Jenny Shipley

A lesson from history for Bill English

Our commenters are observant of history, more so than our media.

A question for the history buffs:

When was the last time (if ever) a PM in NZ won a subsequent election having replaced the incumbent PM within the preceding term?

I can think of Mike Moore and Jenny Shipley – both didn’t succeed.

Not sure about the earlier ones

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Flag change: Former PM backs current PM

Former Prime Minister Jenny Shipley, who led the National government between 1997 and 1999, has revealed she supported changing the flag to a silver fern during her time in office. …

“Do they need someone else to speak for them or can we, as New Zealanders, speak for ourselves? I expect to speak for myself,” Shipley said. “I am proud of where we’ve come from but I want my children certainly my two grandchildren who live here and one in Aussie, to speak from themselves. They don’t need Britain to speak for them.”

“I’ll be very disappointed if a young spirited, fleet-footed nation like this still has to clutch on to something that’s got a dubious past in its origin and speaks to a time where, frankly, it is completely irrelevant today. While our history is colonisation, I’m horrified to think that people would allow a colonial symbol to be part of the shadow that flies over us.”

Shipley said her support was nothing to do with backing her successor as National Party leader and prime minister, John Key.

It is interesting how different people see the current and various flags as meaning something quite different. ?Shipley is clearly uncomfortable with the notion that New Zealand is a young, colonised, mostly British originated nation and wants to have that removed from the flag. ? No matter that it is actually true, and history is what it is. ? Read more »

The problem with St Helen…she isn’t

Helen Clark wants the top UN job

I’ve noticed a few things about Labour, but the one thing that sticks out is the absolute deference they all hold towards Helen Clark.

I despise her politics, but am mature enough to recognise a superb politician.

Helen Clark took over the labour party when it was in disarray, she withstood a coup attempt and ruled the party with an iron fist for 15 years.

She moulded the party into her likeness and the two became synonymous.

The labour party was Helen Clark and Helen Clark was the Labour party.

That was Labour’s strength and it was also its Achilles heel.

Eventually the voters tired of her and Labour lost to John Key’s National party.

Now this is where it gets interesting.? Read more »

It’s time for a chat

sycophant-3I note in the comments today in the flag issue that some commenters think I am attacking JohnKey by suggesting his $30 million campaign to change the flag is wrong.

Let me tell you something dear readers…I am sick of this sort of silly accusation that somehow I am against John Key.

I am not nor will ever be in the pay of the National party. I am not even a member.

If you come to this site for a party political broadcast on behalf of the National party, or in the belief that I should operate this site in blind obeisance?to St. John Key then you are in the wrong place.

I was brought up surrounded by politicians from Rob Muldoon, to Jim McLay, to Jim Bolger, to Winston Peters, to Jenny Shipley , to Bill English to Don Brash and yes to John Key….plus many supporting characters.

I have witnessed the rise and fall of many politicians. I even helped draft the caucus resolution to chuck Winston Peters from the caucus one windy, rainy Wellington night. They are gone and I am still here.

The one thing that I was brought up with was a healthy disrespect for politicians, and that healthy disrespect was encouraged and nurtured by my mother.

I watched her regularly destroy a politicians argument with reason and logic. She never cared what their position was and never shirked from telling them when they were wrong.

I learned from her that it was ok to go against the ideas and wishes of a party leader. I watched her tell off Muldoon, remonstrate with Aussie Malcolm, mock Jim Bolger and quietly whisper to Jenny Shipley…plus many others.

It is not sacrilege to oppose the flag debate…it is after all a debate…just because I am not on the?side of St. John key doesn’t mean I am on the side of evil. I have simply chosen a side of a debate. David Farrar has chosen another side, it doesn’t mean we aren’t friends.

In a vibrant democracy sycophancy must be discouraged, instead reasoned and logical debate must be pursued.

