Labour and their ‘Chinese Surnames’

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So here we go again, an idea thought up in the upper offices of Labour with merit, executed like those making the decisions are in their first day of politics.

I say ‘merit’ because I think many people are in agreement with the idea of foreign money (from whatever country) flooding into our housing market will indeed put pressure on locals (of any ethnicity)  when it comes to buying houses. A register of international buyers is not an idea that any political party opposes and in fact National will eventually bring in and then take the kudos for doing so.

However good ideas every day, whether their good business ideas, good relationship ideas, good political ideas or any kind of ideas, fall over due to those trying to impose them. Usually with political ideas it’s the execution that fails that party and this is a classic example of that. There is also the consideration of those opposing Labour and their ability to change the narrative of the issue which National has done perfectly, but not without help.

My sources inform me that Labour gave the policy to the New Zealand Herald several days before they released it, embargoed, to fact check and prepare themselves to write about it once Labour made the issue known publicly and I am reliably informed that the Herald then leaked the information to National. What this did is give National the ability to get ahead of what Labour was doing and formulate a strategy to combat what Labour was trying to say. For future reference National poll everything, they research and get public opinion on everything which usually takes two days. If in the future National comes out with a cast iron position on a major Labour or Greens policy that is not yet in the public domain then it’s a pretty safe bet they have been leaked the information and have already tested it.

In saying all of that the way Labour has handled this information is sloppy and amateurish and even though National got ahead of the release, it still only too Lisa Owen on The Nation 8 minutes to accuse Phil Twyford and Labour of playing the race card all without the polling that National did, she came to the same conclusion.

The conversation about international money influencing our housing market is valid…very valid…but what Labour has done is basically give a green light to every red-neck, right wing, talkback calling bigot fodder to continue to treat the Asian community like second class citizens. If you don’t believe me just have a read of, Masterton native, Raybon Kan’s article from Wednesday.

And now we have groups like HouGarden.com, one of NZs biggest websites for Chinese immigrants to find property in NZ, stating that Chinese buying in NZ are looking for better education opportunities for their children, not investments as there are much better investments elsewhere. Their evidence for this is that when people are on their site some of the most searched words were “school zone, double grammar zone, Maclean, Westlake, Rangitoto and Auckland Grammar.” This again is a terrible news item for Labour but not quite as bad as the leaker of the information from Barfoots now losing his job…wonder how that will sit with the core Union member Labour supporter.

Finally, I am also dismayed that no one yet has actually offered a solution to the housing bubble in Auckland. So Labour is promising to ban international speculators, fair enough, but my question, as always, is “then what?” The average house price in Auckland is approaching $800,000 (see why we moved to Dunedin) and if this move ends up ‘correcting the market,  then what about all those people who have bought in this market and just had $200,000** wiped off their equity…what about them? Or if the prices of houses still remain near $800,000 on average how are first time home buyers going to afford that?

An idea with merit that at it’s core most would support, executed poorly: Labour 2015

PS – Got $800,000…come to Dunedin

Better yet…got $400,000ish…come to Dunedin

Or how about, just for fun, $200,000ish

** arbitrary figure

Mr. Brown…it’s time to go

len brown pantsSo Mayor Len Brown has royally stuffed up and lost the confidence of his council and says he has to now do a “good deal of work to regain their trust and rebuild our working relationships in the interests of Auckland.”

Len Brown was in a meeting where there was “full, frank and robust discussion” where he also went on to say of regaining the trust of his councillors that “This is my focus, starting today”.

Look I’m not a crass person, but the only way I can describe what I am feeling is that Len Brown spent 2 years screwing his mistress and now he is screwing Auckland. Remember he said that rebuilding his relationships with councillors is now his ‘focus’, not a ‘desire’ or ‘would be best’ but his ‘focus’ all because he couldn’t keep it in his pants.

I want the mayor of my city to be focused on the issues of the city he was elected to oversee…not rebuilding broken relationships.

