No Minister

Posts Tagged ‘NZ Labour Party

SHUTTING OUR EYES TO APPEASE CHINA

So more evidence that the Ardern government kowtows to China with the revelation that we have refused to join a whole range of countries including the United States, Australia, the UK, Canada, South Korea, Japan (and eight others) along with the EU in speaking out against the much criticised World Health Organisation report into the origins of Covid-19 in China. A report that saw Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General acknowledging that China had withheld data from the investigating team. Tedros said in a press conference “In my discussions with the team they expressed the difficulties they encountered in accessing raw data” … a press conference which was seemingly censored in the Chinese media.

Back here our foreign minister, one of the two main apologists for China in the Ardern cabinet, said our officials were still studying the report. A cynic might opine our response (lack of) is conditioned by the new trade deal we have just signed with China. Clearly pragmatism ‘trumps’ (bad word) principle in Labour’s lexicon.

New Zealand … the way you’ve got it.

Written by The Veteran

April 4, 2021 at 3:34 pm

SPENDING WISELY … OR NOT

The gummit; our gummit; your gummit (call it wot you will) can be relied upon to spend taxpayers (your) money wisely and to good effect … cough, choke.

And so why am I not suprised to see that Creative New Zealand who answers to the Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage (one Jacinda Ardern) has awarded a $26,000 Covid-19 Response Grant towards the writing of a novel about the collapse of democracy in an association of alpaca breeders.

Oh well, what’s one hip operation between friends? Sigh.

Written by The Veteran

September 26, 2020 at 2:30 pm

The Moment I Found Out

I published this piece on September 12, 2019 but it’s just too perfect not to post it again today in light of this incredible bullshit from the Labour-led government:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is quite rightly “incredibly angry” at her officials for pushing out incorrect Covid-19 testing information.

My original post was simply a full re-production and link to a brutal piece from the satirical website, The Civilian, that likely will never make the MSM but which deserves much wider coverage, so re-produced in full here.

The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly

By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

==================================================================

I am every bit as angry as you are.

I am every bit as disappointed as you must be.

The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I am running out of patience with them, and the way they continually let us down, while helpless people like you and me stand by and can only watch failure after failure.

I can assure you, earnestly, that the moment I found out about the fact that you had found out about the facts, I acted immediately to see what the situation was.

I would never sit on my hands if it ever became apparent to me that something had become apparent to you, and that’s my promise.

I was immensely disappointed to learn that our party president, Nigel Haworth, had conducted himself this way. Again.

If I had foreseen that he could do something like this (again), then I would never have let him get away with it in the first place again.

Some of you are still not satisfied with the extent of my involvement in this, and that’s okay (legally).

But it was only on Monday that I learned that you had learned that Paula Bennett had learned that others had learned, and the moment I heard that others had heard, and that Grant had heard, and that Mike had heard and Rob had heard, then I acted swiftly to wait for Nigel to resign.

I was fixing myself a coffee on Monday night and Clarke said to me “What’s all this about? Didn’t you know about this five weeks ago?”
And I said “I didn’t know the extent of it! I thought it was just bullying!”

I never promised that our party would be free of bullying. Government is about compromise, and we are in a coalition with New Zealand First.

I know that many of you are sceptical of us now, in large part because this has happened not once, but twice. But if you can find it in yourself to put your trust in me once again, then I promise you there will not be a fourth time.

I’m calling it! It’s the Gumbies

Back in June I put up two YouTube pieces as alternative ways to describe this current government: Monty Python’s Gumbies – or Kittens.

To be fair, both could have described either Labour or National at that point, but recent news has been all about the Labour-led government rather than the National Party shambles.

And now this: Health Minister Chris Hipkins admits he hasn’t read Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 testing strategy.

To be fair I’m not surprised given that he has to sleep, before enduring his day of being the Minister of Education, Minister of Health, Minister of State Services and Leader of the House.

But I’m calling it.

It’s the Gumbies. The Kittens were cute. But what you’ll hear in this clip is probably what Cabinet meetings are like, and we need laughter right now. It’s the best medicine.

