Selwyn Manning

Selwyn Manning is pretty bloody annoyed with Len Brown and his poll tax

Selwyn Manning is one of the few on the left of NZ politics that I have a lot of time for.

For the life of me I can’t work out how he manages to work with Martyn Bradbury. Probably says a great deal about his patience and fortitude. In any case I consider Selwyn to be part of the honourable left in NZ politics.

For that reason it is worth reading when he gets agitated, even more so when he is agitated by Len Brown and his poll tax.

Len Brown, this Mayor, this week raised the specter of a bastardised version of Margaret Thatcher‚Äôs poll tax (which he prefers to call an income tax). He also had the cheek to say the current system is ‚Äúinherently unfair‚ÄĚ.

Fairfax Media¬†further cited the Mayor¬†as stating the rates system is unfair ‚Äėon people living on fixed incomes and paying high rates because of the value of their properties in areas like Devonport-Takapuna.‚Äô

Len Brown added that ‚Äėonly property owners pay rates but the Council is spending money on infrastructure and services for everyone‚Äô.

What absolute nonsense.

For those who rent, they too pay their fair share to keep this city’s infrastructure maintained, its facilities oiled, its bureaucrats, and administrators, and CEOs, and parks staff, and rubbish collectors, and communications officers, and strategists, and advisors, and secretaries, and librarians, and ethnic policy advisors, and art gallery workers, and Mayors in paid employment.

And yes, I know, they don’t pay rates directly to the Auckland Council, but by God they pay it to their landlords who in turn pay the Council for the privilege of owning a house in this good city.

Everyone‚Ķ everyone already pays. What Len Brown needs to realise is we all know what he needs is more money, this idea isn‚Äôt all about fairness and equality. Far from it. ¬† Read more »

Lonely Lenny as mates abandon him

Len Brown is literally a man alone.

Even The Gurnard took time out from writing puff pieces about the Fat German to knock up a few words to that effect.

You know things are serious though when the Herald abandons you, and left wing commentators are kicking you in the cods. Selwyn Manning, Simon Wilson and Chris Trotter both say that Len Brown is a corpse. Now Tim Watkin weighs in.

It’s all just rather pathetic really, isn’t it? Yes, I’m talking about Len Brown. From the affair itself to the Auckland mayor’s response and on to the council’s limited options for censure, pathetic seems to me the best word to sum up the whole shooting match.

Today the council officially and unanimously “censured” Brown, according to Stuff, for “his behaviour during a two year affair with Bevan Chuang”. The Herald adds, thankfully, that it was “for failing to declare free hotel rooms and upgrades and the fallout over his two year affair with Bevan Chuang”.

He will have to pay some money back and contribute to the EY report costs. A committee will decide how much and ‚Äď unacceptably ‚Äď that will be confidential. That’s one part of the story that should still have legs; of course Aucklanders deserve to know how much they’re paying and how much is the mayor’s share.

As Mike Lee said today such a censure is unprecedented and the strongest condemnation the council can make of the mayor. It is also, as Cameron Brewer said, “a wet bus ticket”. Such is the sorry state of affairs we’re left in. One job should now be on the agenda is to explore other ways that holders of this office can be held to account for misbehaviour, mis-spending and ultimately misleading the public.

The censure comes after the Herald also took unprecedented action, calling for an Auckland mayor to resign.¬†Yet Brown has ridden that out and now has the Christmas break for the immediate pressure to ease. This is as bad as it gets. ¬†¬† Read more »

Selwyn Manning on Brown, time to go pal

Selwyn Manning is a left winger I respect. I have a lot of time for Selwyn and we have both had many good chats about politics.

How he managed to work with Martyn Bradbury I have no idea.

Nonetheless he has written an open letter to Len Brown at TDB.

LEN, THERE’S A RUMOUR BOUNDING about Auckland’s civic circles that the National-led Government is moving to remove you from office, to replace you as Mayor with a commissioner. Some even suggest a word has been re-whispered into Maurice Williamson’s ear.

Such rumours abound when a political jurisdiction is void of leadership. And remember Len, New Zealand needs Auckland more than it needs any of us.

Perhaps the rumour is a strong possibility. A sizable proportion of councillors are ready to express no confidence in you, in your leadership, in your rehabilitation.

Len, as such, the situation is untenable. It is time to go.¬† Read more »

Manning interviews Lyin’ Len

Selwyn Manning interviewed Len Brown this week. There is plenty to pick apart from the sad little lying Mayor. Sorry to inflict this at breakfast but better to just lose breakfast rather than lunch as well:

The interview examines the first term vision of establishing an economic case for a modern rail network, establishing a 30 year plan for Auckland, and will notes how in August 2012 it was announced Auckland City is ranked number 10 in the Economist Index. At the time, the mayor tweeted: ‚Äúthere is still lots of work to be done to be the most liveable city‚ÄĚ and listed these points:

A world class integrated transport system,
A quality compact city,
An economic powerhouse providing jobs for all our people,
Protection for our built and natural environment.

