Written By: - Date published: 8:35 pm, March 2nd, 2014 - 9 comments
UK Labour’s special conference yesterday changed the Party’s rules for leadership selection, and the basis for affiliate involvement. One-person-one-vote is the general rule, and block voting for leadership and selection by affiliates including unions is replaced by individual and intentional involvement.
Written By: - Date published: 7:19 pm, February 20th, 2014 - 55 comments
Porirua mayor Nick Leggett has put up a couple interesting posts about Labour’s prospects in the upcoming election in progressonline. I think his political message is timely and true: Labour’s approach to this election cannot be “just a list of things that you’re against,” rather it should focus on what it’s for, and what it will do for New Zealanders. That could be very popular with voters.
Written By: - Date published: 9:19 pm, February 17th, 2014 - 122 comments
Good to see Labour has stood up against National’s “harder-to-vote” revisions to the Electoral Amendment Bill, especially making voters now have to state their name to get a voting paper. The reason for this is to allow scrutineers to more easily challenge a voter’s credentials, and is similar to voter intimidation practices in conservative States in the US. Expect National Party scrutineers questioning more voter credentials in the 2014 election.
Written By: - Date published: 9:50 am, February 13th, 2014 - 303 comments
The question I’d like the media to ask is “Where did John Key get his information that Winston visited DotCom three times?” Most likely source it seems to me is the GCSB. I think Winston may have a point about his right to privacy.
Written By: - Date published: 5:38 pm, February 11th, 2014 - 11 comments
An interesting article by Colin James in today’s ODT on the living wage proposals and how lifting may have wider economic benefits. Whether one agrees with him or not, he is widely read, independent, well-connected and what I like most always thoughtful and forward-looking. I miss him from the DomPost.
Written By: - Date published: 8:12 pm, February 9th, 2014 - 101 comments
For John Key, MMP stands for “Manipulate Members of Parliament”. Senior journalists are beginning to call him on the games he’s playing, and good on them; gerrymander entered the New Zealand political lexicon at Key’s press conference this week. Key wants to push the issues away till closer to the election, when he’ll know what his polling is telling him – I hope the gallery don’t let him.
Written By: - Date published: 12:21 pm, February 6th, 2014 - 28 comments
Economist Dr Geoff Bertram will analyse prospects for the single-buyer model for electricity on Tuesday 11 February in Wellington. Bertram has come under personal attack from the Electricity Authority for his analysis of price rises for power consumers. Fairfax analyst Chalkie calls the Authority’s report a “clever fallacious and deceptive.. politically led effort to discredit the Labour/Green single buyer policy.” Extraordinary. All welcome – register with the Fabians.
Written By: - Date published: 6:06 pm, February 4th, 2014 - 36 comments
Roy Morgan survey reports New Zealand under-employment – those working part-time but looking for more work – has jumped to a record high 11.3% (up 2.7%). Simon Bridges’ policies to create precarious employment seem to be working.
Written By: - Date published: 5:27 pm, January 26th, 2014 - 76 comments
There’s another sign National is getting a bit desperate at the beginning of election year 2014, as they reach in to the Tory trick-bag of voter suppression in the revised Electoral Amendment Bill reported back to the House on 18 December 2013.
Written By: - Date published: 12:22 pm, January 22nd, 2014 - 108 comments
John Key has made a major strategic mistake with his early announcement of the parties National could go into government with. In framing the 2014 campaign as a contest between two blocs he has given away National’s trump card for gaining Winston’s support – support the largest party. Opportunity time for a positive alternative from Labour/Greens.
Written By: - Date published: 7:14 pm, January 16th, 2014 - 82 comments
News of today’s leak in the TPPA reminded me how John Key conceded Barack Obama’s third putt in their Hawaii golf photo-op. Golfers call it a “gimme.” I have absolutely no doubt the leaders will have discussed TPPA bottom lines on the golf course. Key will have made some concessions, but with his record of accommodating American corporate interest one can only hope he will not turn out to have given too much of our Pharmac away.
