Who are National’s moles?

Written By: - Date published: 5:53 am, July 7th, 2008 - 60 comments
Categories: national, slippery, spin - Tags:

The information being leaked to Nicky Hager is obviously coming from well-placed sources inside National The idea of hacking is farcical (Lyndon Hood mocks it beautifully). In the Hollow Men, Hager refers to his sources as ‘six senior National figures’, in the SST article he talks of ‘staffers’ being concerned about the actions of Crosby/Textor. Who might they be?

Leader’s Office staff: Only a leader’s office staff member could have detailed knowledge of the Leader’s diary and access to faxes and emails, which form the basis of the Hollow Men and are also in evidence in the SST article. The motive of a staffer might be loyalty to the English camp and/or personal frustration at being overshadowed by arrogant outsiders from Crosby/Textor.

Information obtained by the SST shows the million dollars that has been spent on creating Brand Key has come from the Leader’s Budget. Someone who knows how much the C/T visits cost gave the information to Hager, so they are probably in the Leader’s Office. A million dollars is a lot of money to anyone – a principled conservative would be offended by this massive, egotistical expenditure on the deification of Key personally, not improving image for the party.

Bill English: Bill English has every motive Brash’s leadership coup was only successful because Key promised his vote to English but actually voted for Brash. Now, the incompetent glory-hound is leader, while English has to do the hard work of preparing to govern for no credit. English wants a National election win but a narrow one so he can roll Key quickly; Key himself expects to be rolled by English within 2 years of becoming PM. And English is willing to talk to his party’s opponents to undermine Key; he recently told a person he knew to be a Labour associate ‘I don’t know how long we can hold it together’ with reference to National’s internal strife. Even English’s reaction to the C/T affair strengthens this argument he was up the first National MP to front on the issue, a sign he is seen as the probable leaker. And his performance on Radio NZ on Wednesday, where he used a cartoonish misdirection* strikingly similar to the one we predicted was akin to Iago pledging fealty to Othello while winking to the crowd.

[* English said ‘Labour is obsessed with who gives advice to National. The public I would have to say is much more concerned with an economy that’s turning down interest rates that are still too high and law and order that’s out of control‘ Why is this misdirection? First, Labour is not spending heaps of time on this issue, the PM works 14 hours plus a day, in the more than 40 hours after the story broke, she had about 1.5 hours of media work with four interviews a press conference, and a scrum. In each, she was asked about the C/T affair and responded with her frank, clearly unscripted views. Total time: maybe 10 minutes. And remember – in misdirection the handkerchief is actually empty. Likewise, English and National have no answers on the economy or law and order in fact, National have not asked a single question in the House on the economy or the Budget since before the Budget.]

60 comments on “Who are National’s moles?”

  1. So let me get this straight. John Key is prepared to lie to his direct colleagues and is willing to promises loyalty to the one while giving it to the other. What’s more he can live with himself afterwards while having to work with this same person and if I’m correct he went onto discretely lobbying for himself as the leader the moment Don Brash stepped down.

    In other words he’s a lying, sleazy, only loyal to his own interests (and those of his masters abroad of course. LOL) son of a bitch, and there are people who actually want to vote for him?

    If the New Zealanders really are stupid enough to go for this sleaze bag they deserve everything they are going to get and then some.

    While I’m certain that stuff happens and it is just politics, this little episode alone proves that John Key is not interested in consensus and democracy. Lying, political manoeuvring call it what you want I wouldn’t trust him as far as I can throw him. A smiling Assassin indeed. English learned the hard way.

    What the leaks proof is that there are is still some decent people in the National party

  2. andy 2

    There is a special editors note in bold in the SST (letters to editor) about Hager and his sources.

    From memory it dispels the email myth by adding that Hager has received other information not held on Parliamentary Services computers.

    Anyone with a copy that can confirm?

    travellerev

    I don’t think calling Key sleazy or SOB helps debate. I think he is being economical with the truth and possibly working in his own and certain peoples interests, but what politician doesn’t.

  3. Pascal's bookie 3

    Anyone with a copy that can confirm?

    My edition had:

    Nicky Hager says his information was not gained by persons hacking into the parliamentary computer or by some other illegal means. The information leaked to him did not come from either the parliamentary computer system or from Parliamentary Services or its staff.

  4. Ari 4

    So, which is more likely: National ignored the disclaimer, or tried to smear Hager despite it in the hopes that nobody would notice or that the righties would play him off as untrustworthy for them?

