Helen Clark

Dirty Sovereignty: Hours after a new royal baby, Angry Andy wants out of the Commonwealth

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New Zealand should have a Kiwi as head of state, Labour leader Andrew Little has said, just hours after the new royal baby was born.

The Opposition leader spoke of his republican views this morning, hours after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed a 8lbs and 3oz (3.7kg) baby girl to their family late last night NZT.

The as yet unnamed baby will be known as the Princess of Cambridge, and will be fourth in line to the British throne. Read more »

Rodney Hide schools Jackie Blue

Rodney Hide schools Jackie Blue on what a waste of space her job is.

He is of course talking about Blue’s ill-considered opinion over Paul Henry stating a few home truths about Helen Clark and Hillary Clinton.

Henry had said in regard to Hillary Clinton’s run for the White House: “Why, if feminism has come so far, does she feel the need to highlight the fact that she’s a woman?

“Shouldn’t she be selling herself on the fact that she’s the best person, the right person, for the job, no matter what her sex?”

Henry also noted other high-profile females had “fallen into the same trap”, including Helen Clark in her bid to become Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Henry has a good point. The feminist complaint was “jobs for the boys”. The argument was women shouldn’t be excluded because they’re women. But the argument has become that women must be selected because they are women. Clinton and Clark have replaced sexism with reverse sexism.    Read more »

What a shame, I’d have supported him

Apparently there was a massive rumour going around that Kevin Rudd was going to stand for the position of Secretary-General of the United Nations…against Helen Clark.

But…

Rife speculation that Kevin Rudd would stand against Helen Clark for the spot of United Nations Secretary General has been called to a halt by his office.

It was reported Mr Rudd was campaigning for the post of United Nations Secretary-General, but his office today poured cold water on it in a statement.

“The answer now, as it has previously been, is that Mr Rudd is not a candidate,” a spokesperson said.

“Mr Rudd has made his position clear about the position of UNSG (United Nations secretary-general) numerous times.”

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Sledge of the Year? Key labels John Campbell an entertainer with bad ratings

Prime Minister John Key says Campbell Live’s primary role is to entertain rather than hold the Government to account and viewers are more interested in “light entertainment” such as rival show Seven Sharp.Mr Key was asked on Newstalk ZB this morning whether it was bad for democracy if there were fewer commercial television shows holding the Government to account.

He replied: “Its role in life isn’t the hold the Government to account, it is to entertain its viewers and follow news stories. A great many of those don’t involve the Government, some do.”

Campbell Live is under review by TV3’s owner MediaWorks as it revisits the 7pm time slot to try to improve ratings.

Mr Key said he had no inside knowledge about the review and any decision on its future was solely that of MediaWorks. Media reports indicated its possible demise was driven by commercial reality and low ratings.

A low rating entertainment show.    Read more »

Focussing on things that matter, Ctd

I’ve been talking to a few National MPs over the past few weeks and a recurring theme is arising.

Why is John Key pursuing changing the flag?

For years National, and of course me, have mercilessly bashed the Labour party for concentrating on things that no one but them cared about.

We had lightbulbs and shower heads, and a plethora of social engineering type legislation that exercised small minorities while the rest of New Zealand got on with life.

Now it seems that John Key’s government has fallen into the same trap as Helen Clark’s.

Focussing and expending political capital on things that really don’t matter.

When Kiwis wake up in the morning they are thinking of work, paying their bills, making the mortgage, the warrant of fitness of the car, getting the kids to school etc.

I’ll bet a dollar to a knob of goat poo that nobody except John Key steps into their slippers in the morning thinking “We must change the flag”.

When John Key announced this I groaned.    Read more »

Nicky Hager reveals that our spies spy…wow!

Nicky Hager’s drip feed of stolen documents via his pals in the NZ Herald continues today.

And todays revelations are that apparently our spies spy.

Our spies monitored email and internet traffic about international diplomats vying for the job of director-general of the World Trade Organisation – a job for which National Government Trade Minister Tim Groser was competing.

The spying operation was active in 2013 and called the “WTO Project” by New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), according to a top secret document obtained by the Herald and United States news site The Intercept.

The operation involved covert surveillance of candidates from Brazil, Costa Rica, Ghana, Jordan, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico and South Korea.