Written by Tom Hunter

August 21, 2020 at 9:39 am

SETTING A STANDARD … PERHAPS

I see that Labour has fired one Kurt Toagaga from their List because of inappropriate comments he made on Twitter.

One has to wonder if they will apply the same standard to Speaker Mallard should he be found guilty in he defamation case being taken against against him … a case that has already cost you and me (taxpayers) $80,000 and climbing.

Just askin.

Written by The Veteran

July 5, 2020 at 5:40 am

OH WHAT A TANGLED WEB WE WEAVE ….

Unraveling as we speak.    Labour is gaffed by NZ First over cameras on commercial fishing boats; the Minister of Fisheries contradicts himself; Shane Jones is caught out telling porkies; Winston Peters throws Jones under a bus and why … read on.

Kiwiblog sets it out in exquisite detail here.  Short story.   Yesterday Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash claimed that ‘New Zealand First has not been the cause of delays on cameras’ (on fishing boats).   But back in 2018 Nash was singing from a different song-sheet.   Newshub obtained a secret recording on which Nash can be heard saying ‘ I’ve got to play the political game in a way that allows me to make these changes. Now, Winston Peters and Shane Jones have made it very clear they do not want cameras on boats’.

Enter the Jones boy claiming NZ First hasn’t delayed anything and blaming the pandemic ‘I’m not the Fisheries Minister, but I suspect that COVID has got a lot to do with it’ only to be thrown under a bus by his leader who, in an interview with Newshub acknowledged that NZ First was involved in the delay.   Peters said this ‘Do we listen to industry representation, yes. Are we concerned about families and their economic representation? Yes. Are we the cause of that delay? Well, we are part of the representation that has ended up with a more rational and sane policy, yes’. Asked whether that was a yes to the original question (was NZ First responsible for the delay) Peters responded ‘yes’.

Why … it’s always helpful to follow the money trail.    Talleys (fishing company) donated $26,950 to the dodgy NZ First Foundation and another $10,000 to Shane Jones to fund his 2017 campaign to take the Whangarei seat (where he ended up a very poor third).   Good ‘investment’ by Talleys.    They got the delay worth x hundreds of thousands to them.   Rhetorical question … guess who might be funding Jones’ 2020 campaign. 

Lesson for Labour.   When you cavort with a flea ridden dog you can’t claim foul when one of those fleas bites you.    Seems the message is getting through.   Ardern is avoiding Peters like the plague (good metaphor).    Oh dear, how sad, move on.

Written by The Veteran

July 1, 2020 at 4:00 am

Gumbies or Kittens? You Choose!

My PhotoReaders of this blog will likely know or suspect that I’m not particularly excited at the prospect of a National-led government after this year’s election.

However, there’s no denying that the current Labour-led government has got all sorts of big problems to deal with, almost all of their own creation, and with almost a zero track record on implementing their ideas – for which I am grateful. The last thing we need is a competent Socialist government like that of Peter Fraser’s.

This has been the government of “NO” – which works well with banning things and telling everybody to stay home for a few weeks under pain of arrest and prosecution.

Saying “YES” to things is a different matter. Building or creating stuff that will last – stuff more substantial than yet another government Department or Ministry – is much tougher to do, especially when government is already such a big part of our society.

As such I figured that it would be better to have a comedic analysis of our situation, and of the following two comedy items, I can’t decide which is the better take on our current government and politics.

So readers are invited to listen and watch, and then make a choice. Please try not to let the cuteness of the second item influence your choice.

First up is an audio-only version of Monty Python’s effort to perform Chekhov’s famous play, The Cherry Orchard, using the Gumby Players. I’m reminded of this every time I read something about the latest adventures of Cabinet Ministers Twyford and Clark.

The second is video of kittens having fun with a $2 thrift-shop purchase of a WrestleMania toy. Bonus points for choosing which parties they represent: my choice is that the two light-coloured ones are Labour and National, while the red-headed step-child is the Green Party.