  5. andy 5

    Pb

    Thats the one cheers! IMO this was quite an important disclaimer from the SST.

  6. monkey-boy 6

    why don’t you just ask Hager?

  7. Ah Andy,

    As I said I’m sure stuff happens and it’s just politics.

    However politicians who are not willing to risk rejection by the electorate of their policies and are willing to stick a knifes in their colleagues backs, politicians who use sleazy PR companies who are known for scaremongering and manipulation techniques are sleaze bags in my opinion. Oh and let’s not forget the “it’s just banking” strip club visits he made while being an investment banker to get guys to cough up loads of money. For one of the sleaziest, most sexist banks; Merrill Lynch. Rising all the way to top advising the most corrupt organisation in the world the Federal Reserve of New York.

    This is what you have to be in order to get anywhere at Merrill Lynch:

    A Merrill Lynch training tape for rookie brokers maps out the road to success on Wall Street: ‘ the tenacity of a rattlesnake, the heart of a black widow spider and the hide of an alligator.’

    Judging by his nickname, the Smiling Assassin, he must have been bloody good at rattle snaking, black widowing and alligatoring.

    Sorry mate, in that world only scum rises to the top.

    You might want to read this about the work ethics at the Bankers trust another bank John Key thrived in:
    http://aotearoaawiderperspective.wordpress.com/2008/02/19/the-bankers-trust-tapes-2/
    Watch this documentary to learn more about the federal reserve:
    http://aotearoaawiderperspective.wordpress.com/2008/06/02/g-edward-griffin-on-the-federal-reserve-of-new-york/

    As far as I’m concerned John Key is as Hollow as they come and as far as I’m concerned there is no debate.

  8. Monkey-boy. he has been asked and like any responsible journalist he doesn’t devulge confidential sources. but he does say they are National members, not parliamentary staff.

  9. Ari 9

    Judging by his nickname, the Smiling Assassin, he must have been bloody good at rattle snaking, black widowing and alligatoring.

    While I’m not a big fan of Key and think of him as at best a conveniently populist figurehead, there is something inherently wrong with seeing a sentence starting with “judging by his nickname” attempt to be taken seriously.

  10. r0b 10

    why don’t you just ask Hager?

    I have seen Hager asked in person. He is very discrete. Whomever is leaking to Hager can continue to do so in confidence.

    What the leaks proof is that there are is still some decent people in the National party

    Hear hear!

  11. higherstandard 11

    sp

    revulge – now that is a brilliant non-word I’ll add it to the list.

    http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/Made_up_Words

    I still can’t see why it’s such great investigative journalism to discover that the Nats are using these PR consultants after all they have been doing so for over a decade.

    rOb

    Indeed the Prime Minister was fulsome in her praise for past National PMs over the weekend apparently.

  12. I wonder what would happen if a right wing Journo had a mole in the Labour party. The left wing media would be up in arms, calling for the guy to be arrested, and you guys have the nerve to complain about Fox news.

    [lprent: I don’t complain about fox news – I’m appalled that it is allowed to call itself ‘news’]

  13. gobsmacked 13

    Nixon’s mole: Deep Throat

    National’s mole: Deep South

  14. r0b 14

    Sorry for the off topic, but I want to note that 08wire is off to a flying start today:
    http://08wire.org/index.php

    Exploding videos, and serious analysis too!
    http://08wire.org/2008/07/07/the-50-year-economic-report-card/

    (Disclaimer: I am in no way associated with 08wire and I have no idea who they are)

  15. ak 15

    Cheap Stoat
    Tory Channel
    Robbers’ Dobbers
    Nats Rats

  16. Graeme 16

    Information obtained under the OIA shows the million dollars that has been spent on employing on creating Brand Key has come from the Leader’s Budget.

    Interesting theory, but neither the National Leader’s Office nor the Parliamentary Service is subject to the Official Information Act.

  17. The Auditor 17

    [Tane: Nice try mate, but you were banned months ago and you know we don’t allow unsubstantiated smears.]

  18. Oh you’re an angry wee man aren’t you – you’re not Bill English by any chance?

  19. Actually no – you’re insolent prick. I can smell you bro. Still f*cking pigs I see…

  20. Graeme 20

    [Tane: Nice try mate, but you were banned months ago and you know we don’t allow unsubstantiated smears.]

    Was it really? I don’t know the history, but it seemed like a good analogy – claiming that this information is from the OIA is equivelent to claiming something else via the OIA.

