Why sometimes it is personal

October 14th, 2008 at 12:18 pm by David Farrar

Most of my opposition to is political. I don’t like her policies. I also think that she probably thinks ethics is a nice county in England. But again that is political not personal. I am quite capable of acknowledging her strengths, her skills and her desire to do what she thinks is best for NZ – even though I disagree whether or not they are.

I’m not a big hater of people. Life is too short. If people are pleasant to me, I’ll be pleasant to them. Most of my interactions with Labour MPs are very reasonable, and I even have one senior Minister who helpfully e-mails me with the odd correction to the blog. I always

That is my default position. But there are times when my rational calm self gets submerged and I yell abuse at the newspaper or TV set as I read something outraegous. For that period of time it is personal, and I briefly loathe someone. This doesn’t happen very often.

Reading Helen’s response to the issue of the Government refusing to allow the Reserve Bank to brief Key and English, was one  of those moments. As the Dom Post puts it:

7/10 “I think we should have been consulted because of the magnitude of what’s going on today.”

National leader John Key reminds Helen Clark and Michael Cullen that in 3 1/2-weeks he could be the one left holding the baby over any decisions made in the final four weeks before a possible change of government.

3/10 “I think once again he’s been caught sleeping on the job. He purports to know about international finance markets. If he can pick up so little that he doesn’t pick up that both New Zealand and Australia are likely to move sooner, rather than later, on a deposit guarantee scheme, then frankly, you wonder what that experience is worth.”

Labour leader Helen Clark fires a cheap shot back.

It is more than a cheap shot.My thoughts on reading it were unprintable.

It is outrageous that her Government is so dismissive of doing the right thing, and worse suggests it is the fault of the Opposition Leader that she and Cullen blocked officials from being able to do a briefing. It reminds me of all the other constutional conventions that have trampled over:

  • Consultation on quasi-judicial appointments such as Human Rights Commissioners
  • Retrospectively amending the Electoral Act to protect a Minister who vacated his seat
  • Shattering the bipartisan consensus on electoral law reform
  • Continuing to make significant appointments within the final 90 days
  • Attacking independent officers who try to hold them to account such as the Auditor-General, Chief Electoral Officer and Serious Fraud Office Director
  • And now announcing a $150 billion guarantee four weeks before an election, and refusing to let officials brief the Opposition

Stuff like this really does anger me. That is because it is permanent damage. You destroy a convention and it is very very hard to put it back together. It is an eternal lowering of the standards. It is because of these shameful actions that I have changed my mind 100% on having a .

I used to be totally against having one. I trusted parties and PMs to respect the unwritten rules and conventions that had served us for over a hundred years and the UK for centuries before that. I no longer have that trust. Parliamentary supremacy means the Government can retrospectively amend the Electoral Act – and have done so for the most partisan of reasons. It does not get much worse than that on a sliding scale. This is why it is vital that at some stage we the people vote into existence a supreme law or constitution that not even a Helen Clark can ignore or amend. A law that allows Judges to strike down a Government’s actions or even a Parliament’s actions if they act in an undemocratic way.

If we ever manage to get such a supreme law, it should be dedicated to Helen Clark and Robert Muldoon. They have proved why it is necessary.

Tags: ,

86 Responses to “Why sometimes it is personal”

  1. GPT1 (2,116 comments) says:

    Valid points. The bit that really scares me about National not winning this election is what else Labour will trample on its pursuit of power. I don’t agree with their policies but it is unlikely that the world will end because of interest free loans, WFF and even anti-smacking. But things such as the overspending at the last election, the EFA, lack of ministerial responsibility and win at any cost (including the country’s) is truly frightening. The problem is that by the time most people wake up to it, it will be too late.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Nick Kearney (1,230 comments) says:

    “I used to be totally against having one. I trusted parties and PMs to respect the unwritten rules and conventions that had served us for over a hundred years and the UK for centuries before that. I no longer have that trust. Parliamentary supremacy means the Government can retrospectively amend the Electoral Act – and have done so for the most partisan of reasons. It does not get much worse than that on a sliding scale.”

    I am happy to see your change of mind. I have always been in favour of one, and even more so since the passing of the EFA.

    I attended an ACT Hui earlier this year where delegates got the chance to put forward one thing they feel NZ needs and I spoke for 3-4 minutes on why we need a constitution, using examples where appropriate. Most in the room agreed but sadly agreed also that it is not politically sexy and unlikely to attract votes. Of course bribes to students does the opposite which shows how eschewed our thinking has become in this country.

    I mean we have a Royal Commission on genetic engineering but not one on the fundamental makeup of our country.

    Labour wonders whether National has a secret agenda. Well, sometimes maybe you have to have one in order to get the proper things done in a ‘democracy’.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. democracymum (648 comments) says:

    David hope this is okay to post here, (apologies for the length but this is very, very interesting reading)

    In celebration of Google’s 10th birthday they have released an old version of their search engine
    allowing you to search for information as it was 10 years ago, so “back to the future I went” and
    I found this gem straight from the horses mouth (so to speak)
    a week out from the election in 1999

    Sunday, 21 November 1999, 1:10 pm
    Speech: New Zealand Labour Party Helen Clark

    We are now in the last week of what has been a very long election campaign.
    And we’ve talked about the fundamental value which must underlie every thought and action of the new government.
    That value is fairness.
    Because what has been happening in New Zealand isn’t fair.
    People feel that our country’s leaders have no moral centre.
    That they don’t care about the many – but only about the few.
    And that’s what is about to change in New Zealand.

