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How short are memories?

Written By: - Date published: 11:39 pm, March 3rd, 2014 - 216 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, john key, making shit up, same old national - Tags:

John Key is attacking David Cunliffe for using a trust to obscure some donations – whilst repeating the word ‘tricky’ about Cunliffe as many times in one sound-bite as humanly possible.

It’s an astonishingly brazen stone to throw given National’s glass house.

Do no reporters remember John Key, Hollow Man, or anything about National’s funding structure?  It’s just trusts obscuring any knowledge of their donors from one wall to the other.

But was there a question back to him about that?

Cunliffe managed a difficult pair of regulations – one requiring him to reveal donors, the other requiring him not to.  Labour / parliament need to harmonise their rules.  But Cunliffe’s Trust is but a grain of sand against the mountain of hidden murkiness that is National’s network of favours and donations.  What are they promising to whom?

A lot more than some fake smear about Matt McCarten.

216 comments on “How short are memories?”

  1. Clemgeopin 1

    The need for donations for any politician or for any party to run an election is a difficult conundrum in a democracy for many reasons.

    [1] If donations are open, then many donors will be reluctant to donate for various reasons. Also, the candidates or parties may be reluctant to accept for political or perception reasons.

    [2] If it is secret, for what ever reason, it looks fishy.

    So, is there a fair way to solve this enigma? We should find a way. What is it? Come on, put your thinking caps on and see if an ideal, fair, ethical workable solution can be found.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      An independent central clearing house set up to receive and distribute donations. Funding weighted towards the parties with the most electoral support.

      Anything that encourages people to donate to democracy, rather than a particular party.

    • KJT 1.2

      Taxpayer funding for every party with enough members to be registered. Set as a proportion of properly paid up and registered members.

      Membership fees to be the same for all parties.

      Volunteers allowed, must not be subsidised by another job, but No other funding.

  2. RedLogix 2

    Bunji darling – it is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on him not doing so.

    PS – all Cunliffe really has to say is, “This was an internal Labour Party campaign to democratically elect a new Leader that we are talking about here. If Mr Key want’s to lecture us about these things he needs to first tell us all about how National goes about selecting it’s leaders.”

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      +1

      …and, “If Mr. Key wants to lecture us about these things he needs to first tell us all about the Waitemata, Aldgate and Whitechapel Trusts.”

  3. Mike 3

    Odd how Grant Robertson and Shane Jones managed to navigate the ‘difficult regulations’ on donations without using a trust

  4. Blue 4

    Pffft. The fox hunt is on now, darling, and all that matters is yapping and chasing after anything that moves. Key said it’s over there! Arf! Arf! Arf!

  5. Murray Olsen 5

    As far as I can see, the selection of the leader was an internal Labour matter. I don’t see why donors should have to be made public. Public elections are a different story altogether.

    Shouldn’t Key be polishing his combat boots and booking planes for the WhaleSpew army to head off and save the Ukraine anyway? His country needs them. Ours doesn’t.

  6. Stephanie Rodgers 6

    There’s an odd pattern in NZ politics. Politicians on the right are found to be doing something shady – taking un-anonymous donations from Kim Dotcom, running ‘blind’ trusts – and when the story breaks, every attempt is made to brush it off as no big deal. Then politicians on the left are found to possibly be doing something vaguely similar and then suddenly it is a big deal and there are cries of corruption, etc.

    The paradox is that for these attacks to work, we end up in a Schroedinger’s Cat situation where simultaneously, the actions of the right are still no big deal, but the actions of the left are proof of a terrible lack of ethics – not because it was bad when the right did it, but because the left said it was bad when obviously it wasn’t because they did it too. Crikey it’s confusing!

    (I’ll confess that Claire Trevett’s article on Cunliffe’s donations also left me completely confused. It felt like the only point I was meant to take from it was ‘trusts! Anonymous donations! Tricky!’ without really understanding what’s meant to have happened.)

    (Edited because I broke my bold tags)

    • Sosoo 6.1

      Trevett’s article is working as intended.

      They don’t care if the accusations are true. All they care is that they keep coming and there is no time that Cunliffe isn’t having to deflect them.

      It’s working so far.

      Next it will be something else, and miraculously the stories will stop after the election.

  7. One Anonymous Bloke 7

    Bunji, yes, the Left has to swim against a tide of media bias, but don’t you think some responsibility for this rests with whoever suggested a set of leadership election rules in direct contradiction to Register of Pecuniary Interests rules?

    • John 7.1

      The left and right both claim media bias against them.

      A survey of hundreds of journalists in Australia found four times more journalists were left wing (51%) than right wing (12%).

      I wonder how different it would be here.

      • Puddleglum 7.1.1

        Hi John,

        Whatever a person’s professed political leanings or morals, or beliefs, etc. may be, the point is not what is ‘inside their heads’ but what comes through in their actions.

        There’s a swag of research pointing out that people’s actions are heavily influenced by the structures within which they operate. A journalist may work out that writing in a particular way will win her recognition and brownie points within the organisation she sees as a major part of her career path.

        This is not unusual – we all do things that differ from what we tell ourselves are our ‘true’ leanings; and usually we justify those things with pragmatic arguments, to ourselves and others (if questioned).

        I pay little heed to what people claim is inside them; not because it doesn’t matter to them but because their influence at the social level is in what they do (e.g., ‘write’) out in the world. It’s perfectly possible for the two to be in contradiction.

        In fact, in employment settings it’s probably close to universal since, by definition, people are doing others’ bidding, not their own.

        Edit: Almost all of us dance, to one degree or another, to the tunes played by those who have power in relation to us. Of course, our self-protective instincts mean that we rarely will admit that to ourselves because we know that it is not admirable.

      • greywarbler 7.1.2

        Give us a link to that John. I find it hard to understand with the weight of Murdoch on the news. And what and who placed them under the left or right lists? What established that ranking?
        As I say the link is essential, and the further information it should convey.

        • Molly 7.1.2.1

          greywarbler. Found the link to the study – not peer-reviewed, and John probably references it because he read it on Kiwiblog a few days later (May 2013).

          He obviously hasn’t checked the source.

          A few items to note:
          “Our survey was conducted by telephone with carefully selected journalists from newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations, online news sites and news agency AAP, as a sample of the 8000 to 10,000 journalists in Australia today.

          When asked about their voting intentions, less than two-thirds of the journalists we surveyed revealed their voting intention. Of those 372 people, 43.0% said they would give their first preference vote to Labor; 30.2% would vote for the Coalition; and 19.4% said they would choose the Greens – about twice the Australian average.”

          Yet, among those who arguably matter most – the journalists in senior editorial ranks who have the most power to decide news agendas – a dramatically different picture emerged.

          Among the 83 senior editors who took part in the survey, the Coalition was the party of choice on 43.2%, followed by Labor (34.1%) and the Greens (11.4%).”

          A couple of points.

          Purely relying on party selection is not an indicator of left-wing – right wing bias. Very few people will have the choice of a party that fits their political beliefs completely – perhaps Colin Craig is the exception here?

          Secondly, no analysis is done on the work produced by the journalists that indicates a bias coinciding with their stated political party.

          A pointless statistic on it’s own.

          • John 7.1.2.1.1

            Molly – I wasn’t trying to point out a left wing bias – merely picking fault in claim above that the left has to swim against a tide of right wing bias.

            I would agree that on the whole main stream journalists largely curtail their personal biases.

            There are some times however when they get themselves all excited and lose the plot – i.e., dotcom, teapots, corngate etc.

            • Molly 7.1.2.1.1.1

              OK – sorry, I misunderstood. But good to follow up stats that have been indicated I think.

              I, on the other hand, believe there is an obvious bias in media reporting in NZ though, and can readily spot opinions and misdirection in a lot of supposedly information articles. That kind of peer reviewed study would be worth looking at.

