Michelle Boag

A house divided, and a house that will fall


Labour’s leadership contender says Labour’s house is divided.

Well duh!

We’ve known that since Helen Clark departed, and so have the voters. It doesn’t take a rocket scientists to see it.

Labour’s acting leader David Parker has confirmed that he will be entering a bid for the Party leadership.

Announcing his bid in Auckland this afternoon, Mr Parker said he will restore the party’s focus, passion and drive so it can become a unifying force for New Zealanders.

He said he had been approached by New Zealanders “from all walks of life” in the past 10 days asking him to stand.

“In less than two years the New Zealand Labour Party will mark its centenary – its 100th birthday.

“I am simply not prepared to let this milestone become a tombstone.

“A tombstone for a once great party that once did great things for New Zealand.”

If successful in his bid, Mr Parker said he would review all of Labour’s policies.

“We lost badly and I get it.”

Mr Parker said Labour needed to get its house in order.

“History teaches us a house divided against itself cannot stand.

“All of us claim to be able to unite the caucus and the party.

“From unity comes strength. Unity also brings confidence – and success.

“I believe I am that leader.”

Read more »

All they need now is Goff to stand

Labour's leadership contest has become a Carnival of CLowns

Labour’s leadership contest has become a Carnival of CLowns

Labour’s leadership spill is fast becoming a farce, like the whole party really.

Labour talks boldly of their membership, but outside of the unions fake membership numbers there are actually precious few members. Certainly nowhere near the numbers the National party has.

Those members though are the hard core, and seriously deluded activists. They drank all the koolaid and everytime there is a new leader they enthusiastically tell everyone that this guy is the “game-changer” that will rid the nation of John Key.

Phil Goff was smarter than Key, better in debates…and choked on “Show me the Money”. David Shearer apparently saved 50 million people while John Key made $50 million, and had a fabulous back story, but was wholly unprepared for back-stabbing inside his own caucus. David Cunliffe of course was the new messiah for Labour, the man to take them back left, the Slayer of Key, the Man, the Chosen One, anointed by the party membership and ultimately a vainglorious idiot who got his beans at the election.

So far David Cunliffe has decided to have one last sally forth to lead Labour. Grant Robertson who has destabilised three leaders now wants his crack at the job. Andrew Little, a man so unelectable he keeps losing in his home town also wants a crack.

To add misery to the leadership spill the man who got his leg over with the wife of a Labour icon and recent stroke victim is now putting his hand up for the leadership despite being the architect of all the failed policies that voters rejected. No doubt we will be told he is a nice guy (as if we can believe that given his personal background), a man with a big brain, but not as big as a planet because David Cunliffe has got that one covered. The problem is for David Parker, quite part from his personal life, is that the narrative just doesn’t work. In politics, nice guys finish last.

Which now leads onto the joke that David Shearer is now trying to resurrect his leadership aspirations, bringing the number of leadership aspirants to five. ¬†¬† Read more »

Sadly, Boag is the only one even close to correct.

The Herald on Sunday has a bunch of pundits and politicians prescribing what it is that Labour has to do about re-building.

Sadly, Michelle Boag is the only one even close to correct.

Labour’s 10-point plan to rebuild, in this order:

‚ÄĘ Stop fighting each other.

‚ÄĘ Research: Find out what the voters think and stop trying to fit voters to your policies.

‚ÄĘ Fundraising: Find your most loyal business supporters and ask them to bankroll the plan.

‚ÄĘ Brand strategy: Using the research, get independent people to develop new branding, consider “New Labour”. ¬†¬† Read more »

Why is David Cunliffe So Useless, Ctd

Cunliffe - Sh_t

Two weekend polls showed what every astute observer of New Zealand politics knew.

David Cunliffe has had not cut through, and has not improved Labour’s share of the vote.

Whatever excuses are made up the polls tell the truth, and even if Labour run a competent campaign compared to 2011 it looks increasingly difficult for them to form a government post election. ¬† Read more »

Palino for Mayor? Yeah… naaaaah

The Herald on Sunday are trying to revive the political corpse that’s John Palino

Last year’s defeated Auckland mayoral candidate is not ruling out another tilt at the mayoral chains.

“I’m keeping that open,” the restaurateur told the¬†Herald on Sunday¬†yesterday. “I get people often, pretty much every day, saying: ‘I hope you run again’.”

Palino, speaking at length for the first time since the election, said the decision would be made in about 18 months. “Depending on where I’m at, what I’m doing with my partner, my family and ‚ÄĒ hopefully ‚ÄĒ having children.”

In comments likely to frustrate his critics, Palino reiterated he’d had no advance or detailed knowledge of mayor Len Brown’s affair with Bevan Chuang, a liaison that sparked the country’s biggest sex scandal in years.

Auckland wants to get rid of Len Brown so badly, it will accept anything that comes along that doesn’t look like it is going to work them over.

Palino isn’t such a man. ¬†He’s severely tainted and doesn’t deserve to have a second go, no matter how early his image revitalisation run is started with the help of a paper that is looking to work its way into the next mayor’s office. ¬† Read more »

Brian Edwards on Shane Taurima, Linda Clark and Conflicts of Interest

My good friend Brian Edwards has this to say about Shane Taurima and his actual conflict of interest:

There was nothing terribly complex about Shane Taurima’s situation with regard to his job as Head of TVNZ’s  Maori and Pacifica Department once he had, albeit unsuccessfully,  sought the Labour Party nomination for the Rawhiti Ikaroa seat following the death of Parekura Horomia. Taurima had very publicly nailed his political colours to the mast. In doing so he had effectively disbarred himself from any further involvement in News or Current Affairs broadcasting with the state broadcaster. The potential conflict of interest could not have been more clear.

