Something to Hide (other than Rodney)?

John Key and John Banks chose to stage a public event in a venue open to the public, for their intended mutual political benefit.

A scrum of journalists attended, as they had hoped. They wanted publicity.

Now they are bleating (or at least Steven Joyce is bleating on their behalf) that recording the bits of a meeting in a venue open to the public, but that journalists were muscled out of, was unethical or illegal.

Suck on a big turd, National and ACT! You wanted publicity from this meeting. It cuts both ways.

Whaling for a big Gerry Mander

Ever heard of a gerrymander? Yep, that’s what happened for many years in Queensland, when Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s National Party held power there with as little as 20% of the popular vote.

Anyway, here’s Cameron Slater – and again, and again, and again – advocating that New Zealand’s National Party should be advocating a vote against MMP:

News flash National, all your political enemies are conspiring to retain MMP and pouring lots of time, effort and money into it and some in National are even helping them. Silence is no longer an option, silence in 1993 on the issue is what got you 9 long years in opposition and silence is what will see your coalition partners disappear, and with it your chances of governing again for a very long time.

Slater’s argument is about as unprincipled as it gets. He is advocating gerrymandering the electoral system to make it less fair and less proportional because that would advantage the political right by giving the National Party a share of seats in Parliament well in excess of their share of the popular vote.

I somehow suspect he wouldn’t be running that argument if ACT were polling 12%, rather than being terminally ill at 1.2%.

You scumbag, scumbag, scumbag!

Absolutely disgraceful behaviour (at 2:08 in the video) from National MPs in Parliament today, following someone with a grievance against Work and Income attempting to protest by jumping over the balcony from the public gallery:

I’m no fan of Phil Goff, but this reflects very, very badly on a number of National [other] MPs.

Update: Difficult to tell from the video who said what, but as noted in the comments thread, journalists who were present report that it was actually Labour MPs who were shouting “scumbag” and it was in response to Key shouting “You should be ashamed of yourselves” towards the Labour benches. In any case, it was a very bad look by all those involved. This is the sort of behaviour that brings Parliament into disrepute.

Only one party… the National Party

Nazi anti-MMP campaigner Alex Fogerty doesn’t seem content with returning to the two-party dictatorship of FPP or its bastard cousin SM.  Here he is on the Lower North Island Young Nats’ Facebook page a couple of months ago, apparently advocating a one party state:

The anti-MMP group Vote for Change have been quick to dissociate themselves from Fogerty (although not quick enough to avoid losing their sole founding member who was not a hard right winger, former Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey).

It will be interesting to see if the National Party and the Young Nats do the same. Or do they tolerate Nazi creeps like this in their midst?

Update (2.10pm): Well, that was quick.  Fogerty’s comment has now been removed from the Lower North Island Young Nats’ FB page.

Our Nactional Anthem – “Don Brash not quite ready to reveal my campaign” suspended animation version

For those with slow internet, here are the lyrics:

I wanna be a boss
I wanna be a big boss
I wanna boss the world around
I wanna be the biggest boss
that ever bossed the world around

I wanna do it right
I wanna do it right away
I wanna do it right now
I wanna do it right away
I wanna do it now

Don’t wanna be a dancer in the Bolshoi Ballet
Don’t want to work for Daddy
In Daddy’s shop, 0.K.

I get confused, so confused
I get a pain, I get a pain up here
In the Shirley Temples

What you gonna do
How you gonna do it
What you gonna do
How you gonna do it

Little by little, ooh ooh
Little by little, bit by bit

Sssh! Not too loud, don’t tell everybody
Don’t give away the game
Oooh, oooh,
I aint quite ready to reveal my campaign

This is not the time
My hero’s are alive and well in a cave
I’m keeping them on ice in suspended animation
Till the very right occasion comes along

To our rally come along
Come along to our rally
Come along to our rally come along

To our rally come along
Come along to our rally
Come along to our rally come along

A Brave new world will rise from the ashes
And there upon a rock titanic, I’ll cast a giant
Shadow on the face of the deep
And never again will they dare to call me
A freckled, spotty, specky, four eyed
Weedy little creep!

No more tremblin’ and quakin’ in the gym
No more come on fellas, let’s get him

What you gonna do
How you gonna do it
What you gonna do
How you gonna do it

Little by little, ooh, ooh
Little by little, bit by bit
Little by little, ooh, ooh
Little by little, bit by bit
bit by bit
bit by bit

Everyone’s going to be free
But they’ll have to agree to be free
They’ll have to agree to be less free than me
‘Cos I rule the world you see

So wait for the army of kiddy-winkies
And terrible tiny tots
In armoured school buses
Firing poison pea-shooters
And sinking their milk teeth into your thighs
Delapsus resurgam! when I fall I shall rise!

