National’s campaign train wreck

Written By: - Date published: 8:33 am, September 3rd, 2014 - 242 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, election 2014, john key, labour, national, same old national - Tags:

I must admit that a month ago I was very pessimistic about the left’s chances in this election. The media narrative was very negative and was having its effect.  Morale was low.  And the Beehive inspired and Slater directed attacks on David Cunliffe were relentless.

National’s preparation for this campaign was impressive. It had sympathetic people appointed to positions of considerable media importance. Its bank accounts are obviously full.  Somehow a dozen MPs had been persuaded to retire and a feeling of renewal was evident.  And John Key was able to continue the nice guy persona while forces associated with him smeared to their hearts content.  Somehow National has been able to create the illusion that he is a nice guy who is above politics as usual while everyone on the left was tarnished by the relentless attacks of his sock puppets.

Nicky Hagar’s book has clearly changed all of that. Drawing direct lines between the attack politics and Key’s office has affected his previous strength. If Key is nothing more than another scheming plotting politician intent on winning at all costs and the public believe this then his point of difference is gone.

And despite claims that it is nothing more than a left wing conspiracy and it is all false Dirty Politics is having its effect.  The sense of panic in National’s ranks is palpable.  They must dread every new bit of information that Whaledump either tweets or gives to a media which is clearly disgusted at the way they have been treated.  Collins is gone.  They must be wondering what they will be hit with next.

If you want verification of the effect that this is having on National the latest two Colmar Brunton poll reports provides some.  People who believe Hager’s allegation that the smears came from Key’s office have gone from 28% to 41%.  The percentage of voters who have had their view of the National Party negatively affected by the book has doubled from 9% to 18%.  44% of respondents did not believe John Key when he denied being personally informed about the circumstances of the SIS leak.  Surely John Key cannot be relaxed about this.

The revelations last weekend about Slater’s smear campaign on the head of the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Markets Authority paid for by Mark Hotchin are absolutely dynamite. The allegations reinforce the perception that National is a party for the rich and powerful, exactly the perception that Crosby Textor was paid to obliterate.

Some right wingers are now rebelling against the tactics. Matthew Hooton is now a prominent critic of the Government.  Allegations that Key’s office tried to have his firm’s contract with CERA cancelled and also put pressure on a private client to change to Saunders Unsworth from Hooton’s firm if true are vindictive.  The allegation concerning CERA needs to be added to the long list of matters requiring investigation.

National’s problem is that it is looking punch drunk and clearly it does not know what is going to be released next.

Last night’s debate showed real signs of desperation.  Key was his shouty interrupting worst.  His higher mike level during the first half of the debate and a perception that he had a lot more talk time did not help.  He was clearly pitching for the private school used car salesman sector of the electorate whereas David Cunliffe pitched his delivery at the ordinary people sector of the electorate.

And in terms of detail Cunliffe clearly had much greater control than Key and had answers for issues that many locals still face.  Key keeps asking that this election campaign be about policy but then diverts attention away from such topics as child poverty.  The media need to ensure that he actually says what National will do about such issues.

The fairfax media verdict that the debate was close is absolutely fine.  All that National has is John Key.  He is the one reason they have historically polled so well.  If Cunliffe shows he is an alternative PM in waiting, and he is clearly showing that, then he has done his job.

No doubt some will focus on Cunliffe’s not answering a question on CGT and if it applies to homes held in a trust.  The answer is that CGT will not apply to the family home even if it is owned by a trust.  Cunliffe wanted to check the detail before answering and what is wrong with that?  And Key’s claim that the CGT will apply is wrong.  Audrey Young may have unwittingly captured the irony in the situation by stating that you could say it was Key at his best, if it weren’t for the fact he was wrong in fact.

Getting back to the campaign the Labour campaign is going really well.  David Cunliffe has been impressive.  Thick wads of policy have been rolled out.  Activism in West Auckland is as high as I have seen.  And the on the ground contact with people has been increasingly positive.  There is a real interest building up in this election campaign, something that Simon Lusk and his ilk will be dreading.

So clearly there is a gradual corrosive effect on National’s support.  The support which was rock solid now appears to be weakening and I am sure it will drop.  Make no mistake that Key and National have been hurt by recent events.  And shouty John may not be the fearsome weapon he once was.

 

242 comments on “National’s campaign train wreck”

  1. Enough is Enough 1

    “Cunliffe wanted to check the detail before answering and what is wrong with that? ”

    Then why the heck didn’t he say that at the time. He had the ability to defuse the issue in Key’s face. Now the media is leading with it. Parker is in damage control, and Farrar is claiming it is not in the policy.

    Key has always debated by being shouty. It has worked for him in the past.

    Key has the fire back in his belly. We need to be better prepared at the next debate to avoid the headlines we have this morning.

    • Armchair Critic 1.1

      So Key does read some things, just not when it’s about John Banks, Judith Collins, or him and his office. Funny that.

    • mickysavage 1.2

      Ummm …

      Cunliffe wanted to make sure he got something right and did not offer an opinion.

      Key did not care and said something that is clearly wrong.

      So this is evidence that Key would be a better PM than Cunliffe?

      Why should we let Key set the framing?

      • weka 1.2.1

        I think DC did drop the ball, but only in an understandable human way. The thing that I don’t like about the debates is that it’s all about who has the best technique (including bullying) and who scores the best hits. Fuck that. I want to see two (or more) emotionally intelligent as well as intellectually proficient Humans up there, talking about their respective parties and how they would goven NZ.

        /naivity.

        Keep up the good work micky and David. I’m very grateful to the people doing the hard yards in this election, it looks very full on from the outside.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1

          I think DC did drop the ball, but only in an understandable human way.

          And Key, being the RWNJ that he is, jumped onto the apparent weakness.

          The thing that I don’t like about the debates is that it’s all about who has the best technique (including bullying) and who scores the best hits. Fuck that.

          Agreed. I think there’s some research around showing that if you want to decide the best policies then debates are the worst method.

          • TheContrarian 1.2.1.1.1

            “And Key, being the RWNJ that he is, jumped onto the apparent weakness.”

            It’s a debate Draco – that’s what you are meant to do

            • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Which is what makes it an untenable format for political discussion.

              • TheContrarian

                So you don’t think there should be political debates at all?

