Gower on Clint

April 24th, 2013 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

3 News Political Editor blogs:

The “Hey Clint!” moment – where stops mid-interview and asks a spin doctor what to say – has generated a bit of chatter here and there.

Some people – including even colleagues here in the Press Gallery – have suggested it was wrong to run it, that it was a big call, or even that there were journalistic ethics at stake.

To be perfectly frank, I don’t think this was the ethical issue of the century, or the year, or the week.

Because screening it was the right thing to do. In fact, it was the only thing to do.

I cannot believe there are journalists out there who would think otherwise.

However, I do understand that some in the public like to understand what goes on behind the scenes of political reporting: How we interact with politicians, what’s on and off record, how anonymity and background works. It’s not a secret society – and it shouldn’t be.

So Monday went like this: As soon as my colleague Tova O’Brien finished the interview for my story, she told me what she had.

She’d asked one of the critical questions in the power policy struggle, that after putting a dent in the Mighty River Power sale, potentially wiping hundreds of millions of dollars off it, “are you pleased?”  

Hughes had stopped mid-interview, called “Hey Clint!” and asked political advisor what the answer was.

My thoughts, like Tova’s, were “that’s incredible”. I have never ever before seen a politician call out during an interview for a spin doctor to tell them what the answer is:

Neither have I. You ask them for advice before the interview, but you can’t and don’t ask them for lines during an actual interview. At the end of the day the MPs are the ones who stand for election, not the advisors.

The full video is embedded above.

Now I know a lot of people watch “Hey Clint!” and find it funny.

But to me it showed much more than a bit of humour. It showed what we know – the Greens, like Labour, are trying to act like they are not gleeful that the policy is screwing with the MRP float.

In fact, it looked like Gareth Hughes was stoked. It was in the public interest to run it. No question.

It busted spin, in fact, it blew the spin apart.

It showed that the Greens, like Labour, are trying to come up with ‘lines’ to pretend that it’s not about wrecking the float.

Of course it is an attempt to sabotage the float. The policy could have been announced months ago. In fact why didn’t Labour and Greens campaign on it at the last election – so people had a clear alternative? But they can not accept they lost the election, so are trying to sabotage the float.

If you don’t accept that interpretation, then tell me why else they announced it after the float document was released, and not earlier?

They must be besides themselves with joy. One joint press conference, based on a quickly assembled policy, and they have wiped almost a billion dollars of wealth off investors. think how much more damage they can do if they ever get to actually implement policy. Their printing presses will be going non-stop.

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100 Responses to “Gower on Clint”

  1. bereal (3,137 comments) says:

    What a little twerp.

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  2. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  3. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    What a little twerp.

    You don’t like Gower either?

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  4. Manolo (14,019 comments) says:

    A despicable communist agent. Deport the bastard! :D

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  5. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  6. Kimble (4,442 comments) says:
    In fact why didn’t Labour and Greens campaign on it at the last election?

    Because it wasn’t their policy at the last election.

    No, but they threw this policy together in about 3 days from policies that existed in the 1970’s. So they had ample time to campaign on the issue when it mattered, and they have had all the necessary details available to them for around 40 years.

    The ONLY reason this policy saw the light of day was the MRP float. The timing makes that perfectly obvious.

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  7. anonymouse (721 comments) says:

    In my eyes, this is no different to the Mihi Forbes- Alisdair Thompson interview and the Guyon Espiner-Michael Cullen spat

    All cameras are live cameras, and when you have the media round for an interview, Everything you do from when they step through the door, until they leave is fair game..

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  8. RightNow (6,995 comments) says:

    “they have wiped almost a billion dollars of wealth off investors”

    It’s as if they’re trying to steer investment into the property market they’re so fond of…

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  9. Hollyfield (69 comments) says:

    1. Labour and the Greens say that the majority of NZers are against the share offer. If they had faith in what they say, they would be confident that few people would buy the shares, and then Labour/Greens would be vindicated. Their economic sabotage tells me that they do not have that confidence, and to avoid losing face (over the referendum and the whole stupid mandate thing they’ve been bleating on about) they’ve had to do whatever they can to disrupt the sale. I find it delightful that it seems to be backfiring on them.

    2. I have read #heyclint on Twitter with great amusement. Some people are defending Gareth Hughes, saying that we shouldn’t be poking fun at an MP for checking his facts before stumbling through an answer, we should congratulate him for doing that checking. However, I think it appropriate for an MP (or anyone) to check facts such as a dollar amount, or a date of something – that could be checked on a piece of paper that the MP has in front of him, or with an advisor who has the written facts. However, no MP should need to ask an advisor whether he is pleased – that should be something he just knows (and should know how to answer in a politically savvy way).

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  10. Pete George (23,677 comments) says:

    ross69 – Labour in particular rushed the anouncement to coincide with the share float. David Parker admitted having worked on it for about a month, which is probably exagerating, it was an obvious rush job.

    Shearer put out a press release on Sunday night (at ten to nine) saying they would do something.
    On Monday he refused to give details or any timeframe for an anouncement.

    On Tuesday they scheduled a Thursday announcement – because that’s when they were given the BERL report, probably another rush job.

    While Labour and Greens tried to prortay the announcement as similar policy and working together there are significant differences, so they are nowhere near finished policy.

    TV3 journalists probably knew the obvious from the start, but clearly signalled they were aware of the intent to disrupt the MRP float on Saturday, and they have repeated that since.

