Judith Collins

HoS Editorial: “Judith Collins expects to be exonerated, and probably will be”

Yeah, funny that.  That’s the result of doing nothing wrong but being at the receiving end of an 8 month smear campaign that started with Oravida and ended with Dirty Politics.  The ‘where there is smoke there must be fire’ effect works just as well on National as it does on Labour.

But the overzealous people that decided to call for inquiries (oh how they love to do that) never expected the result to be that nothing was actually done improperly.

When the Prime Minister left Judith Collins off a list of departing ministers who can wear the title Honourable for life, he may have made trouble for himself this term. It suggested he does not intend to bring her back into his Cabinet if she is exonerated by the inquiry into whether she was “gunning” for the head of the former Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley, when Justice Minister.

She expects to be exonerated, and probably will be. She has denied the remark attributed to her by her friend, the blogger Cameron Slater, and she would not be the first to be embarrassed by his phraseology, as John Key well knows.

My phraseology is just fine thanks Jono.  It’s just that some people are trying to make something out of nothing.

Fine, the inquiry will reveal all.

If she is cleared the title will be restored to her, a spokesman for the Prime Minister says. She must fear that is all that will be restored to her. Otherwise, she would not have stamped her feet so publicly this week over being left off the list. For the first time in the life of this Government there is a crack in its ranks.

Indeed.  The powers that decide who is in government and who gets to run it have called time on John Key.  The Collins/Hon situation just is an event that focuses on this earlier than it needed to be brought out.  And ironically, only because Key did the dirty work personally and in public.  For once.

Key’s actually in quite a bit of uncertain waters inside his own caucus.  Other MPs can see how spiteful and easily Collins was thrown under the bus at the behest of Bill and Steve.   Read more »

Looks like it’s a please don’t talk about my bike ride with Andrea Vance and our subsequent crash

Reader’s might not know but early yesterday morning Trevor Mallard and Andrea Vance were out cycling when they had a little crash…and altercation with a vehicle. Vance ended up in hospital with a broken shoulder and sources confirm that Mallard was banged up with cuts and bruises.

Not that you will read this in any media, such is the wall of silence that has gone up around the issue of politicians an journalists fraternising.

You will note that other journalists are tweeting in sympathy but for some reason don’t think it is in the public interest to explain the circumstances of the injury.

vance-crash

There are plenty of other journalists crying tears of sympathy for Andrea, so why no reportage? Why the wall of silence from other media?

In fact it appears that there are smoke screens being quickly erected, here is Trevor Mallard in the Herald this morning defending Judith Collins!   Read more »

Silly mistake by Key

John Key is supposed to be a smart man, but he often makes silly mistakes.

The latest mistake he has made was probably at the behest of Steven Joyce and Bill English and is an act of petulance that will hurt him.

The caucus is already smarting about the promotion of 3 dead heads who have few friends in caucus ahead of other more capable ministerial prospects. With his nasty and un-necessary slight against Judith Collins he has just solidified that grumpiness.

Ex-Justice Minister Judith Collins is seething after she was delivered a humiliating snub by Prime Minister John Key, who has declined to recommend her for an official title.

Outgoing ministers are usually granted the right to use the honorific “The Honorable” for life, after a recommendation from the prime minister to the governor-general.

Last Wednesday, demoted courts minister Chester Borrows and retiring Maori Affairs minister Pita Sharples were added to the ‘‘Roll of the Honourables.’’  But Collins – who resigned in August over the Dirty Politics furore – is missing from the list.

Collins was upset and angry to be given the news by Fairfax Media. ‘‘No-one has given me the decency to tell me that…I’m actually hurt and shocked.

‘‘Frankly, that you are the first person to tell me, I have to say, you could knock me down with a feather…It’s appalling.’’

Her fury was directed at Key: ‘‘If you are the person that is charged with telling me this then that says an awful lot about the person that should be doing it, and I am utterly disgusted.’’

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A watershed moment

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Fran O’Sullivan

I think I will have to calm Cactus Kate down this afternoon, this has never happened before.

It has always been the other way around. Given the vagaries of time zones I suspect it may be difficult to get hold of her especially as it is Saturday, which follows Friday night.

Nevertheless, I really wouldn’t want to be the journalist who spilled her guts and published private conversations with Cactus. Who on earth would now ever speak or chat with Fran O’Sullivan in what you may have thought were private conversations? She has shown a willingness to publish those private chats in order to protect her own hide.

I suspect things are going to get messy.

The journalist sounds like she is protesting too much and covering her own arse.

I would have thought discretion was the better part of valour, since the very people she has slammed in her article are yet to give evidence (as witnesses, not as participants, “a distinction that will not be lost on sensible readers”) to the inquiry.

I note that O’Sullivan has relied on Cactus properly doing a search in Gmail for her name.

Bad mistake Fran, given that Cactus has a terribly short span of attention when it comes to IT matters because she has always had staff to do work for her, then I suspect she probably got bored after the third emails and thought to herself, “that’ll do, Fran will be OK with this, time for one of those famous Hong Kong brunches”.

O’Sullivan really should have checked her calendar when making a request that required concentration and accuracy…word for the wise…Saturday comes after Friday night, and everyone knows what happens in Lan Kwai Fong on Friday nights, which is why extensive brunch buffets on Saturday have copious quantities of booze soaking food.