                Or you don’t think that politicians should take advantage of perceived weaknesses in their opponents positions?

                • crocodill

                  If by “political debate” you mean what we’ve seen over the last few months, then no.

                  If by “political weakness” you mean the dirty behaviours we’ve seen over the past few months, then no.

                  If by implying an enquiry into alternatives you mean a complete rearrangement of cultural attitudes, then yes.

                  Escalate the existing game, play the existing game, and constructive/positive change happens how? Pick up turd from clean end?

                  • TheContrarian

                    If you read the thread we are talking in the context of debates.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      It was the only palpable hit he mustered: the debate was a draw.

                      Perhaps you can figure out how that helps further establish Cunliffe’s brand.

              • Enough is Enough

                Well that’s another issue Draco.

                You play the game you are in and Key did played it well by jumping onto the apparent weakness.

                Cunliffe needs a day to prepare for the next debate like he did for TVNZ. He has shown he can foot it and beat this foolish clown. I am confident Cunliffe can do it again

            • Hanswurst 1.2.1.1.1.2

              I actually think that that would be fine, so long as you could be certain that the headlines would be “Key’s capital gains smear an error”, rather than “Key lands hit”. After all, if he’s going to go for rewards in that manner, he should be prepared to be crucified for it if he gets it wrong. What bragging rights should you get for saying, “Nyer nyer! I know something about your policy that you don’t”, if you don’t actually know what the hell you’re talking about? Key was wrong about the policy and the 300,000 figure was shaky, too. It’s not a win, it’s an epic fail, and proper news media should report that.

          • blue leopard 1.2.1.1.2

            ” I think DC did drop the ball, but only in an understandable human way.”

            “And Key, being the RWNJ that he is, jumped onto the apparent weakness.”

            …and the media, being the lightweights they are, fixated on it too.

            Ignoring all the policies that Cunliffe explained and the astonishing void in that department from Key.

            • mickysavage 1.2.1.1.2.1

              Yep he can’t even say how big the supposed tax cut is going to be or how he is going to fund it. He must have the figures. He was going to announce it on Monday.

              • Bill

                Or he’s still battling with English over that one and was giving himself some leverage with that line in the ‘debate’.

              • Enough is Enough

                He will string it out as long as possible. The cuts will be nominal if in fact at all.

                Better to keep people guessing and interested for a few more weeks then to release the policy and disappoint people now.

                This is politics. Timing is everything.

                Ask Kim

        • Bill 1.2.1.2

          Fuck that. I want to see two (or more) emotionally intelligent as well as intellectually proficient Humans up there, talking about their respective parties and how they would goven NZ.

          Yup. In the middle of all the cringes I experienced while watching last nights so-called debate, I found myself wondering how much more mature and composed either of the Green Party leaders would have appeared. Or Hone.

          Regardless, what I don’t understand is why David Cunliffe, who doesn’t posses any ‘barrel boy’ mentality or ‘street smarts’ or whatever you want to call it, didn’t just shut it down.

          A simple pause to let John finish whatever interruption or jibe, then fix him in the eye and inform him, politely but forcibly through the silence, that grown ups were attending to debate important issues that mattered to people. That would have done it if followed by a “Do you understand?” (small pause) “Your behaviour is not acceptable. Now, pull your head in”

          Or some such.

          • weka 1.2.1.2.1

            Are there small party debates coming up soon? I’d love to see Norman, Harawira, Harre too. Not sure what they would do if up against the behaviour of Key, but it would be pretty interesting.

            I’m betting that DC is getting lots of advice from his team on how to respond to Key 😉 I agree, he should just treat him like the schoolyard, childish bully he is. The dilemma is probably that they can’t tell how the ‘moderator’ is going to respond, so if Key is being advantaged too much on speaking time, then any time that Cunliffe gives up waiting for him to finish is problematic. Both debates so far I think Key has been allowed to ramble on and on. If the moderators were doing their job…

            • Tracey 1.2.1.2.1.1

              Why do you think dotcom has invited assange, given assange is such a plarising figure?

            • anker 1.2.1.2.1.2

              Saw a great response from DC today saying “John Key brought Mr Nasty along last night”.

              Actually I think that was great. Gets at Keys Mr nice guy image

              • weka

                Wow, was that in the MSM?

              • gobsmacked

                I was begging him to say something in the debate … which is the only time it makes an impact.

                “I respect the Prime Minister … shame he couldn’t make it here tonight.”

                “Are you OK, John? We’re worried about you?”

                Anything that skewers him with fake-gentleness. But sadly, like his two predecessors, Cunliffe isn’t very good at that. Too robotic. Michael Cullen would have eaten Key alive.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Perfect remark – Cunliffe should’ve skewered Key with a barbed remark. Only thing I disagree with you on: Cunliffe DOES have it, he’s just held back by the complex advice he is getting.

          • Once Was Tim 1.2.1.2.2

            OR … he should maybe have just stepped back from the podium until Key had finished his rants. I seriously wonder whether or not the ‘CEO of New Zullun Inc.’ was half cut. Hopefully others are thinking the same

          • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.2.3

            A simple pause to let John finish whatever interruption or jibe, then fix him in the eye and inform him, politely but forcibly through the silence, that grown ups were attending to debate important issues that mattered to people. That would have done it if followed by a “Do you understand?” (small pause) “Your behaviour is not acceptable. Now, pull your head in”

            That’s 25,000 votes, won right there.

        • coolas 1.2.1.3

          David did drop the ball on this. Should have said, ‘Im caught off-guard and don’t know that detail’. But point is he should have known. It’s flag ship policy. Don’t think much damage done though ‘cos I reckon of the 300,000 folk who have their family home in trust ownership probably 299,000 would never vote anyone but National or Act and now maybe Conservative. Most of all I’d like to see him saying, ‘a capital gains tax on the sale of houses owned purely for rental income is the only way today’s young will be able to own a house in the future.’

          • dv 1.2.1.3.1

            Key asked about a home in the trust NOT the FAMILY home.

          • weka 1.2.1.3.2

            “Don’t think much damage done though ‘cos I reckon of the 300,000 folk who have their family home in trust ownership probably 299,000 would never vote anyone but National or Act and now maybe Conservative”

            Sorry, but that is ridiculous. You think there are hardly any well off people in NZ that vote Labour or the GP? Who do you think the liberal middle class is?