    Because next Saturday, 27 November, can be the start of a whole new era in New Zealand politics.
    If we elect Labour to government on that day, then my commitment is that we will deliver a government people can trust.
    It will be open.
    It will be accountable.
    And above all it will be fair in its policies and the way it conducts its business.

    For so long now we have had values of selfishness and meanness preached at us by our rulers.
    There have been too many lies, too many scandals, and there’s been too much unfairness.
    And you have no vision, except to block others who have.
    Your time is up.
    You must go.

    New Zealanders want a fresh start on every level.
    Labour starts with hope, because we know New Zealanders deserve better.
    How is it that a nation which once enjoyed close to the highest living standards in the western world is now near the bottom of the class?
    That takes some leadership!

    There is no more urgent task before the new government than rebuilding an economy and a society which creates the opportunities for people to get ahead.
    We daily read of the impact in the third world health statistics on some of our people, and particularly on the health of our children.
    We are shocked by the high levels of violent crime.
    Middle income families have been squeezed hard – by the costs of education, and health, and higher charges for other basic utilities and services.

    We say there are things governments must do – and must do well – and that we are committed to doing those things well.
    Those things are health, education, and a decent retirement income.
    And that’s why health remains one of the critical issues this election.
    And the same principle applies to education.

    For so many reasons, New Zealanders want the new government to make a real difference.
    But these reasons go beyond economic and social policy to the heart of the governmental process.
    I have said many times that there is a major clean-up to be done in Parliament and in the public sector.
    And to those in public sector management who have forgotten how to spell the words ‘public service’, I say get ready for change. The party is over.
    You have let down the public, and you have let down the loyal hardworking public servants in your agencies who toil on for lower salaries than you do.
    We want a culture change starting at the top – driven by basic principles of moderation, thrift, and service to the public.
    Because we want to be able to look the ordinary hard working taxpayer in the eye and say their money is being well spent.

    We can’t do that while you live the life of Riley, while you get golden handshakes for incompetence,
    and when your spending over-runs lead to lay-offs of front line police the community desperately needs.
    In the first 100 days the new government will be very busy.
    · We will begin work with the public hospital sector to get it working to full capacity to reduce waiting times for treatment.
    · We will move to fund the Plunket line for 24 hour coverage.
    · We will require all government agencies to identify exactly what they are spending on reducing the gaps between Maori and other New Zealanders and to start work on Labour’s initiatives to close the gaps.

    I know that people are responding to our message of hope for a new deal in the new century.
    I know that they have stopped listening to those who campaign on fears and smears and offer only more of the same old shambles and unfairness.
    But in the end there is only one poll that matters.
    That poll is next Saturday. I take nothing for granted except that this party will leave no stone unturned to win this election to give New Zealand the fresh start it needs and it deserves. Let’s see it through, and let’s begin to make the difference our country is crying out for.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Linda Reid (413 comments) says:

    I feel the same as you David. I’ve been felling so angry that 30-33% of New Zealanders are willing to overlook the immoral, illegal and, arguably, corrupt actions of this adminstration. I have previously voted National and ACT. If these parties ever acted the way Labour and NZ First have, they would not get my vote again until the ‘damaged’ leadership had been completely replaced and they had been up-front and honest about their faults.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Chthoniid (2,043 comments) says:

    Shrug, I’m afraid I really didn’t warm to HC after the 1999. See, I was part of a small email group that included Kit Richards and was keen to see the Timberlands Westcoast Beech Scheme to go to the Environment Court (note that was hardly a unique position give the Royal Society also backed it). I think the PM’s turn of phrase was engaged in guerrilla warfare with her Government. Shame that most of the casualties ended up being native wildlife that no longer benefited from vigorous pest management. Hmm, why does any conflict between socialism and conservation end up with the wildlife being the first casualties.

    Then of course, my family is also from the Westcoast so that would also make me feral and inbred.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. goodgod (1,348 comments) says:

    Come to the dark side, David, to the Conservative Confederacy.

    You’ll turn, oh yes, you’ll leave social liberalism behind. The anger grows strong in you. I feel it. You’ll turn…just like your father… join us… or be destroyed Ahahahaaaahahahaa!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    Your far too trusting DPF and Ive told you this before.

    IMHO if pray God it doesnt happen the socilaists manage to get back I suspect the mini budget in December will not only wipe the promised tax cuts but we will see a raft of increases and new taxes.

    Remember the socilaists have just taken on a contingent laibility of $150 BILLION I repeat $150 BILLION

    Again IMHO the probability of default is not that low. The US meltdown hasnt finished yet We have yet to see the effects of the CDS (credit default swaps) Theres US$62Trillion of these floating around the markets This is more than the total global economy and 50 times the subprime deriviatives.

    When not if this little lot comes home to roost the NZ banking and insurance sector will be exposed thru the cross holdings and reinsurnace covers.

    You see the dipshits that wrote this paper didnt factor in contagion and recession risk They assumed it was a normal stand alone risk situation like a property fire cover so they wrote it up that way and then discounted the hell out of it to play pass the parcel.

    So the Gumint are going to have to shore up their balance sheet Leaving a $150BILLION note to the balance sheet aint gonna cut the mustard.