John Key is not infallible, this might be news to some of you, but he isn’t. He actually does make mistakes, and you know what people are allowed to point those out. ? Read more »

National 2002 vs Labour 2014

A reader asks:

It would be helpful to hear an explanation as to why the Labour situation is so different from the National Bill English situation. Is it that National, even though getting such a low result in that election, still had numerous highly qualified up and coming talent? That the election was a burn off allowing greater growth rather than in this case which seems to be more of a spilling of weed killer which just keeps spreading? A compare and contrast exposition would be great (if it hasn’t already been done).

Regular readers will know that I was calling this election months ago as a redux of 2002.

What were the indicators that allowed me to make that prediction?

Well there were numerous, many of them anecdotal, but having experienced 2002 I was able to draw inference from those anecdotal items.

Dis-satisfaction with leadership, moribund poll ratings, no cut through on policy even when it was good, an abundance of policy papers, poor team work, then as the election campaign got going the slow slide in poll ratings leading to the sudden crash at the end.

It was almost identical.

BillEnglish’s Wikipedia page has a sanitised but honest appraisal of what went on between 2001 and 2003,

In October 2001, dissatisfaction with party leader Jenny Shipley had failed to abate, and English secured the backing of a majority of National Party MPs. English replaced Shipley as head of the National Party and thus as Leader of the Opposition.

However, English failed to improve the party’s performance. In the 2002 elections, National suffered its worst electoral defeat ever, gaining barely more than twenty percent of the vote. Both party insiders and the general public were split as to how much to blame English for this loss, but most of the party believed that English would be able to rebuild National’s support.

By late 2003, however, National’s performance in opinion polls remained poor. The party had briefly increased its popularity in the year following the election, but by October its support had fallen to levels only slightly better than what it achieved in the last ballot. English also appeared in a boxing match for a charity against entertainer Ted Clarke. This “stunt” did not boost his polling or that of the National party either, with suggestions that it devalued his image as a serious politician. Don Brash, former governor of the Reserve Bank and a relative newcomer to politics, began to build up support to replace English. On 28 October, Brash gained sufficient backing in Caucus to replace English as leader

Where this gets interesting though is the aftermath and that is what the commenter is asking about. ? Read more »

Has the NZ Herald never heard of Jenny Shipley?

The NZ Herald had a piece yesterday about all of Labour leaders in the past 6 years.

I thought the piece might be interesting until I saw the first line.

2008

11 November: Resignation of Helen Clark, after serving three consecutive terms since being elected as New Zealand’s first woman Prime Minister in 1999.

If they can’t get basic facts right in the first line then that doesn’t hold much confidence for the accuracy of the rest of the article.

Jenny Shipley was New Zealands first woman Prime Minister and no amount of re-writing history or weasel words can take that away from her. Oh sure the media and their pals in Labour like to say Helen Clark was the first “elected” Prime Minister but that is just pathetic semantics. We don’t elect our Prime Ministers in New Zealand, we never have and never will. There is no separate?ballot for Prime Minister.

The rest of the article looks at the lengthening list?of Labour’s failed leaders from Clark to Cunliffe, all slain in battle by Phil Goff, with the only exception being David Shearer, who nicked himself to death before finally falling on his dropped sword.

On present performance and the fact that?Labour’s talent pool is as shallow as a car-park puddle expect the list of lonesome losers to grow.

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There will be no deal for Colin Craig in East Coast Bays

Adam Dudding from Fairfax explains why it is that National won’t do a deal with Colin Craig.

It is pretty simple really…the damage of such a deal is worse than the consequences of no deal.

Key’s decision on whether to indulge the supplicant or not (which he’s promised to reveal this week) depends partly on how desperately National needs an extra seat.

But last weekend, the calculation grew more complex: NZ First leader Winston Peters hinted that if National and the Conservatives got cute in East Coast Bays, he might run in the electorate himself. And given the old rogue’s mysterious allure, this could stuff things up for National and Craig.

With Craig’s Conservative Party last week polling nationally at 1.3 per cent, this is his only serious option for making it to Parliament.

A quick and dirty assessment by the Sunday Star-Times suggests things aren’t a great deal better in the electorate itself.

