Rodney Hide writes what he thinks Matt McCarten’s memo to David Cunliffe should look like.
Memo to:Â David Cunliffe, Leader of the Opposition
From:Â Matt McCarten, Chief of Staff
From now on you do nothing, say nothing, think nothing. Not until you run it past me. Better yet, just do, say and think what I tell you. That saves time and minimises risk.
What part of your political brain thought it a good idea to run donations through a secret trust?
No. Forget I even asked. I don’t want to know.
Secret trusts? Anonymous donations? Big business? US bagman? That’s how we attack Tories. Now they are attacking us. Just be thankful they suck at it. Imagine if Trevor Mallard, the duck, was doing you over.
Did you not notice passing laws stopping this carry-on? We made it so political parties can’t hide donors behind trusts. We changed Standing Orders so MPs must declare gifts and donations. You were in Cabinet. It was a Big Deal.
Oh, I know our law never contemplated a leadership primary but the spirit is clear. That’s what you broke. National can hit you with this from now until the election.
You look sleazy. You look tricky. You look like a hypocrite.Â Read more »
Yesterday Vernon Small wrote about the biggest issue facing Labour ahead of this year’s election.
Well the biggest problem after the issue with their tits leader….rejuvenation…or rather the lack of it.
Â In politics rejuvenation rates alongside succession planning. Both are easy catchcries and generally seen as “a good thing”.
In reality they are a type of parliamentary Nimby-ism – nice to have if it is someone else who is vacating a seat, and fine as long as you are not the leader whose replacement is being groomed.
On the National side of the aisle rejuvenation is in full swing. At last count 14 MPs have either gone or are going out of a caucus of 59. It is generally accepted as a worthwhile and necessary refreshment of the party. Certainly it is being handled well and without any overt bloodletting. No dummies have been spat in the remaking of the National caucus.
Of course if the polls were different it would be a different story. Shave a theoretical five points off the Government and give it to the Opposition and the narrative might be akin to the “rats leaving a sinking ship” theme that Labour leader David Cunliffe has tried to get up.
But that just looks lame when the last three polls had National harvesting enough support to govern alone.Â Read more »
Labour is going to attack Judith Collins today in parliament…over a drink of milk…apparently this is the worst indication of corruption seen in New Zealand.
We know this because Mrs Mallard (Jane Clifton) has signalled it in her column today (not online).
But Labour should remember a few things of their own.
They are making a huge fuss over a photo and some chinese text written by someone offshore. They need to remember that politicians pose for photos all the time.
But their own behaviour isn’t that flash either. As the photo shows above Helen Clark was happy to open a building paid for by Owen Glenn, named after him when he was their single biggest donor ever. On top of that he was also a large donor to NZ First at the time.Â Read more »
Duncan Garner has been around politics for a long time, and he knows a charlatan when he sees one.
Labour Leader David Cunliffeâs apology for setting up a trust for his campaign donations baffles me. I can see why heâs done it. He wants the issue to go away. But it leaves just so many unanswered questions.
The big question for me is, who are the other donors? Is Kim Dotcom one? Or is it another fancy, wealthy businessman who is embarrassed to be linked to him? If not, who are the other two and why canât we know?
Whatâs Cunliffe hiding and why did he ever think this was acceptable? This is messy. Cunliffe has had an awful start to the year. He continues to be tripped up, while Shane Jones sails through making all the headlines.
Cunliffe has only apologised to lance the boil; heâs only done it because heâs been caught red-handed and embarrassed. So, who is the real David Cunliffe? And why did he set up the trust in the first place?
Trusts are set up to either hide something, protect something or to give people and donors anonymity. In politics, that always draws attention. What on earth was Cunliffe thinking when he agreed for the trust to be set-up? This trust wasnât set-up without his knowledge. He gave it the nod. Nothing happens in an MP’s life without their say-so.
As I said his apology is more than odd. He said: âI donât think in hindsight that a trust structure fully represented the values I would like to bring to this leadershipâ. That is weird and simply doesnât stack up. It looks like a fake apology to me. I actually donât believe him.
Values donât just appear issue by issue. Values and principles are things that guide you in your everyday life. Surely Cunliffe would have known by now if having a âtrustâ represented his values. And a trust structure completely represents who David Cunliffe is.
It might be against Labour values, but I simply donât believe itâs against David Cunliffeâs values. He has one for his family. Itâs on the Pecuniary Interests Register at Parliament: The âBozzieâ Family Trust.Â Read more »
The country’s next top police boss has been named as deputy commissioner Mike Bush.
Bush replaces outgoing police commissioner Peter Marshall.
The announcement was made today by Police Minister Anne Tolley who said Bush had been appointed after managing a change programme in police which contributed to a 17.4 per cent drop in recorded crimes over the past three years.Â Read more »
Privately Labour MPs don’t think they can win the election. Publicly they are all macho and putting on the face of ebulliance…but it is rather hollow.
