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Cunliffe makes space for the Greens

Written By: - Date published: 7:49 am, September 24th, 2013 - 57 comments

The cleverness of David Cunliffe’s reshuffle extends beyond how he has united Labour by keeping worthy MPs who opposed him in senior positions while demoting no-hopers like Curran. He’s also left space for the Greens to move into both in opposition and in government. That acknowledges the reality that Labour and the Greens need each other.

Nats’ City Rail Link delay to cost $500m

Written By: - Date published: 10:44 am, September 19th, 2013 - 46 comments

National is now ‘officially on board’ with getting the Auckland City Rail Link built. But they won’t start building it until 2020 at the earliest, and there’s no government money actually budgeted for that. Why not start building in 2015, like the Council wants? Maybe because that would mean committing actual funding. It turns out the Nats’ 5-year delay will cost $500m.

Clean and neat

Written By: - Date published: 7:41 am, September 18th, 2013 - 87 comments

Paddy Gower’s gleeful predictions of ‘blood on the floor’ of caucus didn’t happen. Tracy Watkins’ unrealistic demand that Grant Robertson (whom she incorrectly thought would win the leadership race) be retained as deputy was never going to happen. What we saw was a neat, least moves action that puts the economy front and centre of Labour’s brand.

Do Armstrongs dream of electric sheep?

Written By: - Date published: 12:23 pm, September 14th, 2013 - 83 comments

John Armstrong gets it right: David Cunliffe’s going to win tomorrow. But he also gets it really wrong. Armstrong cooks up a conspiracy where Cunliffe’s job is to win the election, then Robertson will roll him. It’s almost as if, in the middle of Labour’s first democratic leadership selection process, he’s forgotten that Labour now has a democratic leadership selection process.

WTF? CERA’s party political broadcasts

Written By: - Date published: 7:46 am, September 13th, 2013 - 29 comments

James Dann at Rebuilding Christchurch has picked up on some seriously concerning signs of political partisanship from CERA.

Nats take a big hit on RMA reform

Written By: - Date published: 10:36 am, September 11th, 2013 - 84 comments

National is facing humiliation over it’s failure to get the numbers for its controversial Resource Management Act reforms as both the Maori Party and United Future refuse to back the legislation in its current form.

Cunliffe shows leadership steel

Written By: - Date published: 9:32 pm, September 10th, 2013 - 351 comments

David Cunliffe faced his first leadership challenge today and came through it with flying colours. He set a high standard, and when that standard was tested he lived up to it. That’s leadership. It’s tough on our Jen, but I’m sure she agrees it was the right thing to do. Contrast that with John ‘Higher Standards’ Key’s protection of Bill ‘Double Dipton’ English.

Some leadership thoughts

Written By: - Date published: 7:24 am, September 9th, 2013 - 124 comments

Four of the six labour affiliates have now come out in favour of David Cunliffe. Between them they represent a little under nine percent of the total vote.

The invisible man

Written By: - Date published: 8:50 am, September 6th, 2013 - 91 comments

From the start of the Labour leadership contest, Cunliffe has been the man to beat. In the one scientific poll, he was favoured to lead by 30% of the population, Jones by 11%, Robertson by 10%. He’s been seen as having the strongest member and union backing from the start. Robertson needed a blinder in the roadshow. And that means the media fascination with Jones is hurting Robertson the most.

The Jones surpremacy

Written By: - Date published: 8:33 am, September 4th, 2013 - 58 comments

The poor gallery journos. They’ve got to turnout copy each and every day on the Labour leadership race but, well, not that much actually happens. The contenders have laid out their pitches and, now, they’re going around repeating it to members. So, there’s a lot of story invention. The latest is the idea of Jones winning.

Selling our soul for 18 jobs

Written By: - Date published: 10:28 am, August 31st, 2013 - 27 comments

The Greens have got hold of an official report that National has had for 2 years showing that the SkyCity deal will add just 18 jobs to the economy as a whole. Joyce in his ‘defence’ says the report looks at the wider economic impact on Auckland city, rather than the number of workers needed at the convention centre. Uh, huh. Everyone thought they were promising 800 extra jobs for the country, when the real number is 18.

Ladies and gentlemen, your Prime Minister – part 2

Written By: - Date published: 11:09 am, August 29th, 2013 - 37 comments

Here’s Key again in his ‘perky’ performance on Tuesday. This time, he’s laughing hysterically at his own old man jokes about unemployment. That’s right, he’s making jokes about the 153,000 people who are unemployed on his watch. Yeah, any fool can see the opportunity to comment on a job loss in Labour, but only a fool would think that making jokes at the expense of Kiwis who are unemployed was a good idea.

Ladies and gentlemen, your Prime Minister

Written By: - Date published: 9:32 am, August 28th, 2013 - 66 comments

Much has been made of Key’s bizarre performance in the House yesterday. Some are naturally questioning his medical intake after his unhinged laughing at his own weak pre-written jokes in answer to Labour questions. But, for me, it was his response to Russel Norman’s questions that was more telling. His utter contempt for accountability is something every Kiwi should see.

The union vote

Written By: - Date published: 9:38 am, August 27th, 2013 - 106 comments

The Right has been doing a massive amount of speculation on the Labour leadership race. The Right’s latest theory is that the unions will use their votes to choose the leader. That ignores a rather important fact. The unions’ votes will be decided by delegates and individual members. No-one is in a position to promise those votes to any contender.

Robertson throws his hat in the ring

Written By: - Date published: 7:34 pm, August 25th, 2013 - 152 comments

For me, Grant Robertson’s move late on Sunday afternoon to declare that he will run for the Labour leadership shows that he has chops as an operator. Likewise, the swiftness with which he moved to hold a press conference after Shearer quit. But is being a good operator enough? Or does Labour need a leader that can communicate a real Labour vision?