On Friday afternoon we set up an informal polling booth at Browns Bay’s La Tropezienne bakery/cafe, in which customers were given a marble and invited to drop it in the jar of their preferred candidate.

By yesterday afternoon, 53 marbles had been cast: 34 for McCully, seven for Peters and just one for Craig.

Six, four and one marble respectively were cast for Labour’s Greg Milner-White, Green Teresa Moore and “other”.

The result is horribly unscientific, yet the figure for McCully is startlingly similar to McCully’s 64.98 per cent electoral result in 2011, and that single marble for Craig is – well, a little tragic.

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…speaking of Winston Peters, now it is “Treachery”!

The Nodfather - Winston Peters

The media so love a politician that fills those unbearable empty column inches on a quiet day, and Winston Peters is always happy to oblige.

Topic this time? ? Chinese.

No, it gets better, Chinese, strong women, and treason! ? ?Imagine, you could write a Mills & Boon around this, but sadly, in this country, it counts as ‘news’.

Richard Meadows was the one happy to take Winston’s diatribe and turn it into space filling bluster:

Former prime minister Jenny Shipley’s involvement with the latest Chinese banking giant to set up shop in New Zealand has been described by Winston Peters as “economic treachery”.

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Winston Peters is “evil and cowardly” says Duncan Garner

The media tide is turning on Winston Peters.

Duncan Garner gave him a right good old kicking yesterday, calling him “evil and cowardly”…which ironically I called Winston Peters to his face on the phone, to which he replied that he would smack me up if I said it in person.

Poor Winston, what’s going on? It looks like you’re really struggling to land any decent hits in Parliament these days. It all looks a bit limp and sad.

You’ve been there since 1978, save for three years in the wilderness before this term. If you ever had the answers then you’ve had ample time to share them.

Instead, what did we see this week? You abusing your privilege of free speech by spewing vicious bile at an MP who is in Parliament only because you wanted him there. Brendan Horan is hardly the first NZ First MP selected for loyalty rather than ability.

Calling Horan the “Jimmy Savile of New Zealand politics” was evil and cowardly ? and you know it. If anyone makes any sort of claim against you, you’re quick to threaten legal action and demand retractions and apologies. But when you’re the one dishing it out those rules don’t apply: you can waltz into Parliament and get all the protection you need.

I have been threatened with legal action several times by Winston Peters, I once told his lawyer that I’d welcome the chance to explain just how Winston Peters won the Hunua by-election and he could tell Winston Peters that and see if he wants to continue the action. The man is a bully, a coward and yes he is evil.

I can’t help but point out the irony of it all to you. I remember covering a speech you made in Kawerau in 2008 and you had Horan along as your little sycophantic sidekick.

Horan was in awe of you, banging on to the journos about how you were an honest and loyal man who only wanted what was right for New Zealand. He told us you never took money from Owen Glenn and everyone was wrong to be questioning your integrity and honesty. Horan was really fired up that afternoon.

So how does it feel now he’s firing a few at you? Suddenly the spending from your parliamentary leader’s fund looks questionable ? despite your denials.

And Horan’s allegations might just be sticking too. Did you spend $20,000 on a computer system to aid your NZ First Party? That money you and all the other parties have in those slush funds has never been transparent.

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Is Matthew Hooton the biggest wrecker of NZ business

Chorus is in terrible mainly as a result of a collection of ?moaners and mingers under the control of political svengali Matthew Hooton.

What baffles me is that they have not fought back in way other than traditional corporate PR. Once they are crippled and bleeding and investors have lost millions of dollars, more than the millions have lost already as a result of Matthew Hooton’s merry band of corporate wreckers you will be able to use Chorus ?as an example of corporate PR failure in not fighting back.

They should have had huge billboards up around NZ saying “The future is fibre” and invested big time in ways to get their message out through all available channels. Instead they have been sodomised by a group of vested interests given a free rein in the complicit media.

Chorus has allowed them selves to become the Mark Hotchin/Hanover of the corporate world where all media outlets seem free to give them a kick in the guts. They are a media punching bag.? Read more »

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