Sue Bradford

Couldn’t she wait until the bodies were cold?

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Siobhan Downes reports

Bradford told Fairfax Media when she sent the tweet she was not aware anyone had been killed.

“It is a total tragedy, and [I have] every sympathy to those affected. It’s just terrible.”

But she stood by her comment. “The Work and Income office is the front line of the Government’s welfare policies. People are very, very badly affected by what happens there everyday.

“This is in no way excusing what’s happened. But I think it’s unfortunate that governments sometimes don’t understand or accept the risks that they put their staff under in implementing their policies.”

Not backing down.  In spite of this:

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Do the Greens now support trucking?

The Greens have released billboards depicting workers cleaning up after the Rena grounding in 2011.

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Back in 2007 the Greens were strongly supporting coastal shipping as an alternative to trucks:

“Coastal shipping is a key part of the alternatives-to-roads strategy. The more freight we can get on to ships the better.”

That was when Sue Bradford was still a Green MP.  Read more »

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Chris Trotter is either on the payroll or simply lost the plot completely

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Chris Trotter, it appears, has also sold out his principles. He has seriously unhinged over the past few days writing post after post after post variously screaming at Labour MPs to
STFU” and calling them stupid.

Now he is out-right shilling on behalf of the Internet Mana Party, it seems he too ahs sucuumbed tot he magic millions from the Crook of Coatesville.

BRACE YOURSELVES, COMRADES, for some horrendous poll results. The next round of surveys from Colmar Brunton, Reid Research, DigiPoll, Ipsos and Roy Morgan will almost certainly register a major slump in the Centre Left’s support and a concomitant rise in National’s numbers – quite possibly to 55 percent-plus. Labour and the Greens will both take nasty hits and the Internet-Mana Party (IMP) will be very lucky to make it above 1 percent. Apart from John Key, the only other person likely to be smiling is Winston Peters.

The polls will be bad because the framing of Kim Dotcom’s latest intervention in New Zealand politics has been so near-universally and overwhelmingly negative. From the Right (and Sue Bradford) has come the steady drumbeat that Hone Harawira and the Mana Party have done a “dirty deal” with Kim Dotcom and, in the process, “sold out their principles” for cash.

Amplifying this message, TV3’s political editor, Patrick Gower, has characterised the IMP strategy as “a rort” (a term which normally denotes morally questionable if not downright illegal manipulation) even though what the Mana and Internet parties are proposing is well within the rules of MMP and has been a feature of every election campaign since the latter came in force in 1996. Gower’s destructive message has, however, been repeated, ad nauseum, by an endless succession of editorial writers, talkback hosts, columnists and bloggers.

What Chris Trotter forgets is that those editorial writers, talkback hosts, columnists and bloggers are merely repeating the same attack lines that people like Trotter himself, and Martyn Bradbury and all the other sellouts have used against National and Act over Epsom and against Peter Dunne in Ohariu.  Read more »

Colin Espiner on Kim Dotcom and his marriage of convenience

Colin Espiner is snarky in his article…very snarky indeed.

Say what you like about the sacrifice of conscience for cash – a great big German spanner has just been flung into the machinery of this year’s election campaign.

I wasn’t going to write about Kim Dotcom’s vanity party again this week. It has had far more publicity in its short life than it deserves.

Plus, it seems that everywhere you look Dotcom is there. Giving evidence in the John Banks trial. Breaking up with his wife, Mona (on Twitter, of course). Fighting Hollywood over access to his millions. Calling on Prime Minister John Key to resign (again).

Shortly, it will be Dotcom in the dock as he fights extradition to the United States on fraud and racketeering charges. Forget Banks and buckets of mud – that hearing is going to be the trial of the year. So a bit of Dot-gone seemed like no bad thing.

And then suddenly, there he was in a civil union with the beneficent ghost from socialist Christmases past: Laila Harre.

And Colin Espiner thinks Laila Harre is the bee’s knees…or does he?

The media was expecting Dotcom’s Internet Party would announce a flake as its new leader. Or a complete moron. Either would have done just fine. We could have ridiculed them, and moved on to more important matters.

But Harre isn’t a flake. And she’s certainly no moron. She’s one of the most driven, persuasive and intelligent politicians I’ve met. I don’t know how Dotcom managed to put a ring on the darling of the Left but on the face of it, it’s a major coup.

The question, though, is for who?     Read more »

John Armstrong on Internet Mana, cash in politics and where it all leads

John Armstrong starts off by highlighting the prostitution of the left wing to the personal interests of a rich german crook, except for the integrity shown by Sue Bradford:

Sue Bradford may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But the veteran activist and former Green MP deserves credit for her point-blank refusal to be enticed into joining those entranced by the cult of personality otherwise known as Kim Dotcom.

As someone who has spent her adult life going into battle for the poor and the powerless, Bradford is the last person who would doff their cloth cap at someone whom she dubs as a “neo-liberal capitalist millionaire”. She does not mean that as an insult. She sees it simply a statement of fact.

Working in league with Dotcom would be pure anathema for her because he is someone totally incompatible with the ethos which drives the Mana movement.

