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The challenges for the Mt Albert candidates

Written By: - Date published: 3:30 pm, May 6th, 2009 - 45 comments
Categories: mt albert - Tags: , , ,

Bit of a group effort this one.

John Boscawen MP – Boscawen is mad as a hatter and pretty damn ignorant. So he should appeal to the hard-right voters. In Parliament, he has argued against the Waterview tunnel and for a surface motorway. That’s not going to fly with the people of Mt Albert, especially the rightwingers who don’t want to see the values of their homes and rental properties hurt. Not a serious contender but he will campaign seriously. No Epsom-style deal with National here – Boscawen is too pigheaded for a start.

Melissa Lee MP – she’s going to have to come up with a good answer to the question ‘why won’t National give Aucklanders their referendum on the supercity?’ because she’s going to be asked it at every public meeting. Clue – ‘it’s too complicated’ won’t cut it. On top of that, she’s going to have to defend a Black Budget and rising unemployment. Joyce isn’t going to drop her in it by announcing National will cancel the Waterview tunnel in favour of a surface motorway but she will be expected to have an answer on where National stands. Clue – ‘um’ won’t cut it. Lee is prideful and prone to outbursts when challenged, that’s a ticking time bomb that might go off in her face.

Russel Norman MP – Russel’s main position is that there shouldn’t be a tunnel or a surface motorway. The danger for Russel is that this will make him be seen as an arrogant outsider preaching to the people of Mt Albert who are very strongly in favour of the tunnel. Right now the people of Mt Albert are having to contend with their roads being jammed every morning with commuters going from the outer suburbs to the CBD ‘rat racing’ through their suburb. An Aussie from Wellington telling them they shouldn’t get Waterview and there should be some undefined mass public transport instead won’t be popular. If he manages to poll well he will cement his place as male co-leader. If he can’t the Greens will know they need to look elsewhere. The other challenge for Russel is to not be seen as cozying up to National and only criticising Shearer, it will hurt the Greens at the national level if they are seen to be selling out like the Maori Party.

David Shearer – yeah, he’s got the international pedigree but does he actually give a damn about local issues that matter to the voters in Mt Albert, and can he drop the language of the international player to communicate accessibly with ordinary Kiwis? He is the front-runner – it has always been a Labour seat, the gap between National and Labour nationally is narrowing, his party is on the locals’ side when it comes to Waterview and the supercity but he still needs to give those people a reason to bother going to vote for him. The people of Mt Albert are used to having, in Helen Clark, a representative who was a major figure at the national and international levels while simultaneously an attentive local MP. Shearer has to show he’s got the potential to give them at least a good deal of what they got from Clark.

45 comments on “The challenges for the Mt Albert candidates ”

  1. Rich 1

    “An Aussie from Wellington” – so you think racist “attack lines” will fly well with the population of Mt Albert?

    • r0b 1.1

      Racist? Ummm – racist? Really? Racist? Odd world you live in Rich.

      The original post is good stuff however, some useful points highlighted.

    • the sprout 1.2

      umm Rich, aren’t you being very racist to assume ‘Aussie’ is necessarily pejorative?

  2. Barry Sanders 2

    I’m glad to read such an impartial analysis of the Mt Albert by-election.

  3. dad4justice 3

    “Boscawen is mad as a hatter and pretty damn ignorant”

    I know who is stark raving mad , just look at the state of country after a corrupt Labour fucked it!

  4. Hey this would make a good “one of these things is not like the other”.

    Funny election, the only ability for Mount Albert to get a local MP is to vote Shearer. Fine by me actually.

    • jerry 4.1

      Ah no…. if Russell gets the nod Dave Clendon comes in on the list – Dave is a local man see here.

      • lprent 4.1.1

        And he didn’t stand as a candidate – why? Wasn’t Russell selected unopposed?

        • the sprout

          Dave Clendon is a great guy, I’ve met him several times and I’ve been consistently impressed. He’s genuine, calm, considered, courteous, and pretty smart.
          Norman on the other hand just comes across as snearing, arrogant and altogether out of touch with any constituency, including the average green voter.

          • mickysavage

            I agree with your description of Dave Clendon. Parliament needs more people like him. He is intelligent, dedicated and principled.

            Perhaps that is why he did not stand? He realises that this current Government does not deserve any support from the Greens, such is the appalling record on environmental issues that it has already developed.

            And by standing it may be that National’s chances for the seat will be increased …

    • mike 4.2

      “Funny election, the only ability for Mount Albert to get a local MP is to vote Shearer. Fine by me actually.”

      Shearer is more right wing than Key so fine by me too…

      • mickysavage 4.2.1

        You guys must have riding instructions. The powers that be decide Shearer is a threat so the call goes out, “keep saying he is right wing based on a couple of words in a 12 year old paper he wrote so that hopefully we will cast doubt in the mainstream and amongst left wingers.”

        The trouble is, it is really dishonest. You throw words at him to hurt him without even caring if the words should actually be used.

        Shearer is a humanitarian. His commitment to the poorest people in the world is astounding. I know a few people who have made huge commitments to the poor but his commitment is way above theirs.