            • coolas 1.2.1.3.2.1

              If Labour or GP, ‘liberal middle class,’ voters secure their wealth in trusts they should ask themselves, why?

              Trusts are an accounting function to: minimise tax, secure assets when the marriage fails, and avoid fees in old age care. All very dubious reasons for any ‘liberal middle class’ person to evade paying their fair share. They shouldn’t listen to their accountants. The sooner trusts are shafted the better.

              • weka

                While I do agree that the rules around trusts are class discriminatory and need to be changed, protecting assets in old age makes complete sense. I’m not sure how it works when marriages end.

                • coolas

                  To avoid paying for aged care, personal assets, including the family home, have to below c.$300k. If your assets are in a trust this threshold can be avoided. Top dementia care can cost up to $1000 per week. Do the math. ‘Middle class liberals’ with trusts can minimise old age care while, not so’s, have all their wealth wiped out in a few years. And shareholders in Rest Homes (like Richie McCaw) reap the dividends.

                  As for matrimonial settlement: assets in trust are a separate legal entity not subject to division. Usually the children are beneficiaries, and the men control the trusts. And the wife’s are shafted. Ask around.

                  • weka

                    Did you read the first part of my comment?

                    Your solution is to inter generationally asset strip everyone instead of protect everyone?

                    • coolas

                      Protecting everyone is my desired solution by providing free old age care and to do so the Trust scam should be abolished and intro of Inheritance Tax – bit like Capital Gains Tax – but collected from estates after death. Off topic, I know, but wanted to answer.

      • Enough is Enough 1.2.2

        Greg – It wasn’t that he didn’t offer an opinion. He didn’t say a thing. He was a Possum in headlights while Key lined him up and ran him over.

        Explaining after the debate is too late. The headlines were already written.

        You a need prepared line for when you get caught like this.

        Don’t just stand there and allow Key to lay hits.

        • Bill 1.2.2.1

          I agree. And it ain’t rocket science either. The most obvious response to deal with that shit.

          “The sale of a family home will not be subject to CGT John”. (repeat as often as is necessary in response to any angle being thrown)

      • Rich 1.2.3

        Totally agree. Key was quite obviously talking about investment vehicles not the family home and that’s what the media should have led with today. Cunliffe has to be 100% on the ball to get 31% in the crooked polls.

        Key just needs to get one thing rig.. err wrong and gets 69% in the crooked polls.

    • infused 1.3

      Didn’t he write the policy? What’s to check?

    • Murray Olsen 1.4

      It looked to me like Cunliffe was a bit rocked by what he saw as a personal attack, since his own house is in a trust. He shouldn’t have been.

  2. fambo 2

    Dirty Politics has certainly levelled the playing field considerably. The very least of its benefits has been that whereas National would otherwise have had all the time in the world to attack a Labour/Green coalition, it is preoccupied defending itself. This by itself is gold.

    • Enough is Enough 2.1

      I have to agree – Dirty Politics at the end of the day has been our saviour. I don’t think we would be in the game without it. Ironic really isn’t it.

      • Puckish Rogue 2.1.1

        Yeah all it took was illegal hacking, a desire to be non-political (yet a rush to get it out in the election campaign) no desire to make money (so publish a book instead of publishing it in the newspaper) and then claim as fact a book of allegations yet to be proved and in some cases proved to be false

        • weka 2.1.1.1

          yeah, all it took was a whistleblower.

          fify.

          • Puckish Rogue 2.1.1.1.1

            Theres no ifs, buts or maybes on this one, the hacker stole files and sent them to Hager who breathlessly published them to make maximum money

            • disturbed 2.1.1.1.1.1

              PR you are making money spreading dirt no wonder you hate any honestly conducted inquiry which would implicate you as well, – get that!

              • Puckish Rogue

                Just curious but do you seriously believe I’m getting paid for doing this?

                • North

                  No PR…….you’re not paid. Dirty wedge was reserved for the likes of SlaterPorn and the now jobless CactArseKate.

                  You’re just rattled the fuck out of.

                  The GodKey has ‘morphed into ChihuahuaKey variously snarling, sham smiling, snapping, springing up and down all around like a chihuahua freaked by an uncustomary denial of the adoring strokes it so needs.

                  Pathetic really. All that Crosby Textor money wasted. It was meant to be a pretty little mince to the winner’s podium.

                • Tracey

                  God no. I think you are one of many who has followed WO and Kiwiblog as a substitute for critical thinking and have a”it’s a game and I wont be on the losing side” mentality.

                  Perhaps voting Right is in your DNA too (Ref. Hooton), just what would it take for you to consider a PM’s behaviour worthy of sanction?

                  signing a painting you didn’t paint for charity?
                  Speeding to an All Black game (ironically if Key did this the alpha blokes would cheer)
                  not telling us they knew that Owen Glen and Winston Peters had different versions of events?

                  See BLiP’s list for the tings that definitely DONT rank as worthy of sanction by you.

                  It’s not about not sharing your politics for me, it’s about the seemingly hollow foundation (humanity and standards-wise) you base it on.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    If you don’t think the left are just as bad (though not as practiced) as the right, that the left wouldn’t do what the right have done if they could then I have a bridge you might be interested in buying

                    Political parties do what they have to do to get into power to make they changes they think will better NZ

                    • weka

                      “If you don’t think the left are just as bad (though not as practiced) as the right”

                      link or it didn’t happen. You’re just being a trole PR, and it’s getting boring.

                    • framu

                      got any, any evidence, or even rumor, from any point in history of any party other than the nats having a highly organised attack machine, run directly from the leaders office that uses state resources to smear and defame anyone who disagrees with the govt, and is set up via proxies in order to keep the govts hands clean?

                      yeah – didnt think you did

                      thats the litmus test for your claim of the left are just as bad

                      if you want to claim this maybe some sort of argument beyond whaleoils backside might help – untill then all youve got is you repeating a lie you cant substantiate

                    • framu

                      +100 weka

                      PR can – and sometimes does make some decent comments – but all to lately its him typing one handed

                    • Tracey

                      so you cant answer the question. Did you read the book or are you not reading out of principle to not enricg Hager on the back of the hackers theft?

