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The Herald is turning against the Government

Written By: - Date published: 8:24 am, May 11th, 2014 - 92 comments
Categories: corruption, john key, Judith Collins, Media, national, paula bennett, same old national - Tags: , ,

Yesterday’s and today’s Heralds have a fascinating collection of articles all suggesting that patience with this Government is running thin.

Firstly more questions relating to Donghua Liu’s extraordinary treatment by Maurice Williamson were raised.  Adam Bennett reported that Williamson had in the past lobbied three different Ministers of Immigration seeking a relaxation of the entry rules for wealthy immigrants.  He was also present at the meeting where Dunedin based Michael Woodhouse paid a house call to Mr Liu at his Auckland hotel.  As well as his lobbying efforts Williamson also personally swore Liu in as a New Zealand citizen as well as finding him a house in Pauanui and attempting to get police to review his prosecution.  His dedication to serving someone who is not even a constituent is extreme.

The look is not good.  A rich businessman donates large sums of money to National and gets preferential treatment.  If National had changed the immigration policy as Liu had asked its future would have been sealed.  National MPs must be pleased that the party did not succumb to the temptation.  If there is work being performed on changing this particular aspect of Immigration policy National is toast for a long time.

To add to Williamson’s woes there is a story today on how he failed to declare a Samsung Galaxy phone in his register of pecuniary interests.  His justification is that it was a loan rather than a gift and the value was less than $500 although this seems unlikely.  The sense of entitlement is strong in this one.  A question that springs to mind is how did the Herald find out about this?  The RPI is not subject to the Official Information Act 1982.

Then Audrey Young wondered if Judith Collins’ hopes of becoming the next leader of the National Party have been dashed and she wondered if, shudder, Paula Bennett may be the next senior ranking female in National’s caucus and Collins may not survive as a Minister.

The extent of Collins’ demise can be measured by the fact that the big question is no longer whether she has damaged her chances of leadership. The question is whether she will survive as a minister.

The comments about Paula Bennett are fascinating.  If she is the answer to National’s problems then they have major problems.  Her pugnacious stupidity reminds me of Pauline Hanson in her prime.

About Collins Young said the following:

She [Collins] had already suffered the ignominy of a lecture in caucus by Bill English – “we support you as a colleague but not your actions” was the gist of it – on top of the Prime Minister telling the country she should take some time off.

Tolley has been by Collins’ side most of the week, but on Tuesday Paula Bennett joined the support team.

And about Bennett Young said the following:

Both Collins and Bennett declined to talk to the Weekend Herald, but there is no mistaking that Bennett is on the ascendancy in terms of her influence in the party.

It was happening before the Collins decline, but it is more obvious now.

Bennett got the seat she wanted in Upper Harbour. She has recently been appointed to National’s campaign committee.

She has the active patronage of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister and would almost certainly leapfrog over Collins in the rankings were National to get a third term – assuming Collins survives.

If National did not win a third term, Bennett, who entered Parliament in 2005, could well be a contender for at least deputy leader.

And to add to the depressing news for National normally supportive commentator John Armstrong thinks that the wheels have fallen off National’s reelection campaign.

Tempting as it must have been to have done so, John Key apparently did not read the riot act to his fellow National MPs at their weekly closed-door caucus meeting last Tuesday.

That was probably wise of the leader. His colleagues did not need a lecture. What they wanted was reassurance.

Puzzled, befuddled and frazzled, they would have wanted answers to three questions – why are things suddenly turning to custard for National, what on earth is going to happen next and what are they going to do about it.

National is floundering. This may turn out to be a temporary aberration, and Key will call on every device in his political repertoire to ensure that it is.

But right now, it feels as if the political gods are bored with the widely-held assumption that National will cruise to victory in September’s election and have decided to throw obstacles in its way.

Even Rodney Hide thinks that the Government has had a week from hell.  Of the Williamson and Oravida scandals he said:

The two stories run together create an odorous pattern: Chinese immigrants, political donations, favoured treatment. The faintest whiff of corruption is the last thing the Government needs.

Williamson’s resignation was quick, clean and over. Meanwhile, Collins’ “short private dinner”and “quick glass of milk” drag on.

Screwing up in politics is forgivable and survivable. What is not forgivable – or survivable – is not killing the story stone dead. That is Collins’ predicament. Her screw-up is proving an ongoing sore and distraction.

There are still the cheerleaders.

John Roughan thinks that Judith Collins’ actions relating to Oravida are acceptable because New Zealand as a whole benefitted.  He concedes that she was in breach of the Cabinet Manual requirements.  His suggested rewrite of the rules is bizarre because then every Minister would be free to pursue business interests as long as they could show an advantage for the country as well.  This would be a recipe for blanket corruption.  I cannot believe that he said this.

But National must be worried that one of its strongest media supporters is now openly critical of its performance.

