Reaction to Jones quitting

April 23rd, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

writes:

’ shock decision to quit as a MP will lead voters to draw one conclusion and one conclusion only: that he thinks cannot win the September general election.

His departure is close to an unmitigated disaster for Labour. For starters, unlike the bulk of his colleagues, Jones could reach into segments of the vote – especially blue-collar males – who have switched off Labour. He was in the process of switching those traditional relationships back on.

So why did he go?

He was a major weapon in helping Labour to win back more of the Maori seats.

Perhaps of most significance, Labour has lost the one man who would have acted as the essential go-between in securing Winston Peters’ signature on a post-election coalition or co-operation agreement between Labour and New Zealand First which enabled Labour to govern.

Jones, however, may have seen himself ending up as a paralysed economic development minister in a Labour-Greens coalition which saw him having to constantly battle on behalf of any project with environmental repercussions.

Jones at best would have been the symbolic Minister with Russel  Norman having the veto.

He might not have intended it, but his leaving is also a massive blow to Labour’s morale at one of the worst possible times – just five months before election day when the party is endeavouring to motivate its membership to go door-knocking to get out the Labour vote.

The question is, why not stay until  the election?

writes:

 Disarray. There is no other word to describe the mess the Labour Party plunged into last night.

Not only did it have to come to terms with the loss of one of its strongest performers in Shane Jones, the party seemed to freeze like a possum in the headlights.

Press secretaries were either unable to help, unhelpful or offline, and party president Moira Coatsworth and secretary Tim Barnett initially went to ground.

Former leader David Shearer was gracious enough to confirm he knew of the resignation, but other MPs said it was a “bolt from the blue” and “gutting” before a gagging order went around the caucus.

Poor old Matt is earning his money!

If anything was designed to scream “crisis” it was this. Jones will be a serious loss to the party.

He has strong blue collar crossover appeal to Pakeha and Maori, and in the regions.

Who will now be leader of Labour’s Maori caucus? Nanaia Mahuta?

There is an upside in Labour getting Kelvin Davis back, who many people (including myself) rate. However he does not have the profile, mana or connections that Jones did.

In a Herald story:

Dover Samuels, a former MP and close friend to Mr Jones, said the Labour Party should take some of the blame for failing to keep him.

“He always pointed out to the Labour Party that if you didn’t take middle New Zealand with you you will be in the Siberian ring of the Opposition for the rest of your life. And I think, sadly, they didn’t hear that. They’ve got their own agendas.” 

Labour’s lurch to the left has claimed another victim.

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77 Responses to “Reaction to Jones quitting”

  1. redqueen (553 comments) says:

    Rejuvination socialist-style…

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  2. Manolo (13,518 comments) says:

    The takeover by academics, and rainbow and union factions is almost complete.
    To think this mob of misfits, lead by the arrogant Silent T, could form the next government is seriously disturbing.

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  3. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

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

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  4. Auberon (873 comments) says:

    So Kiwiblog commenters, how long before Matt McCarten packs up his swag and moves back to Auckland?

    I’m picking June.

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  5. iMP (2,356 comments) says:

    Dear Labour 2014.

    How’s that lurch into extreme Liberal Fairytaledom of euthanasia, sexuality politics, gay political agendas, legalising prostitution and all the other fringe political issues, workin’ for ya? Hulun’s great legacy.

    Signed, Michael Joseph Savage.

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  6. Ross12 (1,391 comments) says:

    Auberon

    Given this tweet from McCarton it could be earlier

    ” Matt McCartenCOS ‏@MattMcCartenCOS 31m

    Wonderful news. The more people we exclude from the party, the more pure our revolution will become. Rejoice! Rejoice in purity!”

    How weird can you get ?

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  7. Zebulon (85 comments) says:

    National got him another job, thus causing disruption to Labour’s election campaign and removing a post election leadership contender. Well played National.

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  8. ShawnLH (4,483 comments) says:

    “So Kiwiblog commenters, how long before Matt McCarten packs up his swag and moves back to Auckland?”

    Surely it’s become obvious to Cunliffe that McCarten has been a disaster. Things were bad as they were but since McCarten came on board Labour’s performance has been a colossal clusterfuck.

    And the one exception to that has just ditched the party.