Television New Zealand apparently did not see it that way. Perhaps they thought that Taurima’s failure to actually win the nomination made all the difference. He had been a would-be Labour candidate, not an actual Labour candidate.  (And, as it turned out, would be again.) That rationalisation is so facile as to be laughable. Taurima was politically tainted. He should not have been re-employed in his previous role. But he was.

When he took things even further and  turned his TVNZ office into a Maori/Pacifica Labour Party branch, Taurima did his employer a favour.  Without actually hanging portraits of Savage, Fraser and Kirk on the walls, the conflict of interest in which he and others in his department now found themselves could not have been more patent. To his credit, Taurima had the grace and good sense to resign.

He resigned because the case was so clear cut there was no other option. Unfortunately for Shane Taurima he thought Labour would stand by their electorate chair, instead they have given him the cold-face and turned their back.

There is actually nothing new about all of this. The list of television and radio  broadcasters working in news and current affairs who are or have been simultaneously engaged in activities which conflict with their obligation to be and be seen to be utterly impartial in all matters relating to their jobs, is extremely long. They may well be in the majority. Conflicts of interest among such practitioners abound.

Read more »

Vernon Small on Labour’s “issues”

Yesterday Vernon Small wrote about the biggest issue facing Labour ahead of this year’s election.

Well the biggest problem after the issue with their tits leader….rejuvenation…or rather the lack of it.

¬†In politics rejuvenation rates alongside succession planning. Both are easy catchcries and generally seen as “a good thing”.

In reality they are a type of parliamentary Nimby-ism – nice to have if it is someone else who is vacating a seat, and fine as long as you are not the leader whose replacement is being groomed.

On the National side of the aisle rejuvenation is in full swing. At last count 14 MPs have either gone or are going out of a caucus of 59. It is generally accepted as a worthwhile and necessary refreshment of the party. Certainly it is being handled well and without any overt bloodletting. No dummies have been spat in the remaking of the National caucus.

Of course if the polls were different it would be a different story. Shave a theoretical five points off the Government and give it to the Opposition and the narrative might be akin to the “rats leaving a sinking ship” theme that Labour leader David Cunliffe has tried to get up.

But that just looks lame when the last three polls had National harvesting enough support to govern alone.¬† Read more »

Dodgy CV Cheat run out of town

Good news, isn’t it? ¬†Sadly, it’s not David Cunliffe, but CV embellisher extraordinaire¬†Michael Vukcevic.

It seems that the difference to keeping your job and losing it comes down to the quality of spin doctor you employ. ¬†Brown and Cunliffe got their money’s worth, whereas Vukcevic got Vukd.

The Deputy Chairman of the NZ Middle East Business Council, Mr Stewart Germann, announced today that the Council had accepted the resignation of Michael Vukcevic from its Executive Committee effective immediately.

Mr Germann said he would take over as Chairman until the next AGM.¬†‚ÄúMr Vukcevic has been an energetic and committed participant of the Council during¬†his more than six years of involvement, and was in fact a founding member of the¬†organisation,‚ÄĚ he said. ¬† Read more »

Why does a dodgy CV in the private sector get you sacked but not as an MP?

Yesterday the news was all about the ‘sacking’ of Michael Vukcevic from Baldwins law firm over a dodgy CV.

My sources tell me that a private investigator was used and the partners fully briefed on the revelation of that PI. As a result Mr Vukcevic left for ‘personal reasons’.

My sources also tell me that it took less than half a day for all records of Mr Vukcevic’s employment at Baldwins to be expunged from their website in what looks like a cleansing operation.

So, that raises interesting questions, like what else was in the PI report.

But is also raises questions generally about the use of dodgy CVs by high profile people. ¬† Read more »

Dodgy CV leads to shameless spin which leads to more questions

Yesterday both major news outlets ran stories of a dodgy CV used by the former CEO of Baldwins, Michael Vukcevic. It is hugely ironic too that Michael Vukcevic was previously head of anti-corruption group Transparency International.

Phil Kitchin at the Dompost wrote:

The chairman of an influential business council with close links to the Government’s bid for a Middle East free trade agreement is a CV fraudster.

Fairfax NZ can reveal that Michael Vukcevic – head of the Auckland-based Middle East Business Council – falsely claimed to have a law degree from Victoria University.

Mr Vukcevic was also a director of anti-corruption agency Transparency International when he lied in his successful bid for the top New Zealand job at multinational law and patent firm, Baldwins.

The fraud will embarrass the firm, which was last year a finalist in the New Zealand Law Awards for a second year in a row.

It will also embarrass the Government because of the ties between the council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and NZ Trade and Enterprise.

As chair of the Middle East council, Mr Vukcevic rubs shoulders with powerful figures from MFAT – including Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully.

The council’s current executive includes former Young Nats president Daniel Fielding, and the vice-chairman is Auckland lawyer Stewart Germann. Former National Party president Michelle Boag advises the executive.¬† Read more »