Bias can be such a subtle thing. As I read through this piece I was struck by what was left out. Witness:-
The banks survived and didn't stop lending, which had more to do with New Zealand getting through the recession than any of the Government's ideas.
Hmmmmm. I seem to recall that the gummint made it clear to the banks, time and time again, that they had to keep lending 'or else.' Somewhere in there was also a government guarantee given to the same banks - introduced by Labour in its dying moments and later enhanced by the current administration.
His mind, and Key's, was fixed on avoiding an international credit rating downgrade which would have made it more difficult and expensive to get the money.
English managed to stay on the tightrope. Core spending was maintained while "poor quality" programmes were cut across the board. Many of the previous government's pet projects were canned and payments into the superannuation fund were frozen. There was no ratings downgrade.
A prime reason our banks WERE able to keep lending and keep interest rates modest was the fact - conveniently ignored by NZPA - that an unexpected ratings up-grade resulted. A truly remarkable achievement.
By year end one thing was becoming clear - Key isn't leading a reformist government. There's no agenda for the sort of changes the business sector thought they were going to get. It might be more business-friendly than Labour but it's well short of an embrace. It is, as he said it would be, a pragmatic centre-right government.
Forgotten by NZPA are John Key's and Bill English's many election campaign promises that there will be no asset sales during the first term; and especially there will be no major boat rocking changes during a recession. NZPA doesn't seem to realise that while technically we have come out of recession, the figures released by the Reserve Bank yesterday indicate that we are only just out and in fact are still teetering on the brink. GDP growth for the September quarter was 0.2%.
Ignored by NZPA are the many signs of preparation for reform initiated during the first year - reform of taxation being one of the most significant.
Now let's see how they treated Philk Off and his mates.
Surprise surprise. As many bad things about Labour were hidden as were good things about National. That's how it's done, see?
Phil Goff says he knew it was going to be hard, the first year after losing an election always is. But Labour held a surprisingly upbeat annual conference and its caucus worked well with new backbenchers hitting their straps in Parliament.
I say, chaps. What about the damaging Indian sheila sooled onto Richard Worth by Phil Goff? What about his famous 'dole for millionaires'? What about his specially picked and fed to the media beneficiary battlers who turned out to be living a life of luxury as dole bludgers?
Commentators wrote death notices as Goff's popularity stayed in single figures but there were no challengers this year and there aren't likely to be any next year. Labour's support base didn't erode by much, staying around 30 per cent against its election night 33.9 per cent.
Never mind the cold hard fact that Labour's party vote dropped below 30% for a time and went as low as 27.5% as I recall.
But voters at last took notice of Labour and its leader, with polls showing a modest bounceback. Mission accomplished.Maybe Adolf has been asleep but I can recall only one poll in which Labour 'bounced back' a little since Goff's speech. Since then he has been dragged back into line by his caucus and party president so it's a bit early to be calling 'mission accomplished.'
So there you have it. NZPA exemplifies the media's ability to 'hide the decline.' All you do is select the data which suits your hypothesis. It's easier for journalists than it is for junk scientists though. Journos don't have to rig the peer review process because when it comes to lies and distortions, they are without peer.