Winston Peters

Cartoon of the Day

Credit:  SonovaMin

Credit: SonovaMin

Will NZ First survive Peters’ departure?

AMONG his constituency – particularly the grey vote – he has cultivated a huge reservoir of brand loyalty and trust. If you heard it once on the campaign trail you heard it a thousand times. Winston will see us oldies right.

But whether voters will ever come to believe that of the largely unrecognisable faces behind Peters is questionable.  Peters has not helped NZ First’s cause – or the chances of it surviving as his legacy – by reinventing his caucus every three years.

Partly that is due to NZ First’s highs and lows. Its ranks were decimated after the 1999 election, and again in 2008, when it was turfed out of Parliament altogether. But Peters has also alienated many of his caucus along the way. Of the party’s original MPs, only Ron Mark remains – and that only after several years out of Parliament, when Mark even mulled standing for another party.

Mark’s return appears to be the first serious attempt by Peters to put in place a succession plan.

Judging by Mark’s performance during question time, he’s either no longer match fit or he’s seriously lost the plot.

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I’m officially in Hansard as a scumbag now

That’s award winning scumbag, if you don’t mind Winston.

Comment of the Day

One of our commenters makes an astute point:

Has Grant unshackled himself from the green caboose? He will have to publicly do that before Winston will talk to him in any meaningful way.

Spot on Euan.

Winston won’t do a deal with the Greens, so if he is alive at the next election Grant will need to work out how to shaft the Greens and do a deal with Winston.

Someone in the MSM should talk to Winston and find out who he reckons should be Labour leader.

Meanwhile new lefty blogger Josh Forman explains his own thoughts on Winston Peters and Labour.

With Winston Peters embarking on what is almost certainly going to be his last term in the New Zealand Parliament he is looking to secure the future of the party he founded after splitting with National in 1993 after being sacked by then PM Jim Bolger to years earlier.   Read more »

Will Winston do a Deal with Grant Robertson?

Winston-Peters-NZH

Grant Robertson is running a pretty slick campaign.

It is certainly better than his opponents, and is talking about lots of the right things.

His big problem, however, is finding a route to victory. How does Robbo get 50% +1 of the votes in Parliament.

It would be a very, very brave or foolhardy person to predict that Robertson could find a route to victory without including New Zealand First in his coalition. To include New Zealand First he first needs to get Winston Peters to agree to do a deal with him.

Robertson realises this.

Build confident and mature relationships with other parties that we can form a government with in 2017.

Read more »

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 »