Jeanette’s Valedictory

February 10th, 2010 at 4:38 pm by David Farrar

It is at 5.30 pm today. You can view on TV or online. I’m out tonight, so won’t cover it but may blog something tomorrow.

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Jeanette resigns

January 28th, 2010 at 10:30 am by David Farrar

Jeanette Fitzsimons has announced she will resign from Parliament in February.

Jeanette has almost been the iconic face of the Greens, and their brand will suffer without her. Gareth Hughes has some large shoes to fill.

Jeanette’s politics are not my own, but MPs from both National and Labour will say she was a very good person to work with, and I doubt she has any enemies in the House.

Like Sue Bradford, Jeanette would have loved to have become a Minister, but Helen kept rejecting her in favour of Peter Dunne and Winston Peters!

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Jeanette on Factory Farms

December 23rd, 2009 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Jeanette responds to Federated Farmers:

Federated Farmers thinks Green co-leader Dr Russel Norman and I have different opinions on herd homes and factory farms.

However, Russel and I both have visited a herd home and have the same opinion on their benefits. We both oppose the factory farming proposals in the Mackenzie Country.

Herd homes are open, light and airy and the cows are free to move around. They are not used 24/7. Even in filthy weather the cows are outside for at least the four hours it takes them to eat their daily ration of fresh grass.

Then they are off the paddock, protecting the soil from pugging in wet weather and sheltering in the herd home where they have a ration of hay or silage to eat at will. When the weather is fine and the soil reasonably dry, the cows are outside all the time. Using a herd home as part of a pastoral farm results in much less nitrous oxide emissions from the wet soil. …

The factory farms being applied for in the Mackenzie Basin are the opposite. The cows will be indoors 24 hours a day for eight months, perhaps in cubicles most of the time. All feed will be brought to them, so it will require additional energy to produce and transport.

The Mackenzie Basin is a place where for much of the year no feed can be grown locally and the weather is inhospitable for cows.

On Twitter, Federated Farmers argues that it is the “principal” (I think they mean principle) that matters, not the scale. They’re wrong: it’s both.

I am amused that Jeanette responds to a tweet on Twitter with a column in the NZ Herald!

Environmentally, scale can be everything. 180 cows might have a manageable impact on water quality, but 18,000 cows is a different ball-game. It is precisely the scale of dairying in New Zealand – the sheer numbers of cows, the intensity of stocking rates, and the resulting effluent and emissions – that is turning what used to be seen as a “clean green” wholesome industry into a major polluter.

It’s also the principle. Farming outdoor cows (that occasionally go indoors) is fundamentally different to a factory of indoor cows (that occasionally go outdoors). Animal welfare is an issue of principle, not scale – farm animals should live meaningful lives on farms, not in factories.

We agree with Fonterra and Forest & Bird that intensive dairying is completely unsuitable in the fragile Mackenzie Country. We also agree with the Prime Minister that factory farming threatens to undermine our competitive advantage from our grass-fed, World SPCA-approved, clean and green dairy farming. We agree with the Otago tourism and residents’ organisations that have called factory farming in the Mackenzie ‘insanity’. It’s a recipe for disaster. The principle is all wrong and the scale makes it worse still.

The debate continues!

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Nicholson quotes Jeanette

December 22nd, 2009 at 8:54 am by David Farrar

Fed Farmers President Don Nicholson says the Mackenzie Basin dairy farming application should be given a fair hearing under the RMA. He notes:

Putting the location aspect aside as something for the commissioners, is “loose housing” a terrible corruption of the New Zealand “brand”, as Dr Russel Norman MP, the Green Party co-leader makes it out to be? Not according to his colleague, Jeanette Fitzsimons MP. His former Green Party co-leader was so impressed when she saw a “herd home” in action, that Ms Fitzsimons entered the following words on her website about good farming stories: “I must admit I was prejudiced about herd homes before I saw this one – NZ is known for grazing its animals outside all year round – surely we don’t want to coop them up in barns away from the light and the sun and the fresh grass? However now I’m a complete convert. The high roof is translucent and lets in lots of light. The overhanging sides are open so there is air movement through but rain and cold winds are kept out. The cows are free to move around, and there is fresh hay or silage under the eaves around the outside edges of the barn for them to feed at will. If I had any doubts about the animal welfare side of things, it was dispelled when I saw them waiting in the race to get back in again out of the rain.”

