Written By: - Date published: 1:50 pm, July 23rd, 2014 - 23 comments
Today’s DomPost carries a story showing Russian Air Force generals claiming that a Ukrainian fighter was close to Malaysian MF17 flying at 32,000ft. It was described as a “SU-25 fighter jet, which is typically equipped with air-to-air missiles.” They said it could reach 10,000 metres “for a short time”. It can’t; but its Wiki specification was recently edited from a Russian source to back up the story.
Written By: - Date published: 9:58 pm, July 22nd, 2014 - 20 comments
“The amazing occurrence is the sustained achievement of party unity, not just for a season or a year but for an entire parliamentary term.”
Written By: - Date published: 2:48 pm, July 22nd, 2014 - 36 comments
Bank-paid economists are predicting the Reserve Bank will again raise benchmark interest rates on Thursday. This may be good for the banks and the currency markets but it is bad news for New Zealand farming exporters and for high-end manufacturing jobs. Our interest rates are among the highest in a world awash with money after quantitative easing in Europe and the US. The CTU has called for a pause, and listed manufacturing jobs lost in the past couple of years because of the exchange rate.
Written By: - Date published: 11:02 am, July 22nd, 2014 - 33 comments
David Cunliffe has announced Labour’s Regional Development policy today. Labour will work in partnership with regions and put $200 million into a Regional Growth Fund fund to resource regional projects that will create jobs and drive local initiative. Labour’s policy is timely; it offers real hope to the regions, and in the best development tradition of building on local initiative. Update: LGNZ welcomes Labour policy
Written By: - Date published: 6:25 pm, July 15th, 2014 - 38 comments
The FBI had been working with the New Zealand authorities for a year before he was arrested. They wanted to arrest him on his birthday “because it would be a big party and all the assets would be there.”A Department of Justice official revealed this to ex-Senator Dodd, chief lobbyist for the Motion Picture Association of America. The FBI is a Justice Department agency. The “party assets” were why he had to be kept here.
Written By: - Date published: 8:53 pm, July 8th, 2014 - 35 comments
Kiwi voters are going to be offered clear election choices across a wide range of policies that matter. This is clear from Labour’s mini-Manifesto, released at the weekend Congress. As promised Labour’s offerings are positive and forward-looking. Besides education, there are policies on work, economy, schools, children, jobs, homes, environment, democracy, health, living costs and budget – put the commitments together and it’s a recipe for positive change.
Written By: - Date published: 1:39 pm, July 5th, 2014 - 51 comments
David Parker’s speech at Labour’s Congress today was passionate, comprehensive, and fully thought through. Respected for his intellect, Parker also said “My political heart lies in what has become something of a quaint notion these days, the notion of an egalitarian society. Perhaps it’s because of my Southern Presbyterian roots. It’s not just about equality of opportunity. It’s about decent outcomes as well.” Amen to that.
Written By: - Date published: 1:11 pm, July 4th, 2014 - 122 comments
It’s true, Labour does have a plan to win this election. And the plan’s a good one. Campaign Manager David Talbot and Polity’s Rob Salmond presented it to members and media this morning at the Loaves and Fishes in Wellington, so it is out in the open. And it doesn’t depend on miracles.
Written By: - Date published: 9:40 pm, June 21st, 2014 - 7 comments
Bryan Gould writes on this in the latest post on the AUT Briefing Papers website. Gould quotes from Senator Elizabeth Warren’s classic speech “Nobody got rich on their own. Nobody.” Gould’s conclusion – A renewed debate about the purpose of government is well overdue – amen to that.
Written By: - Date published: 9:24 am, June 9th, 2014 - 49 comments
David Cunliffe badly needs a new stump speech. On Thursday in Whanganui I heard him depress a large and sympathetic audience for ten minutes with tales of national woe, then promise a positive campaign but give no details. It is good to know that a positive campaign is proposed. Labour has promised an economic upgrade; it also needs a communications upgrade, and besides being positive it must be relevant. That could shift the polls.
Written By: - Date published: 8:32 pm, June 7th, 2014 - 220 comments
Nate Silver (The Signal and the Noise – the art and science of prediction) uses an old idea to distinguish pundits as hedgehogs or foxes. Originating with Archilochus through Isaiah Berlin to it can be summed up as “the fox knows many little things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” The test for hedgehogs is “Do your predictions improve when you have more information?” Foxes do – hedgehogs’ don’t. The polls should be a wake-up call for Labour.
