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Clark cuts the thread

Written By: - Date published: 1:43 pm, August 28th, 2008 - 190 comments
Categories: election 2008, election funding, nz first - Tags:

Winston Peters’ stories around the Owen Glenn donation to his legal fund are dangerously convoluted and have stretched everyone’s credulity but without real evidence either way it has been impossible to fairly condemn him. Glenn’s letter yesterday provided strong evidence and left Peters ‘hanging by a thread’, as every hack in the country wrote. Now, Helen Clark has effectively chosen to cut that thread.

Clark has chosen to drop Peters in it by telling reporters that Glenn informed her of his donation to the legal fund in February and she asked Peters about it (he denied it) days before Peters held the up the famous ‘no’ sign. Logically, it doesn’t change anything – if Glenn’s account is true, Peters knew without talking to Clark that Glenn had made a donation; if Peters’ account is true,  then he wouldn’t have known Glenn made the donation to the trust fund because his lawyer refused to give him any information on it. But it does mean that Peters was at least on notice that a donation may have been made and, given that, he shouldn’t have flatly denied a donation had been made. However, it also shifts the weight of evidence to a conclusion that Peters has been misleading us.

Why has Clark waited until now to release this info? The same reason National waited until now to (kind of maybe) rule out working with Peters (unless he is cleared of wrongdoing). Both major parties have been unwilling to finally cut any chance of working with Peters after the election for fear he would return to Parliament as Kingmaker and go with the other side. After the Glenn letter, both parties judge that the tipping point has been reached where odds are Peters won’t be returning to Parliament because the public’s trust in him is blown and, so, they can get political gain from distancing themselves from him and undermining him. Of course, that’s a little tougher for Labour to do than National – because Labour wants to pass the ETS and has been relying on NZF coming on board. Sacking Peters will probably mean no NZF support for the ETS (it still could conceivably pass if NZF and the Maori Party abstain).

We must remember that this is still all very confused and Peters does have the right to due process. That process is the Privileges Committee hearing but Clark may choose to stand him down from his ministerial portfolios before that if it won’t stop the passage of the ETS.

No matter whether the Privileges Committee finds enough evidence to condemn Peters or not, it’s likely NZF will go into this election with both major parties stating an aversion to governing with them. On top of the stench around the donations, the inability to play Kingmaker should see NZF’s support bleed away. It looks like Peters and NZF have reached the end of the road. But the question will linger, why did Peters behave the way he has? There was nothing illegal or wrong in the Glenn donation, so why did he deny it so firmly when he should have at least suspected there had been a donation?

190 comments on “Clark cuts the thread”

  1. infused 1

    No, she waited until now because OG is about to spill the beans.

  2. Whatever happens Peters is a goner and that can’t be bad for NZ.

  3. monkey-boy 3

    Like I said:
    The Labour-led Government (with apologies to the EC) is now like the Titanic in the hour after hitting the iceberg. It’s passengers all playing with the ice, on their ‘unsinkable’ vessel, the band in full swing, champagne on tap. While underneath them, the ship is silently shipping water.
    History has proven that when there is a scarcity of lifeboats, Helen Clark, rather than be pushed into the icey waters, will be the first to grab one for herself.

  4. Tanya 4

    At least Clark has now done the right thing, will we soon get an election date?

  5. MikeE 5

    What does it mean then for Cullens statements below?

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Debates/QOA/5/c/0/48HansQ_20080221_00000071-2-Honorary-Consul-Monaco-Possible-Appointment.htm

    ” Hon Bill English: Can the Prime Minister tell the House whether her coalition partner New Zealand First has advised her whether Owen Glenn is the mystery anonymous donor who placed nearly $100,000 in the New Zealand First bank account last year, and if not, does she intend to ask New Zealand First in order to find out whether a donation may have affected Winston Peters’ consideration of who to appoint as consul to Monaco?

    Hon Dr MICHAEL CULLEN: No, I cannot advise that, nor can I advise the House of any of the anonymous donors to the National Party, because they were all funded through something called the Waitemata Trust—some $2.3 million—which was handled by a man whom that Government appointed to chair Government quangos and boards. What is more, the National Party still will not tell us who their anonymous donors were. Let me finally add that anybody who thinks the appointment as an honorary consul is some kind of plum job does not know that most honorary consuls spend more than the amount of money—which is $5,000, plus $7,500 in expenses—that we give to them. Mr Glenn, who is a billionaire, has supposedly thought this was some plum financial reward, but he has really got on hard times very fast.

    Hon Bill English: Does the Prime Minister have confidence in the ability of her coalition partner New Zealand First to clear up the issue of the large anonymous donation that suddenly appeared in its bank account late last year, when Dail Jones has said it happened, Winston Peters has said that Dail Jones is completely wrong and that Owen Glenn was not the anonymous donor, but Owen Glenn’s PR company will not say whether he was the donor?

    Hon Dr MICHAEL CULLEN: The Prime Minister is not responsible for any donations that may have been given to any other political party. She would, however, welcome the opportunity to become responsible for that and look into the National Party’s anonymous donations.”

    Cullen appears to be denying that the Labour Party/Govt had any knoweldge of said donations in February…

  6. r0b 6

    The Labour-led Government (with apologies to the EC) is now like the Titanic in the hour after hitting the iceberg. It’s passengers all playing with the ice, on their ‘unsinkable’ vessel, the band in full swing, champagne on tap. While underneath them, the ship is silently shipping water.

    Ohh – this is fun! So the National opposition is like the Hindenburg in the seconds after the fire began. Improbably buoyant and floating high. While all around them, the craft is beginning to burn, and about to come crashing down to earth.

    History has proven that when there is a scarcity of lifeboats, Helen Clark, rather than be pushed into the icey waters, will be the first to grab one for herself.

    Ahhh – what? Don’t recall HC ever needing a lifeboat actually. She’s the captain, and you can bet that if the Labour ship does go down, she will be at the helm, proud of the accomplishments of her 3 terms as PM and the excellent state in which she will leave the Party. Cheers Helen!

  7. randal 7

    somehbody should option all this for a hollywoood treatment

  8. “whether her coalition partner New Zealand First has advised her ”

    Umm, it wasn’t NZ First that advised her, it was Owen Glenn. She needs to pull the pin and run not walk.

  9. r0b 9

    Cullen appears to be denying that the Labour Party/Govt had any knoweldge of said donations in February

    Ahh – no he doesn’t. He says that it isn’t Labour’s responsibility to comment.

    Good quotes on the Waitemata Trust though. As I said on another thread I do feel sorry for Owen Glenn. He’s a successful and generous man dragged in to all this controversy because he was open about his donations. National’s donors remain secret, hidden behind fronts like the Waitemata trust. They must be laughing (secretly) all the way to the bank.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/blogs/politics/2008/02/22/time-to-tell-us-about-your-donors-national/

  10. “Of course, that’s a little tougher for Labour to do than National – because Labour wants to pass the ETS and has been relying on NZF coming on board.”

    For some unknown reason Clark seems desperate to pass the ETS. Isn’t she better off flagging it and focusing on closing the gap with National ?

  11. r0b 11

    For some unknown reason Clark seems desperate to pass the ETS. Isn’t she better off flagging it and focusing on closing the gap with National ?

    Well yes perhaps, if you were “desperate for power” or “clinging on” or all these other things that righties like to rant. You’d ditch the ETS, you’d never have done anything necessary but controversial like repeal Section 59, or create the Electoral Finance Bill. You would avoid controversy, compromise your principles, be as bland an inoffensive as possible. (Hmmm – geee – remind you of anyone?).

    Clark is desperate to pass the ETS because it’s the right thing to do. Nothing more, nothing less. Imagine that!

  12. monkey-boy 12

    Looks like the champagne has gone to your head R0b. Tell it to Dalzeil, Benson-Pope, Taito Philip Fields and those poor sukers who were in her motorcade through Waimate.

  13. Scribe 13

    rOb,

    Clark is desperate to pass the ETS because it’s the right thing to do. Nothing more, nothing less. Imagine that!

    I think the timing makes it look desperate. There are just weeks to go in this Parliament — and possibly in Labour’s tenure — and I think it’s reasonable to argue she doesn’t want to be seen to have done very little (some say nothing) to address an issue that has been one on which Labour have made a lot of noise.

  14. Tim Ellis 14

    This is deeply damaging to Labour.

    SP you make some good points, and I’m pleased that you have stopped defending Winston Peters, although again you say he is entitled to due process. Well, so were many other Ministers Helen Clark sacked or suspended: her reasons for sacking them were because they had so many allegations flying about them, they weren’t able to credibly do their job until the issues were resolved.

    Do you think Winston Peters is credibly able to do his job while these allegations are floating around? Shouldn’t he be suspended on full pay until they are resolved? And shouldn’t she be demanding Winston Peters come up with a credible explanation to the public?

    I think yesterday’s performance in the house was shameful. Labour deliberately engaged in a stalling exercise with the need for a sudden ministerial statement on tasering, taking an hour out of parliament’s time. It was a total joke. That was a deliberate attempt to shield Winston from parliamentary scrutiny.

    As others have said I agree that the reason Helen Clark has taken this step is she’s seeing just how damaging it is to the Labour Party to be associated with Winston Peters. Owen Glenn was going to talk further and reveal the information anyway.

    The ETS may well be sunk now.

  15. higherstandard 15

    Banana republic thy name is NZ.

    I thought the Prime Minister was better than this, seems like her moral compass has been corrupted by power – sad really.

  16. Thomas the Unbeliever 16

    “But the question will linger, why did Peters behave the way he has? There was nothing illegal or wrong in the Glenn donation, so why did he deny it so firmly when he should have at least suspected there had been a donation?’

    Exactly. Either Peters has gone mad – and lost all political judgement (which is entirely possible)- or the fact that Glenn made a donation is only a small part of the story. What was Peters trying to hide/cover up?

    We have all spent so long entranced by Peters’ dance macabre and bombastic denial that we have missed pressing on the important questions:

    1. – Why has Peters’ so steadfastly denied the Glenn donation?
    2. What is it that everyone has been so desperate to hide?
    3. – Exactly what did Helen know and when did she know it?

    These are the questions we should focus on. The fact that Glenn made a donations has not been worthy of all this fuss – and political risk. Surely the real cause has yet to be fully revealed.

  17. r0b 17

    Oh HS that’s a weak contribution form you, there’s a real discussion going on here and you didn’t add to it!

  18. r0b 18

    Well, so were many other Ministers Helen Clark sacked or suspended:

    There’s an important distinction lurking in that quick sleight of hand. On what occasions has HC sacked a minister before due process was complete? Genuine inquiry, I don’t recall all details over the last 9 years.

  19. r0b 19

    I think the timing makes it look desperate

    I agree with that – makes it “look” – but the Greens needed their time to consult…

  20. Sarah 20

    The Standard’s motto should be “you are now entering the spin zone”.

    Wonderfully done again by the Standard. No criticism of Helen whatsoever.

    She has criticised John Key and National over their honesty, their lack of transparency, and inability to supply all the facts. And now this?

    Surely it would have been the honourable action for our PM to have informed the public that she kenw that there was contrary evidence when Winston continued time and time again that he had recieved no donation?

    But no, Helen said or did nothing, even when she knew it was in the public’s best interests to inform them of this contrary evidence. Every time that Winston said no, she knew that one of her biggest donors had said otherwise.

    Maybe your hapless lackies will actually believe everything you say without question, but don’t joke us all around. She didn’t inform us today for the reason of cutting him loosee, she told us today because she knew there was a chance that Owen Glenn might tell the priviliges committee that she knew all along. It looks far better for her to tell the public now, rather that it to be released during a video conference with Owen Glenn.

  21. randal 21

    who gives a stuff about waimate. a whole lot of blue collar tory malcontents. helen clark is allowed to go as fast as she likes anywhere she likes and especially to rugby games.

