Russell Brown on Labour’s propensity to aim for their feet

shoot-self-in-foot copy

Pots, pans and pannier bags blogger Russell Brown blogs about Labour’s dreadful week last week, almost entirely self inflicted.

I really don’t think Labour leader David Cunliffe had a cunning plan to hide the fine print print of his party’s Best Start policy from the public last week. Because, frankly, making a statement about how many families would be covered by the baby bonus that is contradicted by the policy paper you’ve posted on the internet is just too dumb to be a cunning plan.

Even Patrick Gower, who kicked off the story with a blog post declaring that Labour had been “deliberately misleading” and “dishonest” in not being clear that families already in receipt of paid parental leave (which Labour is promising to extend to six months) would not be eligible for the newborn payment of $60 a week subsequently started referring to it as a mistake. (After all, if you’re going to perform a bait-and-switch, it’s customary to wait until you’re safely elected, not do it on the same day.)

Allowing double-dipping would have have been inappropriate – indeed, that was the first criticism aired about the new policy by David Farrrar, when he thought that’s what the policy said. But although the URL for the full policy document had been noted in the material given out to journalists, the limit on eligibility wasn’t mentioned in the printed material or Cunliffe’s speech.

Thus, John Key and his ministers have had a week to smugly declare that Cunliffe couldn’t be taken at his word. 

That is a theme that is building too…dodgy CV, less than honest about his background, and now this.

And in the end, I’m not sure the policy itself was up to much. Adding complexity to an already complex system of allowances and credits doesn’t seem particularly visionary. I see that I wasn’t the only one to be put in mind of Bill Rowling’s unfortunate 1975 “baby bonus”. Brian Rudman covers that angle.

For Russell Brown that is damning…far from being a game changer as claimed by Labour it is barely even a swapping of ends in a football match such are the flaws.

The next day, Labour’s new Revenue spokesman David Clark seemed to enter some sort of fever dream when he indicated to Tova O’Brien that banning Facebook in New Zealand would be an option for a Labour government looking to force the company to pay tax more commensurate with its actual local income.

Tax avoidance by global companies is a genuine issue, and not a new one – if you look at the way, say, Microsoft arranges its local tax affairs, you’ll see that it’s not all very local. It’s why Facebook, Apple and Google have foreign billing addresses in Ireland, where they can get tax relief – and why Google got mildly stung last month by the British Revenue.

But countenancing a state ban on a website used by more New Zealanders than any other? And not just individuals, but whanau and groups and organisations, many of whom rely on Facebook as a platform to support and stay in touch with each other?

Clark should never have ventured on this issue without having a considered answer to the bloody obvious question of what we might do about getting these companies to pay their fair share of tax. His flub is doubly damaging because it put Labour on the wrong side of issues that seem likely to play a significant part in the election year-year conversation.

Every time Labour tries to make its case for internet freedom, or to pitch for the untapped youth vote that everyone’s talking about this year, its opponents will cheerily recall that Labour is the party that wants to ban websites.

Brown goes for the soft cuddle of Kim Dotcom next…word from the wise Russell, don’t get caught in the coming carnage.


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  • OhopeBeachBugger

    Labour’s policy wonk exposed.

    • Medium Sized Des

      You spelt wank wrong…

      • OhopeBeachBugger

        Ah, sorry, my bad.

    • Dan

      Please don’t associate one of my favourite comedies with the Labour Party, I don’t want to vomit next time I put in the DVD. Also, I’d accept cops in NZ talking to their guns if they shot as many criminals as Sledge Hammer did.

      • Steve (North Shore)

        How about sleeping with their guns?

    • Steve (North Shore)

      Trust me, I know what I’m doing

      • OhopeBeachBugger

        Kapow! :-)

  • Blokeintakapuna

    So CunningCV is either deliberately being deceitful …and to all of NZ in front of the TV camera’s no less – or, he’s really just too stupid and shallow to know any details about the policies from the political party he “leads” – both of which are completely inconsistent to an aspiring Prime Minister in waiting.

    Oh dear oh dear Dear Leader… perceptions matter remember!

    At least he still has his socialist brothers and sisters as their conjoint twins going into the election.

    Remember – a vote for Labour is a vote for Norman as Finance Minister!

    • Adam Michaels

      What are these dorks going to do if they don’t get re-elected? I mean do they go on the dole or what?

    • john Doe

      Please Bloke please stop repeating your last line. It makes me feel quite ill every time you do it.

    • James Howlett

      Can’t believe he managed to get a Harvard MBA… oh, wait..

      • Blokeintakapuna

        He single-highhandedly invented the formation of Fonterra don’t ya know!

        • Adam Michaels

          Like Al Gore invented the internet

          • Blokeintakapuna

            thought he invented “Global Warming”?

          • Adam Michaels

            He was pretty entrepreneurial with the truth it appears.

      • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

        Those things are bought aren’t they?

  • Mr Sackunkrak

    Labour is a clusterfuck under Cunliffe. Even the “Best Start” policy initials are BS. As for banning the parts of the internet … well, if these are Labour’s best ideas, keep ’em on a coming.

    • Medium Sized Des

      All his policy announcements seem to be minor tweaks to policies that failed to get them elected for the past 2 terms. Brilliant!

      • ex-JAFA

        Ah, but they’re policies whose time has come! Aren’t they? Oh well, back in the cupboard for 2017… 2020… 2023…

    • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

      But opinion polls point the other way…just sayin bro…Rogue Morgan and now TV3 poll – all point to Curryleaf could be your PM….

