Talking down NZ’s contribution

April 2nd, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

I know being in opposition is hard, but you don’t have to try and portray a victory as a defeat. on NewstalkZB:

TIM FOOKES:     Exactly. So the earlier the better, and I will get to one of your calls in just a moment, but just a quick comment on the issue that came out late last night over the court ruling on , I think this is a significant victory New Zealand and Australia.

DAVID CUNLIFFE:             It’s fantastic. Well, it’s a significant victory for Australia. Where the hell was the New Zealand Government? I mean, we had New Zealanders testifying, but once again, the National Government’s asleep at the wheel. Kiwis hate whaling. We hate whaling and previous governments had a really strong record against it. Why did we leave it to the Aussies to take the thing to the International Court?

So did we leave it to the Aussies and was National asleep at the wheel. Let’s look at the official court ruling from the International Court of Justice:

WHALING IN THE ANTARCTIC (AUSTRALIA v. JAPAN:
NEW ZEALAND INTERVENING)

New Zealand was represented by no less than the Attorney-General, the Deputy Solicitor-General, an Ambassador, five MFAT staff and one of the Attorney-General’s staff. Not exactly asleep at the wheel.

NZ is mentioned 53 times in the judgement.

Also while looking through the transcript a few other fibs:

Well, they did rise in some cases by more, although there has been a real open jawing since of the residential versus industrial power prices and, of course, now, thanks to and his mob, half of that money goes to private investors, most of them offshore. 

Over 70% of investors are domestic. False.

TIM FOOKES:     Well, it’s – look – I am looking in your eyes. Why, then, is John Key so popular? Why does…

DAVID CUNLIFFE:             He has had a long time at it, which is good for him, and I’ve only had a few months, so I’ve got work to do. I completely acknowledge that. Second thing is, he has got the best PR that money can buy. He’s got more money than God. 

How did attacking John Key for his wealth go for David Cunliffe last time he tried it? He doesn’t seem to learn.

And is he really saying that John Key is popular because he uses his personal wealth on purchasing public relations?

If one-quarter of the missing million vote it’s game over red rover, you’ve got a Labour led government, right? One-quarter of the missing million vote – game over. And we’re going to get them to the polls.

Such confidence.

UPDATE: A commenter has pointed out it was Helen Clark who dropped the legal action against Japan on the basis NZ could not win. So Cunliffe was a member of the Government that decided not to take legal action, and he criticises National as being asleep at the wheel, when they are the ones who actually decided to take legal action.

Prime Minister Helen Clark will push for a diplomatic end to whaling after the Government dropped plans for legal action against Japan.

Miss Clark said “fantastic” legal advice – from New Zealand whaling commissioner Sir Geoffrey Palmer – suggested it would be difficult to mount a successful case at the United Nations International Court of Justice.

What an own goal. Maybe a journalist could ask David Cunliffe if he voted in Cabinet in favour of not taking legal action.

Of course he doesn’t seem to think it is fair to point out what he did in Government. From NewstalkZB:

TIM FOOKES:     But, hang on, it was eight and a half per cent or close to 10 per cent in those 2007-2008 years, as well. So why…

DAVID CUNLIFFE:             Yeah, and we could go back to the Holyoake years, and justify all sins by saying, well, when Rob Muldoon was a boy, or Keith Jacka was in Parliament, you know, things were different then. Well, sorry, the current Government has been in power nearly six years. It’s time they manned up and took some responsibility. They cannot get away with excuse after excuse, wah, wah, wah, it was different under Helen Clark. Sorry, guys, grow up. 

Holyoake was Prime Minister 50 years ago. There is a big difference between harking back 50 years and pointing out the record of Labour the very last time they were in office, ad their leader was a senior Minister.

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57 Responses to “Talking down NZ’s contribution”

  1. Peter (1,712 comments) says:

    Places call to broker.

    “Buy: Restaurant Brands”.

    Call ends.

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  2. Nostalgia-NZ (5,213 comments) says:

    He was just trying to explain why white is really black.

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  3. Manolo (13,780 comments) says:

    I heard his comments and can say: Silent T is an utter disgrace.
    Good help NZ if such an envious and negative individual becomes PM of our country.

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  4. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Cunliffe is wrong on this.

    Whilst I am under no illusion, our Government would not have sent anyone unless they had got the message from the people that it was what we wanted (and that is exactly how it should be, they are after all our representatives) – the fact remains they did, and the Attorney General put up a good argument on the govts behalf.

    Could the government have done more? – yes, of course it could have in my opinion – but then I don’t have to balance the books and meet everyone’s needs, they do though.

