Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thrown down the stairs

It looks like Gerry Brownlee (who has been quite an effective deputy, judging on his performance in Question Time) has been sacrificed to John Key's desire for an uncontested leadership. So it'll be Key-English after Monday.

I wonder what he's getting in exchange?


Luxury accommodation in a political bombshelter?

Posted by Anonymous : 11/26/2006 04:40:00 PM

Am I the only one who thinks this is about the worst possible outcome (from the Nats' point of view). English would've made a better leader, is less tainted by the whole conspiracy-to-commit-electoral-fraud thing, and has been doing a hell of a job from the education portfolio.

Now English will be tied to Key and kneecapped should Key fail in '08.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/26/2006 04:43:00 PM

Anon: Ah, but the money men who backed Brash are now backing Key (English being too centrist for their tastes). And as we saw in the case of Brash, what they say usually goes.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 11/26/2006 04:46:00 PM

Perhaps Key wants to purge National of those associated with Brash's period in leadership, given the nature of the revelations in The Hollow Men. But what'll happen to poor old Don? Back to the kiwifruit orchard?

Posted by Anonymous : 11/26/2006 04:52:00 PM

Bill English seems to have a heart. Whilst he's a bit too right wing fiscally for my taste at least he isn't a reincarnation of Ruth Richardson.

I mean where was Key in politics 5 years ago? Talk about coming out of left field. The money men might like him but will he have the political experience to keep up with the old salty sea dogs of Cullen, Clark, etc.

Posted by Muerk : 11/26/2006 05:09:00 PM

Yep, the money men are still calling the shots. Look forward to The Hollow Men II, and after that, The Hollow Party. There will be no-one of integrity prepared to stay in it.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/26/2006 06:52:00 PM

Didn't the Nats try a compromise leader/deputy between 2 factions last time with Brash and N.Smith ? Look how long that lasted.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/26/2006 07:21:00 PM

hhhhmmmmmmm....I would have been much happier had Key had gone too. As far as I can tell, he's still from the right of the party. Meaning that, if they win next time, we'll be tacking fairly swiftly back towards Douglasville (although I guess that deputy English and a somewhat resurgant centre might dull this trend a bit).

The interesting thing now will be to see if Labour and co. can get enough dirt sticking to tarnish Key's imagine. Here's hoping.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/26/2006 07:54:00 PM

Yes I/S, Brownlee dragged a heckler towards the stairs and looked as if he was threatening to throw him down the stairs. Yes, disgusting behavior.

And he was held to account for it, referred to the police, and when they declined to prosecute he was convicted in a private prosecution.

If only we could have the same level of accountability for Philip Field lying to the Ingram enquiry, Heather "Pledge Card" simpson, David Benson Pope lying to parliament, and so forth.

But we can't can we? Labour has learnt how to get away with it. The only remedy in a democracy is to vote the bastards outs.

To paraphrase a recent blog quote:

"A government being held to account is a sign of a health democracy. An opposition being held to account is a sign of an incipient despotism".

That is why I will not vote for Helen Clark next election, although I did in the last three elections.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/26/2006 07:56:00 PM

They really are "Hollow Men"! They are so full of hubris that they cannot see that they have been sprung! They really do think that they can ride this out! Maybe they can. The voting public of NZ is so ill informed and self-centred - what's in it for me? - that they really have no idea of who or what they are voting for until it comes back and bites them in the bottom.
The media of course don't help. They are have been particularly noticable by their absence from any serious analysis of the matter over the past few days. And what has been done is once over lightly. Much better to comment on the absence of the Haka in Cardiff.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/26/2006 09:09:00 PM

kiwi_donkey - not quite. No conviction, no private prosecution; rather but a civil action for assault/battery (with the lower standard of proof and procedural safeguards for the defendant that come with it).

Posted by Graeme Edgeler : 11/26/2006 09:16:00 PM

Yes, they think they can ride this out. That's because they really can ride this out. Moral outrage has a short half-life.

Meanwhile you need to remember the details of the last two elections.

The size of the vote for the right and centre-right hardly changed between National's historic electoral loss under Bill English and National's almost-victory under Brash one election later. The big shift was who that right & centre-right vote went to. When the right-wing donors abandoned Act (and to a lesser extent NZF and UF) in favour of National, National did VASTLY better.

Nationals MPs may be dry men, heads stuffed with straw, but they're well aware that their seats depend on those donors.

Posted by Icehawk : 11/26/2006 09:49:00 PM

"The interesting thing now will be to see if Labour and co. can get enough dirt sticking to tarnish Key's imagine. Here's hoping."

