Little says okay for SAS to fight in Syria!

December 17th, 2015 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Labour leader Andrew Little says Labour would support sending Special Air Service troops to fight Isis if the right conditions were met.

Those conditions were having a clear and realistic objective, that it would have to be part of a multinational mission mandated by the United Nations and that the level of risk needed to be acceptable.

There is a UN mandate. So Labour have gone from total opposition to even having trainers behind the scenes in Iraq to sending the SAS in so long as there is a clear and realistic objective.

He also said there had to be a consensus between the US and Russia before any intervention would be effective.

Which means he is talking Syria, not Iraq.

This is what he said about sending trainers to Iraq:

“We have a unique opportunity for moral leadership to show that there is a different way, a long-term way, and a lasting way to address the conflicts and the hatreds that exist in the world and in that region, and that is through supporting nation States—fledgling nation States, in some cases—to come to terms with their responsibilities, rebuild their economies, rebuild their communities, and give themselves the confidence and the means to repel the evil that is represented by Islamic State.

“We have turned our back on that option. Labour is opposed to sending troops to Iraq.”

Basically his policy a year ago was to hug ISIL and hope they repent. Now he is saying we could send the SAS in. A huge flip-flop.

Tis the season to apologise

December 10th, 2015 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

What’s this? Detente? Or has Christmas cheer arrived early for our politicians?

As Parliament met for the last time this year, Prime Minister John Key finally backed down and gave a heartfelt apology for tarring Labour as the party that “backs rapists”.

Labour leader Andrew Little rose in return to apologise for criticising Speaker David Carter as being too partisan.

The dual apologies was a nice end.

Smart politics on Labour’s part also. The privilege complaint against Little was for saying that the Speaker is too partisan, but a very specific allegation that he conspired with the Government to disqualify his members’ bill.

As the Clerk of the House had revealed that he had advised the Speaker that the bill should be disqualified (as it was near identical to another one that had been voted on this year), then Little was facing the unedifying possibility of a hearing where he either has to call the Clerk a liar, or admit he made the conspiracy theory up. So it is a smart move to make it go away.

A demob happy Steven Joyce delivered chocolate santas around the press gallery.

Even Annette King’s two fingered salute to Health Minister Jonathan Coleman was done in good humour.

It all felt like a strangely cheerful end to what has been a particularly toxic political year.

 Even the spectators who dropped paper from the public gallery onto the heads of MPs seated below them seemed to enter into the spirit of things. They were there to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But from a distance, the paper could have passed for confetti. 
People who do that are idiots. If ever our public galleries get turned into cages where large plastic screens separate people from the chamber, it will be due to these morons.

Little claims more public holidays are good for small businesses

December 9th, 2015 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Meanwhile Labour leader Andrew Little said there needed  to be a proper commemoration of the land wars.

“If we can find a space to have a public holiday I wouldn’t disagree with that either. We are at a time when more and more New Zealanders are comfortable about coming to terms with history both the good and the bad” including remembering the large loss of life in the wars, estimated at about 2750 including 2000 Maori.

Little said he would not rule out a public holiday.

“The first step is to say ‘let’s recognise it let’s have a formal commemoration’. And If we can find a space and a way to honour it, through a public holiday as we do for other conflicts that have led to mass deaths, then I wouldn’t rule it out.” That could include marking other conflicts and historical events, such as the assault on Parihaka.

Options raised for a public holiday that could be replaced have included the various regional holidays, Queen’s Birthday and Labour Day.

Little said many enjoyed their regional holiday, and he wasn’t going to suggest Queen’s Birthday be substituted out “because I said that before once”, but substituting an existing holiday was one option.

He said small businesses could gain from an extra holiday because people went out and spent more. “The economics of it pretty much favours small business.” 

Oh dear. I don;t think Andrew has ever run a small business. First of all he seem to think that every small business is a retailer. Around 25,000 small businesses are retailers. Around 350,000 are not. So the first fail.

The second is that he think any extra business will compensate for paying your staff two and a half times normal rates. It won’t.

And the third is he think people spending more on a public holiday is all new spending rather than just transferring spending that would happen at some other time.

But if this is the economic genius of Labour, why stop at one more public holiday a year to help small businesses. Let’s have an extra public holiday every week – that will be a gold rush of extra money for small businesses.

