David Cunliffe

Cunliffe?s Panama smear fails to stick as OIO declares ?no laws were broken?

Yesterday David Cunliffe tried to smear a property owner; today his smear is in tatters.

The Overseas Investment Office says it is satisfied with the decision to allow a foreign company linked to the Panama Papers scandal to buy New Zealand farmland.

The Government agency, which vets all large or sensitive foreign investments in New Zealand, said it had no evidence that Panama-based company Ceol & Muir had breached any laws through its connection to Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca.

“The Overseas Investment Office [OIO] is satisfied that due process was followed in assessing a consent application by Ceol & Muir,” the agency said this afternoon.

Millions of documents leaked from Mossack Fonseca earlier this month showed that the law firm played a key role in helping the world’s wealthy hide their money and assets in foreign trusts, some of which was linked to criminal activity. ? Read more »

The chart of doom for Andrew Little

David Farrar has posted the chart of doom:

labopp-560x366Those are the preferred Prime Minister ratings of the last four Labour leaders. It is rather telling. ? Read more »

Goff got rolled at 15, Shearer at 13 and Cunliffe at 12

NZ Labour opposition leaders' Preferred Prime Minister ratings during the National Government - source: Kiwiblog

NZ Labour opposition leaders’ Preferred Prime Minister ratings during the National Government – source: Kiwiblog

Arts, lifestyle and travel blogger David Farrar loves his numbers, and today he’s in devastating form. ? Read more »

Reader Poll: What’s worse?

David Cunliffe apologised for being a man…that was pretty bad.

But yesterday Andrew Little posted this picture on his Twitter account.


Whoever is in charge of his Twitter account isn’t really on the team if they are posting pictures of him chucking jandals like a girl. ? Read more »

Key’s smart politics forcing Little into a corner over spy agency report

Tracy Watkins discusses the forth-coming spy agency report that is due out.

When John Key and Andrew Little eyeball each other across the table during a closed door session of Parliament’s intelligence and security committee this week, the prime minister will be ready to turn the tables on his opponents.

Key is asking Labour to back him on legislation overhauling the country’s spy agencies, the Government Communications Security Bureau and Security Intelligence Service.

It might have sounded like Key was making the plea for bipartisanship from a position of weakness. Spies and the surveillance agencies have been Key’s Achilles heel after all. But the Labour leader will probably see Key’s plea for unity?for what it is, a game of political brinkmanship. Because refusing to back any law changes lets Key paint Labour into a corner as weak on national security. Given Little’s previous call to back the Government on extending the powers of the SIS to detect Isis supporters, he seems unlikely to fall into that trap.

A lot has changed since the 2014 election campaign, when Key was wrong footed?by?allegations swirling around a bungling GCSB. Back then,?Labour under David Cunliffe?abandoned the usual bipartisanship on?national security issues to rub the Government’s nose in those failures by?opposing?law changes governing the agency. Key was besieged on every front -?even NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden joined the party. ?? Read more »

Dreams are free, unless they are Labour dreams, then they are expensive

When I was learning sales one of the first things I was taught was not about selling, it was about making plans, planning and goal setting. I was taught that if you don’t commit your plans to paper, make them into something solid, then all you have are dreams, and then sometimes those dreams have a habit of turning into nightmares.

Rob Hosking at the NBR looks at Labour’s dreams.

Beware the term ?dreams? when it pops up in political discourse.

It is one of the more implacable but seldom acknowledged rules of politics that, whenever a politician starts talking about ?dreams,? you are about to hear a cavalcade of moonshine and bull dust.

Oh, and the other part of this rule is: When you hear the word ?dreams? uttered by somebody seeking office, keep a close eye on your wallet.

Read more »

Hooton on the extreme left cuckoos in Labour’s nest

Matthew Hooton explains how it is that Labour has allowed itself to be hijacked.

My friend Matt McCarten, now Andrew Little?s chief of staff, introduced me to the word ?entrism? some years ago.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it means ?the policy or practice of joining an organisation with the intention of subverting its aims and activities.?

?Entrism? was first used by 1930s French Trotskyists when dissolving their own radical organisations and joining moderate parties to steer them towards Leninism. It became recognised in English in the 1960s and 1970s to describe the subversion of the UK Labour Party by Militant Tendency, which the party then spent 20 years eradicating to make itself electable again.

Since its election defeat in 2008 and the departure to New York of the firm hand of Helen Clark and Heather Simpson, the New Zealand Labour Party has been the latest victim of the tactic. In the past fortnight, that has reached fruition ,with Labour?s lurch to the extreme left over the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and its abandonment of the middle ground over student fees.

While the moderate centre of the party ? as personified by Phil Goff, David Shearer, David Parker, Stuart Nash, Clayton Cosgrove, Peeni Henare and Kelvin Davis ? plan to launch an offensive against the party?s direction in May, they have no chance of success.

Read more »

Labour’s leaders on the TPPA

Arts, lifestyle and travel blogger David Farrar is blogging like he used to.

The frigid polar air has done him wonders.

Last night he posted this image:

labourtpp Read more »

How to Ratf*** Cunliffe

David Cunliffe reckons he is going to run again. Even though the public think he is almost as big a tool as the Labour caucus do.

Labour MP David Cunliffe has had a bruising fall in politics but intends to run for Parliament again in 2017.

Since Labour’s disastrous election result under Mr Cunliffe’s leadership in 2014, he has lost the leadership and was demoted to the backbenches by leader Andrew Little in November, a clear hint he should reconsider his political future.

Yesterday, Mr Cunliffe said it was his intention to stand again despite the torrid 18 months he’d had. “That’s the plan. I’m happy to be the MP for New Lynn and I’ve got work to do there.”

He indicated he was hoping for redemption within caucus. “Politics is a rollercoaster. You know that and I’ve been around long enough to know that.”

The Labour caucus must be real pleased that Cunliffe has gazzumped any good news that may have come out of their caucus retreat in the Wairarapa with the news, nearly two years out from the election, that he will stand again. ? Read more »

Hooton on Andrew Little

Matthew Hooton, in his first column of the year, is brutal in his assessment of the ‘success’ of Andrew Little.

Before the year is out, Labour will face an impossible choice over its leadership.

As the Labour-aligned media has been so keen to point out, incumbent Andrew Little has had some successes since the unions imposed him on the party after David Cunliffe?s 25% debacle. Most significant is that Labour has kept its bitter internal divisions largely hidden from the public ? the first time it has achieved that through a whole calendar year since Helen Clark?s departure. Unpopular yet pointless policies ? such as Labour?s ineffectual capital gains tax ? have been abandoned. A new party president and secretary-general believed to be loyal to the leadership have been appointed. Mr Little?s speech at the Labour Party conference was well received by activists.

But these are the achievements of a loser: the sort of thing Bill English might have crowed about in the early 2000s. In reality, Mr Little?s personal poll ratings are atrocious. The party finds itself five points below where it was at the same time in the last electoral cycle and the Greens have flatlined. Of the major parties, only National is up, five points ahead of where it was three years ago, with Winston Peters also up a point or two.

Read more »