Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Act: The Letter: 23 June 2014

Act: The Letter: 23 June 2014

No he can’t but the left still will
David Cunliffe cannot win from here. He cannot tell the country that Judith Collins, Maurice Williamson and Michael Woodhouse, should all resign and say that in a ministry he led they would all be gone. He cannot say, "forgetting is no excuse". And then have it revealed that he himself lobbied on behalf of the very same businessman. His defences just make it worse, “a staffer wrote the letter”, “I was not lobbying I was only asking how the application was going” – the Maurice Williamson defence. Forgetting was an explanation that he has told Parliament repeatedly is not acceptable in a government he seeks to lead. Cunliffe is discredited but that does not mean the left will not win the 2014 election.

It is a knockout
If failing to remember he had lobbied for the infamous Mr Liu was the Leader of the Opposition’s only mistake he might recover, but it is not. David Cunliffe has built his whole case for a change of government on a narrative that National is corrupt. He has produced no evidence except that some Chinese businessmen have donated to National. In David Cunliffe’s narrative, that is corrupt. It now appears Labour itself has sought and received donations from Chinese businessmen. After eight months, David Cunliffe has only managed to score one knockout on himself.

He has got it all wrong
Cunliffe must be the most inept Labour leader ever, despite strong competition. First he told the caucus that David Shearer could not win – oh what they would give for Shearer’s polling. Then he said the missing one million are all Labour voters so the party could go left. No they are not, many are ACT voters. Then he decided he could make the case that National was corrupt. National may be a lot of things but the party is not corrupt. National is the least corrupt governing party in the world. Labour in contrast has been found by the Auditor-General to have repeatedly misused taxpayer money to fund its campaigns. Remember the "pledge card" debacle? A leader with some ability to reflect would have thought, “Before I throw this mud could it boomerang?”

Will they?
If Labour wants to salvage something from the wreck then they need to replace Cunliffe now. The Australian Labor Party, the most successful Labor Party in the world, would not hesitate. Any party that claims to be able to govern should be able to replace its leader. If David Cunliffe really is their best MP, what does that say about Labour? David Cunliffe is so bad half the caucus would be better. David Shearer or Phil Goff or Annette King, if they want experience, Grant Robertson who was the caucus choice in the primary, or David Parker or Andrew Little if they want someone new. Labour will still lose to John Key but not so badly. A real leader is the person who is willing to take over as captain of the Titanic after it has hit the iceberg. Has Labour got a real leader? If we were in the caucus we would go for Annette King.

Demoralising
The Labour caucus morale is zero. They tried to tell David Cunliffe that a dozen MPs had accepted donations from Chinese businessmen. Labour MPs also know that there is more to come. National is in no hurry to drop the next bombshell.

If elections are about ideas, the sort of country we are, whether we are more free enterprise or more socialist, then the Left have already won the 2014 election. David Cunliffe was right when he said “Labour wrote this year’s election budget”, a budget that is the government’s manifesto for the next three years. We cannot think of a single policy in this year’s budget that could not have been in a Michael Cullen budget.

National is the reason New Zealand is a socialist state
Jamie Whyte made an observation about Labour’s proposal to make the KiwiSaver scheme compulsory that is truly profound. Labour can only make its proposal to use the force of the state to oblige young people to contribute to low return savings schemes, with an average historical return of 3%, against repaying a mortgage, with an average return of 6% because National has continued with Labour’s KiwiSaver Scheme. Jamie points out that National has continued with all of Labour’s poor quality spending. We still have a Labour government, only the name and the personnel changed.

What is National’s excuse?
We expect Labour governments to propose collectivist compulsory solutions, it is what they believe in. What is National’s reason? National MPs say they need to be centrist to win elections. Follow this logic and we end up with Muldoonism again, a National government that is even more Labour than Labour. National’s other line is if you do not vote National you will get a Labour government. Well that line has just lost its power to scare. Voters can now start to ask the question National cannot answer, which is, “What is the point of voting National if what you get is Labour policies?

Only way to make a difference
Jamie Whyte is absolutely correct when he observes the only way not to get Labour policies is to elect a number of ACT MPs. Jamie Whyte’s blog on why he opposes compulsory super is worth reading: http://www.act.org.nz/?q=posts/labour-engages-in-schoolyard-behaviour

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English, Abroad

Looks like you need to get the blurb yourself. Probably best to do that irrespective, actually.If David Cameron was the closest thing John Key had to a political mentor, their successors also share a whole lot in common.

Theresa May and Bill English were both propelled into the top jobs as the result of unexpected resignations, and without much in the way of credible competition from their colleagues. Neither have yet been given a mandate to govern by the electorate although – in both countries – the Labour opposition is in less than robust shape. More>>

 

Pike River: Labour Bill To Override Safety Act For Mine Entry

“Bill English has been hiding behind the legal excuse that any attempt to re-enter the mine to recover the bodies might place the mine’s owner, Solid Energy Limited, and its directors in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Populism And Labour 2017

For many people on the centre-left, populism is a dirty word, and a shorthand for the politics of bigotry. In this country, it has tended to be equated with the angry legions of New Zealand First. Who knew they were not just a reactionary spasm, but the wave of the future? More>>

Oxfam: 30% Of NZ Owns Less Wealth Than Our Two Richest Men

The research also reveals that the richest one per cent have 20 per cent of the wealth in New Zealand, while 90 per cent of the population owns less than half of the nation’s wealth. The research forms part of a global report released to coincide with this week’s annual meeting of political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More>>

ALSO:

Hospitals: Resident Doctors Set To Strike Again

Despite discussions between the DHBs and NZRDA over safer hours for resident doctors progressing during the last week, the strike planned for next week appears set to proceed. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Super Fund: More Burning Ethical Questions For Steven Joyce

Greens: Radio New Zealand reported this morning that the New Zealand Superfund has $77 million invested in 47 coal companies that the Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund – the largest sovereign fund in the world – has blacklisted. More>>

Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Why Tax Cuts In 2017 Would Be A (Proven) Bad Idea

Ever since the world fell prey to the mullahs of the free market in the 1980s, no amount of real world evidence has managed dispel one key tenet of their economic faith. Namely, the idea that if you cut income taxes and taxes on small business, a wave of individual enterprise and entrepreneurial energy will thus be unleashed, profits will rise and – hey bingo! – the tax cuts will soon be paying for themselves ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news