Written By: - Date published: 8:32 pm, December 22nd, 2013 - 42 comments
Today’s Herald editorial gets one thing right – a media pack has turned on Len Brown. But it’s not gutsy journalism – it comes straight out of the Rupert Murdoch playbook. Len’s latest sin is his upgrades – EY says they total $32,000 for 64 occasions. That’s $500 an upgrade, which seems a lot on top of what Len paid. The report does not detail how this total was arrived at, and I cannot find any example of any journalist asking questions about it.
Written By: - Date published: 10:03 pm, December 19th, 2013 - 88 comments
It was the best of times in Wellington today. Council workers will get a living wage, and parking wardens will become council employees so they will get decent pay also. It was the worst of times in Auckland as the right-wing Scrooges having failed to remove Mayor Len Brown took it out on their workers by overturning his call for a living wage for Council staff.
Written By: - Date published: 12:05 pm, November 14th, 2013 - 38 comments
Wikileaks have released the TPP advanced draft chapter on intellectual property. It includes the government positions on the main issues, including all those where the New Zealand negotiators are opposed to the US. As citizens we should all support our New Zealand negotiators and insist that the Key government does not cave in to US interests. The stakes are too high.
Written By: - Date published: 11:39 am, November 12th, 2013 - 22 comments
In today’s Herald Judith Collins again sidesteps the questions on trial processes on sexual abuse cases posed last week by Jan Logie and Andrew Little. The Minister for No is now dead keen to be seen to be doing something. I think she should take up Metiria Turei’s suggestion to set up an all-party group to consider the issues. One thing is absolutely clear; all wisdom does not reside in the mind of this Minister.
Written By: - Date published: 1:09 pm, November 8th, 2013 - 27 comments
This week in Parliament Judith Collins was in full-on “no” mode – no to alternative trial process for sexual abuse cases, and no to changes to the law of evidence in sexual abuse cases rising from Law Commission work commissioned by Simon Power. This morning on National Radio Jan Jordan of Victoria University called for that extensive work to be revisited. I think she is absolutely right; if carried through it can only lead to a better outcome than what we have at the moment.
Written By: - Date published: 10:35 am, November 7th, 2013 - 23 comments
Parliament’s Chief Nanny has been in full flight this week, trying to slap down questions from Jan Logie and Andrew Little about trial processes for sexual abuse cases. Nanny was very strict. Everyone else had got it wrong, and needed to be corrected. When Nanny got it wrong herself, as she did when answering Andrew Little, she backed off quickly. When he challenged “so you don’t want to change anything”, she found the mild heckling “abusive”, which certainly does raise the bar, at least for herself.
Written By: - Date published: 8:15 pm, November 4th, 2013 - 12 comments
Democrat Bill de Blasio is almost 40 points clear of his Republican rival in the race for Mayor of New York City. His parents were investigated for communist sympathies. An anti-apartheid poster hangs on his kitchen wall. He loves Europe’s social democrats, admires Latin American liberation theology and is poised to confound the conservative trend in US politics by sweeping to an improbable triumph as the next Mayor of New York in this week’s elections. There are some lessons from our local elections too.
Written By: - Date published: 2:20 pm, October 31st, 2013 - 14 comments
Clare Trevett details in today’s Herald how Key has taken to bringing Ministers with good news to his Monday news conferences “to lambast the media with good news about the progress being made in a certain area.” Sources tell me that the good news goes well beyond the Monday presser. Ministerial staff run a filter across all portfolio announcements: if it’s good news, the Minister gets to make the announcement. If its not such good news, the job goes to the Departmental head.
Written By: - Date published: 12:13 pm, October 30th, 2013 - 27 comments
Rebekah Brooks, once Rupert Murdoch’s favourite editor, is in the dock in London charged with conspiring to pervert the course of justice. Rupert then turned his attention to his former home, Australia, again focussing the weight of his tabloids on Labor, first Gillard then Rudd. With a few exceptions, when it comes to politics it is the proprietors or the boardrooms that make the decisions, not the editors.
Written By: - Date published: 3:37 pm, October 26th, 2013 - 50 comments
David Jones QC argues Banks could not have signed a false declaration of election donations because he did not read it. But Banks’ campaign manager’s evidence was that Banks “glanced at it before signing it.” The Oxford dictionary defines “glance” as “take a quick or hurried look;” “read quickly or cursorily.” So Banks did read the donations return. It would have been hard to miss the $15,690 recorded as both a radio expense and an anonymous donation which he had personally solicited.
