Bill English interview

Lisa Own interviewed Finance Minister Bill English about the budget on The Nation yesterday.

English will also be interviewed on Q & A this morning at 9 am.

The Nation interview will be repeated after Q & A at 10:00 am Sunday but here is the interview online:

Interview: Bill English

Lisa Owen talks to Finance Minister Bill English about whether this week’s Budget keeps up with demographics in health and education, why there was nothing for housing, and if there’ll be tax cuts in 2017.

On Twitter they described it:

‘s feisty interview with  

Transcript (provided via Newshub by able.co.nz):

Lisa Owen: Well, Bill English’s eighth budget has delivered the government books back into black, and confident projections for more surpluses and growth. ‘Steady as she goes,’ he says. But the sceptics called it the buffet budget — morsels here and there ahead of the full spread in election year. And Winston Peters bluntly labelled it the ‘get stuffed’ budget. Notably, there was little for infrastructure, Auckland’s housing woes or those people living in cars and garages. So when I spoke to the finance minister earlier, I asked if his emphasis on prudence and stability wasn’t a little tone-deaf.

Bill English: No, I disagree with that. Look, the budget was never going to be the vehicle for fixing every housing problem, because you can’t buy your way through the Auckland housing pressures. We’ve been through all this in Christchurch, where the problem has now been largely solved. It takes time. And so the important work that’s related to housing is about getting the national policy statement out in the next few weeks, getting the Auckland Unitary Plan right, because the people that are sleeping in the cars are the victims of years of misdirected planning…

Yes, but you’ve had eight years.

…that’s focused on high-value housing.

You’ve had eight years, Minister.

Yes, but we don’t make the decisions, Lisa. Auckland City Council make the decisions. Even the government can’t build a house in Auckland unless Auckland City Council frees up the land, provides the subdivision consent, processes all the consents, provides the building consent and allows the house to be occupied.

All right. I want to come back to that a bit later. But, as promised, you brought forward spending from the 2017 budget to keep pace with immigration. So are we getting as much per person in health and education?

Yes, we probably are, but the amount of money that’s spent is less important than what results it gets. You know, there’s some people trying to argue that you show you care by shovelling more and more money out. And the history of that in government is that you can shovel out a whole lot of money and make no difference whatsoever. So the budget’s got a pretty strong focus on results, including in health, where the money goes, for instance, to the roll-out of the bowel cancer screening programme, which when it’s up and running will screen 350,000 people on average each year.

Point taken, Minister, but I just want to be clear on this, because if you look at the figures, let’s say for health, a variety of economists say that we needed about 700 million a year just to keep pace, yet health is getting about 570 million a year. You’ve frozen the schools’ operational budgets, so to be absolutely clear, per capita spending on health and education, it’s down, isn’t it?

No. Look, I couldn’t say for sure whether it’s up or down. It’s probably about the same. The point I’m making is it’s the wrong measure. The measures that matter are the ones that are about focusing on getting results.

Shouldn’t you know whether it’s up or down in terms of spending per capita? Because that’s something that our viewers will want to know.

It’s not a measure we apply. And I think your viewers are as interested in— probably more interested in the results we get for them. For instance, in education, we have targeted the spending on the 150,000 children who are most at risk of educational underachievement. Now, per capita, I can’t tell you whether it’s up or down. What I do know is for children from benefit-dependent households, there will be $80 per child of those in our schools. And they’re spread right through our schools, regardless of decile. So that’s trying to focus the resource where it’s going to have the most impact.

This kind of takes us back to where I started here — the people in the cars, the first-home buyers who are locked out of the Auckland market, Auckland infrastructure. People will look at this and think that you are effectively asking those people to hold tight for at least another year so that you can afford to give tax cuts.

No, that’s not the case. For instance, for the cases that have been in the media around living in the cars, a lot of those are a bit more complex than people might realise. But in any case, we have more money than we can spend on places, on houses for people in serious housing need in Auckland. The problem isn’t money; there’s enough of that. The problem is getting enough houses. Even though Auckland City is actually completing 40 houses every working day, it’s still not enough. And that’s why in the next few months we’ve got to work hard with the Auckland City Council to get more houses, because the government can’t just magic up houses; they have to be built by real people on real land. And that’s controlled by the Auckland City Council.