    Hence the Tova O’Obren interview, where Hughes slipped up and made obvious what his body language couldn’t hide anyway.

    Shearer is blatantly lying about why they timed it. Grant Robertson is blatantly lying.

    Greens have shattered their “a bit weird but at least they have principles” deceit.

    It’s been disgraceful. The god thing about it is it’s quite clear well before the election what the principles of a Labour-Green government might be like.

    And feedback I’m getting is people who are normally Labour-Green leaning are disgusted, the bull and deceit is so obvious.

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  11. PhilP (163 comments) says:

    @ ross69
    “It’s like asking why National didn’t campaign on asset sales at the 2008 election if it was such a great policy…kind of a dumb question eh”.

    Because dumb arse, National campaigned in 2008 on giving an assurance that NO assets would be sold in their 1st term of office.

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  12. davidp (3,587 comments) says:

    We’ve seen Labour and the Greens sabotage policies in the past. Think of their announcement that they would tear up the contracts for free market accident insurance and force customers to use ACC. That was designed to stop competitors from getting in to the market. National needs to realise that acting responsibly won’t cause Labour and the Greens to do the same. National needs to start reciprocating. Maybe start by ripping up and recycling the Gisbourne rail line so that it can’t possibly be reopened. Then legislate to define MRP shares as taonga for both Pakeha and Maori, so that any policy that devalues the taonga will be subject to a future claim and settlement. Start playing dirty with the extremist parties of the left.

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  13. RightNow (6,995 comments) says:

    “Fewer than 10 per cent of applications for Mighty River Power shares have been cancelled since the Opposition’s shock policy announcement on April 18, say the float’s organisers.”

    “Investors are recognising the opportunity presented by the circumstance.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/8592106/Fewer-than-10pc-withdraw-from-MRP-offer

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  14. Ross12 (1,453 comments) says:

    What I find interesting with issue is how TV3 , normally the most ardent Labour / Green media supporter , has seen through it all from the start and appears to be asking some awkward questions.

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  15. davidp (3,587 comments) says:

    Hollyfield>However, no MP should need to ask an advisor whether he is pleased – that should be something he just knows

    I imagine Hughes and Mrs Hughes having a root. She is a Green woman with hairy armpits and who doesn’t shower very often, so Hughes has his eyes closed….

    Mrs Hughes: “That was great. All that dirty talk about emissions really turned me on. And I love it when you wear your Ronald McDonald costume. How was it for you?”

    Hughes: “Errrr… Ahhhh… I don’t know… Hey Clint!”

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  16. Pete George (23,677 comments) says:

    Ross12 – probably because it was so blatant and obvious.

    It would be worth going back through the times Shearer, Robertson and Hughes have been asked directly about sabotaging the MRP float and they immediately divert to prepared recitals, no credible denials.

    Except Gareth Hughes hadn’t been taught a response to “are you happy?” and he flunked it.

    Where are Norman and Turei in this? They seem to have noticable distanced themselves, trying to not be associated with the worst of the charade.

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  17. axeman (252 comments) says:

    ross69 – Labour in particular rushed the anouncement to coincide with the share float … it was an obvious rush job

    ross69, today’s on duty leftard apologist, talking through his “mouth”. His comments are his #HeyClunt “moment”

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  18. dishy (248 comments) says:

    Shearer had a chance to at least signal the policy several weeks ago, when he refused to be drawn on whether his lot would buy back MRP shares. That gives the lie to his timing point. Or does he expect us to believe that the Labour / Greens recently-announced policy was cobbled together only in the last few weeks? That, at least, might explain why it’s half-arsed (as well as hare-brained).

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  19. tvb (4,491 comments) says:

    This precocious brat needs to he taken down a peg or two. I shudder to think him vandalising am industry worth billions and is the lifeblood of the country.

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  20. Lloyd (125 comments) says:

    Excellent. There is now a person in politics I loathe more than Patrick Gower…

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  21. Morgy (172 comments) says:

    Those of us who are disgusted by this expensive prank have a duty to forward, share, tweet…..whatever, every piece of proof that we encounter in blogs and in the press to help in showing up these charlatans for what they are. Over the last few days we have seen so much evidence that what these pricks worked out over a cuppa in Russell’s office last week will do very little (if not nothing) to the long term prices of power. The truth needs to resonate louder than the lies and thanks to Paddy (never thought I would say that) he has given the truth a kick start.

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  22. Pete George (23,677 comments) says:

    “Or does he expect us to believe that the Labour / Greens recently-announced policy was cobbled together only in the last few weeks? That, at least, might explain why it’s half-arsed (as well as hare-brained).”

    Yep, David Parker pretty much admitted that on The Nation on Saturday.

    Rachel: How long have you been working on this policy?

    David: Me personally off and on over the years I’ve been working on this since 2006, 2007 to be honest.

    Rachel: This specific policy?

    David: Well the options that we have to improve our electricity system yes. This specific system pushing it forward to this the last month.

    Rachel: Pretty much a month. Was it a Greens’ policy that Labour jumped on?

    David: No, it’s an absolute coincidence that we put out a press release last week saying we were announcing this week. They then phoned us and said they had a plan for this week. We got together and we found our plans were very similar.

    It was a rush job. Parker looked very uncomfortable through much of that interview and has since been pulled from sight.