**NOTE: You have to click the link “watch this video on YouTube” as the owner has disabled it playing on other sites.

 

Written by Tom Hunter

June 26, 2020 at 12:00 am

History never repeats?

Oh yes it bloody well does, and with more than rhyming Mr Twain.

In The Vet’s post the other day, What Has Louisa Wall Done To Offend?, he made the point that her being challenged for her seat from within the Labour Party was a mystery given that she ticks so many boxes for them: Maori, Female, Lesbian, smart, high achiever in sport, academia and now politics…

Amidst much discussion some points were made about Chris Trotter’s constant raging against the Identity Politics Warriors like Wall messing up his beloved Class Warfare purity that he thinks Labour should return to. I was reminded of a piece of satire that Danyl McLauchlan wrote a few years ago on his old blog, The DimPost. Once he started writing serious stuff for places like The Spinoff he made his blog private, but thanks to The Wayback Machine, a commentator’s suggestion, and more searching than I usually care to do, I found it: Chris Trotter on Party Central (2010):

So “Party Central” is no longer central to the party that is central to the party at the centre of our party politics. 

Am I the only Kiwi who experiences tightness in my jaw and a numb feeling in my left-arm when I contemplate the disarray that has befallen Auckland governance?

we have all supped from the golden poison chalice of satanic robot run regional and local government only to find ourselves regaining conciousness yet again in our neighbour’s toolshed with our clothes drenched in urine.
 

Danyl really should try satire again, although it may be that he can find no one to pay for it. But it was the next section that I remembered the best:

It was the radical right-wing feminist government of William Massey that spread open the labile pink floodgates of change and swept away the egalitarian order in a wave of capitalist frenzy, separatist Maori entitlement and so-called-women who threaten to press charges because that is what their liberal puppetmasters at our elitist universities have brainwashed them to do. 

Like most real New Zealanders I yearn for the days when our great little country was ruled by stocky, moustached trade-unionists but I fear that those days are gone forever, swept away by a great wave that swept everything away like a wave.

During my history search I found a 2014 article by Trotter advocating pretty much the treatment that Wall is getting, Labour’s Caucus Still In Charge, where he admiringly quotes Matt McCarten from 1988:

“So we should call a special conference of the party and expel them … The Labour Party made a mistake selecting these people so sack them. Throw them out and let them stand against us. They’ll lose and the Labour Party can rebuild itself.”

To be fair, Chris appears to now be in total thrall to “the labile pink floodgates of change“. Funny how  winning elections and obtaining a measure of power can do that.

Speaking of which, during my search I also found an old comment of mine from Kiwiblog in 2011, in a thread which dealt with us losing people to a more successful Australia and DPF’s lament that we need to boost productivity and lift wages.

Shorter message: Vote for us because we suck less than the other guys.

Actually that’s the entire National message as NZ slowly reverses into the 21st century. And it’s an effective one as they undoubtedly know; the smug, cynical response being who else are you going to vote for? 

And they’re correct.

As far as the media coverage is concerned I say to all lefties, welcome to our world circa 2000-2005. The shallow, pathetic coverage of stories combined with gushing over various aspects of [PM Key] is really very little different than in Clark’s time. Sure, there are the blogs but they aren’t there yet in supporting a narrative the way the old MSM still can. 

But don’t worry. National and Key will tire sooner or later, Labour will find some “new” material as candidates and even a fresh leader, the pendulum will swing and you will find yourselves benefiting from exactly the same uselessness of media coverage. 

Yeah. History repeats all right.
 

Written by Tom Hunter

May 26, 2020 at 12:00 pm

NZ Labour’s Colonel Cargill

I was amused to see this news yesterday from Stuff via Kiwiblog, Light rail follows Kiwibuild into oblivion:

The Government’s flagship infrastructure project has been put “on hold” while it fights the Covid-19 pandemic, but there are some doubts it will ever get going again.

