International Cat Speculators Since 2006

OCTKF – 2005 June & July


I’ve decided to post months as I do them from now on, adding them to the pages when I’ve got a year’s worth for a more permanent place.

I’m amazed at how much I’ve myself forgotten. Quite remarkable how some things repeat too…

It’s worth repeating that I’ve deliberately picked up a few “interest” items throughout – some idiot on Kiwiblog was abusing me because Clinton’s “gay ray” wasn’t Labour related.

June 2005

  • DPF 13th most powerful person on NZ internet, threatens female populace with corny pickup line
  • Unless it is a case of mistaken identity again, the latest Iraqi in NZ attacked by Peters is an engineer who has lived here for nine years!”
  • Most of the media attention has been on the fact that Michael Cullen named the wrong TV station when he launched an attack on them yesterday. However I think the most interesting part of this story is that the NZ Herald reports him as warning the press gallery they were at Parliament only with the permission of the Speaker. This reads to me as a threat to journalists that if they displease the Government, then the Speaker may remove their accreditation.” – Hm, what was that bill again… Electoral F something…
  • Labour and the Greens have done a deal over the prisoner compensation bill. Now the bill will be an awful unprincipled piece of law. How do I know this? Because it has a sunset clause which means it expires in a few years.”
  • How Labour thanks the Greens
  • Westpac has pointed out that Cullen is planning to increase crown spending from 29.6 per cent of GDP in 2004 to 32.3 per cent in 2009. And even with all that (much of which would be wasteful) there would be large surpluses.” – but to win the 2008 election, they’ve now spent even more than that!
  • The Greens say student loan debt is growing at $78,000 an hour. … But I am unsure what they mean by saying people can get their loan written off by doing unpaid work. Does this mean become a full-time activist for Greenpeace and we will write your loan off for you??””
  • Frog has confirmed that under the Greens policy that one could become a fulltime Greenpeace activist and have $12,000 of debt a year written off, plus no doubt receive their universal living allowance of around $10,000 a year.”
  • According to this story, it seems likely the source for Winston Peters’ latest allegations is someone who has lost lawsuits against the two men named by Peters as being high officials in Saddam’s regime.”
  • Greens get personal
  • Don’t forget Doonegate
  • Core health spending has skyrocketed by $3.5 billion under Labour – from $6.1 billion to $9.6 billion – yes a massive near 60% increase.” – post sadly cut off
  • Labour learnt that Auckland business groups were planning to campaign on the lack of progress on roading, and a draft strategy included having a website called www.revupthegovt.co.nz The business groups had not yet registered the domain, …so Labour … registered to David Talbot who bizarrely is the candidate for Clutha-Southland, yet lives in Wellington! Oh wait, now all is clear – his biography says he works for Marion Hobbs.”
  • I have to say I was naive, and never for a second did I consider the Speaker may not refer the Benson-Pope issue to the Privileges Committee, but she has refused. I thought it was beyond dispute that it would go to the Privileges Committee, as the facts were so clear cut. DBP denied some very specific allegations in the House, and since then several former students have come forward to say they were true.”
  • Dr Cullen is trying to scare-monger that tax cuts under National will be inflationary and lead to interest rate hikes. This misses the point that $1 of spending is more inflationary than $1 of tax cuts. … now Dr Cullen is worried about interest rate increases. Interest rates have gone up a whopping seven times in the last 18 months. And why? The OECD blames it on the run-away Government spending.”
  • Trotter makes several points:
    * The Opposition’s newly erected billboards speak eloquently of a quantum shift in National’s propaganda capability.
    * A fortnight ago rumours flew around the capital that the Prime Minister’s hitherto highly effective propaganda team was on the verge of mutiny and, some whispered, disintegration
    * Six years of unprecedented spending on health and education have not produced the anticipated results.
    * New Zealand’s bureaucratic structures would appear to have an inexhaustible capacity to absorb taxpayers’ dollars
    ” – So i guess there might be room for a “razor gang”!
  • G-Man has a lengthy and well researched post on how outraegous the decision by Speaker Wilson is.
