David Clark

Labour’s new Trade Spokesperson will need to have a split personality to be business-friendly and anti-TPP

Labour have painted themselves into a corner and the person tasked with trying to step across the deep red paint is David Clark.

Unfortunately the man is an idiot.

He spoke to Richard Harman from Politik about his need to speak in tongues,

Labour’s new trade spokesperson knows he has to walk a very narrow line if he wants to carry out the party’s anti-TPP policies without alienating the business community at the same time as he avoids splitting the centre left political block.

David Clark understands it won’t be easy.

Of course it won’t be easy. It is nigh on impossible after the political gymnastics performed by his idiot leader. You simply can’t say you have bottom lines, have those bottom lines all met, then say you still don’t support it…and then say you won’t pull us out of the deal. There is a word that can’t be said in parliament but can be said on blogs….hypocrisy. Business really hates hypocrisy.

For a start he realises Labour could easily be held hostage by some of the extremists on the anti-TPP side.

“I’ve seen the Government actually trying to position us as being alongside the more extreme elements but that’s politics and that’s what they will try and do,” he says.

“Part of it is incumbent on me as the spokesman and us generally to do our homework; to make sure we are familiar with the deal, the ins and outs and then to be presenting the alternatives.”

He’s emphatic that Labour is a free market party.

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Employment rewards slammed by Labour

Labour had better hope their union masters in the PSA were consulted before David Clark broke this non-story.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise spent more than $30,000 on greenstone gifts for its staff last year, new figures show.

The Labour Party said the spending on jewellery was extravagant, but the trade promotion agency said it was a reward for huge improvements in performance.

That’s right. After years of claiming National has been waging a war against public servants, Labour MP David Clark is now complaining  employees at a government department have been given a reward for their hard work and dedication.   Read more »

Labour continues to highlight Steve Joyce’s MBIE excesses

Labour continues to focus on the small beer…and to act like the Grinch who stole Christmas.

For a ministry the size of MBIE $20,000 is bugger all….but it’s all Labour has got.

A government department’s spending on a Christmas party has been labelled as unbelievable.

The Labour Party said the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment overspent on its already excessive budget of $20,000 for the event.

The party’s economic development spokesman David Clark said minister Steven Joyce should step up and apologise to taxpayers.   Read more »

You’re not in Guatemala now Dr Clark

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What a comedian David Clark is…a press release on Labour Day focussing on things that matter.

No matter how he spins it Steven Joyce will be a laughing stock over revelations of expensive repairs to model sheep roughly treated at a government department Christmas function, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.

“You couldn’t make this yarn up – Mr Joyce should be feeling sheepish.

“Papers obtained by Labour under the official information act show two model sheep – hired at a cost of $85 each – needed $500 worth of repairs following what appears to be some high jinks at last year’s MoBIE Christmas function.

“That’s money fleeced from taxpayers.   Read more »

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Labour MP lobbies for non-compliant solution as he shills a story

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David Clark put out a press release and shilled a story to Radio NZ about a Housing NZ tenant, who is whinging about the removal of a ladder from the side of our house she is living in.

A Housing New Zealand tenant says she was told to jump out of her two-storey window in the case of fire, after emergency escape ladders were removed from her Dunedin home.

Jodee Vince said the ladders were taken off while her Pine Hill home was being painted last month. But they were never put back on.

When she asked why not, Ms Vince said Housing New Zealand told her they were no longer needed because smoke alarms had been installed.

“I was told that we were to just jump out the window as it would be better having a broke leg than being burnt,” she said.

Ms Vince was recovering from back surgery and said she would not be able to do jump out and said she was “devastated” by the advice given.

“I want them put back for the safety of my children. Obviously our lives are not worth it and they just don’t care,” she added.

Labour’s Dunedin North MP David Clark said he was aware of other Housing New Zealand tenants in Dunedin having their escape ladders removed and he was worried that the agency was cutting costs.

“If it wasn’t such a serious matter it would be laughable. Smoke alarms might alert someone to a fire but you cannot climb down a smoke alarm to safety,” he said.

Housing New Zealand said the ladders were not a legal requirement and some were being removed as part of general maintenance of properties because of health and safety and security issues.

“It is our policy to have fitted working smoke alarms in all bedrooms, hallways and living areas. This extensive coverage gives tenants good early warning of fire,” a spokesman said.

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David Clark doesn’t get it

David Clark is one of those genius politicians who thinks that social media will win it for them.

Consequently he blathers on all day on Facebook and Twitter.

But he just doesn’t get it.

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Irreplaceable?

Toby Manhire says John Campbell’s style is irreplaceable.

When news broke six weeks ago that Campbell Live was on the chopping block the response was genuinely astonishing. This wasn’t just your garden-variety social media outrage – huge numbers of people were properly pissed off, they took it personally.

I felt a bit sorry, even, for MediaWorks bosses, who found themselves copping heaps of flak. Some of it they deserve (and yesterday’s announcement, two minutes before Bill English began reading the Budget, was cynical and unbecoming), but at least as much would have been better hurled at politicians from both major parties who had allowed public service television to become all but extinct.

Oh come on…the media hate politicians doing the Friday dump…and when it suits them they use it themselves.

John Campbell’s mix of acuity, tenacity and integrity is irreplaceable. His work in leading campaigns on school lunches, in disaster relief, and especially in remaining tirelessly focused on Christchurch, when most outside the region had stopped paying much attention, adds up to a formidable legacy.

It is hard to overstate how keenly he’ll be missed by colleagues, too: everyone from those in the mailroom through to senior journalists at TV3 speaks glowingly about Campbell’s willingness to stop and talk, to mentor the next generation of bushy-tailed reporters.

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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.

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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 »