Politics

No news today – just Labour continuing to be hypocritical

Labour, and particularly Shane Jones, are shameless with the brouhaha over a fundraising dinner John Key attended organised by the Maori Party.

Back in October, wasn’t it Labour selling access to MPs at its party conference?

Their conference material offered:

 An opportunity to meet 1:1 in a short meeting with your choice (subject to availability) of Members of Parliament and senior Party officials (further information regarding this will be sent to you on payment).

I think we need to step back and consider very carefully Labour’s stance on this.

Paying to go for a dinner where you’ll likely  get some face time with John Key = bad/evil

Paying to meet one-on-one Labour MPs = just fine.  Read more »

Perhaps Gareth Morgan should take note of this

Gareth Morgan famously rode his motorcycle through the Potemkin villages of NOrth Korea, proclaiming the whole country to be enlightened and not as reported outside of the country.

The man is an idiot. There is ample evidence of the lack of freedom and deprivations suffered by the people of North Korea under the Kim regime.

Yeonmi Park spoke to Australia’s SBS about her defection from North Korea.

I lived in North Korea for the first 15 years of my life, believing Kim Jong-il was a god. I never doubted it because I didn’t know anything else. I could not even imagine life outside of the regime.

It was like living in hell. There were constant power outages, so everything was dark. There was no transportation – everyone had to walk everywhere. It was very dirty and no one could eat anything.

It was not the right conditions for human life, but you couldn’t think about it, let alone complain about it. Even though you were suffering, you had to worship the regime every day.

I had to be careful of my thoughts because I believed Kim Jong-il could read my mind. Every couple of days someone would disappear. A classmate’s mother was punished in a public execution that I was made to attend. I had no choice – there were spies in the neighbourhood.

My father worked for the government, so for a while things were relatively OK for me compared with some others in North Korea. But my father was accused of doing something wrong and jailed for three years. He being guilty made me guilty too, so whatever future I had in North Korea completely disappeared. I could no longer go to university, and my family was forced to move out of Pyongyang to the countryside on the border close to China.

After a few years, my father became very sick with cancer and he came out of jail for treatment. During this time, we decided to leave North Korea.

We had to cross a frozen river in the middle of winter to sneak across the border into China. I was very scared – not of being caught but of being shot. If they see someone escaping, they don’t ask, they just shoot them.  Read more »

The toxic Greens

David Cunliffe needs the Greens to make him PM.

However his focus groups and internal polling are showing that the voters are nervous, especially about the toxic Greens. Which is why he won’t say publicly that he needs them.

That’s why there’s been this pretend break up.

Winston’s worked that out, even if Bryce Edwards can’t;

Read more »

Green taliban aids in destruction of pristine landscape for a cycleway

Yesterday Russel Norman attacked the government for wanting to bulldoze tracks through pristine forest.

So the Green Party moans about the government wanting to mine in Ecological Areas, but we can reveal that they are right behind an American property developer called Mr Marion Boatwright and his promotion of the Old Ghost Rd cycleway as a means of getting tourists to pass by his lodge in the lower Mokihinui River.

This coincided with Solid Energy’s desire to push a road thru an Ecological Area and John Key’s National Cycleway Project Te Hauranga, which was launched at the beginning of the recession to mop up unemployment.

The Old Ghost Road [OGR]  was begun with a minimum of assessment and no proper budget.

So far it has cost about $5 million, plus an extra $800,000 from DOC and it is far from finished – probably needs $2 million more.

The main drivers of the project are Solid Energy’s Phil Rossiter and Mr Boatwright, with some smart PR work from Boatwrights (ex?) partner Susan Cooke, a former Press reporter.  Read more »

Cunliffe had to do it, the Greens are toxic

David Cunliffe has been forced into distancing him and Labour somewhat from the Greens.

Audrey Young reports:

Labour yesterday rebuffed a proposal by the Green Party to present both parties as a coalition Government in waiting during in the run-up to the September 20 election.

Labour co-leader David Cunliffe indicated that such a pre-election arrangement could have posed problems with post-election negotiations with other parties, such as New Zealand First.

The Greens never had a formal coalition with the three-term Helen Clark Government, sufficing with a less extensive support agreement and no ministers.

Mr Cunliffe told the Herald tonight he envisaged that Labour would try to negotiate a formal coalition agreement with the Greens after the election, but until then he would be referring to a “Labour-led Government,” not a “Labour-Greens Government” – or a “Green-Labour Government” which had also been raised.

“I’m the leader of the Labour Party and my job is to maximize the Labour Party vote,” he said.