        So instead of throwing two words at him, “right wing”, maybe you should use more words to actually analyse him.

        I understand now, if you did this you may actually lose the advantage.

        Political advantage is so much more important than truth, especially to right wingers.

        • gobsmacked

          Agree with Micky Savage.

        • the sprout

          agreed ms. i have some problems with Shearer as a candidate but his humanitarian credentials are impeccable and his statements about the use of mercenaries in very exceptional and limited circumstances were fair i thought.
          let them keep slinging the mud, it’ll only boomerang. none of his competitors from the other parties come even remotely close in terms of service track record. i hope they do try to make it an issue – hoist, petard, etc.

  5. gobsmacked 5


    The words “be seen as” are relevant here.

    Analysis of possible voter behaviour means analysis of their reasons, including bad ones.

    Some people (not many, but some) won’t vote for an Asian-New Zealander. Some people (probably more) won’t vote for the millionaire. Etc.

    There’s a reason Maori want the Maori seats.

  6. hvillvoter 6

    Funny election, the only ability for Mount Albert to get a local MP is to vote Shearer. Fine by me actually.

    We must have different definitions of what local means – on what basis are you saying that Shearer is the only local?. When did Shearer last live in the electorate? He owns a house in the electorate but is he living there, as we are told he has to quit his UN job so presumably he is living in a hotel having just jetted in? If his loyalty is so great to Mt Albert why did he stand previously in Whangaeri?

    Whats wrong with the questioning of the tunnel option? Do you think the price tag represents a good use of billions of dollars? Or dont you think the voters will question the price tag so long as it goes underground?

  7. Nick 7

    I know John Boscawen quite well. Your reference to him being as “mad as a hatter” is wrong and obnoxious.

    • Rex Widerstrom 7.1

      Yes, besides which David Garrett was duly elected to the position of Caucus Mad Hatter and Ignoramus, thus entitling him to a well-deserved “phlegm replenishment allowance”. Typical lefties, no respect for democracy 😛

      Seriously, John Boscawen – whether you agree with him or not – is a man of principle and far from an ignoramus. I’m sure he doesn’t need me to defend him but you do your analysis a disservice by resorting to innacurate, ad hominem simplicity simply because he represents a party you don’t like (with good reason, of late, I’d agree) and presumably because he contributed to rubbing Labour and the Green’s faces in the ill-conceived mess that was the EFA.

      • mickysavage 7.1.1


        “Yes, besides which David Garrett was duly elected to the position of Caucus Mad Hatter and Ignoramus …”

        It must have been a close result …

    • lprent 7.2

      Ummm I suspect that is a matter of opinion. I’ve heard some pretty freaky stories about his mood changes in inappropriate settings – usually after being challenged about his opinion being incorrect. But that is all hearsay…

      • the sprout 7.2.1

        I’ve seen him behave in exactly the unstable manner you describe lprent. The guy is really quite frightening.

      • Rex Widerstrom 7.2.2

        Oh, so he has a short fuse and dislikes (some) critics? Then move over, Boscawen, there’s a long queue of people waiting to join your tea party, me included 😀

        There’s a fine line between principle and pigheadedness and it’s often crossed. I for one have a season ticket.

        I can think of the immediate past PM as another example of this. Given the choice I’d take it over wimpish poll-chasing any time, and as a result perversely admire many people whose actual policies I have very little truck with. At least they’re predictable and you know where you stand.

        Besides, misusing words like “mad” and “ignorant” leave us having to find new terms to describe The Garrotte (as I see toad has coined below, and I shall be sure to steal from henceforth).

        • the sprout

          Rex I respect you as an intelligent contributor even if I don’t always agree with your pov. But I’ve seen Boscawen go off in a way that just leaves his audience flabberghasted, and in a way that can only be described as highly dysfunctional insofar as his outbursts completely undermine any credibility or support he may have just built up prior to such an episode. What I’m talking about is WAY beyond a ‘short fuse’ or ‘dislike of criticism’ – that I can understand.

          • Rex Widerstrom

            Hmmm… okay. Haven’t witnessed it myself (though our exchanges have been confined to email, I was critical of the execution of the anti-EFA media ads) but I’ll take your word for it Sprout since you’re not someone who tends to indulge in hyperbole or ad hominems.

            Mind you, lock me in a Caucus room with The Garrotte once a week and force me to listen to a diatribe on the virtues of anal rape as a crime deterrent and I suspect I’d begin to lose my marbles too.

          • the sprout

            yep fair enough Rex, it may be that i caught him after a session with Garrotte and that would destablize the even the most composed character. let’s give him one more strike 😉

    • Steve 7.3

      Well Nick, you know what they say about Birds of a Feather!

  8. dad4justice 8

    Nick the demented filth over here are nothing but “wrong and obnoxious.”

  9. toad 9

    Nick said: I know John Boscawen quite well. Your reference to him being as “mad as a hatter’ is wrong and obnoxious.

    You are correct Nick. The ACT MP suffering the most obvious signs of mercury poisoning (which is where the “mad as a hatter’ expression came from) has to be The Garrotte.