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  23. Pete George (23,677 comments) says:

    I’ve been detailing much of this in posts over the last couple of weeks, I’ll try and collate post a summary tomorrow.

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  24. Pete George (23,677 comments) says:

    Shearer’s power policy timing defence:

    Labour leader David Shearer says the reason he released his new energy policy at the same time Mighty River Power shares went on sale is because he thought the Maori Council appeal would take much longer.

    Shearer says he intended to announce Labour’s power reforms policy after this year’s budget was announced but brought it forward when the shares were floated.

    http://yournz.org/2013/04/23/shearers-power-policy-timing-defence/

    The Maori Council appeal was dismissed 27th Februrary. Then Labour started to look at how else they could sabotage the share floats.

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  25. KevinH (1,234 comments) says:

    That was jaw dropping incredible stupidity of Gareth Hughes to consult his spin doctor mid interview, live. Out the window goes this young mans credibility, he is now just a vacuous blowhard, a talking head.

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  26. Paulus (2,656 comments) says:

    Labour got totally spooked -read conned- by Greenpeace on this one.

    And Labour are expected to be the largest Left Wing Party in 2014.

    Who will be pulling who ? – even Grant Robertson as the new Labour leader will not be able to hold the Greens, despite his behind doors Aro Valley evening meetings with Norman to sort out Ministerial posts and the Greens to “promise” policy.

    Both inveterate liars, even to each other.

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  27. jaba (2,146 comments) says:

    every time I see the man-child on telly in future, I will have a little chuckle to myself, what a clueless prat

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  28. Akld Commercial Lawyer (165 comments) says:

    Me thinks that DPF is closer to the musical truth than he realises – when he says that the “policy” was quickly assembled.

    At the risk of passing on gossip, one insight this afternoon is that one of the research firms have not only pulled the supporting papers apart for their own external research note but also for internal dialogue have a list of the mistakes in the Labour papers vs Greens. Even the basics of the formatting of one paper look likes it went pear-shaped in the scramble.

    I suspect that the story about the policy itself may peter out – but the credibility damage on a variety of fronts might run and run.

    Some of us are old enough to remember the Muldoon’s retrospective disallowance of some tax loss offsets. The Finance No. 2 Act, 1981 I seem to recall. Small beer when compared to what Labour’s (current) finance spokesman has put his name to. The business community would like to see a credible replacement.

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  29. Francis_X (147 comments) says:

    Gareth needs to smarten up his act. That was a bullshit stunt to pull.

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  30. Pete George (23,677 comments) says:

    Small beer when compared to what Labour’s (current) finance spokesman has put his name to. The business community would like to see a credible replacement.

    Others would like to see that too, but it poses a wee problem. The pool doesn’t look great.

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  31. Ross12 (1,453 comments) says:

    ACL

    I think you are absolutely right that this was put together very quickly OR the Labour / Greens have no research or analysis skills at all. Today I heard on the radio that someone had looked at the power cost component of our electrcity bills from 2000 onwards. They found that the power cost had not changed much — it was the lines charges etc that had pushed our bills up. So their grand new policy would have had very little if any effect if implemented in 2000.
    There is no way these idiots should get hold of “the treasury benches”. If what Paulus @ 5.35 says is correct ,about them already lining up Ministerial posts, shows just how arrogant they are.

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  32. Pete George (23,677 comments) says:

    Francis_X – no, it wasn’t a stunt, it was an inadvertent revealing of the reality behind the PR controlled curtain that some of our politics is veiled by. And the culture and capabilities it has created doesn’t look pretty

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  33. RF (1,440 comments) says:

    I suspect that behind the scenes annette Kings medicine ball is being stuck right up the glove puppets arse. He has really fucked up big time and this could be the beginning of the divorce of the Labour Green marriage.

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  34. Ponsonby (1 comment) says:

    I’ve always believed two things, with an addendum. First, the opposition’s desire to sabotage the energy floats was first signalled to every market when they announced, along with other parties and organizations, they were trying to attain enough signatures to have a citizens’ initiated referenda. That foundation can be found, I think, in Labour and the Greens’ election campaigns in 2011. Whatever the hypocrisy, it is a legitimate means of testing a mandate claim. No-one thought National wasn’t entitled to govern according to its pledges. They had earned it. But an opposition is entitled to use democratic means to test the boundaries of that mandate, especially given the conflicting or confounding data around asset sales. Well, a few hundred thousand kiwis signed it. Love it or loathe, or love or loathe how those signatures were attained, it happened.

    Now, after many government supporters called on the policy’s opponents to declare its hand it did. Since then DPF is on to his 14th post about it. It’s hilarious. The sky is falling. The sky is falling. Now it’s all gravy; cash in just ahead of the soviet takeover.

    Ha ha ha ha ha.

    Second, the language used to conflate one policy idea with, variously, Stalinism, a take over of industries, communism (North Korea style), Polish Ship Yards, a return to 1970s Muldoonism, blah, blah, blah, is a brilliant embodiment of this government’s depth of commitment. Shallow.

    The addendum is this : Dear Pete George. Have a month off. Prove to yourself you could do it if you wanted to. ✌

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  35. doggone7 (818 comments) says:

    Hughes showed he doesn’t learn from what’s happening around him. If he’d been noticing and noting John Key’s way of operating he would have just made it up or lied, just pretended and tried to sound authoritative. If it works for our leader it’d work for him!

