Back Stabbers

Written By: - Date published: 11:32 pm, February 17th, 2016 - 110 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, john key, Judith Collins, national, Politics - Tags: , , ,

It’s been a while coming, but it may well be that the Collins coup is underway. She’s finally found an issue that John Key can’t just shrug off; the flopping flag referendum. Key’s offside with the majority of Kiwis and it’s caused a serious split in his caucus.

Patrick Gower has been leaked a series of sadly desperate emails from Key loyalist Maggie Barry, who has been charged with trying to breathe some life into the flag change campaign.

Key can’t do it himself, because he doesn’t like be seen with losers. The problem is, this time, he’s the loser.

In the emails, Barry asks her fellow MP’s to join her for breakfast to discuss how to encourage a flag change.

Humorously, she exhorts them to  take the opportunity to “share our proven and effective ways to engage people in an informed debate“. That must have puzzled the recipients of the email, given that this Government has never bothered with informed debate before.

Barry’s first email went out to almost the entire caucus. The response can’t have been flash, as a follow up email only went to 30 MP’s. In the end, only ten turned up. That’s cringe worthy.

According to Gower, this is the first ever leak from within the National caucus. It’s the first time someone from within Team Key has broken ranks to humiliate him. I reckon it won’t be the last.

Now, Judith Collins probably wasn’t the leaker, at least not directly. But there can’t be much doubt she’s in on it and is happy to see Key squirm. She knows his judgement was faulty on this issue and months of meh have left him looking out of touch with Kiwis.

Key’s problem is that his ego has led him into this mess. Pride, as we know, comes before the fall. He’s tried to bat it away, saying “MPs meet all the time about issues, we don’t have a caucus position (on the flag) because it’s essentially from our point of view a conscience view.”

Leaving aside the tortured language, I can’t be the only one wondering if National MP’s are all that practised at exercising their conscience. There’s little evidence that they have ever so much as taken their conscience for a walk in recent years. Independent thinking is not the norm in the Key caucus.

And when did it become a matter of conscience anyway? National MP’s weren’t given a choice when the flag legislation went through parliament. They were forced to vote in favour of wasting the $26 million on a referendum NZ doesn’t want.

His MP’s also have a bigger problem. Conservative leaning National voters don’t want a bar of the referendum. They’re going to vote alright, but, for the first time, they are going to vote against Key. If you want to know what that leads to, look to the north. The result of the Northland by-election wasn’t a fluke. Smart-arsery only gets you so far and when your political judgement goes, you go too.

Labour leader Andrew Little has spotted the problem, suggesting National MPs are getting it in the neck from their constituents.

“But the problem they’ve got, of course, is the train’s left the station” Little says. “The referendum’s in a couple of weeks’, I’m not quite sure what they think they can do about it.”

Tory MP’s in marginal seats will be starting to wonder what they can do about it too. Not about the flag referendum, but about saving their  seats. History tells us National voters send a blunt and brutal message when they think it’s time for a change. There will be more MP’s in the divided National caucus thinking that a leadership change now would be better than a change forced on them by voters.

Leaks from caucus are nothing new in NZ politics. But this show of disloyalty is definitely new for Key. He’s going to hate being grilled by the media about this leak and the caucus crisis it has exposed.

For once, he won’t be saying “Labour did it too”.

Because we all know how that ended for Goff, Shearer and Cunliffe.

 

What they do, they smile in your face
All the time they want to take your place
The back stabbers, back stabbers.
They smile in your face
All the time they want to take your place
The back stabbers, back stabbers

 

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tereoputake@gmail.com

 

110 comments on “Back Stabbers”

  1. Tonto 1

    http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2014/07/robertson-making-move/

    Hasn’t Judith come back from holiday looking significantly trimmer? I know we aren’t meant to link there but I think you can make an exception this once. It’s quite telling.

    • weka 1.1

      donotlink isn’t working 🙁

      • I looked too and couldn’t get donotlink up, so I thought I’d let it through. In short, the WO post is a couple of years old and refers to a ‘trim’ Grant Robertson who was allegedly poised to go for the leadership. There’s a certain irony there.

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          “Allegedly?”

          A trim Grant Robertson did actually go for the leadership twice: name on the ballot, running against Cunliffe one time and then against Little the next.

          Third times the charm, of course. GR2020.