And people wonder why Labour re not trusted with the economy.

Young calls Labour MPs bullies

December 7th, 2015 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

The committee often known as the “powerful” privileges committee has an unusually full agenda owing to some blatant breaches of parliamentary standards by the Labour Party.

Labour leader Andrew Little has led a mini-revolt against the established protocol of showing respect to the Speaker, or at least not demonstrating disrespect.

The problem with the leader instigating such a revolt is that it leaves no place for the party’s wiser heads to go.

Little has dragged Chris Hipkins, chief whip, and Grant Robertson, shadow leader of the House, into the fray with him.

They must back up Little publicly or leave the leader out on a limb. There is really no choice. Instinctively they back him.

With all three on the case of the Speaker, it leaves Labour looking petty, always arguing the toss, not concentrating on the issues that matter, blaming the referee.

They may have convinced themselves their attacks on the Speaker define them as fighters to the core, but they often come across as bullies.

It’s a good way to view it. They are picking on the only MP in Parliament who can’t fight back – the Speaker. His job doesn’t allow him to respond to their jibes. They can’t actually win against MPs who can answer back, so they go for one who can’t.

There has been one egregious error by the Speaker this term, in letting the Prime Minister get away with claims that Labour supported murderers and rapists.

But Labour and Little’s constant clash with the chair smacks more of frustration that the party is not making gains where it wants, in hits against the Government or its own policy triumphs.

Yep.

The matter that has the Labour leader and senior whip, Little and Hipkins, before the privileges committee is even more serious than Dyson’s.

They suggested widely in media interviews that the Speaker had acted on the instructions of National to postpone a private member’s bill in the name of Little from being introduced, after it had been drawn out of the ballot.

It went further than a general allegation of bias to a specific suggestion he had taken instructions from the Government.

It’s one thing to make a general accusation of unfairness or bias, but Little just invented a conspiracy theory that is defamatory.

The rules clearly state that a bill that is substantially the same as another cannot be introduced again in a calendar year – and Little’s bill on a warrant of fitness for rental property was virtually the same as his colleague Phil Twyford’s that had been tied 60-60 on a vote taken before Winston Peters won Northland and brought in another list MP for the Opposition.

Little wanted to have another go with a similar bill in the hope of embarrassing National with a 61-60 victory for the Opposition after Peters’ win, excepting his bill was not different enough.

The Government agency in charge of WoF standards would be the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, not Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, as in Twyford’s bill. The policy was the same.

Labour deserved to be annoyed and disappointed. Its staff had sought advice from the Office of the Clerk on the bill and had been assured by someone in the Tables Office (where members’ bills are lodged) that Little’s bill would be acceptable.

But straight after it was drawn, the new Clerk of the House, David Wilson, decided otherwise.

He told me this week he became aware of the Tables Office advice only on the day it was drawn from the ballot: “I did not agree with the advice. Since all staff of the Office of the Clerk act on behalf of the Clerk, if they make a mistake, it’s up to me to correct it. It was on that basis that I advised the Speaker [to postpone the bill to the next calendar year].”

Instead of accepting the Clerk’s word, Little and Hipkins went straight for the Speaker’s jugular with no evidence of wrongdoing.

So unless Little is claiming the Clerk of the House is lying, then he should withdraw his allegation against the Speaker. The Speaker merely acted of the advice of the Clerk.

Hague is right

December 7th, 2015 at 7:09 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Patients wanting access to groundbreaking drugs that are still being tested would get Government funding if Labour gets into power.

Opposition leader Andrew Little said “by and large” he didn’t have an issue with Pharmac, the national drug purchaser, but he was in favour of an early-access funding scheme, similar to the United Kingdom.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has ruled out providing early funding for new drugs where results appear to be promising, but there may not be sufficient data to justify full funding.

Green Party health spokesman Kevin Hague criticised Little for his comments that politicians should get involved in decisions around what drugs Pharmac funds.

Hague said it was a “shame” that Little said Labour would fund Keytruda, a potentially life-saving treatment for melanoma sufferers.

“Political decision-making on medicines a very bad idea,” he posted on Twitter.

I agree. I never agreed with National’s promise to fund a longer dose of Herceptin when Pharmac wouldn’t, and likewise don’t think Labour’s promise to fund Keytruda is a good idea.

