28 April 2014
Jones heads for the transit lounge
The liquefaction within the Labour Party surfaced again this week with the impending departure of Shane Jones from the Party and Parliament.
The public face is one of pleasant well wishing. What’s really going only the insiders would know, but our speculation is that Jones faced a number of unpalatable choices and he went for the one that gives him the best long-term political opportunity.
There is no doubt since the departure of Helen Clark the neo-communist trade union faction within the Labour Party has gained control. That would not sit well with Jones and made his chances of ever becoming party leader pretty slim – despite him being their best hope of success at the ballot box.
When Cunliffe falls, the dubious honour of the leadership will probably go to the ex-trade union boss, Andrew Little (and after him to the current President of the Council of Trade Unions, Helen Kelly, who no doubt has “Labour MP” predetermined on her career path).
The truth is that Shane Jones is too much a believer in free enterprise to sit comfortably with a far-left trade unionist party. In fact, he actually has more in common with National than Labour (and less so with a Labour government that would include the manic Green and Mana parties). As a populist politician with the gift of the gab he has a style more akin to his great mate, Winston Peters.
Our view is that Jones will return to politics. The allure of drifting around the Pacific Islands drinking coconut juice will soon wear thin; politics is more intoxicating and an addiction few are able to give up – especially attention-seekers like Jones. We therefore expect Jones to return to politics – not with Labour, but with NZ First. It makes sense. NZ First with Jones as leader is likely to be just as attractive as under Winston Peters – and it will give Jones a chance to become Deputy PM in a future government that would more than likely be National, rather than Labour, but it could be either, depending on how much each is prepared to concede.
National too would not be displeased with such an outcome – it would give them what they lack – a long-term coalition partner with significant popular support. That will be for 2017. First National has to deal with the election just 20 weeks away.
Racism within local councils
Local councils are the new hunting ground for Maori seeking electoral privileges. As has been reported in the media recently, the New Plymouth District Council rejected a proposal by Mayor Andrew Judd to appoint six iwi members with full voting rights onto influential council committees. He justified the proposal on the basis that “Iwi participation in local government is necessary because they’re our treaty partner”.
The notion of iwi having racial privileges because they are a treaty partner is of course absurd. Mr Judd appears to have misread or ignored the will of the people he was asked to represent. Fortunately, a majority of councillors did see sense and voted against the Mayor’s proposal. Mayor Judd, like his predecessor Harry Duynhoven, is vulnerable to becoming a single term Mayor.
Unfortunately that is not the end of the matter for locals. The Taranaki Regional Council chief executive Basil Chamberlain responded to the “no” vote by revealing that they too were planning to appoint iwi with full voting rights onto influential council committees. It seems the TRC needs to learn the lesson that those who act contrary to public opinion will find themselves in troubled waters. In this case it would be the council’s eleven members: David MacLeod (Chairman), David Lean, Craig Williamson, Peter Horton, Moira Irving, Tom Cloke, Mike Davey, Roger Maxwell, Michael Joyce, Neil Walker, and Brian Jeffares.
This sort of nonsense is going on all around New Zealand. We are aware for example that Tukoroirangi “Tuku” Morgan recently addressed the Whangarei District Council on what “partnership” means to Maori. We know what it means to Maori: 50% of the representation. Now that the grievance claims have come to an end for some and are nearing an end for most, the new grievance is about representation. Having raided the pantry, they are now raiding the purse strings.
Abolish the Maori seats
We think there can be no unity in New Zealanders while an entitlement to stand for public office is based on race. If you support the 5PM call to abolish the Maori seats please sign the online petition at: www.nzcpr.com/maori-seat-petition
This week’s poll asks: Do you agree with the New Plymouth District Council Mayor Andrew Judd that “Iwi participation in local government is necessary because they’re our treaty partner”?
To take part in the poll visit the 5PM website 5pm.org.nz and look on the sidebar.
5PM is a grassroots people’s movement. Our objective is to convince the public, political party candidates, Members of Parliament, the media, and other opinion leaders that the policies we are promoting would have a very positive impact on New Zealand. As a movement outside of Parliament our strength is the quality of those ideas – such as binding citizens initiated referenda, one law for all, the protection of private property rights – and the enthusiasm of our supporters in helping to spread the message. Obviously, if political parties adopt our ideas as part of their election manifestos, then our influence may spread into government. That’s why we encourage supporters to promote 5PM principles and policies as widely as possible through speaking to others, writing letters to the editor, calling talkback radio, and engaging with social media. As a people’s movement we also encourage everyone to become involved in the policy development process – to vote on policy proposals and to make suggestions for new policies.
5PM Voting Booth
Last week we asked: “Do you see merit in a proposal that would tax foreigners 10% of the value of property purchases with the funds being raised to offer low interest loans to first home buyers?”
84% said yes, so we have added a new policy proposal for supporters.
It is: “That foreign entities and foreigners (individuals who are neither New Zealand citizens nor permanent residents) be taxed 10% of the value of New Zealand property purchases with the funds raised being offered as low interest loans to NZ resident first home buyers?”
Votes may be cast at the Voting Booth on the 5PM website, HERE.
Many thanks to those who have voted in our current policy proposal which is:
“That local government legislation be amended to include the right of citizens to demand a binding referendum to remove their mayor from office.”
A clear indication is emerging but we will keep the voting booths open for a little longer so everyone has an opportunity to have their say.
Votes may be cast at the Voting Booth on the 5PM website, HERE.
Quote of the week
“The Left is the party of government activism – the party that says government can make you richer, smarter, slimmer, taller, and take a dozen strokes off your golf game. The Right is the party that says government doesn’t work. And then they get elected and prove it.” – P J O’Rourke
Frank and Muriel Newman
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