Duncan Garner

Duncan Garner anoints the next PM: Paula Bennett

I’m not sure why we are picking the next leader of the National Party at this point, we still have an election to get past.  This, to some degree is why the media is broken.  Take a look:

 I reckon this dirty politics saga has hurt him. Throw enough mud and some of it sticks. While Key wasn’t poor in the first TV leaders’ debate on Thursday, I thought he came second.

He lacked cut-through and confidence. You can guarantee he’ll be better next time.

But for now it’s hard not to think that the teflon is wearing off.

Yes, he may well win this election – but the Dirty Politics book will hurt him long-term. It’s the beginning of the end. It happens to all long-serving leaders.

Helen Clark’s former top press secretary used to say the tread goes from the tyres over time – and Key has lost a lot of tread this election campaign.

So who might replace him one day as National’s leader? Let’s rule out some non-starters. Judith Collins had designs on the job but her poor judgment, lack of composure and temperament and underhand tactics rule her out.

Steven Joyce is an option, but he’s likely to be seen as not warm or politically attractive enough.

So what about Social Development Minister Paula Bennett? Read more »

Garner on political xenophobia at election time

Duncan Garner writes:

So suddenly we’re all against selling off farms to foreigners.

Well, it’s not really just foreigners, is it. Let’s be honest – we’re worried about the Chinese buying our farms. They’re not like us. There you go, I said it. Clearly many are thinking it.

Cue Opposition politicians lining up to scratch our collective itch. Nationalism? Racism? Xenophobia? All of the above?

The reality is we’ve been hocking off our farms to overseas buyers for years and no-one seemed too fussed. Australians, Germans, Russians, the Swiss and the Americans – no worries.

But the Chinese are interested now. They have money. They stand out. They want good land to produce protein. And we’ve got huge chunks of lands for sale.

The argument against selling to foreigners lacks all logic and is driven purely by emotion and fear. These are powerful emotions,  and Prime Minister John Key  finds himself in unusual surroundings, on the wrong side of public debate.

Key prides himself on being on the right side of the popular argument. But on this issue he’s isolated and cornered.

It is pure politicking on behalf of Labour, Winston Peters and Colin Craig. The land isn;t going anywhere, and it only seems to be Chinese buyers that these shameless politicians attack.

There has been economic consensus for decades between National and Labour that foreign investment is generally good. It brings in money and jobs that normally wouldn’t be here.

That agreement has convinced foreigners and their companies to continue to invest in and own larger slices of New Zealand.

According to the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa, foreign direct investment or ownership of companies in New Zealand  has increased from $9.7 billion in 1989 to $101.4b last year. That’s about 48 per cent of our entire economy.

Foreigners own us, they pay us and they provide jobs in our country. We’re mostly grateful and don’t really say much.

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Be thankful that he didn’t call you all gold diggers

So, Laila Harré is crying a river of tears because John Key said Kim Dotcom was her sugar daddy.

Personally I would have called her and John Minto, Hone Harawira and all the other hangers on all gold diggers.

Duncan Garner gives Laila Harré a serve.

Laila Harré – harden up.

And welcome back to politics. It hasn’t changed.

So, the Prime Minister said you’re backed by a sugar daddy – Kim Dotcom. So what? Many people will actually agree with him. It’s not really wrong. Is it?

To take offence is to be far too thin-skinned. Harden up, shake it off, but – best of all – just ignore it.

The truth is the Mana-Internet Party is backed by a German billionaire on the run from the authorities. It is what it is: he’s paying you and he’s paying for the party to exist. If he goes, the party goes.

Look the other way and grow a tougher hide. It’s only going to get worse.

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Trial by media, the Police aren’t pleased

Activist feminist + Green Party + TV3 + Herald + Duncan Garner + Paula Penfold = ?

Police are continuing to support Tania who has recently applied to the court to vary the automatic name suppression given to her based on the charges involved. Police did not oppose this course of action as we wanted to support the wishes of the victim.

The process to facilitate Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail’s return to New Zealand is continuing with the support of MFAT.

As the matter remains before the courts, it is not appropriate for Police to make any comment about the circumstances of the offences.

We continue to encourage other commentators on this matter to be mindful of the potential implications on any legal process. Any speculation on the likely outcome of the prosecution process ahead of the alleged offender appearing before the court is premature, unhelpful and risks prejudicing any forthcoming judicial process.

Sorry Police, that ship has sailed.   Read more »

Garner knifes Cunliffe

Duncan Garner in the Dominion Post yesterday slit Cunliffe from scrotum to sternum:

Labour ditched former leader David Shearer because he struggled to string two sentences together on a good day. So surely it couldn’t have got any worse, right? Wrong.

It’s a train wreck under David Cunliffe and Labour’s MPs are grumpy, nervous and wondering what they may be doing for a crust after September 20. The prospect of losing your job and the $150,000 salary always focuses the mind.

This week Labour slumped to 23 per cent in Fairfax’s stuff/Ipsos poll – under Shearer it was in the low 30s when he was dumped.

Cunliffe has taken the party backwards when he promised to take it forward. Could Labour be on track to record its worst-ever election defeat? Yes.

When Cunliffe utters a word or two these days the collective intake of breath among his MPs is simply frightening.

