Archive for October, 2008

Side-show

Written By: - Date published: 6:12 pm, October 31st, 2008 - 32 comments

I see the media are now comparing the ‘redundancy’ packages on offer with all of the horse race vigour they applied to the tax cuts. That’s understandable as the media like quantifiable measures so they can make simple graphs and X is greater or less than Y soundbite statements. But what they have forgotten is […]

Greenpeace converts John’s office

Written By: - Date published: 3:22 pm, October 31st, 2008 - 34 comments

Some great political theatre from Greenpeace yesterday. A bunch of climate activists got up at the crack of dawn, plastered ready-made lawn around the outside of John Key’s electorate office, then put up some wee pine trees and stumps alongside a billboard saying ‘Would John solve this climate crime?’ Looks like a couple of them […]

Granny Herald yearns for good old days but democracy alive and well

Written By: - Date published: 2:59 pm, October 31st, 2008 - 15 comments

The Herald is once again trying to convince us that everyone is so scared of the EFA that there is no poltiical participation going on. Once again, they cite some rich right-wing organisations that don’t want to have to identify themselves when advertising, and so haven’t advertised at all. It seems the Right’s view is […]

The Standard Week: 24-31 October

Written By: - Date published: 2:35 pm, October 31st, 2008 - 10 comments

Two more examples of senior Nats hiding their conflicts of interest, in violation of Parliament’s rules, were revealed on The Standard this week. This time, however, the Nats were smart enough to have the issue fronted by chief spin-doctor Kevin Taylor and Gerry Brownlee, who knew that a robust response was the way to satisfy […]

Tories’ crack at socialism a poor substitute

Written By: - Date published: 1:39 pm, October 31st, 2008 - 5 comments

National’s redundancy package would effectively continue Working for Families payments for some people who would otherwise lose them after redunancy. Only people who have been in the same job for six months would get it, cutting out labourers, temps, and contract workers. For about the same cost, it would deliver more money to fewer people […]

Arseneau: Election too close to call

Written By: - Date published: 1:26 pm, October 31st, 2008 - 64 comments

In her blog column Teresa Arseneau discusses the polls overall, and what happens if the largest party doesn’t form the government: Several of these polls suggest that while National is likely to “win” the election – receive both the most votes and seats – it may not govern….But in an MMP election it is important […]

Franks caught vandalising own billboards

Written By: - Date published: 12:34 pm, October 31st, 2008 - 23 comments

In a strange twist in the Franks billboard monitoring saga, infra red camera footage has revealed that Franks himself was responsibile for defacing his own hoardings. Franks had previously claimed that he was the victim of an organised campaign to deface his hoardings and had installed infra red cameras to monitor his billboards. Photographic evidence […]

Whose record is better?

Written By: - Date published: 11:19 am, October 31st, 2008 - 6 comments

I found it weird that National’s attack ad is a series of newspaper headlines. Everyone knows newspaper headlines are sensationalist and everyone knows that things were much worse under National in the 1990s, as this new youtube vid illustrates: Meanwhile, the upbeat jokers at 08wire have a positive reponse to the Nat attack ad:

The Standard line: Nanny State

Written By: - Date published: 10:11 am, October 31st, 2008 - 31 comments

So, you’re talking with someone about politics and they say something really dumb and wrong and you know it’s wrong but you don’t have the arguments and facts at your fingertips to make a decisive point. That’s where our election series, The Standard line, comes in. The info you need in bite-size form. Today: Nanny State  […]

Not exactly Jon Stewart

Written By: - Date published: 9:38 am, October 31st, 2008 - 37 comments

A new facebook group has started up called “I am killing a kitten for every person who votes for the Green Party” (*) This group is to encourage New Zealander’s to join the fight against hippies and social engineering by killing a kitten for every vote they receive this election, if we run out of […]

More redundancy protection

Written By: - Date published: 4:01 pm, October 30th, 2008 - 76 comments

It’s good to see Labour turning its focus back onto policy (and particularly the economy) today with its announcement of a “job search allowance” for people made redundant in the coming economic downturn. Basically, the allowance means if you lose your job you’ll be eligible for the dole without means-testing for up to 13 weeks. […]

The Standard line: Tax cuts

Written By: - Date published: 12:21 pm, October 30th, 2008 - 23 comments

[update: download this (tax-and-kiwisaver-calculator) simple excel table that will calculate tax cut and Kiwisaver losses under Labour and National, and the difference, for you and your family. No other calculator has included Kiwisaver losses] So, you’re talking with someone about politics and they say something really dumb and wrong and you know it’s wrong but you don’t […]

Ripping the stuffing out

Written By: - Date published: 11:40 am, October 30th, 2008 - 1 comment

The CTU has released a second great youtube vid. Well worth a watch and emailing around.

The DL Debates – Rangitikei

Written By: - Date published: 10:36 am, October 30th, 2008 - 7 comments

The good fellas and fellaresses of Drinking Liberally Palmerston North have organised three debates for the Rangatikei electorate. These will be the only candidate debates in the electorate, so really great to see DL making it happen. The debates are: 2 November, 7pm Feilding – Senior citizens hall, Bowen street 3 November, 7pm Marton – […]

No smoking gun

Written By: - Date published: 10:09 am, October 30th, 2008 - 151 comments

It turns out the Herald’s story about John Key’s H-fee involvement is a bust. Aside from Key not being straight with the dates he worked at Elders there isn’t anything firm to tie him to the actual fraud. That’s not the story I expected given the Herald had decided to lead with this story on […]

