David Farrar

Former colleagues on Brash: NZ dodged a bullet

Deborah Coddington attempts to destroy what is left of the political zombie corpse that is Don Brash

New Zealand dodged a bullet in terms of its prime minister when National lost the election under Don Brash.

When Kim Hill interviewed him last Saturday about his self-published autobiography, Luck, he said that in 1840 Maori were “a stone-age people” and “all cultures are not of equal value”.

But he frequently disdains tangata whenua culture as “animism”.

Now I’ve formed the opinion, from his statements and writings, that behind that mask of politeness which prompted one reviewer to call him a “likeable duffer”, he’s also supremely chauvinistic. Brash’s dismissal of women is breathtakingly arrogant.

I don’t just refer to his philandering – many people have affairs but grown-ups take responsibility. Brash blames his infidelity on “the male biological urge”. Not his fault then.

There’s also a certain decorum one should adopt when it comes to former lovers: Don’t talk about it in public. In short, shut up. Brash didn’t have to publish what he calls “the salacious bits”.

That he did is appalling bad manners, and I suspect he enjoys a kind of “Aren’t I naughty?” frisson from telling us about his sex life. Little wonder, as he himself says, he has few friends.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Brash is somewhere along the autism spectrum.  His talents with numbers are undeniable.  The destruction of people he has left in his wake on the other hand is an omnishambles.   Read more »

Clark as the architect of Labour’s woes

I have said for years that labour is deep trouble, and my reasoning has been that Helen Clark so dominated Labour in the late 90s and up until 2008 that she built the party in her image and required that those selected as MPs beneath her would never be of a calibre to ever challenge her. She maintained a strict ratio of the factions and indeed created more factions.

Once she left however the wheels started to come off the trolley.

Kiwi in America writes at David Farrar’s art, lifestyle, fitness and travel blog about this precise issue. It is TL;DR to most but I have taken the time to read it and found the best bit.

Cunliffe’s failings as LOO have been well canvassed on this and other right leaning blogs and in the mainstream media. They are real and look set to seal Labour’s fate in 2014 barring some catastrophic scandal from Key and the Nats. But really the premise of this essay is that Labour would be in this pickle regardless of who in the current caucus was the leader. Clark made sure that no charismatic rising star would ever make it to caucus or Cabinet to interfere with her goal of winning four elections and eclipsing Holyoake as the longest serving NZ PM in the modern party era. I alluded to one such person I met in my time in Labour who, absent Clark and the sisterhood’s purge, would be causing Key and National major heartburn if he were the LOO today. Clark dispatched him and many others like him. Look at Labour’s entire caucus. Who in there could seriously challenge Key? There is no one. Read more »

Mallard and Dyson shafted by their own team in boundary redraw

It is looking increasingly like Labour’s own advisor to the Electoral Commission has worked very hard at shafting Ruth Dyson and Trevor Mallard. So much so he has missed some strange looking boundary adjustments in other areas.

Jadis has performed some very good analysis of the changes over at the lifestyle, travel and arts blog of David Farrar. From the looks of it there are no winners on the left side of politics.

And most of the losers are Labour.

Losers:

Ruth Dyson, Port Hills – Dyson is the biggest loser in this boundary review.  Her majority has been reversed with the Nats stronghold of Halswell moving into the seat, and Anderton’s old stomping ground of Sydenham moving into Christchurch Central.  Dyson will have a real battle to hold this, even with the Nats putting in a new candidate.  How winnable the seat is very much depends on the strength of the Nat candidate, but a good candidate could take the seat with a 2000 majority.  I’d be gutted if I was Dyson as Pete Hodgson (who did the boundaries for Labour) is a good mate of hers.  Perhaps this is Labour’s new (poor) strategy of retiring MPs.

Trevor Mallard, Hutt South – This is the surprise of the final boundaries.  Mallard has gained all of the  Western Hills (good Nat territory) and lost super red areas of Naenae and Rimutaka. Labour should have been able to stop this occurring but appear to have put up no fight.  Mallard should be furious with his party for failing to keep Hutt South a real red seat.  Why didn’t Hodgson fight hard for Mallard?  Was it a directive from on high?  Realistically, Mallard should hold the seat but he’ll be working hard for it and never should have been put in this position. I expect Mallard’s majority to be pegged down a few.  Read more »

Trotter: ‘the phrase “Labour/Greens government” does not pass the plausibility test’

Chris Trotter explains why David Cunliffe has pushed the toxic Greens out into the cold.

The answer, I believe, is to be found in the voters Labour’s campaign strategists (most particularly the political scientist and polling specialist, Rob Salmond) have identified as the primary target of Labour’s election campaign. These are not the legendary “missing million” who declined to cast a ballot three years ago, but a much more manageable group of around 300,000 men and women who have voted for Labour in the past (2005, 2008) but who, for a whole host of reasons, sat out the General Election of 2011.

Salmond’s argument is that these voters can be readily “re-activated” if Labour presents them with a plausible pitch for their support. The key-word there is “plausible”, and outside Labour-held electorates in the main centres there is every reason to believe that the phrase “Labour/Greens government” does not pass the plausibility test.

The evidence for this comes, paradoxically, from the National Party. Simon Bridges’ ridiculous comments about the 50-odd mining permits issued on Russel Norman’s watch is only the most extreme example of what is obviously an agreed Government strategy to conflate Labour and the Greens into a single, politically extreme, electoral bogeyman. David Farrar’s polls and Crosby-Textor’s focus-groups have clearly thrown up a powerful negative reaction to the idea of Labour joining forces with the Greens. So much so that National is doing everything within its power to imbed the idea deep in the electorate’s psyche.

