NZ Govt celebrate Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday with 50 cent increase in minimum wage
It was the awkward moment when John Scrooge Key showed the full extent of his commitment to tackling poverty in New Zealand. An extra 50 cents an hour for the most vulnerable is tragic for low-waged workers, laughable to independent commentators, and something of an embarassment to the Government’s legion of media allies. Perhaps that’s why Fairfax tucked the story at the bottom of the politics page in today’s Dom, with the typically pro-National headline “Govt defends 50c an hour minimum wage lift”, and a short piece written by John Key’s favourite “journalist”, Tracy Watkins.
Today’s Dom also avoided revelations that power prices are about to rise by upto ten per cent, which will more than account for any wage gains. It seems that Fairfax’s mate Gerry Brownlea has completely failed on his promise to “reign in the power companies”, and once this Government finish selling off our essential services, the great New Zealand ripoff will surely go into overdrive.
But, in a clear confirmation of the Key Government’s all-too-cosy relationship with the NZ media, the Electoral Commission have referred John Key’s hosting of a show on Radiolive during the election campaign to police. The hour-long broadcast had the Prime Minister talking about everything except policy, but has been deemed to be a clear breach of election rules. It just so happens that National’s campaign manager, Stephen Joyce, managed the company that owns Radiolive before becoming a National Party minister.
The Radiolive backscratching is worrying enough in isolation, but when viewed alongisde the evidence of Fairfax Media’s unwavering support of the Key Government, and the fact that John Key’s Helensville electorate chairman, Stephen McElrea was politically appointed to the board of NZ on Air to oversee the distribution of hundreds of thousands of dollars to “friendly” documentaries while vetoing less favourable ones, we see a worrying pattern of this Government overriding democracy and fair debate by controlling the message in all mainstream media. The implications of this are frightening and massive, and anyone who cares about freedom and democracy should be extremely worried by this Government’s control of the news. Hence, the continuing efforts of this site to shed some light on the daily dose of propaganda New Zealanders have come to accept.
Interestingly, the story of Radiolive being referred to the police led the news on stuff.co.nz today…for a full four minutes, before Crosby Textor and Fairfax dreamed up some distrating codswallop about unemployment levels falling. We should also remember that this is all happening in the week that Fairfax beat up a nothing story about Kiwi’s getting pissed in London, to keep Waitangi Day protests over hugely unpopular asset sales off the front page.
Are we concerned about the motives of our media yet? Are we ready to stand up and defend our freedom in this rapidly Right-lurching corporatocracy at the bottom of the world?