Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: There's a lot of it about

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  • John Morrison,

    I'm with RB, I'm sick of it all and really disappointed in the PM in not sacking WP when she had the chance. I simply cannot understand why she hangs on and refused to censure him.

    I'm really undecided about who to vote for in 6 weeks time, because Clark used to stand for some principles, but this affair is awfully messy and her customary political skills have vanished. Key is looking more fragile and lightweight by the day so, all in all, an ugly disheartening mess.

    Who is to conduct the investigation into how this thing started is a valid question because it isn't about corruption or anything like that. BUT, WP stupidly went on and on and not 'fessing up to being a hypocrite. Well, all I can say he is just like the rest of us.

    Cromwell • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Ellis,

    But even then. I don't see any need to be so vocal about it. They may be forced by expediance to snuggle up to a scumbag (and forced again if we voters are sadists), but they could at least be honest about that fact rather than pretend to enjoy it.

    Yes precisely IS. It is one thing, when there is an overpowering stench in the room, to hold your nose and not say anything. It is another thing entirely to try to convince everybody that the smell is alluring and joyous, and accuse ill motive of anybody who suggests otherwise.

    Labour have run interference for Winston for far too long. Their performance before, during, and subsequent to the Privileges Committee shows just that. I imagine that many Labour voters would be very frustrated that they have gone to such efforts for a guy who has never shown any loyalty to Labour, let alone liberal causes, while Labour haven't shown a skerrick of trust and faith towards the Greens.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2008 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    I could have stomached Helen sticking with the "bunch of allegations over a number of areas and being run by multiple agencies - I'm going to stand the Minister down until those agencies have all reported" etc etc.
    Instead they went off on an out-and-out defence of him and made accusations when they didn't like the outcome.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I'm with RB, I'm sick of it all and really disappointed in the PM in not sacking WP when she had the chance. I simply cannot understand why she hangs on and refused to censure him.

    Oh, I can. You're in politics because you believe you have the best ideas, and you usually don't get to act on those ideas unless you're in government. You make the calculation that it's better to take the hit in the longer-term interests of being able to form a government.

    But, as everyone is saying, why go so far?

    while Labour haven't shown a skerrick of trust and faith towards the Greens.

    It is worth remembering that Labour sustained as much political damage through supporting a Green MP's private member's bill.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Martin,

    Not to me - they're associated by deed now in terms of their actions in the Priviledges Committee and the House. I thought it was all well played by Labour up until those points....

    Such as lobbying members of the Committee?

    Perhaps Parliamentarians have a different sense of morality

    MPs are free to lobby each other, even over parliamentary privilege matters. Parliament's Clerk of the House, Mary Harris, said Mr Horomia, in her opinion, had done nothing wrong.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 187 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    It is worth remembering that Labour sustained as much political damage through supporting a Green MP's private member's bill.

    I'm grateful you made that point. Labour mightn't always have been as friendly towards the Greens as they could have been, but where there's been a coincidence of interests, they've surely been supportive and sometimes even in the trenches.

    I also agree the first point you made. The calculations are bound to be about piecing together a coalition to enact their policies for a further three years; MMP's changed a lot, but elections are still largely zero sum games.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    Steve Barnes,

    CT "exactly, We pile the poo on Winnie and back him into a corner. Labour will stand by him and look bad by association. When the dust starts to settle we out John on the Tranz rail thingy"
    Natguy: But Winnies a racebaiting, xenophobe who we kicked out for being too much of a Muldoonist conservative, Labour only need him for the moment they'll never "stand by him" for months.
    Labour Party (shout from offstage): Oh yes we will!

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    I just feel like they've all been filling in time, our time, with a dreadful soap opera that's a cross between Dallas and Lost - where we all end up completely confused about what's really going on.

    The plot's got so many holes, it's lace.

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    It is worth remembering that Labour sustained as much political damage through supporting a Green MP's private member's bill.

    hear hear.

    one could almost argue that they sustained more damage than the current fracas.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Ellis,

    It is worth remembering that Labour sustained as much political damage through supporting a Green MP's private member's bill.

    hear hear.

    one could almost argue that they sustained more damage than the current fracas.

    Those are both excellent points. Yet they didn't sustain that political damage just six weeks from a general election, did they?

    Auckland • Since Sep 2008 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    One factor which will be having some sway, although it's hard to say how much: to general shock and amazement, Peters has been a reasonably good foreign affairs minister, especially with respect to our relations with governments in the Pacific, which are very important. As things stand, our management of relations in the region puts Australia's to shame.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Peter Dunne will be looking forward to the TV debates. Delete "families" and "common sense". Insert "integrity" and "principles". Hook that worm.

    We'd better start checking out the United Future list. "Kelly who?"

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Thank god, or whoever, this smokescreen is dissipating and we can start looking at what really matters, the election (Our Election, not that other one in that country that's about to go down the gurgler)

    And speaking of which, as part of the NRT / In A Strange Land programme to enlighten Australians, I have a big piece on what national might do here.

