Steven Joyce

One big long sledge by Mike Yardley

Mike Yardley writes one big long sledge against David Cunliffe:

With just 11 sleeps to election day, and as the campaign trail hits the home straight, we seem to be back where we started. Despite all the political histrionics, National remains in pole position with Labour seemingly marooned on 25 per cent support.

The maths would suggest Team Cunliffe needs to be hitting 30 per cent if there is to be any sniff of a sixth Labour-led government taking shape. Last week’s The Press Leaders Debate was a gripping spectacle to observe, once again delivering what could well be the killer campaign frisson, with David Cunliffe’s dismal inability to blow-torch John Key’s strategic query about whether family homes in trusts will attract capital gains tax.

Cunliffe was not only flummoxed, but woefully outfoxed. At the half-time break, his platoon of crest-fallen advisers hastily tromped off backstage, more ashen-faced than Mt Tavurvur.

It was a catastrophe for the Labour leader, who, ironically, throughout much of the debate, was the more composed and commanding performer.

The capital gains tax stuff up has cost Labour dearly. I expect the next polls to show a complete disaster.

But bungles can have brutal consequences, and this was a botch to match the “I’m sorry for being a man” moment. The Press debate also heralded what continues to be National’s central attack catchphrase: “Labour’s Five New Taxes.” An attack line designed to scare the bejesus out of middle New Zealand, the swing voters that decide elections.   Read more »

Joyce shouldn’t pull things out his arse

It’s a strange world we live in when Whaleoil and Whaledump agree:


Better stick to running the campaign Steven, and leave the dark arts to people who know what they’re doing.


– Hacked from… good god, I don’t know… this is getting a bit meta really

Show us the money Phil! I mean, David!

Got an itch?  Tell Labour.  They’d love to scratch it.

In a veritable lolly scramble the Labour Party have been announcing policy after policy giving millions upon millions away.

Soon you’re talking real money.

How much?

Mr Joyce says so far Labour has pledged billions and billions of new spending.

“Labour has announced policies that on their own admission add up to more than $16 billion of new spending over four years. And the true total is likely to be higher because some of the policies have been costed incorrectly,” Mr Joyce says.

“And that’s before you add in the Greens and other coalition partners like Internet-Mana.

“New Zealand has yet to achieve its first surplus since the Global Financial Crisis and the Canterbury earthquakes – and the Labour Party has broken out the Santa Claus outfits.

“The last time Labour went into spending overdrive in 2008, it pushed floating mortgage rates to almost 11 per cent, it sent the economy into recession before the Global Financial Crisis and it left the incoming National Government with a deficit of nearly $4 billion in 2008/09. It’s clear David Cunliffe has learnt nothing from that experience.

“It’s becoming obvious unusually early in this campaign – New Zealand simply can’t afford a Labour/Greens/Internet-Mana Government.”

16 Billion and counting.

Personally I don’t believe they’ll actually do even half of it.  Most of them have out clauses in the fine print, such as “if economic conditions allow” and “after further review”, and so on. Read more »

Steven Joyce just went up a teeny, tiny, bit in my estimation

Pots, pans and pannier bags blogger Russell Brown has blogged about Steven Joyce.

In a departure from blogging about cooking or sad old gits pretending to be hip with the kids on music and net stuff, he attacks Steven Joyce.

The first time I saw Steven Joyce speak to an audience, he was a prize prick. Indeed, I can’t recall a senior politician being as openly contemptuous of a crowd as Joyce was opening the second day of NetHui 2011. It was astonishing.

I’d be more than openly contemptuous of those bunch of smelly hipsters spending days on end talking and achieving mot much at all, ever.

The second time was last month, when he spoke at the launch of a new business service, to an audience of banking and business people. He was relaxed and wrly humorous, transgressing only in the frequency with which he used the opportunity to campaign for votes.   Read more »

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.

Read more »

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.

Read more »