Jim McLay

Soper comments on the ludicrous suggestion that Key have a succession plan

Barry Soper has got it dead right as he discusses the ludicrous suggestion promulgated by Fran O’Sullivan and her little band of helpers at a newspaper that John Key needed to get a succession plan in place.

He suggests that Key won’t get a say, and whoever learns to count wins.

Politics is a numbers game. Numbers determine all sorts of things: whether a party makes it into Parliament in the first place, whether a party gets to govern, whether they’re successful with legislation and in terms of this argument, whether they have the numbers to lead.

If you can’t count then you should steer clear of politics.

When your numbers are up, or you use David Farrar to run your numbers like Bill English did then things go awry.

Business leaders in a survey say National should have a leadership succession plan. They of all people should know about numbers and they should also know that in politics the idea of a successor being anointed by a leader is virtually unheard of.

Think about it, David Lange wasn’t even in Parliament when Bill Rowling became Prime Minister on the death of Big Norm Kirk. And Rowling fought three elections before Lange managed the numbers to roll him. To be fair, he won more votes than National in his final two elections, but numbers in those days weren’t as important, in terms of votes cast, as they are today under MMP. ? Read more »

McCully insults Israel and cuddles up to terrorists

Sometimes I wonder if years of inveterate rooting haven’t addled Murray McCully’s mind.

[Yesterday],?Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully appointed Jim McLay, this country’s top diplomat at the United Nations, as the representative to the Palestinian Authority.

The former deputy prime minister and National Party leader will take up the new role in May.

Last September, a diplomatic row broke out with Israel over its refusal to accept New Zealand’s ambassador Jonathan Curr because he was also an envoy to the Palestinian Authority.

The envoy is based in Turkey and had performed both roles since 2008.

Gerard van Bohemen, who is a deputy secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, will succeed Mr McLay at the United Nations.

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 »

Understandable, I’d want to vomit on them too

Yesterday John Key was feeling poorly and declared that he felt like vomiting on the press gallery journos accompanying him.

Understandable really. Some I wouldn’t piss on some of them if they were on fire, so wasting a good voiding of the guts on a journalist might be a step to far.

Prime Minister John Key says he wanted to vomit on the press – literally – but managed to keep his stomach down.

Yeah just reading some of their drivel makes my bile rise too.? Read more »

Armstrong on Shearer

? NZ Herald

John Armstrong writes about David Shearer’s horror week:

If there were any lingering doubts about whether David Shearer’s political honeymoon is finally over, they were expunged by what has been little short of the week from hell for the Labour leader.

Two opinion polls last Sunday contained morale-sapping rebuffs for Labour with the gains the party was confident it had made on National since last year’s election seemingly melting away.

Thankfully the Roy Morgan poll came out last night and cooled down the willingness of caucus to knife him. God forbid Labour changes to someone else.

The biggest killer of a party is ill-disipline.

In a clear breach of Labour caucus protocol to keep arguments in-house, the party’s Mangere MP Su’a William Sio then publicly bagged the gay marriage bill sponsored by his neighbouring MP and colleague Louisa Wall as likely to cost Labour heaps of votes in south Auckland.

That was quickly followed by the surfacing of apparent renewed hostility in some quarters of the caucus towards David Cunliffe, who lost out to Shearer in last December’s contest for the leadership.

The off-the-record remarks of a couple of unnamed senior MPs carried on TV3’s website produced a feeding frenzy on the political blogs, leaving Labour activists deeply disturbed the party was again doing its dirty washing in public but confused as to whether Cunliffe, who has been on holiday overseas, was actually mounting a coup against Shearer.

Cunliffe isn’t mounting a coup. You can’t charge forward with zero back up. The EPMU is locked in behind Shearer for some reason, probably because they see him as a seat warmer for Little. It is Robertson that Shearer should watch out for.

What is not in question is that the ructions completely overshadowed Shearer’s midweek launch of a sustained campaign by Labour to win back the “heartland” – the provincial cities and towns where elections are won and lost.

The launch was the culmination of weeks of careful planning and extensive research by Shearer’s already-stretched staff. Copious amounts of official data were collected and collated to measure the progress in every region – or rather the lack of it – across a number of economic and social indicators following more than three years of a National Administration.

Labour is hoping the material will jolt voters out of their seeming sense of resignation that while things are not that crash hot in economic terms, they could be a lot worse and it is better to stick to the status quo.

It is bizarre that Shearer is tourin National’s heartland. And Armstrong is wrong about where elections are won and lost…that is in Auckland.