    If anything, the subsequent statement (which I won’t repeat – this is your site after all) was designed to be false: this statement about having evidence under the OIA is false, just like my claiming [false statement X] can be proved under the OIA is false.

  21. Tane 21

    Graeme, that particular commenter was previously banned for repeated personal attacks against the authors of this site and for breach of policy. He’s also recently been posting names of left-wing activists he thinks might be involved with this site, using a range of IPs and pseudonyms to get around the ban.

    Obviously I have no objection to arguments or criticisms made in good faith – they’re what makes a site like this worth reading. But we’re not going to put up with disruptive trolls.

  22. Graeme. That’s what the SST story said, and are you sure on that because an OIA request got the footage of Clark talkng to the jounro conference, and that came from parliamentary service.

  23. Felix 23

    Ari

    there is something inherently wrong with seeing a sentence starting with “judging by his nickname’

    Yes, but it’s worth noting it’s not a nickname applied by the media or his political enemies, it’s the nickname given to him by his close colleagues and admirers in the finance world – his biggest fans.
    It serves to highlight the value system of Johnny’s environment – the one he did so well in.

    travellerev

    as far as I’m concerned there is no debate.

    And therein lies the rub. If the “Keymasters” want to debate issues, bring it on.

    If the New Zealanders really are stupid enough to go for this sleaze bag they deserve everything they are going to get and then some.

    Yep. It’s going to funny if he does win – to watch the creeping agony as the horrible reality dawns on middle NZ that they’ve elected David Brent.

  24. NX 24

    but he does say they are National members, not parliamentary staff.

    Well sorry to point out the obvious, but how can you trust Hager? After all he wrote ‘Seeds of distrust’ which cost Labour some of their vote in 2005. So by trusting him now, aren’t you having your cake and eating it too?

  25. Graeme 25

    Steve – I am sure that that OIA does not apply to the Parliamentary Service.

    As I understood it, the OIA over the tape of the speech would have been to Ministerial Services (Helen Clark being the Prime Minister). I suppose its possible that that was the basis upon which the PM was refusing its release – you requested a copy of the tape from Ministerial Services, Ministerial Services does not have a copy of the tape, the tape is held by the Parliamentary Office, to whom I have directed your request (and when it arrived, they’d have said they weren’t subject to the OIA). The argument would then have been over whether this was a ruse – was the speech given by the PM or by the Leader of the Labour Party etc. and did it really matter?

    In any event, the Parliamentary Service is not subject to the OIA – or we’d have heard exactly how much Labour spent on its parliamentary-funded post-budget advertising etc.

  26. r0b 26

    Well sorry to point out the obvious, but how can you trust Hager? After all he wrote ‘Seeds of distrust’ which cost Labour some of their vote in 2005. So by trusting him now, aren’t you having your cake and eating it too?

    Ahhh – what? And after reading it again – what?

    If anything the fact that Hager has attacked both left (Labour) and right (National) should make a neutral observer rather more inclined to trust him don’t you think?

    Hager speaks what he believes to be the truth, and no one should rule out what he says because they don’t want to hear his message.

    Espiner on Hager:
    http://stuff.co.nz/blogs/politics/2008/06/30/hagers-return-should-make-national-very-afraid/

    Say what you like about the conclusions he draws, his facts are almost always correct. Hager is meticulous about checking his sources.

  27. Draco TB 27

    Well sorry to point out the obvious, but how can you trust Hager?

    Because he publishes well researched information. The thing about facts is that you only have to accept them – you don’t have to like them.

  28. NX 28

    Hager speaks what he believes to be the truth,

    Get no argument from me there.

    Oh, & I meant 2002 in my previous comment.

  29. Pascal's bookie 29

    r0b, NX seems find the following questions most important when working out the value of evidence:

    Who is saying it?

    How loyal have they been to my position the past?

    Which is perhaps worth bearing in mind should s/he stick around.

  30. r0b 30

    PB, sadly, that seems a fair summary.

  31. Graeme. Ah, true. I thought that was odd about the PM tape coming from parliamentary services.

    Anyway, the SST articel did say info obtained under the OIA has revelaed the moeny is coing from the Leader’s Budget, and I don’t have grounds to doubt that.

  32. NX 32

    Have you read ‘seeds of mistrust’? Was it a fair assessment of the Labour government?

  33. gobsmacked 33

    Follow-up to Matthew Hooten’s comments about Nicky Hager on “Nine to Noon” last week: this morning Hager received an apology from Radio New Zealand.

