Expect the old campaigner Winston Peters to be at his belligerent best as he gears up for another election. He’s kept his party alive for 27 years and he shows no sign of quitting.
The omens may be bleak—polls this week showed his party below the 5% threshold– but Peters insists NZ First’s own polling puts the party “comfortably in the zone” to do well. He told Radio NZ the party is getting “enormous support” in the provinces and he’ll use the conference to outline a winning strategy.
As for those political commentators who say NZ First won’t make it back into Parliament, they are “moronic”.
Yet even when Peters fires up, as he did in that interview, the odds are stacking up against NZ First. He can brush off the polls, dismiss leaks of sensitive party documents pointing to questionable internal administrative issues, and assert his party is key to the coalition’s success: yet NZ First inevitably will cop some of the blame generated by adverse headlines as in the NZ Herald on Thursday – “Dire Shortfall in State Housing”. Continue reading “An important conference for NZ First as it braces for the prospect of a painful year ahead”
The opening sentence of a report by Stuff reporter Thomas Coughlan – consistent with modern-day notions of good news reporting – was a blatant expression of opinion.
Shut out of Parliament and minus it’s multi-millionaire leader, The Opportunities Party (Top) should be calling it quits right about now.
Who says it should be calling it quits?
Not the party’s leaders because Coughlan – in the next sentence – delivered the news that TOP is relaunching “with a jokey campaign as part of a wider rebrand designed to put aside the bruising memories of the 2017 election and look forward to 2020”.
And why should it be quitting about now, so many months since the 2017 election?
Then came some background: Continue reading “Refurbished TOP defies Stuff analysis and shows it was not toppled by 2017 election result”
The once-proud NZ Labour Party was in a sorry shape this week. Its president Nigel Haworth handed in his resignation, the PM Jacinda Ardern was looking rather bedraggled, and several of her senior staff stood accused of a cover-up, in the wake of the scandal involving allegations of sexual assault against a Labour staffer said to be working in the Beehive.
Stuff reported earlier this week that a 19-year-old woman was allegedly assaulted on two occasions by a staffer with “strong influence” in the party. It took a year after the second alleged assault before the party eventually launched an investigation into multiple complaints. But in spite of the young woman meeting with Labour Party officials including Haworth to seek help, the party contended the allegations did not include sexual violence.
Continue reading “Labour Party in disarray – and the flow-on to the PM”
Who would have imagined it?
The carry-on at Ihumatao is being exploited by Maori nationalist parties for – wait for it – race-based politicking purposes.
A bloke named Tom Peters, from an outfit called the Socialist Equality Group, disapproves. We suspect Hobson’s Pledge and Don Brash might agree with him – but only up to a point.
Peters has posted an item on Scoop in which he examines the occupation led by Maori activists protesting against a proposed property development at a historic archaeological site on the Ihumātao Peninsula in South Auckland.
He writes: Continue reading “Race-based politicking at Ihumatao is condemned – by a socialist critic who is batting for the Maori working class”
Occasionally a piece of writing succinctly captures some essential truths. Martin Gurri, author of the blog The Fifth Way, chronicles the ideology / world view / zeitgeist of what he quaintly terms the industrial elite in his Notes from a Nameless Conference.
Continue reading “Familiar notes from a nameless conference”
Look deeper than the headline moves in National’s reshuffle to find the longer-term significance. Those moves included Paul Goldsmith winning the prize of being Opposition Finance spokesman and Gerry Brownlee in taking on Foreign Affairs, not just because he has the capacity to deploy a bit of humour in needling Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, but because he is signalling he is up for another term.
Insiders point to the leap through the ranks of Hutt South MP Chris Bishop from the cross benches. Still only 36, but in his second term, Bishop has converted the once traditional Labour stronghold of Hutt South into a National seat.
In Parliament as Opposition spokesman on Police he has been effective in puncturing the government’s promises on building up police numbers by 1800. Generally he has kept Police Minister Stuart Nash on his toes and kept police issues close to top of the political agenda—something that some of his seniors have been able to do in their areas of responsibility. Continue reading “Bishop is given a chance to make an impact in National’s reshuffle”
A Flat Tax: The Good, the Bad and Why It Probably Won’t Happen was the headline on an article published in Money Talks News – pitched at an American audience – in 2014.
Act leader David Seymour, who included a flat tax among the policies he unveiled at the weekend, should take note. Even if he was to get 14 MPs into Parliament (anyone putting money on that very, very long shot?), all the other Parliamentarian will vote to stick with a progressive income tax system.
But that’s no reason for a debate to be stifled.
The article in Money Talks News took the complex US Federal tax code into considerations (the code comprised 73,954 pages in 2013 and included seven tax rates, four standard deductions and at least a dozen tax credits for individuals. Then there were exemptions, itemised deductions and the special tax rules.
Why not eliminate all those hoops and simply tax everyone using the same percentage?
The answer was that it depends on who you ask. Continue reading “David Seymour’s Herculean challenges: getting 14 MPs into Parliament (really?) and flattening the tax rate”