Rob Salmond

Trotter: ‘the phrase “Labour/Greens government” does not pass the plausibility test’

Chris Trotter explains why David Cunliffe has pushed the toxic Greens out into the cold.

The answer, I believe, is to be found in the voters Labour’s campaign strategists (most particularly the political scientist and polling specialist, Rob Salmond) have identified as the primary target of Labour’s election campaign. These are not the legendary “missing million” who declined to cast a ballot three years ago, but a much more manageable group of around 300,000 men and women who have voted for Labour in the past (2005, 2008) but who, for a whole host of reasons, sat out the General Election of 2011.

Salmond’s argument is that these voters can be readily “re-activated” if Labour presents them with a plausible pitch for their support. The key-word there is “plausible”, and outside Labour-held electorates in the main centres there is every reason to believe that the phrase “Labour/Greens government” does not pass the plausibility test.

The evidence for this comes, paradoxically, from the National Party. Simon Bridges’ ridiculous comments about the 50-odd mining permits issued on Russel Norman’s watch is only the most extreme example of what is obviously an agreed Government strategy to conflate Labour and the Greens into a single, politically extreme, electoral bogeyman. David Farrar’s polls and Crosby-Textor’s focus-groups have clearly thrown up a powerful negative reaction to the idea of Labour joining forces with the Greens. So much so that National is doing everything within its power to imbed the idea deep in the electorate’s psyche.

And, if National’s voter research is picking up this negative anti-Green vibe, how long can it be before Labour’s own pollster, UMR, and its focus-group convenors start detecting similar sentiments in their own samplings? And if they do, is it really credible to suggest that Labour should simply ignore them? If the party’s whole electoral strategy is based on persuading those 300,000 former Labour voters to return to the fold, and the Labour/Greens proposition is going to make that less likely, then what possible motive would Labour have for accepting the Greens’ invitation?  Read more »

Bryce Edwards summary on Dotcom and his corruption of NZ politics

Bryce Edwards summarises just how bad it has become for kim Dotcom, the Green party, Russel Norman, Winston Peters and all the Labour MPs who have trotted out to sit on Kim Dotcom’s lap.

Political chickens are coming home to roost. Having Kim Dotcom on speed dial is now a political liability and career ending.

Allegations of ‘corruption’ and ‘dirty deals’ are being thrown around over the relationship between some of our political party leaders and wealthy internet businessman and wannabe politician Kim Dotcom. It all relates to the fact that various politicians have been courting Dotcom’s favour, while at the same time discussing whether they would intervene to help prevent Dotcom being extradited to the United States by fighting in government to overturn any judicial decision. According to some commentators there is, at the very least, an issue with the perception of inappropriate and opaque electoral deals being made.

The strongest condemnation of the potential links between party policy and support for Dotcom have come from rightwing blogger David Farrar, who claims that some politicians are ‘saying they will over-turn the courts in his favour at the same time as they meet him to discuss political strategy. That is pretty close to corruption’ – see: Would Labour and Greens over-rule the court for Kim Dotcom?

Farrar explains the problem, as he sees it: ‘Russel Norman has been out twice to meet Dotcom, and ask him to support the Greens instead of setting up his own political party. And in return he is offering that a Labour/Greens Government would basically corruptly over-turn the decision of the court in Dotcom’s favour. Cunliffe is not ruling out that he would also over-turn any court decision. We also learn Winston Peters has been out to meet DotCom multiple times’. Farrar warns that ‘We head towards corruption if people can buy themselves a different decision’.  Read more »

Rob Salmond on Dotcom’s corruption of NZ politics

Rob Salmond, former Helen Clark staffer, blogs about the ‘ickiness’ of Kim Dotcom’s dodgy political behaviour.

If I am right about that, then come ballot-printing day Mr Dotcom will be throwing his weight in with someone else. And by “his weight,” I presume he means large buckets of money. That sets up an silent auction for parties to compete for Dotcom’s money on the basis of policy promises, first and foremost about Dotcom’s own extradition case. That is, if parties decide they want to play.

I think the opposition parties should all take a pass.

To me, it all sounds pretty icky. One of the reasons the left parties worked hard to try and make election funding fairer in the late 2000s was to limit the influence of individuals seeking to essentially buy government policy for cash. (These measures were, naturally, rejected by the right, citing freedom of speech and freedom of spending and so on.) Breaking it down, this gambit looks exactly like a convoluted version of a rich guy offering up cash in exchange for personally favourable policies. Yuck.  Read more »

David Shearer 2012 Redux – Shaft version

I did one of these compilations at the beginning of last year. David Shearer over-delivered on my expectations.

With the Labour sheep expected to publicly back Shearer in February – 2013 promises to be the year of the um.

So I thought a redux version and then starting thinking about some music to go with it…the choice was obvious really I chose the theme music for Shaft - because sooner or later that’s what he’s going to get – the shaft… if not by Cunliffe then by Robertson.

Read more »

Hacks Hired to Help

Labour is looking to the past in their review for the future:

The Labour Party has called on several friendly external advisers to help with a major review of its organisation, including US-based academic Rob Salmond and technology businessman Selwyn Pellett.

Labour leader David Shearer and President Moira Coatsworth set out the scope of a review of the party organisation and its processes yesterday – including its membership structure, list ranking process and party involvement in policy formulation.

Mr Salmond and Mr Pellett are both on an advisory group, called “critical friends,” which Ms Coatsworth said would provide critical advice and input to the review.

Mr Pellett, chief executive of Imarda and co-founder of Endace, has spoken at Labour conferences about economic reform and supported the party. However, he was critical of Labour before the 2008 election, saying then leader Phil Goff should step down.

Other “critical friends” included current MP Parekura Horomia, former MPs Margaret Wilson and Tim Barnett and former British Labour MP Bryan Gould.

Ahhh a corporate beneficiary, failed MPs, two academics, a pie eater….the prospects of any dynamic suggestions seems dim.

Ms Coatsworth said Labour’s membership was currently in the mid 50,000s but much of that was made up of affiliated union membership.

The review will be led by another team, who will consult and meet with members. That group includes current MP Nanaia Mahuta, former MP Rick Barker, Ruth Chapman and Mark Hutchinson.

Mr Horomia and Ms Mahuta are the only current caucus members with formal roles in the review.

Labour has nowhere near 50,000 members. I’d like to see the membership forms from them. This is nothing less than a fraud by counting affiliate memberships. Labour should move to get rid of affiliates, if they don;t then the government should as part of the electoral law review that always follows elections look at restricting donations and membership of politicals parties to natural persons only.

I just hope that Labour has put aside plenty of funds to fund Parekura Horomia and Nanaia Mahuta’s penchant for pies.