Matt McCarten

Some questions I’d like The Nation to ask Laila

laila_harre-porkie

I see Laila Harre is going on The Nation this weekend.

This weekend on The Nation… Laila Harre breaks her post-election silence… the veteran activist of the left fronts up on the future of the Internet Party, her own leadership, and what’s next for her.

Most likely it will be promoting the thing her and her sister are doing.

I also see that Matthew Hooton is adding commentary. I hope that both him and Laila have declared that they are about to jet off to Colorado on a skiing holiday together.

It really should be declared if you are going to provide commentary about her.   Read more »

Did Martyn Martin Bradbury advise the Democrats?

Wrongly Wrongson, the blogger formerly known as Martyn Martin Bradbury, got all his predictions dead wrong in the last NZ general election.

But it seems he has taken his own particular brand of wrong punditry and been moonlighting with the Democrats in the US.

The Washington Examiner looks at some of the left wing shibboleths and Democratic myths that they clung to, which resulted in their defeat in the mid-term elections.

As Democratic losses mounted in Senate races across the country on election night, some liberal commentators clung to the idea that dissatisfied voters were sending a generally anti-incumbent message, and not specifically repudiating Democratic officeholders. But the facts of the election just don’t support that story.

Voters replaced Democratic senators with Republicans in Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, Montana, South Dakota, West Virginia and likely in Alaska, and appear on track to do so in a runoff next month in Louisiana. At the same time, voters kept Republicans in GOP seats in heavily contested races in Georgia, Kansas and Kentucky. That is at least 10, and as many as a dozen, tough races, without a single Republican seat changing hands. Tuesday’s voting was a wave alright — a very anti-Democratic wave.

In addition to demolishing the claim of bipartisan anti-incumbent sentiment, voters also exposed as myths five other ideas dear to the hearts of Democrats in the last few months:

1) The election wouldn’t be a referendum on President Obama. “Barack Obama was on the ballot in 2012 and in 2008,” Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in late October. “The candidates that are on the ballot are Democratic and Republican candidates for Congress.” Of course, that was true, but Republicans from New Hampshire to Alaska worked tirelessly to put the president figuratively on the ballot. And they succeeded.

Every day on the stump, Republican candidates pressed the point that their Democratic opponents voted for the Obama agenda nearly all the time. “Kay Hagan has voted for President Obama’s failed partisan agenda 95 percent of the time,” said Thom Tillis, who defeated the incumbent Democrat in North Carolina. Mark Pryor “votes with Barack Obama 93 percent of the time,” said Tom Cotton, who defeated the incumbent Democrat in Arkansas. “Mark Udall has voted with [Obama] 99 percent of the time,” said Cory Gardner, who defeated the incumbent Democrat in Colorado.

On Election Day, nearly 60 percent of voters told exit pollsters they were dissatisfied or angry with the Obama administration. In retrospect, there was no more effective campaign strategy for Republicans running in 2014 than to tie an opponent to the president.

Whoopsy…got that dead wrong.  Read more »

About moderation, ideas and life

By Pete

The Cameron Slater that started blogging 9 years ago was sick, angry and lashing out.  What he wrote was vile, upsetting and visceral.  Yet there was a constant kernel of truth and a continuous provision of information and insights into the political process you could never get anywhere else.  A small audience began to grow.

As was the thing, back in the day, allowing non-moderated comments to appear was part of the deal.  It was a point of pride.

The theory was that smart readers would realise that the views of commenters were not those of the blog or its operator.  And Cam personally felt (and still does, if we’re to be honest), that free speech is sacrosanct to the point where he would allow anything to be written.

The problem was that he assumed readers would not connect those comments to him, and instead judge only the writer of such comments.

It’s no secret that since I’ve gotten involved, I’ve been busy mainstreaming Cameron Slater.  Knocking the rough edges off.  Making him sleep on things for another day before putting ‘pen to paper’.  That certainly improved the general acceptability of the blog, and the audience grew.  But we seemed to be hitting another barrier.

Read more »

Time to twist the knife some more

Hamish Rutherford thinks it’s a good idea to push Judith Collins into the mud and grind her face down some more.  All based on an email that didn’t even come from the Dirty Politics book.  And Collins will be cleared of any wrongdoing.

Two former National ministers have gone right to the back of the class, among just four in the 60 strong caucus earning the basic MP’s salary.

Following the first week of Parliament, 56 of National’s MPs have been made either ministers, whips, speakers, chairs or deputy chairs of select committees.

All of those roles come with additional pay, from the $4600 extra paid to select committee deputy chairs, to the extra $280,700 paid to Prime Minister John Key.

But Judith Collins and Maurice Williamson, who were both ministers earlier this year, now earn the basic MP’s salary of $147,800, along with newcomers Parmjeet Parmar and Todd Barclay, 24.