Wanna be a boss
I wanna be a big boss
I wanna boss the world around
I wanna be the biggest boss
that ever bossed the world around

Pssst: Trying to learn from Bernard Hickey how to do interesting blog posts but destroy them with long boring titles.

National, ACT barking on youth rates

I’m almost lost for words – this is so unbelievably stupid.  National and ACT want to reintroduce a discriminatory lower minimum wage rate for young people.  And they are not just talking about people under 18 who were subject to youth rates before a Green Party bill abolished them in 2008.  They are talking about extending them to people aged up to 24.

Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson says:

If you’ve got somebody who is 16 who is wanting a job and someone who is 30 at the same price, then who is the employer going to employ?

Fail, on all accounts.  Wilkinson seems to think employers create jobs because they have some spare money floating around.  They don’t.  They create jobs because they expect doing so will expand their business and/or improve its profitability.  Thanks to the Government’s failure to respond to the recession with policies that encourage employers to create jobs, there are simply not enough jobs to go around at the moment.

But Wilkinson would rather see the 30 year old, often with a mortgage and a dependent partner and children, out of work rather than the 16 year old who has the lifestyle flexibility to choose to further train or study to improve his or her chances in the labour market. Unbelievably stupid!

There is absolutely no evidence of a causal relationship between the minimum wage for young people and youth employment rates.  In  fact, a study undertaken by Treasury and the Department of Labour back in 2004 showed that when the youth rate was substantially increased (and in the case of 18 and 19 year old workers set at the adult rate) youth employment rates actually increased.

This isn’t about getting young people into work at all.  It is about an evidence-averse Government prepared to suck up to employer lobbyists’ demands for lower wages.

If there is an up-side to the Government’s barking mad discriminatory policy, I suppose it will encourage more young people to vote, and young people’s votes tend to favour the Greens.

Update: According to Danyl at the Dim Post, Kate Wilkinson’s office has denied that consideration is being given to setting the age for youth rates at 24.

A welcome change of heart

Remember Nick Smith stomping around the country stirring up racism and bigotry following the Court of Appeal Foreshore and Seabed judgment.

And remember this from John Key:

Now don’t get me wrong. I welcome the National Party’s apparent change of position on the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

But let’s not forget that the National Party opposed the Foreshore and Seabed Act for very different reasons to the Greens and Act. While the Greens and Act took the principled position that the law abrogated the right to justice and property rights, National opposed the FSA because they considered it conferred too many rights upon Māori.

National were just as complicit as Labour in this despicably racist chapter in our nation’s history. Let’s not forget that as we proceed to unravel it.

Hat Tip: The Standard (for the video)

Things that National’s banned

We heard a lot from National before the election last year about the Green Party wanting to ban things. David Farrar even compiled a list, even though many of the things on it incorrectly stated Green policy or were standards or restrictions, rather than bans.

So when I saw John Key reported as wanting to ban pseudoephedrine in cold medicines, I thought I’d do a tally of the things National has banned or has proposed to ban in the six months they have been in office.

I got to 20. Additions to the list welcome.

  1. Public submissions on the Electricity (Renewable Preference) Repeal Act 2008
  2. Public submissions on the Bail Amendment Act 2008
  3. Public submissions on the Energy (Fuels, Levies, and References) Biofuel Obligation Repeal Act 2008
  4. Public submissions on the Education (National Standards) Amendment Act 2008
  5. Public submissions on the Employment Relations (Probationary Employment) Amendment Act 2008
  6. Employees in workplaces with less than 20 staff taking personal grievances if dismissed in the first 90 days of employment
  7. Employees in workplaces with less than 20 staff right to be told the reason for their dismissal if dismissed in the first 90 days of employment
  8. Public submissions on the Electoral Amendment Act 2009
  9. Gang patches in Whanganui
  10. Public submissions on the Local Government (Tamaki Makaurau Reorganisation) Act 2009
  11. Councils and local government organisations in the Auckland region from making ongoing expenditure commitments over $20,000
  12. Councils and local Government organisations in the Auckland region borrowing money for a period that extends beyond 30 June 2011
  13. Councils in the Auckland region refusing to co-operate with the Auckland Transition Agency’s local government reorganisation plans
  14. People in Auckland region having the right to a poll on local government reorganisation
  15. Appealing a resource consent application to the Environment Court unless they put up security for costs
  16. The Minister of Conservation from making decisions on behalf of the public on consent applications for restricted coastal activities
  17. The right to appeal a Council plan on other than points of law
  18. The ability of community groups “representing a relevant aspect of the public interest” to become party to an appeal if they were not a submitter
  19. Councils from creating rules that protect trees of a certain size or type
  20. Pseudoephedrine in cold medicines

Quite a tally for 6 months in office. Scarily, many on National’s list are bans on democratic participation, which is not something you would find on any Green list.