Kelvin Davis

Hide on Jones

Rodney Hide looks at Shane Jones and his showing up of leader David Cunliffe.

The news this week is that the Greens have an MP named Gareth Hughes. And that Labour’s Shane Jones has been calling him names. And that Hughes has complained.

Say what?

Calling each other names is what politicians do. Besides, Jones’ name-calling was rather good. I had to look it up. He called Hughes a “mollymawk”. He then swapped to “mollyhawk”. That’s better.

A mollymawk is a type of albatross. A mollyhawk a young black-backed gull. Perfect. In one obscure word Jones captured the image of juvenile squawking. He summed up the Greens rather well.

Hughes is more like a seagull than he realises…he swoops in squawking and flapping, craps everywhere then flys out again to go do it all again somewhere else.

The name-calling and complaint are excellent political theatre and the stuff of headlines. But behind the theatre, deeper political machinations are in play.

Jones came a distant third in Labour’s race to be leader but you would think he had won it with the headlines he has been generating. He launched into Countdown, then foreign students, and now the Greens. He’s been on the front foot, with his hapless leader David Cunliffe on the back.

The contrasting performance is stark and it’s clear that Jones is emboldened. He hasn’t given up his leadership ambitions. He is clearly positioning for leader should Labour fall short this election.   Read more »

Thoughts on Waitangi Day and Te Tai Tokerau

Of course today is meant to be the day we celebrate being New Zealanders, have some national pride and put aside our differences to share the day together as one people. It is not meant to be a day of protesting, discussing treaty claims or even looking negatively on the past through anger tinted glasses but one for looking into the future.

But we all know that is a load of bollocks don’t we. It is a day for the Harawira clan and their fellow protesters band of angry mud and fish slinging thugs to hijhack (with a lending hand by the media) for their own agenda. One would gather from watching the yearly feral fandangle that there was mass public protests against a  group of people who are continuously suppressed and disadvantaged by successive governments for decades, mistreated  and deliberately isolated from inclusion of society. Read more »

Time for Labour to have a cleanout as well

Under Helen Clark there was almost no renewal…after 9 years of her government pretty much the same faces existed…then there were the 3 years of Phil Goff again with no renewal.

While National cut dead wood and encourages retirements Labour is looking like going into the next election with the same old tired faces.

Labour leader David Cunliffe has been crowing about the growing number of National MPs who have decided to stand down in 2014, likening it to rats deserting a sinking ship. Instead of seeking to make political capital out of his opponent’s obvious drive to bring in new talent at the next election, he would do better to follow suit and start sending the underperformers and time-servers in his own caucus the message that it is time to move on.

Rejuvenation is critical to all political parties. It allows them to bring in new blood to remain fresh in the eyes of voters. However, all too often it is not the parties themselves that do the job, but the electorate, via crushing defeats which see large numbers of sitting MPs turfed out of Parliament.

That is what is so significant about the rejuvenation underway in National. So far, seven of its 59 MPs – nearly an eighth of its caucus – have indicated they will not seek re-election, and there was talk last week that up to six more are considering whether to stand again.   Read more »

Man Ban downgraded to a Cock Block

So yesterday, in perhaps one of the final moments in what is left of his leadership David Shearer stamped his foot and declared an end to the Man Ban.

He has left the quota in place so the Man Ban has really been downgraded to a “Cock Block”.

The writing was on his face last night on the news when Jess Mutch asked him if it had damaged his leadership, he said no with a “I’m fucked” written all over his face.

So, they still have a quota to fill and any man currently on the list can pretty much kiss their position good bye.

The only way that John Tamihere, Stuart Nash or Kelvin Davis will ever be MPs is for them to take a provincial seat of National…and after the Man Ban debacle that is exceedingly unlikely.   Read more »

Random Impertinent Questions

Do you reckon Labour wanted Kelvin Davis or Carol Beaumont to come back to Parliament ?

Did Carol tell the leadership to ‘shove it’?

Has Labour hung Shane Jones out to dry?  The strident criticism of the Sky City report must mean Labour’s confident their dealings with Bill Liu are squeaky clean (either confident or shortsighted and stupid) – because there have already been reports that it’s not ‘black and white’.

