John Key

Some good advice for Labour, pity they aren’t listening

John Armstrong offers up some good advice for LAbour as they continue to pursue Judith Collins. Little do Labour know they are being set up, if only they would do a little bit of research would they realise how far down the set up track they have propelled themselves in chasing false leads, rumour and innuendo.

The only funny part about it all is that Winston Peters is the one who set them up and Labour are the ones suffering at the hands of voters as a result.

The Prime Minister took the rather unusual step of offering free advice to Labour yesterday. It was advice Labour would do well to heed. But it is unlikely to do so. At least not yet.

The gist of John Key’s message to Labour went something like this. “Make my day. In fact, make my election day. If you want to continue to rate below 30 per cent in the polls, just keep talking about the things that do not matter. Just keep doing that until election day.”

Among the things that do not matter – according to Key – is Labour’s pursuit of Judith Collins and who she did or did not have dinner with in Beijing six months ago and what she did or did not tell New Zealand’s ambassador afterwards.    Read more »

Shane Jones cuts his losses and runs to the arms of National

Cunliffe - Sh_t

Shane Jones knows that Labour is toast and has grabbed a convenient lifeboat sailing past, helpfully pushed towards by Murray McCully.

Make no mistake this will cause utter carnage inside the Labour ranks.

Shane Jones is quitting, and there’s a job already lined up for him – a job offer from the enemy, the National Government.

Nothing is signed and sealed, but the job is as “Pacific Economic Ambassador” – a position created by Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully. Prime Minister John Key is also aware of the job offer.

Despite never becoming Labour leader, Mr Jones has been a star for the party, but also a maverick, a kamikaze.    Read more »

‘You’re joking’ – Prime Minister

As if we needed any proof that blood is thicker than water, turns out that National Party stalwart Sir Wira Gardiner, husband of National Party Cabinet minister Hekia Parata, funded Labour MP Shane Jones’ bid for the party leadership with what he hoped to be a $1000 secret donation.

Claire Trevett, who’s been working hard over Easter, reports

Labour MP Shane Jones’ party leadership bid was part-funded by a cash donation from Sir Wira Gardiner, husband of National Party Cabinet minister Hekia Parata.

Mr Jones revealed to the Herald that Sir Wira gave $1000 and NZ Oil and Gas board member Rodger Finlay also donated money to help the MP to pay for his campaign to win the Labour leadership last September.

Ms Parata did not learn about the donation until last night.

Sir Wira told the Herald he was still a “paid-up Tory”, but wanted to encourage Maori leadership.

Sir Wira would like to see a fellow bro do well, over and above his National Party leanings.  But it has hit John Key in the forehead with virtual four by two   Read more »

Former colleagues on Brash: NZ dodged a bullet

Deborah Coddington attempts to destroy what is left of the political zombie corpse that is Don Brash

New Zealand dodged a bullet in terms of its prime minister when National lost the election under Don Brash.

When Kim Hill interviewed him last Saturday about his self-published autobiography, Luck, he said that in 1840 Maori were “a stone-age people” and “all cultures are not of equal value”.

But he frequently disdains tangata whenua culture as “animism”.

Now I’ve formed the opinion, from his statements and writings, that behind that mask of politeness which prompted one reviewer to call him a “likeable duffer”, he’s also supremely chauvinistic. Brash’s dismissal of women is breathtakingly arrogant.

I don’t just refer to his philandering – many people have affairs but grown-ups take responsibility. Brash blames his infidelity on “the male biological urge”. Not his fault then.

There’s also a certain decorum one should adopt when it comes to former lovers: Don’t talk about it in public. In short, shut up. Brash didn’t have to publish what he calls “the salacious bits”.