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  9. David Farrar (1,883 comments) says:

    Mikenmild. You really are being silly. Jones is quitting just a few months before the election, to take up a job offer from the Government. But hey, if you think it is good for Labour – then keep up the good work.

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  10. mjw (391 comments) says:

    And just to complete the round up of reactions to Jones quitting.

    “In effect, MFAT now operates as the Minister’s personal fiefdom, and as a political slush fund.” Gordon Campbell on Scoop

    “As for McCully: if he’d offered Jones a briefcase full of cash to resign, we’d call it what it is … I don’t see how creating him a special job is any different” Norightturn

    “Yet this “Pacific Economic Ambassador” role McCully has created for Jones needs to be called for what it is – dodgy as.” Paddy Gower on 3news

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  11. Unity (493 comments) says:

    National have pulled off a brilliant manoeuvre. They have to be congratulated for the sheer audacity of what they have done. I also think they have got possibly the best one from the Labour Party, not that I’m much of a fan of Shane Jones, or the National Party for that matter. Amazing though!!

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  12. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,872 comments) says:

    “Labour’s lurch to the left has claimed another victim.”

    David, if you think Jones is the victim, you are wrong.

    The real victim is the NZ Labour Party which was diagnosed by Jones as terminal.

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  13. Barnsley Bill (983 comments) says:

    Talentless rump is all that is left of the labour top table. The only people who do not seem to be universally reviled are O’Connor and Ardern. Ardern for reasons that escape me and O’Connor is by all accounts a mouth breather. Odds on them polling less than 25% on Election Day?

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  14. ShawnLH (4,483 comments) says:

    “Odds on them polling less than 25% on Election Day?”

    Getting better and better! :)

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  15. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (872 comments) says:

    I spoke to Chief Matt and Deputy Deborah….basically the spin is as follows:

    “Jones knows Labour-Green-Mana-DotCom government in 2014 is as sure as the sun and the moon. He doesn’t want to the Economic Development Minister working under the guidance of Co-Deputy-PM-Job Share- Russel/Turei combo”.

    Matt points out that Jones’ exit points to a definite Labour victory. John Key – take that bro.

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  16. Bill (94 comments) says:

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

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  17. JC (942 comments) says:

    Its a brilliant coup by Matt, he’s getting closer to the dream of creating a political party that is a mouthpiece for Unite.

    JC

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  18. BeaB (2,108 comments) says:

    What possessed his advisers to allow Cunliffe to appear on Paul Henry’s show in that awful shirt undone to show his hairy chest like a faded porn star?

    It screamed vanity, ego and creepiness. Combine that with his smarmy, hostile smile when he is making stuff up and we have a vividly repellent picture of what a hollow man he is. No wonder his caucus hate him.

    Interesting John Key knew (for months he said), Murray McCully knew, you can bet Stephen Joyce knew, David Shearer knew but it came as a total bombshell to Cunliffe and the Labour machine and even to Kelvin Davis.

    What a hoot! This is an object lesson in how to take your revenge and come up smelling of roses!

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  19. RightNow (6,975 comments) says:

    @mikenmild, it is funny isn’t it? How come Labour can’t even manage one MP quitting without it turning into a disaster? They can’t run their own little third rate political party, thank fuck they won’t be running the country in the foreseeable future.

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  20. RRM (9,786 comments) says:

    Labour’s lurch to the left has claimed another victim.

    Labour are the victims of this, not Shane Jones! ;-)

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  21. Than (451 comments) says:

    mjw wrote;

    And just to complete the round up of reactions to Jones quitting.

    Two of those reactions are from left-wing blogs; not exactly impartial.

    Both Jones and McCully have denied this role was created for him, and so far nobody has provided any evidence that it was. Until such evidence appears, claiming this was a devious ploy by National is nothing but a desperate conspiracy theory.

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  22. stigie (1,069 comments) says:

    Will they come out and say there is a conflict of interest no doubt.

    At least it takes a bit of heat off Judith Collins !~

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  23. Tinshed (144 comments) says:

    BeaB (1,952 comments) says:
    What possessed his advisers to allow Cunliffe to appear on Paul Henry’s show in that awful shirt undone to show his hairy chest like a faded porn star?