          • greywarbler 7.1.2.1.2

            Hi Molly I have been working so am catching up. Thanks for following this up.

            John
            If you are going to make statements that might be of interest, then give us a link, where did you get them? And thinking about journalist bias, what they say their leanings are is interesting, but the place where facts about bias matter is in the news items, spoken and written, and even filmed. Each one can put a slant on the subject and the questions and the way they are asked and what lighting is put on the person. I think that written and spoken would be better for ascertaining bias.

            This research does get done from time to time. I think it is the best way to check bias and even then there would have to be an attempt to summarise the reasons for indicating bias in a summary, at the end say. It can’t be just that the interviewer talked over the subject or vice versa. What was the reason, was it to dominate and prolong the discussion on a particular topic for instance. But this needs to be done by reliable people following a well-planed method.

            You wrote :
            http://thestandard.org.nz/how-short-are-memories/#comment-781235
            “Conducted between May 2012 and March this year, the University of the Sunshine Coast’s representative survey of 605 journalists around Australia found that more than half (51.0%) describe themselves as holding left-of-centre political views, compared with only 12.9% who consider themselves right-of-centre. ”

            I am biased against anything that is said to come from the University of the Sunshine Coast. It sounds like the place you would go to learn the hospitality trade, and learn to mix cocktails.

        • Puddleglum 7.1.2.2

          I think it was mentioned on Media Watch this last Sunday.

          As I said, I don’t think the personal convictions of individual journalists are the necessary or sufficient conditions for determining bias in reporting or analysis.

          Some journalists will be fortunate that their personal views align with structural imperatives, which include the ‘normative narrative’ – i.e., how things are usually talked about in the media.

          Others whose personal views are not so well aligned will learn how to play by the ‘rules’ and write something at least marginally compatible with those imperatives (and certainly not entirely at odds with it), if, that is, they are to stay in the game for very long. Little compromises, covering phrases and the like are, I imagine, stock in trade for the aspiring journalist in this predicament.

          After all, they wouldn’t want to be seen as ‘hard left’ or ‘business unfriendly’ if they want a future in major media, would they?

          ‘Hard right’ is probably not such a problem – it’s usually called ‘speaking your mind’, ‘having a definite point of view’, ‘taking a principled stand’, ‘being outspoken’, ‘just common sense’, etc..

  8. burt 8

    Banji stands like a child being asked who stole the chocolate from the pantry. Chocolate all over his face he shouts and points at National saying – they did it too but they had more…..

    Ok Bunji, it’s ok then because they did it too. It’s ok that you’re a thief because other also thieve….

    What a childish post Bunji. Corruption is fine, totally defensible, as long as you’re not the only one doing it..

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      Just one question: if you feel so strongly about Bunji calling the kettle black, how do you feel about John Key doing it?

    • framu 8.2

      thats not what the post is claiming burt

      or do you support one carrer crook getting a free ride because hes pointed the finger at some one stealing your milk money?

      theres two points here
      1) the substance of the allegation – its an internal party matter not a public election
      2) the person pointing the finger is in a party that uses the exact same thing its shouting about in a public election all the time

      Its those two things combined – get with the program – just once

      Sure – what cunliffe did might have been illegal – i dont really know the specifics of the law there – but are you really going to ignore the history of nationals use of trusts in a public capacity which involves vastly greater sums of money? – seems you are

      note: im not supporting cunliffe here – just pointing out that, as usual, youve ignored everything to make your usual myopic and repetitive claim

    • RedLogix 8.3

      Labour Party internal election.

      • burt 8.3.1

        Labour internal – right. So the rules of parliament say that donations to MP’s need to be declared but the party internal rules would rather than not be the case. Well – fuck the rules of parliament – the party internal rules override that … OK, my house rules are that I don’t pay tax – the laws set by parliament say I do need to pay tax but I’d rather not. I’ll flip the bird at parliament and I’m really happy that RedLogix will be supporting me in my self serving stand against the opression of the law – the law that others need to abide by (not me cause I’m so special)

        • Francis 8.3.1.1

          You’ve missed the point of the argument. It’s not about the party rules, it’s that the election itself had nothing to do with parliament. It was run by the party, for a position within the party. The rules of government do not cover internal party elections.

    • greywarbler 8.4

      Burt Puerile you. DNFTT

  9. Matthew Hooton 9

    “Cunliffe managed a difficult pair of regulations – one requiring him to reveal donors, the other requiring him not to. Labour / parliament need to harmonise their rules.”

    There was not a “difficult pair of regulations”. One was parliament’s long-standing rules saying gifts to MPs above $500 have to be disclosed. The other was some hastily prepared rule by a political party to try to hide donations against the will of parliament.

    Surely you agree parliament’s rules trump those of a political party?

    Parliament’s rules say gifts to MPs must be disclosed. If a political party’s rules say otherwise, that is of no consequence.

    It is Labour that needs to change its rules. There is no question of “harmonisation”.

    In the meantime, Cunliffe should reveal who gave him money and how much, as Shane Jones says he has done.

    • KJT 9.1

      Key should reveal who gave National the money and how much.

      Millions to buy the general election, not 100’s for an internal leadership contest, where it is debatable if the rules even apply.

    • whereas national/the right has ‘no rules’..?

      ..setting a new benchmark in from-glasshouse-stone-throwing there..?

      ..phillip ure..

      • Matthew Hooton 9.2.1

        No, that’s right. National’s “rule” is that its MPs must follow parliament’s rules and I am unaware of its MPs not doing so without consequence.

        • Craig Glen Eden 9.2.1.1

          So Mathew when has National declared who donates to its trusts, and dont tell me you dont know about their trusts either.
          Oh and as for corruption how about you have a good look at one Richard Worth because no one believes he lost his job because he was a bit inappropriate with one woman. Then theirs Pansy Wong who just all of a sudden retired and then, lets have a look at one Simon Power the lawyer wityh no banking experience that suddenly ends up the boss of business banking at Westpac, well bugger me wink wink.
          Fill your boots Mathew three tasks for you cos you are the journalist who is obviously really worried about the perception of “Tricky”. Or are you just a National Party hack pretending to be a journo? Now that would be tricky aye.

        • Skinny 9.2.1.2

          This is more National skullduggery and smear Hooton, you know it and so so we.

           Key’s insinuation that Cunliffe is ‘tricky’ and then trying to imply a link that Unite Union was a mystery donator to DC’s leadership campaign. The spin stretched as far as suggesting Unite was supplementing their former General Secretary, Matt McCarten’s role as Labour’s Chief of Staff.

          Great McCarten reaction was swift to vehemently deny ‘any’ donation to political Party’s by Unite it their history.

          Hooton if the topic is ‘tricky’ let’s talk about John Key and National and their use of a National MP’s son to be an ‘in-house’ media attack dog.

           That was an orchestrated dirty little number John Key and the spin department pulled using their Northland MP, Mad Dog-Mike Sabin’s son Brooke, yesterday. 

          How very handy indeed to have one of their own as a political reporter on TV3 News. This is election year ‘gold’  propaganda galore, together with sleeper operative Brooke ‘snake’ Sabin. 
                            

          • Skinny 9.2.1.2.1

            Update: On TV3 News tonight Brooke Sabin fudges things by showing an unbiased side, or so Joyce and his dad would like us to think!

            What did he do you ask? He was sent into deal to Justice Minister Judith Collins, who was caught late year over in China promoting her husbands business interests there.

            Joyce wanting to ‘crush’ her Leadership ambitions when Key retires ( in the event of an unlikely 2014 win) sometime in the next term. Mr private members bill and ex cop Mike Sabin is very egoistically ambitious and wants to be Justice Minister ‘like now.’

            Collins was extremely bristly towards Brooke and not her usual bold self, knowing she was being lined up for some insider treatment.

