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September 22, 2005

Peter Davis

This is one of those issues I was inclined to not even comment on this, but there are posts appearing on other blogs, so I figured it was better to add some balance, rather than do an ostrich.

Some people are already getting excited about the rumour that Holmes tonight (830 pm on Prime) will show footage or stills of a kiss between Peter Davis and a man on election night.

From what I understand it is pretty obvious that Peter Davis was taken by surprise, and it is all relatively harmless. In fact from the photo I have seen, it may just be a kiss on the cheek.

I don't think a public party with every media in the country in attendance is the sort of place where you act indiscreetly, if there is anything to act indiscreetly about. Seriously, think about it. If you had a secret boyfriend, would you be kissing him in front of 30 journalists and several TV cameras.

Also I imagine everyone there was pretty pissed and in a celebratory mood, and photos afterwards often take things out of context. If my partner had just been re-elected PM for a third time, I'd be pretty happy and doing stupid things.

To use an example of the last one, a couple of years ago an organisation I am involved with had a major league piss-up to celebrate a very successful sale. Myself and others drank a lot of ouzo that night. The next day I didn't recall much of the previous night, but was amused to hear there were photos of me dancing with a staff member. I assumed it was the incredibly gorgeous female staff member, but instead the photo was of me dancing with the not so gorgeous male staff member :-(

And no that is not a sign of repressed anything, just signs of too much alcohol!

So watch Prime tonight and have a wee laugh. But please lay off the conspiracy theories.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 12:38 PM | Comments (50) | TrackBack

Give up all your money

NZ has just posted its second highest current account deficit - $11.9b or 8% of GDP.

And somehow this is not Dr Cullen's fault, but a reason not to reduce tax, even though this has happened under Labour's high tax policies.

Now let's debunk Dr Cullen's logic. If one actually gives NZers some of their own money back to them, this will allow people to save more!

Posted by David P. Farrar at 06:35 AM | Comments (26) | TrackBack

Looking like a Claytons Inquiry

The inquiry into Labour Minister Taito Phillip Field is looking like a claytons one with the QC being given only nine days to do it.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 06:26 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

September 20, 2005

Your tax dollars at work

The Young Nats blog have a photo of a Young Labour table at Auckland University and you can see there the big red Labour banner with the parliamentary crest on it, which means it was paid for by taxpayers. This is the same one that Jordan jumped in front of at Victoria University to stop me taking a photo of it.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 08:45 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

About Time

Finally Helen Clark has backed away from her stance that Taito Field had done nothing wrong. She has now ordered a review of the Minister's role.

However not exactly an independent review, but one from fellow Ministers. Ha - they probably just want to compares notes about how to get $1.20/hour labouring :-)

Meanwhile the Minister himself still thinks there is nothing wrong with paying someone $1.20 an hour while asking their mate the Minister to get him a work visa. Taito Field has said:

"If anything [inaccurate] comes in the paper you can expect a defamation suit to be laid against the paper and you will probably be talking about millions," he said.

"I don't know why these people feel I'm their enemy. All I have done is try and help people."

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:37 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

September 19, 2005

Mike Williams' predictions

Labour Party President made a number of predictions about marginal seats. Let's see how they went:

Invercargill was a "reasonably safe" seat, Mr Williams said.

- National wins by 1,953

Mr Parker was in born Roxburgh which was in the middle of the Otago seat. "That whole area is absolutely booming under Labour."

- National wins by 1,931

"It's hard to see any good reason why Hamilton East would go back to National."

- National wins by 5,223

Mr Williams said he would get back into Parliament as the MP for Aoraki.

"I think he's got the numbers and so does he."

- National wins by 6,616

Labour had conducted polling in Northcote and believed there was solid support for sitting MP Mrs Hartley.

- National wins by 2,359

Labour believes it could take two marginal seats off National.

One was Piako, which National MP Lindsay Tisch won over Sue Moroney in 2002 by 1621 votes.

- National wins by 7,788

The second was East Coast Bays which senior National MP and strategist Murray McCully defeated Labour candidate Hamish McCracken by 1534 votes to win.

"He now lives in Wellington. That's well-known now (journalist) Jane Clifton admitted publicly that that's the situation.

"Murray McCully is almost never seen in the electorate and he could be in with a very nasty surprise there."

- National wins by 6,821


The only prediction Mr Williams seems to have got right was (sadly) Wellington Central.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 04:29 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

September 16, 2005

Attacking the messengers

Clark and Cullen really don't like public servants who tell the truth.

Insolent Prick has highlighted this veiled threat to the Ombudsmen:

"Cullen said he held serious concerns about the precedent created, and would take the matter up with his office after the election. "

Outrageous. He gets caught trying to suppress vital information, and his response is to blame the Ombudsmen. Read the fucking Official Information Act - all information should be made public unless there is a very sound reason not to. And helping Labour win the election is not a sound reason.

With Clark endorsing the ethics of Taito Field, and Cullen attacking the Ombudsmen, these (hopefully) last days in office are starting to stink badly.

And we also have Clark jumping in accusing Treasury of incompetence. This from the Government which had Michael Cullen write a letter instructing Treasury to assume that there will be *no* change to the rate of voluntary repayments if there is no interest on loans.

Not a single economist in NZ could or would try and defend that assumption. It is to be blunt a lie. One can argue all you want about changes to the rate of borrowing, but no-one at all can argue that abolishing interest would not affect the rate of voluntary repayments. This is like saying if there was no interest charged on credit cards, everyone would still pay them off on time. It almost qualifies for fraud, to instruct Treasury to make such an assumption, and then release costings based on that instruction while suppressing the original costings.

On behalf of Dr Cullen I apologise to all the staff at Treasury for making you produce such a bogus costing.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 08:46 AM | Comments (41) | TrackBack

Clark refuses to act on Field

Everyday as more information comes out on the actions of Taito Phliip Field, his actions appear more and more indefensible. However the PM has no problems at all with a Minister of the Crown acting in such an unethical way. It really is proof that her standards are non existant. I mean she hasn't even called for any sort of inquiry.

The Minister's wife has contradicted her husband on whether he was employed. And it is estimated that Field got $20,000 worth of work in exchange for paying $54 a week.

We also have comment that it is almost unheard of for a declined refugee application to then be given a work permit.

Tony Ryall sums it up by saying "You simply can't have ministers arranging work permits for people who work for them".