Don also notes the proposal is for 18,000 cows over 16 separate farms – not in one gargantuan farm.

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The weird stance of Charles Chauvel

December 18th, 2009 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

As the Copenhagen summit looks like ending with no agreement, around the only substantial achievement (to date) was the launch of the Global Research Alliance on agriculture greenhouse gases.

This is hugely important both for NZ and internationally.

The importance for NZ is it could help find a way to reduce methane emissions from livestock, which would save the country billions in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.

The importance for the world is to avoid what happened with biofuels – that food producing land is converted into other uses, leading to global food shortages.

So it is one of those rare initiatives that almost everyone from business lobby groups to the most hardened Greenie supports. And kudos to Tim Groser and others for getting 20 countries to all pledge funding to it – from Australia to Vietnam to the US. Much better than NZ funding all the research,

Back in NZ, it won support from the Wgtn Chamber of Commerce (no fan of an ETS):

“The reality is that rather than the current proliferation of poorly designed cap and trade systems, science and technology are the real keys to solving the greenhouse gas emissions challenge, and this initiative plays to New Zealand’s research strengths,” said Chamber CEO Charles Finny. …

“This is a good example of trans-national cooperation with a number of countries pooling their expertise to solve a global problem. New Zealand going it alone would be less likely to produce results and it runs against the grain of what this global issue is all about.

“It is increasingly likely that this will be one of the few concrete initiatives to come from Copenhagen and so John Key and Tim Groser deserve full congratulations for the leadership they have shown in delivering this outcome,” Mr Finny concluded.

So business likes it. And what about the Greens. Well this is Kennedy Graham:

Minister Tim Groser advised that, on Day 1, some US$150 m. had been pledged, and it was hoped that this would leverage private funding as well.  But he stressed that it was not just a question of finance – the essence was coordination, of research already underway and new research yet to be funded.  France, for example, already has some 500 researchers in agriculture and climate change who would form part of the Alliance.  India’s contribution would be immense as well.  Once the political momentum was underway, it was important to turn it over to the scientists.

Denmark gave the most impressive example of the potential of the Alliance. Since 1990 it had increased agricultural production by 16% yet agricultural emissions had dropped by 23%.   This had been achieved through optimisation of the nutrient chain and improving water management. …

We should take a positive view of this initiative.

And Jeanette Fitzsimons said:

The Green Party today welcomed the announcement that New Zealand will lead a Global Research Alliance for reducing climate change emissions from agriculture, adding that it is crucial to pursue science and ideas that enhance our clean green reputation.

“I am delighted that New Zealand is finally doing something serious about fighting climate change and reducing agricultural emissions,” said Green Party Climate Change and Agriculture spokesperson Jeanette Fitzsimons. …

So New Zealand has achieved around the only positive announcement from Copenhagen, with an initiative that pleases both ETS sceptical businesses and the Greens. So who does that leave?

Labour’s Charles Chauvel. In a bizarre press release (one which Clark would have called treasonous if she was still PM) he has attacked the Global Alliance claiming NZ should have gone it alone:

“The multinational nature of the Global Agriculture Fund will inevitably mean that New Zealand won’t own the results of any research paid for by it.

“So, as well as there being substantially less money for investment in the reduction of emissions from agriculture, New Zealand will be poorer because we lose the opportunity to sell or share emissions reduction technology in our singular area of expertise on our own terms.

“Despite the self-generated fanfare and bright lights, National’s approach represents a failure. It totally lacks ambition and is a huge missed opportunity for New Zealand,” Charles Chauvel said.

Yes Chauvel thinks NZ could have solved the problem all by itself. He also misrepresents intellectual property laws (being pat of a multilateral alliance does not mean individual institutions abandon intellectual property rights over their inventions). It is a shockingly stupid stance.