            My advise is watch your back Judy Doll, Mr Fix It is working with Mr Stitch It. Go on attack Judy and ridicule his ‘removal of a right to silence bill’ should it be drawn out of the biscuit tin.

    • Akldnut 9.3

      “The other was some hastily prepared rule by a political party to try to hide donations against the will of parliament”

      Any evidence there buddy or is this one of your typical Tory smears without foundation?

      • Matthew Hooton 9.3.1

        It was hastily prepared, because it was written quickly before the first leadership primary. And it was designed to hide donations because Labour said that was its purpose.

        • framu 9.3.1.1

          its funny that you skirted around this – “Key should reveal who gave National the money and how much.”

          why?

          it been happening for years after all

        • Akldnut 9.3.1.2

          ” Labour said that was its purpose”

          Link it or I’m calling you bullshit on that.

          • Matthew Hooton 9.3.1.2.1

            Try the third par of the story Bunji has linked to, plus everything Cunliffe has said on the issue over the last two days, plus Mike Williams talking on RNZ N2N yesterday ….

            • Tracey 9.3.1.2.1.1

              and meanwhile, who buys favour with National and ACT is an ok kind of secret, cos they don’t deny it? Very hollow space you occupy HootOn.

    • Tracey 9.4

      More difficult than say, the electoral form that Mr banks, former Cabinet Minister, Minister of Police and Executive Director of Huljich Financial, signed without reading thinking to do so is okee dokee?

    • Tracey 9.5

      All politicians should do so, don’t you agree HootOn? No place for secrecy and favour buying in a democracy, dontchathink?

  10. anker 10

    I agree with Stephanie. Claire T’s article is quite murky. It’s hard to understand what, if any implications there are. But sure the message the punters are going to take is “Cunliffe’s tricky”.
    That leaves Cunliffe in an invidious position of either having to explain it, or ignoring it.

    What strikes me is the media pay very little attention to policy. It has become a game to try and smear others, Cunliffe, McCarten, Turei, Norman.

    Yet I am struggling to remember when Key was actually challenged by the media about anything. I think it might have been Kim Hill about a year or two ago.

    Clearly we are not going to win this election through the msm (o.k. I know I am stating the B obvious).

    • karol 10.1

      Exactly, anker. And when Cunliffe is interviewed (by TV3, RNZ etc), the questions are all about anything other than policy and related aims and values – it’s all about polls, coalition strategies, personalities, and gotcha attacks.

      Key and National want to talk about anything other than policy matters.

      • Tracey 10.1.1

        which is odd when their mouthpieces here seem to think the policy is great and a winning formula.

  11. Not a PS Staffer 11

    The demonisation of the left goes back to Massey’s Cossacks and beyond. I do not personally know how history is taught in schools but I know that most Kiwis have a very narrow and shallow perspective of it.

    The thinking (or code?) being re-enforced by Clare Trevett and others in the media is that there is something incongruous about people of the left enjoying or using comforts/devices/stratagems that are also used by the bourgeoisie. Hence the portrayal of Cunliffe as a person living in a comfortable house, using trusts and applying a Harvard like approach to strategy as being incompatible with him being the Labour Party leader.

    I do not think Trevett and her likes are making any overt point. They are merely re-enforcing their own prejudice and letting themselves be used by the National Party news managers. It is lazy unthinking space-filling journalism.

  12. Keeping Stock 12

    Gee, the irony of that man impugning this Government on money issues will not be lost on Kiwis. He is the millionaire that Merrill built, the son of the “Hollow Man”, taking on the Government about transparency. Why does he not tell that to the millionaire brokers of the Waitemata Trust or the millionaire sponsors of the Exclusive Brethren? We believe in one person, one vote; not one dollar, one vote. We do not believe that elections should be bankrolled by big business, which is why the Electoral Finance Act is in place.

    David Cunliffe – 9 April 2008
    http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/debates/debates/48HansD_20080409_00000783/general-debate

    If there was no issue with his secret trust and anonymous donations, why did Cunliffe deny the trust’s existence on Sunday, then admit to it yesterday?

    He either supports anonymous donations funneled through trusts, or he opposes them. But he cannot do both, and keep any credibility.

    • karol 12.1

      Can you provide a link to where Cunliffe (allegedly) denied the trust’s existence on Sunday?

      • Keeping Stock 12.1.1

        Claire Trevett ‏@CTrevettNZH 19h

        David Cunliffe has now confirmed he used a trust to deal with donations in his leadership campaign. Refused to say so yesterday.

        https://twitter.com/CTrevettNZH

        Perhaps in hindsight, “deny” was a bit strong; “neither confirm nor deny” might have been more accurate.

        But that doesn’t change the fact that he has treated donations in a way which he and other candidates have previously chastised National for. It’s interesting that neither Grant Robertson nor Shane Jones had similar problems.

        • felix 12.1.1.1

          Perhaps in hindsight “bit strong” is a bit strong mate, “bull shit” is the phrase you’re looking for.

        • Tracey 12.1.1.2

          Yup Cunliffe flip flops and so does Key, no wonder their policies are dizzying.

        • Murray Olsen 12.1.1.3

          FFS. A bit of twitting from Claire Triffid is no proof that Cunliffe did anything.

    • felix 12.2

      Wasn’t aware you were a Labour Party member, InventedTory.

      • Keeping Stock 12.2.1

        I wasn’t aware that you had to be a Labour Party member to comment here felix :D

        • felix 12.2.1.1

          lol no, but it’s unusual to see people getting so bent about things that have fuck all to do with them.

          e.g. an internal “members-only” contest that you can’t vote in to choose the leader a party you will never vote for.

          It’s just weird. I couldn’t give a rats about what kind of chicken-slaughtering rituals went on in ACT to figure out that the Gods wanted Jamie Unclecousin to lead them.

    • Not a PS Staffer 12.3

      He did not deny anything: show a link to media if you believe that he did.

      • Keeping Stock 12.3.1

        He’s now said this morning that using the trust was an “error of judgment”:

        Claire Trevett ‏@CTrevettNZH 23m

        Also Cunliffe got donation from Perry Keenan. Cunliffe says didn’t know donors names till recently. Says using trust was error in judgment.

    • Tracey 12.4

      It was ironic in 2008 and it is ironic in 2014. Cunliffe is allowing himself to be painted as saying one thing and doing another. National is getting help though, and not just from Cunliffe.

      Vote Greens if you want this Government gone.

      • grumpy 12.4.1

        Sorry to break this to you Tracey, but it’s the Greens vote that Labour is going for.

        What’s all this about claims that Unite contributed to the trust???? Job buying????

        • JK 12.4.1.1

          Unite have said they did not contribute to Cunliffe’s leadership contest fund. People are just making things up.

      • Enough is Enough 12.4.2

        Dead right Tracey.

        Cunliffe has done what we all agree is a shonky Tory practice. Hiding the money trail with a nudge and a wink from the donor.

        This shit should not be tolerated.

        If you are looking for a credible party to vote for the answer is steering you in the face, its coloured Green.

        • Draco T Bastard 12.4.2.1

          +1

          Legal entities should not be allowed to donate to political parties in any way, shape or form. Only natural persons.

  13. Akldnut 13

    Jamie Unclecousin

    Too funny hahahahah.‘:lol:’

  14. shorts 14

    it doesn’t matter what the nz right does or has done… this is a classic own goal by labour – I expect a shedload better from Cunliffe and Labour (regardless of the rules)

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 14.1

      It sounds to me that it is new ground considering there hasn’t been a Labour leadership contest conducted in such a public manner before.

      I think that if Mr Cunliffe had understood that donations were not public and told his sponsors that at the time of requesting support, then it is understandable and fair that he would want to protect their identities.