92 comments on “The Herald is turning against the Government”

  1. captain hook 1

    It looks as if the general seaminess of this avaricious and greedy gang is at last showing the nation what their true colours are and the public dont like it. wail boil might be good for a larf but he is rotten to the core and the thought of him and others like him being close to a government in power is becoming intolerable to the voters

  2. Visubversaviper 2

    One would like to think so. However, I have my suspicions that this is part of a temporary “see we are not biased” strategy a safe 5 months out from the election and that there will be a speedy return to default position of editorial mouths fixed to John Key’s backside which has marked the last 7 or so years.

    • blue leopard 2.1

      +1 Visuberversaviper – I have similar misgivings

    • greywarbler 2.2

      The line about editorial mouths fixed to Jks backside made me think of sucker fish or the scientific name remora (the fish not the commercial brand).
      https://www.google.co.nz/?gws_rd=cr&ei=A7JuU8H5HI3KkwXhlYDYBg#q=remora+images

      These are explained by Encyclopaedia Britannica –
      remora, also called sharksucker or suckerfish, any of eight species of marine fishes of the family Echeneidae (order Perciformes) noted for attaching themselves to, and riding about on, sharks, other large marine animals, and oceangoing ships. Remoras adhere by means of a flat, oval sucking disk on top of the head. The disk, derived from the spiny portion of the dorsal fin, contains a variable number of paired, crosswise plates.

      Remoras are thin, elongated, rather dark fishes from 30 to 90 cm (1 to 3 feet) long; they live in warmer waters and are found around the world. Remoras feed on the leavings of their hosts’ meals or, in some instances, act as cleaners by eating the external parasites of their transporters.

      Sounds but doesn’t look like Whaleoil but could apply to many journalists. Have a look at how they operate on divers.

    • Rodel 2.3

      Visubversaviper
      I agree. Watch the pendulum swing back as the election nears.
      With apologies to Oscar Wilde? ..”A politician is remembered for the last thing that the media reported.”

    • Draco T Bastard 2.4

      +1

      Exactly what I was thinking. Leopards do not change their spots.

    • Once was Tim 2.5

      +2. We’ll just have to keep track of their current stance and recite it ad nauseam back to them.
      It’s not just the Herald or Stuff either. Susan – I’m an incisive, investigative journalist – Wood is even at it (Geez I wish that specimen would fuck off back to Australia – she’d go down well at Skoi – she could become one of Paul Murray’s regulars, and look simply gorgeous while she’s at it).

    • emergency mike 2.6

      Yep, seen this movie before…

  3. Ergo Robertina 3

    ‘The comments about Paula Bennett are fascinating. If she is the answer to National’s problems then they have major problems. Her pugnacious stupidity reminds me of Pauline Hanson in her prime.’

    She’s underestimated the way Key was. They’re similar; obviously the pulled-themselves-up back story, but also their way of batting off issues and dissembling while somehow sounding reasonable to the general population.
    She doesn’t remind me of Hanson at all. In fact, in her pugnacious cunning, she resembles Key.

    • felix 3.1

      +1

    • greywarbler 3.2

      +2

    • Naturesong 3.3

      Yup, having lived in Australia at the time Hansen appeared as a political force (to the horror of every Australian I knew – including those I worked with), Paula Bennett is nothing like her.

      Hansen can charitably be described as pig ignorant, and a proud racist. None of Paula’s more subtle bene bashing (wink, wink) there.

      Paula is far more dangerous, though I suspect, not skilled enough to make it to the top of the National Party (I’d love for her to lead National as I don’t see the broader electorate wanting her as a PM)

      • Tracey 3.3.1

        they bash beneficiaries for a reason. its not jusy high earners that buy the bludger meme.

    • sabine 3.4

      Ahhh, the Paula Bennett Myth……………

      Nope, boots and straps were provided to Paula Bennett by the Government in form of Welfare, Study aid and Mortgage Aid.

      Without the Government help Paula Bennett received she would be nowhere, literally.

      Let her deny that she did it all by herself, and that the aid from the Taxpayer that she received was not what got her going in life as a young single mother.

    • Once was Tim 3.5

      +3

      Sorry to have to state the bleeding obvious, but like some of her other contemporaries – she ain’t exactly the brains of Britain. Oydeeolgee learned parrot-fashion …. or as her mate Soimun would say – “she got ‘learnings'” which seem to go well with her confusion over which is her mouth, and which is her R Sole. And it’ll sure as hell take a lot more than nit cure to sole that problem.

      Such IS the state of the National Party unfortunately. Bugger-all new ideas to rub together, and an up-and-coming bunch of thicknesses combined with a brand which provides their sense of entitlement and arrogance. We see it daily on here as the various trolls pop up when they feel threatened to spout their dogma. (Queue any one of them about to post “You don’t know me very well”).

      I genuinely wish it were otherwise – if only because governments of whatever persuasion need an effective opposition.

