Geoffrey Palmer

Good idea Geoffrey, let’s hope it won’t involve you in the drafting

Sir Geoffrey Palmer thinks it is time for a proper constitution to be drawn up.

It’s time for New Zealand to draw up its own constitution and a 40-page document would be enough, says constitutional law expert and former prime minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer.

Palmer has long advocated greater attention to the country’s constitutional laws but said he had reached “a new plateau”.

In Nelson to address the Spirited Conversations group on this subject, he said he hadn’t before advocated a full written constitution.

The architect of the 1986 Constitution Act and the 1990 Bill of Rights Act, he said an entrenched bill of rights was no longer enough.

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Brian Edwards on Labour’s leadership struggle

My good friend Brian Edwards gives his 10 cents worth on Labour’s leadership struggle.

It would have been nice if the Labour Party caucus had just been able to get together and pick a new leader, following the departure of David Cunliffe. That would have been the tidy way of doing things ? a secret ballot, no dirty laundry washed in public, no protracted taking of soundings from all and sundry, no overt competition between the aspirants.

Let?s not do that then! Too sensible. Too easy. Too quick. Too like the way the National Party does things. And look where that got them.

So when the unions and the membership and the caucus have been consulted and weighed up the respective merits of the four contenders, there?ll be a new leader ready to take on John Key and the Nats.

Not an easy job when three out of four New Zealand voters just made it crystal ?clear that they didn?t want a bar of you. And even less easy when you?ve just made it plain as a pikestaff to the electorate that no-one in your caucus stands out as the obvious, unchallengeable, next leader of the party. And certainly not Nanaia Mahuta, Andrew Little, Grant Robertson or David Parker.

Uh oh…all is not right in the Edwards household…perhaps the luncheon sausage ran out.

It?s not that they?re unintelligent or palpably untrustworthy or ? as far as we know ? have deep dark secrets waiting to emerge from the abyss like Kafka?s beetle. No, it?s just that three of them are dull and the fourth is interesting for the wrong reason.

No X-factor, no pizzazz, no charisma, no capacity to generate excitement. Oh for a Kirk, a Lange, a Clark. Good lord, even Geoffrey Palmer could play the trumpet!

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Armstrong on Joyce and Cunliffe

John Armstrong critiques Steven Joyce’s virtuoso performance in?the?house where he rinsed?Cunliffe.

Joyce took the first call in Wednesday afternoon’s general debate ? long a platform for Parliament’s better orators ? to parody Labour’s under-the-weather David Cunliffe in a fashion that was as clever as it was cruel as it was funny.

Within the space of a five-minute speech, Joyce had revealed another weapon in his armoury ? the ability to cut an opponent down by sheer wit ? and thereby further enhanced his credentials as the frontrunner for National’s leadership when Key finally moves on.

There was, however, another interesting outcome from his contribution ? its impact on those sitting opposite him.

Cunliffe was not in the chamber. But those Labour MPs who were initially tried to ignore what was a virtuoso performance. But their barely suppressed smiles gave the game away.

If any group of people could do with a bit of a laugh it is Cunliffe’s colleagues.They have watched in increasing despair as their leader of just 10 months has virtually self-destructed and taken the party’s support down with him from the mid-30s to the mid-20s in percentage terms. Cunliffe is now very much marooned in a malaise from which it is almost impossible for a Leader of the Opposition to drag himself or herself out.

You can do nothing right. Every opinion poll just brings even more bad news. No one takes you seriously. You become the target of every cheap joke and jibe. The media spit on what remains of your dignity. The public write you off. In short, you are deemed to be terminal. You then wait for the firing squad ? the knock on the door from a delegation of your MPs who have determined your use-by date has long passed and your ability to resuscitate your party’s flagging support is seen as likely as a squadron of pigs gliding past the Beehive.

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Cunliffe attacks National when it was Clark who stopped the whaling law suit


The Tim Fookes interview with David Cunliffe continues to give up the gold.

Yesterday David Cunliffe blamed National for not being part of the law suit against Japan over whaling.