Written By: - Date published: 12:19 pm, June 6th, 2014 - 7 comments
Meet Australia’s President of the United States, Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the instigator of a wink-related scandal. He sometimes puts his foot in his mouth and other times chooses to say nothing at all. 665,777 page views.
Written By: - Date published: 9:43 pm, June 5th, 2014 - 15 comments
It was standing room only at a packed Grand Hotel this evening for Hamish McDouall’s campaign launch – “the biggest crowd they’d ever had at the Grand.” One local told me of very good canvassing reports as well. Hamish gave a great speech – as the city’s Deputy Mayor there’s no doubt about his commitment to the local community and name recognition will not be a problem. Watch this space.
Written By: - Date published: 5:09 pm, May 29th, 2014 - 5 comments
Could the Australian budget sink any lower? – the answer is yes, apparently, with the shock news in answer to a question in he Senate that the ABC may cut Peppa Pig due to budget restrictions. The outcry was such that Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull had to declare that Peppa Pig is safe.
Written By: - Date published: 2:04 am, May 29th, 2014 - 86 comments
“The New Zealand dairy industry will be dead in fifteen years.” Coming from a well-informed and highly placed investor source met recently in China, these words made me sit up. His reason – nitrate-poisoned pasture product will be increasingly unacceptable to environmentally conscious customers. Here at home corporate farmers and the National government seem to want to accelerate the process. It’s a recipe for disaster.
Written By: - Date published: 6:55 pm, May 17th, 2014 - 33 comments
News today that NZAS appeal against the EPMU’s claim for contract shift payments at Tiwai Point has failed is another well-deserved win for workers. True to form, the company is bleating that it might cost it $20million. That would be a drop in the bucket compared to what workers have lost there since Rio Tinto moved aggressively to de-unionise the site in 1990 after the introduction of the Employment Contracts Act.
Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, May 16th, 2014 - 11 comments
New website “Briefing Papers” offers alternative briefing papers for incoming governments. The first is by Brian Easton, on the purpose of Budgets. Easton says that while all the debate is about economic growth, governments in fact can do little to influence it positively. What they can do is focus on quality of output, measures to combat inequality and provide employment, and invest in children. Worth a read.
Written By: - Date published: 2:28 pm, May 11th, 2014 - 38 comments
The very impressive Ginny Andersen topped a strong group of candidates at yesterday’s Wellington list conference. She’s worked for the police for the past eight years in policy and community work, is married with four children, one very new. She is also Labour’s candidate for Ohariu, and her awareness of the pressures families are facing allied to her energy and experience will offer the voters of that electorate a very fresh alternative to the tired and lack-lustre Peter Dunne.
Written By: - Date published: 12:44 pm, May 9th, 2014 - 4 comments
Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder was voted NBA MVP by 119 votes to 6 for LeBron James. If you want a lift, his acceptance speech is well worth a watch – what a man! With his hugely generous spirit, it also shows how much a team means to the man carrying the main load. He gives New Zealand’s Steven Adams a very good rap among many others.
Written By: - Date published: 3:56 pm, May 8th, 2014 - 35 comments
With the government increasingly on the back foot , and one good Morgan poll out, now is the perfect time for Labour to come out with a positive programme for its approach to alternative government in the interests of all New Zealanders. Labour has a lot of great policy, and four months out from an election people want to hear it – all in one place, all the dots connected up, and clearly presented as relevant to regular Kiwis’ interest.
Written By: - Date published: 8:05 am, April 14th, 2014 - 38 comments
Another great day at the Goose, watching Liverpool come back to beat Manchester City in one of the crucial derby matches that will decide the Premier League winner. The thing I like most at the minute about Liverpool is their purpose-driven directness – no pusillanimous reliance on permutation for the Reds.
Written By: - Date published: 8:57 am, March 31st, 2014 - 32 comments
Just spent a couple of hours in “The Goose” in Walthamstow watching Liverpool outclass Spurs 4-0 to go top of the Premier League table. Nobody gave them a chance at season’s start, but what a difference good strategy and management can make – belief, commitment, determination and the willingness to work for each other.
Written By: - Date published: 4:50 am, March 16th, 2014 - 36 comments
Fran O’Sullivan thinks that the only reason why Collins is still a Minister was Key’s need to save face in his impending visit to China. I think Key may have got a better reception from Xi Jinping if he had followed the Chinese leader’s example of taking a hard line on dinner-table corruption and sacked Collins.
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.