  • And on the same issue I note that Seatoun School Board of Trustees has banned a weekly lunchtime religious studies group from meeting on school property.” – note: nothing to do with Labour AFAIK
  • It started with the Budget backlash being blamed on the President, and now we learn that Dr Cullen has apologised on behalf of Mike Williams to Michael Barnett, yet Mr Williams was totally unaware of the apology on his behalf….. And as I predicted Labour have scored another own goal by grabbing the suggested domain name for the Auckland business campaign. They have merely got an shorter, far better, domain name (www.revup.co.nz) and all the days of publicity…”
  • “Labour votes to keep Treaty clauses” (In spite of not seeming to believe in them)
  • Labour has inspired an artist, but not in the way they woudl like. The talented Rose Ritson Trenwith is selling on Trade Me a painting expressing her “distaste in the government we have today in power”.”
  • “Sue Bradford has had her private members bill to ‘ban smacking” drawn from the ballot…..The NZ Herald … [leaves one] with the imnpression that no parents who beat their children have ever been convicted because of S59.”
  • Mallard ignored advice to authorise Wananaga payment
  • Dr Cullen says that reducing the number of bureaucrats will reduce productivity.” – good read
  • Very rare for me to back NZ First, but it appears Labour is acting in very bad faith with regards to the agreement thay had over the foreshore legislation. NZ First backed the law on the condition that there would be no extension of legal aid eligibility. However Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta has now introduced a private members bill to do just that…. an MP only introduces a private members bill after it has been approved by the party leadership and/or Caucus. So it is purely semantics to claim this will not be a breach of the agreement with NZ First.”
  • Jonathan Milne writes how Labour President Mike Williams is the one man Helen Clark can not sack, as much as she would like to. The article is a nice trip down memory lane of all the people she has sacked, and also all the ones she should have sacked – but hasn’t”
  • It’s one thing to do sleep deprivation and humiliation in interrogating al Qaeda detainees, but when you force them to listen to Christina Aguilera music that is a clear breach of the Geneva Conventions.”
  • Tax Relief
  • McCully’s Newsletter “The Auditor-General wanted to reform the rules for parliamentary spending, and approached both Don Brash and Helen Clark for co-operation. Disgracefully Clark has refused to even meet.” – another key point on the $800,000 theft
  • Dr Cullen has attacked “the myth of big government and the myth of high tax.” His only problems is neither are myths. Government spending has increased by unprecedented amounts, and an extra $50 billion of tax has been taken since 1999, over 1999 levels.”
  • Legal Aid for Foreshore claims
  • Labour appointed their former Mana MP, Graham Kelly, to be High Commissioner to Canada. And thanks to Mr McCully’s newsletter, the Maori Party have found out what a good job he is doing in representing New Zealand.”
  • What it takes to avoid being sacked – very little indeed. “High Commissioner Graeme Kelly will not be sacked because “he has shown energy and enthusiasm for representing New Zealand””
  • Greens want to tax computers
  • “…I reckoned one could double the amount of money spent on health, and you would still find demand still exceeding resources. Now Labour has actually gone halfway there – funding has increased by about 50%, and yep you guessed it – the change has hardly been noticed.”
  • Cullen discovers fiscal restraint – or maybe not
  • If a High Commissioner has become such an embarrassment that the Government doesn’t think he can show his face in NZ, even to attend one of his closest friend’s funeral, then isn’t that pretty clear that he shouldn’t be carrying on in that role?”
  • The $3 billion [Kyoto] cock-up – “UPDATE: As it was Pete Hodgson who in 2002 said “that not to ratify would be to set fire to a very big cheque”, I’ve got a fair idea where the firings shold start.
  • More on Kyoto stuff-up
  • “You know National is serious about tax cuts, when it is even giving them to race horses!… What is Labour’s position. They will instead look to increase the tax on casinos to match that on gaming!!” – Did National recieve some of the Vela money?
  • The worst mistake is misreading the public mood on tax cuts, compounded by a blunder over the Budget strategy. That strategy, which even the Government now acknowledges was flawed, allowed expectations of cuts to build up and then delivered what most voters would have rightly considered a joke”
  • “…the latest updates on the Waipareira Trust, but can’t fail to note the HOS story which shows “he or his family got benefits of at least $9500 from the account” , which $20,000 of the stolen $100,000 was paid into. Remember Helen and Michael say that all the allegations were false, and Tamihere did nothing wrong.”
  • The SST has a story on Merilyn Tweedie’s refusal to talk to media, despite receiving $500,000 of taxpayer funding. Painter Grahame Sydney has defended this, saying “Tweedie had no obligation to explain herself or her work” and “The public isn’t in this equation”.”
