Red Alert

Archive for the ‘act party’ Category

Nothing to fear, nothing to hide

Posted by on October 16th, 2012

Its been a couple of weeks since we have had the chance to test what standard of Ministerial behaviour is acceptable to John Key. I had another opportunity today in the House, armed with some new information.

It pays to remember that one of the things John Key campaigned on in 2008 was to instill high standards of ethical behaviour for Ministers. That’s one of the reasons that we have pursued the John Banks debacle because by any measure his behaviour has not reached the standards that I think New Zealanders would expect of their Ministers.

When the Police file on John Banks was released in September Mr Banks was the only one of the major players who’s witness statement was missing. And even in the summary report the three paragraphs referencing it were withheld. At the time Mr Banks claimed it was the Police who had made that decision.

Mr Banks said it was the police who decided keep his statement under wraps. Press secretary Shelley Mackey said: “Mr Banks is not responsible for what the police have released.”

We asked for all the correspondence between Mr Banks and the Police on the release of the report, and lo and behold we found a letter from Mr Banks’ lawyer that said

Accordingly, disclosure of any material relating to Mr Banks, or indeed any part of the investigation file, is opposed.

More lies, half-truths and obfuscations from John Banks. He has gone to great lengths to ensure that New Zealanders can not read what he told the Police about the donations to his Mayoral campaign. This from the man who said he had ‘nothing to fear and nothing to hide’. And all the while John Key clings on to Mr Banks to uphold his Parliamentary majority. At the expense of not only increased Ministerial standards, but almost any Ministerial standards at all.

Some might ask is this really damaging John Key. I think it is. The beginning of New Zealanders sense of disappointment in John Key can be traced to the “cup of tea” with John Banks, and his wilful ignorance of breaches of Ministerial standards just adds to the growing sense that he has failed to live up to his own hype.


What Key said as Oppo leader – contrast with his action today

Posted by on April 30th, 2012

Key on Peters and Clark

“Governments and Ministers must enjoy the confidence of the Parliament and, ultimately, the public. Faced with today’s revelations, it is no longer acceptable for Mr Peters to offer bluster and insults where simple, courteous, honest answers are required.

“It is no longer acceptable or credible for Helen Clark to assert a facade of confidence in her Foreign Affairs Minister and to fail to ask the plain questions of him that she has a duty to the public to ask.

“Faced with today’s revelations, Helen Clark must stand Mr Peters down as a Minister. That is what I would do if I were Prime Minister.


At least MMP survived

Posted by on November 28th, 2011

A clear victory for MMP means we can now focus on the tweaking necessary to improve the system. My view is that a threshold reduction to 4% and an abolition of coat tailing are good debates to have. Could be but not necessarily linked.

I turned down an approach from the team pushing for change to support their badly run campaign. They knew I had supported FPP in the past, but were not aware that I had grown to accept MMP as a fairer system.

I’ve got a bit of shit from the right for my role in the Labour campaign. Fair enough.

But they didn’t cover themselves in glory either in fact major campaign losers were the crack team of Simon Lusk and Jordan Williams ably assisted by Whaleoil.

If there was a three strikes rule for political campaigners they would be jailed for life. As it is their fee quote must now be in almost two figures rather than the $30k they were previously quoting.

The record in just one election:

1. Destroyed Act by implementing hopeless coup.
2. Lost the MMP referendum they were running.
3. Winston back in off the Losers for Change publicity.

Filed under: act party, MMP

John Key’s “cheap shot”

Posted by on November 15th, 2011

It just felt wrong to me when John Key decided to compare the taping, accidental or deliberate, of his conversation with the systemic phone hacking of the News of the World. It’s no real surprise that someone connected with that case, the lawyer for the victims has spoken out describing John Key’s comparison of the recording of his conversation with John Banks with the NOTW phone hacking as a “cheap shot”.

There is a difference between the News of the World hacking into someone’s phone to find out private information and seemingly – whether accidental or on purpose – effectively a journalist investigating some political statement.

I am certainly not condoning covert recording, but I felt uncomfortable when I heard the comparison to NOTW made by John Key. This was an orchestrated media stunt gone wrong, and is not even close to the intrusive, criminal behaviour in the UK.

Then, tonight on TV1 John Key made a comparison to the idea of high profile New Zealanders being recorded talking about a child considering suicide, that being published, and then the child committing suicide.

This just makes me even more uncomfortable. I had given credit to Key for saying he wanted to see coordinated action on youth suicide, but trying to draw that issue ( under which media have operated almost without fail in line with strict reporting guidelines) into what is a political situation seems wrong to me.

These comparisons and claims are all a smokescreen to John Key not wanting to be caught out for what he said to John Banks. He should wind back the rhetoric and just front up to what he said.


anyone who is innocent has nothing to fear – john key

Posted by on November 15th, 2011

Maybe the leader of the national party should take his own advice.

He made it very clear that he didn’t care about  privacy breaches.

