Patrick Gower

Does John expect a message from John? Media want to know

Prime Minister John Key believes that now New Zealand has committed troops to the fight against IS, we could be next to receive a message from the man known as ‘Jihadi John’.

“Well I can’t rule [that] out – what would be more likely in the first instance is some sort of threatening video,” says Mr Key.

So Kiwi John is ready for Jihadi John.

There have been at least six recorded beheadings so far. British aid worker Alan Henning was one, and his family want much more than the unmasking of Jihadi John. Mr Henning’s daughter has called for a “bullet in the head”.

Japan didn’t even send troops to fight IS – just money for humanitarian aid. Yet within days Jihadi John hit back with a video showing two hostages and a ransom demand.

Japan didn’t pay, and the hostages were beheaded.

So there you go.   1) They’ll take hostages from any nation.  It’s all about opportunity.  2)  You never pay a ransom.  Never.   Read more »

Did McCarten drop Little down a hole?

I’m starting to wonder if Andrew Little has been set up over his non-payment of an invoice from journalist David Cohen.

I’m starting to think that Matt McCarten, who doesn’t exactly have a stellar record for paying things like tax, has set him up.

Patrick Gower reported last night:

3 News has obtained emails that further embarrass Labour leader Andrew Little over his failure to pay a contractor.

The emails show Mr Little’s closest adviser and fellow unionist, Matt McCarten, knew about the outstanding debt before Christmas. Despite promises, Mr McCarten did nothing about it.

Mr Little failed to pay the bill for the worker for almost four months. The exchange is all in the emails from freelance journalist David Cohen and show Mr Little’s chief of staff, Mr McCarten, promised to fix up the debt before Christmas.

But referring to Mr Cohen as “a worker” has made Mr Little grumpy.

“Your commentary talked about a worker,” says Mr Little. “He was a contractor.”

Mr Little’s a former union boss, and Mr McCarten was too. But this was one worker whose rights they failed to defend.

Read more »

Crikey. Even Red Radio is to the right of TV3

3 News and Paddy Gower specifically have spun their poll results as a huge win for Andrew Little.  But as we’ve seen, it’s hardly anything substantial, especially when you compare the results with National and John Key.

This is how Brent Edwards sees it

Public support for the National Party is going up just a few months after the start of its third term in Government.

In the latest 3News-Reid Research poll National got 49.8 percent, compared with the 47.04 percent of actual votes it won in the election last September.

In the final 3News poll before the election National had scored 44.5 percent support.

This most recent poll surveyed 1000 people and was conducted between January 20 and 28. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.1 percent.

A Roy Morgan poll out earlier in January put National on 52 percent support.

Usually political parties going into their third term on the Treasury benches begin to lose public support.

But there is no sign yet that the public have begun to tire of Prime Minister, John Key, or his Government.

In the 3News poll support for Labour was 29.1 percent, compared with its election result of 25.13 percent.

Labour’s gain appeared to come at the expense of the Green and New Zealand First parties.

Apart from the fact that we have such level-headed reporting from Radio New Zealand, doesn’t it just draw a stark contrast with the extreme left position that 3 News seems to have put itself in?  All rather remarkable, to be honest.    Read more »

I’ve got bad news for Bryce Edwards

Bryce Edwards must have hit the crack pipe before writing his last woeful column of the year.

Apparently National had a horror year…or so the headline screams.

Yes, John Key’s National Government won a spectacular third term victory. And yesterday the Herald gave the reasons that National can be positive about its achievements – see the editorial, Govt comes out on top in colourful year.

And nearly every political journalist has awarded John Key the title of Politician of the Year – see, for example, Patrick Gower’s Politician of the Year.

But, it was still an incredibly torrid year for National, and even the PM pointed to the election campaign as one of his low moments of the year – see TV3’s Key found campaign ‘a low-light’ for 2014.

Tracy Watkins also stresses that it’s been a terrible year for the National Government: ‘His government was assaulted on every front with scandal, trouble and controversy. Ministers resigned, his coalition allies ended the year diminished, and he ended the year looking evasive and tarnished by his links to dirty tricks and shock jock blogger WhaleOil’ – see: One clear winner, plenty of dashed hopes.

Not only did the election campaign take its toll, but as I pointed out recently in another column, The downfall of John Key, the challenges and allegations of Dirty Politics were really starting to bite after the election. See also, A year of (neverending) Dirty Politics.

Even Matthew Hooton thinks the Government has suffered, especially since their election victory, and he details National’s incredibly arrogant behaviour since the election, pointing to the main offenders: John Key, Christopher Finlayson, and Gerry Brownlee – see: For John Key: summer of reflection please (paywalled).

Likewise, Duncan Garner says that although Key deserves to be the ‘politician of the year’, ‘The first few months of the new regime have been largely underwhelming. Not telling the truth about his contact with attack blogger WhaleOil hurt the prime minister. It was a royal stuff-up and he admits this privately’ – see: Key my politician of the year, but now for the third-term blues. Garner believes the Key’s reputation is on the decline: ‘It’s happening for Key, slowly. His jokes don’t seem as funny. He looks more haunted and hunted these days’.

Read more »

Patrick Gower on Andrew Little and today’s announcement

Not surprisingly, the Labour fanboi is excited as the new Labour leader has managed to make it through 3 pressers and 2 interviews.  Yes, that’s all it takes to call a winner.

Little has barely put a foot wrong in his short time as leader, and the conservative reshuffle announced is another example.

I’ve now watched Little get through three press conferences, two major interviews and a reshuffle with no black marks.

With the reshuffle, Little has shown considerable political skill as he goes about building the complex latticework of loyalty required to run the Labour caucus.