    This is one Cunliffe needs to leave alone.

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  5. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    If one-quarter of the missing million vote it’s game over red rover…

    Over for who?

    Grumpollie looked at the non-voters in the last couple of elections in If everyone got out to vote in 2011, what difference would it have made?

    So I was having fun, and I started to wonder what would happen if all the non-voters with a party preference had got out and voted on Election Day. There are a bunch of caveats to this analysis, including the small sample size and how representative the sample of non-voters was. BUT, if we assume for a moment that the data were broadly representative, then inspiring all non-voters to get out and vote wouldn’t have had a massive impact on the 2011 result.

    Labour are banking a lot on a dubious target while virtually ignoring the middle vote that usually decides elections.

    It’s a lot harder to get a dedicated non-voter to get to the booth and vote for you than it is to swing a probable voter, and you have to get twice as many to do it to get the same effect.

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  6. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    It’s much worse than that DPF:

    Clark drops legal action plan
    09/05/2008

    Prime Minister Helen Clark will push for a diplomatic end to whaling after the Government dropped plans for legal action against Japan.

    Conservation Minister Steve Chadwick said legal action had been examined with “great care”, but difficulties had been identified. She would not disclose what the difficulties were.

    Miss Clark said “fantastic” legal advice – from New Zealand whaling commissioner Sir Geoffrey Palmer – suggested it would be difficult to mount a successful case at the United Nations International Court of Justice.

    So it was Labour who was asleep at the wheel, after Sir Geoffrey Palmer told them the case was hopeless. Will Cunliffe apologise?

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  7. Simon (724 comments) says:

    Cunnlife is so personally desperate for power it will start to creep people out.

    Cunnlife in an attempt to get voters will be like a junkie pawing off his father’s golf clubs for the next fix.

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  8. freemark (580 comments) says:

    The guy is a complete fuckwit. He has not a shred of honesty or integrity, nor have his backers. In a humane society he would be compassionately put out of his misery.

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  9. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Cunliffe: The retort of yet another useless envious Labourite . . . but you are the leader, having no answers, no alternatives, and no support.

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  10. Cunningham (844 comments) says:

    Who says the missing million are all Labour voters? This guy is so fucking arrogant and nasty it is unbelieveable.

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  11. chris (647 comments) says:

    Such arrogance. Such lies. Is he actually brought up on these lies in the interview, or does the interviewer not know enough to hold him to account? Or not want to? I have no doubt all political parties lie to get power, but his are such bald face lies. He probably knows it too, and knows he won’t be held to account and/or that the sheeple will take them at face value.

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  12. Ross12 (1,428 comments) says:

    Great research queenstfarmer. I hope all those on Twitter will get to work now and spread your post around.

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  13. Rich Prick (1,705 comments) says:

    In four sound-bites Cunliffe goes from hard to like, to impossible to like. Little wonder 92% of New Zealanders think he’d be a total cock as PM.

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  14. Viking2 (11,471 comments) says:

    Actually, are Kiwi’s that bothered about whaling?

    As usual a noisy subset of emotional anti freaks have been making a bucket load of noise that this Govt. and others respond to with indecent haste. Oh we will get our name up in lights. FFS).

    The taxpayer has spent a shit load of money on something that doesn’t even appear on most peoples daily radar of survival.

    WHALING IN THE ANTARCTIC (AUSTRALIA v. JAPAN:
    NEW ZEALAND INTERVENING)

    New Zealand was represented by no less than the Attorney-General, the Deputy Solicitor-General, an Ambassador, five MFAT staff and one of the Attorney-General’s staff. Not exactly asleep at the wheel.
    So that’s how much when the govt continues to borrow at unprecedented rates.

    Yesterday you were talking of Govt. restraint.
    This isn’t restraint it show pony stuff.
    Now if those that need this as a hobby horse would pay the bill I wouldn’t object but they don’t. Our show pony politicians are getting like film stars. anything for being in the press.

    Socialism at its best.

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  15. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    Thanks queenstfarmer, I’ve put it with DPF’s info in a blog post – Cunliffe versus Government on whaling decision

    That looks like another own goal by Cunliffe and his research team. Half cocked negative politics can be a double whammy when it isn’t even accurate.

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  16. Rick Rowling (813 comments) says:

    One-quarter of the missing million vote – game over. And we’re going to get them to the polls.

    Now imagine online voting.

    Knock knock!
    “Who’s there?”
    “It’s your local [political party that has lots of union members paid to canvass on election day] activist. Have you voted yet?”
    “Umm, no. Voted for what?”
    “It’s the General Election today! Don’t worry, I can help you do it.” *whips out iPad* “Right, here’s your voter number on the card you got in the mail, that’s right, now all you need to do is press this button to vote for us. Here, I can do it for you!”