He said :-

“Anyone who is innocent has nothing to fear”.

To see his views go here.

Or maybe it is just one of those things he says when he is not involved.


Cuppagate- Game Changer?

Posted by on November 14th, 2011

Interesting to read Jonathan Milne from the Herald on Sunday’s account of the cuppagate tape.

Milne says

But the potential disclosure of the contents of that conversation – held only a metre away from the closest reporters – could yet throw a rocket into this election campaign. It is a game-changer.

And therein lies the problem. I am sure as hell not endorsing covert taping of anyone. But this was a major media stunt in a campaign. It was designed to be a public event. As David Farrar has noted if the tape reveals something where Key or Banks is saying one thing publicly and another thing privately, then that gives strong reasons in the public interest to know what was said. Milne uses the langauge “game changer”, which indicates there is something here.

Milne goes on

But it’s the sheer range of comments in Key and Banks’ discussion that is breathtaking – and the pair’s assessment of the prospects of National, Act and NZ First.

Perhaps leadership in ACT discussions? Maybe a discussion about future asset sales? Whatever, this episode has more to play out, and the all guns blazing approach of National against its release indicates there is something of public interest in those tea leaves.


6 DPS 11 other police and no one noticed a package on the table

Posted by on November 13th, 2011

I reckon the Commissioner will be doing some apologising pretty soon.


The Double Negative Endorsement

Posted by on November 12th, 2011

What a curious circus act yesterday between John Key and John Banks. The thing that struck me was the nature of the “endorsement”.

First, John Key appears to want National voters in Epsom to vote for John Banks, or so the media tells us. That is National voters except for him, John Key resident of Epsom, who won’t be voting for John Banks.

Not quite the “clear message” to the voters of Auckland. This is compounded by the use of the well known tactic of clarity and certainty- the double negative. In this case, “not unhappy”.

In the end I think how people vote is a very personal thing but what we are clearly saying is we’re not unhappy if National voters decide to vote tactically

Does that mean ‘happy”, does that mean something less than happy. Who knows? But its curious. If you want people to vote for him, have the guts to actually say it.

And where was poor old Don Brash in all of this. Key is reported as saying he thinks Don Brash is “flexible” and not extreme like Roger Douglas. That is a very recent change of tune from the man he described as ‘hard core’ and ‘very right wing’ over the last couple of years.

Maybe we can put the double negative down to the 0.7% poll that will be out this weekend for ACT. I guess that’s what is a called “not an ideal result.”


Key endorsing act is weird

Posted by on November 11th, 2011

I agree with most of what Vernon Small writes when he describes the Key Banks date as a mistake on Key’s part.

He is absolutely right when he says that any extra Act vote will come from National.

What he doesn’t say is that if Act get the 1 or 2% they would get without Key’s intervention and don’t get into Parliament then National on current polling would effectively get 50% of that wasted vote.

So he has decided to encourage two old racist codgers into Parliament, both surefire causes of trouble for no net gain.

And he will delay the development of a genuine modern party of the right by at least three years.

I’m glad he’s dating Banks but just don’t understand the logic. Maybe there is none.


Nats prepare to welcome brash back

Posted by on November 11th, 2011

In an interesting move preparing for the cup of tea the National Party has decided that Brash is to be rehabilitated – they have even gone to the extent of turning on their 2005 website which features him.

Weird really.

I didn’t think he was that much of an asset but clearly their polling has him a a vital cog in their machine.

NatBillboards1

Go here to send some of your own.


Stable Government- brought to you by ACT

Posted by on November 8th, 2011

A bit of fun passed on to me by an interested reader.


Nek Minnit ACT Party – Decriminalising Marijuana

Posted by on October 29th, 2011

again very good

Filed under: act party

Don wins the battle – ACT’s policies

Posted by on October 13th, 2011

s policiesACT’s policies (h/t The Standard):

Filed under: act party

Paddy on dirty deals

Posted by on July 27th, 2011

Patrick Gower has blogged on what he describes as a series of dirty deals. In a transparent attempt to show balance he has a bit of a go at Labour and the Greens but the thrust exposes Key and Brash.

Interesting that while Brash has described most of the deals and Joyce has leaked another Key is trying to distance himself and is almost in denial mode.


What job has Key offered Brash?

Posted by on July 20th, 2011

The cosy behind the scenes deal between National and ACT in the Epsom seat raises the question as to what other deals have been made between John Key and Don Brash in the run up to the election.

This morning we had the bizzare spectacle of Don Brash telling Radio New Zealand (story 6.35) he has had discussions with John Key about a deal in Epsom, and John Key trying to deny to Newstalk ZB that a decision has been reached about deal of the electorate vote.

Of course a deal has been done. But the real question is what Cabinet role he has offered Don Brash if National is re-elected.

The discussions Key and Brash have been having will have included what role Key might offer Brash. Its quite clear that if National is re-elected, Don Brash will be a Cabinet Minister, and will bring his extreme and divisive policies to the table. Its time for Key to be upfront about their discussions so that voters can make their choice in November fully aware of the role ACT would play in any future National led-government.

