David Farrar

The Huddle

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I was on The Huddle last night.

There was a slight change this week after Josie Pagani showed her right wing credentials they have decided to get a real left winger on the show and so David Farrar made an appearance

Our topics were:

  • Labour – where did it all go so wrong and will their inquiry get to the bottom of the problem. Looking at their terms of reference in relation to this it’s like they are basically looking at EVERYTHING to do with the party in relation to the situation. But I would say that the party’s only as good as the people running it – and they might be in for a  shock when the results of the review come back. They clearly need a good clean out to rejuvenate party in the public’s eye – but they also need behind the scenes people who can come up with effective and strong policy to move them towards the middle ground and become a real opposition party again. They do actually risk becoming irrelevant and leaving the door open for either the Greens or NZ First to be the “opposition”.
  • Then we’ve got the two friends for National in parliament. They feel like faux deals as there doesn’t appear to be much in it for either Peter Dunne or David Seymour – I guess it gives National more of a buffer in the house, but what on earth is an under -secretary? Interesting though that both Dunne and Seymour are happy to roll with their votes going to National for very little relevance in the wider scheme of things.

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Guest Post – Thoughts on Labour

A reader and new commenter emails:

Dear Team,

I posted my first comment recently after a long time reading and enjoying the blog (as ‘Reasoned and Rational’). Slowly getting drawn into the vortex ;-)

Some time ago I seem to recall an article which indicated that submissions from readers might be considered if of a suitable standard. I wonder if you’d read through my thoughts below and consider if it meets that standard? If so, please feel free to use it at some time when you have space. If you choose not to, no worries, it’s been fun getting it down in writing.

Best regards,

Reasoned and Rational


I grew up in home with a photo of Michael Joseph Savage on the mantel above the fireplace. My Dad was a working man, and the party ‘we’ supported looked after the interests of the workers, ensured a fair deal from ‘the bosses’, was interested monitoring the terms and conditions of employment, and made sure that there was a safety net in the form of social welfare if something went wrong. Social welfare was to catch you if you fell, and support you until you were back on your feet again. You took personal responsibility for finding work and getting back into it as quickly as possible if circumstances changed.

In the house I grew up in there was a pride in working. My Dad was very unhappy when once I mentioned University as an idea. “That’s just for those that can’t work, boffins and the sons of the bosses” I recall him saying. That certainly didn’t mean that education wasn’t valued, and teachers were respected as providing the route to a better job for me than he’d managed.

Times were different. Unemployment was low. Rob Muldoon once half joked he knew all 70 odd registered unemployed by name. Yes, there were only 70! When I got my first job upon leaving school I was employed not because I was the best man for the job, but for the simple reason I was the only one to reply to the ad.

It was easy to change jobs. Give the boss the two fingered salute on a Friday night, read the ‘Sits Vac’ in Saturday’s Herald and there was a good chance by Tuesday or Wednesday you were starting a new gig. Management trainee jobs were good to get all round experience and were plentiful at the time and amongst many other things I got experience at the Otahuhu freezing works with Hellabys and a timber yard with Henderson and Pollard.

My first five elections were all votes cast for Labour, as much out of habit and conditioning as anything else. I was more interested in what was happening on Saturday night than the long term future of the country.

By the end of that fifth election though, I was out the other end of an apprenticeship, married and watching the sense of disbelief and betrayal that the Lange/Douglas Labour government wrought on my father. He never cast another vote for Labour as long as he lived. He could never vote National so he became one of Winston’s supporters.     Read more »

The Huddle at 1740

newstalkzb

It’s Monday and as usual Larry Williams has The Huddle.

There is a slight change this weeks after Josie Pagani showed her right wing credentials they have decided to get a real left winger on the show for tonight and so David Farrar will be joining us.

Our topics will be:

  • Labour – where did it all go so wrong and will their inquiry get to the bottom of the problem. Looking at their terms of reference in relation to this it’s like they are basically looking at EVERYTHING to do with the party in relation to the situation. But I would say that the party’s only as good as the people running it – and they might be in for a  shock when the results of the review come back. They clearly need a good clean out to rejuvenate party in the public’s eye – but they also need behind the scenes people who can come up with effective and strong policy to move them towards the middle ground and become a real opposition party again. They do actually risk becoming irrelevant and leaving the door open for either the Greens or NZ First to be the “opposition”.
  • Then we’ve got the two friends for National in parliament. They feel like faux deals as there doesn’t appear to be much in it for either Peter Dunne or David Seymour – I guess it gives National more of a buffer in the house, but what on earth is an under -secretary? Interesting though that both Dunne and Seymour are happy to roll with their votes going to National for very little relevance in the wider scheme of things.

