Rodney Hide

Rodney Hide on what would have happened if Winston had been given the hacked information

Rodney Hide uses his column in the NBR to explain what would have happened if Winston Peters had gotten his hands on the documents of the illegal hacker/criminal who attacked me.

Mr Hager took the emails and made quite a story. Post-election, his claims haven’t stood up. But no matter. It was big news ahead of the election. The media loved it. Dirty Politics dominated the election campaign.

Now imagine Mr Peters with the same material. He could weave a far better story. He would make it sound truly shocking, terrible and totally corrupt. With Mr Peters it would sound believable.

By comparison, Mr Hager lacks gravitas. He was good – he convinced people he was an investigative journalist – but he’s nowhere near as good as Mr Peters.

More than that, Mr Peters had the protection and platform of Parliament. He could have said anything.

He would have been the news every night

And he would have sustained the attacks day in, day out. He would have done so for months. With that material, and that story, no matter that it wasn’t true, Mr Peters would have brought the government down. Every page of Dirty Politics would be another day’s shocking news. And when he ran out of pages he would be busy alluding to what was to come.   Read more »

The best summary of facts over Phil Goff’s SIS briefing yet

Rodney Hide has done what no journalist has managed to do, written a summary of the failings of Phil Goff and the SIS briefing her got but said he never did.

And he only needed 450 words to do it.

Security Intelligence Service (SIS) boss Rebecca Kitteridge should have told Phil Goff to get stuffed. Instead she apologised. I wouldn’t have.

In election year 2011 – several Labour leaders ago – Goff was floundering about trying to get a hit on Prime Minister John Key. His attacks invariably backfired.

There was a kerfuffle about supposed suspicious activity by Israeli nationals. Key initially declined to comment, citing national security concerns. He subsequently explained that a security intelligence investigation uncovered nothing untoward.

Goff characteristically attacked, saying Key had made a hash of explaining the hitherto unknown concern and that people were asking: “Are we even now being told the truth?” This was a roundabout way of accusing Key of lying.

Further, Goff asserted he should have been briefed. “It’s not been part of any briefing to me.” Key said that wasn’t true. Oops.

Previous SIS boss Warren Tucker met Goff to refresh his memory. The result was Goff flailing about. “There was no briefing per se … I don’t recall at all seeing the document.”

Subsequently, Tucker provided a heavily redacted agenda note under the Official Information Act on his briefing of Goff and the relevant Security Intelligence report, called Investigation into Israeli Nationals in Christchurch, with Tucker’s handwritten note: “Read by/discussed with Mr Goff 14 March 11.”

Goff then attacked Tucker. “I was not shown the document … Warren Tucker is wrong … I was never ‘briefed’ by the SIS.”

It was election year. Goff was losing. He was lashing out. And he couldn’t say he had forgotten or hadn’t paid attention because that was one of his attack lines on Key.

Read more »

Rodney Hide on union fear and loathing of charter schools

Rodney Hide writes in the NBR about the fear and loathing of charters schools by doctrinaire unions.

On cue with last week’s column explaining why lefties are a miserable lot, the principal of Bruce McLaren Intermediate, Roy Lilley, hit the papers having a moan.

His gripe? Charter schools. His worry? That they will pinch his pupils with inducements of a free uniform and a policy of no donations. The new charter schools, he says, will have a “huge” and negative impact.

The newspaper reports Mr Lilley’s school having 416 spare places. The 2013 Education Review Office Report confirms the roll at 248. His school’s almost two-thirds empty.

Why isn’t Mr Lilly offering free uniforms? Why isn’t he having a “no donations” policy? Why isn’t he offering what students and parents want, so a charter school is no threat? Why isn’t he offering to rent his spare capacity to the new charter school and achieve synergy?

Why aren’t we laughing at him?

We would if he was the local supermarket whining about a rival opening up down the road. We would be laughing and looking forward to sharper prices, better service and higher quality produce.

Teachers, and their unions aren’t interested in any of that, they are interested in protecting their own hegemony of the system.

But schools are different. Here we have never known choice and competition. Our schools are run like the Soviet economy. The Ministry of Education is our Kremlin.

The Soviets were frightened: who would feed, clothe and house them if not the government? We are the same. We can’t imagine schooling in the absence of government direction and control.

Who would build the schools? Who would feed the teachers? Who would decide what is to be taught? And how?

