Mike Williams

Hooton on Labour’s version of crony capitalism

Corporate shill Matthew Hooton calls out David Cunliffe for his own version of crony capitalism.

The most disappointing aspect of John Key’s government is its tendency toward crony capitalism and corporate welfare.

Most passionately debated were the tax breaks and employment law changes for the movie industry after lobbying from Sir Peter Jackson andWarner Bros.

The SkyCity deal involved the government foregoing future revenues from casino relicensing to get a Convention Centre at no immediate cost.

The Tiwai Point aluminium smelter, with annual revenues of over $1 billion, was given a one-off handout of $30 million, an amount which cannot materially improve its viability.

The government tried to keep prices for broadband and landlines artificially high to subsidise Chorus.

These are the best-known examples but seldom does a week go by without Steven Joyce announcing a new handout to some chosen sector or firm.

I don’t subscribe to subsidies, but politicians love the pork.

In his first party conference speech as leader, Mr Cunliffe launched a fearsome assault on National for “tilt[ing] the playing field even further” towards its “mates.”

“[National]’s Hall of Shame,” Mr Cunliffe boomed, “involves those shabby deals with Warner Brothers, Sky City, Rio Tinto and Chorus.”

Quite accurately, Mr Cunliffe reported businesspeople telling him they wanted no part of it. “They want a level playing field that’s fair and transparent, not one set of rules for National’s mates and another for everyone else,” he said.

It was a superb issue for Labour because it unifies everyone from the anti-business far left to the New Zealand Initiative, the resurrected Business Roundtable.

Now Labour has gone and blown it.  Read more »

Why the donations scandals are necessary for Labour to push

Labour's best bagman, Mike Williams could get donations from anyone

Labour’s best bagman: Mike Williams could get donations from anyone

Labour is continuing to push hard on Judith Collins and her glass of milk. They need to…along with their attempt to get traction on the legal and declared Antoine’s dinner.

Mike Williams gave a hint over why they need this to take hold…and it isn;t so they can get hits on National. The reasons are far more venal than that.

Political parties need money to survive in non-election years and to flourish when election day looms. Unlike Australia, most European democracies and the United States, New Zealand has not instituted state funding of political parties beyond the broadcasting grant that pays for (and limits) television and radio advertising during an election campaign.

If parties want to support an administration, employ organisers and advertise anywhere other than radio and television, they must raise their own money.

Mike Williams and Labour have for years wanted state funding of political parties. When my father was president of the National party he had regular meetings with Labour’s presidents and other presidents where the topic of state funding would come up.  Read more »

‘Bang And Blame’ from Cunliffe

David Cunliffe and his lap-bloggers around the blogosphere are all blaming others for their leader copping tons of pressure this year.

What did they expect, this is election year. It is a fight for power. The funny thing is that they saw nothing wrong with Mike Williams digging into John Key’s past, flying to Melbourne, bringing back boxes of documents and then seeding and spreading rumours for weeks via the blogs. Ultimately it all blew up in their collective faces when they got it wrong.

David Cunliffe though is showing he lacks the moxie to be leader or even Prime Minister with his sensitivity to a little bit of scrutiny…worse he is playing the blame game.

Labour leader David Cunliffe came out swinging in Hamilton after weathering an onslaught of criticism over repeated gaffes that threaten to derail him in an election year.

He was in Hamilton to push his Best Start policy to the education and social service sectors and the party faithful after a week-long scandal he said was just a storm in a teacup.

“Mate, that is just Wellington beltway politics,” he said yesterday. “Government has been trying to throw the kitchen sink at me in the last couple of weeks just to discredit me.”  Read more »

Something for Labour to remember as they hammer Judith Collins today in parliament

Helen Clark and Trevir Mallard with Labour's biggest donor, Owen Glenn,  at the opening of a University building Glen paid for.

Helen Clark and Trevor Mallard with Labour’s biggest donor, Owen Glenn, at the opening of a University building Glen paid for.

Labour is going to attack Judith Collins today in parliament…over a drink of milk…apparently this is the worst indication of corruption seen in New Zealand.

We know this because Mrs Mallard (Jane Clifton) has signalled it in her column today (not online).

But Labour should remember a few things of their own.

They are making a huge fuss over a photo and some chinese text written by someone offshore. They need to remember that politicians pose for photos all the time.

But their own behaviour isn’t that flash either. As the photo shows above Helen Clark was happy to open a building paid for by Owen Glenn, named after him when he was their single biggest donor ever. On top of that he was also a large donor to NZ First at the time.  Read more »

Is Labour trying to kill the Greens?

I’ve been doing a fair bit of thinking about Labour’s strategy.

I am pretty sure that Labour is trying to do a poor emulation of what National did between 2002 and 2005.

They are a little premature in that they haven’t yet had their loss like 2002 but they are heading in the at direction is sources telling me about Labour’s internal polling are correct.

National spent most of the gap between 2002 and 2005 trying to kill of Act. It was difficult as they were very active at this time.

Don Brash ascended the leadership and issued the now infamous Orewa speech, it was at that moment that the beginning of the end of the Act party started.

