Is Greg Loveridge going to be Labour’s Key killer?

Matthew Hooton does a post-mortem on Trevor Mallard being list-only

The old warhorse claims he plans to return to Parliament as a list MP but he knows he has no chance of making it back. Right now, Labour looks set to win 28 electorate seats but is unlikely to win enough party votes to bring in more than a couple of list MPs, if any.

And Andrew Little would have to be a list position number one…  how embarrassing if your party leader can’t even get back on the list?

Worse for poor Mr Mallard, the party’s controversial Rule 360 requires its list moderating committee to ensure there is an equal balance of male and female MPs after the 2017 election. With a big majority of the 28 electorate MPs likely to be male, the first eight effective places on its party list after leader Andrew Little will have to be female.

Our microphones in Fraser House have picked up some significant stress.  The sisterhood is being told to pull their heads in, and they’ll be rewarded in 2020.   Does that sound like equality, or equality after all the men are safely voted in?

The real reason Mr Mallard is abandoning Hutt South and bringing his 30 years in Parliament to a close is because he knows he would almost certainly lose the seat to National’s rising star Chris Bishop.

Mr Bishop, a born-and-bred Hutt boy, missed out on the previously safe Labour seat to Mr Mallard by just 709 votes in 2014. He probably would have won it had National taken it seriously earlier, and not left Mr Bishop’s selection to just four months before the election.

Nevertheless, Mr Bishop, who sneaked in as a list MP anyway, decided to act as if he had won. He opened National’s first office in Wainuiomata, involved himself in local issues, attends every local event and established his own Hutt City Youth Awards.  His close relationships with John Key, Bill English, Gerry Brownlee and Steven Joyce – including as a former staffer for the last two – have positioned him well to sprinkle corporate-welfare pixie dust throughout the electorate.

People who want to win an electorate seat must work 3 years in the seat to build up the profile and respect.  Incumbents frequently are coasting on their name recognition and aren’t to be seen locally at all.  People who think becoming an electorate MP is a 2-3 month job are almost always disappointed at the outcome.  Read more »

Western morality in the age of ISIS

Guest Post

The world is an interesting place just now. Not in my lifetime has the clash of ideas and beliefs been so intense, the contrast between evil and good thrown in such stark relief – both within people and without.

A religious creed has reared its head in the West that is either medieval or downright satanic, and so many seem unsure how to respond. The values and principles that should inform good decision-making have become so divorced from reality we march into obvious pitfalls (looking at you Germany) and ignore obvious solutions.

A better understanding of the complex relationship between faith and reason is essential if we are to destroy the creed of ISIS (I cannot say ideology because that implies a rational interlocking system of ideas; we are dealing here with a belief system so primitive it holds that everything happens because it is the will of Allah). Dealing with a creed that highlights the ability of pure faith to blend seamlessly into pure evil, it is tempting to conclude the answers must lie absolute rationalism. This is our Western weakness.

I have watched in fascination as many in the West pursue a worldview which attempts to combine rationalism with morality. They cannot bring themselves to believe in a Deity, but – cossetted by a Christian environment – cannot face the brutal world that remains in His absence. So they claim a (usually Christian) morality for themselves, while simultaneously asserting the absolute rights of Darwinian Reason. And being careful not to let the two accidentally touch.

It wasn’t always this way. There have been truly rational atheists in the past, people who recognised that without a God, there can be nothing but a struggle for the supremacy of one’s own blood and kin, no means is too underhand, and the destruction of the weak is merely an act of enlightened reason.  Read more »

Hide on government being the worst at spending public money


Why is it government is always and everywhere so universally bad? It’s not the people. Those in government are smarter than average and better qualified.They also mean well. Well, I suppose they do. They tell us so. Their mission statements are always wonderfully public-spirited.

But no matter: their efforts sum to rubbish.

Not sure if Rodney is blind to the irony or has gone through a process of self-acceptance, but let’s enjoy his train of thought nevertheless.

The entire government could not turn out a decent hamburger.

The problem is not the people, their ability or intentions. The problem is information and incentive.

In Christchurch, we have the just-completed Margaret Mahey playground. It cost $41 million. Is that a good use of money? For a playground? Read more »

Whaleoil General Debate

keep-calm-and-don-t-shoot-the-messenger-3Morning everyone, and welcome to Whaleoil’s daily General Debate post (another one called Backchat will start at 6pm). To participate you’ll need to register a free Disqus account.

There are some rules, and if there is one thing about Whaleoil that you need to know is that these rules are dispassionately and strictly enforced.

Face of the Day


Word of the day

The word for today is…

puissance (noun) –  Power; might.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : Early 15th century, “power, strength, authority,” from Old French puissance, poissance “power, might” (12th century), from puissant.

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 30

2I am too stupid to be human, and I lack common sense.

Saturday nightCap

Milo destroys twitter


Today’s Trivia



Welcome to Daily Trivia. There is a game to play here. The photo above relates to one of the items below. The first reader to correctly tell us in the comments what item the photo belongs to, and why, gets bragging rights. Sometimes they are obvious, other times the obvious answer is the decoy. Can you figure it out tonight?

The British prefer coffee to tea. Since the early 1970s, tea drinking in the UK has fallen by more than 60% while coffee consumption has tripled. Coffee sales first overtook tea sales in 1986. (Source)

Read more »