Chris Carter

Manufacturing Clark’s history

Helen Clark does so like to re-visit and re-edit her history, aided and abetted by an unquestioning and ill-informed media.

She has recently given a nice soft cosy interview to Channel Nine in Australia where this claim was made:

Having led the Labour Party without barely a whisper of a coup for six years in opposition and then nine years as Prime Minister, human resources at the UN could hardly argue that credential.

Oh rly?

Is that what she told the hapless Channel Nine reporter? I don’t see where he’d have got it from otherwise… he wouldn’t have the background knowledge of NZ politics.

And then Fairfax repeat it unquestioningly… probably because there isn’t anyone there who’s older than 12.

I’m sure readers don’t really need reminding, but if you do:

Fifteen years ago, Helen Clark stared down a party coup mounted by her eventual successor, Phil Goff. But her victory came at a huge price for Labour. Phil Quin, one of the plotters, offers an insider’s account.

About six weeks before Helen Clark finally cemented her grip on NZ Labour – one which she maintains to this day, even in absentia – I had finally convinced Phil Goff to topple her.

[...]  Read more »

Anyone want to work for Helen?

Helen Clark’s  United Nations Development Program, a trough as deep and wide as the Grand Canyon, spends billions, a fair bit of it on inflated wages for failed socialist politicians’ retirement funds.

There is an opportunity for someone to join Chris Carter in the first-class carriage of the gravy train:

“The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Afghanistan invites highly qualified and experienced persons to apply for excellent opportunities and assignments in the Country Office and Projects. UNDP is looking for competent and motivated persons with a strong believe in the purpose of UNDP and its mandate, who are willing to dedicate themselves to a rewarding career in Afghanistan.”  Read more »

Who Done It?

There is much speculation going on about who Duncan Garner’s source for the coup talk is.

David Farrar blogs about Duncan Garner’s mystery source:

So if it was MP. The question is, which one. We can’t know for sure, but logically one would expect it to be an MP who:

  1. Was not a supporter of Shearer in the ballot vs Cunliffe   Read more »

John Armstrong nearly asks the right question

John Armstrong makes an interesting observation and nearly asks the right question:

In its most damning criticism, the Commission says Wilkinson’s department should have prohibited Pike from operating the mine until its health and safety systems were adequate.

Given the mine opened in November 2008 – just a month before Wilkinson became Minister of Labour – there would have been demands for her resignation as her department’s woeful performance happened on her watch.

 It opened in the same month that National was elected. That means that previous ministers were responsible for the commissioning of the mine and the work to get it operational along with all the consents.

Farrar has gone all soft on this:

The Minister, when it did start operating, was Trevor Mallard - not Kate Wilkinson.

Now I say this not do do a blame game. I don’t think either Mallard or Wilkinson are to blame.

Chris Carter consented the mine with all of the silly provisions that ultimately led to the disaster, but Trevor Mallard and Ruth Dyson before him were the ministers responsible for the safety aspects during the construction of the mine.

If as Armstrong contends that the mine should never have opened, then it stands to reason that those most responsible for it being in a position to open should be held accountable like Kate Wilkinson.

If David Shearer is true to his word that Labour must share the blame, then he too must hold those in Labour who were responsible accountable. They cannot resign ministerial portfolios but they can resign from parliament. It is the right thing to do.

Should More Heads Roll?

I’ve spent some time yesterday, in between editing pages for my first issue of Truth, reading though the report on Pike River.

It’s not pretty reading for anyone. Unsurprisingly Kate Wilkinson fell on her sword…the accident happened on her watch.

However I’m really surprised by the void that appears to exist between consent (1997) and then its opening in November 2008.

There’s lots about the greenie protests and the agreements with DOC, including the award and praise given by Chris Carter.

But what was the Labour Department doing between 1999 and 2008 and who was the Minister?