That he did is appalling bad manners, and I suspect he enjoys a kind of “Aren’t I naughty?” frisson from telling us about his sex life. Little wonder, as he himself says, he has few friends.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Brash is somewhere along the autism spectrum.  His talents with numbers are undeniable.  The destruction of people he has left in his wake on the other hand is an omnishambles.   Read more »

Beware of the bunker mentality

Bunker_Entrance_Hitler

On Thursday evening the latest Roy Morgan poll came out. Normally I don’t comment on Roy Morgan polls, for a start they aren’t a member of the Market Research Association of NZ and their poll is all over the place showing massive swings for no apparent reason.

The only reasons that I comment on Roy Morgan polls is because it is the darling of the left-wing commentators who clutch at straws these days and because they tell us that they poll mobile phones, which is yet another bugbear of the left who think the indigent classes are left out from land line polling. There is not evidence at all to suggest this is the case, yet they persist with the urban myth. That, therefore, is why I comment on Roy Morgan…because the very things that the left uses to discount results of other polls that don’t suit their narrative don’t exist in Roy Morgan polls.

So, looking at left-wing commentary since the latest Roy Morgan it has been a struggle to see anything. save for the erudite musings of Chris Trotter, other than int he comments sections of the more popular left-wing blogs or on news sites.

The one thing that is apparent though is the bunker mentality of some.

Normally the left-wing blogs will crow about the Roy Morgan, now there is nothing but silence. Greg Presland even went out of his way to write a post that declared last week a win for David Cunliffe, despite his “cluster truck” policy being panned universally all week, their manufacturing policy launch slipping by un-noticed due to releasing it late on the day before a long extended holiday weekend and continued vocal criticism of their inept and wonky social media campaign that continues to deliver cock-ups and mis-steps. No mention of the poll still despite three days having elapsed…but plenty of time to write a post as to why Chris Trotter and Kiwi in America are wrong, dead wrong, and labour really is on the up and up.

Even Lynn Prentice felt so compelled to fill the void of political commentary that he wrote a lengthy post about how the servers operate The Standard, proving once again that he is the world’s greatest sysop. For a site with so little traffic they seem to have engineered themselves something Telecom would be proud of to run their enterprise.

The bunker mentality has set in, and it is bunker mentality that really takes its toll in politics. People hunker down, they ignore observable facts and details and continue to issue stirring announcements about great victories when the reality is they are pressed on all sides.

Comments dismissing polls and commenters with spurious reasoning shows this:

Pete it was one poll taken during the royal visit, Labour and the Greens went down and the right track wrong track rating went up by a similar amount to National’s increase. Wait for the next few polls and then have the discussion. Or do you think that we should cancel the election now and just let Key get on with it.

And do you always agree with Chris or just when he backs up your world views?

and;

Presuming it is valid, and RM does bounce around, it seems that the Royal Tour has had the desired effect …

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Whinging and whining ain’t cutting it with the public

Chris Trotter is the bellwether of the left…he is prepared to say things that the more tribal members of the commentariat aren’t prepared to say.

Twice in as many days he has quietly pointed out the failure of the Cunliffe experiment. He writes at The Daily Blog:

THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since Roy Morgan’s previous survey in late March. Roy Morgan has long been the Left’s favourite polling agency: a source of good news when the Colmar-Brunton, Reid Research and Ipsos agencies could offer nothing but ill-tidings. That “our poll” has begun to deliver ill-tidings of its own is bad news indeed.

Chief among the causes of this worrying decline must surely be the political antagonisms currently dividing Labour and the Greens. David Cunliffe’s decision to spurn the Green Party’s offer of an explicit pre-election coalition agreement, itself a reaction to internal Labour Party polling data, has clearly not been enthusiastically received by centre-left voters.

The other cause of Labour’s 3.5 percent decline in popular support can only be the its leader’s ham-fisted response to the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Justified or not, the public perceived Cunliffe to be whingeing about the amount of face-time he had been allocated with the Royal Couple. New Zealanders are notoriously unsympathetic to “whingers” and they undoubtedly mentally piled Cunliffe’s comments upon all the other ill-considered statements he has made since January.

