Robert Mugabe

Tracy Watkins on the nasty stuff

Tracy Watkins comments on the nasty stuff flying around.

MPs are now bracing for what they believe will be the nastiest campaign ever.

There has been plenty of evidence so far it will be dirty; Green MP Jan Logie has been vilified on social media for her tweet stating: “John Key says Bill English has produced as many budgets as children . . . begs the question who he has f … d to produce it” [sic].

Logie is not the only offender. Remember National MPs Anne Tolley and Judith Collins attacking Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei for her $1000 jackets and being out of touch with the poor? Or Labour MP Trevor Mallard calling Chris Finlayson “Tinkerbell”? But such behaviour is hardly new. In past Parliaments we have had punchups, Judith Collins labelling Labour MP David Benson Pope a pervert, Labour’s various attempts to smear John Key – including the H-bomb debacle – and in return National spent most of the 2005 campaign labelling Helen Clark a liar and likening her to despot Robert Mugabe.

The difference these days is that social media and the 24/7 digital news environment magnifies such behaviour a thousand-fold.   Read more »

If you are happy and you know it, clap your hands

Kevin Rudd’s election campaign looks to be in tatters, moral is slipping and North Korean style back slapping and sing alongs aren’t going to help.

… reports emerge of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s behind-the-scenes fury at how events have soured for him. According to several sources, his travelling party has witnessed familiar outbursts of anger and a growing cranky demeanour from the PM, while campaign headquarters in Melbourne is at a low ebb. Staff members who have dared to voice opinions and challenge strategies have been removed, leaving a sense of distrust and insecurity among those remaining.

Frustration is also growing at how Mr Rudd and his pseudo campaign manager, Bruce Hawker, have been freewheeling on strategies and policy. “The mood is so depressed. It’s like there is no reason left to keep fighting,” one insider said.

I can’t wait for the cellphone videos to emerge. More information is leaking out of Rudd’s unhappy campers.

The campaign theme is New Way: a carefully focus-tested message designed to break with the nasty soap opera that consumed Julia Gillard’s leadership. But Rudd’s promise of a New Way is a joke among some staff at Labor’s Melbourne campaign headquarters (CHQ), where about 100 young staff work long hours.   Read more »

Sanctions are a waste of time

As we have seen in the Pacific, sanctions generally don’t work, even our dumb smart sanctions.

Sanctions are failing too against Zimbabwe, for the same reason. The West and the moralising meddlers all honour the sanctions and the Chinese fill the void. They are not as discerning as we are and so they get the influence while we sit on the side-lines.

Robert Mugabe always told a great many lies on the election trail, but this year, his biggest boast is actually true. Zimbabwe’s economy is recovering and he is overseeing an extraordinary mini-boom. “Zimbabwe has not collapsed under the heavy weight of sanctions,” he boasted from the podium on Sunday – and he is quite correct. The few sanctions imposed by the West have not stopped what a World Bank economist recently called an “amazing” recovery. For those who like to believe that political freedom is the surest route to prosperity, it’s deeply depressing news. For the 89-year-old president, something has gone horribly right.

The election result is not due for days, but Mugabe’s Zanu-PF is declaring victory anyway. Never mind that the electoral roll contained a suspiciously high number of centenarians in a country where life expectancy is 51, and, by some estimates, two million dead voters. Mugabe deployed his old Marxist guerrilla skills: he rounded up his people, roped in the military to campaign for him and intimidated his opposition into staying at home. Neither he nor his rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, seem to doubt that this worked. Yet another Zimbabwean election has been rigged.   Read more »

Keith Locke is a tool

Former Green taliban loon and Pol Pot fanboi, Keith Locke, thinks John Key should go to the funeral of a dictator. I suppose when you were an apologist for Pol Pot anything goes.

Hugo Chavez was a dictator. Key should no more go to his funeral than that of Robert Mugabe.

Prime Minister John Key’s refusal to attend the funeral of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez is a “mind-boggling political blunder,” a former MP says.

Key expressed his condolences after the death of the fiery revolutionary president this week, but said he won’t be going to Caracas for the service on Saturday (Friday in Venezuela). He is currently on a ten-day trade mission across Latin America, and talks with Chilean president Sebastian Pinera have been delayed to account for the memorial.

Former Green MP Keith Locke says Key is wasting an opportunity to rub shoulders with leaders in the increasingly influential region.  Read more »

Lift Sanctions on Fiji Now

NZ Herald

Murray McCully doesn’t have to visit Zimbabwe to find out what is really happening there yet John Key talks of easing the sanctions imposed by NZ in 2002 because of human rights abuses.

“New Zealand imposed financial and travel sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2002 to protest serious human rights abuses under the reign of President Robert Mugabe…..

He said in his view, sanctions were often “spectacularly unsuccessful.”

“And if it really is holding back genuine development, that is something we might look at. But it is very early days.”

He said Mr Tsvangirai had been pushing for reform in Zimbabwe and New Zealand’s Government wanted to know what the best way forward was and how to eliminate human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.”

