Hosking climbs into Shane Jones after latest bullying incident

Shane Jones is fast getting a reputation of a bully boy… a bloviating bully boy.

Mike Hosking climbed into him on Friday:

Looks like Shane Jones has a plan. It’s the Shane Jones “bag big business” approach.

Having opened with Air New Zealand, next stop was The Warehouse, upon hearing the news that they were closing operations up north. Now who knows how this shook down.

If you missed the fine detail, the lease was up, The Warehouse couldn’t cut a deal so they said they had to close. Cue hysteria and the full Jones clickbait onslaught.

Did The Warehouse really want to stay, and were pushing their luck with a new lease? Did the owner see The Warehouse as a cash cow and was pushing his luck? Was the closure announcement real, or a bargaining tool for the lease? Did Shane Jones, in calling the owner, actually make any difference at all?

Either way good news is: business carries on. But, and here’s the thing about all this, politics and business rarely mix. And when they do, it’s never real or successful.   
If The Warehouse wants to trade in Kaikohe, it will trade in Kaikohe. And indeed it has done so for years. And in those years they have offered good service and a lot of jobs and been a good, successful part of the community.

Now that is not a permanent thing, or a lifelong thing, there is no obligation on either side. Neither town, nor trader to be doing this for any other reason than it benefits both parties

And this is where the interventionist nature of your Shane Jones messes things up. There is no question a heavyweight minister can bring pressure to bear. Did he leverage the reopening of The Warehouse in Kaikohe? Who knows. He may well infer in future years – when it suits his election campaign rhetoric – that he did.

But if a business has acquiesced to politics, the only loser is them, because if the numbers don’t add up they alone who will be paying for it. End of quote.

This is why I hate subsidies. If a business cannot operate without a subsidy, or a grant or other assistance from the outside, then it isn’t a business. What a government or council can give, they can take away. Failure of a business isn’t bad; it is good. It clears out the useless and the incapable and another business will rise. A pattern is developing with Shane Jones as Hosking goes on to explain:

And this is where it dove tails into Air New Zealand. They didn’t pull out of Kapiti this week because they were bored, they pulled out because it didn’t pay its way. And despite Air New Zealand having a good sized government stake, it doesn’t operate as a charity.

The Warehouse, as a private operator, even less so.

What people forget in the heat of the battle for hearts and minds in issues like these is that business is often portrayed as the pariah, as the bad guy. And Air New Zealand and The Warehouse are easy targets given they’re big.

You might have noted the other headline around The Warehouse and the half dozen people in it that earn more than a million dollars a year – that’s easy fodder for the Joneses of this world who can use that as leverage to attack a big ugly corporate that doesn’t have a heart and doesn’t care about small town New Zealand and they’re all rich pricks lining their own pockets.

So hopefully The Warehouse stays, the lease is sorted and all is well with the world.

But the lesson out of this is business needs to be able to do business without fear that the government has decided that all of a sudden they’re the chief executive and the landlord and the board member for whatever operation they deem doesn’t do business the way they see fit. End of quote

Maybe Shane Jones will nationalise The Warehouse? Phil Twyford can nationalise the bus companies, and another minister can nationalise Pak’nSave and Countdown. Then we can rename New Zealand to New Venezuela and change the flag to a hammer and sickle overlaid with a clenched fist and AK-47.

Don’t laugh… we have a communist for a prime minister. She sits at the feet of union bosses.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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