They both play into the hands of large multinational pharmaceutical companies who learn that whipping up public support for a drug is a better method than convincing scientists and doctors that the benefits of a drug outweigh the costs.

2,300 get melanoma a year in NZ. This drug costs $150,000. So Andrew Little has just promised $345 million a year for this one promise.  He’s promising to spend as much on this one drug as 40% of the overall budget for all other drugs.

UPDATE: Might only be used for those at Stage IV, but that is still 330 a year and an extra $50 million.

More nonsense from Labour on detainees

November 30th, 2015 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The arrest of a former detainee deported to New Zealand shows why they should remain in Australia where their families and friends can support them, Labour leader Andrew Little says.

This is pretty idiotic. They got deported from Australia because they were committing crime in Australia. So blaming their criminal offending on not being with family and friends is making excuses for criminals.

And Australia has every right to deport serious or persistent criminals who are not Australian citizens, just as we have the same right to deport non New Zealanders who commit crimes.

No wonder Little got nowhere in Australia with his advocacy.

He was not concerned that the arrest would reflect negatively on Labour’s advocacy for Kiwi detainees.

“I expected at some point we would start getting reports of the returned deportees starting to offend here, so it doesn’t surprise me and I doesn’t undermine a thing I’ve said or done.”

Labour has tried to portray them as victims, when the vast majority of them are not. The person who got burgled by this guy is a victim. He is not.

Little wins big in Australia – gets an invitation for us to become a state

November 25th, 2015 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

As Andrew Little flew to Australia yesterday to address politicians today about Kiwis’ lack of rights in their adopted country, an Aussie senator made a suggestion that would likely make the average bloke in his stubbies choke on his tinnie.

Ian Macdonald, who chaired the parliamentary committee that recommended a new law leading to the detention and deportation of NZers, said New Zealand could become the country’s seventh and eighth state.

He said Labour leader Little’s calls for, among other improved rights, access to citizenship for Kiwi expats would not be controversial to most Australians.

“The issue of closer ties with New Zealand is one beyond any limited expertise I might have, but as an observer … I would love to have New Zealand join us perhaps as the seventh and eighth state.

A huge diplomatic victory for Andrew Little. Kiwis who are criminals can stay in Australia for as long as they want, so long as New Zealand gives up being an independent country.

Little angling for Rongotai

November 24th, 2015 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Labour leader Andrew Little won’t run in Mt Roskill if MP Phil Goff is successful in his bid for Auckland Mayor, but Rongotai is in his sights.

Little has ruled out running in the long-held Auckland Labour seat saying, “there is a depth of talent out there already”.

Goff announced on Sunday that he would run for the super-city mayoralty next year and would stay on as Mt Roskill MP through to the election.

He would, however, relinquish his Auckland issues portfolio to avoid confusion as to whether he was attending events as an MP or with his mayoral candidate hat on.

When asked if Auckland Central’s Jacinda Ardern was an obvious replacement for the Auckland portfolio, Little said there were a number of Auckland MPs who are “potential candidates for that”.

Little will make his reshuffle announcements in the next week after holding off doing so until Goff had made a decision about the mayoralty race.

Leading the Labour Party and not being “tied to a seat” is a good position to be in, and Little said he would only stand in a seat in 2017 if a “suitable” one came up.

“We could be in a position where Rongotai becomes available so I can’t rule out not standing in a seat,” he said.

Labour deputy leader Annette King holds the Rongotai seat but Little said “depending on what she decided to do” would determine whether he stood there.

That’s pretty unsubtle. Roll over for me Annette!

Little has stood and lost to National MP Jonathan Young in the New Plymouth seat in the last two elections and those losses appear to have taken their toll.

“I haven’t ruled out New Plymouth and I’ve got an office up there and have a presence up there but I’ve run their twice and missed out twice so there are other options I need to consider.”

I recall in 2011 Little was toasted as someone who could win a seat off National, and would do so in his home town. He got heaps of publicity.

The result was Jonathan Young grew his majority from 105 to 4,270.

In 2014 Little stood again.  This time Young’s majority exploded to 9,778.

In fact Little only got back into Parliament because Labour stuffed up their list ranking and failed to achieve the gender target they set. If they had followed their own policy, he would not be an MP!

