The other conference

Written By: - Date published: 7:05 am, May 18th, 2017 - 26 comments
Categories: class war, human rights, national, spin, useless - Tags: , , , ,

Labour’s conference in the weekend was a vibrant success and the main policy announcement on removing a tax incentive for property speculation was well received. But there was another conference that weekend, National’s in Northland. Seems it didn’t go so well. Richard Harman on the Politik blog:

Defensive Nats try to get their message across

National – in what was clearly a rehearsal for its election campaign – spent the weekend trying to get its message straight while it ironed out the bumps in the Government’s relationship with the electorate.

That meant one Minister, Alfred Ngaro, making a series of embarrassing gaffes for which he has now been admonished while another, Paula Bennett, conceded the Government was not getting its message across.

The party held the last of its regional conferences; this time in Auckland.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes elements of the party continue to ferment over the vote at the UN Security Council last December to oppose Israeli settlements on the occupied territories.

That concern was intensified after Prime Minister Bill English slapped down Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee over comments he’d made which had appeared to back off the resolution.

Overall, to use a favourite Government saying, it was an “untidy” weekend capped by a flat speech from English which saw delegates ignore placards they’d been given to wave when he finished speaking.

Altogether it was an oddly jarring conference. ….

The B-team is missing John Key (what a pity he had to leave so suddenly). Read on for a lot more detail from Harman. Then try Simon Wilson on The Spinoff:

National is cloning Labour’s identity and other lessons from its weekend conference

Don’t settle for Labour-lite, get the real thing!

This was the northern region conference. That’s Auckand and Northland. Did they produce an Auckland strategy? Nope. A major urban policy of any kind? Nope. That was astonishing.

English said it was now conceivable to think of a four-lane motorway from Whangarei to Matamata: as his sole contribution on transport, in this city, it was staggeringly irrelevant.

Steven Joyce defended the current high immigration settings as being essential to economic growth and, by implication, beyond debate. His list of key infrastructure was, in order: roads, ultra-fast broadband, railways, electricity transmission and rebuilding hospitals.

Paula Bennett talked in the session on crime about how worried she was about P. There were several Indian businesspeople in attendance, but the moderator, Pakuranga candidate Simeon Brown, was apparently unable to see them. The questions he took from the floor were almost entirely from the white folk in the room.

Mmmmm. Also apparently this happened:

Steven Joyce was asked to give Paula Bennett advice on which shoes to buy (Photo: Simon Wilson)

What a hoot. I’m sure the poverty campaigners protesting outside would have laughed themselves sick (Newshub):

Protesters square up to police outside National Party conference

Around 50 Auckland Action Against Poverty representatives squared up to police in Mt Wellington, demanding a living wage and universal access to state housing.

Ms Cole says the protest was also to send a message to other political parties about the poverty “crisis”, and says current tactics to solve the issue are not working.

“We believe that social investment is not going to solve the crisis low income people are having. It ignores the root causes of poverty. People need income and work to have dignity.”

Yes. I guess the Labour-lite makeover isn’t going so well then.

26 comments on “The other conference”

  1. Carolyn_nth 1

    Never mind, WMBAD is here to defend Bill (especially against the unfair tirades against Bill by John Oliver):

    Yes, I know it’s surprising, but the pony-tail pulling man with the dildo minister was extremely popular. Imagine how bad at PR you have to be to look worse than that. You are now imagining Bill English.

    • Good god that WMBAD article was some apocalyptically weaponized cringe.

      “online media outlet The Spinoff has started producing clever, profitable content”

      I don’t doubt the profitable part.

  2. Tuppence Shrewsbury 2

    If there are “1/4 of a million children in poverty” as is so often claimed….how can they only ever wheel out 50 people to protest for them? there are at least 1/2 a million adults who should feel aggrieved too? Surely more than a fraction “that is within the margin of error” could get out and help the protest?

  3. James 3

    I laugh because they never protest against labour about getting them to commit to a living wage.

    That’s because they protest national for the sake of it. If they were genuine they would be outside every party getting them to commit to the living wage.

    Either that or they don’t think it’s worth standing outside labour as they won’t get in come September.

    • mickysavage 3.1

      There have been protests at Labour conferences too. You should get out more often.

    • You_Fool 3.2

      I think they are protesting the current ruling party. Also they know they can just talk with Labour/Greens like adults; not an option with the man-children that are the NACT mess

    • lprent 3.3

      Huh? They routinely protest at most of the public NZLP conferences and meetings that I go to.

      I’d feel bereft if they were not there to hold politicians to account.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.3.1

        Huh? They routinely protest at most of the public NZLP conferences and meetings that I go to.

        QFT

        • McFlock 3.3.1.1

          yet again a tory laughs at a figment of his own imagination.

          Meanwhile in the real world, winter is coming and some kids don’t have warm gear or decent shoes.

    • “I laugh…” says “I Don’t Care” James.
      The Nat conference sounds a hollow affair.

  4. Enough is Enough 4

    Please please please do not underestimate this National Party and their ability to perform when it matters – elections

    • Whispering Kate 4.1

      Enough is enough – they sure do – last time it was dirty politics – they sure can prove their abilities to fight dirty when it comes to elections. Brace yourself – god knows what they will think up this time.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      True. Their ability to lie and have those lies believed is amazing.

  5. ankerawshark 5

    I am glad someone has picked up on the slide at the conference of Paula Bennett’s $950.00 shoes and the “cute” (NOT) joke about putting it on the credit card.

    I found it utterly repugnant.

    I hope the shoes hit the msm. Surely people will be able to compare and contrast it to kids living in cars, going hungry (name anything else that sucks cause of National).

    Time to see these greedy, vanity driven Nats for the what they are.

    C/p it to the Labour Congress (I was there for Little’s speech) the contrast couldn’t be greater. Andrew Little = principled, genuine and “no Frills” in the best sense of the term.

    • James Thrace 5.1

      The $950 shoes are the $90 underpants of our time.

      • ankerawshark 5.1.1

        No James, the $950.00 shoes are just that. An obscene amount of money to spend on shoes, particularly by a woman, or anyone who is a public servant paid from the tax hard working kiwi’s (and people like me who run their own business) earn.

        I really hope this gets into the msm……………people need to see her for what she is.

    • I would say Paula Bennett’s shoes have echoes of this :

      Imelda Marcos shoe museum: The excess of a regime that still haunts …
      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-02/imelda-marcos-shoe-museum:-the…/7877098

      I would say Paula Bennett had better watch her step about asking Stephen Joyce for advice on shoes from here on in… Northland didn’t go so well last time so perhaps Simon Bridges would be better to confide in… oh wait….

      Literally.

  6. Craig H 6

    Typo in the first sentence – it says tax inventive, but I assume that is meant to be tax incentive.

  7. Michael 7

    “I guess the Labour-lite makeover isn’t going so well then.” I wouldn’t be so sure of that.

  8. Richard McGrath 8

    “Labour-lite” started under John Key… there’s very little difference in policy under National or Labour.

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