          • te reo putake 1.1.1.1.1

            Sheesh, it wasn’t my post I was summarising, it was Cammie’s. And, nah, there won’t be a GR2020. He’s young and can wait till Little’s retirement. So GR2026/29 or 32 seems more likely.

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1.1

              GR has always been very ambitious and his behaviour to date suggests that he won’t wait.

              • Actually, it’s out of his hands. It’s up to Little to decide when the next leadership election takes place. And given that he’ll want at least two terms as PM, Grant will have to wait. As I said, he’s young. And he’s perfoming really well as part of the team.

                • Skinny

                  Oh come on who are ya kidding cobbah. With respect, not me I have seen enough up close to vehemently dispute that, and going by history of the happless Shearer dangly undersized snapper in parliament, the next day he is gone! The usaul sharks looked like they were circling to me.

                  • Technically, the snapper were both of legal size, Skinny, depending on who caught them. That was the point Shearer was making. The size that was legal for commercial fisheries wasn’t legal for you and I.

                    Not that I condone the killing of animals of any size, of course.

                    http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/6663-vegetarians-on-the-rise-in-new-zealand-june-2015-201602080028

                    • Skinny

                      Good reply, yeah Goodfellow, Talley’s Corp and Natcorp thru donations benefited hansomely via cabinet club I suspect. Corporations in Govt must be halted.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Corporations in Govt must be halted.

                      Isn’t going to happen: the best we can hope for is to degrade their capability. The National Party will always seek ways to betray the country for money and suborn law enforcement agencies in doing so.

                      Smash them at every opportunity, just don’t pretend we can cure them.

    • Mike C 1.2

      @Tonto

      I am clearly not the only person who thinks Collins is a back stabbing [Deleted. C’mon, you now this is not a site were that kind of attitude is acceptable. TRP] of the first degree.

      Took me a while to figure out how to comment in here … but let’s just see how long it takes for this to show up for all the world to see 🙂

  2. AmaKiwi 2

    The MPs call it “collective responsibility.” The leader/caucus make a decision and they all sing the same tune, even if some disagree with it.

    It’s the Adolph Eichmann’s defense. “I was just following orders.” Collective irresponsibility.

    I never know what my representative in parliament stands for. When we talk, he is clever enough to know what to say to please me. Does he say the opposite to my neighbor?

    If every vote was a so-called conscience vote, how many MPs would cross the aisle how often? How many National MPs would cross on TPPA?

    The deception and rot are built into the system. Colonial Viper suggested fixed parliamentary terms so crossing the aisle would not mean the fall of the government (as in the UK). Unfortunately those poor sods only have an election every 7 years.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      “I never know what my representative in parliament stands for. When we talk, he is clever enough to know what to say to please me. Does he say the opposite to my neighbor?”

      Interestingly Amakiwi, I’ve been talking to people about this very problem, tonight.

      • AmaKiwi 2.1.1

        CV, I await your suggestions.

        Today’s worldwide anger will result in many incumbents not being re-elected. But none of the challengers talk about changing their form of government. That’s usually the core problem: political systems designed to block people power.

        Yanis Varoufakis and the Democratise Europe movement are the one exception.

        http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          The storm is coming and both National and Labour are operating in totally the wrong century/wrong paradigm.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.1

            Yep. They’re still operating as if we were still in the 19th century when most people had little to no education. Of course, National is trying to do something about that by destroying our education system.

            Then there’s the fact that both parties still think that capitalism works despite the fact that it’s always failed and destroyed societies.

          • Manuka AOR 2.1.1.1.2

            ” the wrong century/wrong paradigm.”

            The wrong millennium. When in the last thousand years have nations been crying out for help as they slip beneath the ocean’s waves..

          • Kevin 2.1.1.1.3

            So very true CV.

            It’s going to be the best show in years 🙂

    • Sabine 2.2

      an interesting read on a DK diary in regards to Flint Michigan and other places that suffer at the hands of their elected or imposed ‘representatives’

      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/02/14/1483451/-Only-fundamental-change-not-micromanagement-will-prevent-more-lead-poisoning-after-Flint

      Quote: ” What do excessive testing in schools, the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, speed cameras, and the recent lead poisoning in Flint, Michigan, all have in common?

      They’re all symptoms of a new America. An America that is no longer a democracy. An America that is under the control of corporate special interest groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. And an America that is being micromanaged by a mid-level tier of bought-and-paid for politicians who no longer work in the interests of the public.

