Before Whaleoil, there was The Letter

It’s good to have Prebble’s The Letter back.  It contains little gems like

The Letter revealed that David Cunliffe was not the only Labour leadership contender to receive $1,500 from a prominent businessman.

The MP concerned has not outed himself.

Under parliament’s lax disclosure rules the statements did not need to be filed until 1 January and then follows three months when MPs can remember “gifts” or simply change their declaration.

The Registrar has ruled that MPs who are not trustees but simply beneficiaries of trusts need not disclose gifts at all.

The filings are not public until 1 July.

You would have to be arrogant and reckless to think that you do not have to disclose that your leadership primary was financed by big business.

Does that sound like someone we know?

It was really ground breaking in the mid-to-late 90′s to have someone provide this sort of ‘soft’ political information direct to the voters.   Especially when you remember that TV and newspapers hadn’t quite gone on the downward slide – yet. Read more »

UNITE Union’s Regressive Tax On Their Members

The Unite Union love to put it about that they are New Zealand’s most far left Union.  But have a look at their fee tax structure for their 7,000 members.

Their poorest members pay a whopping 2% of their income in fees tax.

The wealthiest pay just .7% of their income in fees tax.

Rather than have a progressive system that they promote for everyone else in New Zealand their own system is purely regressive to a flat fee maximum tax.

Matt McCarten and David Cunliffe need to have a wee sit down and develop Labour’s taxation policy along the same lines.  It promises to be a vote winner in Epsom.

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 2.24.55 pm Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 2.24.48 pm


Bob Jones on why women can’t bear to vote for David Cunliffe

Jones is required reading, in spite of his hit & miss columns for the Herald, they never fail to entertain

Given today’s diminished public interest in politics, there is, in lieu, an increased focus on the leader. Critically, he or she must be likeable.

John Key epitomises this. He’s an easy-going natural smiler, which is a rare attribute, and National would be swamped in this year’s election if he wasn’t there. Winston has been in Parliament since the Boer War ended, but survives on that x-factor. There’s a million-dollar prize if anyone can provide a coherent philosophic raison d’etre for his party, or even name any of his ever-changing MPs, but the fact is people like him. Even most MPs do. Why? Because, like Key, he’s a natural smiler; indeed, he’s better than that, having the rare ability to laugh at himself.

Appearance is particularly a factor with some women voters. A politics professor friend told me recently of her astonishment at finding that – literally without exception – all of her women friends, including many life-long lefties, say they won’t vote Labour this year because they don’t like David Cunliffe’s face.

The same thing happened when Stephen Franks jumped Act’s ship to contest a winnable seat for National. He lost heavily. A National Party activist told me its subsequent surveys showed a collapse in female support because they didn’t like Stephen’s face.   Read more »

ACT’s political naivety is nauseating

When Audrey Young at the Herald has to explain the basics of accentuating the positives and eliminating the negatives to a party leader, you have to wonder if there is enough time left to get Jamie Whyte in shape for the elections

Ever since the myth took hold that John Key became popular quickly because he was not a politician – rather than despite it – others have foolishly thought they could get away with amateurism and be admired for it.

They can’t. Not being able to articulate an argument under pressure matters, as former Labour leader David Shearer found out.

Saying “I don’t know” to a question can be damaging, as Conservative leader Colin Craig found out on the issue of moon landings.

And saying “I stand by my views” can be extremely damaging if the issue is incest between consenting adults, as emerging politician and Act leader Jamie Whyte discovered.   Read more »

Josie Pagani is in search of more “incestuous, polygamous P-smokers in Epsom”

Josie thinks John Key had the worst weekend of his career so far

National is in trouble.

[Last night's] TV3 poll put NZ First over 5%, which could make them king maker. No-one knows, least of all John Key, who they’ll pick after the election. But we do know Winston has a case for utu against John Key.

To add to John Key’s woes, Act has saddled itself with serious libertarians over the second choice poodle, John Boscawen , whom the Nats were making it known they preferred after poodle of preference, Rodney Hide, demurred.

It turns out that when Don Brash appalled Epsom voters by calling for cannabis to be decriminalized, Act thought the problem was he didn’t go far enough.

Mr Whyte says he won’t impose his views on the party. But Act just elected him leader, so the party presumably like his views.

A true libertarian is a warrior against all government regulation, a defender of the individual, a missionary for freedom. So presumably he’s not just on about letting people in Epsom use methamphetamine, he also would logically support their right to make it and sell it in Epsom too. What right has the government to tell us what to consume or sell?

When I write stuff like that, people say I’m being hateful and nasty.

But she does flail about a bit   Read more »


Guest Post: John Boscawen

This is a guest post from John Boscawen, and also his speech form last night.