                      You are standing in quicksand

                    • Tracey

                      But John said…
                      And Slater said…
                      And stephen said…
                      And Judith said…

                • No, you strike me as an unsponsored idiot.

            • weka 2.1.1.1.1.2

              lol, if there are no ifs/buts/maybes I’d like to see some evidence that Hager is breathless, and that his motivation was to make lots of money. You are entitled to believe what you want, just don’t present it as fact unless you can back it up.

              btw, do you object to all whistleblowers who break the rules?

              • Puckish Rogue

                Lesse he could have published the details through a newspaper but putting it out in book form nets him way more money and he himself even said he had to rush to get it published (even though its not politically motivated)

                btw, do you object to all whistleblowers who break the rules?

                – Has to be a case by case situation

                • weka

                  “Lesse he could have published the details through a newspaper but putting it out in book form nets him way more money”

                  Citation needed for both that he could have published the details via a newspaper, and the publishing a book pays him way more than a paper would.

                  Am pretty sure you have had it explained to you why Hager might have chosen a book over a paper irrespective of the money.

                  So, please at least be honest. You want to believe that Hager is a money grubber, because it suits your politics, but you have zero evidence that he is other than a theory from inside your own head.

                  “he himself even said he had to rush to get it published (even though its not politically motivated)”

                  citations for both those too please.

                • Tracey

                  Better that Fairfax should make the profit? How is that different?

                  What about John Roughan, his timing was just a coincidence?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Ah, The RWNJ continues his attack on people actually working to make a living.

                • adam

                  Now today’s PR propaganda is his normal anti-democratic, with added bonus in the mix, anti-capitalism. What next PR – you going to complain when people freely associate?

            • Tigger 2.1.1.1.1.3

              Yes, Hager’s in it for the coin. That’s what drives him. Must be swimming in a bathtub of hundred dollar bills by now.

            • minarch 2.1.1.1.1.4

              ahhhh hes an author, its kind of how they make a living isnt it

              you wouldnt begrudge a hardworking author making a buck would you,

              i mean if the market dictates thats what people want to buy (and the book has sold out) who are we to question the invisible hand right ?

              i say let the market decide eh !

            • anker 2.1.1.1.1.5

              Ever read the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo PR. Its about this really cool woman who is a hacker and uses her skills to uncover corruption and criminals who do really bad shit. Sometimes the means justifies the ends.

              NZ deserved to know the truth about what has been happening with our government and media.

            • Macro 2.1.1.1.1.6

              Your scummy friend also took that which wasn’t his to derail an election. The hacker took that which wasn’t his to “whistle blow” the corruption of a major political party. There is mitigation on the one hand, and nothing but corruption and sleaze on the other. Your are on a hiding to nothing. Your argument is worthless, and history will prove you are wrong. The populace are waking up to the fact that they are being scammed, and the judgement will be on your heads PR not the left.
              Now go away and grow up.

        • Puddleglum 2.1.1.2

          Yes, it’s certainly sad and deeply disappointing that Ministerial (and Prime Ministerial) oversight didn’t pick it up before now.

          • Puddleglum 2.1.1.2.1

            Just to clarify, it seems that your comment (Puckish Rogue) expanded after I submitted my comment. That’s fine but it makes my comment less obvious in meaning.

            I was responding to the bit about the illegal hacking which was the sole point in the first incarnation of your comment.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.3

          No, all it took was National’s corruption to come to light.

        • framu 2.1.1.4

          “Yeah all it took was illegal hacking,” – to expose vast and systematic govt corruption

          strange you are all hot under the waistband about whistelblowing but dont seem to be bothered with the rest of it.

          Considering that some of the most benign revelations was the nats quietly accessing, then coping and diseminating data they knew was meant to be private, (which is pretty close to hacking) it raises question about either your motives or intellectual capacity

          you do know that nearly ALL whistle blowing requires some level of questionable legality (just to cover the possible broad range) in order to make the issue known?

          • Tracey 2.1.1.4.1

            Yea he knows that, but his job is to repeat, ad nauseum all the lines he has absorbed from John and Cam.

            Critical Thinking free zone is our Puckish rogue. His intials are a giveaway 😉

        • Huginn 2.1.1.5

          The email that prompted Collins to resign didn’t come from Hager or Rawshark.

          It came from Cathy Odgers.

        • Tracey 2.1.1.6

          yawn

      • weka 2.1.2

        “Ironic really isn’t it.”

        Not really. If dirty politics didn’t exist, we would have been ahead of the game.

        Dirty Politics the book is just a natural extension of the shit that Key’s cabal have been dealing in.

        • Enough is Enough 2.1.2.1

          The irony is the black ops campaign to discredit the left is in fact biting Key big time.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.1.1

            The probably highly illegal black ops carried out by the political-right.

            • Enough is Enough 2.1.2.1.1.1

              Yep- Highly illegal

              That is why every MP’s office should be investigated. Key is claiming everyone is doing it, which is Bullshit and the left can show that.

              The enquiry should be widened to all MP”s offices. That way we can demonstrate once and for all who is dirty (the right) and who is clean (the left).

    • Olwyn 2.2

      Another great benefit is that it has considerably weakened the mechanism by which National have maintained their dominance. Espiner is now obliged to ask Key the odd hard question, lest he himself looks compromised. And any further Cunliffe trivia delivered to us in shock-horror tones will not have quite the same traction.

      • Anne 2.2.1

        Yes, and I have also noted that both TV1 and TV3 political reporters – especially Paddy Gower – have changed their reporting style. They have become less partisan and more reflective in nature – thus far anyway. I wonder sometimes how much it may have to do with some angst over what might be revealed about their own previous communications with Cameron Slater.

        • Once Was Tim 2.2.1.1

          …..or whether Paddy has realised he hasn’t got much else to trade on … certainly not his Alfred E Neuman looks and Garner-coached/ Andrew Marr-type hand movements. It must be a shock to the system having to start looking at things a little more objectively.

  3. Tracey 3

    “Matthew Hooton is now a prominent critic of the Government. ”

    BUT will vote for them and ACT. But has an agenda. But hasn’t changed his behaviour since Hollow Men and Dirty Politics implicates him again( supplying information in response to a request that could get Hager hurt). Leopards Mickey. He remains part of the problem.