For Hone Harawira, Mana’s leader, Dotcom is a welcome means to an end, however; namely an electoral pact with Dotcom’s Internet Party..

So Bradford has walked from Mana despite being a founding member of the three-year-old political movement.

Those that remained barely seemed to notice. Their eyes were filled with dollar signs instead.

One familiar face was soon replaced by another. Slipping with ease into her new role as the leader of the fledgling Internet Party, Laila Harre greeted Dotcom’s announcement that he was bank-rolling his political vehicle with a further $3 million as welcome change. For once, a really big cheque was being written for a party on the left, not the right.

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The Press editorial on the Mana/Internet rort – Politics deserves better than this

The Press editorial is refreshingly robust this morning.

There can have been fewer link-ups in New Zealand politics more cynical and crassly opportunistic than the one just formed between Hone Harawira’s Mana Party and the Internet Party, masterminded and financed by the internet developer Kim Dotcom. There is not the shadow of any principle involved in it.

Before he arrived in New Zealand, Kim Dotcom’s public image was of a high-living, luxury-loving party animal. For all his technical skills, there is not the slightest evidence that either now or in the past he has had a serious political thought in his head.

It is almost certain his only contact with the poor and dispossessed whose interests Harawira purports to represent would have been as employees. Indeed he may be a little startled to find that he is financing the far-left Laila Harre, the newly announced leader of the Internet Party.

As for the internet issues the Internet Party is supposedly concerned about, if Harawira and Mana had any particular interest in them before Kim Dotcom and his money came on the scene they kept very quiet about them.

It is, in other words, a marriage of convenience. It gives Harawira and Mana access to a pile of cash that will enable him to fossick for the party vote outside its own Far North bailiwick. That pile of cash may also help him achieve his aim of getting rid of the present National-led Government.

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Breaking: Sue Bradford quits Mana

Good on her.  Someone has principles and isn’t for sale.

UPDATE:

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Herald on Sunday editorial – Labour is deluded

The Herald on Sunday editorial is blunt and to the point.

However I doubt Labour will heed a word they say, because they are so deluded as to think the Herald is a tory rag.

Labour has done a poor job of refreshing its caucus. There are MPs who have been there so long that they eyeballed Robert Muldoon across the House. It is in desperate need of new blood, leaders of the future like [Kelvin] Davis. Yet last election, Davis was relegated down the list below a clutch of faceless union apparatchiks.

It was outrageous that Labour thought that decidedly less than average Carol Beaumont, Sue Moroney and Rajen Prasad were all better possible MPs and deserved higher list ranking above people like Kelvin Davis and Stuart Nash.

In the long-term, Labour needs people like Davis. But in the short-term (the only terms in which most senior MPs think) Labour may want Harawira.

Because of MMP’s derided coat-tails rule, Harawira can win just the one seat and bring in another MP from the Mana Party, perhaps a couple more from the Internet Party when they formalise their ragtag alliance in two week’s time. This would provide Cunliffe with a real prospect of toppling John Key from power – despite the fact that Labour is trailing about 17 poll points behind National.

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Rob Hosking on Dotcom and his likely effect on Labour’s vote

Rob Hosking at the NBR opines about the effect of Kim Dotcom on NZ politics and correctly surmises that it is Labour who will be most affected.

Disaffected and disengaged youth, we are told, will be flowing to the polling booths to vote for Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party on September 20.

The “visionary” of the party will act as a beacon to 18 to 25 year olds who are utterly turned off by politics, the theory goes.

The people claiming this are mostly 40 to 50-year-old political obsessives, so I’m not sure I give this theory much credence.

Certainly Mr Dotcom – or Mr Schmitz, or Mr Kimble, or Mr Tim Jim Vestor, to give him the other names he has adopted over a long and somewhat ill-starred career – has excited some people, but the folk getting most breathless seem to be a small group of excitable journalists, along with a group of folk who are keen for something – anything – that will make a better job of opposing John Key’s National government than the current official opposition is doing.

It is not clear what Mr Dotcom is going to deliver, apart from a major disruptive factor.   Read more »

The Dotcom wrecking ball commences the destruction of the Mana party

It looks like the political damage of Kim Dotcom is now taking its toll on the Mana party.

Sue Bradford has walked. I never thought I’d say this but good on her.

Sue Bradford and other leading Mana Party figures have walked out of the party’s AGM over its decision to continue negotiations towards an alliance with Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party.

After discussions which went into the night at Mataikotare Marae near Rotorua yesterday, Mana’s branches “unanimously” agreed to move forward with the negotiations.

The party has given its leaders a month to negotiate, before they put any proposed alliance out to the party’s local branches for consultation.

However, Mana President Annette Sykes this morning said : “Our movement, I was concerned that it may be fragile and some of our membership – I don’t know whether some have chosen not to come back today.”

“There’s quite a number. We’re not talking hundreds, but we’re talking people who I think are leaders young and old and they are principled people who I have respect for. They’ve gone back to reflect with their branches.”

Ms Bradford this morning confirmed she was among those who had walked out.  Read more »