You can't, except when Helen Clark says so it seems.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:30 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 15, 2005

Taito Phillip Field

The PM continues to deny there is anything at all wrong with the behaviour of her Minister. She is almost alone in this view, and the newspaper editorials are saying so.

The NZ Herald says:


It is apparent that he is guilty of misjudgment, both in relation to the overstayer and in his failure to tell the Associate Immigration Minister, Damien O'Connor, the full facts of the case ...

But there can be no doubt that his action was, at the very least, inappropriate. People in his position cannot afford to convey even an impression of personal gain or advantage from their office. Nor should they fail to tell a minister the full circumstances of a case.

And the Dominion Post editorial says:

New Zealand has an unparalleled reputation as a corruption-free country. For the sake of that reputation and Mr Field's own standing, the Government should order a full, independent inquiry.

Just because there is an election pending does not mean it should not do the right thing.


Again Jenny Shipley sacked a Minister in the week before the 1999 election for ethical lapses relating to immigration. Helen Clark won't even investigate the issue. Her sole response is to defend the Minister without even finding out the facts.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 08:21 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

September 14, 2005

The cost of the bribe

I think Dr Cullen and Miss Clark owe the Westpac Chief Economist a big apology, because their official advice from Treasury is a lot closer to his ballpark estimate, than their figures. Let's all remember how they demonised him and accused him of impure motives. Well we know what motives Labour had - they tried to supress this advice.

Anyway to the figures, which Treasury say "may be understating the true total cost":

* Annual cost rises to $390m by third year, and to $500m after six years, and by 2019 will be $924m.

* Impact on gross debt is a rise of $2.4 billion by third year, rising to $5.1 billion after six years, and rising to over $10 billion after only 11 years.

* Overall student debt increases under Labour's policy. So much for Helen Clark kicking the 'debt monster' to death. Student debt blows out to $19.8 billion by 2020 verses $14.2 billion under the current student loan scheme.

Funnily enough I think my ballpark estimate was around $10 billion over a decade. Hey Treasury you should hire me :-)

So boys and girls, next time you see a Labour attack ad saying it is madness to borrow an extra $3.5 billion, just smile and think own goal.

This is almost a rpeat of what Labour did when being kicked out in 1990. They tried to hide the figures until after the election. But this time it is $10 billion worth of hiding.

God bless the Ombudsmen!!

Posted by David P. Farrar at 04:07 PM | Comments (28) | TrackBack

The cost of the bribe

I think Dr Cullen and Miss Clark owe the Westpac Chief Economist a big apology, because their official advice from Treasury is a lot closer to his ballpark estimate, than their figures. Let's all remember how they demonised him and accused him of impure motives. Well we know what motives Labour had - they tried to supress this advice.

Anyway to the figures, which Treasury say "may be understating the true total cost":

* Annual cost rises to $390m by third year, and to $500m after six years, and by 2019 will be $924m.

* Impact on gross debt is a rise of $2.4 billion by third year, rising to $5.1 billion after six years, and rising to over $10 billion after only 11 years.

* Overall student debt increases under Labour's policy. So much for Helen Clark kicking the 'debt monster' to death. Student debt blows out to $19.8 billion by 2020 verses $14.2 billion under the current student loan scheme.

Funnily enough I think my ballpark estimate was around $10 billion over a decade. Hey Treasury you should hire me :-)

So boys and girls, next time you see a Labour attack ad saying it is madness to borrow an extra $3.5 billion, just smile and think own goal.

This is almost a rpeat of what Labour did when being kicked out in 1990. They tried to hide the figures until after the election. But this time it is $10 billion worth of hiding.

God bless the Ombudsmen!!

Posted by David P. Farrar at 03:46 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

The Smoking Gun

Keith Ng has gone through the student loan papers which Michael Cullen tried to supress, and has found and highlighted what is the real smoking gun. To quote Mr Ng, the Salient news editor, directly:

This is the costing that Labour went public with, and the assumptions are downright dishonest

The focus has been on Treasury's initial costings, but the real scandal is the second set of costings where Dr Cullen ordered the Treasury to use his assumptions, rather than their own. And his three main assumptions he ordered Treasury to use were:

* voluntary repayments will continue at the rate at which they occur under the current scheme

* the percentage of the $150 [weekly] entitlement for living costs drawn [down] does not increase

* draw down rates increase in the following manner: [a <1% change in fees borrowing over 4 years]

Now one can have a sensible debate about the extent of the change to borrowing patterns (such as whether takeup for FT students will move from 69% to 95% or 85% or even 80%) but Cullen ordered them to assume basically no change at all!!

The most indefensible of Dr Cullen's instructions is that Treasury should assume there will no change to the rate of voluntary repayments. I dare anyone at all to argue that with interest free loans, there will be *no* slow down of voluntary repayments. If you believe that, then I have a bridge for sale. This is saying that graduates will use surplus cash to pay off a loan on which they pay no interest rather than pay off their mortgage quicker. It is incredibly dishonest.

Only slighly less dishonest is the instruction that the amount of money being borrowed for living costs will not increase.

And finally you have the instruction on how many more people will take up loans. As I said you can have a rational debate about the extent of any extra uptake, but Cullen instructed that Treasury assume that the increase by only 1%, *over four years*.

If this was the united States, the term impeachment would be coming to mind. They lied about whether Treasury had costed the policy, they supressed the advice Treasury did provide, and they then instructed Treasury to use Dr Cullen'as assumptions which are to quote Keith downright dishonest.

I can not beat his summary which is:

In short, it's been rigged to make the scheme look as cheap as possible, and Cullen specifically asked for it to be like that.

I hope the media pick up the significance of this issue. It is not a case of two sets of reasonable assumptions, where say Treasury is saying 26% more FT students will take out loans and Cullen is saying 15% will, and to be honest who can be certain which is closer. The Cullen assumptions are just nonsensical, basically saying no change at all, and designed to fool the public until after the election. This is the man who was in the 1990 Labour Government which did the same thing with the BNZ and the surplus which wasn't. Leopards do not change their spots.

The Chief Ombudsman deserves a knighthood for his decision to force Labour to release this information.

Finally please note I have not read the released material myself, and am basing my comments on Keith's analysis, but I heard John Key refer last night to similiar issues, so if John Key and Keith are agreeing this time, I reckon it is safe :-)

Posted by David P. Farrar at 02:31 PM | Comments (42) | TrackBack

Helen's new standard

Helen Clark has defended one of her Ministers who hired an illegal over-stayer to work for him in Samoa for $1.20 an hour or $54 a week.