    Boscawen is sane and sensible in comparison to Garrett (but maybe not in comparison to anyone else who is allowed out into the community).

  10. Kgero 10

    “That’s not going to fly with the people of Mt Albert, especially the rightwingers who don’t want to see the values of their homes and rental properties hurt.’

    So left wingers dont care about the value of their property to the same extent as right wingers?

    • the sprout 10.1

      no, but i think right-wingers would be more likely to base their vote on it.

  11. toad 11

    the sprout said: But I’ve seen Boscawen go off in a way that just leaves his audience flabberghasted..

    And his effort to tag on to Russel Norman’s questions in Parliament to the Minister of Transport yesterday was absolutely pathetic.

    I guess that as ACT’s Mt Albert candidate, he thought he had to ask something (the last supplementary). But how tragic!

  12. Trevor Mallard 12

    I think that Dpf whaleoil and others have done David Shearer a great favour by giving him great profile so early in the campaign. His name recognition has gone through the roof.

    • mike 12.1

      Trev you of all people should know that all publicity is not good publicity…

      But I think Shearer is a real find. Hell the way Labours turning blue under Goff I’m seriously considering for voting for them in 2011

  13. Well Boscawen can now run on the platform of being tough on gangs after voting for the gang patch bill. Of course he has told ACT voters they can go suck a lemon if they want personal freedoms. I have covered the gang patch vote at Loco Burro Politics.

  14. Hi Mike

    You bypassed my previous comment so I will post it again.

    You guys must have riding instructions. The powers that be decide Shearer is a threat so the call goes out, ?keep saying he is right wing based on a couple of words in a 12 year old paper he wrote so that hopefully we will cast doubt in the mainstream and amongst left wingers.?

    The trouble is, it is really dishonest. You throw words at him to hurt him without even caring if the words should actually be used.

    Shearer is a humanitarian. His commitment to the poorest people in the world is astounding. I know a few people who have made huge commitments to the poor but his commitment is way above theirs.

    So instead of throwing two words at him, ?right wing?, maybe you should use more words to actually analyse him.

    I understand now, if you did this you may actually lose the advantage.

    Political advantage is so much more important than truth, especially to right wingers.

    Care to debate?

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 14.1

      By dragging up the fact that Shearer was trying to stop people being slaughtered in Africa (and later in Iraq) the blogs are making the guy look even better,
      BTW Melissa Lee saying ‘she knows NZ better’ is just dumb.

  15. Mike. you are whistling into the wind, try thinking for yourself instead of parroting DPFs line on Kiwiblog. Shearer is a brilliant candidate for Labour with an amazing past, helping the world’s poorest and afflicted. He obviously cares a great deal for the less fortunate and will be a great voice to encourage all New Zealanders to take responsibility and care for each other. One of the great goals of the left-wing, the protection, security and the provision of opportunity for all New Zealanders.

  16. Kev 16

    One has to agree with the comments concerning Melissa Lee. Her unscripted performance on Morning Report on Monday must have left voters in Mt Albert in no doubt as to what a light weight she is. Maybe she’s the original National-lite! She thought the main issue would be the economy but couldn’t face up to the Super City nor the SH20 connection questioning from Sean Plunket. Personally I’m looking forward to witnessing one of those explosions you’ve mentioned she can be prone to. At least David Shearer will recognise the strength of the device when it goes off!

    • calltoaccount 16.1

      Does anybody have a link to Lee’s Morning Report interview? Here’s hoping…

      • r0b 16.1.1

        The post above mentions “Monday” – Morning Report for Monday is here, I can’t see anything on Lee.

        Morning Report on Tuesday is here, with a couple of pieces on Lee. The first piece (07:22) has an interview, not sure if it’s the one you’re looking for.

        • calltoaccount

          Thanks for that, it’s the Tuesday page, the second one on Lee. Sean held fire, even when stonewalled with 1) crime, 2 ) economy, and finally (in response to Sean’s supercity question), 3) “people will have an opportunity to have their say”.

          Let’s hope the fuse is lit and it isn’t a long one …

  17. gingercrush 17

    Too much is made of someone being local or not. That whole argument is itself stupid. Very few MPs ever represent electorates where they live and in Auckland that is even more unlikely. Being local doesn’t in itself mean you will become a good electorate MP, likewise representing an electorate where you don’t live doesn’t mean you won’t do a good job at it.

    Shearer has a house in the electorate. Lee used to live there while Boscawen has connections to the electorate and Norman has said he will shift to that electorate. While I don’t agree with the Greens or Labours policies, I think both could be excellent electorate MPs. But Lee and even Boscawen could represent the Mt. Albert electorate equally well. Rather than argue over that shit. How about talking about the local issues instead. That is surely more important.

  18. deemac 18

    other immigrants have said to me they think it is bizarre that Lee (and Norman for that matter) can stand when already an MP. It’s like “I want to be your MP but if you don’t elect me, what do I care – I’m already an MP!”.
    If she’s so confident she should resign her list place. No? Didn’t think so.
    BTW, wasn’t D4J banned for life? I presume that meant HIS life. He adds nothing but sad puke. Why I we still enduring it?

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