  15. Once was Pete 15

    Whatever perspective you view it from; left or right, ethical or unethical, honest or dishonest, hypocritical or not, it is not a good look.
    Especially since the Clarke govt introduced legislation to prevent anonymous donations, and all that they imply.

  16. karol 16

    Claire Trevett’s article has been updated in the last 20 minutes. In it Cunliffe names the donors to the trust who are happy to be named. 2 donors did not want to be named, and Cunliffe has returned their donations to them. Cunliffe says he was wrong to use a trust and will learn from that.

    He said the three donors willing to be named were Selwyn Pellett, Perry Keenan and Tony Gibbs, who gave a combined total of $9,500. Mr Pellett, a businessman, is a longstanding Labour supporter who has donated to the party and Mr Cunliffe in the past.
    [..]
    Mr Cunliffe said it was an error of judgement to use the trust. It had meant he did not have to disclose donations in the Register of Pecuniary Interests.

    “I don’t think in hindsight that a trust structure fully represented the values I would like to bring to this leadership. Decisions that were made to set up the trust could have been better. I have learned form that and am now making sure I do whatever I can to ensure transparency.”
    […]
    Mr Cunliffe said he was confident the trust arrangement did meet with the requirements of the Labour Party’s rules, and the Register of Pecuniary Interests. The Labour Party rules had specified donations would be confidential, and the donors had given on that understanding.

    “This was the first time the Labour Party has run a leadership campaign and in the course of it we learned a thing or two about the rules that we need to iron out.” He said he believed the rules around donations should be tightened and would support that in an upcoming review.”

    Now, about John Key’s trusts?

    • grumpy 16.1

      So, I assume you are happy with those donors? What about the 2 that are not allowing their names to be published so are having their donations returned? Any advance on Unite union and KDC?

      • Ant 16.1.1

        Unite have already denied it so no luck there.

      • karol 16.1.2

        I’m not happy with the use of a trust. Donors make their own choices. I’m not a Labour Party member or voter.

        Time will tell what the repercussions will be, but I reckon Cunliffe has responded correctly by acknowledging an error of judgement. He also is happy to name the donors, with the donors agreement. From here he can move on.

        And John Key & Nats on his/their trusts? Don’t they still hide them? And who are their big backers?

        • Ant 16.1.2.1

          The story in the media wasn’t about the Nats and their trusts though, not only has Cunliffe looked like he has done something wrong when it was up for debate, but he hasn’t even quelled speculation about the 2 anonymous donors. Lose lose actions.

          There is going to be a story provided by the Nats to journalists like this every week leading up to the election, he and his team need to learn to deal with them better than this.

          • karol 16.1.2.1.1

            Agreed, that these stories will keep coming with a Nat stance. Basically, Labour needs to front foot with their own stories and not get to diverted by the on-going smear attempts.

  17. Ant 17

    Apologising like that was a mistake, makes him look weak and indecisive. If you are within the rules own it.

    The “I’m learning” also sounds weak and indecisive.

  18. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 18

    Yes Bunji – good point and exactly what came to mind when I came across Mr Key’s latest bleat.

    Mr Key really should be careful what he promotes:

    “”The whole purpose of the pecuniary interests system is for there to be transparency and clarity and the really obvious question that you have to ask yourself is, `what is he trying to hide’?” Keyspeak

    Because if the general public were aware of the extreme right nature of National’s supporters I doubt whether National would gain any more votes than Act in the general election.

    Nick Hagar’s ‘The Hollow Men’* book (2006) indicates that there are extreme right think tanks that aim to privatize everything and anything – including the NZ health and education systems – supporting National in less than transparent ways – there are American war hawk types that aim to reverse NZ’s nuclear free policy, (you know the type, those that go around the world promoting war – probably directly financially connected to the arms industry) Tobacco, Gambling and Pharmaceutical Industries were mentioned as giving donations and support in a manner intended to cover their identity and Act backers were all over the place supporting National in 2005 – judging by National’s current stance on not acting in NZers best interests that can’t have changed since then.

    *Chapter 14 focuses on the subject of donations, although there are many other chapters that provide detail on the manner that National gains support without needing to name or add the support to their election limit.

  19. burt 19

    In breaking news. Man caught shoplifting and charged stands in court and says that he now wants to return the goods he took to the shop. The judge bangs the gabble and declares that an offence wasn’t committed since the goods were returned. The next guy on shoplifting charges wasn’t a Labour Party leader and therefore his crime stood !

    • karol 19.1

      Are you saying Cunliffe committed a crime?

      • burt 19.1.1

        I don’t know if he did – ignoring the requirement to declare donations would seem to be a crime – perhaps a lawyer could answer that. What I’m pointing out is the typical Labour MO of just assuming that all they need to do when caught ‘allegedly’ breaking the law/rules is retrospectively give or pay it back and there will be no consequences.

        Normal people don’t get that privilege – it’s the norm in parliament.

        • karol 19.1.1.1

          Hmmm….. Cunliffe has admitted a mistake. Not a good look, but I think ordinary people do get some leniency when they fess up re-crimes etc., and offer to make reparations.

          Cunliffe is offering to contribute his own money to the campaign fund. Kind of like paying a fine.

          • burt 19.1.1.1.1

            Contribute his own money to his own promotion …. Wow … That’s like a fine is it … Far out you live in a weird world where promoting oneself for ones own best interests is like a fine !

            But … It’s better that the millionaire from Herne Bay pay for his own promotion than have it paid for through funds deducted from low paid workers.

            • karol 19.1.1.1.1.1

              Burt you really are out of touch with reality. Or do you know something about the Cunliffe donors we don’t? They were low paid workers, you say?

              Meanwhile, you get all indignant about Cunliffe’s misdemeanor, and have nothing to say about Key’s totally non-transparent, non-accuntable lack of integrity – pretty convenient ethics.

              • grumpy

                It is rumoured by usually reliable sources that one of the donors (who does not want to be identified and now wants a refund) is current CoS old employer – Unite.

            • Murray Olsen 19.1.1.1.1.2

              Your fake concern for low paid workers is noted. No doubt you also love the environment whenever a Green MP catches a commercial flight.

          • burt 19.1.1.1.2

            Yes normal people do get leniency when they admit their crime/error. They get leniency on sentencing though. If I admitted to shoplifting on the first hearing I might get 20% reduction in the sentence – not have the case thrown out like nothing happened.

            • karol 19.1.1.1.2.1

              burt – and the ordinary people suffering under Key’s reign of unaccountability – all designed to benefit his wealthy and powerful mentors/donors?

              You seem remarkably complacent about Key’s moral void.

              • burt

                Key does it too right …. So it’s ok that your dear leader does it….

                FFS – this whole post is predicated on others did it too – I shouldn’t be surprised this is your only come back.

                • karol

                  Cunliffe is not my leader, I didn’t write the post. I’m not a Labour Party member or voter. I am not happy Cunliffe used a trust. I’m glad he has realised that it’s not a good thing to do, and is stating he’ll move forward accordingly.

                  I look forward to all your future comments about John Key’s trusts and total lack of transparency.

                  I’m done with your clear, repeated and over-blown, partisan attacks, and faux moral outrage.

    • burt 19.2

      Karol

      Perhaps you could try it with your tax return. Don’t pay it and tell the IRD you are special and the law is subordinate to your own rules in Karol land. Of course you will fail and you will be hit with late payment penalties, use of money interest. These ‘consequences’ will continue to pile up from the date you should have acted according to the law until such time as you have entirely rectified the position.

      And fair enough – in doing what you did you took liberty with public money.

      • karol 19.2.1

        Cunliffe wasn’t trying to break rules and avoid detection. If there’s a mistake with my tax returns, I’ll deal with it according to the rules. But my aim is to comply with the rules and my tax returns are submitted in good faith with all attempts made to comply with the rules.

