Labour loses Shearer gains Harre

December 14, 2016

The Labour Party has lost one of its moderate MPs with the resignation of David Shearer who delivered his valedictory speech yesterday.

It’s gaining  former Alliance MP and former leader of Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party,  Laila Harre.

His departure and her return speaks volumes about Labour’s state and direction.


Key # 1 again

December 11, 2014

TV3 political editor Patrick Gower has named Prime Minister John Key as politician of the year.

Trans Tasman named him politician of the year last week too.

There could simply be no other. John Key was out on his own this year for one simple reason – he won.

Yes, the Prime Minister’s performance ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous.

In fact, Key went from the crème-de-la-crème to the crème-de-la-crap at times.

But Key won. He got National across the line. It was an incredible victory. It defied the political gravity of a third-term and was against the odds of the campaign. . .

I am not sure that anyone except political tragics were particularly interested in the campaign.

To get that was far from easy for Key. The Dirty Politics scandal could have destroyed other campaigns and finished off other leaders.

The election campaign was weird. It was dark too. And it was incredibly brutal for all those involved.

There is no doubt that Dirty Politics knocked Key over at first – National lost control of its campaign.

Yet Key survived. He stood his ground.  In the words of son Max, he “manned up”.

It was like Key absorbed all of the negativity directed at him, and then, like some kind of comic book character, spewed it all out again as some kind of positive force.

There was unpredictability everywhere: Whaledump, Rawshark, Winston, Colin, rappers, hacker(s), Dotcom, Eminem, Cortex and don’t forget Speargun.

National and Key’s defence was simple – they had a plan, and they stuck to it.

“The plan” is a grinding, relentless strategy based on simple messaging and a self-belief that the Key juggernaut can eventually ride out almost anything.

It has been proven time and time again, and this time was proven on the biggest stage (an entire election campaign) facing the greatest degree of difficulty (an entire book of scandal).

Helped in no small part by a dismal and divided opposition which wasn’t looking like a government in waiting.

Key’s politics this year was a potent combination of on the “macro” level, stubbornly sticking to strategy, and on the “micro” level, being what’s called a “clutch hitter” or “big game player” who rises to the occasion.

Key made big moves at a strategic level and stuck to them, and he made big calls in day-to-politics that worked for him too.

On the macro level, one part of the plan that worked well this year was Key’s semi-upfront declaration of his potential coalition partners at the start of the year.

Looking back, it really was a masterstroke – it gave voters a clear picture of how a National Government would work.

Key also gave himself the space with the decision about giving Colin Craig a electorate seat deal and even more space when it came to working with Winston Peters.

In the end, he ruled out a seat deal for Craig because he looked too crazy and wanted him at arms-length. It was a big call but a good call – imagine if Key had been apologising for Craig on the campaign trail as well as dealing with Dirty Politics.

With Winston, Key kept him at arms’ length. But by not ruling Peters out, he always kept himself in the game, it always looked like National could form a Government no matter how bad the polls got.

The PM had the courage and sense to let voters know what they would and would not get with a National-led government.

That provided another stark contrast with then-Labour leader David Cunliffe who stupidly copied Winston Peters’ line that he’d let the voters choose without giving them all the information they’d need to choose wisely.

Key’s and National’s strategy included a bedrock of policies tailored for the centre voter, and conservative political management. They then turbo-charged this with an overload of “Brand Key” marketing.

Key used these to keep his vice-like grip on the centre-ground, and if he has that – National wins. . .

But there was nothing certain about that win.

Steven Joyce’s recent admission that National was polling at 44 percent in the final week and might have needed Winston to govern shows just how different it could have been. . .

Gower’s other awards:

Runner-up politician of the year: Andrew Little.

Back-bencher Kelvin Davis.

Runner-up political non-politician: Kim Dotcom, Whale Oil and Nicky Hager.

Radio Live’s Duncan Garner lists the year’s political winners and losers:

1. JOHN KEY

For all the obvious reasons. He is still the PM and he is still widely popular according to the polls. He had the kitchen sink thrown at him and he almost won the election outright. He’ll have to watch it doesn’t go to his head.

2. ANDREW LITTLE

Couldn’t win a fight in a kindergarten but ends the year on top. His caucus didn’t want him, his party didn’t want him, his electorate didn’t want him. Yet he ends the year looking strong and competent as Labour’s new leader.

3. KELVIN DAVIS

He beat Hone Harawira and therefore beat Kim Dotcom – do I have to say anymore?