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  36. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    I actually thought he was trying to be smug and clever with a rhetorical question.

    Just as bad a look though – probably worse.

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  37. Floyd60 (92 comments) says:

    Ashilly Gower is looking more and more like Key’s ‘Boy Wonder’. His role seems to be to help the swing voter know what to think – or at least what to think about. Trouble is he is getting more and more carelass without Duncan there to watch him.

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  38. artemisia (253 comments) says:

    “Hey Clint” might be the ‘zip it sweetie” of 2013. The gift that gives on giving. And not in a good way.

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  39. Yoza (1,903 comments) says:

    “The business community would like to see a credible replacement.”

    Hilarious, apparently political parties are now required to consult the business community to find out if their representatives are acceptable.

    Pinochet’s Chile perhaps.

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  40. Dazzaman (1,144 comments) says:

    This POS pisspot is an MP? Looks like he just finished high school…..he definitely acts like it.

    Greens…fuck me!

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  41. peterwn (3,298 comments) says:

    I suspect that the objective was to blow the MRP float apart, and it seems that this has failed because the prospective price still seems to be within range. While some punters have got cold feet, other punters are rubbing their hands with glee. Merely ‘damaging’ the float is a worse outcome for Labour/ Greens tham torpedoing it completely.

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  42. Hollyfield (69 comments) says:

    @artemisia “Hey Clint” might be the ‘zip it sweetie” of 2013. The gift that gives on giving. And not in a good way.

    I wonder whether Clint is happy with his newfound fame?

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  43. SPC (5,751 comments) says:

    There is always spin, this post is part of it.

    All Hughes did was say (rhetoric) “do we want to be seen as pleased that reducing power prices for consumers has the impact of reducing the value of power companies that profit from sale of power you ask me” – “well look I’ll ask the spin expert” … because whether one places the focus on the many who receive lower cost power or the few who own the power companies is of the realm of spin and clearly we are after the votes of the many … this is politics and to advantage one group over another is what the partisanship of politics is is all about.

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  44. RightNow (6,995 comments) says:

    SPC – so you’re in favour of driving investment towards the property market? And of making MRP shares cheaper?

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  45. RRM (10,001 comments) says:

    I finally got around to watching the clip.

    TBH I didn’t think it was quite as outrageous as I’d been led to expect…

    But he’s a bit young and lightweight to be the spokesman on anything isn’t he??!?

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  46. SPC (5,751 comments) says:

    Right Now, I favour LTV ratios for loans to property investors (I would also look to reduce the writing off of mortgage as a cost if the investor was not declaring a liability to pay CGT on sale of their property – while we do not have a CGT). I favour a CGT on rental accommodation.

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  47. RightNow (6,995 comments) says:

    You may favour that, but pragmatically what has actually happened in the last few days? The sharemarket has been knocked by political stunts, making it risky for investors. Property is a much safer investment. Investors will, in some degree, cash up their shares and switch to property, putting even more competition on would be home owners.
    Smooth.

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  48. wiseowl (925 comments) says:

    Whats the history of this little turd?
    He and Hipkins and Aderne have popped up out of High School and suddenly become authorities in particular fields.

    The best thing all of them can do is get a real job .They are all talking heads as has been mentioned.No life experience ,no practical experience and living in a fantasy world.

    Just what is Hughes extensive background?

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  49. Nostalgia-NZ (5,270 comments) says:

    I wonder where the Maori Party will sit if the Lab/Greens announce that their ‘Nationalisation’ will take into account ‘water rights.’

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  50. pq (728 comments) says:

    student Hughes knows nothing

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  51. Paul Marsden (998 comments) says:

    “Just what is Hughes extensive background?”

    Extensively… zip.

    Can somebody tell me how much us taxpayers, pay this little twerp..??

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  52. RightNow (6,995 comments) says:

    “Just what is Hughes extensive background?”

    3 million airpoints in 17 months.

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  53. Warren Murray (312 comments) says:

    I disagree with Gower’s analysis. Hughes was being a twit in front of the camera. A more seasoned poli would have answered OBrien’s question without needing a prompt. I think he was trying to be funny (failed), and then stumbled when he tried to answer the question. Very immature.

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  54. Akld Commercial Lawyer (165 comments) says:

    I really must concentrate on my day job so I can finish for the evening.

    The not so abstract point about the need for credibility is that developing and (ultimately) implementing policy is a 2-way street. In nearly 3 decades of practice and having dealt with people from all manner of political backgrounds, it is very difficult to have a meaningful dialogue with those who either know not what they do or (as in the case) are reckless.

    Its not just business that cannot operate when rabbits appear from a hat with no apparent rhyme or reason. In this case the spokesman for this so-called policy is someone who in his last gasp read and understood Treasury advice and responded in a logical and consistent manner. Policy, even if unpopular with (say) vested interests that is explained and advanced in a logical and consistent manner by a party that understands the implications is one thing – a political stunt that has wide-reaching implications, many of them well-known to the appointed spokesman, is quite another.

    Opposition parties of all shades, quite rightly, question the consistency and credibility of the Govt of the day. Similarly, those who aspire to occupy the Treasury benches are going to struggle to have a meaningful dialogue with anyone if their track record is that of political expediency dressed up (poorly) as policy. That is the likely fate of the current economic spokesman. Labour voters deserve better too.