Brian Fallow: words of warning on bailout

Written By: - Date published: 9:34 am, October 30th, 2008 - 11 comments

Feeling attracted to the idea of getting your mortgage covered should the sky fall in? Brian Fallow comments on the perils of Key’s policy plans: “We are in the mess we are in because of a cavalier attitude towards debt and risk by households and their bankers, both here and in more important economies overseas. […]

Synchronised presidential debating

Written By: - Date published: 7:36 pm, October 29th, 2008 - 2 comments

(Via: boingboing.net)

The H-fee explained

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 pm, October 29th, 2008 - 159 comments

A little more detail to flesh out Tane’s post. The core of the H-fee story is this: In 1987, head of Equiticorp Allan Hawkins illegally helped Elders Merchant Finance in New Zealand with the takeover of another company. In return, Elders paid Hawkins $66m through a series of sham foreign exchange transactions. There were two so-called […]

This looks big

Written By: - Date published: 4:35 pm, October 29th, 2008 - 46 comments

It looks like the Herald has as a scoop on John Key’s possible involvement in the H-fee scandal. According to the article: John Key faces accusations of misleading the public about his knowledge of one of New Zealand’s most notorious white collar crimes. The allegations centre around the so-called H-Fee – two payments totalling A$66.5 […]

John Key’s business experience

Written By: - Date published: 4:20 pm, October 29th, 2008 - 9 comments

Explained in detail

English pulls a Lockwood

Written By: - Date published: 2:28 pm, October 29th, 2008 - 64 comments

Oh dear. In the same week Lockwood Smith made his racist remarks and Maurice Williamson committed the gaffe of talking openly about National Party policy, it appears Bill English pulled a wee Lockwood of his own. According to the Ashburton Guardian, English complained to a local Greypower meeting about the Filipino ‘invasion’ in his home […]

Vote Smart: Wellington

Written By: - Date published: 2:16 pm, October 29th, 2008 - 40 comments

In Wellington Central and Ohariu-Belmont, left-wing voters have the opportunity to use their candidate votes wisely to help good left-wing candidates to victory, and keep out two conservative dinosaurs. Wellington Central is a two-horse race between Labour’s Grant Robertson and National’s homophobic former ACT MP Stephen Franks. Wellington Central was a firmly Labour seat last […]

Gone Flippin’

Written By: - Date published: 11:58 am, October 29th, 2008 - 21 comments

Slippery John’s flip-flops keep on coming. Here he is just three weeks ago in the Listener: “you either have a conflict of interest or you don’t; it doesn’t matter whether you hold one share or a million” and, today, on Breakfast: ‘it’s a very small number, no-one thinks a Member of Parliament with 500 Contact […]

A clear choice on ACC

Written By: - Date published: 9:59 am, October 29th, 2008 - 46 comments

If you vote National, United Future, or ACT, you will be voting for the ACC system to be privatised. Consequences of this include: – $200 million in profits flowing offshore, according to John Key’s former employers Merril Lynch – higher levies on most workers, as private insurers cherry-pick the most profitable for themselves, leaving the […]

Chain gang

Written By: - Date published: 7:17 am, October 29th, 2008 - 76 comments

The Nats’ private prison scheme just gets worse. As No Right Turn points out prisons would be used to do contract work and prisoners would be forced to be used as cheap labour or lose their parole. Aside from the fact this would constitute slave labour it would also allow prison companies to undercut other […]

Prisons for profit

Written By: - Date published: 5:50 pm, October 28th, 2008 - 47 comments

National’s announcement that it plans to privatise the prison system says a lot about the party’s underlying values. Say what you like about National’s temporary flip-flops, underneath they haven’t changed a bit. Whether it’s ACC, privatising assets, drafting electoral law or reforming the Resource Management Act, the National Party stands for entrenching private power at […]

Update on Brownlee

Written By: - Date published: 5:20 pm, October 28th, 2008 - 37 comments

There are substantive policy issues such as National’s privatisation plans for the prisons that need to be covered but, first, an update on Gerry Brownlee’s conflict of interest. According to the NZPA: Brownlee said his shareholding (496 shares, worth around $4,000 during 2002-2003) was too small to amount to a pecuniary interest. – Pecuniary interest is […]

A pattern of (mis)behaviour

Written By: - Date published: 1:41 pm, October 28th, 2008 - 87 comments

Over this year, we’ve seen John Key caught out lying on a number of occasions – the excuses for his “we would love to see wages drop” quote, his shares, numerous instances in the debate and other interviews. He has said things like ‘I’ve aways believed in climate change‘ when he had previously claimed to […]

Standard scoop: Another senior Nat failed to disclose conflicts

Written By: - Date published: 10:39 am, October 28th, 2008 - 31 comments

Last month, Key lied when he was asked whether he had more Tranzrail shares, over which he had failed to declare his conflict of interest. On Sunday, it was revealed on The Standard that Key had also held shares in Fletcher Challenge Forests, which was campaigning for the Government to buy the rails off Tranzrail, […]

You’re too kind

Written By: - Date published: 7:51 am, October 28th, 2008 - 15 comments

Audrey Young is now acknowledging Key’s reflexive tendency to lie, but she is incredibly soft on it: I was intrigued at Key’s suggestion that cutting Kiwisaver to fund tax cuts had been part of National’s response to the economic downturn because that has been the plan all along. I was also intrigued by his reasoning […]

Horse racing

Written By: - Date published: 10:26 pm, October 27th, 2008 - 70 comments

Here are the results of the last four polls, released over the past four days. I’ve presented them in number of seats won and grouped the parties into Left and Right based on these facts: ACT is locked with National as the Progressives are with Labour, the Greens won’t go with National, UF won’t go […]

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