TIM FOOKES:?????Exactly. So the earlier the better, and I will get to one of your calls in just a moment, but just a quick comment on the issue that came out late last night over the court ruling on whaling, I think this is a significant victory New Zealand and Australia.

DAVID CUNLIFFE:?????????????It’s fantastic.?Well, it’s a significant victory for Australia. Where the hell was the New Zealand Government? I mean, we had New Zealanders testifying, but once again, the National Government’s asleep at the wheel. Kiwis hate whaling. We hate whaling and previous governments had a really strong record against it. Why did we leave it to the Aussies to take the thing to the International Court?

TIM FOOKES:?????So if you were Prime Minister, what would you do?

DAVID CUNLIFFE:?????????????We would have led the charge. We wouldn’t have waited for the Australians. It would have been our win.

Of course David Cunliffe was part of cabinet in the Clark government when they decided that they didn’t want to take the win, preferring instead to gift it to the Aussies.

Prime Minister Helen Clark will push for a diplomatic end to whaling after the Government dropped plans for legal action against Japan.

Miss Clark will raise the issue with her Japanese counterpart Yasuo Fukuda when she travels to the pro-whaling country next week. A spokesman confirmed the pair would discuss Japan’s annual cull in the Southern Ocean.? Read more »

Another day, another lie from Dotcom

Pinocchio Dotcom

Pinocchio Dotcom

In his last ever interview Paul Holmes went to the Dotcom mansion to interview Kim Dotcom, this is what Dotcom said at the time:

HOLMES: ? ? ?Then there?s the spying, the GCSB, the spying. A former prime minister, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, says the New Zealand Government could be liable for heavy damages for the illegal spying on your activities as a New Zealand resident. Should there be heavy damages?

DOTCOM: ? ??Well, I?m not interested in damages from the New Zealand Government. I?m interested to resolve this case. I?m interested for people to realise the people who attacked me, they made a mistake and that this needs to be resolved in a diplomatic fashion, and soon, because this is just going to drag on. It?s going to hurt everybody. It?s going to embarrass those who are attacking us. And there?s no point in taking this further.

HOLMES: ? ??If you got damages, of course, I suppose that could go some way to paying for a new broadband cable across the Pacific.

DOTCOM: ? ??Yeah, but if I would seek damages, I would not seek them in New Zealand. I would seek them from the US Government, which has acted in bad faith, and I would seek that also from Hollywood Studios who are paying the MPAA and Chris Dodd, you know, to do this kind of thing. And I think they are liable because there has been a lot of bad faith and a lot of misinformation going on in this case.? Read more »

Hooton on Jones and Cunliffe

Matthew Hooton thinks Shane Jones could well be the saviour of the Labour party but first he reviews the woeful performance of the current leader of the Labour party, David Cunliffe.

September 27 is?overwhelmingly favoured?but rumours persist John Key may opt for August or even July for the general election.

The rationale is to allow plenty of time for coalition negotiations, for a new government to be sworn in and for a properly mandated prime minister to represent New Zealand at the G20 and Apec leaders? meetings in November.

Whenever the election is held, Labour now risks another disaster.

In just the past seven days, David Cunliffe has admitted he made a fool of himself attacking?Mr Key?s lifestyle, been caught laundering campaign donations through a?secret trust, been embarrassed by his staff emailing his?confidential ICT policy?to the government and faced questions over his failure to declare?another trust?until after his predecessor David Shearer was caught with an undisclosed $50,000+ offshore bank account.

This is on top of his misrepresentation of his baby-bonus policy and the questions over his claimed?business,?academic?and?community-service?background.

Labour is now lower in the polls than when Mr Shearer resigned, Mr Cunliffe?s personal popularity is worse than his ever was, and there is no evidence the Herne Bay multimillionaire has the skills connecting with the poor and downtrodden in South Auckland that he claimed.