The interview examines what can be achieved, at what cost, and for what gain.

Manning Interview: Jami-lee Ross

ŠĒ• Live News

It is no secret that Jami-lee Ross is a mate of mine. But Selwyn Manning interviewed him Monday and the video has now been published. They explore local body politics and the relationship between Wellington and Auckland.

The Smothership

ŠĒ• Livenews

Watch this interview of Daniel Newman by Selwyn Manning…very good stuff.

Jackpot for World Cup

I remember one Citizen A where Selwyn Manning and Martyn Bradbury were almost wishing that the World Cup would be a failure so that it hurt john Key’s chances. They moaned about the stadium at Eden Park, which has been sold out most games and they moaned about the business opportunities and they moaned about how people were going to be injured in the crowds. Unfortunately that doesn’t look like any of that is going to happen:

Cup organisers yesterday said they had passed their $268.5 million target, set more than two years ago.

Rugby New Zealand 2011 chairman Brian Roche said 87 per cent of all tickets had sold, taking the total sales to $268.7 million.

“This is a tremendous achievement and one that all those who have contributed to the success of this tournament across New Zealand should be proud of,” Mr Roche said.

The revenue eclipses by more than 11 times the previous largest-grossing event in New Zealand history, the 2005 Lions rugby tour.

Sunday’s sold-out final alone has made more than $50 million, twice as much as the Lions tour.

Business is looking up too:

Central Auckland was bustling yesterday and hospitality and food businesses and other retailers reported a long-awaited boost.

Dine by Peter Gordon restaurant manager Jenny Kiihfuss said a lot of extra customers had eaten there this week.

“It just seems like there’s more of a vibe in town. Everyone is in good spirits.”

Grove Restaurant co-owner Annette Dearth said dinners were almost fully booked this week.

“It’s definitely improved. Last week was pretty good and this week is just flat out, not for lunch but for dinner. We have been full every night, and then some.

“I think the people who are here want to spend money now. You have more of the high-rollers.”

Michael Hill’s Queen St branch manager Carrie James said business was good and the store’s tax-free sales – especially of diamonds – were up.

Kiwi Town Souvenirs owner Benny Li said business at his Queen St store was up about 20 per cent.

Why I won't be on Citizen A anymore

I have decided not to appear on Citizen A anymore.

The decision hasn’t been taken lightly and I consulted widely with people who’s opinions I respect.

Firstly I have to say that the people and staff of Triangle/Stratos are first rate. The producer Debz is great to work with and I have enjoyed my time working with her. She has taught me a great deal.

Over time however I have come to despise turning up for an hour of left wing cant being shoved down my throat all the while I have to sit and suck it up. I have learned the patience of Job as insult after insult was hurled my way, while deference was paid to the other guests in an almost fawning, obsequious manner.

I have enormous respect for Chris Trotter, for Selwyn Manning and for Phoebe Fletcher. I have enjoyed working with them and enjoyed the debates we managed despite the mad raving and shrill editorialising of Martyn Bradbury coming between us. There, I would like to think, is mutual respect, and that could well be indicated by the offline information sharing and discussions we have via email or over the occasional beer or coffee.

However I can not and will not tolerate complete disrespect and abuse any longer. I will no longer be the token righty copping a flogging each week like a punch drunk boxer hoping for that one last win in the ring. It is demeaning and unbecoming and rude, more to the point that I am about as far form a broken down old boxer as you can get, and I’m not losing.

Martyn has lined up as many left wing commentators as he could to try and “get” me. He even said this to me several times….as in “right this week I’ve got X up¬†against¬†you, he will tear you apart”. They almost always end up by issuing forth the immortal lines “You know what? I agree with Cam on this”. Martyn even tried to train Phoebe to not say she agreed with me.

One of the final things that brought this to a head was when Martyn instructed the producers to change the subtitles to hurl even more abuse at me. It was embarrassing and shameful and it was not my doing. Then two shows ago he tried to link me, my hobbies and my Christian beliefs with the mass murdering coward who killed so many, so shamefully in Norway. It was a scurrlious, low blow. My anger at that attack in the middle of the show was such that I found it  difficult to contain.

The final straw was Martyn’s blog post on Friday where he has simply followed the party line and¬†insists¬†that despite the law of the land the SIS should not have released to me that which was applied for under the OIA, not because they were secret, but because I am a right wing blogger.

Martyn Bradbury likes to think he a crusader holding the powerful to account, he should have embraced what I did to the SIS, in opening them up just a little but, instead he went for the political and personal attack that is so common amongst the left.

I have canvassed my decision with 10 people and the opinions of those I respect were 100%, with not even a slight equivocation, ditch the show.

And so I will. Last week was my last appearance on Citizen A. I will not be returning.

Citizen A online

Citizen A is online.

Enjoy this episode because it will be my last. I will post my reasons separately.

Citizen A – 8 July