Dom Post says Little not the right leader

November 11th, 2015 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Dom Post editorial:

Andrew Little wanted to clear the decks of old policy and shine a light on the new Labour captain – himself. The result was strangely depressing.

Little had moved long before last weekend’s annual party conference to kill off the remnants of the Leftish policy Labour touted last year. 

The capital gains tax and a rise in the pension age were officially dumped at the conference without fuss from delegates.

 Also dumped was the power policy, a joint effort with the Greens to tackle the electricity oligopoly that keeps forcing prices up. And much of the conference took place in secret.

This was creating a desert and calling it peace.

 Little now stands on a bare platform with no significant policy. The fact that nobody much cared when he threw out the old policies might be taken as a sign of a newly unified Labour Party. Or it might be a sign that Labour is a corpse. It doesn’t have the strength to fight or even to disagree with itself. So the attempt to hide everything behind closed doors wasn’t even needed.

Having no policy to sell, Little tried to sell himself. His “impassioned” speech was in fact awkward and unconvincing.

Labour’s strategy appears to be to have no actual policy and try to convince people they are both for and against the TPP!

Labour can’t even take the step of injecting new blood into its leadership with the fresh face of Jacinda Ardern.

Her qualities are modest, but she is a sign of life. Labour has few other such signs.

Little tries to build a personal link with voters by talking about his family. Perhaps he thinks that mentioning his flinty Tory dad will create a sense of paradox or at least a spark of interest. 

Neither as a union politician nor as a parliamentarian has Little been a bold or lively reformer. He has little charisma and a lack of new ideas. 

It’s hard to believe he will lead Labour out of the wilderness.

As far as I can tell their plan seems to be to aspire to get 34% of the vote (which is what they got when they lost in 2008) and hope Winston can do well enough to put them into Government along with the Greens.

Labour drop their worst policy

November 7th, 2015 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Labour leader Andrew Little has all but dumped the party’s controversial NZ Power policy.

In his opening address to the party’s annual conference in Palmerston North Little said the policy, which aimed to set up a single buyer for the country’s power generation, was too complex to explain simply to voters.

When it was announced it was widely criticised by business and the sector as too interventionist.

Little said the policy, which was unveiled before the last election in concert with a similar policy from the Greens, was important.  

There was something wrong with the power system, given rising prices and the high salaries paid to top executives in the sector.

“But our answer to that has to be something we can explain simply to New Zealanders. … So we will have to revisit the NZ Power policy.”

It is understood the Greens will also drop the policy before the next election.

Good. It was the worst of their policies. It was a de facto nationalisation of the power generators, which would have seen the state determine all prices, who can build new supply, and would have destroyed any competition between generators. It was an appalling policy.

But not all good news:

He said if Labour won the election in 2017 it would pass legislation to implement the foreign sales ban policy.

It would also try to renegotiate the deal on the foreign buyers issue, something Trade Negotiations Minister Tim Groser had indicated was possible over dairy exports.

“We will not support anything that takes away the right of New Zealand politicians in our democratic elected Parliament to make laws in the best interests of New Zealand … it simply isn’t acceptable,” he said.

He said other countries had deals that allowed such a restriction on land sales, but the current Government had not even tried to secure an exemption for that.

Little said Labour was a free trade party, but standing up for the right of Parliament to legislate in the interests of its citizens was not anti-free trade.

Asked if it would be acceptable for other countries to make unilateral changes – for example if Japan legislated against dairy imports – Little said “other countries can do what they like”.

So Little is saying he is fine with other countries breaking agreements they make with New Zealand, because he intends to do the same. Credibility zero.

The blind leading the blind?

October 30th, 2015 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

This would seem to be a case of the blind leading the blind?

Is Andrew Little hoping to find out how to get your party wiped out, losing every seat in Parliament bar one?

Or is Scottish Labour hoping to learn what it is like to get your lowest vote in 110 years?

Little brings little

October 26th, 2015 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

John Sargeant at Taranaki Daily News writes:

At the moment Labour have all their eggs in Andrew Little’s basket as the leader to take them ever towards the General Election in 2017. A while away admittedly but with the annual conference coming up in a few weeks’ time it’s about celebrating success and setting a strategic direction for the future. This will also be a time of reflection for Little it also marks the first year of Little as Labour’s leader.