In Opposition, there are times when mindless opposition just for the sake of a press release is a bad idea. As the Greens show, there are times you can say this is a good initiative – even if we don;t like the other things you are doing.

I wonder what Phil Goff, a respected former foreign and trade minister, thinks of his MPs claim NZ should not have helped set up the global research alliance, and gone it alone? I can’t imagine he possibly agrees.

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Jeanette continues to push 911 lunacy

November 22nd, 2009 at 6:54 am by David Farrar

The Herald on Sunday has confirmed that not only has Jeanette Fitzsimons endorsed a 911 conspiracy theory book (and the book is barking mad) but she met the author yesterday in Wellington.

Fitzsimons said after her meeting with Gage that there were “some unexplained matters”.

“What I’ve found is that there are a lot of highly trained people who say [the Twin Towers] could not have collapsed the way they say it did.”

Asked if she was a 9/11 sceptic, Fitzsimons said: “I would say I’ve got an open mind. I’m not interested in conspiracy theories, I’m interested in evidence.”

That is disingenous bullshit. hiding her prejudices. Planes flew into the WTC, and they collapsed. There was no secret Government conspiracy where they rigged up explosives and faked the planes. When Jeanette says she wants evidence and is not interested in conspiracy theories, try reading it like this

“I’m not saying the moon landings did not happen. There are some unexplained matters and a lot of highly trained people saying the landings were not possible they way they happened. I’ve got an open mind on the moon landings – I’m not interested in conspiracy theories – I’m interested in evidence.

The Herald continues:

Matthew Dentith, an Auckland University PhD candidate who is writing his doctorate on conspiracy theories, said Fitzsimons’ meeting was “naive” and would add credibility to groups with fringe and anti-semitic agendas.

“You want politicians to have ethical standards and who judge things with reason – and all the 9/11 conspiracies collapse when prodded.”

Of course they do. But Jeanette’s nuttiness actually has consequences. In some parts of the world, great segments of the population do believe 911 was faked by the Jews and the US Government. They go around preaching that. And Jeanette’s actions gives such stuff a degree of respectability.

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Does Jeanette think the US Government blew up the Twin Towers?

November 20th, 2009 at 5:18 pm by David Farrar

This is amazing. You know how the Greens go on and on about how climate change is real, and anyone sceptical is a crazed anti-science denier.

Well the former co-leader of the Greens, Jeanette Fitzsimons, has joined the ranks of the barking conspiracy theorists who think the US Government actually blew up the Twin Towers with explosives.

Richard Gage is talking in NZ at the moment. From Wikipedia:

The organization is collecting signatures for a petition to the United States Congress that demands a truly independent investigation with subpoena power of the September 11 attacks, and in particular “a full inquiry into the possible use of explosives that might have been the actual cause of the destruction” of the World Trade Center buildings.

His petition has around 5,000 signatures on it, out of 300 million Americians. He has also produced a film called 9/11 Blueprint for Truth and one of his fellow nutters has a book called Crossing the Rubicon.

Ruppert identifies players who were involved, would have had to be involved and may have been involved and clearly points out amazing ommissions by the 9/11 Commission and 9/11 Truth researchers including the FACT that the deputy director of the National Military Command Center [a position required to coordinate NORAD,FAA and JCS in both wargames and real-world events] actually asked on September 10, 2001, to be absent from duty on September 11 between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. [the exact time of the attacks], that this did occur despite the fact the the hijackings and attacks were already taking place and that no one has ever received an explanation why. [further Ruppert reveals that the Officer who replaced this important defense coordinating position was a long-time Bush Administration friend recently qualified to hold the position as the result of Bush appointment who filed the shortest testimonial in all of the 9/11 Commission’s requested written depositions]

Anyway the local NZ truth 911 website has a quote from Jeanette Fitzsimons:

“There is so much that does not make sense about the official version of 911. I have read all 600 plus pages of “Crossing the Rubicon” and it appears to me to be well researched, though I still have an open mind on the matter of what exactly did happen. It is time we knew the truth one way or another, and an independent enquiry is the way to achieve this. If we do not know the truth of our history it will compromise our future.”

