Mike Williams

The Big Questions for the Labour Conference

Labour go to their conference over the weekend with piss poor poll numbers and a leader that is unable connect with the New Zealand public.

The big questions for the Labour conference should be around winning. Labour are supposed to be the natural party of government under MMP, yet they have only been in power for 9 out of the 18 years of MMP so far, and look like staying out of power again after the election.

The first and most important question is why is Labour broke? Sources inside Fraser House say that there are repeated acrimonious discussions about Labour’s lack of money, and the dead set useless pair of Coatsworth and Barnett hiding from their responsibilities. Political parties cannot survive without good fundraising, and if Coatsworth and Barnett can’t bring the cash in they need to resign.

The next most important question is who can raise money, and who will replace Coatsworth and Barnett? Mike “Fat Tony” Williams was a brilliant shakedown artist, and keep the Labour Party well funded for a long, long time. Will Labour be smart enough to bring Fat Tony back, or find a new Fat Tony? Whatever happens Coatsworth and Barnett have proven they can’t raise the money and this has consigned Labour to another election loss.   Read more »

Garner knifes Cunliffe

Duncan Garner in the Dominion Post yesterday slit Cunliffe from scrotum to sternum:

Labour ditched former leader David Shearer because he struggled to string two sentences together on a good day. So surely it couldn’t have got any worse, right? Wrong.

It’s a train wreck under David Cunliffe and Labour’s MPs are grumpy, nervous and wondering what they may be doing for a crust after September 20. The prospect of losing your job and the $150,000 salary always focuses the mind.

This week Labour slumped to 23 per cent in Fairfax’s stuff/Ipsos poll – under Shearer it was in the low 30s when he was dumped.

Cunliffe has taken the party backwards when he promised to take it forward. Could Labour be on track to record its worst-ever election defeat? Yes.

When Cunliffe utters a word or two these days the collective intake of breath among his MPs is simply frightening.

Listening to David Cunliffe this week was very enlightening, he gave away all his tells, and was dreadful under pressure. And this was hardly a big test…but the issues are there, every policy has been destroyed hours after release and then he and Labour are back pedalling.

He’s had a host of gaffes this year – and the best he’s looked was when he shut up and stood in the background while his wife, Karen Price, talked about the birds (chickens) and the bees in an interview at their home.

Cunliffe was parachuted into the job of leader, not because his MPs really wanted him – most dislike him – but because Labour Party members and union affiliates were desperate for someone to articulate their values.

To say he’s been a disappointment is an understatement. After this week’s horrors he looks unelectable as the next prime minister. He’s genuinely gone from bad to worse.

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10,000 letters? Constituent? Pro forma letter? Really?

I see David Cunliffe is going to appear on The Nation talking about “that letter”.

I wonder if anyone is going to tell Lisa Owen that Donghua Liu was never a constituent of David Cunliffe’s, never lived in the electorate (then again neither has David Cunliffe) and that the letter was far from being a pro forma letter because it contained rather detailed plans of Donghua Liu’s  business dealings?

It is far from normal for people to put their signatures to letters that state categorically that someone approached them when they did not. Someone is telling fibs and I don’t think it is Donghua Liu.

When will David Cunliffe acknowledge that he did actually meet Donghua Liu, with a long time Labour party bag man?

Now regarding the nonsense over the 10,000 plus letters this guys has supposed written or worked on…he has been in parliament for 14 years…that is more around 3 letters a day. I doubt his office has been that busy just on immigration matters.

