Steven Joyce

Armstrong on Joyce and Cunliffe

John Armstrong critiques Steven Joyce’s virtuoso performance in the house where he rinsed Cunliffe.

Joyce took the first call in Wednesday afternoon’s general debate — long a platform for Parliament’s better orators — to parody Labour’s under-the-weather David Cunliffe in a fashion that was as clever as it was cruel as it was funny.

Within the space of a five-minute speech, Joyce had revealed another weapon in his armoury — the ability to cut an opponent down by sheer wit — and thereby further enhanced his credentials as the frontrunner for National’s leadership when Key finally moves on.

There was, however, another interesting outcome from his contribution — its impact on those sitting opposite him.

Cunliffe was not in the chamber. But those Labour MPs who were initially tried to ignore what was a virtuoso performance. But their barely suppressed smiles gave the game away.

If any group of people could do with a bit of a laugh it is Cunliffe’s colleagues.They have watched in increasing despair as their leader of just 10 months has virtually self-destructed and taken the party’s support down with him from the mid-30s to the mid-20s in percentage terms. Cunliffe is now very much marooned in a malaise from which it is almost impossible for a Leader of the Opposition to drag himself or herself out.

You can do nothing right. Every opinion poll just brings even more bad news. No one takes you seriously. You become the target of every cheap joke and jibe. The media spit on what remains of your dignity. The public write you off. In short, you are deemed to be terminal. You then wait for the firing squad — the knock on the door from a delegation of your MPs who have determined your use-by date has long passed and your ability to resuscitate your party’s flagging support is seen as likely as a squadron of pigs gliding past the Beehive.

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Steven Joyce is sorry for not being able to find an original apology

Turnout and complacency an issue

Voter turnout could be critical, along with complacency in this years election.

National are worried because of the low turnout in National seats at the last election…that is complacency kicking in. Labour are worried because they think the missing million are all their voters.

It’s a looming spectre both National and Labour say could derail the election, but which party stands to lose the most from a low voter turnout at the polls?

Figures from the latest Stuff-Ipsos poll show 77 per cent of people say only unforeseen events like illness or disaster would stop them voting.

When the remainder were asked what might put them off voting, 17.6 per cent said it was too difficult to get to a polling station, while 8 per cent said they were too busy and a further 8 per cent said they didn’t know enough about the issues or the candidates.

The data suggests this election could mirror 2011 when turnout sunk to 74.2 per cent – the lowest  since 1981.

National Party campaign director Steven Joyce said despite many polls showing the election was National’s to lose, a Labour-led government was still a realistic outcome.

“I think firstly, these are polls and the nature of polls is that they’re people’s opinions at a point in time and that makes it a reasonably costless sort of opinion.”

Joyce said the bulk of the missing voters were likely National supporters who thought the election was a foregone conclusion.    Read more »

Unfit to lead, unfit to govern, and unfit to be PM

Two Fridays past David Cunliffe stood up in front of women’s refuge and apologised for being a man.

He said it was because men overwhelmingly figure in domestic violence statistics and then he went on to decry a rape culture in New Zealand.

I said at the time that David Cunliffe was insincere and I said that because I knew of the tory that I was about to break that proved just how insincere David Cunliffe is when it comes to rape and to domestic violence.

While David Cunliffe wrote a “pro forma” letter  to immigration on behalf of a Labour party donor despite claiming to never have met the man he refused to assist a constituent who approached him over a sensitive issue concerning ACC and the suicide of a rape victim.

Refused unless that constituent could help him gather dirt on Steven Joyce.

Perhaps if Mike Rowley had been a donor to the Labour party he might have got some assistance without ever having had to meet David Cunliffe.

Labour and David Cunliffe have made much of the alleged “rape culture” that supposedly exists in New Zealand, yet when asked to assist a constituent on a sensitive matter involving the suicide of a rape victim what did David Cunliffe do?

Did he seek to help?  Read more »

Cunliffe tells man seeking assistance – ‘NO DIRT, no help’

by Stephen Cook

Under-fire Labour leader David Cunliffe is in the thick of more controversy – this time accused of refusing to help an Auckland man with a delicate ACC matter unless he agreed to ‘dish the dirt’ on a senior Cabinet minister.

Just weeks after his credibility took a hit after the Donghua Liu affair and the whole ‘I’m sorry for being a man ‘ saga, Cunliffe has now emerged as the central figure in a messy ‘bribery scandal’.

For the past three years former senior RadioWorks executive Mike Rowley has maintained a dignified silence about what he claims was an attempt by Cunliffe to ‘bribe’ him for information about the ‘relationship’ between the Exclusive Brethren and Communications Minister Steven Joyce.

Joyce used to own Radioworks and would often come into contact with Rowley.

Rowley says when he approached Cunliffe three years ago about the role ACC allegedly played in the suicide of a rape victim, the Labour leader indicated he would be willing to look into the case – but for a price.