      The media keeps presenting these crises as one-off events, singularities.

      If you take a step back though, there are clearly common threads. The first thread is that corporate special interests keep buying themselves out of responsibility (privatize the profit, socialize the risk). The second is that in order to keep people in check and execute on these plans, increasingly they’re relying on a tier of mid-level micromanagers. The poisoning of Flint is just the latest symptom of a country that seems to be more and more under corporate special interest micromanagement.

      What does this look like?

      A mid-level layer of professional managers

      Increasingly, politicians fall more into the role of “managing” citizens rather than serving them.

      Screenshot from John Harwood interview with John Kasich on CNBC in July, 2015.
      Screenshot from “10 questions with John Kasich” interview on CNBC in July, 2015.
      Republican John Kasich, who worked for Lehman Brothers, is the perfect example of this new breed of micromanagers. They often even bill themselves as “CEOs.” They’re not CEOs. They don’t typically have any vision for how to build a better community. They’re mid-level “yes men” who typically do what the national or regional Chamber of Commerce want.

      You’ll find these mid-level managers in the Democratic Party too. A few prominent examples are Rahm Emanuel (mayor of Chicago) and Andrew Cuomo (governor of New York).

      The problem isn’t government. The problem is that government isn’t working for people. ” Quote end.
      ——————————————————————————————————————–

      The following discussion is interesting. But I have been saying for a long time now, that John Key is quite apparent in his ‘Micro Managment’ of NuZilind, and that it will look good on his CV. Compare the size of NZ to many large Multinationals and he can now boast extensive experience in Middle Management re population vs Employees and Income.

      This is mainly the issue, that at some stage over the last 30 – 40 years we were sold the idea that we have to ‘manage’ our countries like a CEO may manage a company. Nevermind that a country can’t really go bankrupt (Greece) or just kick out its unemployed, or just cut corners to increase the benefits for the shareholders.

      This mind set needs to change first before anything changes.

      • Naturesong 2.2.1

        … is the perfect example of this new breed of micromanagers. They often even bill themselves as “CEOs.” They’re not CEOs. They don’t typically have any vision for how to build a better community. They’re mid-level “yes men” who typically do what the national or regional Chamber of Commerce want.

        You’ve just described Dr Rick Ede at Unitec who is halfway through his plan to downsize and carve up Unitec’s Mt Albert campus.

      • Simon Burgess 2.2.2

        Really like this analysis highlighting the lack of accountability and social (or even natural) justice!
        As for the infighting in the citadels of power, this also happens at the expense of truth and at the taxpayers expense. Unfortunately for Democracy there are few with any conscience and integrity prepared to stand and be counted.

    • cogito 2.3

      I think you’ll find that the UK parliamentary term is five years (not seven) and that elections have been called early… eg in the case of Margaret Thatcher.

    • alwyn 2.4

      “only have an election every 7 years”
      I hope the rest of this comment is more accurate than this bit. That 7 year bit was dropped in 1911 and replaced by 5 years.
      Before 2011 the maximum term of a parliamentary term in Great Britain was five years and they were generally shorter. The PM got to choose the date of the election.
      There were elections in 1979, 83, 87, 92, 97, 2001, 05, 10 and 15 for example.
      However in 2011 the Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011 was passed. Elections are now every 5 years, barring parliamentary vote. A fixed term Government doesn’t mean that the Government can’t fall. It just means that the PM can’t fiddle the dates as New Zealand did in 1984 and 2002. It needs a vote of Parliament to have an early election unless they lose a confidence vote when an early election is also held.
      That is of course only a brief summary but it is basically correct.

      • Colonial Viper 2.4.1

        Alwyn you have slightly undersold the dramatic impact of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act in the UK, as this passage from an LSE blog describes.

        Not only does the FTPA make minority governments much more stable but now, any UK Government cannot fall for the reasons that people would normally expect eg a Budget which fails to pass.

        What does the law say?

        For example, there’s been big speculation about what happens if a minority Labour or Conservative government gets defeated on their Queen’s Speech. Which rather misses the point – nothing happens. The Government doesn’t fall. There is no dissolution of Parliament.

        Under the FTPA the only circumstances in which a Government falls would be if (a) they resigned – unlikely but not impossible or (b) the following is passed by a majority in the House of Commons

        “That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty’s Government”.