Margaret Wilson 1999 – 2004

Ruth Dyson 2005 -07

Trevor Mallard 2007 – 08

And now I see Labour accepting some blame? Hannah Lynch from Newsroom reports:

Labour leader David Shearer says his party is prepared to share the blame for the Pike River coal mining disaster after the Royal Commission of Inquiry found the mining company put production before safety and the former Department of Labour should have shut the mine down.
The commission’s report was released to the public this afternoon after being presented to the families of the 29 miners killed following a series of explosions in November 2010. Their bodies remain trapped in the mine.
“If there is any portion of blame towards us during our term in office we have to accept that,” Mr Shearer told reporters.
“We stand by the fact that if there was any fault during our term of office we would also have to acknowledge that as well.”

Will Trevor and Ruth resign too? Have they the courage that Kate Wilkinson and National have shown?

Some how I doubt it.

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Garner on the Cunliffe Problem

ᔄ 3News

Is David Cunliffe the new Chris Carter of the Labour party. Duncan Garner is presently burning bridges behind him with the Labour party…and all power to him, he has revealed what is really going inside Labour and it is deeply unpleasant:

The majority of Labour politicians clearly dislike David Cunliffe. With a passion. And with a serious degree of what now looks like hatred and mistrust.

That’s become so very clear to me this year – but even clearer since I released our 3 News poll on Sunday night.

I suggested David Shearer might be rolled before the next election if he couldn’t get his numbers up. And while not many in Labour denied that – they all said Cunliffe won’t replace him. Over their dead bodies.

In fact, Labour MPs have openly joked with me that Cunliffe, who is away on a lengthy family holiday overseas, should stay there.

Two very senior MPs have told me they would like an internal travel fund set up to keep Cunliffe out of the country for as long as possible. How nasty is this caucus? He is clearly not missed.

But Cunliffe is not only disliked by his caucus – he is not trusted. So many have told me he never delivers on his promises and is sneaky and lazy.

Sources have told me Shearer was advised to demote him when he became Labour’s leader, but Shearer resisted and said he wanted to work with Cunliffe.

Ouch…what on earth is Cunliffe going to do? Garner asks this but doesn’t give options. Perhaps he could work for the UN like all the other problem MPs of Labour seeking travel funds.

I can’t see him being the leader of this party. Ever. You need friends in the Labour Party caucus to survive. Cunliffe can count his on one hand with ease – he may even have fingers left dangling.

If I was him I’d look for a new career. It’s clear there is an impenetrable roadblock between him and his aim of being party leader.

And they all sit in the same room as he does. This hatred has largely stayed out of the mass media to date. But this is a story worth telling. This is not a collision course for Cunliffe. He and the caucus have already collided – and it’s a big pile up.

The real question is – does he know how bad it is? And what will he do next?

Hmmm…what are his options, from where I am looking at it, there is only one, resignation and a by-election, it certainly would keep his missus happy as I understand she would like the big bucks again like when he was consulting.

Why is ASH running interference for Clark?

Yesterday it was revealed that Helen Clark, arch anti-tobacco crusader, was happy to hand out an award personally to the Chairman of ITC, Mr. Y C Deveshwar, at the Rio +20 Summit She was all smiles and closeness in doing so too, here is an image from ITC’s Facebook page of the smiling and happy Helen Clark cuddling up close to big tobacco…no scowly duckface or smacked bum face there:

Now that the story has broken Helen Clark is in damage control and it seems her pals in ASH are running interference for her:

Clark’s letter is crocodile tears, and doesn’t stand any sort of scrutiny. Helen Clark built a reputation as a details person, her functionaries would mock any opposition politicians who wasn’t in command of facts. Are we to believe that these much vaunted faculties have deserted her now she is safely installed at the United Nations?

It is inconceivable to believe that neither she nor the UNDP were aware of ITC’s tobacco interests. On their Facebook page it is obvious with logos of Wills, which of course ITC owns, diagrams of business interests that clearly show tobacco,

Is Helen Clark blaming Heather Simpson for failing to research ITC in advance of the event? Will Heather Simpson be sent home in disgrace to work in Shearer’s office? Will Chris Carter have to step up in the UN to hold Helen’s handbag instead of Heather Simpson?

Their website has a plethora of information about their tobacco interests. This is not a small company…they own Imperial Tobacco FFS!

Many questions, so far only great clouds of (tobacco) smoke from Clark’s office.

She has been caught out as a top class UN funded hypocrite.

