Taking lots to give back less

August 11, 2014

Labour’s promise of “free” doctors’ visits for superannuitants will cost us all and most who receive them will pay more than they save.

Labour plans to raise the age of eligibility to 67.

The idea that someone doesn’t have enough to go to the doctor, which for most people isn’t very often, but at the same time doesn’t need superannuation for two years defies logic.

Retirees will also be hit by the Labour/Green Capital Gains Tax when they sell businesses and assets they’ve spent years working hard to build up.

Many older people are on fixed incomes which will be hardest hit by inflation which would increase under the out of control spending Labour and the rag-tag radicals it will need to prop it up plan to indulge in.

Like a lot of Labour’s promises the “free” doctors visits would be funded by taking a lot to give back less, and it is poorly targeted.

Dim Post points out that those 65 and older are the age group which suffers the least material hardship.

Labour’s policy is a generous subsidy to the least needy group in the country. It’s also a very large group of people with high health-care needs and giving them ‘free’ access to healthcare is going to cause a huge increase in demand for primary health services. What’s Labour’s plan to increase the supply of GPs?

So why this policy? Because of this chart recently released by the Electoral Commission showing voter enrolment by age, which speaks for itself: . .

The elderly are a big voting block. Labour has recognised this and, just like last week’s xenophobic policy on foreign investment, it’s trying to out-Winston Winston in the hope of winning some voters back from New Zealand First.

However, the group they are trying to bribe are also those most likely to be appalled at the thought of Kim Dotcom’s Internet Mana puppets in parliament, let a lone in government.

They are also likely to spare a thought for the future if a conversation last week is anything to go by.

A woman called by a National Party volunteer said she’d voted Labour in the past but would be backing National this year because the country still needed to be careful about its spending for the sake of her grandchildren.

National steered us through the recession, taking the edges of the worst effects by borrowing to help the most vulnerable.

Although the worst is behind us, we still need careful financial management to reduce debt and continue economic growth.

The left’s desperate tax and spend policies will sabotage that.


Rabble of competing parties

July 14, 2014

Tracy Watkins writes on the problem the Internet Mana Party, and Laila Harre, pose for the Greens:

. . . The threat posed to the Greens by IMP is three-fold. There is likely to be a crossover in their appeal to the same voters, though maybe not to a huge extent. A lot depends on whether voters fix on Dotcom, or Harre, as the face of the Internet Party. Unless Harre succeeds at radically remaking herself, they would seem to speak to vastly different constituencies.

IMP’s resources will create a lot of noise, however, and the Greens’ static polling suggests it is suffering from a lack of oxygen due to the focus on the minor parties – not just IMP, but the Conservatives. At this stage in the electoral cycle the Greens would normally expect to be climbing in support. Signs of a more aggressive approach toward the media this week suggest a sense of urgency about pushing back.

But the biggest threat posed to the Greens by IMP is that which it also poses to Labour. Its presence turns the Left-wing bloc into a rabble of competing parties and interest groups.

The Greens have been hugely focused in recent years on making themselves less scary to the average voter and presenting the Greens as a credible, known and stable partner in any future Labour-Green government (though Labour hasn’t always appreciated their overtures).

That message is undermined the weaker Labour gets, and the more reliant it looks to be on IMP to get there.

But Labour is sufficiently weakened that it can’t decisively rule IMP out. And given her history, Harre won’t make it easy for Labour or the Greens to do so – either before or after the election if she is in a position to force her way into a seat around the table.

Dim Post sheds some light on the  toxicity of the Green Internet Party relationship:

In the hypothetical Labour/Green/New Zealand First/Mana/Internet Party coalition that voters are being asked to put in charge of the country this election year, its hard to figure out which inter-party relationship is the most poisonous, or who would like to destroy whom the most. But now that Laila Harre’s gone and started pre-releasing Green Party policy on the same day as the Greens and justified it on the basis that she worked for the Green Party for fifteen months, and therefore owns all their intellectual property, somehow, I’m gonna nominate the Green/Internet Mana relationship as, from here on in, probably the most toxic. . .

