Winston Peters

Why is it Kiwiblog has the best posts when Farrar is away?

Lifestyle, arts and travel blogger David Farrar is away again.

Kiwiblog has again reverted to a blog of David’s mid-life crisis and travels.

Not content with his own travel blogging, he also now has guest travel blog posts.

However he does have a guest post from Kiwi in America that is very good. Why is it Kiwiblog’s best posts are while he is away?

Regular readers of Kiwiblog will recall my lengthy essay posted on Easter Friday about the recent history of Labour; some of it based on my time as an activist there until the mid 90’s attempting to explain Labour’s present day conundrum.

In a nutshell it said that an attempt by the left of the party to seize permanent control of Labour after the massive post Rogernomics ructions under the leadership of Helen Clark, led to a gradual purging of activists from the centrist and right wings of the party. Clark, and her followers in the Head Office and regional hierarchies, ensured the selection of candidates in winnable electorate seats (and after the introduction of MMP, also the party list) that not only ensured she could topple then leader Mike Moore after the 1993 election but also cemented her power base inside Labour guaranteeing her an unchallenged 15 year reign as Labour’s leader. This handed power in the party to an increasingly narrow base of sector and interest groups such as academics, trade unions, progressive feminists and the rainbow coalition gradually driving out activists who were more likely to be white, male, socially conservative, small business owners and church going people of faith. After Labour’s 2008 election defeat, former members of the harder left New Labour Party, homeless after the dissolution of the Alliance, the demise of Anderton’s Progressives and the rise of the Greens, began to come back to Labour assisting in the movement of the party more to the left.

This trend culminated in the amendment to Labour’s Constitution at its 2012 Annual Conference giving 40% of the vote for Party Leader to the party membership and 20% to the affiliated unions leaving only 40% in the hands of the Parliamentary caucus. This new formula enabled David Cunliffe to win the first full leadership primary in 2013 despite having only minority support in caucus – the first time this had ever happened in Labour’s history. The result of his elevation to the leadership was Labour’s third successive and even more disastrous defeat.

When you drive out of the party its more centrist activists, you leave a vacuum that has been filled by harder left activists. When these same activists, alongside the more traditionally left wing trade union leadership, have control of the party’s candidate selections, its policy formation and now the election of its leader, over time you end up with a party, candidates and policies that no longer appeal to middle NZ and a party that is no longer the broad church it used to be. The party may be truer to its left wing principles but it now produces candidates, policies and campaigning rhetoric out of step with the aspirations of floating middle NZ voters that decide elections. National’s moderate centrist direction under John Key has become the natural repository for various key demographic groups that once used to strongly vote Labour and accordingly, Labour has ended up falling further behind National in each subsequent election post its 2008 defeat culminating in its second lowest vote this election since its formation in 1916!

Labour is now undertaking yet another review of why it was defeated and another likely more bruising leadership primary.

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Ask them anything…hmm..OK, how about these questions?

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The Labour Party is running an Ask Them Anything question session of the four leadership contenders.

Labour have been deadset useless for way to long which makes politics boring. We need Labour to muscle up and start being more fun as they are handicapped at the moment. So lets help them by asking some sensible questions. Feel free to submit any of these yourself.

Q. Why hasn’t Labour been able to raise any money since Mike “Fat Tony” Williams retired?

Q. What do the internal polls say about whether New Zealand will vote for a gay party leader?

Q. Where do you stand on corporate welfare?

Q.  Where do you stand on middle class welfare? Read more »

Silly mistake by Key

John Key is supposed to be a smart man, but he often makes silly mistakes.

The latest mistake he has made was probably at the behest of Steven Joyce and Bill English and is an act of petulance that will hurt him.

The caucus is already smarting about the promotion of 3 dead heads who have few friends in caucus ahead of other more capable ministerial prospects. With his nasty and un-necessary slight against Judith Collins he has just solidified that grumpiness.

Ex-Justice Minister Judith Collins is seething after she was delivered a humiliating snub by Prime Minister John Key, who has declined to recommend her for an official title.

Outgoing ministers are usually granted the right to use the honorific “The Honorable” for life, after a recommendation from the prime minister to the governor-general.

Last Wednesday, demoted courts minister Chester Borrows and retiring Maori Affairs minister Pita Sharples were added to the ‘‘Roll of the Honourables.’’  But Collins – who resigned in August over the Dirty Politics furore – is missing from the list.

Collins was upset and angry to be given the news by Fairfax Media. ‘‘No-one has given me the decency to tell me that…I’m actually hurt and shocked.

‘‘Frankly, that you are the first person to tell me, I have to say, you could knock me down with a feather…It’s appalling.’’

Her fury was directed at Key: ‘‘If you are the person that is charged with telling me this then that says an awful lot about the person that should be doing it, and I am utterly disgusted.’’

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Kiwi troops unlikely to be killing actual ISIS bad guys

It seems we’re going in to help our friends beat those ISIS idiots into submission.  John Key is just slowly softening up the public.

Prime Minister John Key has dropped further hints about what the SAS will do if he sends them into Iraq to fight the Islamic State.

He says it is unlikely to be frontline combat, but instead identifying targets for the other forces to bomb.

“I’m aghast at that [the violence of Islamic State],” says Mr Key. “It’s barbaric, and there is a point at which people need to take steps to stop that.”

And so continue our proud tradition of going to help those that need it in the hope that when we ever need help, we’ll receive it from those we stood next to.

“I can see no reason why New Zealand would want to put boots on the ground in Iraq,” says Labour’s David Shearer. “There is a pretty good chance that our people could come home in body bags.”

