Rodney Hide

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 »

Rodney Hide on Hager’s outrage

Rodney Hide writes about Nicky Hager’s outrage at having the police raid his house.

It’s an outrage! A shocking abuse of police power! Oh my goodness. The police have raided Nicky Hager’s house.

The poor thing. He was “speaking truth to power”. The state retaliated.

Hager has said: “The police actions are dangerous for journalism in New Zealand.”

To the anointed left, Hager is an investigative journalist. He is good and true. Blogger Cameron Slater is a smear merchant and paid shill. He is evil and false.

An anonymous hacker stole Slater’s emails and Facebook messages.

Hager then published them in Dirty Politics to implicate Prime Minister John Key in dark and evil plots. The links were tenuous at best.

I warranted a brief chapter myself. Hager alleges Slater blackmailed me to resign the Act Party leadership. It’s not true.

The first I knew of any allegation or blackmail was Hager’s book.

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Rodney Hide on the Winston Peters lottery ticket

…it’s a close-run thing. It’s not decided by how popular Key is, or how many votes National gets.

It’s the total centre-right vote versus the total centre-left that counts. And that’s a nail biter.

There’s also every likelihood that voters won’t decide the Government. That could be up to Winston Peters.

It’s deplorable but that’s MMP and that’s Peters’ cunning. To vote New Zealand First you must not care whether Cunliffe or Key is Prime Minister and whether the Greens are in Government. A vote for Peters is for any of the above.

Peters will go with who is best for him.

You have been warned.

All this has come about due to a number of scared old people putting the rest of New Zealand into a position where nobody knows what’s going to happen.   Read more »

Hide, like you, wants the media to give the election back to the people

Rodney Hide’s on point, as a he frequently is

The real [com]test is [between] John Key versus David Cunliffe. At stake is who gets to run the government for three years.

We must decide whose judgment we want applied to the likes of the global financial crisis, the Canterbury earthquakes, the threat of international terrorism. It’s a big deal.

There’s also the choice of competing policy promises and the respective teams. It’s not just blue versus red. It’s also the support players. There are the Greens and Internet-Mana versus United and Act.

Oh, and Winston. We don’t know which way he would jump if voters handed him the balance of power. I doubt he knows. He’s waiting until after the election to see.

MMP elections are tough for voters. There’s a lot of information to take on board; there’s a lot to weigh up, a lot of choice and a dizzy array of permutations. The conceivable arrangements for government are mind-boggling.

The election is important. It’s big, tough and serious. It’s hard to see what’s happening and what’s at stake when Dirty Politics and the [side shows] are distracting us.

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ACT on Nicky Hager’s tome: “Vile, malicious gossip”


One of the many dots that Nicky Hager failed to join properly were the ones about Rodney Hide

Mr. Hager published a claim in his book that some “inappropriate texts” had been used to blackmail Rodney Hide to surrender the leadership of ACT.

A bombshell allegation.

If true, devastating to ACT.

It is a very serious criminal offence to blackmail a Minister. If true very damaging to Rodney who is now retired from politics and a happily married man.

Mr. Hager did not check these claims before going into print. Rodney was shocked to learn of it. He knows of no blackmail or texts. Read more »

Rodney Hide writes to Susan Devoy

Rodney is disappointed and writes to Susan Devoy to tell her why:

Dear Dame Susan,

I cheered from the sidelines when you were named Race Relations Commissioner. I thought you would bring sense to a nonsense job.

Having you as commissioner was the next best thing to eliminating the role.

But now you have used your office to attack ACT leader Jamie Whyte. That’s an abuse of your position and resources. You must have figured ACT was a soft target.

Your attack demonstrated the stupidity of your role. You called Dr Whyte’s reasoning for justice to be blind to skin colour “grotesque and inflammatory.”

In your topsy-turvy world calling for an end to racism is racist.

It was a bizarre statement, more likely than not prepared by some muppet for her to sign off.

We are not all the same. We vary in our genes and our dispositions. The difference makes life interesting. A world of clones would be a dull old affair.

And some people through talent, hard work and luck do better than others. You should know this better than anyone.

You won the British Open Squash Championship eight times. We didn’t say it’s time for Australia to have a win and give Liz Irving a three-point start. Or worse, that everyone should be “exactly the same” and not keep score.

There would be no drama, no interest, no striving, no achievement. No one would train or put in any effort. There would be no point.

That’s the trouble with trying to make everyone the same. Killing individuality kills initiative.