        Nothing else forces a Government out of office – not defeat on a Queen’s Speech, a Budget, a key piece of legislation, a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister, nothing.

        http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/under-the-fixed-term-parliaments-act-a-minority-government-doesnt-need-a-confidence-and-supply-arrangement-to-be-able-to-govern/

        • alwyn 2.4.1.1

          Yes. I was trying to express that in “unless they lose a confidence vote when an early election is also held.”
          I had decided that I had been going on a bit too long though and cut the comment off short. Probably a bit too short. It was a major change in the law.

      • Mosa 2.4.2

        Key fiddled with the last election date and went two months early so the poll could be held in September so he wouldn’t have to cancel a planned meeting!

        • alwyn 2.4.2.1

          That wasn’t what an early, snap, election is.
          They are the ones where the ruling party decide that there is a short term opportunity to gain an advantage. The announce the date of the election, unexpectedly, only about a month ahead. That was the case in 1984 and 2002.
          Key announced the date of the 2014 election at the beginning of the year. That is not what is meant by an early election.

    • Bill 2.5

      Maybe you’re thinking of this post from last May? http://thestandard.org.nz/fixed-term-parliaments/

  3. McFlock 3

    I’m not so sure Collins was in on it at all – she seemed genuinely surprised to hear about the breakfast meeting, and flailed a bit for an excuse as to why she wasn’t in the know.

    She could have done a Chris Carter and knobbled herself (in this case not thinking of the obvious questions she might face as pretender to the throne). It would also be one of the folks nominally in the Key/flag camp who had access.

    I’m thinking the person making their play was either Dildo Baggins (trying to help the news cycle move on as well as weaken Key), or someone hoping to nip in between Baggins and Crushless.

    Has Lusk got any second-tier Cabinet clients: Parata, maybe? Petulant Bean? Sgt Shultzlee had a good news day about the ChCh art centre reconstruction…

    • miravox 3.1

      A teensy feeling of Schadenfreude being felt on reading this post. Do your worst, Paddy, you know you can make a difference 😉

      I was thinking Petulant Bean she has form in Dirty Politics, however she’s a Key loyalist isn’t she? Maybe Dildo was thinking he can build on his 15 mins of fame rather than trying to cover it – thinks he’s popular now?

      If it’s not Collins, she’d better get her act together fast if she wants to manage the outcome.

    • Skinny 3.2

      Of course she was who do you think is pulling the strings. Her smitten behaviour while answering questions yesterday must have infuriated Chairman of Natcorp John Key.
      He was very subdued in the house yesterday. Fuming I bet.

    • Ffloyd 3.3

      English has been keeping his head down lately and there was a puff piece somewhere lately of a photo of him shearing a sheep. Change from him fleecing the country! Is there a chance he could have another tilt?

      • Whispering Kate 3.3.1

        As he is the last person anybody would think of to have leaked – it would be a a bit of an intrigue. He has always come across as being mighty fed up when he has to explain differences of opinion where the leader and him have not confirmed what they were going to announce, also when he is questioned about the mischief that goes on in the house he totally looks pissed off. He appears to me to be a committed ideologist who has an agenda he is slowly ploughing through with privatisation of gov services, the last thing he wants to have happen is have the House in turmoil and a chance of not getting back into power again so he can complete his disgusting work. Maybe or maybe not but he doesn’t court trouble and he wouldn’t have a clue what else to do if he was without a job, having to work for his money on the outside for a change, he has been there ever since I can remember.

        • peterlepaysan 3.3.1.1

          You are so on the target. English has always been a Treasury plonker (policy wonker). He grew up in Treasury, A kindergarten, if there ever was one. His nat mates keep being unruly in the sandpit. Oh dear, and sigh.

  4. Nick 4

    It seems that another Nat predicted Key’s downfall over the flag issue some time ago: http://goo.gl/74nwHS.

    • Tiger Mountain 4.1

      yep, pretty much sank without trace at the time but certainly relevant now

    • Cheers, Nick, I hadn’t seen that. For readers who haven’t clicked the link, it’s a bleak warning from former Nat campaign director Grant McLachlan.

      He says:

      “John Key knew from the start that his flag crusade was not a vote winner and would corrode his political capital. If he isn’t careful, he will get hammered in a fight that he started and then get knocked out at the next election.”