  22. lprent 22

    Tim: I don’t think anyone here has defended Winston ever. In fact I can barely remember a person with a good word to say about him.

    What has been defended is the right of people to a fair hearing, to being able to defend themselves, to having a due process, and not to be arbitrarily lynched.

    It appears that some of the commentators here have an inability to understand these issues. They prefer the lynch mob.

    Tell me, how long until they get back to those wonderful medieval practices of drawing and quartering people?

  23. Billy 23

    r0b,

    On what occasions has HC sacked a minister before due process was complete?

    I think you can start with the first one: Dover Samuels. My recollection was that he was sacked not because of any proven wrongdoing but because the (unproven) allegations surrounding him had made his position untenable.

    Will that do ya?

  24. monkey-boy 24

    and Dover Samuels and Tariana Turia

  25. r0b 25

    Wonderfully done again by the Standard. No criticism of Helen whatsoever.

    Lynn the sysop will probably remind you that The Standard is a machine that doesn’t have opinions, and are you should address your comments to the authors.

    Surely it would have been the honourable action for our PM to have informed the public that she kenw that there was contrary evidence when Winston continued time and time again that he had recieved no donation?

    One person’s word against another is not exactly evidence that you are compelled to take to the public. And while I’m certainly inclined to believe Glenn over Winston, Winston has been giving the PM his personal assurances.

    But no, Helen said or did nothing, even when she knew it was in the public’s best interests to inform them of this contrary evidence.

    I think it is in the public’s best interests to know who National’s secret donors are. What do you think are the odds that John Key is going to tell us that?

    Maybe your hapless lackies

    Personal insults really don’t help your case Sarah.

    she told us today because she knew there was a chance that Owen Glenn might tell the priviliges committee that she knew all along.

    I guess that’s possible, but I don’t think it likely that this would have come up within the scope of the committee’s enquiries.

  26. r0b 26

    Will that do ya?

    Ahhh – no. Substance please. But alas, I have to go for now. Maybe later tonight.

  27. higherstandard 27

    r0b

    Afternoon off wine tasting – I promise to do better next time.

  28. Sarah 28

    lprent: Winston Peters has had countless opportunities to defend himself; in fact on four occassions he has stated that he would reveal all details and clear the matter up surrounding the donations. On each of those four occassions he didn’t in fact clear the issue up.

    The due process comment is also an absolute sham. The case that has been brought to privileges committee’s attention is not one on moral or ethical grounds, rather on whether or not the donation should have been disclosed to parliament.

    John Key and those commentators who have commented on this issue have not made any mention to the legality of the whole issue or made prejudicial comments about whether or not the sum should have be disclosed to parliament. They have in fact made comments on Winston Peters honesty and transparency, in that he has abused countless editors on a matter which he himself should have taken the blame for. They are perfectly entitled to do this.

  29. Mike Collins 30

    Or DBP,

    He was asked to explain the differences between accusations and his version of the truth. I can’t recall Helen having asked Winston why his version of the truth is different from OG’s. She just accepts it – and happily too might I add.

  30. Tim Ellis 31

    LP, you’re entitled as the blog admin to use hyperbole, of course, but surely you know me well enough by now that I’m not going to fire hyperbole back at you. Hopefully.

    I would refer you to the nz first category at http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?cat=59 , which will save me posting a whole lot of quotes. I hope I’m not giving an unfair representation of the posts about Winston, but as I read them, they say: “Winston didn’t do anything illegal or immoral. It isn’t the Prime Minister’s business. There isn’t any evidence. We need to give him a chance.”

    The problem when you take that line–and I appreciate that it’s not a corporate line, it’s just a line that everyone posting about NZ First has coincidentally taken–is that if you are supporting the Labour Party, you shouldn’t just not be defending him. You should be condemning him. You lefties don’t owe any favours to Winston. There’s nothing in it for you to promote him as an outstanding foreign minister. Far better for you to go around saying: “We don’t like Winston, what he stands for, never have, hope he doesn’t last much longer, but the price of being in government is sometimes having to form coalitions with people we don’t really like that much.”

    I’m a National Party supporter, as you know. I was pretty horrified when Jim Bolger went into coalition with Winston. I said at the time to people that I knew it would end in tears, and would end up damaging National long term. Twelve years later and we’re seeing him carry out the same damage against Labour. But have some bloody integrity. Stop apologising for him. Stop, and I say this again, after reading the posts about him, which I believe clearly do defend him, DEFENDING him.

    New Zealand politics is much better off without him. He’s a dishonest, lying, corrupt, hypocritical blight on New Zealand politics who holds everyone else in contempt. We should have all learned by now just how dangerous he is. Any party that trades off short term gain actually deserves everything they get from associating with him. Helen Clark’s paying the price for it now.

  31. Sarah 32

    R0b: You bring up a fair point, so we have to look at why the privileges committee actually released Owen Glenn’s letter yesterday? Because they felt it was necessary for the public to be fully-informed and make a fully-informed decision on the matter.

    They released the letter straight away; Helen Clark however knew for six months that Owen Glenn believed himself to have given a donation to New Zealand first. It does not matter if Winston had given her his own personal assurances, there was evidence that contradicted what he was saying. The public deserved the right to know of this evidence.

  32. Tim Ellis 33

    Interesting points rob. You say: One person’s word against another is not exactly evidence that you are compelled to take to the public. And while I’m certainly inclined to believe Glenn over Winston, Winston has been giving the PM his personal assurances.

    Yes, fair enough. But this is not just a simple conflict of evidence about a trivial matter. She let it lie on the table in a way that she didn’t let DBP’s assurances lie on the table. She asked for the TV3 tapes after she’d received the assurance from TV3. With Winston, she accepted his word and didn’t dig further.

    In addition, Helen Clark stood by while Winston, after being told personally by Owen Glenn that he had given the money, went and told journalists that they were liars, had no evidence of the fact, and had fabricated evidence. Helen Clark had the evidence–Owen Glenn’s word. She stood silent on that and I think most New Zealand journalists are going to be pretty outraged that she did.

    The very least she could have done is say to Winston: “Look, Owen Glenn says he did give money. I don’t know why he would make that up. The media will get hold of that at some point. So don’t dig a bigger hole for yourself by accusing the media of lying. If this problem doesn’t go away soon, and if there are any further allegations coming out, then I will suspend you and set up an independent inquiry. So pull your head in.”

    But she didn’t. Like I say, she’s paying the price for it now.

  33. randal 34

    cut to the chase…the tories think this all about being one minute wonders. hc is perhaps the greatest pm newzealand has ever had. we have enjoyed unprecendented prosperity and the knockers want a turn. but no. they are wreckers. new zealands early political history is littered with scoundrels and rogues and this lot of mysterious grey men with no policy demanding infantile satisfaction and satiation at the public expense need to reform themselves before they will ever get even a sniff of the treasury benches.

  34. lprent 35

    Tim: I don’t believe there have been any posts that defend Winston or NZF. Similarly with the comments. I sure as hell haven’t. I dislike the guy at all levels.

    What there has been is rabid frothing of righties (and a few lefties) determined to stick their teeth into anything available. Attacking everyone who says that they could be wrong, as ‘defending’ the indefensible.

    If you call that hyperbole – then just look at your last comment. Shows all of the symptoms of rabies or a lyncher about to carry out a miscarriage of justice. And you’re one of the more reasonable ones.

    I hate to even think of looking on kiwiblog at present. I suspect that there is either a dogfight or hunting pack.

  35. higherstandard 36

    Tim let me translate for Lynn

    Anything Labour or their supporting parties do we’ll defend or turn a blind eye to.

    Anything that other parties do we’ll put under the microscope draw dubious conclusions and take an opposite opinion.

  36. Oh Dear, Clark has known the truth all along but chose to ignore Peter’s lies to use him to pass legislation over the last 6 months.

    In any other country she would be impeached.

    A(nother) sad day for our crumbling democracy.

  37. Oh, Clark was forced to reveal what she knew,because Owen Glenn’s evidence will put her right in it.

  38. ape08 39

    “but don?t joke us all around. She didn?t inform us today for the reason of cutting him loose, she told us today because she knew there was a chance that Owen Glenn might tell the priviliges committee that she knew all along. It looks far better for her to tell the public now, rather that it to be released during a video conference with Owen Glenn.”

    Clinton, I assume the fatuous spin you are trying to weave here is to be taken as tongue in cheek? Even Cullen was clearly embarrassed trying to defend this BS during question time today.

  39. Billy 40

    ‘preciate your call, randal.

  40. Tim Ellis 41

    Those are fair points LP. Here’s a question. Do you think Helen Clark would have tolerated this kind of behaviour (attacking the media) from any of her own ministers? Do you think she would have allowed any of her own ministers to promise for weeks and weeks to reveal all, and promise to come up with credible answers, only to continue to play stupid games as Winston has? Do you think Helen Clark would have allowed any of her own Ministers to remain on the job, while such serious allegations are taking place, for so long?

    I put it to you that this isn’t an issue of whether Winston is lying about what he knew about Owen Glenn’s donation, or the proceedings of the privileges committee, although that is material. It is that he is continuing to trifle and play games with everybody in a way that would be unacceptable from any other of Helen Clark’s ministers. She has shown time and time again that she doesn’t put up with that sort of nonsense–even before the results of any inquiry into the issue itself.

    By not acting Helen Clark has shown she sets a much, much lower standard of conduct for Winston Peters as she does for her own ministers. That really damages her reputation for setting high standards with everyone she works with. The longer she has Winston by her side, the more he will be politically damaging to her.

  41. lprent 42

    Incorrect HS.

    I’ve noticed before, this lack of judgement when the right smell blood.

    When posts on this site (and in most cases leftie commentators) have been pulling John Key or a hapless Nat over the coals, it has been presented as an interpretation. Comments have been allowed (apart from idiots) from all sides.

    What has been appalling me is that people like yourself have been attacking anyone who dares to say that your ill informed premature conclusions may possibly be wrong. In particular the accusation that people are defending Winston when they clearly aren’t.

    I suppose that it just shows how easy it is to drive the civilisation out of the most civilised of a supporter of the right. The classic quote fro Dubba comes to mind – “If you aren’t for us, you’re against us”. We all know how that came out don’t we – the US invaded a country for no reason.

    You should be ashamed of yourself.

  42. Felix 43

    hs perhaps when you drink you should hang out at kb instead.

    Your mask is slipping.

  43. lprent 44

    Tim: You mean one of her Labour Ministers? No.

    But in that case she is also the leader of the party that those ministers are in. Party discipline applies.

    This does not apply to either Winston or Peter Dunne. What applies there are the agreements between that parties and whatever is in the rules for cabinet.

    In Winstons’s case, I seem to remember some quite specific clauses that allowed him and NZF to do almost anything outside of his portfolio. The effect was to negate a high proportion of the cabinet rules.

    captcha: minus DISSOLUTIONS
    wtf!

  44. Yeah, sure she’s cut the string Steve – just not until she gets her ETS legislation passed though eh. I would have thought hat an honourable bloke like you might have criticised the PM like Jafapete did.

  45. lprent 46

    Billy put this link through on another thread.

    Miss Clark was asked how credible Mr Peters’ version was.

    “I am really not in a position to adjudicate… I am in the position where an honourable member’s word has been given and it’s been given in Parliament as well as in many other places.”

    She said Mr Peters and his lawyer Brian Henry had given sworn evidence about the donation.

    “I understand that Mr Henry will be absolutely clear that he made the phone call.

    “I am not their advocate, I am not their defender, I am simply saying that he will be totally clear about that.”

    In other words she isn’t going to prejudge.

