Posts Tagged ‘ National ’

Side Show Pete Fatigue

The Winston Peters saga now seems to have developed a life of it’s own, and as such has gone from being a revelation to being a bit of a yawn. I suspect that shortly it will have reached proportions that will allow the MSM to dedicate the subject it’s own header button – you’ll have ‘National News’ ‘Regional News’ ‘Politics’ and ‘Winston Peters’.

This is not to say none of this is important, it is, because it demonstrates just how rotten politicians can become over time, especially if they end up having nothing else in their lives except their ‘jobs’. Peters has been there so long now he’s a permanent fixture but as Bob Jones points out in his article on he stopped being principled long ago and driven by personal ambition and hatred of the media.

Politicians do live in a rarefied atmosphere and insulated from the ‘real world’, the degree to which they become separated from reality is dependant on what they did before they got voted in, and the quality of their family life seems to play a factor.

If Peters lived in the real world he would have bowed out and turned his skills to something in the private sector – fund raising for example – but he is too deep in to see that he could have bowed out and done so in a positive way. It’s too late for that and even if the latest revelations don’t sink him, it clearly going to be a death by a thousand cuts and there is no way he can come out of it with a shred of dignity or credibility.

I’m surprised Peter Williams has allowed himself to be involved and dragged into such a messy event. While I don’t agree with everything he says, he is clearly someone with principals, whereas Peters seems to have abandoned his years ago. What on earth possessed him to think that Peters was a victim here is beyond me.

My prediction is that this will drag on so long that the voters will lose interest and it will descend into legal arguments that will go on well past the election. This means that Clark won’t need to reinstate him, getting her off the hook. I also think Peters will scrap 5% and be back into parliament. If NZ First was a real political party rather than what is so clearly a cash cow for Winston, then it’s membership base would have got together and ditched him. 

The one good thing to come out of this is National’s principled stand of not doing business with NZ First after the election, even if it means they dont go into government. That was a big call to make and maybe it shows that overall, there are some politicians out there with bottom lines after all, because the last month has tested that theory to the limits!


A vote for NZ First a vote for Labour

I blogged about this last month, my personal feeling being that Key had a lot to gain by ruling out a coalition with NZ First (read Winston First), and nothing much to lose.

Now Key has come out and effectively ruled out any coalition with NZ First – unless National get a proper explanation from Winston about what the hell’s been going on. The chance of this are nil, Winston is living in his own fantasy world where he is the most stunningly intelligent gifted politician in the universe, and the rest of us a thick, naive, brain dead morons who believe everything he says.

Winston has become so deluded that I think he actually believes himself, which is not surprising really, you would need to suspend belief to believe him, so for him to sound so convincing he has had to do the same thing.

The whole Winston saga, way back before any of the latest rubbish came to light, has always had a strong whiff of hypocrisy about it. Anyone who has taken more than a passing interest in his political career would know that most of his positions were untenable, and that as a populist he just pressed whatever buttons got a surge in his rating and to hell with principals or logic.

Sooner of later this was all going to bite him in the arse.

Well, finally, this may be happening.

If Key sticks to his word, he will go down as the first party leader to show some principals and guts when it came to NZ First. Oh, and sticking to your word doesn’t mean performing the same gymnastics that Clark pulls, it means you’ll not have anything to do with NZ First until we’re all completely clear about what’s going on, not you having some quiet meeting and being ‘personally’ satisfied with his explanation. All NZders deserve to know what has been going on because we foot the bill for this crap, and clearly some pretty fast and loose stuff has been going on that some might think looked a lot like corruption.

This position from Key has put him way up in my estimation. Politically it is a big call and possibly this indicates that in fact Key is someone who can make such decisions and will prove to be an effective and decisive leader.

Here’s a photo of Winston not attending the Bloodstock Auctions at Karaka in 2006… glad we got that cleared up!

Is National ‘Labour Lite’?

Labour Lite?

I have to agree with Rodney Hide that the only thing that Labour and National disagree on is who should be Prime Minister.


Labour have played a clever game, they can claim that such and such policy will be dumped by National leaving it’s beneficiaries disadvantaged and it is the cold heartless right wing National party that will do this as part of it’s secret agenda to gut social welfare provisions and other social benefits introduced by Labour.


This puts National in a position where it has to deny this, and then support whatever policy it is being accused of planning to cull, and then National outlines how it will actually improve the policy, usually by appending more money on it…


Who’s the winner with this strategy, well Labour, because it means they are calling the shots. They also don’t have to announce any new policies (notice there is nothing new from them, just calls for National to release policy) Labour in effect wins endorsement for its policies and this leads to National looking like Labour Lite.


National can’t risk releasing policy too early, previous elections they have and it has cost them dearly as it has allowed Labour to spend months picking holes in them and forced National into damage control, by the time the dust settles Labour as assimilated the policy and can claim that National is weak and useless with no thought out policies.