In return for his help, Rowley would have to ‘dish the dirt’ on Joyce’s relationship with the Exclusive Brethren, the secretive religious group who emerged from obscurity during the  2005 election campaign.

“No dirt, no help. That was the clear message I got,” said Rowley.   Read more »

Fran O’Sullivan detects a step to the centre from Labour as well

It looks like the same Labour stool pigeon who has been whispering in Matthew Hooton’s ear has also been whispering in Fran O’Sullivan’s.

David Cunliffe is well into repositioning himself as the candidate from Party Centrist — not Party Left Wing.

The naked “feint left” drive which persuaded Labour activists to parachute him into the party’s leadership over the top of more obvious centrist candidates like Shane Jones has been quietly jettisoned.

Even at the party conference there was more of an obligatory nod to the “comrades” than the kind of policies that would have enabled his National opponents to ramp up the fear factor.

Smaller class sizes and electronic learning paraphernalia are not going to get the juices of so-called blue collar workers boiling.

But such policies will appeal to middle classes — irrespective of how the additional 2,000 teachers are paid for.

The Cunliffe move is the upshot of a strategic rethink behind scenes within Labour’s war room.

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That’s your plan? Seriously?

Rob Salmond gave a speech at the Labour congress and David Cunliffe also used his “research”.

This is Labour’s plan to win the election…are you ready…they are going to pray that National drops 6% on election day from what the polls say.

I’m not kidding…read it.

At my briefing to Labour’s Congress over the weekend, I made a point about National’s performance in recent campaigns, which was later picked up in David Cunliffe’s speech.

National has dropped six percent each time.

For those interested, here is the data that sits beneath this claim. All I did was find any published poll where the field dates included the day three months before election day1, then compared that to the final election result.

2008 election: Final results compared to simple polling average 90 days prior

Firm Dates Nat
Roy Morgan 28 July – 10 Aug 48
Fairfax 6-12 Aug 54
Colmar Brunton 9-14 Aug 51
Average 51.0
Election 8 Nov 44.9
Difference -6.1

2011 election: Final results compared to simple polling average 90 days prior

Firm Dates Nat
Digipoll 19-26 Aug 52
Roy Morgan 15-28 Aug 52
Fairfax 25-29 Aug 57.1
Average 53.1
Election 26 Nov 47.3
Difference -5.8

This six point drop in National’s performance often went to parties opposed to National. Famously, in 2011 the big beneficiaries were New Zealand first, who rocketed from around 2.5% in the polls all the way to 6.7% three months later. In 2008 the Greens were significant net beneficiaries of camaign-time changes.

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The Nasty party thinks a positive hashtag will fool us all

Steven Joyce sums it all up with a simple tweet:

The labour party really are stretching credibility when they are claiming to be “Vote Positive”.

After years of relentless negativity and gotcha politics they are now trying to put positive spin on it all.

Claire Trevett reports:

Labour has unveiled its campaign slogan for the 2014 election will be “Vote Positive.”

Campaign manager David Talbot has also revealed the party’s social media hashtag with be #forabetterNZ.   Read more »

Armstrong on Mallard’s moa delusion

John Armstrong muses about the rationale behind Trevor Mallard’s moa media stunt.

Trevor Mallard’s mind-boggling suggestion to harness science to bring the moa back to life will likely end up being much-a-dodo about nothing.

And won’t David Cunliffe be relieved. Trying to breathe life of its own into his faltering leadership, Cunliffe had recently promised that Labour henceforth would be focusing on “the things that matter”.

Mallard may have misunderstood his leader, but it is unlikely that the “matter” Cunliffe was referring to was recovered DNA from moa egg shells.

Along with his front-bench colleagues, Cunliffe had to grin through gritted teeth as they were lampooned mercilessly by Government MPs for much of Parliament’s afternoon hour-long question-time and beyond.

Never one to look a gift moa in the mouth, National’s Steven Joyce kicked off the mass ribbing by manipulating his forearm and hand to resemble the neck and head of a moa and then waved the ensemble at arriving Labour MPs — a pantomime act so polished that Joyce must have devoted all but a few moments of his lunchtime to perfecting it.

The subsequent deluge of puns and wisecracks became progressively more lame from thereon — with one exception. When Winston Peters got to his feet, National backbencher Scott Simpson interjected: “A live moa!”.

Trevor Mallard must have done this on purpose. To cause a day of distraction for Labour, unfortunately it also distracted from anything positive that DAvid Cunliffe had to say about anything and ended up sidetracking the leader.  Read more »

BSC member Spotless gives hospital pass to Bridges – will he step up?

iboywonder

Yesterday the cartel like BSC got a tickle up after a member of the fish-gang sent through the BSC’s AGM minutes showing they’re ditching the audit requirement of their accounts.

From that post this letter from one of the BSC’s key members’ SPOTLESS turns up via the tip-line.

It’s a shocker and worth a read.

spotless Read more »