She has said he was just "being helpful".

Now could you just imagine if say this was former National MP Arthur Anae who had done this. Helen would be on the front page calling him a sweatshop operator. No less than a dozen unions would have come out and condemned it as exploitation, and proof National wants to abolish the minimum wage.

The issue is simple. If a constituent comes to you in desperate need of help, you don't take advantage of their situation to save tens of thousands of dollars by asking if he will work for you for next to nothing.

Both the Prime Minister and this Minister of the Crown see nothing at all wrong with this. It highlights their unfitness for office. I repeat that Jenny Shipley sacked a Minister for immigration conflict of interest issues in 1999, in the week before the election. Clark does not sack him, but praises him.

And just to add to the ethical issues, the NZ Herald has an e-mail suggesting Field's wife is on the payroll, which is illegal under parliamentary rules.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 06:50 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

September 12, 2005

A new standard of accountability?

Helen Clark got elected promising a new standard of accountability. Now for those who missed the TV One news, let's see how this issue meets these new standards?

1) A Thai over-stayer contacts Labour Minister Taito Philip Field for help when his wife and child were deported

2) At the meeting Field learns the over-stayer is an tiler, and asks him if he can go out and tile his house in Samoa

3) He paid the tiler somewhere between $60 and $100 a week, well below minimum pay rates in NZ. I look forward to the CTU condemning this sweatshop operation!

4) He then made a personal representation to Immigration Minister Paul Swain [actually Associate Damien O'Connor] to grant work permits for the over-stayer and his wife.

5) The Minister granted the request, noting "It is not my normal practice to intervene in the established immigration application process, however I have decided to make an exception in this case".

So Taito Field got his house in Samoa tiled cheaply, and the over-stayer got a personal request to the Minister who intervened in the established process to make an exception for them.

If Taito Field is still a Minister by the end of Tuesday, it will say a lot about Helen's new standards of accountability.

People may like to recall that Jenny Shipley in 1999 also discovered ethical breaches by a Minister in relation to immigration issues. Despite being a couple of days before the election, she sacked him.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 06:25 PM | Comments (24) | TrackBack

Arrogance Personified

This is almost too good to be true.

An MP turns up to a meet the candidates meeting. The premises owner (it was at a bar) announces there are no media present. The MP then exclaims "Whats the point of coming here then?".

The MP is randomly selected as first to speak. She gets up and asks "How many here are non-partisan or undecided?". Only a few raise their hands. So said MP then says ""I hope you give your party vote to Labour, but I've got better things to do, like doorknock parts of Point Chevalier, I'm leaving now."

If you haven't guessed who it is, go check Aaron's blog out.

If they are so arrogant now before the election, think how bad they would be if they get a third term?

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:09 AM | Comments (36) | TrackBack

September 09, 2005

Doonegate

Sir Humphrey has received several documents through the OIA, and to put it midly they cast doubt on what the PM claims. They've put together an index of the documents.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 02:05 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Pathetic

Labour's latest stunt is rather pathetic. Labour have sent eviction notices to state house tenants, claiming National will sell their houses.

You have to go to the bottom inside page to discover it is from the Labour Party.

And it is a pack of lies. National has said that it will keep Housing NZ stock at current levels, and that in fact it will make it easier for long-term tenants to buy their own state homes. How helping state house tenants but their own homes is twisted into selling their homes from underneath them, I don't know.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 01:43 PM | Comments (59) | TrackBack

Labour still refusing to release loan costings

Labour is still refusing to release information on the costs of its loan bribes, despite an official OIA request. The Chief Ombudsman is launching an urgent investigation.

You have to wonder about how bad it is, for them to be refusing.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 08:16 AM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

September 07, 2005

Advice for Pete Hodgson

1) If you really think someone is a danger to the PM, then leave it to the Diplomatic Protection Squad.

2) Grabbing someone's arms just to avoid them holding up a placard is a very bad look

3) Apologising repeatedly is indeed a very good idea, when you know you have probably committed a technical assault

NZ Herald has the story.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:25 AM | Comments (61) | TrackBack

Labour's Candidates

Insolent Prick has done some good research and found out that apart from all the direct taxpayer money Labour is using for its campaign (how the hell can Margaret Wilson rule a re-election pledge card is legitimate expenditure I do not know) no less than 22 of their candidates are on the public or union payrolls.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:02 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

September 05, 2005

Labour and Tax

I got sent this article about an Australian Labor MP proposing significant tax cuts. This is not unusual. Left wing Governments around the world have cut tax rates when they have a significant surplus.

If Labour lose this election, they will only have their own greed to blame for it. If they had agreed to even a modest amount of tax cuts - say $1.5 billion annually or so, then they might be unassailable. The anger at their budget was immense.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 09:53 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

What will Labour do?

It is now 12 days before the election and the polls have you 3% to 8% behind. You have two sets of choices before you.

The first choice is whether you hope the lead will fade, confident that your party's policies and record will win through, or do you go for a "circuit-breaker"?

If you decide to go for a circuit-breaker, then you have a choice of a positive or a negative circuit breaker.

A positive circuit breaker is something like the student loans no interest pledge. However the pledge card has been printed, and a significant new policy at this stage would have a credibility issue and potentially undermine their fiscal costings.

So what does that leave? An inevitable conclusion that Labour is going to go very negative and very very dirty. On the brink of being kicked out of office, they will hold nothing back. Truth will not play a part in decision making.

And when will this happen? Well they need to influence the polls for the final week, so it will occur this week or at the latest do another exclusive with their friends on the Sunday papers to try and set the agenda for the last week.

This is confirmed by Labour in the The Press, saying ""It's onslaught from now on"

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:13 AM | Comments (29) | TrackBack

September 04, 2005

Espiner on the Air NZ fiasco

Colin Espiner in his blog (and I have to say I like his blog) gives a behind the scenes look at that flight with the PM bollocking the pilot. Highlight is the Mugabe reference.

Hat Tip: Sir Humphrey

Posted by David P. Farrar at 12:26 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 02, 2005

Labour's law and order policy

Labour released their law and order policy yesterday, and guess what is one of their priorities?

Now again I am not making this up.

Making it harder for public servants like Tim Groser from standing for Parliament.