If Shearer is against the Sky City deal and Chris Hipkins is for it, then what is Labour’s actual position?

Shearer’s appalling lack of talent – A Guest Post

A leader with mediocre talents weighed down by a caucus whose bitterness is only matched by its shallowness. That is the plight of the Labour Party, and David Shearer’s next moves will entrench that perspective.

In light of his summary execution of David Cunliffe for failing to be a devout disciple in the face of sagging poll numbers, Shearer now faces the task of welding together a shadow cabinet. This task will be a study of the man’s ability to think about what’s best for himself and his party.

Cunliffe was arguably Shearer’s strongest asset on the front bench, a point Cunliffe himself knew only too well. Ironically he will now sit on the back benches with one man who is clearly the equal or perhaps better than most of the government’s front bench: Shane Jones.

Post Cunliffe, Shearer’s options are limited. Grant Robertson is deceptively smart, but he is the Environment spokesperson. Environment is not about green issues; rather it is about the apportionment of property rights in a world where human progress intersects with nature. What’s the point of ranking the Environment to number two in the caucus rank when Labour has no analysis of private property rights, let alone how those rights ought to be upheld?

Shearer is heavily reliant on David Parker in both Finance and now Economic Development. Parker is a clever politician, a lawyer by trade and has experience as a Cabinet Minister in the latter stages of the previous Labour government. But Parker’s is hog-tied to a party that is either incapable or unwilling to wean itself off a diet of big spending commitments. Why for example is Labour committed to KiwiBuild, a strategy that would see the state involve itself in the construction of 200,000 new homes? (More than three times the total stock of Housing New Zealand properties).

Shearer places great faith in Jacinda Ardern in Social Development. Aside from being disliked and isolated from the majority of her female caucus colleagues, Ardern is both linear and doctrinaire. Her default position is to argue every issue from an ideologically left perspective, something that more adept operators like Annette King and Phil Goff would periodically avoid. As a result Ardern has little in common with blue collar conservative voters, many of whom consider welfare to be an unfair wealth transfer from the battlers to the bludgers.

Clayton Cosgrove is a formidable debater in Parliament. But like Robertson he struggles to make an impression due in part to Labour’s lack of analysis for the ownership of assets or the future of New Zealand’s capital markets.

Maryan Street continues to be overrated and ineffective both inside Parliament and on the hustings. Labour has been completely outgunned by Tony Ryall in Health, and Street’s perseverance in that portfolio (while earnest) fails to close the yawning gap between the Labour and a historic Achilles heel for any government.

Nanaia Mahuta has never been popular with her caucus colleagues.. Nicknamed “the princess”, Mahuta has done well to hang on to her Tainui constituency. But she has performed poorly in Education, and is consistently bettered by her junior colleague Chris Hipkins. The trouble for Shearer is demoting Mahuta will send a signal to the Kiingitanga movement that their designated representative in Parliament is less valued, a tough sell coupled with the fact that Mahuta is a Cunliffe supporter.

William Sio is not to be underestimated for his links within the Pacific community. But Sio is a social conservative in a party that is seeking to redefine marriage to allow men to marry men and women to marry women. This strategy both offends and tests Labour’s ties with the Pacific community, a point that Sio himself has made publicly.

Phil Twyford has done well to dig in in Te Atatu and has scored headlines on local government and transport issues. But that in itself is small fry compared to the task of building an alternative government.

Beyond that Shearer has a caucus of candidates who are in the twilight of their careers (e.g. Parekura Horomia, Trevor Mallard, Phil Goff and Annette King), or who are simply too lightweight to be taken seriously (e.g. Sue Moroney, Moana Mackey, and Louisa Wall). Some options are simply not trustworthy (e.g. Charles Chauvel and David Cunliffe himself), or have yet to make an impact (e.g. Claire Curran).

Shearer could and probably will promote Chris Hipkins and Andrew Little. But neither man has any reason to show loyalty to Shearer long-term, particularly if Shearer is unable to reverse Labour’s sagging poll ratings.

Labour’s caucus is the by-product of a party and a selection system that rewards cronyism over talent, gender and sexual orientation over competence and union-dominated fiefdoms over political smarts. That is why Darien Fenton rather than Kelvin Davis or Stuart Nash sits behind Shearer at question time. The lack of talent means Shearer turns up to a gunfight with John Key holding a bread and butter knife rather than a loaded firearm.