Last night I organised a meeting for the three contestants for the ACT leadership. While the media reported 100, it was actually attended by 140 – we counted them. It was the biggest ACT-related public meeting since the 2011 campaign launch.

We have received very positive media coverage. It was covered by all major media.

I wanted the meeting to present the ACT Party and its candidates in the best possible light – we succeeded.

More importantly, it was the first and only opportunity for ACT members to hear from and question the candidates before the Board commences its deliberations at 9.30am on Saturday

As a public meeting, it also enabled me to invite many tens of donors to the Party that I have built relationships with over many years and who are not formal members – they appreciated it.   Read more »

Can Boscowen be ACT’s Lazarus?

ACT and Epsom.

Seriously, why doesn’t National just take the bloody seat and have it over with?

Act leadership contender and former MP John Boscawen says he will spend the next week trying to highlight the risks of picking someone without his political and parliamentary experience, and highlighting his own experience.

But he believes that his opposition, Jamie Whyte, a former Cambridge University philosophy lecturer and management consultant, has the edge over him at this stage of the race.

“This is not a slam dunk.”

The contest will be decided by the nine members of the Act board on February 2.

Party funder and millionaire Alan Gibbs held an invitation-only forum for candidates and members last Saturday at his farm on the Kaipara Harbour.

Mr Boscawen says as well as campaigning as leader, he will make a strong case for the next leader also being the party’s candidate for Epsom.

Apart from ACT not being true to its principles for at least four elections, and suffering from public infighting and back stabbing by intellectual and political light weights, it has had the remarkable track record of not quite dying due to National’s accommodating attitude.

But they have finally run out of A-list name recognition super stars.  I mean, Boscowen for Epsom?  Can you see the rush to the polls?   Read more »

Today Last Year – Dec 6 2011

The most discussed article of December 6 last year was about National adopting ACT’s Charter Schools policy.  12 months on, this really is thought of as a National policy now, and ACT and John Banks (is there a difference these days?) are all but invisible.  Will ACT survive 2014?  Will they bother trying?

One of the side benefits of ACT’s big policy win of Charter Schools is that the teacher unions are getting upset.

The Labour Party and teacher unions last night panned the proposal as a step towards privatising the education system – which neither party put forward before the election.

The new schools – effectively state-funded private schools – will be introduced to South Auckland and Christchurch within the next three years.

NZEI president Ian Leckie said the Government had no mandate for charter schools.

“Overseas experience shows they can take students and money away from existing schools, undermine communities and increase social segregation. They are also less accountable.

“New Zealanders should be very concerned that Act is suddenly shaping and dictating key education policy.”

Labour’s education spokeswoman Sue Moroney called the trial “bulk-funding in drag” which exposed National’s true colours.

The only reason why students and money would flow to charter schools is because parents believe the schooling would be better than the state schools nearby. Teacher unions want competition like they want cancer. Labour is showing yet again that they are still beholden to the unions and in particular to the teachers union.

I see too that they are bleating about the “mandate” thing. banksie should just tell Ian Leckie that “we won. you lost, eat that”.

Big swing to Libs in ACT

Labor thought they would be nice and safe in ACT, protected by troughing civil servants but it looks like a massive swing against Labor and the Greens in the territory:

A BIG swing to the Liberals in the ACT election shows voters in the territory are wary of the Australian Greens, senior Liberal senator Arthur Sinodinos says.

While it’s still not clear whether the Liberals or Labor will hold power, neither major party will be able to govern without the support of the remaining Greens MPs.

The parliamentary secretary to Opposition Leader Tony Abbott on Sunday declined to advise the ACT Liberals how to approach the Greens.

“It’s up to them what they do,” Senator Sinodinos told Network Ten’s Meet the Press program.

“It’s true in the past they’ve been pretty wary about joining with the Greens.

“The result on the weekend in Canberra has been a pretty decisive rejection of the Labor-Greens alliance.”

There was a 6.4 per cent swing to the Liberals on Saturday, while the Greens suffered a 4.6 per cent swing against and have lost at least two seats.

With about 74 per cent of the vote counted, the Liberals appear to have picked up seven seats, Labor seven seats and the Greens one.

Two seats remain outstanding and could go to either the Liberals or the Greens.

Still, the Liberals’ primary vote, at 38 per cent, was its best ever in the ACT.

The Nasty Party, Ctd

Labour cannot help themselves.  Trevor Mallard is back seeing dead people again. John Banks wants Charter Schools so he can do what?

Seems everyone has their right to their own beliefs unless Labour MP’s disagree.

Trevor Mallard in his last term as a Labour MP before (in)voluntarily retiring in 2014 needs to take advice from Banks

Mr Banks says he’s too old, these days, to be ‘judgemental’.

What’s that sound? Quack. Quack.