Listening to David Cunliffe this week was very enlightening, he gave away all his tells, and was dreadful under pressure. And this was hardly a big test…but the issues are there, every policy has been destroyed hours after release and then he and Labour are back pedalling.

He’s had a host of gaffes this year – and the best he’s looked was when he shut up and stood in the background while his wife, Karen Price, talked about the birds (chickens) and the bees in an interview at their home.

Cunliffe was parachuted into the job of leader, not because his MPs really wanted him – most dislike him – but because Labour Party members and union affiliates were desperate for someone to articulate their values.

To say he’s been a disappointment is an understatement. After this week’s horrors he looks unelectable as the next prime minister. He’s genuinely gone from bad to worse.

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Sledge of the Day

Paula Bennett and Duncan Garner get in some good sledges on Trevor Mallard in our sledge of the day.

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“That is a big allegation to make” – Drinnan

On a Friday afternoon before a long holiday weekend, the media columnist at the NZ Herald, John Drinnan, published a piece stating around a dozen people at Radio New Zealand are losing their job.

Instead of reporting on something that was already known by those people losing their jobs, they read about it in the paper.

That’s a pretty tough way to discover you’re not going to enjoy your long weekend.

None of these people were named by Drinnan, so the next problem is that a fair proportion of Radio New Zealand staff were heading into a stressful three days instead of a relaxing break.

That was, until the NZ Herald published a retraction.

An opinion column by media columnist John Drinnan earlier today indicated that jobs cuts were imminent at Radio New Zealand following a board meeting yesterday. The RNZ board has since confirmed this is not correct. The Herald regrets the error and any distress it may have caused RNZ staff.

At this point, Duncan Garner chimed in via Twitter mocking Drinnan for his “apology”.  Drinnan replied with words to the effect that a correction was made and no apology was needed.

We have the paper correcting something, but the journalist is not prepared to say sorry for ruining the weekend of quite a number of people.  Not just 12-15, but everyone at Radio New Zealand that are now feeling pretty insecure about life.

Over at Throng, New Zealand’s leading media commentating web site, Regan Cunliffe put Drinnan’s feet to the fire with an article titled What else does John Drinnan make up?   Read more »

Len and Auckland Council telling porkies about SHA consents and housing

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Len Brown was on Radio Live with Duncan Garner last night spouting on about how many consents that Auckland Council has consented in the year to date and patting himself and his Council on their own backs for ‘delivering’ outcomes.

But its all a numbers game using smoke machines and mirrors. The master of slipperiness – Len Brown – didn’t want to answer how many dwelling consents have been approved for developments on SHA (Special Housing Areas) land. And nor could he say how many consents have resulted in construction starts or houses built.

And the reason why he slipped and slid around the questions is because the answer is that not much of anything is consented under SHA’s and not much is being built.

Auckland Council is merely going through the motions. Being seen to be doing things. Because running about town designating land into SHA’s is as easy as farting.

But consenting them and delivering infrastructure – that’s a different kettle of fish.

Developers and land owners are starting to find that the idea of the SHA is noble and can work but its a crap idea if its in the hands of Auckland Council.   Read more »

Duncan Garner on the “sham” and “rort” that is the Internet Party

Following in Paddy’s footsteps, Duncan lets fly

The Internet-Mana Party alliance is a sham and a rort, but MMP allows for it – which is the worst bit.

I’ve seen nothing like it in the history of NZ politics. It is far less transparent than the dodgy electorate seat deals National has done over the years. New Zealanders have every right to be outraged.

This is about an already convicted criminal – a rich internet tycoon wanted on piracy charges, no less – on the run from the United States and sheltering in New Zealand. He’s a had a run in with the NZ Government and the US authorities, so he’s doing all he can to buy his way out of trouble.

It now includes pulling out his cheque-book and paying for a political party and buying people off – so he can keep his sorry backside out of the clink.

It’s as simple as that: he’s paying big money so he doesn’t turn into some sort of dribbling mess behind bars – some reports suggest he’s pumped $4m into setting up this party. So how much is he paying his people?

I asked new leader Laila Harré yesterday, she said she wasn’t sure yet. But money between the two will change hands at some stage, she’s clear on that.

How ridiculous is this, really?   Would anyone just rush to Kim Dotcom and work for free without any sort of employment agreement, contract or letter of understanding?  Would it not at least outline the terms of the agreement, including remuneration?

Here is an even more scary thought:  She did just get started and is winging it. Read more »

Eric Crampton on “public health costs” for sin products like tobacco, sugar, etc

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There is an increasing propensity for health campaigns and their idiot mouthpieces in the media like Duncan Garner to talk about the increasing public health costs of this or that.

The latest target is sugar…but before that we had tobacco and to a certain extent alcohol.

Of course the health busybodies and troughers like to quote massive numbers that they generally fetched from their rectal cavity. No one ever queries how those numbers are derived or justified, they are accepted carte-blanche and then regurgitated as fact.

Eric Crampton however does push back on this.

Health care takes up an increasing part of government budgets due to an expansion in the proportion of basic healthcare covered by governments rather than privately, due to demographic change, and due to increased cost of dealing with those illnesses that were once untreatable. Health budgets are then really salient. Voters are always looking for no-cost ways of saving money. All those political parties that promise vast savings by identifying “efficiencies” and stamping out waste? They’re appealing for a reason.   Read more »