As far as reflection goes there is little to celebrate. I’m sure there will be the rah-rah of empty vessels but the reality is that Little has spectacularly failed to get any traction in any of the polls in his tenure to date. The party itself is woefully behind on just 31 percent, hardly breaking any ground since the disastrous times of David Cunliffe.

They are up on their election result, but are polling worse than they were three years ago (were polling 33%). They’re under the 34% they lost office on and well off the 40% they need to govern with the Greens.

They simply haven’t made any progress in Little’s first year, none at all. It’s more than a weak signal Labour need to be aware of. After a year of listening and getting some major policies out such as the much vaunted ‘Future of Work’ there is still little to celebrate and you have to wonder if there’s any talk of whether Little should remain in the job. After all, he’s on the same miserable 8 per cent as preferred prime minister as when Cunliffe was apologising for being a man and Labour’s Trevor Mallard was crowing about bringing back the Moa but delivered a turkey.

Cunliffe a year ago was on 12% and Shearer three years ago also on 12%.

We need a strong and credible Left wing party to put up some decent opposition. Something more than just a machine to regurgitate the same old messages we are all sick of hearing. If not, voter boredom will be their biggest enemy. Let’s hope Little has a better second year or his third may be his last.

And then will it be Jacinida’s turn?

Blame parents not food companies

October 21st, 2015 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

David Shearer writes:

Here’s a “school lunch” bought from an Auckland dairy this morning. It has 8 teaspoons of sugar – about twice the recommended daily amount for a child, in one single meal.

Obesity is poised to overtake tobacco as New Zealand’s leading preventable health risk. As long as the government lacks the courage to regulate junk food, its plan to tackle obesity isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. Time to stand up to the powerful food manufacturing lobby for the sake of our kids.

And the school lunch is:

shearer

I am staggered that David Shearer thinks that if school kids are eating this for lunch, the problem is food manufacturers, not parents.

On an individual level all four food items are fine as an occasional snack. Or is Labour saying that these food items must be banned or taxed extra?

The problem is if they are what a kid is having for lunch on a regular basis.

And I’ll be blunt – you’re a bad parent if that is what you are having your kids eat for lunch.

For a fraction of the cost you can make up a healthy lunch for your kids – sandwiches, fruit, sultanas etc. There is no excuse for the above to be a regular lunch item for kids.

Why do politicians of the left always look to blame companies, rather than blame individuals for poor choices?

No amount of tax or regulation short of banning all potato chips in NZ will stop a kid eating that for lunch, if their parents are not taking an interest in them having healthy food.

And don’t say this is all poor families can afford. That lunch would cost:

  • Calci yum $1.69
  • Grain waves $1.62
  • Bluebird $1.49
  • Minees $1.00

So around $5 for that.

Maybe David Shearer could tell us exactly what regulation he proposes that would stop that food being sold from a dairy?

Stuff reports Andrew Little is saying the same:

Labour leader Andrew Little says the Government should take a stick to junk food producers, rather than shying away from regulation as it tries to tackle rising obesity levels.

Yes how dare the food producers create potato chips. They must be beaten up for it.

There is nothing wrong with so called junk food, in moderation. I have potato chips around once a month. If someone has them every day and is obese, the answer is not regulating or banning potato chips.

Little lowest polling opposition leader one year in

October 20th, 2015 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

I’be blogged the latest One News poll at Curia.

Andrew Little has been Opposition Leader for around a year now. So how is he polling as Preferred PM compared to other opposition leaders one year in? Here’s the list since MMP in 1996.

  1. John Key 33%
  2. Don Brash 20%
  3. Jenny Shipley 16%
  4. David Shearer 11%
  5. Bill English 10%
  6. David Cunliffe 10%
  7. Phil Goff 9%
  8. Andrew Little 8%

Hooton flays Little on India claims

October 18th, 2015 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Matthew Hooton writes at NBR:

Mr Little has suggested trade negotiators and exporters of dairy and beef products should turn away from the TPP region and instead focus on India and Indonesia.

It appears the pretender to the prime ministership is unaware New Zealand already has an FTA with Indonesia as part of the historic Asean-CER deal, launched by Helen Clark in 2004 and completed by Mr Groser in 2009. As a result, bone-in meat is already tariff free and boneless cuts will become tariff free in 2020.  For dairy, almost all tariffs are now below 5% and falling.  Tariffs on wholemilk powder, butter and cheese are zero.