Barclay, the baby of the House, was not born until Williamson had been an MP for almost three years. When Barclay joined Bill English’s office as a junior official, Judith Collins was Police Minister. Read more »

Unions destroy jobs with their minimum wage demands

I warned people this would be the result.  Why can’t unions ever see beyond the next wage round?

mcdonalds-automation

If there’s a silver lining for McDonald’s in Tuesday’s dreadful earnings report, it is that perhaps union activists will begin to understand that the fast-food chain cannot solve the problems of the Obama economy. The world’s largest restaurant company reported a 30% decline in quarterly profits on a 5% drop in revenues. Problems under the golden arches were global—sales were weak in China, Europe and the United States. Read more »

The best strategy when you find you are flogging a dead horse is to dismount

Yes Russel, it's dead

Yes Russel, it’s dead

A wise bloke I know has a saying, one that I use often.

He says to people who seek out his business advice, usually too late I might add, that when you find yourself flogging a dead horse, then the best strategy is to dismount, and find another horse.

Which brings me to Russel Norman and his pathetic and I might add in some case defamatory attacks on me in parliament.

Did he not see the election results?

Of course the complicit media, and yes they are complicit as time will show, of course jumped in boots and all.

Heat on PM over Slater links – 3News NZ
PM refuses to answer Slater questionsRadio New Zealand
Key under more pressure over links with bloggerTVNZ  Read more »

I still reckon 300 is a better analogy

congressional-train-wreck

Andrea Vance reckons Lord of the Flies, I reckon 300…I still reckon i’m right.

Who will be the next Lord of the Flies?

Another leader has passed through the Labour Party grinder.

Normally coups are quick and bloody.

But by his own hand, David Cunliffe’s exit was torturous. A slow-motion train-wreck that played out over a week. His caucus ignored him, defied him, humiliated and deserted him.

And now he’s coming back for some more of the same. David Cunliffe either has the resilience of a cockroach or a total lack of self-awareness. He schemed and manipulated his way into the top job – just as his caucus colleagues schemed and manipulated to keep him out of it.

Read more »

Did Hone throw TTT?

Plausible

There is some speculation that Hone Harawira threw Te Tai Tokerau.

It seems, on the surface a strange accusation to level against the man, but it has been a persistent theme this past week.

I decided to think this one through and I’ve come to the conclusion, in Mythbusters style, that the supposition is at least plausible.

Let’s look at some provable facts.

  1. Hone Harawira did a bunk for at least a week during the campaign.
    There were reports of him being in Australia and other parts of NZ. Irrespective of those rumours he was certainly absent from campaign duties for a considerable amount of time.
  2. There  were several fallings out amongst the leadership, the most notable being over legalisation of cannabis
  3. The deal to merge the parties was stitched together by Laila Harre, Gerard Hehir and Matt McCarten and presented to hone Harawira as a fait accompli. He had no input into the process or decision.
  4. It was only the offer of funding that swayed Hone Harawira to accept the merger.
  5. Hone’s wife was against the merger of the Internet party and the Mana party, despite the money.
  6. Hone Harawira didn’t speak at the campaign launch and was barely noticed after Dotcom boasted of hacking and Pam Corkery went feral on the media as Kim Dotcom did a runner out the back way.
  7. The whole concept was really a plan to resurrect the Alliance.

Read more »

Lindsay Mitchell on why Labour copped a flogging

Labour copped a flogging in the election.

Despite the obvious, they seem to be unable to understand why.

Lindsay Mitchell has provided a handy post explaining precisely why Labour was unelectable and will remain unelectable.

If I could say it in a sentence – Labour makes us feel bad about ourselves.

We are told we should be ashamed to live in a country that tolerates  inequality and poverty. It’s implied that success is a matter for sheepishness when others are missing out. We are heels for feeling any aversion to taxation, or the idea of increasing it.

They ran what was billed as a positive campaign but talked, almost always, negatively.

I cannot be a surprise to anyone that their disconnected campaign slogan was designed to link to Nick Hager’s Dirty Politics saga. It turned out to be a spectacular failure on their part, and it will be interesting to find out precisely who suggested it. My pick is Matt McCarten had a hand in that. The slogan meant nothing without dirty politics.

If things were really dire it might have worked. Oppositions can run winning campaigns built on bad news if it’s real and pervasive.  But economic and social statistics are nearly all trending in the right direction. There were no traditional battlegrounds on which Labour could build a case for change. Not the economy, health, education or welfare.

They tried to bribe the have-nots and guilt trip the rest. But the working have-nots figured out they would lose other subsidies with any wage increase, and didn’t like the idea of beneficiaries getting the tax credits they’ve been working for.

Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

myturn2

Credit: SonovaMin