    I can only but agree. We probably all like to think that it shouldn’t matter how politicians dress, but it does matter a great deal. I think John Key once said that in his early days he dressed in casual clothes on a Sunday while travelling. One photo changed that in the media changed that! Someone should be saying to Cunliffe – dress like you are a prime minister-in-waiting, not like a “faded porn star”. The fact that no-one told him this, nor could he see it himself, suggests he is tone deaf to the nuances of New Zealand politics. Perhaps it is his vanity and ego as you say BeaB.

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  24. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    “Given this tweet from McCarton it could be earlier

    ” Matt McCartenCOS ‏@MattMcCartenCOS 31m”

    You do know this is a parody account right ?

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  25. leftyliberal (642 comments) says:

    While I agree that Labour is lurching from one disaster to another (aside from Kelvin Davis’ effort on Morning Report, thus far the managing of this has been typically inept by Labour) surely creating a job for Jones is the sort of cronyism that the right and left should be rebuking?

    Instead there seems to be practically unanimous cheers from the right? Does the “my side must win” mantra override “this is against everything we believe in” ?

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  26. Pete George (23,437 comments) says:

    BeaB and tinshed – that was my first glance reaction too, and my wife’s. And most people see little more than a glance of politicians and make up their minds from that. The emperor may have had clothes but no one was prepared to tell him the pimp look isn’t a vote catcher?

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  27. ShawnLH (4,483 comments) says:

    The problem lefty is that the idea the job was created simply to get Jones is speculation. It may be true, it may not.

    Personally I have no problem with them doing that. Almost anything that keeps the Greens well away from being in government is legit.

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  28. BeaB (2,108 comments) says:

    Tinshed
    I think it all boils down to authenticity. He plays so many parts, second-guesses himself, tries to package what he is saying, does that awful smile and crinkles his eyes – it comes over as an act.

    I bet he checked himself in a mirror and liked what he saw.

    And who is the press officer who couldn’t answer the media calls when the story broke? What sort of chaos is there behind the scenes? Was the brilliant strategist even there?

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  29. mjw (391 comments) says:

    Than – well they would say that, wouldn’t they. (With apologies to Mandy Rice-Davies). All the evidence points to a special process just for Shane Jones. Tell you what, why don’t we sort it out? Shall we have an inquiry to find out the truth?

    After all, as JK said, if you’ve got nothing to fear you’ve got nothing to hide.

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  30. davidp (3,578 comments) says:

    >Press secretaries were either unable to help, unhelpful or offline

    Isn’t Cunliffe’s press secretary a relative? His brother or something?

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  31. BeaB (2,108 comments) says:

    leftyliberal
    Odd kind of cronyism that gives a plum job to an opponent.
    Could it perhaps be a government looking for the best man for the job?
    Who knows, the Nats might even put the country before petty politics?

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  32. Pete George (23,437 comments) says:

    Cunliffe’s press secretary is his cousin Simon Cunliffe. A comment on this at Public Address:

    Cunliffe’s chief press sec is his cousin Simon who while having a background as various deputy editors has no experience of politics and is considered a complete bunny.

    The lack of a strong comms team in Labour is all too clear.

    http://publicaddress.net/system/cafe/hard-news-jones-the-contender-leaves/?p=311006#post311006

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  33. virtualmark (1,510 comments) says:

    My view is a large part of why Labour’s supporters are aghast at Jones leaving is that for nearly all Labour Party MPs, candidates and activists being an MP is the peak of their career aspirations. They cannot hope for a job that would offer them a higher income.

    Shane Jones is an exception in that, for him, he has other options. Other attractive options. And he’s decided to take one.

    But the Labour chattering classes mindset is that the only reason you’d leave life as a Labour MP is if you’re a traitor, or have been nobbled. They literally cannot conceive that someone might decide they have something they would rather do and be better paid for.

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  34. Than (451 comments) says:

    mjw – What evidence?

    Both McCully and Jones deny this position was created for him, with McCully claiming the position has been in the works since early last year. If you have some evidence that he is lying, feel free to share it. And simply wishing it to be true does not qualify as evidence.

