David Cameron

At least he wasn’t wearing budgie smugglers

David Cameron has been stung by jellyfish, but the most interesting revelation is he felt the need to clarify he wasn’t wearing budgie smugglers.

David Cameron suffered a painful sting from a jellyfish as he enjoyed a dip in the sea during his family holiday.

The Prime Minister’s painful encounter came as he went for a swim off the popular Arrieta beach in Lanzarote.

Other tourists described how he came running from the water rubbing his arm and shouting: “Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!”

One local said Mr Cameron got his children out of the waves after someone shouted a warning, but then he immediately went back in.

A source close to the Prime Minister said: “It was pretty minor sting and did not require treatment.”

Mr Cameron, a keen swimmer and patron of the Chipping Norton lido outdoor pool in his Oxfordshire constituency, has been staying with his wife Samantha and children at a £200-a-night spa resort. They are due back this weekend.

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Rodney Hide on the travesty of MMP

Come September we could be watching the most popular political leader in the Western world, and the most popular party sitting on the sidelines as a coalition of the losers forms a government because of MMP.

Rodney Hide examines this with his column at NBR.

John Key is the most popular prime minister since polling began. It’s an extraordinary achievement. More remarkably, he’s the Western world’s most popular elected leader.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron and President Barack Obama must look on Mr Key’s numbers with envious eyes and considerable wonder.

His popularity drives support for his party. National consistently polls a third higher than Labour. And so Mr Key’s a shoe-in this election, right? No. It’s looking like a very close thing. That’s because we persist with a mongrel electoral system.

It’s not the party with the most votes that wins with MMP but the one that cobbles the support needed to govern. Mr Key and National could easily find themselves out in the cold.

I owe my entire parliamentary career to MMP, so I suppose I should be thankful. But I was never a fan of the system. My first serious political involvement was in opposing it. It was the first of my many political losses. Read more »

Argie ratbags have a sook about Falklands military exercise

The Argentinians may as well give up, they are broke, march backwards and are never, ever going to get the Falklands back.

Argentina has accused Britain of provocative behaviour by planning to carry out military exercises in the Falkland Islands next week.

Deputy foreign minister Eduardo Zuain summoned the British Ambassador in Buenos Aires to protest over the “new show of military force”.

It is the latest diplomatic clash following heightened tensions over the territory since Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner took power in Argentina.

A spokesman for the Embassy of Argentina in London said: “The Government of the United Kingdom will conduct military exercises on occupied Argentine territory between 14 and 27 April, including missile launchings from the Malvinas Islands.   Read more »

Key is “a twenty-first century Holyoake” – Chris Trotter

Chris Trotter has written a very good post about why he thinks John Key may well go on to become NZ longest serving Prime Minister…but for the foibles of MMP.

IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2 months) would be surpassed and the title of longest-serving National Party Prime Minister would pass to the incumbent. How tempting it would then be for John Key to set his sights on “King Dick’s” (Prime Minister Richard John Seddon’s) crown of 13 years and 2 months. Just imagine that – a fifth term! By then the youthful Jacinda Ardern would be 41 years old!

Some will dismiss Key’s musings as yet another example of his celebrated political bravado. But there is another message to be drawn from his speculations concerning a fourth (or even a fifth) term. The Prime Minister’s suggestion that he and the National Party are good for another two or three election wins may also be read as his pledge to the electorate that any government he leads will be moderate and restrained in its policies.

Sir Keith Holyoake could not have governed New Zealand from November 1960 until February 1972 as anything other than a consensus-seeking prime minister. By indicating that he is not adverse to such a lengthy term of office, John Key is signalling to us that he, too, is a consensus politician.  Read more »

The Key to defeat

Luke Malpass at The Spectator has an interesting article on how it is that John Key will be defeated…and ironically John Key’s decision to only provide a lacklustre opposition to MMP may bite him.