        Of course, righties will try to milk this Cunliffe misdemeanor for all its worth, while avoiding talking about Key and the Nats anonymous big backers – their non-transparent trusts, etc.

        Cunliffe is showing integrity, unlike Key and the Nats. They have shown their willingness to bend over for corporates in many ways. Did they get funding from SkyCity? Why did they bend over for Hollywood corporates? Still they fudge it all, with total lack of transparency.

        • burt 19.2.1.1

          We don’t know who bankrolled him yet you say he is showing integrity – you are a partisan apologist aren’t you.

          • karol 19.2.1.1.1

            burt – I’ve said my bit about Cunliffe – and your partisan defense of Key? – still waiting for something…. Anything…. or maybe there is no defence of Key?

            • burt 19.2.1.1.1.1

              I’m not defending Key for even a millisecond – but in this case he’s not the one flouting parliaments rules for his own best interest.

              • felix

                Really burt? Has Key opened his Aldgate and Whitechappell network of trusts for public scrutiny?

                How about Waitemata?

                No? I guess he is still flouting the rules in his own interest then.

          • David H 19.2.1.1.2

            Jezuz Karol he’s just a NACT Troll, notice the Bananas in the pic food for the Knuckledragger.

            DNFTT

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 19.3

      In breaking TV3 News. Man sells NZ off wholesale to overseas interests and is praised as a hero by his financial backers who own the media and made huge profits and because he cracked a joke about some famous person being ‘as thick as batshit’, and was holding a baby at the time of the report.

      Oh…I’m sorry…that wasn’t quite correct…that bit about selling NZ off wholesale wasn’t reported …only the bit about holding the baby and slagging off famous people was…

      …oh…I’m sorry…that bit about slagging off famous people wasn’t either….he denied saying that….

      Correction: Breaking TV3 News: PM holds baby and smiles and is deemed the most popular PM by his financial backers [posing as ‘ordinary folk’ ] for having done so.

      Fortunately noone was watching that News show anymore understanding it to be full of shit realising it was National’s private propaganda media unit posing as a news medium – it went off the air a few days later after advertising agents realised that noone was watching their ads in the breaks anymore either.

  20. Concerned 20

    So repeating John Key’s mistake is OK by David Cunliffe? A very innocent question.

    • burt 20.1

      Key did it too …, wha wha – it’s not fair that Cunliffe can’t get away with the things we say Key should resign over .

    • David H 20.2

      It’s not the mistake, it’s the admitting of the mistake. Something Key has NEVER done.

      • burt 20.2.1

        Right … So your own party substantively write the rules on declaring donations and you get it wrong … That’s a simple mistake …. The rules ( that he helped write ) are confusing and others did it too… Let me guess; it’s the way he has always done it and it’s not fair to just punish him….

        Hey if I get caught speeding I’ll just say – oops followed by others did it too … I’ll be let off right irrespective of how fast I was going as long I wasn’t the fastest speeding offence ever caught and as long as I’m not nasty John Key !

        • grumpy 20.2.1.1

          even more understandable when his main trustee was Greg (Mickey Savage) Presland. I’m sure, if someone did a search, we would never find a comment from Mickey slamming any other politician using trusts – eh?

      • Hayden 20.2.2

        To be fair, he did admit he didn’t articulate the benefits of replacing the BMW fleet as well as he could have.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 20.3

      @ Concerned

      I would like to see a level playing field – better that all identities donating are transparent - this is not the case at present and Key very well knows that (- read ‘The Hollow Men’ by Nicky Hagar)

      I think if National continue to be as tricky as they are with their financial backers Labour are not silly to find similar indirect methods of gaining support. This does become a slippery slope – at which time the election laws need to be changed to ensure that all parties are transparent about who donates what. Not simply Labour or left wing parties.

      As it stands I don’t think what Cunliffe has done is anything like what National are doing – it appears that confusion may have arisen surrounding the new manner in which the Labour leader was being chosen; more public yet an internal Labour party matter and perhaps there was some error made in how private the donations could be.

      With National, on the other hand, they are in all knowledge breaking the rules left, right and centre and doing so to hide some very unsavoury vested interests influencing their party – influences that if the public had general knowledge of – would destroy the public perception of ‘National being reasonable’ from every angle.

      All Key is bleating about – as usual – is insincere and hypocritical, he and the media are pointing the finger when the media has a duty to be pointing that finger back at National – and really it can easily be viewed that all Key’s bleating is pressing for is that the playing field remain as uneven as it always has been with regard to the wealth backing Nats.

  21. Natwest 21

    [deleted]

    [lprent: Since you aren’t dealing with your old crap, banned permanently for ignoring moderators. ]

  22. John 22

    The problem for Cunliffe is that he does come across as a bit tricky.

    Labour campaigned against secret trusts, then he goes and uses one for donations.

    He campaigned to save the assets because they are so valuable to taxpayers, then late one night with the Greens comes up with hastily prepared sabotage plan paraded as a policy, that will destroy the exact same value he’s been campaigning to save.

    With a family income over half a million dollars (well into the top 1%), he tries to make out he’s middle class so he can have a go at people he claims are rich.

    And of course of the thirty something percent that support Labour in the polls, less than half pick Cunliffe as their preferred prime minister.

    The question is who in Labour could do the job. Cunliffe comes across as too tricky. Shearer was likable but too ineffectual – probably for some of the same reasons as Cunliffe – he tried to paint a picture of doom and gloom when things are going pretty well.

    Parker is too nice. Shane Jones talks about himself in the third person which shows a person whose view of themselves is the most important thing to them.

    Grant Robertson maybe?

    • greywarbler 22.1

      John You said this at 7.1 above.
      The left and right both claim media bias against them.
      A survey of hundreds of journalists in Australia found four times more journalists were left wing (51%) than right wing (12%).
      I wonder how different it would be here.

      I asked you for a link that explained this, showing the method of gathering the information and sorting the journalists into left or right.

      Please supply that link. It would be interesting to get something factual to that assertion.

      • John 22.1.1

        greywarbler – sorry – busy working – didn’t see your request.

        “Conducted between May 2012 and March this year, the University of the Sunshine Coast’s representative survey of 605 journalists around Australia found that more than half (51.0%) describe themselves as holding left-of-centre political views, compared with only 12.9% who consider themselves right-of-centre. ”

        From http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/so-who-skews-news-bias-australian-media-revealed/1875830/

        I thought journalists would have been more representative of the population, but the it wouldn’t be surprising if there were a few professions which are heavily skewed (teachers left?, financial advisors right?)

        • Blue 22.1.1.1

          You left out the most important part:

          “Yet, among those who arguably matter most – the journalists in senior editorial ranks who have the most power to decide news agendas – a dramatically different picture emerged.

          Among the 83 senior editors who took part in the survey, the Coalition was the party of choice on 43.2%, followed by Labor (34.1%) and the Greens (11.4%).”

          If the Aussie media are biased to the left, then Murdoch is a Green voter.

        • Murray Olsen 22.1.1.2

          What you should remember about left and right in Australia is that Australians describe themselves as left wing if they think tasers should only be used on non-white people, or that the military should only help invade Muslim countries. What we would call left wing in Aotearoa is seen as pretty extreme over here, although I do remember Labour members telling me the first ACT government was left wing.

    • geoff 22.2

      Fuck off John. You know who is actually tricky? John Key.

    • BM 22.3

      You raise some good points, John.

      I reckon Labour should just re install Shearer and pretend this whole Cunliffe incident never happened.

      And if anyone asks any questions just deny it it and say something like “Hahahaha Cunliffe as leader, what a laugh!!!, what have you guys been smoking!!!, Shearer’s the leader of Labour and has always been leader, Cunliffe!!,leader??,snort, what a comedian !!!”

      I think its the only credible option left.

