Politics

If Jacinda is the answer it must have been a really silly question

The serious politician?

Not many people know this, but in 2008 David Farrar and I had a long lunch with Jacinda Ardern in Morrinsville.

It was pleasant enough but I was left with the distinct impression that Jacinda Ardern was living a dream and a plan created by other people…for her.

She also left me with the impression that she was nothing but a collection of bumper sticker slogans and she had about as much depth as a car park puddle in Alice Springs.

Now the Media party are pushing hard for her to be the deputy leader of the Labour party and replace septuagenarian Annette King.

Chris Trotter has fallen for it also. He thinks that Labour’s future rest upon Jacinda Ardern’s reluctant shoulders.

“Jacinda” was the only name on Labour’s by-election billboards. Andrew Little will have noted that. When the electorate starts identifying politicians by their given name – “Rob”, “Winston”, “Helen” – it signals a significant up-tick in political familiarity. It’s easy to vote for a candidate who requires no second name. “Jacinda” has acquired a winning ring.

If Little doesn’t respond to Jacinda Ardern’s emphatic by-election victory in Mt Albert by promoting her to deputy-leader, then he’s a fool. Success merits promotion. Any failure on Little’s part to acknowledge Arden’s pulling-power in Auckland will only fuel suspicions that he lacks the fortitude to shake-up the delicate factional balance of Labour’s caucus.

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If you have to explain it James, then you’ve failed already

James Shaw is wanting to tell us all something…that the Greens can be involved in stable government.

The Green Party won’t get always get its own way in Government and that’s okay, co-leader James Shaw has told a packed room of future candidates.

In a major speech to the party’s candidates’ conference, Shaw pointed to a campaign platform based on clean water and families, as well as ramping up the Greens’ ability to be in Government – something it has never before done.   Read more »

UPDATED: Socialists and their Political Sugar Daddies

Marxists, Socialists and Left-wingers consistently hate successful, capitalist businessmen and attack them as heartless parasites of the working man who are, greedy and privileged white men UNLESS they are their Political Sugar Daddies.

Becoming a Sugar Daddy to lefties seems to magically remove all stains from a wealthy man’s character. Let’s have a look at two famous Sugar Daddies.

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Science is settled? But what if no one can replicate the experiments?

We are told by politicians that the science is settled with regard to climate change. We are also told by scientists that to criticise them is to provide a chilling effect on science. Some of those scientists even trot off to court to try to silence critics.

However, it appears the science is far from settled…especially when no one can replicate experiments or the claims made in these so-called peer-reviewed papers they submit to journals like Nature.

Science is facing a “reproducibility crisis” where more than two-thirds of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist’s experiments, research suggests.

This is frustrating clinicians and drug developers who want solid foundations of pre-clinical research to build upon.

From his lab at the University of Virginia’s Centre for Open Science, immunologist Dr Tim Errington runs The Reproducibility Project, which attempted to repeat the findings reported in five landmark cancer studies.

“The idea here is to take a bunch of experiments and to try and do the exact same thing to see if we can get the same results.”

You could be forgiven for thinking that should be easy. Experiments are supposed to be replicable.

The authors should have done it themselves before publication, and all you have to do is read the methods section in the paper and follow the instructions.

Sadly nothing, it seems, could be further from the truth.  

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Virtue signalling by Starbucks backfires

The Blaze reports on the end of Starbucks virtue signalling over refugees.

After President Donald Trump’s signed an executive order on immigration and refugees last month, Starbucks pledged they would hire 10,000 refugees over the next five years.

“We are living in an unprecedented time, one in which we are witness to the conscience of our country, and the promise of the American Dream, being called into question,” Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said at the time.

But now, their decision has apparently backfired.   Read more »

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Paul Foster-Bell to quit

Paul Foster-Bell has announced he is going to step down at the next election.

National list MP Paul Foster-Bell will stand down at the election, after pulling out of the candidate selection race for Wellington Central.

Mr Foster-Bell, a former diplomat, first entered parliament in 2013, replacing Dr Jackie Blue.

“Today I informed local National Party members that I am withdrawing my name from consideration for selection in Wellington Central, and that I will not seek a place on National’s list for the 2017 general election,” he said.   Read more »

When is a win… a win?

Lethargy won in Mt Albert.

It does show that Mt Albert is ripe for a bit of external campaign pressure.  With that level of lethargy, anyone can take that electorate in September.   But I doubt a party will bother as it will prefer to put energy into true marginals.

More importantly for Jacinda Ardern, it has elevated her profile once more.  Little would be an idiot not to have her front and centre for the general election.

 

– Twitter

Let’s have a jolly good time on the taxpayers’

Guest post

The latest Minister’s credit card expenses for the September to December 2016 are out and, as usually, media have raked through credit card spending trying to discover what Ministers have been over indulging on with taxpayer’s money.

We learned that Todd McClay took Winston Peters to Paris and they dined on foie gras and snails at a bistro in Paris. Hey, while in Paris might as well try a snail or two.

Rarely do they examine the opposition parties expense accounts. Why bother, they don’t get the opportunities to travel or waste taxpayer’s money like the governing parties or do they but it doesn’t come under the microscope? However, we are going to do some digging and examine the expenses of the three opposition parties since the 2014 elections to December 2016.

Labour have 32 MPs – In December 2016 Michael Wood replaced Phil Goff.

Greens have 14 MPs – In September 2015 Marama Davison replaced Russell Norman and Barry Coates replaced Kevin Hague left late in 2016.

NZ First started off with 11 MPs but gained an extra MP when Winston Peters won the Northland by-election early in 2015.    Read more »

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Bill doesn’t know what is going on and Murray isn’t telling the truth

NZ Foreign Minister Murray McCully

The other day Bill English said he was waiting to communicate with Israel over the diplomatic impasse but the Jerusalem Post reports another story:

Israel is waiting for an explanation from New Zealand regarding why it surprised Jerusalem and sponsored UN Security Council Resolution 2334 before there can be any talk of repairing the damaged ties between the two countries, a senior diplomatic official accompanying Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told The Jerusalem Post.

That is quite different from what Bill English has said:

“New Zealand was involved with sponsoring the resolution. I think the Australian Government probably disagrees with that… we want a constructive relationship with Israel and we intend to work on that relationship.”

[…]  Read more »

Does Gareth Morgan really believe in evidence-based policy

Gareth Morgan states that he is unlike other political parties and that their policies are evidence-based.

Once we have a clear idea of the problem, we can look at opportunities to resolve it. What does the theory suggest? What does the evidence suggest? What have we tried in the past, and how did that work? What have they tried overseas, and how well did that work?

Of course there is evidence and there is evidence. Some evidence is high quality, and priority should always be given to that. Establishment governments here and overseas often don’t want to monitor and evaluate policy because they don’t want to know if it hasn’t worked. Sometimes an idea is new or novel, and hasn’t been tried elsewhere. As a result, sometimes there isn’t much evidence around on a particular topic. However, lack of high quality evidence shouldn’t always be a barrier to action. Overall, we have to make a judgement based on the best available evidence at the time, which is where values come into play.

Establishment parties often twist the question of evidence to their political advantage. Look at the issue of obesity, where the Government has announced a ‘22 point plan’ to deal with the problem. They say there is no evidence that junk food taxes work, yet there is more evidence for the use of junk food taxes and restrictions on advertising to children than there is for any of the policies in their ’22 point plan’.

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