Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Richard Prebble: The Letter

We Are back

Nine years ago The Letter retired to Lake Rotoma. A general election has been called for 20 September so it is time to return from the pleasures of the Lake and ask “where is the money coming from for all these election promises?

Election is a tossup

The first TV poll of election year showed National at 51%, Labour at 33% and the Greens at 8%. National can govern alone say the commentators. That was election 2011. The first TVNZ the poll for this election year National is again on 51% and the Greens 8% but Labour is up 1%. More ominous for National their coalition ally ACT was on zero. In the 2011 election National received 47%. This time National strategists think the party might get 45%. Without a revival of ACT National will struggle to form a stable coalition.

What now for ACT?

The Letter’s advice was blunt. “You have a good product and a blown brand. The party needs new leadership”. With the election of a new leader and a new candidate for Epsom, ACT’s membership and fundraising have surged. ACT is the “new” party for the 2014 election.

Cometh the hour

Dr. Jamie Whyte is a dream candidate for ACT, lecturer at Cambridge University and international expert advisor on “risk” to global banks. The Global Financial Crisis showed the cost of getting risk wrong. The left say the GFC proves that unbridled capitalism does not work. Jamie Whyte points out every one of the banks that failed were regulated. The GFC was a failure of regulation. Dr. Whyte warns the new regulations will not prevent a future crisis. New Zealand must prepare for new global shocks.

Unhappy campers

Only Labour insiders knew David Cunliffe had two secret trusts. The leak came from within Labour. Who are the secret donors? Mr. Dotcom and Owen Glenn would have outed themselves. It has to be donors whose names would shock. Was David Cunliffe’s primary funded by American businessmen he met when he was a “capitalist” at Boston Consulting? It is illegal for a foreigner to give over $1,500 to a political party though not to an MP. The speculation will not stop until Mr. Cunliffe fesses up. Offering to pay it back is as useless as a bank robber saying he is giving the money back.

There is more to come

The Letter has learnt that another candidate for the Labour leadership also received a significant donation from a businessman. We do hope the MP remembers to declare it or would he like us to do it for him?

He is a wrecker

Matt McCarten’s appointment as Labour’s chief of staff is very significant. He is a hater. Matt has fallen out with everyone he has ever worked for. If McCartten decides David Cunliffe is the stooge of the nameless businessmen who funded his primary campaign Matt will lead the coup. On second thoughts, Matt does not need a reason to plot a coup. It is what he does

Parliamentary Services Concerned

Parliamentary Services has issued strict instructions that parliamentary staff are employed by the taxpayer to assist MPs and must not engage in party political campaigning. All commentators agree McCarten has been hired for his campaigning skills. No doubt the Commission will be sending a please explain letter.

Why appoint McCarten?

Labour believes that if only the “missing one million” who did not vote last election had gone to the ballot box they would have won. McCarten has been employed to get out the non-vote in South Auckland.

Will it work?

Maybe voters stayed at home because they like John Key. McCarten ran the Mana Party campaign last election and they failed spectacularly. Matt thinks everyone in South Auckland is a homeless out of work Maori or Pacifica. Actually South Auckland is diverse; most people have jobs and their own home. Most Labour voters think McCarten is an extremist. For every vote McCarten gets Labour will lose two voters.

Lonely Hone

Under McCarten’s campaign direction Hone Harawera has found he is leading a “class war” party. Hone is so irrelevant in parliament he rarely bothers to attend. Now Matt is directing the campaign to defeat the Mana Party. Hone must wonder why he left the Maori Party.

Independents

The fastest growing group is people who call themselves independents. When ACT stayed on the cross benches the party’s vote went up in every election. When ACT appears to be just an adjunct of National the party’s vote has fallen. ACT is not having any cups of tea this election. ACT is campaigning for David Seymour to win on his own merit as a good “independent” MP for Epsom.

