Rodney Hide

Hide on Little’s stinker week

Rodney Hide looks at Andrew Little’s stinker week:

Spare a thought for Labour Leader Andrew Little. His week’s been a stinker.

It started well. The pundits had been reporting a “good vibe”. It was more good news when it leaked that Little had poached Willie Jackson from the Maori Party. Pundits declared it “a deft strategic move”. Oh joy! Labour were up and on a roll.

Then Little and Jackson announced, that yes, it was true, Jackson was standing for Labour. And yes, Little had lured him with the promise of a high place on Labour’s list, writes Rodney Hide.

That was it. All hell broke loose. The “deft strategic move” proved a total train wreck.

The truly shocking thing was that Labour did it to themselves. Yes, feelings within caucus and the party were running hot but there was no need for that anger to bust out in public. Internal ding-dongs are best handled with the door shut. Especially in election year.

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Never, ever sign up to woolly-woofter political slogans

Rodney Hide on woolly-woofter political slogans:

Last week a local rag ran an opinion piece that gave Rod Drury and Sam Morgan a fair old shellacking.

Their crime was to support Peter Thiel, who in turn supports President Trump.

I kid you not.

“I’m calling them out … Drury, in particular, has been vocal on gender diversity… But then he supports someone who supports Trump … renowned for his sexism and bad treatment and attitudes towards women.”

We are now to be held to public account for our friend’s friend’s politics and behaviour.

Of course, it’s nonsense.

And yet here it is. The nonsense happening around us.

There is no limit to the contortions and ill-logic of those eager to signal their moral worthiness by taking offence and screaming outrage. Indeed, the more obscure and remote the offence the greater their worthiness. There is even opportunity to discover whole new offences thereby proving your sensitivity by spotting problems never seen before.

And so Mr Drury must disown Mr Thiel – and his investment – because Mr Thiel supported Donald Trump. That’s because “actions speak louder than words.”

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Spot on Rodney, now let’s see if the Greens can explain where all those te reo teachers are going to come from

Rodney Hide has spotted the massive flaws in the Greens plan for force all children into compulsory te reo classes.

I would love to be able to speak te reo fluently. I would also like to play the violin, solve Einstein’s field equations and run a sub-three hour marathon.

I can’t do any of these things. It’s not that I am lazy. It’s that I am busy. I figure the reward wouldn’t justify the required effort. My priorities are where the effort is less and the reward greater.

There in a nutshell is the problem with making te reo compulsory in schools.

It would be marvellous if all our children were fluent but it would come with a cost. Students don’t now have an hour a day at school with nothing to do. That means dropping something in their curriculum to make way for te reo.

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Peak hysteria? You ain’t see nothing yet

Rodney Hide reviews the New Zealand reactions to Trump this week

I am enjoying President Trump. He’s better than a night at the movies.

It’s not so much him but his opposition. The world’s best satirists locked in a room for a year could not produce better.

New Zealand’s political left hit peak hysteria this week even as he implements their most cherished policies.

They have been protesting, yelling, screaming, organising petitions and writing furious letters in the vain attempt to kill the Trans Pacific Partnership.

They failed miserably.

President Obama signed it and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rejoiced in it: “This TPP sets the gold standard in trade agreements.”

It’s true that on the campaign trail she opposed it but her constant flip-flops and zig-zags gave opponents no confidence she would kill it.

But their great satan President Trump lopped off its head on his first full day in office.

Such is the hysteria that his lefty achievement provided no respite in the caterwauling and wailing.

The total loss of perspective is readily seen by supposedly sober commentators calling Trump a fascist and comparing him to Hitler.

I appreciate that they don’t like him but to call the president of the United States a fascist is to fail high school history. It’s also dangerous to trivialise the Holocaust.

There is the left, and then there’s the media   Read more »

Rodney Hide on John Key’s no principle government

John Key governed for himself. There were only three things he wanted after becoming Prime Minister, he wanted four terms, to beat Sir Keith Holyoake as National’s longest serving Prime Minister and a knighthood.

Really, he was that shallow.

When it became apparent that he could get a fourth term but only if he cut a deal with Winston it all got too much for him. That nagged away at him and it also would have meant almost no chance of scoring his second ambition, to beat Sir Keith Holyoake’s record. So he cut a quiet deal with Bill English, gave him several months to set up his palace coup, so to speak, giving any other contenders almost no time to marshall the numbers. The deal is that Bill English will hold an election sometime after Queens Birthday Weekend. Why? Well because it would have been unseemly to give John Key his knighthood in the New Year’s honours, wouldn’t it?

