Bryce Edwards

Bryce Edwards on electoral crimes

Did you know there is a 6 month statue of limitations on any electoral crime?  Yeah… convenient.

There’s a lot about the Liu donations that stinks. We shouldn’t simply believe those parties and commentators that say ‘It was all within the rules of the time’. It’s not clear that this was the case – just as it’s not clear that the rules would prevent this from happening in 2014. Similarly, even if such transactions were within the rules, it’s not clear that the public shouldn’t condemn the parties for getting around the rules.

It’s also entirely feasible that the Liu donations to Labour were funnelled through a law firm trust. As Geddis points out, there was certainly one law firm trust donation made in 2007 by Papakura firm ‘Palmer Theron, Solicitors’ of $150,000 that could conceivably be the Liu money. But this is far from clear.

What’s more, the wine auction in question was apparently carried out in the open, and Labour would have known who the bidders were. So for the Labour Party to claim no knowledge of Liu making those successful bids seems somewhat surprising.

We can all agree that there isn’t necessarily a crime here. We can also agree that the Electoral Act’s 6-month statute of limitation means that this legislation can’t be used to trigger any investigation. So it’s not necessarily a legal problem.

Although it’s also the case that many people are suggesting that the Liu donation might not have actually ended up with the Labour Party as intended. In fact even the Labour Party is giving credence to this idea. This would be a matter under the Crimes Act. Others have pointed out that the Serious Fraud Office could still be involved.

This is why Labour are begging National to fess up.  There is just so much that needs to remain hidden.  And the longer this farce continues, and the more money accumulates under the giant question mark, the more that the Serious Fraud Office is going to have a reason to come “help out”.   Read more »

Political commentator and academic Bryce Edwards declares himself “entirely non-partisan”

Well now, someone’s chucking his toys…  Adam Bennett reports

Left leaning political commentator and academic Bryce Edwards has pulled out of Otago University’s Vote Chat online politics show over concerns the programme is now dominated by National Party supporters.

Dr Edwards has confirmed he would no longer front the interview show which was livestreamed on nzherald.co.nz.

“I’ve departed from the project because of differences, in particular ideological ones, but the project will still go ahead.”

The Herald understands former Alliance Party staffer Dr Edwards fell out with students and university staff involved in producing the show over their support for National Dunedin-based list MP and Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse.

“I’m entirely non-partisan and a show like this does have to have some strong sense of balance”, he told the Herald late last month.

* crickets chirping *

My readers aren’t fooled either.  One writes   Read more »

An email from a reader

A reader emails about recent matters and media coverage:

Mr Slater, I am becoming increasingly concerned at how the news is being reported, particularly the circumstances and positions that “traditional media” are taking and the more accurate but divergent paths from commentators – journalists, actually – such as yourself. This is particularly true of the coverage in relation to Ministers  Collins and Williamson. Over recent months and weeks the media have dropped all pretence of impartiality (if it ever was and I know Pete the moderator has his own views on whether journalists in the modern era have an obligation to be objective and impartial. They are his views and I respect them.) However, being a bit old school, I believe the media have a position of power – and by inference responsibility – in today’s information & political  landscape and they clearly taken sides against the government of the day. In essence, the Fourth Estate has become a Fifth Column (someone has probably drawn parallels to that already).

The TV and print media are sources of information for a large section of the public, ie, voters. I would suggest that most of the people who sit down for dinner at 6pm are influenced by what they see; if you control what people see hear and read, you influence how they think. I would describe 3News as 3Views and is opinion dressed up as fact designed for stupid people who need an opinion given to them so they can at least have one. TV One is only marginally better, but I do get nauseous at media commentators from all channels and stations constantly interviewing each other. This is particularly important in an election year where people should be making informed choices about the type of government we will ALL get for the next three years. Unfortunately, they are being fed a one sided or skewed diet of disinformation and selective opinion dressed up as fact. MP’s, regardless of party, are there because someone voted for them. That’s democracy. This vote may very likely have been cast as a result of how media have represented the parties & politicians seeking their vote. If the media want to become an active part of the political landscape and push their own views [policies?] and report in a very selective manner, that’s being dishonest – and nothing to do with journalistic licence. That’s precisely the behaviour they will crucify a National MP for but no-one in opposition gets any scrutiny regardless of the evidence of wrongoing, Cunliffe & Peters to name but two. That is left to journalists such as yourself and ably assisted by the Whaleoil Research Crew.   Read more »

The carnage and fallout continues

The left is in disarray as Shane Jones edges towards the exit door. There is still a month of this while Jones still sits in parliament and there isn’t a thing Labour can do as commentators and journalists pick through the entrails of an eviscerated Labour party.

