Brian Neeson

Dare you to run Aaron

He knows what you are...a cocksmoker.

He knows what you are…a cocksmoker.

Aaron Gilmore should put his money where his mouth is and prove he is right about the right person being able to win Christchurch East in the general election.

I’ll bet good money that even the Green candidate would beat him.

Disgraced former Christchurch list MP Aaron Gilmore says National picked the wrong candidate for the Christchurch East by-election campaign and will probably lose badly this weekend.

Just four days before the vote, the man who helped National win the party vote in the electorate at the last election predicted a Labour win.

He said new electorate boundaries should make it National’s to lose in next year’s general election, but only if the party picked the right person.

That is unlikely to be Gilmore.

However, he said yesterday that he had “huge pressure” to stand as an independent candidate and would not rule out another tilt at politics.

Prime Minister John Key poured cold water on those aspirations yesterday, saying it was “unlikely” Gilmore would stand for National again.? Read more »

Good stuff, members find their courage

For many years now there has be an unwritten rule that you shouldn’t challenge sitting MPs in the National party.

It is of course a silly notion, politics is all about blood and guts not kisses and cuddles.

The sentiment from head office and MPs is simply self interest…they want a nice tame membership and protection for incumbents. However as time moves on the group think that comes with first attaining power tends to wane and people get other ideas about who should or should not represent their area. Then the challenges come.

The first open challenge in quite sometime is happening in Kaikoura.

Marlborough grapegrower and fourth-generation farmer Stuart Smith is to challenge sitting MP Colin King for the National Party’s Kaikoura electorate candidacy for next year’s election.

The party opens nominations for its South Island electorates tomorrow and Mr Smith said he was putting his name forward. ? Read more »

HR for political parties, Ctd

I have been sent a suggested list of possible methods of creating KPIs for politicians by a National party insider. Labour would do well to look at some of these suggestions.

There clearly needs to be a mix of indicators. An overemphasis of one at the expense of others means you get an MP who will coast.

1. Party votes – the ultimate indicator of worth. Obviously this needs to be subjective since every electorate is different in terms of worth to the party, but there can be some kind of assessment whether the MP did a great job of winning the PV in their seat. Did they beat the previous election result, did they over or under perform against the average result, is the result reflecting the kind of PV needed in a “blue” or “red” seat. ?Deb Mahuta-Coyle is probably regarded as next to useless because of her appalling result in Tauranga for Labour. She may never get a decent Parliamentary opportunity again because her colleagues know she can’t win votes.

2. Electorate vote – Obviously, people who win seats are better MPs. Sadly, list MPs who only go for PV are not quite as recognised for effectiveness, since they don’t bring in extra resources that come with a seat, not have the ability to keep an organisation going. MPs who win marginals and hold them should be highly regarded. The obvious KPI is “Did they win?”, followed by “Did they over or underpeform against the swing”. Louisa Wall will be regarded well in Labour for winning Manurewa well.

3. Membership –?MPs who support organisations that grow membership have power that grows with it. A good MP is one who finds good people to help run their seat and grow membership, hold functions, engage in report backs and fundraise. John Carter would have to be regarded as a superior MP in recent years on this KPI, whereas Paula Bennett and Murray McCully would score dismally in this regard.

4. Media coverage – obviously positive news rubs off on the character of the MP. For a backbencher, that means getting into the local suburban paper for useful things showing community benefit. This doesn’t mean posing at ribbon cuttings for a community hall that was commissioned by the council, but rather posing with community constables recently coming into service due to boosted police numbers.

5. Name recognition – closely linked to media coverage. Lots of people know the names of Simon Bridges, because he is successful for Tauranga and gets good media. However, other politicians get name recognition because they get drunk and piss on trees, or maybe they they want to compulsorily arm Muslim taxi drivers. Everyone knows who those idiots are. The KPI in this category would need to carry plus?scores?and minus scores.

6. Parliamentary business – again subjective. Large numbers of PQs might only suggest they have a staff member who can ask loads of questions. But unless you ask questions, you don’t get answers that help drive stories of public concern to win votes.

7. Fundraising – an MP who can bring in money for their party is valuable. Someone who has good connections to fundraising sources is indispensable. Someone who is too frightened to ring around the Rotary Club asking for $100 from each member is probably not going to hack it as a successful MP. Even a good left-wing electorate MP should be able to raise a bit of money from small business people if they are personally liked.

8. Campaign skills – ?Does this MP run a decent campaign – not just an election, but an issues campaign that crops up during the course of the term. Do they take the lazy way of campaigning and wave signs around or bother shoppers at their local supermarket or pub? Do they aggravate people on social media? Or do they take a professional approach, using skilled volunteers to identify pockets of potential support and then work them over with doorknocking, phone calls, written material and more? Do they work over the media about their campaign, and can they find decent photo opportunities to make their point. For example, Nikki Kaye had a technically competent campaign that helped withstand the tactical voting tricks of the Greens and Labour.