      • David H 4.2.1

        So if Key knew that before embarking on this highly expensive excercise, that he could lose the fight, and the election. Then he must have been big headed enough to reckon that ‘Smile n Wave’ would get him thru with no problems. All I can say is. “Ooooppss”

        • One Two 4.2.1.1

          Key was continuing the approach taken since being parachuted into NZ politics

          Operating under instructions

          • Tc 4.2.1.1.1

            Yup its just another taxpayer funded distraction while they flog state houses, ryalls chooks come home in health, tppa gets sunlight, sheepgate etc etc.

            JK doesnt care about another term, his job is done pretty much now and he will leave crusher, pullya, ayatolley, muzza, dildoman etc to fight over who gets the big chair.

  5. Tautuhi 5

    National and Labour are both yesterdays parties singing from the same hymn sheet, both have failed miserably over the past 30-40 years and we are in deep shit with all our State Assets (Cash Cows} sold to the Neoliberal Elite for a pittance?

    Time to give NZF and the Greens a chance, couldn’t do any worse, nothing to lose?

  6. Wensleydale 6

    Politics is a blood sport, and National MPs are well-versed in devouring their own young if it gets them what they want.

    “Nothing lasts forever. Even the longest, the most glittering reign must come to an end someday.” — Francis Urqhart, House Of Cards

    • alwyn 6.1

      Yes. You can tell that to Clark, Goff, Shearer, Cunliffe and shortly Little.
      Of course only Clark can be considered to qualify and even there it was only the “long” part of the phrase.
      The others were all short and messy.

      • Wensleydale 6.1.1

        Short and messy? So, a bit like Shipley, then?

        • alwyn 6.1.1.1

          Well she did get to be PM which is better than the last four. You wouldn’t be too far out though.
          Actually the best opinion on the whole subject was Richard Prebble. He finished up his valedictory speech
          “All that remains Madam Speaker is to wish you and all the members all the best. Be careful our there. Those who are about to be defeated, I have been there. It is not so bad. Once you are out of Parliament New Zealanders are very forgiving and very kind. Who knows, like me within a year you could be chairman of a New Zealand/Vietnam Railway. I am having some refreshments in the ACT caucus room and you are all very welcome. See I am mellowing already”

          His whole speech, which The Herald printed in full, is worth reading
          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10338039.
          The best I’ve ever seen in New Zealand.

  7. Tiger Mountain 7

    nice to see my old friend TRP has a column I can endorse 100%

    early days but it will be an effort to hold back the glee if “Keysie, Keyreepy, PinnoKeyo, SneaKey, Dear Leader and his multiple identities–Prime Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, National Party Leader and John Keydashian–moneybags, do end up going through the mincer

    • Cheers, Tiger Mountain, I don’t know whether that’s the stopped clock principle or a sign that my revolutionary flame still flickers from time to time, but I’m pleased to have your endorsement.

      Like you, I’m looking forward to Key’s end days. For Muldoon, it was swift. He cracked under the pressure and bought on his own demise. Lange also self destructed. Key’s made of sterner stuff, I suspect, but the modern Nats are brutal when it looks like the leader’s time is up.

  8. Why did J Key give the problem to Baggy Marry, she is a light weight and should have stuck to the cabbage patch.

    • David H 8.1

      Becauase she has nothing else to do….

    • cogito 8.2

      “the cabbage patch”

      LOL. That’s exactly how this govt views the electorate.

    • mary_a 8.3

      @ Stuff the Politicians (8) – well when FJK’s flag is confined to the toilet next month, he can then blame Maggoty B for interfering, causing his project to fail. Because it certainly won’t be his fault, you can guarantee that! Everyone else will be to blame for wasting tens of millions of dollars on the doomed project, but definitely not FJK!

      Then after the flag disaster, in early April FJK’s mate the “prominent NZer” faces trial. Not sure how that will go. FJK could be implicated, if the cover ups are exposed. But then with a “little bit of pressure applied,” [prominent New Zealander] could be acquitted – nothing to see here folks, move on scenario!

      Wait for the pandas to be rolled out about then.

      [Made a small edit. It’s legally important to pretend nobody in NZ knows the name. TRP]

      • riffer 8.3.1

        Eh? You’re obviously assuming that name suppression won’t continue indefinitely. That’s the most likely option for he whose name must not be mentioned.

  9. cogito 9

    What goes around comes around and maybe this time the Smiling Assassin might get it rather than inflict it. One thing’s for sure, he’ll be a poor loser…

    • plumington 9.1

      Some how I feel poor won’t be his outcome (unlike the general herd)his masters will have a sweet deal elsewhere (out of NZ)
      Much like that treasonous Grosser

  10. Reality 10

    Some lovely humour here. Good for a laugh. Multiple names for our multi-personality trait PM.