Well, actually, let’s look at that. The problem, you’ve said, is a huge supply shortage, isn’t it? So is that shortage getting better or worse?

Well, it depends. There’s some signs that demand might have flattened out a bit, because it’s all supply relative to demand. But in terms of the supply itself, I don’t think it’s getting worse. We’re just focusing on working with the council and doing what the government can with its own land to ramp up the supply, because we know Auckland needs more, and it needs it faster than we’re able to deliver it.

Okay, well, just let’s look at some of those figures. I mean, experts can’t agree exactly, but they think that we’re down about between 20,000 and 50,000 houses in Auckland — we’re short of those — and that we need to build about 13,000 a year to play catch-up. We’re not building 13,000 a year, so the supply must be getting worse.

Well, and that’s in the hands of the Auckland City Council, who are the people with the legal and community responsibility to get more land available so that more houses can be built faster. We’ve been through this in Christchurch. You can ramp up the construction workforce. You can change the planning rules. In Christchurch, house prices are flat to slightly falling, despite the fact that two or three years ago there was very substantial demand. And I might say the same kind of stories about it. Now, there was a lot of tension at the time in Christchurch as the system cranked up supply to meet the strong demand.

The thing is you point the finger at the council there, but the council has been very clear about the fact it needs help with infrastructure. it says it needs 3 billion in the next 10 years for infrastructure. Where do you think that money’s coming from? Because the council’s nudging its debt ceiling. It can’t rate people off their properties. So where is the money coming from?

Well, fundamentally, that’s Auckland’s issue to deal with. We are certainly contributing. I mean, right now we’re in intensive negotiation for a contribution of over $1 billion from the taxpayer to an Auckland City Council transport project called the Central Rail Link. Now, in the normal course of events, they would pay for that. We’re negotiating where taxpayers will pay for that. That’s a significant reduction in the burden on the council, and it allows them to pay for other infrastructure.

Minister, isn’t it central government’s responsibility to assist with that infrastructure?

No, fundamentally it isn’t. It is the council’s responsibility. That’s the deal. They get to decide on how their city is planned, and they get to pay for the development. And for a lot of the people living outside Auckland and inside Auckland, there are real benefits from growth. And part of the puzzle here is that as more people turn up in Auckland and as incomes rise, growth is good. The council benefits from that, and so do ratepayers. And so they’ve just got to work out a better alignment between the funding and the growth.

In terms of that better alignment between funding and growth, then surely when you come up with the national policy statement in a few weeks’ time, it has to make some kind of allowance for the council to raise money, using a congestion charge or something similar.

The government generally keeps out of their way, and generally councils don’t want government interfering with how they run their affairs. The national policy statement won’t cover all the issues. It’ll focus on primarily…

But you are interfering, aren’t you? You’re going to make a national policy statement that lays down the law. They want some kind of levies or taxes. They’re not allowed to do that. So you are interfering.

Well, there will be a discussion from the national policy statement as it goes out. As I’ve said in the Budget, it’ll be more directive to councils to enhance supply, bearing in mind that in Auckland they spent a lot of years trying not to grow supply, and that’s the price—the people who pay the price for 20 years’ misdirected planning are the low and middle-income families whose stress you are seeing represented in the media. That’s who misses out – not the high-income people. They can afford to pay for the nicest looking apartments and the nicest looking streets. But low- and middle-income families can’t.

All right. Well, I want to talk about the story that we broke on The Nation about homelessness. In Auckland, every social agency that we went to about that story told us that emergency housing is full. Did you know that? Did you know it’s full?

Well, that is why there has been a package announced a few weeks ago to underpin the funding of emergency housing – about $40 million – so that we can get more emergency housing in places around the country.

Yes, but that doesn’t add new places, though, does it? Sorry, I’m just wanting to establish whether you knew when that story went out. Did you know that emergency housing was full up?

Yes. We’ve known about housing stress in Auckland for a number of years. It’s why the government has made some very direct statements about the obligations of the city council to change the planning rules to enable more supply so we can get more houses. That is the only way people who aren’t in houses can get in houses is when a house gets built. The only people who can agree to get that house built are Auckland City Council. We provide subsidies. The government provides 2 billion of subsidies a year. We subsidise 60 percent of all rentals in the country and probably more than that in Auckland. We’re putting up the money. They have to put up the land and the houses.