Deal or no deal?

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, August 24th, 2013 - 193 comments

There’s a lot of speculation about whether a deal is being put together to find a single ticket for the Labour leadership, but I don’t think that’s likely at all.

Collins & Key go head to head over Henry Inquiry

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, August 22nd, 2013 - 22 comments

Judith Collins is making a play for support among her fellow National ministers and trying to turn them against Key following Key’s contemptuous attitude to their privacy in the Henry Inquiry. At the Privileges Committee hearing into the Henry Inquiry yesterday, Collins and sidekick Anne Tolley asked why Henry thought he could look at their emails without their permission. Why indeed.

Key adds another $40m to the asset sales bill

Written By: - Date published: 6:24 am, August 21st, 2013 - 119 comments

We know that only 2.5% of Kiwis bought shares in Mighty River Power. English now talks of ‘tens of thousands’ buying Meridian shares. This ain’t no widespread ownership – it’s the few buying and the many losing ownership. So far, we’ve paid at least $100m for these sales. Yesterday, Key added $40m in interest-free loans to Meridian buyers.

Will MPs have to take the test?

Written By: - Date published: 10:17 am, August 18th, 2013 - 47 comments

Paula Bennett wants to introduce a new regime that screens all government employees to stop child abuse.

MPs have a lot of interaction with children.

So will they be regularly screened? And if not, Why not?

Not how a democracy works

Written By: - Date published: 9:56 am, August 16th, 2013 - 34 comments

Key and his cronies have a long history of passing laws that give themselves sweeping powers and promising (honestly, truly) that they won’t use them. How many times has King Brownlee found himself in court for abusing his dictatorial powers, despite the ouster clauses in his enabling Act? Now, Key, says he won’t actually use the powers he’s getting the the GCSB Bill.

Nats’ affordable housing policy: for the 70-80th percentiles

Written By: - Date published: 6:56 am, August 12th, 2013 - 140 comments

So, let me see if I have this right: National’s big announcement on affordable housing was the increase the income and house price limits for getting the Kiwisaver First Home Deposit Subsidy. In other words, pour more money into the over-heated housing market. And do that by giving cash to people previously considered too well-off for the subsidy.

Employment Relations Authority backs Air NZ prima nocta policy

Written By: - Date published: 10:49 am, August 11th, 2013 - 36 comments

Following a successful application to access a sacked employee’s bank statements, Air New Zealand has had its right to insert a prima nocta clause into all of its employment agreements backed by the Employment Relations Authority.

What a dick

Written By: - Date published: 7:54 am, August 10th, 2013 - 127 comments

The stupidity of Phil Goff’s misogynist taunting of Chris Finlayson has been compounded by his refusal to apologise.

World smells 100% pure bullshit

Written By: - Date published: 6:40 am, August 7th, 2013 - 223 comments

We’re living a lie in New Zealand. We tell ourselves and we tell the world that we’re this amazingly environmentally conscious and sustainable country when, in fact, we’ve turned most of it into a giant farm, most of the rivers are unsafe to swim due to the farm run-off, and it would be worse, we just haven’t had the time. The Fonterra scandal may be the final straw for the 100% Pure slogan.

Key shows how much he really cares about security

Written By: - Date published: 9:24 am, August 2nd, 2013 - 89 comments

John Key claims there are Al Qaeda-linked Kiwis in the country and in Yemen. That raises several questions: 1) why haven’t they been arrested? 2) why do you need additional spy powers, if you already have these people 3) why is the PM breaching security and jeopardising the spying on these people? 4) isn’t that an extraordinary thing to do for the sake of political point scoring?

Key throws Thorn to the wolves

Written By: - Date published: 7:12 pm, August 1st, 2013 - 146 comments

In a desperate move to stop the spygate political scandal from reaching into National’s machine, Key has thrown Parliamentary Services head, Geoff Thorn, to the wolves (if you think he jumped I’ve got a bridge you may be interested in buying).

Roy Morgan shocker

Written By: - Date published: 8:52 pm, July 31st, 2013 - 342 comments

Latest Roy Morgan is out and it’s a shocker.

Labour has dropped below 30% and the Nats are now over 50%.

The worst advice in the world

Written By: - Date published: 11:09 am, July 27th, 2013 - 112 comments

Well known Labour supporters John Armstrong and Fran O’Sullivan are bursting with advice for David Shearer. I’m sure they have the Left’s best interests at heart. O’Sullivan says Shearer must be more pro-capitalist. Armstrong says he needs to pick fights with the Greens. This is based on a premise that flies against the polling evidence that Labour is seen as too Left or too close to the Greens

Key’s multi-billion dollar earthquake bet

Written By: - Date published: 7:54 am, July 23rd, 2013 - 103 comments

The Natural Disaster Fund is filled by the EQC levy you pay on your home insurance (currently, $200 a year) and is there to cover EQC payouts. Now, the Fund sits empty. So what happens if there’s another big one, or even a medium-size quake – as is likely and as the Wellington quakes have reminded us is possible? Key would try to borrow billions.

On the Labour leadership

Written By: - Date published: 2:57 pm, July 21st, 2013 - 207 comments

Over the last few weeks Labour has been in a state of agitation as the party, the affiliates and even the caucus have come to the realisation that the Shearer project has failed.

Even Treasury slammed SkyCity stitch up

Written By: - Date published: 7:43 am, July 18th, 2013 - 58 comments

Yesterday, National released hundreds of pages of documents on the SkyCity deal. They paint the picture of a government that locked itself politically into getting a deal and locked in SkyCity as the only option then was surprised when SkyCIty screwed them for everything it could get. Even the far from bleeding hearts at Treasury said it wasn’t worth the cost.

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