Silly or weak

July 11, 2014

One of the challenges for the leader of the opposition is to look like a Prime Minister in waiting.

It’s one which David Cunliffe has yet to master, and his silly apology for being a man was another example of that.

 Trans-Tasman points out:

. . . The Labour Party election year congress dominated the first part of the week, with Cunliffe’s rather strange apology for having both an X and a Y chromosome. It was all very well for Labour’s apologists to splutter – as they did – about the apology being taken out of context. The only context which matters is Cunliffe wants to be PM of this country, and is campaigning ferociously to get the job.

In this context, the apology made him look either silly or weak. People don’t, by and large, go for leaders who look silly or weak. And, looking back, the thought of, say, Norman Kirk, Peter Fraser or Michael Savage apologising for being a man boggles the mind a bit. . .

Labour was once the party of the working man – and woman.

It’s strayed a long way from those roots.

That’s reflected in its loss of support in successive polls – and it’s showing up in other places too:

Hat tip for tweet: Keeping Stock

As for the issue which has been lost in the slipstream of the stupid apology, Peter Dunne writes:

. . . Meanwhile, the scourge of domestic violence continues across all communities, sadly without discrimination, right across the country. Let there be no doubt about the severity and complete unacceptability of any violence against women and children in our society. That has to stop – now – and, as the major perpetrators of that violence, men have to face up to their responsibilities in addressing it. Bold action, across the board, is required right now – not simpering, gesturing apologies for a biological fact that cannot be easily altered.

We need to take the wraps off domestic violence and expose its prevalence wherever we can. Police revelations there are around 200 reported cases every day of the year are part of that. Our aim has to be to make any tolerance of domestic violence as unacceptable as drink-driving and smoking have been made in earlier times, so that underlying social attitudes are changed. . . .

 The last thing we need is the absolute trivialising of a serious social problem by fake and insincere apologies, designed more for a headline, than to do any meaningful good. The women and children of New Zealand who live in constant fear and suffering because of domestic violence deserve a far better response than that.

And I make no apology for saying so. . .

Dunne has no need to apologise for taking a serious issue seriously.


Free computers? Yeah Nah

July 6, 2014

You’d think a party with so many teacher-union friends would know what’s happening in today’s schools, but no, Labour’s playing catch-up on 21st century schools:

Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye says Labour has clearly not done its homework in the education area and is promoting “new ideas” that have already been put in place by National.

“Most of what Labour has announced today is already being delivered by the Government through its 21st century schools programme. We have a massive build plan underway to modernise school facilities, upgrade school broadband networks and partner with communities to provide digital hubs through those networks. Our Ultrafast broadband and rural broadband initiatives are delivering fibre broadband with uncapped data to nearly every school in New Zealand.

“Labour’s announcements today prove they have no idea what is already going on.”

Labour want to put money into professional learning development for ICT over the next few years. National has already invested $35 million in Professional Learning and Development, specifically targeted at learning with digital technologies.

Labour want to build an unspecified number of new schools and classrooms by 2030. Under the National government, hundreds of millions of dollars has been spent building new classrooms and upgrading older schools with the help of the Future Investment Fund, which Labour opposes. National has opened 12 new schools in the past three years in areas of growth.

And Labour wants to enable students to access the internet at home. Last year, National announced a change in policy to enable schools to extend their school internet to the surrounding area so students and families can access the internet from home.

Ms Kaye said the device subsidy programme also did not appear to have been thought through.

“There is an amazing lack of detail. Are they really going to make the subsidy available to every one of the 580,000 children in years 4 to 13? How do they plan to deal with rapid changes in technology? Is the plan limited to one device throughout the period of the student’s time in school? If not, how many devices? How are they planning to deal with the interest costs? All these questions must be answered.

“Labour has simply not done their homework. It really does make you wonder what they have been doing over the past six years.

“Our Future Focussed Learning report, sets out the direction the National government is going.

“Labour really needs to research what’s happening and catch up,” Ms Kaye says.

This ignorance of 21st century education schools isn’t surprising when Labour spends more time looking backwards than forwards and appears to be stuck in the 20th century, fighting old battles.

But that isn’t the only problem with the policy announcement, it’s yet another yeah nah one.

It sounds like every child would be given a computer but that’s not the story in the fine-print:

. . . For those schools that opt in, the policy would require parents to pay about $3.50 a week to pay off the cost of the device, estimated at about $600 each – and the Government would put in a $100 kickstart payments. The device would belong to the child after it was paid off.

For the poorest families which could not afford the payments there would be a $5 million hardship fund to call on. Teachers would also be given training in how to get most use out of the devices through a $25 million programme in 2016 and 2017. . .

The party that thinks parents can’t afford a $100 donation a year now want them to pay six times more than that.

The policy is based on the Manaiakalani Trust programme in Tamaki, which works with 12 lower decile schools to provide students with a netbook and 24/7 access to the internet.

Keeping Stock points out that is essentially a public-private partnership.

But Labour would rather spend taxpayers’ money on an initiative when there’s already a very good model supported by sponsors and trusts they could use.

Is it any wonder even they don’t expect to be in government for another 27 years.