Minister, in terms of the emergency housing, I just want to be clear on this. Social agencies told us about a year ago that those places were under stress and now they are full up. Do you know the difference between under stress and full up? Did you appreciate that change in climate?

Yes. That is why the package was announced, actually, a number of weeks before you apparently broke the story – the story that has been sitting there for a couple of years. That is why the package was announced – because of stress on the emergency housing. And we put in 40 million. Emergency housing’s been a bit of a dog’s breakfast for decades. We worked a way with the agencies over quite a long period of time – very good work done by Paula Bennett – to work out how to make it more effective. And that’s why the package was announced.

So why didn’t you do more? If you’ve known all along that this is the issue, why not do more? Because that package doesn’t add new places. Why not do something more in the Budget?

It will add new places. We put in quite a bit of money. The agencies get to use that money, and we’ll see how it beds down. And if more is required, we would do that. But it is only a short-term fix, because you can’t put people in houses that don’t exist.

But don’t you think from what we’ve seen, it absolutely is required? You seem to be questioning whether it is needed.

No, I’m not questioning that. We’ve taken a big step to organise emergency housing so it’s more effective, to sort out the funding, make it clearer, more transparent and a lot bigger.

So more is needed? More is absolutely needed, Minister. Is that what you’re saying?

Well, it could be. We can’t fund houses that aren’t there.

‘Could be’ or ‘is’? ‘Could be’ or ‘is’ needed?

Well, look, we put in the money. I’m sure that in six months’ time, there will still be people who have significant housing problems. Some of those will be able to be directed to social housing. Some of them will explain the full stories of their lives which aren’t always explained to the media in the way that they’re represented. And some of them will be really genuine cases who need more emergency housing, and if that’s the case, then we have the capacity to respond. But bear in mind, when we pay for more emergency housing, we’re probably using houses that would otherwise be available for social housing. And when we pay for more social housing, we could be using houses that would otherwise be bought by first-home buyers. The answer to all that is more houses on the ground faster, otherwise we’re all competing with each other for a limited supply of houses.

All right. Well, I want to look at you’re choosing to pay down debt rather than borrow, and you’re choosing to do that rather than build at a time when money is the cheapest it has ever been. Can you just explain the logic of that to me?

Well, if you looked at the Budget charts, you would see that in fact our infrastructure spend in 2017 is double what it was in 2013. So it’s a myth—

But it’s down, though, Minister. It’s down. Your spending on infrastructure is down from 1.7 billion to 1.4 billion.

No, it’s not. Look at the charts. In 2013, it was 3 billion. In 2017, it’s 6 billion. That’s double.

Looking ahead, Minister, it’s down.

Well, it peaks in 2017. We don’t do it because economists say money’s cheap. In fact, I listened to a banker this morning say this is the time to pay off debt.

But that’s the point, isn’t it, Minister? Why are you cutting? Why are you cutting back on infrastructure?

We are not cutting, Lisa. There is no evidence of cutting. I mean, I’m involved in the decision-making. The capital allowance this year is about a billion higher than last year. The total spend on the ground is double what it was in 2013. Whoever’s telling you it’s being cut is simply wrong.

You’re saying it’s peaking in 2017 and then tapering off.

Well, there’s further decisions to be made. It may keep going after that. We’ve put out the forecast for how much will actually be spent on the ground over the next five years. Next year we get to make another whole set of decisions about where to spend the next billion or so. But there’s no evidence of cutting infrastructure spending. You’re simply wrong.

Okay. Well, I want to look ahead to next year. You’ve made a virtue out of fiscally responsible, perhaps boring Budgets. You’ve allowed yourself 1.9 billion to spend in next year’s Budget. Are you prepared to blow that spending cap to give tax cuts?

Well, the allowance that’s there for next year is – as I’ve made clear about a month ago – explicitly just for the act for spending and does not include tax reductions. So if there were tax reductions at any time over the next two or three years, that would be in addition to what we’ve allowed for government spending.

And just to be clear, any tax cuts would come in your fourth term?

Well, even if you made decisions in the Budget next year, they would occur in the next term of government, yes.

And they will only come in if you meet all your fiscal targets, yes?

Well, that’s right. We’ve got a set of fiscal targets. Now, there’s always… You never quite know what’s going to happen with the economic forecast. You might find there’s more room or less room. But those decisions are all in the future, which is why we’re not being explicit about it now, because we simply haven’t made the decisions.