The GCSB tasking document which structured the search of internet traffic was designed to look for references to Mr Groser, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) role and his competitors, initially in any online communication but then narrowed to emails.

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Election bribes, why taxpayers lose while polticians win

Rodney Hide explains how election bribes work, and how when politicians win, invariably it is the taxpayers who lose.

To succeed politically, you must win votes. That’s what counts. If you don’t win votes, you won’t be a politician. It’s the one-and-only job requirement.

The need for votes drives politicians.

And with that insight economics explains and predicts political behaviour just as it explains and predicts all human behaviour.

Labour leader Helen Clark won the vote of students (and their parents) in 1999 promising to wipe interest payments on their loans. She won the vote of graduates in 2005 promising to wipe their interest payments, too.

Her purpose wasn’t to reduce the burden of debt on students. Her purpose was to win the votes she needed to win power. The promises were straight election bribes.

The policy takes from the working poor – the truck drivers, the self-employed, the factory workers – to give to the privileged – the future lawyers, accountants, professors and company executives.

To win, Ms Clark had to reach across to would-be National voters and secure their vote. She did so by reverse income redistribution: she took from the poor to give to the rich.

It’s not pretty politics but, for politicians, pretty is winning and losing is ugly.

I well remember door-knocking in blue ribbon Epsom to have students and their parents telling me they were voting Labour because “they would be mad not to.”

The 81,000 students who received Ms Clark’s full interest write-off benefited on average by $18 a week. That’s something they noticed – and voted for. The nation’s two million taxpayers lost just 74c a week. That’s a sum they didn’t notice and didn’t affect their vote.

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Rodney Hide on the eco-terrorists of Waitakere

Rodney Hide calmly explains the wrongs of the kauri eco-terrorists int he Herald on Sunday.

Quick, whack your old trees down. Otherwise you run the risk of having MP David Cunliffe living up it and being bossed about from New York by former Prime Minister Helen Clark. Supermodel Rachel Hunter will weigh in with obscenities on Facebook: that’s because you fail to appreciate the “life force” your tree holds.

That’s what has happened to architect John Lenihan and his family. They were going about the lawful enjoyment of their Titirangi property, including chopping down their old kauri. It was theirs. They bought it. But no matter. They had to be stopped.

They had protesters outside their property, a fellow living up the tree, a nationwide media furore and everyone from the UN down telling them they were greedy and evil. They received death threats.

No one said what the Lenihans were doing was illegal but plenty of people were screaming abuse and happy to break the law.

The dispute could have been resolved peacefully by the protesters digging deep and buying the property. Rachel Hunter could afford it. So, too, could Helen Clark. And David Cunliffe.

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Senior UN official meddles in local issues

A senior UN official has been caught meddling in domestic New Zealand issues.

She is as usual unrepentant and feels that she can ignore the usual protocols of UN officials refraining from entering local political debates on issues…especially on an issue that is actually a private property rights issue.

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark has weighed in on the battle to stop a 500-year-old kauri from being chopped down in Auckland.

Ms Clark – now the Administrator for the United Nations Development Programme – posted her views on a photo of supporters at a protest in Paturoa Rd, Titirangi, where the centuries’ old kauri is due to be brought down.

“Extraordinary in this day and age that a permit would be given to fell a 500 year old kauri tree,” she wrote.

The comment was made on a photo posted on Facebook by Waitakere Ranges Local Board member Greg Presland. He is pictured with fellow member Saffron Toms and board chairwoman Sandra Coney.

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Stephen Franks short but blunt message about our judicial system

I have refrained from entering into the Teina Pora debate until some sensible thoughts emerged.

Stephen Franks is short and blunt, but he is right.

Another embarrassment for our criminal justice system dealt with by  the Privy Council, the world’s best independent  top court.

There will be too much political resistance to admitting a stupid mistake in dumping that inexpensive heritage assurance of judicial objectivity. But the need remains.

We should promptly ask the High Court of Australia to accept our appeals where we need demonstrable assurance that the result will not be influenced by insider defensiveness or local groupthink.

The single worst thing that Helen Clark did, with it appears little actual thinking, was the removal of appeal tot eh Privy Council.   Read more »