Women friendly

ACT has a new generation of women candidates. The party is wooing Dr. Kim Douglas. She is Roger Douglas’ niece. If elected she will create history. Her great grandfather, grandfather, father and uncle have been MPs. She has a doctorate and a degree from Oxford, has worked in the Treasury and internationally as an engineer. If she agrees to stand it will be a real coup.

Can New Zealand pay more tax?

The Left say their promises can be funded by more taxation. The rate of tax can be increased but will it result in more revenue? In the nineties the treasury commission Dr. Patrick Caragata to do modeling on the growth maximizing tax rate. The model showed that investment growth and jobs were highest when tax was between 16 and 25 percent of GDP. Dr. Sully, one of the international academics on the project, said his model showed that the Government is taking such a large proportion of GDP that the New Zealand economy cannot generate more tax revenue. Any increase in the rate of tax will damage the productive economy so that total tax review will fall.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Issue 49: Werewolf Weekender

Philip Matthews: From The Lost Continent
It’s a case of better late than never for Olivier Assayas’ marvellous After May/Apres Mai, which first screened at Venice in 2012, had a couple of North Island screenings last year during the International Film Festival’s “Autumn Events” season, got a theatrical release in Australia – but not here – and only now appears on DVD, after Assayas himself has moved on. More>>

The Complicatist: Blue Eyed & Soulful
For a while in June, the top two singles on the US Billboard charts featured Iggy Azalea, an Australian model turned hip hop performer. To some, this may seem like just the latest chapter in a long saga of whites ripping off black culture, while enriching themselves in the process. Obviously, there’s some truth in the stereotype. Yet it can also obscure the positive collaborations – in jazz, soul music and hip hop – between musicians who treated each other as creative equals, race regardless. More>>

Satire: Carry On Captaining
Oh hello. Scanner Technician Davis. To what do I owe the pleasure?
You think we’re what?
Oh, pish. This vessel has been travelling along smoothly for generations – particularly smoothly in the last few years though I say so myself – and I happen to know we have never once been hit by an asteroid... More>>

 

Parliament Today:

False Electoral Return: John Banks Sentenced To Community Detention, Community Work

“The conviction of John Banks today is another sad chapter for John Banks and the ACT Party”, says Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Rise Of ISIS And Labour

While global attention got distracted by the fate of MH17 and the atrocities in Gaza, the world’s other mega ‘bad news’ story – the rise of ISIS-led fundamentalism in Iraq – has reached a tipping point. More>>

ALSO:

Rebuild: Christchurch City Council Releases Milestone Report

The Cameron Partners report says the Council may need to find an additional $783 million to $883 million by 2019... Options Cameron Partners proposed include increasing rates, borrowing more, maximising insurance payments, and freeing up capital from its commercial assets. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: Parliament Adjourns

The 50th Parliament has adjourned for the final time. After the completion of the adjournment debate, MPs left for the campaign trail with Parliament to be dissolved on August 14 ahead of the September 20 election. More>>

ALSO:

Novopayout: Government-Owned Company To Take Over School Payroll

After lengthy negotiations, the Ministry of Education and the existing school payroll provider, Talent2, have settled both on the amounts payable by Talent2 towards the costs of remediating the Novopay service and a new operating model for the school payroll system. More>>

ALSO:

Employment: Labour Will Raise Minimum Wage, Restore Work Rights

A Labour government will raise the minimum wage $2 an hour to $16.25 and restore work rights to ensure the benefits of economic growth are shared fairly by all New Zealanders, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. More>>

ALSO:

Police: Crewe File Review Released

No new evidence has come to light implicating any specific person as being responsible for the murders of Jeannette and Harvey Crewe... The review identifies there is a distinct possibility that Exhibit 350 (the brass .22 cartridge case) may be fabricated evidence, and that if this is the case, that a member of Police would have been responsible. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Issue #49: Gordon Campbell Interviews Laila Harre

For 25 years, Labour and National have been in virtual agreement about the basics of economic policy, and differed mainly on how to go about managing its social consequences. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news