John Key is the most popular leader in the western world. Not by a little, but a lot. His net approval rating (approvals minus disapprovals) has consistently been around 50+ per cent. That compares with Tony Abbott at 10+ per cent and Bill Shorten at 8+ per cent. Julia Gillard was somewhere down in the -20 territory. Barack Obama and David Cameron are both around -10 per cent. So why on earth will Mr Key and his government struggle to get re-elected on 20 September? The answer is simple: Mixed Member Proportional.

This electoral system, reconfirmed at the 2011 general election, is a blight on New Zealand politics. In the same way the Hare-Clark system in Tasmania delivered the recent Mickey-mouse, tail-wagging-dog government, so MMP does in New Zealand. It entrenches minority government at the expense of stability and introduces obfuscation where accountability should reside.

The left wing is an assortment of average to failing parties of little support, but group them together and the most popular government and PM in modern history may well lose…beaten by a coalition of losers.

In theory, according to its advocates, MMP is great. As it is extremely difficult to get a majority of the primary vote (1950 was the last time it happened) there can be no ‘elective dictatorships’. Because you vote for an electorate and a party, you can split your vote and elect a local candidate you like, without necessarily voting for their party. Party lists allow highly competent people with little political appeal to be elected. Parties have to constructively get along, and no government can get too far ahead of the people.   Read more »

David Cameron mans up over wind farms

David Cameron is planning on going into the election promising to rid the countryside of appalling bird shredders.

Top stuff, and given they are hopeless at actually providing power will be a massive blessing as their subsidised uselessness is eradicated.

David Cameron wants to go into the next election pledging to “rid” the countryside of onshore wind farms, a source close to the Prime Minister has said.

Mr Cameron wants to toughen planning laws and tear up subsidy rules to make current turbines financially unviable – allowing the Government to “eradicate” turbines, the source said.  Read more »

Politician resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people like him

Whaleoil has visited this story a number of times, when people buy fake “Likes” or fake traffic to increase their perceived popularity.

Everyone may well have a mate called Dave, but it doesn’t look like social media users want that mate to be the PM. Maybe it’s the bedroom tax, maybe it’s the legal aid cuts. I might even be the widely mocked picture of him on the phone to Barack Obama.

Whatever the reason for his apparent lack of popularity on social media, David Cameron’s team have resorted to paying to get him more Facebook likes.

Yes, Conservative strategists have forked out thousands in party funds on Facebook ads to get the David Cameron page more fans on the site, The Mail on Sunday reports.

Facebook wouldn’t reveal any specifics on the deal, but a marketing expert told the paper that the social media campaign would have set the party back around £7500.

The cost – which some Twitter users have noted is more than they earn in a year – even seems to have worked, with likes on the page more than doubling in a month to hit 128,000, overtaking Dave’s mate Nick Clegg who is on 82,000.

What’s the point though?  It’s one thing to buy your likes or your traffic, but unless you do so unobserved, everyone knows you’re faking it.   Read more »

Rodney Hide on John Key

Rodney Hide in his regular Herald on Sunday column discusses how out of touch Labour is in their constant underestimation of John Key.

In 2008 they tried branding hims as clueless, in 2010 it was slippery, now they are trying corrupt…none of it will work…and why Kim Dotcom’s stupid political ideas won’t work either.

One of the more common and basic mistakes to make in politics is to underestimate your opponent. It’s an easy thing to do. Your opponents are doing it all wrong and so must be either stupid or crooked and perhaps both.

Your team readily agrees and the trap is easy to fall into. And so it is with Labour and John Key.

Labour continues to dismiss Key as a political lightweight who would sell his own mother, in Labour leader David Cunliffe’s words.

They overlook that Key toppled Labour’s best and strongest leader, has seen off Phil Goff and David Shearer, and who Cunliffe has yet to dent. That’s no political lightweight.

Labour has wrongly dismissed Key’s politics as “smile and wave” when he has, in fact, led the country through the dark days of the Pike River tragedy and the Canterbury earthquakes.

He has simultaneously overseen our transition through the global financial crisis to “rock-star” economic status.