This is just unbelievable. They include this as part of their law and order policy. Those criminals who dare decide to stand for parties other than Labour obviously need to be stopped!

Posted by David P. Farrar at 08:31 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

The PM and the Pilot

Some interesting new details on the story.

Stuff mentions that the PM actually brought up with the pilot the fact the Government (majority) owned Air NZ and had bailed it out. She forgets to mention that they refused to let Singapore Air increase its investment in Air NZ, thus necessitating the Government bailout. And then they tried to flog it off to Qantas.

But more to the issue is that the PM was not travelling as the PM, but as the Labour Party Leader on private political business. Still she managed to get not one but four apologies. I'm still waiting for Air NZ to apologise even once for the changes they keep making to the air-points scheme! :-)

Posted by David P. Farrar at 08:02 AM | Comments (32) | TrackBack

PSA running Labour's campaign

Rodney Hide has details of a leaked email showing the PSA is actually working for Labour, by arranging for 600,000 letters to be sent out.

PSA staff also seem to be working full-time on at least one local campaign.

Now generally the PSA at a private organisation can do what it wants, but people need to remember that Labour has passed laws making union membership compulsory for staff on collective contracts, and further they have signed off on state sector contracts which pay staff huge amounts of money to join the PSA.

This is what you call pay off, and is far closer to corruption than any business donations to a party, because businesses get very indirect benefits from government policies (generally just a better environment) while unions get compulsory membership for collective contracts and direct taxpayer money to state sector staff if they join a union.

The equivalent would be if National passed laws and policies making it compulsory for large employers to join the Business Roundtable, and further approved trade and enterprise cash grants to any employer which does.

Have no doubt that the PSA is in no way an independent organisation, as seen by this e-mail. It is a wing of the Labour Party, and funded by the taxpayer to get Labour re-elected.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:38 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

September 01, 2005

PM forces pilot to apologise

Just heard about this second hand off the radio. PM meant to be flying to Invercargill this morning and the flight was delayed (probably fog). The PM stayed off the flight to consider alternative ways of getting there (how long would it take driving at 180 km/hr :-) and the pilot quipped over the PA the PM was looking to not support the national carrier and delaying the flight as she decided what to do.

The PM then did come on board, was told by her staff about what the pilot said. She makes her way to the cockpit and then a few minutes later the pilot is heard apologising over the PA for his comments.

A popular and competent Prime Minister indeed.

UPDATE: Newstalk ZB is reporting that Air New Zealand has suspended the pilot.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 01:16 PM | Comments (62) | TrackBack

August 30, 2005

Back on the agenda

Sometimes a Labour MP is very honest. Take Russell Fairbrother:

" Redistribution of wealth had been off the political agenda for decades. Labour put it back on ..."

The only problem Russell is Labour is now taking money from people on $45,000 and giving it to people who earn $120,000 if they happen to have kids.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 01:04 PM | Comments (18) | TrackBack

Labour's response

It has been one of those rare days - enjoying listening to National Radio.

It is clear that Labour is scared shitless about how to respond to the latest proposals from National. Clark refused to go on radio at all, and her only comment is that it is nothing new. This is of course wrong because there is new policy. Clark just desperately doesn't want to be on the wrong side of public sentiment like she was after Orewa.

So instead they sent Mallard on, and you could almost hear the tears at National Radio when he agreed with much of what National proposed and said they also had concerns over some of these agencies and have been reviewing them also.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:44 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

August 27, 2005

PC Alert PC Alert PC Alert

I thought this was a late April Fool's Joke but it isn't. Helen Clark has announced that student teachers will not be allowed to graduate unless they can pronounce Maori correctly.

I repeat this is not a joke - but a policy pledge.

We have a recruitment and retention problem with teachers, and Labour is going to make it compulsory for a mathematics teacher to have good pronounication of Maori.

Hell a lot of teachers are not that flash with their English pronounciation. Several of my university tutors were hard to understand at times as they were Asian with pronounced accents, but they were damn good tutors.

This is tokenism of the worst kind, and I think is a good reminder to all of us that all these u-turns like race based funding are cosmetic and will last until the election only.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 05:09 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

August 26, 2005

Oh these are good!

Two files I have received by email from different readers. They are too big to host on my blog, so have stuck them up on my Ihug webspace which I haven't used for five years or so.

Firstly listen to this lovely song about six years of Helen. Very very well done whoever made it. Around 3 MBs.

Then you may want to view this anti-speeding commercial. Again very professionally done. Around 5 MBs.

Both are definitely worth the wait. Enjoy!

If anyone out there can host copies, please feel free and I will link to you. I am unsure how much traffic my Ihug account is allowed.

UPDATE: The video file was missing the last few seconds, and the audio file was corrupted. Corrected files now up.

One can also download from Berend (understand file and being bossed file) or Steven. Thanks for mirrors guys.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 11:18 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 24, 2005

NZ Herald on Labour U-turn

The NZ Herald concludes that Labour's u-turn on early childhood funding was released on the day of National's tax cuts because they were embarrassed.

The Herald states that 63% of childcare centres were privately owned and ineligible for funding by Labour. You have to wonder about the decision making of a Government which didn't even check out facts like this before making an decision. But hey who needs facts when you have ideolology.

The Herald also reminds us that "too many people were perhaps willing to believe Mr Mallard's insinuation that private centres provided an inferior standard of early education."

The Herald concludes "If the u-turn on early education is the sign of an ideological relaxation, education at all levels could be the better for it."

Sadly it is not. The u-turn was forced on them due to the election campaign. If re-elected there is little doubt Labour will continue to tilt the balance against the private sector whenever and where ever they can. Rather ironic as it is the private sector which pays the tax which allows them to spend so much money.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:33 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Grant is annoyed

Lawyer Grant Tyrrell is more than a little upset at Helen Clark's undermining of police evidence given under oath, and criticism of the Judge.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 06:48 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

August 23, 2005

A massive u-turn

People should not under-estimate the size of Labour's u-turn on childcare funding. You almost have to admire the audacity of them for claiming they are delighted to be able to do it - this decision is one they made most grudgingly.

In almost every portfolio Labour has tried to dick over the private sector. Hospitals, tertiary education, prison management, childcare - you name it and Labour has tipped the scales towards public sector provision only. Labour supporters just a few days on this blog were defending Labour's decision not to extend funding to private childcare services.

