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

Half Empty: Dairy Prices Drop To Lowest Since August 2009

Dairy product prices fell to the lowest level in more than five years in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, led by declines in butter milk powder and whole milk powder.

”Stocks of dairy commodities are building across the globe due to Russia’s current ban on importing dairy products from many Western nations, and a lack of urgency from Chinese buyers, while at the same time global milk supplies are expanding,” AgriHQ dairy analyst Susan Kilsby said in a note. More>>

 

Slippage: NZ Universities Still In Top 3% Globally

This year the University of Auckland ranked 175 (down from 164 last year); the University of Otago ranked 251-275th (down from 226-250), both Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Canterbury held their ranks (at 276-300thand 301-350 respectively), while the University of Waikato dropped from 301-350 to 351-400. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On The Last Rites For The TPP

The Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal is one of those litmus issues that has always had more to do with one’s place on the political spectrum than with any imminent reality... For the TPP’s friends and foes alike though, the end now seems nigh. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Farcical Elevation Of David Seymour

With the election won, it’s time to find jobs for the boy. David Seymour is the Act Party’s latest scrounger to be rewarded by the National Party, and not only with a seat in Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

As Key Mulls Joining ISIS Fighting: McCully Speech To UN Backs Security Council Bid

It is an honour to address you today on behalf of the Prime Minister and Government of New Zealand. Our General Election took place last week - our Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key is engaged in forming a government and that is why he is unable to be here in New York... More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Cunliffe Triggers Party Wide Leadership Contest

David Cunliffe has resigned as Labour Leader, but says he will seek re-election... If there is any contest the election will have to go through a process involving the party membership and union affiliates. More>>

ALSO:

Flyover Appeal: Progress And Certainty, Or Confusion And More Delays?

Lindsay Shelton: The Transport Agency, embarrassed by the rejection of its flyover alongside the Basin Reserve, says it’s appealing because the decision could “constrain progress.” Yet for most clear-sighted Wellingtonians a 300-metre-long concrete structure above Kent and Cambridge Terraces would in no way be seen as progress… More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Cunliffe’s Last Stand

Right now, embattled Labour leader David Cunliffe has three options. None of them are particularly attractive for him personally, or for the Labour Party... More>>

ALSO:

Key Seeking 'New Ideas': Look To Children’s Commissioner On Poverty - Greens

John Key should not reinvent the wheel when it comes to ideas for tackling child poverty, and instead look to the recommendations of the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Group on Child Poverty, Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news