The weaker Labour is the more power any of the wee parties it would have to rely on for a majority become.

Many of those in the centre are already put off by the prospect of the Green Party in government.

Add the Internet Mana party pulling even further left and bad blood between Harre and the Greens and the rabble of competing parties looks even less like a government in waiting and more and more like a recipe for radical left policies, infighting and instability.


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

 

 


1 + 1 – disaffected = ?

March 25, 2014

Dim Post does the maths on a possible Mana and Internet Party alliance:

. . . I guess both parties are going into this with the fantasy that 1% of the vote plus 1% of the vote will give them 2%, thus an extra MP. But if the merger costs each party more than 50% of their potential voters because the complementary party is anathema to them then they’ll go backwards.

What Dotcom, who is bankrolling the Internet Party, and Mana have in common is an extreme dislike of John Key and National. But the enemy of you enemy isn’t always your friend, nor one your other friends will stomach.

If you’re an adviser to Kim Dotcom or Harawira then a merger must look awful attractive, because it’ll make your life a whole lot easier. But voters don’t vote for parties on their track-record of making life easier for their MPs and staffers.

Most voters also dislike naked opportunism and tend not to like extremists. This Facebook Post from Jevan Goulter introduces several of those from the radical left:

Guys, MANA DOTCOM!
Ok so we would be helping a rich fella with a bunch of money, but it would obviously help MANA to! I’m not saying I think it’s a good idea either, and it’s only my opinion, I speak on behalf of myself, just wanna be clear! The parties would not merge, we would share a list, and guaranteed MANA would have the top spots to start! If we did it, the difference could be 2 or 3 MANA MPs, and we remain our own party! It’s not all doom and gloom ! Could be the difference of having say John Minto and Te Hamua Shane Nikora in the House! Didn’t mention Annette Sykes cause she will already be there. . .

The though of those radicals in parliament is enough to drive centre voters to the safe haven of National.

There is a chance that an alliance of the Internet and Mana parties could get more of their MPs into parliament than either could achieve alone.

But the risk of butchering their own support and frightening enough swinging voters to the centre right is greater.

One plus one, minus the disaffected from the individual parties could deliver less support for both and more for the party which can be depended on for stability.


Another bad week for Labour

February 20, 2014

Labour’s had another bad week.

David Cunliffe lurched into loony territory with suspicions that the Government’s paying someone to keep tabs on other Party leaders, following revelations of Winston Peters visiting the Dotcom mansion.

Then he asked a photographer to delete a potentially embarrassing picture had to make an apology.

This was followed by the news that some TVNZ employees have been using their employer’s premises for  Labour Party activities.

And then Cunliffe did the peculiar my-house-isn’t-as-big-as-his about which Danyl at Dim Post writes:

. . . (I keep seeing people on my twitter feed demanding to know the difference between Shane Taurima and, say, Mike Hosking or Paul Henry. I think the main difference is that if Mike Hosking wanted to set up a fundraising operation inside TVNZ the National Party wouldn’t let him because it would look terrible and destroy his career).

But it was a clip from another TV3 story the same night that’s really haunting me. Here’s a screen-grab of Labour leader David Cunliffe standing in front of a super-luxury yacht company explaining that his $2.5 million dollar mansion is just a ‘do-up’, after criticising Key for living in a nice house.

It’s hard to compress so much failure into a single image. Up to now I’ve felt that the outcome of the election is too close to call. The sides are pretty even, small changes at the margins could have huge impacts on the results. But my gut feeling now is that Labour’s support will collapse and National will win a third term. It feels like a replay of the 2011 election in which Labour keep doing baffling, stupid things and then demand to know why the media is biased against them and how anyone could like John Key. People don’t want idiots running their country.

Among the comments in response to this are:

My thoughts exactly. Labour’s refusal/inability to accept returning to government is not a divine right is getting really irritating. . .