But the backlash got too much. I had picked up that a huge number of parents were pissed off that Labour put ideology over common sense even when it comes to three year olds, so finally they relented.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 10:00 AM | Comments (23) | TrackBack

PM finally speaks on motorcade

The PM has finally spoken up on the motorcade issue. To my amazement she turned down a wonderful opportunity to express sincere empathy for what were effectively her staff getting convicted for trying to get her to her plane on time.

Instead she has:
* sheeted home the blame for it on the police
* effectively called one of the police officers a liar, despite his evidence being given under oath
* disputed the judge's conclusion that there had been a couple of points of danger during that journey.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 09:27 AM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

August 22, 2005

Keith Ng on Steven Ching

Heh yes it rhymes. Anyway Keith has blogged (on Tze Ming Mok's blog just to confuse people) about Steven Ching, and he doesn't hold back.

Ng holds Labour responsible for "selecting someone who doesn't really speak English, doesn't understand New Zealand politics, doesn't seem to care about either, and who was clearly never going to make any genuine contribution beyond raking in donations."

He winds up further saying "Labour, by selecting someone who was obviously never going to be able to contribute anything as a representative, they have demonstrated a genuine commitment to the idea that Chinese New Zealanders are nothing more than passive participants who should have a token role in the democratic process because, really, they're just a bunch of rich, greedy foreigners who don't even speak English anyway."

Wow this make's Aaron's coverage look balanced :-)

Posted by David P. Farrar at 08:40 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

August 20, 2005

Wait for the autobiography

Well arrogance has a new level. Not only will Helen refuse to comment on the convictions of her drivers until after any appeal deadline but she said in the RNZ debate that she will not say anything at all until she publishes her autobiography.

How open and accountable.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 06:39 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

August 18, 2005

U-turn, u-turn, u-turn

I predicted that Labour would do a u-turn on the tax issue due to the polls, and sure enough they have. It isn't a total u-turn as it is not actually reducing tax rates, but just handpicking 60,000 families to get tax credits which you have to apply to IRD for.

I prefer tax relief for all working New Zealanders, not just a few handpicked ones. It's okay to target some relief, if you will also deliver across-the-board tax cuts, but Labour continues to take every dollar it can so it can redistribute it.

So much for the months of claims that there was no room for tax relief. I also note Labour have not provided a costing of the package.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 12:27 PM | Comments (46) | TrackBack

August 17, 2005

Fisking Maharey

I would have thought fisking Steve Maharey was so easy to do that it wasn't worth the effort, but Aaron must be bored as he has done so.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 04:25 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

What do you do when you have no new policy?

Labour's sixth pledge of more cataract and joint operations has been reported as something new - remember Labour said they had lots of new policies for the campaign.

However as the NZ Herald points out they not only announced this pledge in May, they have been repeating it every week since then. The only genuinely new policy announced is the daft student loans one which they probably dreamed up in a few hours when they were panicking. It is notable they are still refusing to have that policy costed.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 06:58 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 13, 2005

Reading at 180 km/hr

The NZ Herald was sceptical of the PM's claims that while her car was moving at 180 km/hr she was so busy reading papers that she didn't notice the speed.

So they sent out a journalist to try it for themselves. Read the amusing conclusions here.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:02 AM | Comments (18) | TrackBack

August 10, 2005

The changing story

Dave at Big News has a wonderful post on the changing story of the motorcade. A must read.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 02:47 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

The nose gets bigger

Helen Clark's claim to have been so engrossed talking to Jim Sutton (always an unlikely story) that she failed to notice the speed, the lights or the sirens of her convoy has been shout out of the water by the testimony from Officer Clinton Vallender who has stated under oath that Clark congratulated him for the "heroic drive".

I think it is shameful that these officers have been left out to hang by the PM when it is clear they did not make the decision about making the 4.50 pm flight but the PM and her staff did. The Police advised there was a 5.40 pm flight and it was the PM's press secretary who after consulting the PM said to make the 4.50 pm flight.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 09:49 AM | Comments (21) | TrackBack

August 09, 2005

Clark voted for Marshall

An interesting revelation from Helen Clark that she never voted for David Lange to become Labour Leader, but voted for the far left Russell Marshall (described by Lange as shallow, shabby and endlessly self-seeking).

God knows what would have happened to NZ if Marshall had become Leader as Clark wanted. Either there would have been a fourth Muldoon Term (shudder) or a Marshall led Labour Government which probably would have concluded that the problem was not enough state intervention. I mean after all the Government only decided the prices of every good and service sold, the wage rate for every person and the interest rate for every transaction.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 08:20 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Well done Labour

Labour are doing the right thing is not allowing Steven Ching to be reinstated to their party list. His conduct in numerous areas has been well below what parties should deem acceptable and it would have been an outrage if they tried to sneak him back in.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 08:09 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 07, 2005

Lange on Clark

Fascinating extracts from David Lange's autobiography in the SST and HOS.

Lange says that Helen Clark did not oppose the flat tax proposal - only Michael Cullen did. He explains that Roger Douglas "bought Clark off by promising her supply in her housing portfolio" and "She responded by putting her head down. I do not remember her buying into any fight we ever had in Cabinet. She was by her own account a survivor: as long as her paddock had a good sole of grass the firestorm could consume the rest."

Such a principled person, Lange portrays.

Also an interesting conversation with the man Helen Clark has designated as one of our 20 greatest living New Zealanders:

Lange recalls how when he first arrived in Parliament, Jonathan Hunt told him of the free air travel to which he was entitled, specifically how one could join the Invercargill Public Library and fly down to get out books and return them.

No wonder the taxis fares got so large with that attitude!

Posted by David P. Farrar at 10:09 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

August 03, 2005

Today's Tom Scott cartoon

Oh this is biting. I've copied today's Tom Scott below:

tomscott.jpg

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:54 PM | Comments (39) | TrackBack

August 02, 2005

Labour's bribe biggest in world

The NZ Herald has a look at loan schemes around the world, and finds not a single other country gives away interest free loans to students. Hmmn, do you think there might be a reason for that?

Posted by David P. Farrar at 08:05 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

July 31, 2005

Speeding PM Court Case

Five police officers and a civilian driver appear in court tomorrow in relation to the PM's motorcade reaching 180 km/hr.

To my great disappointment the PM will not be appearing, so we won't get to hear how one can be in a motorcase going at 180 km/hr, with lights flashing and sirens on, yet be unaware you may be over the speed limit.