Cunning At Bargain Bin Prices

Since I shone some serious sunlight on the political enigma that is James Bews-Hair, I have had many calls from people with chequebooks who want to find out a bit more about him so that they can take advantage of his cunning. My advice now is to get on the phone and talk to him.  From what I hear he’ll probably take your call and you’ll get him angry and dirt cheap.

The reason? Simple.  It has now become very clear just how much they hate him in the town hall.

Let me explain. A couple of weeks ago I outed the Night Mayor’s press secretary (Glyn Jones) for acts of political treachery against Bews-Hair. Glyn is not very smart.  Like many, he should take note of my rules of politics.  If you get caught out playing silly games (regardless of how much your intended target deserves it) then you deserve me highlighting your stupidity.

So despite being outed for attempting to use a right-wing blogger to fight a battle in a Left-wing political office, Jones is still in place doing a comedic impersonation of a media manager.  I understand Jones even got rewarded with a week long, ratepayer funded holiday to Australia.

So why is Jones being rewarded for being a dumb cock, and Bews-Hair being hung out to dry. Again, with decent sources it all becomes very obvious. Let me explain:

  1. We already know that Len’s Chief of Staff, Phil Wilson, doesn’t like or trust Bews-Hair and certainly feels threatened by Bews-Hair.  Given the right opportunity Wilson would gladly send Bews-Hair on his way.
  2. It was Bews-Hair that turned Len (albeit briefly) into a seemingly sensible, union crusher in the Ports dispute.  Problem is Bews-Hair’s so-called mate Conor Roberts (and others on the Left) hates Bews-Hair for taking Len down that sensible path.
  3. I understand that Jones has become the Mayor’s (and indeed the deputy Mayor, Phil Wilson and a host of councillors) newest gay accessory.  He’s actually been quite clever and getting in the ear of all and sundry and using the ‘Chris Carter’ line of “I am being picked on because I am gay.”

From what I hear Bews-Hair is more than a little bit of a homophobe (which is slightly ironic but that is another story).  From the tipline I have been advised that Bews-Hair finds the fag hag behaviour around Glyn Jones disgusting all round.

So it seems that like most of those endangered blokey right wingers in the Labour party Bews-Hair is also being strung up by the much talked about ‘gaggle of gays’ and self-interested unionists.  Typical really. Jones gets caught out playing nasty games (and I continue to get stories via the tipline smearing Bews-Hair) and the target of all this gets punished for being vaguely competent.

If I have learned anything about Bews-Hair, he will be patiently plotting his revenge. But much more importantly, if you want Bews-Hair’s cunning at your disposal, make him an offer. My guess is you will get him dirt cheap.

Anyone squirming yet?

ᔄ Stuff.co.nz

Finally the Bill Liu case has made its way through the court system and is finally being heard.

A millionaire naturalised Chinese New Zealander who used senior political connections to win citizenship has gone on trial in the High Court, Auckland, today on five charges linked to claims he created a false identity.

In a case that has been before the court for nearly two years, Yong Ming Yan, 41, has pleaded not guilty to five charges over claims he created a false identity in China to get citizenship.

Justice Timothy Brewer is hearing the case without a jury.

Originally Yan was charged with 12 offences but these, the court heard, had been reduced due to issues with evidence from China.

Yan, also known as William Yan, Bill Liu and Yang Liu, arrived in 2001.

He got citizenship with letters of support and lobbying from Labour’s Dover Samuels and Chris Carter as well as National’s Pansy Wong.

The Department of Internal Affairs opposed citizenship saying with two passports, two names and two birth dates they did not know who he was. Then Immigration Minister David Cunliffe over-ruled and granted citizenship.

A large donor to the Labour party, his private VIP citizenship ceremony held in the Maori Affairs Select Committee room and ministers ignoring official advice..David Cunliffe and Shane Jones are the only ones left standing in this sorry affair. I wonder if perhaps they might be a bit worried.

We can at least look forward to three weeks of political intrigue as the trial unfolds.

