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Assessing the contenders’ campaigns

Written By: - Date published: 7:18 am, September 12th, 2013 - 101 comments

Robertson had to show some flare, show he’s more than an affable apparatchik, that he’s capable of wowing crowds and raising his profile: Not achieved

Jones had to show he had some real depth under the bravado and not start saying weird things under pressure: Not achieved

Cunliffe had to show he that he can meter his charismatic side to avoid gaffes and that he was genuinely something different from the B Team that’s led Labour since Clark: Achieved.

What would a National win mean in 2011?

Written By: - Date published: 9:28 pm, December 6th, 2010 - 48 comments

In my final post I look at the possible influence coalition partners could have on a future National government. Even if Labour loses in 2011, an outright win for right-wing economic doctrine is not necessarily on the cards.

Labour’s Brotherly Dynamic Duo

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, November 30th, 2010 - 29 comments

They’ve already been dubbed NZ’s David and Ed Milliband.

Brothers David and Ben Clark will both be standing for Labour in the 2011 general election. David is standing for the safe Dunedin North seat, while Ben will be taking on Wayne Mapp on the North Shore.

Both would do well as MPs.

A sad day

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, November 25th, 2010 - 8 comments

It’s an incredibly sad day for NZ. Today the country mourns for the 29 miners who have lost their lives after a second explosion at the Pike River mine. Our thoughts are now with the families, the communities, and the people of the Coast. The Standard will keep its half mast headlined all day today. Anyone wishing to donate to help the families of the miners, the details are here.

Thoughts with the Pike workers and families

Written By: - Date published: 11:42 am, November 22nd, 2010 - 20 comments

It can only be an unthinkably tough time for all Pike River miners, their families, and the communities on the Coast. I’m sure I speak for all The Standard writers and contributors when I say that our thoughts are with them. Despite all the dire news so far three days after the explosion, we simply don’t have the full story till the rescue team get down there and try to bring these guys back to the surface. Till then, we can only hold on and hope.

What was that squeak?

Written By: - Date published: 12:05 pm, November 14th, 2010 - 30 comments

According to Radio NZMr Dunne criticised the Labour Party’s approach to MMP politics and its relationship with the Green Party.”

I’m sure Labour are shaking in their boots from Mr Dunne’s criticism.

Perhaps “Mr 0.87%” should draw some focus here. He was marginally ahead of a joke last election. Literally. The Bill and Ben Party was polled just behind Mr Dunne. Let’s hope someone steps on that Tory squeek next election.

Where’s the White House invite, John?

Written By: - Date published: 6:09 am, November 5th, 2010 - 37 comments

John Key proved one thing this week. When it comes to international affairs, he’s full of s**t. Despite all his claims about being best buds with Barack Obama, he didn’t even get an invite to meet him from top U.S. diplomat Hillary Clinton. He probably didn’t help future chances either by referring to Hillary as “President Clinton”. You sure are a class act John.

Key to get White House invite?

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, November 1st, 2010 - 42 comments

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is on her way to New Zealand this week, bringing the customary promises of good will and better relations between our two countries.

The big question is however: Will Clinton be bringing the overdue White House invite for our Prime Minister? John Key has claimed after all he and Obama are best pals… and he can pick up the phone anytime. Now’s the test.

Latest Roy Morgan poll

Written By: - Date published: 8:17 pm, October 13th, 2010 - 102 comments

Nat 49.5%, Lab 36.5%, Gre 8%, NZF 2.5%, MAO 2.5% ACT 0.5%

Highest Labour vote since Helen Clark was PM. Lowest ACT vote in many many years. Key’s still holding the Nats up high.

How the right kill social democracy

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, October 12th, 2010 - 52 comments

When one of the first truly social democratic governments was elected in North America it was attacked viciously from all sides. Read further if you want to know the lengths business, private media, the police, landlords, and lobbyists went to undermine the Rae Government in Ontario, Canada. There are lessons for New Zealand.