  • “…Press editorial this morning: “For this [support for withdrawing from Kyoto] the Government has only itself to blame, or, more accurately, Pete Hodgson, the Energy Minister. It was his responsibility to get the calculations right. Not only did he fail to do so but he advocated our participation in the convention, largely, on the carbon credits coming our way.”
  • One News had a Colmar Brunton poll on tax. With regard to Labour’s miserly budget tax changes, 13% say this made them more likely to vote National, and 7% more likely to vote Labour.”
  • “The u-turns have started”
  • “Colin James on the Government”
  • Personally I can be persuaded to amend or remove Section 59 as a step towards lessening child abuse, but it does seem the real motivation for some is to use this as a proxy to campaign against smacking children at all, and equating smacking with child abuse is daft. The vast majority of parents know what is best for their child, and that may include smacking them if for example they try to run accross the road by themselves. The law should protect the children from the small minority of families who are abused, but should not be used to equate smacking with abuse.”
  • “The scare campaign begins” –“So trying to equate tax cuts when faced with an $8 billion surplus, with necessitating the expenditure cuts of 1990/91 which was due to a $5 billion deficit is dishonest on many levels.”
  • OBERAC vs Cash Surplus(Interesting)
  • Heh heh Speaker Margaret Wilson just evicted the Prime Minister from the House for disorderly behaviour!…. UPDATE: Heh, heh. I had been thinking of commenting that one would never see Don Brash ejected, but just as well I didn’t as he also got kicked out a minute ago. They are lively today!”
  • The net number of NZers leaving to live in Australia increased by a massive 60% in May. People are voting with their feet. Who remembers Jim Anderton in 1999 arrogantly telling young NZers overseas – you can come home now. What’s happened Jim?” –  Quite, I remember too well!
  • For some weeks and months as I have watched question time, I have been very disquieted by the way certain Labour MPs always interject “take your medicine” when Nick Smith is interjecting. …. There was an incident about a Labour Spokesperson in the 1990s which National left alone. Mark Peck’s problems were also treated with sympathy, as should be the case. This is in total contrast to what Labour are doing.”
  • Orchardists marched on Wellington yesterday… So knowing we have a great case, which we are guaranteed to win, they are understandably upset the Government is refusing to stand up for them.”
  • “Comparing the Stories” (More on Nick Smith)
  • “I’m annoyed with this article in the Press, repeating some invented figures by Cullen, trying to guess what National’ tax relief and extra spending may total…. Labour is desperate to panic National into showing its hand too early. Over the next four weeks they will make wilder and wilder claims about what National is promising. They will claim $10, $15, $20 billion of tax relief and spending. They will claim interest rates will double. In fact they will probably claim the sky will fall in also.”
  • I’ve found very creepy the case of the ex-undercover policeman who was charged with threatening to kill Prime Minister Helen Clark.” – for balance. we on the right condemn this sort of thing, even against our opponents.
  • The plan is obvious. Invent the most extreme interpretations of what it could be, have everyone scaremonger on it, and then use the refusal of National to panic and shows its hand, to scream loudly that it must all be true. In case anyone is unconvinced, have a look at the Dom Post article which quotes from, get this, “Labour’s qualitative research”. So Labour Party focus groups are now the basis of judging what National will do!!!”
  • Orewa effects still happening – “Now, 18 months on, and just a few weeks before the 2005 election, they have announced they will change more than a third of its ethnically targeted programmes and well over half of the rest could be altered or axed once further reviews are done.”
  • The ultimate in knee-jerk spending decisions
  • A reader e-mailed me this extract from the Maori Party constitution: 4.4 All decisions of the Council shall be by consensus (Consensus may be defined as “the view of the majority”).”
  • I don’t think a single journalist believes Helen Clark’s claims that the timing of the announcement on the Israeli apology was a coincidence that it was on the same day as Don Brash’s conference speech. Yes, I am sure she did not even realise the conference was on. And one always makes foreign policy announcements on a Sunday.” … “Fran O’Sullivan points out that the PM all but lied outright in claiming the timing was at the request of Israel.”
  • What is humor and what is insulting?
  • If I was even more cynical than I am, I would suspect the Government doesn’t actually want to stop the cricket tour to Zimbabwe, it just wants to be able to keep banging on in public about how it is going to try and do something.”