However Jonathan Milne has penned his version of what would happen, if the PM did appear. I love the segment where he has Helen saying "By definition, I can not speed" :-)

Posted by David P. Farrar at 08:19 AM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

July 30, 2005

Welcome back John

Labour MP John Tamihere has been told not to talk the the main media, but Helen forgot to tell him not to talk to FHM Magazine (a very fine publication).

John helpfully clears up for us that women are not a loving, caring species and that he is sick of being deemed the perpetrator of the world's problems simply because he is male.

He also shares his views that rockets are phallic-shaped so they can pierce the stratosphere and that is why you don't have a rocket shaped like two big boobs, even if women were to design them.

What a happy caucus it must be to have John there.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 12:51 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

July 29, 2005

Labour's bribe could cost $1.1b a year

On the 27th I estimated that Labour's student loan bribe could lead to student debt blowing out by $1.1b a year.

Of course I was attacked as partisan and scare-mongering. Mind you I don't think their hearts were totally in it as some made comments saying hey the economics may be stuffed but at least it is good politics.

Now Westpac Bank has come out and said the proposal is a very bad policy, and by coincidence have also said it could add $1.1 billion a year to debt, and cost that much as expenditure annually. I await the apologies of course :-)

Westpac have said they do not want to enter the political fray but that the policy is so bad, they implore Labour to drop it.

As I have said wanting to spend more money on tertiary education is not a bad thing, but Labour's policy will send debt and costs skyrocketing. As Westpac point out it is not just free money, it is actually giving it away with an effective negative interest rate.

In the history of politics this bribe may go down as equally damaging to Muldoon's 1975 superannuation pledge.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 04:19 PM | Comments (36) | TrackBack

Cullen calls for less spin

On Wednesday Dr Cullen called for more facts and less spin, and also called for an end to parties out-bidding each other in spending promises.

In other news George Bush called for more diplomacy and less wars.

Also Jacques Chirac called for an end to competing languages and called on French speakers to learn English.

On the same day Paris Hilton called for more chastity and less pre-marital sex.

And finally Winston Peters called for more immigration and less intolerance.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:19 AM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

July 28, 2005

Labour's Student Loan Calculator

I have been checking the output of Labour's student loan calculator and my initial findings are that it appears to be seriously incorrect. I understand that the calculator has not been put together by Treasury, IRD or Ministry of Education, but by Labour Party staff. I call on Labour to release the formulas the calculator uses.

Here are examples of where it appears to be wildly wrong:

They claim that someone with a $15,000 loan balance who earns $34,300, and stays earning that much would take 25.5 years to repay their loan and have interest of $11,891. Plug it in and you will see.

If one goes to sorted.org.nz and plug in a $15,000 loan balance and $34,300 income it says it is paid off in 12 years 4 months and interest is $6,805 in today's dollars.

So Labour's calculator is claiming it will take 25 years instead of 12 under current policy. This is not a small error - this is almost electoral fraud. Now sorted.org is a neutral site from the Retirement Commissioner so I trust their calculator more.

We can go to the IRD calculator also which will tell you the repayments on $34,300 income and $15,000 loan will be $1771.20 a year. Now even if one totally ignores the fact that you may get interest writeoff, a simple calculation of 7% interest on $15000 shows inital interest of $1050 in the first year vs repayments of $1,771 shows the loan paid off in 14 years approx, not 25.

Here is another example. Say a $15,000 loan balance and annual salary of $27,000 growing by 2% per annum. Labour's calculator says it will take 40 years to repay and interest of $27,693.

The Retirement Commissioner says 18 years 7 months and interest of $10,417. I plugged in a salary today of $27,000 and income in five years of $29,800 based on 2% growth.

I am happy for someone to point out if my comparisons and calculations are wrong and that Labour's calculator is more correct than the Retirement Commissioner's and IRD's. The best thing would be to get Treasury and IRD to verify Labour's calculator. They should so so immediately.

UPDATE: Bill English and his staff have also been checking out the calculator and have found Labour's calculator out by 30% to 50%. Unless Labour can provide proof that their sums are accurate, their credibility will be zero.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 12:09 PM | Comments (60) | TrackBack

July 27, 2005

Back to the future?

Lynley Hood has a copy of Labour's late 80s anti-national strategy, and sees it being repeated today.

Fran O'Sullivan also has a good piece on Labour's "big lie" strategy.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 09:51 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

July 26, 2005

I love co-operation

Back on the 21st I blogged my version of Labour's pledge card.

Then Whale Oil did graphical versions of the seven pledges on 22 July.

And finally Dave Gee has taken Whale Oil's work and done one big combined pledge card.

The combined one I'm featuring below as it is nice and easy to e-mail around etc.

labour-pledges.jpg

Posted by David P. Farrar at 10:20 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Dom Post on Mallard

The Dominion Post Editorial on Trevor Mallard is fairly damning. It reminds people that he has a history of making allegations he cannot substantiate.

They point out that Mallard's lies over the United States will most definitely damage the relationship with them, and "yet again Labour is unable to distinguish between the national interest and the Labour Party's political interests".

Posted by David P. Farrar at 06:33 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

July 25, 2005

More sewer dwelling

To keep Trevor company down in the sewer (where he has elected to stay, endorsed by Helen) we also have Steve Maharey. Steve (and we wonder how he got his nickname) has been handing out some sort of dossier on Don, full of quotes from his biography.

As Craig Ranapia has said, I find the book extracts refresing in that they reveal how depressed one can get after a marriage breakup. I actually think such candour from politicians is a good thing. Labour have enjoyed telling stories about canned beef for months on end.

Now it is all public domain, but isn't it rather creepy to have the No 3 Labour Minister handout out attack sheets with extracts from the book in it. Paul Henry ripped into Clark about this on Breakfast TV and that is when she came up with her lame response about doctored photos of her.

The comparison would be to have a senior National MP handing out to the gallery extracts from Helen's biographby quoting how she was so upset on her wedding day (as Jim Anderton had forced her into marrying for political reasons) that she was in tears.

I'm just pleased that National is not responding to the gutter tactics and instead almost every day announcing new policies, as part of a comprehensive package.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 09:52 AM | Comments (25) | TrackBack

Distorted Photos

Helen Clark on Breakfast TV has just said that National's billboards are designed to degrade her and are using a distorted photo of her.

I'm somewhat staggered that Helen would want to start a debate on which photos of her have been distorted or doctored. I'm pretty sure it isn't the ones used by National!