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  35. leftyliberal (642 comments) says:

    BeaB: Not odd at all. After all, plum positions were given to Bolger under Labour’s term, and to Cullen under National’s term. There’s got to be a bit of quid pro quo, no? In this case it benefits National quite a bit by continuing their story of Labour being inept (though, Labour’s doing a pretty good job of that all by themselves.)

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  36. Richard Hurst (836 comments) says:

    At least Countdown will be relieved

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  37. mjw (391 comments) says:

    Than –

    “Murray McCully confirmed he had shoulder-tapped Mr Jones this year to ask him to consider taking a new role working on New Zealand’s economic development aid programme across the Pacific and in other small developing countries. There’s no question he is the best candidate we could appoint to this role and I’ve made that clear to him.”

    So let me ask you this – where is the State Services commissioner in all of this? Where was the job advertisement? Don’t forget, this is not a private company. Nor is John Key CEO of NZ Inc. Rather, this is the government of New Zealand, and it is supposed to be a steward of taxpayers money. It should be the gamekeeper, not the poacher. It should avoid conflicts of interest and follow the rules.

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  38. Auberon (873 comments) says:

    “At least Countdown will be relieved”

    Yes, nothing lihe hearing the case has been handed to a complete moron like Clayton Cosgrove to perk up your day!

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  39. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    mjw
    For some reason, the normal appointment rules don’t seem to apply to diplomatic postings, so we get political cronies sent to London and Washington, etc. Happens all the time.

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  40. Pete George (23,437 comments) says:

    Matthew Poole:

    Before anyone chimes in to echo No Right Turn’s suggestion that McCully appointing Jones as an ambassador is illegal, I’ll point out that heads of mission/heads of post are appointed by “the Governor General”, and we all know what that means.

    This reeks to high heaven, and it looks worse, but from a legal/procedural standpoint it’s entirely legitimate for the Minister to establish a new diplomatic role with the status of a head-of-mission/head-of-post and pluck out a sitting MP to fill said role.

    http://publicaddress.net/system/cafe/hard-news-jones-the-contender-leaves/?p=311017#post311017

    NRT: “Shoulder-tapping” vs public service values

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  41. mjw (391 comments) says:

    mikenmild – true, but this particular case is a first. Headhunting somebody out from under another party, to an appointment that didn’t exist before. I would be very surprised if there was a precedent for that.

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  42. BeaB (2,108 comments) says:

    Shoulder-tapping not new
    Not one volunteer has stepped up to fill the vacant position of Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, says Prime Minister Helen Clark.
    Justice Laurie Greig resigned from the post after the High Court ruled he had shown apparent bias in his review of the security risk certificate issued by the Security Intelligence Service against Ahmed Zaoui.
    The security risk certificate is one of the factors preventing the Algerian gaining refugee status in New Zealand.
    Helen Clark said there were no volunteers for a job that must by law be filled by a retired judge.
    “No one put their hand up. No one phoned up saying this is a career opportunity not to be missed. But we will shoulder-tap someone and I imagine whoever does it will do it with a sense of public duty because they have been asked, but also with a sense of reluctance.”
    2004

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  43. Than (451 comments) says:

    mjw – What rule has been broken here?

    Shane Jones is well qualified for this position. McCully’s vague phrase “shoulder-tapped” could mean as little as pointing out a job ad or suggesting he talk to the appropriate people in parliamentary services. You (and No Right Turn) are alleging that McCully strong-armed the ministry and forced them to hire Jones for National’s political gain. That’s a serious accusation, so again if you have evidence that’s what has happened then by all means share it.

    McCully making Jones aware of a job opportunity he is well suited for is not a conflict of interest. There is no evidence he did anything more than that.

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  44. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,872 comments) says:

    mjw

    Which makes it all the more an exercise of sheer brilliance. Labour’s plotters and schemers have insufficient intellect to think outside precedent so all you have to do to truly fuck them over is do something original.

    LMAO

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  45. David Garrett (7,005 comments) says:

    For Mikenmild at 1.12pm (and with apologies to those who have already read it on the other thread) Below is why a dozen Nats leaving before the election can be legitimately described as “rejuvenation” while the departure of Jones – one of Labour’s few links to their original constituency – can be seen as a disaster:

    …every half pie objective commentator sees the turnover in National as a positive thing; new blood, rejuvenation and all that. But you, a worthy employee of the Ministry for Newspeak, asks why are so many “tories” quitting?

