31 August 2014
It can’t be said that politics is not interesting! Judith Collins has resigned as a minister. It was the right thing to do, for Judith Collins personally and the National party generally. Both Collins and the PM did well fronting the media. They were straight-up and confronted the matter directly as they needed to be because it is serious.
The email in question “Update on SFO/Feeley sting”, has the appearance of an orchestrated campaign against a former SFO boss, which extended into feeding information to mainstream media and apparently to Judith Collins, who was at that time the Minister in charge of the SFO. See email HERE.
With respect to Judith Collins, the email says:
“I also spoke at length with the Minister responsible today (Judith Collins). She is gunning for Feeley. Any information that we can provide her on his background is appreciated. I have outlined for her a coming blog post about the massive staff turnover and she has added that to the review of the State Services Commissioner. She is using the review of these events to go on a trawl looking for anything else. It is my opinion that Feeley’s position is untenable.”
As we see it the important issues for an enquiry are: Was the “sting” paid for by a third party who had an interest in removing the SFO boss, and whether there is any evidence that Judith Collins was “gunning” for Adam Feely as was stated in Cameron Slater’s email.
National will be hoping the political debate now focuses on policy rather than dirty politics. The Dirty Politics has had an impact on National. The Party, and John Key, is looking tired, but its party vote appears to have remained remarkably resilient. Ironically, Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, appears to have benefited NZ First and the Conservatives. The Greens continue to eat away at Labour’s diminishing share of the vote.
Capital Gains Tax winners and losers
One policy that has not seen a lot of light is Labour’s capital gains tax. A Breaking Views commentary reviews the winners and losers;
There is an inescapable truism in tax policy that no rational person, and few politicians, would dispute: Money flows into the area of least tax. For this reason good tax law is simple (GST for example). The problems start when exemptions appear. Under the proposed CGT regime a number of exemptions have been added to make it more appealing to the electorate; the family home and personal assets like yachts, cars, artwork, and other collectables. It’s into those areas that the money would flow, and the result is what’s called the “mansion effect”.
For the full article see HERE.
The decline in the polls must be a worry for Labour. With just three weeks to polling day it should be gaining momentum – it’s not. We believe the problems for Labour are too fundamental to be corrected during a campaign. Its policies are essentially alleging an unfairness in our society that most people do not believe. As the focus moves to the final stages of the campaign we believe the focus will sharpen into what is essentially a choice between more parties pushing for more tax or less tax.
Hate chants against the Prime Minister one week, Pam Corkery totally losing the plot the next: “You puffed up little s@*^… when will you glove puppets of Cameron Slater just p!#* off”.
The Internet Mana Party are showing their breeding. More importantly, it really does show how much influence MMP has given to radicals. If the intention of MMP was to give minorities a voice, it has done that – s@*^ yeah!
The radicalisation of the Maori roll
Tami Iti is now a list candidate for the Maori Party. He is #7 on their list. To be elected the Party needs to get just over 5% of the vote – unlikely given their miserable polling at under 1%.
What it does demonstrate is how radical the Maori seats and indeed the Maori roll, has become. The truth is, the Maori seats don’t represent the views of all Maori. The numbers prove it:
- At the last census 415,000 people over the age of 18 described themselves as Maori.
- In 2011 there were 230,000 voters on the Maori roll.
45 percent of Maori choose not to be on the Maori roll. They want to be on the general roll, along with everyone else. That makes it even more incomprehensible that John Key would leave the decision regarding the Maori seats up to the 230,000 on the Maori roll (and only 49% actually voted in 2011). He is in effect saying, the decision as to whether he Maori seats should remain will be made exclusively by radical Maori. That is utterly unacceptable. We are staggered the media have not picked John Key up on this. It’s a hole in his argument big enough to sink the Titanic.
Clearly John Key has not thought the issue through – which is a great shame as it is an important issue that will not go away. Unfortunately the existence of the Maori seats is also being used by naive do-gooder autocrats in local government to justify separate Maori seats on local authorities, again elected only by those on the Maori roll – not all Maori.
We had a big response to last weeks poll question: Does the decision by National to allow Maori only to decide on the retention of the Maori seats make you less inclined to vote for National?
79% said Yes. 21% No.
“Maoris have already voted against Maori seats by having a higher percentage of Maoris on the general roll.” George.
“It is disappointing but that’s life. There is no other party that’s capable of running the country efficiently so let’s move on to more important issues.” John.
“This is one issue Colin Craig has got the right answer for, if John Key doesn’t have the guts to abolish the Maori seats he isn’t PM material.” IMHO
“It is well past time the politicians stood up to the Maoris and made them aware that they are citizens of New Zealand jut as the rest of us are. All governments, Labour National or whatever need to learn to use the word NO! Particularly in election year.” Jim.
“Any party that hasn’t the guts to stand up to the bully boys who push for this racial privilege is getting pretty shaky when it comes to the support of my vote, no matter what other good points it may possess.” Rob.
“John Key and National may have their faults but the thought of them being replaced, particularly by a Labour/Green coalition, scares the tripe out of me! The Maori seats issue can be revisited after the election anyway.” Scott.
From the poll comments, it seems those who are walking away from National because of their cosy relationship with the Maori party are turning to NZ First, or the Conservative Party, or to a lesser extent, Act. All have pledged to remove the Maori seats.
John Key’s fear of a Hikoi from hell got us thinking about courage. It’s what we voters ask from our politicians. They are in a position to stand up to bullies, individuals are not. This is what makes the PM’s back down so much more disturbing.
Our poll this week asks: Do you think we there will be a National or Labour prime minister after the 2014 general election, or is the result too close to call?
To vote, please visit www.5pm.org.nz and look on the RH sidebar.
Watchdog will not howl at the moon
A few weeks ago the Greens laid a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner regarding the (former) Justice Minister Judith Collins supplying the name of a former Internal Affairs staffer and alleged whistleblower to Whale Oil.
The Privacy Commissioner, John Edwards, rejected the complaint saying,
The request for the investigation did not come from the public servant who was the subject of the disclosure. I advised the Greens that the Privacy Act gives me the discretion to refuse to investigate a matter where the complainant (in this case, the Green Party) does not have a sufficient personal interest in the subject matter of the complaint.
One commentator said last week that there was no point in having watchdogs that won’t bark.
The Privacy Act is fundamentally concerned with the preservation and promotion of individual autonomy…That purpose would not be served if we were to investigate a complaint in a highly politicised and publicised environment that is neither on behalf of, nor supported by, the affected individual.
As for the other complaints I have received, if we find barking is warranted, then the public can be assured we will bark. What we won’t do is howl at the moon.
See his full response HERE.
We done John Edwards for seeing through the political games and letting politicians know that common sense will not be compromised for the sake of politics or political correctness. We wish the Race Relations Commissioner would carry out her role with a similar level of pragmatism.
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Frank and Muriel Newman
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