  4. vto 4

    The more I see the National Party tv ad with their toff rowing eight racing past the rest of us and not offering a hand the more I think it is spot on – it displays all that is wrong about the greedy and selfish me-me-me generation of politics that the National Party embodies.

    The Nat tv ad is terrible for them. It is negative. It divides the population. It is nasty.

    I can’t believe they keep running it – though it kind of fits with the rest of their failures.

    (of course, the irony is that it is the Nats who are floundering and going nowhere in the older boat).

    Ugly, National Party, ugly …… grow up and show some humanity

  5. disturbed 5

    Yes Micky a good wrap there.

    Our take was that the debate was stacked in Natz favour as the PM had a rousing welcome from the audience mainly from what appeared to be bused in young Natz probably from one of Key’s private schools.

    Probably these future Natz MP’s are presently learning how to lobby to get your agenda.

    The microphone of Key was so high it was deafening when he screamed into it.

    Reminded me of watching history channel Hitler speaking at Munich beer hall political meetings, strange that eh!

    The debate was not good as a policy debate and was often over ridden by shouting matches from a Prime Minister keen to show a raw contempt for any opposition to his master plan, and this had no sign of dignity expected of a prime minister.

    Point scoring was key’s only objective, and when it came to Dirty politics it was Key who fumbled the most and never did answer any straight questions with straight answers.

    This is his obvious policy to confuse and muddy the dirty politics issue entirely, because he kows he is sunk on this subject and as you say he is acting like a fish in a barrel if he can’t show he has nothing to hide by ordering a full wide ranging royal Commission into the whole Dirty Politics issue and allegations of Criminal activities his Black op’s activities still continue to carry out with his blessing as he failed to condemn the practice last night at the Press debate.

    Best we all sign the petition eh to get a royal commission please.
    So far almost 4 000 have signed the electronic petition.

    https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Governor_General_of_New_Zealand_Investigate_all_the_allegations_of_corruption_in_the_National_government/sign/?aeArPbb

  6. Mike 6

    Who really cares who won or scored a point or two? The real issue facing us all is that do we accept a leader who has been spruiked ( Australian word) by his party as the best thing to hit Kiwi when the truth shows he has allowed others in his closer inner sanctum to cover the electorate in shit and spin. The likes of SIS and our security offices have been dragged down into the Nat’s cess pool. The other main issue is can there be a government put together that will firstly ensure nothing like this happens again, there is an independent speaker and there are binding referenda. If the current crowd gets back there will a wave of protest not seen for quite some time. Never voted labour in my life, have voted for the Nats. Until I see a rooting out of what has gone on here will make it my business to sway anyone and everyone to stay away from that parasitic party. They are a disgrace and Key should just go

  7. blue leopard 7

    @ Mickey Savage

    I think you need to rethink the sentiments you expressed about Hooton. I think you may be quite incorrect.

    Have you read The Jackal’s excellent article?

    An excerpt from that:

    Hooton might be on the face of it coming out and criticising the government, but there’s an underlying motive to his behaviour. He’s attempting to subvert the media’s attention away from the issues that really matter. Matthew Hooton is trying to control the narrative in order to later downplay the right wings dirty politics thus minimising the damage to National that the truth is causing.

    And like Tracy says (@ comment 3), he is still declaring to all and sundry that he is voting National.

    • Rodel 7.1

      Hooton will say what he needs to say to protect his business contracts.
      Hooton is not an altruist- never has been. He is a Tory and is thus unable to be empathic but tries to fake it when he is fiscally challenged.

  8. ghostwhowalksnz 8

    My question is how can it be a family home when its rented ( from the trust) ?

    Bill English was a master at this , getting the taxpayer to pay rent on his ‘family home’.

    Family trusts get all sorts of tax benefits when they own a home and rent it back. Sometimes these FT own other assets such as a beach house or recieve part of the breadwinners pay package.

    It wouldnt surprise me that the FT would also ‘pay the nanny’ for some high income professionals

    • weka 8.1

      And then there are the people who put their family home in a trust so that they don’t lose all their assets when they need elderly care.

      “My question is how can it be a family home when its rented ( from the trust) ?”

      Isn’t that semantics?

      • RedLogix 8.1.1

        It should not be too hard to define.

        If the trustees or beneficiaries of the trust live in the home – then it can be defined as a ‘family trust’ which owns a ‘family home’.

        • weka 8.1.1.1

          do they have to be related?

        • ghostwhowalksnz 8.1.1.2

          But if they have claimed tax deductions for interest paid, then its not the same as ordinary family homes.
          They want the cake and the saucer its served on.

  9. Rob 9

    We should be demanding to know what the amount John Key’s tax cuts will be and how much GST will be raised to pay for it

  10. risildowgtn 10

    Whaledump has dumped a huge load today 🙂 Katherine Rich will be famous after this…

    • Tracey 10.1

      and wasnt available for comment

    • heather 10.2

      It’s good to see that there has been a dump today about Rich. There has not been enough publicity about her and her relationship with the tobacco and liquor industries and their relationship with the Supermarkets. I feel nothing but disgust at her appointment and influence on the Health Advisory Board which has a direct conflict with the Grocery Council, what is this body anyway – does it assist the liquor lobby to get into the supermarkets?

      • ianmac 10.2.1

        Nigel Latta interviewed Katherine re sugar program last night.(Excellent.) Her response was to ignore the science and eating too much sugar was just a matter of personal choice. I used to think of her as a good Nat MP but now….

    • Rich 10.3

      Notice how the Nestle campaign of Carricks runs up to but only just past the Election?

