Vernon calls the opening salvos for National

Vernon Small, who is not known for his right wing views calls the opening salvos of parliament for National:

Chalk up the first round of the political year to National.

Not just because John Key’s “state of the nation” speech delivered some actual news, in the shape of a revamped apprenticeship scheme (albeit using recycled money), against a rhetoric-heavy but news-lite offering from David Shearer.

More to the point National has grasped the early initiative by revamping the warrant of fitness regime and signalling an end to daily postal deliveries, two decisions that take another step into the 21st century.

The WOF decision will be popular, despite the self-interested protestations of the motor trade lobby.

Associate Transport Minister Simon Bridges was on the right side of the voters, and Labour risked getting on the wrong side by not giving its unequivocal backing. 

The argument that a six-monthly testing regime was necessary to somehow save us from ourselves and our reluctance to self-police car safety is hardly a political winner.

National released the policy on the same day as Shearer’s first major speech in a blatant and successful attempt to overshadow it.

Arguably they didn’t need to bother.

In other words Shearer has failed to fire and hardened lefty commentators and journalists were left with a a double face palm as the only option after Shearer’s cheesy and rehearsed “angry” speeches fell as flat as his scripted delivery.


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  • Gazzaw

    A good assessment by Vernon Small. Labour has failed miserably in its efforts to damage JK in the House so far. Key v Shearer was a no-contest in my book & whilst Chippy made a good effort yesterday he came second. Wussel was a bigtime loser too yesterday, he is going to live to regret his money-printing ambitions as the Nats will keep on reminding him and ergo, us the public of his crazy scheme right up to election day. It may in fact just be one of the gamebreakers as Kiwis will not stand for their savings being eroded by galloping inflation.

  • All I see Shearer doing is yelling to give the impression that he’s now “passionate” about things. But the problem is that he isn’t good enough an actor, so it comes off as fake.

    • Alex

      For some reason, I kept thinking of Len Brown’s infamous rap speech when I saw Shearer’s speech. Maybe the similarity is the sad spectacle of two boring middle aged guys trying to show that they’re “with it”.

      • That’s a pretty sharp observation. Well done.

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    Nasty Tories – I had tea with Sheep this morning in Parliament and Sheep outlined his policy programme to me. While this is secret at the moment, to shut the Tories for good, I am releasing it on Whale Oil.
    1. $300K houses to every family on WWF. Any amount more than that will be given by Government as an interest free loan. For example, if the WWF couple locate a house for $550K, Sheep’s Government will give them $250K as interest free amount.
    2. Universal Student Allowance of $500 per week. Every student will get a $500 per week study allowance which they don’t have to repay.
    3. Rich pricks will be taxed at 45 cents a dollar for every dollar earned over $70K
    4. A dedicated Medicare Levy of 10 cents a dollar for every dollar earned over $70K
    5. A Government funded dedicated TV channel for Pacific Islanders called Pacific TV
    6. An eco levy for 15% on any domestic air travel and 25% on any international travel starting from NZ
    7. A tourism levy of 5% will be added to every hotel night charged. The amount collected will be used for research of how to protect snails in West Coast
    8. An import duty of 30% on cars imported into the country. The additional revenue collected will be used to provide free cycles to every Kiwi who is ready to ride their bikes everywhere
    9. A carbon tax of 10% on petrol and electricty to fund “green” initiatives
    10. A one off mortgage levy of 20% on any house loans approved. For example, if you apply and secure a loan of 100,000, Your loan will become 120,000. The extra 20,000 gathered will be pooled into a fund to provide warms houses to WWF families and beneficiaries.
    Sheep believes these policies will prove very popular with Kiwi suckers as he say – “Kiwis don’t mind paying extra for health and education and keeping NZ clean and green. They also want to see social justice restored. They belive, if they have two cars, one car should be given to a family with no cars”.
    Suck on this Tories. You lot are born losers.

    • Gazzaw

      Why so generous all of a sudden to the World Wildlife Fund Sidekick? Is Wussel giving you one as well now?

    • parorchestia

      Summarising: take from the workers and give to the indolent? That will go down well.

  • thor42

    Vernon Small has it right. The Nats by a country mile after the first round.
    Shearer’s speech could be recorded and sold as an insomnia cure.
    Labour are forever hemmed-in on policy. They can NEVER go near cutting back welfare (which they should do) for fear of annoying all of their constituency.

    • Hazards001

      Of course the problem with that is the Nats haven’t cut it back either. WFF should have hit the chopping block within 6mths of year one…now we’ll be stuck with middle income earners on the bludge for all time. Total fail.