The reshuffle is what John Key would call an elegant solution.

I think it has the right mix of a good deputy, Grant Robertson and David Cunliffe in the right spots and an effective front and mid-bench.

If it wasn’t Monday, you would be forgiven for thinking it was Throwback Thursday, given he has chosen Annette King as his deputy.

King was of course on Team Grant and hardly screams next generation.

But I actually think King as deputy is a good call. Aunty Annie is a cross between Labour’s Mother Hen and a Courtney Place bouncer. She is highly effective in Parliament, incredibly loyal to Labour Inc, doesn’t want to roll him and will be a good mentor to Little now he has plonked her in his inner circle.

Due to the time of year, I think Little will get the benefit of a few months of performing under very low pressure.  This will lead to a false impression and sense of competence.  One thing that Paddy forgets is that it isn’t just a case of being a steady leader – his talent below him will continue to be the gifts that keep on giving.  Let’s see how he survives a few scandals.   Read more »

Laila Harre quits after money runs out, Internet party pretty much dead

I can’t say I am sorry to see this news.

Of course Laila Harre was going to cut and run after the money ran out, that’s what all troughers do.

Reflecting on the internet Party’s failed election campaign, Ms Harre admitted “we completely mismanaged the last month of the campaign”.

“We had amazing momentum before then. The road trip, I think, worked extremely well.”

The downward spiral of the party’s campaign began when Mana’s Te Tai Tonga candidate Georgina Beyer criticised internet Party founder Kim Dotcom, Ms Harre said.

“Which fed into what became a narrative of a rift and division and it was one that we just couldn’t knock through the rest of the campaign. It became completely distracting from the release of policy.”

Ms Harre also blamed media coverage of the party for its poor election result.   Read more »

Gower backstabs Little less than 24 hours in the job

No love from TV3 Labour cheerleaders over Little it seems

Labour’s preferential voting system, combined with the backing of three-quarters of the union vote, saw Mr Little sneak through in what 3 News political editor Patrick Gower is calling “the great union ripoff”.

“It’s a backdoor takeover by the unions. Simply, Andrew Little would not be Labour leader without the unions,” Gower said on Firstline this morning.

“He is the unions’ man; Little is a union man, and the unions have got their man into Labour’s top job.”

Gower says it’s ironic after trying “almost too hard” to give men and women an equal say – the ultimately doomed ‘man ban’ – that a small group of “union blokes” have effectively chosen the party’s new leader.

“Most of those delegates, according to one of the most senior sources in the Labour Party, are men… It’s just six unions out of about 150-odd in New Zealand. Just six of them get to have their say over this, and five of them actually rely on delegates – the union bosses, the union chiefs, the union heavies. They say who they want.”

Having known Mr Little for 15 years, Gower says he represents a change in tack for the party, which has seen its share of the vote drop for three consecutive general elections.

“He is a straight-shooter, he speaks really directly, there won’t be any of this flowery language or hesitation or showmanship that we’ve seen from previous Labour leaders. The reality is he’s a hard bugger, and he’s going to need all of it to really crack some heads in that Labour Party and to take on John Key.”

What follows next is quite gob smacking – Gower undermines Little, who isn’t even 24 hours in the job – and puts his support behind a reworked Grant/Jacinda ticket Read more »

Would “someone else” please step forward

Labour is trying desperately to keep things under wraps about their leadership spill.

After an initial flurry things have gone quiet apart from a few daggers flying here and there.

David Cunliffe’s team are putting about the gayness of Grant Robertson, they won;t own up to it of course, such is Labour’s way of dirty politics.

Grant Robertson’s team, including Clayton Cosgrove are focussing on making sure no one else stands so Robbo can have his coronation.

It was his team who put the hit on Stuart Nash over some research done a couple of years ago. The problem was Robbo fed the media, most didn’t buy it, and so they went full retard and got Patrick Gower to run the hit…but not before trying to have it pulled because Robbo went of squeamish and gay on it. It is telling that the hit only played on TV3 and has been left along by more seasoned and sensible journalists.

So where does all this leave Labour?

Two desperately unlikable candidates, and no one else.

The problem is the public actually thinks someone else should lead the Labour party.   Read more »

Poor Nicky, on edge after cops raid his house

Nicky Hager is crying a river of tears to anyone who will listen, which is most of the complicit media, like his pal David “Tainted” Fisher:

The family of journalist Nicky Hager have been left worried and afraid after a 10-hour police search of his home in a bid to find the hacker Rawshark.

Computers and papers were seized in what appeared to be an attempt to discover the identity of the person who provided information used in his Dirty Politics book.

[…]

Hager said five officers came to his Wellington home last Thursday with a search warrant.

He was in Auckland at the time, giving lectures at the University of Auckland.

“Soon after the police arrived, the lead detective stated that I was not a suspect in their case, merely a witness.”

Hager’s sister Mandy Hager was present at the raid, and described on Twitter last night what took place.

“I observed police as they searched – polite and respectful (and slightly sheepish) – clearly strings pulled from above #dirtypolitics,” she wrote.

A police spokesman told the Herald officers had not deliberately waited until after the September 20 election to conduct the search.

“No. This is a purely operational decision based on where our inquiries have led us to date.”

In a media statement, a spokesman confirmed police had removed “computers and related items under search warrant from a Wellington address” as part of their ongoing investigation into alleged hacking of Slater’s emails.

Read more »

Meme/Caption/Photoshop contest

ewrwqe

You know what to do – just stick within the moderation and commenting standards please.  Make your own here and share the results in comments.

Read more »