Scott Simpson

Re-shuffle day, let’s see if Bill has changed

Bill English says he is a changed man. Today is re-shuffle day and many people who backed him will be sitting waiting for a call from the boss.

Fortunately, he has made some good moves in frightening off some dead shits. So he has room to play with.

For me, there are three things that will signal that Bill English is a changed man as he says he is.

If McCully isn’t signalled to be gone in short order nothing has changed. There are better more capable and not as risky options for him to use in Foreign Affairs and Trade. Mark Mitchell, Jonathan Coleman and Todd McClay can all step into his role or shuffle them around between them. That is my first indicator that Bill English has changed.? ? Read more »

Is it time for Scott Simpson to move into Cabinet?


The last six months have been messy for National.

Self-inflicted wounds have caused huge issues, all at the same time that Labour are so useless that it doesn’t matter. John Key has stepped up, taking most of the media, hiding away former high profile people Steve Joyce and Paula Bennett.

John Key has stepped up, taking most of the media, hiding away former high profile people Steve Joyce and Paula Bennett.

Third term blues happen to all cabinets, and the only solution is to bring in people with the right skill set to deal with the media party and the opposition trying to trip you up at every turn. This is why John Key needs to promote my oldest friend in caucus, Scott Simpson, to Cabinet. ? Read more »

National Needs Scott Simpson on the Board


The National Party opted to take the safe decisions with their board, leaving well known practitioner of low bastardry and rat cunning Stephen McElrea off, in favour of Andrew Hunt and Glenda Hughes.

Politics is a nasty, brutal game and there are times where you have to be willing to retaliate first, or Labour will bash you mercilessly.

The National Board does not have anyone that is known in political circles for their rat cunning and ability to enrage opponents, which is ok when things are going in your favour. ? Read more »

The National Party Board Election (Ctd)


This weekend’s National Party Board election is going to introduce at least two new board members to the board.

The Party needs to carefully consider the skill set required to be a successful board member, and the skill set required on the board.

Since Scott Simpson was lost to the board when he became an MP, National have lacked a board member with the mongrel required to win tight campaigns. The National Board has been blessed by an absolutely woeful opposition, so this lack of mongrel hasn?t been a problem.

Unfortunately this is not going to continue, so it is important that National get some real fighters back on the board. ? Read more »

Does a National Party Board Member need to be a Regional Chair?


Thanks for all the comments and tips about the upcoming election for the National Party Board. As regular readers will know I?think that National need to bring some mongrel onto the board and replace Tim McIndoe with Scott Simpson, the best dark arts practitioner in National. The party membership as a whole has to elect another two board members and it is important that this decision is correctly taken.

All the candidates for the board are worthy souls, but some are more worthy than others. One of the comments that has come through is from the dinosaurs who pine for the old days when the National Party had an executive committee that was large and unwieldy and managed to let Bill English and Michelle Boag take National to 20.93% in the 2002 election. In those days Regional Chairs automatically became board members, and there are some who say that this should be reinstated. ? Read more »

The Upcoming National Party Board Election, Ctd

The National Party board election is coming up soon, and as previously mentioned all round good guy and burner of the midnight oil Grant McCullum is leaving, much to the disappointment of the night owls in the party.

The three contenders for the board are Stephen McElrea, Andrew Hunt and Glenda Hughes.

All three have real strengths, though the National Party board has been lacking in political low bastardry since my oldest friend in caucus, Scott Simpson, traded his board position in to become MP for Coromandel. Since Scott has left the Board has lacked the kind of rat cunning that political parties really need.

There are a number of MPs that have outstayed their welcome in caucus and need to be moved on, and the current board doesn’t look like it has anyone who will be able to sidle up to an MP and say ?Lindsay old chap, it might be time for you to go and spend some more time with your family?. To do this the board member has to have the support of the PM, or the whispers can be safely ignored. ? Read more »

Why don’t National Use Scott Simpson Properly?

My oldest friend in caucus, Scott Simpson, is the best dark arts practitioner I know.

He is an absolute genius at ratf***ing opponents, and makes even people like Murray McCully look second rate.

So why don?t National use Scott properly?

He is wasting away on the back benches while National try silly plays that get them nowhere.