 

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61 Comments

  1. David

     /  29th May 2016

    All that squeeling about dirty politics and here you have Lisa Owen going all out parroting the incorrect Labour spin. She appears to be wrong and poorly researched which is not untypical for her taxpayer funded show.
    I want to know from English his fiscal projections, how he sees our export markets etc. then I want to know about all these targets he has set the public service. As a taxpayer I want results not the bloody stupid calculation from Labour on how much extra dollars they think should be pumped in to stoke health cost inflation, idiots.

    Reply
  2. alloytoo

     /  29th May 2016

    What’s interesting is that English has the political capital to tell Lisa she’s flat out WRONG and we believe him.

    Reply
  3. Lisa Owen – nice interview. Could to have tough questions for the Minister

    However its apparent where the questioning has come from. Minister handled her quite easily just as he handles Grant directly. And you see it in Grants interview where he goes DIRECTLY to per capita health spending.

    Lisa “no money for infrastructure” Owens: hahahaha Billions in the budget for Infrastructure! if you look for!!

    http://insights.nzherald.co.nz/article/budget-2016

    And the Government is in negotiation on GIVING Auckland City a Billion dollars for the CRL….nice 3 million odd people don’t live in Auckland, but ACC gets an extra billion which is not available for them. And of people in Auckland how many will use the CRL regualrly over a year?? Being generous, 2 hundred thousand individuals maybe????

    And I also note Lisa was pushing the more tax/levies/charges options to be given to local councils – i.e. Auckland City Council which she says is up against its borrowing ceiling.

    A Labour Mayor has effed up Auckland by spend, spend, spend – see the “state house” installation for some of the quality of that spend and also the ACC IT budget blowouts – and that Mayor and Council want a bail out.

    Nice job Lisa. Some good question but seriously your tax and spend bias came out

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  29th May 2016

      I don’t think Lisa has a tax & spend bias. I think she anticipates opposition criticisms and works them in to her interviewing because those are the right questions to pose. She’s one of the better political interviewers because of it. I think she’s a sharp cookie tbh.

      Reply
      • Gezza – we can disagree on that I think. She has run a pretty consistent line for awhile now which supports more tax.

        I don’t mind her being tough on Bill – he handled her well to the extent she constantly drop lines of questioning.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  29th May 2016

          She just knows Bill’s a stonewaller par excellence I think, dave, and she’s only got a few minutes for the interview.

          Reply
          • gezza… the panel discussion after the heart rending transience story Owen gave herself away. Robertson was referred to as Grant, English as Bill English. One very chummy, the other said like a nasty word….. sorry you cant see it Gezza

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  29th May 2016

              Hmm. Ok. So who does the good, challenging tv interviews, and how do they ask better questions with less apparent bias dave?

              Whatever happened to Sue Wood, come to think of it? She had a pretty strong rightward bias. Perhaps TV3 could hire her and get her & Lisa to alternate? Or even co-chair a panel discussion. That’d be a riot.

            • I don’t mind biased questioning – just people being open about it. Tbf to Owen she did wind Robertson up a bit.

              But it was clear that the per capita questions were a direct result of that being a Robertson talking point and it was also clear that English wasn’t given the normal heads up about that being a topic for conversation as is normal in these interviews. But English handled it well anyone..

            • Gezza

               /  29th May 2016

              Was just thinking, given your comments, their names are quite appropriate don’t you think dave?
              “Grant”
              and
              “Bill”

            • That’s not bad wit there Gezza : )…. grant really should TAS though as that his true attitude…

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  29th May 2016

              The name thing may have been unconscious, but if it was, it looks like a Freudian slip.

              Bill is short for William-William th Conqueror.

              Grant is like ‘grant three wishes’ and about as likely to be real.