I guess this shows what a formidable team Helen and Mike are, they have been in the game a long time and whether you like them or not, you have to agree they are smooth operators often running circles around the Nat’s.


National needs to take control of the debate and relying on polls isn’t going to do it. Maybe National needs to shift the debate away from specific policies and focus on other issues all together, issues that do set National and Labour apart… and one way would be to use the Peter’s fiasco to their advantage.


Most people are sick and tired of Peters, the majority of voters think is a clown. National could take the moral high ground and say they want to clean up politics (maybe take a leaf out of Obama’s book) and they won’t be doing business with Winston Peters. This would for a change put Labour in a difficult position where it would have to start explaining itself for a change.


Until National shows it has the skills to gain the high ground in the political debate and can start to clearly demonstrate to the public how it is different from Labour, then the label of Labour Lite is going to stick, and that will have voters starting to wonder why they would bother with a team that is inexperienced and only different from Labour in style rather than substance.





Winston First

Listening to the kiddies at play in their sandpit Parliament yesterday I noticed that National spent most of their time going for Clark. Winston even made some comment after his ‘speech’ to the effect of “is that all” when there was only mild murmuring from the opposition benches.

I dawned on me ( a bit slow ) why Key and National were leaving Winston alone… they need his vote after the election if they are to form a Government.

I see a lot of ‘right’ and ‘left’ wing bloggers have been railing against Winston, but now I believe this is miss guided, actually they should be getting stuck into Labour and National, they are the ones who give NZ First and Winston life blood. So what if he gets five percent, if he wasn’t there with the profile and baubles of office, he would be polling down where ACT is (sorry guy’s but it’s true).

Winston is like a habitually spoilt child, stamping his feet and demanding the shiny toys, then strutting around the playground grandstanding and showing off, his parents (pick Labour or National, they’ve both been there) stand on the side lines like blushing parents willing to excuse their off springs every little fault.

And so was Clark today, who cares if he was legally right, he is morally wrong and an epic hypocrite, and she knows it but she’ll say whatever it takes to keep her government together. This unedifying spectacle will be repeated again and again probably with National next time.

There is a way out, but Clark didn’t have the balls, so it’s unlikely Key will either.

National needs to come out and state that it will not form a coalition with NZ First or any party involving Winston, his politics is not the sort of thing National thinks is good for NZ and if people want to vote for him that’s their right, but his options lie with Labour not with National and voters will need to consider that at the polling booth.

This would cut of the life support (it surely must be good for 2 – 3%) that these two parties have given Winston, and so voters that National is serious about making a break from the sleazy politics that become stock in trade of the Labour government.

The chances of National and Key doing this are low, and that’s why I think National represents ‘Labour Lite’, a kind of light purple in shade of Labour. Disappointing, but political reality as this is not the team that will make any changes and move NZ forward, they could, they have the talent, but I suspect that the prospect of being the Government will be too much for them and they will give in to Winston an the circus will repeat itself.

In six years time, maybe sooner we will be seeing the same spectacle, just with different prime ministers.

C’mon National show some spine!

Sideshow Pete

Sideshow Pete (apologies to Simpsons)

Joining dog owners and Vodafone on my list of groups I’m totally over, NZ First and Sideshow Pete(rs).

I think Winston represents in one neat package everything that is wrong with politics and it’s hardly surprising politicians are way down the list on people the public trust.

This morning on Morning Report he managed to skillfully not answer any of the questions put to him, answering every question (which just required a yes or a no) with another question. At the end of the interview we knew nothing more, apart from that he was going to sue everyone for “outrageous allegations”. You were left with the impression that either he did know something and wasn’t going to be tricked into admitting it, or if he didn’t then he is exceedingly naive – I know which option I would take.

It would be really good if the party retired him because he’s just a huge joke now. I don’t even thinks he takes himself seriously.

In what must have been a 5 minute interview Sideshow Pete managed to avoid saying anything about the donation from the prominent racing family, apart from the bleeding obvious fact that as Minister of Racing (what the hell do we have a Minister of racing for anyway) he knew “of them”. The fact that he didn’t admit anything either way really means you could draw the conclusion that he did know, because if he didn’t he would have just come out and said so. It’s all rather too neat that the donations were all allegedly under $10,000, and so because they were anonymous they didn’t have to be declared.

It seems that the man who spent many years chasing tax evaders has learnt a few tricks of his own. Sure nothing is strictly illegal, but it stinks all the same.

I honestly believe that unless the major parties start to take a stand and clean up politics in ten years we are going to see corruption. This chicanery and use of grey areas has led some people to think this is all OK. It’s not and it has to stop.

National needs to stand up now and show some spine. They need to state now that even if it means they won’t become government, they will not deal with NZ First if Winston Peters is leader.

