Green Party

Mitchell Muscles up on Dodgy Dotcom

Mark Mitchell has accused Kim Dotcom  of meddling in our parliament under parliamentary privilege today.

He outlines an altercation last year where  Kim Dotcom made threats against the Prime Minister. Mark is no sook, he’s stood up to scumbags like Joseph Kony, Victor Bout, Muqtada al-Sadr, all of whom came off second best. The incident in An Nasiriyah was perhaps the most brutal:

The closest Mitchell and his men came to being killed was in 2004, during a five-day siege of the An Nasiriyah compound, home to diplomats, officials, coalition forces and security staff.

The uprising Shi’a militia, led by Muqtada al-Sadr, was putting coalition forces under pressure across the country. The Italian-controlled compound was surrounded and under sustained attack. Mitchell was charged with defending it.

“They’d hit us during the day with mortar fire, and at night mount a physical attack. My team’s responsibility was the roof. We were very exposed. It was hot, dusty. We didn’t get much sleep and we had to ration our food. I saw every human emotion over those days.”

Armed with AK47s and two 50-calibre machine guns, they kept the militia at bay until coalition forces regained control. Their efforts would later be rewarded with a commendation from the Italian government.

The compound was evacuated and within 48 hours, Mitchell was having a barbecue and talking to his neighbours in Taupo. “That was surreal. I couldn’t really talk to people about it, as it was hard to comprehend.”

Did he kill anyone? “We were fighting for our lives, and the lives of the diplomats. There were casualties on both sides.” That’s all he’ll say on the matter.

During the siege, Mitchell worked closely with British Governor Rory Stewart, who headed the compound’s diplomat contingent. Stewart has made the leap into politics, and is a Conservative MP for Penrith, England. Stewart wrote a book on his time in Iraq, and Brad Pitt’s production company has bought the rights to his story.

So who’ll play Mitchell in the movie? “I’m hoping George Clooney, rather than Danny de Vito.’

He’s certainly not afraid of an overweight sour Kraut.

Read more »

Green Taliban global trotting Les Mills boss tells centre right voters to take a hike

LM2012_2mills

The body of a half sucked throatie and the sancitmony of the Green taliban

Here is some useful consumer advice.  Centre right voters can save $1,000 to $2,000 every year by canning their Les Mills membership.

It is kinder on the wallet, better for the environment and gives the two-fingers to the Les Mills CEPO who is using your Les Mills membership dues to back the Labour and Green Party’s.

Philip Mills has piped up on Duncan Garner’s show to explain the dosh he handing out; it’s inaction on climate change – the defining issue of our time he says.

It’s at Radiolive (listen in the 545pm slot 5’55” into it from yesterday’s show).  It will make you spew.

If that is the case, that this is the defining issue of our time, then why doesn’t he offer a membership discount to Labour, Green members and to Gareth Morgan, so that his colours are truly clear.

If that’s the case, , that this is the defining issue of our time, then perhaps he should shut down Les Mills International, which, on his Linkedin Profile, says is “the world’s largest distributor of branded group-exercise programming for health clubs. The ten Les Mills programs (led by BODYPUMP®, the original barbell class) are taught by 90,000 certified instructors in 14,000 licensed clubs in 80 countries.”  Read more »

Brian Edwards scolds Cunliffe

My good friend Brian Edwards really has taken a break from his break in blogging and offered up some advice to David Cunliffe regarding cuddling the Green party.

This is essentially a rerun of the arguments against too close an association between Labour and the Alliance in 1999. But Labour won that election in a landslide.

And there’s a major difference between the Alliance then and the Greens today.  The Alliance would  survive for only three years in Parliament. The Greens are today a major political force, currently with 14 seats in Parliament. And, under the Norman/Turei leadership, they have largely lost their image as environmental flakes.

In my submission, far from weakening Labour’s electoral chances, a formal pre-election coalition agreement with the Greens would have created a strong centre-left force, a blend of pragmatism and idealism, clearly differentiated from National  and with wide electoral appeal. And strength in numbers.

Cunliffe’s rejection of the Greens’ pre-election engagement proposal has merely served to bolster the public view of a divided left, incapable of getting its act together, let alone running the country.   Read more »

Winston scolds the Green Taliban for “unsuccessful politics”

Someone’s found a couple of spare D batteries and reanimated Winston Peters.  I haven’t seen him this energised since he denied Owen Glenn had given his party some extra pocket money.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has accused the Green Party of attempting to destabilise the Labour Party over its approach to Labour for a pre-election coalition agreement.

Labour leader David Cunliffe this week rejected the Green proposal for the two parties to campaign as a “Labour-Greens Government” in waiting, preferring to stick with a “Labour-led Government”. But he has said he expected to negotiate a coalition agreement with the Greens after the election.

Mr Peters said Labour was right to reject it and saw it for what it was.

“You have an attempt by one party to destabilise another party by seeming to offer friendship and collaboration in a deal before the election campaign has even started, knowing full well that the other party has not invited that and does not want that. What do you call that? I call it unsuccessful politics.

“I think the Labour Party saw it for what it was and they are probably relieved.