So one of the two countries Little suggested we focus on getting a trade agreement with, we already have! Not inspiring. But it gets better:

Mr Little’s comments about India were even more stunningly ignorant.  Did he not learn in primary school the role of the cow in Hinduism and in Indian village life?  Is he not aware the current Hindu-nationalist government is affording them further protection, including with the help of the army?

These religious beliefs mean India is the world’s biggest milk producer, with 16% of total production, and it more jealously protects its dairy producers than even the US, Canada or the EU.

The prospects for beef exporters are even worse.

There is not just a taboo around eating beef but the sale or slaughter of cows is actually illegal in 24 of India’s 29 states.  Anyone who has spent even a few days in India knows that, where beef is sold, it is done so surreptitiously in back alleys in Muslim compounds, or out of sight at flash hotels, and is usually buffalo meat anyway.  To avoid violence by Hindu extremists, McDonalds sells only chicken burgers, even dropping its lamb Maharaja Mac in 2002 to avoid confusion.

Claiming India might offer dairy and beef exporters a practical alternative to the TPP region suggests Mr Little was just blabbing about topics he knows absolutely nothing about.

This really shows how much Little is winging it and just saying whatever comes to mind, rather than having any credible position.

Maybe next Little will propose we try and target pork sales to Israel?

Trotter on Little’s credibility

October 15th, 2015 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Chris Trotter writes:

Not that Mr Little was without a strategy on Tuesday morning. His proposed way of dealing with the TPPA was to see it ratified; to assist the National Government in bringing New Zealand’s laws into conformity with its provisions; and then, upon becoming the Government, simply “flout” those TPPA rules which conflict with his government’s plans.

As a gift to Labour’s political opponents, this strategy is hard to beat. No responsible political party loudly announces to the world that, if it wins office, no other nation should place the slightest trust in their country’s solemnly given word. Such behaviour would turn this country into an international pariah.

Yep.It may be the stupidest thing he has said.

Not that it’s likely to happen. From now until the 2017 election, National will use Mr Little’s words to shred Labour’s political credibility. Not only that, but Little’s decision to “flout” will also allow Mr Key to present New Zealand’s adherence to the TPPA as a matter of national honour. Labour will be made to look like an untrustworthy bunch of thieves and liars.

In the House on Wednesday, Labour had only one question on TPP, and National had three. This shows that National thinks Labour is in deep trouble over what Little has said.

 

Labour’s latest TPP position

October 14th, 2015 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Labour leader Andrew Little says it is unlikely the party would withdraw from the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPPA) free trade deal if it gains power, following a meeting with Trade Minister Tim Groser to discuss the agreement.

Little and Trade Minister Tim Groser met on Monday evening to discuss the provisions of the TPPA in further detail, after the 12-nation free trade agreement was signed last week.

Little told Radio New Zealand the party still had a number of unanswered questions about the deal, but was unlikely to pull out of the agreement if it gained power at the next election.

It would be politically suicidal for them to do so.

But does this mean they are still insisting it is a truly horrible deal? If so, why wouldn’t they pull out?

Little said a Labour government would take a “responsible” approach to the deal, but would flout provisions of the deal if they were not in New Zealanders’ best interests.

This man wants to be Prime Minister?

Does he also think NZ should flout all the UN conventions we have signed, if he deems it not in our best interests? Does he think Iran should flout the deal they brokered on not developing nuclear weapons, if the Supreme Leader deems it not in their best interests?

Does Little think the other TPP countries should simply ignore provisions of an agreement they don’t like? Does he think Australia should ignore the WTO ruling and ban our apple imports again?

This is pathetic sophistry from Labour. You can not have a policy saying we will not withdraw from TPP but will ignore parts we want to.

Labour lashed

September 27th, 2015 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Patrice Gaffaney Heather du Plessis-Allen writes the NZ Herald:

If there was a prize for sounding like the biggest pack of sad sacks, the Labour Party would win it.

He cites three things. First:

Our biggest rivals had just been told by their new Prime Minister that the leader he’d most like to emulate is the guy running New Zealand.

Malcolm Turnbull had the whole world to pick from: Obama, Cameron, Merkel. …

Andrew Little told Australians he pitied them if that’s what their new leader wants.