The timing is tight but it is not yet too late for Labour to fix the mistake made by the unions and its membership last September. ? Read more »

Geoffrey Palmer never wanted to be PM

Most politicians at some time or other in their careers desperately believe that they have the moxy and the goods to be PM. Most are deluded tools but thy still have this innate belief that one day they will.

Geoffrey Palmer reckons he never wanted to be PM and gives some insights into the fateful last days of the Lange/Palmer/Moore Labour government.

Geoffrey Palmer didn’t want to be prime minister. He knew the fourth Labour government was doomed.

Prime Minister David Lange had had a spectacular bust-up with his finance minister Roger Douglas.

Lange’s “weaknesses” had destroyed the government, Sir Geoffrey says, and the leader’s job “was a poisoned chalice”.

“I didn’t really want it but I felt it was necessary to have a stable hand at the helm while we tried to finish what we’d started.”

In fact, his demise came more quickly than expected. The panicking Labour caucus replaced him with Mike Moore a mere six weeks before losing the 1990 election.

Sir Geoffrey’s inability to bring the two warring leaders together “was my greatest failure in politics”, he writes in his new book, Reform: A Memoir.

His attempts at peacemaking “are too numerous to recite and painful to me still”.? Read more »

Labour’s hypocrisy over GCSB Bill

Last night the GCSB Bill passed and the histrionics from the left are astonishing. Clare Curran had a moment:

I am struggling to see how a VOTE in parliament is an appalling day for democracy. If they had won the vote would that have been equally appalling. Of course it wouldn’t.

I mean seriously these lunatics need to take a chill pill.

Yesterday though David Farrar posted a comparison of the Helen Clark GCSB Bill and the John Key GCSB Bill. Apparently the increased controls and clarifications of the bill are an affront to democracy, according to loons like Clare Curran, yet Helen Clark’s bill was perfect.

So perfect was that bill that Labour cast 52 votes?in favour of the GCSB Bill?s third reading 27 March 2003. All parties supported the bill except the far left ?lunatics in the Green party, they are at least consistent in their opposition to western democracies protecting themselves.

These hypocrites who voted for Helen Clark’s GCSB Bill though are beyond the pale. The current Labour MPs who voted for Helen Clark’s bill and against John Key’s bill are

  • Cosgrove, Clayton
  • Cunliffe, David
  • Dalziel, Lianne
  • Dyson, Ruth
  • Goff, Phil
  • King, Annette
  • Mahuta, Nanaia
  • Mallard, Trevor
  • O’Connor, Damien
  • Parker, David
  • Robertson, Ross

Also former Labour MP:

Here piggy, piggy, pig

MPs are self serving pricks at the best of times, but when you seek to rein in their rorts and allowances they really go feral.

They seem to believe that they have the unfettered right to trough it up on the taxpayer. They are wrong.

MPs on all sides are joining forces to defend the right to set their own unlimited travel perks – despite a Government promise to transfer them to an independent body.

Prime Minister John Key pledged three years ago that the Government would strip MPs of the power to set their own perks. It introduced a bill last year to change the system, under which Parliament’s Speaker determines the widely criticised allowances that give MPs unlimited free travel within New Zealand.? Read more »

Was this wise?

I don’t know what the board of the National party were thinking in authorising this little purchase.

Today Fairfax Media revealed that the National Party had paid more than $2 million for a 41 Pipitea St, mansion in Thorndon which was previously home to a string of prime ministers. The house will become the party’s headquarters.

Party president Peter Goodfellow said the red-brick house was “perfect” for the party.

“It’s very appropriate. It’s got historic places designation on it . . . and it’ll be the perfect home for the party for the next 78 years,” Goodfellow said.

The sale price was $2,156,000, some $256,000 more than the property’s rateable value.

It was the former residence of Sir Sidney Holland, National’s first prime minister, and Sir Keith Holyoake, the party’s longest-serving prime minister and New Zealand’s third longest.

It has also been home to Labour prime ministers Sir Walter Nash and Sir Geoffrey Palmer. More recently it was lived in by Cabinet ministers, including Nick Smith.? Read more »