Good luck I say

Written By: - Date published: 11:10 am, September 14th, 2010 - 22 comments

It seems Sarah Palin is stepping up her campaign to be the Republican’s candidate to run against President Obama in 2012. The world couldn’t ask for a better candidate to oppose Obama: She won’t have a show in hell.

It’s Gillard

Written By: - Date published: 5:24 pm, September 7th, 2010 - 36 comments

Independent MP Tony Windsor has decided to support the Labor Party into government, with fellow independent Rob Oakeschott expected to follow suit. The country independents say the best bet for rural regions is to remain independent and stick up for themselves – lessons for NZ?

Aussie election: Gillard holds the advantage

Written By: - Date published: 10:26 am, August 28th, 2010 - 30 comments

A week after Australia went to the polls the outcome is still unclear. However, with the last seat (Brisbane) pretty much decided, I’d put my money on Julia Gillard remaining Prime Minister and Labor retaining power. Take a look at the numbers…

Rodney Hide in control of Key Government policy

Written By: - Date published: 9:42 am, August 27th, 2010 - 61 comments

According to OIA papers released to the NZ Herald, Key’s plan to extend the 90 day “fire at will” law to all businesses is an ACT party takeover of government policy.

Minister of Labour Kate Wilkinson recommended against the extent of the plan. She was overruled by Cabinet in response to ACT threats. As Trevor Mallard said, if Key had any balls he would’ve stuck to his Minister’s advice.

ACT’s demise bad news for neo-liberals

Written By: - Date published: 6:33 am, August 20th, 2010 - 35 comments

No wonder Winston Peters is smiling. His personal vendetta with Hide must be at on the forefront of his mind as he watches his nemesis sink.

But what does ACT’s impending demise actually mean for other parties? It’s not good news for National.

Peters vs Key

Written By: - Date published: 8:27 pm, August 18th, 2010 - 52 comments

TV3 is reporting Winston Peters will standing at the next election… against John Key in Helensville. Those are candidate meetings I for one wouldn’t want to miss!

Armstrong slams National’s “disgraceful” arrogance

Written By: - Date published: 7:58 am, August 7th, 2010 - 40 comments

Herald political editor John Armstrong has slammed National’s “arrogant” behaviour in Parliament saying it verges on “being a disgrace to itself and the institution”. This is incredibly strong language from a senior journalist. It is the result of a government which is undermining democratic accountability in Parliament by lying and obfuscating in answer to opposition questions.

Govt to slash jobs in health and education

Written By: - Date published: 7:35 pm, June 26th, 2010 - 29 comments

Before the last election John Key promised the public service would be capped, because that’s what Kiwis wanted. That promise is now lying in tatters as jobs in education and health are to be slashed. With mining, privatisation, and now this, Mr Key shouldn’t act surprised if he suffers from the Rudd effect. This government is getting more and more out of touch.

Media milk Carter demotion for all it’s Worth

Written By: - Date published: 7:41 pm, June 15th, 2010 - 113 comments

The media had a field day with Chris Carter today. Journalists stalked Carter throughout the Parliamentary complex, ambushed him with questions on the fly, and used the footage to make ‘good’ news. I want to know why that behaviour is good enough for Carter to receive when he’s demoted, but not good enough for John Key or Richard Worth

Media taken for ride over credit card coverage

Written By: - Date published: 7:35 pm, June 10th, 2010 - 79 comments

Journalists’ reaction to the Ministerial credit card fiasco fell right into the National government’s lap. It was a classic set piece by the 9th Floor of the Beehive that did not warrant the saturated coverage it received. My message to the media: Come on guys get spin wise!

Protesters angry at Key’s attack on democracy

Written By: - Date published: 7:47 pm, June 9th, 2010 - 78 comments

The Press reports John Key was greeted by angry protesters at the South Island forum in Christchurch tonight. About 100 people waved placards protesting the undemocratic dismissal of the regional council by the Key government.