That was the third time he missed the chance to display a little magnanimity or leadership in the past fortnight. If he carries on like this, it will be as hard to vote for his party in 2017 as it was in the last election a year and a week ago.

The second is the flag:

Possibly his biggest mistake though was playing politics with the flag referendum. Forget what Labour was saying publicly about wanting to get Red Peak on the ballot. They didn’t want that. …

That’s why Labour mucked around and that’s why the Greens and National outmanoeuvered it. Labour was more interested in embarrassing the Prime Minister than making sure we hand the right flag on to our grandkids.

Yep. And the third:

How do you turn a story about panda bears into something negative? Here’s how.

It sounds increasingly like our biggest trading partner might hook us up with a couple of cute – but admittedly expensive to keep – YouTube favourites.

If you’re Little, you don’t use this as a chance to show your sense of humour and crack a few panda puns or display your understanding of the tourism the bears generate.

Instead, you say there are better things to spend money on. There are always better things.

Little will have done his research. He’ll know about panda diplomacy. He’ll know getting pandas from China is the equivalent of a diplomatic BFF note.

Overall Labour and Little has just come across as relentlessly negative on everything.

Sense from Little

September 9th, 2015 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

The future ownership of New Zealand’s biggest meat processor, Silver Fern Farms, is a matter for its farmer shareholders to determine, says Finance Minister Bill English.

Silver Fern is going through a capital raising process, which media reports have suggested will involve an investor from China – the company’s biggest market – spending up to $100 million on taking a stake in the company.

Any overseas investor would have to go through the Overseas Investment Act processes to get there, English said.

“But fundamentally that is a choice for the shareholders of the company. So the owners who are the farmer shareholders have had quite some time to look at the issue, various attempts to raise the capital.

“The New Zealand farmers who are shareholders have total control over that business now, and it is in their power to keep control over it, so we can’t really force them to own a business if they don’t want to own it.”

English said some of the company’s owners believed the business was a strategic asset and one that should remain in New Zealand hands, but for that to happen the necessary capital needed to be found.

“The real test is not whether people have an opinion, it is whether they are willing to put the money up.”

Separately, Labour leader Andrew Little said Silver Fern’s capital structure would be a matter for Silver Fern’s shareholders to decide.

“My position on foreign direct investment is that adding jobs, adding investment and creating new value for New Zealand – that’s a good thing. If it doesn’t achieve that, then it’s something that we should be concerned about.”

Good to see Little pulling Labour back from some of their previous hostility to foreign investment, and recognising it is a matter for shareholders.

This is in contrast to Winston who as far as I can tell wants the Government to nationalise the company.

Little falls for demented conspiracy theory

August 25th, 2015 at 11:40 am by David Farrar

I’ve blogged on this before, on how a few nutbars on the left think that Bill English and Nick Smith have devised a cunning plan to enrich themselves by a hundred million dollars or so by transferring land and houses to the Tamaki redevelopment company which they own 59% of.

Except they don’t of course. They are shareholders in their capacity as ministers, not in any personal sense. Anyone who has an ounce of common sense or intelligence could see this, and know this.

Now one nutbar facebooked Andrew Little saying:

Govt ministers Bill English and Nick Smith each have a third interest in a company BUYING state houses, the Auckland Council the other third. Wouldn’t this be subject to a conflict of interest?

What do you think and what will you say Andrew?

Now Andrew is not responsible for what nutbars post on Facebook, but he then responds to the nutbar:

The least I can do is make some inquiries. Company ownership is a matter of public record

Oh dear, that is an epic fail on the scale of an MP saying they will inquire into whether to ban dihydrogen monooxide.

So you have the Leader of the Opposition promising to make inquiries into the fact that shares in a government owned company are owned by the Government!

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Chicken Little

August 22nd, 2015 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Audrey Young writes:

It was not such a huge leap for Labour to demand that McCully step down because leader Andrew Little has already demanded his resignation.

Since April, he has called for six ministerial resignations: Simon Bridges over the Northland bridges promises; the minister whose brother is facing criminal charges because of what Little believes is a conflict of interest, Nick Smith after running into difficulties with Ngati Whatua and first right of refusal on excess Crown land, Te Ururoa Flavell over claims he may have influenced Maori TV to cancel a debate on Whanau Ora, Sam Lotu-Iiga over the management of the Mt Eden Corrections Facility and McCully.