  11. paul scott 11

    Greg Presland, you seem to miss the point entirely, on CGT.
    The thing is a minefield to operate and administer, and provide returns to Lawyers and Accountants ; not the redistribution you would hope for.
    Get this into head
    I will take the risk of repeating the complications and poor returns for this tax .
    Of course you do know about the Cunliffe trusts Greg? Greg

    The last labour Government wanted to change the secretive and convoluted Trust system
    CGT and Family Trusts,
    Family Trusts are quite straight forward in requirement.
    A Settlor gives assets to Trustees who hold it in Trust for Beneficiary. These things must be proper and true
    .
    The trouble was that the business of actually gifting the asset was so complicated , and the deeds and so on, that everyone went to lawyers and Accountants.
    These people then contrived incredible things like double blind trusts and basically :
    • The Asset had not properly been given away
    • The costs were enormous and
    • the trustees did nothing
    • the Trust was invalid, and
    • The legal and accountancy profession people were often incompetent in this regard

    Now the previous Labour Government worked with IRD to tighten things up, and make Trusts less attractive. And they succeeded . Try filling in your IR5 or whatever it is ,and you are going to sweat.
    It was a good move by Labour, Trusts are stupid, and antiquated nonsense and it took me five years to see what was happening.
    Each year the forms got more difficult . I think the tax rate is about 35% , which to a high income earner may be OK .My Family trust is not worth a tinkers arse..
    Labour quite properly wanted to get people back to basics again.
    Are you with me so far
    But the voting block of people with Trusts is now not just Nat voters. Many hard working New Zealanders took this expensive course in the belief it would benefit their children, and that their assets would not be taxed, or taken from them.
    That was the fundamental value for the sacrifice these parents wanted.

    Will you tell us here Mr Cunliffe that you with your safe trusts, blind and cunning
    How will you determine what a family property is ??
    Are you sure you want us to start now reorganising our familes?
    Can I have a husband in the home while I live elsewhere, and a wife in the home when I return., and divorce him? Like your MP’s Mr Cunnliffe
    How will you find out what a reasonable starting cost is.
    Can my child and her friends live in the family home .
    Can you tell us about your Trusts Mr. Cunliffe, you know, all of them
    Any CGT at all will result in resettlement of Trusts, exemptions, skullduggery, we will have a great time, new Trusts, new Trustees, try to read the music Greg

    • ghostwhowalksnz 11.1

      So those 300,000 are to kept in a privileged state while the rest of the 4,000,000 can take a hike. Is that what you are saying ?

    • Tracey 11.2

      Have you posted your questions for mr cunliffe on the labour party website?

      Can you tell me how nationals tax cuts will work and how they will pay for them?

  12. paul scott 12

    CGT

    I do not know how they get on in Australia and other places with CGT, but here in NZ it could be a costly nightmare to administer. And it could return poorly.
    Some people say so costly that it is better to have a threshold , lets say $500,000, before tax sets in on home properties..
    But then in New Zealand this would mean that Auckland, and North Island city people would pay all the capital gains tax. This is how it should be of course.

    Here are some difficulties

    1. What is the starting point cost of the asset. You can’t go back to 1986 for a family who have been in that home all along.
    2. How do you value it. Rateable value is very flimsy, and challengeable
    3. If family will be exempt, who is family. If we have a joint tenancy, or in common, who pays the piper if the couple split up. Is a daughter family in this case, even if not on title deed
    4. What if the owners of the family home , leave after a while and rent out for a couple of years before sale.
    5. What if you do capital improvements to the home
    6. What if you add in your own family costs of labour for improvements

    Exemptions
    Any tax with exemption is a minefield, and I think that is why they were so hard line in GST.
    except for personal sales, [ home ] and financial transactions. Can you see the lawyers and the
    Accountants ready to vote Labour . .

    Well we haven’t even started on family Trusts yet [ like Mr Cunliffe home ]
    and maybe I leave that for another post.
    Cunliffe could not really answer the PM on this issue, because he would be down the mine with methane, and he knows it
    where’s Michael Cullen when you need him.
    And can we see the evidence that CGT would lower comparative investment value of home. You know the made up 23% from Wetpac,

  13. Mike 13

    Good to see you quote figures that show people are tired of the Dirty Politics. What about the polls showing Labour slipping even further?

  14. mickysavage 14

    And the latest Roy Morgan is just out and has National down 3 points to 45%. Labour is down a bit to 26%. The Greens have surged to 16%. Obviously the Greens are well away from the scandal and are benefiting most.

    There is a Reid Research out tonight and Paddy Gower has tweeted that it will present National with a dilemma.

    I suspect that he is referring to Key having to throw McCully under a bus and hoping that the Conservatives get up in East Coast Bays. Otherwise it may be curtains …

    http://www.electionresults.co.nz/roy-morgan-poll-september-3

  15. word 15

    David Cunliffe on Public Broadcasting. FirstLine September 3 2014.

    “Well the proposal that we want to explore is to build a public broadcasting center of excellence around Radio NZ and have a new public broadcasting channel attached to that, potentially using things like the broadcasting of parliament and other things, are would build a true public broadcasting center of excellence.
    Now I have never been more aware, especially with all this dirty politics and sleazy websites going on, the importance of professional, reputable, independent journalism. The labour party is not looking for any soft reporting, what we are looking for is independent journalism, that upholds the finest standards of that profession, and we think public broadcasting is essential for the nation’s good, its part of a healthy democracy, as they say, ‘sunlight is always the best disinfectant”

    <a href="http://www.3news.co.nz/politics/key-leaders-debate-a-spirited-affair-2014090305?ref=video

  16. Tania 16

    I think Cunliffe hesitating on the Capital Gains Tax question is a real bonus as that policy is now being plastered on Herald and letting everyone know the truth about the issue which is even if the Family home is in the trust it is not taxed but having investor properties in the trust will not be exempt yay go labour

  17. paul scott 17

    You can see some good posts on CGT over at Kiwiblog, especially the cost and return factor.
    You have to remember that redistribution by tax on assets is very inefficient.
    Its too late to ask Murray to give way in East Coast . But it is extremely dangerous, and always has been for the last few months, that division of social conservatives between Conservative and NZ First. For me it means voting for Nat when I don’t want to.
    The asset sales were a bad kick, our votes there meant nothing.

    • Tracey 17.1

      This is the kiwiblog that was adamant that NZ on AIR funded K ill the PM and didnt bother to check with the funder first, and was wrong?

      Funny how CGT is the bee in your bonnet all of a sudden…

      And yet you have studied how Aussie does it.

      Or am I confusing my Paul’s?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 17.2

      Is that Kiwiblog as in #princessparty?

      Covered in filth much?

      • Tigger 17.2.1

        That site reeks of sadness now. Desperation to avoid the truth. Farrar won’t ever be the same now. And he must be worried Slater and Odgers will drag him to hell when they implode, which both will eventually do.