  • Quote of the Day 28 June 2005“Am looking forward to the (Political) Apprentice. Instead of ‘You’re fired’, the NZ version would have ‘You’ve been promoted to ambassador’.”- heh
  • “Labour are backing down on forcing farmers to provide public access near waterways.” – Another EFA story here, they ran ads on TV opposing the govt
  • Once upon a time nothing would have kept Dr Cullen away from a good debate, but alas he is too busy to take part in tonight’s one hour tax debate.”
  • “How to get around election restrictions” (by funneling money through unions)

July 2005

  • Debate – “Maharey had a tough job, as effectively he was the only party saying lets not cut taxes at all. He was very disciplined though and just kept repeating his lines about the surpluses are due to Labour’s economic management and that National is over promising. Neither of these are true, but he did well to keep pushing them.”
  • Vote Labour or the Baby Gets It” Billboard – “UPDATE: Anna points out that Labour’s billboard attracts the caption: Labour: Wrapping New Zealanders in red tape from birth
  • Which Famous Leader Are You?
  • Tax Debate Transcript
  • 71% against Section 59 repeal – Herald Poll “I could be persuaded to support an outright repeal, but ironically it is the anti-smacking language of the proponents which puts me off, and makes me see the bill as a trojan horse for telling parents that the state knows better than them when it comes to raising their kids.”
  • Who wants tax cuts? – “Parties who will not reduce tax rates: Labour Parties who have no policy as Winston has not thought it up yet: NZ First””Oh and talking of tax, the surplus is $675 million ahead of the budget forecast – just *one* month after the budget. Now repeat after Dr Cullen – there is no money for tax cuts!”
  • The SST talked to various advertising experts about Labour’s billboards, and they basically all agreed that they would not be very effective, as they are too complex for people to take in while driving past. I did like the irony that Clark puts the bad polls down to a “misunderstood Budget”. I think it is quite the contrary – NZers understood it far too well.”
  • It is two years since the Prostitution Reform Act was passed. Author, Tim Barnett, reviews its sucesses and also has some brickbats for local authorities and police.”
  • Far less defensible though is Labour’s appaling law change to allow local bodies to set up special Maori-only wards. Dividing even more electors up on the basis of race is appalling. It will also become more and more farcical as more and more NZers will have some Maori ancestry.”
  • Don’t mess with the DPF – “For the avoidance of doubt if I am ever kidnapped I would like there to be no negotiation, no ransom, just the use of overwhelming force. If I die I would like my entire estate spent on bounty hunters to hire ex-Mossad agents to locate those responsible.”
  • Dom Post – “Just as Finance Minister Michael Cullen believed that New Zealanders truly love paying copious amounts of tax so the state can scratch every community itch, Mr Sutton seems to have been persuaded that widening access to waterways is a wonderful idea. One word describes both misconceptions: arrogance.”
  • And the US/NZ dispute is 20 years old – only ten years less than the end of the Vietnam war, yet we have allowed it to drag on, with no real effort to solve it. Vietnam and the US have managed to put aside a brutal war, and yet we are fixated on a historic largely meaningless law…. It is a real shame that the reaction of the Labour Government has been to effectively reject this overture, by putting the legislation off limits. I am not saying one even needs to amend it to solve the dispute, but that making things non-negotiable before you even start the dialogue means that progress will never be made.”
  • Labour MP backs stoning gays -“Labour, and Muslim, MP Ashraf Choudary replied in response to “”Are you saying the Koran is wrong to recommend that gays in certain circumstances be stoned to death?” “No, no. Certainly what the Koran says is correct.””…”UPDATE II: Helen Clark has clarified that it is not the policy of the Labour Party to support capital punishment, floggingor stoning. Geez, thanks for that – I thought it was now official policy. She almost ignores the issue of having an MP who says such things are correct if done overseas, merely saying she will clarify his comments. Could you imagine what all the PC brigade would say if a fundamentalist christian right wing MP has said that stoning gays to death is acceptable? …”
  • Rodney is predicting that Peters will go with Labour, if he holds the balance of power.
  • Lengthy post on NZ First – “Peters would be Deputy PM. He needs a significant portfolio on top of that and Foreign Affairs or Economic Development are most likely.”
  • Is the Helen Clark who writes in the Herald about the need for vigilance and preparation, the same Helen Clark who claimed we live in a benign strategic environment?”
  • Ok, so the scissors came later then, “Someone sent me a parody last week of Labour’s billboards suggesting a slogan of “Vote Labour or the kid gets it”. Someone at Labour obviously thought that NZers would react well to such threats, and to my great amusement their new billboards show a pair of blue National scissors threatening to cut the strands and hence kill the baby.”