It’s no wonder Labour’s rank and file members are itching to have a go at shaping that party’s leadership. Maybe they should start with their own MPs too.

Kelvin Davis attacks Labour/Shearer

Kelvin Davis has attacked Labour and Shearer by proxy in a guest post on Maui Street.

Labour has failed to stir peoples’ emotions. They are too quiet, too cautious, too invisible. From the top down. They haven’t sparked emotional reactions in anyone, about anything.

They haven’t stimulated, aggravated, agitated, provoked, annoyed or amused. They are just there.

It’s like they’re more comfortable being ignored than criticised.

So they are being ignored.

Kelvin Davis is of course just after Carol Beaumont on the Labour List.  He stands a good chance of re-entering Parliament should Shane Jones resign in the near future.

Could this another vote for Camp Cunliffe?

Shearer Gets Something Right

ᔄ NZ Herald

The NZ Herald editorial shows that perhaps David Shearer gat least got something right:

Mr Shearer’s speech suggested many of the lessons of Labour’s humiliating defeat last year have been learned. There will be a concerted attempt to regain the central territory once occupied so adroitly by Helen Clark. In that context, what was not in Mr Shearer’s address was as important as its focus.

Not once, for example, were the words “trade union” uttered. Neither did the National Party rate a mention.

Trade Unions cost Labour a lot of votes. They put up dud candidates who can’t win votes, often whom let National MPs increase their majority. They manipulate the list so good MPs like Stuart Nash and Kelvin Davis are out of parliament while proven vote losers and people who help brand Labour the Nasty Party like Fenton and Moroney stay in.

Shearer needs to get rid of the union dominance of Labour if he wants to be Prime Minister. His not mentioning unions in his first speech of the year was a great start.

Why doesn’t National have a summer school?

This weekend is Labour’s summer school where they probably indoctrinate impressionable young people that the warped left wing world view actually can work. Somewhere. At some point in the future. They probably also teach how to bugger drunks draped over swiss balls and get away with it too, but that is probably not mentioned much in public.

Fair play to Labour. They had their worst result since 1928 last year, have a party broke and that selects useless, nasty and damaging candidates on the list ahead of good ones like Stuart Nash and Kelvin Davis, but they still run a summer school.

Why National doesn’t run a summer school is a total mystery, much like the rest of Peter Goodfellow’s tenure as President. He seemed to think it was a party time sinecure, not a full time job. It is hard to think of a single successful initiative within National that can be attributed to Peter’s leadership.

Nope, I thought about it, there isn’t a single one. The accolades for the election strategy and success can be rightly awarded to Steven Joyce and Jo de Joux. John Key can take credit for keeping everything under control with his MPs and remaining personally popular which papered over the yawning chasms in the party machine. Even fundraising was largely conducted by people other than the President, though he is busy trying claim credit for that in between going to war with bloggers who are actually on the same team.

In point of fact the only news that featured Peter Goodfellow was bad news. Compare that with Judy Kirk, who worked tirelessly in the background picking up cheques and putting in place initiatives like the Candidates College . Unfortunately most of Judy’s legacy has been squandered by an indolent president.

So a big credit to Labour, that despite all the hurdles that they face, they are focussing on training and the future by having a Summer School.

Whaleoil Awards – Worst List MP nominations

We all know that generally List MPs are scum. Some are more so than others.

Here is your chance to vent about the invisibile, the useless, the hopeless, the inept and the scum list MPs.

Ashraf Choudhary would have to rate as one of the worst List MPs, not only was he useless he was also invisible. Rajen Prasad would also qualify for this and labour rated him at number 20 above capable MPs like Stuart Nash and Kelvin Davis. While Prasad warms a seat in parliament the other two are looking for jobs.

Then of course you have the nasties: Darien Fenton, Steve Chadwick, Carol Beaumont and of course Sue Moroney. All distinctly unelectable and unlikeable.

Katrina Shanks would be up there for her completely inept speech on the “Skynet Bill”, speaking about that which she knows now’t.

The entire Green party would qualify except perhaps for Kevin Hague and Russel Norman.