Michael Fox reports:

Shane Jone’s controversial departure has exposed divisions in the Labour Party, with opinion split on his qualities as an MP and the impact it will have on election prospects.

Supporters say he broadened Labour’s appeal while critics say he was overrated and the party is better off without him.

Left-wing political scientist and commentator Dr Bryce Edwards said the split has been apparent in the wave of commentary in mainstream and social media since the news broke.

“You’ve got a lot of people debating about whether he was a plus or a minus for Labour, whether he was a working class hero for Labour and whether he attracted that so-called blue collar vote, and whether he was a misogynist.”

Edwards labelled it an “identity politics dispute”.

“People are really talking about what Labour stands for and with Jones going does that mean that Labour has more or less ability to speak to so-called middle New Zealand and to traditional Labour voters? And there doesn’t seem to be any strong consensus on that.”

Former Labour MP John Tamihere said Jones represented a Labour constituency that was increasingly being sidelined as interest groups gained greater control.

“The real debate isn’t about Shane Jones, it’s about certain sector groups in Labour having far too much say in advance, well in advance of their constituencies in the street.”

The party was becoming dominated by “liberal academic elites” more focused on social engineering issues such as the so-called anti-smacking law than issues such as creating jobs which had a broader voter appeal, he said.

Jones had “cut through” on the latter, earning support for his campaign against the Countdown supermarket chain, where his accusations of bullying of suppliers led to a Commerce Commission inquiry, as well as his pro-development stance. Tamihere said he reached out to voters turned off by factional politics.

Former Labour candidate Josie Pagani agreed, saying those in the party who had rejoiced in Jones leaving “are guilty of sectarianism at its worst”.

The division in the party was between those focused on social mobility and those focused on social engineering – “we’ll make you better off versus we’ll make you a better person,” she said.

The Labour Party was there to support wage earners and promote better jobs and higher wages “and that’s the thing that unites everybody”.

Read more »

The toxic Greens

David Cunliffe needs the Greens to make him PM.

However his focus groups and internal polling are showing that the voters are nervous, especially about the toxic Greens. Which is why he won’t say publicly that he needs them.

That’s why there’s been this pretend break up.

Winston’s worked that out, even if Bryce Edwards can’t;

Read more »

Wishful thinking doesn’t make it so

NZ Herald

NZ Herald

Edwards is a bit like a player taking the field for the first time in the 80th minute, with all the muscle around him spent, and the score board several tries out of reach of a win:  he’s full of enthusiasm, but it really doesn’t matter any more.

This full court press against the government orchestrated by the Labour Party based on Winston Peters’ filthy rumour files, and gleefully pushed in Parliament, TVNZ, TV3, the Herald and Fairfax for close to a week still didn’t deliver a win, and Edwards thinks joining the ruck hoping to force a last minute penalty is going to make all the difference.

Half the audience have turned off, and people are already leaving the stadium.

Just when it seemed that the Judith Collins-Oravida milkgate scandal might be dying down, Prime Minister John Key now looks to be implicated further in the drama. TV3′s Patrick Gower now says that the latest revelation ‘raises so many questions about the connections between Oravida and the National Party that go all the way to John Key himself’.

John Key is clearly concerned about being tied to the so-called Milkgate scandal, as can be seen in his strong reaction to another situation in which he might appear to endorse a China-based company.

Apart from the shameful doorstepping that Gower did in China, the real issue here is that Chinese people place a high value in having their people, officials and companies associated with “celebrities” such as overseas MPs, mayors and Prime Ministers.

What is just another photo to you and me, is deep and meaningful inference to the Chinese mind.  Which is why John Key, upon being told that a Chinese “Immigration consultancy” was using one of him, has insisted it was taken down.

There never was an “Oravida milkgate scandal” beyond the wishful thinking of those wanting to see a decent straight arm tackle on Collins and Key get past the video ref for a penalty try.