4. SUE BRADFORD

She knew Dotcom and Harawira were in an unholy alliance and she put her principles before it all. She called it right – she has values and principles that are beyond reproach whether you agree with her politics or not.

5. CAM SLATER – WHALEOIL.

Yes he’s a dirt-bag, muck-raking, scum-bag attack blogger, but he likes it that way. He doesn’t play by any rule book yet he’s been judged a journalist by the courts. Despite having his dirty laundry aired for the world to see he remains talked about, his blog gets more hits than ever, he breaks stories and the PM returns his texts. Oh and he wins mainstream media awards.

(Close mention: Paula Bennett, now talked about as the next National Party Leader)

His losers are:

1. KIM DOTCOM

Threw millions at trying to rig an election, but the public weren’t fooled. He’s now fighting to stay out of jail. Rest my case.

2. HONE HARAWIRA

He picked the wrong rich friends. Should have stayed poor. At least he’d still be in Parliament. Woeful judgement.

3. LAILA HARRE

See above.

4. JUDITH COLLINS

Was on track to be the next National Party Leader – now she’s struggling to be heard from the backbenchers. Huge fall from grace. Career in tatters.

5. DAVID CUNLIFFE

Came across as a fake and then apologised for being a man. Do we have to say anything more? Awful defeat.

(Close mention: Grant Robertson, rejected twice as Labour’s future leader. That will hurt and in politics if winning if everything, Robertson has twice failed. Ouch. Still, he has huge chance to recover well.)

 

 


Hone hasn’t learned

December 8, 2014

Those who don’t learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them:

The Mana Movement is planning for the 2017 election and Kim Dotcom could be involved, leader Hone Harawira says.

Mr Harawira lost his Te Tai Tokerau seat to Labour’s Kelvin Davis and Mana’s alliance with the Dotcom backed Internet Party only gained 1.26 percent of the party vote in September’s election. . .

The election result gave me faith in democracy and one of the best illustrations of that was voters in Te Tai Tokerau who voted Davis in as their MP.

By doing so they saved us all from the electoral rort that Harawira, Dot Com, Laila Harre and their fellow travellers tried to inflict on us with their unholy and hypocritical alliance under the Internet Mana Party banner.

Harawira’s willingness to work with Dotcom again shows he doesn’t understand that.

He will find it much harder to campaign without the salary and allowances he had as an MP and party leader in parliament.

He’ll be further handicapping himself if he enlists Dotcom’s help again.


Principles matter

September 21, 2014

One of the best outcomes of last night’s results was the repudiation of Kim Dotcom and his puppets.

Voters showed that principles matter.

Hone Harawira, Laila Hare and their fellow travellers allowed theirs to be bought and New Zealanders rejected that and them, with the help of Kelvin Davis and the voters of Te Tai Tokerau.


Foulers cry foul

September 14, 2014

Internet Mana  is complaining about Prime Minister John Key’s decision to declassify documents which will prove accusations against him are baseless.

. . .In a joint statement, Mr Harawira and Ms Harre say the reported intention of the Prime Minister “to arrange the selective declassification and release of documents for his own political purposes” represents an abuse of the Prime Minister’s authority in his capacity as the Minister in charge of the GCSB and the SIS. . .

If the PM didn’t release documents they’d accuse him of hiding something but when he says he will release documents they’re still complaining.

This is a case of the foulers crying foul.

They’re the ones who’ve allowed themselves to be bought by Kim Dotcom who is doing his best to interfere in the election.

The PM not only has the right to release this he has a duty.

This isn’t just about him. It’s about New Zealand, New Zealanders and our security.

Those who don’t understand that should read Charles Finny’s excellent guest post at Kiwiblog:

. . .  The Labour Government that saw us through World War II, and those from 1957-60, 1972-75, 1984-90 and 1999-2008 have not sought to change our position in “five eyes” because the leaders and senior Ministers of those Governments have realized how lucky we are to be part of this agreement and knew how fundamental the intelligence derived from it was to the security of New Zealand.  Ultimately the most important function of government is to protect the people.  “Five eyes” plays a very important role in our ongoing security.  There was a wobble under Lange which saw New Zealand denied access to some processed intelligence from the US, but access to the raw communications intercepted by the four allies continued throughout.  Under Helen Clark the full flow of processed intelligence resumed.

