Monday, June 26, 2006

Key can't count...

Grabthar's Hammer points out a major stumbling block to John Key's ascendency to the Treasurer's job; he can't count. Key claims that Kiwis are moving to Australia in record numbers when in fact the numbers have been dropping since January this year:

"the number of departures has dropped 36 percent and the net-departures have dropped 33 percent"
Oppositions always use scandal, rumour and wild speculation to make political points but they must at least get the numbers right!

Elsewhere, there's a discussion about whether Key also mis-stated the difference in incomes in Australia and New Zealand.

Hat tip: Haydn at Grabthar's Hammer and No Right Turn.

11 comments:

Dave C said...

"Oppositions . . . must at least get the numbers right"
Or what? Opposition politicians in New Zealand know very well that the media will never bother to check the accuracy of anything they say, or report if anybody points out an inaccuracy. In that situation, can we really place the full responsibility for being subjected to this rubbish on Key and his ilk?

backin15 said...

Hell yes. Leave the grubby stuff to the lesser members - McCully and co - if this bloke is serious about being Treasurer then he should behave as such.

Dave C said...

I mean, as opposed to the media bearing some of the responsibility?

backin15 said...

Fair point.

proud2bkiwi said...

Key should try and get his numbers right. This is after all the guy who wants to run the country's finances!

Perhaps Key's inability to count is the reason the National Party have still failed to produce an alternative budget after 7 years in opposition!

crasster said...

There are some limits to the Opposition's ability to fact check - but, then again, it speaks to their ability to manage detail and ask penetrating questions. If they cannot challenge the work of their own researchers - how are can they be expected to ask tough and challenging questions of the bureaucracy if ever in government? It's a credibility thing.

backin15 said...

I entirely agree. The audience is not just the media but it's also international organisations, banks and investors, business and professionals - this informed cohort is not so easily convinced of a party's electability and won't be wooed simply by clever grabs but by sensible policy and rigour.

proud2bkiwi said...

The Leader of the Opposition does have access to Treasury staff to provide advice on policy costings and so forth, so there is no way they can claim they don't have the resources.

The Public Finance Act (now incorporating the Fiscal Responsibility Act) also makes the information necessary to produce an alternative budget much more readily available, so there is no excuse really...

Anonymous said...

Actually, this little interchange from question time today just goes to show that even in his second term in parliament, Key still hasn't demonstrated any ability to think on his feet and do anything other than read a pre-prepared script:

John Key: If no one at the dinner talked about competition on the trans-Tasman routes, about the viability of Air New Zealand’s current schedules, or about the possible solutions to Air New Zealand’s problems, does that not make a mockery of—

Hon Trevor Mallard: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. I realise that the member is reading from a prepared question, but he has already received an assurance that competition on the Tasman route between Emirates Airline and Air New Zealand was discussed. Therefore, to preface a question with: “If that was not discussed …” must be to doubt the word of the Minister.

Madam SPEAKER: I think that is a very long bow. The member can ask the same question twice, and presumably there will a response to that question.

John Key: If no one at the dinner talked about competition on the trans-Tasman routes, about the viability of Air New Zealand’s current schedules, or about possible solutions to Air New Zealand’s problems, does that not make a mockery of the statements of the Air New Zealand chairman that the issue of the Tasman was certainly discussed; or does he expect the people of New Zealand to believe his recollection of events over that of John Palmer?

Hon Dr MICHAEL CULLEN: The problem with members reading out a prepared question when they do not listen to the answer is that they look like idiots. As I told the member and the House—[Interruption]

Madam SPEAKER: I ask the member to please be seated. I certainly could not hear the answer to the question. I know that members at the back could not hear it, either. As I reminded members yesterday, I am receiving an increasing number of complaints from those who listen to this broadcast but who also cannot hear the answers to questions.

Hon Dr MICHAEL CULLEN: As I said to the member in my previous answer, the issue of the impact of Emirates Airline as a competitor to Air New Zealand was discussed at the meeting.

Hon Tau Henare: Why did you say it wasn’t, then?

Hon Dr MICHAEL CULLEN: I said it was discussed.

proud2bkiwi said...

Actually, that last comment was from me too, just forgot to add the details...

backin15 said...

p2bk: excellent points, thanks. The except is telling. Performance in the House is critical to an MPs credibility and this little exchange doesn't paint Key in a positive light.