    All Gumints have done is to pass the risk to the only place they have Thats their taxpayers who now pay and pay and pay for the crimes of the Gumints in not having good regulatory regimes and the crooked bankers who rorted the system for their personal gain.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. davidp (3,580 comments) says:

    The reference to Muldoon was appropriate. The current situation isn’t too dissimilar to Muldoon trying to run the economy the way HE wanted to after losing the 1984 election.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. DamnedAngry (231 comments) says:

    Finally people are really starting to WAKE UP! Hope it’s not too late.

    DPF, you need to keep posting stuff like this right up to the election, and I’d also suggest visiting Chris Trotter’s blog where there needs to be posted; a large dose of REALITY.

    We’ve rolled with the punches for 10 years…it’s time to get DamnedAngry!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. artemisia (235 comments) says:

    For a moment there I thought DPF was suggesting it be dedicated to Helen Clark and Robert Mugabe. Then again …

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Shunda barunda (2,977 comments) says:

    I really have to stop reading Kiwi blog during work hours, this sort of stuff seriously affects my ability to stay focussed.
    Labour must go.
    I am constantly astonished at every new revelation that comes out about these strange people, equally astonished at how Kiwi’s don’t react stonger to this blatant control freakery.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. deanknight (263 comments) says:

    DPF:

    Perhaps you might illuminate us about what constitutional conventions have been breached with the decision on deposit guarantee scheme? No doubt you’ve seen my analysis which suggests that none has been breached?

    [DPF: Yes read that. I have not got time to go into this in detail but I regard a $150 billion guarantee made after PREFU has been published and after Parliament has been dissolved to be well beyond the realm of appropriateness for a Government to decide without consultation and/or sanction.]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. PhilBest (5,121 comments) says:

    Agree with GD, you’re far too trusting, DPF, particularly on the honourable intentions of socialist political opponents. Well, maybe they do have honourable intentions, but if so, they have an inherent character flaw that makes them act as if their intentions were completely and utterly dishonourable anyway. Muldoon was the last leader of this sort that NZ had prior to Helen Clark and her friends, he thought he could regulate desired outcomes into existence, and the more he tried to do this, the worse things got, and the more regulations he had to pass to counteract the perverse effects of the last lot of regulations, etc, etc.

    NZ has been relatively lucky to have had years of leadership since Muldoon, that actually understood the trade-offs between the desired effects of policy and the unintented effects, regarding economic growth particularly. And for years, it seemed like NZ-ers could actually grasp this and trust leaders that acted responsibly within this frame of understanding.

    No more. Even the old adage of “it’s all about the economy, stupid”, has ceased to apply. Now, it’s more, “the economy is all about the stupidity”. ACT’s recent policy release was exactly the right idea, it showed the connections between economic growth and a whole lot of policies. But there is now a total disconnect with these realities, on the part of enough of the country, that they will continue to vote in governments that are similarly disconnected from reality. The logical conclusion of all this, is that ultimately the government runs out of revenue AND out of sources of borrowing, and ceases to be able to even pay the wages of its own employees, or keep the power on, or the streets policed. But even then, the socialist supporter will remain in a total fog about the reasons why, conspiracy theories will remain popular, greedy capitalists, scapegoats found and beaten up and killed……..

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. milo (525 comments) says:

    They are bullies. It’s like watching a street gang. You’re fine if you’re in the gang. Otherwise you’re fucked.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. fishbowl (36 comments) says:

    Someone was compling a list of the trust issues, and scandals that surround Helen Clark, Paintergate, speeding through South Canterbury etc… does anyone have a link ?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. idiotboy (66 comments) says:

    Esteemed Sirs and/or Gentlemen:

    I fear that in your most careful consideration of the facts of this matter that you may be unaware of a certain and most important such fact that may have some major bearing upon your argument:

    The fact that i speak of is John Key’s request to the Reserve Bank last week for interest rates to be manipulated in a downwardly direction. I do recall that John Key acted alone in this request and so, so, so i assume that he did not find it at all necessary to consult with members of the opposing party before doing so even though it may be customary to do so in cases of the like.

    For he to now complain that he has been victim of a particular wrong-doing that he himself, only a few days previously, visitted upon his opponents is something that is not at all of the required standard of conduct for an honourable and/or esteemed gentleman.

    Thank you kindly in advance for your consideration of this matter and i , if i may be so bold, would like to request that you spare no haste in your noble efforts aimed toward its resolution – kind sirs!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. RRM (9,827 comments) says:

    “If we ever manage to get such a supreme law, it should be dedicated to Helen Clark and Robert Muldoon. They have proved why it is necessary.”

    And then all of the intrigue will be around the appointment of those judges, and smearing them as dirty lefties or dirty righties.

    In the midst of all this constitutional angst, don’t forget you still get the chance to vote them out in a few weeks’ time if you don’t like them…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Shunda barunda (2,977 comments) says:

    Chthoniid, yes they sure screwed the West Coast, and 9 years later the rest of the forestry industry there is collapsing under the lies of the labour/greens axis of evil.
    I would say Liarbore has well and truly posioned their roots on the West Coast, looks like National may even win the seat this time too. Oh how sweet would it be if National won the election cause the West Coast went to them, argggghhhh (drooling Homer Simpson style)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Barnsley Bill (983 comments) says:

    It has always been personal for me.
    Helen Clarke restructured childbirth in this country, this has directly affected me, my partners in the following years, my live children and my dead children.
    Helen Clarke will still be PM by xmas, mark my words they are going to win.
    When you have a situation where the public service, non working NZers and recipients of WFF outnumber Citizens who pay more tax than they receive back in lollies NO OTHER OUTCOME IS POSSIBLE.
    Turkeys don’t vote for an early xmas and Clarke is the master of convincing them that not only is national going to call it xmas but if she is re elected xmas will be canceled forever and the turkeys can have extra grain.