Little is in danger of devaluing the importance of ministerial accountability by demanding resignations so often.

He’s acting like Chicken Little. Six demands for resignations in six months. It’s like a once trick pony.

John Key was opposition leader for two years. How many ministerial resignations did he demand? I’m not sure, but it certainly wasn’t one a month. I think the only one may have been Peters over lying to Parliament.

Hosking trying to make sense of Little

August 15th, 2015 at 7:40 am by David Farrar

Mike Hosking writes:

From our mixed message file… comes Labour leader Andrew Little.

Andrew is spending the week trying to scare the bejesus out of us over dairy.

According to Andrew there is a crisis in dairy, farmers will go broke, the banks will bail on them and they’ll need to sell their land at which point the foreigners will pounce and come and sweep it out from under our feet.

Having said all that… And we can deal with the specifics of why he’s out to lunch in a minute.

He then goes onto say in another interview that what this country needs is… You ready for it… More foreign investment… Hello?

He said this was a country built on foreign direct investment and more of it was needed.

What he wasn’t asked and should have been was what happens if that foreign direct investment comes from people with names like Wang or Chow?

You say one thing to one audience, another thing to another audience, and hope no-one notices.

Secondly in trying to stir this up into something it isn’t, Little is using classic Labour party thinking in asking the government what they’re going to do.

Why the government?
What’s a bloke buying a farm got to do with the government?
What has any person setting up a business got to do with the government?
When a shop closes is it the government’s job to mop it up?
When a factory down sizes… Is the govt supposed to do something?

Dairy, like all business products and markets is beyond a government scope.

A government is there to provide over arching policy direction… Like tax and trade deals and welfare.

It’s not there to milk the cows, man the tills and set the price for commodities.

Exactly. The Government doesn’t decide if we have a dairy industry. Land owners do. They decide whether to use their land for forestry, lamb, beef, wool, dairy, viticulture, horticulture etc. Tens of thousands of land owners decide individually (not collectively) what to use their land for.

We don’t have a country where the Government decides what industries we will or will not have, and how much of each industry we are allowed.

So Little says a referendum needs 50% turnout to be valid

July 30th, 2015 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Andrew Little has said:

Labour has moved to have the second flag referendum canned if the first attracts fewer than half the eligible number of voters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says.

This is the same Andrew Little who said last year he favours a referendum on the flag and it should be changed. But anyway is this the leader of the Labour Party who forced a referendum on the partial asset sales in 2013 that had only a 45% turnout. So is Andrew Little say the referendum Labour, Greens and the unions forced on the public was a waste of time as it got under 50%?

And how about the union organised referendum in 1995 that had a 27% turnout only?

So Kiwis prefer Australian anthem to our own?

July 29th, 2015 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Labour leader Andrew Little has described the national anthem as a “dirge” and said many New Zealanders preferred to sing along to the Australian anthem than our own.

Mr Little made the comment during debate in Parliament on the Flag Referendums Bill, a bill Labour is opposing despite Mr Little’s own desire for a new flag and Labour’s 2014 policy to start the process to secure that change.

Mr Little said while thousands of New Zealanders wanted a change of flag, they did not believe it was the right time.

“This is not a poor reflection on New Zealanders, many of whom would like something different. Many of them want a change to the national anthem too, because they are sick of singing a dirge every time you turn up to a festive occasion. Most of them sing along to the Australian national anthem before they sing along to our own.”

I don’t know any Kiwis who do this. Genuinely interested if you do.

Latest poll

July 27th, 2015 at 7:49 am by David Farrar

I’ve blogged at Curia the results of the 3 News Reid Research poll broadcast last night.

Like the One News Colmar Brunton poll the previous week, it shows no bounce for Labour from its targeting of people with Chinese surnames.

What it does show is that Andrew Little has fallen below Winston Peters as Preferred Prime Minister.

This is a feat never achieved by Phil Goff, David Shearer or David Cunliffe.

The last time an Opposition Leader failed to poll in the top two as Preferred Prime Minister was in October 2003 – 12 years ago. Later that month he was rolled in a coup.

So the results of Labour’s concede Northland to Winston strategy has been to have their leader fall into third place behind Winston as Preferred PM.

And the results of their decision to highlight home buyers with Chinese surnames has been to achieve nothing in the polls, but alienate many Chinese New Zealanders.