I await Jeanette also calling for an independent inquiry into whether the moon landings were real.

Next time someone from the Greens puts down someone who is sceptical of climate science “projections”, then remind them of how Jeanette is unsure whether or not hundreds and thousands of people in the US Government actually blew up the Twin Towers themselves, hijacked the planes themselves and buried them all in the Nevada desert after shooting all the passengers (or whatever their exact theory is)

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A calm rational analogy from the Greens

September 1st, 2009 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Jeanette Fitzsimons was interviewed last week on Checkpoint about the possibility of having mining done on portions of the conservation estate. The interviewer put to her that it might only be a couple of hundred hectares out of many thousands (in fact it is millions) of hectares of estate and Jeanette responded:

That’s like saying you’ve got six children, so it doesn’t really matter if you lose one does it.

I don’t even need to comment do I?

The key segment starts at 6:30 into the RNZ item. Listen for yourself – I am not making this up. Even the generally sympathetic interviewer sounded a bit stunned, and responded “Really, we are talking about land”.

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Is Jeanette the first to go voluntarily?

June 8th, 2009 at 9:43 am by David Farrar

Matt McCarten wrote in the HoS on the seamless transfer of power within the Greens, and it got me thinking. Jeanette may be the first parliamentary party leader to resign voluntarily in recent times?

By resigning voluntarily, I mean could have chosen to stay on and led the party into the next election if they wanted to. Was not under pressure from colleagues, was not ill etc.

Let us look at all the parties.

National – Brash pushed out, English rolled, Shipley lost he numbers, Bolger rolled, McLay rolled, Muldoon rolled, Marshall rolled, Holyoake pushed out, Holland forced out through sickness, Hamilton rolled.

Labour – Clark lost election and would not have survived to 2011, Moore rolled, Palmer pushed out, Lange forced out, Rowling rolled, Kirk died, Nordmeyer rolled, Nash forced by sickness and Nordmeyer, Fraser died, Savage died, Holland died.

ACT – Prebble given a good push by Hide

Greens – Donald died

Maori Party – still with initial leaders

Progressive – Anderton “eternal leader”

NZ First – Peters “great leader”

United Future – Sutherland Matthewson lost seat

So it is only when you look at our history do you realise that Jeanette may be unique in choosing to retire from a leadership position totally on her own timetable, and not under pressure from colleagues. A rare achievement indeed.

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Leadership Lengths

May 30th, 2009 at 11:14 am by David Farrar

Jeanette Fitzsimons steps down today after 14 years as Greens co-leader. That got me thinking about who had been the longest leaders of the various parties.

National – Sid Holland 17 years, Keith Holyoake 15 years, Jim Bolger 11 years, Rob Muldoon 10 years.

Labour  – Helen Clark 15 years, Harry Holland 14 years, Walter Nash 12 years, Peter Fraser 10 years.

Greens – Jeanette Fitzsimons 14 years, Rod Donald 10 years

ACT – Richard Prebble 8 years, Rodney Hide 5 years

Maori – Tariana Turia 5 years, Pita Sharples 5 years

NewLabour/Alliance/Progressive – Jim Anderton  – 19 years over 20 years (handed over to Lee for a year)

United/United Future – Peter Dunne – 13 years

NZ First – Winston Peters – 16 years

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Fitzsimons advice to Clark

April 4th, 2009 at 10:16 am by David Farrar

The Herald Political Diary notes:

Just about all parties suspend politics for half an hour to honour Helen Clark for her appointment as United Nations Development Programme Administrator. She is given a standing ovation after John Key’s truly magnanimous speech and every leader’s speech is applauded as well – except that of Greens’ co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons who is not even applauded by her own MPs. In a piece of misjudgment, Fitzsimons lectures Clark on how she should do her job, concluding: “What we wish most for you is that in endless rounds of cocktail parties, travel, high-level meetings and negotiations to which you are no stranger, the most desperate people who rely on UNPD programmes to eat, to be housed, and healthy and educated are always top of your mind.” Does she really think cocktail parties are more important to Clark than the poorest and weakest?