    I am back off to the UK next year, it might be fucked there as well but at least I can get a decent pint.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. coventry (321 comments) says:

    Someone was compling a list of the trust issues, and scandals that surround Helen Clark, Paintergate, speeding through South Canterbury etc… does anyone have a link ?

    They were, it was Google, but unfortunately their server has crashed due to overload.

    And if Key has any sense, re-read Clerks 1999 speech and pull it to pieces… she promised this, she delivered this.. and she can talk about trust !

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Kimble (4,432 comments) says:

    idiotboy,

    Key was silly to voice his preference for interest rates to be lowered, but that has absolutely nothing to do with what is being discussed here. You were completely owned on another thread for saying the exact same thing.

    No one is buying your bullshit, go away, you worthless troll.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. freethinker (688 comments) says:

    The problem with all the suggested solutions is how to get them implemented by Politicians who see those solutions as being against their own long term interests. A Firm show of widespread public anger like the response to the 6ltr a minute shower has demonstrated that even a “Sick” minister – Shane Jones will appear on prime time TV and categorically refute that it will happen, shows that back pedalling at a million miles an hour is within the capability of even a coupt incompetent administration – for further proof – Farmers 3 Govt 0. How many protesters outside – The Beehive/HC residence etc would it take to convice that A Binding refernda on a written consititution was a pre requisite to feeling safe enough to venture outside a fortified cave in Antarctica. The worlds electors are increasingly dissatified with their politicians and are showing this – “eg The necessity of vitually becoming isolated from everyone at summit type meeting ” in a physical way. Without significant change even NZ may follow the US example of removing those in power by violent means.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. democracymum (648 comments) says:

    After 9 years in government the only thing Clark and Labour have achieved is to make
    beneficiaries out of most New Zealanders.

    The only truthful part of her highly revealing speech is this line
    “I take nothing for granted except that this party will leave no stone unturned to win”

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. llew (1,533 comments) says:

    and I’d also suggest visiting Chris Trotter’s blog where there needs to be posted; a large dose of REALITY.

    Eh? May as well beat yourself with a baseball bat. You’d achieve as much & probably feel better.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. toms (299 comments) says:

    Methinks Mr. Farrar has been spending far to much time in close proximity with the toxic Cameron Slater.

    [DPF: 20 demerits]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. slightlyrighty (2,471 comments) says:

    Toms. If you want toxic, look at Helen Clark

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. Ryan Sproull (7,101 comments) says:

    Yeah, Toms. I know you are, you said you are, but what am I?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. Ryan Sproull (7,101 comments) says:

    Also, Toms, SO’S YOUR FACE.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Rod (180 comments) says:

    A small elected second house with veto power over legislation may be a more effective way to keep the PM honest than a written constitution. There is too much concentration of executive and legislative power in the PM under our system, compared to other western democracies. The GG has been reduced to just a rubber stamp, especially if effectively the appointee of a long serving PM.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. getstaffed (9,186 comments) says:

    RRM – do we need a constitution? If not, how do you propose to stop the abuses of power outline in the post?

    As for your suggestion that “we get the chance to vote them out in a few week”, sound democratic processes shouldn’t be at the mercy of who’s in power at the time.

    For my part I believe we do need a constitution, and no amount of “wouldn’t it be troublesome selecting judges” is sufficiently dissuasive.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. pushmepullu (686 comments) says:

    DPF, welcome to the land of people with a clue. It is and always has been personal. Only a severely diseased and sociopathic person could contemplate the policies Clark has enacted.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. CraigM (694 comments) says:

    Thanks democracymum.

    I have taken your post and emailed it to as many people as I can, including;

    Key, English and McCully.

    Hopefully if enough people do likewise others will start to listen.

    Helen Clark is a skid mark on the undies of our country. Time for the bleach.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. democracymum (648 comments) says:

    CraigM

    Thanks for that, in the absence of a fair and a balanced
    media, I really think we are going to need to fight hard
    for our democracy this time.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. Turpin (342 comments) says:

    To my shame I voted for Annette King the first 3yrs.
    never again, i realised then that they were liars.
    problem is…

    “When you have a situation where the public service, non working NZers and recipients of WFF outnumber Citizens who pay more tax than they receive back in lollies NO OTHER OUTCOME IS POSSIBLE.”

    The only fear that I have had is that Helen and the drones will get in because of this.

    I talk to people earning $50K+ a lot and they are so rapt at working with families and don’t understand me when I point out it is the benefit for the middle class and that they have been bought.
    but these same people bitch at people on long term dpb and are worried that Key and National will take away “Their working for families ” benefit.
    many of these people are well educated but believe they deserve the WFF they get as life is tough at times.

    go figure.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. Vyvyan (17 comments) says:

    Deanknight, one of the biggest constitutional conventions is that important financial decisions, especially close to elections, are made with consultation with the Opposition. Goes right back to 1984, except this time the parties involved are reversed e.g. Labour leaving a stuffed economy, National having to pick up the pieces.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. Chthoniid (2,043 comments) says:

    Chthoniid, yes they sure screwed the West Coast, and 9 years later the rest of the forestry industry there is collapsing under the lies of the labour/greens axis of evil.

