NZ

Armstrong on Joyce and Cunliffe

John Armstrong critiques Steven Joyce’s virtuoso performance in the house where he rinsed Cunliffe.

Joyce took the first call in Wednesday afternoon’s general debate — long a platform for Parliament’s better orators — to parody Labour’s under-the-weather David Cunliffe in a fashion that was as clever as it was cruel as it was funny.

Within the space of a five-minute speech, Joyce had revealed another weapon in his armoury — the ability to cut an opponent down by sheer wit — and thereby further enhanced his credentials as the frontrunner for National’s leadership when Key finally moves on.

There was, however, another interesting outcome from his contribution — its impact on those sitting opposite him.

Cunliffe was not in the chamber. But those Labour MPs who were initially tried to ignore what was a virtuoso performance. But their barely suppressed smiles gave the game away.

If any group of people could do with a bit of a laugh it is Cunliffe’s colleagues.They have watched in increasing despair as their leader of just 10 months has virtually self-destructed and taken the party’s support down with him from the mid-30s to the mid-20s in percentage terms. Cunliffe is now very much marooned in a malaise from which it is almost impossible for a Leader of the Opposition to drag himself or herself out.

You can do nothing right. Every opinion poll just brings even more bad news. No one takes you seriously. You become the target of every cheap joke and jibe. The media spit on what remains of your dignity. The public write you off. In short, you are deemed to be terminal. You then wait for the firing squad — the knock on the door from a delegation of your MPs who have determined your use-by date has long passed and your ability to resuscitate your party’s flagging support is seen as likely as a squadron of pigs gliding past the Beehive.

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Internet party, Guernica and social retardation

Matthew Beveridge writes about Kim Dotcom, the Internet party and wonders if they are ignorant or stupid.

Their use of rape jokes, nazi symbolism and stupid social media actions is turning people off. I suspect that nazi enthusiast Kim Dotcom does’t care because he believes that the people are still blinded to his machinations and true intentions.

Does the Internet Party really want to be sending the message to it’s trade union and socialist supporters that it’s party party coming to town is going to do to that town what the Fascists and Nazis did to a town in the Spanish Civil War? Does the Internet Party also want to draw more attention to the issues Kim Dotcom faced around his ownership of a signed copy of Mein Kampf? See herehere,here and here.

The actions people, or organisations, take on social media help to build a picture of the attitude and views of that person, or organisation. The actions on social media of those involved in organisations also help contribute to this picture, even more so when the person concerned is the “Party Visionary” and bank roller of said organisation. This is not the first time that Kim Dotcom has made jokes about questionable things, or rape. These tweets are simply adding to the picture of an organisation with questionable judgement and a lack of historical knowledge.

However, it is unlikely that many of those who vote, or will consider voting for, the Internet Party, or its Internet Mana Party union, will have any understanding of the offensive nature of these Tweets. However this does not mean that they should go uncritiqued.

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Tired and rundown

A Ground Crew member emails:

Came across this whilst walking the dog.

Clayton looks tired and run-down much like the Labour party!

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Rod Drury gives it to the pollies & tells Dotcom to “go away”

roddrury

Message to politicians: Get out of the way!

Rod Drury has cut loose on the politicians and told them a few home truths about their meddling ways.

This election campaign needs more business leaders to stand up and serve politicians arses like what Rod Drury has done.

As the political heavyweights debated the future ICT roadmap for New Zealand last night, Rod Drury sat shaking his head in the crowd.

Taking the stage amidst the backdrop of Auckland’s evening sky, key political figures debated long into the night about the future of New Zealand’s ICT sector.

Chaired by the New Zealand Technology Industry Association, CEO Candace Kinser orchestrated discussion with technology representatives from National, Labour, the Green Party and the Internet MANA parties.

But as the opinions flowed and policies were outlined, Xero’s charismatic CEO reawakened a conversation which, in the eyes of the entrepreneur, drifted widely off the overriding issue.