  23. grumpy 23

    Seems like the trustee was your very own Mickey Savage. If so, I’m sure he can fill us in on who were the donors who refused to let their name be released so are getting a refund…….can’t wait.

    • ABS 23.1

      I’ve got a dollar on ‘lets get rid of john key’ KDC. On a related note how many times are we going to hear from David Cunliffe ‘it was an honest mistake’? He’s been in Parliament since H1s days for god’s sake. Or did he just go to eat his lunch and count his wifes money?

      • grumpy 23.1.1

        Yep, the money is on one being Unite and the other KDC. Only one person really knows for sure and Mickey ain’t telling……

        • felix 23.1.1.1

          Only your money grumpy. And you’ve spent most of it spreading other lies.

      • felix 23.1.2

        “I’ve got a dollar on ‘lets get rid of john key’ KDC”

        A startling admission from a National Party Tr0ll demonstrating how deeply threatened they are by Cunliffe.

  24. tsmithfield 24

    This is becoming a PR disaster for Cunliffe. His handling of this is completely wrong and falls right into Key’s strategy of promulgating the “tricky” meme.

    It doesn’t really matter whether the trust donation situ is technically correct or not, it is all a matter of public perception.

    Cunliffe would have been best to hang tough on this and stand by his initial position that the trust donations are within the rules. At least he would have shown himself as strong, confident, and astute, even though many might have disagreed with the method. If he had taken this stance, any media interest would have evaporated as they would have had nowhere else to probe.

    As it is now, Cunliffe has admitted a lapse of judgement, which calls into question his judgement. The impression has also been created that Cunliffe has been “caught with his hand in the cookie jar” and is in damage control. Also, the fact that some donors have been outed while others haven’t creates a lot of media interest in why some didn’t want to be identified, what there is to hide etc.

    So now this has become a major media event with multiple points of interest. Also, he has given Key an opportunity to paint him again as “tricky”, reinforcing the image that Key is attempting to create with voters.

    What is of interest is how this information got out into the media in the first place. Could this have been an inside job? Hmmmm.

    • grumpy 24.1

      He did not know who the other beneficiaries were (apart from Presland), did not know who the donors were, did not know if his wife had asked for donations……………………..real PM material – eh?

      • felix 24.1.1

        Why don’t you make a list of all Cunliffe’s failings you can think of and we’ll put it next to BLiP’s list of John Key’s, and then you can revise your statement above to better fit reality.

    • karol 24.2

      Yawn

      Is this the best the right can do – the main problem Key has is that a lot of people have twigged that he’s ‘slippery” and can’t be taken at his word.

      SO the Nats’ latest attempts to smear Cunliffe have been pushing the “tricky” line.

      The problem is, that too many people now know just how tricky John key is.

      Nats – transparent in their non-transparency.

      • tsmithfield 24.2.1

        “The problem is, that too many people now know just how tricky John key is.”

        Could you remind me again who the most popular politician in the country is?

        • karol 24.2.1.1

          Are you saying the majority of Kiwis are happy with a “tricky” and “slippery” PM?

          • tsmithfield 24.2.1.1.1

            Apparently he is popular because he is not perceived as “tricky” or “slippery” regardless of whether this is the case or not.

            OTOH, Cunliffe appears to be assuming that mantle whether it is true of him or not.

            The facts don’t really matter. It is public perception that is everything.

            • karol 24.2.1.1.1.1

              Aha! So you are happy to go with the media, Nat-leaning spin-lines, rather than reality. nNice to know.

              • tsmithfield

                Of course I’m happy with it. However, my emotional state in that respect has nothing to do with the facts of the situation. Whether you or I like it or not, the polls suggest Key is is trusted and liked by a substantial proportion of the electorate, whereas, it seems to me that Cunliffe is fast becoming known as evasive and untrustworthy.

                • felix

                  lol at least you’re honest about your dishonesty.

                  You’re still a disgrace though.

        • felix 24.2.1.2

          *ahem you’ve accidentally used one of your old logins.

        • Hami Shearlie 24.2.1.3

          Herr Hitler was a very popular boy for a few years too! Popularity is easy to attain when your supporters own the media!

        • Clemgeopin 24.2.1.4

          It is Key, of course. No doubt. Does that mean he is the most trustworthy? I doubt it. Key is actually a very good trickster in my opinion. He is cunning, clever and an artful dodger. He is the trickiest of them all. By his affable ways, carefree manner and childish smile he has been able to fool many many people for the last five years. You are one of those. Here is a little fact for you : I too got fooled by Key initially and voted for National in 2008. A big mistake.

          Cunliffe has his faults and weaknesses, but most certainly, he is not tricky or cunning or crooked as Key is. Take my word for it. If not now, you will, sooner or later. Cheers!

      • grumpy 24.2.2

        You are talking about the most popular PM the country has ever seen.

    • Ant 24.3

      I actually agree, Labour’s comms team must be a bunch of rookies. Admitting to this and apologising is worse than the rumours, if he was actually within the rules he could have easily hung tough, it’s a boring story and wouldn’t have kept anyones attention for long.

      Talk about giving a non-story legs…

      Who cares if there is a rumour that KDC donated, the only people who think the fat jolly german is evil are National, everyone else seems to like him.

  25. anker 25

    I have to disagree here.

    I think it is refreshing that DC admitted it wasn’t a good call and boy has he come clean about it. Tidied it up nicely.

    I think people are tired of politicians who are defensive and self justifying.

    • Roflcopter 25.1

      He’s only coming clean coz he got caught. If he was all about “integrity and values”, he would have dismissed the idea of a trust completely… but he didn’t.

      As I/S says … “The thing about values is that you live them, and they’re instinctive. Cunliffe’s aren’t. When faced with a choice between transparency and corruption-enabling secrecy, he chose the latter, and then tried to cling to that choice when it was questioned. These are not the actions of an ethical man who believes in open politics – they are the actions of someone trying to get away with something they know is wrong.”

  26. ABS 26

    Who would have most to gain from a leak like this? Not even a week after Matt takes the job of CoS (read policy advisor but we can’t afford one), someone leaks embarrassing details regarding secret American backers of the party. Any of the ABCs who must surely be standing on shaky ground now that Matt ‘Mafia’ McCarten is wielding the knife. It’s bad enough he pretends he is middle class, but now secret donations that he has to pay back? Cunliffe really has nothing to give this country any more and for the sake of the Labour Party, I hope they sack every one of the 30 year veterans and get a leader who is not so hopelessly compromised.

    • grumpy 26.1

      Yep, American money man AND Brierly’s right hand man. Obviously a left wing party – eh?

  27. captain hook 27

    tricky is another one dreamed up by Hooton and he knows that it was the epithet bestowed on Richard Nixon who was the equivalent of John Key and thus hooton is being doubly duplicitious.
    Tit for tat the only word for John Keys is carpetbagger and how did he get that $80,000,000?

  28. Tracey 28

    grumpy, when you say a usually reliable source, do you mean known to you personally, or a source of someone you read online?

    it is fascinating how much of the internal labour machinations are leaking out.

    labour is not chasing green votes. they are chasing tge mythical middle and the non voters, hence the confused messages.

    i dont see green votes leaching off to labour unless something very substantial changes in the direction labour is going.

    • grumpy 28.1

      The last few polls have shown that Labour is collecting votes off Greens. Anyway, why would you employ MacCarten if you wanted votes from the middle. I would think that NZ Labour have seen the disastrous effect Greens had on Labor in Australia and are moving to prevent that happenning to them.

    • Hayden 29.1

      Was Cunliffe’s trust coming out yesterday and today an attempt to deflect attention from Treasury’s mis-reporting of poverty levels, and Bill English’s subsequent misleading of the House? Or the ongoing saga of who actually initiated the deal by which Peter Whittall avoid prosecution over Pike River?