In both cases the quality most conspicuously lacking in the Leader of the Opposition’s decisions was courage. Regardless of whether Russel Norman’s motives in offering to campaign for a “Labour/Greens Government” were well-intentioned or darkly Machiavellian, it is now pretty clear that the smart move would have been for Labour to seize the offer with both hands.

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Rodney Hide on the travesty of MMP

Come September we could be watching the most popular political leader in the Western world, and the most popular party sitting on the sidelines as a coalition of the losers forms a government because of MMP.

Rodney Hide examines this with his column at NBR.

John Key is the most popular prime minister since polling began. It’s an extraordinary achievement. More remarkably, he’s the Western world’s most popular elected leader.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron and President Barack Obama must look on Mr Key’s numbers with envious eyes and considerable wonder.

His popularity drives support for his party. National consistently polls a third higher than Labour. And so Mr Key’s a shoe-in this election, right? No. It’s looking like a very close thing. That’s because we persist with a mongrel electoral system.

It’s not the party with the most votes that wins with MMP but the one that cobbles the support needed to govern. Mr Key and National could easily find themselves out in the cold.

I owe my entire parliamentary career to MMP, so I suppose I should be thankful. But I was never a fan of the system. My first serious political involvement was in opposing it. It was the first of my many political losses. Read more »

Key is “a twenty-first century Holyoake” – Chris Trotter

Chris Trotter has written a very good post about why he thinks John Key may well go on to become NZ longest serving Prime Minister…but for the foibles of MMP.

IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2 months) would be surpassed and the title of longest-serving National Party Prime Minister would pass to the incumbent. How tempting it would then be for John Key to set his sights on “King Dick’s” (Prime Minister Richard John Seddon’s) crown of 13 years and 2 months. Just imagine that – a fifth term! By then the youthful Jacinda Ardern would be 41 years old!

Some will dismiss Key’s musings as yet another example of his celebrated political bravado. But there is another message to be drawn from his speculations concerning a fourth (or even a fifth) term. The Prime Minister’s suggestion that he and the National Party are good for another two or three election wins may also be read as his pledge to the electorate that any government he leads will be moderate and restrained in its policies.

Sir Keith Holyoake could not have governed New Zealand from November 1960 until February 1972 as anything other than a consensus-seeking prime minister. By indicating that he is not adverse to such a lengthy term of office, John Key is signalling to us that he, too, is a consensus politician.  Read more »

Looks like Winston’s, David’s and Grant’s nasty smears have backfired

Yesterday Winston Peters, Grant Robertson and David Cunliffe all accused Judith Collins of corruption without a shred of evidence to support their claims.

Now someone who was at the dinner has confirmed the minister’s account and their smears are in tatters.

A senior Beehive adviser has taken the unusual step of going public to back her minister, Judith Collins, over what took place at a dinner with Oravida executives and a senior Chinese Government official.

Margaret Malcolm was one of five guests at the dinner in Beijing which has embroiled Collins in allegations of corruption.

Malcolm, who travelled with Collins to China as her senior adviser, backed the minister’s claim that they did not discuss Oravida’s business over the dinner and that they talked mostly tourism.

“The dinner was very short and discussion was restricted due to some participants having limited English. The conversation centred around New Zealand as a tourist destination.”

She had not taken any notes in her capacity as adviser.

Like Collins, Malcolm also refused to name the Chinese official who Opposition MPs claim was in a position to help milk exporter Oravida overcome export issues following the botulism scare.

Collins has been under fire over allegations she used her ministerial position to benefit her husband’s business interests, though she told The Dominion Post last night that this was not true.

“[NZ First leader] Winston Peters . . . misled the media, he misled the public and actually there is no evidence of it and it’s utterly untrue.”

She had no influence over the $6000 received by Oravida from a pool of government funding for businesses which had been affected by the botulism scare, which turned out to be a false alarm.

Forty-one exporters had received advice and help from the Government relating to the incident and 39 of them received some form of payment, she said.  Read more »

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.

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