    Hmm, are you one of the residents of that fine region?
    I remember the speeches made in the arly 2000’s by the Govt about how they were going to expand employment, value-added to logs etc in the forestry sector. Alongside ‘visions’ to make forestry the number 1 exporter (up from 3rd) or with an output on par with Sweden.

    Then they got very surprised when they finally woke up and relaised that people had stopped replanting trees. So much for picking ‘winning industries’.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. Jack5 (5,052 comments) says:

    Cheap shot alright. H1 displays embitterment and nastiness frequently. Could this come from the unrelenting pressure of juggling a true persona with a public and political one painstakingly built, maintained, and defended?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    DPF: If you think Key should have got a briefing by the Reserve Bank, what about the leaders of other political parties? I know that Key is officially the Leader of the Opposition, but that position is an anachronism from the days of FPP? Which means the “constitutional convention” that the “Leader of the Opposition” is briefed is also an anachronism.

    Either all the Parliamentary party leaders should be briefed, or none of them.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. slightlyrighty (2,471 comments) says:

    WFF is a crock which has allowed a demographic to be bribed with their own money which was taken from them in the first place. Case in point is myself. With my current level of income, when my second child is born in December, I will be eligible for an additional $63 per week, or $3276 per year.

    Might it have been better if this government had not taken this money in the first instance and passed it through their own machinery? Hell yes.

    And why must those without children subsidise those who do? Surely young people would like to be able to save more money, and put themselves in a better position for the time they start a family?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. PaulL (5,965 comments) says:

    toad: for $150 Billion, I reckon everyone should have been consulted. This wasn’t an election policy, it was a very significant bail out within days of an election. Helen has treated it as an election policy – basically using the power she has by being in office to enact something. Sure, it needed to be done, but if Key had come out the day before her and said “I think we need to xyz” she would have said he was way out of line. And he would have been. For her to turn around and try to make it all about Labour tells us something about how desperate they are.

    As for written constitution – problem for me isn’t whether or not we have one, because I’d love to have one. The problem is how we get one that is moderately acceptable. Recent history tells us that creating one by committee ends up with a huge amount of wishy washy platitudes (principles of the Treaty perhaps?), and not much useful direction on how things should be done. The only good constitutions are the ones that one person hammered out on their own, and were then pretty much accepted without change. I don’t see any viable way that NZ could end up with a good one.

    Upper house is more OK – so long as it is elected. Or we could just copy something from somewhere else in the world. Maybe copy the Australian system. In fact, while we’re at it, why not just become a state of Australia? It would fix most of these problems, and we’d have a decent rugby coach again.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  41. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    Compare the VDS with kiwiblog – a bunch of ideologically-driven wannabee politicos who are pledged to do or die for Labour, regardless of who they smear, villify or accuse in order to maintain the status-quo, compared to a wide range of well-meaning but confused ‘average citizens’ who are worried about the direction their country is taking.
    Therein is the central difference between National and Labour. Labour want it more, and will do anything to get it. National is happy to always be the bridesmaid – always fumbling to catch the tossed bouquet, then getting pissed at the reception and getting laid by the best man, before waking up with a perpetual hangover and litany of ‘it’s not fair’ platitudes to explain away why she is constantly victimised.
    Fact is, if you don’t want another three years of bellyaching on kiwiblog – we really have to wise up and take this fight to the government, rather than waiting patiently in a queue for another knock -‘Mr Good-sport’ trophy.
    Lee – http://monkeyswithtypewriter.blogspot.com/2008/10/is-democracy-like-sex.html

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  42. big bruv (13,718 comments) says:

    DPF

    Like Barnsley Bill this has always been personal for me.

    For some time now I have been incredibly frustrated at the way so many National people (and to a lesser extent ACT supporters) insist on playing by the old rules when Klark and the rest of her vicious and nasty bunch of maggots tossed the rule book out years ago.

    It is not an exaggeration to say that we are fighting the forces of evil, these wankers have already manipulated the minds of a generation of our kids and they do not have any plans to stop what they are doing in the near future.
    John Tamahere summed it up perfectly three years ago when he said that the sisterhood has had a long term plan for years, we are only half way through the changes they want to make in NZ and their ultimate goal for how they see NZ is frightening.

    National MUST stop being so fucking nice, they MUST get stuck in and spend the next three weeks reminding the public that this is indeed all about trust, the need to highlight the way Clark has abused their trust and abused her position.

    Make no mistake DPF, while it has not been personal for you over these last few years you have been deluding yourself if you think the left look at it the same way, you can guarantee that Clark, Cullen, Dyson, Bradford and co look at it as nothing less than war, it is about time we on the right started fighting back.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  43. big bruv (13,718 comments) says:

    Toad

    Good to see you have such an open mind on the issue.

    Can you have a word with Comrade Russ and Comrade Jeannette and tell them to stop playing games with the electorate, it will save a lot of time if you guys just came out and said you would only work with Labour.