  11. savenz 11

    About time the Natz cut Key loose. He is an international joke!

    • seeker 11.1

      Well said savenz.
      In his intro. on the Joyce incident John Oliver did mention New Zealand and ” it’s ridiculous P rime Minister.”
      So true and yet soooo embarassing.

      • Skinny 11.1.1

        Oh right that must be what John Key was meaning when he pulled a hissy fit about Joycie getting hit by the flying selfie stick.

        The deflection and himself getting whacked.

  12. Graeme 12

    “…. our proven and effective ways to engage people in an informed debate“

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/other-sports/77014947/dan-carter-among-a-bevy-of-sports-stars-pushing-for-a-new-new-zealand-flag

    Right on cue. Wonder how much they got paid to say that, or a contractual obligation?

    • Ffloyd 12.1

      Dan Carter would sell his grandmother for sixpence. Greats!! I don’t think so. If he really wants NZ to have THE FERN perhaps he can put his hand in his pocket and re-imburse the country the $27ml that Chuckles the Clown has spent on it. At a great social cost to us. Or haven’t they looked at the big picture and decided to take a stand against the flagrant spending by this National Disgrace we call our Government. Enjoying France are you Dan? Looking for a Knighthood maybe? Better get in quick before Chuckles gets the chuck. As for the others, who are they?

    • From twitter:

      “Winston Peters ‏@winstonpeters

      Dan, the silver fern you’ve worn so proudly is not one of the options, but best of luck in France @DanCarter”

      Good point, aye?

      • Skinny 12.2.1

        Dan the corporates man!
        More specifically the Natcorp’s man!

        What is the bet current AB’s have been muzzled if their not cheerleading for a change!

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 12.3

      National subscribes to the worship of ‘winners’, making the Nats the natural party for conspicuous ‘winners’. Unfortunately in reality only a small number can be that type of winner – and the Nats philosophy leaves only crumbs for everyone else.

  13. millsy 13

    There is another possibility. Key calls a snap election if he loses the flag vote.

    • Tc 13.1

      Unlikely this is just more planned distractions, leaked cabinet papers from the hollowmens minions oh pleeease thats an old ploy.

      This imo is more cynical maniplulation with paddy playing his part to suck up the msm goldfish attention cycle so its flag flag flag rather than tppa, poverty, housing, transport, health etc

      Like where is jk being called on his BS about winnie fishing when winnie served it back at him with interest. Distractions away from blips ever growing jk lies list is what this is about.

  14. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 14

    a follow up email only went to 30 MP’s

    Only? An email that went to only 30 Labour MPs would be an email to 93.75% of them.

  15. Hubert 15

    Just a small but important point: please do not introduce northern hemisphere vernacular to NZ. We dont need it. I do not support them but this introduces the concept of class which is not us.

    “Tory MP’s in marginal seats will be starting to wonder what they can do about it too.”

    • cogito 15.1

      @Hubert

      “the concept of class which is not us.”

      I haven’t laughed so much in years! No class in NZ….? Where did you get that from? I’m ex-UK and I’ve seen more class attitudes here in NZ than I ever saw in Britain, and the stink is far more putrid here too.

  16. Michael 16

    It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy from a nicer bunch of colleagues. Crusher Collins as PM is probably the only way Labour can ever get elected into government now.

  17. The Real Matthew 17

    Changing the flag is not National party policy. MP’s can vote whichever way they want.

    You guys are at lengths to complain about the standard of mainstream media. They’ve got nothing on this article!

    LOL with National near 50% and Key at 65% a leadership change is imminent. That’s one of the best I’ve ever heard.

    • Craig Glen Eden 17.1

      You must have read a different article from the one I read above, at no point did it say the flag referendum was National Party Policy.

  18. There needs to be some serious questions asked about the donors to Lewis Holden’s flag change group.

    If John Key was/ is funding it by any means this should be public knowledge and Key should declare that he is doing so. Same with any other Nat MPs or their proxies.

    Lewis Holden should make the list of major donors public in the interests of transparency.

    • Excellent point, Redbaiter. I wonder if there is some way of finding out?

      • Redbaiter 18.1.1

        Lewis Holden has been asked about this (by a number of different people) on Twitter but so far I have not seen any response.

