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ACT's The Letter - 9 May 2005

ACT's The Letter - 9 May 2005


Winston Peters scored a king hit. (Damn). Labour had a bad week. While the economy roars along, there are signs that the export sector is struggling as forward hedges end. Inflation and union militancy continue.


Confidence in Labour’s immigration administration has been shaken by the knowledge that one of Saddam Hussein’s cabinet ministers received a visa to visit NZ. The government’s incompetent handling of the issue has made it much worse. Immigration Minister Paul Swain has joined Hawkins in the walking wounded. If NZ First does nothing more, (and Winston has an endless list of Iraqi’s) the party is now guaranteed to receive over 8%. Given the collapse of United, the decline of the Greens and the rise of the Maori party, Winston is odds on to hold the balance of power.


Labour took a real hit with its staunchest supporters - the party member who knocks on doors and sells raffle tickets. These activists see Labour as a moral movement. Swain’s action in ordering the Immigration Department to scour the records and then to revoke the permit of the wrong Iraqi immigrant was a gross injustice. What happened to due process? Mallard’s vicious, malicious attack on ex-commissioner Peter Doone in last Wednesday’s adjournment debate was the worst abuse of parliamentary privilege in recent history. We do not intend repeating Mallard’s slander but he set out to imply that Doone was incompetent and had an alcohol problem - a claim he knows to be totally false. Mallard believes that by destroying Doone’s reputation he can distract the electorate from the shocking fact that it was the Prime Minister Helen Clark who anonymously confirmed a defamatory story she must have known was not true. They are the sort of people who when they have no further use for their pets, abandon them.


In the Wednesday debate while National’s Gerry Brownlee was speaking Mallard walked over to United’s Larry Baldock who was scheduled to speak next (on the serious issue of child prostitution in the Minister of Police’s electorate) and said “I am taking the next speaking slot”. Not a request but simply a statement of fact.


Rodney Hide has copies of the court documents in the Doone defamation case and is giving a press conference today. The documents show that Clark’s claims are false. Ex-commissioner Doone sued over a front- page story that he had told a breathalyser-carrying constable, That won’t be necessary. It turns out that all reports indicate the constable never made such a statement and said that he thought the breathalyser was in his pocket. The first time there was any suggestion that Doone had said “That won’t be necessary” was when it appeared in the paper. Yet the documents show Clark does not deny she told the paper “You’re not wrong”.

The court documents also reveal that the paper contacted Clark after printing the false claim The Prime Minister confirmed that, on her understanding what was published in the 16 January 2000 article was accurate. The documents state She (PM) also read to me parts of the Robinson Police Inquiry (That report was completely confidential).

The papers also show a legal contempt of the Police Complaints Authority inquiry as Clark confirms in her evidence

“I recall that I went through some aspects of the information contained in the Police Complaints Authority report.” with the Sunday Star Times reporter. At the time the report was confidential and had not been released by the Police Complaints Authority. For more see www.act.org.nz/doonegate.


The Letter has picked up signs that exports to Australia are starting to really struggle. It’s a double whammy, the rise of the Kiwi and the slow down in the Australian economy especially in the construction sector. It’s the first real sign of the predicted slow down.


The British elections bring lessons to both Labour and National. Labour will be reflecting that high polls do not always translate into votes. No Labour government anywhere has been able to persuade their voters to turn out in big numbers twice to re elect them. Even Britain’s unprecedented economic performance still resulted in just a 36% vote for Labour. The lesson for the Conservatives there and here is that you cannot win on marginal issues, such as immigration. Of most concern to the electorate there and here is health and education on which conservatives have nothing to say. National criticise NCEA but it is their policy. Who thinks health will be better under National or even knows a single National health policy?


Labour’s Energy Minister told the house that the $15 a tonne carbon levy was not a tax increase but a tax shift. The difference he explained was that Labour intends returning the levy to the community. Isn’t that the justification for all taxes?


Labour announced today that the financial state of the Wananga was worse than first thought. The Council are all sacked, Mallard is appointing a statutory manager, and we taxpayers are giving an immediate $20 million loan.


Last week we poll was emphatic 98% of respondent’s thought Clark should publicly apologise to Peter Doone. The latest BNZ survey of business confidence showed businessmen are concerned about their own businesses. Such polls are a more accurate predictor. The most accurate of all is the right way/ wrong way poll. “Do you think the country is heading in the right direction” We will send the results to the PM. Vote at www.act.org.nz/poll.


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