Helen Clark

Political Doppelgangers

Elizabeth McCombs 1933

Elizabeth McCombs 1933

Helen Clark

Helen Clark

Seriously folks I’m starting to think that time travel exists. It’s either that or she is a vampire.

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Trotter on Little sleight of the Greens

Chris Trotter writes at The Daily Blog:

In the current political climate, Little is acutely aware that Labour’s close association with the Greens is a big political loser. Too many people who would like to vote Labour are declining to do so because they fear the influence of the Greens within what all the polls tell them would be a coalition government of the centre-left. It is one of the reasons why so many Labour supporters split their votes. They are happy to give their electorate vote to the Labour candidate, so long as, by party-voting National, they can keep the Greens out of government.

Clearly, by so publicly mistreating the Greens, Little hopes to convince potential Labour voters that his party is no longer willing to be lumped-in with Green “extremism”. His message is clear: in any future coalition government the Greens will serve on Labour’s terms – or not at all.   Read more »

Some thoughts on Little shafting the Greens, Sign of things to come?

Andrew Little had a major cock up saying that Maori should be able to write their own laws, something which it appears the Greens agreed to because they reckon his first major cock up is something different  and something that no one cares about.

Norman said it was a “bad call” and is upset he learned of the decision through the media.

Now the Greens say Little has broken the law as well as convention.

The Intelligence and Security Committee Act 1996 states that the leader of the opposition must nominate representatives “following consultation with the leader of each party that is not in Government or in coalition with a Government party”.

A Green Party spokesman said this was Little’s first “big stuff up” and are calling on him to back down.    Read more »

Three good reasons from a lefty as to why we should take the fight to ISIS

Paul Buchanan is a lefty…he is an expert on international relations and also on conflicts and military issues.

It is not often I agree with him, we are on opposite sides of the political coin.

However he provides three good reason for New Zealand helping to take the fight to ISIS.

There are three specific reasons why NZ has to join the fight, two practical and one principled.

The practical reasons are simple: First, NZ’s major security allies, the US, UK and Australia, are all involved as are France, Germany and others. After the signing of the Wellington and Washington security agreements, NZ became a first tier security partner of the US, and as is known, it is an integral member of the 5 Eyes signals intelligence network. It therefore cannot renege on its security alliance commitments without a serious loss of credibility and trust from the countries upon which it is most dependent for its own security.

Secondly, most of New Zealand’s primary diplomatic and trading partners, including those in the Middle East, are involved in the anti-IS coalition. Having just secured a UN Security Council temporary seat at a time when the UN has repeatedly issued condemnations of IS, and having campaigned in part on breaking the logjam in the UNSC caused by repeated use of the veto by the 5 permanent members on issues on which they disagree (such as the civil war in Syria), NZ must back up its rhetoric and reinforce its diplomatic and trade relations by committing to the multinational effort to defeat IS. Refusing to do so in the face of requests from these partners jeopardises the non-military relationships with them.

The third reason is a matter of principle and it is surprising that the government has not made more of it as a justification for involvement. After the Rwandan genocide an international doctrine known as the “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) was agreed by UN convention to prevent future horrors of that sort. It basically states that if a defenceless population is being subject to the depredations of its own government, or if the home government cannot defend the population from the depredations of others, then the international community is compelled to use whatever means, including armed force, to prevent ongoing atrocities from occurring. There can be no doubt that is the situation in parts of Iraq and Syria at the moment. Neither the Assad regime or the Iraqi government can defend minority communities such as Kurds or Yazidis, or even non-compliant Sunnis, from the wrath of IS.

That, more than any other reason, is why NZ must join the fight. As an international good citizen that has signed up to the R2P, NZ is committed in principle to the defense of vulnerable others.

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Karl du Fresne on the left’s unwillingness to confront evil

Karl du Fresne calls out the left over their unwillingness to confront evil.

It’s hard to think of a more challenging conundrum than the one posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis).