    Those who want to continue with the “theft” smear, without any evidence, should perhaps consult with their lawyers first.

  34. NX 34

    From the Herald:

    “Meanwhile, in the House, there was the highly unusual sight of Helen Clark warmly embracing the journalism of activist Nicky Hager.

    On previous occasions, such as his Seeds of Mistrust story on genetic modification, his articles on the activities of New Zealand spy bases, and the downright wrong story alleging SIS spies had infiltrated the Maori Party, Clark would have cheerfully driven a stake through his heart.”

    ^ see I’m not making up sh1t. Clark has/had a major problem with Hager’s interpretation.
    So to give credence to Hager is at the expense of your own Dear Leader.

  35. Dilip 35

    No they do not Mr Pierson. The sunday star times article does not mention official information act request or document in either Nicky Hagar article or Ruth Laugeson article. There is no OIA document from national party showing how much National spent on crosby textor or use of public money for it. You say there is SST reference to it but there is not. You made that up.

  36. Dilip, I read the article amongst a bunch of other stuff yesterday and updated this post (which I wrote last week) later. Thought I read stuff about OIA, maybe I’ve got it wrong but the substance is correct… the money is coming out of the taxpayer-funded leader’s fund (previously, I believed it would be from the HQ funds).

  37. Dilip. As you have the article in front of you, perhaps you could give us the words around the mention of use of the Leader’s Fund.

  38. outofbed 38

    meanwhile at o8 wire John the Chameleon

  39. Dilip 39

    No Mr Pierson the substance is not correct. You had no evidence that crosby textor is paid from leader’s fund, no OIA request, no OIA document, no evidence for amount spend on crosby textor, and although you say SST say there is this connection there is not. If you have people tell you you are wrong and you continue to make up new reason for why you are right which prove wrong then you lie again. That is just smear you make up with no evidence. You hope smear stick but you should try come up with credible evidence because you have no evidence but make smear anyway.

  40. Dilip. I’m happy to amend that minor section of the post if I’ve remembered the article incorrectly. I can’t find it online, but if you want to supply the relevant parts of the text, I seem to remember the opening couple of paragraphs were the ones. maybe, you could give us your thoughts on who the mole is at the same time.

    To assert I would lie about the contents of a publicly available newspaper article is absurd.

  41. Disengaged 41

    Parliamentary Services are exempt from the OIA. The definition of departments specifically excludes Parliamentary Services as can be seen under Clause 2(1): Department means a Government Department named in Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Ombudsmen Act 1975 (other than the Parliamentary Counsel Office)
    Department: this definition was amended, as from 1 October 1985, by section 71(1) Parliamentary Service Act 1985 (1985 No 128) by omitting the words “the Legislative Department and’.

    They are also exempted from the Ombudsmen Act(1975).

  42. Dilip 42

    Mr Pierson you can read link at http://stuff.co.nz/4600847a20455.html . This is Nicky Hagar article. There is no talk of OIA request or one million spend on Crosby Textor or whether paid by leader’s fund or parliamentary fund. This is not minor part of your article. This is smear that you write without any evidence. You say there is reference in SST to back up your claim but there is not. You make up original claim and you make up SST evidence. You say you have done lots of reading and maybe you get it wrong. That is not excuse. You do not make smear like that without evidence which you do not have. You are caught out making up smear.

    [Dilip. That’s the SST from two weeks ago, I’m talking about the SST article from yesterday. Perhaps you shouldn’t go spouting off when you haven’t seen the article. SP]

  43. A few more juicy details about what John Key was up to as a banker.
    When he just began at the Bakers trust he was a forex dealer. Now there is forex dealing and forex dealing. The first is legitimate dealing in foreign currencies and up to a point it may even be somewhat speculative but within morally defensible bounds.
    But than you have a different kind of forex dealing which is dangerous and predatory causing entire economies to go into depression. Such as the Asian crisis in 1997-8.

    Once upon a time Andrew Krieger worked for the Bankers trust in New York. Andy was one of the Bankers trust golden boys, a genius and able to command huge amounts of money. He is also the kind of guy that chops 400 trees of publicly owned forest next to his house because his 12 year old son needs a tennis court. A real friendly kind of a guy.
    http://sierraactivist.org/article.php?sid=35831

    Anyway in 1987 this Andrew decided that to gamble with the NZ dollar would be a good thing to do so he calls his account manager in new Zealand and together they mounted a brutal speculative attack on the Kiwi dollar. The attack, which has entered forex (foreign exchange) trading legend for its scale, audacity and profitability, prompted Reserve Bank alarm that the currency would collapse.