Written By: - Date published: 4:30 pm, October 18th, 2013 - 33 comments
It’s starting to look pretty shredded. Increasingly, it seems that John Banks has “got nothing to hide” – behind. The key question is what Banks knew when he signed a declaration recording known donations as anonymous. Paul Holmes did put the question directly to Banks on Q+A last year. He didn’t get a straight answer; Banks tried the cabbage boat defence.
Written By: - Date published: 11:17 pm, October 17th, 2013 - 43 comments
Simon Bridges rose to John Banks’ defence in today’s snap debate in Parliament. For one of National’s supposed bright hopes, a leader of the future we are told, I thought he was pretty pathetic. Watch and contrast it with Grant Robertson’s superb speech. I think the tide is running out for National.
Written By: - Date published: 6:54 pm, October 17th, 2013 - 104 comments
The latest Roy Morgan poll has Labour 37%, Green 12.5%, and National down to 41.5%. As Roy Morgan says, this is the closest Labour has been since 2008. Morgan’s comment: “If a National Election were held now the latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows that a Labour/ Greens alliance would win easily.” The Conservatives have dropped from 2% to 0.5% – no help there.
Written By: - Date published: 8:12 pm, October 16th, 2013 - 91 comments
Today’s decision that John Banks will stand trial for signing a false donations return signals the beginning of the end of the Key government. Increasingly it resembles the last days of the Shipley government only worse, as corruption replaces shambles. The decision also puts the famous tea party conversation between Key and Banks, where they stitched up the deal to provide the present Government’s majority, into new perspective.
Written By: - Date published: 10:13 am, October 16th, 2013 - 15 comments
The Republican majority in the US House of Representatives changed their standing orders to remove the right of any Representative to move that a Senate resolution be adopted. Watch Rep Chris van Hollen explain it. If his motion was allowed to come to the floor, there would be enough moderate Republicans in the House who would support the Democrats, and the gridlock that threatens the world economy would be removed. No wonder the Republicans are tanking in the polls.
Written By: - Date published: 9:22 pm, October 15th, 2013 - 177 comments
Len’s acknowledged affair can’t have been a secret until today – there are affidavits involved. It can’t have been about the campaign for mayor – otherwise the Slaters would have dropped it before the election. I think there is a bigger story that may come out tomorrow, involving Len’s opponent in the previous mayoral election. For what it’s worth, I also don’t think Len’s affair is a hanging offence. He’s a good man and has been a very good mayor, for Manukau and for Auckland.
Written By: - Date published: 12:59 pm, October 15th, 2013 - 27 comments
The District Court is hearing evidence today as to whether John Banks should stand trial for signing a donations return that he knew to be false. Kim Dotcom has given evidence – the Herald reports that when he agreed to give Banks a donation of $50,000, Banks asked for it to be split and to be made anonymous., so that if Banks helped DotCom in the future it would not be known that he had donated to him.
Written By: - Date published: 4:27 pm, October 2nd, 2013 - 21 comments
Banner ads for UnitedFuture’s signature policy on flexible superannuation have been appearing on Kiwiblog for the last week or so with no promoter’s statement. Yesterday a post promoting the policy with David Farrar’s byline included a photo of Peter Dunne and the parliamentary crest. After several commenters queried whether it was indeed written by Farrar, DPF responded: [DPF: It's not a press release. It's a paid advertisement as indicated by the tag, and also the use of the parliamentary crest which is required for advertisements by MPs]. It didn’t have a promoter’s statement either.
Written By: - Date published: 10:50 am, August 21st, 2013 - 18 comments
It’s not just journos who should watch out if the GCSB Bill goes through. David Miranda, partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, was detained by British police yesterday while in transit through London. All his electronic equipment was confiscated. After the nine hour limit was up this “terrorist” was released into Britain! All because his partner has been the journalist who wrote about Snowden’s revelations about internet surveillance by GCHQ, NSA, and GCSB.