No wonder Helen never let the Greens into Government, if this is how sanctimonious they get. The full lecturing speech is here.

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Fitzsimons confirms retirement

February 23rd, 2009 at 1:32 pm by David Farrar

As predicted in the newspapers yesterday, Jeanette Fitzsimons has announced she is stepping down as Green co-leader in June.

The Greens are going to have to think hard about their choice and strategy. They only have to drop 2% to be out of Parliament, and they failed to significantly attract votes in 2008 from what I call “ethical lefties” who were appalled by what Labour had done, but didn’t want to vote centre-right. In the end many more ex-Labour voters went to National instead of the Greens.

Elections for the new co-leader will happen on 30 May and 1 June.

Sounds like a good futures market for ipredict!

Sue Bradford and Metira Turei have both confirmed they will stand for the position.

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SST says Fitzsimons to announce retirement

February 22nd, 2009 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Sunday Star-Times says:

GREEN PARTY co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons is about to announce her resignation from the post. She will stand down to allow a new co-leader time to make her mark before the 2011 election.

The veteran Green, co-leader since 1995, is expected to serve out the parliamentary term as a list MP.

No real surprise, but earlier than expected. Seems weird to announce your retirement just weeks after the election. I guess if she had become a Minister, it would have been delayed.

Fitzsimons’ departure will leave a difficult problem for the party. She is a widely liked and admired politician, with appeal across the political spectrum.

Yep. You very very rarely hear a bad word about her.

The SST looks at her possible sucessors:

Neither Bradford nor Turei has similar appeal. Bradford, once a fiery Marxist radical, has softened her image, but her sponsorship of the anti-smacking bill drew much flak.

Turei has the progressive appeal of being a Maori woman, but she may be seen as too radical to have wide appeal.

It is not known if Catherine Delahunty, elected to parliament at last year’s general election, will be a candidate for the co-leadership. Her lack of parliamentary experience could count against her.

Oh please please please let the Greens select Catherine Delahunty as co-leader. If she stands, I urge all Kiwiblog readers to join the Green Party and vote for her :-)

Sue Bradford is a very competent and hard working MP. She impresses on select committees. But her anti-smacking law has (rightfully) tainted her public image, and she is not from the environmental wing of the party. Bradford would be a risk – a Bradford/Norman leadership coudl look like the Greens had turned into the Alliance.

I think Metira Turei is their best bet. She is very smart, and while she is a radical (former anarchist), she has been pretty restrained as an MP.

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Ironic?

November 6th, 2008 at 11:24 am by David Farrar

The Herald is running a caption contest.

The irony that strikes me is Jeanette is pro-choice (as am I) so personally that is one media stunt I would stay away from.

I’m not doing comments on this post as I don’t want it to turn into a debate on abortion. I just wanted to highlight the irony.

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Minor Leaders Debate

October 27th, 2008 at 11:07 pm by David Farrar

I thought it was interesting how restrained everyone was. Winston, for example, was being very constructive and making serious points. Maybe they all realised the usual squabbling would sit badly with voters in such uncertain economic times.

Not sure if there are any winners or losers from it. How did others find it?

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Family First rates the Leaders

September 20th, 2008 at 12:09 pm by David Farrar

Family First has rated every party leader for their “family friendliness” as they see it. This is a great idea, as those who agree with Family First’s values can use it as a positive guide, and those who disagree can use it as a negative guide. More lobby groups should do this sort of stuff.

The overall ratings (in order) for each Leader is:

  1. Winston Peters 77%
  2. Peter Dunne 69%
  3. Pita Sharples 57%
  4. Tariana Turia 54%
  5. John Key 54%
  6. Jim Anderton 38%
  7. Rodney Hide 31%
  8. Jeanette Fitzsimons 15%
  9. Helen Clark 8%

Winston is the poster boy for social conservatism which is why it is so hilarious that so many on the left are doing everything possible to defend him.

There were 13 issues or votes they judged the Leaders on. I list them below, along with how I would have voted on it if I was an MP.