Also interesting in a later Radio NZ piece this morning were the voters in Epsom who were “irritated” felt “taken advantage of” and saw ACT as “National in disguise“. They all know that once again they are being taken for granted. It shows a lack of respect to them form National and ACT that they are not being offered a real choice by these two parties. The only real choice for Epsom voters will come from a Labour candidate.

It is arrogant of National and ACT to put up the biographer (Goldsmith) and his subject (Banks) as their candidates. It is a faux contest between two friends, and two parties who are hand in glove. With the Brash coup and the Banks/Goldsmith stitch-up it is becoming hard to tell where National ends and ACT begins.


NACT list circuses continue

Posted by on July 17th, 2011

Peter Goodfellow has propelled the National Party’s list problems into the media today with a public plea for Asians and Pacifika to put their hands up. Bill English apparently ringing around those in receipt of his shonky deals as well.

They are obviously going to push some of their higher profile marginal seat members up the list. Expect Nikki Kaye, Paula Bennet, Hekia Parata and Peseta Sam Lotu Iinga to be boosted up the list because they are wanted by the hierarchy for the future.

But there are a few they want to get rid of. Katherine Shanks’ only value was to keep Dunne in. Quinn and Henare have big negatives and wont be saved given other Maori Nats being more highly rated and trust issues from closeness to Maori Party. Aaron Gilmore seen as arrogant and ineffectual. Kate Wilkinson might be saved this time so she can take the Pike River blame post election.

Don Brash has given up chasing Maori and is focusing on women again. Has a terrible habit of announcing candidates who have no interest in standing. I bet Heather Roy is having a laugh now having supported and being knifed by Brash. Maybe he should put Simon Lusk onto the search. Remember he is the guy who found the poll which guaranteed Brash 15% as Act leader. Wonder if Banks has asked for a refund yet.


Act imploding

Posted by on July 10th, 2011

Almost unbelievable that as a major tax policy debate gets underway Act decided to try and replay the race card.

The Herald on Sunday reports that John Ansell is to be sacrificed. Very unfair given that Brash has been spouting on the issue for several days now. But Brash has never had much political sense.

And it is obvious that he and Boscawen approved the ads.

Feel a bit sorry for John Banks. Funding Lusk and team to swap Hide for Brash and then watching as the polling goes down while his new leader runs round like a chook without a head.

The real irony will be if Banks gets into Parliament and Brash doesn’t.

And Ansell goes back to working for his close mate Bill English.
Update. Stuff confirms Ansell gone.


Anti MMP campaign strange bedfellows

Posted by on July 3rd, 2011

Tumeke added an extreme racist to the weird group running the anti MMP campaign.

Sloppy sloppy work from Lusk.

I wonder when the funders are going to ask for a refund.


Lusk and Williams out themselves

Posted by on June 28th, 2011

Williams and Lusk

VoteForChange

Got a bit of a hard time for a series of posts which slowly linked Whaleoil, Simon Lusk, Jordan Williams and Steven Joyce first to the Brash Act coup and then to the anti MMP campaign.

They have gone public over the last 24 hours.

Lusk and Williams first two to like the Facebook page.

Vindicated.

Now of course in the interests of transparency they will tell us who is paying them.

Doubt it is John Banks who singlehandedly funded the Brash coup. At the moment he looks like he is going to get into Parliament with the support of the Leader of the National Party, with an other likely to be his leader Brash.

Filed under: act party, MMP

The Business Codgerati

Posted by on June 26th, 2011

There’s been a lot of flak about Alasdair Thompson’s comments last week (and rightly so). He’s shown the worst side of the business codgerati. Business organisations and right-wing acolytes like Jenny Shipley have been distancing themselves big time. The organisation he heads, the Employers and Manufacturing Association (Northern) is having a Board meeting tomorrow to decide his future.

The Sunday Star Times editorial says today that “it’s reminded us silly we used to be” and how this kind of standard sexism was once standard in New Zealand politics and business…….“it’s so 1950’s.”

The SST goes on to say :

“But we should not be too complacent about this.  If bosses have become more enlightened and workplaces more friendly to women and minorities, in some ways they are more worker-unfriendly than they used to be……  in some ways workers have less power to push for change than they had in the 1950’s.  Some employers think this is fine; they regard unions as obstacles to commercial progress. That is about as crass a stereotype as the one about the skiving menstruators.”

That is so true and well done to the SST for nailing this. While every business organisation now spouts their policies on equal employment opportunity, flexible working hours, work life balance and their opposition to discrimination their prejudices are still there for all to see among many of them.

Every time there’s talk about giving workers more bargaining power or strengthening their rights, the codgerati are out there, saying “it’s a return to the past” or “it’s going to ruin us”.

Witness the reaction to the $15 minimum wage and ACT’s backward looking ideas that youth rates are going to solve youth unemployment.

Still a long way to go.