You can listen online via iHeartRadio and usual methods.

As usual i will post the audio in the morning.

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Chart of the Day

Actually make that charts of the day.

David Farrar has a chart of Labour’s stellar electoral record since 1938.

Labour-eletion-results-560x366

This is a graph of Labour’s general election results in every general election since 1938. I’ve added a trendline in, to reinforce the obvious point. They do go through cycles of relative highs and lows but each high is lower than the one before, and each low is lower than the one before.

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Play or get off the field

As Labour lurches towards utter destruction with David Cunliffe at sixes and sevens there are some out there with good advice.

Lew at Kiwipolitico had this to say about National’s excellence at data-driven campaigns:

I have been criticising Labour, in particular, since at least 2007 on their unwillingness or inability to bring modern data-driven campaign and media strategy to bear in their campaigns — effectively, to embrace The Game and play it to win, rather than regarding it as a regrettable impediment to some pure and glorious ideological victory. Mostly the responses I get from the faithful fall under one or more of the following:

  • National has inherent advantages because the evil old MSM is biased
  • the polls are biased because landlines or something
  • the inherent nature of modern neoliberal society is biased
  • people have a cognitive bias towards the right’s messaging because Maslow
  • it inevitably leads to populist pandering and the death of principle
  • The Game itself devours the immortal soul of anyone who plays ( which forms a handy way to demonise anyone who does play)

But data is not a Ring of Power that puts its users in thrall to the Dark Lord. And, unlike the One Ring, it can’t be thrown into a volcano and the world saved from its pernicious influence. Evidence and strategy are here to stay. Use them, or you’re going to get used. The techniques available to David Farrar and the National party are not magic. They are available to anyone. Whether Labour has poor data or whether they use it poorly I do not know. It looks similar from the outside, and I have heard both from people who ought to know. But it doesn’t really matter. Data is only as good as what you do with it. Whatever they’re doing with it isn’t good enough.

The best example from this campaign isn’t Labour, however — it’s Kim Dotcom. He said on election night that it was only in the past two weeks that he realised how tainted his brand was. He threw $4.5 million at the Internet MANA campaign and it polled less than the Māori Party, who had the same number of incumbent candidates and a tiny fraction of the money and expertise. Had he thought to spend $30,000 on market research* asking questions like those asked by Curia about what New Zealanders think of Kim Dotcom, he could have saved himself the rest of the money, and saved Hone Harawira his seat, Laila Harré her political credibility, and the wider left a severe beating.

That is effective use of data: not asking questions to tell you what you want to hear, but to tell you what you need to know. This electoral bloodletting is an opportunity for the NZ political left to become reality-adjacent, and we can only hope they take it. Because if they don’t, reality is just going to keep winning.

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Labour’s Leadership Problem

Cunliffe - Sh_t

Labour had a shocker of a campaign, which all started when they didn’t do any proper polling or focus groups on their leadership contenders last year.

Arts, Travel and Lifestyle Blogger David Farrar interrupted his hectic world travel schedule to do the kind of research Labour needed to do on Cunliffe last year and was consistently saying he had very high negatives and he would tank Labour’s vote.

For Labour to be relevant again they need to start by doing the kind of research our pinko mate did and find out who can actually connect with Middle New Zealand.

Cunliffe has proven he can’t.

Robertson has similar negatives, so it might be time for Labour to look at someone that actually can reach out to middle New Zealand.

 

Grant Robertson can’t lay claim to the leadership. He massively lost the party vote on the night in his electorate…coming a distant third.  Read more »

Fiji vs NZ – Media blackouts

While I was in Fiji the foreign media, including NZ media were complaining about “censorship of media by the regime”.

It was a constant low grade whine for 3 days….the duration of the media blackout on reporting the election.

The refrain back in NZ by idiots like David Farrar and Barry Soper was the same. “Media need to be free to report”, “this is an outrageous restriction on media freedoms.”..all calls made by various media, and commentators like the idiot from Amnesty International.

Of course they all forgot that we have a media blackout in New Zealand too, it is just that ours is only one day.