    • mickysavage 3.6

      I guess I have a very negative view of Bennett having seen her in action ever since she was elected. I do think that Key is in a class of his own.

    • Tracey 3.7

      agree. her default to lie when asked about cc, reminded me of an apprentice key. but her interesting statements on benefits and beneficiaries at best misleading, like the people going overseas, is from the key playbook.

      i sense nats donors were hoping for bridges but he has failed his training so far.

      i would have liked to see bennett against carmel again… shes already left her electorate having her meeti gs out in hobsonville.

  4. tricledrown 4

    National and its coalition partners are damaging our political systems.
    Corrupting Democracy for political gain.
    Dunne on the Alcohol tobacco Legal Highs teat.
    Banks the list is to long.
    National blatantly on the take the Hollow Men are still in charge.
    New Zealanders like a fair and even playing feild National are abusing the trust voters put in them to keep to the higher standard that PinoKeyO promised endlesly at 2008 this broken promise is just one more straw that’s broken the camels back..
    National are in deep trouble a royal visit couldn’t even produce a dead cat bounce.
    While Aron Gilmore and dorice Williamson were unceremonially sacked t(sacrificed) to make Key look strong.
    The lack of action on Collins is making Key look very weak.
    This close to an unloosable election Keys Knighthood is a gone burger.

    • Chooky 4.1

      +100..trickledown……”gone burger”…hope so!…and “dead cat bounce”…lol…Collins an “albatross around the neck” of NACT….Dunne “done his chips”….Williamson shown he is there for the highest bidder…in other words corrupt….Key stuck in his quagmire nest of rats ….Queenie NOT amused….

      …the Herald finally forced to be heraldic

      ….meanwhile the Cunliffe side looking more and more like a “well oiled team” ready for New Zealand governance 2014 !…..and long may they last !…..a NEW ERA…..the Dark Ages over

      • Liberal Realist 4.1.1

        Whist I sincerely hope that the public have woken up to the fact we’re currently governed by a bunch of self serving pirates, but we’re still 132 days out from the election. Key & Co will pull out every dirty trick in the ‘top drawer’ in the attempt to smear their opponents right up until election day.

        The opposition will need to keep the pressure up on current and any future scandals to keep MSM focused on Nact’s corrupt practises, lest The Herald et al slide back into their ‘default position’ – that the election is theirs to influence on behalf of an unwitting public in Nact’s favour.

        • Tracey 4.1.1.1

          and there is little evidence yet that labour has changed itsneo lib, whatever it takes to have power, spots

  5. Sanctuary 5

    John Roughan is clearly in Collin’s camp, and his piece is redolent of the bonkers and out-of-touch sense of entitlement that the Auckland city C&R/Nats are now infamous for. Wewege, Slater, Roughan, Collins, Williamson, Brewer, Quax – Long may they continue, they are Labour’s best weapon.

    I thought Hekia Parata was Key’s pet leadership project. She has fallen so far that if National win (God forbid) she may be deep-sixed to Washington. Collins is now exposed as a wing nut, English has already been leader once and look where that got them and Joyce has all the electoral appeal of an over-ripe mango. I don’t know how smart Paula Bennett is, but she DOES have some cross-over appeal to the more conservative elements of working class voters and beneficiary bashing is always wildly popular in the salons of the landlords and rentiers that make up the National party base, she has not been identified as part of any faction (compromise candidate) and could be the last woman standing when the factional cat fight dust settles.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.1

      Wondered about Roughan, is he angling for a senior job in the beehive ?

      I recently have been reading about the Tories in Britain leading up to WW2. Appeasement was the policy of Chamberlain, but there was a small coterie opposed including Churchill

      The book has the Editor of the Times ( Dawson) admitting he worked hard at preventing articles that were critical of Hitler being published and most outrageous he admitted changing the text of speeches of others that were printed.
      ( Troublesome Young Men – Lynne Olson)

      I wonder if Roughan has also been mothers little helper for National in the pages of the Herald over the years

  6. Paul 6

    Don’t get excited.
    They want you to vote ACT

  7. Tanz 7

    It’s just a blip. They will still most likely govern alone. The Herald will forget. Today’s news, tomorrow’s fish and chips’ paper.

  8. ianmac 8

    In John Roughan’s words: If any minister visiting China knew of an exporter she could help simply by showing up for a dinner with a border official, I think she should. The fact that she had a family connection to the company sounds less like a conflict of interest than a conjunction of interests to me.
    This is a Key trick. Twist and wriggle in spite of the facts. Hmmrp!

    • Tracey 8.1

      roughan also states he believed collins breached the cabinet manual and instead of going on to talk of the importanxe of ethics and that she must go, he wants the manual further diluted.

      if its not against the law its ok, is what roughan and nats are saying. the law only sets a minimum level of acceptable behaviour. too many people use it as the highest.

      how much tax did oravida pay lasy year, thats probably one tangible way to decide if collins actions were good for nz, apart from the spotlight being on our politicians and societys complete lack of ethics.