I also was listening to Sean Plunket this morning and someone brought up the word ‘corruption’ which made me think. That old adage of how many times do you need to steal to be a thief? Answer ‘once’. Then if you look at the definition of corruption

“dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power”

You have to draw the logical conclusion that Mayor Len Brown is corrupt. He may cry, as the left footers do, ‘mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa’ (“through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault“) but what he has done is the definition of corruption (let alone the credit card situation when he was the Mayor of Manukau). So let me ask you the question, how many times do you need to commit a corrupt act (even unwittingly) to be corrupt?

For the first time I’ll say it…because of the fact that Len Brown’s focus is not Auckland, but rebuilding relationships that he himself ruined and because for ever more the words ‘corrupt’ and ‘Len’s Brown’s mistress’ will swirl around him, it is time he stood down.

I have written before about why Len Brown’s infidelity should matter to Aucklanders which you can see here but I am now resolute in my position.

Auckland deserves better than a Mayor that the current incarnation of Len Brown.

Why Len Brown’s Affair Should Matter to the Public

I have been reading with great interest the conversations over the last few days about whether Len Brown’s affair should impact his political career. That is an interesting question but what we need politicians to know is that what happens ‘behind closed doors’ does actually matter.

Here’s why.

Politicians ‘sell’ an image, people vote on that image, if that image is false then voters have been somewhat hoodwinked. If you set yourself a public ‘standard’ and then fall short of that standard there are downstream effects. If this information about Len Brown had been released the week before the election would he gotten re-elected? If not should he step down?

Mayor Len Brown has ‘sold’ his Christian credentials, and there is no question that there have been many, especially in South Auckland, that have given Len Brown their vote because of the label he has chosen for himself.

Here is some audio from 2010 when he chatted openly about his faith and his desire to emulate a political figure due to his integrity.

Mayor Len Brown chats openly about when he attended church and what denomination he was attached to, then Len was asked if he prayed.

 

The interviewer then went on to ask about going through trial and tribulations which at the time were accusations about credit card misuse

 

The interview then asked if his Christianity affected his policy

 

Len Brown finished the interview by sharing why Mahatma Gandhi was the most inspiring political figure to him.

 

I don’t judge Len Brown for what he has done, neither do I think he should necessarily be forced to step down, the whole purpose of this post is to point out to public figures that you need to stand by the standards you set for yourself, the ones you choose, the ones that help you win votes and when you fall short of those standards you need to be aware there are consequences.

There is an argument that says we are all failed beings and one can class themselves as a ‘Christian’ and have these failings. My advice to the political world is that you shouldn’t choose those labels then. I avoid the word ‘Christian’ like the plague, not because of what it means, but what people think should go with it, both positive and negative. Len Brown has chosen to let the public of Auckland define what kind of person he is by actively using the word ‘Christian’, it’s gotten him votes but then when you fall short of the publics expectations of that label you cannot claim that ‘no one has the right to know’. If you invite us in with this image, you cannot expect us to stay out when the image falls apart. I’m not saying that is fair…I’m just saying that’s the way it is.

I’ve been having the conversation about how people ‘sell’ themselves for ever. In 2010 when Jeremy Elwood and I ran a political podcast we interviewed Don Brash and I think we were the only people to bring up one of the most obvious questions to him. After talking about ‘behind closed door issues’ when he ran advertising that claimed he stood by his morals and integrity so I asked him how can we trust you, if your wife/wives can’t trust you?

Don Brash was selling a public image, that didn’t match up with his ‘real’ image. Your ‘real’ image is what happens ‘behind closed doors’.

Again let me say I don’t condemn Len Brown, in fact speaking with a mate this morning the phrase ‘feet of clay’ came out and I think that’s fair. We have all fallen short of the expectations of those around us, I would just say to political figures to be careful about your ‘public’ persona if your ‘behind closed-doors’ persona doesn’t match up.