Hubris: excessive pride towards or defiance, leading to nemesis.
It’s a total 6th form essay thing to do, to start a post with a definition like that. But I’m setting context. Overnight, the Feed the Kids Bill was voted on. It failed to get past its first reading by 59-61. Just so you know, first readings only proceed the bill to Select Committee stage where people can whine and bitch and complain and then kill the bill at the second reading. But no, this Government saw fit to nip it in the bud.
Also, and you may not have known this, yesterday in the house, in response to repeated questioning from Greens co-leader Metiria Turei about how many kids go to school without lunch, the Prime Minister had his Education Minister – Hekia Parata – call three – THREE – schools that were low-decile. And then he rattled off the very low numbers of students that didn’t have lunch that day. This is now how we set policy apparently. This is how we use the time of Education Ministers, who are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. They make phone-calls for the Prime Minister. So he can anecdotally prove that New Zealand doesn’t have hungry kids despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary (fun fact, KidsCan is sponsored by the Ministry for Social Development….a Government Department). This despite the fact that 3 days into the new term we were treated to articles in the media about John Key looking for ways to solve child-poverty. Well dipshit, you were presented with one.
It almost seems like food policy is being set by the following:
Dinner time at the Key household: John: "Hey Max, are you hungry?" Max: "Nope, I'm good dad" John: "That's what I thought. Fuck them."
— The Ruminator (@RuminatorNZ) March 18, 2015
But the reason I call this post hubris is because that’s what this Government seems to be showing. The Helen Clark regime was turfed out after people perceived the Labour Government as becoming arrogant and out of touch. Lightbulbs! Showers! etc. At the beginning of this electoral cycle, Key said repeatedly that he was going to be mindful that his Government didn’t suffer the same fate. But holy shit, this National Government is just balls-out going for it with regards to giving zero fucks.
After my denunciation of the Labour Party yesterday due to the travel perks issue, I just wanted to run through the bullshit that this National Government has done since the most recent election.
- Just recently, Glenn Greenwald wrote a piece where he set out how Key said he’d resign if it was shown that the GCSB conducted mass surveillance; and then it came out that it seemed that’s exactly what the GCSB is doing in the Pacific Islands. Except Key ain’t resigning because…well semantics actually. He’s reached a point where he’s arguing that “mass take” is not the same as “mass surveillance”. Even though the former head of the Goddamn Agency said that they do mass surveillance. But fuck him because Key said so.
- Key’s Government is now sending troops to Iraq, but not committing the parliament to voting on the issue, no, this is just a whim and bugger the rest of New Zealand because that’s what Key is doing and if you don’t support, well that just makes you gutless. There might be extenuating circumstances that are motivating Key to get our troops into the area, but most of NZ doesn’t know about it so what good is that? But so far we’ve been told that ISIS will rain carnage on us! Oh and us taking part in the war, yeah that’s just the price we pay for playing with the big boys.
- When Phillip Smith escaped New Zealand and fled to Brazil, Key saw fit to make a joke that the Chilean President probably shouldn’t invite Smith round to lunch. BECAUSE HAHAHA HE TOUCHES KIDS AND MURDERS PEOPLE.
- There was a letter sent to Fonterra and the Federated Farmers Association months ago threatening to poison baby food with 1080. Pretty shitty move on behalf of whatever dickhead did it, but the interesting thing was that the Government told our trading partners months ago, but only saw fit to tell New Zealanders in the last month. Key says because it’s probably a hoax, but this information would have been great some time ago.
- You may not care, but the Reserve Bank is a fiercely independent institution. The Prime Minister has zero business intervening in the dollar or inflation. He’s just flat out not allowed. But those rules don’t apply to Key, oh no no, he gets to contribute little soundbites that he knows will cause major impacts. Because he’s John Key goddamn it.
- Key wants to spend $26 million on holding two referenda on whether we should change our flag. Truly the most important issue of our time.
- Key was asked in the house when was the last time he’d texted Cameron Slater. He lied. Just lied. Then he had to come back to the house and correct his lie. Because he lied. The fact that he still talks to Slater is remarkable
- His Government signed us up to a shit-house deal with Sky City so that we’d turn over everything we’ve ever owned and our first-borns, provided they built a convention centre. Then Sky City said it wasn’t enough money. So Key waded in and said Sky City is probably right and it would be ugly if we didn’t stump up with more cash. Nice negotiating skills there mate (yes I know eventually Sky City caved, but not before Key tried to intervene on their behalf).
- Mike Sabin, I can’t say a lot about the disgusting things he’s under a cloud of, but there was an awful lot of brouhaha about when Key knew. Turns out Key lied about that too.
- But the by-election that has been triggered has displayed some of the most horrific arrogance. The National party has just thrown bribe after bribe at the people of Northland. There was the idea of all these fucking roads and bridges being built, which Key has said may not happen if they vote Winston in. They also said that Northland might be one of the lucky areas to get further UFB roll-out.
- Remember when Pike River had its mining disaster? Key promised the families that they’d get the bodies back. At the time I remember thinking it was a very brave gambit by the Prime Minister and respected him somewhat for it. Oops. Another lie.
- When the pay review for MPs came out and it looked like they were going to get a bazillion dollars each, Key shrugged and said “I really don’t want this but my hands are tied. The Remuneration Authority was set up in such a way that it can’t be helped.” His fucking party set the Remuneration Authority up.
- When Eleanor Catton levelled some criticisms against New Zealand and the Government, Key brushed her off as not knowing shit, and also, gasp! a Greens supporter.
- Donghua Liu keeps cropping up again and again to upset New Zealand politicians. This year it turned out that Key had met with Donghua Liu at his house. His private house. Had dinner with his family even. This after denying that he could recall where he’d met Donghua Liu.
- Displaying a woeful understanding of New Zealand’s history, Key said that as a nation we were settled peacefully. Sure I guess that’s true if you’re a white dude. Oh.
- The poor people of Canterbury continue to suffer. And now it’s the rebuild that’s being done appallingly. So much so that Key came out and said that the shoddy quake repairs should be fixed. Oh no shit? And who has been in charge of the repairs until now, why it’s the Earthquake Commission. A Government Department.
- And if that’s not enough for the good folk of Canterbury, they had their right to democracy taken away from them for voting on Environmental Councillors. A Process that continues to be delayed to this day.
So goddamn. Fuck this Government. I am hoping that Hubris meets Nemesis in the most spectacular way. But we’re some time off a General Election so I guess we’re just stuck with them.