    Isn’t it interesting to see the Greens change as they get a sniff of power.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  44. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    Yeah I agree with bruv – it’s really time to kick some ass – this is a contest to see WHO RUNS THE FUCKING COUNTRY! not a who you’d rather be trapped on a desert island with.

    Come on Keysey! Get stuck in!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  45. Kimble (4,432 comments) says:

    “Either all the Parliamentary party leaders should be briefed, or none of them.”

    No. Either all the Parliamentary prty leaders should be briefed, or Labour will be seen as playing political games with New Zealands economy.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  46. dad4justice (8,137 comments) says:

    Time for action folks. Miss Klark your stage show is all but over. How dare you call me a “feral inbred” you bitch!!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  47. NX (504 comments) says:

    DPF wrote:

    -Consultation on quasi-judicial appointments such as Human Rights Commissioners
    -Retrospectively amending the Electoral Act to protect a Minister who vacated his seat
    -Shattering the bipartisan consensus on electoral law reform
    -Continuing to make significant appointments within the final 90 days
    -Attacking independent officers who try to hold them to account such as the Auditor-General, Chief Electoral Officer and Serious Fraud Office Director
    -And now announcing a $150 billion guarantee four weeks before an election, and refusing to let officials brief the Opposition

    … to add to your list.

    -Labour broke parliamentary convention by releasing confidential minutes of a meeting between Dr Brash, Lockward Smith & visiting US senator. Not only were the minutes released for a political attack, Phil Goff & Clark ‘cut’n paste’ only a selected proportion they could twist. Clark & Goff have done long term damage to MFAT.

    Clark’s blatant disregard for conventions and ethics is my number one reason for wanting to see the back of her. Clark’s behaviour with re: to the stolen emails was appalling – it’s quite apparent that she has lent on the police.

    New Zealand is a small democracy with only one house of parliament and no written constitution. So a break in parliamentary convention is actually very, very serious (or at least should be considered so).

    To say that Helen thinks she’s above the law is not an overstatement!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  48. dad4justice (8,137 comments) says:

    Join the Labour party and enjoy Helengrad Law !!!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  49. Viking2 (11,412 comments) says:

    Time you joined us simple minded who have thought that a written constitution has been needed for a long time. It was worked on when the NZ Party campagned to get rid of Muldoon and here we have history repeating itself because it was overtaken by a Bill of Rights which is essentially a waste of time and protects no one and doesn’t contain the power of the state.
    A constitution should contain the power of the state and establish the rights of our citizens.

    I have to ask, What took you all so long? Perhaps you are really all national socialists until the crunch and then you suddenly find that actually socialism by either side is crap.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  50. big bruv (13,718 comments) says:

    Slight change in topic.

    Tonight we have an election debate between Klark and Key, the media (aka the slime) will be all over this like a rash, frankly I don’t know why they are bothering, I can tell them what they are going to write right now.

    Irrespective of how Key does it will be written up as “a clear victory for the PM”, irrespective of how Klark comes across the slime will write it up as “a masterly performance by the PM who showed real leadership”.
    Key will be portrayed by the slime as “indecisive” and “on the back foot”, they will also say that he “spoke in platitudes and did not give a clear message as to how he would lead NZ out of economic turmoil”.

    Klark will not offer anything of note apart from vindictive and nasty personal attacks but that will go unreported by the slime, they have already decided that she is going to be the winner of this debate irrespective of how it actually pans out.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  51. PaulL (5,965 comments) says:

    Oh. And on Timberlands and West Coast forests. As I recollect, the logging was something like one tree per hectare. And the extraction techniques were exceptionally low impact. So zero, or near to zero, impact on the forest. But, interestingly, logging those forests would have reduced carbon emissions. My understanding is they were taking trees that were near the end of their lives. If they fell over then rotted, around 40% of the carbon in those trees would get back into the atmosphere. If they take the logs (leaving the branches and leaves) then probably 20% of the carbon gets back into the atmosphere.

    So, in short, Helen Clark, for political reasons, shut down a scheme that created jobs, had near zero environmental impact on the forest, and reduced carbon emissions. That was a model of sustainable development that could have been a model for other places in the world. What does that tell you about her priorities back then, let alone now.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  52. Mal (29 comments) says:

    Is someone going to ask that nice Mr Key to get down and dirty or is he going to walk over the cliff on his sweet little lonesome whispering sweet nothings to himself. It is apparent that he does not have a hunger or a passion for the PM job.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  53. Chthoniid (2,043 comments) says:

    Re- Timberlands-the intention was to remove trees at half their natural mortality rate.
    The conservation spillover was that to maintain trees in a way that maximised their value, you had to do fairly rigorous pest management.

    It might have been a nice way to demonstrate that maintaining native forests at an ecological level didn’t have mean treating them as a money sink.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  54. PhilBest (5,121 comments) says:

    # fishbowl (29) Vote: Add rating 2 Subtract rating 0 Says:
    October 14th, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    “Someone was compling a list of the trust issues, and scandals that surround Helen Clark, Paintergate, speeding through South Canterbury etc… does anyone have a link ?”

    THIS one is worth a look:

    http://halfdone.wordpress.com/offensive-content/

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  55. calendar girl (1,215 comments) says:

    Also to add to your list, DFP:
    – removing the ultimate constitutional safeguard of appeals to the Privy Council.
    – appointing the full “foundation” Bench of the new Supreme Court without bipartisan consultation.