  1. Prostitution Bill- DPF support – 0
  2. Civil Unions – DPF support – 0
  3. Relationships Bill – DPF support – 0
  4. Parental Notification for under 16 abortions – DPF support – 1 (I support notification, not approval)
  5. Euthanasia – DPF support – 0
  6. Care of Children – DPF oppose – 1
  7. Marriage Amendment (define as man/woman only) – DPF oppose – 0
  8. Anti-Smacking – DPF oppose – 1
  9. Easter Trading – DPF support – 0
  10. Easter Sunday Trading – DPF support – 0
  11. Drinking Age to 20 – DPF oppose – 0
  12. Street Prostitution (Manukau) – DPF oppose – 0
  13. Electoral Finance – DPF oppose – 1

So if I was a party leader I would be scored 4/13 or 31% – the same as Rodney Hide.

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Business NZ Conference Part IV

September 3rd, 2008 at 12:59 pm by David Farrar

The Infrastructure Forum had six questions:

  1. How will you stop the risk of power blackouts?
  2. Will you privatise power generation SOEs to get more competition and lower prices?
  3. How will you get broadband into more homes and businesses?
  4. What changes will you make to the RMA?
  5. Do you support more protection for businesses at risk from the ETS?
  6. Do you support carbon credit allocation based on carbon intensity

Gerry Brownlee

  1. Energy Policy released details improvements to both security and supply. Planning for far more growth than Labour. Major consent decisions to be made within nine months
  2. No SOE sales
  3. Ran out of time
  4. Referred to in 1
  5. Not a yes/no answer but said credit allocation should be decided by a select committee process and a National ETS will do that. Gave a great example of how concrete plants in Europe will pay far less for carbon credits so just force industry offshore.
  6. Ran out of time

David Parker

  1. Record investment in energy under Labour. National did not invest in the 1990s
  2. No
  3. Broadband essential. $500 million fund next five years. WIll not favour incumbent.
  4. Does not accept RMA is a barrier
  5. Missed
  6. Missed

Jeanette Fitzsimons

  1. One can have security by over-building capacity so it is wasted every year but the peak year. Not efficient. Better to have a standby plant. Says we had a 1 in 60 dry year. Third way is make smart adjustments to demand to reduce at times of shortage and that is what is missing.
  2. Will not sell SOEs. Rejects that it would lead to lower prices.
  3. Supported LLU. Broadband key to reducing transport. But not support large state investment.
  4. Most changes Gerry wants to RMA already done. Problem is implementation and no national guidelines.
  5. Trade-exposed businesses are already highly protected. Some businesses may end up with surplus credits without reducing emissions.
  6. No – an intensity basis will lead to continued emissions.

Rodney Hide

  1. Does not think we can rule out all the power generation methods the Greens do. Need to reduce cost of capital by lowering taxes.
  2. Yes would sell them. No sense in Govt owing competitive businesses. Ownign them locks up taxpayers money and limits companies ability to raise capital for investment it deems necessary.
  3. Broadband important but regulation stopping its rollout. Need a stronger economy to be able to afford it. Against National’s policy in this area. Investment is slowing down due to uncertainity.
  4. Private property rights need to be enhanced, The RMA damages these rights.

Peter Dunne

  1. Rejects ideology. Needs security of supply. Say question is an alarmist straw man. Currently power is an un-cordinated jigsaw (so why are we paying $90 million a year to the Electricity Commission then). Agrees we have had over supply in past – supports smaller local plants but big hydro plants.
  2. I think it was a no.
  3. RMA needs national policy guidelines. DO not throw away RMA – streamline it and keep core principles.
  4. Missed.
  5. Do not support further protection to at risk businesses as we do not know enough about impact.
  6. No does not support but is subject to how the Act works out. Reason they oppose bill is because so much is uncertain and is being rushed through purely for political gain. Wants it passed by 1 April 2009.
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No means no

September 1st, 2008 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Some people are having a hard time working out when no means no. NZPA reports:

National Party leader John Key has ruled out working with New Zealand First leader Winston Peters post-election altogether and says opponents are wrong to suggest that would change if he was struggling to form a government.