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  17. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    Did the interviewer ask Cunliffe to name the donors to his secret leader’s slush fund? Or why we should trust a man who is so secretive and dishonest?

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  18. Chris2 (766 comments) says:

    Shane Jones will be rubbing his hands with glee – another step closer to the Labour Party leadership after the election.

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  19. sweetd (125 comments) says:

    Whats going to happen during the election debates where he has to answer questions and DC can’t give his usual one answer for the unions and one to the mainstream population? He will have to pin his colours to the mast sooner or later then be will be exposed as a shallow power grabbing fake.

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  20. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    unfortunately for you V2

    The anti whaling stance is a part of the overall New Zealand identity.

    As is whaling.

    It is fitting that New Zealand. Once one of the foremost centers for whaling in the world. has a say on the animals in our patch of the pacific and the antarctic.

    Minkie whale are reasonably prolific.

    One of the few species that can support harvest.

    Japan has harvested for consumption under the cloak of science.

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  21. Pita (373 comments) says:

    Viking2 “Actually, are Kiwi’s that bothered about whaling?”

    No…according to Labour, Kiwi’s are more intersted in a gender balance, a man ban, more gay lesbians and transgender representatives in parliament. That’s sure to bring out the the missing million to vote for Labour!

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  22. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    Another anti Cunliffe thread ?

    Worried much?

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  23. chris (647 comments) says:

    Whats going to happen during the election debates where he has to answer questions and DC can’t give his usual one answer for the unions and one to the mainstream population?

    John Key will crucify him in the election debates. They’re not my thing, but I might have to watch them this year.

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  24. emmess (1,428 comments) says:

    Virtually, every sentence he speaks, I find myself thinking ‘what a cocksucker’. I know that is not his name but it just seems to fit his personality.
    I saw him on the Paul Henry Show a couple of weeks ago talking about what was going on with Kohanga Reo, an issue he had my complete agreement on but he just could help himself making some smart arse comment about Oravida, so even when I was in complete agreement with him I was still thinking ‘what a cocksucker’.

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  25. David in Chch (519 comments) says:

    I think that JK and the National party continue to get traction over what Labour did during its terms in office, because almost all of the participants in that government are still there! Renewal? Nope. Retrenchment? Yes. Not a good look.

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  26. georgebolwing (854 comments) says:

    The assumption underlying the “get out the vote” strategy that Labour is following is that saying the things needed to get those who didn’t vote last time to vote Labour this time will have no impact on those who did actually vote Labour.

    Labour have clearly decided, possibly on the basis of polling and other research, that there is a large group of non-voters who will be motivated by jealousy and a dislike of “rich pricks”.

    The problem is that many middle-class Labour voters (people like Cunliffe, as an obvious example) aspire to personal wealth and a good life and thus may well be put off by constantly being told that they are part of the problem.

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  27. niggly (830 comments) says:

    I wonder how long Cunliffe has before the default position for Journalists’ interviewing him is to assume everything Cunliffe says is a lie and they ask Cunliffe to prove otherwise?

    Time and time again Cunliffe has been found out to lie outright, embellish or deceive and it’s bizarre that he tries to get away with it (each time).

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  28. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Alan (881 comments) says:
    April 2nd, 2014 at 10:05 am
    Another anti Cunliffe thread ?

    I am not sure it is so much an anti-cunliffe thread, but Cunliffe does need to be careful on this one. IMO all he is doing is highlighting the government’s success and the fact they actually listened to what the people wanted, over and above trade concerns with Japan.

    Now there was no doubt a lot more to it than that, but in this political environment, it is probably not a good idea to highlight the opposing teams successes, if you really want a chance of winning at the next election.

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  29. David Garrett (7,289 comments) says:

    “Fantastic legal advice” from that legal genius, Professor Sir Geoffrey, who said that the case was “hopeless”…And the legal establishment continues to genuflect to this man, and his clients continue to pay him $1000 an hour….Crikey, I can give hopeless legal advice for half that!

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  30. peterwn (3,273 comments) says:

    With Labour/ Green promises, it is relevant to hark back 56 years and remember Nordie’s Black Budget of 1958. In 1957 Labour gave the impression that it was going to give everyone a hundred pounds ($4,600 in today’s money) – and many voters said they would have to be daft not to vote for a 100 quid. But the policy fine print did not actually say that, to their disappointment.

