Winston Peters

Toxic Greens drove Jones from Labour

Jones-UpYours

The Green taliban are toxic, which is hugely ironic since they claim to be clean and green, but electorally they are toxic.

Claire Trevett writes in the Herald about how it was this toxicity of the Greens that drove jones from Labour and from parliament.

Departing Labour MP Shane Jones’ antipathy for the Green Party went so deep he once told Labour’s leadership he would not be a minister if he was “second fiddle” to Green co-leader Russel Norman as deputy prime minister or in a senior economic role.

Mr Jones announced he was stepping down from politics this week and although his primary reasons are to take up a new role as well as personal and financial, he has also hinted he was increasingly uncomfortable with the direction of Labour toward the Greens.

Asked whether David Cunliffe had tried to keep him by promising a ministerial post if Labour regained the Government benches, he said he had told Labour’s leadership some time ago he would struggle to be a minister if Mr Norman or other Green MPs held senior posts.

“The Labour Party I came into is a party of New Zealanders. Some are on the left, some are on the right. The sweet spot is in the centre. I’m not interested in ever campaigning for the Green vote or going out there promoting Labour as only being able to govern if it has some sort of Green organ transplant.”

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Some good advice for Labour, pity they aren’t listening

John Armstrong offers up some good advice for LAbour as they continue to pursue Judith Collins. Little do Labour know they are being set up, if only they would do a little bit of research would they realise how far down the set up track they have propelled themselves in chasing false leads, rumour and innuendo.

The only funny part about it all is that Winston Peters is the one who set them up and Labour are the ones suffering at the hands of voters as a result.

The Prime Minister took the rather unusual step of offering free advice to Labour yesterday. It was advice Labour would do well to heed. But it is unlikely to do so. At least not yet.

The gist of John Key’s message to Labour went something like this. “Make my day. In fact, make my election day. If you want to continue to rate below 30 per cent in the polls, just keep talking about the things that do not matter. Just keep doing that until election day.”

Among the things that do not matter – according to Key – is Labour’s pursuit of Judith Collins and who she did or did not have dinner with in Beijing six months ago and what she did or did not tell New Zealand’s ambassador afterwards.    Read more »

Trotter on the demise of Labour and the rise of the Greens

Another day – and we have more Chris Trotter musings – this time forecasting the end for Labour and the rise of the Greens.

There is a growing awareness, among politicians and journalists alike, that the only person standing between the Greens and truly effective political power is the NZ First Party’s leader, Winston Peters. This will likely see the old campaigner restored to his role as “kingmaker”.

Labour’s decision to reject the Greens’ offer to campaign jointly under the banner of a “Labour/ Greens government” makes this even more probable.

The neo-liberal Establishment may not care for NZ First and its eccentric boss but, if he is ready to bar the cabinet room door to Russel Norman and Metiria Turei, they will tolerate him.

The pundits are confident that Peters’ presence at the centre of the current political equation has the Greens beaten. Regardless of which major party he decides to back, the Greens will play no part in the resulting coalition government. Yes, they may end up wielding an indispensable number of votes but these will avail them nothing because, in the end, they will not dare use them to force a new election.

Will they not? At some point the Greens will have to step away from the adjunct status they have, to date, been willing to accept.   Read more »

Rodney Hide on the travesty of MMP

Come September we could be watching the most popular political leader in the Western world, and the most popular party sitting on the sidelines as a coalition of the losers forms a government because of MMP.

Rodney Hide examines this with his column at NBR.

John Key is the most popular prime minister since polling began. It’s an extraordinary achievement. More remarkably, he’s the Western world’s most popular elected leader.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron and President Barack Obama must look on Mr Key’s numbers with envious eyes and considerable wonder.

His popularity drives support for his party. National consistently polls a third higher than Labour. And so Mr Key’s a shoe-in this election, right? No. It’s looking like a very close thing. That’s because we persist with a mongrel electoral system.

It’s not the party with the most votes that wins with MMP but the one that cobbles the support needed to govern. Mr Key and National could easily find themselves out in the cold.

I owe my entire parliamentary career to MMP, so I suppose I should be thankful. But I was never a fan of the system. My first serious political involvement was in opposing it. It was the first of my many political losses. Read more »

Looks like Winston’s, David’s and Grant’s nasty smears have backfired

Yesterday Winston Peters, Grant Robertson and David Cunliffe all accused Judith Collins of corruption without a shred of evidence to support their claims.

Now someone who was at the dinner has confirmed the minister’s account and their smears are in tatters.

A senior Beehive adviser has taken the unusual step of going public to back her minister, Judith Collins, over what took place at a dinner with Oravida executives and a senior Chinese Government official.

Margaret Malcolm was one of five guests at the dinner in Beijing which has embroiled Collins in allegations of corruption.

Malcolm, who travelled with Collins to China as her senior adviser, backed the minister’s claim that they did not discuss Oravida’s business over the dinner and that they talked mostly tourism.