  9. ianmac 9

    Rob Salmond is there as well writing about the upcoming Budget. Watch out for:
    Governments often send tens of thousands of letters trumpeting the Budget’s new initiatives, complete with pages of “model families”, so bored people can see how pretend people will fare.

    You know the ones:”Bill earns $30,000 and Jill earns $70,000. Each has one leg. Thanks to the Budget, Bill and Jill receive an extra $12.78 + GST a week in the Government’s Have Extra Legs Pronto (HELP) scheme.”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11252973

  10. Red Rosa 10

    A bad week for the National Party, but a good week for NZ.

    So….1. the Nats are confirmed as for sale.

    Their supporters have (a lot) more money than the rest of us.
    Therefore, they can win elections and run the country. Easy, innit?

    Key is the slick salesman for a deeply corrupt crew, with an Extreme Right agenda smoothed over and sugar coated. He has had a plausible line on everything, until…now.

    The ACT budget unveiled this week will be the Nats’ next, make no mistake. If they get the chance!

    However, there must a be a lot of traditional Nats recoiling from these $ revelations. Let’s hope they have some conscience, and will at least stay away from the polls in September. Maybe even vote Green!

    Could be 2002 all over again.

  11. RedBaronCV 11

    Is the Herald leading it’s readership or following it. There is barely a positive comment attached to Nact favourable stories, and any spinning is called pretty quickly. I’m assuming they are filtering out all but the most civil comments, which makes one wonder just what the other comments look like.

  12. [Roughan’s] suggested rewrite of the rules is bizarre because then every Minister would be free to pursue business interests as long as they could show an advantage for the country as well. … I cannot believe that he said this.

    Oh, I can. It’s what countless Kiwiblog commenters have been saying for months now.

    Puzzled, befuddled and frazzled, they would have wanted answers to three questions – why are things suddenly turning to custard for National, what on earth is going to happen next and what are they going to do about it.

    Why would they be puzzled? They’ve got cabinet ministers enthusiastically adopting the Third World approach to politics, and the media have noticed. NZ is a First World country and we don’t like corrupt politicians – National is accordingly being dipped in shit right now by journos, pundits, the Opposition, you name it. There’s no great mystery to unravel here.

    What to do about it? Uh, duh-uh… Gee, that’s a tough one, huh guys? I’m no fancy spin doctor of the Matthew Hooton variety, but have you considered maybe dropping the corrupt practices? Seems like that would be a start…

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      What to do about it? Uh, duh-uh… Gee, that’s a tough one, huh guys? I’m no fancy spin doctor of the Matthew Hooton variety, but have you considered maybe dropping the corrupt practices?

      Considering that National are inherently psychopathic that would be a no.

  13. Tiger Mountain 13

    Casinos make sure the house appears to lose now and again (researchers and expert gamblers know about the percentages of the mathematically calculated “House Edge”) or they would have no customers.

    Similarly The Herald runs a few articles questioning National’s behaviour, which is better than not running any one supposes, to keep in with some of its readership that actually take it seriously. But in the overall rancid outpour of what passes for journalism these days The Herald never runs truly complimentary articles about the opposition or left issues; and in fact campaigns against the left with all the means at its disposal. e.g. Len Brown, not that Len Brown is exactly left but they are now down to barrel scrapings about his phone usage as that particular campaign sputters out. Rachel Glucina’s gossip column being used to seed Crosby Textor scripts–Collins ill etc.

  14. Sanctuary 14

    “…They’ve got cabinet ministers enthusiastically adopting the Third World approach to politics, and the media have noticed…”

    I work with an upper-caste, very religious Indian woman fresh of the boat from New Delhi. She is so fresh off the boat that she spends most of her time telling me how our welfare system is crime, because of the Hindu variation of the “rich man in his castle, poor man at his gate. The Lord God almighty made them both, and ordered their estate” thing. Same with public health, if God ordains you die of an infection because you can’t afford antibiotics, so be it. This is all to often the sort of new migrant we are getting – People from third world countries with no affinity or understanding of our welfare state, it’s history or the collective achievements of our forebears.

    Anyway, her husband had his photo taken with John Key and she was beside herself with joy at her proximity to power, she talked about Key like he was some sort of God who could smooth their path to a secure job on the railways or something. She simply cannot understand what all the fuss about Collins is about. In her (third) world view, the whole point of being in the ruling class is to mutually enrich each other. The lower castes should meekly accept they have no place at the high table, go away, and die quietly in the hope of a better life second time round.

