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ACT's The Letter Monday, 02 May 2005

The Letter Monday, 02 May 2005

THE SITUATION

Parliament resumes on Tuesday with MPs wanting to know why the PM never told parliament she was the reason the media printed false and defamatory claims about Police Commissioner Peter Doone. The Reserve Bank admits it does not know what is happening in the economy and Labour keeps fuelling speculation of an early election.

HOW DOONE WAS DONE

A Sunday Star Times reporter who knew Clark had received Rob Robinson's report into the driving incident rang the PM who was very willing to confirm that Doone had told the constable who had a breathalyser, "That wont be necessary". The editor was sceptical so rang Clark. "Have you seen the report?" asked the editor. "Have it on my lap," was the reply. "Would the PM confirm the facts?" "You won't be wrong," she said. The paper was horrified when no such incident was in the report and to discover all parties agreed Doone had said no such thing.

The paper realised Clark had lied and used it to engineer the dismissal of the country's top Police Officer. One exception to the journalistic code of not revealing sources is when the source has been dishonest. The Sunday Star Times submitted the transcript of their telephone conversation to the court and Clark in her evidence did not deny its veracity. Thought; Dalziel was dismissed for lying to the media. Clark's lie destroyed a man's career. What is the penalty for PM's that maliciously lie?

THE SITUATION

Parliament resumes on Tuesday with MPs wanting to know why the PM never told parliament she was the reason the media printed false and defamatory claims about Police Commissioner Peter Doone. The Reserve Bank admits it does not know what is happening in the economy and Labour keeps fuelling speculation of an early election.

HOW DOONE WAS DONE

A Sunday Star Times reporter who knew Clark had received Rob Robinson's report into the driving incident rang the PM who was very willing to confirm that Doone had told the constable who had a breathalyser, "That wont be necessary". The editor was sceptical so rang Clark.

"Have you seen the report?" asked the editor. "Have it on my lap," was the reply. "Would the PM confirm the facts?" "You won't be wrong," she said. The paper was horrified when no such incident was in the report and to discover all parties agreed Doone had said no such thing. The paper realised Clark had lied and used it to engineer the dismissal of the country's top Police Officer. One exception to the journalistic code of not revealing sources is when the source has been dishonest.

The Sunday Star Times submitted the transcript of their telephone conversation to the court and Clark in her evidence did not deny its veracity. Thought; Dalziel was dismissed for lying to the media. Clark's lie destroyed a man's career. What is the penalty for PM's that maliciously lie?

LOST NERVE

With annual inflation at 2.9%, house prices continuing to rise, the unions running an inflationary wage campaign, a 5-cent fuel tax and an election year government spending spree one wonders how the Reserve Bank can say it doesn't know inflation is rising. The only factor holding inflation has been the rise of the Kiwi lowering the price of imports. A record deficit will result in the correction to the Kiwi. It is clear the Governor of the Reserve Bank does not believe a failure to keep within the 3% threshold will concern Labour.


ECONOMY BOOMING

The economy shows no signs of slowing. The fall in business confidence is a very unreliable indicator. What matters is how businesses say they will do, (answer, they are very confident) and their pricing intentions. Businesses indicate the prices they are paying to their suppliers have risen and will continue to rise, resulting in the need to increase their own prices.


UNION CAMPAIGN

The ANZ bank is the latest to start industrial action, which is now widespread. There have been strikes by bus drivers, coal miners, hospital staff, (security guards, cleaners, and administrative staff), university staff, metal trades, and factory workers just to name a few.

The rail unions are demanding a 5% across the board wage increase and up to 20% for scarce skills. Rail is still the country's biggest freight carrier. The unions are seeking multi employer agreements that Labour's most recent industrial law amendments facilitate. Employers, who have no wish to be forced back into what are in effect industrial awards, where your competitor fixes your wages, are resisting. Employers are however giving above inflation pay rises partly to head off union action but also recognition that the labour market is tight.


AN EARLY ELECTION

The Letter believes Clark does not want to go early. It is not credible to say the economy is going to come off the boil before September. Labour is concerned about interest rates but going early is unlikely to help. So why keep the speculation going? It gives the government an option. Labour is also keen to force National to issue policy. The classic way for government to fight an election is to say for two years "The Opposition has no policy" until they put some out. The government then puts their policy on trial and finds it guilty.


AGING HIPPIES

The Green party list demonstrates their electoral troubles. The Greens image is of an anti establishment, fresh, new young movement. The reality is the Greens are middle-aged professional politicians and Wellington insiders. Young people are allergic to middle-aged men who pretend to be young. It's the reason some trendy nightclubs exclude older men. Its not just Nandor that the young think is creepy, they don't relate to Rod Donald's braces or Keith Locke's ideology. The party has no money and few members, less than 2000. The Greens are a fashion and there is nothing more unsellable than last year's fashion.

THEY ARE HOT

In contrast the Maori party is attracting people and passion. Support for the party is growing. Commentators, except this publication, have consistently underestimated the Maori party. It may have received just $125,000 in funding but the ban on TV and radio does not affect it. Maori TV and the 20 plus kiwi radio stations that have about 250,000 listeners report Tariana's every word.

NOT PARTNERS

When the electorate realises that Dunne is done, the Greens are fading and Clark is asking us to vote for a Labour/Maori party government, the election is going to get interesting. Have a thought for Shane Jones who it has been suggested will take the Northland seat and has been lauded by the media as Labour's answer to Maori politics. He is number 27 on the list and is unlikely to get in. This is thanks to the 5 sitting Labour Maori MPs being given high list placings which will see them parachuting back into parliament.

OUR POLL

Last week 84% of readers said they had received unwanted pornographic emails. You're all fired. This week "Should Clark publicly apologise to Peter Doone for having falsely confirmed a malicious defamation?" We will send your answer to the PM. Vote at www.act.org.nz/poll.

ENDS

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