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Archive for February, 2008

Key: pay cuts for you, backhanders for my mates

Written By: - Date published: 11:47 am, February 21st, 2008 - 32 comments

Even as he flounders from one excuse to the next over his ‘we would love to see wages drop’ statement, it has emerged that John Key is offering hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to his big business mates. Key promised a $200 million suspensory loan to a new merger of Southland meat exporters. Not […]

Doing the rounds

Written By: - Date published: 10:14 am, February 21st, 2008 - 17 comments

Looks like John Ansell’s finally got his mojo back. Hat tip: Ant.

Key resorts to “memory lapse” defense

Written By: - Date published: 8:59 am, February 21st, 2008 - 43 comments

So without Bill to run interference like he did in the House yesterday, John Key has resorted to the age-old “memory lapse” (aka “Don Brash”) defense regarding his statement to Kerikeri Business Association that “we would love to see wages drop”. Key’s use of the memory lapse defense places him in the illustrious company of […]

Key squirms under scrutiny in the House

Written By: - Date published: 3:18 pm, February 20th, 2008 - 60 comments

Key’s comment that “we would love to see wages drop” to a group of business-people last year has come under increasing scrutiny in the House today. Rather than defend his statement himself, Key sat squirming as English attempted to deflect Cullen’s attack – hardly a good look for the leader of the opposition, getting someone […]

John Key’s plan to cut your pay

Written By: - Date published: 10:46 am, February 20th, 2008 - 144 comments

“We would love to see wages drop”. You would think that given the simmering debate about our wage gap with Australia at the moment that would be the last thing you’d expect to hear from the leader of the National Party. Especially when he’d gone on record in the national media just a week ago […]

Bursting the bauble

Written By: - Date published: 9:50 am, February 20th, 2008 - 39 comments

While the David Farrars and Fran O’Sullivans of this world have been trying to create a storm over Owen Glenn’s recent comments, real journalists have seen it for the non-story it is. Owen Glenn gave some money to Labour, he did so openly, unlike National’s secret backers who gave them $2 million in 2005 alone. […]

Fidel calls it a day

Written By: - Date published: 10:09 pm, February 19th, 2008 - 30 comments

The BBC reports that Fidel Castro has retired as Cuban leader. Castro has survived a US-backed invasion, numerous assassination attempts and the fall of the Soviet Union, but after nearly 50 years in power his ailing health finally got the better of him. His legacy will be a mixed one. Authoritarian rule, human rights abuses […]

Labour with its claws out

Written By: - Date published: 11:28 am, February 19th, 2008 - 31 comments

The Press has a good article on the political blogs. The Standard and our mates Kiwiblogblog are referred to as “Labour with its claws out”. As has been explained before, we are not Labour: we are a loose group of Leftwing writers, some of whom are associated with the labour movement, but the image is […]

The baby bounce

Written By: - Date published: 9:53 am, February 19th, 2008 - 41 comments

When a society goes through trauma, one of the first results is a drop in the birth-rate. People choose not to have children in a time of strife and uncertainty. When good times return, the birth rate bounces back. The pattern could be seen worldwide following the two world wars. In Eastern Europe, where economic […]

Owen Glenn

Written By: - Date published: 8:33 am, February 19th, 2008 - 65 comments

John Armstrong’s opinion is that: It is inconceivable that Helen Clark would have blithely offered a wealthy donor to Labour Party coffers a seat at the Cabinet table… Anyone who knows what makes Clark tick knows she is far too clever and far too cautious ever to trap herself into making such promises of patronage. […]

Tim Barnett to leave parliamentary politics

Written By: - Date published: 7:43 am, February 19th, 2008 - 10 comments

The Press reports that “Christchurch Central MP Tim Barnett has announced he will not stand as a candidate for any seat in the general election.” At the end of October, Labour MP Barnett announced he would not stand for the Christchurch Central seat again. Now he has withdrawn entirely, saying he will not put himself […]

The Emperor’s New Clothes

Written By: - Date published: 9:54 pm, February 18th, 2008 - 11 comments

Many, many years ago lived an emperor, who thought so much of new clothes that he spent all his money in order to obtain them; his only ambition was to be always well dressed. He did not care for his soldiers, and the theatre did not amuse him; the only thing, in fact, he thought […]

Keeping it Kiwi

Written By: - Date published: 4:26 pm, February 18th, 2008 - 19 comments

Dairy farmers have rejected the Fonterra Board’s short-sighted plan to sell 20% of the company. Fonterra wanted to raise cash with a stock-market float to fund expanding its dairying operations in other countries but in the long-run Fonterra would have paid out far more in dividends to (offshore) stockholders. The dairy farmers would end up […]

National’s lack of ambition

Written By: - Date published: 12:14 pm, February 18th, 2008 - 27 comments

A bang and a fizz and another sort of a bang, and then it was gone. Does anyone know the whereabouts of John Key’s “Ambitious” DVD online? It’s mysteriously disappeared both from their site and from YouTube. They’ve even gone as far as to delete all reference to its release on the 28th of November […]

Claims of Aussie brain drain a myth

Written By: - Date published: 12:04 pm, February 18th, 2008 - 29 comments

Refreshing to see the fourth estate challenging the political spin from time to time. The Independent Financial Review has this on the myth of the Aussie brain drain: Far from losing our “best and brightest” as business lobby groups insist about half of Kiwi migrants are blue collar or “no collar” workers, according to departure […]

Colmar Brunton poll

Written By: - Date published: 11:21 am, February 18th, 2008 - 25 comments

The polls seem to be all over the place at the moment, with last night’s TVNZ/Colmar Brunton poll showing National out to a 19 point lead over Labour. That’s quite a swing from recent polls, which have shown the gap between the two major parties narrowing to within ten points, and although Colmar Brunton has […]

Hutch back on Sunrise

Written By: - Date published: 9:09 am, February 18th, 2008 - 24 comments

Mike Hutcheson has somehow made another appearance, this morning, on TV3’s Sunrise programme. This is the guy who told viewers late last year that New Zealand’s problems were caused by a “girltocracy” – presumably a reference to too many women running things for Hutch’s liking. This morning he offered up some obscure research apparently showing […]

And the Nats want this man in parliament?