After 3 dreadful polls showing that the party’s choice for leader hasn’t worked as they thought it would. Ther eis no great hankering for a top end of town trickster masquerading as an unreconstituted trade unionist from the 1950s.
Tracy Watkins picks up this dissonance.
Scratch beneath the bravado Â in Labour these days and you will find a pessimist.
Blame it on the weather or a shortened barbecue season, but Labour MPs seem already to be doubting the prospect of a Labour win. Even the optimists donât much bother to pretend they believe in Labour overtaking National any more. They argue instead that with the Greens votes they donât need to.
It may be politics as MMP intended it but it is still a long way removed from the mindset that reigned in Labour under Helen Clark.
Clarkâs focus first and foremost was to amass the most votes to give herself a strong hand in post-election negotiations.
Her alliance with the Greens was at best uneasy, and at its worst acrimonious. You didnât have to be a mind reader to figure out that relations between Miss Clark and Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons were at an all time low on the 2002 campaign trail. Miss Clarkâs body language during the televised debates said it all.
Constantly torn by the dilemma of whether to sidle up to the Greens or cannibalise their vote, Labourâs relationship with the Greens remains the source of internal party soul searching.
But it has been a long time since the polls delivered a scenario where Labour could do without them.Â Read more »
How bad is life in Labour right now?
The started the week fending off revelations that some of their MPs have been cosy with Kim Dotcom with Clare Curran popping out to visit the convicted fraudster twice.
Then they had Trevor Mallard furiously spinning that the GCSB were involved, channeling the more absurd parts of the blogosphere in an attempt to make himself relevant again.
David Cunliffe caught the conspiracy disease yesterday morning by entering into Winston Peters territory and claiming the spy agencies were feeding me, Rachel Glucina and John Key in some sort on Colin Craig-esque dance on the crazy side.
Then in the afternoon he launched an idiotic attack on John Key about his mansion…when he lives in his own $2.5 million mansion in Herne Bay. Of course he stayed mum about his holiday house as well not to mention the other property interests of his missus…no he decided to call a rich prick a rich prick, when he is a rich prick himself.
“We bought the worst house in the best street,” says Mr Cunliffe. “It was a do-up; it probably wouldn’t be the average of the area.
“Mr Key spent time in the money markets and has a personal fortune, which is many times our reasonably middle-range existence.”
Mr Cunliffe’s home is listed in the MP’s register of pecuniary interests as being owned by a trust.Â But records show that company ChanceryGreen owns it, and Mr Cunliffe’s wife, Karen Price, is one of its two directors.
By attacking Mr Key for living in a multi-million dollar home in an affluent leafy suburb, Mr Cunliffe left himself wide open to retaliation.Â Read more »
Cry baby: Trevor Mallard
Trevor Mallard is loading a bicycle intp a taxi (not the boot), and is told by Airport officials that this isn’t allowed under the Transport Act where luggage isn’t allowed in the same compartment as passengers. Â His bicycle doesn’t fit into the boot of some taxis, so he puts it in the back seat instead.
The appropriate response:
Being an MP, and ultimately aware and cautious to be seen to be supportive of the law, you select a different taxi that will accommodate the bike. Â After all, I’ve never seen an airport short of taxis.
The actual response: Â Read more »
In my work I’ve met @kimdotcom 4 times, including at public events. In NZ it’s no crime to meet critics of the state
â Clare Curran (@clarecurranmp) February 12, 2014
And Clare Curran joins the list of MPs and politicians sitting in Dotcom’s lap…Don Brash, Winston Peters, Russel Norman and now Clare Curran.
Yesterday the prime minister called out the opposition for doing the bidding of Kim Dotcom in parliament as they seek to subvert our justice system.
The NZ Herald reports:
Prime Minister John Key has accused Opposition leaders of asking Parliamentary questions on Kim Dotcom’s behalf.
Mr Key made the claim after it was revealed that Greens co-leader Russel Norman had met with Mr Dotcom at his Coatesville mansion.
Dr Norman rejected the Prime Minister’s accusation.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has also been asked whether he has met with the Internet Party founder, but would not comment.
Mr Key questioned whether Mr Dotcom had convinced Opposition MPs to ask questions in Parliament on his behalf.
“Over the course of the last year or so they have been demanding through their questions to me on every interaction, every engagement, every statement I have made in relation to Kim Dotcom.
“Now it turns out that they have had numerous meetings at the Dotcom mansion, they’re refusing to actually answer what they talked about, what was involved.”
He added: “What was the basis of those questions and who were they asking for?”
Dr Norman ruled out acting for Mr Dotcom in Parliament.
He said he made two visits to Mr Dotcom’s house to warn him against setting up a party which could steal Green votes. Â Read more »