9. X-Factor – ?Either you have it or you don’t. Amy Adams and Simon Bridges have X-Factor. David Shearer and Mark Mitchell do too. Richard Prosser doesn’t. Neither does Colin King. While those MP don;t have X-Factor, Darien Fenton has the exact opposite of X-Factor turning away more voters than than she wins, if any.

10. Mark on Parliament – What laws have they passed, and what have they done for us lately? What initiatives have they started that improved the lives of people? Brian Neeson weakly raised the fact he helped microchip dogs when he was challenged by John Key. People didn’t care. He hadn’t made a mark on Parliament in the years he was there. Jackie Blue did well with herceptin for women, but seems to have gone invisible since then. Are they an attack dog, perhaps an effective debater who makes logical useful points that other MPs want to listen to? Or are they just a drone who can’t string two sentences together even when some hard working researcher gives them everything they need to say?

Rodney selection update

As you know from reading this blog the Rodney selection has already been delayed until 14 March so an audit of membership can be conducted. It is my understanding that many of the 250 so-called sign-ups by Brent Robinson have been?disqualified?for various reasons including not residing in the branch boundaries or not actually knowing they were members. I predicted this and so it has come to pass.

The shoddy dealings by people who should know better have?made a mess of the Rodney selection process. As previously?mentioned Brent Robinson tried rigging selection by running?a fundy take over of the electorate so he can win. He has?been caught out and is suffering as a consequence.

This was a naive mistake by a political novice, so Brent can?probably be forgiven, especially if he withdraws from the?race and spends the next three years rebuilding his?credibility.

One of those inept manipulators was the Electorate Chair who was so?blatant?in his machinations that at the last meet the?candidates?meeting he was spoken to by a senior party official about his personal?selection?of loaded?questions?for the candidates rather than using a random method of question selection as is usual practice. That senior party official acted with integrity in challenging the Electorate Chair.

Unlike Brent though, Scott Simpson should have known better. He has arranged for the?stacking the regional delegates in collusion with others in?the regional heirachy, so Scott loyalists from South of the Bridge and East Auckland?electorates?like, Pakuranga and Botany with no real link?to Rodney were loaded into the Regional delegates. This blog has resisted the temptation to publish?the list as the stacked delegates were not aware of the?skullduggery going on. It must be noted that this is within the rules, ironically the sames rules that Scott Simpson helped draft so that Brian Neeson could be spiked and bring John Key. At least two previous Regional Chairs that I know of acted completely different when it comes to the selection of delegates.

The National Party normally has a transparent and honest approach to?selection, but that has been rorted in this situation. This blog?suggests the selection should be restarted, or at the very?least stacked regional and local delegates replaced with long?serving national members from the Rodney Electorate, Deputy?Regional Chairs and electorate chairs from the neighbouring?electorates. That was certainly the practice of my old man and of Alistair Bell when they were Regional Chairs.

This would be in line with the process in the entirely?above board and honest selection process in Palmerston?North. They had 45 local delegates and 5 from each of the?three nearest electorates. What happens now in Rodney should?copy what happened in Palmerston North and mimic the actions of previous honest Regional Chairs.

The party , yes that means you Peter, really needs to clear up this selection?otherwise?it is going to keep looking like a complete bugger’s muddle.

A timely reminder of my policy on Michael Cullen

David Farrar made the comment that Simon “FIGJAM” Power: a moment of insanity, also appointed him to the Human Rights Review Tribunal, he is trying to be a sextuple dipper.

It’s a rather prolonged moment of insanity that started when he abandoned his small provincial conveyancing firm to become National?s next Prime Minister. This is the same Brian Neeson who spat the dummy and stood against John Key in 2002.

This is the same Simon Power who reportedly blocks National Party loyalists from government appointments and the honours list with the stroke of a pen through their names and presumably also thinks that it is a good idea for Michael Cullen to be appointed to chair NZ Post.

It seems that FIGJAM’s pre-requisites?for getting plumb jobs are to have a track record of standing against your mates and friends. With friends like FIGJAM who needs enemies?

As Murray?succinctly?pointed out, this is nothing more than pigs at the trough.

It is therefore timely to be reminded about my policy, which remains in place, for Michael Cullen.

Rather than putting him in jail for fiscal crimes against New Zealand including?PREFU?lies, the Kiwirail purchase and the Retail Deposits Guarantee, he is to be sentenced to chair Kiwirail for the rest of his natural life without any further government subsidies.

I think it is now appropriate to add a FIGJAM clause to that policy also sentencing Simon Power to serve as Michael Cullen’s deputy.