Heather Simpson

She’s obviously never heard about H2


What do you mean not intimidated?

Peta Credlin has a fearsome reputation but she obviously not ever heard of Heather Simpson.

TONY Abbott?s powerful chief of staff, Peta Credlin, has delivered an almighty serve to Liberal MPs who brought down the former prime minister.

In her first public appearance since Mr Abbott was ousted from the top job last week, Ms Credlin took aim at cabinet ministers and other MPs who briefed against her and her former boss.

The divisive staffer was frequently attacked by anonymous Liberal MPs during Mr Abbott?s time in office, with critics describing her as a ?bully? who contributed to her boss?s downfall.? Read more »

Marlbourgh District Council loons seeking a ban on sugar, forget they banned fluoride too

The Marlborough District Council are a bunch of loons.

They are now seeking to ban sugary drinks from council facilities in a bid to save kids teeth.

Marlborough District Council could become the second council in New Zealand to ban sugary drinks from being sold at their venues and events.

The council is to develop a policy around the ban after the region’s principal dental officer warned sugar-sweetened beverages were rotting children’s teeth and ramping up levels of obesity and Type II Diabetes.

The council has come under pressure from the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board and Nelson City Council (NCC) to implement a ban on sugary drinks at its events venues. NCC adopted the ban in July and it has been well received by ratepayers there.

If a similar policy gets the green light in Blenheim it would cover sugar-sweetened beverages such as soft drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks and flavoured milk.

They would be banned from sale in council buildings, at its venues including Stadium 2000 in Blenheim, the ferry terminal and airport and at council-run events.

Diet soft drinks would still be sold and people who wanted a sugary drink could bring it to a council building or event.

Nelson Marlborough principal dental officer Dr Rob Beaglehole, who fought for the board to introduce a similar policy in top of the south hospitals, said the council had a responsibility to act as a role model.

“This isn’t a draconian policy for a blanket ban on sugar. We are not about to stop telling people they can’t have sugar in their tea or coffee. It is about making the healthy choice the easiest choice.”

He was sick of extracting rotten teeth from children who had been drinking soft drinks. Last month he pulled 11 teeth from a 2-year-old boy.

Most of his front teeth were rotten and after the extraction he needed 15 stitches.

“He wasn’t in great shape. He hadn’t been sleeping properly for weeks and he hadn’t eaten properly for two weeks.

“His mum was beside herself and sat up with him most nights. He was crying in pain.”

Read more »

The Predictable Failure of David Cunliffe (Ctd)

Today?s polls are more bad news for Labour.

They rolled David Shearer when he had 34% of the vote.

The new messiah, David Cunliffe, has managed to lose them 10% of the vote since then.

This was very, very predictable. I have?been predicting it for ages.

David Cunliffe is dead set useless, and Labour should have run some polls to see what the population thought of him before they selected him as leader. His negatives were seriously high to being with, so he was always going to tank Labour?s vote.

Having high negatives is not career ending. Helen Clark demonstrated this, when she managed to take Labour down to 14% in the polls, with a 2% preferred Prime Minister rating. ? ? Read more »

More from the Herald on The Cunliffe

The Herald has continued their series on “The Cunliffe”.

While last weeks effort would have made The Cunliffe happy I doubt he will be pleased with todays works, especially those by Claire Trevett.

He is fingered as a snitch:

Cunliffe describes that 1999 intake as the first political generation that had not been “scarred” by Rogernomics or the acrimony after it. But that first term also saw the start of the problem Cunliffe has struggled with since – his relations with his caucus colleagues.

Cunliffe and Tamihere gravitated towards each other, part of a group of junior MPs including Clayton Cosgrove and Damien O’Connor, and dubbed themselves the “Mods” – short for Modernisers. They met in each other’s offices for drinks and discussed policies and the direction Labour might take in the longer term, post-Clark. They decided to recruit others and Tamihere says Cunliffe returned with loyal Clarkists. Whether it was innocent or deliberate, he was seen to have dobbed them in.

Cunliffe denies it: “I certainly didn’t go telling tales on class mates. JT and I were in the middle of that group, not everybody agreed with everybody else and in the end it didn’t go that far. But I’d reject that I dobbed anyone in.”

