Q + A – the honeymoon is over
Wow, didn’t Q+A just go to a whole new level with the threat of TV3 competing for NZ on Air funding? Who said the free market doesn’t work. Q+A last week was bloody good but this week really did end the media honeymoon with an interview by Guyon where he went blow for blow with Bill English over the budget.
Now that the fine print is being examined, the idea of National as a stable fiscal pair of hands (a myth shattered by John Roughan yesterday) looked shakey by numbers showing that the Government would make money on the Super Fund overtime and Guyon refused to let Bill dodge the figures. Bill refused to dance and claimed that if you or I tried to go out and borrow money in a recession there is no way the bank would give us the cash to gamble, but of course the point Guyon should have pressed is that it isn’t you or me trying to get the cash, it’s the bloody NZ Government, THEY CAN get the cash, and using an example of individual credit inability is deceptive. Guyon also pressed Bill hard on the reality that National have gutted super for Gen Xers and that there had to be a debate about entitlements, Bill denied, denied, denied any suggestion any change would occur at anytime ever, it risked turning the interview into a farce as Guyon just started laughing at Bill’s denial as he put the figures to English repeatedly that clearly showed something had to give in terms of how much money National could actually be able to afford to hand over as retirement entitlements (a point well made yesterday by my co-blogger, Mr Selwyn)
It was a much harder interview than the Government has had so far giving early signs that there really will be major debate by the media ahead on much of National’s unmandated agenda. National were carried into victory on a wave of ‘change’ without the electorate really knowing what that ‘change’ was, their policy release pre-election were a page long with enough loopholes in them that National could privatize the continental shelf and technically still be against foreign ownership. Now National are starting to show their hand, (they are test running the mass privatization of NZ through the Super City with Rodney’s hand appointed clique chaired by a water privatizer laying the privatization blueprint for ACT's version of NZinc and setting the country up for a social services sell off in term 2 once those social services collapse justifying radical changes by contracting out health, education and welfare) now that hand is being shown, the media should start asking questions, this mornings Q+A was.
Also on the show, the brilliant Metiria Turei showed a grumpy Paul Holmes what grace under fire looked like, she is an excellent choice as co-leader and batted away breathless questions about separatism and dope smoking with class, the co-leadership of Turei/Norman has the stirrings of brilliance about it.