    Well, let me run through an illustrative few of them for you…I’ll try and keep it simple.

    Shane Ardern: Smart enough guy, but not stellar. Has accepted the fact that he won’t make cabinet, so is returning to his multi million dollar dairy farming operation in Taranaki. (He doesnt need the parliamentary income you see).

    Cam Calder: Helluva nice guy and amusing speech maker. Qualified as both a doctor and a dentist…but doesnt need to work at either. Also appears to have been passed over for a cabinet position so why stay?

    Katrina Shanks: Got the message she’s not going to be in cabinet; that she must always be sacrificed to the pragmatic need for Dunne to have “her” seat; has a more lucrative job lined up..

    Phil Heatley: Demoted from cabinet for lack lustre performance. Has options outside parliament, so is taking them.

    Kate Wilkinson: Ditto.

    Do you get the picture? Unlike your sorry lot, the “tories” DONT NEED THE MONEY. They can find a position paying the same or probably more outside parliament. Your lot, by and large – Jones is the exception – cant. Get it ?

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  46. burt (8,206 comments) says:

    So when are Cunliffe, Mallard & King resigning ?

    Oh, as David Garrett points out – they have nowhere else to go . Bwahahahahahah

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  47. PhilP (163 comments) says:

    “The takeover by academics, and rainbow and union factions is almost complete.”

    The dark side of the force.

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  48. dirty harry (446 comments) says:

    “Mikenmild. You really are being silly.”

    LMFAO ! Massive slap down from the boss.

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  49. stigie (1,069 comments) says:

    Would Mallard get a job as a school teacher perhaps…eh…?

    Might be his only chance if he does it now !~

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  50. stigie (1,069 comments) says:

    @PhilP
    Not almost but complete ole chap. Bwwwhahahah.

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  51. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    The only people who do not seem to be universally reviled are O’Connor and Ardern. Ardern for reasons that escape me

    Are you gay?

    It’s because she’s quite hittable, albeit in a somewhat equine fashion.

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  52. RightNow (6,975 comments) says:

    “It’s because she’s quite hittable, albeit in a somewhat equine fashion.”

    Makes a change from the usual talk about hitting on sheep I suppose.

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  53. nasska (11,198 comments) says:

    What’s wrong with sheep? :)

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  54. burt (8,206 comments) says:

    Yeah, I’d tap Ardern

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  55. stigie (1,069 comments) says:

    Ewes RightNow…. Ewes,

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  56. David Garrett (7,005 comments) says:

    Tom J: Indeed…but believe me, close up those teeth are formidable! And she also has a lot of the “Good Socialist Pioneer” about her…you expect her to grab the person nearest her at any moment and break into the Internationale…

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  57. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    you expect her to grab the person nearest her at any moment and break into the Internationale…

    She grabs me, she can sing Lily Marlene for all I care. ;-)

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  58. RightNow (6,975 comments) says:

    @stigie, get with the 21st century, same sex cross species sexual attraction is normal now.

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  59. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Perhaps Johnboy will be along to confirm that sheep are an easier proposition than horses, nasska?

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  60. David Garrett (7,005 comments) says:

    Tom: I think you’d have to fill out a lengthy questionaire before there would be any question of getting down and dirty…or even up close and personal…

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  61. RightNow (6,975 comments) says:

    Horses are easy, just put a carrot in your pants.

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  62. Northland Wahine (660 comments) says:

    Personally, Arden looks like she has a selection of strap ons at her disposal so be careful what ya wish for, gents!

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  63. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    Jacinda is indeed very doable.

    This is known. (I’m sure you’re reading this Jacinda, take it as a complement, it wasn’t meant to be nasty)

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  64. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Tom: I think you’d have to fill out a lengthy questionaire before there would be any question of getting down and dirty…or even up close and personal…

    I’m happily married.

    But Jacinda is pretty, clever and seems like a nice person. So some lucky punter is bound to win the jackpot sooner or later.

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  65. RightNow (6,975 comments) says:

    “So some lucky punter is bound to win the jackpot sooner or later.”

    You mixed your metaphors, trifecta perhaps?