    This account manager was John Key.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4385816a6160.html

    Asked if he admired the man who almost destroyed the Kiwi dollar with his help he said: Asked if he admired Krieger at the time, Key says, “yes, I think at the time, yes, he was a very intelligent guy.

    And goes on to say: “He was a pioneer, in the sense he was one of the few people in the world who understood the options market before it was really established. He blazed a trail and that gave him a strategic advantage early on.”

    Key says he does not believe a moral issue arises for the traders who make these speculative attacks on currencies, or for the dealing rooms that carry out their orders. “I don’t really see it as a judgemental business. You’re simply executing orders for people.

    It’s just business guys. It might be your livelihoods but hey it’s just following orders.

    John Key ended up as the global head for forex for Merrill Lynch from 1999 until march 2001. Merrill Lynch was one of two banks involved in the Asian Financial crisis which also caused major problems for NZ. ML made huge amounts of money before the feeding bonanza collapsed after which the lost lots of money again.
    What you reckon did John Key get the top job because he told people that it was not OK to play with entire economies and the lively hoods of millions of people or did he get there because he possessed the right Wall street mentality?

    I would like to leave you with a nice sketch about what caused the sub prime market crash and what the function of Investment bankers was in this crisis. And yes, John Key traded in Bonds and Derivatives, in fact he was also the European head of Bonds and derivatives for Merrill Lynch. Were did he learn about this trade:
    Oh oops, the Bankers trust bank was instrumental in developing these particular Bonds and Derivatives financial products.

    The Bankers trust collapsed after the revelations about their nasty fraudulent trading in 1995 the very year was head hunted by Merrill Lynch. Yep, John Key is a real gem.
    Sorry for the link whoring but here is the sketch in all it’s glory, enjoy: http://aotearoaawiderperspective.wordpress.com/2008/05/31/interview-with-an-investment-banker/

  44. Lew 44

    Dilip: What of this, from the NBR: http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/national-defends-use-parliamentary-services-funds-32794

    The pertinent quote is “Today in the Sunday Star-Times Hager said Crosby-Textor invoices in 2007-08 were going to Key’s parliamentary office instead of the party.”

    I think you owe Steve an apology. Or you need to start accusing the NBR of running an anti-National smear campaign.

    Your call.

    L

  45. bill brown 45

    There was another article in the SST about this – it is not on line (I was trying to find it this morning)

  46. r0b 46

    So to give credence to Hager is at the expense of your own Dear Leader.

    NX, I don’t have a Dear Leader, I have a PM. Human, fallible, hardworking and admirable.

    You seem to be under the impression that I blindly support everything Labour does. No. I think they have got stuff wrong, been too timid, and made a bit of a mess of their third term. In terms of policy I am more Green than Labour. Like many on the left I’m interested in the facts, in constructive criticism, and how the left can always improve itself. (Lord knows if we want constructive criticism the left are going to have to generate it themselves, because the right can’t seem to manage it.)

    So Seeds of Mistrust raised some issues with a Labour government. There was no smoking gun. To the extent that the criticisms were valid, Labour paid an electoral price. This is as it should be. Compare and contrast with The Hollow Men. The public outcry at the corrupt behaviour of the National Party front bench in the 2005 election campaign cost them their leader. This too is as it should be.

    And now Hager is back in the game for 08. Who knows what he has this time. Looks like stuff on National. Maybe later it will be Labour again, or if not this time, in 2011, or 2014, or whatever. Point is, facts are facts. They can’t be ignored just because we don’t like them. If Hager has facts, you should listen.

  47. Anita 47

    From the SST on Sunday page 4, headline Key’s election-advice invoices undermine attacks on Labour

    National Party leader John Key appears to be using taxpayers’ money to pay for his controversial Australian strategy advisers, Crosby/Textor”. …

    When Crosby/Textor worked in National’s 2005 election campaign … its invoices arrived at National Party headquarters … . However Crosby/Textor’s work for National in 2007-2008 has instead been paid through Key’s parliamentary office. This strongly suggests they are being charged to the leader’s budget and paid with Parliamentary Services money.

    Does anyone know the current fair use rules? The article isn’t online so, while I’m happy to retype it so it’s available on-line, I’m not sure how The Standard would feel about it.