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai might be a good person but President Robert Mugabe is still the boss and he is a bad bastard.

Question is – why hasn’t John Key lifted the travel sanctions imposed on Fiji?

It might be early days in Zimbabwe but certainly not in Fiji with the electronic voter registration taking place right now. Fiji has stuck to its plan in the Roadmap to Democracy 2009-2014.

Read about this on page 8 in this PDF document under heading 2.1.2 “The Electoral and Parliamentary System”. 2012 is, and always has been, the planned time frame for the voter registration process before 2014 elections can take place.

Fiji has done nothing compared to what Robert Mugabe has done and Murray McCully said he is feeling positive about Fiji. You can see this at 25 secs into a video on Fiji TV’s website.

There is no excuse now.

NZ Government must drop the travel sanctions that Helen Clark imposed on Fiji. Using John Key’s statement that sanctions were often “spectacularly unsuccessful” it is time for Fiji to be realsed from those “spectacularly unsuccessful” sanction.

I wonder what sort of tourism he will champion

The Guardian

John Key cops a lot of flack for his role as Minister of tourism, but no one can argue that he doesn’t work hard at promoting New Zealand.

Even though the more extreme of the left wing woul like to charge John Key with ethnic cleansing and bankrupting the country he certainly is no Robert Mugabe.

I’m not sure exactly what sort of global holiday-making Robert Mugabe will be able to endorse. Perhaps he is going ti encourage tours of the world’s despotic nations and tours of sites of ethnic cleansing?

The Zimbabwe president, accused of ethnic cleansing and bankrupting his country, asked to champion tourism.

With a line-up that includes Drew Barrymore, David Beckham, Orlando Bloom, and Ricky Martin, the UN’s choice of ambassadors has been known to cause raised eyebrows or the odd smirk.

Seldom, however, has there been such anger, or questioning of the organisation’s credibility, as that greeting the appointment of a new international envoy for tourism: Robert Mugabe.

Improbable as it seems, the Zimbabwean president, who is widely accused of ethnic cleansing, rigging elections, terrorising opposition, controlling media and presiding over a collapsed economy, has been endorsed as a champion of efforts to boost global holidaymaking.

Despite that fact Mugabe, 88, is under a travel ban, he has been honoured as a “leader for tourism” by the UN’s World Tourism Organisation, along with his political ally, Zambian president Michael Sata, 75. The pair signed an agreement with UNWTO secretary general Taleb Rifai at their shared border at Victoria Falls on Tuesday.

Zimbabwe’s state-owned Herald newspaper quoted Rifai urging tourists from around the world to visit : “I was told about the wonderful experience and the warm hospitality of this country … By coming here, it is recognition, an endorsement on the country that it is a safe destination.”

Another dictator on his way out

NewstalkZB

It looks like Robert Mugabe is about to peg out…fingers crossed:

Robert Mugabe is said to be close to death in a Singapore hospital.

The Australian reports the Zimbabwe president has agreed to hand over power to his feared Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The Zimbabwe Mail says he’s undergoing intensive treatment, and some members of his family have joined him.

The 88-year-old has an undisclosed illness, thought to be cancer.

Mugabe was ostensibly in Singapore to oversee enrolment in a postgraduate course at Singapore University for his daughter.

The Zimbabwe Mail, quoting a senior official of Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party, says the President is undergoing intensive treatment in Singapore and some members of his family have joined him after boarding a chartered private jet on Saturday.

The alarm was raised when the Government postponed a Cabinet meeting set for today.

A US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks last month suggests Mugabe has prostate cancer that has spread to other organs.

Stripped

Fred Goodwin has joined Robert Mugabe in being stripped of his knighthood:

Former RBS chief Fred Goodwin joins the likes of Robert Mugabe, Anthony Blunt and Nicolae Ceausescu in losing his knighthood.

Since 1995, the honours forfeiture committee has recommended that 34 people be stripped of their honours.

Other similarly stripped of their knighthoods or honours are Allen Stanford, Anthony Blunt, Lester Piggott, Prince Naseem and Roger Casement.

Shane Jones has suggested that Michael Fay be likewise stripped of his knighthood.

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English opposes inquiry

Deep throat Beehive sources tell me John Key is leaning towards accepting Don Brash’s request for a Commission of Inquiry into the police investigation of the theft of his emails, but Bill English is adamently opposed.

English, as Minister of Finance, argues that at a time of economic recession and cuts to the public service, the public doesn’t want to see the Government spending taxpayers’ money on an inquiry. Instead, English is suggesting Howard Broad investigates the investigation.

Whaleoil says justice at any price.

And what is Bill so worried about.

Does he have something to hide?

Corruption Trial Starts Today

Taito Philip Field finally has his day in court today. He is up on corruption charges.

One wonders, though, why there will only be one former Labour minister in the dock on corruption charges.

It’ll be interesting to see if any skeletons fall out of Labour’s closet during the trial.