    • Lisa’s questions and line taken are proof to me of consistent MSM and Labour “line to take” briefings from down low in the political scene. Any analyst worth their salt should be able to take the last 10 days media reporting in print, TV and Radio commentary all pushing the same coordinated line which I consider is reprehensible and should give rise to a Royal Commission tasked with examining the relationship between the media and any political party and the need for maintenance of the separation of power in these important parts of our democracy. The MSM MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO PURSUE A POLITICAL AGENDA. They have to be objective and must report without fear and be balanced in their reporting of the facts. They should not claim a privilege to make the news, and should report and comment objectively. They enjoy the rights of the 4th Estate. However any right carries an obligation and that is not to pursue their own agenda. They after all are journalists but I believe many of them have forgotten the ethics of Journalism. This won’t change until we demand it.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  29th May 2016

        I thought Lisa asked Bill questions and he gave her answers? I didn’t see the panel discussion though bj. Might see if I can find it. I guess if she told them Bill was wrong and they all agreed you might have a point.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  29th May 2016

          Well, I’ve watched the whole lot now beej. It was good. Quite a good panel too. Finny was an excellent counter-balance to Hickey. Helen said what everyone would expect her to say – Lisa didn’t give her views any particular prominence or support. I’m a centre voter. I just saw a good interview and a good panel discussion.

          They made the now seemingly standard MSM error of selecting only one, and the wrong, case for the social housing segment, and not providing answers to the obvious questions anybody watching that would be asking themselves, & probably generated as much, if not more, negative than positive sentiment from the viewing audience towards other people in this awful situation.

          Reply
      • Blazer

         /  29th May 2016

        Start with Hosking,Roughan,Henry,Young and I don’t know how many other right wing biased journos Colonel.

        Reply
      • BJ… will never happen. But the good thing is in the age of the Internet the agenda setting and bias are easily seen….

        Reply
  4. Gezza

     /  29th May 2016

    Nah – Bill was weak as piss. Didn’t convince me.

    Reply
  5. Corky

     /  29th May 2016

    I heard the PM interviewed. I don’t know whether he was on a sugar low, or if he had got the wrong figures from Bill. But the PM stated our debt was only 65 billion at present, when forecasts done previously suggested debt could be 160 billion by 2017. “So, all in all we have run prudent policies”, he said ( or similar from memory)

    Of course there are different types of debt a country has, and different indexes used to measure those debts. But according to this horrid site things aren’t so rosy. At least someone has a sense of humour….we can convert our debt to US dollars.

    http://www.nationaldebtclocks.org/debtclock/newzealand

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  29th May 2016

      Ahh what the heck Corky, when you’ve got over 50 mill, golfed with the POTUS, stayed over at Buck House & had brekky with HRH, and you’re heading for an historic 4th term because of Opposition Leader ineptitude x 3, he probably just thinks who gives a toss what figures you chuck out – nobody among the plebs understands this shit anyway.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  29th May 2016

        I don’t think that he stayed at Buck House, but the Queen’s private house. Is she HRH ? I thought that HRH was princes and princesses. The Queen is Her Majesty (OHMS)

        Opposition Leader Ineptittude Versus Enlightened Realism = ?

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  29th May 2016

          Yes, you’re correct about HRH it seems.

          OHMS is On Her Majesty’s Service and was printed on all official government envelopes Kitty. Are you calling my sovereign an envelope?

          Apparently her full proper title is:
          Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas Queen, Defender of the Faith, Duchess of Edinburgh, Countess of Merioneth, Baroness Greenwich, Duke of Lancaster, Lord of Mann, Duke of Normandy, Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Garter, Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Sovereign of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, Sovereign of the Most Illustrious Order of Saint Patrick, Sovereign of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Sovereign of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Sovereign of the Distinguished Service Order, Sovereign of the Imperial Service Order, Sovereign of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India, Sovereign of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, Sovereign of the Order of British India, Sovereign of the Indian Order of Merit, Sovereign of the Order of Burma, Sovereign of the Royal Order of Victoria and Albert, Sovereign of the Royal Family Order of King Edward VII, Sovereign of the Order of Merit, Sovereign of the Order of the Companions of Honour, Sovereign of the Royal Victorian Order, Sovereign of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem.

          And anything else is just sloppy.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  29th May 2016

            But for New Zealand, we are fortunate that her official title with us is simply:

            Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of New Zealand and Her Other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.

            Reply
    • David

       /  29th May 2016

      There is private debt and government debt then there is SOE debt and corporate debt but all you have to worry about is government debt which is on track to be 20% of GDP which is remarkable given the earthquake and GFC.
      America is around 90% as is the UK most of Europe is higher still and Japan is 220% of GD
      P. The other thing to take into account is the value of assets that the debt funds and NZ has been pretty awful at measuring this side of the balance sheet so the RBNZ is trying to plug the gap on info.