“I find this really depressing but I’ll try to be positive about it,” he said, in his typically outspoken manner.   Read more »

Hide: “…the experts know nothing about politics”

Rodney Hide explains how it is that the supposed experts actually know nothing about politics…and uses my good friend Brian Edwards as an example.

The wonderful thing about politics is that no one knows what they are talking about. There are no experts. There are no laws of political motion. Political science is oxymoronic.

Let me illustrate how little we know by picking on our most qualified and experienced political commentator. He has a PhD, has interviewed and known political leaders for five decades, has been an adviser to four prime ministers, has spent a lifetime in all branches of the media and makes a living media training business leaders and other professionals. He has also stood for Parliament and is no sideline Sam. He knows politics, inside and out. His knowledge, history and hands-on experience dwarfs all other political commentators.

I refer, of course, to Dr Brian Edwards. I single him out because of his eminence.

Oh dear this is sounding ominous.

Here’s what he had to say last year when David Cunliffe took over the Labour leadership:

“David Cunliffe has a brilliant mind, is a brilliant speaker and debater and there is no politician to match him on the box. Cunliffe is the game-changer.

“And the proof of the pudding will lie where it has always lain – in the polls. And particularly in the Preferred Prime Minister poll. No party leader permanently registering under 15% in that poll, let alone dipping into single figures, can hope to enjoy the (© Copyright Protected – The National Business Review 76)confidence of the electorate or lead their party to victory. And that has been the situation for every Labour Leader since 2008.

“But all that changed today as well. Under Cunliffe’s leadership, his and Labour’s poll rating will begin to rise, slowly but inexorably.”

Mr Cunliffe has proved a game changer but directly opposite to what Dr Edwards foresaw: Mr Cunliffe has doomed Labour.

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Here piggy, piggy, piggy

You would think Louise Upston would know better, but this is often the way with MPs after a few terms, they simply get out of touch and the entitlement mentality sinks in.

Often it is the smuggest of MPs that make the stupidest of mistakes. This week it was Gerry Brownlee who must not be liking MPs throwing his own words about how easy it is for top MPs to damage themselves back at him.

And now it is Louise Upston, National’s chief whip, who is thoroughly disliked in the caucus, creating the wrong sort of headlines.

Would you struggle to find a hotel room in Auckland or Christchurch for under $210 a night? Spare a thought for MPs who believe a $30 boost to their taxpayer-funded accommodation just won’t cover it.

The hard-done-by politicians are also asking for 30 free flights a year for their spouses, partners or children – on top of their at-least $150,000-a-year salaries.

A review of expenses by the Remuneration Authority, which sets MPs’ pay, is proposing the amount they are allowed to claim for hotel rooms while in Auckland and Christchurch on business be increased from $180 to $210. Outside of those cities it would rise from $160 to $190 a night.   Read more »

Oh dear Lord, when will this end?

Sex pest Damian Christopher Gillard. Photo / Greg Bowker

Sex pest Damian Christopher Gillard. Photo / Greg Bowker

Hardly a week goes by without some news about a teacher having trouble with sexual boundaries when it comes to students.  Jared Savage reports

An Auckland school failed to act on concerns raised by two teenage students who felt unsafe around their teacher – six years before he was arrested for sexually grooming one of them and other underage girls.

The lack of records on the employment file of Damian Christopher Gillard at Papatoetoe High School also meant the 2006 complaints were missed by a 2009 police inquiry over similar allegations of which he was later acquitted.

Gillard, the head of the languages department, was eventually convicted of making sexual advances to one of the pupils who complained – and six other young girls – after a second police investigation in 2012.

He was sentenced in May to 9 years in prison for a raft of sexual crimes, dating back to 1994 when he was a teacher at Greenmeadows Intermediate in Manurewa.

He was found guilty of indecent acts against seven students, all younger than 16, such as kissing or touching their legs and breasts under the pretext of searching them for cigarettes.

The offending escalated to sex with a 14-year-old girl.

