Alastair Bell

Who will replace Peter “Dopey” Goodfellow as President?

The current board is the first place to look, but the talent pool is very shallow.

The two main contenders are Alastair Bell and Roger Bridge, and the merits (or lack thereof) of both will be examined in other posts.

The remaining members of the board are:

Grant McCullum – Tricky missus and regarded as being not quite the intellect that is required to be president. Bottles fights at the drop of a hat.? Read more »

C&R = Catastrophe and Ruin for the Auckland centre-right

In around 7 months, NZ will be in the thick of local body elections, the most important for the Auckland Council.

At this stage, there isn’t a declared centre-right candidate to take on Len Brown, though the rumour mill is running overtime on a couple of names.

However, Len for know is very much in the box seat, which is why Auckland needs a strong centre-right council to hold him to account.

The centre-right in Auckland Region is normally represented by the Citizens and Ratepayers ticket, who have historically done well on the former Auckland Regional Council and the old Auckland City Council.

Since the 2010 elections, when C&R did poorly in the first ever supercity elections, there has been a rebrand by C&R’s executive board and National Party hacks Alastair Bell and Mark Thomas, to try and refresh their image. But while the colours and names have changed, their political fortunes have not. ?The new C&R, now known as Communities and Residents, has barely registered in the media over the last year. The C&R caucus is badly divided, and their board ineffective. Wags have said they should have renamed themselves Catastrophe & Ruin instead.

National has all but washed their hands of C&R in the elections this year, its caucus refusing to make available any organisation to the adrift group, instead encouraging individuals to participate if they feel like it. Candidate selections that were supposed to take place in November have been deferred and deferred as people go cold on standing for an organisation heading for defeat. Big fundraising plans have turned to dust and instead, a big levy is likely to be imposed on the hapless cannon fodder that stand.? Read more »

Who will replace Roger Bridge?

If the rumours that Roger Bridge is intending to tender his resignation are true National has the mechanism to replace a board member without a fresh election. This happened in when then board members Eric Roy and David Bennett resigned to contest the 2005 election.

The difficulty in replacing Roger is there is a fairly limited talent pool for potential directors. In recent years Alan Towers has lost board elections twice, so obviously not popular enough within the party to deserve a place. Regional chair for the CNI Peter Osborne is regarded as one of the most indiscrete men in the party, and someone who would probably leak even more than the current board leaks. Plus he has a moustache and men with?moustaches?generally can’t be trusted.

Both men are members of the buggers muddle and Osborne especially loves to meddle in selections and is a known misogynist who actively seeks to discourage women candidates. The last thing National needs is to be taken over by the kind of factional fighting we see in Labour. Placing either on the board means a confirmed vote for the buggers muddle factional leader Alastair Bell for president, and sources from close to the parliamentary leadership are saying there is no way Alastair Bell will ever be president because he has repeatedly proven himself to be a lightweight.

The only other regional chair not on the board is Ele Ludemann from the Southern Region. Ele is a much loved member of the National Party whose grace is unusual in political parties, where pettiness often dominates. Ele would provide a welcome strategic brain on the board, and would be a nice geographical replacement for Roger, but may get tripped up by overt and unsubtle lobbying by the buggers muddle.

Who will be on the National Party Board in 2022?

Following on from the series of posts I am doing about the National Party in 10 years time let’s consider the National Party Board. The current members are:

John Key
Michael Woodhouse
Peter Goodfellow
Roger Bridge
Alastair Bell
Pat Seymour
Malcolm Plimmer
Kate Hazlett

We can safely assume John Key will not be leader or on the board in 2022. Michael Woodhouse likely won’t be on the board as list MPs do not last 15 years as so rightly pointed out by David Farrar.

Peter Goodfellow certainly will not be around. Presidential tenures are usually not more than five or six years. Of the rest most are of advanced age, or served for a long time already, and whose best time in the party was before 2011. This means I think that it is fair to say that there will be no current board members still serving in 2022. In fact it is hard to see many of them serving when National goes into opposition and politics gets really tough for National again.

The clear implications of this is that if you want to be involved in the party in the future you can safely ignore idle threats made by the current board as they will not be around in ten years time.

Does National have a strategy for Local Government?

The National Party has its LNI regional conference this weekend in Napier. ?Delegates should ask the party hierarchy what they are doing about local government elections in 2013, especially since National opponents hold the mayoralties in the three major cities.

In Auckland Len Brown is vulnerable for numerous cock ups and generally looking like he is incompetent. He wants to spend all sorts of tax payers money on things National doesn?t want to spend money on, and has put rates up excessively in many National voting areas. He should be vulnerable but no one in National seems to be doing anything to run against him. Auckland based board members Alastair Bell and Peter Goodfellow seem to have done nothing to find a competent candidate to take on Len.

Wellington sees the Green Mayor Celia Wade-Brown facing a tough battle with Annette King. National have no potential candidate lined up to run against the two left wingers.