This particular game is over now.  Back to the sheds.

zathura_13_game_over

Herald busted manufacturing immigration story

This morning the NZ Herald ran a story by Jared Savage.

Investigations by WOBH can reveal that the Herald has sat on this story since October 2013.

A wealthy Auckland businessman was given New Zealand citizenship against official advice after a Government minister lobbied the colleague who made the decision.

Maurice Williamson, the Minister of Building and Construction, and Prime Minister John Key then opened the first stage of a $70 million construction project launched by the Chinese-born developer after he became a citizen.

The following year, one of his companies made a $22,000 donation to the National Party.

The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) recommended that the citizenship application of Donghua Liu be declined on the grounds that he did not spend enough time in New Zealand or meet English language criteria.

At first blush this looks bad, but is it?

Well not really. Some pertinent facts have been left out from the story.

For a start there is nothing wrong with the Minister of Immigration or Internal Affairs exercising discretion – it is their right to do so is and it is written into the legislation. Members of Parliament advocate for that discretion to be used constantly, and in some famous cases like Taito Phillip Field used as a matter of course by Labour’s immigration ministers.

But in order to obtain citizenship you must first have permanent residency, which is a much harder barrier to overcome. Read more »

Herald and Bryce Edwards manufacturing news again

Bryce Edwards is always one of the first to climb into me…on almost anything, like most sanctimonious commentators he should perhaps remove the log from his own eyes.

Here he was two nights ago begging for bloggers to write hit pieces against the National party.

So there wasn’t any copy for him to use on his chosen topic so he went out and begged for it…to create the impression that there was over confidence and arrogance amongst National. He had nothing..and so begged for copy. And so his dutiful obedient left wing followers all piled in to help him with his column.

and;

and;

Bryce Edwards was then able to announce his column yesterday..which was on guess what?    Read more »

Bryce Edwards summary on Dotcom and his corruption of NZ politics

Bryce Edwards summarises just how bad it has become for kim Dotcom, the Green party, Russel Norman, Winston Peters and all the Labour MPs who have trotted out to sit on Kim Dotcom’s lap.

Political chickens are coming home to roost. Having Kim Dotcom on speed dial is now a political liability and career ending.

Allegations of ‘corruption’ and ‘dirty deals’ are being thrown around over the relationship between some of our political party leaders and wealthy internet businessman and wannabe politician Kim Dotcom. It all relates to the fact that various politicians have been courting Dotcom’s favour, while at the same time discussing whether they would intervene to help prevent Dotcom being extradited to the United States by fighting in government to overturn any judicial decision. According to some commentators there is, at the very least, an issue with the perception of inappropriate and opaque electoral deals being made.

The strongest condemnation of the potential links between party policy and support for Dotcom have come from rightwing blogger David Farrar, who claims that some politicians are ‘saying they will over-turn the courts in his favour at the same time as they meet him to discuss political strategy. That is pretty close to corruption’ – see: Would Labour and Greens over-rule the court for Kim Dotcom?

Farrar explains the problem, as he sees it: ‘Russel Norman has been out twice to meet Dotcom, and ask him to support the Greens instead of setting up his own political party. And in return he is offering that a Labour/Greens Government would basically corruptly over-turn the decision of the court in Dotcom’s favour. Cunliffe is not ruling out that he would also over-turn any court decision. We also learn Winston Peters has been out to meet DotCom multiple times’. Farrar warns that ‘We head towards corruption if people can buy themselves a different decision’.  Read more »

Deception and integrity in politics

Bryce Edwards the ‘Pope of Politics’ is having the time of his life.  Blogs are dirty and he’s lovin’ ittm

New Zealand politics is ‘a dirty, disgusting, despicable game. And it involves dirty, disgusting despicable people at all levels’.

That’s the view of National Party-aligned blogger Cameron Slater.

Is he right?

Some areas are obviously cleaner and more principled than others.

The blogosphere – although a particularly valuable part of the ‘public sphere’ – is often also one of the dirtiest and more deceptive.

This reputation will be further cemented by revelations yesterday that one of John Key’s spin-doctors, Jason Ede, has supplied content to Cameron Slater’s Whaleoil blog.

You might say that Bryce, but I couldn’t possibly comment.   Read more »