    David, I agree with your general sentiment about the need for a written constitution. But PaulL has a fair point – how do we draft a constitutional document worthy of voting on without achieving merely a platitudinous compromise from a committee or a Royal Commission?

    Moreover, other infrastructural elements are required alongside (or preferably within) the constitutional rulebook – notably, a “super majority” of Paliament to ratify the appointment of any judge to the ultimate arbiter, the Supreme Court.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  56. ben (2,375 comments) says:

    Great post David.

    It took widespread and arbitrary expropriation by King John to produce something as profound as Magna Carta – perhaps New Zealand will be fortunate enough to see something similar emerge.

    A measure of Clark’s political skill is that her government can behave this extraordinarily badly and still be in the running to lead after the election.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  57. PhilBest (5,121 comments) says:

    I am trying to post a link and it gets “deleted as spam” by the system. Someone was asking about a list of all Labour’s scandals. There is a list on a blog called “Something Should Go Here, Maybe Later”. Google it for yourselves, and once the site is open, click on the box “Offensive Content”.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  58. PhilBest (5,121 comments) says:

    http://halfdone.wordpress.com/offensive-content/

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  59. sbk (312 comments) says:

    The one thing i hate is the labour party,i think they loathsome people.I do.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  60. Lee (610 comments) says:

    Toad’s standard comment on everything DPF says is a variation on the same theme. That somehow DPF is overreacting, or being too emotional. It’s an easy throwaway line that is nevertheless nothing more than empty slander.

    But, more importantly, Toad’s constant use of this tactic proves that he does not have an intelligent argument to come back with.

    Do you have a brain toad? Or are you just a stuck record?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  61. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    the first thing JK should say to Clark tonight is

    Do you guarantee your promised tax cuts will be implemented unchanged if you are re elected and will you and your government resign the day you renege on that promise.

    And then force the answer Yes or No.

    JK need to get some mongrel and go feral on the bitch Remind the country that shes campagining on Trust.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  62. Scott (1,780 comments) says:

    I think Helen Clark and labour have been very bad for this country. In addition to all the above reasons they have shattered the social consensus on —

    – marriage (with homosexual relationships now being accorded the same status as marriage)
    — prostitution (it is now a legitimate career option, apparently for female students to pay their way through university)
    — disciplining of children (a man who smacks his child in a supermarket can now expect up to six policemen to arrive at his door)
    — public decency (pornographic actresses parading topless down Main Street’s is now acceptable as is full nudity on public beaches)

    I believe that ordinary New Zealanders who want New Zealand to be a decent place to raise their children would be grateful if the electorate could turn out this government. If a politician with a decent set of morals would present himself or herself to the electorate they would definitely have my vote.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  63. coventry (321 comments) says:

    Ahh but Scott they have done one thing that National would have never done and that was forcing Telecom to unbundle the LLU. Benefits of this are still to be seen.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  64. CraigM (694 comments) says:

    BTW – DPF :”I also think that she probably thinks ethics is a nice county in England.”

    Bloody good line :-)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  65. Ryan Sproull (7,101 comments) says:

    - marriage (with homosexual relationships now being accorded the same status as marriage)

    Or “equality”.

    – prostitution (it is now a legitimate career option, apparently for female students to pay their way through university)

    – public decency (pornographic actresses parading topless down Main Street’s is now acceptable as is full nudity on public beaches)

    Or “liberty”.

    – disciplining of children (a man who smacks his child in a supermarket can now expect up to six policemen to arrive at his door)

    Or “bullshit”.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  66. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,068 comments) says:

    Liberte, egalite, merde.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  67. stayathomemum (140 comments) says:

    The list someone was asking for: http://halfdone.wordpress.com/offensive-content/

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  68. deanknight (263 comments) says:

    Vyvyan:

    No. The 1984 debacle lead to a change in constitutional convention, now reflected in the Cabinet Manual 2008. See the reflection of the caretaker convention as posted on my blog:

    > LAWS179: “Pre-election period and the bank deposit plan”

    This important different in the 1984 incident occurred *after* the election where it was clear that the outgoing National (Muldoon) government did not have the confidence required to govern.

    That’s *very* different to the present scenario where the present government continues to have confidence. Barring any defections, that will continue until election night. Indeed, the Cabinet Manual (reflecting the present understanding of constitutional conventions) makes it clear that the caretaker convention *does not* apply before the election – except where the election is called due to a loss of confidence.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  69. serge (108 comments) says:

    Good on you Danyl, you put it in the right context, merde. The problem with the Helen Clarks of this world is that they actually dont give a hoot about people, power is all it matters. They turned labour into the opium of the people, a sort of new religion, for the voting booth only. In between voting times, they do not care. Their accolades get nothing for it, and neither does anyone else. The proof? After so many years in power, the books are opened, and what do the books show? My point, they did not care.

    Populus iamdudum defutatus est, roll on November……..

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  70. PhilBest (5,121 comments) says:

    Stayathomemum, how the………

    How come the system wouldn’t let me post that link, it didn’t just put it to moderation, it threw it out as spam?

    Spread that link around, everybody.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  71. slightlyrighty (2,471 comments) says:

    Key may well take the gloves off and go feral, but in politics, as in everything, timing is of the essence. It is a measure of how labour are worried that the student election bribe is launched at the start of the campaign, rather than at the end, as it was in ’05

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  72. RRM (9,827 comments) says:

    Take the gloves off & go feral?