More to the point Donghua Liu was applying under the investor category…where you need substantial cash to even apply…David Cunliffe must have known that when he applied and the applications under the investor category are such a small number it beggars belief that he could possibly have forgotten dealing with Donghua Liu and his bagman mate who was once a disgraced candidate.   Read more »

Comments of the Day

From Matthew Hooton to the whingers of the left:

What the left calls “the neoliberal experiment” the right believes is the most progressive set of policies ever to have been implemented in the history of the world, that has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty in China, South East Asia and (more slowly) India, as opposed to the alternative approach that has caused misery in much of South America and Europe.
We believe that everyone in New Zealand has gained from the post-1984 consensus and that a shift to what Cunliffe proposes would harm everyone in New Zealand.
We may of course be wrong.
But we believe this quite passionately.
So why would anyone surprised that people on the right are prepared to fight hard to stay in power?
Just like Helen Clark sent Mike Williams to Australia to find dirt on John Key (for the same motives).
To quote Michael Cullen, this is about power in NZ.
To quote Tana Umaga, it’s not tiddlywinks.
Is National meant to find evidence that Cunliffe is at best a hypocrite or at worst a liar and say “oh well, jolly good, let’s more on”?
Get into the real world.
Even if the most sinister explanations for this letter becoming public are true, its all fair enough in war, love and politics.
And it will get worse for Labour when the rumoured $300k issue emerges.

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Stephen Franks on Labour’s Liu Legal problems

Stephen Franks has highlighted Labour’s little legal problems with the Donghua Liu revelations.

Since the link between Donghua Liu and David Cunliffe surfaced early this week there has been widespread speculation that Labour breached the law in failing to declare two campaign donations made by Mr Liu in 2007.

Though Labour maintains it has no records, the Herald has reported that in 2007 Mr Liu contributed $15,000 for a book signed by Helen Clark, and an unknown amount of money for a bottle of wine.

Under the current law, a candidate donation can include:

“where goods or services are provided by a candidate under a contract or arrangement at a value that is more than their reasonable market value, the amount of the difference between that value and the reasonable market value of those goods or services.”

Corresponding terms govern party donations. Assuming the second donation was for more than $1500, they would capture both of Mr Liu’s transactions. The candidate or responsible party agent who knowingly failed to report them could face up to two years imprisonment (section 207I of the Electoral Act 1993).

But until 19 December 2007 the law governing donations was different. Until then the Electoral Act 1993 defined ‘donation’ to include goods or services provided to the party at an undervalue, but did not expressly capture a sale at an overvalue.

This loophole was partly closed by the Electoral Finance Act 2007 but untl then it was arguably legal not to report the alleged Liu donations if they were provided by way of auction price.

The fact that the law was changed to capture the second transaction increases the strength of the case that parliament realised there was a legal loophole under the old provision.

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Mike Williams vs Honesty

fat-tony-3

I note a number of people are trying to talk up ‘honest’ Mike Williams.

two things smell on this scoop….1) Jared Savage is not known for for honesty, or sobriety. Known for making things up and not actually investigating facts.
2) Mike “fat bastard” Williams says he didnt know about it – this strikes me as odd. Mike has a nose for money, and was great at raising money for labour. One of his greatest skills was extracting every last dime from a potential whale (no pun intended). Having heard Mike brag about his network for raising cash, he never mentioned this guy once. For those who know Mike, this would be out of character if indeed Liu gave cash to Labour. SO, very uncomfortable situation here……labour being hypocrites and savage telling truth or mike williams not telling the truth – on reflection, I believe mike williams over anything savage would print.

Perhaps they’ve forgotten about thisRead more »

Phil Quin on why Dotcom’s pets actually help National

- Dominion Post, Tom Scott

– Dominion Post, Tom Scott

Phil Quin must be getting close to a visit by the union thugs to teach him a thing or two about shooting his mouth off.

He writes at Pundit about the Internet Mana party and the left’s unholy alliance.

In pursuit of political legitimacy, Dotcom’s millions won’t amount to much unless the media plays along — and coverage of Harre’s cannabis stance, as well as the NZ Idol-style list selection over the weekend, suggests Internet Mana’s shiny newness is too much for an otherwise bored press gallery to ignore.