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Ding Dong, El Presidente’s gone

BREAKING

This morning the Building Services Contractors New Zealand (BSC for short) sent out an email to members announcing that El Presidente Patrick Lee-Lo has stepped down as National President.

You may recall that for some time WOBH has poured sunlight into the BSC. Many, including Rodney Hide, called it a cartel-like organisation for being party to an Principles Agreement that excluded businesses from government contracts.

National’s former Minister of Labour Simon Bridges did the right thing and axed this agreement, much to the horror of El Presidente who claimed it was part of some conspiracy to undermine workers’ rights.

According to the announcement sent to members (and forwarded to WOBH by a member of the fish-gang), CEO Lillian Small says Patrick Lee-Lo was a ‘vibrant President’. I’d agree with that.

Here’s the email.   Read more »

Rodney Hide thinks the leftwing live in ‘perpetual anger and utter miserableness’

Rodney Hide explains in the NBR about his belief that the left wing live in ‘perpetual anger and utter miserableness’.

One of the reasons I am not a Lefty is their perpetual anger and utter miserableness. It renders them utterly unattractive. Theirs is not a club I wish to join.

If you doubt my characterisation take a look at the left-wing blogs The Standard or The Daily Blog. Or a school staffroom. Or Question Time, Morning Report or any newspaper.

Or compare John Key to Helen Clark.

It’s extraordinary, is it not? I don’t know an exception. There’s next to no difference in Ms Clark’s and Mr Key’s policies. In fact, there’s no difference. But there’s a world of difference in outlook and temperament because of their politics.

It’s been a lifelong puzzle to me. Why are Left Wingers so miserable and angry about, well, everything?

Why indeed?

We saw one of the nastiest election campaigns ever, with grotesque sign vandalism, criminal acts of hacking and demonisation of anyone opposed to the leftwing parties.

They even had the temerity to suggest it was they who were pure and the right who are nasty.

Central to the Left’s ideology is the belief that politicians have the power to make the world a better place. That’s how they think.

Now consider how that plays out in their heads.

That their lives aren’t better must make them bitter and twisted.  Their life is a constant proof that politicians aren’t doing what they are meant to or what they promised. Their miserable lot, or that of the fellow down the road, or the world in general, is the fault of politicians who, accordingly, must be uncaring, idiotic or crooked and, perhaps, all three. If politicians were genuine, the world would be a better place.

It never occurs to me that a politician would or could fix a thing. I am just happy they leave me mostly alone. I wish they would do better at it but I know how to keep myself out of their way.

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Rodney Hide on the myth that is child poverty

Rodney Hide slays a few lefty myths…like the existence of child poverty in New Zealand.

Leftists and troughers are working overtime to make child poverty the new reason for funding them and centralising control.

Their catchcry is 250,000 children living in poverty. Their problem is if it were true we would notice.

We know what child poverty looks like. Many of us have witnessed it overseas. All of us have seen it on TV. We don’t see it in New Zealand.

We see children neglected, for sure, and that makes us both angry and sad. But we blame the parents, not poverty. And, if personal responsibility makes us squeamish, we blame welfare for three generations of dysfunctional and non-existent parenting. It’s been public policy for years to sponsor child neglect.

Nonetheless the “child poverty” drums are beating. I was made aware of just how hard by the NZ Initiative’s weekly newsletter reporting classic journalistic over-egging and UN propagandising.

The UN should but out, and start preparing a defence against their global warming scam.

Fairfax’s Stuff.co.nz reported last week that Unicef had “slammed progress” on child poverty in New Zealand.

Really? I didn’t believe it and on your behalf put myself through the agony of reading yet another UN rubbish report. It doesn’t “slam progress” on child poverty. That news was made up.

All the UN report says about New Zealand is that along with the UK and US, we were “moderately affected” by the “Great Recession,” that our big change in the family benefit system was in 2012 to institute a “higher rate but lower income ceiling” and we are reported as middling along in various charts supposedly showing us where we fit in the child poverty stakes.

The news report is puffed out with various child poverty warriors beating the drum and Prime Minister John Key having to defend the government’s record against the false accusation that the UN had “slammed progress.” Such is the state of news reporting in New Zealand today.

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Why I respectfully disagree with my learned friend Mr Rodney Hide

Rodney is getting ahead of himself in today’s column

The horse that I would back in Labour’s leadership race isn’t running. Stuart Nash hasn’t put his hand up, presumably because he has figured he wouldn’t win. That Nash hasn’t a chance shows what’s wrong with Labour.

