Politics

Slippery John or Common sense John?

John Armstrong isn’t talking about himself, of course

Norman asked Key how many times he had spoken to Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater or sent a text.

“None in my capacity as Prime Minister,” Key replied. That wording was very deliberate.

Key’s argument is that any communications with Slater occurred in his capacity as leader of the National Party, not as Prime Minister. The distinction is important. It allows Key to wriggle free from his detractors, even if it is not very becoming.

As Prime Minister, Key is accountable to Parliament for his Government’s actions. He is not accountable to Parliament for the actions and behaviour of the National Party. Any Opposition question straying into the latter’s territory must be ruled out of order by Parliament’s Speaker.

Labour’s Chris Hipkins, however, sought to close off this escape route by asking whether Key had ever phoned or sent a text to Slater on his Government-supplied phone.

“I am not 100 per cent sure of that,” Key replied to mocking laughter from the Opposition benches.

But Winston Peters suggested there was something “particularly disturbing” about the Prime Minister’s first reply. If the Speaker, David Carter, allowed it to stand there would be no accountability to Parliament at all. Carter dismissed Peters’ argument, but later agreed to have another look at transcripts of the question time exchange.

The question to be resolved is whether Key should get away with determining which particular hat he is or was wearing at which particular time, and more so when the hat-switching is designed to get him off a very uncomfortable political hook.

I can’t recall the PM contacting me, ever, as the PM. ¬†As in, what he wanted to communicate about had to do specifically with the office of the Prime Minister or prime ministerial duties, responsibilities or needs. ¬† Read more »

Tagged:

The House Today #nzqt

Question time/Questions for oral answer starts at 2 pm today.

Questions to Ministers

  1. JAMI-LEE ROSS to the Minister of Finance: What measures is the Government taking to help the New Zealand economy become more productive and competitive?
  2. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Prime Minister: Does he believe he is Prime Minister all of the time, or just some of the time?
  3. PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister responsible for HNZC: How many Housing New Zealand properties does he intend to sell during this term, and what is the projected number of houses Housing New Zealand will own in three years’ time as a result?
  4. JACQUI DEAN to the Minister of Health: What is the Government doing to provide faster cancer services for New Zealanders?
  5. Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that the risks to New Zealand from any commitment of military assistance to counter Islamic State militants in Iraq would be “no greater than I think the risks are currently here today”; if so, why? Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

Credit:  SonovaMin

Credit: SonovaMin

Why the Labour Leadership race is broken

If there’s one thing the Labour leadership contenders agree on, it’s that the Labour Party needs to change.

And there is your problem. ¬†For each candidate to stand out and make a clear difference over the other, they have to artificially come up with different ways to “fix” Labour.

During this year’s campaign, Mr Robertson said it was obvious Labour had lost its connection with people.

“We need a new generation of leadership, we need to do things differently,” he said.

“Labour must be a voice in the community every single day, not just when we show up at election time asking for a vote.”

Labour must campaign 3 years.

Ms Mahuta said Labour needs to have honest conversations within its membership.

“Only 25 per cent of people that voted for us and believed in the message that we had,” she said.

“This is about how greater New Zealand responds to who we are and what we stand for, and whether or not we’re listening to them.”

Let the Labour Party members tell us what to do.

Mr Parker said Labour’s spent far too much time over the last six years talking about itself.

“If we can agree on a unity of purpose, we will get strength and confidence from it and success will breed success and people will come back to us.”

Labour needs to figure out what it stands for. ¬† Read more »

The best strategy when you find you are flogging a dead horse is to dismount

Yes Russel, it's dead

Yes Russel, it’s dead

A wise bloke I know has a saying, one that I use often.

He says to people who seek out his business advice, usually too late I might add, that when you find yourself flogging a dead horse, then the best strategy is to dismount, and find another horse.

Which brings me to Russel Norman and his pathetic and I might add in some case defamatory attacks on me in parliament.

Did he not see the election results?

Of course the complicit media, and yes they are complicit as time will show, of course jumped in boots and all.

Heat on PM over Slater links¬†–¬†3News NZ
PM refuses to answer Slater questionsRadio New Zealand
Key under more pressure over links with bloggerTVNZ¬† Read more »

On the matter of phone calls, TXTs and Prime Ministers

Whale Oil Blogger Cameron Slater Portrait Session

Source photo: Getty Images

Tagged:

Face of the day

NM3

Today’s face of the day is Nanaia Mahuta.

What wonderful things do her supporters have to say about her Leadership qualities, personal qualities and experience?

Read more »

First Charter School gets glowing ERO report

Radio NZ is reporting that one charter school has completed their first Education Review Office report with flying colours.

The first Education Review Office report on a charter school has been made public.

South Auckland Middle School has distributed the report, which is positive about the publicly-funded private school.

The report says the school has made a good start and its students are responding well to their teachers’ high expectations. ¬† Read more »

Ongoing conspiracy

Once everything is out in the open, it will be clear that Dirty Politics was part of a much larger criminal conspiracy.

The involvement in this is so wide-ranging that it surprises me that the Greens and TV3 have revived the issue by putting pressure on John Key in the house and then, of course, whipping it into a storm in the ‘media’

The Prime Minister has had the heat put on him by Opposition parties about his relationship with Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater during the first question time since the Dirty Politics book was published.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman led the attack on John Key, asking him how many times he had spoken to or sent text messages to Slater since November 2008.

“None in my capacity as Prime Minister,” Mr Key replied.

“I think it’s been well-established in this House for a long period of time that Prime Ministers wear a variety of different hats ‚Äď that includes as leader of the National Party, and can include as a citizen.

“I happen, for the record, to use my ministerial service-funded cellphone to ring my wife. When I ring my darling wife and I put the cat out at night, I do that in my capacity as a husband, not as Prime Minister.”

Investigative journalist Nicky Hager’s book, released in August, drew connections between Slater and a National Party staff members and Ministers.

The book says Slater was fed information from National Party sources to use in attack posts on his blog.

The book has no proof. ¬†Only inferences. ¬†That doesn’t stop the media from pretending it is hard fact.

Read more »

Greens want to work together with National

I don’t think they really do.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei acknowledged in notes for a speech to Parliament today that many of the party’s supporters – and even those who did not vote for the Greens – would like them to have more influence at the table.

“Since the election I’ve received a number of letters, even from National Party members, pleading with us to from some kind of arrangement with National because they feel guilty about voting for a party with such a poor record on the environment.

“The idea apparently is that the Greens could act as some kind of foil to National’s anti-environmental agenda if only we just focused on environmental issues.”

But Turei said the Greens were a movement based not just on environmental principles but on the principles of social justice and democracy.

“This is who we are. We couldn’t stop caring about our environment, or our people, or our economic direction for that matter because it might be politically expedient to do so. It’s not our job to move to the centre; it’s to move the centre.” Read more »