Labour leader Andrew Little was right last week to describe Isis as evil. It’s a word seldom heard these days because it implies a moral judgment, and moral judgments are unfashionable. But “evil” is the only way to describe men who coldly behead their captives, and then amp up the shock factor by burning one alive.

There is an element of gleeful sadism in their barbarism. Last week they pushed a gay man from the top of a tall building – reportedly the fourth such execution for homosexuality.

As with their other atrocities, they posted pictures and video online, a gesture that was part boast, part taunt. In doing so, they were saying to the world: “Look what we’re capable of. There is no limit to what we will do.

“Norms of civilised behaviour don’t apply to us. In fact we hold the civilised world in contempt. You know, and we know, that you are too weak and divided to stop us.”

And these were merely the more flamboyant examples of Isis’ depravity – the ones calculated to get our attention and fill us with fear, horror and anger.

Almost unnoticed in the background, Isis is proceeding with its grand plan to establish an Islamic caliphate, which means systematically slaughtering or enslaving anyone who stands in its way. No-one, then, can dispute that Isis is evil. The conundrum is what the rest of the world should do about it.

I wish there was a pat answer, but Isis presents a unique challenge because it stands apart from all norms of combat or diplomacy.

It has no regard for human lives, including its own members. It acknowledges no rules, it has no interest in negotiation and its adherents – who seem to include a significant number of thugs with criminal records – are said to be happy to die for their cause because it will ensure entry into paradise. How do you fight such an enemy?

Yet doing nothing is not an option. Either we believe civilised values are worth defending and that vulnerable people deserve protection from mass murderers, or we don’t. And if we do, we can’t just whistle nonchalantly while looking the other way and pretending it isn’t happening.

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Little risks skeletons in Labour’s closet

Andrew Little is playing the sanctimonious card rather too hard.

Labour leader Andrew Little says Prime Minister John Key allowed former MP Mike Sabin to chair the Law and Order Select Committee at least once after Mr Key found out he was being investigated, showing a “cavalier attitude” to Parliament.

Mr Key has said the first he knew Mr Sabin was facing personal issues that resulted in his resignation was on December 1. Mr Little said Mr Sabin had chaired the meeting of the Law and Order Select Committee on December 3, two days after Mr Key was told.

“That was a severe conflict of interest. It shows a cavalier attitude by the Government towards Parliamentary oversight of the Police. We need to know that the institutions of Parliament, select committees and the way they operate are done in a way that maintains public confidence in them. You can’t have a committee of Parliament that provides oversight for the Police being chaired by someone under Police investigation.”

Mr Little said he believed Mr Key knew more than he was admitting to. Police Minister Michael Woodhouse has repeatedly refused to say whether he or his predecessor, Anne Tolley, were briefed under the ‘no surprises’ policy. On Waitangi Day, Police Commissioner Mike Bush also refused to confirm whether he had advised ministers, but said police “have not dropped the ball.”

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All of Little’s good work undone by ‘courageous’ pandering to Maori

Andrew Little, ably assisted by a compliant media, has supposedly built up his cred to better proportions than the previous leaders since Clark.

The claims though were specious and come from people who should know better were just plain wrong.

Whatever level of acceptance Andrew Little had managed to claw his way to, though, has been destroyed by his interest in exploring Maori making their own laws…kind of a Maori sharia proposal.

Labour leader Andrew Little has proposed looking at giving Maori greater self-governance, possibly including the ability to make some of their own laws.

Mr Little made the comments yesterday, referring to a Waitangi Tribunal finding last year that Northland Maori did not cede their sovereignty when signing the Treaty.

Prime Minister John Key was criticised by elders at Waitangi for dismissing that report. Mr Little said the Waitangi Tribunal report found Maori should be able to make their own laws on matters affecting them. While that would be “highly problematic” he said it should be looked at.

