Time for the big broom

21 months ago I made a prediction that Labour would win the 2014 election. I was wrong.

I am shocked though, to look back over the last 18 months and see what a dive Labour has taken since David Cunliffe took over as leader. In my post calling the election for Labour I also made this point.

Cunliffe is liked by many in the left of Labour, but not the centrists and not the public. Going with David Cunliffe would gift the next election to National.

Maybe I wasn’t so wrong in that post overall.

Here are some graphics from TVNZ from the last poll of 2012

Under David Shearer this was the Party Vote in December 2012.  A win to the left block

Labour polls 2012

Under David Shearer, PM John Key is not quite so popular

preferred PM 2012

What this means is that under David Cunliffe Labour has grown their support down 10% and lost the election in, as David Shearer said this morning on Q&A, tragic fashion.

I don’t think I’ve ever said this before, but I agree with Matthew Hooton, if Labour had stuck with David Shearer there would be a Labour led government today and that’s the problem.

Labour is broken and needs fixing, Labour may well have just lost the 2017 election, Labour may need to grow there nut even smaller though resignations and by-elections, to look to 2020 if they have have any chance of becoming the power they once were.

The solution for Labour.

Well I think there are solutions for Labour, but the first thing to acknowledge is what a horrific state they are in. Here are some statistics for you that are accurate minus the special votes.

National’s overall vote 1,010,464 beats Labour on 519,146

Labour won 21 General Electorate seats (plus 6 Maori seats and 5 list ‘seats’). Of those 21 general seat, National won the party vote in 16 of them and in Dunedin North Labour only has a party vote majority of 24.

That’s right in…

  1. Christchurch East
  2. Dunedin South
  3. Hutt South
  4. Mana
  5. Mt Albert
  6. My Roskill
  7. Napier
  8. New Lynn – David Cunliffe’s electorate!
  9. Palmerston North
  10. Port Hills
  11. Rimutaka
  12. Rongotai
  13. Te Atatu
  14. Wellington Central
  15. West Coast/Tasman
  16. Wigram

Voters put in a Labour MPs, but voted for National to run the country.

To break it down further let’s look at Mt Albert, Helen Clarke’s old electorate now occupied by David Shearer. Shearer won the seat comfortably by over 9,000 votes, but National received 3,000 more party votes that Labour. Aunty Helen would be rolling in her…comfortable UN office lounger.

So this tells us that the public of NZ can get to like and trust an individual Labour MP, but they don’t want Labour to run the country…and that’s the question Labour needs to ask themselves right now…why?

Getting Ready

Pat Brittenden:

As a family we are off to Dunedin, my wife has written a wonderful post that says it for more eloquently than I ever could…so just read her words

Originally posted on idoya munn:

image

Of all the places I’ll miss when we leave, this is the one I’ll miss the most. This is the spot I come to, walking down towards the beach and then veering left before I get there. Down to the estuary and along the stream that meets it, splashing through the shallows and then walking up the path through the bush above. At the top is a hidden playground, a surprising open space on a small promontory with a bench seat out at the point , and this view. It’s beauty doesn’t depend on the tide. When it’s out the wily mangrove roots are exposed, reaching down into the fertile mud, and the water becomes a green ribbon winding its way down from the dam. The beauty is in its wildness, in the way, if you position the camera lens just so, you can’t see the raw earth of a new…

View original 656 more words

National Party Advert, what do you see?

So this is currently the most popular National Party advert seen in NZ

What do you see?

Here’s what I see.

8 muscle bound figures rowing backwards not being able to see where they are going, there are a couple of token females thrown in there but it’s depicted as the blokes doing ‘the bulk of the important or hard work’ and hiding behind all the muscles is one cock, or I think the rowing community spells it ‘cox’ yelling out orders and telling the rest where to go whether they want to or not.

So, a pretty accurate depiction of the NZ National Party I’d say

Time for John Key to admit he has mislead the country

Key press conferenceIn the light of revelations today that John Key admitted in a press conference that he was “told me that [Warren Tucker] had released them because he has to tell me that under the ‘no surprises’ policy.” Earlier in the press conference he also made comment about having information whilst in the United States about Phil Goff and speaking about it while over there. This also obviously puts into question Mr. Key’s claim yesterday that he wasn’t briefed about Cameron Slaters OIA request because he was on holiday. Mr. Key obviously was active with conversations with ‘someone’ when he was on holiday to get the skinny on Mr. Goff, why would we then believe that the SIS didn’t inform him about this bombshell that was about to come out?

A couple of things

If Mr. Key did, or didn’t lie, it actually makes no difference as he is 100% responsible for the actions of the SIS and his office, he is responsible and therefore needs to take responsibility.

Section 3.5 of the Cabinet Manual states

Ministers decide both the direction and the priorities for their departments. They should not be involved in their departments’ day-to-day operations. In general terms, Ministers are responsible for determining and promoting policy, defending policy decisions, and answering in the House on both policy and operational matters. 

I bring your attention to – Ministers are responsible for defending policy decision and answering operational matters. 

So whether Mr. Key did, or did not know what was happening in his office whilst he was on holiday in Hawaii he cannot claim “I wasn’t informed” as he was still responsible…not just ethically, but according to the rules of Parliament

Secondly, if we take for a moment that Mr. Key had no knowledge of the meeting, and we choose not to hold him accountable for what should be his responsibility, then his department is failing in its duty. A department that he still needs to take responsibility for.