      On the balance of probabilities I’d have to say that Clare Curran (or someone in her office) just isn’t very good with computers, or in fact has made an error that thousands of people make every day, except without the very public and enormously embarrassing outcome.

      • lprent 29.1.1

        I’ve been told by someone who I trust that it wasn’t Clare Curran.

        • Hayden 29.1.1.1

          And the revised article says that as well.

          • BM 29.1.1.1.1

            Fucking hell, an internet tax as well as banning face book.
            Why do you hate the internetz labour?

            Seriously though,you’ve got to wonder if Labour isn’t trying to purposely throw the election.

            National governing alone after the election is a very very high possibility.

            • felix 29.1.1.1.1.1

              “banning face book”

              Very amusing, but the question is “What should we do if a multinational corporation wants to do business in NZ but not pay tax?”

              • Pascal's bookie

                S’ok companies don’t have to pay taxes soon coz 3d printers can do it.

              • BM

                Best bet would be to try to work with other countries to get it sorted.
                From what I’ve read on Kiwi blog there’s not a lot anyone can do about it at the moment.

                One thing I do know for certain is using the “power of the prime minister office” will achieve fuck all.

                • felix

                  Oh well if the Kiwiblog Think Tank says nothing can be done then I guess that’s that.

                  What about other multinational corporations, BM? Free pass for the lot?

  29. Grumpy 30

    WORLD FIRST!
    One and only thread with no comment from Mickey Savage :-)

  30. dave 31

    i would really like how national was paid to loot nz assests that could even sell at decent price total theft of tax payer money

  31. chris73 32

    I’m back from seeing Springsteen (close enough to have touched him if I’d stretched out and leaned out against some strangers) so I’m in a good mood, so good in fact I’ll give some free advice to Cunliffe

    Here ’tis: If you make a loud noise about something National does don’t (for added emphasis: DON’T) do the same thing or something that the public will percieve as the same thing

    :)

    • felix 32.1

      Are you going to offer that advice to National too? ‘Cos it seems like they’re making quite a lot of noise about trusts at the moment.

      • chris73 32.1.1

        Don’t think National need any advice at the moment, they’re doing quite well at the moment. Feel good about Labours chances at the next election?

        I’m pretty sure National are compiling every “error of judgement” Cunliffe makes and you can be sure John Key will bring them out at a later date, mind you its possible that even John Key won’t be able to remember every gaffe Cunliffes made :)

        • felix 32.1.1.1

          Seriously? I think the election will be very close and Labour/Green are as well on track to forming a govt as anyone. Same as what John Key thinks.

          But my question was a serious one. Do you think it’s wise for John Key and National to be making such a big deal about campaign trusts (or any trusts for that matter) knowing what you and I know?

          • chris73 32.1.1.1.1

            Seriously? I think Labour/Green are well on track to forming a govt.

            I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with that

            Do you think it’s wise for John Key and National to be making such a big deal about campaign trusts (or any trusts for that matter) knowing what you and I know?

            Yes because most people know that National use or have made extensive use of trusts but Labour made a big deal of National using them so while National will take some flack Labour will take the much bigger hit

            • felix 32.1.1.1.1.1

              I can’t tell whether you’re quoting me or doing a parody of something. You’re so lazy.

              But anyway, let’s open all the trusts. Then we’ll see what NZ thinks about them.

    • aj 32.2

      I hope you appreciated Tom Morello’s appearance, ‘The Ghost of Tom Joad’ was a highlight for me, wicked. I admire his political views and commitment too.
      :-)

      • chris73 32.2.1

        I’ve never screamed, shouted and sung so much in a night…how can he do that night after night? Hes not just the Boss but the true king of rock and roll

        I think adding Tom has added a new dimension to Bruces music, the same soul but now with a harder sound and both complimenting each other

    • Naturesong 32.3

      Given that Springsteen is a well known lefty and supporter of unions, and his values are clearly articulated in his music, why did you go?

      • felix 32.3.1

        I know, right? Every one of the songs that little chris73 sang and screamed and shouted along with is a story from the lives of the very working people he shits on every day.

      • chris73 32.3.2

        Hes an amazing performer and his shows are incredibly entertaining. His politics don’t come into it (even though we do agree on some things)

        I’d recommend everyone go see him next time hes in these parts

        • felix 32.3.2.1

          On the weekend you sing along with the stories of working people and then you get up in the morning and set to work trying to make their lives as hard as possible.

          You really are a piece of shit.

  32. tsmithfield 33

    Seems to me that Cunliffe is running an “any publicity is good publicity” strategy at the moment. :smile:

    • chris73 33.1

      Maybe hes trying to help the Greens look more professional so as to take votes away from National :)

      • tsmithfield 33.1.1

        It just occurred to me there is brilliance behind all of this that we haven’t been comprehending up until now.

        What he is trying to cast off the impression that he thinks of himself as a demi-god. So, what he is doing is to try and convey a more “common man” feel by making lots of apparent “cock-ups” and then apologising publicly for them. This aims to convey the impression that he can make mistakes just like the rest of us. Because his public image of superiority is so strongly ingrained in the public psyche, he has to work overtime in coming up with all sorts of creative ways of implimenting this devious and deep strategy.

  33. cricklewood 34

    Im probably going to cop flack for this but anyway… im pretty disappointed that Mickey didnt talk David out of using this approach and agreed to become a trustee I think it is a pretty bad lapse of judgement.
    It was always going to blow up especially as both have rightly railed against trusts been used to hide political donations.
    Personally I feel that all donations should be from natural persons only and any amount over $1500 should be on public record. I also feel that an independent oversight type set up which records all donations to prevent a situation where someone offers multiple donations.
    It is an important protection against corruption

    • Skinny 34.1

      Something not quite right when their campaign probably cost some of us more than them sort of.

  34. BEATINGTHEBOKS 35

    Cunliffe continues to disappoint, not in policy but in the number of procedural fuck ups. I don’t believe the general electorate gives a fuck about trusts etc, but it is just unnecessary ammunition for the right wing pr machine. Not a good look for all the puritanical naysayers who will end his dreams at election time, he will pay heavily for his poor planning. That ship wreck in Tauranga is not important, no one cares, focus on the important issues, and how to improve the lives of Mr and Mrs Joe Average, not Mr and Mrs $150,000. If labour don’t know how to do this they have thought themselves into irrelevancy, shame about the people that need them.

  35. Herodotus 36

    ” Labour / parliament need to harmonise their rules.”Really !!! No what labour needs to understand, is that like the rest of us, to comply with the laws and rules that imposed onto us, which means they have to tidy their act up. Funny how the other 2 candidates could follow the rules.
    Funny how Polly’s are only reacquainted with what is right after they are found out or when the other side does wrong.

    • karol 36.1

      Well Jones did. Robertson didn’t have any individual donations above $500, therefore didn’t need to declare them.

      • Herodotus 36.1.1

        From they way this has been reported, both were aware of the requirements. Is labour a desert for wisdom and knowledge that someone within dc’s camp did not think of the register of peculiarly interests ? Only 5 years ago many of those within caucus where running the country, or was it being run by 3 people, Helen Clark , Cullen and Simpson, and such errors were never allowed to occur.
        Hard to throw this one when the election gets into gear. Dc’s Changing his story. If caught own up immediately, if as he has done change his story then own up, easy points to the blue team, and this has created a no go area that labour could have attack jk or national on.

        • burt 36.1.1.1

          Labour passed the law to specifically stop this kind of trust usage by requiring donations over $500 to be declared on the pecuniary interests register. Cunliffe has got to be either completely bonkers (he was part of the government that sang the praise of this law, he voted for it) or he and his advisors genuinely believes the rules are for others – which is it ?

          • felix 36.1.1.1.1

            Or maybe he thinks the rules that govern parliament have fuck all to do with a private internal party contest.

            Just a thought.