“The dinner was very short and discussion was restricted due to some participants having limited English. The conversation centred around New Zealand as a tourist destination.”

She had not taken any notes in her capacity as adviser.

Like Collins, Malcolm also refused to name the Chinese official who Opposition MPs claim was in a position to help milk exporter Oravida overcome export issues following the botulism scare.

Collins has been under fire over allegations she used her ministerial position to benefit her husband’s business interests, though she told The Dominion Post last night that this was not true.

“[NZ First leader] Winston Peters . . . misled the media, he misled the public and actually there is no evidence of it and it’s utterly untrue.”

She had no influence over the $6000 received by Oravida from a pool of government funding for businesses which had been affected by the botulism scare, which turned out to be a false alarm.

Forty-one exporters had received advice and help from the Government relating to the incident and 39 of them received some form of payment, she said.  Read more »

Stephen Franks on the outrageous claims of corruption by the opposition and media

Stephen Franks provides a thoughtful response to the outrageous claims of opposition MPs under parliamentary privilege of corruption by Judith Collins.

I note that they dare not repeat those claims outside of the protection of parliamentary privilege.

Political journalists continue to give credibility to the Oravida beat-up. I’ve not heard anyone I know, outside the ‘beltway’ set, who share their faux indignation. Perhaps aspects yet to be revealed will vindicate the accusers. But on what has been disclosed so far, those alleging corruption disgrace themselves.

We come from an era, widely regarded as our most incorruptible, when all manner of goods were marked with the Royal crest, and the words “By appointment to HM the Queen”. Approval as suppliers to the Crown was overtly advertised, for the benefit of the supplier. I recall no concern that it was a corrupt practice.

Nor is there any objective argument that Ms Collins advocacy for any dairy interests in China or elsewhere, has been inimical to the interests of New Zealand. The allegations of corruption are the single element most likely to reduce the barriers to corruption. When it is acceptable to equate such innocuous behaviour with corruption, we lose the capacity to distinguish, and ‘everybody does it’ becomes a more likely excuse for genuine corruption at other levels

If there was some indication of covert payments then it might run. But most of us know that there is implicit personal endorsement, even if it is unwanted, in most engagements of powerful people.  Read more »

Cover up under Simon Bridges watch – Part 2

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While Labour and Winston Peters are using Parliamentary privilege to fire off stupid allegations at Judith Collins, they are ignoring a pile of incompetence within MBIE – the very Ministry tasked with growing NZs business.

Part one exposed the dodgy behaviour of MBIE officials under Simon Bridges’ watch.

It raised questions about how MBIE officials are managing the Government’s procurement process, and how questions about dodgy union organisations are being deleted from Supplier Questions in GETS.

Maybe it was a simple mistake, but then again we all know the unions love to think they have union-friendly government officials in their back pocket. Maybe that’s why they get an extra $500 for being a member of the unions. If Labour and NZ First want to talk about corruption, they don’t have to look any further than that rort.

But back to Simon Bridges’ MBIE officials.

This very same GETS RFP #448 then exposed a monumental flaw by the very officials tasked with advising Simon Bridges on his Employment Relations Amendment Bill.

In what is an astonishing revelation, MBIE advised – in their Supplier Questions about RFP #448 of 20 February 2014, that the Employment Relations Bill Part6A (vulnerable employees) doesn’t apply.

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Not sure how that works out for them.  Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

Credit:  SonovaMin

Credit: SonovaMin

It’s a challenge, let’s have at it

There is some debate over who is challenging whom, with John Key challenging David Cunliffe to a debate on housing.

Labour says the Housing Minister’s asleep at the wheel.

“In my own electorate of New Lynn housing is the number one electorate issue facing people, there are not enough affordable homes,” says Mr Cunliffe.

In a bid to dampen price hikes, the Government is putting most of its effort into boosting supply and making it cheaper to build homes.

But opposition parties say they are ignoring rising demand and need to crack down on foreign buyers and speculators.

Mr Key is hitting back at his critics and has challenged Mr Cunliffe to a debate.

“David Cunliffe wants to have a bit of chat on nationwide TV about it, more than happy to do so, we can call it the first debate, more than happy to do so,” says Mr Key.  Read more »

Why is it that Dotcom is always about kickbacks?

Kim Dotcom announced, sort of, two policies yesterday.

Not that he would answer any questions about them, like importantly where he will fund these policies from.

But one caught my eye…his policy of providing “kickbacks” for purchasing things online.

Dotcom is not waiting around, today revealing two policies.

“We want to give the citizens of New Zealand a benefit, a financial kickback, if they buy stuff online,” he said.

Isn’t this how he got himself in the trouble in the first place? …now he is trying to expand his policies of kickbacks…or bribes in legal parlance to a whole country?

Why is it that Kim Dotcom is all about bribery, corruption, kickbacks and graft?  Read more »