Mr Little acknowledged it could concern some New Zealanders. “The fear is always that these things turn into a ‘they are getting special privilege’ or ‘they are getting a control we would never be able to have’. We have to be sensitive to that, but we’ve also got to understand for iwi now and those who have had their settlements and developed their own economic base, there are some things we might want to say they can be responsible for that is consistent with historical obligations.”

He said it was time to look at what would happen after the settlements were completed.

He said some Native American tribes had law-making powers over their territories in the United States where recognised tribes were exempt from some laws – including taxation – and could create their own laws in many areas. Mr Little said allowing separate law-making was “highly problematic”.

“But we shouldn’t be so dismissive of any claim by iwi over what they do. We do have to function as a nation-state and we don’t want to compromise that. But let’s have a look at it.”

Mr Key said allowing some iwi the ability to make their own law would be “divisive” and he did not support the suggestion.

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Can Rodney Count?

labour-turd-polish

Rodney Hide, in his Herald on Sunday columns buys into the Labour bullshit that Andrew Little is different from the previous leaders of Labour despite being a union appointed union hack.

He certainly seems to be at least gargling the Kool Aid, and perhaps even swallowing some.

He must also figure out an arrangement with the Greens.

The Greens scare middle voters. Little needs to show he can work with the Greens but that he’s boss. That isn’t going to be easy.

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Little better than the rest says TV3 poll, really?

55 percent you say? Is that all?

55 percent you say? Is that all?

According to a released TV3 poll Andrew Little is supposedly better than the rest of the muppets who were leader before him.

In attempt to get some good news out early for Andrew Little it appears TV3 has led early with the one result Andrew Little supposedly shines in.

He’s just two months into the job, but already Labour leader Andrew Little is outshining all his predecessors since Helen Clark, according today’s 3 News-Reid Research poll.

It’s the first political poll of the year and sets the tone for what’s set to be a rip-roaring battle of the leaders as Mr Little takes on Prime Minister John Key.

The poll shows 55 percent of voters think Mr Little is potentially a better match for Mr Key than his predecessors.

3 News Political Editor Patrick Gower says there’s a warning for the Prime Minister in today’s poll.

“Even National Party supporters think Little’s one to watch, that will force Key to sit up and take notice. There’s no room for complacency this term.

“Key’s popularity hasn’t been dented and Labour’s revolving leadership has struggled to get one over him, but this poll shows he may have finally met his match.”

The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.

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Trotter is onto it with the loss of Russel Norman

Chris Trotter thinks the bloodless coup within the Greens is a move to push the Green party towards the right.

I think he is right…and as usual wrong at the same time.

RUSSEL NORMAN’S DECISION to step down as the Greens co-leader reflects the party’s longstanding determination to reposition itself rightward. For eight years Norman’s personal energy and political discipline succeeded in turning aside the pleas of a clear majority of the Greens’ membership to break the party out of its left-wing ghetto. Only by exploiting to the full his party’s consensus-based decision-making processes was Norman able to keep the Greens anchored firmly on the left of New Zealand politics.

For eight years Norman strove to fashion a Green Party manifesto that was not only compatible with the Labour Party’s policy platform but would, to a remarkable degree, serve as its inspiration. His astonishing and largely successful mission to master the challenges of contemporary economics; an effort which allowed him to participate in policy debates with an authority sadly lacking in his predecessors, and to drag Labour along in his wake, is probably the most impressive achievement of his leadership.

It was this ability to render the Greens’ left-wing policies economically intelligible that allowed Norman to spike the guns of the Greens’ very sizeable “moderate” (for want of a better description) faction. The latter had demonstrated its power by installing Metiria Turei as co-leader – rather than the overtly left-wing Sue Bradford – following Jeanette Fitzsimons’ retirement in 2008. Had the rules made it possible, this same faction would have radically repositioned the Greens as an ideologically agnostic environmentalist party of the political centre; one capable of forming a coalition with either of the main political parties.

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