    Many have observed that the Greens spokesman is very young. A number of those who may be in the next wave of Labour candidates are too (if rumours around town are accurate). But these would-be replacements can learn that one thing in Hughes favour, is that he has been consistent – he is consistently anti-growth and does little to disguise that this is where he and his policy adviser is coming from.

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  55. bereal (3,137 comments) says:

    Others have asked the pertinant questions.

    What is this twerps background before he became a list MP ?

    Does he wear that haircut just to piss people off ?

    What sort of a sad society do we have where a fool such as this, who has to
    ask his minder what he thinks, can be a member of Parliament ?

    Sum sing fukin rong.

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  56. Pete George (23,677 comments) says:

    In our democracy we are supposed to vote for people who will then represent us and do what we want, not vote for people who will represent non-elected media managers and do what they want.

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  57. Colville (2,298 comments) says:

    I simply cannot believe that I have just read a comment from PG that had 22 likes and ZERO dislikes!
    O M F gawd! :-)

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  58. itstricky (1,877 comments) says:

    I think he was trying to be funny (failed), and then stumbled when he tried to answer the question. Very immature.

    Ahh… you’re munted mate, you’re never gonna make it, you’ve got that gay red top on there.

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  59. Nostalgia-NZ (5,270 comments) says:

    Faced with having water rights for the hydro dams confirmed, I guess the Maori Party would say no.

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  60. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (894 comments) says:

    Brother Brian Rudman says – “What just happened? Bland, colourless Labour leader David Shearer has suddenly been transmogrified into a working-class hero.

    At a single stroke he’s tossed an exploding pressure-cooker into the middle of the electricity part-privatisation process, promised everyone cheaper electricity, and left his right-wing foes on the sideline, spluttering long forgotten Cold War invective.”

    Be afraid, be very afraid. Shearer and Norman are sleep walking to victory in 2014.

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  61. Kea (13,259 comments) says:

    What I find interesting with issue is how TV3 , normally the most ardent Labour / Green media supporter , has seen through it all from the start and appears to be asking some awkward questions.

    Oh don’t worry. Heads will roll over this at TV3 !

    Expect some media beat up to make National look bad, very soon.

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  62. Pete George (23,677 comments) says:

    That just shows that Rudman is as out of touch as Shearer and Norman. The working class can see a cynical crock of political shit for what it is.

    And when it becomes clear that the best that’s being offered is $4-6 per week for the average household in 2-4 years time, maybe, and with that you get a watermelon economy, then it’s unlikely to get them flocking to the booths next year.

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  63. Pete George (23,677 comments) says:

    A watermelon economy, where the only thing that’s solid are the pips, and you spit them out.

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  64. hmmokrightitis (1,595 comments) says:

    Actually, good point. You would have thought that Shearer and the green leaders would have been fronting? Is this a sign of oh fwuck, we done bad?

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  65. Nostalgia-NZ (5,270 comments) says:

    Pete George, what fantasies you have.

    The ‘working class’, as you term it, don’t belong to National, and are not therefore, concentrating on ‘seeing through’ a cynical ‘crock of political shit’ that they may believe benefits them. Sorry for pointing out the obvious Pete.

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  66. doggone7 (818 comments) says:

    I don’t know what Hughes has done. I’ve seen him on tv a couple of times.

    wiseowl asks, “Whats the history of this little turd? … Just what is Hughes extensive background?” I just found this; “Gareth entered Parliament as the youngest MP in 2010 and now in his second term he is focused on campaigning for clean energy, healthy oceans and a free and open Internet. … He was the New Zealand Herald Backbencher of the Year in 2011. Gareth, who grew up in Gisborne, has a degree in Religious Studies, History and Politics from Victoria University and has previously worked for Greenpeace.”

    He’s young but did not just “pop up out of High School.” One thing he’s got going for him is he got off his butt and tried to make a difference and got involved in issues he believes in. While he might be a boy he probably did not (and does not) sit at home anonymously calling people “twerps” like the real men with the real solutions. At least he has put his head on the block.
    I have never voted for him or his party but the puerile name calling in the sandpit is fascinating coming from those who consider Hughes to be out of his depth and that they are the erudite ones.

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  67. Kea (13,259 comments) says:

    National must be over joyed at having this caliber of opposition. I think the only thing that will bring Key down now will be a hostile media. If we let these clowns into power we deserve every thing we get.

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  68. Pete George (23,677 comments) says:

    Shearer is on an overseas tour. Parker did The Nation on Saturday and has faded away since. Robertson has been dabbling – he’s got nothing to do with finance, but there’s no one else.

    Don’t know about Norman or Turei. Hughes has been fronting for Greens, but they should have sent him pack to parrot school.

    For what is supposed to be the big Kahuna, the game changer, there has been a conspicuous absence of heavy duty promotion. Perhaps that’s a symptom of timing to crash the share float rather than timing when it can be worked by the leaders.

    It’s been a hit and run.

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  69. Nostalgia-NZ (5,270 comments) says:

    Pete and Kea valiantly describing away reality. Pretty interesting, but not really thoughtful – more like desperate.

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  70. Pete George (23,677 comments) says:

    Nostalgia-NZ – I am a bit desperate. I’m desperate for a half decent opposition, one that is honest and will keep the Government honest, or at least on their toes. An opposition that I’d be happy to one day see in Government.

    But Labour have highlighted their lack of depth and lack of economic and business nous. I knew Greens lacked the latter.