“The Labour Party will be the core of the incoming Government working co-operatively with the Green Party who are our longstanding friends.

But Labour would quite possibly be working with other parties as well “and whatever the coalition arrangements are, they need to be able to spread across more than two parties.”

He said it was important to maximize the reach “all the way from the greenest end of the green spectrum right to the political centre and cross-over voters and in order to do that, it is important that they have their brand and we have our brand, and they have their policies and we have our policies.”  Read more »

Inside the Labour party war room

Yesterday the Nats published a version of the Labour Party’s ‘war room’ white board.

10245589_857379817610948_111107149884583744_n-1 Read more »

Punching back, Charles Koch reposnds to his critics

The Koch brothers are the current punching bag of antidemocratic forces intent on removing their voices from political discourse. They are demonised even in New Zealand.

In the Washington Post however Charles Koch punches back at his critics, with facts.

I have devoted most of my life to understanding the principles that enable people to improve their lives. It is those principles—the principles of a free society—that have shaped my life, my family, our company and America itself.

Unfortunately, the fundamental concepts of dignity, respect, equality before the law and personal freedom are under attack by the nation’s own government. That’s why, if we want to restore a free society and create greater well-being and opportunity for all Americans, we have no choice but to fight for those principles. I have been doing so for more than 50 years, primarily through educational efforts. It was only in the past decade that I realized the need to also engage in the political process.

Another perspective on Dotcom’s nazi fetish

Carrie Stoddart-Smith  at Ellipsister blogs on her thoughts about Kim Dotcom, the Interet party and his nazi fetish.

On its own, purchasing the copy of Mein Kampf and other WW2 memorabilia isn’t in my view sufficient evidence for claiming that KDC is a Nazi sympathiser. It might raise questions about his character, however, collectors do in fact purchase these kinds of items and we cannot ignore the news coverage of the raid on KDC’s mansion that referred to him as a collector of sorts.

But I think Giovanni Tiso is right about social norms in Germany and the improbability of German’s finding pleasure in collecting Nazi artefacts or posing for photo’s wearing Nazi memorabilia.  Tiso writes from his experience and understanding as an Italian, the difference between how neo-Nazism is approached in Italy versus Germany.

I blogged yesterday on Giovanni Tiso’s position.

I do have my reservations as to whether there would have been as much public interest or even outcry if only a single event tarnished KDC’s name. I’m sure there would still have been questions that lingered and general suspicions. Interestingly or even perhaps unsurprisingly, many bloggers who support KDC have limited their focus to a single factor attempting to minimise the weight attributed to the claims against KDC, including a post promoted by Vikram Kumar entitled The power of an open mind that hinges only on the fact that KDC owned Mein Kampf.

To my knowledge, KDC has not even made a decent attempt to apologise for his offensive behaviour or comments. Instead he dismisses the claims or events as unremarkable, or offers up excuses and weak justifications for his actions.  Read more »

Tracy Watkins on Labour

Tracy Watkins writes about Labour’s lack of urgency.

It speaks volumes about David Cunliffe’s bad week that on the day John Key delivered his pre-Budget speech, it was the Labour leader who copped it on the street over the Government’s failure to make a big dent in unemployment.

Key’s speech to a much friendlier audience across town in Aucland was less of a pre-Budget missive than a stump speech aimed at setting the parameters for the election campaign around National’s well-rehearsed narrative that any spending promises by Labour would herald out-of-control debt and spiralling interest rates.

This sparked the usual war of words between Labour and National over who would leave behind the worst economic legacy. But Labour’s headache, six years on, is that National has been hugely effective at painting the Clark-Cullen years as a decade of tax and spend, compared with its own narrative of scrimping and fiscal prudence.

The reality, of course, is not quite as straightforward – despite the “zero” Budgets, government spending has continued to rise each year under National. But there is no dispute that when it came to power, the country was staring down the barrel at a decade of deficits and skyrocketing debt.

The May Budget will show that National has done a remarkable job of turning that around by bringing forward the return to surplus by some years and lowering the debt trajectory.  Read more »

David Cunliffe’s two face position on secret negotiations

inbelievable

The interview yesterday with Tim Fookes really did throw up a lot of gold about David Cunliffe.

He has a spectacular ability to lie and deceive almost without thinking.

Cunliffe made a comment in his discussion with Tim Fookes yesterday that seems to have been missed by commentators.  I see it as very pertinent in the context of the Labour/Greens clamour for the TPP negotiations to be public.

David Cunliffe on negotiations in private David Cunliffe NewstalkZB: Tim Fookes "David Cunliffe on negotiations in private"

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