'Labour and co.' would seem to have their work cut out covering their own arses. Were the seeds of Brash's richly-deserved undoing sown by the present government? Of course not. It's the likes of Hager who have a real track record of keeping the the bastards honest.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/26/2006 09:52:00 PM

Thanks are due to those people in South Auckland who made a difference on election day and saved New Zealand from another round of neo-liberal reforms under Brash. These are the kinds of people who bore the brunt of Rogernomics I and II. It's ironic that they're now the butt of cynical jokes by Hollow Men like Owen McShane and David Farrar (on kiwiblog this weekend). The last laugh's on you, guys. They won, you lost: eat that.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/26/2006 10:23:00 PM

Re. the good people of South Auckland - I have a rather poignant memory of the '87 election night coverage, when Remuera looked for a while as if it was going to Labour. The TV coverage of the largely Pacific Island crowd at Lange's Mangere campaign HQ cheering the result was, well, touching.

Definitely a case of Won't Get Fooled Again come election night 2005. The sooner the abysmal Field's gone the better for all of us.
And McShane/Farrar's feeble joke is typical of the contempt such pimps hold for people they know nothing at all about.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/26/2006 11:00:00 PM

And it's time the much over-rated Mr Farrar got taken down a peg or two. Personally I'm fed up with the light-weight spin-meister.

His performance over this latest gnat disaster has been sickeningly gutless.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/27/2006 05:35:00 AM

that joke was very obviously a weak attempt to translate a joke about south central LA into a NZL context.

that aside, be nice to farrar. we don't want him to say anything that will spoil his chances of getting on the Nat List in 2008.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/27/2006 07:14:00 AM

che - perhaps a position on the nat list (even at say #57 or something) might at least reduce his blog-related energies. it may even focus a little msm attention on what is written on said blog.

a canadian tory mp was recently booted out of his party for speaking his mind on his blog. the interesting thing is, his criticisms had a centrist orientation.

Posted by dc_red : 11/27/2006 08:26:00 AM

Kiwi_donkey "A government being held to account is a sign of a health democracy. An opposition being held to account is a sign of an incipient despotism".

Erm, right, so opposition's should not be scrutinised or held to account??
Do you even know what you are suggesting?

Posted by Anonymous : 11/27/2006 08:40:00 AM


Labour are paying $800,000 pack to PS. There is no law that says they have to pay this money and no prosecustion taking place. Some MPs are having to take out extra mortgages. The were forced to by some (now very) hypocritical National pressure and the public response. In short Labour have not got away scot free as you claim. I am glad they have been forced to account for their actions in this way, I am not glad that National will not be equally punished.

This money to be paid certainly curtails their political campaiging over the next couple of years.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/27/2006 09:00:00 AM

Quote from Hager's book:

"He would stay leader and in 2008, or hopefully sooner, he would be Prime Minister."

That would explain the policy of targetting and investigating electorate MPs.

Meanwhile, it is worth remembering that the Chief Electoral Officer did conclude that the EBs leaflets were and attempt to get the vote out for National and so he referred the matter to the police. I wonder what their findings would have been if the close relations to National had been clearer at the time? At the very least we would surely have been seeing some search warrents issued to the National campaign HQ.

The Greens blogged it at the time.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/27/2006 10:44:00 AM

Noddy - I think we know exactly what the police would have done.

Elections - too hard - burglary real crime - everyone did it - law unclear - challenge democratic decision. Etc.

Posted by Graeme Edgeler : 11/27/2006 11:44:00 AM

Graeme - maybe, but they certainly got stuck into investigating Labour over the pledge card. They may not have prosecuted but they certainly investigated and DPF took great delight in publishing a few snippets of 100s of pages of their ultimate report (shades of the sort of selective quoting he accuses Hager of indulging in).

Posted by Anonymous : 11/27/2006 12:44:00 PM

Listening to replays of Brownlee and Brash. Seems they are going to keep lying and denying. But they won't dare to sue Hager. They might threat and posture, but there will never be a court action.

Brownlee actually said Hager should "come up with the evidence". Well bugger me sideways, the book is 80% evidence. Try the otherone Gerry.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/27/2006 01:20:00 PM

Ah Terence, nice to see you following the PM's line about not getting personal


My heart bleeds for all those Labour MPs who have to contribute, not. The MPs are only paying half the 800k - that's about 5k for a backbench MP on 140k a year. Mortgage their homes my behind. They tried to tough it out and the change of heart was in direct proportion to the drop in the polls. There is nothing by way of genuine regret there.


Posted by Anonymous : 11/27/2006 02:55:00 PM

Noddy, maybe they are aware of the shit that descended on Jonathan Aitken & Jeffrey Archer when they took legal action against journalists? I couldn't think of a nicer fate for them...

Posted by Anonymous : 11/27/2006 02:55:00 PM

And it's time the much over-rated Mr Farrar got taken down a peg or two. Personally I'm fed up with the light-weight spin-meister.

Ah yes. I see Farrar is running with another Wishart sicko piece. Same one twice in the last few days. Anything to distract.

What a two faced hypocrite he is.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/27/2006 07:58:00 PM