I pity O’Sullivan for gobbing off in the media ahead of three other people having to give evidence to the inquiry.   Read more »

Labour needs to lose dead wood, but how?

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Dave Armstrong at Fairfax writes about Labour needing to chop out some dead wood.

Boom boom! Last week began with pure farce as New Zealand’s largest centre-Left party performed the latest episode of Labour Behaving Badly.

Like a naughty fourth former who had just received bad end-of-year reports, Labour’s caucus rounded on leader David Cunliffe, who had bravely led them down the garden path to their worst result in almost a century.

Cunliffe could rightly argue that winning was always going to be a big ask and that he did his best. But he should know that it’s only in big multinational companies where CEOs are heaped with praise and massive bonuses after a disastrous result.

Cunliffe did well in the debates and drove himself to exhaustion in the final fortnight but it was too little, too late.

Yes, Dirty Politics and the Moment of Truth denied him oxygen but it was the first six months of his leadership where the real damage was done.

Various distractions, often thanks to leaks from both sides of the House, and too many gaffes never allowed him to focus on issues. Even during the campaign he made the mistake, as he later admitted, of not working more strategically with the Greens.

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The ‘moments of zen’ in the election

Paul Thomas analyses the election and the “moments of zen”.

The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart’s signature sign-off is “Your moment of Zen”: a clip of a public figure making a goose of themselves through tone deafness, crassness, vehement ignorance, random imbecility or unconscious irony.

If Stewart had taken notice of our election, he would’ve had more moments of Zen than you could shake a stick at. After a rigorous process of elimination, I’ve chosen a top three.

Third was Internet-Mana party co-leader Laila Harre commiserating with the people of Te Tai Tokerau over the loss of their sitting MP and her co-leader Hone Harawira. Before her next political incarnation Harre might care to familiarise herself with the workings of democracy: the people she was consoling for being deprived of Harawira were the very people who gave him the broom.

Second was Labour leader David Cunliffe’s concession speech in which he did a passable impersonation of a man who’d just won an election. If his year-long impersonation of a leader of the opposition had been half as convincing, neither he nor Labour would be in the dark place they are now.

His shout-out to his staff and Labour’s campaign team was a riot of superlatives – “amazing”, “incredible”, “fantastic” – which raised the question: how catastrophically badly would Cunliffe and Labour have done if he’d surrounded himself with mediocrities?

Number one was Harawira’s comment, early on in the evening, that the people of his electorate “don’t like being ganged up on”. The general reaction to interlopers trying to influence the outcome in Te Tai Tokerau, he said, was “why don’t you guys piss off and leave us to make our own decisions?”.

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No interference, no communication, time to reinstate Collins

Hamish Rutherford finds that Judith Collins had no input at all into investigation of the poor behaviour of Adam Feeley.

Another claim by Nicky Hager and the hacker that has fallen down with an examination of the truth.

Judith Collins had no input into an investigation into the conduct of the former boss of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) once it was set up, the State Services Commissioner (SSC) says.

Less than a month before the election, Collins was forced to quit as a minister after an email written by Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater suggested that as Police Minister she was ‘‘gunning for [Adam] Feeley’’, then the director general of the SFO in October 2011.

At the time Feeley was under investigation by the SSC, following media reports that he celebrated charges against former Bridgecorp boss Rod Petricevic by drinking champagne belonging to Bridgecorp directors.

Eventually, the investigation cleared Feeley, who continued in the role for around a year, before leaving to become chief executive of the Queenstown Lakes District Council.

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Labour’s vote winning strategy – voter immobilisation

Jerome Mika, the Labour candidate about to take a pasting from Judith Collins in Papakura has revealed why Labour is going to get wasted on Saturday.

They want to immobilise voters.

mika Read more »

Face of the day

Colin Craig

Colin Craig

According to the latest poll Mr Craig has good reason to celebrate. I know Cam says better the Bad ( Winston ) than the Mad ( Colin ) but on an emotional level I prefer Mr Craig. Winston burnt his bridges with me when he lied about my favourite politician Judith Collins. I hope Colin ends up the King maker simply because I despise Winston.

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One big long sledge by Mike Yardley

Mike Yardley writes one big long sledge against David Cunliffe:

With just 11 sleeps to election day, and as the campaign trail hits the home straight, we seem to be back where we started. Despite all the political histrionics, National remains in pole position with Labour seemingly marooned on 25 per cent support.

The maths would suggest Team Cunliffe needs to be hitting 30 per cent if there is to be any sniff of a sixth Labour-led government taking shape. Last week’s The Press Leaders Debate was a gripping spectacle to observe, once again delivering what could well be the killer campaign frisson, with David Cunliffe’s dismal inability to blow-torch John Key’s strategic query about whether family homes in trusts will attract capital gains tax.

Cunliffe was not only flummoxed, but woefully outfoxed. At the half-time break, his platoon of crest-fallen advisers hastily tromped off backstage, more ashen-faced than Mt Tavurvur.

It was a catastrophe for the Labour leader, who, ironically, throughout much of the debate, was the more composed and commanding performer.

The capital gains tax stuff up has cost Labour dearly. I expect the next polls to show a complete disaster.

But bungles can have brutal consequences, and this was a botch to match the “I’m sorry for being a man” moment. The Press debate also heralded what continues to be National’s central attack catchphrase: “Labour’s Five New Taxes.” An attack line designed to scare the bejesus out of middle New Zealand, the swing voters that decide elections.   Read more »