    It’s interesting though and covers off the use of public money by the Nats and their campaign database.

  48. bill brown 48

    I’m happy to retype it

    Nah, let Dilip buy his own copy.

  49. Anita 49

    bb,

    He can’t, yesterday’s SST is no longer on sale 🙂 Which is part of why I would feel very little guilt.

  50. Lew 50

    Anita: A complete reproduction would only be permissible under Fair Dealing provisions provided it (the complete reproduction) was necessary for `criticism, review or news reporting’:

    (From the Copyright Act 1994):
    42. Criticism, review, and news reporting—(1) Fair dealing
    with a work for the purposes of criticism or review, of that or
    another work or of a performance of a work, does not infringe
    copyright in the work if such fair dealing is accompanied by a
    sufficient acknowledgement.

    As to whether it is, well, that depends on your eventual comment on the article 🙂

    L

  51. Anita 51

    Lew,

    Well it’s damned hard for anyone to criticise, review or discuss as news something which is unavailable… . Is that enough justification?

    Would putting a PDF on the net and linking to it be better or worse than retyping? (Other than for me, obviously retyping is not better for me 🙂

  52. Lew 52

    Anita: Yes, my non-lawyer brain thinks it is – particularly when the point is in dispute.

    I don’t see any reason why the format would make a difference as the medium remains the same.

    L

  53. Anita 53

    Lew,

    I’ve emailed it to the Standard in the hope they’ll put it somewhere handy. Otherwise I’ll think of something this evening.

  54. NX 54

    I have a PM. Human, fallible, hardworking and admirable.

    But Don Brash isn’t the PM… 😉

    In terms of policy I am more Green than Labour

    I reckon the policy gap between Labour & the Greens is actually wider than between Labour & National. So in a sense I’m actually closer to Labour than you are.
    I had a quick read of some the green policies the other day. The Greens advocate serious compulsion to achieve their policy objectives (honorable or not) – stuff the Labour party wouldn’t touch with a 20 foot barge poll.
    I agree with many of Labour’s policies on social issues but not their implementation. E.g. Sue Bradford’s handling of the anti-smacking debate just rubbed people up the wrong way.

    My main bear bug with Labour is their handling of the economy – too much tax churning and too much focus on growing the state.
    Cullen has actually done some quite right-wing things…. he hasn’t fiddled with the reserve bank act or monetary fundamentals. Kiwisaver is pretty much private, and he’s finally offering $10 billion tax cuts. Labour also initiated some PPPs (public private partnerships).

  55. Felix 55

    NX, if you intend to continue with this line of reasoning you should probably state which National party policies you support.

  56. NX 56

    I like National’s:
    – broadband policy – which has the potential to significantly reduce the cost of telecommunications, free toll calls, faster downloads, video conferencing, productivity on a whole… etc.
    – PPPs in health sector
    – TVNZ policy – the charter sucks
    – more aggressive tax cutting policy
    – capping the number of bureaucrats at current levels
    – holding back on the emissions trading bill! Let the Aussies fight it out, then copy them

    ^to a lesser of great extend Labour would eventually do most of these….. the main reason why I’m voting National is for a change of style @ the top.

  57. Lew 57

    NX: Congratulations, you’re the first National supporter on this site to actually be able to list more than one policy of National’s that they like.

    I’ll be happy to buy you a beer for that alone!

    L

  58. NX 58

    Heh – Pint of Speight’s new Golden Summit please ;).

    There’s also Nat’s policy on boot camps for young offenders.
    And the 10% rebate if you make voluntarily payments towards your student loan. Not to mention they’re keeping the interest free student loans, MK I WFF and Kiwisaver.

    ^how it is all integrated with Tax cuts remains to be seen, so I didn’t list them.

    ^and that’s just off the top of my head – I read the news.

  59. dave 59

    [Dave, you know better than to think you can come on here and behave like that. As someone who purports to be a journalist I’d have thought you would know better than to take Farrar/Whale’s ‘research’ at face value.]

    [lprent: research? hmmmph… They’d have gotten laughed out of my uni science classes as idiots. I just had a look at it and it is pathetic. I suppose Whale has never bothered to look at our About.]

  60. NX 60

    ^why did you moderate Dave’s comment? Was he referring to DPF’s allegation that The Standard is stacked with Beehive staffers?

    Colin Espiner from Stuff has also made a similar claim.

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    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    1 day ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 day ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    2 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    2 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    3 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    6 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    7 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    7 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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