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  66. stigie (1,069 comments) says:

    “Perhaps Johnboy will be along to confirm that sheep are an easier proposition than horses, nasska?”

    Nah…Johnboy is pretty much into Penny at the moment !

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  67. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    You mixed your metaphors, trifecta perhaps?

    punter = anyone who gambles | lottery = gambling

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  68. David Garrett (7,005 comments) says:

    She’s certainly a damn sight more pleasant than the majority of the Labour harridans…Dyson was the nastiest, closely followed by Dalziell…when she was sober…she mellowed a bit in the evening sessions…

    Alan: Dont be a crawler!! She would never dream of getting it on with a Kiwiblogger…strict rules in the Politburo about personal relationships…One of the Green women crossed the lines once as I recall…it didn’t end well…

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  69. Steve (North Shore) (4,544 comments) says:

    I think Shane Jones gave Labour and their ever changing leaders enough hints.
    They decided not to listen and go their own selfish way. Now I don’t know to lobby or change the thinking of National, but I think Jones would have been good if he jumped wakas. Look at how many jumped fron NZ First years ago (Tau)
    I am disapointed, because this Shane Jones has Mana, some of the try hards have no idea of Mana

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  70. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,744 comments) says:

    Jacinda’s unique selling point was that she was young. The sands of time have eroded that advantage. All you’re left with is a Helen Clark mini me

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  71. Jack5 (5,015 comments) says:

    Milkenmild posted at 2.52:

    For some reason, the normal appointment rules don’t seem to apply to diplomatic postings, so we get political cronies sent to London and Washington, etc. Happens all the time.

    Like Mike Moore to Ambassador in Washington. Helen Clark to the big UN job is a bit the same, too.

    Some career diplomats are very smart, some are narcissistic dolts. Same with ex politicians as diplomats and in similar international posts.

    Shane Jones should be good at the Pacific job, with his fishing industry background when international fleets from China to Spain are plundering Pacific fish resources.

    What happens, though, if Jones is homesick for politics around the time Yul Grinner retires at NZ First? Surely he wouldn’t ….

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  72. RF (1,371 comments) says:

    Sorry I have jumped on late but have to vent my spleen about Jaciinda. In the run up to the Hobbit Movies she was a self confessed Hobbit hater. Every opportunity she had she was very vocal about selling our sole to the Devil aka US Film industry.

    I was in Courtney place during the last Hobbit parade and watched this little witch pushing her way through the crowd and then mixing with the actors. Anyone would think she was part of the production crew as she was all over them. What a two faced bitch.

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  73. sosharna (2 comments) says:

    I wonder who will be next to jump ship from Labour?
    It’s all kind of sad. I had great hopes for Cuncliffe. But the reality is with the extreme left controlling Labour they are doomed. Doomed to a fight with the Greens for survival, leaving the centre ground comfortably occupied by National.

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  74. DJP6-25 (1,364 comments) says:

    Bad news for Labour, and good news for the rest of New-Zealand.

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  75. Bill (94 comments) says:

    Jones’ Judas act was timed to take the heat off Collins.
    McCully will commit $5-10$m over the next few years to staff Jones’ new role.
    Will the taxpayer be happy that so much money is being used to protect Collins?

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  76. deadrightkev (427 comments) says:

    I cannot wait for the next polls to come out.

    The Labour slide toward 25% will get those backbenchers heading to their calculators.

    I don’t vote National and even I can see Judith Collins has very little to answer for. The public is tiring of this beat up because they would have accepted a dinner date as well. A free feed is a free feed and if you are peddling NZ its even more justified.

    Labour and Peters need to get a life.

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  77. Grendel (993 comments) says:

    Have to concur about jacinda being quite tidy.

    The gf and I were leaving a pub and I held the door open for this stunning chick who looked familiar but I could not place her, until sje smiled and said thanks. Those teeth are very noticeable.

    Gf mentions that “shes stunning, quite doable”, which came as a shock as shes usually oblivious (and also becuse she was eyeing up a chick, grendels hopes of a 3 some were up, albeit it extremely biefly :) ). I told her it was jacinda amd her next comment was that labour do a terrible job on her official photos as she looks ok in them but stunning in person. Have to agree, her official photos always make the teeth the focal point.

    Pity about her awful politics.

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