Whatever happened, Cunliffe’s friendship with most in that grouping waned after that point. One onlooker at the time recalls Cunliffe as trying to be friends with everyone. “It was like high school kind of stuff. He’d walk in [to Parliament’s cafe] and go ‘g’day bro’ how you going?’ and JT would just look at him like one of the nerdy kids had come up to him in the playground.”

Tamihere says there was no big blow out and they did maintain a professional relationship. Asked about the Mods’ goals now, Tamihere laughs and says “well, you always go down there with those heady ideals.”
“He’s an extraordinarily talented chap but you never get to see the real David. You get to see the David that he thinks you want to see. And that’s his problem.

What Trevett didn’t mention, but my Labour source did, was that after ratting out the Mods to Clark H2 (Heather Simpson) summonsed each of them individually and gave them a dressing down. They were rinsed and it is something that Clayton Cosgrove has never forgotten and why he is the ex-officio leader of the ABCs.? Read more »

Guest Post – Is the prospect of an unstable Government Holding Labour Back

A regular reader and correspondent sent in this guest post about Labour.

I enjoy reading blogs and opinion pieces from across the political spectrum.? Including The Standard, The Daily Blog as well as various opinion pieces in the newspapers.

At present we are less than 80 days away from the 2014 election.? The election and the possible outcomes are constantly on the minds of the political tragics from both the left and the right.? Much of NZ don?t really seem to care.? They don?t understand that the outcome of the 2014 election may have an impact on many aspects of their life.

I spend much time thinking what will be the makeup of the government after 20 September 2014.? Personally (and this may come as a surprise to some people is that I am probably comfortable with a Centre left Government.? I would be much more happy with a National Party Government, but a Centre Left Government in the mould of the 1999-2008 Government would be acceptable.? I have a stable job and my mortgage is very manageable.? But there is one thing that worries me greatly.

My deep concern which is very dear to my heart is how stable will a Left Government be.? I believe that a stable Government will be the single most important outcome of the 2014 election.

An unstable Government is not going to be good for NZ.? The people most impacted will be the typical supporter of one of the many left parties.? Helen Clark held together very successfully coalition Governments.? John Key has done had it easier with options to the right with Act and Dunne in the centre, and to the left with the Maori Party.? Clark had strength of personality, the stick of Heather Simpson, and a caucus which was more or less 100% behind her.? Key remains National?s biggest asset and in the latest round of opinion poll is still untouchable with over 50.0% party support and an unprecedented support as the preferred Prime Minister.? There are no public rumblings of dissent.

But there is a massive issue looming for any in-coming Labour led Government.? And this is the point of this guest column.? I am genuinely interested in the views of the left supporters (if there are any who lurk here)? My proposition is that part of the reason (there are a whole lot of reasons) why support for the left (Labour and Greens) is barely moving off 40% is that the left are not convincing the middle ground voters that they will be able to deliver stable Government to NZ.? The Coalition of the Left will be made up of multiple parties. ? ? Read more »

Garner knifes Cunliffe

Duncan Garner in the Dominion Post yesterday slit Cunliffe from scrotum to sternum:

Labour ditched former leader David Shearer because he struggled to string two sentences together on a good day. So surely it couldn’t have got any worse, right? Wrong.

It’s a train wreck under David Cunliffe and Labour’s MPs are grumpy, nervous and wondering what they may be doing for a crust after September 20. The prospect of losing your job and the $150,000 salary always focuses the mind.

This week Labour slumped to 23 per cent in Fairfax’s stuff/Ipsos poll – under Shearer it was in the low 30s when he was dumped.

Cunliffe has taken the party backwards when he promised to take it forward. Could Labour be on track to record its worst-ever election defeat? Yes.

When Cunliffe utters a word or two these days the collective intake of breath among his MPs is simply frightening.

Listening to David Cunliffe this week was very enlightening, he gave away all his tells, and was dreadful under pressure. And this was hardly a big test…but the issues are there, every policy has been destroyed hours after release and then he and Labour are back pedalling.

He’s had a host of gaffes this year – and the best he’s looked was when he shut up and stood in the background while his wife, Karen Price, talked about the birds (chickens) and the bees in an interview at their home.

Cunliffe was parachuted into the job of leader, not because his MPs really wanted him – most dislike him – but because Labour Party members and union affiliates were desperate for someone to articulate their values.

To say he’s been a disappointment is an understatement. After this week’s horrors he looks unelectable as the next prime minister. He’s genuinely gone from bad to worse.