    The rest of the statement includes an interesting perspective on the role of the National members in the privileges committee. Bearing in mind that John Key seems to have pre-judged Winston, perhaps they should excuse themselves for reasons of premptive judgement?

    That would follow the same logic as some of the other idiotic statements here.

  46. Crank 47

    This whole thing is obviously terrible for Labour. To prove my point please try and answer the following questions.

    Maurice ………

    Secret ………

    John Key ……..

    see no one remembers any more.

  47. Felix 48

    Crank it’s advisable to take a broad view of these things.

    You may well be a political goldfish, not all of us are so simple.

  48. burt 49

    So has the PM also lied, by omission ?

    Lies of omission are certainly lies.

    So… has the PM misled the house – IMHO – most definately.

  49. burt 50

    Lies of omission

    Sorry that link above was broken and edit failed.

  50. Silly_Wankers 51

    Helen Clark has misled the House. Can’t wait to hear the full story of Labour’s dirty dealings. Neither can Labour. Pretty soon, you chaps won’t be publishing anymore spin. Bye Bye “machines” at The Standard.

  51. r0b 52

    Just on my way out the door until much later, but a couple of notes.

    Nice to see all the righties here stressing how principled HC has been in dealing with misbehaving Labour ministers in the past.

    Also, not sure what HC stating what Glenn told her in February would have added, given that we have Glenn’s words themselves in the oft quoted email “when I did”.

    As for lies of omission – that’s a long bow to draw – and should be compared to the lies of commission that we are getting from John “Secret Agenda” Key…

    Later.

  52. burt 53

    rOb

    Here we go again, National do it too (according to rOb). Childish, apologist behaviour…

    Is there nothing that Labour can do to make you go: Oh, I’m not happy about that?

  53. CMR 54

    If Clark has a remnant of decency she’ll promptly:

    1 Sack Peters

    2 Admit to her complicity in his prevarication

    3 Go to the electorate ( at the first tenable opportunity) My take is that the Nats are so confused Clark still has a slight chance of re-election. Terrible thought though isn’t it?

  54. higherstandard 55

    Lynn

    I am not ashamed of myself.

    The Standard is a partisan Blog – there’s nothing wrong with that as it’s very clearly stated in the “about” page.

    My position on Winston has remained constant for a long time the man is a rogue, lovely to have dinner with but I wouldn’t trust him with my wallet.

    I’ve also said both sides of the political spectrum should rule him out of the next government.

    There has been no doubt for that his behaviour has over many months brought parliament into disrepute it is now clear he has misled the public and parliament, he has also defamed specific members of the media.

    Apart from Tane stating that he can’t stand the man and that he finds his racial based politics derisive most of the posters have been less than vocal in calling the man for what he is – if his behaviour or what he has done was attached to someone outside of the present government I would suggest the posters at this site would be all over it like a rash.

    I can understand why you are upset – if I was a member of the Labour party I would be less than impressed with the Prime minister today.

    What strikes me is this could all have been put to bed a long time ago if Winston had been upfront from day one and not gone through the “No No No” charade with the media.

    Sadly most of the public will look at this and just add it to the long list of fiascos (Exclusive Bretheren, rorting EFA, secret recording etc etc etc) and say it’s just politicians being politicians.

  55. Politics under Clark’s regime is a total disgrace and I hope Winston who is backed into a corner strikes like a rat and exposes the real antics of Miss Clark and her many girlfriends.
    Please Winston, you got nothing to lose but she has. Pretty please Winny and all is forgiven matey!

  56. burt 57

    higherstandard

    What strikes me is this could all have been put to bed a long time ago if Winston had been upfront from day one and not gone through the “No No No’ charade with the media.

    Or if Helen, with her knowledge of what most likely actually happened, had called for the highest ethical standards from a minister in her govt as the Cabinet Manual insists she must.

    Helen’s ethical standards also come into question over this. If this were the leader of a party I supported I would withdraw my support from the party until such time as the leader resigned. Resigned taking any other MP’s that were also complicit in the situation with them.

    This whole situation fails the ethical standards required of MP’s – end of story. No amount of National did it too, National would do the same etc makes any difference.

  57. mike 58

    “so why did he deny it so firmly when he should have at least suspected there had been a donation?”

    Because there is a lot more to this saga to come steve.

    I don’t like Clark, never have, but I have respected her leadership skills and strength – these traits have deserted her now and so has any chance Labour had of a forth term.

  58. higherstandard 59

    Burt

    Agreed – for a person I rate as the most savvy politician in NZ she’s played it poorly by her usual standards.

    I’m not sure whether it’s the Winston factor – where everything he touches eventually decays or whether there’s something else behind the scenes that’s being hushed up.

    In hindsight I’m sure she’d have liked to have gutted him like a fish when she first heard about it from Owen Glenn.

    The thing that staggers me is WP appears to believe he can bluster and lie his way out again and again and again – despite this I don’t yet have the confidence to rule out the sod getting over the 5% mark.

  59. Labour is toast, Peters wont win his seat, and people who normally vote NZfirst, will probably go with ACT.

    Helen is standing by her man, because she has to.

  60. higherstandard 61

    Can’t see it Brett – most of the NZ first vote if it departs from Peters would go to National and Labour.

    Don’t discount that a large proportion of his support will still vote for Winston because they think he’s being persecuted and that someone with such a lovely haircut couldn’t possibly be doing any wrong.

  61. Anita 62

    monkey-boy,

    In response to

    On what occasions has HC sacked a minister before due process was complete?

    you wrote

    and Dover Samuels and Tariana Turia

    I think you will find that Tariana Turia was removed from her ministerial posts the day she resigned from Parliament. She resigned because of her views over the Seabed and Foreshore Bill (amongst other things), stood again in a by election in Te Tai Hauauru and formed a new political party.

    It does Turia a disservice to see her as a victim of someone else’s plotting when she was so capably managing her own destiny.

  62. Matthew Pilott 63

    Owen Glenn is a private citizen at the end of the day. Clark has been pretty decent to him, by respecting a private conversation between the two of them, until Glenn revealed the content of their conversation himself.

    Clark had no right to reveal her knowledge of Glenn’s donation until now – as usual, she’s acted with utmost respect and dignity – the only ones pissed about it are the frothing right – who are happy to trample on private citizens, people’s right to confidentiality and respecting someone’s word at the faintest sniff of blood.

    Funny isn’t it – all this PC crap they spout about personal responsibility becomes nothing to them when power is at stake!

  63. burt 64

    higherstandard

    In hindsight I’m sure she’d have liked to have gutted him like a fish when she first heard about it from Owen Glenn.

    So why didn’t she? Surely if she applied the highest ethical standards as required from the PM she not only should have, but was required to.

    Honest simple question: What stopped her from saying the first time she was asked if she had confidence in Winston: There are some differences in the events as told by Mr. Peters compared to the events as described to me by Owen Glenn.

    If she had cut Winston loose (under the banner of him telling porkies and that bringing parliament into disrepute) then we would be discussing her high standards and the whole “secret agenda” fabrication against National wouldn’t being blowing up in her face as her own situation.

    She has made herself an ugly thorny bed simply because she didn’t do what she should have done – acted with the highest ethical standards.

  64. Matthew Pilott 65

    Burt – I think I answered your question above. For all the people who blab on about personal responsibility and ethics you’re all too happy for her to do some pretty nasty stuff for your benefit. What’s with that?

  65. burt 66

    Matthew Pilott

    Clark had no right to reveal her knowledge of Glenn’s donation until now…

    That’s a new one, is it direct from the spin DR’s testing lab? Perhaps you could provide a link to back up that seemingly absurd assertion.

    Come on pull the other one. If she knew Winston was most likely telling porkies then she has an obligation to determine that he wasn’t. It’s not like Owen Glenn was some Joe average. He has been hounoured by NZ. He’s not know for his dishonesty or slipperiness.

  66. higherstandard 67

    Which is what has me confused burt – as I said she’s been a very savvy politician and Labour leader (despite how many on the political right detest her).

    I’m surprised her usual judgement deserted her on this, perhaps it was all simply down to keeping Winston on side as a potential coalition partner post election – a decision to bite her tongue as one of the less appetising parts of MMP ?

  67. lprent 68

    hs: I’ve been quite clear in my comments that I don’t like Winston pretty much because of his political habits on immigration and immigrants, and his populist habits.

    I can’t see what it has to do with the left apart from the right wanting to make it an issue about the left (which it isn’t). Winston is pretty much a right of center populist who originally came out of the National party. Probably why the right is far more vehement about him than the left is.

    The only really ‘left’ issue is that he is, along with Peter Dunne, in coalition with Labour. That makes him part of the government – not part of Labour. That is just MMP and only happened because the greens didn’t get enough seats. It is no more of an issue than the way that the Alliance broke up before 2002.

    My position on it right now is that the financial structure in NZF looks suspicious. There is a discrepancy between the statements of Owen Glenn and Winston Peters about a donation. Similarly for other donations. To date I haven’t seen anything that is illegal based on the laws at the time. Certainly no more illegal than what I see with the National parties finances. If it is moral is a different question.

    If anyone asks, my advice is to let the rabid burn themselves out on this issue. It isn’t fundamental to anyone apart from the political conspiracy nutters. It is a triviality and should be handled through the normal processes. The SFO, EC, and PC.

    Hopefully it will cause the demise of NZF in the elections. However I’m sure that will just lead to the rise of yet another populist party around the centre. But in the end that is a matter for the voters – I’m not really interested in wasting time on it.

    I’m far more interested in how far the Nat’s are trying to take us into dent. Their pork factor is getting quite substantial.

    At present my main concern with this issue has been the type of debate it has generated on this site. I find it rather disheartening. It is far too much like a MSM feeding frenzy.

  68. burt 69

    Matthew Pilott

    you’re all too happy for her to do some pretty nasty stuff for your benefit

    Can you please explain, perhaps give me an example. I have no idea what you are referring to.

  69. higherstandard 70

    MP

    What Burt said – plus let’s remember that Glenn has never been shy about declaring where his money went – what was it in that email that the reporter found of Glenn asking somewhat bemused why he should lie about donating to NZF when he definitely had ?

    I would suggest to you that he’s been more far more shabbily treated by the current turn of events then if as Burt said the PM merely commented back in Feb that…

    “There are some differences in the events as told by Mr. Peters compared to the events as described to me by Owen Glenn.”

  70. higherstandard 71

    Lynn

    There’s nothing I repeat nothing wrong with the donations.

    I think you’re still missing the key point – WP lied to the public, parliament and the PM repeatedly, if you consider that a triviality I’m frankly astounded.

    PS what’s dent ?

  71. Matthew Pilott 72

    That’s a new one, is it direct from the spin DR’s testing lab? Perhaps you could provide a link to back up that seemingly absurd assertion.

    Come on pull the other one. If she knew Winston was most likely telling porkies then she has an obligation to determine that he wasn’t.

    Clark has private conversation with Owen Glenn. Burt insists Clark should have revealed content of conversation before Glenn chose to make it public. Clark telling NZ of Glenn’s personal financial transactions.

    And Burt – I can think for myself, it is a valid observation. Don’t belittle yourself over it.

    HS – Glenn has never been shy – so what? It’s not for Clark to reveal. Instead of attacking the comment without thought, think about it. It was not for Clark to reveal. For all the theories about why she’s revealing it now, this is the obvious reason. Not sure why no one else has mentioned it, it is bleedingly obvious (all due respect, SP!)

  72. Matthew Pilott 73

    HS – Debt!

    Burt – see above for the example.

  73. higherstandard 74

    Mat

    Let’s just agree to disagree it’s not worth us arguing – let’s face it the public will make up their own mind.

  74. mike 75

    “It isn’t fundamental to anyone apart from the political conspiracy nutters”

    ..and the political scientist on Close up tonight who quite rightly states that Labours big election strategy of painting National as untrustworthy and secret has just been thwarted.
    “how can she talk about Nationals secret agendas when she’s been keeping secrets from NZers”

    Ouch!