So John Key will get his knighthood and not much else. He did, however, build a cult of personality around himself which Bill English is stupidly trying to insert himself into.

What did John Key leave us with policy wise?

Well, not much according to Rodney Hide.

John Key resigned after eight years as our most popular prime minister. He came in on a high and he stayed there.

There are many aspects to his great success but policy is of the most interest. It’s what government does that determines a nation’s success. Read more »

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Rodney Hide on John Key

Rodney Hide writes about John Key in his NBR column:

Leadership guru Warren Bennis declared, “leadership is like beauty: hard to define but you know it when you see it.” When you see Prime Minister John Key, you see a leader.

He has a perfect blend of charisma and confidence.

People gravitate to him and look to him for direction. He knows what to do without being bossy. He has the honesty and integrity that’s necessary to inspire confidence and trust. He’s warm and believes in people. He’s smart, super smart but, unlike most politicians, has no need to prove it.

He is our most popular prime minister by far and arguably our most successful. He leaves politics just as he entered: on his own terms and on a high.

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Rodney Hide on democracy and the left’s failure to accept it

Rodney Hide comments on the US election and the left’s and Media’s failure to accept it:

The New Zealand Herald’s John Roughan wrote this week: “The amazing thing about democracy, when you stop to think about, is that it makes the right decision far more often than not.”

I pick on Mr Roughan because he is normally so sage and sober. He is not a paid-up member of the screaming lefty, greenie, PC, I’m outraged/offended, how-could-anyone-be-as-stupid-as-you brigade.

No, he is a considered, conservative commentator. But Donald Trump’s candidacy and election has caused even him to unhinge and lose perspective and objectivity.

The absurdity of his comment must completely escape him. I am at a loss to understand how that could possibly be.

There’s no “right” decision for democracy. There’s just a result. It’s a process with an outcome that we broadly sign up to as a mechanism of dumping governments without having to cut throats. It doesn’t prevent the abuse of government power but it does stop it getting too out of line. That’s it.   Read more »

Hide on an off day

We must fervently hope there are no more by-elections. The country simply can’t afford them.

I am not talking about the cost of running the by-election – although they’re not proving cheap. Last year’s Northland by-election cost just under a million dollars. That’s $30 a vote.

But the real expense is they make politicians dig deeper into our pockets.

The Northland by-election spooked National into promising upgrades to 10 bridges. The cost was put between $32 million and $69m.

Labour Leader Andrew Little dismissed National’s announcement as “pork barrel and a desperate bid to win the confidence of the Northland people”. He was quite correct in his assessment.

The disappointing thing is that National has stuck with the bridges despite losing to Winston Peters.

Their message should have been clearer: no votes, no bridges. The pork can’t arrive regardless of how people vote: that undermines the entire rationale of pork barrel politics.

Hide’s political radar must be down.  To deny Northland its pork, National would have all but guaranteed another loss in the general election.  Besides, taking things away isn’t John Key’s thing.   Read more »

The left cares because it is the best job they are ever going to get

Rodney Hide looks at the election results and surmises that the left cares more than the right about politics.

The New Zealand Labour Party and the centre left once again clean up the local body elections. Two ex-Labour ministers run the two largest cities.

The third largest is headed by Labour’s candidate.

Media guru Bill Ralston explains his defeat by long-time local body politician and out-and-out lefty Mike Lee as centre-right voters not engaging in local body elections.

He’s right. The centre right enjoys the best people, the most money and unassailable argument but is hopeless at politics. That’s because we don’t care for it. We can think of 1001 better things to do with our time and our money.

Centre-right people believe the best thing is being productive with the zenith being running your own business. We look down our nose at politicians.

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Random Impertinent Questions for Phil Goff

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While the “independent” candidate for Auckland’s mayoralty is busily having the Labour party deliver his leaflets and campaign with him I thought it might be timely to ask Phil Goff a number of impertinent questions.

When Richard Prebble left the leadership of the Act party in 2004 it seems there was a mad scramble to find a replacement.

A very well connected messenger was dispatched to Wellington to meet with a certain Labour party MP to consider taking over the leadership of the Act party.

So it seems there are some questions that need asking.  Read more »