Politics

Todd McClay fires shot across bow

Todd McClay is muscling up against defamatory statements from Rotorua Labour and Tamati Coffey.

Legal action would be considered should the Rotorua Labour Party “again defame” Rotorua MP Todd McClay.

Mr McClay said in a statement to Steam N Mud today he was “extremely disappointed” at what he considered an unwarranted personal attack over his involvement in the global Panama Tax evasion scandal.

Todd McClay is a good MP and doesn’t want to be distracted by petty squabbles with a political wannabe.   Read more »

Taxing taxes

John Key

ACT remind us that National are slowly edging backwards on a fairly solid election promise.

No New Taxes?
National campaigned on no new taxes and will soon have introduced three. It begs the question, why vote for a National party that introduces new taxes like a Labour Government on heat?

Tourist Tax
The tourism industry is furious about the $25 arrival fee applied to visitors. It was sold as a user charge but the Government has never shown how it covers cost created by the user. That’s a tax. Read more »

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Is Joe Davis Ratfucking Vic Crone?

Any decent political analyst knows that Phil Goff will become Mayor of Auckland because there are too many candidates on the right.

In an ideal world the right wing candidates would be smart enough to work together, run a defacto primary and decide who should run and win because they will all lose otherwise.

This requires goodwill between candidates. Candidates need a rapport and mutual respect to do deals, or else they will think “fuck it if I cannot win I am buggered if I will let X win”.

Which makes Mark Thomas’ Facebook challenge to Vic Crone seem as if Joe Davis’ strategy is going to ratfuck Vic Crone.

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 3.47.09 PM Read more »

John Key’s lawyer goes under the bus

It appears the John Key’s lawyer has been told he needs to take one for the team.

Lawyer didn't speak for me

Lawyer Ken Whitney “misrepresented” John Key

Prime Minister John Key says his lawyer misrepresented him while lobbying another minister about a potential crackdown on the foreign trusts industry.

It emerged last week that Mr Key’s personal lawyer, Ken Whitney, had lobbied the Government in 2014 because of concerns that the foreign trusts regime was about to change. Read more »

Refugees: Does NZ really want more?

Andrew Little wants to double the refugee quota

Andrew Little wants to double the refugee quota

Nearly overnight we’ve arrived at a point, without any debate or public input, that we’ll have more refugees.

After years of lobbying, Amnesty International is finally confident the Government will increase New Zealand’s refugee quota.

Every party in Parliament has publicly backed raising the quota, except the one that counts — National.

Labour and the Greens want it doubled to 1500 at a minimum, with ACT and New Zealand First supporting a less dramatic increase. Read more »

Calling out Corbyn over anti-Semitism

As predicted, with revelations of Jerney Corbyn’s own anti-Semitism, there are now calls for Jeremy Corbyn to denounce his ‘friends’, as he calls them, in Hamas and Hezbollah.

Jeremy Corbyn is under pressure to denounce Hamas and Hezbollah ahead of the local elections next week as members of his inner circle were accused of “vilifying” Jews.

The Labour leader, who has previously called the controversial groups “friends” has launched an inquiry into antisemitism after he was forced to suspend MP Naz Shah and former Mayor Ken Livingstone last week.

Mr Corbyn faces growing pressure from his own MPs amid rumours of a coup to remove him from office if the party does badly in the local elections.

Last week the Labour leader claimed his party does not have a problem with antisemitism and today Diane Abbott, a close ally, warned it is a “smear” to say the party has an issue with anti-Jewish remarks.

It came as Len McCluskey, boss of the union Unite, said the anti-Semitism row has been whipped up in a bid to oust Mr Corbyn.

Read more »

What is a “strong budget”?

Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski – an earlier budget

 

Prime Minister John Key is signalling an ongoing enthusiasm for the job and is promising a strong government Budget this month.

He’s been leader of the National Party for ten years and Prime Minister of the country for eight.

“I am just as excited about the year ahead as I have ever been,” he said in a speech to National’s central North Island regional conference in Waikato.

The next step is setting out the Government’s future plans in the Budget on May 26. Read more »

This is the guy inquiring into anti-Semitism in the Labour party

Jeremy Corbyn has initiated an inquiry into anti-Semitism in the Labour party.

He has his own anti-Semitism problems.   Read more »

Can Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton?

Well, the pundits say no, or have said no up until recently.

They all thought he would get spanked by the GOP machine but it turns out it was Trump dishing out the spankings.

Now the pundits are having to recast their thinking. They are starting to realise that all head-to-head polling to date hasn’t accounted for Donald Trump attacking Hillary Clinton directly. He will start doing that soon…he’s already got a nickname for her ‘Crooked Hillary’.

How would Donald Trump fare in a general election against Hillary Clinton? The conventional wisdom is that he wouldn’t stand a chance. The GOP is divided. His campaign, despite a recent spate of landslide primary wins, appears to have its own civil war going on. His favorability numbers are at historic lows for a nominee.

The case against Trump’s electability is strong. But it is also perhaps overstated. The Manhattan billionaire does have a narrow path to the White House. In fact, he may be the GOP’s most electable option at this point, at least among the candidates who are actually still running for the job.

John Kasich argues he’s the only guy who can beat Clinton, an idea mostly predicated on his performance in head-to-head election polls. But head-to-head polls this far out, historically speaking, are not all that predictive, and Kasich has struggled to turn his on-paper attractiveness into actual votes at the ballot box.

Ted Cruz, meanwhile, would likely be the most right-wing nominee since Barry Goldwater. His act appears to have worn thin among even the Republican grassroots, his natural constituency. Cruz might somehow still manage to pull the nomination away from Trump, but there’s approximately zero reason to believe he can win over the swing voters who typically decide presidential contests.

So back to Trump, who still has a few things going for him. His general election strategy, such as it is, seems to be predicated on two strategies: pivot left as far as possible and launch a scorched earth campaign against Clinton.

Read more »

Vic Crone and Penny Bright both break the law

And they don’t give a toss. To be honest, why should they? Not a single political candidate has ever suffered financially, or by being disqualified after the fact, for breaking election by-laws. They know it is open season.

Ms Crone and another mayoral candidate, Penny Bright, believe the Bill of Rights overrides a bylaw which prohibits “election signs” until August 6, nine weeks out from the local body elections on October 9.

“I don’t consider our billboards any more distracting than a billboard of Dan Carter in his boxers,” Ms Crone said.

The businesswoman unveiled two billboards in the CBD and Parnell in March. They stated “Vic Crone for Auckland” and referred to her website “vic4mayor.co.nz”– an apparent breach of the Auckland Transport Election Signs bylaw.

At the time, Auckland electoral officer Dale Ofsoske said in his view the billboards were an election sign.

Ms Crone took the signs down when the rental period expired, She has since taken legal advice on the issue.

The advice, she said, was the bylaw was unlawful and unjustifiably breached the Bill or Rights Act.

“It looks to me that the bylaw is being selectively applied to political campaigns as some kind of political censorship.

“That’s exactly the type of nonsense that Aucklanders are sick and tired of.

Not at all. It is people trying to be cute and not paying their rates or putting up signs and then pretending it is some kind of moral stance instead of what we all know it really is: attention grabbing and being a dick.   Read more »