Unless Labour now regards not using the official state supplied photo of the PM to be illegal and a distortion? I mean really how precious can you get.

UPDATE: A reader suggests people look at this NZ Herald story and decide for themselves which photos are distorted. And Whale Oil has a montage for people to choose from.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:48 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Mallard stands by his claims

Despite not a shred of evidence, Terevor Mallard is refusing to back down from his claims.

On Saturday I ran into a press gallery journalist at Auckland Airport. His view, which I had already formed, was that if Labour lose the election, political analysts will point to two major events as to why. The first being the budget, and the second being Mallard's wild accusation.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:05 AM | Comments (60) | TrackBack

July 23, 2005

Mallard own-goal

The NZ Herald article speaks for itself:

Trevor Mallard has scored an embarrassing own-goal by attacking an American billionaire who has not only donated money to Labour but has also supported the Government in its bid for a free-trade deal with the United States.

Prime Minister Helen Clark is understood to be furious over Mr Mallard's surprise attack on National's campaign finances.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:13 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

July 22, 2005

Pledge Card in Herald

My version of Labour's pledge card made the NZ Herald. Someone should do a graphic version with photo and signature!

Posted by David P. Farrar at 08:11 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Gutter Crawling

Back on the 16th when the Fairfax poll showed National 5% ahead of Labour I predicted Labour would soon roll out Mallard to say something outrageous. And they have.

I have already blogged about the hypocrisy of Labour inventing claims about foreign funding when they have boasted about receiving $500,000 from someone who has not lived here for decades.

But the real issue here is whether the media are going to be poodles for Labour here? It should be unthinkable that just because Mallard foams at the mouth and says something outrageous that they take it seriously. If anything they should turn on Mallard and demand he front up with evidence. I also find it incredible that none of the media seem to think it is pertinent to mention that $500,000 donation to Labour when reporting on Mallard's muck raking? This NZPA story just repeats Mallard's claims and National's rejections which is what Mallard wanted.

Incidentally I have had occasion through previous employments to have observed some of National's fund-raising. People would be surprised by how much money is raised just by lots of people donating relatively modest amounts. If 50,000 people donate $100 each that is $500,000. I can not and would not ever reveal details of fund-raising, but I will say that I doubt there has ever been a time in the last 15 years when more people were willing to support National financially. Labour is the party that is far more reliant on large donations (unions and corporates) than National, in my opinion.

And as proof of National's home-grown fund-raising, here's a photo of Mark, Corrine and I at a recent black-tie fund-raiser.

BTDinner.JPG

Posted by David P. Farrar at 01:12 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

July 21, 2005

The hypocrisy!

This is just simply unbelievable. Labour has gone around boasting how one foreign-based billionaire has given it $500,000 and a few days ago they were boasting how they walked away with $120,000 in one day.

So the very last thing you would expect is for them to start pointing fingers at where National is getting its funding from. But that doesn't stop Dr Cullen.

The amazing thing is that Cullen just makes things up without a shred of evidence.

Hat Tip: NZ Pundits Craig and Grant.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 10:09 AM | Comments (22) | TrackBack

Quality of Spending

Garth George has written how he supported the tax increase Labour introduced in 1999, but their mismanagement of spending has propelled him into the tax cuts camp. He is not alone out there.

He highlights that Labour is taking $16 billion a year more in taxes than in 1999, yet despite this "standards of education, justice and law and order have continued to decline"

The Dominion Post Editorial takes a similiar line noting that Labour's crackdown on low-quality tertiary courses "is tantamount to a confession that the Government has been pouring taxpayers' dollars down a tertiary toilet for the past five years".

They remind us of $1.7 million for a Maori singalong course, $13 million for a Cool IT course, a surfing course, a dog knowledge course a DJ-ing course, golf studies and of course the $240 million to Te Wananga O Aotearoa.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 06:19 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Labour's new pledge card

I see Labour has announced it will have a seven point pledge card this election. Someone has leaked me an advance copy:

Labour pledges:

1) We will promise to considier, maybe, one day, if we are in a good mood, giving people some of their money back. But only if we like you.

2) We will have a school qualification systems that no-one can understand, so those who fail can not be discriminated against.

3) We will appoint George Hawkins as Ambassador to Niue, to get him out of the Police portfolio

4) We will have a weekly phone in poll to determine what stupid venture each week we waste $10 million on.

5) We will reclassify people on waiting list for operations as waiting for waiting lists and hence not count them.

6) We will retrospectively change the speed limit ti 180 km/hr so there is no need for a court case on 1 August involving the PM.

7) Fill in this one yourself. We will promise you whatever you would like us to, if you'll vote for us. As long as it involves spedning, not giving people their money back.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 05:42 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 16, 2005

Are Labour's Strategists Morons?

I should not give Labour free advice, but I just can not resist. The question has to be asked - is the Labour Party strategy being driven by morons?

No I don't mean the billboards which were so pitiful they are being removed from public view as quickly as possible. I mean their strategy as highlighted by Frog saying "Labour’s greatest asset is Helen Clark, and it believes National’s greatest liability is Don Brash".

The most stupid thing a party can do is set expectations that their leader will crush the other leader. This is Politics 101. It means that a draw becomes a loss, a win a draw, and a bad performance could spell game over.

I could make all sorts of snide remarks about hor remarkable it is that not once but twice a first term MP (Dr Brash) has managed to take National from its worst ever election result and lead Labour in the polls. You know perhaps it is not just luck? But I'm happy for Labour and its allies to portray Helen as the unbeatable professional politician.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:27 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

You know things are bad when ...

Your party starts leaking how much money it allegedly got in a day. Parties never ever talk about how much money they have got in, when it is going well. When they need to convince other businesses and the voters they are not being deserted, they then mention specific figures to the media.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 05:17 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 15, 2005

Labour & Condoms

Oh there are some talented amateur cartoonists out there. Someone has not been able to resist Young Labour's flirtation with condoms as a campaign strategy, and emailed me the cartoon below:

Helencd.JPG

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:40 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Party Condoms

A small article in the NZ Herald on Young Labour using condoms as political slogans.

It isn't a bad idea. I know this, because I had it first in 1999. Young Nationals were going to hand out condoms packets stamped with "Don't let Labour screw the country". The idea got approved at various levels but then fell foul of some morally conservative cabinet ministers so never happened.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 09:00 AM | Comments (32) | TrackBack

July 13, 2005

Vote Labour or the baby gets it ...