I cannot believe what I have just heard saying about today.  What we now call is as much a creation of Labour as it is the National Party.  It is crucial to our continuing security.  It protects us against the hostile actions of foreign governments, terrorist organizations, and international criminals.  Of course the same foreign governments, terrorist organizations and criminals hate the ‘’fives eyes agreement” and want it dismantled because it stands in their way.  I can’t believe that a Labour Leader would align himself with these forces and put this agreement and our position in it so much at risk.  If his senior colleagues do not call Cunliffe on this, shame on them too.  Our national security is too important to be put at risk by short term political opportunism.

Even when Helen Clark thought we lived in a benign strategic environment her government didn’t short-change  or subvert our security the way the left is now attempting to.

 

 


Feed not weed

September 9, 2014

Tempers are fraying within the Internet Mana Party:

Emails obtained by 3 News show Mana leader Hone Harawira lashing out over the Internet Party’s pro-cannabis policy with one of his trademark expletive-laden rants, blocking an advertising campaign and saying he is “sick of all this s**t about weed”.

The ad includes a pitch to decriminalise cannabis with the words “police no longer wasted on weed”.

Mr Harawira has said he does not support cannabis for personal use, however the Internet Party wants to see it decriminalised.

When it comes to marijuana the Mana and Internet Party leaders are diametrically opposed. Mr Harawira hates it, but for Internet Party leader Laila Harre, cannabis reform is a personal priority.

She said she has made a personal pledge to champion the issue if she is elected.

An email chain leaked to 3 News shows Mr Harawira’s irate response when the Internet Party sought permission from the leaders to use the cannabis ad.

One of his emails reads: “Why am I seeing all this shit about WEED and so f****n little about FEED as in FEED THE KIDS!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Mr Harawira refused to talk to 3 News, and Ms Harre denied any division.

“We don’t always see eye-to-eye on every issue that’s not an Internet Mana issue; it is par for the course in a campaign,” she said.

In the emails, Mr Harawira has a crack at the Internet Party’s cashed-up campaigns: “Just because it’s keen on the WEED deal and got all the money to spend on all this flash advertising s**t.”

Then in bold letters he writes: “I will NOT be approving this WEED campaign.

“Pull it now or I’ll go public saying how disappointed I am our money’s being spent on WEED not FEED.”

He ends in bold, capitals and a bigger font size: “GET YOUR PRIORITIES RIGHT FOLKS!”

It appears the marriage of convenience is starting to rupture. Mana candidate Georgina Beyer attacked Internet Party founder Kim Dotcom last week, saying he was pulling the strings and was in politics for all the wrong reasons – including revenge. . .

On the cannabis issue, Ms Harre said there really was “no difference of opinion between Hone and I”.

Internet Mana has been denying rifts over cannabis and continues to do so, but the emails show Mr Harawira is clearly furious.

The Internet Party’s stance has been publicly humiliating for him – the fact it wanted to go a step further and advertise just rubs his nose in it.

I wonder how the Internet Mana puppet master Kim Dotcom feels about this email leak?

It’s not just what it says but what the leak says about dissent in the ranks that is telling.

IMP has a self-destruct clause which can be actioned six weeks after the election. The email leaks suggest at least some of the parties to the agreement would be keen to push it sooner.


Harden up Hone

September 8, 2014

Patrick Gower says Hone Harawira needs to harden up:

Hone needs to stand up and stop the Internet Party from walking all over him on the cannabis issue.

Hone is staunchly anti-weed, but the Internet Party is pro-weed.

And even though Hone is the leader of the Internet Mana merger, he is being forced to adopt the pro-weed position.

As Hone himself would say: “This just ain’t right, folks”.

I actually feel sorry for Hone ending up in this position where he is being forced to buckle on his principles.

I know Hone Harawira well.

He is a man of principle. He stands up for what he believes in. He usually doesn’t back down.

But it seems the anti-weed Hone has been rolled. . .

Kim Dotcom managed to persuade Laila Harre to set aside many of her principles in agreeing to lead his party and now the puppet master is pulling Harawira’s strings over drug policy too.

The string pulling must have been painful because Harawira needed a break to get over it:

Hone Harawira denies any rift with Internet Mana co-leader Laila Harre.

Rather, he says he’s been taking a break at home during the election campaign.

Mr Harawira told The Nation programme today he’d been going “hard out” and had decided to take a break.

He was questioned about why he was the only politician to take a holiday during the election campaign.

“You don’t get a holiday even in the north – I stayed home,” Mr Harawira said. . .

How hard he’s working for his party is up to them and the puppet master who’s funding them.

But this man is also an MP, getting an MP’s salary to work for his constituents.

If he can’t cope with the work the taxpayer funds and campaigning it’s the campaigning that ought to stop, not the job he’s supposed to do to earn his salary.


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