  • Childcare Policies [follow link]”“Judith Tizard visited a centre in Auckland last week and issued a press release saying this was just the sort of centre where children would benefit from Labour’s  20-hours-free childcare policy,” says Mr English. “Unfortunately, the centre is privately owned.  It is just the sort of centre Labour wants out of business.  The children in it won’t qualify for Labour’s toddler lottery, where only one in 10 parents can win.”
  • Ideology vs Common Sense – [Long post, worth a look] “Now the most indefensible of all of Labour’s moves against the private sector is Auckland Central Remand Prison. I recommend people read this PR pointing out how the legislative forced sacking of the private prison managers will result in extra costs of $9 million a year to provide a far worse service.”
  • Oh and I see in the NZ Herald that Labour is going to designate 2006 as the “Year of the Veteran”. No doubt with a multi-million advertising campaign to promote how much Labour likes veterans.”
  • I see Dr Cullen is repeating his old $7.5 billion line. When National produces a balanced policy budget, I wonder if he will apologise? Of course not. And Helen has been doing the usual spin job. For the first time ever she is now trying to portray working for families as tax relief.”
  • Great Herald cartoon
  • It looks like both Clark and Sutton will be forced to appear in court for the trial of their police drivers and escorts for speeding.
  • Vote Labour or the baby gets it …
  • Google Earth demonstrated
  • A lot of people missed the point in arguing about how much better (or not) the private managers of ARCP have been than the public prison service. The issue is that Labour passed a law so that no matter how much better they were, they could not be considered to carry on. I’m happy to have someone impartial judge on results and tender accordingly. Labour however seem to think that unless the staff are members of state unions, they can not be allowed to manage a prison.
    The other issue people miss is that all ARCP did was manage the prison to the standards set by the Government. They are, I submit, far more accountable to the Government than its own department is. You can sack a bad private provider, you can not sack your own department.”
  • I found his [Tim Barnett’s] comment “The party Parliamentary caucuses are too small for a Select Committee chair – even if tempted and backed by their Committee – to realistically take a sustained brave stand against a Minister or Cabinet also in her or his caucus” quite interesting.”
  • Measuring Poverty
  • Your party starts leaking how much money it allegedly got in a day. Parties never ever talk about how much money they have got in, when it is going well. When they need to convince other businesses and the voters they are not being deserted, they then mention specific figures to the media.” [Yes, this is about Labour, see link and scroll to bottom]
  • Are Labour’s Strategists Morons?
  • Debate over – “Writer David Slack, now labelled an expert, is the only one to argue against three economists, that tax cuts are not affordable. And in fact David merely argues that $100/week tax cuts are not affordable. Well I don’t think anyone is expecting $5,000/year tax cuts, so even David isn’t really saying they are unaffordable.”
  • The Green Frog has started labelling as liars anyone who says they think people are better at spending their money than the Government is, because neither are National (nor ACT) proposing to eliminate all Government spending….Why Labour is in so much trouble here is because they have gone extreme. NZers have looked at a massive $8 billion surplus and said well if that is not big enough for meaningful tax relief, then I reckon this Government will never give us any of our money back. They’ll just keep inventing ways to spend it. And they are 100% right.”
  • I look forward to Labour’s next issue being would Don Brash have sent troops to Vietnam?”
  • Garth George has written… that Labour is taking $16 billion a year more in taxes than in 1999, yet despite this “standards of education, justice and law and order have continued to decline” The Dominion Post Editorial takes a similiar line …They remind us of $1.7 million for a Maori singalong course, $13 million for a Cool IT course, a surfing course, a dog knowledge course a DJ-ing course, golf studies and of course the $240 million to Te Wananga O Aotearoa.”
  • This is just simply unbelievable. Labour has gone around boasting how one foreign-based billionaire has given it $500,000 and a few days ago they were boasting how they walked away with $120,000 in one day. So the very last thing you would expect is for them to start pointing fingers at where National is getting its funding from. But that doesn’t stop Dr Cullen.”
  • I have already blogged about the hypocrisy of Labour inventing claims about foreign funding when they have boasted about receiving $500,000 from someone who has not lived here for decades. But the real issue here is whether the media are going to be poodles for Labour here? It should be unthinkable that just because Mallard foams at the mouth and says something outrageous that they take it seriously. If anything they should turn on Mallard and demand he front up with evidence. I also find it incredible that none of the media seem to think it is pertinent to mention that $500,000 donation to Labour when reporting on Mallard’s muck raking? This NZPA story just repeats Mallard’s claims and National’s rejections which is what Mallard wanted.”