Key tried to have a buck each way and claimed that it was the voters who decided who was in government. This is showing the same flexibility that Sideshow Pete shows, and I’m pretty confident that most voting citizens are sick and tired of this sort of shit. Show some leadership and balls John, don’t deal with Peter’s.

We need a government that shows some commitment to moving past the growing sleaze of the last few years and who will clean things up, not wallow further in the trough. National need to demonstrate that they will makes some tough calls and they can start by sending a message to voters, “A vote for NZ First will not get you a National Government”. I for one will be seriously considering my votes if it looks like Winston will be getting anywhere near the ‘baubles of office’ in the next National Government.

Recognising Reality

Bill English has released a tiny bit of National’s policy relating to a probation period for employees…

The policy, which will apply to businesses with fewer than 20 workers, allows employers to dismiss staff in the first three months without risking a personal grievance claim for unjustified dismissal.

I can see why National is leaving it’s policy releases until the last minute. Anything, no matter how insignificant is being met with howls of exaggerated outrage by Labour’s proxy campaign assistants – the Unions, and Labour’s hysterical labelling of the policy as a “Charter of Abuse” is such a silly over-reaction.

The policy to formalise what businesses already do – getting rid of unsuitable staff – is probably a sensible move. It recognises reality, some people might seem fine in their interview, but don’t fit into your team, or for any number of reasons just don’t work out. It cuts both ways because some employees leave if they don’t like the job and employers can’t sue them for the costs of employing them or the lost opportunity if they had found someone else. 

It’s fairer on employees and employers that there is a formalised probationary period. At least both parties know what they are walking into. Some employers won’t have a probationary period, some will. Let’s face it, I’ve had a few jobs where the employer made it pretty clear that I was on trial, and that’s just common sense. Why should an employer be stuck with someone unsuitable for the job?

Some employers will behave unfairly towards employees, no amount of legislation will prevent this as there are ways around the law, and the few who do miss-treat employees find themselves in employment court which is as it should be. But these bad employers are a minority, the majority will on balance attempt to be fair with their employees.

On the other side there are also a small minority of employees who are either unreliable or clearly unsuitable for a particular job and business is not a government run welfare agency and they shouldn’t be forced to continue to employ an unsuitable or hostile employee.

No system is perfect and this sensible tinkering with employment law should not be written off just because Labour has mobilised Unions to shriek and scream their heads off.

Here’s a photo of the most hard working Minister Auckland’s ever had, burning the Employment Contracts Act (which by and large has managed to remain intact through Labour’s term in power)

Cullen’s Conspiracy

“Finance Minister Michael Cullen has accused Road Transport Forum chief executive Tony Friedlander, a former National cabinet minister, of organising yesterday’s truck protest for political motives…”

I’m not sure whether to think this is funny, or disturbing.

I guess on one hand the protest was for political purposes, every protest against a government is political. Full marks to Cullen for being so observant. But Cullen takes it a step further, in his world anyone who is against Labour must be for National.

Cullen has always been arrogant, but this is breathtaking. He is implying that the thousands of truck drivers have been duped into helping the National Party by one man. This is insulting to peoples intelligence, but then if you are such a towering beacon of common sense and intelligence as Cullen is, I guess from his perspective it’s not surprising he thinks we are all a bit thick and gullible.

I guess the extension of this thinking is that we are all going to be fooled into voting for National, when really Labour knows what’s best for us. Labour really does seem to believe that it hasn’t made any mistakes, everything is a “miss-understanding” or Labour MP’s “miss-speak”. Not once have I heard anyone from Labour admit they were wrong, in fact they are so convinced of their rightness that even when Ministers have made such screamingly obvious judgements of errors, that Clark is forced to sack them because of public outrage (and boy do we have to get fired up before she will do anything) she usually reinstates them as soon as she can get away with it.

There is another leader who behaves like this… he’s currently running Zimbabwe. Mugabe blames everyone else for Zimbabwe’s problems, it the English, or White farmers, or the MDC… anyone but himself.

Cullen’s now so arrogant and out of touch that he can’t even keep his trap shut when it’s good for him. It just seems so silly to say what he has, it is just going to annoy people even more.

Labour has been so successful at staying in power for so long, that they are now so deeply in self destruct mode is quite puzzling. Either this is a secret plan to lull National into complacency, or Labour really have got so totally out of touch that are imploding.

Many people are really sick and tired of Labour, but Michael, that doesn’t mean they think that National has all the answers. I guess we are all just so pissed off now that really anything would be better than Labour and Cullen’s attitude towards any public display of dissatisfaction is yet another example of what some find so distasteful about Labour.

My biggest disappointment is that if Labour really is self imploding, then National will sleep walk into power without being challenged on any of their (yet to be announced) policies. This would be not be a good thing for anyone.