Leaders of the Opposition are always hostage to the polls. The very real danger for Shearer is that repetition of the results of last Sunday’s polls will see the “Mr Invisible” title becoming impossible for him to shake off.

Other unsuccessful Leaders of the Opposition – Bill Rowling, Jim McLay and Bill English – were handicapped by their intellect and reasonableness which made it difficult for them to find fault with everything their opponent said or did.

The net result of that syndrome is the leader suddenly finds himself or herself less than 100 per cent confident of his or her own party’s policy or position. The doubt is immediately apparent in hesitation in the leader’s voice and visible in his or her body language, all of which is conveyed in cruel detail by television which demands and gets instant judgement from the watching voter.

The thankless job of Leader of the Opposition requires seeing everything in black and white terms and delivering simple, short and very direct messages.

Shearer knows that. But Labour has a tendency to overcomplicate things. Shearer needs to take a few risks to avoid being stereotyped likewise. He must hammer a few stakes in the ground, some of which will not be always to his party’s liking.

He has already copped criticism from within for a recent speech attacking those on welfare who are not “pulling their weight” and are “ripping off the system”.

Shearer’s play at being Act leader, or even trying out for Paula Bennett’s replacement has angered Labour’s based who think bludgers can do no wrong and need to be showered with cash. However his major problem is precisely what Armstrong says…that he is perceieved…no not as the case may be, as the Invisible Man.

Labour are in terrible trouble. Let’s see what happens next week to further salt the wounds.

The roll of a Deputy

There is talk that Grant Robertson is loyal deputy…even David Shearer is indignant about the rumours that his Deputy is about to roll him:

He appeared most irritated at suggestions [on The Standard] that Mr Cameron had been installed in advance of a leadership takeover by Mr Robertson.

“I speak to Grant three or four times a day on the phone. We’re in and out of each other’s offices when we are in Parliament together, all day.”

I’m not so sure that he should take comfort in that.

If David Shearer took a good ?look at New Zealand political history he would have cold shivers running up his spine.

Rob Muldoon was Jack Marshall’s deputy, he knifed him?on 4 July 1974.

David Lange was Bill Rowling’s deputy, he knifed him on 3 February 1982.

Jim McLay was Muldoon’s deputy, he knifed him in 1984, after National lost the 1984 schnapps election.

Jim Bolger was Jim McLay’s deputy, he knifed him?in 1986.

Geoffry Palmer was David Lange’s deputy, and he took over in September 1989 as Lange gave up.

Helen Clark was Mike Moore’s deputy, she knifed him?on 1 December 1993.

Bill English was Jenny Shipley’s deputy, he knifed her in October 2001.

Based on recent political history David Shearer has much to fear from Grant Robertson, who was raised politically under the tutelage of Helen Clark, one of the plotting deputies who rolled their leader.

Based on New Zealand political history it really the role of the deputy to roll the leader.

The fact that his deputy (and their people) are talking to you means nothing.? The interesting thing will be when the House goes back.? The numbers of MPs popping in and out of each others office late at night. ?The corridor action that is going on.

If I was Shearer I?d ensure my programme keeps me in Wellington next week.

One weird thing about David Shearer is his distinct lack of loyalists.? See, when the in-Parliament chattering behind closed doors occurs he needs to have his loyalists countering.

Well, who counters for Shearer? It isn’t Robertson….and Trevor Mallard is running his jihad against John Banks, not watching Shearer’s back.

Goff compared to Bill English and Jim McLay

Poor old Phil Goff, the Herald?compared?him to Bill English and Jim McLay.

Mr Goff is far from alone in his misfortune. In the New Zealand context, he might be compared with Bill English or Jim McLay. The former, a leading minister in a recently defeated Administration, failed to get anywhere near to leading National back to office. The latter had the unenviable task of pitting himself against a rampant David Lange. The electorate had declared itself firmly in favour of something new. Anything worthwhile that Mr McLay brought to the leadership of the National Party and offered the country, particularly in comparison to his predecessor, Sir Robert Muldoon, was almost irrelevant.

The only questions remaining to be answered are:

How low can Phil Goff take Labour? and

Will he beat Bill English?

The Difference between The Whale and The Penguin

The wise and reasoned Lord of the Blogs says;

“I was tempted to joke on air that if it was that easy to prevent crime, we’d just build a motorway around the Hutt Valley”

The difference between The Whale and The Penguin is I WOULD have said it and added in Cannons Creek, Porirua, South Auckland and Henderson.

That is why I am the Darth Blogger and he is the Penguin.