    [lprent: Which one – is it one I respect? Or is it one to help Closeup keep a story nice and frothy? Kind of pointless offering a PS as ‘evidence’ without saying who it is – how about a link? ]

  75. Dean 76

    MP:

    “HS – Glenn has never been shy – so what? It’s not for Clark to reveal. Instead of attacking the comment without thought, think about it. It was not for Clark to reveal. For all the theories about why she’s revealing it now, this is the obvious reason. Not sure why no one else has mentioned it, it is bleedingly obvious (all due respect, SP!)”

    If it had been John Key in the same situation as Clark is now, you’d be calling for him to do everything in his power to admit he’d make a mistake.

    That’s the problem with people like you. You’re just too partisan to see the truth because you’re blinded by idealogy. Just like Trotter’s “courageous corruption” line, you’ll make excuses for Clark and Labour until the cows come home – and all because you can’t bring yourself to admit they could do any wrong.

    Your double standards are quite breathtaking. Have you ever considered a career in politics?

  76. Matthew Pilott 77

    HS – Just defending Ms Clark’s honour here. I don’t think you’ll be able to convince me that she should have revealed the content of a private conversation which involved private financial transactions though, and if you won’t conceed that it is a valid point then I guess there is no point. I disagree that she should be ‘impeached’ as one particularly frothy one metioned, or that her judgement has deserted her as you say.

    Put it another way – what would happen if Clark revealed what Glenn said, and Glenn went to the media and said that it was a private conversation, that Clark was not to be trusted for revealing private information. How would ‘the public’ react to that?

  77. Gooner 78

    I agree with SP’s account of why Key took so long and it’s the same reason as Clark’s: MMP.

    I suspect neither wished to deal with Peters but MMP meant they either had to, or had to seriously consider it. It is/was a reality of the situation.

    Now, where’s that referendum.

  78. CMR 79

    I think it is a bit audacious for anyone to assert that Clark and her cohorts respect one’s right to carry one’s personal responsibility.

    Clark’s government is founded on the premise that nobody has personal responsibility! Her government rapaciously draws monies from the productive for the non-productive to permit them to survive without the need to assume responsibility for their actions/inactions!

    Where was her personal responsibility vis a vis the electorate as she obfuscated to protect WP, simply to ensure that the support she needs from him is shored up?

    She could resurrect herself but won’t as her contempt and habitual pomposity will preclude this.

    Burt: I occasionally delve into this site and I assure you the inanity displayed by Mr Pilott tonight is not untypical of his ill-conceived
    and juvenile politics! Give up while you’re ahead, this is not a place for rational humanity! You may receive some form of Cullenesque jibe from Pilott, but that’s all you’ll get!

    After the imminent collapse of the Labour Gov’t this site will undoubtedly evaporate, but the stylised whining won’t!

  79. randal 80

    in the final washup this is just a bit of fluff to keep wodney busy and nobody is going to elect a national government who wont stand a member in the same electorate AS WODNEY.

  80. Matthew Pilott 81

    If it had been John Key in the same situation as Clark is now, you’d be calling for him to do everything in his power to admit he’d make a mistake.

    Dean, you are not bright enough to make such assumptions. Give me an equivalent example of where I have attacked Key over something similar or grow some balls and apologise.
    Nice way to have a go without even taking a stab at the content of what I said. Here’s a tip for next time, champ – at least have a shot at it or you just look pathetic and whiny.

    CMR – nice wee troll. I guess that’s why benefit numbers have dropped so much, for example. Why is it that benefit payments per capita go up with your crowd? Treat ’em mean, keep ’em keen don’t work with politics… As with dean – try and have a go at the substance, if you’re able. Drop the pretentious tone too, ‘fraid you can’t quite pull it off.

  81. Anita 82

    Is there anyone around who can count on their fingers properly and inform us all? 🙂

    I think that Connell’s resignation makes difference to Labour’s reliance on NZ First because a majority in a 120 seat Parliament is the same as a majority in a 121 one. Is that right? Have I missed something obvious?

  82. Dean 83

    “Dean, you are not bright enough to make such assumptions. Give me an equivalent example of where I have attacked Key over something similar or grow some balls and apologise.
    Nice way to have a go without even taking a stab at the content of what I said. Here’s a tip for next time, champ – at least have a shot at it or you just look pathetic and whiny.”

    I see you’re resorting to personal attacks and name calling Matthew. I have been known to wear a scarf on occasion so perhaps you should take a page out of Labour’s book and label me as chinless as well?

    I especially liked the judgement on my intelligence. Because noone that calls you on your inpartiality can possibly be intelligent, can they? Fortunately for you it’s about as insulting as, say, being called a hater and a wrecker by Clark. One knows what her motivation was for saying such a silly thing, as I know yur motivation in this case.

    Give yourself a break, MP. You’re as transparent as Clark is over her timing on this issue.

    You haven’t attacked Key for something similar because he’s never been in a position of knowing a member of his cabinet took money from a donor and then lied about it, over and over. I’m actually reminded in a way of TPF here, and how conscientous and hard-working he was.

    To pretend that you wouldn’t howl about it and call in the focus group attacks like “slippery” or “hidden/secret agenda” is foolish, because everyone knows from what you’ve written that you would.

  83. Anita 84

    ^^^ “makes no difference”

  84. Concerned of Tawa 85

    The “Blow Fly” of NZ politics (To quote Dr Cullen) is going to drag Clark and Labour down with him. It is known to few and obvious to many that Winston holds information on Clark that has forced NZ’s most savy politician to abandon hew usual excellent political judgement and support him rather than risk further scandal.It won’t fly. Throw in an insulted, spurned and cooperative Owen Glenn (now a liar according to Labour) who has not got his cash-for-honours despite a respectable banana republic offering of $$$,000 and this should end the most corrupt government in NZ history.
    This rotten saga has just begun. Jenny Shipley must be laughing.

  85. burt 86

    Matthew Pilott

    HS – Just defending Ms Clark’s honour here.

    To be fair to you Matthew she has left you slim pickings. I’ll take that as an explanation for your drivel about divulging details about a private citisens financial affairs.

    I suggested: “There are some differences in the events as told by Mr. Peters compared to the events as described to me by Owen Glenn.”

    If I suggested she blurt out: ‘Glenn said he gave Winston $100,000!’ then OK, sure it would be wrong for her to do that. However the plain and simple truth is she could have given Winston a few days to sort his story out, contacted Glenn to clarify and referred Winston to the PC herself if she didn’t get a solid consistent story. Sure it would have been inconvenient, but not half as inconvenient as Rodney doing it for her about 8 weeks from an election.

    Captcha: “13 bottles” – ‘And if 1 should accidentally fall….

  86. Tim Ellis 87

    This has been a really good debate on here. LP I congratulate you on creating a forum where ideas can be exchanged lively without the nasty personal stuff.

    Matthew, I really don’t believe that the matter of principle is involved at all in Helen Clark’s decision to either protect a private conversation, or tolerate Winston for longer.

    I don’t think Helen Clark’s lost her judgement, either. She made a call back in February that the risk of damaging her coalition’s chances between February and now, by revealing the information, was greater than the risk of the information coming out before the election.

    I also don’t believe that if the sides were changed, Helen Clark wouldn’t be demanding Prime Minister John Key sack his foreign minister. I don’t remember the specifics, but there were from memory numerous occasions when the Labour opposition called on Prime Ministers Bolger and Shipley to sack Winston and/or numerous other ministers. This is politics. Oppositions are opportunists, as are governments. They will put in the kicks when they have the opportunity to do it. Helen Clark did it when National was starting to cave in, and National’s doing it now.

    I further don’t think that Helen Clark has kept Winston on so to give him a “fair trial”. That is poppycock. She quite happily gave the bird to other ministers, before giving them their day in court, because they had become a political liability. Winston is now a major political liability. The issue is now that she’s got her ETS passed, is it a greater liability having him continue to cause problems while in the tent, or does she cut her losses and tell him where to jump?

    Irrespective of Winston’s chances of getting reelected (which I think are probably pretty nil), there is a major political cost with firing Winston. Right now Winston has gone feral at National and Rodney. If Clark fires him, he’ll turn her sights on her. He won’t have enough to regain his credibility, but he can be damaging to her. Finally, with the coalition effectively collapsed if she fires him, she loses the electoral advantage as the only MMP Prime Minister to successfully hold coalitions together.

    No doubt Helen Clark will be keeping a very close idea on her internal polling and focus groups to come up with the answer: whether to ping him, and if so, when. It’s a bugger of a decision either way, and I don’t envy her.

  87. Matthew Pilott 88

    Dean – how about three roughly similar examples then? I mean if you can make the comment about how I would be acting, surely you’ve got the examples to back it up.

    If there is no similar (even remotely) examples, then you can’t state, as a fact, how you imagine I’d react, and follow up with comments on blind ideology.

    For something really novel – tell me what was wrong with my previous point, if you can.

    Yeah personal attacks and name calling. Truly sorry. I guess when I’m trying to make a point it’s annyoing to get someone making false assumptions and personal attacks, but there’s no need for me to respond in kind.

  88. randal 89

    dont take it so seriously tim ellis. right now hc will be havinga nice dinner somewhere and all this stuff will be like so many national pipedreams whipped up by wodney and hooton somewhere and you can bet that what started with a bang will end up as a wimpy. hahahahaa. how else does one keep the plebs busy?

  89. Matthew Pilott 90

    Tim – I think it’s something to be taken into consideration. If nothing else, the cost to her if Glenn criticised her talking about his personal finances would be shocking.

    This is separate to whether she keeps him about – as I mentioned yesterday I think the ETS was a minor point and it’s all about keeping a coalition together.

    Now that the SFO has called it in, Clark will most likely wait for their investigation too – at least ’till the capaign starts!

  90. Lew 91

    Hugest day in NZ politics for months, and I missed most of it, having been stuck in meetings most of the day. Epic post follows.

    The matters which broke yesterday show Winston Peters to have very probably misled Parliament and the Privileges Committee, and the events of today show Clark to have acted foolishly. This latter is a much more shocking revelation than the former.

    Clark said yesterday there was a conflict of evidence. That conflict is between Peters’ account of events and Glenn’s. The fact she knew Glenn’s version back in February and Peters’ version when he held up the sign means that she’s been aware of the conflict this past six months and has taken no action to resolve it. It looks like two errors of judgement, but in fact there’s only one: taking Peters at his word.

    A PM has to put a certain amount of faith in those to whom she issues a ministerial warrant, and in this case her hand was somewhat forced by the need to grant Peters that warrant in order to form a coalition government. She couldn’t have referred the case currently at hand to the SFO or to the Privileges Committee without bringing down the government, so she chose to take Peters’ word. These choices represent calculated risks: the risk of such close association with Peters versus the reward of remaining in government another term; and then in the second place, the risk of possibly being tarred with the same brush as Peters versus the reward of remaining in government through the end of the term.

    I can see why the KBR gleefully trying to spin this as Clark and Peters colluding to retain power by nefarious means. The evidence they presume to support this thesis of corruption is the fact that Clark demands much higher ethical standards of her own ministers than those she has apparently demanded from Peters. This is also the line Key took in his Morning Report interview, linked below. But Labour has no power over Peters; he’s not in cabinet, and they can’t whip him. In fact, Peters and NZF to an extent have Clark and Labour at ransom with the threat of the withdrawal of their votes. The options the KBR are advocating – that Clark should have sacked Peters at the first sign of wrongdoing and contested a snap election – are self-serving. Failing to do this isn’t corrupt; it’s simply realpolitik. If you want to argue that realpolitic is itself corrupt, then, well, that sets an extremely high bar for any government you’d support in the future. Gooner and SP are right – it’s MMP in action; but I think this is a good thing, just that the system is still very new in NZ, and its full ramifications haven’t been thrashed out.

    There’s no evidence of anything worse than extremely poor judgement and timing on Clark’s part, but that’s a bigger stick than people usually get with which to beat her government. It’s possible that by allowing Peters to continue running a line at variance with Owen Glenn’s, which would inevitably come out, Clark was allowing him rope and was at some point going to kick the stool out with the revelation that she knew, and that the variance should reflect upon him alone. But Clark should have realised that once she handed a ministerial warrant to Peters, part of her political existence would live or die with him. The time to declare that point would have been in February; while it would have

    The game’s not up yet, despite the victory dance going on in some quarters. I’ll be very interested to see how this unfolds. What’ll be even more interesting than the result of which side wins is the question of how the winners stack up – what will happen if National finds itself without a clear majority after the election. Key not only ruled out Peters, but Roger Douglas as well, and explicitly ruled in the Green Party:

    Sean Plunket: Anyone else you wouldn’t have in your cabinet, from any other party?
    John Key: Well, I’ve made it clear about Roger Douglas as well, because I’m not going to campaign on a moderate, pragmatic, progressive agenda for New Zealand and then sign up to a radical right-wing agenda.
    Plunket: Ok, the Greens would be alright, though?
    Key: Oh, look, we’ll go on good faith negotiations with any other political party after this, but, y’know, we’ve got to have standards and we’re going to maintain them.
    (Audio here, about 9:30 from the start. My emphasis above.)

    This is Key’s boldest move to reassure the electorate that National really will govern as Labour-lite, and I think it’ll reassure great numbers of centrist voters. It’s a risky strategy, though. It could give the National right wing pause and an incentive to support ACT so as to ensure a balance of power; more likely those hard-right voters will vote National simply to get the foundations set, and leave the swing to the right for 2011.

    L

  91. CMR 92

    MP: My crowd? To whence have I been pigeon-holed?

    (Of all the regulars on this site you tend to be the most vituperative and abusive. Is this a learned style or a portrait of your lack of self-esteem?

    When Labour return to power after nine plus years of National monotony your services to the Party may be rewarded with a distant back-bench. Keep at it! You have my support!)

    To the matter at hand; Clark ought move and move quickly to remove WP from the landscape and get on with campaigning. We may even witness a policy release from her gang rather than the concerted corrosion which is the evident flavour of the month. We can all welcome that unlikely contingency.

  92. Matthew Pilott 93

    Burt, that is a possibility, but do you think it could stop at that statement? Peters holds up a “no” sign and she says “There are some differences in the events as told by Mr. Peters compared to the events as described to me by Owen Glenn’ straight after. How else would that be construed? And if after that, Glenn criticised Clark for making such a comment she’d be in a whole lot of bother. I can see everyone talking about Clark walking all over Glenn after she trid to put that comment out.

    Maybe she shouldn’t have taken Peters’ word from the get go – but a precedent such as that would make parliament unworkable (not such a bad outcome, you could argue!!)

  93. Anita 94

    It’s a risky strategy, though. It could give the National right wing pause and an incentive to support ACT so as to ensure a balance of power

    Giving ACT the balance of power would suit Key and the National caucus: it would give them the excuse they need to go with the hard right policies they want while blaming MMP and displaying clean hands in public.

  94. Matthew Pilott 95

    “your crowd” CMR? Dunno, didn’t think your comment was worth really bothering with. Let me know if you want some more attention.

    Perhaps a learned style, I tent to respond to the comments of the more repetitive trolls though, some form of penitence perhaps. For someone who professes to only pop in a bit, nice to see you take notice. Tell me, how goeth ‘rational humanity’?

  95. “Rational humanity” = Miss Clark’s new hair style, a shade of witch black.

  96. Steven 97

    Imagine the election bribes they’re cooking up for us now. They’ll be breathtaking after this hit. I’ll see your 2 bill tax cuts and raise you 10 bill. I think now is a good time to put everyone on welfare, taking effect three months after the next election.

  97. dave 98

    What a shame, Helen Clark has spent all that money on a nice hair new cut for the election campaign and all people want to know is when she is going to fire Winston Peters and why she condones lying ministers when it is politically convenient.

  98. Lew 99

    Anita: “It does Turia a disservice to see her as a victim of someone else’s plotting when she was so capably managing her own destiny.”

    Absolutely right.

    “Giving ACT the balance of power would suit Key and the National caucus: it would give them the excuse they need to go with the hard right policies they want while blaming MMP and displaying clean hands in public.”

    That’s certainly possible. The question rests on whether ACT will go into coalition with National if they refuse to give Roger Douglas a cabinet spot (obviously Finance, at least as an associate). I don’t think Douglas would be content to serve three years as a backbencher in a minor party, so this seems to me like a bottom line for ACT. Given Hide’s criticism of the Greens’ policy to abstain on confidence and supply (I think the money quote was `they stand for doing nothing!’), ACT can’t even do that without succumbing to the same `lapdog’ rhetoric as has been levelled at the Greens this past decade.

    Ultimately if it comes down to a choice between not being in government and giving Douglas a cabinet position, of course they’ll do that and blame MMP. But that’ll cost them, and it’ll particularly cost Key the `moderate, pragmatic, progressive’ image he’s so carefully cultivated.

    L

  99. randal 100

    thats what I like. a good old fashioned bribe. a fender stratocaster in every home, a chicken in every pot and a good ten cent cigar!

  100. Anita 101

    Lew,

    The question rests on whether ACT will go into coalition with National if they refuse to give Roger Douglas a cabinet spot (obviously Finance, at least as an associate).

    I think every quote of Key I’ve seen has left room for Douglas as a Minister outside Cabinet. Has anyone seen/heard Key exclude that possibility?

  101. Lew 102

    Anita: “I think every quote of Key I’ve seen has left room for Douglas as a Minister outside Cabinet. Has anyone seen/heard Key exclude that possibility?”

    Hmm, this I hadn’t considered, though it’s right there in my `at least as an associate’. Still, the distinction between `minister’ and `associate minister’ and `minister outside cabinet’ is still insignificant enough to most people that giving him any area of responsibility would be seen by the electorate as breaking that pledge. And ultimately the thing he’ll be held to is “I’m not going to campaign on a moderate, pragmatic, progressive agenda for New Zealand and then sign up to a radical right-wing agenda.” That’s about what he enacts, not who he employs.

    L

  102. burt 103

    Matthew Pilott

    And if after that, Glenn criticised Clark for making such a comment she’d be in a whole lot of bother.

    No, Glenn or Peters would be in a whole lot of bother as one of them lied to the PM. It’s so simple, how did she get it so wrong?

    My guess at that is she put the interests of the Labour-led coalition govt ahead of the interests of the highest standard of ethics. I would vote for Helen Clark if she consistently acted like I think she should have, would you?

  103. burt 104

    Lew

    It’s still crap double speak mamby pamby talk all the same. To joe average ‘not in cabinet’ and ‘not minister of finance’ are sort of one in the same with the big scary Douglas monster.

    I guess we could look at it one of two ways. Either Labour laid the ground work to condition the public to having the ‘wild card’ in but not in govt. OR National are going to copy Labour and do something that they said they would not do with a ‘wild card’ MP.

  104. slightlyrighty 105

    So Glenn told Clark at the opening of the Owen Glenn school that he had donated $100000 to Winston?

    If only someone could have been there with a concealed tape-recorder!

  105. Tim Ellis 106

    Lew, I agree with pretty much everything you said. Whatever decision Helen Clark made in February, whether to release the information she had or to sit on it was high-risk with big consequences. If she had released it immediately, there was a high chance Winston would walk. She would have saved her own party’s reputation, but she wouldn’t have a government.

    If she didn’t release it, there was a medium chance it would come out eventually, and would tarnish her reputation, would probably lead to Winston being pushed out, but would give her some time to come up with other options, or at least be at a point where Labour was rivalling National in the polls and be better prepared to go into an election.

    I don’t think it was a nefarious act on her part, but I don’t think Owen Glenn’s privacy was an issue. Especially after the email was released: Owen Glenn’s credibility was tarnished when it was leaked that he had made a donation to Winston. He has suffered far more by being dragged through this for six months than if the issue had been put to rest on the spot.

    So I don’t believe it was a foolish decision. It was a calculated gamble that was always going to harm her politically, to sit on it, but there was a chance it wouldn’t come through until after the election.

    So given her decision to sit on the information in February, I think one of the critical issues is how she allowed Winston to behave subsequently. She quietly stood by, knowing there was a real “conflict of evidence”, to put it charitably, while Winston went nuclear on the media.

    That she didn’t privately rein him in, and tell him that if he didn’t clear it up there would be a melt-down for him and the government, is just astonishing. That to me is the biggest error of judgement on her part: she claimed not to have investigated the issue, and gave the impression she was out of the loop.

    That damages Helen Clark’s carefully-crafted reputation as being trusting, in the eyes of the media and the public. I think it’s hugely damaging to Labour, when they’ve been trying to frame an election on trust, with Helen you can trust and John Key that nobody knows, to have this major cloud hanging over her. The perception is the Prime Minister knew the truth, and allowed her minister to continue to lie. Not only did she passively allow it, but events like happened yesterday, when Labour brought up a snap ministerial debate and statement in the House on the taser issue says that Labour was cynically using delaying tactics to protect their lying and dishonest foreign minister.

    I don’t know how much this will damage the Labour Party, but it feels a bit like the Brethren fiasco, when during the election campaign Don Brash did not tell the whole story about his knowledge of Brethren campaigning to the media. Likewise, Helen Clark hasn’t told the whole story, and has broken trust.

  106. burt 107

    slightlyrighty

    You are not getting this. Come on now keep up. It would have been a fake or lies, like the email, the letter…. You know how it works with these things. Deny, Delay, Denigrate.

    Oh, add a 4th “D” – Disintegrate. 🙂

  107. randal 108

    that looks like four storms in a d-cup!

  108. burt 109

    randal

    Did you ever see the ‘Bra Fence’ in Wanaka before the PC-Brigade got all the ‘offensive and inappropriate’ Bra’s removed?

    I stopped once and had a good look at it and I tell you, a D-Cup that has weathered a lot of storms looks pretty shabby.

    This is one of many storms in a D-Cup for the Labour-led govt, It’s not a Bra anymore, it’s a tangle of rotted material and padding in the form of broken down sponges.

  109. Lew 110

    Tim Ellis: Whee, I was trying to think of a game-theoretic angle on this one!

    This is a weird sort of zero-sum prisoner’s dilemma if you presume a bunch of stuff about peoples’ intentions. Clark ultimately had two options either she does reveal that she knows, or she doesn’t. Key (and National) will either discover that information or not. (Note, these choices differ in their nature – Clark’s is a matter of choice, while Key’s is a matter of competence). Penalties and rewards arbitrarily made up by me; Clarks first, then Key’s.

    Clark does, key does: -1 / +1
    Clark does, key doesn’t: -1 / +1
    Clark doesn’t, key does: -2 / +2
    Clark doesn’t, key doesn’t: – 0 / +0

    Either way, if Clark declares knowledge of the Glenn donation, she loses. In the first and second cases, Clark reveals that she knows, and National’s competence (ability to find out) is not tested. National perhaps makes some milage out of it. Labour loses one arbitrary measure of electability, and National gains one.

    In the third case, Clark sits on the information and Key still finds out about it and makes a big splash with it. This is what happened in real life. Clark loses two arbitrary measures of electability, and Key gains two. A coup for the National party which they hope will ensure them the election.

    In the fourth case, which is what Clark was notionally pitching for, she stays mum and hopes National don’t find out about it. In this case there’s no payoff – things remain at the status quo, level pegging.

    None of Clark’s options result in a win for her. She can’t afford a loss (especially in a zero-sum game), so he best she can hope for is a draw, and she takes the only option which presents this possibility. Rational decision; I’d have chosen this myself.

    The catch is that Winston Peters increases National’s competence in finding out Clark’s secret. In his baiting of the media and National MPs over the past years, he’s got an army of journalists who want nothing better before they retire than to see Winston’s hair ruffled, and to see him clapped in irons in the village square for all the things they know he’s always been doing, but have never been able to prove. Hell, I even know a few of those journalists! The media have been instrumental in this.

    But why would Peters risk blowing the whole game wide open? The answer is in another sort of game in which he wins big if he makes a big stink, but if he spends election year tiptoeing around, he’s very likely not in parliament any more. So Peters has no option but to make a big stink and attract plenty of media attention as the man standing up for the ordinary battlers, who the media hate because he speaks straight unvarnished truth; his political life depends upon it. And what does he care if Helen’s returned to power but he isn’t?

    Maybe Peters in this case should have kept his head down, served out his term, gracefully lost to Simon Bridges in Tauranga, been usurped by Ron Mark as leader, and accepted a plush sinecure like NZ ambassador to Thailand or something.

    It makes a nice conspiracy theory, in any case.

    L

  110. Rex Widerstrom 111

    Lew: Your 9.20pm comment is a brilliant summation of the situation. Realpolitik indeed, and those expecting Clark to play things any differently have always been dreaming.

    Where I do take issue with your comment is where you say:

    …it’s MMP in action; but I think this is a good thing, just that the system is still very new in NZ, and its full ramifications haven’t been thrashed out

    It’s a perfect example of why MMP is a failure and should be replaced with another proportional system (I personally favour STV, but am open to persuasion) which does away with the potential for manipulation of party lists by small coteries of people; minimises the possibility of small parties holding much larger ones to ransom; and makes every MP accountable to a specific electorate.

    The chances of these sorts of travesties of democracy occurring are vastly increased with MMP, and I don’t see it improving with age.

  111. Lew 112

    Rex: I share some of your sympathies, but STV isn’t the answer – for one thing it’s not proportional; for another, by sometimes selecting the second most popular candidate it’s a system which favours compromise candidates to an even greater extent than FPP- what, do you want to be ruled by a parliament of Peter Dunnes?

    I do actually value the fact that the fringe parties have the strength to flourish under MMP. I think the threshold should be abolished to do away with strange results like a party winning no electorates but getting 4.5% of the vote gets no representation, while a party who wins one electorate and 2.5% of the vote gets three MPs, a small but potentially crucial voting bloc since all the other little parties have been weeded out by the threshold and the excess votes have been divided equally among the major parties.

    I hope MMP’s problems will begin to ease when the minor parties become less extreme in their views and more mainstream – like the Lib Dems in the UK have become, or like the Greens in Australia. We may then see three or four parties with 15, 20, 25, 30% of the vote each, Then nobody’s holding anybody to ransom; parties have to negotiate and trade off policies against one another – compromise by another mechanism. This is but a hope, though, as it hasn’t really happened strongly in other MMP systems.

    L

  112. burt 113

    The problem with MMP as we have it is that the major parties are too big. If each had about a max of 35 seats then parliament would not be hamstrung by egotistical few man bands holding the balance of power.

    MMP was not designed to be used as a [Two ticks me] voting system. The overhang is the prize in MMP. Don’t believe the major parties that tell you it’s trouble, it’s only trouble because it means there has been a fair amount of party vote/electorate vote splitting which reduces the chance of a major party governing alone.

    Go for the overhang, we haven’t had a big one yet and I think for the sake of fun that alone makes it worthy as a goal for this election.

  113. randal 114

    robert kennedy said 20% of all voters are anti everything and it is my observation that at least another 30% are deliberate obstructors and tripperuppers and samll people wishing they were large and burt you should go and hang yourself on the bra fence. yu will be right at home and far away from decent people trying to get on with it.

  114. With Clark holding back the big whopper she dropped yesterday, you guys at The Standard, and Labour voters, would have to ask what else is on Labour’s secret agenda.

    Lets see at least one election policy from Labour as well.

  115. Rob 116

    I think this is one of the best balanced blogs i have seen on this site probably because there is no other alternative.

    I have admired Helen Clark for her Political Nous but this time she has stuffed up in a big way no doubt.

    One of the other things that I cant understand for the Life of me is Michael Cullen saying Owen Glenn maybe confused please see front page of Herald online Today (www,herald.co.nz) Why would you do that to your biggest Donor?
    Why would you doubt his credibility versus Winston ? Especially when he was probably told by Helen what Owen had said to her in February this was very foolish.

    I believe that now we are going to see more of a issues based Election campaign rather than the Slippery John Key /Hidden Agenda route that it was heading down under Labour. They cant perform this sort of attack anymore with any credibility that will be refreshing for the New Zealand public fight it on issues not on personal attacks.

  116. Anita 117

    Rob,

    that will be refreshing for the New Zealand public fight it on issues not on personal attacks.

    What issues do you think the National party wants to fight this election on?

  117. Anita 118

    Tim Ellis,

    I don’t know how much this will damage the Labour Party, but it feels a bit like the Brethren fiasco, when during the election campaign Don Brash did not tell the whole story about his knowledge of Brethren campaigning to the media. Likewise, Helen Clark hasn’t told the whole story, and has broken trust.

    I think that, from a public impact point of view, the two stories are quite different. The Brethren story was straight forward: a single narrative thread, straight forward admissions, and easy to understand documentary evidence. This, on the other hand, is a complex incomprehensible debacle. I’ve been following it relatively closely and I’m struggling to keep on top of exactly who all the players are and what all the allegations are and where everything’s up to.

    I reckon that this mess will damage the reputations of politicians as a whole more than the Brethren, and damage the reputation of individuals less.

  118. randal 119

    it is typical of new zeland jellyfish that they believe anything anybody tells them if it does somebody else down. particularly if it is vile malicious and malevolent. only in new zealand could the socks pulled up tight underpants brigade have got such traction with such a tissue of lies.

  119. Rob 120

    Anita

    The Fact that there is no economic plan or vision for New Zealand

    The fact that under Labour we have adopted envy politics as a style rather than aspirational politics

    Revision of the RMA

    Referendum on MPP which we wont get under Labour

    The poor performance of our Health /Hospitals despite all the extra funding

    Law and order and Sentencing

    The dumbing down of our Education system so everyone’s a winner (bit like Lotto)

    The fact that the Education System is totally geared towards female achievement nothing to inspire Male achievement.

    The blow out of Government spending and number of bureaucrats (can you tell me why Wellington Excs should get more pay than Auckland)

    The whole Nanny State pc style of Government that we have been operating under.

    The incredibly poor performance of cyfs

    The Social Engineering experiment that Heather Simpson has taken New Zealand on much to most of the public’s disgust.

    There a few can go on for a lot more if you want

  120. higherstandard 121

    Anita

    “I reckon that this mess will damage the reputations of politicians as a whole more than the Brethren, and damage the reputation of individuals less.”

    The public undoubtedly have little respect for politicians and this will lower their opinion even further however WP is irredeemably tarnished by this fiasco and will hopefully be consigned to NZ political history – like wise the PM is very much the strength and face of Labour in NZ and she has been hurt by the Foreign Minister and her admission of yesterday.

    I also hear he’s refusing to stand down and the PM will be forced to sack him today.

  121. burt 122

    randal

    and burt you should go and hang yourself on the bra fence.

    Oh dear randal, it’s all about me now is it…

    It’s all my fault – I made up all the lies about Winston and after all he can “clear this all up in a minute” so I guess he will do that today eh?

  122. randal 123

    wah wah wah…dont you troglodytes ever go back to your caves?

  123. Anita 124

    hs,

    however WP is irredeemably tarnished by this fiasco and will hopefully be consigned to NZ political history

    Do you think this has damaged Peters in the eyes of his core supporters? It doesn’t matter that the 90% of us who would never have voted for him think less of him, just whether his core supporters still support him, and whether they are more than 5% of voters.

  124. Anita 125

    hs,

    I also hear he’s refusing to stand down and the PM will be forced to sack him today.

    Listening to Peters on Morning Report this morning I actually thought he was signalling he would stand down today. I’ll chuck the link into another comment as soon as Radio NZ puts it up.

  125. Anita 126

    Rob,

    The poor performance of our Health /Hospitals despite all the extra funding

    How do you think their performance should be measured?

    The fact that the Education System is totally geared towards female achievement nothing to inspire Male achievement.

    Why do you think it is?

    What about it is geared toward female achievement?

    The whole Nanny State pc style of Government that we have been operating under.

    What do you mean by “Nanny State”?

  126. r0b 127

    I’m not usually a fan of Sean Plunket, but I was very impressed when he asked one vital question at the end of his Winston interview this morning – (Paraphrasing) “If he is stood down, would NZF pull the plug on it’s support for the ETS and for the government?”

    Peter’s answer was unequivocal – of course not. He is not trying to hold the government to ransom over this. It’s the only shred of dignity he has left I think, that at least he has that much integrity.

    Also interesting to see the full quote from what HC said yesterday:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10529610&pnum=0

    11.45AM: Helen Clark admits knowing about Owen Glenn’s donation in February this year. “He [Owen Glenn] stated his view then that he had contributed money – whether it was to New Zealand First or to some other fund that’s lost in the mists of time.”

    If that is what Glenn said to Clark in February then it’s no wonder she has not volunteered this information earlier. It’s not exactly specific, given the shady trusts run by NZF (and, incidentally, National). I think what this particular aspect of the whole messy saga shows us (yet again) that we need completely open and transparent public funding of political parties – no private money in politics – every cent publicly accountable…

  127. higherstandard 128

    r0b

    Good dogwhistle r0b.

    Now for the 10 millionth time – there is nothing repeat nothing illegal about the donations from Glenn.

    The issue is WP repeatedly misleading the NZ public, parliament and the Prime Minister. That she hasn’t acted on it previously has far more to do with keeping the government together than not being able to hold him to account.

  128. Anita 129

    hs,

    Now for the 10 millionth time – there is nothing repeat nothing illegal about the donations from Glenn.

    But there should be.

    Political funding should be completely transparent.

    Donations should be capped at a very low level.

    Donations should be limited to people who are entitled to vote (or will be once they turn 18).

  129. r0b 130

    since it won’t let me edit – fixing a tag error:

    Good dogwhistle r0b.

    eh?

    Now for the 10 millionth time – there is nothing repeat nothing illegal about the donations from Glenn.

    I quite agree – please see my comment above at 2:20 pm. Owen’s donations are public, generous and completely legal. The issue to me is what parties do with such donations – Peters denying they exist because they went to a legal fund not the party, National hiding the identity of the donors by laundering the money through its trusts. It isn’t open, it isn’t transparent, and I don’t think it’s good for democracy.

    The issue is WP repeatedly misleading the NZ public, parliament and the Prime Minister.

    The major issue yes I quite agree, but not the only one.

    That she hasn’t acted on it previously has far more to do with keeping the government together than not being able to hold him to account.

    Still out with the lynch mob then HS? Clark is acting in her own time, with due weight to conflicting reports and proper process, perfectly correctly in my view.

  130. Lew 131

    Rob: I see you’ve internalised all your favourite propaganda terms.

    Burt: We share a similar sense of political fun, I see. I agree with your estimation of MMP and the overhang, and ultimately what I meant by my statement that NZ electors are unused to it is that they tend to vote for the party candidate in their electorate. This is because parties have the resources to dominate electorate contests, turning them into proxies for the national electoral contest. In principle, rational voters in MMP should vote for the candidate – regardless of party – who will best serve their electorate as a local representative. However the question of who will serve best is muddied by partisan loyalties. I’d probably favour allocate a greater proportion of resources to independent electorate candidates, to embolden local community leaders and notaries to stand as independents rather than feeling they have to affiliate with a party in order to succeed.

    L

  131. randal 132

    right now keys is whingeing flat out on rnz. he is villifying the whole pollitical process and putting words in peoples mouths and generally doing dirt on everybody to disguise his own black heart. he is really squirming now because there is no substance to the man whatsoever

  132. r0b 133

    So randal – I’m not listening. Would you describe Key’s contribution as positive and ambitious?

  133. higherstandard 134

    r0b

    Lynch mob – what drivel.

    Ask yourself what would your position be with the roles reversed and it was a government of the right.

    The man cannot and should not be in the position he is – he should have been stood down some time ago.

    Proper process poppycock –

    She has sat on her hands while this whole fiasco has played out in the media and all the while knowing that the donor was convinced he had made a donation.

  134. Anita 135

    The Winston Peters interview on Morning report is online now.

    Am I the only one who thinks Peters was signalling he’ll stand down?

  135. higherstandard 136

    I suspect he’s positive he wants nothing to do with Winston Peter’s and ambitious that the NZ public will vote him in as the next PM.

    Would you seriously not expect him to have some rather telling comments that the current situation is untenable for the Prime Minster and makes NZ somewhat of a laughing stock.

  136. higherstandard 137

    Anita

    It seems to be that radio NZ and some of the media have taken an opposite view – really who knows with WP – anything could happen.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/stories/2008/08/28/12436ea16d2d

  137. r0b 138

    Lynch mob – what drivel.

    Lynch mobs tend more to frothing spittle than drivel HS, and there’s plenty of it about. Peter’s has lots of enemies, lots of chickens coming home to roost, it’s quite a spectacle. I don’t like the man at all (though I have a grudging admiration for his mastery of the political theatre), and I’ll be glad to see the back of him, but that doesn’t mean that a lynch mob is the answer.

    Proper process poppycock

    Sorry you feel that way HS. Some of is think that proper process is quite important.

  138. randal 139

    rob..no keys performance was whiny and swingeing and I nearly fell off the floor when he said politics is a business..what planet is he from. politics is representing the people and controlling business. otherwise they make their own anti-democratic rules and make war on the environment and anything that isn’t psychologically THEM. People like Mr Keys need strict controls on their behaviour to stop them descending into facism and criminality.

  139. r0b 140

    Am I the only one who thinks Peters was signalling he?ll stand down?

    I thought he sounded tired and confused, hardly any fight left in him. I dislike the man and his politics, but I found myself feeling almost sorry for him.

  140. Anita 141

    hs,

    It seems to be that radio NZ and some of the media have taken an opposite view

    Yeah, I was surprised give just how clear I thought his signals were. Have you had a chance to listen to the interview?

  141. lprent 142

    hs: For better or worse that is how it operates. That is why they are called “Honourable Members”. Amongst other things it means that you have to take their word until you can see a actual lie.

    I’m aware that you think you can see one. But I think that I work to a higher standard of evidence than you require. It will be interesting to find out what the PC and SFO eventually turns up.

    I called it a lynch mob yesterday after watching some of the comments here about corruption etc. I still do – reminded me of some of the s59 debate. Very few substantiated facts and a whole lot of hot-air and speculation.

    Helen will make a considered decision, because that is what I pay her to do.

  142. monkey-boy 143

    Mate!

  143. Anita 144

    r0b,

    I thought he sounded tired and confused, hardly any fight left in him. I dislike the man and his politics, but I found myself feeling almost sorry for him

    So did I.

    It made me wish that he’d announced his retirement and that this would be his last term. I think everyone would have let him go with dignity; this feels too much like jackals circling a dying lion.

  144. Lew 145

    Anita: When I heard it this morning it sounded to me like he wouldn’t step down because he wouldn’t need to – he’d have a quick chat with Helen Clark, who’d say `Oh, of course, Winnie, you’ve been right all along’, then he’d have a quick chat with the SFO where he’d only need five minutes to prove that all’s above board, and all the allegations would be gone by lunchtime.

    I’m not sure that’s how it’ll slice, though.

    Incidentally, Winston Peters almost never does early morning interviews. This one, against an in-form Plunket, was confused and rambling – he sounded like an old geezer just woken up from a hard night at the pub – not only because he wasn’t prepared, but because he’s typically bloody useless first thing in the morning. That he’d even engage under these circumstances shows how desperate his situation has become.

    Edit: r0b/Anita – snap!

    L

  145. r0b 146

    Edit: r0b/Anita – snap!

    Aye! Interesting point re Peters and morning interviews – I hadn’t twigged to that. I’m not much of a morning person myself!

  146. randal 147

    if you lot cannot tell that keys and his crew are nothing more than a buchh of overgrown spoiled brats and schoolyard bullies and if you have such poor judgment of character to think that winnie is on the ropes then you are hereby sentenced to spending the restof your lives writing non sequiturs for inconsequential political blogs.

  147. monkey-boy 148

    Welcome, Helen, to ‘Banana Republics (Advanced module 3). You have passed the first two modules ‘Slowly Degrading the Existing System’ (module 1) and ‘Passing laws to Render Corruption Legal’ (module 2).
    Course Aims: replace previous democratic practices with a more efficient system. Course Objective: implement a fully-fledged ‘banana republic’.

    Forming a ‘Banana Republic’ needs a catalyst, a series of events, and/or a gameplan to execute.
    First, actively undermine the democratic process. Methods include producing misinformation before an election. Disregard your spending caps to your advantage while persuading people to ‘vote’ for you. Any body entrusted with overseeing fair elections may be deceived. When re-elected, put compliant operatives into it and change your mind. They won’t do anything.
    In response to critics, delay, prevaricate and promise ‘an inquiry’. Make sure you get a wealthy backer to ‘loan’ you the pay-off.
    Change the laws governing inefficient election-processes. If financially compromised, create a fictional ‘enemy of democracy’ then draft a law to exterminate its pernicious influence on ‘ordinary people’. This will facilitate:
    Changing the way elections are organised;
    Limiting opposition access to spending and time to campaign, say for a third of the electoral cycle, and
    gain access to billions of cash dollars to promote ‘feel-good’ media bursts to ‘inform the public’ about your policies.
    Hammer home the advantage to control the timing of your next election, so that the opposition is further disadvantaged, and wrong-footed by a ‘snap-election’.
    Keep a discrete distance from your wealthy backer. Always prevaricate and delay any action about the alleged corruption for as long as possible. If necessary, as a last resort, be prepared to announce ‘an inquiry’.
    If the public are dissatisfied use a higher body. You can have this committee disbanded by calling an election. Have unsympathetic elements thrown out as enemies of the state. While they are still useful to you, have the people who are accused of corruption disband the the very bodies that would be used to investigate them.
    At this stage, you need to check your progress against the ‘Banana Republic Checklist’ (see index)

    Government propped up by foreign cash – pass
    Ministers gagged by party ‘loyalty’ – case study
    Corrupt practices endemic in political system – pass
    Electoral law manipulated to favour incumbents – pass
    Government dominated by shady, un-elected clique – pass
    Unlimited access to state funds for propaganda purposes – pass
    Opposition suppressed by limited campaigning ability and ongoing state-sponsored smears – ongoing project
    Financially and ethically bankrupt ruling elite – pass
    Police and anti-corruption agency disbanded – Not yet achieved
    Official investigation into corrupt practices reduced to fiasco for public consumption – not yet achieved.

    Congratulations Helen, – you are ready to take module 4 – ‘Establishing a ‘Benign Dictatorship’. We strongly recommend you finish the last two parts of module 3 for a Distinction.
    Lee – monkeywithtypewriter

    [lprent: PLEASE – you know better than this. Link and even put some juicy quotes in. But don’t drop the whole lot here. People do click through the links.
    BTW: Don’t do the stan thing – put in a relevant post/comment thread]

  148. Lew 149

    Lee, whoring without links is still whoring. You’ve got your own blog, why waste bytes duplicating things here?

    L

  149. Lew 150

    r0b: I’m not a morning person either, but for the past couple of years my job has involved exactly this – being at work from 0600 to catch the morning news as it happens. You can spot the early risers a long way off. Clark, English, Goff and Key all are.

    L

  150. r0b 151

    Monkey-boy has a blog? I guess he’s here to try and get some readers for it then. Ho hum.

    [lprent: On the blogroll – under right. It is pretty obvious from memory.]

  151. r0b 152

    being at work from 0600 to catch the morning news

    My sympathies!

  152. monkey-boy 153

    Lew – I think we have established in thise pages that no one reads my blog! But I’ve copied it in the public interest. I am genuinely interested to see how this may be responded to. I think this whole fiasco goes back to the pledge-card overspend and is chickens coming home…
    It’s probably a bit strong t accuse Helen Clark of seeking to establish a dicatorship, but it is interesting to me how a trickle-down effect of some of teh actions she has deemed necessary, is pewerhaps damaging to our system..

  153. monkey-boy 154

    monkeyswithtypewriters, Rob – it’s a frikkin powderkeg… or something.

    (captcha Laura bursting

  154. r0b 155

    I’ve copied it in the public interest.

    Ahh – public interest? What “interest” would there be in such a (pardon me) juvenile wankfest? Try KiwiBlog, I’m sure they’ll love you there.

  155. monkey-boy 156

    Actually – on reflection – I was rude to do this (post a copy) so, I’ll pre-empt the reasonable thing to do, and ask whoever is moderating if they would please delete my long link-whore-post.
    heheh you said ‘wank’

  156. r0b 157

    Actually – on reflection – I was rude to do this

    You are full of surprises! I withdraw and apologise.

  157. Dom 158

    All this would never happen with a right wing government!

    They’re far better at hiding their secret donations and illegal payoffs!

  158. monkey-boy 159

    I think you will find me quite a reasonable chap – for a monkeyDom it is not about right or left, it is about the presence of checks and balances on the abuse of power.

  159. Rob 160

    Anita

    Sorry have been busy

    Hospitals more operations lees middle management sucking the blood out of the Health System = Less Heart Patients having to travel overseas for operations.

    Boys Education

    The Department is run by females for females
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0805/S00644.htm

    Why do I think New Zealand has become a Nanny State
    Anita there are so many examples of this from no pies in tuck shops to so on and so on. I believe its the Social Engineering that primarily Heather Simpson wanted to inflict on New Zealand. Its a control thing the State must be in Control even in you own homes. I believe that New Zealanders resent this with a passion

    My question to you Anita do you think Michael Cullen was wise to question Owen Glenn memory especially seeing he is Labours biggest donnor.

  160. Rob 161

    Monkey Boy

    Very good post the really sad thing as you say is how many of these things have already been achieved to make us a Banana Republic.

    I guees the thing that I cant get a grasp on this whole situation and to be absolutely frank. I dont believe is this.

    Helen Clark knew about this in February because Owen told her he gave $100000 to Winston. Helen rang Winston and Winston said no he didnt. Helen says ok and forgets all about it. Yeaa right!! Helen is in control of everything and would not stop at that conversation she would have known what was going on and at the very least done alot more checking.

  161. lprent 162

    No Right Turn has a good post on the constitutional position.

    What happens if Winston pulls the plug?

  162. Anita 163

    Rob,

    Hospitals more operations lees middle management sucking the blood out of the Health System = Less Heart Patients having to travel overseas for operations.

    So, if there was evidence there are more operations now than under the previous government you’d be happy?

    The Department is run by females for females
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0805/S00644.htm

    That’s not what that press release says. What do you think it is that means girls are doing better than boys by many measures?

    Re: “Nanny State”

    Its a control thing the State must be in Control even in you own homes.

    Any examples (other than section 59 repeal – a Greens Bill) of Labour increasing their control of what happens in your home?

    My question to you Anita do you think Michael Cullen was wise to question Owen Glenn memory especially seeing he is Labours biggest donnor.

    Do you happen to have a reference to Cullen’s statement? I’d like to see the full quote (ideally in context) before forming an opinion.

  163. Rob 164

    Anita

    You can watch the video front page of the herald today online.www.herald.co.nz called owen glenn confused cullen

    This is why I believe Heln took so much time

    Surely the email ties it all back in? http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10521163
    Owen Glenn was asking his PR man on 21st Feb how to react to the news of the allegations:
    Steve Fisher: Our plan worked well. There is nothing new about you in here Owen. Note that Winston says you have never made a donation to NZ First, so at all costs you must stick to that line. It was definitely the right thing to do to deny the Maori party offer as well.
    So on Feb 21st (note the date) everyone knew that Winston was denying there was a donation (Helen Clark now says she knew as well), so there appears to be an orchestrated litany of deception. Steve Fisher has basically told Owen Glenn to keep schtum and it would all go away – the question that now has to be asked is was there any connection between Steve Fisher and Winston Peters or Helen Clark? This whole affair is smelling more and more rotten as time goes on. If the offer to Maori Party can be proven it smells of someone or sopme party trying to hijack democracy in New Zealand

  164. Helen should have remembered what happened when NZ’s first elected female PM didn’t kick Winnie out of the nest. Why do good girls think they can get into bed with bad men without getting screwed?

  165. Vanilla Eis 166

    Kevyn: Helen is NZ’s first elected Prime Minister. Shipley rolled Bolger for the job – she was never elected to it.

  166. Anita 167

    Rob,

    Ok, here’s the actual link.

    Having now actually seen it in context… I am comfortable with Cullen saying Glenn was confused, given that what he was saying that at one point Glenn said he gave money to WP and at the other to NZF. I don’t think it was particularly unwise to say that.

    Having viewed the exchange, do you?

  167. Matthew Pilott 168

    Rob, are you NiellR, or are you plagarising him?

    decide for yourself, standardistas…

    NiellR on Stuff.

    Coz if you’re copying and pasting everything you see that other people have espoused and you agree with, you’re being pretty dishonest presenting them as your views. It would also help explain why you can’t link properly, nor back up “your” more wild assertions.

  168. Vanilla Eis, I was just being mischevious – minister’s aren’t elected, they are appointed. The people of Epsom elected Helen in the same way that the people of Rakaia (or was it Selwyn?) elected Jenny. The handful of other mp’s in the party then took it upon themselves to elect a leader. The GG then recognised the party leader as either “leader of the opposition” or “leader of the government”.

    The honour of being NZ’s first elected female PM is something that will have to await a law change, and even then it’s likely to be “President” than gets voted on rather leader of the House.

    [lprent: Ark! Helen is from Mt Albert not Epsom. I’ve even managed to vote for her a couple of times when the electorate boundary moves – but just now I’m back in Auckland Central 🙂 ]

  169. Matthew Pilott 170

    Kevyn miller (being mischevious myself) – did you realise that by saying that, you’re sort of supporting having List MPs. (I have no idea if you do or don’t though!)

  170. Vanilla Eis 171

    Werrrllll… you’re treading a fine line there I guess, Kevyn. Since MMP there have been no elected Prime Ministers – and Nigel Roberts gets a little incensed whenever people try and talk of the Fifth Labour Government (“There hasn’t been one!”), but generally speaking you have a pretty good idea that you want the leader of the party you’re voting for to be Prime Minister. There isn’t a seperate box to tick for preferred PM.

    People voted for National in ’96 knowing that Bolger would be PM if they formed a govt, and they voted for Labour in ’99 knowing that Helen would be PM if they were successful. Still, I can see the semantics in your original post are correct. Shipley was both elected, and a Prime Minister. I’d be worried if we ever had a PM that wasn’t elected. =/

    And Helen stands for Mt Albert – Rodders is in Epsom.

    MP: Uncanny. You managed to stand the cesspit that is Stuffs comments section long enough to find that?!

  171. Anita 172

    I think that even with First Past the Post one could make the argument that PMs weren’t directly elected.

  172. Rob 173

    Matt

    No I am not NeilR I am not plagiarizing him as I never said the article was mine nor was there any financial gain . Don’t get into areas that are to technical for you. Thought it was good article copy and pasted from another website. I can understand you are grumpy today going from blog to blog and trying to block the holes in the sinking ship. You just have to face it that sooner or later the deluge will beat you and its pretty pro the Nats at the moment.

    Keep your chin up and have a good weekend the Sun will be out tomorrow and the birds will be singing

  173. Lew 174

    Rob:

    “Plagiarism is the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work.”

    (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagiarism)

    Hint: It’s the `from’ and the URL which makes it not plagiarism.

    L

  174. Vanilla Eis 175

    Actually, Rob, were you to try that pretty much anywhere else (University, any form of printed or online publication) and you’d get your proverbial hauled over coals for plagiarism.

    Posting someone elses words without quote marks or acknowledging the source at all is plagiarism. Stop trying to pretend that you were being clever.

  175. Rob 176

    Vaniila

    Sorry you are wrong show me a case on a blog where some one has copy and pasted from another website or article to a blog. With no financial gain and been done for plagiarism. We arent talking about Uni papers here I know been there done that.

    Cheers have a good day.

  176. Matthew Pilott 177

    Rob, speaking of getting technical, the Good Book (Cambridge) states that plagiarisation is: “to use another person’s idea or a part of their work and pretend that it is your own”.

    No reference of doing so for profit or personal gain. You clearly passed it off as your own, though, by way of the preceeding sentence: “This is why I believe Heln took so much time.” You sound distinctly grumpy about it, but that’s fair enough, getting snapped doing something as low as you just have is pretty embarrassing.

    Now, as to your stealing other people’s comments and passing them off as your own: how long have you been doing this for? I suspect that most of your comments aren’t your own, they often look like cut and paste jobs. In future, when you do this, perhaps you could say “I saw this on X website and thought it was a good comment”

    You could then post a link along with the text, to give people credit for what they say, and so as not to pretennd you’ve come up with it yourself.

    Nice deflection after that though, my chin is indeed up. We’ll see about the rest.

  177. Vanilla Eis 178

    Rob: What do you mean “done” for plagiarism? We’re not talking about taking a court case here – we’re talking about the fact that now everyone has reasonable doubt to query whether you personally wrote anything you ever posted here. Seeing as how you’re frequently off-topic I can actually imagine a badly scripted program copying comments from sites like Stuff.co.nz and pasting them in at random on The Standard.

    How did you beat the captcha – I’m sure Lynn would love to know?

    Edit: The edits work!

  178. Anita 179

    Rob,

    You might want to read the Copyright Act 1994 or any of the many good summaries of it. You are asserting that you are the author of a piece which is, in fact, authored by someone else.

    Ignoring the law, for a moment, you are being just plain disrespectful and rude. The person that wrote it put time and energy into doing so, they deserve both respect and acknowledgement.

    Bah.

  179. Rob 180

    Please note Matt I never said it was mine I said surely this email ties back it in.

    It is important to reiterate that plagiarism is not the mere copying of text, but the presentation of another’s ideas as one’s own, regardless of the specific words or constructs used to express that idea. Wikepedia

    But lets not lose site of the message there is alot more to come out on Owen offering money to the Maori Party could this be what Helen is worried about? Would also make sense to try and get rid of the Nats off the PC because they may start asking Owens QC who asked Owen to offer money to the Maori party.

  180. Anita 181

    Rob,

    When you post a “borrowed” comment, using your username with no marker that it is a quote without acknowledging the actual author, you are (as you say above) presenting another’s ideas as your own.

  181. bill brown 182

    Rob,

    Let’s not lose sight that pasting someone else’s text under your pseudonym is plagiarism.

    And as you state above that you’ve

    “been there done that”

    at varsity, you should have learnt your lesson.

  182. Anita 183

    Oh and “surely this email ties back it in” is actually in NeillR’s original comment that you cut-and-paste from stuff.

  183. Lew 184

    Rob: The conventional way of indicating something isn’t one’s own is by quoting it and providing a source or reference. You seem too illiterate (both technically and linguistically) to understand this, so let’s make it really fucking simple: put quotes “like this” around anything which you didn’t actually type out on your keyboard, and identify who typed it out or where you got it from in parentheses (they’re brackets, like what’s around this phrase) so we can be absolutely crystal fucking clear as to which of the idiotic ideas in your comments have their genesis in your own brain, such as it is, and which were penned by others unfortunate enough to have had their ideas stolen by you. Or perhaps you’d prefer to continue suffering the ridicule so richly deserved by busted plagiarists, particularly those with folly enough to try to defend their actions.

    Personally, I wonder if Lynn’s usual solution isn’t more appropriate in this case.

    L

    (Yes; I write for a living and I’m an academic, so plagiarism pisses me off mightily.)

  184. Matthew Pilott 185

    Lew – for an angry man, your english was impeccable there.

  185. r0b 186

    I have held off other calls to ban Rob, despite the fact that he’s a prize twit. But I suggest that it would be a good precedent for the high standards of debate that this blog aspires to to make some kind example of this case (a ban or at least a stand down). Plagiarism is not on in any form, it’s theft.

  186. Rob 187

    Lew you sarcastic twerp take the carrot out of your arsehole and don’t patronize me.

    I never claimed it was mine. I refuse to have a battle of wits with some intellectual pygmy. So crawl back into fucking cesspit bottom feeder.

  187. Lew 188

    Rob: By failing to credit it, you claimed it was yours. You lose.

    L

  188. Pascal's bookie 189

    Sometimes when you see a plagiarism story you can at least see the ‘why’ of it. You can imagine why a person might do it, even if you still think it’s a fucking disgusting thing to do.

    Other times, like for example, the Bruce Logan case, you just think ‘jebus what a retard’. But even there I think it was just arrogance and laziness. Bruce had his little lame-o Maxim agenda and just stole various arguments for his newspaper columns because he thought he wouldn’t get caught and liked the fame he got posing as some sort of public intellectual. There was at least a reason behind it. He got some sort of payoff from those he liked to consider his peers in the form of respect, acknowledgment, and publication. The fact that those benefits were (at least partly) undeserved is something he has to live with, and the rest of us can judge him for. Likewise the fact that whatever was his own work is now tarnished. That was the risk he took.

    But this? Stealing fucking blog comments and pasting them under a pseudonym? Seriously dude, What the fuck is that all about? How hard is it to simply say where the comment is coming from?

    And to then get on your high horse and claim no one knows what plagiarism means? That’s some adjectival strange behaviour mate.

  189. Samantha 190

    Whatever Peter’s has or hasn’t done “the rich labour party donors” and their real reasons for offering Labour or Winston Peters money are a worry to me. The bulk of our Newspapers including the NZ Herald are now owned by APN publishing and the owner is Irish billionaire Tony Oreilly. One of my concerns about this man is that he in partnership with The Carlyle group staged a takeover of a large portion the Australian Media. The carlyle group are big in weaponry and their associations with the US Neocons is strong. There are accusations on the internet about their criminal activities. A movie about it has been removed so I’m not sure of the details etc.

    Whether Winston is guilty or innocent I don’t think these rich elites want a labour government. I really believe Labour and Winston have been set up by people who want a National government.
    How incredibly gullible both Winston and Labour have been.

    Interesting to see which of our assets National will sell to these Vultures (wealthy elite) as reward for their assistance.

    Are the wealthy in NZ mainly right wing. I think yes. You just have to look at Rodney Hide’s electorate. Aucklands most elite suburb is the only place in NZ that elects the extreme act party.

    Question: How many visits do you get per day/week at the standard. A hit counter would be of interest.

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