In Christchurch Bob Parker is not a National friend. Gerry Brownlee called him a clown, and probably wishes he could have said what he really thought. Lianne Dalziel will win and win easily against Bob. Internal polling show Bob has negatives that are absolutely unprecedented, so unprecedented that the poller suggested that Boober Fraggle would beat Bob by close to ten to one, and not even an earthquake would save Bob.

Does National have any good mayoral candidates?

Who is the “Boag Faction”, Ctd

The tipline has been running hot on this one. Apparently the only MPs taken aside and told to publicly distance themselves from Michelle Boag were Nikki Kaye and Murray McCully. So her reach within caucus was non existent.

Several other MPs have called to tell stories of how Michelle shafted them one day then tried to get her corporate clients favours from them the next. They agreed she was the most shameless woman within National, although some fairly complained that this is not a gender specific position, and she is just the most shameless person in National.

The other part of her faction are the activists in Auckland, collectively known as the buggers muddle. Leading light Board Member Alastair Bell?s issues with the Dominion crossword were dealt with yesterday, and he is just part of an inept, useless clique who are so inept and so useless they have failed to bring a single new MP into parliament in Auckland in two elections.

Long term friend of Whaleoil, Scott Simpson, ended up MP for Coromandel, where the buggers muddle ran an unethical campaign whispering about opponents, saying National needed men not women, and generally carrying on in a manner that I should have shined light on. The crossword solver was right in the thick of it, distributing information printed off the internet, just as he had in Rodney when LTFOW was running up there.

Also close to Boag and a key member of the Buggers Muddle is Peter Keily. Peter is National?s lawyer, and like all good lawyers charges an arm and a leg for legal work, while at the same time forcefully demanding amateurism from all others. He sounds like a member of the bonehead rugby union just before the professional era, except a lot more hypocritical as he can get paid, whereas others must be amateur. Peter has a rather unfortunate nickname, and new Young Nats are taken aside and quietly advised not to accept an offer of a spa with him.

An aspirant buggers muddle member and a ?regional power broker? is also in the Boag faction, mainly on the grounds that the rest of the party thinks he is, in the immortal words of Rowan Atkinson ?either this man is suffering from serious brain damage or the new vacuum cleaner has arrived.?

Who is Boag’s “Faction”?

Despite leading National to its biggest ever failure, Michelle Boag still tries to put across that she is very well connected and well liked within National.

Her connections with the brat pack have waned, and after bringing down Nick Smith are non existent. She is still close to former MPs like Wayne Mapp, but has very few friends left in caucus. Murray McCully is big Boag supporter, and a man reputed to admire her total shamelessness.

Most of the last three intakes have seen through Boag, although she is known to have been close to Paula Bennett and shaken down donors for Nikki Kaye. Unfortunately for Nikki much of Boag?s stomp on everyone to get to the top has rubbed off on her, which is why Nikki is not liked or respected by her peers. Campaigning to get Wira Gardiner to be president built some links with Hekia Parata, but these links apparently soured when Boag was outed as a liar and Wira lost.

Boag?s major influence in the last few years has been over the board. Though she lost the fight to install Wira Gardiner she has propped up the failing regime of Peter Goodfellow. When Peter was going to be voted off the board by the members who regarded him as being next to useless, lazy and not a patch on the loved previous President Judy Kirk, Boag got hold of the PMO and told them as the PM had installed Goodfellow it would be a big defeat for him if Peter was kicked off the board.

Word was then put around MPs that Peter was to be saved and they were to tell their delegations they should vote for him. Boag is known to continue to trade off this relationship.

Boag has positioned an ally to take over from Goodfellow. ?Alastair Bell is one of the leaders of the Buggers Muddle. Alastair is an amiable but useless twit of a man who served in the Prime Ministers Office in the 1990?s and was regarded by his peers of having a particularly good day if he managed to complete the Dominion Post crossword by 2pm. Given the rest of the staff managed to finish the crossword within 10 minutes Alastair was not a highly esteemed member of the team. It is reported that David Farrar could finish the crossword inside 5 minutes and complete a new Powerpoint presentation before Alistair had even found “two down”.

More to come tomorrow.

What is going on in Helensville?

The tipline has been running hot with people concerned about the petty party politics going on in John Key?s electorate.

Apparently Stephen McElrea, the electorate chair, is stepping down, and is attempting to pass the baton on to his and the buggers muddle?s choice without anyone else becoming involved.

Readers will remember that Stephen is the highly regarded media specialist who is on the board of New Zealand On Air, whose strong background in media hasn?t stopped him from being a hamfisted political operative in the past. This includes his most recent faux pas, where he ended up being called on to resign after he and senior member of the buggers muddle faction Alastair Bell (and sitting board member)?complained about some left wing propaganda on TV just before the election.

I do not approve of skullduggery of any sort in the National Party, and especially not skullduggery that reflects badly on the party. If there is a contest for electorate chair in Helensville it should be open, transparent and honest. The party could do worse than appoint Tamaki Electorate Chair Andrew Hunt to oversee the process as he carried out the Tamaki selection last year without any hint of the dodgy dealings that went on in Rodney, Coromandel, North Shore and Epsom, where the buggers muddle tested ethical boundaries.