Duncan Garner

Who’s embarrassed now Audrey?

Katie Bradford NZ

Katie Bradford

Alleged leading media commentators had this to say about “ponytailgate”.

NZME. ran the hit job with vigour. They, and other media went all in on John Key’s prat fall.

Audrey Young said this:

Today I’m embarrassed that John Key is Prime Minister.

I have not felt that in the past six-and-a-bit years he had led the country.

But to learn today that he pulled a waitress’s pony-tail on several occasions at his local cafe makes me cringe.

It is one of those stories that denigrates him and his office.

The public don’t agree Audrey.

John Armstrong should be embarrassed too:

The day is surely not far away when John Key’s gift of the gab is unable to talk him out of a political quagmire into which he has so needlessly dug himself.

Whether that day arrived this week is very much in question, suffice to say that, if not, it came perilously close to doing so.

Going up in the polls is a political quagmire?

John Drinnan is another NZ Herald “journaliust” who should be embarrassed too:

drinnan tweet

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Don’t turn up to a street fight in a ministerial limousine

Duncan Garner describes what is going on in Northland, where Winston is nailing National.

I sense the voters are grumpy. Many of them feel neglected. And rightly so.

The roads are simply shit. I drove them yesterday. I drive them regularly. I have a house in the north. The pot holes are so big you could live in them for days.

National has held this seat for 67 of the last 70 years. If this is progress – then what does failure look like?

National has been caught with its tight blue undies around its ankles and Winston Peters is taking full advantage.

It’s fair to say National’s in a street fight, it’s desperate. And it’s clearly showing.

The problem for National is that their much vaunted campaign team have always concentrated on the Party Vote, or run campaigns in by-elections that were not in play.  Read more »

I think he meant stool pigeon

Duncan wrote about one of his rooting incidents at parliament…where he got snapped by lifestyle, arts and fitness blogger David Farrar.

His column was about the rooting duo who became social media fodder after leaving the lights on at the office.

The event reminds me of something that happened to me in my first year at Parliament in 1996. I had the unfortunate (or fortunate) experience of being involved in something similar – without the social media fallout.

I wasn’t the bar patron that night. I was one of two people in the fishbowl.

It was after a National Party “caucus event” (code for a boozy night). In those days these shindigs went into the wee small hours and most people got well and truly liquored.

As I recall I left the party with a (girl) friend and ended up rolling around on the floor of a junior Cabinet minister’s office in Bowen House, next to Parliament.

It was late, the lights were on but it was dark outside. I couldn’t see out – so I had a false sense of security.

As we left the office we went past the patient cleaners in the corridor who were waiting and I jumped into the lift and went home. When I arrived at work the next day my boss Linda Clark pulled me aside and laughed in my face.

“Garner,” she cried, “I know everything.”    Read more »

Garner is onto it with road safety

Duncan Garner talks about the focus on foriegn drivers and the silly ideas to force them to sit tests upon arrival.

Another horror holiday road toll, another round of national angst about foreign drivers.

It must be every motorist’s worst nightmare – rounding a corner to see more than 1000kg of metal hurtling towards you on your side of the road (regardless of the other driver’s ethnicity).

Are we being racist when it comes to foreign drivers? At first glance the numbers suggest there’s good reason for concern.

In 2013 overseas drivers were involved in at least 558 crashes resulting in death or injury. It may have been as high as 800 crashes according to the Transport Agency but they don’t collect data from every crash.

In three-quarters of the incidents, the foreigners were found at fault. Eleven of the crashes were fatal.

Grim reading. But it’s pretty clear the Government isn’t going to buckle and force visitors to sit some sort of driving test before they grab the keys to a rental car and set off on the open road.

Some safety advocates want travellers banned from renting cars unless they pass an online driving test. Some have called for drivers to sit a practical test. But that’s just not “practical” is it?

Where are these people meant to do it? Drive a car around a busy airport car park? And really, how effective would it be.

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I’ve got bad news for Bryce Edwards

Bryce Edwards must have hit the crack pipe before writing his last woeful column of the year.

Apparently National had a horror year…or so the headline screams.

Yes, John Key’s National Government won a spectacular third term victory. And yesterday the Herald gave the reasons that National can be positive about its achievements – see the editorial, Govt comes out on top in colourful year.

And nearly every political journalist has awarded John Key the title of Politician of the Year – see, for example, Patrick Gower’s Politician of the Year.

But, it was still an incredibly torrid year for National, and even the PM pointed to the election campaign as one of his low moments of the year – see TV3’s Key found campaign ‘a low-light’ for 2014.

Tracy Watkins also stresses that it’s been a terrible year for the National Government: ‘His government was assaulted on every front with scandal, trouble and controversy. Ministers resigned, his coalition allies ended the year diminished, and he ended the year looking evasive and tarnished by his links to dirty tricks and shock jock blogger WhaleOil’ – see: One clear winner, plenty of dashed hopes.

Not only did the election campaign take its toll, but as I pointed out recently in another column, The downfall of John Key, the challenges and allegations of Dirty Politics were really starting to bite after the election. See also, A year of (neverending) Dirty Politics.