So it’s not a triad of evil born from the GCSB, Cameron Slater and John Key that is destroying the righteous partnership of Kim Dot Com and David Cunliffe. Bugger me. . .

. . . Well there was a theory that Cunliffe was a smart operator. Indeed I thought all the “gaffs” he made that helped undermine Shearer were all actually very clever political ploys. Now I just think he hasn’t a clue and they were all just bumbling gaffs that worked out for him. . .

. . .

I guess the trouble is, have a well-to-do Harvard educated former consultant now technocrat masquerading as a working-man populist was always going to be somewhat of a gift to the NP startegists. It’s pretty hard to set the agenda when you can be easily painted as part of the problem.

Unfortunately the only other leadership options to date have been careerist jobsworths, who think they’re owed a living by the proles.

I think Danyl is on the money though – this feels like the moment that the LP blew it.

People looking for the problem need look no further than this thread: It’s the media’s fault, it’s Crosby Textor, it’s some sort of conspiracy…No it really isn’t. Labour just needs to stop being idiots. Until people are prepared to take a critical look at their own party and stop blaming everyone else, nothing will change. . . .

Sanctuary, stop trying to blame the media for the cock ups of Cunliffe and the Labour Party. What’s happening is the Labour Party is simply demonstrating what we all know deep down. Labour has neither the talent and policies nor the fitness to govern at the moment. . .

I popped in to see the Young Nats at Otago University’s O-Week tent city on Monday and asked a visiting MP how things were.

She said the contrast between MPs in parliament was palpable.

National MPs were united and positive, when she looked over to the other side of the House the body language was clear – Labour is divided and disheartened.

Whaleoil has another example of this:

. . . A mate of mine who travels a lot has noticed a distinct difference between National MPS and Labour MPs. He sits in the Koru lounge in Wellington and Auckland and observes.

He has noticed that Labour MPs operate in cliques. When other caucus members walk in or past they rarely acknowledge each other, in fact disdain is the most prevalent demeanour. There is real and palpable hostility between some members of the caucus.

In contrast National MPs have a more collegial atmosphere, holding court and joking and enjoying each others company. There is a stark difference.

National look and act like a winning team.

Labour look and act like petulant school children with no apparent teamwork unless forced by media arrangements to grin and bear the company of their peers

I think all of this shows that Labour and in particular David Cunliffe are in a deep malaise…so deep they cannot survive it. . . .

If this isn’t bad enough, Chris Trotter writes of the canaries in the mine  as The Daily Blog’s poll shows the Green Party overtaking Labour:

. . . For the first time that I could recall the Greens were in the lead – and there was nothing narrow about it. Labour hadn’t simply been dislodged into second place, it was running third behind the National Party. Overnight the Greens had moved from a rough parity with Labour to a 2:1 advantage.

I shook my head in disbelief. It had to be a rogue result. But this morning, when I checked, there it was again, a practically identical result. Greens 32 percent; Labour 22 percent; National 21 percent; Mana 9 percent; Internet Party 5 percent; Act 4 percent; NZ First 4 percent; Conservatives 2 percent; Maori Party 1 percent; United Future 0 percent.

Okay! I know, I know! There’s nothing in the least bit scientific about this sort of on-line poll. The 382 participants in the survey were all self-selected and the Daily Blog’s audience is a very long way from being representative of the wider New Zealand population.

But, don’t you see, that’s the whole point! If you exclude the National Party types getting to “know thy enemy”, the people who regularly read The Daily Blog, are overwhelmingly more Left than Centre. If Labour has shed 10 percentage points from the readership of this blog, its most sympathetic of audiences, how long can it be until the big, media-commissioned polls – Colmar Brunton, Reid Research, DigiPoll – all register a similar sudden collapse of Labour support among the general population?