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  31. Keeping Stock (10,342 comments) says:

    David Cunliffe and the truth have a very flexible relationship, but he is putting huge strain even on that with his almost-daily lies.

    But I wonder what his Anglican vicar father would have made of the “He’s got more money than God” attempted smear with regard to John Key. Coming so soon after the “leafy suburbs” gaffe, it’s inexplicable that Cunliffe, hardly poverty-stricken himself, would be resorting to such pettiness.

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  32. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    Sir Palmer is ..a little like dame Orange as a historian.

    Demonstrable deficient as a historian/constitutional lawyer yet raised by socialist academia/activist judiciary to present their opinions and authority as legitimate.

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  33. emmess (1,428 comments) says:

    How much money does God have?

    Either nothing or all the church property in the world (I am guessing hundreds of billions) .

    So either it is another lie or everyone does including David Cunliffe, just like he also lives in a leafy suburb.
    By the way, what is wrong with leaves anyway? Is he anti-enviroment.

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  34. David Garrett (7,289 comments) says:

    I first encountered the genius Professor Sir Geoffrey in 1986, when the Lange Labour Government was moving towards releasing the Rainbow Warrior saboteurs (convicted of the manslaughter of a Greenpeace photographer) into the “custody” of the French on Hao Atoll. Palmer was my MP at the time. I went to see him to try and persuade him not to trust the French (In my defence I was 25 at the time, and still somewhat naive) I can still remember Palmer loftily telling me that he and his cabinet knew much more about the matter than some scruffy adult student, and that the French had given guarantees that Mafart and Prieur would remain on Hao for the remainder of their sentence.

    As it turned out of course, the French guarantees proved to have as much value as Hitler’s, and the bastards were back in France inside a year – having both been promoted in the mean time.

    So…Professor Sir Geoffrey…giving bad advice and making bad judgment calls since 1986…I should put it on a T shirt…

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  35. stigie (1,198 comments) says:

    “Shane Jones will be rubbing his hands with glee – another step closer to the Labour Party leadership after the election.”

    I can see him being leader of the Liarbore Party but not Prime Minister.

    Too bloody lazy and has not got the massive work ethic that John Key has !~

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  36. david (2,557 comments) says:

    On the Whaling, it was really K Rudd’s bet “All on black” that has been successful. To have lost would have meant that there would be no comeback, appeal or challenge to Japan’s rights to conduct whale harvesting into the future.

    While the win is fantastic, Rudd gambled with all our rights of protest so it makes sense that NZ pitched in with as many heavy-hitters it could muster ‘cos it was the last throw of the dice.

    Was Rudd reckless or genuis? It probably depends on whether you look at it before or after the Judgement.

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  37. niggly (830 comments) says:

    In terms of Cunliffe’s outright lies, falsehoods and embellishments …. let’s not forget it was Labour Party members, activists, various authors at the Standard that promoted an outright liar in the form of Cunliffe as Labour leader and wannabe PM (and undermined other more “reasonable” Labour leaders and aspirants who don’t resort to outright lying eg Shearer, Goff, Jones etc).

    Just goes to show what deceitful and dishonest people these particular Labour members, activists and Standard authors are.

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  38. metcalph (1,430 comments) says:

    DG

    I went to see him to try and persuade him not to trust the French (In my defence I was 25 at the time, and still somewhat naive)

    The Rainbow Warrior bombers weren’t released because we trusted the French – they were released because France was squeezing our balls in butter access to the EEC and we caved. That was probably what Palmer was alluding to although I daresay candour would have been a far better policy than a “we know something you don’t” attitude.

    A better stick to beat Palmer with would be the “Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi” he kept inserting into legislation without defining them.

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  39. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    what a whiny bitch

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  40. David Garrett (7,289 comments) says:

    metcalph: Of course you are right…although as I recall the French were slightly more subtle than blocking butter exports: they rejected shipments of things like lambs brains – for which the French were always the main if not the only market – on the grounds of uncertainty about their safety…but you are quite right, they were squeezing our economic balls.

    I was of the view then, and 30 years on remain of the view, that this issue was so important we ought to have had a referendum on it. The two choices: 1) maintain the integrity of our justice system; keep the bastards in prison, and accept the economic conseqences; or 2) create the precedent that if you have enough power and influence you can buy your way out of a New Zealand jail, let them go, and take the compensation that the French paid. (Was it $14 million or something? More I think…)

    I suspect the result of any such referendum may have been “let the bastards go, and take the 30 pieces of silver”, but either way the issue was too important to be left to a goose like Palmer – whose advice the cabinet of the day heavily relied on.