    But the most desperate aspect of this is Labour proving a complete lack of integrity and respect for the good of the country, and the Greens proving that their “better than thou” aura has just been a smokescreen and they are as self interested as the worst of them.

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  71. RightNow (6,995 comments) says:

    Nostalgic for the days when the ‘working class’ would vote Labour because that’s what they always did eh?
    Except they don’t any more Nostalgia, just like they don’t all belong to unions. They may not ‘belong’ to National, but they don’t ‘belong’ to Labour either.

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  72. Nostalgia-NZ (5,270 comments) says:

    Of course not RightNow, voters don’t belong anywhere, except where they want to be. Most times, they’ll vote for what they believe benefits them. Cheaper power is on the list today, next may come ‘water rights,’ who ‘mum and dad investors’ really are might get a look at. Some voters will see ‘their’ asset being sold without any benefit to them personally as a rip off, a powerful co-ordinate toward resistance.

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  73. davidp (3,587 comments) says:

    doggone7>I have never voted for him or his party but the puerile name calling in the sandpit is fascinating coming from those who consider Hughes to be out of his depth and that they are the erudite ones.

    I think Hughes rubs a lot of people up the wrong way because he has a perpetual smirk on his face. That’s difficult to overcome in politics, and it doesn’t help when you’ve just wiped over a billion dollars off people’s superannuation funds and you can’t decide whether to be openly gleeful or not.

    He is also a panic merchant. The Rena oil spill was going to ruin Tauranga beaches for a generation. They re-opened a week later. This is the politics of fear, and worse still it relies on people forgetting your apocalyptic predictions when they are proved wrong just a few days later.

    Lastly, I think a lot of people like their politicians to have some sort of achievement to their name. People who leave university, work as a party (or political) hack for a few years, then pull down a job-for-life on a party list give me the shits. That applies to some of the National MPs, but it seems to be especially prevalent in the Greens and Labour. They’re establishing a ruling class of political operatives which is a long way from representative democracy.

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  74. Kea (13,259 comments) says:

    Nostalgia-NZ (3,352) Says:
    April 24th, 2013 at 10:19 pm
    Of course not RightNow, voters don’t belong anywhere, except where they want to be.

    And right now they want to be in the hands of NATIONAL.

    I know it hurts :)

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  75. niggly (831 comments) says:

    Right on dp and thouthful as always pete g.

    Yes, where is Russel? After all he fancies himself as an eco-economist/expert …. after all with Parker & Hughes getting roasted by TV3, Shearer wisely leaving the country to avoid the embarasement (and sort out his overseas bank accounts) …. meanwhile Grant Robertson doesn’t seem to have anything wise to say (well he should though, shouldn’t he, if he fancies himself as leadership & a future PM, yes?) so reverts to looking up John Key’s breakfast menu and feeds it off to Fairfax (notice how Radio NZ today did not even bother mentioning this ‘shock horor expose’? True) …..

    Now’s the time for Russel to step up from his hiding place?

    Mind you what do the Labour right-wing feel about a bunch of left wing losers, being out of their depth, causing massive capital flight? Surely they can see the unintended effects (eg harder to get cash for future bribes when next in power?), will Shane Jones stepup?

    Whaaaattt about the Return of Cunliffe??? If they at Standard were smart they would shit upon Shearer,Parker and the Greens and ante for their man Cunners (but no,too many from the standard are hard-left). Strike now whilst Parker is stunned and Robertson is playing with Andrea & has his eyes off the ball!

    Time to dig out the popcorn and enjoy the ensuing ride (that Norman,Shearer & Parker have inadvertantly unleashed)? :-)

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  76. SPC (5,751 comments) says:

    davidp, no one in National is claiming that a $B was wiped off the value of Kiwi Saver funds, they would if it was true.

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  77. davidp (3,587 comments) says:

    niggly… My understanding is that the collapse of Solid Energy cost the country about a quarter of a billion dollars. This policy has wiped about six times that amount off Contact and other energy shares, and the superannuation funds that hold them. If someone had interviewed the Solid Energy guy and he’d sat there with a big smirk on his face, unable to make up his own mind whether the mess gave him the giggles or not, then he would have been pilloried a lot worse than Hughes has been.

    Someone in the Greens or Labour needs to apologise for what they’ve done to people’s retirement savings. Shearer won’t, because he’s in New York checking up on his own savings which are all protected from his party’s policies. Hughes can’t apologise because he actually thinks the whole thing is funny. Who does that leave?

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  78. jaba (2,146 comments) says:

    is my hearing that bad .. Gareth Hughes (Clint’s bitch) and howdy doodie Chris Hipkins employ interns to work for them for NO PAY . whatttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt?

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  79. davidp (3,587 comments) says:

    SPC>no one in National is claiming that a $B was wiped off the value of Kiwi Saver funds

    The finance industry estimate the cost at around $1.5billion. Some of that is KiwiSaver. Some of that is other retirement savings, because KiwiSaver isn’t the only way of saving for your retirement. Labour have been banging on about how people should be investing in “productive” assets such as shares, rather than in the property market. How did that turn out? “Invest in shares… so we can use your savings as a political football”.

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  80. SPC (5,751 comments) says:

    davidp, the cost of what? It is not lost value of existing shares in Contact (mostly Oz owned) or Trust Power (50% Infratil) so what is it … an anticipated lower value to the 49% shareholding? But if they cost less to buy (the spare money can be invested in something else as well) they still increase in value. The number is bollocks. It also presumes a larger ownership by local funds than would be the case.