 

Maybe they'll have their shit together by then. #Labour2041


Right on top of blog rankings

July 1, 2014

Open Parachute’s monthly blog rankings show the right on top:

Visit Rank Blog Visits/month Page Views/month
1 Whale oil beef hooked 1758095 2957997
2 Kiwiblog 445721 771086
3 The Daily Blog 218234 345266
4 The Standard 201495 443470
5 Auckland Transport Blog 155853 160244
6 Throng New Zealand 53729 94004
7 The Dim-Post 53509 75134
8 Sciblogs 39662 50631
9 Liturgy 36160 50478
10 Keeping Stock 33807 53244
11 No Right Turn 26757 35029
12 Homepaddock 26471 36951
13 NewZeal 21726 35094
14 No Minister 20898 27292
15 Music of sound 14879 18833
16 Imperator Fish 13552 17547
17 13th Floor 12544 17630
18 Save our schools NZ 12355 14307
19 Keith Johnson Wellington NZ 12120 12574
20 Offsetting Behaviour 11835 16377

 

The combined total of the top left-wing blogs, which are at third and fourth, is still less than Kiwiblog which is second and miles from Whale Oil in first place.

Dim Post from the left is seventh and Keeping Stock from the right is 10th. I’m at 12, No Minister, which is more right than not is at 14th and Imperator Fish which is left is 16th.

I ditched Sitemeter because I kept getting a window asking me to sign in to it and now rely on StatCounter to record visits:

stats6.14

 

 


What would they do differently?

March 13, 2014

Labour is threatening to tinker with the Reserve Bank Act to keep interest rates down.

They are conveniently forgetting that interest rates have been at an historic low for three years and interest rates were far higher when they were last in government.

The OCR increased by 5.00 in November 1999, went up and got to 6.50 in May 2000, stayed there until March 2001, went down to 6.25 and continued to drop until it got to 4.75 in November that year.

It was all up from there reaching 5.75 in August 2002 before going down again and getting to 5 in July 2003.

The reserve Bank increased it to 5.25 in January 2004 and it climbed from there, reaching 8.25 in July 2007 and staying there until it went down to 8 and was at 6.5 by October 2008.

National won the election in November and the OCR went down from then, getting to 2.5 in April 2009, increasing to 2.75 in June 2009 and 3 in July. It stayed there until March 2011 when it went down to 2.50 where it’s stayed until today.

OCR 2007-2009

Several factors have influenced the low rate, including the global financial crisis.

The government had no influence over that but it has had influence over its own spending which is another big influence on the OCR because of its impact on inflation.

National has been very prudent with its spending and intends to continue that as the economy grows.

Labour and its potential coalition partners appear to have no familiarity of the concept of fiscal prudence and should they get into government, their high-tax, high-spending policies would fuel inflation and drive up interest rates.

Labour couldn’t keep interest rates down last time it was in government.

What would it do differently if it was in power again?

It’s not going to rein in its own spending and tinkering with the Reserve Bank Act would do more harm than good.

It would lead to higher inflation which would do far more harm than the small increase in interest rates we got this morning.

Hat tip for chart: Keeping Stock.


Three smogs and you’re . . .

March 11, 2014

First there was a tweet from Labour leader David Cunliffe complaining about rising power prices which clearly show they rose far more steeply when his party was in government:

:power prices

Hat tip: Keeping Stock

Then there was the tertiary education spokesman who didn’t check his spelling:

spelling

And yesterday there was this:
Photo: Making false election promises already...

Three SMOGS – social media own goals – and you’re not looking like a government in waiting.

As someone with an unfortunate propensity for typos, I know how easy it is to make mistakes.

But a political party ought to ensure other eyes to check their tweets and Facebook posts before they hit publish to save themselves from SMOGs.


She got there on merit

January 10, 2014

The majority of people surveyed by Herald-DigiPoll  are opposed to Labour’s policy to have a female quote for its caucus.

The survey asked respondents whether they believed Labour’s target of achieving 50 per cent by 2017 was a good idea, or too restrictive.

Overall, 54 per cent said it was too restrictive, while just 38 per cent believed it was a good idea. Among the women respondents, 52 per cent said it was too restrictive while 42 per cent believed it was a good idea.

About 57 per cent of men did not like it, compared with 33 per cent who said it was a good idea.

Graeme Edgler tweeted that’s more people supporting the policy than the party.

A spokeswoman for Labour leader David Cunliffe said it was a matter for the party. Party president Moira Coatsworth and secretary Tim Barnett were overseas and could not be contacted.

Ms Coatsworth has previously said the target of 45 per cent of women in 2014, and 50 per cent in 2017 would be achieved by structuring the party list so the goal was reached if there were enough women candidates in safe seats. . .

Electoral law requires parties use democratic processes to rank their lists, does rigging it to get a gender quota count as democratic?

. . . Former Labour candidate and party member Josie Pagani said she was not surprised at the poll result because it was not an issue that affected most people’s lives. She believed the targets had drawn attention from other, more universal gender equity issues such as equal pay which Labour had strong policies on.

“The Labour Party doesn’t have a problem particularly with female representation in its caucus. It just put the focus on something that people aren’t sure is a problem at all.”

It’s worse than this.

Keeping Stock used the story as an opportunity for a Tui billboard competition.

This policy has gifted opponents a damaging one: She got there on merit. Yeah right!

Whether or not Labour’s female candidates were selected on merit, the policy raises the question – are they there because of their ability and what they can offer as MPs or just because they’re women?

Plenty of men have got into parliament without being the best candidate, but none have had their position undermined by the suggestion they are just there to make up the numbers.

 

 

 


2013 in review

January 1, 2014

The clever WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 370,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 16 days for that many people to see it. . . 

The top referring sites were:

  1. nominister.blogspot.co.nz
  2. keepingstock.blogspot.co.nz
  3. kiwiblog.co.nz
  4. nzconservative.blogspot.co.nz
  5. twitter.com

The most prolific commenters were:

  • 1 TraceyS 1383 comments
  • 2 robertguyton 811 comments
  • 3 Andrei 722 comments
  • 4 Viv 629 comments
  • 5 Armchair Critic 448 comments

Thank you to the people who write the blogs which refer readers here, the people who visit and the people who comment.

Click here to see the complete report.


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