      • Medium Sized Des

        Sad but true. He could be. What a terrible day for NZ that would be. I might go travelling for a few years if that happens.

    • mick le prick

      It was already a cluster fcuk before he took over

    • AnonWgtn

      Do you mind
      “KiwimakeBaby” policy please.

  • GazzW

    Larry Williams has made comments about the 192 page FBI report on Dotcom that he read while holidaying in the US. One presumes that will be presented at the extradition hearing and if Larry’s indications are to be believed then your useage of the words ‘coming carnage’ is comparatively conservative. Is the labour/green coalition cuddling a corpse or is the corpse cuddling the coalition?

    • Adam Michaels

      If the consumptive coalition get in, it will be the rest of us that ends up like corpses.

  • Quinton Hogg

    The last sentence in this post piqued my interest. Looks like the whale has something on the fat German.
    I am off to the supermarket to get chips and beer before the fun starts….

  • GazzW

    As a Revenue spokesman Clark would make a great Presbyterian Minister. What relevance does a PhD on the life of an unknown existentialist have to do with Revenue? Oh hang on Clark was an analyst (the modern term for a clerk with a degree) at Treasury for a couple of years. You would have to ask yourself why he made such inane comments about FB.

    • Blokeintakapuna

      …any publicity is good publicity…

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    Be very afraid rich pricks. Curryleaf is playing by my book.

    Nanny Herald reports:

    “Labour leader David Cunliffe has set himself a benchmark for the next election making it clear his goal is to overtake National in the polls rather than simply rely on a strong combined Labour-Greens result to edge National out.”

    The first proof of this will come in Sunday’s One Network News poll. My internal sources tell me that the gap between Labour and National has closed to a mere 5 points and there is clear majority for a Labour-Green coalition without any support from Winnie the Poo, Horny Hone or Maori party.

    • Pissedoffyouth

      Horny Hone lol

    • ratmuncher

      My internal sources always sound like flatulence.

      • ex-JAFA

        As the years go by, it’s more likely that you’ll confuse them with your internal sauces. Sharting’s no joke.

    • ratmuncher

      Very perceptive from granny to nanny.

  • Andrew Riches

    I also recall last election, labour had a policy of placing a tax on ISP subscriptions. Certainly not a party of internet freedom. They know only how to tax, regulate, subsidise or ban things.

  • johnbronkhorst

    “I really don’t think Labour leader David Cunliffe had a cunning plan to hide the fine print print of his party’s Best Start policy from the public last week.”
    Then he would be going against type. It has been the PRACTICE of all labour party leaders to hide the truth behind their policies, to only reveal half of the policy as if it were the whole.
    cunliffe is just the latest half arsed childrens birthday party magicians, attempting to use smoke and mirrors to fool the public, that the labour party have trundled forward and labelled “leader” (because they couldn’t claim to actually had a real leader).

    • Adam Michaels

      And the other half of the policy is Russel Norman.

  • Blueballs

    “Brown goes for the soft cuddle of Kim Dotcom next…word from the wise Russell, don’t get caught in the coming carnage”.

    Ooooohhhh i’m exited now, my balls are bluer than ever.

    • GazzW

      Does that carnage involve the contents of an FBI report that is currently suppressed in NZ?

  • Adam Michaels

    Remember, Labour is the Party that is so stupid, it doesn’t even know its own name. Check out the bottom of this email from their General Secretary. (And I did not photo shop this)

    • ratmuncher

      where is it???

      • Adam Michaels

        Might be talking at cross purposes- I was referring to the red coloured footer where it says “New Zealand Party.”
        The Campaign College is to be at the ChCh bridge Club 7-9 February.
        I think it costs $300 to go. What a pathetic waste of money.

        • SteveWrathall

          The New Zealand Party lives again! Someone send a reporter to Turangi to interview Bob Jones on this development.

          • Adam Michaels

            Do you think that it is flattery that they have chosen the name?
            Or is it just incompetence? Or does their General Sec have idea above his station?

          • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

            Tends to be just dipsomanical slurring these days. A slight advancement upon what he was like back then.

          • Adam Michaels

            Ah, some progress, then!

    • Steve (North Shore)

      Fucking Bang! How many feet do these Labour wankers have? Can they shoot feet forever?

      • Adam Michaels

        I think they are like some reptiles and can grow new limbs

    • GeorgeRomero

      Muppets much?Good spotting

      • Adam Michaels

        No wonder they will lose in 2014!

  • johnbronkhorst

    So could the following be euphemisms?
    Gun = UNION
    Bullet = policy
    foot = labour party

  • Mark

    A strangely astute post by Mr R Brown. This doesn’t take away from the fact that he is still a smug sanctimonious pillock though.

  • cows4me

    If the Melon / Labia idiots are voted in then if won’t be their sparkling personalities, their ground breaking policies or even their redistribution of other peoples wealth that will be responsible. Their victory will have to be credited to the slow march of leftism and progressive teachings in our schools our universities. If the people vote these wastrels in then our population has been brainwashed and dumbed down to such a level all hope is lost.

    • Adam Michaels

      I think enough people will see through them for what they are- self serving, in fighting troughers who see the taxpayer as an endless source of money.

  • caochladh

    I’d like to see a larger exit wound in the foot please.