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  81. niggly (831 comments) says:

    Hmmm Labour and apologies – that will be tricky for them.

    Labour know how to apologise for causing offence or for apologising for historic wrong-doings …. but this is an entirely different scenario. Don’t think they would know how – might be easier simply stage a coup and divert the media’s attention than front up and apologise to kiwi mums and dad investors and young kiwisavers?

    I think poor old David Shearer would now welcome dealing with crazy warlords in the depths of the Congo again than come back to this Green tail wagging dog clusterfuck. Time to pop into the UN for a chat with H1?

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  82. UpandComer (537 comments) says:

    The best way to consider the significance of this is to think about what the Greens/Labour would say if John Key did it. There you go. This person should resign, right? He’s all crosby textor, shifty etc etc etc

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  83. hannity (152 comments) says:

    Up and comer.
    Youre right ,
    If Gareth Hughes, denied he said it ,when questioned by journalists ,
    Lied in parliament, when questioned by the opposition.
    continued to deny it ,right up to the point, where journalists produced the clip , of him talking to Clint,
    Then suddenly ,changed his story , to “I forgot” Then Hughes should resign.

    He didn’t do any of those things.

    But John Key did.

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  84. Nostalgia-NZ (5,270 comments) says:

    No one seems to enthused by the suggestion of the machinations that might follow over Mighty River. Better to be eyes wide open than petulant. As always I’m for a strong economy which to this point is why I’ve likened the ‘assault’ as political sabotage, so I guess I’m in ‘no man’s land’ for pointing it out. Oh heck.

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  85. Scott Chris (6,176 comments) says:

    Labour and the Greens drop the ball again as far as this swing voter is concerned.

    Brainless, destructive and vindictive policy.

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  86. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    @SPC

    “davidp, the cost of what? It is not lost value of existing shares in Contact (mostly Oz owned)”

    This NZ owner of Contact shares is personally down over a grand at the moment.

    So up yours.

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  87. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    But if they cost less to buy (the spare money can be invested in something else as well) they still increase in value. The number is bollocks.

    @SPC,

    The economic sabotage of Labour and the Greens will see the taxpayer receive less for the 49% shareholding than otherwise would have been the case – they have wiped millions of dollars of taxpayer value from the asset.

    That means that there will be fewer dollars from the sale to invest in other assets – you know, things like schools, hospitals and other valuable infrastructure.

    That the share value will recover (assuming Labour and Greens never get the chance to implement their policy) is indeed relevant. Having consistently railed against the share sale, Labour Greens policy means that investors will reap all of the benefits of the low share price recovering in value – completely at the expense of the taxpayers’ receipts from the initial sale.

    Using their own view of who is going to buy shares, the Labour Greens policy is redistributing wealth to the already well off. How does that sit with their (supposed) values?

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  88. hubbers (139 comments) says:

    How manufactured/spun was the final answer? Thank you Tony Blair, politics will never be the same.

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  89. Yoza (1,903 comments) says:

    I don’t see why anyone is surprised (ACL’s [April 24th, 2013 at 9:02 pm]’business community’) by the Labour/Green policy announcement.

    The far-right of the Labour Party are looking down the barrel of a membership that is highly sick of their party being used as a vehicle to endorse an agenda designed to strip wealth from the lower tiers of society to engorge the bank accounts of this country’s wealthiest quintile.

    The neoliberal agenda only serves the interests of the very wealthy and those interests are served at an unacceptably high cost to everyone else. National’s privatisation scam will force already extortionately high residential energy costs higher.

    Labour, particularly Shearer and his little band of business-class collaborators, had to be seen to do something.

    The sharemarket dips a bit, so what. Only those involved in speculating on rather than investing in New Zealand’s future cop it. Cry me a river.

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  90. Yoza (1,903 comments) says:

    “Using their own view of who is going to buy shares, the Labour Greens policy is redistributing wealth to the already well off. How does that sit with their (supposed) values?”

    Seriously BH, if the Labour/Green policy was going to redistribute wealth to the already well of there would not be the high pitched level of hysteria evident on this and other pro-privatisation threads.

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  91. burt (8,301 comments) says:

    The ironic thing about this is the unintended consequences of their actions. The people who will push ahead buying shares are the ones who are less fearful of losing their money, the ones more prepared to view the shares as a gamble.

    The share float price gets depressed, less risk adverse investors ( ie rich pricks in policies of envy speak ) get to buy more and scoop a bigger dividend when the price returns to reflecting its true value.

    Labour and the Greens, making rich pricks richer buy making small investors scared to risk their money.

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  92. Yoza (1,903 comments) says:

    “Labour and the Greens, making rich pricks richer…” National and Labour have, since the Lange government, overseen the implementation of an economic system that ensures the rich pricks get richer, its long past due that the Labour Party took a stand against the wealthy few using the rest of society as fodder on which to engorge themselves.

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  93. burt (8,301 comments) says:

    Yoza

    You seemed to have missed the memo that during the last tyranny of a Labour government the divide between the have’s and the have not’s actually grew. It was hardly surprising given the top tax rate was set at such a low level that it was scooping 75% of high school teachers into the rich bucket by the time Cullen conceded his ideological experiment had failed.