The usual dumb play is to start implausible rumours about opponents that will never happen or are easily debunked. National have been trying to promote the ?Rats jumping off the sinking ship? meme, claiming that multiple Labour MPs are looking to run for local government and resign their seats. ? Read more »

Why is Scott Simpson not calling bull**** on sea level rise claims?

Look, I get it. ?We have to plan ahead. ?And if the oceans are going to rise, then we need to make decisions that allow for that. ?Government, councils, insurance companies and property owners all can benefit from quality information.

But then there’s this:

In 2014, Commissioner Jan Wright found that New Zealand would be hit by more frequent coastal flooding in the future as sea levels rise.

Today, Dr Wright told the Local Government and Environment Select Committee that she would be releasing a follow-up report identifying infrastructure and property at high risk from rising seas.

Dr Wright said a 30 centimetre rise in sea levels by 2050 was inevitable due to climate change, and what happened after that depended on the global commitment to cutting carbon emissions.

A 30 centimeter rise in 35 years is “inevitable”. ?This from a Dr (of something), hired to report to the government.

Let’s just take a deep breath. ?30 centimeters in 35 years is close to a centimeter a year. Read more »

What on earth is going on in John Key’s mind?

It looks like John Key has had a rush of?shit to the brains recently.

Something is seriously wonky with his thinking at the moment.

I’m talking about the messaging over the Sabin affair.

First up National has known about this issue for months, but sat there on the info, which proved remarkably accurate, for months letting the sore fester and become pustulant, almost turning gangrenous.

That was bad enough, and sorry I just don;t believe that the first he knew about the issue was just last week. Does he not speak to his chief of staff? Is his chief of staff keeping things from Key?

Then he stood by him on Monday as head of the select committee, again why? Didn’t Wayne Eagleson take Key aside and say “Boss, I think we have a problem”

By that stage Mike Sabin must have known what was happening Monday morning, surely someone in National’s caucus did too and no one thought to tell the boss…everyone tells the boss in National.

Then come Friday and over the weekend John Key pulls his best Sgt Schultz impression and declares he knew nothing.

Finally we get this brain fart.

Prime Minister John Key has hinted at some frustration with former MP Mike Sabin for failing to tell National about the personal issues that led to his resignation prior to the election, saying Mr Sabin had almost been appointed as a minister and news of his issue had come as “a shock.”


Mr Key said the first he knew of any problems Mr Sabin faced was in early December when his chief of staff told him. It is understood Mr Sabin’s issue arose prior to the election. Mr Key revealed Mr Sabin was on the cusp of being appointed as a minister when National was re-elected.

“To be frank, he was on the list of ‘likely to be a minister.’ It was a real toss-up between him and a couple of other people who got in. That’s how confident we were, or how lacking in knowledge of other issues we were.

So it came as quite a shock to me when I was told of the matters he was pursuing.”

Read more »

How to speak like a politician

Politico has a good article that analyses and teaches you how to speak like a politician.

Complaints about political language are hardly new. In a famous 1946 essay, George Orwell groused that it ?is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.? But if anything, doubletalk and weasel words proliferate now more than ever. They?re a manifestation of both parties? desires to doggedly stay on message amid a rapacious 24-7 news cycle and the compulsion of some politicians to pass judgment?on Twitter, on TV or in Politico?on most of the issues that surface during it.

In doing research for our new book on political rhetoric, we came across five general categories of Washington-speak?the devices that today?s politicians use in their never-ending quests to one-up each other while, at the same time, appearing spontaneous?and productive?to voters. Here?s what you need to know to keep up with the best of them?if that?s what you want to do.

Once you notice these you will be better armed at detecting bull ordure.

1. The polite knife in the back. Politicians like to be liked. So even when sticking it to an opponent, they have an incentive to stay positive. Even casual C-SPAN viewers will recognize the most common forms of this passive-aggressive approach.

Take ?my good friend??politician-speak for somebody he or she often can?t stand. ?My good friend? is most commonly used on the House or Senate floors when addressing a colleague. Usually it?s a thinly veiled way of showing contempt for the other lawmaker while adhering to congressional rules of decorum. When Democratic Rep. Gene Green of Texas first arrived on Capitol Hill in the early 1990s, he recalled, ?The joke we had was, when someone calls you their good friend, look behind you. I try not to say it unless people really are my good friends.?? ? Read more »