  18. Tracey 18

    National still ahead in tv3 poll BUT its a five headed monster for Key

    Nats
    ACT
    United Future
    Maori Party
    New Zealand First

    • Saarbo 18.1

      It makes you wonder why middle NZ are not taking any notice of the corruption exposed in #dirtypolitics…

      • Tracey 18.1.1

        It beggars belief

        • karol 18.1.1.1

          Many have been sucked in by the smiley, down-to-earth guy persona. I imagine it takes longer to admit you were so taken in…. denial…. denial…. denial.

          • Tracey 18.1.1.1.1

            Seems many would rather look foolish than change their minds… And the rest have to live with their shame 😉

          • Ant 18.1.1.1.2

            National have been caught out practicing dirty politics, but that’s not to say it hasn’t been extremely effective.

        • infused 18.1.1.2

          Because the shambles on the left is worse.

          • karol 18.1.1.2.1

            Not a shambles, just 6+ years of being the target of Nats’ covert black ops, attacks against them via the MSM.

          • Tracey 18.1.1.2.2

            What shambles? You have been made a fool of infused. There you were, thinking you were thinking for yourself, and you have just been manipulated and fallen for it hook line and centre, and here you are… Kind of like Stockholm Syndrome.

      • BM 18.1.2

        Because they realize it’s at most one minister and the evidence for that is rather shaky and a rather chubby delusional blogger.

        You weight that up against the alternative and it’s fairly easy to look past these minor indiscretions.

        • Tracey 18.1.2.1

          And yet, like Family values Dunne, you wont read the book. Have you read Whale drops and the associated reporting int he Herald, stuff and by paddy gower?

    • JanMeyer 18.2

      Hardly a “monster”! More like a handsome and virile everyman with four prosthetic fingers … now for “monster” let’s contemplate the alternative from the left!!

  19. paul scott 19

    Tracey, the line up Nat, Act, UF, Maori, NZF yes it is a monster at present , but I think there will be a shift back to Nat. And this is MMP.
    People vote in test polls differently than the day. For instance I was going Conservative and so was my sister, but we will probably reluctantly vote Nat.
    We didn’t like asset sales any more than you on the centre left..
    Its not labour that scares us so much as IMP and Green printing money.
    In my opinion the IMP takes Labour Government possibility out of the equation.

    ACT and UF have little power, Maori always have power, and well :
    Winston is always dangerous, but this is his swan song, he will probably get overseas foreign minister if necessary. And he would be a modifying influence against the corporate jungle which has grown. Also continued New Zealand ownership of our lands. I hope he gets in.

  20. paul scott 20

    CGT is like superannuation.
    There is an army out there. These are the post war boomers, and they are split , but generally conservative. They do not want CGT for obvious reasons and they remember the PM saying there would be no changes to super.
    You won’t get away with CGT. And if it gets DP well there is always the Cunliffe trusts . That’s why he gulped like the goldfish
    What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

  21. paul scott 21

    Our National debt is scary, and makes black emails fade to white.
    I thought it was $NZ60billion, but DV says more. Anyway it is 80bill divided by 2mill families say, and that is $NZ40,000 for every NZ family.
    That’s what I said we need ferocious moderation, and that’s why
    “‘ where is the money” and ” tell is about your trusts DC” have impact.

    The Government has to be moderated against selling everything, and borrowing so much. But you need to drag Green kicking and screaming into the real world, and you need to kick Dotcon kicking and screaming to the other world

  22. Weepus beard 22

    If this CGT on trust owned family homes “gotcha” is what National is relying upon as the “show me the money” moment then they are in more trouble than I thought.

    Family or first homes owned by trusts is a tax dodging, rich pricks game. Just goes to show what John Key thinks is important in this world.

    • Jepenseque 22.1

      Ahh, cunners has one…

      • Weepus beard 22.1.1

        Fine, and if his home is owned by a trust then CGT will apply. Do you happen to know whether David Cunliffe’s house is owned by a trust?

        Just not sure what John Key’s point was. The fact that 300,000 of the approx 1,000,000 dwellings in the country appear to be held in tax dodging trust arrangements instead of real individuals is of real concern.

        • Wayne 22.1.1.1

          Owning a primary residence in a trust is not a tax dodge. There are no tax implications in putting a house in trust.

          • lprent 22.1.1.1.1

            And by the sounds of the Labour policy there still aren’t.

          • Tracey 22.1.1.1.2

            Is it to avoid losing it if you are found legally liable for some behaviour that costs you money? Or to prevent a spouse getting a part share under the matrimonial laws.

            Can you state here, with your hand on your heart, that if Clark were PM when all this stuff was going on, you would have written an article about how it’s nothing to do with her and she should just carry on leading a large surplus cos that’s good for the country?

            • Wayne 22.1.1.1.2.1

              I personally would not comment about whether Helen Clark owns her several properties in trust. It is simply not relevant to most political debate.

              However if you criticize election trusts, but have one yourself, well you are rather vulnerable to a charge of hypocrisy.

          • miravox 22.1.1.1.3

            I thought heaps of people put the family home in a trust to avoid paying for aged care?

            Not a tax dodge as such, but another subsidy for the rich and cost for middle NZ.

        • tricledrown 22.1.1.2

          Weepu’s b Key was found to be lying on 2 counts the numbers in trust was closer to 200,000 with No CGT on residential family homes and holiday homes not rented.
          Funny That Hosking’s Fact Checker! Seven sharp!

          • Tracey 22.1.1.2.1

            It also is not clear how many of those properties are multiple homes in a single trust or oneperson with several trusts each with properties inside. And Mr Key perpetuated that misleading comment last night on the news by suggesting all 215,000 were family homes of different families. OR he let people conclude that from his statement.

            I wonder if his mystery tax specialist was Cameron Slater?