    Did you not notice the policies of envy which left the residential property market one of the few places that wasn’t taxed to stagnation was most beneficial for people with high incomes who could afford to maintain mortgages through the higher interest rates that poor quality government spending always create.

    Wage and salary earners carried the brunt of Labour pretending to be hard on rich pricks, rich picks rearranged their affairs to avoid much of what the government wanted people to think they were achieving – the government knew this, they have access to the income tax collection statistics – they saw the bulge in people declaring income around $60k form immediately after they took office… They carried on … It was about perception and holding votes for them – not about better outcomes.

    The golden rule is; every policy has unintended consequences.

    Honest government examine them and adjust. Self serving government examine them so they can produce propaganda to pretend they don’t exist … 9 years of pretending $60k was rich – how serious were Labour about being fair with taxation compared to wanting to portrait an ideology while pretending it wasn’t middle earners taking a hamming while the rich got richer?

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  94. burt (8,301 comments) says:

    Yoza

    Shearer has taken a great stand against letting rich people gorge themselves.. He’s sitting on a large bank account off shore just waiting till its a good time to bring that money back to NZ. What do you think he is waiting for?

    The CGT policy to collapse the investment property market so he can buy investment property more cheaply? The mighty river shares to tank so he can buy a massive bundle of them well below their actual value? The effects of Winston peters style policy to trash our exchange rate so he maximises his exchange to NZ dollars ? NZ interest rates to climb as they always do under an interventionist government ?

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  95. Yoza (1,903 comments) says:

    ‘Yoza

    You seemed to have missed the memo that during the last tyranny of a Labour government the divide between the have’s and the have not’s actually grew.’

    Burt, you seem to struggle with some pretty basic reading comprehension skills. First sentence of my last post: “National and Labour have, since the Lange government, overseen the implementation of an economic system that ensures the rich pricks get richer,…”. Although the wealth gap increased under the last Labour government, the gap grew slower than under the previous Labour/National administrations, hardly an endorsement of Labour’s supposed working class sympathies.

    Large concentrations of foreign and domestic capital are used, , as Farrar et al advocate to blackmail the New Zealand population into acquiescing to a system designed to screw them into a form of economic servitude.

    At some point it was going to be inevitable that the right-wing extreme of the Labour party would be forced to decide who they support, business class thievery or working class aspirations. The Labour/Green initiative is a baby step in the correct direction.

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  96. burt (8,301 comments) says:

    Yoza

    The Labour Party can be seen to be stepping in the right direction only by people who follow the words rather than the actions of its leader. Open your eyes, their actions are about being seen to have a plan – not actually having one.

    Shearer is the embodiment of; Large concentrations of foreign and domestic capital at work. His wealth is admirable, but his reluctance to invest it in NZ is, and should be, deeply abhorrent given his position and the position of the party he leads. To think he is sitting on vast capital in off shore accounts while the money extracted from low paid workers via unions is funding Labour Party advertising… He’s a real man of the people leading the workers rights party… Representing the battlers who struggle to pay their power bill in a deeply dishonest way. Why can you not see this…

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  97. Yoza (1,903 comments) says:

    “Shearer is the embodiment of;…

    I am diametrically opposed to the kind of political philosophy to which Shearer clings. That he has been dragged away from an extreme right position toward a more centrist initiative is more a tribute to the activism of the Labour-left and the Greens/Mana than any political philosophy Shearer endorses.

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  98. burt (8,301 comments) says:

    Yoza

    So given we both seem to agree his own actions are deeply self serving, how come only one of us thinks his words represent an honest desire to actually serve the best interests of struggling NZ people ahead of his own interests of being PM ?

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  99. Yoza (1,903 comments) says:

    Some of the most vocal supporters of Shearer gaining the leadership of the Labour party came from the likes of Farrar and the corporate media. The hatred of the moderate, slightly right of centre, Cunliffe was palpable. I personally suspect the likes of Shearer, Parker, Goff and King were frogmarched into supporting the Labour/Green initiative on standing up to the price gouging of the private power companies.

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  100. HC (154 comments) says:

    While may here on KB enjoy this funny clip, come on, do you think that the many younger “talents” within National are any “better” at it? Just look at the lot, clip out Key, the big credit for Nats (personality factor, smiling assassin allowed to get away with murder), cut out Ryall, English, Brownlee (already a large bodied risk factor), and go past Collins, what is left?

    Bennett is like a silly child in a toyland at times, Tolley needs no further explanation, Parata is only still there because Key cannot allow the disgrace of having kept her while she should have been sacked long ago, Nick Smith is in limbo, trying to solve large issues that may prove bigger than the shoes he can wear, Heatley was sacked for uselessness, so was the former Minister for Labour (Kate who?) and was it the environment, now the young gun from Tauranga tries to be smart, and it is only the slack opposition that he gets away with immature, poorly thought out plans for Labour reforms and resource issues. He needs to work out his talking, which sounds like an overly smart schoolboy.

    Take out Key and English, and what will be left, I ask?

    Yes, the Greens are in part still “green” behind their ears, and they need more talent, but the whole of Parliament is lacking, that is for sure. This is a big worry, and it should be for all parties in there. Times could never be better to start a NEW party in this country, that is for sure. I am flabbergasted that nobody is doing it.

    Actually NZ could well do with a new party, that will actually do things that most people want and need. Stop these sideshows of self serving idiots.

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