6 July 2014
The life and times of David
It’s been a tortuous week. The nation has had to endure copious media coverage of David Cunliffe evangelising at Labour’s annual conference (what it grandly calls a “Congress”). The good news for the other parties is the polls indicate the better the electorate get to know David Cunliffe, the less likely they are to vote for Labour.
Mike Hosking got it mostly right in a recent Herald Colum (HERE) when he said, “Labour’s in a mess. They look in no shape at all to compete, far less win an election… One of the things I think will happen is that Labour won’t break 30 per cent and quite possibly will do worse than that… So Labour can rightly wonder in those quiet moments they undoubtedly have, when they’re reading poll numbers like 23, 27 or 29, just what it is they need to do to. They can write at least part of the gap off to the other blokes being on top form. But as much as they will hate hearing this, much of their problem is of their own making. The trick at least in part to political success is giving people what they want. And quotas on lists, more tax, stopping people cutting up trees that are blown over, isn’t it.”
The reason Labour is not connecting with the electorate is quite simple: they are ruled by the trade union movement. We have made that point many times and Rodney Hide has outlined the same in his weekly column (HERE). He says,
“The union funding of Labour totals in the millions. And what does Labour provide in return? In effect the entire party. The unions get to determine the party’s leader. Their say counts for 20 per cent of the vote. That’s the difference between winning and losing by a wide margin. Affiliation also buys a seat at the table. The affiliated unions have a guaranteed vice-president position on Labour’s all-powerful New Zealand Council. They also get their people as MPs. The Labour Party enables the unions to parachute members into Parliament. Labour list MP Andrew Little headed the EPMU for 11 years before entering Parliament. Being a union boss come Labour’s list selection time isn’t as good as being a Maori lesbian but it’s a close second. And the unions get policy, lots of policy. In 1999 the EPMU gave $100,000 to Labour. The following year the Labour Government passed the Employment Relations Act. This act gives the unions incredible power over Kiwi workplaces as well as easy access to workers’ pay packets. The Employment Relations Act nicely closes the loop. The act was provided by the Labour Party. It gave the unions access to workers’ pockets, and that’s the money the unions now tip into Labour’s coffers. Indeed, in the state sector it’s policy for Government to give union members a bonus to cover their union fees. You and I pay their union fees.”
Labour will always run a distant second to National while the trade unions control the Party, but of course that does not matter under MMP.
Mallard’s Moa madness
As far as advertisements for smaller government go, Trevor Mallard is the poster boy. Trevor is a depressing reminder of the calibre of our Parliamentary representatives. His hallucinations about Moa returning to the hills of Wainuiomata are even more extreme than the thinking the moon landing was a hoax (an issue that – unfairly – tainted the credibility of the Conservative Party).
Trevor Mallard is to be hailed as an effigy for those who believe there should be fewer members of parliament and those who believe MPs should have less influence on our lives!
Cunliffe apologises for being a man
Labour leader David Cunliffe has apologised to a Women’s Refuge forum; “I’m sorry for being a man right now, because family and sexual violence is perpetrated overwhelmingly by men against women and children.”
What a stupid thing to say. Men should not feel any blame nor responsibility for other men behaving badly. That responsibility falls solely upon the individual committing the crime.
The truth is that David Cunliffe will say anything and apologise for any sin, imagined or real, if he thought it would enhance his chances of winning an election.
A Judge with poor judgement
Judge Philippa Cunningham should be removed from her judicial role. The latest mis-judgement from the judge is discharging without conviction the son of Maori King Tuheitia Paki, 19, on charges of burglary, theft and drink driving. She accepted the arguments of Paki’s lawyer that a conviction would ruin the chances of his client succeeding to the throne.
He told the court, “any conviction for any criminal offending is considered unacceptable” for a potential king, who had to have an “unblemished record” to be considered for the role.
In discharging the verdict Judge Cunningham said, “There’s only two sons and in my view it’s important that the king at the appropriate time has the widest possible choice of a successor and it’s important for Mr Paki, as one of those two sons, to have the potential to be a successor in time.”
Conviction she said, would have consequences that were “out of all proportion” to the offence.
The judge has got this badly wrong. Birth right should not be a pre-emptive right in law. His family connections should have had no consideration at all in sentencing – it is irrelevant.
As it happens, this was not the offender’s first time before the courts. He was on bail at the time, for offences dating from March this year and October 2013.
The judge has in effect granted the Maori king’s children immunity from prosecution. Anyone else would have been convicted.
This is not the first time Judge Cunningham has “erred” in sentencing. In another case a recidivist offender was given 11 months home detention for the aggravated robbery of an 81 year old, a crime that carries 14 years imprisonment. That sentence was appealed and overturned by the Court of Appeal, imposing imprisonment of two years, five and a half months.
We hope the Crown appeals the discharge of Korotangi Paki and sends a message to judges that everyone should be equal before the law, even those related to tribal royalty!
Last week we asked: Do you think a government coalition of the left would be unstable?
On this readers were clear. 89% said Yes, 11% No.
Here are some comments reflecting the “Yes” vote.
Ray said: “The minor parties in this coalition have no history of co-operation or agreement with each other. Egos and ideology and an inability to compromise will produce a stagnating government and ultimately lead to a collapse.”
Bruce: “A left led coalition that included the Greens and the Mana/Dotcom debacle would set this country back and waste the progress we have made in the past 6 years. All the sacrifice and hard work would be for nought and we’d have to start all over again.”
Scott and Oriole: “The National led government for all its faults is far more fiscally responsible than any left wing coalition could ever hope to be – witness nine years of Helen Clark and Michael Cullen – we are only just managing to extricate ourselves from that mess!”
While Mihaela representing the “No” vote said: “All existing parties are not what you called ‘left’! A socialist party will put accent on creating jobs for all, no dole without work, medical and education free. Together they do have good policies.”
This week’s poll asks:
Do you think Judge Cunningham was right to discharge Korotangi Paki without conviction so as to not affect his chances of succeeding his father as Maori King?
To vote, visit www.5pm.org.nz and look on the sidebar.
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill
5PM Voting Booth – last chance to vote on current proposals
Many thanks to those who have already voted on our four current policy proposals. We would like to close these off this coming week, so if you would still like to cast your vote, please visit the Voting Booth on the 5PM website HERE.
Policy proposals are:
1. “That MMP be abolished and replaced with First Past the Post.”
2. “That Section 19ZB of the Local Electoral Act 2001 be amended to include the public’s right to demand a binding poll where a council is proposing to grant voting rights to unelected representatives.”
3. “That a NOTA (none of the above) voting option be included on ballot papers in local and central government elections, with the effect that should NOTA gain the most votes, the election nominations would be re-opened and another election held.”
4. “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.”
The 5PM Facebook Page
We post all of the comments we receive in the weekly poll on our 5PM Facebook page – to view, click HERE and scroll down. We also welcome your feedback on topical issues…
And finally, please don’t forget to help us spread the message about 5PM! Our policies of equal rights, binding referenda and all the rest, would have a very positive impact on the future of New Zealand. You can see all of the 5PM policies HERE.
Frank and Muriel Newman
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