Isn’t it highly likely that the readers of The Daily Blog are playing the role of the canary in a coal mine? Wouldn’t you expect an audience of such ideological sensitivity to register much earlier than the rest of the population Labour’s infuriating and increasingly obvious inability to win the 2014 election? . . .
Call it the wisdom of crowds. Announce that we’ve reached a tipping point. Put it down to a change in thezeitgeist. However 2014 is later explained by the political scientists, I want the readers of The Daily Blog – the canaries in a coal mine – to remember that they were the ones who succumbed to the gaseous exhalations of Labour’s political decomposition long before anybody else.

That poll wasn’t scientific but the Fairfax Media-Ipsos one was and it had more bad news for Labour and its leader:

. . . Prime Minister John Key is by far our most liked and trusted politician, with 59.3 per cent of people liking him, and 58.7 per cent also trusting him.

Key is also well ahead of his opponents as preferred prime minister on 51.2 per cent.

Labour leader David Cunliffe appears to be more polarising, with those who like and trust him, and those who don’t, falling into roughly equal camps. His rating as preferred prime minister is just 18.2 per cent.

The bad news for Cunliffe is that only Conservative Party leader Colin Craig, Mana Party leader Hone Harawira and Internet Party leader Kim Dotcom are more disliked. Harawira and Dotcom are also the least trusted. . .

To top it off,  while the party isn’t responsible for the electoral fraud of one of its local body candidates,  the sentencing of Daljit Singh is another bad news story in a bad week for Labour.


Wild greens behind urbane front

November 15, 2011

This media release from the man who wanted to be known as Jo Henky was made at 11:23 this morning:

We were saddened to hear National Party president Peter Goodfellow attacking the messenger on Checkpoint last night, rather than responding to the message.

If National disagrees with the policies “The Rich Deserve More” and “Drill It! Mine It! Sell It!” they should simply say so.

To our knowledge no billboards were harmed in the delivery of this message. The stickers can be easily peeled off.

We do not represent a political party. We are private individuals who are disturbed by the policy directions of the current Government, and who seek to engage in the political process at election time in a light-hearted and hopefully humorous way.

Yet by then he had already been outed as Jolyon White, a Green Party member.

NewsTalkZB’s Felix Marwick tweeted more than an hour earlier that the Green Party might have been behind the sabotage and that Russel Norman was going to front the media. He followed up with a tweet saying it was the partner of Norman’s EA.

Norman continues to deny any knowledge of the attack on the billboards:

Dr Norman said he learnt of Mr White’s involvement only after other Green members recognised his voice in a radio interview this morning.

I accept his word and that the actions of White and whoever else was involved, whether or not they were Greens, were not acting on the party’s behalf.

Norman’s EA has been stood down and White has resigned from the party.

I have found no reference to any assurance from any other MP or office holder in the party. Until they give one it is legitimate to ask did any of them know anything about the plan or its execution before this morning?

Regardless of the answer to that question, Dim Post gets to the nub of the damage this has done to the more moderate brand the party has been striving to cultivate.

He says it highlights the disparity between the party’s target voters who aren’t anti-National and its activist base who are a bunch of anti-National anarchists.

The Greens are often criticised for being  watermelons  – a green shell with a red centre. This episode shows that for all the effort the party has put into taming its image, there are still some wild greens behind the urbane front.

 

 

 


Will Labour complain about this too?

October 5, 2011

The latest Australian Women’s Weekly has a cover story about John and Bronagh Key and Phil and Mary Goff.

The stories are about the couples and their relationships and each concludes with a Q&A with the MPs.

It’s a little heavy on gush which my, admittedly rare,  readings of the AWW suggest is not unusual for this magazine, but the stories do show something of the people behind the politicians and both are treated equally.

But I bought the magazine because I saw the Keys smiling at me from the cover. It was only when I went to read it that I noticed the Goffs in the corner.

Will Labour follow up their complaint about the PM’s RadioLIVE slot with a complaint about the unequal cover coverage too?

Apropos of the complaint, Labour would have been on much stronger ground complaining that the radio programme breached electoral or broadcasting rules had Goff not asked to host a show too.

P.S.

Dim Post has  something else for someone to complain about..


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