“I am not surprised it was rejected.”

Mr Peters said the Greens would have known what Labour’s response would be and therefore putting up the proposal and making it public was “an attempt to torpedo the strategy of another party”.

To be honest, Labour and Greens fighting in public is a bit like a couple that are only together for the kids.  The love just isn’t there, and every  move is one out of self interest while forgetting the children will be the ones that suffer.   Read more »

John Armstrong on Labour’s impending civil war

Armstrong’s pegged it right:  the War Room won’t be so much used to take down the National Party instead of causing a severe amount of collateral damage to their own side

Having turned its caucus room in Parliament Buildings into a war room staffed almost around the clock by policy wonks, political strategists, experts in social media, plus assorted press secretaries – all in readiness for the coming general election – the Labour Party may find itself with another war on its hands before then. Or something close to it.

The “enemy” on this occasion will not be National. Neither will it be Act. Nor United Future. Nor Colin Craig’s Conservatives. Nor even Kim Dotcom and his Internet Party.

No, this war will be of the internecine variety where the combatants all come from the same neck of the (political) woods.

It will have been sparked by the seemingly endless positioning and posturing ahead of September’s election which will count for little in the aftermath. But this week it all turned ugly for the Greens. And things may yet get uglier still.

It may be that fate has decreed that the power struggle between Labour and the Greens takes centre stage at the worst possible time for the centre-left.

It may not come to open warfare. But the dismissive, almost contemptuous attitude displayed by David Cunliffe with regard to a supposed ally is bound to rankle deeply wherever Green Party members gather.

You can be assured there will be a response; that there will no longer be any scruples about upstaging Labour on the hustings.

Labour are not so much in a war mongering mind set as they are in a siege mindset.  This is all about survival of those at the bottom of the party list.

David Cunliffe and his “strategists” know that a friendly face towards the Greens before the election will result in job losses for Labour, and increased power for the Greens.

If you were in Cunliffe’s shoes, what would you do?  Maybe get a chance to take down National as an equal coalition partner, or preserve your own power base as best you can?   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 toxic Greens

David Cunliffe needs the Greens to make him PM.

However his focus groups and internal polling are showing that the voters are nervous, especially about the toxic Greens. Which is why he won’t say publicly that he needs them.

That’s why there’s been this pretend break up.

Winston’s worked that out, even if Bryce Edwards can’t;

Read more »

Green taliban aids in destruction of pristine landscape for a cycleway

Yesterday Russel Norman attacked the government for wanting to bulldoze tracks through pristine forest.

So the Green Party moans about the government wanting to mine in Ecological Areas, but we can reveal that they are right behind an American property developer called Mr Marion Boatwright and his promotion of the Old Ghost Rd cycleway as a means of getting tourists to pass by his lodge in the lower Mokihinui River.

This coincided with Solid Energy’s desire to push a road thru an Ecological Area and John Key’s National Cycleway Project Te Hauranga, which was launched at the beginning of the recession to mop up unemployment.

The Old Ghost Road [OGR]  was begun with a minimum of assessment and no proper budget.

So far it has cost about $5 million, plus an extra $800,000 from DOC and it is far from finished – probably needs $2 million more.

The main drivers of the project are Solid Energy’s Phil Rossiter and Mr Boatwright, with some smart PR work from Boatwrights (ex?) partner Susan Cooke, a former Press reporter.  Read more »

Explaining is losing

Not long after I posted last evening’s article on the Greens being slapped in the face by Labour once more, the War Room called for damage control

lab

Let’s recap

- Greens say:  ”Hey Labour, want to co-brand this election?”

- Labour say:   “Naff off!  We haven’t wanted nor needed you stinky hippies in the past, we certainly don’t need you now”.   Read more »

Cunliffe had to do it, the Greens are toxic

David Cunliffe has been forced into distancing him and Labour somewhat from the Greens.

Audrey Young reports:

Labour yesterday rebuffed a proposal by the Green Party to present both parties as a coalition Government in waiting during in the run-up to the September 20 election.

Labour co-leader David Cunliffe indicated that such a pre-election arrangement could have posed problems with post-election negotiations with other parties, such as New Zealand First.

The Greens never had a formal coalition with the three-term Helen Clark Government, sufficing with a less extensive support agreement and no ministers.

Mr Cunliffe told the Herald tonight he envisaged that Labour would try to negotiate a formal coalition agreement with the Greens after the election, but until then he would be referring to a “Labour-led Government,” not a “Labour-Greens Government” – or a “Green-Labour Government” which had also been raised.

“I’m the leader of the Labour Party and my job is to maximize the Labour Party vote,” he said.

“The Labour Party will be the core of the incoming Government working co-operatively with the Green Party who are our longstanding friends.

But Labour would quite possibly be working with other parties as well “and whatever the coalition arrangements are, they need to be able to spread across more than two parties.”

He said it was important to maximize the reach “all the way from the greenest end of the green spectrum right to the political centre and cross-over voters and in order to do that, it is important that they have their brand and we have our brand, and they have their policies and we have our policies.”  Read more »