Labour’s nominations

September 8th, 2010 at 7:06 pm by David Farrar

Labour have announced:

Labour Party organisations in these electorates will hold their confirmation meetings shortly:

• Bay of Plenty Carol Devoy-Heena

Lost in 2008 by 17,604 votes. Ranked 76th (2nd bottom). I think Tony Ryall can relax.

• Botany Koro Tawa

Ranked No 65. Lost by 10,872 in 2008. Not a lot of new blood coming through is there!

• Christchurch East Lianne Dalziel

An MP since 1990.

• Coromandel Hugh Kininmonth

Lost by 14,560 in 2008. Ranked 75th (third bottom)

• East Coast Moana Mackey

Lost by 6,413 to Anne Tolley. List MP since 2003.

• East Coast Bays Vivienne Goldsmith

Lost by 13,794 to Prince of Darkness. Ranked No 67 in 2008.

• Hamilton East Sehai Orgad

2007 President of compulsory Waikato Student’s Union. Stood for East ward of Hamilton City Council in 2007 and came 10th.

• Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta

MP since 1996

• Helensville Jeremy Greenbrook-Held

Very appropriate Jeremy stands against John Key as he writes so many letters to the editor complaining about the Government.  2005 President of the compulsory VUWSA. Is standing for Henderson-Massey Local Board in 2010 elections.

A little known trivia fact is that a few years ago Jeremy and I co-authored a petition to Subway asking them to reverse their sacking of an employee for sharing a free $2 staff coke with a friend.

• Manukau East Ross Robertson

MP since 1987.

• New Plymouth Andrew Little

Former President of compulsory VUWSA, and NZUSA. Labour Party President.

• Rotorua Steve Chadwick

Lost her seat in 2008 by 5,065 votes. MP since 1999.

• Selwyn David Coates

Lost in 2008 by 11,075 votes.Ranked No 74 (fourth bottom) on list.

• Taranaki-King Country Rick Barker

Now this is weird. Barker presumably can’t get nominated again in Tukituki, so desperate to carry on has headed to the west coast. Has been an MP since 1993.

• Waimakariri Clayton Cosgrove

MP since 1999. Holding on with a 390 vote majority.

• Wellington Central Grant Robertson

Former President of compulsory OUSA and then NZUSA.

• Wigram Megan Woods

2007 Mayoral candidate against Bob Parker.

If the list above, is Labour rejuvenating, then someone has a sick sense of humour. Their only new candidates are from compulsory student associations.

Of their 2008 candidates, the ones standing again were all ranked in the bottom dozen, and lost by huge majorities.  Where are the Kate Suttons, Michael Woods, Conor Roberts, and Louisa Walls  who all actually have some talent?

Advice for Labour from Jeremy Greenbrook-Held

October 29th, 2009 at 1:35 pm by David Farrar

Jeremy G-H is that rare beast – a Labourite with independent thought. He was one of the very few to condemn Taito Phillip Field, while his leadership was defending him.

He blogs some advice for Labour today:

Labour: English’s homes saga not over

Um, yes, it is. Well, at least in the eyes of voters beyond the beltway.

I earlier posted that Bill English should go. I personally still believe he should be removed, but any legal grounds for him to be removed have now been extinguished by the auditor general’s report. In the eyes of your Joe Bloggs voter, English has paid back the money and the auditor general has vindicated him – this matter is closed. Labour need to face the facts that it has lost this one and move on.

Labour do seem obsessed with beltway issues. Red Alert is full of them. When is the last time you heard Phil Goff talking about jobs, the economy, improving the health system, better educational outcomes?

Jeremy even blogs some better issues for Labour to focus on, that their beltway obesssions:

Labour are a bit like a dog off the leash. They just chase every car that drives past, catching none of them. Instead they need to focus on just two or three issues and push pretty uch nothing but those issues for weeks and months.

The public only hear a message after months of repetition. It’s not glamarous, but it is effective.

Jake Quinn on Bill English

October 1st, 2009 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

I’m surprised and impressed. Former Labour Press Secretary Jake Quinn has done a fair and balanced post on Bill English. He has just gone up hugely in my estimation.

It’s time to leave Bill English alone. Labour and the press gallery have had a good run with it. Bill’s been embarrassed, he’s paid some money back and the issue will always slightly affect his credibility as Finance Minister. But enough is enough.

Bill’s home in Dipton has been in his family for 120 years. It’s on English Rd. It’s full of his stuff and he is the local MP. Some time ago he decided to have his family reside in Wellington so they could be closer together – his kids go to school there and his wife practices medicine there – it’s an honourable thing to do for someone planning a life in politics.

Bill has to maintain two residences because he has two homes, two rates bills, and everything else that goes with it.

Exactly. The regime is meant to neither advantage or disadvantage MPs. It would be different if Bill had sold or rented out his Dipton home, but he has not – as he says it has been his family home for 120 years, and will continue to be so once he leaves Parliament.

MP’s need to be ultra careful and conservative when it comes to what benefits and kickbacks they receive. The public mood for lynchings is high, especially after the British MPs’ expenses scandal which led to numerous resignations.

Labour does need to be careful. For example a (very) senior Labour MP has his adult daughter live with him in Wellington. Does than mean he should lose his Wellington accommodation allowance? I don’t think so, but if you apply the standards Labour has applied to Bill, then maybe there are some double standards.

And again, if Labour and the media think it would be a bad thing if Bill had changed his trust arrangements to get a bigger taxpayer subsidy (something a QC has said did not happen), then where is the scruutiny over the practice of (at least) the Green MPs to have their superannuation fund purchase Welllington property on their behalf, as this increases what they can claim from the taxpayer from merely interest on a mortgage to full rent of up to $24,000 a year.

How much of a difference does this make. Well if the property has $150,000 on the mortgage and interest rates are 6%, the maximum you could claim off the taxpayer is $9,000. But by vesting the property in their superannuation fund, they can claim up to $24,000 in rent.

Now this is quite legal, but has escaped the same scrutiny.

Bill should have been more careful so deserves some of the criticism he has received. However, successive Speakers of the House, from both major parties, have signed off on his arrangements and the legal buck stops with them.

Indeed, Hunt, Wilson and Smith have all agreed he qualifies.

What’s more, his being in breach, if he is, is a technicality. He’s only in trouble because the allowance is called an ‘out of town MP’ allowance. If it was called the ‘MP’s who have a home in their electorate but choose to spend pretty much all of their time in Wellington’ allowance then there wouldn’t be an issue.

This has been the problem for Bill. Because the rules use the term “primary residence” he has been arguing Dipton is his primary residence, and the public have rejected the notion that the primary residence can possibly be a place you and your family don’t live in most of the time. It does not matter that under the rules, it can be – it fails the common meaning test.

At some stage in future the rule should probably be amended to just asking whether or not the MP resided outside of Wellington before they became an MP, and whether or not they still own a property outside Wellington, which is not rented out or used by others.

A very fair post by Jake. His co-blogger Jeremy Greenbrook-Held balances it up by doing the normal partisan rant. He hysterically demands Bill must resign or be sacked and also gets numerous facts wrong. Not even worth fisking it is so puerile.