And, if National’s voter research is picking up this negative anti-Green vibe, how long can it be before Labour’s own pollster, UMR, and its focus-group convenors start detecting similar sentiments in their own samplings? And if they do, is it really credible to suggest that Labour should simply ignore them? If the party’s whole electoral strategy is based on persuading those 300,000 former Labour voters to return to the fold, and the Labour/Greens proposition is going to make that less likely, then what possible motive would Labour have for accepting the Greens’ invitation?  Read more »

The Huddle

newstalkzb

I was on NewstalkZB this evening with Larry Williams and his show The Huddle. With me was another pinko, arts and travel blogger David Farrar.

Our topics were:

The polls are out and the Mana Party’s still willing to sell it’s soul (if it has one) to get in with Kim Dotcom – all because Dotcom doesn’t like John Key. There’s been a bit of an  improvement for NZ First – is that because people are forgetting his track record. (A high probability given the age of the NZ First support base!)

Then the travel ban for Fiji has been lifted. This leads the way to full democratic elections in September. For all his bad though, it appears Bainimarama has kept things relatively stable and is popular amongst the peeps and likely to win.   Read more »

The Huddle at 1740

newstalkzb

I am on NewstalkZB this evening with Larry Williams and his show The Huddle. With me will be another pinko, arts and travel blogger David Farrar.

Our topics will be:

The polls are out and the Mana Party’s still willing to sell it’s soul (if it has one) to get in with Kim Dotcom – all because Dotcom doesn’t like John Key. There’s been a bit of an  improvement for NZ First – is that because people are forgetting his track record. (A high probability given the age of the NZ First support base!)  Read more »

Calling bulldust on Dotcom’s claims of a sitting MP

Kim Dotcom, well used to making outlandish claims and false statements has claimed he has talked to 12 MPs and has one signed up but has a confidentiality agreement in place that prevents him naming this traitorous MP.

Stuff reports:

He repeated his claim that it would be represented in Parliament, whether or not it achieved the 5 per cent MMP threshold for list seats, because a sitting electorate MP would join.

He would not name the person or say which party he or she represented, because of a confidentiality agreement, but it was not Harawira. The MP’s name would be revealed in June.

I don’t think he will get to June. It will become apparent in short order that he is F0S.

David Farrar doesn’t think he has a traitor MP signed up either.

There are 70 electorate MPs. 42 in National, 22 in Labour, three in Maori Party, and one each in ACT, United Future and Mana. He says it is not Harawira. Well with respect, I’d say the claim is bullshit, and designed to make them seem relevant and undo the damage done from his vow to wind up the party and endorse another if not at 5%.   Read more »

Rolling Stones Concert Review – Macau

If David Farrar can get away with reviewing boring plays then for my election year comeback to blogging I can warm up by reviewing the best show in the world. - Cactus Kate 

There was an horrific moment when in Sunday nights epic Macau Rolling Stones gig we saw what the band would have been like if Mick Jagger was hit by a bad eight ball and Keith Richards became front man. It was the stuff of nightmares with the only suitable remedy a quick trip to the concession stand.

I first heard the Stones music when the third man with a twenty (mumble) year age gap I semi co-habited with made me listen to them every second I was with him. In the morning most “older” men read the paper in a polite ritualistic request for silent time originating  from too much time alone with the first wife. He would regurgitate Stones trivia. As a result of environmental necessity I absorbed quite a bit but never questioned his claim to have seen the Stones in Auckland in 1966.  The maths didn’t add up.

When relationships are over less fortunate and far needier women often get a too large home, European car or beachfront bach.  Some of them even get custody of high maintenance things like children. I got something way cooler – not only an almost complete education but all of his Rolling Stones CDs. With the advent of iTunes I was eventually able to respectfully courier them back to their home.

During this past decade of OE I’ve never been in the right place to watch a Stones concert. As luck would have it this time I was.  It did mean going to the Mainland sewer of sin and trekking through the smoke filled Venetian casino floor in a quest to seek my more than adequate accommodation. It was so adequate that but for the concert downstairs I would never have left.  As it was true to Macau form I never left the hotel complex I stayed at.  Read more »

Cunliffe being tricky about his CV again

Back in September when his CV troubles started David Cunliffe said this:

“To my knowledge, no CV that I’ve put out has claimed that I hold an MBA [Masters of Business Administration] from Harvard Business School. I’ve always said I hold an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School, sometimes called the John F Kennedy School.”

A biography posted on the Labour party website until recently said: “He was a Fulbright Scholar at Harvard University’s John F Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Business School, where he graduated with a Master of Public Administration.”

Then on Q+A on Sunday morning he said this:

Read more »

Do we still need the maori seats?

Yesterday the National party completed two selections, Whangarei and Napier. Both candidates are maori, Shane Reti in Whangarei and Wayne Walford in Napier.

David Farrar, on Facebook, asks whether or not we still need maori seats. It seems that just with National alone maori representation has never been higher.

National has had two hotly contested selections this weekend for National held seats. Shane Reti won Whangarei and Wayne Walford won Napier. As it happens they are both Maori. No quotas involved. No racial equivalent of a man ban. No head office deciding. All decisions made by 60+ local members and delegates.

National already has nine Maori MPs. They may have 11 after the election. And unlike some other parties, they select Maori MPs in winnable general seats such as Waitakere, Tauranga, Northland, Botany and also now Whangarei and Napier.   Read more »