Written By: - Date published: 2:29 pm, April 18th, 2014 - 37 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, election 2014, john key, Judith Collins, labour, making shit up, mana, maori party, national, news, newspapers, same old national, spin, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:
This week had everything,
It started off with John Key challenging David Cunliffe to a debate on housing, Cunliffe eagerly accepting and then Key backing out quickly.
The media then said that it was Cunliffe who was afraid for not turning up to Parliament on Tuesday but instead talking to 300 of the country’s top directors and for failing to have John Campbell round to his home for a soft news story. The Herald for instance ran a headline “David Cunliffe denies he is running scared.”
The only scared one was John Key for failing to live up to his promise to debate housing with Cunliffe. This rather startling fact was not mentioned in the Herald Article which chose instead to adopt the National Party counter framing of the story. Dear Herald you are meant to be a newspaper, not the mouthpiece for the National Party.
As for the claims well the stuff up theory definitely applies to the home visit. It was a case of a not quite finalised arrangement. David needs every soft media event that he can get and I am sure that his home will soon grace the TVs of the country.
And as for the not turning up to Parliament claim well Key and Cunliffe both originally agreed to speak to the meeting. Key pulled out and sent Joyce. Cunliffe went and faced an audience which is not exactly Labour friendly. As Rachel Smalley, who emceed the event said:
… David Cunliffe was given the opportunity to put forward the position of the left on all of these issues, and he took that. He was booked in some time ago.
No doubt about it, it was a tough audience for him. But it’s an audience that Cunliffe would believe with his business background and his economic brain that he could win over. I’m not so sure. I’m not so sure given the business climate at the moment – our flush economy, the investment in trade, the growth forecasts. Cunliffe was up against it, trying to win over an audience that I think would overwhelmingly vote National.
He made his case for a capital gains tax. He explained why he would change the Reserve Bank Act to influence monetary policy. He pushed the need for economic diversity, to ease our reliance on dairy. Again, I’m not sure how much cut through he got with any of that. But he’s the opposition leader and it’s an audience that he couldn’t turn down.
That’s why I’m a little perplexed that his absence from question time triggered such criticism. Yes, the opportunities for Cunliffe to spar with John Key before the election are few, but just how much cut-through does he get in that environment? And can he really be accused of running scared of the Prime Minister by addressing an audience of business leaders and directors? I don’t think so.
The Government and its support parties did not have such a good week. The Maori Party showed clearly that it is nothing more than a Kapa Haka party for National. Native Affairs continued on with some impressive investigative journalism work.
Judith Collins was under even more pressure when it was revealed that Oravida had lobbied the Government directly for help with getting its products into China before the infamous private dinner involving Collins, Oravida directors and an anonymous Chinese Official. Question time descended into farce as Collins refused to name the dinner guest or reveal his position. You really get the feeling that but for her seniority and the closeness of the election date Collins’ Ministerial Career would be at an end.
Matt Blomfield, the person suing Cameron Slater was reported to have been shot at and attacked by an unnamed assailant in his home on the weekend. I am sure that Cameron would not be so stupid as to have been involved in this but you have to wonder if the Prime Minister may be less ready to use Slater’s services because of the rumours circulating around.
The final shares in the power companies were hocked off at a significant underprice amply displayed by an immediate 17% gain in share price. This particular episode of economic vandalism will be remembered for a long time.
Labour launched an impressive Manufacturing Policy. This is one of those sleeper issues that really matter in ordinary New Zealand away from the beltway.
And the latest Roy Morgan Poll put a bit of a damper on Easter. Of course one poll should not be viewed in isolation and it may be another bouncy poll which Roy Morgan seem to produce. But it seems that the sugar rush of gushing good feelings brought on by the Royal Tour had lifted peoples expectations. No doubt this was always the intent.
But with the Mana.com party collecting 2% and with National’s support almost inevitably going to reduce it is going to be a very interesting year.