    Key is a small, weak whipping boy who will be reduced to a quivering mess if the Clark onslaught of old comes out tonight.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  73. dad4justice (8,137 comments) says:

    RRM one name can shut Helen up and it’s called Peter!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  74. RRM (9,827 comments) says:

    Davis? Won’t be a good look if “Squeaky-clean” Key brings family members into it.

    Or you mean Peters as in Winston? Key would be forced to actually allege something, he wouldn’t get away with just insinuations. And then she’d have him, on “show us the evidence” type grounds.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  75. Gravyman62 (37 comments) says:

    Can anyone recognise the P.M in the checklist below?
    • Glibness/superficial charm
    • Grandiose sense of self-worth
    • Pathological lying
    • Cunning/manipulative
    • Lack of remorse or guilt
    • Shallow affect
    • Callous/lack of empathy
    • Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
    • Promiscuous sexual behavior
    With the possible exception of the last factor, it looks pretty accurate to me. In case you’re wondering, it’s the first schedule of the PCL-R (Psychopathy Check List revised). It helps diagnose psychopaths. It also provides a good argument for a constitution to protect against such individuals and Governments.BTW Winston seems to tick all the boxes. And I mean all.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  76. coge (187 comments) says:

    I’m certainly NOT in favour of any written constitution drawn up under Helen Clark’s tenure, as it would have her finger prints all over it. After she has been toppled I’m all for it. Lest we forget.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  77. RRM (9,827 comments) says:

    WELL!! No good will ever come of “promiscuous sexual behaviour” will it? Missionary position with the lights out only, for our politicians, thanks.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  78. Farmer Baby Boomer (12 comments) says:

    Good -NO- GREAT post DPF. I remember the relief when Jim McClay prised Muldoon’s fingers from the levers of power as he clung there after the election he (Muldoon) called in a drunken state. The frightening thing is that Clark is stone cold sober while seemingly prepared to trample every democatic convention in her lust for power. Sadly on this issue of contitutional conventions the mainstreammedia (with odd exception) has given her too much of free ride. Too much bias of ‘CNN’ and not enough of ‘FOX’.
    Like you DPF I’m angry. Angry like I was at the last National Govt when they stoped listening, botched power reforms, thought they knew best about GMO’s and took away our lifettime drivers licences. They haven’t had my Party Vote since then. Not completely decided where it’s going yet but it will not go any it may help Helen cling on to those levers.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  79. reid (16,290 comments) says:

    Your faith in a written constitution is touching but if you think that’s a solution then look at the strongest democracy in the world that has one and look what the current Executive Branch has done to it – both the President and the VP.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  80. PaulL (5,965 comments) says:

    DeanKnight: if the caretaker convention doesn’t cover the period after parliament rises for the election, then it should be amended to do so. It doesn’t make sense that after we go into the election period that major decisions would be taken without discussion of the major parties. Particularly something of this size.

    We didn’t see the Americans taking action without bipartisan support.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  81. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    I quite like these clowns, like the Godfather movies Dear Leader, Sullen and assorted tossers are evil to the very end. I just pray they meet with a similar fate to the Godfathers in the movies. Betrayed by their own would be a fitting way to see them go out.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  82. Gooner (995 comments) says:

    It could easily be argued Dean that two of our constitutional conventions are:

    1. No change to electoral laws that breach our fundamental rights without consulting the opposition. After all, the Electoral Act is entrenched;
    2. No retrospective legislation to validate criminal offending.

    The above two cases are clear examples that Clark and Labour couldn’t give a stuff about so-called ‘conventions’ which is precisely the point DPF is making.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  83. deanknight (263 comments) says:

    Actually, Gooner, no – or rather unlikely.

    Although conventions can evolve and new ones can be created, scholars and experts that have worked on the conventions have identified a series of tests for recognising conventions. For example, Sir Ivor Jennings in The Law and the Constitution (5 ed, 1959; pages 81-82) proposed the following cumulative tests:
    (i) What are the precedents?
    (ii) Did the actors in the precedents believe they were bound by a rule?
    (iii) Is there a reason for the rule?
    (This approach was endorsed by the Supreme Court of Canada in Reference re Amendment to the Constitution of Canada (1981) 125 CLR (3d) 1 (SCC).)

    The purported conventions you identify fail at (i) and (ii), and in the case of the latter (iii).

    I guess the important point is that the standard for arguing constitutionality or unconstitutionality is rather high – as it should be. Obviously, people can still argue that acting in the way the government did was politically unwise – but that’s a different point.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  84. Gooner (995 comments) says:

    Well obviously the debate about what the so-called conventions are and what is the test for applying them is beyond this thread. But suffice to say that such ‘conventions’ are at best flimsy and at worst are non-existent and unenforceable which is why a constitution is a brilliant idea and much needed.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  85. riki (224 comments) says:

    ‘I’m not a big hater of people. Life is too short. If people are pleasant to me, I’ll be pleasant to them.”

    David,,

    Does this mean I’m forgiven and selected posts defaming me will be taken off Google??

    In the spirit of consistency and all that

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  86. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,746 comments) says:

    sbk says on October 14th, 2008 at 3:32 pm:

    The one thing i hate is the labour party,i think they loathsome people.I do.

    Word. I totally agree that the people in the Labour party are very loathsome. Luckily they are about to get the boot from office on 8 November.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.