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Labour’s reverse campaign

Rodney Hide discusses Labour’s reverse campaigning.

The Labour MPs who didn’t want David Cunliffe as leader also didn’t want him as prime minister. They still don’t.

These MPs are reverse campaigning. Their aim is to achieve a once-in-a-generation transformation of the Labour Party.

Their reverse campaigning is witnessed in their focus on the electorate vote, contradiction of party policy, plans to de-extinct moa and public criticism of Mr Cunliffe taking time to holiday.

None of this is accidental. These are professional politicians.

Here’s the logic. Labour this election picks up two Maori electorates plus Clayton Cosgrove wins Waimakariri and Stuart Nash wins Napier. Their success knocks out four Labour list candidates.

Labour polls in the low 20s. That means less than 30 MPs. The 27 constituencies that Labour wins largely fills Labour’s MP quota. The list MPs are cleaned out. Sue Moroney, Andrew Little, Maryan Street and Moana Mackey are gone.

The result is a different Labour Party. The constituency MPs are centrists. They have to be to win and retain their seats. The list MPs are to the left. The election cleanout changes Labour’s political dynamic. It’s ideological centre shifts rightward. The remnant Labour Party is more centre-right than National’s Cabinet.

Mr Cunliffe goes. He can’t survive such a catastrophic defeat.

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Rodney Hide on the “Predator hiding in plain sight”

Rodney too, is unhappy that our name suppression laws are protecting the guilty

HOS amusing image to promote Rodney's column

HOS amusing image to promote Rodney’s column

The Labour leader has met the sex predator. “If I had known of the suggestion [that the man was a sex predator hiding behind name suppression], no such meeting would have taken place.” I am sure that’s true.

The meeting highlights two key points. First, there’s no shaming without naming. The offender remains brazen and without remorse. He happily and openly met the Leader of the Opposition who had just loudly and boldly spoken out against sexual violence.

Spot on Rodney.  It churns my stomach.   He continues to act like it was all a one-off mistake, a misunderstanding.  The fact we can explain it is but part of a pattern of such behaviour isn’t possible, because… name suppression.

You think he would be too ashamed. But no. Name suppression thwarts justice because the offender has never had to own up. He can carry on like nothing happened. He can have a joke and a laugh with the leader of the Labour Party exactly as if he had never performed an indecent act on a woman in her own home. Oh that his victim could just share a joke, have a laugh, or meet the leader of the Labour Party.

Second, the meeting highlights the danger to which name suppression exposes women.

The sex predator’s prominence is such that Cunliffe was attracted to meet him. Knowing the sex pest’s background and history it’s easy to see why. We are all attracted to and flattered by the attention of “prominent” men.

That’s just fine.  The damage there is just some political egg on his face.   Read more »

Hide: “…the experts know nothing about politics”

Rodney Hide explains how it is that the supposed experts actually know nothing about politics…and uses my good friend Brian Edwards as an example.

The wonderful thing about politics is that no one knows what they are talking about. There are no experts. There are no laws of political motion. Political science is oxymoronic.

Let me illustrate how little we know by picking on our most qualified and experienced political commentator. He has a PhD, has interviewed and known political leaders for five decades, has been an adviser to four prime ministers, has spent a lifetime in all branches of the media and makes a living media training business leaders and other professionals. He has also stood for Parliament and is no sideline Sam. He knows politics, inside and out. His knowledge, history and hands-on experience dwarfs all other political commentators.

I refer, of course, to Dr Brian Edwards. I single him out because of his eminence.

Oh dear this is sounding ominous.

Here’s what he had to say last year when David Cunliffe took over the Labour leadership:

“David Cunliffe has a brilliant mind, is a brilliant speaker and debater and there is no politician to match him on the box. Cunliffe is the game-changer.

“And the proof of the pudding will lie where it has always lain – in the polls. And particularly in the Preferred Prime Minister poll. No party leader permanently registering under 15% in that poll, let alone dipping into single figures, can hope to enjoy the (© Copyright Protected – The National Business Review 76)confidence of the electorate or lead their party to victory. And that has been the situation for every Labour Leader since 2008.

“But all that changed today as well. Under Cunliffe’s leadership, his and Labour’s poll rating will begin to rise, slowly but inexorably.”

Mr Cunliffe has proved a game changer but directly opposite to what Dr Edwards foresaw: Mr Cunliffe has doomed Labour.

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