Don Brash

Could convergence become an issue

Labour continues to be mired in the 20s, the Greens are slowly climbing towards the 20s…hoovering up the disaffected hard left of Labour as The Cunliffe continues to disappoint.

Could convergence become an issue, where the Greens supplant Labour as the largest opposition party.

Matthew Hooton discussed that in his column at the NBR:

Don’t rule out convergence.

Labour’s disastrous decision to replace David Shearer with David Cunliffe and spend nearly a year swinging to the far left has inevitably crashed its poll numbers.

The recent ploy to swing back to the centreappears to have come too late. The days are long gone when Mr Shearer had Labour polling around the mid-30s and, with the Greens in the low teens, well on track to become prime minister. In both the major polls released this week, Roy Morgan and Fairfax-Ipsos, Mr Cunliffe’s Labour was languishing under 25%.

Both polls were taken mainly after Mr Cunliffe’s apology for being a man, but also after his major education announcements. Despite Labour strategists privately claiming their internal polling responded favourably, the public polls suggest that the promises of cheap laptops and slightly smaller classes have failed to capture the imagination of middle-class parents.

Worse for Labour, while there may be good evidence the polls tend to overestimate National’s support by around 5% at the expense of smaller parties, the trend line for Labour in at least the last two elections has almost exactly predicted its actual party vote.

In 2011, Phil Goff led Labour to its worst result since 1925. If Mr Cunliffe’s tilt to the centre continues to fail, he risks taking New Zealand’s oldest political party below the 24% it won in the first two elections following the World War I.

Poll numbers also have an element of self-fulfilling prophecy. People don’t like voting for losers. As the election nears, Labour risks losing a crucial few further points to the Greens, Internet-Mana and NZ First.

Bill English currently wears the electoral dunce cap in the New Zealand parliament, having led National to its 21% debacle in 2002. The finance minister may dare to hope he might finally get to pass it on to Mr Cunliffe after September 20.

For all this, the risk of a change of government remains high.   Read more »

Herald Editorial on attacks against them for bias

The Labour party is demanding an apology from the NZ Herald, their paid staffers who blog anonymously at The Standard are running a campaign of letter writing and bullying against the Herald and this morning they responded…by saying diddums.

It is common in election years for political parties under pressure to attempt to shoot the messenger. In 2005, the Herald was stridently criticised and accused of bias by National supporters for our reportage of Dr Don Brash and the Exclusive Brethren. In 2008 it was the turn of Winston Peters and his New Zealand First people to call for resignations of the editor and political editor for the inconvenient revelation of funding from millionaire Owen Glenn, despite his “No” sign. Last election it was National partisans again, livid at the Herald on Sunday and Heraldfor John Key and John Banks talking openly before a microphone accidentally left on their “cup of tea” table in a cafe.

This year it is the turn of Labour and its leader, David Cunliffe, incensed at reporting on the donations to the party and its MPs by the controversial Chinese migrant Donghua Liu — and that party’s connections to him.

Mr Cunliffe is considering unspecified legal options against the Herald. Party supporters have weighed in with accusations of political bias and complicated right-wing conspiracies.

The noise obscures the validity of the Herald‘s reporting.

I don’t think the Herald is inherently biased. The Donghua Liu story shows that. Some staff may well be biased, but the Herald as a whole is not…though it has taken a more left wing slant in recent years. There is nothing wrong with that…the audience will leave and something new will come along, that is the way of media.  Read more »

A reader emails about the so-called “missing million”

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A reader shares his thoughts about the “missing million”:

The ‘Missing Million’ Theory is being dragged out on a increasing regularity now that the Left increasing despairs at the polling results, this suits their agenda in two ways:

1) They can say the polls don’t pick up this million in the polling activity - therefore they are actually performing better

2) It is becoming increasingly apparent with their desertion of the middle ground they need to lock into another source of vote or they will end up cannibalising their own Block.

The biggest problem they face is how exactly they will convince this Million to vote (let alone enrol).  Read more »

Mike Smith – On Labour’s Mantra of Misery

There is trouble inside Labour.

Former General Secretary, Mike Smith, the guy who lied to Police and the Electoral Commission over the pledge card, is being very vocal now about how dreadful David Cunliffe is.

David Cunliffe badly needs a new stump speech. On Thursday in Whanganui I heard him depress a large and sympathetic audience for ten minutes with tales of national woe, then promise a positive campaign but give no details. It is good to know that a positive campaign is proposed. Labour has promised an economic upgrade; it also needs a communications upgrade, and besides being positive it must be relevant. That could shift the polls.

The policy bones are all there – they’re just not connected in a narrative that relates to voters. Because they are not connected they can’t be repeated, so too much communication is undisciplined and unfocussed, as we saw last week from several players. Focussed and disciplined communications are necessary for voters to have a clear idea of what is on offer, how it relates to them, and why Labour’s alternative is best for them and for the country.

It is the mantra of misery and it besets everything that Labour says and does.

Message relevance is critical; this was key to Labour’s late communication in 2005, described to some extent by Mike Williams in today’s Herald. Relevant communication to non-voters was critical to Labour coming from behind to lead on election day. Don Brash is still crying in the beer about it. And while I’m on 2005, getting Labour’s numbers up is also critical to post-election decisions. The lead party will have first crack at forming a government, and much will depend on the numbers on the day.   Read more »

Don Brash on John Banks

Don Brash posted this on Facebook about John Banks, and notes the hypocrisy of the left wing, especially the Labour party.

So the court has found John Banks guilty. Three observations.

First, I have known John Banks for 30 years and have not found him to be anything other than an honest man.