        Non-response makes me more curious.

      • Gangnam Style 18.1.2

        I wonder who paid for those over sized lapels as well? I know people got sent flags via the Govt to fly at their homes (a few 100).

    • dv 18.2

      Thats what I thought too Red.

    • Tiger Mountain 18.3

      oh well, the customary “Rodbeater” jibe can wait for another post, you have made a cogent point given that $26 mill of taxpayer’s has already been allocated to the flag fiasco

      • Anne 18.3.1

        Don’t worry about the $26mill spent on the flag fiasco folks. Sam Lotu-liga’s sorted that one in parliament QT today. Most of it went on postage and that’s run by NZ Post which is a government department so that means we get it all back.

        I kid you not.

        • Chuck 18.3.1.1

          Hmm… Anne that is how an economy works! The $26m did not disappear under a mattress in John Keys bedroom, it is dispersed out into the real economy. Wages, salaries, goods & services, tax’s (which go back to the Govt) etc…

    • grumpystilskin 18.4

      Just wait for the pro-change social media campaign to hit next week, lots of business leaders etc urging to vote for change..

  19. Brigid 19

    Couldn’t it all just be a distraction to latest health cuts?

  20. Keith 20

    Key can’t promote it because Key is the problem.

    He has said around the time of the first vote that even if you don’t like me take this opportunity to change the flag. He don’t say nothing that hasn’t been researched and scripted.

    This bullshit popularity poll that says 65% of voters think he’s the man is fiction!

    So can they rig the vote?

  21. Heather.tanguay 21

    Tory MPS will be very nervous, in the conservative marginal seats. These constituents are not the type to be voting for the new logo flag. They will be in a state of disarray in their committee meetings,, wondering if to stick with Key and his new rag or go with Crusher or Dildo or who ever is going to make a play. The Crack is getting bigger

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      Tory MPS will be very nervous, in the conservative marginal seats.

      ???

      Which “conservative marginal seats” are you referring to, exactly?

      • Auckland and Christchurch Central spring to mind. As do Waimak and Waitakere. Tāmaki Makaurau is also vulnerable. You must be really worried, CV, the thought of a Labour victory giving you the shits?

        • Colonial Viper 21.1.1.1

          Auckland and Christchurch Central spring to mind. As do Waimak and Waitakere. Tāmaki Makaurau is also vulnerable. You must be really worried, CV, the thought of a Labour victory giving you the shits?

          LOL mate, not in the slightest. You need to remember that it’s an MMP world. Electorates aren’t very important unless you are stuck in an FPP mindset.

          • te reo putake 21.1.1.1.1

            I know it’s an MMP world. And we established recently that you only think in FPP terms. But for real people, their electorate MP is important. They can genuinely make a difference. But then, you’re not in touch with real people, so I understand your confusion.

            • Colonial Viper 21.1.1.1.1.1

              Amy Adams and Nikki Kaye are high up the National list and quite secure. Maybe Doocey is nervous, who knows.

              BTW you also forgot that Waitakere doesn’t exist as an electorate any more.

          • McFlock 21.1.1.1.2

            …and yet the tories who currently actually have those seats might be experiencing a slight frisson of tension if they’re not likely to be high up the list.

            • Colonial Viper 21.1.1.1.2.1

              Doocey is probably a nervous unit but Nikki Kaye and Amy Adams are both high up the NAT list.

  22. cogito 22

    Great piece by Lachlan Forsyth:

    “Opinion: Time to wave the white flag, John”

    Read more: http://www.newshub.co.nz/tvshows/story/time-to-wave-the-white-flag-john-2016021812#ixzz40USWCrpP

  23. Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster) 23

    Signs of more rifts in the National facade?

    The report on the Bains case, according to the news, was leaked at Cabinet level!!

    That’s pretty serious (or hopeful, depending on your political leanings!)

    • the pigman 23.1

      The Bain report leak is a classic Crusher move. Noone has more to gain from it than her after she infamously binned Binnie SCJ. So that’ll be her or one of her allies.

      However, I think there’s a whole lot of wishful thinking exhibited here. Gower says this is the first leak against Key and his faction he’s had… think how many leaks Mallard and Cosgrove et al. have orchestrated in that time. Staggering.

  24. pat 24

    are all the ads appearing on tele now and the high profile endorsements all covered in the 26 million or have additional funds been allocated?

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