      Reply
    • Blazer

       /  29th May 2016

      Typical Key,nearly halved the debt ,because he is confident he can bat away his lies with facile diversion and denial.

      Reply
      • David

         /  29th May 2016

        He is spot on with government debt which is what he was asked about, private debt has nothing to do with governments aside from risks to the banking system.
        And Blazer if you vote Key in for another term or two he will halve the debt.

        Reply
  6. Blazer

     /  29th May 2016

    Rubber Billy English is known for getting forecasts wrong,try the budget ‘surplus’ last year for starters.The right love optimistic projections of revenue or savings to justify their actions…look at the Super City.

    Reply
    • David

       /  29th May 2016

      Firstly they are treasury forecasts not Billys, secondly he did have a surplus last year and thirdly the super city was labours idea which has been buggared up by a profligate and incompetent left wing council over 5 years.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  29th May 2016

        Dave,why don’t you just cut and paste…’its Labours …fault’!

        Reply
      • Blazer

         /  29th May 2016

        as for Treasury advice..R.Harman…’An Inland Revenue project to change liable parent payments has gone off the rails with a massive budget blowout.

        But this time Treasury saw it coming and tried to warn the Government about it.

        However the Government ignored the advice.’….when it suits them eh!

        Reply
  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  29th May 2016

    I don’t think that is a good interview. All it did was poke political talking points at English who batted them away with the well-trodden facts.

    A good interview explores the subject both personally and openly to discover and reveal the subtleties and options we didn’t know about. Paul Holmes could sometimes do it. So can Janet McIntyre. Few others here have the skills and knowledge to go in depth without a script and pre-prepared questions.

    Bill English is revolutionising a lot of the bureaucratic precepts. This was a completely wasted opportunity to learn how and why.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  29th May 2016

      ‘Bill English is revolutionising a lot of the bureaucratic precepts. This was a completely wasted opportunity to learn how and why.’…some examples woulds be helpful.

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  29th May 2016

      Social investment. Measuring and funding success, not funding failure.

      If I had done the interview I would have begun by asking what principles he has adopted for funding decisions and then moved to asking how these were being applied, what problems were encountered and how these were being resolved.

      We would actually have learnt something.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  29th May 2016

        very,very vague there Al.K.P.I’s?

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  29th May 2016

          It’s not vague. It’s open questioning for discovery, not closed minds batting a ball over the net and going nowhere.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  29th May 2016

            The thing is would the average pleb be interested in this, would it deal with the social impacts (which nobody seems to be really studying and reporting on – certainly not in the way the dry economic facts are) & would the interviewer know enough to be able to challenge the metrics?

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  29th May 2016

              Who cares what the average pleb would be interested in, really? Certainly not me. Social impacts – of course. Both are far more relevant to what I understand to be English’s reforms than silly quibbling about whether the overall budget is bigger or smaller by some marginal amount.

              No, AFAIK most current interviewers don’t know enough to interview this way. Holmes once said perceptively that to be a good interviewer you need to have lived. And he meant outside the media/political bubble.

            • Gezza

               /  29th May 2016

              I think it was the business about the goat that finally made realise they were paying him too much.

            • Gezza

               /  29th May 2016

              Who cares what the average pleb would be interested in, really?
              Political parties. So far Johnkers has got the best feel for that & it helps that he’s stopped the hair-pulling. If Labour weren’t having such ongoing pulmonary shambolisms with their Leaders they might’ve actually gained some traction recently.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  29th May 2016

              You really think the average pleb watches “The Nation”????

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  29th May 2016

              As for paying him too much, I suspect if you worked his hours for a year let alone a lifetime you would change your mind.

            • Gezza

               /  29th May 2016

              You really think the average pleb watches “The Nation”????

              Well, yes, now that The Bachelor has ended. I’m sure they get up & have toast & coffee and then a look to see what bright lights are shining from the political masters’ eyes. Sport doesn’t really come on on Free to Air till later in the afternoon and there’s point sitting in the lounge watching nothing when you could be exercising your thumb with the tv remote.

              Is there really any need for all those question marks Alan? I understand the meaning of one of them quite adequately.

