He’s business bosses’ favourite politician but broadcasting challenge will put Faafoi’s mettle to the test

Kris  Faafoi, ranked   17th  in  Cabinet, emerged  as  the  politician who most  impressed  top  chief  executives for ministerial performance in this year’s  NZ  Herald  CEOs survey.

It  is  the  first time in the history  of the  Mood of the Boardroom survey  that a  minister  ranked towards the tailend  of  Cabinet, and who had been in the position  only  since  January,  had  substantially outranked his colleagues.

Fran  O’Sullivan  reported   Faafoi  is  seen as  an engaging   politician  with a  safe pair of hands.  She  quoted  one  business leader   finding Faafoi displaying  “real understanding, energy  and  integrity”.

Faafoi’s  key portfolio,  so far  as  the business leaders   are concerned,   is  Commerce,  but he    also holds  Broadcasting, Communications,  and Digital  Media As  well he carries the  Associate Housing  responsibility.

And  it  is  in one of those  portfolios   where  Faafoi’s  mettle  as a  minister  is  being seriously tested. Continue reading “He’s business bosses’ favourite politician but broadcasting challenge will put Faafoi’s mettle to the test”

Political philosopher John Gray is often wrong but sometimes very right

The views of political philosopher John Gray can defy description.  His Wikipedia entry notes – with a touch of his own elegance – Gray’s political thought is noted for its mobility across the political spectrum over the years”.

But few suggest that the author of ‘The Delusions of Global Capitalism’ is boring.  And there is much to be gained from his latest essay in the New Statesman.  Curiously, while entitled ‘The Closing of the Conservative Mind: Politics and the Art of War’, by the end it appears to justify a somewhat different conclusion. Continue reading “Political philosopher John Gray is often wrong but sometimes very right”

Boris’s enemies caught in the headlights

A little-known London autumn ritual is the culling of the deer herd in Richmond Park.  It’s done at night, which helps avoid unwelcome publicity.

At the other end of the SW postcode, Boris is weeding out the Conservative party – but more publicly.  His former Work and Pensions minister, Amber Rudd, announced she was leaving Parliament – for now – and was then told that she was not going to be readmitted to the party ranks anyway. Continue reading “Boris’s enemies caught in the headlights”

Phil’s failure to fix things prompts further calls for his firing – but there’s an electoral case for Nats to hope he stays

Fresh calls for PM Jacinda Ardern to sack Transport Minister Phil Twyford have followed accusations the minister has misled Parliament.

Twyford is on record in Parliament as saying no one from the previous NZ Transport Agency Board asked to stay on before all were axed in September. Now he has conceded at least one board member did so.

National’s Chris Bishop says misleading Parliament is yet another nail in the very badly damaged coffin that has Phil Twyford’s name on it.

“He has repeatedly stood by his claim that all five NZTA board members walked willingly out the door. It wasn’t until media backed him into a corner that he admitted some were shown the exit”.

On TV news shows, Twyford is labelled a laughing stock, as they list his failures with KiwiBuild and the Auckland light rail project, two key Labour policies in its 2017 election programme. Continue reading “Phil’s failure to fix things prompts further calls for his firing – but there’s an electoral case for Nats to hope he stays”

The Nats won’t want Jones fired – not when voters would be robbed of the chance to bridle at being wooed with public funds

Cabinet  Minister  Shane  Jones   is under fire  for  promising  utu against the whistleblower  who told the NZ Herald about his comments at the forestry awards evening.

Jones, adopting Donald Trump’s technique, says he knows who went to the Herald and he’s going to “deal to them”.

“When the election comes around and the Cabinet restrictions have been loosened, then I am personally going to deal to these National Party sympathisers who thought that it was a smart idea to try and have me quivering in a corner by racing to the media.At the appropriate time, I will deal to them as a big-time, NZ First wrestler.”

Commentators  as   diverse  as  Peter  Dunne   and   Heather du Plessis-Allan reckon he has  over-stepped  the mark. Continue reading “The Nats won’t want Jones fired – not when voters would be robbed of the chance to bridle at being wooed with public funds”