Richard Harman

Why do gallery journalists say such stupid things?

The gallery has lost their collective shit with the resignation of John Key.

There are all sorts of idiot prognostications and assessments. It is so bad that it is starting to annoy me.

Do these people, who are supposedly “trained and skilled” actually understand the process of how National selects their leaders?

Or are they trying to insert themselves into the process?

Richard Harman, who usually has sensible things to say, has also lost his shit:

Prime Minister John Key’s resignation has caught his Caucus unprepared.

They have no agreed replacement.

At a telephone conference call with the caucus yesterday, one participant said the MPs greeted his news with a stunned silence.   Read more »

Harman on Leggett defection

Richard Harman at Politik discusses the defection of Nick Leggett.

Both Nationals and Labour should be able to claim a victory of sorts after former Porirua Mayor and Labour Party member  Nick Leggett announced his decision to try and seek National’s nomination for Mana.

For National, any defection from Labour has high propaganda value.

And for Labour, the loss of Legget, a right wing thorn in the caucus’s side,  vindicates Andrew Little’s attack on him as a right winger when he stood unsuccessfully for the Wellington Mayoralty.

The question now is whether anybody else will follow him.

He doesn’t seem to think anyone will.

“I think actually a lot of people have just melted away from Labour and I suspect there are very few people left like me,” he told POLITIK.

Read more »

There is a possible bonus in the Labour/Green civil union

There is a possible silver lining in the civil union of Labour and the Greens.

Richard Harman at Politik explains:

The Labour/Green pact announced yesterday may pave the way for Greens Co-Leader James Shaw to stand against Peter Dunne in Ohariu.

If Labour didn’t stand a candidate — and Labour sources say that’s a real possibility — then, on paper, based on the last election results, Mr Dunne would lose his seat.

That would be a major blow to National’s attempts to form a fourth term Government because Mr Dunne is, in effect, a bonus seat.

His winning that seat does not affect the total number of seats National gets allocated based on its list vote.

I’m not sure that Richard Harman has his sums right.

On the surface he is correct in that Peter Dunne got 13,569 votes and Labour’s candidate Virginia Anderson got 12,859 votes and the Green candidate got 2,764 votes. If there was just one left-wing candidate, be it a Green or Labour candidate and you just took the raw numbers and instantly transferred them across in the rather simplistic manner that journalists like to do then Richard Harman would be right.  Read more »

Harman on the budget

Richard Harman is one of the best political pundits out there. His Politik website is a must read.

He analyses the budget in a much more comprehensive manner than every other commentator.

Three things stand out from yesterday’s Budget:

  • Next year’s Budget will be very different
  • English is serious when he says smaller government is better government.
  • We are now getting the bill for the record immigration.

The big surpluses coming down the track, as Bill English says, means the Government has choices in how it can spend money in the years ahead.

And that means it can back Labour into a political corner during election year.

Read more »

How many members does Labour really have?

The other day Richard Harman speculated (with good cause) that Labour’s membership database is somewhat diminished, perhaps even lower than the Greens.

POLITIK has learned that the party’s membership is now probably below that of the Greens, which would place it below 5000, possibly less than half that.

Well, that set off a shit storm with denials and counter-claims.

Chris Trotter was prompted to write:

HOW MANY MEMBERS does the Labour Party have in its centenary year? According to the veteran political journalist, Richard Harman, the answer is – not a lot.

Writing in his “Politik” blog on Monday, 23 May, Harman noted:

“Politik has learned that the party’s membership is now probably below that of the Greens, which would place it below 5000, possibly less than half that.”

If true, that is shocking news – and it’s only fair to point out that within 24 hours the Labour Party’s new General Secretary, Andrew Kirton, was assuring Harman that it was not true. “We are far, far higher than 5,000 and therefore well above the Greens.”

In spite of reassuring his readers that the contested information came from “a usually reliable source”, Harman was willing – as of Tuesday morning – to take Kirton at his word.