    • greywarbler 14.1

      sanctuary
      Your comment reminds me of misgivings I have had about the attitude of people coming to live here from other countries. They generally are very aspirational, for themselves, and may be hostile to some of the policies we have instituted here. They want the better life they think they can have here, but do not want to learn about and fit in with our ways of doing things, the balance of life we have achieved. So some come here and start criticising our Maori policies, our Treaty repayments and so on. The Chinese seem to be very keen on the individualistic approach.

      The advanced policies for fair treatment of all that NZ has instituted are considered an imposition which many immigrants criticise and want to change to suit themselves. There is something badly wrong with the thinking of such people who cannot accept the culture of the land they move to when it is beneficial to others beside themselves. NZs should be aware that such people will act to dismantle our responsible state into one providing largesse and advantages for the most aggressive accumulators.

      Recently a friend returned from a visit to China, noticeable was how expensive things were, and when there was a buffet table, the Asian people flocked to it and created a Wall of China between other diners and the food. It sounded a very competitive society lacking in grace and courtesy. But I haven’t talked in detail yet. Those were first impressions and may have been balanced by happier experiences.

      • Matthew 14.1.1

        By far the most racist migrants are Brits and white South Africans —you should hear the conversation among a bunch of white migrant engineers – Canadians, South Africans, and Poms concerning Maori policies. Never hear this stuff from Chinese, and only a little from Indians – in my experience.

        I was working on a Mainzeal site about a decade ago —there was this white South African quantity surveyor absolutely flabbergasted that a colleague who was a fellow African but one that was ‘black as the ace of spades’ was allowed into the country.

        The Chinese seem OK —-also all over the Western world they have traditionally voted left. In fact in the US they voted overwhelmingly for Obama. Whereas whites largely vote conservative.

        A browning of the Western world, will quite likely be of benefit to left-leaning parties —this effect was very clearly seen in the 2012 presidential elections. That was the US, but I can see that there are some similarities to the case in NZ.

        I’m wondering where you get your idea that Asians don’t like the “advanced policies for fair treatment of all that NZ has instituted are considered an imposition which many immigrants criticise” – maybe some do, but no more than any other group of immigrants or even locals themselves.

        We have far more to fear from white migrants on a whole (who still outnumber non-white migrants), than Asians.

    • RedLogix 14.2

      Yes – I’ve had this sort of unsettling encounter too. It’s one thing to see it in the Third World country, it’s quite another when you see it in action here.

      Having said that – if your ‘ upper-caste, very religious Indian woman fresh of the boat from New Delhi’ was to actually fall on hard times she’d likely demand very prompt service from the welfare system of the First World country she has moved to.

      • Sanctuary 14.2.1

        I see it as generational though. I have met her her 14 year old daughter who has already been here a year, and the young lass is already determinedly sailing down the cameo creme path. I predict much angst for her mum, especially when she turns up with her first (most likely non-Indian) boyfriend!

        In general, Indians assimilate well by the second generation – the FBIs have an unalloyed blessing for NZ. The key to immigration is to be sure New Zealanders stay in control of it and our culture remains dominant.

  15. ianmac 15

    What will National do to reverse the bad publicity?
    They will hit back and it will be big. I have no doubt that they have “dirt” to spring on the Opposition probably aimed at David. National have a big investment in digging up the dirt and will use Whaleoil to set the ball rolling.
    A ruling Party scorned is an animal cornered and willing to fight hard.

    • mac1 15.1

      I see, Ianmac, that Key’s reaction to having the Greens point out that his Chief of Staff’s attendance at a Cabinet Club meeting made it an official PM engagement, was that the Greens wanted to have state funded parties. In other words deflection politics.

      Key of course would prefer private corruption to public funding, but there I am, already captured by his deflection……….

    • Tracey 15.2

      that drawer of key will be flung wide open now. now to get it to farrar and slater et al with no trail to key.

    • David H 15.3

      Yeah but Whalespew is also tainted by the Collins Oravida brush as well.

  16. Blue 16

    The temperature in Hell hasn’t dropped yet, Micky.

    John Roughan would choke if he ever tried to utter a bad word about National, and Audrey Young had to take the lead with the Williamson scandal because John Armstrong simply couldn’t bear to write anything bad about his precious. He only recovered the ability to spin after hearing his beloved’s snide voice in Parliament.

    Trevett tried to return to business as usual bashing Labour, but the public didn’t take the bait. Now they’re all just wondering how best to help National recover from this mess and win the election.

    My guess is a big focus on the Budget (trumpeting whatever slim surplus English has managed to invent), after which they will declare Collins yesterday’s news (especially if she keeps her head down) and then they will launch renewed attacks on Labour. Business as usual.