    (Sorry, couldn't resist the plug)

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    one could almost argue that they sustained more damage than the current fracas.

    You reckon Che? There are a lot of people who have & had no problem with that bill. I'd punt that a lot more people have reservations about the Peters' saga & how Labour have played it.

    I wonder if this election will see a very low turnout.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Meanwhile... has anyone seen any polling on Wellington Central? At least I know who I'm voting for in that one.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Chuck Bird,

    Russell, good on you for seeing the obvious something Labour has chosen not to do. Do you really not have any idea why?

    Do you not think that the real reason Labour supports Winston is that Labour is scared Winston goes feral? Ian Wishart repeatedly asked Labour if Peter Davis got out of the US in a hurry on a diplomatic passport.

    This may or may not be true but if it was not true why did Labour just say NO WAY instead of no comment. If it was true Winston as Minister of Affairs he would know something that could be very embarrassing for Labour.

    Since Apr 2007 • 55 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    One factor which will be having some sway, although it's hard to say how much: to general shock and amazement, Peters has been a reasonably good foreign affairs minister,

    Indeed and I feel a little (very little) sorry for the guy - I think if we looked a bit closer into the funding arrangements of many of the other parties we would find similar murky arrangements. But his handling of that has been appalling in terms of respect for the constituency he obstensibly serves...

    And points to Mr Key for efficiency - where Winston was taking cheques from people with a vested interest in his area of responsiblity, at least John cut out the middle man and just became one of those people himself </tongue-in-cheek>

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    Idiotsavant: Read your blog. For those of us not in the Beltway, it is a great read/perspective. Thanks

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    To me it seems that Labour is throwing this election away by insanely supporting Winnie when it appears that he is corrupt. I cannot fathom why they are going to such lengths to support him.

    Now I have totally run out of parties to vote for ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 619 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    You reckon Che? There are a lot of people who have & had no problem with that bill.

    it would be interesting to see polling on the two issues.

    for example, i can't see this issue resulting in the establishment of a new political party, or a multi-k signature petition.

    but like you say, there might be a lot of disaffected voters out there just atm.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    We'd better start checking out the United Future list. "Kelly who?"

    Number 3 (possible MP if they boost their vote) is current party president Denise Krum.

    Number 4 (ditto) is former national MP Graeme Reeves. I'll do a Hansard on him to see if he said anything stupid during his short time in the House (I need to do a trawl through that era anyway to dig up some info on member's Bills).

    Number 5 is Selio Solomon. No idea, sorry.

    Number 6 is former MP Murray Smith. One of the fundie kooks.

    Number 7 is Neville Wilson, no idea either, other than that he used to work for Habitat for Humanity.

    Number 8 (which is probably as far as we need to go) is PN candidate Frank Owen. A farmer.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I want SOMEONE to start asking some serious questions about the affordability of National's tax cuts.

    What, discuss policy? Never!

    Apart from cutting tax, there are all the Nats other expensive promises and semi-promises - more cops, more money for the defence force, pork for the telecoms industry (sorry - I mean a world-class fibre infrastructure), new motorways, nuclear power stations, sports stadia, etc.

    I reckon if they cut taxes it'll simply be using the credit of NZ to borrow on behalf of the wealthy (who will get a *much* bigger share of tax cuts then ordinary workers. If somebody on $50k gets $50, then someone on $200k is going to be getting $400 - at least). They'll also be eroding the Working for Families scheme (which cuts the income tax for a family on average wages to *zero* percent at the moment).

    It's the political equivalent of Hanover Finance and the like, really.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    for example, i can't see this issue resulting in the establishment of a new political party, or a multi-k signature petition.

    True; although the people setting up the new party or signing the petition or even bombarding talkback radio were not likely to be Labour party voters in the first place.

    The thing about this issue is that it so contradicts everything Labour and Clark have stood for over the last 8 years.

    (11 if you go back to the 96 Coalition talks)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Ellis,

    to general shock and amazement, Peters has been a reasonably good foreign affairs minister, especially with respect to our relations with governments in the Pacific, which are very important.

    This line gets patted out frequently. How valid, though, is it really? Think of the foreign ministers we've had in the past: Goff, McKinnon, Moore, Marshall, Lange, Talboys. You have to go back to Warren Cooper to find a foreign minister who wasn't well respected.

    Foreign Affairs seldom gets much scrutiny from the media. It's a non-controversial area, dominated by specialists. Is our foreign policy at all different to what it would have been if Goff had remained as Foreign minister? I don't think so.

    I don't see how, just because some people might have been predicting that Peters would be a very poor Foreign Minister, and he has turned out to be "not a bad one", is a great reason to keep him on. Especially since he's not going to be getting his portfolios back before the election, and is unlikely to survive it.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2008 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    the people setting up the new party or signing the petition or even bombarding talkback radio were not likely to be Labour party voters in the first place.

    true. it will be interesting to see how the incumbent government recovers any swing voters who have been adversely influenced by the negative publicity surrounding this issue.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

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