Nash is a winner. And Labour needs a winner, more than anything.

At the last election Nash won Napier from National. He bucked Labour’s losing run to score 3500 votes more than Labour’s sitting MP, Russell Fairbrother, did in 2008. Nash knows how to take votes from National.

Oh, he wanted to run alright.  A lot of people had to sit on him hard to stop him from doing it.  The timing is just wrong.  At this stage, Labour need a crisis manager.  Someone who can do the wet work and become deeply unpopular in the process.  Someone who puts party ahead of self, and gets down to a term of setting the Labour party up for a win in 2020.

Anyone who takes on that job will make too many enemies, will have too much baggage, and isn’t going to be a good choice to run for future PM.

When Goff, King, Mallard and their journeymen of the Clark era have found that their lives outside of parliament are more productive for both themselves and the tax payers, then it is the time for Labour to do like a phoenix and rise from the ashes.   Read more »

Some advice for the opposition from Rodney Hide

Rodney Hide tells the opposition to find a better cause.

The Opposition is making heavy weather of trying to make Prime Minister John Key responsible for what Cameron Slater writes on his blog and in his personal communications.

I say in a kind and caring way that they should give it up. Because – and I say this even more caringly and kindly – Slater, aka the Whale, is not always responsible for what he writes.

By his own admission, Slater has had his battles with depression. By his own admission he is an embellisher.

Anyone who follows his blog knows him as a force of nature once he starts tapping his keyboard and pushing the upload button.

His blog is one man’s opinion, raw and unedited.

It is politics red and bloody and some of what you read you wonder if you really needed to know.

But back I go like a junkie. I enjoy the Whaleoil blog just like I enjoy the Left’s The Standard and The Daily Blog.

I’m not sure The Standard or the mouth breather at The Daily blog will appreciate that Rodney Hide enjoys their hate fuelled rants.

The blogs, as mad and as bad they are, add richness and diversity to political debate.

It’s true much of it is gossip. The blogs have lifted the lid on what was once confined to Bellamy’s. They have opened it up.

Political gossip always has an angle, juiciness trumps veracity and its effect can prove lethal.

But don’t blame blogs. Gossip has been used as a political weapon for as long as there’s been politics.    Read more »

Since it is Labour day, let’s slay some union myths

Rodney Hide did it yesterday in the herald on Sunday, but since it is Labour day let’s look at the myth of the 8 hour working day the unions claim as their great achievement.

[Today] is Labour Day. Once again we will endure the annual claptrap that unions are great and won for us the eight-hour day. Without unions we would be working 24/7. It’s nonsense.

The Labour Day bunk dates from the start of European settlement. Carpenter Samuel Parnell arrived at what we now call Petone aboard the Duke of Roxburgh.

The Duke was just the third migrant ship to Wellington. Parnell was newly married, 30 years old and had travelled from London in search of a better life.

He found it.

On-board was shipping agent George Hunter, who asked Parnell to build him a store. Parnell agreed but on the condition that he work only eight hours a day. Hunter wasn’t happy. Eight-hour days weren’t the custom in London, but he had little choice: there were only three carpenters in Wellington.

Hence was born the eight-hour day. The practice caught on. For more than 100 years we have celebrated the eight-hour day as a victory for trade unionism. We know it as Labour Day which, on the fourth Monday of every October, is a public holiday.

We hear every year of the union movement’s long, hard struggle. It wasn’t easy winning the eight-hour day, we are repetitively told.

Without unions, greedy employers would have us working every hour, every day.

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Hide solves Labour’s problem

Of course, anyone can solve Labour’s problem but Labour itself.  They have gotten themselves stuck in a trap of their own making, and the rules won’t allow them to break free.

What sort of person is a member of the Labour Party? Or a union boss? I have no idea. But I do know they aren’t the people whose vote Labour needs.

And that’s Labour’s problem. The leadership aspirants are pitching to the wrong audience. The Labour membership has a 40 per cent say in choosing the new leader. The unions 20 per cent. And the caucus the remaining 40 percent.

That alone is off-putting to Mr and Mrs Centre-Voter. They don’t like union bosses. And their politics aren’t those of the Labour Party.

Labour’s problem is the people who were voting Labour but are now voting National.

Well duh.  Everyone knows this.  Even the people in the Labour Party.  But the delicious irony is that they have democratically voted in a system of organising themselves that’s killing them.    Read more »