            • Gezza

               /  29th May 2016

              As for paying him too much, I suspect if you worked his hours for a year let alone a lifetime you would change your mind.
              It’s true that I wouldn’t work his hours for a year. But why would I need to? Anyone can be a dick & work a lot fewer hours than he did – they’d just be a less wealthy dick.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  29th May 2016

              I had a few spare from the interview I didn’t do, so I gave them to you for free, Gezza.

              The Nation gets about 50K viewers apparently so I guess there are a few average plebs there who want to watch a pointless tennis match. That doesn’t include me.

              Anyone who fronts the public is going to be called a dick by someone – even you – so you might as well be called a wealthy one. Holmes got abused comprehensively by the Lefties so I guess he had a similar opinion of them.

            • Gezza

               /  29th May 2016

              I’ve got nothing against wealthy dicks Al. I’m just saying I’ve been perfectly able to achieve dickdom working considerably fewer hours, and I’ve come across plenty of others in my time who have clearly achieved similar status while employed across a whole range of weekly working hours and income levels. Dickdom is a great leveller in some ways. Thanks for the ?s. I’ll save them for some of Lurch’s posts.

    • Gezza

       /  29th May 2016

      Paul Holmes could sometimes do it.
      Paul Holmes couldn’t string two sentences together without burbling utter bloody bumbling nonsense in between Al, and he just abandoned his goat to some dodgy looking cut-throats in Yemen. Massively, obscenely overpaid git he was.

      Janet MacIntyre maybe, & Susan Wood probably definitely – they might perhaps have been more to Bill’s liking.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  29th May 2016

        No, you severely underestimate Paul. And he was far better than Susan Wood in many respects. I didn’t find her interesting to watch.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  29th May 2016

          Yes I guess she was a bit flat-chested. But she still seemed to me to be pretty staunchly pro-right.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  29th May 2016

            Neither were the issue. The issues are in-depth intelligence, open mindedness and deep life experience.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  29th May 2016

              Well for that we need to be recruiting more retirees, which is the opposite direction the MSM is heading in. I don’t watch the weather girls for the weather forecast.

            • Blazer

               /  29th May 2016

              Holmes had a very high opinion of himself.I assume your glowing praise of him means you…met!

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  29th May 2016

              @Blazer, nope. I’ve done interviews with Janet McIntyre, Rod Vaughan – even Sharon Crosby – but not Holmes.

            • Gezza

               /  29th May 2016

              Did you ever watch those awful annual end of year Holmes Show specials Alan? Where for the whole programme he just wandered around a select group of invited sycophants scoffing free drinks and cucumber sandwiches, personally inviting & being rewarded with each one just telling him on camera how wonderful he was?

              It was vomit-inducting stuff Alan. I never saw him ask the goat. Because we can all guess what happened to the goat once it had served its purpose of getting him some good PR for a short while. 😎

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  29th May 2016

              No, I avoided those, Gezza. And perhaps for the same reason the goat has not seared itself into my memory as it evidently has yours.

              I did say Holmes could do a good interview – not that he always did. Plenty of tripe for the plebs served up too.

            • Gezza

               /  29th May 2016

              He was a very affectionate & loyal goat Al. You could see he was really fond of Paul & that he trusted him. And that was the thanks he got. 😥

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  29th May 2016

              According to this, Holmes wanted to bring Nigel home but was prevented by you bureaucrats:
              http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/445056/TV-review-i-Holmes-quite-at-home-in-Yemen-i

              Are you sure you are not suffering from transferred guilt by association?

              (Lucky I kept one ?)

            • Gezza

               /  29th May 2016

              If Holmes really cared about Nigel he could’ve dressed him up in a burka and brought him through Customs & immigration saying his lady friend didn’t speak English, Alan.

              PS: I think Holmes might’ve written that piece.

              You’ve kept a goat? Good on ya mate. You’re a champion. Save the goats!

              (BRB…pooky jnr is screaming out his presence & his readiness for some Bergen’s.)

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  29th May 2016

              Oops, no, it was the question mark I had kept, Gezza, not a goat.

            • Gezza

               /  29th May 2016

              😉

  8. Blazer

     /  29th May 2016

    for Gezza…

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  29th May 2016

      Cheers for that Blazer e hoa. Always liked that one. Will go & find one of your posts that I haven’t ticked and give you an uptick.

      Reply

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