Under the Electoral Act, it is an offence to influence a voter in any way on polling day.

This covers who they should or shouldn’t vote for and statements which might influence a person to abstain from voting.

Political parties and the media are included in this, meaning news outlets must not run stories which are likely to influence voters.

Political coverage can start again when voting closes at 7pm.

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Proof the left wing don’t respect democracy

The left wing in New Zealand, ably assisted by a biased media have constantly harped on about Fiji holding elections, returning to democracy and doubting that Frank Bainimarama would even hold elections.

Well he has, they were free and fair and he won!

So what do they now say?

Malcolm Harbrow shows just exactly what the left wing actually thinks about democracy:

Fijians went to the polls yesterday in the first democratic elections in eight years. And with slightly more than half the ballots counted, it looks like they’ve given dictator Voreqe Bainimarama a clear majority. There’s been no allegations of fraud, so it looks like the result is the clear will of the Fijian people.

I’m appalled. I thought Fijians were better than that. Bainimarama seized power at gunpoint, silenced the media, and used intimidation, beatings and torture to retain power. And Fijians voted for him? I guess you get the government you deserve…

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Hager admits book slanted against Nats

Nicky Hager is today saying he left out journalists from his book…along with anything that isn’t vaguely connected with the National party, finally admitting that his work isn’t a piece of journalism at all…instead it is a work of a political hatchet man.

Investigative writer Nicky Hager said he kept some journalists out of the dirt in his latest book Dirty Politics in hope of a cleaner future.

In a small Wintec lecture theatre, Hager let student journalists pick his brain about investigative journalism and his book.

During the intimate Q and A, Hager talked about the Kiwi journalists named in his book.

“If you see a name of a journalist in the book, they are the ones I don’t think have done anything wrong, they’re just incidental to the story. Every journalist who had been taking stories in dodgy ways from David Farrar, one of the bloggers, or Cameron Slater or from the prime minister’s office, I actually left their names out. I decided not to do the journalists basically.”

All apart from Rachel Glucina, who Hager described as “despicable”.

Although Hager highlighted the problem of media being played by Slater and others, he also said he understood the demands of the industry.

“I think that a whole lot of people had done things which were dodgy and wrong. In other words they knew that their prime minister’s office was feeding them information and you could get really easy stories.

“You were being used but it was giving you another headline in a job which is very busy and competitive, where people want to get stuff, so there’s a ton of horrible temptation to keep being an outlet for Cameron Slater and people.     Read more »

And here was me thinking Hager would just bug me

David Farrar and I started a little personal meme when we toured the country in 2008 in the Blogmobile.

We would tell outrageous jokes and then finished them by saying “Sh*t, I hope that doesn’t come out in Nicky Hager’s next book, surely he is bugging us”.

Don;t believe me, go ask David. It is a joke we have continued to this day whenever we meet, or go out for dinner or  are in groups of like minded individuals.

It was always considered a joke…that is until this latest book.

Who would have ever thought that NZ politics would be dragged into a nasty political conspiracy based off of News of the World hacking tactics of a private citizen?

Who would have thought that Nicky Hager would condemn legal and warranted spying by the state but write a book off of the result of illegal spying against a private citizen, and claim strangely that this was all justified?

And who would have thought the left wing would stoop so low as to break the law to achieve a political goal? It should really be no surprise though since most of the complaints to Police about breaches of electoral law are about the left , and to date not a single prosecution has arisen from those complaints.

What we are witnessing though is a concerted political conspiracy to defeat a government, not through better policy, or even election bribes, rather through criminal acts.

The framing of the releases, the manipulation of the media, the gloating and fore-warning by the political left of new hits to come all points to a politically inspired attack the likes of that never seen before.

Mike Williams said yesterday that this was like Watergate, it is an accusation the left have tried to stand up since this began, but it is an accusation that fails until you look at the real scandal here.

There is no doubt now that this is a political hit job. The selective releases, the one-sided narrative, all about things that were neither illegal nor wrong.

There are no releases of emails from disgruntled Labour MPs, or Facebook messages, or files. There are no releases of details of my charity work, donations of time and money to causes such as ADRA or YES. No releases of my disucssions regarding the campaign over Marriage Equality, where I worked with a cross party team to ensure that the legislation passed. No releases of my discussions with Green or NZ First MPs.

It has all been about trying to silence my friends and trying to destroy the government.   Read more »