  • I said it was outrageous if the media let Mallard get away with just making claims up, and reporting them. I’m pleased to say that reading the NZ Herald this morning, they have not done so.  Their main story says Labour’s credibility is on the line with their failure to back up allegations. They have also mentioned the $500,000 donation to Labour.John Armstrong has been more blunt saying “Labour will see its credibility sapped unless it backs up Mr Mallard’s assertion the National leader is in the pocket of Americans” pointing out the seriousness of the allegations are such that if true, Dr Brash would have to quit as leader. Armstrong goes on to label the insinuation, if false, as a “smear tactic of the ugliest and most desperate kind”. I’m glad I’m not the only one who got outraged by this.”
  • Mallard own-goal – Herald
  • The election had come down to a choice between the party rolling out policy and the party rolling in the gutter.” John Armstrong, quoting Don Brash, in the Herald…”
  • The Left love democracy ” Left Blogger Brendon Mills wants National stopped at all costs. He says: National must be stopped – now. I call out to everyone who is left to unite together and keep Don Brash out of power – even if it means industrial paralysis, civil disobedience and blood on the streets.”
  • If you thought $26,000 was a scandal for a hip-hop tour, well we also have Labour giving $12 million to a hip-hop Pacific radio station. But there is of course no ability to give NZers any of their taxes back.”
  • Lord Archer is quoted as noting that the Tories, for all the criticism for their lack of diversity, supplied the UK with its first Jewish PM, its first bachelor (code for gay) PM and the the first female PM.”
  • Ross Browne has the story from NBR of how (non-lawyer) Michael Cullen refused to approve the appointment of Chris Finlayson as a QC, because Chris is standing for National.”
  • Howard kicks butt!(Off topic, but a great post)
  • Despite not a shred of evidence, Terevor Mallard is refusing to back down from his claims.
  • National’s Tertiary Policy (& Labour Wastage)
  • Helen Clark on Breakfast TV has just said that National’s billboards are designed to degrade her and are using a distorted photo of her. …UPDATE: A reader suggests people look at this NZ Herald story and decide for themselves which photos are distorted. And Whale Oil has a montage for people to choose from.”
  • Now it is all public domain, but isn’t it rather creepy to have the No 3 Labour Minister handout out attack sheets with extracts from the book in it. Paul Henry ripped into Clark about this on Breakfast TV and that is when she came up with her lame response about doctored photos of her. The comparison would be to have a senior National MP handing out to the gallery extracts from Helen’s biographby quoting how she was so upset on her wedding day (as Jim Anderton had forced her into marrying for political reasons) that she was in tears.”
  • Election day announced –It’s the 17th
  • National odd on favourite to win
  • “Grand Standing” over Zimbabwe Tour
  • It is very timely that National announces its RMA Policy on the day Genesis Energy is in court appealing a court ruling that restricted their water rights from the Whanganui Rover on the basis it would interfere with the “life force” of the river.”
  • ” The Dominion Post Editorial on Trevor Mallard is fairly damning. It reminds people that he has a history of making allegations he cannot substantiate. They point out that Mallard’s lies over the United States will most definitely damage the relationship with them, and “yet again Labour is unable to distinguish between the national interest and the Labour Party’s political interests”.” – Gosh, some things never change!
  • When Labour took office, violent crime had been falling. And during the previous five years (to compare identicial time periods) it had increased by only 0.01%.”
  • Humour – “Top 10 election slogans rejected by Labour”
  • Rodney Hide makes an excellent point on his blog. The official surplus projection for 2008/09 is $5.3b. But this includes an allowance for extra spending of $1.9b per year cumulative. This means on current expenditure one in fact is looking to have an $11b+ surplus in 2008/09.”
  • Labour has announced it will scrap all interest payment on student loans. This will be popular in some areas, but I suggets people look very carefully about the motivations it now gives people:”
  • Student Debt Projections
  • The NZ Herald has got itself a copy of Nationals’ December 2004 board minutes. Luckily for National the minutes are quite mundane, but there will be considerable angst over how they got out.
  • Back to the Future? -“Lynley Hood has a copy of Labour’s late 80s anti-national strategy, and sees it being repeated today. Fran O’Sullivan also has a good piece on Labour’s “big lie” strategy.”