Mondayise Anzac, Waitangi (& Matariki)

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, June 8th, 2010 - 51 comments

The dearth of long weekends this year has made me feel cheated. And now with Queen’s Birthday over it’s a long wait till Labour weekend in October. That’s not fair dammit. It’s time to give Matariki its due and celebrate with a Monday off in July.

Complaint over “drunken” Minister

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 pm, June 4th, 2010 - 36 comments

National Party Trade Minister Tim Groser is facing allegations he was behaving drunk and rowdy on a flight back from a trade meeting in Dubai. Though a humourous image, if true, this is unacceptable behaviour from a Minister. Groser needs to chill – maybe he should’ve smoked that spliff he denied taking instead?

Thank god for small mercies

Written By: - Date published: 12:20 pm, June 4th, 2010 - 37 comments

Stuff is reporting that Michael Lhaws won’t stand again as Mayor of Whanganui. Maybe the town can now move forward without being burdened by Laws’ race politics. Whanganui will be a better place without the former National Party researcher.

Nat MP caught breaking disclosure rules

Written By: - Date published: 10:24 am, June 4th, 2010 - 24 comments

Another Nat MP is in the gun for failing to declare financial interests in line with Parliament’s rules. The Taranaki Daily News is reporting that local National MP Jonathan Young (Herald journalist Audrey Young’s brother) did not declare his directorship in a company that holds his trust’s properties. It looks like the standard set by John “blind trust” Key has infected his own MPs.

Key attempts misdirection, blind trust questions remain unanswered

Written By: - Date published: 4:36 pm, May 28th, 2010 - 56 comments

John Key has just issued a press release answering questions no one asked. Mr Key says he doesn’t have a beneficial interest in Whitechapel, the ‘key hole’ to seeing his blind trust. But Key doesn’t answer the central question – why does Whitechapel seem to clearly depict the interests of his so-called ‘blind’ trust?

Conflict of interest raised over Key’s wine holdings

Written By: - Date published: 8:01 am, May 28th, 2010 - 69 comments

Labour has complained to Parliament’s powerful privileges committee over Key’s shareholdings in an Otago vineyard. It turns out that Key co-owns the vineyard (in his not-so-blind trust) with some of NZ’s largest supermarket owners. This, while the government has ruled out liquor tax increases.

Key’s wine excuse hard to swallow

Written By: - Date published: 9:28 pm, May 26th, 2010 - 150 comments

TV3 has reported tonight that John Key admitted on video to owning an Otago vineyard, and providing free wine to “people that help me”. This, despite Key telling the public all his assets were in a blind trust. Key, painted with his Tranz Rail eyes, has responded by still insisting he doesn’t know about his assets – but that’s a hard excuse to swallow in wake of solid contradictory evidence. [UPDATE: video added]

David Cameron takes 10 Downing Street

Written By: - Date published: 6:32 am, May 12th, 2010 - 45 comments

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called the Queen to signal his resignation, paving way for Tory leader David Cameron to be made Prime Minister. Brown has also resigned as Labour leader effective immediately. Meanwhile, The Guardian has photographed a paper held by Nick Clegg that appears to set out what the Tory-Lib Dems deal is set to include.

Lib-Dems look to Labour as Brown signals resignation

Written By: - Date published: 6:55 am, May 11th, 2010 - 68 comments

The British Labour Party is making a final attempt to woo the Liberal Democrats into a progressive coalition government. Gordon Brown will be cast aside as Prime Minister and [the more] proportional AV electoral system introduced without referendum. If the only alternative is a right-wing Conservative government and a spiked AV referendum, then the Lib-Dems should go to Labour. There is an anti-Conservative majority in the UK.

Brits look to NZ for coalition know-how

Written By: - Date published: 12:52 pm, May 8th, 2010 - 45 comments

In the wake of an uncertain UK election outcome, the BBC’s Nick Bryant writes that Britain could learn from New Zealand in the art of forming coalition governments. “[T]he common-heard message from New Zealand in the event that the UK election produces no clear winner is curiously British: Stay calm and carry on.”

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