For those who are slow, John Key has explicitly ruled out Peters, even if it means he won’t become Prime Minister after the 2008 election.

Today Dr Cullen criticised Mr Key for his hardened position, saying he was disregarding natural justice and not letting inquiries finish before passing judgement.

“John Key’s stance shows that he has no respect for basic New Zealand values of fair play,” Dr Cullen said.

Mr Key said that the bar he set for who he would work with was higher than if they were cleared by investigations or not.

This is what Labour don’t understand. Labour’s bottom line is merely that an MP hasn’t actually been convicted of a crime. They don’t see any need to have the bar any higher than “has not actually been sent to jail”.

Mr Key ruled out having Mr Peters as a minister, forming a coalition with his party or entering any kind of support arrangement with NZ First.

“The lot. . . we have categorically ruled him out altogether.”

So what part of that is hard to understand?

Progressive leader Jim Anderton, speaking on TV One’s Agenda programme this morning, said Mr Key was not being brave and knew Mr Peters may not be in a position to negotiate following this year’s general election.

“I’ll give you this prediction that if Winston is there and he has the numbers to make John Key the prime minister you’ll find John Key finds very quick reasons why Winston’s a man of high integrity fast.”

Mr Key responded: “As is so often the case Jim Anderton has got it wrong.”

No means no.

Also on Agenda Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said it was up to her party, but her preference would be not to have to work with Mr Peters.

“If you’re sitting around a Cabinet table with someone you have to be able to trust them, you have to be able to take their word.”

That is a good start. But would the Greens give confidence and supply to Labour/NZ First, if they themselves are not in Cabinet?

United Future leader Peter Dunne said in the first instance his party would base who it worked with on policy. However the fact that Mr Peters let the controversy draw out without giving straight answers would be a factor “you take into account as to whether you can do business with that person subsequently”.

Goodness, that was almost a position Peter took! :-)

Just remember these two lines:

A vote for NZ First is a vote for a Labour-led Government

A vote for Labour is a vote for Winston Peters in Government

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Minor Party Leaders on Agenda

August 31st, 2008 at 11:07 am by David Farrar

An interesting discussion on Agenda this morning.

Jeanette Fitzsimons said Peters has shown a contempt for the public and the public’s right to know. It is not just a matter of illegality.

She was asked if she could work with NZ First in a governing arrangement. Fitzsimons said that the party decides that but her personal viwe is you have to be able to trust someone around the cabinet table, you have to be able to trust and take their word and know it is not going to take weeks and weeks before questions are answered and only under coercion. She personally would be uncomfortable in a governing arrangement with NZ First.

Good on Jeanette for saying that. Not as strong as Key, but if the Greens won’t back Labour if they keep clinging to Winston, then he has no power even if makes 5%.

Peter Dunne hedges his bets and says he does not think either major party will want Peters and that NZ First will not be re-elected. However says he will decide on policies only, and not rule Peters out.

Jim Anderton says issue for Peters is not so much legal but hypocrisy of railing against donations from big business and taking them secretly.

Fitzsimons says she is most concerned about the fihsing issue, and wants it investigated.

Barry Soper has ripped into Anderton for saying the media have tried and convicted Peters in public.  He points out that teh media have been unable to get a single useful explanation from Peters for months on end and it is thanks to the media these issues have come to light. Says Anderton should applaud media if they believe in transparency. Anderton responds weakly.

Anderton now talking about the Brethren. Yawn. Now he is alleging the SFO is compromised as investigating Peters keeps them alive.

Dunne says he has no problem with Key ruling Peters out, and suspects he has wanted to for some time. Says he “fully understands” that John Key needed to put a marker in the sand.

UPDATE: A friend points out to me that Jeanette is a very polite person, and her comments indicating diffculties serving with Winston was Green Speak for “Fuck Off” :-)

I hope so! Removing Winston from power (only the public can remove him from Parliament) is something all parties in Parliament should agree on. It should not be a partisan issue.