    • Paul 16.1

      Every time a Tory says surplus, tell them how much this government has out this country into debt.
      2008 $ 10 billion
      2014 $ 76 billion and counting (see below)

      http://www.nationaldebtclocks.org/debtclock/newzealand
      http://www.interest.co.nz/Charts/Government/government-debt

      • dave 16.1.1

        its alot higher than that when you add in private debt as well .bubble economy govt surplus will be meaning less when it pops

    • geoff 16.2

      Claire Trevett’s piece read like a kiwiblog post. Here’s a couple of doozey paragraphs…

      One poll was reported to have Labour only five or six points ahead of the Greens. Emerging from the election as effectively a medium-sized party is no way to celebrate Labour’s centenary. The prospect those List MPs could be looking in the Situations Vacant come October was focusing minds.

      There were whispers about the nuclear option of forcing a leadership change, not necessarily to win the election but to try to shore up Labour’s vote from a catastrophic low. Ironically, Cunliffe’s opponents Jones and Robertson may well have stopped those musings turning into a more concrete push. Some had discussed putting Jones up as that last-minute leader because he could have an immediate impact on the polling.

  17. Ant 17

    I enjoy the breathless reporting from journalists that Labour or National are now doing something different – “wheels falling off” etc.

    Good way of ignoring that National’s behaviour or competence hasn’t changed one bit, journalists like Armstrong have just started doing their fucking jobs instead of writing John Key fan fic.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 17.1

      +1 Ant

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 17.1.1

        I guess to give some positive feedback to the members of the media who have been providing some real critical analysis of NZ political activity recently:

        It is good to see some people in the media doing their job, thank you.

        It would be good to see this trend continue. This would allow this year’s election results to be based on informed decisions – not misinformed ones. Mob rule is one of the weaknesses of democratic systems – informed voters is the way to avoid this. Please play your important role with integrity members of the media.

        Thanks

    • Lanthanide 17.2

      +1

  18. Clemgeopin 18

    The dirty stink of corruption, favouritism, dodgyness and nepotism has been profusely surrounding this discredited government due to its VARIOUS actions in favour of the very wealthy donors and high powered elite during their six year reign. Only the completely biased or easily fooled or dimly deluded or ardent fans will not see it.

  19. Karen 19

    It would be great if The Herald did start turning against National but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Collins and Williamson have behaved so badly political reporters have been forced to be critical. However Armstrong is still accepting Key’s claim that Collins was only guilty of a ‘perceived’ conflict of interest and praised Key’s ‘red hot’ performance while Trevett used her column to claim the Labour Party’s polling had dropped to the low 20s. This was untrue according to Rob Salmond on Polity. So did she just make that up? Then there was the back page puff piece about poor misunderstood Judith by Rachel Glucina, and don’t get me started on John (what’s good for Judith is good for NZ) Roughan.

  20. Paul 20

    While Rachel Glucina works hand in hand with Slater to dredge up old photos of Moana Dotcom,
    we know the Herald is like the Mail and Fox..a tabloid right wind hate sheet, prepared to do anything to smear its opponents.

  21. Skinny 21

    Watching the hysterical behavior of first Joyce and then Boag on Q & A this morning, you would say that the Nats are dead in Sept.

    Labour,Greens and NZF need to hone in the attack in on ACT and Jamie White, this guy is real bad news and will further erode the Nat brand by guilt of association. Since the trust issue surrounding political donations is hot, its time to bring in the question of ;

    Are Kiwi’s prepared to gamble on trusting a third term National/ACT Government and risk the likes of student loans being wiped, more asset sales, and other nasty policies being pushed by ACT?

    • dave 21.1

      win stone called him out the jungle man over here and acts epsom candidate oh god Monty python on steroids labours candidate in epsom will chew him apart in the debates Mr woods might not win epsom but he will make a mockery out of nact.

    • aerobubble 21.2

      I’m surprised they missed the sexist comment. Flip them 20 dollars said Whtye.

      As for Whtye’s housing policy, even terrorists should be able to buy houses in Auckland.

      What a nutter, does he actually believe governments cannot limit the market? Yep.

      Sprawl is good says Whtye.

      Exactly when will someone point out that his platform isn’t about anything.

      But the politics. How does attacking homeowners equity when their neighbor decides to build a 20 story apartment? When National voters have no influence over government, as government has shut up shop under an ACT government? When men are flipping women $20…

      The guy is a cretin.

      • Clemgeopin 21.2.1

        He and Richard Prebbel are targeting the 5% like minded other selfish wealthy greedy nutters for their votes. What worries me even more is that ACT is actually mouthing the real secret agenda of their masters, the National Party whose BFF is ACT. National plays safe publicly as it knows that it will be curtains for them if otherwise. For any far right policy or programme it might undertake while in power, it can always easily place the blame on their coalition partner, the ACT.

      • Delia 21.2.2

        and his latest one in the Listener article about business giving to charity…according to Jamie they are ripping of their shareholders. You could not make it up.

        • Clemgeopin 21.2.2.1

          Did he now! Oh dear! What was the topic of his philosophy thesis, I wonder. Does any one know?