A more cynical person, upon being told by Labour’s General Secretary that the membership figure is “far, far higher than 5,000”, might offer, by way of response, the words of the infamous call-girl, Mandy Rice-Davies, who, when told that an Establishment big-wig had denied all knowledge of her, shot back the immortal line: “Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?”

Read more »

Changes coming at NZME?

Yeah, nah, that's a B777 you fools

Yeah, nah, that’s a B777 you fools

Richard Harman emails in his daily newsletter:

Previously reliable Auckland media sources are saying a change of management may be looming at NZME (proprietors of the NZ Herald and Newstalk ZB) now that the IPO has been cancelled with CEO Jane Hastings possibly due to leave soon.

I’m not surprised that changes are coming.

If you looked at the Herald’s front page today online these are the top stories:

“Kiwi flight attendant Kaytlin Motion describes her job on the ultra long haul service between Dubai and Auckland.”

“Times the Oscars got it oh so wrong”

“Meet Mrs Trump, the First Lady of bling”

“The Nazi child snatchers”

“Eye to eye with a big ugly shark”

and the astonishing revelation that the “Bachelor star has been single for 2 years”   Read more »

Plan to cut $200 million from Auckland Council budget

Richard Harman has the details of a plan to cut $200 million from the Auckland Council budget.

The National Party aligned centre right is about to launch another shot in its war to take control of the Auckland Council and cut back its spending.

Council candidates are about to be lobbied with a plan to cut over $200 million from the Council’s budget.

The plan has been exclusively released to POLITIK.

The proposal is the latest sign of increasing activism from the centre-right as it tries to limit the Council’s expenditure and therefore its rates.

The proposal has been prepared by Larry Mitchell, an accountant and former National Party Rodney electorate chair.

He is the father of Rodney MP, Mark Mitchell.

Mr Mitchell has been lobbying the Government for some time now to get more active in trying to limit the Council’s expenditure.

He says the Council spends 42% of its total on discretionary activities.

“Of this group of costs, Leisure and Culture alone, account for an astounding 26% or $910M,” he says.   Read more »

Left-wing economist backs TPPA

You know Labour’s position on the TPPA is doomed when hard-left economists like Brian Easton come out in favour of the deal.

Richard Harman writes:

The veteran centre-left economist and long-time Listener columnist, Brian Easton, has come out saying New Zealand should sign the TPP.

In a blog, Mr Easton says that New Zealand achieves international trade successes such as its recent win by having the World Trade Organisation abolish agricultural subsidies because it has international credibility on trade agreements.

“That trust arises from the way we behave in other trade negotiations, including the TPP,” he said.

“The implication is that if we defaulted on the TPPA we would damage that trust and our ability to function effectively in a wide range of other international negotiations we care about, including on climate change.

“That puts us in an extremely invidious position over the TPPA.

“Sure, we could turn it down, losing both its benefits and its downsides.

“Were we to do so, however, we would compromise the trust our international activity depends upon, especially the possibility of other trade deals which would open up markets currently restricting our exports.”

Read more »

Comments about INCITE: Politics

INCITE

The following comments have been made about INCITE: Politics.

From long time reader Jude:

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I actually looked at what mysky sub covered and cancelled little add ons that we rarely watched.The movie channel, Soho and Rialto all now cancelled saving $42 dollars a month that I happily use to cover sub for Incite.
Well done Cam and team for a very worth while product!

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Labour’s reshuffle kerfuffle

Richard Harman got sold down the river overnight as poisoned intel was used to out one of his leakers.

Selection_004

But that doesn’t make his article redundant.  It still stands, albeit the timing of the shuffle is different.

Labour is plainly sensitive to charges that Phil Goff is double dipping as an MP and now confirmed Auckland Mayoral candidate.

Leader Andrew Little has said Mr Goff will now no longer be spokesman on Auckland issues.

Any other changes to his spokesmanships will come tomorrow when Mr Little announces his reshuffle of Labour’s Caucus spokespeople.

The interesting question:  who will replace Goff?   Read more »