So that’s one thing.  The other problem is that when these concerns are raised, “the system” becomes a huge obstacle.  Granted, we don’t want to get the torches and pitch forks out straight away, but there is enough evidence now that concerns about teachers aren’t progressed through the system in a way that responsibly protects existing and future victims.   Read more »

An eye for a tooth, good policy

The Israeli’s are pasting Hamas and slowly but surely destroying their capability to wage terror on Israel, but it comes at a price.

The world’s media are against them, the whole Arab world plus their enablers are against them but they are pressing ahead. They really don’t have any choice in the matter.

They need to practice an ‘eye for a tooth’ warfare.

Foreign Policy explains:

Israel’s ultimate goal in the Gaza conflict is to convince Hamas’s leadership that future strikes on Israel are too costly to carry out — no matter how much the Islamic militant group might hate the Jewish state. So Israel’s response is harsh. More than 700 Palestinians have died,most of them civilians, including upwards of 100 children. This heavy toll is tragic and tarnishes Israel’s image. Such disproportional military operations strike at the heart of “just-war theory” and the way of warfare embraced by the militaries of the United States and other Western countries. Yet they are also at the core of deterrence, which demands disproportionate “eye for a tooth” operations to succeed.

Deterrent threats can prevent actual warfare, though it is rarely easy. During the Cold War, the United States relied on the threat of a massive nuclear response to deter the Soviet Union from using its conventional military forces to invade Western Europe. America threatened a disproportionate response: A Soviet move along the inter-German border would trigger Armageddon. Nuclear strategists spent much of their time trying to figure out how to credibly promise to do something so seemingly irrational. The famous nuclear strategist Herman Kahn likened deterrence to a game of chicken played by reckless teenagers who drive their cars at each other and wait for the “loser” to swerve. Kahn wrote that perhaps the best way to win is to “get into the car quite drunk” and, when your opponent is watching, to “[take] the steering wheel and [throw] it out the window” — a pretty solid, if irresponsible, way of convincing your enemy that you are willing to act against your own best interest.   Read more »

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Labour could do with one of these

The Labour party is in disarray.

Their leader is tits, almost always wrong and dreadfully out of his depth. The caucus is despondent.

Perhaps they should employ one of these types of people that are becoming increasingly popular in the US.

Happiness isn’t something you find, or work toward—it’s something you buy and have delivered. Or at least that’s the premise of one of the newest jobs over in the C-suite. Now, alongside the CEO, CFO, and their ilk, we have the CHO, or chief happiness officer. As the name clearly suggests, the CHO is responsible for the contentment of individual employees, sort of like an h.r. manager, but on steroids; the theory goes that happy workers are productive workers, so happiness turns out to be in the company’s best interest. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many CHOs reside in Silicon Valley—both at start-ups and more blue chip tech companies. But it’s starting to spread: Southern restaurant company Hopjacks created the position in 2012 and the Quality of Life Foundation, an education nonprofit, created one in 2010.   Read more »

Cowardly Cunliffe backs down over boycott

Cowardly Cunliffe has decided that discretion is the better part of valour and climbed down from his high horse called Sanctimony and will now debate John Key after “assurances” from TVNZ that the debate will be “fair”.

After declaring that he would debate John key “anywhere, anytime, even on Mike Hosking’s show” back in April he then went weak kneed and packed a sad only a kid in the sandpit could emulate…and then flip flopped on that.

What is this, kindy?

Labour Party leader David Cunliffe says Television New Zealand has given its assurance that its political debate will be conducted with absolute political neutrality.

Mr Cunliffe is due to go head to head with Prime Minister John Key in a pre-election debate chaired by broadcaster and TVNZ presenter Mike Hosking.

Labour has been worried about Mr Hosking’s political neutrality after he urged a business meeting last year to vote National.

Mr Cunliffe said on Friday that he is prepared to continue with the debate, but TVNZ has not outlined how it will guarantee the debate is neutral.

He said that would be up for further discussion and that Labour and the public will hold TVNZ to it, because he said it’s clear that Mr Hosking does have well-recorded political views.

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