          Where does ACT find these guys!…We have had Douglas, Prebbel, Garret, Huata, Brash, Banks….and now Jamie who is ok with insects even! ACT is a strange libertarian outfit! NATS can have them!

          • karol 21.2.2.1.1

            Don’t know his thesis, but here is a sketch of his background:

            Jamie is an IEA fellow and the Leader of ACT New Zealand. He is also the Head of Research and Publishing at Oliver Wyman Financial Services. He has previously worked as a management consultant for the Boston Consulting Group, as a philosophy lecturer at Cambridge University and as a foreign currency trader.

            Jamie is the author of Crimes Against Logic (2004), A Load of Blair (2005) and Quack Policy (2013). He is a regular contributor of opinion columns to the Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times and The Times. In 2006 he won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism and in 2010 he was runner-up.

            Jamie will speak on the topic “The Green Erosion of Property Rights”

            I can’t find anything about any of those books he has written.

            • Clemgeopin 21.2.2.1.1.1

              Thanks Karol.
              His CV is very impressive and he does come across as a nice guy. But what I can’t get around is how a nice educated learned philosopher can support a selfish, hands off, survival of the fittest, greed infested philosophy, agenda and policies of this awful ACT party! Strange stuff!

              • McFlock

                Intriguing review of his “A Load of Blair” book here.

                The gist seems to be he’s good at logic, but has difficulty with vague words and metaphors. And wants judicial review of political promises, comparing them to business contracts.

                Thing about business contracts, is that all parties can get lawyers to ensure the terms are both agreeable and precise.

                Seems to be a typical tory – big on logic and precise semantic definitions, but has difficulty understanding why hu-mons cry.

                • karol

                  Exactly my thoughts about Whyte, McFlock. And the more in depth reviews point to something I have long thought: that human reasoning, including on political views, includes a mix of the objective and the subjective. Underlying any logical explanation, there are value judgements and assumptions. I prefer people identify and state their underlying values. Whyte’s seem to relate to a belief in the free market, property ownership, the ethos of the business world , individualism, etc, and a lack of understanding or valuing of democratic processes – a view from the perspective of the privileged

                  even while asking to end a culture of entitlement.

                  And he also comes from a foreign currency trader background. All for business, profiteering, clever logic, and little concern for the struggles of ordinary folks.

  22. ghostwhowalksnz 22

    Whats happened to the TV polls. Arent they usually run around the first week of the month in election year ?
    Here we are at the 11th and no sign

  23. finbar 23

    Orivita is not going away and next week in the house Collins, will again be feeling the presure as Labour,Greens and Nz First lay into her again,and without doubt Key, and Brownlee, as back up, will be fending off the cries of corruption and crony capitalism.

    In regard to who Collins, or Bennnet, as Nationals leader.Collins, has not handled the pressure of the Orivita scandal and as far as the old guard Nats are concerned that will be a indeliable debit in her leadership portfolio.Bennet, on the other hand ,does not have the intelect to lead them,understanding, that she can rant with the best of them no denying that,but she is only parroting cabinet ,caucus and imported off shore hirelings right wing propoganda.Yet her biggest hurdle is that she may be a member of the Party,but she is not of them.

    • Murray Olsen 23.1

      I think the posh Tories in Britain said that Thatcher was a member, but not of them as well. Thatcher, however, did have an intellect. People I know who’ve come across Paula at National Party meetings have remarked that she really is thick, even by provincial Nact standards.

  24. One Anonymous Bloke 24

    When it comes down to it The Herald doesn’t speak for National. Rather, they represent the same interests, and those interests (most of them) take as dim a view of corruption as anyone.

  25. North 25

    It’s hard to tell what’s happening but my observations tell me this: there is definitely a growing sentiment, like it’s par for the course, Key and National are in it for themselves and their rich mates no argument about it needed or ventured. Forget the sideshow of JokeyHen’s smiles and the bullshit of “Hey, I’m your ordinary bloke……” Too much has happened. September will be an occasion on which this still mainly subliminal register will bubble up to say out loud – “Nah don’t like you pricks……” Thank goodness for the ongoing expressions of
    arrogance and hubris from the flawed likes of Collins et al. All grist
    for the mill of destruction of probably the most adept conman New Zealand politics has ever seen.

  26. Marius 26

    LOL at Paula Bennett deputy leader of a political party. Certainly she’s as ugly as Jenny Shipley – and as thick. I suppose she has a shot. Maybe they could have Paul rat face Henry for leader. Who cares which of them get in where. It’s the same dreary round of inconsistencies no matter where you vote, if you’re stupid enough to bother.

  27. amirite 27

    I suspect that the little Govt apparatchiks in the media are waiting for some dirt to be delivered to them by Whaleoil to get into a full war mode against Labour. Note how every time they report about the Nats’ corrupt practices, they try to neutralise it by saying that Labour does the same, but when there’s some scandal with Labour, the Nats doing the same or worse isn’t even mentioned.
    Pretty pathetic and predictable really and quite depressing, because we don’t really have the free and independent media, only corporate RW arselickers.