  • Reason #52 to change the Government – Leakey Homes “The problem didn’t start under the Government, but at every step of the way their performance has been hugely unsatisfactory. Minister George Hawkins totally ignored warnings from industry experts. He displayed such incompetence that Cullen had to step in, and finally the issue was totally removed from him. Helen Clark denied there was a problem and said people were scare mongering and said the issue was a media beat-up on an issue of no substance.”
  • Confidential Discussions
  • Keith Ng makes the very insightful point that Labour’s announced loan changes will mean “it’s no longer a loan, it’s more like a universal allowance on one end and a 10% graduate tax on the other, with how much you take affecting how much you pay”.”
  • Student Loan Editorials – “The NZ Herald is scathing, labelling Labour’s move as smacking of desperation and “political bribery at its most base“.” – [Read it all, it gets no better]
  • I have been checking the output of Labour’s student loan calculator and my initial findings are that it appears to be seriously incorrect. I understand that the calculator has not been put together by Treasury, IRD or Ministry of Education, but by Labour Party staff. I call on Labour to release the formulas the calculator uses.”
  • More on student loan calculators
  • Another scenario
  • Comments on Kiwiblog now too much for DPF to read
  • To my disbelief Traveor Mallard is trying to argue that having no interest on loans will not significantly affect the proportions who take them up. This is so ridicolous I do not know how he can say it with a straight face.” – A lot of things Labour say fall into that category!!!
  • Anti-Americanism & Labour
  • Farewell Richard Prebble “The NZ Herald has the full text of his speech up. It will go down as one of the great valedictories, as seen by the extended standing ovation he got from the packed public gallery. The gallery, and the function at ACT afterwards, had almost every prominent ‘rightist’ in attendance. I joked that one bomb could have set the right back a generation -)
  • The median loan balance is only $15,000. If one starts off on $45,000 and your salary goes up 5% a year, Labour’s calculator says at present you would pay the loan off in five years nine months (if no voluntary repayments) and under their policy it would be paid off in four years eight months.”
  • The TV3 Poll shows National and Labour nexk and neck. Frankly I am amazed it does not show Labour in the lead after the last couple of weeks.[because of their dirt flinging]
  • Anti-Spam Legislation (Introduced)
  • Reason #51 to change the Government Removing choice from workplace accident insurance
  • The NZ Herald poll shows Labour back in the lead by 6%. Some of this appears to be at the expense of the Greens whom would not make it back on this poll. Many younger Green voters may well be enticed to now vote Labour, and the Greens may well face oblivion if they lose too much support. This poll leaves the Maori Party and NZ First as kingmakers. Joy. A Labour/Maori Party Government would result in a 12 – 15 year spell in Opposition after one term I suspect.
  • On Wednesday Dr Cullen called for more facts and less spin, and also called for an end to parties out-bidding each other in spending promises. In other news George Bush called for more diplomacy and less wars.”
  • Labour’s bribe could cost $1.1b a year
  • Reason #50 to change the Government Race Based Council Seats
  • “As expected Trevor Mallard has attacked Westpac’s analysis as “extremist and scaremongering”. … Labour refuse to get the policy costed by officials, and debt projections calculated. Claiming it is a Labour policy not a Government policy is absoloute spin and nonsense. When you are the Government, such distinctions are entirely voluntary.”
  • Labour MP John Tamihere has been told not to talk the the main media, but Helen forgot to tell him not to talk to FHM Magazine (a very fine publication).”
  • Five police officers and a civilian driver appear in court tomorrow in relation to the PM’s motorcade reaching 180 km/hr. To my great disappointment the PM will not be appearing, so we won’t get to hear how one can be in a motorcase going at 180 km/hr, with lights flashing and sirens on, yet be unaware you may be over the speed limit.”
  • More positive campaigning …This is so lame it needs all the publicity it can get. I think it is a tribute to the job Don Brash has done that he is attracting more personal attacks and abuse than anyone else in the last 30 years…. UPDATE 2: Some good sleuths have traced a link between the company which is the registered owner of the smear Brash site and the Office of the Prime Minister. See the details in the comments thread. Also worth looking at this post at Sir Humphrey’s which highlights how it is most unlikely Helen Clark was surprised at Mallard’s mud slinging attack on Don Brash, as she had used the same lines, albeit it more diplomatically, a few days before Mallard did.” – Personal attacks on the opposition leader a repeating strategy.

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