whom waved goodbye to Bilderberg and said hello to austerity and unrest. Happy Christmas, Switzerland.

This year, a bunch of less-than-happy Brits are heading out to St Moritz by minibus, to voice their concern at the policies being thrashed out at the conference. They’ve dubbed their fifteen-seater the Bilderbus, and it leaves Nottingham on Tuesday after work. There are still ten seats to fill: it’s £95 return, and camping’s cheap when you get there. And I can’t stress this enough: it really is a sight to behold. (The conference, not the minibus).

There are two seats free on the bus, since Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Ken Clarke have both been forced to cancel. Which is good news for the chamber maids at the Suvretta House (because Ken is so very untidy – cigar stubs and Ornette Coleman CDs everywhere …)

Bilderberg 2011The Bilderbus awaits you. Fully taxed and insured. Photograph: Charlie Skelton

If you’d like to book a place on the minibus, you can email the organisers at this address: And if you’re interested to see what crops up on the official Bilderberg agenda, then keep an eye on their website. Jockeying for position are the crisis in the eurozone, the Arab Spring, the Fukushima fallout (with Germany backing away from nuclear), and of course, what to do about the internet. That old chestnut.

Maybe this year they’ll hold a press conference like, I don’t know, grown-ups might. I won’t be holding my breath. But I will be sniffing the air of St Moritz. If I find out one thing this year, it’s going to be what Kissinger has for breakfast. Live eels snatched from a bucket? O

June 11, 2011 Posted by | Fighting corruption internationally, Internationally significant information | Leave a comment