Written By: - Date published: 11:51 pm, February 16th, 2008 - 72 comments

I was just checking out the blogs and discovered this little gem on Kiwiblog: # Stephen Franks Says: February 16th, 2008 at 7:18 pm Britain’s had an independent enquiry into Blair/Labour’s ‘Cash for Honours’ scandal. Anyone want a bet on the chances of getting anything similarily cleansing here? One problem – Scotland Yard still has […]

Katherine’s tangible policy presence

Written By: - Date published: 10:05 pm, February 16th, 2008 - 11 comments

It’s been a few days now since the announcement of Katherine Rich’s decision to stand down from politics, but articles such as in today’s NZ Herald continue to try and explain “why”. Perhaps they also have that sense that her departure could be a turning point, the significance eluding us until we’re further down the […]

Coming unstuck

Written By: - Date published: 9:08 pm, February 16th, 2008 - 51 comments

Only days after trying to eat a plate, in yet another freak (can I call him that?) accident, National Party blogger David Farrar has glued his hand to his face. Bystanders (standing by too close by if you want my opinion) were powerless to help. Could a one-handed Google search save David? Stay tuned.

The power behind the Nats’ message discipline

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 pm, February 16th, 2008 - Comments Off on The power behind the Nats’ message discipline

Had to laugh at this in The Herald on Rich’s retirement: She has told all her caucus colleagues only that morning that she’s retiring. One of them – Simon Power, who entered Parliament on the same date in 1999 – is quietly sitting beside her now for moral support. “It’s like having Big Brother right […]

Good news

Written By: - Date published: 4:05 pm, February 16th, 2008 - 16 comments

Stuff reports the stolen military medals have been returned. I had expected they would never be seen again but when I think about it nearly every high-profile theft of art or artifact I can remember has resulted a successful return. Kudos to the police for making sure we get to keep a part of our […]

“The literal truth”

Written By: - Date published: 10:49 am, February 16th, 2008 - 49 comments

Fran O’Sullivan’s continuing her ongoing philosophical project of interrogating the notion of truth in her latest repetition of Kiwiblog talking points Herald column. In it she picks up on the Owen Glenn interview and from a few disparate facts weaves a story of intrigue and mystery. Or rather provides us with an insight into the […]

Someone really needs to do this with Winston’s speech

Written By: - Date published: 6:31 pm, February 15th, 2008 - 4 comments

Well, I think it’s funny.

Rich reaction roundup

Written By: - Date published: 11:35 am, February 15th, 2008 - 44 comments

Colin Espiner reckons that Rich’s departure will hurt the Nats. “She represented”, he says, “precisely the sort of social liberal, moderate, youthful face that the party needs to counter the tougher, drier, and more conservative side of National. The one that the public is still, sometimes, afraid of.” He accepts her reason for leaving though, […]

PM announces plan to tackle graffiti

Written By: - Date published: 11:21 am, February 15th, 2008 - 25 comments

Helen Clark has just announced a range of measures aimed at cutting down on graffiti vandalism. Presumably the initiative will be supported by the Nats. Who knows about the Free Speech Coalition though – their position on free speech seems remarkably dependent on who’s doing the speaking. (From yesterday’s Southland Times)

National seeks to stop free speech

Written By: - Date published: 8:56 am, February 15th, 2008 - 100 comments

Vernon Small reports today that National party blogger David Farrar has taken out a complaint against the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union’s registration as a third party under the Electoral Finance Act. Now aside from the fact that the founder of the Free Speech Coalition is trying to use the very legislation he has so […]

Peters’ reply to the PM’s statement

Written By: - Date published: 7:36 pm, February 14th, 2008 - 29 comments

The Herald covers it pretty well: ‘He begins poetically – a narrator hooking an audience – with “furrowed brows in the dusty roads of countryside New Zealand, in the cowsheds, and woolshed and shearing sheds and the export works”. When even the Prime Minister has abandoned her paperwork to listen, he rewards her by making […]

National’s house of straw

Written By: - Date published: 5:38 pm, February 14th, 2008 - 13 comments

Affordable housing is the topic de jour. The foundation of affordable housing in New Zealand and other developed nations has long been houses built by the government and rented cheaply: state housing. Since the construction of the first state house in 1937, it has been a history of Labour building them and National selling them […]

Karl Rove on John McCain

Written By: - Date published: 12:52 pm, February 14th, 2008 - 6 comments

The Dummies’ Guide to National’s wage policy

Written By: - Date published: 12:35 pm, February 14th, 2008 - 68 comments

I never really understood how National planned to make wages grow because every time our man John Key is asked about our wage-gap with Australia he starts talking about cutting taxes. Here’s a recent example from Morning Report: Key: Firstly we will raise wages. I mean, after-tax wages will be rising under a National government. […]

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