Governments love to take credit for things they have nothing to do with Part XXX

So when consumer confidence rose in December because of falling fuel prices there were people saying it was because of the National government. When net migration started to turn at the start of 2009 there were mummers of it being because of the National government. Now that it is clear that departures have collapsed Immigration minister Jonathan Coleman has decided to show us just how deluded politicians can be by stating:

“Under the Labour government, with its high taxes and disincentives to getting ahead, thousands of our brightest and most talented people chose to seek their fortunes overseas,” Dr Coleman said.

“Now, these people are choosing to either stay in New Zealand or return home to build a better, brighter and more prosperous future under the National government.”

You have to be frikken kidding me. For one, the National government is still running the same set of policies as Labour. And more importantly as the article points out:

Dr Coleman did not say whether the international recession had anything to do with the situation.

When the international recession IS the reason. Foreign labour markets have collapsed, why would New Zealanders leave the safety and comfort of family here when there are no jobs for them overseas. It is blatantly obvious that the ability to get and security of work overseas is a more important factor for individuals than which set of politicians is sitting around in the Beehive.

Now, I guess it makes sense for a politician, the actual immigration minister no doubt, to pretend that they have had an impact. However, they have not. In fact I find this sort of talk embarrassing, as it trivializes the ways that I believe government can help society and mis-informs people as to the primary role of government.

Update:  Seems that some of the comments at Kiwiblog also take Dr Coleman’s message to heart.  I realise David Farrar didn’t say it, he knows better than that, but I also don’t see him correcting Dr Coleman’s assertion in the same way he would have corrected it when Labour was in power …