Transport Minister Phil Twyford said decisions on Auckland’s light rail project “are on hold while the Government’s full focus is on fighting Covid-19”.

During the election campaign, Labour had promised to have the first stage of the Auckland light rail scheme built by 2021.

But after a long and protracted process, the Government has yet to decide who will build the scheme, let alone begin construction.

As David Farrar points out:

It’s worse than that. They haven’t even decided a route. We’re well over halfway to their promise of having built 13 kms by December 2021…

Auckland Light Rail and Kiwibuild eh? And the common factor is Phil Twyford. It immediately reminded me of the character of Colonel Cargill from the novel Catch 22, who was very successful in business before being drafted into the USAAF:

Before the war, he had been an alert, hard-hitting, aggressive marketing executive. 

He was a very bad marketing executive. Colonel Cargill was so bad a marketing executive that his services were much sought after by firms eager to establish losses for tax purposes.

Throughout the civilized world, from Battery Park to Fulton Street, he was known as a dependable man for a fast tax write-off. His prices were high, for failure often did not come easily. He had to start at the top and work himself down, and with sympathetic friends in Washington, losing money was no simple matter.

It took months of hard work and careful misplanning. A person misplaced, disorganized, miscalculated, overlooked everything and opened every loophole, and just when he thought he had it made, the government gave him a lake or a forest or an oilfield and spoiled everything.

Even with such handicaps, Colonel Cargill could be relied on to run the most prosperous enterprise into the ground. He was a self-made man who owed his lack of success to nobody.

Perhaps Twyford has a future in the private sector after all.

Written by Tom Hunter

May 15, 2020 at 12:25 pm

A billion here, a billion there…

All I have to say about the NZ budget released yesterday is expressed by this famous quote from Everett Dirksen, who was the Republican Senator for Illinois from 1951 to 1969.

Supposedly this was invented by a reporter from partial quotes by Dirksen, but he liked it so much that he never bothered correcting it.

 
And on this note, here are two stories out of Auckland.
 
First up is the Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance story on their inaugural Auckland Town Hall Rich List. You can click on the link to see the names and faces of all the executives earning more than $250,000 per annum. There are 86 staff at the Council and CCOs earning more than a Minister of the Crown:
 
  • Six earning $500,000 or more
  • Three earning $400,000 to $500,000
  • 39 earning $300,000 to $400,000
  • 38 earning $250,000 to $300,000
And of course this does not take account of the many more who are earning less than $250k per annum but more than $100k. I doubt these people have been or will be affected negatively in any way by the catastrophe of the last two months.
 

…the City Rail Link (CRL) – which will give ten thousand commuters to the city’s central business district a somewhat faster journey to work.

Those faster journeys were estimated to be worth (on a present value basis) about $2 billion, and the construction cost was originally estimated (guessed, really) to be about $2 billion. Then, last April, with $700 million spent and not a lot to show for it, the cost envelope was revised to $4.4 billion, with no guaranteed finish date.

Just another rail project actually. They’re almost all like that. But the fallacy of sunk costs will now become the main driver, with ever more fantastical benefits calculated into a future of 20 or 40 years from now, based on population growth rates for the city that will be based on immigration flows that were not even politically and socially sustainable before the Wuhan Flu. Comparisons will be made with the great city train systems of the past in New York and London, not recognising that they were built because they made economic sense then. Even in New York before the pandemic, city officials were wondering where they were going to get the money to upgrade the whole system, since it’s not paying for itself.

The costs of the rail tunnel are supposed to be shared 50:50 between Auckland ratepayers and NZ taxpayers. I have calculated that a person in my financial situation – for example, me – will have to cough up much more than $10,000 in rates and taxes to meet my share of the bill. I can think of heaps of better uses for my money.

Look for much more like this to come. And also look for Auckland to ask the government to write off a substantial portion of this debt in future years. It’ll be unfair to the rest of the nation but Auckland is where the Parliamentary numbers are. And hey – we’re a team of five million, right?
 

Written by Tom Hunter

May 14, 2020 at 11:00 pm