            • IB 22.1.1.2.1.1

              Putting you Family home in a trust you lose the chance to claim the $605 pa rates rebate if your income is under $24250 so for people whose majority income is from Nat Super it is not a tax dodge

  23. Polls would suggest there is going to be a lot of disappointed people on this site after the election. NZF is not going to go with a labour green alliance, no matter what pre election rubbish Winnie comes out with Winnie is not going to allow nz to lurch far left as a result of the dominant role greens ( watermelons) would have in any left government as result of labours poor showing. This is even more so with right block including NZF in excess of 55pc, add back labour right block (abc) the country to a large majority are not buying what Russell David Helen Kelly and Hone are selling. Labour will not see power again to they can banish the greens back to the margins and recover the centre block, or in turn greens actually reflect green values rather than far left thus forcing labour to compete for far left votes and loosing the centre

    • One Anonymous Bloke 23.1

      😆 then you’ve nothing to worry about.

    • Weepus beard 23.2

      tl:dr

    • Kaplan 23.3

      With a number of inquiries to report after the election, and a the confirmation that’s going to provide on the WhaleOil – Nat connections, I suspect it’s going to be a relatively short term if the Nats do get across the line.

    • tricledrown 23.4

      RD So a Royal inquiry into the corruption of govt by the National Party how many months will that coalition last till the enquiry starts is my bet!
      Blue Dupe!

    • Clemgeopin 23.5

      +1.
      I agree! Lot of truth in what you say there.

    • anker 23.6

      I was at a candidates meeting tonight where the NZ first candidate very clearly said otherwise Reddulsion.

    • Tracey 23.7

      Thanks for casting your moral compass over things for us, oh that’s right you dont see integrity, honesty and trust as relevant (and feel vindicated by the polls)

      is that you Peter?
      Is that you Winnie?
      Is that you David?
      Is that you John
      Is that you Te Ururoa?

      Did I leave anyone out of the five headed monster?

    • joe90 23.8

      Ooo – word salad.
      /

  24. tanz 24

    I wish we still had an upper house, then we would have a proper inquiry into all of National’s dirty politics. We do not have enough checks and balances in place, and Key is getting away with way too much.Keeping the inquiry narrow, and playing it his way.

    As for the debate, he was the usual arrogant, uncaring smark aleck that we see in Parliament. However this time, a lot of NZ saw it. Why is the man popular?

  25. Dont worry. Be happy 25

    Rawshark’s recent dump implicated the former Minister of Police, (Collins)Cameron Slater and Greg O’Conner, the cops cop, in a scheme to use illegally, Police evidence to blacken the names of some arrested in the so called Terror Raids.

    This has been widely published.

    Not one of those mentioned has threatened to sue for defamation.

    Granted Collins and Slater could be said not to have reputations at this stage of the game…but the President of the Police Association?

    Planting evidence, whether at the crime scene (Arthur Allan Thomas) or on a right wing attack blog, to damage someone they don’t like is the mark of a dangerous out of control Police force.

    Greg O’Conner has serious questions to answer. Under oath. In Court.

    • Tracey 25.1

      Does he? he said the conversation happened but denies he offered any police evidence? He might need to answer why, IF Slater told him he had access to police evidence, he didn’t report that tot he Minister (chuckle) or the Police?

    • crocodill 25.2

      Oh boy if this true, the whole can of maggots was just run over by a bus full of tiger worms. Welcome to a destructive social free-for-all where no one has any weight of authority!

  26. Sable 26

    You seem to assume the only alternative to Keys is Cunliffe. I’m an ex Labour supporter and I don’t trust him. In fact Labour have offered few reasons for people to them trust over the last 30 or so years.

    Lets consider the facts: who started the neo liberal revolution, Labour, who imposed nasty, regressive GST ,Labour. Who watered down rather than replacing the offensive employment contract act , Labour. Oh and lets not talk about who started the spy law business or held a man without charge, Ahmed Zaoui.

    Labour is why Labour is polling so badly. Many voters still remember the Clarke days which were not a hell of a lot different in my opinion to the Key days. “Do as I say or else.” “Have a question or concern, watch me ignore it.”

    I do not care who wins this election as long as its at the expense of Labour and National. Both are a failure, both have had their day and repeatedly shown they are not up to the job.

  27. greywarbler 27

    The Poll of polls should give a clearer trend shouldn’t it.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/election-2014/253739/poll-of-polls-with-colin-james

    The latest – updated this morning:
    National is on a downtrend, whether measured from mid-June or mid-July – but it is a gentle slope. After two new polls taken in late August and published on 3 September, National’s latest four-poll average was 47.5%, down from 48.4%…..

    Labour has stayed still low. Its latest average was 26.0%, down from 26.2%. This was still below its 2011 actual result of 27.5%.

    The Greens were up again, to a 13.0% average. Since June and July, the Greens’ trend has been up.

    (Explainer: The POLL of POLLS is an arithmetical average of the four most recent major polls since mid-June from among: TV1 Colmar Brunton, TV3 Reid Research, Fairfax Media-Ipsos, NZ Herald DigiPoll, Roy Morgan New Zealand and UMR Research, which is not published.*)

  28. Mike 28

    I have never voted labor but have voted National in the past. Anyone that can and wants to read up on the National scandals will be able to establish the strong stench of corruption. When 44% of folk in one poll do not trust Key and then we have a poll of 45% for National you know that something is not right. Its either the polls are suspect or that the majority of kiwis are lemmings believing the NZ Herald and ZB radio spin about the media’s beaver boy Key.
    This country has been hoodwinked for decades but the Key controlled cabal’s performance has been spectacular in its capacity to promote lies and nasty personal attacks that have no precedent. Whatever the result of the election and you see the spinners for Key in overdrive peddling their bile you know that without some surgery this country is stuffed. Two per cent growth moving forward is disgraceful. The Nats and Labour have no ideas, have no real plan and they both should be punished. Key has basked in the sunshine of record dairying and log sales but the chickens have some home to roost and there is only spin left. Labour go from crisis to crisis and have the wrong man in control. Key has sold this country down the dunny and he will be purged from this country like the cancer he is on our society. We have had to put up with Hide, Brash, Dunne and Banks all cobbled together excuses for politicians and the blues line everyone for another dose. I believe these are events that require attention and action – if we value our place in the world these clowns need rooting out and as quickly as possible. Right now we are the laughing stock of the world and most are happy going along eating their weetbix each morning oblivious to the attacks on place in the sun. The media have a large part to blame in this as the spin to their ideals and focus defies description. The Herald has been caught with its pants down but has regrouped and now in subtle attack mode. Claire Trevett is dangerously biased and does not take to criticism. This election is a watershed.

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