  28. red blooded 28

    Marius – are only attractive women allowed to have leadership aspirations?

    I can’t stand Bennet’s bullying personality or simplistic view of the world, but I don’t give a shit what she looks like. Let’s try to avoid that kind of sexist putdown, eh?

    • amirite 28.1

      red blooded – ugly does not necessarily relate to physical characteristics, actually IMO physically Paula Bennett may be attractive but she has an ugly personality

  29. Tigger 29

    I like this ‘wrong but helped the country’ defence. Murder, theft, fraud…could come in useful for a future jam.

  30. Charmaine 30

    I have always strongly suspected there was some type of corruption behind the selling of the Crafar Farms. It just didn’t stack up. I am now heavily swayed to Labour primarily because I am so upset about the selling out of NZ. New Zealanders need to get very vocal about how badly this will affect us in the near term and for future generations. Labour has my vote on this issue alone. I have been working two to three jobs since leaving school and bought my first small house at 19 and have worked my ass off to get ahead buying and selling. My dream is to own a farm. The percent return on them unfortunately is appalling as they are so inflated in value because of the enormous wealth from offshore buying them at prices that will keep them out of the reach of hard working aspirant kiwis such as myself. Go Labour.

    • Rodel 30.1

      We need more farmers (and business people) with your intelligence and attitude.

    • Lanthanide 30.2

      The percent return on them unfortunately is appalling as they are so inflated in value because of the enormous wealth from offshore buying them at prices that will keep them out of the reach of hard working aspirant kiwis such as myself.

      It’s always a bit of a pickle though really, because the people who own the farms and want to sell up, naturally want to get the best price possible. It’s all about short-term thinking and self-interest, a bit of a tragedy of the commons type scenario where individual actions ruin it for everyone else.

    • RedLogix 30.3

      I have always strongly suspected there was some type of corruption behind the selling of the Crafar Farms.

      I know for a fact that the Minister interfered with Landcorp’s process of bidding to ensure they would not be successful.

    • Tracey 30.4

      thats the good of the country right there

      let me ask the market. the market says yeeees. (hat tip lil britain)….

  31. BLiP 31

    I’ll need a lot more convincing that the New Zealand Fox News Herald has changed its spots. Being the cynic that I am, it seems more likely that Granny is manufacturing a nadir from which, thanks to the glorious wonders of John Key, National Ltd™ has overcome with sound management, learned its lessons, has reformed and “in the end” was only trying to do its best – yadda yadda yadda. In short, this weekend’s edition seems to provide a platform rather than an analysis or realisation.

    On the other hand, it must be remembered that the primary function of the New Zealand Fox News Herald is to provide a return to its foreign owners. Perhaps there has been a realisation that its reader-base has turned against National Ltd™ and, in terms of keeping the customers happy, has moved to reflect that mood.

    I dunno, except one swallow does not a summer make.

    • Draco T Bastard 31.1

      +1

    • RedLogix 31.2

      I agree. Look carefully at the language being used.

      It’s more regretful in tone than damning.

    • Stuart Munro 31.3

      It may have something to do with being on speaking terms with the incoming government.

      (scenario: National and Labour leaders visit their parents)

      Headline: Key consolidates family values
      Headline: Cunliffe runs crying home to mother

      If you’re running tripe like this the 2nd rate horse-race journalism gravy train may come to an end. Government too might consider some long overdue media regulations around foreign ownership, and preventing abuses like the Key plug segment on ZB.

      • RedLogix 31.3.1

        Government too might consider some long overdue media regulations around foreign ownership

        Oh dear – cue front page maxi-point Headline: Death of Democracy

    • Tracey 31.4

      its soft soaping to lead into its cheerleading of the budget…

      nothing to see here folks, and now for the fabulous economic rockstar…

  32. aerobubble 32

    Its perception. China tightens up on milk imports.
    Some milk re-packers aren’t going to have a market
    for their product. National looks more interested
    in helping Oriveda, a donor, into China. So of
    course national voters, who are worried that they have
    to donate to keep their china market might be being undermined
    by those on the inside of government paddling their own waka.

    The growth in cabinet clubs, not member clubs, empathizes
    the connecting to the executive rather than the party.

    So a National voter whose China exposure gets hurt when a Minister
    has their own play. But worse, very real companies now have
    lost a market for their products in China. China scares have led to
    a rise in regulation, even the whiff that this may in part be due to
    Collins and Oriveda, should cause National voters anger. Worse,
    if the un-named border control personage had been fired, Collins
    would be toast within hours.

    Feeding the perception. Dumb squid on Q+A not seeing
    any problem. A reality of perception myopia.

    • Tracey 32.1

      has anyone seen or heard a nat state, that there have been cc functions which no minister attended?

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