Labour pooh-poohed Key’s credentials in foreign policy. He now has David Cameron’s number on speed dial.

Previous New Zealand prime ministers were ecstatic for our future trade prospects with a two-minute “pull aside” at a formal meeting. Key plays golf with the President of the United States on his holidays.   Read more »

Intolerant liberal ratbags

We see this here…the liberal left shouting down anyone who dares voice an opinion against what they think.

We saw it with the boycott organised against Willie and JT…the left always go for your money…they have tried the same with me several times.

Check out the comments at The Daily blog or the Standard recently when discussing me or David Farrar and you will see death wishes upon us, ranting that we should be silenced and so forth.

The liberal left are not fans of free speech and now their terror tactics are starting to bite.

[N]ot only Christians, but also Muslims and Jews, increasingly feel they are no longer free to express any belief, no matter how deeply felt, that runs counter to the prevailing fashions for superficial “tolerance” and “equality” (terms which no longer bear their dictionary meaning but are part of a political jargon in which only certain views, and certain groups, count as legitimate).

Only 50 years ago, liberals supported “alternative culture”; they manned the barricades in protest against the establishment position on war, race and feminism. Today, liberals abhor any alternative to their credo. No one should offer an opinion that runs against the grain on issues that liberals consider “set in stone”, such as sexuality or the sanctity of life.

Intolerance is no longer the prerogative of overt racists and other bigots – it is state-sanctioned. It is no longer the case that the authorities are impartial on matters of belief, and will intervene to protect the interests and heritage of the weak. When it comes to crushing the rights of those who dissent from the new orthodoxy, politicians and bureaucrats alike are in the forefront of the attacks, not the defence.

I believe that religious liberty is mean­ingless if religious subcultures do not have the right to practise and preach according to their beliefs. These views – for example, on abortion, adoption, divorce, marriage, promiscuity and euthanasia – may be unfashionable. They certainly will strike many liberal-minded outsiders as harsh, impractical, outmoded, and irrelevant.

But that is not the point. Adherents of these beliefs should not face life-ruining disadvantages. They should not have to close their businesses, as happened to the Christian couple who said only married heterosexual couples could stay at their bed and breakfast. They should not lose their jobs, which was the case of the registrar who refused to marry gays. When Britain was fighting for its life in the Second World War, it never forced pacifists to bear arms. So why force the closure of a Catholic adoption agency that for almost 150 years has placed some of society’s most vulnerable children with loving parents?   Read more »

BBC covered up secret ‘green propaganda’ training

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One of those pesky bloggers has busted the chops of the BBC that is now mired in a scandal of its own making, attempting to coverup ‘green propaganda’ training for its top executives that would shape programming for years.

On top of that it was government funded at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds.

The BBC has spent tens of thousands of pounds over six years trying to keep secret an extraordinary ‘eco’ conference which has shaped its coverage of global warming,  The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

The controversial seminar was run by a body set up by the BBC’s own environment analyst Roger Harrabin and funded via a £67,000 grant from the then Labour government, which hoped to see its ‘line’ on climate change and other Third World issues promoted in BBC reporting.

At the event, in 2006, green activists and scientists – one of whom believes climate change is a bigger danger than global nuclear war  – lectured 28 of the Corporation’s most senior executives.

Then director of television Jana Bennett opened the seminar by telling the executives to ask themselves: ‘How do you plan and run a city that is going to be submerged?’ And she asked them to consider if climate change laboratories might offer material for a thriller.

A lobby group with close links to green campaigners, the International Broadcasting Trust (IBT), helped to arrange government funding for both the climate seminar  and other BBC seminars run by  Mr Harrabin – one of which was attended by then Labour Cabinet Minister Hilary Benn.

Applying for money from Mr Benn’s Department for International Development (DFID), the IBT promised Ministers the seminars would influence programme content for years to come.

The BBC began its long legal battle to keep details of the conference secret after an amateur climate blogger spotted a passing reference to it in an official report.  Read more »