Section 3.16(a) of the Cabinet Manuel states

In their relationship with Ministers, officials should be guided by a “no surprises” principle. They should inform Ministers promptly of matters of significance within their portfolio responsibilities, particularly where these matters may be controversial or may become the subject of public debate.

The section states that officials should inform Ministers, not the Ministers office, not the Ministers aides, not ‘don’t worrying about not informing them if they are on holiday”. John Key was the Minister, this was the release of a document to a blogger which was going to be “controversial” and “become the subject of public debate”, therefore if John Key wasn’t informed, it’s a catastrophic failure in his own department…for which he is responsible. 

John Key needs to now fess up and tell the public of New Zealand the truth. If I was advising John Key I would say, ‘front foot this, tell them you lied, ask them to forgive you, and state that you still believe that you, and the National Party are the best option in this election.” If he doesn’t take control of this situation now, he could well be sitting in opposition as I predicted 18 months ago.

So where we are at is either Mr. Key has lied, or his office and department are incompetent, it must be one of the two, and neither situation sits comfortably with the office of any Prime Minister.

It’s about much more than just policy

Since the Nicky Hager book Dirty Politics came out seven days ago we have heard the catch cry “let’s talk about policy.”

Whilst the idea of talking important is extremely important, I’ll move away from the pack a bit and offer the suggestion that it’s about a lot more than just policy.

Let me explain.

I believe that policy is incredibly important, but likewise the calibre of those implementing that policy is equally important and that’s why the revelations in Dirty Politics are incredibly valuable to the voters of New Zealand.

I have talked about this before with the Len Brown debacle and challenged Don Brash in 2011 as to how important it was to understand what happens ‘behind closed doors’ where we asked him acknowledging his two affairs and asked how could the people of NZ trust him when his closest relationships couldn’t? He responded that it was a fair enough question. It matters.

If you disagree with me let me ask you these questions. Would you vote for a known tax avoider? Would you vote for a wife beater? Would you vote for a paedophile? Whilst I acknowledge that the last example there is extreme, what it demonstrates is that we all have our lines within the calibre of a person, that we find important enough to influence our vote. The question here is not that Nicky Hager’s book is irrelevant to the election and we should be talking about policy, the question is if the accusations and issues in the book cross that line of importance for you to influence you vote as it’s shows the calibre of the person/people.

I do hope we don’t only hear about Dirty Politics from now until September 20th, but I have to be honest with you, if you think that it doesn’t matter at all when we talk about the calibre of the person making decisions that effect us all, then I believe you are either being disingenuous or naive.

PS – We have a chance to speak with Nicky Harger for 20 minutes of this weeks Slightly Correct which you can check out here

Why the Government, the Opposition and the Media may help Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail walk

On the weekend when the story broke of the diplomat invoking diplomatic immunity to flee potential charges over a sexual assault I was amazed and concerned as to the tone of the reporting, and the comments made by many as to the alleged incident. Notice I used the word alleged there, I did that on purpose and it’s what many who have spoken publicly have not done, which now may be a genuine defence for Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail’s lawyers.

We have a think in our justice system called Sub Judice where “it is generally considered inappropriate to comment publicly on cases sub judice, which can be an offence in itself, leading to contempt of court proceedings.” This is also linked quite closely to the legal requirement for a court case that all accused are “innocent until proven guilty” but in a more basic way it’s all about not speaking publicly about a case that may influence the jury, and therefore the outcome of that case. It applies only when charges have been brought so I acknowledge this technically isn’t in breach of that convention, but I would argue that there has already been an atmosphere created that may not allow Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail to get a fair hearing. If someone cannot get a fair hearing…they walk.

Some specific comments that I would point to.

John Key

“Our hands are effectively tied, but we still expect justice for the victim”
“we will do everything that we possibly can to make sure this person is held to account”

David Shearer

“…justice is not done for the victim here and we don’t see that that person is brought properly to justice”

Now these statements (which are a couple of many, many public comments made by politicians, talkback hosts, bloggers, commentators etc…) paint a picture of justice needing to be done for a victim, If there is a victim there is a crime and they are associating that crime to the diplomat. They are saying he committed the crime and needs to face justice for the victim.

A quick Google on the subject around the time the news broke shows many headlines that talk in the affirmative of a crime being committed and linking it to the diplomat.

HeadlinesNow this post is in now way a support of the diplomat, or a defence of attacks on women so please don’t see it that way, I am purely looking at how this may, or may not proceed in a legal sense. I am left wondering, due to the environment flamed by John Key, Murray McCully, David Shearer and all in the media who have inadvertently, or blatantly, convicted Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail of committing a crime, have now also given his lawyer the ability to argue that his client cannot get a fair hearing.

And I think he may have a point.

Please can we stop talking up ‘election bribes’

Key and Cunliffe handing out the presents at election time

So today Labour has promised to eliminate school donations by giving “an annual grant of $100 per student for schools in lieu of voluntary donations” to finally make primary education free in New Zealand. I like this policy, I applaud this policy, I endorse this policy however, as you well know, I fight for politicians to be consistent.

Just 2 days ago, or “aggggges ago” as it is seen in the world of politics, both Russel Norman and David Cunliffe were deriding John Key for offering election bribes in the form of roading projects.

Can we please settle this once and for all and can I ask you politicians to stop looking like idiots, they are either all ‘bribes’ or none of them are. You decide and move forward accordingly.

John Key you cannot go on Larry Williams or Duncan Garner this afternoon and call ‘free education’ a bribe unless you accept that your roading projects are as well, and Mr. Cunliffe you must acknowledge your offer of $100 per student to families is a bribe or Nationals focus on two lane bridges are not.

Simple ah?

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