That’s particularly galling coming from Shearer.  He knows better than that.  What a sell-out.

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New Zealands favourite grandmother is a perfect choice for senior citizens minister

- NewstalkZB

– NewstalkZB

Maggie Barry’s portfolios of Conservation and Senior Citizens are naturals for her.

Getting Arts an unexpected bonus. She will be one of the Ministers invited to the most public meetings. Still has a very positive brand with older New Zealanders.

New Zealand’s favourite grandmother is a perfect choice for senior citizens minister.

John Key once called her the Minister of Roses – so it was appropriate that when former gardening guru Maggie Barry got the call that she had been catapulted into his Cabinet, she was weeding and pruning.

“I had the phone in my back pocket so it was a bit of a scramble to get it out and get the gloves off. When I realised who it was of course, it was very exciting.”

It was cause for a double celebration – Barry was also marking her 55th birthday on Sunday, when Key called.

Barry, partner Grant Kerr and son Joe celebrated at a local restaurant.

Barry picks up the conservation, senior citizens and the arts heritage and culture portfolios.   Read more »

Is this the civil society you were talking about Curwen?

Curwen Rollinson is a NZ First activist and former board member, he is also an arch socialist who like to dress in 1940s army clothes.

He writes occaisonal TL;DR rants at The Daily Blog, and today has a post about creating a “civil society”.

I’ve read it so you don’t have to, but here is his main thrust:

It’s my contention that just as civil society was able to propel environmentalism along with widespread concern for privacy rights and opposition to mass surveillance into the political limelight previously; there’s now a present need and vacancy for civil society to do something similar with economic nationalism.

Preaching about a “civil society”…hmmm, civil like this?

Is this the civil society that Curwen Rollison wants?

Is this the civil society that Curwen Rollinson wants?

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Can Duncan Garner Count?

Duncan Garner’s addled brain may have let him down in a piece on the Labour Leadership on Stuff.

Duncan is known as a man who is all too fond of the good life, and trying to keep up with Winston Peters may have eroded some of his brain cells. I was once taught that you have one mouth and two ears and they should be used in that ratio. All too often Duncan Garner uses his with entirely the wrong ratio.

Garner writes this about Stuart Nash winning Napier. It shows that the comments above are both justified and perhaps even a little kind.

I like Stuart Nash. He’s a totally likeable rogue.

But he’s dreaming isn’t he? This is just a vanity thing. He’s drunk his own Kool-Aid.

He’s the Shane Jones of this race. He’s red-blooded and proud of it. And if there’s going to be a race – then he wants to be part of it. He’s got lead in his pencil after winning Napier – just don’t mention he only got there because the Conservative’s Garth McVicar split the vote on the right.

So Stuart Nash won Napier because the conservatives split the vote.

Did you actually look at the results Duncan? Or were you too busy gobbing off and not actually listening and analysing.

Here is the analysis Duncan. I’m posting it for you so you can continue with the wine, women and song rather than having to do any actual thinking. It’s ok I’m used to having to provide real analysis when other drop the ball.   Read more »

Herald Editorial on the Greens

The Herald editorial takes some time today to look into the The Greens and their lack lustre election campaign.

Another disappointing election for the Greens ought to be prompting some serious thinking within the party about why it is in politics and where it is going. The second question is easier. The party is going nowhere on its present political settings. It has been around for nearly 25 years with members in Parliament for the past 18 years. In all of that time it has never been part of a government. When it looks around the chamber in the new Parliament, it may notice it is the only party of the seven that has never had a ministerial seat.

The reason is obvious. The Greens position their policies to the left of Labour, which means they are compatible only with a Labour Government. But given a choice between coalition partners of the centre or a party to its extreme, a governing party will reach for the centre, as Helen Clark did when she preferred Peter Dunne and Winston Peters to the Greens.

Their positioning on the left also means that their vote rises when Labour’s falls, and they suffer when Labour does well.

They are weak when Labour is in power and stronger when Labour is out. That is why this election must have been a particular blow. Labour sank to its lowest share of the vote in 92 years, yet the Greens’ share did not rise. Their hopes of attaining 15 per cent were dashed. They remain a party supported by about 10 per cent of voters.

The Greens have positioned themselves as a left wing social justice party, not a centre representative environment party. They have lost their core branding.   Read more »

A rare moment of media honesty and genuine insight

The opinion pieces about Labour, the election, Kim Dotcom, Dirty politics, and the Labour leadership are coming thick and fast.  The leaks are like a geothermal field full of geysers and the usual crew are trying to set the scenes for their own teams.

Have we ever seen a more stunning election result? Watching the campaign it was hard to believe the attack on the character of John Key would have no effect.

Even when polls showed the public unmoved by the hatchet book and the news frenzy that followed, it seemed hardly possible that none of the muck would stick.

Until people work out why it didn’t work, they will continue to get it wrong.   And I’m not going to help them.  I know there are screeds  of politicians, their henchmen and media that don’t understand why a month of negative about Key, Whaleoil and myself has actually resulted in a better result for Key, and an absolute strengthening of  my position.

The fact they don’t understand this means they don’t understand much at all.   Read more »

Face of the Day

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It appears that wily old Winston Peters is partly responsible for the demise of the Labour party.

New Zealand First’s strong election result appears to have come at the expense of the Labour Party, preliminary results show.

Winston Peters’ party increased its vote more than any other on Saturday, jumping to 8.85 per cent from 6.59 per cent in 2011.  Read more »