Second, it is a huge tragedy for a man who has overcome great personal difficulties; served with distinction as a Member of Parliament, as a Minister, and as the mayor of Auckland; and helped to raise three Russian orphans.

But third, when I contrast what John Banks was found by the court to have done with what Helen Clark’s Labour Party did in 2005 – without the slightest attempt by the Police to call her to account – the offence of which he has been found guilty is utterly trivial.  Read more »

So who will be the leader of the Internet Party?

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There is ongoing speculation as to who will be the Internet party leader to take orders directly from Kim Dotcom.

We know from our numerous sources inside the mansion that Paul Brislen was asked repeatedly by Vikram Kumar to step up.

We know that Don Brash was asked personally by Kim Dotcom.

We know that Clare Curran was also asked.

We also know that Kim Dotcom spent a considerable amount of time asking John Campbell to leave his media job at TV3 to become the leader of the Internet party.    Read more »

The Letter asks “What happened to the ACT vote?”

Kiwiblog has a piece from a reader: “I have recently performed some statistical analyses of results from the 2008 and 2011 elections, in order to test a theory about voter behaviour in 2011”. The analysis shows the Conservatives got their vote from National, all wasted. NZ First also took votes away from National. The reader says his analyses show “contrary conclusions among the commentariat (eg that the low turnout hurt Labour)”; “it was National voters (more than Labour voters) who stayed home”. (source)

What happened to ACT’s vote? The Letter knows many ACT voters who think National is just pale blue Labour. Last election they stayed at home. In Jamie Whyte these “real” ACT supporters have someone they can vote for.

I didn’t “stay at home”.  I stopped voting for ACT.

It isn’t because ACT, on paper, doesn’t represent the kind of policies I want to see.  To the contrary.  I very much believe in personal responsibility, minimal government and pragmatism in law and order.

All of these ideas, and more, are poorly represented by the National Party.

But it had become clear that ACT was disorganised, off-message, and suffering the results of people that weren’t talented enough, people who were infighting and people who made for very poor ambassadors for ACT policy.   Read more »

Labour’s new ‘big tool’ is “nuts” – Brash

Many on the left wing are claiming that Don Brash supports Labour’s new ‘big tool’.

Which if you think about that for just a moment is hilarious as they demonised the guy for years.

Nonetheless they are quoting selectively and when you look at what he actually said he thinks the whole plan is “nuts”.

So many people will be exempt from Labour’s compulsory KiwiSaver plan that it won’t achieve anything, says former Reserve Bank Governor Don Brash.

If elected, Labour has promised to follow Australia’s lead and introduce compulsory retirement saving, and use a variable savings rate to cool the economy, in addition to the current practise of manipulating the official cash rate.

Labour says this means cash taken out of the economy goes into KiwiSaver, staying in Kiwi hands rather than being siphoned into Australian-owned banks.

But the Government has slammed the scheme, Finance Minister Bill English saying its proposed benefits are “wishful thinking”. The plan has also been criticised as helping people who already own homes, but doing nothing for renters and those trying to save for a house.

Dr Brash says the scheme has “some merit”, as it gives the Reserve Bank another tool to fight inflation and keep value of the dollar down.

“There needs to be some way of taking pressure off the exchange rate, and the Reserve Bank itself can’t fix that, despite views to the contrary… you need some other instrument,” he said on Firstline this morning.

But with Labour signalling a number of exemptions to its compulsory KiwiSaver, he doubts it will work.

It won’t have much beneficial effect actually, because many people will be exempt from it: superannuitants won’t be caught, beneficiaries won’t be caught, David Cunliffe was saying yesterday low-income people might not be caught, self-employed aren’t caught,” says Dr Brash.

Read more »

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Shane Jones outed as another Dotcom visitor

Shane Jones has been outed as yet another politician who has been out to the mansion, and more importantly is it was a recent visit as Jones informed his leader David Cunliffe.

Adam Bennett reports:

Labour’s Shane Jones said he visited the mansion late last year. But the discussion was limited to rap-music – and he had told leader David Cunliffe about the visit.

This confirms information that I have received from business interests concerned about Shane Jones’ actions with regard to Kim Dotcom. Labour insiders assure me that Jones is not doing any sort of deal with Dotcom, but I’m not convinced yet. After all who travels from their luxury accommodation at SkyCity all the way out to Coatesville to talk about rap music….surely they could have done that over Skype or the phone?

Journalists though now have further confirmation of Dotcom’s meddling in the politics of New Zealand and also confirmation that David Cunliffe has been aware of visits by his own MPs.   Read more »

Harawira confirms cozying up to Dotcom

Earlier this morning I broke the news of a cozy deal between Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party and the Mana party.

Now Hone Harawira has confirmed that he is yet another MP who has bent his knee to Kim Dotcom.

“Last year I was invited to meet with Kim Dotcom, but I declined because I didn’t want to get swamped by the Labour, Greens and NZ First pilgrimages to the mansion,” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau.

“But when the invitation was extended again earlier this year I decided to accept, but not at Coatesville. I met with Dotcom at my mates place on the Shore where we discussed a number of issues:

• How much we both dislike the way John Key has allowed NZ’s intelligence services to be used as pawns by American big business against a New Zealand resident;
• How much we both dislike John Key’s cavalier dismissal of the rights of ordinary New Zealanders;
• How well things are going in the Bundesliga;
• How bleak NZ’s future under National will look if John Key keeps floggin’ off our key assets;
• What MANA would like to see in a positive future for Aotearoa;
• What Dotcom might want to see happen in Aotearoa; and
• What wonderful beaches we have in Aotearoa.   Read more »