Biff Guevara blogs on Labour's billboard, pointing out the message seems to be 'Vote for us or the baby gets it'. and that threatening voters seems to be the strategy, sort of like political terrorism.

Biff suggest other billboards for Labour, such as:

* A sweet little girl in pink (called Lilly New Zealand) about to be blown up by a blue bomb (called tax cuts).

Personally I'm delighted with Labour's billboards. I think they are possibly the worst billboards Labour has ever done, and the people who approved them must be way removed from reality if they think they will help. Hell I'd almost be willing to donate money to Labour as long as they promise to use it to stick more of the baby killing billboards up.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 08:37 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

An A to Z of Labour's fault

Andrew Falloon has posted 26 reasons he does not like Labour.

People should feel free to add on their own ones here as comments. See if we can make 50 or 100?

Posted by David P. Farrar at 08:13 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

PM to be called as witness?

It looks like both Clark and Sutton will be forced to appear in court for the trial of their police drivers and escorts for speeding.

Personally I don't expect many revelations to come from their testimony (through I would like someone to ask the PM whether she is so used to travelling at 180 km/hr she really did not notice the speed) but the key witness may be the PM's Press Secretary who would have had the job of conveying to the Police the desire to get her to the rugby on time.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:58 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Great Herald cartoon

The red tape analogy was too obvious to be ignored, as seen by Guy Body in today's Herald.

ACFXAA.GaWcO.GIF

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:31 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 12, 2005

Childcare Policies

A great press release from Bill English highlighting Labour's spin.

He points out that Judith Tizard visited a childcare centre in Auckland last week and said this was just the sort of centre where children would benefit from Labour’s 20-hours-free childcare policy.

However Bill points out “Unfortunately, the centre is privately owned. It is just the sort of centre Labour wants out of business.", not qualifying under Labour.

The thing I most object to under Labour is their total disdain for the private sector. In almost every sector they go out of their way to kill off the private sector. In health they let people die rather than allow the private sector to compete fairly for public funded operations. In prisons they refuse to renew the management contract of the best prison in NZ, just because it was privately managed. In education they let the public institutions get away with major rorts while freezing private sector funding.

And now even in pre-school they continue their discriminatory policies, where kids get punished based on who owns their childcare provider.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 02:49 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

July 11, 2005

Labour FUD

Someone sent me a parody last week of Labour's billboards suggesting a slogan of "Vote Labour or the kid gets it".

Someone at Labour obviously thought that NZers would react well to such threats, and to my great amusement their new billboards show a pair of blue National scissors threatening to cut the strands and hence kill the baby.

Can I suggest Labour produce as many of these billboards as possible. I suspect most NZers will get pissed off with the implicit message.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 02:36 PM | Comments (66) | TrackBack

Clark on Security

Is the Helen Clark who writes in the Herald about the need for vigilance and preparation, the same Helen Clark who claimed we live in a benign strategic environment?

Is is also the same Helen Clark who abolished the combat arm of the Air Force?

Posted by David P. Farrar at 02:12 PM | Comments (26) | TrackBack

Biting Satire

Someone has done a satirical Ashraf Choudary blog after his comments that the Koran is correct in saying gays be stoned to death.

I did have to laugh at the poll on the preferred method of execution for homosexuals, giving a choice of:

* Stoning
* Hanging
* Electric chair
* Lethal injection
* Hospital waiting lists
* Tax increases
* Bunda (beats me what that is)

Just hope Archbishop Tamaki is not reading blogs, as it may give him some ideas!

Posted by David P. Farrar at 12:39 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

July 07, 2005

G-Man has a billboard

G-Man has a billboard which he says speaks for itself!

Posted by David P. Farrar at 06:22 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 05, 2005

Let the fun begin ...

I knew it would only be a matter of time until an aspiring artist had some fun with Labour's baby billboard. The first three works are below:

No Three is my favourite!

labour1.JPG

labour2.JPG

labour3.JPG

Posted by David P. Farrar at 03:00 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Labour MP backs stoning gays

[Welcome to readers of Little Green Footballs - enjoy a look around]

Labour, and Muslim, MP Ashraf Choudary replied in response to ""Are you saying the Koran is wrong to recommend that gays in certain circumstances be stoned to death?"

"No, no. Certainly what the Koran says is correct."

He went on to say that it is only acceptable in *some* societies, but not New Zealand.

I look forward to Rainbow Labour stating an opinion on whether they agree it is okay to stone gays to death, as long as it isn't in New Zealand.

Oh by the way adulterers are also okay for stoning overseas, so I'd better behave on my next overseas trip, or purchase some good body armour!

UPDATE: Craig at NZ Pundit points out that the only way voters can prevent Ashraf Choudhary's views from being in Parliament, is to not give their party vote to Labour as he is a List MP.

UPDATE II: Helen Clark has clarified that it is not the policy of the Labour Party to support capital punishment, floggingor stoning. Geez, thanks for that - I thought it was now official policy. She almost ignores the issue of having an MP who says such things are correct if done overseas, merely saying she will clarify his comments. Could you imagine what all the PC brigade would say if a fundamentalist christian right wing MP has said that stoning gays to death is acceptable? They would be forced out of Parliament probably. Usual double standards.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 09:35 AM | Comments (56) | TrackBack

July 04, 2005

The arrogance of power

Today's Dominion Post Editorial is titled "The arrogance of power". The final paragraph is worth highlighting:

Just as Finance Minister Michael Cullen believed that New Zealanders truly love paying copious amounts of tax so the state can scratch every community itch, Mr Sutton seems to have been persuaded that widening access to waterways is a wonderful idea. One word describes both misconceptions: arrogance.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 07:15 AM | Comments (37) | TrackBack

Maori Seats

The Parliamentary Maori seats have been with us for around 150 years, despite the intention they only be for five to ten years. Having now had them for this long, I can see why some people don't want them to be removed.

Far less defensible though is Labour's appaling law change to allow local bodies to set up special Maori-only wards. Dividing even more electors up on the basis of race is appalling. It will also become more and more farcical as more and more NZers will have some Maori ancestry.

I read today that the Rotorua District Council is considering having dedicated Maori seats even though one-third of the current Council are Maori.

Labour's legislation moves NZ to a Fiji style country where racial quotas are enshrined. It is not the future I want for NZ.

Posted by David P. Farrar at 06:25 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack