David Clark

Has Scott Simpson been to Dunedin?

My good friend Scott Simpson, my longest standing friend in caucus, appears to have shared his dark arts skills with Michael Woodhouse.

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National MP Michael Woodhouse slams the defacing of electoral billboards as “a thuggish and ignorant act of vandalism”, as opponents boast online about other signs to tag.  Read more »

The perspective of distance

I live in Auckland, many would say that gives me a handicap in talking and commenting on politics which is largely centred inside the Thorndon Triangle or to use the American idiom, “The Beltway”.

I find that living outside of the incestuous and collegial atmosphere of Wellington means I get a different perspective on matters and can say and write things without fear of my restaurant dining buddies and cafe, latte sipping confidantes getting upset and refusing to talk to me.

The same could be said for Dene Mackenzie at the Otago Daily Times.

A change in the Labour Party leadership to Grant Robertson would have benefits for the two Dunedin MPs, Clare Curran and David Clark, both of whom were strong supporters of Mr Robertson in last year’s leadership round.

Mr Robertson indicated yesterday he had ”no intention” of challenging leader David Cunliffe before the election. However, another bad poll for Labour and Mr Robertson is likely to feel his colleagues breathing down his neck, urging a change.

Mr Cunliffe’s actions are coming under increasing scrutiny, particularly after it emerged this week he had written a letter on behalf of wealthy Chinese businessman Donghua Liu.

The letter was written soon after Mr Cunliffe was elected New Lynn MP, 11 years ago.

He claims to have no recollection of the letter or any meeting with Mr Liu. But the first sentence of the supporting letter indicates either he, or his office, had been approached by Mr Liu.

Dunedin South MP Ms Curran was demoted by Mr Cunliffe after he was selected as leader of the party, as his support came mainly from the membership and trade unions, rather than caucus.

Dunedin North MP Dr Clark lost some seniority in the reshuffle, but took it well by taking a long-term view of his prospects.

Both MPs told Mr Cunliffe of their support for Mr Robertson before the Labour leadership forum held in Dunedin.

Read more »

Russell Brown on Labour’s propensity to aim for their feet

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Pots, pans and pannier bags blogger Russell Brown blogs about Labour’s dreadful week last week, almost entirely self inflicted.

I really don’t think Labour leader David Cunliffe had a cunning plan to hide the fine print print of his party’s Best Start policy from the public last week. Because, frankly, making a statement about how many families would be covered by the baby bonus that is contradicted by the policy paper you’ve posted on the internet is just too dumb to be a cunning plan.

Even Patrick Gower, who kicked off the story with a blog post declaring that Labour had been “deliberately misleading” and “dishonest” in not being clear that families already in receipt of paid parental leave (which Labour is promising to extend to six months) would not be eligible for the newborn payment of $60 a week subsequently started referring to it as a mistake. (After all, if you’re going to perform a bait-and-switch, it’s customary to wait until you’re safely elected, not do it on the same day.)

Allowing double-dipping would have have been inappropriate – indeed, that was the first criticism aired about the new policy by David Farrrar, when he thought that’s what the policy said. But although the URL for the full policy document had been noted in the material given out to journalists, the limit on eligibility wasn’t mentioned in the printed material or Cunliffe’s speech.

Thus, John Key and his ministers have had a week to smugly declare that Cunliffe couldn’t be taken at his word.  Read more »

Fairfax columnist recommends Fairfax be shut down

Dave Armstong has written a column that is online at Stuff.co.nz.

He thinks that, though loony, Labour’s Facebook Ban is actually on the right track. apparently the new standard for corporate tax isn’t the law, it is some sort of arbitrary moral code dreamed up by leftists.

Labour’s revenue spokesman, David Clark, a bright young star under David Shearer but a supernova under Mr Cunliffe, decided that if Facebook didn’t pay its fair share of tax (it paid $28,000 tax in 2012 – less than is paid by a demoted backbench Labour MP), a “back pocket” threat would be to shut them down.

Mr Clark’s Facebook facepalm quickly had the libertarians up in arms – avoid all the tax you like but banning internet sites only happens in despotic Third World regimes. New Zealand does far more civilised things like helicopter raids on residents we think may have breached US piracy laws.

Mr Clark was quickly defriended by his colleagues, who doubted Labour would take such draconian action. His relationship status within Labour quickly dropped from “liked” Dunedin MP to “single”.

Mr Key found Mr Clark’s comments “interesting” and Bill English called them “nuts”. However, the finance minister conceded that multinational companies like Facebook should “pay their fair share”.

At present many multinationals don’t. They avoid tax by various legal ways, including creating subsidiaries in low-tax places like the Cayman Islands. It is these subsidiaries that receive most of the company’s revenue, on which they pay negligible tax. The company’s expenses are channelled to relatively high-tax countries like New Zealand, where a loss is made.

Like Fairfax? When did they last pay tax in New Zealand?   Read more »

David Clark’s comment not just dumb, also wrong

David Clark’s comment not just dumb, also wrong

This morning’s post about slapping GST on Amazon covered on David “rising star” Clarkson’s dumb comment that:

 “It seems it would be pretty simple to speak with Amazon and other suppliers to ask them to collect GST since they collect, as I understand it, sales taxes for individual states in the US. If that’s true, then it’s obviously an ideological decision from the Government not to collect it.”

Looks like the comment was not only dumb, it was wrong. Amazon is refusing to collect state sales taxes, even taking New York State to the Supreme Court.  The Taxpayers’ Union has blogged:

How Mr Clark thinks that the New Zealand Government has any tax jurisdiction over companies operating in and domicile in the United States is unclear. Is he meaning that as Minister he would seek agreement from the large online retailers like Amazon to charge just New Zealanders more, and pass the money on to the government? If so, he is being optimistic. Amazon for example is challenging New York State’s attempt to force it to collect its sales tax. Why would Amazon (and it’s competitors) take any different view to New Zealand?   Read more »

6 in 10 think people like David Clark are ‘tards

The NZ Herald has surveyed people and they have found that 4 in 10 Kiwis are dumber than a sack of hammers…including Labour’s revenue spokesman David Clark.

Nearly 40 per cent of New Zealanders believe GST should be charged on all purchases made on foreign shopping websites, a survey has shown.

The Government is estimated to miss out on up to $300 million in sales tax each year.

But New Zealand retailers struggling to compete with overseas sellers – whose sales are exempt from GST when they are for less than $400 – will have to wait for any decision on a potential crackdown.

Revenue Minister Todd McClay says the Government wants to see what other countries do first and a discussion document on the issue, due before Christmas, has been delayed until next year.  Read more »

Is Trevor in trouble?

Cunliffe locks in the unions

David Cunliffe has locked in the union vote with 4 of the 6 affiliated unions preferencing Cunliffe first.

Four of the six unions affiliated to Labour now favour David Cunliffe to win the leadership contest that finishes next Sunday.

And with polls showing consistent public support for Mr Cunliffe, pressure is growing on Grant Robertson’s support base within the caucus to publicly back him. Three Labour MPs publicly declared their support for Mr Robertson over the weekend – Dunedin MPs David Clark and Clare Curran, and Christchurch MP Ruth Dyson. None were a surprise.

But there is concern among some Cunliffe supporters that the result could be a replay of the 2011 contest in which the party overwhelmingly supported one candidate, David Cunliffe, over the caucus favourite, David Shearer.

Caucus is appears locked in behind Grant Robertson.

Despite the popular support for Mr Cunliffe, Mr Robertson still has by far the greatest support in caucus, thought to be at least 17 votes out of 34; with 10 for Mr Cunliffe and five for Mr Jones.

Caucus votes are worth more than other votes cast, with 34 MPs making up 40 per cent of the vote; the support of 17 MPs would give Mr Robertson almost 30 per cent of the total allowable vote.

Any claims that caucus and the party will be unified after this selection process would be farcical. If Cunliffe wins the vast majority of caucus didn’t support him and will almost certainly white ant him immediately.

The GCSB Scare Campaign Running Off The Rails

Clare Curran gets schooled by Graeme Edgeler…

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The silly tart hasn’t even read the bill…and Edgeler schools her.

Watch for David Shearer or who ever is leader to replace Curran for David Clark in the Communications role.

Labour’s policy to attack evil property speculators like these ones

Labour has said that their housing policy is to attack evil property speculators. That the policy will drive down prices, coupled with a comprehensive Capital Gains Tax that will make sure housing is cheaper for first home buyers.

David Shearer even went out of his way to attack people with second, third or fourth houses.

These policies he says will help crack crack down on property speculators hurting kiwi home owners.

Like these speculators…especially the dodgy Chinese one.    Read more »