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Fitzsimons expects to retire by 2011

June 3rd, 2008 at 6:48 am by David Farrar

Jeanette Fitzsimons expects her upcoming sixth term in Parliament to be her last. She will probably stand down as co-leader in 2010.

Metira Turei would have to be the favourite to suceed her. A couple of years ago I would have put Sue Bradford as favourite, but her anti-smacking law has branded her in a way which would be risky for the Greens.

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Greens: Kiwiblog “far right”

May 20th, 2008 at 4:33 pm by David Farrar

Am very amused by the press release just put out by the Green Party. They are promoting their You Tube video which I linked to a few days ago, and have got excited over the fact a user called “JohnKey2008″ viewed it.

They end the press release, saying:

The ‘Some things are bigger than politics’ video has been well received by online viewers, and has even featured on the far-right website ‘Kiwi Blog’.

Hmmn, far-right. That will teach me to be nice and promote their video for them. Mind you I also blogged one from the Family Party!

To be fair, 90% of NZ is probably “far right” compared to Comrades Norman, Locke and Bradford.

But Wikipedia says “far right” includes:

the revolutionary right, militant racial supremacists and religious extremists, fascists, neo-fascists, Nazis, and neo-Nazis

So is Jeanette calling me a racial supremacist, a religious extremist or a Nazi?

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Blog Bits

May 15th, 2008 at 3:58 pm by David Farrar

Stephen Franks has ordered a book: Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness. I must borrow it after he gets it!

Jeanette Fitzsimons blogs, asking whether the wheels are falling off the ETS. She addresses the issue of the so called thermal moratorium and how Genesis, an SEO, is using a loophole to get around this.

Whale Oil has photos of more potential EFA breaches. Russell Fairbrother’s caravan certainly looks like an advertisement with statements about proud to support interest free loans, nuclear free NZ.

Blair Mulholland asks whether it is worse to have a swastika on your roof, or preventing someone from doing it. While I think Councils go way overboard with their controls on what you can do on your house, I think there is a property rights argument that there should be some restrictions. Put it like this. If you buy your place for $500,000 and someone buys the house either side of you and covers them in swastikas, or even paintings of men’s penises, then your house value will drop significantly as there won’t be many buyers. Note in this case the swastika was the Hindu one, not the Nazi one.

The Visible Hand in Economics looks at the case for and againgst a tax free threshold.

Jordan Carter looks at the travails of Gordon Brown in the UK.

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More Government flip-flops

May 6th, 2008 at 1:14 pm by David Farrar

At he same time as the Government is flip-flopping on biofuels, and flip-flopping on regional petrol taxes, they also are retreating from having the transport sector in the Emissions Trading Scheme.

Jeanette Fitzsimons is not impressed:

“We’re trying to get the best possible legislation through this term … I think there will be legislation before this election but the question is will it be even weaker than what we’ve got now.” Ms Fitzsimons said further backtracks on the trading scheme should see the Prime Minister awarded a “climate ditherers” award to replace the United Nations Champion of the Earth award she recently received.

I can understand the politics around a delay, but you have to ask will it be only for two years? If petrol prices are still high in 2011, will the transport sector be exempted or delayed further. And if you start doing that the whole ETS may collapse if one sector is left out.

If one was to deliver significant enough tax cuts, they would compensate for any increase in petrol prices. But the risk of delivering chewing gum tax cuts which wouldn’t even meet the increased cost of petrol was obviously too high.

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Political Travellers

March 11th, 2008 at 8:35 pm by David Farrar

By coincidence, Jordan Carter was seated next to me on the flight up to Auckland on Saturday morning. I was heading on holiday, while Jordan was off to his selection meeting for Hunua for Labour, where he was selected unopposed. Congratulations Jordan.

I offered to help Jordan write his acceptance speech, but he declined!

On the way back on Monday night, Russel Norman and Jeanette Fitzsimons were on the flight (which was delayed 50 minutes).  Russel chatted to me for a bit and I told him that I had actually praised the Greens online communications, and his blogging specifically, at the Chamber of Commerce meeting on Friday. I’m not sure if he believed me :-) but Adam Smith has blogged that I did speak well of those, who are less charitable towards me.

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