John Key, meanwhile, could hardly script a more favourable turn of events, or conjure a better cast of villains: “That’s what you’re going to see from the far left of politics,” he warned voters last month, “you’ll be led by Russel Norman, Kim Dotcom, Mana, David Cunliffe”. By refusing to close the door on Internet Mana, and even talking up Laila Harre’s political pedigree, Cunliffe risks giving credence to exactly that ungainly prospect. This stance, understandable if somewhat timid and ambiguous, was cast in unflattering light by the forthright rejection of Internet Mana as a “scam” by Kelvin Davis, Labour’s candidate in Te Tai Tokerau.  Read more »

A reader emails about the so-called “missing million”

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A reader shares his thoughts about the “missing million”:

The ‘Missing Million’ Theory is being dragged out on a increasing regularity now that the Left increasing despairs at the polling results, this suits their agenda in two ways:

1) They can say the polls don’t pick up this million in the polling activity - therefore they are actually performing better

2) It is becoming increasingly apparent with their desertion of the middle ground they need to lock into another source of vote or they will end up cannibalising their own Block.

The biggest problem they face is how exactly they will convince this Million to vote (let alone enrol).  Read more »

Mike Smith – On Labour’s Mantra of Misery

There is trouble inside Labour.

Former General Secretary, Mike Smith, the guy who lied to Police and the Electoral Commission over the pledge card, is being very vocal now about how dreadful David Cunliffe is.

David Cunliffe badly needs a new stump speech. On Thursday in Whanganui I heard him depress a large and sympathetic audience for ten minutes with tales of national woe, then promise a positive campaign but give no details. It is good to know that a positive campaign is proposed. Labour has promised an economic upgrade; it also needs a communications upgrade, and besides being positive it must be relevant. That could shift the polls.

The policy bones are all there – they’re just not connected in a narrative that relates to voters. Because they are not connected they can’t be repeated, so too much communication is undisciplined and unfocussed, as we saw last week from several players. Focussed and disciplined communications are necessary for voters to have a clear idea of what is on offer, how it relates to them, and why Labour’s alternative is best for them and for the country.

It is the mantra of misery and it besets everything that Labour says and does.

Message relevance is critical; this was key to Labour’s late communication in 2005, described to some extent by Mike Williams in today’s Herald. Relevant communication to non-voters was critical to Labour coming from behind to lead on election day. Don Brash is still crying in the beer about it. And while I’m on 2005, getting Labour’s numbers up is also critical to post-election decisions. The lead party will have first crack at forming a government, and much will depend on the numbers on the day.   Read more »

Mark or Mike? Doesn’t really matter the missing million isn’t really a million or missing

I saw the headline this morning and though to myself…”Who is Mark Williams and why do I care what he has to say?”.

Mark WIlliams

Who was this Mark Williams who was providing his prognostications on our elections and turn out?

Well it turns out that it is Mike Williams aka Fat Tony the former president of the Labour party and he is shilling the mythical “missing million” story yet again.

The announcement of Laila Harre as leader of the Internet Party again put the political focus on the high rate of abstention in the 2011 general election when more than a quarter of enrolled voters failed to cast a ballot.

Harre stated her party’s main objective was to mobilise these no-shows, dubbed the “missing million”. If this happens, it is likely the survival of the National-led government would be in doubt.

The missing million fall into two groups: the nearly 800,000 who registered to vote but didn’t and the more than 200,000 Kiwis the Census tells us didn’t even bother to enrol.

Given pro-active enrolment campaigns by the Electoral Commission and the fact that enrolment in New Zealand is compulsory, it’s likely that the unenrolled group won’t reduce by much. That still leaves the enrolled non-voters. Following the 2002 general election, the Labour Party set out to understand who made up the non-vote to develop strategies to mobilise at least some in 2005.

The party observed that the non-vote was highest in safe Labour electorates and lowest in safe National seats. After research, a number of conclusions were reached.

The non-vote is nearly impossible to poll by conventional methods.

As many as half the people contacted refuse to participate. It is likely that in this group the non-voters are to be found (or not found).

Labour thinks, erroneously, that all of these “missing million” are going to vote for them or the left and hand victory to them at this year’s election. They are pouring precious resources into this group and at the same time ignoring the working poor of New Zealand and definitely ignoring the middle classes struggle.

There is some debate about whether or not there is infact a missing million.   Read more »