            • burt 36.1.1.1.1.1

              Well sure, that’s dancing on the head of a pin isn’t it. Not something I think very becoming of a leader but you’re entitled to defend it.

              The party he leads deemed it inexcusable to have money to parties and members funnelled through trusts hiding the donors and denying the voters the right to know who’s funding their politicians. If you think it justifiable that the same parties leader now hide his donors from public scrutiny then you really have taken the ‘different when Labour do it’ pill.

              • felix

                Is that the electoral finance act, burt?

                Guess what? It covers electoral finance ffs, which is probably why it’s not called the “any bloody thing that gets up burt’s arse today” act.

                • burt

                  Oh silly me… I should have listened when you said;

                  a private internal party contest

                  It’s not the electoral finance act… right so honest home doing upper from Herne Bay decides in the spirit of his party he’ll declare ( voluntarily ) that he had a trust for a private internal party matter and plonk it on the pecuniary interests register. Not because he’s an MP and he’s received donations over $500, that’s the electoral finance act and quite different, he was just being an honest man.

                  Then bugger me he found out he can’t put the whole trust up there, he needs to identify donors over $500 – news to him of course, he didn’t vote for that for himself it was for nasty National people right….

                  Oh gosh what now .. I know – give the money back and say ‘Move On’ … that’s it … that always worked for Clark right ?

                  • felix

                    Calm down burt you’re going to bust an artery.

                    What is it you’re upset about?

                    • burt

                      When do we find out who they are, he’s taken the money, he knew as an MP he would be required to declare those names. He has no excuse for not knowing that.

                      So who are they? He can pay them back if he wants but he’s either got to declare their names or wear the weight of the punishment the law he helped pass carries.

                      Pretty simple really.

                    • felix

                      Yes you are.

                    • burt

                      Yes I probably are simple. I’m so simple I think that when an MP is involved in writing and passing a law that they should be bound by it. Real simple eh – not tricky at all.

                    • chris73

                      burt you know as well as I do the rules don’t apply to Labour, they just apply to everyone else

                    • RedLogix

                      Or maybe when your as dumb as a bag of hammers then everything looks like a nail.

                    • chris73

                      Like railing against secret trusts then having one of your own?

                    • RedLogix

                      Suddenly trusts are terrible thing now?

                      Wow – Damascus moment and all.

                    • burt

                      RedLogix

                      Trusts being terrible or not is not actually the issue. The issue is that Cunliffe was part of the government that passed the legislation requiring MPs to declare any donations over $500. He then decided that that rule wasn’t applicable to him. Did he forget he was an MP ? Is it different when Labour do it ?

                      Your flapping around defending him for not abiding by the rules (*cough couch splutter – it was an internal party thing…) he helped pass show you as the one who’s thicker than a sack of hammers because you clearly can’t see that, in a democracy, we expect the rule makers to also follow the rules.

  36. Tombstone 37

    I’m done with Labour. I expected so much more, especially from Cunliffe and when these cock ups keep on happening it makes me cringe more and more. First time in my life but sorry Labour, I think you’ve as good as lost two votes in this household. The Greens, much to my own surprise remind me more of the Labour of old than Labour itself. When they mentioned that Kiwi families on 150k need help I just winced. If we were on 150k right now we’d be sorted. How the hell are people struggling on 150k to the point where they can’t even provide for a new born? We earn well below half of that and yes it’s a struggle but we still manage and we have four young children, 3 with special needs! I just don’t get it!

  37. burt 38

    Who was it that said; “We are confronted by a government clearly ruling in the interests of a few at the expense of the many, and creating two New Zealands. One for the rich and powerful, who don’t pay their fair share of tax because they have smart accountants to ensure they avoid it…Families who pay tax on every dollar they earn, pick up the slack for the mega-rich and the foreign corporations who don’t…We will target those who speculate on capital gains and avoid tax using trusts“

    And it just gets worse. Cunliffe in crosshairs over trust

    • felix 38.1

      Are you accusing Cunliffe of tax avoidance now burt?

      • RedLogix 38.1.1

        burts is just making angry snarling noises.

        In his own words “Trusts being terrible or not is not actually the issue.” he almost makes the point. Trusts by themselves are not an automatically bad thing.

        The important question is – what is the purpose of the trust? As distinct from its mere existence.

        National used some very large trusts for a very long time to explicitly avoid the intent of the Electoral Act. They never apologised or resiled from this. They never accepted it was a mistake or wrong to evade the purpose of an important law so persistently and egregiously. Neither has burt ever been heard to say boo about it.

        Cunliffe used the TR Trust as a way to reconcile an unusual situation where there was an internal Labour Party rule requiring him to keep donations confidential and a different Parliamentary rule requiring him to register all donors over $500. Given that the donations were given in the context of an internal Labour Party election it was reasonable to argue that the internal Labour Party rule should take precedence. Hence the TR trust.

        The ASB investment trust is of course another different matter again. It appears to be a pretty standard banking product. Frankly I’m surprised that ordinary financial vehicles like bank accounts and investment trusts where the account holder has zero practical influence over the activities or outcomes of the account are considered “pecuniary interests” at all. You have to ask what purpose is being served by demanding these are put on a public register.

        But as long experience has proven, once the likes of burt get a snarl in their minds, it drowns out all rational thought. It’s simpler to pander to their prejudices.

        • burt 38.1.1.1

          RedLogix

          The contention that an internal party mater’ trumps being an MP as far as the leadership trust is concerned kind of looks sad now.

          • RedLogix 38.1.1.1.1

            Let me see now…

            When you are playing football you are not allowed to hand the ball.

            When you are playing rugby you are allowed to hand the ball.

            You are playing a game of football. Are you allowed to hand the ball?

            (Of course the problem is that the player in question is actually both a football AND a rugby player – which complicates things a little. In that case it’s reasonable to ask what the purpose of the rules are and which is more pertinent to the actual situation.)

            • burt 38.1.1.1.1.1

              Mmmm, player and ball…. In labour leader thoughts somebody with their hands on themselves is a different discussion.

        • burt 38.1.1.2

          <noSnarl>This particular member of the fund has considerable influence over it with a govt at his command – that’s why he should declare it…. I thought that was obvious </noSnarl>

          • RedLogix 38.1.1.2.1

            I’m sure you’ll hammer on all night how Cunliffe could hypothetically have ‘influenced’ this ASB Trust – but you and I both know that’s plain silly in reality. These sorts of investment vehicles are pretty much ‘arms-length’ and spread over a wide range of investments both local and overseas.

            Any real-world government influence will be so indirect and diluted as to fall below any rational threshold of concern.

            Just like Mr Key has declared that Ms Collins touting in her role as a Cabinet Minister for her husband’s company during an Official Visit apparently falls below the threshold for ‘conflict of interest’.

            • burt 38.1.1.2.1.1

              Just come out and say it – Labour MPs should be excluded from needing to declare their financial interests to parliament because it’s National party people who use secret trusts and have secret donors paying for policy….

              • RedLogix

                I’ll come out and say what I mean burt.

                A back-bench Opposition MP (as Cunliffe was at the time) declaring a very uninteresting, routine financial interest a bit later than a counsel of perfection would demand is a complete fucking non-story.

                Compared to a Minister of the Crown travelling on taxpayers ding to tout her husband’s company that is.

                Now about how this ‘hypocrisy astounds you’ …

      • burt 38.1.2

        felix

        No I’m not saying that. I’m simple remember. It’s the hypocrisy I’m astounded by. That and people defending it saying I’m snarly. Go ahead defend this man and his actions, give me some great links for years to come.

        • felix 38.1.2.1

          Yeah, great links. I can see it now:

          “Hey, you disagreed with something I wrote on the internet but look, here you are 10 years ago writing something completely unrelated on the internet!! You wrote on the internet too!! Oh the hypocrisy!!”

          etc etc

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