Read more »

Why is David Cunliffe So Useless, Ctd

Cunliffe - Sh_t

David Cunliffe wasted 14 years in parliament before becoming leader, not building a team of good people like Helen Clark did.

Clark?s formidable team managed to keep her in power after her poll ratings were appalling in the mid 1990s, and after the 1996 election when she buggered up the negotiation with Winston and National remained in power.?

Unlike Clark, Cunliffe has done nothing to build a team of skilled political professionals around.

There is no Fat Tony to shake down donors for much needed campaign funds.

Both Tim Barnett and Moira Coatesworth can’t raise a cent so Labour is flat broke and bludging off the unions.? Read more »

Is Simon Bridges really a future National leader? Ctd

If there?s one thing a Prime Minister has to be recognised for, it is being on top of their portfolios.

Helen Clark and Heather Simpson were all over ministerial portfolios like a rash. John Key is likewise at the top of the game, and while preferring a more managerial style, he certainly expects his Ministers to deliver on the workload expected of someone earning over $260,000 a year.

Leadership candidates need that sort of reputation to come through strongly right from the start.

In this ongoing series, we explore the push to have Simon Bridges positioned as a future leader of the National Party, and look at some of the criticisms coming through about Bridges, including the view that he?s captured by officials and close to the unions.

Let?s put aside for the moment the 200,000 acres of parkland that?s now got the Green Taliban?s puppet-masters?Greenpeace calling for his sacking. ? Read more »

A ‘game changer’? Really?

Matt McCarten closely inspecting real estate listings in Takapuna

Matt McCarten closely inspecting real estate listings in Takapuna

Labour yesterday spent the day talking about the appointment of a tax cheat as David Cunliffe’s chief of staff as a ‘game changer’.

This is curious…very curious. Why?

Well because the role of a chief of staff is to manage the staff in the leaders office, manage the leader and provide political advice. Labour apologists have been at pains to point out every time someone says “lurch to the left” that a Chief of Staff does not do policy. So, quite how someone who doesn’t do policy is a ‘game changer’ is beyond me.

This morning has been wall to wall coverage of Matt McCarten as the ‘game changer’.

Can anyone remember an interview of Heather Simpson, arguably one of the most effect chiefs of staff in modern politics?

What about an interview with Wayne Eagleson?

No, didn’t think so. A chief of staff is a shadow dweller, if they are in the news or the news then something bad is happening.

There is a great deal of uneasiness inside Labour right now. Matt McCarten has spent half a generation bagging the Labour party and now is in the inner sanctum. Many Labour people I spoke to yesterday predicted that it will end in tears and the destruction of the Labour party.

But why is Matt McCarten a ‘game changer’. His political record is chequered to say the least. That is being polite. His only real claim to fame is the emergence of the Alliance, and of course its subsequent destruction. Everything else since has been a failure, even his UNITE union, which still has a massive unpaid tax bill as a result of Matt McCarten’s actions.? Read more »

Cunliffe’s truthfulness under siege

Corporate shill Matthew Hooton comments on the growing belief that David Cunliffe at beast talks out of both sides of his mouth and at worst is an inveterate liar.

Unless he lifts his standards, David Cunliffe?s truthfulness risks becoming a major issue.

Politicians are usually believed to lie and often don?t help themselves.

Under questioning in 2011, John Key claimed Standard & Poor?s said a credit downgrade was more likely under Labour. But Standard & Poor?s denied commenting on an individual party. Similarly, Mr Key?s off-the-cuff accounts of how he appointed his spy boss?stretch credibility.

However, when it comes to formal speeches and other written documents, politicians usually take extraordinary steps to ensure their truthfulness.

Under Jim Bolger, a staffer would take draft speeches around the Beehive requiring signatures against every sentence.

For Helen Clark, Heather Simpson checked every word personally.

Since then, on only a very few occasions have Mr Key?s staff had to clarify statements he has made at his weekly press conferences. I am unaware of any errors in his formal speeches.

Similarly ? despite pr?cising thousands of pages of detail ? there has never been an error in any of Bill English?s five Budget speeches, nor in Michael Cullen?s nine.

In contrast, David Cunliffe appears unable to accurately represent a fairly straightforward children?s policy in his most high-profile speech of the year, instead struggling with the truth. ? Read more »