    On the “principles of the treaty” you are quite right – Roger Douglas clearly recalls Palmer being asked what s.9 of the SOE’s Act meant, and Palmer telling them it had no meaning, and was just “meaningless window dressing.” That has to rate as the worst legal advice given in NZ history…

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  41. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    The salient question is, How much money does God have?

    As I understand it, we all have more money than he has….

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  42. Viking2 (11,471 comments) says:

    Still don’t think that saving whales puts food on anyone’s tables except the troughers.

    why do we bother wasting taxpayers money like this all the time?

    Good idea for the Taxpayers union to add up what this has cost and if there are any tangible benefits for the taxpayer.

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  43. greenjacket (466 comments) says:

    I am now questioning whether Cunliffe has a strong grasp on reality. Its the lies. He just always tells lies. Even when it is unnecessary to lie, he just makes shit up. Most MPs will tell porkies to defend themselves at some point – but with Cunliffe, it is non-stop lies.

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  44. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    I find it amusing, but not surprising, how many Tories now say they abhor whaling. Previously they were right behind Japan and their “right” to kill whales in the southern ocean.

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  45. Fentex (978 comments) says:

    I was under the impression NZ was asked by Oz to take a back seat at times because tactically it helped the case due to rules on trying the matter – something about organising the court and which judges, from which nations, were sitting.

    Here’s an article alluding to it.

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  46. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    “New Zealand had floated an idea to scrap a moratorium that banned commercial whaling in favour of limited commercial whaling…New Zealand’s National-led Government’s preference was to allow limited commercial whaling, with a cap on the number of whales that could be slaughtered.”

    http://pacific.scoop.co.nz/2010/03/nz-government-preparing-a-u-turn-over-its-commercial-whaling-policy/

    The Tories, on the wrong side of history yet again.

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  47. David Garrett (7,289 comments) says:

    ross the commie: And we on the right find it endlessly amusing that you continue to refer to those on the right of New Zealand politics as “tories” – a term used to describe the Conservatives of Great Britain…

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  48. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Another anti Cunliffe thread ?

    Worried much?

    Yep, DPF is seemingly a little obsessed with Cunliffe. I never saw the same obsession with Shearer.

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  49. fernglas (157 comments) says:

    Cunliffe is a fool to attack John Key over personal money issues. This blog put his family income at over $500,000. Knowing law firm incomes as I do, and given that his wife left a very lucrative firm to set up a boutique practice where she acts for corporates in high stakes resource management litigation, I would put it at well over a million. People who live in glass houses…..

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  50. David Garrett (7,289 comments) says:

    Ross the Commie: That you can see Cunliffe as some sort of credible threat – despite all his blunders, half truths and blatant dishonesty says a great deal more about you than our gracious host…

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  51. Keeping Stock (10,342 comments) says:

    The Tories, on the wrong side of history yet again.

    Following your leader’s example in telling lies again Ross? Or are you actually David Cunliffe?

    Anyway, Christopher Finlayson has provided the best possible rebuttal of Cunliffe’s whale of a fib about New Zealand being “asleep at the wheel” :D

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.co.nz/2014/04/tweet-of-day-2-april-2014.html

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  52. stigie (1,198 comments) says:

    “Yep, DPF is seemingly a little obsessed with Cunliffe. I never saw the same obsession with Shearer.”

    That because Ross69er, Shearer was a decent enough guy !

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  53. michaelmouse (16 comments) says:

    I’m getting so sick of Cunliffe constantly tell lies, when is somebody going to call him out on this.
    He needs a hard punch to the face.

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  54. Rick Rowling (813 comments) says:

    Previously they were right behind Japan and their “right” to kill whales in the southern ocean.

    Meanwhile, over in Rossworld…

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  55. Paulus (2,627 comments) says:

    Do people think that the Labour Powers will let Shane Jones get the top Job.
    No way he is hated by the Queers and other women, and that is before the Unions get stuck in.
    More like Little Pony rather than Jones.

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  56. tvb (4,425 comments) says:

    The relationship with Japan goes a lot deeper than a few whales in the Southern Ocean and some scruffy protesters. They have said they will abide by the decision of the World Court and we will trust them to do that. There is some wriggle room in the judgment so let us see how far they can wriggle. The National Government supported the Court case with a Senior Minister no less at the Court presenting an argument on behalf of the NZG. The Labour Party took some faulty advice from Sir Geoffrey and took the matter no further.

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  57. David Garrett (7,289 comments) says:

    tvb: PROFESSOR Sir Geoffrey…show proper deference to the exalted one…Actually no, he’s probably dropped that particular bit of pomposity now…

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