Even Matthew Hooton thinks the Government has suffered, especially since their election victory, and he details National’s incredibly arrogant behaviour since the election, pointing to the main offenders: John Key, Christopher Finlayson, and Gerry Brownlee – see: For John Key: summer of reflection please (paywalled).

Likewise, Duncan Garner says that although Key deserves to be the ‘politician of the year’, ‘The first few months of the new regime have been largely underwhelming. Not telling the truth about his contact with attack blogger WhaleOil hurt the prime minister. It was a royal stuff-up and he admits this privately’ – see: Key my politician of the year, but now for the third-term blues. Garner believes the Key’s reputation is on the decline: ‘It’s happening for Key, slowly. His jokes don’t seem as funny. He looks more haunted and hunted these days’.

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Garner’s winners and losers

Duncan Garner has published his list of winners and losers for 2014.

I will be talking with Garner at 1545  about this on Radio Live.

My political winners and losers of the year.

WINNERS

1. JOHN KEY

For all the obvious reasons. He is still the PM and he is still widely popular according to the polls. He had the kitchen sink thrown at him and he almost won the election outright. He’ll have to watch it doesn’t go to his head.

2. ANDREW LITTLE

Couldn’t win a fight in a kindergarten but ends the year on top. His caucus didn’t want him, his party didn’t want him, his electorate didn’t want him. Yet he ends the year looking strong and competent as Labour’s new leader.

3. KELVIN DAVIS

He beat Hone Harawira and therefore beat Kim Dotcom – do I have to say anymore?

4. SUE BRADFORD

She knew Dotcom and Harawira were in an unholy alliance and she put her principles before it all. She called it right – she has values and principles that are beyond reproach whether you agree with her politics or not.

5. CAM SLATER – WHALEOIL.

Yes he’s a dirt-bag, muck-raking, scum-bag attack blogger, but he likes it that way. He doesn’t play by any rule book yet he’s been judged a journalist by the courts. Despite having his dirty laundry aired for the world to see he remains talked about, his blog gets more hits than ever, he breaks stories and the PM returns his texts. Oh and he wins mainstream media awards.

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What could Delahunty’s excuse be for Charter School Lie?

catherine-delahunty-1200

When trying to attack NZ Charter Schools on RadioLive on Monday Catherine Delahunty was trying to sound at least a tiny bit credible. So when Duncan Garner asked her if she had even bothered to visit one – she lied and said she had.

On Tuesday afternoon Garner exposed it.

Here are 6 things that may be offered as excuses in a situation like that.

– as the Greens spokesperson for education I am not expected to tell the truth.    Read more »

Can Duncan Garner Count?

Duncan Garner’s addled brain may have let him down in a piece on the Labour Leadership on Stuff.

Duncan is known as a man who is all too fond of the good life, and trying to keep up with Winston Peters may have eroded some of his brain cells. I was once taught that you have one mouth and two ears and they should be used in that ratio. All too often Duncan Garner uses his with entirely the wrong ratio.

Garner writes this about Stuart Nash winning Napier. It shows that the comments above are both justified and perhaps even a little kind.

I like Stuart Nash. He’s a totally likeable rogue.

But he’s dreaming isn’t he? This is just a vanity thing. He’s drunk his own Kool-Aid.

He’s the Shane Jones of this race. He’s red-blooded and proud of it. And if there’s going to be a race – then he wants to be part of it. He’s got lead in his pencil after winning Napier – just don’t mention he only got there because the Conservative’s Garth McVicar split the vote on the right.

So Stuart Nash won Napier because the conservatives split the vote.

Did you actually look at the results Duncan? Or were you too busy gobbing off and not actually listening and analysing.

Here is the analysis Duncan. I’m posting it for you so you can continue with the wine, women and song rather than having to do any actual thinking. It’s ok I’m used to having to provide real analysis when other drop the ball.   Read more »

John Armstrong’s ‘Moment of Struth’ column was dead right

John Armstrong, I thought, had his moments during the campaign, losing the plot several times and abandoning his normally objective view of politics.

Let’s reprise his column of September 17, just three days before the election where he predicted there would be a back lash against Kim Dotcom and the left wing who embraced and invested in his conspiracy theories.

Hell hath no fury like a voter who feels he or she has been treated like a fool.

The political left was already paying a heavy price at this election for displaying the characteristics which leave voters stone cold – namely disunity, political incompetence and not a little arrogance.

The left may now pay an even bigger price on Saturday thanks to Kim Dotcom’s Moment of Truth evaporating into a Moment of Struth – as in “struth, was that all he had to reveal” after months of squashing much else far more worthy of debate out of the political picture.

So robust was Dotcom’s evidence of prime ministerial untruths supposed to be that it would sink John Key faster than the Bismarck. Instead it is Dotcom who is now facing a backlash for failing to deliver.

So far, that backlash is confined to media who have been strung along for months. Voters may be more tolerant – but only up to a point. They take objection to being hoodwinked.

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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 »