What has happened since though has caused National to have very few support partners, but at the same time hoover pretty much all of the centre right support.

Could Labour now being doing the same thing…they appear to be doing so with their lurch to the left.

The appointment of Matt McCarten cements this and his knowledge of left-wing politics should enable them to smack up…hard…the Green party.

We know that many in labour see green votes as rightfully theirs, and they think they also own the ‘pooftah’ vote and the union vote. But those interest groups are shrinking.   Read more »

The Four Failures of David Cunliffe

Corporate whore and shill for Just Water, Mathew Hooton, has written at NBR about the four failures of David Cunliffe.

This week Mr Cunliffe managed no fewer than four foreign-policy fails.

First was his bizarre attack on Mr Key for not sufficiently reversing Helen Clark’s agreement with John Howard over social support for New Zealanders living in Australia.

Ms Clark’s deal in the early 2000s was atrocious.  As former Labour Party president Mike Williams observed, she got away with murder politically only because National was then too divided to adequately draw attention to it.

Undeterred, Mr Cunliffe moved on to Labour’s second foreign-policy blunder after Mr Key announced the government had cancelled the passports of New Zealand citizens, who are neither guilty nor even suspected of any crime but who wish to fight the fascist Assad regime in Syria.

Mr Goff quickly adopted the principled liberal position, invoking the Spanish civil war and saying New Zealanders had a right to travel abroad to fight tyranny. He condemned the cancelling of passports, especially of citizens who have committed no crime.

Mr Cunliffe contradicted him and called on Mr Key to consider jail for those who fight abroad.

Phil Goff was at odds with Cunliffe twice on that day. Is the leader really in charge?  Read more »

Wallace Chapman confirms he was asked but declined Dotcom party

Wallace Chapman has confirmed to Rachel Glucina at the NZ Herald that he was asked to stand for the new Dotcom Party revealed today to be called The Internet Party.

He declined to stand for them, which is wise considering who it appears is now behind the organisation of the party.

Wallace Chapman has turned down an offer to stand for Kim Dotcom’s new political party.

The broadcaster was approached by a party insider – who he won’t name – but declined the offer because he’s not interested in entering the political fray.

“I was asked to put my hand up for the Kim Dotcom party, and I was hugely humbled to have been asked, but I said no. I’m fascinated with politics, but I’m not interested in standing as leader or as a candidate for a political party. I’ve never joined a political party and I’m quite proud of that,” he told The Diary.

Chapman, a radio and television broadcaster, fronts Back Benches, a political interview show on Prime. He is leaving RadioLive to take up the reins of Radio New Zealand’s Sunday Morning show, which he says is yet to have a start date.  Read more »

The best cricket commentary ever

Malcolm Knox writes in the Sydney Morning Herald about Chris Rogers and his century:

But on a two-paced, up-and-down fourth-day wicket, a batsman needed luck, and nobody could say Rogers didn’t deserve a slice. He inside-edged Ben Stokes past his off-stump, and survived a low edge off Broad after lunch. Yet his innings was notable less for the nicks and nudges than for the sparkling strokeplay. Rogers always drives well down the ground, and he leaned into the ball with his trademark minimalism, no backlift, no follow-through, just a twinkle of a weight shift and the ball was somehow racing, again, through the field.  Read more »

More good news for Government

Things are going the wrong way for Labour…the economy is improving, and more people are feeling that the government is on the right track.

Confidence in the country’s direction is surging.

The latest Fairfax Media-Ipsos poll shows 59.5 per cent of voters think New Zealand is headed in the right direction compared with 40.5 per cent who think it is on the wrong track – a big shift from a year ago, when opinion was evenly divided.

The poll comes as the economy is tipped to pick up steam next year and outperform most other developed countries. Confidence in the Government is also on the up – more voters think it is doing a good job than ever before under the Fairfax Media-Ipsos poll, achieving an average 5.6 out of 10 rating from the 1000 voters we surveyed.

That included a big jump in the number of people who believe the Government is performing extremely well, to 18.4 per cent.   Read more »


Firstline at 0745 tomorrow


I will be on Firstline tomorrow morning with Mike Williams to talk about the Labour leadership results.

The result to my mind isn’t unexpected but the critical numbers for me are that David Cunliffe still cannot muster any more support than just 11 members of his caucus.

I’ve analysed hours and hours of video in the past three weeks and have come to the conclusion that David Cunliffe is a narcissist and a sociopath. He is willing to lie and lie again to get what he wants.

He has a fake insincerity that he has so far only shown us a glimpse of, like the infamous Avondale market speech. His fake bro accent and working class smack talk is unbecoming.

He did that also in Warkworth during the selection battle and it comes off…well…gay.

Have a look at the full video too at Radio Live…and the condescending way he speaks, especially when he adds in epithets like “brother”…like when he was asked how he was going to make housing more affordable his answer was “Capital gains tax – brother”. Of course he never explained how increasing costs of housing by adding on a tax was going to make housing more affordable but that is but one of the lies he will foist upon the electorate.  Read more »