Trialled in Epsom already

It has been interesting that many of the default negatives about Charter Schools (including Ian Leckie NZEI in the Dominion) have come out and said – why isn’t it being trailed in Epsom? – in a way it has been, for more than 9 years at the Mt Hobson Middle School.

Their Academic Manager, Alwyn Poole writes to me explain:

I see opportunity for many children and their families to benefit (without others being harmed) and wonder if much of the opposition is about who announced the proposal rather than possibilities that could emerge.

The Mt Hobson Middle School model is a NZ model that we have “trialled” for the last 9 years therefore does not depend on US data, etc.

We are non-profit, all our teachers are registered, we get (and welcome) ERO review, we deal with a range of students. We teach the NZ curriculum and we run at a pre pupil cost very close to state funding.

It has been interesting for me to see so many groups go into default negative mode (PPTA, NZEI, Green Party) and throw out the “US model”, “Swedish model”, “non-registered teachers comments”. In the past, on a number of occasions, we have asked those groups to come in and see what we do – especially due to negative comments in and around Middle Schooling (of the same default negative style) – they never show up. To be fair – Chris Carter – as Min. of Ed. did come through our school and loved it. The PPTA and NZEI are even avoiding the key point in the data they are quoting from overseas and that is that the model is helping children in poverty (Stanford report, p13.) Not only does New Zealand have an alarming educational tail but, as almost every teacher and parent will tell you there is an ongoing “could do better” at all levels. New Zealand is such a small, and well resourced country, that we should be doing all we can not just to be “world class’ but absolute world leaders. A range of models can greatly aid that and any opportunity to improve things should be given a good hearing.

We run a 12:1 student teacher ratio. John Hattie’s meta analysis did not have class size high but the things he had above it are far more manageable with 12-15 in a class. We split our day into a 4 hour academic morning and in the afternoon do Community Service, Community Learning, Sport, Art and Music. We run a project based curriculum which means the students get an hour a morning of independent study towards 5 weekly set assignments – it gives a context. We are at knowing every student and their families well.

We have had a massive amount of educators come through and their acknowledgment of what we are achieving means a lot. The feedback from parents is also very positive. We constantly test and adjust what we do according to the students in front of us, best theory and the local/national environment.

I spent twelve years teaching at big schools (Tauranga Boys, Hamilton Boys, St Cuthberts) and did 4 tertiary qualifications. As a part of one of those qualifications I did a longitudinal study on achievement at secondary schools which highlighted some major issues. It is okay for people to argue that NZ has a world class education system – the statistics make it clear that it isn’t for those who need it most. I then travelled a number of schools overseas to see best practice.

The basic conclusion to me around that was that Years 7 – 10 in the NZ system were vital and are not strong. It is a vital developmental area and probably the last chance at remedial work.

We take all administration off staff so they prepare, teach, assess and report.

We are non-profit.

We deal with a genuine ability range with our students. Our results are nothing short of remarkable. 95% of our students get level 1 qualifications when they move on and many were not on that pathway when they came to us.

No one has been prepared to follow our student:teacher ratio, our day structure or our curriculum model is a state system. And yet these are the things that are helping the children that come to us. There are probably a number of reasons why the public schools are not able to follow these innovations.

1) Inertia and risk – any change within the state system has the Min of Ed, NZEI, PPTA, parents organisations and public perception issues. Parents in NZ tend to be conservative and when state principals have been innovative sometimes their numbers, etc, have declined or they have faced massive internal opposition.

2) Perceived and actual funding issues – state schools have funding formulas that have a ratio built in. There is a limited flexibility in that.

It is interesting to note that Private School’s also haven’t necessarily gone after the ratio – one reason may be due to the huge facility resources many of them aim to create and maintain (which is even lower in Hattie’s analysis). The other is that some of the school’s are running with a profit motive and I am yet to be convinced that that can work in the BEST interests of compulsory aged students.

It has been to my absolute despair that we have not got the resources to replicate the model elsewhere (we started this school through selling our family home). Clearly the Charter School proposal will not allow us to help every child who could benefit but it may give us the opportunity to do a lot more. Some of the opposition to this seems to be saying that if you can’t help everybody then help nobody. This is an opportunity to do something for many children with in New Zealand that will fit their context.